I.

IN GENERAL
Political Law Defined
• People v. Perfecto, 43 Phil. 887, 897 [1922]

G.R. No. L-18463 October 4,
1922

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
GREGORIO PERFECTOR, defendant-appellant.

Alfonso E. Mendoza and the appellant in behalf of the latter.
Attorney-General Villa-Real for appellee.

MALCOLM, J.:

The important question is here squarely presented of whether article 256 of
the Spanish Penal Code, punishing "Any person who, by . . . writing, shall
defame, abuse, or insult any Minister of the Crown or other person in
authority . . .," is still in force.

About August 20, 1920, the Secretary of the Philippine Senate, Fernando
M. Guerrero, discovered that certain documents which constituted the
records of testimony given by witnesses in the investigation of oil
companies, had disappeared from his office. Shortly thereafter, the
Philippine Senate, having been called into special session by the Governor-
General, the Secretary for the Senate informed that body of the loss of the
documents and of the steps taken by him to discover the guilty party. The
day following the convening of the Senate, September 7, 1920, the
newspaper La Nacion, edited by Mr. Gregorio Perfecto, published an article
reading as follows:

Half a month has elapsed since the discovery, for the first time, of the
scandalous robbery of records which were kept and preserved in the iron
safe of the Senate, yet up to this time there is not the slightest indication
that the author or authors of the crime will ever be discovered.

To find them, it would not, perhaps, be necessary to go out of the Sente
itself, and the persons in charge of the investigation of the case would not
have to display great skill in order to succeed in their undertaking, unless
they should encounter the insuperable obstacle of offical concealment.

In that case, every investigation to be made would be but a mere comedy
and nothing more.

After all, the perpetration of the robbery, especially under the
circumstances that have surrounded it, does not surprise us at all.

The execution of the crime was but the natural effect of the environment of
the place in which it was committed.

How many of the present Senators can say without remorse in their
conscience and with serenity of mind, that they do not owe their victory to
electoral robbery? How may?

The author or authors of the robbery of the records from the said iron safe
of the Senate have, perhaps, but followed the example of certain Senators
who secured their election through fraud and robbery.

The Philippine Senate, in its session of September 9, 1920, adopted a
resolution authorizing its committee on elections and privileges to report as
to the action which should be taken with reference to the article published
in La Nacion. On September 15, 1920, the Senate adopted a resolution
authorizing the President of the Senate to indorse to the Attorney-General,
for his study and corresponding action, all the papers referring to the case
of the newspaper La Nacion and its editor, Mr. Gregorio Perfecto. As a
result, an information was filed in the municipal court of the City of Manila
by an assistant city fiscal, in which the editorial in question was set out and
in which it was alleged that the same constituted a violation of article 256 of
the Penal Code. The defendant Gregorio Perfecto was found guilty in the
municipal court and again in the Court of First Instance of Manila.

During the course of the trial in the Court of First Instance, after the
prosecution had rested, the defense moved for the dismissal of the case.
On the subject of whether or not article 256 of the Penal Code, under which
the information was presented, is in force, the trial judge, the Honorable
George R. Harvey, said:

This antiquated provision was doubtless incorporated into the Penal Code
of Spain for the protection of the Ministers of the Crown and other
representatives of the King against free speech and action by Spanish
subjects. A severe punishment was prescribed because it was doubtless
considered a much more serious offense to insult the King's representative
than to insult an ordinary individual. This provision, with almost all the other
articles of that Code, was extended to the Philippine Islands when under
the dominion of Spain because the King's subject in the Philippines might
defame, abuse or insult the Ministers of the Crown or other representatives
of His Majesty. We now have no Ministers of the Crown or other persons in
authority in the Philippines representing the King of Spain, and said
provision, with other articles of the Penal Code, had apparently passed into
"innocuous desuetude," but the Supreme Corut of the Philippine Islands
has, by a majority decision, held that said article 256 is the law of the land
to-day. . . .

The Helbig case is a precedent which, by the rule of stare decisis, is
binding upon this court until otherwise determined by proper authority.

In the decision rendered by the same judge, he concluded with the
following language:

In the United States such publications are usually not punishable as
criminal offense, and little importance is attached to them, because they
are generally the result of political controversy and are usually regarded as
more or less colored or exaggerated. Attacks of this character upon a
legislative body are not punishable, under the Libel Law. Although such
publications are reprehensible, yet this court feels some aversion to the
application of the provision of law under which this case was filed. Our
Penal Code has come to us from the Spanish regime. Article 256 of that
Code prescribes punishment for persons who use insulting language about
Ministers of the Crown or other "authority." The King of Spain doubtless left
the need of such protection to his ministers and others in authority in the
Philippines as well as in Spain. Hence, the article referred to was made
applicable here. Notwithstanding the change of sovereignty, our Supreme
Court, in a majority decision, has held that this provision is still in force, and
that one who made an insulting remark about the President of the United
States was punishable under it. (U.S. vs. Helbig, supra.) If it applicable in
that case, it would appear to be applicable in this case. Hence, said article

256 must be enforced, without fear or favor, until it shall be repealed or
superseded by other legislation, or until the Supreme Court shall otherwise
determine.

In view of the foregoing considerations, the court finds the defendant guilty
as charged in the information and under article 256 of their Penal Code
sentences him to suffer two months and one day of arresto mayor and the
accessory penalties prescribed by law, and to pay the costs of both
instances.

The fifteen errors assigned by the defendant and appellant, reenforced by
an extensive brief, and eloquent oral argument made in his own behalf and
by his learned counsel, all reduce themselves to the pertinent and decisive
question which was announced in the beginning of this decision.

It will be noted in the first place that the trial judge considered himself
bound to follow the rule announced in the case of United States vs. Helbig
(R. G. No. 14705, 1 not published). In that case, the accused was charged
with having said, "To hell with the President and his proclamations, or
words to that effect," in violation of article 256 of the Penal Code. He was
found guilty in a judgment rendered by the Court of First Instance of Manila
and again on appeal to the Supreme Court, with the writer of the instant
decision dissenting on two principal grounds: (1) That the accused was
deprived of the constitutional right of cross-examination, and (2) that article
256 of the Spanish Penal Code is no longer in force. Subsequently, on a
motion of reconsideration, the court, being of the opinion that the Court of
First Instance had committed a prejudicial error in depriving the accused of
his right to cross-examine a principal witness, set aside the judgment
affirming the judgment appealed from and ordered the return of the record
to the court of origin for the celebration of a new trial. Whether such a trial
was actually had, is not known, but at least, the record in the Helbig case
has never again been elevated to this court.

There may perchance exist some doubt as to the authority of the decision
in the Helbig case, in view of the circumstances above described. This
much, however, is certain: The facts of the Helbig case and the case before
us, which we may term the Perfecto case, are different, for in the first case
there was an oral defamation, while in the second there is a written
defamation. Not only this, but a new point which, under the facts, could not
have been considered in the Helbig case, is, in the Perfecto case, urged

upon the court. And, finally, as is apparent to all, the appellate court is not
restrained, as was the trial court, by strict adherence to a former decision.
We much prefer to resolve the question before us unhindered by
references to the Helbig decision.

This is one of those cases on which a variety of opinions all leading to the
same result can be had. A majority of the court are of the opinion that the
Philippine Libel Law, Act No. 277, has had the effect of repealing so much
of article 256 of the Penal Code as relates to written defamation, abuse, or
insult, and that under the information and the facts, the defendant is neither
guilty of a violation of article 256 of the Penal Code, nor of the Libel Law.
The view of the Chief Justice is that the accused should be acquitted for
the reason that the facts alleged in the information do not constitute a
violation of article 156 of the Penal Code. Three members of the court
believe that article 256 was abrogated completely by the change from
Spanish to American sovereignty over the Philippines and is inconsistent
with democratic principles of government.

Without prejudice to the right of any member of the court to explain his
position, we will discuss the two main points just mentioned.

1. Effect of the Philippine Libel Law, Act No. 277, on article 256 of the
Spanish Penal Code. — The Libel Law, Act No. 277, was enacted by the
Philippine Commission shortly after organization of this legislative body.
Section 1 defines libel as a "malicious defamation, expressed either in
writing, printing, or by signs or pictures, or the like, or public theatrical
exhibitions, tending to blacken the memory of one who is dead or to
impeach the honesty, virtue, or reputation, or publish the alleged or natural
deffects of one who is alive, and thereby expose him to public hatred,
contempt or ridicule." Section 13 provides that "All laws and parts of laws
now in force, so far as the same may be in conflict herewith, are hereby
repealed. . . ."

That parts of laws in force in 1901 when the Libel Law took effect, were in
conflict therewith, and that the Libel Law abrogated certain portion of the
Spanish Penal Code, cannot be gainsaid. Title X of Book II of the Penal
Code, covering the subjects of calumny and insults, must have been
particularly affected by the Libel Law. Indeed, in the early case of Pardo de
Tavera vs. Garcia Valdez ([1902], 1. Phil., 468), the Supreme Court spoke
of the Libel Law as "reforming the preexisting Spanish law on the subject of

calumnia and injuria." Recently, specific attention was given to the effect of
the Libel Law on the provisions of the Penal Code, dealing with calumny
and insults, and it was found that those provisions of the Penal Code on the
subject of calumny and insults in which the elements of writing an publicity
entered, were abrogated by the Libel Law. (People vs. Castro [1922], p.
842, ante.)

The Libel Law must have had the same result on other provisions of the
Penal Code, as for instance article 256.

The facts here are that the editor of a newspaper published an article,
naturally in writing, which may have had the tendency to impeach the
honesty, virtue, or reputation of members of the Philippine Senate, thereby
possibly exposing them to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule, which is
exactly libel, as defined by the Libel Law. Sir J. F. Stephen is authority for
the statement that a libel is indictable when defaming a "body of persons
definite and small enough for individual members to be recognized as such,
in or by means of anything capable of being a libel." (Digest of Criminal
Law, art. 267.) But in the United States, while it may be proper to prosecute
criminally the author of a libel charging a legislator with corruption,
criticisms, no matter how severe, on a legislature, are within the range of
the liberty of the press, unless the intention and effect be seditious. (3
Wharton's Criminal Law, p. 2131.) With these facts and legal principles in
mind, recall that article 256 begins: Any person who, by . . . writing, shall
defame, abuse, or insult any Minister of the Crown or other person in
authority," etc.

The Libel Law is a complete and comprehensive law on the subject of libel.
The well-known rule of statutory construction is, that where the later statute
clearly covers the old subject-matter of antecedent acts, and it plainly
appears to have been the purpose of the legislature to give expression in it
to the whole law on the subject, previous laws are held to be repealed by
necessary implication. (1 Lewis' Sutherland Statutory Construction, p. 465.)
For identical reasons, it is evident that Act No. 277 had the effect so much
of this article as punishes defamation, abuse, or insults by writing.

Act No. 292 of the Philippine Commission, the Treason and Sedition Law,
may also have affected article 256, but as to this point, it is not necessary
to make a pronouncement.

2. Effect of the change from Spanish to Amercian sevoreignty over the
Philippine son article 256 of the Spanish Penal Code. — Appellant's main
proposition in the lower court and again energetically pressed in the
appellate court was that article 256 of the Spanish Penal Code is not now
in force because abrogated by the change from Spanish to American
sovereignty over the Philippines and because inconsistent with democratic
principles of government. This view was indirectly favored by the trial judge,
and, as before stated, is the opinion of three members of this court.

Article 256 is found in Chapter V of title III of Book II of the Spanish Penal
Code. Title I of Book II punishes the crimes of treason, crimes that
endanger the peace or independence of the state, crimes against
international law, and the crime of piracy. Title II of the same book punishes
the crimes of lese majeste, crimes against the Cortes and its members and
against the council of ministers, crimes against the form of government,
and crimes committed on the occasion of the exercise of rights guaranteed
by the fundamental laws of the state, including crime against religion and
worship. Title III of the same Book, in which article 256 is found, punishes
the crimes of rebellion, sedition, assaults upon persons in authority, and
their agents, and contempts, insults, injurias, and threats against persons in
authority, and insults, injurias, and threats against their agents and other
public officers, the last being the title to Chapter V. The first two articles in
Chapter V define and punish the offense of contempt committed by any
one who shall be word or deed defame, abuse, insult, or threathen a
minister of the crown, or any person in authority. The with an article
condemning challenges to fight duels intervening, comes article 256, now
being weighed in the balance. It reads as follows: "Any person who, by
word, deed, or writing, shall defame, abuse, or insult any Minister of the
Crown or other person in authority, while engaged in the performance of
official duties, or by reason of such performance, provided that the
offensive minister or person, or the offensive writing be not addressed to
him, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor," — that is, the defamation,
abuse, or insult of any Minister of the Crown of the Monarchy of Spain (for
there could not be a Minister of the Crown in the United States of America),
or other person in authority in the Monarchy of Spain.

It cannot admit of doubt that all those provisions of the Spanish Penal Code
having to do with such subjects as treason, lese majeste, religion and
worship, rebellion, sedition, and contempts of ministers of the crown, are
not longer in force. Our present task, therefore, is a determination of

511. ordinances and regulations in conflict with the political character. all laws. and he like. whether it is in the nature of a municipal law or political law. 114 U. would at once cease to be of obligatory force without any declaration to that effect.. Roa vs. and much less can it be admitted that they have capacity to receive or power to exercise them. Chicago.) On American occupation of the Philippines. impart to the United States any of his royal prerogatives. Thus. McGlinn. Canter [1828]. vs. he said: "As a matter of course. 1898. (American Insurance Co. Rock Island and Pacific Railway Co. and is consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States and the characteristics and institutions of the American Government. by treaty or otherwise." (Pollard vs. 1 Pet. the municipal laws of the conquered territory affecting private rights of person and property and providing for the punishment of crime were nominally continued in force in so far as they were compatible with the new order of things. must hold it subject to the Constitution and laws of its own government. and not according to those of the government ceding it. more specifically stated." From that day to this. the ordinarily it has been taken for granted that the provisions under . Collector of Customs [1912]. vs. 542.whether article 256 has met the same fate. 23 Phil. "Political" is here used to denominate the laws regulating the relations sustained by the inhabitants to the sovereign. Rock Island and Pacific Railway Co. and by proclamation of the latter." To quote again from the United States Supreme Court: "It cannot be admitted that the King of Spain could. the laws of the country in support of an established religion or abridging the freedom of the press. institutions and Constitution of the new government are at once displaced. vs. was careful to say: "The first effect of the military occupation of the enemy's territory is the severance of the former political relation of the inhabitants and the establishment of a new political power. or authorizing cruel and unusual punishments. But President McKinley. McGlinn [1885]. 3 Hos. by instructions of the President to the Military Commander dated May 28.) Mr. in his instructions to General Merritt.S. or... by treaty or otherwise. 210. Hagan [1845].. Justice Field of the United States Supreme Court stated the obvious when in the course of his opinion in the case of Chicago. It is a general principle of the public law that on acquisition of territory the previous political relations of the ceded region are totally abrogated. Every nation acquiring territory. 315. supra. upon a cession of political jurisdiction and legislative power — and the latter is involved in the former — to the United States.

. Sweet [1901]. to the fullest extent consistent with the accomplishment of the indispensable requisites of just and effective government. Balcorta [1913]. Balcorta [1913]. vs.S. and even their prejudices. 25 Phil. unfortunately. however much they may conflict with the customs or laws of procedure with which they are familiar. 1900. In part. his instructions to the Commission. a careful consideration of the codal provisions and a determination of the extent to which they accorded with or were repugnant to the "'great principles of liberty and law' which had been 'made the basis of our governmental system. and prosperity of the people of the Philippine Islands. there was not and could not be.. 217 U.S. U. and that these principles and these rules of government must be established and maintained in their islands for the sake of their liberty and happiness. 1 Phil. the appellate court has been forced on occasion to hold certain portions of the Spanish codes repugnant t democratic institutions and American constitutional principles.. vs. the President said: In all the forms of government and administrative provisions which they are authorized to prescribe. of April 7. vs. their habits. United States ([1910]. U. but for the happiness.' " But when the question has been squarely raised. and they will inevitably within a short time command universal . peace. except as precise questions were presented. and the people of the Islands should be made plainly to understand. 349). 25 Phil. U. 533. that there are also certain practical rules of government which we have found to be essential to the preservation of these great principles of liberty and law. been denied the experience possessed by us. and the measures adopted should be made to conform to their customs. Weems vs. that there are certain great principles of government which have been made the basis of our governmental system.) The nature of the government which has been set up in the Philippines under American sovereignty was outlined by President McKinley in that Magna Charta of Philippine liberty. (U.S. supra. the Commission should bear in mind that he government which they are establishing is designed not for our satisfaction or for the expression of our theoretical views. S. To paraphrase the language of the United States Supreme Court in Weems vs. 18. It is evident that the most enligthened thought of the Philippine Islands fully appreciates the importance of these principles and rules. At the same time the Commission should bear in mind. which we deem essential to the rule of law and the maintenance of individual freedom. 273.S..consideration were still effective. and of which they have..

peace. S. and prejudices.. The demands which the new government made. habits. and a new theory of government. it has come with somewhat of a shock to hear the statement made that the happiness. and makes. 7). under which words which would not be actionable if spoken of an ordinary subject were made actionable if spoken of a peer of the realm or of any of the great officers of the Crown. a new government. a ruler and a freeman. R. as set up in the Philippines. and whether he is qualified or not depends upon the life and character and attainments and conduct of each person for himself. It was in no sense a continuation of the old. although merely for convenience certain of the existing institutions and laws were continued. We have no rank or station. The courts have naturally taken the same view. 624. without proof of any special . 99 A. in the case of United States vs. every man is a sovereign. and the door to this rank stands open to every man to freely enter and abide therein. Justice Elliott. With the change of sovereignty. 205. speaking for our Supreme Court. 177 Mo. article 256 of the Spanish Penal Code was enacted by the Government of Spain to protect Spanish officials who were the representatives of the King. and royal protection for that authority.. if he is qualified.) It is true that in England. on the individual citizen are likewise different. demand obeisance to authority.assent. "In the eye of our Constitution and laws. Bull ([1910]. and which has proven best adapted for the advancement of the public interests and the protection of individual rights and privileges. According to our view. Mr. and has equal rights with every other man." Therefore.. from which so many of the laws and institutions of the United States are derived. Shepherd [1903]. to follow the language of President McKinley. No longer is there a Minister of the Crown or a person in authority of such exalted position that the citizen must speak of him only with bated breath. and prosperity of the people of the Philippine Islands and their customs. said: "The President and Congress framed the government on the model with which American are familiar." (State vs. so long as it is not malum in se or malum prohibitum or does not infringe upon the qually sacred rights of others. Every man may lawfully do what he will. there were once statutes of scandalum magnatum. except that of respectability and intelligence as opposed to indecency and ignorance. 15 Phil.

A. however. "In this country no distinction as to persons is recognized.. 245. a sedition law was enacted. 1awph!l. the Congress. In the early days of the American Republic..net From an entirely different point of view. These officials are only entitled to respect and obedience when they are acting within the scope of their authority and jurisdiction. This article was crowded out by implication as soon as the United States established its authority in the Philippine Islands. 3d ed. unfortunately. took a view less tolerant that that of other sovereigns. is as wide as that which separates a monarchy from a democratic Republic like that of the United States.) Article 256 of the Penal Code is contrary to the genius and fundamental principles of the American character and system of government. Our official class is not. as in monarchies. High official position. as opposed to the American conception of the protection of the interests of the public. and in practice a person holding a high office is regarded as a target at whom any person may let fly his poisonous words. but the law met with so much popular disapproval. while in the United States. These English statutes have. although its terms are broad enough to cover the entire official class. an agent of some authority greater than the people but it is an agent and servant of the people themselves. long since. The gulf which separates this article from the spirit which inspires all penal legislation of American origin. grounded in a distorted monarchical conception of the nature of political authority. seems rather to be regarded as making his character free plunder for any one who desires to create a senation by attacking it. have been obliterated by the present system of government in the Islands. or the President of the United States.. Slander and Libel.damage. as for instance. The American system of government is calculated to enforce respect and obedience where such respect and obedience is due. Collier [1890]. Caesar. Sillars vs. 680. but never does it place around the individual who happens to occupy an official position by mandate of the people any official halo. which calls for drastic . The Crown of England. that it was soon repealed. become obsolete. Penalties out of all proportion to the gravity of the offense.R. Punishment for contempt of non-judicial officers has no place in a government based upon American principles." (Newell. the Emperors Augustus. the offense of scandalum magnatum is not known. it must be noted that this article punishes contempts against executive officials. 151 Mass. p. instead of affording immunity from slanderous and libelous charges. 50. making it an offense to libel the Government. 6 L. and Tiberius.

that the judgment should be reversed and the defendant and appellant acquitted. I believe that the responsibility of the accused has not been shown either under article 256 of the Penal Code or under the Libel Law.punishment for contemptuous remarks. Street. although for different reasons. the result is.. it is repealed by the Libel Law in so far as it refers to calumny.J. Avanceña and Villamor. for although that article is in force with respect to calumny. as was that inserted in the said information. The crime of lese majeste disappeared in the Philippines with the ratification of the Treaty of Paris. committed against an authority in the performance of his duties or by reason thereof. Ostrand and Johns. C. or insult. that all the members of the court are of the opinion. which portion was repealed by the Libel Law. concurring: I concur with the dispositive part of the foregoing decision. Separate Opinions ARAULLO... by writing or printing. ROMUALDEZ. injuria. or insult committed against an authority by writing or printing." whom we do not have in our Government. So ordered. injuria. . concur. I am of the opinion that article 256 of the Penal Code is still in force. injuria. To summarize. by deed or word. or insult. outside of his presence. J. Johnson. with costs de officio. and to calumny. concur. against an authority in the performance of his duties or by reason thereof. for the sole reason that the facts alleged in the information do not constitute a violation of article 256 of the Penal Code. except as it refers to "Ministers of the Crown. JJ. that is. Ministers of the Crown have no place under the American flag. with the acquittal of the accused. concurring: I concur with the result. JJ..

we no longer have Kings nor its representatives for the provision to protect. No. the issue. it means that the invoked provision of the SPC had been automatically abrogated. Fernando Guerrero. However. Article 256 of the SPC was enacted to protect Spanish officials as representatives of the King. Also. No. thus. Therefore. ASUNCION. discovered that the documents regarding the testimony of the witnesses in an investigation of oil companies had disappeared from his office. Mr. the Court emphasized that ‘it is a general principle of the public law that on acquisition of territory.FACTS: The issue started when the Secretary of the Philippine Senate. Hence. . the day following the convening of Senate.M. 133-J May 31. MACARIOLA. 1982 A.’ Hence. Asuncion 114 SCRA 77.A. respondent was acquitted. the Court explains that in the present case. Perfecto was alleged to have violated Article 256 of the Spanish Penal Code – provision that punishes those who insults the Ministers of the Crown. Judge of the Court of First Instance . with the change of sovereignty over the Philippines from Spanish to American. The Court determined Article 256 of the SPC to be ‘political’ in nature for it is about the relation of the State to its inhabitants. HONORABLE ELIAS B. • Macariola v. REASONING: The Court stated that during the Spanish Government. Then. the previous political relations of the ceded region are totally abrogated.M. ISSUE: Whether or not Article 256 of the Spanish Penal Code (SPC) is still in force and can be applied in the case at bar? HELD: No. Article 256 of the SPC is considered no longer in force and cannot be applied to the present case. complainant. the newspaper La Nacion – edited by herein respondent Gregorio Perfecto – published an article against the Philippine Senate. 133-J. 1982 BERNARDITA R. May 31. Here. vs.

3010 of the Court of First Instance of Leyte was a complaint for partition filed by Sinforosa R. c) the properties left by the deceased were all the conjugal properties of the latter and his first wife. d) if there was any partition to be made. thus: Civil Case No. 1971 of then Associate Justice Cecilia Muñoz Palma of the Court of Appeals now retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. a decision was rendered by respondent Judge Asuncion in Civil Case 3010. Felisa Espiras. Macariola charged respondent Judge Elias B. and Priscilla Reyes. Ruperto Reyes. In her defenses to the complaint for partition." The factual setting of the case is stated in the report dated May 27. Bales was not a daughter of the deceased Francisco Reyes. Macariola alleged among other things that. 1968 for investigation. MAKASIAR. defendant. and no properties were acquired by the deceased during his second marriage. Adela Reyes. Bales. the common father of the plaintiff and defendant.of Leyte. Felisa Espiras. Macariola. On June 8. Bakunawa. and the remaining plaintiffs who were the children of the deceased by his second marriage with Irene Ondez. b) the only legal heirs of the deceased were defendant Macariola. a) plaintiff Sinforosa R. the dispositive portion of which reads: . respondent. concerning the properties left by the deceased Francisco Reyes. 1968 Bernardita R. J: In a verified complaint dated August 6. Asuncion of the Court of First Instance of Leyte. she being the only offspring of the first marriage of Francisco Reyes with Felisa Espiras. now Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals. to whom this case was referred on October 28. plaintiffs. and the other half which is the share of the deceased Francisco Reyes was to be divided equally among his children by his two marriages. with "acts unbecoming a judge. Anacorita Reyes. against Bernardita R. Luz R. and one part is to be adjudicated solely to defendant it being the share of the latter's deceased mother. Mrs. 1963. those conjugal properties should first be partitioned into two parts.

(4) Declaring Lot No. a hereditary share of. 33). 5265. Macariola. Bishop of Jaro. 2304 and 1/4 of Lot No. Bales to have been an illegitimate child of Francisco Reyes Diaz. Bakunawa. 4803. Diancin vs. [3rd Ed. 2304 and one-half (1/2) of one- fourth (1/4) of Lot No. Adela Reyes. upon a preponderance of evidence. 3416 as belonging to the estate of Francisco Reyes Diaz. 1154 as belonging to the estate of Francisco Reyes Diaz. finds and so holds. 4475. each of the latter to receive equal shares from the hereditary estate. Bautista. (3) Declaring Lots Nos. Adela Reyes and Priscilla Reyes as the only children legitimated by the subsequent marriage of Francisco Reyes Diaz to Irene Ondez. deemed . 4892. 996 in relation to Art.G. 4506 and 1/4 of Lot 1145 as belonging to the conjugal partnership of the spouses Francisco Reyes Diaz and Felisa Espiras. 4474. New Civil Code). as surviving widow of Francisco Reyes Diaz. (7) Declaring Irene Ondez to be the exclusive owner of one-half (1/2) of Lot No. 4581. and hereby renders judgment (1) Declaring the plaintiffs Luz R. Ruperto Reyes. within thirty days after this judgment shall have become final to submit to this court. (5) Declaring that 1/2 of Lot No. and the remaining one-half (1/2) of each of said Lots Nos. 892. 4892. 4506 and one-half (1/2) of one-fourth (1/4) of Lot No. Luz R. 983. 4803. in such a way that the extent of the total share of plaintiff Sinforosa R. 1184 as belonging exclusively to the deceased Francisco Reyes Diaz. (Ramirez vs. Anacorita Reyes. 528. Macariola. (6) Declaring the defendant Bernardita R. New Civil Code). for approval a project of partition of the hereditary estate in the proportion above indicated. Priscilla Reyes and defendant Bernardita R. 3416 as belonging to the spouses Francisco Reyes Diaz and Irene Ondez in common partnership. (8) Directing the division or partition of the estate of Francisco Reyes Diaz in such a manner as to give or grant to Irene Ondez. 4506. and the remaining portion of the estate to be divided among the plaintiffs Sinforosa R. 4892. 4475.IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS. O. 14 Phil. 4475. 4474. one-twelfth (1/12) of the whole estate of Francisco Reyes Diaz (Art. Bakunawa. the Court. 3416. by agreement. 5265. and in such manner as the parties may. Bales in the hereditary estate shall not exceed the equivalent of two-fifth (2/5) of the total share of any or each of the other plaintiffs and the defendant (Art. as the exclusive owner of one-half of each of Lots Nos. Ruperto Reyes. (9) Directing the parties. 5265. being the only legal and forced heir of her mother Felisa Espiras. (2) Declaring the plaintiff Sinforosa R. par 2. 4474. 4803. 4581. 4581. Bales. Anacorita Reyes.] p. the remaining one-half (1/2) of Lot 2304 and the remaining one-half (1/2) of one-fourth (1/4) of Lot No.

49 square meters along the eastern part of the lot shall be awarded likewise to Bernardita R. Macariola to pay the costs of this suit. 3416 consisting of 1. Lot No. Lots Nos. Adela Reyes and . 2304 and 4506 shall belong exclusively to Bernardita Reyes Macariola. Ruperto Reyes. the plaintiffs and the defendant in the above-entitled case.834. 3416 after taking the portions awarded under item (2) and (4) above shall be awarded to Luz Reyes Bakunawa. The whole of Lots Nos. kind. and (I 1) Dismissing all other claims of the parties [pp 27-29 of Exh. and on October 16.convenient and equitable to them taking into consideration the location. 6. (10) Directing the plaintiff Sinforosa R. Adela Reyes and Priscilla Reyes in equal shares. 4803. Lots Nos. 4. quality. presented to this Court for approval the following project of partition: COMES NOW. 1154.373. Judge Asuncion approved it in his Order dated October 23. Anacorita Reyes. 3. Anacorita Reyes. 3416 consisting of 2. 1963. Ruperto Reyes. Bales and defendant Bernardita R. nature and value of the properties involved. in the proportion of one-third (1/3) by the first named and two-thirds (2/3) by the second named. 1184 and the remaining portion of Lot No. 4474 and 4475 shall be divided equally among Luz Reyes Bakunawa. Macariola. through their respective counsels. Notwithstanding the fact that the project of partition was not signed by the parties themselves but only by the respective counsel of plaintiffs and defendant. C]. 2.55 square meters along the western part of the lot shall likewise be awarded to Sinforosa Reyes-Bales. a project of partition was submitted to Judge Asuncion which is marked Exh. 5. 4892 and 5265 shall be awarded to Sinforosa Reyes Bales. A. A portion of Lot No. to this Honorable Court respectfully submit the following Project of Partition: l. 1963. The decision in civil case 3010 became final for lack of an appeal. A portion of Lot No. which for convenience is quoted hereunder in full: The parties.

and to perform such other acts as are legal and necessary to effectuate the said Project of Partition. had been made after a conference and agreement of the plaintiffs and the defendant approving the above Project of Partition. for the Plaintiff Tacloban City While the Court thought it more desirable for all the parties to have signed this Project of Partition. and that both lawyers had represented to the Court that they are given full authority to sign by themselves the Project of Partition. are directed to execute such papers. only for the purpose of giving authority to the Register of Deeds of the Province of Leyte to issue the corresponding transfer certificates of title . SO ORDERED. 1963. 1963. upon assurance of both counsels of the respective parties to this Court that the Project of Partition. (SGD) ELIAS B. this 23rd day of October. TOLETE Atty. (SGD) BONIFACIO RAMO Atty. interests and participations which were adjudicated to the respective parties. B. October 16. Given in Tacloban City. nevertheless. however that the remaining portion of Lot No.Priscilla Reyes in equal shares. WHEREFORE. The parties. finding the above-quoted Project of Partition to be in accordance with law. the Court. provided. therefore. as outlined in the Project of Partition and the delivery of the respective properties adjudicated to each one in view of said Project of Partition. ASUNCION Judge EXH. for the Defendant Tacloban City (SGD) ZOTICO A. was amended on November 11. therefore. Tacloban City. it is respectfully prayed that the Project of Partition indicated above which is made in accordance with the decision of the Honorable Court be approved. The above Order of October 23. 3416 shall belong exclusively to Priscilla Reyes. as above- quoted. documents or instrument sufficient in form and substance for the vesting of the rights. 1963. hereby approves the same. 1963.

Humilia Jalandoni Tan.306 sq. Victoria S.to the respective adjudicatees in conformity with the project of partition (see Exh. Asuncion (Exh. which particular portion was declared by the latter for taxation purposes (Exh. meters was sold on July 31. Anota. spouses Asuncion and spouses Galapon conveyed their respective shares and interest in Lot 1184-E to "The Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries Inc.162. Arcadio Galapon and his wife Sold a portion of Lot 1184-E with an area of around 1." (Exit 15 & 16). 1968 alleging four causes of action. F. Dr. 1968 the instant complaint dated August 6. and when the project of partition was approved by the trial court the adjudicatees caused Lot 1184 to be subdivided into five lots denominated as Lot 1184-A to 1184-E inclusive (Exh. At the time of said sale the stockholders of the corporation were Dominador Arigpa Tan.172. 12). Asuncion as the secretary (Exhs. 2) who was issued transfer certificate of title No. On March 6. a stenographer in Judge Asuncion's court (Exhs. Victoria S. 11). and Priscilla all surnamed Reyes in equal shares. Judge Asuncion. Lot 1184-D was conveyed to Enriqueta D. to wit: [1] that respondent Judge Asuncion violated Article 1491." which we shall henceforth refer to as "TRADERS" were registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission only on January 9. paragraph 5. Macariola filed on August 9. 378-385. Anacorita Ruperto. with Judge Asuncion as the President and Mrs. while Lot 1184-E which had an area of 2. 3010 decided by . meters to Judge Asuncion and his wife. was adjudicated in said project of partition to the plaintiffs Luz. U). meters. and the latter's wife. 1184-E which was one of those properties involved in Civil Case No.5556 sq. Inc. 1965. of the New Civil Code in acquiring by purchase a portion of Lot No. E-4 to E-7).5 sq. F). E) [pp. On August 31. 1967 (Exh. This lot. F-1 and V-1). Adela. Arcadio Galapon (Exh.]. V). Asuncion. rec. Complainant Bernardita R. The Articles of Incorporation of "The Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries. Jaime Arigpa Tan. 2338 of the Register of Deeds of the city of Tacloban (Exh. One of the properties mentioned in the project of partition was Lot 1184 or rather one-half thereof with an area of 15. 1966. 1964 to Dr. which according to the decision was the exclusive property of the deceased Francisco Reyes.

).. and [4] that there was a culpable defiance of the law and utter disregard for ethics by respondent Judge (pp. 477. 1968 (pp. We referred this case to then Justice Cecilia Muñoz Palma of the Court of Appeals. Justice Palma recommended that respondent Judge be exonerated. rec. 3010 and the two orders issued by respondent Judge approving the same. In Our resolution of October 28.. paragraph H. otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. 1968. Similarly. plaintiff. Bales. Macariola. 1971 recommending that respondent Judge should be reprimanded or warned in connection with the first cause of action alleged in the complaint. paragraphs I and 5 of the Code of Commerce. complainant herein instituted an action before the Court of First Instance of Leyte. 1966 the remainder was sold to the Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries. The records also reveal that on or about November 9 or 11. et al. [3] that respondent was guilty of coddling an impostor and acted in disregard of judicial decorum by closely fraternizing with a certain Dominador Arigpa Tan who openly and publicly advertised himself as a practising attorney when in truth and in fact his name does not appear in the Rolls of Attorneys and is not a member of the Philippine Bar.). entitled "Bernardita R. and for the second cause of action. Inc. 1968 by herein complainant. 1-7. that some defendants were dropped from the civil case. however. For one. Section 12.him. After hearing. Section 3. seeking the annulment of the project of partition made pursuant to the decision in Civil Case No. having already conveyed on March 6. 481. Inc. of R. 1968 his answer to which a reply was filed on October 16. defendants. On the third and fourth causes of action. 3019. for investigation. respondent should be warned in case of a finding that he is prohibited under the law to engage in business. Respondent Judge Asuncion filed on September 24. It appears. by associating himself with the Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries. 4235. the said Investigating Justice submitted her report dated May 27. versus Sinforosa R. [2] that he likewise violated Article 14. Arcadio Galapon was dismissed because he was no longer a real party in interest when Civil Case No. rec." which was docketed as Civil Case No. and Canon 25 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics. as a stockholder and a ranking officer while he was a judge of the Court of First Instance of Leyte. the case against . report and recommendation. the case against Dr. Rule XVIII of the Civil Service Rules. 4234 was filed.A. 1965 a portion of lot 1184-E to respondent Judge and on August 31. as well as the partition of the estate and the subsequent conveyances with damages.

Judge Jose D. ASUNCION (1) declaring that only Branch IV of the Court of First Instance of Leyte has jurisdiction to take cognizance of the issue of the legality and validity of the Project of Partition [Exhibit "B"] and the two Orders [Exhibits "C" and "C.000. Arcadio Galapon was already sold on August 31.000. who was directed and authorized on June 2. and (d) he sum of TEN THOUSAND PESOS [PI0. Ben Barraza Go.00] for moral damages.001 for exemplary damages.. Macariola to pay defendant Judge Elias B. 1970. Salvador Anota and Enriqueta Anota and Atty. (b) the sum of TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS [P200. 4234. 1969 by the then Secretary (now Minister) of Justice and now Minister of National Defense Juan Ponce Enrile to hear and decide Civil Case No.00] for nominal damages.000. Tolete were dismissed with the conformity of complainant herein. and her counsel. Ramento. Leopoldo Petilla and Remedios Petilla. Catalina Cabus. 1966 to the Traders Manufacturing and Fishing industries. Alfredo R.00] for Attorney's Fees. (a) the sum of FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS [P400. Asuncion.000.defendant Victoria Asuncion was dismissed on the ground that she was no longer a real party in interest at the time the aforesaid Civil Case No. On November 2. plaintiff therein. Inc. Jesus Perez. (2) dismissing the complaint against Judge Elias B. Inc. Celestial. (c) the sum of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS [P50. Bernardita R. Zotico A. . Asuncion. Likewise. the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: A. Nepomuceno of the Court of First Instance of Leyte. 4234 was filed as the portion of Lot 1184 acquired by her and respondent Judge from Dr. Celestial and Pilar P.3"] approving the partition. (3) adjudging the plaintiff. Mrs. the cases against defendants Serafin P. Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries. IN THE CASE AGAINST JUDGE ELIAS B. rendered a decision.

WHO WERE PLAINTIFFS IN CIVIL CASE NO..B. C. IN THE CASE AGAINST THE DEFENDANT SINFOROSA R. Herrer. that respondent Judge Elias B. IN THE CASE AGAINST DEFENDANT BONIFACIO RAMO — (1) Dismissing the complaint against Bonifacio Ramo. Bales. Asuncion violated Article 1491. even at a . I WE find that there is no merit in the contention of complainant Bernardita R. under her first cause of action. 1971. FOR HERSELF AND FOR THE HEIRS OF THE DECEASED GERARDO VILLASIN — (1) Dismissing the complaint against the defendants Mariquita Villasin and the heirs of the deceased Gerardo Villasin. The following persons cannot acquire by purchase. Priscilla R. SO ORDERED [pp. D. (2) Directing the plaintiff to pay the defendant Bonifacio Ramo the cost of the suit. Macariola. 531-533. Reyes. Luz R. 3010 — (1) Dismissing the complaint against defendants Sinforosa R. BALES.] It is further disclosed by the record that the aforesaid decision was elevated to the Court of Appeals upon perfection of the appeal on February 22. of the New Civil Code in acquiring by purchase a portion of Lot No. Anacorita R. Bakunawa. 1184-E which was one of those properties involved in Civil Case No. ET AL. Solis. paragraph 5. IN THE CASE AGAINST THE DEFENDANT MARIQUITA VILLASIN. Adela R. Eng and Ruperto O. rec. 'That Article provides: Article 1491. (2) Directing the plaintiff to pay the defendants Mariquita Villasin and the heirs of Gerardo Villasin the cost of the suit. 3010.

the lot in question was no longer subject of the litigation. 1963 project of partition made pursuant to the June 8. Priscilla Reyes. the decision in Civil Case No. and other officers and employees connected with the administration of justice. Arcadio Galapon who earlier purchased on July 31. Ababa et al. had long become final for there was no appeal from said orders. Rosario vda. 3010. Luz Bakunawa. 1963 decision. 1963 was already final because none of the parties therein filed an appeal within the reglementary period. 1965 directly from the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. the sale or assignment of the property must take place during the pendency of the litigation involving the property" (The Director of Lands vs. either in person or through the mediation of another: xxx xxx xxx (5) Justices.public or judicial action. and the same was . 1965. Moreover. In the case at bar. It may be recalled that Lot 1184 or more specifically one-half thereof was adjudicated in equal shares to Priscilla Reyes. Adela Reyes. Adela Reyes. 1963 and the amended order dated November 11. de Laig vs. hence. the property and rights in litigation or levied upon an execution before the court within whose jurisdiction or territory they exercise their respective functions. Ruperto Reyes and Anacorita Reyes in the project of partition. 88 SCRA 513. namely.. Court of Appeals. The prohibition in the aforesaid Article applies only to the sale or assignment of the property which is the subject of litigation to the persons disqualified therein. 3010 but from Dr. and Luz R. 3010 which he rendered on June 8. 1965 a portion of Lot 1184-E. at the time of the sale on March 6. 519 [1979].. 1964 Lot 1184-E from three of the plaintiffs. WE have already ruled that ". Furthermore. 1963 approving the October 16. 646 [1978]). respondent's order dated October 23. 86 SCRA 641. clerks of superior and inferior courts.. when the respondent Judge purchased on March 6. prosecuting attorneys. Bakunawa after the finality of the decision in Civil Case No. for the prohibition to operate. with respect to the property and rights which may be the object of any litigation in which they may take part by virtue of their profession [emphasis supplied]. this prohibition includes the act of acquiring by assignment and shall apply to lawyers. respondent Judge did not buy the lot in question on March 6. judges.

4234. after the finality of the decision which he rendered on June 8. Inc. in which respondent was the president and his wife was the secretary. as well as the partition of the estate and the subsequent conveyances. and on March 6. the sale of a portion of Lot 1184-E to respondent Judge having taken place over one year after the finality of the decision in Civil Case No. or 11. The subsequent filing on November 9.subdivided into five lots denominated as Lot 1184-A to 1184-E. 4234 can no longer alter. 1964 of Lot 1184-E to Dr. seeking to annul the project of partition and the two orders approving the same. was effected and consummated long after the finality of the aforesaid decision or orders. 1963 and November 11. Bakunawa was only a mere scheme to conceal the illegal and unethical transfer of said lot to respondent Judge as a consideration for the approval . 3010 and his two questioned orders dated October 23. Lot 1184-E was sold on July 31. change or affect the aforesaid facts — that the questioned sale to respondent Judge. hence. 1963. Adela Reyes and Luz R. Arcadio Galapon. It is also argued by complainant herein that the sale on July 31. Arcadio Galapon by Priscilla Reyes. Article 1491 of the New Civil Code. While it appears that complainant herein filed on or about November 9 or 11. 1968 an action before the Court of First Instance of Leyte docketed as Civil Case No. is of no moment. the property was no longer subject of litigation. 1964 to Dr. Galapon for which he was issued TCT No. 1968 of Civil Case No. 1963 in Civil Case No. 1966 by spouses Asuncion and spouses Galapon of their respective shares and interest in said Lot 1184-E to the Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries. Therefore. 3010 and of the subsequent two aforesaid orders therein approving the project of partition. 2338 by the Register of Deeds of Tacloban City. As aforestated. 3010 as well as the two orders approving the project of partition. there was no violation of paragraph 5. Consequently.. the same. The fact remains that respondent Judge purchased on March 6. 1965 he sold a portion of said lot to respondent Judge and his wife who declared the same for taxation purposes only. 1965 a portion of Lot 1184-E from Dr. and not during the pendency of the litigation. The subsequent sale on August 31. now Court of Appeals Justice. took place long after the finality of the decision in Civil Case No. however.

In this connection. Dr. 391. his affidavit being the only one . xxx xxx xxx On this point. I agree with respondent that there is no evidence in the record showing that Dr. or previous understanding with Judge Asuncion (pp. 14 of Respondent's Memorandum). Exh. While it is true that such written authority if there was any. That he was authorized by his client to submit said project of partition. Galapon appeared to this investigator as a respectable citizen. Respondent vehemently denies any interest or participation in the transactions between the Reyeses and the Galapons concerning Lot 1184- E. B and tsn p. was not presented by respondent in evidence. in the purchase of Lot 1184-E. 24. We quote with approval the findings of the Investigating Justice. (See Exh. and he insists that there is no evidence whatsoever to show that Dr.394. On the contention of complainant herein that respondent Judge acted illegally in approving the project of partition although it was not signed by the parties. 1969). credible and sincere. was intimately related to the Order of respondent approving the project of partition. Macariola. however. nor did Atty. A. (See p. Bonifacio Ramo. whatever error was committed by respondent in that respect was done in good faith as according to Judge Asuncion he was assured by Atty.). as follows: 1. the counsel of record of Mrs. Macariola on the project of partition submitted to him for approval. Galapon had acted. We agree with the findings of the Investigating Justice thus: And so we are now confronted with this all-important question whether or not the acquisition by respondent of a portion of Lot 1184-E and the subsequent transfer of the whole lot to "TRADERS" of which respondent was the President and his wife the Secretary. rec. I agree with complainant that respondent should have required the signature of the parties more particularly that of Mrs. Arcadio Galapon acted as a mere "dummy" of respondent in acquiring Lot 1184-E from the Reyeses. and I believe him when he testified that he bought Lot 1184-E in good faith and for valuable consideration from the Reyeses without any intervention of. in mediation for him and his wife.of the project of partition. Ramo appear to corroborate the statement of respondent. January 20.

it is clear that one-half of one- fourth of Lot 1154 belonged to the estate of Francisco Reyes Diaz while the other half of said one-fourth was the share of complainant's mother. 1963 (Exh. 7 — Certified copy of a deed of absolute sale executed by Bernardita Reyes Macariola on October 22. certain actuations of Mrs. Therefore. U) approving the project of partition was duly entered and registered on November 26. however. It is this 1/4 share in Lot 1154 which complainant sold to Dr. (Exh. A. that the latter sold her one-fourth share in Lot 1154 by virtue of the decision in Civil Case 3010 and not because of the project of partition. 9-a). 1963. A. 1963. In connection with the abovementioned documents it is to be noted that in the project of partition dated October 16. Exh. followed by an amending Order on November 11. In this deed of sale the vendee stated that she was the absolute owner of said one-fourth share. Macariola lead this investigator to believe that she knew the contents of the project of partition. Exh. 9-D). C-3 & C-4). Exh. several days after the preparation of the project of partition. Macariola sold Lot 1154 on October 22. 1963. in other words. which was approved by respondent on October 23. I refer to the following documents: 1) Exh. Felisa Espiras. Counsel for complainant stresses the view. 9-e). the same having been adjudicated to her as her share in the estate of her father Francisco Reyes Diaz as per decision of the Court of First Instance of Leyte under case No. Macariola. Complainant became the owner of the entire one-fourth of Lot 1154 only by means of the project of partition. 1963. Lot 1154 or rather 1/4 thereof was adjudicated to Mrs. 10. if Mrs. The deed of sale was duly registered and annotated at the back of OCT 19520 on December 3. it was for no other reason than that she was . A. 1963 (see Exh. 1963. C. Decena on October 22. On tills certificate of title the Order dated November 11. 9 — Certified true copy of OCT No. Exh. and that she gave her conformity thereto. 3010 (Exh. 7-A). Hector Decena the one-fourth share of the late Francisco Reyes-Diaz in Lot 1154. 19520 covering Lot 1154 of the Tacloban Cadastral Survey in which the deceased Francisco Reyes holds a "1/4 share" (Exh. the decision did not adjudicate the whole of the one-fourth of Lot 1154 to the herein complainant (see Exhs. 2) Exh. 1963. Such contention is absurd because from the decision. 1963. conveying to Dr.that was presented as respondent's Exh.

). it was unwise and indiscreet on the part of respondent to have purchased or acquired a portion of a piece of property that was or had been in litigation in his court and caused it to be transferred to a corporation of which he and his wife were ranking officers at the time of such transfer. the assessed and market value of said properties. Complainant. improper for him to have acquired the same. it was. rec.. but his actuations must be such as not give cause for doubt and mistrust in the uprightness of his administration of justice. however." And as aptly observed by the Investigating Justice: ". Without such evidence there is nothing in the record to show that there were inequalities in the distribution of the properties of complainant's father (pp. should be beyond reproach. he cannot deny that the transactions over Lot 1184-E are damaging and render his actuations open to suspicion and distrust. He should be reminded of Canon 3 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics which requires that: "A judge's official conduct should be free from the appearance of impropriety. location. It is also significant at this point to state that Mrs.wen aware of the distribution of the properties of her deceased father as per Exhs. 92. Even if respondent honestly believed that Lot 1184-E was no longer in litigation in his court and that he was purchasing it from a third person and . while it is. kind. A and B. and his personal behavior. Complainant also assails the project of partition because according to her the properties adjudicated to her were insignificant lots and the least valuable. but also in his everyday life. 386389. Decena (tsn p. Macariola admitted during the cross-examination that she went to Tacloban City in connection with the sale of Lot 1154 to Dr.. One who occupies an exalted position in the judiciary has the duty and responsibility of maintaining the faith and trust of the citizenry in the courts of justice. November 28. In this particular case of respondent. however. 1968) from which we can deduce that she could not have been kept ignorant of the proceedings in civil case 3010 relative to the project of partition. not only upon the bench and in the performance of judicial duties. Finally. so that not only must he be truly honest and just. did not present any direct and positive evidence to prove the alleged gross inequalities in the choice and distribution of the real properties when she could have easily done so by presenting evidence on the area. true that respondent Judge did not violate paragraph 5. Article 1491 of the New Civil Code in acquiring by purchase a portion of Lot 1184-E which was in litigation in his court.

The conduct of respondent gave cause for the litigants in civil case 3010. xxx xxx xxx 5. provinces. the complainant alleged that respondent Judge violated paragraphs 1 and 5. or towns in which they discharge their duties: 1. and municipal prosecuting attorneys nor to those who by chance are temporarily discharging the functions of judge or prosecuting attorney. This provision shall not be applicable to mayors. like justices and judges. administrative. Justices of the Supreme Court. partakes of the nature of a political law as it regulates the relationship between the government and certain public officers and employees. municipal judges. 395396.not from the parties to the litigation. It is Our considered view that although the aforestated provision is incorporated in the Code of Commerce which is part of the commercial laws of the Philippines. rec.). the lawyers practising in his court. as a stockholder and a ranking officer. or financial intervention in commercial or industrial companies within the limits of the districts. nor can they hold any office or have any direct. he should nonetheless have refrained from buying it for himself and transferring it to a corporation in which he and his wife were financially involved. either in person or by proxy. judges and officials of the department of public prosecution in active service. Said Article provides that: Article 14 — The following cannot engage in commerce. II With respect to the second cause of action. it. said corporation having been organized to engage in business. . to avoid possible suspicion that his acquisition was related in one way or another to his official actuations in civil case 3010. Those who by virtue of laws or special provisions may not engage in commerce in a determinate territory. Inc. Article 14 of the Code of Commerce when he associated himself with the Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries. however. and the public in general to doubt the honesty and fairness of his actuations and the integrity of our courts of justice" (pp.

may be continued in force if the conqueror shall so declare .. It may be recalled that political law embraces constitutional law. with some modifications made by the "Commission de Codificacion de las Provincias de Ultramar. 43 Phil. Perfecto. administrative law including the law on public officers and elections. such political laws of the prior sovereignty as are not in conflict with the constitution or institutions of the new sovereign." which was extended to the Philippines by the Royal Decree of August 6. 315. Atty. . 330. Upon the transfer of sovereignty from Spain to the United States and later on from the United States to the Republic of the Philippines. Gen. those laws which are political in their nature and pertain to the prerogatives of the former government immediately cease upon the transfer of sovereignty. 311 [1912]) that: By well-settled public law.Political Law has been defined as that branch of public law which deals with the organization and operation of the governmental organs of the State and define the relations of the state with the inhabitants of its territory (People vs. either following a conquest or otherwise. whether compatible or not with those of the new sovereign. Law. and took effect as law in this jurisdiction on December 1.. (Halleck's Int. 14). While municipal laws of the newly acquired territory not in conflict with the. political in essence. Article 14 of the Code of Commerce partakes more of the nature of an administrative law because it regulates the conduct of certain public officers and employees with respect to engaging in business: hence. 1888. It is significant to note that the present Code of Commerce is the Spanish Code of Commerce of 1885. Specifically. (Opinion. par. 1899). the political laws of the former sovereign. July 10. However. chap. unless they are expressly re-enacted by affirmative act of the new sovereign. We held in Roa vs. law of public corporations. 887. 34. Collector of Customs (23 Phil. laws of the new sovereign continue in force without the express assent or affirmative act of the conqueror. 897 [1922]). upon the cession of territory by one nation to another. 1888. Article 14 of this Code of Commerce must be deemed to have been abrogated because where there is change of sovereignty. are automatically abrogated.. Thus. the political laws do not.

— In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law. 897 [1922]). The same act which transfers their country. It is also argued by complainant herein that respondent Judge violated paragraph H. or by Congress in time of peace. Likewise. 43 L. otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. until altered by the newly. vs. remains in force.] 511. 242). Perfecto (43 Phil. 220. United States. 356 Bales of Cotton (1 Pet.created power of the State.S. In the case of American and Ocean Ins. is necessarily changed. 3. Section 3 of Republic Act No. Their relations with their former sovereign are dissolved. Chief Justice Marshall said: On such transfer (by cession) of territory. 542. [26 U. Cos. it has never been held that the relations of the inhabitants with each other undergo any change. 142). 887. Ed. 7 L. although that which regulates the intercourse and general conduct of individuals. " There appears no enabling or affirmative act that continued the effectivity of the aforestated provision of the Code of Commerce after the change of sovereignty from Spain to the United States and then to the Republic of the Philippines. now Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals. Consequently. this Court stated that: "It is a general principle of the public law that on acquisition of territory the previous political relations of the ceded region are totally abrogated.by affirmative act of the commander-in-chief during the war. and new relations are created between them and the government which has acquired their territory. transfers the allegiance of those who remain in it. 171 U.S. 3019. and the law which may be denominated political. (Ely's Administrator vs. which provides that: Sec. Corrupt practices of public officers. in People vs. the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful: xxx xxx xxx (h) Directly or indirectly having financial or pecuniary interest in any . then Judge of the Court of First Instance. Article 14 of the Code of Commerce has no legal and binding effect and cannot apply to the respondent. Ed.

Nepomuceno when respondent Judge was no longer connected with the corporation. 134. In the case at bar. 4234 entitled "Bernardita R. 4234 was filed only on November 9 or 11. however. 40 O. Furthermore. The business of said corporation is not that kind where respondent intervenes or takes part in his capacity as Judge of the Court of First Instance. 11th Supp. Bales.' (People vs. Meneses. Revised Penal Code. Respondent Judge cannot be held liable under the aforestated paragraph because there is no showing that respondent participated or intervened in his official capacity in the business or transactions of the Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries. respondent is not liable under the same paragraph because there is no provision in both the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions of the Philippines. cited by Justice Ramon C. it is necessary that by reason of his office. p. 1968 and decided on November 2. Inc. et al. 1967. he has to intervene in said contracts or transactions. Aquino. It must be noted. 11 [1976]). Macariola. As was held in one case involving the application of Article 216 of the Revised Penal Code which has a similar prohibition on public officers against directly or indirectly becoming interested in any contract or business in which it is his official duty to intervene.business. 1970 by CFI Judge Jose D. and. plaintiff. C.G." wherein the complainant herein sought to recover Lot 1184-E from the aforesaid corporation. hence.A. Vol. the business of the corporation in which respondent participated has obviously no relation or connection with his judicial office. that Civil Case No. "(I)t is not enough to be a public official to be subject to this crime. contract or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity. having disposed of his interest therein on January 31. or that the corporation benefited in one way or another in any case filed by or against it in court. It does not appear also from the records that the aforesaid corporation gained any undue advantage in its business operations by reason of respondent's financial involvement in it. nor is there an existing law expressly prohibiting members of . 1174. the official who intervenes in contracts or transactions which have no relation to his office cannot commit this crime. versus Sinforosa O. It is undisputed that there was no case filed in the different branches of the Court of First Instance of Leyte in which the corporation was either party plaintiff or defendant except Civil Case No.. or in which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any Iaw from having any interest.

Rule XVIII of the Civil Service Rules. cannot apply to respondent Judge because the sale of the lot in question to him took place after the finality of his decision in Civil Case No. As a matter of fact. a violation of the aforesaid rule by any officer or employee in the civil service. or profession or be connected with any commercial. does not contain any prohibition to that effect. the same. It may be pointed out that Republic Act No. vocation. Likewise. Section 3 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act because the last portion of said paragraph speaks of a prohibition by the Constitution or law on any public officer from having any interest in any business and not by a mere administrative rule or regulation. the prohibition in paragraph 5. Thus. On the contention of complainant that respondent Judge violated Section 12. We hold that the Civil Service Act of 1959 (R. Moreover. as heretofore stated. under Section 77 of said law. as amended. municipal judges may engage in teaching or other vocation not involving the practice of law after office hours but with the permission of the district judge concerned. credit. hence. 2260) and the Civil Service Rules promulgated thereunder. because it is political in nature.A. In addition. engaging in private business without a written permission from the Department Head may not constitute graft and corrupt practice as defined by law.the Judiciary from engaging or having interest in any lawful business. that is. No. may not fall within the purview of paragraph h. do not apply to the . deemed abrogated automatically upon the transfer of sovereignty from Spain to America. 296. Article 1491 of the New Civil Code against the purchase by judges of a property in litigation before the court within whose jurisdiction they perform their duties. however. also known as the Judiciary Act of 1948. although Section 12. Rule XVIII of the Civil Service Rules made pursuant to the Civil Service Act of 1959 prohibits an officer or employee in the civil service from engaging in any private business. Article 14 of the Code of Commerce which prohibits judges from engaging in commerce is. 3010 as well as his two orders approving the project of partition. agricultural or industrial undertaking without a written permission from the head of department. particularly Section 12 of Rule XVIII. the property was no longer subject of litigation.

. Art. as amended. the Judiciary is the only other or second branch of the government (Sec. No. being a member of the Judiciary. and under the 1973 Constitution. violation of the existing Civil Service Law and rules or of reasonable office regulations. credit. not in the Commissioner of Civil Service. or upon information of the Secretary (now Minister) of Justice to conduct the corresponding investigation. certainly. for .. 2260) [1959]). upon its own motion. 20. 1973 Constitution). a violation of Section 12 of Rule XVIII is a ground for disciplinary action against civil service officers and employees. It is true that under Section 33 of the Civil Service Act of 1959: "The Commissioner may.members of the Judiciary. or profession or be connected with any commercial. The Revised Administrative Code (Section 89) and the Civil Service Law itself state that the Chief Justice is the department head of the Supreme Court (Sec. vocation. Clearly. Article X of the 1973 Constitution.A. namely. However. X. the Commissioner is not the head of the Judicial Department to which they belong. 1973 Constitution. for. R. demote him in rank. remove any subordinate officer or employee from the service. which alone is authorized. . the power to remove or dismiss judges was then vested in the President of the Philippines. Under said Section 12: "No officer or employee shall engage directly in any private business. 6 and 7." It must be emphasized at the outset that respondent." Thus. the aforesaid section defines the grounds and prescribes the special procedure for the discipline of judges. suspend him for not more than one year without pay or fine him in an amount not exceeding six months' salary. otherwise known as the Judiciary Act of 1948 and by Section 7. And under Sections 5. Article X. and only on two grounds. serious misconduct and inefficiency.. 296. and upon the recommendation of the Supreme Court. only the Supreme Court can discipline judges of inferior courts as well as other personnel of the Judiciary.. is covered by Republic Act No. 1. Under Section 67 of said law. or in the interest of the service. agricultural or industrial undertaking without a written permission from the Head of Department . judges cannot be considered as subordinate civil service officers or employees subject to the disciplinary authority of the Commissioner of Civil Service.

and. Section 67 of the Judiciary Act recognizes only two grounds for their removal. after his accession to the bench. It is desirable that he should. a violation of Section 12. and efficiency of such officers and employees. it is the Commissioner of Civil Service who has original and exclusive jurisdiction "(T)o decide. 9 SCRA 619 [1963]). Inc. guidelines and regulations governing the administration of discipline" (emphasis supplied). under Section 16(i) of the Civil Service Act of 1959. is not violative of the provissions of Article 14 of the Code of Commerce and Section 3(h) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act as well as Section 12. to have final authority to pass upon their removal. Moreover. after submission to it. the impropriety of the same is clearly unquestionable because Canon 25 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics expressly declares that: A judge should abstain from making personal investments in enterprises which are apt to be involved in litigation in his court. Ang-Angco vs. 2260.. in interpreting Section 16(i) of Republic Act No. refrain from all relations which would normally tend to arouse the . Zaldivar. discipline. except as provided by law. so far as reasonably possible.. serious misconduct and inefficiency. all administrative cases against permanent officers and employees in the competitive service. separation. he should not retain such investments previously made. Rule XVIII cannot be considered as a ground for disciplinary action against judges because to recognize the same as applicable to them.Besides. would be adding another ground for the discipline of judges and. as a stockholder and a ranking officer. within one hundred twenty days. There is no question that a judge belong to the non-competitive or unclassified service of the government as a Presidential appointee and is therefore not covered by the aforesaid provision. namely. 15 SCRA 710. and suspension and upon all matters relating to the conduct. Castillo.713 [1965]. as aforestated. longer than a period sufficient to enable him to dispose of them without serious loss. WE have already ruled that ". Rule XVIII of the Civil Service Rules promulgated pursuant to the Civil Service Act of 1959. and. and prescribe standards. Although the actuation of respondent Judge in engaging in private business by joining the Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries. we emphasized that only permanent officers and employees who belong to the classified service come under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Civil Service" (Villaluz vs.

WE are not. and WE quote the pertinent portion of her report which reads as follows: The basis for complainant's third cause of action is the claim that respondent associated and closely fraternized with Dominador Arigpa Tan who openly and publicly advertised himself as a practising attorney (see Exhs. up to its incorporation on January 9. unmindful of the fact that respondent Judge and his wife had withdrawn on January 31. I..suspicion that such relations warp or bias his judgment. however. with the recommendation of the Investigating Justice that respondent Judge be exonerated because the aforesaid causes of action are groundless. or prevent his impartial attitude of mind in the administration of his judicial duties. Such disposal or sale by respondent and his wife of their shares in the corporation only 22 days after the incorporation of the corporation. WE agree. 1967.. however. K. and that there was culpable defiance of the law and utter disregard for ethics. I see no reason for disbelieving this assertion of respondent. I-1 and J) when in truth and in fact said Dominador Arigpa Tan does not appear in the Roll of Attorneys and is not a member of the Philippine Bar as certified to in Exh. Respondent Judge and his wife therefore deserve the commendation for their immediate withdrawal from the firm after its incorporation and before it became involved in any court litigation III With respect to the third and fourth causes of action. 1967 from the aforesaid corporation and sold their respective shares to third parties. and the eventual withdrawal of respondent on January 31. and it appears also that the aforesaid corporation did not in anyway benefit in any case filed by or against it in court as there was no case filed in the different branches of the Court of First Instance of Leyte from the time of the drafting of the Articles of Incorporation of the corporation on March 12. The "respondent denies knowing that Dominador Arigpa Tan was an "impostor" and claims that all the time he believed that the latter was a bona fide member of the bar. . complainant alleged that respondent was guilty of coddling an impostor and acted in disregard of judicial decorum. It has been shown by complainant that Dominador Arigpa . 1966. indicates that respondent realized that early that their interest in the corporation contravenes the aforesaid Canon 25. 1967 from said corporation.

or that he used his influence. Tan's child at baptism (Exh.1) to indicate his office. . There is no tangible convincing proof that herein respondent gave any undue privileges in his court to Dominador Arigpa Tan or that the latter benefitted in his practice of law from his personal relations with respondent. if he had any.Tan represented himself publicly as an attorney-at-law to the extent of putting up a signboard with his name and the words "Attorney-at Law" (Exh. SO ORDERED. that fact even if true did not render respondent guilty of violating any canon of judicial ethics as long as his friendly relations with Dominador A. now Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals. Tan and family did not influence his official actuations as a judge where said persons were concerned. while respondent Judge Asuncion. Canons of Judicial Ethics). that in itself would not constitute a ground for disciplinary action unless it be clearly shown that his social relations be clouded his official actuations with bias and partiality in favor of his friends (pp. 403-405. but if a Judge does have social relations. did not violate any law in acquiring by purchase a parcel of land which was in litigation in his court and in engaging in business by joining a private corporation during his incumbency as judge of the Court of First Instance of Leyte. WHEREFORE. he should be reminded to be more discreet in his private and business activities. M & M-1). Of course it is highly desirable for a member of the judiciary to refrain as much as possible from maintaining close friendly relations with practising attorneys and litigants in his court so as to avoid suspicion 'that his social or business relations or friendship constitute an element in determining his judicial course" (par.). because his conduct as a member of the Judiciary must not only be characterized with propriety but must always be above suspicion. rec. THE RESPONDENT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE COURT OF APPEALS IS HEREBY REMINDED TO BE MORE DISCREET IN HIS PRIVATE AND BUSINESS ACTIVITIES. "Now with respect to the allegation of complainant that respondent is guilty of fraternizing with Dominador Arigpa Tan to the extent of permitting his wife to be a godmother of Mr. I and 1. 30. on the Judges of the other branches of the Court to favor said Dominador Tan. In conclusion. and it was but natural for respondent and any person for that matter to have accepted that statement on its face value.

par. One of the lots in the project of partition was Lot 1184. 1964. On October 16. Arcadio Galapon bought Lot 1184-E on July 31. Nepomuceno dismissed the complaints filed against Asuncion.Facts: On June 8. 1 & 5 of the Code of Commerce. Ruling: No. spouses Asuncion and Galapon conveyed their respective shares and interest inn Lot 1184-E to the Traders Manufacturing & Fishing Industries Inc. 2338 of the Register of Deeds of Tacloban City. Issue: Whether or Not the respondent Judge violated the mentioned provisions. 1963. who was issued transfer of certificate of Title No. On November 2. 1966. a project of partition was submitted to Judge Asuncion. Macariola. 1963. The project of partition of lots was not signed by the parties themselves but only by the respective counsel of plaintiffs and petitioner Bernardita R. 12. 1965. . 3 par H of RA 3019 also known as the Anti-Graft & Corrupt Practice Act. Galapon sold a portion of the lot to Judge Asuncion and his wife. 5 of the New Civil Code. respondent Judge Elias Asuncion rendered a decision in Civil Case 3010 final for lack of an appeal.. Article 14. The Judge approved it in his order dated October 23. The Asuncions and Galapons were also the stockholder of the corporation. Respondent Macariola charged Judge Asuncion with "Acts unbecoming a Judge" for violating the following provisions: Article 1491. Dr. which was subdivided into 5 lots denominated as Lot 1184 A – E. 1970 a certain Judge Jose D. Judge Asuncion was the President and his wife Victoria was the Secretary. 1963. Rule XVIII of the Civil Service Rules and Canon 25 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics. Sec. Judge Asuncion did not violate the mentioned provisions constituting of "Acts unbecoming a Judge" but was reminded to be more discreet in his private and business activities. On March 6. par. On August 31. Sec.

or intervened or take part in his official capacity. L-1352 April 30. 3010 but from Dr. political laws of the former sovereign are automatically abrogated. 1966 up to its incorporation on January 9. vs. The Judge and his wife had withdrawn on January 31. Asuncion cannot also be held liable under the par. Upon the sovereignty from the Spain to the US and to the Republic of the Philippines. respondents. Sec. G. 14 of this Code of Commerce. No. 1965 from Dr. L-1352. Galapon who earlier purchased the lot from 3 of the plaintiffs. In the case at bar. Art. 1947 G. • Alfonso Montebon v. citing that the public officers cannot partake in any business in connection with this office. 1947 ALFONSO MONTEBON. The Director of Prisons. H. 3 of RA 3019. The Judge realized early that their interest in the corporation contravenes against Canon 25. April 30.R. appears to have been abrogated because whenever there is a change in the sovereignty. Article 14 of Code of Commerce has no legal and binding effect and cannot apply to the respondent. When the Asuncion bought the lot on March 6.R. No. ET AL. 1963. petitioners.. 1963 in Civil Case No 3010 and his two orders dated October and November. THE DIRECTOR OF PRISONS. unless they are reenacted by Affirmative Act of the New Sovereign.Respondent Judge did not buy the lot 1184-E directly on the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. ET AL. The said property was no longer the subject of litigation. which sourced from the Spanish Code of Commerce. and it appears that the corporation did not benefit in any case filed by or against it in court as there was no case filed in the different branches of the Court of First Instance from the time of the drafting of the Articles of Incorporation of the corporation on March 12. 1967. . 1967 from the corporation and sold their respective shares to 3rd parties. Galapon after the finality of the decision which he rendered on June 8..

.. he has with him. it has also been held." The petitioner does not reveal the nature of his interest in the prisoner's incarceration.Petitioner Montebon in his own behalf. Nevertheless. 1947. the powers. Director of Prisons. By a similar criterion and reasonIng. if any. a petition which was denied by us in a decision promulgated on January 30. Cruz. ed. As to the effect on this case of our decision on the first application. A similar petition was filed with this Court by Felicisima Santiago in the name of the same prisoner (Santiago vs. Still the court in the exercise of a sound judicial discretion. 1943. on the ground that the petitioner had had full opportunity to offer in the first case proof on the point he raised in the second. TUASON. United States (68 Law. may give controlling weight to the prior refusal.: This is a petition for habeas corpus by Alfonso Montebon on behalf of Elpidio S. or what relation. No reason whatever is shown why the petitioner did not question in the first petition the legality of the recommitment order of the Commissioner of Justice. 241). 21. but will decide it on the merits. res judicata as an inflexible doctrine has been held not to apply in habeas corpus proceedings. that principle might be brought into play here. a prisoner at the Iwahig Penal Colony. and approved by the Chairman of the Executive Commission. for the unexpired portion of his (prisoner's) maximum aggregate sentences in three cases in which he had been paroled by the Board of Indeterminate Sentence on June 26. we choose not to dispose of this application on a point of procedural technicality. . The present application contests the validity of the prisoner's recommitment decreed by the Commissioner of Justice of the Philippine Executive Commission under date of June 3. 77 Phil. 1942. when he still had over five years to serve. The ground of the first petition was the alleged illegality of one of the prisoner's three convictions for estafa. 1941. which read: "The Board of Indeterminate Sentence and the Board of Pardons having been abolished. J. Acting First Assistant Solicitor General Gianzon and Solicitor Alejandro for respondents. 927). duties and functions thereof shall henceforth be assumed and exercised by the Commissioner of Justice. Such discretion was used against the petitioner in Wong Doo vs. The commissioner of Justice's recommitment order was made by virtue of Administrative Order No. dated June 21.

supra. International Law. as contra-distinguished from laws of political nature. it is a part of the Commonwealth's criminal and penal system directly related to the punishment of crime and the maintenance of public peace and order. "It is legal truism in political and international law that all acts and proceedings of the legislative. laws.. the answer is in the affirmative." This was nothing more than a confirmation of the well-known rule of the Law of Nations that municipal laws.The authority of the Commissioner of Justice under the then existing government. executive and judicial departments of a de facto government are good and . Valdes Tan Keh and Dizon (75 Phil. all the laws now in force in the Commonwealth. 113). 2 ed. directed that "so far as the military administration permits. which Article 43 of Section III of the Hague Regulations of 1907 compels the belligerent occupant to take all steps in his power to reestablish and insure as far as possible. As to whether the Indeterminate Sentence Act was in force during the occupation. 1942. and these become as effective in operation as though they were expressed in statutory enactments. is beyond dispute. are not abrogated by a change of sovereignty. In fact. now Republic of the Philippines.) The Indeterminate Sentence Law is not a political law. to take over the powers. as well as executive and judicial institutions. It does not affect political relations. In that case it was said. in Co Kim Cham vs. 1883.) This Court has held that the Philippine Executive Commission was a de facto government. A proclamation of the Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese forces of January 2. In an international sense it matters not how the Commissioner of Justice was vested with that authority. after the cessation of the enemy occupation. shall continue to be effective for the time being as in the past. executive and administrative orders. functions and duties of the Board of Indeterminate Sentence.. As a matter of practical expediency the occupant may be disposed to utilize certain existing agencies of that government and to suspend the operation of others. and military. (Co Kim Cham vs. But the petitioner takes the position that the recommitment of which he complains was not such an act of the belligerent occupant as should be accorded respect and recognition by the Commonwealth Government. We have only to refer to the Co Kim Cham case for a precedent that refuses this contention. Valdez Tan Keh and Dizon. (III Hyde. For most purposes the government of the occupant is likely to exercise the lawmaking functions through decrees or regulations emanating from a military source.

. as we have pointed out. Paras. which for one reason or another it is within his competence to do. J. or do away with civil government or the regular administration of the laws. and the transfer and descent of property regulated. crime prosecuted." The same doctrine has been asserted in numerous other cases. supra: "The existence of a state of insurrection and war did not loosen the bonds of society. where they were not hostile in their purpose or mode of enforcement to the authority of the National Government. police regulations maintained. such acts and proceedings remained good and valid after the liberation or re-occupation of the Philippines by the American and Filipino forces. No one. 192).S. as decreed by . does not." We held that in consonance with the theory of jus postliminii in international law. contracts enforced. except in a very few cases. according to which the fact that the territory which has been occupied by an enemy comes again into the power of its legitimate government or sovereignty. JJ. Enforcement of the criminal law by the forces of occupation is not only valid and binding. Cruz.. dissenting: The decision on this case hinges on the question raised by petitioner as to the validity of the recommitment of prisoner Elpidio S. Valdez Tan Keh and Dizon.. Separate Opinions PERFECTO. Bengzon. 7th ed.. Pablo. estates settled. cited in Co Kim Cham vs. The petition is denied without costs. 518. concur. wipe out the effects of acts done by the invader. and Padilla. 176. The reason underlying requirement is thus stated in William vs. precisely as in the time of peace. p. The decision cited Hall's work on International Law. that we are aware of. Order was to be preserved.valid. seriously questions the validity of judicial or legislative Acts in the insurrectionary States touching these and kindred subjects. Bruffy (96 U. it is imposed on them as a high obligation by the Hague Convention. property protected. and did not impair the rights of citizens under the Constitution. marriages celebrated.

No. The Board of Indeterminate Sentence was abolished by virtue of Administrative Order No. issued on June 21. we are constrained to dissent. The majority decided to uphold the validity of Administrative Order No. October 3. we vote for the immediate release of prisoner Elpidio S.the Commissioner of Justice of the Philippine Executive Commission on June 3. • Romana Locquiao Valencia and Constancia L. sovereignty resides exclusively. As we have explained in our concurring opinion in Laurel vs. are null and void under a proclamation of General MacArthur. 856). Under the said administrative order. on whom. 2003 . 1943. on the strength of the majority decision in the case of Co Kim Cham vs. no governmental act shall be recognized as valid unless made under the authority of our people. 1942. 1941. with the approval of the Chairman of the Philippine Executive Commission under the Japanese regime. For all the foregoing. dated June 21. 21. Misa (77 Phil. duties and functions of the Board of Indeterminate Sentence and the Board of Pardons had been transferred to the Commissioner of Justice of said Executive Commission. 21. The acts of the Philippine Executive Commission and of the Commissioner of Justice during enemy occupation having been made under the exclusive authority of the Japanese Imperial Government should not be given any validity. according to our fundamental law.. 1943. 1942. Valdez Tan Keh and Dizon (75 Phil. and of the order of recommitment issued by the Commissioner of Justice on June 3.. 122134. the powers. and under the provisions of our Constitution. and others where the same questions had been raised. We are of opinion that both Administrative Order No. Valdez Tan Keh and Dizon. 1943. Cruz. 21 and the order of the Commissioner of Justice on June 3. 113). For the reasons alleged in our dissenting opinions in said case of Co Kim Cham vs.R. Benito A. Locquaio G. to serve the unexpired portion of the maximum aggregate sentences in three cases in which said prisoner had been paroled by the Board of Indeterminate Sentence on June 26. Valencia v.

LOCQUIAO. 1917 by the Register of Deeds of Pangasinan. BENITO A. 1944. now deceased and substituted by JIMMY LOCQUIAO. TOMASA MARA and the REGISTRAR OF DEEDS OF PANGASINAN. respondents. 1994. VALENCIA. No.G. as well as the Resolution4 dated September 8.7 Both cases involve a parcel of land consisting of 4. vs. BENITO A. have not abruptly become mere quiescent items of legal history since their relevance do not wear off for a long time. VALENCIA. of the former Tenth Division5 of the Court of Appeals in two consolidated cases involving an action for annulment of title6 and an action for ejectment.2 repealed laws that they both are notwithstanding. DECISION TINGA. as evidenced by Original Certificate of Title No. LOCQUIAO. Herminigildo and Raymunda Locquiao executed a deed . 183838 issued on October 3. J.: The Old Civil Code1 and the Old Code of Civil Procedure. respondent. This land was originally owned by the spouses Herminigildo and Raymunda Locquiao. Verily. petitioners. vs. now deceased and substituted by JIMMY LOCQUIAO. petitioner.R.876 square meters situated in Urdaneta. Before us is a petition for review seeking to annul and set aside the joint Decision3 dated November 24. On May 22. the old statutes proved to be decisive in the adjudication of the case at bar. Pangasinan. x----------------------------x CONSTANCIA L. 1995. 2003 ROMANA LOCQUIAO VALENCIA and CONSTANCIA L. 122134 October 3.

including the land in question. executed a Deed of Partition with Recognition of Rights. respectively.T." and that for that reason the heirs of Lucio Locquaio were not made parties to the deed. as well as a male cow and one-third (1/3) portion of the conjugal house of the donor parents. the donees were gifted with four (4) parcels of land. respondents Benito and Tomasa registered the Inventario Ti Sagut with the Office of the Register of Deeds of Pangasinan on May 15. Romana) took possession and cultivated the subject land. leaving as heirs their six (6) children. the original title was cancelled and in lieu thereof Transfer Certificate of Title No. petitioner Romana Valencia (hereinafter. respondent Tomasa Mara (hereafter. Contained in the deed is a statement that respondent Benito and Marciano Locquiao.13 Meanwhile. including respondent Benito and petitioner Romana. and petitioner Romana. petitioner Constancia) took over. along with the heirs of Lucio Locquiao. The donees took their marriage vows on June 4. including petitioner Romana. 18383.12 When respondent Romana’s husband got sick sometime in 1977. 8489715 was issued in the name of the respondents Benito and Tomasa. 1970. 1968. On March 18. denominated as Inventario Ti Sagut9 in favor of their son.of donation propter nuptias which was written in the Ilocano dialect. namely: respondent Benito. the twelve (12) parcels of land left by their common progenitors.16 wherein they distributed among only three (3) of them.C. her daughter petitioner Constancia Valencia (hereafter. by virtue of previous donations and conveyances.10 Herminigildo and Raymunda died on December 15. the heirs of the Locquiao spouses. all surnamed Locquiao11. With the permission of respondents Benito and Tomasa. 1962 and January 9. 1973. By the terms of the deed. Emeteria. 1944 and the fact of their marriage was inscribed at the back of O. No. respondent Tomasa). Lucio. in consideration of the impending marriage of the donees. confirmed the previous dispositions and waived their rights to whomsoever the . All the living children of the Locquaio spouses at the time. excluding the land in question and other lots disposed of by the Locquiao spouses earlier. respondent Benito Locquiao (hereafter. "have already received our shares in the estates of our parents. Anastacia. and since then.14 In due course. respondent Benito) and his prospective bride. has been in possession of the land. Marciano.

Although not directly involved in the discord. respondent Benito filed with the Municipal Trial Court of Urdaneta.properties covered by the deed of partition were adjudicated. 1985. all the signatories to the compromise agreement. 1976. the decision in the ejectment case was appealed to the same RTC where the case for annulment of title was also pending.21 On December 13. confirmed all the other stipulations and provisions of the deed of partition. 1983. that the Inventario Ti Sagut is spurious.20 The record shows that the case was dismissed by the trial court but it does not indicate the reason for the dismissal. that the notary public who notarized the document had no authority to do so. disagreements among five (5) heirs or groups of heirs. including petitioner Romana. 2467 and 5567 of the Urdaneta Cadastral Survey surfaced.23 ordering the defendant in the case. the Municipal Trial Court rendered a Decision. As their differences were settled. Significantly. Petitioners alleged that the issuance of the transfer certificate of title was fraudulent. which provided for the re-distribution of the two (2) lots. Benito signed the compromise agreement together with his feuding siblings. 84897 against respondents Benito and Tomasa 25 which they filed with the Regional Trial Court of Pangasinan on December 23. Pangasinan a Complaint22 seeking the ejectment of petitioner Constancia from the subject property. including petitioner Romana. On November 25.net Meanwhile. and. the heirs concerned executed a Deed of Compromise Agreement18 on June 12. Finding that . that the donation did not observe the form required by law as there was no written acceptance on the document itself or in a separate public instrument.17 Later on. to vacate the land in question. the apparent calm pervading among the heirs was disturbed when petitioner Constancia filed an action for annulment of title against the respondents before the Regional Trial Court of Pangasinan. 1985.19 Sometime in 1983. concerning the distribution of two (2) of the lots covered by the deed of partition which are Lots No. nephews and nieces. Petitioners Romana and Constancia countered with a Complaint24 for the annulment of Transfer Certificate of Title No. petitioner Constancia.1a\^/phi1.

Dissatisfied. With the dismissal of the complaint and the confirmation of the respondents’ title over the subject property. Since they involve the same parties and the same property. and. (4) whether the action is barred by prescription and laches. Hence. coupled with the registration of the fact of marriage at the back of OCT No. 18383. Concerning the annulment case. positing that the implied acceptance flowing from the very fact of marriage between the respondents. It likewise ruled that the Inventario Ti Sagut is a valid public document which transmitted ownership over the subject land to the respondents. (2) whether acceptance of the donation by the donees is required.year prescriptive period for actions for reconveyance. the appealed cases were consolidated by the appellate court. After trial. The petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration29 but it was denied by the appellate court in its Resolution30 dated September 8. 1995.the question of ownership was the central issue in both cases. (3) if so. constitutes substantial compliance with the requirements of the law. this petition. or beyond the ten (10) . 1989 dismissing the complaint for annulment of title on the grounds of prescription and laches. the RTC rendered a Decision27 dated January 30. On November 24. We find the petition entirely devoid of merit. the Court of Appeals rendered the assailed Decision affirming the appealed RTC decisions. 1994. in what form should the acceptance appear. The appellate court upheld the RTC’s conclusion that the petitioners’ cause of action had already prescribed. It likewise rejected the petitioners’ assertion that the donation propter nuptias is null and void for want of acceptance by the donee. the issues to be threshed out are: (1) whether the donation propter nuptias is authentic. the court issued an Order26 suspending the proceedings in the ejectment case until it shall have decided the ownership issue in the title annulment case. considering that the complaint for annulment of title was filed more than fifteen (15) years after the issuance of the title. petitioners elevated the two (2) decisions to the respondent Court of Appeals. . the RTC affirmed in toto the decision of the MTC in the ejectment case28.

33 This Court ruled that the failure of the notary public to furnish a copy of the deed to the appropriate office is a ground for disciplining him. the petitioners rely mainly on the Certification32 dated July 9.nét Similarly.T. but certainly not for invalidating the document or for setting aside the transaction therein involved. it is void for the donee’s failure to accept the donation in a public instrument. The certification is not sufficient to prove the alleged inexistence or spuriousness of the challenged document. 1984 of the Records Management and Archives Office that there was no notarial record for the year 1944 of Cipriano V. His name was mentioned in the deed of partition only with respect to the middle portion of Lot No. the Inventario Ti Sagut is not authentic.C. 2638 covered by O. No. to wit: first. 1970. The photocopy of the document presented in evidence as Exhibit "8" was reproduced from the original kept in the Registry of Deeds of Pangasinan.35 respondent Benito was not allotted any share in the deed of partition precisely because he received his share by virtue of previous donations.The Inventario Ti Sagut which contains the donation propter nuptias was executed and notarized on May 22. even assuming that it is authentic. and second. 18259 included in the donation propter nuptias. Abenojar who notarized the document on May 22. 2638 which is the eleventh (11th) parcel in the deed but that is the same one-third (1/3) portion of Lot No. As pointed out by the RTC. including petitioner Romana. 1944 and that therefore a copy of the document was not available. the heirs of the Locquaio spouses. made reference in the deed of partition and the compromise agreement to the previous donations made by the spouses in favor of some of the heirs.34 Moreover. To buttress their claim that the document was falsified. . 1944. Marciano Locquiao and the heirs of Lucio Locquiao were not allocated any more share in the deed of partition since they received theirs by virtue of prior donations or conveyances.1awphi1. The appellate court is correct in pointing out that the mere absence of the notarial record does not prove that the notary public does not have a valid notarial commission and neither does the absence of a file copy of the document with the archives effect evidence of the falsification of the document.31 The petitioners have launched a two-pronged attack against the validity of the donation propter nuptias. It was presented to the Register of Deeds of Pangasinan for registration on May 15.

and that we recognize the rights of ownership of our co-heirs with respect to those parcels already distributed and adjudicated and that in the event that one of us is cultivating or in possession of any one of the parcels of land already adjudicated in favor of another heir or has been conveyed. marked as Exhibit "2". objection to the documentary evidence must be made at the time it is formally offered. in favor of another heir. she simply stated that she knew about the documents but she did not actually identify them."37 The argument is not tenable.38 Since the petitioners did . The petitioners fault the RTC for admitting in evidence the deed of partition and the compromise agreement on the pretext that the documents "were not properly submitted in evidence". This brings us to the admissibility of the Deed of Partition with Recognition of Rights. the Parties herein. … That we. and that we hereby confirm said dispositions. do hereby waive and renounce as against each other any claim or claims that we may have against one or some of us.36 (Emphasis supplied) The exclusion of the subject property in the deed of partition dispels any doubt as to the authenticity of the earlier Inventario Ti Sagut. we have already received our shares in the estate of our parents by virtue of previous donations and conveyances. waiving our rights to whomsoever will these properties will now be adjudicated. donated or disposed of previously. pointing out that "when presented to respondent Tomasa Mara for identification. Firstly. marked as Exhibit "3". and the Deed of Compromise Agreement.The pertinent provisions of the deed of partition read: … That the heirs of Lucio Locquiao are not included in this Partition by reason of the fact that in the same manner as we. we do hereby renounce and waive our right of possession in favor of the heir in whose favor the donation or conveyance was made previously. BENITO and MARCIANO LOCQUIAO are concerned.

was enough to effectuate the donation propter nuptias under the Old Civil Code.not even bother to object to the documents at the time they were offered in evidence.45 However. Under the Old Civil Code.39 it is now too late in the day for them to question their admissibility. marked as Exhibits "2" and "3" and testified on by respondent Tomasa. unequivocal manner. the acceptance by the donees should be made in a public instrument. especially as regards the formal essential requisites. Secondly. 18383. in the absence of clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. followed by the registration of the fact of marriage at the back of OCT No. being public documents as they were duly notarized. Article 1330 of the same Code provides that "acceptance is not necessary to the validity of such gifts". donations propter nuptias must be made in a public instrument in which the property donated must be specifically described. the appellate court and the trial court all erred in applying the requirements on ordinary donations to the present case instead of the rules on donation propter nuptias. . in consideration of the same and in favor of one or both of the future spouses.42 Concerning the issue of form. in tandem with compliance with the prescribed form. the questioned deeds. the documents were identified during the Pre-Trial. Unlike ordinary donations."44 The distinction is crucial because the two classes of donations are not governed by exactly the same rules. the celebration of the marriage between the beneficiary couple. The petitioners. Underlying the blunder is their failure to take into account the fundamental dichotomy between the two kinds of donations.40 Thirdly. In other words.41 A public document executed and attested through the intervention of the notary public is evidence of the facts therein expressed in clear. This argument was rejected by the RTC and the appellate court on the theory that the implied acceptance of the donation had flowed from the celebration of the marriage between the respondents. petitioners insist that based on a provision43 of the Civil Code of Spain (Old Civil Code). donations propter nuptias or donations by reason of marriage are those "made before its celebration. are admissible in evidence without further proof of their due execution and are conclusive as to the truthfulness of their contents.

the case of the petitioners would collapse just the same.48 This Court specifically held that during the Japanese occupation period.46 Consequently. unless the latter are specifically intended to have retroactive effect. As earlier shown.47 The fact that in 1944 the Philippines was still under Japanese occupation is of no consequence. implied acceptance is sufficient. express acceptance "is not necessary for the validity of these donations. The validity of the donation is unaffected in either case. the rules are different. The pivotal question. . even implied acceptance of a donation propter nuptias suffices under the New Civil Code. they invoked the wrong provisions50 thereof. paragraph 2. 1950. the Old Civil Code was in force. are not abrogated by a change of sovereignty. Even the petitioners agree that the Old Civil Code should be applied. Article 127 thereof provides that the form of donations propter nuptias are regulated by the Statute of Frauds." Thus. petitioners’ hypothesis that their action is imprescriptible cannot take off.49 As a consequence. applying Article 1330 of the Old Civil Code in the determination of the validity of the questioned donation.Under the New Civil Code. which contains the Statute of Frauds requires that the contracts mentioned thereunder need be in writing only to be enforceable. It is a well-known rule of the Law of Nations that municipal laws. However. as provided in Article 129. it is the Old Civil Code which applies in this case since the donation propter nuptias was executed in 1944 and the New Civil Code took effect only on August 30. Those under the Old Civil Code or the New Civil Code? It is settled that only laws existing at the time of the execution of a contract are applicable thereto and not later statutes.51 With the genuineness of the donation propter nuptias and compliance with the applicable mandatory form requirements fully established. Even if the provisions of the New Civil Code were to be applied. as contra-distinguished from laws of political nature. it does not matter whether or not the donees had accepted the donation. However. is which formal requirements should be applied with respect to the donation propter nuptias at hand. Article 1403. therefore.

(2) delay in asserting the complainant’s rights. which was filed on December 23. viz: (1) conduct on the part of the defendant. reckoned from the date of the issuance of the certificate of title. petitioners’ action is dismissible on the ground of laches. and . It must be remembered that before the effectivity of the New Civil Code in 1950. having had knowledge or notice of defendant’s conduct and having been afforded an opportunity to institute a suit. 1985. as well as all interests. petitioners’ action. Petitioners’ right to file an action for the reconveyance of the land accrued in 1944. an action for recovery of the title to.55 the action filed on December 23.52 Under the Old Code of Civil Procedure. As early as May 15. independent of prescription. it is definitely barred by prescription. real property. legal and equitable. The elements of laches are present in this case. or an interest therein. 1970. or one under whom he claims.53 Thus. Even following petitioners’ theory that the prescriptive period should commence from the time of discovery of the alleged fraud. In any event. 1985 has clearly prescribed. or possession of. 1944. when the Inventario Ti Sagut was executed. when the deed of donation was registered and the transfer certificate of title was issued.Viewing petitioners’ action for reconveyance from whatever feasible legal angle. (3) lack of knowledge or notice on the part of the defendant that the complainant would assert the right on which he bases his suit. giving rise to the situation that led to the complaint and for which the complainant seeks a remedy. the Old Code of Civil Procedure (Act No. or more than forty (40) years from the execution of the deed of donation on May 22. can only be brought within ten years after the cause of such action accrues. was clearly time-barred. the conclusion would still be the same.54 As it is now settled that the prescriptive period for the reconveyance of property allegedly registered through fraud is ten (10) years. petitioners were considered to have constructive knowledge of the alleged fraud. following the jurisprudential rule that registration of a deed in the public real estate registry is constructive notice to the whole world of its contents. included therein. 190) governed prescription.

Quisumbing. therefore. Concurred in CA decision. Sr. beyond this Court’s power of review. . (b) as petitioner Romana was a party-signatory to the two documents. (Chairman). no part. stress should be made of the following: (a) the petitioners Romana unquestionably gained actual knowledge of the donation propter nuptias when the deed of partition was executed in 1973 and the information must have surfaced again when the compromise agreement was forged in 1976. implicit in the affirmance of the Court of Appeals is the existence of substantial evidence supporting the decisions of the courts below. the Court is not tasked to go over the proofs presented by the parties and analyze. Austria-Martinez. or the suit is not held barred.57 In any event. assess.56 Of the facts which support the finding of laches. But she did not make any move. She tarried for eleven (11) more years from the execution of the deed of partition until she. Not being a trier of facts. we find the issues raised by the petitioners to be factual and. J. Costs against petitioners.. SO ORDERED. finding no reversible error in the assailed decision. and Callejo. given the fact that she was still in possession of the land in dispute at the time. filed the annulment case in 1985. Anent the ejectment case. and she should have done so if she were of the mindset. together with petitioner Constancia. and weigh them to ascertain if the trial court and the appellate court were correct in according them superior credit in this or that piece of evidence of one party or the other. JJ.. Bellosillo. the same is hereby AFFIRMED. WHEREFORE. she definitely had the opportunity to question the donation propter nuptias on both occasions. and.(4) injury or prejudice to the defendant in the event relief is accorded to the complainant.. concur.

MANUEL J.CORONA. 161658 Petitioner. QUISUMBING. G.versus - DANGEROUS DRUGS BOARD and PHILIPPINE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY (PDEA).R.R. JR. Respondents.Doctrine of Constitutional Supremacy • Social Justice v.. Respondents.versus - DANGEROUS DRUGS BOARD and PHILIPPINE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.. 157870 Petitioner. x-----------------------------------------------x AQUILINO Q. . No. G. 158633 and 161658. Present: PUNO. . CARPIO.R. Dangerous Drugs Board. . 157870.. G. 2008 SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY (SJS). November 3. LASERNA. .J. CARPIO MORALES. JR. 158633 Petitioner. G. C. Nos. No. 570 SCRA 410. x-----------------------------------------------x ATTY. YNARES-SANTIAGO. No.R. PIMENTEL. AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ.versus .

the constitutionality of Section 36 of Republic Act No.Students of secondary and tertiary schools shall. As far as pertinent. the challenged section reads as follows: SEC.. and persons charged before the prosecutors office with certain offenses. students of secondary and tertiary schools. JR. TINGA.. Authorized Drug Testing. among other personalities. two (2) testing methods. x x x The drug testing shall employ. officers and employees of public and private offices.Authorized drug testing shall be done by any government forensic laboratories or by any of the drug testing laboratories accredited and monitored by the DOH to safeguard the quality of the test results. 2008 x-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION VELASCO. J. JR. x x x The following shall be subjected to undergo drug testing: xxxx (c) Students of secondary and tertiary schools. Promulgated: Respondent. otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. is put in issue. VELASCO. undergo a random drug testing x x x. . LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. among others. pursuant to the related rules and regulations as contained in the schools student handbook and with notice to the parents. (RA) 9165. JJ.: In these kindred petitions. and BRION. insofar as it requires mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office. NACHURA. REYES.AZCUNA. 36. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. November 3. the screening test which will determine the positive result as well as the type of drug used and the confirmatory test which will confirm a positive screening test. CHICO-NAZARIO.

those found to be positive for dangerous drugs use shall be subject to the provisions of Section 15 of this Act. G. 161658 (Aquilino Q.Officers and employees of public and private offices. 6486. 2004 synchronized national and local elections. Commission on Elections) On December 23. 9165 provides: SEC. Section 36 (g) of Republic Act No. In addition to the above stated penalties in this Section. x x x for purposes of reducing the risk in the workplace. subject to the provisions of Article 282 of the Labor Code and pertinent provisions of the Civil Service Law.x x x xxxx . whether domestic or overseas. Any officer or employee found positive for use of dangerous drugs shall be dealt with administratively which shall be a ground for suspension or termination. the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued Resolution No. (g) All candidates for public office whether appointed or elected both in the national or local government shall undergo a mandatory drug test. xxxx (f) All persons charged before the prosecutors office with a criminal offense having an imposable penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) years and one (1) day shall undergo a mandatory drug test. Authorized Drug Testing. shall be subjected to undergo a random drug test as contained in the companys work rules and regulations. Jr. Pimentel. No. The pertinent portions of the said resolution read as follows: WHEREAS. v. 36. 2003. prescribing the rules and regulations on the mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office in connection with the May 10.R.(d) Officers and employees of public and private offices.

Batas Pambansa Blg. integrity. x x x SEC. Coverage. loyalty. 3. 5. integrity. the following rules and regulations on the conduct of mandatory drug testing to candidates for public office[:] SECTION 1. The first list shall consist of those candidates who complied with the mandatory drug test while the second list shall consist of those candidates who failed to comply x x x. Effect of failure to undergo mandatory drug test and file drug test . NOW THEREFORE. WHEREAS. [RA] 9165 and other election laws. the [COMELEC] shall prepare two separate lists of candidates. SEC.Before the start of the campaign period. Section 1. 881 (Omnibus Election Code). x x x On March 25. The [COMELEC]. The first list shall consist of those candidates who complied with the mandatory drug test while the second list shall consist of those candidates who failed to comply with said drug test. 4. serve them with utmost responsibility. in the May 10. and efficiency would be elected x x x. pursuant to the authority vested in it under the Constitution. WHEREAS. the public will know the quality of candidates they are electing and they will be assured that only those who can serve with utmost responsibility. 2004. 2004 Synchronized National and Local Elections shall undergo mandatory drug test in government forensic laboratories or any drug testing laboratories monitored and accredited by the Department of Health. by requiring candidates to undergo mandatory drug test. Preparation and publication of names of candidates. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution provides that public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people.(g) All candidates for public office x x x both in the national or local government shall undergo a mandatory drug test. as it hereby promulgates. SEC. in addition to the drug certificates filed with their respective offices. the Comelec Offices and employees concerned shall submit to the Law Department two (2) separate lists of candidates. both national and local. RESOLVED to promulgate.All candidates for public office. loyalty and efficiency.

R. Pimentel. able to read and write. and (2) to enjoin the COMELEC from implementing Resolution No. among other candidates. No person shall be a Senator unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. Article VI of the Constitution. and be a member of the Senate. is at least thirty- five years of age. a senatorial aspirant. 6486. 157870 (Social Justice Society v. 6486. No. 2003 for being unconstitutional in that they impose a qualification for candidates for senators in addition to those already provided for in the 1987 Constitution. which states: SECTION 3.No person elected to any public office shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has undergone mandatory drug test and filed with the offices enumerated under Section 2 hereof the drug test certificate herein required. a registered voter. Jr. He adds that there is no provision in the Constitution authorizing the Congress or COMELEC to expand the qualification requirements of candidates for senator. on the day of the election. by requiring. According to Pimentel.[1] filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65. (Emphasis supplied. and. 2004 elections. G. 6486 dated December 23. via RA 9165 and Resolution No.certificate. 3. elected to. In it. Dangerous Drugs Board and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) . to undergo a mandatory drug test. He says that both the Congress and COMELEC. Pimentel invokes as legal basis for his petition Sec. and a resident of the Philippines for not less than two years immediately preceding the day of the election.. he seeks (1) to nullify Sec. the Constitution only prescribes a maximum of five (5) qualifications for one to be a candidate for.) Petitioner Aquilino Q. a senator of the Republic and a candidate for re-election in the May 10. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. create an additional qualification that all candidates for senator must first be certified as drug free.

(f). (f). SJS and Laserna failed to allege any incident amounting to a violation of the constitutional rights mentioned in their separate petitions. 158633 (Atty. v. For another. Dangerous Drugs Board and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) Petitioner Atty. Manuel J.[3] But even with the presence of an actual case or controversy. seeks to prohibit the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) from enforcing paragraphs (c). as citizen and taxpayer. G. the right against unreasonable search and seizure. one must establish that he or she has suffered some actual or threatened injury as a result of the . Laserna. 36(c). For one.R. the provisions constitute undue delegation of legislative power when they give unbridled discretion to schools and employers to determine the manner of drug testing.. (d). the provisions trench in the equal protection clause inasmuch as they can be used to harass a student or an employee deemed undesirable. The Issue on Locus Standi First off. and (g) of Sec. And for a third. a persons constitutional right against unreasonable searches is also breached by said provisions. and (g) of RA 9165 be struck down as unconstitutional for infringing on the constitutional right to privacy. the Court may refuse to exercise judicial review unless the constitutional question is brought before it by a party having the requisite standing to challenge it. and for being contrary to the due process and equal protection guarantees.In its Petition for Prohibition under Rule 65.[2] It is basic that the power of judicial review can only be exercised in connection with a bona fide controversy which involves the statute sought to be reviewed. Jr. and the right against self-incrimination. Laserna. Manuel J. No. also seeks in his Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65 that Sec. petitioner Social Justice Society (SJS). Jr.[4] To have standing. (d). a registered political party. we shall address the justiciability of the cases at bench and the matter of the standing of petitioners SJS and Laserna to sue. As respondents DDB and PDEA assert. 36 of RA 9165 on the ground that they are constitutionally infirm.

36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. (f). to wit: (1) citizenship. the right against unreasonable searches and seizure. can Congress enact a law prescribing qualifications for candidates for senator in addition to those laid down by the Constitution? and (2) Are paragraphs (c). and (5) residency. subject to the provisions on nuisance candidates. a candidate for senator needs only to meet the qualifications laid down in Sec. of overarching significance to society. candidates for senator . it can be relaxed for non-traditional plaintiffs. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. (3) literacy. 6486 impose an additional qualification for candidates for senator? Corollarily. The Consolidated Issues The principal issues before us are as follows: (1) Do Sec. Pimentel claims that Sec. and (g) of Sec. do these paragraphs violate the right to privacy.allegedly illegal conduct of the government. is a matter of procedure. (d). this Court is wont to relax the rule on locus standi owing primarily to the transcendental importance and the paramount public interest involved in the enforcement of Sec. 36[g] of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No.[5] The rule on standing. taxpayers. 2004 elections. Beyond these stated qualification requirements. Art. VI of the Constitution. 6486 illegally impose an additional qualification on candidates for senator. like ordinary citizens.[6] There is no doubt that Pimentel. possesses the requisite standing since he has substantial interests in the subject matter of the petition. as senator of the Philippines and candidate for the May 10. 36 of RA 9165. the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action. hence. and the injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable action. 6486) In essence. RA 9165 unconstitutional? Specifically. 36. and legislators when the public interest so requires. (4) age. such as when the matter is of transcendental importance. (2) voter registration. Regarding SJS and Laserna. and the equal protection clause? Or do they constitute undue delegation of legislative power? Pimentel Petition (Constitutionality of Sec. among other preliminary considerations. He points out that. however. or of paramount public interest. 3.

no act shall be valid if it conflicts with the Constitution. that issuance is null and void and has no effect.[8] In the discharge of their defined functions. VI of the Constitution prescribing the qualifications of candidates for senators. the Court has defined. The Congress cannot validly amend or otherwise modify these qualification standards. the COMELEC cannot. the limits on legislative power in the following wise: Someone has said that the powers of the legislative department of the Government. Whatever limits it imposes must be observed. such as Sec. Springer. In the same vein.[11] The substantive constitutional limitations are chiefly found in the Bill of Rights[12] and other provisions. like the boundaries of the ocean. however. are unlimited.[10] Thus. The Constitution is the shore of legislative authority against which the waves of legislative enactment may dash. the powers of each of the departments x x x are limited and confined within the four walls of the constitution or the charter. in the guise of enforcing and administering election laws or promulgating rules and regulations to . unconstitutional. but over which it cannot leap. as it cannot disregard. evade.[7] or alter or enlarge the Constitution. are subject to certain limitations. and each department can only exercise such powers as are necessarily implied from the given powers. As early as 1927. or weaken the force of a constitutional mandate. legislative power remains limited in the sense that it is subject to substantive and constitutional limitations which circumscribe both the exercise of the power itself and the allowable subjects of legislation.[9] Congress inherent legislative powers. 36(g) of RA 9165 should be. in Government v. the three departments of government have no choice but to yield obedience to the commands of the Constitution. as well as governments acting under delegated authority. broad as they may be.need not possess any other qualification to run for senator and be voted upon and elected as member of the Senate. 3. in the abstract. as it is hereby declared as. Art. The Constitution is the basic law to which all laws must conform. It is basic that if a law or an administrative rule violates any norm of the Constitution. Pimentels contention is well-taken. In constitutional governments. Sec. Accordingly.

The COMELEC resolution completes the chain with the proviso that [n]o person elected to any public office shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has undergone mandatory drug test. with like effect. requires for membership in the Senate. 36(g) of RA 9165 into a pure jargon without meaning and effect whatsoever. if proper. COMELEC Resolution No. And since the provision deals with candidates for public office. for by its terms. 6486 is no longer enforceable. Whether or not the drug-free bar set up under the challenged provision is to be hurdled before or after election is really of no moment. 36(g). the COMELEC. without exception. a condition sine qua non to be voted upon and. Sec. If Congress cannot require a candidate for senator to meet such additional qualification. 36(g) of RA 9165. While it is anti-climactic to state it at this juncture. 36(g) of RA 9165 and the implementing COMELEC Resolution add another qualification layer to what the 1987 Constitution. in defense of the validity of Sec. said Sec.[13] Sec. 3. But the particular section of the law. validly impose qualifications on candidates for senator in addition to what the Constitution prescribes. in its proper context. Any other construal would reduce the mandatory nature of Sec. It may of course be argued. to be sure. it was intended to cover . as sought to be implemented by the assailed COMELEC resolution. as getting elected would be of little value if one cannot assume office for non-compliance with the drug-testing requirement. be proclaimed as senator-elect. obviously as a pre-condition to the validity of a certificate of candidacy for senator or.implement Sec. is also without such power. Art. VI of the Constitution. As couched. it stands to reason that the adverse consequence adverted to can only refer to and revolve around the election and the assumption of public office of the candidates. The right of a citizen in the democratic process of election should not be defeated by unwarranted impositions of requirement not otherwise specified in the Constitution. Viewed. necessarily suggesting that the obstinate ones shall have to suffer the adverse consequences for not adhering to the statutory command. 36(g) unmistakably requires a candidate for senator to be certified illegal- drug clean. therefore. 36(g) of RA 9165. that the provision does not expressly state that non-compliance with the drug test imposition is a disqualifying factor or would work to nullify a certificate of candidacy. This argument may be accorded plausibility if the drug test requirement is optional. effectively enlarges the qualification requirements enumerated in the Sec. made drug-testing on those covered mandatory. at the minimum.

2004 synchronized elections and the candidates running in that electoral event. [close relatives] x x x apply to the Board x x x for treatment and rehabilitation of the drug dependency. as it hereby rules. programs and projects. Voluntary Submission of a Drug Dependent to Confinement. 54. particularly the youth. 54 and 55 of RA 9165 are clear on this point: Sec. 36[c]. This statutory purpose. 36(c). [f]. and (f) of RA 9165 for secondary and tertiary level students and public and private employees. . however. The objective is to stamp out illegal drug and safeguard in the process the well being of [the] citizenry. he/she shall be ordered by the Court to undergo treatment and rehabilitation in a Center designated by the Board x x x. that the unconstitutionality of Sec. and [g] of RA 9165) The drug test prescribed under Sec. the Board shall bring forth the matter to the Court which shall order that the applicant be examined for drug dependency. from the harmful effects of dangerous drugs. Upon such application. is a random and suspicionless arrangement. per the policy-declaration portion of the law. It ought to be made abundantly clear.[14] The primary legislative intent is not criminal prosecution. as those found positive for illegal drug use as a result of this random testing are not necessarily treated as criminals. while mandatory. They may even be exempt from criminal liability should the illegal drug user consent to undergo rehabilitation.only the May 10. the Court deems it appropriate to review and rule. (d). implementation and enforcement of anti-drug abuse policies. by himself/herself or through his/her parent. If the examination x x x results in the certification that the applicant is a drug dependent. SJS Petition (Constitutionality of Sec. Secs. on its validity as an implementing issuance. to obviate repetition. Treatment and Rehabilitation. can be achieved via the pursuit by the state of an intensive and unrelenting campaign against the trafficking and use of dangerous drugs x x x through an integrated system of planning.A drug dependent or any person who violates Section 15 of this Act may. Nonetheless. 36(g) of RA 9165 is rooted on its having infringed the constitutional provision defining the qualification or eligibility requirements for one aspiring to run for and serve as senator. [d].

we turn to the teachings of Vernonia School District 47J v. the US Supreme Court noted. (Board of Education). v. et al. In Vernonia. Art. a high school student. made the focal point.[18] both fairly pertinent US Supreme Court-decided cases involving the constitutionality of governmental search. the issue tendered in these proceedings is veritably one of first impression. Maturing nervous systems of the young are more critically impaired by intoxicants and are more inclined to drug dependency. a rich source of persuasive jurisprudence. James Acton. school administrators in Vernonia. US jurisprudence is. who is finally discharged from confinement. and addictive effects of drugs. this case appears to be the first time that the validity of a state-decreed search or intrusion through the medium of mandatory random drug testing among students and employees is.xxxx Sec. 2. they required random urinalysis drug testing for the schools athletes. Their recovery is also at a depressingly low rate. But while the right to privacy has long come into its own. 55. shall be exempt from the criminal liability under Section 15 of this Act subject to the following conditions: xxxx School children. are most vulnerable to the physical. Oregon wanted to address the drug menace in their respective institutions following the discovery of frequent drug use by school athletes. psychological. Earls. was denied participation in the football .[15] The right to privacy has been accorded recognition in this jurisdiction as a facet of the right protected by the guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure[16] under Sec. however.A drug dependent under the voluntary submission program. in this jurisdiction. III[17] of the Constitution. Thus. With respect to random drug testing among school children. et al. Exemption from the Criminal Liability Under the Voluntary Submission Program. Acton (Vernonia) and Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County. After consultation with the parents.

The US Supreme Court. In Board of Education. the athletes voluntarily subjected themselves to a higher degree of school supervision and regulation. a member of the show choir. unlike athletes who routinely undergo physical examinations and undress before their peers in locker rooms. Oklahoma required a drug test for high school students desiring to join extra-curricular activities. As Earls argued. and academic team declined to undergo a drug test and averred that the drug-testing policy made to apply to non-athletes violated the Fourth and 14th Amendments. the Fourth Amendment[19] of the US Constitution. inter alia.program after he refused to undertake the urinalysis drug testing. Lindsay Earls. citing Vernonia. marching band. (2) school children. Acton forthwith sued. In sum. It ratiocinated that schools and teachers act in place of the parents with a similar interest and duty of safeguarding the health of the students. The US Supreme Court. considered the following: (1) schools stand in loco parentis over their students. said court made no distinction between a non-athlete and an athlete. and (6) there is need for the drug testing because of the dangerous effects of illegal drugs on the young. the Court hinted that such a test was a kind of search in which even a reasonable parent might need to engage. in fashioning a solution to the issues raised in Vernonia. the Board of Education of a school in Tecumseh. non-athletes are entitled to more privacy. And in holding that the school could implement its random drug-testing policy. what can reasonably be deduced from the above two cases and applied to this jurisdiction are: (1) schools and their administrators stand in loco parentis with respect to their students. The US Supreme Court held that the policy constituted reasonable search under the Fourth[20] and 14th Amendments and declared the random drug-testing policy constitutional. upheld the constitutionality of drug testing even among non-athletes on the basis of the schools custodial responsibility and authority. (2) minor students have . In so ruling. while not shedding their constitutional rights at the school gate. claiming that the schools drug testing policy violated. (3) athletes have less privacy rights than non-athletes since the former observe communal undress before and after sports events. (5) requiring urine samples does not invade a students privacy since a student need not undress for this kind of drug testing. have less privacy rights. (4) by joining the sports activity.

and until a more effective method is conceptualized and put in motion. and (4) schools have the right to impose conditions on applicants for admission that are fair.[23] has failed to show how the mandatory. the right to enroll is not absolute. The Court can take judicial notice of the proliferation of prohibited drugs in the country that threatens the well-being of the people. other than saying that subjecting almost everybody to drug testing.[21] particularly the youth and school children who usually end up as victims. Secs. and non-discriminatory. it is within the prerogative of educational institutions to require.[24] Petitioner Lasernas lament is . Guided by Vernonia and Board of Education. the random testing scheme provided under the law argues against the idea that the testing aims to incriminate unsuspecting individual students. doubtless a legitimate concern of the government. and are subject to the custody and supervision of their parents. and suspicionless drug testing of students are constitutional. just. guardians. random. a random drug testing of students in secondary and tertiary schools is not only acceptable but may even be necessary if the safety and interest of the student population. 36 of RA 9165 for officers and employees of public and private offices is justifiable. III. random. the mandatory but random drug test prescribed by Sec. as a condition for admission. it is subject to fair. have a duty to safeguard the health and well-being of their students and may adopt such measures as may reasonably be necessary to discharge such duty. and schools. without probable cause. the Court is of the view and so holds that the provisions of RA 9165 requiring mandatory. Just as in the case of secondary and tertiary level students. compliance with reasonable school rules and regulations and policies. acting in loco parentis. but upon the entire student body and faculty. The Court notes in this regard that petitioner SJS.contextually fewer rights than an adult. albeit not exactly for the same reason. 1 and 2 of the Constitution. and suspicionless drug testing under Sec. Accordingly. an unwarranted intrusion of the individual right to privacy. (3) schools. are to be promoted and protected. Indeed. the necessity for the State to act is magnified by the fact that the effects of a drug-infested school are visited not just upon the users.[22] Needless to stress. and equitable requirements. To borrow from Vernonia. To be sure. is unreasonable. 36(c) and (d) of RA 9165 violates the right to privacy and constitutes unlawful and/or unconsented search under Art. reasonable. [d]eterring drug use by our Nations schoolchildren is as important as enhancing efficient enforcement of the Nations laws against the importation of drugs.

Art.[25] The essence of privacy is the right to be left alone. the office or workplace serves as the backdrop for the analysis of the . which effects a search within the meaning of Sec. translation of the abstract prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures into workable broad guidelines for the decision of particular cases is a difficult task. and gratuitous and does not merit serious consideration.[31] In the criminal context. Camara v. Municipal Court. They are quoted extensively hereinbelow. 2. reasonableness requires showing of probable cause to be personally determined by a judge. Art III of the Constitution is couched and as has been held.just as simplistic.[30] And whether a search at issue hews to the reasonableness standard is judged by the balancing of the government- mandated intrusion on the individuals privacy interest against the promotion of some compelling state interest. Be that as it may. In this case. The US courts have been consistent in their rulings that the mandatory drug tests violate a citizens constitutional right to privacy and right against unreasonable search and seizure. to borrow from C. the probable-cause standard is not required or even practicable. [27] And while there has been general agreement as to the basic function of the guarantee against unwarranted search. intrudes. sweeping.[28] Authorities are agreed though that the right to privacy yields to certain paramount rights of the public and defers to the states exercise of police power. the review should focus on the reasonableness of the challenged administrative search in question. The first factor to consider in the matter of reasonableness is the nature of the privacy interest upon which the drug testing. 2. Given that the drug-testing policy for employeesand students for that matterunder RA 9165 is in the nature of administrative search needing what was referred to in Vernonia as swift and informal disciplinary procedures. the right to privacy means the right to be free from unwarranted exploitation of ones person or from intrusion into ones private activities in such a way as to cause humiliation to a persons ordinary sensibilities.[29] As the warrantless clause of Sec. III of the Constitution. reasonableness is the touchstone of the validity of a government search or intrusion.[26] In context. Consider what he wrote without elaboration: The US Supreme Court and US Circuit Courts of Appeals have made various rulings on the constitutionality of mandatory drug tests in the school and the workplaces.

36 of RA 9165 and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR). the random drug testing shall be undertaken under conditions calculated to protect as much as possible the employees privacy and dignity. For one. nobody is really singled out in advance for drug testing. And as may be observed. Sec. the collective bargaining agreement. entered into by management and the bargaining unit. and a degree of impingement upon such privacy has been upheld. is the enabling law authorizing a search narrowly drawn or narrowly focused?[32] The poser should be answered in the affirmative. contain provisions specifically directed towards preventing a situation that would unduly embarrass the employees or place them under a humiliating experience. 36(d) of RA 9165 itself prescribes what. Reduced to a question form. For another. and the inherent right of the employer to maintain discipline and efficiency in the workplace. or. As to the mechanics of the test.[34] that the drug test . in Ople. Their privacy expectation in a regulated office environment is. the IRR issued by the DOH provides that access to the drug results shall be on the need to know basis. The goal is to discourage drug use by not telling in advance anyone when and who is to be tested. is the scope of the search or intrusion clearly set forth. Torres. is a narrowing ingredient by providing that the employees concerned shall be subjected to random drug test as contained in the companys work rules and regulations x x x for purposes of reducing the risk in the work place. the screening test and the confirmatory test. as couched.e. Just as defining as the first factor is the character of the intrusion authorized by the challenged law.. Sec. i. the law specifies that the procedure shall employ two testing methods.privacy expectation of the employees and the reasonableness of drug testing requirement. While every officer and employee in a private establishment is under the law deemed forewarned that he or she may be a possible subject of a drug test. in fine.[33] In addition. as formulated in Ople v. The employees privacy interest in an office is to a large extent circumscribed by the companys work policies. if any. But the more important consideration lies in the fact that the test shall be conducted by trained professionals in access- controlled laboratories monitored by the Department of Health (DOH) to safeguard against results tampering and to ensure an accurate chain of custody. reduced. doubtless to ensure as much as possible the trustworthiness of the results.

age group. all . The drug problem has hardly abated since the martial law public execution of a notorious drug trafficker. under the limited context of the case. and is relatively minimal. the need for drug testing to at least minimize illegal drug use is substantial enough to override the individuals privacy interest under the premises.[35] Notably. we hold that the challenged drug test requirement is. To reiterate. reasonable and. or trafficking of illegal drugs. would be an investors dream were it not for the illegal and immoral components of any of such activities. The Court can consider that the illegal drug menace cuts across gender. the intrusion into the employees privacy. The law intends to achieve this through the medium. from the deleterious effects of dangerous drugs. especially the youth. among others. Like their counterparts in the private sector. government officials and employees also labor under reasonable supervision and restrictions imposed by the Civil Service law and other laws on public officers. RA 9165 does not oblige the employer concerned to report to the prosecuting agencies any information or evidence relating to the violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act received as a result of the operation of the drug testing. constitutional. particularly against embarrassing leakages of test results. ergo. the threat of detection by random testing being higher than other modes. is accompanied by proper safeguards. manufacture.result and the records shall be [kept] confidential subject to the usual accepted practices to protect the confidentiality of the test results. Taking into account the foregoing factors. Drug enforcement agencies perceive a mandatory random drug test to be an effective way of preventing and deterring drug use among employees in private offices. the compelling state concern likely to be met by the search. and the well-defined limits set forth in the law to properly guide authorities in the conduct of the random testing. All told. And it may not be amiss to state that the sale. The state can no longer assume a laid back stance with respect to this modern-day scourge. The Court holds that the chosen method is a reasonable and enough means to lick the problem.e. i. the reduced expectation of privacy on the part of the employees. therefore. under RA 9165. RA 9165 was enacted as a measure to stamp out illegal drug in the country and thus protect the well-being of the citizens. and social- economic lines. with their ready market.. of promoting and resolutely pursuing a national drug abuse policy in the workplace via a mandatory random drug test.[36] To the Court.

In net effect then.[39] In the face of the increasing complexity of the task of the government and the increasing inability of the legislature to cope directly with the many problems demanding its attention. 36 of RA 9165 is objectionable on the ground of undue delegation of power hardly commends itself for concurrence. incorrect to say that schools and employers have unchecked discretion to determine how often. And in all cases.[37] And if RA 9165 passes the norm of reasonableness for private employees.enacted to promote a high standard of ethics in the public service. the provision in question is not so extensively drawn as to give unbridled options to schools and employers to determine the manner of drug testing.[38] Petitioner SJS next posture that Sec. Sec. the random procedure shall be observed. The validity of delegating legislative power is now a quiet area in the constitutional landscape. the testing shall take into account the companys work rules. the IRR necessary to enforce the law. resort to delegation of power. Sec. On the part of officers/employees. as here. It is. 94 of RA 9165 charges the DDB to issue. are required to be accountable at all times to the people and to serve them with utmost responsibility and efficiency. under what conditions. the testing shall be in accordance with the school rules as contained in the student handbook and with notice to parents. among other agencies. In the case of students. In either case. has become imperative. It enumerates the persons who shall undergo drug testing. Contrary to its position. in consultation with the DOH. Lest it be overlooked. meaning that the persons to be subjected to drug test shall be picked by chance or in an unplanned way. and Department of Labor and Employment. the participation of schools and offices in the drug testing scheme shall always be subject to the IRR of RA 9165. by constitutional command. who. the more reason that it should pass the test for civil servants. Department of the Interior and Local Government. or entrusting to administrative agencies the power of subordinate legislation. Department of Education. . and where the drug tests shall be conducted. 36 expressly provides how drug testing for students of secondary and tertiary schools and officers/employees of public/private offices should be conducted. therefore. safeguards against misusing and compromising the confidentiality of the test results are established.

We find the situation entirely different in the case of persons charged before the public prosecutors office with criminal offenses punishable with six (6) years and one (1) day imprisonment. The persons thus charged. 36[c]. Nos. In the case of private and public employees. random. and from their voluntarily submitting their persons to the parental authority of school authorities. accordingly. 36(c) and (d) of RA 9165. When persons suspected of committing a crime are charged. and [g] of RA 9165) Unlike the situation covered by Sec. 157870 and 158633 by declaring Sec. 2. if that be the case. and suspicionless drug testing proceeds from the reasonableness of the drug test policy and requirement. and to PARTIALLY GRANT the petition in G. random. the accused persons are veritably forced to incriminate themselves. let alone waive their right to privacy. 36(f) UNCONSTITUTIONAL. III of the Constitution. the constitutional viability of the mandatory. the Court resolves to GRANT the petition in G. No. Drug testing in this case would violate a persons right to privacy guaranteed under Sec. neither are they beyond suspicion.R. The ideas of randomness and being suspicionless are antithetical to their being made defendants in a criminal complaint. The operative concepts in the mandatory drug testing are randomness and suspicionless. the Court finds no valid justification for mandatory drug testing for persons accused of crimes. [f]. In the case of students. a mandatory drug testing can never be random or suspicionless. . They are not randomly picked. by the bare fact of being haled before the prosecutors office and peaceably submitting themselves to drug testing. 161658 and declares Sec. 36(c) and (d) of RA 9165 CONSTITUTIONAL.R.Laserna Petition (Constitutionality of Sec. they are singled out and are impleaded against their will. 6486 as UNCONSTITUTIONAL. WHEREFORE. and suspicionless drug testing for students emanates primarily from the waiver by the students of their right to privacy when they seek entry to the school. [d]. In the case of persons charged with a crime before the prosecutors office. the constitutional soundness of the mandatory. do not necessarily consent to the procedure. All concerned agencies are. but declaring its Sec. contrary to the stated objectives of RA 9165.[40] To impose mandatory drug testing on the accused is a blatant attempt to harness a medical test as a tool for criminal prosecution. Art. Worse still. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No.

In December 2003. ISSUE: Whether or not Sec 36 of RA 9165 and Resolution 6486 are constitutional. Republic Act No. by requiring. a senatorial aspirant. This is consolidated with Laserna vs Dangerous Drugs Board (G.permanently enjoined from implementing Sec. he seeks (1) to nullify Sec. and be a member of the Senate. SO ORDERED. According to Pimentel. It is basic that if a law or an administrative rule violates . filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65. Jr. create an additional qualification that all candidates for senator must first be certified as drug free. 36 of RA 9165 is unconstitutional. COMELEC issued Resolution No. 161658) In 2002. prescribing the rules and regulations on the mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office in connection with the May 10. elected to.R. No.. Aquilino Pimentel. the Constitution only prescribes a maximum of five (5) qualifications for one to be a candidate for. students of secondary and tertiary schools. He adds that there is no provision in the Constitution authorizing the Congress or COMELEC to expand the qualification requirements of candidates for senator. HELD: No. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 158633) and Pimentel vs COMELEC (G. He says that both the Congress and COMELEC. to undergo a mandatory drug test. Accordingly. 36(f) and (g) of RA 9165. No. 2004 synchronized national and local elections. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 was implemented. Sec. Pimentel’s contention is valid. and (2) to enjoin the COMELEC from implementing Resolution No. among other candidates.R. and persons charged before the prosecutor’s office with certain offenses. officers and employees of public and private offices. 6486 dated December 23. In it. Section 36 thereof requires mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office. a senator and a candidate for re-election in the May elections. 6486. No costs. via RA 9165 and Resolution No. 6486. 6486. 2003 for being unconstitutional in that they impose a qualification for candidates for senators in addition to those already provided for in the 1987 Constitution.

• Sabio v. 2006 . October 17. Senate President. the COMELEC. validly impose qualifications on candidates for senator in addition to what the Constitution prescribes. to be sure. G. 36. No. HONORABLE SENATOR JUAN PONCE-ENRILE.any norm of the Constitution. Whatever limits it imposes must be observed. HONORABLE MANUEL VILLAR. If Congress cannot require a candidate for senator to meet such additional qualification. MIGUEL. vs. in his capacity as Chairman. 174340 October 17. 174318 October 17. petitioner-relator. No. the three departments of government have no choice but to yield obedience to the commands of the Constitution. 2006 G.R.x G. and the SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES.R. no act shall be valid if it conflicts with the Constitution. In the discharge of their defined functions. SENATE SERGEANT- AT-ARMS. The provision “[n]o person elected to any public office shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has undergone mandatory drug test” is not tenable as it enlarges the qualifications. that issuance is null and void and has no effect. COMELEC cannot. No.R. The right of a citizen in the democratic process of election should not be defeated by unwarranted impositions of requirement not otherwise specified in the Constitution. petitioner. SABIO. Gordon. x --------------------------------------------------------------------------. and the HONORABLE MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS AND PUBLIC ENTERPRISES and THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICES of the Senate. respondents. 174340. J. 504 SCRA 704. ERMIN ERNEST LOUIE R. 2006 IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR ISSUANCE OF WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS OF CAMILO L. HONORABLE SENATOR RICHARD GORDON. in his official capacity as Member. in the guise of enforcing and administering election laws or promulgating rules and regulations to implement Sec. The Constitution is the basic law to which all laws must conform. is also without such power.

and SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES.x G. on February 28. No. 2006 PHILCOMSAT HOLDINGS CORPORATIONS. petitioners. 1986.R. PCGG nominees to Philcomsat Holdings Corporation. x --------------------------------------------------------------------------.. CONTI.: Two decades ago. the HONORABLE SENATOR JOKER P. LOKIN.O. its Members and Chairman. and MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS AND PUBLIC ENTERPRISES. in his capacity as Chairman. LUIS K. and JOHNNY TAN. THE SENATE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS. She entrusted upon this Commission the herculean task of recovering the ill- gotten wealth accumulated by the deposed President Ferdinand E. Marcos. . respondents. 174177 October 17. MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICES. in his capacity as member of both said Committees. ABCEDE. NARIO. ABAD. JAVIER and NICASIO A. SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS and PUBLIC ENTERPRISES.PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT (PCGG) and CAMILO L. 1. ARROYO. RICHARD GORDON. SENATOR JUAN PONCE-ENRILE. MANUEL ANDAL and JULIO JALANDONI. J. ALMA KRISTINA ALOBBA. DECISION SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ. SAN JOSE. vs.) No. its MEMBERS and CHAIRMAN. petitioners. TERESO L. ROBERTO V. MANUEL VILLAR.1 creating the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). SABIO. Commissioners. JR. respondents. vs. the HONORABLE SENATOR RICHARD GORDON and SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICES. DELFIN P. NARCISO S. RICARDO M. former President Corazon C. Aquino installed her regime by issuing Executive Order (E. ANGCAO. BRODETT. ROBERTO L. Senate President. PHILIP G. Chairman.

" The pertinent portions of the Resolution read: WHEREAS. No.O. subordinates and close associates. as compared to the previous year's mere P106 thousand.2 Section 4 (b) of E. No. 455 (Senate Res. the purpose is to ensure PCGG's unhampered performance of its task. 1 provides that: "No member or staff of the Commission shall be required to testify or produce evidence in any judicial. over P73 million had been allegedly advanced to TCI without any accountability report given to PHC and PHILCOMSAT. where PHC funds are allegedly siphoned." Apparently.4 "directing an inquiry in aid of legislation on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippines Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC). Inc. in its 12 February 2002 issue reported that the executive committee of Philcomsat has precipitately released P265 . legislative or administrative proceeding concerning matters within its official cognizance. relatives. Section 21 of the 1987 Constitution. which reads: The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. the Philippine Star. in 18 months.3 Today. in the last quarter of 2005. and PHILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in their operations by their respective Board of Directors. 2006. Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago introduced Philippine Senate Resolution No. WHEREAS. the constitutionality of Section 4(b) is being questioned on the ground that it tramples upon the Senate's power to conduct legislative inquiry under Article VI. Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT). 455). The facts are undisputed.his family. On February 20. (TCI). The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. WHEREAS. the representation and entertainment expense of the PHC skyrocketed to P4.3 million. some board members established wholly owned PHC subsidiary called Telecommunications Center.

6 On May 9. WHEREFORE. February 20. WHEREAS. subjecting the company to an estimated interest income loss of P11. Adopted. . inviting him to be one of the resource persons in the public meeting jointly conducted by the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee on Public Services. upon motion of Senator Francis N. 2006. 2006. he invoked Section 4(b) of E. and to conserve or salvage any remaining value of the government's equity position in these corporations from any abuses of power done by their respective board of directors. under the authority of Senator Richard J. be it resolved that the proper Senate Committee shall conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation. (Sgd) MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO On the same date. there is an urgent need to protect the interest of the Republic of the Philippines in the PHC. on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippine Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC). Chief of Staff Rio C.25 million in 2004. one of the herein petitioners. and POTC from any anomalous transaction.7 At the same time. Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT). The purpose of the public meeting was to deliberate on Senate Res. wrote Chairman Camilo L. it was transferred to the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises. No. to date there have been no payments given. However.O. 2006. on March 28. No.5 On May 8. Pangilinan. 2006. 455 was submitted to the Senate and referred to the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations and Committee on Public Services. No. PHILCOMSAT. Inocencio. Sabio of the PCGG.million and granted P125 million loan to a relative of an executive committee member. Gordon. 455. and Philcomsat Holdings Corporations (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in the operations by their respective board of directors. 1 earlier quoted. Senate Res. Chairman Sabio declined the invitation because of prior commitment.

Tereso Javier and Narciso Nario to appear in the public hearing scheduled on August 23. Chairman Sabio refused to appear.8 approved by Senate President Manuel Villar.12 which partly reads: Doubtless. Philip J. Andal. Araneta. Locsin. Brodett. Alma Kristina Alloba and Johnny Tan. Javier and Nario to show cause why they should not be cited in contempt of the Senate.9 Again. But the rule of law requires that even the best intentions must be carried out within the parameters of the Constitution and the law.O. 1. 2006 and testify on what they know relative to the matters specified in Senate Res. 2006. The notice was issued "under the same authority of the Subpoena Ad Testificandum previously served upon (him) last 16 August 2006. the directors and officers of Philcomsat Holdings Corporation relied on the position paper they previously filed. sent another notice10 to Chairman Sabio requiring him to appear and testify on the same subject matter set on September 6. Carissa O. June 15. laudable purposes must be carried out by legal methods. Lokin. Roberto V. requiring Chairman Sabio and PCGG Commissioners Ricardo Abcede. Chief of Staff Ma. Similar subpoenae were issued against the directors and officers of Philcomsat Holdings Corporation. Delfin P. 2006. No.. Julio J. Thereafter." Once more. En Banc [G. Enrique L. This prompted Senator Gordon to issue an Order dated September 7. Manuel D. Angcao. 455. He sent a letter11 dated September 4. Conti. there are laudable intentions of the subject inquiry in aid of legislation. Abad. namely: Benito V. he reiterated his earlier position. In his letter to Senator Gordon dated August 18. No. No. Senator Gordon issued a Subpoena Ad Testificandum. Jalandoni.R. which raised issues on the propriety of legislative inquiry. 2004]) . Commission on Elections. invoking Section 4(b) of E. under the authority of Senator Gordon. San Jose.On August 10. Verily. Roberto L. 2006. Luis K.. Nicasio Conti. Jr. Chairman Sabio did not comply with the notice. 163193. 2006 requiring Chairman Sabio and Commissioners Abcede. et al. 2006 to Senator Gordon reiterating his reason for declining to appear in the public hearing. 2006. (Brillantes. v. On September 11. Coscolluela. On the other hand. Jr. they submitted to the Senate their Compliance and Explanation.

repealed or revised in any way. October 12. Andal. Section 4(b) of E. E. b.. G.O. Samuel Divina v. With all due respect. Until then. under the guise of religious or political beliefs were allowed to roam unrestricted beyond boundaries within which they are required by law to exercise the duties of their office.R. Branch 61. Section 4(b) of which had not been amended. Chairman Sabio's letter to Sen. Under this system. 2006 pointed out that the anomalous transactions referred to in the P. PHILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation.. Civil . No. Veneracion. not of men excludes the exercise of broad discretionary powers by those acting under its authority. or even the interference of their own personal beliefs. Manuel Nieto. and a recognition by the State of the need to provide protection to the PCGG in order to ensure the unhampered performance of its duties under its charter. Civil Case No. et al. 06-095. RTC. political parties. CA-G. (As held in People v.) xxxxxx Relevantly. Section 4(b) of E.. 119987-88.' 4 [Act of Athens (1955)] resist encroachments by governments. 89102.O. No. Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation v. Resolution No. it stands to be respected as part of the legal system in this jurisdiction. To say the least. 1 should not be ignored as it explicitly provides: No member or staff of the Commission shall be required to testify or produce evidence in any judicial legislative or administrative proceeding concerning matters within its official cognizance. 1995: Obedience to the rule of law forms the bedrock of our system of justice. judges are guided by the Rule of Law. No. and ought to 'protect and enforce it without fear or favor. Nos.On this score. it would require both Houses of Congress and Presidential fiat to amend or repeal the provision in controversy.O. Gordon dated August 19. et al.R. If judges. Manuel D. Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation v. then law becomes meaningless. Makati City. 1 is a law. Jr. No. et al. 1 constitutes a limitation on the power of legislative inquiry.. the Sandiganbayan and the Supreme Court (Pending cases include: a. d. c.S. Manuel Nieto. Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation v. 455 are subject of pending cases before the regular courts. A government of laws.

of the PCGG will be put to naught if its recovery efforts will be unduly impeded by a legislative investigation of cases that are already pending before the Sandiganbayan and trial courts. at around 10:45 a. To allow the respondent Committee to conduct its own investigation of an issue already before the Sandigabayan would not only pose the possibility of conflicting judgments between a legislative committee and a judicial tribunal. The laudable objectives of the PCGG's functions. Senate Sergeant-At-Arms. The Order bears the approval of Senate President Villar and the majority of the Committees' members. recognized in several cases decided by the Supreme Court. No. (203 SCRA 767.). 04-1049) for which reason they may not be able to testify thereon under the principle of sub judice. Chairman Sabio filed with this Court a petition for habeas corpus . Hence. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. xxxxxx IT IS IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS that the Commission decided not to attend the Senate inquiry to testify and produce evidence thereat. 2006.m. Unconvinced with the above Compliance and Explanation. 82 EDSA. but if the Committee's judgment were to be reached before that of the Sandiganbayan. In Bengzon v. 784 [1991]) the Honorable Supreme Court held: "…[T]he issues sought to be investigated by the respondent Committee is one over which jurisdiction had been acquired by the Sandiganbayan.Case No. On September 12. the possibility of its influence being made to bear on the ultimate judgment of the Sandiganbayan can not be discounted. to place Chairman Sabio and his Commissioners under arrest for contempt of the Senate. Major General Balajadia arrested Chairman Sabio in his office at IRC Building.. Mandaluyong City and brought him to the Senate premises where he was detained. the issue has been pre-empted by that court. the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and the Committee on Public Services issued an Order13 directing Major General Jose Balajadia (Ret. In short.

Commissioners Abcede. Nario. 174318. No.R. namely: Philip G. fourth. and fourth. Luis K. the subpoenae violated petitioners' rights to . 174177. Senators Gordon and Arroyo. No. the inquiries conducted by respondent Senate Committees are not in aid of legislation. 174340 (for habeas corpus) and G. 174318 (for certiorari and prohibition) Chairman Sabio. 174177. respondent Senate Committees disregarded Section 4(b) of E. Abad. second. 174340. No. Arroyo and Members. and Javier. Manuel Andal and Julio Jalandoni. Lokin.R. No. their Chairmen.R. No. third. and fifth. Senator Juan Ponce Enrile. Nario. likewise filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition against the same respondents.. and also against Senate President Manuel Villar. respondent Senate Committees have no jurisdiction over the subject matter stated in Senate Res. petitioners Philcomsat Holdings Corporation and its directors and officers alleged: first. Meanwhile.R.R. and Javier. Alma Kristina Alobba and Johnny Tan filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition against the Senate Committees on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Public Services. The case was docketed as G. In G. and Members. third. Conti.O. Brodett. Delfin P. Commissioners Abcede. and the entire Senate. their Chairmen. 1 without any justifiable reason. The case was docketed as G. Chairman Sabio. the Sergeant-at-Arms. the inquiries were conducted in the absence of duly published Senate Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation. In G. No. 455 constitutes undue encroachment by respondents into justiciable controversies over which several courts and tribunals have already acquired jurisdiction. No. the same inquiry is not in accordance with the Senate's Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation. the subpoenae against the individual petitioners are void for having been issued without authority.against the Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee on Public Services. Angcao. The case was docketed as G. San Jose. Roberto L. second. No. Philcomsat Holdings Corporation and its officers and directors.R. Jr. 455. Conti. Roberto V. the conduct of legislative inquiry pursuant to Senate Res. respondent Senate Committees are not vested with the power of contempt. No. and the PCGG's nominees Andal and Jalandoni alleged: first. Senators Richard Gordon and Joker P. and the PCGG's nominees to Philcomsat Holdings Corporation.

privacy and against self-incrimination.O.1 limiting such power of legislative inquiry by exempting all PCGG members or staff from testifying in any judicial. It reads: The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. fifth. and (b) right against self-incrimination. During the oral arguments held on September 21. The parties also agreed that the service of the arrest warrants issued against all petitioners and the proceedings before the respondent Senate Committees are suspended during the pendency of the instant cases. legislative or administrative proceeding. respondents have not violated any civil right of the individual petitioners.14 Crucial to the resolution of the present petitions is the fundamental issue of whether Section 4(b) of E. Section 21 of the 1987 Constitution granting respondent Senate Committees the power of legislative inquiry. In the meantime. Section 4(b) has been repealed by the Constitution. On the other arm of the scale is Section 4(b) of E. thus: . the inquiry does not constitute undue encroachment into justiciable controversies. Thus. such as their (a) right to privacy. second. No. fourth. the above-named respondents countered: first. all the other issues raised by the parties have become inconsequential. and sixth.O. Senate's Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation have been duly published. the issues raised in the petitions involve political questions over which this Court has no jurisdiction. Perched on one arm of the scale of justice is Article VI. With the resolution of this issue. respondent Senate Committees are vested with contempt power. third. In their Consolidated Comment. 2006. per agreement of the parties. petitioner Chairman Sabio was allowed to go home. No. his petition for habeas corpus has become moot. 1 is repealed by the 1987 Constitution. On this lone issue hinges the merit of the contention of Chairman Sabio and his Commissioners that their refusal to appear before respondent Senate Committees is justified. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. the parties were directed to submit simultaneously their respective memoranda within a non- extendible period of fifteen (15) days from date.

Remarkably. in their separate capacity.No member or staff of the Commission shall be required to testify or produce evidence in any judicial. The 1864 case of Briggs v. The right to pass laws.In American legislatures the investigation of public matters before committees." thus: . and to punish for disobedience has been frequently enforced…. necessarily implies the right to obtain information upon any matter which may become the subject of a law.16 In those earlier days. a brief consideration of the Congress' power of inquiry is imperative. in respect to which it may be necessary.The right of inquiry.15 cited in Arnault v. and the right of either house to compel witnesses to appear and testify before its committee. that either house may institute any investigation having reference to its own organization. as a parliamentary usage. or privileges or any matter affecting the public interest upon which it may be important that it should have exact information. this Court adhered to a similar theory. To determine whether there exists a clear and unequivocal repugnancy between the two quoted provisions that warrants a declaration that Section 4(b) has been repealed by the 1987 Constitution. rights. I think. MacKellar17 explains the breath and basis of the power. American courts considered the power of inquiry as inherent in the power to legislate. Nazareno. or may be deemed advisable to apply for legislative aid. in Arnault. preliminary to legislation. thus: Where no constitutional limitation or restriction exists. Daugherty. its proceedings. it is competent for either of the two bodies composing the legislature to do. or with the view of advising the house appointing the committee is. the conduct or qualification of its members. It is essential to the full and intelligent exercise of the legislative function…. well established as it is in England. it recognized that the power of inquiry is "an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function. whatever may be essential to enable them to legislate…. extends to other matters. The Congress' power of inquiry has been recognized in foreign jurisdictions long before it reached our shores through McGrain v. legislative or administrative proceeding concerning matters within its official cognizance.It is well- established principle of this parliamentary law. and in respect to which it would be competent for it to legislate. Citing McGrain.

encompasses ." Dispelling any doubt as to the Philippine Congress' power of inquiry.20 It can be said that the Congress' power of inquiry has gained more solid existence and expansive construal. the Court reinforced the doctrine in Arnault that "the operation of government. not just of Congress.Although there is no provision in the "Constitution expressly investing either House of Congress with power to make investigations and exact testimony to the end that it may exercise its legislative functions advisedly and effectively. and where the legislation body does not itself possess the requisite information – which is not infrequently true – recourse must be had to others who possess it.21 where it categorically ruled that "the power of inquiry is broad enough to cover officials of the executive branch. became explicit under the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions. In other words. Section 21." Verily." This is significant because it constitutes a direct conferral of investigatory power upon the committees and it means that the mechanisms which the Houses can take in order to effectively perform its investigative function are also available to the committees. but also of "any of its committee. being broad. being a legitimate subject for legislation. the power of inquiry – with process to enforce it – is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function." Considering these jurisprudential instructions.19 Notably. Section 12 of the 1973 Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution is any provision granting such exemption. is a proper subject for investigation" and that "the power of inquiry is co- extensive with the power to legislate. as influenced by American jurisprudence. we find Section 4(b) directly repugnant with Article VI. A legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of information respecting the conditions which the legislation is intended to affect or change. What was therefore implicit under the 1935 Constitution. Section 4(b) exempts the PCGG members and staff from the Congress' power of inquiry. the 1987 Constitution recognizes the power of investigation.18 Then came the 1987 Constitution incorporating the present Article VI. The Court's high regard to such power is rendered more evident in Senate v. such power is so far incidental to the legislative function as to be implied. This cannot be countenanced. Section 12. provisions on such power made their maiden appearance in Article VIII. The Congress' power of inquiry. Ermita.

1. If Section 4 (a) were given its literal import as immunizing the PCGG or any member thereof from civil liability "for anything done or omitted in the discharge of the task contemplated by . in the absence of any constitutional basis. and lead modest lives.22 It even extends "to government agencies created by Congress and officers whose positions are within the power of Congress to regulate or even abolish. clearly obiter. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people. public officers are but the servants of the people. Certainly. In Presidential Commission on Good Government v. Furthermore. and efficiency. It is important to make clear that the Court is not here interpreting. In other words. the literal terms of Section 4 (a). act with patriotism and justice. No.O.24 Section 4(b). a civil case for damages filed against the PCGG and its Commissioners. Section 1 of the Constitution stating that: "Public office is a public trust."23 PCGG belongs to this class. being in the nature of an immunity. the same provision only institutionalizes irresponsibility and non-accountability. Section 4(b) is also inconsistent with Article XI. the powers so delegated to the officer are held in trust for the people and are to be exercised in behalf of the government or of all citizens who may need the intervention of the officers.everything that concerns the administration of existing laws as well as proposed or possibly needed statutes. He eloquently opined: The above underscored portions are. it is respectfully submitted. and not their rulers. serve them with utmost responsibility. a mere provision of law cannot pose a limitation to the broad power of Congress. It places the PCGG members and staff beyond the reach of courts. much less upholding as valid and constitutional.1. integrity. Feliciano characterized as "obiter" the portion of the majority opinion barring." The provision presupposes that since an incumbent of a public office is invested with certain powers and charged with certain duties pertinent to sovereignty. is inconsistent with the principle of public accountability. Such trust extends to all matters within the range of duties pertaining to the office.25 Justice Florentino P. Congress and other administrative bodies. (b) of Executive Order No. loyalty. Instead of encouraging public accountability. Peña. on the basis of Sections 4(a) and (b) of E.

Section 4(b) has been frowned upon by this Court even before the filing of the present petitions. Section 4 (a) would institutionalize the irresponsibility and non-accountability of members and staff of the PCGG. Section 28 Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law. subject to such limitations as may be provided by law." the constitutionality of Section 4 (a) would. x x x. These twin provisions of the Constitution seek to promote transparency in policy-making and in the operations of the government. citizens can participate in public discussions leading to the formulation of government .this Order. xxxxxx It would seem constitutionally offensive to suppose that a member or staff member of the PCGG could not be required to testify before the Sandiganbayan or that such members were exempted from complying with orders of this Court. For so viewed. the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest. in my submission. Section 7 The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. shall be afforded the citizen. as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development. and papers pertaining to official acts. be open to most serious doubt. and to documents. Access to official records. transactions. a notion that is clearly repugnant to both the 1973 and 1987 Constitution and a privileged status not claimed by any other official of the Republic under the 1987 Constitution. Section 4(b) also runs counter to the following constitutional provisions ensuring the people's access to information: Article II. Corollarily. Sandiganbayan26 reiterates the same view. Chavez v. Article III. as well as provide the people sufficient information to enable them to exercise effectively their constitutional rights. or decisions. Armed with the right information. Indeed.

The citizens are thereby denied access to information which they can use in formulating their own opinions on the matter before Congress – opinions which they can then . It is meant to enhance the widening role of the citizenry in governmental decision-making as well as in checking abuse in the government. is presumed to be a matter of public concern.31 this Court stressed: To the extent that investigations in aid of legislation are generally conducted in public. this must not be countenanced.28 The cases of Tañada v. Tuvera29 and Legaspi v. Yet. In Valmonte v. the right to information really goes hand-in-hand with the constitutional policies of full public disclosure and honesty in the public service. In other words. In Senate v. Civil Service Commission30 have recognized a citizen's interest and personality to enforce a public duty and to bring an action to compel public officials and employees to perform that duty. Ermita. The extent of their participation will largely depend on the information gathered and made known to them. however.policies and their effective implementation. being presumed to be in aid of legislation. Only when the participants in the discussion are aware of the issues and have access to information relating thereto can such bear fruit. The people are equally concerned with this proceeding and have the right to participate therein in order to protect their interests. thus: An essential element of these freedoms is to keep open a continuing dialogue or process of communication between the government and the people. Jr. any executive issuance tending to unduly limit disclosures of information in such investigations necessarily deprives the people of information which. Consequently. the conduct of inquiries in aid of legislation is not only intended to benefit Congress but also the citizenry. Again. It is in the interest of the State that the channels for free political discussion be maintained to the end that the government may perceive and be responsive to the people's will. this open dialogue can be effective only to the extent that the citizenry is informed and thus able to formulate its will intelligently.27 the Court explained that an informed citizenry is essential to the existence and proper functioning of any democracy. Section 4(b) limits or obstructs the power of Congress to secure from PCGG members and staff information and other data in aid of its power to legislate. Belmonte.

Torres. and other executive issuances not inconsistent with this Constitution shall remain operative until amended. Section 7 (right to public information). In Islamic Da'wah Council of the Philippines. upon the approval of the 1935 Constitution. Section 21 (Congress' power of inquiry).36 the Court likewise declared unconstitutional Administrative Order No." void for encroaching on the religious freedom of Muslims.35 the Court declared some provisions of the General Appropriations Acts of 1999. A statute may be declared unconstitutional because it is not within the legislative power to enact. Article II. proclamations. repealed. In The Province of Batangas v. letters of instructions and other executive issuances inconsistent or repugnant to the Constitution are repealed. Auditor General.34 the Court declared Executive Order No. 2000 and 2001 unconstitutional for violating the Constitutional precept on local autonomy. 46. decrees.communicate to their representatives and other government officials through the various legal means allowed by their freedom of expression. In Pelaez v. letters of instructions. Inc. Article XVIII. proclamations. Office of the Executive Secretary.32 As shown in the above discussion. 308. letters of instructions and other executive issuances inconsistent with the Constitution. v. or revoked. decrees. or it creates or establishes methods or forms that infringe constitutional principles. Section 3 of the Constitution provides: All existing laws. Jurisprudence is replete with decisions invalidating laws. Romulo. or its purpose or effect violates the Constitution or its basic principles. Significantly. Article XI.33 the Court considered repealed Section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code of 1917 authorizing the Executive to change the seat of the government of any subdivision of local governments. executive orders. entitled "Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference System. executive orders. And in Ople v. executive orders." for being . Section 68 was adjudged incompatible and inconsistent with the Constitutional grant of limited executive supervision over local governments. The clear import of this provision is that all existing laws. proclamations. entitled "Authorizing the Office on Muslim Affairs to Undertake Philippine Halal Certification. Section 28 (policy of full disclosure) and Article III. Section 1 (principle of public accountability). Section 4(b) is inconsistent with Article VI..

highlight that the Constitution is the highest law of the land. No act shall be valid. including the highest officials of the land. his argument that the said provision exempts him and his co-respondent Commissioners from testifying before respondent Senate Committees concerning Senate Res."37 Consequently.violative of the right to privacy protected by the Constitution. Chairman Sabio is not fully convinced that he and his Commissioners are shielded from testifying before respondent Senate Committees by Section 4(b) of E.O. With his admission. Now. I would definitely honor the Supreme Court and the rule of law. Significantly. must defer. 2006. It is "the basic and paramount law to which all other laws must conform and to which all persons. 4(b) is unconstitutional or that it does not apply to the Senate. Chairman Sabio admitted that should this Court rule that Section 4(b) is unconstitutional or that it does not apply to the Senate. this Court has no recourse but to declare Section 4(b) of E. CHIEF JUSTICE PANGANIBAN: You will answer the questions of the Senators if we say that? CHAIRMAN SABIO: Yes. In effect. and many others.O. my father was a judge. 1. . These Decisions. if it conflicts with the Constitution. died being a judge. he will answer the questions of the Senators. That is the law already as far as I am concerned. 1 repealed by the 1987 Constitution. will you answer the questions of the Senators? CHAIRMAN SABIO: Your Honor. No. I was here in the Supreme Court as Chief of Staff of Justice Feria. during the oral arguments on September 21. thus: CHIEF JUSTICE PANGANIBAN: Okay. if the Supreme Court rules that Sec. however noble its intentions. Your Honor. No.

. Otherwise. At any rate. it can be concluded that the Order is under the authority. Section 21 will be meaningless. but also to any of their respective committees. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. The argument is misleading. The indispensability and usefulness of the power of contempt in a legislative inquiry is underscored in a catena of cases. foreign and local. It must be stressed that the Order of Arrest for "contempt of Senate Committees and the Philippine Senate" was approved by Senate President Villar and signed by fifteen (15) Senators. Father Bernas. not only of the respondent Senate Committees. Article VI. The conferral of the legislative power of inquiry upon any committee of Congress must carry with it all powers necessary and proper for its effective discharge. Article VI. correctly pointed out its significance: It should also be noted that the Constitution explicitly recognizes the power of investigation not just of Congress but also of "any of its committees. Article VI. 455 utterly lacks merit. an argument repeated by Chairman Sabio is that respondent Senate Committees have no power to punish him and his Commissioners for contempt of the Senate.No.38 This is a reasonable conclusion. but of the entire Senate." This is significant because it constitutes a direct conferral of investigatory power upon the committees and it means that the means which the Houses can take in order to effectively perform its investigative function are also available to the Committees. Section 21 grants the power of inquiry not only to the Senate and the House of Representatives. From this. Section 21 provides: The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. Incidentally. Clearly. there is a direct conferral of power to the committees. in his Commentary on the 1987 Constitution.

making each branch supreme within the realm of its respective authority.42 the Court further explained that the contempt power of Congress is founded upon reason and policy and that the power of inquiry will not be complete if for every contumacious act. thus: …But the court in its reasoning goes beyond this. every act of contumacy against it. Said power must be considered implied or incidental to the exercise of legislative power. And how could the authority and power become complete if for every act of refusal.41 sustained the Congress' power of contempt on the basis of this observation. and though the grounds of the decision are not very clearly stated. How could a legislative body obtain the knowledge and information on which to base intended legislation if it cannot require and compel the disclosure of such knowledge and information if it is impotent to punish a defiance of its power and authority? When the framers of the Constitution adopted the principle of separation of powers.In the 1821 case of Anderson v. no other court will discharge the prisoner or make further inquiry into the cause of his commitment. independently of the other's authority or power. in Arnault v. Dunn." The Court. it must have intended each department's authority to be full and complete. the legislative body must resort to the judicial . That this is the general rule…as regards the relation of one court to another must be conceded. every act of defiance.S.39 the function of the Houses of Congress with respect to the contempt power was likened to that of a court. In Arnault v. we take them to be: that there is in some cases a power in each House of Congress to punish for contempt. In McGrain. so some means of compulsion is essential to obtain what is needed. and also that information which is volunteered is not always accurate or complete. and that it being the well established doctrine that when it appears that a prisoner is held under the order of a court of general jurisdiction for a contempt of its authority. thus: The principle that Congress or any of its bodies has the power to punish recalcitrant witnesses is founded upon reason and policy. Balagtas. Nazareno.40 the U. Congress has to resort to judicial interference. that this power is analogous to that exercised by courts of justice. Supreme Court held: "Experience has shown that mere requests for such information are often unavailing.

because it is impotent by itself to punish or deal therewith. in common with all the other branches of the Government. independently of the judicial branch." First is the right to privacy.46 Within these zones. v. the relevant limitations of the Bill of Rights. this Court holds that the respondent Senate Committees' inquiry does not violate their right to privacy and right against self-incrimination."48 ."47 but also from our adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which mandates that. therefore. No. The meticulous regard we accord to these zones arises not only from our conviction that the right to privacy is a "constitutional right" and "the right most valued by civilized men. with respect to G.R. "no one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy" and "everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. One important limitation on the Congress' power of inquiry is that "the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected.45 "the Congress.44 the Court characterized contempt power as a matter of self-preservation. sui generis x x x. asserts its authority and punishes contempts thereof.department for the appropriate remedy. thus: The exercise by the legislature of the contempt power is a matter of self- preservation as that branch of the government vested with the legislative power. The contempt power of the legislature is. more particularly in the context of this case. with the affronts committed against its authority or dignity." As held in Barenblatt v. the petition of Philcomsat Holdings Corporation and its directors and officers." This is just another way of saying that the power of inquiry must be "subject to the limitations placed by the Constitution on government action. Meanwhile. Zones of privacy are recognized and protected in our laws. any form of intrusion is impermissible unless excused by law and in accordance with customary legal process. United States. Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dumaguete. Inc. 174177.43 In Negros Oriental II Electric Cooperative. must exercise its powers subject to the limitations placed by the Constitution on governmental action.

" Obviously. in line with Whalen v. Petitioners were invited in the Senate's public hearing to deliberate on Senate Res.51 the Court. maintain a standard of . did the directors and officers of Philcomsat Holdings Corporation exhibit a reasonable expectation of privacy?. how much. particularly "on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippine Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC). to whom and when information about himself shall be disclosed. 455. the important inquiries are: first. Mutuc. whether that expectation has been violated by unreasonable government intrusion. enshrined in Article III of the Constitution. to curtail and minimize the opportunities for official corruption."49 Section 2 guarantees "the right of the people to be secure in their persons. and second. i." In evaluating a claim for violation of the right to privacy.Our Bill of Rights. Roe. Consequently. such matters are of public concern and over which the people have the right to information. if so. houses. did the government violate such expectation? The answers are in the negative. particularly Philcomsat Holdings Corporation. papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose. a court must determine whether a person has exhibited a reasonable expectation of privacy and. In Morfe v.. This goes to show that the right to privacy is not absolute where there is an overriding compelling state interest. No.e. the inquiry focus on petitioners' acts committed in the discharge of their duties as officers and directors of the said corporations. and Philcomsat Holdings Corporations (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in the operations by their respective board of directors. provides at least two guarantees that explicitly create zones of privacy. Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT).50 Applying this determination to these cases." Section 3 renders inviolable the "privacy of communication and correspondence" and further cautions that "any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.52 employed the rational basis relationship test when it held that there was no infringement of the individual's right to privacy as the requirement to disclosure information is for a valid purpose. Certainly. they have no reasonable expectation of privacy over matters involving their offices in a corporation where the government has interest. It highlights a person's "right to be let alone" or the "right to determine what.

PHC and POTC.54 the Court remarked that as public figures. the alleged anomalies in the PHILCOMSAT. Privilege Against Self-Incrimination A witness can invoke his right against self-incrimination only when a question tends to elicit an answer that will incriminate him is propounded to him. There being no reasonable expectation of privacy on the part of those directors and officers over the subject covered by Senate Res. it follows that their right to privacy has not been violated by respondent Senate Committees. what is important is that respondent Senate Committees have sufficient Rules to guide them when the right against self-incrimination is invoked. 19 reads: Sec. the Members of the former Batasang Pambansa enjoy a more limited right to privacy as compared to ordinary individuals. Under the present circumstances. ranging in millions of pesos. it must be emphasized that this right maybe invoked by the said directors and officers of Philcomsat Holdings Corporation only when the incriminating question is being asked. he may offer to answer any question in an executive session. 455. Sec."55 That this right may possibly be violated or abused is no ground for denying respondent Senate Committees their power of inquiry. and their actions are subject to closer scrutiny.53 In Valmonte v. and the conspiratorial participation of the PCGG and its officials are compelling reasons for the Senate to exact vital information from the directors and officers of Philcomsat Holdings Corporations. and promote morality in public administration. 19.honesty in public service. Belmonte. However. since they have no way of knowing in advance the nature or effect of the questions to be asked of them. the Court ruled that the right of the people to access information on matters of public concern prevails over the right to privacy of financial transactions. as well as from Chairman Sabio and his Commissioners to aid it in crafting the necessary legislation to prevent corruption and formulate remedial measures and policy determination regarding PCGG's efficacy. such issue may be presented before the courts. The consolation is that when this power is abused. At this juncture. No. Anent the right against self-incrimination. Taking this into consideration. No person can refuse to testify or be placed under oath or affirmation or .

No. The same directors and officers contend that the Senate is barred from inquiring into the same issues being litigated before the Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan. the Committee. Respondent Senate Committees' power of inquiry relative to . 174340 for habeas corpus is DISMISSED. In such a case. No. Section 4(b) of E. Let it be stressed at this point that so long as the constitutional rights of witnesses. for being moot. will be respected by respondent Senate Committees. it their duty to cooperate with them in their efforts to obtain the facts needed for intelligent legislative action. 1 is declared REPEALED by the 1987 Constitution. and Tereso Javier. Suffice it to state that the Senate Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation provide that the filing or pendency of any prosecution of criminal or administrative action should not stop or abate any inquiry to carry out a legislative purpose. Narciso Nario. and to testify fully with respect to matters within the realm of proper investigation. like Chairman Sabio and his Commissioners. and Manuel Andal and Julio Jalandoni. by a majority vote of the members present there being a quorum. the petition in G. His invocation of such right does not by itself excuse him from his duty to give testimony. as well as its directors and officers.O. must comply with the Subpoenae Ad Testificandum issued by respondent Senate Committees directing them to appear and testify in public hearings relative to Senate Resolution No. 174318 and 174177 are likewise DISMISSED. to respect the dignity of the Congress and its Committees. it shall resume its investigation and the question or questions previously refused to be answered shall be repeated to the witness.R Nos. shall determine whether the right has been properly invoked. The unremitting obligation of every citizen is to respond to subpoenae. PCGG Chairman Camilo Sabio and Commissioners Ricardo Abcede.R. WHEREFORE. If the Committee decides otherwise. 455.answer questions before an incriminatory question is asked. Nicasio Conti. the Committee may punish him for contempt for contumacious conduct. PCGG's nominees to Philcomsat Holdings Corporation. In fine. If the latter continues to refuse to answer the question. The petitions in G.

O. where it categorically ruled that “the power of inquiry is broad enough to cover officials of the executive branch. Ermita. Narciso Nario. 2006. 2006. the Court reinforced the doctrine in Arnault that “the operation of government. HELD: No. Nicasio Conti and Tereso Javier. Sabio and Commissioners Ricardo Abcede. 174177. wrote Chairman Camilo Sabio of the PCGG inviting him to be one of the resource persons in the public meeting jointly conducted by the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee on Public Services. the purpose is to ensure PCGG’s unhampered performance of its task. legislative or administrative proceeding concerning matters within its official cognizance. It can be said that the Congress’ power of inquiry has gained more solid existence and expansive construal. on May 8. No. PCGG Chairman Camilo L.” Pursuant to this. and Manuel Andal and Julio Jalandoni. being a legitimate subject for legislation. 1 “No member or staff of the Commission shall be required to testify or produce evidence in any judicial.R. 455 “directing an inquiry in aid of legislation on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippines Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC).” Verily. No. Gordon’s Subpoenae Ad Testificandum was repeatedly ignored by Sabio hence he threatened Sabio to be cited with contempt.Senate Resolution 455 is upheld. PCGG's nominees to Philcomsat Holdings Corporation. 1 is constitutional. SO ORDERED. Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT). Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago introduced Senate Res. At the same time. are ordered to comply with the Subpoenae Ad Testificandum issued by respondent Senate Committees directing them to appear and testify in public hearings relative to Senate Resolution No. Chairman Sabio declined the invitation because of prior commitment. On February 20. as well as its directors and officers. petitioners in G. The Court’s high regard to such power is rendered more evident in Senate v. No. Subject to reasonable . Senator Richard Gordon. ISSUE: Whether or not Section 4 of EO No. is a proper subject for investigation” and that “the power of inquiry is co-extensive with the power to legislate”. he invoked Section 4(b) of E. and PHILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in their operations by their respective Board of Directors. 455.” Apparently.

seeking a declaration that certain provisions of Republic Act No. 453 Phil 586 (2003) ATTY. as well as provide the people sufficient information to enable them to exercise effectively their constitutional rights. Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management.conditions prescribed by law. BONCODIN. HON. Access to official records. • Atty. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. The Court upholds the right of petitioner to file the present petition. and HON. . or decisions. Armed with the right information. 9189 (The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003)[1] suffer from constitutional infirmity. and to documents. in his official capacity as Executive Secretary. a member of the Philippine Bar. J. These twin provisions of the Constitution seek to promote transparency in policy-making and in the operations of the government. Macalintal v. vs. ROMULO B. petitioner. Macalintal. ALBERTO ROMULO. subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. Article III. Commission on Elections. transactions. EMILIA T. petitioner filed the instant petition as a taxpayer and as a lawyer. Claiming that he has actual and material legal interest in the subject matter of this case in seeing to it that public funds are properly and lawfully used and appropriated. DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. shall be afforded the citizen. citizens can participate in public discussions leading to the formulation of government policies and their effective implementation. MACALINTAL.: Before the Court is a petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by Romulo B. the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest. respondents. and papers pertaining to official acts. as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development. Section 7 The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized.

vs.A. or interest are. have the right to restrain officials from wasting public funds through the enforcement of an unconstitutional statute. and in keeping with the Courts duty. 9189.[2] The Court has held that they may assail the validity of a law appropriating public funds[3] because expenditure of public funds by an officer of the State for the purpose of executing an unconstitutional act constitutes a misapplication of such funds. under the 1987 Constitution.[5] where the Court held: Objections to taxpayers suit for lack of sufficient personality standing. Taxpayers. Considering the importance to the public of the cases at bar. The Court has adopted the policy of taking jurisdiction over cases whenever the petitioner has seriously and convincingly presented an issue of transcendental significance to the Filipino people. Angara. in the main procedural matters. in this case. the Court has brushed aside technicalities of procedure and has taken cognizance of these petitions. An Act Providing for A System of Overseas Absentee Voting by Qualified Citizens of the Philippines Abroad. No. board or before a government official exercising judicial. and for Other Purposes. dims in light of the importance of the constitutional issues raised by the petitioner. This has been explicitly pronounced in Kapatiran ng mga Naglilingkod sa Pamahalaan ng Pilipinas.R.[6] Indeed. however. quasi-judicial or ministerial functions as required by Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Tan.[4] The challenged provision of law involves a public right that affects a great number of citizens. to determine whether or not the other branches of government have kept themselves within the limits of the Constitution and the laws and that they have not abused the discretion given to them. Appropriating Funds Therefor. Inc. appropriates funds under Section 29 thereof which provides that a supplemental budget on the General Appropriations Act of the year of its enactment into law shall provide for the necessary amount to carry out its provisions. such as herein petitioner. In Taada vs. entitled. the Court may set aside procedural rules as the constitutional right of suffrage of a considerable number of Filipinos is involved.[7] the Court held: . The question of propriety of the instant petition which may appear to be visited by the vice of prematurity as there are no ongoing proceedings in any tribunal.

.[8] In yet another case. for all the awesome power of the Congress and Executive. Once a controversy as to the application or interpretation of constitutional provision is raised before this Court (as in the instant case).In seeking to nullify an act of the Philippine Senate on the ground that it contravenes the Constitution. In arriving at this conclusion. despite the inhibitions pressing upon the Court when confronted with constitutional issues. 9189 allowing the registration of voters who are immigrants or permanent residents in other countries by their mere act of executing an affidavit expressing their intention to return to . The question thus posed is judicial rather than political.[11] The petitioner raises three principal questions: A. . betray the peoples will as expressed in the Constitution . it becomes a legal issue which the Court is bound by constitutional mandate to decide. In another case of paramount impact to the Filipino people. . Does Section 5(d) of Rep. where the acts of these departments. the petition no doubt raises a justiciable controversy. strong reasons of public policy demand that the Court resolves the instant petition[10] and determine whether Congress has acted within the limits of the Constitution or if it had gravely abused the discretion entrusted to it. Thus. its only criterion will be the Constitution and God as its conscience gives it in the light to probe its meaning and discover its purpose. . Personal motives and political considerations are irrelevancies that cannot influence its decisions. The duty (to adjudicate) remains to assure that the supremacy of the Constitution is upheld. the Court will not hesitate to make the hammer fall heavily. Blandishment is as ineffectual as intimidation. it has been expressed that it is illogical to await the adverse consequences of the law in order to consider the controversy actual and ripe for judicial resolution. it will not hesitate to declare a law or act invalid when it is convinced that this must be done. it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute. or of any official.[9] The need to consider the constitutional issues raised before the Court is further buttressed by the fact that it is now more than fifteen years since the ratification of the 1987 Constitution requiring Congress to provide a system for absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad. the Court said that: . Act No. Where an action of the legislative branch is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution.

Act No. Disqualifications.the Philippines.. unless he/she executes. Such affidavit shall also state that he/she has not applied for citizenship in another country.. Does Section 5(d) of Rep.. Failure to return shall be cause for the removal of the name of the immigrant or permanent resident from the National Registry of Absentee Voters and his/her permanent disqualification to vote in absentia. A. Article V of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines? Section 5(d) provides: Sec.. upon registration. 5. 9189. and approve the Implementing Rules and Regulations that the Commission on Elections shall promulgate without violating the independence of the COMELEC under Section 1. through the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee created in Section 25 of Rep. 9189 violate Section 1. violate the residency requirement in Section 1 of Article V of the Constitution? B.. amend. May Congress. Article IX-A of the Constitution? The Court will resolve the questions in seriatim... Does Section 18. an affidavit prepared for the purpose by the Commission declaring that he/she shall resume actual physical permanent residence in the Philippines not later than three (3) years from approval of his/her registration under this Act. Act No. d) An immigrant or a permanent resident who is recognized as such in the host country.5 of the same law empowering the COMELEC to proclaim the winning candidates for national offices and party list representatives including the President and the Vice-President violate the constitutional mandate under Section 4. The following shall be disqualified from voting under this Act: . revise. Petitioner posits that Section 5(d) is unconstitutional because it violates . Article VII of the Constitution that the winning candidates for President and the Vice-President shall be proclaimed as winners by Congress? C. exercise the power to review..

does not possess the qualifications provided for by Section 1.[13] that the legislature should not be allowed to circumvent the requirement of the Constitution on the right of suffrage by providing a condition thereon which in effect amends or alters the aforesaid residence requirement to qualify a Filipino abroad to vote. on the date of the election.[15] In compliance with the Resolution of the Court. He further argues that a person can have only one domicile but he can have two residences. by the doctrine of separation of powers. Petitioner cites the ruling of the Court in Caasi vs. the legislature intended to enact a valid. In that case. all laws are presumed to have adhered to constitutional limitations. one permanent (the domicile) and the other temporary. Article V of the Constitution is a verbatim reproduction of those provided for in the 1935 and the 1973 Constitutions. Court of Appeals[12] to support his claim. a department of government owes a becoming respect for the acts of the other two departments. In addition. He stresses: All laws are presumed to be constitutional.Section 1.[17] and that the definition and meaning given to the term residence likewise applies to absentee voters. he cites Co vs. sensible. Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives[16] wherein the Court held that the term residence has been understood to be synonymous with domicile under both Constitutions. Invoking . Petitioner further argues that Section 1. Article V of the 1987 Constitution which requires that the voter must be a resident in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place where he proposes to vote for at least six months immediately preceding an election. and just law. Article V of the Constitution does not allow provisional registration or a promise by a voter to perform a condition to be qualified to vote in a political exercise. the Solicitor General points out that Section 1. Thus. Article V of the Constitution. the Solicitor General filed his comment for all public respondents. the Court held that a green card holder immigrant to the United States is deemed to have abandoned his domicile and residence in the Philippines.[14] He claims that the right of suffrage should not be granted to anyone who. He contraposes that the constitutional challenge to Section 5(d) must fail because of the absence of clear and unmistakable showing that said provision of law is repugnant to the Constitution. Respondent COMELEC refrained from commenting on this issue.

9189. 3. exercise their right to vote. . Court of Appeals[21] in so far as it relates to immigrants and permanent residents in foreign countries who have executed and submitted their affidavits conformably with Section 5(d) of R. to wit: SEC.A. It is the prime duty of the State to provide a system of honest and orderly overseas absentee voting that upholds the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot. pursuant to Section 2. to manifest that they had in fact never abandoned their Philippine domicile. SEC. i. Article V of the Constitution. the State ensures equal opportunity to all qualified citizens of the Philippines abroad in the exercise of this fundamental right.e. Towards this end. Article V of the Constitution upon approval of their registration.A. He maintains that through the execution of the requisite affidavits. COMELEC[18] which reiterates the Courts ruling in Faypon vs. the Congress of the Philippines with the concurrence of the President of the Republic had in fact given these immigrants and permanent residents the opportunity. No.. No. animus manendi and animus revertendi. Quirino. that Filipino immigrants and permanent residents abroad possess the unquestionable right to exercise the right of suffrage under Section 1. . that indubitably. No. (Emphasis supplied) f) Overseas Absentee Voter refers to a citizen of the Philippines who is . conformably with R. 2. Definition of Terms.[20] Taking issue with the petitioners contention that green card holders are considered to have abandoned their Philippine domicile.[19] the Solicitor General maintains that Filipinos who are immigrants or permanent residents abroad may have in fact never abandoned their Philippine domicile. .[22] The seed of the present controversy is the interpretation that is given to the phrase. For purposes of this Act: a) Absentee Voting refers to the process by which qualified citizens of the Philippines abroad. 9189. the Solicitor General suggests that the Court may have to discard its ruling in Caasi vs. Declaration of Policy. qualified citizens of the Philippines abroad as it appears in R. 9189. they would have formally and categorically expressed the requisite intentions.Romualdez-Marcos vs.A.

9189. . . The Congress shall provide a system for securing the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot as well as a system for absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad. who is abroad on the day of elections. Petitioner questions the rightness of the mere act of execution of an affidavit to qualify the Filipinos abroad who are immigrants or permanent residents. . No literacy. Article V of the Constitution specifically provides that suffrage may be exercised by (1) all citizens of the Philippines. Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law. (4) who are residents in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place where they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election. (Emphasis supplied) in relation to Sections 1 and 2. to vote. and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election. . All citizens of the Philippines abroad. Article V of the Constitution in ascribing constitutional infirmity to Section 5(d) of R. one of those disqualified from voting is an immigrant or permanent resident who is recognized as such in the host country unless he/she executes an affidavit declaring that he/she shall resume actual physical permanent residence in the Philippines not later than three years from approval of his/her registration under said Act. who are at least eighteen years of age. property.qualified to register and vote under this Act. senators and party-list representatives. He focuses solely on Section 1. who are not otherwise disqualified by law. (3) at least eighteen years of age. . (Emphasis supplied) Section 1. (Emphasis supplied) SEC. SEC. 2.A. .A. at least eighteen (18) years of age on the day of elections. (2) not otherwise disqualified by law. . may vote for president. No. 9189. vice-president. or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage. Coverage. 4. No. . not otherwise disqualified by law. . . Under Section 5(d) of R. 1. totally ignoring the provisions of Section 2 empowering Congress to provide a system for absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad. Article V of the Constitution which read: SEC.

for even if a law is aimed at the attainment of some public good.[24] Thus. however. cursory reading of Section 5(d) of R. a provision in the law enfranchising those who do not possess the residency requirement of the Constitution by the mere act of executing an affidavit expressing their intent to return to the Philippines within a given period. the statute allows it to be done. .A.A. Filipino immigrants and permanent residents overseas are perceived as having left and abandoned the Philippines to live permanently in their host countries and therefore. . No. An act of the legislature. it behooves the Court to take a holistic view of the pertinent provisions of both the Constitution and R. . COMELEC.A. However. It is a basic rule in constitutional construction that the Constitution should be construed as a . .[23] Laws that do not conform to the Constitution shall be stricken down for being unconstitutional. The responsibility of upholding the Constitution rests not on the courts alone but on the legislature as well. risks a declaration of unconstitutionality. the Court said: . The question of the validity of every statute is first determined by the legislative department of the government itself. No. all laws are presumed to be constitutional. The Constitution is the fundamental and paramount law of the nation to which all other laws must conform and in accordance with which all private rights must be determined and all public authority administered.[25] As the essence of R. Article V of the Constitution. To strike down a law there must be a clear showing that what the fundamental law condemns or prohibits. Generally. To declare a law unconstitutional. In Peralta vs. presumption of constitutionality of a law must be overcome convincingly: .A simple. No. 9189 is to enfranchise overseas qualified Filipinos. the repugnancy of that law to the Constitution must be clear and unequivocal. 9189 may indeed give the impression that it contravenes Section 1. the risk is more apparent than real. no infringement of constitutional rights is allowed. approved by the executive. 9189. is presumed to be within constitutional limitations.

When the legislature chooses to grant the right by statute. No. the Court may consider the intent of its framers through their debates in the constitutional convention.whole. To put matters in their right perspective. not by itself alone. it is necessary to dwell first on the significance of absentee voting.A. Should it be ambiguous. Article V of the Constitution that Congress shall provide a system for voting by qualified Filipinos abroad. De Leon. and not recognized at. Absentee voting is an outgrowth of modern social and economic conditions devised to accommodate those engaged in military or civil life whose duties make it impracticable for them to attend their polling places on the day of election. but in conjunction with all other provisions of that great document. it .[27] The intent of the Constitution may be drawn primarily from the language of the document itself. Hence. and to be a new and different manner of voting from that previously known. Congress is presumed to have duly exercised its function as defined in Article VI (The Legislative Department) of the Constitution. Constitutional provisions are mandatory in character unless. and the privilege of absentee voting may flow from constitutional provisions or be conferred by statutes. The concept of absentee voting is relatively new. It is viewed thus: The method of absentee voting has been said to be completely separable and distinct from the regular system of voting. existing in some jurisdictions.[28] R. absentee voting was unknown to. the common law. It must be stressed that Section 2 does not provide for the parameters of the exercise of legislative authority in enacting said law. Such statutes are regarded as conferring a privilege and not a right. 9189 was enacted in obeisance to the mandate of the first paragraph of Section 2.[26] the Court held that a constitutional provision should function to the full extent of its substance and its terms. in the absence of restrictions. The right of absentee and disabled voters to cast their ballots at an election is purely statutory. either by express statement or by necessary implication. or an absolute right. and an exception to the customary and usual manner of voting. In Chiongbian vs. which provide in varying terms for the casting and reception of ballots by soldiers and sailors or other qualified voters absent on election day from the district or precinct of their residence. a different intention is manifest.

both a resident and an absentee. in passing on statutes regulating absentee voting. and depends on facts and circumstances in the sense that they disclose intent. or the intention of returning there permanently. The essential distinction between residence and domicile in law is that residence involves the intent to leave when the purpose for which the resident has taken up his abode ends. or health. they should also be construed in the light of the circumstances under which they were enacted. One may seek a place for purposes such as pleasure. and reasons and spirit of their adoption. whenever absent for business or for pleasure.[31] the Court enunciated: Article 50 of the Civil Code decrees that [f]or the exercise of civil rights and the fulfillment of civil obligations. the intent of the entire plan. and with due regard to their texts prior to amendment and to predecessor statutes and the decisions thereunder. in its ordinary conception. The statutes should be construed in the light of any constitutional provisions affecting registration and elections. and so as to carry out the objects thereof. In Romualdez-Marcos.[29] (Emphasis supplied) Ordinarily. It is the physical presence of a person in a given area. an absentee is not a resident and vice versa. domicile includes the twin elements of the fact of residing or physical presence in a fixed place and animus manendi. implies the factual relationship of an individual to a certain place. under our election laws and the countless pronouncements of the Court pertaining to elections. a person cannot be at the same time. Based on the foregoing. It is thus. if his intent is to leave as soon as his purpose is established it is residence. this court took the concept of domicile to mean an individuals permanent home.must operate with equality among all the class to which it is granted. the court should look to the whole and every part of the election laws. one intends to return. if this can be done without doing violence to their provisions and mandates. a place to which. If a persons intent be to remain. Further. the domicile of natural persons is their place of habitual residence. Republic. Residence. In Ong vs. business. and try to give effect to every portion thereof. it becomes his domicile. community or country. but statutes of this nature may be limited in their application to particular types of elections. quite .[30] However. an absentee remains attached to his residence in the Philippines as residence is considered synonymous with domicile.

With respect to Section 1. one has the intention of returning. it is not clear whether the right of suffrage. which here has a residential restriction. the framers of the Constitution considered the circumstances that impelled them to require Congress to establish a system for overseas absentee voting. for various reasons. there ought to be about two million such Filipinos at this time. However. but domicile is residence coupled with the intention to remain for an unlimited time. thus: MR. OPLE. but he may have numerous places of residence. is not denied to citizens temporarily residing or working abroad. and although the major portions of these . Based on the statistics of several government agencies. Residence is not domicile. A man may have a residence in one place and a domicile in another. we laid this distinction quite clearly: There is a difference between domicile and residence. In Uytengsu vs. but it is not by any means necessarily so since no length of residence without intention of remaining will constitute domicile. domicile denotes a fixed permanent residence to which. a person can only have a single domicile. His place of residence is generally his place of domicile.000 contract workers and employees. According to government data. Commissioner Bernas had earlier pointed out that these provisions are really lifted from the two previous Constitutions of 1935 and 1973. with the exception of the last paragraph. For political purposes the concepts of residence and domicile are dictated by the peculiar criteria of political laws. They could not therefore have foreseen at that time the phenomenon now described as the Filipino labor force explosion overseas. what has clearly and unequivocally emerged is the fact that residence for election purposes is used synonymously with domicile. there are now about 600. As these concepts have evolved in our election law.[32] (Emphasis supplied) Aware of the domiciliary legal tie that links an overseas Filipino to his residence in this country. A man can have but one domicile for the same purpose at any time. he successfully abandons his domicile in favor of another domicile of choice. Residence is used to indicate a place of abode. Republic. when absent.perfectly normal for an individual to have different residences in various places. unless. whether permanent or temporary.

In a previous hearing of the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Agencies. and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months preceding the election. the Chairman of the Commission on Elections. to improve his lot and that. And those who on their own or under pressure of economic necessity here. Quirino. includes study in other places.expatriate communities of workers are to be found in the Middle East. the citizen who left his birthplace to improve his lot may decide to return to his native town. who are eighteen years of age or over. therefore. Many of them are on contract employment for one. Certainly. or for any other reason. Allow me to quote: A citizen may leave the place of his birth to look for greener pastures. When an election is to be held. rather than merely a nominal right under this proposed Constitution. but for professional or business reasons. to cast his ballot. Those who have adhered to their Filipino citizenship notwithstanding strong temptations are exposed to embrace a more convenient foreign citizenship. or three years. But more than just saying that. BERNAS. the Committee will consider that. a 1954 case which dealt precisely with the meaning of residence in the Election Law. particularly in the case of Faypon vs. ask the Committee whether at the proper time they might entertain an amendment that will make this exercise of the right to vote abroad for Filipino citizens an effective. FR. I. Ramon Felipe. of course. as the saying goes. reengaging in business. I would like to make a comment on the meaning of residence in the Constitution because I think it is a concept that has been discussed in various decisions of the Supreme Court. practice of his avocation. said that there was no insuperable obstacle to making effective the right of suffrage for Filipinos overseas. find that they have to detach themselves from their families to work in other countries with definite tenures of employment. he may not . they are scattered in 177 countries in the world. two. They have no intention of changing their residence on a permanent basis. but are technically disqualified from exercising the right of suffrage in their countries of destination by the residential requirement in Section 1 which says: Suffrage shall be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law.

absent himself from the place of his professional or business activities.

So, they are here registered as voters as he has the qualifications to be
one, and is not willing to give up or lose the opportunity to choose the
officials who are to run the government especially in national elections.
Despite such registration, the animus revertendi to his home, to his
domicile or residence of origin has not forsaken him.

This may be the explanation why the registration of a voter in a place other
than his residence of origin has not been deemed sufficient to consider
abandonment or loss of such residence of origin.

In other words, residence in this provision refers to two residence
qualifications: residence in the Philippines and residence in the place
where he will vote. As far as residence in the Philippines is concerned, the
word residence means domicile, but as far as residence in the place where
he will actually cast his ballot is concerned, the meaning seems to be
different. He could have a domicile somewhere else and yet he is a
resident of a place for six months and he is allowed to vote there. So that
there may be serious constitutional obstacles to absentee voting, unless
the vote of the person who is absent is a vote which will be considered as
cast in the place of his domicile.

MR. OPLE. Thank you for citing the jurisprudence.

It gives me scant comfort thinking of about two million Filipinos who should
enjoy the right of suffrage, at least a substantial segment of these overseas
Filipino communities. The Committee, of course, is aware that when this
Article of the Constitution explicitly and unequivocally extends the right of
effective suffrage to Filipinos abroad, this will call for a logistical exercise of
global proportions. In effect, this will require budgetary and administrative
commitments on the part of the Philippine government, mainly through the
COMELEC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and perhaps, a more
extensive elaboration of this mechanism that will be put in place to make
effective the right to vote. Therefore, seeking shelter in some wise
jurisprudence of the past may not be sufficient to meet the demands of the
right of suffrage for Filipinos abroad that I have mentioned. But I want to
thank the Committee for saying that an amendment to this effect may be
entertained at the proper time. . . . . . . . . .

[33] (Emphasis supplied)
Thus, the Constitutional Commission recognized the fact that while millions
of Filipinos reside abroad principally for economic reasons and hence they
contribute in no small measure to the economic uplift of this country, their
voices are marginal insofar as the choice of this countrys leaders is
concerned.

The Constitutional Commission realized that under the laws then existing
and considering the novelty of the system of absentee voting in this
jurisdiction, vesting overseas Filipinos with the right to vote would spawn
constitutional problems especially because the Constitution itself provides
for the residency requirement of voters:

MR. REGALADO. Before I act on that, may I inquire from Commissioner
Monsod if the term absentee voting also includes transient voting; meaning,
those who are, let us say, studying in Manila need not go back to their
places of registration, for instance, in Mindanao, to cast their votes.

MR. MONSOD. I think our provision is for absentee voting by Filipinos
abroad.

MR. REGALADO. How about those people who cannot go back to the
places where they are registered?

MR. MONSOD. Under the present Election Code, there are provisions for
allowing students and military people who are temporarily in another place
to register and vote. I believe that those situations can be covered by the
Omnibus Election Code. The reason we want absentee voting to be in the
Constitution as a mandate to the legislature is that there could be
inconsistency on the residence rule if it is just a question of legislation by
Congress. So, by allowing it and saying that this is possible, then legislation
can take care of the rest.[34] (Emphasis supplied)

Thus, Section 2, Article V of the Constitution came into being to remove
any doubt as to the inapplicability of the residency requirement in Section
1. It is precisely to avoid any problems that could impede the
implementation of its pursuit to enfranchise the largest number of qualified
Filipinos who are not in the Philippines that the Constitutional Commission
explicitly mandated Congress to provide a system for overseas absentee
voting.

The discussion of the Constitutional Commission on the effect of the
residency requirement prescribed by Section 1, Article V of the Constitution
on the proposed system of absentee voting for qualified Filipinos abroad is
enlightening:

MR. SUAREZ. May I just be recognized for a clarification. There are certain
qualifications for the exercise of the right of suffrage like having resided in
the Philippines for at least one year and in the place where they propose to
vote for at least six months preceding the elections. What is the effect of
these mandatory requirements on the matter of the exercise of the right of
suffrage by the absentee voters like Filipinos abroad?

THE PRESIDENT. Would Commissioner Monsod care to answer?

MR. MONSOD. I believe the answer was already given by Commissioner
Bernas, that the domicile requirements as well as the qualifications and
disqualifications would be the same.

THE PRESIDENT. Are we leaving it to the legislature to devise the
system?

FR. BERNAS. I think there is a very legitimate problem raised there.

THE PRESIDENT. Yes.

MR. BENGZON. I believe Commissioner Suarez is clarified.

FR. BERNAS. But I think it should be further clarified with regard to the
residence requirement or the place where they vote in practice; the
understanding is that it is flexible. For instance, one might be a resident of
Naga or domiciled therein, but he satisfies the requirement of residence in
Manila, so he is able to vote in Manila.

MR. TINGSON. Madam President, may I then suggest to the Committee to
change the word Filipinos to QUALIFIED FILIPINO VOTERS. Instead of
VOTING BY FILIPINOS ABROAD, it should be QUALIFIED FILIPINO
VOTERS. If the Committee wants QUALIFIED VOTERS LIVING ABROAD,
would that not satisfy the requirement?

THE PRESIDENT. What does Commissioner Monsod say?

MR. MONSOD. Madam President, I think I would accept the phrase
QUALIFIED FILIPINOS ABROAD because QUALIFIED would assume that
he has the qualifications and none of the disqualifications to vote.

MR. TINGSON. That is right. So does the Committee accept?

FR. BERNAS. QUALIFIED FILIPINOS ABROAD?

THE PRESIDENT. Does the Committee accept the amendment?

MR. REGALADO. Madam President.

THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Regalado is recognized.

MR. REGALADO. When Commissioner Bengzon asked me to read my
proposed amendment, I specifically stated that the National Assembly shall
prescribe a system which will enable qualified citizens, temporarily absent
from the Philippines, to vote. According to Commissioner Monsod, the use
of the phrase absentee voting already took that into account as its
meaning. That is referring to qualified Filipino citizens temporarily abroad.

MR. MONSOD. Yes, we accepted that. I would like to say that with respect
to registration we will leave it up to the legislative assembly, for example, to
require where the registration is. If it is, say, members of the diplomatic
corps who may be continuously abroad for a long time, perhaps, there can
be a system of registration in the embassies. However, we do not like to
preempt the legislative assembly.

THE PRESIDENT. Just to clarify, Commissioner Monsods amendment is
only to provide a system.

MR. MONSOD. Yes.

THE PRESIDENT. The Commissioner is not stating here that he wants
new qualifications for these absentee voters.

MR. MONSOD. That is right. They must have the qualifications and none of
the disqualifications.

THE PRESIDENT. It is just to devise a system by which they can vote.

MR. MONSOD. That is right, Madam President.[35] (Emphasis supplied)

Clearly therefrom, the intent of the Constitutional Commission is to entrust
to Congress the responsibility of devising a system of absentee voting. The
qualifications of voters as stated in Section 1 shall remain except for the
residency requirement. This is in fact the reason why the Constitutional
Commission opted for the term qualified Filipinos abroad with respect to the
system of absentee voting that Congress should draw up. As stressed by
Commissioner Monsod, by the use of the adjective qualified with respect to
Filipinos abroad, the assumption is that they have the qualifications and
none of the disqualifications to vote. In fine-tuning the provision on
absentee voting, the Constitutional Commission discussed how the system
should work:

MR. SUAREZ. For clarification purposes, we just want to state for the
record that in the case of qualified Filipino citizens residing abroad and
exercising their right of suffrage, they can cast their votes for the
candidates in the place where they were registered to vote in the
Philippines. So as to avoid any complications, for example, if they are
registered in Angeles City, they could not vote for a mayor in Naga City.

In other words, if that qualified voter is registered in Angeles City, then he
can vote only for the local and national candidates in Angeles City. I just
want to make that clear for the record.

MR. REGALADO. Madam President.

THE PRESIDENT. What does Commissioner Regalado say?

MR. REGALADO. I just want to make a note on the statement of
Commissioner Suarez that this envisions Filipinos residing abroad. The
understanding in the amendment is that the Filipino is temporarily abroad.
He may not be actually residing abroad; he may just be there on a business
trip. It just so happens that the day before the elections he has to fly to the
United States, so he could not cast his vote. He is temporarily abroad, but
not residing there. He stays in a hotel for two days and comes back. This is
not limited only to Filipinos temporarily residing abroad. But as long as he is

temporarily abroad on the date of the elections, then he can fall within the
prescription of Congress in that situation.

MR. SUAREZ. I thank the Commissioner for his further clarification.
Precisely, we need this clarification on record.

MR. MONSOD. Madam President, to clarify what we mean by temporarily
abroad, it need not be on very short trips. One can be abroad on a treaty
traders visa. Therefore, when we talk about registration, it is possible that
his residence is in Angeles and he would be able to vote for the candidates
in Angeles, but Congress or the Assembly may provide the procedure for
registration, like listing ones name, in a registry list in the embassy abroad.
That is still possible under the system.

FR. BERNAS. Madam President, just one clarification if Commissioner
Monsod agrees with this.

Suppose we have a situation of a child of a diplomatic officer who reaches
the voting age while living abroad and he has never registered here. Where
will he register? Will he be a registered voter of a certain locality in the
Philippines?

MR. MONSOD. Yes, it is possible that the system will enable that child to
comply with the registration requirements in an embassy in the United
States and his name is then entered in the official registration book in
Angeles City, for instance.

FR. BERNAS. In other words, he is not a registered voter of Los Angeles,
but a registered voter of a locality here.

MR. MONSOD. That is right. He does not have to come home to the
Philippines to comply with the registration procedure here.

FR. BERNAS. So, he does not have to come home.

MR. BENGZON. Madam President, the Floor Leader wishes to inquire if
there are more clarifications needed from the body.

Also, the Floor Leader is happy to announce that there are no more
registered Commissioners to propose amendments. So I move that we

close the period of amendments.

[36] (Emphasis supplied)
It is clear from these discussions of the members of the Constitutional
Commission that they intended to enfranchise as much as possible all
Filipino citizens abroad who have not abandoned their domicile of origin.
The Commission even intended to extend to young Filipinos who reach
voting age abroad whose parents domicile of origin is in the Philippines,
and consider them qualified as voters for the first time.

It is in pursuance of that intention that the Commission provided for Section
2 immediately after the residency requirement of Section 1. By the doctrine
of necessary implication in statutory construction, which may be applied in
construing constitutional provisions,[37] the strategic location of Section 2
indicates that the Constitutional Commission provided for an exception to
the actual residency requirement of Section 1 with respect to qualified
Filipinos abroad. The same Commission has in effect declared that
qualified Filipinos who are not in the Philippines may be allowed to vote
even though they do not satisfy the residency requirement in Section 1,
Article V of the Constitution.

That Section 2 of Article V of the Constitution is an exception to the
residency requirement found in Section 1 of the same Article was in fact the
subject of debate when Senate Bill No. 2104, which became R.A. No.
9189, was deliberated upon on the Senate floor, thus:

Senator Arroyo. Mr. President, this bill should be looked into in relation to
the constitutional provisions. I think the sponsor and I would agree that the
Constitution is supreme in any statute that we may enact.

Let me read Section 1, Article V, of the Constitution entitled, Suffrage. It
says:

Section 1. Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not
otherwise disqualified by law, who are at least eighteen years of age, and
who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year and in the
place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months immediately
preceding the election.

Now, Mr. President, the Constitution says, who shall have resided in the

This is consistent. This is in compliance with the Constitution. Mr. is qualified. but the Constitution is the Constitution. President. I will lose votes here from permanent residents so-called green-card holders. Mr. The key to this whole exercise. President. but has a clear intent to return to the Philippines. If we read the Constitution and the suffrage principle literally as demanding physical presence. In other words. with the constitutional mandate that we that Congress must provide a franchise to overseas Filipinos. And this has been asked in various fora. anything that we may do or say in granting our compatriots abroad must be anchored on the proposition that they are qualified. Mr. President. for example. when the Constitution says. They have changed residence so they are barred under the Constitution. it reads: The Congress shall provide a system for securing the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot as well as a system for absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad. Look at what the Constitution says In the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election. Mr. . Absent the qualification. We cannot compromise on this. One. Mr. And residents (sic) is a qualification. President. President. Senator Arroyo. will make him qualified as a resident of the Philippines under this law. This is why I asked whether this committee amendment which in fact does not alter the original text of the bill will have any effect on this? Senator Angara. President. They are permanent immigrants. they cannot vote. The Senate cannot be a party to something that would affect or impair the Constitution. the interpretation here of residence is synonymous with domicile. As the gentleman and I know. Mr. Good question. in Section 2 of Article V. And the fact that a Filipino may have been physically absent from the Philippines and may be physically a resident of the United States. domicile is the intent to return to ones home.Philippines. then there is no way we can provide for offshore voting to our offshore kababayan.

It is a good point to raise.Mr. That is how restrictive our Constitution is. Coverage. The second reason. President. which is quite ridiculous because that is exactly the whole point of this exercise to enfranchise them and empower them to vote. All citizens of the Philippines abroad. Mr. No. But it is a point already well-debated even in the constitutional commission of 1986. who are not otherwise disqualified by law. that one must remember. Senator Angara. then it is legally and constitutionally impossible to give a franchise to vote to overseas Filipinos who do not physically live in the country. make the transfer six months before the election. President. is that under our jurisprudence and I think this is so well-entrenched that one need not argue about it residency has been interpreted as synonymous with domicile. That is the first principle. Section 4 of R. And the reason Section 2 of Article V was placed immediately after the six- month/one-year residency requirement is to demonstrate unmistakably that Section 2 which authorizes absentee voting is an exception to the six- month/one-year residency requirement. I am not talking even about the Election Code. We are separated only by a creek. if we follow the interpretation of the gentleman. But the third more practical reason. President. That is why I am raising this point because I think we have a fundamental difference here. But one who votes in Makati cannot vote in Pateros unless he resides in Pateros for six months. But he must do so. 4. yes. all of us here have run (sic) for office. As I have said. is. he may do so. President. 9189 provides for the coverage of the absentee voting process. Mr. I live in Makati. he is not qualified to vote. President. at least eighteen (18) years of age on the day . Mr. [38] (Emphasis supplied) Accordingly. I am talking about the Constitution. to wit: SEC. My neighbor is Pateros where Senator Cayetano lives.A. if a voter in Makati would want to vote in Pateros. Mr. otherwise.

The following shall be disqualified from voting under this Act: a) Those who have lost their Filipino citizenship in accordance with Philippine laws. such disability not having been removed by plenary pardon or amnesty: Provided. Failure to return shall be cause for the removal of the name of the immigrant or permanent resident from the National Registry of Absentee Voters and his/her permanent disqualification to vote in absentia. That the Commission may take cognizance of final judgments issued by foreign courts or tribunals only on the basis of reciprocity and subject to the formalities and processes prescribed by the Rules of Court on execution of judgments. unless he/she executes. senators and party-list representatives. however. further. vice-president. upon registration. as verified . Provided. That any person disqualified to vote under this subsection shall automatically acquire the right to vote upon expiration of five (5) years after service of sentence. an affidavit prepared for the purpose by the Commission declaring that he/she shall resume actual physical permanent residence in the Philippines not later than three (3) years from approval of his/her registration under this Act. d) An immigrant or a permanent resident who is recognized as such in the host country. may vote for president. which does not require physical residency in the Philippines. Such affidavit shall also state that he/she has not applied for citizenship in another country. e) Any citizen of the Philippines abroad previously declared insane or incompetent by competent authority in the Philippines or abroad. Disqualifications. c) Those who have committed and are convicted in a final judgment by a court or tribunal of an offense punishable by imprisonment of not less than one (1) year. b) Those who have expressly renounced their Philippine citizenship and who have pledged allegiance to a foreign country. including those who have committed and been found guilty of Disloyalty as defined under Article 137 of the Revised Penal Code. to wit: SEC.of elections. 5. and Section 5 of the assailed law which enumerates those who are disqualified.

they are presumed to have relinquished their intent to return to this country. it serves as an explicit expression that he had not in fact abandoned his domicile of origin. that Congress must establish a system for absentee voting.A. same Section allows an immigrant and permanent resident abroad to register as voter for as long as he/she executes an affidavit to show that he/she has not abandoned his domicile in pursuance of the constitutional intent expressed in Sections 1 and 2 of Article V that all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law must be entitled to exercise the right of suffrage and. the execution of the affidavit itself is not the enabling or enfranchising act. Further perusal of the transcripts of the Senate proceedings discloses another reason why the Senate required the execution of said affidavit. it is not correct to say that the execution of the affidavit under Section 5(d) violates the Constitution that proscribes provisional registration or a promise by a voter to perform a condition to be qualified to vote in a political exercise. No. physical residence in the Philippines is required. but more significantly. the presumption of abandonment of Philippine domicile shall remain. To repeat. It wanted the affiant to exercise the option to return or to express his intention to return to his domicile of origin and not to preempt that choice by legislation. for otherwise. Thus: . without the affidavit. unless such competent authority subsequently certifies that such person is no longer insane or incompetent. Contrary to the claim of petitioner. consulates or foreign service establishments concerned. the affidavit is required of immigrants and permanent residents abroad because by their status in their host countries. Thus. thus. As finally approved into law. there is no sense for the framers of the Constitution to mandate Congress to establish a system for absentee voting. However.by the Philippine embassies. if actual. Section 5(d) of R. 9189 specifically disqualifies an immigrant or permanent resident who is recognized as such in the host country because immigration or permanent residence in another country implies renunciation of ones residence in his country of origin. The affidavit required in Section 5(d) is not only proof of the intention of the immigrant or permanent resident to go back and resume residency in the Philippines.

President. he will be authorized to vote. And to acquire the vote. Yes. going back to the business at hand. maybe we may ask for a vote [Laughter]. or not. Mr. I think we are risking our permanent status in the United States if we file an affidavit that we want to go back. Mr. Mr. [39] (Emphasis supplied) . The rationale for this. But if he is already a green-card holder. But what we are trying to do here. For a merienda. Senator Villar. President. the three administration senators are leaving. may we know the rationale of this provision? Is the purpose of this Sworn Declaration to include only those who have the intention of returning to be qualified to exercise the right of suffrage? What if the Filipino immigrant has no purpose of returning? Is he automatically disbarred from exercising this right to suffrage? Senator Angara. President. Mr. is really provide the choice to the voter. . . we thought that we would require the immigrants and the green-card holders . then he must indicate an intention to return.Senator Villar. may decide No. It states that: For Filipino immigrants and those who have acquired permanent resident status abroad. a requirement for the registration is the submission of a Sworn Declaration of Intent to Return duly sworn before any Philippine embassy or consulate official authorized to administer oath Mr. is that we want to be expansive and all-inclusive in this law. We do not want to make that decision for him. President. The rationale for the requirement that an immigrant or a green-card holder should file an affidavit that he will go back to the Philippines is that.S. But we want to give him the opportunity to make that decision. This is what makes for the definition of domicile. That as long as he is a Filipino. if he is already an immigrant or a green-card holder. Senator Angara. President. Mr. that means he may not return to the country any more and that contradicts the definition of domicile under the law. no matter whether he is a green-card holder in the U. President. after consulting his lawyer or after deliberation within the family. that means he has acquired permanent residency in the United States. The voter. we are going back.

while providing for safeguards to a clean election. a sworn written application to vote in a form prescribed by the Commission. Procedure for Application to Vote in Absentia. 8189. consider the absentee voting rights of Filipinos who are immigrants and permanent residents in their host countries. 11. the Filipinos abroad must also declare that they have not applied for citizenship in another country.A. The authorized officer of such embassy. otherwise. in every national election. Section 11 of R. not otherwise disqualified by law.1. is allowed to register and vote in the Philippine embassy. No. 11. In the advent of The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 or R. including those previously registered under Republic Act No. consulate or other foreign service establishment authorized by the Commission.The jurisprudential declaration in Caasi vs. their failure to return shall be cause for the removal of their names from the National Registry of Absentee Voters and his/her permanent disqualification to vote in absentia. Thus. 9189.A. who has not relinquished Philippine citizenship and who has not actually abandoned his/her intentions to return to his/her domicile of origin. the Philippines. file with the officer of the embassy. consulate or other foreign service establishments of the place which has jurisdiction over the country where he/she has indicated his/her address for purposes of the elections. they must return to the Philippines. Court of Appeals that green card holders are disqualified to run for any elective office finds no application to the present case because the Caasi case did not. for obvious reasons. 9189 provides: SEC. shall. . It must be emphasized that Section 5(d) does not only require an affidavit or a promise to resume actual physical permanent residence in the Philippines not later than three years from approval of his/her registration. Thus. Thus. Every qualified citizen of the Philippines abroad whose application for registration has been approved. Congress crafted a process of registration by which a Filipino voter permanently residing abroad who is at least eighteen years old. they may still be considered as a qualified citizen of the Philippines abroad upon fulfillment of the requirements of registration under the new law for the purpose of exercising their right of suffrage.

2. Petitioners speculative apprehension that the implementation of Section 5(d) would affect the credibility of the elections is insignificant as what is important is to ensure that all those who possess the qualifications to vote on the date of the election are given the opportunity and permitted to freely do so. or by mail to. The qualified Filipino abroad who executed the affidavit is deemed to have retained his domicile in the Philippines. the Philippines. Congress enacted the law prescribing a system of overseas absentee voting in compliance with the constitutional mandate. . 9189. The COMELEC and the Department of Foreign Affairs have enough resources and talents to ensure the integrity and credibility of any election conducted pursuant to R. Such mandate expressly requires that Congress provide a system of absentee voting that necessarily presupposes that the qualified citizen of the Philippines abroad is not physically present in the country. the embassy. 11. The application form shall be accomplished in triplicate and submitted together with the photocopy of his/her overseas absentee voter certificate of registration. he must be given the opportunity to express that he has not actually abandoned his domicile in the Philippines by executing the affidavit required by Sections 5(d) and 8(c) of the law. No.A. under the law. 9189. which has jurisdiction over the country where he/she has indicated his/her address for purposes of the elections. Therefore. The provisions of Sections 5(d) and 11 are components of the system of overseas absentee voting established by R. His having become an immigrant or permanent resident of his host country does not necessarily imply an abandonment of his intention to return to his domicile of origin.consulate or other foreign service establishment shall transmit to the Commission the said application to vote within five (5) days from receipt thereof. Contrary to petitioners claim that Section 5(d) circumvents the Constitution. Every application to vote in absentia may be done personally at.3.A. No. 11. consulate or foreign service establishment. He is presumed not to have lost his domicile by his physical absence from this country. Consular and diplomatic services rendered in connection with the overseas absentee voting processes shall be made available at no cost to the overseas absentee voter.

is not farfetched. the Court does not find Section 5(d) of R. his name may be ordered removed from the National Registry of Overseas Absentee Voters. Is Section 18. Petitioner argues that should a sizable number of immigrants renege on their promise to return.5 of R. No. 9189 as constitutionally defective. but their failure to return shall be cause for the removal of the names of the immigrants or permanent residents from the National Registry of Absentee Voters and their permanent disqualification to vote in absentia. However. Section 5(d) itself provides for a deterrence which is that the Filipino who fails to return as promised stands to lose his right of suffrage. Indeed. it has addressed the expected problem.As to the eventuality that the Filipino abroad would renege on his undertaking to return to the Philippines. the penalty of perpetual disenfranchisement provided for by Section 5(d) would suffice to serve as deterrence to non-compliance with his/her undertaking under the affidavit. Other serious legal questions that may be raised would be: what happens to the votes cast by the qualified voters abroad who were not able to return within three years as promised? What is the effect on the votes cast by the non-returnees in favor of the winning candidates? The votes cast by qualified Filipinos abroad who failed to return within three years shall not be invalidated because they were qualified to vote on the date of the elections. should a registered overseas absentee voter fail to vote for two consecutive national elections. it is not for this Court to determine the wisdom of a legislative exercise. 9189 in relation to Section 4 of the same Act in contravention of Section 4. No. Article VII of the Constitution? . he shall opt to remain in his host country beyond the third year from the execution of the affidavit.A. B. Under Section 9. As expressed in Taada vs.A. In fine. the result of the elections would be affected and could even be a ground to contest the proclamation of the winning candidates and cause further confusion and doubt on the integrity of the results of the election. Tuvera. Congress itself was conscious of said probability and in fact. considering the underlying intent of the Constitution.[40] the Court is not called upon to rule on the wisdom of the law or to repeal it or modify it if we find it impractical. the probability that after an immigrant has exercised the right to vote.

No. the Commission is empowered to order the proclamation of winning candidates despite the fact that the scheduled election has not taken place in a particular country or countries. 9189 provides that the overseas absentee voter may vote for president. The person having the highest number of votes shall be proclaimed . is unconstitutional because it violates the following provisions of paragraph 4. vice-president. duly certified by the board of canvassers of each province or city. in which events. and the Congress. Section 4 of Article VII of the Constitution: SEC. 18. factors and circumstances peculiar to such country or countries.. Notwithstanding the foregoing.. 18. .A.5 of R. Upon receipt of the certificates of canvass. No. not later than thirty days after the day of the election. On-Site Counting and Canvassing..Section 4 of R. directed to the President of the Senate.5 of the same Act provides: SEC.. if the holding of elections therein has been rendered impossible by events... open all the certificates in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives in joint public session. the President of the Senate shall. 4 . canvass the votes. . Section 18.. upon determination of the authenticity and due execution thereof in the manner provided by law.. senators and party-list representatives. factors and circumstances are beyond the control or influence of the Commission. 9189 empowering the COMELEC to order the proclamation of winning candidates insofar as it affects the canvass of votes and proclamation of winning candidates for president and vice-president.A. 5 The canvass of votes shall not cause the delay of the proclamation of a winning candidate if the outcome of the election will not be affected by the results thereof. The returns of every election for President and Vice-President. (Emphasis supplied) Petitioner claims that the provision of Section 18. shall be transmitted to the Congress. .

. . The Congress shall promulgate its rules for the canvassing of the certificates. . one of them shall forthwith be chosen by the vote of a majority of all the Members of both Houses of the Congress. Article VII of the Constitution only insofar as said Section totally disregarded the authority given to Congress by the Constitution to proclaim the winning candidates for the positions of president and vice-president.[41] Respondent COMELEC has no comment on the matter. .4 of the law. which gives to Congress the duty to canvass the votes and proclaim the winning candidates for president and vice-president.5 of R. Section 18. . Section 4. In addition. proclamation of winning candidates. . Indeed. the phrase. or any other means of transmission equally safe and reliable the Certificates of Canvass and the Statements of Votes to the Commission. 9189 is far too sweeping that it necessarily includes the proclamation of the winning candidates for the presidency and the vice- presidency. the Court notes that Section 18.5 of R. to wit: 18. 9189 appears to be repugnant to Section 4. No. in Section 18. Section 4.A. the chairman of the Special Board of Canvassers shall transmit via facsimile. Article VII of the Constitution which provides that the returns of every election for President and Vice-President shall be certified by the board of canvassers to Congress.4.. Immediately upon the completion of the canvass. The Solicitor General asserts that this provision must be harmonized with paragraph 4. No. but in case two or more shall have an equal and highest number of votes. electronic mail. .A.elected. . [Emphasis supplied] clashes with paragraph 4.. Article VII of the Constitution and should be taken to mean that COMELEC can only proclaim the winning Senators and party- list representatives but not the President and Vice-President. voting separately.

A. It is only on this question that respondent COMELEC submitted its Comment.[42] where this Court held that the power of the COMELEC to formulate . to encroach on the power of Congress to canvass the votes for president and vice- president and the power to proclaim the winners for the said positions. No. 9189 are unconstitutional. The Constitutional Commissions. as a constitutional body. Jr. It asserts that its power to formulate rules and regulations has been upheld in Gallardo vs. The provisions of the Constitution as the fundamental law of the land should be read as part of The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 and hence. Article IX-A of the Constitution? Petitioner avers that Sections 19 and 25 of R. to wit: Section 1. the canvassing of the votes and the proclamation of the winning candidates for president and vice-president for the entire nation must remain in the hands of Congress. Article IX-A of the Constitution providing for the independence of the constitutional commissions such as the COMELEC.A. No. that only the COMELEC itself can promulgate rules and regulations which may be changed or revised only by the majority of its members. respondent COMELEC anchors its claim of unconstitutionality of said Sections upon Section 1. as aptly stated by petitioner. Tabamo. R. are the Civil Service Commission. Like the petitioner. which shall be independent. revise. 9189 violate Article IX- A (Common Provisions) of the Constitution. it is the Court that has the power to review the same via the petition of any interested party. 9189 in violation of Section 1. It agrees with the petitioner that Sections 19 and 25 of R. including the legislators. and that should the rules promulgated by the COMELEC violate any law. and the Commission on Audit. amend and approve the Implementing Rules and Regulations promulgated by the COMELEC. the Commission on Elections.Congress could not have allowed the COMELEC to usurp a power that constitutionally belongs to it or. No.A. 9189 intrudes into the independence of the COMELEC which. Are Sections 19 and 25 of R. (Emphasis supplied) He submits that the creation of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee with the power to review. C. No.A. is not under the control of either the executive or legislative departments of government.

rules and regulations is implicit in its power to implement regulations under
Section 2(1) of Article IX-C[43] of the Constitution. COMELEC joins the
petitioner in asserting that as an independent constitutional body, it may not
be subject to interference by any government instrumentality and that only
this Court may review COMELEC rules and only in cases of grave abuse of
discretion.

The COMELEC adds, however, that another provision, vis--vis its rule-
making power, to wit:

SEC. 17. Voting by Mail.

17.1. For the May, 2004 elections, the Commission shall authorize voting
by mail in not more than three (3) countries, subject to the approval of the
Congressional Oversight Committee. Voting by mail may be allowed in
countries that satisfy the following conditions:

a) Where the mailing system is fairly well-developed and secure to prevent
occasion for fraud;

b) Where there exists a technically established identification system that
would preclude multiple or proxy voting; and

c) Where the system of reception and custody of mailed ballots in the
embassies, consulates and other foreign service establishments concerned
are adequate and well-secured.

Thereafter, voting by mail in any country shall be allowed only upon review
and approval of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee.

. . . . . . . . . (Emphasis supplied)

is likewise unconstitutional as it violates Section 1, Article IX-A mandating
the independence of constitutional commissions.

The Solicitor General takes exception to his prefatory statement that the
constitutional challenge must fail and agrees with the petitioner that
Sections 19 and 25 are invalid and unconstitutional on the ground that
there is nothing in Article VI of the Constitution on Legislative Department
that would as much as imply that Congress has concurrent power to

enforce and administer election laws with the COMELEC; and by the
principles of exclusio unius est exclusio alterius and expressum facit
cessare tacitum, the constitutionally enumerated powers of Congress
circumscribe its authority to the exclusion of all others.

The parties are unanimous in claiming that Sections 19, 25 and portions of
Section 17.1 are unconstitutional. Thus, there is no actual issue forged on
this question raised by petitioner.

However, the Court finds it expedient to expound on the role of Congress
through the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee (JCOC) vis--vis the
independence of the COMELEC, as a constitutional body.

R.A. No. 9189 created the JCOC, as follows:

SEC. 25. Joint Congressional Oversight Committee. A Joint Congressional
Oversight Committee is hereby created, composed of the Chairman of the
Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Codes and
Laws, and seven (7) other Senators designated by the Senate President,
and the Chairman of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral
Reforms, and seven (7) other Members of the House of Representatives
designated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives: Provided,
That, of the seven (7) members to be designated by each House of
Congress, four (4) should come from the majority and the remaining three
(3) from the minority.

The Joint Congressional Oversight Committee shall have the power to
monitor and evaluate the implementation of this Act. It shall review, revise,
amend and approve the Implementing Rules and Regulations promulgated
by the Commission. (Emphasis supplied)

SEC. 19. Authority of the Commission to Promulgate Rules. The
Commission shall issue the necessary rules and regulations to effectively
implement the provisions of this Act within sixty (60) days from the
effectivity of this Act. The Implementing Rules and Regulations shall be
submitted to the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee created by
virtue of this Act for prior approval.

. . . . . . . . . (Emphasis supplied)

Composed of Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, the
Joint Congressional Oversight Committee (JCOC) is a purely legislative
body. There is no question that the authority of Congress to monitor and
evaluate the implementation of R.A. No. 9189 is geared towards possible
amendments or revision of the law itself and thus, may be performed in aid
of its legislation.

However, aside from its monitoring and evaluation functions, R.A. No. 9189
gives to the JCOC the following functions: (a) to review, revise, amend and
approve the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) promulgated by the
COMELEC [Sections 25 and 19]; and (b) subject to the approval of the
JCOC [Section 17.1], the voting by mail in not more than three countries for
the May 2004 elections and in any country determined by COMELEC.

The ambit of legislative power under Article VI of the Constitution is
circumscribed by other constitutional provisions. One such provision is
Section 1 of Article IX-A of the 1987 Constitution ordaining that
constitutional commissions such as the COMELEC shall be independent.

Interpreting Section 1, Article X of the 1935 Constitution providing that
there shall be an independent COMELEC, the Court has held that
[w]hatever may be the nature of the functions of the Commission on
Elections, the fact is that the framers of the Constitution wanted it to be
independent from the other departments of the Government.[44] In an
earlier case, the Court elucidated:

The Commission on Elections is a constitutional body. It is intended to play
a distinct and important part in our scheme of government. In the discharge
of its functions, it should not be hampered with restrictions that would be
fully warranted in the case of a less responsible organization. The
Commission may err, so may this court also. It should be allowed
considerable latitude in devising means and methods that will insure the
accomplishment of the great objective for which it was created free, orderly
and honest elections. We may not agree fully with its choice of means, but
unless these are clearly illegal or constitute gross abuse of discretion, this
court should not interfere. Politics is a practical matter, and political
questions must be dealt with realistically not from the standpoint of pure
theory. The Commission on Elections, because of its fact-finding facilities,
its contacts with political strategists, and its knowledge derived from actual
experience in dealing with political controversies, is in a peculiarly

advantageous position to decide complex political questions.

[45] (Emphasis supplied)
The Court has no general powers of supervision over COMELEC which is
an independent body except those specifically granted by the Constitution,
that is, to review its decisions, orders and rulings.[46] In the same vein, it is
not correct to hold that because of its recognized extensive legislative
power to enact election laws, Congress may intrude into the independence
of the COMELEC by exercising supervisory powers over its rule-making
authority.

By virtue of Section 19 of R.A. No. 9189, Congress has empowered the
COMELEC to issue the necessary rules and regulations to effectively
implement the provisions of this Act within sixty days from the effectivity of
this Act. This provision of law follows the usual procedure in drafting rules
and regulations to implement a law the legislature grants an administrative
agency the authority to craft the rules and regulations implementing the law
it has enacted, in recognition of the administrative expertise of that agency
in its particular field of operation.[47] Once a law is enacted and approved,
the legislative function is deemed accomplished and complete. The
legislative function may spring back to Congress relative to the same law
only if that body deems it proper to review, amend and revise the law, but
certainly not to approve, review, revise and amend the IRR of the
COMELEC.

By vesting itself with the powers to approve, review, amend, and revise the
IRR for The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003, Congress went
beyond the scope of its constitutional authority. Congress trampled upon
the constitutional mandate of independence of the COMELEC. Under such
a situation, the Court is left with no option but to withdraw from its usual
reticence in declaring a provision of law unconstitutional.

The second sentence of the first paragraph of Section 19 stating that [t]he
Implementing Rules and Regulations shall be submitted to the Joint
Congressional Oversight Committee created by virtue of this Act for prior
approval, and the second sentence of the second paragraph of Section 25
stating that [i]t shall review, revise, amend and approve the Implementing
Rules and Regulations promulgated by the Commission, whereby
Congress, in both provisions, arrogates unto itself a function not specifically
vested by the Constitution, should be stricken out of the subject statute for

constitutional infirmity. Both provisions brazenly violate the mandate on the
independence of the COMELEC.

Similarly, the phrase, subject to the approval of the Congressional
Oversight Committee in the first sentence of Section 17.1 which empowers
the Commission to authorize voting by mail in not more than three
countries for the May, 2004 elections; and the phrase, only upon review
and approval of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee found in the
second paragraph of the same section are unconstitutional as they require
review and approval of voting by mail in any country after the 2004
elections. Congress may not confer upon itself the authority to approve or
disapprove the countries wherein voting by mail shall be allowed, as
determined by the COMELEC pursuant to the conditions provided for in
Section 17.1 of R.A. No. 9189.[48] Otherwise, Congress would overstep
the bounds of its constitutional mandate and intrude into the independence
of the COMELEC.

During the deliberations, all the members of the Court agreed to adopt the
separate opinion of Justice Reynato S. Puno as part of the ponencia on the
unconstitutionality of Sections 17.1, 19 and 25 of R.A. No. 9189 insofar as
they relate to the creation of and the powers given to the Joint
Congressional Oversight Committee.

WHEREFORE, the petition is partly GRANTED. The following portions of
R.A. No. 9189 are declared VOID for being UNCONSTITUTIONAL:

a) The phrase in the first sentence of the first paragraph of Section 17.1, to
wit: subject to the approval of the Joint Congressional Oversight
Committee;

b) The portion of the last paragraph of Section 17.1, to wit: only upon
review and approval of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee;

c) The second sentence of the first paragraph of Section 19, to wit: The
Implementing Rules and Regulations shall be submitted to the Joint
Congressional Oversight Committee created by virtue of this Act for prior
approval; and

d) The second sentence in the second paragraph of Section 25, to wit: It
shall review, revise, amend and approve the Implementing Rules and

Regulations promulgated by the Commission of the same law;

for being repugnant to Section 1, Article IX-A of the Constitution mandating
the independence of constitutional commission, such as COMELEC.

The constitutionality of Section 18.5 of R.A. No. 9189 is UPHELD with
respect only to the authority given to the COMELEC to proclaim the
winning candidates for the Senators and party-list representatives but not
as to the power to canvass the votes and proclaim the winning candidates
for President and Vice-President which is lodged with Congress under
Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution.

The constitutionality of Section 5(d) is UPHELD.

Pursuant to Section 30 of R.A. No. 9189, the rest of the provisions of said
law continues to be in full force and effect.

SO ORDERED.

Romulo Macalintal, as a lawyer and a taxpayer, questions the validity of the
Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 (R.A. 9189). He questions the
validity of the said act on the following grounds, among others:

That the provision that a Filipino already considered an immigrant abroad
can be allowed to participate in absentee voting provided he executes an
affidavit stating his intent to return to the Philippines is void because it
dispenses of the requirement that a voter must be a resident of the
Philippines for at least one year and in the place where he intends to vote
for at least 6 months immediately preceding the election;
That the provision allowing the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to
proclaim winning candidates insofar as it affects the canvass of votes and
proclamation of winning candidates for president and vice-president, is
unconstitutional because it violates the Constitution for it is Congress which
is empowered to do so.
ISSUE: Whether or not Macalintal’s arguments are correct.

HELD: No.

There can be no absentee voting if the absentee voters are required to

physically reside in the Philippines within the period required for non-
absentee voters. Further, as understood in election laws, domicile and
resident are interchangeably used. Hence, one is a resident of his domicile
(insofar as election laws is concerned). The domicile is the place where
one has the intention to return to. Thus, an immigrant who executes an
affidavit stating his intent to return to the Philippines is considered a
resident of the Philippines for purposes of being qualified as a voter
(absentee voter to be exact). If the immigrant does not execute the affidavit
then he is not qualified as an absentee voter.
The said provision should be harmonized. It could not be the intention of
Congress to allow COMELEC to include the proclamation of the winners in
the vice-presidential and presidential race. To interpret it that way would
mean that Congress allowed COMELEC to usurp its power. The
canvassing and proclamation of the presidential and vice presidential
elections is still lodged in Congress and was in no way transferred to the
COMELEC by virtue of RA 9189.

• Manila Prince Hotel v. Government Service Insurance System, G.R.
No. 122156, February 3, 1997

MANILA PRINCE HOTEL, petitioner, vs. GOVERNMENT SERVICE
INSURANCE SYSTEM, MANILA HOTEL CORPORATION, COMMITTEE
ON PRIVATIZATION and OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATE
COUNSEL, respondents.
DECISION
BELLOSILLO, J.:

The Filipino First Policy enshrined in the 1987 Constitution, i.e., in the grant
of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and
patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos,[1] is
invoked by petitioner in its bid to acquire 51% of the shares of the Manila
Hotel Corporation (MHC) which owns the historic Manila Hotel. Opposing,
respondents maintain that the provision is not self-executing but requires
an implementing legislation for its enforcement. Corollarily, they ask
whether the 51% shares form part of the national economy and patrimony
covered by the protective mantle of the Constitution.

The controversy arose when respondent Government Service Insurance

and Renong Berhad. is to provide management expertise and/or an international marketing/reservation system. or the eventual strategic partner. decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51% of the issued and outstanding shares of respondent MHC. The Highest Bidder must comply with the conditions set forth below by October 23. and financial support to strengthen the profitability and performance of the Manila Hotel. 50 dated 8 December 1986. with ITT-Sheraton as its hotel operator. Pertinent provisions of the bidding rules prepared by respondent GSIS state - I. 1995).000 shares at P41. Execution of the necessary contracts with GSIS/MHC not later than October 23. which bid for the same number of shares at P44. The Highest Bidder must execute the Stock Purchase and Sale Agreement with GSIS x x x x K. 1995) or the Highest Bidder will lose the right to purchase the Block of Shares and GSIS will instead offer the Block of Shares to the other Qualified Bidders: a. 1995 (reset to November 3. a Filipino corporation. pursuant to the privatization program of the Philippine Government under Proclamation No.58 per share. EXECUTION OF THE NECESSARY CONTRACTS WITH GSIS/MHC - 1. a Malaysian firm.[2] In a close bidding held on 18 September 1995 only two (2) bidders participated: petitioner Manila Prince Hotel Corporation.System (GSIS). which offered to buy 51% of the MHC or 15. The winning bidder.300. International Marketing/Reservation System Contract or other type of contract specified by the Highest Bidder in its strategic plan for the Manila Hotel x x x x b.42 more than the bid of petitioner.00 per share. and . The Highest Bidder must negotiate and execute with the GSIS/MHC the Management Contract. 1995 (reset to November 3. DECLARATION OF THE WINNING BIDDER/STRATEGIC PARTNER - The Highest Bidder will be declared the Winning Bidder/Strategic Partner after the following conditions are met: a. or P2.

to which Sec. perhaps apprehensive that respondent GSIS has disregarded the tender of the matching bid and that the sale of 51% of the MHC may be hastened by respondent GSIS and consummated with Renong Berhad. Joaquin G.000.J. a government-owned and controlled corporation. as amici curiae. petitioner came to this Court on prohibition and mandamus. any transaction involving 51% of the shares of stock of the MHC is clearly covered by the term national economy. The case was then set for oral arguments with former Chief Justice Enrique M. On 17 October 1995.00 per share tendered by Renong Berhad. of the 1987 Constitution and submits that the Manila Hotel has been identified with the Filipino nation and has practically become a historical monument which reflects the vibrancy of Philippine heritage and culture. Renong Berhad x x x x[5] which respondent GSIS refused to accept.[4] In a subsequent letter dated 10 October 1995 petitioner sent a managers check issued by Philtrust Bank for Thirty-three Million Pesos (P33.. Messrs. the hotel business of respondent GSIS being a part of the tourism industry is unquestionably a part of the national economy.[3] Pending the declaration of Renong Berhard as the winning bidder/strategic partner and the execution of the necessary contracts. On 10 September 1996 the instant case was accepted by the Court En Banc after it was referred to it by the First Division. S. Fernando and Fr.[6] Petitioner also argues that since 51% of the shares of the MHC carries with it the ownership of the business of the hotel which is owned by respondent GSIS.b.000. Art. Thus.. Bernas. second par.00) as Bid Security to match the bid of the Malaysian Group. petitioner in a letter to respondent GSIS dated 28 September 1995 matched the bid price of P44. 10. It is a proud legacy of an earlier generation of Filipinos who believed in the nobility and sacredness of independence and its power and capacity to release the full potential of the Filipino people. petitioner invokes Sec. To all intents and purposes. second . 10. On 18 October 1995 the Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining respondents from perfecting and consummating the sale to the Malaysian firm. XII. Requisite approvals from the GSIS/MHC and COP (Committee on Privatization)/ OGCC (Office of the Government Corporate Counsel) are obtained. it has become a part of the national patrimony. In the main.

the constitutional provision invoked is still inapplicable since what is being sold is only 51% of the outstanding shares of the corporation. and exclusive marine zone as cited in the first and second paragraphs of Sec. if the disposition of the shares of the MHC is really contrary to the Constitution. while petitioner speaks of the guests who have slept in the hotel and the events that have transpired therein which make the hotel historic. these alone do not make the hotel fall under the patrimony of the nation. not the hotel building nor the land upon which the building stands.[7] It is also the thesis of petitioner that since Manila Hotel is part of the national patrimony and its business also unquestionably part of the national economy petitioner should be preferred after it has matched the bid offer of the Malaysian firm. Moreover. XII. not to respondent GSIS which possesses a personality of its own separate and distinct from the Philippines as a State. applies. there must be existing laws to lay down conditions under which business may be done. of the 1987 Constitution is merely a statement of principle and policy since it is not a self-executing provision and requires implementing legislation(s) x x x x Thus. fisheries. Art. Certainly. For the bidding rules mandate that if for any reason. Sec. for the said provision to operate. petroleum and other mineral oils. What is more. . 10. XII. GSIS may offer this to the other Qualified Bidders that have validly submitted bids provided that these Qualified Bidders are willing to match the highest bid in terms of price per share. 2. petitioner should have questioned it right from the beginning and not after it had lost in the bidding.[8] Respondents except. Third.. the Highest Bidder cannot be awarded the Block of Shares.[9] Second. Art. 1987 Constitution. the mandate of the Constitution is addressed to the State. waters. granting that this provision is self-executing.par. granting that the Manila Hotel forms part of the national patrimony.. flora and fauna and all marine wealth in its territorial sea. second par. Manila Hotel does not fall under the term national patrimony which only refers to lands of the public domain. 51% of the equity of the MHC cannot be considered part of the national patrimony. all forces of potential energy. minerals. 1987 Constitution. coal. Art. They maintain that: First. forests or timber. According to respondents. XII. wildlife.

whimsical manner. it is deemed written in every statute and contract. subpar. It is supreme. the reliance by petitioner on par.. if a law or contract violates any norm of the constitution that law or contract whether promulgated by the legislative or by the executive branch or entered into by private persons for private purposes is null and void and without any force and effect. the petition for mandamus should fail as petitioner has no clear legal right to what it demands and respondents do not have an imperative duty to perform the act required of them by petitioner. is misplaced. the prayer for prohibition grounded on grave abuse of discretion should fail since respondent GSIS did not exercise its discretion in a capricious.[10] It prescribes the permanent framework of a system of government. GSIS may offer this to the other Qualified Bidders that have validly submitted bids provided that these Qualified Bidders are willing to match the highest bid in terms of price per share.Fourth. the Highest Bidder cannot be awarded the Block of Shares. V. Similarly. Finally. the Highest Bidder cannot be awarded the Block of Shares. The fundamental conception in other words is that it is a supreme law to which all other laws must conform and in accordance with which all private rights must be determined and all public authority administered. Thus. some constitutions are merely declarations of policies and . paramount and supreme law of the nation. imperious. of the bidding rules which provides that if for any reason. absolute and unalterable except by the authority from which it emanates.. 1. Thus the submission by petitioner of a matching bid is premature since Renong Berhad could still very well be awarded the block of shares and the condition giving rise to the exercise of the privilege to submit a matching bid had not yet taken place. J. and if ever it did abuse its discretion it was not so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law.[11] Under the doctrine of constitutional supremacy. A constitution is a system of fundamental laws for the governance and administration of a nation. We now resolve. since the Constitution is the fundamental. and establishes certain fixed principles on which government is founded. Admittedly. Respondents postulate that the privilege of submitting a matching bid has not yet arisen since it only takes place if for any reason. It has been defined as the fundamental and paramount law of the nation. assigns to the different departments their respective powers and duties.

[12] A provision which lays down a general principle. These provisions would be subordinated to the will of the lawmaking body. which could make them entirely meaningless by simply refusing to pass the needed implementing statute. But a provision which is complete in itself and becomes operative without the aid of supplementary or enabling legislation. as they quote from discussions on the floor of the 1986 Constitutional Commission - . unless it is expressly provided that a legislative act is necessary to enforce a constitutional mandate. Their provisions command the legislature to enact laws and carry out the purposes of the framers who merely establish an outline of government providing for the different departments of the governmental machinery and securing certain fundamental and inalienable rights of citizens. That is why the prevailing view is. XII. 10. the Constitution should be considered self- executing rather than non-self-executing x x x x Unless the contrary is clearly intended. Hence. Thus a constitutional provision is self-executing if the nature and extent of the right conferred and the liability imposed are fixed by the constitution itself. they shall be effective. modern constitutions have been generally drafted upon a different principle and have often become in effect extensive codes of laws intended to operate directly upon the people in a manner similar to that of statutory enactments.[13] As against constitutions of the past. II of the 1987 Constitution. Art.[15] Respondents argue that Sec. second par. or whether.principles. is self-executing. as it has always been.[14] This can be cataclysmic. so that they can be determined by an examination and construction of its terms. that - x x x x in case of doubt. the provisions of the Constitution should be considered self-executing. If the constitutional provisions are treated as requiring legislation instead of self-executing. the presumption now is that all provisions of the constitution are self-executing. or that which supplies sufficient rule by means of which the right it grants may be enjoyed or protected. as a contrary rule would give the legislature discretion to determine when. of the 1987 Constitution is clearly not self-executing. and there is no language indicating that the subject is referred to the legislature for action. is usually not self-executing. such as those found in Art. the legislature would have the power to ignore and practically nullify the mandate of the fundamental law.. and the function of constitutional conventions has evolved into one more like that of a legislative body.

MR.[16] Quite apparently. the legislature may still enact legislation to facilitate the exercise of powers directly granted by the constitution. but say definitely TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS as against whom? As against aliens or over aliens ? MR. Minor details may be left to the legislature without impairing the self-executing nature of constitutional provisions. We use the word QUALIFIED because the existing laws or prospective laws will always lay down conditions under which business may be done. For example. certainly. qualifications on the setting up of other financial structures. prescribe a practice to be used for its enforcement. Yes. second par. No. In self-executing constitutional provisions. 10. RODRIGO. RODRIGO.. et cetera (underscoring supplied by respondents). I think that is understood. further the operation of such a provision. of Art XII is couched in such a way as not to make it appear that it is non-self-executing but simply for purposes of style. What is the question of Commissioner Rodrigo? Is it to remove the word QUALIFIED? MR. the legislature is not precluded from enacting further laws to enforce the constitutional provision so long as the contemplated statute squares with the Constitution. It is just a matter of style. qualifications on capital. RODRIGO. or place reasonable safeguards around the exercise of the right. But. NOLLEDO. I am asking this question as the Chairman of the Committee on Style. Sec. provide a convenient remedy for the protection of the rights secured or the determination thereof. The mere fact that legislation may supplement and add to or prescribe a penalty for the violation of a self-executing constitutional provision does not render such a provision ineffective in the absence of such legislation. Madam President. If the wording of PREFERENCE is given to QUALIFIED FILIPINOS. MR. why do we not make it clear? To qualified Filipinos as against aliens? THE PRESIDENT. no. So. The omission from a . NOLLEDO. can it be understood as a preference to qualified Filipinos vis-a-vis Filipinos who are not qualified.MR. Madam President.

[30] the sanctity of family life.[21] the sanctity of family life. Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation[20] speaks of constitutional provisions on personal dignity. fully enforceable.[24] and the values of education.. but any legislation must be in harmony with the constitution.[19] Even the cases cited by respondents holding that certain constitutional provisions are merely statements of principles and policies. of Art.[25] Tolentino v. which are basically not self-executing and only placed in the Constitution as moral incentives to legislation.[28] Lastly. Respondents also argue that the non-self-executing nature of Sec. XII is implied from the tenor of the first and third paragraphs of the same section which undoubtedly are not self- executing.constitution of any express provision for a remedy for enforcing a right or liability is not necessarily an indication that it was not intended to be self- executing. v. as in the first paragraph. privileges and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony. second par. Kilosbayan.[31] the vital role of the youth in nation-building[32] and the promotion of total human liberation and development.[33] A reading of these provisions indeed clearly shows that they are not judicially enforceable constitutional rights but merely guidelines for legislation. 10. If the first and third paragraphs are not self-executing because Congress is still to enact measures to encourage the formation and operation of enterprises fully owned by Filipinos. as in the third paragraph. Secretary of Finance[26] refers to constitutional provisions on social justice and human rights[27] and on education. The very terms of the provisions manifest that they are only principles upon . Morato[29] cites provisions on the promotion of general welfare. and the State still needs legislation to regulate and exercise authority over foreign investments within its national jurisdiction.[18] The argument is flawed. A constitutional provision may be self-executing in one part and non-self-executing in another.[22] the vital role of the youth in nation-building.[23] the promotion of social justice. further the exercise of constitutional right and make it more available.[17] Subsequent legislation however does not necessarily mean that the subject constitutional provision is not. by itself. Inc. then a fortiori. the second paragraph can only be self-executing as it does not by its language require any legislation in order to give preference to qualified Filipinos in the grant of rights. by the same logic.are simply not in point. The rule is that a self-executing provision of the constitution does not necessarily exhaust legislative power on the subject. not as judicially enforceable rights . Basco v.

XII of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory. And when our Constitution declares that a right exists in certain specified circumstances an action may be maintained to enforce such right notwithstanding the absence of any legislation on the subject. mines and other natural resources but also the mental ability or faculty of our people. On the other hand.[35] When the Constitution speaks of national patrimony. it has since then become the venue of various significant events which have shaped Philippine history. When our Constitution mandates that [i]n the grant of rights. and from which all legislations must take their bearings. It was called the Cultural Center of the 1930s. Art.which legislations must be based. consequently. we should develop not only our lands. In its plain and ordinary meaning. and concessions covering national economy and patrimony.a living testimonial of Philippine heritage. Manila Hotel has become a landmark . if there is no statute especially enacted to enforce such constitutional right. it means just that . it refers not only to the natural resources of the Philippines. As regards our national patrimony. a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission[34] explains - The patrimony of the Nation that should be conserved and developed refers not only to our rich natural resources but also to the cultural heritage of our race. positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its enforcement. From its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation. It also refers to our intelligence in arts. the term patrimony pertains to heritage.qualified Filipinos shall be preferred. Formerly a concourse for the elite. but also to the cultural heritage of the Filipinos. While it was restrictively an American hotel when it first opened in 1912. It was the site of the festivities during the inauguration of the Philippine Commonwealth. It is per se judicially enforceable. privileges. the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos. sciences and letters. Ubi jus ibi remedium. Therefore. We agree. Dubbed as the Official Guest House of the . 10. such right enforces itself by its own inherent potency and puissance. second par. it immediately evolved to be truly Filipino. as the Constitution could have very well used the term natural resources. Where there is a right there is a remedy.. Sec. Res ipsa loquitur. forests.

its own historicity associated with our struggle for sovereignty. so that anyone who acquires or owns the 51% will have actual control and management of the hotel. playing host to almost every political convention. In 1970 the hotel reopened after a renovation and reaped numerous international recognitions.[37] During World War II the hotel was converted by the Japanese Military Administration into a military headquarters. the hotel became the center of political activities. And the amendment would consist in substituting the words . 51% of the MHC cannot be disassociated from the hotel and the land on which the hotel edifice stands. In this instance. In 1986 the hotel was the site of a failed coup d etat where an aspirant for vice-president was proclaimed President of the Philippine Republic. For sure. Manila Hotel has become part of our national economy and patrimony. we cannot sustain respondents claim that the Filipino First Policy provision is not applicable since what is being sold is only 51% of the outstanding shares of the corporation. its existence is impressed with public interest. Consequently. Commissioner Davide is recognized. independence and nationhood. 51% of the equity of the MHC comes within the purview of the constitutional shelter for it comprises the majority and controlling stock. This is very clear from the proceedings of the 1986 Constitutional Commission - THE PRESIDENT. DAVIDE. MR. The term qualified Filipinos as used in our Constitution also includes corporations at least 60% of which is owned by Filipinos. in the 1950s and 1960s.Philippine Government it plays host to dignitaries and official visitors who are accorded the traditional Philippine hospitality. Thereafter.[38] The argument is pure sophistry. Verily.[36] The history of the hotel has been chronicled in the book The Manila Hotel: The Heart and Memory of a City. When the American forces returned to recapture Manila the hotel was selected by the Japanese together with Intramuros as the two (2) places for their final stand. For more than eight (8) decades Manila Hotel has bore mute witness to the triumphs and failures. I would like to introduce an amendment to the Nolledo amendment. not the Hotel building nor the land upon which the building stands. loves and frustrations of the Filipinos. an acknowledgment of the Filipino talent and ingenuity.

We agree.QUALIFIED FILIPINOS with the following: CITIZENS OF THE PHILIPPINES OR CORPORATIONS OR ASSOCIATIONS WHOSE CAPITAL OR CONTROLLING STOCK IS WHOLLY OWNED BY SUCH CITIZENS. MONSOD. may I request that the amendment be read again. MR. DAVIDE. The amendment will read: IN THE GRANT OF RIGHTS. MONSOD. in fact. RODRIGO. Madam President.[39] xxxx MR. At least 60 percent. do we not give it preference? MR. we would be limiting it if we say that the preference should only be 100-percent Filipino. as intended by the proponents. I want to get that meaning clear because QUALIFIED FILIPINOS may refer only to individuals and not to juridical personalities or entities. Madam President. PRIVILEGES AND CONCESSIONS COVERING THE NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY. DAVIDE. Before we vote. MR. What about a corporation wholly owned by Filipino citizens? MR. xxxx MR. Is that the intention? MR. And the word Filipinos here. Suppose it is a corporation that is 80- percent Filipino. will include not only individual Filipinos but also Filipino- controlled entities or entities fully-controlled by Filipinos. because. THE STATE SHALL GIVE PREFERENCE TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS.[40] The phrase preference to qualified Filipinos was explained thus - . Yes. apparently the proponent is agreeable. Madam President. MONSOD. DAVIDE. MONSOD. MR. but we have to raise a question. NOLLEDO. The Nolledo amendment would refer to an individual Filipino. MR.

privileges and rights covering the national patrimony. MR. This embodies the so-called Filipino First policy. will the Filipino still be preferred? MR. That means that Filipinos should be given preference in the grant of concessions. MR. NOLLEDO. will the Filipino enterprise still be given a preference? MR. Thank you. NOLLEDO. FOZ.[42] The exchange of views in the sessions of the Constitutional Commission regarding the subject provision was still further clarified by Commissioner Nolledo[43] - Paragraph 2 of Section 10 explicitly mandates the Pro-Filipino bias in all economic concerns. Obviously. IN THE GRANT OF RIGHTS. if a foreign enterprise is qualified and a Filipino enterprise is also qualified.MR. In connection with that amendment. Yes. Madam President. THE STATE SHALL GIVE PREFERENCE TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS. FOZ. Madam President. The answer is yes. I would like to request Commissioner Nolledo to please restate his amendment so that I can ask a question.[41] Expounding further on the Filipino First Policy provision Commissioner Nolledo continues MR. FOZ. It is better known as the FILIPINO FIRST Policy x x x x This provision was never found in previous Constitutions x x x x The term qualified Filipinos simply means that preference shall be given to . MR. FOZ.THE STATE SHALL GIVE PREFERENCE TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS. Instead of MUST. MR. NOLLEDO. it will be SHALL . PRIVILEGES AND CONCESSIONS COVERING THE NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY. NOLLEDO. If the foreigner is more qualified in some aspects than the Filipino enterprise.

or it has significant equity ownership in another hotel company. when a choice has to be made between a qualified foreigner and a qualified Filipino. even some of the provisions of the Constitution which evidently need implementing legislation have juridical life of their own and can be the source of a judicial remedy.[44] The penchant to try to whittle away the mandate of the Constitution by arguing that the subject provision is not self-executory and requires implementing legislation is quite disturbing. In fine. since such an indiscriminate preference would be counterproductive and inimical to the common good. privileges.those citizens who can make a viable contribution to the common good. and concessions. on constitutional government is apt - The executive department has a constitutional duty to implement laws. the executive would have to ask Congress. it must be guided by its own understanding of the constitutional command and of applicable laws.provided that there are discoverable legal standards for executive action.by the government itself . Bernas. Lastly. the latter shall be chosen over the former.is only too distressing. or it has an overall management and marketing proficiency to successfully operate the Manila Hotel. implementing or guiding legislation. Petitioner was so considered by respondent GSIS and selected as one of the qualified bidders.. including the Constitution. For.J. S. We cannot simply afford the government a defense that arises out of the failure to enact further enabling. Joaquin G. because of credible competence and efficiency. the discourse of Fr. In the granting of economic rights. even before Congress acts . It certainly does NOT mandate the pampering and preferential treatment to Filipino citizens or organizations that are incompetent or inefficient. If it were. the word qualified is also determinable. The responsibility for reading and understanding the Constitution and the laws is not the sole prerogative of Congress. When the executive acts. or perhaps . The attempt to violate a clear constitutional provision . It was pre-qualified by respondent GSIS in accordance with its own guidelines so that the sole inference here is that petitioner has been found to be possessed of proven management expertise in the hotel industry. To adopt such a line of reasoning is to renounce the duty to ensure faithfulness to the Constitution.

J. After all. a government instrumentality deriving its authority from the State. It is undisputed that the sale of 51% of the MHC could only be carried out with the prior approval of the State acting through respondent Committee on Privatization. Since the Filipino First Policy provision of the Constitution bestows preference on qualified Filipinos the mere tending of the highest bid is not an assurance that the highest bidder will be declared the winning bidder. the acts of persons distinct from the government are considered state action covered by the Constitution (1) when the activity it engages in is a public function. The bidding rules expressly provide that the highest bidder shall only be declared the winning bidder after it has negotiated and executed the necessary contracts. S. although entered into by respondent GSIS.[45] Respondents further argue that the constitutional provision is addressed to the State. That is not how constitutional government operates. a constitutional mandate directed to the State is correspondingly directed to the three (3) branches of government. It should be stressed that while the Malaysian firm offered the higher bid it is not yet the winning bidder. (3) when the government has approved or authorized the action. (2) when the government is so significantly involved with the private actor as to make the government responsible for his action. As correctly pointed out by Fr. Resultantly. Joaquin G. This argument again is at best specious. In constitutional jurisprudence. It is evident that the act of respondent GSIS in selling 51% of its share in respondent MHC comes under the second and third categories of state action. It is undeniable that in this case the subject constitutional injunction is addressed among others to the Executive Department and respondent GSIS. not to respondent GSIS which by itself possesses a separate and distinct personality. Without doubt therefore the transaction. Accordingly. for an interpretation every time the executive is confronted by a constitutional command.legislative. government is composed of three (3) divisions of power . and secured the requisite approvals. respondents are not bound to make the . executive and judicial.the Court. Bernas. and. this fact alone makes the sale of the assets of respondents GSIS and MHC a state action..[46] When the Constitution addresses the State it refers not only to the people but also to the government as elements of the State. is in fact a transaction of the State and therefore subject to the constitutional command.

bid. nor are they under obligation to enter into one with the highest bidder. It must be so if we are to give life and meaning to the Filipino First Policy provision of the 1987 Constitution. there is no question that the Filipino will have to be allowed to match the bid of the foreign entity. GSIS may offer this to other Qualified Bidders that have validly submitted bids provided that these Qualified Bidders are willing to match the highest bid in terms of price per share. lest the bidding rules be nullified for being violative of the Constitution. For in choosing the awardee respondents are mandated to abide by the dictates of the 1987 Constitution the provisions of which are presumed to be known to all the bidders and other interested parties.award yet. J. while this may neither be expressly stated nor contemplated in the bidding rules. we cannot conceive of a stronger reason than the constitutional injunction itself. But the Constitution and laws of the Philippines are understood to be always open to public scrutiny. impliedly written in the bidding rules issued by respondent GSIS. privileges and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony. where a foreign firm submits the highest bid in a public bidding concerning the grant of rights. the constitutional mandate itself is reason enough not to award the block of shares immediately to the foreign bidder notwithstanding its submission of a higher. To ignore it would be to sanction a perilous skirting of the basic law. In the instant case. Adhering to the doctrine of constitutional supremacy. In fact.[47] Certainly. These are given factors which investors must consider when venturing into business in a foreign jurisdiction. This Court does not discount the apprehension that this policy may discourage foreign investors. It is a basic principle in constitutional law that all laws and contracts must conform with the fundamental law of the land. or even the highest. the constitutional fiat is omnipresent to be simply disregarded. Those which violate the Constitution lose their reason for being. For. Any person therefore desiring to do business in the Philippines or with any of its agencies or instrumentalities is presumed to . 1 of the bidding rules provides that [i]f for any reason the Highest Bidder cannot be awarded the Block of Shares. Paragraph V. thereby exceeding the bid of a Filipino. And if the Filipino matches the bid of a foreign firm the award should go to the Filipino. the subject constitutional provision is. as it should be.

Since petitioner has already matched the bid price tendered by Renong Berhad pursuant to the bidding rules. The argument of respondents that petitioner is now estopped from questioning the sale to Renong Berhad since petitioner was well aware from the beginning that a foreigner could participate in the bidding is meritless. Besides. petitioner had not yet matched the bid offered by Renong Berhad.know his rights and obligations under the Constitution and the laws of the forum. The miscomprehension of the Constitution is regrettable. Thus we would rather remedy the indiscretion while there is still an opportunity to do so than let the government develop the habit of forgetting that the Constitution lays down the basic conditions and parameters for its actions. regardless of the consequences to the Filipino people. and bound by its mistakes or gross errors of judgment. there is no time frame for invoking the constitutional safeguard unless perhaps the award has been finally made. But foreigners may be awarded the sale only if no Filipino qualifies. In the case before us. Filipinos and foreigners alike were invited to the bidding. It is embodied in the 1987 Constitution not merely to be used as a guideline for . while petitioner was already preferred at the inception of the bidding because of the constitutional mandate. The refusal of respondent GSIS to execute the corresponding documents with petitioner as provided in the bidding rules after the latter has matched the bid of the Malaysian firm clearly constitutes grave abuse of discretion. The Filipino First Policy is a product of Philippine nationalism. respondent GSIS is left with no alternative but to award to petitioner the block of shares of MHC and to execute the necessary agreements and documents to effect the sale in accordance not only with the bidding guidelines and procedures but with the Constitution as well. only after it had matched the bid of the foreign firm and the apparent disregard by respondent GSIS of petitioners matching bid did the latter have a cause of action. To insist on selling the Manila Hotel to foreigners when there is a Filipino group willing to match the bid of the foreign group is to insist that government be treated as any other ordinary market player. Thus it did not have the right or personality then to compel respondent GSIS to accept its earlier bid. Rightly. Undoubtedly. or if the qualified Filipino fails to match the highest bid tendered by the foreign entity.

it is its bounden duty to make sure that they do not violate the Constitution or the laws. regardless of the character of the asset. Let it be stated for the record once again that while it is no business of the Court to intervene in contracts of the kind referred to or set itself up as the judge of whether they are viable or attainable. the influx of foreign investments. the Supreme Court has not been spared criticism for decisions perceived as obstacles to economic progress and development x x x x in connection with a temporary injunction issued by the Courts First Division against the sale of the Manila Hotel to a Malaysian Firm and its partner.[48] Privatization of a business asset for purposes of enhancing its business viability and preventing further losses. nay even a budgetary.[49] . or are not adopted or implemented with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. For the Constitution enshrines higher and nobler non-material values. It will never shirk that duty. This Court as the ultimate guardian of the Constitution will never shun. much less undermine. the Court will always defer to the Constitution in the proper governance of a free society. A commercial. the Court encourages and welcomes more business opportunities but avowedly sanctions the preference for Filipinos whenever such preference is ordained by the Constitution. so must it be enforced. objective should not be pursued at the expense of national pride and dignity. the duty of upholding the majesty of the Constitution which it is tasked to defend. there is nothing so sacrosanct in any economic policy as to draw itself beyond judicial review when the Constitution is involved. under any reasonable circumstance. no matter how buffeted by winds of unfair and ill-informed criticism. Far from it. certain statements were published in a major daily to the effect that that injunction again demonstrates that the Philippine legal system can be a major obstacle to doing business here.future legislation but primarily to be enforced. after all. The position of the Court on this matter could have not been more appropriately articulated by Chief Justice Narvasa - As scrupulously as it has tried to observe that it is not its function to substitute its judgment for that of the legislature or the executive about the wisdom and feasibility of legislation economic in nature. should not take precedence over non-material values. Indeed. It is worth emphasizing that it is not the intention of this Court to impede and diminish.

a veritable alienation of a nations soul for some pieces of foreign silver. In this sense. And so we ask: What advantage. For. 51% of the MHC. for that matter.[50] The Manila Hotel or.Nationalism is inherent in the very concept of the Philippines being a democratic and republican state.a place with a history of grandeur. a most historical setting that has played a part in the shaping of a country. We are not talking about an ordinary piece of property in a commercial district. in whatever manner viewed. We are talking about a hotel where heads of states would prefer to be housed as a strong manifestation of their desire to cloak the dignity of the highest state function to their official visits to the Philippines. Thus the Manila Hotel has played and continues to play a significant role as an authentic repository of twentieth century Philippine history and culture. which cannot be equally drawn from a qualified Filipino. And this Court. the conveyance of this epic exponent of the Filipino psyche to alien hands cannot be less than mephistophelian for it is. Any interpretation of any constitutional provision must adhere to such basic concept. while laudible. We are talking about a historic relic that has hosted many of the most important events in the short history of the Philippines as a nation. it has become truly a reflection of the Filipino soul . In nationalism. is merely a policy. It cannot override the demands of nationalism. zealous and well-meaning Filipino? This is the plain and simple meaning of the Filipino First Policy provision of the Philippine Constitution. The nation-state can have no higher purpose. heeding the clarion call of the Constitution and accepting the duty of being the elderly watchman of the nation. Protection of foreign investments. how much dignity will be preserved and realized if the national patrimony is safekept in the hands of a qualified.this Grand Old Dame of hotels in Asia .is sold to a non-Filipino? How much of national pride will vanish if the nations cultural heritage is entrusted to a foreign entity? On the other hand. the happiness and welfare of the people must be the goal. will continue to respect and protect the sanctity of the Constitution.[51] This Court cannot extract rhyme nor reason from the determined efforts of respondents to sell the historical landmark . can be gained by the Filipinos if Manila Hotel . is not just any commodity to be sold to the highest bidder solely for the sake of privatization.to a total stranger.and all that it stands for . indeed. . with sovereignty residing in the Filipino people and from whom all government authority emanates.

300. pursuant to the privatization program of the Philippine Government. In a close bidding held on 18 September 1995 only two (2) bidders participated: petitioner Manila Prince Hotel Corporation. COMMITTEE ON PRIVATIZATION and OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATE COUNSEL are directed to CEASE and DESIST from selling 51% of the shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation to RENONG BERHAD. which bid for the same number of shares at P44. and to ACCEPT the matching bid of petitioner MANILA PRINCE HOTEL CORPORATION to purchase the subject 51% of the shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation at P44.00 per share. The winning bidder. SO ORDERED. . respondents GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM. with ITT- Sheraton as its hotel operator. petitioner Manila Prince Hotel matched the bid price and sent a manager’s check as bid security. and Renong Berhad. and financial support to strengthen the profitability and performance of the Manila Hotel.” will provide management expertise or an international marketing/reservation system. Prior to the declaration of Renong Berhard as the winning bidder.00 per share and thereafter to execute the necessary agreements and documents to effect the sale.42 more than the bid of petitioner. to issue the necessary clearances and to do such other acts and deeds as may be necessary for the purpose. a Filipino corporation. or P2. which offered to buy 51% of the MHC or 15.58 per share. petitioner filed a petition before the Court. MANILA HOTEL CORPORATION. Facts: The controversy arose when respondent Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).WHEREFORE. or the eventual “strategic partner. a Malaysian firm. which GSIS refused to accept. decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51% of the issued and outstanding shares of respondent Manila Hotel Corporation (MHC).000 shares at P41. Apprehensive that GSIS has disregarded the tender of the matching bid and that the sale may be consummated with Renong Berhad.

is usually not self-executing. such as those found in Art. A constitutional provision is self-executing if the nature and extent of the right conferred and the liability imposed are fixed by the constitution itself. is self-executing. Whether or not the submission of matching bid is premature Whether or not there was grave abuse of discretion on the part of the respondents in refusing the matching bid of the petitioner. it means just that – qualified Filipinos shall be preferred. second par. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory. 10. II of the 1987 Constitution. When our Constitution mandates that in the grant of rights. positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its enforcement. second par. so that they can be determined by an examination and construction of its terms. From its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation. paramount and supreme law of the nation. Art. privileges.. XII. 10. And when our Constitution . It is per se judicially enforceable. the presumption now is that all provisions of the constitution are self-executing. the Court held that: It is a self-executing provision. Unless it is expressly provided that a legislative act is necessary to enforce a constitutional mandate.Issues: Whether or not Sec.. of the 1987 Constitution is a self-executing provision. But a provision which is complete in itself and becomes operative without the aid of supplementary or enabling legislation. and concessions covering national economy and patrimony. Rulings: In the resolution of the case. If the constitutional provisions are treated as requiring legislation instead of self-executing. Whether or not the Manila Hotel forms part of the national patrimony. A provision which lays down a general principle. and there is no language indicating that the subject is referred to the legislature for action. it is deemed written in every statute and contract. or that which supplies sufficient rule by means of which the right it grants may be enjoyed or protected. Since the Constitution is the fundamental. Art. the legislature would have the power to ignore and practically nullify the mandate of the fundamental law. the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos.

the term patrimony pertains to heritage. For. privileges and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony. When the Constitution speaks of national patrimony. It must be so if the Court is to give life and meaning to the Filipino First Policy provision of the 1987 Constitution. While it was restrictively an American hotel when it first opened in 1912. In this instance. there is no question that the Filipino will have to be allowed to match the bid of the foreign entity. And if the Filipino matches the bid of a foreign firm the award should go to the Filipino. it has since then become the venue of various significant events which have shaped Philippine history.declares that a right exists in certain specified circumstances an action may be maintained to enforce such right notwithstanding the absence of any legislation on the subject. But the Constitution and laws of the Philippines are understood to be always open to public scrutiny. To ignore it would be to sanction a perilous skirting of the basic law. where a foreign firm submits the highest bid in a public bidding concerning the grant of rights. if there is no statute especially enacted to enforce such constitutional right. while this may neither be expressly stated nor contemplated in the bidding rules. a concourse for the elite. Manila Hotel has become a landmark. In the instant case. It also refers to Filipino’s intelligence in arts. consequently. It is not premature. The Court does not discount the apprehension that this policy may discourage foreign investors. Where there is a right there is a remedy. For sure. but also to the cultural heritage of the Filipinos. thereby exceeding the bid of a Filipino. the constitutional fiat is omnipresent to be simply disregarded. sciences and letters. These are . The Court agree. a living testimonial of Philippine heritage. Verily. 51% of the equity of the MHC comes within the purview of the constitutional shelter for it comprises the majority and controlling stock. it refers not only to the natural resources of the Philippines. Ubi jus ibi remedium. In its plain and ordinary meaning. Manila Hotel has become part of our national economy and patrimony. In the present case. as the Constitution could have very well used the term natural resources. and from which all legislations must take their bearings. such right enforces itself by its own inherent potency and puissance. so that anyone who acquires or owns the 51% will have actual control and management of the hotel. 51% of the MHC cannot be disassociated from the hotel and the land on which the hotel edifice stands.

00 per share and thereafter to execute the necessary agreements and documents to effect the sale. to issue the necessary clearances and to do such other acts and deeds as may be necessary for the purpose. MANILA HOTEL CORPORATION. Any person therefore desiring to do business in the Philippines or with any of its agencies or instrumentalities is presumed to know his rights and obligations under the Constitution and the laws of the forum. and bound by its mistakes or gross errors of judgement. respondent GSIS is left with no alternative but to award to petitioner the block of shares of MHC and to execute the necessary agreements and documents to effect the sale in accordance not only with the bidding guidelines and procedures but with the Constitution as well. There was grave abuse of discretion. COMMITTEE ON PRIVATIZATION and OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATE COUNSEL are directed to CEASE and DESIST from selling 51% of the shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation to RENONG BERHAD. Thus. and to ACCEPT the matching bid of petitioner MANILA PRINCE HOTEL CORPORATION to purchase the subject 51% of the shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation at P44. the Court would rather remedy the indiscretion while there is still an opportunity to do so than let the government develop the habit of forgetting that the Constitution lays down the basic conditions and parameters for its actions. To insist on selling the Manila Hotel to foreigners when there is a Filipino group willing to match the bid of the foreign group is to insist that government be treated as any other ordinary market player. The refusal of respondent GSIS to execute the corresponding documents with petitioner as provided in the bidding rules after the latter has matched the bid of the Malaysian firm clearly constitutes grave abuse of discretion. The miscomprehension of the Constitution is regrettable. Hence. New Civil Code . Since petitioner has already matched the bid price tendered by Renong Berhad pursuant to the bidding rules. respondents GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM. regardless of the consequences to the Filipino people.given factors which investors must consider when venturing into business in a foreign jurisdiction. • Article 7.

October 8. vs. 2013 COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE. or custom or practice to the contrary. No. No. 196113 TAGANITO MINING CORPORATION. SAN ROQUE POWER CORPORATION.R. 2013 G. Respondent. 187485.R.: This Resolution resolves the Motion for Reconsideration and the Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration filed by San Roque Power Corporation (San Roque) in G. RESOLUTION CARPIO. 187485 October 8.R. and their violation or non-observance shall not be excused by disuse. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE. vs. G.. San Roque Power Corp.R. vs. the Comment to the Motion for Reconsideration filed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR) in . J. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE. • CIR v. No. Petitioner. Petitioner. 197156 PHILEX MINING CORPORATION. No.R.Art. Respondent. Respondent. x-----------------------x G. 187485. No. 7. x-----------------------x G. Petitioner.

The Doctrine of Operative Fact The general rule is that a void law or administrative act cannot be the source of legal rights or duties.2 In Serrano de Agbayani v. 187485. 196113. San Roque prays that the rule established in our 12 February 2013 Decision be given only a prospective effect. and their violation or non-observance shall not be excused by disuse. Philippine National Bank. We deny both motions. Article 7 of the Civil Code enunciates this general rule. the Motion for Reconsideration filed by the CIR in G. Administrative or executive acts. not by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. or custom or practice to the contrary."1 The CIR.No.R. for that matter an executive order or a municipal ordinance likewise suffering from that infirmity. 196113. No.R. the former shall be void and the latter shall govern. as well as its exception: "Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones. such that a judicial declaration of invalidity may not necessarily obliterate all the effects and consequences of a void act prior to such declaration.3 the application of the doctrine of operative fact was discussed as follows: The decision now on appeal reflects the orthodox view that an unconstitutional act. When the courts declared a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution. on the other hand. No." The doctrine of operative fact is an exception to the general rule. DA-489-03 was issued by a Deputy Commissioner. asserts that Taganito Mining Corporation's (Taganito) judicial claim for tax credit or refund was prematurely filed before the CTA and should be disallowed because BIR Ruling No. cannot be the source of any .G. orders and regulations shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws or the Constitution. and the Comment to the Motion for Reconsideration filed by Taganito Mining Corporation (Taganito) in G.R. arguing that "the manner by which the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Court of Tax Appeals(CTA) actually treated the 120 + 30 day periods constitutes an operative fact the effects and consequences of which cannot be erased or undone.

private and official. the Constitution being supreme and paramount." It is understandable why it should be so. and particular conduct. Any legislative or executive act contrary to its terms cannot survive. As the new Civil Code puts it: "When the courts declare a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution. This is merely to reflect awareness that precisely because the judiciary is the governmental organ which has the final say on whether or not a legislative or executive measure is valid. Administrative or executive acts. in an appropriate case. Inc. prior to such a determination of unconstitutionality.. The effect of the subsequent ruling as to invalidity may have to be considered in various aspects. Flores. Hill and the decision in Manila Motor Co. An even more recent instance is the opinion of Justice Zaldivar speaking for the Court in Fernandez v. v. its existence as a fact must be reckoned with. with respect to particular relations. a period of time may have elapsed before it can exercise the power of judicial review that may lead to a declaration of nullity. Such a view has support in logic and possesses the merit of simplicity. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration." This language has been quoted with approval in a resolution in Araneta v. is an operative fact and may have consequences which cannot justly be ignored. declares its invalidity. it is entitled to obedience and respect. (Boldfacing and italicization supplied) . orders and regulations shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws of the Constitution. if there be no recognition of what had transpired prior to such adjudication. Parties may have acted under it and may have changed their positions. In the language of an American Supreme Court decision: "The actual existence of a statute. Its repugnancy to the fundamental law once judicially declared results in its being to all intents and purposes a mere scrap of paper. What could be more fitting than that in a subsequent litigation regard be had to what has been done while such legislative or executive act was in operation and presumed to be valid in all respects.legal rights or duties. It does not admit of doubt that prior to the declaration of nullity such challenged legislative or executive act must have been in force and had to be complied with. individual and corporate. This is so as until after the judiciary. It may not however be sufficiently realistic. Nor can it justify any official act taken under it. Cuerva and Co. It is now accepted as a doctrine that prior to its being nullified. It would be to deprive the law of its quality of fairness and justice then. the former shall be void and the latter shall govern.

DA-489-03 dated 10 December 2003. may have to be recognized as valid. for the operative fact doctrine to apply. To justify the application of the doctrine of operative fact as an exemption. DA-489-03. Buñag ruled that "a taxpayer-claimant need not wait for the lapse of the 120-day period before it could seek judicial relief with the CTA by way of Petition for Review. DA-489-03. there is no such law or executive issuance that has been invalidated by the Court except BIR Ruling No. the DOF-OSS pointed out that LBRDI is "not yet on the right forum in violation of the provision of Section 112(D) of the NIRC" when it sought judicial relief before the CTA. citing the 7February 2002 decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in Commissioner of Internal Revenue v." meaning a law or executive issuance. there is even no such administrative practice by the BIR as claimed by San Roque. Hitachi Computer Products (Asia) Corporation5 (Hitachi).In its Memorandum dated 13 August 2002 before the BIR. the effects of the law or executive issuance. stated that the claim for refund with the Commissioner could be pending simultaneously with a suit for refund filed before the CTA. The DOF-OSS itself alerted the BIR that LBRDI did not follow the120+30 day periods. In BIR Ruling No. LBRDI also filed a judicial claim with the CTA on 28March 2000 as well as a supplemental judicial claim on 29 September 2000. that is invalidated by the court. Inc. (LBRDI). however. Moreover. when relied upon by the public in good faith."4 This is glaring error because an administrative practice is neither a law nor an executive issuance." Deputy Commissioner Buñag. From the passage of such law or promulgation of such executive issuance until its invalidation by the court. . Deputy Commissioner Jose Mario C. In the present case. Before the lapse of 120 days from the filing of its administrative claim. there must be a "legislative or executive measure. In BIR Ruling No. LBRDI filed an administrative claim for refund for alleged input VAT for the four quarters of 1998. the Department of Finance’s One-Stop Shop Inter-Agency Tax Credit and Duty Drawback Center (DOF-OSS) asked the BIR to rule on the propriety of the actions taken by Lazi Bay Resources Development. San Roque asserts that "the BIR and the CTA in actual practice did not observe and did not require refund seekers to comply with the120+30 day periods. Section 112(D) provides for the 120+30 day periods for claiming tax refunds. in the present case.Clearly.

Thus. until the CA declared in Hitachi that the BIR’s position was wrong. the 120+30 day mandatory periods were already in the law. the BIR considered the 120+30 day periods mandatory and jurisdictional. like a claim for tax exemption. DA-489-03. and unequivocal. plain. The taxpayer cannot simply file a petition with the CTA without waiting for the Commissioner’s decision within the 120-daymandatory and jurisdictional period. We reiterate our pronouncements in our Decision as follows: At the time San Roque filed its petition for review with the CTA. a claim for tax refund or credit. DA-489-03. it filed its petition with the CTA a mere 13 days after it filed its administrative claim with the Commissioner. The CTA will have no jurisdiction because there will be no "decision" or "deemed a denial" decision of the Commissioner for the CTA to review. Section112(C) expressly grants the Commissioner 120 days within which to decide the taxpayer’s claim. Section 112(C) also expressly grants the taxpayer a 30-day period to appeal to the CTA the decision or inaction of the Commissioner x x x. The law is clear. San Roque knowingly violated the mandatory 120-day period. The CA’s Hitachi decision is the basis of BIR Ruling No. Prior to BIR Ruling No. the BIR’s actual administrative practice was to contest simultaneous filing of claims at the administrative and judicial levels. plain.Before the issuance of BIR Ruling No." Following the verbalegis doctrine. Indisputably. and unequivocal: "x x x the Commissioner shall grant a refund or issue the tax credit certificate for creditable input taxes within one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of submission of complete documents. this law must be applied exactly as worded since it is clear. In San Roque’s case. there was no administrative practice by the BIR that supported simultaneous filing of claims. xxxx To repeat. DA-489-03 even though it was erroneous as this Court subsequently decided in Aichi that the 120+30 day periods were mandatory and jurisdictional. DA- 489-03 dated 10 December 2003 allowing simultaneous filing. and it cannot blame anyone but itself. From then on taxpayers could rely in good faith on BIR Ruling No. prior to BIR Ruling No. is . DA-489-03 on 10 December 2003.

Thus.1âwphi1 One of the conditions for a judicial claim of refund or credit under the VAT System is compliance with the 120+30 day mandatory and jurisdictional periods. . modification or reversal will be prejudicial to the taxpayers. we applied the doctrine of operative fact when we recognized simultaneous filing during the period between 10 December 2003. which again reinstated the 120+30 day periods as mandatory and jurisdictional. when BIR Ruling No. The doctrine of operative fact is an argument for the application of equity and fair play. DA-489-03. 246.6 San Roque’s argument must. during. which provides: SEC.construed strictly against the taxpayer. (Emphasis supplied) Under Section 246. and 6 October 2010. (b) Where the facts subsequently gathered by the Bureau of Internal Revenue are materially different from the facts on which the ruling is based. DA-489-03 was issued. Non-Retroactivity of Rulings. when this Court promulgated Aichi declaring the 120+30 day periods mandatory and jurisdictional. fail. or (c) Where the taxpayer acted in bad faith. or after the effectivity of the Atlas doctrine. strict compliance with the 120+30 day periods is necessary for such a claim to prosper. except for the period from the issuance of BIR Ruling No.Any revocation. thus reversing BIR Ruling No. The doctrine of operative fact is in fact incorporated in Section 246 of the Tax Code. DA-489-03 on 10 December 2003 to 6 October 2010 when the Aichi doctrine was adopted. modification or reversal of any of the rules and regulations promulgated in accordance with the preceding Sections or any of the rulings or circulars promulgated by the Commissioner shall not be given retroactive application if the revocation. except in the following cases: (a) Where the taxpayer deliberately misstates or omits material facts from his return or any document required of him by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. whether before. In the present case. taxpayers may rely upon a rule or ruling issued by the Commissioner from the time the rule or ruling is issued up to its reversal by . therefore.

. In the present case. is the doctrine of operative fact. Since the law has already prescribed in Section 246 of the Tax Code how the doctrine of operative fact should be applied. should still prevail is to turn upside down our legal system and hierarchy of courts. which adopts the operative fact doctrine. be a rule or ruling issued by the Commissioner that is relied upon by the taxpayer in good faith. unlike those of this Court. However. Decisions of lower courts do not have any value as precedents. An administrative practice. The reversal is not given retroactive effect. San Roque’s doomsday scenario is a protest against this Court’s power of appellate review. decisions of lower courts are not binding on this Court. with adverse effects far worse than the dubious doomsday scenario San Roque has conjured. if not formalized as a rule or ruling. San Roque cites cases decided by the CTA to underscore that the CTA did not treat the 120+30 day periods as mandatory and jurisdictional. In effect. being an exemption to statutory taxation. the rule or ruling subject of the operative fact doctrine is BIR Ruling No. otherwise. San Roque cited cases7 in its Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration to support its position that retroactive application of the doctrine in the present case will violate San Roque’s right to equal protection of the law. do not form part of the law of the land. To hold that CTA or CA decisions. CTA or CA rulings are not the executive issuances covered by Section 246 of the Tax Code. Section246. there can be no invocation of the doctrine of operative fact other than what the law has specifically provided in Section 246. CTA or CA decisions are specific rulings applicable only to the parties to the case and not to the general public. DA-489-03 dated 10 December 2003. in essence. will not suffice because such a mere administrative practice may not be uniformly and consistently applied. Prior to this date. there will be adverse effects on the national economy. However. not formalized into a rule or ruling. there is no such rule or ruling calling for the application of the operative fact doctrine in Section 246. There must. will not be known to the general public and can be availed of only by those within formal contacts with the government agency. must be applied strictly against the taxpayer claiming such exemption. even if reversed by this Court. A mere administrative practice. This. CTA or CA decisions. Obviously. San Roque insists that this Court should not decide the present case in violation of the rulings of the CTA. however.the Commissioner or this Court.

we DENY with FINALITY the Motions for Reconsideration filed by San Roque Power Corporation in G. but not passed upon by the Court. nor of compliance with the 120+30 day period requirement."9 Although Section 4 of the 1997 Tax Code provides that the "power to interpret the provisions of this Code and other tax laws shall be under the exclusive and original jurisdiction of the Commissioner. SO ORDERED. the cases cited by San Roque to bolster its claim against the application of the 120+30 day period requirement do not have any value as precedents in the present case. subject to such limitations and restrictions as may be imposed under rules and regulations to be promulgated by the Secretary of Finance."8 Therefore. Thus. "the Commissioner may delegate the powers vested in him under the pertinent provisions of this Code to any or such subordinate officials with the rank equivalent to a division chief or higher. 1997. being a mere issuance of a Deputy Commissioner.R. Authority of the Commissioner to Delegate Power In asking this Court to disallow Taganito’s claim for tax refund or credit. No. FACTS: On October 11. "Taganito cannot rely on the pronouncements in BIR Ruling No. The PPA provides. does not have any value as precedent. Pangasinan.R. upon recommendation of the Commissioner. 187485. whether raised or not by the parties. We reiterate that "any issue. 196113.and the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in G. DA- 489-03." Section 7 of the same Code does not prohibit the delegation of such power. DA-489-03." WHEREFORE.San Roque itself admits that the cited cases never mentioned the issue of premature or simultaneous filing. the CIR repudiates the validity of the issuance of its own BIR Ruling No. [San Roque] entered into a Power Purchase Agreement("PPA") with the National Power Corporation ("NPC") to develop hydro-potential ofthe Lower Agno River and generate additional power and energy for the LuzonPower Grid. by building the San Roque Multi-Purpose Project located in SanManuel. subject to review by the Secretary of Finance. that [San . No. among others.

2003. (Application of 120+30 days period. separate amendedclaims for refund.On March 28. — (A) Zero-Rated or Effectively Zero-Rated Sales .54. excess input VAT in the amount of ₱559. During the cooperation period of twenty- five (25) yearscommencing from the completion date of the Power Station.709. 2003. completion. whose sales are zero-rated or effectively zero-rated . Consequently. Take note: amended claims for refund filesMarch 28.709.54 for taxable year 2001 which it declared in its Quarterly VAT Returns filed for thesame year. — Any VAT-registeredperson. 112. NPC will take and payfor all electricity available from the Power Station. [San Roque] filed amended Quarterly VAT Returns for the year 2001 since it increased its unutilized input VAT to the amount of ₱560.Roque] shall beresponsible for the design. representing un utilized input taxes as declared inits VAT returns for taxable year 2001. [San Roque] duly filed with the BIR separate claims for refund. (Relevant provisions in the case at bar)Sec.CTA in division and CTA En banc gave due course to the claim of San Roque. [CIR’s] inaction on the subject claims led to the filing by [San Roque] of the Petition for Review with the Court [of Tax Appeals] in Division on April 10.subject to NPC instructions. ISSUE: Whether or not San Roque’s claim for refund was prematurely filed. It was premature.283. 2003.337. construction. barely just 13 days) HELD:YES.200. installation. [San Roque] filed with the BIR on even date. in the total amount of ₱559. Refunds or Tax Credits of Input Tax . 2003 while petition for review to the CTA filed on April 10.337.[San Roque] allegedly incurred.14. testing andcommissioning of the Power Station and shall operate and maintain the same.

In case of full or partial denial of the claim for tax refund or tax credit. orthe failure on the part of the Commissioner to act on the applicationwithin the period prescribed above. appeal thedecision or the unacted claim with the Court of Tax Appeals. San Roque filed a Petition for Reviewwith the CTA docketed as CTA Case No. second . — In proper cases. From this we gather two crucial facts: first . San Roque did not wait for the 120-day period to lapse before filing its judicialclaim. San Roque filed its judicial claim more than four (4) years before the Atlas 45 doctrine. the Commissioner shall grant a refund or issue the taxcredit certificate for creditable input taxes within one hundred twenty(120) days from the date of submission of complete documents insupport of the application filed in accordance with Subsection (A) and (B)hereof. 6647. It is indisputable that compliance with the 120-day waiting period is . withinthirty (30) days from the receipt of the decision denying the claim orafter the expiration of the one hundred twenty day-period .may. withintwo (2) years after the close of the taxable quarter when the sales weremade. San Roque failed to comply with the 120-day waiting period. the timeexpressly given by law to the Commissioner to decide whether to grant or deny San Roque’s application for tax refund or credit. which was promulgated by the Court on 8 June 2007.On 10 April 2003. the taxpayer affected may. apply for the issuance of a tax credit certificate or refund ofcreditable input tax due or paid attributable to such sales … (D) Period within which Refund or Tax Credit of Input Taxes shall be Made . a mere 13 days after it filed its amended administrative claimwith the Commissioner on 28 March 2003.Clearly.

No. petitioner-in-intervention. No. TEODORO.mandatory and jurisdictional . MACALINTAL AND PETE QUIRINO QUADRA. FUENTEBELLA. MEDINA. ROMULO B. SENATOR AQUILINO Q. DRILON.. DE VENECIA. petitioner.R.R. 2003 G. petitioners-in-intervention. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. respondents. INC. CARLOS P. JAIME N. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. CANDELARIA. vs. . Foreign Jurisprudence and Constitutional Law • Francisco. ATTYS. 2003 ERNESTO B. No. AND REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. JR. SPEAKER JOSE G. THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR ACTING SPEAKER OR PRESIDING OFFICER. REPRESENTED BY SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO G. petitioner-in-intervention. November 10. petitioner-in-intervention. THE SENATE. G. petitioners. DE VENECIA. 160261. v. 2003 SEDFREY M. INC.. vs. The House of Representatives. FRANCISCO. 160261 November 10. REPRESENTED BY SPEAKER JOSE G.. PIMENTEL. JR. respondent-in-Intervention.. respondent-in-intervention. 160262 November 10. SORIANO. INC. JR.R. TEODORO. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. NAGMAMALASAKIT NA MGA MANANANGGOL NG MGA MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO.. ITS OFFICERS AND MEMBERS. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Jr. AND HENEDINA RAZON-ABAD. JR. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO C.

SORIANO. HENRY LANOT. SORAYA JAAFAR. ALFREDO MARAÑON. THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES.. JAIME N. SENATOR AQUILINO Q.. respondent-in-intervention. respondent-in-intervention. CHAVEZ. respondent-in-intervention. JR. FRANKLIN M. IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. respondents. DRILON.. ULIRAN JUAQUIN. FAUSTO SEACHON. CAGAMPANG. JR. LUIS BERSAMIN. JOSE CARLOS LACSON. AGAPITO AQUINO. DE VENECIA. No. SORIANO. INC. petitioner-in-intervention. CECILIA CARREON-JALOSJOS.. SENATOR AQUILINO Q. IN HIS CAPACITY AS SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. SAMUEL DANGWA. respondents. DRILON. MARCELINO LIBANAN. INC. 160263 November 10. FRANKLIN M. EMMYLOU TALIÑO-SANTOS. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. AND JOSE G.. vs. DE VENECIA.. WILHELMINO SY- . JR. petitioners-in-intervention. JOSE G. PIMENTEL. petitioners. PIMENTEL. FUENTEBELLA. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. NERISSA SOON-RUIZ.R. JULIO LEDESMA IV. EDGAR ERICE.REPRESENTA-TIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. DE CASTRO AND SOLEDAD M. GILBERT TEODORO. JAIME N. respondent-in-intervention. JR. JR. vs. ISMAEL MATHAY. IN HIS CAPACITY AS SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. THROUGH ITS PRESIDENT.. ERNESTO NIEVA. 2003 ARTURO M. FELIX WILLIAM FUENTEBELLA. KIM BERNARDO- LOKIN.R. 2003 FRANCISCO I. GEORGILU YUMUL-HERMIDA. SHERWIN GATCHALIAN. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. 160277 November 10. IN HIS CAPACITY AS SENATE PRESIDENT. No. DOUGLAS CAGAS. MANUEL ORTEGA. DRILON. petitioner. x---------------------------------------------------------x G.

JR.. MAURICIO DOMOGAN. REYLINA NICOLAS. JUAN MIGUEL ZUBIRI. HON. CECILIA PAPA. MA. CARLOS COJUANGCO. JR. NAZARENO. x---------------------------------------------------------x . 2003 HERMINIO HARRY L. petitioners.. AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. JR. 160292 November 10. LIGON.. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. BENASING MACARAMBON. JOAQUIN CHIPECO. respondents. respondent-in-intervention. ALETA SUAREZ. ABRAHAM MITRA. PERPETUO YLAGAN. ALIPIO BADELLES. MALLARI. No. JAIME N. JOAN P. ROQUE.. JR. JACINTO PARAS. JESNAR FALCON. AUGUSTO SYJUCO. FRANCIS ESCUDERRO. respondent-in-intervention. ROLEX SUPLICO. AND RUY ELIAS LOPEZ. PIMENTEL. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. RODOLF PLAZA. JV BAUTISTA. ALFREDO C. AND ROBERTO P. CONRADO ESTRELLA III. JOSEPH DURANO. GILBERT REMULLA. JUAN PABLO BONDOC. IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. SPEAKER JOSE G. RONALDO ZAMORA. ROSELLER BARINAGA. CELSO LOBREGAT. DARLENE ANTONIO-CUSTODIO. RODOLFO ALBANO. GENEROSO TULAGAN.R. ABAD. ARTHUR PINGOY. vs. JOSE SOLIS. SENATOR AQUILINO Q. GIORGIDI AGGABAO. NAPOLEON C. petitioner-in-intervention. AUGUSTO BACULIO. JR. PIMENTEL. EMILIO MACIAS. JOSEPH SANTIAGO. respondent-in-intervention. FAUSTINO DY III. JURDIN ROMUALDO. JR. INC. ROZZANO RUFINO BIAZON. RENE VELARDE.. REYES. JOSEFINA JOSON. DIDAGEN DILANGALEN. FRANCIS NEPOMUCENO. ERIC SINGSON. respondent-in-intervention. SENATOR AQUILINO Q. GREGORIO IPONG.. CLAUDE BAUTISTA. DE VENECIA. JAIME N. JR. JESLI LAPUS. MARK COJUANGCO. DEL DE GUZMAN. MICHAEL DUAVIT.. ANGELO MONTILLA.. HERMINO TEVES. RENATO MATUBO. ZENAIDA CRUZ- DUCUT. SORIANO. ELIAS BULUT. JOEL RUIZ BUTUYAN.ALVARADO. AMADO ESPINO. ANTONIO H. SORIANO. CELIA LAYUS. respondents. SERRANO AND GARY S. LEOVIGILDO BANAAG. JR.

SALVACION LOYOLA. RAMON MIQUIBAS. LITA A. JULITO U. THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. JR. EDUARDO MALASAGA. KATE ANN VITAL. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. vs. LOYOLA. 160295 November 10. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. EMETERIO MENDIOLA. petitioners. GONZALES. HOMER CALIBAG. AND NOEL ISORENA. COMIA. DE VENECIA. MANUEL D. 2003 LEONILO R. ANNA CLARISSA LOYOLA. JAIME BOAQUINA.. AND EDILBERTO GALLOR. DR. JR. NELSON A. EL DELLE ARCE. respondents. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. RIZALDY EMPIG. JANETTE ARROYO.. DRILON. GUZMAN. EDGARDO NAOE. SORIANO. FILEMON SIBULO.G. BATERINA AND DEPUTY SPEAKER RAUL M. 160310 November 10.. THROUGH ITS PRESIDENT. JOSEPH LEANDRO LOYOLA. No. SENATOR AQUILINO Q. TEODORO. SIMEON ARCE. ALBERTO BUENAVISTA. LEONARDO GARCIA. RODOLFO MAGSINO. SPEAKER JOSE G. INC. JR. MARIO TOREJA.R. EDUARDO SARMIENTO. WILLIE RIVERO. PETER ALVAREZ. GABITO. INC. SAMUEL DOCTOR. GUILLERMO CASTASUS. REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO G.. EDGARD SMITH. MONICO PABLES. JAIME N. WILFREDO BELLO. AQUINO. EMILY SENERIS. VIRGILIO LUSTRE. respondent-in-intervention. ALFONSO. MILA P. RONNIE TOQUILLO. THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR ACTING SPEAKER OR PRESIDING OFFICER. RAINIER QUIROLGICO. MAX VILLAESTER. No. SOON. petitioner-in-intervention. REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. ERNA LAHUZ. DANTE DIAZ. ANGELITA Q. MELVIN MATIBAG. PIMENTEL. ANTONIO LIBREA. FAUSTO BUENAVISTA. THE HOUSE OF REPRESEN-TATIVES. 2003 SALACNIB F.R.. respondent-in-intervention. MAU RESTRIVERA.. . BING ARCE. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. petitioners. FUENTEBELLA. petitioner-in-intervention. JR.

FERNANDO P. AND ENGR. 2003 ATTY. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M.vs. HON. REYES. REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DRILON. petitioners. HON. No. FELIX FUENTEBELLA. JR. REPRESENTED BY HON.. CRISPIN T. ALL MEMBERS. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.R. THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES THROUGH ITS PRESIDENT. SPEAKER JOSE G. No. vs. AND ALL MEMBERS. PERITO. MAXIMO N. THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR ACTING SPEAKER OR PRESIDING OFFICER. REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO G. MANILA III. DE VENECIA. IN HIS CAPACITY AS A MEMBER OF THE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES. ET AL. x---------------------------------------------------------x G.. respondents. 2003 PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER. 160342 November 10. SPEAKER JOSE C. SPEAKER JOSE G. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTA-TIVES. vs. DRILON. vs. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. x---------------------------------------------------------x G.R. DE VENECIA. HON. THE SENATE. respondents. PHILIPPINE SENATE.... REPRESENTED BY HON. 160343 November 10. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. DE VENECIA. JR. 160318 November 10. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTA-TIVES REPRESENTED BY THE 83 HONORABLE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE LED BY HON.R. No. petitioner. petitioners. IN HIS CAPACITY AS A TAXPAYER AND MEMBER OF THE ENGINEERING PROFESSION. respondents. TEODORO. MENEZ JR. INC. SENATE . 2003 INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAM FUENTEBELLA. FUENTEBELLA.R.

160370 November 10. No. ORTIZ. DIORES. LIZA D. CAPARROS-ARQUILLANO. INC. THROUGH THE SENATE PRESIDENT. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. KAREN B.. 2003 FR. 160365 November 10. SPEAKER JOSE G. respondents. LAW ALUMNI CEBU FOUNDATION. ELSA R.R. DIVINAGRACIA. CORRO. No. SR.PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. AGUIRRE-PADERANGA.C. vs. DANILO V. NONATO. AND THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. RAMOS. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. 160360 November 10. HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES FELIX FUENTEBELLA AND GILBERTO TEODORO. PADERANGA. 2003 CLARO B. DE VENECIA. LUIS V. FOR THEMSELVES AND IN BEHALF OF OTHER CITIZENS OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. RANHILIO CALLANGAN AQUINO. x---------------------------------------------------------x G.P. GOERING G. respondents. petitioners. DANTE T. GLORIA C. BY THEMSELVES AND AS REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GROUP OF MORE THAN 80 HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES WHO SIGNED AND FILED THE IMPEACHMENT COMPLAINT AGAINST SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE HILARIO G. 2003 U. BENJAMIN S. THE HONORABLE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DRILON. THE HONORABLE . RALLON. ESTENZO-RAMOS. vs. DAVIDE.R. No.R. petitioner. petitioner. respondents. THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. vs. FLORES.. SYLVA G. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTA-TIVES. DRILON. ROLANDO P. JR. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THROUGH THE SPEAKER.

JR. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. 2003 PHILIPPINE BAR ASSOCIATION. 160403 November 10... HOFILEÑA. REPRESENTED BY ITS SPEAKER.SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. DE VENECIA.R. HON. 2003 NILO A. No. No. MALANYAON. No. DAVIDE.R. JOSE G. CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES. 2003 VENICIO S.R. JR. DIOSCORO U. 160392 November 10. 2003 IN THE MATTER OF THE IMPEACHMENT COMPLAINT AGAINST CHIEF JUSTICE HILARIO G. FELIX WILLIAM FUENTEBELLA AND GILBERT TEODORO. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. petitioners. vs. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. AND THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. THROUGH SPEAKER JOSE G. petitioner. vs. VALLEJOS. HON. DAVIDE. petitioner. DE VENECIA. JR. FLORES AND HECTOR L. vs. No. 160397 November 10.R. respondents. THROUGH SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DRILON. respondents. 160376 November 10. ATTY. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. petitioner. IN REPRESENTATION OF THE 86 SIGNATORIES OF THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST CHIEF JUSTICE HILARIO G. THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR . x---------------------------------------------------------x G. respondents.

REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. TEODORO. PAST PRESIDENT CEBU CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES.R. INC. MANUEL M. respondents. BARCENAS. PRESIENT OF CEBU CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY AND CEBU LADY LAWYERS ASSOCIATION. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. DE VENECIA. MAAMBONG. petitioners. AS SENATE PRESIDENT.: There can be no constitutional crisis arising from a conflict. JORDAN. INC]. CONFEDERATION OF ACCREDITED MEDIATORS OF THE PHILIPPINES. 2003 DEMOCRITO C. CEBU PROVINCE. FEDERACION INTERNACIONAL DE ABOGADAS [FIDA]. AS HOUSE SPEAKER AND THE SENATE. PRESIDING OF IBP. MANUEL LEGASPI. REPRSEENTED BY ATTY. JOSE G. REPRESENTED BY RODERIC R. PRESIDENT OF IBP. 160405 November 10. [YLAC]. INC. over the determination by the independent branches of government of the nature. CEBU CHAPTER.]. JR. POCA.PRESIDING OFFICER. SITOY. J. HON. JOSE G. CARLOS G. [CAMP. CO. No. REPRESENTED BY FELIPE VELASQUEZ. at . CEBU CITY CHAPTER. CARPIO MORALES. MANDAUE LAWYERS ASSOCIATION. INC. THROUGH SENATE PRESIDENT. HON. INC. FUENTEBELA. no matter how passionate and seemingly irreconcilable it may appear to be. MARIBELLE NAVARRO AND BERNARDITO FLORIDO. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTA-TIVES. VICTOR A. [MANLAW]. YOUNG LAWYERS ASSOCAITION OF CEBU. [CELLA. DE VENECIA. FRANKLIN DRILON. Our nation's history is replete with vivid illustrations of the often frictional.. ADELINO B. MONZON. scope and extent of their respective constitutional powers where the Constitution itself provides for the means and bases for its resolution. REPRESENTED BY SENATOR FRANKLIN DRILON. REPRESENTED BY REP. PROVINCIAL BOARD MEMBER. UNIVERSITY OF CEBU. respondents. REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO G. THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. vs. DEAN OF THE COLLEG EOF LAW. REPRESENTED BY THELMA L.

the Constitution. In passing over the complex issues arising from the controversy. the corollary doctrine of checks and balances which has been carefully calibrated by the Constitution to temper the official acts of each of these three branches must be given effect without destroying their indispensable co-equality. Taken together. Davide. salus populi est . this Court is ever mindful of the essential truth that the inviolate doctrine of separation of powers among the legislative. There may indeed be some legitimacy to the characterization that the present controversy subject of the instant petitions – whether the filing of the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G. intended as they are to insure that governmental power is wielded only for the good of the people. At the same time. dynamics of the relationship among these co-equal branches. guided only by what is in the greater interest and well-being of the people. and whether the resolution thereof is a political question – has resulted in a political crisis. In any event. Verily. that the feared resort to extra-constitutional methods of resolving it is neither necessary nor legally permissible. with the House of Representatives falls within the one year bar provided in the Constitution. it is with the absolute certainty that our Constitution is sufficient to address all the issues which this controversy spawns that this Court unequivocally pronounces. Both its resolution and protection of the public interest lie in adherence to. This Court is confronted with one such today involving the legislature and the judiciary which has drawn legal luminaries to chart antipodal courses and not a few of our countrymen to vent cacophonous sentiments thereon. not departure from. mandate a relationship of interdependence and coordination among these branches where the delicate functions of enacting. at the first instance. executive or judicial branches of government by no means prescribes for absolute autonomy in the discharge by each of that part of the governmental power assigned to it by the sovereign people. Perhaps even more truth to the view that it was brought upon by a political crisis of conscience. interpreting and enforcing laws are harmonized to achieve a unity of governance. Jr. these two fundamental doctrines of republican government.times turbulent.

shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral. the Members of the Constitutional Commissions. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. SECTION 3. (3) A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee. after hearing. on impeachment for. The vote of each Member shall be recorded. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people. or override its contrary resolution.suprema lex. The Committee. and conviction of. (4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at . Article XI of our present 1987 Constitution provides: ARTICLE XI Accountability of Public Officers SECTION 1. integrity. graft and corruption. serve them with utmost responsibility. culpable violation of the Constitution. the Members of the Supreme Court. together with the corresponding resolution. the Vice-President. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law. bribery. or betrayal of public trust. The President. other high crimes. but not by impeachment. and efficiency. and lead modest lives. which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days. loyalty. (2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. and by a majority vote of all its Members. treason. act with patriotism and justice. Public office is a public trust. (1) The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. and the Ombudsman may be removed from office. and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. SECTION 2.

(6) The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside. trial. When sitting for that purpose.least one-third of all the Members of the House. the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation. and punishment according to law. but shall not vote. the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment. the 12th Congress of the House of Representatives adopted and approved the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings (House Impeachment Rules) on November 28. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate. (7) Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines. but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution. and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed. The relevant distinctions between these two Congresses' House Impeachment Rules are shown in the following tabulation: 11TH CONGRESS RULES 12TH CONGRESS NEW RULES RULE II INITIATING IMPEACHMENT Section 2. superseding the previous House Impeachment Rules1 approved by the 11th Congress. Mode of Initiating Impeachment. 2001. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Following the above-quoted Section 8 of Article XI of the Constitution. (8) The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this section. When the President of the Philippines is on trial. (5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. – Impeachment shall be .

or on the date the House votes to overturn or affirm the finding of the said Committee that the verified complaint and/or resolution. impeachment proceedings against such official are deemed initiated on the day the Committee on Justice finds that the verified complaint and/or resolution against such official. – Impeachment Proceedings Deemed Initiated. In cases where a verified complaint or a resolution of impeachment is filed or endorsed. as the case may be.initiated only by a verified complaint for impeachment filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof or by a verified complaint or resolution of impeachment filed by at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House. is not sufficient in substance. as the case may be. RULE V BAR AGAINST INITIATION OF IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE SAME OFFICIAL Section 16. as the case may be. by at least one-third (1/3) of the Members of the House. Section 17. no impeachment proceedings. as . – In cases where a Member of the House files a verified complaint of impeachment or a citizen files a verified complaint that is endorsed by a Member of the House through a resolution of endorsement against an impeachable officer. impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated at the time of the filing of such verified complaint or resolution of impeachment with the Secretary General. Bar Against Initiation Of Impeachment Proceedings. RULE V BAR AGAINST IMPEACHMENT Section 14. is sufficient in substance. – Within a period of one (1) year from the date impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated as provided in Section 16 hereof. Scope of Bar. – No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within the period of one (1) year.

Zamora and Didagen Piang Dilangalen. (First District. Fuentebella.7 and was referred to the House Committee on Justice on August 5. 2002. Jr. which directed the Committee on Justice "to conduct an investigation. (Italics in the original. Davide Jr. emphasis and underscoring supplied) On July 22. can be initiated against the same official. Tarlac) and Felix William B. former President Joseph E. and seven Associate Justices5 of this Court for "culpable violation of the Constitution. 2003. Teodoro. The Committee. 2003. shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. 2003 of the first complaint or on October 23. Four months and three weeks since the filing on June 2. the second impeachment complaint11 was filed with the Secretary General of the House12 by Representatives Gilberto C."6 The complaint was endorsed by Representatives Rolex T. the House of Representatives adopted a Resolution. 20038 in accordance with Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution which reads: Section 3(2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. in aid of legislation.such. a day after the House Committee on Justice voted to dismiss it. which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days. on the manner of disbursements and expenditures by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF). The House Committee on Justice ruled on October 13."3 On June 2."9 but voted to dismiss the same on October 22. 2003 that the first impeachment complaint was "sufficient in form. Ronaldo B. the Committee Report to this effect has not yet been sent to the House in plenary in accordance with the said Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution. after hearing. Suplico. betrayal of the public trust and other high crimes. together with the corresponding resolution.2 sponsored by Representative Felix William D. and by a majority vote of all its Members.10 To date. Estrada filed an impeachment complaint4 (first impeachment complaint) against Chief Justice Hilario G. 2003 for being insufficient in substance. Fuentebella (Third .

Section 3 (2).R. to comply with Article IX. alleging that the issues of the case are of transcendental importance. alleging that he has a duty as a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to use all available legal remedies to stop an unconstitutional impeachment. and to promulgate rules which are consistent with the Constitution." In G. Francisco. and (3) this Court permanently enjoin respondent House of Representatives from proceeding with the second impeachment complaint. al.13 Thus arose the instant petitions against the House of Representatives.R.. in their petition for Certiorari/Prohibition. and for the issuance of a writ "perpetually" prohibiting respondents Senate and Senate President Franklin Drilon from accepting any Articles of . Sections 16 and 17 and Rule III. Prohibition and Mandamus are of transcendental importance.. as citizens and taxpayers. to return the second impeachment complaint and/or strike it off the records of the House of Representatives. founded on the alleged results of the legislative inquiry initiated by above- mentioned House Resolution.District. petitioners Sedfrey M.. Davide. In G. 8. No. Sections 5. Ernesto B. (3) and (5) of the Constitution. Candelaria. al. Jr. 6. 2001 by the House of Representatives and prays that (1) Rule V. and that he "himself was a victim of the capricious and arbitrary changes in the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings introduced by the 12th Congress. Jr. petitioner Atty. et. and 9 thereof be declared unconstitutional. No. 7. the issuance of a writ "perpetually" prohibiting respondent House of Representatives from filing any Articles of Impeachment against the Chief Justice with the Senate. 160261. (2) this Court issue a writ of mandamus directing respondents House of Representatives et. 160262. that the issues raised in his petition for Certiorari. This second impeachment complaint was accompanied by a "Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment" signed by at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House of Representatives. al.. et. most of which petitions contend that the filing of the second impeachment complaint is unconstitutional as it violates the provision of Section 5 of Article XI of the Constitution that "[n]o impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year."14 posits that his right to bring an impeachment complaint against then Ombudsman Aniano Desierto had been violated due to the capricious and arbitrary changes in the House Impeachment Rules adopted and approved on November 28. Camarines Sur) against Chief Justice Hilario G. pray.

claiming that they have a right to be protected against all forms of senseless spending of taxpayers' money and that they have an obligation to protect the Supreme Court. petitioner Francisco I. pray in their petition for Prohibition for an order prohibiting respondent House of Representatives from drafting. and respondents De Venecia and Nazareno from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. No. 160263. In G. In G.Impeachment against the Chief Justice or. adopting. 160277.. In G.R. de Castro and Soledad Cagampang. al. as citizens. Roque. alleging that this Court has recognized that he has locus standi to bring petitions of this nature in the cases of Chavez v. PCGG15 and Chavez v. PEA-Amari Coastal Bay Development Corporation. In G. in the event that the Senate has accepted the same. the Chief Justice.R. et.. trying and deciding the second . they have a legal interest in ensuring that only constitutional impeachment proceedings are initiated. lawyers and members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. 160295. petitioners Arturo M. hearing. No. and (2) this Court enjoin the Senate and the Senate President from taking cognizance of.16 prays in his petition for Injunction that the second impeachment complaint be declared unconstitutional. pray in their petition for Certiorari/Prohibition that the second impeachment complaint and any act proceeding therefrom be declared null and void. Alfonso et al. Gonzalez. petitioners Atty. 160310. No. as members of the House of Representatives. Baterina and Deputy Speaker Raul M. from proceeding with the impeachment trial. In G. and the integrity of the Judiciary. as taxpayers and members of the legal profession.R. alleging that their petition for Prohibition involves public interest as it involves the use of public funds necessary to conduct the impeachment trial on the second impeachment complaint. alleging that. Chavez. No. No. pray for the issuance of a writ of prohibition enjoining Congress from conducting further proceedings on said second impeachment complaint. 160292. Harry L. allege in their petition for Certiorari and Prohibition that it is instituted as "a class suit" and pray that (1) the House Resolution endorsing the second impeachment complaint as well as all issuances emanating therefrom be declared null and void. petitioners Representatives Salacnib F. taxpayers.R. approving and transmitting to the Senate the second impeachment complaint.R. petitioners Leonilo R.

pray for the issuance of a writ prohibiting respondents House of Representatives and the Senate from conducting further proceedings on the second impeachment complaint and that this Court declare as unconstitutional the second impeachment complaint and the acts of respondent House of Representatives in interfering with the fiscal matters of the Judiciary. and petitioner Engr. and its co-petitioner Crispin T. . Perito. petitioner Integrated Bar of the Philippines. which does not state what its nature is. petitioners U. Inc. No. both allege in their petition.P.. and issue a writ of prohibition commanding the Senate. taxpayer and a member of the Philippine Bar. whose members are citizens and taxpayers. R. In G. 160365. Reyes. 9 of Rule III of the House Impeachment Rules be declared unconstitutional and that the House of Representatives be permanently enjoined from proceeding with the second impeachment complaint.R. 160343. In G. al. No. No.R. In G. that the filing of the second impeachment complaint involves paramount public interest and pray that Sections 16 and 17 of the House Impeachment Rules and the second impeachment complaint/Articles of Impeachment be declared null and void. No.R. in their petition for Prohibition and Injunction which they claim is a class suit filed in behalf of all citizens.impeachment complaint. Factoran17 which was filed in behalf of succeeding generations of Filipinos. In G. a citizen. Claro Flores prays in his petition for Certiorari and Prohibition that the House Impeachment Rules be declared unconstitutional. Law Alumni Cebu Foundation Inc. 6. alleging that it is mandated by the Code of Professional Responsibility to uphold the Constitution. In G. 160360.R. 8. as a taxpayer. pray in their petition for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and Permanent Injunction to enjoin the House of Representatives from proceeding with the second impeachment complaint.. citing Oposa v. et. 160318. No.. 7. petitioner Atty. Menez. petitioner-taxpayer Atty. prays in its petition for Certiorari and Prohibition that Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V and Sections 5.R. Jr. its prosecutors and agents to desist from conducting any proceedings or to act on the impeachment complaint. Fernando P. 160342. petitioner Public Interest Center. Maximo N. as a citizen and a member of the Philippine Bar Association and of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines..

In G. No. 160397. without alleging his locus standi. as they acted without jurisdiction as far as the Articles of Impeachment assail the alleged abuse of powers of the Chief Justice to disburse the (JDF). No. Flores and Hector L. alleging that as professors of law they have an abiding interest in the subject matter of their petition for Certiorari and Prohibition as it pertains to a constitutional issue "which they are trying to inculcate in the minds of their students. No. petitioner Nilo A. Jr. he has a direct and substantial interest in the unhampered operation of the Supreme Court and its officials in discharging their duties in accordance with the Constitution. were "absolutely without any legal power to do so. 160376.R. petitioner Atty. alleges in his petition for Prohibition that respondents Fuentebella and Teodoro at the time they filed the second impeachment complaint.In G. alleging that the issues raised in the filing of the second impeachment complaint involve matters of transcendental importance. Dioscoro Vallejos. alleging that the issues in his petition for Prohibition are of national and transcendental significance and that as an official of the Philippine Judicial Academy. In G.R. 160370. Hofileña. prays in its petition for Certiorari/Prohibition that (1) the second impeachment complaint and all . as a taxpayer. petitioner-taxpayer Father Ranhilio Callangan Aquino.." In G. Malanyaon. 160403. petitioners Attorneys Venicio S.R.R.R. petitioner Philippine Bar Association." pray that the House of Representatives be enjoined from endorsing and the Senate from trying the Articles of Impeachment and that the second impeachment complaint be declared null and void. In G. No. prays in his petition "To Declare Complaint Null and Void for Lack of Cause of Action and Jurisdiction" that the second impeachment complaint be declared null and void. No. 160392. prays for the issuance of a writ prohibiting the House of Representatives from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate and the Senate from receiving the same or giving the impeachment complaint due course. but alleging that the second impeachment complaint is founded on the issue of whether or not the Judicial Development Fund (JDF) was spent in accordance with law and that the House of Representatives does not have exclusive jurisdiction in the examination and audit thereof.

No. 2003.19 and as reflected above. 160292 alleged that House Resolution No.. On October 28.proceedings arising therefrom be declared null and void. petitioners Democrit C. Before acting on the petitions with prayers for temporary restraining order . 2003. as citizens and taxpayers. petition bearing docket number G. during the plenary session of the House of Representatives. (2) respondent House of Representatives be prohibited from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate.R. pray in their petition for Certiorari/Prohibition that (1) the second impeachment complaint as well as the resolution of endorsement and impeachment by the respondent House of Representatives be declared null and void and (2) respondents Senate and Senate President Franklin Drilon be prohibited from accepting any Articles of Impeachment against the Chief Justice or. and (3) respondent Senate be prohibited from accepting the Articles of Impeachment and from conducting any proceedings thereon. No. Petitions bearing docket numbers G. Nos. 160405. al. Petition bearing docket number G. 160262 and 160263. Petitions bearing docket numbers G. Barcenas et.R.R. 2001 House Impeachment Rules as null and void for being unconstitutional. but it was not carried because the House of Representatives adjourned for lack of quorum. 160261 likewise prayed for the declaration of the November 28. which were filed on October 28. In G. sought similar relief.18 prayed for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or preliminary injunction to prevent the House of Representatives from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment arising from the second impeachment complaint to the Senate.R. in the event that they have accepted the same. No. In addition. Nos. 160277. a motion was put forth that the second impeachment complaint be formally transmitted to the Senate. 260 (calling for a legislative inquiry into the administration by the Chief Justice of the JDF) infringes on the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers and is a direct violation of the constitutional principle of fiscal autonomy of the judiciary. to date. 160261. the first three of the eighteen which were filed before this Court. 160292 and 160295.R. the Articles of Impeachment have yet to be forwarded to the Senate. that they be prohibited from proceeding with the impeachment trial.

2003. of November 3. when respondent House of Representatives through Speaker Jose C."22 Acting on the other petitions which were subsequently filed. filed a Motion to Intervene (Ex Abudante Cautela)21 and Comment. filed a Manifestation stating that insofar as it is . and/or its co-respondents. and (c) include them for oral arguments on November 5. be recognized and upheld pursuant to the provisions of Article XI of the Constitution. as well as the Solicitor General.m. Senator Aquilino Q. Justices Puno and Vitug offered to recuse themselves.. to comment on the petitions not later than 4:30 p. submitted a Manifestation asserting that this Court has no jurisdiction to hear. and (d) appointed distinguished legal experts as amici curiae. Jr. resolved to (a) consolidate the petitions. Drilon. On October 29. of November 3. at 10:00 a. in his own behalf. this Court called on petitioners and respondents to maintain the status quo. Also on October 28. authority and jurisdiction of the Senate as the impeachment court to try and decide impeachment cases. this Court resolved to (a) consolidate them with the earlier consolidated petitions. enjoining all the parties and others acting for and in their behalf to refrain from committing acts that would render the petitions moot. Pimentel. the Senate of the Philippines. 2003. On even date. 2003. 2003. 2003. this Court in its Resolution of October 28. Jr.. (b) require respondent House of Representatives and the Senate. but the Court rejected their offer. De Venecia.m. including the one where the Chief Justice is the respondent.20 In addition. (b) require respondents to file their comment not later than 4:30 p. by way of special appearance. 2003. which is an independent and co-equal branch of government under the Constitution. Justice Panganiban inhibited himself. 2003. much less prohibit or enjoin the House of Representatives. but the Court directed him to participate. praying that "the consolidated petitions be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction of the Court over the issues affecting the impeachment proceedings and that the sole power.m. Without necessarily giving the petitions due course. (c) set the petitions for oral arguments on November 5. 2003.and/or writ of preliminary injunction which were filed on or before October 28. through Senate President Franklin M. from the performance of its constitutionally mandated duty to initiate impeachment cases.

Atty. Jaime Soriano filed a "Petition for Leave to Intervene" in G. 2003. 160292. intervenors Senator Pimentel and Attorney Makalintal. and Solicitor General Alfredo Benipayo on the principal issues outlined in an Advisory issued by this Court on November 3. 160262. 2003 on the ground that it would unnecessarily put Congress and this Court in a "constitutional deadlock" and praying for the dismissal of all the petitions as the matter in question is not yet ripe for judicial determination. and whether it should be exercised by this Court at this time. the petitions are plainly premature and have no basis in law or in fact. and 160310. Nos. which it had not. 160263. adding that as of the time of the filing of the petitions. and (2) the principal issues raised by the petitions pertain exclusively to the proceedings in the House of Representatives. Inc.R.concerned. questioning the status quo Resolution issued by this Court on October 28. On November 3. on what issues and at what time. filed a Motion for Intervention in G.R. 2003. . On November 5-6. 160262 a "Motion for Leave of Court to Intervene and to Admit the Herein Incorporated Petition in Intervention. Macalintal and Pete Quirino Quadra filed in G. 160277. The motions for intervention were granted and both Senator Pimentel's Comment and Attorneys Macalintal and Quadra's Petition in Intervention were admitted. 2003. 160292. this Court heard the views of the amici curiae and the arguments of petitioners. No. 160261. to wit: Whether the certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may be invoked. 160262. 160295. Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino. who can invoke it. Inc." On November 4. 160261.R. 160277. 2003.R. 160263. Attorneys Romulo B. also filed a "Petition-in-Intervention with Leave to Intervene" in G. On October 30. no justiciable issue was presented before it since (1) its constitutional duty to constitute itself as an impeachment court commences only upon its receipt of the Articles of Impeachment. 160261. 2003. and 160295. Nos. World War II Veterans Legionnaires of the Philippines. 2003. On November 5. No.

e) Senate's "sole" power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. b) ripeness(prematurity. petitioners plead for this Court to exercise the power of judicial review to determine the validity of the second impeachment complaint. c) political question/justiciability. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. this Court has sifted and determined them to be as follows: (1) the threshold and novel issue of whether or not the power of judicial review extends to those arising from impeachment proceedings. (2) whether or not the essential pre-requisites for the exercise of the power of judicial review have been fulfilled. Article VIII of our present 1987 Constitution: SECTION 1. These matters shall now be discussed in seriatim. Judicial Review As reflected above. d) House's "exclusive" power to initiate all cases of impeachment. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual . and g) judicial restraint (Italics in the original) In resolving the intricate conflux of preliminary and substantive issues arising from the instant petitions as well as the myriad arguments and opinions presented for and against the grant of the reliefs prayed for. mootness). This Court's power of judicial review is conferred on the judicial branch of the government in Section 1. f) constitutionality of the House Rules on Impeachment vis-a-vis Section 3(5) of Article XI of the Constitution. and (3) the substantive issues yet remaining. the following may be taken up: a) locus standi of petitioners.In discussing these issues.

Thus. In cases of conflict. acting through their delegates to so provide. If these restrictions and limitations are transcended it would be inconceivable if the Constitution had not provided for a mechanism by which to direct the course of government along constitutional channels. under a system of checks and balances. has been set at rest by popular acquiescence for a period of more than one and a half centuries. In the United States where no express constitutional grant is found in their constitution. for then the distribution of powers would be mere verbiage. if not entirely obliterated. our Constitution is of course lacking perfection and perfectibility. and the principles of good government mere political apothegms. (Emphasis supplied) Such power of judicial review was early on exhaustively expounded upon by Justice Jose P. and subject to specific limitations and restrictions provided in the said instrument. the great landmarks of the Constitution are apt to be forgotten or marred. if not expressly. par. the judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments and among the integral or constituent units thereof. In our case. The Constitution sets forth in no uncertain language the restrictions and limitations upon governmental powers and agencies. Electoral Commission23 after the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution whose provisions. not to speak of its historical origin and development there. 2 on what judicial power includes. Certainly. 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. but as much as it was within the power of our people. the limitations and restrictions embodied in our Constitution are real as they should be in any living constitution. Justice Laurel discoursed: x x x In times of social disquietude or political excitement. As any human production. has established a republican government intended to operate and function as a harmonious whole. did not contain the present provision in Article VIII. the possession of this moderating power of the courts. by clear implication from section 2 of article VIII of our . that instrument which is the expression of their sovereignty however limited. this moderating power is granted. the bill of rights mere expressions of sentiment.controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. unlike the present Constitution. Laurel in the definitive 1936 case of Angara v. Section 1.

More than that. emphasis and underscoring supplied) As pointed out by Justice Laurel.Constitution. the judiciary does not pass upon questions of wisdom. Narrowed as its function is in this manner. justice or expediency of legislation." To be sure. it was in the 1803 leading case of Marbury v. scope and extent of such powers? The Constitution itself has provided for the instrumentality of the judiciary as the rational way.24 (Italics in the original. even in the United States where the power of judicial review is not explicitly conferred upon the courts by its Constitution. and limited further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis mota presented. this "moderating power" to "determine the proper allocation of powers" of the different branches of government and "to direct the course of government along constitutional channels" is inherent in all courts25 as a necessary consequence of the judicial power itself. courts accord the presumption of constitutionality to legislative enactments. Who is to determine the nature. And when the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries. Any attempt at abstraction could only lead to dialectics and barren legal questions and to sterile conclusions unrelated to actualities."26 Thus. This is in truth all that is involved in what is termed "judicial supremacy" which properly is the power of judicial review under the Constitution. it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature. Even then. not only because the legislature is presumed to abide by the Constitution but also because the judiciary in the determination of actual cases and controversies must reflect the wisdom and justice of the people as expressed through their representatives in the executive and legislative departments of the government. but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them. Madison27 that the power of judicial review was first articulated . which is "the power of the court to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. such power has "been set at rest by popular acquiescence for a period of more than one and a half centuries. this power of judicial review is limited to actual cases and controversies to be exercised after full opportunity of argument by the parties. The Constitution is a definition of the powers of government. it does not assert any superiority over the other departments.

31 judicial review is indeed an integral component of the delicate system of checks and balances which. It obtains not through express provision but by actual division . the particular phraseology of the constitution of the United States confirms and strengthens the principle. together with the corollary principle of separation of powers. Administrative or executive acts. that in declaring what shall be the supreme law of the land. When the courts declare a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution. but those only which shall be made in pursuance of the constitution. decades before its express grant in the 1935 Constitution. and their violation or non-observance shall not be excused by disuse. The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in our system of government. (Emphasis supplied) As indicated in Angara v.30 the executive and legislative branches of our government in fact effectively acknowledged this power of judicial review in Article 7 of the Civil Code. Electoral Commission.by Chief Justice Marshall. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones. to wit: Article 7. the power of judicial review was exercised by our courts to invalidate constitutionally infirm acts. Thus. and not the laws of the United States generally. orders and regulations shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws or the Constitution. as early as 1902. the former shall be void and the latter shall govern. and that courts. as well as other departments. or custom or practice to the contrary. that a law repugnant to the constitution is void.29 And as pointed out by noted political law professor and former Supreme Court Justice Vicente V. are bound by that instrument.28 (Italics in the original. have that rank. the constitution itself is first mentioned. emphasis supplied) In our own jurisdiction. forms the bedrock of our republican form of government and insures that its vast powers are utilized only for the benefit of the people for which it serves. to wit: It is also not entirely unworthy of observation. supposed to be essential to all written constitutions. Mendoza.

x x x And the judiciary in turn. into block letter law the so-called "expanded certiorari jurisdiction" of this Court.in our Constitution. and hence to declare executive and legislative acts void if violative of the Constitution. for the first time into its history. The next provision is new in our constitutional law. medium of participation – or instrument of intervention – of the judiciary in that balancing operation. and is supreme within its own sphere. "x x x judicial review is essential for the maintenance and enforcement of the separation of powers and the balancing of powers among the three great departments of government through the definition and maintenance of the boundaries of authority and control between them."34 To ensure the potency of the power of judicial review to curb grave abuse of discretion by "any branch or instrumentalities of government. Each department of the government has exclusive cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction." the afore- quoted Section 1. I suppose nobody can question it. The Constitution has provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the various departments of the government. Article VIII of the Constitution engraves. indeed the only. "[j]udicial review is the chief. I will read it first and . the nature of and rationale for which are mirrored in the following excerpt from the sponsorship speech of its proponent. effectively checks the other departments in the exercise of its power to determine the law. with the Supreme Court as the final arbiter. former Chief Justice Constitutional Commissioner Roberto Concepcion: xxx The first section starts with a sentence copied from former Constitutions.32 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) In the scholarly estimation of former Supreme Court Justice Florentino Feliciano. It says: The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. But it does not follow from the fact that the three powers are to be kept separate and distinct that the Constitution intended them to be absolutely unrestrained and independent of each other."33 To him.

which then had no legal defense at all. x x x xxx Briefly stated. or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction.explain. As a consequence. In other words.35 (Italics in the original. courts of justice determine the limits of power of the agencies and offices of the government as well as those of its officers. that is. certain principles concerning particularly the writ of habeas corpus. this is actually a product of our experience during martial law. but the role of the judiciary during the deposed regime was marred considerably by the circumstance that in a number of cases against the government. Fellow Members of this Commission. since it is political. encouraged further violations thereof during the martial law regime. in effect. Judicial power includes the duty of courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part or instrumentality of the government. And the Supreme Court said: "Well. As a matter of fact. the solicitor general set up the defense of political questions and got away with it. This is the background of paragraph 2 of Section 1. the authority of courts to order the release of political detainees. emphasis and underscoring supplied) . we have no authority to pass upon it." The Committee on the Judiciary feels that this was not a proper solution of the questions involved. This is not only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature. It did not merely request an encroachment upon the rights of the people. which means that the courts cannot hereafter evade the duty to settle matters of this nature. by claiming that such matters constitute a political question. the judiciary is the final arbiter on the question whether or not a branch of government or any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction. and other matters related to the operation and effect of martial law failed because the government set up the defense of political question. it has some antecedents in the past. but it.

The words of the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with the intent of its framers.To determine the merits of the issues raised in the instant petitions. It is to be assumed that the words in which constitutional provisions are couched express the objective sought to be attained. A doubtful provision will be examined in the light of the history of the times. if any. the words used in the Constitution must be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed. and the condition and circumstances under which the Constitution was framed. and the evils.37 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Second. First. Thus these are the cases where the need for construction is reduced to a minimum. it being essential for the rule of law to obtain that it should ever be present in the people's consciousness. The object is to ascertain the reason which induced the framers of the Constitution to enact the particular provision and the purpose sought to be accomplished thereby. that is.M. Executive Secretary38 in this wise: A foolproof yardstick in constitutional construction is the intention underlying the provision under consideration. in J. What it says according to the text of the provision to be construed compels acceptance and negates the power of the courts to alter it. Inc. speaking through Chief Justice Enrique Fernando. in order to construe the whole as to make the words consonant to that reason and calculated to . its language as much as possible should be understood in the sense they have in common use. this Court must necessarily turn to the Constitution itself which employs the well-settled principles of constitutional construction. where there is ambiguity. Tuason & Co.. declared: We look to the language of the document itself in our search for its meaning.36 this Court. but that is where we begin. based on the postulate that the framers and the people mean what they say. sought to be prevented or remedied. Thus. verba legis. Thus. They are to be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed in which case the significance thus attached to them prevails. And so did this Court apply this principle in Civil Liberties Union v. As the Constitution is not primarily a lawyer's document. Land Tenure Administration. wherever possible. v. it has been held that the Court in construing a Constitution should bear in mind the object sought to be accomplished by its adoption. ratio legis est anima. We do not of course stop there.

but that all the provisions bearing upon a particular subject are to be brought into view and to be so interpreted as to effectuate the great purposes of the instrument. through Chief Justice Manuel Moran declared: x x x [T]he members of the Constitutional Convention could not have dedicated a provision of our Constitution merely for the benefit of one person without considering that it could also affect others. if by any reasonable construction. it declared: x x x The ascertainment of that intent is but in keeping with the fundamental principle of constitutional construction that the intent of the framers of the organic law and of the people adopting it should be given effect. still in Civil Liberties Union v. Sections bearing on a particular subject should be considered and interpreted together as to effectuate the whole purpose of the Constitution and one section is not to be allowed to defeat another. not by itself alone. The primary task in constitutional construction is to ascertain and thereafter assure the realization of the purpose of the framers and of the people in the adoption of the Constitution. but in conjunction with all other provisions of that great document. Thus.42 this Court.39 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) As it did in Nitafan v.44 this Court affirmed that: It is a well-established rule in constitutional construction that no one provision of the Constitution is to be separated from all the others. Melencio-Herrera. When they adopted subsection 2. in Chiongbian v. to be considered alone. ut magis valeat quam pereat. that said provision should function to the full extent of its substance and its terms.effect that purpose. Commissioner on Internal Revenue40 where. The Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole. De Leon. they permitted.43 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Likewise.41 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Finally. the two can be made to stand together. . speaking through Madame Justice Amuerfina A. Executive Secretary. It may also be safely assumed that the people in ratifying the Constitution were guided mainly by the explanation offered by the framers. if not willed.

however. this Court expounded: While it is permissible in this jurisdiction to consult the debates and proceedings of the constitutional convention in order to arrive at the reason and purpose of the resulting Constitution. and as indicating the reasons for their votes. and must lean in favor of a construction which will render every word operative. In still the same case of Civil Liberties Union v. et. Executive Secretary. if practicable. rather than one which may make the words idle and nugatory. We think it safer to construe the constitution from what appears upon its face. al. much less of the mass of our fellow citizens whose votes at the polls gave that instrument the force of fundamental law.47 For his part.49 In furthering their arguments on the proposition that impeachment . al. Hence. Briefly stated. intervenor Senator Pimentel contends that the Senate's "sole power to try" impeachment cases48 (1) entirely excludes the application of judicial review over it. resort thereto may be had only when other guides fail as said proceedings are powerless to vary the terms of the Constitution when the meaning is clear. and (2) necessarily includes the Senate's power to determine constitutional questions relative to impeachment proceedings.45 (Emphasis supplied) If. the plain meaning of the word is not found to be clear. resort to other aids is available. it is the position of respondents Speaker De Venecia et. and intervenor Senator Pimentel raise the novel argument that the Constitution has excluded impeachment proceedings from the coverage of judicial review. the court must harmonize them. issue or incident arising at any stage of the impeachment proceeding is beyond the reach of judicial review. that impeachment is a political action which cannot assume a judicial character. Debates in the constitutional convention "are of value as showing the views of the individual members." The proper interpretation therefore depends more on how it was understood by the people adopting it than in the framers's understanding thereof. but they give us no light as to the views of the large majority who did not talk.In other words. any question.46 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) It is in the context of the foregoing backdrop of constitutional refinement and jurisprudential application of the power of judicial review that respondents Speaker De Venecia.

52 "[i]n resolving constitutional disputes. Respondents' and intervenors' reliance upon American jurisprudence. "[w]e have cut the umbilical cord.S. much less the American Constitution. As held in the case of Garcia vs. their paths of development have long since diverged." The major difference between the judicial power of the Philippine Supreme Court and that of the U.50 Thus. principally the majority opinion in the case of Nixon v. under which impeachment is the only legislative check on the judiciary. 3(6) of the Constitution.S. and it would create a lack of finality and difficulty in fashioning relief. Supreme Court and is discretionary in nature. Nor can it reasonably support the interpretation that it necessarily confers upon the Senate the inherently judicial power to determine constitutional questions incident to impeachment proceedings. In the colorful words of Father Bernas. that granted to the Philippine Supreme Court and .51 Respondents likewise point to deliberations on the US Constitution to show the intent to isolate judicial power of review in cases of impeachment. Said American jurisprudence and authorities. it disturbs the system of checks and balances. [this Court] should not be beguiled by foreign jurisprudence some of which are hardly applicable because they have been dictated by different constitutional settings and needs. they contend that the exercise of judicial review over impeachment proceedings is inappropriate since it runs counter to the framers' decision to allocate to different fora the powers to try impeachments and to try crimes.proceedings are outside the scope of judicial review. are of dubious application for these are no longer controlling within our jurisdiction and have only limited persuasive merit insofar as Philippine constitutional law is concerned. XI. United States. the American Constitution and American authorities cannot be credited to support the proposition that the Senate's "sole power to try and decide impeachment cases. al. is a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of all issues pertaining to impeachment to the legislature. and intervenor Senator Pimentel rely heavily on American authorities. et." as provided for under Art. although the Philippine Constitution can trace its origins to that of the United States. Sec. COMELEC. respondents Speaker De Venecia. to the total exclusion of the power of judicial review to check and restrain any grave abuse of the impeachment process."53 Indeed. Supreme Court is that while the power of judicial review is only impliedly granted to the U.

57 "judicially discoverable standards" for determining the validity of the exercise of such discretion.59 cited by respondents in support of the argument that the impeachment power is beyond the scope of judicial review. These limitations include the manner of filing. required vote to impeach. Carr. (4) and (5).55 provides for several limitations to the exercise of such power as embodied in Section 3(2). Thus. . Yniguez58 and Alejandrino v. and the one year bar on the impeachment of one and the same official. These cases concern the denial of petitions for writs of mandamus to compel the legislature to perform non-ministerial acts. and do not concern the exercise of the power of judicial review. or in the language of Baker v.S."56 But did not the people also express their will when they instituted the above-mentioned safeguards in the Constitution? This shows that the Constitution did not intend to leave the matter of impeachment to the sole discretion of Congress. in Santiago v. Quezon. though vesting in the House of Representatives the exclusive power to initiate impeachment cases. There are also glaring distinctions between the U. There is indeed a plethora of cases in which this Court exercised the power of judicial review over congressional action. Article XI thereof. Thus.S. and it was given an expanded definition to include the power to correct any grave abuse of discretion on the part of any government branch or instrumentality. recognizing full well the perils of judicial willfulness and pride. they call upon this Court to exercise judicial statesmanship on the principle that "whenever possible. is not just a power but also a duty. While the U. Constitution bestows sole power of impeachment to the House of Representatives without limitation. Respondents are also of the view that judicial review of impeachments undermines their finality and may also lead to conflicts between Congress and the judiciary. Constitution and the Philippine Constitution with respect to the power of the House of Representatives over impeachment proceedings. it provided for certain well-defined limits. as expressly provided for in the Constitution.lower courts. Guingona. Instead. the Court should defer to the judgment of the people expressed legislatively. are not in point.54 our Constitution. through the power of judicial review. (3). The cases of Romulo v.

it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute.. In Angara v.Jr. is . Essential Requisites for Judicial Review As clearly stated in Angara v."67 Both are integral components of the calibrated system of independence and interdependence that insures that no branch of government act beyond the powers assigned to it by the Constitution.65 it held that although under the Constitution. Angara. Pineda. Article VI of the Constitution is subject to judicial review. of a congressman as a member of the House Electoral Tribunal for being violative of Section 17. Article VI of the Constitution.61 in seeking to nullify an act of the Philippine Senate on the ground that it contravened the Constitution. Electoral Commission. In Tanada v. is not essential before such member-elect may discharge the duties and enjoy the privileges of a member of the National Assembly.60 this Court ruled that it is well within the power and jurisdiction of the Court to inquire whether the Senate or its officials committed a violation of the Constitution or grave abuse of discretion in the exercise of their functions and prerogatives. this does not detract from the power of the courts to pass upon the constitutionality of acts of Congress.64 it held that the act of the House of Representatives in removing the petitioner from the Commission on Appointments is subject to judicial review. the legislative power is vested exclusively in Congress. it held that the petition raises a justiciable controversy and that when an action of the legislative branch is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution. In Coseteng v. Cuenco.63 it held that the resolution of whether the House representation in the Commission on Appointments was based on proportional representation of the political parties as provided in Section 18. Verily. there exists no constitutional basis for the contention that the exercise of judicial review over impeachment proceedings would upset the system of checks and balances. In Tanada v. Singson. In Daza v. In Bondoc v. like almost all powers conferred by the Constitution. irrespective of whether his election is contested. and rescinding the election. the courts' power of judicial review. the Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole and "one section is not to be allowed to defeat another. Finally.62 this Court declared null and void a resolution of the House of Representatives withdrawing the nomination. Electoral Commission. Mitra.66 it ruled that confirmation by the National Assembly of the election of any member.

courts accord the presumption of constitutionality to legislative enactments. direct injury as a result of its enforcement. Upon the other hand. namely: (1) an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power. Narrowed as its function is in this manner. contends that petitioners do not have standing since only the Chief Justice has sustained and will sustain direct personal injury. . Any attempt at abstraction could only lead to dialectics and barren legal questions and to sterile conclusions unrelated to actualities. not only because the legislature is presumed to abide by the Constitution but also because the judiciary in the determination of actual cases and controversies must reflect the wisdom and justice of the people as expressed through their representatives in the executive and legislative departments of the government. and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case. The gist of the question of standing is whether a party alleges such personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions.subject to several limitations. this power of judicial review is limited to actual cases and controversies to be exercised after full opportunity of argument by the parties.68 (Italics in the original) Standing Locus standi or legal standing or has been defined as a personal and substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged. (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity. Amicus curiae former Justice Minister and Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza similarly contends. in the past. the judiciary does not pass upon questions of wisdom. or will sustain. and limited further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis mota presented. the Solicitor General asserts that petitioners have standing since this Court had. justice or expediency of legislation. accorded standing to taxpayers. x x x Even then. in praying for the dismissal of the petitions. he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained. (2) the person challenging the act must have "standing" to challenge. More than that.69 Intervenor Soriano.

Morato75 to clarify what is meant by locus standi and to distinguish it from real party-in-interest. citing transcendental importance and the well-entrenched rule exception that.71 and that procedural matters are subordinate to the need to determine whether or not the other branches of the government have kept themselves within the limits of the Constitution and the laws and that they have not abused the discretion given to them. for the former is a concept of civil procedure73 while the latter has constitutional underpinnings. Although all three requirements are directed towards ensuring that only certain parties can maintain an action. as well as broader policy concerns relating to the proper role of the judiciary in certain areas. The difference between the rule on standing and real party in interest has been noted by authorities thus: "It is important to note . is very different from questions relating to whether a particular plaintiff is the real party in interest or has capacity to sue.P. as in the case of the Chief Justice who. taxpayers or voters who actually sue in the public interest. when the real party in interest is unable to vindicate his rights by seeking the same remedies. College of Law is of the same opinion. Standing is a special concern in constitutional law because in some cases suits are brought not by parties who have been personally injured by the operation of a law or by official action taken.72 Amicus curiae Dean Raul Pangalangan of the U. the courts will grant petitioners standing. it behooves the Court to reiterate the ruling in Kilosbayan. however. for ethical reasons. concerned citizens. There is. legislators in cases involving paramount public interest70 and transcendental importance.voters. standing restrictions require a partial consideration of the merits. a difference between the rule on real-party-in-interest and the rule on standing.74 In view of the arguments set forth regarding standing. . but by concerned citizens. v. Inc. that standing because of its constitutional and public policy underpinnings. cannot himself invoke the jurisdiction of this Court. . Hence the question in standing is whether such parties have "alleged such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions." xxx .

concerned citizens. not only that the law or any government act is invalid. however. members of Congress.On the other hand. or the 'party entitled to the avails of the suit. and not merely that he suffers thereby in some indefinite way. the interest of the petitioner assailing the constitutionality of a statute must be direct and personal. individually or in a class suit.79 Before he can invoke the power of judicial review. when the proceeding involves the assertion of a public right. On the contrary. none of the petitioners before us asserts a violation of the personal rights of the Chief Justice. It must appear that the person complaining has been or is about to be denied some right or privilege to which he is lawfully entitled or that he is about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by reason of the statute or act complained of. In a long line of cases.78 the mere fact that he is a citizen satisfies the requirement of personal interest.'"76 (Citations omitted) While rights personal to the Chief Justice may have been injured by the alleged unconstitutional acts of the House of Representatives. It is not sufficient that he has merely a general interest common to all members of the public. he must specifically prove that he has sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by taxation and that he would sustain a direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the questioned statute or contract.77 In fine. or that public money is being deflected to any improper purpose. and members of the bar and of the legal profession – which were supposedly violated by the alleged unconstitutional acts of the House of Representatives. or that there is a wastage of public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law.80 . When suing as a citizen. but also that he sustained or is in imminent danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of its enforcement. he is allowed to sue where there is a claim that public funds are illegally disbursed. the question as to "real party in interest" is whether he is "the party who would be benefited or injured by the judgment. they invariably invoke the vindication of their own rights – as taxpayers. In the case of a taxpayer. He must be able to show. taxpayers and legislators when specific requirements have been met have been given standing by this Court. citizens. however.

No. 160403. No. when dealing with class suits filed in behalf of all citizens. In the same vein. their petition will stand. although undoubtedly true. in G. a reading of the petitions shows that it has advanced constitutional issues which deserve the attention of this Court in view of their seriousness.82 Indeed. .R. courts are vested with discretion as to whether or not a taxpayer's suit should be entertained.86 It. under the res judicata principle. is. Dioscoro U. however. Vallejos. whether favorable or unfavorable to the class. while Atty. Since petitioners additionally allege standing as citizens and taxpayers.81 This Court opts to grant standing to most of the petitioners.R.88 for a judgment in a class suit. binding on all members of the class whether or not they were before the court. behooves this Court to relax the rules on standing and to resolve the issues presented by it. novelty and weight as precedents.83 While an association has legal personality to represent its members. It is shared by other groups and the whole citizenry. a member of the House of Representatives has standing to maintain inviolate the prerogatives. therefore. given their allegation that any impending transmittal to the Senate of the Articles of Impeachment and the ensuing trial of the Chief Justice will necessarily involve the expenditure of public funds. persons intervening must be sufficiently numerous to fully protect the interests of all concerned87 to enable the court to deal properly with all interests involved in the suit. No. in G. 160397. Its interest is too general. G. 160365 as a class suit ought to fail.At all events. does not suffice to clothe it with standing. powers and privileges vested by the Constitution in his office. However. he is allowed to sue to question the validity of any official action which he claims infringes his prerogatives as a legislator.84 especially when it is composed of substantial taxpayers and the outcome will affect their vital interests. is mum on his standing.R. The Philippine Bar Association. As for a legislator.85 the mere invocation by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines or any member of the legal profession of the duty to preserve the rule of law and nothing more.89 Where it clearly appears that not all interests can be sufficiently represented as shown by the divergent issues raised in the numerous petitions before this Court. invokes the sole ground of transcendental importance.

No.90 Applying these determinants. it may be permitted by the courts when the applicant shows facts which satisfy the requirements of the law authorizing intervention. Since. at the very least. et. granted the Motion for Leave of Court to Intervene and Petition-in-Intervention.R. With respect to the motions for intervention. al. Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino. 160261. 160262. In not a few cases. et. or is so situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the custody of the court or of an officer thereof. Invoking . and (3) the lack of any other party with a more direct and specific interest in raising the questions being raised.91 Such liberality does not. al. Inc. the following instructive determinants formulated by former Supreme Court Justice Florentino P. No. Rule 19. He does not thus have standing. or in the success of either of the parties. in G.92 In Intervenors Attorneys Romulo Macalintal and Pete Quirino Quadra's case.There being no doctrinal definition of transcendental importance.R. save for one additional issue. A party must. this Court is satisfied that the issues raised herein are indeed of transcendental importance. or an interest against both. mean that the requirement that a party should have an interest in the matter is totally eliminated. it not being one of which courts can take judicial notice. sought to join petitioner Francisco in G. In petitioner Vallejos' case. al.. this Court has in fact adopted a liberal attitude on the locus standi of a petitioner where the petitioner is able to craft an issue of transcendental significance to the people. he failed to allege any interest in the case. however. et. (2) the presence of a clear case of disregard of a constitutional or statutory prohibition by the public respondent agency or instrumentality of the government. and no objection on the part of petitioners Candelaria. this Court as earlier stated. has been interposed. as when the issues raised are of paramount importance to the public. While intervention is not a matter of right. Section 2 of the Rules of Court requires an intervenor to possess a legal interest in the matter in litigation. Feliciano are instructive: (1) the character of the funds or other assets involved in the case. they seek to join petitioners Candelaria. they raise the same issues and the same standing. still plead the existence of such interest.

their right as citizens to intervene.. he failed to meet the standing requirement for bringing taxpayer's suits as set forth in Dumlao v. allowed to argue. the same must be denied for. Finding that Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino. filed a "Petition-in-Intervention with Leave to Intervene" to raise the additional issue of whether or not the second impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice is valid and based on any of the grounds prescribed by the Constitution. as to Jaime N. For this reason. 160292. and 160310 were of transcendental importance. 160263." this Court found the requisites for intervention had been complied with. 160261. he being a member of Congress against which the herein petitions are directed. his Motion to Intervene was granted and he was. Nos. Inc. Senator Aquilino Pimentel. He alleges that submitting to this Court's jurisdiction as the Senate President does will undermine the independence of the Senate which will sit as an impeachment court once the Articles of Impeachment are transmitted to it from the House of Representatives. Senator Pimentel possesses a legal interest in the matter in litigation. possess a legal interest in the matter in litigation the respective motions to intervene were hereby granted. Inc. Alleging that the issues raised in the petitions in G. concededly. Lastly.93 to wit: x x x While." or that there is a misapplication of such funds by respondent COMELEC. Soriano's motion to intervene. or that public . the elections to be held involve the expenditure of public moneys. and to fully ventilate all substantial issues relating to the matter at hand. 160295. as earlier stated. on the other hand.R. while he asserts an interest as a taxpayer. Clearly. Comelec. sought to intervene for the limited purpose of making of record and arguing a point of view that differs with Senate President Drilon's. alleging that "they will suffer if this insidious scheme of the minority members of the House of Representatives is successful. et al. and World War II Veterans Legionnaires of the Philippines. World War II Veterans Legionnaires of the Philippines. nowhere in their Petition do said petitioners allege that their tax money is "being extracted and spent in violation of specific constitutional protection against abuses of legislative power. Inc. 160262. 160277.

if and when the latter is challenged in an appropriate legal proceeding. He thus recommends that all remedies in the House and Senate should first be exhausted. Additionally. Neither do petitioners seek to restrain respondent from wasting public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law.. the prerequisite that the alleged unconstitutional act should be accomplished and performed before suit. Soriano failed even to allege that the act of petitioners will result in illegal disbursement of public funds or in public money being deflected to any improper purpose.95 this Court. i.P.94 (Citations omitted) In praying for the dismissal of the petitions. Macapagal. the constitutionality of which is questioned. Ripeness and Prematurity In Tan v. The questioned acts having been carried out. Salonga opines that there may be no urgent need for this Court to render a decision at this time. "it is a prerequisite that something had by then been accomplished or performed by either branch before a court may come into the picture. Macapagal holds. through Chief Justice Fernando. held that for a case to be considered ripe for adjudication. has been complied with.money is being deflected to any improper purpose. Taking a similar stand is Dean Raul Pangalangan of the U. College of Law who suggests to this Court to take judicial notice of on-going attempts to encourage signatories to the second impeachment complaint to withdraw their signatures and opines that the House Impeachment Rules provide for . the second impeachment complaint had been filed with the House of Representatives and the 2001 Rules have already been already promulgated and enforced. it being the final arbiter on questions of constitutionality anyway. Amicus curiae former Senate President Jovito R. as Tan v. his mere interest as a member of the Bar does not suffice to clothe him with standing. Related to the issue of ripeness is the question of whether the instant petitions are premature.e. The instant petitions raise in the main the issue of the validity of the filing of the second impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice in accordance with the House Impeachment Rules adopted by the 12th Congress."96 Only then may the courts pass on the validity of what was done.

are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity. without consistency and seemingly without any rhyme or reason. neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate is clothed with the power to rule with definitiveness on the issue of constitutionality. by itself.99 (Italics in the original) Prior to the 1973 Constitution. as said power is exclusively vested in the judiciary by the earlier quoted Section I. Neither would such a withdrawal. the Chief Justice can raise the issue of their constitutional infirmity by way of a motion to dismiss. not legality. Remedy cannot be sought from a body which is bereft of power to grant it. petitioners would continue to suffer their injuries. obliterate the questioned second impeachment complaint since it would only place it under the ambit of Sections 3(2) and (3) of Article XI of the Constitution97 and. The dean maintains that even assuming that the Articles are transmitted to the Senate. whether concerning impeachment proceedings or otherwise. The dean's position does not persuade. this . of a particular measure." It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom. In some cases.98 Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion defined the term "political question. Justiciability In the leading case of Tanada v. a question of policy. namely. by itself. as previously discussed. or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the Legislature or executive branch of the Government." viz: [T]he term "political question" connotes. under the Constitution. what it means in ordinary parlance. In other words. this Court vacillated on its stance of taking cognizance of cases which involved political questions. Cuenco. Second and most importantly. the futility of seeking remedies from either or both Houses of Congress before coming to this Court is shown by the fact that.an opportunity for members to raise constitutional questions themselves when the Articles of Impeachment are presented on a motion to transmit to the same to the Senate. therefore. cure the House Impeachment Rules of their constitutional infirmity. the withdrawal by the Representatives of their signatures would not. Article VIII of the Constitution. in the language of Corpus Juris Secundum. in legal parlance. First. it refers to "those questions which.

I suppose. CONCEPCION. reflects the will of God. It says: The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. the usual comment that the judiciary is the weakest among the three major branches of the service. The frequency with which this Court invoked the political question doctrine to refuse to take jurisdiction over certain cases during the Marcos regime motivated Chief Justice Concepcion. . to clarify this Court's power of judicial review and its application on issues involving political questions. Executive Secretary102 which raised the issue of whether the 1973 Constitution was ratified.101 Even in the landmark 1988 case of Javellana v. I will read it first and explain. the judiciary has nothing with which to enforce its decisions or commands except the power of reason and appeal to conscience which. I will speak on the judiciary. it being a question decided by the people in their sovereign capacity. however. I suppose nobody can question it. everybody has made.Court hid behind the cover of the political question doctrine and refused to exercise its power of judicial review. Presiding Officer. this Court shunted the political question doctrine and took cognizance thereof. Thank you. with the body's indulgence. The next provision is new in our constitutional law. hence. Practically. The first section starts with a sentence copied from former Constitutions. Ratification by the people of a Constitution is a political question. and is the most powerful of all other powers without exception. in force. after all. I will proceed to read the provisions drafted by the Committee on the Judiciary. when he became a Constitutional Commissioner. viz: MR. this Court assumed jurisdiction whenever it found constitutionally imposed limits on powers or functions conferred upon political bodies.100 In other cases. Mr. despite the seeming political nature of the therein issues involved. x x x And so. Since the legislature holds the purse and the executive the sword.

if I am not mistaken. in effect. some delegates to that 1971 Constitutional Convention. which then had no legal defense at all. And the Supreme Court said: "Well. 1971 and by September 21 or 22 had not finished the Constitution. the solicitor general set up the defense of political questions and got away with it. this is actually a product of our experience during martial law. were picked up." The Committee on the Judiciary feels that this was not a proper solution of the questions involved. . the unfinished draft of the Constitution was taken over by representatives of Malacañang. It did not merely request an encroachment upon the rights of the people. encouraged further violations thereof during the martial law regime. and other matters related to the operation and effect of martial law failed because the government set up the defense of political question. Commissioner Calderon. dozens of them. the Secretary of Justice. But for the benefit of the Members of the Commission who are not lawyers. Fellow Members of this Commission. One of them was our very own colleague. it has some antecedents in the past.Judicial power includes the duty of courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part or instrumentality of the government. certain principles concerning particularly the writ of habeas corpus. since it is political. Martial law was announced on September 22. it had barely agreed in the fundamentals of the Constitution. we have no authority to pass upon it. the media hardly published anything about it. So. As a matter of fact. I am sure the members of the Bar are familiar with this situation. As a consequence. but the role of the judiciary during the deposed regime was marred considerably by the circumstance that in a number of cases against the government. that is. the media could not publish any story not only because our main writers were already incarcerated. The 1971 Constitutional Convention had begun on June 1. So that when martial law was announced on September 22. although the proclamation was dated September 21. but also because those who succeeded them in their jobs were under mortal threat of being the object of wrath of the ruling party. I forgot to say that upon the proclamation of martial law. In 17 days. the authority of courts to order the release of political detainees. In fact. The obvious reason for the delay in its publication was that the administration had apprehended and detained prominent newsmen on September 21. I will start with a decision of the Supreme Court in 1973 on the case of Javellana vs. but it. allow me to explain.

1972. whereupon the President issued a decree calling a plebiscite which suspended the operation of some provisions in the martial law decree which prohibited discussions. If I may use a word famous by our colleague. much less public discussions of certain matters of public concern.they finished what the delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention had been unable to accomplish for about 14 months. xxx . the Minister of Justice delivered to the Court a proclamation of the President declaring that the new Constitution was already in force because the overwhelming majority of the votes cast in the referendum favored the Constitution. The purpose was presumably to allow a free discussion on the draft of the Constitution on which a plebiscite was to be held sometime in January 1973. suggesting that it was unnecessary to hold a plebiscite because the answers given in the referendum should be regarded as the votes cast in the plebiscite. I proceeded to the session room where the case was being heard. The draft of the 1973 Constitution was presented to the President around December 1. under the supposed supervision not of the Commission on Elections. Immediately after the departure of the Minister of Justice. The main defense put up by the government was that the issue was a political question and that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the case. but of what was then designated as "citizens assemblies or barangays. the draft of the Constitution was analyzed and criticized with such a telling effect that Malacañang felt the danger of its approval. I then informed the Court and the parties the presidential proclamation declaring that the 1973 Constitution had been ratified by the people and is now in force. The questions to be propounded were released with proposed answers thereto. When the motion was being heard before the Supreme Court. But the questions to be submitted in the referendum were not announced until the eve of its scheduled beginning. A number of other cases were filed to declare the presidential proclamation null and void. a motion was filed with the Supreme Court praying that the holding of the referendum be suspended. So. the President suspended indefinitely the holding of the plebiscite and announced that he would consult the people in a referendum to be held from January 10 to January 15. Commissioner Ople. Thereupon. however. during the interregnum." Thus the barangays came into existence.

In a decided case. Note that all members of the Supreme Court were residents of Manila. much less did they participate in the alleged referendum. but we cannot force her physically to discharge her main marital duty to her husband. x x x The defense of the political question was rejected because the issue was clearly justiciable. has one main function: to settle actual controversies involving conflicts of rights which are demandable and enforceable. even local gossips spread like wild fire. Second. Whereupon. There are rights which are guaranteed by law but cannot be enforced by a judiciary party. but none of them had been notified of any referendum in their respective places of residence.The government said that in a referendum held from January 10 to January 15. like all other courts. None of them saw any referendum proceeding. a referendum cannot substitute for a plebiscite. but they are so personal that to enforce them by actual compulsion would be highly derogatory to human dignity. the vast majority ratified the draft of the Constitution. a husband complained that his wife was unwilling to perform her duties as a wife. The Court said: "We can tell your wife what her duties as such are and that she is bound to comply with them. it faced the following questions: What is judicial power? What is a political question? The Supreme Court. In the Philippines. they dismissed the case. But another group of justices upheld the defense that the issue was a political question. xxx x x x When your Committee on the Judiciary began to perform its functions. This is not the only major case in which the plea of "political question" was set up. So. There have been a number of other cases in the past. There is a big difference between a referendum and a plebiscite. There are some rights guaranteed by law." This is why the first part of the second paragraph of Section I provides that: Judicial power includes the duty of courts to settle actual controversies . a majority of the members of the Court felt that there had been no referendum.

The Gentleman seems to identify political questions with jurisdictional questions. by claiming that such matters constitute a political question. In other words. The courts. thus: MR. CONCEPCION. NOLLEDO. No. The powers of government are generally considered divided into three branches: the Legislative.103 (Italics in the original. therefore. Because of that supremacy power to determine whether a given law is valid or not is vested in courts of justice. . emphasis supplied) During the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. The Gentleman used the term "judicial power" but judicial power is not vested in the Supreme Court alone but also in other lower courts as may be created by law. Chief Justice Concepcion further clarified the concept of judicial power. or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction. This is not only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature. is this only an example? MR. Briefly stated. But there is a . This is the background of paragraph 2 of Section 1. the Executive and the Judiciary. I have made these extended remarks to the end that the Commissioners may have an initial food for thought on the subject of the judiciary. . And so. CONCEPCION. Each one is supreme within its own sphere and independent of the others. Yes. the Supreme Court has. courts of justice determine the limits of power of the agencies and offices of the government as well as those of its officers. MR. the judiciary is the final arbiter on the question whether or not a branch of government or any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction.involving rights which are legally demandable or enforceable . MR. much less decide. NOLLEDO. hypothetical questions. also another important function. cannot entertain. In a presidential system of government. which means that the courts cannot hereafter evade the duty to settle matters of this nature. I know this is not.

as I said. When this provision was originally drafted. it will always have to be decided by the Supreme Court according to the new numerical need for votes. No. BERNAS. FR. BERNAS. On another point. refers to ordinary cases but where there is a question as to whether the government had authority or had abused its authority to the extent of lacking jurisdiction or excess of jurisdiction. No. It is not. because whenever there is an abuse of discretion. CONCEPCION. FR.104 (Emphasis . the court has the duty to decide. therefore. No. . this is not an attempt to solve the problems arising from the political question doctrine. FR. certainly not. But the Gentleman will notice it says. CONCEPCION. BERNAS. xxx FR. that is not a political question. I am satisfied with the answer that it is not intended to do away with the political question doctrine. Ultimately. CONCEPCION. . it sought to define what is judicial power. NOLLEDO.difference. "judicial power includes" and the reason being that the definition that we might make may not cover all possible areas. amounting to a lack of jurisdiction. So. So. Judicial power. Because of the expression "judicial power"? MR. MR. CONCEPCION. BERNAS. CONCEPCION. is it the intention of Section 1 to do away with the political question doctrine? MR. MR. MR. Therefore. MR. No. It definitely does not eliminate the fact that truly political questions are beyond the pale of judicial power.

105 this Court. it is clear that judicial power is not only a power. Manglapus. It cannot abdicate that obligation mandated by the 1987 Constitution.107 through Justice Teodoro Padilla." Truly political questions are thus beyond judicial review. it is also a duty.supplied) From the foregoing record of the proceedings of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. the reason for respect of the doctrine of separation of powers to be maintained. speaking through Madame Justice Irene Cortes. this Court has in fact in a number of cases taken jurisdiction over questions which are not truly political following the effectivity of the present Constitution. would have normally left to the political departments to decide. this Court declared: The "allocation of constitutional boundaries" is a task that this Court must perform under the Constitution. The jurisdiction to delimit constitutional boundaries has been given to this Court. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. a duty which cannot be abdicated by the mere specter of this creature called the political question doctrine. "(t)he political question doctrine neither interposes an obstacle to judicial determination of the rival claims. courts can review questions which are not truly political in nature.106 x x x In Bengzon v. as held in a recent case. that Section 1. Article VIII was not intended to do away with "truly political questions. Chief Justice Concepcion hastened to clarify. On the other hand. Moreover. although said provision by no means does away with the applicability of the principle in appropriate cases." From this clarification it is gathered that there are two species of political questions: (1) "truly political questions" and (2) those which "are not truly political questions."108 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) . In Marcos v. held: The present Constitution limits resort to the political question doctrine and broadens the scope of judicial inquiry into areas which the Court. Article VIII of the Constitution. As pointed out by amicus curiae former dean Pacifico Agabin of the UP College of Law. however. under previous constitutions. by virtue of Section 1.

110 x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied. the jurisdictional objection becomes even less tenable and decisive. These standards are not separate and distinct concepts but are interrelated to each in that the presence of one strengthens the conclusion that the others are also present. even if we were to assume that the issue presented before us was political in nature. we would still not be precluded from resolving it under the expanded jurisdiction conferred upon us that now covers. or the potentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on one question. There has been no clear standard. Article VIII. for . or the impossibility of a court's undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government.112 (Underscoring supplied) Of these standards. and (3) the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for non-judicial discretion. (2) the lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it.And in Daza v. the more reliable have been the first three: (1) a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department. or an unusual need for questioning adherence to a political decision already made. The American case of Baker v. The reason is that. even the political question. in proper cases.109 speaking through Justice Isagani Cruz. or the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for non- judicial discretion. Singson.) Section 1. Identification of these two species of political questions may be problematic. The problem in applying the foregoing standards is that the American concept of judicial review is radically different from our current concept. Carr111 attempts to provide some: x x x Prominent on the surface of any case held to involve a political question is found a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department. this Court ruled: In the case now before us. however. or a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it. of the Court does not define what are justiciable political questions and non-justiciable political questions.

If there are. Whether the second impeachment complaint is barred under Section 3(5) of Article XI of the Constitution. The first issue goes into the merits of the second impeachment complaint over which this Court has no jurisdiction. II. This Court shall thus now apply this standard to the present controversy. any discussion of this issue would require this Court to make a determination of what constitutes an impeachable offense. III. In our jurisdiction. IV. Whether the legislative inquiry by the House Committee on Justice into the Judicial Development Fund is an unconstitutional infringement of the constitutionally mandated fiscal autonomy of the judiciary. Article VIII of the Constitution provides our courts with far less discretion in determining whether they should pass upon a constitutional issue.Section 1. V. These petitions raise five substantial issues: I.113 Although Section 2 of Article XI of the Constitution enumerates six grounds . Such a determination is a purely political question which the Constitution has left to the sound discretion of the legislation. Such an intent is clear from the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. More importantly. Whether the offenses alleged in the Second impeachment complaint constitute valid impeachable offenses under the Constitution. Whether Sections 15 and 16 of Rule V of the Rules on Impeachment adopted by the 12th Congress are unconstitutional for violating the provisions of Section 3. then our courts are duty-bound to examine whether the branch or instrumentality of the government properly acted within such limits. the determination of a truly political question from a non- justiciable political question lies in the answer to the question of whether there are constitutionally imposed limits on powers or functions conferred upon political bodies. Article XI of the Constitution. Whether the second impeachment complaint was filed in accordance with Section 3(4). Article XI of the Constitution.

Thus. the constitutional question must have been opportunely raised by the proper party. if the record also presents some other ground upon which the court may rest its judgment. there must be an actual case or controversy involving a conflict of legal rights susceptible of judicial determination. two of these. other high crimes and betrayal of public trust.116 [Emphasis and underscoring supplied] The same principle was applied in Luz Farms v. Lis Mota It is a well-settled maxim of adjudication that an issue assailing the constitutionality of a governmental act should be avoided whenever possible. namely.117 where this Court invalidated Sections 13 and 32 of Republic Act No. an examination of the records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission shows that the framers could find no better way to approximate the boundaries of betrayal of public trust and other high crimes than by alluding to both positive and negative examples of both. and the resolution of the question is unavoidably necessary to the decision of the case itself. elude a precise definition.114 Clearly. Secretary of Agrarian Reform. Article VIII. 6657 for being confiscatory and violative of due process. in the case of Sotto v.118 [Emphasis supplied] Succinctly put. without arriving at their clear cut definition or even a standard therefor.for impeachment. Thus. Commission on Elections. . the issue calls upon this court to decide a non-justiciable political question which is beyond the scope of its judicial power under Section 1. In fact. unless such question is raised by the parties and that when it is raised.115 this Court held: x x x It is a well-established rule that a court should not pass upon a constitutional question and decide a law to be unconstitutional or invalid. to wit: It has been established that this Court will assume jurisdiction over a constitutional question only if it is shown that the essential requisites of a judicial inquiry into such a question are first satisfied. that course will be adopted and the constitutional question will be left for consideration until a case arises in which a decision upon such question will be unavoidable. courts will not touch the issue of constitutionality unless it is truly unavoidable and is the very lis mota or crux of the controversy.

et al. No. Article VI thereof provides: . the second impeachment complaint is invalid since it directly resulted from a Resolution120 calling for a legislative inquiry into the JDF. Moreover. This opinion is further strengthened by the fact that said petitioners have raised other grounds in support of their petition which would not be adversely affected by the Court's ruling.121 Without going into the merits of petitioners Alfonso. while all seeking the invalidity of the second impeachment complaint.'s claims. some or all of the remaining substantial issues should be passed upon. Senate Blue Ribbon Commttee. petitioners Leonilo R. (c) a violation of the constitutionally mandated fiscal autonomy of the judiciary. En passant. In determining whether one. which Resolution and legislative inquiry petitioners claim to likewise be unconstitutional for being: (a) a violation of the rules and jurisprudence on investigations in aid of legislation. collectively raise several constitutional issues upon which the outcome of this controversy could possibly be made to rest. Alfonso. this Court notes that a standard for the conduct of legislative inquiries has already been enunciated by this Court in Bengzon.As noted earlier. Jr. this Court is guided by the related cannon of adjudication that "the court should not form a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is applied. Section 21. require it to form a rule of constitutional law touching on the separate and distinct matter of legislative inquiries in general. (b) an open breach of the doctrine of separation of powers. Thus. in the Court's opinion. 160310. among other reasons. v. the instant consolidated petitions. and (d) an assault on the independence of the judiciary.122 viz: The 1987 Constitution expressly recognizes the power of both houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation.R."119 In G. the resolution of said issue would. et. argue that. al. which would thus be broader than is required by the facts of these consolidated cases. it is the studied opinion of this Court that the issue of the constitutionality of the said Resolution and resulting legislative inquiry is too far removed from the issue of the validity of the second impeachment complaint.

Its exercise is circumscribed by the afore-quoted provision of the Constitution." It follows then that the right rights of persons under the Bill of Rights must be respected.R. the same did not satisfy the requisites for the application of the afore- mentioned section in that the "verified complaint or resolution of impeachment" was not filed "by at least one-third of all the Members of the House. and Felix William Fuentebella. Thus. and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed. Jr. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected..The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. as provided therein. while joining the original petition of petitioners Candelaria. Article XI of the Constitution which reads: Section 3(4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House. including the right to due process and the right not be compelled to testify against one's self." Intervenors point to the "Verification" of the Resolution of Endorsement which states that: "We are the proponents/sponsors of the Resolution of Endorsement of the abovementioned Complaint of Representatives Gilberto Teodoro and Felix William B. intervenors Romulo B. the investigation must be "in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure" and that "the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. the signatories to said Resolution are alleged to have verified the same merely as a "Resolution of Endorsement. No. the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment. The power of both houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is not. introduce the new argument that since the second impeachment complaint was verified and filed only by Representatives Gilberto Teodoro. et. therefore absolute or unlimited. They assert that while at least 81 members of the House of Representatives signed a Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment.123 In G. 160262. the same does not fall under the provisions of Section 3 (4). Macalintal and Pete Quirino Quadra. Fuentebella x x x"124 ." With the exception of Representatives Teodoro and Fuentebella. al.

The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. Justice Maambong likewise asserted that the Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment signed by at least one-third of the members of the House of Representatives as endorsers is not the resolution of impeachment contemplated by the Constitution. No. does indeed limit the scope of the constitutional issues to the provisions on impeachment. signed and verified the signatories to a resolution of impeachment. 160262. Intervenors' foregoing position is echoed by Justice Maambong who opined that for Section 3 (4). as argued by intervenors Macalintal and Quadra. Thus. together with the corresponding resolution. by at least one-third of the Members of the House of Representatives. they concede that the second impeachment complaint should have been calendared and referred to the House Committee on Justice under Section 3(2). Article XI of the Constitution." is that the verified complaint be "filed. viz: Section 3(2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. have raised this issue as a ground for invalidating the second impeachment complaint. The Committee. and by a majority vote of all its Members. While the foregoing issue. Article XI of the Constitution to apply. Chief among this is the fact that only Attorneys Macalintal and Quadra. which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days. there should be 76 or more representatives who signed and verified the second impeachment complaint as complainants. to adopt this additional ground as the basis . after hearing. and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. such resolution of endorsement being necessary only from at least one Member whenever a citizen files a verified impeachment complaint. shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral." not merely endorsed. Not having complied with this requirement.R. intervenors in G. more compelling considerations militate against its adoption as the lis mota or crux of the present controversy.Intervenors Macalintal and Quadra further claim that what the Constitution requires in order for said second impeachment complaint to automatically become the Articles of Impeachment and for trial in the Senate to begin "forthwith.

the decision to discard the resolution of this issue as unnecessary for the determination of the instant cases is made easier by the fact that said intervenors Macalintal and Quadra have joined in the petition of Candelaria. In sum. 160262. Consequently. this Court reiterates that the power of judicial review includes the power of review over justiciable issues in impeachment proceedings. but the efforts presented by the other petitioners as well. argue that "[t]here is a moral compulsion for the Court to not assume jurisdiction over the impeachment because all the Members thereof are subject to impeachment. et."125 But this argument is very much like saying the Legislature has a moral compulsion not to pass laws with penalty clauses because Members of the House of Representatives are subject to them. Sec. The exercise of judicial restraint over justiciable issues is not an option before this Court. No.for deciding the instant consolidated petitions would not only render for naught the efforts of the original petitioners in G. constitute the very lis mota of the instant controversy: (1) whether Sections 15 and 16 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules adopted by the 12th Congress are unconstitutional for violating the provisions of Section 3. they are not unduly prejudiced by this Court's decision. Judicial Restraint Senator Pimentel urges this Court to exercise judicial restraint on the ground that the Senate. this Court holds that the two remaining issues. adopting the latter's arguments and issues as their own. VIII. this Court is duty- bound to take cognizance of the instant petitions. the second impeachment complaint is barred under Section 3(5) of Article XI of the Constitution. and (2) whether. Again. respondents Speaker De Venecia et. because this Court is not legally disqualified. 1(2) of the Constitution. Nor can jurisdiction be renounced as there is no other tribunal to which the controversy may be referred. Adjudication may not be declined. More than being clothed with authority thus. al. this Court would be shirking from its duty vested under Art. as a result thereof. has the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. sitting as an impeachment court. Article XI of the Constitution.127 In the august words .R. Again. inextricably linked as they are. al.. On the other hand."126 Otherwise.

as here. Senate Electoral Tribunal. the public has laid on [a member of the judiciary] their confidence that [he] is mentally and morally fit to pass upon the merits of their varied contentions. "by [his] appointment to the office. For this reason. even if it is vexatious. the petitioners filed with the respondent Senate Electoral Tribunal a Motion for Disqualification or Inhibition of the Senators-Members thereof from the hearing and resolution of SET Case No. This would have reduced the Tribunal's membership to only its three Justices-Members whose disqualification was not sought.of amicus curiae Father Bernas. This Court held: Where. they expect [him] to be fearless in [his] pursuit to render justice. to be unafraid to displease any person. if sanctioned and ordered. this is the overriding consideration — that the Tribunal be not prevented from discharging a duty which it alone has the power to perform.131 In that case. . leaving them to decide the matter." Even in cases where it is an interested party. a situation is created which precludes the substitution of any Senator sitting in the Tribunal by any of his other colleagues in the Senate without inviting the same objections to the substitute's competence."129 After all. would leave the Tribunal no alternative but to abandon a duty that no other court or body can perform. the proposed mass disqualification. 002-87 on the ground that all of them were interested parties to said case as respondents therein. the performance of which is in the highest public interest as evidenced by its being expressly imposed by no less than the fundamental law. To renounce it. "jurisdiction is not just a power."130 The duty to exercise the power of adjudication regardless of interest had already been settled in the case of Abbas v. To our mind. interest or power and to be equipped with a moral fiber strong enough to resist the temptations lurking in [his] office.128 On the occasion that this Court had been an interested party to the controversy before it. as always. it is a solemn duty which may not be renounced. would be a dereliction of duty. the Court under our system of government cannot inhibit itself and must rule upon the challenge because no other office has the authority to do so. it has acted upon the matter "not with officiousness but in the discharge of an unavoidable duty and. but which it cannot lawfully discharge if shorn of the participation of its entire membership of Senators. with detachment and fairness.

singly and collectively. Every Member of the Tribunal may. if sanctioned and ordered. It affects the very heart of judicial independence. particularly a majority of them. And if that judge is the one designated by the Constitution to exercise the jurisdiction of his court. to disqualify any of the members of the Court. such possibility might surface again in the wake of the 1992 elections when once more.It is aptly noted in the first of the questioned Resolutions that the framers of the Constitution could not have been unaware of the possibility of an election contest that would involve all Senators—elect. six of whom would inevitably have to sit in judgment thereon. as his conscience dictates. The proposed mass disqualification. is nothing short of pro tanto depriving the Court itself of its jurisdiction as established by the fundamental law. Indeed. the Senate Electoral Tribunal cannot legally function as such.133 (Italics in the original) Besides. as is the case with the Justices of this Court. Yet the Constitution provides no scheme or mode for settling such unusual situations or for the substitution of Senators designated to the Tribunal whose disqualification may be sought. Litigants in such situations must simply place their trust and hopes of vindication in the fairness and sense of justice of the Members of the Tribunal. the deprivation of his or their judicial power is equivalent to the deprivation of the judicial power of the court itself. Desierto. More recently in the case of Estrada v. all 24 seats in the Senate will be at stake. Justices and Senators. there are specific safeguards already laid down by the Court when . but for the last time. would leave the Court no alternative but to abandon a duty which it cannot lawfully discharge if shorn of the participation of its entire membership of Justices. Let us not be misunderstood as saying that no Senator-Member of the Senate Electoral Tribunal may inhibit or disqualify himself from sitting in judgment on any case before said Tribunal. What we are merely saying is that in the light of the Constitution.132 it was held that: Moreover. absent its entire membership of Senators and that no amendment of its Rules can confer on the three Justices-Members alone the power of valid adjudication of a senatorial election contest. refrain from participating in the resolution of a case where he sincerely feels that his personal interests or biases would stand in the way of an objective and impartial judgment. Disqualification of a judge is a deprivation of his judicial power.

one involving a constitutional question. The Court will not pass upon the validity of a statute upon complaint of one who fails to show that he is injured by its operation. The Court will not 'formulate a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is to be applied. through Justice Marcelo Fernan cited the "seven pillars" of limitations of the power of judicial review. Among the many applications of this rule.134 this Court. TVA135 as follows: 1. none is more striking than the denial of the right of challenge to one who lacks a personal or property right. The Court will not pass upon a constitutional question although properly presented by the record. Hughes. the challenge by a public official interested only in the performance of his official duty will not be entertained . Thus. and as a necessity in the determination of real. earnest and vital controversy between individuals. In Demetria v.' 2. if a case can be decided on either of two grounds. the Court will decide only the latter. a party beaten in the legislature could transfer to the courts an inquiry as to the constitutionality of the legislative act.' 3.' 4. Appeals from the highest court of a state challenging its decision of a question under the Federal Constitution are frequently dismissed because the judgment can be sustained on an independent state ground. . the other a question of statutory construction or general law. . The Court will not pass upon the constitutionality of legislation in a friendly. the Court affirmed the dismissal of a suit brought by a citizen who sought to have the . non-adversary proceeding. It never was the thought that. 5.it exercises its power of judicial review. 'It is not the habit of the Court to decide questions of a constitutional nature unless absolutely necessary to a decision of the case. if there is also present some other ground upon which the case may be disposed of. enunciated by US Supreme Court Justice Brandeis in Ashwander v. In Fairchild v. . This rule has found most varied application. . declining because to decide such questions 'is legitimate only in the last resort. Alba.' . by means of a friendly suit. Thus. The Court will not 'anticipate a question of constitutional law in advance of the necessity of deciding it.

In Massachusetts v. The Court will not pass upon the constitutionality of a statute at the instance of one who has availed himself of its benefits. or will sustain. that judgment may not be sustained on some other ground 4. 7.Nineteenth Amendment declared unconstitutional. that the parties are not in estoppel 6. When the validity of an act of the Congress is drawn in question. Mellon. that the Court upholds the presumption of constitutionality. 6. the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible . the person challenging the act must have "standing" to challenge. and even if a serious doubt of constitutionality is raised. that there be absolute necessity of deciding a case 2. direct injury as a result of its enforcement 3. that rules of constitutional law shall be formulated only as required by the facts of the case 3. TVA from different decisions of the United States Supreme Court. summarized in Ashwander v. can be encapsulated into the following categories: 1. actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power 2. it is a cardinal principle that this Court will first ascertain whether a construction of the statute is fairly possible by which the question may be avoided (citations omitted). that there be actual injury sustained by the party by reason of the operation of the statute 5. parallel guidelines have been adopted by this Court in the exercise of judicial review: 1. he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained. the challenge of the federal Maternity Act was not entertained although made by the Commonwealth on behalf of all its citizens. As stated previously. The foregoing "pillars" of limitation of judicial review.

failure to act explicitly. one way or the other.opportunity 4. itself constitutes a decision for the respondent and validation. is specious. raise another argument for judicial restraint the possibility that "judicial review of impeachments might also lead to embarrassing conflicts between the Congress and the [J]udiciary. . a crisis. the possibility of the occurrence of a constitutional crisis is not a reason for this Court to refrain from upholding the Constitution in all impeachment cases. Justice Feliciano warned against the dangers when this Court refuses to act. follows. et. Such an argument." They stress the need to avoid the appearance of impropriety or conflicts of interest in judicial hearings. the judgment has not only juridical effects but also political consequences. Justices cannot abandon their constitutional duties just because their action may start. if not precipitate. As correctly stated by the Solicitor General. in Javellana v. or to sustain respondent's claims. al. the fight over a controversial legislative or executive act is not regarded as settled until the Supreme Court has passed upon the constitutionality of the act involved.136 Respondents Speaker de Venecia. or at least quasi-validation. however. Those political consequences may follow even where the Court fails to grant the petitioner's prayer to nullify an act for lack of the necessary number of votes. Frequently. x x x Frequently.137 Intervenor Soriano echoes this argument by alleging that failure of this Court to enforce its Resolution against Congress would result in the diminution of its judicial authority and erode public confidence and faith in the judiciary. the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case. and the scenario that it would be confusing and humiliating and risk serious political instability at home and abroad if the judiciary countermanded the vote of Congress to remove an impeachable official. Executive Secretary139 where this Court was split and "in the end there were not enough votes either to grant the petitions." 138 Thus."140 the pre-existing constitutional order was disrupted which paved the way for the establishment of the martial law regime. to say the least.

contending that the term "initiate" does not mean "to file. A government of laws. Article XI of the Constitution provides." resist encroachments by governments. violence. through Speaker De Venecia. as Section 3 (2). If [public officers]. then law becomes meaningless. political parties. Veneracion. this Court is well guided by the doctrine in People v. only be accomplished in 3 ways. argues that Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules do not violate Section 3 (5) of Article XI of our present Constitution.142 Constitutionality of the Rules of Procedure for Impeachment Proceedings adopted by the 12th Congress Respondent House of Representatives. Substituting the word public officers for judges. Respondent House of Representatives concludes that the one year bar prohibiting the initiation of impeachment proceedings against the same officials could not have been violated as the impeachment complaint . and ought "to protect and enforce it without fear or favor.Such an argument by respondents and intervenor also presumes that the coordinate branches of the government would behave in a lawless manner and not do their duty under the law to uphold the Constitution and obey the laws of the land." that Section 3 (1) is clear in that it is the House of Representatives. to wit:141 Obedience to the rule of law forms the bedrock of our system of justice. not of men excludes the exercise of broad discretionary powers by those acting under its authority. Under this system. chaos and anarchy by encouraging disrespect for the fundamental law of the land. that initiate could not possibly mean "to file" because filing can. or even the interference of their own personal beliefs. Yet there is no reason to believe that any of the branches of government will behave in a precipitate manner and risk social upheaval. to wit: (1) by a verified complaint for impeachment by any member of the House of Representatives. which has the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. as a collective body. [public officers] are guided by the Rule of Law. under the guise of religious or political beliefs were allowed to roam unrestricted beyond boundaries within which they are required by law to exercise the duties of their office. or (3) by at least 1/3 of all the members of the House. or (2) by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any member.

as dictionaries do." as proffered and explained by Constitutional Commissioner Maambong during the Constitutional Commission proceedings. Note that the Rule does not say "impeachment proceedings" are initiated but rather are "deemed initiated." which jibes with Justice Regalado's position. dissipates any doubt that indeed the word "initiate" as it twice appears in Article XI (3) and (5) of the Constitution means to file the complaint and take initial action on it. As Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language concisely puts it. It is a comlexus of acts consisting of a beginning.against Chief Justice Davide and seven Associate Justices had not been initiated as the House of Representatives. and that of Father Bernas." Resort to statutory construction is. 2003 at which he added that the act of "initiating" included the act of taking initial action on the complaint. "Initiate" of course is understood by ordinary men to mean. or set going. The beginning or the initiation is the filing of the complaint and its referral to the Committee on Justice. has yet to act on it. That the sponsor of the provision of Section 3(5) of the Constitution. an impeachment proceeding is not a single act. acting as the collective body. to commence. The resolution of this issue thus hinges on the interpretation of the term "initiate. 2003 in this wise: Briefly then. who elucidated during the oral arguments of the instant petitions on November 5. it should be noted that the House Rule relied upon by Representatives Cojuangco and Fuentebella says that impeachment is "deemed initiated" when the Justice Committee votes in favor of impeachment or when the House reverses a contrary vote of the Committee. in order. agreed on the meaning of "initiate" as "to file. a middle and an end. but by legal fiction there is an attempt to . Commissioner Florenz Regalado. The end is the transmittal of the articles of impeachment to the Senate. who eventually became an Associate Justice of this Court. Finally. it means "to perform or facilitate the first action. therefore. The middle consists of those deliberative moments leading to the formulation of the articles of impeachment. which he (Commissioner Regalado) as amicus curiae affirmed during the oral arguments on the instant petitions held on November 5. to begin." The language is recognition that initiation happened earlier.

transmittal referral to the Senate. MAAMBONG. the resolution. If we only have time. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) As stated earlier. the resolution covers several steps in the impeachment proceedings starting with initiation. I am not moving for a reconsideration of the approval of the amendment submitted by Commissioner Regalado. calendaring of report. As the phraseology now runs. regarding the procedure and the substantive provisions on impeachment. these would need some time for Committee action. was that the initiation starts with the filing of the complaint. one of the means of interpreting the Constitution is looking into the intent of the law. xxx MR. I would just like to indicate that I submitted to the Committee a resolution on impeachment proceedings. Human Rights and Good Government which took charge of the last impeachment resolution filed before the First Batasang Pambansa. This is borne out of my experience as a member of the Committee on Justice. as I have pointed out earlier. action of the Speaker committee action. I could cite examples in the case of the impeachment proceedings of President Richard Nixon wherein the Committee on the Judiciary submitted the recommendation. and it was the body who approved the resolution. However. it appears that the initiation starts on the floor. With reference to Section 3. The procedure. but I will just make of record my thinking that we do not really initiate the filing of the Articles of Impeachment on the floor. Fortunately. the intent of the framers of the 1987 Constitution can be pried from its records: MR. Presiding Officer. And what is actually done on the floor is that the committee resolution containing the Articles of Impeachment is the one approved by the body. For the information of the Committee. and the Articles of Impeachment to the body. voting on the report. copies of which have been furnished the Members of this body. It is not the body . Mr. I think. MAAMBONG.postpone it to a time after actual initiation. which may be corrected by the Committee on Style. trial and judgment by the Senate. I understand there have been many proposals and.

I have been bringing with me The Rules of the House of Representatives of the U. as far as the House of Representatives of the United States is concerned. The Senate Rules are with me. I would just like to move for a reconsideration of the approval of Section 3 (3). Madam President. My reconsideration will not at all affect the substance." I already mentioned earlier yesterday that the initiation. so that the whole section will now read: "A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a resolution WITH THE ARTICLES of Impeachment OF the Committee or to override its contrary resolution. but the Committee has already decided.143 (Italics in the original. but it is only in keeping with the exact formulation of the Rules of the House of Representatives of the United States regarding impeachment. I have submitted my proposal. I am proposing. emphasis and udnerscoring supplied) . So. that my amendment will not vary the substance in any way. we delete the words which read: "to initiate impeachment proceedings" and the comma (. without doing damage to any of this provision. It is only in keeping with the uniform procedure of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress. As a matter of fact. The proceedings on the case of Richard Nixon are with me. Madam President. Madam President.S. The vote of each Member shall be recorded. on that score. and then capitalize the letter "i" in "impeachment" and replace the word "by" with OF. xxx MR. probably the Committee on Style could help in rearranging these words because we have to be very technical about this. really starts from the filing of the verified complaint and every resolution to impeach always carries with it the Articles of Impeachment. Thank you. Section 3 (3). from lines 17 to 18. I will mention again. Congress.which initiates it. the words "Articles of Impeachment" are mentioned on line 25 in the case of the direct filing of a verified compliant of one-third of all the Members of the House. that on page 2.) and insert on line 19 after the word "resolution" the phrase WITH THE ARTICLES. It only approves or disapproves the resolution. Nevertheless. MAAMBONG. I just want to indicate this on record.

During the oral arguments before this Court.144 It is thus clear that the framers intended "initiation" to start with the filing of the complaint. In his amicus curiae brief. who was also a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission." An impeachment case is the legal controversy that must be decided by the Senate." Following the principle of reddendo singuala sinuilis. Article XI of the Constitution. the common verb is "to initiate. both adding. that the word "initiate" as used in Article XI. the term "cases" must be distinguished from the term "proceedings." Father Bernas explains that in these two provisions." The object in the first sentence is "impeachment case. Above-quoted first .This amendment proposed by Commissioner Maambong was clarified and accepted by the Committee on the Accountability of Public Officers." The object in the second sentence is "impeachment proceeding. Section 3(5) means to file. and the vote of one-third of the House in a resolution of impeachment does not initiate the impeachment proceedings which was already initiated by the filing of a verified complaint under Section 3."145 Amicus curiae Constitutional Commissioner Regalado is of the same view as is Father Bernas. paragraph (2). Father Bernas clarified that the word "initiate. (Emphasis supplied) refers to two objects. "impeachment case" and "impeachment proceeding." appearing in the constitutional provision on impeachment. that the filing must be accompanied by an action to set the complaint moving. xxx (5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. viz: Section 3 (1) The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. Commissioner Maambong explained that "the obvious reason in deleting the phrase "to initiate impeachment proceedings" as contained in the text of the provision of Section 3 (3) was to settle and make it understood once and for all that the initiation of impeachment proceedings starts with the filing of the complaint. however.

Thus when a proposal reached the floor proposing that "A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary… to . It takes place not in the Senate but in the House and consists of several steps: (1) there is the filing of a verified complaint either by a Member of the House of Representatives or by a private citizen endorsed by a Member of the House of the Representatives. the resolution must be forwarded to the House for further processing." It is at this point that an impeachable public official is successfully impeached. a "proceeding" must be followed to arrive at a conclusion. (3) whether the resolution of the Committee rejects or upholds the complaint. It has a beginning. proceeding is a progressive noun. Neither is the "impeachment proceeding" initiated when the House deliberates on the resolution passed on to it by the Committee. It is at this point that the House "initiates an impeachment case. This is the initiating step which triggers the series of steps that follow. It is in that sense that the House has "exclusive power" to initiate all cases of impeachment. On the other hand. namely the trial. the proceeding is initiated or begins. means to begin. The action of the House is already a further step in the proceeding. Father Bernas further explains: The "impeachment proceeding" is not initiated when the complaint is transmitted to the Senate for trial because that is the end of the House proceeding and the beginning of another proceeding. a middle. when a verified complaint is filed and referred to the Committee on Justice for action. That is. not its initiation or beginning. A proceeding must be "initiated. and (4) there is the processing of the same complaint by the House of Representatives which either affirms a favorable resolution of the Committee or overrides a contrary resolution by a vote of one-third of all the members. and an end. before a decision is made to initiate a case in the Senate. because something prior to that has already been done. The framers of the Constitution also understood initiation in its ordinary meaning. Rather. Articles of Impeachment are prepared and transmitted to the Senate. (2) there is the processing of this complaint by the proper Committee which may either reject the complaint or uphold it." To initiate. No other body can do it.provision provides that the House. can bring a case to the Senate. However. by a vote of one-third of all its members. which comes from the Latin word initium. If at least one third of all the Members upholds the complaint. he or she is successfully charged with an impeachment "case" before the Senate as impeachment court.

He reminds that the Constitution is ratified by the people. to the amicus curiae briefs of two former Constitutional Commissioners. the meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear." it means that no second verified complaint may be accepted and referred to the Committee on Justice for action. impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated (1) if there is a finding by the House Committee on Justice that the verified complaint and/or . Under Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules." This is a misreading of said provision and is contrary to the principle of reddendo singula singulis by equating "impeachment cases" with "impeachment proceeding. Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing and referral or endorsement of the impeachment complaint to the House Committee on Justice or. Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated. it is without a doubt that the term "to initiate" refers to the filing of the impeachment complaint coupled with Congress' taking initial action of said complaint.146 Thus the line was deleted and is not found in the present Constitution. they ratify words as they understand it and not as sophisticated lawyers confuse it. by the filing by at least one-third of the members of the House of Representatives with the Secretary General of the House. "No impeachment proceeding shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. both ordinary and sophisticated.initiate impeachment proceedings." From the records of the Constitutional Commission. and that ordinary people read ordinary meaning into ordinary words and not abstruse meaning." this was met by a proposal to delete the line on the ground that the vote of the House does not initiate impeachment proceeding but rather the filing of a complaint does. another impeachment complaint may not be filed against the same official within a one year period. Father Bernas concludes that when Section 3 (5) says. By his explanation. To the argument that only the House of Representatives as a body can initiate impeachment proceedings because Section 3 (1) says "The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. as they understand it. this interpretation is founded on the common understanding of the meaning of "to initiate" which means to begin.

There are at present only two members of this Court who participated in the 1986 Constitutional Commission – Chief Justice Davide and Justice Adolf Azcuna. Respondent House of Representatives counters that under Section 3 (8) of Article XI." Hence. Chief Justice Davide has not taken part in these proceedings for obvious reasons. is misplaced. these . however. Section 3 (8) of Article XI provides that "The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this section. Its argument is premised on the assumption that Congress has absolute power to promulgate its rules. it is clear and unequivocal that it and only it has the power to make and interpret its rules governing impeachment." Clearly. its power to promulgate its rules on impeachment is limited by the phrase "to effectively carry out the purpose of this section. Moreover. or (2) once the House itself affirms or overturns the finding of the Committee on Justice that the verified complaint and/or resolution is not sufficient in substance or (3) by the filing or endorsement before the Secretary-General of the House of Representatives of a verified complaint or a resolution of impeachment by at least 1/3 of the members of the House.148 Justice Gutierrez's statements have no application in the present petitions." Further citing said case. These rules clearly contravene Section 3 (5) of Article XI since the rules give the term "initiate" a meaning different meaning from filing and referral. this Court has not simply relied on the personal opinions now given by members of the Constitutional Commission. In his amicus curiae brief. he states that this Court likened the former members of the Constitutional Convention to actors who are so absorbed in their emotional roles that intelligent spectators may know more about the real meaning because of the latter's balanced perspectives and disinterestedness. Justice Hugo Gutierrez posits that this Court could not use contemporaneous construction as an aid in the interpretation of Sec. but has examined the records of the deliberations and proceedings thereof. This assumption. citing Vera v.resolution is sufficient in substance.3 (5) of Article XI. Avelino147 wherein this Court stated that "their personal opinions (referring to Justices who were delegates to the Constitution Convention) on the matter at issue expressed during this Court's our deliberations stand on a different footing from the properly recorded utterances of debates and proceedings.

149 this Court held that it is within the province of either House of Congress to interpret its rules and that it was the best judge of what constituted "disorderly behavior" of its members. (4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House. viz: Section 3. In Osmeña v. or override its contrary resolution. It is basic that all rules must not contravene the Constitution which is the fundamental law. then it would by necessary implication have the power to alter or amend the meaning of the Constitution without need of referendum. and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. The Committee. If as alleged Congress had absolute rule making power. (3) A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary to either affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee. speaking for this Court and quoting . The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. and by a majority vote of all its Members. Secretary of the Commission on Appointments. (5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days. Section 3 of Article XI clearly provides for other specific limitations on its power to make rules. together with the corresponding resolution. and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed.150 Justice (later Chief Justice) Enrique Fernando. Pendatun.rules cannot contravene the very purpose of the Constitution which said rules were intended to effectively carry out. However. Moreover. after hearing. (1) x x x (2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment. The vote of each Member shall be recorded. shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral. in Paceta v.

It is only within these limitations that all matters of method are open to the determination of the Legislature. It is in Ballin where the US Supreme Court first defined the boundaries of the power of the judiciary to review congressional rules. Even in the United States. in the same section. in his Concurring and Dissenting Opinion. and be . In the same case of Arroyo v. I do not agree that the issues posed by the petitioner are non-justiciable.Justice Brandeis in United States v. that each house may determine the rules of its proceedings. it may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights. On the demand of any member. Rightly. held that while the Constitution empowers each house to determine its rules of proceedings. the principle of separation of power is no longer an impregnable impediment against the interposition of judicial power on cases involving breach of rules of procedure by legislators.151 declared that where the construction to be given to a rule affects persons other than members of the Legislature. the names of members sufficient to make a quorum in the hall of the House who do not vote shall be noted by the clerk and recorded in the journal. and reported to the Speaker with the names of the members voting. the ponencia uses the 1891 case of US v Ballin (144 US 1) as a window to view the issues before the Court. prior to that day. was even more emphatic as he stressed that in the Philippine setting there is even more reason for courts to inquire into the validity of the Rules of Congress. Justice Reynato S. Puno. Smith. or at the suggestion of the Speaker. provides. the question becomes judicial in nature. and further that there should be a reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceeding established by the rule and the result which is sought to be attained. Nor do I agree that we will trivialize the principle of separation of power if we assume jurisdiction over he case at bar. In Arroyo v. Joseph & Co..153 Justice Vicente Mendoza. De Venecia. Ballin. passed this as one of its rules: Rule XV 3. De Venecia. It held: "x x x "The Constitution. speaking for this Court. viz: With due respect." It appears that in pursuance of this authority the House had.152 quoting United States v.

It may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights. Rule XV was examined by the Court and it was found to satisfy the test: (1) that it did not ignore any constitutional restraint. and (3) its method had a reasonable relationship with the result sought to be attained. there is a more compelling reason for courts to categorically reject the political question defense when its interposition will cover up abuse of power. Feb. the Court did not allow its jurisdiction to be defeated by the mere invocation of the principle of separation of powers. (2) it did not violate any fundamental right. But within these limitations all matters of method are open to the determination of the House. always subject to be exercised by the House. is as to the validity of this rule. and within the limitations suggested. i. the wisdom or folly. With the courts the question is only one of power. absolute and beyond the challenge of any other body or tribunal. (House Journal. therefore. For section 1.154 xxx In the Philippine setting. and there should be a reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceedings established by the rule and the result which is sought to be attained. 14. and not what methods the Speaker may of his own motion resort to for determining the presence of a quorum. The Constitution empowers each house to determine its rules of proceedings." Ballin. The power to make rules is not one which once exercised is exhausted. It is no objection to the validity of a rule that a different one has been prescribed and in force for a length of time. nor what matters the Speaker or clerk may of their own volition place upon the journal. whether they are constitutional. more accurate. and it is no impeachment of the rule to say that some other way would be better. of such a rule present any matters for judicial consideration.e. or even more just. By examining Rule XV. 1890) The action taken was in direct compliance with this rule. Neither do the advantages or disadvantages. The question. Article VIII of our Constitution was intentionally cobbled to empower courts "x x x to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of . clearly confirmed the jurisdiction of courts to pass upon the validity of congressional rules.counted and announced in determining the presence of a quorum to do business. 230. It is a continuous power.

The CONCOM granted this enormous power to our courts in view of our experience under martial law where abusive exercises of state power were shielded from judicial scrutiny by the misuse of the political question doctrine. the Constitution imposed it as a duty of this Court to strike down any act of a branch or instrumentality of government or any of its officials done with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. 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' constitutes the capstone of the efforts of the Constitutional Commission to upgrade the powers of this court vis-à-vis the other branches of government. the President and the legislators being elected by the people. I submit that in imposing to this Court the duty to annul acts of government committed with grave abuse of discretion. This transformation.156 xxx The provision defining judicial power as including the 'duty of the courts of justice. . Rightly or wrongly. . x x x xxx In sum. . This provision was dictated by our experience under martial law which taught us that a stronger and more independent judiciary is needed to abort abuses in government. It was not also xeroxed from the US Constitution or any foreign state constitution. the new Constitution transformed this Court from passivity to activism. Led by the eminent former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion.155 xxx The Constitution cannot be any clearer. What it granted to this Court is not a mere power which it can decline to exercise. Precisely to deter this disinclination.jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. the CONCOM expanded and sharpened the checking powers of the judiciary vis-à-vis the Executive and the Legislative departments of government." This power is new and was not granted to our courts in the 1935 and 1972 Constitutions. the Constitution has elongated the checking powers of this Court against the other branches of government despite their more democratic character.

the ruling in Osmena v. the third parties alleging the violation of private rights and the Constitution are involved. It gives no clue whatsoever as to how this "sole power" is to be exercised. I urge my brethren in the Court to give due and serious consideration to this new constitutional provision as the case at bar once more calls us to define the parameters of our power to review violations of the rules of the House. Under the 1935 and the 1973 Constitutions. Neither may respondent House of Representatives' rely on Nixon v. As already observed. The Court must discharge this solemn duty by not resuscitating a past that petrifies the present. Federal Constitution simply provides that "the House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment. ." It adds nothing more. this Court approached constitutional violations by initially determining what it cannot do. US158 as basis for arguing that this Court may not decide on the constitutionality of Sections 16 and 17 of the House Impeachment Rules. is not merely evolutionary but revolutionary. as earlier enumerated. it is this exceeding timidity to unsheathe the judicial sword that has increasingly emboldened other branches of government to denigrate. Here. I endorsed the view of former Senator Salonga that this novel provision stretching the latitude of judicial power is distinctly Filipino and its interpretation should not be depreciated by undue reliance on inapplicable foreign jurisprudence. This reasoning does not hold with regard to impeachment power of the Philippine House of Representatives since our Constitution. the US Supreme Court concluded that there was a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of a constitutional power to the House of Representatives. the lessons of our own history should provide us the light and not the experience of foreigners.dictated by our distinct experience as nation. No limitation whatsoever is given.S. if not defy. orders of our courts. furnishes several provisions articulating how that "exclusive power" is to be exercised. under the 1987 Constitution. In Tolentino. there is a shift in stress – this Court is mandated to approach constitutional violations not by finding out what it should not do but what it must do. the U. Pendatun is not applicable to the instant petitions. We will not be true to our trust as the last bulwark against government abuses if we refuse to exercise this new power or if we wield it with timidity. In resolving the case at bar. Thus.157 (Italics in the original emphasis and underscoring supplied) Thus. To be sure.

Conclusion If there is anything constant about this country. Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated in the foregoing manner. Jr. Section 3(5) of the Constitution.The provisions of Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules which state that impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated (1) if there is a finding by the House Committee on Justice that the verified complaint and/or resolution is sufficient in substance. it is that there is always a phenomenon that takes the center stage of our individual and collective consciousness as a people with our characteristic flair for human drama. Teodoro.. Of course this is not to demean the seriousness of the controversy over the Davide impeachment. For many of us. the past two weeks have proven to be an exasperating. conflict or tragedy. the initial action taken thereon. on June 2. another may not be filed against the same official within a one year period following Article XI. or (2) once the House itself affirms or overturns the finding of the Committee on Justice that the verified complaint and/or resolution is not sufficient in substance or (3) by the filing or endorsement before the Secretary-General of the House of Representatives of a verified complaint or a resolution of impeachment by at least 1/3 of the members of the House thus clearly contravene Section 3 (5) of Article XI as they give the term "initiate" a meaning different from "filing. Jr. 2003 violates the constitutional prohibition against the initiation of impeachment proceedings against the same impeachable officer within a one-year period. the meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. 2003. Davide." Validity of the Second Impeachment Complaint Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing of the impeachment complaint and referral to the House Committee on Justice. mentally and emotionally . was filed by former President Estrada against Chief Justice Hilario G. considering that the first impeachment complaint. the second impeachment complaint filed by Representatives Gilberto C. 2003 and referred to the House Committee on Justice on August 5. along with seven associate justices of this Court. In fine. and Felix William Fuentebella against the Chief Justice on October 23.

whether for or against the impeachment of the Chief Justice. To reiterate what has been already explained. Face-to-face thus with a matter or problem that squarely falls under the Court's jurisdiction." "non-justiciability. therefore. to the academe and denominations of faith – offered suggestions for a return to a state of normalcy in the official relations of the governmental branches affected to obviate any perceived resulting instability upon areas of national life. This Court did not heed the call to adopt a hands-off stance as far as the question of the constitutionality of initiating the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide is concerned. the same clamor for non-interference was made through what are now the arguments of "lack of jurisdiction. no other course of action can be had but for it to pass upon that problem head on.exhausting experience. the Court found the existence in full of all the requisite conditions for its exercise of its constitutionally vested power and duty of judicial review over an issue whose resolution precisely called for the construction or interpretation of a provision of the fundamental law of the land. Passions had ran high as demonstrators. The claim. What lies in here is an issue of a genuine constitutional material which only this Court can properly and competently address and adjudicate in accordance with the clear-cut allocation of powers under our system of government. Both sides have fought bitterly a dialectical struggle to articulate what they respectively believe to be the correct position or view on the issues involved. When the present petitions were knocking so to speak at the doorsteps of this Court. Various sectors of society . took to the streets armed with their familiar slogans and chants to air their voice on the matter. this Court was specifically asked. that this Court by judicially entangling itself with the process of impeachment has effectively set up a regime of judicial supremacy. Through all these and as early as the time when the Articles of Impeachment had been constituted. told.from the business. . is patently without basis in fact and in law. urged and argued to take no action of any kind and form with respect to the prosecution by the House of Representatives of the impeachment complaint against the subject respondent public official." and "judicial self- restraint" aimed at halting the Court from any move that may have a bearing on the impeachment proceedings. retired military.

Because it is not at all the business of this Court to assert judicial dominance over the other two great branches of the government. But to disqualify this entire institution now from the suit at bar is to regard the Supreme Court as likely incapable of impartiality when one of its members is a party to a case. No one is above the law or the Constitution. the members of this Court have actually closed ranks to protect a brethren. The institution that is the Supreme Court together with all other courts has long held and been entrusted with the judicial power to resolve conflicting legal rights regardless of the personalities involved in the suits or actions. unaffected by whomsoever stood to benefit or suffer therefrom. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Perhaps. Beyond this. there is no other government branch or instrumentality that is most zealous in protecting that . the raison d'etre of the judiciary is to complement the discharge by the executive and legislative of their own powers to bring about ultimately the beneficent effects of having founded and ordered our society upon the rule of law. it did not go about assuming jurisdiction where it had none. there are rules on the inhibition of any member of the judiciary from taking part in a case in specified instances. That the members' interests in ruling on said issue is as much at stake as is that of the Chief Justice. nor indiscriminately turn justiciable issues out of decidedly political questions. This is a basic precept in any legal system which recognizes equality of all men before the law as essential to the law's moral authority and that of its agents to secure respect for and obedience to its commands. Rather. It is suggested that by our taking cognizance of the issue of constitutionality of the impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice. unfraid by whatever imputations or speculations could be made to it. so long as it rendered judgment according to the law and the facts. Why can it not now be trusted to wield judicial power in these petitions just because it is the highest ranking magistrate who is involved when it is an incontrovertible fact that the fundamental issue is not him but the validity of a government branch's official act as tested by the limits set by the Constitution? Of course. which is simply a non sequitur. This Court has dispensed justice over the course of time.This Court in the present petitions subjected to judicial scrutiny and resolved on the merits only the main issue of whether the impeachment proceedings initiated against the Chief Justice transgressed the constitutionally imposed one-year time bar rule.

Consequently. on the manner of disbursements and expenditures by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF). Jr. which was filed by Representatives Gilberto C. Jr. The Filipino nation and its democratic institutions have no doubt been put to test once again by this impeachment case against Chief Justice Hilario Davide. The law is solicitous of every individual's rights irrespective of his station in life. Accordingly. On 22 July 2002. Teodoro. The Chief Justice is not above the law and neither is any other member of this Court. and Felix William B. in aid of legislation. superseding the previous House Impeachment Rules approved by the 11th Congress. . which directed the Committee on Justice “to conduct an investigation. if only to discover that it can resolve differences without the use of force and aggression upon each other. it is equally important that it went through this crucible of a democratic process. Facts: On 28 November 2001. Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings which were approved by the House of Representatives on November 28. section 3 of Article XI of the Constitution. Fuentebella with the Office of the Secretary General of the House of Representatives on October 23. Davide. 2001 are unconstitutional. this Court has resorted to no other than the Constitution in search for a solution to what many feared would ripen to a crisis in government. But just because he is the Chief Justice does not imply that he gets to have less in law than anybody else.principle of legal equality other than the Supreme Court which has discerned its real meaning and ramifications through its application to numerous cases especially of the high-profile kind in the annals of jurisprudence. SO ORDERED. the House of Representatives adopted a Resolution. But though it is indeed immensely a blessing for this Court to have found answers in our bedrock of legal principles. 2003 is barred under paragraph 5. the 12th Congress of the House of Representatives adopted and approved the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings. the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G. WHEREFORE.

” but voted to dismiss the same on 22 October 2003 for being insufficient in substance. Rulings: This issue is a non-justiciable political question which is beyond the scope of the judicial power of the Supreme Court under Section 1. prohibition. Any discussion of this issue would require the Court to make a .” The complaint was endorsed by House Representatives. and was referred to the House Committee on Justice on 5 August 2003 in accordance with Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution. Article XI of the Constitution. The House Committee on Justice ruled on 13 October 2003 that the first impeachment complaint was “sufficient in form. al.On 2 June 2003. et. Estrada filed an impeachment complaint (first impeachment complaint) against Chief Justice Hilario G. most of which petitions contend that the filing of the second impeachment complaint is unconstitutional as it violates the provision of Section 5 of Article XI of the Constitution that “[n]o impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year.” Issues: Whether or not the offenses alleged in the Second impeachment complaint constitute valid impeachable offenses under the Constitution. and seven Associate Justices of the Supreme Court for “culpable violation of the Constitution. Davide Jr. betrayal of the public trust and other high crimes. The following day or on 23 October 2003. founded on the alleged results of the legislative inquiry initiated by above-mentioned House Resolution. Whether the second impeachment complaint is barred under Section 3(5) of Article XI of the Constitution. Various petitions for certiorari. former President Joseph E. and mandamus were filed with the Supreme Court against the House of Representatives. Jr... the second impeachment complaint was filed with the Secretary General of the House by House Representatives against Chief Justice Hilario G. Article VIII of the Constitution. Davide. The second impeachment complaint was accompanied by a “Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment” signed by at least 1/3 of all the Members of the House of Representatives. Whether or not Sections 15 and 16 of Rule V of the Rules on Impeachment adopted by the 12th Congress are unconstitutional for violating the provisions of Section 3.

determination of what constitutes an impeachable offense. these rules cannot contravene the very purpose of the Constitution which said rules were intended to effectively carry out. 2003 violates the constitutional prohibition against the initiation of impeachment proceedings against the same impeachable officer within a one-year period. 2003 and referred to the House Committee on Justice on August 5. Such a determination is a purely political question which the Constitution has left to the sound discretion of the legislation. the initial action taken thereon.. along with seven associate justices of this Court. then it would by necessary implication have the power to alter or amend the meaning of the Constitution without need of referendum. Teodoro. 2003. 2001 are unconstitutional. Section 3 of Article XI provides that “The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this section. . was filed by former President Estrada against Chief Justice Hilario G. Jr. the meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. another may not be filed against the same official within a one year period following Article XI. It falls within the one year bar provided in the Constitution. Courts will not touch the issue of constitutionality unless it is truly unavoidable and is the very lis mota or crux of the controversy. Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing of the impeachment complaint and referral to the House Committee on Justice. and Felix William Fuentebella against the Chief Justice on October 23. Considering that the first impeachment complaint. Davide. Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings which were approved by the House of Representatives on November 28. The Rule of Impeachment adopted by the House of Congress is unconstitutional.” Clearly. its power to promulgate its rules on impeachment is limited by the phrase “to effectively carry out the purpose of this section. Hence. Section 3 of Article XI clearly provides for other specific limitations on its power to make rules. Such an intent is clear from the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission.” Hence. the second impeachment complaint filed by Representatives Gilberto C. Section 3(5) of the Constitution. If as alleged Congress had absolute rule making power. on June 2. Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated in the foregoing manner. It is basic that all rules must not contravene the Constitution which is the fundamental law. Jr. Moreover.

Fuentebella with the Office of the Secretary General of the House of Representatives on October 23. but how smart public policies can magnify this effect.. Davide.R. July 10. provided health care. Their earnings have built houses. 167614 March 24. Yet. and Felix William B. section 3 of Article XI of the Constitution. • Serrano v. 10. only recently have we begun to understand not only how much international migration impacts development. the workers shall be entitled to the full reimbursement of his . Gallant MARITIME SERVICES. SERRANO. J. 2009 G. equipped schools and planted the seeds of businesses. valid or authorized cause as defined by law or contract. vs. 2003 is barred under paragraph 5. . Jr. INC. the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G. a Filipino seafarer. 8042. 2009 ANTONIO M. INC. Jr.. which was filed by Representatives Gilberto C. G. societies and economies. and MARLOW NAVIGATION CO. They have woven together the world by transmitting ideas and knowledge from country to country. the last clause in the 5th paragraph of Section 10. March 24.2 to wit: Sec.A. Teodoro.Consequently. 167614. Money Claims.x x x In case of termination of overseas employment without just. No. They have provided the dynamic human link between cultures.) No. DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. the toil of solitary migrants has helped lift entire families and communities out of poverty.: For decades.R. Respondents. Gallant Maritime. Republic Act (R. 20071 For Antonio Serrano (petitioner). Petitioner. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon Global Forum on Migration and Development Brussels. No.

By way of Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. deprives them of equal protection and denies them due process. Ltd. 1998.7 Hence.8 .00 days per month5 On March 19. petitioner refused to stay on as Second Officer and was repatriated to the Philippines on May 26. and Marlow Navigation Co. 2004 Decision3 and April 1.00. Petitioner was hired by Gallant Maritime Services. whichever is less. petitioner assails the December 8. Petitioner claims that the last clause violates the OFWs' constitutional rights in that it impairs the terms of their contract.placement fee with interest of twelve percent (12%) per annum. (respondents) under a Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)-approved Contract of Employment with the following terms and conditions: Duration of contract 12 months Position Chief Officer Basic monthly salary US$1. but exacerbates the hardships borne by them by unduly limiting their entitlement in case of illegal dismissal to their lump- sum salary either for the unexpired portion of their employment contract "or for three months for every year of the unexpired term.. which applied the subject clause. 1998. petitioner was constrained to accept a downgraded employment contract for the position of Second Officer with a monthly salary of US$1. upon the assurance and representation of respondents that he would be made Chief Officer by the end of April 1998. plus his salaries for the unexpired portion of his employment contract or for three (3) months for every year of the unexpired term.0 hours per week Overtime US$700. Inc.000. the date of his departure.00 Hours of work 48. x x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) does not magnify the contributions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to national development.00 per month Vacation leave with pay 7.400. 2005 Resolution4 of the Court of Appeals (CA). whichever is less" (subject clause).6 Respondents did not deliver on their promise to make petitioner Chief Officer. entreating this Court to declare the subject clause unconstitutional.

the amount of EIGHT THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED .00 Jan. based on the rate of exchange prevailing at the time of payment. 1998 2. 01/30. but at the time of his repatriation on May 26.442.00 Nov. declaring the dismissal of petitioner illegal and awarding him monetary benefits. 1998 2.00 Dec. 1998 2. broken down as follows: May 27/31. 01/31.590.Petitioner's employment contract was for a period of 12 months or from March 19.442.90 June 01/30. judgment is hereby rendered declaring that the dismissal of the complainant (petitioner) by the respondents in the above-entitled case was illegal and the respondents are hereby ordered to pay the complainant [petitioner]. jointly and severally. 01/31.00 Mar. 1998. to wit: WHEREFORE. 1998 2. 1998 2. 1998 2. 1999 2. 1998) + 1. 01/28. 1999 (19 days) incl.590.382.00 Sept. in Philippine Currency.5010 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- TOTAL CLAIM US$ 26. 1999 2. Petitioner filed with the Labor Arbiter (LA) a Complaint9 against respondents for constructive dismissal and for payment of his money claims in the total amount of US$26. he had served only two (2) months and seven (7) days of his contract. leaving an unexpired portion of nine (9) months and twenty-three (23) days.00 August 01/31. 1998 (5 days) incl. 1998 up to March 19. leave pay 1.7311 as well as moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees. 1998 2.23 Amount adjusted to chief mate's salary (March 19/31. Leave pay US$ 413.590. 1998 to April 1/30.590.00 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 25.590.590.590. 1999.590.00 July 01/31. 1999. The LA rendered a Decision dated July 15.73. 01/31. 1/19.590.060. premises considered.00 Oct.00 Feb. 01/30.640.

"14 Respondents appealed15 to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) to question the finding of the LA that petitioner was illegally dismissed.770. All other claims are hereby DISMISSED. fixed overtime pay.00). in Philippine Currency.00).13 (Emphasis supplied) In awarding petitioner a lump-sum salary of US$8. the LA applied the salary rate of US$2. In addition.590. representing the complainant’s salary for three (3) months of the unexpired portion of the aforesaid contract of employment. v.400. Petitioner also appealed16 to the NLRC on the sole issue that the LA erred in not applying the ruling of the Court in Triple Integrated Services. jointly and severally.SEVENTY U.rather than the entire unexpired portion of nine months and 23 days of petitioner's employment contract .1avvphi1 The respondents are likewise ordered to pay the complainant [petitioner].S. vacation leave pay = US$2. However.00/month + US$700. at the exchange rate prevailing at the time of payment. based on the rate of exchange prevailing at the time of payment.18 . Inc. consisting of petitioner's "[b]asic salary. in Philippine Currency. the complainant’s (petitioner's) claim for attorney’s fees equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the total amount awarded to the aforesaid employee under this Decision.applying the subject clause. The claims of the complainant for moral and exemplary damages are hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. + US$490.00/compensation per month. US$1. DOLLARS (US$ 45.770. jointly and severally. the amount of FORTY FIVE U. SO ORDERED.00/month. DOLLARS (US $8.00/month. OFWs are entitled to their salaries for the unexpired portion of their contracts.00.00.590. the LA based his computation on the salary period of three months only -.12 representing the complainant’s claim for a salary differential.S. the respondents are hereby ordered to pay the complainant. National Labor Relations Commission17 that in case of illegal dismissal.

In a Decision dated June 15, 2000, the NLRC modified the LA Decision, to
wit:

WHEREFORE, the Decision dated 15 July 1999 is MODIFIED.
Respondents are hereby ordered to pay complainant, jointly and severally,
in Philippine currency, at the prevailing rate of exchange at the time of
payment the following:

1. Three (3) months salary
$1,400 x 3 US$4,200.00
2. Salary differential 45.00
US$4,245.00
3. 10% Attorney’s fees 424.50
TOTAL US$4,669.50
The other findings are affirmed.

SO ORDERED.19

The NLRC corrected the LA's computation of the lump-sum salary awarded
to petitioner by reducing the applicable salary rate from US$2,590.00 to
US$1,400.00 because R.A. No. 8042 "does not provide for the award of
overtime pay, which should be proven to have been actually performed,
and for vacation leave pay."20

Petitioner filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration, but this time he
questioned the constitutionality of the subject clause.21 The NLRC denied
the motion.22

Petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari23 with the CA, reiterating the
constitutional challenge against the subject clause.24 After initially
dismissing the petition on a technicality, the CA eventually gave due course
to it, as directed by this Court in its Resolution dated August 7, 2003 which
granted the petition for certiorari, docketed as G.R. No. 151833, filed by
petitioner.

In a Decision dated December 8, 2004, the CA affirmed the NLRC ruling on
the reduction of the applicable salary rate; however, the CA skirted the
constitutional issue raised by petitioner.25

His Motion for Reconsideration26 having been denied by the CA,27

petitioner brings his cause to this Court on the following grounds:

I

The Court of Appeals and the labor tribunals have decided the case in a
way not in accord with applicable decision of the Supreme Court involving
similar issue of granting unto the migrant worker back wages equal to the
unexpired portion of his contract of employment instead of limiting it to
three (3) months

II

In the alternative that the Court of Appeals and the Labor Tribunals were
merely applying their interpretation of Section 10 of Republic Act No. 8042,
it is submitted that the Court of Appeals gravely erred in law when it failed
to discharge its judicial duty to decide questions of substance not
theretofore determined by the Honorable Supreme Court, particularly, the
constitutional issues raised by the petitioner on the constitutionality of said
law, which unreasonably, unfairly and arbitrarily limits payment of the
award for back wages of overseas workers to three (3) months.

III

Even without considering the constitutional limitations [of] Sec. 10 of
Republic Act No. 8042, the Court of Appeals gravely erred in law in
excluding from petitioner’s award the overtime pay and vacation pay
provided in his contract since under the contract they form part of his
salary.28

On February 26, 2008, petitioner wrote the Court to withdraw his petition as
he is already old and sickly, and he intends to make use of the monetary
award for his medical treatment and medication.29 Required to comment,
counsel for petitioner filed a motion, urging the court to allow partial
execution of the undisputed monetary award and, at the same time, praying
that the constitutional question be resolved.30

Considering that the parties have filed their respective memoranda, the
Court now takes up the full merit of the petition mindful of the extreme
importance of the constitutional question raised therein.

On the first and second issues

The unanimous finding of the LA, NLRC and CA that the dismissal of
petitioner was illegal is not disputed. Likewise not disputed is the salary
differential of US$45.00 awarded to petitioner in all three fora. What
remains disputed is only the computation of the lump-sum salary to be
awarded to petitioner by reason of his illegal dismissal.

Applying the subject clause, the NLRC and the CA computed the lump-sum
salary of petitioner at the monthly rate of US$1,400.00 covering the period
of three months out of the unexpired portion of nine months and 23 days of
his employment contract or a total of US$4,200.00.

Impugning the constitutionality of the subject clause, petitioner contends
that, in addition to the US$4,200.00 awarded by the NLRC and the CA, he
is entitled to US$21,182.23 more or a total of US$25,382.23, equivalent to
his salaries for the entire nine months and 23 days left of his employment
contract, computed at the monthly rate of US$2,590.00.31

The Arguments of Petitioner

Petitioner contends that the subject clause is unconstitutional because it
unduly impairs the freedom of OFWs to negotiate for and stipulate in their
overseas employment contracts a determinate employment period and a
fixed salary package.32 It also impinges on the equal protection clause, for
it treats OFWs differently from local Filipino workers (local workers) by
putting a cap on the amount of lump-sum salary to which OFWs are entitled
in case of illegal dismissal, while setting no limit to the same monetary
award for local workers when their dismissal is declared illegal; that the
disparate treatment is not reasonable as there is no substantial distinction
between the two groups;33 and that it defeats Section 18,34 Article II of the
Constitution which guarantees the protection of the rights and welfare of all
Filipino workers, whether deployed locally or overseas.35

Moreover, petitioner argues that the decisions of the CA and the labor
tribunals are not in line with existing jurisprudence on the issue of money
claims of illegally dismissed OFWs. Though there are conflicting rulings on
this, petitioner urges the Court to sort them out for the guidance of affected
OFWs.36

Petitioner further underscores that the insertion of the subject clause into
R.A. No. 8042 serves no other purpose but to benefit local placement
agencies. He marks the statement made by the Solicitor General in his
Memorandum, viz.:

Often, placement agencies, their liability being solidary, shoulder the
payment of money claims in the event that jurisdiction over the foreign
employer is not acquired by the court or if the foreign employer reneges on
its obligation. Hence, placement agencies that are in good faith and which
fulfill their obligations are unnecessarily penalized for the acts of the foreign
employer. To protect them and to promote their continued helpful
contribution in deploying Filipino migrant workers, liability for money claims
was reduced under Section 10 of R.A. No. 8042. 37 (Emphasis supplied)

Petitioner argues that in mitigating the solidary liability of placement
agencies, the subject clause sacrifices the well-being of OFWs. Not only
that, the provision makes foreign employers better off than local employers
because in cases involving the illegal dismissal of employees, foreign
employers are liable for salaries covering a maximum of only three months
of the unexpired employment contract while local employers are liable for
the full lump-sum salaries of their employees. As petitioner puts it:

In terms of practical application, the local employers are not limited to the
amount of backwages they have to give their employees they have illegally
dismissed, following well-entrenched and unequivocal jurisprudence on the
matter. On the other hand, foreign employers will only be limited to giving
the illegally dismissed migrant workers the maximum of three (3) months
unpaid salaries notwithstanding the unexpired term of the contract that can
be more than three (3) months.38

Lastly, petitioner claims that the subject clause violates the due process
clause, for it deprives him of the salaries and other emoluments he is
entitled to under his fixed-period employment contract.39

The Arguments of Respondents

In their Comment and Memorandum, respondents contend that the
constitutional issue should not be entertained, for this was belatedly
interposed by petitioner in his appeal before the CA, and not at the earliest
opportunity, which was when he filed an appeal before the NLRC.40

The Arguments of the Solicitor General

The Solicitor General (OSG)41 points out that as R.A. No. 8042 took effect
on July 15, 1995, its provisions could not have impaired petitioner's 1998
employment contract. Rather, R.A. No. 8042 having preceded petitioner's
contract, the provisions thereof are deemed part of the minimum terms of
petitioner's employment, especially on the matter of money claims, as this
was not stipulated upon by the parties.42

Moreover, the OSG emphasizes that OFWs and local workers differ in
terms of the nature of their employment, such that their rights to monetary
benefits must necessarily be treated differently. The OSG enumerates the
essential elements that distinguish OFWs from local workers: first, while
local workers perform their jobs within Philippine territory, OFWs perform
their jobs for foreign employers, over whom it is difficult for our courts to
acquire jurisdiction, or against whom it is almost impossible to enforce
judgment; and second, as held in Coyoca v. National Labor Relations
Commission43 and Millares v. National Labor Relations Commission,44
OFWs are contractual employees who can never acquire regular
employment status, unlike local workers who are or can become regular
employees. Hence, the OSG posits that there are rights and privileges
exclusive to local workers, but not available to OFWs; that these
peculiarities make for a reasonable and valid basis for the differentiated
treatment under the subject clause of the money claims of OFWs who are
illegally dismissed. Thus, the provision does not violate the equal protection
clause nor Section 18, Article II of the Constitution.45

Lastly, the OSG defends the rationale behind the subject clause as a police
power measure adopted to mitigate the solidary liability of placement
agencies for this "redounds to the benefit of the migrant workers whose
welfare the government seeks to promote. The survival of legitimate
placement agencies helps [assure] the government that migrant workers
are properly deployed and are employed under decent and humane
conditions."46

The Court's Ruling

The Court sustains petitioner on the first and second issues.

When the Court is called upon to exercise its power of judicial review of the
acts of its co-equals, such as the Congress, it does so only when these
conditions obtain: (1) that there is an actual case or controversy involving a
conflict of rights susceptible of judicial determination;47 (2) that the
constitutional question is raised by a proper party48 and at the earliest
opportunity;49 and (3) that the constitutional question is the very lis mota of
the case,50 otherwise the Court will dismiss the case or decide the same
on some other ground.51

Without a doubt, there exists in this case an actual controversy directly
involving petitioner who is personally aggrieved that the labor tribunals and
the CA computed his monetary award based on the salary period of three
months only as provided under the subject clause.

The constitutional challenge is also timely. It should be borne in mind that
the requirement that a constitutional issue be raised at the earliest
opportunity entails the interposition of the issue in the pleadings before a
competent court, such that, if the issue is not raised in the pleadings before
that competent court, it cannot be considered at the trial and, if not
considered in the trial, it cannot be considered on appeal.52 Records
disclose that the issue on the constitutionality of the subject clause was first
raised, not in petitioner's appeal with the NLRC, but in his Motion for Partial
Reconsideration with said labor tribunal,53 and reiterated in his Petition for
Certiorari before the CA.54 Nonetheless, the issue is deemed seasonably
raised because it is not the NLRC but the CA which has the competence to
resolve the constitutional issue. The NLRC is a labor tribunal that merely
performs a quasi-judicial function – its function in the present case is limited
to determining questions of fact to which the legislative policy of R.A. No.
8042 is to be applied and to resolving such questions in accordance with
the standards laid down by the law itself;55 thus, its foremost function is to
administer and enforce R.A. No. 8042, and not to inquire into the validity of
its provisions. The CA, on the other hand, is vested with the power of
judicial review or the power to declare unconstitutional a law or a provision
thereof, such as the subject clause.56 Petitioner's interposition of the
constitutional issue before the CA was undoubtedly seasonable. The CA
was therefore remiss in failing to take up the issue in its decision.

The third condition that the constitutional issue be critical to the resolution
of the case likewise obtains because the monetary claim of petitioner to his
lump-sum salary for the entire unexpired portion of his 12-month

employment contract, and not just for a period of three months, strikes at
the very core of the subject clause.

Thus, the stage is all set for the determination of the constitutionality of the
subject clause.

Does the subject clause violate Section 10,
Article III of the Constitution on non-impairment
of contracts?

The answer is in the negative.

Petitioner's claim that the subject clause unduly interferes with the
stipulations in his contract on the term of his employment and the fixed
salary package he will receive57 is not tenable.

Section 10, Article III of the Constitution provides:

No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed.

The prohibition is aligned with the general principle that laws newly enacted
have only a prospective operation,58 and cannot affect acts or contracts
already perfected;59 however, as to laws already in existence, their
provisions are read into contracts and deemed a part thereof.60 Thus, the
non-impairment clause under Section 10, Article II is limited in application
to laws about to be enacted that would in any way derogate from existing
acts or contracts by enlarging, abridging or in any manner changing the
intention of the parties thereto.

As aptly observed by the OSG, the enactment of R.A. No. 8042 in 1995
preceded the execution of the employment contract between petitioner and
respondents in 1998. Hence, it cannot be argued that R.A. No. 8042,
particularly the subject clause, impaired the employment contract of the
parties. Rather, when the parties executed their 1998 employment contract,
they were deemed to have incorporated into it all the provisions of R.A. No.
8042.

But even if the Court were to disregard the timeline, the subject clause may
not be declared unconstitutional on the ground that it impinges on the
impairment clause, for the law was enacted in the exercise of the police

safety. the classification must comply with these requirements: 1) it is based on substantial distinctions. and 4) it applies equally to all members of the class. liberty.61 Police power legislations adopted by the State to promote the health.66 . to be valid. Article III of the Constitution. for all private contracts must yield to the superior and legitimate measures taken by the State to promote public welfare. without distinction as to place of deployment. none should be denied the protection of the laws which is enjoyed by. others in like circumstances. particularly the recruitment and deployment of OFWs. with the noble end in view of ensuring respect for the dignity and well-being of OFWs wherever they may be employed. and Section 18.64 Article XIII accord all members of the labor sector. Section 18. To Filipino workers. when it sees fit. a system of classification into its legislation.63 Article II and Section 3. or property without due process of law nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the law. and general welfare of the people are generally applicable not only to future contracts but even to those already in existence. morals. Article II and Section 3. full protection of their rights and welfare.65 Such rights are not absolute but subject to the inherent power of Congress to incorporate. 3) it is not limited to existing conditions only. Article III of the Constitution guarantees: No person shall be deprived of life. education. the rights guaranteed under the foregoing constitutional provisions translate to economic security and parity: all monetary benefits should be equally enjoyed by workers of similar category. good order. Section 1.62 Does the subject clause violate Section 1. while all monetary obligations should be borne by them in equal degree. 2) it is germane to the purposes of the law.power of the State to regulate a business. or spared the burden imposed on. peace. however. profession or calling. Article XIII on labor as a protected sector? The answer is in the affirmative.

The deference stops where the classification violates a fundamental right.68 and c) strict judicial scrutiny69 in which a legislative classification which impermissibly interferes with the exercise of a fundamental right70 or operates to the peculiar disadvantage of a suspect class71 is presumed unconstitutional. the Court deliberately employed the standard of strict judicial scrutiny in its review of the constitutionality of said provision. Rational basis should not suffice.76 It is different in the Philippine setting. In Central Bank (now Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) Employee Association. was challenged for maintaining its rank-and-file employees under the Salary Standardization Law (SSL). More significantly. When these violations arise. .67 b) the middle-tier or intermediate scrutiny in which the government must show that the challenged classification serves an important state interest and that the classification is at least substantially related to serving that interest. Inc.77 the constitutionality of a provision in the charter of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). or prejudices persons accorded special protection by the Constitution. and the burden is upon the government to prove that the classification is necessary to achieve a compelling state interest and that it is the least restrictive means to protect such interest.There are three levels of scrutiny at which the Court reviews the constitutionality of a classification embodied in a law: a) the deferential or rational basis scrutiny in which the challenged classification needs only be shown to be rationally related to serving a legitimate state interest. this Court must discharge its primary role as the vanguard of constitutional guaranties. and require a stricter and more exacting adherence to constitutional limitations. strict judicial scrutiny is triggered by suspect classifications73 based on race74 or gender75 but not when the classification is drawn along income categories. even when the rank-and-file employees of other GFIs had been exempted from the SSL by their respective charters. a government financial institution (GFI). it was in this case that the Court revealed the broad outlines of its judicial philosophy. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. v. to wit: Congress retains its wide discretion in providing for a valid classification. Finding that the disputed provision contained a suspect classification based on salary grade.72 Under American jurisprudence. and its policies should be accorded recognition and respect by the courts of justice except when they run afoul of the Constitution.

And it need not be stressed that our public interest is distinct and different from others. Section 10. We live in a different ambience and must decide our own problems in the light of our own interests and needs. they are persuasive and have been used to support many of our decisions. Equality is one ideal which cries out for bold attention and action in the Constitution.Admittedly. the quest for a better and more "equal" world calls for the use of equal protection as a tool of effective judicial intervention. We should not place undue and fawning reliance upon them and regard them as indispensable mental crutches without which we cannot come to our own decisions through the employment of our own endowments. Under the policy of social justice. The Preamble proclaims "equality" as an ideal precisely in protest against crushing inequities in Philippine society. in "all phases of national development. including labor. Nevertheless. the law bends over backward to accommodate the interests of the working class on the humane justification that those with less privilege in life should have more in law. x x x [T]here is thus in the Philippine Constitution no lack of doctrinal support for a more vigorous state effort towards achieving a reasonable measure of equality. and always with our own concept of law and justice. More importantly." further explicitated in Article XIII. At best. and of our qualities and even idiosyncrasies as a people. the view that prejudice to persons accorded special protection by the Constitution requires a stricter judicial scrutiny finds no support in American or English jurisprudence. xxxx Further. Our laws must be construed in accordance with the intention of our own lawmakers and such intent may be deduced from the language of each law and the context of other local legislation related thereto. are clear commands to the State to take affirmative action in the direction of greater equality. these foreign decisions and authorities are not per se controlling in this jurisdiction. Our present Constitution has gone further in guaranteeing vital social and economic rights to marginalized groups of society. And the obligation to afford protection to labor is incumbent not only on the legislative and executive branches but also on the judiciary to translate this pledge into a living . The command to promote social justice in Article II. they must be construed to serve our own public interest which is the be-all and the end- all of all our laws.

and not the officers . xxxx In the case at bar. while the poorer. Judicial scrutiny would be based on the "rational basis" test. it is they . It is akin to a distinction based on economic class and status. if not all. and the legislative discretion would be given deferential treatment. the Court will exercise judicial restraint in deciding questions of constitutionality. The implications are quite disturbing: BSP rank-and-file employees are paid the strictly regimented rates of the SSL while employees higher in rank . especially in terms of job marketability.possessing higher and better education and opportunities for career advancement . provide adequate social services. or the perpetuation of prejudice against persons favored by the Constitution with special protection. But if the challenge to the statute is premised on the denial of a fundamental right.reality. Social justice calls for the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated. A weak and watered down view would call for the abdication of this Court’s solemn duty to strike down any law repugnant to the Constitution and the rights it enshrines. xxxx Under most circumstances. judicial scrutiny ought to be more strict. low-salaried employees are limited to the rates prescribed by the SSL. recognizing the broad discretion given to Congress in exercising its legislative power. extend to them a . Considering that majority. the challenged proviso operates on the basis of the salary grade or officer-employee status. Officers of the BSP now receive higher compensation packages that are competitive with the industry. with the higher grades as recipients of a benefit specifically withheld from the lower grades.are given higher compensation packages to entice them to stay. This is in accord with the policy of the Constitution "to free the people from poverty. This is true whether the actor committing the unconstitutional act is a private person or the government itself or one of its instrumentalities.who have the real economic and financial need for the adjustment . Oppressive acts will be struck down regardless of the character or nature of the actor. the rank-and-file employees consist of people whose status and rank in life are less and limited.

Inc. OFWs with employment contracts of less than one year vis-à-vis OFWs with employment contracts of one year or more. v. among OFWs with employment contracts of more than one year. Upon cursory reading.decent standard of living. OFWs with employment contracts of less than one year vis-à-vis OFWs with employment contracts of one year or more As pointed out by petitioner. OFWs at two levels: First. i. for it applies to all OFWs. This is evident from the words "for every year of the unexpired term" which follows the words "salaries x x x for three months." To follow petitioners’ thinking that private respondent is entitled to three (3) months salary only simply because it is the lesser amount is to completely disregard and overlook some words used in the statute while . and an invidious impact on.78 it was in Marsaman Manning Agency.. (Emphasis supplied) Imbued with the same sense of "obligation to afford protection to labor. comes into play only when the employment contract concerned has a term of at least one (1) year or more. 10 clearly reveals that the choice of which amount to award an illegally dismissed overseas contract worker." the Court in the present case also employs the standard of strict judicial scrutiny. 804." Any act of Congress that runs counter to this constitutional desideratum deserves strict scrutiny by this Court before it can pass muster. However. whether his salaries for the unexpired portion of his employment contract or three (3) months’ salary for every year of the unexpired term. and improve the quality of life for all. National Labor Relations Commission79 (Second Division. for it perceives in the subject clause a suspect classification prejudicial to OFWs. whichever is less. No. 1999) that the Court laid down the following rules on the application of the periods prescribed under Section 10(5) of R. and Third. to wit: A plain reading of Sec. a closer examination reveals that the subject clause has a discriminatory intent against.A. OFWs vis-à-vis local workers with fixed-period employment.e. the subject clause appears facially neutral. Second.

the OFW involved was illegally dismissed two months into his 10-month contract.A.82 Another was Triple-Eight Integrated Services. v. care should be taken that every part or word thereof be given effect since the law-making body is presumed to know the meaning of the words employed in the statue and to have used them advisedly. The Marsaman interpretation of Section 10(5) has since been adopted in . the unexpired portion of his contract. a worker dismissed from overseas employment without just. No.00 equivalent to his three months’ salary. On appeal.00 as lump-sum salary covering eight months. but was dismissed after working for one year and two months. valid or authorized cause is entitled to his salary for the unexpired portion of his employment contract or for three (3) months for every year of the unexpired term. respondent Osdana was illegally dismissed. National Labor Relations Commission (Third Division. and the Court awarded her salaries for the entire unexpired portion of four and one-half months of her contract. December 1998). whichever is less. Ut res magis valeat quam pereat. This is contrary to the well-established rule in legal hermeneutics that in interpreting a statute.83 which involved an OFW (therein respondent Erlinda Osdana) who was originally granted a 12-month contract. the Court reduced the award to SR3. 8042. Inc. The LA declared his dismissal illegal and awarded him SR13. One was Asian Center for Career and Employment System and Services v. but was awarded his salaries for the remaining 8 months and 6 days of his contract. the unexpired portion of private respondent’s employment contract is eight (8) months.80 (Emphasis supplied) In Marsaman. After serving for one year and seven-and-a-half months. there were two cases in which the Court made conflicting rulings on Section 10(5).600. this being the lesser value.600.600. National Labor Relations Commission (Second Division. Prior to Marsaman. however. which was deemed renewed for another 12 months. to wit: Under Section 10 of R.81 which involved an OFW who was awarded a two-year employment contract. October 1998).giving effect to some. In the case at bar. Private respondent should therefore be paid his basic salary corresponding to three (3) months or a total of SR3.

The disparity in the treatment of these two groups cannot be discounted. Almanzor 95 2 years 26 days 23 months and 4 days 6 months or 3 months for each year of contract Athenna Manpower v. dela Cruz l86 9 months 4 months 5 months 5 months Talidano v. In Skippers. Employ v. CA 88 12 months 3 months 9 months 3 months Oriental v. CA 89 12 months more than 2 months 10 months 3 months PCL v. Paramio. The second category consists of OFWs with fixed-period employment contracts of one year or more. Villanos 96 1 year. the respondent OFW worked for only 2 months out of his 6- month contract. NLRC90 12 months more than 2 months more or less 9 months 3 months Olarte v. the respondent OFWs in Oriental and PCL who had also .94 12 months 10 months 2 months Unexpired portion Flourish Maritime v. they are entitled to monetary award equivalent to only 3 months of the unexpired portion of their contracts. in case of illegal dismissal. et al.the following cases: Case Title Contract Period Period of Service Unexpired Period Period Applied in the Computation of the Monetary Award Skippers v. 10 months and 28 days 1 month 1 year. they are entitled to their salaries for the entire unexpired portion of their contract. but was awarded his salaries for the remaining 4 months. in case of illegal dismissal. Falcon87 12 months 3 months 9 months 3 months Univan v. The first category includes OFWs with fixed-period employment contracts of less than one year. Reynaldo Chua 85 9 months 8 months 4 months 4 months Centennial Transmarine v. Adelantar93 12 months 9 months and 7 days 2 months and 23 days 2 months and 23 days Phil. Maguad84 6 months 2 months 4 months 4 months Bahia Shipping v. the subject clause classifies OFWs into two categories.Ferrer92 12 months 16 days 11 months and 24 days 3 months Pentagon v. In contrast. Nayona91 12 months 21 days 11 months and 9 days 3 months JSS v. 9 months and 28 days 6 months or 3 months for each year of contract As the foregoing matrix readily shows.

The disparity becomes more aggravating when the Court takes into account jurisprudence that. Integrated v. equivalent to his salaries for the remaining 9 months of his contract.A. all OFWs.98 2 years 2 months 22 months 22 months Phil. as the US$3. To illustrate the disparity even more vividly. NLRC.97 illegally dismissed OFWs. instead of US$14. 8042 on July 14.000.000. Even the OFWs involved in Talidano and Univan who had worked for a longer period of 3 months out of their 12-month contracts before being illegally dismissed were awarded their salaries for only 3 months.000. whereas OFW-B will be entitled to only US$3. NLRC.00 for the unexpired portion of 14 months of his contract. were entitled to their salaries for the entire unexpired portions of their contracts.00 is the lesser amount. OFW-A will be entitled to US$9.00 and a hypothetical OFW-B with an employment contract of 15 months with the same monthly salary rate of US$1.00. the Court assumes a hypothetical OFW-A with an employment contract of 10 months at a monthly salary rate of US$1.worked for about 2 months out of their 12-month contracts were awarded their salaries for only 3 months of the unexpired portion of their contracts.000. CA.00.00. prior to the effectivity of R. Carilla104 12 months 6 months and 22 days 5 months and 18 days 5 months and 18 days It is plain that prior to R. Their claims were subjected to a uniform rule of computation: their basic salaries . Both commenced work on the same day and under the same employer. 8042. NLRC99 2 years 7 days 23 months and 23 days 23 months and 23 days JGB v. and were illegally dismissed after one month of work.000. The matrix below speaks for itself: Case Title Contract Period Period of Service Unexpired Period Period Applied in the Computation of the Monetary Award ATCI v. No.102 2 years 5 months 19 months 19 months Barros v. NLRC101 2 years 2 months 22 months 22 months EDI v.000. et al. 1995. et al.A. regardless of contract periods or the unexpired portions thereof. NLC100 2 years 9 months 15 months 15 months Agoy v. Under the subject clause. no matter how long the period of their employment contracts. No. equivalent to his salaries for 3 months of the unexpired portion of his contract.103 12 months 4 months 8 months 8 months Philippine Transmarine v. were treated alike in terms of the computation of their monetary benefits in case of illegal dismissal. et al.

the subject clause creates a sub-layer of discrimination among OFWs whose contract periods are for more than one year: those who are illegally dismissed with less than one year left in their contracts shall be entitled to their salaries for the entire unexpired portion thereof. there would be no occasion for such unexpired term to be measured by every year. which arithmetically requires that the original contract period be more than one year. the unexpired term must be at least one year. in the process singling out one category whose contracts have an unexpired portion of one year or more and subjecting them to the peculiar disadvantage of having their monetary awards limited to their salaries for 3 months or for the unexpired portion thereof. the Court now has misgivings on the accuracy of the Marsaman interpretation. for if it were any shorter. but all the while sparing the other category from such prejudice. whichever is less" contains the qualifying phrases "every year" and "unexpired term. whatever would be the unexpired term thereof will not reach even a year." By its ordinary meaning. the original term must be more than one year. for otherwise. Viewed in that light.the subject clause applies in cases when the unexpired portion of the contract period is at least one year. that "every year" is but part of an "unexpired term" is significant in many ways: first.105 Corollarily. Among OFWs With Employment Contracts of More Than One Year Upon closer examination of the terminology employed in the subject clause. the word "term" means a limited or definite extent of time. whichever is less" shall apply is not the length of the original contract period as held in Marsaman. Consequently. No. The enactment of the subject clause in R. . and second. whichever is less. The Court notes that the subject clause "or for three (3) months for every year of the unexpired term.A.multiplied by the entire unexpired portion of their employment contracts.106 but the length of the unexpired portion of the contract period -. the more decisive factor in the determination of when the subject clause "for three (3) months for every year of the unexpired term. 8042 introduced a differentiated rule of computation of the money claims of illegally dismissed OFWs based on their employment periods. simply because the latter's unexpired contracts fall short of one year.

OFWs vis-à-vis Local Workers With Fixed-Period Employment As discussed earlier. on the 13th month. prior to R.108 to wit: Article 299. which is equivalent to his/her total salaries for the entire 11-month unexpired portion. who each have a 24-month contract at a salary rate of US$1. for there are only 11 months left in the latter's contract period. but to the lesser amount of US$3. OFW-D is spared from the effects of the subject clause. Persons violating this clause shall be subject to indemnify the loss and damage suffered. If the contracts between the merchants and their shop clerks and employees should have been made of a fixed period.while those who are illegally dismissed with one year or more remaining in their contracts shall be covered by the subject clause.000.00 or the latter's salaries for 3 months out of the 12-month unexpired term of the contract. Considering that there is at least 12 months remaining in the contract period of OFW-C.109 the Court applied the foregoing .00 per month.000. and OFW-D. without the consent of the other.107 The earliest rule prescribing a uniform system of computation was actually Article 299 of the Code of Commerce (1888). with the exception of the provisions contained in the following articles. No. Thus. not to US$12. may withdraw from the fulfillment of said contract until the termination of the period agreed upon. OFW-C will be entitled. the Court assumes hypothetical OFW-C and OFW-D. the subject clause applies to the computation of the latter's monetary benefits. In Reyes v. Thus. This uniform system was applicable even to local workers with fixed- term employment. a uniform system of computation of the monetary awards of illegally dismissed OFWs was in place. and their monetary benefits limited to their salaries for three months only. On the other hand.00.000. OFW-D will be entitled to US$11.00 or the latter's total salaries for the 12 months unexpired portion of the contract. none of the contracting parties.A.000. To concretely illustrate the application of the foregoing interpretation of the subject clause. OFW-C is illegally dismissed on the 12th month. 8042. The Compañia Maritima.

the Court adopted the general principle that in actions for wrongful discharge founded on Article 1586. Ogilvie. the Court in Lemoine v.113 And in both Lemoine and Palomar. robbery.) Citing Manresa. theft. Article 605 was applied to Madrigal Shipping Company. (Emphasis supplied. While Article 605 has remained good law up to the present. before the fulfillment of the contract. Alkan112 read the disjunctive "or" in Article 1586 as a conjunctive "and" so as to apply the provision to local workers who are employed for a time certain although for no particular skill. to wit: Article 1586. and other laborers hired for a certain time and for a certain work cannot leave or be dismissed without sufficient cause. local workers are entitled to recover damages to the extent of the amount stipulated to be paid to them by the terms of their contract. they cannot be discharged until the fulfillment of their contracts.111 Article 299 of the Code of Commerce was replaced by Art. Field hands. If the contracts of the captain and members of the crew with the agent should be for a definite period or voyage. On the computation of the amount of such damages. Gay114 held: . mechanics. v.provision to determine the liability of a shipping company for the illegal discharge of its managers prior to the expiration of their fixed-term employment. The Court therein held the shipping company liable for the salaries of its managers for the remainder of their fixed-term employment. except for reasons of insubordination in serious matters. the Court in Aldaz v. 1586 of the Civil Code of 1889. habitual drunkenness. Hotel de France Company. There is a more specific rule as far as seafarers are concerned: Article 605 of the Code of Commerce which provides: Article 605. and damage caused to the vessel or to its cargo by malice or manifest or proven negligence. This interpretation of Article 1586 was reiterated in Garcia Palomar v. artisans.110 in which the Court held the shipping company liable for the salaries and subsistence allowance of its illegally dismissed employees for the entire unexpired portion of their employment contracts. Inc.

However. and Sections 2 (Contract of Labor) and 3 (Contract for a Piece of Work).120 an OFW who was illegally dismissed prior to the expiration of her fixed-period employment contract as a baby sitter. the burden of showing that he failed to make an effort to secure other employment of a like nature. Rich. 492. it is noted that in Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co. Inc. Inc. 43. 2. when the new Civil Code was already in effect. National Labor Relations Commission. School District No.. Chapter 3. while this is the general rule. (Howard vs. but who was illegally dismissed after only nine months on the job -. Ople. and nothing has been brought to our attention to the contrary under Spanish jurisprudence. National Labor Relations Commission.118 More significantly. such as in First Asian Trans & Shipping Agency. for the purpose of reducing the damages resulting from such wrongful discharge. Allen vs..117 the Court carried over the principles on the payment of damages underlying Article 1586 of the Civil Code of 1889 and applied the same to a case involving the illegal discharge of a local worker whose fixed-period employment contract was entered into in 1952. Daly.. When an employee is wrongfully discharged under a contract of employment his prima facie damage is the amount which he would be entitled to had he continued in such employment until the termination of the period. The Court arrived at the same ruling in Anderson v. Title I. In Teknika Skills and Trade Services. and that other employment of a like nature was obtainable. that when an employee is wrongfully discharged it is his duty to seek other employment of the same kind in the same community. Title VIII. 99 Mich.121 which involved a foreman hired in 1988 in Saudi Arabia for a fixed term of two years.119 involving seafarers who were illegally discharged. Y.the Court awarded him salaries . the same principles were applied to cases involving overseas Filipino workers whose fixed-term employment contracts were illegally terminated. the New Civil Code took effect with new provisions on fixed-term employment: Section 2 (Obligations with a Period). v.)115 (Emphasis supplied) On August 30. 362. 1950. 98 Mich. 61 N. v. However. v. Inc. Farrell vs.The doctrine is well-established in American jurisprudence. the new provisions of the Civil Code do not expressly provide for the remedies available to a fixed-term worker who is illegally discharged. Book IV.116 Much like Article 1586 of the Civil Code of 1889. is upon the defendant. Chapter 3. Whitlark.. was awarded salaries corresponding to the unexpired portion of her contract.

the Court dug deep into the records but found no .A. Inc. OFWs and local workers with fixed-term employment who were illegally discharged were treated alike in terms of the computation of their money claims: they were uniformly entitled to their salaries for the entire unexpired portions of their contracts. in Vinta Maritime Co. There being a suspect classification involving a vulnerable sector protected by the Constitution. the unexpired portion of his contract. v. v. illegally dismissed OFWs with an unexpired portion of one year or more in their employment contract have since been differently treated in that their money claims are subject to a 3-month cap.123 an OFW whose 12-month contract was illegally cut short in the second month was declared entitled to his salaries for the remaining 10 months of his contract.124 It is akin to the paramount interest of the state125 for which some individual liberties must give way. In sum. it imposes a 3-month cap on the claim of OFWs with an unexpired portion of one year or more in their contracts.corresponding to 15 months.. What constitutes compelling state interest is measured by the scale of rights and powers arrayed in the Constitution and calibrated by history. Inc. The Court concludes that the subject clause contains a suspect classification in that. specifically the adoption of the subject clause. in the computation of the monetary benefits of fixed- term employees who are illegally discharged.122 a Filipino working as a security officer in 1989 in Angola was awarded his salaries for the remaining period of his 12-month contract after he was wrongfully discharged. prior to R. whereas no such limitation is imposed on local workers with fixed-term employment. and determines whether it serves a compelling state interest through the least restrictive means. such as the public interest in safeguarding health or maintaining medical standards. But with the enactment of R. In Asia World Recruitment. The subject clause singles out one classification of OFWs and burdens it with a peculiar disadvantage. 8042. the Court now subjects the classification to a strict judicial scrutiny. 8042. No. No. National Labor Relations Commission.A. National Labor Relations Commission. but none on the claims of other OFWs or local workers with fixed-term employment.126 or in maintaining access to information on matters of public concern. Finally.127 In the present case.

nowhere in the Comment or Memorandum does the OSG cite the source of its perception of the state interest sought to be served by the subject clause. This measure redounds to the benefit of the migrant workers whose welfare the government seeks to promote."128 The OSG explained further: Often. Bonifacio Gallego in sponsorship of House Bill No. The survival of legitimate placement agencies helps [assure] the government that migrant workers are properly deployed and are employed under decent and humane conditions. their liability being solidary. from which the law originated. To protect them and to promote their continued helpful contribution in deploying Filipino migrant workers.129 (Emphasis supplied) However. Hence. Filipino seafarers have better chance of getting hired by foreign employers. That is only natural for none of the 29 provisions in HB 14314 resembles the subject clause. On the other hand. 8042 in the speech of Rep. placement agencies that are in good faith and which fulfill their obligations are unnecessarily penalized for the acts of the foreign employer.A. to wit: ." The limitation also protects the interest of local placement agencies. liability for money are reduced under Section 10 of RA 8042. By limiting the liability to three months [sic].compelling state interest that the subject clause may possibly serve. The OSG locates the purpose of R.130 but the speech makes no reference to the underlying reason for the adoption of the subject clause. placement agencies. 2077 (SB 2077) contains a provision on money claims. No. Senate Bill No. which otherwise may be made to shoulder millions of pesos in "termination pay. The OSG defends the subject clause as a police power measure "designed to protect the employment of Filipino seafarers overseas x x x. 14314 (HB 14314). shoulder the payment of money claims in the event that jurisdiction over the foreign employer is not acquired by the court or if the foreign employer reneges on its obligation.

moral. But significantly. 10.Sec. Provided. exemplary and other forms of damages. withheld until the said official complies therewith. within ninety (90) calendar days after the filing of the complaint. Any compromise/voluntary agreement in violation of this paragraph shall be null and void. Money Claims.Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary. Any compromise/amicable settlement or voluntary agreement on any money claims exclusive of damages under this Section shall not be less than fifty percent (50%) of such money claims: Provided. The liability of the principal and the recruitment/placement agency or any and all claims under this Section shall be joint and several. That the penalties herein provided shall be without prejudice to any liability which any such official may have incurred under other existing laws or rules and regulations as a consequence of violating the provisions of this paragraph. the claims arising out of an employer-employee relationship or by virtue of the complaint. Non-compliance with the mandatory period for resolutions of cases provided under this Section shall subject the responsible officials to any or all of the following penalties: (1) The salary of any such official who fails to render his decision or resolution within the prescribed period shall be. the Labor Arbiters of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) shall have the original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide. or caused to be. or (3) Dismissal from the service with disqualification to hold any appointive public office for five (5) years. . if applicable. That any installment payments. to satisfy any such compromise or voluntary settlement shall not be more than two (2) months. the claim arising out of an employer-employee relationship or by virtue of any law or contract involving Filipino workers for overseas employment including claims for actual. (2) Suspension for not more than ninety (90) days. Section 10 of SB 2077 does not provide for any rule on . however.

The POEA Rules and Regulations Governing the Recruitment and Employment of Land-Based Overseas Workers. but imposes the same burden on another sector. 2002. 2077 and House Bill No.A. These disciplinary measures range from temporary disqualification to preventive suspension. 2003. The idea that private business interest can be elevated to the level of a compelling state interest is odious. even if the purpose of the subject clause is to lessen the solidary liability of placement agencies vis-a-vis their foreign principals. especially when the favored sector is composed of private businesses such as placement agencies. let alone a compelling one. dated February 4. Moreover. while the disadvantaged sector is composed of OFWs whose protection no less than the Constitution commands.the computation of money claims. The POEA Rules and Regulations Governing the Recruitment and Employment of Seafarers. the purpose of the subject clause is to protect the employment of OFWs by mitigating the solidary liability of placement agencies. A rule on the computation of money claims containing the subject clause was inserted and eventually adopted as the 5th paragraph of Section 10 of R. imposes administrative disciplinary measures on erring foreign employers who default on their contractual obligations to migrant workers and/or their Philippine agents. 8042. there are mechanisms already in place that can be employed to achieve that purpose without infringing on the constitutional rights of OFWs. the Government has failed to discharge its burden of proving the existence of a compelling state interest that would justify the perpetuation of the discrimination against OFWs under the subject clause. There can never be a justification for any form of government action that alleviates the burden of one sector. as advanced by the OSG. 14314). No. The Court examined the rationale of the subject clause in the transcripts of the "Bicameral Conference Committee (Conference Committee) Meetings on the Magna Carta on OCWs (Disagreeing Provisions of Senate Bill No. In fine. contains similar administrative disciplinary measures . Assuming that. that is sought to be protected or advanced by the adoption of the subject clause. such callous and cavalier rationale will have to be rejected. dated May 23." However. the Court finds no discernible state interest.

are facially unqualified. and the broadest interpretation possible suggests a blanket shield in favor of labor against any form of removal regardless of circumstance. if not unrealistic. formulating their own conclusion to approximate at least the aims of the Constitution.A.132 there are some which this Court has declared not judicially enforceable. Resort to these administrative measures is undoubtedly the less restrictive means of aiding local placement agencies in enforcing the solidary liability of their foreign principals. but of the employers' as well. not only the rights of the labor sector.131 Article XIII of the Constitution. . would be impractical.1avvphi1 Further. doubtless-but still hardly within the contemplation of the framers. to declare that the constitutional provisions are enough to guarantee the full exercise of the rights embodied therein. Without specific and pertinent legislation. The guarantees of "full protection to labor" and "security of tenure". when examined in isolation. No. this Court. This interpretation implies an unimpeachable right to continued employment-a utopian notion. While all the provisions of the 1987 Constitution are presumed self- executing. National Labor Relations Commission. The espousal of such view presents the dangerous tendency of being overbroad and exaggerated. the nature of which. 8042 is violative of the right of petitioner and other OFWs to equal protection. the subject clause in the 5th paragraph of Section 10 of R. the constitutional mandates of protection to labor and security of tenure may be deemed as self-executing in the sense that these are automatically acknowledged and observed without need for any enabling legislation. Article XIII being one. in Agabon v. there would be certain misgivings if one is to approach the declaration of the unconstitutionality of the subject clause from the lone perspective that the clause directly violates state policy on labor under Section 3.against erring foreign employers.133 particularly Section 3 thereof. Thus.134 has described to be not self-actuating: Thus. and the realization of ideals therein expressed. Subsequent legislation is still needed to define the parameters of these guaranteed rights to ensure the protection and promotion. judicial bodies will be at a loss. However.

but for the judiciary as well. Central Bank applied Article XIII in conjunction with the equal protection clause. by itself. for the violation of which the questioned clause may be declared unconstitutional. penned by then Associate Justice now Chief Justice Reynato S. Article XIII is a groundless apprehension. for it deprives him of property. Article XIII. the Court further holds that the subject clause violates petitioner's right to substantive due process. without any existing valid . It may unwittingly risk opening the floodgates of litigation to every worker or union over every conceivable violation of so broad a concept as social justice for labor. Section 3 of Article XIII cannot. It must be stressed that Section 3.the Court may recognize the existence of a suspect classification and subject the same to strict judicial scrutiny. the provisions on social justice require legislative enactments for their enforceability. v. Its utility is best limited to being an impetus not just for the executive and legislative departments. has no life or force of its own as elucidated in Agabon. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. consisting of monetary benefits. be a source of a positive enforceable right to stave off the dismissal of an employee for just cause owing to the failure to serve proper notice or hearing. therefore. Along the same line of reasoning. Article XIII cannot be treated as a principal source of direct enforceable rights. but merely clothes it with the status of a sector for whom the Constitution urges protection through executive or legislative action and judicial recognition. Article XIII does not directly bestow on the working class any actual enforceable right.Ultimately. Inc.135 (Emphasis added) Thus. Puno. And it was in fact consistent with that constitutional agenda that the Court in Central Bank (now Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) Employee Association. formulated the judicial precept that when the challenge to a statute is premised on the perpetuation of prejudice against persons favored by the Constitution with special protection -. to protect the welfare of the working class. Section 3. without the application of the equal protection clause.such as the working class or a section thereof -. As manifested by several framers of the 1987 Constitution. The view that the concepts of suspect classification and strict judicial scrutiny formulated in Central Bank Employee Association exaggerate the significance of Section 3. on its own.

137 Article III of the Constitution. The subject clause being unconstitutional. leave pay and other bonuses. No. or even just a pretext of one.136 The argument of the Solicitor General. provides a Standard Employment Contract of Seafarers. series 1996. is to give them a better chance of getting hired by foreign employers. As earlier discussed. 33. This is plain speculation. The word salaries in Section 10(5) does not include overtime and leave pay.governmental purpose. On the Third Issue Petitioner contends that his overtime and leave pay should form part of the salary basis in the computation of his monetary award. Petitioner is mistaken. 8042. because these are fixed benefits that have been stipulated into his contract.A. DOLE Department Order No. exclusive of overtime. there is no basis for the automatic . petitioner is entitled to his salaries for the entire unexpired period of nine months and 23 days of his employment contract. For seafarers like petitioner. and holiday pay is compensation for any work "performed" on designated rest days and holidays. in which salary is understood as the basic wage. pursuant to law and jurisprudence prior to the enactment of R. but also her right to substantive due process under Section 1. that the actual purpose of the subject clause of limiting the entitlement of OFWs to their three-month salary in case of illegal dismissal. whereas overtime pay is compensation for all work "performed" in excess of the regular eight hours. By the foregoing definition alone. there is nothing in the text of the law or the records of the deliberations leading to its enactment or the pleadings of respondent that would indicate that there is an existing governmental purpose for the subject clause. The subject clause does not state or imply any definitive governmental purpose. and it is for that precise reason that the clause violates not just petitioner's right to equal protection.

and the December 8. 8042 is DECLARED UNCONSTITUTIONAL. The subject clause "or for three months for every year of the unexpired term. No costs. Dela Cruz. In the same vein. (respondents) under a Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)-approved Contract of Employment with the following terms and conditions: . Inc. the payment of overtime pay and leave pay should be disallowed in light of our ruling in Cagampan v.inclusion of overtime and holiday pay in the computation of petitioner's monetary award. SO ORDERED. 2004 Decision and April 1. whichever is less" in the 5th paragraph of Section 10 of Republic Act No. FACTS: Petitioner was hired by Gallant Maritime Services. the claim for the day's leave pay for the unexpired portion of the contract is unwarranted since the same is given during the actual service of the seamen. v. unless there is evidence that he performed work during those periods.400. 2005 Resolution of the Court of Appeals are MODIFIED to the effect that petitioner is AWARDED his salaries for the entire unexpired portion of his employment contract consisting of nine months and 23 days computed at the rate of US$1. to wit: The rendition of overtime work and the submission of sufficient proof that said was actually performed are conditions to be satisfied before a seaman could be entitled to overtime pay which should be computed on the basis of 30% of the basic monthly salary. As the Court held in Centennial Transmarine. Inc. National Labor Relations Commission.. the contract provision guarantees the right to overtime pay but the entitlement to such benefit must first be established.00 per month. and Marlow Navigation Co. WHEREFORE.138 However. the Court GRANTS the Petition. In short. Ltd.

Respondents did not deliver on their promise to make petitioner Chief Officer. 1998. the date of his departure.400.442. upon the assurance and representation of respondents that he would be made Chief Officer by the end of April 1998. he had served only two (2) months and seven (7) days of his contract. The LA rendered a Decision dated July 15.Duration of contract 12 months Position Chief Officer Basic monthly salary US$1. Petitioner filed with the Labor Arbiter (LA) a Complaint against respondents for constructive dismissal and for payment of his money claims in the total amount of US$26. 1998. 1999. 1998 up to March 19.00. 1999.0 hours per week Overtime US$700.00 days per month On March 19.000.00 per month Vacation leave with pay 7. petitioner was constrained to accept a downgraded employment contract for the position of Second Officer with a monthly salary of US$1.73.00 Hours of work 48. declaring the dismissal of petitioner illegal and awarding him monetary benefits. 1998. to wit: WHEREFORE. based on the rate of exchange prevailing at the time of . leaving an unexpired portion of nine (9) months and twenty-three (23) days. in Philippine Currency. judgment is hereby rendered declaring that the dismissal of the complainant (petitioner) by the respondents in the above-entitled case was illegal and the respondents are hereby ordered to pay the complainant [petitioner]. petitioner refused to stay on as Second Officer and was repatriated to the Philippines on May 26. but at the time of his repatriation on May 26. jointly and severally. Hence. Petitioner’s employment contract was for a period of 12 months or from March 19. premises considered.

DOLLARS (US $8. The NLRC denied the motion.590.00. as directed by this Court in its Resolution which granted the petition for certiorari.payment.590. and for vacation leave pay. + US$490.filed by petitioner. 8042 “does not provide for the award of overtime pay. consisting of petitioner’s “[b]asic salary.770. vacation leave pay = US$2.S.00 to US$1.00). but this time he questioned the constitutionality of the subject clause.00 because R.A. The NLRC modified the LA Decision and corrected the LA’s computation of the lump-sum salary awarded to petitioner by reducing the applicable salary rate from US$2.00/month. however. In awarding petitioner a lump-sum salary of US$8.770. However. No. The CA affirmed the NLRC ruling on the reduction of the applicable salary rate.400. the CA eventually gave due course to it. representing the complainant’s salary for three (3) months of the unexpired portion of the aforesaid contract of employment.” Respondents appealed to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) to question the finding of the LA that petitioner was illegally dismissed. the CA skirted the constitutional issue raised by petitioner.400.00/month + US$700. Petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari with the CA. the LA based his computation on the salary period of three months only — rather than the entire unexpired portion of nine months and 23 days of petitioner’s employment contract – applying the subject clause. After initially dismissing the petition on a technicality. US$1. Petitioner filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration. reiterating the constitutional challenge against the subject clause. which should be proven to have been actually performed. .590. fixed overtime pay. the LA applied the salary rate of US$2.00/compensation per month. the amount of EIGHT THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY U.00/month.00. The claims of the complainant for moral and exemplary damages are hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.

10 of Republic Act No.400. ISSUES: Whether Section 10 (par 5) of RA 8042 is unconstitutional Proper computation of the Lump-sum salary to be awarded to petitioner by reason of his illegal dismissal Whether the overtime and leave pay should form part of the salary basis in the computation of his monetary award The unanimous finding of the LA. 8042. the Court of Appeals gravely erred in law in excluding from petitioner’s award the overtime pay and vacation pay provided in his contract since under the contract they form part of his salary. NLRC and CA that the dismissal of petitioner was illegal is not disputed. petitioner brings his cause to this Court on the following grounds: The Court of Appeals and the labor tribunals have decided the case in a way not in accord with applicable decision of the Supreme Court involving similar issue of granting unto the migrant worker back wages equal to the unexpired portion of his contract of employment instead of limiting it to three (3) months. the NLRC and the CA computed the lump-sum salary of petitioner at the monthly rate of US$1. Applying the subject clause. . Even without considering the constitutional limitations [of] Sec.00.200. The Court now takes up the full merit of the petition mindful of the extreme importance of the constitutional question raised therein.His Motion for Reconsideration having been denied by the CA.00 awarded to petitioner in all three fora.00 covering the period of three months out of the unexpired portion of nine months and 23 days of his employment contract or a total of US$4. Likewise not disputed is the salary differential of US$45.

its provisions could not have impaired petitioner’s 1998 employment contract. violates the OFWs’ constitutional rights in that it impairs the terms of their contract. the last clause in the 5th paragraph of Section 10.23. petitioner contends that. Rather. R. No.A. and not at the earliest opportunity.590. Section 1. in addition to the US$4. equivalent to his salaries for the entire nine months and 23 days left of his employment contract.A. No. Republic Act (R. 1995. Article III of the Constitution. he is entitled to US$21. deprives them of equal protection and denies them due process.00. 8042.40 The Arguments of the Solicitor General The Solicitor General (OSG)41 points out that as R.31 Arguments of the Petitioner For Antonio Serrano (petitioner). The Arguments of Respondents Respondents contend that the constitutional issue should not be entertained.A.) No.182.23 more or a total of US$25. the provisions thereof are deemed part of the minimum terms of petitioner’s employment.382. Article II and Section 3. as this was not stipulated upon by the parties. a Filipino seafarer. Article XIII on Labor as protected sector? The answer is in the affirmative.00 awarded by the NLRC and the CA. for this was belatedly interposed by petitioner in his appeal before the CA. especially on the matter of money claims. computed at the monthly rate of US$2.Impugning the constitutionality of the subject clause. The Court’s Ruling: First Issue Does the subject clause violate Section 1. which was when he filed an appeal before the NLRC. and Section 18. Article III of the Constitution guarantees: . 8042 took effect on July 15.200. 8042 having preceded petitioner’s contract.

full protection of their rights and welfare. the subject clause appears facially neutral. for it applies to all OFWs. and it is for that precise reason that the clause violates not just petitioner’s right to equal protection. Article III of the Constitution. or property without due process of law nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the law. all OFWs. without distinction as to place of deployment. 8042 introduced a differentiated rule of computation of the money claims of illegally dismissed . a closer examination reveals that the subject clause has a discriminatory intent against. and an invidious impact on OFWs The subject clause does not state or imply any definitive governmental purpose. To Filipino workers. Their claims were subjected to a uniform rule of computation: their basic salaries multiplied by the entire unexpired portion of their employment contracts. but also her right to substantive due process under Section 1.No person shall be deprived of life. Second Issue It is plain that prior to R. regardless of contract periods or the unexpired portions thereof. Upon cursory reading. others in like circumstances. for it perceives in the subject clause a suspect classification prejudicial to OFWs. Article II and Section 3. or spared the burden imposed on. liberty. the rights guaranteed under the foregoing constitutional provisions translate to economic security and parity: all monetary benefits should be equally enjoyed by workers of similar category. 8042. Section 18. while all monetary obligations should be borne by them in equal degree. However.” the Court in the present case also employs the standard of strict judicial scrutiny. No. Imbued with the same sense of “obligation to afford protection to labor. The enactment of the subject clause in R. No. were treated alike in terms of the computation of their monetary benefits in case of illegal dismissal. none should be denied the protection of the laws which is enjoyed by. Article XIII accord all members of the labor sector.A.A.

8042. No. pursuant to law and jurisprudence prior to the enactment of R. leave pay and other bonuses.OFWs based on their employment periods. a uniform system of computation of the monetary awards of illegally dismissed OFWs was in place. and holiday pay is compensation for any work “performed” on designated rest days and holidays. provides a Standard Employment Contract of Seafarers. The subject clause does not state or imply any definitive governmental purpose. 8042. exclusive of overtime. in the process singling out one category whose contracts have an unexpired portion of one year or more and subjecting them to the peculiar disadvantage of having their monetary awards limited to their salaries for 3 months or for the unexpired portion thereof.A.A. Petitioner is mistaken. but all the while sparing the other category from such prejudice. whereas overtime pay is compensation for all work “performed” in excess of the regular eight hours. petitioner is entitled to his salaries for the entire unexpired period of nine months and 23 days of his employment contract. and it is for that precise reason that the clause violates not just petitioner’s right to equal protection. DOLE Department Order No. The subject clause being unconstitutional. because these are fixed benefits that have been stipulated into his contract. This uniform system was applicable even to local workers with fixed-term employment. For seafarers like petitioner. the claim for the day’s leave pay for the unexpired portion . but also her right to substantive due process under Section 1. simply because the latter’s unexpired contracts fall short of one year. in which salary is understood as the basic wage. No. The word salaries in Section 10(5) does not include overtime and leave pay. In the same vein. whichever is less. Article III of the Constitution. 33. Third Issue Petitioner contends that his overtime and leave pay should form part of the salary basis in the computation of his monetary award. series 1996. Prior to R.

PAQUITO OCHOA. 196271. HADJI MUHMINA J. . JR. thru SPEAKER FELICIANO BELMONTE. Qualities of a Good Constitution • Datu Michael Abas Kida v. FLORENCIO ABAD. and in representation of MAGUINDANAO FEDERATION OF AUTONOMOUS IRRIGATORS ASSOCIATION. x-----------------------x G.. 2012 DATU MICHAEL ABAS KIDA. SIXTO BRILLANTES.00 per month.400. ASRIN TIMBOL JAIYARI. INC.. February 28. USMAN. Treasurer of the Philippines. thru its Chairman. ODIN. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. 196271 February 28. KALANG. vs. G.R. Senate of the Philippines. No. ALIH AL-SAIDI J. JAMILON T. the Court GRANTS the Petition. WHEREFORE.R.R. SAPI-E. 2004 Decision and April 1. LIM. Respondents.. 8042 is DECLARED UNCONSTITUTIONAL. JOHN ANTHONY L. Petitioner. whichever is less” in the 5th paragraph of Section 10 of Republic Act No. 2012 G. and BASSAM ALUH SAUPI. SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. and the December 8. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. and ROBERTO TAN. 196305 BASARI D.. JR. Office of the President Executive Secretary. JR. The subject clause “or for three months for every year of the unexpired term. represented by its President JUAN PONCE ENRILE. in his personal capacity. No. Petitioners. KESSAR DAMSIE ABDIL. Secretary of Budget. 2005 Resolution of the Court of Appeals are MODIFIED to the effect that petitioner is AWARDED his salaries for the entire unexpired portion of his employment contract consisting of nine months and 23 days computed at the rate of US$1. No.of the contract is unwarranted since the same is given during the actual service of the seamen. MUJIB M. MAPUPUNO.

in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. vs. in his capacity as Senate President.. JR. 197282 ATTY.. FLORENCIO ABAD. in his capacity as the Executive Secretary. No. PAQUITO N. JR. MACALINTAL. vs. JR. SIXTO BRILLANTES. LAGMAN. No. 197280 ALMARIM CENTI TILLAH.vs. OCHOA. Respondents. in his capacity as Treasurer of the Philippines. x-----------------------x G. No. in his capacity as Executive Secretary. ROMULO B. TAN. Respondents. Petitioners. EDCEL C.. and the COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. Petitioner. vs.. x-----------------------x G. PAQUITO OCHOA. JR. PAQUITO N. HON. and FELICIANO BELMONTE. x-----------------------x G. JR. JUAN PONCE ENRILE. SIXTO BRILLANTES. ABAD. in his capacity as Chairman of the Commission on Elections. and HON. in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management. OCHOA. 197221 REP. Petitioner.R. HON.R. Respondents. in his capacity as Executive Secretary. OCHOA. . through its Chairman. through EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. JR. DATU CASAN CONDING CANA. FLORENCIO B. in his capacity as Speaker of the House of Representatives.R.. ROBERTO B.. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT. JR. and PARTIDO DEMOKRATIKO PILIPINO LAKAS NG BAYAN (PDP-LABAN).

No. No. JR. x-----------------------x G. 197392 LOUIS "BAROK" C.R. BIRAOGO. 196305. No. Petitioner.: We resolve: (a) the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioners Datu Michael Abas Kida. 2011. INC. Romulo Macalintal in G. PARAS.R. et al. Datu Casan Conding Cana and Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan in G. J. x-----------------------x G. vs. OCHOA. 197454 JACINTO V. in G. 196271. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. Respondents- Intervenor. MINORITY RIGHTS FORUM. 197280. 197221. (b) the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner Rep. (c) the ex abundante ad cautelam motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner Basari Mapupuno in G. and (g) the very urgent motion to issue clarificatory resolution that the temporary restraining order (TRO) is still existing and effective. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. and THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.R.Respondents..R. where we .R. RESOLUTION BRION. 197280. (e) the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioners Almarim Centi Tillah..R. No. Edcel Lagman in G. (d) the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner Atty. OCHOA. These motions assail our Decision dated October 18. Respondents.. 197282. PHILIPPINES. No. in G. No. vs.R. (f) the manifestation and motion filed by petitioners Almarim Centi Tillah.R. No. JR. No. Respondents. Petitioner. et al.

ARTICLE X OF THE CONSTITUTION. ARTICLE XVII OF R. No. arguing that: I. AND (B) THE ARMM IS MORE SUPERIOR THAN LGUs IN STRUCTURE.]1 The petitioner in G. R. AND CONSEQUENTLY IS A CLASS OF ITS OWN APART FROM TRADITIONAL LGUs. 9054 DOES NOT VIOLATE SECTION 18. BALANCE OF INTERESTS TILT IN FAVOR OF THE DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLE[. The Motions for Reconsideration The petitioners in G.R. 10153 postponed the regional elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) (which were scheduled to be held on the second Monday of August 2011) to the second Monday of May 2013 and recognized the President’s power to appoint officers-in-charge (OICs) to temporarily assume these positions upon the expiration of the terms of the elected officials. V. 10153 AND R.upheld the constitutionality of Republic Act (RA) No. III. 9054) ARE NOT IRREPEALABLE LAWS. Pursuant to the constitutional mandate of synchronization. .R. 9333 AMEND THE ORGANIC ACT. II.A. CONSIDERING THAT THE CONSTITUTION GIVES THE ARMM A SPECIAL STATUS AND IS SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM ORDINARY LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS. 197221 raises similar grounds. SECTION 3.A. 196271 raise the following grounds in support of their motion: I. RA No.A. 10153.A. POWERS AND AUTONOMY. THE HONORABLE COURT ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT THE ARMM ELECTIONS ARE LOCAL ELECTIONS. THE ELECTIVE REGIONAL EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE OFFICIALS OF ARMM CANNOT BE CONSIDERED AS OR EQUATED WITH THE TRADITIONAL LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS (LGUs) BECAUSE (A) THERE IS NO EXPLICIT CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION ON SUCH PARITY. IV. No. THE SUPERMAJORITY PROVISIONS OF THE ORGANIC ACT (R.

THE RULING IN OSMENA DOES NOT APPLY TO ARMM ELECTED OFFICIALS WHOSE TERMS OF OFFICE ARE NOT PROVIDED FOR BY THE CONSTITUTION BUT PRESCRIBED BY THE ORGANIC ACTS. THE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT PROSCRIBE THE HOLDOVER OF ARMM ELECTED OFFICIALS PENDING THE ELECTION AND QUALIFICATION OF THEIR SUCCESSORS. IV. AND THE ENACTMENT OF AN . ALBEIT MOMENTARY OR TEMPORARY. THE UNMISTAKABLE AND UNEQUIVOCAL CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATE FOR AN ELECTIVE AND REPRESENTATIVE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT AND LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY IN ARMM INDUBITABLY PRECLUDES THE APPOINTMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF OFFICERS- IN-CHARGE (OICs). V. VI. FOR THE POSITIONS OF ARMM GOVERNOR. VIII. THE REQUIREMENT OF A SUPERMAJORITY OF ¾ VOTES IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE SENATE FOR THE VALIDITY OF A SUBSTANTIVE AMENDMENT OR REVISION OF THE ORGANIC ACTS DOES NOT IMPOSE AN IRREPEALABLE LAW. VICE GOVERNOR AND MEMBERS OF THE REGIONAL ASSEMBLY. THEREBY NEGATING THE AWESOME POWER TO APPOINT AND REMOVE OICs OCCUPYING ELECTIVE POSITIONS.II. III. THE COMELEC HAS THE AUTHORITY TO HOLD AND CONDUCT SPECIAL ELECTIONS IN ARMM. VII. SYNCHRONIZATION OF THE ARMM ELECTION WITH THE NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTIONS IS NOT MANDATED BY THE CONSTITUTION. THE PRESIDENT’S APPOINTING POWER IS LIMITED TO APPOINTIVE OFFICIALS AND DOES NOT EXTEND TO ELECTIVE OFFICIALS EVEN AS THE PRESIDENT IS ONLY VESTED WITH SUPERVISORY POWERS OVER THE ARMM. IX. THE REQUIREMENT OF A PLEBISCITE FOR THE EFFECTIVITY OF A SUBSTANTIVE AMENDMENT OR REVISION OF THE ORGANIC ACTS DOES NOT UNDULY EXPAND THE PLEBISCITE REQUIREMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION.

WAS COMPLETE IN ITSELF.R. IN THUS RECOGNIZING A SUPPOSED "INTENT" OF THE FRAMERS. BEFORE THE COURT MAY CONSTRUE OR INTERPRET A STATUTE. xxxx . xxxx IV.2 (italics supplied) The petitioner in G. No. AN ORGANIC ACT. HENCE. THE HONORABLE COURT SHOULD HAVE CONSIDERED THAT RA 9054. 196305 further asserts that: I. AND APPLYING THE SAME TO ELECTIONS 20 YEARS AFTER. THE HONORABLE SUPREME COURT MAY HAVE VIOLATED THE FOREMOST RULE IN STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION. THE HONORABLE COURT MAY HAVE COMMITTED A SERIOUS ERROR IN DECLARING THE 2/3 VOTING REQUIREMENT SET FORTH IN RA 9054 AS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. IT IS A CONDITION SINE QUA NON THAT THERE BE DOUBT OR AMBIGUITY IN ITS LANGUAGE. xxxx II. THE HONORABLE COURT MAY HAVE COMMITTED A SERIOUS ERROR IN HOLDING THAT A PLEBISCITE IS NOT NECESSARY IN AMENDING THE ORGANIC ACT. xxxx III. RA 10153 SHOULD BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE BEEN ENACTED PRECISELY TO AMEND RA 9054. THE TRANSITORY PROVISIONS HOWEVER ARE CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS: THEY REFER TO THE 1992 ELECTIONS AND TURN- OVER OF ELECTIVE OFFICIALS.IMPROVIDENT AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL STATUTE IS AN ANALOGOUS CAUSE WARRANTING COMELEC’S HOLDING OF SPECIAL ELECTIONS.

197282 contends that: A. THE HONORABLE COURT COMMITTED A SERIOUS ERROR IN UPHOLDING THE APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS-IN-CHARGE.A. THE HOLDOVER PRINCIPLE ADOPTED IN R. ASSUMING WITHOUT CONCEDING THAT THE APPOINTMENT OF OICs FOR THE REGIONAL GOVERNMENT OF THE ARMM IS NOT UNCONSTITUTIONAL TO BEGIN WITH.V. 10153 ON APPOINTMENT OF OICs AS AN "INTERIM MEASURE".R. WHICH PLEBISCITE REQUIREMENT CANNOT BE CIRCUMVENTED BY SIMPLY CHARACTERIZING THE PROVISIONS OF R. No. B.3 (italics and underscoring supplied) The petitioner in G. 9054 DOES NOT VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTION. NO. THE HONORABLE COURT ERRED IN RULING THAT THE APPOINTMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF OICs FOR THE ARMM REGIONAL GOVERNMENT IS NOT VIOLATIVE OF THE CONSTITUTION. xxxx VI. NO. THE HONORABLE COURT COMMITTED A SERIOUS ERROR IN DECLARING THE HOLD-OVER OF ARMM ELECTIVE OFFICIALS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.A. THE SAID INCUMBENT ARMM REGIONAL OFFICIALS MAY VALIDLY CONTINUE FUNCTIONING AS SUCH IN A HOLDOVER CAPACITY IN . AND BEFORE THEIR SUCCESSORS ARE ELECTED IN EITHER AN ELECTION TO BE HELD AT THE SOONEST POSSIBLE TIME OR IN MAY 2013.A. SUCH APPOINTMENT OF OIC REGIONAL OFFICIALS WILL CREATE A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE IN THE BASIC STRUCTURE OF THE REGIONAL GOVERNMENT SUCH THAT R. 10153 SHOULD HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED TO A PLEBISCITE IN THE ARMM FOR APPROVAL BY ITS PEOPLE. NO. C.

R. the petitioners in G. 10153 amends the Organic Act (RA No.4 Finally. b) RA No. the holdover option is the better choice. which does not include the power to appoint OICs to take the place of ARMM elective officials. In essence. thus. WITH THE CANCELLATION OF THE AUGUST 2011 ARMM ELECTIONS. the Court is asked to resolve the following questions: (a) Does the Constitution mandate the synchronization of ARMM regional elections with national and local elections? . c) RA No.ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 7. voting separately. ARTICLE VII OF R. 9054. D. by constitutional mandate. has to comply with the 2/3 vote from the House of Representatives and the Senate. No. guides the governance of the Republic. and be ratified in a plebiscite. e) the President only has the power of supervision over autonomous regions. and f) it would be better to hold the ARMM elections separately from the national and local elections as this will make it easier for the authorities to implement election laws. NO. 197280 argue that: a) the Constitutional mandate of synchronization does not apply to the ARMM elections. 10153 negates the basic principle of republican democracy which. SPECIAL ELECTIONS MUST IMMEDIATELY BE HELD FOR THE ELECTIVE REGIONAL OFFICIALS OF THE ARMM WHO SHALL SERVE UNTIL THEIR SUCCESSORS ARE ELECTED IN THE MAY 2013 SYNCHRONIZED ELECTIONS. d) if the choice is between elective officials continuing to hold their offices even after their terms are over and non-elective individuals getting into the vacant elective positions by appointment as OICs. 9054) and.A.

The first local elections shall be held on a date to be determined by the President. does RA No. Synchronization mandate includes ARMM elections The Court was unanimous in holding that the Constitution mandates the synchronization of national and local elections. While the Constitution does not expressly instruct Congress to synchronize the national and local elections. which state: Section 1. Section 2. 10153 have to comply with the supermajority vote and plebiscite requirements? (c) Is the holdover provision in RA No. Of the Senators elected in the elections in 1992.(b) Does RA No. Members of the House of Representatives. 9054? If so. the intention can be inferred from the following provisions of the Transitory Provisions (Article XVIII) of the Constitution. and the local officials first elected under this Constitution shall serve until noon of June 30. The first elections of Members of the Congress under this Constitution shall be held on the second Monday of May. 1987. 9054 constitutional? (d) Does the COMELEC have the power to call for special elections in ARMM? (e) Does granting the President the power to appoint OICs violate the elective and representative nature of ARMM regional legislative and executive offices? (f) Does the appointment power granted to the President exceed the President’s supervisory powers over autonomous regions? The Court’s Ruling We deny the motions for lack of merit. The Senators. which may be simultaneous with the election of the Members of the Congress. 10153 amend RA No. the first twelve obtaining . It shall include the election of all Members of the city or municipal councils in the Metropolitan Manila area. 1992.

for purposes of synchronization of elections. For purposes of identification. The first regular elections for the President and Vice-President under this Constitution shall be held on the second Monday of May. 1986 election is." I proposed this because of the proposed section of the Article on Transitory Provisions giving a term to the incumbent President and Vice-President until 1992. Rodrigo). MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE LOCAL OFFICIALS FIRST ELECTED UNDER THIS CONSTITUTION SHALL SERVE UNTIL NOON OF JUNE 30. I would only state that in view of the action taken by the Commission on Section 2 earlier. the next election for said officers will be in 1990. Commissioner Davide is recognized. and it would be very close to 1992. Necessarily then. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. xxxx Section 5. The six-year term of the incumbent President and Vice-President elected in the February 7. It reads: "THE SENATORS. DAVIDE. 1992. I am formulating a new proposal. TO EXPIRE AT NOON OF JUNE 1992. We could never attain. 1992. . MAAMBONG. hereby extended to noon of June 30. we refer to the discussions of the Constitutional Commission: MR. To fully appreciate the constitutional intent behind these provisions. I will now read a section which we will temporarily indicate as Section 14." This was presented by Commissioner Davide. MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE LOCAL OFFICIALS ELECTED IN THE FIRST ELECTION SHALL SERVE FOR FIVE YEARS. It will read as follows: "THE SENATORS. 1992. MR. since the term provided by the Commission for Members of the Lower House and for local officials is three years.the highest number of votes shall serve for six years and the remaining twelve for three years. Before going to the proposed amendment. if there will be an election in 1987. so may we ask that Commissioner Davide be recognized.

therefore defeating the very purpose of the Commission when we adopted the term of six years for the President and another six years for the Senators with the possibility of staggering with 12 to serve for six years and 12 for three years insofar as the first Senators are concerned. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. the President shall have a term until 1998 and the first 12 Senators will serve . Rodrigo). And if we also stagger the Senate. in 1992 and in 1993. But for the remaining 12 who will be elected in 1987. That means they will all serve until 1992.subsequently. Rodrigo). So from 1992. definitely. any synchronization of election which is once every three years. assuming that the term of the President will be for six years and continue beginning in 1986. The later election will be limited to only 12 Senators and of course to the local officials and the Members of the Lower House. This time. we will again have national. and there will be an election for 12 Senators in 1990. Presiding Officer. I was the one who proposed that in order to synchronize the elections every three years. MR. which the body approved — the first national and local officials to be elected in 1987 shall continue in office for five years. Mr. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. And so my proposal is the only way to effect the first synchronized election which would mean. During the discussion on the legislative and the synchronization of elections. consequently we will have elections in 1990. local and presidential elections. in 1992. Commissioner de Castro is recognized. we should not have a local election or an election for Members of the Lower House in 1990 for them to be able to complete their term of three years each. and consequently. What does the committee say? MR. the same thing the Honorable Davide is now proposing. thereafter we can never have an election once every three years. a bonus of two years to the Members of the Lower House and a bonus of two years to the local elective officials. So under my proposal we will be able to begin actual synchronization in 1992. DE CASTRO. their election will be in 1993. if their term is for six years. upon the first election it will result in an election in 1993 for the Senate alone. DE CASTRO. So. But. necessarily. Thank you.

we shall have an election every three years. From then on. GUINGONA. MR.5 (emphases and underscoring ours) The framers of the Constitution could not have expressed their objective more clearly – there was to be a single election in 1992 for all elective officials – from the President down to the municipal officials. Yes. Mr. MR. So. xxxx MR. Mr. In other words. MR. DAVIDE. Presiding Officer. The attempt here is on the assumption that the provision of the Transitory Provisions on the term of the incumbent President and Vice-President would really end in 1992. GUINGONA. Will the committee not synchronize the election of the Senators and local officials with the election of the President? MR. therefore.6 . It works both ways. and then the local officials elected in 1992 will serve until 1995. Thank you.until 1998. I will say that the proposition of Commissioner Davide is in order. DAVIDE. the framers were even willing to temporarily lengthen or shorten the terms of elective officials in order to meet this objective. Yes. Not the reverse. highlighting the importance of this constitutional mandate. What will be synchronized. Commission on Elections. GUINGONA. We came to the same conclusion in Osmeña v. MR. DAVIDE. there will be a single election in 1992 for all. while the next 12 shall serve until 1995. if we have to synchronize our elections every three years which was already approved by the body. Presiding Officer. Significantly. is the election of the incumbent President and Vice-President in 1992. from the President up to the municipal officials.

Article X of the Constitution. We have to consider that the ARMM."7 Despite the length and verbosity of their motions. as local governments. Although the principles embodied in a constitution remain fixed and unchanged from the time of its adoption. a constitution should be construed in the light of what actually is a continuing instrument to govern not only the present but also the unfolding events of the indefinite future. entitled "Local Government. That the ARMM elections were not expressly mentioned in the Transitory Provisions of the Constitution on synchronization cannot be interpreted to mean that the ARMM elections are not covered by the constitutional mandate of synchronization. the petitioners have failed to convince us to deviate from this established ruling." clearly shows the intention of the Constitution to classify autonomous regions. such as the ARMM. The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the provinces. as we now know it. which provides: Section 1. Neither do we find any merit in the petitioners’ contention that the ARMM elections are not covered by the constitutional mandate of synchronization because the ARMM elections were not specifically mentioned in the above- quoted Transitory Provisions of the Constitution. We refer to Section 1 of this Article.where we unequivocally stated that "the Constitution has mandated synchronized national and local elections. a constitution must be construed as a dynamic process intended to stand for a great length of time. Keeping in mind that a constitution is not intended to provide merely for the exigencies of a few years but is to endure through generations for as long as it remains unaltered by the people as ultimate sovereign. cities. There shall be autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras as hereinafter provided. had not yet been officially organized at the time the Constitution was enacted and ratified by the people. The inclusion of autonomous regions in the enumeration of political subdivisions of the State under the heading "Local Government" indicates quite clearly the constitutional intent to consider autonomous regions as one of the forms of local governments. . municipalities. to be progressive and not static. and barangays.8 To reiterate.

" and does not make a distinction between the "local government" and the "regional government. the ARMM elections are not covered by this mandate since they are regional elections and not local elections. wherever possible. still remain under the category of local governments. As defined in Webster’s Third New International Dictionary Unabridged. the ARMM elections.10 RA No." Obviously. betraying as it does the intention of the framers of the Constitution to consider the autonomous regions not as separate forms of government. 9054. When the law does not distinguish. Since autonomous regions are classified as local governments. cities. we must not distinguish. the fact that the ARMM possesses more powers than other provinces. In construing provisions of the Constitution. . in postponing the ARMM elections."9 Applying this principle to determine the scope of "local elections. amend RA No. Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguire debemus. while having more powers and attributes than other local government units. it follows that elections held in autonomous regions are also considered as local elections. "that is.That the Constitution mentions only the "national government" and the "local governments. the words used in the Constitution must be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed. To be sure." as understood in its ordinary sense. 10153 does not amend RA No. We cannot agree with their position. often a community or minor political subdivision." is particularly revealing. fall within this definition. 9054 The petitioners are adamant that the provisions of RA No. or municipalities is not enough reason to treat the ARMM regional elections differently from the other local elections. 10153. "local" refers to something "that primarily serves the needs of a particular limited district. The petitioners further argue that even assuming that the Constitution mandates the synchronization of elections. but as political units which. the first rule is verba legis." we refer to the meaning of the word "local. which are held within the confines of the autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao.

RA No. we see the clear intention of Congress to treat the laws which fix the date of the subsequent ARMM elections as . 9054 reveals that it fixes the schedule for only the first ARMM elections. RA No. and RA No. 10153 clearly do not amend RA No. while RA No. Consequently. 9054. Thereafter. RA No. 10153 merely filled the gap left in RA No. Consequently. 8176.A thorough reading of RA No. RA No.11 it does not provide the date for the succeeding regular ARMM elections. 9140 was not among the provisions ratified in the plebiscite held to approve RA No. Congress passed RA No. provided that the first elections would be held on the second Monday of September 2001. Thereafter. 2001. 9012 were all enacted by Congress to fix the dates of the ARMM elections. From these legislative actions. which further reset the date of the ARMM regional elections. 8753. RA No. there was no need to submit them to any plebiscite for ratification. 9054). 9140 also scheduled the plebiscite for the ratification of the Second Organic Act (RA No. 6734 – not only did not fix the date of the subsequent elections. 9054. 7647. The First Organic Act – RA No. Again. 9333 and RA No. 9054 since these laws do not change or revise any provision in RA No. Congress passed RA No. it did not even fix the specific date of the first ARMM elections. Significantly. We reiterate our previous observations: This view – that Congress thought it best to leave the determination of the date of succeeding ARMM elections to legislative discretion – finds support in ARMM’s recent history. RA No. the new date of the ARMM regional elections fixed in RA No. To recall. Since these laws did not change or modify any part or provision of RA No. leaving the date to be fixed in another legislative enactment. 9140 to reset the date of the ARMM elections. 8746. 10153 is not the first law passed that rescheduled the ARMM elections. 9054. In providing for the date of the regular ARMM elections. they were not amendments to this latter law. this law was not ratified through a plebiscite. The Second Organic Act – RA No. 9333 and RA No. RA No. 6734. 9054 – which lapsed into law on March 31. In fixing the date of the ARMM elections subsequent to the first election. 9333.

Dade:16 . An omission at the time of enactment. however. in the guise of interpretation. whether careless or calculated. but merely fills in the gap in RA No. 9054.14 Providing for lapses within the law falls within the exclusive domain of the legislature. we have already established that the supermajority vote requirement set forth in Section 1.13 Courts are not authorized to insert into the law what they think should be in it or to supply what they think the legislature would have supplied if its attention had been called to the omission. In his estimation. Article XVII of RA No. We find this an erroneous assertion. 196305 contends. As we explained in Duarte v. attempts to limit its power to amend or repeal laws. 9054. it can be implied from the provisions of RA No. there is no need for RA No. 905415 is unconstitutional for violating the principle that Congress cannot pass irrepealable laws. No.R. 9054. 10153 to comply with the amendment requirements set forth in Article XVII of RA No. 9054. have no authority to intrude into this clearly delineated space. 9054 as regards the date of the subsequent ARMM elections. The power of the legislature to make laws includes the power to amend and repeal these laws. however. by its own act. Supermajority vote requirement makes RA No. Where the legislature. that there is no lacuna in RA No. the Court has the duty to strike down such act for interfering with the plenary powers of Congress. 10153 does not amend. and courts.12 (emphases supplied) The petitioner in G. cannot be judicially supplied however later wisdom may recommend the inclusion. Congress only acted consistently with this intent when it passed RA No. 9054 that the succeeding elections are to be held three years after the date of the first ARMM regional elections. 9054 an irrepealable law Even assuming that RA No. 10153 amends RA No. enlarge the scope of a statute and include therein situations not provided nor intended by the lawmakers. Well-settled is the rule that the court may not. Since RA No. Article XVII of RA No.separate and distinct from the Organic Acts. 10153 without requiring compliance with the amendment prerequisites embodied in Section 1 and Section 3. no matter how well-meaning.

unless prohibited expressly or by implication by the federal constitution or limited or restrained by its own.17 In requiring all laws which amend RA No. and even while a bill is in its progress and before it becomes a law. 9054 overly broad Similarly. either to introduce new laws or repeal the old. Every legislative body may modify or abolish the acts passed by itself or its predecessors. No law can be passed fixing such a higher vote threshold because Congress has no power. to amend the Constitution. Article XVII of RA 9054 erects a high vote threshold for each House of Congress to surmount. the act of one legislature is not binding upon. One Congress cannot limit or reduce the plenary legislative power of succeeding Congresses by requiring a higher vote threshold than what the Constitution requires to enact. Section 18. Article X of the Constitution provides that "[t]he creation of the . which enacted RA No. future legislatures. clearly violated the very principle which we sought to establish in Duarte. effectively and unconstitutionally. 9054 for being an unreasonable enlargement of the plebiscite requirement set forth in the Constitution. It cannot declare in advance the intent of subsequent legislatures or the effect of subsequent legislation upon existing statutes. and cannot tie the hands of. each House of Congress has the power to approve bills by a mere majority vote. amend or repeal laws. It cannot bind itself or its successors by enacting irrepealable laws except when so restrained. This power of repeal may be exercised at the same session at which the original act was passed. taking RA 9054 beyond the reach of Congress’ amendatory powers. To reiterate.18 We also highlight an important point raised by Justice Antonio T. within its territorial jurisdiction.A state legislature has a plenary law-making power over all subjects. whether pertaining to persons or things. Carpio in his dissenting opinion. where he stated: "Section 1. 9054 to comply with a higher voting requirement than the Constitution provides (2/3 vote). provided there is quorum. by ordinary legislation. [emphasis ours] Under our Constitution. Congress. This legislature cannot bind a future legislature to a particular mode of repeal. 9054. we struck down the petitioners’ contention that the plebiscite requirement20 applies to all amendments of RA No."19 Plebiscite requirement in RA No.

e. For if we were to go by the petitioners’ interpretation of Section 18. — The President shall appoint officers-in-charge for the Office of the Regional Governor. The petitioners argue that to require all amendments to RA No. creates a fundamental change in the basic structure of the government. No. Again. and thus requires compliance with the plebiscite requirement embodied in RA No. we disagree that this legal reality necessitates compliance with the plebiscite requirement for all amendments to RA No. as well as weighing down the ARMM government with the costs that unavoidably follow the holding of a plebiscite. 197282 posits that RA No. Article X of the Constitution that all amendments to the Organic Act have to undergo the plebiscite requirement before becoming effective. the Organic Act constitutionally-essential to the creation of autonomous regions – i.. Appointment of Officers-in-Charge. 9054. Interestingly. or revisions of. Regional Vice Governor and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly who shall perform the functions pertaining to the said offices until the officials duly elected in the May 2013 elections shall have qualified and assumed . this would lead to impractical and illogical results – hampering the ARMM’s progress by impeding Congress from enacting laws that timely address problems as they arise in the region. We stand by this interpretation. the petitioner in G. those aspects specifically mentioned in the Constitution which Congress must provide for in the Organic Act21 – require ratification through a plebiscite.R.autonomous region shall be effective when approved by majority of the votes cast by the constituent units in a plebiscite called for the purpose[. 9054. 10153. While we agree with the petitioners’ underlying premise that sovereignty ultimately resides with the people. which reads: Section 3. we disagree.]" We interpreted this to mean that only amendments to. 10153. The pertinent provision in this regard is Section 3 of RA No. in giving the President the power to appoint OICs to take the place of the elective officials of the ARMM. 9054 to comply with the plebiscite requirement is to recognize that sovereignty resides primarily in the people.

Section 7(1). 9054. The clear wording of Section 8. except barangay officials. On the contrary. The incumbent elective officials of the autonomous region shall continue in effect until their successors are elected and qualified. which allows the regional officials to remain in their positions in a holdover capacity. The pertinent provision of the Constitution is Section 8. which shall begin at noon on the 30th day of September next following the day of the election and shall end at noon of the same date three (3) years thereafter." Unconstitutionality of the holdover provision The petitioners are one in defending the constitutionality of Section 7(1). Article X which provides: Section 8.office. 9054 provides: Section 7. The term of office of elective local officials. [emphases ours] On the other hand. The terms of office of the Regional Governor. which shall be determined by law. Terms of Office of Elective Regional Officials. – (1) Terms of Office. shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. Article VII of RA No. The petitioners essentially argue that the ARMM regional officials should be allowed to remain in their respective positions until the May 2013 elections since there is no specific provision in the Constitution which prohibits regional elective officials from performing their duties in a holdover capacity. Regional Vice Governor and members of the Regional Assembly shall be for a period of three (3) years. this provision clearly preserves the basic structure of the ARMM regional government when it recognizes the offices of the ARMM regional government and directs the OICs who shall temporarily assume these offices to "perform the functions pertaining to the said offices. Article X of the Constitution expresses the intent of the framers of the Constitution to categorically set a limitation on . We cannot see how the above-quoted provision has changed the basic structure of the ARMM regional government. Article VII of RA No.

they are. the term of three years for local officials should stay at three (3) years. It is for the legislature and the executive. and this Court has no authority to question the wisdom of this decision. 10153 and removing the holdover option. in passing RA No. Article X of the Constitution. the rule of holdover can only apply as an available option where no express or implied legislative intent to the contrary exists. and cannot be extended by holdover by Congress. we have. Article VII of RA No. the ARMM Vice Governor.23 Congress.whose terms fall within the three-year term limit set by Section 8. Congress has no authority to extend the three-year term limit by inserting a holdover provision in RA No. in the past. it cannot apply where such contrary intent is evident. becomes irrelevant that the Constitution does not expressly prohibit elective officials from acting in a holdover capacity. One significant difference between the present case and these past cases22 is that while these past cases all refer to elective barangay or sangguniang kabataan officials whose terms of office are not explicitly provided for in the Constitution. recognized the validity of holdover provisions in various laws. therefore. thus.the period within which all elective local officials can occupy their offices. We have already established that elective ARMM officials are also local officials. It. 9054.the ARMM Governor. absent any evidence of unconstitutionality or grave abuse of discretion. COMELEC has no authority to hold special elections Neither do we find any merit in the contention that the Commission on . Congress. in the exercise of its plenary legislative powers. 9054. Thus. the present case refers to local elective officials . to decide how to fill the vacancies in the ARMM regional government which arise from the legislature complying with the constitutional mandate of synchronization. has clearly acted within its discretion when it deleted the holdover option. and the members of the Regional Legislative Assembly . Short of amending the Constitution. Even assuming that a holdover is constitutionally permissible. Admittedly. 9054). and there had been statutory basis for it (namely Section 7. has made it clear that it wants to suppress the holdover rule expressed in RA No. bound by the three-year term limit prescribed by the Constitution. as fixed by the Constitution. and not this Court.

such election results in a failure to elect. loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records. shall postpone the election therein to a date which should be reasonably close to the date of the election not held. [emphases and underscoring ours] As we have previously observed in our assailed decision. suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause of such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect. Postponement of election. Specifically.If.24 Although the legislature. whereby all interested parties are afforded equal opportunity to be heard. fraud. has granted the COMELEC the power to postpone elections to another date. this power is confined to the specific terms and circumstances provided for in the law. the Constitution has merely empowered the COMELEC to enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election. on account of force majeure. suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause for such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect.Elections (COMELEC) is sufficiently empowered to set the date of special elections in the ARMM. orderly and honest election should become impossible in any political subdivision. this power falls within the narrow confines of the following provisions: Section 5. and other analogous causes of such a nature that the holding of a free. . both Section 5 and Section 6 of BP 881 address instances where elections have already . terrorism. terrorism. violence.When for any serious cause such as violence. on the basis of a verified petition by any interested party and after due notice and hearing. or after the voting and during the preparation and the transmission of the election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof. suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect on a date reasonably close to the date of the election not held. call for the holding or continuation of the election not held. and after due notice and hearing. under the Omnibus Election Code (Batas Pambansa Bilang [BP] 881). Failure of election. and in any of such cases the failure or suspension of election would affect the result of the election. . or other analogous causes the election in any polling place has not been held on the date fixed. Section 6. or had been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting. the Commission. To recall. the Commission shall. force majeure. motu proprio or upon a verified petition by any interested party.

appoint the heads of the executive departments. and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint. or officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain. this does not fall under any of the circumstances contemplated by Section 5 or Section 6 of BP 881.25 Section 16.R. RA No. the ARMM elections were postponed by law. vest the appointment of other . and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution. Article X of the Constitution. amounting as it does to an amendment of Section 8. He shall also appoint all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law. by law. 10153 has already fixed the date for the next ARMM elections and the COMELEC has no authority to set a different election date. Article VII of the Constitution describes in broad strokes the extent of this power. Even assuming that the COMELEC has the authority to hold special elections. The President shall nominate and. with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. there is still the problem of having to shorten the terms of the newly elected officials in order to synchronize the ARMM elections with the May 2013 national and local elections. 197221 argues that the President’s power to appoint pertains only to appointive positions and cannot extend to positions held by elective officials. and other analogous circumstances. other public ministers and consuls. President’s authority to appoint OICs The petitioner in G. The power to appoint has traditionally been recognized as executive in nature. More importantly. Obviously.been scheduled to take place but do not occur or had to be suspended because of unexpected and unforeseen circumstances. fraud. terrorism. such as violence. which limits the term of local officials to three years. ambassadors. thus: Section 16. The Congress may. No. Obviously. In contrast. in furtherance of the constitutional mandate of synchronization of national and local elections. neither the Court nor the COMELEC has the authority to do this. and this Court can compel the COMELEC to do so.

and all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for. as made evident in the following exchange: MR. [emphasis ours] The main distinction between the provision in the 1987 Constitution and its counterpart in the 1935 Constitution is the sentence construction. or in the heads of departments. or boards. pertains to the appointive officials who have to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments.) after "captain" and x x x delete "and all" and substitute it with HE SHALL ALSO APPOINT ANY. in providing for this change. the various appointments the President can make are enumerated in a single sentence. REGALADO. the framers of the 1987 Constitution clearly sought to make a distinction between the first group of presidential appointments and the second group of presidential appointments.officers lower in rank in the President alone. The change in style is significant. or in the heads of departments. and other officers whose appointments are vested in the President by the Constitution. ambassadors. of the Navy and Air Forces from the rank of captain or commander. other public ministers and consuls. . the 1987 Constitution enumerates the various appointments the President is empowered to make and divides the enumeration in two sentences. officers of the Army from the rank of colonel. in the President alone. but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of inferior officers. MR. in the courts. commissions. the Committee accepts the proposed amendment because it makes it clear that those other officers mentioned therein do not have to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Madam President. and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint. [emphasis ours] The 1935 Constitution contained a provision similar to the one quoted above. Madame President x x x I propose to put a period (.26 The first group of presidential appointments. specified as the heads of the executive departments. Section 10(3). in the courts. while in the 1935 Constitution. or officers of the Armed Forces. shall appoint the heads of the executive departments and bureaus. agencies. FOZ. Article VII of the 1935 Constitution provides: (3) The President shall nominate and with the consent of the Commission on Appointments.

In other words. The power of supervision is defined as "the power of a superior officer to see to it that lower officers perform their functions in accordance with law. Any limitation on or qualification to the exercise of the President’s appointment power should be strictly construed and must be clearly stated in order to be recognized. The petitioners also jointly assert that RA No. it falls under the classification of presidential appointments covered by the second sentence of Section 16. Article X of the Constitution.28 The wide latitude given to the President to appoint is further demonstrated by the recognition of the President’s power to appoint officials whose appointments are not even provided for by law. and the power granted to the President."32 The petitioners’ apprehension regarding the President’s alleged power of . to appoint OICs. and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint."27 The second sentence acts as the "catch-all provision" for the President’s appointment power. in granting the President the power to appoint OICs in elective positions.30 which merely grants the President the power of supervision over autonomous regions. There is no incompatibility between the President’s power of supervision over local governments and autonomous regions. within the specific confines of RA No. in recognition of the fact that the power to appoint is essentially executive in nature.The second group of officials the President can appoint are "all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law. where there are offices which have to be filled. violates Section 16.29 Given that the President derives his power to appoint OICs in the ARMM regional government from law. Article VII of the Constitution. the Constitution recognizes the power of the President to fill the office by appointment."31 This is distinguished from the power of control or "the power of an officer to alter or modify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for the latter. but the law does not provide the process for filling them. This is an overly restrictive interpretation of the President’s appointment power. the President’s appointment power thus rests on clear constitutional basis. 10153. 10153.

the petitioners’ fears in this regard are more apparent than real. we already identified the three possible solutions open to Congress to address the problem created by synchronization – (a) allow the incumbent officials to remain in office after the expiration of their .control over the OICs is rooted in their belief that the President’s appointment power includes the power to remove these officials at will. and act as representatives of the President and not of the people. To do this. RA No. 10153 not in a vacuum. leaving it with the problem of how to provide the ARMM with governance in the intervening period. The provision states: Section 3. these same officials will remain in office until they are replaced by the duly elected officials in the May 2013 elections. Appointment of Officers-in-Charge. In the first place. The wording of the law is clear. 2013. between the expiration of the term of those elected in August 2008 and the assumption to office – twenty-one (21) months away – of those who will win in the synchronized elections on May 13. Once the President has appointed the OICs for the offices of the Governor. In this way. — The President shall appoint officers-in-charge for the Office of the Regional Governor. Nothing in this provision even hints that the President has the power to recall the appointments he already made. 10153 primarily to heed the constitutional mandate to synchronize the ARMM regional elections with the national and local elections. 10153 expressly contradicts the petitioners’ supposition. In our assailed Decision. 10153 as an interim measure We reiterate once more the importance of considering RA No. but within the context it was enacted in. Vice Governor and members of the Regional Legislative Assembly. Section 3 of RA No. the petitioners foresee that the appointed OICs will be beholden to the President. Regional Vice Governor and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly who shall perform the functions pertaining to the said offices until the officials duly elected in the May 2013 elections shall have qualified and assumed office. Congress enacted RA No. Clearly. Congress had to postpone the scheduled ARMM elections for another date.

The grant to the President of the power to appoint OICs in place of the elective members of the Regional Legislative Assembly is neither novel nor innovative. We have already established the unconstitutionality of the first two options. 10153 by the standard of reasonableness in responding to the challenges brought about by synchronizing the ARMM elections with the national and local elections. to appoint members of the Regional Legislative Assembly is comparable to the power granted by BP 881 (the Omnibus Election Code) to the President to fill any vacancy for any cause in the Regional Legislative Assembly (then called the Sangguniang Pampook). "given the plain unconstitutionality of providing for a holdover and the unavailability of constitutional possibilities for lengthening or shortening the term of the elected ARMM officials. RA No.terms in a holdover capacity. Moreover. in the exercise of his appointment powers and in line with his power of supervision over the ARMM. and shorten the terms of those to be elected so the next ARMM regional elections can be held on May 13. the implementation of the provisions of RA No. Given the context.34 Executive is not bound by the principle of judicial courtesy . is the choice of the President’s power to appoint – for a fixed and specific period as an interim measure. and as allowed under Section 16. leaving us to consider the last available option. we have to judge RA No. via RA No. 10153. or (c) recognize that the President. In this way. the ARMM. 10153 as an interim measure is comparable to the interim measures traditionally practiced when. 2013. 10153 is in reality an interim measure. (b) call for special elections to be held. as well as the community’s choice of leaders. the President appoints officials holding elective offices upon the creation of new local government units. enacted to respond to the adjustment that synchronization requires. Article VII of the Constitution – an unconstitutional or unreasonable choice for Congress to make?"33 We admit that synchronization will temporarily disrupt the election process in a local community. The power granted to the President. for instance. we have to keep in mind that the adoption of this measure is a matter of necessity in order to comply with a mandate that the Constitution itself has set out for us. can appoint interim OICs to hold the vacated positions in the ARMM regional government upon the expiration of their terms. However. In other words.

The petitioners are. and cannot.The petitioners in G. 2011 should remain subsisting and effective. it would be proper for a lower court to suspend its proceedings for practical and ethical considerations. based on the voting. in his Very Urgent Motion to Issue Clarificatory Resolution.35 In other words. therefore. question the propriety of the appointment by the President of Mujiv Hataman as acting Governor and Bainon Karon as acting Vice Governor of the ARMM. in their Manifestation and Motion dated December 21. Secondly. the TRO we initially issued on September 13. and given the numerous motions for reconsideration filed by the parties."38 Similarly.R. who represents a co-equal branch of government. the principle of judicial courtesy is based on the hierarchy of courts and applies only to lower courts in instances where. To suggest otherwise would be to disregard the principle of separation of powers. No. even if there is no writ of preliminary injunction or TRO issued by a higher court.36 Consequently. have the effect of making our ruling any less effective or binding.37 a decision garnering only 8 votes out of 15 members is still a decision of the Supreme Court en banc and must be respected as such. Firstly. the fact that our previous decision was based on a slim vote of 8- 7 does not. Regardless of how close the voting is. They argue that since our previous decision was based on a close vote of 8-7. so long as there is concurrence of the majority of the members of the en banc who actually took part in the deliberations of the case. the President. He further . 2011 decision in the present case. argues that since motions for reconsideration were filed by the aggrieved parties challenging our October 18. We find the petitioners’ reasoning specious. 2011. on which our whole system of government is founded upon. 197282. No. 197280. in recognition of the principle of judicial courtesy.R. should have refrained from implementing our decision until we have ruled with finality on this case. the principle of "judicial courtesy" applies where there is a strong probability that the issues before the higher court would be rendered moot and moribund as a result of the continuation of the proceedings in the lower court or court of origin. this principle cannot be applied to the President. the petitioner in G. not in any position to speculate that. "the probability exists that their motion for reconsideration may be granted.

Secretary of Finance. therefore. in both cases. It does not follow. we DISMISS the consolidated petitions assailing the validity of RA No. In sharp contrast. We likewise LIFT the temporary restraining order we issued in our Resolution of September 13. noting that the Court had not yet lifted the TRO previously issued. While it may be true that Tolentino and the present case are similar in that. 10153 for lack of merit. 2011 decision. premises considered. we note an important distinction between Tolentino and the present case. the lifting of the TRO is not yet final and executory. No costs. 10153. that the TRO remains effective until after we have issued a final and executory decision. and can also be the subject of a motion for reconsideration.41 where the Court reproached the Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue for manifesting its intention to implement the decision of the Court. especially considering the clear wording of the dispositive portion of our October 18.1âwphi1 There is.42 We agree with the petitioner that the lifting of a TRO can be included as a subject of a motion for reconsideration filed to assail our decision. the petitioner cites Samad v. In support of this theory. and UPHOLD the constitutionality of this law. 2011. we wish to address the bleak picture that the petitioner in . the petitions assailing the challenged laws were dismissed by the Court. COMELEC. Conclusion As a final point. 2011. in the present case. we expressly lifted the TRO issued on September 13. which states: WHEREFORE.40 where the Court held that while it had already issued a decision lifting the TRO. 2011 decision pending resolution of the motions for reconsideration "borders on disrespect if not outright insolence"39 to this Court. The petitioner also cites the minute resolution issued by the Court in Tolentino v.argues that any attempt by the Executive to implement our October 18. however. an examination of the dispositive portion of the decision in Tolentino reveals that the Court did not categorically lift the TRO. no legal impediment to prevent the President from exercising his authority to appoint an acting ARMM Governor and Vice Governor as specifically provided for in RA No.43 (emphases ours) In this regard.

Congress had to grant the President the power to appoint OICs in the ARMM.R. In the course of synchronizing the ARMM elections with the national and local elections.416 OICs in the event that the elections of barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials are postponed or cancelled. No. 197282 presents in his motion. RA No. as the Constitution does not prescribe a term limit for barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials. 10153. these fears have neither legal nor factual basis to stand on. For the foregoing reasons. 9054 amended the ARMM Charter and reset the regular elections for the ARMM regional . 6734 is the organic act that established the ARMM and scheduled the first regular elections for the ARMM regional officials. WHEREFORE. and (b) Congress cannot call for special elections and shorten the terms of elective local officials for less than three years. premises considered. This argument fails to take into consideration the unique factual and legal circumstances which led to the enactment of RA No. SO ORDERED. we DENY with FINALITY the motions for reconsideration for lack of merit and UPHOLD the constitutionality of RA No. in light of the fact that: (a) holdover by the incumbent ARMM elective officials is legally impermissible. 10153. We find this speculation nothing short of fear-mongering. Clearly. THE FACTS Several laws pertaining to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) were enacted by Congress. 10153 was passed in order to synchronize the ARMM elections with the national and local elections. we deny the petitioners’ motions for reconsideration. I. that our Decision has virtually given the President the power and authority to appoint 672. Unlike local officials.G. Republic Act (RA) No. RA No. there is no legal proscription which prevents these specific government officials from continuing in a holdover capacity should some exigency require the postponement of barangay or Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

COMELEC had begun preparations for these elections and had accepted certificates of candidacies for the various regional offices to be elected. Does the 1987 Constitution mandate the synchronization of elections [including the ARMM elections]? 2. 10153 violate the three-readings-on- separate-days rule under Section 26(2). II. 10153 was enacted. the clear intent towards this objective can be gleaned from the Transitory Provisions (Article XVIII) of the Constitution. 9140 further reset the first regular elections to November 26. In these consolidated petitions filed directly with the Supreme Court. resetting the next ARMM regular elections to May 2013 to coincide with the regular national and local elections of the country. RA No. 2001. THE RULING [The Supreme Court] DISMISSED the petitions and UPHELD the constitutionality of RA No. But on June 30. RA No. 10153. Is the grant [to the President] of the power to appoint OICs constitutional? III. sought to attain synchronization of elections. The Constitutional Commission exchanges.] 1. 2011. 9333 reset for the third time the ARMM regional elections to the 2nd Monday of August 2005 and on the same date every 3 years thereafter. the petitioners assailed the constitutionality of RA No. read with the provisions of the . RA No. the 1987 Constitution mandates the synchronization of elections. YES. which show the extent to which the Constitutional Commission.officials to the second Monday of September 2001. 9333. 2011. Does the passage of RA No. THE ISSUES: 1. by deliberately making adjustments to the terms of the incumbent officials. Pursuant to RA No. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution? 3. the next ARMM regional elections should have been held on August 8. 10153 in toto. While the Constitution does not expressly state that Congress has to synchronize national and local elections.

The Court. starting the second Monday of May 1992 and for all the following elections. the records show that the President wrote to the Speaker of the House of Representatives to certify the necessity of the immediate enactment of a law synchronizing the ARMM elections with the national and local elections. VI. Following our Tolentino ruling. 3." in Art. the passage of RA No. the grant [to the President] of the power to appoint OICs in the . The general rule that before bills passed by either the House or the Senate can become laws they must pass through three readings on separate days. Section 26[2] qualifies the two stated conditions before a bill can become a law: [i] the bill has passed three readings on separate days and [ii] it has been printed in its final form and distributed three days before it is finally approved. the ARMM elections. is subject to the EXCEPTION when the President certifies to the necessity of the bill’s immediate enactment. etc. 10153 DOES NOT violate the three- readings-on-separate-days requirement in Section 26(2). NO. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. The phrase "except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment.Transitory Provisions of the Constitution. it is clear from the foregoing that the 1987 Constitution mandates the synchronization of elections. although called “regional” elections. all serve as patent indicators of the constitutional mandate to hold synchronized national and local elections. In the present case. Secretary of Finance. should be included among the elections to be synchronized as it is a “local” election based on the wording and structure of the Constitution. Thus. the President’s certification exempted both the House and the Senate from having to comply with the three separate readings requirement. in Tolentino v. including the ARMM elections. 2. explained the effect of the President’s certification of necessity in the following manner: The presidential certification dispensed with the requirement not only of printing but also that of reading the bill on separate days. In this case. YES.

[emphases ours] Since elective ARMM officials are local officials. which shall be determined by law. then all laws would be illusory. to act in a way that would effectively extend the term of the incumbents.e. the Court identified the three options open to Congress in order to resolve the problem on who should sit as ARMM officials in the interim [in order to achieve synchronization in the 2013 elections]: (1) allow the [incumbent] elective officials in the ARMM to remain in office in a hold over capacity until those elected in the synchronized elections assume office. 1st option: Holdover is unconstitutional since it would extend the terms of office of the incumbent ARMM officials We rule out the [hold over] option since it violates Section 8. [their respective terms to last also until those elected in the 2013 synchronized elections assume office. i. or (3) authorize the President to appoint OICs. The term of office of elective local officials. if acts that cannot be legally done directly can be done indirectly. This provision states: Section 8. the net result is for Congress to create a new term and to appoint the occupant for the new term. Congress cannot also create a new term and effectively appoint the occupant of the position for the new term.1. Hence. If it will be claimed that the holdover period is effectively another term mandated by Congress. Article X of the Constitution. they are covered and bound by the three-year term limit prescribed by the Constitution. except barangay officials. (2) hold special elections in the ARMM.] 3. This view – like the extension of the elective term – is constitutionally infirm because Congress cannot do indirectly what it cannot do directly.. This is effectively an act of appointment by Congress and an unconstitutional intrusion into the constitutional appointment power of the President. with the terms of those elected to expire when those elected in the [2013] synchronized elections assume office. xxx. they cannot extend their term through a holdover.ARMM is constitutional [During the oral arguments. Indeed. shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. holdover – whichever way it is viewed – is a constitutionally infirm option that .

Congress. neither the Executive nor the Judiciary can act to the contrary by ordering special elections instead at the call of the COMELEC. in passing RA No. cannot make this call without thereby supplanting the legislative decision and effectively legislating. this Court cannot pass upon questions of wisdom.Congress could not have undertaken. Notably. except when so provided by another Act of Congress. 10153. made it explicitly clear that it had the intention of suppressing the holdover rule that prevailed under RA No. The power to fix the date of elections is essentially legislative in nature.2. To be sure. except where an attendant unconstitutionality or grave abuse of discretion results. After Congress has so acted. 9054) in the past. Congress itself has made a policy decision in the exercise of its legislative wisdom that it shall not call special elections as an adjustment measure in synchronizing the ARMM elections with the other elections. the Court is not without the power to declare an act of Congress null and void for being unconstitutional or for having been exercised in grave abuse . This Court. and there had been statutory basis for it (namely Section 7. Vice President. The deletion is a policy decision that is wholly within the discretion of Congress to make in the exercise of its plenary legislative powers. [N]o elections may be held on any other date for the positions of President. Article VII of RA No. has no authority to order special elections. or upon orders of a body or officer to whom Congress may have delegated either the power or the authority to ascertain or fill in the details in the execution of that power. 9054 by completely removing this provision. 3. justice or expediency of legislation. Members of Congress and local officials. 2nd option: Calling special elections is unconstitutional since COMELEC. particularly. Even assuming that holdover is constitutionally permissible. 2011 – for regional elections synchronized with the presidential. on its own. By so doing. Congress has acted on the ARMM elections by postponing the scheduled August 2011 elections and setting another date – May 13. congressional and other local elections. it cannot apply where such contrary intent is evident. we have to remember that the rule of holdover can only apply as an available option where no express or implied legislative intent to the contrary exists.

of discretion. The Congress may. should be examined for any attendant constitutional infirmity. 4 and 5 of this law – as the only measure that Congress can make. The President shall nominate and. with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution. other public ministers and consuls or officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain. At the outset. The appointing power is embodied in Section 16. these limitations or qualifications must be clearly stated in order to be recognized. which states: Section 16. 10153 and the appointment by the President of OICs to govern the ARMM during the pre-synchronization period pursuant to Sections 3.3. by law. 3. and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint. [emphasis ours] . In sum. The above considerations leave only Congress’ chosen interim measure – RA No. 3rd option: Grant to the President of the power to appoint ARMM OICs in the interim is valid. it is not to supplant the decision of Congress nor to mandate what Congress itself should have done in the exercise of its legislative powers. This choice itself. agencies. Article VII of the Constitution. Thus. however. vest the appointment of other officers lower in rank in the President alone. in the courts. or boards. the term cannot be shortened by putting an expiration date earlier than the three (3) years that the Constitution itself commands. But our power rests on very narrow ground and is merely to annul a contravening act of Congress. ambassadors. This is what will happen – a term of less than two years – if a call for special elections shall prevail. He shall also appoint all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law. commissions. appoint the heads of the executive departments. the power to appoint is essentially executive in nature. or in the heads of departments. in the same way that the term of elective ARMM officials cannot be extended through a holdover. while synchronization is achieved. and the limitations on or qualifications to the exercise of this power should be strictly construed. the result is at the cost of a violation of an express provision of the Constitution.

If at all. other public ministers and consuls. it falls under the third group of officials that the President can appoint pursuant to Section 16. RA . RA No. 10153 in fact only does is to “appoint officers-in-charge for the Office of the Regional Governor. 10153 is the assertion that the Constitution requires that the ARMM executive and legislative officials to be “elective and representative of the constituent political units.This provision classifies into four groups the officers that the President can appoint. Second. [T]he legal reality is that RA No. the gravest challenge posed by the petitions to the authority to appoint OICs under Section 3 of RA No. 10153. 10153 were to be mistakenly read as a law that changes the elective and representative character of ARMM positions. the heads of the executive departments. These are: First. all other officers of the government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law. 9054) sets outs in terms of structure of governance. 10153 did not amend RA No.” This requirement indeed is an express limitation whose non-observance in the assailed law leaves the appointment of OICs constitutionally defective. does not in any way amend what the organic law of the ARMM (RA No. ambassadors. officers lower in rank whose appointments the Congress may by law vest in the President alone. we hold that this alleged constitutional problem is more apparent than real and becomes very real only if RA No. Third. What RA No. from the rank of colonel or naval captain. After fully examining the issue. those whom the President may be authorized by law to appoint. Article VII of the Constitution.” This power is far different from appointing elective ARMM officials for the abbreviated term ending on the assumption to office of the officials elected in the May 2013 elections. Thus. Regional Vice Governor and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly who shall perform the functions pertaining to the said offices until the officials duly elected in the May 2013 elections shall have qualified and assumed office. 9054. 10153. however. and Fourth. officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Since the President’s authority to appoint OICs emanates from RA No. and other officers whose appointments are vested in the President in this Constitution. the assailed law facially rests on clear constitutional basis.

RODOLFO BIAZON. • Tañada v. MORALES. ORLANDO MERCADO. SALVADOR ENRIQUEZ. 1997 WIGBERTO E. GLORIA. vs. CARIDAD VALDEHUESA. LIKAS-KAYANG KAUNLARAN FOUNDATION. RIZALINO NAVARRO. Angara. 1997 G. AGAPITO AQUINO. NEPTALI GONZALES.R. ALBERTO ROMULO. in his capacity as Secretary of Budget and Management. NATIONAL ECONOMIC PROTECTIONISM ASSOCIATION. HEHERSON ALVAREZ. JOHN OSMEÑA. it is purely and simply an interim measure responding to the adjustments that the synchronization requires. May 2.No.. ROBERTO ROMULO. both as taxpayers. FRANCISCO TATAD and FREDDIE WEBB. in his capacity as Secretary of Trade and Industry. ROBERTO DE OCAMPO. BLAS OPLE. petitioners.R. No. Aside from its order for synchronization. And this is how RA No. in their respective capacities as members of the Philippine Senate who concurred in the ratification by the President of the Philippines of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. SANTANINA RASUL. 118295.. GREGORIO ANDOLANA and JOKER ARROYO as members of the House of Representatives and as taxpayers. INC. No. in his capacity as Secretary of Agriculture. 118295 May 2. NICANOR P. LETICIA RAMOS-SHAHANI. as members of the Philippine Senate and as taxpayers. in his capacity as Secretary of Finance. JOSE LINA. DEMOKRATIKONG KILUSAN NG MAGBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO. RAMON REVILLA. provides only for synchronization of elections and for the interim measures that must in the meanwhile prevail. G. 10153. PHILIPPINE RURAL RECONSTRUCTION MOVEMENT. CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION. in his capacity as Secretary of Foreign . CENTER FOR ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES. ROBERTO SEBASTIAN. EDGARDO ANGARA. PERLAS and HORACIO R. in representation of various taxpayers and as non- governmental organizations. ERNESTO HERRERA. in fact. in her capacity as National Treasurer. 10153 should be read – in the manner it was written and based on its unambiguous facial terms. INC. RAUL ROCO. and PHILIPPINE PEASANT INSTITUTE. TAÑADA and ANNA DOMINIQUE COSETENG.

the International Trade Organization (ITO). even retaliation. are ushering in a new borderless world of business by sweeping away as mere historical relics the heretofore traditional modes of promoting and protecting national economies like tariffs. abetted by the membership thereto of the vast majority of countries has revolutionized international business and economic relations amongst states. J. It has irreversibly propelled the world towards trade liberalization and economic globalization. from other states. In the words of Peter Drucker. PANGANIBAN. The first was the World Bank (WB) which was to address the rehabilitation and reconstruction of war-ravaged and later developing countries. What remained was only GATT — the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. the third-millennium buzz words. which was to foster order and predictability in world trade and to minimize unilateral protectionist policies that invite challenge. deregulation and privatization. and TEOFISTO T.: The emergence on January 1. plans for the establishment of three multilateral institutions — inspired by that grand political body. GUINGONA. the United Nations — were discussed at Dumbarton Oaks and Bretton Woods. including its non-ratification by the United States. Liberalization. Finding market niches and becoming the best in specific industries in a market-driven and export- oriented global scenario are replacing age-old "beggar-thy-neighbor" policies that unilaterally protect weak and inefficient domestic producers of goods and services. for a variety of reasons. in his capacity as Executive Secretary. tax exemptions and currency controls. import quotas. 1995 of the World Trade Organization. "Increased participation in the world economy has become the key to domestic economic growth and prosperity. the second. However. respondents. the ITO." Brief Historical Background To hasten worldwide recovery from the devastation wrought by the Second World War. unlike the IMF and WB. export subsidies. globalization. never took off. the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which was to deal with currency problems. the well-known management guru. quantitative restrictions.Affairs. GATT was a collection of treaties governing access to the economies of treaty adherents with no . and the third.

domestic materials and locally produced goods. . principally the Kennedy Round. . . Morocco and the ratification of the WTO Agreement by its members. and (the attraction of) more investments into the country. does the Philippine Constitution prohibit Philippine . After half a century and several dizzying rounds of negotiations. . trade disputes were settled mainly through negotiations where solutions were arrived at frequently on the basis of relative bargaining strengths. particularly agricultural and industrial products. Heretofore. (to) give preference to qualified Filipinos (and to) promote the preferential use of Filipino labor. . through the reduction of tariffs on its exports. . ." The President also saw in the WTO the opening of "new opportunities for the services sector . the Tokyo Round and the Uruguay Round. of improving "Philippine access to foreign markets. The Petition in Brief Arguing mainly (1) that the WTO requires the Philippines "to place nationals and products of member-countries on the same footing as Filipinos and local products" and (2) that the WTO "intrudes." Simply stated. especially its major trading partners. limits and/or impairs" the constitutional powers of both Congress and the Supreme Court. weak and underdeveloped countries were at a disadvantage. and where naturally.institutionalized body administering the agreements or dependable system of dispute settlement. the instant petition before this Court assails the WTO Agreement for violating the mandate of the 1987 Constitution to "develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos . (the reduction of) costs and uncertainty associated with exporting . the Philippines joined WTO as a founding member with the goal." Although the Chief Executive did not expressly mention it in his letter. the Philippines — and this is of special interest to the legal profession — will benefit from the WTO system of dispute settlement by judicial adjudication through the independent WTO settlement bodies called (1) Dispute Settlement Panels and (2) Appellate Tribunal. . Ramos in two letters to the Senate (infra). 1 Like many other developing countries. as articulated by President Fidel V. the world finally gave birth to that administering body — the World Trade Organization — with the signing of the "Final Act" in Marrakesh.

Morocco. of the concurrence of the Philippine Senate in the ratification by the President of the Philippines of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO Agreement. 1994. This concurrence is embodied in Senate Resolution No." On August 13. for brevity). 1994. on constitutional grounds. as well as the use of government properties and resources by respondent-heads of various executive offices concerned therewith. and (b) to adopt the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions. 1994. for brevity) and (2) for the prohibition of its implementation and enforcement through the release and utilization of public funds. the members of the Philippine Senate received another letter from the President of the Philippines 4 likewise dated August 11. .participation in worldwide trade liberalization and economic globalization? Does it proscribe Philippine integration into a global economy that is liberalized. representing the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. then Secretary of The Department of Trade and Industry (Secretary Navarro. 3 stating among others that "the Uruguay Round Final Act is hereby submitted to the Senate for its concurrence pursuant to Section 21. prohibition and mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court praying (1) for the nullification. 2 Secretary Navarro on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines. agreed: (a) to submit. the Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Negotiations (Final Act. The Facts On April 15. signed in Marrakesh. 1994 from the President of the Philippines. as appropriate. the WTO Agreement for the consideration of their respective competent authorities. deregulated and privatized? These are the main questions raised in this petition for certiorari. for brevity). 1994. 1994. with a view to seeking approval of the Agreement in accordance with their procedures. By signing the Final Act. Respondent Rizalino Navarro. On August 12. Article VII of the Constitution. dated December 14. 97. the assignment of public officials and employees. which stated among others that "the Uruguay Round Final Act. the members of the Philippine Senate received a letter dated August 11.

for brevity) as follows: ANNEX 1 Annex 1A: Multilateral Agreement on Trade in Goods General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 Agreement on Agriculture Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement on Textiles and Clothing Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of he General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the General on Tariffs and Trade 1994 Agreement on Pre-Shipment Inspection Agreement on Rules of Origin Agreement on Imports Licensing Procedures Agreement on Subsidies and Coordinating Measures ." 5 On December 14. as it is hereby resolved. 1994. 1083." On December 9. a resolution entitled "Concurring in the Ratification of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. Article VII of the Constitution. and the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services are hereby submitted to the Senate for its concurrence pursuant to Section 21. 1994. of Volume I of the 36- volume Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and includes various agreements and associated legal instruments (identified in the said Agreement as Annexes 1. as it hereby concurs." 6 The text of the WTO Agreement is written on pages 137 et seq. 2 and 3 thereto and collectively referred to as Multilateral Trade Agreements. the President of the Philippines certified the necessity of the immediate adoption of P. 97 which "Resolved. in the ratification by the President of the Philippines of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. the Philippine Senate adopted Resolution No. that the Senate concur.S.the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions.

In his Memorandum dated May 13. RAMOS. Morocco on 15 April 1994. two (2) and three (3) of that Agreement which are integral parts thereof. be it known that I. 1996. 1994. FIDEL V.Agreement on Safeguards Annex 1B: General Agreement on Trade in Services and Annexes Annex 1C: Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights ANNEX 2 Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes ANNEX 3 Trade Policy Review Mechanism On December 16. after having seen and considered the aforementioned Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization and the agreements and associated legal instruments included in Annexes one (1). 8 the Solicitor General describes these two latter documents as follows: The Ministerial Decisions and Declarations are twenty-five declarations and . the President of the Philippines signed 7 the Instrument of Ratification. signed at Marrakesh. To emphasize. declaring: NOW THEREFORE. the Final Act signed by Secretary Navarro embodies not only the WTO Agreement (and its integral annexes aforementioned) but also (1) the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions and (2) the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services. do hereby ratify and confirm the same and every Article and Clause thereof." On the other hand. two (2) and three (3) of that Agreement which are integral parts thereof. President of the Republic of the Philippines. the WTO Agreement ratified by the President of the Philippines is composed of the Agreement Proper and "the associated legal instruments included in Annexes one (1).

" Petitioners. hereafter referred to as "Bautista Paper. 1995. to give due course to the petition. 1997. the Court resolved on December 12. standstill or limitations and qualifications of commitments to existing non-conforming measures. and in another Compliance dated October 24. Switzerland. After careful deliberation on respondents' comment and petitioners' reply thereto. . and definitions of non-resident supplier of financial services. 1994." 9 for brevity. the Court directed: (a) the petitioners to submit the (1) Senate Committee Report on the matter in controversy and (2) the transcript of proceedings/hearings in the Senate. 1997. the Court said it would consider the case submitted for resolution. among other things. such as measures in favor of least developed countries. to file (1) a list of Philippine treaties signed prior to the Philippine adherence to the WTO Agreement. 1996. The Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services dwell on. national treatment. relationship of WTO with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). submitted their Compliance dated January 28. After receipt of the foregoing documents. as soon as possible. and (b) the Solicitor General. Bautista. The court also requested the Honorable Lilia R. market access. as counsel for respondents. and agreements on technical barriers to trade and on dispute settlement. On December 29. he listed the various "bilateral or multilateral treaties or international instruments involving derogation of Philippine sovereignty. commercial presence and new financial service. notification procedures. During the Oral Argument held on August 27. on the other hand. which derogate from Philippine sovereignty and (2) copies of the multi-volume WTO Agreement and other documents mentioned in the Final Act. 1996. In a Compliance dated September 16. the Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations stationed in Geneva. the present petition was filed. the Solicitor General submitted a printed copy of the 36-volume Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations. (1) providing a historical background of and (2) summarizing the said agreements. and the parties thereafter filed their respective memoranda.decisions on a wide range of matters. on January 30. to submit a paper. 1996.

and the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services. under Sec. 19.The Issues In their Memorandum dated March 11. 1987 Philippine Constitution is "vested in the Congress of the Philippines". F. and Secs. Whether the petitioner members of the Senate who participated in the deliberations and voting leading to the concurrence are estopped from impugning the validity of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization or of the validity of the concurrence. B. 2. Whether provisions of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization interfere with the exercise of judicial power. Whether provisions of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization unduly limit. Whether the petition presents a political question or is otherwise not justiciable. 1996. petitioners summarized the issues as follows: A. 10 and 12. Whether the provisions of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization contravene the provisions of Sec. Whether the respondent members of the Senate acted in grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when they voted for concurrence in the ratification of the constitutionally-infirm Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. and not with the Presidential submission which included the Final Act. the Solicitor General as counsel for respondents "synthesized the several issues raised by petitioners into the following": 10 . D. Ministerial Declaration and Decisions. G. E. restrict and impair Philippine sovereignty specifically the legislative power which. all of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Article VI. Article XII. Article II. On the other hand. C. Whether the respondent members of the Senate acted in grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when they concurred only in the ratification of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization.

Article II and Sections 10 and 12. Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. namely: (1) whether the petition presents a political question or is otherwise not justiciable. in any event. (2) The matter of estoppel will not be taken up because this defense is waivable and the respondents have effectively waived it by not pursuing it in any of their pleadings. The foregoing notwithstanding. spirit and intent of Section 19. Whether or not certain provisions of the Agreement unduly limit.1. and being a matter that probes into the very jurisdiction of this Court to hear and decide this case — was deliberated upon by the Court and will thus be ruled upon as the first issue. two (2) and three (3) of that agreement" cited by petitioners directly contravene or undermine the letter. Whether or not the concurrence of the Senate "in the ratification by the President of the Philippines of the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization" implied rejection of the treaty embodied in the Final Act. the Solicitor General has effectively ignored three. 3. this issue. Whether or not the provisions of the "Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization and the Agreements and Associated Legal Instruments included in Annexes one (1). (2) whether petitioner-members of the Senate (Wigberto E. restrict or impair the exercise of legislative power by Congress. Whether or not certain provisions of the Agreement impair the exercise of judicial power by this Honorable Court in promulgating the rules of evidence. Tañada and Anna Dominique Coseteng) are estopped from joining this suit. 4. and (3) whether the respondent-members of the Senate acted in grave abuse of discretion when they voted for concurrence in the ratification of the WTO Agreement. By raising and arguing only four issues against the seven presented by petitioners. even if ruled in respondents' favor. this Court resolved to deal with these three issues thus: (1) The "political question" issue — being very fundamental and vital. 2. will not cause the petition's dismissal as there are .

MINISTERIAL DECLARATIONS AND DECISIONS. and (3) The issue of alleged grave abuse of discretion on the part of the respondent senators will be taken up as an integral part of the disposition of the four issues raised by the Solicitor General. ARTICLE II. OF THE PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION? (3) DO THE PROVISIONS OF SAID AGREEMENT AND ITS ANNEXES LIMIT. RESTRICT. CONSIDERING THAT IT DID NOT INCLUDE THE FINAL ACT. AND SECS. They probably realized that grave constitutional issues. the issues that will be ruled upon shortly are: (1) DOES THE PETITION PRESENT A JUSTICIABLE CONTROVERSY? OTHERWISE STATED. DOES THE PETITION INVOLVE A POLITICAL QUESTION OVER WHICH THIS COURT HAS NO JURISDICTION? (2) DO THE PROVISIONS OF THE WTO AGREEMENT AND ITS THREE ANNEXES CONTRAVENE SEC. 19. OR IMPAIR THE EXERCISE OF LEGISLATIVE POWER BY CONGRESS? (4) DO SAID PROVISIONS UNDULY IMPAIR OR INTERFERE WITH THE EXERCISE OF JUDICIAL POWER BY THIS COURT IN PROMULGATING RULES ON EVIDENCE? (5) WAS THE CONCURRENCE OF THE SENATE IN THE WTO AGREEMENT AND ITS ANNEXES SUFFICIENT AND/OR VALID. ARTICLE XII. and that transcendental public interest requires that the substantive issues be met head on and decided on the merits.petitioners other than the two senators. AND THE UNDERSTANDING ON COMMITMENTS IN FINANCIAL SERVICES? . 11 To recapitulate. rather than skirted or deflected by procedural matters. they are also deemed to have waived the benefit of such issue. During its deliberations on the case. expenditures of public funds and serious international commitments of the nation are involved here. the Court noted that the respondents did not question the locus standi of petitioners. who are not vulnerable to the defense of estoppel. Hence. 10 AND 12.

"The question thus posed is judicial rather than political. it becomes a legal issue which the Court is bound by constitutional mandate to decide. The duty (to adjudicate) remains to assure that the supremacy of the Constitution is upheld. . It is an innovation in our political law. 15 as follows: Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. committed by any officer. The foregoing text emphasizes the judicial department's duty and power to strike down grave abuse of discretion on the part of any branch or instrumentality of government including Congress. 17 "the judiciary is the final arbiter on the question of whether or not a branch of government or any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction. 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." As this Court has repeatedly and firmly emphasized in many cases." 13 The jurisdiction of this Court to adjudicate the matters 14 raised in the petition is clearly set out in the 1987 Constitution. the petition no doubt raises a justiciable controversy. instrumentality or department of the government.The First Issue: Does the Court Have Jurisdiction Over the Controversy? In seeking to nullify an act of the Philippine Senate on the ground that it contravenes the Constitution. agency. it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute. Where an action of the legislative branch is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution. digress from or abandon its sacred duty and authority to uphold the Constitution in matters that involve grave abuse of discretion brought before it in appropriate cases. 18 it will not shirk. This is not only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature. 16 As explained by former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion." 12 Once a "controversy as to the application or interpretation of a constitutional provision is raised before this Court (as in the instant case).

Rather. it will only exercise its constitutional duty "to determine whether or not there had been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction" on the part of the Senate in ratifying the WTO Agreement and its three annexes. Article II. subsidies.As the petition alleges grave abuse of discretion and as there is no other plain. Petitioners vigorously argue that the "letter. On this. speedy or adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. we have no equivocation. Article XII. which are worded as follows: Article II DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES . in deciding to take jurisdiction over this petition. raised by the petition. and other import/trade barriers. the main issue. prohibition and mandamus are appropriate remedies to raise constitutional issues and to review and/or prohibit/nullify. Second Issue: The WTO Agreement and Economic Nationalism This is the lis mota. Neither will it rule on the propriety of the government's economic policy of reducing/removing tariffs. the "flagship" constitutional provisions referred to are Sec 19. Specifically. certiorari. or pass upon the merits of trade liberalization as a policy espoused by said international body. Indeed. of the Constitution. 10 and 12. we have no hesitation at all in holding that this petition should be given due course and the vital questions raised therein ruled upon under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. We should stress that. taxes. this Court will not review the wisdom of the decision of the President and the Senate in enlisting the country into the WTO. quantitative restrictions. acts of legislative and executive officials. when proper. and Secs. spirit and intent" of the Constitution mandating "economic nationalism" are violated by the so- called "parity provisions" and "national treatment" clauses scattered in various parts not only of the WTO Agreement and its annexes but also in the Ministerial Decisions and Declarations and in the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services.

In the grant of rights. privileges. and adopt measures that help make them competitive. for brevity): Article 2 National Treatment and Quantitative Restrictions.xxx xxx xxx Sec. 1. domestic materials and locally produced goods. Without prejudice to other rights and obligations under GATT 1994. xxx xxx xxx Sec. . the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos. and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony. The State shall promote the preferential use of Filipino labor. The Congress shall enact measures that will encourage the formation and operation of enterprises whose capital is wholly owned by Filipinos. 19. xxx xxx xxx Article XII NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY xxx xxx xxx Sec. 10. Petitioners aver that these sacred constitutional principles are desecrated by the following WTO provisions quoted in their memorandum: 19 a) In the area of investment measures related to trade in goods (TRIMS. 12. The State shall develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos. no Member shall apply any TRIM that is inconsistent with the provisions of . . .

Legal Instruments. (b) the importation by an enterprise of products used in or related to its local production by restricting its access to foreign exchange inflows attributable to the enterprise. TRIMS that are inconsistent with the obligation of national treatment provided for in paragraph 4 of Article III of GATT 1994 include those which are mandatory or enforceable under domestic law or under administrative rulings. or compliance with which is necessary to obtain an advantage. whether specified in terms of particular products. Uruguay Round. or in terms of proportion of volume or value of its local production. emphasis supplied). in terms of volume or value of products. 27. and which restrict: (a) the importation by an enterprise of products used in or related to the local production that it exports. 2. p.Article II or Article XI of GATT 1994." (Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures. or compliance with which is necessary to obtain an advantage. 2. The Annex referred to reads as follows: ANNEX Illustrative List 1. TRIMS that are inconsistent with the obligations of general elimination of quantitative restrictions provided for in paragraph 1 of Article XI of GATT 1994 include those which are mandatory or enforceable under domestic laws or under administrative rulings. 22121. Vol. or (b) that an enterprise's purchases or use of imported products be limited to an amount related to the volume or value of local products that it exports. and which require: (a) the purchase or use by an enterprise of products of domestic origin or from any domestic source. An illustrative list of TRIMS that are inconsistent with the obligations of general elimination of quantitative restrictions provided for in paragraph I of Article XI of GATT 1994 is contained in the Annex to this Agreement. or .

31. distribution or use. . in terms of volume or value of products. and Article XXVI of GATT. Vol. (par. the provisions of this paragraph shall not prevent the application of differential internal transportation charges which are based exclusively on the economic operation of the means of transport and not on the nationality of the product. (Annex to the Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures. Uruguay Round Legal Documents. . and subject to any conditions and qualifications set out therein. 22125. (b) In the area of trade related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS. Uruguay Round. 14 September 1948. for brevity): Each Member shall accord to the nationals of other Members treatment no less favourable than that it accords to its own nationals with regard to the protection of intellectual property. emphasis supplied). each Member shall accord to services and service suppliers of any other Member. GATT 1947. p. Legal Instruments. Vol. emphasis supplied)." (Article III. p. 25432 (emphasis supplied) (c) In the area of the General Agreement on Trade in Services: National Treatment 1. regulations and requirements affecting their internal sale. purchase. or in terms of a preparation of volume or value of its local production. transportation. in respect of all measures affecting the supply of services. 27. The paragraph 4 of Article III of GATT 1994 referred to is quoted as follows: The products of the territory of any contracting party imported into the territory of any other contracting party shall be accorded treatment no less favorable than that accorded to like products of national origin in respect of laws. treatment no less favourable than it .(c) the exportation or sale for export specified in terms of particular products. 1. 1 Article 3. In the sectors inscribed in its schedule. Agreement on Trade- Related Aspect of Intellectual Property rights. Legal Instruments p. 177. as amended by the Protocol Modifying Part II. Uruguay Round. 62 UMTS 82-84 in relation to paragraph 1(a) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994. offering for sale. Vol.

(3) that read properly. particularly Secs. 28. Uruguay Round Legal Instruments. 20 Petitioners further argue that these provisions contravene constitutional limitations on the role exports play in national development and negate the preferential treatment accorded to Filipino labor. 22610 emphasis supplied). General Agreement on Trade in Services.accords to its own like services and service suppliers." The constitutional conflict becomes more manifest when viewed in the context of the clear duty imposed on the Philippines as a WTO member to ensure the conformity of its laws. 1 and 13 thereof. XII. respondents through the Solicitor General counter (1) that such Charter provisions are not self-executing and merely set out general policies." in contravention of the "Filipino First" policy of the Constitution. regulations and administrative procedures with its obligations as provided in the annexed agreements. and (4) that the WTO Agreement contains sufficient provisions to protect developing countries like the Philippines from the harshness of sudden trade liberalization. 2. domestic materials and locally produced goods. On the other hand. They allegedly render meaningless the phrase "effectively controlled by Filipinos. It is petitioners' position that the foregoing "national treatment" and "parity provisions" of the WTO Agreement "place nationals and products of member countries on the same footing as Filipinos and local products. either formally identical treatment or formally different treatment to that it accords to its own like services and service suppliers. either formally suppliers of any other Member. the cited WTO clauses do not conflict with Constitution. (2) that these nationalistic portions of the Constitution invoked by petitioners should not be read in isolation but should be related to other relevant provisions of Art. Formally identical or formally different treatment shall be considered to be less favourable if it modifies the conditions of completion in favour of services or service suppliers of the Member compared to like services or service suppliers of any other Member. We shall now discuss and rule on these arguments. p. . 3. (Article XVII. A Member may meet the requirement of paragraph I by according to services and service suppliers of any other Member. Vol.

Pagcor 25 that broad constitutional principles need legislative enactments to implement the." Mr.D. Section 13 (Social Justice) of Article XIII and Section 2 (Educational Values) of Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution. 22 These principles in Article II are not intended to be self-executing principles ready for enforcement through the courts. Incorporated vs. meaning a law should be passed by Congress to clearly define and effectuate such principles. (Bernas. Morato. Justice Florentino P. and by the legislature in its enactment of laws. Vol. the 1935 provisions were not intended to be self- executing principles ready for enforcement through the courts. 24 the principles and state policies enumerated in Article II and some sections of Article XII are not "self-executing provisions. therefore. II. Article II of the Constitution is a "declaration of principles and state policies. 23 They are used by the judiciary as aids or as guides in the exercise of its power of judicial review. the available remedy was not judicial but political. They do not embody judicially enforceable constitutional rights but guidelines for legislation. 2). The electorate could express their displeasure with the failure of the executive and the legislature through the language of the ballot. suffice it to state also that these are merely statements of principles and policies. they are basically not self- executing. 1869 violates Sections 11 (Personal Dignity) 12 (Family) and 13 (Role of Youth) of Article II. The reasons for denying a cause of action to an alleged infringement of board constitutional principles are sourced from basic considerations of due process and the lack of judicial authority to wade "into the uncharted ocean of social and economic policy making. If the executive and the legislature failed to heed the directives of the article. As such. we held in Basco vs. Feliciano . the disregard of which can give rise to a cause of action in the courts." The counterpart of this article in the 1935 Constitution 21 is called the "basic political creed of the nation" by Dean Vicente Sinco. p. They were rather directives addressed to the executive and to the legislature." In the same light. In general. As held in the leading case of Kilosbayan. thus: On petitioners' allegation that P.Declaration of Principles Not Self-Executing By its very title.

Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. (Emphasis supplied) When substantive standards as general as "the right to a balanced and healthy ecology" and "the right to health" are combined with remedial . for at least two (2) reasons.in his concurring opinion in Oposa vs.. there are due process dimensions to this matter. Factoran. rather than a constitutional or statutory policy. or failures to act. considering the general policy principles found in the Constitution and the existence of the Philippine Environment Code. It seems to me important that the legal right which is an essential component of a cause of action be a specific. 1. and that the trial court should have given petitioners an effective opportunity so to demonstrate. operable legal right. instead of aborting the proceedings on a motion to dismiss.. 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. To my mind. the court should be understood as simply saying that such a more specific legal right or rights may well exist in our corpus of law. before the trial court. The second is a broader-gauge consideration — where a specific violation of law or applicable regulation is not alleged or proved. . 26 explained these reasons as follows: My suggestion is simply that petitioners must. Jr. show a more specific legal right — a right cast in language of a significantly lower order of generality than Article II (15) of the Constitution — that is or may be violated by the actions. defendants may well be unable to defend themselves intelligently and effectively. imputed to the public respondent by petitioners so that the trial court can validly render judgment grating all or part of the relief prayed for. petitioners can be expected to fall back on the expanded conception of judicial power in the second paragraph of Section 1 of Article VIII of the Constitution which reads: Sec.. One is that unless the legal right claimed to have been violated or disregarded is given specification in operational terms. in other words.

and which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets. through industries that make full and efficient use of human and natural resources. Where no specific. 13. especially Secs. our courts have no claim to special technical competence and experience and professional qualification. At least in respect of the vast area of environmental protection and management. The State shall pursue a trade policy that serves the general welfare and utilizes all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis . Secs." the result will be. . and to implement them before the courts should intervene. and an expanding productivity as the key to raising the quality of life for all especially the underprivileged. The goals of the national economy are a more equitable distribution of opportunities. In the pursuit of these goals. operable norms and standards are shown to exist. to propel courts into the uncharted ocean of social and economic policy making. a sustained increase in the amount of goods and services produced by the nation for the benefit of the people. then the policy making departments — the legislative and executive departments — must be given a real and effective opportunity to fashion and promulgate those norms and standards. 1. all sectors of the economy and all regions of the country shall be given optimum opportunity to develop. . . it is respectfully submitted.standards as broad ranging as "a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Economic Nationalism Should Be Read with Other Constitutional Mandates to Attain Balanced Development of Economy On the other hand. xxx xxx xxx Sec. The State shall promote industrialization and full employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform. 1 and 13 thereof which read: Sec. However. and wealth. apart from merely laying down general principles relating to the national economy and patrimony. the State shall protect Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade practices. should be read and understood in relation to the other sections in said article. 10 and 12 of Article XII. income.

10 of Art. Rather.of equality and reciprocity. and 3. With these goals in context. et al. it is enforceable only in regard to "the grants of rights. as follows: 1. 2. the Constitution then ordains the ideals of economic nationalism (1) by expressing preference in favor of qualified Filipinos "in the grant of rights. income and wealth. Government Service Insurance System. privileges and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony" 27 and in the use of "Filipino labor. It refers to exceptions rather than the rule." It is true that in the recent case of Manila Prince Hotel vs. (2) by mandating the State to "adopt measures that help make them competitive." 29 In similar language. as the constitutional provision itself states. 31 this Court held that "Sec. privileges and concessions covering national economy and patrimony" and not to every aspect of trade and commerce. second par. as a rule. positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rule for its enforcement. the Constitution takes into account the realities of the outside world as it requires the pursuit of "a trade policy that serves the general welfare and utilizes all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis of equality ad reciprocity". 28 and (3) by requiring the State to "develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos. A sustained increase in the amount of goods and services provided by the nation for the benefit of the people. Art. 10. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory." However.. XII is self- executing or not. 30 and speaks of industries "which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets" as well as of the protection of "Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade practices. there are enough . the issue is whether. 1 lays down the basic goals of national economic development. domestic materials and locally-produced goods". From its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation. As pointed out by the Solicitor General. It is per se judicially enforceable. The issue here is not whether this paragraph of Sec. An expanding productivity as the key to raising the quality of life for all especially the underprivileged. A more equitable distribution of opportunities.. Sec.

Amendments to MFN provisions and the Amendments provision will require assent of all members. In fact. And we hold that there are. Unlike in the UN where major states have permanent seats and veto powers in the Security Council. frowning only on foreign competition that is unfair. services and investments into the country. it does not prohibit them either. with each member's vote equal in weight to that of any other. which comprise the vast majority of its members. While the Constitution does not encourage the unlimited entry of foreign goods. poor countries can protect their common interests more effectively through the WTO than through one-on-one negotiations with developed countries. otherwise. Amendments would require two thirds vote in general. decisions of the Ministerial Conference and the General Council shall be taken by the majority of the votes cast. developing countries can form powerful blocs to push their economic agenda more decisively than outside the Organization. in the WTO. . it recognizes the need for business exchange with the rest of the world on the bases of equality and reciprocity and limits protection of Filipino enterprises only against foreign competition and trade practices that are unfair. at the same time. Any member may withdraw from the Agreement upon the expiration of six months from the date of notice of withdrawals. labor and enterprises. the Constitution did not intend to pursue an isolationist policy. 33 Hence. WTO Recognizes Need to Protect Weak Economies Upon the other hand. 32 In other words. goods and services in the development of the Philippine economy. WTO decides by consensus whenever possible. while the Constitution indeed mandates a bias in favor of Filipino goods. There is no WTO equivalent of the UN Security Council. services. decisions are made on the basis of sovereign equality. All told. it allows an exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity. It did not shut out foreign investments.balancing provisions in the Constitution to allow the Senate to ratify the Philippine concurrence in the WTO Agreement. respondents maintain that the WTO itself has some built-in advantages to protect weak and developing economies. except in cases of interpretation of the Agreement or waiver of the obligation of a member which would require three fourths vote. Within the WTO.

the basic principles underlying the WTO Agreement recognize the need of developing countries like the Philippines to "share in the growth in international trade commensurate with the needs of their economic development. while allowing for the optimal use of the world's resources in accordance with the objective of sustainable development. Thus. (emphasis supplied. secure a share in the growth in international trade commensurate with the needs of their economic development.) Specific WTO Provisos Protect Developing Countries . seeking both to protect and preserve the environment and to enhance the means for doing so in a manner consistent with their respective needs and concerns at different levels of economic development. . to develop an integrated. . Resolved. and especially the least developed among them. therefore. Recognizing that their relations in the field of trade and economic endeavour should be conducted with a view to raising standards of living." These basic principles are found in the preamble 34 of the WTO Agreement as follows: The Parties to this Agreement. more viable and durable multilateral trading system encompassing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. and all of the results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations. the results of past trade liberalization efforts. Determined to preserve the basic principles and to further the objectives underlying this multilateral trading system. and expanding the production of and trade in goods and services. . Being desirous of contributing to these objectives by entering into reciprocal and mutually advantageous arrangements directed to the substantial reduction of tariffs and other barriers to trade and to the elimination of discriminatory treatment in international trade relations. Recognizing further that there is need for positive efforts designed to ensure that developing countries.This is not merely a matter of practical alliances but a negotiating strategy rooted in law. ensuring full employment and a large and steadily growing volume of real income and effective demand.

as compared to only 13% for developing countries to be effected within ten (10) years. with respect to tariffs in general. Thus. the WTO Agreement grants developing countries a more lenient treatment. Quite the contrary. simply because we disagree with it or simply because we believe only in other economic policies.So too. For developing countries. the reduction rate is only two-thirds of that prescribed for developed countries and a longer period of ten (10) years within which to effect such reduction. the Philippines can avail of these measures. But such decision cannot be set aside on the ground of grave abuse of discretion. In regard to export subsidy for agricultural products. True. GATT itself has provided built-in protection from unfair foreign competition and trade practices including anti-dumping measures. local industries and enterprises will all be wiped out and that Filipinos will be deprived of control of the economy. GATT requires developed countries to reduce their budgetary outlays for export subsidy by 36% and export volumes receiving export subsidy by 21% within a period of six (6) years. the Solicitor General points out that pursuant to and consistent with the foregoing basic principles. There is hardly therefore any basis for the statement that under the WTO. the respondents have gravely abused their discretion. the Court in taking jurisdiction of this case will not pass upon the advantages and disadvantages of trade . giving their domestic industries some protection from the rush of foreign competition. however. In respect to domestic subsidy. thus. countervailing measures and safeguards against import surges. As earlier stated. GATT requires an average tariff reduction rate of 36% for developed countries to be effected within a period of six (6) years while developing countries — including the Philippines — are required to effect an average tariff reduction of only 24% within ten (10) years. the weaker situations of developing nations like the Philippines have been taken into account. Where local businesses are jeopardized by unfair foreign competition. there would be no basis to say that in joining the WTO. they have made a bold decision to steer the ship of state into the yet uncharted sea of economic liberalization. preferential treatment is given to developing countries in terms of the amount of tariff reduction and the period within which the reduction is to be spread out. Specifically. GATT requires developed countries to reduce domestic support to agricultural products by 20% over six (6) years. Moreover.

Not Industries or Enterprises The Constitution has not really shown any unbalanced bias in favor of any ." and "trade without discrimination" cannot be struck down as unconstitutional as in fact they are rules of equality and reciprocity that apply to all WTO members. Indeed." "national treatment. Filipino managers and Filipino enterprises have shown capability and tenacity to compete internationally. Filipino entrepreneurs and managers in Hongkong have demonstrated the Filipino capacity to grow and to prosper against the best offered under a policy of laissez faire. goods and services." As explained by Constitutional Commissioner Bernardo Villegas. And given a free trade environment. it means avoiding mendicancy in the international community. the constitutional policy of a "self-reliant and independent national economy" 35 does not necessarily rule out the entry of foreign investments. Aside from envisioning a trade policy based on "equality and reciprocity. but one in favor of the gradual development of robust industries that can compete with the best in the foreign markets. 36 The WTO reliance on "most favored nation. It does not mean autarky or economic seclusion. It contemplates neither "economic seclusion" nor "mendicancy in the international community. Constitution Does Not Rule Out Foreign Competition Furthermore." 37 the fundamental law encourages industries that are "competitive in both domestic and foreign markets. Constitution Favors Consumers.liberalization as an economic policy. sponsor of this constitutional policy: Economic self-reliance is a primary objective of a developing country that is keenly aware of overdependence on external assistance for even its most basic needs. It will only perform its constitutional duty of determining whether the Senate committed grave abuse of discretion. especially in such strategic industries as in the development of natural resources and public utilities. rather." thereby demonstrating a clear policy against a sheltered domestic trade environment. Independence refers to the freedom from undue foreign control of the national economy.

for which they are answerable to our people during appropriate electoral exercises. nor does it contain any specific pronouncement that Filipino companies should be pampered with a total proscription of foreign competition. the question boils down to whether WTO/GATT will favor the general welfare of the public at large. They should be interpreted to cover even future and unknown circumstances.business or enterprise. Did that necessarily mean that the then Constitution might not have contemplated a diminution of the absoluteness of sovereignty when the Philippines signed the UN Charter. employment. the WTO Agreement was not yet in existence when the Constitution was drafted and ratified in 1987. purchasing power and quality products at the most reasonable rates to the Filipino public? The responses to these questions involve "judgment calls" by our policy makers. That does not mean however that the Charter is necessarily flawed in the sense that its framers might not have anticipated the advent of a borderless world of business. the United Nations was not yet in existence when the 1935 Constitution became effective. On the other hand. thereby effectively surrendering part of its control over its foreign relations to the decisions of various UN organs like the Security Council? It is not difficult to answer this question. Will adherence to the WTO treaty bring this ideal (of favoring the general welfare) to reality? Will WTO/GATT succeed in promoting the Filipinos' general welfare because it will — as promised by its promoters — expand the country's exports and generate more employment? Will it bring more prosperity. By the same token. Consequently. Such questions and the answers thereto are not subject to judicial pronouncements based on grave abuse of discretion. Constitution Designed to Meet Future Events and Contingencies No doubt. It is to the credit of its . Constitutions are designed to meet not only the vagaries of contemporary events. respondents claim that WTO/GATT aims to make available to the Filipino consumer the best goods and services obtainable anywhere in the world at the most reasonable prices.

. such limitations and restrictions" as Congress may provide. the root and not the blossom. It is an assault on the sovereign powers of the Philippines because this means that Congress could not pass legislation that will be good for our national interest and general welfare if such legislation will not conform with the WTO Agreement. and other duties or imposts." where it will in time develop its sinews and gradually gather its strength and finally achieve its substance. . nor can it conjure by mere fiat an instant Utopia. petitioners claim that said WTO proviso derogates from the power to tax. far from becoming a petrified rule. import and export quotas. but slowly "in the crucible of Filipino minds and hearts.drafters that a Constitution can withstand the assaults of bigots and infidels but at the same time bend with the refreshing winds of change necessitated by unfolding events. specifically the legislative power which under Sec. In fine. rise full-grown from the brow of the Constitutional Convention. 2. tonnage and wharfage dues. as well as to a whole slew of agreements on socio-cultural matters . restricts and impairs Philippine sovereignty. which is lodged in the Congress. such authority is subject to "specified limits and . which not only relates to the trade in goods . . 40 More specifically. 42 as in fact it did under Sec. the base and frame-work only of the edifice that is yet to rise. a pulsing. not in a twinkling by mandate of our delegates. Article VI of the 1987 Philippine Constitution is vested in the Congress of the Philippines. like the goddess Athena. . . . It must grow with the society it seeks to re-structure and march apace with the progress of the race. . regulations and administrative procedures with its obligations as provided in the annexed Agreements. drawing from the vicissitudes of history the dynamism and vitality that will keep it. the Constitution cannot. but also to the flow of investments and money ." 39 Petitioners maintain that this undertaking "unduly limits. 401 of the Tariff and Customs Code. . 41 And while the Constitution allows Congress to authorize the President to fix tariff rates. living law attuned to the heartbeat of the nation. Third Issue: The WTO Agreement and Legislative Power The WTO Agreement provides that "(e)ach Member shall ensure the conformity of its laws. . As one eminent political law writer and respected jurist 38 explains: The Constitution must be quintessential rather than superficial. It is but the core of the dream that must take shape.

states. the regulation of conduct of hostilities. the settling of claims. like individuals. with all nations. Certain restrictions enter into the picture: (1) limitations imposed by the very nature of membership in the family of . the formation of alliances. while sovereignty has traditionally been deemed absolute and all-encompassing on the domestic level. Thus. as a member of the family of nations. and in pursuit of mutually covenanted objectives and benefits. expressly or impliedly.Sovereignty Limited by International Law and Treaties This Court notes and appreciates the ferocity and passion by which petitioners stressed their arguments on this issue. "A treaty engagement is not a mere moral obligation but creates a legally binding obligation on the parties . they also commonly agree to limit the exercise of their otherwise absolute rights. the laying down of rules governing conduct in peace and the establishment of international organizations. By their voluntary act. 46 The sovereignty of a state therefore cannot in fact and in reality be considered absolute. the Constitution did not envision a hermit-type isolation of the country from the rest of the world. it is however subject to restrictions and limitations voluntarily agreed to by the Philippines." 43 By the doctrine of incorporation. In its Declaration of Principles and State Policies." 45 By their inherent nature. However. cooperation and amity. the country is bound by generally accepted principles of international law. Unquestionably. for example. A state which has contracted valid international obligations is bound to make in its legislations such modifications as may be necessary to ensure the fulfillment of the obligations undertaken. the sale or cession of territory. 44 One of the oldest and most fundamental rules in international law is pacta sunt servanda — international agreements must be performed in good faith. treaties have been used to record agreements between States concerning such widely diverse matters as. the regulation of commercial relations. the Constitution "adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. After all. the termination of war. the lease of naval bases. freedom. . nations may surrender some aspects of their state power in exchange for greater benefits granted by or derived from a convention or pact. equality. . justice. and adheres to the policy of peace. which are considered to be automatically part of our own laws. treaties really limit or restrict the absoluteness of sovereignty. live with coequals.

" thus unquestionably denying the Philippines — as a member — the sovereign power to make a choice as to which of conflicting obligations. if any. no nation can build its destiny alone. such provisos are however subject to enforcement measures decided by the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security under Chapter VII of the Charter. thereby limiting again the exercise of sovereignty of members within their own territory. In its advisory opinion of July 20. A final example: under Article 103. "(a)ll members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter. under Article 105 of the said Charter. The age of interdependence is here. all its members must bear their corresponding share in such expenses. Hence. Kennedy. 1961. of the UN Charter. their obligation under the present charter shall prevail. "(i)n the event of a conflict between the obligations of the Members of the United Nations under the present Charter and their obligations under any other international agreement. So too. paragraph 2. the Philippines has entered into many other international pacts — both bilateral and multilateral — that involve ." 47-A Under Article 2 of the UN Charter. the International Court of Justice held that money used by the United Nations Emergency Force in the Middle East and in the Congo were "expenses of the United Nations" under Article 17. and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action. As aptly put by John F." Such assistance includes payment of its corresponding share not merely in administrative expenses but also in expenditures for the peace-keeping operations of the organization. It is compelled to appropriate funds whether it agrees with such peace-keeping expenses or not. Another example: although "sovereign equality" and "domestic jurisdiction" of all members are set forth as underlying principles in the UN Charter. In this sense. the UN and its representatives enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities. "Today. to honor. The age of self-sufficient nationalism is over." 47 UN Charter and Other Treaties Limit Sovereignty Thus. Apart from the UN Treaty. when the Philippines joined the United Nations as one of its 51 charter members.nations and (2) limitations imposed by treaty stipulations. it consented to restrict its sovereign rights under the "concept of sovereignty as auto-limitation. the Philippine Congress is restricted in its power to appropriate.

income received in the Philippines by. among others. (g) Bilateral air service agreement with Belgium where the Philippines granted Belgian air carriers the same privileges as those granted to Japanese and Korean air carriers under separate air service agreements. excise taxes. inspection fees and other similar duties. as follows: (a) Bilateral convention with the United States regarding taxes on income. spare parts and supplies arriving with said aircrafts. Likewise.limitations on Philippine sovereignty. to exempt from tax. (c) Bilateral convention with the Kingdom of Sweden for the avoidance of double taxation. (b) Bilateral agreement with Belgium. salaries and similar remunerations paid by the United States to its citizens for labor and personal services performed by them as employees or officials of the United States are exempt from income tax by the Philippines. (h) Bilateral notes with Israel for the abolition of transit and visitor visas where the Philippines exempted Israeli nationals from the requirement of obtaining transit or visitor visas for a sojourn in the Philippines not . where the Philippines agreed to exempt from customs duties. regular equipment. (f) Bilateral air service agreement with Japan. (d) Bilateral convention with the French Republic for the avoidance of double taxation. wages. inspection fees and other duties or taxes aircrafts of South Korea and the regular equipment. lubricating oils. the Export/Import Bank of the United States. among others. stores on board Japanese aircrafts while on Philippine soil. the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States. providing. (e) Bilateral air transport agreement with Korea where the Philippines agreed to exempt from all customs duties. These are enumerated by the Solicitor General in his Compliance dated October 24. taxes or charges fuel. spare parts. among others. the Overseas Private Investment Corporation of the United States. in said convention. 1996. for the avoidance of double taxation with respect to taxes on income. where the Philippines agreed.

the environment. whether relating to nuclear disarmament. the Philippines has effectively agreed to limit the exercise of its sovereign powers of taxation. the existence of any fact which. But unless anarchy in international relations is preferred as an alternative. any question of international law. (k) Multilateral convention on the Law of Treaties. its officials and its citizens. by subjecting power relations to some . where the Philippines agreed that premises of Special Missions in the Philippines are inviolable and its agents can not enter said premises without consent of the Head of Mission concerned. the Philippines agreed to be governed by the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Special Missions are also exempted from customs duties. (T)rade treaties that structure relations by reference to durable. if established. In this convention.exceeding 59 days. constrain domestic political sovereignty through the assumption of external obligations. in most cases we accept that the benefits of the reciprocal obligations involved outweigh the costs associated with any loss of political sovereignty. (i) Bilateral agreement with France exempting French nationals from the requirement of obtaining transit and visitor visa for a sojourn not exceeding 59 days. or trade. the law of the sea. eminent domain and police power. The International Court of Justice has jurisdiction in all legal disputes concerning the interpretation of a treaty. (l) Declaration of the President of the Philippines accepting compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. The same reciprocity characterizes the Philippine commitments under WTO-GATT. taxes and related charges. The underlying consideration in this partial surrender of sovereignty is the reciprocal commitment of the other contracting states in granting the same privilege and immunities to the Philippines." In the foregoing treaties. International treaties. would constitute a breach "of international obligation. well-defined substantive norms and objective dispute resolution procedures reduce the risks of larger countries exploiting raw economic power to bully smaller countries. human rights. (j) Multilateral Convention on Special Missions.

This is due to the simple fact that liberalization will provide access to a larger set of potential new trading relationship than in case of the larger country gaining enhanced success to the smaller country's market.form of legal ordering. 48 The point is that. as shown by the foregoing treaties. in at least one of the following circumstances. For the purposes of civil proceedings in respect of the infringement of the rights of the owner referred to in paragraph 1 (b) of Article 28. (b) if there is a substantial likelihood that the identical product was made by the process and the owner of the patent has been unable through . if the subject matter of a patent is a process for obtaining a product. Article 34 of the General Provisions and Basic Principles of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) 49 intrudes on the power of the Supreme Court to promulgate rules concerning pleading. . cooperation and amity with all nations. based on the rationale that the Philippines "adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of . that any identical product when produced without the consent of the patent owner shall. . Members shall provide. in the absence of proof to the contrary. smaller countries typically stand to gain disproportionately from trade liberalization. 50 To understand the scope and meaning of Article 34. 51 it will be fruitful to restate its full text as follows: Article 34 Process Patents: Burden of Proof 1. In addition. Therefore. the judicial authorities shall have the authority to order the defendant to prove that the process to obtain an identical product is different from the patented process. practice and procedures." Fourth Issue: The WTO Agreement and Judicial Power Petitioners aver that paragraph 1. be deemed to have been obtained by the patented process: (a) if the product obtained by the patented process is new. TRIPS. a portion of sovereignty may be waived without violating the Constitution.

The foregoing should really present no problem in changing the rules of evidence as the present law on the subject. or (2) where there is "substantial likelihood" that the identical product was made with the use of the said patented process but the owner of the patent could not determine the exact process used in obtaining such identical product. otherwise known as the Patent Law. 3. 165. thus: . the patent owner still has the "burden of proof" since. Hence. the legitimate interests of defendants in protecting their manufacturing and business secrets shall be taken into account. In the adduction of proof to the contrary. provides a similar presumption in cases of infringement of patented design or utility model. regardless of the presumption provided under paragraph 1 of Article 34. 2. The foregoing notwithstanding.reasonable efforts to determine the process actually used. a WTO Member is required to provide a rule of disputable (not the words "in the absence of proof to the contrary") presumption that a product shown to be identical to one produced with the use of a patented process shall be deemed to have been obtained by the (illegal) use of the said patented process. actually refers to the "burden of evidence" (burden of going forward) placed on the producer of the identical (or fake) product to show that his product was produced without the use of the patented process. Any Member shall be free to provide that the burden of proof indicated in paragraph 1 shall be on the alleged infringer only if the condition referred to in subparagraph (a) is fulfilled or only if the condition referred to in subparagraph (b) is fulfilled. properly understood. Such burden. the fact that it is "identical" to the genuine one produced by the patented process and the fact of "newness" of the genuine product or the fact of "substantial likelihood" that the identical product was made by the patented process. (1) where such product obtained by the patented product is new. such owner still has to introduce evidence of the existence of the alleged identical product. From the above. Republic Act No. the "burden of proof" contemplated by Article 34 should actually be understood as the duty of the alleged patent infringer to overthrow such presumption. as amended.

using or selling of the article or product copying the patented design or utility model. members shall be free to determine the appropriate method of implementing the provisions of TRIPS within their own internal systems and processes. Where either of these two provisos does not obtain. They submit that such concurrence in the WTO Agreement alone is flawed because it is in effect a rejection of the Final Act. By and large. Besides. the adjustment in legislation and rules of procedure will not be substantial. in representation of the Republic upon authority of the President. if any actually exists. 52 Fifth Issue: Concurrence Only in the WTO Agreement and Not in Other Documents Contained in the Final Act Petitioners allege that the Senate concurrence in the WTO Agreement and its annexes — but not in the other documents referred to in the Final Act. which in turn was the document signed by Secretary Navarro. So too. the arguments adduced in connection with our disposition of the third issue — derogation of legislative power — will apply to this fourth issue also. Article 34 does not contain an unreasonable burden. consistent as it is with due process and the concept of adversarial dispute settlement inherent in our judicial system. 60. (emphasis supplied) Moreover. — Infringement of a design patent or of a patent for utility model shall consist in unauthorized copying of the patented design or utility model for the purpose of trade or industry in the article or product and in the making. Infringement. since the Philippine is a signatory to most international conventions on patents. it should be noted that the requirement of Article 34 to provide a disputable presumption applies only if (1) the product obtained by the patented process in NEW or (2) there is a substantial likelihood that the identical product was made by the process and the process owner has not been able through reasonable effort to determine the process used. trademarks and copyrights. namely the Ministerial Declaration and Decisions and the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services — is defective and insufficient and thus constitutes abuse of discretion. Suffice it to say that the reciprocity clause more than justifies such intrusion.Sec. Identity or substantial identity with the patented design or utility model shall constitute evidence of copying. They .

The text of the "Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations" is contained in just one page 55 in Vol. Secretary Navarro as representative of the Republic of the Philippines undertook: (a) to submit.contend that the second letter of the President to the Senate 53 which enumerated what constitutes the Final Act should have been the subject of concurrence of the Senate." 54 It is not the treaty itself. "A final act. They were approved by the ministers by virtue of Article XXV: 1 of GATT which provides that representatives of the members can meet "to give effect to those provisions of this Agreement which invoke joint action. The assailed Senate Resolution No. is an instrument which records the winding up of the proceedings of a diplomatic conference and usually includes a reproduction of the texts of treaties. as appropriate. sometimes called protocol de cloture. and (b) to adopt the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions. It applies only to those 27 Members which "have indicated in their respective schedules of commitments on standstill." 56 The Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services also approved in Marrakesh does not apply to the Philippines. and generally with a view to facilitating the operation and furthering the objectives of this Agreement. elimination of monopoly. clearing systems and refinancing available in the . I of the 36-volume Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations. By signing said Final Act. concurrence of the Senate in the WTO Agreement. conventions. the WTO Agreement for the consideration of their respective competent authorities with a view to seeking approval of the Agreement in accordance with their procedures. and national treatment with respect to access to payment. expansion of operation of existing financial service suppliers. The Ministerial Declarations and Decisions were deemed adopted without need for ratification. 97 expressed concurrence in exactly what the Final Act required from its signatories. It is rather a summary of the proceedings of a protracted conference which may have taken place over several years. temporary entry of personnel. free transfer and processing of information. namely. recommendations and other acts agreed upon and signed by the plenipotentiaries attending the conference.

as subsequently rectified. The Agreements and associated legal instruments included in Annex 4 (hereinafter referred to as "Plurilateral Trade Agreements") are also part of this Agreement for those Members that have accepted them. 2. 3. 1994. (hereinafter referred to as "Multilateral Agreements") are integral parts of this Agreement. The Plurilateral Trade Agreements do not create either obligation or rights for Members that have not accepted them. as follows: 60 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. and are binding on those Members. 1994. dated 30 October 1947. After reading the letter of President Ramos dated August 11. 4.normal course of business. 2. Now." 57 On the other hand. 59 the senators of the Republic minutely dissected what the Senate was concurring in. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 as specified in annex 1A (hereinafter referred to as "GATT 1994") is legally distinct from the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. annexed to the Final Act adopted at the conclusion of the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment. The Agreements and associated legal instruments included in Annexes 1. The WTO shall provide the common institutional frame-work for the conduct of trade relations among its Members in matters to the agreements and associated legal instruments included in the Annexes to this Agreement. the question of the validity of the . amended or modified (hereinafter referred to as "GATT 1947"). binding on all Members. It should be added that the Senate was well-aware of what it was concurring in as shown by the members' deliberation on August 25. the WTO Agreement itself expresses what multilateral agreements are deemed included as its integral parts. 58 as follows: Article II Scope of the WTO 1. and 3.

to make sure that it is clear cut and there should be no misunderstanding. and the Understanding and Commitments in Financial Services. I am now satisfied with the wording of the new submission of President Ramos. Can this Committee hear from Senator Tañada and later on Senator Tolentino since they were the ones that raised this question yesterday? Senator Tañada. That suggestion was to treat the proceedings of the Committee as being in the nature of briefings for Senators until the question of the submission could be clarified. Was the observation made by Senator Tañada that what was submitted to the Senate was not the agreement on establishing the World Trade Organization by the final act of the Uruguay Round which is not the same as the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization? And on that basis. he agreed to withdraw upon understanding that his suggestion for an alternative solution at that time was acceptable. Based on what Secretary Romulo has read. TAÑADA. of President Ramos. . . Secretary Romulo. SEN. please. . it would now clearly appear that what is being submitted to the Senate for ratification is not the Final Act of the Uruguay Round. THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Chairman. Chairman. Chairman. Senator Tañada. in effect. Thank you. SEN. TAÑADA: Thank you. And so. Mr. ROMULO: Mr. Senator Tolentino raised a point of order which. Mr. THE CHAIRMAN.submission came up in the first day hearing of this Committee yesterday. it was his intention to clarify all matters by giving this letter. but rather the Agreement on the World Trade Organization as well as the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions. is the President submitting a new . . however. is he making a new submission which improves on the clarity of the first submission? MR. Can we hear from Senator . .

my views on this matter are already a matter of record. President. The Final Act itself specifies what is going to be submitted to with the governments of the participants. In paragraph 2 of the Final Act. Chairman. GONZALES.Mr. It requires us to ratify the Agreement which is now being submitted. Thank you. Senator Lina. and I think it now complies with the provisions of the Constitution. THE CHAIRMAN. I would consider the new submission as an act ex abudante cautela. Then the new . Mr.Tolentino? And after him Senator Neptali Gonzales and Senator Lina. THE CHAIRMAN. I agree with the observation just made by Senator Gonzales out of the abundance of question. the representatives agree: (a) to submit as appropriate the WTO Agreement for the consideration of the respective competent authorities with a view to seeking approval of the Agreement in accordance with their procedures. and with the Final Act itself . Senator Tolentino. Mr. Thank you. Senator Gonzales. I have not seen the new submission actually transmitted to us but I saw the draft of his earlier. May I call on Senator Gonzales. SEN. it is not the Final Act that was agreed to be submitted to the governments for ratification or acceptance as whatever their constitutional procedures may provide but it is the World Trade Organization Agreement. The Constitution does not require us to ratify the Final Act. SEN. I think it satisfies both the Constitution and the Final Act itself . Mr. Chairman. LINA. In other words. And they had been adequately reflected in the journal of yesterday's session and I don't see any need for repeating the same. do you want to make any comment on this? SEN. Now. TOLENTINO. Thank you. And if that is the one that is being submitted now. Chairman. we read and I quote: By signing the present Final Act.

Procedurally. and thus its actions are presumed regular and done in good faith. Using the foregoing well-accepted definition of grave abuse of discretion and the presumption of regularity in the Senate's processes. It must be grave abuse of discretion as when the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility. Epilogue In praying for the nullification of the Philippine ratification of the WTO Agreement. petitioners are invoking this Court's constitutionally imposed duty "to determine whether or not there has been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction" on the part of the Senate in giving its concurrence therein via Senate Resolution No. 61 Mere abuse of discretion is not enough. as alleged by petitioners. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. I believe. By grave abuse of discretion is meant such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. 97. and must be so patent and so gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law. stating the obvious and therefore I have no further comment to make.submission is. products. that broad constitutional principles require the State to develop an independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos. It is itself a constitutional body independent and coordinate. 62 Failure on the part of the petitioner to show grave abuse of discretion will result in the dismissal of the petition. is one of two sovereign houses of Congress and is thus entitled to great respect in its actions. whose act is under review. this Court never forgets that the Senate. a writ of certiorari grounded on grave abuse of discretion may be issued by the Court under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court when it is amply shown that petitioners have no other plain. this Court will resolve every doubt in its favor. this Court cannot find any cogent reason to impute grave abuse of discretion to the Senate's exercise of its power of concurrence in the WTO Agreement granted it by Sec. . 21 of Article VII of the Constitution. 63 In rendering this Decision. and to protect and/or prefer Filipino labor. 64 It is true. Unless convincing proof and persuasive arguments are presented to overthrow such presumptions.

That the Senate.domestic materials and locally produced goods. should this be the political desire of a member. After all. Notwithstanding objections against possible . politically and culturally in the next century. We find no "patent and gross" arbitrariness or despotism "by reason of passion or personal hostility" in such exercise. The eminent futurist John Naisbitt. Moreover. author of the best seller Megatrends. It is not impossible to surmise that this Court. That is a matter between the elected policy makers and the people. the WTO Agreement allows withdrawal of membership." thereby justifying its acceptance of said treaty. There are at present about 31 countries including China. or at least some of its members. As to whether the nation should join the worldwide march toward trade liberalization and economic globalization is a matter that our people should determine in electing their policy makers. predicts an Asian Renaissance 65 where "the East will become the dominant region of the world economically. To do so would constitute grave abuse in the exercise of our own judicial power and duty. voluntarily and overwhelmingly gave its consent to the WTO Agreement thereby making it "a part of the law of the land" is a legitimate exercise of its sovereign duty and power. But that is not a legal reason to attribute grave abuse of discretion to the Senate and to nullify its decision. Russia and Saudi Arabia negotiating for membership in the WTO. may even agree with petitioners that it is more advantageous to the national interest to strike down Senate Resolution No. the alleged impairment of sovereignty in the exercise of legislative and judicial powers is balanced by the adoption of the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and the adherence of the Constitution to the policy of cooperation and amity with all nations. there are other equally fundamental constitutional principles relied upon by the Senate which mandate the pursuit of a "trade policy that serves the general welfare and utilizes all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity" and the promotion of industries "which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets. So too." He refers to the "free market" espoused by WTO as the "catalyst" in this coming Asian ascendancy. As to whether such exercise was wise. after deliberation and voting. 97. what the Senate did was a valid exercise of its authority. Ineludably. beneficial or viable is outside the realm of judicial inquiry and review. But it is equally true that such principles — while serving as judicial and legislative guides — are not in themselves sources of causes of action.

Facts: This is a case petition by Sen. if not economic self-destruction. through the reduction of tariffs on its exports. since the said Agreement is an assault on the sovereign powers of the Philippines because it meant that Congress could not pass legislation that would be good for national interest and general welfare if such legislation would not conform to the WTO Agreement. Let the people. stagnation. Petitioners believe that this will be detrimental to the growth of our National Economy and against to the “Filipino First” policy. provides new opportunities for the service sector cost and uncertainty associated with exporting and more investment in the country. through their duly authorized elected officers. keenly aware of the advantages and disadvantages of globalization with its on-line experience. make their free choice. Duly enriched with original membership. The alternative to WTO is isolation. particularly agricultural and industrial products. SO ORDERED. These are the predicted benefits as reflected in the agreement and as viewed by the signatory Senators. especially its major trading partners. and endowed with a vision of the future. a “free market” espoused by WTO. Wigberto Tanada. the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. the WTO remains as the only viable structure for multilateral trading and the veritable forum for the development of international trade law. . Thus. Petitioners also contends that it is in conflict with the provisions of our constitution. WHEREFORE. the Philippines now straddles the crossroads of an international strategy for economic prosperity and stability in the new millennium. The WTO opens access to foreign markets. together with other lawmakers. taxpayers. and various NGO’s to nullify the Philippine ratification of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement.limitations on national sovereignty.

Discussions: • 1987 Constitution states that Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable.Issues: 1. Whether or not the concurrence of the Senate ‘in the ratification by the President of the Philippines of the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization’ implied rejection of the treaty embodied in the Final Act. spirit and intent of Section 19. Hence. does not necessarily rule out the entry of foreign investments. two (2) and three (3) of that agreement’ cited by petitioners directly contravene or undermine the letter. 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. Whether or not certain provisions of the Agreement impair the exercise of judicial power by this Honorable Court in promulgating the rules of evidence. Article II and Sections 10 and 12. 3. Whether or not the petition present a justiciable controversy. Unlike in the UN where major states have permanent seats and veto powers in the Security Council. Whether or not certain provisions of the Agreement unduly limit. Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. in the WTO. with each member’s vote equal in weight to that of any other. 5. 4. • Although the Constitution mandates to develop a self-reliant and independent national economy controlled by Filipinos. which comprise the vast majority of its members.” The WTO itself has some built-in advantages to protect weak and developing economies. poor countries can protect their common interests . 2. restrict or impair the exercise of legislative power by Congress. Whether or not the provisions of the ‘Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization and the Agreements and Associated Legal Instruments included in Annexes one (1). It contemplates neither “economic seclusion” nor “mendicancy in the international community. goods and services. decisions are made on the basis of sovereign equality.

• The alleged impairment of sovereignty in the exercise of legislative and judicial powers is balanced by the adoption of the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and the adherence of the Constitution to the policy of cooperation and amity with all nations. developing countries can form powerful blocs to push their economic agenda more decisively than outside the Organization. cooperation and amity. the Constitution “adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. more effectively through the WTO than through one-on-one negotiations with developed countries.” • In its Declaration of Principles and State Policies. Which is not merely a matter of practical alliances but a negotiating strategy rooted in law. WTO members shall be free to determine the appropriate method of implementing the provisions of TRIPS within their own internal systems and processes. the country is bound by generally accepted principles of international law. justice. practice and procedures. which are considered to be automatically part of our own laws. freedom. Where an action of the legislative branch is . In seeking to nullify an act of the Philippine Senate on the ground that it contravenes the Constitution. the petition no doubt raises a justiciable controversy. Thus. and adheres to the policy of peace. By the doctrine of incorporation. With regard to Infringement of a design patent. equality. A state which has contracted valid international obligations is bound to make in its legislations such modifications as may be necessary to ensure the fulfillment of the obligations undertaken. with all nations. Article 34 of the General Provisions and Basic Principles of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) may intrudes on the power of the Supreme Court to promulgate rules concerning pleading. the basic principles underlying the WTO Agreement recognize the need of developing countries like the Philippines to “share in the growth in international trade commensurate with the needs of their economic development. Rulings: 1. after deliberation and voting. voluntarily and overwhelmingly gave its consent to the WTO Agreement thereby making it “a part of the law of the land” is a legitimate exercise of its sovereign duty and power. Paragraph 1. Within the WTO. The Senate.

The provision in Article 34 of WTO agreement does not contain an unreasonable burden. the . “the judiciary is the final arbiter on the question of whether or not a branch of government or any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction. like individuals. it allows an exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity. It did not shut out foreign investments. concurrence of the Senate in the WTO Agreement. 5. it recognizes the need for business exchange with the rest of the world on the bases of equality and reciprocity and limits protection of Filipino enterprises only against foreign competition and trade practices that are unfair. it does not prohibit them either. nations may surrender some aspects of their state power in exchange for greater benefits granted by or derived from a convention or pact. 3. By their inherent nature. After all. at the same time. In other words. seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution. labor and enterprises. namely. By their voluntary act. This is not only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature.” 4. 97 expressed concurrence in exactly what the Final Act required from its signatories. states. While the Constitution does not encourage the unlimited entry of foreign goods.” 2. Moreover. they also commonly agree to limit the exercise of their otherwise absolute rights. services. In fact. based on the rationale that the Philippines “adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of cooperation and amity with all nations. and in pursuit of mutually covenanted objectives and benefits. the Constitution did not intend to pursue an isolationist policy. As shown by the foregoing treaties Philippines has entered. The assailed Senate Resolution No. live with coequals. consistent as it is with due process and the concept of adversarial dispute settlement inherent in our judicial system. As explained by former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion. treaties really limit or restrict the absoluteness of sovereignty. it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute. frowning only on foreign competition that is unfair. goods and services in the development of the Philippine economy. While the Constitution indeed mandates a bias in favor of Filipino goods. a portion of sovereignty may be waived without violating the Constitution. services and investments into the country.

G. 1989 FERDINAND E. respondents. HONORABLE RAUL MANGLAPUS. Secretary of Justice. Marcos v. In his stead. After reading the letter of President Ramos dated August 11. CATALINO MACARAIG. the senators of the Republic minutely dissected what the Senate was concurring in. Philosophical View of the Constitution • Ferdinand E. Ferdinand E. economic and other aspects of national life. Corazon C. February 28.R. IRENE M. While ostensibly only legal issues are involved. IMELDA R. RENATO DE VILLA. No. PACIFICO E. Immigration Commissioner. FERDINAND R. Secretary of National Defense and Chief of Staff.R. represented by its President. MARCOS. 1994. No. FIDEL RAMOS. We recall that in February 1986. in their capacity as Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Executive Secretary. CORTES. respectively. petitioners. ESTRELLA. Marcos was deposed from the presidency via the non-violent "people power" revolution and forced into exile. vs. IMEE MANOTOC. GREGORIO ARANETA. 2012 G. Aquino was declared President of the . ARANETA.: Before the Court is a contreversy of grave national importance. the Court's decision in this case would undeniably have a profound effect on the political. MARCOS. MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO. 88211. Honorable Raul Manglapus. Senate was well-aware of what it was concurring in as shown by the members’ deliberation on August 25. SEDFREY ORDOÑEZ. 88211 September 15. MARCOS. JR. NICANOR YÑIGUEZ and PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION (PHILCONSA). CONRADO F. 1994. MARCOS.. J. TOMAS MANOTOC.

Republic under a revolutionary government. But Mrs. There are also the communist insurgency and the seccessionist movement in Mindanao which gained ground during the rule of Mr. This did not. The efforts at economic recovery. stop bloody challenges to the government. January 30. But the armed threats to the Government were not only found in misguided elements and among rabid followers of Mr. There has been no let up on this groups' determination to wrest power from the govermnent. Marcos. both combatants and civilians. while the recovery of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses has remained elusive. Not only through resort to arms but also to through the use of propaganda have they been successful in dreating chaos and destabilizing the country. Marcos. led a failed coup that left scores of people. in his deathbed. has signified his wish to return to the Philipppines to die. Marcos. however. Now. The accumulated foreign debt and the plunder of the nation attributed to Mr. Her ascension to and consilidation of power have not been unchallenged. have yet to show concrete results in alleviating the poverty of the masses. dead. Marcos and his cronies left the economy devastated. The failed Manila Hotel coup in 1986 led by political leaders of Mr. 1987] awakened the nation to the capacity of the Marcoses to stir trouble even from afar and to the fanaticism and blind loyalty of their followers in the country. one of the major players in the February Revolution. Aquino. Canlas with the support of "Marcos loyalists" and the unseccessful plot of the Marcos spouses to surreptitiously return from Hawii with mercenaries aboard an aircraft chartered by a Lebanese arms dealer [Manila Bulletin. The ratification of the 1987 Constitution enshrined the victory of "people power" and also clearly reinforced the constitutional moorings of Mrs. three years after Mrs. 1987. Mr. but the message they conveyed was the same — a split in the ranks of the military establishment that thraetened civilian supremacy over military and brought to the fore the realization that civilian government could be at the mercy of a fractious military. On August 28. Marcos. Aquino's presidency. considering the dire consequences to . There were several other armed sorties of lesser significance. Gregorio Honasan. Col. to the extent that the communists have set up a parallel government of their own on the areas they effectively control while the separatist are virtually free to move about in armed bands. the takeover of television station Channel 7 by rebel troops led by Col. Nor are the woes of the Republic purely political. Aquino assumed office.

public safety or public health a. It should not create a precedent. Is this a political question? 2. According to the petitioners. This petition for mandamus and prohibition asks the Courts to order the respondents to issue travel documents to Mr. the President may prohibit the Marcoses from returning to the Philippines. Does the President have the power to bar the return of former President Marcos and family to the Philippines? a. The Petition This case is unique. in the interest of "national security. Assuming that the President has the power to bar former President Marcos and his family from returning to the Philippines. in the exercise of the powers granted by the Constitution. has stood firmly on the decision to bar the return of Mr. is in a class by itself. economic and social havoc in the country and who within the short space of three years seeks to return. the resolution of the case would depend on the resolution of the following issues: 1. for the case of a dictator forced out of office and into exile after causing twenty years of political. Marcos and his family. public safety or public health? b. The Issue Th issue is basically one of power: whether or not. Marcos and the immediate members of his family and to enjoin the implementation of the President's decision to bar their return to the Philippines. Assuming that she has made that finding .the nation of his return at a time when the stability of government is threatened from various directions and the economy is just beginning to rise and move forward. Has the President made a finding that the return of former President Marcos and his family to the Philippines is a clear and present danger to national security.

or in excess of jurisdiction. in implementing the President's decision to bar the return of former President Marcos and his family. have respondents established such fact? 3. therefore. pp. 5-7. including the grounds upon which it was based. No person shall be deprived of life. Rollo.1 The case for petitioners is founded on the assertion that the right of the Marcoses to return to the Philippines is guaranteed under the following provisions of the Bill of Rights. or public health a political question? d. been made known to petitioners so that they may controvert the same? c. Is the President's determination that the return of former President Marcos and his family to the Philippines is a clear and present danger to national security. Have the respondents. pp. acted and would be acting without jurisdiction. in performing any act which would effectively bar the return of former President Marcos and his family to the Philippines? [Memorandum for Petitioners. public safety. nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. to wit: Section 1. public safety. has the President's decision. 234-236. Assuming that the Court may inquire as to whether the return of former President Marcos and his family is a clear and present danger to national security. or public health. liberty. xxx xxx xxx Section 6. The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the . or with grave abuse of discretion.(1) Have the requirements of due process been complied with in making such finding? (2) Has there been prior notice to petitioners? (3) Has there been a hearing? (4) Assuming that notice and hearing may be dispensed with. or property without due process of law.

as may be provided by law. are necessary to protect national security. within that territory. including his own. Marcos and his family to return to the Philippines is guaranteed. . They advance the view that before the right to travel may be impaired by any authority or agency of the government. or public health. and to return to his country. public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country. there must be legislation to that effect. Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security. 2) Everyone shall be free to leave any country. 4) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country. including his own. which had been ratified by the Philippines.court." Nor may the President impair their right to travel because no law has authorized her to do so. The petitioners contend that the President is without power to impair the liberty of abode of the Marcoses because only a court may do so "within the limits prescribed by law. public order (order public). (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence. and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Covenant. The petitioners further assert that under international law. public safety. provides: Article 12 1) Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides: Article 13. the right of Mr. the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 3) The above-mentioned rights shall not be subject to any restrictions except those which are provided by law. Likewise.

It may be conceded that as formulated by petitioners. There are thus gradations to the question. Marcos and family shall return to the Philippines and establish their residence here? This is now a political question which this Honorable Court can not decide for it falls within the exclusive authority and . Respondents submit that in its proper formulation. the question involved is simply whether or not petitioners Ferdinand E. the question is not a political question as it involves merely a determination of what the law provides on the matter and application thereof to petitioners Ferdinand E. the question becomes political and this Honorable Court can not consider it. to wit: Do petitioners Ferdinand E. Do petitioners Ferdinand E.On the other hand. Marcos and family have the right to return to the Philippines and reestablish their residence here? This is clearly a justiciable question which this Honorable Court can decide. Petitioners invoke these constitutional rights in vacuo without reference to attendant circumstances. Is there danger to national security and public safety if petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and family. Marcos and family impinge on or collide with the more primordial and transcendental right of the State to security and safety of its nationals. Marcos and his family have the right to travel and liberty of abode. According to the Solicitor General: As petitioners couch it. But when the question is whether the two rights claimed by petitioners Ferdinand E. the respondents' principal argument is that the issue in this case involves a political question which is non-justiciable. Marcos and family have their right to return to the Philippines and reestablish their residence here even if their return and residence here will endanger national security and public safety? this is still a justiciable question which this Honorable Court can decide. Marcos and family have the right to return to the Philippines and reside here at this time in the face of the determination by the President that such return and residence will endanger national security and public safety. the issue is whether or not petitioners Ferdinand E.

69 L Ed. Although we give due weight to the parties' formulation of the issues. 101 SCt 2766. Section 5. the protection of life.] Respondents argue for the primacy of the right of the State to national security over individual rights. The Government may call upon the people to defend the State and. . Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic. Jorge Ubico of Guatemala. 2 L Ed. 26-32.] The parties are in agreement that the underlying issue is one of the scope of presidential power and its limits. 297-299. we are not bound by its narrow confines in arriving at a solution to the controversy. We. of Nicaragua.competence of the President of the Philippines. Rollo. under conditions provided by law. Respondents also point out that the decision to ban Mr. pp. Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez of El Salvador. Anastacio Somoza Jr. to wit: Section 4. Marcos and family from returning to the Philippines for reasons of national security and public safety has international precedents. pp. Supreme Court in the leading cases of Kent v. all citizens may be required. Rollo. liberty. they cite Article II of the Constitution. we must state that it would not do to view the case within the confines of the right to travel and the import of the decisions of the U. In support thereof. and property. and Marcos Perez Jimenez of Venezuela were among the deposed dictators whose return to their homelands was prevented by their governments. The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people. 116. [Memorandum for Respondents. 280. pp. The maintenance of peace and order. Manglapus.S. Agee [453 U. military. however.S. 78 SCt 1113. in the fulfillment thereof. 9-11. King Farouk of Egypt. or civil service. 2d 640) which affirmed the right to travel and recognized exceptions to the exercise thereof. quoted in Memorandum for Respondents. 314-319. and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy. respectively. to render personal.S. Fulgencio batista of Cuba. pp. Dulles [357 U. At the outset. [See Statement of Foreign Affairs Secretary Raul S. view this issue in a different light. 2d 1204] and Haig v.

13(2). The Declaration speaks of the "right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state" [Art. and to return to his country. 12(l)] and the right to "be free to leave any country. 12(2)] which rights may be restricted by such laws as "are necessary to protect national security.] Thus.] However. and even in American jurisprudence. against being "arbitrarily deprived" thereof [Art. a totally distinct right under international law. 13(l)] separately from the "right to leave any country. the rulings in the cases Kent and Haig which refer to the issuance of passports for the purpose of effectively exercising the right to travel are not determinative of this case and are only tangentially material insofar as they relate to a conflict between executive action and the exercise of a protected right..] It would therefore be inappropriate to construe the limitations to the right to return to one's country in the same context as those pertaining to the liberty of abode and the right to travel. the Covenant guarantees the "right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence" [Art. is part of the law of the land [Art.It must be emphasized that the individual right involved is not the right to travel from the Philippines to other countries or within the Philippines." [Art. . the Universal Declaration of Humans Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights treat the right to freedom of movement and abode within the territory of a state. 12 (4).] On the other hand. The right to return to one's country is not among the rights specifically guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. as a generally accepted principle of international law and. the right to leave a country. Sec. independent from although related to the right to travel. These are what the right to travel would normally connote." [Art. including his own. public health or morals or enter qqqs own country" of which one cannot be "arbitrarily deprived. it is distinct and separate from the right to travel and enjoys a different protection under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights. and the right to enter one's country as separate and distinct rights.e. under our Constitution. Essentially. including his own. II. 2 of the Constitution. which treats only of the liberty of abode and the right to travel." [Art. 12(4). Thus. i. the right involved is the right to return to one's country. The issue before the Court is novel and without precedent in Philippine. public order. but it is our well-considered view that the right to return may be considered.

An appropriate case for its resolution will have to be awaited. VII. the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides that "[the legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines" Art VI. VIII. 139 (1936)]. to bar the Marcoses from returning to the Philippines." [At 631-632.1 If this can be said of the legislative power which is exercised by two chambers with a combined membership of more than two hundred members and of the judicial power which is vested in a hierarchy of courts. For as the Supreme Court in Ocampo v. 1. 11. Having clarified the substance of the legal issue. allotment of power to the executive. 11. To recall the words of Justice Laurel in Angara v. and a grant of the judicial power means a grant of all the judicial power which may be exercised under the government. it can equally be said of the executive power which is vested in one official the President. executive and judicial powers subject only to limitations provided in the Constitution. Section 1. the legislative and the judicial departments of the government.] These provisions not only establish a separation of powers by actual division [Angara v. Sec. supra] but also confer plenary legislative. "[t]he executive power shall bevested in the President of the Philippines" [Art. We shall first resolve whether or not the President has the power under the Constitution.Consequently. whether or not the President acted arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when she determined that the return of the Marcose's to the Philippines poses a serious threat to national interest and welfare and decided to bar their return. Executive Power The 1987 Constitution has fully restored the separation of powers of the three great branches of government." [At 157. Cabangis [15 Phil. Then.1 Thus. Sec. 626 (1910)] pointed out "a grant of the legislative power means a grant of all legislative power. resolution by the Court of the well-debated issue of whether or not there can be limitations on the right to travel in the absence of legislation to that effect is rendered unnecessary. Sec. . Electoral Commission. we shall determine. pursuant to the express power of the Court under the Constitution in Article VIII. Our resolution of the issue will involve a two-tiered approach. we find now a need to explain the methodology for its resolution. "the Constitution has blocked but with deft strokes and in bold lines. Electoral Commission [63 Phil. and "[te judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law" [Art.

14- 23]. .** Corwin. 3-4.S. the power to grant reprieves. i. Presidency after which ours is legally patterned. it should be a vision realized. p. VII. Sec.As stated above.] Reviewing how the powers of the U. the power to contract or guarantee foreign loans. bureaus and offices.1 This argument brings to mind the institution of the U.e. Sec. the power of control over all executive departments. However. Inclusion unius est exclusio alterius[Memorandum for Petitioners. Thus. .. To those who think that a constitution ought to settle everything beforehand it should be a nightmare. . it does not define what is meant by executive power" although in the same article it touches on the exercise of certain powers by the President. the power to grant amnesty with the concurrence of Congress. 4- Rollo p. He said: Article II is the most loosely drawn chapter of the Constitution. the power to execute the laws. the powers under the commander-in-chief clause. commutations and pardons. 17871957. the appointing power. 1]. the power to enter into treaties or international agreements. VII. We encounter this characteristic of Article 11 in its opening words: "The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. to those who think that constitution makers ought to leave considerable leeway for the future play of political forces." . in his monumental volume on the President of the United States grappled with the same problem.S. and what is not enumerated is impliedly denied to her. the Constitution provides that "[t]he executive power shall be vested in the President of the Philippines. pp. they assert: "The President has enumerated powers. [The President: Office and Powers." [Art. The inevitable question then arises: by enumerating certain powers of the President did the framers of the Constitution intend that the President shall exercise those specific powers and no other? Are these se enumerated powers the breadth and scope of "executive power"? Petitioners advance the view that the President's powers are limited to those specifically enumerated in the 1987 Constitution. 233. the power to submit the budget to Congress. President were exercised by the different persons who held the office from Washington to the early 1900's.. and the power to address Congress [Art. by the same token.

of cas President. to state that "executive power" is the power to enforce the laws. brought back the presidential system of government and restored the separation of legislative. Above all.and the swing from the presidency by commission to Lincoln's dictatorship. an agency of government subject to unvarying demands and duties no remained. executive and judicial powers by their actual distribution among three distinct branches of government with provision for checks and balances. however." [At 30. he concluded that "what the presidency is at any particular moment depends in important measure on who is President. The thrust of the office. phobias recast the WhiteHouse and pervaded the entire government. Idiosyncrasies.213. for the President is head of state as well as head of government and whatever powers inhere in such positions pertain . expectations. intensity and ethos according to the man in charge. his habits. his values. said Clark Clifford. was a chameleon. The executive branch.] This view is shared by Schlesinger who wrote in The Imperial Presidency: For the American Presidency was a peculiarly personal institution. It would not be accurate. with the President as a mere figurehead.S. therefore altered from President to President. rather. taking its color from the character and personality of the President. But. [At 212. the President became even more powerful. Each President's distinctive temperament and character. however. style. it changed shape. to the point that he was also the de facto Legislature. to earn and hold the confidence of the electorate and to render an accounting to the nation and posterity determined whether he strengthened or weakened the constitutional order. but through numerous amendments. more than most agencies of government. The 1987 Constitution. The 1973 Constitution attempted to modify the system of government into the parliamentary type. it remained of course. President. compulsions. its impact on the constitutional order. The 1935 Constitution created a strong President with explicitly broader powers than the U. the way each President understood it as his personal obligation to inform and involve the Congress.] We do not say that the presidency is what Mrs. standards. that the consideration of tradition and the development of presidential power under the different constitutions are essential for a complete understanding of the extent of and limitations to the President's powers under the 1987 Constitution. Aquino says it is or what she does but.

the U. in upholding the power of the Governor-General to do so. it maintains intact what is traditionally considered as within the scope of "executive power.S. Supreme Court. e. said: .[At 202-203. executive power is more than the sum of specific powers so enumerated..g. Furthermore.. 277 U. and still more clear that they are not judicial.. we hold the view that although the 1987 Constitution imposes limitations on the exercise of specific powers of the President. on the issue of who between the Governor-General of the Philippines and the Legislature may vote the shares of stock held by the Government to elect directors in the National Coal Company and the Philippine National Bank. are not charged with the performance of any legislative functions or with the doing of anything which is in aid of performance of any such functions by the legislature. Government of the Philippine Islands. 189 (1928). Thus. his power over the country's foreign relations. It also grants the President other powers that do not involve the execution of any provision of law. The fact that they do not fall within the authority of either of these two constitutes logical ground for concluding that they do fall within that of the remaining one among which the powers of government are divided ..Here the members of the legislature who constitute a majority of the "board" and "committee" respectively. it is clear that they are not legislative in character. in the landmark decision of Springer v.] We are not unmindful of Justice Holmes' strong dissent." Corollarily. Emphasis supplied. It has been advanced that whatever power inherent in the government that is neither legislative nor judicial has to be executive.. the powers of the President cannot be said to be limited only to the specific powers enumerated in the Constitution.. But in his enduring words of dissent we find reinforcement for the view that it would indeed be a folly to construe the powers of a branch of government to embrace only what are specifically mentioned in the Constitution: . On these premises. the Constitution itself provides that the execution of the laws is only one of the powers of the President.S.to the office unless the Constitution itself withholds it. Putting aside for the moment the question whether the duties devolved upon these members are vested by the Organic Act in the Governor-General. In other words.

among other things." [Art. Secs. in making any decision as President of the Republic. 4 and 5. xxx xxx xxx It does not seem to need argument to show that however we may disguise it by veiling words we do not and cannot carry out the distinction between legislative and executive action with mathematical precision and divide the branches into watertight compartments. or from another point of view. . the protection of life. II.. the President is. Faced with the problem of whether or not the time is right to allow the Marcoses to return to the Philippines.. in drawing a plan of government. promote their welfare and advance the national interest. and in directing implementing action for these plans. under the Constitution. having sworn to defend and uphold the Constitution.. the President has the obligation under the Constitution to protect the people. liberty and property. Thus. were it ever so desirable to do so. lest the officers of the Government exercising the powers delegated . and the promotion of the general welfare are essentially ideals to guide governmental action.] Admittedly. Hence. constrained to consider these basic principles in arriving at a decision. service and protection of the people. in the exercise of presidential functions. the President has to consider these principles. Even the more specific of them are found to terminate in a penumbra shading gradually from one extreme to the other.] The Power Involved The Constitution declares among the guiding principles that "[t]he prime duty of theGovernment is to serve and protect the people" and that "[t]he maintenance of peace and order. liberty. But such does not mean that they are empty words. and property.The great ordinances of the Constitution do not establish and divide fields of black and white.211. [At 210.the protection of life. which I am far from believing that it is. aside from being an allocation of power is also a social contract whereby the people have surrendered their sovereign powers to the State for the common good. or that the Constitution requires. the maintenance of peace and order. It must be borne in mind that the Constitution. More than that. and adhere to them. and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.

R. the Constitution reminds everyone that "[s]overeignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. For the exercise of even the preferred freedoms of speech and ofexpression. Wide discretion. Sandiganbayan.The power of the President to keep the peace is not limited merely to exercising the commander-in-chief powers in times of emergency or to leading the State against external and internal threats to its existence. 1. It is founded on the duty of the President. It is a power borne by the President's duty to preserve and defend the Constitution. supra. The constitutional guarantees they invoke are neither absolute nor inflexible. II. For in making the President commander-in-chief the enumeration .] To the President. at 153]. but is also tasked with attending to the day-to-day problems of maintaining peace and order and ensuring domestic tranquility in times when no foreign foe appears on the horizon.by the people forget and the servants of the people become rulers. it is not only the power of the President but also his duty to do anything not forbidden by the Constitution or the laws that the needs of the nation demand [See Corwin. 79690-707. admits of limits and must be adjusted to the requirements of equally important public interests [Zaldivar v. Rossiter The American Presidency]. The President is not only clothed with extraordinary powers in times of emergency.] The resolution of the problem is made difficult because the persons who seek to return to the country are the deposed dictator and his family at whose door the travails of the country are laid and from whom billions of dollars believed to be ill-gotten wealth are sought to be recovered. G." [Art. this case calls for the exercise of the President's powers as protector of the peace. October 7. although couched in absolute terms. within the bounds of law. To paraphrase Theodore Roosevelt. where the author advances the view that an allowance of discretionary power is unavoidable in any government and is best lodged in the President]. Sec. More particularly. 1981. It also may be viewed as a power implicit in the President's duty to take care that the laws are faithfully executed [see Hyman. The American President. as steward of the people. The power involved is the President's residual power to protect the general welfare of the people. the problem is one of balancing the general welfare and the common good against the exercise of rights of certain individuals. in fulfilling presidential duties in times of peace is not in any way diminished by the relative want of an emergency specified in the commander-in-chief provision. Nos.

It must be treated as a matter that is appropriately addressed to those residual unstated powers of the President which are implicit in and correlative to the paramount duty residing in that office to safeguard and protect general welfare. or suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or declaring martial law. Rollo. 1342. Marcos to return to the Philippines "as a genuine unselfish gesture for true national reconciliation and as irrevocable proof of our collective adherence to uncompromising respect for human rights under the Constitution and our laws. judicial power includes the duty 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." [Art. In that context. 1] Given this wording. in order to keep the peace. it appeals to the President's sense of compassion to allow a man to come home to die in his country. The present Constitution limits resort to the political question doctrine and . 321. we cannot agree with the Solicitor General that the issue constitutes a political question which is beyond the jurisdiction of the Court to decide. subject to certain exceptions. and is manifested by the Resolution proposed in the House of Representatives and signed by 103 of its members urging the President to allow Mr. Sec. rather. VIII. such request or demand should submit to the exercise of a broader discretion on the part of the President to determine whether it must be granted or denied.Chief powers short of the calling of the armed forces. and maintain public order and security. What we are saying in effect is that the request or demand of the Marcoses to be allowed to return to the Philippines cannot be considered in the light solely of the constitutional provisions guaranteeing liberty of abode and the right to travel.of powers that follow cannot be said to exclude the President's exercising as Commander-in." [House Resolution No. That the President has the power under the Constitution to bar the Marcose's from returning has been recognized by memembers of the Legislature. or of case law which clearly never contemplated situations even remotely similar to the present one. The Extent of Review Under the Constitution. p.1 The Resolution does not question the President's power to bar the Marcoses from returning to the Philippines.

broadens the scope of judicial inquiry into areas which the Court, under
previous constitutions, would have normally left to the political departments
to decide. But nonetheless there remain issues beyond the Court's
jurisdiction the determination of which is exclusively for the President, for
Congress or for the people themselves through a plebiscite or referendum.
We cannot, for example, question the President's recognition of a foreign
government, no matter how premature or improvident such action may
appear. We cannot set aside a presidential pardon though it may appear to
us that the beneficiary is totally undeserving of the grant. Nor can we
amend the Constitution under the guise of resolving a dispute brought
before us because the power is reserved to the people.

There is nothing in the case before us that precludes our determination
thereof on the political question doctrine. The deliberations of the
Constitutional Commission cited by petitioners show that the framers
intended to widen the scope of judicial review but they did not intend courts
of justice to settle all actual controversies before them. When political
questions are involved, the Constitution limits the determination to whether
or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction on the part of the official whose action is being
questioned. If grave abuse is not established, the Court will not substitute
its judgment for that of the official concerned and decide a matter which by
its nature or by law is for the latter alone to decide. In this light, it would
appear clear that the second paragraph of Article VIII, Section 1 of the
Constitution, defining "judicial power," which specifically empowers the
courts to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of
discretion on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government,
incorporates in the fundamental law the ruling in Lansang v. Garcia [G.R.
No. L-33964, December 11, 1971, 42 SCRA 4481 that:]

Article VII of the [1935] Constitution vests in the Executive the power to
suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus under specified
conditions. Pursuant to the principle of separation of powers underlying our
system of government, the Executive is supreme within his own sphere.
However, the separation of powers, under the Constitution, is not absolute.
What is more, it goes hand in hand with the system of checks and
balances, under which the Executive is supreme, as regards the
suspension of the privilege, but only if and when he acts within the sphere
alloted to him by the Basic Law, and the authority to determine whether or
not he has so acted is vested in the Judicial Department, which, in this

respect, is, in turn, constitutionally supreme. In the exercise of such
authority, the function of the Court is merely to check — not to supplant the
Executive, or to ascertain merely whether he has gone beyond the
constitutional limits of his jurisdiction, not to exercise the power vested in
him or to determine the wisdom of his act [At 479-480.]

Accordingly, the question for the Court to determine is whether or not there
exist factual bases for the President to conclude that it was in the national
interest to bar the return of the Marcoses to the Philippines. If such
postulates do exist, it cannot be said that she has acted, or acts, arbitrarily
or that she has gravely abused her discretion in deciding to bar their return.

We find that from the pleadings filed by the parties, from their oral
arguments, and the facts revealed during the briefing in chambers by the
Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the National
Security Adviser, wherein petitioners and respondents were represented,
there exist factual bases for the President's decision..

The Court cannot close its eyes to present realities and pretend that the
country is not besieged from within by a well-organized communist
insurgency, a separatist movement in Mindanao, rightist conspiracies to
grab power, urban terrorism, the murder with impunity of military men,
police officers and civilian officials, to mention only a few. The documented
history of the efforts of the Marcose's and their followers to destabilize the
country, as earlier narrated in this ponencia bolsters the conclusion that the
return of the Marcoses at this time would only exacerbate and intensify the
violence directed against the State and instigate more chaos.

As divergent and discordant forces, the enemies of the State may be
contained. The military establishment has given assurances that it could
handle the threats posed by particular groups. But it is the catalytic effect of
the return of the Marcoses that may prove to be the proverbial final straw
that would break the camel's back. With these before her, the President
cannot be said to have acted arbitrarily and capriciously and whimsically in
determining that the return of the Marcoses poses a serious threat to the
national interest and welfare and in prohibiting their return.

It will not do to argue that if the return of the Marcoses to the Philippines
will cause the escalation of violence against the State, that would be the
time for the President to step in and exercise the commander-in-chief

powers granted her by the Constitution to suppress or stamp out such
violence. The State, acting through the Government, is not precluded from
taking pre- emptive action against threats to its existence if, though still
nascent they are perceived as apt to become serious and direct. Protection
of the people is the essence of the duty of government. The preservation of
the State the fruition of the people's sovereignty is an obligation in the
highest order. The President, sworn to preserve and defend the
Constitution and to see the faithful execution the laws, cannot shirk from
that responsibility.

We cannot also lose sight of the fact that the country is only now beginning
to recover from the hardships brought about by the plunder of the economy
attributed to the Marcoses and their close associates and relatives, many of
whom are still here in the Philippines in a position to destabilize the
country, while the Government has barely scratched the surface, so to
speak, in its efforts to recover the enormous wealth stashed away by the
Marcoses in foreign jurisdictions. Then, We cannot ignore the continually
increasing burden imposed on the economy by the excessive foreign
borrowing during the Marcos regime, which stifles and stagnates
development and is one of the root causes of widespread poverty and all its
attendant ills. The resulting precarious state of our economy is of common
knowledge and is easily within the ambit of judicial notice.

The President has determined that the destabilization caused by the return
of the Marcoses would wipe away the gains achieved during the past few
years and lead to total economic collapse. Given what is within our
individual and common knowledge of the state of the economy, we cannot
argue with that determination.

WHEREFORE, and it being our well-considered opinion that the President
did not act arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion in determining that
the return of former President Marcos and his family at the present time
and under present circumstances poses a serious threat to national interest
and welfare and in prohibiting their return to the Philippines, the instant
petition is hereby DISMISSED.

SO ORDERED.

FACTS:

After President Marcos was deposed from presidency via the People
Power Revolution, he and his family was forced into exile. Now in his
deathbed, the former President has signified his wish to return to the
Philippines to die. But President Aquino, considering the dire
consequences on the nation on the return at a time when the stability of the
government is threatened from various directions, stood firmly on the
decision to bar the return of Mr. Marcos and his family.

ISSUE:

Whether, in the exercise of the powers granted by the Constitution, the
President may prohibit the Marcoses from returning to the Philippines
insofar as the powers enumerated under scope of the Executive are
concerned.

RULING:

Although the 1987 Constitution imposes limitation on the exercise of the
specific powers of the President, it maintains intact what is traditionally
considered as within the scope of the “executive power.” Corollarily, the
powers of the President cannot be said to be limited only to the specific
powers enumerated in the Constitution. Having sword to defend and
uphold the Constitution, the President has the obligation under the
Constitution to protect the people, promote their welfare and advance the
national interest. It must be borne in mind that the Constitution, aside from
being an allocation of power is also a social contract whereby the people
have surrendered their sovereign powers to the State for common good.
The State, through the Government, is not precluded from taking pre-
emptive action against threats to its existence if, though still nascent, they
are perceived as apt to become serious and direct.

II. THE BACKGROUND OF THE PRESENT CONSTITUTION
The 1986 Revolution and Proclamation of the Provisional Constitution
• Lawyers League v. Aquino, G.R. Nos. 73748, 73972 and 73990, May
22, 1986

FACTS:
1.On February 25, 1986, President Corazon Aquino issued Proclamation

No. 1 announcingthat she and Vice President Laurel were taking
power.2.On March 25, 1986, proclamation No.3 was issued providing the
basis of the Aquinogovernment assumption of power by stating that the
"new government was installed througha direct exercise of the power of the
Filipino people assisted by units of the New ArmedForces of the
Philippines."
ISSUE:
Whether or not the government of Corazon Aquino is legitimate.
HELD:
Yes.The legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable matter but
belongs to the realmof politics where only the people are the judge.The
Court further held that:1.The people have accepted the Aquino government
which is in effective control of the entirecountry;
2.
It is not merely a
de facto
government but in fact and law a
de jure
government; and
3.
The community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of the new
government.

• Saturnino v. Bermudez G.R. No. 76180, October 24, 1986

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 tlie 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.or the above-quoted reasons, which are fully applicable to the
petition at bar,

ACCORDINGLY, the petition is hereby dismissed.

Saturnino Bermudez, as a lawyer, questioned the validity of the first
paragraph of Section 5 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.

Bermudez claims 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

August 31. Moreover. No. Bermudez’s allegation of ambiguity or vagueness of the aforequoted provision is manifestly gratuitous. the community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of the present government. ISSUE: Whether or not said provision is ambiguous. they have accepted the government of President Corazon C. Adoption and the Effectivity of the Present Constitution • De Leon v. SALAMAT. It belongs to the realm of politics where only the people of the Philippines are the judge. STA. Esguerra. 1987 ALFREDO M. G. And the people have made the judgment. petitioners. MARIO C. 78059. JOSE C.construction and definiteness as to who. ANA. DE LA ROSA and JOSE M. Tolentino being referred to as the “incumbent president”. RESURRECCION. among the present incumbent President Corazon Aquino and Vice President Salvador Laurel and the elected President Ferdinand E. TOLENTINO. Marcos and Vice President Arturo M. 1992 of the first regular elections for the President and Vice-President under said 1986 Constitution. . ANGEL S. ROGELIO J.R. and to no other persons. DE LEON. Hence. 1992 for purposes of synchronization of elections. 78059 August 31. the second paragraph of the cited section provides for the holding on the second Monday of May. 1987 G. No. the legitimacy of the government of President 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 the Supreme Court which held that: “Petitioners have no personality to sue and their petitions state no cause of action. Aquino which is in effective control of the entire country so that it is not merely a de facto government but in fact and in law a de jure government.R. For the legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable matter. In previous cases. it being a matter of public record and common public knowledge that the Constitutional Commission refers therein to incumbent President Aquino and Vice-President Laurel. and provides for the extension of their term to noon of June 30. HELD: No.

Tigas. In the Barangay elections held on May 17. petitioner Alfredo M. 1986 designating respondents Remigio M. ROSENDO S. On February 9. 1986 but signed by respondent OIC Governor Benjamin Esguerra on February 8. HON. MELENCIO-HERRERA. De Leon was elected Barangay Captain and the other petitioners Angel S. TOLENTINO. 1987 designating respondent Florentino G. That the Memoranda had been antedated is evidenced by the Affidavit of . MAGNO. Ricardo Z. respondents. petitioner Alfredo M. Rogelio J. antedated December 1. Taytay. REMIGIO M. DE LEON.vs. and petitioner's their Reply to respondents' Comment. 222." Also on February 8. Rizal under Batas Pambansa Blg. ROMEO C. The designation made by the OIC Governor was "by authority of the Minister of Local Government. ESGUERRA. Roberto S. Tolentino. de Leon received a Memorandum antedated December 1. LACANIENTA. and TERESITA L. Rizal. Rizal. Jose C. respondent OIC Governor signed a Memorandum. TIGAS. Salamat. in his capacity as OIC Mayor of the Municipality of Taytay. otherwise known as the Barangay Election Act of 1982. HON. Magno as Barangay Captain of Barangay Dolores. de la Rosa and Jose M. BENJAMIN B. Paz and Teresita L. FLORENTINO G. Medina. Municipality of Taytay. J. 1987. Resurreccion. as Barangay Councilmen of Barangay Dolores. 1987. TEODORO V. PAZ. Taytay. RICARDO Z. Tolentino as members of the Barangay Council of the same Barangay and Municipality. Lacanienta Teodoro V. Mario C. respondents submitted their Comment on the Petition. MEDINA. Province of Rizal. in his capacity as OIC Governor of the Province of Rizal.: An original action for Prohibition instituted by petitioners seeking to enjoin respondents from replacing them from their respective positions as Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen of Barangay Dolores. 1982. As required by the Court. Sta. Ana.

1986 was signed by me personally on February 8. have signed as I did sign the unnumbered memorandum ordering the replacement of all the barangay officials of all the barangay(s) in the Municipality of Taytay. petitioners pray that the subject Memoranda of February 8. 222). which provided: SECTION 2. 1987 be declared null and void and that respondents be prohibited from taking over their positions of Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen. Metro Manila. respectively. their terms of office "shall be six (6) years which shall commence on June 7. That said memorandum was further deciminated (sic) to all concerned the following day. Petitioners maintain that pursuant to Section 3 of the Barangay Election Act of 1982 (BP Blg. I among others. Before us now.respondent OIC Governor. Rizal. On the other hand. 1988. 1987. 1986.1987. the pertinent portions of which read: xxx xxx xxx That I am the OIC Governor of Rizal having been appointed as such on March 20. FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NONE. 1986. All elective and appointive officials and employees under the 1973 Constitution shall continue in office until otherwise provided by proclamation or executive order or upon the designation or appointment and qualification of their successors. 1982 and shall continue until their successors shall have elected and shall have qualified. It is also their position that with the ratification of the 1987 Constitution. Article III of the Provisional Constitution. respondent OIC Governor no longer has the authority to replace them and to designate their successors. February 9. Pasig. if such appointment is made within a . respondents rely on Section 2." or up to June 7. March 23. That the above cited memorandum dated December 1. 1987. promulgated on March 25. That as being OIC Governor of the Province of Rizal and in the performance of my duties thereof.

1987. we hold that February 8. and that the provision in the Barangay Election Act fixing the term of office of Barangay officials to six (6) years must be deemed to have been repealed for being inconsistent with the aforequoted provision of the Provisional Constitution. By that date. Thus.1986 to which it was ante dated. Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution reading. in keeping with the dictates of justice. 1977. . But while February 8. Examining the said provision. respondents contend that the terms of office of elective and appointive officials were abolished and that petitioners continued in office by virtue of the aforequoted provision and not because their term of six years had not yet expired. 1 Since the promulgation of the Provisional Constitution. therefore. SECTION 27. 1987. the issue for resolution is whether or not the designation of respondents to replace petitioners was validly made during the one-year period which ended on February 25. This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose and shall supersede all previous Constitutions. 1987 is ostensibly still within the one-year deadline. By reason of the foregoing provision.period of one year from February 25. may continue in office but should vacate their positions upon the occurrence of any of the events mentioned. thereof to designate respondents to the elective positions occupied by petitioners. as elective officials under the 1973 Constitution. respondent OIC Governor could no longer rely on Section 2. the Provisional Constitution must be deemed to have been superseded. Considering the candid Affidavit of respondent OIC Governor. Having become inoperative.1986. there has been no proclamation or executive order terminating the term of elective Barangay officials. the aforequoted provision in the Provisional Constitution must be deemed to have been overtaken by Section 27. there should be no question that petitioners. Article III. should be considered as the effective date of replacement and not December 1. The 1987 Constitution was ratified in a plebiscite on February 2.

(1) The Memoranda issued by respondent OIC Governor on February 8. the term of office of six (6) years provided for in the Barangay Election Act of 1982 5 should still govern. reading: Sec.. 8. executive orders. Taytay. 1987 designating respondents as the Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen. Contrary to the stand of respondents. pursuant to Section 3. . 4 Relevantly. we find nothing inconsistent between the term of six (6) years for elective Barangay officials and the 1987 Constitution. Article X of the same 1987 Constitution further provides in part: Sec. Without costs. shall be three years . Until the term of office of barangay officials has been determined by law. All existing laws. and other executive issuances not inconsistent. 2 Similarly. which shall be determined by law. are both declared to be of no legal force and effect. and (2) the Writ of Prohibition is granted enjoining respondents perpetually from proceeding with the ouster/take-over of petitioners' positions subject of this Petition. Rizal. 3 and limits the President's power to "general supervision" over local governments. therefore.Petitioners must now be held to have acquired security of tenure specially considering that the Barangay Election Act of 1982 declares it "a policy of the State to guarantee and promote the autonomy of the barangays to ensure their fullest development as self-reliant communities. decrees. WHEREFORE. SO ORDERED. with this Constitution shall remain operative until amended. therefore. respectively. be considered as still operative. the 1987 Constitution ensures the autonomy of local governments and of political subdivisions of which the barangays form a part. Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution.. proclamations letters of instructions. 3. repealed or revoked. Section 8. of Barangay Dolores. and the same should. except barangay officials. The term of office of elective local officials.

836. 39. 312. DE LA CRUZ. 1278. 415. HON. 404. 136. 1250. 504. 1279. 447. b] Letter of Instructions Nos. 150. 528. 1165. 1810. 184. 337. JOAQUIN VENUS. 1819-1826. 59. TUVERA. 141. 935. 1166. 72. letters of instructions. 298. SARMIENTO. 1085. petitioners seek a writ of mandamus to compel respondent public officials to publish. 1808. 358. 153. 202. 1143. 1829-1840. 180.: Invoking the people's right to be informed on matters of public concern. 359. 429. 491. and/or cause the publication in the Official Gazette of various presidential decrees. 197. 594. vs. petitioners. 368. 427. No. . 503. 188. 107. 731. 599. 566. 360. 574. 406. 1842-1847. 324. 325. 1644. 179. 303. 37. 108. HON. executive orders. 12. 800. 661. December 29. 326. 161. 473. 1772.R. 38. 173. 718. TAÑADA. [MABINI]. 1986 G. Article IV of the 1973 Philippine Constitution. 644. 1300. 204. 64. 199. 802. in his capacity as Executive Assistant to the President. 355. J. Tuvera. and FLORENDO S. ESCOLIN.: 10. 130. 205. 1242. PABLO. 1050. letter of implementation and administrative orders. 551. L-6315. Specifically. the publication of the following presidential issuances is sought: a] Presidential Decrees Nos. 1017-1030. Malacañang Records Office. 286. in his capacity as Director. in his capacity as Deputy Executive Assistant to the President . 200. 116. 1985 LORENZO M. 1 as well as the principle that laws to be valid and enforceable must be published in the Official Gazette or otherwise effectively promulgated. 1060-1061. 923. 22. 961. general orders. INTEGRITY AND NATIONALISM. 521. 192. No. 658. INC. Bureau of Printing. L-63915 April 24. respondents. 265. 793. 835. 1246. 193. 49. 103. 187. 733. • Tañada v. a right recognized in Section 6.R. 234. MELQUIADES P. 445. 573. 155. 361. G. 486. proclamations. ABRAHAM F. JUAN C. 1813-1817. in his capacity as Director. 171. and MOVEMENT OF ATTORNEYS FOR BROTHERHOOD.

576. 1802-1804. 1797. 538. 712-713. 312-315. 494-507. 964. 309. 1829. 1538. 385. d] Proclamation Nos. 1812- 1814. 352-354. 10. 531-532. 76.445. 25-27. 837-839. 1744. 522. 612. 574. 1806-1807. 343. 882. 602. 1963. 122. 64 & 65. 253-261. 60. they are not being "aggrieved parties" within the meaning of Section 3. 349. 51. 275-283. 549. 414. 1144. 1529. 600. 1561-1588. 551-553. 712-786. 474- 492. 59. 1849. which we quote: . 1590- 1595. 1965-1966. 438-440. 231-239. 488. 327. 587. 215-224. 593. 358. 1835-1836. 62. 1737-1742. 1281. 1789-1795. 665. 399. c] General Orders Nos. 2030-2044.647. would have this case dismissed outright on the ground that petitioners have no legal personality or standing to bring the instant petition. 1147. 367.1180-1278.209. 370. 939-940. 291. 1594-1600. 362. 226-228. 1532. 679-703. 1800. 107. 567-568. The view is submitted that in the absence of any showing that petitioners are personally and directly affected or prejudiced by the alleged non-publication of the presidential issuances in question 2 said petitioners are without the requisite legal personality to institute this mandamus proceeding. 570. 11-22. 611. 405. 1825-1826. 611.1149- 1178. 63. 301-303. 1918. 348. 641.: 7. 95. 560. 457. 881. 1762. 1196. 1868. 413. 1731-1734. 1754. 346. 52. 501. 360. 1705-1723. 473. 1892. 1270. 1876-1889.: 14. 436-439. 271-273. 1697- 1701. 386. 9. 380-433. g] Administrative Orders Nos.997. 2163-2244. 561. 297-299.378. 50. 527. 1752. 427. 211-213. 1866. 1694-1695. 1933. 293. 524-528. 241-245. 543-544. 642. 444. 649-677. 1870. 509-510. 1923. 536. 123. Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. 609. 854-857. 80-81. 1630-1649. 1853-1858. 1816. 429-454. 59. 58. 1952. 1986- 2028. 594. 39. 563. 594. 878-879. 1606-1609. 8. f] Letters of Implementation Nos. 1839-1840. The respondents.471. 1764-1787. e] Executive Orders Nos. 1860. 1612-1628. 285-289. 396-397. 248. 498. 263-269. 705-707. 1968-1984. 1843- 1844.: 347. 610. 1831-1832. 1746-1751. 609. 94. 325.: 1126. through the Solicitor General. 1151.: 411. 251. 357. 726. 92. 382. 1319- 1526. 599. 702. 486. 2147-2161. 2046-2145. 598-604. 120. 788-852. 1540-1547. 1900. 1846-1847. 615. 1550-1558. 1535.

Governor General. Mr. Speaking for this Court. Trent said: . independent of that which he holds with the public at large.SEC. Negros Occidental. or some particular right to be protected. The issue posed is not one of first impression. to do the act required to be done to Protect the rights of the petitioner. or unlawfully excludes another from the use a rd enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled. trust.. as a proper party to the mandamus proceedings brought to compel the Governor General to call a special election for the position of municipal president in the town of Silay. a private individual. sec. 3rd ed. corporation. the people are regarded as the real party in interest and the relator at whose instigation the proceedings are instituted need not show that he has any legal or special interest in the result." and "it is for the public officers exclusively to apply for the writ when public rights are to be subserved [Mithchell vs." nevertheless. this Court recognized the relator Lope Severino. 3. immediately or at some other specified time. petitioners maintain that since the subject of the petition concerns a public right and its object is to compel the performance of a public duty. it being sufficient to show that he is a citizen and as such interested in the execution of the laws [High. Thus. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Petition for Mandamus. and to pay the damages sustained by the petitioner by reason of the wrongful acts of the defendant. and there is no other plain. Extraordinary Legal Remedies. 469]. board or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office. 431].. "when the question is one of public right and the object of the mandamus is to procure the enforcement of a public duty. they need not show any specific interest for their petition to be given due course. 3 this Court held that while the general rule is that "a writ of mandamus would be granted to a private individual only in those cases where he has some private or particular interest to be subserved. Justice Grant T. the person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the defendant. or station. 79 M. Upon the other hand. As early as the 1910 case of Severino vs.e.—When any tribunal. in said case. Boardmen.

the right sought to be enforced by petitioners herein is a public right recognized by no less than the fundamental law of the land. because. inasmuch as if the relator is not a proper party to these proceedings no other person could be. unless it is otherwise provided. as we have seen that it is not the duty of the law officer of the Government to appear and represent the people in cases of this character. It is thus submitted that since the presidential issuances in question contain special provisions as to the date they are to take effect. The interpretation given by respondent is in accord with this Court's . the rule itself is not applicable and reliance upon the rule may well lead to error' No reason exists in the case at bar for applying the general rule insisted upon by counsel for the respondent. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette. Respondents further contend that publication in the Official Gazette is not a sine qua non requirement for the effectivity of laws where the laws themselves provide for their own effectivity dates. it would indeed be difficult to conceive of any other person to initiate the same. considering that the Solicitor General. we think that it would not be applicable to the case at bar for the reason 'that it is always dangerous to apply a general rule to a particular case without keeping in mind the reason for the rule. has entered his appearance for respondents in this case. If petitioners were not allowed to institute this proceeding. ..We are therefore of the opinion that the weight of authority supports the proposition that the relator is a proper party to proceedings of this character when a public right is sought to be enforced. publication in the Official Gazette is not indispensable for their effectivity. The reasons given by the Court in recognizing a private citizen's legal personality in the aforementioned case apply squarely to the present petition. The point stressed is anchored on Article 2 of the Civil Code: Art. the government officer generally empowered to represent the people. The circumstances which surround this case are different from those in the United States. if under the particular circumstances the reason for the rule does not exist. Clearly. If the general rule in America were otherwise. 2..

not even a constructive one. Respondents' argument. however..construction of said article. Section 1 of Commonwealth Act 638 provides as follows: Section 1. Perhaps at no time since the establishment of the Philippine Republic has the publication of laws taken so vital significance that at this time when the people have bestowed upon the President a power heretofore enjoyed solely by the legislature. there would be no basis for the application of the maxim "ignorantia legis non excusat. even if the law itself provides for the date of its effectivity. the conclusion is easily reached that said Article 2 does not preclude the requirement of publication in the Official Gazette. and [5] such documents or classes of documents as the President of the Philippines shall determine from time to time to have general applicability and legal effect. 4 this Court has ruled that publication in the Official Gazette is necessary in those cases where the legislation itself does not provide for its effectivity date-for then the date of publication is material for determining its date of effectivity. Considered in the light of other statutes applicable to the issue at hand. Without such notice and publication. . There shall be published in the Official Gazette [1] all important legisiative acts and resolutions of a public nature of the. The clear object of the above-quoted provision is to give the general public adequate notice of the various laws which are to regulate their actions and conduct as citizens. is logically correct only insofar as it equates the effectivity of laws with the fact of publication. [2] all executive and administrative orders and proclamations. Congress of the Philippines. Thus. [4] such documents or classes of documents as may be required so to be published by law. except such as have no general applicability. In a long line of decisions. While the people are kept abreast by the mass media of the debates and deliberations in the Batasan Pambansa—and for .. which is the fifteenth day following its publication-but not when the law itself provides for the date when it goes into effect." It would be the height of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of a law of which he had no notice whatsoever. or which he may authorize so to be published. [3] decisions or abstracts of decisions of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals as may be deemed by said courts of sufficient importance to be so published.

much less a definite way of informing themselves of the specific contents and texts of such decrees. orders and letters of instructions which all form part of the law of the land." The word "shall" used therein imposes upon respondent officials an imperative duty. 5 The very first clause of Section I of Commonwealth Act 638 reads: "There shall be published in the Official Gazette . orders and instructions so that the people may know where to obtain their official and specific contents. Reales decretos. he must first be officially and specifically informed of its contents. Obviously. Such listing. to our mind. presidential decrees that provide for fines. The law itself makes a list of what should be published in the Official Gazette. . the requirement of due process and the Rule of Law demand that the Official Gazette as the official government repository promulgate and publish the texts of all such decrees.the diligent ones.. That duty must be enforced if the Constitutional right of the people to be informed on matters of public concern is to be given substance and reality. forfeitures or penalties for their violation or otherwise impose a burden or. ready access to the legislative records—no such publicity accompanies the law-making process of the President. Other presidential issuances which apply only to particular persons or class of persons such as administrative and executive orders need not be published on the assumption that they have been circularized to all concerned. COMELEC 7: In a time of proliferating decrees. Thus. the people have no means of knowing what presidential decrees have actually been promulgated. It is a rule of law that before a person may be bound by law. such as tax and revenue measures. The publication of all presidential issuances "of a public nature" or "of general applicability" is mandated by law. se comprenden tambien los reglamentos. Instrucciones. fall within this category. As the Supreme Court of Spain ruled: "Bajo la denominacion generica de leyes. Circulares y Reales ordines dictadas de conformidad con las mismas por el Gobierno en uso de su potestad.. As Justice Claudio Teehankee said in Peralta vs. . leaves respondents with no discretion whatsoever as to what must be included or excluded from such publication. 6 It is needless to add that the publication of presidential issuances "of a public nature" or "of general applicability" is a requirement of due process. without publication. the people.

The Court therefore declares that presidential issuances of general application. of prior determinations deemed to have finality and acted upon accordingly. 442. These questions are among the most difficult of those which have engaged the attention of courts. shall have no force and effect. In similar situations in the past this Court had taken the pragmatic and realistic course set forth in Chicot County Drainage District vs. that such broad statements as to the effect of a determination of unconstitutionality must be taken with qualifications. Norton v. 566. Similarly. having been found to be unconstitutional. 559. of status. 118 U. 1.s which had been enforced or implemented prior to their publication. prior to such a determination. albeit said right had accrued in his favor before said law was declared unconstitutional by this Court. It is quite clear. v. was not a law. The actual existence of a statute. Baxter Bank 8 to wit: The courts below have proceeded on the theory that the Act of Congress. Some members of the Court. Shelby County. however.S. and hence affording no basis for the challenged decree. which have not been published. Questions of rights claimed to have become vested. state and federal and it is manifest from numerous decisions that an all-inclusive statement of a principle of absolute retroactive invalidity cannot be justified. & L. 425. is an operative fact and may have consequences which cannot justly be ignored.S. quite apprehensive about the possible unsettling effect this decision might have on acts done in reliance of the validity of those presidential decrees which were published only during the pendency of this petition. The effect of the subsequent ruling as to invalidity may have to be considered in various aspects-with respect to particular conduct. Esteban 9 sustained the right of a party under the Moratorium Law. this Court in Rutter vs. conferring no rights and imposing no duties. 228 U. Co. the implementation/enforcement of presidential decrees prior to their publication in the Official Gazette is "an operative fact which may have . have put the question as to whether the Court's declaration of invalidity apply to P. Chicago. demand examination. Ry. of public policy in the light of the nature both of the statute and of its previous application. private and official. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration. that it was inoperative. Consistently with the above principle. The answer is all too familiar.D. Hackett.

. does notcontain publications of administrative and executive orders that affect only a particular class of persons. The Official Gazette. ruled that "publication is necessary to apprise the public of the contents of [penal] regulations and make the said penalties binding on the persons affected thereby. executive orders. they shall have no binding force and effect. The Official . a petition was sought by Tañada.Sarmiento. 1278. " The cogency of this holding is apparently recognized by respondent officials considering the manifestation in their comment that "the government. givingawareness to the public of the law promulgated. through Justice Ramon Aquino. that an all-inclusive statement of a principle of absolute retroactive invalidity cannot be justified. have not been so published. WHEREFORE. There is a need for Publication of Laws tostrengthen its binding force and effect: giving access to legislative records. refrains from prosecuting violations of criminal laws until the same shall have been published in the Official Gazette or in some other publication. But whatever their subject matter may be.and or cause the publication in the Official Gazette of various presidential decrees. and Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood Integrity and Nationalism. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration . In Pesigan vs. proclamations. inclusive. Inc(MABINI) seeking a writ of mandamus to compel respondent public officials to publish. Angeles.letters of instructions." From the report submitted to the Court by the Clerk of Court. even though some criminal laws provide that they shall take effect immediately. and 1937 to 1939. 1019 to 1030. and unless so published. however. the Court hereby orders respondents to publish in the Official Gazette all unpublished presidential issuances which are of general application. only Presidential Decrees Nos. general orders.consequences which cannot be justly ignored. 11 the Court. letter of implementation and administrative orders. as a matter of policy. it appears that of the presidential decrees sought by petitioners to be published in the Official Gazette. Facts: In procuring the enforcement of public duty. inclusive.. it is undisputed that none of these unpublished PDs has ever been implemented or enforced by the government. 10 Neither the subject matters nor the texts of these PDs can be ascertained since no copies thereof are available. SO ORDERED.

as mandated by law. Article 2 of the Civil Code partly provides that "laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette.Gazette. (G. the decree has been misread by many. . However.R. 1986) when it observed that "[t]here is . et al. for ithas no juridical force. but a mere legislative enactment of RA 386. as itwould be essential to the effectivity of the said legislative or executive act that regulatesthe acts and conduct of people as citizens. Article 2 of the CivilCode expressly recognized that the rule as to laws takes effect after 15 days unless it isotherwise (for some do specify the date of effectivity) following the completion of thepublication in the Official Gazette. Tuvera. for such is a public right. No. 63915. June 18.. 1987 EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. December 29." WHEREAS. presents all presidentialissuances “of a public nature” or “of general applicability. 200 June 18. serving as a response to the maxim “ignorance as an excuse for noncompliance. the requirement that for laws to be effective only a publication thereof in the Official Gazette will suffice has entailed some problems.” Also. There will be no retroactive effect for laws with dates which appliedthe 15-day rule of publication in the Official Gazette. vs.” The effectivity of laws shall follow the notice to parties concerned. a point recognized by the Supreme Court in Tañada. • Law: Executive Order 200 Amending Article 2 of the Civil Code. unless it is otherwise provided . Held: Respondents were granted petition to publish all unpublished issuances in the OfficialGazette. et al. aside from the Official Gazette. Issue: WON to provide publications of the law elsewhere. . 1987 PROVIDING FOR THE PUBLICATION OF LAWS EITHER IN THE OFFICIAL GAZETTE OR IN A NEWSPAPER OF GENERAL CIRCULATION IN THE PHILIPPINES AS A REQUIREMENT FOR THEIR EFFECTIVITY WHEREAS.

and WHEREAS. Article 2 of Republic Act No. 1. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication either in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines. 3. unless it is otherwise provided. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately after its publication in the Official Gazette. do hereby order: Sec. otherwise known as the "Civil Code of the Philippines. . WHEREAS. in the year of Our Lord. 386. THEREFORE. I. nineteen hundred and eighty-seven. AQUINO. in view of the foregoing premises Article 2 of the Civil Code should accordingly be amended so the laws to be effective must be published either in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the country. considering its erratic release and limited readership". have a wider readership. Sec. President of the Philippines.much to be said of the view that the publication need not be made in the Official Gazette. it was likewise observed that "[u]ndoubtedly. Sec." and all other laws inconsistent with this Executive Order are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. NOW. newspapers of general circulation could better perform the function of communicating the laws to the people as such periodicals are more easily available. 2. this 18th day of June. CORAZON C. and come out regularly". by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution. Done in the City of Manila.