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Section 1.

Non-delegability "Whereas the provincial governor is of the opinion that the sitio of Tigbao on
Lake Naujan is a place most convenient for the Mangyanes to live on, Now,
therefore be it
RUBI, ET AL., plaintiffs, vs. THE PROVINCIAL BOARD OF MINDORO, defendant.

"Resolved, that under section 2077 of the Administrative Code, 800 hectares of public
In one of the cases which denote a landmark in American Constitutional History land in the sitio of Tigbao on Naujan Lake be selected as a site for the permanent
(Worcester vs. Georgia [1832], 6 Pet., 515), Chief Justice Marshall, the first luminary of American settlement of Mangyanes in Mindoro subject to the approval of the Honorable
jurisprudence, began his opinion (relating to the status of an Indian) with words which, with a Secretary of the Interior, and
slight change in phraseology, can be made to introduce the present opinion This cause, in
every point of view in which it can be placed, is of the deepest interest. The legislative power of
state, the controlling power of the constitution and laws, the rights if they have any, the political "Resolved further, That Mangyans may only solicit homesteads on this reservation
existence of a people, the personal liberty of a citizen, are all involved in the subject now to be providing that said homestead applications are previously recommended by the
considered. provincial governor."

To imitate still further the opinion of the Chief Justice, we adopt his outline and proceed first, to 2. That said resolution No. 25 (series 1917) of the provincial board of Mindoro was
introduce the facts and the issues, next to give a history of the so called "non-Christians," next to approved by the Secretary of the Interior of February 21, 1917.
compare the status of the "non-Christians" with that of the American Indians, and, lastly, to
resolve the constitutional questions presented.
3. That on December 4, 1917, the provincial governor of Mindoro issued executive
order No. 2 which says:
I. INTRODUCTION.
"Whereas the provincial board, by Resolution No. 25, current series, has
This is an application for habeas corpus in favor of Rubi and other Manguianes of the Province of selected a site in the sitio of Tigbao on Naujan Lake for the permanent
Mindoro. It is alleged that the Maguianes are being illegally deprived of their liberty by the settlement of Mangyanes in Mindoro.
provincial officials of that province. Rubi and his companions are said to be held on the
reservation established at Tigbao, Mindoro, against their will, and one Dabalos is said to be held
"Whereas said resolution has been duly approve by the Honorable, the
under the custody of the provincial sheriff in the prison at Calapan for having run away form the
Secretary of the Interior, on February 21, 1917.
reservation.

"Now, therefore, I, Juan Morente, jr., provincial governor of Mindoro,


The return of the Solicitor-General alleges:
pursuant to the provisions of section 2145 of the revised Administrative
Code, do hereby direct that all the Mangyans in the townships of Naujan
1. That on February 1, 1917, the provincial board of Mindoro adopted resolution No. 25 and Pola and the Mangyans east of the Baco River including those in the
which is as follows: districts of Dulangan and Rubi's place in Calapan, to take up their habitation
on the site of Tigbao, Naujan Lake, not later than December 31, 1917.

The provincial governor, Hon. Juan Morente, Jr., presented the following resolution:
"Any Mangyan who shall refuse to comply with this order shall upon
conviction be imprisoned not exceed in sixty days, in accordance with
"Whereas several attempts and schemes have been made for the section 2759 of the revised Administrative Code."
advancement of the non-Christian people of Mindoro, which were all a
failure,
4. That the resolution of the provincial board of Mindoro copied in paragraph 1 and the
executive order of the governor of the same province copied in paragraph 3, were
"Whereas it has been found out and proved that unless some other necessary measures for the protection of the Mangyanes of Mindoro as well as the
measure is taken for the Mangyan work of this province, no successful protection of public forests in which they roam, and to introduce civilized customs
result will be obtained toward educating these people. among them.

"Whereas it is deemed necessary to obliged them to live in one place in 5. That Rubi and those living in his rancheria have not fixed their dwelling within the
order to make a permanent settlement, reservation of Tigbao and are liable to be punished in accordance with section 2759 of
Act No. 2711.
"Whereas the provincial governor of any province in which non-Christian
inhabitants are found is authorized, when such a course is deemed 6. That the undersigned has not information that Doroteo Dabalos is being detained by
necessary in the interest of law and order, to direct such inhabitants to take the sheriff of Mindoro but if he is so detained it must be by virtue of the provisions of
up their habitation on sites on unoccupied public lands to be selected by articles Nos. 2145 and 2759 of Act No. 2711.
him and approved by the provincial board.
It thus appears that the provincial governor of Mindoro and the provincial board thereof directed 1565. In the Escorial on November 10, 1568. Ordinance 149 of the poblaciones of
the Manguianes in question to take up their habitation in Tigbao, a site on the shore of Lake 1573. In San Lorenzo, on May 20, 1578,
Naujan, selected by the provincial governor and approved by the provincial board. The action was
taken in accordance with section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917, and was duly
approved by the Secretary of the Interior as required by said action. Petitioners, however, THAT THE "INDIOS" BE REDUCED INTO "POBLACIONES" COMMUNITIES).
challenge the validity of this section of the Administrative Code. This, therefore, becomes the
paramount question which the court is called upon the decide. In order that the indios may be instructed in the Sacred Catholic Faith and the
evangelical law, and in order that they may forget the blunders of their ancient rites
Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 reads as follows: and ceremonies to the end that they may live in harmony and in a civilized manner, it
has always been endeavored, with great care and special attention, to use all the
means most convenient to the attainment of these purposes. To carry out this work
SEC. 2145. Establishment of non-Christina upon sites selected by provincial governor. with success, our Council of the Indies and other religious persons met at various
With the prior approval of the Department Head, the provincial governor of any times; the prelates of new Spain assembled by order of Emperor Charles V of glorious
province in which non-Christian inhabitants are found is authorized, when such a memory in the year one thousand five hundred and forty-six all of which meetings
course is deemed necessary in the interest of law and order, to direct such inhabitants were actuated with a desire to serve God an our Kingdom. At these meetings it was
to take up their habitation on sites on unoccupied public lands to be selected by him an resolved that indios be made to live in communities, and not to live in places divided
approved by the provincial board. and separated from one another by sierras and mountains, wherein they are deprived
of all spiritual and temporal benefits and wherein they cannot profit from the aid of our
ministers and from that which gives rise to those human necessities which men are
In connection with the above-quoted provisions, there should be noted section 2759 of the same obliged to give one another. Having realized that convenience of this resolution, our
Code, which read as follows: kings, our predecessors, by different orders, have entrusted and ordered the viceroys,
presidents, and governors to execute with great care and moderation the
SEC. 2759. Refusal of a non-Christian to take up appointed habitation. Any non- concentration of the indios into reducciones; and to deal with their doctrine with such
Christian who shall refuse to comply with the directions lawfully given by a provincial forbearance and gentleness, without causing inconveniences, so that those who would
governor, pursuant to section two thousand one hundred and forty-five of this Code, to not presently settle and who would see the good treatment and the protection of those
take up habitation upon a site designated by said governor shall upon conviction be already in settlements would, of their own accord, present themselves, and it is
imprisonment for a period not exceeding sixty days. ordained that they be not required to pay taxes more than what is ordered. Because
the above has been executed in the greater part of our Indies, we hereby order and
decree that the same be complied with in all the remaining parts of the Indies, and
The substance of what is now found in said section 2145 is not new to Philippine law. The the encomederos shall entreat compliance thereof in the manner and form prescribed
genealogical tree of this section, if we may be permitted to use such terminology, would read: by the laws of this title.
Section 2077, Administrative Code of 1916; section 62, Act No. 1397; section 2 of various special
provincial laws, notably of Act No. 547, specifically relating to the Manguianes; section 69, Act
No. 387. LAW VIII.

Section 2145 and its antecedent laws make use of the term "non-Christians." This word, as will Philip II at the Pardo, on December 1, 1573. Philip III at Madrid, October 10, 1618.
later be disclosed, is also found in varying forms in other laws of the Philippine Islands. In order to
put the phrase in its proper category, and in order to understand the policy of the Government of THE "REDUCCTIONES" BE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF THIS LAW.
the Philippine Islands with reference to the uncivilized elements of the Islands, it is well first of all
to set down a skeleton history of the attitude assumed by the authorities towards these "non-
Christians," with particular regard for the legislation on the subject. The places wherein the pueblos and reducciones shall be formed should have the
facilities of waters. lands, and mountains, ingress and egress, husbandry and
passageway of one league long, wherein the indios can have their live stock that they
II. HISTORY. may not be mixed with those of the Spaniards.

A. BEFORE ACQUISITION OF THE PHILIPPINE BY THE UNITED STATES. LAW IX.

The most important of the laws of the Indies having reference to the subject at hand are compiled Philip II at Toledo, on February 19, 1956.
in Book VI, Title III, in the following language.

THAT THE "INDIOS" IN "REDUCCIONES" BE NOT DEPRIVED OF THE LANDS PREVIOUSLY


LAW I. HELD BY THEM.

The Emperor Charles and the Prince, the governor, at Cigales, on March 21, 1551. With more good-will and promptness, the indios shall be concentrated in reducciones.
Philip II at Toledo, on February 19, 1560. In the forest of Segovia on September 13, Provided they shall not be deprived of the lands and granaries which they may have in
the places left by them. We hereby order that no change shall be made in this respect,
and that they be allowed to retain the lands held by them previously so that they may troublesome nature, of dirty ways of living; robbers, gamblers, and vicious and useless
cultivate them and profit therefrom. men; and, to avoid the wrongs done them, the indios would leave their towns and
provinces; and the negroes, mestizos, and mulattoes, besides maltreating them and
utilizing their services, contaminate them with their bad customs, idleness, and also
xxx xxx xxx some of their blunders and vices which may corrupt and pervert the goal which we
desire to reach with regard to their salvation, increase, and tranquillity. We hereby
LAW XIII. order the imposition of grave penalties upon the commission of the acts above-
mentioned which should not be tolerated in the towns, and that the viceroys,
presidents, governors, and courts take great care in executing the law within their
THE SAME AS ABOVE. powers and avail themselves of the cooperation of the ministers who are truly honest.
As regards the mestizos and Indian and Chinese half-breeds (zambaigos), who are
children of indiasand born among them, and who are to inherit their houses
THAT THE "REDUCCIONES" BE NOT REMOVED WITHOUT ORDER OF THE KING,
and haciendas, they all not be affected by this law, it appearing to be a harsh thing to
VICEROY, OR COURT.
separate them from their parents. (Law of the Indies, vol. 2, pp. 228, 229, 230, 231.)

No governor, or magistrate, or alcalde mayor, or any other court, has the right to alter
A clear exposition of the purposes of the Spanish government, in its efforts to improve the
or to remove thepueblos or the reducciones once constituted and founded, without our
condition of the less advanced inhabitants of the Islands by concentrating them in "reducciones,"
express order or that of the viceroy, president, or the royal district court, provided,
is found in the Decree of the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands of January 14, 1881,
however, that the encomenderos, priests, or indios request such a change or consent
reading as follows:
to it by offering or giving information to that en. And, because these claims are often
made for private interests and not for those of the indios, we hereby order that this law
be always complied with, otherwise the change will be considered fraudulently It is a legal principle as well as a national right that every inhabitant of a territory
obtained. The penalty of one thousand pesos shall be imposed upon the judge recognized as an integral part of a nation should respect and obey the laws in force
or encomendero who should violate this law. therein; while, on other hand, it is the duty to conscience and to humanity for all
governments to civilize those backward races that might exist in the nation, and which
living in the obscurity of ignorance, lack of all the nations which enable them to grasp
LAW XV.
the moral and material advantages that may be acquired in those towns under the
protection and vigilance afforded them by the same laws.
Philip III at Madrid, on October 10, 1618.
It is equally highly depressive to our national honor to tolerate any longer the
THAT THERE BE MAYORS AND ALDERMEN IN THE "REDUCTIONES," WHO SHALL BE separation and isolation of the non-Christian races from the social life of the civilized
"INDIOS." and Christian towns; to allow any longer the commission of depredations, precisely in
the Island of Luzon wherein is located the seat of the representative of the
Government of the, metropolis.
We order that in each town and reduccion there be a mayor, who should be an indio of
the same reduccion; if there be more than eighty houses, there should be two mayors
and two aldermen, also indios; and, even if the town be a big one, there should, It is but just to admit the fact that all the governments have occupied themselves with
nevertheless, be more than two mayors and four aldermen, If there be less than eighty this most important question, and that much has been heretofore accomplished with
indios but not less than forty, there should be not more than one mayor and one the help and self-denial of the missionary fathers who have even sacrificed their lives
alderman, who should annually elect nine others, in the presence of the priests , as is to the end that those degenerate races might be brought to the principles of
the practice in town inhabited by Spaniards and indios. Christianity, but the means and the preaching employed to allure them have been
insufficient to complete the work undertaken. Neither have the punishments imposed
been sufficient in certain cases and in those which have not been guarded against,
LAW XXI. thus giving and customs of isolation.

Philip II, in Madrid, On May 2, 1563, and on November 25, 1578. At Tomar, on May 8, As it is impossible to consent to the continuation of such a lamentable state of things,
1581. At Madrid, on January 10, 1589. Philip III, at Todesillas, on July 12, 1600. Philip taking into account the prestige which the country demands and the inevitable duty
IV, at Madrid, on October 1 and December 17, 1646. For this law and the one which every government has in enforcing respect and obedience to the national laws
following, see Law I, Tit. 4, Book 7. on the part of all who reside within the territory under its control, I have proceeded in
the premises by giving the most careful study of this serious question which involves
THAT IN THE TOWNS OF THE "INDIOS," THERE SHALL LIVE NO SPANIARDS, NEGROES, important interests for civilization, from the moral and material as well as the political
"MESTIZOS," AND MULATTOES. standpoints. After hearing the illustrious opinions of all the local authorities,
ecclesiastics, and missionaries of the provinces of Northern Luzon, and also after
finding the unanimous conformity of the meeting held with the Archbishop of Manila,
We hereby prohibit and forbid Spaniards, negroes, mulattores, or mestizos to live to the Bishops of Jaro and Cebu, and the provincial prelates of the orders of the
live in the reduccionesand towns and towns of the indios, because it has been found Dominicans, Agustinians, Recoletos, Franciscans, and Jesuits as also of the meeting
that some Spaniards who deal, trade, live, and associate with the indios are men of of the Council of Authorities, held for the object so indicated, I have arrived at an
intimate conviction of the inevitable necessity of proceeding in a practical manner for the others from engaging in commerce of any other transaction with the rebellious
the submission of the said pagan and isolated races, as well as of the manner and the indios, the violation of which shall be punished with deportation.
only form of accomplishing such a task.
7. In order to properly carry out this express prohibition, the limits of the territory of the
For the reasons above stated and for the purpose of carrying out these objects, I rebellious indios shall be fixed; and whoever should go beyond the said limits shall be
hereby promulgate the following: detained and assigned governmentally wherever convenient.

DECREE. 8. For the purpose of assisting in the conversion of the pagans into the fraternity of the
Catholic Church, all by this fact along be exempt for eight years from rendering
personal labor.
1. All the indian inhabitants (indios) of the Islands of Luzon are, from this date, to be
governed by the common law, save those exceptions prescribed in this decree which
are bases upon the differences of instructions, of the customs, and of the necessities 9. The authorities shall offer in the name of the State to the races not subdued
of the different pagan races which occupy a part of its territory. (aetas and mountains igorrots the following advantages in returns for their voluntary
submission: to live in towns; unity among their families; concession of good lands and
the right to cultivate them in the manner they wish and in the way them deem most
2. The diverse rules which should be promulgated for each of these races which productive; support during a year, and clothes upon effecting submission; respect for
may be divided into three classes; one, which comprises those which live isolated and their habits and customs in so far as the same are not opposed to natural law; freedom
roaming about without forming a town nor a home; another, made up of those subdued to decide of their own accord as to whether they want to be Christians or not; the
pagans who have not as yet entered completely the social life; and the third, of those establishment of missions and families of recognized honesty who shall teach, direct,
mountain and rebellious pagans shall be published in their respective dialects, and protect, and give them security and trust them; the purchase or facility of the sale of
the officials, priests, and missionaries of the provinces wherein they are found are their harvests; the exemption from contributions and tributes for ten years and from
hereby entrusted in the work of having these races learn these rules. These rules shall the quintas (a kind of tax) for twenty years; and lastly, that those who are governed by
have executive character, beginning with the first day of next April, and, as to their the local authorities as the ones who elect such officials under the direct charge of the
compliance, they must be observed in the manner prescribed below. authorities of the province or district.

3. The provincial authorities in conjunction with the priests shall proceed, from now on, 10. The races indicated in the preceding article, who voluntarily admit the advantages
with all the means which their zeal may suggest to them, to the taking of the census of offered, shall, in return, have the obligation of constituting their new towns, of
the inhabitants of the towns or settlement already subdued, and shall adopt the constructing their town hall, schools, and country roads which place them in
necessary regulations for the appointment of local authorities, if there be none as yet; communication with one another and with the Christians; provided, the location of
for the construction of courts and schools, and for the opening or fixing up of means of these towns be distant from their actual residences, when the latter do not have the
communication, endeavoring, as regards the administrative organization of the said good conditions of location and cultivations, and provided further the putting of families
towns or settlements, that this be finished before the first day of next July, so that at in a place so selected by them be authorized in the towns already constituted.
the beginning of the fiscal year they shall have the same rights and obligations which
affect the remaining towns of the archipelago, with the only exception that in the first
two years they shall not be obliged to render personal services other than those 11. The armed force shall proceed to the prosecution and punishment of the tribes,
previously indicated. that, disregarding the peace, protection, and advantages offered them, continue in
their rebellious attitude on the first of next April, committing from now on the crimes
and vexations against the Christian towns; and for the this purposes, the Captain
4. So long as these subdued towns or settlements are located infertile lands General's Office shall proceed with the organization of the divisions of the Army which,
appropriate for cultivation, the inhabitants thereof shall not be obliged to move their in conjunction with the rural guards (cuadrilleros), shall have to enter the territory of
dwelling-houses; and only in case of absolute necessity shall a new residence be fixed such tribes. On the expiration of the term, they shall destroy their dwelling-houses,
for them, choosing for this purpose the place most convenient for them and which labors, and implements, and confiscate their products and cattle. Such a punishment
prejudices the least their interest; and, in either of these cases, an effort must be made shall necessarily be repeated twice a year, and for this purpose the military
to establish their homes with the reach of the sound of the bell. headquarters shall immediately order a detachment of the military staff to study the
zones where such operations shall take place and everything conducive to the
5. For the protection and defense of these new towns, there shall be established an successful accomplishment of the same.
armed force composed precisely of native Christian, the organization and service of
which shall be determined in a regulations based upon that of the abolished Tercios de 12. The chiefs of provinces, priests, and missioners, local authorities, and other
Policia (division of the Guardia Civil). subordinates to my authorities, local authorities, and other subordinates to may
authority, civil as well as military authorities, shall give the most effective aid and
6. The authorities shall see to it that the inhabitants of the new towns understand all cooperation to the said forces in all that is within the attributes and the scope of the
the rights and duties affecting them and the liberty which they have as to where and authority of each.
now they shall till their lands and sell the products thereof, with the only exception of
the tobacco which shall be bought by the Hacienda at the same price and conditions
allowed other producers, and with the prohibition against these new towns as well as
13. With respect to the reduccion of the pagan races found in some of the provinces in establish a bureau to be known as the "Bureau of non-Christian Tribes" which shall have general
the southern part of the Archipelago, which I intend to visit, the preceding provisions supervision over the public affairs of the inhabitants which are represented in the Legislature by
shall conveniently be applied to them. appointed senators and representatives( sec. 22).

14. There shall be created, under my presidency as Governor-General, Vice-Royal Philippine organic law may, therefore, be said to recognized a dividing line between the territory
Patron, a council or permanent commission which shall attend to and decide all the not inhabited by Moros or other non-Christian tribes, and the territory which Moros or other non-
questions relative to the application of the foregoing regulations that may be brought to Christian tribes, and the territory which is inhabited by Moros or other non-Christian tribes.
it for consultations by the chiefs of provinces and priests and missionaries.
2. Statute law.
15. The secondary provisions which may be necessary, as a complement to the
foregoing, in brining about due compliance with this decree, shall be promulgated by
the respective official centers within their respective jurisdictions. (Gaceta de Manila, Local governments in the Philippines have been provided for by various acts of the Philippine
No. 15) (Diccionario de la Administracion, vol. 7, pp. 128-134.) Commission and Legislature. The most notable are Acts Nos. 48 and 49 concerning the Province
of Benguet and the Igorots; Act NO. 82, the Municipal Code; ;Act no. 83, the Provincial
Government Act; Act No. 183, the Character of the city of Manila; Act No. 7887, providing for the
B. AFTER ACQUISITON OF THE PHILIPPINES BY THE UNITED STATES. organization and government of the Moro Province; Act No. 1396, the Special Provincial
Government Act; Act No. 1397, the Township Government Act; Act No. 1667, relating to the
organization of settlements; Act No. 1963, the Baguio charger; and Act No. 2408, the Organic Act
Ever since the acquisition of the Philippine Islands by the United States, the question as to the of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu. The major portion of these laws have been carried
best method for dealing with the primitive inhabitants has been a perplexing one. forward into the Administrative Codes of 1916 an d1917.

1. Organic law. Of more particular interest are certain special laws concerning the government of the primitive
peoples. Beginning with Act No. 387, sections 68-71, enacted on April 9, 1902, by the United
The first order of an organic character after the inauguration of the American Government in the States Philippine Commission, having reference to the Province of Nueva Vizcaya, Acts Nos.
Philippines was President McKinley's Instructions to the Commission of April 7, 1900, later 4111, 422, 445, 500, 547, 548, 549, 550, 579, 753, 855, 1113, 1145, 4568, 1306 were enacted
expressly approved and ratified by section 1 of the Philippine Bill, the Act of Congress of July 1, for the provinces of Abra, Antique, Bataan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela. Lepanto-Bontoc,
1902. Portions of these instructions have remained undisturbed by subsequent congressional Mindoro, Misamis, Nueva Vizcaya, Pangasinan, Paragua (Palawan), Tarlac, Tayabas, and
legislation. One paragraph of particular interest should here be quoted, namely: Zambales. As an example of these laws, because referring to the Manguianes, we insert Act No.
547:

In dealing with the uncivilized tribes of the Islands, the Commission should adopt the
same course followed by Congress in permitting the tribes of our North American No. 547. AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF LOCAL
Indians to maintain their tribal organization and government and under which many of CIVIL GOVERNMENTS FOR THE MANGUIANES IN THE PROVINCE OF
these tribes are now living in peace and contentment, surrounded by civilization to MINDORO.
which they are unable or unwilling to conform. Such tribal governments should,
however, be subjected to wise and firm regulation; and, without undue or petty By authority of the United States, be it enacted by the Philippine Commission, that:
interference, constant and active effort should be exercised to prevent barbarous
practices and introduce civilized customs.
SECTION 1. Whereas the Manguianes of the Provinces of Mindoro have not
progressed sufficiently in civilization to make it practicable to bring them under any
Next comes the Philippine Bill, the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902, in the nature of an Organic form of municipal government, the provincial governor is authorized, subject to the
Act for the Philippines. The purpose of section 7 of the Philippine Bill was to provide for a approval of the Secretary of the Interior, in dealing with these Manguianes to appoint
legislative body and, with this end in view, to name the prerequisites for the organization of the officers from among them, to fix their designations and badges of office, and to
Philippine Assembly. The Philippine Legislature, composed of the Philippine Commission and the prescribe their powers and duties: Provided, That the powers and duties thus
Philippine Assembly, was to have jurisdiction over the Christian portion of the Islands. The prescribed shall not be in excess of those conferred upon township officers by Act
Philippine Commission was to retain exclusive jurisdiction of that part of said Islands inhabited by Numbered Three hundred and eighty-seven entitled "An Act providing for the
Moros or other non-Christian tribes. establishment of local civil Governments in the townships and settlements of Nueva
Vizcaya."
The latest Act of Congress, nearest to a Constitution for the Philippines, is the Act of Congress of
August 29, 1916, commonly known as the Jones Law. This transferred the exclusive legislative SEC. 2. Subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, the provincial governor
jurisdiction and authority theretofore exercised by the Philippine Commission, to the Philippine is further authorized, when he deems such a course necessary in the interest of law
Legislature (sec. 12). It divided the Philippine Islands into twelve senatorial districts, the twelfth and order, to direct such Manguianes to take up their habitation on sites on
district to be composed of the Mountain Province, Baguio, Nueva Vizcaya, and the Department of unoccupied public lands to be selected by him and approved by the provincial board.
Mindanao and Sulu. The Governor-General of the Philippine Islands was authorized to appoint Manguianes who refuse to comply with such directions shall upon conviction be
senators and representatives for the territory which, at the time of the passage of the Jones Law, imprisonment for a period not exceeding sixty days.
was not represented in the Philippine Assembly, that is, for the twelfth district (sec. 16). The law
SEC. 3. The constant aim of the governor shall be to aid the Manguianes of his The Administrative Code specifically provides that the term "non-Christian" shall include
province to acquire the knowledge and experience necessary for successful local Mohammedans and pagans. (Sec. 2576, Administrative Code of 1917; sec. 2561, Administrative
popular government, and his supervision and control over them shall be exercised to Code of 1916, taken from Act No. 2408, sec. 3.)
this end, an to the end that law and order and individual freedom shall be maintained.
D. MEANING OF TERM "NON-CHRISTIAN."
SEC. 4. When in the opinion of the provincial board of Mindoro any settlement of
Manguianes has advanced sufficiently to make such a course practicable, it may be
organized under the provisions of sections one to sixty-seven, inclusive, of Act If we were to follow the literal meaning of the word "non-Christian," it would of course result in
Numbered three hundred and eighty-seven, as a township, and the geographical limits giving to it a religious signification. Obviously, Christian would be those who profess the Christian
of such township shall be fixed by the provincial board. religion, and non-Christians, would be those who do not profess the Christian religion. In partial
corroboration of this view, there could also be cited section 2576 of the last Administrative Code
and certain well-known authorities, as Zuiga, "Estadismo de las Islas Filipinas," Professor
SEC. 5. The public good requiring the speedy enactment of this bill, the passage of the Ferdinand Blumentritt, "Philippine Tribes and Languages," and Dr. N. M. Saleeby, "The Origin of
same is hereby expedited in accordance with section two of 'An Act prescribing the Malayan Filipinos." (See Blair & Robertson, "The Philippine Islands," 1493-1898, vol. III, p. 300,
order of procedure by the Commission in the enactment of laws,' passed September note; Craig-Benitez, "Philippine Progress prior to 1898," vol. I. p. 107.)
twenty-sixth, nineteen hundred.
Not content with the apparent definition of the word, we shall investigate further to ascertain what
SEC. 6. This Act shall take effect on its passage. is its true meaning.

Enacted, December 4, 1902. In one sense, the word can have a geographical signification. This is plainly to be seen by the
provisions of many laws. Thus, according to the Philippine Bill, the authority of the Philippine
Assembly was recognized in the "territory" of the Islands not inhabited by Moros or other non-
All of these special laws, with the exception of Act No. 1306, were repealed by Act No. 1396 and Christian tribes. Again, the Jones Law confers similar recognition in the authorization of the
1397. The last named Act incorporated and embodied the provisions in general language. In turn, twelfth senatorial district for the "territory not now represented in the Philippine Assembly." The
Act No. 1397 was repealed by the Administrative Code of 1916. The two Administrative Codes Philippines Legislature has, time and again, adopted acts making certain other acts applicable to
retained the provisions in questions. that "part" of the Philippine Islands inhabited by Moros or other non-Christian tribes.

These different laws, if they of the non-Christian inhabitants of the Philippines and a settled and Section 2145, is found in article XII of the Provincial Law of the Administrative Code. The first
consistent practice with reference to the methods to be followed for their advancement. section of this article, preceding section 2145, makes the provisions of the article applicable only
in specially organized provinces. The specially organized provinces are the Mountain Province,
C. TERMINOLOGY. Nueva Vizcaya, Mindoro, Batanes, and Palawan. These are the provinces to which the Philippine
Legislature has never seen fit to give all the powers of local self-government. They do not,
however, exactly coincide with the portion of the Philippines which is not granted popular
The terms made use of by these laws, organic and statutory, are found in varying forms. representation. Nevertheless, it is still a geographical description.

"Uncivilized tribes" is the denomination in President McKinley's instruction to the Commission. It is well-known that within the specially organized provinces, there live persons some of who are
Christians and some of whom are not Christians. In fact, the law specifically recognizes this. (
Sec. 2422, Administrative Code of 1917, etc.)
The most commonly accepted usage has sanctioned the term "non-Christian tribes." These words
are to be found in section 7 of the Philippine Bill and in section 22 of the Jones Law. They are
also to be found in Act No. 253 of the Philippines Commission, establishing a Bureau of non- If the religious conception is not satisfactory, so against the geographical conception is likewise
Christian Tribes and in Act No. 2674 of the Philippine Legislature, carried forward into sections inadquate. The reason it that the motive of the law relates not to a particular people, because of
701-705 of the Administrative Code of 1917, reestablishing this Bureau. Among other laws which their religion, or to a particular province because of its location, but the whole intent of the law is
contain the phrase, there can be mentioned Acts Nos. 127, 128, 387, 547, 548, 549, 550, 1397, predicated n the civilization or lack of civilization of the inhabitants.
1639, and 2551.

At most, "non-Christian" is an awkward and unsatisfactory word. Apologetic words usually


"Non-Christian people," "non-Christian inhabitants," and "non-Christian Filipinos" have been the introduce the term. "The so-called non-Christian" is a favorite expression. The Secretary of the
favorite nomenclature, in lieu of the unpopular word "tribes," since the coming into being of a Interior who for so many years had these people under his jurisdiction, recognizing the difficulty of
Filipinized legislature. These terms can be found in sections 2076, 2077, 2390, 2394, selecting an exact designation, speaks of the "backward Philippine peoples, commonly known as
Administrative Code of 1916; sections 701-705, 2145, 2422, 2426, Administrative Code of 1917; the 'non-Christian tribes."' (See Hearings before the Committee on the Philippines, United States
and in Acts Nos. 2404, 2435, 2444, 2674 of the Philippine Legislatures, as well as in Act No. Senate, Sixty-third Congress, third session on H.R. 18459, An Act to declare the purpose of the
1667 of the Philippine Commission. People of the United States as to the future political status of the Philippine Islands and to provide
a more autonomous government for the Islands, pp. 346, 351; letter of the Secretary of the
Interior of June 30, 1906, circulated by the Executive Secretary.)
The idea that the term "non-Christian" is intended to relate to degree of civilization, is afforded to them should be the degree of civilization to which they have attained and
substantiated by reference to legislative, judicial, and executive authority. you are requested to govern yourself accordingly.

The legislative intent is borne out by Acts Nos. 48, 253, 387, 1667, and 2674, and sections 701 et I have discussed this matter with the Honorable, the Governor-General, who concurs
seq, and sections 2422 et seq, of the Administrative Code of 1917. For instance, Act No. 253 in the opinion above expressed and who will have the necessary instructions given to
charged the Bureau of non-Christian tribes to conduct "systematic investigations with reference to the governors of the provinces organized under the Provincial Government Act.
non-Christian tribes . . . with special view to determining the most practicable means for bringing (Internal Revenue Manual, p. 214.)
about their advancement in civilization and material property prosperity."
The present Secretary of the Interior, in a memorandum furnished a member of this court, has the
As authority of a judicial nature is the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of United following to say on the subject:
States vs. Tubban [Kalinga] ([1915], 29, Phil., 434). The question here arose as to the effect of a
tribal marriage in connection with article 423 of the Penal code concerning the husband who
surprises his wife in the act of adultery. In discussing the point, the court makes use of the As far as names are concerned the classification is indeed unfortunate, but while no
following language: other better classification has as yet been made the present classification should be
allowed to stand . . . I believe the term carries the same meaning as the expressed in
the letter of the Secretary of the Interior (of June 30, 1906, herein quoted). It is
. . . we are not advised of any provision of law which recognizes as legal a tribal indicative of the degree of civilization rather than of religious denomination, for the hold
marriage of so-called non-Christians or members of uncivilized tribes, celebrated that it is indicative of religious denomination will make the law invalid as against that
within that province without compliance with the requisites prescribed by General Constitutional guaranty of religious freedom.
Orders no. 68. . . . We hold also that the fact that the accused is shown to be a
member of an uncivilized tribe, of a low order of intelligence, uncultured and
uneducated, should be taken into consideration as a second marked extenuating Another official who was concerned with the status of the non-Christians, was the Collector of
circumstance. Internal Revenue. The question arose for ruling relatives to the cedula taxation of the Manobos
and the Aetas. Thereupon, the view of the Secretary of the Interior was requested on the point,
who, by return indorsement, agreed with the interpretation of the Collector of Internal Revenue.
Of much more moment is the uniform construction of execution officials who have been called This Construction of the Collector of Internal Revenue can be found in circular letter No. 188 of
upon to interpret and enforce the law. The official who, as a member of the Philippine the Bureau of Internal Revenue, dated June 11, 1907, reading as follows (Internal Revenue
Commission, drafted much of the legislation relating to the so-called Christians and who had Manual, p. 214):
these people under his authority, was the former Secretary of the Interior. Under date of June 30,
1906, this official addressed a letter to all governor of provinces, organized under the Special
Provincial Government Act, a letter which later received recognition by the Governor-General and The internal revenue law exempts "members of non-Christian tribes" from the payment
was circulated by the Executive Secretary, reading as follows: of cedula taxes. The Collector of Internal Revenue has interpreted this provision of law
to mean not that persons who profess some form of Christian worship are alone
subject to the cedula tax, and that all other person are exempt; he has interpreted it to
Sir: Within the past few months, the question has arisen as to whether people who mean that all persons preserving tribal relations with the so-called non-Christian tribes
were originally non-Christian but have recently been baptized or who are children of are exempt from the cedula tax, and that all others, including Jews, Mohammedans,
persons who have been recently baptized are, for the purposes of Act 1396 and 1397, Confucians, Buddists, etc., are subject to said tax so long as they live in cities or
to be considered Christian or non-Christians. towns, or in the country in a civilized condition. In other words, it is not so much a
matter of a man's form of religious worship or profession that decides whether or not
he is subject to the cedula tax; it is more dependent on whether he is living in a
It has been extremely difficult, in framing legislation for the tribes in these islands civilized manner or is associated with the mountain tribes, either as a member thereof
which are not advanced far in civilization, to hit upon any suitable designation which or as a recruit. So far, this question has not come up as to whether a Christian,
will fit all cases. The number of individual tribes is so great that it is almost out of the maintaining his religious belief, but throwing his lot and living with a non-Christian tribe,
question to enumerate all of them in an Act. It was finally decided to adopt the would or would not be subject to the cedula tax. On one occasion a prominent Hebrew
designation 'non-Christians' as the one most satisfactory, but the real purpose of the of Manila claimed to this office that he was exempt from the cedula tax, inasmuch as
Commission was not so much to legislate for people having any particular religious he was not a Christian. This Office, however, continued to collect cedula taxes from all
belief as for those lacking sufficient advancement so that they could, to their own the Jews, East Indians, Arabs, Chinamen, etc., residing in Manila. Quite a large
advantage, be brought under the Provincial Government Act and the Municipal Code. proportion of the cedula taxes paid in this city are paid by men belonging to the
nationalities mentioned. Chinamen, Arabs and other s are quite widely scattered
The mere act of baptism does not, of course, in itself change the degree of civilization throughout the Islands, and a condition similar to that which exist in Manila also exists
to which the person baptized has attained at the time the act of baptism is performed. in most of the large provincial towns. Cedula taxes are therefore being collected by this
For practical purposes, therefore, you will give the member of so-called "wild tribes" of Office in all parts of these Islands on the broad ground that civilized people are subject
your province the benefit of the doubt even though they may recently have embraced to such taxes, and non-civilized people preserving their tribal relations are not subject
Christianity. thereto.

The determining factor in deciding whether they are to be allowed to remain under the (Sgd.) JNO. S. HORD,
jurisdiction of regularly organized municipalities or what form of government shall be Collector of Internal Revenue.
On September 17, 1910, the Collector of Internal Revenue addressed circular letter No. 327, The subject has come before the Attorney-General for consideration. The Chief of Constabulary
approved by the Secretary of Finance and Justice, to all provincial treasurers. This letter in part request the opinion of the Attorney-General as to the status of a non-Christian who has been
reads: baptized by a minister of the Gospel. The precise questions were these: "Does he remain non-
Christian or is he entitled to the privileges of a Christian? By purchasing intoxicating liquors, does
he commit an infraction of the law and does the person selling same lay himself liable under the
In view of the many questions that have been raised by provincial treasurers regarding provision of Act No. 1639?" The opinion of Attorney-General Avancea, after quoting the same
cedula taxes due from members of non-Christian tribes when they come in from the authorities hereinbefore set out, concludes:
hills for the purposes of settling down and becoming members of the body politic of the
Philippine Islands, the following clarification of the laws governing such questions and
digest of rulings thereunder is hereby published for the information of all concerned: In conformity with the above quoted constructions, it is probable that is probable that
the person in question remains a non-Christian, so that, in purchasing intoxicating
liquors both he and the person selling the same make themselves liable to prosecution
Non-Christian inhabitants of the Philippine Islands are so classed, not by reason of the under the provisions of Act No. 1639. At least, I advise you that these should be the
fact that they do not profess Christianity, but because of their uncivilized mode of life constructions place upon the law until a court shall hold otherwise.
and low state of development. All inhabitants of the Philippine Islands classed as
members of non-Christian tribes may be divided into three classes in so far as the
cedula tax law is concerned . . . Solicitor-General Paredes in his brief in this case says:

Whenever any member of an non-Christian tribe leaves his wild and uncivilized mode With respect to the meaning which the phrase non-Christian inhabitants has in the
of life, severs whatever tribal relations he may have had and attaches himself civilized provisions of the Administrative code which we are studying, we submit that said
community, belonging a member of the body politic, he thereby makes himself subject phrase does not have its natural meaning which would include all non-Christian
to precisely the same law that governs the other members of that community and from inhabitants of the Islands, whether Filipino or strangers, civilized or uncivilized, but
and after the date when he so attaches himself to the community the same cedula and simply refers to those uncivilized members of the non-Christian tribes of the
other taxes are due from him as from other members thereof. If he comes in after the Philippines who, living without home or fixed residence, roam in the mountains,
expiration of the delinquency period the same rule should apply to him as to persons beyond the reach of law and order . . .
arriving from foreign countries or reaching the age of eighteen subsequent to the
expiration of such period, and a regular class A, D, F, or H cedula, as the case may
be, should be furnished him without penalty and without requiring him to pay the tax for The Philippine Commission in denominating in its laws that portion of the inhabitants of
former years. the Philippines which live in tribes as non-Christian tribes, as distinguished from the
common Filipinos which carry on a social and civilized life, did not intended to
establish a distinction based on the religious beliefs of the individual, but, without
In conclusion, it should be borne in mind that the prime factors in determining whether dwelling on the difficulties which later would be occasioned by the phrase, adopted the
or not a man is subject to the regular cedula tax is not the circumstance that he does expression which the Spanish legislation employed to designate the uncivilized portion
or does not profess Christianity, nor even his maintenance of or failure to maintain of the inhabitants of the Philippines.
tribal relations with some of the well known wild tribes, but his mode of life, degree of
advancement in civilization and connection or lack of connection with some civilized
community. For this reason so called "Remontados" and "Montescos" will be classed The phrase 'non-Christian inhabitants' used in the provisions of articles 2077 and 2741
by this office as members of non-Christian tribes in so far as the application of the of Act No. 2657 (articles 2145 and 2759) should be understood as equivalent to
Internal Revenue Law is concerned, since, even though they belong to no well members of uncivilized tribes of the Philippines, not only because this is the evident
recognized tribe, their mode of life, degree of advancement and so forth are practically intention of the law, but because to give it its lateral meaning would make the law null
the same as those of the Igorrots and members of other recognized non-Christina and unconstitutional as making distinctions base the religion of the individual.
tribes.
The Official Census of 1903, in the portion written by no less an authority than De. David P.
Very respectfully, Barrows, then "Chief of the Bureau of non-Christian Tribes," divides the population in the
Christian or Civilized Tribes, and non-Christian or Wild Tribes. (Census of the Philippine Islands
[1903], vol. 1, pp. 411 et seq). The present Director of the Census, Hon. Ignacio Villamor, writes
(Sgd.) ELLIS CROMWELL, that the classification likely to be used in the Census now being taken is: "Filipinos and Primitive
Collector of Internal Revenue, Filipinos." In a Pronouncing Gazetteer and Geographical Dictionary of the Philippine Islands,
prepared in the Bureau of Insular Affairs, War Department, a sub-division under the title non-
Christian tribes is, "Physical and Political Characteristics of the non-Christian Tribes," which
Approved: sufficiently shows that the terms refers to culture and not to religion.
(Sgd.) GREGORIO ARANETA,
Secretary of Finance and Justice.
In resume, therefore, the Legislature and the Judiciary, inferentially, and different executive
officials, specifically, join in the proposition that the term "non-Christian" refers, not to religious
The two circular above quoted have since been repealed by Bureau of Internal Revenue belief, but, in a way , to geographical area, and, more directly, to natives of the Philippine Islands
Regulations No. 1, promulgated by Venancio Concepcion, Acting Collector of Internal Revenue, of a law grade of civilization, usually living in tribal relationship apart from settled communities.
and approved on April 16, 1915, by Honorable Victorino Mapa, Secretary of Finance and Justice.
Section 30 of the regulations is practically a transcript of Circular Letter No. 327.
E. THE MANGUIANES. position of the Indians in the United States (a more extended account of which can be found in
Marshall's opinion in Worcester vs. Georgia, supra), as follows:
The so-called non-Christians are in various state approaching civilization. The Philippine Census
of 1903 divided them into four classes. Of the third class, are the Manguianes (or Mangyans) of The relation of the Indian tribes living within the borders of the United States, both
Mindoro. before and since the Revolution, to the people of the United States, has always been
an anomalous one and of a complex character.
Of the derivation of the name "Manguian" Dr. T. H. Pardo de Tavera in his Etimilogia de los
nombres de Rozas de Filipinas, says: Following the policy of the European Governments in the discovery of American
towards the Indians who were found here, the colonies before the Revolution and the
States and the United States since, have recognized in the Indians a possessory right
In Tagalog, Bicol, and Visaya, Manguian signifies "savage," "mountainer," "pagan," to the soil over which they roamed and hunted and established occasional villages. But
"negro." It may be that the use of this word is applicable to a great number of Filipinos, they asserted an ultimate title in the land itself, by which the Indian tribes were
but nevertheless it has been applied only to certain inhabitants of Mindoro. Even in forbidden to sell or transfer it to other nations or peoples without the consent of this
primitive times without doubt this name was given to those of that island who bear it to- paramount authority. When a tribe wished to dispose of its lands, or any part of it, or
day, but its employed in three Filipino languages shows that the radical ngian had in all the State or the United States wished to purchase it, a treaty with the tribe was the
these languages a sense to-day forgotten. In Pampango this ending still exists and only mode in which this could be done. The United States recognized no right in
signifies "ancient," from which we can deduce that the name was applied to men private persons, or in other nations, to make such a purchase by treaty or otherwise.
considered to be the ancient inhabitants, and that these men were pushed back into With the Indians themselves these relation are equally difficult to define. They were,
the interior by the modern invaders, in whose language they were called the and always have been, regarded as having a semi-independent position when they
"ancients." preserved their tribal relations; not as States, not as nation not a possessed of the fall
attributes of sovereignty, but as a separate people, with the power of regulating their
The Manguianes are very low in culture. They have considerable Negrito blood and have not internal and social relations, and thus far not brought under the laws of the Union or of
advanced beyond the Negritos in civilization. They are a peaceful, timid, primitive, semi-nomadic the State within whose limits they resided.
people. They number approximately 15,000. The manguianes have shown no desire for
community life, and, as indicated in the preamble to Act No. 547, have not progressed sufficiently The opinion then continues:
in civilization to make it practicable to bring them under any form of municipal government.

It seems to us that this (effect of the law) is within the competency of Congress. These
III. COMPARATIVE THE AMERICAN INDIANS. Indian tribes are the wards of the nation. The are communities dependent on the
United States. dependent largely for their daily food. Dependent for their political
Reference was made in the Presidents' instructions to the Commission to the policy adopted by rights. They owe no allegiance to the States, and receive from the no protection.
the United States for the Indian Tribes. The methods followed by the Government of the Because of the local ill feeling, the people of the States where they are found are often
Philippines Islands in its dealings with the so-called non-Christian people is said, on argument, to their deadliest enemies. From their very weakness and helplessness, so largely due to
be practically identical with that followed by the United States Government in its dealings with the the course of dealing of the Federal Government with them and the treaties in which it
Indian tribes. Valuable lessons, it is insisted, can be derived by an investigation of the American- has been promised, there arise the duty of protection, and with it the power. This has
Indian policy. always been recognized by the Executive and by Congress, and by this court,
whenever the question has arisen . . . The power of the General Government over
these remnants of race once powerful, now weak and diminished in numbers, is
From the beginning of the United States, and even before, the Indians have been treated as "in a necessary to their protection, as well as to the safety of those among whom they dwell.
state of pupilage." The recognized relation between the Government of the United States and the it must exist in that government, because it never has existed anywhere else, because
Indians may be described as that of guardian and ward. It is for the Congress to determine when the theater of its exercise is within the geographical limits of the United States,
and how the guardianship shall be terminated. The Indians are always subject to the plenary because it has never been denied, and because it alone can enforce its laws on all the
authority of the United States. tribes.

Chief Justice Marshall in his opinion in Worcester vs. Georgia, hereinbefore mentioned, tells how In the later case of United States vs. Sandoval ([1913], 231 U.S., 28) the question to be
the Congress passed an Act in 1819 "for promoting those humane designs of civilizing the considered was whether the status of the Pueblo Indians and their lands was such that Congress
neighboring Indians." After quoting the Act, the opinion goes on "This act avowedly could prohibit the introduction of intoxicating liquor into those lands notwithstanding the admission
contemplates the preservation of the Indian nations as an object sought by the United States, and of New Mexico to statehood. The court looked to the reports of the different superintendent
proposes to effect this object by civilizing and converting them from hunters into agriculturists." charged with guarding their interests and founds that these Indians are dependent upon the
fostering care and protection of the government "like reservation Indians in general." Continuing,
the court said "that during the Spanish dominion, the Indians of the pueblos were treated as
A leading case which discusses the status of the Indians is that of the United States vs. Kagama
wards requiring special protection, where subjected to restraints and official supervisions in the
([1886], 118 U.S., 375). Reference is herein made to the clause of the United States Constitution
alienation of their property." And finally, we not the following: "Not only does the Constitution
which gives Congress "power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several
expressly authorize Congress to regulate commerce with the Indians tribes, but long-continued
States, and with the Indian tribes." The court then proceeds to indicate a brief history of the
legislative and executive usage and an unbroken current of judicial decisions have attributed to
the United States as a superior and civilized nation the power and the duty of exercising a
fostering care and protection over all dependent Indian communities within its borders, whether 1. that an Indian is a 'person' within the meaning of the laws of the United States, and
within its original territory or territory subsequently acquired, and whether within or without the has, therefore, the right to sue out a writ of habeas corpus in a federal court, or before
limits of a state." a federal judge, in all cases where he may be confined or in custody under color of
authority of the United States or where he is restrained of liberty in violation of the
constitution or laws of the United States.
With reference to laws affecting the Indians, it has been held that it is not within the power of the
courts to overrule the judgment of Congress. For very good reason, the subject has always been
deemed political in nature, not subject to the jurisdiction of the judicial department of the 2. That General George Crook, the respondent, being commander of the military
government. (Matter of Heff [1905], 197 U.S., 488; U.S. vs. Celestine [1909], 215 U.S., 278; department of the Platte, has the custody of the relators, under color of authority of the
U.S. vs. Sandoval, supra; Worcester vs. Georgia, supra; U.S. vs. Rogers [1846], 4 How., 567; the United States, and in violation of the laws therefore.
Cherokee Tobacco [1871], 11 Wall, 616; Roff vs. Burney [1897], 168 U.S., 218; Thomas vs.Gay
[1898], 169 U.S.., 264; Lone Wolf vs. Hitchcock[1903], 187 U.S., 553; Wallace vs. Adams [1907],
204 U.S., 415; Conley vs. Bollinger [1910], 216 U.S., 84; Tiger vs. Western Invest. Co. [1911], 3. That n rightful authority exists for removing by force any of the relators to the Indian
221 U.S., 286; U.S. vs. Lane [1913], 232 U.S.., 598; Cyr vs. Walker (1911], 29 Okla, 281; 35 Territory, as the respondent has been directed to do.
L.R.A. [N. S.], 795.) Whenever, therefore, the United States sets apart any public land as an
Indian reservation, it has full authority to pass such laws and authorize such measures as may be 4. that the Indians possess the inherent right of expatriation, as well as the more
necessary to give to the Indians thereon full protection in their persons and property. fortunate white race, and have the inalienable right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of
(U.S. vs.Thomas [1894], 151 U.S., 577.) happiness," so long as they obey the laws and do not trespass on forbidden ground.
And,
All this borne out by long-continued legislative and executive usage, and an unbroken line of
judicial decisions. 5. Being restrained of liberty under color of authority of the United States, and in
violation of the laws thereof, the relators must be discharged from custody, and it is so
The only case which is even remotely in point and which, if followed literally, might result in the ordered.
issuance of habeas corpus, is that of United States vs. Crook ([1879], Fed. Cas. No. 14891). This
was a hearing upon return to a writ of habeas corpus issued against Brigadier General George As far as the first point is concerned, the decision just quoted could be used as authority to
Crook at the relation of Standing Bear and other Indians, formerly belonging to the Ponca Tribe of determine that Rubi, the Manguian petitioner, a Filipino, and a citizen of the Philippine Islands, is
Indians. The petition alleged in substance that the relators are Indians who have formerly a "person" within the meaning of the Habeas Corpus Act, and as such, entitled to sue out a writ in
belonged to the Ponca tribe of Indians, now located in the Indian Territory; that they had some the Philippine courts. (See also In re Race Horse [1895], 70 Fed., 598.) We so decide.
time previously withdrawn from the tribe, and completely severed their tribal relations therewith,
and had adopted the general habits of the whites, and were then endeavoring to maintain
themselves by their own exertions, and without aid or assistance from the general government; As to the second point the facts in the Standing Bear case an the Rubi case are not exactly
that whilst they were thus engaged, and without being guilty of violating any of the laws of the identical. But even admitting similarity of facts, yet it is known to all that Indian reservations do
United States, they were arrested and restrained of their liberty by order of the respondent, exist in the United States, that Indians have been taken from different parts of the country and
George Crook. The substance of the return to the writ was that the relators are individual placed on these reservation, without any previous consultation as to their own wishes, and that,
members of, and connected with, the Ponca tribe of Indians; that they had fled or escaped form a when once so located, they have been made to remain on the reservation for their own good and
reservation situated some place within the limits of the Indian Territory had departed therefrom for the general good of the country. If any lesson can be drawn form the Indian policy of the
without permission from the Government; and, at the request of the Secretary of the Interior, the United States, it is that the determination of this policy is for the legislative and executive
General of the Army had issued an order which required the respondent to arrest and return the branches of the government and that when once so decided upon, the courts should not interfere
relators to their tribe in the Indian Territory, and that, pursuant to the said order, he had caused to upset a carefully planned governmental system. Perhaps, just as may forceful reasons exists
the relators to be arrested on the Omaha Indian Territory. for the segregation as existed for the segregation of the different Indian tribes in the United
States.

The first question was whether an Indian can test the validity of an illegal imprisonment
by habeas corpus. The second question, of much greater importance, related to the right of the IV. CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS.
Government to arrest and hold the relators for a time, for the purpose of being returned to the
Indian Territory from which it was alleged the Indian escaped. In discussing this question, the
A. DELEGATION OF LEGISLATIVE POWER.
court reviewed the policy the Government had adopted in its dealing with the friendly tribe of
Poncase. Then, continuing, the court said: "Laws passed for the government of the Indian
country, and for the purpose of regulating trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, confer The first constitutional objection which confronts us is that the Legislature could not delegate this
upon certain officers of the Government almost unlimited power over the persons who go upon power to provincial authorities. In so attempting, it is contended, the Philippine Legislature has
the reservations without lawful authority . . . Whether such an extensive discretionary power is abdicated its authority and avoided its full responsibility.
wisely vested in the commissioner of Indian affairs or not , need not be questioned. It is enough to
know that the power rightfully exists, and, where existing, the exercise of the power must be
upheld." The decision concluded as follows: That the maxim of Constitutional Law forbidding the delegation of legislative power should be
zealously protected, we agree. An understanding of the rule will, however, disclose that it has not
bee violated in his instance.
The reasoning advanced in support of my views, leads me to conclude:
The rule has nowhere been better stated than in the early Ohio case decided by Judge Ranney, attempt by the Legislature to discriminate between individuals because of their religious beliefs,
and since followed in a multitude of case, namely: "The true distinction therefore is between the and is, consequently, unconstitutional."
delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall
be, and conferring an authority or discretion as to its execution, to be exercised under and in
pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done; to the later no valid objection can be made." Counsel's premise once being conceded, his arguments is answerable the Legislature must be
(Cincinnati, W. & Z. R. Co. vs. Comm'rs. Clinton County [1852], 1 Ohio S.t, 88.) Discretion, as understood to mean what it has plainly expressed; judicial construction is then excluded; religious
held by Chief Justice Marshall in Wayman vs. Southard ([1825], 10 Wheat., 1) may be committed equality is demanded by the Organic Law; the statute has violated this constitutional guaranty,
by the Legislature to an executive department or official. The Legislature may make decisions of and Q. E. D. is invalid. But, as hereinbefore stated, we do not feel free to discard the long
executive departments of subordinate official thereof, to whom t has committed the execution of continued meaning given to a common expression, especially as classification of inhabitants
certain acts, final on questions of fact. (U.S. vs. Kinkead [1918], 248 Fed., 141.) The growing according to religious belief leads the court to what it should avoid, the nullification of legislative
tendency in the decision is to give prominence to the "necessity" of the case. action. We hold that the term "non-Christian" refers to natives of the Philippines Islands of a low
grade of civilization, and that section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917, does not
discriminate between individuals an account of religious differences.
Is not all this exactly what the Legislature has attempted to accomplish by the enactment of
section 21454 of the Administrative Code? Has not the Legislature merely conferred upon the
provincial governor, with the approval of the provincial board and the Department Head, E. THE POLICE POWER.
discretionary authority as to the execution of the law? Is not this "necessary"?
Not attempting to phrase a definition of police power, all that it is necessary to note at this
The case of West vs. Hitchock, ([1906], 205 U.S., 80) was a petition for mandamus to require the moment is the farreaching scope of the power, that it has become almost possible to limit its
Secretary of the Interior to approve the selection and taking of one hundred and sixty acres by the weep, and that among its purposes is the power to prescribe regulations to promote the health,
relator out of the lands ceded to the United States by the Wichita and affiliated bands of Indians. peace, morals, education, and good order of the people, and to legislate so as to increase the
Section 463 of the United States Revised Statutes provided: "The Commissioner of Indian Affairs industries of the State, develop its resources and add to is wealth and prosperity. (See
shall, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, and agreeably to such regulations as the Barbier vs. Connolly [1884], 113 U.S., 27.) What we are not interested in is the right of the
President may prescribe, have the management of all Indian affairs, and of all matters arising out government to restrain liberty by the exercise of the police power.
to the Indian relations." Justice Holmes said: "We should hesitate a good deal, especially in view
of the long established practice of the Department, before saying that this language was not "The police power of the State," one court has said, . . . "is a power coextensive with self-
broad enough to warrant a regulation obviously made for the welfare of the rather helpless people protection, and is not inaptly termed the 'law of overruling necessity.' It may be said to be that
concerned. The power of Congress is not doubted. The Indians have been treated as wards of inherent and plenary power in the State which enables it to prohibit all things hurtful to the
the nation. Some such supervision was necessary, and has been exercised. In the absence of comfort, safety and welfare of society." (Lake View vs. Rose Hill Cemetery Co. [1873], 70 Ill.,
special provisions naturally it would be exercised by the Indian Department." (See also as 191.) Carried onward by the current of legislation, the judiciary rarely attempt to dam the on
corroborative authority, it any is needed, Union Bridge Co. vs. U.S. [1907], 204 U.S.., 364, rushing power of legislative discretion, provided the purposes of the law do not go beyond the
reviewing the previous decisions of the United States Supreme Court: U.S. vs. Lane [1914], 232 great principles that mean security for the public welfare or do not arbitrarily interfere with the
U.S., 598.) right of the individual.

There is another aspect of the question, which once accepted, is decisive. An exception to the The Government of the Philippine Islands has both on reason and authority the right to exercise
general rule. sanctioned by immemorial practice, permits the central legislative body to delegate the sovereign police power in the promotion of the general welfare and the public interest. "There
legislative powers to local authorities. The Philippine Legislature has here conferred authority can be not doubt that the exercise of the police power of the Philippine Government belongs to
upon the Province of Mindoro, to be exercised by the provincial governor and the provincial the Legislature and that this power is limited only by the Acts of Congress and those fundamental
board. principles which lie at the foundation of all republican forms of government." (Churchill and
Tait vs. Rafferty [1915], 32 Phil., 580; U.S. vs. Pompeya [1915], 31 Phil., 245.)
Who but the provincial governor and the provincial board, as the official representatives of the
province, are better qualified to judge "when such as course is deemed necessary in the interest With the foregoing approximation of the applicable basic principles before us, before finally
of law and order?" As officials charged with the administration of the province and the protection deciding whether any constitutional provision has indeed been violated by section 2145 of the
of its inhabitants, who but they are better fitted to select sites which have the conditions most Administrative Code, we should endeavor to ascertain the intention of the Legislature in enacting
favorable for improving the people who have the misfortune of being in a backward state? this section. If legally possible, such legislative intention should be effectuated.

Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 is not an unlawful delegation of legislative power F. LEGISLATIVE INTENT.
by the Philippine Legislature to provincial official and a department head.

The preamble of the resolution of the provincial board of Mindoro which set apart the Tigbao
B. RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION reservation, it will be remembered, assigned as reasons fort the action, the following: (1) The
failure of former attempts for the advancement of the non-Christian people of the province; and
The attorney de officio, for petitioners, in a truly remarkable brief, submitted on behalf of his (2) the only successfully method for educating the Manguianes was to oblige them to live in a
unknown clients, says that "The statute is perfectly clear and unambiguous. In limpid English, permanent settlement. The Solicitor-General adds the following; (3) The protection of the
and in words as plain and unequivocal as language can express, it provides for the segregation of Manguianes; (4) the protection of the public forests in which they roam; (5) the necessity of
'non-Christians' and none other." The inevitable result, them, is that the law "constitutes an introducing civilized customs among the Manguianes.
The present Secretary of the Interior says of the Tigbao reservation and of the motives for its The Secretary adds:
selection, the following:
To attain the end desired, work of a civilizing influence have been continued among
To inform himself of the conditions of those Manguianes who were taken together to the non-Christian people. These people are being taught and guided to improve their
Tigbao, the Secretary of the Interior on June 10 to 13, 1918, made a trip to the place. living conditions in order that they may fully appreciate the benefits of civilization.
There he found that the site selected is a good one; that creditable progress has been Those of them who are still given to nomadic habits are being persuaded to abandon
made in the clearing of forests, construction of buildings, etc., that there appears to be their wild habitat and settle in organized settlements. They are being made to
encouraging reaction by the boys to the work of the school the requirements of which understand that it is the purpose of the Government to organize them politically into
they appear to meet with enthusiastic interest after the first weeks which are fixed and per manent communities, thus bringing them under the control of the
necessarily a somewhat trying period for children wholly unaccustomed to orderly Government, to aid them to live and work, protect them from involuntary servitude and
behaviour and habit of life. He also gathered the impression that the results obtained abuse, educate their children, and show them the advantages of leading a civilized life
during the period of less than one year since the beginning of the institution definitely with their civilized brothers. In short, they are being impressed with the purposes and
justify its continuance and development. objectives of the Government of leading them to economic, social, and political
equality, and unification with the more highly civilized inhabitants of the country. (See
Report of the Department for 1917.)
Of course, there were many who were protesting against that segregation. Such was
naturally to be expected. But the Secretary of the Interior, upon his return to Manila,
made the following statement to the press: The fundamental objective of governmental policy is to establish friendly relations with the so-
called non-Christians, and to promote their educational, agricultural, industrial, and economic
development and advancement in civilization. (Note Acts Nos. 2208, 2404, 2444.) Act No. 2674 in
"It is not deemed wise to abandon the present policy over those who prefer reestablishing the Bureau of non-Christian Tribes, defines the aim of the Government towards the
to live a nomadic life and evade the influence of civilization. The non-Christian people in the following unequivocal terms:
Government will follow its policy to organize them into political communities
and to educate their children with the object of making them useful citizens
of this country. To permit them to live a wayfaring life will ultimately result in It shall be the duty of the Bureau of non-Christian Tribes to continue the work for
a burden to the state and on account of their ignorance, they will commit advancement and liberty in favor of the region inhabited by non-Christian Filipinos and
crimes and make depredation, or if not they will be subject to involuntary foster by all adequate means and in a systematical, rapid, and complete manner the
servitude by those who may want to abuse them." moral, material, economic, social, and political development of those regions, always
having in view the aim of rendering permanent the mutual intelligence between, and
complete fusion of, all the Christian and non-Christian elements populating the
The Secretary of the Interior, who is the official charged with the supervision of all the non- provinces of the Archipelago. (Sec. 3.)
Christian people, has adopted as the polaris of his administration "the advancement of the
non-Christian elements of our population to equality and unification with the highly civilized
Christian inhabitants." This is carried on by the adoption of the following measures: May the Manguianes not be considered, as are the Indians in the United States, proper wards of
the Filipino people? By the fostering care of a wise Government, may not these unfortunates
advance in the "habits and arts of civilization?" Would it be advisable for the courts to intrude
(a) Pursuance of the closer settlement policy whereby people of seminomadic race are upon a plan, carefully formulated, and apparently working out for the ultimate good of these
induced to leave their wild habitat and settle in organized communities. people?

(b) The extension of the public school system and the system of public health In so far as the Manguianes themselves are concerned, the purpose of the Government is
throughout the regions inhabited by the non-Christian people. evident. Here, we have on the Island of Mindoro, the Manguianes, leading a nomadic life, making
depredations on their more fortunate neighbors, uneducated in the ways of civilization, and doing
(c) The extention of public works throughout the Mohammedan regions to facilitate nothing for the advancement of the Philippine Islands. What the Government wished to do by
their development and the extention of government control. bringing than into a reservation was to gather together the children for educational purposes, and
to improve the health and morals was in fine, to begin the process of civilization. this method
was termed in Spanish times, "bringing under the bells." The same idea adapted to the existing
(d) Construction of roads and trials between one place and another among non- situation, has been followed with reference to the Manguianes and other peoples of the same
Christians, to promote social and commercial intercourse and maintain amicable class, because it required, if they are to be improved, that they be gathered together. On these
relations among them and with the Christian people. few reservations there live under restraint in some cases, and in other instances voluntarily, a few
thousands of the uncivilized people. Segregation really constitutes protection for the manguianes.
(e) Pursuance of the development of natural economic resources, especially
agriculture. Theoretically, one may assert that all men are created free and equal. Practically, we know that
the axiom is not precisely accurate. The Manguianes, for instance, are not free, as civilized men
are free, and they are not the equals of their more fortunate brothers. True, indeed, they are
( f ) The encouragement of immigration into, and of the investment of private capital in,
citizens, with many but not all the rights which citizenship implies. And true, indeed, they are
the fertile regions of Mindanao and Sulu.
Filipinos. But just as surely, the Manguianes are citizens of a low degree of intelligence, and
Filipinos who are a drag upon the progress of the State.
In so far as the relation of the Manguianes to the State is concerned, the purposes of the The national legislation on the subject of non-Christian people has tended more and
Legislature in enacting the law, and of the executive branch in enforcing it, are again plain. more towards the education and civilization of such people and fitting them to be
Settlers in Mindoro must have their crops and persons protected from predatory men, or they will citizens. The progress of those people under the tutelage of the Government is indeed
leave the country. It is no argument to say that such crimes are punished by the Penal Code, encouraging and the signs of the times point to a day which is not far distant when
because these penalties are imposed after commission of the offense and not before. If they will become useful citizens. In the light of what has already been accomplished
immigrants are to be encouraged to develop the resources of the great Islands of Mindoro, and which has been winning the gratitude of most of the backward people, shall we give up
its, as yet, unproductive regions, the Government must be in a position to guarantee peace and the noble work simply because a certain element, believing that their personal
order. interests would be injured by such a measure has come forward and challenged the
authority of the Government to lead this people in the pat of civilization? Shall we, after
expending sweat, treasure, and even blood only to redeem this people from the claws
Waste lands do not produce wealth. Waste people do not advance the interest of the State. of ignorance and superstition, now willingly retire because there has been erroneously
Illiteracy and thriftlessness are not conducive to homogeneity. The State to protect itself from invoked in their favor that Constitutional guaranty that no person shall be deprived of
destruction must prod on the laggard and the sluggard. The great law of overwhelming necessity his liberty without due process of law? To allow them to successfully invoke that
is all convincing. Constitutional guaranty at this time will leave the Government without recourse to
pursue the works of civilizing them and making them useful citizens. They will thus left
To quote again from the instructive memorandum of the Secretary of the Interior: in a permanent state of savagery and become a vulnerable point to attack by those
who doubt, nay challenge, the ability of the nation to deal with our backward brothers.

Living a nomadic and a wayfaring life and evading the influence of civilization, they
(the manguianes) are engaged in the works of destruction burning and destroying The manguianes in question have been directed to live together at Tigbao. There they
the forests and making illegal caigins thereon. Not bringing any benefit to the State are being taught and guided to improve their living conditions. They are being made to
but instead injuring and damaging its interests, what will ultimately become of these understand that they object of the government is to organize them politically into fixed
people with the sort of liberty they wish to preserve and for which they are now fighting and permanent communities. They are being aided to live and work. Their children are
in court? They will ultimately become a heavy burden to the State and on account of being educated in a school especially established for them. In short, everything is
their ignorance they will commit crimes and make depredations, or if not they will be being done from them in order that their advancement in civilization and material
subjected to involuntary servitude by those who may want to abuse them. prosperity may be assured. Certainly their living together in Tigbao does not make
them slaves or put them in a condition compelled to do services for another. They do
not work for anybody but for themselves. There is, therefore, no involuntary servitude.
There is no doubt in my mind that this people a right conception of liberty and does not
practice liberty in a rightful way. They understand liberty as the right to do anything
they will going from one place to another in the mountains, burning and destroying But they are compelled to live there and prohibited from emigrating to some other
forests and making illegal caigins thereon. places under penalty of imprisonment. Attention in this connection is invited to the fact
that this people, living a nomadic and wayfaring life, do not have permanent individual
property. They move from one place to another as the conditions of living warrants,
Not knowing what true liberty is and not practising the same rightfully, how can they and the entire space where they are roving about is the property of the nation, the
allege that they are being deprived thereof without due process of law? greater part being lands of public domain. Wandering from one place to another on the
public lands, why can not the government adopt a measure to concentrate them in a
certain fixed place on the public lands, instead of permitting them to roam all over the
xxx xxx xxx
entire territory? This measure is necessary both in the interest of the public as owner
of the lands about which they are roving and for the proper accomplishment of the
But does the Constitutional guaranty that 'no person shall be deprived of his liberty purposes and objectives of the government. For as people accustomed to nomadic
without due process of law' apply to a class of persons who do not have a correct idea habit, they will always long to return to the mountains and follow a wayfaring life, and
of what liberty is and do not practise liberty in a rightful way? unless a penalty is provinced for, you can not make them live together and the noble
intention of the Government of organizing them politically will come to naught.
To say that it does will mean to sanction and defend an erroneous idea of such class
of persons as to what liberty is. It will mean, in the case at bar, that the Government G. APPLICATION AND CONCLUSION.
should not adopt any measures looking to the welfare and advancement of the class of
persons in question. It will mean that this people should be let along in the mountains
Our exhaustive study should have left us in a position to answer specific objections and to reach
and in a permanent state of savagery without even the remotest hope of coming to
a general conclusion.
understand liberty in its true and noble sense.

In the first place, it is argued that the citizen has the right, generally speaking, to go where he
In dealing with the backward population, like the Manguianes, the Government has
pleases. Could be not, however, be kept away from certain localities ? To furnish an example
been placed in the alternative of either letting them alone or guiding them in the path of
from the Indian legislation. The early Act of Congress of 1802 (2 U.S. Stat. at L., p. 141) Indian
civilization. The latter measure was adopted as the one more in accord with humanity
reservation. Those citizens certainly did not possess absolute freedom of locomotion. Again the
and with national conscience.
same law provided for the apprehension of marauding Indians. Without any doubt, this law and
other similar were accepted and followed time and again without question.
xxx xxx xxx
It is said that, if we hold this section to be constitutional, we leave this weak and defenseless Our attempt at giving a brief history of the Philippines with reference to the so-called non-
people confined as in a prison at the mercy of unscrupulous official. What, it is asked, would be Christians has been in vain, if we fail to realize that a consistent governmental policy has been
the remedy of any oppressed Manguian? The answer would naturally be that the official into effective in the Philippines from early days to the present. The idea to unify the people of the
whose hands are given the enforcement of the law would have little or not motive to oppress Philippines so that they may approach the highest conception of nationality. If all are to be equal
these people; on the contrary, the presumption would all be that they would endeavor to carry out before the law, all must be approximately equal in intelligence. If the Philippines is to be a rich
the purposes of the law intelligently and patriotically. If, indeed, they did ill-treat any person thus and powerful country, Mindoro must be populated, and its fertile regions must be developed. The
confined, there always exists the power of removal in the hands of superior officers, and the public policy of the Government of the Philippine Islands is shaped with a view to benefit the
courts are always open for a redress of grievances. When, however, only the validity of the law is Filipino people as a whole. The Manguianes, in order to fulfill this governmental policy, must be
generally challenged and no particular case of oppression is called to the attention of the courts, it confined for a time, as we have said, for their own good and the good of the country.
would seems that the Judiciary should not unnecessarily hamper the Government in the
accomplishment of its laudable purpose.
Most cautiously should the power of this court to overrule the judgment of the Philippine
Legislature, a coordinate branch, be exercised. The whole tendency of the best considered case
The question is above all one of sociology. How far, consistently with freedom, may the right and is toward non-interference on the part of the courts whenever political ideas are the moving
liberties of the individual members of society be subordinated to the will of the Government? It is consideration. Justice Holmes, in one of the aphorisms for which he is justly famous, said that
a question which has assailed the very existence of government from the beginning of time. Now "constitutional law, like other mortal contrivances, has to take some chances." (Blinn vs.Nelson
purely an ethical or philosophical subject, nor now to be decided by force, it has been transferred [1911], 222 U.S., 1.) If in the final decision of the many grave questions which this case presents,
to the peaceful forum of the Judiciary. In resolving such an issue, the Judiciary must realize that the courts must take "a chance," it should be with a view to upholding the law, with a view to the
the very existence of government renders imperatives a power to restrain the individual to some effectuation of the general governmental policy, and with a view to the court's performing its duty
extent, dependent, of course, on the necessities of the class attempted to be benefited. As to the in no narrow and bigoted sense, but with that broad conception which will make the courts as
particular degree to which the Legislature and the Executive can go in interfering with the rights of progressive and effective a force as are the other departments of the Government.
the citizen, this is, and for a along time to come will be, impossible for the courts to determine.
We are of the opinion that action pursuant to section 2145 of the Administrative Code does not
The doctrines of laissez faire and of unrestricted freedom of the individual, as axioms of deprive a person of his liberty without due process of law and does not deny to him the equal
economics and political theory, are of the past. The modern period has shown as widespread protection of the laws, and that confinement in reservations in accordance with said section does
belief in the amplest possible demonstration of governmental activity. The courts unfortunately not constitute slavery and involuntary servitude. We are further of the opinion that section 2145 of
have sometimes seemed to trial after the other two branches of the government in this the Administrative Code is a legitimate exertion of the police power, somewhat analogous to the
progressive march. Indian policy of the United States. Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 is
constitutional.
Considered, therefore, purely as an exercise of the police power, the courts cannot fairly say that
the Legislature has exceeded its rightful authority. it is, indeed, an unusual exercise of that power. Petitioners are not unlawfully imprisoned or restrained of their liberty. Habeas corpus can,
But a great malady requires an equally drastic remedy. therefore, not issue. This is the true ruling of the court. Costs shall be taxes against petitioners.
So ordered.
Further, one cannot hold that the liberty of the citizen is unduly interfered without when the
degree of civilization of the Manguianes is considered. They are restrained for their own good and
the general good of the Philippines. Nor can one say that due process of law has not been
followed. To go back to our definition of due process of law and equal protection of the law, there
exists a law ; the law seems to be reasonable; it is enforced according to the regular methods of
procedure prescribed; and it applies alike to all of a class.

As a point which has been left for the end of this decision and which, in case of doubt, would lead
to the determination that section 2145 is valid. it the attitude which the courts should assume
towards the settled policy of the Government. In a late decision with which we are in full accord,
Gambles vs. Vanderbilt University (200 Southwestern Reporter, 510) the Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court of Tennessee writes:

We can seen objection to the application of public policy as a ratio decidendi. Every really new
question that comes before the courts is, in the last analysis, determined on that theory, when not
determined by differentiation of the principle of a prior case or line of cases, or by the aid of
analogies furnished by such prior case. In balancing conflicting solutions, that one is perceived to
tip the scales which the court believes will best promote the public welfare in its probable
operation as a general rule or principle. But public policy is not a thing inflexible. No court is wise
enough to forecast its influence in all possible contingencies. Distinctions must be made from
time to time as sound reason and a true sense of justice may dictate."
EMMANUEL PELAEZ, petitioner, vs. THE AUDITOR GENERAL, respondent. Respondent answers in the affirmative, upon the theory that a new municipality can be created
without creating new barrios, such as, by placing old barrios under the jurisdiction of the new
municipality. This theory overlooks, however, the main import of the petitioner's argument, which
Zulueta, Gonzales, Paculdo and Associates for petitioner. is that the statutory denial of the presidential authority to create a new barrio implies a negation of
Office of the Solicitor General for respondent. the bigger power to create municipalities, each of which consists of several barrios. The cogency
and force of this argument is too obvious to be denied or even questioned. Founded upon logic
CONCEPCION, J.: and experience, it cannot be offset except by a clear manifestation of the intent of Congress to
the contrary, and no such manifestation, subsequent to the passage of Republic Act No. 2379,
has been brought to our attention.
During the period from September 4 to October 29, 1964 the President of the Philippines,
purporting to act pursuant to Section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code, issued Executive
Orders Nos. 93 to 121, 124 and 126 to 129; creating thirty-three (33) municipalities enumerated in Moreover, section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code, upon which the disputed executive
the margin.1 Soon after the date last mentioned, or on November 10, 1964 petitioner Emmanuel orders are based, provides:
Pelaez, as Vice President of the Philippines and as taxpayer, instituted the present special civil
action, for a writ of prohibition with preliminary injunction, against the Auditor General, to restrain The (Governor-General) President of the Philippines may by executive order define the
him, as well as his representatives and agents, from passing in audit any expenditure of public boundary, or boundaries, of any province, subprovince, municipality, [township]
funds in implementation of said executive orders and/or any disbursement by said municipalities. municipal district, or other political subdivision, and increase or diminish the territory
comprised therein, may divide any province into one or more subprovinces, separate
Petitioner alleges that said executive orders are null and void, upon the ground that said Section any political division other than a province, into such portions as may be required,
68 has been impliedly repealed by Republic Act No. 2370 and constitutes an undue delegation of merge any of such subdivisions or portions with another, name any new subdivision so
legislative power. Respondent maintains the contrary view and avers that the present action is created, and may change the seat of government within any subdivision to such place
premature and that not all proper parties referring to the officials of the new political therein as the public welfare may require: Provided, That the authorization of the
subdivisions in question have been impleaded. Subsequently, the mayors of several (Philippine Legislature) Congress of the Philippines shall first be obtained whenever
municipalities adversely affected by the aforementioned executive orders because the latter the boundary of any province or subprovince is to be defined or any province is to be
have taken away from the former the barrios composing the new political subdivisions divided into one or more subprovinces. When action by the (Governor-General)
intervened in the case. Moreover, Attorneys Enrique M. Fernando and Emma Quisumbing- President of the Philippines in accordance herewith makes necessary a change of the
Fernando were allowed to and did appear as amici curiae. territory under the jurisdiction of any administrative officer or any judicial officer, the
(Governor-General) President of the Philippines, with the recommendation and advice
of the head of the Department having executive control of such officer, shall redistrict
The third paragraph of Section 3 of Republic Act No. 2370, reads: the territory of the several officers affected and assign such officers to the new districts
so formed.
Barrios shall not be created or their boundaries altered nor their names changed
except under the provisions of this Act or by Act of Congress. Upon the changing of the limits of political divisions in pursuance of the foregoing
authority, an equitable distribution of the funds and obligations of the divisions thereby
affected shall be made in such manner as may be recommended by the (Insular
Pursuant to the first two (2) paragraphs of the same Section 3:
Auditor) Auditor General and approved by the (Governor-General) President of the
Philippines.
All barrios existing at the time of the passage of this Act shall come under the
provisions hereof.
Respondent alleges that the power of the President to create municipalities under this section
does not amount to an undue delegation of legislative power, relying upon Municipality of
Upon petition of a majority of the voters in the areas affected, a new barrio may be Cardona vs. Municipality of Binagonan (36 Phil. 547), which, he claims, has settled it. Such
created or the name of an existing one may be changed by the provincial board of the claim is untenable, for said case involved, not the creation of a new municipality, but a
province, upon recommendation of the council of the municipality or municipalities in mere transfer of territory from an already existing municipality (Cardona) to another
which the proposed barrio is stipulated. The recommendation of the municipal council municipality (Binagonan), likewise, existing at the time of and prior to said transfer (See Gov't of
shall be embodied in a resolution approved by at least two-thirds of the entire the P.I. ex rel. Municipality of Cardona vs. Municipality, of Binagonan [34 Phil. 518, 519-5201)
membership of the said council: Provided, however, That no new barrio may be in consequence of the fixing and definition, pursuant to Act No. 1748, of the common boundaries
created if its population is less than five hundred persons. of two municipalities.

Hence, since January 1, 1960, when Republic Act No. 2370 became effective, barrios may "not It is obvious, however, that, whereas the power to fix such common boundary, in order to avoid or
be created or their boundaries altered nor their names changed" except by Act of Congress or of settle conflicts of jurisdiction between adjoining municipalities, may partake of
the corresponding provincial board "upon petition of a majority of the voters in the areas affected" an administrative nature involving, as it does, the adoption of means and ways to carry into
and the "recommendation of the council of the municipality or municipalities in which the effect the law creating said municipalities the authority to create municipal corporations is
proposed barrio is situated." Petitioner argues, accordingly: "If the President, under this new law, essentially legislative in nature. In the language of other courts, it is "strictly a legislative function"
cannot even create a barrio, can he create a municipality which is composed of several barrios, (State ex rel. Higgins vs. Aicklen, 119 S. 425, January 2, 1959) or "solely and exclusively the
since barrios are units of municipalities?" exercise of legislative power" (Udall vs. Severn, May 29, 1938, 79 P. 2d 347-349). As the
Supreme Court of Washington has put it (Territory ex rel. Kelly vs. Stewart, February 13, 1890, 23 Such is not the nature of the powers dealt with in section 68. As above indicated, the creation of
Pac. 405, 409), "municipal corporations are purely the creatures of statutes." municipalities, is not an administrative function, but one which is essentially and eminently
legislative in character. The question of whether or not "public interest" demands the exercise of
such power is not one of fact. it is "purely a legislativequestion "(Carolina-Virginia Coastal
Although1a Congress may delegate to another branch of the Government the power to fill in the Highway vs. Coastal Turnpike Authority, 74 S.E. 2d. 310-313, 315-318), or a political question
details in the execution, enforcement or administration of a law, it is essential, to forestall a (Udall vs. Severn, 79 P. 2d. 347-349). As the Supreme Court of Wisconsin has aptly
violation of the principle of separation of powers, that said law: (a) be complete in itself it must characterized it, "the question as to whether incorporation is for the best interest of the community
set forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out or implemented by the delegate2 and (b) in any case is emphatically a question of public policy and statecraft" (In re Village of North
fix a standard the limits of which are sufficiently determinate or determinable to which the Milwaukee, 67 N.W. 1033, 1035-1037).
delegate must conform in the performance of his functions. 2a Indeed, without a statutory
declaration of policy, the delegate would in effect, make or formulate such policy, which is the
essence of every law; and, without the aforementioned standard, there would be no means to For this reason, courts of justice have annulled, as constituting undue delegation of legislative
determine, with reasonable certainty, whether the delegate has acted within or beyond the scope powers, state laws granting the judicial department, the power to determine whether certain
of his authority.2b Hence, he could thereby arrogate upon himself the power, not only to make the territories should be annexed to a particular municipality (Udall vs. Severn, supra, 258-359); or
law, but, also and this is worse to unmake it, by adopting measures inconsistent with the vesting in a Commission the right to determine the plan and frame of government of proposed
end sought to be attained by the Act of Congress, thus nullifying the principle of separation of villages and what functions shall be exercised by the same, although the powers and functions of
powers and the system of checks and balances, and, consequently, undermining the very the village are specifically limited by statute (In re Municipal Charters, 86 Atl. 307-308); or
foundation of our Republican system. conferring upon courts the authority to declare a given town or village incorporated, and
designate its metes and bounds, upon petition of a majority of the taxable inhabitants thereof,
setting forth the area desired to be included in such village (Territory ex rel Kelly vs. Stewart, 23
Section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code does not meet these well settled requirements for Pac. 405-409); or authorizing the territory of a town, containing a given area and population, to be
a valid delegation of the power to fix the details in the enforcement of a law. It does not enunciate incorporated as a town, on certain steps being taken by the inhabitants thereof and on certain
any policy to be carried out or implemented by the President. Neither does it give a standard determination by a court and subsequent vote of the inhabitants in favor thereof, insofar as the
sufficiently precise to avoid the evil effects above referred to. In this connection, we do not court is allowed to determine whether the lands embraced in the petition "ought justly" to be
overlook the fact that, under the last clause of the first sentence of Section 68, the President: included in the village, and whether the interest of the inhabitants will be promoted by such
incorporation, and to enlarge and diminish the boundaries of the proposed village "as justice may
... may change the seat of the government within any subdivision to such place therein require" (In re Villages of North Milwaukee, 67 N.W. 1035-1037); or creating a Municipal Board of
as the public welfare may require. Control which shall determine whether or not the laying out, construction or operation of a toll
road is in the "public interest" and whether the requirements of the law had been complied with, in
which case the board shall enter an order creating a municipal corporation and fixing the name of
It is apparent, however, from the language of this clause, that the phrase "as the public welfare the same (Carolina-Virginia Coastal Highway vs. Coastal Turnpike Authority, 74 S.E. 2d. 310).
may require" qualified, not the clauses preceding the one just quoted, but only the place to which
the seat of the government may be transferred. This fact becomes more apparent when we
consider that said Section 68 was originally Section 1 of Act No. 1748, 3 which provided that, Insofar as the validity of a delegation of power by Congress to the President is concerned, the
"whenever in the judgment of the Governor-General the public welfare requires, he may, by case of Schechter Poultry Corporation vs. U.S. (79 L. Ed. 1570) is quite relevant to the one at
executive order," effect the changes enumerated therein (as in said section 68), including the bar. The Schechter case involved the constitutionality of Section 3 of the National Industrial
change of the seat of the government "to such place ... as the public interest requires." The Recovery Act authorizing the President of the United States to approve "codes of fair competition"
opening statement of said Section 1 of Act No. 1748 which was not included in Section 68 of submitted to him by one or more trade or industrial associations or corporations which "impose no
the Revised Administrative Code governed the time at which, or the conditions under which, inequitable restrictions on admission to membership therein and are truly representative,"
the powers therein conferred could be exercised; whereas the last part of the first sentence of provided that such codes are not designed "to promote monopolies or to eliminate or oppress
said section referred exclusively to the place to which the seat of the government was to be small enterprises and will not operate to discriminate against them, and will tend to effectuate the
transferred. policy" of said Act. The Federal Supreme Court held:

At any rate, the conclusion would be the same, insofar as the case at bar is concerned, even if To summarize and conclude upon this point: Sec. 3 of the Recovery Act is without
we assumed that the phrase "as the public welfare may require," in said Section 68, qualifies all precedent. It supplies no standards for any trade, industry or activity. It does not
other clauses thereof. It is true that in Calalang vs. Williams (70 Phil. 726) and People vs. undertake to prescribe rules of conduct to be applied to particular states of fact
Rosenthal (68 Phil. 328), this Court had upheld "public welfare" and "public interest," respectively, determined by appropriate administrative procedure. Instead of prescribing rules of
as sufficient standards for a valid delegation of the authority to execute the law. But, the doctrine conduct, it authorizes the making of codes to prescribe them. For that legislative
laid down in these cases as all judicial pronouncements must be construed in relation to the undertaking, Sec. 3 sets up no standards, aside from the statement of the general
specific facts and issues involved therein, outside of which they do not constitute precedents and aims of rehabilitation, correction and expansion described in Sec. 1. In view of the
have no binding effect.4 The law construed in the Calalang case conferred upon the Director of scope of that broad declaration, and of the nature of the few restrictions that are
Public Works, with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, the power imposed, the discretion of the President in approving or prescribing codes, and thus
to issue rules and regulations to promote safe transitupon national roads and streets. Upon the enacting laws for the government of trade and industry throughout the country, is
other hand, the Rosenthal case referred to the authority of the Insular Treasurer, under Act No. virtually unfettered. We think that the code making authority thus conferred is an
2581, to issue and cancel certificates or permits for the sale of speculative securities. Both cases unconstitutional delegation of legislative power.
involved grants to administrative officers of powers related to the exercise of their administrative
functions, calling for the determination of questions of fact.
If the term "unfair competition" is so broad as to vest in the President a discretion that is "virtually conferring upon him more power over municipal corporations than that which he has over said
unfettered." and, consequently, tantamount to a delegation of legislative power, it is obvious that executive departments, bureaus or offices.
"public welfare," which has even a broader connotation, leads to the same result. In fact, if the
validity of the delegation of powers made in Section 68 were upheld, there would no longer be
any legal impediment to a statutory grant of authority to the President to do anything which, in his In short, even if it did entail an undue delegation of legislative powers, as it certainly does, said
opinion, may be required by public welfare or public interest. Such grant of authority would be a Section 68, as part of the Revised Administrative Code, approved on March 10, 1917, must be
virtual abdication of the powers of Congress in favor of the Executive, and would bring about a deemed repealed by the subsequent adoption of the Constitution, in 1935, which is utterly
total collapse of the democratic system established by our Constitution, which it is the special incompatible and inconsistent with said statutory enactment.7
duty and privilege of this Court to uphold.
There are only two (2) other points left for consideration, namely, respondent's claim (a) that "not
It may not be amiss to note that the executive orders in question were issued after the legislative all the proper parties" referring to the officers of the newly created municipalities "have been
bills for the creation of the municipalities involved in this case had failed to pass Congress. A impleaded in this case," and (b) that "the present petition is premature."
better proof of the fact that the issuance of said executive orders entails the exercise of purely
legislative functions can hardly be given. As regards the first point, suffice it to say that the records do not show, and the parties do not
claim, that the officers of any of said municipalities have been appointed or elected and assumed
Again, Section 10 (1) of Article VII of our fundamental law ordains: office. At any rate, the Solicitor General, who has appeared on behalf of respondent Auditor
General, is the officer authorized by law "to act and represent the Government of the Philippines,
its offices and agents, in any official investigation, proceeding or matter requiring the services of a
The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus, or offices, lawyer" (Section 1661, Revised Administrative Code), and, in connection with the creation of the
exercise general supervision over all local governments as may be provided by law, aforementioned municipalities, which involves a political, not proprietary, function, said local
and take care that the laws be faithfully executed. officials, if any, are mere agents or representatives of the national government. Their interest in
the case at bar has, accordingly, been, in effect, duly represented.8
The power of control under this provision implies the right of the President to interfere in the
exercise of such discretion as may be vested by law in the officers of the executive departments, With respect to the second point, respondent alleges that he has not as yet acted on any of the
bureaus, or offices of the national government, as well as to act in lieu of such officers. This executive order & in question and has not intimated how he would act in connection therewith. It
power is denied by the Constitution to the Executive, insofar as local governments are concerned. is, however, a matter of common, public knowledge, subject to judicial cognizance, that the
With respect to the latter, the fundamental law permits him to wield no more authority than that of President has, for many years, issued executive orders creating municipal corporations and that
checking whether said local governments or the officers thereof perform their duties as provided the same have been organized and in actual operation, thus indicating, without peradventure of
by statutory enactments. Hence, the President cannot interfere with local governments, so long doubt, that the expenditures incidental thereto have been sanctioned, approved or passed in
as the same or its officers act Within the scope of their authority. He may not enact an ordinance audit by the General Auditing Office and its officials. There is no reason to believe, therefore, that
which the municipal council has failed or refused to pass, even if it had thereby violated a duty respondent would adopt a different policy as regards the new municipalities involved in this case,
imposed thereto by law, although he may see to it that the corresponding provincial officials take in the absence of an allegation to such effect, and none has been made by him.
appropriate disciplinary action therefor. Neither may he vote, set aside or annul an ordinance
passed by said council within the scope of its jurisdiction, no matter how patently unwise it may
be. He may not even suspend an elective official of a regular municipality or take any disciplinary WHEREFORE, the Executive Orders in question are hereby declared null and void ab initio and
action against him, except on appeal from a decision of the corresponding provincial board.5 the respondent permanently restrained from passing in audit any expenditure of public funds in
implementation of said Executive Orders or any disbursement by the municipalities above
referred to. It is so ordered.
Upon the other hand if the President could create a municipality, he could, in effect, remove any
of its officials, by creating a new municipality and including therein the barrio in which the official
concerned resides, for his office would thereby become vacant.6 Thus, by merely brandishing the
power to create a new municipality (if he had it), without actually creating it, he could compel local
officials to submit to his dictation, thereby, in effect, exercising over them the power of control
denied to him by the Constitution.

Then, also, the power of control of the President over executive departments, bureaus or offices
implies no more than the authority to assume directly the functions thereof or to interfere in the
exercise of discretion by its officials. Manifestly, such control does not include the authority either
to abolish an executive department or bureau, or to create a new one. As a consequence, the
alleged power of the President to create municipal corporations would necessarily connote the
exercise by him of an authority even greater than that of control which he has over the executive
departments, bureaus or offices. In other words, Section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code
does not merely fail to comply with the constitutional mandate above quoted. Instead of giving the
President less power over local governments than that vested in him over the executive
departments, bureaus or offices, it reverses the process and does the exact opposite, by
CEBU OXYGEN & ACETYLENE CO., INC. (COACO) petitioner, WHICH MAY BE ISSUED BY WAY OF LEGISLATION, DECREE OR
vs. SECRETARY FRANKLIN M. DRILON OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND PRESIDENTIAL EDICT COUNTED FROM THE ABOVE DATE TO THE
EMPLOYMENT, ASSISTANT REGIONAL DIRECTOR CANDIDO CUMBA OF THE NEXT INCREASE.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, REGIONAL OFFICE NO. 7 AND CEBU
OXYGEN-ACETYLENE & CENTRAL VISAYAS EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION
(COACVEA) respondents. 3) For the third year which will be paid on January 16, 1988 P300 to
each covered employee.

Michael L. Rama for petitioner.


IT IS HEREBY EXPRESSLY AGREED AND UNDERSTOOD THAT THIS
PAY INCREASE SHALL BE CREDITED AS PAYMENT TO ANY
Armando M. Alforque for private respondent. MANDATED GOVERNMENT WAGE ADJUSTMENT OR ALLOWANCE
INCREASES WHICH MAY BE ISSUED BY WAY OF LEGISLATION,
DECREE OR PRESIDENTIAL EDICT COUNTED FROM THE ABOVE
DATE TO THE NEXT INCREASE.

GANCAYCO, J.; IF THE WAGE ADJUSTMENT OF ALLOWANCE INCREASES DECREED


BY LAW, LEGISLATION OR PRESIDENTIAL qqqEDICT IN ANY
The principal issue raised in this petition is whether or not an Implementing Order of the PARTICULAR YEAR SHALL BE HIGHER THAN THE FOREGOING
Secretary of Labor and Employment (DOLE) can provide for a prohibition not contemplated by INCREASES IN THAT PARTICULAR YEAR, THEN THE COMPANY
the law it seeks to implement. SHALL PAY THE DIFFERENCE.

The undisputed facts are as follows: On December 14, 1987, Republic Act No. 6640 was passed increasing the minimum wage, as
follows:

Petitioner and the union of its rank and file employees, Cebu Oxygen, Acetylene and Central
Visayas Employees Association (COAVEA) entered into a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) Sec. 2. The statutory minimum wage rates of workers and employees in the
covering the years 1986 to 1988. Pursuant thereto, the management gave salary increases as private sector, whether agricultural or non-agricultural, shall be increased by
follows: ten pesos (P10.00) per day, except non-agricultural workers and employees
outside Metro Manila who shall receive an increase of eleven pesos
(P11.00) per day: Provided, that those already receiving above the
ARTICLE IV SALARIES/RICE RATION minimum wage up to one hundred pesos (Pl 00.00 shall receive an increase
of ten pesos (Pl 0.00) per day. Excepted from the provisions of this Act are
domestic helpers and persons employed in the personal service of another.
Section 1. The COMPANY agrees that for and during the three (3) year
effectivity of this AGREEMENT, it will grant to all regular covered
employees the following salary increases: The Secretary of Labor issued the pertinent rules implementing the provisions of Republic Act No.
6640. Section 8 thereof provides:
Salaries:
Section 8. Wage Increase Under Individual/Collective Agreements. No
wage increase shall be credited as compliance with the increase prescribed
1) For the first year which will be paid on January 14, 1986 P200 to each
herein unless expressly provided under valid individual written/collective
covered employee.
agreements; and, provided further, that such wage increase was granted in
anticipation of the legislated wage increase under the act. Such increases
IT IS HEREBY EXPRESSLY AGREED AND UNDERSTOOD THAT THIS shall not include anniversary wage increases provided on collective
PAY INCREASE SHALL BE CREDITED AS PAYMENT TO ANY agreements.
MANDATED GOVERNMENT WAGE ADJUSTMENT OR ALLOWANCE
INCREASES WHICH MAY BE ISSUED BY WAY OF LEGISLATION,
In sum, Section 8 of the implementing rules prohibits the employer from crediting anniversary
DECREE OR PRESIDENT
wage increases negotiated under a collective bargaining agreement against such wage increases
mandated by Republic Act No. 6640.
2) For the second year which will be paid on January 16, 1987-P 200 to
each covered employee.
Accordingly, petitioner credited the first year increase of P200.00 under the CBA and added the
difference of P61.66 (rounded to P62.00) and P31.00 to the monthly salary and the 13th month
IT IS HEREBY EXPRESSLY AGREED AND UNDERSTOOD THAT THIS pay, respectively, of its employees from the effectivity of Republic Act No. 6640 on December
PAY INCREASE SHALL BE CREDITED AS PAYMENT TO ANY DATED 14,1987 to February 15, 1988.
GOVERNMENT WAGE ADJUSTMENT OR ALLOWANCE INCREASES
On February 22, 1988, a Labor and Employment Development Officer, pursuant to Inspection pay differential of P31.00. Petitioner argued that the payment of the differentials constitutes full
Authority No. 058-88, commenced a routine inspection of petitioner's establishment. Upon compliance with Republic Act No. 6640. Apparently, the protest was not entertained. Petitioner
completion of the inspection on March 10, 1988, and based on payrolls and other records, he brought the case immediately to this Court without appealing the matter to the Secretary of Labor
found that petitioner committed violations of the law as follows: and Employment. On May 9,1988, this Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the
Assistant Regional Director from enforcing his Order dated April 7, 1988.1The thrust of the
argument of petitioner is that Section 8 of the rules implementing the provisions of Republic Act
1. Under payment of Basic Wage per R.A. No. 6640 covering the period of No. 6640 particularly the provision excluding anniversary wage increases from being credited to
two (2) months representing 208 employees who are not receiving wages the wage increase provided by said law is null and void on the ground that the same unduly
above P100/day prior to the effectivity of R.A. No. 6640 in the aggregate expands the provisions of the said law.
amount of EIGHTY THREE THOUSAND AND TWO HUNDRED PESOS
(P83,200.00); and
This petition is impressed with merit.
2. Under payment of 13th month pay for the year 1987, representing 208
employees who are not receiving wages above P 100/day prior to the Public respondents aver that petitioner should have first appealed to the Secretary of Labor
effectivity of R.A. No. 6640 in the aggregate amount of FORTY EIGHT before going to court. It is fundamental that in a case where only pure questions of law are raised,
THOUSAND AND FORTY EIGHT PESOS (P48,048.00). the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies cannot apply because issues of law cannot
be resolved with finality by the administrative officer. Appeal to the administrative officer of orders
involving questions of law would be an exercise in futility since administrative officers cannot
On April 7, 1988, respondent Assistant Regional Director, issued an Order instructing petitioner to decide such issues with finality.2 The questions raised in this petition are questions of law. Hence,
pay its 208 employees the aggregate amount of P 131,248.00, computed as follows: the failure to exhaust administrative remedies cannot be considered fatal to this petition.

Computation sheet of differentials due to COACO-Cebu Workers. As to the issue of the validity of Section 8 of the rules implementing Republic Act No. 6640, which
prohibits the employer from crediting the anniversary wage increases provided in collective
Salary Differentials: bargaining agreements, it is a fundamental rule that implementing rules cannot add or detract
from the provisions of law it is designed to implement. The provisions of Republic Act No. 6640,
do not prohibit the crediting of CBA anniversary wage increases for purposes of compliance with
a) From December 14/87 to February 15/88 Republic Act No. 6640. The implementing rules cannot provide for such a prohibition not
contemplated by the law. Administrative regulations adopted under legislative authority by a
particular department must be in harmony with the provisions of the law, and should be for the
= P200.00/mo x 2 months
sole purpose of carrying into effect its general provisions. The law itself cannot be expanded by
such regulations. An administrative agency cannot amend an act of Congress. 3 Thus petitioner's
= P400.00 contention that the salary increases granted by it pursuant to the existing CBA including
anniversary wage increases should be considered in determining compliance with the wage
increase mandated by Republic Act No. 6640, is correct. However, the amount that should only
= P400 x 208 employees (who are not receiving above P100/day as wages be credited to petitioner is the wage increase for 1987 under the CBA when the law took effect.
before the effectivity of R.A. No. 6640) The wage increase for 1986 had already accrued in favor of the employees even before the said
law was enacted.
=P 83,200.00
Petitioner therefor correctly credited its employees P62.00 for the differential of two (2) months
b) 13th month pay differentials of the year 1987: increase and P31.00 each for the differential in 13th month pay, after deducting the P200.00
anniversary wage increase for 1987 under the CBA. Indeed, it is stipulated in the CBA that in
case any wage adjustment or allowance increase decreed by law, legislation or presidential edict
= P231.00 x 208 employees (who are not receiving above P100/day as in any particular year shall be higher than the foregoing increase in that particular year, then the
wages before the effectivity of RA. No. 6640) company (petitioner) shall pay the difference.

=P48,048.00 WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The Order of the respondent Assistant Regional
Director dated April 7, 1988 is modified in that petitioner is directed to pay its 208 employees so
entitled the amount of P62.00 each as salary differential for two (2) months and P31.00 as 13th
Total = P131,248.00 month pay differential in full compliance with the provisions of Republic Act No. 6640. Section 8 of
the rules implementing Republic 6640, is hereby declared null and void in so far as it excludes the
In sum, the Assistant Regional Director ordered petitioner to pay the deficiency of P200.00 in the anniversary wage increases negotiated under collective bargaining agreements from being
monthly salary and P 231.00 in the 13th month pay of its employees for the period stated. credited to the wage increase provided for under Republic Act No. 6440. This decision is
Petitioner protested the Order of the Regional Director on the ground that the anniversary wage immediately executory.
increases under the CBA can be credited against the wage increase mandated by Republic Act
No. 6640. Hence, petitioner contended that inasmuch as it had credited the first year increase
negotiated under the CBA, it was liable only for a salary differential of P 62.00 and a 13th month
CONGRESSMAN JAMES L. CHIONGBIAN (Third District, South Cotobato) ADELBERT W. (2) Oroquieta City, Tangub City and Ozamiz City, at present parts of Region
ANTONINO (First District, South Cotobato), WILFREDO G. CAINGLET (Third District, X will become parts of Region IX.
Zamboanga del Norte), HILARION RAMIRO, JR. (Second Division, Misamis Occidental),
ERNESTO S. AMATONG (Second District, Zamboanga del Norte), ALVIN G. DANS (Lone
District, Basilan), ABDULLAH M. DIMAPORO (Second District, Lanao del Norte), and (3) South Cotobato, at present a part of Region XI, will become part of
CONGRESSWOMAN MARIA CLARA A. LOBREGAT (Lone District, Zamboanga Region XII.
City) petitioners, vs. HON. OSCAR M. ORBOS, Executive Secretary; COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN
SEC. FIDEL V. RAMOS, CABINET OFFICERS FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR (4) General Santos City, at present part of Region XI, will become part of
REGIONS X AND XII, CHAIRMAN OF THE REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL FOR Region XII.
REGION X, CHAIRMAN JESUS V. AYALA, CABINET OFFICERS FOR REGIONAL
DEVELOPMENT FOR REGIONS XI and XII, DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT,
NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY SECRETARIAT, PRESIDENTIAL (5) Lanao del Norte, at present part of Region XII, will become part of
MANAGEMENT STAFF, HON. GUILLERMO CARAGUE, Secretary of the DEPARTMENT OF Region IX.
BUDGET and MANAGEMENT; and HON. ROSALINA S. CAJUCUM, OIC National
Treasurer, respondents.
(6) Iligan City and Marawi City, at present part of Region XII, will become
part of Region IX.
These suits challenge the validity of a provision of the Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in
Muslim Mindanao (R.A. No. 6734), authorizing the President of the Philippines to "merge" by
Petitioners in G.R. No. 96754 are, or at least at the time of the filing of their petition, members of
administrative determination the regions remaining after the establishment of the Autonomous
Congress representing various legislative districts in South Cotobato, Zamboanga del Norte,
Region, and the Executive Order issued by the President pursuant to such authority, "Providing
Basilan, Lanao del Norte and Zamboanga City. On November 12, 1990, they wrote then
for the Reorganization of Administrative Regions in Mindanao." A temporary restraining order
President Aquino protesting E.O. No. 429. They contended that
prayed for by the petitioners was issued by this Court on January 29, 1991, enjoining the
respondents from enforcing the Executive Order and statute in question.
There is no law which authorizes the President to pick certain provinces and
cities within the existing regions some of which did not even take part in
The facts are as follows:
the plebiscite as in the case of the province of Misamis Occidental and the
cities of Oroquieta, Tangub and Ozamiz and restructure them to new
Pursuant to Art. X, 18 of the 1987 Constitution, Congress passed R.A. No. 6734, the Organic administrative regions. On the other hand, the law (Sec. 13, Art. XIX, R.A.
Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, calling for a plebiscite to be held in the 6734) is specific to the point, that is, that "the provinces and cities which in
provinces of Basilan, Cotobato, Davao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, the plebiscite do not vote for inclusion in the Autonomous Region shall
Palawan, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte, and remain in the existing administrative regions."
Zamboanga del Sur, and the cities of Cotabato, Dapitan, Dipolog, General Santos, Iligan, Marawi,
Pagadian, Puerto Princesa and Zamboanga. In the ensuing plebiscite held on November 16,
The transfer of the provinces of Misamis Occidental from Region X to
1989, four provinces voted in favor of creating an autonomous region. These are the provinces of
Region IX; Lanao del Norte from Region XII to Region IX, and South
Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. In accordance with the constitutional
Cotobato from Region XI to Region XII are alterations of the existing
provision, these provinces became the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
structures of governmental units, in other words, reorganization. This can
be gleaned from Executive Order No. 429, thus
On the other hand, with respect to provinces and cities not voting in favor of the Autonomous
Region, Art. XIX, 13 of R.A. No. 6734 provides,
Whereas, there is an urgent need to reorganize the
administrative regions in Mindanao to guarantee the
That only the provinces and cities voting favorably in such plebiscites shall effective delivery of field services of government
be included in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The provinces agencies taking into consideration the formation of the
and cities which in the plebiscite do not vote for inclusion in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Autonomous Region shall remain in the existing administrative
regions. Provided, however, that the President may, by administrative
With due respect to Her Excellency, we submit that while the authority
determination, merge the existing regions.
necessarily includes the authority to merge, the authority to merge does not
include the authority to reorganize. Therefore, the President's authority
Pursuant to the authority granted by this provision, then President Corazon C. Aquino issued on under RA 6734 to "merge existing regions" cannot be construed to include
October 12, 1990 Executive Order No. 429, "providing for the Reorganization of the the authority to reorganize them. To do so will violate the rules of statutory
Administrative Regions in Mindanao." Under this Order, as amended by E.O. No. 439 construction.

(1) Misamis Occidental, at present part of Region X, will become part of The transfer of regional centers under Executive Order 429 is actually a
Region IX. restructuring (reorganization) of administrative regions. While this
reorganization, as in Executive Order 429, does not affect the
apportionment of congressional representatives, the same is not valid under
the penultimate paragraph of Sec. 13, Art. XIX of R.A. 6734 and Ordinance 1. The President of the Philippines shall have the continuing authority to
appended to the 1986 Constitution apportioning the seats of the House of reorganize the National Government. In exercising this authority, the
Representatives of Congress of the Philippines to the different legislative President shall be guided by generally acceptable principles of good
districts in provinces and cities.1 government and responsive national government, including but not limited
to the following guidelines for a more efficient, effective, economical and
development-oriented governmental framework:
As their protest went unheeded, while Inauguration Ceremonies of the New Administrative
Region IX were scheduled on January 26, 1991, petitioners brought this suit for certiorari and
prohibition. (a) More effective planning implementation, and
review functions;
On the other hand, the petitioner in G.R. No. 96673, Immanuel Jaldon, is a resident of
Zamboanga City, who is suing in the capacity of taxpayer and citizen of the Republic of the (b) Greater decentralization and responsiveness in
Philippines. decision-making process;

Petitioners in both cases contend that Art. XIX, 13 of R.A. No. 6734 is unconstitutional because (c) Further minimization, if not, elimination, of
(1) it unduly delegates legislative power to the President by authorizing him to "merge [by duplication or overlapping of purposes, functions,
administrative determination] the existing regions" or at any rate provides no standard for the activities, and programs;
exercise of the power delegated and (2) the power granted is not expressed in the title of the law.
(d) Further development of as standardized as
In addition, petitioner in G.R. No. 96673 challenges the validity of E.O. No. 429 on the ground that possible ministerial, sub-ministerial and corporate
the power granted by Art. XIX, 13 to the President is only to "merge regions IX and XII" but not organizational structures;
to reorganize the entire administrative regions in Mindanao and certainly not to transfer the
regional center of Region IX from Zamboanga City to Pagadian City.
(e) Further development of the regionalization
process; and
The Solicitor General defends the reorganization of regions in Mindanao by E.O. No. 429 as
merely the exercise of a power "traditionally lodged in the President," as held in Abbas
v. Comelec,2 and as a mere incident of his power of general supervision over local governments (f) Further rationalization of the functions of and
and control of executive departments, bureaus and offices under Art. X, 16 and Art. VII, 17, administrative relationships among government
respectively, of the Constitution. entities.

He contends that there is no undue delegation of legislative power but only a grant of the power For purposes of this Decree, the coverage of the
to "fill up" or provide the details of legislation because Congress did not have the facility to continuing authority of the President to reorganize
provide for them. He cites by analogy the case of Municipality of Cardona v. Municipality of shall be interpreted to encompass all agencies,
Binangonan,3 in which the power of the Governor-General to fix municipal boundaries was entities, instrumentalities, and units of the National
sustained on the ground that Government, including all government owned or
controlled corporations as well as the entire range of
the powers, functions, authorities, administrative
[such power] is simply a transference of certain details with respect to relationships, acid related aspects pertaining to these
provinces, municipalities, and townships, many of them newly created, and agencies, entities, instrumentalities, and units.
all of them subject to a more or less rapid change both in development and
centers of population, the proper regulation of which might require not only
prompt action but action of such a detailed character as not to permit the 2. [T]he President may, at his discretion, take the following actions:
legislative body, as such, to take it efficiently.
f. Create, abolish, group, consolidate, merge, or
The Solicitor General justifies the grant to the President of the power "to merge the existing integrate entities, agencies, instrumentalities, and
regions" as something fairly embraced in the title of R.A. No. 6734, to wit, "An Act Providing for an units of the National Government, as well as expand,
Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao," because it is germane to it. amend, change, or otherwise modify their powers,
functions and authorities, including, with respect to
government-owned or controlled corporations, their
He argues that the power is not limited to the merger of those regions in which the provinces and corporate life, capitalization, and other relevant
cities which took part in the plebiscite are located but that it extends to all regions in Mindanao as aspects of their charters.
necessitated by the establishment of the autonomous region.
g. Take such other related actions as may be
Finally, he invokes P.D. No. 1416, as amended by P.D. No. 1772 which provides: necessary to carry out the purposes and objectives of
this Decree.
Considering the arguments of the parties, the issues are: There is, therefore, no abdication by Congress of its legislative power in conferring on the
President the power to merge administrative regions. The question is whether Congress has
provided a sufficient standard by which the President is to be guided in the exercise of the power
(1) whether the power to "merge" administrative regions is legislative in character, as petitioners granted and whether in any event the grant of power to him is included in the subject expressed
contend, or whether it is executive in character, as respondents claim it is, and, in any event, in the title of the law.
whether Art. XIX, 13 is invalid because it contains no standard to guide the President's
discretion;
First, the question of standard. A legislative standard need not be expressed. It may simply be
gathered or implied. 10 Nor need it be found in the law challenged because it may be embodied in
(2) whether the power given is fairly expressed in the title of the statute; and other statutes on the same subject as that of the challenged legislation. 11

(3) whether the power granted authorizes the reorganization even of regions the provinces and With respect to the power to merge existing administrative regions, the standard is to be found in
cities in which either did not take part in the plebiscite on the creation of the Autonomous Region the same policy underlying the grant to the President in R.A. No. 5435 of the power to reorganize
or did not vote in favor of it; and the Executive Department, to wit: "to promote simplicity, economy and efficiency in the
government to enable it to pursue programs consistent with national goals for accelerated social
(4) whether the power granted to the President includes the power to transfer the regional center and economic development and to improve the service in the transaction of the public
of Region IX from Zamboanga City to Pagadian City. business."12 Indeed, as the original eleven administrative regions were established in accordance
with this policy, it is logical to suppose that in authorizing the President to "merge [by
administrative determination] the existing regions" in view of the withdrawal from some of those
It will be useful to recall first the nature of administrative regions and the basis and purpose for regions of the provinces now constituting the Autonomous Region, the purpose of Congress was
their creation. On September 9, 1968, R.A. No. 5435 was passed "authorizing the President of to reconstitute the original basis for the organization of administrative regions.
the Philippines, with the help of a Commission on Reorganization, to reorganize the different
executive departments, bureaus, offices, agencies and instrumentalities of the government,
including banking or financial institutions and corporations owned or controlled by it." The purpose Nor is Art. XIX, 13 susceptible to charge that its subject is not embraced in the title of R.A. No.
was to promote "simplicity, economy and efficiency in the government."4 The Commission on 6734. The constitutional requirement that "every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only
Reorganization created under the law was required to submit an integrated reorganization plan one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof" 13 has always been given a practical
not later than December 31, 1969 to the President who was in turn required to submit the plan to rather than a technical construction. The title is not required to be an index of the content of the
Congress within forty days after the opening of its next regular session. The law provided that any bill. It is a sufficient compliance with the constitutional requirement if the title expresses the
reorganization plan submitted would become effective only upon the approval of Congress.5 general subject and all provisions of the statute are germane to that subject. 14 Certainly the
reorganization of the remaining administrative regions is germane to the general subject of R.A.
No. 6734, which is the establishment of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Accordingly, the Reorganization Commission prepared an Integrated Reorganization Plan which
divided the country into eleven administrative regions. 6 By P.D. No. 1, the Plan was approved
and made part of the law of the land on September 24, 1972. P.D. No. 1 was twice amended in Finally, it is contended that the power granted to the President is limited to the reorganization of
1975, first by P.D. No. 742 which "restructur[ed] the regional organization of Mindanao, Basilan, administrative regions in which some of the provinces and cities which voted in favor of regional
Sulu and Tawi-Tawi" and later by P.D. No. 773 which further "restructur[ed] the regional autonomy are found, because Art. XIX, 13 provides that those which did not vote for autonomy
organization of Mindanao and divid[ed] Region IX into two sub-regions." In 1978, P.D. No. 1555 "shall remain in the existing administrative regions." More specifically, petitioner in G.R. No.
transferred the regional center of Region IX from Jolo to Zamboanga City. 96673 claims:

Thus the creation and subsequent reorganization of administrative regions have been by the The questioned Executive Order No. 429 distorted and, in fact, contravened
President pursuant to authority granted to him by law. In conferring on the President the power "to the clear intent of this provision by moving out or transferring certain
merge [by administrative determination] the existing regions" following the establishment of the political subdivisions (provinces/cities) out of their legally designated
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Congress merely followed the pattern set in previous regions. Aggravating this unacceptable or untenable situation is EO No.
legislation dating back to the initial organization of administrative regions in 1972. The choice of 429's effecting certain movements on areas which did not even participate
the President as delegate is logical because the division of the country into regions is intended to in the November 19, 1989 plebiscite. The unauthorized action of the
facilitate not only the administration of local governments but also the direction of executive President, as effected by and under the questioned EO No. 429, is shown
departments which the law requires should have regional offices. As this Court observed by the following dispositions: (1) Misamis Occidental, formerly of Region X
in Abbas, "while the power to merge administrative regions is not expressly provided for in the and which did not even participate in the plebiscite, was moved from said
Constitution, it is a power which has traditionally been lodged with the President to facilitate the Region X to Region IX; (2) the cities of Ozamis, Oroquieta, and Tangub, all
exercise of the power of general supervision over local governments [seeArt. X, 4 of the formerly belonging to Region X, which likewise did not participate in the said
Constitution]." The regions themselves are not territorial and political divisions like provinces, plebiscite, were transferred to Region IX; (3) South Cotobato, from Region
cities, municipalities and barangays but are "mere groupings of contiguous provinces for XI to Region XII; (4) General Santos City: from Region XI to Region XII; (5)
administrative purposes."7 The power conferred on the President is similar to the power to adjust Lanao del Norte, from Region XII to Region IX; and (6) the cities of Marawi
municipal boundaries8 which has been described in Pelaez v. Auditor General9 or as and Iligan from Region XII to Region IX. All of the said provinces and cities
"administrative in nature." voted "NO", and thereby rejected their entry into the Autonomous Region in
Muslim Mindanao, as provided under RA No. 6734. 15
The contention has no merit. While Art. XIX, 13 provides that "The provinces and cities which do
not vote for inclusion in the Autonomous Region shall remain in the existing administrative
regions," this provision is subject to the qualification that "the President may by administrative
determination merge the existing regions." This means that while non-assenting provinces and
cities are to remain in the regions as designated upon the creation of the Autonomous Region,
they may nevertheless be regrouped with contiguous provinces forming other regions as the
exigency of administration may require.

The regrouping is done only on paper. It involves no more than are definition or redrawing of the
lines separating administrative regions for the purpose of facilitating the administrative
supervision of local government units by the President and insuring the efficient delivery of
essential services. There will be no "transfer" of local governments from one region to another
except as they may thus be regrouped so that a province like Lanao del Norte, which is at present
part of Region XII, will become part of Region IX.

The regrouping of contiguous provinces is not even analogous to a redistricting or to the division
or merger of local governments, which all have political consequences on the right of people
residing in those political units to vote and to be voted for. It cannot be overemphasized that
administrative regions are mere groupings of contiguous provinces for administrative purposes,
not for political representation.

Petitioners nonetheless insist that only those regions, in which the provinces and cities which
voted for inclusion in the Autonomous Region are located, can be "merged" by the President.

To be fundamental reason Art. XIX, 13 is not so limited. But the more fundamental reason is that
the President's power cannot be so limited without neglecting the necessities of administration. It
is noteworthy that the petitioners do not claim that the reorganization of the regions in E.O. No.
429 is irrational. The fact is that, as they themselves admit, the reorganization of administrative
regions in E.O. No. 429 is based on relevant criteria, to wit: (1) contiguity and geographical
features; (2) transportation and communication facilities; (3) cultural and language groupings; (4)
land area and population; (5) existing regional centers adopted by several agencies; (6) socio-
economic development programs in the regions and (7) number of provinces and cities.

What has been said above applies to the change of the regional center from Zamboanga City to
Pagadian City. Petitioners contend that the determination of provincial capitals has always been
by act of Congress. But as, this Court said in Abbas, 16 administrative regions are mere
"groupings of contiguous provinces for administrative purposes, . . . [They] are not territorial and
political subdivisions like provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays." There is, therefore, no
basis for contending that only Congress can change or determine regional centers. To the
contrary, the examples of P.D. Nos. 1, 742, 773 and 1555 suggest that the power to reorganize
administrative regions carries with it the power to determine the regional center.

It may be that the transfer of the regional center in Region IX from Zamboanga City to Pagadian
City may entail the expenditure of large sums of money for the construction of buildings and other
infrastructure to house regional offices. That contention is addressed to the wisdom of the
transfer rather than to its legality and it is settled that courts are not the arbiters of the wisdom or
expediency of legislation. In any event this is a question that we will consider only if fully briefed
and upon a more adequate record than that presented by petitioners.

WHEREFORE, the petitions for certiorari and prohibition are DISMISSED for lack of merit.
THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ANG TANG HO, defendant-appellant. Upon the cessation of the reasons for which such proclamation was issued, the
Governor-General, with the consent of the Council of State, shall declare the
application of this Act to have likewise terminated, and all laws temporarily suspended
Williams & Ferrier for appellant. by virtue of the same shall again take effect, but such termination shall not prevent the
Acting Attorney-General Tuason for appellee. prosecution of any proceedings or cause begun prior to such termination, nor the filing
of any proceedings for an offense committed during the period covered by the
JOHNS, J.: Governor-General's proclamation.

At its special session of 1919, the Philippine Legislature passed Act No. 2868, entitled "An Act August 1, 1919, the Governor-General issued a proclamation fixing the price at which rice should
penalizing the monopoly and holding of, and speculation in, palay, rice, and corn under be sold.
extraordinary circumstances, regulating the distribution and sale thereof, and authorizing the
Governor-General, with the consent of the Council of State, to issue the necessary rules and August 8, 1919, a complaint was filed against the defendant, Ang Tang Ho, charging him with the
regulations therefor, and making an appropriation for this purpose," the material provisions of sale of rice at an excessive price as follows:
which are as follows:

The undersigned accuses Ang Tang Ho of a violation of Executive Order No. 53 of the
Section 1. The Governor-General is hereby authorized, whenever, for any cause, Governor-General of the Philippines, dated the 1st of August, 1919, in relation with the
conditions arise resulting in an extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or corn, to provisions of sections 1, 2 and 4 of Act No. 2868, committed as follows:
issue and promulgate, with the consent of the Council of State, temporary rules and
emergency measures for carrying out the purpose of this Act, to wit:
That on or about the 6th day of August, 1919, in the city of Manila, Philippine Islands,
the said Ang Tang Ho, voluntarily, illegally and criminally sold to Pedro Trinidad, one
(a) To prevent the monopoly and hoarding of, and speculation in, palay, rice or corn. ganta of rice at the price of eighty centavos (P.80), which is a price greater than that
fixed by Executive Order No. 53 of the Governor-General of the Philippines, dated the
(b) To establish and maintain a government control of the distribution or sale of the 1st of August, 1919, under the authority of section 1 of Act No. 2868. Contrary to law.
commodities referred to or have such distribution or sale made by the Government
itself. Upon this charge, he was tried, found guilty and sentenced to five months' imprisonment and to
pay a fine of P500, from which he appealed to this court, claiming that the lower court erred in
(c) To fix, from time to time the quantities of palay rice, or corn that a company or finding Executive Order No. 53 of 1919, to be of any force and effect, in finding the accused guilty
individual may acquire, and the maximum sale price that the industrial or merchant of the offense charged, and in imposing the sentence.
may demand.
The official records show that the Act was to take effect on its approval; that it was approved July
(d) . . . 30, 1919; that the Governor-General issued his proclamation on the 1st of August, 1919; and that
the law was first published on the 13th of August, 1919; and that the proclamation itself was first
published on the 20th of August, 1919.
SEC. 2. It shall be unlawful to destroy, limit, prevent or in any other manner obstruct
the production or milling of palay, rice or corn for the purpose of raising the prices
thereof; to corner or hoard said products as defined in section three of this Act; . . . The question here involves an analysis and construction of Act No. 2868, in so far as it authorizes
the Governor-General to fix the price at which rice should be sold. It will be noted that section 1
authorizes the Governor-General, with the consent of the Council of State, for any cause resulting
Section 3 defines what shall constitute a monopoly or hoarding of palay, rice or corn within the in an extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or corn, to issue and promulgate temporary rules
meaning of this Act, but does not specify the price of rice or define any basic for fixing the price. and emergency measures for carrying out the purposes of the Act. By its very terms, the
promulgation of temporary rules and emergency measures is left to the discretion of the
Governor-General. The Legislature does not undertake to specify or define under what conditions
SEC. 4. The violations of any of the provisions of this Act or of the regulations, orders
or for what reasons the Governor-General shall issue the proclamation, but says that it may be
and decrees promulgated in accordance therewith shall be punished by a fine of not
issued "for any cause," and leaves the question as to what is "any cause" to the discretion of the
more than five thousands pesos, or by imprisonment for not more than two years, or
Governor-General. The Act also says: "For any cause, conditions arise resulting in an
both, in the discretion of the court: Provided, That in the case of companies or
extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or corn." The Legislature does not specify or define
corporations the manager or administrator shall be criminally liable.
what is "an extraordinary rise." That is also left to the discretion of the Governor-General. The Act
also says that the Governor-General, "with the consent of the Council of State," is authorized to
SEC. 7. At any time that the Governor-General, with the consent of the Council of issue and promulgate "temporary rules and emergency measures for carrying out the purposes of
State, shall consider that the public interest requires the application of the provisions of this Act." It does not specify or define what is a temporary rule or an emergency measure, or how
this Act, he shall so declare by proclamation, and any provisions of other laws long such temporary rules or emergency measures shall remain in force and effect, or when they
inconsistent herewith shall from then on be temporarily suspended. shall take effect. That is to say, the Legislature itself has not in any manner specified or defined
any basis for the order, but has left it to the sole judgement and discretion of the Governor-
General to say what is or what is not "a cause," and what is or what is not "an extraordinary rise
in the price of rice," and as to what is a temporary rule or an emergency measure for the carrying
out the purposes of the Act. Under this state of facts, if the law is valid and the Governor-General Same constitution Delegation of power to commission. The authority thus
issues a proclamation fixing the minimum price at which rice should be sold, any dealer who, with given to the commission to determine, in the exercise of their discretion and
or without notice, sells rice at a higher price, is a criminal. There may not have been any cause, judgement, what are equal and reasonable rates, is not a delegation of legislative
and the price may not have been extraordinary, and there may not have been an emergency, but, power.
if the Governor-General found the existence of such facts and issued a proclamation, and rice is
sold at any higher price, the seller commits a crime.
It will be noted that the law creating the railroad commission expressly provides

By the organic law of the Philippine Islands and the Constitution of the United States all powers
are vested in the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary. It is the duty of the Legislature to make the That all charges by any common carrier for the transportation of passengers and
law; of the Executive to execute the law; and of the Judiciary to construe the law. The Legislature property shall be equal and reasonable.
has no authority to execute or construe the law, the Executive has no authority to make or
construe the law, and the Judiciary has no power to make or execute the law. Subject to the With that as a basis for the law, power is then given to the railroad commission to investigate all
Constitution only, the power of each branch is supreme within its own jurisdiction, and it is for the the facts, to hear and determine what is a just and reasonable rate. Even then that law does not
Judiciary only to say when any Act of the Legislature is or is not constitutional. Assuming, without make the violation of the order of the commission a crime. The only remedy is a civil proceeding.
deciding, that the Legislature itself has the power to fix the price at which rice is to be sold, can it It was there held
delegate that power to another, and, if so, was that power legally delegated by Act No. 2868? In
other words, does the Act delegate legislative power to the Governor-General? By the Organic
Law, all Legislative power is vested in the Legislature, and the power conferred upon the That the legislative itself has the power to regulate railroad charges is now too well
Legislature to make laws cannot be delegated to the Governor-General, or any one else. The settled to require either argument or citation of authority.
Legislature cannot delegate the legislative power to enact any law. If Act no 2868 is a law unto
itself and within itself, and it does nothing more than to authorize the Governor-General to make
The difference between the power to say what the law shall be, and the power to adopt
rules and regulations to carry the law into effect, then the Legislature itself created the law. There
rules and regulations, or to investigate and determine the facts, in order to carry into
is no delegation of power and it is valid. On the other hand, if the Act within itself does not define
effect a law already passed, is apparent. The true distinction is between the delegation
crime, and is not a law, and some legislative act remains to be done to make it a law or a crime,
of power to make the law, which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be,
the doing of which is vested in the Governor-General, then the Act is a delegation of legislative
and the conferring an authority or discretion to be exercised under and in pursuance of
power, is unconstitutional and void.
the law.

The Supreme Court of the United States in what is known as the Granger Cases (94 U.S., 183-
The legislature enacts that all freights rates and passenger fares should be just and
187; 24 L. ed., 94), first laid down the rule:
reasonable. It had the undoubted power to fix these rates at whatever it deemed equal
and reasonable.
Railroad companies are engaged in a public employment affecting the public interest
and, under the decision in Munn vs. Ill., ante, 77, are subject to legislative control as to
They have not delegated to the commission any authority or discretion as to what the
their rates of fare and freight unless protected by their charters.
law shall be, which would not be allowable, but have merely conferred upon it an
authority and discretion, to be exercised in the execution of the law, and under and in
The Illinois statute of Mar. 23, 1874, to establish reasonable maximum rates of pursuance of it, which is entirely permissible. The legislature itself has passed upon
charges for the transportation of freights and passengers on the different railroads of the expediency of the law, and what is shall be. The commission is intrusted with no
the State is not void as being repugnant to the Constitution of the United States or to authority or discretion upon these questions. It can neither make nor unmake a single
that of the State. provision of law. It is merely charged with the administration of the law, and with no
other power.

It was there for the first time held in substance that a railroad was a public utility, and that, being a
public utility, the State had power to establish reasonable maximum freight and passenger rates. The delegation of legislative power was before the Supreme Court of Wisconsin in
This was followed by the State of Minnesota in enacting a similar law, providing for, and Dowling vs. Lancoshire Ins. Co. (92 Wis., 63). The opinion says:
empowering, a railroad commission to hear and determine what was a just and reasonable rate.
The constitutionality of this law was attacked and upheld by the Supreme Court of Minnesota in a
"The true distinction is between the delegation of power to make the law, which
learned and exhaustive opinion by Justice Mitchell, in the case of State vs. Chicago, Milwaukee &
necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring authority or
St. Paul ry. Co. (38 Minn., 281), in which the court held:
discretion as to its execution, to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law. The
first cannot be done; to the latter no valid objection can be made."
Regulations of railway tariffs Conclusiveness of commission's tariffs. Under Laws
1887, c. 10, sec. 8, the determination of the railroad and warehouse commission as to
The act, in our judgment, wholly fails to provide definitely and clearly what the standard policy
what are equal and reasonable fares and rates for the transportation of persons and
should contain, so that it could be put in use as a uniform policy required to take the place of all
property by a railway company is conclusive, and, in proceedings by mandamus to
others, without the determination of the insurance commissioner in respect to maters involving
compel compliance with the tariff of rates recommended and published by them, no
the exercise of a legislative discretion that could not be delegated, and without which the act
issue can be raised or inquiry had on that question.
could not possibly be put in use as an act in confirmity to which all fire insurance policies were
required to be issued.
The result of all the cases on this subject is that a law must be complete, in all its terms and The above are leading cases in the United States on the question of delegating legislative power.
provisions, when it leaves the legislative branch of the government, and nothing must be left to It will be noted that in the "Granger Cases," it was held that a railroad company was a public
the judgement of the electors or other appointee or delegate of the legislature, so that, in form corporation, and that a railroad was a public utility, and that, for such reasons, the legislature had
and substance, it is a law in all its details in presenti, but which may be left to take effect in futuro, the power to fix and determine just and reasonable rates for freight and passengers.
if necessary, upon the ascertainment of any prescribed fact or event.
The Minnesota case held that, so long as the rates were just and reasonable, the legislature
The delegation of legislative power was before the Supreme Court in United States vs. Grimaud could delegate the power to ascertain the facts and determine from the facts what were just and
(220 U.S., 506; 55 L. ed., 563), where it was held that the rules and regulations of the Secretary reasonable rates,. and that in vesting the commission with such power was not a delegation of
of Agriculture as to a trespass on government land in a forest reserve were valid constitutional. legislative power.
The Act there provided that the Secretary of Agriculture ". . . may make such rules and
regulations and establish such service as will insure the object of such reservations; namely, to
regulate their occupancy and use, and to preserve the forests thereon from destruction; and any The Wisconsin case was a civil action founded upon a "Wisconsin standard policy of fire
violation of the provisions of this act or such rules and regulations shall be punished, . . ." insurance," and the court held that "the act, . . . wholly fails to provide definitely and clearly what
the standard policy should contain, so that it could be put in use as a uniform policy required to
take the place of all others, without the determination of the insurance commissioner in respect to
The brief of the United States Solicitor-General says: matters involving the exercise of a legislative discretion that could not be delegated."

In refusing permits to use a forest reservation for stock grazing, except upon stated The case of the United States Supreme Court, supra dealt with rules and regulations which were
terms or in stated ways, the Secretary of Agriculture merely assert and enforces the promulgated by the Secretary of Agriculture for Government land in the forest reserve.
proprietary right of the United States over land which it owns. The regulation of the
Secretary, therefore, is not an exercise of legislative, or even of administrative, power;
but is an ordinary and legitimate refusal of the landowner's authorized agent to allow These decisions hold that the legislative only can enact a law, and that it cannot delegate it
person having no right in the land to use it as they will. The right of proprietary control legislative authority.
is altogether different from governmental authority.
The line of cleavage between what is and what is not a delegation of legislative power is pointed
The opinion says: out and clearly defined. As the Supreme Court of Wisconsin says:

From the beginning of the government, various acts have been passed conferring That no part of the legislative power can be delegated by the legislature to any other
upon executive officers power to make rules and regulations, not for the department of the government, executive or judicial, is a fundamental principle in
government of their departments, but for administering the laws which did govern. constitutional law, essential to the integrity and maintenance of the system of
None of these statutes could confer legislative power. But when Congress had government established by the constitution.
legislated power. But when Congress had legislated and indicated its will, it could give
to those who were to act under such general provisions "power to fill up the details" by Where an act is clothed with all the forms of law, and is complete in and of itself, it may
the establishment of administrative rules and regulations, the violation of which could be provided that it shall become operative only upon some certain act or event, or, in
be punished by fine or imprisonment fixed by Congress, or by penalties fixed by like manner, that its operation shall be suspended.
Congress, or measured by the injury done.

The legislature cannot delegate its power to make a law, but it can make a law to
That "Congress cannot delegate legislative power is a principle universally recognized delegate a power to determine some fact or state of things upon which the law makes,
as vital to the integrity and maintenance of the system of government ordained by the or intends to make, its own action to depend.
Constitution."

The Village of Little Chute enacted an ordinance which provides:


If, after the passage of the act and the promulgation of the rule, the defendants drove
and grazed their sheep upon the reserve, in violation of the regulations, they were
making an unlawful use of the government's property. In doing so they thereby made All saloons in said village shall be closed at 11 o'clock P.M. each day and remain
themselves liable to the penalty imposed by Congress. closed until 5 o'clock on the following morning, unless by special permission of the
president.

The subjects as to which the Secretary can regulate are defined. The lands are set apart as a
forest reserve. He is required to make provisions to protect them from depredations and from Construing it in 136 Wis., 526; 128 A. S. R., 1100,1 the Supreme Court of that State says:
harmful uses. He is authorized 'to regulate the occupancy and use and to preserve the forests
from destruction.' A violation of reasonable rules regulating the use and occupancy of the
We regard the ordinance as void for two reasons; First, because it attempts to confer
property is made a crime, not by the Secretary, but by Congress."
arbitrary power upon an executive officer, and allows him, in executing the ordinance,
to make unjust and groundless discriminations among persons similarly situated;
second, because the power to regulate saloons is a law-making power vested in the
village board, which cannot be delegated. A legislative body cannot delegate to a mere The proclamation undertakes to fix one price for rice in Manila and other and different prices in
administrative officer power to make a law, but it can make a law with provisions that it other and different provinces in the Philippine Islands, and delegates the power to determine the
shall go into effect or be suspended in its operations upon the ascertainment of a fact other and different prices to provincial treasurers and their deputies. Here, then, you would have
or state of facts by an administrative officer or board. In the present case the ordinance a delegation of legislative power to the Governor-General, and a delegation by him of that power
by its terms gives power to the president to decide arbitrary, and in the exercise of his to provincial treasurers and their deputies, who "are hereby directed to communicate with, and
own discretion, when a saloon shall close. This is an attempt to vest legislative execute all instructions emanating from the Director of Commerce and Industry, for the most
discretion in him, and cannot be sustained. effective and proper enforcement of the above regulations in their respective localities." The
issuance of the proclamation by the Governor-General was the exercise of the delegation of a
delegated power, and was even a sub delegation of that power.
The legal principle involved there is squarely in point here.

Assuming that it is valid, Act No. 2868 is a general law and does not authorize the Governor-
It must be conceded that, after the passage of act No. 2868, and before any rules and regulations General to fix one price of rice in Manila and another price in Iloilo. It only purports to authorize
were promulgated by the Governor-General, a dealer in rice could sell it at any price, even at a him to fix the price of rice in the Philippine Islands under a law, which is General and uniform, and
peso per "ganta," and that he would not commit a crime, because there would be no law fixing the not local or special. Under the terms of the law, the price of rice fixed in the proclamation must be
price of rice, and the sale of it at any price would not be a crime. That is to say, in the absence of the same all over the Islands. There cannot be one price at Manila and another at Iloilo. Again, it
a proclamation, it was not a crime to sell rice at any price. Hence, it must follow that, if the is a mater of common knowledge, and of which this court will take judicial notice, that there are
defendant committed a crime, it was because the Governor-General issued the proclamation. many kinds of rice with different and corresponding market values, and that there is a wide range
There was no act of the Legislature making it a crime to sell rice at any price, and without the in the price, which varies with the grade and quality. Act No. 2868 makes no distinction in price
proclamation, the sale of it at any price was to a crime. for the grade or quality of the rice, and the proclamation, upon which the defendant was tried and
convicted, fixes the selling price of rice in Manila "at P15 per sack of 57 kilos, or 63 centavos
The Executive order2 provides: per ganta," and is uniform as to all grades of rice, and says nothing about grade or quality. Again,
it will be noted that the law is confined to palay, rice and corn. They are products of the Philippine
Islands. Hemp, tobacco, coconut, chickens, eggs, and many other things are also products. Any
(5) The maximum selling price of palay, rice or corn is hereby fixed, for the time being law which single out palay, rice or corn from the numerous other products of the Islands is not
as follows: general or uniform, but is a local or special law. If such a law is valid, then by the same principle,
the Governor-General could be authorized by proclamation to fix the price of meat, eggs,
chickens, coconut, hemp, and tobacco, or any other product of the Islands. In the very nature of
In Manila
things, all of that class of laws should be general and uniform. Otherwise, there would be an
unjust discrimination of property rights, which, under the law, must be equal and inform. Act No.
Palay at P6.75 per sack of 57 kilos, or 29 centavos per ganta. 2868 is nothing more than a floating law, which, in the discretion and by a proclamation of the
Governor-General, makes it a floating crime to sell rice at a price in excess of the proclamation,
without regard to grade or quality.
Rice at P15 per sack of 57 kilos, or 63 centavos per ganta.

When Act No. 2868 is analyzed, it is the violation of the proclamation of the Governor-General
Corn at P8 per sack of 57 kilos, or 34 centavos per ganta. which constitutes the crime. Without that proclamation, it was no crime to sell rice at any price. In
other words, the Legislature left it to the sole discretion of the Governor-General to say what was
In the provinces producing palay, rice and corn, the maximum price shall be the Manila and what was not "any cause" for enforcing the act, and what was and what was not "an
price less the cost of transportation from the source of supply and necessary handling extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or corn," and under certain undefined conditions to fix
expenses to the place of sale, to be determined by the provincial treasurers or their the price at which rice should be sold, without regard to grade or quality, also to say whether a
deputies. proclamation should be issued, if so, when, and whether or not the law should be enforced, how
long it should be enforced, and when the law should be suspended. The Legislature did not
specify or define what was "any cause," or what was "an extraordinary rise in the price of rice,
In provinces, obtaining their supplies from Manila or other producing provinces, the palay or corn," Neither did it specify or define the conditions upon which the proclamation should
maximum price shall be the authorized price at the place of supply or the Manila price be issued. In the absence of the proclamation no crime was committed. The alleged sale was
as the case may be, plus the transportation cost, from the place of supply and the made a crime, if at all, because the Governor-General issued the proclamation. The act or
necessary handling expenses, to the place of sale, to be determined by the provincial proclamation does not say anything about the different grades or qualities of rice, and the
treasurers or their deputies. defendant is charged with the sale "of one ganta of rice at the price of eighty centavos (P0.80)
which is a price greater than that fixed by Executive order No. 53."
(6) Provincial treasurers and their deputies are hereby directed to communicate with,
and execute all instructions emanating from the Director of Commerce and Industry, We are clearly of the opinion and hold that Act No. 2868, in so far as it undertakes to authorized
for the most effective and proper enforcement of the above regulations in their the Governor-General in his discretion to issue a proclamation, fixing the price of rice, and to
respective localities. make the sale of rice in violation of the price of rice, and to make the sale of rice in violation of the
proclamation a crime, is unconstitutional and void.
The law says that the Governor-General may fix "the maximum sale price that the industrial or
merchant may demand." The law is a general law and not a local or special law.
It may be urged that there was an extraordinary rise in the price of rice and profiteering, which
worked a severe hardship on the poorer classes, and that an emergency existed, but the question
here presented is the constitutionality of a particular portion of a statute, and none of such
matters is an argument for, or against, its constitutionality.

The Constitution is something solid, permanent an substantial. Its stability protects the life, liberty
and property rights of the rich and the poor alike, and that protection ought not to change with the
wind or any emergency condition. The fundamental question involved in this case is the right of
the people of the Philippine Islands to be and live under a republican form of government. We
make the broad statement that no state or nation, living under republican form of government,
under the terms and conditions specified in Act No. 2868, has ever enacted a law delegating the
power to any one, to fix the price at which rice should be sold. That power can never be
delegated under a republican form of government.

In the fixing of the price at which the defendant should sell his rice, the law was not dealing with
government property. It was dealing with private property and private rights, which are sacred
under the Constitution. If this law should be sustained, upon the same principle and for the same
reason, the Legislature could authorize the Governor-General to fix the price of every product or
commodity in the Philippine Islands, and empower him to make it a crime to sell any product at
any other or different price.

It may be said that this was a war measure, and that for such reason the provision of the
Constitution should be suspended. But the Stubborn fact remains that at all times the judicial
power was in full force and effect, and that while that power was in force and effect, such a
provision of the Constitution could not be, and was not, suspended even in times of war. It may
be claimed that during the war, the United States Government undertook to, and did, fix the price
at which wheat and flour should be bought and sold, and that is true. There, the United States
had declared war, and at the time was at war with other nations, and it was a war measure, but it
is also true that in doing so, and as a part of the same act, the United States commandeered all
the wheat and flour, and took possession of it, either actual or constructive, and the government
itself became the owner of the wheat and flour, and fixed the price to be paid for it. That is not this
case. Here the rice sold was the personal and private property of the defendant, who sold it to
one of his customers. The government had not bought and did not claim to own the rice, or have
any interest in it, and at the time of the alleged sale, it was the personal, private property of the
defendant. It may be that the law was passed in the interest of the public, but the members of this
court have taken on solemn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, and it ought not to be
construed to meet the changing winds or emergency conditions. Again, we say that no state or
nation under a republican form of government ever enacted a law authorizing any executive,
under the conditions states, to fix the price at which a price person would sell his own rice, and
make the broad statement that no decision of any court, on principle or by analogy, will ever be
found which sustains the constitutionality of the particular portion of Act No. 2868 here in
question. By the terms of the Organic Act, subject only to constitutional limitations, the power to
legislate and enact laws is vested exclusively in the Legislative, which is elected by a direct vote
of the people of the Philippine Islands. As to the question here involved, the authority of the
Governor-General to fix the maximum price at which palay, rice and corn may be sold in the
manner power in violation of the organic law.

This opinion is confined to the particular question here involved, which is the right of the
Governor-General, upon the terms and conditions stated in the Act, to fix the price of rice and
make it a crime to sell it at a higher price, and which holds that portions of the Act
unconstitutional. It does not decide or undertake to construe the constitutionality of any of the
remaining portions of the Act.

The judgment of the lower court is reversed, and the defendant discharged. So ordered.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL, RODOLFO A. MALAPIRA, STEPHEN A. MONSANTO, DAN R. decision in a memorandum, copy of which he attached, entitled Removal of Motor Vehicle
CALDERON, and GRANDY N. TRIESTE, petitioners vs. THE METROPOLITAN MANILA License Plates and dated February 28, 1991.
AUTHORITY and the MUNICIPALITY OF MANDALUYONG, respondents.
Pat. R.J. Tano-an, on the other hand, argued that the Gonong decision prohibited only the
CRUZ, J.: removal of license plates and not the confiscation of driver's licenses.

In Metropolitan Traffic Command, West Traffic District vs. Hon. Arsenio M. Gonong, G.R. No. On May 24, 1990, the Metropolitan Manila Authority issued Ordinance No. 11, Series of 1991,
91023, promulgated on July 13, 1990, 1 the Court held that the confiscation of the license plates authorizing itself "to detach the license plate/tow and impound attended/ unattended/ abandoned
of motor vehicles for traffic violations was not among the sanctions that could be imposed by the motor vehicles illegally parked or obstructing the flow of traffic in Metro Manila."
Metro Manila Commission under PD 1605 and was permitted only under the conditions laid dowm
by LOI 43 in the case of stalled vehicles obstructing the public streets. It was there also observed
that even the confiscation of driver's licenses for traffic violations was not directly prescribed by On July 2, 1991, the Court issued the following resolution:
the decree nor was it allowed by the decree to be imposed by the Commission. No motion for
reconsideration of that decision was submitted. The judgment became final and executory on The attention ofthe Court has been called to the enactment by the Metropolitan Manila
August 6, 1990, and it was duly entered in the Book of Entries of Judgments on July 13, 1990. Authority of Ordinance No. 11, Series of 1991, providing inter alia that:

Subsequently, the following developments transpired: Section 2. Authority to Detach Plate/Tow and Impound. The Metropolitan
Manila Authority, thru the Traffic Operatiom Center, is authorized to detach
In a letter dated October 17, 1990, Rodolfo A. Malapira complained to the Court that when he the license plate/tow and impound attended/unattended/abandoned motor
was stopped for an alleged traffic violation, his driver's license was confiscated by Traffic Enforcer vehicles illegally parked or obstructing the flow of traffic in Metro Manila.
Angel de los Reyes in Quezon City.
The provision appears to be in conflict with the decision of the Court in the case at bar
On December 18,1990, the Caloocan-Manila Drivers and Operators Association sent a letter to (as reported in 187 SCRA 432), where it was held that the license plates of motor
the Court asking who should enforce the decision in the above-mentioned case, whether they vehicles may not be detached except only under the conditions prescribed in LOI 43.
could seek damages for confiscation of their driver's licenses, and where they should file their Additionally, the Court has received several complaints against the confiscation by
complaints. police authorities of driver's licenses for alleged traffic violations, which sanction is,
according to the said decision, not among those that may be imposed under PD 1605.

Another letter was received by the Court on February 14, 1991, from Stephen L. Monsanto,
complaining against the confiscation of his driver's license by Traffic Enforcer A.D. Martinez for an To clarify these matters for the proper guidance of law-enforcement officers and
alleged traffic violation in Mandaluyong. motorists, the Court resolved to require the Metropolitan Manila Authority and the
Solicitor General to submit, within ten (10) days from notice hereof, separate
COMMENTS on such sanctions in light of the said decision.
This was followed by a letter-complaint filed on March 7, 1991, from Dan R. Calderon, a lawyer,
also for confiscation of his driver's license by Pat. R.J. Tano-an of the Makati Police Force.
In its Comment, the Metropolitan Manila Authority defended the said ordinance on the ground that
it was adopted pursuant to the powers conferred upon it by EO 392. It particularly cited Section 2
Still another complaint was received by the Court dated April 29, 1991, this time from Grandy N. thereof vesting in the Council (its governing body) the responsibility among others of:
Trieste, another lawyer, who also protested the removal of his front license plate by E. Ramos of
the Metropolitan Manila Authority-Traffic Operations Center and the confiscation of his driver's
license by Pat. A.V. Emmanuel of the Metropolitan Police Command-Western Police District. 1. Formulation of policies on the delivery of basic services requiring coordination or
consolidation for the Authority; and

Required to submit a Comment on the complaint against him, Allan D. Martinez invoked
Ordinance No. 7, Series of 1988, of Mandaluyong, authorizing the confiscation of driver's licenses 2. Promulgation of resolutions and other issuances of metropolitan wide application,
and the removal of license plates of motor vehicles for traffic violations. approval of a code of basic services requiring coordination, and exercise of its rule-
making powers. (Emphasis supplied)

For his part, A.V. Emmanuel said he confiscated Trieste's driver's license pursuant to a
memorandum dated February 27, 1991, from the District Commander of the Western Traffic The Authority argued that there was no conflict between the decision and the ordinance because
District of the Philippine National Police, authorizing such sanction under certain conditions. the latter was meant to supplement and not supplant the latter. It stressed that the decision itself
said that the confiscation of license plates was invalid in the absence of a valid law or ordinance,
which was why Ordinance No. 11 was enacted. The Authority also pointed out that the ordinance
Director General Cesar P. Nazareno of the Philippine National Police assured the Court in his could not be attacked collaterally but only in a direct action challenging its validity.
own Comment that his office had never authorized the removal of the license plates of illegally
parked vehicles and that he had in fact directed full compliance with the above-mentioned
For his part, the Solicitor General expressed the view that the ordinance was null and void have been taken by the parties involved and proceed directly to the merits of the case.
because it represented an invalid exercise of a delegated legislative power. The flaw in the (Piczon vs. Court of Appeals, 190 SCRA 31).
measure was that it violated existing law, specifically PD 1605, which does not permit, and so
impliedly prohibits, the removal of license plates and the confiscation of driver's licenses for traffic
violations in Metropolitan Manila. He made no mention, however, of the alleged impropriety of Three of the cases were consolidated for argument and the other two were argued
examining the said ordinance in the absence of a formal challenge to its validity. separately on other dates. Inasmuch as all of them present the same fundamental
question which, in our view, is decisive, they will be disposed of jointly. For the same
reason we will pass up the objection to the personality or sufficiency of interest of the
On October 24, 1991, the Office of the Solicitor General submitted a motion for the early petitioners in case G.R. No. L-3054 and case G.R. No. L-3056 and the question
resolution of the questioned sanctions, to remove once and for all the uncertainty of their vahdity. whether prohibition lies in cases G.R. Nos. L-2044 and L2756. No practical benefit can
A similar motion was filed by the Metropolitan Manila Authority, which reiterated its contention be gained from a discussion of these procedural matters, since the decision in the
that the incidents in question should be dismissed because there was no actual case or cases wherein the petitioners'cause of action or the propriety of the procedure followed
controversy before the Court. is not in dispute, will be controlling authority on the others. Above all, the
transcendental importance to the public of these cases demands that they be settled
promptly and definitely, brushing aside, if we must, technicalities of procedure.
The Metropolitan Manila Authority is correct in invoking the doctrine that the validity of a law or (Avelino vs. Cuenco, G.R. No. L-2821 cited in Araneta vs. Dinglasan, 84 Phil. 368.)
act can be challenged only in a direct action and not collaterally. That is indeed the settled
principle. However, that rule is not inflexible and may be relaxed by the Court under exceptional
circumstances, such as those in the present controversy. Accordingly, the Court will consider the motion to resolve filed by the Solicitor General a petition
for prohibition against the enforcement of Ordinance No. 11, Series of 1991, of the Metropohtan
Manila Authority, and Ordinance No. 7, Series of 1988, of the Municipality of Mandaluyong.
The Solicitor General notes that the practices complained of have created a great deal of Stephen A. Monsanto, Rodolfo A. Malapira, Dan R. Calderon, and Grandy N. Trieste are
confusion among motorists about the state of the law on the questioned sanctions. More considered co-petitioners and the Metropolitan Manila Authority and the Municipality of
importantly, he maintains that these sanctions are illegal, being violative of law and Mandaluyong are hereby impleaded as respondents. This petition is docketed as G.R. No.
the Gonong decision, and should therefore be stopped. We also note the disturbing report that 102782. The comments already submitted are duly noted and shall be taken into account by the
one policeman who confiscated a driver's license dismissed the Gonong decision as "wrong" and Court in the resolution of the substantive issues raised.
said the police would not stop their "habit" unless they received orders "from the top."
Regrettably, not one of the complainants has filed a formal challenge to the ordinances, including
Monsanto and Trieste, who are lawyers and could have been more assertive of their rights. It is stressed that this action is not intended to disparage procedural rules, which the Court has
recognized often enough as necessary to the orderly administration of justice. If we are relaxing
them in this particular case, it is because of the failure of the proper parties to file the appropriate
Given these considerations, the Court feels it must address the problem squarely presented to it proceeding against the acts complained of, and the necessity of resolving, in the interest of the
and decide it as categorically rather than dismiss the complaints on the basis of the technical public, the important substantive issues raised.
objection raised and thus, through its inaction, allow them to fester.

Now to the merits.


The step we now take is not without legal authority or judicial precedent. Unquestionably, the
Court has the power to suspend procedural rules in the exercise of its inherent power, as
expressly recognized in the Constitution, to promulgate rules concerning "pleading, practice and The Metro Manila Authority sustains Ordinance No. 11, Series of 1991, under the specific
procedure in all courts." 2 In proper cases, procedural rules may be relaxed or suspended in the authority conferred upon it by EO 392, while Ordinance No. 7, Series of 1988, is justified on the
interest of substantial justice, which otherwise may be miscarried because of a rigid and basis of the General Welfare Clause embodied in the Local Government Code. 4 It is not disputed
formalistic adherence to such rules. that both measures were enacted to promote the comfort and convenience of the public and to
alleviate the worsening traffic problems in Metropolitan Manila due in large part to violations of
traffic rules.
The Court has taken this step in a number of such cases, notably Araneta vs. Dinglasan, 3 where
Justice Tuason justified the deviation on the ground that "the transcendental importance to the
public of these cases demands that they be settled promptly and definitely, brushing aside, if we The Court holds that there is a valid delegation of legislative power to promulgate such measures,
must, technicalities of procedure." it appearing that the requisites of such delegation are present. These requisites are. 1) the
completeness of the statute making the delegation; and 2) the presence of a sufficient standard. 5
We have made similar rulings in other cases, thus:
Under the first requirement, the statute must leave the legislature complete in all its terms and
provisions such that all the delegate will have to do when the statute reaches it is to implement it.
Be it remembered that rules of procedure are but mere tools designed to facilitate the What only can be delegated is not the discretion to determine what the law shall be but the
attainment ofjustice. Their strict and rigid application, which would result in discretion to determine how the law shall be enforced. This has been done in the case at bar.
technicalities that tend to frustrate rather than promote substantial justice, must always
be avoided. (Aznar III vs. Bernad, G.R. No. 81190, May 9, 1988, 161 SCRA 276.)
Time and again, this Court has suspended its own rules and excepted a particular
case from their operation whenever the higher interests of justice so require. In the
instant petition, we forego a lengthy disquisition of the proper procedure that should
As a second requirement, the enforcement may be effected only in accordance with a sufficient violation was committed or to the Philippine National Bank or Philippine Veterans Bank or their
standard, the function of which is to map out the boundaries of the delegate's authority and thus branches within seven days from the date of issuance of the citation ticket.
"prevent the delegation from running riot." This requirement has also been met. It is settled that
the "convenience and welfare" of the public, particularly the motorists and passengers in the case
at bar, is an acceptable sufficient standard to delimit the delegate's authority. 6 If the offender fails to pay the fine imposed within the period herein prescribed, the
Metropolitan Manila Commission or the law-enforcement agency concerned shall
endorse the case to the proper fiscal for appropriate proceedings preparatory to the
But the problem before us is not the validity of the delegation of legislative power. The question filing of the case with the competent traffic court, city or municipal court.
we must resolve is the validity of the exercise of such delegated power.
If at the time a driver renews his driver's license and records show that he has an
The measures in question are enactments of local governments acting only as agents of the unpaid fine, his driver's license shall not be renewed until he has paid the fine and
national legislature. Necessarily, the acts of these agents must reflect and conform to the will of corresponding surcharges.
their principal. To test the validity of such acts in the specific case now before us, we apply the
particular requisites of a valid ordinance as laid down by the accepted principles governing
municipal corporations. Section 8. Insofar as the Metropolitan Manila area is concerned, all laws, decrees,
orders, ordinances, rules and regulations, or parts thereof inconsistent herewith are
hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
According to Elliot, a municipal ordinance, to be valid: 1) must not contravene the Constitution or
any statute; 2) must not be unfair or oppressive; 3) must not be partial or discriminatory; 4) must
not prohibit but may regulate trade; 5) must not be unreasonable; and 6) must be general and In fact, the above provisions prohibit the imposition of such sanctions in Metropolitan Manila. The
consistent with public policy. Commission was allowed to "impose fines and otherwise discipline" traffic violators only "in such
amounts and under such penalties as are herein prescribed," that is, by the decree itself.
Nowhere is the removal of license plates directly imposed by the decree or at least allowed by it
A careful study of the Gonong decision will show that the measures under consideration do not to be imposed by the Commission. Notably, Section 5 thereof expressly provides that "in case of
pass the first criterion because they do not conform to existing law. The pertinent law is PD 1605. traffic violations, the driver's license shall not be confiscated." These restrictions are applicable to
PD 1605 does not allow either the removal of license plates or the confiscation of driver's licenses the Metropolitan Manila Authority and all other local political subdivisions comprising Metropolitan
for traffic violations committed in Metropolitan Manila. There is nothing in the following provisions Manila, including the Municipality of Mandaluyong.
of the decree authorizing the Metropolitan Manila Commission (and now the Metropolitan Manila
Authority) to impose such sanctions:
The requirement that the municipal enactment must not violate existing law explains itself. Local
political subdivisions are able to legislate only by virtue of a valid delegation of legislative power
Section 1. The Metropolitan Manila Commission shall have the power to impose fines from the national legislature (except only that the power to create their own sources of revenue
and otherwise discipline drivers and operators of motor vehicles for violations of traffic and to levy taxes is conferred by the Constitution itself). They are mere agents vested with what
laws, ordinances, rules and regulations in Metropolitan Manila in such amounts and is called the power of subordinate legislation. As delegates of the Congress, the local government
under such penalties as are herein prescribed. For this purpose, the powers of the unit cannot contravene but must obey at all times the will of their principal. In the case before us,
Land Transportation Commission and the Board of Transportation under existing laws the enactments in question, which are merely local in origin, cannot prevail against the decree,
over such violations and punishment thereof are hereby transferred to the Metropolitan which has the force and effect of a statute.
Manila Commission. When the proper penalty to be imposed is suspension or
revocation of driver's license or certificate of public convenience, the Metropolitan
Manila Commission or its representatives shall suspend or revoke such license or The self-serving language of Section 2 of the challenged ordinance is worth noting. Curiously, it is
certificate. The suspended or revoked driver's license or the report of suspension or the measure itself, which was enacted by the Metropolitan Manila Authority, that authorizes the
revocation of the certificate of public convenience shall be sent to the Land Metropolitan Manila Authority to impose the questioned sanction.
Transportation Commission or the Board of Transportation, as the case may be, for
their records update. In Villacorta vs, Bemardo, 9 the Court nullified an ordinance enacted by the Municipal Board of
Dagupan City for being violative of the Land Registration Act. The decision held in part:
Section 3.` Violations of traffic laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, committed
within a twelve-month period, reckoned from the date of birth of the licensee, shall In declaring the said ordinance null and void, the court a quo declared:
subject the violator to graduated fines as follows: P10.00 for the first offense, P20.00
for the and offense, P50.00 for the third offense, a one-year suspension of driver's
license for the fourth offense, and a revocation of the driver's license for the fifth From the above-recited requirements, there is no showing that would justify
offense: Provided, That the Metropolitan Manila Commission may impose higher the enactment of the questioned ordinance. Section 1 of said ordinance
penalties as it may deem proper for violations of its ordinances prohibiting or regulating clearly conflicts with Section 44 of Act 496, because the latter law does not
the use of certain public roads, streets and thoroughfares in Metropolitan Manila. require subdivision plans to be submitted to the City Engineer before the
same is submitted for approval to and verification by the General Land
Registration Office or by the Director of Lands as provided for in Section 58
Section 5. In case of traffic violations, the driver's license shall not be confiscated but the erring of said Act. Section 2 of the same ordinance also contravenes the
driver shall be immediately issued a traffic citation ticket prescribed by the Metropolitan Manila provisions of Section 44 of Act 496, the latter being silent on a service fee of
Commission which shall state the violation committed, the amount of fine imposed for the P0.03 per square meter of every lot subject of such subdivision application;
violation and an advice that he can make payment to the city or municipal treasurer where the
Section 3 of the ordinance in question also conflicts with Section 44 of Act (1) declaring Ordinance No.11, Seriesof l991,of theMetropolitan Manila Authority and Ordinance
496, because the latter law does not mention of a certification to be made No. 7, Series of 1988 of the Municipality of Mandaluyong, NULL and VOID; and
by the City Engineer before the Register of Deeds allows registration of the
subdivision plan; and the last section of said ordinance impose a penalty for
its violation, which Section 44 of Act 496 does not impose. In other words, (2) enjoining all law enforcement authorities in Metropolitan Manila from removing the license
Ordinance 22 of the City of Dagupan imposes upon a subdivision owner plates of motor vehicles (except when authorized under LOI 43) and confiscating driver licenses
additional conditions. for traffic violations within the said area.

The Court takes note of the laudable purpose of the ordinance in bringing to
a halt the surreptitious registration of lands belonging to the government.
But as already intimated above, the powers of the board in enacting such a
laudable ordinance cannot be held valid when it shall impede the exercise
of rights granted in a general law and/or make a general law subordinated
to a local ordinance.

We affirm.

To sustain the ordinance would be to open the floodgates to other ordinances


amending and so violating national laws in the guise of implementing them. Thus,
ordinances could be passed imposing additional requirements for the issuance of
marriage licenses, to prevent bigamy; the registration of vehicles, to minimize
carnapping; the execution of contracts, to forestall fraud; the validation of parts, to
deter imposture; the exercise of freedom of speech, to reduce disorder; and so on. The
list is endless, but the means, even if the end be valid, would be ultra vires.

The measures in question do not merely add to the requirement of PD 1605 but, worse, impose
sanctions the decree does not allow and in fact actually prohibits. In so doing, the ordinances
disregard and violate and in effect partially repeal the law.

We here emphasize the ruling in the Gonong case that PD 1605 applies only to the Metropolitan
Manila area. It is an exception to the general authority conferred by R.A. No. 413 on the
Commissioner of Land Transportation to punish violations of traffic rules elsewhere in the country
with the sanction therein prescribed, including those here questioned.

The Court agrees that the challenged ordinances were enacted with the best of motives and
shares the concern of the rest of the public for the effective reduction of traffic problems in
Metropolitan Manila through the imposition and enforcement of more deterrent penalties upon
traffic violators. At the same time, it must also reiterate the public misgivings over the abuses that
may attend the enforcement of such sanction in eluding the illicit practices described in detail in
the Gonong decision. At any rate, the fact is that there is no statutory authority for and indeed
there is a statutory prohibition against the imposition of such penalties in the Metropolitan
Manila area. Hence, regardless of their merits, they cannot be impose by the challenged
enactments by virtue only of the delegated legislative powers.

It is for Congress to determine, in the exercise of its own discretion, whether or not to impose
such sanctions, either directly through a statute or by simply delegating authority to this effect to
the local governments in Metropolitan Manila. Without such action, PD 1605 remains effective
and continues prohibit the confiscation of license plates of motor vehicles (except under the
conditions prescribed in LOI 43) and of driver licenses as well for traffic violations in Metropolitan
Manila.

WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered:


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the Provincial Fiscal of Leyte, petitioner, vs. On March 30, 1976, having been advised that the petition of herein private respondents was
HON. JUDGE AUXENCIO C. DACUYCUY, CELESTINO S. MATONDO, SEGUNDINO A, CAVAL related to Criminal Case No. 1978 for violation of Presidential Decree No. 442 previously
and CIRILO M. ZANORIA, respondents. transferred from Branch VIII to Branch IV of the erstwhile Court of First Instance of Leyte, Judge
Fortunate B. Cuna of the former branch transferred the said petition to the latter branch for further
proceedings and where it was subsequently docketed therein as Civil Case No. 5428. 8 On March
The Office of the Solicitor General for petitioner. 15, 1976, the petitioner herein filed an opposition to the admission of the said amended
petitions 9 but respondent judge denied the same in his resolution of April 20, 1976. 10 On August
Adelino B. Sitoy for private respondents. 2, 1976, herein petitioner filed a supplementary memorandum in answer to the amended
petition. 11

On September 8, 1976, respondent judge rendered the aforecited challenged decision holding in
substance that Republic Act No. 4670 is valid and constitutional but cases for its violation fall
REGALADO, J.: outside of the jurisdiction of municipal and city courts, and remanding the case to the former
Municipal Court of Hindang, Leyte only for preliminary investigation.
Involved in this special civil action is the unique situation, to use an euphemistic phrase, of an
alternative penal sanction of imprisonment imposed by law but without a specification as to the As earlier stated, on September 25, 1976, petitioner filed a motion for
term or duration thereof. reconsideration. 12 Likewise, private respondents filed a motion for reconsideration of the lower
court's decision but the same was limited only to the portion thereof which sustains the validity of
Section 32 of Republic Act No. 4670. 13 Respondent judge denied both motions for
As a consequence of such legislative faux pas or oversight, the petition at bar seeks to set aside
reconsideration in a resolution dated October 19, 1976. 14
the decision of the then Court of First Instance of Leyte, Branch IV, dated September
8,1976, 1 penned by herein respondent judge and granting the petition for certiorari and
prohibition with preliminary injunction filed by herein private respondents and docketed therein as The instant petition to review the decision of respondent judge poses the following questions of
Civil Case No. 5428, as well as his resolution of October 19, 1976 2 denying the motions for law: (1) Whether the municipal and city courts have jurisdiction over violations of Republic Act No.
reconsideration filed by the parties therein. Subject of said decision were the issues on 4670; and (2) Whether Section 32 of said Republic Act No. 4670 is constitutional.
jurisdiction over violations of Republic Act No. 4670, otherwise known as the Magna Carta for
Public School Teachers, and the constitutionality of Section 32 thereof.
We shall resolve said queries in inverse order, since prior determination of the constitutionality of
the assailed provision of the law involved is necessary for the adjudication of the jurisdictional
In a complaint filed by the Chief of Police of Hindang, Leyte on April 4, 1975, herein private issue raised in this petition.
respondents Celestino S. Matondo, Segundino A. Caval and Cirilo M. Zanoria, public school
officials of Leyte, were charged before the Municipal Court of Hindang, Leyte in Criminal Case
No. 555 thereof for violation of Republic Act No. 4670. The case was set for arraignment and trial 1. The disputed section of Republic Act No. 4670 provides:
on May 29, 1975. At the arraignment, the herein private respondents, as the accused therein,
pleaded not guilty to the charge. Immediately thereafter, they orally moved to quash the complaint Sec. 32. Penal Provision. A person who shall wilfully interfere with,
for lack of jurisdiction over the offense allegedly due to the correctional nature of the penalty of restrain or coerce any teacher in the exercise of his rights guaranteed by
imprisonment prescribed for the offense. The motion to quash was subsequently reduced to this Act or who shall in any other manner commit any act to defeat any of
writing on June 13, 1975. 3 On August 21, 1975, the municipal court denied the motion to quash the provisions of this Act shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not
for lack of merit. 4 On September 2, 1975, private respondents filed a motion for the less than one hundred pesos nor more than one thousand pesos, or by
reconsideration of the aforesaid denial order on the same ground of lack of jurisdiction, but with imprisonment, in the discretion of the court. (Emphasis supplied).
the further allegation that the facts charged do not constitute an offense considering that Section
32 of Republic Act No. 4670 is null and void for being unconstitutional. In an undated order
received by the counsel for private respondents on October 20,1975, the motion for Two alternative and distinct penalties are consequently imposed, to wit: (a) a fine ranging from
reconsideration was denied. 5 P100.00 to P1,000.00; or (b) imprisonment. It is apparent that the law has no prescribed period or
term for the imposable penalty of imprisonment. While a minimum and maximum amount for the
penalty of fine is specified, there is no equivalent provision for the penalty of imprisonment,
On October 26, 1975, private respondents filed a petitions 6 for certiorari and prohibition with although both appear to be qualified by the phrase "in the discretion of the court.
preliminary injunction before the former Court of First Instance of Leyte, Branch VIII, where it was
docketed as Civil Case No. B-622, to restrain the Municipal Judge, Provincial Fiscal and Chief of
Police of Hindang, Leyte from proceeding with the trial of said Criminal Case No. 555 upon the Private respondents contend that a judicial determination of what Congress intended to be the
ground that the former Municipal Court of Hindang had no jurisdiction over the offense charged. duration of the penalty of imprisonment would be violative of the constitutional prohibition against
Subsequently, an amended petition 7 alleged the additional ground that the facts charged do not undue delegation of legislative power, and that the absence of a provision on the specific term of
constitute an offense since the penal provision, which is Section 32 of said law, is unconstitutional imprisonment constitutes that penalty into a cruel and unusual form of punishment. Hence, it is
for the following reasons: (1) It imposes a cruel and unusual punishment, the term of vigorously asserted, said Section 32 is unconstitutional.
imprisonment being unfixed and may run to reclusion perpetua; and (2) It also constitutes an
undue delegation of legislative power, the duration of the penalty of imprisonment being solely left
to the discretion of the court as if the latter were the legislative department of the Government. The basic principle underlying the entire field of legal concepts pertaining to the validity of
legislation is that in the enactment of legislation a constitutional measure is thereby created. In
every case where a question is raised as to the constitutionality of an act, the court employs this advised to make a recommendation to the Chief Executive for clemency or
doctrine in scrutinizing the terms of the law. In a great volume of cases, the courts have reduction of the penalty...
enunciated the fundamental rule that there is a presumption in favor of the constitutionality of a
legislative enactment. 15
That the penalty is grossly disproportionate to the crime is an insufficient basis to declare the law
unconstitutional on the ground that it is cruel and unusual. The fact that the punishment
It is contended that Republic Act No. 4670 is unconstitutional on the ground that the imposable authorized by the statute is severe does not make it cruel or unusual. 18 In addition, what degree
but indefinite penalty of imprisonment provided therein constitutes a cruel and unusual of disproportion the Court will consider as obnoxious to the Constitution has still to await
punishment, in defiance of the express mandate of the Constitution. This contention is inaccurate appropriate determination in due time since, to the credit of our legislative bodies, no decision has
and should be rejected. as yet struck down a penalty for being "cruel and unusual" or "excessive."

We note with approval the holding of respondent judge that We turn now to the argument of private respondents that the entire penal provision in question
should be invalidated as an 49 "undue delegation of legislative power, the duration of penalty of
imprisonment being solely left to the discretion of the court as if the lattter were the legislative
The rule is established beyond question that a punishment authorized by department of the government."
statute is not cruel or unusual or disproportionate to the nature of the
offense unless it is a barbarous one unknown to the law or so wholly
disproportionate to the nature of the offense as to shock the moral sense of Petitioner counters that the discretion granted therein by the legislature to the courts to determine
the community. Based on the principle, our Supreme Court has consistently the period of imprisonment is a matter of statutory construction and not an undue delegation of
overruled contentions of the defense that the punishment of fine or legislative power. It is contended that the prohibition against undue delegation of legislative power
imprisonment authorized by the statute involved is cruel and unusual. is concerned only with the delegation of power to make laws and not to interpret the same. It is
(Legarda vs. Valdez, 1 Phil. 146; U.S. vs. Pico, 18 Phil. 386; People vs. also submitted that Republic Act No. 4670 vests in the courts the discretion, not to fix the period
Garay, 2 ACR 149; People vs. Estoista 93 Phil. 647; People vs. Tiu Ua. 96 of imprisonment, but to choose which of the alternative penalties shall be imposed.
Phil. 738; People vs. Dionisio, 22 SCRA 1299). The language of our
Supreme Court in the first of the cases it decided after the last world war is
appropriate here: Respondent judge sustained these theses of petitioner on his theory that "the principle of
separation of powers is not violated by vesting in courts discretion as to the length of sentence or
amount of fine between designated limits in sentencing persons convicted of crime. In such
The Constitution directs that 'Excessive fines shall not instance, the exercise of judicial discretion by the courts is not an attempt to use legislative power
be imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment or to prescribe and create a law but is an instance of the administration of justice and the
inflicted.' The prohibition of cruel and unusual application of existing laws to the facts of particular cases." 19 What respondent judge obviously
punishments is generally aimed at the form or overlooked is his own reference to penalties "between designated limits."
character of the punishment rather than its severity in
respect of duration or amount, and apply to
punishments which never existed in America, or which In his commentary on the Constitution of the United States, Corwin wrote:
public sentiment has regarded as cruel or obsolete
(15 Am. Jur., p. 172), for instance there (sic) inflicted .. At least three distinct ideas have contributed to the development of the
at the whipping post, or in the pillory, burning at the principle that legislative power cannot be delegated. One is the doctrine of
stake, breaking on the wheel, disemboweling, and the separation of powers: Why go to the trouble of separating the three powers
like (15 Am. Jur. Supra, Note 35 L.R.A. p. 561). Fine of government if they can straightway remerge on their own motion? The
and imprisonment would not thus be within the second is the concept of due process of laws which precludes the transfer
prohibition.' (People vs. de la Cruz, 92 Phil. 906). 16 of regulatory functions to private persons. Lastly, there is the maxim of
agency "Delegata potestas non potest delegari." 20
The question that should be asked, further, is whether the constitutional prohibition looks only to
the form or nature of the penalty and not to the proportion between the penalty and the crime. An apparent exception to the general rule forbidding the delegation of legislative authority to the
courts exists in cases where discretion is conferred upon said courts. It is clear, however, that
The answer thereto may be gathered from the pronouncement in People vs. Estoista, 17 where an when the courts are said to exercise a discretion, it must be a mere legal discretion which is
"excessive" penalty was upheld as constitutional and was imposed but with a recommendation for exercised in discerning the course prescribed by law and which, when discerned, it is the duty of
executive clemency, thus: the court to follow. 21

... If imprisonment from 5 to 10 years is out of proportion to the present case So it was held by the Supreme Court of the United States that the principle of separation of
in view of certain circumstances, the law is not to be declared powers is not violated by vesting in courts discretion as to the length of sentence or the amount of
unconstitutional for this reason. The constitutionality of an act of the fine between designated limits in sentencing persons convicted of a crime. 22
legislature is not to be judged in the light of exceptional cases. Small
transgressors for which the heavy net was not spread are, like small fishes, In the case under consideration, the respondent judge erronneously assumed that since the
bound to be caught, and it is to meet such a situation as this that courts are penalty of imprisonment has been provided for by the legislature, the court is endowed with the
discretion to ascertain the term or period of imprisonment. We cannot agree with this postulate. It
is not for the courts to fix the term of imprisonment where no points of reference have been
provided by the legislature. What valid delegation presupposes and sanctions is an exercise of
discretion to fix the length of service of a term of imprisonment which must be encompassed
within specific or designated limits provided by law, the absence of which designated limits well
constitute such exercise as an undue delegation, if not-an outright intrusion into or assumption, of
legislative power.

Section 32 of Republic Act No. 4670 provides for an indeterminable period of imprisonment, with
neither a minimum nor a maximum duration having been set by the legislative authority. The
courts are thus given a wide latitude of discretion to fix the term of imprisonment, without even the
benefit of any sufficient standard, such that the duration thereof may range, in the words of
respondent judge, from one minute to the life span of the accused. Irremissibly, this cannot be
allowed. It vests in the courts a power and a duty essentially legislative in nature and which, as
applied to this case, does violence to the rules on separation of powers as well as the non-
delegability of legislative powers. This time, the preumption of constitutionality has to yield.

On the foregoing considerations, and by virtue of the separability clause in Section 34 of Republic
Act No. 4670, the penalty of imprisonment provided in Section 32 thereof should be, as it is
hereby, declared unconstitutional.

It follows, therefore, that a ruling on the proper interpretation of the actual term of imprisonment,
as may have been intended by Congress, would be pointless and academic. It is, however, worth
mentioning that the suggested application of the so-called rule or principle of parallelism, whereby
a fine of P1,000.00 would be equated with one year of imprisonment, does not merit judicial
acceptance. A fine, whether imposed as a single or as an alternative penalty, should not and
cannot be reduced or converted into a prison term; it is to be considered as a separate and
independent penalty consonant with Article 26 of the Revised Penal Code. 23 It is likewise
declared a discrete principal penalty in the graduated scales of penalties in Article 71 of said
Code. There is no rule for transmutation of the amount of a fine into a term of imprisonment.
Neither does the Code contain any provision that a fine when imposed in conjunction with
imprisonment is subordinate to the latter penalty. In sum, a fine is as much a principal penalty as
imprisonment. Neither is subordinate to the other. 24

2. It has been the consistent rule that the criminal jurisdiction of the court is determined by the
statute in force at the time of the commencement of the action. 25

With the deletion by invalidation of the provision on imprisonment in Section 32 of Republic Act
No. 4670, as earlier discussed, the imposable penalty for violations of said law should be limited
to a fine of not less than P100.00 and not more than P1,000.00, the same to serve as the basis in
determining which court may properly exercise jurisdiction thereover. When the complaint against
private respondents was filed in 1975, the pertinent law then in force was Republic Act No. 296,
as amended by Republic Act No. 3828, under which crimes punishable by a fine of not more than
P 3,000.00 fall under the original jurisdiction of the former municipal courts. Consequently,
Criminal Case No. 555 against herein private respondents falls within the original jurisdiction of
the Municipal Trial Court of Hindang, Leyte.

WHEREFORE, the decision and resolution of respondent judge are hereby REVERSED and SET
ASIDE. Criminal Case No. 555 filed against private respondents herein is hereby ordered to be
remanded to the Municipal Trial Court of Hindang, Leyte for trial on the merits.
ABAKADA GURO PARTY LIST (Formerly AASJAS) OFFICERS SAMSON S. ALCANTARA and On the same date, April 13, 2005, the Senate agreed to the request of the House of
ED VINCENT S. ALBANO, Petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY Representatives for a committee conference on the disagreeing provisions of the proposed bills.
EDUARDO ERMITA; HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
CESAR PURISIMA; and HONORABLE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE
GUILLERMO PARAYNO, JR., Respondent. Before long, the Conference Committee on the Disagreeing Provisions of House Bill No. 3555,
House Bill No. 3705, and Senate Bill No. 1950, "after having met and discussed in full free and
conference," recommended the approval of its report, which the Senate did on May 10, 2005, and
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.: with the House of Representatives agreeing thereto the next day, May 11, 2005.

The expenses of government, having for their object the interest of all, should be borne by On May 23, 2005, the enrolled copy of the consolidated House and Senate version was
everyone, and the more man enjoys the advantages of society, the more he ought to hold himself transmitted to the President, who signed the same into law on May 24, 2005. Thus, came R.A.
honored in contributing to those expenses. No. 9337.

-Anne Robert Jacques Turgot (1727-1781) July 1, 2005 is the effectivity date of R.A. No. 9337.5 When said date came, the Court issued a
temporary restraining order, effective immediately and continuing until further orders, enjoining
respondents from enforcing and implementing the law.
French statesman and economist

Oral arguments were held on July 14, 2005. Significantly, during the hearing, the Court speaking
Mounting budget deficit, revenue generation, inadequate fiscal allocation for education, increased through Mr. Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, voiced the rationale for its issuance of the temporary
emoluments for health workers, and wider coverage for full value-added tax benefits these are restraining order on July 1, 2005, to wit:
the reasons why Republic Act No. 9337 (R.A. No. 9337)1 was enacted. Reasons, the wisdom of
which, the Court even with its extensive constitutional power of review, cannot probe. The
petitioners in these cases, however, question not only the wisdom of the law, but also perceived J. PANGANIBAN : . . . But before I go into the details of your presentation, let me just tell you a
constitutional infirmities in its passage. little background. You know when the law took effect on July 1, 2005, the Court issued a TRO at
about 5 oclock in the afternoon. But before that, there was a lot of complaints aired on television
and on radio. Some people in a gas station were complaining that the gas prices went up by 10%.
Every law enjoys in its favor the presumption of constitutionality. Their arguments Some people were complaining that their electric bill will go up by 10%. Other times people riding
notwithstanding, petitioners failed to justify their call for the invalidity of the law. Hence, R.A. No. in domestic air carrier were complaining that the prices that theyll have to pay would have to go
9337 is not unconstitutional. up by 10%. While all that was being aired, per your presentation and per our own understanding
of the law, thats not true. Its not true that the e-vat law necessarily increased prices by 10%
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY uniformly isnt it?

R.A. No. 9337 is a consolidation of three legislative bills namely, House Bill Nos. 3555 and 3705, ATTY. BANIQUED : No, Your Honor.
and Senate Bill No. 1950.
J. PANGANIBAN : It is not?
House Bill No. 35552 was introduced on first reading on January 7, 2005. The House Committee
on Ways and Means approved the bill, in substitution of House Bill No. 1468, which ATTY. BANIQUED : Its not, because, Your Honor, there is an Executive Order that granted the
Representative (Rep.) Eric D. Singson introduced on August 8, 2004. The President certified the Petroleum companies some subsidy . . . interrupted
bill on January 7, 2005 for immediate enactment. On January 27, 2005, the House of
Representatives approved the bill on second and third reading.
J. PANGANIBAN : Thats correct . . .
House Bill No. 37053 on the other hand, substituted House Bill No. 3105 introduced by Rep.
Salacnib F. Baterina, and House Bill No. 3381 introduced by Rep. Jacinto V. Paras. Its "mother ATTY. BANIQUED : . . . and therefore that was meant to temper the impact . . . interrupted
bill" is House Bill No. 3555. The House Committee on Ways and Means approved the bill on
February 2, 2005. The President also certified it as urgent on February 8, 2005. The House of
Representatives approved the bill on second and third reading on February 28, 2005. J. PANGANIBAN : . . . mitigating measures . . .

Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means approved Senate Bill No. 19504 on ATTY. BANIQUED : Yes, Your Honor.
March 7, 2005, "in substitution of Senate Bill Nos. 1337, 1838 and 1873, taking into consideration
House Bill Nos. 3555 and 3705." Senator Ralph G. Recto sponsored Senate Bill No. 1337, while J. PANGANIBAN : As a matter of fact a part of the mitigating measures would be the elimination
Senate Bill Nos. 1838 and 1873 were both sponsored by Sens. Franklin M. Drilon, Juan M. of the Excise Tax and the import duties. That is why, it is not correct to say that the VAT as to
Flavier and Francis N. Pangilinan. The President certified the bill on March 11, 2005, and was petroleum dealers increased prices by 10%.
approved by the Senate on second and third reading on April 13, 2005.
ATTY. BANIQUED : Yes, Your Honor. (i) Value-added tax collection as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the previous
year exceeds two and four-fifth percent (2 4/5%); or
J. PANGANIBAN : And therefore, there is no justification for increasing the retail price by 10% to
cover the E-Vat tax. If you consider the excise tax and the import duties, the Net Tax would (ii) National government deficit as a percentage of GDP of the previous year exceeds one and
probably be in the neighborhood of 7%? We are not going into exact figures I am just trying to one-half percent (1 %).
deliver a point that different industries, different products, different services are hit differently. So
its not correct to say that all prices must go up by 10%.
Petitioners argue that the law is unconstitutional, as it constitutes abandonment by Congress of
its exclusive authority to fix the rate of taxes under Article VI, Section 28(2) of the 1987 Philippine
ATTY. BANIQUED : Youre right, Your Honor. Constitution.

J. PANGANIBAN : Now. For instance, Domestic Airline companies, Mr. Counsel, are at present G.R. No. 168207
imposed a Sales Tax of 3%. When this E-Vat law took effect the Sales Tax was also removed as
a mitigating measure. So, therefore, there is no justification to increase the fares by 10% at best
7%, correct? On June 9, 2005, Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., et al., filed a petition for certiorari likewise
assailing the constitutionality of Sections 4, 5 and 6 of R.A. No. 9337.

ATTY. BANIQUED : I guess so, Your Honor, yes.


Aside from questioning the so-called stand-by authority of the President to increase the VAT rate
to 12%, on the ground that it amounts to an undue delegation of legislative power, petitioners also
J. PANGANIBAN : There are other products that the people were complaining on that first day, contend that the increase in the VAT rate to 12% contingent on any of the two conditions being
were being increased arbitrarily by 10%. And thats one reason among many others this Court satisfied violates the due process clause embodied in Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution, as
had to issue TRO because of the confusion in the implementation. Thats why we added as an it imposes an unfair and additional tax burden on the people, in that: (1) the 12% increase is
issue in this case, even if its tangentially taken up by the pleadings of the parties, the confusion ambiguous because it does not state if the rate would be returned to the original 10% if the
in the implementation of the E-vat. Our people were subjected to the mercy of that confusion of conditions are no longer satisfied; (2) the rate is unfair and unreasonable, as the people are
an across the board increase of 10%, which you yourself now admit and I think even the unsure of the applicable VAT rate from year to year; and (3) the increase in the VAT rate, which is
Government will admit is incorrect. In some cases, it should be 3% only, in some cases it should supposed to be an incentive to the President to raise the VAT collection to at least 2 4/5 of the
be 6% depending on these mitigating measures and the location and situation of each product, of GDP of the previous year, should only be based on fiscal adequacy.
each service, of each company, isnt it?
Petitioners further claim that the inclusion of a stand-by authority granted to the President by the
ATTY. BANIQUED : Yes, Your Honor. Bicameral Conference Committee is a violation of the "no-amendment rule" upon last reading of a
bill laid down in Article VI, Section 26(2) of the Constitution.
J. PANGANIBAN : Alright. So thats one reason why we had to issue a TRO pending the
clarification of all these and we wish the government will take time to clarify all these by means of G.R. No. 168461
a more detailed implementing rules, in case the law is upheld by this Court. . . . 6
Thereafter, a petition for prohibition was filed on June 29, 2005, by the Association
The Court also directed the parties to file their respective Memoranda. of Pilipinas Shell Dealers, Inc., et al., assailing the following provisions of R.A. No. 9337:

G.R. No. 168056 1) Section 8, amending Section 110 (A)(2) of the NIRC, requiring that the input tax on depreciable
goods shall be amortized over a 60-month period, if the acquisition, excluding the VAT
components, exceeds One Million Pesos (1, 000,000.00);
Before R.A. No. 9337 took effect, petitioners ABAKADA GURO Party List, et al., filed a petition for
prohibition on May 27, 2005. They question the constitutionality of Sections 4, 5 and 6 of R.A. No.
9337, amending Sections 106, 107 and 108, respectively, of the National Internal Revenue Code 2) Section 8, amending Section 110 (B) of the NIRC, imposing a 70% limit on the amount of input
(NIRC). Section 4 imposes a 10% VAT on sale of goods and properties, Section 5 imposes a tax to be credited against the output tax; and
10% VAT on importation of goods, and Section 6 imposes a 10% VAT on sale of services and
use or lease of properties. These questioned provisions contain a uniform proviso authorizing the
President, upon recommendation of the Secretary of Finance, to raise the VAT rate to 12%, 3) Section 12, amending Section 114 (c) of the NIRC, authorizing the Government or any of its
effective January 1, 2006, after any of the following conditions have been satisfied, to wit: political subdivisions, instrumentalities or agencies, including GOCCs, to deduct a 5% final
withholding tax on gross payments of goods and services, which are subject to 10% VAT under
Sections 106 (sale of goods and properties) and 108 (sale of services and use or lease of
. . . That the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance, shall, effective properties) of the NIRC.
January 1, 2006, raise the rate of value-added tax to twelve percent (12%), after any of the
following conditions has been satisfied:
Petitioners contend that these provisions are unconstitutional for being arbitrary, oppressive,
excessive, and confiscatory.
Petitioners argument is premised on the constitutional right of non-deprivation of life, liberty or The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a Comment in behalf of respondents. Preliminarily,
property without due process of law under Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution. According to respondents contend that R.A. No. 9337 enjoys the presumption of constitutionality and
petitioners, the contested sections impose limitations on the amount of input tax that may be petitioners failed to cast doubt on its validity.
claimed. Petitioners also argue that the input tax partakes the nature of a property that may not
be confiscated, appropriated, or limited without due process of law. Petitioners further contend
that like any other property or property right, the input tax credit may be transferred or disposed Relying on the case of Tolentino vs. Secretary of Finance, 235 SCRA
of, and that by limiting the same, the government gets to tax a profit or value-added even if there
is no profit or value-added. 630 (1994), respondents argue that the procedural issues raised by petitioners, i.e., legality of the
bicameral proceedings, exclusive origination of revenue measures and the power of the Senate
Petitioners also believe that these provisions violate the constitutional guarantee of equal concomitant thereto, have already been settled. With regard to the issue of undue delegation of
protection of the law under Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution, as the limitation on the legislative power to the President, respondents contend that the law is complete and leaves no
creditable input tax if: (1) the entity has a high ratio of input tax; or (2) invests in capital discretion to the President but to increase the rate to 12% once any of the two conditions
equipment; or (3) has several transactions with the government, is not based on real and provided therein arise.
substantial differences to meet a valid classification.
Respondents also refute petitioners argument that the increase to 12%, as well as the 70%
Lastly, petitioners contend that the 70% limit is anything but progressive, violative of Article VI, limitation on the creditable input tax, the 60-month amortization on the purchase or importation of
Section 28(1) of the Constitution, and that it is the smaller businesses with higher input tax to capital goods exceeding 1,000,000.00, and the 5% final withholding tax by government
output tax ratio that will suffer the consequences thereof for it wipes out whatever meager agencies, is arbitrary, oppressive, and confiscatory, and that it violates the constitutional principle
margins the petitioners make. on progressive taxation, among others.

G.R. No. 168463 Finally, respondents manifest that R.A. No. 9337 is the anchor of the governments fiscal reform
agenda. A reform in the value-added system of taxation is the core revenue measure that will tilt
the balance towards a sustainable macroeconomic environment necessary for economic growth.
Several members of the House of Representatives led by Rep. Francis Joseph G. Escudero filed
this petition for certiorari on June 30, 2005. They question the constitutionality of R.A. No. 9337
on the following grounds: ISSUES

1) Sections 4, 5, and 6 of R.A. No. 9337 constitute an undue delegation of legislative power, in The Court defined the issues, as follows:
violation of Article VI, Section 28(2) of the Constitution;
PROCEDURAL ISSUE
2) The Bicameral Conference Committee acted without jurisdiction in deleting the no pass
on provisions present in Senate Bill No. 1950 and House Bill No. 3705; and Whether R.A. No. 9337 violates the following provisions of the Constitution:

3) Insertion by the Bicameral Conference Committee of Sections 27, 28, 34, 116, 117, 119, 121, a. Article VI, Section 24, and
125,7 148, 151, 236, 237 and 288, which were present in Senate Bill No. 1950, violates Article VI,
Section 24(1) of the Constitution, which provides that all appropriation, revenue or tariff bills shall
originate exclusively in the House of Representatives b. Article VI, Section 26(2)

G.R. No. 168730 SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES

On the eleventh hour, Governor Enrique T. Garcia filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition on 1. Whether Sections 4, 5 and 6 of R.A. No. 9337, amending Sections 106, 107 and 108 of the
July 20, 2005, alleging unconstitutionality of the law on the ground that the limitation on the NIRC, violate the following provisions of the Constitution:
creditable input tax in effect allows VAT-registered establishments to retain a portion of the taxes
they collect, thus violating the principle that tax collection and revenue should be solely allocated
a. Article VI, Section 28(1), and
for public purposes and expenditures. Petitioner Garcia further claims that allowing these
establishments to pass on the tax to the consumers is inequitable, in violation of Article VI,
Section 28(1) of the Constitution. b. Article VI, Section 28(2)

RESPONDENTS COMMENT 2. Whether Section 8 of R.A. No. 9337, amending Sections 110(A)(2) and 110(B) of the NIRC;
and Section 12 of R.A. No. 9337, amending Section 114(C) of the NIRC, violate the following
provisions of the Constitution:
a. Article VI, Section 28(1), and Petitioners Escudero, et al., and Pimentel, et al., allege that the Bicameral Conference Committee
exceeded its authority by:
b. Article III, Section 1
1) Inserting the stand-by authority in favor of the President in Sections 4, 5, and 6 of R.A. No.
9337;
RULING OF THE COURT

2) Deleting entirely the no pass-on provisions found in both the House and Senate bills;
As a prelude, the Court deems it apt to restate the general principles and concepts of value-
added tax (VAT), as the confusion and inevitably, litigation, breeds from a fallacious notion of its
nature. 3) Inserting the provision imposing a 70% limit on the amount of input tax to be credited against
the output tax; and
The VAT is a tax on spending or consumption. It is levied on the sale, barter, exchange or lease
of goods or properties and services.8 Being an indirect tax on expenditure, the seller of goods or 4) Including the amendments introduced only by Senate Bill No. 1950 regarding other kinds of
services may pass on the amount of tax paid to the buyer, 9 with the seller acting merely as a tax taxes in addition to the value-added tax.
collector.10 The burden of VAT is intended to fall on the immediate buyers and ultimately, the end-
consumers.
Petitioners now beseech the Court to define the powers of the Bicameral Conference Committee.

In contrast, a direct tax is a tax for which a taxpayer is directly liable on the transaction or
business it engages in, without transferring the burden to someone else.11 Examples are It should be borne in mind that the power of internal regulation and discipline are intrinsic in any
individual and corporate income taxes, transfer taxes, and residence taxes.12 legislative body for, as unerringly elucidated by Justice Story, "[i]f the power did not exist, it would
be utterly impracticable to transact the business of the nation, either at all, or at least with
decency, deliberation, and order."19 Thus, Article VI, Section 16 (3) of the Constitution provides
In the Philippines, the value-added system of sales taxation has long been in existence, albeit in that "each House may determine the rules of its proceedings." Pursuant to this inherent
a different mode. Prior to 1978, the system was a single-stage tax computed under the "cost constitutional power to promulgate and implement its own rules of procedure, the respective rules
deduction method" and was payable only by the original sellers. The single-stage system was of each house of Congress provided for the creation of a Bicameral Conference Committee.
subsequently modified, and a mixture of the "cost deduction method" and "tax credit method" was
used to determine the value-added tax payable.13 Under the "tax credit method," an entity can
credit against or subtract from the VAT charged on its sales or outputs the VAT paid on its Thus, Rule XIV, Sections 88 and 89 of the Rules of House of Representatives provides as
purchases, inputs and imports.14 follows:

It was only in 1987, when President Corazon C. Aquino issued Executive Order No. 273, that the Sec. 88. Conference Committee. In the event that the House does not agree with the Senate on
VAT system was rationalized by imposing a multi-stage tax rate of 0% or 10% on all sales using the amendment to any bill or joint resolution, the differences may be settled by the conference
the "tax credit method."15 committees of both chambers.

E.O. No. 273 was followed by R.A. No. 7716 or the Expanded VAT Law, 16 R.A. No. 8241 or the In resolving the differences with the Senate, the House panel shall, as much as possible, adhere
Improved VAT Law,17 R.A. No. 8424 or the Tax Reform Act of 1997,18 and finally, the presently to and support the House Bill. If the differences with the Senate are so substantial that they
beleaguered R.A. No. 9337, also referred to by respondents as the VAT Reform Act. materially impair the House Bill, the panel shall report such fact to the House for the latters
appropriate action.

The Court will now discuss the issues in logical sequence.


Sec. 89. Conference Committee Reports. . . . Each report shall contain a detailed, sufficiently
explicit statement of the changes in or amendments to the subject measure.
PROCEDURAL ISSUE
...
I.
The Chairman of the House panel may be interpellated on the Conference Committee Report
Whether R.A. No. 9337 violates the following provisions of the Constitution: prior to the voting thereon. The House shall vote on the Conference Committee Report in the
same manner and procedure as it votes on a bill on third and final reading.
a. Article VI, Section 24, and
Rule XII, Section 35 of the Rules of the Senate states:
b. Article VI, Section 26(2)
Sec. 35. In the event that the Senate does not agree with the House of Representatives on the
provision of any bill or joint resolution, the differences shall be settled by a conference committee
A. The Bicameral Conference Committee
of both Houses which shall meet within ten (10) days after their composition. The President shall "Parliamentary rules are merely procedural, and with their observance, the courts have no
designate the members of the Senate Panel in the conference committee with the approval of the concern. They may be waived or disregarded by the legislative body." Consequently, "mere
Senate. failure to conform to parliamentary usage will not invalidate the action (taken by a deliberative
body) when the requisite number of members have agreed to a particular measure."21 (Emphasis
supplied)
Each Conference Committee Report shall contain a detailed and sufficiently explicit statement of
the changes in, or amendments to the subject measure, and shall be signed by a majority of the
members of each House panel, voting separately. The foregoing declaration is exactly in point with the present cases, where petitioners allege
irregularities committed by the conference committee in introducing changes or deleting
provisions in the House and Senate bills. Akin to the Farias case,22 the present petitions also
A comparative presentation of the conflicting House and Senate provisions and a reconciled raise an issue regarding the actions taken by the conference committee on matters regarding
version thereof with the explanatory statement of the conference committee shall be attached to Congress compliance with its own internal rules. As stated earlier, one of the most basic and
the report. inherent power of the legislature is the power to formulate rules for its proceedings and the
discipline of its members. Congress is the best judge of how it should conduct its own business
... expeditiously and in the most orderly manner. It is also the sole

The creation of such conference committee was apparently in response to a problem, not concern of Congress to instill discipline among the members of its conference committee if it
addressed by any constitutional provision, where the two houses of Congress find themselves in believes that said members violated any of its rules of proceedings. Even the expanded
disagreement over changes or amendments introduced by the other house in a legislative bill. jurisdiction of this Court cannot apply to questions regarding only the internal operation of
Given that one of the most basic powers of the legislative branch is to formulate and implement Congress, thus, the Court is wont to deny a review of the internal proceedings of a co-equal
its own rules of proceedings and to discipline its members, may the Court then delve into the branch of government.
details of how Congress complies with its internal rules or how it conducts its business of passing
legislation? Note that in the present petitions, the issue is not whether provisions of the rules of Moreover, as far back as 1994 or more than ten years ago, in the case of Tolentino vs. Secretary
both houses creating the bicameral conference committee are unconstitutional, but whether the of Finance,23 the Court already made the pronouncement that "[i]f a change is desired in the
bicameral conference committee has strictly complied with the rules of both houses, thereby practice [of the Bicameral Conference Committee] it must be sought in Congress since this
remaining within the jurisdiction conferred upon it by Congress. question is not covered by any constitutional provision but is only an internal rule of each
house." 24 To date, Congress has not seen it fit to make such changes adverted to by the Court. It
In the recent case of Farias vs. The Executive Secretary,20 the Court En seems, therefore, that Congress finds the practices of the bicameral conference committee to be
Banc, unanimously reiterated and emphasized its adherence to the "enrolled bill doctrine," thus, very useful for purposes of prompt and efficient legislative action.
declining therein petitioners plea for the Court to go behind the enrolled copy of the bill. Assailed
in said case was Congresss creation of two sets of bicameral conference committees, the lack of Nevertheless, just to put minds at ease that no blatant irregularities tainted the proceedings of the
records of said committees proceedings, the alleged violation of said committees of the rules of bicameral conference committees, the Court deems it necessary to dwell on the issue. The Court
both houses, and the disappearance or deletion of one of the provisions in the compromise bill observes that there was a necessity for a conference committee because a comparison of the
submitted by the bicameral conference committee. It was argued that such irregularities in the provisions of House Bill Nos. 3555 and 3705 on one hand, and Senate Bill No. 1950 on the other,
passage of the law nullified R.A. No. 9006, or the Fair Election Act. reveals that there were indeed disagreements. As pointed out in the petitions, said disagreements
were as follows:
Striking down such argument, the Court held thus:
House Bill No. 3555 House Bill No.3705 Senate Bill No. 1950
Under the "enrolled bill doctrine," the signing of a bill by the Speaker of the House and the Senate With regard to "Stand-By Authority" in favor of President
President and the certification of the Secretaries of both Houses of Congress that it was passed Provides for 12% VAT on Provides for 12% VAT in Provides for a single rate of
are conclusive of its due enactment. A review of cases reveals the Courts consistent adherence every sale of goods or general on sales of goods or 10% VAT on sale of goods
to the rule. The Court finds no reason to deviate from the salutary rule in this case where the properties (amending Sec. properties and reduced rates or properties (amending
irregularities alleged by the petitioners mostly involved the internal rules of Congress, e.g., 106 of NIRC); 12% VAT on for sale of certain locally Sec. 106 of NIRC), 10%
creation of the 2nd or 3rd Bicameral Conference Committee by the House. This Court is not the importation of goods manufactured goods and VAT on sale of services
proper forum for the enforcement of these internal rules of Congress, whether House or Senate. (amending Sec. 107 of petroleum products and raw including sale of electricity
Parliamentary rules are merely procedural and with their observance the courts have no concern. NIRC); and 12% VAT on materials to be used in the by generation companies,
Whatever doubts there may be as to the formal validity of Rep. Act No. 9006 must be resolved in sale of services and use or manufacture thereof (amending transmission and distribution
its favor.The Court reiterates its ruling in Arroyo vs. De Venecia, viz.: lease of properties Sec. 106 of NIRC); 12% VAT companies, and use or lease
(amending Sec. 108 of on importation of goods and of properties (amending
But the cases, both here and abroad, in varying forms of expression, all deny to the courts the NIRC) reduced rates for certain Sec. 108 of NIRC)
power to inquire into allegations that, in enacting a law, a House of Congress failed to comply imported products including
with its own rules, in the absence of showing that there was a violation of a constitutional petroleum products (amending
provision or the rights of private individuals. In Osmea v. Pendatun, it was held: "At any rate, Sec. 107 of NIRC); and 12%
VAT on sale of services and
courts have declared that the rules adopted by deliberative bodies are subject to revocation,
use or lease of properties and a
modification or waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them. And it has been said that
reduced rate for certain Congress to act on the same by settling said differences and/or disagreements. The Bicameral
services including power Conference Committee acted on the disagreeing provisions by making the following changes:
generation (amending Sec. 108
of NIRC)
1. With regard to the disagreement on the rate of VAT to be imposed, it would appear from the
With regard to the "no pass-on" provision Conference Committee Report that the Bicameral Conference Committee tried to bridge the gap
No similar provision Provides that the VAT imposed Provides that the VAT in the difference between the 10% VAT rate proposed by the Senate, and the various rates with
on power generation and on the imposed on sales of 12% as the highest VAT rate proposed by the House, by striking a compromise whereby the
sale of petroleum products shall electricity by generation present 10% VAT rate would be retained until certain conditions arise, i.e., the value-added tax
be absorbed by generation companies and services of collection as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) of the previous year exceeds 2 4/5%,
companies or sellers, transmission companies and or National Government deficit as a percentage of GDP of the previous year exceeds 1%, when
respectively, and shall not be distribution companies, as the President, upon recommendation of the Secretary of Finance shall raise the rate of VAT to
passed on to consumers well as those of franchise 12% effective January 1, 2006.
grantees of electric utilities
shall not apply to residential
2. With regard to the disagreement on whether only the VAT imposed on electricity generation,
transmission and distribution companies should not be passed on to consumers or whether both
end-users. VAT shall be the VAT imposed on electricity generation, transmission and distribution companies and the VAT
absorbed by generation, imposed on sale of petroleum products may be passed on to consumers, the Bicameral
transmission, and Conference Committee chose to settle such disagreement by altogether deleting from its Report
distribution companies. any no pass-on provision.
With regard to 70% limit on input tax credit
Provides that the input tax No similar provision Provides that the input tax
3. With regard to the disagreement on whether input tax credits should be limited or not, the
credit for capital goods on credit for capital goods on
Bicameral Conference Committee decided to adopt the position of the House by putting a
which a VAT has been paid which a VAT has been paid
limitation on the amount of input tax that may be credited against the output tax, although it
shall be equally distributed shall be equally distributed
crafted its own language as to the amount of the limitation on input tax credits and the manner of
over 5 years or the over 5 years or the
computing the same by providing thus:
depreciable life of such depreciable life of such
capital goods; the input tax capital goods; the input tax
credit for goods and credit for goods and services (A) Creditable Input Tax. . . .
services other than capital other than capital goods
goods shall not exceed 5% shall not exceed 90% of the
of the total amount of such output VAT. ...
goods and services; and for
persons engaged in retail Provided, The input tax on goods purchased or imported in a calendar month for use in trade or
trading of goods, the business for which deduction for depreciation is allowed under this Code, shall be spread evenly
allowable input tax credit over the month of acquisition and the fifty-nine (59) succeeding months if the aggregate
shall not exceed 11% of the acquisition cost for such goods, excluding the VAT component thereof, exceeds one million
total amount of goods Pesos (1,000,000.00): PROVIDED, however, that if the estimated useful life of the capital good
purchased. is less than five (5) years, as used for depreciation purposes, then the input VAT shall be spread
With regard to amendments to be made to NIRC provisions regarding income and excise taxes over such shorter period: . . .
No similar provision No similar provision Provided for amendments to several
NIRC provisions regarding corporate
(B) Excess franchise
income, percentage, Output orand
Input Tax. If at the end of any taxable quarter the output tax exceeds the
excise
taxes input tax, the excess shall be paid by the VAT-registered person. If the input tax exceeds the
output tax, the excess shall be carried over to the succeeding quarter or quarters: PROVIDED
that the input tax inclusive of input VAT carried over from the previous quarter that may be
The disagreements between the provisions in the House bills and the Senate bill were with regard credited in every quarter shall not exceed seventy percent (70%) of the output VAT: PROVIDED,
to (1) what rate of VAT is to be imposed; (2) whether only the VAT imposed on electricity HOWEVER, THAT any input tax attributable to zero-rated sales by a VAT-registered person may
generation, transmission and distribution companies should not be passed on to consumers, as at his option be refunded or credited against other internal revenue taxes, . . .
proposed in the Senate bill, or both the VAT imposed on electricity generation, transmission and
distribution companies and the VAT imposed on sale of petroleum products should not be passed
4. With regard to the amendments to other provisions of the NIRC on corporate income tax,
on to consumers, as proposed in the House bill; (3) in what manner input tax credits should be
franchise, percentage and excise taxes, the conference committee decided to include such
limited; (4) and whether the NIRC provisions on corporate income taxes, percentage, franchise
amendments and basically adopted the provisions found in Senate Bill No. 1950, with some
and excise taxes should be amended.
changes as to the rate of the tax to be imposed.

There being differences and/or disagreements on the foregoing provisions of the House and
Senate bills, the Bicameral Conference Committee was mandated by the rules of both houses of
Under the provisions of both the Rules of the House of Representatives and Senate Rules, the to it for reconciliation. Such being the case, the Court does not see any grave abuse of discretion
Bicameral Conference Committee is mandated to settle the differences between the disagreeing amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction committed by the Bicameral Conference Committee. In
provisions in the House bill and the Senate bill. The term "settle" is synonymous to "reconcile" the earlier cases of Philippine Judges Association vs. Prado29 and Tolentino vs. Secretary of
and "harmonize."25 To reconcile or harmonize disagreeing provisions, the Bicameral Conference Finance,30 the Court recognized the long-standing legislative practice of giving said conference
Committee may then (a) adopt the specific provisions of either the House bill or Senate bill, (b) committee ample latitude for compromising differences between the Senate and the House.
decide that neither provisions in the House bill or the provisions in the Senate bill would Thus, in the Tolentino case, it was held that:

be carried into the final form of the bill, and/or (c) try to arrive at a compromise between the . . . it is within the power of a conference committee to include in its report an entirely new
disagreeing provisions. provision that is not found either in the House bill or in the Senate bill. If the committee can
propose an amendment consisting of one or two provisions, there is no reason why it cannot
propose several provisions, collectively considered as an "amendment in the nature of a
In the present case, the changes introduced by the Bicameral Conference Committee on substitute," so long as such amendment is germane to the subject of the bills before the
disagreeing provisions were meant only to reconcile and harmonize the disagreeing provisions for committee. After all, its report was not final but needed the approval of both houses of Congress
it did not inject any idea or intent that is wholly foreign to the subject embraced by the original to become valid as an act of the legislative department. The charge that in this case the
provisions. Conference Committee acted as a third legislative chamber is thus without any
basis.31 (Emphasis supplied)
The so-called stand-by authority in favor of the President, whereby the rate of 10% VAT wanted
by the Senate is retained until such time that certain conditions arise when the 12% VAT wanted B. R.A. No. 9337 Does Not Violate Article VI, Section 26(2) of the Constitution on the "No-
by the House shall be imposed, appears to be a compromise to try to bridge the difference in the Amendment Rule"
rate of VAT proposed by the two houses of Congress. Nevertheless, such compromise is still
totally within the subject of what rate of VAT should be imposed on taxpayers.
Article VI, Sec. 26 (2) of the Constitution, states:
The no pass-on provision was deleted altogether. In the transcripts of the proceedings of the
Bicameral Conference Committee held on May 10, 2005, Sen. Ralph Recto, Chairman of the No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on
Senate Panel, explained the reason for deleting the no pass-on provision in this wise: separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its Members
three days before its passage, except when the President certifies to the necessity of its
immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency. Upon the last reading of a bill, no
. . . the thinking was just to keep the VAT law or the VAT bill simple. And we were thinking that no amendment thereto shall be allowed, and the vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter,
sector should be a beneficiary of legislative grace, neither should any sector be discriminated on. and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal.
The VAT is an indirect tax. It is a pass on-tax. And lets keep it plain and simple. Lets not confuse
the bill and put a no pass-on provision. Two-thirds of the world have a VAT system and in this
two-thirds of the globe, I have yet to see a VAT with a no pass-though provision. So, the thinking Petitioners argument that the practice where a bicameral conference committee is allowed to add
of the Senate is basically simple, lets keep the VAT simple.26 (Emphasis supplied) or delete provisions in the House bill and the Senate bill after these had passed three readings is
in effect a circumvention of the "no amendment rule" (Sec. 26 (2), Art. VI of the 1987
Constitution), fails to convince the Court to deviate from its ruling in the Tolentino case that:
Rep. Teodoro Locsin further made the manifestation that the no pass-on provision "never really
enjoyed the support of either House."27
Nor is there any reason for requiring that the Committees Report in these cases must have
undergone three readings in each of the two houses. If that be the case, there would be no end to
With regard to the amount of input tax to be credited against output tax, the Bicameral negotiation since each house may seek modification of the compromise bill. . . .
Conference Committee came to a compromise on the percentage rate of the limitation or cap on
such input tax credit, but again, the change introduced by the Bicameral Conference Committee
was totally within the intent of both houses to put a cap on input tax that may be Art. VI. 26 (2) must, therefore, be construed as referring only to bills introduced for the first time
in either house of Congress, not to the conference committee report.32 (Emphasis supplied)
credited against the output tax. From the inception of the subject revenue bill in the House of
Representatives, one of the major objectives was to "plug a glaring loophole in the tax policy and The Court reiterates here that the "no-amendment rule" refers only to the procedure to be
administration by creating vital restrictions on the claiming of input VAT tax credits . . ." and "[b]y followed by each house of Congress with regard to bills initiated in each of said respective
introducing limitations on the claiming of tax credit, we are capping a major leakage that has houses, before said bill is transmitted to the other house for its concurrence or amendment.
placed our collection efforts at an apparent disadvantage."28 Verily, to construe said provision in a way as to proscribe any further changes to a bill after one
house has voted on it would lead to absurdity as this would mean that the other house of
Congress would be deprived of its constitutional power to amend or introduce changes to said
As to the amendments to NIRC provisions on taxes other than the value-added tax proposed in bill. Thus, Art. VI, Sec. 26 (2) of the Constitution cannot be taken to mean that the introduction by
Senate Bill No. 1950, since said provisions were among those referred to it, the conference the Bicameral Conference Committee of amendments and modifications to disagreeing
committee had to act on the same and it basically adopted the version of the Senate. provisions in bills that have been acted upon by both houses of Congress is prohibited.

Thus, all the changes or modifications made by the Bicameral Conference Committee were
germane to subjects of the provisions referred
C. R.A. No. 9337 Does Not Violate Article VI, Section 24 of the Constitution on Exclusive . . . To begin with, it is not the law but the revenue bill which is required by the Constitution to
Origination of Revenue Bills "originate exclusively" in the House of Representatives. It is important to emphasize this, because
a bill originating in the House may undergo such extensive changes in the Senate that the result
may be a rewriting of the whole. . . . At this point, what is important to note is that, as a result of
Coming to the issue of the validity of the amendments made regarding the NIRC provisions on the Senate action, a distinct bill may be produced. To insist that a revenue statute and not only
corporate income taxes and percentage, excise taxes. Petitioners refer to the following the bill which initiated the legislative process culminating in the enactment of the law must
provisions, to wit: substantially be the same as the House bill would be to deny the Senates power not only to
"concur with amendments" but also to "propose amendments." It would be to violate the
Section 27 Rates of Income Tax on Domestic Corporation coequality of legislative power of the two houses of Congress and in fact make the House
superior to the Senate.
28(A)(1) Tax on Resident Foreign Corporation
28(B)(1) Inter-corporate Dividends
34(B)(1) Inter-corporate Dividends
116 Tax on Persons Exempt from VAT
117 Percentage Tax on domestic carriers and keepers of Garage Given, then, the power of the Senate to propose amendments, the Senate can propose its own
119 Tax on franchises version even with respect to bills which are required by the Constitution to originate in the House.
121 Tax on banks and Non-Bank Financial Intermediaries
148 Excise Tax on manufactured oils and other fuels ...
151 Excise Tax on mineral products
236 Registration requirements Indeed, what the Constitution simply means is that the initiative for filing revenue, tariff or tax bills,
237 Issuance of receipts or sales or commercial invoices bills authorizing an increase of the public debt, private bills and bills of local application must
288 Disposition of Incremental Revenue come from the House of Representatives on the theory that, elected as they are from the
districts, the members of the House can be expected to be more sensitive to the local needs and
problems. On the other hand, the senators, who are elected at large, are expected to approach
Petitioners claim that the amendments to these provisions of the NIRC did not at all originate from the same problems from the national perspective. Both views are thereby made to bear on the
the House. They aver that House Bill No. 3555 proposed amendments only regarding Sections enactment of such laws.33 (Emphasis supplied)
106, 107, 108, 110 and 114 of the NIRC, while House Bill No. 3705 proposed amendments only
to Sections 106, 107,108, 109, 110 and 111 of the NIRC; thus, the other sections of the NIRC
which the Senate amended but which amendments were not found in the House bills are not Since there is no question that the revenue bill exclusively originated in the House of
intended to be amended by the House of Representatives. Hence, they argue that since the Representatives, the Senate was acting within its
proposed amendments did not originate from the House, such amendments are a violation of
Article VI, Section 24 of the Constitution.
constitutional power to introduce amendments to the House bill when it included provisions in
Senate Bill No. 1950 amending corporate income taxes, percentage, excise and franchise taxes.
The argument does not hold water. Verily, Article VI, Section 24 of the Constitution does not contain any prohibition or limitation on
the extent of the amendments that may be introduced by the Senate to the House revenue bill.
Article VI, Section 24 of the Constitution reads:
Furthermore, the amendments introduced by the Senate to the NIRC provisions that had not
been touched in the House bills are still in furtherance of the intent of the House in initiating the
Sec. 24. All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of the public debt, bills subject revenue bills. The Explanatory Note of House Bill No. 1468, the very first House bill
of local application, and private bills shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives introduced on the floor, which was later substituted by House Bill No. 3555, stated:
but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments.

One of the challenges faced by the present administration is the urgent and daunting task of
In the present cases, petitioners admit that it was indeed House Bill Nos. 3555 and 3705 that solving the countrys serious financial problems. To do this, government expenditures must be
initiated the move for amending provisions of the NIRC dealing mainly with the value-added tax. strictly monitored and controlled and revenues must be significantly increased. This may be
Upon transmittal of said House bills to the Senate, the Senate came out with Senate Bill No. 1950 easier said than done, but our fiscal authorities are still optimistic the government will be
proposing amendments not only to NIRC provisions on the value-added tax but also amendments operating on a balanced budget by the year 2009. In fact, several measures that will result to
to NIRC provisions on other kinds of taxes. Is the introduction by the Senate of provisions not significant expenditure savings have been identified by the administration. It is supported with a
dealing directly with the value- added tax, which is the only kind of tax being amended in the credible package of revenue measures that include measures to improve tax administration and
House bills, still within the purview of the constitutional provision authorizing the Senate to control the leakages in revenues from income taxes and the value-added tax (VAT). (Emphasis
propose or concur with amendments to a revenue bill that originated from the House? supplied)

The foregoing question had been squarely answered in the Tolentino case, wherein the Court Rep. Eric D. Singson, in his sponsorship speech for House Bill No. 3555, declared that:
held, thus:
In the budget message of our President in the year 2005, she reiterated that we all acknowledged Likewise, the Court finds the sections referring to other percentage and excise taxes germane to
that on top of our agenda must be the restoration of the health of our fiscal system. the reforms to the VAT system, as these sections would cushion the effects of VAT on
consumers. Considering that certain goods and services which were subject to percentage tax
and excise tax would no longer be VAT-exempt, the consumer would be burdened more as they
In order to considerably lower the consolidated public sector deficit and eventually achieve a would be paying the VAT in addition to these taxes. Thus, there is a need to amend these
balanced budget by the year 2009, we need to seize windows of opportunities which might seem sections to soften the impact of VAT. Again, in his sponsorship speech, Sen. Recto said:
poignant in the beginning, but in the long run prove effective and beneficial to the overall status of
our economy. One such opportunity is a review of existing tax rates, evaluating the relevance
given our present conditions.34 (Emphasis supplied) However, for power plants that run on oil, we will reduce to zero the present excise tax on bunker
fuel, to lessen the effect of a VAT on this product.
Notably therefore, the main purpose of the bills emanating from the House of Representatives is
to bring in sizeable revenues for the government For electric utilities like Meralco, we will wipe out the franchise tax in exchange for a VAT.

to supplement our countrys serious financial problems, and improve tax administration and And in the case of petroleum, while we will levy the VAT on oil products, so as not to destroy the
control of the leakages in revenues from income taxes and value-added taxes. As these house VAT chain, we will however bring down the excise tax on socially sensitive products such as
bills were transmitted to the Senate, the latter, approaching the measures from the point of diesel, bunker, fuel and kerosene.
national perspective, can introduce amendments within the purposes of those bills. It can provide
for ways that would soften the impact of the VAT measure on the consumer, i.e., by distributing
the burden across all sectors instead of putting it entirely on the shoulders of the consumers. The ...
sponsorship speech of Sen. Ralph Recto on why the provisions on income tax on corporation
were included is worth quoting: What do all these exercises point to? These are not contortions of giving to the left hand what
was taken from the right. Rather, these sprang from our concern of softening the impact of VAT,
All in all, the proposal of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means will raise 64.3 billion in so that the people can cushion the blow of higher prices they will have to pay as a result of VAT.36
additional revenues annually even while by mitigating prices of power, services and petroleum
products. The other sections amended by the Senate pertained to matters of tax administration which are
necessary for the implementation of the changes in the VAT system.
However, not all of this will be wrung out of VAT. In fact, only 48.7 billion amount is from the
VAT on twelve goods and services. The rest of the tab 10.5 billion- will be picked by To reiterate, the sections introduced by the Senate are germane to the subject matter and
corporations. purposes of the house bills, which is to supplement our countrys fiscal deficit, among others.
Thus, the Senate acted within its power to propose those amendments.
What we therefore prescribe is a burden sharing between corporate Philippines and the
consumer. Why should the latter bear all the pain? Why should the fiscal salvation be only on the SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES
burden of the consumer?

I.
The corporate worlds equity is in form of the increase in the corporate income tax from 32 to 35
percent, but up to 2008 only. This will raise 10.5 billion a year. After that, the rate will slide back,
not to its old rate of 32 percent, but two notches lower, to 30 percent. Whether Sections 4, 5 and 6 of R.A. No. 9337, amending Sections 106, 107 and 108 of the NIRC,
violate the following provisions of the Constitution:

Clearly, we are telling those with the capacity to pay, corporations, to bear with this emergency
provision that will be in effect for 1,200 days, while we put our fiscal house in order. This fiscal a. Article VI, Section 28(1), and
medicine will have an expiry date.
b. Article VI, Section 28(2)
For their assistance, a reward of tax reduction awaits them. We intend to keep the length of their
sacrifice brief. We would like to assure them that not because there is a light at the end of the
A. No Undue Delegation of Legislative Power
tunnel, this government will keep on making the tunnel long.

Petitioners ABAKADA GURO Party List, et al., Pimentel, Jr., et al., and Escudero, et al. contend
The responsibility will not rest solely on the weary shoulders of the small man. Big business will
in common that Sections 4, 5 and 6 of R.A. No. 9337, amending Sections 106, 107 and 108,
be there to share the burden.35
respectively, of the NIRC giving the President the stand-by authority to raise the VAT rate from
10% to 12% when a certain condition is met, constitutes undue delegation of the legislative power
As the Court has said, the Senate can propose amendments and in fact, the amendments made to tax.
on provisions in the tax on income of corporations are germane to the purpose of the house bills
which is to raise revenues for the government.
The assailed provisions read as follows:
SEC. 4. Sec. 106 of the same Code, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows: (i) value-added tax collection as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the previous
year exceeds two and four-fifth percent (2 4/5%) or
SEC. 106. Value-Added Tax on Sale of Goods or Properties.
(ii) national government deficit as a percentage of GDP of the previous year exceeds one and
one-half percent (1 %). (Emphasis supplied)
(A) Rate and Base of Tax. There shall be levied, assessed and collected on every sale, barter
or exchange of goods or properties, a value-added tax equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the
gross selling price or gross value in money of the goods or properties sold, bartered or Petitioners allege that the grant of the stand-by authority to the President to increase the VAT rate
exchanged, such tax to be paid by the seller or transferor: provided, that the President, upon the is a virtual abdication by Congress of its exclusive power to tax because such delegation is not
recommendation of the Secretary of Finance, shall, effective January 1, 2006, raise the rate of within the purview of Section 28 (2), Article VI of the Constitution, which provides:
value-added tax to twelve percent (12%), after any of the following conditions has been satisfied.
The Congress may, by law, authorize the President to fix within specified limits, and may impose,
(i) value-added tax collection as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the previous tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues, and other duties or imposts
year exceeds two and four-fifth percent (2 4/5%) or within the framework of the national development program of the government.

(ii) national government deficit as a percentage of GDP of the previous year exceeds one and They argue that the VAT is a tax levied on the sale, barter or exchange of goods and properties
one-half percent (1 %). as well as on the sale or exchange of services, which cannot be included within the purview of
tariffs under the exempted delegation as the latter refers to customs duties, tolls or tribute
payable upon merchandise to the government and usually imposed on goods or merchandise
SEC. 5. Section 107 of the same Code, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as imported or exported.
follows:

Petitioners ABAKADA GURO Party List, et al., further contend that delegating to the President
SEC. 107. Value-Added Tax on Importation of Goods. the legislative power to tax is contrary to republicanism. They insist that accountability,
responsibility and transparency should dictate the actions of Congress and they should not pass
(A) In General. There shall be levied, assessed and collected on every importation of goods a to the President the decision to impose taxes. They also argue that the law also effectively
value-added tax equivalent to ten percent (10%) based on the total value used by the Bureau of nullified the Presidents power of control, which includes the authority to set aside and nullify the
Customs in determining tariff and customs duties, plus customs duties, excise taxes, if any, and acts of her subordinates like the Secretary of Finance, by mandating the fixing of the tax rate by
other charges, such tax to be paid by the importer prior to the release of such goods from the President upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance.
customs custody: Provided, That where the customs duties are determined on the basis of the
quantity or volume of the goods, the value-added tax shall be based on the landed cost plus Petitioners Pimentel, et al. aver that the President has ample powers to cause, influence or create
excise taxes, if any: provided, further, that the President, upon the recommendation of the the conditions provided by the law to bring about either or both the conditions precedent.
Secretary of Finance, shall, effective January 1, 2006, raise the rate of value-added tax to twelve
percent (12%) after any of the following conditions has been satisfied.
On the other hand, petitioners Escudero, et al. find bizarre and revolting the situation that the
imposition of the 12% rate would be subject to the whim of the Secretary of Finance, an
(i) value-added tax collection as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the previous unelected bureaucrat, contrary to the principle of no taxation without representation. They submit
year exceeds two and four-fifth percent (2 4/5%) or that the Secretary of Finance is not mandated to give a favorable recommendation and he may
not even give his recommendation. Moreover, they allege that no guiding standards are provided
(ii) national government deficit as a percentage of GDP of the previous year exceeds one and in the law on what basis and as to how he will make his recommendation. They claim,
one-half percent (1 %). nonetheless, that any recommendation of the Secretary of Finance can easily be brushed aside
by the President since the former is a mere alter ego of the latter, such that, ultimately, it is the
President who decides whether to impose the increased tax rate or not.
SEC. 6. Section 108 of the same Code, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as
follows:
A brief discourse on the principle of non-delegation of powers is instructive.

SEC. 108. Value-added Tax on Sale of Services and Use or Lease of Properties
The principle of separation of powers ordains that each of the three great branches of
government has exclusive cognizance of and is supreme in matters falling within its own
(A) Rate and Base of Tax. There shall be levied, assessed and collected, a value-added tax constitutionally allocated sphere.37 A logical
equivalent to ten percent (10%) of gross receipts derived from the sale or exchange of
services: provided, that the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance,
shall, effective January 1, 2006, raise the rate of value-added tax to twelve percent (12%), after corollary to the doctrine of separation of powers is the principle of non-delegation of powers, as
any of the following conditions has been satisfied. expressed in the Latin maxim: potestas delegata non delegari potest which means "what has
been delegated, cannot be delegated."38 This doctrine is based on the ethical principle that such
as delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty to be performed by the delegate
through the instrumentality of his own judgment and not through the intervening mind of The true distinction, says Judge Ranney, is between the delegation of power to make the law,
another.39 which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring an authority or
discretion as to its execution, to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot
be done; to the latter no valid objection can be made.
With respect to the Legislature, Section 1 of Article VI of the Constitution provides that "the
Legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a
Senate and a House of Representatives." The powers which Congress is prohibited from ...
delegating are those which are strictly, or inherently and exclusively, legislative. Purely legislative
power, which can never be delegated, has been described as the authority to make a complete
law complete as to the time when it shall take effect and as to whom it shall be applicable and It is contended, however, that a legislative act may be made to the effect as law after it leaves the
to determine the expediency of its enactment.40 Thus, the rule is that in order that a court may be hands of the legislature. It is true that laws may be made effective on certain contingencies, as by
justified in holding a statute unconstitutional as a delegation of legislative power, it must appear proclamation of the executive or the adoption by the people of a particular community. In
that the power involved is purely legislative in nature that is, one appertaining exclusively to the Wayman vs. Southard, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the legislature may
legislative department. It is the nature of the power, and not the liability of its use or the manner of delegate a power not legislative which it may itself rightfully exercise. The power to ascertain
its exercise, which determines the validity of its delegation. facts is such a power which may be delegated. There is nothing essentially legislative in
ascertaining the existence of facts or conditions as the basis of the taking into effect of a law.
That is a mental process common to all branches of the government. Notwithstanding the
Nonetheless, the general rule barring delegation of legislative powers is subject to the following apparent tendency, however, to relax the rule prohibiting delegation of legislative authority on
recognized limitations or exceptions: account of the complexity arising from social and economic forces at work in this modern
industrial age, the orthodox pronouncement of Judge Cooley in his work on Constitutional
Limitations finds restatement in Prof. Willoughby's treatise on the Constitution of the United
(1) Delegation of tariff powers to the President under Section 28 (2) of Article VI of the States in the following language speaking of declaration of legislative power to administrative
Constitution; agencies: The principle which permits the legislature to provide that the administrative agent may
determine when the circumstances are such as require the application of a law is defended upon
(2) Delegation of emergency powers to the President under Section 23 (2) of Article VI of the the ground that at the time this authority is granted, the rule of public policy, which is the essence
Constitution; of the legislative act, is determined by the legislature. In other words, the legislature, as it is its
duty to do, determines that, under given circumstances, certain executive or administrative action
is to be taken, and that, under other circumstances, different or no action at all is to be taken.
(3) Delegation to the people at large; What is thus left to the administrative official is not the legislative determination of what public
policy demands, but simply the ascertainment of what the facts of the case require to be done
according to the terms of the law by which he is governed. The efficiency of an Act as a
(4) Delegation to local governments; and
declaration of legislative will must, of course, come from Congress, but the ascertainment of the
contingency upon which the Act shall take effect may be left to such agencies as it may
(5) Delegation to administrative bodies. designate. The legislature, then, may provide that a law shall take effect upon the happening of
future specified contingencies leaving to some other person or body the power to determine when
the specified contingency has arisen. (Emphasis supplied).46
In every case of permissible delegation, there must be a showing that the delegation itself is valid.
It is valid only if the law (a) is complete in itself, setting forth therein the policy to be executed,
carried out, or implemented by the delegate;41 and (b) fixes a standard the limits of which are In Edu vs. Ericta,47 the Court reiterated:
sufficiently determinate and determinable to which the delegate must conform in the
performance of his functions.42 A sufficient standard is one which defines legislative policy, marks
What cannot be delegated is the authority under the Constitution to make laws and to alter and
its limits, maps out its boundaries and specifies the public agency to apply it. It indicates the
repeal them; the test is the completeness of the statute in all its terms and provisions when it
circumstances under which the legislative command is to be effected.43 Both tests are intended to
leaves the hands of the legislature. To determine whether or not there is an undue delegation of
prevent a total transference of legislative authority to the delegate, who is not allowed to step into
legislative power, the inquiry must be directed to the scope and definiteness of the measure
the shoes of the legislature and exercise a power essentially legislative. 44
enacted. The legislative does not abdicate its functions when it describes what job must be done,
who is to do it, and what is the scope of his authority. For a complex economy, that may be the
In People vs. Vera,45 the Court, through eminent Justice Jose P. Laurel, expounded on the only way in which the legislative process can go forward. A distinction has rightfully been made
concept and extent of delegation of power in this wise: between delegation of power to make the laws which necessarily involves a discretion as to what
it shall be, which constitutionally may not be done, and delegation of authority or discretion as to
its execution to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law, to which no valid objection can
In testing whether a statute constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power or not, it is usual be made. The Constitution is thus not to be regarded as denying the legislature the necessary
to inquire whether the statute was complete in all its terms and provisions when it left the hands resources of flexibility and practicability. (Emphasis supplied).48
of the legislature so that nothing was left to the judgment of any other appointee or delegate of
the legislature.
Clearly, the legislature may delegate to executive officers or bodies the power to determine
certain facts or conditions, or the happening of contingencies, on which the operation of a statute
... is, by its terms, made to depend, but the legislature must prescribe sufficient standards, policies
or limitations on their authority.49 While the power to tax cannot be delegated to executive
agencies, details as to the enforcement and administration of an exercise of such power may be
left to them, including the power to determine the existence of facts on which its operation mandating the fixing of the tax rate by the President upon the recommendation of the Secretary of
depends.50 Finance. The Court cannot also subscribe to the position of petitioners

The rationale for this is that the preliminary ascertainment of facts as basis for the enactment of Pimentel, et al. that the word shall should be interpreted to mean may in view of the phrase "upon
legislation is not of itself a legislative function, but is simply ancillary to legislation. Thus, the duty the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance." Neither does the Court find persuasive the
of correlating information and making recommendations is the kind of subsidiary activity which the submission of petitioners Escudero, et al. that any recommendation by the Secretary of Finance
legislature may perform through its members, or which it may delegate to others to perform. can easily be brushed aside by the President since the former is a mere alter ego of the latter.
Intelligent legislation on the complicated problems of modern society is impossible in the absence
of accurate information on the part of the legislators, and any reasonable method of securing
such information is proper.51 The Constitution as a continuously operative charter of government When one speaks of the Secretary of Finance as the alter ego of the President, it simply means
does not require that Congress find for itself that as head of the Department of Finance he is the assistant and agent of the Chief Executive.
The multifarious executive and administrative functions of the Chief Executive are performed by
and through the executive departments, and the acts of the secretaries of such departments,
every fact upon which it desires to base legislative action or that it make for itself detailed such as the Department of Finance, performed and promulgated in the regular course of
determinations which it has declared to be prerequisite to application of legislative policy to business, are, unless disapproved or reprobated by the Chief Executive, presumptively the acts
particular facts and circumstances impossible for Congress itself properly to investigate. 52 of the Chief Executive. The Secretary of Finance, as such, occupies a political position and holds
office in an advisory capacity, and, in the language of Thomas Jefferson, "should be of the
President's bosom confidence" and, in the language of Attorney-General Cushing, is "subject to
In the present case, the challenged section of R.A. No. 9337 is the common proviso in Sections the direction of the President."55
4, 5 and 6 which reads as follows:

In the present case, in making his recommendation to the President on the existence of either of
That the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance, shall, effective the two conditions, the Secretary of Finance is not acting as the alter ego of the President or even
January 1, 2006, raise the rate of value-added tax to twelve percent (12%), after any of the her subordinate. In such instance, he is not subject to the power of control and direction of the
following conditions has been satisfied: President. He is acting as the agent of the legislative department, to determine and declare the
event upon which its expressed will is to take effect.56 The Secretary of Finance becomes the
(i) Value-added tax collection as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the previous means or tool by which legislative policy is determined and implemented, considering that he
year exceeds two and four-fifth percent (2 4/5%); or possesses all the facilities to gather data and information and has a much broader perspective to
properly evaluate them. His function is to gather and collate statistical data and other pertinent
information and verify if any of the two conditions laid out by Congress is present. His personality
(ii) National government deficit as a percentage of GDP of the previous year exceeds one and in such instance is in reality but a projection of that of Congress. Thus, being the agent of
one-half percent (1 %). Congress and not of the President, the President cannot alter or modify or nullify, or set aside the
findings of the Secretary of Finance and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the
latter.
The case before the Court is not a delegation of legislative power. It is simply a delegation of
ascertainment of facts upon which enforcement and administration of the increase rate under the
law is contingent. The legislature has made the operation of the 12% rate effective January 1, Congress simply granted the Secretary of Finance the authority to ascertain the existence of a
2006, contingent upon a specified fact or condition. It leaves the entire operation or non-operation fact, namely, whether by December 31, 2005, the value-added tax collection as a percentage of
of the 12% rate upon factual matters outside of the control of the executive. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the previous year exceeds two and four-fifth percent (24/5%) or
the national government deficit as a percentage of GDP of the previous year exceeds one and
one-half percent (1%). If either of these two instances has occurred, the Secretary of Finance,
No discretion would be exercised by the President. Highlighting the absence of discretion is the
by legislative mandate, must submit such information to the President. Then the 12% VAT rate
fact that the word shall is used in the common proviso. The use of the word shall connotes a
must be imposed by the President effective January 1, 2006. There is no undue delegation of
mandatory order. Its use in a statute denotes an imperative obligation and is inconsistent with the
legislative power but only of the discretion as to the execution of a law. This is constitutionally
idea of discretion.53 Where the law is clear and unambiguous, it must be taken to mean exactly
permissible.57 Congress does not abdicate its functions or unduly delegate power when it
what it says, and courts have no choice but to see to it that the mandate is obeyed. 54
describes what job must be done, who must do it, and what is the scope of his authority; in our
complex economy that is frequently the only way in which the legislative process can go
Thus, it is the ministerial duty of the President to immediately impose the 12% rate upon the forward.58
existence of any of the conditions specified by Congress. This is a duty which cannot be evaded
by the President. Inasmuch as the law specifically uses the word shall, the exercise of discretion
As to the argument of petitioners ABAKADA GURO Party List, et al. that delegating to the
by the President does not come into play. It is a clear directive to impose the 12% VAT rate when
President the legislative power to tax is contrary to the principle of republicanism, the same
the specified conditions are present. The time of taking into effect of the 12% VAT rate is based
deserves scant consideration. Congress did not delegate the power to tax but the mere
on the happening of a certain specified contingency, or upon the ascertainment of certain facts or
implementation of the law. The intent and will to increase the VAT rate to 12% came from
conditions by a person or body other than the legislature itself.
Congress and the task of the President is to simply execute the legislative policy. That Congress
chose to do so in such a manner is not within the province of the Court to inquire into, its task
The Court finds no merit to the contention of petitioners ABAKADA GURO Party List, et al. that being to interpret the law.59
the law effectively nullified the Presidents power of control over the Secretary of Finance by
The insinuation by petitioners Pimentel, et al. that the President has ample powers to cause, 2. Natl Govt Deficit/GDP >1.5%
influence or create the conditions to bring about either or both the conditions precedent does not
deserve any merit as this argument is highly speculative. The Court does not rule on allegations
which are manifestly conjectural, as these may not exist at all. The Court deals with facts, not The condition set for increasing VAT when deficit/GDP is 1.5% or less means the fiscal condition
fancies; on realities, not appearances. When the Court acts on appearances instead of realities, of government has reached a relatively sound position or is towards the direction of a balanced
justice and law will be short-lived. budget position. Therefore, there is no need to increase the VAT rate since the fiscal house is in a
relatively healthy position. Otherwise stated, if the ratio is more than 1.5%, there is indeed a need
to increase the VAT rate.62
B. The 12% Increase VAT Rate Does Not Impose an Unfair and Unnecessary Additional Tax
Burden
That the first condition amounts to an incentive to the President to increase the VAT collection
does not render it unconstitutional so long as there is a public purpose for which the law was
Petitioners Pimentel, et al. argue that the 12% increase in the VAT rate imposes an unfair and passed, which in this case, is mainly to raise revenue. In fact, fiscal adequacy dictated the need
additional tax burden on the people. Petitioners also argue that the 12% increase, dependent on for a raise in revenue.
any of the 2 conditions set forth in the contested provisions, is ambiguous because it does not
state if the VAT rate would be returned to the original 10% if the rates are no longer satisfied.
Petitioners also argue that such rate is unfair and unreasonable, as the people are unsure of the The principle of fiscal adequacy as a characteristic of a sound tax system was originally stated by
applicable VAT rate from year to year. Adam Smith in his Canons of Taxation (1776), as:

Under the common provisos of Sections 4, 5 and 6 of R.A. No. 9337, if any of the two conditions IV. Every tax ought to be so contrived as both to take out and to keep out of the pockets of the
set forth therein are satisfied, the President shall increase the VAT rate to 12%. The provisions of people as little as possible over and above what it brings into the public treasury of the state. 63
the law are clear. It does not provide for a return to the 10% rate nor does it empower the
President to so revert if, after the rate is increased to 12%, the VAT collection goes below the It simply means that sources of revenues must be adequate to meet government expenditures
24/5 of the GDP of the previous year or that the national government deficit as a percentage of and their variations.64
GDP of the previous year does not exceed 1%.

The dire need for revenue cannot be ignored. Our country is in a quagmire of financial woe.
Therefore, no statutory construction or interpretation is needed. Neither can conditions or During the Bicameral Conference Committee hearing, then Finance Secretary Purisima bluntly
limitations be introduced where none is provided for. Rewriting the law is a forbidden ground that depicted the countrys gloomy state of economic affairs, thus:
only Congress may tread upon.60

First, let me explain the position that the Philippines finds itself in right now. We are in a position
Thus, in the absence of any provision providing for a return to the 10% rate, which in this case the where 90 percent of our revenue is used for debt service. So, for every peso of revenue that we
Court finds none, petitioners argument is, at best, purely speculative. There is no basis for currently raise, 90 goes to debt service. Thats interest plus amortization of our debt. So clearly,
petitioners fear of a fluctuating VAT rate because the law itself does not provide that the rate this is not a sustainable situation. Thats the first fact.
should go back to 10% if the conditions provided in Sections 4, 5 and 6 are no longer present.
The rule is that where the provision of the law is clear and unambiguous, so that there is no
occasion for the court's seeking the legislative intent, the law must be taken as it is, devoid of The second fact is that our debt to GDP level is way out of line compared to other peer countries
judicial addition or subtraction.61 that borrow money from that international financial markets. Our debt to GDP is approximately
equal to our GDP. Again, that shows you that this is not a sustainable situation.

Petitioners also contend that the increase in the VAT rate, which was allegedly an incentive to the
President to raise the VAT collection to at least 2 4/5 of the GDP of the previous year, should be The third thing that Id like to point out is the environment that we are presently operating in is not
based on fiscal adequacy. as benign as what it used to be the past five years.

Petitioners obviously overlooked that increase in VAT collection is not the only condition. There is What do I mean by that?
another condition, i.e., the national government deficit as a percentage of GDP of the previous
year exceeds one and one-half percent (1 %).
In the past five years, weve been lucky because we were operating in a period of basically global
growth and low interest rates. The past few months, we have seen an inching up, in fact, a rapid
Respondents explained the philosophy behind these alternative conditions: increase in the interest rates in the leading economies of the world. And, therefore, our ability to
borrow at reasonable prices is going to be challenged. In fact, ultimately, the question is our
ability to access the financial markets.
1. VAT/GDP Ratio > 2.8%

When the President made her speech in July last year, the environment was not as bad as it is
The condition set for increasing VAT rate to 12% have economic or fiscal meaning. If VAT/GDP is now, at least based on the forecast of most financial institutions. So, we were assuming that
less than 2.8%, it means that government has weak or no capability of implementing the VAT or raising 80 billion would put us in a position where we can then convince them to improve our
that VAT is not effective in the function of the tax collection. Therefore, there is no value to ability to borrow at lower rates. But conditions have changed on us because the interest rates
increase it to 12% because such action will also be ineffectual.
have gone up. In fact, just within this room, we tried to access the market for a billion dollars The doctrine is that where the due process and equal protection clauses are invoked, considering
because for this year alone, the Philippines will have to borrow 4 billion dollars. Of that amount, that they are not fixed rules but rather broad standards, there is a need for proof of such
we have borrowed 1.5 billion. We issued last January a 25-year bond at 9.7 percent cost. We persuasive character as would lead to such a conclusion. Absent such a showing, the
were trying to access last week and the market was not as favorable and up to now we have not presumption of validity must prevail.68
accessed and we might pull back because the conditions are not very good.
Section 8 of R.A. No. 9337, amending Section 110(B) of the NIRC imposes a limitation on the
So given this situation, we at the Department of Finance believe that we really need to front-end amount of input tax that may be credited against the output tax. It states, in part: "[P]rovided, that
our deficit reduction. Because it is deficit that is causing the increase of the debt and we are in the input tax inclusive of the input VAT carried over from the previous quarter that may be
what we call a debt spiral. The more debt you have, the more deficit you have because interest credited in every quarter shall not exceed seventy percent (70%) of the output VAT: "
and debt service eats and eats more of your revenue. We need to get out of this debt spiral. And
the only way, I think, we can get out of this debt spiral is really have a front-end adjustment in our
revenue base.65 Input Tax is defined under Section 110(A) of the NIRC, as amended, as the value-added tax
due from or paid by a VAT-registered person on the importation of goods or local purchase of
good and services, including lease or use of property, in the course of trade or business, from a
The image portrayed is chilling. Congress passed the law hoping for rescue from an inevitable VAT-registered person, and Output Tax is the value-added tax due on the sale or lease of taxable
catastrophe. Whether the law is indeed sufficient to answer the states economic dilemma is not goods or properties or services by any person registered or required to register under the law.
for the Court to judge. In the Farias case, the Court refused to consider the various arguments
raised therein that dwelt on the wisdom of Section 14 of R.A. No. 9006 (The Fair Election Act),
pronouncing that: Petitioners claim that the contested sections impose limitations on the amount of input tax that
may be claimed. In effect, a portion of the input tax that has already been paid cannot now be
credited against the output tax.
. . . policy matters are not the concern of the Court. Government policy is within the exclusive
dominion of the political branches of the government. It is not for this Court to look into the
wisdom or propriety of legislative determination. Indeed, whether an enactment is wise or unwise, Petitioners argument is not absolute. It assumes that the input tax exceeds 70% of the output
whether it is based on sound economic theory, whether it is the best means to achieve the tax, and therefore, the input tax in excess of 70% remains uncredited. However, to the extent that
desired results, whether, in short, the legislative discretion within its prescribed limits should be the input tax is less than 70% of the output tax, then 100% of such input tax is still creditable.
exercised in a particular manner are matters for the judgment of the legislature, and the serious
conflict of opinions does not suffice to bring them within the range of judicial cognizance.66 More importantly, the excess input tax, if any, is retained in a businesss books of accounts and
remains creditable in the succeeding quarter/s. This is explicitly allowed by Section 110(B), which
In the same vein, the Court in this case will not dawdle on the purpose of Congress or the provides that "if the input tax exceeds the output tax, the excess shall be carried over to the
executive policy, given that it is not for the judiciary to "pass upon questions of wisdom, justice or succeeding quarter or quarters." In addition, Section 112(B) allows a VAT-registered person to
expediency of legislation."67 apply for the issuance of a tax credit certificate or refund for any unused input taxes, to the extent
that such input taxes have not been applied against the output taxes. Such unused input tax may
be used in payment of his other internal revenue taxes.
II.
The non-application of the unutilized input tax in a given quarter is not ad infinitum, as petitioners
Whether Section 8 of R.A. No. 9337, amending Sections 110(A)(2) and 110(B) of the NIRC; and exaggeratedly contend. Their analysis of the effect of the 70% limitation is incomplete and one-
Section 12 of R.A. No. 9337, amending Section 114(C) of the NIRC, violate the following sided. It ends at the net effect that there will be unapplied/unutilized inputs VAT for a given
provisions of the Constitution: quarter. It does not proceed further to the fact that such unapplied/unutilized input tax may be
credited in the subsequent periods as allowed by the carry-over provision of Section 110(B) or
that it may later on be refunded through a tax credit certificate under Section 112(B).
a. Article VI, Section 28(1), and

Therefore, petitioners argument must be rejected.


b. Article III, Section 1

On the other hand, it appears that petitioner Garcia failed to comprehend the operation of the
A. Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses 70% limitation on the input tax. According to petitioner, the limitation on the creditable input tax in
effect allows VAT-registered establishments to retain a portion of the taxes they collect, which
Petitioners Association of Pilipinas Shell Dealers, Inc., et al. argue that Section 8 of R.A. No. violates the principle that tax collection and revenue should be for public purposes and
9337, amending Sections 110 (A)(2), 110 (B), and Section 12 of R.A. No. 9337, amending expenditures
Section 114 (C) of the NIRC are arbitrary, oppressive, excessive and confiscatory. Their
argument is premised on the constitutional right against deprivation of life, liberty of property As earlier stated, the input tax is the tax paid by a person, passed on to him by the seller, when
without due process of law, as embodied in Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution. he buys goods. Output tax meanwhile is the tax due to the person when he sells goods. In
computing the VAT payable, three possible scenarios may arise:
Petitioners also contend that these provisions violate the constitutional guarantee of equal
protection of the law.
First, if at the end of a taxable quarter the output taxes charged by the seller are equal to the evenly over the month of acquisition and the fifty-nine (59) succeeding months if the aggregate
input taxes that he paid and passed on by the suppliers, then no payment is required; acquisition cost for such goods, excluding the VAT component thereof, exceeds One million
pesos (1,000,000.00): Provided, however, That if the estimated useful life of the capital goods is
less than five (5) years, as used for depreciation purposes, then the input VAT shall be spread
Second, when the output taxes exceed the input taxes, the person shall be liable for the excess, over such a shorter period: Provided, finally, That in the case of purchase of services, lease or
which has to be paid to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR);69 and use of properties, the input tax shall be creditable to the purchaser, lessee or license upon
payment of the compensation, rental, royalty or fee.
Third, if the input taxes exceed the output taxes, the excess shall be carried over to the
succeeding quarter or quarters. Should the input taxes result from zero-rated or effectively zero- The foregoing section imposes a 60-month period within which to amortize the creditable input
rated transactions, any excess over the output taxes shall instead be refunded to the taxpayer or tax on purchase or importation of capital goods with acquisition cost of 1 Million pesos,
credited against other internal revenue taxes, at the taxpayers option.70 exclusive of the VAT component. Such spread out only poses a delay in the crediting of the input
tax. Petitioners argument is without basis because the taxpayer is not permanently deprived of
Section 8 of R.A. No. 9337 however, imposed a 70% limitation on the input tax. Thus, a person his privilege to credit the input tax.
can credit his input tax only up to the extent of 70% of the output tax. In laymans term, the value-
added taxes that a person/taxpayer paid and passed on to him by a seller can only be credited up It is worth mentioning that Congress admitted that the spread-out of the creditable input tax in this
to 70% of the value-added taxes that is due to him on a taxable transaction. There is no retention case amounts to a 4-year interest-free loan to the government.76 In the same breath, Congress
of any tax collection because the person/taxpayer has already previously paid the input tax to a also justified its move by saying that the provision was designed to raise an annual revenue of
seller, and the seller will subsequently remit such input tax to the BIR. The party directly liable for 22.6 billion.77 The legislature also dispelled the fear that the provision will fend off foreign
the payment of the tax is the seller.71 What only needs to be done is for the person/taxpayer to investments, saying that foreign investors have other tax incentives provided by law, and citing
apply or credit these input taxes, as evidenced by receipts, against his output taxes. the case of China, where despite a 17.5% non-creditable VAT, foreign investments were not
deterred.78 Again, for whatever is the purpose of the 60-month amortization, this involves
Petitioners Association of Pilipinas Shell Dealers, Inc., et al. also argue that the input tax partakes executive economic policy and legislative wisdom in which the Court cannot intervene.
the nature of a property that may not be confiscated, appropriated, or limited without due process
of law. With regard to the 5% creditable withholding tax imposed on payments made by the government
for taxable transactions, Section 12 of R.A. No. 9337, which amended Section 114 of the NIRC,
The input tax is not a property or a property right within the constitutional purview of the due reads:
process clause. A VAT-registered persons entitlement to the creditable input tax is a mere
statutory privilege. SEC. 114. Return and Payment of Value-added Tax.

The distinction between statutory privileges and vested rights must be borne in mind for persons (C) Withholding of Value-added Tax. The Government or any of its political subdivisions,
have no vested rights in statutory privileges. The state may change or take away rights, which instrumentalities or agencies, including government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs)
were created by the law of the state, although it may not take away property, which was vested shall, before making payment on account of each purchase of goods and services which are
by virtue of such rights.72 subject to the value-added tax imposed in Sections 106 and 108 of this Code, deduct and
withhold a final value-added tax at the rate of five percent (5%) of the gross payment thereof:
Under the previous system of single-stage taxation, taxes paid at every level of distribution are Provided, That the payment for lease or use of properties or property rights to nonresident
not recoverable from the taxes payable, although it becomes part of the cost, which is deductible owners shall be subject to ten percent (10%) withholding tax at the time of payment. For
from the gross revenue. When Pres. Aquino issued E.O. No. 273 imposing a 10% multi-stage tax purposes of this Section, the payor or person in control of the payment shall be considered as the
on all sales, it was then that the crediting of the input tax paid on purchase or importation of withholding agent.
goods and services by VAT-registered persons against the output tax was introduced.73 This was
adopted by the Expanded VAT Law (R.A. No. 7716),74 and The Tax Reform Act of 1997 (R.A. No. The value-added tax withheld under this Section shall be remitted within ten (10) days following
8424).75 The right to credit input tax as against the output tax is clearly a privilege created by law, the end of the month the withholding was made.
a privilege that also the law can remove, or in this case, limit.

Section 114(C) merely provides a method of collection, or as stated by respondents, a more


Petitioners also contest as arbitrary, oppressive, excessive and confiscatory, Section 8 of R.A. simplified VAT withholding system. The government in this case is constituted as a withholding
No. 9337, amending Section 110(A) of the NIRC, which provides: agent with respect to their payments for goods and services.

SEC. 110. Tax Credits. Prior to its amendment, Section 114(C) provided for different rates of value-added taxes to be
withheld -- 3% on gross payments for purchases of goods; 6% on gross payments for services
(A) Creditable Input Tax. supplied by contractors other than by public works contractors; 8.5% on gross payments for
services supplied by public work contractors; or 10% on payment for the lease or use of
properties or property rights to nonresident owners. Under the present Section 114(C), these
Provided, That the input tax on goods purchased or imported in a calendar month for use in trade different rates, except for the 10% on lease or property rights payment to nonresidents, were
or business for which deduction for depreciation is allowed under this Code, shall be spread deleted, and a uniform rate of 5% is applied.
The Court observes, however, that the law the used the word final. In tax usage, final, as As amended, the use of the word final and the deletion of the word creditable exhibits Congresss
opposed to creditable, means full. Thus, it is provided in Section 114(C): "final value-added tax at intention to treat transactions with the government differently. Since it has not been shown that
the rate of five percent (5%)." the class subject to the 5% final withholding tax has been unreasonably narrowed, there is no
reason to invalidate the provision. Petitioners, as petroleum dealers, are not the only ones
subjected to the 5% final withholding tax. It applies to all those who deal with the government.
In Revenue Regulations No. 02-98, implementing R.A. No. 8424 (The Tax Reform Act of 1997),
the concept of final withholding tax on income was explained, to wit:
Moreover, the actual input tax is not totally lost or uncreditable, as petitioners believe. Revenue
Regulations No. 14-2005 or the Consolidated Value-Added Tax Regulations 2005 issued by the
SECTION 2.57. Withholding of Tax at Source BIR, provides that should the actual input tax exceed 5% of gross payments, the excess may
form part of the cost. Equally, should the actual input tax be less than 5%, the difference is
(A) Final Withholding Tax. Under the final withholding tax system the amount of income tax treated as income.81
withheld by the withholding agent is constituted as full and final payment of the income tax due
from the payee on the said income. The liability for payment of the tax rests primarily on the payor Petitioners also argue that by imposing a limitation on the creditable input tax, the government
as a withholding agent. Thus, in case of his failure to withhold the tax or in case of gets to tax a profit or value-added even if there is no profit or value-added.
underwithholding, the deficiency tax shall be collected from the payor/withholding agent.

Petitioners stance is purely hypothetical, argumentative, and again, one-sided. The Court will not
(B) Creditable Withholding Tax. Under the creditable withholding tax system, taxes withheld on engage in a legal joust where premises are what ifs, arguments, theoretical and facts, uncertain.
certain income payments are intended to equal or at least approximate the tax due of the payee Any disquisition by the Court on this point will only be, as Shakespeare describes life
on said income. Taxes withheld on income payments covered by the expanded withholding tax in Macbeth,82 "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
(referred to in Sec. 2.57.2 of these regulations) and compensation income (referred to in Sec.
2.78 also of these regulations) are creditable in nature.
Whats more, petitioners contention assumes the proposition that there is no profit or value-
added. It need not take an astute businessman to know that it is a matter of exception that a
As applied to value-added tax, this means that taxable transactions with the government are business will sell goods or services without profit or value-added. It cannot be overstressed that a
subject to a 5% rate, which constitutes as full payment of the tax payable on the transaction. This business is created precisely for profit.
represents the net VAT payable of the seller. The other 5% effectively accounts for the standard
input VAT (deemed input VAT), in lieu of the actual input VAT directly or attributable to the
taxable transaction.79 The equal protection clause under the Constitution means that "no person or class of persons
shall be deprived of the same protection of laws which is enjoyed by other persons or other
classes in the same place and in like circumstances."83
The Court need not explore the rationale behind the provision. It is clear that Congress intended
to treat differently taxable transactions with the government. 80 This is supported by the fact that
under the old provision, the 5% tax withheld by the government remains creditable against the tax The power of the State to make reasonable and natural classifications for the purposes of
liability of the seller or contractor, to wit: taxation has long been established. Whether it relates to the subject of taxation, the kind of
property, the rates to be levied, or the amounts to be raised, the methods of assessment,
valuation and collection, the States power is entitled to presumption of validity. As a rule, the
SEC. 114. Return and Payment of Value-added Tax. judiciary will not interfere with such power absent a clear showing of unreasonableness,
discrimination, or arbitrariness.84
(C) Withholding of Creditable Value-added Tax. The Government or any of its political
subdivisions, instrumentalities or agencies, including government-owned or controlled Petitioners point out that the limitation on the creditable input tax if the entity has a high ratio of
corporations (GOCCs) shall, before making payment on account of each purchase of goods from input tax, or invests in capital equipment, or has several transactions with the government, is not
sellers and services rendered by contractors which are subject to the value-added tax imposed in based on real and substantial differences to meet a valid classification.
Sections 106 and 108 of this Code, deduct and withhold the value-added tax due at the rate of
three percent (3%) of the gross payment for the purchase of goods and six percent (6%) on gross
receipts for services rendered by contractors on every sale or installment payment which shall The argument is pedantic, if not outright baseless. The law does not make any classification in
be creditable against the value-added tax liability of the seller or contractor: Provided, however, the subject of taxation, the kind of property, the rates to be levied or the amounts to be raised, the
That in the case of government public works contractors, the withholding rate shall be eight and methods of assessment, valuation and collection. Petitioners alleged distinctions are based on
one-half percent (8.5%): Provided, further, That the payment for lease or use of properties or variables that bear different consequences. While the implementation of the law may yield varying
property rights to nonresident owners shall be subject to ten percent (10%) withholding tax at the end results depending on ones profit margin and value-added, the Court cannot go beyond what
time of payment. For this purpose, the payor or person in control of the payment shall be the legislature has laid down and interfere with the affairs of business.
considered as the withholding agent.
The equal protection clause does not require the universal application of the laws on all persons
The valued-added tax withheld under this Section shall be remitted within ten (10) days following or things without distinction. This might in fact sometimes result in unequal protection. What the
the end of the month the withholding was made. (Emphasis supplied) clause requires is equality among equals as determined according to a valid classification. By
classification is meant the grouping of persons or things similar to each other in certain particulars
and different from all others in these same particulars.85
Petitioners brought to the Courts attention the introduction of Senate Bill No. 2038 by Sens. S.R. Moreover, Congress provided mitigating measures to cushion the impact of the imposition of the
Osmea III and Ma. Ana Consuelo A.S. Madrigal on June 6, 2005, and House Bill No. 4493 by tax on those previously exempt. Excise taxes on petroleum products91 and natural gas92 were
Rep. Eric D. Singson. The proposed legislation seeks to amend the 70% limitation by increasing reduced. Percentage tax on domestic carriers was removed. 93 Power producers are now exempt
the same to 90%. This, according to petitioners, supports their stance that the 70% limitation is from paying franchise tax.94
arbitrary and confiscatory. On this score, suffice it to say that these are still proposed legislations.
Until Congress amends the law, and absent any unequivocal basis for its unconstitutionality, the
70% limitation stays. Aside from these, Congress also increased the income tax rates of corporations, in order to
distribute the burden of taxation. Domestic, foreign, and non-resident corporations are now
subject to a 35% income tax rate, from a previous 32%.95 Intercorporate dividends of non-resident
B. Uniformity and Equitability of Taxation foreign corporations are still subject to 15% final withholding tax but the tax credit allowed on the
corporations domicile was increased to 20%.96 The Philippine Amusement and Gaming
Corporation (PAGCOR) is not exempt from income taxes anymore.97 Even the sale by an artist of
Article VI, Section 28(1) of the Constitution reads: his works or services performed for the production of such works was not spared.

The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable. The Congress shall evolve a progressive All these were designed to ease, as well as spread out, the burden of taxation, which would
system of taxation. otherwise rest largely on the consumers. It cannot therefore be gainsaid that R.A. No. 9337 is
equitable.
Uniformity in taxation means that all taxable articles or kinds of property of the same class shall
be taxed at the same rate. Different articles may be taxed at different amounts provided that the C. Progressivity of Taxation
rate is uniform on the same class everywhere with all people at all times.86

Lastly, petitioners contend that the limitation on the creditable input tax is anything but regressive.
In this case, the tax law is uniform as it provides a standard rate of 0% or 10% (or 12%) on all It is the smaller business with higher input tax-output tax ratio that will suffer the consequences.
goods and services. Sections 4, 5 and 6 of R.A. No. 9337, amending Sections 106, 107 and 108,
respectively, of the NIRC, provide for a rate of 10% (or 12%) on sale of goods and properties,
importation of goods, and sale of services and use or lease of properties. These same sections Progressive taxation is built on the principle of the taxpayers ability to pay. This principle was
also provide for a 0% rate on certain sales and transaction. also lifted from Adam Smiths Canons of Taxation, and it states:

Neither does the law make any distinction as to the type of industry or trade that will bear the 70% I. The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as
limitation on the creditable input tax, 5-year amortization of input tax paid on purchase of capital nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue
goods or the 5% final withholding tax by the government. It must be stressed that the rule of which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state.
uniform taxation does not deprive Congress of the power to classify subjects of taxation, and only
demands uniformity within the particular class.87
Taxation is progressive when its rate goes up depending on the resources of the person
affected.98
R.A. No. 9337 is also equitable. The law is equipped with a threshold margin. The VAT rate of 0%
or 10% (or 12%) does not apply to sales of goods or services with gross annual sales or receipts
not exceeding 1,500,000.00.88Also, basic marine and agricultural food products in their original The VAT is an antithesis of progressive taxation. By its very nature, it is regressive. The principle
state are still not subject to the tax,89 thus ensuring that prices at the grassroots level will remain of progressive taxation has no relation with the VAT system inasmuch as the VAT paid by the
accessible. As was stated in Kapatiran ng mga Naglilingkod sa Pamahalaan ng Pilipinas, Inc. vs. consumer or business for every goods bought or services enjoyed is the same regardless of
Tan:90 income. In

The disputed sales tax is also equitable. It is imposed only on sales of goods or services by other words, the VAT paid eats the same portion of an income, whether big or small. The
persons engaged in business with an aggregate gross annual sales exceeding 200,000.00. disparity lies in the income earned by a person or profit margin marked by a business, such that
Small corner sari-sari stores are consequently exempt from its application. Likewise exempt from the higher the income or profit margin, the smaller the portion of the income or profit that is eaten
the tax are sales of farm and marine products, so that the costs of basic food and other by VAT. A converso, the lower the income or profit margin, the bigger the part that the VAT eats
necessities, spared as they are from the incidence of the VAT, are expected to be relatively lower away. At the end of the day, it is really the lower income group or businesses with low-profit
and within the reach of the general public. margins that is always hardest hit.

It is admitted that R.A. No. 9337 puts a premium on businesses with low profit margins, and Nevertheless, the Constitution does not really prohibit the imposition of indirect taxes, like the
unduly favors those with high profit margins. Congress was not oblivious to this. Thus, to equalize VAT. What it simply provides is that Congress shall "evolve a progressive system of taxation."
the weighty burden the law entails, the law, under Section 116, imposed a 3% percentage tax on The Court stated in the Tolentino case, thus:
VAT-exempt persons under Section 109(v), i.e., transactions with gross annual sales and/or
receipts not exceeding 1.5 Million. This acts as a equalizer because in effect, bigger businesses The Constitution does not really prohibit the imposition of indirect taxes which, like the VAT, are
that qualify for VAT coverage and VAT-exempt taxpayers stand on equal-footing. regressive. What it simply provides is that Congress shall evolve a progressive system of
taxation. The constitutional provision has been interpreted to mean simply that direct taxes are .
. . to be preferred [and] as much as possible, indirect taxes should be minimized. (E.
FERNANDO, THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES 221 (Second ed. 1977)) Indeed, the
mandate to Congress is not to prescribe, but to evolve, a progressive tax system. Otherwise,
sales taxes, which perhaps are the oldest form of indirect taxes, would have been prohibited with
the proclamation of Art. VIII, 17 (1) of the 1973 Constitution from which the present Art. VI, 28
(1) was taken. Sales taxes are also regressive.

Resort to indirect taxes should be minimized but not avoided entirely because it is difficult, if not
impossible, to avoid them by imposing such taxes according to the taxpayers' ability to pay. In the
case of the VAT, the law minimizes the regressive effects of this imposition by providing for zero
rating of certain transactions (R.A. No. 7716, 3, amending 102 (b) of the NIRC), while granting
exemptions to other transactions. (R.A. No. 7716, 4 amending 103 of the NIRC)99

CONCLUSION

It has been said that taxes are the lifeblood of the government. In this case, it is just an enema, a
first-aid measure to resuscitate an economy in distress. The Court is neither blind nor is it turning
a deaf ear on the plight of the masses. But it does not have the panacea for the malady that the
law seeks to remedy. As in other cases, the Court cannot strike down a law as unconstitutional
simply because of its yokes.

Let us not be overly influenced by the plea that for every wrong there is a remedy, and that the
judiciary should stand ready to afford relief. There are undoubtedly many wrongs the judicature
may not correct, for instance, those involving political questions. . . .

Let us likewise disabuse our minds from the notion that the judiciary is the repository of remedies
for all political or social ills; We should not forget that the Constitution has judiciously allocated the
powers of government to three distinct and separate compartments; and that judicial
interpretation has tended to the preservation of the independence of the three, and a zealous
regard of the prerogatives of each, knowing full well that one is not the guardian of the others and
that, for official wrong-doing, each may be brought to account, either by impeachment, trial or by
the ballot box.100

The words of the Court in Vera vs. Avelino101 holds true then, as it still holds true now. All things
considered, there is no raison d'tre for the unconstitutionality of R.A. No. 9337.

WHEREFORE, Republic Act No. 9337 not being unconstitutional, the petitions in G.R. Nos.
168056, 168207, 168461, 168463, and 168730, are hereby DISMISSED.

There being no constitutional impediment to the full enforcement and implementation of R.A. No.
9337, the temporary restraining order issued by the Court on July 1, 2005 is LIFTED upon finality
of herein decision.
GRECO ANTONIOUS BEDA B. BELGICA JOSE M. VILLEGAS JR. JOSE L. GONZALEZ "with the approval of said joint committee, or of the authorized members
REUBEN M. ABANTE and QUINTIN PAREDES SAN DIEGO, Petitioners, vs. HONORABLE thereof, may, for the purposes of said distribution, transfer unexpended
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA JR. SECRETARY OF BUDGET AND portions of any item of appropriation under this Act to any other item
MANAGEMENT FLORENCIO B. ABAD, NATIONAL TREASURER ROSALIA V. DE LEON hereunder."
SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES represented by FRANKLIN M. DRILON m his capacity as
SENATE PRESIDENT and HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES represented by FELICIANO S.
BELMONTE, JR. in his capacity as SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, Respondents. In 1950, it has been documented15 that post-enactment legislator
participation broadened from the areas of fund release and realignment to
the area of project identification. During that year, the mechanics of the
"Experience is the oracle of truth."1 public works act was modified to the extent that the discretion of choosing
projects was transferred from the Secretary of Commerce and
Communications to legislators. "For the first time, the law carried a list of
-James Madison projects selected by Members of Congress, they being the representatives
of the people, either on their own account or by consultation with local
Before the Court are consolidated petitions2 taken under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, all of officials or civil leaders."16 During this period, the pork barrel process
which assail the constitutionality of the Pork Barrel System. Due to the complexity of the subject commenced with local government councils, civil groups, and individuals
matter, the Court shall heretofore discuss the systems conceptual underpinnings before detailing appealing to Congressmen or Senators for projects. Petitions that were
the particulars of the constitutional challenge. accommodated formed part of a legislators allocation, and the amount each
legislator would eventually get is determined in a caucus convened by the
majority. The amount was then integrated into the administration bill
The Facts prepared by the Department of Public Works and Communications.
Thereafter, the Senate and the House of Representatives added their own
provisions to the bill until it was signed into law by the President the Public
I. Pork Barrel: General Concept.
Works Act.17 In the 1960s, however, pork barrel legislation reportedly
ceased in view of the stalemate between the House of Representatives and
"Pork Barrel" is political parlance of American -English origin.3 Historically, its usage the Senate.18
may be traced to the degrading ritual of rolling out a barrel stuffed with pork to a
multitude of black slaves who would cast their famished bodies into the porcine feast
B. Martial Law Era (1972-1986).
to assuage their hunger with morsels coming from the generosity of their well-fed
master.4 This practice was later compared to the actions of American legislators in
trying to direct federal budgets in favor of their districts.5 While the advent of While the previous" Congressional Pork Barrel" was apparently
refrigeration has made the actual pork barrel obsolete, it persists in reference to discontinued in 1972 after Martial Law was declared, an era when "one man
political bills that "bring home the bacon" to a legislators district and constituents. 6 In a controlled the legislature,"19 the reprieve was only temporary. By 1982, the
more technical sense, "Pork Barrel" refers to an appropriation of government spending Batasang Pambansa had already introduced a new item in the General
meant for localized projects and secured solely or primarily to bring money to a Appropriations Act (GAA) called the" Support for Local Development
representative's district.7Some scholars on the subject further use it to refer to Projects" (SLDP) under the article on "National Aid to Local Government
legislative control of local appropriations.8 Units". Based on reports,20 it was under the SLDP that the practice of giving
lump-sum allocations to individual legislators began, with each
assemblyman receiving 500,000.00. Thereafter, assemblymen would
In the Philippines, "Pork Barrel" has been commonly referred to as lump-sum,
communicate their project preferences to the Ministry of Budget and
discretionary funds of Members of the Legislature,9 although, as will be later
Management for approval. Then, the said ministry would release the
discussed, its usage would evolve in reference to certain funds of the Executive.
allocation papers to the Ministry of Local Governments, which would, in
turn, issue the checks to the city or municipal treasurers in the
II. History of Congressional Pork Barrel in the Philippines. assemblymans locality. It has been further reported that "Congressional
Pork Barrel" projects under the SLDP also began to cover not only public
works projects, or so- called "hard projects", but also "soft projects",21 or
A. Pre-Martial Law Era (1922-1972). non-public works projects such as those which would fall under the
categories of, among others, education, health and livelihood.22
Act 3044,10 or the Public Works Act of 1922, is considered11 as the earliest
form of "Congressional Pork Barrel" in the Philippines since the utilization of C. Post-Martial Law Era:
the funds appropriated therein were subjected to post-enactment legislator
approval. Particularly, in the area of fund release, Section 312 provides that
the sums appropriated for certain public works projects13 "shall be Corazon Cojuangco Aquino Administration (1986-1992).
distributed x x x subject to the approval of a joint committee elected by the
Senate and the House of Representatives. "The committee from each
After the EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986 and the restoration of
House may also authorize one of its members to approve the distribution
Philippine democracy, "Congressional Pork Barrel" was revived in the form
made by the Secretary of Commerce and Communications."14 Also, in the
of the "Mindanao Development Fund" and the "Visayas Development Fund"
area of fund realignment, the same section provides that the said secretary,
which were created with lump-sum appropriations of 480 Million and 240 The CDF was not, however, the lone form of "Congressional Pork Barrel" at
Million, respectively, for the funding of development projects in the that time. Other forms of "Congressional Pork Barrel" were reportedly
Mindanao and Visayas areas in 1989. It has been documented23 that the fashioned and inserted into the GAA (called "Congressional Insertions" or
clamor raised by the Senators and the Luzon legislators for a similar "CIs") in order to perpetuate the ad ministrations political agenda.37 It has
funding, prompted the creation of the "Countrywide Development Fund" been articulated that since CIs "formed part and parcel of the budgets of
(CDF) which was integrated into the 1990 GAA24 with an initial funding of executive departments, they were not easily identifiable and were thus
2.3 Billion to cover "small local infrastructure and other priority community harder to monitor." Nonetheless, the lawmakers themselves as well as the
projects." finance and budget officials of the implementing agencies, as well as the
DBM, purportedly knew about the insertions.38 Examples of these CIs are
the Department of Education (DepEd) School Building Fund, the
Under the GAAs for the years 1991 and 1992,25 CDF funds were, with the Congressional Initiative Allocations, the Public Works Fund, the El Nio
approval of the President, to be released directly to the implementing Fund, and the Poverty Alleviation Fund.39 The allocations for the School
agencies but "subject to the submission of the required list of projects and Building Fund, particularly, shall be made upon prior consultation with the
activities."Although the GAAs from 1990 to 1992 were silent as to the representative of the legislative district concerned.40 Similarly, the
amounts of allocations of the individual legislators, as well as their legislators had the power to direct how, where and when these
participation in the identification of projects, it has been reported26 that by appropriations were to be spent.41
1992, Representatives were receiving 12.5 Million each in CDF funds,
while Senators were receiving 18 Million each, without any limitation or
qualification, and that they could identify any kind of project, from hard or E. Joseph Ejercito Estrada (Estrada) Administration (1998-2001).
infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, and buildings to "soft
projects" such as textbooks, medicines, and scholarships.27
In 1999,42 the CDF was removed in the GAA and replaced by three (3)
separate forms of CIs, namely, the "Food Security Program Fund,"43 the
D. Fidel Valdez Ramos (Ramos) Administration (1992-1998). "Lingap Para Sa Mahihirap Program Fund,"44and the "Rural/Urban
Development Infrastructure Program Fund,"45 all of which contained a
special provision requiring "prior consultation" with the Member s of
The following year, or in 1993,28 the GAA explicitly stated that the release of Congress for the release of the funds.
CDF funds was to be made upon the submission of the list of projects and
activities identified by, among others, individual legislators. For the first
time, the 1993 CDF Article included an allocation for the Vice- It was in the year 200046 that the "Priority Development Assistance Fund"
President.29 As such, Representatives were allocated 12.5 Million each in (PDAF) appeared in the GAA. The requirement of "prior consultation with
CDF funds, Senators, 18 Million each, and the Vice-President, 20 Million. the respective Representative of the District" before PDAF funds were
directly released to the implementing agency concerned was explicitly
stated in the 2000 PDAF Article. Moreover, realignment of funds to any
In 1994,30 1995,31 and 1996,32 the GAAs contained the same provisions on expense category was expressly allowed, with the sole condition that no
project identification and fund release as found in the 1993 CDF Article. In amount shall be used to fund personal services and other personnel
addition, however, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) was benefits.47 The succeeding PDAF provisions remained the same in view of
directed to submit reports to the Senate Committee on Finance and the the re-enactment48 of the 2000 GAA for the year 2001.
House Committee on Appropriations on the releases made from the
funds.33
F. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Arroyo) Administration (2001-2010).
Under the 199734 CDF Article, Members of Congress and the Vice-
President, in consultation with the implementing agency concerned, were The 200249 PDAF Article was brief and straightforward as it merely
directed to submit to the DBM the list of 50% of projects to be funded from contained a single special provision ordering the release of the funds
their respective CDF allocations which shall be duly endorsed by (a) the directly to the implementing agency or local government unit concerned,
Senate President and the Chairman of the Committee on Finance, in the without further qualifications. The following year, 2003,50 the same single
case of the Senate, and (b) the Speaker of the House of Representatives provision was present, with simply an expansion of purpose and express
and the Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, in the case of the authority to realign. Nevertheless, the provisions in the 2003 budgets of the
House of Representatives; while the list for the remaining 50% was to be Department of Public Works and Highways51 (DPWH) and the
submitted within six (6) months thereafter. The same article also stated that DepEd52 required prior consultation with Members of Congress on the
the project list, which would be published by the DBM,35 "shall be the basis aspects of implementation delegation and project list submission,
for the release of funds" and that "no funds appropriated herein shall be respectively. In 2004, the 2003 GAA was re-enacted.53
disbursed for projects not included in the list herein required."
In 2005,54 the PDAF Article provided that the PDAF shall be used "to fund
The following year, or in 1998,36 the foregoing provisions regarding the priority programs and projects under the ten point agenda of the national
required lists and endorsements were reproduced, except that the government and shall be released directly to the implementing agencies." It
publication of the project list was no longer required as the list itself sufficed also introduced the program menu concept,55 which is essentially a list of
for the release of CDF Funds. general programs and implementing agencies from which a particular PDAF
project may be subsequently chosen by the identifying authority. The 2005 standard or design prepared by each implementing agency (priority list
GAA was re-enacted56 in 2006 and hence, operated on the same bases. In requirement) x x x." However, as practiced, it would still be the individual
similar regard, the program menu concept was consistently integrated into legislator who would choose and identify the project from the said priority
the 2007,57 2008,58 2009,59 and 201060 GAAs. list.74

Textually, the PDAF Articles from 2002 to 2010 were silent with respect to Provisions on legislator allocations75 as well as fund realignment76 were
the specific amounts allocated for the individual legislators, as well as their included in the 2012 and 2013 PDAF Articles; but the allocation for the
participation in the proposal and identification of PDAF projects to be Vice-President, which was pegged at 200 Million in the 2011 GAA, had
funded. In contrast to the PDAF Articles, however, the provisions under the been deleted. In addition, the 2013 PDAF Article now allowed LGUs to be
DepEd School Building Program and the DPWH budget, similar to its identified as implementing agencies if they have the technical capability to
predecessors, explicitly required prior consultation with the concerned implement the projects.77 Legislators were also allowed to identify
Member of Congress61anent certain aspects of project implementation. programs/projects, except for assistance to indigent patients and
scholarships, outside of his legislative district provided that he secures the
written concurrence of the legislator of the intended outside-district,
Significantly, it was during this era that provisions which allowed formal endorsed by the Speaker of the House.78 Finally, any realignment of PDAF
participation of non-governmental organizations (NGO) in the funds, modification and revision of project identification, as well as requests
implementation of government projects were introduced. In the for release of funds, were all required to be favorably endorsed by the
Supplemental Budget for 2006, with respect to the appropriation for school House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on
buildings, NGOs were, by law, encouraged to participate. For such purpose, Finance, as the case may be.79
the law stated that "the amount of at least 250 Million of the 500 Million
allotted for the construction and completion of school buildings shall be
made available to NGOs including the Federation of Filipino-Chinese III. History of Presidential Pork Barrel in the Philippines.
Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. for its "Operation Barrio School"
program, with capability and proven track records in the construction of
public school buildings x x x."62 The same allocation was made available to While the term "Pork Barrel" has been typically associated with lump-sum,
NGOs in the 2007 and 2009 GAAs under the DepEd Budget.63 Also, it was discretionary funds of Members of Congress, the present cases and the recent
in 2007 that the Government Procurement Policy Board64 (GPPB) issued controversies on the matter have, however, shown that the terms usage has
Resolution No. 12-2007 dated June 29, 2007 (GPPB Resolution 12-2007), expanded to include certain funds of the President such as the Malampaya Funds and
amending the implementing rules and regulations65 of RA 9184,66 the the Presidential Social Fund.
Government Procurement Reform Act, to include, as a form of negotiated
procurement,67 the procedure whereby the Procuring Entity68(the On the one hand, the Malampaya Funds was created as a special fund under Section
implementing agency) may enter into a memorandum of agreement with an 880 of Presidential Decree No. (PD) 910,81 issued by then President Ferdinand E.
NGO, provided that "an appropriation law or ordinance earmarks an amount Marcos (Marcos) on March 22, 1976. In enacting the said law, Marcos recognized the
to be specifically contracted out to NGOs."69 need to set up a special fund to help intensify, strengthen, and consolidate government
efforts relating to the exploration, exploitation, and development of indigenous energy
G. Present Administration (2010-Present). resources vital to economic growth.82 Due to the energy-related activities of the
government in the Malampaya natural gas field in Palawan, or the "Malampaya Deep
Water Gas-to-Power Project",83 the special fund created under PD 910 has been
Differing from previous PDAF Articles but similar to the CDF Articles, the currently labeled as Malampaya Funds.
201170 PDAF Article included an express statement on lump-sum amounts
allocated for individual legislators and the Vice-President: Representatives
were given 70 Million each, broken down into 40 Million for "hard On the other hand the Presidential Social Fund was created under Section 12, Title
projects" and 30 Million for "soft projects"; while 200 Million was given to IV84 of PD 1869,85 or the Charter of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming
each Senator as well as the Vice-President, with a 100 Million allocation Corporation (PAGCOR). PD 1869 was similarly issued by Marcos on July 11, 1983.
each for "hard" and "soft projects." Likewise, a provision on realignment of More than two (2) years after, he amended PD 1869 and accordingly issued PD 1993
funds was included, but with the qualification that it may be allowed only on October 31, 1985,86 amending Section 1287 of the former law. As it stands, the
once. The same provision also allowed the Secretaries of Education, Presidential Social Fund has been described as a special funding facility managed and
Health, Social Welfare and Development, Interior and Local Government, administered by the Presidential Management Staff through which the President
Environment and Natural Resources, Energy, and Public Works and provides direct assistance to priority programs and projects not funded under the
Highways to realign PDAF Funds, with the further conditions that: (a) regular budget. It is sourced from the share of the government in the aggregate gross
realignment is within the same implementing unit and same project category earnings of PAGCOR.88
as the original project, for infrastructure projects; (b) allotment released has
not yet been obligated for the original scope of work, and (c) the request for IV. Controversies in the Philippines.
realignment is with the concurrence of the legislator concerned.71

Over the decades, "pork" funds in the Philippines have increased


In the 201272 and 201373 PDAF Articles, it is stated that the "identification of tremendously,89 owing in no small part to previous Presidents who reportedly used the
projects and/or designation of beneficiaries shall conform to the priority list, "Pork Barrel" in order to gain congressional support.90 It was in 1996 when the first
controversy surrounding the "Pork Barrel" erupted. Former Marikina City Amounts were released for projects outside of legislative districts of
Representative Romeo Candazo (Candazo), then an anonymous source, "blew the lid sponsoring members of the Lower House.
on the huge sums of government money that regularly went into the pockets of
legislators in the form of kickbacks."91 He said that "the kickbacks were SOP
(standard operating procedure) among legislators and ranged from a low 19 percent to Total VILP releases for the period exceeded the total amount
a high 52 percent of the cost of each project, which could be anything from dredging, appropriated under the 2007 to 2009 GAAs.
rip rapping, sphalting, concreting, and construction of school buildings."92 "Other
sources of kickbacks that Candazo identified were public funds intended for medicines Infrastructure projects were constructed on private lots without these
and textbooks. A few days later, the tale of the money trail became the banner story of having been turned over to the government.
the Philippine Daily Inquirer issue of August 13, 1996, accompanied by an illustration
of a roasted pig."93 "The publication of the stories, including those about congressional
initiative allocations of certain lawmakers, including 3.6 Billion for a Congressman, Significant amounts were released to implementing agencies without the
sparked public outrage."94 latters endorsement and without considering their mandated functions,
administrative and technical capabilities to implement projects.

Thereafter, or in 2004, several concerned citizens sought the nullification of the PDAF
as enacted in the 2004 GAA for being unconstitutional. Unfortunately, for lack of "any Implementation of most livelihood projects was not undertaken by the
pertinent evidentiary support that illegal misuse of PDAF in the form of kickbacks has implementing agencies themselves but by NGOs endorsed by the
become a common exercise of unscrupulous Members of Congress," the petition was proponent legislators to which the Funds were transferred.
dismissed.95
The funds were transferred to the NGOs in spite of the absence of any
Recently, or in July of the present year, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) appropriation law or ordinance.
began its probe into allegations that "the government has been defrauded of some 10
Billion over the past 10 years by a syndicate using funds from the pork barrel of
Selection of the NGOs were not compliant with law and regulations.
lawmakers and various government agencies for scores of ghost projects."96 The
investigation was spawned by sworn affidavits of six (6) whistle-blowers who declared
that JLN Corporation "JLN" standing for Janet Lim Napoles (Napoles) had Eighty-Two (82) NGOs entrusted with implementation of seven hundred
swindled billions of pesos from the public coffers for "ghost projects" using no fewer seventy two (772) projects amount to 6.156 Billion were either found
than 20 dummy NGOs for an entire decade. While the NGOs were supposedly the questionable, or submitted questionable/spurious documents, or failed to
ultimate recipients of PDAF funds, the whistle-blowers declared that the money was liquidate in whole or in part their utilization of the Funds.
diverted into Napoles private accounts.97 Thus, after its investigation on the Napoles
controversy, criminal complaints were filed before the Office of the Ombudsman,
charging five (5) lawmakers for Plunder, and three (3) other lawmakers for Procurement by the NGOs, as well as some implementing agencies, of
Malversation, Direct Bribery, and Violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. goods and services reportedly used in the projects were not compliant with
Also recommended to be charged in the complaints are some of the lawmakers chiefs law.
-of-staff or representatives, the heads and other officials of three (3) implementing
agencies, and the several presidents of the NGOs set up by Napoles.98 As for the "Presidential Pork Barrel", whistle-blowers alleged that" at least 900 Million
from royalties in the operation of the Malampaya gas project off Palawan province
On August 16, 2013, the Commission on Audit (CoA) released the results of a three- intended for agrarian reform beneficiaries has gone into a dummy NGO."104 According
year audit investigation99covering the use of legislators' PDAF from 2007 to 2009, or to incumbent CoA Chairperson Maria Gracia Pulido Tan (CoA Chairperson), the CoA
during the last three (3) years of the Arroyo administration. The purpose of the audit is, as of this writing, in the process of preparing "one consolidated report" on the
was to determine the propriety of releases of funds under PDAF and the Various Malampaya Funds.105
Infrastructures including Local Projects (VILP)100 by the DBM, the application of these
funds and the implementation of projects by the appropriate implementing agencies V. The Procedural Antecedents.
and several government-owned-and-controlled corporations (GOCCs).101 The total
releases covered by the audit amounted to 8.374 Billion in PDAF and 32.664 Billion
in VILP, representing 58% and 32%, respectively, of the total PDAF and VILP releases Spurred in large part by the findings contained in the CoA Report and the Napoles
that were found to have been made nationwide during the audit period.102 Accordingly, controversy, several petitions were lodged before the Court similarly seeking that the
the Co As findings contained in its Report No. 2012-03 (CoA Report), entitled "Priority "Pork Barrel System" be declared unconstitutional. To recount, the relevant procedural
Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and Various Infrastructures including Local antecedents in these cases are as follows:
Projects (VILP)," were made public, the highlights of which are as follows:103
On August 28, 2013, petitioner Samson S. Alcantara (Alcantara), President of the Social Justice
Amounts released for projects identified by a considerable number of Society, filed a Petition for Prohibition of even date under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court (Alcantara
legislators significantly exceeded their respective allocations. Petition), seeking that the "Pork Barrel System" be declared unconstitutional, and a writ of
prohibition be issued permanently restraining respondents Franklin M. Drilon and Feliciano S.
Belmonte, Jr., in their respective capacities as the incumbent Senate President and Speaker of
the House of Representatives, from further taking any steps to enact legislation appropriating On September 24, 2013, the Court issued a Resolution of even date directing petitioners to reply
funds for the "Pork Barrel System," in whatever form and by whatever name it may be called, and to the Comment.
from approving further releases pursuant thereto.106 The Alcantara Petition was docketed as G.R.
No. 208493.
Petitioners, with the exception of Nepomuceno, filed their respective replies to the Comment: (a)
on September 30, 2013, Villegas filed a separate Reply dated September 27, 2013 (Villegas
On September 3, 2013, petitioners Greco Antonious Beda B. Belgica, Jose L. Gonzalez, Reuben Reply); (b) on October 1, 2013, Belgica, et al. filed a Reply dated September 30, 2013 (Belgica
M. Abante, Quintin Paredes San Diego (Belgica, et al.), and Jose M. Villegas, Jr. (Villegas) filed Reply); and (c) on October 2, 2013, Alcantara filed a Reply dated October 1, 2013.
an Urgent Petition For Certiorari and Prohibition With Prayer For The Immediate Issuance of
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction dated August 27, 2013
under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court (Belgica Petition), seeking that the annual "Pork Barrel On October 1, 2013, the Court issued an Advisory providing for the guidelines to be observed by
System," presently embodied in the provisions of the GAA of 2013 which provided for the 2013 the parties for the Oral Arguments scheduled on October 8, 2013. In view of the technicality of the
PDAF, and the Executives lump-sum, discretionary funds, such as the Malampaya Funds and issues material to the present cases, incumbent Solicitor General Francis H. Jardeleza (Solicitor
the Presidential Social Fund,107 be declared unconstitutional and null and void for being acts General) was directed to bring with him during the Oral Arguments representative/s from the DBM
constituting grave abuse of discretion. Also, they pray that the Court issue a TRO against and Congress who would be able to competently and completely answer questions related to,
respondents Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr., Florencio B. Abad (Secretary Abad) and Rosalia V. De Leon, among others, the budgeting process and its implementation. Further, the CoA Chairperson was
in their respective capacities as the incumbent Executive Secretary, Secretary of the Department appointed as amicus curiae and thereby requested to appear before the Court during the Oral
of Budget and Management (DBM), and National Treasurer, or their agents, for them to Arguments.
immediately cease any expenditure under the aforesaid funds. Further, they pray that the Court
order the foregoing respondents to release to the CoA and to the public: (a) "the complete On October 8 and 10, 2013, the Oral Arguments were conducted. Thereafter, the Court directed
schedule/list of legislators who have availed of their PDAF and VILP from the years 2003 to 2013, the parties to submit their respective memoranda within a period of seven (7) days, or until
specifying the use of the funds, the project or activity and the recipient entities or individuals, and October 17, 2013, which the parties subsequently did.
all pertinent data thereto"; and (b) "the use of the Executives lump-sum, discretionary funds,
including the proceeds from the x x x Malampaya Funds and remittances from the PAGCOR x x x
from 2003 to 2013, specifying the x x x project or activity and the recipient entities or individuals, The Issues Before the Court
and all pertinent data thereto."108 Also, they pray for the "inclusion in budgetary deliberations with
the Congress of all presently off-budget, lump-sum, discretionary funds including, but not limited
Based on the pleadings, and as refined during the Oral Arguments, the following are the main
to, proceeds from the Malampaya Funds and remittances from the PAGCOR."109 The Belgica
issues for the Courts resolution:
Petition was docketed as G.R. No. 208566.110

I. Procedural Issues.
Lastly, on September 5, 2013, petitioner Pedrito M. Nepomuceno (Nepomuceno), filed a Petition
dated August 23, 2012 (Nepomuceno Petition), seeking that the PDAF be declared
unconstitutional, and a cease and desist order be issued restraining President Benigno Simeon Whether or not (a) the issues raised in the consolidated petitions involve an actual and justiciable
S. Aquino III (President Aquino) and Secretary Abad from releasing such funds to Members of controversy; (b) the issues raised in the consolidated petitions are matters of policy not subject to
Congress and, instead, allow their release to fund priority projects identified and approved by the judicial review; (c) petitioners have legal standing to sue; and (d) the Courts Decision dated
Local Development Councils in consultation with the executive departments, such as the DPWH, August 19, 1994 in G.R. Nos. 113105, 113174, 113766, and 113888, entitled "Philippine
the Department of Tourism, the Department of Health, the Department of Transportation, and Constitution Association v. Enriquez"114 (Philconsa) and Decision dated April 24, 2012 in G.R. No.
Communication and the National Economic Development Authority. 111 The Nepomuceno Petition 164987, entitled "Lawyers Against Monopoly and Poverty v. Secretary of Budget and
was docketed as UDK-14951.112 Management"115 (LAMP) bar the re-litigatio n of the issue of constitutionality of the "Pork Barrel
System" under the principles of res judicata and stare decisis.
On September 10, 2013, the Court issued a Resolution of even date (a) consolidating all cases;
(b) requiring public respondents to comment on the consolidated petitions; (c) issuing a TRO II. Substantive Issues on the "Congressional Pork Barrel."
(September 10, 2013 TRO) enjoining the DBM, National Treasurer, the Executive Secretary, or
any of the persons acting under their authority from releasing (1) the remaining PDAF allocated to
Members of Congress under the GAA of 2013, and (2) Malampaya Funds under the phrase "for Whether or not the 2013 PDAF Article and all other Congressional Pork Barrel Laws similar
such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the President" pursuant to Section 8 of PD thereto are unconstitutional considering that they violate the principles of/constitutional provisions
910 but not for the purpose of "financing energy resource development and exploitation programs on (a) separation of powers; (b) non-delegability of legislative power; (c) checks and balances; (d)
and projects of the government under the same provision; and (d) setting the consolidated cases accountability; (e) political dynasties; and (f) local autonomy.
for Oral Arguments on October 8, 2013.
III. Substantive Issues on the "Presidential Pork Barrel."
On September 23, 2013, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a Consolidated Comment
(Comment) of even date before the Court, seeking the lifting, or in the alternative, the partial lifting Whether or not the phrases (a) "and for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the
with respect to educational and medical assistance purposes, of the Courts September 10, 2013 President" under Section 8 of PD 910,116 relating to the Malampaya Funds, and (b) "to finance the
TRO, and that the consolidated petitions be dismissed for lack of merit.113 priority infrastructure development projects and to finance the restoration of damaged or
destroyed facilities due to calamities, as may be directed and authorized by the Office of the
President of the Philippines" under Section 12 of PD 1869, as amended by PD 1993, relating to
the Presidential Social Fund, are unconstitutional insofar as they constitute undue delegations of As for the PDAF, the Court must dispel the notion that the issues related thereto had been
legislative power. rendered moot and academic by the reforms undertaken by respondents. A case becomes moot
when there is no more actual controversy between the parties or no useful purpose can be
served in passing upon the merits.125 Differing from this description, the Court observes that
These main issues shall be resolved in the order that they have been stated. In addition, the respondents proposed line-item budgeting scheme would not terminate the controversy nor
Court shall also tackle certain ancillary issues as prompted by the present cases. diminish the useful purpose for its resolution since said reform is geared towards the 2014
budget, and not the 2013 PDAF Article which, being a distinct subject matter, remains legally
The Courts Ruling effective and existing. Neither will the Presidents declaration that he had already "abolished the
PDAF" render the issues on PDAF moot precisely because the Executive branch of government
has no constitutional authority to nullify or annul its legal existence. By constitutional design, the
The petitions are partly granted. annulment or nullification of a law may be done either by Congress, through the passage of a
repealing law, or by the Court, through a declaration of unconstitutionality. Instructive on this point
is the following exchange between Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio (Justice Carpio) and the
I. Procedural Issues.
Solicitor General during the Oral Arguments:126

The prevailing rule in constitutional litigation is that no question involving the constitutionality or
Justice Carpio: The President has taken an oath to faithfully execute the law,127 correct? Solicitor
validity of a law or governmental act may be heard and decided by the Court unless there is
General Jardeleza: Yes, Your Honor.
compliance with the legal requisites for judicial inquiry,117 namely: (a) there must be an actual
case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (b) the person challenging the act
must have the standing to question the validity of the subject act or issuance; (c) the question of Justice Carpio: And so the President cannot refuse to implement the General Appropriations Act,
constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity ; and (d) the issue of constitutionality correct?
must be the very lis mota of the case.118 Of these requisites, case law states that the first two are
the most important119and, therefore, shall be discussed forthwith.
Solicitor General Jardeleza: Well, that is our answer, Your Honor. In the case, for example of the
PDAF, the President has a duty to execute the laws but in the face of the outrage over PDAF, the
A. Existence of an Actual Case or Controversy. President was saying, "I am not sure that I will continue the release of the soft projects," and that
started, Your Honor. Now, whether or not that (interrupted)
By constitutional fiat, judicial power operates only when there is an actual case or
controversy.120 This is embodied in Section 1, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution which Justice Carpio: Yeah. I will grant the President if there are anomalies in the project, he has the
pertinently states that "judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual power to stop the releases in the meantime, to investigate, and that is Section 38 of Chapter 5 of
controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable x x x." Book 6 of the Revised Administrative Code128 x x x. So at most the President can suspend, now if
Jurisprudence provides that an actual case or controversy is one which "involves a conflict of the President believes that the PDAF is unconstitutional, can he just refuse to implement it?
legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal claims, susceptible of judicial resolution as
distinguished from a hypothetical or abstract difference or dispute.121 In other words, "there must
be a contrariety of legal rights that can be interpreted and enforced on the basis of existing law Solicitor General Jardeleza: No, Your Honor, as we were trying to say in the specific case of the
and jurisprudence."122 Related to the requirement of an actual case or controversy is the PDAF because of the CoA Report, because of the reported irregularities and this Court can take
requirement of "ripeness," meaning that the questions raised for constitutional scrutiny are judicial notice, even outside, outside of the COA Report, you have the report of the whistle-
already ripe for adjudication. "A question is ripe for adjudication when the act being challenged blowers, the President was just exercising precisely the duty .
has had a direct adverse effect on the individual challenging it. It is a prerequisite that something
had then been accomplished or performed by either branch before a court may come into the xxxx
picture, and the petitioner must allege the existence of an immediate or threatened injury to itself
as a result of the challenged action."123 "Withal, courts will decline to pass upon constitutional
issues through advisory opinions, bereft as they are of authority to resolve hypothetical or moot Justice Carpio: Yes, and that is correct. Youve seen the CoA Report, there are anomalies, you
questions."124 stop and investigate, and prosecute, he has done that. But, does that mean that PDAF has been
repealed?
Based on these principles, the Court finds that there exists an actual and justiciable controversy
in these cases. Solicitor General Jardeleza: No, Your Honor x x x.

The requirement of contrariety of legal rights is clearly satisfied by the antagonistic positions of xxxx
the parties on the constitutionality of the "Pork Barrel System." Also, the questions in these
consolidated cases are ripe for adjudication since the challenged funds and the provisions
allowing for their utilization such as the 2013 GAA for the PDAF, PD 910 for the Malampaya Justice Carpio: So that PDAF can be legally abolished only in two (2) cases. Congress passes a
Funds and PD 1869, as amended by PD 1993, for the Presidential Social Fund are currently law to repeal it, or this Court declares it unconstitutional, correct?
existing and operational; hence, there exists an immediate or threatened injury to petitioners as a
result of the unconstitutional use of these public funds. Solictor General Jardeleza: Yes, Your Honor.
Justice Carpio: The President has no power to legally abolish PDAF. (Emphases supplied) Mario Victor F. Leonen (Justice Leonen) pointed out that all of these would eventually find their
way to the courts.132 Accordingly, there is a compelling need to formulate controlling principles
relative to the issues raised herein in order to guide the bench, the bar, and the public, not just for
Even on the assumption of mootness, jurisprudence, nevertheless, dictates that "the moot and the expeditious resolution of the anticipated disallowance cases, but more importantly, so that the
academic principle is not a magical formula that can automatically dissuade the Court in government may be guided on how public funds should be utilized in accordance with
resolving a case." The Court will decide cases, otherwise moot, if: first, there is a grave violation constitutional principles.
of the Constitution; second, the exceptional character of the situation and the paramount public
interest is involved; third, when the constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling
principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public; and fourth, the case is capable of repetition Finally, the application of the fourth exception is called for by the recognition that the preparation
yet evading review.129 and passage of the national budget is, by constitutional imprimatur, an affair of annual
occurrence.133 The relevance of the issues before the Court does not cease with the passage of a
"PDAF -free budget for 2014."134 The evolution of the "Pork Barrel System," by its multifarious
The applicability of the first exception is clear from the fundamental posture of petitioners they iterations throughout the course of history, lends a semblance of truth to petitioners claim that
essentially allege grave violations of the Constitution with respect to, inter alia, the principles of "the same dog will just resurface wearing a different collar."135 In Sanlakas v. Executive
separation of powers, non-delegability of legislative power, checks and balances, accountability Secretary,136 the government had already backtracked on a previous course of action yet the
and local autonomy. Court used the "capable of repetition but evading review" exception in order "to prevent similar
questions from re- emerging."137 The situation similarly holds true to these cases. Indeed, the
The applicability of the second exception is also apparent from the nature of the interests involved myriad of issues underlying the manner in which certain public funds are spent, if not resolved at
this most opportune time, are capable of repetition and hence, must not evade judicial review.

the constitutionality of the very system within which significant amounts of public funds have
been and continue to be utilized and expended undoubtedly presents a situation of exceptional B. Matters of Policy: the Political Question Doctrine.
character as well as a matter of paramount public interest. The present petitions, in fact, have
been lodged at a time when the systems flaws have never before been magnified. To the Courts The "limitation on the power of judicial review to actual cases and controversies carries the
mind, the coalescence of the CoA Report, the accounts of numerous whistle-blowers, and the assurance that "the courts will not intrude into areas committed to the other branches of
governments own recognition that reforms are needed "to address the reported abuses of the government."138 Essentially, the foregoing limitation is a restatement of the political question
PDAF"130 demonstrates a prima facie pattern of abuse which only underscores the importance of doctrine which, under the classic formulation of Baker v. Carr, 139applies when there is found,
the matter. It is also by this finding that the Court finds petitioners claims as not merely theorized, among others, "a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate
speculative or hypothetical. Of note is the weight accorded by the Court to the findings made by political department," "a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it"
the CoA which is the constitutionally-mandated audit arm of the government. In Delos Santos v. or "the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for non-
CoA,131 a recent case wherein the Court upheld the CoAs disallowance of irregularly disbursed judicial discretion." Cast against this light, respondents submit that the "the political branches are
PDAF funds, it was emphasized that: in the best position not only to perform budget-related reforms but also to do them in response to
the specific demands of their constituents" and, as such, "urge the Court not to impose a solution
The COA is endowed with enough latitude to determine, prevent, and disallow irregular, at this stage."140
unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or unconscionable expenditures of government funds. It is
tasked to be vigilant and conscientious in safeguarding the proper use of the government's, and The Court must deny respondents submission.
ultimately the people's, property. The exercise of its general audit power is among the
constitutional mechanisms that gives life to the check and balance system inherent in our form of
government. Suffice it to state that the issues raised before the Court do not present political but legal
questions which are within its province to resolve. A political question refers to "those questions
which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity, or in
It is the general policy of the Court to sustain the decisions of administrative authorities, regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the Legislature or executive
especially one which is constitutionally-created, such as the CoA, not only on the basis of the branch of the Government. It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality,
doctrine of separation of powers but also for their presumed expertise in the laws they are of a particular measure."141 The intrinsic constitutionality of the "Pork Barrel System" is not an
entrusted to enforce. Findings of administrative agencies are accorded not only respect but also issue dependent upon the wisdom of the political branches of government but rather a legal one
finality when the decision and order are not tainted with unfairness or arbitrariness that would which the Constitution itself has commanded the Court to act upon. Scrutinizing the contours of
amount to grave abuse of discretion. It is only when the CoA has acted without or in excess of the system along constitutional lines is a task that the political branches of government are
jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, that this incapable of rendering precisely because it is an exercise of judicial power. More importantly, the
Court entertains a petition questioning its rulings. x x x. (Emphases supplied) present Constitution has not only vested the Judiciary the right to exercise judicial power but
essentially makes it a duty to proceed therewith. Section 1, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution
Thus, if only for the purpose of validating the existence of an actual and justiciable controversy in cannot be any clearer: "The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such
these cases, the Court deems the findings under the CoA Report to be sufficient. lower courts as may be established by law. It includes the duty of the 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
The Court also finds the third exception to be applicable largely due to the practical need for a of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government." In Estrada v.
definitive ruling on the systems constitutionality. As disclosed during the Oral Arguments, the Desierto,142 the expanded concept of judicial power under the 1987 Constitution and its effect on
CoA Chairperson estimates that thousands of notices of disallowances will be issued by her office the political question doctrine was explained as follows:143
in connection with the findings made in the CoA Report. In this relation, Associate Justice Marvic
To a great degree, the 1987 Constitution has narrowed the reach of the political question doctrine Res judicata (which means a "matter adjudged") and stare decisis non quieta et movere (or
when it expanded the power of judicial review of this court not only to settle actual controversies simply, stare decisis which means "follow past precedents and do not disturb what has been
involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable but also to determine whether or settled") are general procedural law principles which both deal with the effects of previous but
not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the factually similar dispositions to subsequent cases. For the cases at bar, the Court examines the
part of any branch or instrumentality of government. Heretofore, the judiciary has focused on the applicability of these principles in relation to its prior rulings in Philconsa and LAMP.
"thou shalt not's" of the Constitution directed against the exercise of its jurisdiction. With the new
provision, however, courts are given a greater prerogative to determine what it can do to prevent
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or The focal point of res judicata is the judgment. The principle states that a judgment on the merits
instrumentality of government. Clearly, the new provision did not just grant the Court power of in a previous case rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction would bind a subsequent case if,
doing nothing. x x x (Emphases supplied) between the first and second actions, there exists an identity of parties, of subject matter, and of
causes of action.151 This required identity is not, however, attendant hereto since Philconsa and
LAMP, respectively involved constitutional challenges against the 1994 CDF Article and 2004
It must also be borne in mind that when the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional PDAF Article, whereas the cases at bar call for a broader constitutional scrutiny of the entire
boundaries, it does not assert any superiority over the other departments; does not in reality "Pork Barrel System." Also, the ruling in LAMP is essentially a dismissal based on a procedural
nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature or the executive, but only asserts the solemn and technicality and, thus, hardly a judgment on the merits in that petitioners therein failed to
sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution."144 To a great extent, the Court is laudably present any "convincing proof x x x showing that, indeed, there were direct releases of funds to
cognizant of the reforms undertaken by its co-equal branches of government. But it is by the Members of Congress, who actually spend them according to their sole discretion" or
constitutional force that the Court must faithfully perform its duty. Ultimately, it is the Courts "pertinent evidentiary support to demonstrate the illegal misuse of PDAF in the form of kickbacks
avowed intention that a resolution of these cases would not arrest or in any manner impede the and has become a common exercise of unscrupulous Members of Congress." As such, the Court
endeavors of the two other branches but, in fact, help ensure that the pillars of change are up held, in view of the presumption of constitutionality accorded to every law, the 2004 PDAF
erected on firm constitutional grounds. After all, it is in the best interest of the people that each Article, and saw "no need to review or reverse the standing pronouncements in the said case."
great branch of government, within its own sphere, contributes its share towards achieving a Hence, for the foregoing reasons, the res judicata principle, insofar as the Philconsa and LAMP
holistic and genuine solution to the problems of society. For all these reasons, the Court cannot cases are concerned, cannot apply.
heed respondents plea for judicial restraint.
On the other hand, the focal point of stare decisis is the doctrine created. The principle,
C. Locus Standi. entrenched under Article 8152 of the Civil Code, evokes the general rule that, for the sake of
certainty, a conclusion reached in one case should be doctrinally applied to those that follow if the
facts are substantially the same, even though the parties may be different. It proceeds from the
"The gist of the question of standing is whether a party alleges such personal stake in the first principle of justice that, absent any powerful countervailing considerations, like cases ought
outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the to be decided alike. Thus, where the same questions relating to the same event have been put
presentation of issues upon which the court depends for illumination of difficult constitutional forward by the parties similarly situated as in a previous case litigated and decided by a
questions. Unless a person is injuriously affected in any of his constitutional rights by the competent court, the rule of stare decisis is a bar to any attempt to re-litigate the same issue.153
operation of statute or ordinance, he has no standing."145

Philconsa was the first case where a constitutional challenge against a Pork Barrel provision, i.e.,
Petitioners have come before the Court in their respective capacities as citizen-taxpayers and the 1994 CDF Article, was resolved by the Court. To properly understand its context, petitioners
accordingly, assert that they "dutifully contribute to the coffers of the National posturing was that "the power given to the Members of Congress to propose and identify projects
Treasury."146 Clearly, as taxpayers, they possess the requisite standing to question the validity of and activities to be funded by the CDF is an encroachment by the legislature on executive power,
the existing "Pork Barrel System" under which the taxes they pay have been and continue to be since said power in an appropriation act is in implementation of the law" and that "the proposal
utilized. It is undeniable that petitioners, as taxpayers, are bound to suffer from the and identification of the projects do not involve the making of laws or the repeal and amendment
unconstitutional usage of public funds, if the Court so rules. Invariably, taxpayers have been thereof, the only function given to the Congress by the Constitution."154 In deference to the
allowed to sue where there is a claim that public funds are illegally disbursed or that public money foregoing submissions, the Court reached the following main conclusions: one, under the
is being deflected to any improper purpose, or that public funds are wasted through the Constitution, the power of appropriation, or the "power of the purse," belongs to Congress; two,
enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law,147 as in these cases. the power of appropriation carries with it the power to specify the project or activity to be funded
under the appropriation law and it can be detailed and as broad as Congress wants it to be; and,
Moreover, as citizens, petitioners have equally fulfilled the standing requirement given that the three, the proposals and identifications made by Members of Congress are merely
issues they have raised may be classified as matters "of transcendental importance, of recommendatory. At once, it is apparent that the Philconsa resolution was a limited response to a
overreaching significance to society, or of paramount public interest."148 The CoA Chairpersons separation of powers problem, specifically on the propriety of conferring post-enactment
statement during the Oral Arguments that the present controversy involves "not merely a systems identification authority to Members of Congress. On the contrary, the present cases call for a
failure" but a "complete breakdown of controls"149 amplifies, in addition to the matters above- more holistic examination of (a) the inter-relation between the CDF and PDAF Articles with each
discussed, the seriousness of the issues involved herein. Indeed, of greater import than the other, formative as they are of the entire "Pork Barrel System" as well as (b) the intra-relation of
damage caused by the illegal expenditure of public funds is the mortal wound inflicted upon the post-enactment measures contained within a particular CDF or PDAF Article, including not only
fundamental law by the enforcement of an invalid statute.150 All told, petitioners have sufficient those related to the area of project identification but also to the areas of fund release and
locus standi to file the instant cases. realignment. The complexity of the issues and the broader legal analyses herein warranted may
be, therefore, considered as a powerful countervailing reason against a wholesale application of
the stare decisis principle.
D. Res Judicata and Stare Decisis.
In addition, the Court observes that the Philconsa ruling was actually riddled with inherent Considering petitioners submission and in reference to its local concept and legal history, the
constitutional inconsistencies which similarly countervail against a full resort to stare decisis. As Court defines the Pork Barrel System as the collective body of rules and practices that govern the
may be deduced from the main conclusions of the case, Philconsas fundamental premise in manner by which lump-sum, discretionary funds, primarily intended for local projects, are utilized
allowing Members of Congress to propose and identify of projects would be that the said through the respective participations of the Legislative and Executive branches of government,
identification authority is but an aspect of the power of appropriation which has been including its members. The Pork Barrel System involves two (2) kinds of lump-sum discretionary
constitutionally lodged in Congress. From this premise, the contradictions may be easily seen. If funds:
the authority to identify projects is an aspect of appropriation and the power of appropriation is a
form of legislative power thereby lodged in Congress, then it follows that: (a) it is Congress which
should exercise such authority, and not its individual Members; (b) such authority must be First, there is the Congressional Pork Barrel which is herein defined as a kind of lump-sum,
exercised within the prescribed procedure of law passage and, hence, should not be exercised discretionary fund wherein legislators, either individually or collectively organized into committees,
after the GAA has already been passed; and (c) such authority, as embodied in the GAA, has the are able to effectively control certain aspects of the funds utilization through various post-
force of law and, hence, cannot be merely recommendatory. Justice Vitugs Concurring Opinion enactment measures and/or practices. In particular, petitioners consider the PDAF, as it appears
in the same case sums up the Philconsa quandary in this wise: "Neither would it be objectionable under the 2013 GAA, as Congressional Pork Barrel since it is, inter alia, a post-enactment
for Congress, by law, to appropriate funds for such specific projects as it may be minded; to give measure that allows individual legislators to wield a collective power;160 and
that authority, however, to the individual members of Congress in whatever guise, I am afraid,
would be constitutionally impermissible." As the Court now largely benefits from hindsight and Second, there is the Presidential Pork Barrel which is herein defined as a kind of lump-sum,
current findings on the matter, among others, the CoA Report, the Court must partially abandon discretionary fund which allows the President to determine the manner of its utilization. For
its previous ruling in Philconsa insofar as it validated the post-enactment identification authority of reasons earlier stated,161 the Court shall delimit the use of such term to refer only to the
Members of Congress on the guise that the same was merely recommendatory. This postulate Malampaya Funds and the Presidential Social Fund.
raises serious constitutional inconsistencies which cannot be simply excused on the ground that
such mechanism is "imaginative as it is innovative." Moreover, it must be pointed out that the
recent case of Abakada Guro Party List v. Purisima155(Abakada) has effectively overturned With these definitions in mind, the Court shall now proceed to discuss the substantive issues of
Philconsas allowance of post-enactment legislator participation in view of the separation of these cases.
powers principle. These constitutional inconsistencies and the Abakada rule will be discussed in
greater detail in the ensuing section of this Decision.
B. Substantive Issues on the Congressional Pork Barrel.

As for LAMP, suffice it to restate that the said case was dismissed on a procedural technicality
1. Separation of Powers.
and, hence, has not set any controlling doctrine susceptible of current application to the
substantive issues in these cases. In fine, stare decisis would not apply.
a. Statement of Principle.
II. Substantive Issues.
The principle of separation of powers refers to the constitutional demarcation of the three
fundamental powers of government. In the celebrated words of Justice Laurel in Angara v.
A. Definition of Terms.
Electoral Commission,162 it means that the "Constitution has blocked out with deft strokes and in
bold lines, allotment of power to the executive, the legislative and the judicial departments of the
Before the Court proceeds to resolve the substantive issues of these cases, it must first define government."163 To the legislative branch of government, through Congress,164belongs the power
the terms "Pork Barrel System," "Congressional Pork Barrel," and "Presidential Pork Barrel" as to make laws; to the executive branch of government, through the President, 165 belongs the
they are essential to the ensuing discourse. power to enforce laws; and to the judicial branch of government, through the Court, 166 belongs
the power to interpret laws. Because the three great powers have been, by constitutional design,
ordained in this respect, "each department of the government has exclusive cognizance of
Petitioners define the term "Pork Barrel System" as the "collusion between the Legislative and matters within its jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own sphere."167 Thus, "the legislature has
Executive branches of government to accumulate lump-sum public funds in their offices with no authority to execute or construe the law, the executive has no authority to make or construe
unchecked discretionary powers to determine its distribution as political largesse."156 They assert the law, and the judiciary has no power to make or execute the law."168 The principle of
that the following elements make up the Pork Barrel System: (a) lump-sum funds are allocated separation of powers and its concepts of autonomy and independence stem from the notion that
through the appropriations process to an individual officer; (b) the officer is given sole and broad the powers of government must be divided to avoid concentration of these powers in any one
discretion in determining how the funds will be used or expended; (c) the guidelines on how to branch; the division, it is hoped, would avoid any single branch from lording its power over the
spend or use the funds in the appropriation are either vague, overbroad or inexistent; and (d) other branches or the citizenry.169 To achieve this purpose, the divided power must be wielded by
projects funded are intended to benefit a definite constituency in a particular part of the country co-equal branches of government that are equally capable of independent action in exercising
and to help the political careers of the disbursing official by yielding rich patronage their respective mandates. Lack of independence would result in the inability of one branch of
benefits.157 They further state that the Pork Barrel System is comprised of two (2) kinds of government to check the arbitrary or self-interest assertions of another or others.170
discretionary public funds: first, the Congressional (or Legislative) Pork Barrel, currently known as
the PDAF;158 and, second, the Presidential (or Executive) Pork Barrel, specifically, the
Malampaya Funds under PD 910 and the Presidential Social Fund under PD 1869, as amended Broadly speaking, there is a violation of the separation of powers principle when one branch of
by PD 1993.159 government unduly encroaches on the domain of another. US Supreme Court decisions instruct
that the principle of separation of powers may be violated in two (2) ways: firstly, "one branch may
interfere impermissibly with the others performance of its constitutionally assigned
function";171 and "alternatively, the doctrine may be violated when one branch assumes a function
that more properly is entrusted to another."172 In other words, there is a violation of the principle b. Application.
when there is impermissible (a) interference with and/or (b) assumption of another departments
functions.
In these cases, petitioners submit that the Congressional Pork Barrel among others, the 2013
PDAF Article "wrecks the assignment of responsibilities between the political branches" as it is
The enforcement of the national budget, as primarily contained in the GAA, is indisputably a designed to allow individual legislators to interfere "way past the time it should have ceased" or,
function both constitutionally assigned and properly entrusted to the Executive branch of particularly, "after the GAA is passed."179 They state that the findings and recommendations in the
government. In Guingona, Jr. v. Hon. Carague173 (Guingona, Jr.), the Court explained that the CoA Report provide "an illustration of how absolute and definitive the power of legislators wield
phase of budget execution "covers the various operational aspects of budgeting" and accordingly over project implementation in complete violation of the constitutional principle of separation of
includes "the evaluation of work and financial plans for individual activities," the "regulation and powers."180 Further, they point out that the Court in the Philconsa case only allowed the CDF to
release of funds" as well as all "other related activities" that comprise the budget execution exist on the condition that individual legislators limited their role to recommending projects and
cycle.174 This is rooted in the principle that the allocation of power in the three principal branches not if they actually dictate their implementation.181
of government is a grant of all powers inherent in them. 175 Thus, unless the Constitution provides
otherwise, the Executive department should exclusively exercise all roles and prerogatives which
go into the implementation of the national budget as provided under the GAA as well as any other For their part, respondents counter that the separations of powers principle has not been violated
appropriation law. since the President maintains "ultimate authority to control the execution of the GAA and that he
"retains the final discretion to reject" the legislators proposals. 182 They maintain that the Court, in
Philconsa, "upheld the constitutionality of the power of members of Congress to propose and
In view of the foregoing, the Legislative branch of government, much more any of its members, identify projects so long as such proposal and identification are recommendatory."183 As such,
should not cross over the field of implementing the national budget since, as earlier stated, the they claim that "everything in the Special Provisions [of the 2013 PDAF Article follows the
same is properly the domain of the Executive. Again, in Guingona, Jr., the Court stated that Philconsa framework, and hence, remains constitutional."184
"Congress enters the picture when it deliberates or acts on the budget proposals of the President.
Thereafter, Congress, "in the exercise of its own judgment and wisdom, formulates an
appropriation act precisely following the process established by the Constitution, which specifies The Court rules in favor of petitioners.
that no money may be paid from the Treasury except in accordance with an appropriation made
by law." Upon approval and passage of the GAA, Congress law -making role necessarily comes As may be observed from its legal history, the defining feature of all forms of Congressional Pork
to an end and from there the Executives role of implementing the national budget begins. So as Barrel would be the authority of legislators to participate in the post-enactment phases of project
not to blur the constitutional boundaries between them, Congress must "not concern it self with implementation.
details for implementation by the Executive."176

At its core, legislators may it be through project lists,185 prior consultations186 or program
The foregoing cardinal postulates were definitively enunciated in Abakada where the Court held menus187 have been consistently accorded post-enactment authority to identify the projects
that "from the moment the law becomes effective, any provision of law that empowers Congress they desire to be funded through various Congressional Pork Barrel allocations. Under the 2013
or any of its members to play any role in the implementation or enforcement of the law violates PDAF Article, the statutory authority of legislators to identify projects post-GAA may be construed
the principle of separation of powers and is thus unconstitutional."177 It must be clarified, however, from the import of Special Provisions 1 to 3 as well as the second paragraph of Special Provision
that since the restriction only pertains to "any role in the implementation or enforcement of the 4. To elucidate, Special Provision 1 embodies the program menu feature which, as evinced from
law," Congress may still exercise its oversight function which is a mechanism of checks and past PDAF Articles, allows individual legislators to identify PDAF projects for as long as the
balances that the Constitution itself allows. But it must be made clear that Congress role must be identified project falls under a general program listed in the said menu. Relatedly, Special
confined to mere oversight. Any post-enactment-measure allowing legislator participation beyond Provision 2 provides that the implementing agencies shall, within 90 days from the GAA is
oversight is bereft of any constitutional basis and hence, tantamount to impermissible interference passed, submit to Congress a more detailed priority list, standard or design prepared and
and/or assumption of executive functions. As the Court ruled in Abakada:178 submitted by implementing agencies from which the legislator may make his choice. The same
provision further authorizes legislators to identify PDAF projects outside his district for as long as
Any post-enactment congressional measure x x x should be limited to scrutiny and the representative of the district concerned concurs in writing. Meanwhile, Special Provision 3
investigation.1wphi1 In particular, congressional oversight must be confined to the following: clarifies that PDAF projects refer to "projects to be identified by legislators"188 and thereunder
provides the allocation limit for the total amount of projects identified by each legislator. Finally,
paragraph 2 of Special Provision 4 requires that any modification and revision of the project
(1) scrutiny based primarily on Congress power of appropriation and the budget identification "shall be submitted to the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate
hearings conducted in connection with it, its power to ask heads of departments to Committee on Finance for favorable endorsement to the DBM or the implementing agency, as the
appear before and be heard by either of its Houses on any matter pertaining to their case may be." From the foregoing special provisions, it cannot be seriously doubted that
departments and its power of confirmation; and legislators have been accorded post-enactment authority to identify PDAF projects.

(2) investigation and monitoring of the implementation of laws pursuant to the power of Aside from the area of project identification, legislators have also been accorded post-enactment
Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation. authority in the areas of fund release and realignment. Under the 2013 PDAF Article, the statutory
authority of legislators to participate in the area of fund release through congressional committees
is contained in Special Provision 5 which explicitly states that "all request for release of funds
Any action or step beyond that will undermine the separation of powers guaranteed by the shall be supported by the documents prescribed under Special Provision No. 1 and favorably
Constitution. (Emphases supplied) endorsed by House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance, as the
case may be"; while their statutory authority to participate in the area of fund realignment is
contained in: first , paragraph 2, Special Provision 4189 which explicitly state s, among others, that Solictor General Jardeleza: Yes, Your Honor. In the sense that if it is not done and then there is
"any realignment of funds shall be submitted to the House Committee on Appropriations and the no identification.
Senate Committee on Finance for favorable endorsement to the DBM or the implementing
agency, as the case may be ; and, second , paragraph 1, also of Special Provision 4 which
authorizes the "Secretaries of Agriculture, Education, Energy, Interior and Local Government, xxxx
Labor and Employment, Public Works and Highways, Social Welfare and Development and
Trade and Industry190 x x x to approve realignment from one project/scope to another within the Justice Bernabe: Now, would you know of specific instances when a project was implemented
allotment received from this Fund, subject to among others (iii) the request is with the without the identification by the individual legislator?
concurrence of the legislator concerned."

Solicitor General Jardeleza: I do not know, Your Honor; I do not think so but I have no specific
Clearly, these post-enactment measures which govern the areas of project identification, fund examples. I would doubt very much, Your Honor, because to implement, there is a need for a
release and fund realignment are not related to functions of congressional oversight and, hence, SARO and the NCA. And the SARO and the NCA are triggered by an identification from the
allow legislators to intervene and/or assume duties that properly belong to the sphere of budget legislator.
execution. Indeed, by virtue of the foregoing, legislators have been, in one form or another,
authorized to participate in as Guingona, Jr. puts it "the various operational aspects of
budgeting," including "the evaluation of work and financial plans for individual activities" and the xxxx
"regulation and release of funds" in violation of the separation of powers principle. The
fundamental rule, as categorically articulated in Abakada, cannot be overstated from the
Solictor General Jardeleza: What we mean by mandatory, Your Honor, is we were replying to a
moment the law becomes effective, any provision of law that empowers Congress or any of its
question, "How can a legislator make sure that he is able to get PDAF Funds?" It is mandatory in
members to play any role in the implementation or enforcement of the law violates the principle of
the sense that he must identify, in that sense, Your Honor. Otherwise, if he does not identify, he
separation of powers and is thus unconstitutional.191 That the said authority is treated as merely
cannot avail of the PDAF Funds and his district would not be able to have PDAF Funds, only in
recommendatory in nature does not alter its unconstitutional tenor since the prohibition, to repeat,
that sense, Your Honor. (Emphases supplied)
covers any role in the implementation or enforcement of the law. Towards this end, the Court
must therefore abandon its ruling in Philconsa which sanctioned the conduct of legislator
identification on the guise that the same is merely recommendatory and, as such, respondents Thus, for all the foregoing reasons, the Court hereby declares the 2013 PDAF Article as well as
reliance on the same falters altogether. all other provisions of law which similarly allow legislators to wield any form of post-enactment
authority in the implementation or enforcement of the budget, unrelated to congressional
oversight, as violative of the separation of powers principle and thus unconstitutional. Corollary
Besides, it must be pointed out that respondents have nonetheless failed to substantiate their
thereto, informal practices, through which legislators have effectively intruded into the proper
position that the identification authority of legislators is only of recommendatory import. Quite the
phases of budget execution, must be deemed as acts of grave abuse of discretion amounting to
contrary, respondents through the statements of the Solicitor General during the Oral
lack or excess of jurisdiction and, hence, accorded the same unconstitutional treatment. That
Arguments have admitted that the identification of the legislator constitutes a mandatory
such informal practices do exist and have, in fact, been constantly observed throughout the years
requirement before his PDAF can be tapped as a funding source, thereby highlighting the
has not been substantially disputed here. As pointed out by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A.
indispensability of the said act to the entire budget execution process:192
Sereno (Chief Justice Sereno) during the Oral Arguments of these cases:193
Chief Justice Sereno:
Justice Bernabe: Now, without the individual legislators identification of the project, can the
PDAF of the legislator be utilized?
Now, from the responses of the representative of both, the DBM and two (2) Houses of Congress,
if we enforces the initial thought that I have, after I had seen the extent of this research made by
Solicitor General Jardeleza: No, Your Honor. my staff, that neither the Executive nor Congress frontally faced the question of constitutional
compatibility of how they were engineering the budget process. In fact, the words you have been
using, as the three lawyers of the DBM, and both Houses of Congress has also been using is
Justice Bernabe: It cannot? surprise; surprised that all of these things are now surfacing. In fact, I thought that what the 2013
PDAF provisions did was to codify in one section all the past practice that had been done since
Solicitor General Jardeleza: It cannot (interrupted) 1991. In a certain sense, we should be thankful that they are all now in the PDAF Special
Provisions. x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)

Justice Bernabe: So meaning you should have the identification of the project by the individual
legislator? Ultimately, legislators cannot exercise powers which they do not have, whether through formal
measures written into the law or informal practices institutionalized in government agencies, else
the Executive department be deprived of what the Constitution has vested as its own.
Solicitor General Jardeleza: Yes, Your Honor.
2. Non-delegability of Legislative Power.
xxxx
a. Statement of Principle.
Justice Bernabe: In short, the act of identification is mandatory?
As an adjunct to the separation of powers principle,194 legislative power shall be exclusively allow. Thus, keeping with the principle of non-delegability of legislative power, the Court hereby
exercised by the body to which the Constitution has conferred the same. In particular, Section 1, declares the 2013 PDAF Article, as well as all other forms of Congressional Pork Barrel which
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution states that such power shall be vested in the Congress of the contain the similar legislative identification feature as herein discussed, as unconstitutional.
Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the extent
reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and referendum.195 Based on this provision, it
is clear that only Congress, acting as a bicameral body, and the people, through the process of 3. Checks and Balances.
initiative and referendum, may constitutionally wield legislative power and no other. This premise
embodies the principle of non-delegability of legislative power, and the only recognized a. Statement of Principle; Item-Veto Power.
exceptions thereto would be: (a) delegated legislative power to local governments which, by
immemorial practice, are allowed to legislate on purely local matters;196 and (b) constitutionally-
grafted exceptions such as the authority of the President to, by law, exercise powers necessary The fact that the three great powers of government are intended to be kept separate and distinct
and proper to carry out a declared national policy in times of war or other national does not mean that they are absolutely unrestrained and independent of each other. The
emergency,197or fix within specified limits, and subject to such limitations and restrictions as Constitution has also provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure
Congress may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues, and coordination in the workings of the various departments of the government.203
other duties or imposts within the framework of the national development program of the
Government.198
A prime example of a constitutional check and balance would be the Presidents power to veto an
item written into an appropriation, revenue or tariff bill submitted to him by Congress for approval
Notably, the principle of non-delegability should not be confused as a restriction to delegate rule- through a process known as "bill presentment." The Presidents item-veto power is found in
making authority to implementing agencies for the limited purpose of either filling up the details of Section 27(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which reads as follows:
the law for its enforcement (supplementary rule-making) or ascertaining facts to bring the law into
actual operation (contingent rule-making).199The conceptual treatment and limitations of
Sec. 27. x x x.
delegated rule-making were explained in the case of People v. Maceren200 as follows:

xxxx
The grant of the rule-making power to administrative agencies is a relaxation of the principle of
separation of powers and is an exception to the nondelegation of legislative powers.
Administrative regulations or "subordinate legislation" calculated to promote the public interest are (2) The President shall have the power to veto any particular item or items in an appropriation,
necessary because of "the growing complexity of modern life, the multiplication of the subjects of revenue, or tariff bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not object.
governmental regulations, and the increased difficulty of administering the law."
The presentment of appropriation, revenue or tariff bills to the President, wherein he may
xxxx exercise his power of item-veto, forms part of the "single, finely wrought and exhaustively
considered, procedures" for law-passage as specified under the Constitution.204 As stated in
Abakada, the final step in the law-making process is the "submission of the bill to the President
Nevertheless, it must be emphasized that the rule-making power must be confined to details for
for approval. Once approved, it takes effect as law after the required publication."205
regulating the mode or proceeding to carry into effect the law as it has been enacted. The power
cannot be extended to amending or expanding the statutory requirements or to embrace matters
not covered by the statute. Rules that subvert the statute cannot be sanctioned. (Emphases Elaborating on the Presidents item-veto power and its relevance as a check on the legislature,
supplied) the Court, in Bengzon, explained that:206

b. Application. The former Organic Act and the present Constitution of the Philippines make the Chief Executive
an integral part of the law-making power. His disapproval of a bill, commonly known as a veto, is
essentially a legislative act. The questions presented to the mind of the Chief Executive are
In the cases at bar, the Court observes that the 2013 PDAF Article, insofar as it confers post-
precisely the same as those the legislature must determine in passing a bill, except that his will
enactment identification authority to individual legislators, violates the principle of non-delegability
be a broader point of view.
since said legislators are effectively allowed to individually exercise the power of appropriation,
which as settled in Philconsa is lodged in Congress.201 That the power to appropriate must be
exercised only through legislation is clear from Section 29(1), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution The Constitution is a limitation upon the power of the legislative department of the government,
which states that: "No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an but in this respect it is a grant of power to the executive department. The Legislature has the
appropriation made by law." To understand what constitutes an act of appropriation, the Court, in affirmative power to enact laws; the Chief Executive has the negative power by the constitutional
Bengzon v. Secretary of Justice and Insular Auditor202 (Bengzon), held that the power of exercise of which he may defeat the will of the Legislature. It follows that the Chief Executive
appropriation involves (a) the setting apart by law of a certain sum from the public revenue for (b) must find his authority in the Constitution. But in exercising that authority he may not be confined
a specified purpose. Essentially, under the 2013 PDAF Article, individual legislators are given a to rules of strict construction or hampered by the unwise interference of the judiciary. The courts
personal lump-sum fund from which they are able to dictate (a) how much from such fund would will indulge every intendment in favor of the constitutionality of a veto in the same manner as they
go to (b) a specific project or beneficiary that they themselves also determine. As these two (2) will presume the constitutionality of an act as originally passed by the Legislature. (Emphases
acts comprise the exercise of the power of appropriation as described in Bengzon, and given that supplied)
the 2013 PDAF Article authorizes individual legislators to perform the same, undoubtedly, said
legislators have been conferred the power to legislate which the Constitution does not, however,
The justification for the Presidents item-veto power rests on a variety of policy goals such as to approving the entire appropriation so as not to hinder some of its legitimate purposes. Finally, it
prevent log-rolling legislation,207 impose fiscal restrictions on the legislature, as well as to fortify may not be amiss to state that such arrangement also raises non-delegability issues considering
the executive branchs role in the budgetary process.208 In Immigration and Naturalization Service that the implementing authority would still have to determine, again, both the actual amount to be
v. Chadha, the US Supreme Court characterized the Presidents item-power as "a salutary check expended and the actual purpose of the appropriation. Since the foregoing determinations
upon the legislative body, calculated to guard the community against the effects of factions, constitute the integral aspects of the power to appropriate, the implementing authority would, in
precipitancy, or of any impulse unfriendly to the public good, which may happen to influence a effect, be exercising legislative prerogatives in violation of the principle of non-delegability.
majority of that body"; phrased differently, it is meant to "increase the chances in favor of the
community against the passing of bad laws, through haste, inadvertence, or design."209
b. Application.

For the President to exercise his item-veto power, it necessarily follows that there exists a proper
"item" which may be the object of the veto. An item, as defined in the field of appropriations, In these cases, petitioners claim that "in the current x x x system where the PDAF is a lump-sum
pertains to "the particulars, the details, the distinct and severable parts of the appropriation or of appropriation, the legislators identification of the projects after the passage of the GAA denies
the bill." In the case of Bengzon v. Secretary of Justice of the Philippine Islands, 210 the US the President the chance to veto that item later on."212 Accordingly, they submit that the "item veto
Supreme Court characterized an item of appropriation as follows: power of the President mandates that appropriations bills adopt line-item budgeting" and that
"Congress cannot choose a mode of budgeting which effectively renders the constitutionally-
given power of the President useless."213
An item of an appropriation bill obviously means an item which, in itself, is a specific appropriation
of money, not some general provision of law which happens to be put into an appropriation bill.
(Emphases supplied) On the other hand, respondents maintain that the text of the Constitution envisions a process
which is intended to meet the demands of a modernizing economy and, as such, lump-sum
appropriations are essential to financially address situations which are barely foreseen when a
On this premise, it may be concluded that an appropriation bill, to ensure that the President may GAA is enacted. They argue that the decision of the Congress to create some lump-sum
be able to exercise his power of item veto, must contain "specific appropriations of money" and appropriations is constitutionally allowed and textually-grounded.214
not only "general provisions" which provide for parameters of appropriation.
The Court agrees with petitioners.
Further, it is significant to point out that an item of appropriation must be an item characterized by
singular correspondence meaning an allocation of a specified singular amount for a specified
singular purpose, otherwise known as a "line-item."211 This treatment not only allows the item to Under the 2013 PDAF Article, the amount of 24.79 Billion only appears as a collective allocation
be consistent with its definition as a "specific appropriation of money" but also ensures that the limit since the said amount would be further divided among individual legislators who would then
President may discernibly veto the same. Based on the foregoing formulation, the existing receive personal lump-sum allocations and could, after the GAA is passed, effectively appropriate
Calamity Fund, Contingent Fund and the Intelligence Fund, being appropriations which state a PDAF funds based on their own discretion. As these intermediate appropriations are made by
specified amount for a specific purpose, would then be considered as "line- item" appropriations legislators only after the GAA is passed and hence, outside of the law, it necessarily means that
which are rightfully subject to item veto. Likewise, it must be observed that an appropriation may the actual items of PDAF appropriation would not have been written into the General
be validly apportioned into component percentages or values; however, it is crucial that each Appropriations Bill and thus effectuated without veto consideration. This kind of lump-sum/post-
percentage or value must be allocated for its own corresponding purpose for such component to enactment legislative identification budgeting system fosters the creation of a budget within a
be considered as a proper line-item. Moreover, as Justice Carpio correctly pointed out, a valid budget" which subverts the prescribed procedure of presentment and consequently impairs the
appropriation may even have several related purposes that are by accounting and budgeting Presidents power of item veto. As petitioners aptly point out, the above-described system forces
practice considered as one purpose, e.g., MOOE (maintenance and other operating expenses), in the President to decide between (a) accepting the entire 24.79 Billion PDAF allocation without
which case the related purposes shall be deemed sufficiently specific for the exercise of the knowing the specific projects of the legislators, which may or may not be consistent with his
Presidents item veto power. Finally, special purpose funds and discretionary funds would equally national agenda and (b) rejecting the whole PDAF to the detriment of all other legislators with
square with the constitutional mechanism of item-veto for as long as they follow the rule on legitimate projects.215
singular correspondence as herein discussed. Anent special purpose funds, it must be added that
Section 25(4), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution requires that the "special appropriations bill shall Moreover, even without its post-enactment legislative identification feature, the 2013 PDAF Article
specify the purpose for which it is intended, and shall be supported by funds actually available as would remain constitutionally flawed since it would then operate as a prohibited form of lump-sum
certified by the National Treasurer, or t o be raised by a corresponding revenue proposal therein." appropriation above-characterized. In particular, the lump-sum amount of 24.79 Billion would be
Meanwhile, with respect to discretionary funds, Section 2 5(6), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution treated as a mere funding source allotted for multiple purposes of spending, i.e., scholarships,
requires that said funds "shall be disbursed only for public purposes to be supported by medical missions, assistance to indigents, preservation of historical materials, construction of
appropriate vouchers and subject to such guidelines as may be prescribed by law." roads, flood control, etc. This setup connotes that the appropriation law leaves the actual
amounts and purposes of the appropriation for further determination and, therefore, does not
In contrast, what beckons constitutional infirmity are appropriations which merely provide for a readily indicate a discernible item which may be subject to the Presidents power of item veto.
singular lump-sum amount to be tapped as a source of funding for multiple purposes. Since such
appropriation type necessitates the further determination of both the actual amount to be In fact, on the accountability side, the same lump-sum budgeting scheme has, as the CoA
expended and the actual purpose of the appropriation which must still be chosen from the Chairperson relays, "limited state auditors from obtaining relevant data and information that would
multiple purposes stated in the law, it cannot be said that the appropriation law already indicates aid in more stringently auditing the utilization of said Funds."216 Accordingly, she recommends the
a "specific appropriation of money and hence, without a proper line-item which the President adoption of a "line by line budget or amount per proposed program, activity or project, and per
may veto. As a practical result, the President would then be faced with the predicament of either implementing agency."217
vetoing the entire appropriation if he finds some of its purposes wasteful or undesirable, or
Hence, in view of the reasons above-stated, the Court finds the 2013 PDAF Article, as well as all Clearly, allowing legislators to intervene in the various phases of project implementation a
Congressional Pork Barrel Laws of similar operation, to be unconstitutional. That such budgeting matter before another office of government renders them susceptible to taking undue
system provides for a greater degree of flexibility to account for future contingencies cannot be an advantage of their own office.
excuse to defeat what the Constitution requires. Clearly, the first and essential truth of the matter
is that unconstitutional means do not justify even commendable ends. 218
The Court, however, cannot completely agree that the same post-enactment authority and/or the
individual legislators control of his PDAF per se would allow him to perpetuate himself in office.
c. Accountability. Indeed, while the Congressional Pork Barrel and a legislators use thereof may be linked to this
area of interest, the use of his PDAF for re-election purposes is a matter which must be analyzed
based on particular facts and on a case-to-case basis.
Petitioners further relate that the system under which various forms of Congressional Pork Barrel
operate defies public accountability as it renders Congress incapable of checking itself or its
Members. In particular, they point out that the Congressional Pork Barrel "gives each legislator a Finally, while the Court accounts for the possibility that the close operational proximity between
direct, financial interest in the smooth, speedy passing of the yearly budget" which turns them legislators and the Executive department, through the formers post-enactment participation, may
"from fiscalizers" into "financially-interested partners."219 They also claim that the system has an affect the process of impeachment, this matter largely borders on the domain of politics and does
effect on re- election as "the PDAF excels in self-perpetuation of elective officials." Finally, they not strictly concern the Pork Barrel Systems intrinsic constitutionality. As such, it is an improper
add that the "PDAF impairs the power of impeachment" as such "funds are indeed quite useful, subject of judicial assessment.
to well, accelerate the decisions of senators."220
In sum, insofar as its post-enactment features dilute congressional oversight and violate Section
The Court agrees in part. 14, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, thus impairing public accountability, the 2013 PDAF Article
and other forms of Congressional Pork Barrel of similar nature are deemed as unconstitutional.
The aphorism forged under Section 1, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, which states that "public
office is a public trust," is an overarching reminder that every instrumentality of government 4. Political Dynasties.
should exercise their official functions only in accordance with the principles of the Constitution
which embodies the parameters of the peoples trust. The notion of a public trust connotes
accountability,221 hence, the various mechanisms in the Constitution which are designed to exact One of the petitioners submits that the Pork Barrel System enables politicians who are members
accountability from public officers. of political dynasties to accumulate funds to perpetuate themselves in power, in contravention of
Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Constitution225 which states that:

Among others, an accountability mechanism with which the proper expenditure of public funds
may be checked is the power of congressional oversight. As mentioned in Sec. 26. The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit
Abakada,222 congressional oversight may be performed either through: (a) scrutiny based political dynasties as may be defined by law. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
primarily on Congress power of appropriation and the budget hearings conducted in connection
with it, its power to ask heads of departments to appear before and be heard by either of its At the outset, suffice it to state that the foregoing provision is considered as not self-executing
Houses on any matter pertaining to their departments and its power of confirmation; 223 or (b) due to the qualifying phrase "as may be defined by law." In this respect, said provision does not,
investigation and monitoring of the implementation of laws pursuant to the power of Congress to by and of itself, provide a judicially enforceable constitutional right but merely specifies guideline
conduct inquiries in aid of legislation.224 for legislative or executive action.226 Therefore, since there appears to be no standing law which
crystallizes the policy on political dynasties for enforcement, the Court must defer from ruling on
The Court agrees with petitioners that certain features embedded in some forms of Congressional this issue.
Pork Barrel, among others the 2013 PDAF Article, has an effect on congressional oversight. The
fact that individual legislators are given post-enactment roles in the implementation of the budget In any event, the Court finds the above-stated argument on this score to be largely speculative
makes it difficult for them to become disinterested "observers" when scrutinizing, investigating or since it has not been properly demonstrated how the Pork Barrel System would be able to
monitoring the implementation of the appropriation law. To a certain extent, the conduct of propagate political dynasties.
oversight would be tainted as said legislators, who are vested with post-enactment authority,
would, in effect, be checking on activities in which they themselves participate. Also, it must be
pointed out that this very same concept of post-enactment authorization runs afoul of Section 14, 5. Local Autonomy.
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which provides that:
The States policy on local autonomy is principally stated in Section 25, Article II and Sections 2
Sec. 14. No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may personally appear as and 3, Article X of the 1987 Constitution which read as follows:
counsel before any court of justice or before the Electoral Tribunals, or quasi-judicial and other
administrative bodies. Neither shall he, directly or indirectly, be interested financially in any
ARTICLE II
contract with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by the Government, or any
subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including any government-owned or controlled
corporation, or its subsidiary, during his term of office. He shall not intervene in any matter before Sec. 25. The State shall ensure the autonomy of local governments.
any office of the Government for his pecuniary benefit or where he may be called upon to act on
account of his office. (Emphasis supplied)
ARTICLE X
Sec. 2. The territorial and political subdivisions shall enjoy local autonomy. Philconsa described the 1994 CDF as an attempt "to make equal the unequal" and that "it is also
a recognition that individual members of Congress, far more than the President and their
congressional colleagues, are likely to be knowledgeable about the needs of their respective
Sec. 3. The Congress shall enact a local government code which shall provide for a more constituents and the priority to be given each project."231 Drawing strength from this
responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of pronouncement, previous legislators justified its existence by stating that "the relatively small
decentralization with effective mechanisms of recall, initiative, and referendum, allocate among projects implemented under the Congressional Pork Barrel complement and link the national
the different local government units their powers, responsibilities, and resources, and provide for development goals to the countryside and grassroots as well as to depressed areas which are
the qualifications, election, appointment and removal, term, salaries, powers and functions and overlooked by central agencies which are preoccupied with mega-projects.232 Similarly, in his
duties of local officials, and all other matters relating to the organization and operation of the local August 23, 2013 speech on the "abolition" of PDAF and budgetary reforms, President Aquino
units. mentioned that the Congressional Pork Barrel was originally established for a worthy goal, which
is to enable the representatives to identify projects for communities that the LGU concerned
Pursuant thereto, Congress enacted RA 7160,227 otherwise known as the "Local Government cannot afford.233
Code of 1991" (LGC), wherein the policy on local autonomy had been more specifically explicated
as follows: Notwithstanding these declarations, the Court, however, finds an inherent defect in the system
which actually belies the avowed intention of "making equal the unequal." In particular, the Court
Sec. 2. Declaration of Policy. (a) It is hereby declared the policy of the State that the territorial observes that the gauge of PDAF and CDF allocation/division is based solely on the fact of office,
and political subdivisions of the State shall enjoy genuine and meaningful local autonomy to without taking into account the specific interests and peculiarities of the district the legislator
enable them to attain their fullest development as self-reliant communities and make them more represents. In this regard, the allocation/division limits are clearly not based on genuine
effective partners in the attainment of national goals. Toward this end, the State shall provide for parameters of equality, wherein economic or geographic indicators have been taken into
a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of consideration. As a result, a district representative of a highly-urbanized metropolis gets the same
decentralization whereby local government units shall be given more powers, authority, amount of funding as a district representative of a far-flung rural province which would be
responsibilities, and resources. The process of decentralization shall proceed from the National relatively "underdeveloped" compared to the former. To add, what rouses graver scrutiny is that
Government to the local government units. even Senators and Party-List Representatives and in some years, even the Vice-President
who do not represent any locality, receive funding from the Congressional Pork Barrel as well.
These certainly are anathema to the Congressional Pork Barrels original intent which is "to make
xxxx equal the unequal." Ultimately, the PDAF and CDF had become personal funds under the
effective control of each legislator and given unto them on the sole account of their office.
(c) It is likewise the policy of the State to require all national agencies and offices to conduct
periodic consultations with appropriate local government units, nongovernmental and peoples The Court also observes that this concept of legislator control underlying the CDF and PDAF
organizations, and other concerned sectors of the community before any project or program is conflicts with the functions of the various Local Development Councils (LDCs) which are already
implemented in their respective jurisdictions. (Emphases and underscoring supplied) legally mandated to "assist the corresponding sanggunian in setting the direction of economic and
social development, and coordinating development efforts within its territorial
jurisdiction."234 Considering that LDCs are instrumentalities whose functions are essentially
The above-quoted provisions of the Constitution and the LGC reveal the policy of the State to
geared towards managing local affairs,235 their programs, policies and resolutions should not be
empower local government units (LGUs) to develop and ultimately, become self-sustaining and
overridden nor duplicated by individual legislators, who are national officers that have no law-
effective contributors to the national economy. As explained by the Court in Philippine Gamefowl
making authority except only when acting as a body. The undermining effect on local autonomy
Commission v. Intermediate Appellate Court:228
caused by the post-enactment authority conferred to the latter was succinctly put by petitioners in
the following wise:236
This is as good an occasion as any to stress the commitment of the Constitution to the policy of
local autonomy which is intended to provide the needed impetus and encouragement to the
With PDAF, a Congressman can simply bypass the local development council and initiate
development of our local political subdivisions as "self - reliant communities." In the words of
projects on his own, and even take sole credit for its execution. Indeed, this type of personality-
Jefferson, "Municipal corporations are the small republics from which the great one derives its
driven project identification has not only contributed little to the overall development of the district,
strength." The vitalization of local governments will enable their inhabitants to fully exploit their
but has even contributed to "further weakening infrastructure planning and coordination efforts of
resources and more important, imbue them with a deepened sense of involvement in public
the government."
affairs as members of the body politic. This objective could be blunted by undue interference by
the national government in purely local affairs which are best resolved by the officials and
inhabitants of such political units. The decision we reach today conforms not only to the letter of Thus, insofar as individual legislators are authorized to intervene in purely local matters and
the pertinent laws but also to the spirit of the Constitution. 229 (Emphases and underscoring thereby subvert genuine local autonomy, the 2013 PDAF Article as well as all other similar forms
supplied) of Congressional Pork Barrel is deemed unconstitutional.

In the cases at bar, petitioners contend that the Congressional Pork Barrel goes against the With this final issue on the Congressional Pork Barrel resolved, the Court now turns to the
constitutional principles on local autonomy since it allows district representatives, who are substantive issues involving the Presidential Pork Barrel.
national officers, to substitute their judgments in utilizing public funds for local
development.230 The Court agrees with petitioners.
C. Substantive Issues on the Presidential Pork Barrel.
1. Validity of Appropriation. allocates the same for a particular public purpose, then the legislative intent to appropriate
becomes apparent and, hence, already sufficient to satisfy the requirement of an "appropriation
made by law" under contemplation of the Constitution.
Petitioners preliminarily assail Section 8 of PD 910 and Section 12 of PD1869 (now, amended by
PD 1993), which respectively provide for the Malampaya Funds and the Presidential Social Fund,
as invalid appropriations laws since they do not have the "primary and specific" purpose of Section 8 of PD 910 pertinently provides:
authorizing the release of public funds from the National Treasury. Petitioners submit that Section
8 of PD 910 is not an appropriation law since the "primary and specific purpose of PD 910 is the
creation of an Energy Development Board and Section 8 thereof only created a Special Fund Section 8. Appropriations. x x x
incidental thereto.237 In similar regard, petitioners argue that Section 12 of PD 1869 is neither a
valid appropriations law since the allocation of the Presidential Social Fund is merely incidental to All fees, revenues and receipts of the Board from any and all sources including receipts from
the "primary and specific" purpose of PD 1869 which is the amendment of the Franchise and service contracts and agreements such as application and processing fees, signature bonus,
Powers of PAGCOR.238 In view of the foregoing, petitioners suppose that such funds are being discovery bonus, production bonus; all money collected from concessionaires, representing
used without any valid law allowing for their proper appropriation in violation of Section 29(1), unspent work obligations, fines and penalties under the Petroleum Act of 1949; as well as the
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which states that: "No money shall be paid out of the Treasury government share representing royalties, rentals, production share on service contracts and
except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law."239 similar payments on the exploration, development and exploitation of energy resources, shall
form part of a Special Fund to be used to finance energy resource development and exploitation
The Court disagrees. programs and projects of the government and for such other purposes as may be hereafter
directed by the President. (Emphases supplied)

"An appropriation made by law under the contemplation of Section 29(1), Article VI of the 1987
Constitution exists when a provision of law (a) sets apart a determinate or Whereas Section 12 of PD 1869, as amended by PD 1993, reads:
determinable240 amount of money and (b) allocates the same for a particular public purpose.
These two minimum designations of amount and purpose stem from the very definition of the Sec. 12. Special Condition of Franchise. After deducting five (5%) percent as Franchise Tax,
word "appropriation," which means "to allot, assign, set apart or apply to a particular use or the Fifty (50%) percent share of the Government in the aggregate gross earnings of the
purpose," and hence, if written into the law, demonstrate that the legislative intent to appropriate Corporation from this Franchise, or 60% if the aggregate gross earnings be less than
exists. As the Constitution "does not provide or prescribe any particular form of words or religious 150,000,000.00 shall be set aside and shall accrue to the General Fund to finance the priority
recitals in which an authorization or appropriation by Congress shall be made, except that it be infrastructure development projects and to finance the restoration of damaged or destroyed
made by law," an appropriation law may according to Philconsa be "detailed and as broad as facilities due to calamities, as may be directed and authorized by the Office of the President of the
Congress wants it to be" for as long as the intent to appropriate may be gleaned from the same. Philippines. (Emphases supplied)
As held in the case of Guingona, Jr.:241

Analyzing the legal text vis--vis the above-mentioned principles, it may then be concluded that
There is no provision in our Constitution that provides or prescribes any particular form of words (a) Section 8 of PD 910, which creates a Special Fund comprised of "all fees, revenues, and
or religious recitals in which an authorization or appropriation by Congress shall be made, except receipts of the Energy Development Board from any and all sources" (a determinable amount) "to
that it be "made by law," such as precisely the authorization or appropriation under the be used to finance energy resource development and exploitation programs and projects of the
questioned presidential decrees. In other words, in terms of time horizons, an appropriation may government and for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the President" (a
be made impliedly (as by past but subsisting legislations) as well as expressly for the current specified public purpose), and (b) Section 12 of PD 1869, as amended by PD 1993, which
fiscal year (as by enactment of laws by the present Congress), just as said appropriation may be similarly sets aside, "after deducting five (5%) percent as Franchise Tax, the Fifty (50%) percent
made in general as well as in specific terms. The Congressional authorization may be embodied share of the Government in the aggregate gross earnings of PAGCOR, or 60%, if the aggregate
in annual laws, such as a general appropriations act or in special provisions of laws of general or gross earnings be less than 150,000,000.00" (also a determinable amount) "to finance the
special application which appropriate public funds for specific public purposes, such as the priority infrastructure development projects and x x x the restoration of damaged or destroyed
questioned decrees. An appropriation measure is sufficient if the legislative intention clearly and facilities due to calamities, as may be directed and authorized by the Office of the President of the
certainly appears from the language employed (In re Continuing Appropriations, 32 P. 272), Philippines" (also a specified public purpose), are legal appropriations under Section 29(1), Article
whether in the past or in the present. (Emphases and underscoring supplied) VI of the 1987 Constitution.

Likewise, as ruled by the US Supreme Court in State of Nevada v. La Grave: 242 In this relation, it is apropos to note that the 2013 PDAF Article cannot be properly deemed as a
legal appropriation under the said constitutional provision precisely because, as earlier stated, it
To constitute an appropriation there must be money placed in a fund applicable to the designated contains post-enactment measures which effectively create a system of intermediate
purpose. The word appropriate means to allot, assign, set apart or apply to a particular use or appropriations. These intermediate appropriations are the actual appropriations meant for
purpose. An appropriation in the sense of the constitution means the setting apart a portion of the enforcement and since they are made by individual legislators after the GAA is passed, they
public funds for a public purpose. No particular form of words is necessary for the purpose, if the occur outside the law. As such, the Court observes that the real appropriation made under the
intention to appropriate is plainly manifested. (Emphases supplied) 2013 PDAF Article is not the 24.79 Billion allocated for the entire PDAF, but rather the post-
enactment determinations made by the individual legislators which are, to repeat, occurrences
outside of the law. Irrefragably, the 2013 PDAF Article does not constitute an "appropriation made
Thus, based on the foregoing, the Court cannot sustain the argument that the appropriation must by law" since it, in its truest sense, only authorizes individual legislators to appropriate in violation
be the "primary and specific" purpose of the law in order for a valid appropriation law to exist. To of the non-delegability principle as afore-discussed.
reiterate, if a legal provision designates a determinate or determinable amount of money and
2. Undue Delegation. would be used as it should be used only in accordance with the avowed purpose and
intention of PD 910.
On a related matter, petitioners contend that Section 8 of PD 910 constitutes an undue delegation
of legislative power since the phrase "and for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed As for the Presidential Social Fund, the Court takes judicial notice of the fact that Section 12 of
by the President" gives the President "unbridled discretion to determine for what purpose the PD 1869 has already been amended by PD 1993 which thus moots the parties submissions on
funds will be used."243 Respondents, on the other hand, urged the Court to apply the principle of the same.252 Nevertheless, since the amendatory provision may be readily examined under the
ejusdem generis to the same section and thus, construe the phrase "and for such other purposes current parameters of discussion, the Court proceeds to resolve its constitutionality.
as may be hereafter directed by the President" to refer only to other purposes related "to energy
resource development and exploitation programs and projects of the government."244
Primarily, Section 12 of PD 1869, as amended by PD 1993, indicates that the Presidential Social
Fund may be used "to first, finance the priority infrastructure development projects and second, to
The Court agrees with petitioners submissions. finance the restoration of damaged or destroyed facilities due to calamities, as may be directed
and authorized by the Office of the President of the Philippines." The Court finds that while the
second indicated purpose adequately curtails the authority of the President to spend the
While the designation of a determinate or determinable amount for a particular public purpose is Presidential Social Fund only for restoration purposes which arise from calamities, the first
sufficient for a legal appropriation to exist, the appropriation law must contain adequate legislative indicated purpose, however, gives him carte blanche authority to use the same fund for any
guidelines if the same law delegates rule-making authority to the Executive245 either for the infrastructure project he may so determine as a "priority". Verily, the law does not supply a
purpose of (a) filling up the details of the law for its enforcement, known as supplementary rule- definition of "priority in frastructure development projects" and hence, leaves the President
making, or (b) ascertaining facts to bring the law into actual operation, referred to as contingent without any guideline to construe the same. To note, the delimitation of a project as one of
rule-making.246 There are two (2) fundamental tests to ensure that the legislative guidelines for "infrastructure" is too broad of a classification since the said term could pertain to any kind of
delegated rule-making are indeed adequate. The first test is called the "completeness test." Case facility. This may be deduced from its lexicographic definition as follows: "the underlying
law states that a law is complete when it sets forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out, framework of a system, especially public services and facilities (such as highways, schools,
or implemented by the delegate. On the other hand, the second test is called the "sufficient bridges, sewers, and water-systems) needed to support commerce as well as economic and
standard test." Jurisprudence holds that a law lays down a sufficient standard when it provides residential development."253 In fine, the phrase "to finance the priority infrastructure development
adequate guidelines or limitations in the law to map out the boundaries of the delegates authority projects" must be stricken down as unconstitutional since similar to the above-assailed
and prevent the delegation from running riot.247 To be sufficient, the standard must specify the provision under Section 8 of PD 910 it lies independently unfettered by any sufficient standard
limits of the delegates authority, announce the legislative policy, and identify the conditions under of the delegating law. As they are severable, all other provisions of Section 12 of PD 1869, as
which it is to be implemented.248 amended by PD 1993, remains legally effective and subsisting.

In view of the foregoing, the Court agrees with petitioners that the phrase "and for such other D. Ancillary Prayers. 1.
purposes as may be hereafter directed by the President" under Section 8 of PD 910 constitutes
an undue delegation of legislative power insofar as it does not lay down a sufficient standard to
adequately determine the limits of the Presidents authority with respect to the purpose for which Petitioners Prayer to be Furnished Lists and Detailed Reports.
the Malampaya Funds may be used. As it reads, the said phrase gives the President wide latitude
to use the Malampaya Funds for any other purpose he may direct and, in effect, allows him to
unilaterally appropriate public funds beyond the purview of the law. That the subject phrase may Aside from seeking the Court to declare the Pork Barrel System unconstitutional as the Court
be confined only to "energy resource development and exploitation programs and projects of the did so in the context of its pronouncements made in this Decision petitioners equally pray that
government" under the principle of ejusdem generis, meaning that the general word or phrase is the Executive Secretary and/or the DBM be ordered to release to the CoA and to the public: (a)
to be construed to include or be restricted to things akin to, resembling, or of the same kind or "the complete schedule/list of legislators who have availed of their PDAF and VILP from the years
class as those specifically mentioned,249 is belied by three (3) reasons: first, the phrase "energy 2003 to 2013, specifying the use of the funds, the project or activity and the recipient entities or
resource development and exploitation programs and projects of the government" states a individuals, and all pertinent data thereto" (PDAF Use Schedule/List);254 and (b) "the use of the
singular and general class and hence, cannot be treated as a statutory reference of specific Executives lump-sum, discretionary funds, including the proceeds from the x x x Malampaya
things from which the general phrase "for such other purposes" may be limited; second, the said Funds and remittances from the PAGCOR x x x from 2003 to 2013, specifying the x x x project or
phrase also exhausts the class it represents, namely energy development programs of the activity and the recipient entities or individuals, and all pertinent data thereto"255 (Presidential Pork
government;250 and, third, the Executive department has, in fact, used the Malampaya Funds for Use Report). Petitioners prayer is grounded on Section 28, Article II and Section 7, Article III of
non-energy related purposes under the subject phrase, thereby contradicting respondents own the 1987 Constitution which read as follows:
position that it is limited only to "energy resource development and exploitation programs and
projects of the government."251 Thus, while Section 8 of PD 910 may have passed the ARTICLE II
completeness test since the policy of energy development is clearly deducible from its text, the
phrase "and for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the President" under the
same provision of law should nonetheless be stricken down as unconstitutional as it lies Sec. 28. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the State adopts and implements a
independently unfettered by any sufficient standard of the delegating law. This notwithstanding, it policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.
must be underscored that the rest of Section 8, insofar as it allows for the use of the Malampaya
Funds "to finance energy resource development and exploitation programs and projects of the
ARTICLE III Sec. 7.
government," remains legally effective and subsisting. Truth be told, the declared
unconstitutionality of the aforementioned phrase is but an assurance that the Malampaya Funds
The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to documents requested. While petitioners pray that said information be equally released to the
official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or CoA, it must be pointed out that the CoA has not been impleaded as a party to these cases nor
decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be has it filed any petition before the Court to be allowed access to or to compel the release of any
afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. official document relevant to the conduct of its audit investigations. While the Court recognizes
that the information requested is a matter of significant public concern, however, if only to ensure
that the parameters of disclosure are properly foisted and so as not to unduly hamper the equally
The Court denies petitioners submission. important interests of the government, it is constrained to deny petitioners prayer on this score,
without prejudice to a proper mandamus case which they, or even the CoA, may choose to
Case law instructs that the proper remedy to invoke the right to information is to file a petition for pursue through a separate petition.
mandamus. As explained in the case of Legaspi v. Civil Service Commission: 256
It bears clarification that the Courts denial herein should only cover petitioners plea to be
While the manner of examining public records may be subject to reasonable regulation by the furnished with such schedule/list and report and not in any way deny them, or the general public,
government agency in custody thereof, the duty to disclose the information of public concern, and access to official documents which are already existing and of public record. Subject to
to afford access to public records cannot be discretionary on the part of said agencies. Certainly, reasonable regulation and absent any valid statutory prohibition, access to these documents
its performance cannot be made contingent upon the discretion of such agencies. Otherwise, the should not be proscribed. Thus, in Valmonte, while the Court denied the application for
enjoyment of the constitutional right may be rendered nugatory by any whimsical exercise of mandamus towards the preparation of the list requested by petitioners therein, it nonetheless
agency discretion. The constitutional duty, not being discretionary, its performance may be allowed access to the documents sought for by the latter, subject, however, to the custodians
compelled by a writ of mandamus in a proper case. reasonable regulations,viz.:259

But what is a proper case for Mandamus to issue? In the case before Us, the public right to be In fine, petitioners are entitled to access to the documents evidencing loans granted by the GSIS,
enforced and the concomitant duty of the State are unequivocably set forth in the Constitution. subject to reasonable regulations that the latter may promulgate relating to the manner and hours
of examination, to the end that damage to or loss of the records may be avoided, that undue
interference with the duties of the custodian of the records may be prevented and that the right of
The decisive question on the propriety of the issuance of the writ of mandamus in this case is, other persons entitled to inspect the records may be insured Legaspi v. Civil Service
whether the information sought by the petitioner is within the ambit of the constitutional Commission, supra at p. 538, quoting Subido v. Ozaeta, 80 Phil. 383, 387. The petition, as to the
guarantee. (Emphases supplied) second and third alternative acts sought to be done by petitioners, is meritorious.

Corollarily, in the case of Valmonte v. Belmonte Jr.257 (Valmonte), it has been clarified that the However, the same cannot be said with regard to the first act sought by petitioners, i.e.,
right to information does not include the right to compel the preparation of "lists, abstracts,
summaries and the like." In the same case, it was stressed that it is essential that the "applicant
has a well -defined, clear and certain legal right to the thing demanded and that it is the "to furnish petitioners the list of the names of the Batasang Pambansa members belonging to the
imperative duty of defendant to perform the act required." Hence, without the foregoing UNIDO and PDP-Laban who were able to secure clean loans immediately before the February 7
substantiations, the Court cannot grant a particular request for information. The pertinent portions election thru the intercession/marginal note of the then First Lady Imelda Marcos."
of Valmonte are hereunder quoted:258
The Court, therefore, applies the same treatment here.
Although citizens are afforded the right to information and, pursuant thereto, are entitled to
"access to official records," the Constitution does not accord them a right to compel custodians of 2. Petitioners Prayer to Include Matters in Congressional Deliberations.
official records to prepare lists, abstracts, summaries and the like in their desire to acquire
information on matters of public concern.
Petitioners further seek that the Court "order the inclusion in budgetary deliberations with the
Congress of all presently, off-budget, lump sum, discretionary funds including but not limited to,
It must be stressed that it is essential for a writ of mandamus to issue that the applicant has a proceeds from the x x x Malampaya Fund, remittances from the PAGCOR and the PCSO or the
well-defined, clear and certain legal right to the thing demanded and that it is the imperative duty Executives Social Funds."260
of defendant to perform the act required. The corresponding duty of the respondent to perform
the required act must be clear and specific Lemi v. Valencia, G.R. No. L-20768, November
29,1968,126 SCRA 203; Ocampo v. Subido, G.R. No. L-28344, August 27, 1976, 72 SCRA 443. Suffice it to state that the above-stated relief sought by petitioners covers a matter which is
generally left to the prerogative of the political branches of government. Hence, lest the Court
itself overreach, it must equally deny their prayer on this score.
The request of the petitioners fails to meet this standard, there being no duty on the part of
respondent to prepare the list requested. (Emphases supplied)
3. Respondents Prayer to Lift TRO; Consequential Effects of Decision.
In these cases, aside from the fact that none of the petitions are in the nature of mandamus
actions, the Court finds that petitioners have failed to establish a "a well-defined, clear and certain The final issue to be resolved stems from the interpretation accorded by the DBM to the concept
legal right" to be furnished by the Executive Secretary and/or the DBM of their requested PDAF of released funds. In response to the Courts September 10, 2013 TRO that enjoined the release
Use Schedule/List and Presidential Pork Use Report. Neither did petitioners assert any law or of the remaining PDAF allocated for the year 2013, the DBM issued Circular Letter No. 2013-8
administrative issuance which would form the bases of the latters duty to furnish them with the dated September 27, 2013 (DBM Circular 2013-8) which pertinently reads as follows:
3.0 Nonetheless, PDAF projects funded under the FY 2013 GAA, where a Special Allotment xxxx
Release Order (SARO) has been issued by the DBM and such SARO has been obligated by the
implementing agencies prior to the issuance of the TRO, may continually be implemented and
disbursements thereto effected by the agencies concerned. Atty. Ruiz: It comes after. The SARO, Your Honor, is only the go signal for the agencies to
obligate or to enter into commitments. The NCA, Your Honor, is already the go signal to the
treasury for us to be able to pay or to liquidate the amounts obligated in the SARO; so it comes
Based on the text of the foregoing, the DBM authorized the continued implementation and after. x x x The NCA, Your Honor, is the go signal for the MDS for the authorized government-
disbursement of PDAF funds as long as they are: first, covered by a SARO; and, second, that disbursing banks to, therefore, pay the payees depending on the projects or projects covered by
said SARO had been obligated by the implementing agency concerned prior to the issuance of the SARO and the NCA.
the Courts September 10, 2013 TRO.
Justice Bernabe: Are there instances that SAROs are cancelled or revoked?
Petitioners take issue with the foregoing circular, arguing that "the issuance of the SARO does
not yet involve the release of funds under the PDAF, as release is only triggered by the issuance
of a Notice of Cash Allocation [(NCA)]."261 As such, PDAF disbursements, even if covered by an Atty. Ruiz: Your Honor, I would like to instead submit that there are instances that the SAROs
obligated SARO, should remain enjoined. issued are withdrawn by the DBM.

For their part, respondents espouse that the subject TRO only covers "unreleased and Justice Bernabe: They are withdrawn?
unobligated allotments." They explain that once a SARO has been issued and obligated by the
implementing agency concerned, the PDAF funds covered by the same are already "beyond the Atty. Ruiz: Yes, Your Honor x x x. (Emphases and underscoring supplied)
reach of the TRO because they cannot be considered as remaining PDAF." They conclude that
this is a reasonable interpretation of the TRO by the DBM.262
Thus, unless an NCA has been issued, public funds should not be treated as funds which have
been "released." In this respect, therefore, the disbursement of 2013 PDAF funds which are only
The Court agrees with petitioners in part. covered by obligated SAROs, and without any corresponding NCAs issued, must, at the time of
this Decisions promulgation, be enjoined and consequently reverted to the unappropriated
At the outset, it must be observed that the issue of whether or not the Courts September 10, surplus of the general fund. Verily, in view of the declared unconstitutionality of the 2013 PDAF
2013 TRO should be lifted is a matter rendered moot by the present Decision. The Article, the funds appropriated pursuant thereto cannot be disbursed even though already
unconstitutionality of the 2013 PDAF Article as declared herein has the consequential effect of obligated, else the Court sanctions the dealing of funds coming from an unconstitutional source.
converting the temporary injunction into a permanent one. Hence, from the promulgation of this
Decision, the release of the remaining PDAF funds for 2013, among others, is now permanently This same pronouncement must be equally applied to (a) the Malampaya Funds which have been
enjoined. obligated but not released meaning, those merely covered by a SARO under the phrase "and
for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the President" pursuant to Section 8 of
The propriety of the DBMs interpretation of the concept of "release" must, nevertheless, be PD 910; and (b) funds sourced from the Presidential Social Fund under the phrase "to finance the
resolved as it has a practical impact on the execution of the current Decision. In particular, the priority infrastructure development projects" pursuant to Section 12 of PD 1869, as amended by
Court must resolve the issue of whether or not PDAF funds covered by obligated SAROs, at the PD 1993, which were altogether declared by the Court as unconstitutional. However, these funds
time this Decision is promulgated, may still be disbursed following the DBMs interpretation in should not be reverted to the general fund as afore-stated but instead, respectively remain under
DBM Circular 2013-8. the Malampaya Funds and the Presidential Social Fund to be utilized for their corresponding
special purposes not otherwise declared as unconstitutional.

On this score, the Court agrees with petitioners posturing for the fundamental reason that funds
covered by an obligated SARO are yet to be "released" under legal contemplation. A SARO, as E. Consequential Effects of Decision.
defined by the DBM itself in its website, is "aspecific authority issued to identified agencies to
incur obligations not exceeding a given amount during a specified period for the purpose As a final point, it must be stressed that the Courts pronouncement anent the unconstitutionality
indicated. It shall cover expenditures the release of which is subject to compliance with specific of (a) the 2013 PDAF Article and its Special Provisions, (b) all other Congressional Pork Barrel
laws or regulations, or is subject to separate approval or clearance by competent authority."263 provisions similar thereto, and (c) the phrases (1) "and for such other purposes as may be
hereafter directed by the President" under Section 8 of PD 910, and (2) "to finance the priority
Based on this definition, it may be gleaned that a SARO only evinces the existence of an infrastructure development projects" under Section 12 of PD 1869, as amended by PD 1993,
obligation and not the directive to pay. Practically speaking, the SARO does not have the direct must only be treated as prospective in effect in view of the operative fact doctrine.
and immediate effect of placing public funds beyond the control of the disbursing authority. In
fact, a SARO may even be withdrawn under certain circumstances which will prevent the actual To explain, the operative fact doctrine exhorts the recognition that until the judiciary, in an
release of funds. On the other hand, the actual release of funds is brought about by the issuance appropriate case, declares the invalidity of a certain legislative or executive act, such act is
of the NCA,264 which is subsequent to the issuance of a SARO. As may be determined from the presumed constitutional and thus, entitled to obedience and respect and should be properly
statements of the DBM representative during the Oral Arguments:265 enforced and complied with. As explained in the recent case of Commissioner of Internal
Revenue v. San Roque Power Corporation,266 the doctrine merely "reflects awareness that
Justice Bernabe: Is the notice of allocation issued simultaneously with the SARO? precisely because the judiciary is the governmental organ which has the final say on whether or
not a legislative or executive measure is valid, a period of time may have elapsed before it can
exercise the power of judicial review that may lead to a declaration of nullity. It would be to or excess of jurisdiction; and (e) the phrases (1) "and for such other purposes as may be
deprive the law of its quality of fairness and justice then, if there be no recognition of what had hereafter directed by the President" under Section 8 of Presidential Decree No. 910 and (2) "to
transpired prior to such adjudication."267 "In the language of an American Supreme Court finance the priority infrastructure development projects" under Section 12 of Presidential Decree
decision: The actual existence of a statute, prior to such a determination of unconstitutionality, is No. 1869, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1993, for both failing the sufficient standard
an operative fact and may have consequences which cannot justly be ignored."268 test in violation of the principle of non-delegability of legislative power.

For these reasons, this Decision should be heretofore applied prospectively. Accordingly, the Courts temporary injunction dated September 10, 2013 is hereby declared to be
PERMANENT. Thus, the disbursement/release of the remaining PDAF funds allocated for the
year 2013, as well as for all previous years, and the funds sourced from (1) the Malampaya
Conclusion Funds under the phrase "and for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the
President" pursuant to Section 8 of Presidential Decree No. 910, and (2) the Presidential Social
The Court renders this Decision to rectify an error which has persisted in the chronicles of our Fund under the phrase "to finance the priority infrastructure development projects" pursuant to
history. In the final analysis, the Court must strike down the Pork Barrel System as Section 12 of Presidential Decree No. 1869, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1993, which
unconstitutional in view of the inherent defects in the rules within which it operates. To recount, are, at the time this Decision is promulgated, not covered by Notice of Cash Allocations (NCAs)
insofar as it has allowed legislators to wield, in varying gradations, non-oversight, post-enactment but only by Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs), whether obligated or not, are hereby
authority in vital areas of budget execution, the system has violated the principle of separation of ENJOINED. The remaining PDAF funds covered by this permanent injunction shall not be
powers; insofar as it has conferred unto legislators the power of appropriation by giving them disbursed/released but instead reverted to the unappropriated surplus of the general fund, while
personal, discretionary funds from which they are able to fund specific projects which they the funds under the Malampaya Funds and the Presidential Social Fund shall remain therein to
themselves determine, it has similarly violated the principle of non-delegability of legislative power be utilized for their respective special purposes not otherwise declared as unconstitutional.
; insofar as it has created a system of budgeting wherein items are not textualized into the
appropriations bill, it has flouted the prescribed procedure of presentment and, in the process, On the other hand, due to improper recourse and lack of proper substantiation, the Court hereby
denied the President the power to veto items ; insofar as it has diluted the effectiveness of DENIES petitioners prayer seeking that the Executive Secretary and/or the Department of
congressional oversight by giving legislators a stake in the affairs of budget execution, an aspect Budget and Management be ordered to provide the public and the Commission on Audit
of governance which they may be called to monitor and scrutinize, the system has equally complete lists/schedules or detailed reports related to the availments and utilization of the funds
impaired public accountability ; insofar as it has authorized legislators, who are national officers, subject of these cases. Petitioners access to official documents already available and of public
to intervene in affairs of purely local nature, despite the existence of capable local institutions, it record which are related to these funds must, however, not be prohibited but merely subjected to
has likewise subverted genuine local autonomy ; and again, insofar as it has conferred to the the custodians reasonable regulations or any valid statutory prohibition on the same. This denial
President the power to appropriate funds intended by law for energy-related purposes only to is without prejudice to a proper mandamus case which they or the Commission on Audit may
other purposes he may deem fit as well as other public funds under the broad classification of choose to pursue through a separate petition.
"priority infrastructure development projects," it has once more transgressed the principle of non-
delegability.
The Court also DENIES petitioners prayer to order the inclusion of the funds subject of these
cases in the budgetary deliberations of Congress as the same is a matter left to the prerogative of
For as long as this nation adheres to the rule of law, any of the multifarious unconstitutional the political branches of government.
methods and mechanisms the Court has herein pointed out should never again be adopted in any
system of governance, by any name or form, by any semblance or similarity, by any influence or
effect. Disconcerting as it is to think that a system so constitutionally unsound has monumentally Finally, the Court hereby DIRECTS all prosecutorial organs of the government to, within the
endured, the Court urges the people and its co-stewards in government to look forward with the bounds of reasonable dispatch, investigate and accordingly prosecute all government officials
optimism of change and the awareness of the past. At a time of great civic unrest and vociferous and/or private individuals for possible criminal offenses related to the irregular, improper and/or
public debate, the Court fervently hopes that its Decision today, while it may not purge all the unlawful disbursement/utilization of all funds under the Pork Barrel System.
wrongs of society nor bring back what has been lost, guides this nation to the path forged by the
Constitution so that no one may heretofore detract from its cause nor stray from its course. After
all, this is the Courts bounden duty and no others. This Decision is immediately executory but prospective in effect.

WHEREFORE, the petitions are PARTLY GRANTED. In view of the constitutional violations
discussed in this Decision, the Court hereby declares as UNCONSTITUTIONAL: (a) the entire
2013 PDAF Article; (b) all legal provisions of past and present Congressional Pork Barrel Laws,
such as the previous PDAF and CDF Articles and the various Congressional Insertions, which
authorize/d legislators whether individually or collectively organized into committees to
intervene, assume or participate in any of the various post-enactment stages of the budget
execution, such as but not limited to the areas of project identification, modification and revision
of project identification, fund release and/or fund realignment, unrelated to the power of
congressional oversight; (c) all legal provisions of past and present Congressional Pork Barrel
Laws, such as the previous PDAF and CDF Articles and the various Congressional Insertions,
which confer/red personal, lump-sum allocations to legislators from which they are able to fund
specific projects which they themselves determine; (d) all informal practices of similar import and
effect, which the Court similarly deems to be acts of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
SECTION 3: IMPOSITION OF OTHER QUALIFICATIONS in connection with the May 10, 2004 synchronized national and local elections. The pertinent
portions of the said resolution read as follows:

SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY (SJS), petitioner vs. DANGEROUS DRUGS BOARD and
PHILIPPINE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY (PDEA),respondents. WHEREAS, Section 36 (g) of Republic Act No. 9165 provides:

In these kindred petitions, the constitutionality of Section 36 of Republic Act No. (RA) 9165, SEC. 36. Authorized Drug Testing. -
otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, insofar as it requires
mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office, students of secondary and tertiary schools,
(g) All candidates for public office x x x both in the national or local government shall
officers and employees of public and private offices, and persons charged before the prosecutor's
undergo a mandatory drug test.
office with certain offenses, among other personalities, is put in issue.

WHEREAS, Section 1, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution provides that public officers
As far as pertinent, the challenged section reads as follows:
and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost
responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency;
SEC. 36. Authorized Drug Testing. - Authorized drug testing shall be done by any
government forensic laboratories or by any of the drug testing laboratories accredited
WHEREAS, by requiring candidates to undergo mandatory drug test, the public will
and monitored by the DOH to safeguard the quality of the test results. x x x The drug
know the quality of candidates they are electing and they will be assured that only
testing shall employ, among others, two (2) testing methods, the screening test which
those who can serve with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency would
will determine the positive result as well as the type of drug used and the confirmatory
be elected x x x.
test which will confirm a positive screening test. x x x The following shall be subjected
to undergo drug testing:
NOW THEREFORE, The [COMELEC], pursuant to the authority vested in it under the
Constitution, Batas Pambansa Blg. 881 (Omnibus Election Code), [RA] 9165 and other
(c) Students of secondary and tertiary schools. - Students of secondary and tertiary
election laws, RESOLVED to promulgate, as it hereby promulgates, the following rules
schools shall, pursuant to the related rules and regulations as contained in the school's
and regulations on the conduct of mandatory drug testing to candidates for public
student handbook and with notice to the parents, undergo a random drug testing x x x;
office[:]

(d) Officers and employees of public and private offices. - Officers and employees of
SECTION 1. Coverage. - All candidates for public office, both national and local, in the
public and private offices, whether domestic or overseas, shall be subjected to
May 10, 2004 Synchronized National and Local Elections shall undergo mandatory
undergo a random drug test as contained in the company's work rules and regulations,
drug test in government forensic laboratories or any drug testing laboratories
x x x for purposes of reducing the risk in the workplace. Any officer or employee found
monitored and accredited by the Department of Health.
positive for use of dangerous drugs shall be dealt with administratively which shall be a
ground for suspension or termination, subject to the provisions of Article 282 of the
Labor Code and pertinent provisions of the Civil Service Law; SEC. 3. x x x

xxxx On March 25, 2004, 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. The first list shall consist of those
(f) All persons charged before the prosecutor's office with a criminal offense having an
candidates who complied with the mandatory drug test while the second list shall
imposable penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) years and one (1) day shall
consist of those candidates who failed to comply x x x.
undergo a mandatory drug test;

SEC. 4. Preparation and publication of names of candidates. - Before the start of the
(g) All candidates for public office whether appointed or elected both in the national or
campaign period, the [COMELEC] shall prepare two separate lists of candidates. The
local government shall undergo a mandatory drug test.
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
In addition to the above stated penalties in this Section, those found to be positive for dangerous drug test. x x x
drugs use shall be subject to the provisions of Section 15 of this Act.
SEC. 5. Effect of failure to undergo mandatory drug test and file drug test certificate. -
G.R. No. 161658 (Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. v. Commission on Elections) 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. (Emphasis supplied.)
On December 23, 2003, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued Resolution No. 6486,
prescribing the rules and regulations on the mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office
Petitioner Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., a senator of the Republic and a candidate for re - election in It is basic that the power of judicial review can only be exercised in connection with a bona
the May 10, 2004 elections,1 filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65. In it, he fidecontroversy which involves the statute sought to be reviewed. 3 But even with the presence of
seeks (1) to nullify Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 dated December an actual case or controversy, the Court may refuse to exercise judicial review unless the
23, 2003 for being unconstitutional in that they impose a qualification for candidates for senators constitutional question is brought before it by a party having the requisite standing to challenge
in addition to those already provided for in the 1987 Constitution; and (2) to enjoin the COMELEC it.4 To have standing, one must establish that he or she has suffered some actual or threatened
from implementing Resolution No. 6486. injury as a result of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government; the injury is fairly traceable to
the challenged action; and the injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable action.5
Pimentel invokes as legal basis for his petition Sec. 3, Article VI of the Constitution, which states:
The rule on standing, however, is a matter of procedure; hence, it can be relaxed for non -
traditional plaintiffs, like ordinary citizens, taxpayers, and legislators when the public interest so
SECTION 3. No person shall be a Senator unless he is a natural - born citizen of the requires, such as when the matter is of transcendental importance, of overarching significance to
Philippines, and, on the day of the election, is at least thirty - five years of age, able to society, or of paramount public interest.6 There is no doubt that Pimentel, as senator of the
read and write, a registered voter, and a resident of the Philippines for not less than Philippines and candidate for the May 10, 2004 elections, possesses the requisite standing since
two years immediately preceding the day of the election. he has substantial interests in the subject matter of the petition, among other preliminary
considerations. Regarding SJS and Laserna, this Court is wont to relax the rule on locus
According to Pimentel, the Constitution only prescribes a maximum of five (5) qualifications for standi owing primarily to the transcendental importance and the paramount public interest
one to be a candidate for, elected to, and be a member of the Senate. He says that both the involved in the enforcement of Sec. 36 of RA 9165.
Congress and COMELEC, by requiring, via RA 9165 and Resolution No. 6486, a senatorial
aspirant, among other candidates, to undergo a mandatory drug test, create an additional The Consolidated Issues
qualification that all candidates for senator must first be certified as drug free. He adds that there
is no provision in the Constitution authorizing the Congress or COMELEC to expand the
qualification requirements of candidates for senator. The principal issues before us are as follows:

G.R. No. 157870 (Social Justice Society v. Dangerous Drugs Board and Philippine Drug (1) Do Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 impose an additional
Enforcement Agency) qualification for candidates for senator? Corollarily, can Congress enact a law prescribing
qualifications for candidates for senator in addition to those laid down by the Constitution? and
In its Petition for Prohibition under Rule 65, petitioner Social Justice Society (SJS), a registered
political party, seeks to prohibit the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the Philippine Drug (2) Are paragraphs (c), (d), (f), and (g) of Sec. 36, RA 9165 unconstitutional? Specifically, do
Enforcement Agency (PDEA) from enforcing paragraphs (c), (d), (f), and (g) of Sec. 36 of RA these paragraphs violate the right to privacy, the right against unreasonable searches and
9165 on the ground that they are constitutionally infirm. For one, the provisions constitute undue seizure, and the equal protection clause? Or do they constitute undue delegation of legislative
delegation of legislative power when they give unbridled discretion to schools and employers to power?
determine the manner of drug testing. For another, the provisions trench in the equal protection
clause inasmuch as they can be used to harass a student or an employee deemed undesirable.
And for a third, a person's constitutional right against unreasonable searches is also breached by Pimentel Petition (Constitutionality of Sec. 36[g] of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486)
said provisions.
In essence, Pimentel claims that Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486
G.R. No. 158633 (Atty. Manuel J. Laserna, Jr. v. Dangerous Drugs Board and Philippine Drug illegally impose an additional qualification on candidates for senator. He points out that, subject to
Enforcement Agency) the provisions on nuisance candidates, a candidate for senator needs only to meet the
qualifications laid down in Sec. 3, Art. VI of the Constitution, to wit: (1) citizenship, (2) voter
registration, (3) literacy, (4) age, and (5) residency. Beyond these stated qualification
Petitioner Atty. Manuel J. Laserna, Jr., as citizen and taxpayer, also seeks in his Petition for requirements, candidates for senator need not possess any other qualification to run for senator
Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65 that Sec. 36(c), (d), (f), and (g) of RA 9165 be struck and be voted upon and elected as member of the Senate. The Congress cannot validly amend or
down as unconstitutional for infringing on the constitutional right to privacy, the right against otherwise modify these qualification standards, as it cannot disregard, evade, or weaken the force
unreasonable search and seizure, and the right against self - incrimination, and for being contrary of a constitutional mandate,7 or alter or enlarge the Constitution.
to the due process and equal protection guarantees.
Pimentel's contention is well - taken. Accordingly, Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 should be, as it is
The Issue on Locus Standi hereby declared as, unconstitutional. It is basic that if a law or an administrative rule violates any
norm of the Constitution, that issuance is null and void and has no effect. The Constitution is the
basic law to which all laws must conform; no act shall be valid if it conflicts with the
First off, we shall address the justiciability of the cases at bench and the matter of the standing of Constitution.8 In the discharge of their defined functions, the three departments of government
petitioners SJS and Laserna to sue. As respondents DDB and PDEA assert, SJS and Laserna have no choice but to yield obedience to the commands of the Constitution. Whatever limits it
failed to allege any incident amounting to a violation of the constitutional rights mentioned in their imposes must be observed.9
separate petitions.2
Congress' inherent legislative powers, broad as they may be, are subject to certain limitations. As the Court deems it appropriate to review and rule, as it hereby rules, on its validity as an
early as 1927, in Government v. Springer, the Court has defined, in the abstract, the limits on implementing issuance.
legislative power in the following wise:
It ought to be made abundantly clear, however, that the unconstitutionality of Sec. 36(g) of RA
Someone has said that the powers of the legislative department of the Government, 9165 is rooted on its having infringed the constitutional provision defining the qualification or
like the boundaries of the ocean, are unlimited. In constitutional governments, eligibility requirements for one aspiring to run for and serve as senator.
however, as well as governments acting under delegated authority, the powers of each
of the departments x x x are limited and confined within the four walls of the
constitution or the charter, and each department can only exercise such powers as are SJS Petition (Constitutionality of Sec. 36[c], [d], [f], and [g] of RA 9165)
necessarily implied from the given powers. The Constitution is the shore of legislative
authority against which the waves of legislative enactment may dash, but over which it The drug test prescribed under Sec. 36(c), (d), and (f) of RA 9165 for secondary and tertiary level
cannot leap.10 students and public and private employees, while mandatory, is a random and suspicionless
arrangement. The objective is to stamp out illegal drug and safeguard in the process "the well
Thus, legislative power remains limited in the sense that it is subject to substantive and being of [the] citizenry, particularly the youth, from the harmful effects of dangerous drugs." This
constitutional limitations which circumscribe both the exercise of the power itself and the statutory purpose, per the policy - declaration portion of the law, can be achieved via the pursuit
allowable subjects of legislation.11 The substantive constitutional limitations are chiefly found in by the state of "an intensive and unrelenting campaign against the trafficking and use of
the Bill of Rights12 and other provisions, such as Sec. 3, Art. VI of the Constitution prescribing the dangerous drugs x x x through an integrated system of planning, implementation and
qualifications of candidates for senators. enforcement of anti - drug abuse policies, programs and projects."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. They may even be exempt from criminal liability
In the same vein, the COMELEC cannot, in the guise of enforcing and administering election laws should the illegal drug user consent to undergo rehabilitation. Secs. 54 and 55 of RA 9165 are
or promulgating rules and regulations to implement Sec. 36(g), validly impose qualifications on clear on this point:
candidates for senator in addition to what the Constitution prescribes. If Congress cannot require
a candidate for senator to meet such additional qualification, the COMELEC, to be sure, is also
without such power. The right of a citizen in the democratic process of election should not be Sec. 54. Voluntary Submission of a Drug Dependent to Confinement, Treatment and
defeated by unwarranted impositions of requirement not otherwise specified in the Constitution.13 Rehabilitation. - A drug dependent or any person who violates Section 15 of this Act
may, by himself/herself or through his/her parent, [close relatives] x x x apply to the
Board x x x for treatment and rehabilitation of the drug dependency. Upon such
Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165, as sought to be implemented by the assailed COMELEC resolution, application, the Board shall bring forth the matter to the Court which shall order that
effectively enlarges the qualification requirements enumerated in the Sec. 3, Art. VI of the the applicant be examined for drug dependency. If the examination x x x results in the
Constitution. As couched, said Sec. 36(g) unmistakably requires a candidate for senator to be certification that the applicant is a drug dependent, he/she shall be ordered by the
certified illegal - drug clean, obviously as a pre - condition to the validity of a certificate of Court to undergo treatment and rehabilitation in a Center designated by the Board.
candidacy for senator or, with like effect, a condition sine qua non to be voted upon and, if proper,
be proclaimed as senator - elect. 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 Sec. 55. Exemption from the Criminal Liability Under the Voluntary Submission
undergone mandatory drug test." Viewed, therefore, in its proper context, Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 Program. - A drug dependent under the voluntary submission program, who is finally
and the implementing COMELEC Resolution add another qualification layer to what the 1987 discharged from confinement, shall be exempt from the criminal liability under Section
Constitution, at the minimum, requires for membership in the Senate. Whether or not the drug - 15 of this Act subject to the following conditions:
free bar set up under the challenged provision is to be hurdled before or after election is really of
no moment, as getting elected would be of little value if one cannot assume office for non - School children, the US Supreme Court noted, are most vulnerable to the physical, psychological,
compliance with the drug - testing requirement. and addictive effects of drugs. Maturing nervous systems of the young are more critically
impaired by intoxicants and are more inclined to drug dependency. Their recovery is also at a
It may of course be argued, in defense of the validity of Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165, that the provision depressingly low rate.15
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 The right to privacy has been accorded recognition in this jurisdiction as a facet of the right
plausibility if the drug test requirement is optional. But the particular section of the law, without protected by the guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure16 under Sec. 2, Art. III17 of
exception, made drug - testing on those covered mandatory, necessarily suggesting that the the Constitution. But while the right to privacy has long come into its own, this case appears to be
obstinate ones shall have to suffer the adverse consequences for not adhering to the statutory the first time that the validity of a state - decreed search or intrusion through the medium of
command. And since the provision deals with candidates for public office, it stands to reason that mandatory random drug testing among students and employees is, in this jurisdiction, made the
the adverse consequence adverted to can only refer to and revolve around the election and the focal point. Thus, the issue tendered in these proceedings is veritably one of first impression.
assumption of public office of the candidates. Any other construal would reduce the mandatory
nature of Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 into a pure jargon without meaning and effect whatsoever.
US jurisprudence is, however, a rich source of persuasive jurisprudence. With respect to random
drug testing among school children, we turn to the teachings of Vernonia School District 47J v.
While it is anti - climactic to state it at this juncture, COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 is no longer Acton (Vernonia) and Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie
enforceable, for by its terms, it was intended to cover only the May 10, 2004 synchronized County, et al. v. Earls, et al. (Board of Education),18 both fairly pertinent US Supreme Court -
elections and the candidates running in that electoral event. Nonetheless, to obviate repetition, decided cases involving the constitutionality of governmental search.
In Vernonia, school administrators in Vernonia, Oregon wanted to address the drug menace in doubtless a legitimate concern of the government, are to be promoted and protected. To borrow
their respective institutions following the discovery of frequent drug use by school athletes. After from Vernonia, "[d]eterring drug use by our Nation's schoolchildren is as important as enhancing
consultation with the parents, they required random urinalysis drug testing for the school's efficient enforcement of the Nation's laws against the importation of drugs"; the necessity for the
athletes. James Acton, a high school student, was denied participation in the football program State to act is magnified by the fact that the effects of a drug - infested school are visited not just
after he refused to undertake the urinalysis drug testing. Acton forthwith sued, claiming that the upon the users, but upon the entire student body and faculty.22 Needless to stress, the random
school's drug testing policy violated, inter alia, the Fourth Amendment19 of the US Constitution. testing scheme provided under the law argues against the idea that the testing aims to
incriminate unsuspecting individual students.
The US Supreme Court, in fashioning a solution to the issues raised in Vernonia, considered the
following: (1) schools stand in loco parentis over their students; (2) school children, while not Just as in the case of secondary and tertiary level students, the mandatory but random drug test
shedding their constitutional rights at the school gate, have less privacy rights; (3) athletes have prescribed by Sec. 36 of RA 9165 for officers and employees of public and private offices is
less privacy rights than non - athletes since the former observe communal undress before and justifiable, albeit not exactly for the same reason. The Court notes in this regard that petitioner
after sports events; (4) by joining the sports activity, the athletes voluntarily subjected themselves SJS, other than saying that "subjecting almost everybody to drug testing, without probable cause,
to a higher degree of school supervision and regulation; (5) requiring urine samples does not is unreasonable, an unwarranted intrusion of the individual right to privacy,"23 has failed to show
invade a student's privacy since a student need not undress for this kind of drug testing; and (6) how the mandatory, random, and suspicionless drug testing under Sec. 36(c) and (d) of RA 9165
there is need for the drug testing because of the dangerous effects of illegal drugs on the young. violates the right to privacy and constitutes unlawful and/or unconsented search under Art. III,
The US Supreme Court held that the policy constituted reasonable search under the Fourth20 and Secs. 1 and 2 of the Constitution.24 Petitioner Laserna's lament is just as simplistic, sweeping,
14th Amendments and declared the random drug - testing policy constitutional. and gratuitous and does not merit serious consideration. Consider what he wrote without
elaboration:
In Board of Education, the Board of Education of a school in Tecumseh, Oklahoma required a
drug test for high school students desiring to join extra - curricular activities. Lindsay Earls, a The US Supreme Court and US Circuit Courts of Appeals have made various rulings
member of the show choir, marching band, and academic team declined to undergo a drug test on the constitutionality of mandatory drug tests in the school and the workplaces. The
and averred that the drug - testing policy made to apply to non - athletes violated the Fourth and US courts have been consistent in their rulings that the mandatory drug tests violate a
14th Amendments. As Earls argued, unlike athletes who routinely undergo physical examinations citizen's constitutional right to privacy and right against unreasonable search and
and undress before their peers in locker rooms, non - athletes are entitled to more privacy. seizure. They are quoted extensively hereinbelow.25

The US Supreme Court, citing Vernonia, upheld the constitutionality of drug testing even among The essence of privacy is the right to be left alone.26 In context, the right to privacy means the
non - athletes on the basis of the school's custodial responsibility and authority. In so ruling, said right to be free from unwarranted exploitation of one's person or from intrusion into one's private
court made no distinction between a non - athlete and an athlete. It ratiocinated that schools and activities in such a way as to cause humiliation to a person's ordinary sensibilities. 27 And while
teachers act in place of the parents with a similar interest and duty of safeguarding the health of there has been general agreement as to the basic function of the guarantee against unwarranted
the students. And in holding that the school could implement its random drug - testing policy, the search, "translation of the abstract prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures' into
Court hinted that such a test was a kind of search in which even a reasonable parent might need workable broad guidelines for the decision of particular cases is a difficult task," to borrow from C.
to engage. Camara v. Municipal Court.28 Authorities are agreed though that the right to privacy yields to
certain paramount rights of the public and defers to the state's exercise of police power. 29
In sum, 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 As the warrantless clause of Sec. 2, Art III of the Constitution is couched and as has been held,
students; (2) minor students have contextually fewer rights than an adult, and are subject to the "reasonableness" is the touchstone of the validity of a government search or intrusion. 30 And
custody and supervision of their parents, guardians, and schools; (3) schools, acting in loco whether a search at issue hews to the reasonableness standard is judged by the balancing of the
parentis, have a duty to safeguard the health and well - being of their students and may adopt government - mandated intrusion on the individual's privacy interest against the promotion of
such measures as may reasonably be necessary to discharge such duty; and (4) schools have some compelling state interest.31 In the criminal context, reasonableness requires showing of
the right to impose conditions on applicants for admission that are fair, just, and non- probable cause to be personally determined by a judge. Given that the drug - testing policy for
discriminatory. employees--and students for that matter--under RA 9165 is in the nature of administrative search
needing what was referred to in Vernonia as "swift and informal disciplinary procedures," the
probable - cause standard is not required or even practicable. Be that as it may, the review
Guided by Vernonia and Board of Education, the Court is of the view and so holds that the should focus on the reasonableness of the challenged administrative search in question.
provisions of RA 9165 requiring mandatory, random, and suspicionless drug testing of students
are constitutional. Indeed, it is within the prerogative of educational institutions to require, as a
condition for admission, compliance with reasonable school rules and regulations and policies. To The first factor to consider in the matter of reasonableness is the nature of the privacy interest
be sure, the right to enroll is not absolute; it is subject to fair, reasonable, and equitable upon which the drug testing, which effects a search within the meaning of Sec. 2, Art. III of the
requirements. Constitution, intrudes. In this case, the office or workplace serves as the backdrop for the analysis
of the privacy expectation of the employees and the reasonableness of drug testing requirement.
The employees' privacy interest in an office is to a large extent circumscribed by the company's
The Court can take judicial notice of the proliferation of prohibited drugs in the country that work policies, the collective bargaining agreement, if any, entered into by management and the
threatens the well - being of the people,21 particularly the youth and school children who usually bargaining unit, and the inherent right of the employer to maintain discipline and efficiency in the
end up as victims. Accordingly, and until a more effective method is conceptualized and put in workplace. Their privacy expectation in a regulated office environment is, in fine, reduced; and a
motion, a random drug testing of students in secondary and tertiary schools is not only degree of impingement upon such privacy has been upheld.
acceptable but may even be necessary if the safety and interest of the student population,
Just as defining as the first factor is the character of the intrusion authorized by the challenged Like their counterparts in the private sector, government officials and employees also labor under
law. Reduced to a question form, is the scope of the search or intrusion clearly set forth, or, as reasonable supervision and restrictions imposed by the Civil Service law and other laws on public
formulated in Ople v. Torres, is the enabling law authorizing a search "narrowly drawn" or officers, all enacted to promote a high standard of ethics in the public service. 37 And if RA 9165
"narrowly focused"?32 passes the norm of reasonableness for private employees, the more reason that it should pass
the test for civil servants, who, by constitutional command, are required to be accountable at all
times to the people and to serve them with utmost responsibility and efficiency.38
The poser should be answered in the affirmative. For one, Sec. 36 of RA 9165 and its
implementing rules and regulations (IRR), as couched, contain provisions specifically directed
towards preventing a situation that would unduly embarrass the employees or place them under a Petitioner SJS' next posture that Sec. 36 of RA 9165 is objectionable on the ground of undue
humiliating experience. While every officer and employee in a private establishment is under the delegation of power hardly commends itself for concurrence. Contrary to its position, the provision
law deemed forewarned that he or she may be a possible subject of a drug test, nobody is really in question is not so extensively drawn as to give unbridled options to schools and employers to
singled out in advance for drug testing. The goal is to discourage drug use by not telling in determine the manner of drug testing. Sec. 36 expressly provides how drug testing for students of
advance anyone when and who is to be tested. And as may be observed, Sec. 36(d) of RA 9165 secondary and tertiary schools and officers/employees of public/private offices should be
itself prescribes what, in Ople, is a narrowing ingredient by providing that the employees conducted. It enumerates the persons who shall undergo drug testing. In the case of students,
concerned shall be subjected to "random drug test as contained in the company's work rules and the testing shall be in accordance with the school rules as contained in the student handbook and
regulations x x x for purposes of reducing the risk in the work place." with notice to parents. On the part of officers/employees, the testing shall take into account the
company's work rules. In either case, the random procedure shall be observed, meaning that the
persons to be subjected to drug test shall be picked by chance or in an unplanned way. And in all
For another, the random drug testing shall be undertaken under conditions calculated to protect cases, safeguards against misusing and compromising the confidentiality of the test results are
as much as possible the employee's privacy and dignity. As to the mechanics of the test, the law established.
specifies that the procedure shall employ two testing methods, i.e., the screening test and the
confirmatory test, doubtless to ensure as much as possible the trustworthiness of the results. But
the more important consideration lies in the fact that the test shall be conducted by trained Lest it be overlooked, Sec. 94 of RA 9165 charges the DDB to issue, in consultation with the
professionals in access - controlled laboratories monitored by the Department of Health (DOH) to DOH, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Education, and
safeguard against results tampering and to ensure an accurate chain of custody.33 In addition, the Department of Labor and Employment, among other agencies, the IRR necessary to enforce the
IRR issued by the DOH provides that access to the drug results shall be on the "need to know" law. In net effect then, the participation of schools and offices in the drug testing scheme shall
basis;34 that the "drug test result and the records shall be [kept] confidential subject to the usual always be subject to the IRR of RA 9165. It is, therefore, incorrect to say that schools and
accepted practices to protect the confidentiality of the test results."35 Notably, RA 9165 does not employers have unchecked discretion to determine how often, under what conditions, and where
oblige the employer concerned to report to the prosecuting agencies any information or evidence the drug tests shall be conducted.
relating to the violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act received as a result of the
operation of the drug testing. All told, therefore, the intrusion into the employees' privacy, under
RA 9165, is accompanied by proper safeguards, particularly against embarrassing leakages of The validity of delegating legislative power is now a quiet area in the constitutional landscape.39 In
test results, and is relatively minimal. 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, resort to
delegation of power, or entrusting to administrative agencies the power of subordinate legislation,
To reiterate, RA 9165 was enacted as a measure to stamp out illegal drug in the country and thus has become imperative, as here.
protect the well - being of the citizens, especially the youth, from the deleterious effects of
dangerous drugs. The law intends to achieve this through the medium, among others, of
promoting and resolutely pursuing a national drug abuse policy in the workplace via a mandatory Laserna Petition (Constitutionality of Sec. 36[c], [d], [f], and [g] of RA 9165)
random drug test.36 To the Court, the need for drug testing to at least minimize illegal drug use is
substantial enough to override the individual's privacy interest under the premises. The Court can Unlike the situation covered by Sec. 36(c) and (d) of RA 9165, the Court finds no valid justification
consider that the illegal drug menace cuts across gender, age group, and social - economic lines. for mandatory drug testing for persons accused of crimes. In the case of students, the
And it may not be amiss to state that the sale, manufacture, or trafficking of illegal drugs, with constitutional viability of the mandatory, random, and suspicionless drug testing for students
their ready market, would be an investor's dream were it not for the illegal and immoral emanates primarily from the waiver by the students of their right to privacy when they seek entry
components of any of such activities. The drug problem has hardly abated since the martial law to the school, and from their voluntarily submitting their persons to the parental authority of school
public execution of a notorious drug trafficker. The state can no longer assume a laid back stance authorities. In the case of private and public employees, the constitutional soundness of the
with respect to this modern - day scourge. Drug enforcement agencies perceive a mandatory mandatory, random, and suspicionless drug testing proceeds from the reasonableness of the
random drug test to be an effective way of preventing and deterring drug use among employees drug test policy and requirement.
in private offices, the threat of detection by random testing being higher than other modes. The
Court holds that the chosen method is a reasonable and enough means to lick the problem.
We find the situation entirely different in the case of persons charged before the public
prosecutor's office with criminal offenses punishable with six (6) years and one (1) day
Taking into account the foregoing factors, i.e., the reduced expectation of privacy on the part of imprisonment. The operative concepts in the mandatory drug testing are "randomness" and
the employees, the compelling state concern likely to be met by the search, and the well - defined "suspicionless." In the case of persons charged with a crime before the prosecutor's office, a
limits set forth in the law to properly guide authorities in the conduct of the random testing, we mandatory drug testing can never be random or suspicionless. The ideas of randomness and
hold that the challenged drug test requirement is, under the limited context of the case, being suspicionless are antithetical to their being made defendants in a criminal complaint. They
reasonable and, ergo, constitutional. are not randomly picked; neither are they beyond suspicion. When persons suspected of
committing a crime are charged, they are singled out and are impleaded against their will. The
persons thus charged, by the bare fact of being haled before the prosecutor's office and
peaceably submitting themselves to drug testing, if that be the case, do not necessarily consent
to the procedure, let alone waive their right to privacy.40 To impose mandatory drug testing on the
accused is a blatant attempt to harness a medical test as a tool for criminal prosecution, contrary
to the stated objectives of RA 9165. Drug testing in this case would violate a persons' right to
privacy guaranteed under Sec. 2, Art. III of the Constitution. Worse still, the accused persons are
veritably forced to incriminate themselves.

WHEREFORE, the Court resolves to GRANT the petition in G.R. No. 161658 and declares Sec.
36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 as UNCONSTITUTIONAL; and
to PARTIALLY GRANT the petition in G.R. Nos. 157870 and 158633 by declaring Sec.
36(c) and (d) of RA 9165 CONSTITUTIONAL, but declaring its Sec. 36(f) UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
All concerned agencies are, accordingly, permanently enjoined from implementing Sec.
36(f) and (g) of RA 9165.
Section 5: A. Apportionment created as a result of such conversion shall continue
to be represented in Congress by the duly-elected
representatives of the original districts out of which
CIRILO ROY G. MONTEJO, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent. said new provinces or districts were created until their
SERGIO A.F. APOSTOL, intervenor. own representatives shall have been elected in the
next regular congressional elections and qualified.
More than political fortunes are at stake in the case at bench. Petitioner Cirilo Roy G. Montejo,
representing the First District of Leyte, pleads for the annulment of section 1 of Resolution No. The conversion of Biliran into a regular province was approved by a majority of the votes cast in a
2736 of the COMELEC, redistricting certain municipalities in Leyte, on the ground that it violates plebiscite held on May 11, 1992. As a consequence of the conversion, eight (8) municipalities of
the principle of equality of representation. To remedy the alleged inequity, petitioner seeks to the Third District composed the new province of Biliran, i.e., Almeria, Biliran, Cabucgayan,
transfer the municipality of Tolosa from his district to the Second District of the province. Caibiran, Culaba, Kawayan, Maripipi, and Naval. A further consequence was to reduce the Third
Intervenor Sergio A.F. Apostol, representing the Second District, vigorously opposed the inclusion District to five (5) municipalities with a total population of 145,067 as per the 1990 census.
of Tolosa in his district. We gave due course to the petition considering that, at bottom, it involves
the validity of the unprecedented exercise by the COMELEC of the legislative power of
redistricting and reapportionment. To remedy the resulting inequality in the distribution of inhabitants, voters and municipalities in
the province of Leyte, respondent COMELEC held consultation meetings with the incumbent
representatives of the province and other interested parties. On December 29, 1994, it
The province of Leyte with the cities of Tacloban and Ormoc is composed of five (5) legislative promulgated Resolution No. 2736 where, among others, it transferred the municipality of
districts.1 Capoocan of the Second District and the municipality of Palompon of the Fourth District to the
Third District of Leyte. The composition of the First District which includes the municipality
The first district2 covers Tacloban City and the municipalities of Alangalang, Babatngon, Palo, of Tolosa and the composition of the Fifth District were not disturbed. After the movement of
San Miguel, Sta. Fe, Tanauan and Tolosa. municipalities, the composition of the five (5) legislative districts appeared as follows:

The second district3 is composed of the municipalities of Barugo, Barauen, Capoocan, Carigara, First District: Population Registered
Dagami, Dulag, Jaro, Julita, La Pat, Mayorga, MacArthur, Pastrana, Tabontabon, and Tunga. Voters
(1990) (1994)

The third district4 is composed of the municipalities of Almeria, Biliran, Cabucgayan, Caibiran,
Calubian, Culaba, Kawayan, Leyte, Maripipi, Naval, San Isidro, Tabango, and Villaba. 1. Tacloban City, 137,190 81,679
2. Alangalang, 33,375 20,543
3. Babatngon, 17,795 9,929
The fourth district5 is composed of Ormoc City and the municipalities of Albuera, Isabel, Kananga, 4. Palo, 38,100 20,816
Matagob, Merida, and Palompon. 5. San Miguel, 13,438 8,167
6. Sta. Fe, 12,119 7,497
7. Tanauan and, 38,033 22,357
The fifth district6 is composed of the municipalities of Abuyog, Bate, Baybay, Hilongos, Hindang, 8. Tolosa; 13,299 7,700
Inopacan, Javier, Mahaplag, and Matalom.
TOTAL 303,349 178,688
Biliran, located in the third district of Leyte , was made its sub-province by virtue of Republic Act
No. 2141 Section 1 of the law spelled out enacted on April 8, 1959. 7 Second District: Population Registered
Voters
Section 1 of the law spelled out the municipalities comprising the sub-province, viz.: "Almeria, (1990) (1994)
Biliran, Cabucgayan, Caibiran, Culaba, Kawayan, Maripipi and Naval and all the territories
comprised therein." 1. Barugo, 23,817 13,237
2. Barauen, 46,029 23,307
On January 1, 1992, the Local Government Code took effect. Pursuant to its Section 462, the 3. Carigara 38,863 22,036
sub-province of Biliran became a regular province. It provides: 4. Dagami, 25,606 16,519
5. Dulag, 33,020 19,375
6. Jaro, 31,727 17,139
Existing sub-provinces are hereby converted into 7. Julita, 9,944 6,196
regular provinces upon approval by a majority of the 8. La Paz, 14,311 9,003
votes cast in a plebiscite to be held in the sub- 9. Mayorga, 10,530 5,868
provinces and the original provinces directly affected. 10. Mac Arthur, 13,159 8,628
The plebiscite shall be conducted by the COMELEC 11. Pastrana, 12,565 7,348
simultaneously with the national elections following 12. Tabontabon, and 7,183 4,419
the effectivity of this code. The new legislative districts 13. Tunga; 5,413 3,387
said adjustment complied with the constitutional requirement that each legislative district shall
TOTAL 272,167 156,462 comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact and adjacent territory.

Third District: Population Registered In this petition, petitioner insists that Section I of Resolution No. 2736 violates the principle of
Voters equality of representation ordained in the Constitution. Citing Wesberry v. Sanders,8 he argues
(1990) (1994) that respondent COMELEC violated "the constitutional precept that as much as practicable one
man's vote in a congressional election is to be worth as much as another's." The Solicitor
General, in his Comment, concurred with the views of the petitioner. The intervenor, however,
1. Calubian, 25,968 16,649 opposed the petition on two (2) grounds: (1) COMELEC has no jurisdiction to promulgate
2. Leyte, 32,575 16,415 Resolution No. 2736; and (2) assuming it has jurisdiction, said Resolution is in accord with the
3. San Isidro, 24,442 14,916 Constitution. Respondent COMELEC filed its own Comment alleging that it acted within the
4. Tabango, 29,743 15,48 parameters of the Constitution.
5. Villaba, 32,339 21,227
6. Capoocan, and 23,687 13,595
7. Palompon; 45,745 27,474 We find section 1 of Resolution No. 2736 void.

TOTAL 214,499 125,763
While the petition at bench presents a significant issue, our first inquiry will relate to the
constitutional power of the respondent COMELEC9 to transfer municipalities from one legislative
Fourth District: Population Registered district to another legislative district in the province of Leyte. The basic powers of respondent
Voters COMELEC, as enforcer and administrator of our election laws, are spelled out in black and white
(1990) (1994) in section 2(c), Article IX of the Constitution. Rightly, respondent COMELEC does not invoke this
provision but relies on the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution as the source of
its power of redistricting which is traditionally regarded as part of the power to make laws. The
1. Ormoc City, 129,456 75,140 Ordinance is entitled "Apportioning the Seats of the House of Representatives of the Congress of
2. Albuera, 32,395 17,493 the Philippines to the Different Legislative Districts in Provinces and Cities and the Metropolitan
3. Isabel, 33,389 21,889 Manila Area." Its substantive sections state:
4. Kananga, 36,288 19,873
5. Matagob, 15,474 9,407
6. Merida, and 22,345 12,474 Sec. 1. For purposes of the election of Members of the House of
Representatives of the First Congress of the Philippines under the
TOTAL 269,347 155,995 Constitution proposed by the 1986 Constitutional Commission and
subsequent elections, and until otherwise provided by law, the Members
thereof shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the
Fifth District: Population Registered provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila Area as follows:
Voters
(1990) (1994)
xxx xxx xxx
1. Abuyog, 47,265 28,682
2. Bato, 28,197 116,13 Sec. 2. The Commission on Elections is hereby empowered to make minor
3. Baybay, 82,281 47,923 adjustments of the reapportionment herein made.
4. Hilongos, 48,617 26,871
5. Hindang, 16,272 9,659
6. Inopacan, 16,894 10,401 Sec. 3. Any province that may hereafter be created, or any city whose
7. Javier, 18,658 11,713 population may hereafter increase to more than two hundred fifty thousand
8. Mahaplag, and 22,673 13,616 shall be entitled in the immediately following election to at least one
9. Matalom 28,291 16,247 Member or such number of Members as it may be entitled to on the basis of
the number of its inhabitants and according to the standards set forth in
TOTAL 309,148 181,242 paragraph (3), Section 5 of Article VI of the Constitution. The number of
Members apportioned to the province out of which such new province was
created or where the city, whose population has so increased, is
Petitioner Montejo filed a motion for reconsideration calling the attention of respondent geographically located shall be correspondingly adjusted by the
COMELEC, among others, to the inequitable distribution of inhabitants and voters between the Commission on Elections but such adjustment shall not be made within one
First and Second Districts. He alleged that the First District has 178,688 registered voters while hundred and twenty days before the election. (Emphasis supplied)
the Second District has 156,462 registered voters or a difference of 22,226 registered voters. To
diminish the difference, he proposed that the municipality of Tolosa with 7,7000 registered voters
be transferred from the First to the Second District. The motion was opposed by intervenor, The Ordinance was made necessary because Proclamation No. 3 10 of President Corazon C.
Sergio A.F. Apostol. Respondent Commission denied the motion ruling that: (1) its adjustment of Aquino, ordaining the Provisional Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, abolished
municipalities involved the least disruption of the territorial composition of each district; and (2)
the Batasang Pambansa. 11 She then exercised legislative powers under the Provisional At 3:40 p.m., the session was resumed.
Constitution.12
THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir). The session is resumed.
The Ordinance was the principal handiwork of then Commissioner Hilario G. Davide, Jr., 13 now a
distinguished member of this Court. The records reveal that the Constitutional Commission had to
resolve several prejudicial issues before authorizing the first congressional elections under the Commissioner Davide is recognized.
1987 Constitution. Among the vital issues were: whether the members of the House of
Representatives would be elected by district or by province; who shall undertake the MR. DAVIDE. Mr. Presiding Officer, as a compromise, I wonder if the
apportionment of the legislative districts; and, how the apportionment should be Commission will allow this. We will just delete the proposed subparagraph
made.14Commissioner Davide, Jr. offered three (3) options for the Commission to consider: (1) (4) and all the capitalized words in paragraph (5). So that in paragraph (5),
allow President Aquino to do the apportionment by law; (2) empower the COMELEC to make the what would be left would only be the following: "Within three years following
apportionment; or (3) let the Commission exercise the power by way of an Ordinance appended the return of every census, the Congress shall make a reapportionment of
to the Constitution. 15 The different dimensions of the options were discussed by Commissioners legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section."
Davide, Felicitas S. Aquino and Blas F. Ople. We quote the debates in extenso, viz.:16

But we shall have an ordinance appended to the new Constitution indicating


xxx xxx xxx specifically the following: "FOR PURPOSES OF THE ELECTION OF
MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN THE FIRST
MR. PADILLA. Mr. Presiding Officer. CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE
RATIFICATION OF THIS CONSTITUTION PROPOSED BY THE 1986
CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION AND SUBSEQUENT ELECTIONS AND
THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir). Commissioner Padilla is UNTIL OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY LAW, THE MEMBERS OF THE
recognized. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SHALL BE ELECTED FROM
LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS APPORTIONED AMONG THE PROVINCES,
CITIES AND THE METROPOLITAN MANILA AREA AS FOLLOWS."
MR. PADILLA. I think I have filed a very simple motion by way of
amendment by substitution and this was, I believe, a prior or a proposed
amendment. Also, the chairman of the Committee on the Legislative said And what will follow will be the allocation of seats to Metropolitan Manila
that he was proposing a vote first by the Chamber on the concept of Area, to the provinces and to the cities, without indicating the municipalities
whether the election is by province and cities on the one hand, or by comprising each of the districts. Then, under Section 2, we will mandate the
legislative districts on the other. So I propose this simple formulation which COMELEC to make the actual apportionment on the basis of the number of
reads: "FOR THE FIRST ELECTION UNDER THIS CONSTITUTION THE seats provided for and allocated to each province by us.
LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS SHALL BE APPORTIONED BY THE
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS." I hope the chairman will accept the
proposed amendment. MS. AQUINO. Mr. Presiding Officer.

SUSPENSION OF SESSION THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir). Commissioner Aquino is


recognized.

MR. DAVIDE. The effect is, more or less, the same insofar as the
apportionment is concerned, but the Bernas-Sarmiento et al. proposal MS. AQUINO. I have to object to the provision which will give mandate to
would also provide for a mandate for the apportionment later, meaning after COMELEC to do the redistricting. Redistricting is vitally linked to the baneful
the first election, which will in effect embody what the Commission had practices of cutting up areas or spheres of influence; in other words,
approved, reading as follows: "Within three years following the return of gerrymandering. This Commission, being a nonpartisan, a nonpolitical
every census, the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative deliberative body, is in the best possible situation under the circumstances
districts based on the standards provided in this section." to undertake that responsibility. We are not wanting in expertise and in time
because in the first place, the Committee on the Legislative has prepared
the report on the basis of the recommendation of the COMELEC.
So, Mr. Presiding Officer, may I request for a suspension of the session, so
that all the proponents can work together.
MR. OPLE. Mr. Presiding Officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir). The session is suspended.


THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir). Commissioner Ople is recognized.

It was 3:33 p.m.


MR. OPLE. I would like to support the position taken by Commissioner
Aquino in this respect. We know that the reapportionment of provinces and
RESUMPTION OF SESSION cities for the purpose of redistricting is generally inherent in the constituent
power or in the legislative power. And I would feel very uncertain about THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir). Commissioner Davide may yield if
delegating this to a quasi-judicial body even if it is one of the constitutional he so desires.
offices created under this Constitution. We have the assurance of
Commissioner Davide, as chairman of the Committee on the Legislative,
that even given the very short time remaining in the life of this Commission, MR. DAVIDE. Gladly.
there is no reason why we cannot complete the work of reapportionment on
the basis of the COMELEC plan which the committee has already MR. RODRIGO. Will this apportionment which we are considering apply
thoroughly studied and which remains available to the Constitutional only to the first election after the enactment of the Constitution?
Commission.

MR. DAVIDE. On the basis of the Padilla proposal, it will be for the first
So, I support the position taken by Commissioner Aquino, Mr. Presiding election; on the basis of the Sarmiento proposal, it will only apply to the first
Officer. I think, it is the safest, the most reasonable, and the most workable election.
approach that is available to this Commission.

MR. RODRIGO. And after that, Congress will have the power to
THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir). What does Commissioner Davide reapportion.
say:

MR. DAVIDE. Yes.


MR. DAVIDE. The issue now is whether this body will make the
apportionment itself or whether we will leave it to the COMELEC. So, there
arises, therefore, a prejudicial question for the body to decide. I would MR. RODRIGO. So, if we attach this to the Constitution the
propose that the Commission should now decide what body should make reapportionment based on the COMELEC study and between the approval
the apportionment. Should it be the Commission or should it be the of the Constitution and the first election the COMELEC no longer has the
COMELEC? And the Committee on the Legislative will act accordingly on power to change that even a bit.
the basis of the decision.
xxx xxx xxx
MR. BENGZON. Mr. Presiding Officer.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir) Commissioner Regalado is
THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir). Commissioner Bengzon is recognized.
recognized.
MR. REGALADO. May I address a clarificatory question to Commissioner
MR. BENGZON. Apropos of that, I would like to inform the body that I Davide?
believe the Committee on the Legislative has precisely worked on this
matter and they are ready with a list of apportionment. They have, in fact,
THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir). Gentleman will please proceed.
apportioned the whole country into various districts based on the
recommendation of the COMELEC. So they are ready with the list and if
this body would wish to apportion the whole country by district itself, then I MR. REGALADO. On the basis of the Commissioner's proposed
believe we have the time to do it because the Committee on the Legislative apportionment and considering the fact that there will be a corresponding
is ready with that particular report which need only to be appended to the reduction to 183 seats, would there be instances representation of under
Constitution. So if this body is ready to accept the work of the Committee on non-representation?
the Legislative we would have no problem. I just would like to give that
information so that the people here would be guided accordingly when they
vote. MR. DAVIDE. None at all, Mr. Presiding Officer. I can assure the
Commission that there will be no case of inequitable distribution. It will
come out to be one for every 350 to 400,000 inhabitants.
MR. RODRIGO. Mr. Presiding Officer.
MR. REGALADO. And that would be within the standard that we refer.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir) Commissioner Rodrigo is
recognized.
MR. DAVIDE. Yes, Mr. Presiding Officer.

MR. RODRIGO. I just would like to ask Commissioner Davide some


questions. MR. REGALADO. Thank you.

MR. RAMA. Mr. Presiding Officer.


THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir). The Floor Leader is recognized. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir). That will require a two-thirds vote.

MR. RAMA. The parliamentary situation is that there was a motion by MS. AQUINO. Thank you. Mr. Presiding Officer.
Commissioner Sarmiento to mandate COMELEC to do the redistricting.
This was also almost the same motion by Commissioner Padilla and I think
we have had some kind of meeting of minds. On the other hand, there MR. SARMIENTO. May I restate the motion, Mr. Presiding Officer.
seems to be a prejudicial question, an amendment to the amendment as
suggested by Commissioner Aquino, that instead of the COMELEC, it THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir) The Gentleman may proceed.
should be this Commission that shall make the redistricting. So may I ask
Commissioner Aquino, if she insists on that idea, to please formulate it into
a motion so we can vote on that first as an amendment to the amendment. MR. SARMIENTO. May I move that this Commission do the
reapportionment legislative districts.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir).Commissioner Aquino is


recognized. MS. AQUINO. Mr. Presiding Officer.

MS . AQUINO. The motion is for this Commission to undertake the THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir). What is the pleasure of
apportionment of the legislative districts instead of the proposal that Commissioner Aquino?
COMELEC be given the mandate to undertake the responsibility.
MS. AQUINO. May I be clarified again on the motion. Is Commissioner
xxx xxx xxx Sarmiento, therefore, adopting my motion? Would it not be right for him to
move that the COMELEC be mandated?
MR. SARMIENTO. May I be clarified, Mr. Presiding Officer. Is it the motion
or the proposed amendment? MR. SARMIENTO. No, we accepted the amendment. It is already the
Commission that will be mandated.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir). The proposed amendment.


MS. AQUINO. So, the Gentlemen has accepted the amendment the
amendment.
MR. SARMIENTO. May we move for the approval of this proposed
amendment which we substitute for paragraphs 4 and 5.
Thank you.

MR. DAVIDE. May I request that it should be treated merely as a motion to


be followed by a deletion of paragraph 4 because that should not really MR. SARMIENTO. I am voting that this Commission do the
appear as a paragraph in Section 5; otherwise, it will appear very ugly in the reapportionment.
Constitution where we mandate a Commission that will become functus
officio to have the authority. As a matter of fact, we cannot exercise that
VOTING
authority until after the ratification of the new Constitution.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir). Let us proceed to vote.


THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir). What does Commissioner
Sarmiento say?
As many as are in favor, please raise their hand. (Several Members raised
their hand.)
MR. SARMIENTO. It is accepted, Mr. Presiding Officer. So, may I move for
the approval of this proposed amendment.
As many as are against, please raise their hand. (No Member raised his
hand.)
MS. AQUINO. Mr. Presiding Officer.

The results show 30 votes in favor and none against; the motion is
THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir). Commissioner Aquino is
approved.
recognized.

Clearly then, the Constitutional Commission denied to the COMELEC the major power of
MS. AQUINO. Would that require a two-thirds vote or a simple plurality to
legislative apportionment as it itself exercised the power. Section 2 of the Ordinance only
adopt that motion?
empowered the COMELEC "to make minoradjustments of the reapportionment herein made."
The meaning of the phrase "minor adjustments was again clarified in the debates 17 of the meaning, a mother municipality and the new municipality, but still actually
Commission, viz.: these are within the geographical district area.

xxx xxx xxx MR. DE CASTRO. So the minor adjustment which the COMELEC cannot
do is that, if, for example, my municipality is in the First District of Laguna,
they cannot put that in any other district.
MR. GUINGONA. This is just clarificatory, Mr. Presiding Officer. In Section
2, the Commission on Elections is empowered to make minor adjustments
on the apportionment made here. MR. DAVIDE. That is not even a minor correction. It is a substantive one.

MR. DAVIDE. Yes, Mr. Presiding Officer. MR. DE CASTRO. Thank you.

MR. GUINGONA. We have not set any time limit for this. Consistent with the limits of its power to make minor adjustments, Section 3 of the Ordinance did
not also give the respondent COMELEC any authority to transfer municipalities from one
legislative district to another district. The power granted by Section 3 to the respondent
MR. DAVIDE. We should not set a time limit unless during the period of COMELEC is to adjust the number of members (not municipalities) "apportioned to the province
amendments a proposal is made. The authority conferred would be on out of which such new province was created. . . ."
minor corrections or amendments, meaning to say, for instance, that we
may have forgotten an intervening municipality in the enumeration, which
ought to be included in one district. That we shall consider a minor Prescinding from these premises, we hold that respondent COMELEC committed grave abuse of
amendment. discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when it promulgated section 1 of its Resolution No.
2736 transferring the municipality of Capoocan of the Second District and the municipality of
Palompon of the Fourth District to the Third District of Leyte.
MR. GUINGONA. Thank you.

It may well be that the conversion of Biliran from a sub-province to a regular province brought
xxx xxx xxx about an imbalance in the distribution of voters and inhabitants in the five (5) legislative districts
of the province of Leyte. This imbalance, depending on its degree, could devalue a citizen's vote
THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Romulo). Commissioner de Castro is in violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. Be that as it may, it is not proper at
recognized. this time for petitioner to raise this issue using the case at bench as his legal vehicle. The issue
involves a problem of reapportionment of legislative districts and petitioner's remedy lies with
Congress. Section 5(4), Article VI of the Constitution categorically gives Congress the power to
MR. DE CASTRO. Thank you. reapportion, thus: "Within three (3) years following the return of every census, the Congress shall
make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section."
In Macias v. COMELEC, 18 we ruled that the validity of a legislative apportionment is a justiciable
I was about to ask the committee the meaning of minor adjustment. Can it
question. But while this Court can strike down an unconstitutional reapportionment, it cannot itself
be possible that one municipality in a district be transferred to another
make the reapportionment as petitioner would want us to do by directing respondent COMELEC
district and call it a minor adjustment?
to transfer the municipality of Tolosa from the First District to the Second District of the province
of Leyte.
MR. DAVIDE. That cannot be done, Mr. Presiding Officer. Minor, meaning,
that there should be no change in the allocations per district. However, it
IN VIEW WHEREOF, section 1 of Resolution No. 2736 insofar as it transferred the municipality of
may happen that we have forgotten a municipality in between which is still
Capoocan of the Second District and the municipality of Palompon of the Fourth District to the
in the territory of one assigned district, or there may be an error in the
Third District of the province of Leyte, is annulled and set aside. We also deny the Petition
correct name of a particular municipality because of changes made by the
praying for the transfer of the municipality of Tolosa from the First District to the Second District of
interim Batasang Pambansa and the Regular Batasang Pambansa. There
the province of Leyte.
were many batas pambansa enacted by both the interim and the Regular
Batasang Pambansa changing the names of municipalities.

MR. DE CASTRO. So, the minor adjustment may be made only if one of the
municipalities is not mentioned in the ordinance appended to, and it will be
up for the COMELEC now to adjust or to put such municipality to a certain
district.

MR. DAVIDE. Yes, Mr. Presiding Officer. For instance, we may not have the
data regarding a division of a municipality by the interim Batasang
Pambansa or the Regular Batasang Pambansa into two municipalities,
VICTORINO B. ALDABA, CARLO JOLETTE S. FAJARDO, JULIO G. MORADA, and MINERVA The Certification of Regional Director Miranda, which is based on demographic projections, is
ALDABA MORADA, Petitioners, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, Respondent. without legal effect because Regional Director Miranda has no basis and no authority to issue the
Certification. The Certification is also void on its face because based on its own growth rate
assumption, the population of Malolos will be less than 250,000 in the year 2010. In addition,
The Case intercensal demographic projections cannot be made for the entire year. In any event, a city
whose population has increased to 250,000 is entitled to have a legislative district only in the
This is an original action for Prohibition to declare unconstitutional Republic Act No. 9591 (RA "immediately following election"7 after the attainment of the 250,000 population.
9591), creating a legislative district for the city of Malolos, Bulacan, for violating the minimum
population requirement for the creation of a legislative district in a city. First, certifications on demographic projections can be issued only if such projections are
declared official by the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB). Second, certifications
Antecedents based on demographic projections can be issued only by the NSO Administrator or his
designated certifying officer. Third, intercensal population projections must be as of the middle of
every year.
Before 1 May 2009, the province of Bulacan was represented in Congress through four legislative
districts. The First Legislative District comprised of the city of Malolos 1 and the municipalities of
Hagonoy, Calumpit, Pulilan, Bulacan, and Paombong. On 1 May 2009, RA 9591 lapsed into law, Section 6 of Executive Order No. 1358 dated 6 November 1993 issued by President Fidel V.
amending Malolos City Charter,2 by creating a separate legislative district for the city. At the time Ramos provides:
the legislative bills for RA 9591 were filed in Congress in 2007, namely, House Bill No. 3162 (later
converted to House Bill No. 3693) and Senate Bill No. 1986, the population of Malolos City was SECTION 6. Guidelines on the Issuance of Certification of Population sizes Pursuant to Section
223,069. The population of Malolos City on 1 May 2009 is a contested fact but there is no dispute 7, 386, 442, 450, 452, and 461 of the New Local Government Code.
that House Bill No. 3693 relied on an undated certification issued by a Regional Director of the
National Statistics Office (NSO) that "the projected population of the Municipality of Malolos will
be 254,030 by the year 2010 using the population growth rate of 3.78 between 1995 to 2000."3 (a) The National Statistics Office shall issue certification on data that it has collected
and processed as well as on statistics that it has estimated.
Petitioners, taxpayers, registered voters and residents of Malolos City, filed this petition
contending that RA 9591 is unconstitutional for failing to meet the minimum population threshold (b) For census years, certification on population size will be based on actual population
of 250,000 for a city to merit representation in Congress as provided under Section 5(3), Article VI census counts; while for the intercensal years, the certification will be made on the
of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution. basis of a set of demographic projections or estimates declared official by the National
Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB).
In its Comment to the petition, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) contended that Congress
use of projected population is non-justiciable as it involves a determination on the "wisdom of the (c) Certification of population census counts will be made as of the census reference
standard adopted by the legislature to determine compliance with [a constitutional requirement]."4 date, such as May 1, 1990, while those of intercensal population estimates will be as
of middle of every year.
The Ruling of the Court
(d) Certification of population size based on projections may specify the range within
which the true count is deemed likely to fall. The range will correspond to the official
We grant the petition and declare RA 9591 unconstitutional for being violative of Section 5(3), low and high population projections.
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987
Constitution
(e) The smallest geographic area for which a certification on population size may be
issued will be the barangay for census population counts, and the city or municipality
The 1987 Constitution requires that for a city to have a legislative district, the city must have "a for intercensal estimates. If an LGU wants to conduct its own population census,
population of at least two hundred fifty thousand."5 The only issue here is whether the City of during offcensus years, approval must be sought from the NSCB and the conduct
Malolos has a population of at least 250,000, whether actual or projected, for the purpose of must be under the technical supervision of NSO from planning to data processing.
creating a legislative district for the City of Malolos in time for the 10 May 2010 elections. If not,
then RA 9591 creating a legislative district in the City of Malolos is unconstitutional.
(f) Certifications of population size based on published census results shall be issued
by the Provincial Census Officers or by the Regional Census Officers. Certifications
House Bill No. 3693 cites the undated Certification of Regional Director Alberto N. Miranda of based on projections or estimates, however, will be issued by the NSO Administrator
Region III of the National Statistics Office (NSO) as authority that the population of the City of or his designated certifying officer. (Emphasis supplied)
Malolos "will be 254,030 by the year 2010." The Certification states that the population of
"Malolos, Bulacan as of May 1, 2000 is 175,291." The Certification further states that it was
"issued upon the request of Mayor Danilo A. Domingo of the City of Malolos in connection with The Certification of Regional Director Miranda does not state that the demographic projections he
the proposed creation of Malolos City as a lone congressional district of the Province of certified have been declared official by the NSCB. The records of this case do not also show that
Bulacan."6 the Certification of Regional Director Miranda is based on demographic projections declared
official by the NSCB. The Certification, which states that the population of Malolos "will be
254,030 by the year 2010," violates the requirement that intercensal demographic projections
shall be "as of the middle of every year." In addition, there is no showing that Regional Director one Member or such number of members as it may be entitled to on the basis of the number of its
Miranda has been designated by the NSO Administrator as a certifying officer for demographic inhabitants and according to the standards set forth in paragraph (3), Section 5 of Article VI of the
projections in Region III. In the absence of such official designation, only the certification of the Constitution. xxx. (Emphasis supplied)
NSO Administrator can be given credence by this Court.
A city that has attained a population of 250,000 is entitled to a legislative district only in the
Moreover, the Certification states that "the total population of Malolos, Bulacan as of May 1, 2000 "immediately following election." In short, a city must first attain the 250,000 population, and
is 175,291." The Certification also states that the population growth rate of Malolos is 3.78% per thereafter, in the immediately following election, such city shall have a district representative.
year between 1995 and 2000. Based on a growth rate of 3.78% per year, the population of There is no showing in the present case that the City of Malolos has attained or will attain a
Malolos of 175,291 in 2000 will grow to only 241,550 in 2010. population of 250,000, whether actual or projected, before the 10 May 2010 elections.

Also, the 2007 Census places the population of Malolos at 223,069 as of 1 August 2007. 9 Based Clearly, there is no official record that the population of the City of Malolos will be at least
on a growth rate of 3.78%, the population of Malolos will grow to only 248,365 as of 1 August 250,000, actual or projected, prior to the 10 May 2010 elections, the immediately following
2010. Even if the growth rate is compounded yearly, the population of Malolos of 223,069 as of 1 election after the supposed attainment of such population. Thus, the City of Malolos is not
August 2007 will grow to only 249,333 as of 1 August 2010.10 qualified to have a legislative district of its own under Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987
Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution.
All these conflict with what the Certification states that the population of Malolos "will be 254,030
by the year 2010." Based on the Certifications own growth rate assumption, the population of On the OSGs contention that Congress choice of means to comply with the population
Malolos will be less than 250,000 before the 10 May 2010 elections. Incidentally, the NSO has no requirement in the creation of a legislative district is non-justiciable, suffice it to say that questions
published population projections for individual municipalities or cities but only for entire regions calling for judicial determination of compliance with constitutional standards by other branches of
and provinces.11 the government are fundamentally justiciable. The resolution of such questions falls within the
checking function of this Court under the 1987 Constitution to determine whether there has been
a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch
Executive Order No. 135 cannot simply be brushed aside. The OSG, representing respondent or instrumentality of the Government.13
Commission on Elections, invoked Executive Order No. 135 in its Comment, thus:

Even under the 1935 Constitution, this Court had already ruled, "The overwhelming weight of
Here, based on the NSO projection, "the population of the Municipality of Malolos will be 254,030 authority is that district apportionment laws are subject to review by the courts."14 Compliance
by the year 2010 using the population growth rate of 3.78 between 1995-2000." This projection with constitutional standards on the creation of legislative districts is important because the "aim
issued by the authority of the NSO Administrator is recognized under Executive Order No. 135 of legislative apportionment is to equalize population and voting power among districts."15
(The Guidelines on the Issuance of Certification of Population Sizes), which states:

WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition. We DECLARE Republic Act No. 9591


xxx UNCONSTITUTIONAL for being violative of Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and
Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution.
(d) Certification of population size based on projections may specify the range within which the
true count is deemed likely to fall. The range will correspond to the official low and high
population projections.

xxx

(f) Certifications of population size based on published census results shall be issued by the
Provincial Census Officers or by the Regional Census Officers. Certifications based on
projections or estimates, however, will be issued by the NSO Administrator or his designated
certifying officer.12 (Emphasis supplied)

Any population projection forming the basis for the creation of a legislative district must be based
on an official and credible source. That is why the OSG cited Executive Order No. 135, otherwise
the population projection would be unreliable or speculative.

Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution provides:

Any province that may be created, or any city whose population may hereafter increase to more
than two hundred fifty thousand shall be entitled in the immediately following election to at least
JUANITO MARIANO, JR. et al., petitioners, vs. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, THE Sec. 2. The City of Makati. The Municipality of Makati shall be converted
MUNICIPALITY OF MAKATI, HON. JEJOMAR BINAY, THE MUNICIPAL TREASURER, AND into a highly urbanized city to be known as the City of Makati, hereinafter
SANGGUNIANG BAYAN OF MAKATI, respondents. referred to as the City, which shall comprise the present territory of the
Municipality of Makati in Metropolitan Manila Area over which it has
jurisdiction bounded on the northeast by Pasig River and beyond by the City
At bench are two (2) petitions assailing certain provisions of Republic Act No. 7854 as of Mandaluyong and the Municipality of Pasig; on the southeast by the
unconstitutional. R.A. No. 7854 as unconstitutional. R.A. No. 7854 is entitled, "An Act Converting municipalities of Pateros and Taguig; on the southwest by the City of Pasay
the Municipality of Makati Into a Highly Urbanized City to be known as the City of Makati."1 and the Municipality of Taguig; and, on the northwest, by the City of Manila.

G.R. No. 118577 involves a petition for prohibition and declaratory relief. It was filed by petitioners The foregoing provision shall be without prejudice to the resolution by the
Juanito Mariano, Jr., Ligaya S. Bautista, Teresita Tibay, Camilo Santos, Frankie Cruz, Ricardo appropriate agency or forum of existing boundary disputes or cases
Pascual, Teresita Abang, Valentina Pitalvero, Rufino Caldoza, Florante Alba, and Perfecto Alba. involving questions of territorial jurisdiction between the City of Makati and
Of the petitioners, only Mariano, Jr., is a resident of Makati. The others are residents of Ibayo the adjoining local government units. (Emphasis supplied)
Ususan, Taguig, Metro Manila. Suing as taxpayers, they assail as unconstitutional sections 2, 51,
and 52 of R.A. No. 7854 on the following grounds:
In G.R. No. 118577, petitioners claim that this delineation violates sections 7 and 450 of the Local
Government Code which require that the area of a local government unit should be made by
1. Section 2 of R.A. No. 7854 did not properly identify the land area or metes and bounds with technical descriptions.2
territorial jurisdiction of Makati by metes and bounds, with technical
descriptions, in violation of Section 10, Article X of the Constitution, in
relation to Sections 7 and 450 of the Local Government Code; The importance of drawing with precise strokes the territorial boundaries of a local unit of
government cannot be overemphasized. The boundaries must be clear for they define the limits
of the territorial jurisdiction of a local government unit. It can legitimately exercise powers of
2. Section 51 of R.A. No. 7854 attempts to alter or restart the "three government only within the limits, its acts are ultra vires. Needless to state, any uncertainty in the
consecutive term" limit for local elective officials, in violation of Section 8, boundaries of local government units will sow costly conflicts in the exercise of governmental
Article X and Section 7, Article VI of the Constitution. powers which ultimately will prejudice the people's welfare. This is the evil sought to avoided by
the Local Government Code in requiring that the land area of a local government unit must be
3. Section 52 of R.A. No. 7854 is unconstitutional for: spelled out in metes and bounds, with technical descriptions.

(a) it increased the legislative district of Makati only by Given the facts of the cases at bench, we cannot perceive how this evil can be brought about by
special law (the Charter in violation of the the description made in section 2 of R.A. No. 7854, Petitioners have not demonstrated that the
constitutional provision requiring a general delineation of the land area of the proposed City of Makati will cause confusion as to its
reapportionment law to be passed by Congress within boundaries. We note that said delineation did not change even by an inch the land area
three (3) years following the return of every census; previously covered by Makati as a municipality. Section 2 did not add, subtract, divide, or multiply
the established land area of Makati. In language that cannot be any clearer, section 2 stated that,
the city's land area "shall comprise the present territory of the municipality."
(b) the increase in legislative district was not
expressed in the title of the bill; and
The deliberations of Congress will reveal that there is a legitimate reason why the land area of the
proposed City of Makati was not defined by metes and bounds, with technical descriptions. At the
(c) the addition of another legislative district in Makati time of the consideration of R.A. No. 7854, the territorial dispute between the municipalities of
is not in accord with Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Makati and Taguig over Fort Bonifacio was under court litigation. Out of a becoming sense of
Constitution for as of the latest survey (1990 census), respect to co-equal department of government, legislators felt that the dispute should be left to
the population of Makati stands at only 450,000. the courts to decide. They did not want to foreclose the dispute by making a legislative finding of
fact which could decide the issue. This would have ensued if they defined the land area of the
proposed city by its exact metes and bounds, with technical descriptions. 3 We take judicial notice
G.R. No. 118627 was filed by the petitioner John H. Osmea as senator, taxpayer, and
of the fact that Congress has also refrained from using the metes and bounds description of land
concerned citizen. Petitioner assails section 52 of R.A. No. 7854 as unconstitutional on the same
areas of other local government units with unsettled boundary disputes.4
grounds as aforestated.

We hold that the existence of a boundary dispute does not per se present an insurmountable
We find no merit in the petitions.
difficulty which will prevent Congress from defining with reasonable certitude the territorial
jurisdiction of a local government unit. In the cases at bench, Congress maintained the existing
I boundaries of the proposed City of Makati but as an act of fairness, made them subject to the
ultimate resolution by the courts. Considering these peculiar circumstances, we are not prepared
to hold that section 2 of R.A. No. 7854 is unconstitutional. We sustain the submission of the
Section 2, Article I of R.A. No. 7854 delineated the land areas of the proposed city of Makati, Solicitor General in this regard, viz.:
thus:
Going now to Sections 7 and 450 of the Local Government Code, it is Sec. 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay
beyond cavil that the requirement stated therein, viz.: "the territorial officials, which shall be determined by law, shall be three years and no such
jurisdiction of newly created or converted cities should be described by official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. Voluntary
meted and bounds, with technical descriptions" was made in order to renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as
provide a means by which the area of said cities may be reasonably an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he
ascertained. In other words, the requirement on metes and bounds was was elected.
meant merely as tool in the establishment of local government units. It is not
an end in itself. Ergo, so long as the territorial jurisdiction of a city may be
reasonably ascertained, i.e., by referring to common boundaries with xxx xxx xxx
neighboring municipalities, as in this case, then, it may be concluded that
the legislative intent behind the law has been sufficiently served. Sec. 7. The Members of the House of Representatives shall be elected for a
term of three years which shall begin, unless otherwise provided by law, at
Certainly, Congress did not intends that laws creating new cities must noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their election.
contain therein detailed technical descriptions similar to those appearing in
Torrens titles, as petitioners seem to imply. To require such description in No Member of the House of Representatives shall serve for more than three
the law as a condition sine qua non for its validity would be to defeat the consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time
very purpose which the Local Government Code to seeks to serve. The shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for
manifest intent of the Code is to empower local government units and to the full term for which he was elected.
give them their rightful due. It seeks to make local governments more
responsive to the needs of their constituents while at the same time serving
as a vital cog in national development. To invalidate R.A. No. 7854 on the Petitioners stress that under these provisions, elective local officials, including Members of the
mere ground that no cadastral type of description was used in the law would House of Representative, have a term of three (3) years and are prohibited from serving for more
serve the letter but defeat the spirit of the Code. It then becomes a case of than three (3) consecutive terms. They argue that by providing that the new city shall acquire a
the master serving the slave, instead of the other way around. This could new corporate existence, section 51 of R.A. No. 7854 restarts the term of the present municipal
not be the intendment of the law. elective officials of Makati and disregards the terms previously served by them. In particular,
petitioners point that section 51 favors the incumbent Makati Mayor, respondent Jejomar Binay,
who has already served for two (2) consecutive terms. They further argue that should Mayor
Too well settled is the rule that laws must be enforced when ascertained, Binay decide to run and eventually win as city mayor in the coming elections, he can still run for
although it may not be consistent with the strict letter of the statute. Courts the same position in 1998 and seek another three-year consecutive term since his previous three-
will not follow the letter of the statute when to do so would depart from the year consecutive term as municipal mayor would not be counted. Thus, petitioners conclude that
true intent of the legislature or would otherwise yield conclusions said section 51 has been conveniently crafted to suit the political ambitions of respondent Mayor
inconsistent with the general purpose of the act. (Torres v. Limjap, 56 Phil., Binay.
141; Taada v. Cuenco, 103 Phil. 1051; Hidalgo v. Hidalgo, 33 SCRA
1105). Legislation is an active instrument of government, which, for
purposes of interpretation, means that laws have ends to achieve, and We cannot entertain this challenge to the constitutionality of section 51. The requirements before
statutes should be so construed as not to defeat but to carry out such ends a litigant can challenge the constitutionality of a law are well delineated. They are: 1) there must
and purposes (Bocolbo v. Estanislao, 72 SCRA 520). The same rule must be an actual case or controversy; (2) the question of constitutionality must be raised by the proper
indubitably apply to the case at bar. party; (3) the constitutional question must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and (4)
the decision on the constitutional question must be necessary to the determination of the case
itself.5
II

Petitioners have far from complied with these requirements. The petition is premised on the
Petitioners in G.R. No. 118577 also assail the constitutionality of section 51, Article X of R.A. No. occurrence of many contingent events, i.e., that Mayor Binay will run again in this coming
7854. Section 51 states: mayoralty elections; that he would be re-elected in said elections; and that he would seek re-
election for the same position in the 1998 elections. Considering that these contingencies may or
Sec. 51. Officials of the City of Makati. The represent elective officials of may not happen, petitioners merely pose a hypothetical issue which has yet to ripen to an actual
the Municipality of Makati shall continue as the officials of the City of Makati case or controversy. Petitioners who are residents of Taguig (except Mariano) are not also the
and shall exercise their powers and functions until such time that a new proper parties to raise this abstract issue. Worse, they hoist this futuristic issue in a petition for
election is held and the duly elected officials shall have already qualified declaratory relief over which this Court has no jurisdiction.
and assume their offices: Provided, The new city will acquire a new
corporate existence. The appointive officials and employees of the City shall III
likewise continues exercising their functions and duties and they shall be
automatically absorbed by the city government of the City of Makati.
Finally, petitioners in the two (2) cases at bench assail the constitutionality of section 52, Article X
of R.A. No. 7854. Section 52 of the Charter provides:
They contend that this section collides with section 8, Article X and section 7, Article VI of the
Constitution which provide:
Sec. 52. Legislative Districts. Upon its conversion into a highly-urbanized
city, Makati shall thereafter have at least two (2) legislative districts that
shall initially correspond to the two (2) existing districts created under
Section 3(a) of Republic Act. No. 7166 as implemented by the Commission
on Elections to commence at the next national elections to be held after the
effectivity of this Act. Henceforth, barangays Magallanes, Dasmarias and
Forbes shall be with the first district, in lieu of Barangay Guadalupe-Viejo
which shall form part of the second district. (emphasis supplied)

They contend. that the addition of another legislative district in Makati is unconstitutional for: (1)
reapportionment6cannot made by a special law, (2) the addition of a legislative district is not
expressed in the title of the bill7 and (3) Makati's population, as per the 1990 census, stands at
only four hundred fifty thousand (450,000).

These issues have been laid to rest in the recent case of Tobias v. Abalos.8 In said case, we
ruled that reapportionment of legislative districts may be made through a special law, such as in
the charter of a new city. The Constitution9 clearly provides that Congress shall be composed of
not more than two hundred fifty (250) members, unless otherwise fixed by law. As thus worded,
the Constitution did not preclude Congress from increasing its membership by passing a law,
other than a general reapportionment of the law. This is its exactly what was done by Congress in
enacting R.A. No. 7854 and providing for an increase in Makati's legislative district. Moreover, to
hold that reapportionment can only be made through a general apportionment law, with a review
of all the legislative districts allotted to each local government unit nationwide, would create an
inequitable situation where a new city or province created by Congress will be denied legislative
representation for an indeterminate period of time. 10 The intolerable situations will deprive the
people of a new city or province a particle of their sovereignty. 11 Sovereignty cannot admit of any
kind of subtraction. It is indivisible. It must be forever whole or it is not sovereignty.

Petitioners cannot insist that the addition of another legislative district in Makati is not in accord
with section 5(3), Article VI 12 of the Constitution for as of the latest survey (1990 census), the
population of Makati stands at only four hundred fifty thousand (450,000). 13 Said section
provides, inter alia, that a city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand (250,000)
shall have at least one representative. Even granting that the population of Makati as of the 1990
census stood at four hundred fifty thousand (450,000), its legislative district may still be increased
since it has met the minimum population requirement of two hundred fifty thousand (250,000). In
fact, section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution provides that a city whose
population has increased to more than two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) shall be entitled to at
least one congressional representative. 14

Finally, we do not find merit in petitioners' contention that the creation of an additional legislative
district in Makati should have been expressly stated in the title of the bill. In the same case
of Tobias v. Abalos, op cit., we reiterated the policy of the Court favoring a liberal construction of
the "one title-one subject" rule so as not to impede legislation. To be sure, with Constitution does
not command that the title of a law should exactly mirror, fully index, or completely catalogue all
its details. Hence, we ruled that "it should be sufficient compliance if the title expresses the
general subject and all the provisions are germane to such general subject."

WHEREFORE, the petitions are hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit No costs.
B. Party List System (APEC), A Teacher, Akbayan! Citizens Action Party (AKBAYAN), Alagad, Luzon Farmers Party
(BUTIL), Cooperative-Natco Network Party (COOP-NATCCO), Anak Pawis, Alliance of Rural
Concerns (ARC), and Abono. We quote NBC Resolution No. 07-60 in its entirety below:
BARANGAY ASSOCIATION FOR NATIONAL ADVANCEMENT AND TRANSPARENCY
(BANAT), Petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (sitting as the National Board of
Canvassers), Respondent. ARTS BUSINESS AND SCIENCE PROFESSIONALS, Intervenor. WHEREAS, the Commission on Elections sitting en banc as National Board of Canvassers, thru
AANGAT TAYO, Intervenor. COALITION OF ASSOCIATIONS OF SENIOR CITIZENS IN THE its Sub-Committee for Party-List, as of 03 July 2007, had officially canvassed, in open and public
PHILIPPINES, INC. (SENIOR CITIZENS),Intervenor. proceedings, a total of fifteen million two hundred eighty three thousand six hundred fifty-nine
(15,283,659) votes under the Party-List System of Representation, in connection with the
National and Local Elections conducted last 14 May 2007;
The Case

WHEREAS, the study conducted by the Legal and Tabulation Groups of the National Board of
Petitioner in G.R. No. 179271 Barangay Association for National Advancement and Canvassers reveals that the projected/maximum total party-list votes cannot go any higher
Transparency (BANAT) in a petition for certiorari and mandamus,1 assails the than sixteen million seven hundred twenty three thousand one hundred twenty-one
Resolution2 promulgated on 3 August 2007 by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in NBC (16,723,121) votes given the following statistical data:
No. 07-041 (PL). The COMELECs resolution in NBC No. 07-041 (PL) approved the
recommendation of Atty. Alioden D. Dalaig, Head of the National Board of Canvassers (NBC)
Legal Group, to deny the petition of BANAT for being moot. BANAT filed before the COMELEC Projected/Maximum Party-List Votes for May 2007 Elections
En Banc, acting as NBC, a Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List Representatives
Provided by the Constitution.
i. Total party-list votes 15,283,659
already
The following are intervenors in G.R. No. 179271: Arts Business and Science Professionals
canvassed/tabulated
(ABS), Aangat Tayo (AT), and Coalition of Associations of Senior Citizens in the Philippines, Inc.
(Senior Citizens).
ii. Total party-list votes 1,337,032
remaining uncanvassed/
Petitioners in G.R. No. 179295 Bayan Muna, Abono, and Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment untabulated (i.e. canvass
Through Action, Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms (A Teacher) in a deferred)
petition for certiorari with mandamus and prohibition,3 assails NBC Resolution No. 07-
604 promulgated on 9 July 2007. NBC No. 07-60 made a partial proclamation of parties, iii. Maximum party-list votes 102,430
organizations and coalitions that obtained at least two percent of the total votes cast under the (based on 100%
Party-List System. The COMELEC announced that, upon completion of the canvass of the party- outcome) from areas not
list results, it would determine the total number of seats of each winning party, organization, or yet submitted for canvass
coalition in accordance with Veterans Federation Party v. COMELEC5 (Veterans). (Bogo, Cebu; Bais City;
Pantar, Lanao del Norte;
and Pagalungan,
Estrella DL Santos, in her capacity as President and First Nominee of the Veterans Freedom Maguindanao)
Party, filed a motion to intervene in both G.R. Nos. 179271 and 179295.
Maximum Total Party-List 16,723,121
The Facts Votes

The 14 May 2007 elections included the elections for the party-list representatives. The WHEREAS, Section 11 of Republic Act No. 7941 (Party-List System Act) provides in part:
COMELEC counted 15,950,900 votes cast for 93 parties under the Party-List System.6

The parties, organizations, and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes
On 27 June 2002, BANAT filed a Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one seat each: provided, that those garnering
Representatives Provided by the Constitution, docketed as NBC No. 07-041 (PL) before the NBC. more than two percent (2%) of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their
BANAT filed its petition because "[t]he Chairman and the Members of the [COMELEC] have total number of votes: provided, finally, that each party, organization, or coalition shall be entitled
recently been quoted in the national papers that the [COMELEC] is duty bound to and shall to not more than three (3) seats.
implement the Veterans ruling, that is, would apply the Panganiban formula in allocating party-list
seats."7 There were no intervenors in BANATs petition before the NBC. BANAT filed a
memorandum on 19 July 2007. WHEREAS, for the 2007 Elections, based on the above projected total of party-list votes, the
presumptive two percent (2%) threshold can be pegged at three hundred thirty four thousand four
hundred sixty-two (334,462)votes;
On 9 July 2007, the COMELEC, sitting as the NBC, promulgated NBC Resolution No. 07-60.
NBC Resolution No. 07-60 proclaimed thirteen (13) parties as winners in the party-list elections,
namely: Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (BUHAY), Bayan Muna, Citizens Battle Against Corruption WHEREAS, the Supreme Court, in Citizens Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) versus
(CIBAC), Gabrielas Women Party (Gabriela), Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives COMELEC, reiterated its ruling in Veterans Federation Party versus COMELEC adopting a
formula for the additional seats of each party, organization or coalition receving more than the
required two percent (2%) votes, stating that the same shall be determined only after all party-list 2 Bayan Muna BAYAN MUNA
ballots have been completely canvassed;
3 Citizens Battle Against Corruption CIBAC

WHEREAS, the parties, organizations, and coalitions that have thus far garnered at least three 4 Gabriela Womens Party GABRIELA
hundred thirty four thousand four hundred sixty-two (334,462) votes are as follows:
5 Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives APEC

RANK PARTY/ORGANIZATION/ VOTES 6 Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action, A TEACHER
COALITION RECEIVED Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms, Inc.

1 BUHAY 1,163,218 7 Akbayan! Citizens Action Party AKBAYAN

2 BAYAN MUNA 972,730 8 Alagad ALAGAD

3 CIBAC 760,260 9 Luzon Farmers Party BUTIL

4 GABRIELA 610,451 10 Cooperative-Natco Network Party COOP-NATCCO

5 APEC 538,971 11 Anak Pawis ANAKPAWIS

6 A TEACHER 476,036 12 Alliance of Rural Concerns ARC

7 AKBAYAN 470,872 13 Abono ABONO

8 ALAGAD 423,076
This is without prejudice to the proclamation of other parties, organizations, or coalitions which
9 BUTIL 405,052 may later on be established to have obtained at least two percent (2%) of the total actual votes
cast under the Party-List System.
10 COOP-NATCO 390,029

11 BATAS 386,361 The total number of seats of each winning party, organization or coalition shall be determined
pursuant to Veterans Federation Party versus COMELEC formula upon completion of the
canvass of the party-list results.
12 ANAK PAWIS 376,036

13 ARC 338,194 The proclamation of Bagong Alyansang Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan (BATAS) is
hereby deferred until final resolution of SPC No. 07-250, in order not to render the proceedings
14 ABONO 337,046 therein moot and academic.

Finally, all proclamation of the nominees of concerned parties, organizations and coalitions with
WHEREAS, except for Bagong Alyansang Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan (BATAS),
pending disputes shall likewise be held in abeyance until final resolution of their respective cases.
against which an URGENT PETITION FOR CANCELLATION/REMOVAL OF REGISTRATION
AND DISQUALIFICATION OF PARTY-LIST NOMINEE (With Prayer for the Issuance of
Restraining Order) has been filed before the Commission, docketed as SPC No. 07-250, all the Let the Clerk of the Commission implement this Resolution, furnishing a copy thereof to the
parties, organizations and coalitions included in the aforementioned list are therefore entitled to at Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines.
least one seat under the party-list system of representation in the meantime.
SO ORDERED.8 (Emphasis in the original)
NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the powers vested in it by the Constitution, the Omnibus
Election Code, Executive Order No. 144, Republic Act Nos. 6646, 7166, 7941, and other election
laws, the Commission on Elections, sitting en banc as the National Board of Canvassers, hereby Pursuant to NBC Resolution No. 07-60, the COMELEC, acting as NBC, promulgated NBC
RESOLVES to PARTIALLY PROCLAIM, subject to certain conditions set forth below, the Resolution No. 07-72, which declared the additional seats allocated to the appropriate parties.
following parties, organizations and coalitions participating under the Party-List System: We quote from the COMELECs interpretation of the Veterans formula as found in NBC
Resolution No. 07-72:

1 Buhay Hayaan Yumabong BUHAY


WHEREAS, on July 9, 2007, the Commission on Elections sitting en banc as the National Board
of Canvassers proclaimed thirteen (13) qualified parties, organization[s] and coalitions based on Number of votes of first party Proportion of votes of first
the presumptive two percent (2%) threshold of 334,462 votes from the projected maximum total = party relative to total votes for
number of party-list votes of 16,723,121, and were thus given one (1) guaranteed party-list seat Total votes for party-list system party-list system
each;

wherein the proportion of votes received by the first party (without rounding off) shall entitle it to
WHEREAS, per Report of the Tabulation Group and Supervisory Committee of the National additional seats:
Board of Canvassers, the projected maximum total party-list votes, as of July 11, 2007, based on
the votes actually canvassed, votes canvassed but not included in Report No. 29, votes received
but uncanvassed, and maximum votes expected for Pantar, Lanao del Norte, is 16,261,369; and
Proportion of votes received Additional seats
that the projected maximum total votes for the thirteen (13) qualified parties, organizations and
by the first party
coalition[s] are as follows:
Equal to or at least 6% Two (2) additional seats
Party-List Projected total number of votes Equal to or greater than 4% but less than 6% One (1) additional seat
1 BUHAY 1,178,747 Less than 4% No additional seat
2 BAYAN MUNA 977,476
WHEREAS, applying the above formula, Buhay obtained the following percentage:
3 CIBAC 755,964

4 GABRIELA 621,718
1,178,747
5 APEC 622,489 = 0.07248 or 7.2%
16,261,369
6 A TEACHER 492,369

7 AKBAYAN 462,674 which entitles it to two (2) additional seats.

8 ALAGAD 423,190 WHEREAS, in determining the additional seats for the other qualified parties, organizations and
coalitions, the correct formula as expressed in Veterans and reiterated in CIBAC is, as follows:
9 BUTIL 409,298

10 COOP-NATCO 412,920
No. of votes of
concerned party No. of additional
11 ANAKPAWIS 370,165 Additional seats for
= x seats allocated
a concerned party
No. of votes of to first party
12 ARC 375,846 first party
13 ABONO 340,151
WHEREAS, applying the above formula, the results are as follows:
WHEREAS, based on the above Report, Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (Buhay) obtained the highest
number of votes among the thirteen (13) qualified parties, organizations and coalitions, making it
the "first party" in accordance with Veterans Federation Party versus COMELEC, reiterated Party List Percentage Additional Seat
in Citizens Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) versus COMELEC;
BAYAN MUNA 1.65 1

WHEREAS, qualified parties, organizations and coalitions participating under the party-list system CIBAC 1.28 1
of representation that have obtained one guaranteed (1) seat may be entitled to an additional
seat or seats based on the formula prescribed by the Supreme Court in Veterans; GABRIELA 1.05 1

APEC 1.05 1
WHEREAS, in determining the additional seats for the "first party", the correct formula as
expressed in Veterans, is:
A TEACHER 0.83 0
This pertains to the Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List Representatives Provided
AKBAYAN 0.78 0 by the Constitution filed by the Barangay Association for National Advancement and
Transparency (BANAT).
ALAGAD 0.71 0

BUTIL 0.69 0 Acting on the foregoing Petition of the Barangay Association for National Advancement and
Transparency (BANAT) party-list, Atty. Alioden D. Dalaig, Head, National Board of Canvassers
COOP-NATCO 0.69 0 Legal Group submitted his comments/observations and recommendation thereon [NBC 07-041
(PL)], which reads:
ANAKPAWIS 0.62 0
COMMENTS / OBSERVATIONS:
ARC 0.63 0

ABONO 0.57 0 Petitioner Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT), in its
Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List Representatives Provided by the Constitution
prayed for the following reliefs, to wit:
NOW THEREFORE, by virtue of the powers vested in it by the Constitution, Omnibus Election
Code, Executive Order No. 144, Republic Act Nos. 6646, 7166, 7941 and other elections laws, 1. That the full number -- twenty percent (20%) -- of Party-List representatives as
the Commission on Elections en bancsitting as the National Board of Canvassers, hereby mandated by Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution shall be proclaimed.
RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES, to proclaim the following parties, organizations or
coalitions as entitled to additional seats, to wit:
2. Paragraph (b), Section 11 of RA 7941 which prescribes the 2% threshold votes,
should be harmonized with Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution and with Section 12
Party List Additional Seats of the same RA 7941 in that it should be applicable only to the first party-list
representative seats to be allotted on the basis of their initial/first ranking.
BUHAY 2
3. The 3-seat limit prescribed by RA 7941 shall be applied; and
BAYAN MUNA 1

CIBAC 1 4. Initially, all party-list groups shall be given the number of seats corresponding to
every 2% of the votes they received and the additional seats shall be allocated in
GABRIELA 1 accordance with Section 12 of RA 7941, that is, in proportion to the percentage of
votes obtained by each party-list group in relation to the total nationwide votes cast in
APEC 1 the party-list election, after deducting the corresponding votes of those which were
allotted seats under the 2% threshold rule. In fine, the formula/procedure prescribed in
the "ALLOCATION OF PARTY-LIST SEATS, ANNEX "A" of COMELEC RESOLUTION
This is without prejudice to the proclamation of other parties, organizations or coalitions which 2847 dated 25 June 1996, shall be used for [the] purpose of determining how many
may later on be established to have obtained at least two per cent (2%) of the total votes cast seats shall be proclaimed, which party-list groups are entitled to representative seats
under the party-list system to entitle them to one (1) guaranteed seat, or to the appropriate and how many of their nominees shall seat [sic].
percentage of votes to entitle them to one (1) additional seat.
5. In the alternative, to declare as unconstitutional Section 11 of Republic Act No. 7941
Finally, all proclamation of the nominees of concerned parties, organizations and coalitions with and that the procedure in allocating seats for party-list representative prescribed by
pending disputes shall likewise be held in abeyance until final resolution of their respective cases. Section 12 of RA 7941 shall be followed.

Let the National Board of Canvassers Secretariat implement this Resolution, furnishing a copy R E C O M M E N D A T I O N:
hereof to the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines.
The petition of BANAT is now moot and academic.
SO ORDERED.9
The Commission En Banc in NBC Resolution No. 07-60 promulgated July 9, 2007 re "In the
Acting on BANATs petition, the NBC promulgated NBC Resolution No. 07-88 on 3 August 2007, Matter of the Canvass of Votes and Partial Proclamation of the Parties, Organizations and
which reads as follows: Coalitions Participating Under the Party-List System During the May 14, 2007 National and Local
Elections" resolved among others that the total number of seats of each winning party,
organization or coalition shall be determined pursuant to the Veterans Federation
Party versus COMELEC formula upon completion of the canvass of the party-list results."1awphi1
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the National Board of Canvassers RESOLVED, as it hereby The proclamation of Bagong Alyansang Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan (BATAS),
RESOLVES, to approve and adopt the recommendation of Atty. Alioden D. Dalaig, Head, NBC against which an Urgent Petition for Cancellation/Removal of Registration and Disqualification of
Legal Group, to DENY the herein petition of BANAT for being moot and academic. Party-list Nominee (with Prayer for the Issuance of Restraining Order) has been filed before the
COMELEC, was deferred pending final resolution of SPC No. 07-250.
Let the Supervisory Committee implement this resolution.
Issues
SO ORDERED.10
BANAT brought the following issues before this Court:
BANAT filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus assailing the ruling in NBC Resolution No. 07-
88. BANAT did not file a motion for reconsideration of NBC Resolution No. 07-88. 1. Is the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives provided in Section
5(2), Article VI of the Constitution mandatory or is it merely a ceiling?
On 9 July 2007, Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher asked the COMELEC, acting as NBC, to
reconsider its decision to use the Veterans formula as stated in its NBC Resolution No. 07-60 2. Is the three-seat limit provided in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional?
because the Veterans formula is violative of the Constitution and of Republic Act No. 7941 (R.A.
No. 7941). On the same day, the COMELEC denied reconsideration during the proceedings of
the NBC.11 3. Is the two percent threshold and "qualifier" votes prescribed by the same Section
11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional?

Aside from the thirteen party-list organizations proclaimed on 9 July 2007, the COMELEC
proclaimed three other party-list organizations as qualified parties entitled to one guaranteed seat 4. How shall the party-list representatives be allocated?16
under the Party-List System: Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines, Inc. (AGAP),12 Anak
Mindanao (AMIN),13 and An Waray.14 Per the certification15by COMELEC, the following party-list Bayan Muna, A Teacher, and Abono, on the other hand, raised the following issues in their
organizations have been proclaimed as of 19 May 2008: petition:

Party-List No. of Seat(s) I. Respondent Commission on Elections, acting as National Board of Canvassers,
committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it
1.1 Buhay 3 promulgated NBC Resolution No. 07-60 to implement the First-Party Rule in the
allocation of seats to qualified party-list organizations as said rule:
1.2 Bayan Muna 2

1.3 CIBAC 2 A. Violates the constitutional principle of proportional representation.

1.4 Gabriela 2
B. Violates the provisions of RA 7941 particularly:
1.5 APEC 2
1. The 2-4-6 Formula used by the First Party Rule in allocating additional seats for the "First
1.6 A Teacher 1
Party" violates the principle of proportional representation under RA 7941.
1.7 Akbayan 1
2. The use of two formulas in the allocation of additional seats, one for the "First Party" and
1.8 Alagad 1 another for the qualifying parties, violates Section 11(b) of RA 7941.
1.9 Butil 1
3. The proportional relationships under the First Party Rule are different from those required
1.10 Coop-Natco [sic] 1 under RA 7941;
1.11 Anak Pawis 1
C. Violates the "Four Inviolable Parameters" of the Philippine party-list system as provided for
1.12 ARC 1 under the same case of Veterans Federation Party, et al. v. COMELEC.

1.13 Abono 1
II. Presuming that the Commission on Elections did not commit grave abuse of discretion
1.14 AGAP 1 amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it implemented the First-Party Rule in the
allocation of seats to qualified party-list organizations, the same being merely in consonance with
1.15 AMIN 1 the ruling in Veterans Federations Party, et al. v. COMELEC, the instant Petition is a justiciable
case as the issues involved herein are constitutional in nature, involving the correct interpretation
and implementation of RA 7941, and are of transcendental importance to our nation.17
Considering the allegations in the petitions and the comments of the parties in these Section 5. (1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred
cases, we defined the following issues in our advisory for the oral arguments set on 22 and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts
April 2008: apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the
number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and
those who, as provided by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national,
1. Is the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives in Section 5(2), Article VI of the regional, and sectoral parties or organizations.
Constitution mandatory or merely a ceiling?

(2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of
2. Is the three-seat limit in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional? representatives including those under the party-list. For three consecutive terms after the
ratification of this Constitution, one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be
3. Is the two percent threshold prescribed in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 to qualify for one seat filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous
constitutional? cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by law, except
the religious sector.

4. How shall the party-list representative seats be allocated?


The first paragraph of Section 11 of R.A. No. 7941 reads:

5. Does the Constitution prohibit the major political parties from participating in the party-list
elections? If not, can the major political parties be barred from participating in the party-list Section 11. Number of Party-List Representatives. The party-list representatives shall
elections?18 constitute twenty per centum (20%) of the total number of the members of the House of
Representatives including those under the party-list.

The Ruling of the Court


xxx

The petitions have partial merit. We maintain that a Philippine-style party-list election has at least
four inviolable parameters as clearly stated in Veterans. For easy reference, these are: Section 5(1), Article VI of the Constitution states that the "House of Representatives shall be
composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law." The
House of Representatives shall be composed of district representatives and party-list
First, the twenty percent allocation the combined number of all party-list representatives. The Constitution allows the legislature to modify the number of the members of
congressmen shall not exceed twenty percent of the total membership of the House of the House of Representatives.1avvphi1.zw+
Representatives, including those elected under the party list;

Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution, on the other hand, states the ratio of party-list
Second, the two percent threshold only those parties garnering a minimum of two representatives to the total number of representatives. We compute the number of seats available
percent of the total valid votes cast for the party-list system are "qualified" to have a to party-list representatives from the number of legislative districts. On this point, we do not
seat in the House of Representatives; deviate from the first formula in Veterans, thus:

Third, the three-seat limit each qualified party, regardless of the number of votes it
actually obtained, is entitled to a maximum of three seats; that is, one "qualifying" and Number of seats
available to legislative districts Number of seats available to
two additional seats;
x .20 = party-list representatives
.80
Fourth, proportional representation the additional seats which a qualified party is
entitled to shall be computed "in proportion to their total number of votes."19
This formula allows for the corresponding increase in the number of seats available for party-list
representatives whenever a legislative district is created by law. Since the 14th Congress of the
However, because the formula in Veterans has flaws in its mathematical interpretation of the term Philippines has 220 district representatives, there are 55 seats available to party-list
"proportional representation," this Court is compelled to revisit the formula for the allocation of representatives.
additional seats to party-list organizations.

Number of Party-List Representatives: 220


x .20 = 55
.80
The Formula Mandated by the Constitution

Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution provides: After prescribing the ratio of the number of party-list representatives to the total number of
representatives, the Constitution left the manner of allocating the seats available to party-list
representatives to the wisdom of the legislature.
Allocation of Seats for Party-List Representatives: (b) All party-list groups shall initially be allotted one (1) seat for every two per centum
(2%) of the total party-list votes they obtained; provided, that no party-list groups shall
have more than three (3) seats (Section 11, RA 7941).
The Statutory Limits Presented by the Two Percent Threshold and the Three-Seat Cap

(c) The remaining seats shall, after deducting the seats obtained by the party-list
All parties agree on the formula to determine the maximum number of seats reserved under the groups under the immediately preceding paragraph and after deducting from their total
Party-List System, as well as on the formula to determine the guaranteed seats to party-list the votes corresponding to those seats, the remaining seats shall be allotted
candidates garnering at least two-percent of the total party-list votes. However, there are proportionately to all the party-list groups which have not secured the maximum three
numerous interpretations of the provisions of R.A. No. 7941 on the allocation of "additional (3) seats under the 2% threshold rule, in accordance with Section 12 of RA 7941.23
seats" under the Party-List System. Veterans produced the First Party Rule,20 and Justice Vicente
V. Mendozas dissent in Veterans presented Germanys Niemeyer formula21 as an alternative.
Forty-four (44) party-list seats will be awarded under BANATs first interpretation.
The Constitution left to Congress the determination of the manner of allocating the seats for
party-list representatives. Congress enacted R.A. No. 7941, paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 11 The second interpretation presented by BANAT assumes that the 2% vote requirement is
and Section 12 of which provide: declared unconstitutional, and apportions the seats for party-list representatives by following
Section 12 of R.A. No. 7941. BANAT states that the COMELEC:
Section 11. Number of Party-List Representatives. x x x
(a) shall tally all the votes for the parties, organizations, or coalitions on a nationwide
basis;
In determining the allocation of seats for the second vote, 22 the following procedure shall be
observed:
(b) rank them according to the number of votes received; and,
(a) The parties, organizations, and coalitions shall be ranked from the highest to the
lowest based on the number of votes they garnered during the elections. (c) allocate party-list representatives proportionately according to the percentage of
votes obtained by each party, organization or coalition as against the total nationwide
votes cast for the party-list system.24
(b) The parties, organizations, and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the
total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one seat each: Provided,
That those garnering more than two percent (2%) of the votes shall be entitled to BANAT used two formulas to obtain the same results: one is based on the proportional
additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes:Provided, finally, That each percentage of the votes received by each party as against the total nationwide party-list votes,
party, organization, or coalition shall be entitled to not more than three (3) seats. and the other is "by making the votes of a party-list with a median percentage of votes as the
divisor in computing the allocation of seats."25 Thirty-four (34) party-list seats will be awarded
under BANATs second interpretation.
Section 12. Procedure in Allocating Seats for Party-List Representatives. The COMELEC shall
tally all the votes for the parties, organizations, or coalitions on a nationwide basis, rank them
according to the number of votes received and allocate party-list representatives proportionately In G.R. No. 179295, Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher criticize both the COMELECs original
according to the percentage of votes obtained by each party, organization, or coalition as against 2-4-6 formula and the Veterans formula for systematically preventing all the party-list seats from
the total nationwide votes cast for the party-list system. (Emphasis supplied) being filled up. They claim that both formulas do not factor in the total number of seats alloted for
the entire Party-List System. Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher reject the three-seat cap, but
accept the 2% threshold. After determining the qualified parties, a second percentage is
In G.R. No. 179271, BANAT presents two interpretations through three formulas to allocate party- generated by dividing the votes of a qualified party by the total votes of all qualified parties only.
list representative seats. The number of seats allocated to a qualified party is computed by multiplying the total party-list
seats available with the second percentage. There will be a first round of seat allocation, limited
The first interpretation allegedly harmonizes the provisions of Section 11(b) on the 2% to using the whole integers as the equivalent of the number of seats allocated to the concerned
requirement with Section 12 of R.A. No. 7941. BANAT described this procedure as follows: party-list. After all the qualified parties are given their seats, a second round of seat allocation is
conducted. The fractions, or remainders, from the whole integers are ranked from highest to
lowest and the remaining seats on the basis of this ranking are allocated until all the seats are
(a) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty percent (20%) of the total filled up.26
Members of the House of Representatives including those from the party-list groups as
prescribed by Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution, Section 11 (1st par.) of RA 7941
and Comelec Resolution No. 2847 dated 25 June 1996. Since there are 220 District We examine what R.A. No. 7941 prescribes to allocate seats for party-list representatives.
Representatives in the 14th Congress, there shall be 55 Party-List Representatives. All
seats shall have to be proclaimed. Section 11(a) of R.A. No. 7941 prescribes the ranking of the participating parties from the highest
to the lowest based on the number of votes they garnered during the elections.
Table 1. Ranking of the participating parties from the highest to the lowest based on the number
of votes garnered during the elections.27 26 SENIOR CITIZENS 213,058 73 ASAP

27 AT 197,872 74 PEP
Votes Votes
Rank Party Rank Party 28 VFP 196,266 75 ABA ILONGGO
Garnered Garnered
29 ANAD 188,521 76 VENDORS
1 BUHAY 1,169,234 48 KALAHI 88,868
30 BANAT 177,028 77 ADD-TRIBAL
2 BAYAN MUNA 979,039 49 APOI 79,386
31 ANG KASANGGA 170,531 78 ALMANA
3 CIBAC 755,686 50 BP 78,541
32 BANTAY 169,801 79 AANGAT KA PILIPINO
4 GABRIELA 621,171 51 AHONBAYAN 78,424
33 ABAKADA 166,747 80 AAPS
5 APEC 619,657 52 BIGKIS 77,327
34 1-UTAK 164,980 81 HAPI
6 A TEACHER 490,379 53 PMAP 75,200
35 TUCP 162,647 82 AAWAS
7 AKBAYAN 466,112 54 AKAPIN 74,686
36 COCOFED 155,920 83 SM
8 ALAGAD 423,149 55 PBA 71,544
37 AGHAM 146,032 84 AG
9 COOP-NATCCO 409,883 56 GRECON 62,220
38 ANAK 141,817 85 AGING PINOY
10 BUTIL 409,160 57 BTM 60,993
39 ABANSE! PINAY 130,356 86 APO
11 BATAS 385,810 58 A SMILE 58,717
40 PM 119,054 87 BIYAYANG BUKID
12 ARC 374,288 59 NELFFI 57,872
41 AVE 110,769 88 ATS
13 ANAKPAWIS 370,261 60 AKSA 57,012
42 SUARA 110,732 89 UMDJ
14 ABONO 339,990 61 BAGO 55,846
43 ASSALAM 110,440 90 BUKLOD FILIPINA
15 AMIN 338,185 62 BANDILA 54,751
44 DIWA 107,021 91 LYPAD
16 AGAP 328,724 63 AHON 54,522
45 ANC 99,636 92 AA-KASOSYO
17 AN WARAY 321,503 64 ASAHAN MO 51,722
46 SANLAKAS 97,375 93 KASAPI
18 YACAP 310,889 65 AGBIAG! 50,837
47 ABC 90,058 TOTAL
19 FPJPM 300,923 66 SPI 50,478

20 UNI-MAD 245,382 67 BAHANDI 46,612


The first clause of Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 7941 states that "parties, organizations, and
21 ABS 235,086 68 ADD coalitions receiving at45,624
least two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list system shall
be entitled to one seat each." This clause guarantees a seat to the two-percenters. In Table 2
22 KAKUSA 228,999 69 AMANG below, we use the first 20 party-list candidates for illustration purposes. The percentage of votes
43,062
garnered by each party is arrived at by dividing the number of votes garnered by each party by
15,950,900, the total number of votes cast for all party-list candidates.
23 KABATAAN 228,637 70 ABAY PARAK 42,282

24 ABA-AKO 218,818 71 BABAE KA Table 2. The first 20 36,512


party-list candidates and their respective percentage of votes garnered over
the total votes for the party-list.28
25 ALIF 217,822 72 SB 34,835
be in proportion to the votes of the first party. This interpretation is contrary to the express
Votes Garnered over Total of R.A. No. 7941.
language
Rank Party Votes Garnered Guaranteed Seat
Votes for Party-List, in %

1 BUHAY 1,169,234 7.33% We rule that, 1 in computing the allocation of additional seats, the continued operation of the two
percent threshold for the distribution of the additional seats as found in the second clause of
2 BAYAN MUNA 979,039 6.14% Section 11(b) 1 of R.A. No. 7941 is unconstitutional. This Court finds that the two percent threshold
makes it mathematically impossible to achieve the maximum number of available party list seats
3 CIBAC 755,686 4.74% when the number
1 of available party list seats exceeds 50. The continued operation of the two
percent threshold in the distribution of the additional seats frustrates the attainment of the
4 GABRIELA 621,171 3.89% permissive ceiling
1 that 20% of the members of the House of Representatives shall consist of
party-list representatives.
5 APEC 619,657 3.88% 1
To illustrate: There are 55 available party-list seats. Suppose there are 50 million votes cast for
6 A TEACHER 490,379 3.07% 1
the 100 participants in the party list elections. A party that has two percent of the votes cast, or
one million votes, gets a guaranteed seat. Let us further assume that the first 50 parties all get
7 AKBAYAN 466,112 2.92% 1
one million votes. Only 50 parties get a seat despite the availability of 55 seats. Because of the
operation of the two percent threshold, this situation will repeat itself even if we increase the
8 ALAGAD 423,149 2.65% 1
available party-list seats to 60 seats and even if we increase the votes cast to 100 million. Thus,
even if the maximum number of parties get two percent of the votes for every party, it is always
9 COOP-NATCCO 409,883 2.57% 1 the number of occupied party-list seats to exceed 50 seats as long as the two
impossible for
percent threshold is present.
10 BUTIL 409,160 2.57% 1

11 BATAS29 385,810 2.42% We therefore 1 strike down the two percent threshold only in relation to the distribution of the
additional seats as found in the second clause of Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 7941. The two percent
12 ARC 374,288 2.35% threshold presents
1 an unwarranted obstacle to the full implementation of Section 5(2), Article VI
of the Constitution and prevents the attainment of "the broadest possible representation of party,
13 ANAKPAWIS 370,261 2.32% sectoral or group
1 interests in the House of Representatives."30

14 ABONO 339,990 2.13% 1 the allocation of seats for party-list representatives under Section 11 of R.A. No.
In determining
7941, the following procedure shall be observed:
15 AMIN 338,185 2.12% 1

16 AGAP 328,724 2.06% 1.1 The parties, organizations, and coalitions shall be ranked from the highest to the
lowest based on the number of votes they garnered during the elections.
17 AN WARAY 321,503 2.02% 1
2. The parties, organizations, and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the
Total 17 votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one guaranteed seat each.
total
18 YACAP 310,889 1.95% 0
3. Those garnering sufficient number of votes, according to the ranking in paragraph 1,
19 FPJPM 300,923 1.89% shall
0 be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes until all
the additional seats are allocated.
20 UNI-MAD 245,382 1.54% 0
4. Each party, organization, or coalition shall be entitled to not more than three (3)
seats.
From Table 2 above, we see that only 17 party-list candidates received at least 2% from the total
number of votes cast for party-list candidates. The 17 qualified party-list candidates, or the two-
percenters, are the party-list candidates that are "entitled to one seat each," or the guaranteed In computing the additional seats, the guaranteed seats shall no longer be included because they
seat. In this first round of seat allocation, we distributed 17 guaranteed seats. have already been allocated, at one seat each, to every two-percenter. Thus, the remaining
available seats for allocation as "additional seats" are the maximum seats reserved under the
Party List System less the guaranteed seats. Fractional seats are disregarded in the absence of a
The second clause of Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 7941 provides that "those garnering more than provision in R.A. No. 7941 allowing for a rounding off of fractional seats.
two percent (2%) of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total
number of votes." This is where petitioners and intervenors problem with the formula
in Veterans lies. Veterans interprets the clause "in proportion to their total number of votes" to In declaring the two percent threshold unconstitutional, we do not limit our allocation of additional
seats in Table 3 below to the two-percenters. The percentage of votes garnered by each party-list
candidate is arrived at by dividing the number of votes garnered by each party by 15,950,900, the
total number of votes cast for party-list candidates. There are two steps in the second round of 18 YACAP 310,889 1.95% 0 1
seat allocation. First, the percentage is multiplied by the remaining available seats, 38, which is
the difference between the 55 maximum seats reserved under the Party-List System and the 17 19 FPJPM 300,923 1.89% 0 1
guaranteed seats of the two-percenters. The whole integer of the product of the percentage and
of the remaining available seats corresponds to a partys share in the remaining available seats. 20 UNI-MAD 245,382 1.54% 0 1
Second, we assign one party-list seat to each of the parties next in rank until all available seats
are completely distributed. We distributed all of the remaining 38 seats in the second round of 21 ABS 235,086 1.47% 0 1
seat allocation. Finally, we apply the three-seat cap to determine the number of seats each
qualified party-list candidate is entitled. Thus: 22 KAKUSA 228,999 1.44% 0 1

23 KABATAAN 228,637 1.43% 0 1


Table 3. Distribution of Available Party-List Seats
24 ABA-AKO 218,818 1.37% 0 1

Votes 25 ALIF 217,822 1.37% 0 1


Additional
Garnered over (B) plus (C), Applying the
Guaranteed Seat Seats
Votes Total Votes for in whole three
SENIORseat
Rank Party (First Round) (Second 26 213,058 1.34% 0 1
Garnered Party List, in integers cap
CITIZENS
(B) Round)
% (D) (E)
(C)
(A) 27 AT 197,872 1.24% 0 1

1 BUHAY 1,169,234 7.33% 1 2.79 3 28 N.A.


VFP 196,266 1.23% 0 1

2 BAYAN MUNA 979,039 6.14% 1 2.33 3 29 N.A.


ANAD 188,521 1.18% 0 1

3 CIBAC 755,686 4.74% 1 1.80 2 30 N.A.


BANAT 177,028 1.11% 0 1

4 GABRIELA 621,171 3.89% 1 1.48 2 N.A.


ANG
31 170,531 1.07% 0 1
KASANGGA
5 APEC 619,657 3.88% 1 1.48 2 N.A.
32 BANTAY 169,801 1.06% 0 1
6 A Teacher 490,379 3.07% 1 1.17 2 N.A.
33 ABAKADA 166,747 1.05% 0 1
7 AKBAYAN 466,112 2.92% 1 1.11 2 N.A.
34 1-UTAK 164,980 1.03% 0 1
8 ALAGAD 423,149 2.65% 1 1.01 2 N.A.
35 TUCP 162,647 1.02% 0 1
COOP-
931 409,883 2.57% 1 1 2 N.A.
NATCCO 36 COCOFED 155,920 0.98% 0 1

10 BUTIL 409,160 2.57% 1 1 2 Total N.A. 17

11 BATAS 385,810 2.42% 1 1 2 N.A.


Applying the procedure of seat allocation as illustrated in Table 3 above, there are 55 party-list
12 ARC 374,288 2.35% 1 1 2
representatives from N.A.
the 36 winning party-list organizations. All 55 available party-list seats are
filled. The additional seats allocated to the parties with sufficient number of votes for one whole
13 ANAKPAWIS 370,261 2.32% 1 1 seat, in2no case to exceed
N.A. a total of three seats for each party, are shown in column (D).

14 ABONO 339,990 2.13% 1 1 2 N.A.


Participation of Major Political Parties in Party-List Elections
15 AMIN 338,185 2.12% 1 1 2 N.A.
The Constitutional Commission adopted a multi-party system that allowed all political parties to
16 AGAP 328,724 2.06% 1 1 2 in the party-list
participate N.A. elections. The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission clearly
bear this out, thus:
17 AN WARAY 321,503 2.02% 1 1 2 N.A.
MR. MONSOD. Madam President, I just want to say that we suggested or proposed the party list MR. MONSOD. Hindi po reserved iyon kasi anybody can run there. But my question to
system because we wanted to open up the political system to a pluralistic society through a Commissioner Villacorta and probably also to Commissioner Tadeo is that under this system,
multiparty system. x x x We are for opening up the system, and we would like very much for the would UNIDO be banned from running under the party list system?
sectors to be there. That is why one of the ways to do that is to put a ceiling on the number of
representatives from any single party that can sit within the 50 allocated under the party list
system. x x x. MR. VILLACORTA. No, as I said, UNIDO may field sectoral candidates. On that condition alone,
UNIDO may be allowed to register for the party list system.

xxx
MR. MONSOD. May I inquire from Commissioner Tadeo if he shares that answer?

MR. MONSOD. Madam President, the candidacy for the 198 seats is not limited to political
parties. My question is this: Are we going to classify for example Christian Democrats and Social MR. TADEO. The same.
Democrats as political parties? Can they run under the party list concept or must they be under
the district legislation side of it only? MR. VILLACORTA. Puwede po ang UNIDO, pero sa sectoral lines.

MR. VILLACORTA. In reply to that query, I think these parties that the Commissioner mentioned xxxx
can field candidates for the Senate as well as for the House of Representatives. Likewise, they
can also field sectoral candidates for the 20 percent or 30 percent, whichever is adopted, of the
seats that we are allocating under the party list system. MR. OPLE. x x x In my opinion, this will also create the stimulus for political parties and mass
organizations to seek common ground. For example, we have the PDP-Laban and the UNIDO. I
see no reason why they should not be able to make common goals with mass organizations so
MR. MONSOD. In other words, the Christian Democrats can field district candidates and can also that the very leadership of these parties can be transformed through the participation of mass
participate in the party list system? organizations. And if this is true of the administration parties, this will be true of others like the
Partido ng Bayan which is now being formed. There is no question that they will be attractive to
MR. VILLACORTA. Why not? When they come to the party list system, they will be fielding only many mass organizations. In the opposition parties to which we belong, there will be a stimulus
sectoral candidates. for us to contact mass organizations so that with their participation, the policies of such parties
can be radically transformed because this amendment will create conditions that will challenge
both the mass organizations and the political parties to come together. And the party list system
MR. MONSOD. May I be clarified on that? Can UNIDO participate in the party list system? is certainly available, although it is open to all the parties. It is understood that the parties will
enter in the roll of the COMELEC the names of representatives of mass organizations affiliated
with them. So that we may, in time, develop this excellent system that they have in Europe where
MR. VILLACORTA. Yes, why not? For as long as they field candidates who come from the labor organizations and cooperatives, for example, distribute themselves either in the Social
different marginalized sectors that we shall designate in this Constitution. Democratic Party and the Christian Democratic Party in Germany, and their very presence there
has a transforming effect upon the philosophies and the leadership of those parties.
MR. MONSOD. Suppose Senator Taada wants to run under BAYAN group and says that he
represents the farmers, would he qualify? It is also a fact well known to all that in the United States, the AFL-CIO always vote with the
Democratic Party. But the businessmen, most of them, always vote with the Republican Party,
MR. VILLACORTA. No, Senator Taada would not qualify. meaning that there is no reason at all why political parties and mass organizations should not
combine, reenforce, influence and interact with each other so that the very objectives that we set
in this Constitution for sectoral representation are achieved in a wider, more lasting, and more
MR. MONSOD. But UNIDO can field candidates under the party list system and say Juan dela institutionalized way. Therefore, I support this [Monsod-Villacorta] amendment. It installs sectoral
Cruz is a farmer. Who would pass on whether he is a farmer or not? representation as a constitutional gift, but at the same time, it challenges the sector to rise to the
majesty of being elected representatives later on through a party list system; and even beyond
that, to become actual political parties capable of contesting political power in the wider
MR. TADEO. Kay Commissioner Monsod, gusto ko lamang linawin ito. Political parties,
constitutional arena for major political parties.
particularly minority political parties, are not prohibited to participate in the party list election if
they can prove that they are also organized along sectoral lines.
x x x 32 (Emphasis supplied)
MR. MONSOD. What the Commissioner is saying is that all political parties can participate
because it is precisely the contention of political parties that they represent the broad base of R.A. No. 7941 provided the details for the concepts put forward by the Constitutional
citizens and that all sectors are represented in them. Would the Commissioner agree? Commission. Section 3 of R.A. No. 7941 reads:

MR. TADEO. Ang punto lamang namin, pag pinayagan mo ang UNIDO na isang political party, it Definition of Terms. (a) The party-list system is a mechanism of proportional representation in the
will dominate the party list at mawawalang saysay din yung sector. Lalamunin mismo ng political election of representatives to the House of Representatives from national, regional and sectoral
parties ang party list system. Gusto ko lamang bigyan ng diin ang "reserve." Hindi ito reserve seat parties or organizations or coalitions thereof registered with the Commission on Elections
sa marginalized sectors. Kung titingnan natin itong 198 seats, reserved din ito sa political parties.
(COMELEC). Component parties or organizations of a coalition may participate independently Qualifications of Party-List Nominees. No person shall be nominated as party-list
provided the coalition of which they form part does not participate in the party-list system. representative unless he is a natural born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, a resident
of the Philippines for a period of not less than one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the
elections, able to read and write, bona fide member of the party or organization which he seeks to
(b) A party means either a political party or a sectoral party or a coalition of parties. represent for at least ninety (90) days preceding the day of the election, and is at least twenty-five
(25) years of age on the day of the election.
(c) A political party refers to an organized group of citizens advocating an ideology or
platform, principles and policies for the general conduct of government and which, as In case of a nominee of the youth sector, he must at least be twenty-five (25) but not more than
the most immediate means of securing their adoption, regularly nominates and thirty (30) years of age on the day of the election. Any youth sectoral representative who attains
supports certain of its leaders and members as candidates for public office. the age of thirty (30) during his term shall be allowed to continue until the expiration of his term.

It is a national party when its constituency is spread over the geographical territory of Under Section 9 of R.A. No. 7941, it is not necessary that the party-list organizations nominee
at least a majority of the regions. It is a regional party when its constituency is spread "wallow in poverty, destitution and infirmity"34 as there is no financial status required in the law. It
over the geographical territory of at least a majority of the cities and provinces is enough that the nominee of the sectoral party/organization/coalition belongs to the
comprising the region. marginalized and underrepresented sectors,35 that is, if the nominee represents the fisherfolk, he
or she must be a fisherfolk, or if the nominee represents the senior citizens, he or she must be a
(d) A sectoral party refers to an organized group of citizens belonging to any of the senior citizen.
sectors enumerated in Section 5 hereof whose principal advocacy pertains to the
special interests and concerns of their sector, Neither the Constitution nor R.A. No. 7941 mandates the filling-up of the entire 20% allocation of
party-list representatives found in the Constitution. The Constitution, in paragraph 1, Section 5 of
(e) A sectoral organization refers to a group of citizens or a coalition of groups of Article VI, left the determination of the number of the members of the House of Representatives
citizens who share similar physical attributes or characteristics, employment, interests to Congress: "The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred
or concerns. and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, x x x." The 20% allocation of party-list
representatives is merely a ceiling; party-list representatives cannot be more than 20% of the
members of the House of Representatives. However, we cannot allow the continued existence of
(f) A coalition refers to an aggrupation of duly registered national, regional, sectoral a provision in the law which will systematically prevent the constitutionally allocated 20% party-list
parties or organizations for political and/or election purposes. representatives from being filled. The three-seat cap, as a limitation to the number of seats that a
qualified party-list organization may occupy, remains a valid statutory device that prevents any
party from dominating the party-list elections. Seats for party-list representatives shall thus be
Congress, in enacting R.A. No. 7941, put the three-seat cap to prevent any party from dominating
allocated in accordance with the procedure used in Table 3 above.
the party-list elections.

However, by a vote of 8-7, the Court decided to continue the ruling in Veterans disallowing major
Neither the Constitution nor R.A. No. 7941 prohibits major political parties from participating in the
political parties from participating in the party-list elections, directly or indirectly. Those who voted
party-list system. On the contrary, the framers of the Constitution clearly intended the major
to continue disallowing major political parties from the party-list elections joined Chief Justice
political parties to participate in party-list elections through their sectoral wings. In fact, the
Reynato S. Puno in his separate opinion. On the formula to allocate party-list seats, the Court is
members of the Constitutional Commission voted down, 19-22, any permanent sectoral seats,
unanimous in concurring with this ponencia.
and in the alternative the reservation of the party-list system to the sectoral groups.33In defining a
"party" that participates in party-list elections as either "a political party or a sectoral party," R.A.
No. 7941 also clearly intended that major political parties will participate in the party-list elections. WHEREFORE, we PARTIALLY GRANT the petition. We SET ASIDE the Resolution of the
Excluding the major political parties in party-list elections is manifestly against the Constitution, COMELEC dated 3 August 2007 in NBC No. 07-041 (PL) as well as the Resolution dated 9 July
the intent of the Constitutional Commission, and R.A. No. 7941. This Court cannot engage in 2007 in NBC No. 07-60. We declare unconstitutional the two percent threshold in the distribution
socio-political engineering and judicially legislate the exclusion of major political parties from the of ad