You are on page 1of 33

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 1

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 2

La Bugal-BLaan Tribal Association Inc. vs Ramos | GR No. 127882
December 1, 2004

Facts: The Petition for Prohibition and Mandamus before the Court
challenges the constitutionality of (1) Republic Act No. [RA] 7942 (The
Philippine Mining Act of 1995); (2) its Implementing Rules and Regulations
(DENR Administrative Order No. [DAO] 96-40); and (3) the FTAA dated
March 30, 1995,6 executed by the government with Western Mining
Corporation (Philippines), Inc. (WMCP). On January 27, 2004, the Court en
banc promulgated its Decision granting the Petition and declaring the
unconstitutionality of certain provisions of RA 7942, DAO 96-40, as well as
of the entire FTAA executed between the government and WMCP, mainly
on the finding that FTAAs are service contracts prohibited by the 1987
Constitution. The Decision struck down the subject FTAA for being similar
to service contracts, which, though permitted under the 1973 Constitution,
were subsequently denounced for being antithetical to the principle of
sovereignty over our natural resources, because they allowed foreign
control over the exploitation of our natural resources, to the prejudice of the
Filipino nation. The Decision quoted several legal scholars and authors
who had criticized service contracts for, inter alia, vesting in the foreign
contractor exclusive management and control of the enterprise, including
operation of the field in the event petroleum was discovered; control of
production, expansion and development; nearly unfettered control over the
disposition and sale of the products discovered/extracted; effective
ownership of the natural resource at the point of extraction; and beneficial
ownership of our economic resources. According to the Decision, the 1987
Constitution (Section 2 of Article XII) effectively banned such service
contracts. Subsequently, respondents filed separate Motions for
Reconsideration. In a Resolution dated March 9, 2004, the Court required
petitioners to comment thereon. In the Resolution of June 8, 2004, it set the
case for Oral Argument on June 29, 2004.

Issue: Whether or not the FTAA issued were valid.

Held: Yes. The notion that the deliberations reflect only the views of those
members who spoke out and not the views of the majority who remained

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 3

silent should be clarified. We must never forget that those who spoke out
were heard by those who remained silent and did not react. If the latter
were silent because they happened not to be present at the time, they are
presumed to have read the minutes and kept abreast of the deliberations.
By remaining silent, they are deemed to have signified their assent to
and/or conformity with at least some of the views propounded or their lack
of objections thereto. It was incumbent upon them, as representatives of
the entire Filipino people, to follow the deliberations closely and to speak
their minds on the matter if they did not see eye to eye with the proponents
of the draft provisions.

In any event, each and every one of the commissioners had the opportunity
to speak out and to vote on the matter. Moreover, the individual
explanations of votes are on record, and they show where each delegate
stood on the issues. In sum, we cannot completely denigrate the value or
usefulness of the record of the ConCom, simply because certain members
chose not to speak out.

However, it is of common knowledge, and of judicial notice as well, that the

government is and has for many many years been financially strapped, to
the point that even the most essential services have suffered serious
curtailments education and health care, for instance, not to mention
judicial services have had to make do with inadequate budgetary
allocations. Thus, government has had to resort to build-operate-transfer
and similar arrangements with the private sector, in order to get vital
infrastructure projects built without any governmental outlay.

The drafters whose ranks included many academicians, economists,

businessmen, lawyers, politicians and government officials were not
unfamiliar with the practices of foreign corporations and multinationals.

Neither were they so nave as to believe that these entities would provide
assistance without conditionalities or some quid pro quo. Definitely, as
business persons well know and as a matter of judicial notice, this matter is
not just a question of signing a promissory note or executing a technology
transfer agreement. Foreign corporations usually require that they be given

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 4

a say in the management, for instance, of day-to-day operations of the joint
venture. They would demand the appointment of their own men as, for
example, operations managers, technical experts, quality control heads,
internal auditors or comptrollers. Furthermore, they would probably require
seats on the Board of Directors all these to ensure the success of the
enterprise and the repayment of the loans and other financial assistance
and to make certain that the funding and the technology they supply would
not go to waste. Ultimately, they would also want to protect their business
reputation and bottom lines.

Maceda vs. Vasquez (G.R. No. 102781)

Facts: Respondent Napoleon Abiera of PAO filed a complaint before the

Office of the Ombudsman against petitioner RTC Judge Bonifacio Sanz
Maceda. Respondent Abiera alleged that petitioner Maceda has falsified
his certificate of service by certifying that all civil and criminal cases which
have been submitted for decision for a period of 90 days have been
determined and decided on or before January 31, 1989, when in truth and
in fact, petitioner Maceda knew that no decision had been rendered in 5
civil and 10 criminal cases that have been submitted for decision.
Respondent Abiera alleged that petitioner Maceda falsified his certificates
of service for 17 months.

Issue: Whether or not the investigation made by the Ombudsman

constitutes an encroachment into the SCs constitutional duty of
supervision over all inferior courts

Held: A judge who falsifies his certificate of service is administratively liable

to the SC for serious misconduct and under Sec. 1, Rule 140 of the Rules
of Court, and criminally liable to the State under the Revised Penal Code
for his felonious act.

In the absence of any administrative action taken against him by the Court
with regard to his certificates of service, the investigation being conducted
by the Ombudsman encroaches into the Courts power of administrative

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 5

supervision over all courts and its personnel, in violation of the doctrine of
separation of powers.

Art. VIII, Sec. 6 of the Constitution exclusively vests in the SC

administrative supervision over all courts and court personnel, from the
Presiding Justice of the CA down to the lowest municipal trial court clerk.
By virtue of this power, it is only the SC that can oversee the judges and
court personnels compliance with all laws, and take the proper
administrative action against them if they commit any violation thereof. No
other branch of government may intrude into this power, without running
afoul of the doctrine of separation of powers.

Where a criminal complaint against a judge or other court employee arises

from their administrative duties, the Ombudsman must defer action on said
complaint and refer the same to the SC for determination whether said
judge or court employee had acted within the scope of their administrative



Jose Angara and Pedro Ynsua, Miguel Castillo and Dionisio Mayor were
candidates voted for the position of member of the National Assembly for
the 1st district of Tayabas province.

On Oct 17 1935, the provincial board of canvassers proclaimed Angara as

member-elect of the Nat'l Assembly for garnering the most number of
votes. He then took his oath of office on Nov 15th. On Dec 3rd, Nat'l
Assembly passed Res. No 8 which declared with finality the victory of
Angara. On Dec 8, Ynsua filed before the Electoral Commission a motion
of protest against the election of Angara, that he be declared elected
member of the Nat'l Assembly. Electoral Commission passed a resolution
in Dec 9th as the last day for the filing of the protests against the election,
returns and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. On
Dec 20, Angara filed before the Elec. Commission a motion to dismiss the

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 6

protest that the protest in question was filed out of the prescribed period.
The Elec. Commission denied Angara's petition.

Angara prayed for the issuance of writ of prohibition to restrain and prohibit
the Electoral Commission taking further cognizance of Ynsua's protest. He
contended that the Constitution confers exclusive jurisdiction upon the said
Electoral Commissions as regards the merits of contested elections to the
Nat'l Assembly and the Supreme Court therefore has no jurisdiction to hear
the case.

ISSUE: Whether or not the SC has jurisdiction over the Electoral

Commission and the subject matter of the controversy;

Whether or not The Electoral Commission has acted without or in excess of

its jurisdiction.

RULING: In this case, the nature of the present controversy shows the
necessity of a final constitutional arbiter to determine the conflict of
authority between two agencies created by the Constitution. The court has
jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission and the subject matter of the
present controversy for the purpose of determining the character, scope
and extent of the constitutional grant to the Electoral Commission as "the
sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications
of the members of the National Assembly." (Sec 4 Art. VI 1935
Constitution). It is held, therefore, that the Electoral Commission was acting
within the legitimate exercise of its constitutional prerogative in assuming to
take cognizance of the election protest filed by Ynsua.

Jean Arnault vs Nazareno

This case arose from the legislative inquiry into the acquisition by the
Philippine Government of the Buenavista and Tambobong estates
sometime in 1949. Among the witnesses called to be examined by the
special committee created by a Senate resolution was Jean L. Arnault, a
lawyer who delivered a partial of the purchase price to a representative of
the vendor. During the Senate investigation, Arnault refused to reveal the

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 7

identity of said representative, at the same time invoking his constitutional
right against self-incrimination. The Senate adopted a resolution committing
Arnault to the custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms and imprisoned until he
shall have purged the contempt by revealing to the Senate . . . the name of
the person to whom he gave the P440,000, as well as answer other
pertinent questions in connection therewith. Arnault petitioned for a writ of
Habeas Corpus

ISSUE: Can the senate impose penalty against those who refuse to answer
its questions in a congressional hearing in aid of legislation.

HELD: It is the inherent right of the Senate to impose penalty in carrying

out their duty to conduct inquiry in aid of legislation. But it must be herein
established that a witness who refuses to answer a query by the
Committee may be detained during the term of the members imposing said
penalty but the detention should not be too long as to violate the witness
right to due process of law.

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 8

Case Digest: Vera vs Avelino

Facts of the Case: The Commission on Elections submitted last May 1946
to the President and the Congress a report regarding the national elections

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 9

held in 1946. It stated that by reason of certain specified acts of terrorism
and violence in certain provinces, namely Pampanga, Nueva Ecija,
Bulacan and Tarlac, the voting in said region did not reflect the accurate
feedback of the local electorate.

During the session on May 25, 1946, a pendatum resolution was approved
referring to the report ordering that Jose O. Vera, Ramon Diokno and Jose
E. Romero who had been included among the 16 candidates for senator
receiving the highest number of votes and as proclaimed by the
Commissions on Elections shall not be sworn, nor seated, as members of
the chamber, pending the termination of the protest filed against their

Petitioners then immediately instituted an action against their colleagues

who instituted the resolution, praying for its annulment and allowing them to
occupy their seats and to exercise their senatorial duties. Respondents
assert the validity of the pendatum resolution.

Issues of the Case: Whether or Not the Commission on Elections has the
jurisdiction to determine whether or not votes cast in the said provinces are

Whether or Not the administration of oath and the sitting of Jose O. Vera,
Ramon Diokno and Jose Romero should be deferred pending hearing and
decision on the protests lodged against their elections.

Held: The Supreme Court refused to intervene, under the concept of

separation of powers, holding that the case was not a contest, and
affirmed that it is the inherent right of the legislature to determine who shall
be admitted to its membership. Following the powers assigned by the
Constitution, the question raised was political in nature and therefore not
under the juridical review of the courts

The case is therefore dismissed

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 10


FACTS: This was a petition for habeas corpus filed by Jean Arnault against
the Director of Prisons, Balagtas. Arnault was incarcerated pursuant to a
resolution by the Senate finding Arnault in contempt for refusing to disclose
the name of a person with whom he transacted business in relation to a
government purchase of of the Buenavista and Tambobong estates. The
circumstances of Arnault's incarceration are described in the companion
case Arnaultvs. Nazareno (1950) which affirmed the Legislature's power to
hold a person in contempt for defying or refusing to comply with an order in
a legislative inquiry.

Arnault eventually divulged that he had transacted with one Jess D. Santos
in relation to the Buenavista and Tambobong deal. Upon further inquiry, the
Senate, obviously not satisfied with Arnault's explanations, adopted
Resolution No. 114. The title of the resolution states:




WHEREAS, the Senate holds and finds that the situation of the said Jean
L. Arnault has not materially changed since he was committed to prison for
contempt of the Senate, and since the Supreme Court of the Philippines, in
a judgment long since become final, upheld the power and authority of the
Senate to hold the said Jean L. Arnault in custody, detention, and
confinement, said power and authority having been held to be coercive
rather than punitive, and fully justified until the said Jean L. Arnault should
have given the information which he had withheld and continues
contumaciously to withhold;

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 11

WHEREAS, the insolent and manifest untruthful statements made by the
said Jean L. Arnault on the occasions above referred to constitute a
continuing contempt of the Senate, and an added affront to its dignity and
authority, such that , were they to be condoned or overlooked, the power
and authority of the Senate to conduct investigations would become futile
and ineffectual because they could be defied by any person of sufficient
stubbornness and malice;


The Court of First Instance ruled in favor of Petitioner Arnault and ordered
his release.

ISSUE: Whether or not Petitioner may be released from his Senate-

imposed incarceration.

1. Whether or not the CFI has the right to review the findings of the Senate.

2. Whether or not the Senate may hold a person in contempt or incarcerate

him as a punitive rather than as a coercive measure.

HELD: YES. The Senate may continue to keep Petitioner incarcerated.

1. NO. In the first place, the CFI did NOT have the right to review the
findings of the Senate. In the above quoted resolution, the Senate in stating
that petitioner has failed and refused, and continues to fail and refuse, to
reveal the person to whom he gave the amount of P440,000 and that the
situation of petitioner has not materially charged since he was committed
to prison, clearly shows that the Senate believes that Arnault was still
trying to deceive them. The CFI on the other hand arrogated unto itself to
review such finding and held that Arnault satisfactorily answered the
questions of the Senate in its investigation of the Buenavista and
Tambobong deal.

There is an inherent fundamental error in the course of action that the lower
court followed. It assumed that courts have the right to review the findings
of legislative bodies in the exercise of the prerogative of legislation, or

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 12

interfere with their proceedings or their discretion in what is known as the
legislative process. The Judicial department has no right or power or
authority to do this, in the same manner that the legislative department may
not invade the judicial realm in the ascertainment of truth and in the
application and interpretation of the law, in what is known as the judicial
process, because that would be in direct conflict with the fundamental
principle of separation of powers established by the Constitution. The only
instances when judicial intervention may lawfully be invoke are when there
has been a violation of a constitutional inhibition, or when there has been
an arbitrary exercise of the legislative discretion.

2. YES. The legislature may hold a person in contempt or incarcerate him

as a punitive measure.

Although the resolution studiously avoids saying that the confinement is a

punishment, but merely seeks to coerce the petitioner into telling the truth,
the intention is evident that the continuation of the imprisonment ordered is
in fact partly punitive. This may be inferred from the confining made in the
resolution that petitioner's acts were arrogant and contumacious and
constituted an affront to the Senate's dignity and authority.

The legislature has the power to punish recalcitrant witnesses. This power
is founded upon reason and policy. Said power must be considered implied
or incidental to the exercise of legislative power, or necessary to effectuate
said power. How could a legislative body obtain the knowledge and
information on which to base intended legislation if it cannot require and
compel the disclosure of such knowledge and information, if it is impotent
to punish a defiance of its power and authority? The legislative department
should not be constrained to look to the courts whenever for every act of
refusal, every act of defiance, every act of contumacy with which it is faced.

The exercise of the legislature's authority to deal with the defiant and
contumacious witness should be supreme and is not subject to judicial
interference, except when there

is a manifest and absolute disregard of discretion and a mere exertion of

arbitrary power coming within the reach of constitutional limitations.

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 13

The judgment appealed from should be, as it hereby is, reversed, and the
petition for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus denied. The order of
the court allowing the petitioner to give bail is declared null and void and
the petitioner is hereby ordered to be recommitted to the custody of the
respondent. With cost against the petitioner-appellee.

Philippine Bar Association vs. COMELEC

FACTS: 11 petitions were filed for prohibition against the enforcement of

BP 883 which calls for special national elections on February 7, 1986
(Snap elections) for the offices of President and Vice President of the
Philippines. BP 883 in conflict with the constitution in that it allows the
President to continue holding office after the calling of the special election.

Senator Pelaez submits that President Marcos letter of conditional

resignation did not create the actual vacancy required in Section 9, Article
7 of the Constitution which could be the basis of the holding of a special
election for President and Vice President earlier than the regular elections
for such positions in 1987. The letter states that the President is:
irrevocably vacat(ing) the position of President effective only when the
election is held and after the winner is proclaimed and qualified as
President by taking his oath office ten (10) days after his proclamation.

The unified opposition, rather than insist on strict compliance with the cited
constitutional provision that the incumbent President actually resign, vacate
his office and turn it over to the Speaker of the Batasang Pambansa as
acting President, their standard bearers have not filed any suit or petition in
intervention for the purpose nor repudiated the scheduled election. They
have not insisted that President Marcos vacate his office, so long as the
election is clean, fair and honest.

ISSUE: Is BP 883 unconstitutional, and should the Supreme Court

therefore stop and prohibit the holding of the elections

HELD: The petitions in these cases are dismissed and the prayer for the
issuance of an injunction restraining respondents from holding the election

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 14

on February 7, 1986, in as much as there are less than the required 10
votes to declare BP 883 unconstitutional.

The events that have transpired since December 3,as the Court did not
issue any restraining order, have turned the issue into a political question
(from the purely justiciable issue of the questioned constitutionality of the
act due to the lack of the actual vacancy of the Presidents office) which
can be truly decided only by the people in their sovereign capacity at the
scheduled election, since there is no issue more political than the election.
The Court cannot stand in the way of letting the people decide through their
ballot, either to give the incumbent president a new mandate or to elect a
new president.

Jose Avelino vs Mariano Cuenco

On February 18, 1949, Senator Lorenzo Taada invoked his right to speak
on the senate floor to formulate charges against the then Senate President
Jose Avelino. He requested to do so on the next session (Feb. 21, 1949).
On the next session day however, Avelino delayed the opening of the
session for about two hours. Upon insistent demand by Taada, Mariano
Cuenco, Prospero Sanidad and other Senators, Avelino was forced to open
session. He however, together with his allies initiated all dilatory and
delaying tactics to forestall Taada from delivering his piece. Motions being
raised by Taada et al were being blocked by Avelino and his allies and
they even ruled Taada and Sanidad, among others, as being out of order.
Avelinos camp then moved to adjourn the session due to the disorder.
Sanidad however countered and they requested the said adjournment to be
placed in voting. Avelino just banged his gavel and he hurriedly left his
chair and he was immediately followed by his followers. Senator Tomas
Cabili then stood up, and asked that it be made of record it was so made
that the deliberate abandonment of the Chair by the Avelino, made it
incumbent upon Senate President Pro-tempore Melencio Arranz and the
remaining members of the Senate to continue the session in order not to
paralyze the functions of the Senate. Taada was subsequently recognized

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 15

to deliver his speech. Later, Arranz yielded to Sanidads Resolution (No.
68) that Cuenco be elected as the Senate President. This was unanimously
approved and was even recognized by the President of the Philippines the
following day. Cuenco took his oath of office thereafter. Avelino then filed a
quo warranto proceeding before the SC to declare him as the rightful
Senate President.

ISSUE: Whether or not the SC can take cognizance of the case.

HELD: No. By a vote of 6 to 4, the SC held that they cannot take

cognizance of the case. This is in view of the separation of powers, the
political nature of the controversy and the constitutional grant to the Senate
of the power to elect its own president, which power should not be
interfered with, nor taken over, by the judiciary. The SC should abstain in
this case because the selection of the presiding officer affects only the
Senators themselves who are at liberty at any time to choose their officers,
change or reinstate them. Anyway, if, as the petition must imply to be
acceptable, the majority of the Senators want petitioner to preside, his
remedy lies in the Senate Session Hall not in the Supreme Court.

Supposed the SC can take cognizance of the case, what will be the

There is unanimity in the view that the session under Senator Arranz was a
continuation of the morning session and that a minority of ten senators
(Avelino et al) may not, by leaving the Hall, prevent the other (Cuenco et al)
twelve senators from passing a resolution that met with their unanimous
endorsement. The answer might be different had the resolution been
approved only by ten or less.

**Two senators were not present that time. Sen. Soto was in a hospital
while Sen. Confesor was in the USA.

Is the rump session (presided by Cuenco) a continuation of the morning

session (presided by Avelino)? Are there two sessions in one day? Was
there a quorum constituting such session?

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 16

The second session is a continuation of the morning session as evidenced
by the minutes entered into the journal. There were 23 senators considered
to be in session that time (including Soto, excluding Confesor). Hence,
twelve senators constitute a majority of the Senate of twenty three
senators. When the Constitution declares that a majority of each House
shall constitute a quorum, the House does not mean all the members.
Even a majority of all the members constitute the House. There is a
difference between a majority of all the members of the House and a
majority of the House, the latter requiring less number than the first.
Therefore an absolute majority (12) of all the members of the Senate less
one (23), constitutes constitutional majority of the Senate for the purpose of
a quorum. Furthermore, even if the twelve did not constitute a quorum, they
could have ordered the arrest of one, at least, of the absent members; if
one had been so arrested, there would be no doubt Quorum then, and
Senator Cuenco would have been elected just the same inasmuch as there
would be eleven for Cuenco, one against and one abstained.

MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (filed by Avelino on March 14, 1949)

Avelino and his group (11 senators in all) insist that the SC take
cognizance of the case and that they are willing to bind themselves to the
decision of the SC whether it be right or wrong. Avelino contends that there
is no constitutional quorum when Cuenco was elected president. There are
24 senators in all. Two are absentee senators; one being confined and the
other abroad but this does not change the number of senators nor does it
change the majority which if mathematically construed is + 1; in this case
12 (half of 24) plus 1 or 13 NOT 12. There being only 12 senators when
Cuenco was elected unanimously there was no quorum.

The Supreme Court, by a vote of seven resolved to assume jurisdiction

over the case in the light of subsequent events which justify its intervention.
The Chief Justice agrees with the result of the majoritys pronouncement on
the quorum upon the ground that, under the peculiar circumstances of the
case, the constitutional requirement in that regard has become a mere
formalism, it appearing from the evidence that any new session with a
quorum would result in Cuencos election as Senate President, and that the

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 17

Cuenco group, taking cue from the dissenting opinions, has been trying to
satisfy such formalism by issuing compulsory processes against senators
of the Avelino group, but to no avail, because of the Avelinos persistent
efforts to block all avenues to constitutional processes. For this reason, the
SC believes that the Cuenco group has done enough to satisfy the
requirements of the Constitution and that the majoritys ruling is in
conformity with substantial justice and with the requirements of public
interest. Therefore Cuenco has been legally elected as Senate President
and the petition is dismissed.

Marcos v. Manglapus

Facts: Former President Ferdinand Marcos petitions the SC for mandamus

and prohibition asking to order respondents to issue travel documents to
him and his immediate family and to enjoin the implementation of the
President "s decision to bar their return to the Philippines.

Issue: WON the President may prohibit the Marcoses from returning to the
Philippines, in the exercise of the powers granted in her by the Constitution.

Ruling: Affirmative. Although the 1987 Constitution imposes limitations on

the exercise of specific powers of the President, it maintains intact what is
traditionally considered as within the scope of "executive power ". The
powers of the President cannot be said to be limited only to the specific
powers enumerated in the Constitution. Whatever power inherent in the
government that is neither legislative nor judicial has to be executive. Even
the members of the Legislature has recognized that indeed Mrs. Aquino
has the power under the Constitution to bar the Marcoses from returning,
as per House Resolution No. 1342.

Marcos v Manglapus, et. al.

Facts: Same as above, except that Ferdinand has died.

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 18

Held: Among the duties of the President under the Constitution, in
compliance with his (or her) oath of office, is to protect and promote the
interest and welfare of the people. Her decision to bar the return of the
Marcoses and subsequently, the remains of Mr. Marcos at the present time
and under present circumstances is in compliance with this bounden duty.
In the absence of a clear showing that she had acted with arbitrariness or
with grave abuse of discretion in arriving at this decision, the Court will not
enjoin the implementation of this decision.



This case involves a petition of mandamus and prohibition asking the court
to order the respondents Secretary of Foreign Affairs, etc. To issue a
"travel documents "to former Pres. Marcos and the immediate members of
his family and to enjoin the implementation of the President's decision to
bar their return to the Philippines. Petitioners assert that the right of the
Marcoses "to return "in the Philippines is guaranteed by "the Bill of Rights,
specifically "Sections "1 and 6. They contended that Pres. Aquino is without
power to impair the liberty of abode of the Marcoses because only a court
may do so within the limits prescribed by law. Nor the President impair their
right to travel because no law has authorized her to do so.

They further assert that under "international law, their right "to return "to the
Philippines is guaranteed particularly by the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and the International Covenant on "Civil "and Political
Rights, which has been ratified by the Philippines.

Issue:"Whether or not, in the exercise of the powers granted by "the

constitution, the President (Aquino) may prohibit the Marcoses from
returning to the Philippines.

Held:"It must be emphasized that the individual right involved is not the
right to "travel from "the Philippines to other countries or within the
Philippines. These are what the right to travel would normally connote.
Essentially, the right involved in this case at bar is the right "to return "to

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 19

one's country, a distinct right under "international law, independent from
although related to the right to travel. Thus, the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and the International Covenant on "Civil "and Political Rights
treat the right to freedom of "movement "and abode within the territory of a
state, the right to leave the country, and the right to enter one's country as
separate and distinct rights. What the Declaration speaks of is the "right to
freedom of "movement "and residence within the borders of each state". On
the other hand, the Covenant guarantees the right to liberty of "movement
"and freedom to choose his residence and the right to be free to leave any
country, including his own. Such rights may only be restricted by laws
protecting the "national security, public order, "public health "or morals or
the separate rights of others. However, right to enter one's country cannot
be arbitrarily deprived. It would be therefore inappropriate to construe the
limitations to the right "to return "to ones country in the same context as
those pertaining to the liberty of abode and the right to travel.

The Bill of rights "treats only the liberty of abode and the right to travel, but
it is a well considered view that the right "to return "may be considered, as
a generally accepted principle of "International Law "and under our
Constitution as part of the law of the land. "

The court held that President did not act arbitrarily or with grave abuse of
discretion in determining that the return of the Former Pres. Marcos and his
family poses a serious threat to national interest and welfare. President
Aquino has determined that the destabilization caused by the return of the
Marcoses would wipe away the gains achieved during the past few years
after the Marcos regime.

The return of the Marcoses poses a serious threat and therefore prohibiting
their return to the Philippines, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED.

Case Digest: Dante O. Casibang vs. Honorable Narciso A. Aquino

FACTS: Yu was proclaimed on November 1971 as the elected mayor of

Rosales, Pangasinan. Casibang, his only rival, filed a protest against

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 20

election on the grounds of rampant vote buying, anomalies and
irregularities and others. During the proceedings of this case, the 1973
Constitution came into effect. Respondent Yu moved to dismiss the
election protest of the petitioner on the ground that the trial court had lost
jurisdiction over the same in view of the effectivity of the new Constitution
and the new parliamentary form of government.

ISSUES: Whether Section 9, Article XVII of the 1973 Constitution rendered

the protest moot and academic; and

Whether Section 2, Article XI thereof entrusted to the National Assembly

the revamp of the entire local government structure.

RULING: As stated in Santos vs. Castaneda, the constitutional grant of

privilege to continue in office, made by the new Constitution for the benefit
of persons who were incumbent officials or employees of the Government
when the new Constitution took effect, cannot be fairly construed as
indiscriminately encompassing every person who at the time happened to
be performing the duties of an elective office, albeit under protest or
contest" and that "subject to the constraints specifically mentioned in
Section 9, Article XVII of the Transitory Provisions, it neither was, nor could
have been the intention of the framers of our new fundamental law to
disregard and shunt aside the statutory right of a candidate for elective
position who, within the time-frame prescribed in the Election Code of
1971, commenced proceedings beamed mainly at the proper determination
in a judicial forum of a proclaimed candidate-elect's right to the contested

Section 2 of Article XI does not stigmatize the issue in that electoral protest
case with a political color. For simply, that section allocated unto the
National Assembly the power to enact a local government code "which may
not thereafter be amended except by a majority of all its Members, defining
a more responsive and accountable local government allocating among the
different local government units their powers, responsibilities, and
resources, and providing for their qualifications, election and removal, term,
salaries, powers, functions and duties of local officials, and all other matters

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 21

relating to the organization and operation of the local units" but "... any
change in the existing form of local government shall not take effect until
ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite called for the purpose."

Lorenzo Taada vs Mariano Cuenco | 103 Phil. 1051 Political Law

Constitutional Law Political Question Defined Members of the
Senate Electoral Tribunal

After the 1955 national elections, the membership in the Senate was
overwhelmingly occupied by the Nacionalista Party. The lone opposition
senator was Lorenzo Taada who belonged to the Citizens Party.
Diosdado Macapagal on the other hand was a senatorial candidate who
lost the bid but was contesting it before the Senate Electoral Tribunal
(SET). But prior to a decision the SET would have to choose its members.
It is provided that the SET should be composed of 9 members comprised of
the following: 3 justices of the Supreme Court, 3 senators from the majority
party and 3 senators from the minority party. But since there is only one
minority senator the other two SET members supposed to come from the
minority were filled in by the NP. Taada assailed this process before the
Supreme Court. So did Macapagal because he deemed that if the SET
would be dominated by NP senators then he, as a member of the
Liberalista Party will not have any chance in his election contest. Senator
Mariano Cuenco et al (members of the NP) averred that the Supreme Court
cannot take cognizance of the issue because it is a political question.
Cuenco argued that the power to choose the members of the SET is vested
in the Senate alone and the remedy for Taada and Macapagal was not to
raise the issue before judicial courts but rather to leave it before the bar of
public opinion.

ISSUE: Whether or not the issue is a political question.

HELD: No. The SC took cognizance of the case and ruled that the issue is
a justiciable question. The term Political Question connotes what it means
in ordinary parlance, namely, a question of policy. It refers to those
questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 22

their sovereign capacity; or in regard to which full discretionary authority
has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the
government. It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not
legality, of a particular measure.

In this case, the issue at bar is not a political question. The Supreme Court
is not being asked by Taada to decide upon the official acts of Senate.
The issue being raised by Taada was whether or not the elections of the 5
NP members to the SET are valid which is a judicial question. Note that
the SET is a separate and independent body from the Senate which does
not perform legislative acts.

But how should the gridlock be resolved?

The nomination of the last two members (who would fill in the supposed
seat of the minority members) must not come from the majority party. In
this case, the Chairman of the SET, apparently already appointed members
that would fill in the minority seats (even though those will come from the
majority party). This is still valid provided the majority members of the SET
(referring to those legally sitting) concurred with the Chairman. Besides, the
SET may set its own rules in situations like this provided such rules comply
with the Constitution.

Defensor-Santiago vs. Guingona G.R. No. 134577, November 18, 1998

Facts: During the first regular session of the eleventh Congress, Senator
Fernan was declared the duly elected President of the Senate by a vote of
20 to 2. Senator Tatad manifested that, with the agreement of Senator
Santiago, allegedly the only other member of the minority, he was
assuming the position of minority leader. He explained that those who had
voted for Senator Fernan comprised the majority, while only those who had
voted for him, the losing nominee, belonged to the minority. Senator Flavier
manifested that the senators belonging to the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP Party
numbering 7 and, thus, also a minority had chosen Senator Guingona as
the minority leader. Thereafter, the majority leader informed the body that

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 23

he was in receipt of a letter signed by the 7 Lakas-NUCD-UMDP senators,
stating that they had elected Senator Guingona as the minority leader. By
virtue thereof, the Senate President formally recognized Senator Guingona
as the minority leader of the Senate. Senators Santiago and Tatad filed a
petition for quo warranto, alleging that Senator Guingona had been
usurping, unlawfully holding and exercising the position of Senate minority
leader, a position that, according to them, rightfully belonged to Senator

Issues: (1) Whether or not the Court has jurisdiction over the petition

(2) Whether or not there is an actual violation of the Constitution

Held: Regarding the first issue, jurisdiction over the subject matter of a
case is determined by the allegations of the complaint or petition,
regardless of whether the petitioner is entitled to the relief asserted. In light
of the allegations of the petitioners, it is clear that the Court has jurisdiction
over the petition. It is well within the power and jurisdiction of the Court to
inquire whether indeed the Senate or its officials committed a violation of
the Constitution or gravely abused their discretion in the exercise of their
functions and prerogatives.

However, the interpretation proposed by petitioners finds no clear support

from the Constitution, the laws, the Rules of the Senate or even from
practices of the Upper House. The term majority, when referring to a
certain number out of a total or aggregate, it simply means the number
greater than half or more than half of any total. In effect, while the
Constitution mandates that the President of the Senate must be elected by
a number constituting more than one half of all the members thereof, it
does not provide that the members who will not vote for him shall ipso facto
constitute the minority, who could thereby elect the minority leader. No law
or regulation states that the defeated candidate shall automatically become
the minority leader.

While the Constitution is explicit in the manner of electing a Senate

President and a House Speaker, it is, however, dead silent on the manner
of selecting the other officers in both chambers of Congress. All that the

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 24

Charter says under Art. VI, Sec. 16(1) is that each House shall choose
such other officers as it may deem necessary. The method of choosing
who will be such other officers is merely a derivative of the exercise of the
prerogative conferred by the said constitutional provision. Therefore, such
method must be prescribed by the Senate itself, not by the Court.


FACTS: This is an original Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules
of Court with an application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
mandatory injunction against the Office of the Executive Secretary, the
Secretary of the DFA, the Secretary of the DOJ, and the OSG.

Petitioners are all members of the MALAYA LOLAS, a non-stock, non-profit

organization registered with the SEC, established for the purpose of
providing aid to the victims of rape by Japanese military forces in the
Philippines during the Second World War.

Petitioners claim that since 1998, they have approached the Executive
Department through the DOJ, DFA, and OSG, requesting assistance in
filing a claim against the Japanese officials and military officers who
ordered the establishment of the comfort women stations in the
Philippines. But officials of the Executive Department declined to assist the
petitioners, and took the position that the individual claims of the comfort
women for compensation had already been fully satisfied by Japans
compliance with the Peace Treaty between the Philippines and Japan.

Hence, this petition where petitioners pray for this court to (a) declare that
respondents committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of discretion in refusing to espouse their claims for the crimes
against humanity and war crimes committed against them; and (b) compel
the respondents to espouse their claims for official apology and other forms
of reparations against Japan before the International Court of Justice (ICJ)
and other international tribunals.

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 25

Respondents maintain that all claims of the Philippines and its nationals
relative to the war were dealt with in the San Francisco Peace Treaty of
1951 and the bilateral Reparations Agreement of 1956.

On January 15, 1997, the Asian Womens Fund and the Philippine
government signed a Memorandum of Understanding for medical and
welfare support programs for former comfort women. Over the next five
years, these were implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and

ISSUE: WON the Executive Department committed grave abuse of

discretion in not espousing petitioners claims for official apology and other
forms of reparations against Japan.

RULING: Petition lacks merit. From a Domestic Law Perspective, the

Executive Department has the exclusive prerogative to determine whether
to espouse petitioners claims against Japan.

Political questions refer to those questions which, under the Constitution,

are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to
which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or
executive branch of the government. It is concerned with issues dependent
upon the wisdom, not legality of a particular measure.

One type of case of political questions involves questions of foreign

relations. It is well-established that the conduct of the foreign relations of
our government is committed by the Constitution to the executive and
legislativethe politicaldepartments of the government, and the propriety
of what may be done in the exercise of this political power is not subject to
judicial inquiry or decision. are delicate, complex, and involve large
elements of prophecy. They are and should be undertaken only by those
directly responsible to the people whose welfare they advance or imperil.

But not all cases implicating foreign relations present political questions,
and courts certainly possess the authority to construe or invalidate treaties
and executive agreements. However, the question whether the Philippine
government should espouse claims of its nationals against a foreign

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 26

government is a foreign relations matter, the authority for which is
demonstrably committed by our Constitution not to the courts but to the
political branches. In this case, the Executive Department has already
decided that it is to the best interest of the country to waive all claims of its
nationals for reparations against Japan in the Treaty of Peace of 1951. The
wisdom of such decision is not for the courts to question.

The President, not Congress, has the better opportunity of knowing the
conditions which prevail in foreign countries, and especially is this true in
time of war. He has his confidential sources of information. He has his
agents in the form of diplomatic, consular and other officials.

The Executive Department has determined that taking up petitioners cause

would be inimical to our countrys foreign policy interests, and could disrupt
our relations with Japan, thereby creating serious implications for stability in
this region. For the to overturn the Executive Departments determination
would mean an assessment of the foreign policy judgments by a coordinate
political branch to which authority to make that judgment has been
constitutionally committed.

From a municipal law perspective, certiorari will not lie. As a general

principle, where such an extraordinary length of time has lapsed between
the treatys conclusion and our consideration the Executive must be given
ample discretion to assess the foreign policy considerations of espousing a
claim against Japan, from the standpoint of both the interests of the
petitioners and those of the Republic, and decide on that basis if apologies
are sufficient, and whether further steps are appropriate or necessary.

In the international sphere, traditionally, the only means available for

individuals to bring a claim within the international legal system has been
when the individual is able to persuade a government to bring a claim on
the individuals behalf. By taking up the case of one of its subjects and by
resorting to diplomatic action or international judicial proceedings on his
behalf, a State is in reality asserting its own right to ensure, in the person of
its subjects, respect for the rules of international law.

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 27

Within the limits prescribed by international law, a State may exercise
diplomatic protection by whatever means and to whatever extent it thinks
fit, for it is its own right that the State is asserting. Should the natural or
legal person on whose behalf it is acting consider that their rights are not
adequately protected, they have no remedy in international law. All they
can do is resort to national law, if means are available, with a view to
furthering their cause or obtaining redress. All these questions remain
within the province of municipal law and do not affect the position

Even the invocation of jus cogens norms and erga omnes obligations will
not alter this analysis. Petitioners have not shown that the crimes
committed by the Japanese army violated jus cogens prohibitions at the
time the Treaty of Peace was signed, or that the duty to prosecute
perpetrators of international crimes is an erga omnes obligation or has
attained the status of jus cogens.

The term erga omnes (Latin: in relation to everyone) in international law

has been used as a legal term describing obligations owed by States
towards the community of states as a whole. Essential distinction should be
drawn between the obligations of a State towards the international
community as a whole, and those arising vis--vis another State in the field
of diplomatic protection. By their very nature, the former are the concern of
all States. In view of the importance of the rights involved, all States can be
held to have a legal interest in their protection; they are obligations erga

The term jus cogens (literally, compelling law) refers to norms that
command peremptory authority, superseding conflicting treaties and
custom. Jus cogens norms are considered peremptory in the sense that
they are mandatory, do not admit derogation, and can be modified only by
general international norms of equivalent authority

WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DISMISSED.

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 28

Greco Belgica vs Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa | 710 SCRA 1
Political Law Constitutional Law Local Government Invalid
Delegation | Legislative Department Invalid Delegation of Legislative

Facts: The so-called pork barrel system has been around in the Philippines
since about 1922. Pork Barrel is commonly known as the lump-sum,
discretionary funds of the members of the Congress. It underwent several
legal designations from Congressional Pork Barrel to the latest Priority
Development Assistance Fund or PDAF. The allocation for the pork barrel
is integrated in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA).

Since 2011, the allocation of the PDAF has been done in the following

a. P70 million: for each member of the lower house; broken down to P40
million for hard projects (infrastructure projects like roads, buildings,
schools, etc.), and P30 million for soft projects (scholarship grants,
medical assistance, livelihood programs, IT development, etc.);

b. P200 million: for each senator; broken down to P100 million for hard
projects, P100 million for soft projects;

c. P200 million: for the Vice-President; broken down to P100 million for
hard projects, P100 million for soft projects.

The PDAF articles in the GAA do provide for realignment of funds whereby
certain cabinet members may request for the realignment of funds into their
department provided that the request for realignment is approved or
concurred by the legislator concerned.

Presidential Pork Barrel

The president does have his own source of fund albeit not included in the
GAA. The so-called presidential pork barrel comes from two sources: (a)
the Malampaya Funds, from the Malampaya Gas Project this has been
around since 1976, and (b) the Presidential Social Fund which is derived
from the earnings of PAGCOR this has been around since about 1983.

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 29

Pork Barrel Scam Controversy

Ever since, the pork barrel system has been besieged by allegations of
corruption. In July 2013, six whistle blowers, headed by Benhur Luy,
exposed that for the last decade, the corruption in the pork barrel system
had been facilitated by Janet Lim Napoles. Napoles had been helping
lawmakers in funneling their pork barrel funds into about 20 bogus NGOs
(non-government organizations) which would make it appear that
government funds are being used in legit existing projects but are in fact
going to ghost projects. An audit was then conducted by the Commission
on Audit and the results thereof concurred with the exposes of Luy et al.

Motivated by the foregoing, Greco Belgica and several others, filed various
petitions before the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the
pork barrel system.


I. Whether or not the congressional pork barrel system is constitutional.

II. Whether or not presidential pork barrel system is constitutional.


I. No, the congressional pork barrel system is unconstitutional. It is

unconstitutional because it violates the following principles:

a. Separation of Powers

As a rule, the budgeting power lies in Congress. It regulates the release of

funds (power of the purse). The executive, on the other hand, implements
the laws this includes the GAA to which the PDAF is a part of. Only the
executive may implement the law but under the pork barrel system, whats
happening was that, after the GAA, itself a law, was enacted, the legislators
themselves dictate as to which projects their PDAF funds should be
allocated to a clear act of implementing the law they enacted a violation
of the principle of separation of powers. (Note in the older case of
PHILCONSA vs Enriquez, it was ruled that pork barrel, then called as CDF

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 30

or the Countrywide Development Fund, was constitutional insofar as the
legislators only recommend where their pork barrel funds go).

This is also highlighted by the fact that in realigning the PDAF, the
executive will still have to get the concurrence of the legislator concerned.

b. Non-delegability of Legislative Power

As a rule, the Constitution vests legislative power in Congress alone. (The

Constitution does grant the people legislative power but only insofar as the
processes of referendum and initiative are concerned). That being,
legislative power cannot be delegated by Congress for it cannot delegate
further that which was delegated to it by the Constitution.

Exceptions to the rule are:

(i) delegated legislative power to local government units but this shall
involve purely local matters;

(ii) authority of the President to, by law, exercise powers necessary and
proper to carry out a declared national policy in times of war or other
national emergency, or fix within specified limits, and subject to such
limitations and restrictions as Congress may impose, tariff rates, import and
export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues, and other duties or imposts
within the framework of the national development program of the

In this case, the PDAF articles which allow the individual legislator to
identify the projects to which his PDAF money should go to is a violation of
the rule on non-delegability of legislative power. The power to appropriate
funds is solely lodged in Congress (in the two houses comprising it)
collectively and not lodged in the individual members. Further, nowhere in
the exceptions does it state that the Congress can delegate the power to
the individual member of Congress.

c. Principle of Checks and Balances

One feature in the principle of checks and balances is the power of the
president to veto items in the GAA which he may deem to be inappropriate.

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 31

But this power is already being undermined because of the fact that once
the GAA is approved, the legislator can now identify the project to which he
will appropriate his PDAF. Under such system, how can the president veto
the appropriation made by the legislator if the appropriation is made after
the approval of the GAA again, Congress cannot choose a mode of
budgeting which effectively renders the constitutionally-given power of the
President useless.

d. Local Autonomy

As a rule, the local governments have the power to manage their local
affairs. Through their Local Development Councils (LDCs), the LGUs can
develop their own programs and policies concerning their localities. But
with the PDAF, particularly on the part of the members of the house of
representatives, whats happening is that a congressman can either bypass
or duplicate a project by the LDC and later on claim it as his own. This is an
instance where the national government (note, a congressman is a national
officer) meddles with the affairs of the local government and this is
contrary to the State policy embodied in the Constitution on local
autonomy. Its good if thats all that is happening under the pork barrel
system but worse, the PDAF becomes more of a personal fund on the part
of legislators.

II. Yes, the presidential pork barrel is valid.

The main issue raised by Belgica et al against the presidential pork barrel
is that it is unconstitutional because it violates Section 29 (1), Article VI of
the Constitution which provides:

No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an

appropriation madeby law.

Belgica et al emphasized that the presidential pork comes from the

earnings of the Malampaya and PAGCOR and not from any appropriation
from a particular legislation.

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 32

The Supreme Court disagrees as it ruled that PD 910, which created the
Malampaya Fund, as well as PD 1869 (as amended by PD 1993), which
amended PAGCORs charter, provided for the appropriation, to wit:

(i) PD 910: Section 8 thereof provides that all fees, among others, collected
from certain energy-related ventures shall form part of a special fund (the
Malampaya Fund) which shall be used to further finance energy resource
development and for other purposes which the President may direct;

(ii) PD 1869, as amended: Section 12 thereof provides that a part of

PAGCORs earnings shall be allocated to a General Fund (the Presidential
Social Fund) which shall be used in government infrastructure projects.

These are sufficient laws which met the requirement of Section 29, Article
VI of the Constitution. The appropriation contemplated therein does not
have to be a particular appropriation as it can be a general appropriation as
in the case of PD 910 and PD 1869.

Kriz Abeja | Consti CH6 Separation of powers Page 33