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Bill, defined.
A bill is a proposed legislative measure introduced by a member of Congress for
enactment into law, signed by the author/s, filed with the House Secretary.

Bill is the draft of a proposed law from the time of its introduction in a legislative body
through all the various stages in both houses. It is enacted into law by a vote of the
legislative body. An Act is the appropriate term for it after it has been acted on and
passed by the legislature. It then becomes a statute, the written will of the legislature
solemnly expressed according to the form necessary to constitute it as the law of the state.

Origin of bill.
A bill may originate in the lower or upper house except appropriation,
revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of public debt, bills of
local application, private bills, which shall originate exclusively in the
House of Representatives.

Tolentino v Secretary of Finance, 235 SCRA 630 (1994)

FACTS: Several bills were introduced in the House of Representatives
to expand the tax base of the Value Added Tax (VAT) system and
enhance its administration by amending the National Internal Revenue
Code (NIRC).
These were referred to the House and Ways Committee which
consolidated a bill and recommended its approval.
After approval, it went to the Senate and referred to its
Committee on Ways and Means. Thus, petitioners argue that it did not
originate exclusively in the lower house because it merely consolidated
2 distinct bills from the lower and upper houses. This violates the clear
mandate of originate which was even qualified by the word

HELD: It is not the law, but the revenue bill, which is required by the
Constitution to originate exclusively in the House of Representatives. A
bill originating in the lower house may undergo extensive changes in
the Senate that may result in the rewriting of the entire bill. To insist
the revenue statute must be substantially the same as the house bill
would be to deny the Senates power not only to concur with
amendments but also to propose amendments.
For indeed, what the Constitution simply means is that the initiative for
filing revenue bill must come from the House of Representatives. This
is based on the theory that since they are elected by their districts,

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they are expected to be more sensitive to the local needs and

Thus, while it is true that a revenue bill must originate
exclusively in the House of Representatives, the Senate can
propose amendments that re-writes the entire bill or substitute
it with an entirely separate and distinct bill.

How a bill becomes a law.

A bill before it becomes a law must pass the strict constitutional

requirements explicit both in the 1973 Constitution and the 1987

Passage of a bill in a parliamentary system (unicameral assembly):

a. A member of the National Assembly may introduce the proposed bill
to the Secretary of the National Assembly who will calendar the same
for the first reading. Filing- with the House Secretary. Secretary
reports the bill for the 1 Reading.
b. In the first reading, the bill is read by its number and title only.

c. After the first reading, the bill is referred by the Speaker to the
appropriate committee for study. At this stage, the appropriate
committee will conduct public hearings. Then after the public hearings,
the committee shall decide whether or not to report the bill favorably
or whether a substitute bill should be considered. Should there be an
unfavorable report of the committee, then the proposed bill is dead.
d. Upon favorable action by the committee, the bill is returned to the
National Assembly and shall be calendared for the second reading.

Composition - experts in the subjects under their jurisdiction.

What happens in the Committee Stage? It may hold public
hearings on the proposed measure. Bill comes under sharpest scrutiny.
Committee may approve or reject the bill, with or without
amendments, re-write the bill entirely, report it favorably or without
recommendation. Committee reports and recommends for calendar for
second reading.

e. In the second reading, the bill is read in its entirety. (in full with

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the amendments proposed by the Committee, if any. Unless

copies were distributed before and such reading is dispensed
with. The bill will be subjected to debates, motions and
amendments. After the amendments have been acted upon, the
bill will be voted on second reading)
f. Immediately after the second reading, the bill is set for open debates
where members of the assembly may propose amendments and
insertions to the proposed bill.
g. After the approval of the bill in its second reading and at least three
(3) calendar days before its final passage, the bill is printed in its final
form and copies thereof distributed to each of the members.
h. The bill is then calendared for the third and final reading. At this
stage, no amendment shall be allowed. Only the title of the bill is read
and the National Assembly will then vote on the bill. Under the present
1987 Constitution, after the third and final reading at one House where
the bill originated, it will go to the other House where it will undergo
the same process.
(Final vote for yeas and nays shall be taken and entered in the
i. After the bill has been passed, it will be submitted to the Prime
Minister (President) for approval. If he disapproves, he shall veto it
and return the same with his objections to the National Assembly
(House where it originated), and if approved by two-thirds of all its
members, shall become a law. Under the present set-up, if the
originating house will agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together
with the objections to the other house by which it shall be likewise be
considered and must be approved by two-thirds of the votes. Every bill
passed by Congress shall be acted upon by the President within thirty
(30) days from receipt thereof. Otherwise, it shall become a law.

Section 26 (2) Article VI, 1987 Constitution

Tolentino v Secretary of Finance, 235 SCRA 630 (1994)
No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has
passed three readings on 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 amendment thereto shall be allowed, and
the vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas
and nays entered into the Journal.

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Constitutional Reqts for the bill to pass. Article VI, Section 26

It has passed 3 readings on separate days
Printed copies in final form distributed to its members 3 days
before its passage.
EXCEPT : when the President certifies it as urgent to meet public
calamity or emergency.

But the factual basis of the presidential certification of bills may
not be subjected to judicial review. It merely dispenses with the
procedural requirements designed to insure that bills are duly
considered by members.

(?) Contention of Petitioners: The certification of the bill is invalid

because there was no emergency. The justification of growing budget
deficit is not an unusual condition in this country.
HELD: The presidential certification dispenses not only printing and
distribution of the copy of the bill but also the reading on separate
days. The phrase except when the President certifies to the
necessity of its immediate enactment qualifies the 2 stated
conditions before a bill becomes a law. The unless clause must
be read in relation to the except clause because they are coordinate
clauses of the same sentence. To construe the except clause as
simply dispensing the printing and distribution not only offends
grammar but also negates the very premise of the except clause.
The necessity of securing the immediate enactment of the bill which is
certified in order to meet a public calamity or emergency.
The factual basis of presidential certification of bills is not
subject to judicial review pursuant to the principle of
separation of powers as it merely involves doing away with
procedural requirements. A law may not be declared
unconstitutional when what is violated in its passage are mere internal
rules of procedure. Unlike the sufficiency of the factual basis of the
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus which threaten
individual rights hence subject to judicial review.

Conference Committee it is a mechanism to harmonize differences

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between both Houses in the passage of the bill into law. But it can deal
generally with the subject matter. It may produce results beyond its
mandate. The rules do not limit it to consider conflicting provisions
only. It is empowered to include an entirely new provision not found in
either bills. Thus, political scientists call the Conference Committee a
third body of the legislature.

A Conference Committee is constituted and is composed of Members

from each House of Congress to settle, reconcile or thresh out
differences or disagreements on any provision of the bill.
The conferees are not limited to reconciling the differences in the bill
but may introduce new provisions germane to the subject matter or
may report out an entirely new bill on the subject.
The Conference Committee prepares a report to be signed by all the
conferees and the Chairman.
The Conference Committee Report is submitted for consideration/
approval of both Houses. No amendment is allowed.

Illustrative case: Tolentino v Secretary of Finance, 235 SCRA

630 (1994)
FACTS: The Conference Committee consolidated the House and Senate
versions closed doors which resulted in an entirely different version.
CONTENTION OF PETITIONERS: The House Committee Report included
provisions not found in either version and these were secretly inserted
into it closed doors.
HELD: There is nothing wrong about closed door executive sessions.
Often, when only the conferences are present, it is the only way to
harmonize conflicting provisions. The incomplete sentences in the
transcripts may be attributed to the stenographers own limitations or
incoherence of statements.

Amendment in the nature of a substitute by the Conference

Committee resulting in a third version is allowed provided it is
germane to the subject of both versions.

Doctrine of enrolled bill

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When both houses approve the Conference Committee Report adopting

third version of the bill, it is the latter that is the final and conclusive
version submitted to the president for approval. The requirement of 3
readings on separate days and distribution of copies 3 days prior does
not apply to Conference Committee Reports.

Under the enrolled bill doctrine, the text of the act as passed and
approved is deemed importing absolute veracity and is binding on the
courts. An enrolled copy of the bill is conclusive not only of its
provisions but also of its due enactment. Once the Senate
President and Speaker sign the bill and the Secretaries certify
No, in one case, the Senate President admitted to a mistake and
withdrew his signature. Thus, the Supreme Court went behind the
enrolled bill and consulted the Journal to determine whether certain
provisions of the statute had been approved by the Senate. There was
no longer any enrolled bill to consider when the signature was

Authentication of bills
The system of authentication devised is the signing by the Speaker and the
Senate President of the printed copy of the approved bill, to signify to
the President that the bill being presented to him has been duly
approved by the legislature and is ready for his approval or rejection.

Presidents approval or veto

Once the bill is approved, it is transmitted to the President of the Philippines for
signature. The President may then either sign the bill to indicate approval, or veto the bill
to indicate disapproval. If approved, the bill officially becomes a law.

Override of presidential veto

If the President decides to exercise his veto powers, the Congress may re-pass the vetoed
bill if two-thirds of both Houses, voting separately, approve its enactment. In this case,
the bill also officially becomes a law.

3 ways by which a bill becomes a law

A bill passed by Congress becomes a law in either of three ways:

When the President signs it

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When the President does not sign nor communicate his veto of
the bill within thirty days after his receipt thereof

When the vetoed bill is repassed by Congress by two-thirds vote

of all its members, voting separately. (Congress overrides veto)

Parts of statutes.

Title the heading on the preliminary part, furnishing the name by which the act
is individually known. It is usually prefixed to the statute in the brief summary of
its contents. The general statement of the subject of the bill.

Preamble part of statute explaining the reasons for its enactment and
the objects sought to be accomplished. Usually, it starts with whereas.
Part which follows the title and precedes the enacting clause

Enacting clause part of statute which declares its enactment and serves
to identify it as an act of legislation proceeding from the proper legislative
authority. Be enacted is the usual formula used to start this clause.
Precedes body of statute, identifies the bill as an act of legislation, absence
does not nullify law unless required by the Constitution, not required by
Constitution but used as a matter of legislative practice or custom.

Body the main and operative part of the statute containing its
substantive and even procedural provisions. Provisos and exceptions may
also be found.
Main part of the bill, rights or remedies.

POLICY SECTION declaration of state policy.

Definition section Defines terms

Administrative section Enforcement body

Standards of conduct do and avoid

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Sanctions penalties

Transitory Provisions Temporary provisions for transition

Repealing Clause - announces the prior statutes or specific provisions

which have been abrogated by reason of the enactment of the new law.
Repeal is not a legislative finding that the earlier law in unconstitutional.

Saving Clause restriction in a repealing act, which is intended to save

rights, pending proceedings, penalties, etc. from the annihilation which
would result from an unrestricted repeal.

Separability Clause provides that in the event that one or more

provisions or unconstitutional, the remaining provisions shall still be in
If part of the law is declared invalid, the rest remains valid. Does not bind
the courts. The whole statute may be nullified, if what is left is not
complete or workable.

Effectivity Clause / Date of effectivity announces the effective date of

the law.
Time when law takes effect. Usually after 15 days following completion of
publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general

One title-one subject rule.

Sec. 26 (1), Article VI, 1987 Constitution.
Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject
which shall be expressed in the title thereof
A bill embraces only one subject matter, to prevent logrolling, to
prevent surprise or fraud, to inform the people.

Tolentino v Secretary of Finance, 235 SCRA 630 (1994)

ISSUE: An Act Restructuring the Value-Added Tax (VAT) System,
Widening Its Tax Base and Enhancing its Administration, and For These

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Purposes Amending and Repealing the Relevant Provisions of the

National Internal Revenue Code, as amended, And For Other Purposes.
HELD: To insist that the tax exemption be specified in the title is to
require the title of the bill to be a complete index of its content. Every
bill is required to embrace only one subject expressed in its title to
prevent surprise upon members of the Congress and inform the people
about it. If PAL did not know that its exemption was withdrawn, it is
not due to the defect in the title but because just like other statutes,
they pass unnoticed even if published. The title is sufficient if it
expresses the general subject of the statute and all its
provisions are germane to the general subject thus expressed.

Logrolling Combination of multiple propositions in one proposal.

Entire proposition is nullified, not only the subject matter.
A legislative practice of embracing in one bill several distinct matters,
none of which, perhaps, could singly obtain the assent of the
legislature, and then procuring its passage by a combination of the
minorities in favor of each of the measures into a majority that will
adopt them all.
Practice of including in one statute or constitutional amendment more
than one proposition, inducing voters to vote for all, notwithstanding
they might not have voted for all if amendments or statutes had been
submitted separately.
Lambino v COMELEC, G.R. No. 174153, October 25, 2006
FACTS: In 2006, the group led by Raul Lambino and Enrico Aumentado
gathered signatures nationwide as peoples initiative to amend the
Constitution by shifting from Bicameral-Presidential to Unicameral-
Parliamentary form of government. It asked the people this
HELD: For sure, the great majority of the 6.3 million Filipinos who
signed the signature sheets did not see the full text of the proposition.
They could have not known the nature and effect of the proposed
changes: 1. The term limits will be lifted and thus members of the
Parliament can be re-elected indefinitely. 2. The interim Parliament can
continue to function indefinitely until its members, who are almost all

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the present members of Congress, decide to call for new parliamentary

elections. 3. Within 45 days from the ratification of the proposed
changes, the interim Parliament shall convene to propose further
amendments or revisions to the Constitution.
The subject matter of this proposed transitory provision is totally
unrelated to the shift from presidential-bicameral to unicameral-
parliamentary system. This is logrolling. It places the people in a
dilemma since they can answer only either yes or no to the entire
proposition, which contains 2 subjects, one of which they may find

Effects of insufficiency of title. Bill is void insofar as the subject

matter not expressed in the title is concerned. But id void and valid are
inseparable, the nullity of one vitiates the other. ( go back to
A statute whose title does not conform to the one title-subject or
is not related to its subject is null and void
If subject matter of statute is not sufficiently expressed in its
title, only the unexpressed subject matter is void leaving the rest
in force

Date of effectivity
When laws take effect.
Article 2, Civil Code
Laws take effect after 15 days following completion of publication in
the Official Gazette, unless otherwise provided
Section 18, Chapter 5, Book I, 1987 Administrative
Laws take effect after 15 days following completion of publication in
the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation, unless it is
otherwise provided.

Completion of publication from which the date the period of

publication will be counted, refers to the dte of release of the O.G. or
newspaper for circulation and not to its date, unless the two dates

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Taada v Tuvera, 146 SCRA 446 (1986)

Philippine Veterans Bank v Vega, G.R. No. 105364,
June 28, 2001
Effectivity of presidential issuances, rules and
regulations. The requirement of publication also applies to
Presidential Issuances. Exceptions: those which are merely
interpretative or internal in nature not concerning the public.
Presidential issuances, basis.
Effectivity of Internal Rules and Regulations

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Nature of administrative, rules & regulations

Whose purpose is to implement or enforce existing law pursuant
to a valid delegation or to fill in the details of a statute; whether
they are penal or non-penal; this requires publication.
Those which are merely interpretative in nature or merely
internal in character not concerning the public, does not need

In addition, the 1987 Administrative Code provide that-

Every agency shall file with the U.P. Law Center three copies of
every rule adopted by it. Rules in force on the date of effectivity
of this Code which are not filed within 3 months from that date
shall not be the basis of any sanction against any party or
Each rule shall become effective 15 days from the date of filing
as above provided unless a different date is fixed by law, or
specified in the rule in cases of imminent danger to public health,
safety and welfare.
Publication and filing requirements are indispensable to the
effectivity or rules and regulations, except when the law authorizing
its issuance dispenses the filing requirements.
Types of administrative rules & regulations
IRR- enforces the law
LOI interprets the rule
Rule-making power of a public administrative agency
delegated legislative power.
Test of validity of administrative rules and
regulations (Test of validity of delegation of rule-making
The law must be : complete in itself, fix a standard standard, the
limits are sufficiently determinate or determinable, in case of
discrepancy between statute and IRR, the statute prevails.

When local ordinances take effect.

Local ordinance shall take effect after 10 days from the date a copy
thereof is posted in the bulletin board at the entrance of the provincial
capitol or city, municipal, or barangay hall, as the case may be, and in
at least two other conspicuous places in the local government unit.
The Secretary of the sanggunian shall cause the posting of the
ordinance within 5 days after its approval.

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The gist of all ordinances with penal sanctions shall be published

in a newspaper of general circulation, within the province where the
local legislative body concerned belongs.
In case of highly-urbanized and independent component cities,
the main feature of the ordinance or resolution duly enacted or
adopted shall, in addition to being posted, be published once in a local
newspaper of general circulation within the city.
Unless a statute is by its provisions for a limited period only, it
continues in force until changed or repealed by the legislature. Law
once established continues until changed by some competent
legislative power. It is not changed by change of sovereignty.

Manner of computing time.

Where a statute requires the doing of an act within a specified
number of days, such as 10 days, from notice, it means 1o calendar
days and not working days. Where the word week is used as a
measure of time and without reference to the calendar, it means a
period of seven consecutive days without regard to the day of the
week from which it begins (PNB Vs CA).
Year: 365 days
Month: 30 days except if the months are designated
Days: 24 hours
Night: from sunrise to sunset
Week: a period of 7 consecutive days without regard to the day
of the week from which it begins.
Civil Code adopts the 365 day year and the 30-day month and not the
calendar year nor the solar month.
The exclude the- first and include the last day rule governs the
computation of a period. IF the last day falls on a Sunday or legal
holiday, the act can still be done the following day. The principle does
not apply to the computation of the period of PRSECRIPTION OF
CRIME, in which the rule is that if the last days in the period of
prescription of a felony falls on a Sunday or legal holiday, the
information concerning said felony cannot be filed on the next working
day, as the offense has been by then already prescribed.

Garvida v Sales, G.R. No. 124893, April 18, 1997

FACT: Proclamation of a duly elected SK Chair was suspended by the
COMELEC because she is overaged. The law says candidates should

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not be more than 21 years old on the day of election. The SK Chair
however argued she is still 21 years, 10 months and 25 days old, not
22 years old.
HELD: The LGC speaks of years, not months or days and a year
consists of 365 days. In computing years, first year is reached after
completing first 365 days. So, 21 is 21 cycles of 365 days. Not more
than 21 years old is not the same as less than 22 years old.

Ordinance, defined.
Ordinance an act passed by the local legislative body in the exercise of its law-making


1. Must not contravene the Constitution or any statute; 2. Must not be unfair or
3. Must not be partial or discriminatory;
4. Must not prohibit but may regulate trade; 5. Must be general and consistent with public
policy; and 6. Must not be unreasonable.


Local councils exercise only delegated legislative powers conferred on them by Congress
as the national law making body.

The delegate cannot be superior to the principal.

Barangay ordinance, authority to pass and review.

Sanggniang barangay: smallest legislative body; may pass an
ordinance affecting a barangay by a majority vote of all its members.
Its ordinance is subject to review by sangguniang bayan or
panlungsod, to determine if it is in accordance with municipal or city
ordinance. Sangguniang Bayan or panlungsod shall take action on the
ordinance within 30 days from submission.
Municipal ordinance, authority to pass, veto and review.
Sangguniang Bayan: affirmative vote of a majorirty of the members of
the sangguniang bayan, there being a quorum. Ordinance is then
submitted to the municipal mayor, who within 10 days from the receipt
shall return it with his approval or veto. The ordinance is then
submitted to sangguniang panlalawigan for review, who within 30 days
may invalidate it in whole or in part.
City ordinance, authority to pass, veto & review.

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Sangguniang panlungsod: affirmative vote of a majority of the

members of the sangguniang bayan, there being a quorum. Approved
ordinance shall be submitted to the mayor, who within 10 days shall
return it with approval or his veto. The Sanggunian may repass a
vetoed ordinance. If the city is a component city, the approved
ordinance is submitted to the Sangguniang panlalawigan, who shall act
within 30 days.
Provincial ordinance, authority to pass and veto.
Sangguniang panlalawigan: by a vote of a majority of the members
present, there being a quorum, enact ordinance that will affect the
province. The ordinance is forwarded to the governor who. Within 15
days shall return it with his approval or veto. A vetoed ordinance may
be repassed by two-thirds vote.
Resolution, defined.
The determination or decision, in regard to its opinion or intention, of a
deliberative or legislative body, public assembly, town council, board of directors
or the like. Also a motion or formal proposition offered for adoption by such a
body. In legislative practice. The term is usually employed to denote the adoption
of a motion, the subject-matter of which would not properly constitute a statute;
such as a mere expression of opinion; an alteration of the rules ; a vote of thanks
or of censure, etc. In practice. The judgment of a court. In the civil law. The
cancellation or annulling, by the act of parties or judgment of a court, of an
existing contract which was valid and binding, in consequence of some cause or
matter arising after the making of the agreement, and not in consequence of any
inherent vice or defect, which, invalidating the contract from the beginning,
would be ground for rescission.
Law Dictionary: What is RESOLUTION? definition of RESOLUTION (Black's
Law Dictionary)

Resolutions convey principles and sentiments of the Senate or the House of

Representatives. These resolutions can further be divided into three different elements:
joint resolutions require the approval of both chambers of Congress and the
signature of the President, and have the force and effect of a law if approved.
concurrent resolutions used for matters affecting the operations of both
chambers of Congress and must be approved in the same form by both houses, but
are not transmitted to the President for his signature and therefore have no force
and effect of a law.
simple resolutions deal with matters entirely within the prerogative of one
chamber of Congress, are not referred to the President for his signature, and
therefore have no force and effect of a law.
Kinds of resolutions.

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It is usually designated with P. S. Res. A simple resolution deals with matters
entirely within the prerogative of one house of Congress, such as adopting or
receiving its own rules. A simple resolution is not considered by the other
chamber and is not sent to the President for his signature. Like a concurrent
resolution, it has no effect and force of a law. Simple resolutions are used
occasionally to express the opinion of a single house on a current issue.
Oftentimes, it is also used to call for a congressional action on an issue affecting
national interest.
A concurrent resolution is usually designated in the Senate as S. Ct. Res. It is
used for matters affecting the operations of both houses and must be passed in
the same form by both of them. However, they are not referred to the President
for his signature, and they do not have the force of law. Concurrent resolutions
are used to fix the time of adjournment of a Congress and to express the sense
of Congress on an issue.

A joint resolution, like a bill, requires the approval of both houses and the
signature of the President. It has the force and effect of a law if approved. There
is no real difference between a bill and a joint resolution. The latter generally is
used when dealing with a single item or issue, such as a continuing or
emergency appropriations bill. Joint resolutions are also used for proposing
amendments to the Constitution.

Validity of statute.
Every statute passed by legislature is presumed to be valid because
the legislature is supposed to have considered the question of its
validity before approving it. In cases of doubt, the court resolves in
favor of its validity. Presumption of constitutionality, in deference to
the wisdom, integrity and patriotism of the legislature, all reasonable
doubts are ruled in favor of constitutionality. To doubt is to sustain.

Presumption of constitutionality.
The presumption is always in favor of constitutionality. However, if the statute is really
unconstitutional, the courts are not only authorized but must declare its
unconstitutionality. The
court must see to it that the other departments have not exceeded their constitutional
authority. (Essence of Separation of Powers and System of Check and Balance)

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Authority to declare law unconstitutional.

The final authority to declare a law unconstitutional is the Supreme
Court en banc by the concurrence of a majority of the Members who
actually took part in the deliberations.

Trial Courts have jurisdiction to initially decide the issue of

constitutionality of a law in appropriate cases.

Article VIII, Section 4 (2), 1987 Constitution Supreme Court en

banc, concurrence of majority of its members who actually took part in
the deliberations and voted

Essential requisites for judicial review.

Existence of an appropriate case/actual case (controversy)
An interest personal and substantial by the party raising the
constitutionality (Locus standi/legal standing)
The plea that the function be exercised at the earliest
opportunity/ Raised at the earliest opportunity
The necessity that the constitutional question to be passed upon
in order to decide the case (lis mota)
LIS MOTA : Courts will deal with constitutionality issue only if it is
unavoidable, very crux of the controversy

Illustrative case: Francisco Jr., v House of Representatives,

G.R. No. 160261, Nov 10, 2003

FACTS: In June 2003, Joseph Estrada filed an impeachment complaint

against CJ Davide and 7 other associate judges for culpable violation of
the Constitution, betrayal of public trust and other high crimes. It was
endorsed by 3 legislators are referred to the House Committee on
Justice which ruled that it was sufficient in form but dismissed it for
not being sufficient in substance. But the Committee Report was not
sent to the House in plenary. In October 2003, a second impeachment
complaint was filed against CJ Davide.

CONTENTION OF PETITIONERS: The second impeachment

complaint was unconstitutional because it violates Section 5, Article IX
of the Constitution which prohibits filing of impeachment complaint
against the same official twice within a period of one year.

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CONTENTION OF RESPONDENTS: The Supreme Court is without

jurisdiction to hear, much less prohibit or enjoin the lower house to
perform its constitutionally mandate duty to initiate impeachment
proceedings, it being a co-equal and independent branch of the
government. The Senate has the sole power, authority and jurisdiction
to try and decide impeachment cases. The petition are premature, no
justiciable issue has been presented before it since its constitutional
duty to constitute itself as impeachment court commences only upon
receipt of the Articles of Impeachment, which it had not.
ISSUE: Whether the essential requisites for the exercise of judicial
review have been fulfilled?
In answering the issue, the Supreme Court addressed the
following requisites for the exercise of judicial review:

LOCUS STANDI, DEFINED. Personal or substantial interest in the

case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury.

CONTENTION OF SORIANO: Only the Chief Justice has sustained or

will sustain injury (?)

CONTENTION OF PETITIONERS: They sue in their respective

capacities as taxpayers, citizens, voters, legislator, association. As
such, they stand to suffer injury.


government act is invalid, sustains or is in imminent danger to sustain
direct injury as a result of its enforcement, interest must be direct and
personal, if it is an assertion of a public right, the mere fact that he or
she is a citizen satisfies the requirement.


interest in preventing illegal expenditure of public funds, sustains
direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the invalid law, public
funds are either illegally disbursed, deflected to any improper purpose,
wasted through enforcement of an invalid or constitutional law.


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of prerogatives as legislator, Standing to maintain inviolate

prerogatives, powers and privileges vested by the Constitution in his
CONTENTION OF SALONGA: There is no urgent need for the
Constitution to act right away. Anyway, it is the final arbiter of
questions on constitutionality. All remedies in the House and Senate
should first be exhausted.
take judicial of on-going attempts to encourage signatories to
withdraw their endorsement. House Impeachment Rules afford its
members opportunity to raise constitutionality issues when the Articles
of Impeachment are presented to the Senate. Even if the Articles of
Impeachment are transmitted to the Senate, the Chief Justice may still
move to dismiss on ground of constitutional infirmity.
HELD: The withdrawal of signatures neither cures the House
Impeachment Rules of its Constitutional defect nor obliterates the
questioned second impeachment complaint. It is useless to seek
remedies from either the lower or upper house because it has no
jurisdiction to the rule on the issue of constitutionality.
POLITICAL QUESTION, DEFINED: Refers 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 legislature or executive branch of the
government. It is a question of policy, concerned with wisdom and not
EXCEPT: Grave abuse discretion amounting to lack or excess of
question left to the sound discretion of the legislature.
LIS MOTA, DEFINED: Courts will touch the issue of constitutionality
unless it is unavoidable or is the very crux of the controversy. Whether
Section 15 or 16 of Rule 5 of the House Impeachment Rules are
unconstitutional for violating Section 3, Article XI of the Constitution?
Whether, as a result, the second impeachment is barred under
Section 3 (5), Article XI of the Constitution?
Under Section 16, impeachment proceedings are deemed
initiated on the day the House Committee on Justice finds that the
verified complaint is sufficient in substance.
CONTENTION OF RESPONDENTS: Since the first impeachment
complaint was dismissed for being insufficient in substance, it was not

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deemed initiated hence the second impeachment complaint is allowed.

Initiate does not mean to file.
HELD: Initiate means filing of the impeachment complaint and
referral to the House Committee on Justice or filing by at least 1/3 of
the House of Representatives with the Secretary General of the House.
Once initiated, no other impeachment complaint shall be filed against
the same official for a period of one year.
CONTENTION OF PIMENTEL: The SC should exercise judicial restraint
because the Senate, as an impeachment court, has the sole power to
hear and decide all impeachment cases.
CONTENTION OF DE VENECIA: There is a moral compulsion for the
Supreme Court to not assume jurisdiction because its members are
subject to the impeachment.
HELD: The power of judicial review includes the power to review
justiciable issues in impeachment proceedings.SC together with all
other courts has long held and been entrusted with the judicial power
to resolve conflicting legal rights regardless of the personalities
involved in the suits or actions.

Test of constitutionality of statutes.

A statute may be declared unconstitutional because:

It is not within the legislative power to enact

Or it creates or establishes methods or forms that infringe
constitutional principles
Its purpose or effect violates the constitution
It is vague. It is vague when it lacks comprehensive standards
that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its
meaning and differ in its application.
The change of circumstances or conditions may affect the validity
of some statutes, specially those so-called emergency laws
designed specifically to meet certain contingencies.

Void for vagueness rule. Violates due process, people are not
informed on what conduct to avoid
Related to overbreadth, this doctrine holds that a law is facially
invalid if men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its
meaning and differ as to its application. It is subject to the same

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principle governing the overbreadth doctrine. For one, it is also an

analytical tool for testing on their faces statutes in free speech cases.
And like overbreadth, it is said that a litigant may challenge a statute
on its face only if it is vague in all its possible applications.

(OVERBREADTH DOCTRINE : Doctrine of overbreadth. Consti. Law. [A]n

exception to the prohibition against third-party standing, [the doctrine] permits a
person to challenge a statute on the ground that it violates the [free speech]
rights of third parties not before the court, even though the law is constitutional as
applied to that defendant. In other words, the overbreadth doctrine provides that:
Given a case or controversy, a litigant whose own activities are unprotected may
nevertheless challenge a statute by showing that it substantially abridges the
[free speech] rights of other parties not before the court. [Chemerinsky, Consti.
Law, p. 86, 2nd Ed. (2002)]. Compare with Doctrine of void for vagueness.

Test of constitutionality of ordinances.

The test of validity are:
Must not contravene the constitution or any statute
Must not e unfair or oppressive
Must not be partial or discriminatory
Must not prohibit but may regulate trade
Must not be general and consistent with public policy
Must not be unreasonable

Effects of unconstitutionality.

The general rule is that an unconstitutional act is not a law.

It confers no rights
It affords no protection
It imposes no duties
It creates no office
It is inoperative as though it had never been passed.

Regard should be had to what has been done while the statute was in
operation and presumed to be valid. Hence, its operative fact before a
declaration of nullity must be recognized.

2 Views on the effects of a declaration of unconstitutionality of a

Orthodox view.

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Article 7, Civil Code.

Operative fact.
An unconstitutional law confers no right, is not a law, imposes no
duties, affords no protection; in legal contemplation, it is inoperative,
as if it had not been passed.

Article 7, Civil Code:

Operative Fact Doctrine: As a general rule, the nullification of an

unconstitutional law or act carries with it the illegality of its effects.
However, in cases where the nullification of its effects ill result in
inequity and injustice, the operative fact doctrine may apply, and the
effects of the unconstitutional act will have to be recognized. Existence
of statute prior to nullity, is an operative fact that must be recognized,
statute was in force and complied with and so parties have already
acted under it.

Modern view.
The court in passing upon the question of constitutionality does not
annul or repeal the statute if it is unconstitutional, it simply refuses to
recognize it and determines the rights of the parties just as if the
statute had no existence. It does not repeal, supersede, revoke or
annul the statute. The parties to the suit are concluded by the
judgment, but no one else is bound.

Partial invalidity.

The general rule is that where part of a statute is void as repugnant to

the Constitution, while another part is valid, the valid portion if
separable from the invalid, may stand and be enforced must be
complete and intelligible to enforce legislative intent.

Exemptions to this rule: when the parts are so mutually dependent

and connected to each other. Legislature is presumed to have intended
them as a whole. Nullity of one vitiates the rest.
SEPARABILITY CLAUSE: intent of separability, rather than complete
nullity. The presence of separability clause creates the presumption
that the legislature intended separability, rather than complete nullity
of the statute.

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Tatad v Secretary of Department of Energy, 281 SCRA 330

(1997) (Separability Clause)

FACTS: The Supreme Court declared unconstitutional 3 provisions of

RA 8180 or An Act Deregulating the Downstream Oil Industrythe
provisions on 4% tariff differential, minimum inventory and predatory
pricing which were declared anti-competition. These provisions are the
key provisions of RA 8180.
ISSUE: Whether the nullity (striking down) of the 3 provisions of the
law infect the entire law even with the presence of the Separability
HELD: YES. Because to decree partial unconstitutionality of RA 8180
will bring about absurdity. Separability Clause is not binding with the
Supreme Court. Separability clause only creates a presumption of that
the act is severable. It is merely an aid in statutory construction. IT is
not an inexorable command. A separability clause does not clothe the
valid parts with immunity from the invalidating effect the law gives to
the inseparable blending of the bad with the good. The Separability
clause cannot also be applied if it will produce an absurd result. In
sum, if the separation of the statute will defeat the intent of the
legislature, separation will not take place despite the inclusion of a
separability clause in the

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