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Civil and Political Law

DENNIS A. B. FUNA v. THE CHAIRMAN, CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION,


FRANCISCO T. DUQUE III, et. al. G.R. No. 191672, 25 November 2014, EN BANC
(Bersamin, J.)
Section 1, Article IX-A of the 1987 Constitution expressly describes all the Constitutional
Commissions as “independent.” Although their respective functions are essentially executive in nature,
they are not under the control of the President of the Philippines in the discharge of such functions. Each
of the Constitutional Commissions conducts its own proceedings under the applicable laws and its own
rules and in the exercise of its own discretion.

Facts:

In 2010, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed Francisco T. Duque III (Duque) as
Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, which was thereafter confirmed by the Commission on
Appointments. Subsequently, President Arroyo issued Executive Order No. 864 (EO 864). Pursuant to it,
Duque was designated as a member of the Board of Directors or Trustees in an ex officio capacity of the
following government-owned or government-controlled corporations: (a) Government Service Insurance
System (GSIS); (b) Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHILHEALTH), (c) the Employees
Compensation Commission (ECC), and (d) the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF).

Petitioner Dennis A.B. Funa, in his capacity as taxpayer, concerned citizen and lawyer, filed the
instant petition challenging the constitutionality of EO 864, as well as Section 14, Chapter 3, Title I-A, Book
V of Executive Order No. 292 (EO 292), otherwise known as The Administrative Code of 1987, and the
designation of Duque as a member of the Board of Directors or Trustees of the GSIS, PHIC, ECC and HDMF
for being clear violations of Section 1 and Section 2, Article IX-A of the 1987 Constitution.

ISSUE:

Does the designation of Duque as member of the Board of Directors or Trustees of the GSIS,
PHILHEALTH, ECC and HDMF, in an ex officio capacity, impair the independence of the CSC and violate the
constitutional prohibition against the holding of dual or multiple offices for the Members of the
Constitutional Commissions?

RULING:

Yes. The Court partially grants the petition. The Court upholds the constitutionality of Section 14,
Chapter 3, Title I-A, Book V of EO 292, but declares unconstitutional EO 864 and the designation of Duque
in an ex officio capacity as a member of the Board of Directors or Trustees of the GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC
and HDMF.
Garcia vs. J. Drilon and Garcia, G. R.
No. 179267, 25 June 2013
Nature of the Case: Petition for Review of Republic Act (R.A.) 9262

Facts:

Private respondent Rosalie filed a petition before the RTC of Bacolod City a Temporary
Protection Order against her husband, Jesus, pursuant to R.A. 9262, entitled “An Act Defining
Violence Against Women and Their Children, Providing for Protective Measures for Victims,
Prescribing Penalties Therefor, and for Other Purposes.” She claimed to be a victim of physical,
emotional, psychological and economic violence, being threatened of deprivation of custody of
her children and of financial support and also a victim of marital infidelity on the part of
petitioner.

The TPO was granted but the petitioner failed to faithfully comply with the conditions set forth
by the said TPO, private-respondent filed another application for the issuance of a TPO ex
parte. The trial court issued a modified TPO and extended the same when petitioner failed to
comment on why the TPO should not be modified. After the given time allowance to answer,
the petitioner no longer submitted the required comment as it would be an “axercise in futility.”

Petitioner filed before the CA a petition for prohibition with prayer for injunction and TRO on,
questioning the constitutionality of the RA 9262 for violating the due process and equal
protection clauses, and the validity of the modified TPO for being “an unwanted product of an
invalid law.”

The CA issued a TRO on the enforcement of the TPO but however, denied the petition for failure
to raise the issue of constitutionality in his pleadings before the trial court and the petition for
prohibition to annul protection orders issued by the trial court constituted collateral attack on
said law.

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied. Thus, this petition is filed.

Issues:

Whether or no the CA erred in dismissing the petition on the theory that the issue of
constitutionality was not raised at the earliest opportunity and that the petition constitutes a
collateral attack on the validity of the law.
WON the CA committed serious error in failing to conclude that RA 9262 is discriminatory,
unjust and violative of the equal protection clause.

WON the CA committed grave mistake in not finding that RA 9262 runs counter to the due
process clause of the Constitution

WON the CA erred in not finding that the law does violence to the policy of the state to protect
the family as a basic social institution

WON the CA seriously erredin declaring RA 9262 as invalid and unconstitutional because it
allows an undue delegation of judicial power to Brgy. Officials.

Held:

1. Petitioner contends that the RTC has limited authority and jurisdiction, inadequate to tackle
the complex issue of constitutionality. Family Courts have authority and jurisdiction to consider
the constitutionality of a statute. The question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest
possible time so that if not raised in the pleadings, it may not be raised in the trial and if not
raised in the trial court, it may not be considered in appeal.

2. RA 9262 does not violate the guaranty of equal protection of the laws. Equal protection
simply requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to
rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. In Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workerkers’
Union, the Court ruled that all that is required of a valid classification is that it be reasonable,
which means that the classification should be based on substantial distinctions which make for
real differences; that it must be germane to the purpose of the law; not limited to existing
conditions only; and apply equally to each member of the class. Therefore, RA9262 is based on
a valid classification and did not violate the equal protection clause by favouring women over
men as victims of violence and abuse to whom the Senate extends its protection.

3. RA 9262 is not violative of the due process clause of the Constitution. The essence of due
process is in the reasonable opportunity to be heard and submit any evidence one may have in
support of one’s defense. The grant of the TPO exparte cannot be impugned as violative of the
right to due process.

4. The non-referral of a VAWC case to a mediator is justified. Petitioner’s contention that by


not allowing mediation, the law violated the policy of the State to protect and strengthen the
family as a basic autonomous social institution cannot be sustained. In a memorandum of the
Court, it ruled that the court shall not refer the case or any issue therof to a mediator. This is so
because violence is not a subject for compromise.

5. There is no undue delegation of judicial power to Barangay officials. Judicial power includes
the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally
demandable and enforceable and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on any part of any branch of the
Government while executive power is the power to enforce and administer the laws. The
preliminary investigation conducted by the prosecutor is an executive, not a judicial,
function. The same holds true with the issuance of BPO. Assistance by Brgy. Officials and other
law enforcement agencies is consistent with their duty executive function.

The petition for review on certiorari is denied for lack of merit.


G.R. No. 202809, July 02, 2014 - DENNIS L. GO, Petitioner, v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Respondent.

Facts:

Petitioner filed a petition for naturalization under Commonwealth Act (C.A.) No. 473, the
Revised Naturalization Law. Aside from his presentation of all other requirements, petitioner
presented, as witnesses, Dr. Anlacan, Dr. Tordesillas, Silvino Ong, Teresita Go, and Juan Go.

Dr. Anlacan testified that based on the psychiatric examination he conducted on petitioner,
he had no psychiatric abnormality at the time of the test. Dr. Tordesillas, on the other hand, reported
that petitioner’s medical examination results were normal. Ong, a friend of petitioner’s family, said
that he had known petitioner since childhood through his association with the family in times of
celebration. Teresita described him as a peace-loving person who participated in activities sponsored
by his school and the barangay. Lastly, Juan, a businessman by profession, also claimed that he knew
petitioner personally.

The RTC rendered a decision granting the petition for naturalization ruling that the petitioner
possessed the qualifications set forth by law. But the CA reversed and set aside said decision. Hence,
this petition.

Issue:
Whether or not Go’s petition for naturalization should be granted.

Ruling:

No. Jurisprudence dictates that in judicial naturalization, the application must show
substantial and formal compliance with C.A. No. 473. In other words, an applicant must comply with
the jurisdictional requirements, establish his or her possession of the qualifications and none of the
disqualifications enumerated under the law, and present at least two (2) character witnesses to
support his allegations.

In Ong v. Republic of the Philippines, the Court listed the requirements for character witnesses,
namely:

1. That they are citizens of the Philippines; 


2. That they are “credible persons”; 


3. That they personally know the petitioner; 


4. That they personally know him to be a resident of the Philippines for the period of time required
by law; 

5. That they personally know him to be a person of good repute; 


6. That they personally know him to be morally irreproachable; 


7. That he has, in their opinion, all the qualifications necessary to become a citizen of the Philippines;
and 


8. That he “is not in any way disqualified under the provisions” of the Naturalization Law. 


The records of the case show that the joint affidavits executed by petitioner’s witnesses did not
establish their own qualification to stand as such in a naturalization proceeding. In turn, petitioner
did not present evidence proving that the persons he presented were credible. In the words of the
CA, “he did not prove that his witnesses had good standing in the community, known to be honest
and upright, reputed to be trustworthy and reliable, and that their word may be taken at face value,
as a good warranty of the worthiness of petitioner.”

Furthermore, the background checks done on petitioner yielded negative results due to the
uncooperative behavior of the members of his household. In fact, petitioner himself disobliged when
asked for an interview by BOI agents. To the Court, this is a display of insincerity to embrace Filipino
customs, traditions and ideals.

Finally, it is noteworthy that petitioner’s failure to state his former residence in the petition was
fatal to his application for naturalization. Indeed, this omission had deprived the trial court of
jurisdiction to hear and decide the case.

Hence, the petition for naturalization is dismissed without prejudice.