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Namuhe vs. Ombudsman law. That right has been preserved.

G.R. No. 124965 October 29, 1998 the procedure by which the appeal to be
Panganiban, J.: made or decided has been changed. The
rationale for this is that no litigant has a
Facts: vested right in a particular remedy, which
Petitioners in this case were may be changed by substitution without
charged with dishonesty, falsification of impairing vested rights, hence he can
official documents, grave misconduct, have none in rules of procedure which
gross neglect of duty, violation of office relate to the remedy.
rules and regulations and conduct
prejudicial to the best interest of the Fabian vs. Desierto
service. The OMB dismissed petitioners G.R. No. 129742 September 16, 1998
from the government service in the first Regalado, J.:
assailed Resolution promulgated on
March 28, 1994, and denied Facts:
reconsideration in the second challenged
Order dated December 11, 1995. Private respondent, an incumbent
District Engineering District (FMED), took
Hence, these three petitions were advantage of his official position when he
directly filed before this Court under Rule inveigled petitioner Fabian, president of
45 of the Rules of Court. In its Resolution PROMAT Construction Development
dated February 24, 1997, the Court Corporation (PROMAT), into an amorous
ordered the consolidation of these cases. relationship giving her company public
works contracts.
Issue: Whether the Supreme Court has
jurisdiction over appeals of After a complaint sought for the
administrative disciplinary decisions of dismissal of private respondent in
the OMB? violation of Section 19, Republic Act No.
6770 (Ombudsman Act of 1989) and
Held: No. The Court has no jurisdiction Section 36 of Presidential Decree No.
over the present petitions. In the interest 807 (Civil Service Decree) for
of justice, the said petitions should be harassment as alleged by petitioner,
referred and transferred to the Court of Private Respondent was dismissed from
Appeals. service.

A transfer by the Supreme Court, The Ombudsman approved the

in the exercise of its rule making-power, decision
of pending cases involving review of
decisions of the Office of the Issue: Whether or not Section 27 of the
Ombudsman in administrative Ombudsman Act is valid?
disciplinary actions to the Court of
Appeals which shall now be vested with Held: No. It is invalid for it illegally
exclusive appellate jurisdiction expanded the appellate jurisdiction of the
thereover, relates to procedure only. This Supreme Court. Section 27 of RA 6770
is so because it is not the right to appeal cannot validly authorize an appeal to the
of an aggrieved party which is affected by SC from decisions of the Office of the
Ombudsman in administrative Issue: Whether the creation of the trust
disciplinary cases. It consequently fund violates Sec. 29(3), Article VI of the
violates the proscription in Section 30, Constitution?
Article VI of the Constitution against a law
which increases the Appellate jurisdiction Held: No. Because the OPSF is a "Trust
of the SC. No countervailing argument Account" which was established "for the
has been cogently presented to justify purpose of minimizing the frequent price
such disregard of the constitutional changes brought about by exchange rate
prohibition. That constitutional provision adjustment and/or changes in world
was intended to give the SC a measure market prices of crude oil and imported
of control over cases placed under its petroleum products."
appellate jurisdiction. Otherwise, the
indiscriminate enactment of legislation Also, it seems clear that while the
enlarging its appellate jurisdiction would funds collected may be referred to as
unnecessarily burden the SC. taxes, they are exacted in the exercise of
the police power of the State. Moreover,
Section 30, Article VI of the Constitution that the OPSF is a special fund is plain
is clear when it states that the appellate from the special treatment given it by
jurisdiction of the SC contemplated E.O. 137. It is segregated from the
therein is to be exercised over “final general fund; and while it is placed in
judgments and orders of lower courts,” what the law refers to as a "trust liability
that is, the courts composing the account," the fund nonetheless remains
integrated judicial system. It does not subject to the scrutiny and review of the
include the quasi-judicial bodies or COA. The Court is satisfied that these
agencies. measures comply with the constitutional
Osmeña vs. Orbos description of a "special fund." Indeed,
G.R. No. 99886 March 31, 1993 the practice is not without precedent.
Narvasa, C.J.:
Republic of the Philippines vs.
G.R. No. 147062-64 December 14,
On October 10, 1984, President 2001
Ferdinand Marcos issued P.D. 1956 Panganiban, J.:
creating a Special Account in the General
Fund, designated as the Oil Price Facts:
Stabilization Fund (OPSF) which was
later on amended under Executive Order The PCGG issued and
No. 137 on February 27, 1987 by Pres. implemented numerous sequestrations,
Aquino that expanded the ground for freeze orders and provisional takeovers
reimbursement. of allegedly ill-gotten companies, assets
and properties, real or personal.
Petitioner seeks corrective,
prohibitive and coercive remedies Among the properties
provided by Rule 65 of the Rules of Court sequestered by the Commission were
shares of stock in the United Coconut
Planters Bank (UCPB) registered in the
names of the alleged "one million Guingona vs. Carague
coconut farmers," the so-called Coconut G.R. No. 94571 April 22, 1991
Industry Investment Fund companies Gancayo, J.:
(CIIF companies) and Private
Respondent Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. Facts:

On January 23, 1995, the trial The petition seeks the declaration
court rendered its final Decision nullifying of the unconstitutionality of P.D. No. 81,
and setting aside the Resolution of the Section 31 of P.D. No. 1177, and P.D.
Sandiganbayan which lifted the No. 1967. The petition also seeks to
sequestration of the subject UCPB restrain the disbursement for debt
shares. service under the 1990 budget pursuant
to said decrees.
Issue: Are the Coconut Levy Funds
raised through the State’s police and Issue: Are they violative of Section 29(1),
taxing powers? Article VI of the Constitution?
Held: No. Because our Constitution does
Held: Indeed, coconut levy funds partake not require a definite, certain, exact or
of the nature of taxes which, in general, 'specific appropriation made by law.'
are enforced proportional contributions Section 29, Article VI of our 1987
from persons and properties, exacted by Constitution omits any of these words
the State by virtue of its sovereignty for and simply states:
the support of government and for all
public needs. 'Section 29(1). No money shall be
paid out of the treasury except in
Based on this definition, a tax has pursuance of an appro-priation made by
three elements, namely: a) it is an law.'
enforced proportional contribution from
persons and properties; b) it is imposed More significantly, there is no
by the State by virtue of its sovereignty; provision in our Constitution that provides
and c) it is levied for the support of the or prescribes any particular form of words
government. or religious recitals in which an
authorization or appropriation by
Taxation is done not merely to Congress shall be made, except that it be
raise revenues to support the 'made by law,' such as precisely the
government, but also to provide means authorization or appropriation under the
for the rehabilitation and the stabilization questioned presidential decrees. In other
of a threatened industry, which is so words, in terms of time horizons, an
affected with public interest as to be appropriation may be made impliedly (as
within the police power of the State by past but subsisting legislations) as
well as expressly for the current fiscal
year (as by enactment of laws by the
present Congress), just as said
appropriation may be made in general as
well as in specific terms. The
Congressional authorization may be conditions/restrictions and thus beyond
embodied in annual laws, such as a the veto power.
general appro-priations act or in special
provisions of laws of general or special Held: No. Because restrictions should be
application which appropriate public such in the real sense of the term, not
funds for specific public purposes, such some matters which are more properly
as the questioned decrees. An dealt with in a separate legislation (Henry
appropriation measure is sufficient if the v. Edwards, La, 346, So 2d 153).
legislative intention clearly and certainly Restrictions or conditions in an
appears from the language employed (In Appropriations Bill must exhibit a
re Continuing Appropriations, 32 P. 272), connection with money items in a
whether in the past or in the present." budgetary sense in the schedule of
expenditures. Again, the test is
Gonzales vs. Macaraig appropriateness.
G.R. No. 87636 November 19, 1990
Melencio – Herrera, J.: "It is not enough that a provision
be related to the institution or
Facts: agency to which funds are
appropriated. Conditions and
On 29 December 1988, the limitations properly included in an
President signed the Bill into law, and appropriation bill must exhibit
declared the same to have become Rep. such a connexity with money
Act No. 6688. In the process, seven (7) items of appropriation that they
Special Provisions and Section 55, a logically belong in a schedule of
"General Provision," were vetoed for expenditures . . . the ultimate test
reasons of nullification not only the is one of appropriateness" (Henry
constitutional and statutory authority of v. Edwards, supra, at 158).
the President, but also that of the
President of the Senate, the Speaker of Tested by these criteria, Section
the House of Representatives, the Chief 55 (FY ‘89) and Section 16 (FY ‘90) must
Justice of the Supreme Court, and Heads also be held to be inappropriate
of Constitutional Commissions, to "conditions." While they, particularly,
augment any item in the general Section 16 (FY ‘90), have been "artfully
appropriations law for their respective drafted" to appear as true conditions or
offices from savings in other items of their limitations, they are actually general law
respective appropriations. The same measures more appropriate for
reason mentioned was given in vetoing substantive and, therefore, separate
Sec. 16 (FY ’90) legislation.

Two months after, the Senate Also, neither of them shows the
issued Resolution No. 381 stating that necessary connection with a schedule of
such veto made by the President is expenditures.

Issue: Whether or not Section 55 (FY

‘89) and Section 16 (FY ‘90) are such
Bengzon vs. Drilon override the decision of the Supreme
G.R. No. 103524 April 15, 1992 Court neither does the president have the
Gutierrez, J.: power to enact or amend statutes
promulgated by her predecessors much
Facts: less to the repeal of existing laws.

In 1990, Congress sought to The Supreme Court also

reenact some old laws (i.e. Republic Act explained that the veto is unconstitutional
No. 1797) that were “repealed” during the since the power of the president to
time of former President Ferdinand disapprove any item or items in the
Marcos. These old laws provided certain appropriations bill does not grant the
retirement benefits to retired judges, authority to veto part of an item and to
justices, and members of the approve the remaining portion of said
constitutional commissions. Congress item. It appears that in the same item, the
felt a need to restore these laws in order Presidents vetoed some portion of it and
to standardize retirement benefits among retained the others. This cannot be done.
government officials. However, President The rule is: the Executive must veto a bill
Corazon Aquino vetoed the bill (House in its entirety or not at all; the Executive
Bill No. 16297) on the ground that the law must veto an entire line item in its entirety
should not give preferential treatment to or not at all. In this case, the president did
certain or select government officials. not veto the entire line item of the general
adjustment fund. She merely vetoed the
However, President Aquino again portion which pertained to the pensions
vetoed the said lines which provided for of the justices but did not veto the other
the pensions of the retired justices in the items covering obligations to the other
judiciary in the GAB. She explained that departments of the government.
that portion of the GAB is already
deemed vetoed when she vetoed H.B. Commissioner of Internal Revenue
16297. vs. Court of Tax Appeals
G.R. No. L-47421 May 14, 1990
This prompted Cesar Bengzon Medialdea, J.:
and several other retired judges and
justices to question the constitutionality Facts:
of the veto made by the President. The
President was represented by then On September 1, 1969, R.A. No.
Executive Secretary Franklin Drilon. 6110 took effect which prompted CIR to
assess the club fixed taxes as operators
Issue: Whether or not the veto of the of golf links and restaurants, and also
President on that portion of the General percentage tax (caterer's tax) for its sale
Appropriations bill is constitutional of foods and fermented liquors/wines for
the period covering September 1969 to
Held: No. The Justices of the Court have December 1970 in the amount of
vested rights to the accrued pension that P32,504.96. Private respondent claims
is due to them in accordance to Republic that Sec. 42 of the Act is without basis
Act 1797 which was never repealed. The since it was vetoed by Pres. Marcos.
president has no power to set aside and
However, petitioner countered by tantamount to a violation of the
saying that Section 42 was not entirely Constitution.
vetoed but merely the words "hotels,
motels, resthouses" on the ground that it In the course of his interpellation,
might restrain the development of hotels Rep. Arroyo announced that he was
which is essential to the tourism industry. going to raise a question on the quorum,
although until the end of his interpellation
Issue: Whether the President could not he never did.
veto words or phrases in a bill but only an
entire item (entire section)? On the same day, the bill was
signed by the Speaker of the House of
Held: No. Because to construe the word Representatives and the President of the
"item" as referring to the whole section Senate and certified by the respective
would tie the President's hand in secretaries of both Houses of Congress
choosing either to approve the whole as having been finally passed by the
section at the expense of also approving House of Representatives and by the
a provision therein which he deems Senate on November 21, 1996. The
unacceptable or veto the entire section at enrolled bill was signed into law by
the expense of foregoing the collection of President Fidel V. Ramos on November
the kind of tax altogether. The evil which 22, 1996.
was sought to be prevented in giving the
President the power to disapprove items Issue: Whether or not passage of the law
in a revenue bill would be perpetrated in the House was railroaded?
rendering that power inutile.
Held: No. Because no rule of the House
An "item" in a revenue bill does of Representatives has been cited which
not refer to an entire section imposing a specifically requires that in cases such as
particular kind of tax, but rather to the this involving approval of a conference
subject of the tax and the tax rate. In the committee report, the Chair must restate
portion of a revenue bill which actually the motion and conduct a viva voce or
imposes a tax, a section identifies the tax nominal voting. On the other hand, as the
and enumerates the persons liable Solicitor General has pointed out, the
therefor with the corresponding tax rate. manner in which the conference
committee report on H. No. 7198 was
Arroyo vs. De Venecia approved was by no means a unique
G.R. No. 127255 August 14, 1997 one. It has basis in legislative practice. It
Mendoza, J.: was the way the conference committee
report on the bills which became the
Facts: Local Government Code of 1991 and the
conference committee report on the bills
Petitioners are members of the amending the Tariff and Customs Code
House of Representatives. They brought were approved.
this suit against respondents charging
violation of the rules of the House which Indeed, it is no impeachment of
petitioners claim are "constitutionally the method to say that some other way
mandated" so that their violation is would be better, more accurate and even
more just. The advantages or existing VAT system and enhance its
disadvantages, the wisdom or folly of a administration by amending the National
method do not present any matter for Internal Revenue Code.
judicial consideration. In the words of the
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, this Court Hence, petitioner assails its
cannot provide a second opinion on what constitutionality.
is the best procedure. Notwithstanding
the deference and esteem that is Issue: Whether or not R.A. No. 7716
properly tendered to individual violated Art. VI, § 26(2) of the
congressional actors, our deference and Constitution?
esteem for the institution as a whole and
for the constitutional command that the Held: No. Because the presidential
institution be allowed to manage its own certification dispensed with the
affairs precludes us from even attempting requirement not only of printing but also
a diagnosis of the problem. that of reading the bill on separate days.
The phrase "except when the President
Nor does the Constitution require certifies to the necessity of its immediate
that the yeas and the nays of the enactment, etc." in Art. VI, § 26(2)
Members be taken every time a House qualifies the two stated conditions before
has to vote, except only in the following a bill can become a law: (i) the bill has
instances: upon the last and third passed three readings on separate days
readings of a bill, at the request of one- and (ii) it has been printed in its final form
fifth of the Members present, and in and distributed three days before it is
repassing a bill over the veto of the finally approved.
President. Indeed, considering the fact
that in the approval of the original bill the In other words, the "unless" clause
votes of the Members by yeas and nays must be read in relation to the "except"
had already been taken, it would have clause, because the two are really
been sheer tedium to repeat the process. coordinate clauses of the same
sentence. To construe the "except"
Tolentino vs. Secretary of Finance clause as simply dispensing with the
G.R. No. 115455 August 25, 1994 second requirement in the "unless"
Mendoza, J.: clause (i.e., printing and distribution three
days before final approval) would not
Facts: only violate the rules of grammar. It
would also negate the very premise of
The value-added tax (VAT) is the "except" clause: the necessity of
levied on the sale, barter or exchange of securing the immediate enactment of a
goods and properties as well as on the bill which is certified in order to meet a
sale or exchange of services. It is public calamity or emergency. For if it is
equivalent to 10% of the gross selling only the printing that is dispensed with by
price or gross value in money of goods or presidential certification, the time saved
properties sold, bartered or exchanged or would be so negligible as to be of any use
of the gross receipts from the sale or in insuring immediate enactment. It may
exchange of services. Republic Act No. well be doubted whether doing away with
7716 seeks to widen the tax base of the the necessity of printing and distributing
copies of the bill three days before the Also, as the Court held in Tobias
third reading would insure speedy vs. Abalos, “the Court favors liberal
enactment of a law in the face of an construction of the "one title-one subject"
emergency requiring the calling of a rule so as not to impede legislation”
special election for President and Vice-
President. Under the Constitution such a Tobias vs. Benjamin
law is required to be made within seven G.R. No. L-114783 December 8, 1994
days of the convening of Congress in Bidin, J.:
emergency session.
Mariano vs. Comelec After President Ramos signed into
G.R. No. 118577 March 7, 1995 law R.A. No. 7675 which converted
Puno, J.: Mandaluyong into a highly urbanized city
and a plebiscite ratifying it, petitioners
Facts: wants to challenge its constitutionality for
allegedly being violative of the two
Petitioners wants to assail the provisions of the Constitution which are:
constitutionality of R.A. No. 7854 is 1. Sec. 26(1), Art. VI
entitled, "An Act Converting the 2. Secs. 5 (1) and (4)
Municipality of Makati Into a Highly
Urbanized City to be known as the City of Issue: Whether or not R.A. No. 7675
Makati." for allegedly being violative of contravenes the "one subject-one bill"
certain provisions of the Constitution rule, as enunciated in Article VI, Section
which are: 26(1) of the Constitution?
1. Sec. 10, Article X, in relation to
Secs. 7 and 450 of the Local Held: No. The creation of a separate
Government Code congressional district for Mandaluyong is
2. Section 8, Art. X and Section 7, not a subject separate and distinct from
Art. VI the subject of its conversion into a highly
3. Secs. 5(3) and 26(1), Art. VI urbanized city but is a natural and logical
consequence of its conversion into a
Issue: Whether or not the creation of an highly urbanized city. Verily, the title of
additional legislative district in Makati R.A. No. 7675, "An Act Converting the
should have been expressly stated in the Municipality of Mandaluyong Into a
title of the bill? Highly Urbanized City of Mandaluyong"
necessarily includes and contemplates
Held: No. Because the Constitution does the subject treated under Section 49
not command that the title of a law should regarding the creation of a separate
exactly mirror, fully index, or completely congressional district for Mandaluyong.
catalogue all its details. Hence, we ruled
that "it should be sufficient compliance if Moreover, a liberal construction of
the title expresses the general subject the "one title-one subject" rule has been
and all the provisions are germane to invariably adopted by this court so as not
such general subject." to cripple or impede legislation. Thus, in
Sumulong v. Comelec (73 Phil. 288
[1941]), we ruled that the constitutional
requirement as now expressed in Article the legislature or the people, there is
VI, Section 26(1) "should be given a sufficient compliance with the
practical rather than a technical constitutional requirement as this would
construction. It should be sufficient be unreasonable and render legislation
compliance with such requirement if the impossible.
title expresses the general subject and all Lastly, The details of a legislative
the provisions are germane to that act need not be specifically stated in its
general subject." title, but matter germane to the subject as
expressed in the title, and adopted to the
The Philippine Judges Association accomplishment of the object in view,
vs. Prado may properly be included in the act.
G.R. No. 105371 November 11, 1993 Thus, it is proper to create in the same
Cruz, J.: act the machinery by which the act is to
be enforced, to prescribe the penalties
Facts: for its infraction, and to remove obstacles
in the way of its execution. If such
Petitioners wants to assail the matters are properly connected with the
constitutionality of R.A. No. 7354 through subject as expressed in the title, it is
Circular No. 92-28 which withdraws the unnecessary that they should also have
franking privilege from the Supreme special mention in the title (Southern
Court, the Court of Appeals, the Regional Pac. Co. v. Bartine, 170 Fed. 725).
Trial Courts, the Metropolitan Trial
Courts, the Municipal Trial Courts, and
the Land Registration Commission and Tio vs. Videogram Regulatory Board
its Registers of Deeds, along with certain G.R. No. L-75697 June 18, 1987
other government offices. Melencio – Herrera, J.:

Issue: Whether or not R.A. No. 7354 Facts:

embraces more than one subject and
does not express its purpose(s)? Petitioners wants to challenge the
constitutionality of Presidential Decree
Held: Yes. Because the withdrawal of the Nos. 1987 and 1994 which seeks to
franking privilege from some agencies is regulate and supervise the videogram
germane to the accomplishment of the industry and imposing five pesos annual
principal objective of R.A. No. 7354, tax for each processed video-tape
which is the creation of a more efficient cassette, ready for playback, regardless
and effective postal service system. of length, manufactured or imported.

Also, the title of the bill is not Issue: Section 10 thereof, which imposes
required to be an index to the body of the a tax of 30% on the gross receipts
act, or to be as comprehensive as to payable to the local government is a
cover every single detail of the measure. RIDER and the same is not germane to
It has been held that if the title fairly the subject matter thereof?
indicates the general subject, and
reasonably covers all the provisions of Held: No. Because the foregoing
the act, and is not calculated to mislead provision is reasonably necessary for the
accomplishment of, the general object of Issue: Whether or not Commonwealth
the DECREE, which is the regulation of Act. No. 657 embraced the one subject –
the video industry through the Videogram one title rule?
Regulatory Board as expressed in its
title. The tax provision is not inconsistent Held: Yes. Because the relevant
with, nor foreign to that general subject provisions of the Constitution, Act No.
and title. As a tool for regulation 6 it is 657 has a necessary and proper
simply one of the regulatory and control connection with the reorganization of the
mechanisms scattered throughout the Commission on Elections, which is the
DECREE. subject expressed in the Title of the Act.
Under the Constitution the Commission
The Constitutional requirement on Elections is empowered to decide
that "every bill shall embrace only one administrative questions affecting the
subject which shall be expressed in the appointment of election inspectors and
title thereof" is satisfied if all the parts of other election officials, and the
the statute are related, and are germane requirement that, to be entitled to
to the subject matter expressed in the propose the appointment of one
title, or as long as they are not inspector and his substitute, a political
inconsistent with or foreign to the general party must have polled at least ten per
subject and title. 2 An act having a single centum of the total number of votes cast
general subject, indicated in the title, may in the preceding election, is germane to
contain any number of provisions, no the general subject of the reorganization
matter how diverse they may be, so long of the Commission on Elections.
as they are not inconsistent with or
foreign to the general subject, and may Philippine Constitution Association
be considered in furtherance of such v. Enriquez
subject by providing for the method and G.R. No. 113105 August 19, 1994
means of carrying out the general Quiason, J.:
Sumulong vs. COMELEC
G.R. No. L-48609 October 10, 1941 House Bill No. 10900, the General
Abad Santos, J.: Appropriation Bill of 1994 (GAB of 1994),
was passed and approved by both
Facts: houses of Congress on December 17,
1993. As passed, it imposed conditions
Petitioners Sumulong wants to and limitations on certain items of
challenge the constitutionality of Section appropriations in the proposed budget
5 of Commonwealth Act No. 657 for previously submitted by the President. It
allegedly being violative of the provisions also authorized members of Congress to
of the Constitution which states that: "No propose and identify projects in the "pork
bill which may be enacted into law shall barrels" allotted to them and to realign
embrace more than one subject which their respective operating budgets.
shall be expressed in the title of the bill."
In this case, petitioners named the
Philippine Constitution Association,
Exequiel B. Garcia and Ramon A. Held:
Gonzales as taxpayers, prayed for a writ No. For the first contention, the
of prohibition to declare as Court said that the authority given to the
unconstitutional and void: (a) Article XLI members of Congress is only to propose
on the Countrywide Development Fund, and identify projects to be implemented
the special provision in Article I entitled by the President. Under Article XLI of the
Realignment of Allocation for Operational GAA of 1994, the President must
Expenses, and Article XLVIII on the perforce examine whether the proposals
Appropriation for Debt Service or the submitted by the members of Congress
amount appropriated under said Article fall within the specific items of
XLVIII in excess of the P37.9 Billion expenditures for which the Fund was set
allocated for the Department of up, and if qualified, he next determines
Education, Culture and Sports; and (b) whether they are in line with other
the veto of the President of the Special projects planned for the locality.
Provision of Article XLVIII of the GAA of Thereafter, if the proposed projects
1994. qualify for funding under the Funds, it is
the President who shall implement them.
Petitioners contends that: In short, the proposals and identifications
1. Proposal and identification of the made by the members of Congress are
projects do not involve the making merely recommendatory.
of laws or the repeal and
amendment thereof, the only For the second contention, the
function given to the Congress by proviso of said Article of the Constitution
the Constitution, hence it is an grants the President of the Senate and
encroachment by the legislature the Speaker of the House of
on the executive power Representatives the power to augment
2. Special provision allowing a items in an appropriation act for their
member of Congress to realign his respective offices from savings in other
allocation for operational items of their appropriations, whenever
expenses to any other expense there is a law authorizing such
category is prohibited under Art. augmentation.
VI Sec. 25 (2)
3. Congress cannot give debt The special provision on
service the highest priority in the realignment of the operating expenses of
GAA of 1994 (Rollo, pp. 93-94) members of Congress is authorized by
because under the Constitution it Section 16 of the General Provisions of
should be education that is the GAA of 1994, which provides:
entitled to the highest funding,
invoking Sec. 5 (5), Article XIV of Expenditure Components. Except
the Constitution by act of the Congress of the Philippines,
no change or modification shall be made
Issues: in the expenditure items authorized in
1. W/N House Bill No. 10900, the this Act and other appropriation laws
General Appropriation Bill of 1994 unless in cases of augmentations from
(GAB of 1994) is unconstitutional? savings in appropriations as authorized
under Section 25(5) of Article VI of the 1993, December 1, 1993, December 13,
Constitution (GAA of 1994, p. 1273). 1993, February 23, 1994 and March 3,
1994, said, Act was signed by the Chief
For the third contention, the Court Executive on May 5, 1994, followed by a
cited its ruling in Guingona, Jr. v. plebiscite garnering a favorable number
Carague, 196 SCRA 221 (1991), “while it of votes for the conversion of Santiago
is true that under Section 5(5), Article XIV into a city.
of the Constitution, Congress is
mandated to "assign the highest Petitioner thereafter contends that:
budgetary priority to education" in order 1. Act did not originate exclusively in
to "insure that teaching will attract and the House of Representatives as
retain its rightful share of the best mandated by Section 24, Article VI
available talents through adequate of the 1987 Constitution
remuneration and other means of job 2. Municipality of Santiago has not
satisfaction and fulfillment," it does not met the minimum average annual
thereby follow that the hands of income required under Section
Congress are so hamstrung as to deprive 450 of the Local Government
it the power to respond to the imperatives Code of 1991 in order to be
of the national interest and for the converted into a component city.
attainment of other state policies or
objectives.” Issues:

Alvarez, et. al vs. Guingona Jr., et. al 1. Whether or not, considering that
G.R. No. 118303. January 31, 1996 the Senate passed SB No. 1243,
Hermosisima, Jr., J.: its own version of HB No. 8817,
Republic Act No. 7720 can be said
Facts: to have originated in the House of
On April 18, 1993, HB No. 8817,
entitled An Act Converting the H: No.
Municipality of Santiago into an R: Because it cannot be denied
Independent Component City to be that HB No. 8817 was filed in the
known as the City of Santiago, was filed House of Representatives first
in the House of Representatives with before SB No. 1243 was filed in
Representative Antonio Abaya as the Senate. Petitioners
principal author. Other sponsors included themselves cannot disavow their
Representatives Ciriaco Alfelor, Rodolfo own admission that HB No. 8817
Albano, Santiago Respicio and Faustino was filed on April 18, 1993 while
Dy. The bill was referred to the House SB No. 1243 was filed on May 19,
Committee on Local Government and the 1993. The filing of HB No. 8817
House Committee on Appropriations on was thus precursive not only of the
May 5, 1993. said Act in question but also of SB
No. 1243. Thus, HB No. 8817,
After, public hearings, readings, was the bill that initiated the
amendments and revisions held on May legislative process that
19, 1993, June 1, 1993, November 28, culminated in the enactment of
Republic Act No. 7720. No Senate of the Philippines vs. Ermita
violation of Section 24, Article VI, G.R. No. 169777* April 20, 2006
of the 1987 Constitution is Carpio Morales, J.:
perceptible under the
circumstances attending the Facts:
instant controversy.
On October 3, 2005, three
Furthermore, petitioners petitions, docketed as G.R. Nos. 169659,
themselves acknowledge that HB 169660, and 169667, for certiorari and
No. 8817 was already approved prohibition, were filed before this Court
on Third Reading and duly challenging the constitutionality of E.O.
transmitted to the Senate when 464.
the Senate Committee on Local
Government conducted its public Petitioners contends that:
hearing on HB No. 8817. HB No. 1. E.O. 464 violated the following
8817 was approved on the Third provisions of the Constitution: Art.
Reading on December 17, 1993 II, Sec. 28, Art. III, Sec. 4, Art. III,
and transmitted to the Senate on Sec. 7, Art. IV. Sec. 1, Art. VI, Sec.
January 28, 1994; a little less than 21, Art. VI, Sec. 22, Art. XI, Sec. 1,
a month thereafter, or on February and Art. XIII, Sec. 16
23, 1994, the Senate Committee
on Local Government conducted Before discussing and answering the
public hearings on SB No. 1243. main contention stated above, the Court
Clearly, the Senate held in first discussed the requisites of standing
abeyance any action on SB No. and existence of an actual case or
1243 until it received HB No. controversy where the disagreement
8817, already approved on the between the parties lies which was
Third Reading, from the House of thoroughly explained.
Representatives. The filing in the
Senate of a substitute bill in Standing
anticipation of its receipt of the bill
from the House, does not Respondents contends that:
contravene the constitutional 1. In the absence of a personal or
requirement that a bill of local direct injury by reason of the
application should originate in the issuance of E.O. 464, the Senate
House of Representatives, for as and its individual members are not
long as the Senate does not act the proper parties to assail the
thereupon until it receives the constitutionality of E.O. 464.
House bill.
The Court said, the Senate,
including its individual members,
has a substantial and direct
interest over the outcome of the
controversy and is the proper
party to assail the constitutionality
of E.O. 464. Indeed, legislators
have standing to maintain Held: No.
inviolate the prerogative, powers
and privileges vested by the Rationale: Section 1, in view of its
Constitution in their office and are specific reference to Section 22 of Article
allowed to sue to question the VI of the Constitution and the absence of
validity of any official action which any reference to inquiries in aid of
they claim infringes their legislation, must be construed as limited
prerogatives as legislators. in its application to appearances of
department heads in the question hour
Actual Case or Controversy contemplated in the provision of said
Section 22 of Article VI. The reading is
Petitioner contends that: dictated by the basic rule of construction
1. That an actual case exists, citing that issuances must be interpreted, as
the absence of the executive much as possible, in a way that will
officials invited by the Senate to its render it constitutional.
hearings after the issuance of
E.O. 464, particularly those on the The requirement then to secure
NorthRail project and the presidential consent under Section 1,
wiretapping controversy. limited as it is only to appearances in the
question hour, is valid on its face. For
Respondents countered under Section 22, Article VI of the
contending that: Constitution, the appearance of
1. There is no case or controversy, department heads in the question hour is
there being no showing that discretionary on their part.
President Arroyo has actually
withheld her consent or prohibited Section 1 cannot, however, be applied to
the appearance of the invited appearances of department heads in
officials. These officials, they inquiries in aid of legislation. Congress is
claim, merely communicated to not bound in such instances to respect
the Senate that they have not yet the refusal of the department head to
secured the consent of the appear in such inquiry, unless a valid
President, not that the President claim of privilege is subsequently made,
prohibited their attendance. either by the President herself or by the
Executive Secretary.
The Court said, E.O. 464 does not
require either a deliberate
withholding of consent or an
express prohibition issuing from
the President in order to bar
officials from appearing before

1. Whether Section 1 of E.O 464 is
unconstitutional for violating Sec.
22, Art. VI?
Neri vs. Senate Committee on Petitioner contends that:
Accountability of Public Officers and 1. Respondent Committees show
Investigations, et. al cause Letter and contempt Order
G.R. No. 180643 March 25, 2008 were issued with grave abuse of
Leonardo-de Castro, J.: discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction invoking
Facts: executive privilege as mentioned
On April 20, 2007, the Department in the cases of Senate vs. Ermita
of Transportation and Communication and United States vs. Reynolds
(DOTC) entered into a contract with
Zhong Xing Telecommunications Respondents countered by
Equipment (ZTE) for the supply of contending that:
equipment and services for the National 1. Petitioners testimony is material
Broadband Network (NBN) Project in the and pertinent in the investigation
amount of U.S. $ 329,481,290 conducted in aid of legislation;
(approximately P16 Billion Pesos). The 2. There is no valid justification for
Project was to be financed by the petitioner to claim executive
Peoples Republic of China. privilege
3. There is no abuse of their
This prompted the Senate to issue authority to order petitioners
P.S. Res. No. 127, P.S. Res. No. 144, arrest; and
P.S. Res. No. 129, P.S. Res. No. 136 to 4. Petitioner has not come to court
investigate the anomalous transaction in with clean hands.
which petitioner (Romulo L. Neri) testified
that the then COMELEC Chairman Issues:
Benjamin Abalos bribed him to accept Whether or not the three
the said deal in exchange for 200 Million. questions sought by the SBRC (Senate
Then consulted the President Arroyo Blue Ribbon Committee) to be answered
where she adviced the petitioner not to falls under executive privilege?
accept the deal.
However, petitioner Neri did not The oversight function of
answer two questions which are: (a) Congress may be facilitated by
whether or not President Arroyo followed compulsory process only to the extent
up the NBN Project, (b) whether or not that it is performed in pursuit of
she directed him to prioritize it, and (c) legislation.
whether or not she directed him to
approve. This made the Committee issue The communications elicited by
a subpoena ad testificandum where said the three (3) questions are covered by
petitioner refused to comply invoking the presidential communications
executive privilege. Hence, Senate Blue privilege because of the following
Ribbon Committee cited Neri for reasons:
contempt. 1. the communications relate to a
“quintessential and non-delegable
power” of the President, i.e. the
power to enter into an executive
agreement with other countries. Akbayan Citizen’s Action Party vs.
This authority of the President to Aquino
enter into executive agreements G.R. No. 170516 July 16, 2008
without the concurrence of the Carpio Morales, J.:
Legislature has traditionally been
recognized in Philippine Facts:
2. the communications are The JPEPA, which will be the first
“received” by a close advisor of bilateral free trade agreement to be
the President. Under the entered into by the Philippines with
“operational proximity” test, another country in the event the Senate
petitioner can be considered a grants its consent to it, covers a broad
close advisor, being a member of range of topics which respondents
President Arroyo’s cabinet. And enumerate as follows: trade in goods,
3. there is no adequate showing of a rules of origin, customs procedures,
compelling need that would justify paperless trading, trade in services,
the limitation of the privilege and investment, intellectual property rights,
of the unavailability of the government procurement, movement of
information elsewhere by an natural persons, cooperation,
appropriate investigating competition policy, mutual recognition,
authority. dispute avoidance and settlement,
improvement of the business
Also, The Letter dated November environment, and general and final
17, 2007 of Executive Secretary Ermita provisions.
satisfies the requirement. It serves as the
formal claim of privilege. There, he Petitioners contends that:
expressly states that this Office is 1. The refusal of the government to
constrained to invoke the settled doctrine disclose the documents bearing
of executive privilege as refined in on the JPEPA negotiations
Senate v. Ermita, and has advised violates their right to information
Secretary Neri accordingly. Obviously, on matters of public concern and
he is referring to the Office of the contravenes other constitutional
President. That is more than enough provisions on transparency, such
compliance. In Senate v. Ermita, a less as that on the policy of full public
categorical letter was even adjudged to disclosure of all transactions
be sufficient. involving public interest.
2. Non-disclosure of the same
documents undermines their right
to effective and reasonable
participation in all levels of social,
political, and economic decision-

Issue: Whether or not the President can

validly exclude Congress, exercising its
power of inquiry and power to concur in Gudani vs. Senga
treaties, from the negotiation process. G.R. No. 170165 August 15, 2006
Tinga, J.:
Held: No. A ruling that Philippine offers in
treaty negotiations should not be open to Facts:
public scrutiny would discourage future
Philippine representatives from frankly Petitioners were called by the Senate
expressing their views during Committee to testify in its 28 September
negotiations. While, on first impression, it 2005 hearing. Petitioners attended such
appears wise to deter Philippine hearing and testified before the
representatives from entering into Committee, despite the fact that the day
compromises, it bears noting that treaty before, there was an order from Gen.
Senga (which in turn was sourced per
negotiations, or any negotiation for that
instruction from President Arroyo)
matter, normally involve a process of
prohibiting them from testifying without
quid pro quo, and oftentimes negotiators the prior approval of the President
have to be willing to grant concessions in thereby violating Articles of War 65 and
an area of lesser importance in order to 97.
obtain more favorable terms in an area of
greater national interest. Issue: May the President prevent a
member of the armed forces from
testifying before a legislative inquiry?
Diplomatic negotiations, therefore, are
recognized as privileged in this Held: Yes:
jurisdiction, the JPEPA negotiations
Rationale: By virtue of her power as
constituting no exception. It bears
commander-in-chief, and that as a
emphasis, however, that such privilege is consequence a military officer who defies
only presumptive. For as Senate v. such injunction is liable under military
Ermita holds, recognizing a type of justice. At the same time, we also hold
information as privileged does not mean that any chamber of Congress which
that it will be considered privileged in all seeks the appearance before it of a
instances. Only after a consideration of military officer against the consent of the
the context in which the claim is made President has adequate remedies under
may it be determined if there is a public law to compel such attendance. Any
interest that calls for the disclosure of the military official whom Congress
desired information, strong enough to summons to testify before it may be
overcome its traditionally privileged compelled to do so by the President. If
the President is not so inclined, the
President may be commanded by judicial
order to compel the attendance of the
military officer. Final judicial orders have
the force of the law of the land which the
President has the duty to faithfully
Senate Blue Ribbon Committee vs. invading the domain of the others.
Pimentel When the Senate Blue Ribbon
G.R. No. 136760 July 29, 2003 Committee served subpoena on
Ynares – Santiago, J.: respondent Flaviano to appear and
testify before it in connection with its
Facts: investigation of the alleged misuse
and mismanagement of the AFP-
On August 28, 1998, Senator Blas F. RSBS funds, it did so pursuant to its
Ople filed Senate Resolution No. 157 authority to conduct inquiries in aid of
directing the Committee on National legislation. This is clearly provided in
Defense and Security to conduct an Article VI, Section 21 of the
inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the Constitution, thus:
charges of then Defense Secretary
Orlando Mercado that a group of active The Senate or the House of
and retired military officers were Representatives or any of its
organizing a coup detat to prevent the respective committees may
administration of then President Joseph conduct inquiries in aid of
Estrada from probing alleged fund legislation in accordance with its
irregularities in the Armed Forces of the duly published rules of procedure.
Philippines. Also, in the same date, Sen. The rights of persons appearing in
Vicente Sotto III filed Resolution No. 160 or affected by such inquiries shall
to investigate said mismanagement of be respected.
Hence, the Regional Trial Court of
It was revealed that a lot was General Santos City, or any court for
purchased in General Santos City which that matter, had no authority to
prompted the Committee to issue a prohibit the Committee from requiring
subpoena to Atty. Flaviano. Then the trial respondent to appear and testify
court in General Santos City issued TRO before it.
and denied the motion of the Committee.
2. Whether or not respondent Judge
Issues: erred in convicting petitioner
1. Whether or not respondent Judge Pimentel of indirect contempt of
Jose Majaducon committed grave court.
abuse of discretion when he
dismissed petitioners motion to Held: No, because Pimentel was
dismiss the petition for prohibition guilty of indirect contempt of court,
and issued the writ of preliminary first, for causing the publication of the
injunction; Committees petition in the Philippine
Star notwithstanding that the same
Held: Yes, the principle of separation was sub judice; second, for making
of powers essentially means that derogatory remarks in the petition
legislation belongs to Congress, itself which affected the honor and
execution to the Executive, and integrity of the respondent judge and
settlement of legal controversies to degraded the administration of
the Judiciary. Each is prevented from justice; and third, for making it appear
that an administrative complaint was 3. The inquiry violates their right to
filed against respondent Judge for due process.
gross ignorance of the law. These, he
said, constituted malicious and false Issues: W/N the Senate Blue Ribbon
report which obstructed the Committee’s inquiry was done in aid of
administration of justice. legislation?

Bengzon, Jr. vs. Senate Blue Held: No, because the speech of Senator
Ribbon Committee Enrile contained no suggestion of
G.R. No. 89914 November 20, contemplated legislation; he merely
1991 called upon the Senate to look into a
Padilla, J.: possible violation of Sec. 5 of RA No.
Facts: 3019, otherwise known as "The Anti-
Graft and Corrupt Practices Act." In other
Petitioner was allegedly connived words, the purpose of the inquiry to be
with the then President Marcos for conducted by respondent Blue Ribbon
graft and corruption through the help Committee was to find out whether or not
of certain individuals and entities the relatives of President Aquino,
namely: the Bengzon Law Office, particularly Mr. Ricardo Lopa, had
Ricardo Lopa, MERALCO, PCI Bank, violated the law in connection with the
Shell Philippines and Benguet alleged sale of the 36 or 39 corporations
Consolidated Mining Corporation. belonging to Benjamin "Kokoy"
Romualdez to the Lopa Group. There
Subsequently, Senator Juan appears to be, therefore, no intended
Ponce Enrile delivered a speech, legislation involved.
taking advantage of the privilege
hour, accusing Lopa of such Also, because it is not related to a
corruption and a motion to investigate purpose within the juris-diction of
such anomaly. Lopa refused to Congress, since the aim of the
appear and testify then countered the investigation is to find out whether or not
speech of Senator Enrile by saying the relatives of the President or Mr.
that such allegations are superfluous Ricardo Lopa had violated Section 5 of
and not well founded. RA No. 3019, the "Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act", a matter that appears
Petitioners contend that: more within the province of the courts
1. The Senate Blue Ribbon rather than of the legislature. Besides,
Committee's inquiry has no valid the Court may take judicial notice that Mr.
legislative purpose, i.e., it is not Ricardo Lopa died during the pendency
done in aid of legislation; of this case.
2. The sale or disposition of the
Romualdez corporations is a As stated in Watkins vs. United
"purely private transaction" which States, “But broad as is this power of
is beyond the power of the Senate inquiry, it is not unlimited. There is no
Blue Ribbon Committee to inquire general authority to expose the private
into; and affairs of individuals without justification
in terms of the functions of congress.
This was freely conceded by the Solicitor will not serve, any intended or
General in his argument in this case. Nor purported legislation and his
is the Congress a law enforce-ment or refusal to answer the question has
trial agency. These are functions of the not embarrassed, obstructed, or
executive and judicial departments of impeded the legislative process
government. No inquiry is an end in 2. He would incriminate himself if he
itself; it must be related to and in should reveal the name of the
furtherance of a legitimate task of person to whom he gave the
Congress. Investigations conducted P440,000 because if that person
solely for the personal aggrandizement of be a public official he (witness)
the investigators or to 'punish' those might be accused of bribery, and if
investigated are indefensible." that person be a private individual
the latter might accuse him of oral
Arnault vs Nazareno defamation.
G.R. No. L-3820 July 18, 1950 3. The Senate lacks authority to
Ozaeta, J.: commit him for contempt for a
term beyond its period of
Facts: legislative session, which ended
on May 18, 1950.
The Senate adopted Resolution
No. 8 in order to investigate the Issue: W/N the Senate has the power to
anomalous transactions between Ernest punish someone for contempt?
H. Burt, North Manila Development Co.,
Inc. and the Philippine Government, Held: Yes, because the question for the
through the Rural Progress refusal to answer which the petitioner
Administration for the acquisition of was held in contempt by the Senate is
Buenavista and Tambobong Estates for pertinent to the matter under inquiry. In
the sums of 4,500,000 and 500,000 in fact, this is not and cannot be disputed.
which Burt and NMDCI, represented by Senate Resolution No. 8, the validity of
petitioner Arnault, got 1,500,000 in total. which: is not challenged by the petitioner,
requires the Special Committee, among
The said resolution called other things, to determine the parties
petitioner Arnault to testify and responsible for the Buenavista and
throughout the hearings conducted, he Tambobong estates deal, and it is
refused to answer the question pertaining obvious that the name of the person to
to the name of person whom he handed whom the witness gave the P440,000
440,000. This prompted the Senate to involved in said deal is pertinent to that
punish him for contempt. determination it is in fact the very thing
sought to be determined. The contention
Petitioner contends that: is not that the question is impertinent to
1. The Senate has no power to the subject of the inquiry but that it has
punish him for contempt for no relation or materiality to any proposed
refusing to reveal the name of the legislation. We have already indicated
person to whom he gave the that it is not necessary for the legislative
P440,000, because such body to show that every question
information is immaterial to, and propounded to a witness is material to
any proposed or possible legislation; The unmistakable objective of the
what is required is that it be pertinent to investigation, as set forth in the said
the matter under inquiry. resolution, exposes the error in
petitioners allegation that the inquiry, as
Standard Charter Bank vs. Senate initiated in a privilege speech by the very
Committee on Banks same Senator Enrile, was simply to
G.R. No. 167173 December 27, 2007 denounce the illegal practice committed
Nachura, J.: by a foreign bank in selling unregistered
foreign securities x x x. This fallacy is
Facts: made more glaring when we consider
that, at the conclusion of his privilege
On February 1, 2005, Senator speech, Senator Enrile urged the Senate
Juan Ponce Enrile, Vice Chairperson of to immediately conduct an inquiry, in aid
respondent, delivered a privilege speech of legislation, so as to prevent the
entitled Arrogance of Wealth before the occurrence of a similar fraudulent activity
Senate based on a letter from Atty. Mark in the future.
R. Bocobo denouncing SCB-Philippines
for selling unregistered foreign securities
in violation of the Securities Regulation
Code (R.A. No. 8799) and urging the
Senate to immediately conduct an
inquiry, in aid of legislation, to prevent the
occurrence of a similar fraudulent activity
in the future but before it, he introduced
P.S. Resolution No. 166.

Whether or not the claim of the
petitioners is well – founded, stating that
the issue of whether or not SCB-
Philippines illegally sold unregistered
foreign securities is already preempted
by the courts that took cognizance of the
foregoing cases, the respondent, by this
investigation, would encroach upon the
judicial powers vested solely in these
courts citing Bengzon, Jr. v. Senate Blue
Ribbon Committee as legal basis?

Held: No, P.S. Resolution No. 166 is

explicit on the subject and nature of the
inquiry to be (and already being)
conducted by the respondent
Committee, as found in the last three
Whereas clauses thereof.
Lopez vs. Reyes Garciliano vs. the House of
GR No. 34361 Nov 05, 1930 Representatives
Malcolm, J.: G.R. No. 170338 December 23, 2008
Nachura, J.:
On October 23, 1929, petitioner
Candido Lopez attacked, assaulted and On June 8, 2005, Minority Leader
threatened Hon. Jose D. Dimayuga Francis G. Escudero delivered a privilege
without justification resulting to inability of speech entitled “a tale of two tapes” in
the latter to perform his official functions which he motioned for congressional
as a member of the Congress. investigation. The outcome of the said
investigation revealed the wiretapped
This prompted the Senate to issue conversation between President Arroyo
Resolution 51, requiring the Speaker to and COMELEC Chairman Virgilio
order the arrest of the petitioner and Garciliano to manipulate the votes in her
confine him in the Bilibid Prison for 24 favor on 2004 Presidential Elections.
hours. After long debates, the said tapes were
played in the Congress.
Issue: Whether or not the House of
Representatives is allowed to punish Alarmed by these events,
contempt? petitioner filed to the Court a Petition for
Prohibition and Injunction, with Prayer for
Held: Yes, Act No. 1755 punishes Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ
disturbances of legislative bodies by fine of Preliminary Injunction which abruptly
or imprisonment, in the discretion of the stopped the debates on the “Garci”
court. Section 102 of the Administrative tapes.
Code, similarly punishes contempts by
recalcitrant witnesses of a legislative The Court, however, dismisses
body or committee. The Penal Code, in G.R. No. 170338 for being moot and
addition, contains various provisions for academic but instead granted G.R. No.
the punishment of transgressors against 179275 which seeks to prohibit and stop
the law. the conduct of the Senate inquiry on the
wiretapped conversation.
Also, a power essential to permit
the Houses of the Philippine Legislature Issue: W/N the Senate is allowed to
to perform their duties without continue with the conduct of the
impediment, as contemplated by the questioned legislative inquiry without
Organic Act, must be assumed. There is duly published rules of procedure?
as much necessity for the Houses in a
territorial legislature to possess the Held: No. Because such action is in clear
power to punish for contempt as there is derogation of the constitutional
for the Houses in the Congress of the requirement.
United States and the Houses in the
State Legislatures to possess this Publication is indeed imperative,
power. for it will be the height of injustice to
punish or otherwise burden a citizen for himself and refused to nominate
the transgression of a law or rule of which two (2) more Senators", because
he had no notice whatsoever, not even a said petitioner is in estoppel, and
constructive one. What constitutes because the present action is not
publication is set forth in Article 2 of the the proper remedy.
Civil Code, which provides that laws shall
take effect after 15 days following the Issues:
completion of their publication either in 1. Whether or not the Court has
the Official Gazette, or in a newspaper of jurisdiction over the matter vested
general circulation in the Philippines. exclusively on the Congress?

In other words, the law merely Held: Yes, because it is not a political
recognizes the admissibility in evidence question but a judicial one. The
(for their being the original) of electronic Senate is not clothed with "full
data messages and/or electronic discretionary authority" in the choice
documents. It does not make the internet of members of the Senate Electoral
a medium for publishing laws, rules and Tribunal. The exercise of its power
regulations. thereon is subject to constitutional
limitations which are claimed to be
Tañada vs. Cuenco mandatory in nature. It is clearly
G.R. No. L-10520 February 28, 1957 within the legitimate province of the
Concepion, J.: judicial department to pass upon the
validity of the proceedings in
Facts: connection therewith.

Petitioner questions the legality "* * * whether an election of public

and validity of the election of respondents officers has been in accordance with
Senators Cuenco and Delgado, as law is for the judiciary. Moreover,
members of the Senate Electoral where the legislative department has
Tribunal, and of the appointment of by statute prescribed election
respondent Alfredo Cruz, Catalina procedure in a given situation, the
Cayetano, Manuel Serapio and Placido judiciary may determine whether a
Reyes as technical assistants and private particular election has been in
secretaries to said respondents Senators conformity with such statute, and,
particularly, whether such statute has
Respondents countered by been applied in a way to deny or
alleging that: transgress on constitutional or
1. The Court is without power, statutory rights * * *." (16 C. J. S., 439;
authority of jurisdiction to direct or italics supplied.)
control the action of the Senate in
choosing the members of the 2. Is the election of Senators Cuenco
Electoral Tribunal; and and Delgado, by the Senate, as
2. That the petition states no cause members of the Electoral
of action, because “petitioner Tribunal, valid and lawful?
Tañada has exhausted his right to
nominate after he nominated
Held: No, because the Senate may acts performed in violation thereof are
not elect, as members of the Senate null and void.
Electoral Tribunal, those Senators
who have not been nominated by the If such election of the two senators be
political parties specified in the lawful, the philosophy underlying the
Constitution; that the party having the same would be entirely upset. The
largest number of votes in the Senate equilibrium between the political
may nominate not more than three (3) parties therein would be destroyed.
members thereof to said Electoral What is worst, the decisive
Tribunal; that the party having the moderating role of the Justices of the
second largest number of votes in the Supreme Court would be wiped out,
Senate has the exclusive right to and, in lieu thereof, the door would be
nominate the other three (3) Senators thrown wide open for the
who shall sit as members in the predominance of political
Electoral Tribunal; that neither these considerations in the determination of
three (3) Senators, nor any of them, election protests pending before said
may be nominated by a person or Tribunal, which is precisely what the
party other than the one having the fathers of our Constitution earnestly
second largest number of votes in the strove to forestall.
Senate or its representative therein;
that the Committee on Rules for the
Senate has no standing to validly
make such nomination and that the
nomination of Senators Cuenco and
Delgado by Senator Primicias, and
the election of said respondents by
the Senate, as members of said
Tribunal, are null and void ab initio.

Also, the framers of our

Constitution intended to prevent the
majority party from controlling the
Electoral Tribunals, and that the
structure thereof is founded upon the
equilibrium between the majority and
the minority parties therein, with the
Justices of the Supreme Court, who
are members of said Tribunals,
holding the resulting balance of
power. The procedure prescribed in
said provision for the selection of
members of the Electoral Tribunals is
vital to the role they are called upon to
play. It constitutes the essence of said
Tribunals. Hence, compliance with
said procedure is mandatory, and
Barbers vs. COMELEC 12th Senator and Biazon has
G.R. No. 165691 June 22, 2005 taken his oath of office on 30
Carpio, J.: June 2004, the Senate
Electoral Tribunal, not the
Facts: COMELEC, has jurisdiction to
entertain the present petition;
Petitioner Rodolfo Biazon won the 3. With Biazons admitted and
Synchronized National and Local established margin of 10,685
Elections (elections) on 10 May 2004 votes, the votes from the
by virtue of Resolution No. NBC 04- alleged uncanvassed COCs
005, garnering a vote of 10,635,270 and the votes still to be cast in
nationwide while respondent Barbers the special elections which
on the other hand, got only were still to be conducted
10,624,585 votes. would not substantially affect
the results of the election for
Petitioner believing that the said the 12th and last slot for
Biazon’s victory was void, filed an Senator; and
Omnibus Motion for Immediate 4. The NBC committed a
Service of Summons of the Effects of manifest error in crediting to
the Proclamation and contended that: Barbers a total of 34,711 votes
1. Proclamation of Biazon was from the province of Lanao del
illegal and premature being Sur while crediting to Biazon
based on an incomplete only 1,428 votes from the
canvass. He further asserted supplemental Provincial COCs
that the remaining for Lanao del Sur despite the
uncanvassed COCs and votes existence and availability of
and the results of the special the Municipal COCs for
elections, which were still to be Balabagan and Tagoloan,
conducted, would undoubtedly Lanao del Sur.
affect the results of the
elections The Court ruled in favor of Biazon,
reinstating him as the 12th Senator of the
Respondent countered by Philippines
asserting that:
1. he First Division of the Issue: Whether the Court can take
COMELEC has no jurisdiction cognizance of the petition?
to review, modify, or set aside
what the COMELEC sitting en Held: No. Because the word sole in
banc as the NBC for Senators Section 17, Article VI of the 1987
has officially performed, which Constitution and Rule 12 of the Revised
is the promulgation of Rules of the Senate Electoral Tribunal
Resolution No. NBC 04-005; (SET) underscores the exclusivity of the
2. Since the COMELEC has SETs jurisdiction over election contests
proclaimed Biazon on 2 June relating to members of the Senate. The
2004 in Resolution No. NBC authority conferred upon the SET is
04-005 as the duly elected categorical and complete. It is therefore
clear that this Court has no jurisdiction to Abbas vs. SET (Senate Electoral
entertain the instant petition. Since Tribunal)
Barbers contests Biazons proclamation G.R. No. 83767 October 27, 1988
as the 12th winning senatorial candidate, Gancayco, J.:
it is the SET which has exclusive
jurisdiction to act on Barbers complaint. Facts:

Sec. 17. The Senate and the House of Petitioners Firdausi Smail Abbas
Representatives shall each have an et., al contested the proclamation of the
Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole 22 candidates of the LABAN Coalition in
judge of all contests relating to the the 1987 Congressional Elections
election, returns, and qualifications of
their respective Members. Each Electoral They argued that considerations
Tribunal shall be composed of nine of public policy and the norms of fair play
Members, three of whom shall be and due process imperatively require the
Justices of the Supreme Court to be mass disqualification sought and that the
designated by the Chief Justice, and the doctrine of necessity which they perceive
remaining six shall be Members of the to be the foundation petition of the
Senate or the House of Representatives, questioned Resolutions does not rule out
as the case may be, who shall be chosen a solution both practicable and
on the basis of proportional constitutionally unobjectionable, namely;
representation from the political parties the amendment of the respondent
and the parties or organization registered Tribunal's Rules of procedure so as to
under the party-list system represented permit the contest being decided by only
therein. The senior Justice in the three Members of the Tribunal.
Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman.
(Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Furthermore, they proposed an
amendments to the Tribunal’s Rules (24):
RULE 12. Jurisdiction. The Senate Requiring the concurrence of five (5)
Electoral Tribunal is the sole judge of all members for the adoption of resolutions
contests relating to the election, returns, of whatever nature is a proviso that
and qualifications of the Members of the where more than four (4) members are
Senate. (Emphasis and underscoring disqualified, the remaining members
supplied) shall constitute a quorum, if not less than
three (3) including one (1) Justice, and
may adopt resolutions by majority vote
with no abstentions. Obviously tailored to
fit the situation created by the petition for
disqualification, this would, in the context
of that situation, leave the resolution of
the contest to the only three Members
who would remain, all Justices of this
Court, whose disqualification is not
Issue: Whether the suggestion of the Bondoc vs. Pineda
petitioners is constitutional? G.R. No. 97710 September 26, 1991
Grio-Aquiño, J.:
Held: No. Because it violates the
provisions in Sec. 17, Art. VI of the On May 19, 1987, Pineda was
Constitution. proclaimed winner in the election. In due
time, Bondoc filed a protest (HRET Case
Also, it seems quite clear to us No. 25) in the House of Representatives
that in thus providing for a Tribunal to be Electoral Tribunal which is composed of
staffed by both Justices of the Supreme nine (9) members, three of whom are
Court and Members of the Senate, the Justices of the Supreme Court and the
Constitution intended that both those remaining six are members of the House
"judicial' and 'legislative' components of Representatives chosen on the basis
commonly share the duty and authority of of proportional representation from the
deciding all contests relating to the political parties and the parties or
election, returns and qualifications of organizations registered under the party-
Senators. The respondent Tribunal list system represented therein (Sec. 17,
correctly stated one part of this Art. VI, 1987 Constitution)
proposition when it held that said
provision "... is a clear expression of an After reexamination and re-
intent that all (such) contests ... shall be appreciation, Bondoc won over Pineda
resolved by a panel or body in which their but it was revealed later on by
(the Senators') peers in that Chamber Congressman Camasura that he voted
are represented." 1 The other part, of for Bondoc "consistent with truth and
course, is that the constitutional provision justice and self- respect," and to honor a
just as clearly mandates the participation "gentlemen's agreement" among the
in the same process of decision of a members of the HRET that they would
representative or representatives of the "abide by the result of the appreciation of
Supreme Court. the contested ballot. This prompted the
House of Representatives to remove
Camasura from the Congress.

1. Is the House of Representatives
empowered by the Constitution to
do that, i.e., to interfere with the
disposition of an election contest
in the House Electoral Tribunal
through the ruse of "reorganizing"
the representation in the tribunal
of the majority party?

Held: No. Beacause the use of the

word "sole" in both Section 17 of the
1987 Constitution and Section 11 of
the 1935 Constitution underscores
the exclusive jurisdiction of the House Codilla Sr. vs. De Venecia
Electoral Tribunal as judge of G.R. No. 163756 January 26, 2005
contests relating to the election, Puno, J.:
returns and qualifications of the
members of the House of Facts:
Representatives (Robles vs. House
of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, Respondent Ma. Victoria L. Locsin
G.R. No. 86647, February 5, 1990). lost to petitioner Eufrocino M. Codilla, Sr.
The tribunal was created to function by 17,903 votes in the May 14, 2001
as a nonpartisan court although two- elections as Representative of the 4th
thirds of its members are politicians. It legislative district of Leyte on the May
is a non-political body in a sea of 2001 Elections.
Josephine de la Cruz filed a
2. Whether the resolution of the petition for disqualification alleging that
House of Representatives the petitioner used government vehicles
removing Congress Camasura to buy the votes of the people of Leyte.
violates the independence of the
HRET? At the time of the elections on May
14, 2001, the Regional Election Director
Held: Yes. Because of the following had yet to hear the disqualification case.
reasons: On May 16, 2001 respondent filed a Most
1. Disloyalty to party is not a valid Urgent Motion to Suspend Proclamation
cause for termination of of Respondent and a Second Most
membership in the HRET. Urgent Motion to Suspend Proclamation
2. Expulsion of Congressman of Respondent two days after. As a result
Camasura violates his right to COMELEC issued an ex – parte order
security of tenure. which declared Locsin as a winner of the
said election.

Petitioner then was deprived of

the opportunity to be heard, because, in
spite of his motions, COMELEC Second
Division still declared Locsin as winner.
After he filed for an Urgent Manifestation
COMELEC Chair Benipayo nullified the
resolution of the COMELEC Second
Division declaring proclaiming Locsin as
the winner.

1. Whether the proclamation of
respondent Locsin is valid?

Held: No. Because of the following

1. The petitioner was denied due be disqualified shall not be voted
process during the entire for, and the votes cast for him
proceedings leading to the shall not be counted.
proclamation of respondent Nevertheless, if for any reason, a
Locsin. candidate is not declared by final
a. He was not notified of the judgment before an election to be
petition for his disqualification disqualified and he is voted for
through the service of and receives the winning number
summons nor of the Motions to of votes in such election, his
suspend his proclamation. violation of the provisions of the
preceding sections shall not
Resolution No. 3402 prevent his proclamation and
clearly requires the COMELEC, assumption to office.
through the Regional Election
Director, to issue summons to the b. The COMELEC Second
respondent candidate together Division did not give ample
with a copy of the petition and its opportunity to the petitioner to
enclosures, if any, within three (3) adduce evidence in support of
days from the filing of the petition his defense in the petition for
for disqualification. Undoubtedly, his disqualification.
this is to afford the respondent c. The Resolution of the
candidate the opportunity to COMELEC Second Division
answer the allegations in the disqualifying the petitioner is
petition and hear his side. To not based on substantial
ensure compliance with this evidence.
requirement, the COMELEC
Rules of Procedure requires the The jurisdiction of the
return of the summons together COMELEC to disqualify
with the proof of service to the candidates is limited to those
Clerk of Court of the COMELEC enumerated in section 68 of the
when service has been completed Omnibus Election Code. All other
election offenses are beyond the
Section 72 of the Omnibus ambit of COMELEC
Election Code: “Sec. 72. Effects of jurisdiction.[97] They are criminal
disqualification cases and and not administrative in nature.
priority.- The Commission and the Pursuant to sections 265 and 268
courts shall give priority to cases of the Omnibus Election Code, the
of disqualification by reason of power of the COMELEC is
violation of this Act to the end that confined to the conduct of
a final decision shall be rendered preliminary investigation on the
not later than seven days before alleged election offenses for the
the election in which the purpose of prosecuting the
disqualification is sought. alleged offenders before the
regular courts of justice
Any candidate who has
been declared by final judgment to
d. Exclusion of the votes in favor Cases and after fifteen (15)
of the petitioner and the days in all other actions or
proclamation of respondent proceedings, following its
Locsin was done with undue promulgation. (emphasis
haste. supplied)”

The essence of due process is Lastly, The effect of a decision

the opportunity to be heard. declaring a person ineligible to
When a party is deprived of hold an office is only that the
that basic fairness, any election fails entirely, that the
decision by any tribunal in wreath of victory cannot be
prejudice of his rights is void. transferred from the
disqualified winner to the
2. The votes cast in favor of the repudiated loser because the
petitioner cannot be considered law then as now only
stray and respondent cannot be authorizes a declaration in
validly proclaimed on that basis. favor of the person who has
obtained a plurality of votes,
a. The order of disqualification is and does not entitle the
not yet final, hence, the votes candidate receiving the next
cast in favor of the petitioner highest number of votes to be
cannot be considered stray. declared elected. In such
case, the electors have failed
Section 6 of R.A. No. 6646 and to make a choice and the
section 72 of the Omnibus election is a nullity. To allow
Election Code require a final the defeated and repudiated
judgment before the election candidate to take over the
for the votes of a disqualified elective position despite his
candidate to be considered rejection by the electorate is to
stray and the petitioner has not disenfranchise the electorate
been declared by final without any fault on their part
judgment to be disqualified not and to undermine the
only before but even after the importance and meaning of
elections. democracy and the people’s
right to elect officials of their
Also, Section 13 par. 3, choice.
Rule 18 of the COMELEC
Rules of Procedure on Finality 2. Whether the proclamation of
of Decisions and Resolutions respondent Locsin divested the
states that, “(c) Unless a COMELEC en banc of jurisdiction
motion for reconsideration is to review its validity.
seasonably filed, a decision or
resolution of a Division shall Held: Yes. Because of the following
become final and executory reasons:
after the lapse of five (5) days 1. The validity of the respondent’s
in Special Actions and Special proclamation was a core issue in
the Motion for Reconsideration registration of the petitioner in the Roll of
seasonably filed by the petitioner. Members of the House of
2. It is the House of Representatives Representatives representing the 4th
Electoral Tribunal (HRET) which legislative district of Leyte is no longer a
has no jurisdiction in the instant matter of discretion on the part of the
case. public respondents. The facts are settled
a. The issue on the validity of the and beyond dispute: petitioner garnered
Resolution of the COMELEC 71,350 votes as against respondent
Second Division has not yet Locsin who only got 53, 447 votes in the
been resolved by the May 14, 2001 elections. The COMELEC
COMELEC en banc. Second Division initially ordered the
proclamation of respondent Locsin; on
The issue was still within the Motion for Reconsideration the
exclusive jurisdiction of the COMELEC en banc set aside the order
COMELEC en banc to resolve. of its Second Division and ordered the
Hence, the HRET cannot proclamation of the petitioner. The
assume jurisdiction over the Decision of the COMELEC en banc has
matter. not been challenged before this Court by
respondent Locsin and said Decision has
b. The instant case does not become final and executory.
involve the election and
qualification of respondent Also, the rule of law demands that its
Locsin. decision be obeyed by all officials of the
land. There is no alternative to the rule of
A petition for quo warranto law except the reign of chaos and
may be filed only on the confusion.
grounds of ineligibility and
disloyalty to the Republic of the
Philippines. In the case at bar,
neither the eligibility of the
respondent Locsin nor her
loyalty to the Republic of the
Philippines is in question.
There is no issue that she was
qualified to run, and if she won,
to assume office.

3. Whether it is the ministerial duty of

the public respondents to
recognize petitioner Codilla, Sr. as
the legally elected Representative
of the 4th legislative district of
Leyte vice respondent Locsin.

Held: No. In the case at bar, the

administration of oath and the
Aggabao vs. COMELEC winning candidate and despite its alleged
G.R. No. 163756 January 26, 2005 invalidity, the COMELEC is divested of its
Ynares – Santiago, J.: jurisdiction to hear the protest.

Facts: Vinzons-Chato vs. COMELEC

G.R. NO. 172131 APRIL 2, 2007
Petitioner Aggabao and Callejo, Sr., J.:
Respondent Miranda were rival
congressional candidates for the 4th Facts:
District of Isabela during the May 10,
2004 elections where the later got the Petitioner Chato and respondent Renato
better end and won the said election. But J. Unico were among the candidates for
before that petitioner moved to exclude the lone congressional district of
the 1st certificate of canvass of votes for Camarines Norte during the May 10,
errors and frauds. 2004 synchronized national and local
elections where petitioner alleges that
Petitioner contended that: there is a discrepancy in the Election
1. Provincial Board of Canvassers Returns from various precincts of the
(PBC) acted without jurisdiction Municipality of Labo.
when it heard Mirandas Petition
for Exclusion. Even assuming that On May 14, 2004, at 11:30 a.m.,
the PBC had jurisdiction over the the PBC proclaimed respondent Unico as
petition, it still erred in excluding representative-elect of the lone
the contested COCVs as they congressional district of Camarines
appeared regular and properly Norte.
Petitioner contended that:
Issue: Whether the Court can take 1. The correction of manifest errors
cognizance of the petition? in the certificates of canvass or
election returns, questions
Held: The HRET has sole and exclusive affecting the composition or
jurisdiction over all contests relative to proceedings of the boards of
the election, returns, and qualifications of canvassers, or noting of
members of the House of objections on election returns or
Representatives. Thus, once a winning certificates of canvass were
candidate has been proclaimed, taken allowed before the MBC
his oath, and assumed office as a
Member of the House of Then in March 17, 2006, the
Representatives, COMELECs COMELEC en banc denied petitioner
jurisdiction over election contests relating Chatos motion for reconsideration ruling
to his election, returns, and qualifications that the Commission already lost
ends, and the HRETs own jurisdiction jurisdiction over the case in view of the
begins. fact that respondent Unico had already
taken his oath as a Member of the
Also, as the Court ruled in Lazatin Thirteenth (13th) Congress.
vs. Comelec, upon proclamation of the
Issue: Whether or not the public Garcia vs. House of Representatives
respondent COMELEC committed grave G.R. No. 134792 August 12, 1999
abuse of discretion amounting to lack of Ynares – Santiago, J.:
or in excess of jurisdiction in
promulgating the questioned resolution Facts:
on March 17, 2006.
On May 29, 1998, petitioners filed
Held: No. The Court has invariably held for quo warranto before the House of
that once a winning candidate has been Representatives Electoral Tribunal
proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed (HRET) against Congressman Harry
office as a Member of the House of Angping alleging that the latter is not a
Representatives, the COMELECs natural born citizen of the Philippines.
jurisdiction over election contests relating Thus, not qualified to become a
to his election, returns, and qualifications Congressman.
ends, and the HRETs own jurisdiction
begins. Stated in another manner, where After payment of the filing fee
the candidate has already been (5,000), HRET dismissed the petition for
proclaimed winner in the congressional quo warranto for failure to make a 5,000
elections, the remedy of the petitioner is cash deposit.
to file an electoral protest with the HRET.
Petitioner contends that:
Further, for the Court to take 1. The respondent HRET committed
cognizance of petitioner Chatos election grave abuse of discretion in
protest against respondent Unico would denying the petition below despite
be to usurp the constitutionally mandated actual payment by herein
functions of the HRET. petitioner (albeit late) of the
required cash deposit of
p5,000.00, thereby strictly and
literally construing the HRET rules
in contravention of Rule 2 (of the
same rules) enjoining a liberal
construction thereof.

2. The respondent HRET committed

grave abuse of discretion in
dismissing the petition below upon
a mere technicality even as the
evidence and/or documents
attached therein clearly show the
ineligibility of respondent Angping
to hold and/or continue to assume
office as member of the house of
representatives of the Republic of
the Philippines
Issues: process or correct an abuse of
1. Whether or not this Court can take discretion so grave or glaring that no
cognizance of the instant petition less than the Constitution itself calls
for certiorari. for remedial action.

Held: Yes. Because of the provision 2. Whether or not the HRET has
in Sec. 1, Art. VIII of the 1987 committed grave abuse of
Constitution. discretion in summarily dismissing
the petition for quo warranto of
In Robles vs. HRET (181 SCRA petitioners and in refusing to
780), the Court has explained that reinstate the same even after the
while the judgments of the Tribunal payment of the required Five
are beyond judicial interference, the Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00)
Court may do so, however, but only in cash deposit.
the exercise of this Courts so-called
extraordinary jurisdiction, upon a Held: No. Because petitioners Perla
determination that the Tribunals Garcia, Paz Cruz and Geraldine
decision or resolution was rendered Padernal, filed their petition for quo
without or in excess of jurisdiction, or warranto on May 29, 1998. However,
with grave abuse of discretion or the required cash deposit of
paraphrasing Morrero, upon a clear P5,000.00 was paid only on June 26,
showing of such arbitrary and 1998, which was after the dismissal of
improvident use by the Tribunal of its the petition and only after an
power as constitutes a denial of due unreasonable delay of twenty-eight
process of law, or upon a (28) days. Indeed, in dismissing the
determination of a very clear petition the HRET acted judiciously,
unmitigated error, manifestly correctly and certainly within its
constituting such grave abuse of jurisdiction. It was a judgment call of
discretion, that there has to be a the HRET which is clearly authorized
remedy for such abuse. under its Rules. As long as the
exercise of discretion is based on
Also, in the case of Morrero vs. well-founded factual and legal basis,
Bocar (66 Phil. 429), the Court has as in this case, no abuse of discretion
ruled that the power of the Electoral can be imputed to the Tribunal.
Commission is beyond judicial
interference except, in any event, Also, as stated in RULE 33. Effect
upon a clear showing of arbitrary and of Failure to Make Cash Deposit. If a
improvident use of power as will party fails to make the cash deposits
constitute a denial of due process. or additional deposits herein provided
The Court does not, to paraphrase it within the prescribed time limit, the
in Co vs. HRET (199 SCRA 692), Tribunal may dismiss the protest,
venture into the perilous area of counter-protest, or petition for quo
correcting perceived errors of warranto, or take such action as it
independent branches of the may deem equitable under the
Government; it comes in only when it circumstances.
has to vindicate a denial of due
Ocampo vs. HRET The obvious rationale behind the
G.R. No. 158466 June 15, 2004 foregoing ruling is that in voting for a
Sandoval – Gutierrez, J.: candidate who has not been
disqualified by final judgment during
Facts: the election day, the people voted for
him bona fide, without any intention to
On May 23, 2001, the Manila City misapply their franchise, and in the
Board of Canvassers proclaimed private honest belief that the candidate was
respondent Mario B. Crespo, a.k.a. Mark then qualified to be the person to
Jimenez, the duly elected Congressman whom they would entrust the exercise
of the 6th District of Manila pursuant to of the powers of government.
the May 14, 2001 elections. He was
credited with 32,097 votes or a margin of In the present case, private
768 votes over petitioner who obtained respondent was declared disqualified
31,329 votes. almost twenty-two (22) months after
the May 14, 2001 elections.
Then, petitioner filed an electoral Obviously, the requirement of final
protest alleging discrepancies and judgment before election is absent.
anomalies, filed a motion to implement Therefore, petitioner cannot invoke
Sec. 6 of Republic Act No. 6646. HRET Section 6 of R.A. No. 6646.
issued thereafter a Resolution holding
that private respondent was guilty of 2. Whether petitioner, a second
vote-buying and disqualifying him as placer in the May 14, 2001
Congressman of the 6th District of congressional elections, can be
Manila. Anent the second issue of proclaimed the duly elected
whether petitioner can be proclaimed the Congressman of the 6th District of
duly elected Congressman. Manila.

The Tribunal Resolved to deny Held: No. According to the Court’s

protestant’s (petitioner) Motion to ruling in Geronimo vs. Ramos, “if the
Implement Section 6, Republic Act No. winning candidate is not qualified and
6646 by declaring the votes cast for cannot qualify for the office to which
Mario Crespo as stray votes. he was elected, a permanent vacancy
is thus created. The second placer is
Issues: just that, a second placer he lost in
1. Whether the votes cast in favor of the elections, he was repudiated by
private respondent should not be either the majority or plurality of
counted pursuant to Section 6 of voters. He could not be proclaimed
R.A. No. 6646 winner as he could not be considered
the first among the qualified
Held: No. there must be a final candidates. To rule otherwise is to
judgment before the election in order misconstrue the nature of the
that the votes of a disqualified democratic electoral process and the
candidate can be considered stray. sociological and psychological
underpinnings behind voter’s
Co vs. Electoral Tribunal of the a. When may the Court inquire
House of Representatives into acts of the Electoral
GR Nos. 92191-92 Jul 30, 1991 Tribunals under our
Gutierrez, Jr., J.: constitutional grants of power?

Facts: Held: In the leading case of

Morrero v. Bocar, (66 Phil. 429
Private respondent Ong was [1938]) the Court ruled that the
proclaimed the duly elected power of the Electoral
representative of the second district of Commission "is beyond judicial
Northern Samar in the 1987 interference except, in any event,
Congressional Elections for the Second upon a clear showing of such
District of Samar. arbitrary and improvident use of
power as will constitute a denial of
Petitioner then filed a protest, due process." The Court does not
contending that: venture into the perilous area of
1. Jose Ong, Jr. is not a natural born trying to' correct perceived errors
citizen of the Philippines; and of independent branches of the
2. Jose Ong, Jr. is not a resident of Government. It comes in only
the second district of Northern when it has to vindicate a denial of
Samar. due process or correct an abuse
of discretion so grave or glaring
However, HRET favored the that no less than the Constitution
respondent, this prompted the petitioner calls for remedial action.
to file for a motion which was denied by
the Tribunal in a resolution issued on
Feb. 22, 1989.

Issue: Whether or not may exercise

jurisdiction over the petition?

Held: No. Because the Constitution

explicitly provides that the House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal
(HRET) and the Senate Electoral
Tribunal (SET) shall be the sole judges of
all contests relating to the election,
returns, and qualifications of their
respective members. (Article VI, Section
17, Constitution)
Arroyo vs. House of Representatives
Electoral Tribunal Also, as stated in Rule 28 of the
G.R. No. 118597 July 14, 1995 HRET Internal Rules, “After the
Francisco, J.: expiration of the period for filing of the
protest, counter-protest or petition for
Facts: quo warranto, substantial
amendments which broaden the
After petitioner won the May 11, scope of the action or introduce an
1992 synchronized national and local additional cause of action shall not be
elections, respondent Augusto Syjuco allowed….”
filed an election protest alleging that
there were irregularities/anomalies in the 2. Did public respondent HRET
tabulation and entries of votes and a commit grave abuse of discretion
massive fraud happened. He supported in rendering judgment on the kind
the protest by presenting 20,000 pages of evidence before it and the
worth of documentary evidence which manner in which the evidence was
were merely photocopies, not certified or procured?
authenticated by comparison with the
original documents or identification by Held: Yes. Because it violated the
any witness and were formally offered by best evidence rule which is simply
merely asking that they be marked. meant that no evidence shall be
received which is merely
Public respondent HRET assailed substitutionary in its nature so long as
a decision: annulling and setting aside the original evidence can be had.
the proclamation of Protestee Joker P. They should have been rejected
Arroyo and declared Protestant Augusto altogether unworthy of any probative
L. Syjuco, Jr. as the duly elected value at all, being incompetent pieces
Representative, Lone District of Makati. of evidence.

Issues: Also, as held by the Court in

1. Did public respondent HRET Employment and Workers
commit grave abuse of discretion Association (FEWA) vs. CIR" (14
in proceeding to decide the SCRA 781, 785), “the Commissioners
election protest based on private cannot act upon their own
respondent's "precinct level information, as could jurors in
document based primitive days. All parties must be
anomalies/evidence" theory? fully apprised of the evidence
submitted or to be considered, and
Held: Yes. For the rule in an election must be given opportunity to cross-
protest is that the protestant or examine witnesses, to inspect
counter protestant must stand or fall documents, and to offer evidence in
upon the issues he had raised in his explanation or rebuttal. In no other
original or amended pleading filed way can a party maintain its rights or
prior to the lapse of the statutory make its defense. In no other way can
period for the filing of protest or it test the sufficiency of the facts to
counter protest. support the finding; for otherwise,
even though it appeared that the Avelino vs. Cuenco
order was without evidence, the G.R. No. L-2821 March 4, 1949
manifest deficiency could always be
explained on the theory that the Facts:
Commission had before it
extraneous, unknown, but On February 21, 1949, Sen.
presumptively sufficient information Tañada and Sen. Sanidad filed
to support the finding. (United States charges before the Senate Secretary
v. Baltimore & O.S.W.R. Co., 226 against Senate President Avelino.
U.S. 14, ante, 104, 33 Sup. Ct. Rep. Sen. Tañada repeatedly stood up to
5)” claim his right to deliver his one hour
privileged speech but was denied by
3. Did public respondent HRET the Senate President, what’s worse
commit grave abuse of discretion was every time Sen. Sanidad would
in annulling election results in ask for the recognition of Sen.
some contested precincts? Tañada, Sen. Tirona, a follower of the
Senate President, kept shouting out
Held: Yes. Because HRET of order.
proceeded to annul 50, 000 votes
without a dint of compliance of the This and other commotions
requisites for the annulment of followed thereafter made the
election returns based on fraud, petitioner walk out of the session hall
irregularities or terrorism, namely (1) together with other Senators.
that more than fifty percent (50%) of
the total number of votes in the Senate President Pro-tempore
precinct or precincts were involved, Arranz then issued Resolutions No.
and (2) that the votes must be shown 67 and 68 declaring vacant the
to have been affected or vitiated by position of the President of the
such fraud, irregularities or terrorism Senate and designated the
Honorable Mariano Jesus Cuenco
Acting President of the Senate.

By his petition in this quo warranto

proceeding petitioners asked the
Court to declare him the rightful
President of the Philippines senate
and oust respondent.

Issue: Whether or not the 12

Senators constituted a quorum?

Held: Yes. In fine, all the four justice

agree that the Court being confronted
with the practical situation that of the
twenty three senators who may
participate in the Senate deliberations
in the days immediately after this Osmeña, Jr. vs. Pendatun
decision, twelve senators will support G.R. No. L-17144 October 28,
Senator Cuenco and, at most, eleven 1960
will side with Senator Avelino, it would Bengzon, J.:
be most injudicious to declare the
latter as the rightful President of the
Senate, that office being essentially Facts:
one that depends exclusively upon
the will of the majority of the senators, Congressman Osmeña, in a
the rule of the Senate about tenure of privilege speech delivered before the
the President of that body being House, made the serious imputations
amenable at any time by that majority. of bribery against the President which
And at any session hereafter held are quoted in Resolution No. 59 and
with thirteen or more senators, in that he refused to produce before the
order to avoid all controversy arising House Committee created for the
from the divergence of opinion here purpose, evidence to substantiate
about quorum and for the benefit of all such imputations. For having made
concerned, the said twelve senators the imputations and for failing to
who approved the resolutions herein produce evidence in support thereof,
involved could ratify all their acts and he was, by resolution of the House,
thereby place them beyond the suspended from office for a period of
shadow of a doubt. fifteen months for serious disorderly

Petitioner contended that:

1. The Constitution gave him
complete parliamentary immunity,
and so, for words spoken in the
House, he ought not to be
2. That his speech constituted no
disorderly behaviour for which he
could be punished;
3. Supposing he could be
questioned and discipline
therefor, the House had lost the
power to do so because it had
taken up other business before
approving House Resolution No.
4. That the House has no power,
under the Constitution, to suspend
one of its members.
Issues: Mabanag, et. al vs. Vito, et. al
1. Whether or not petitioner can be G.R. No. L-1123 March 5, 1947
questioned given that he has Tuason, J.:
parliamentary immunity?
Held: Yes. Even if such immunity
guarantees the legislator complete On April 23, 1946, 3 plaintiff
freedom of expression without fear of Senators and 8 plaintiff Representatives
being made responsible in criminal or were elected senators and
civil actions before the courts or any representatives. The three senators
other forum outside of the Congressional were suspended by the Senate shortly
Hall, it does not protect him from after the opening of the first session of
responsibility before the legislative body Congress following the elections, on
itself whenever his words and conduct account of alleged irregularities in their
are considered by the latter disorderly or election. The eight representatives since
unbecoming a member thereof. their election had not been allowed to sit
in the lower House, except to take part
2. Whether the House has the power, in the election of the Speaker, for the
under the Constitution, to suspend same reason, although they had not
one of its members? been formally suspended. A resolution
for their suspension had been
Held: Yes. Because the Congress has introduced in the House of
the full legislative powers and Representatives, but that resolution had
prerogatives of a sovereign nation, not been acted upon definitely by the
except as restricted by the Constitution. House when the present petition was
Also, The Legislative power of the
Philippine Congress is plenary, subject Issue: Whether or not a resolution of
only to such limitations are found in the both Houses of Congress proposing an
Republic's Constitution. So that any amendment to the (1935) Constitution to
power deemed to be legislative by be appended as an ordinance thereto
usage or tradition, is necessarily (the so-called parity rights provision) had
possessed by the Philippine Congress, been passed by "a vote of three-fourths
unless the Constitution provides of all the members of the Senate and of
otherwise. (Vera vs. Avelino, 77 Phil., the House of Representatives" pursuant
192, 212 .) to Article XV of the Constitution.

Held: The case involved a political

question which was not within the
province of the judiciary in view of the
principle of separation of powers in our
government. The "enrolled bill" theory
was relied upon merely to bolster the
ruling on the jurisdictional question, the
reasoning being that "if a political
question conclusively binds the judges
out of respect to the political appropriate books, documents, or
departments, a duly certified law or evidence."
resolution also binds the judges under
the "enrolled bill rule" born of that Also, While there are no
respect." adjudicated cases in this jurisdiction
upon the exact question whether the
United States vs. Pons courts may take judicial notice of the
G.R. No. L-11530 August 12, 1916 legislative journals, it is well settled in the
Trent, J.: United States that such journals may be
noticed by the courts in determining the
Facts: question whether a particular bill became
a law or not. (The State ex rel. Herron vs.
Gabino Beliso, Juan Pons, and Smith, 44 Ohio, 348, and cases cited
Jacinto Lasarte with the crime of illegal therein.) The result is that the law and the
importation of opium where both were adjudicated cases make it our duty to
found guilty of the crime charged and take judicial notice of the legislative
sentenced accordingly. journals of the special session of the
Philippine Legislature of 1914. These
Counsel alleged that: journals are not ambiguous or
1. That the last day of the special contradictory as to the actual time of the
session of the Philippine adjournment. They show, with absolute
Legislature for 1914 was the 28th certainty that the Legislature adjourned
day of February; that Act No. sine die at 12 o'clock midnight on
2381, under which Pons must be February 28, 1914.
punished if found guilty, was not
passed or approved on the 28th of
February but on March 1 of that
year; and that, therefore, the same
is null and void.

Issue: Whether the court can take

judicial notice of the journals?

Held: Yes. Section 275 of the Code of

Civil Procedure provides that the
existence of the "official acts of the
legislative, executive, and judicial
departments of the United States and of
the Philippine Islands ... shall be judicially
recognized by the court without the
introduction of proof; but the court may
receive evidence upon any of the
subjects in this section states, when it
shall find it necessary for its own
information, and may resort for its aid to
CASCO Philippine Chemical Co., Inc. Paredes, 61 Phil. 118, 120; Mabanag vs.
vs. Gimenez Lopez Vito, 78 Phil. 1; Macias vs. Comm.
G.R. No. L-17931 February 28, 1963 on Elections, L-18684, September 14,
Concepcion, J.: 1961). If there has been any mistake in
the printing ofthe bill before it was
Facts: certified by the officers of Congress and
approved by the Executive — on which
On July 1, 1959, pursuant to the we cannot speculate, without
provisions of Republic Act No. 2609, jeopardizing the principle of separation of
otherwise known as the Foreign powers and undermining one of the
Exchange Margin Fee Law, the Central cornerstones of our democratic system
Bank of the Philippines issued Circular — the remedy is by amendment or
No. 51 fixing a uniform margin fee of 25% curative legislation, not by judicial
on foreign exchange transactions and decree.
supplementing rules and procedures.
If there has been any mistake in
Herein petitioner imported urea the printing ofthe bill before it was
and formaldehyde to produce glue which certified by the officers of Congress and
is their main product. After payment of approved by the Executive — on which
the fees pursuant to Circular No. 51, we cannot speculate, without
petitioner asked for a refund relying upon jeopardizing the principle of separation of
Resolution No. 1529 of the Monetary powers and undermining one of the
Board of said Bank, dated November 3, cornerstones of our democratic system
1959, declaring that the separate — the remedy is by amendment or
importation of urea and formaldehyde is curative legislation, not by judicial
exempt from said fee decree.

Issue: Whether or not "urea" and

"formaldehyde" are exempt by law from
the payment of the aforesaid margin fee?

Held: No. Because Urea formaldehyde is

not a chemical solution. It is the synthetic
resin formed as a condensation product
from definite proportions of urea and
formaldehyde under certain conditions
relating to temperature, acidity, and time
of reaction.

It is well settled that the enrolled

bill — which uses the term "urea
formaldehyde" instead of "urea and
formaldehyde" — is conclusive upon the
courts as regards the tenor of the
measure passed by Congress and
approved by the President (Primicias vs.
Astorga vs. Villegas petition for "Mandamus, Injunction and/or
G.R. No. L-23475 April 30, 1974 Prohibition with Preliminary Mandatory
Makalintal, CJ.: and Prohibitory Injunction" to comply with
the said Act.
Issue: Whether R.A. No. 9266 was
On April 21, 1964 House Bill No. enacted and became a law?
9266 entitled “"An Act Defining the
Powers, Rights and Duties of the Vice- Held: No. Because as far as Congress
Mayor of the City of Manila, Further itself is concerned, there is nothing
Amending for the Purpose Sections Ten sacrosanct in the certification made by
and Eleven of Republic Act Numbered the presiding officers. It is merely a mode
Four Hundred Nine, as Amended, of authentication. The lawmaking
Otherwise Known as the Revised Charter process in Congress ends when the bill
of the City of Manila." was passed on the is approved by both Houses, and the
third reading without amendments in the certification does not add to the validity of
House of Representatives. When it was the bill or cure any defect already present
passed on the Senate, minor upon its passage. In other words it is the
amendments were made by Sen. Roxas. approval by Congress and not the
signatures of the presiding officers that is
A month after, Sen. Tolentino essential. Thus the (1935) Constitution
introduced substantial amendments to says that "[e] very bill passed by the
Section 1 of the said act which was Congress shall, before it becomes law,
approved by the Senate. However, Sen. be presented to the President. 12 In
Roxa’s amendment does not appear in Brown vs. Morris, supra, the Supreme
the journal of the Senate proceedings as Court of Missouri, interpreting a similar
having been acted upon. provision in the State Constitution, said
that the same "makes it clear that the
On June 16, 1964 the Secretary of indispensable step is the final passage
the House transmitted four printed copies and it follows that if a bill, otherwise fully
of the bill to the President of the enacted as a law, is not attested by the
Philippines, who affixed his signatures presiding officer, of the proof that it has
thereto by way of approval on June 18, "passed both houses" will satisfy the
1964. The bill thereupon became constitutional requirement."
Republic Act No. 4065. This made Sen.
Tolentino issue a statement that the Bill
signed by the Chief Executive was the
wrong one because it did not embody his
amendments. Hence, the President
withdrew his signature on House Bill No.

Then, the Mayor of Manila Antonio

Villegas issued circulars to disregard the
provisions of Republic Act 4065. This
prompted Vice Mayor Astorga file a
People vs. Jalosjos Farias vs. COMELEC
G.R. No. 132875-76 February 3, 2000 G.R. No. 147387 December 10, 2003
Ynares – Santiago, J.: Callejo, Sr., J.:

Facts: Facts:

The accused-appellant, Romeo Petitioners in this case wants to

G. Jalosjos is a full-fledged member of challenge the constitutionality of Section
Congress who is now confined at the 14 of Republic Act No. 9006 (The Fair
national penitentiary while his conviction Election Act)
for statutory rape on two counts and acts
of lasciviousness on six counts is Petitioners contend that:
pending appeal. The accused-appellant 1. Such Act violation of Section
filed this motion asking that he be 26(1), Article VI of the Constitution
allowed to fully discharge the duties of a 2. Such Act violates the equal
Congressman, including attendance at protection clause of the
legislative sessions and committee Constitution because it repeals
meetings despite his having been Section 67 only of the Omnibus
convicted in the first instance of a non- Election Code, leaving intact
bailable offense. Section 66 thereof which imposes
a similar limitation to appointive
Issue: Does membership in Congress officials
exempt an accused from statutes and 3. There is grave abuse of discretion
rules which apply to validly incarcerated
persons in general? Issues: Whether or not Republic Act No.
9006 is constitutional?
Held: No. Because the members of
Congress cannot compel absent Held: Yes. RA No. 9006
members to attend sessions if the reason
for the absence is a legitimate one. The On the one title, one subject rule
confinement of a Congressman charged The purported dissimilarity of Section 67
with a crime punishable by imprisonment of the Omnibus Election Code, which
of more than six months is not merely imposes a limitation on elective officials
authorized by law, it has constitutional who run for an office other than the one
foundations. they are holding, to the other provisions
of Rep. Act No. 9006, which deal with the
lifting of the ban on the use of media for
election propaganda, does not violate the
one subject-one title rule. This Court has
held that an act having a single general
subject, indicated in the title, may contain
any number of provisions, no matter how
diverse they may be, so long as they are
not inconsistent with or foreign to the
general subject, and may be considered
in furtherance of such subject by
providing for the method and means of Marcos vs. COMELEC
carrying out the general subject. G.R. No. 119976 September 18, 1995
Kapunan, J.:
On the Equal Protection Clause
The equal protection of the law clause in Facts:
the Constitution is not absolute, but is
subject to reasonable classification. If the Petitioner filed a certificate of
groupings are characterized by candidacy for the position of
substantial distinctions that make real Representative of the First District of
differences, one class may be treated Leyte with the Provincial Election
and regulated differently from the other. Supervisor on March 8, 1995 in which
she committed an honest mistake as to
Such substantial distinctions are: her residence. This mistake prompted
1. Those existing between elective the respondent to file a petition for
and appointive officials disqualification alleging that petitioner did
2. Those functions the two officials not satisfy the residency requirement
may exercise specifically taking stated in Sec. 6 Art. VI of the
part in political and electoral Constitution.
Second Division of the
Since the classification justifying Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006, i.e., issued a resolution finding the petition
elected officials vis-a-vis appointive meritorious and cancelled petitioner’s
officials, is anchored upon material and candidacy. Petitioner responded by filing
significant distinctions and all the a motion for reconsideration which was
persons belonging under the same denied. Then COMELEC issued a
classification are similarly treated, the resolution declaring her as winner should
equal protection clause of the she gather enough votes which was
Constitution is, thus, not infringed. reversed by suspending her
proclamation should she garner the
On the Enrolled Bill Doctrine highest votes.
Under the doctrine, the signing of a bill by
the Speaker of the House and the Senate On account of the Resolutions
President and the certification of the disqualifying petitioner from running for
Secretaries of both Houses of Congress the congressional seat of the First District
that it was passed are conclusive of its of Leyte and the public respondent's
due enactment. This Court is not the Resolution suspending her proclamation,
proper forum for the enforcement of petitioner comes to this court for relief.
these internal rules of Congress, whether
House or Senate. Parliamentary rules Issue: Whether or not petitioner was a
are merely procedural and with their resident, for election purposes, of the
observance the courts have no concern. First District of Leyte for a period of one
Whatever doubts there may be as to the year at the time of the May 9, 1995
formal validity of Rep. Act No. 9006 must elections?
be resolved in its favor.
Held: Yes. Because It is the fact of Aquino vs. COMELEC
residence, not a statement in a certificate G.R. No. 120265 September 18, 1995
of candidacy which ought to be decisive Kapunan, J.:
in determining whether or not and
individual has satisfied the constitution's Facts:
residency qualification requirement. The
said statement becomes material only On March 20, 1995, petitioner
when there is or appears to be a Agapito A. Aquino filed his Certificate of
deliberate attempt to mislead, misinform, Candidacy for the position of
or hide a fact which would otherwise Representative for the new Second
render a candidate ineligible. It would be Legislative District of Makati City which
plainly ridiculous for a candidate to was heavily contested by the
deliberately and knowingly make a respondents by filing a petition for
statement in a certificate of candidacy disqualification on the grounds of non –
which would lead to his or her compliance with the residency
disqualification. requirement stated in Sec. 6 Art. VI of the
1987 Constitution.
In the case at bar, petitioner
merely committed an honest mistake in Said petition for disqualification
jotting the word "seven" in the space was denied by the Second Division of the
provided for the residency qualification COMELEC thus enabling petitioner to
requirement. The circumstances leading run for Congress. After the results
to her filing the questioned entry showing him victorious, the COMELEC
obviously resulted in the subsequent issued an order suspending petitioner’s
confusion which prompted petitioner to proclamation
write down the period of her actual stay
in Tolosa, Leyte instead of her period of Hence, the instant Petition for
residence in the First district, which was Certiorari 14 assailing the orders dated
"since childhood" in the space provided. May 15, 1995 and June 2, 1995, as well
These circumstances and events are as the resolution dated June 2, 1995
amply detailed in the COMELEC's issued by the COMELEC en banc.
Second Division's questioned resolution,
albeit with a different interpretation Issue: Whether the COMELEC’s finding
of non-compliance with the residency
requirement of one year against the
petitioner is contrary to evidence and to
applicable laws and jurisprudence?

Held: No. The Constitution requires that

a person seeking election to the House of
Representatives should be a resident of
the district in which he seeks election for
a period of not less than one (l) year prior
to the elections. 18 Residence, for
election law purposes, has a settled
meaning in our jurisdiction.
In the case at bar, the domicile of Social Justice Society (SJS) vs.
his origin was undisputed and respected Dangerous Drugs Board and
but his alleged connection with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency
Second District of Makati City is an (PDEA)
alleged lease agreement of G.R. No. 157870 November 3, 2008
condominium unit in the area which is not Velasco, Jr., J.:
enough to satisfy the requirement in the
Constitution. Facts:

As the Court said, While property The Constitutionality of RA 9165

ownership is not and should never be an was challenged in the case by three
indicia of the right to vote or to be voted petitioners each with arguments
upon, the fact that petitioner himself pertaining to its effects if implemented
claims that he has other residences in and violations to Arts. III and VI of the
Metro Manila coupled with the short 1987 Constitution.
length of time he claims to be a resident
of the condominium unit in Makati (and Petitioners alleged that the said
the fact, of his stated domicile in Tarlac) Act be unconstitutional because:
"indicate that the sole purpose of 1. There is no provision in the
(petitioner) in transferring his physical Constitution authorizing the
residence" 27 is not to acquire's new Congress or COMELEC to
residence or domicile "but only to qualify expand the qualification
as a candidate for Representative of the requirements of candidates for
Second District of Makati City." 28 The Senator.
absence of clear and positive proof 2. It violates the equal protection
showing a successful abandonment of clause and constitutional right for
domicile under the conditions stated unreasonable searches
above, the lack of identification —
sentimental, actual or otherwise — with ISSUE: Do Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and
the area, and the suspicious COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 impose
circumstances under which the lease an additional qualification for candidates
agreement was effected all belie for senator? Corollarily, can Congress
petitioner's claim of residency for the enact a law prescribing qualifications for
period required by the Constitution, in the candidates for senator in addition to
Second District of Makati. those laid down by the Constitution?

Held: No. Because the legislative power

remains limited in the sense that it is
subject to substantive and constitutional
limitations which circumscribe both the
exercise of the power itself and the
allowable subjects of legislation. The
substantive constitutional limitations are
chiefly found in the Bill of Rights and
other provisions, such as Sec. 3, Art. VI
of the Constitution prescribing the
qualifications of candidates for senators.

Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165, as sought

to be implemented by the assailed
COMELEC resolution, effectively
enlarges the qualification requirements
enumerated in the Sec. 3, Art. VI of the
Constitution. As couched, said Sec. 36(g)
unmistakably requires a candidate for
senator to be certified illegal-drug clean,
obviously as a pre-condition to the
validity of a certificate of candidacy for
senator or, with like effect, a condition
sine qua non to be voted upon and, if
proper, be proclaimed as senator-elect.
The COMELEC resolution completes the
chain with the proviso that [n]o person
elected to any public office shall enter
upon the duties of his office until he has
undergone mandatory drug test. Viewed,
therefore, in its proper context, Sec.
36(g) of RA 9165 and the implementing
COMELEC Resolution add another
qualification layer to what the 1987
Constitution, at the minimum, requires for
membership in the Senate. Whether or
not the drug-free bar set up under the
challenged provision is to be hurdled
before or after election is really of no
moment, as getting elected would be of
little value if one cannot assume office for
non-compliance with the drug-testing