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2017 Bar Questions

Political Law

1. A priority thrust of the Administration is the change of the form of

government from unitary to federal. The change can be effected only
through the constitutional amendment or revision.
a. What are the methods of amending the Constitution? Explain each
briefly each method. (3%)
b. Cite at least three provisions of the Constitution that need to be
amend or revised to effect the change from unitary to federal, and
briefly explain why?(3%)
2. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a. Under the Doctrine of Immunity from Suit, the State cannot be sued
without its consent. How may the consent be given by the State?
Explain your answer. (3%)
b. The Doctrine of Immunity from suit in favour of the State extends to
public official duties. May such officials be sued nonetheless to prevent
or to undo their oppressive or illegal acts or to compel them to act?
Explain your answer. (3%)
c. Do government-owned corporation or controlled corporations also
enjoy the immunity of the State from suit? Explain your answer. (3%)
3. State A and State B, two sovereign states, enter into a 10-year mutual
defense treaty. After five years, State A finds that the more progressive
State B did not go to the aid of State A when it was threatened by its
strong neighbour State C. State B reasoned that it had to be prudent and
deliberate in reacting to State because of their existing trade treaties.
a. May State A now unilaterally withdraw from its mutual defense treaty
with State B? Explain your answer. (2.5%)
b. What is the difference between the principles of pacta sunt servanda
and rebus sic stantibus in international law? (2.5%)
c. Are the principles of pacta sunt servanda and rebus sic stantibus
relevant in the treaty relations between State A and State B? What
about in the treaty relations between State B and State C? Explain
your answer (2.5%)
4. What is the pardoning power of the President under Art. VIII, Sec. 19 of the
a. Is the exercise of the power absolute? (4%)
b. Distinguish pardon from amnesty. (4%)
5. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a. What is the right of legation, and how is it undertaken between states?
Explain your answer. (2%)
b. Under this right, may a country like Malaysia insist that the Philippines
establishes a consulate in Sabah to look after the welfare of the Filipino
migrants in the area? Explain your answer. (2%)
6. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a. The President appoints the Vice-President as his Administration’s
Housing Czar, a position that requires the appointee to sit in the
Cabinet. Although the appointment of the members of the Cabinet
requires confirmation by the Commission on Appointment (CA), the
Office of the President does not submit the appointment to the CA.
May the Vice-President validly sit in the Cabinet? (2.5%)
b. The Executive Department has accumulated substantial savings from
its appropriations. Needing P3,000,000.00 for the conduct of a
plebiscite for the creation of a new city but has no funds appropriated
soon by the Congress for the purpose, the COMELEC requests the
President to transfer funds from the savings of the Executive
Department in order to avoid a delay in the holding of the plebiscite.
May the President validly exercise his power under the 1987
Constitution to transfer funds from the savings of the Executive
Department, and make a cross-border transfer of P3, 000,000.00 to the
COMELEC by way of augmentation? Is your answer the same if the
transfer is treated as aid to the COMELEC? Explain your answer. (4%)
7. Give the limitations on the power of the Congress to enact the General
Appropriations Act? Explain your answer (5%)
8. A bank acquired a large tract of land as the highest bidder in the
foreclosure sale of the mortgage assets of its borrower. It appears that the
land has been originally registered under the Torrens system in 1922
pursuant to the provisions of the Philippine Islands as a colony of the U.S.A.
Sec. 21 of the Philippines of 1902 provided that “all valuable mineral
deposits in public lands in the Philippine Islands, both surveyed and
unsurveyed, are hereby declared to be free and open to exploration,
occupation and purchase, and the land in which they are found to
occupation and purchase by the citizens of the United States, or of said
Islands.” Sec. 27 of the law declared that a holder of the mineral claim so
located was entitled to all the minerals that lie within his claims, but he
could not mine outside the boundary lines of his claim.
The 1935 Constitution expressly prohibited the alienation of natural
resources except the agricultural lands. Sec. 2, Art. XII of the 1987
Constitution contains a similar prohibition, and proclaims that all lands of
the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral
oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora
and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State. This
provision enunciates the Regalian Doctrine.
May the Government, on the basis of the regalia Doctrine enunciated the
constitutional provisions, deny the bank its right as owner of the mineral
resources underneath the surface of its property as recognized under the
Philippine Bill of 1902? Explain your answer. (5%)
9. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a. Ambassador Robert of State Alpha committed a very serious crime
while he headed his foreign mission in the Philippines. Is he subject to
arrest by Philippine authorities? Explain your answer. (3%)
b. Extradition is the process pursuant to a treaty between two State
parties for the surrender by the requested State to the custody of the
requesting State of a fugitive criminal residing in the former. However,
extradition depends on the application of two principles – the principle
of specialty and the dual criminality principle. Explain these principles.
c. The president sign as an agreement with his counterpart in another
country involving the reciprocity in the treatment of each country’s
nationals residing in the other’s territory. However, he does not submit
the agreement to the Senate for concurrence.
Sec. 2, Art. VII of the Constitution provides that no treaty or
international agreement shall be valid and effective without such
Is the agreement signed by the President effective despite the fact of
Senate concurrence? Explain your answer. (4%)
10. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a. Under the Enrolled Bill Doctrine, the signing of a bill by both the
Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the
Senate and the certification of the secretaries of both Houses of
Congress that the bill was passed on a certain date as conclusive on
the bill’s due enactment. Assuming there is a conflict between the
enrolled bill and the legislative journal, to the effect that the enrolled
bill by the Senate President and eventually approved by the President
turned out to be different from what the Senate actually passed as
reflected in the legislative journal.
a) May the Senate President disregard the Enrolled Bill Doctrine
and consider his signature as invalid and no effect? (2.5%)
b) May the President disregard thereafter withdraw his signature?
Explain your answer. (2.5%)
b. Sec. 26(2), Art. VI of the Constitution provides that no bill passed by
either House of Congress shall become a law unless it has passed three
readings o separate days and printed copies of it in its final form have
been distributed to the Members of the House three days before its
Is there an exception to the provision? Explain your answer. (3%)
11. Sec. 17, Art. VI of the Constitution establishes an Electoral Tribunal for each
of the Houses of Congress, and makes each Electoral Tribunal “the sole
Judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of
their respective Member.” On the other hand, Sec. 2(1) COMELEC
(Commission on Elections), Art. IX of the Constitution grants to the
COMELEC the power to enforce and administer all laws and regulations
“relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum
and recall.”
Considering that there is no concurrence of jurisdiction between the
Electoral Tribunals and the COMELEC, state when the jurisdiction of the
Electoral Tribunals begins, and the COMELEC’s jurisdiction ends. Explain
your answer. (4%)
12. The Congress establishes by law Philippine Funds Inc., a private
corporation, to receive foreign donations coming from abroad during
national and local calamities and disasters, and to enable the
unhampered and speedy disbursement of the donation through the mere
action of its Board of Directors. Thereby, delays in the release of the
donated funds occasioned by the stringent rules of procurement would
be avoided. Also, the releases would not come under the jurisdiction of
the Commission on Audit (COA).
a. Is the law establishing Philippine Funds, Inc. constitutional? Explain your
answer. (3%)
b. Can the Congress pass the law that would exempt the foreign grants
from the jurisdiction of the COA? Explain your answer. (3%)
13. Command responsibility pertains to the responsibility of commanders for
crimes committed by subordinate members of the armed forces or other
persons subject to their control in international wars or domestic conflicts.
The doctrine has now found application in civil actions for human rights
abuses, and in proceedings seeking the privilege of the writ of amparo.
a. What are the elements to be established in order to hold the superior
or commander under the Doctrine of Command Responsibility? (4%)
b. May the Doctrine of Command Responsibility apply to the President for
the abuses of the Armed Forces (AFP and PNP) given his unique role as
the commander-in-chief of all the Armed Forces? Explain your answer.
14. To fulfil a campaign promise to the poor folk in a far-flung areas in
Mindanao, the President would pay Pastor Roy a monthly stipend of
P50,000.00 from his discretionary fund, and would also erect a modest
house of worship in the locality in an area of the latter’s choice.
Does the President thereby violate any provisions of the Constitution?
Explain your answer. (3%)
15. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a. According to Se. 3, Art. VIII of the Constitution, the Judiciary shall enjoy
fiscal autonomy. What does the term fiscal autonomy signify? Explain
your answer. (3%)
b. May a complaint for disbarment against the Ombudsman prosper
during her incumbency? Explain your answer. (3%)
c. Sec. 3, Art. XI of the Constitution states that “(n)o impeachment
proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than
once within a period of one year.”
What constitutes initiation of impeachment proceedings under the
provision? (3%)

Labor Law

1. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a. What are the accepted tests to determine the existence of an
employer-employee relationship? (5%)
b. Applying the tests to determine the existence of an employer-
employee relationship, is a jeepney driver operating under the
boundary system an employee of his jeepney operator or a mere
lessee of the jeepney? Explain your answer. (3%)
2. Procopio was dismissed from employment for stealing his co-employee
Raul’s watch; Procopio filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. The Labor
Arbiter ruled in Procopio’s favour on the ground that Raul’s testimony was
doubtful and, therefore, the doubt should be resolved in favour of
Procopio. On appeal, the NLRC reversed the ruling because Article 4 of
the Labor Code - which states that all doubts in the interpretation and
implementation of the provision of the Labor Code, including the
implementing rules and regulations, shall be resolved in favour of labor –
applied only when the doubt involved the “implementation and
interpretation” of the Labor Code; hence, the doubt , which involved the
application of the rules on evidence, not the Labor Code, could not
necessarily be resolved in favour of Procopio. Was the reversal correct?
Explain your answer. (3%)
3. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a. Andrew Manning Agency (AMA) recruited Feliciano for employment
by Invictus Shipping, its foreign principal. Meantime, AMA and Invictus
Shipping terminated their agency agreement. Upon his repatriation
following his premature termination, Feliciano claimed from AMA and
Invictus Shipping the payment of his salaries and benefits for the
unserved portion of the contract. AMA denied liability on the ground
that it no longer had an agency agreement with Invictus Shipping. Is
AMA correct? Explain your answer. (3%)
b. As a rule, direct hiring of migrant workers is not allowed. What are the
exceptions? Explain your answer. (2.5%)
c. Phil, a resident alien, sought employment in the Philippines. The
employer, noticing that Phil was a foreigner, demanded that he first
secures an employment permit from DOLE. Is the employer correct?
Explain your answer. (2.5%)
4. The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) for Region 3
issued a wage order on November 2, 2017 fixing the minimum wages for
all industries throughout Region 3.
a. Is the wage order subject to the approval of the National Wages and
Productivity Commission before it takes effect? (2%)
b. The law mandates that no petition for wage increase shall be
entertained within a period of 12 months from the effectivity of the
wage order. Under what circumstances may the Kilusang Walang
Takot, a federation of labor organization that publicly and openly
assails the wage order as blatantly unjust, initiate the review of the
wage increase under the wage order without waiting for the end of
the 12-month period? Explain your answer. (3%)
5. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a. Percival was a mechanic of Pacific Airlines. He enjoyed a meal break
of one hour. However, during emergencies, he was made to forego his
meals or to hurry up eating. He demanded payment of overtime for
work done during his meal periods. Is Percival correct? Explain your
answer. (3%)
b. Distinguish a learner from an apprentice. (4%)
c. Are there differences between a househelper and a homeworker?
Explain your answer. (4%)
6. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a. One of Pacific Airline’s policies was to hire only single applicants as
flight attendants, and considered as automatically resigned the flight
attendants at the moment they got married. Is the policy valid?
Explain your answer. (2.5%)
b. Tarsicio was employed as operations manager and received a
monthly salary of P25, 000.00 through his payroll account with DB Bank.
He obtained a loan from Roberto to purchase a car. Tarsicio failed to
pay Roberto when the loan fell due. Riberto sued to collect, and
moved to garnish Tarcisio’s payroll account. The latter vigorously
objected and argued that salaries were exempt from garnishment. Is
Tarcisio correct? Explain your answer. (3%)
7. Dr. Crisostomo entered into a retainer agreement with AB Hotel and
Resort whereby he would provide medical services to the guests and
employees of AB Hotel and Resort, which, in turn, would provide the clinic
premises and medical supplies. He received a monthly retainer fee of
P60, 000.00 plus 70% shares in the service charges from AB Homeland and
Resort’s guests availing themselves of the clinic’s services. The clinic
employed nurses and allied staff, whose salaries, SSS contribution and
other benefits he undertook to pay as AB Hotel and Resort issued
directives giving instructions to him on the replenishment of emergency
kits and forbidding the clinic staff from receiving cash payment from the
In time, the nurses and the clinics staff claimed entitlement to rights as
regular employees of AB Hotel and Resort, but the latter refused on the
ground that Dr. Crisostomo, who was their employer, was an independent
contractor. Rule, with reasons. (4%)
8. Marciano was hired as Chief Engineer on board the vessel M/V Australia.
His contract of employment was for nine months. After nine months, he
was re-hired. He was hired for a third time after another nine months. He
now claims entitlement to the benefits of a regular employee based on his
having performed tasks usually necessary and desirable to the employer’s
business for a continuous period of more than one year. is Marciano’s
claim tenable? Explain your answer. (3%)
9. Section 255 of the Labor Code recognizes three categories of employees,
namely: managerial, supervisory, and rank-and-file.
a. Give the characteristics of each category of employees, and state
whether the employees in each category may organize and form
unions. Explain your answer. (5%)
b. May confidential employees who assist managerial employees and
who act in a confidential capacity or have access to confidential
matters being handled by persons exercising managerial functions in
the field of labor relations form, or assist, or join labor unions? Explain
your answer. (2.5%)
10. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a. The labor sector has been loudly agitating for the end of labor-only
contracting, as distinguished from job contracting. Explain these two
kinds of labor contracting, and give the effect of a finding that one is
a labor-only contractor. Explain your answers. (4%)
b. What are the grounds for validly terminating the services of an
employee based on a just cause? (5%)
c. Give the procedure to be observed for validly terminating the services
of an employee based on a just cause. (4%)
11. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a. The modes of determining the exclusive bargaining agent of the
employees in a business are: (a) voluntary recognition; (b) certification
election; and (c) consent election. Explain how they differ from one
another. (4%)
b. Marcel was the Vice President for Finance and Administration and a
member of the Board of Directors of Mercedes Corporation. He
brought a complaint for illegal suspension and illegal dismissal against
Mercedes Corporation, which moved to dismiss the complaint on the
ground that the complaint pertained to the jurisdiction of the RTC due
to the controversy being intracorporate based on his positions in the
corporation. Marcel countered that he had only been removed as
Vice President for Finance and Administration, not as a member of the
Board of Directors. He also argued that his position was not listed as
among the corporate offices in Mercedes Corporation’s by-laws. Is the
argument of Marcel correct? Explain your answer. (2.5%)
c. State the jurisdiction of the Voluntary Arbitrator, or Panel of Voluntary
Arbitrators in labor disputes? (4%)
12. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a. Juanito initiated a case for illegal dismissal against Mandarin
Company. The Labor Arbiter decided in his favor, and ordered his
immediate reinstatement with full backwages and without loss of
seniority and other benefits. Mandarin Company did not like to allow
him back in its premises to prevent him from influencing his co-workers
to move against the interest of the company; hence, it directed his
payroll reinstatement and paid his full backwages and other benefits
even as it appealed to the NLRC.
A few months later, the NLRC reversed the ruling of the Labor Arbiter
and declared that Juanito’s dismissal was valid. The reversal ultimately
became final.
May Mandarin Company recover the backwages and other benefits
paid to Juanito pursuant to the decision of the Labor Arbiter in view of
the reversal by the NLRC? Rule with reasons. (2.5%)
b. Gene is a married regular employee of Matibay Corporation. The
employees and Matibay Corporation had an existing CBA that
provided for funeral and bereavement aid of P15, 000 in case of the
death of a legal dependent of a regular employee. His widowed
other, who had been living with him and his family for many years,
died; hence, he claimed the funeral aid. Matibay Corporation denied
the claim on the basis that she had not been his legal dependent as
the term legal dependent was defined by the Social Security Law.
a) Who may be the legal dependents of Gene under the Social
Security Law? (2.5%)
b) Is Gene entitled to the funeral aid for the death of his widowed
mother? Explain your answer. (2%)
c. Rosa was granted vacation leave by her employer to spend three
weeks in Africa with her family. Prior to her departure, the General
manager of the company requested her to visit the plant of a client of
the company in Zimbabwe in order to derive the best manufacturing
practices useful to the company. She accepted the request because
the errand would be important to the company and Zimbabwe was
anyway in her itinerary. It appears that she contracted a serious
disease during the trip. Upon her return, she filed a claim for
compensation, insisting that she had contracted the disease while
serving the interest of her employer.
Under the Labor Code, the sickness or death of an employee, to be
compensable, must have resulted from an illness either definitely
accepted as an occupational disease by the Employees’
Compensation Commission, or caused by employment subject to
proof that the risk of contracting the same is increased by working
Is the serious disease Rosa contracted during her trip to Africa
compensable? Explain your answer. (2.5%)
13. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a. Given that the liability for an illegal strike is individual, not collective,
state when the participating union officers and members may be
terminated from employment because of the illegal strike. Explain your
answer. (4%)
b. A sympathetic strike is stoppage of work to make common cause with
other strikers in another establishment or business. Is the sympathetic
strike valid? Explain your answer. (1%)
c. Due to business recession, Ballistic Company retrenched a part of its
workforce. Opposing the retrenchment, some of the affected
employees staged a strike. Eventually, the retrenchment was found to
be justified, and the strike was declared illegal; hence, the leaders of
the strike, including the retrenched employees, were declared to have
lost their employment status.
d. Are the striking retrenched employees still entitled to separation pay
under Sec. 298 of the Labor Code despite the illegality of their strike?
Explain your answer. (2%)
14. Pursuant to his power under Sec. 278 (g) of the Labor Code, the Secretary
of Labor assumed jurisdiction over the three-day old strike in Armor Steel
Plates, Inc., one of the country’s bigger manufacturers of steel plates, and
ordered all the striking employees to return to work. The striking employees
ignored the order to return to work.
a. What conditions may justify the Secretary of Labor to assume
jurisdiction? (2.5%)
b. What are the consequences of the assumption of jurisdiction by the
Secretary of Labor, and of the disobedience to the return to work?
Explain your answer. (2.5%)