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Dimaporo vs. Mitra [October 15, 1991]  Contention that BP Blg.

 Contention that BP Blg. 881 is not explicitly provided for in the Constitution
Petition to review the decision of the Speaker and Secretary of the House as a mode of shortening the tenure of office of members of the Congress
of Representatives does not exclude its application.
 Enactment of legislation is presumed to be constitutional unless there is a
Ponente: J. Davide Jr. clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not a doubtful and
argumentative implication. A doubt, even if well-founded, does not suffice.
Facts:  Monroy vs. CA – forfeiture is automatic and permanently effective upon the
 Mohamad Ali Dimaporo was elected Representative for the Second filing of the certificate of candidacy for another office. Only the moment
Legilative District of Lanao del Sur during the 1987 congressional elections. and act of filing are considered. Once the certificate is filed, the seat if
 January 15, 1990 – Dimaporo filed a certificate of candidacy for the forever forfeited and nothing save a new election or appointment can
position of Governor of the ARMM. restore the ousted official.
 Secretary and speaker of the house excluded the name of Dimaporo from
the Roll of Members of the House of Representatives pursuant to section Mariano, Jr. vs. COMELEC
67, art IX of the omnibus election code. Petitions to declare certain provisions of RA 7854 unconstitutional [March 7, 1995]
 Dimaporo lost the election and he expressed in a letter his intention to
resume performing his duties and function as an elected member of the Facts:
Congress. Unfortunately, he was not able to regain his seat in Congress. • RA 7854 is entitled An Act Converting the Municipality of Makati Into a Highly
 Dimaporo is contending that he did not lose his seat as a Congressman Urbanized City to be known as the City of Makati.
because sec. 67 of art. IX of BP Blg 881 is not operative under the present • Assailed provisions:
Constitution, being contrary thereto, and therefore not applicable to the 1. Sec. 2 – states that City of Makati shall comprise the present territory of
present members of Congress. the Municipality of Makati. Such is w/o prejudice to resolution by
 Grounds by which a term may be shortened. appropriate agency/forum of existing boundary disputes or cases involving
o Holding any other office or employment in the government or any questions of territorial jurisdiction bet Makati & adjoining LGUs.
subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof 2. Sec. 51 – Officials of City of Makati: officials of municipality will continue as
o Expulsion as a disciplinary action for disorderly behaviour officials of the City until such time that a new election is held & duly
o Disqualification as determined by resolution of the electoral elected officials will be qualified to assume office. Provided that the new
tribunal in an election contest city will acquire new corporate existence. Appointive officials will likewise
o Voluntary renunciation of office be absorbed.
3. Sec. 52 – Creation of two legislative districts & COMELEC tasked to
Issue: WON Dimaporo can still be considered as a member of Congress even after implement such at the next national elections.
he has filed for another government position. • GR No. 118577:Petitioners pray for prohibition & declaratory relief. They filed
case in their capacity as taxpayers. Only one petitioner is a resident of Makati
Held: No whereas the others are residents of Taguig. They assail:
1. Sec. 2 for violating Sec. 10, Art. X of Consti in relation to Sec. 7 & 450
Ratio: of the Loc Gov’t Code in not properly identifying land area/territorial
 In the constitution there is a new chapter on the accountability of public jurisdiction of Makati by metes & bounds.
officers. In the 1935 Constitution it was provided that Public office is a 2. Sec. 51 for violating Sec. 8, Art. X and Sec. 7, Art. VI of the Consti in
public trust. Public officers and employees shall serve with the highest attempting to alter or restart the 3-consecutive term limit for loc
degree of responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency and shall remain elective officials.
accountable to the people. All elective public officials should honor the 3. Sec. 52 because: a) increased legislative district of Makati by special law
mandate they have gotten from the people. violating Consti provision requiring gen reapportionment law to be
 If you allow a Batasan or a governor or a mayor who has mandated to passed by congress w/in 3 yrs following return of every census; b)
serve for 6 years to file for an office other that the one he was elected to, increase in legislative district was not expressed in bill’s title; c) it’s not
then, that clearly shows that he did not intend to serve the mandate of the in accord w/Sec.5(3), Art. VI of Consti because as of latest survey (1990
people which was placed upon him and therefore he should be considered census) pop of Makati is only 450,000.
ipso facto resigned. • GR No. 118627: Filed by John Osmena in his capacity as senator, taxpayer &
 If a Batsasan Member files a certificate of candidacy, that means he does concerned citizen. He assails Sec. 52 on same grounds as above.
not want to serve, otherwise, why should he file for an office other than the
one he was elected? The mere fact therefore of filing a certificate should Issues & Ratio:
be considered the overt act of abandoning or relinquishing his mandate to 1. WON Sec. 2 is unconstitutional. - NO
the people and that he should therefore resign if he wants to seek another • True that territorial boundaries must be clear because they define the limits of
position which he feels he could be of better service. the territorial jurisdiction of a’t. Uncertainty will sow costly conflicts in
the exercise of governmental powers. However, petitioner failed to show that • Tobias vs. Abalos: Court favors liberal construction of the one title-one subj rule
delineation of land area of proposed City of Makati will create confusion as to its so as not to impede legislation. Consti doesn’t command that the title of the law
boundary. Delineation did not change even by an inch the land previously should exactly mirror, fully index or completely catalogue all its details.
covered by the municipality. Sufficient for title to express gen subj & that all provisions are germane to that
• It will be shown that boundary was not defined by metes & bounds due to subj.
territorial dispute bet Makati & Taguig re Fort Bonifacio w/c was still under
Court litigation. Out of respect to a co-equal dept, legislators felt that court Held: Case dismissed for lack of merit.
should be left to decide dispute. They didn’t want to foreclose dispute by
making a legislative finding of fact w/c could decide dispute. Agapito A. Aquino v. COMELEC,
• Existence of a boundary dispute does not per se present an insurmountable MOVE MAKATI, MATEO BEDON & JUANITO ICARO (1995)
difficulty w/c will prevent Congress from defining w/reasonable certitude the Special Civil Action in SC. Certiorari.
territorial jurisdiction of a LGU. Maintaining existing boundaries was an act of
fairness. FACTS:
• Requirement on metes & bounds is merely a tool in establishing a LGU. So long On March 20 ’95, petitioner Aquino filed his Cert of Candidacy for the position of
as the territorial jurisdiction may be reasonably ascertained by referring to REPRESENTATIVE for the new 2nd Legislative District of Makati City. The info he
common boundaries w/neighboring municipalities, legislative intent behind law provided are as follows:
has been sufficiently served. Strict interpretation would defeat purpose of the ⇒ Residence: Palm Village Mkt
law w/c is to empower LGUs & give them their rightful due to make the LGU ⇒ Residence in the constituency where he seeks to be elected immediately
more responsive to the needs of their constituents. Invalidating RA 7854
preceding the election: ____Years and 10 Months
merely on this ground would serve letter of the law but defeat its spirit.
⇒ Eligible for office, obligation assumed voluntarily
2. WON Sec. 51 is unconstitutional – CAN’T BE DECIDED.
• Petitioners claim that this violates Sec. 8, Art. X (term of office of elective loc
On April 24 ’95, MOVE Mkt, a duly-registered political party, & Bedon, Chairman of
officials except brgy officials: 3 yrs & can’t serve for more than 3 consecutive
LAKAS-NUCD-UMDP of Brgy Cembo, Mkt filed a petition to disqualify Aquino on the
terms) and Sec. 7, Art. VI (mems of House of Reps: 3 yrs & not more than 3
ground that the latter lacked the residence qualification as a candidate for
consecutive terms). They claim that by acquiring a new corporate existence, RA
congressman w/c under Sec 6 Art VI of the 1987 Consti should be for a period not
7854 restarts term of present municipal elective officials & disregards terms
less than 1 yr immediately preceding the May 8, 1995 elections. Petition was
previously served. Meaning, municipal officials will be entitled to another 3-
assigned to the 2nd Division of COMELEC.
consecutive terms. They further claim that such has been conveniently crafted
to suit political ambitions of respondent Makati Mayor Binay.
The next day, Aquino filed another cert of candidacy amending the previous. This
• Court can’t decide on this matter because petitioners failed to comply
time he stated that he had resided in the said constituency for 1 yr & 13 days.
w/requirements before a litigant can challenge constitutionality of a law (actual
case/controversy, locus standi, raised at earliest possible opportunity, lis mota).
In May 2, a hearing was conducted and petitioner presented as evidence a lease
• Petition premised on contingencies w/c pose hypothetical issues w/c still need
contract between himself and Leonor Feliciano for 2yrs and 2 affidavits (Feliciano’s &
to ripen to an actual case or controversy. Taguig residents are not proper one Galamay).
parties either.
• Court has no jurisdiction over declaratory relief on futuristic issues. In May 6, a Resolution was promulgated by COMELEC wherefore it resolved to
dismiss the petition for disqualification & declares Aquino eligible to run for office.
3. WON Sec. 52 is unconstitutional - NO
• Tobias vs Abalos: reapportionment of legislative districts may be made thru In May 7, the respondents filed a motion for reconsideration.
special law such as charter of new city. Consti provides that Congress shall be
composed of not more than 250 mems unless otherwise fixed by law w/c does On May 8, 1995, elections were held. In Mkt, 3 candidates vied for the
not preclude Congress from increasing its membership by passing a law other congressional seat in the 2nd District. Petitioner ranked 1st w/ 38,547 votes against
than a gen. Reapportionment law. close contender Agusto Syjuco w/ 35,910 votes.
• To hold that such can only be done thru a gen reapportionment law would
create an inequitable situation where new city/province created by Congress In May 10, respondents filed an Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and an Urgent
will be denied legislative representation until such time a reapportionment Motion Ad Cautelum to suspend proclamation of petitioner.
occurs. Such will deprive people a particle of their sovereignty. Note that
sovereignty is indivisible. In May 15, COMELEC issued an Order suspending the petitioner Aquino’s
• Sec. 5(3), Art. VI of Consti provides that city w/population of at least 250k shall proclamation. It held that pursuant to provisions of Sec 6 of RA No 6646, the Bd of
have at least one rep. And since 1990 census already showed that Makati had Canvassers of Mkt is directed to complete the canvassing of election return of the
450k residents, then RA 7854 is not violative of the Consti for it has met 2nd District but suspend the proclamation of Aquino should he obtain the winning
minimum population requirement of 250k. number of votes until Motion for Reconsideration has been resolved by COMELEC.
constitutional 2-term limit and had to shop around for a place where he could
In June 2, petitioner filed a motion to lift order of suspension of proclamation. run for public office.
COMELEC ruled to proceed promulgation and allow the parties to be heard. After ⇒ The absence of clean and positive proof showing a successful abandonment of
the hearing, it held that Aquino is ineligible and thus disqualified as candidate for domicile (1), the lack of identification w/ the area (2) and the suspicious
lack of constitutional qualification of residence. Bd of Canvassers shall immediately circumstances of the lease agreement (3) all belie the petitioner’s claim of
reconvene and determine the winner out of the remaining qualified candidates. residency.

ISSUES & RATIO: 4. WON COMELEC failed to appreciate the legal impossibility of enforcing the 1 yr
1. WON COMELEC has no jurisdiction to determine & adjudge disqualification
residency requirement of congressional candidates in newly created political
involving congressional candidates after the May 8 elections as such
districts w/c were only existing for less than a yr (4 mos) at the tine of the
determination is reserved to the Hse of Reps Electoral Tribunal.
⇒ Sec 17 of Art VI of Consti states:
⇒ NO! A new political district is not created out of thin air. It is carved out from
The Senate & Hse of Reps shall have an Electoral Tribunal w/c shall be the
part of a real and existing geographic area, in this case the old Municipality of
sole judge of all contests relation to the election, return & qualifications of
their respective Members.
Petitioner confuses the distinction between an unproclaimed candidate and a
5. WON COMELEC in ordering the Bd of Canvassers to determine the winner out of
member of the House. Obtaining the highest number of votes in an election
the remaining candidates disregarded the doctrine “a second place candidate or
does not automatically vest the position in the winning candidate. Clearly, the
a person who was repudiated by the electorate is a loser and cannot be
HRET assumes jurisdiction only when candidates become members of either
proclaimed as substitute winner.”
⇒ No. The rule is the ineligibility of a candidate receiving majority votes does not
2. Assuming COMELEC has jurisdiction, WON such jurisdiction ceased after the entitle the eligible candidate receiving the next highest number of votes to be
elections and remedies are to be brought to another forum (i.e. HRET) acdg to declared elected. A minority or defeated candidate cannot be deemed elected
Dec 17 Art VI of Consti to the office. (Abella v. COMELEC, Topacio v. Paredes)
⇒ Under Sec 6 of RA 6646, COMELEC is empowered to continue to hear and ⇒ The disqualified candidate is no candidate at all and is not a candidate in the
decide questions relating to qualifications of candidates. A disqualification case eyes of the law (Ticson v. COMELEC).
against a candidate is allowed to continue even after the election and it does ⇒ Public elective offices are filled by those who have received the highest number
not oust the COMELEC of its jurisdiction. In the event that the challenged of votes cast in an election. No one can be declared elected and no measure
candidate obtains the highest number of votes, the disqualification case based can be declared carried unless he or it receives a majority or plurality of the
on ineligibility will not be terminated when the evidence of guilt is strong. legal votes cast in the elections (Geronimo v. Ramos).

3. WON COMELEC’s finding of non-compliance w/ the residency requirement is ⇒ The more logical and democratic view must be upheld. The runner-up cannot
contrary to evidence be deemed as the winner for this clearly represents a minority view. This would
negate the possibility that theoretically, if the 2nd placer receives even just 1
⇒ As found by the COMELEC, petitioner was a resident of Concepcion, Tarlac for vote, he can win.
52 yrs immediately preceding the election. He is also a registered voter of the
same district and his parents’ birthplace is also that. It is clear that his HELD: Affirm COMELEC’s declaration of petitioner’s Ineligibility for he lacks the 1 yr
domicile of origin or record up to the filing of his 2 nd cert of candidacy was residence in the district mandated by the 1987 Consti.
Concepcion, Tarlac. A democratic govt is necessarily a govt of laws. In a republican govt, those laws are
⇒ The Constitution when it speaks of residence synonymously refers to domicile themselves obtained by the people. Through their representatives, they dictate the
qualifications necessary for service in govt positions. Not even the will of a majority
for the purposes of election law. The candidate must indicate his residence as
or plurality of voters would substitute for a requirement mandated by the
the place where he considers his permanent home and where he, no matter
fundamental law itself.
where he may be found at any given time, eventually intends to return and
remain. The purpose is to exclude strangers or newcomers unfamiliar w/ the
Martinez vs. Morfe [March 24, 1972]
conditions and needs of the community from taking advantage of favorable
Original Action in the SC. Certiorari and Habeas Corpus
circumstances existing in that community for electoral gain. The essence of
representation is to place through the assent of voters those most cognizant
Ponente: J. Fernando
and sensitive to the needs of a particular district.
⇒ In his leasing the Mkt property instead of buying one does not engender the
kind of permanency required to prove abandonment of one’s original domicile
 What is the scope to be accorded to the constitutional immunity of senators
esp since he leased it only for a period of 2 yrs. It should be further noted that
and representatives from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of
petitioner was previously disqualified from running in the Senate because of the
Congress and in going to and returning from the same except in cases of members of the future National Assembly cannot perform their duties with
treason, felony and breach of peace. the same limitations and privileges. The grant of certain privileges to any
 Manuel Martinez was charged with falsification of public documents set of persons means the abrogation of the principle of equality. The
because he stated under oath in his certificate of candidacy that he was legislature is an agent of the State. Any crime committed, whether such
born of June 20, 1945 when in reality he was born on June 20, 1946. crime is committed by a colorum or by a gangster, endangers the state.
Fernando Bautista was being charged with violation of the revised election Giving more privileges to an agent at the expense is not a sound policy.
code because it was alleged that he gave and distributed free of charge  Provision in the RPC was enacted during 1932 while the constitution was
food, drinks and cigarettes at two public meetings. enforced in 1935. The constitution explicitly provided that: “All laws of the
 Under RA 6132 (Constitutional Convention Act) it is provided that delegates Philippine Islands shall continue in force until the inauguration of the
are entitled to the parliamentary immunities of a senator or a Commonwealth of the Philippines; thereafter, such laws shall remain
representative. Martinez and Bautista are delegates of the Constitutional operative, unless inconsistent with this Constitution, until amended,
Convention. altered, modified or repealed by the Congress of the Philippines, and all
 Martinez and Bautista filed a case seeking that their respective warrants of references in such laws to the government or officials of the Philippines
arrest be quashed on the claim that they enjoy as delegates, ultimately shall be construed, in so far as applicable, refer to the Government and
traceable to section 15 of article VI of the Constitution as construed corresponding officials under the this Constitution.
together with art 145 of the RPC, they are immune from arrest.
 Art. VI Sec. 15 (Constitution): The senators and members of the house of PHILCONSA v. MATHAY
representatives shall in all cases except treason, felony, breach of peace, 18 SCRA 300 (1966)
be privilege from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of
Congress, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Nature: Original Action in the SC
speech or debate therein, they shall not be questioned in any other place.
 Relevant portion of art 145 RPC – penalty of prision correctional shall be Facts:
imposed upon any public officer or employee who shall, while the Congress R.A. No. 4134 authorized increase in salaries of the Speaker and members
is in regular or special session, arrest or search and member thereof,
of the House of Representatives. Sec. 1(1) of said act provided, inter alia,
except in case such member has committed a crime punishable under this
that the annual salary of the President of the Senate and of the Speaker of
code by a penalty higher than prision mayor.
the House of Representatives shall be P40K each; that of the Senators and
 RA 6132 sec. 15: The laws relative to parliamentary immunity of the members of the House of Representatives, P32K each (thereby increasing
members of Congress shall be applicable to the delegates of the their present compensation of P16K and P7.2K per annum for the Presiding
Constitutional Convention… officers and members, respectively, as set in the Constitution). It expressly
provided that "the salary increases herein fixed shall take effect in
Issue: WON the petitioners can claim that they are immune from the suits that are accordance with the provisions of the Constitution".
filed against them.
Sec. 7 of same Act provides "that the salary increase of the President of the
Senate and of the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall take effect
Held: No
on the effectivity of the salary increase of Congressmen and Senators.”
RA No. 4642 or the Appropriation Act (or the 1965-1966 Budget) for the
Fiscal Year July 1, 1965, to June 30, 1966 implemented the increase in salary
 Art. VI sec 15 of the constitution provides that immunity from arrest does
of the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives set by R.A. No.
not cover any prosecution for treason, felony and breach of peace.
4134, approved just the preceding year 1964.
o Treason – when an accused levies war against the Republic or
PHILCONSA gave a written protest to former Acting Auditor General of the
adheres to its enemies giving them aid and comfort Philippines, Aguiluz contending that the implementation of R.A. 4134 is
o Felony – act or omission punishable by law violative of Art. VI(14), of the Constitution, as amended in 1940, which
o Breach of peace – covers any offense whether defined by the RPC provided that no increase in the annual compensation of senators and the
or special statute. Members of the House of Reps, as set by the Constitution said
 During the constitutional convention of 1934 the original draft was worded compensation, shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all
as follows: “except treason, open disturbance of public order, or other the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives approving
offense punishable by death or imprisonment of not less than six years…” such, increase.
an amendment was proposed and approved “except treason, felony and It violates the Constitution in that the term of the 8 senators elected in
breach of peace.” The original draft gives to the members of the National 1963, and who took part in the approval of R.A. No. 4134, will expire only on
Assembly more privileges than what the nature of the office demands. If Dec. 30, 1969; while the term of the members of the House who participated
the members of the various state legislatures were able to perform their in the approval of said Act expired on Dec. 30, 1965. Consequently,
functions as members of law-making bodies with the privileges and appropriation for such increased compensation may not be disbursed until
immunities granted by the phrase “breach of peace” why would the Dec. 30, 1969. In so far as R.A. No. 4642 authorizes the disbursement of the
increased compensation prior to Dec. 30, 1969, it also violates the that approved the measure, using the singular form, and not the plural,
Constitution and must be held null and void. despite the difference in the terms of office (six years for Senators and
Upon receipt of a written protest from petitioners, respondent Aguiluz, was four for Representatives thereby rendering more evident the intent to
advised by the Solicitor General to seek an opinion on the matter from the consider both houses for the purpose as indivisible components of one
Secretary of Justice. Aguiluz thus endorsed the PHILCONSA letter to the single Legislature. The use of the word "term" in the singular, when
Secretary of Justice on Nov. 26, 1965; but on or before Jan. 1966, and combined with the following phrase "all the members of the Senate and
before the Justice Secretary could act, Aguiluz, directed his representative in of the House", underscores that in the application of Article VI, Section
Congress, respondent Velasco, to pass in audit and approve the payment of 14, the fundamental consideration is that the terms of office of all
the increased salaries within the limits of the Appropriation Act in force. members of the Legislature that enacted the measure (whether
Thus, PHILCONSA filed a suit against the Aguiluz and Velasco, seeking to Senators or Representatives) must have expired before the increase in
permanently enjoin the aforesaid officials from authorizing or passing in compensation can become operative.
audit the payment of the increased salaries authorized by RA No. 4134 to the iii. Furthermore, the committee on legislative power in the 1934 Con-Con,
Speaker and members of the House of Reps before Dec. 30, 1969. before it was decided that the Legislature should be bicameral in form,
initially recommended that the increase in the compensation of
Issues: legislators should not take effect until the expiration of the term of
a. WON petitioners had locus standi office of all members of the Legislature that approved the increase.
YES. As taxpayers, the petitioners may bring an action to restrain officials iv. Evolution:
from wasting public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or 1. Framing of the Constitution: Provided, That no increase in this
unconstitutional law. Moreover, the rule that a taxpayer can not, in his yearly compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of
individual capacity as such, sue to enjoin an unlawful expenditure or the terms of office of all the Members of the Legislature that
waste of state funds is the minority doctrine. approved such increase
b. WON the Speaker and Members of the House should be joined 2. Modified to suit the final choice of a unicameral legislature:
parties defendant. Provided, That any increase in said compensation shall not take
NO. Since the acts sought to be enjoined were the respondents' passing effect until after the expiration of the term of office of the
in audit and the approval of the payment of the Representatives' Members of the National Assembly who may be elected
increased salaries, and not the collection or receipt thereof, only subsequent to the approval of such increase
respondent auditors were indispensable or proper parties defendant to 3. Art. VI, sec. 5 of the Commonwealth Constitution: No increase in
this action. said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of
the full term of the Members of the National Assembly elected
subsequent to the approval of such increase.
c. WON Art. VI(14) requires that not only the term of all the
members of the House but also that of all the Senators who 4. Return to bicameralism in the 1940 amendments: No increase in
approved the increase must have fully expired before the said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of
increase becomes effective. (Or, as respondents contend, does it the full term of all the Members of the Senate and of the House
allow the payment of the increased compensation to the members of the of Representatives approving such increase.
HOR who were elected after the expiration of the term of those House v. It is apparent that throughout its changes of phraseology the plain
members who approved the increase, regardless of the non-expiration spirit of the restriction has not been altered. From the first proposal of
of the terms of office of the Senators who, likewise, participated in the the committee on the legislative power of the 1934 Convention down to
approval of the increase?) the present, the intendment of the clause has been to require
i. YES. Purpose of provision: to place "a legal bar to the legislators expiration of the full term of all members of the Legislature that
yielding to the natural temptation to increase their salaries. Not that approved the higher compensation, whether the Legislature be
the power to provide for higher compensation is lacking, but with the unicameral or bicameral, in order to circumvent, as far as possible, the
length of time that has to elapse before an increase becomes effective, influence of self-interest in its adoption.
there is a deterrent factor to any such measure unless the need for it is vi. 1st contention of respondents: if the framers of the 1940 amendments
clearly felt" to the Constitution had intended to require the expiration of the terms
ii. Significantly, in establishing what might be termed a waiting period not only of the Representatives but also of the Senators who approved
before the increased compensation for legislators becomes fully the increase, they would have just used the expression "term of all the
effective, the constitutional provision refers to "all the members of the members of the Congress" instead of specifying "all the members of
Senate and of the House of Representatives" in the same sentence, as the Senate and of the House". This is a distinction without a difference,
a single unit, without distinction or separation between them. This since the Senate and the House together constitute the Congress or
unitary treatment is emphasized by the fact that the provision speaks Legislature.
of the "expiration of the full term" of the Senators and Representatives
vii. 2nd contention of respondents: there is significance in the use of the compensation, they are placed in a worse position than under the
words "of the" before "House" in the provision being considered, and in Constitution as originally written.
the use of the phrase "of the Senate and of the House" when it could xiii. The reason for the minimum interval of 4 years is plainly to discourage
have employed the shorter expression "of the Senate and the House". the approval of increases of compensation just before an election by
It was grammatically correct to refer to "the members of the Senate legislators who can anticipate their reelection with more or less
and (the members) of the House" because to speak of "members of the accuracy.
Senate and the House" would imply that the members of the Senate
also held membership in the House. Holding: writ of prohibition granted, items of R.A. 4642 purporting to authorize the
viii. 3rd contention of respondents: if the intention was to require that the disbursement of the increased compensation to members of the Senate and the
term of office of the Senators, as well as that of the Representatives, House of Representatives even prior to Dec. 30, 1969 are declared void, as violative
must all expire the Constitution would have spoken of the "terms" (in of Art. VI(14) of the Constitution; and the respondents are prohibited and enjoined
the plural) "of the members of the Senate and of the House", instead from approving and passing in audit any disbursements of the increased
of using "term" in the singular (as the Constitution does in sec. 14 of compensation authorized by R.A. No. 4134 for Senators and members of the House
Art. VI). This has already been considered. To repeat, the use of the of Representatives, before Dec. 30, 1969.
singular form "term" precisely emphasizes that in the provision in
question the Constitution envisaged both legislative chambers as one Ligot vs. Mathay (separate)
single unit, and this conclusion is reinforced by the expression
employed, "until the expiration of the full term of ALL the members of JIMENEZ, et al. vs. CABANGBANG
the Senate and of the HOR approving such increase". appeal from an order of dismissal rendered by CFI of Rizal
ix. 4th contention of respondents: to require the expiration of the full term
of the Senators before the effectivity of the increased compensation • This is an ordinary civil action originally instituted in CFI for the recovery of
would subject the present members of the HOR to the same plaintiffs Nicanor Jimenez, Carlos Albert and Jose Lukban of damages for
restrictions as under the Constitution prior to its amendment. The court the publication of an allegedly libelous letter of defendant Bartolome
posits that maybe this was in fact what the framers of the 1940 Cabangbang.
constitutional amendments wanted. For under either the original • DEFENDANT: Moved to dismiss on the ground that the letter in question is
limitation or the present one, as amended, as maximum delay of six not libelous and is a privileged communication. (Motion granted by lower
(6) years and a minimum of four (4) is necessary before an increase of court, hence the appeal)
legislators' compensation can take effect.
x. If that increase were approved in the session immediately following an
election, two assemblymen's terms, of 3 years each, had to elapse • Defendant Bartolome Cabangbang at the time of the publication was a
under the former limitation in order that the increase could become member of the House of Rep and Chairman of its Committee on Nat’l
operative, because the original Constitution required that the new Defense.
emolument should operate only after expiration of the term of • CONSTI, Art. VI, Sec. 15: Senators and Members of HR shall in all cases
assemblymen elected subsequently to those who approved it (Art. VI,
except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest
sec. 5), and an assemblyman's term was then 3 years only. Under the
during their attendance at the sessions of Congress, and in going to and
Constitution, as amended, the same interval obtains, since Senators
returning from the same; and for any speech or debate therein, they shall
hold office for 6 years.
not be questioned in any other place.
xi. On the other hand, if the increase of compensation were approved by
the legislature on its last session just prior to an election, the delay is
reduced to 4 years under the original restriction, because to the last
1) WON publication (letter) in question is a privileged communication
year of the term of the approving assemblymen the full 3-year term of
2) WON it is libelous
their successors must be added. Once again an identical period must
elapse under the 1940 amendment: because 1/3 of the Senators are
elected every 2 years, so that just before a given election four of the
1) NO
approving Senators' full 6-year term still remain to run.
• Determination depends on whether publication falls within phrase “speech
xii. This coincidence of minimum and maximum delays under the original
or debate therein” in the provision.
and the amended constitution can not be just due to accident, and is
proof that the intent and spirit of the Constitutional restriction on • Said expression refers to utterances by Congressmen in their official
Congressional salaries has been maintained unaltered. But whether functions: i.e. speeches, statements, votes cast in halls of Congress, bills
designed or not, it shows how unfounded is the argument that by introduced in Congress whether in session or not, and other acts by
requiring members of the present House to await the expiration of the Congressmen, either in Congress or outside the premises housing its
term of the Senators, who concurred in approving the increase in offices, in the official discharge of their duties as members of Congress &
of Congressional Committees duly authorized to perform its functions as Original Action in the SC. Declaratory Relief and/or certiorari & prohibition
such, at the time of the performance of the acts in question. w/preliminary injunction [Oct. 28, 1960]
• The Letter: an open letter to the President dated Nov. 14 ’58 when
• June 23, 1960 – Sergio Osmena, Jr., a Congressman from Cebu, delivered a
Congress was not in session. Defendant caused said letter to be published privilege speech, entitled A Message to Garcia, attacking the gov’t of Pres.
in newspapers of general circulation. In causing its publication, he was not Garcia, claiming among other things that pardons are being sold & one can be
performing his official duty, either as a member of Congress or as officer of bailed out forever if a handsome dole is paid.
any Committee thereof. • July 8, 1960 - Congress came out with House Resolution No. 59 which provided
that if Osmena was found to have made the charges maliciously or recklessly &
2) NO
w/o basis in truth & in fact, such would constitute a serious assault upon dignity
• The Open Letter: (p. 879) “It has come to my attention that there have & prestige of the Office of the Pres, exposing such to contempt & disrepute. HR
been allegedly 3 operational plans under serious study by some ambitious No. 59 likewise created a special committee of 15 members tasked to
AFP officers, w/ the aid of some civilian political strategists.” investigate the truth, authorizing the body to summon Osmena & ask him to
• PLAN I: “an insidious plan or a massive political build-up” of then DND Sec. substantiate his charges & if found guilty, to show cause as to why he should
Jesus Vargas in a was as to “be prepared to become a candidate for Pres in not be punished.
1961.” Moreover, P4M “intelligence and psychological warfare funds” of • July 14, 1960 – Osmena filed this verified petition for prohibition, among
DND and “Peace Amelioration Fund” – letter says – are available to finance others, against the mems of the special committee. He asked for the annulment
said political campaign. of the resolution claiming that 1) it infringed on his parliamentary immunity for
speeches delivered in the House 2) his words constituted no actionable
• Excerpt, First Plan: “It is reported that the ‘Planners’ have under their
conduct/disorderly behavior 3) after his speech, Congress went on to take up
control the ff: (1) Col. Nicanor Jimenez of NICA, (2) Lt. Col. Jose Lukban of other matters & pursuant to Rule 17, Sec. 7, Rules of House w/c provides that if
NBI, (3) Capt. Carlos Albert (PN) of G-2 AFP… It is, of course, possible that other business has intervened after the Member had uttered obnoxious words
the officers mentioned above are unwitting tools of the plan of which they in debate, he shall not be held to answer therefore nor be subj to censure by
may have absolutely no knowledge.” the house.
• PLAN II: said to be a coup d’ etat • July 18, 1960 – Committee submitted its report finding Osmena guilty of
• PLAN III: modification of Plan I, by trying to assuage the President & the seriously disorderly behavior for making w/o basis in truth & in fact, scurrilous,
public w/ a loyalty parade, in connection w/ which Gen. Arellano delivered malicious, reckless & irresponsible charges against the Pres and that such act
a speech challenging the authority & integrity of Congress, in an effort to affronted & degraded the dignity of the House of Reps. House also approved
rally the officers and men of AFP behind him, & gain popular & civilian House Resolution No. 175 declaring Osmena guilty & suspended him from office
support. for 15 mos. Osmena refused to present evidence to substantiate his
• (In case Ma’am asks what the letter recommends, or what the operational imputations. Congress session ended on this day.
techniques are to carry out the plan, see p.880) • July 19, 1960 – respondents except De Pio, Abelada, San Andres Ziga,
• LETTER IN QUESTION NOT SUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT PLAINTIFFS’ ACTION Fernandez & Baltao challenged SC jurisdiction, defended Congress pow to
FOR DAMAGES discipline its mems w/suspension, upheld HR No. 175 & claimed that Congress
• Though letter says that plaintiffs are under the control of the unnamed ended its session already and since respondents are members of that body,
cause of action ceased to exist.
persons therein alluded to as “planners”, & that, having been handpicked
by Sec. Vargas & Gen. Arellano, they “probably belong to the Vargas-
Issues & Ratio:
Arellano clique”, it should be noted that defendant, likewise, added that “it
1. WON Osmena is entitled to the parliamentary privilege - NO
is of course possible…(that they) are unwitting tools of the plan of which
• Art. 6, Sec. 15 of our Consti provides that for any speech or debate in
they may have absolutely no knowledge.”
Congress, the Senators or Mems of the House of Reps shall not be questioned
• Thus, the document explicitly indicates that they might be absolutely in any other place. This was copied from US Consti where such is construed
unaware of the alleged operational plans, & that they may be merely as exemption from prosecution or civil actions but not from being questioned in
unwitting tools of the planners. We do not think that this statement is Congress itself. Even Rules of House (Rule 17, Sec. 7) recognizes House’s
derogatory to plaintiffs, to the point of entitling them to recover damages. power to hold a mem responsible for words spoken in a debate.
Aforementioned passage in letter clearly implies that plaintiffs were not among the • Purpose of privilege: enables & encourages rep of the public to discharge his
“planners” of said coup d etat, for otherwise, they could not be “tools”, much less, public trust w/firmness & success for it’s indispensably necessary that he should
unwittingly on their part, of said “planners”. enjoy fullest liberty of speech & that he should be protected from resentment of
every one however powerful, to whom the exercise of that liberty may occasion
Osmena, Jr., petitioner vs. Pendatun et al., in their capacity as mems of offense.
Special Committee created by House Resolution No. 59, respondents
• But such privilege does not protect one from responsibility for words/conduct • Jones Law governed case. And as such, the law did not give the power the
that are disorderly or unbecoming a member thereof. Instances were cited Senate then exercised, thus it was held to be legally wrong.
where US congressmen were censured for employing insulting words during • At the time the case was decided, the Consti already granted full legislative
debate. Kilbourn vs Thompson even speaks of imprisonment, censure, powers & prerogatives of a sovereign nation on Congress except as restricted.
suspension or expulsion as punishment for unparliamentary conduct. Congress now enjoys the inherent legislative prerogative of suspension.
• In RP, a senator was suspended for one year in April 1949 for similar acts. Legislative pow is plenary & only subj to limitations found in Consti. Any power
• Besides, Rules of Phil House of Reps provide that parliamentary practice of US deemed to be legislative by usage or tradition is necessarily possessed by the
congress shall apply in a supplementary manner to its proceedings. Phil Congress unless Consti provides otherwise (Vera vs. Avelino).

2. WON suspension is barred by fact that Congress took up other matters 5. WON action is moot & academic because Committee has ceased to exist
after Osmena delivered his speech - NO – YES
• Rules adopted by deliberative bodies are subj to revocation modification or However, this is w/o prejudice to Osmena’s rt to file new pleadings to include all
waiver at pleasure of body adopting them. Besides, parliamentary rules are mems of the House of Reps or to ask for his reinstatement & present a justiciable
merely procedural & w/their observance, courts have no concern. They may be cause.
waived or disregarded by legislative body. Mere failure to conform to
parliamentary usage will not invalidate the action taken by a deliberative body Held: Dismissed.
when the requisite number of mems have agreed to a particular measure.
• US Congress proceeded to censure a Congressman even after other businesses Roberto Flores, Fugueroa, Palo, Jadloc, Cruz & Reyes v.
have intervened after the objectionable remarks have been delivered. Hon. Franklin Drilon, Exec Sec, & Richard Gordon. (1993)
Special civil action in SC. Prohibition
3. WON speeches attacking the Chief Exec constitute disorderly conduct. –
• House of Reps is the best judge re what constitutes disorderly conduct. Not only Petitioners, as taxpayers, employees of the US Facility at Subic, Zambales & officers
is it w/in their jurisdiction to decide such, but it is also because they know the and members of the Fil Civilian Employees Assoc. assail the constitutionality of Sec
factual circumstances better since they have witnessed such acts. 13 par (d) of RA 7227 inasmuch that it infringes on:
• Court cannot interfere since it cannot confer upon a coordinate branch of gov’t. (a) Sec 7, 1st par of Art XI-B of Consti: no elective official shall be eligible for
• Separation of power demands from the court a prudent refusal to interfere. appointment or designation in any capacity to any public office or position
Each dept has exclusive cognizance of matters w/in its jurisdiction & is supreme during his tenure. This is because the City Mayor of Olongapo City is an
w/in its own sphere (Angara vs Electoral Commission). elective official & the subject posts are public offices; and
• Am Jur provides that gen rule is for court to refuse to intervene in legislative (b) Sec 16, Art VII of Consti: The President shall appoint all other officers of the
functions. And when Senate is given pow to expel a mem, courts will not review govt whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law. This is
its action or revise even a most arbitrary or unfair decision. because it was Congress and not the President who appoint the Mayor to the
• Clifford vs French: Power to expel a member for any cause it may deem subject posts; and
sufficient is inherent in every legislative body. It’s necessary to safety of state & (c) Sec 261, par (g) of the Omnibus Election Code: Appointment of new
it’s a pow of self-protection. Legislative body must be the sole judge of the employees, creation of new position, promotion, or giving salary increases
exigency w/c may justify & require its exercise. No provision authorizes court to during the period of 45 days before a regular election and 30 days before a
control, direct, supervise or forbid such. special election is an election offense. The appointment of respondent Gordon
• In short: House has exclusive power, courts have no jurisdiction to interfere. to the subject posts were made by resp Exec Sec Drilon on April 3 ’92 which
• Even if there are precedents finding attacks against the Chief Exec as was w/in the prohibited 45-day pd prior to the May 11 ’92 elections.
unparliamentary conduct, SC still refuses to interfere because it is their duty to
uphold the allocation of constitutional functions. Sec 13 par (d) of RA 7227: Provided, however, that for the 1st year of its
operations from the effectivity of this Act, the mayor of the City of Olongapo shall
4. WON Alejandrino precedent is applicable – NO. be appointed as the Chairman and CEO of the Subic Authority.
• Alejandrino vs. Quezon (1924) – a Senator appointed by the Gov. Gen. was
suspended for 1 yr by Senate for assaulting another Senator. Although SC ISSUE: WON the above provision violates the constitutional proscription against
made a pronouncement that suspension was legally wrong because as an appointment or designation of elective officials to other govt posts.
appointed Senator, Phil. Senate can’t discipline him, SC still denied prayer for
relief (of reinstatement) due to separation of powers. HELD: Sec 13 par (d) of RA 7227 is Unconstitutional. The appointment of resp
• Involved here is an appointive senator and not an elective one like Osmena. Gordon contravenes the Constitution and thus cannot be sustained. His acts as
SBMA official are not necessarily null and void; he may be considered a de facto
• Obiter dictum re suspension deprives electoral district of representation is only
applicable to appointive senators.
officer1. However, all per diems, allowances and other emoluments 2 through the assuming the position of minority leader since those who had voted for Sen. Fernan
SBMA position may be retained by him, and all acts done in exercise of his authority comprised the "majority," while only those who had voted for him, the losing
as de facto officer are upheld. nominee, belonged to the "minority."
Sen. Flavier manifested that the 7 senators of Lakas-NUCD-UMDP Party, also a
RATIO: Yes, Sec 7 of Art XI-B of Consti expresses the safeguard against the minority, had chosen Sen. Guingona as the minority leader. No consensus on the
concentration of several public positions in 1 person w/c can result in matter was arrived at. On July 30, 1998, Sen. Drilon informed the body that he
haphazardness and inefficiency, so that a public officer or employee may serve full- received a letter signed by the 7 Lakas-NUCD-UMDP senators, stating that they had
time w/ dedication and thus be efficient in the delivery of public services. It is an elected Sen. Guingona as the minority leader and with that the Senate President
affirmation that a public office is a full-time job. formally recognized Sen. Guingona as such. Thus, the next day Senators Santiago
and Tatad filed this case
⇒ Moreover, the 1st par of Sec 7 Art XI-B seeks to prevent a situation where a
local elective official will work for his appointment in an executive position in Issues
govt and thus neglect his constituents. The fact that the expertise of an 1. Does the Court have jurisdiction over the petition?
elective official may be most beneficial to the higher interest of the body politic YES. In the instant controversy, the petitioners claim that Sec. 16 (1), Art. VI of
is of no moment. the constitution, has not been observed in the selection of the Senate minority
⇒ Although Sec 94 of LGCode permits the appointment of a local elective official leader. They also invoke the Court's "expanded" judicial power "to determine
to another post if so allowed by law or by the primary functions of his office, it whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
cannot determine the constitutionality of the assailed section of RA 7227. No excess of jurisdiction" on the part of respondents. Well-settled is the doctrine
legislative act can prevail over the fundamental law of the land. that jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case is determined by the
⇒ The prohibition is stricter to elective officials than appointive officials manifested allegations of the complaint or petition, regardless of whether the plaintiff or
in the exception provided for the latter: that there may be a law that will allow petitioner is entitled to the relief asserted. In light of the aforesaid allegations of
them to hold other positions. petitioners, it is clear that this Court has jurisdiction over the petition. It is well
⇒ SBMA posts are not ex officio to the position of Mayor of Olongapo. It is not within the power and jurisdiction of the Court to inquire whether indeed the
automatically attached to the Office of the Mayor w/o need of appointment. Senate or its officials committed a violation of the Constitution or gravely abused
Otherwise, the word appointed would have been avoided. In fact, in the their discretion in the exercise of their functions and prerogatives.
deliberations, the Senators were fully aware that subject proviso may
contravene Sec 7, 1st par of Art XI-B of Consti but they nevertheless passed the 2. Was there an actual violation of the Constitution?
bill and left the controversy to be resolved by the courts. Petitioners argue that "majority" in the aforequoted constitutional provision
refers to that group of senators who (1) voted for the winning Senate President
⇒ Moreover, the subject proviso is a legislative encroachment on the appointing and (2) accepted committee chairmanships. Thus, those who voted for the
authority of the Pres inasmuch as Congress limited the choice of the Pres to losing nominee and accepted no such chairmanships comprise the minority, to
only 1 candidate, the Mayor. Appointment is the selection or designation, by whom right to determine the minority leader belongs.
the authority vested w/ the power, of an individual who is to exercise the Hence, Guingona cannot be the legitimate minority leader, since he voted for
functions of a given office. Appointment calls for a selection. The appointing Fernan as Senate President. Furthermore, members of the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP
power necessarily involves an exercise of discretion and is therefore not simply cannot choose the minority leader, because they did not belong to the minority,
a ministerial duty. It is manifestly an abuse of congressional authority to having voted for Fernan and accepted committee chairmanships.
prescribe qualifications where only one, and no other, can qualify. The court held that such interpretation finds no clear support from the
Constitution, the laws, the Rules of the Senate or even from practices of the
G.R. No. 134577, November 18, 1998
The plain and unambiguous words of the subject constitutional clause simply
Facts: The Senate, with 23 senators and with Sen. Osmeña as presiding officer, mean that the Senate President must obtain the votes of more than one half of
convened on July 27, 1998 for the first regular session of the eleventh Congress. On all the senators. It did not delineate who comprise the "majority" or the
the agenda for the day was the election of officers. Sen. Fernan and Sen. Tatad "minority" in the Senate and there is no showing that the framers of our
were nominated to the position of Senate President. By a vote of 20 to 2, Sen. Constitution had in mind other than the usual meanings of these terms.
Fernan was declared the duly elected President of the Senate. Sen. Ople as In effect, while the Constitution mandates that the President of the Senate
president pro tempore, and Sen. Drilon as majority leader were also elected. Sen. must be elected by a number constituting more than one half of all the members
Tatad contended that as allegedly the only other member of the minority, he was thereof, it does not provide that the members who will not vote for him shall
ipso facto constitute the "minority," who could thereby elect the minority leader.
1 No law or regulation states that the defeated candidate shall automatically
De facto officer- one whose acts, though not those of a lawful officer, the law, upon principles of policy
become the minority leader.
and justice, will hold valid so far as they involve the interest of the public and third persons. Void because
the officer was not eligible, Gordon being an incumbent elective official.
History would show that the "majority" in either house of Congress has referred Constitutional respect and a becoming regard for the sovereign acts of a coequal
to the political party to which the most number of lawmakers belonged, while branch prevents this Court from prying into the internal workings of the Senate.
the "minority" normally referred to a party with a lesser number of members. To repeat, this Court will be neither a tyrant nor a wimp; rather, it will remain
steadfast and judicious in upholding the rule and majesty of the law.
Majority may also refer to "the group, party, or faction with the larger
To accede, then, to the interpretation of petitioners would practically amount to
number of votes," not necessarily more than one half. In contrast, minority is
judicial legislation, a clear breach of the constitutional doctrine of separation of
"a group, party, or faction with a smaller number of votes or adherents than
powers. If for this argument alone, the petition would easily fail.
the majority."
Between two unequal parts or numbers comprising a whole or totality, the
3. Was Respondent Guingona usurping, unlawfully holding and exercising
greater number would obviously be the majority while the lesser would be the
the position of Senate minority leader?
minority. But where there are more than two unequal groupings, it is not as
Usurpation generally refers to unauthorized arbitrary assumption and exercise of
easy to say which is the minority entitled to select the leader representing all the
power by one without color of title or who is not entitled by law thereto. The
minorities. In a government with a multi-party system such as in the Philippines,
specific norms or standards that may be used in determining who may lawfully
there could be several minority parties, one of which has to be identified by the
occupy the disputed position has not been laid down by the Constitution, the
Comelec as the "dominant minority party" for purposes of the general elections.
statutes, or the Senate itself in which the power has been vested. Absent any
In the prevailing composition of the present Senate, members either belong to
clear-cut guideline, in no way can it be said that illegality or irregularity tainted
different political parties or are independent. No constitutional or statutory
Respondent Guingona's assumption and exercise of the powers of the office of
provision prescribe which of the many minority groups or the independents or a
Senate minority leader. Furthermore, no grave abuse of discretion has been
combination thereof has the right to select the minority leader.
shown to characterize any of his specific acts as minority leader.
While the Constitution is explicit on the manner of electing a Senate President
and a House Speaker, it is, however, dead silent on the manner of selecting the
4. Did Respondent Fernan act with grave abuse of discretion in
other officers in both chambers of Congress. All that the Charter says is that
recognizing Respondent Guingona as the minority leader?
"[e]ach House shall choose such other officers as it may deem necessary." 43 To
NO. By grave abuse of discretion is meant such capricious or whimsical exercise
our mind, the method of choosing who will be such other officers is merely a
of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. The abuse of discretion must
derivative of the exercise of the prerogative conferred by the aforequoted
be patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or a virtual
constitutional provision. Therefore, such method must be prescribed by the
refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in contemplation of law
Senate itself, not by this Court.
as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason
In this regard, the Constitution vests in each house of Congress the power "to
of passion and hostility. Respondent Guingona belongs to one of the minority
determine the rules of its proceedings" and so the Senate formulated and
parties in the Senate, the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP. By unanimous resolution of the
adopted a set of rules to govern its internal affairs. Pertinent to the instant case
members of this party that he be the minority leader, he was recognized as such
are Rules I and II of the Rules of Senate.
by the Senate President only after at least 2 Senate sessions and a caucus,
Notably, the Rules of the Senate do not provide for the positions of majority wherein both sides were liberally allowed to articulate their standpoints.
and minority leaders. Neither is there an open clause providing specifically for Where no provision of the Constitution, the laws or even the rules of the
such offices and prescribing the manner of creating them or of choosing the Senate has been clearly shown to have been violated, disregarded or
holders thereof. overlooked, grave abuse of discretion cannot be imputed to Senate officials for
In the absence of constitutional or statutory guidelines or specific rules, this acts done within their competence and authority.
Court is devoid of any basis upon which to determine the legality of the acts of
the Senate relative thereto. On grounds of respect for the basic concept of Held: PETITION DISMISSED. Court finds that no constitutional or legal
separation of powers, courts may not intervene in the internal affairs of the infirmity or grave abuse of discretion attended the recognition of and the
legislature; it is not within the province of courts to direct Congress how to do assumption into office by Respondent Guingona as the Senate minority
its work. leader.
Needless to state, legislative rules, unlike statutory laws, do not have the
imprints of permanence and obligatoriness during their effectivity. In fact, they Avelino vs. Cuenco
"are subject to revocation, modification or waiver at the pleasure of the body
adopting them." Being merely matters of procedure, their observance are of no Pacete vs. Sec. Of the Commission on Appointments
concern to the courts, for said rules may be waived or disregarded by the
legislative body 49 at will, upon the concurrence of a majority. Arroyo v. De Venecia
In view of the foregoing, Congress verily has the power and prerogative to August 14, 1997 (Mendoza, J.)
provide for such officers as it may deem. And it is certainly within its own Petitioners: Joker P. Arroyo, Edcel C. Lagman, John Henry R. Osmeña, Wigberto
jurisdiction and discretion to prescribe the parameters for the exercise of this Tañada and Ronaldo B. Zamora
prerogative. This Court has no authority to interfere and unilaterally intrude into Respondents: Jose De Venecia, Raul Daza, Rodolfo Alabano, The Executive
that exclusive realm, without running afoul of constitutional principles that it is Secretary, The Secretary of Finance, and the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.
bound to protect and uphold — the very duty that justifies the Court's being. (This case revolves around a highly technical and procedural issue
raised by Joker Arroyo. Time of the events relevant to the the rules of its proceedings”, then the violation of the House rules is a violation of
disposition of the case.) the Constitution itself. They also add that the certification of Speaker De Venecia
Nature: that the law was properly passed is false and spurious.
This is a petition for certiorari and/or prohibition challenging the validity of -Petitioners specifically charge that following violations: (1) Rule VIII, Sec. 35 and
Republic Act No. 8240, which amends certain provisions of the National Internal Rule XVII, Sec. 103 of the rules of the House for the Chair did not call for the yeas
Revenue Code by imposing so-called “sin taxes” (specific taxes) on the or nay in submitting the conference committee report, (2) Rule XIXI, Sec. 112 for
manufacture and sale of beer and cigarettes. the Chair deliberately ignored Arroyo’s question, (3) Rule XVI, Sec. 97 for the Chair
refused to recognize Arroyo, (4) Rule XX, Secs. 121-122, Rule XXI, Sec. 123, and
Facts: Rule XVIII, Sec. 109, for the Chair suspended the session without first ruling on
-RA 8240 originated from the HR as HB No. 7198. It was approved on third Arroyo’s alleged point of order or a privileged motion. Arroyo charges that the
reading (September 12, 1996) and transmitted (September 16, 1996) to the Senate session was hastily adjourned and certified by De Venecia to prevent Arroyo from
which approved it with certain amendments on third reading on November 17, challenging the existence of a quorum.
1996. -Petitioners call for the exercise of the Court’s power under Art. VIII, Sec. 1 and a
-A bicameral conference committee was formed to reconcile the disagreeing reexamination of Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance which affirmed the
provisions of the House and Senate versions of the bill. conclusiveness of the enrolled bill, in view of the changed membership of the Court.
-On November 21, 1996, the following material events took place: -Respondents rely on the principle of separation of powers and the enrolled
1. At 8 a.m., Bicameral conference committee submitted its report to the house. bill doctrine. They claim that the Court is not the proper forum for the
2. At 11:48 am, Rep. Exequiel Javier, chairman of the Committee on Ways and enforcement of the rules of the House and there is no justification for reconsidering
Means, proceeded to deliver his sponsorship speech, afterwhich Rep. Rogelio the enrolled bill doctrine. Enforcement of the rules cannot be sought in the courts
Sarmiento first interpellated him. except insofar as they implement constitutional requirements such as that relating
3. Joker Arroyo interrupted Sarmiento by moving to adjourn for lack of quorum. to three readings on separate days before a bill may be passed.
4. Rep. Antonio Cuenco objected and then Deputy Speaker Raul Daza declared the -De Venecia denies the charges and presents journal entry rule where the judicial
presence of a quorum after a roll call. Arroyo appealed but his motion was defeated. inquiry is barred. Journal No. 39 of the HR which was approved on December 2,
Interpellation of Javier proceeded. 1996, where the lone objection came from Rep. Lagman, shows that there was no
5. Arroyo registered to intepellate and he was fourth in the order. During his objection raised on the motion by Albano.
interpellation, Arroyo said that he going to raise a question on the quorum but he
never did until the end. Issues:
6. Albano moved to approve and ratify the conference committee report. 1. WON the enactment of RA No. 8240 violated constitutional
7. Daza, as the deputy speaker, asked if there are any objection to the motion. requirements.
8. Almost simultaneously, Arroyo said, “What is that, Mr. Speaker?” -NO. The alleged violations merely involve internal rules of procedure of the House
9. However, Daza concluded, “There being none, approved.” then he banged the rather than the constitutional requirements for the enactment of a law (Art. VI,
gavel. Secs. 26-27). Petitioners DO NOT CLAIM that there was NO QUORUM, but instead
10. Arroyo: “No, no, no, wait a minute, Mr. Speaker, I stood up. I want to know allege that the violation of the rules of the House effectively prevented Arroyo form
what is the question that the Chair asked the distinguished sponsor.” questioning the presence of a quorum.
11. Daza clarified the motion raised by Albano and Arroyo averred that he offered -Here, Arroyo invokes Art. VI, Sec. 16(3) that “each house may determine the
an objection by standing up. rules of its proceedings” for judicial review instead of supporting claims of autonomy
12. Daza supended the session for “one minute” that lasted from 3:01 pm to 3:40 of the legislative branch.
pm. The session was resumed but Albano moved to adjourn until four o’clock, -Cases both here and abroad deny the courts the power to inquire into allegations
Wednesday next week, thus, it was adjourned at 3:40 pm. Court noted that during that, in enacting a law, a House of Congress failed to comply with its own rules, in
this duration of time, Arroyo did not object to any motion nor forwarded any motion the absence of showing that there was violation of a constitutional provision or
his to support his earlier claim of objection before the session was adjourned. rights of private individuals.
13. On the same day, the bill was signed by the Speaker of the HR and the Osmeña v. Pendatun: Parliamentary rules are merely procedural, and with their
President of the Senate and certified by the respective secretaries of both Houses of observance, the courts have no concern.
Congress as having been finally passed by the HR and by the Senate on November US v. Ballin, Joseph & Co.: The Constitution empowers each house to determine
21, 1996. its rules of proceedings…It is a continuous power, always subject to be exercised by
14. The Enrolled bill was signed into law by President Fidel V. Ramos on November the House, and within the limitations suggested, absolute and beyond the challenge
22, 1996. of any other body or tribunal.
-Petitioners claim that there are actually four different versions of the transcript (p. Crawford v. Gilchrist: (determine the rules of its proceedings) such authority
281). But in order to expedite the resolution, the respondents admitted, without extends to a determination of the propriety and effect of any action as it is taken by
conceding the correctness of the transcript relied upon by the respondents. the body as it proceeds in the exercise of any power…
- Petitioners principal claim is that RA No. 8240 is null and void because it was State ex rel. City Loan & Savings Co. v. Moore: Having made the rule, it should
passed in violation of the rules of the House. Since these rules embody the be regarded, but a failure to regard it is not the subject-matter of judicial inquiry… a
“constitutional mandate” in Art. VI, Sec. 16(3) that “each house may determine legislative act will not be declared invalid for noncompliance with rules.
McDonald v. State: …no court has ever declared an act of the legislature void for -With these facts, the settled meaning of the phrase “grave abuse of discretion
non-compliance with the rules of procedure made by itself… amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction” cannot apply to the actions of De
Schweizer v. Territory: The courts cannot declare an act of the legislature void on Venecia.
account of noncompliance with rules of procedure made by itself to govern its -Question of quorum cannot be raised repeatedly – especially when the quorum is
deliberations. obviously present – for the purpose of delaying the business of the House. Arroyo
Chief Justice Fernando: Rules are hardly permanent in character… Courts waived his objection by his continued interpellation of the sponsor for in doing so he
ordinarily have no concern with their observance. They may be waived or is in effect ACKNOWLEDGING the presence of a quorum. Out of the 111 members of
disregarded by the legislative body. Consequently, mere failure to conform to them the House present, only Arroyo appears to have objected to the manner by which
does not have the effect of nullifying the act taken if the requisite number of the report was approved.
members have agreed to a particular measure…Where the construction to be given
a rule affects persons other than members of the legislative body the question 4. WON the enrolled bill doctrine will prevail in this case.
presented is necessarily judicial in character -YES. The enrolled doctrine provides that the signing of HR No. 7198 by the Speaker
-No rights of private individuals are involved and no violation of constitutional of the House and the President of the Senate and the certification by the secretaries
provisions is shown. With due regard for the working of our system of government, of both Houses of Congress that it was passed on November 21, 1996 are
more than mere comity, Court declines the inquiry into the alleged violation of the CONCLUSIVE of its due enactment. However, there is NO claim made by the Court
rules of the House. in the EVAT cases (Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance) that the enrolled bill embodies
a conclusive presumption.
2. WON the Court has jurisdiction over this case. -But where there is no evidence to the contrary, the Court will respect the
-NO. The statement quoted from CJ Roberto Conception that under Art. VIII, Sec. certification of the presiding officers of both Houses that a bill has been duly passed.
1 that “nothing involving abuse of discretion by the other branches of the -“A duly authenticated bill or resolution imports absolute verity and is binding on the
government amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction is beyond judicial review” courts” (Mabanag v. Lopez Vito).
implies that the controversy requirement under Art. VIII, Sec. 5 is complied with. -“To disregard the “enrolled bill rule in such cases would be to disregard the respect
(quote in p. 290) due the other two department of our government.” (EVAT cases, Tolentino v. Sec. of
-Courts has not altogether done away with political questions such as those which Finance).
arise in the field of foreign relations. The established rule is that courts cannot -The enrolled bill, as a rule of evidence, is well established that the rule rests on the
declare an act of the legislature void on account merely of noncompliance with rules consideration that the enrolled act is a “solemn assurance” by the “legislative and
of procedure made by itself. This does not present a situation where a branch of executive departments of the government, charged, respectively, with the duty of
government has “gone beyond the constitutional limits of its jurisdiction.” enacting and executing the laws”. Respect due to co-equal and independent
departments requires the judicial department to act upon that assurance (Marshall
3. WON the passage of the law was “railroaded” (motion by Albano’s Field & Co. v. Clark).
motion was declared approved by the Chair while Arroyo was still -There is NO argument raised by the petitioners for the departure from this rule.
making a query) They simply banked on the change of the membership of the Court involving four
- NO. The Chair called out for objections to the motion. Arroyo and the Chair were new members after the EVAT cases (Francisco, Hermosisima, Panganiban and
simultaneously talking, although Arroyo subsequently objected, the conference Torres, JJ).
committee report had been already declared approved by the Chair symbolized by -Finally, the Journal of the House on November 21, 1996 shows that the
the banging of the gavel. conference committee report on H.B. No. 7198 became RA No. 8294 was approved
-No rule of the HR has been cited that the Chair must restate the motion and on that day. The Journal (required under Art. VI, Sec. 16(4)) is a conclusive proofs
conduct viva voce or nominal voting. In fact, this manner of approval was a as “public memorials of the most permanent character” (United States v. Pons).
legislative practice. Majority Leader Arturo Tolentino clarified this point in 1957. It -What the petitioners can do it to enact a new law or repeal or amend RA No. 8240.
was practice that “the fact that nobody objects means a unanimous action of the
House. When the Chair announces the vote by saying “Is there any objection?” and Held: Court finds no ground for holding that Congress committed grave abuse of
nobody objects, then the Chair announces “The bill is approved on second reading.” discretion in enacting RA No. 8240. Petition for certiorari and prohibition is
-Even the Constitution does not require the yeas and the nays of the Members be dismissed.
taken every time a House has to vote, EXCEPT only in the following instances: upon
the last and third readings of a bill (Art. VI, sec, 26(2)), at the request of one-fifth Jose O. Vera, et al., petitioners vs. Jose A. Avelino, et al., respondents
of the Members present, (Id, sec. 16(4) and in repassing a bill over the veto of the Original action in the SC, preliminary injunction [Aug. 31, 1946]
President (Id, sec. 27(1)).
- Furthermore, Arroyo did not say anything more when the session resumed at 3:40 Facts:
pm that day. Petitioners could have submitted the proper motions for the House to • COMELEC, pursuant to Sec. 4, Art. X of the Consti, submitted report to Pres &
act upon but instead insisted on the question of Arroyo as the obstacle of the bill. Congress re: national elections held. It mentioned acts of terrorism & violence
But Arroyo’s question was neither a point of order nor a question of privilege. in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Bulacan & Tarlac, claiming that votes in these
places were not reflective of the true & free expression of popular will.
• May 25, 1946 – Senate convened. It approved the Pendatun Resolution w/c
prohibited petitioners Jose Vera, Ramon Diokno & Jose Romero from being 2. WON prohibition would lie. – NO.
sworn in and seated as members of Senate, pending hearing & decision on Prohibition is only applicable to proceedings of any tribunal, corp, board or person
protests lodged against their elections. The protests against election of these 3 exercising judicial or ministerial functions (Rules of Court, Rule 67, Sec. 2). But
are related to the reports on terrorism in the 3 provinces. (see p. 198-200 for since legislative function is involved here, prohibition will not lie.
full text of Resolution)
• Petitioners pray for the annulment of the resolution & their reinstatement in the 3. WON Senate has exceeded its powers. - NO
Senate so that they may occupy their seats & exercise their senatorial • Before the organization of the Commonwealth & promulgation of the Consti,
privileges. each House exercised power to defer oath-taking of any member against whom
• Respondents assail the jurisdiction of the SC & assert validity of resolution. a protest has been lodged when it thinks suspension is necessary before a final
decision has been reached.
Issues & Ratio: • 1935 Consti created the Electoral Commission. Con-Con deliberations show that
1. WON SC has jurisdiction over the case. - NO
there had been debates re the powers that were to be granted to the EC &
• Alejandrino vs. Quezon (1924) – a Senator appointed by the Gov. Gen. was
those that will be retained w/the Congress. Final output: EC will be the sole
suspended for 1 yr by Senate for assaulting another Senator. Although SC judge of all contests relating to the election, returns & qualifications of the
made a pronouncement that suspension was legally wrong because as an mems of the National Assembly. The Con-Con did not intend to transfer all
appointed Senator, Phil. Senate can’t discipline him, SC still denied prayer for functions to the EC re subj of election & qualification of its members. Election
relief (of reinstatement) due to separation of powers. SC ruled that judiciary contest here should be construed as statutory contests wherein the contestant
can’t revise even the most arbitrary & unfair action of legislative dept if such (petitioner) seeks not only to oust the intruder but also to have himself
are acts/duties that are purely legislative. It can’t direct Chief Exec or inducted into the office. (Meaning: When we say election contest, this pertains
Legislature to take any particular action. to those people who also claim their rt over an office held by another person.)
• Hands-off policy was also applied in Severino vs. Gov Gen & Provincial Board of • Case at bar is different because this involves a member of the House raising
Occidental Negros and Abueva vs. Wood question as to the qualification of another member. This is clearly not an
• Drafters of 1935 consti upheld these precedents by upholding doctrine of election contest because he (the one who raises the question) does not seek to
separation of powers despite the introduction of certain exceptions. substitute the other. (Because both of them have elected to the same office)
• Angara vs. Electoral Commission did not alter these rulings. There was no • Thus, power to defer oath-taking until the contest is adjudged remains with the
pronouncement in the case re SC’s power or lack thereof to interfere w/Senate Congress since it does not belong to the EC.
functions. Besides, it was the Electoral Commission that was a party in that • Congress can come up with a committee on credentials that will ascertain who
case, w/c is not a legislative body or person. It was a conflict between 2 among those elected hold the proper credentials and thus are entitled to seats
constitutional bodies, thus SC had to interfere to determine the character, scope in the body. Congress can inquire into the credentials of its members as long as
& extent of each body’s constitutional sphere. No directive was issued against a they do not go beyond their power by deciding on contests against their mems
branch of the legislature or its members. Only finding was that SC has since this power belongs to the EC. In the same manner, EC can’t order
jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission. Congress to defer admission of any mem whose election has been contested.
• Of course SC may annul any legislative enactment that fails to observe the They have their own roles to play.
constitutional limitation. This has been enshrined from the time of Marbury vs. • Legislative power of Phil. Congress is plenary & subject only to limitations
Madison. But such can only be exercised in proper cases with the appropriate stipulated in the Consti. Congress power is therefore not limited to what is
parties. Such that SC has taken cognizance of cases in the past when the other written in the Consti. Rather, Consti only provides limitations to this power.
branch of gov’t is not a party to the proceeding such as in Planas vs. Gil & Remember, residual power. Any power deemed to be legislative by usage &
Angara vs. Electoral Commission, since the rule of non-interference is still tradition is necessarily possessed by Congress unless Consti delegated such
observed. elsewhere.
• Likewise, Alejandrino case is not applicable. SC cannot order one branch of • Senate has the constitutional power to adopt its own rules of proceedings to
Legislature to reinstate its member. It would be tantamount to judicial maintain its prestige & preserve its dignity. Resolution was prompted by
predominance & would upset classic pattern of checks & balances. dictates of ordinary caution or of public policy. They can’t allow disqualified
• True that for every wrong there is a remedy but judiciary cannot offer such mems to participate in their deliberations. If they wish to maintain alive the
relief all the time. There are political questions the SC can’t deal with. The respect for democratic institutions among the people, they can permit others to
Consti has maintained the independence of the 3 branches of the gov’t & such profit from results of an election held under coercion, in violation of the law &
should be respected. Had the conflict involved the liberty of a citizen, the SC contrary to principle of freedom of choice w/c should underlie all elections
would definitely interfere since it is beyond Congress’ power to perform under the Consti.
palpable & oppressive acts that infringe the Consti. Other pronouncements:
(Obiter Dictum by Trina: but because the Court wants to make our lives harder, they 1. Justices who are part of the Electoral Tribunal
still went on to make pronouncements re other issues even if they already said that
they did not have jurisdiction over the case…hehehe…)
The fact that they are mems of the ET does not disqualify them in this litigation nor
should they be prevented from voting in the ET re this matter. Consti did not
establish any incompatibility bet these 2 roles.

No definite pronouncement re actual occurrence of terrorism & violence &

that result of election was not the expression of free will of the electorate.

2. Doubt & Presumption

Absent any proof that the Senate had the power or lack thereof to approve the
resolution, the presumption that it performed its official duty regularly should
prevail (Rules of Court, Rule 123, Sec. 69). Should there be further doubts, the
sovereign people, ultimately the offended party, will render fitting verdict at the
polling precincts.

3. Membership in the Con Con

SC recognizes the weight & importance of properly recorded utterances of SC
members during the debates & proceedings of the Con-Con. Their utterances have
persuasive force (remember: Legal Bib. Hehe). But their personal opinion on the
matter based on facts only known to them & not duly established or judicially
cognizable is immaterial. SC can’t take their word for it to the detriment of party
adversely affected who had no chance of rebuttal. Deference is a compliment
spontaneously to be paid – never a tribute to be demanded.

4. Alleged duty of respondents

Petitioners invoke Commonwealth Act No. 725, sec. 12 asserting that it is
respondents’ duty, legally inescapable, to permit petitioners to assume office & take
part in the current regular session. But they failed to realize that such provision
applies to qualified members. It does not imply that if one is disqualified, the House
is powerless to postpone his admission. Such rt would not be peremptory whenever
it contacts other rts of equal or superior force. There being no Consti
phrase/sentence expressly or impliedly prohibiting step taken by Senate, SC can’t
intervene. Possibility of abuse is immaterial. Gov’t & people will find ways to curb it.
Decision goes no further than to recognize existence of Congressional power.
Determining whether such power has been correctly or wisely exercised is beyond
judicial determination.

5. Parliamentary Privileges
Parliamentary privilege - any speech or debate in Congress shall not be questioned
in any other place. Reason for such: support rts of people by enabling their
representatives to execute functions of their office w/o fear of prosecutions, civ or
crim. This should be given liberal interpretation. Thus, respondents can’t be asked
to explain/account for their votes re Pendatun resolution. We can’t question or
permit that respondents be questioned w/their votes.

Held: Case dismissed.