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its own territory. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. This power resides in the ³people´ understood as those who have a direct hand in the formulation, adoption, and amendment or alteration of the Constitution. Political writer distinguish between legal sovereignty and political sovereignty. The former is described as the supreme power to make laws and the latter as the sum total of all the influences in a state, legal and non-legal, which determine the course of law. Sovereign authority, moreover, is not always directly exercised by the people. It is normally delegated by the people to the government and to the concrete persons in whose hands the powers of government temporarily reside. Such authority continues with the consent of the people. Finally, is recognition by other states a constitutive element of a state such that even it has all four elements of the Montevideo Convention it is not a state if it has not been recognized? In International law, there are two views on this. One view, the constitutive theory, is that recognition ³constitutes´ a state. The other view, ³the declaratory theory, is that recognition is merely ³declaratory´ of the existence ofthe state. In practice, however, whether recognize or not is largely apolitical decision. Republican State - It is one wherein all government authorityemanates form the people and is exercised by representatives chosenby the people. Democratic State ± This merely emphasizes that the Philippines hassome aspect of direct democracy such as initiative and referendum. Aspects Effect of Belligerent Occupation ± No change in sovereignty. However, political laws, except those of treason, are suspended; municipal laws remain in force unless changed by the belligerent occupant. Principle of Jus Postiminium ± At the end of the occupation, politicallaws are automatically revived. Effect of Change of Sovereignty ± political laws of the former sovereign, whether compatible or nor with those of the new sovereign, are automatically abrogated, unless they are expressly re-enacted by the affirmative act of the new sovereign. Municipals laws remain in force (Macariola v. Asuncion, 114 SCRA 77). __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Imperium-the State¶s authority to govern embraced in the concept of sovereignty: includes passing laws governing a territory, maintaining peace and order over it, and defending it against foreign invasion. Dominium ± the capacity of the State to own and acquire property. Regalian Doctrine ± all lands of the public domain belong to the State ± the source of any asserted rights to ownership of land. All lands not appearing to be clearly of public dominium presumptively belong to the State. Public Dominion - are those property intended for public use for public service. They are outside the commerce of men and therefore not subject for appropriation. Note: Property of public dominion when no longer needed for public use or public service, shall form part of the patrimonial property of the state. Public Land is equivalent to Public Domain. Government Lands include public land and all other lands of the government already reserved or devoted to public use or subject to private rights. Classification of Lands of the Public Domain: 1. Agricultural Lands 2. Forest or Timber Lands 3. Mineral Lands 4. National Parks __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Effect of laws on transfer of Sovereignty:there is abrogationof laws in conflict with the political character of the substitute sovereign (political law); great body of municipal law regarding private and domestic rights continue in force until abrogated or changed by new ruler __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ a. Tariff Powers to the President (Sec.28 (2), Art. VI) (2) The Congress may, by law, authorize the President to fix within specified limits, and subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues, and other duties or imposts within the framework of the national development program of the Government. b. Emergency Powers to the President(Section 23 (2), Art VI)
We can take judicial notice of the fact that the Congress has since liberation repeatedly been approving acts appropriating funds for the operation of the Government. To contend that the Bill needed presidential acquiescence to produce effect. Emergency. a former President promulgated an executive order regulating house rentals after he had vetoed a bill on the subject enacted by Congress. because we have the Constitution. and its relation to the Constitution. authorize the President. 671 does not in term fix the duration of its effectiveness. He said he issued the call for a special session of the National Assembly "when it became evident that we were completely helpless against air attack." It is our considered opinion. 62. since it may never be repealed by the Congress. 1942. Unless sooner withdrawn by resolution of the Congress. extent or scope. was desired. the anomaly would not be limited. In the light of the conditions surrounding the approval of the Emergency Power Act. our Government is democratic in form and based on the system of separation of powers. Commonwealth Act No. . repealing all Emergency Powers Acts. it would be easier for Congress to delegate its powers than to take them back. we are of the opinion that the "state of total emergency as a result of war" envisaged in the preamble referred to the impending invasion and occupation of the Philippines by the enemy and the consequent total disorganization of the Government." The words "limited period" as used in the Constitution are beyond question intended to mean restrictive in duration. If it be contended that the Act has not yet been duly repealed. that Commonwealth Act No. "while Congress might delegate its power by a simple majority. prescribed. Although House Bill No. had the vision of and were careful in allowing delegation of legislative powers to the President for a limited period "in times of war or other national emergency. the object to be accomplish. public works. it has to be assumed that the National Assembly intended it to be only for a limited period. situation that. 545 and 546 must be declared as having no legal anchorage. This is not right and is not. to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy. principally the impossibility for the National Assembly to act. and the Congress might not be able to override the veto. mutually nullifying each other's actions. If a new and different law were necessary to terminate the delegation. This is not right and is not. we shall have to abide by the letter and spirit of the Constitution and be prepared to accept the consequences resulting from or inherent in disagreements between. the period for the delegation. inaction or even refusal of the legislative and executive departments. but it alone must decide because emergency in itself cannot and should not create power. by law. Congress by a two-third vote could repeal executive orders promulgated by the President during congressional recess. and such step is necessary to a cessation of the emergency powers delegated to the President. More anomalous than the exercise of legislative function by the Executive when Congress is in the unobstructed exercise of its authority is the fact that there would be two legislative bodies operating over the same field. the President may wield his veto. and the President in turn could treat in the same manner. After the convening of Congress new legislation had to be approved if the continuation of the emergency powers. between sessions of Congress. Furthermore. Even if the emergency powers of the President. or if the latter ever attempts to do so.". This is not a fantastic apprehension. while Congress might delegate its powers by simple majority. The situation will make the Congress and the President or either as the principal authority to determine the indefinite duration of the delegation of legislative powers. the purpose to be subserved. be suspended while Congress was in session and be revived after each adjournment. and many others purposes. ? in palpable repugnance to the constitutional provision that any grant thereunder must be for a limited period. 225 and 226 were issued without authority of law. 92 Phil 603). and ought not to be. 192. if not absurd. had been vetoed by the President and did not thereby become a regular statute. it might not be able to recall them except by a two-third vote. as suggested. necessarily to be fixed in the law itself and not dependent upon the arbitrary or elastic will of either the Congress or the President. this would create the anomaly that. and ought not to be the law. confined within positive bounds. and inspired only by the best interests of the country as they saw them. The state of affairs was one which called for immediate action and with which the National Assembly would would not be able to cope. This eventuality has in fact taken place when the President disapproved House Bill No. in two instances it materialized. it might not be able to recall them except by two-third vote. or some of them. no legal principle can be found to support the proposition. it has been correctly pointed out." The assertion that new legislation is needed to repeal the act would not be in harmony with the Constitution either. for Congress might not enact the repeal. the Congress may. Unless and until changed or amended. As the Act was expressly in pursuance of the constitutional provision. and even if it would." Insofar as the Congress had shown its readiness or ability to act on a given matter. in order to justify the delegation of emergency powers. it would be easier for Congress to delegate its powers than to take them back. designed to establish a government under a regime of justice. 727. In other words. however. 84 Phil 368). and that it was most unlikely thePhilippine Legislature would hold its next regular session which wasto open on January 1. and that Executive Orders Nos. the result would be obvious unconstitutionality. What then was the contemplated period? President Quezon in the same paragraph of his autobiography furnished part of the answer. legislating concurrently and simultaneously. such powers shall cease upon the next adjournment thereof. liberty and democracy. 727. 671 became inoperative when Congress met in regular session on May 25. "must be temporary or it can not be said to be an emergency. with the result that as to such legislative task the Congress must be deemed to have long decided to assume the corresponding power itself and to withdraw the same from the President." They had thus entrusted to the good judgment of the Congress the duty of coping with any national emergency by a more efficient procedure. The framers of the Constitution. bounded. "that which was intended to meet a temporary emergency may become permanent law. the law. 1946. The war itself and its attendant chaos and calamities could not have necessitated the delegation had the National Assembly been in a position to operate (First Emergency Powers Cases. negative and uncertain. restrictive in duration. for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe. Executive Orders Nos. and we so hold. There is no pretense that the President has independent or inherent power to issue such executive orders as those under review. indefinite. and the present Chief Executive issued an executive order on export control after Congress had refused to approve the measure. Much as it is imperative in some cases to have prompt official action. Article VI of the Constitution provides that any law passed by virtue thereof should be "for a limited period. deadlocks in and slowness of democratic processes must be preferred to concentration of powers in any one man or group of men for obvious reasons. In our democracy the hope and survival of the nation lie in the wisdom and unselfish patriotism of all officials and in their faithful adherence to the Constitution(2nd Emergency Powers Cases. The intention of the Act has to be sought for in its nature. Shelter may not be sought in the proposition that the President should be allowed to exercise emergency powers for the sake of speed and expediency in the interest and for the welfare of the people. laws enacted by the latter.(2) In times of war or other national emergency. In line with such primordial objective. and may act on the strength of his opinion and findings in contravention of the law as the courts have construed it. In entire good faith. In so far as it is insinuated that the Chief Executive has the exclusive authority to say that war not ended. would be unlimited. In other words." "Limited" has been defined to mean "restricted. it may at least be considered as a concurrent resolution of the Congress formally declaring the termination of the emergency powers. would lead to the anomalous. the emergency powers delegated to the President had been pro tanto withdrawn. the repeal might not meet the approval of the President.
further the operation of such a provision. modern constitutions have been generally drafted upon a different principle and have often become in effect extensive codes of laws intended to operate directly upon the people in a manner similar to that of statutory enactments. as the rules of each House shall provide. 100 Phil 1101).has two (2) aspects: 1. Cuenco. But a provision which is complete in itself and becomes operative without the aid of supplementary or enabling legislation.Thus.Unless it is expressly provided that a legislative act is necessary to enforce a constitutional mandate. subordinated to the will of the law-making body. a constitutional provision is self-executing if the nature and extent of the right conferred and the liability imposed are fixed by the constitution itself. or whether. so that they can be determined by an examination and construction of its terms.__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Political Question . such inquiries shall be respected. Issue: Whether the provisions of the Constitution.self-executing provisions would give the legislature discretion to determine when. Justiciable Question ± a definite and concrete dispute touching on the legal interest which may be resolved by a court of law through the application of a law (Cataran v. positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its enforcement.Non. such as those found in Article II of the 1987 Constitution. GSIS. 134958. 1997).In case of doubt. they shall be effective. the legislature would have the power to ignore and practically nullify the mandate of the fundamental law.In regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislature or executive branches of government (Tanada v. particularly Article XII Section 10. by itself. 95 SCRA 392). Comelec. the presumption now is that all provisions of the constitution are self-executing. The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ EFFECTS OF DECLARATION OF UNCONSTITUTIONALITY The law is either: 1. GR 122156. and prospective rather than retroactive (Nachura. under the Constitution are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity or 2. When the security of the State or the public interest so requires and the President so states in writing. further the exercise of constitutional right and make it more available. provide a convenient remedy for the protection of the rights secured or the determination thereof.. p. Exceptions:Some constitutions are merely declarations of policies. but may cover matters related thereto. fully enforceable. The omission from a constitution of any express provision for a remedy for enforcing a right or liability is not necessarily an indication that it was not intended to be self. 38 SCRA 429). or place reasonable safeguards around the exercise of the right. As against constitutions of the past.executing. . and the function of constitutional conventions has evolved into one more like that of a legislative body. DENR. 03. Section 22. Subsequent legislation however does not necessarily mean that the subject constitutional provision is not. 2. If the constitutional provisions are treated as requiring legislation instead of self-executing. . The Court held that a provision which lays down a general principle. with the consent of the President. The law becomes inoperative only upon the judicial declaration of its invalidity. The mere fact that legislation may supplement and add to or prescribe a penalty for the violation of a self-executing constitutional provision does not render such a provision ineffective in the absence of such legislation. but any legislation must be in harmony with the constitution. the presumption now is that all provisions of constitutional are self executing. In self-executing constitutional provisions.Those questions which. 3). XII of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory. or that which supplies sufficient rule by means of which the right it grants may be enjoyed or protected. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ POWER OF LEGISLATIVE INVESTIGATION (SEC. (Igot v. 2001). The heads of departments may. Reviewer in Political Law. 21 AND 22) Section 21.voidable ± if on its face it enjoys the presumption of constitutionality. second paragraph. Their provisions command the legislature to enact laws and carry out the purposes of the framers who merely establish an outline of government providing for the different departments of the governmental machinery and securing certain fundamental and inalienable rights of citizens. prescribe a practice to be used for its enforcement. and there is no language indicating that the subject is referred to the legislature for action. It produces no effect creates no office and imposes no duty. or upon the request of either House. From its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation (Manila Prince Hotel vs. Art. The rule is that a self-executing provision of the constitution does not necessarily exhaust legislative power on the subject. unless it is expressly provided that a legislative act is necessary to enforce a constitutional mandate. mandatory rather than directory. Section 10. upon their own initiative. GR No. In fine.void ± if on its face it does not enjoy any presumption of validity because it is patently offensive to the Constitution. appear before and be heard by such House on any matter pertaining to their departments. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ SELF-EXECUTING PROVISIONS General rule:All provisions of the constitution are self-executing. Feb. Written questions shall be submitted to the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives at least three days before their scheduled appearance. January 3. is self-executing. The rights of persons appearing in. . the provisions should be considered self-executing. . or affected by. Interpellations shall not be limited to written questions. are self-executing. is usually not self-executing. Limitation on Power of Legislative Investigation: . the declaration produces no retroactive effect (Serrano de Agbayani v PNB. 2005 ed. Thus a constitutional provision is self-executing if the nature and extent of the right conferred and the liability imposed are fixed by the constitution itself. the appearance shall be conducted in executive session. the legislature may still enact legislation to facilitate the exercise of powers directly granted by the constitution. Hence.
is recognized only in relation to certain types of information of a sensitive character. 22) As to persons who may Appear Only a department Head Legislative Investigation (Sec. to the extent that it bars the appearance of executive officials before Congress. so some means of compulsion is essential to obtain what is needed. or the public. consideration of the general power of Congress to obtain information. to compel him to give the information. 203 SCRA 767). the extraordinary character of the exemptions indicates that the presumption inclines heavily against executive secrecy and in favor of disclosure (Senate vs. The power of the Court is limited to determining whether the legislative body has jurisdiction to institute the inquiry or investigation. every act of contumacy against it. Executive privilege. and. The power of inquiry. It follows that the operation of government. the legislature may not punish him. The principle that Congress or any o fits bodies has the power to punish recalcitrant witnesses is founded upon reason and policy. A legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of information respecting the conditions which the legislations is intended to affect or change. not its punitive power. including the right to due process and the right not to be compelled to testify against one's self (Bengzon vs. 87 Phil 29). is in order. with the affronts committed against its authority or dignity (Arnault vs. The power of inquiry ² with process to enforce it ² is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. Once an inquiry is admitted or established to be within the jurisdiction of a legislative body to make. deprives Congress of the information in the possession of these officials. and where the legislative body does not itself possess the requisite information ² which is not frequently true ² recourse must be had to others who do possess it. right of person appearing in. the Court therein ruled. have the power to punish for contempt if the contempt has had the effect of obstructing the exercise by the legislature of. or affected by such inquiry shall be respected. in accordance with duly published rules of procedure. it is insinuated. a claim thereof may be valid or not depending on the ground invoked to justify it and the context in which it is made. . It is now contented by petitioner that if he committed an offense of contempt or perjury against the legislative body. American legislative bodies." It follows then that the rights of persons under the Bill of Rights must be respected. 97 Phil 358). and every question which the investigator is empowered to coerce a witness to answer must be material or pertinent to the subject of the inquiry or investigation. making each branch supreme within the realm of its respective authority..1. Question Hour (Sec. the investigating committee has the power to require a witness to answer any question pertinent to that inquiry. does not by necessary implication exclude the power to punish for contempt any other person. and also that information which is volunteered is not always accurate or complete. that the ruling of the Senate on the materiality of the question propounded to the witness is not subject to review by this Court under the principle of the separation of powers (Arnault vs. Indeed. after which our own is patterned. this Court cannot control the exercise of that jurisdiction or the use of Congressional discretion. The inquiry. for the punishment for his refusal should be sought through the ordinary processes of the law. Experience has shown that mere requests for such information are often unavailing. Nazareno. 464. Balagtas. Said power must be considered implied or incidental to the exercise of legislative power. and 3. Noticeably absent is any recognition that executive officials are exempt from the duty to disclose information by the mere fact of being executive officials. otherwise known as the power of inquiry. or deterring or preventing it from exercising. 464). the investigation must be "in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure" and that "the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. absolute or unlimited.The Congress power of inquiry is expressly recognized in Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution. i.O. such as to legislate. it must have intended each department's authority to be full and complete.. It was admitted and we had ruled that the Senate has the authority to commit a witness if he refuses to answer a question pertinent to a legislative inquiry. is a proper subject for investigation. How could a legislative body obtain the knowledge and information on which to base intended legislation if it cannot require and compel the disclosure of such knowledge and information. independently of the other's authority or power. GR 169777). Since Congress has authority to inquire into the operations of the executive branch. if it is impotent to punish a defiance of its power and authority? When the framers of the Constitution adopted the principle of separation of powers. is co-extensive with the power to legislate. being a legitimate subject for legislation. To resolve the question of whether such withholding of information violates the Constitution. whether asserted against Congress. it would be incongruous to hold that the power of inquiry does not extend to executive officials who are the most familiar with and informed on executive operations. must be in aid of legislation.21) Any person As to who conducts the Investigation Entire body Committees As to the subject matter Matters related to the department only Any matter for the purpose of legislation E. because it is impotent by itself to punish or deal therewith. because he refused to reveal the identity of the person in accordance with the demands of the Senate Committee. And how could the authority and power become complete if for every act of refusal. its legitimate functions. every act of defiance. Its exercise is circumscribed by the aforequoted provision of the Constitution. must be material or necessary to the exercise of a power in it vested by the Constitution. e. the legislative body must resort to the judicial department for the appropriate remedy.incrimination. The power of both houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is not. i.O. From the discussion on the meaning and scope of executive privilege. Thus. subject of course to his constitutional right against self. as provided therein. by reason of its coercive power. The fact that the Constitution expressly hives to congress the power to punish its Members for disorderly behaviour. by the institution of a criminal action in a court of justice. the courts. a clear principle emerges. Ermita (E. While executive privilege is a constitutional concept. therefore. or to expel a Member. or necessary to effectuate said power.60 The matters which may be a proper subject of legislation and those which may be a proper subject of investigation are one. to be within the jurisdiction of the legislative body to make. that once that jurisdiction is conceded. The 1987 Constitution expressly recognizes the power of both houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation. both in the United States and in this jurisdiction.e. 2.
Without doubt. July 14. Motion for Recon. Ermita (G. it must be given legal effect. Before said date arrived. and the Fertilizer scam. Hence. Congress has the ultimate authority under the Constitution to determine whether the President is incapable of performing his functions in the manner provided for in section 11 of Article VII. for the sake of peace and in order to begin the healing process of our nation. It is significant that House Resolution No. mandated that ³all heads of departments of the Executive Branch of the government shall secure the consent of the President prior to appearing before either House of Congress. the courts. 176 cited as the bases of its judgment such factors as the ³people¶s loss of confidence on the ability of former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada to effectively govern´ and the ³members of the international community had extended their recognition of Her Excellency. did not rule on this issue. Both faced court marshal for such attendance. Resignation is not a high level legal abstraction. The Senate Committees sent invitations to various officials of the Executive Department and AFP officials for them to appear before Senate on Sept. Arroyo. the national spirit of reconciliation and solidarity could not be attained if he did not give up the presidency. The recognition of respondent Arroyo as our de jure president made by Congress is unquestionably a political judgment. Certainly. he was referring to the past opportunity given him to serve the people as President (4) he assured that he will not shirk from any future challenge that may come ahead in the same service of our country.a lbeit on leave and that respondent Arroyo is merely an acting President (Estrada vs. Needles to state. Executive Sec. 2001 when respondent took her oath as the 14th President of the Public.taking of the respondent as President of the Republic albeit with reservation about its legality.´ Senate refused the request. Gudani. GR 146738.´ This political judgment may be right or wrong but Congress is answerable only to the people for its judgment. Impoundment is the refusal of a President of the United States to spend money that has been appropriated by the U. he submits that the office of the President was not vacant when respondent Arroyo took her oath as President. It was confirmed by his leaving Malacanang. It was properly vetoed. effective immediately. The press release was petitioner's valedictory. 2005. It can be express. which. ISSUES: Whether or not EO 464 contravenes the power of inquiry vested in Congress . Gen.Arroyo as President of the Republic of the Philippines´ and it has a constitutional duty ³of fealty to the supreme will of the people x x x. Hence. the seat of the presidency.Provisions that are germane to the specific appropriations cannot be vetoed. It can be written. His presidency is now in the part tense (Estrada vs. Gloria Macapagal. Despite the lack of consent. On Sept. Balutan and Brig. Petitioner's reference is to a future challenge after occupying the office of the president which he has given up. Congress. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Executive Privilege The power of the Government to withhold information from the public. April 3. Executive Sec.Requirement of Congressional approval for release of funds for modernization of AFP can be incorporated in separate bill and hence inappropriate. He did not say he was leaving the Palace due to any kind inability and that he was going to re-assume the presidency as soon as the disability disappears: (3) he expressed his gratitude to the people for the opportunity to serve them. (1) he acknowledged the oath.Executive Impoundment ± refusal of the President to spend funds already allocated by Congress for a specific purpose (the duty to implement the law includes the duty to desist from implementing it when implementation would prejudice public interest). among all the AFP officials invited. we hold that the resignation of the petitioner cannot be doubted. As long as the resignation is clear. the President issued EO 464. Senate vs.78 The validity of a resignation is not government by any formal requirement as to form. 29. and the Congress. n sum.. It can be implied.´ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ PHILCONSA vs Enriquez . GR 146738. (2) he emphasized he was leaving the Palace. the courts. No.´ Pursuant to this Order. 2005. Arroyo. In the press release containing his final statement.S. among others. requesting for a postponement of the hearing on Sept. 2001). It can be oral. these petitions. 2006) FACTS: This case is regarding the railway project of the North Luzon Railways Corporation with the China National Machinery and Equipment Group as well as the Wiretapping activity of the ISAFP.´ The right of the President and high-level executive branch officers to withhold information from Congress. The Court. Ermita sent a letter to Senate President Drilon. attended the investigation. and (5) he called on his supporters to join him in the promotion of a constructive national spirit of reconciliation and solidarity. his final act of farewell. . Ermita communicated to the Senate that the executive and AFP officials would not be able to attend the meeting since the President has not yet given her consent. Col. and ultimately the public. however.R. The issue then is whether the petitioner resigned as President or should be considered resigned as of January 20. 29 in order to ³afford said officials ample time and opportunity to study and prepare for the various issues so that they may better enlighten the Senate Committee on its investigation. March 2. It is a factual question and its elements are beyond quibble: there must be an intent to resign and the intent must be coupled by acts of relinquishment. 169777. 28. the doctrine of separation of power constitutes an inseparable bar against this court¶s interposition of its power of judicial review to review the judgment of Congress rejecting petitioner¶s claim that he is still the President. .__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Removal of the President CASES Petitioner denies he resigned as President or that he suffers from a permanent disability. and rather declared the provision concerning benefits of CAFGUs as an inappropriate provision. 2001). Its wisdom is fit to be debated before the tribunal of the people and not before a court of justice.
It follows that the operation of government. and the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case. being a legitimate subject for legislation. allegedly stifles the ability of the members of Congress to access information that is crucial to law-making. Art. The power of inquiry is subject to judicial review xxx the right of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is. the interest of the petitioner in assailing the constitutionality of laws.. but more especially for sound legislation is not disputed.Whether or not EO 464 violates the right of the people to information on matters of public concern Whether or not respondents have committed grave abuse of discretion when they implemented EO 464 prior to its publication in a newspaper of general circulation RULING: ESSENTIAL REQUISITES OF JUDICIAL REVIEW: there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power. there would be less room for speculation on the part of the person invited on whether the inquiry is in aid of legislation. the Court already recognized that the power of inquiry is inherent in the power to legislate. it would be sheer abandonment of duty if this Court would now refrain from passing on the constitutionality of EO 464. orders and other regulations must be direct and personal. xxx That this power of inquiry is broad enough to cover officials of the executive branch may be deduced from the same case. Exemption to power of inquiry . (2) the presence of a clear case of disregard of a constitutional or statutory prohibition by the public respondent agency or instrumentality of the government. VI likewise establishes crucial safeguards that proscribe the legislative power of inquiry. in theory. ³with process to enforce it.. Sec. VI. necessarily implying the constitutional infirmity of an inquiry conducted without duly published rules of procedure. xxx the power of inquiry. 1. 21 also mandates that the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries be respected. In Francisco v. ACTUAL CASE/CONTROVERSY The Court finds respondents¶ assertion that the President has not withheld her consent or prohibited the appearance of the officials concerned immaterial in determining the existence of an actual case or controversy insofar as EO 464 is concerned.. Parenthetically. Art. For one. the Senate. including its individual members. VIII. the question of constitutionality must be raised as the earliest opportunity. Art.the inquiry itself might not properly be in aid of legislation. Given such statement in its investigations. It may thus be subjected to judicial review pursuant to the Court¶s certiorari powers under Sec. If the information possessed by executive officials on the operation of their offices is necessary for wise legislation on that subject. and (3) the lack of any party with a more direct and specific interest in raising the questions being raised. it would make no sense to wait for any further event before considering the present case ripe for adjudication. Standing of an ordinary citizen It is well-settled that when suing as a citizen. 21. LEGAL STANDING Standing of the Senate That the Senate of the Philippines has a fundamental right essential not only for intelligent public decision-making in a democratic system.. The provision requires that the inquiry be done in accordance with the Senate or House¶s duly published rules of procedure. along with the usual indication of the subject of inquiry and the questions relative to and in furtherance thereof..is to indicate in its invitations to the public officials concerned. direct injury as a result of its enforcement. legislators have standing to maintain inviolate the prerogative. Such inquiry could not usurp judicial functions. Congress has the right to that information and the power to compel the disclosure thereof. by parity of reasoning. has a substantial and direct interest over the outcome of the controversy and is the proper party to assail the constitutionality of EO 464. The matters which may be a proper subject of legislation and those which may be a proper subject of investigation are one. As the implementation of the challenged order has already resulted in the absence of officials invited to the hearings of petitioner Senate of the Philippines. presidential decrees.´ is grounded on the necessity of the information in the legislative process. an imposition that obligates Congress to adhere to the guarantees in the Bill of Rights. and thus beyond the constitutional power of Congress. is a proper subject for investigation. EO 464. no less susceptible to abuse than executive or judicial power. Sec. The power of inquiry The Congress power of inquiry is expressly recognized in Sec. or to any person for that matter. the person challenging the act must have standing to challenge the validity of the subject act or issuance. The power of inquiry. Nazareno. the mere fact that he is a citizen satisfies the requirement of personal interest. this Court held that when the proceeding involves the assertion of a public right. or will sustain. however. one possible way for Congress to avoid such a result. otherwise stated. Indeed. But as early as 1950 (the 1935 Constitution did not contain a similar provision) in Arnault v. Requisites for transcendental importance: Establish (1) the character of the funds (that it is public) or other assets involved in the case. Verily. For EO 464 does not require either a deliberative withholding of consent or an express prohibition issuing from the President in order to bar officials from appearing before Congress. House of Representatives. Indeed. powers and privileges vested by the Constitution in their office and are allowed to sue to question the validity of any official action which they claim infringes their prerogatives as legislators. the possible needed statute which prompted the need for the inquiry..is co-extensive with the power to legislate. 21. he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained.
Rozell defines it as ³the right of the President and high-level executive branch officers to withhold information from Congress. Constitutionality of Sec. The claim of executive privilege must be accompanied by specific allegation of basis thereof Certainly. Congress has the right to know why the executive considers the requested information privileged. VI. That the message is couched in terms that. must. VI and the absence of any reference to inquiries in aid of legislation. While executive privilege is a constitutional concept. Art. the courts. unless a valid claim of privilege is subsequently made. Such declaration leaves Congress in the dark on how the requested information could be classified as privileged. defined Schwartz defines executive privilege as ³the power of the Government to withhold information from the public. given the circumstances in which it is made. necessarily mean that it would be considered privileged in all instances. Another variety is the informer¶s privilege. judicial power is vested in a collegial body. 1. must be construed as limited in its application to appearances of department heads in the question hour contemplated in the provision of said Sec. the extraordinary character of the exemptions indicates that the presumption inclines heavily against executive secrecy and in favor of disclosure. each member thereof is exempt on the basis not only of separation of powers but also on the fiscal autonomy and the constitutional independence of the judiciary. and ultimately the public. Art... 22. xxx When Congress exercises its power of inquiry. It threatens to make Congress doubly blind to the question of why the executive branch is not providing it with the information that it has requested. however. is recognized only in relation to certain types of information of a sensitive character. the appearance of department heads in the question hour is discretionary on their part. hence. the Court notes that Section 2(b) of EO 464 virtually states that executive privilege actually covers persons. Congress is not bound in such instances to respect the refusal of the department head to appear in such inquiry. By the same token. A useful analogy in determining the requisite degree of particularity would be the privilege against self-incrimination xxx . limited as it is only to appearances in the question hour. It does not suffice to merely declare that the President. They are not exempt by the mere fact that they are department heads. For under Sec. It is based on her being the highest official of the executive branch.is properly invoked in relation to specific categories of information and not to categories of persons. it should be respected xxx Upon the other hand. the courts. and the Congress. Unlike the Presidency. 2 and 3. therefore.´ Kinds of executive privilege One variety of the privilege. Validity of Sec. That a type of information is recognized as privileged does not.Even where the inquiry is in aid of legislation.. Only one executive official may be exempted from this power ± the President on whom executive power is vested.is the state secrets privilege. there are still recognized exemptions to the power of inquiry. Finally.´ Executive privilege. and the due respect accorded to a co-equal branch of government which is sanctioned by a long-standing custom. or the privilege of the Government not to disclose the identity of persons who furnish information of violations of law to officers charged with the enforcement of that law. or the public.´ Similarly. be clearly asserted xxx Absent then a statement of the specific basis of a claim of executive privilege. VI xxx The requirement then to secure presidential consent under Section 1. recommendations and deliberations comprising part of a process by which governmental decisions and policies are formulated. do not seem like a claim of privilege only makes it more pernicious. 22 of Art.on the ground that the information is of such nature that its disclosure would subvert crucial military or diplomatic objectives. or an authorized head of office.. in view of its specific reference to Sec.. EO 464 Section 1. being a claim of exemption from an obligation to disclose information. there is no way of determining whether it falls under one of the traditional privileges. has determined that it is so. whether asserted against Congress. either by the President herself or by the Executive Secretary. a claim thereof may be valid or not depending on the ground invoked to justify it and the context in which it is made. the question that must be asked is not only whether the requested information falls within one of the traditional privileges. is valid on its face. Such is a misuse of the doctrine. a generic privilege for internal deliberations has been said to attach to intragovernmental documents reflecting advisory opinions. Section 1 cannot. 22. Congress must not require the executive to state the reasons for the claim with such particularity as to compel disclosure of the information which the privilege is meant to protect. For in determining the validity of a claim of privilege. but also whether that privilege should be honored in a given procedural setting. which exemptions falls under the rubric of ³executive privilege. on first impression. the only way for department heads to exempt themselves therefrom is by a valid claim of privilege. beyond the reach of Congress except through the power of impeachment. or whether. A claim of privilege. hence.. however. Noticeably absent is any recognition that executive officials are exempt from the duty to disclose information by the mere fact of being executive officials. The principle of executive privilege Executive privilege. Executive privilege. be applied to appearances of department heads in inquiries in aid of legislation. Indeed. and that the President has not overturned that determination. the courts. EO 464 En passant. members of the Supreme Court are also exempt from this power of inquiry.
This is necessary in order to provide the President or the Executive Secretary with fair opportunity to consider whether the matter indeed calls for a claim of executive privilege. Due process thus requires that the people should have been apprised of this issuance before it was implemented. neither the President nor the Executive Secretary invokes the privilege. such determination is presumed to bear the President¶s authority and has the effect of prohibiting the official from appearing before Congress. once the head of office determines that a certain information is privileged. except in a highly qualified sense. Implementation of EO 464 prior to its publication While EO 464 applies only to officials of the executive branch.´ which means that he personally consulted with her. EO 464 unlawfully delegated authority to the heads of offices in Sec. he must be afforded reasonable time to inform the President or the Executive Secretary of the possible need for invoking the privilege. Congress is no longer bound to respect the failure of the official to appear before Congress and may then opt to avail of the necessary legal means to compel his appearance. by definition. might be covered by executive privilege. 2(b) is thus invalid per se. afer the lapse of that reasonable time. If. For one. therefore.The claim of privilege under Sec. just as direct as its violation of the legislature¶s power of inquiry. 2(b) to determine certain information as privileged Section 2(b) in relation to Section 3 virtually provides that. Although the above statement was made in reference to statutes.. On the need for publishing even those statutes that do not directly apply to people in genera. logic dictates that the challenged order must be covered by the publication requirement. however. subject only to the express pronouncement of the President that it is allowing the appearance of such official. in which case the Executive Secretary must state that the authority is ³By order of the President. being presumed to be in aid of legislation. the Court finds it essential to limit to the President the power to invoke the privilege. Instead of providing precise and certain reasons for the claim. . It is not asserted. an exemption from the obligation to disclose information. It surely cannot be said that such a law does not affect the public although it unquestionably does not apply directly to all the people. clear distinctions between the right of Congress to information which underlies the power of inquiry and the right of the people to information on matters of public concern. The privilege being. These provisions thus allow the President to authorize claims of privilege by mere silence. The citizens are thereby denied access to information which they can use in formulating their own opinions on the matter before Congress ± opinions which they can then communicate to their representatives and other governmental officials through various legal means allowed by their freedom of expression xxx The impairment of the right of the people to information as a consequence of EO 464 is. Such presumptive authorization. Thus. it does not follow that the same is exempt from the need for publication.. It severely frustrates the power of inquiry of Congress. it merely invokes EO 464. Tuvera states: ³The term µlaws¶ should refer to all laws and not only to those of general application. EO 464 has a direct effect on the right of the people to information on matters of public concern. In other words. that in every exercise of its power of inquiry. as a matter of necessity. Tanada v. To the extent that investigations in aid of legislation are generally conducted in public. or in those instances where exemption from disclosure is necessary to the discharge of highly important executive responsibilities.is recognized with respect to information the confidential nature of which is crucial to the fulfillment of the unique role and responsibilities of the executive branch. even in courts of justice. the President may not authorize her subordinates to exercise such power. coupled with an announcement that the President has not given her consent. Right to Information There are. Executive privilege. is presumed to be a matter of public concern. in this case to Congress. It is merely implied. The doctrine of executive privilege is thus premised on the fact that certain informations (sic) must. is contrary to the exception nature of the privilege. be kept confidential in pursuit of the public interest. therefore. Section 3 and Section 2(b) of EO 464 must be invalidated. 3. it does not follow. however. it must be wielded only by the highest official in the executive hierarchy. in his own judgment. How executive privilege should be applied in the case of an official xxx when an official is being summoned by Congress on a matter which. while Congress is composed of representatives elected by the people. EO 464 in relation to Sec. in the sense explained above. any executive assistance tending to unduly limit disclosures of information in such investigations necessarily deprives the people of information which. In light of this highly exceptional nature of the privilege. the people are exercising their right to information. As explained above. The privilege being an extraordinary power. It is woefully insufficient for Congress to determine whether the withholding of information is justified under the circumstances of each case. It is. In fine. An example is a law granting citizenship to a particular individual. Neither does the right to information grant a citizen the power to exact testimony from government officials. it bears noting. a matter of public interest which members of the body politic may question before this Court. The subject of the law is a matter of public interest which any member of the body politic may question in the political forums or. for strictly speaking all laws relate to the people in general albeit there are some that do not apply to them directly. These powers belong only to Congress and not to an individual citizen. if he is a proper party. the necessity must be of such high degree as to outweigh the public interest in enforcing that obligation in a particular case. the demand of a citizen for the production of documents pursuant to his right to information does not have the same obligatory force as a subpoena duces tecum issued by Congress. She may of course authorize the Executive Secretary to invoke the privilege on her behalf. like a relative of President Marcos who was decreed instant naturalization.
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