G.R. No.


February 28, 1957

LORENZO M. TAÑADA and DIOSDADO MACAPAGAL, petitioners, vs. MARIANO JESUS CUENCO, FRANCISCO A. DELGADO, ALFREDO CRUZ, CATALINA CAYETANO, MANUEL SERAPIO, PLACIDO REYES, and FERNANDO HIPOLITO in his capacity as cashier and disbursing officer,respondents. Tañada, Teehankee and Macapagal for petitioners. Office of the Solicitor General Ambrosio Padilla and Solicitor Troadio T. Quiazon, Jr. for respondents. CONCEPCION, J.: Petitioner Lorenzo M. Tañada is a member of the Senate of the Philippines, and President of the Citizens Party, whereas petitioner Diosdado Macapagal, a member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, was one of the official candidates of the Liberal Party for the Senate, at the General elections held in November, 1955, in which Pacita Madrigal Warns, Lorenzo Sumulong, Quintin Paredes, Francisco Rodrigo, Pedro Sabido, Claro M. Recto, Domocao Alonto and Decoroso Rosales, were proclaimed elected. Subsequently, the elections of this Senators-elect-who eventually assumed their respective seats in the Senate-was contested by petitioner Macapagal, together with Camilo Osias, Geronima Pecson, Macario Peralta, Enrique Magalona, Pio Pedrosa and William Chiongbian-who had, also, run for the Senate, in said election-in Senate Electoral Case No. 4, now pending before the Senate Electoral Tribunal. . The Senate, in its session of February 22, 1956, upon nomination of Senator Cipriano Primicias, on behalf of the Nacionalista Party, chose Senators Jose P. Laurel, Fernando Lopez and Cipriano Primicias, as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. Upon nomination of petitioner Senator Tañada, on behalf of the Citizens Party, said petitioner was next chosen by the Senate as member of said Tribunal. Then, upon nomination of Senator Primicias on behalf of the Committee on Rules of the Senate, and over the objections of Senators Tañada and Sumulong, the Senate choose respondents Senators Mariano J. Cuenco and Francisco A. Delgado as members of the same Electoral Tribunal. Subsequently, the Chairman of the latter appointed: (1) Alfredo Cruz and Catalina Cayetano, as technical assistant and private secretary, respectively, to Senator Cuenco, as supposed member of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, upon his recommendation of said respondent; and (2) Manuel Serapio and Placido Reyes, as technical assistant and private secretary, respectively to Senator Delgado, as supposed member of said Electoral Tribunal, and upon his recommendation. Soon, thereafter, Senator Lorenzo M. Tañada and Congressman Diosdado Macapagal instituted the case at bar against Senators Cuenco and Delgado, and said Alfredo Cruz, Catalina Cayetano, Manuel Serapio and Placido Reyes, as well as Fernando Hipolito, in his capacity as Cashier and Disbursing Officer of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. Petitioners allege that on February 22, 1956, as well as at present, the Senate consists of 23 Senators who belong to the Nacionalista Party, and one (1) Senator-namely, petitioner, Lorenzo M. Tañada-belonging to the Citizens Party; that the Committee on Rules for the Senate, in nominating Senators Cuenco and Delgado, and the Senate, in choosing these respondents, as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, had "acted absolutely without power or color of authority and in clear violation .. of Article VI, Section 11 of the Constitution"; that "in assuming membership in the Senate Electoral Tribunal, by taking the corresponding oath of office therefor", said respondents had "acted absolutely without color of appointment or authority and are unlawfully, and in violation of the Constitution, usurping, intruding into and exercising the powers of members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal"; that, consequently, the appointments of respondents, Cruz, Cayetano, Serapio and Reyes, as technical

assistants and private secretaries to Senators Cuenco and Delgado-who caused said appointments to be made-as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, are unlawful and void; and that Senators Cuenco and Delgado "are threatening and are about to take cognizance of Electoral Case No. 4 of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, as alleged members thereof, in nullification of the rights of petitioner Lorenzo M. Tañada, both as a Senator belonging to the Citizens Party and as representative of the Citizens Party in the Senate Electoral Tribunal, and in deprivation of the constitutional rights of petitioner Diosdado Macapagal and his co-protestants to have their election protest tried and decided-by an Electoral Tribunal composed of not more than three (3) senators chosen by the Senate upon nomination of the party having the largest number of votes in the Senate and not more than the (3) Senators upon nomination of the Party having the second largest number of votes therein, together, three (3) Justice of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice, instead of by an Electoral Tribunal packed with five members belonging to the Nacionalista Party, which is the rival party of the Liberal Party, to which the Petitioner Diosdado Macapagal and his co-protestants in Electoral Case No. 4 belong, the said five (5) Nacionalista Senators having been nominated and chosen in the manner alleged.. hereinabove.". Petitioners pray that:. "1. Upon petitioners' filing of bond in such amount as may be determined by this Honorable Court, a writ of preliminary injunction be immediately issued directed to respondents Mariano J. Cuenco, Francisco A. Delgado, Alfredo Cruz, Catalina Cayetano, Manuel Serapio and Placido Reyes, restraining them from continuing to usurp, intrude into and/ or hold or exercise the said public offices respectively being occupied by them in the Senate Electoral Tribunal, and to respondent Fernando Hipolito restraining him from paying the salaries of respondent Alfredo Cruz, Catalina Cayetano, Manuel Serapio and Placido Reyes, pending this action. "2. After hearing, judgment be rendered ousting respondent Mariano J. Cuenco Francisco A. Delgado, Alfredo Cruz, Catalina Cayetano, Manuel Serapio and Placido Reyes from the aforementioned public offices in the Senate Electoral Tribunal and that they be altogether excluded therefrom and making the Preliminary injunction permanent, with costs against the respondents.". Respondents have admitted the main allegations of fact in the petition, except insofar as it questions the legality, and validity of the election of respondents Senators Cuenco and Delgado, as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, and of the appointment of respondent Alfredo Cruz, Catalina Cayetano, Manuel Serapio and Placido Reyes as technical assistants and private secretaries to said respondents Senators. Respondents, likewise, allege, by way of special and affirmative defenses, that: (a) this Court is without power, authority of jurisdiction to direct or control the action of the Senate in choosing the members of the Electoral Tribunal; and (b) that the petition states no cause of action, because "petitioner Tañada has exhausted his right to nominate after he nominated himself and refused to nominate two (2) more Senators", because said petitioner is in estoppel, and because the present action is not the proper remedy. . I. Respondents assail our jurisdiction to entertain the petition, upon the ground that the power to choose six (6) Senators as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal has been expressly conferred by the Constitution upon the Senate, despite the fact that the draft submitted to the constitutional convention gave to the respective political parties the right to elect their respective representatives in the Electoral Commission provided for in the original Constitution of the Philippines, and that the only remedy available to petitioners herein "is not in the judicial forum", but "to bring the matter to the bar of public opinion.". We cannot agree with the conclusion drawn by respondents from the foregoing facts. To begin with, unlike the cases of Alejandrino vs. Quezon (46 Phil., 83) and Vera vs. Avelino (77 Phil., 192)-relied upon by the

but who has not lost in the Supreme Court? I may lose because of the theory of the separation of powers. under the Constitution. under the Constitution. on the floor of the Senate. 4. 818. Mr. Chief Accountant. the duty to do so. having the second largest number of votes in the Senate. not only jurisdiction to pass upon said issue." (Congressional Record.." This allegation may give the impression that said petitioner had declared. During the discussions in the Senate. to allow the petitioners to perform their duties as members of said House. there can be no reason why the validity of an act of one of said Houses. Again. said nomination and election took place the day after the aforementioned statement of Senator Tañada was made. and on the other hand. Mr. they do not encroach upon the powers of a coordinate branch of the. therefore. the courts have. to bring the matter to the bar of public opinion' (p.. in which this Court proceeded to determine the number essential to constitute a quorum in the Senate. such question being a political one. At any rate. the main purpose of the petition being "to force upon the Senate the reinstatement of Senator Magalona in the Commission on Appointments. whenever the conflicting claims of the parties to a litigation cannot properly be settled without inquiring into the validity of an act of Congress or of either House thereof. We are not called upon. but that does not mean. also. Vol. by whom certain powers shall be exercised. that the Citizens Party is the party with the second largest number of votes in the Senate. in the case at bar. This was decided in the negative. over the objection of said Citizens Party. upon the authority of Alejandrino vs. 17). by our resolutions in Avelino vs. in favor of a resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution. that his only relief against the acts complained of in the petition is to take up the issue before the people. has said one day. Vol. we can appeal to public opinion. by the Senate. by Senator Primicias. Indeed. This statement did not refer to the nomination.. Senator Primicias claiming to act on behalf of the Committee on Rules for the Senate. Lopez Vito (78 Phil. as Senator Rodriguez. President. as a precedent. Hence. 462.. not one justiciable in nature.). In fact. Senator. 224. and the election. whether the case at bar raises merely a political question. this does not detract from the power of the courts to pass upon the constitutionality of acts of Congress 1 And. that what has been done here is pursuant to the provision of the Constitution. therefore. "If you take this matter to the Supreme Court. In the one case we are seeking to ascertain upon whom devolves the duty of the particular service. sufficed to satisfy the requirements of the latter. like that of any other branch of the Government. could possibly be entertained is. Suanes vs. and annulled certain acts of the Executive 3 as incompatible with the fundamental law. this Court declared that a resolution of the defunct National Assembly could not bar the exercise of the powers of the former Electoral Commission under the original Constitution. either by the Nacionalista Party. although the Senate has.. which is a political question. despite the fact that it involved an inquiry into the powers of the Senate and its President over the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the personnel thereof. and approved by the Executive. emphasis supplied. .which is not a fact." But that learned opinion of Senator Rodriguez. 339. Avelino (supra). on the one hand. notwithstanding. it being conceded. 654). "the legislative power" is vested exclusively in the Congress of the Philippines. to which party the Constitution gives the right to nominate three (3) Senators for the Senate electoral Tribunal-could validly choose therefor two (2) Nacionalista Senators. respondents assert in their answer that "the remedy of petitioners is not in the judicial forum. 1956. February 21. but an appeal to public opinion. 2 (Angara vs. Secondly. you will lose.). In performing the latter function. In this connection. our President. however. The issue before us is whether the Senate-after acknowledging that the Citizens Party is the party. and it does not seek to compel the latter. is whether a right vested by the Constitution in the Citizens Party may validly be exercised. . because until now the Supreme Court has always ruled against any action that would constitute interference in the business of anybody pertaining to the Senate. to use petitioner. has been weakened. 1) and Cabili vs. Yet. in the course of the organization of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. the issue depended mainly on the determination of the political alignment of the members of the Senate at the time of said reorganization and of the necessity or advisability of effecting said reorganization. p. III. in point. The issue. 63 Phil. 81. "The courts are called upon to say.. upon nomination by the floor leader of the Nacionalista Party in the Senate. The weight of this decision." (Judicial Self-Limitation by Finkelstein. The theory of separation of powers will be upheld by the Supreme Court. I may lose. invoked by respondents. which cannot be evaded without violating the fundamental law and paving the way to its eventual destruction. to pass upon an identical or similar question.respondents this is not an action against the Senate.". 81 Phil. Electoral Commission. but. xxx xxx xxx The only ground upon which respondents' objection to the jurisdiction of this Court and their theory to the effect that the proper remedy for petitioners herein is. (Angara vs. one is the remedy open to all of us that if we feel aggrieved and there is no recourse in the court of justice. Electoral Commission. Quezon (supra) and Vera vs. since the determination of the validity of an act is not the same. not the present action. pp. Thus. the fundamental law has prescribed the manner in which the authority shall be exercised. In the other case we are merely seeking to determine whether the Constitution has been violated by anything done or attented by either an executive official or the legislative. The issue in the Cabili case was whether we could review a resolution of the Senate reorganizing its representation in the Commission on Appointments. 244. the case at bar does not hinge on the number of votes needed for a particular act of said body. thing as the performance of the act. Tañada's own words. This Court exercised its jurisdiction over said case and decided the same on the merits thereof. Of course. Cuenco (83 Phil. either directly or indirectly. I may take the case to the Supreme Court if my right herein is not respected. the exclusive power to choose the Senators who shall form part of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. of Senators Cuenco and Delgado as members of said Tribunal. the latter is part neither of Congress nor of the Senate. Chief Accountant (supra) cited by respondent refutes their own pretense. the latter announced that he might "take the case to the Supreme Court if my right here is not respected. Besides. As the author of a very enlightening study on judicial self-limitation has aptly put it:." onehalf (1/2) of the members of which is to be elected by each House on the basis of proportional representation of the political parties therein. Discussion on the Creation of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. 46 Off. Harvard Law Review. it was held that the courts could not review the finding of the Senate to the effect that the members thereof who had been suspended by said House should not be considered in determining whether the votes cast therein. in the exercise of the so-called "judicial supremacy". nomination. government. our President here. Another remedy is an action in the Supreme Court. Senator Tañada replied:. 221. likewise. Senator Tañada was asked what remedies he would suggest if he nominated two (2) Nacionialista Senators and the latter declined the. supra). emphasis supplied. on February 21. since judicial power includes the authority to inquire into the legality of statutes enacted by the two Houses of Congress. In the Mabanag case. "There are two remedies that occur to my mind right now. President. impliedly. Francisco (88 Phil. or by the Committee on Rules for the Senate.). Neither are the cases of Mabanag vs. Mr. 1956). but clearly. The case of Suanes vs. 39. 139. Gaz. Although the Constitution provides that the Senate shall choose six (6) Senators to be members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. but. to determine whether the powers possessed have been validly exercised. may not be determined in the proper actions.

Such is not the nature of the question for determination in the present case. and hence. 51 L. II. emphasis supplied. 25 L. 41. not merely because they involve political question. The recognition of this principle. are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity. is not a political one and may be settled by the Courts. so long as he observes the laws and acts within the limits of the power conferred. Here. The question thus raised is a fundamental one.. not primarily because they are of a political nature. A. when it is. 42 Am. contravenes the constitutional mandate that said members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal shall be chosen "upon nomination .As already adverted to. 32 Pac.). Elizalde. 72 App. 90. If this is correct." (Willoughby on the Constitution of the United States. the term "political question" connotes. not only jurisdiction. a question of policy. by the Senate. or the executive to exercise authority not granted him by the Constitution or by. . of a particular measure. the legislative and executive departments are spoken of as the political departments of government because in very many cases their action is necessarily dictated by considerations of public or political policy. 30 L. it refers to "those questions which. Cunningham. 182 N. but because the Constitution and laws have placed the particular matter under his control. particularly. also Geauga Lake Improvement Ass'n. as members of the Electoral Tribunal. and these determinations. but. 1326. see. The Governor may exercise the powers delegated to him. 516. the manner in which those powers are exercised is not subject to judicial review. in legal parlance. The Senate is not clothed with "full discretionary authority" in the choice of members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. 408). fall within its scope. In this connection. 411.). therefore. Green vs. A. unknown except in Great Britain and America. It is. but because they are matters which the people have by the Constitution delegated to the Legislature. To the same effect is the language used in Corpus Juris Secundum. E. to define the phrase `political question'. to consider and determine the principal issue raised by the parties herein. Thus. together with the consequences that flow therefrom.J. Is the election of Senators Cuenco and Delgado. they do permit the departments. See State vs. the objection to our jurisdiction hinges on the question whether the issue before us is political or not. R." (16 C. C. 112 F. 69 Fed. Thus the Legislature may in its discretion determine whether it will pass a law or submit a proposed constitutional amendment to the people. 5 . E. C. statute. 155. therefore. namely. said that a question is political. regardless of the actual vote upon the amendment. These considerations of public or political policy of course will not permit the legislature to violate constitutional provisions. the court has no jurisdiction as the certificate of the state canvassing board would then be final. 470. which under the constitution. 19 L." It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom. 561. " . is that it is a matter which. "It is not easy. In other words. or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the Legislature or executive branch of the Government. A. vs. "Elsewhere in this treatise the well-known and well-established principle is considered that it is not within the province of the courts to pass judgment upon the policy of legislative or executive action. Moreover. 108. This is not a political question. The Court said:. xxx xxx x x x. Mills. A. "At the threshold of the case we are met with the assertion that the questions involved are political.. 413. Fletcher vs. under the Constitution. reads:. not legality. 143. valid and lawful?. but. Lozier. or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. as well as through the executive or the Legislature. and not judicial. 497. discretionary powers are granted by the Constitution or by statute. is to be exercised by the people in their primary political capacity. the nature of political question was considered carefully.. emphasis supplied. nor to determine what matters. concern themselves only with the question as to the existence and extent of these discretionary powers. 151 Ill. It is clearly within the legitimate prove of the judicial department to pass upon the validity the proceedings in connection therewith. "As distinguished from the judicial. One department is just as representative as the other. In the case of In re McConaughy (119 N. in the language of Corpus Juris Secundum (supra). also.. the duty. 565. may not be traversed in the courts. by the Senate. 683. with discretionary power to act. Willoughby lucidly states:. except to the extent that power to deal with such questions has been conferred upon the courts by express constitutional or statutory provisions. Section 11 of Article VI of the Constitution. within these limits." (16 C. Tuttle. Sevilla vs. upon nomination by Senator Primicias-a member and spokesman of the party having the largest number of votes in the Senate-on behalf of its Committee on Rules. St. The courts. the judiciary may determine whether a particular election has been in conformity with such statute. we are called upon to decide whether the election of Senators Cuenco and Delgado. 948.S. His discretionary acts cannot be controllable. D. whether such statute has been applied in a way to deny or transgress on the constitutional or statutory rights . is necessary. What is generally meant. as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. and. In Re Gunn.. to recognize that a certain set of facts exists or that a given status exists. 519.). 50 Kan. acting through the courts.. where the legislative department has by statute prescribed election procedure in a given situation. Rep. from which we quote:. In short. 3. The courts have no judicial control over such matters. is null and void. 852. what it means in ordinary parlance. and the judiciary is the department which is charged with the special duty of determining the limitations which the law places upon all official action. but it has been so often decided contrary to the view contended for by the Attorney General that it would seem to be finally settled. separately or together. whether an election of public officers has been in accordance with law is for the judiciary. of the party having the second largest number of votes" in the Senate. 491. therefore. emphasis supplied. A. emphasis supplied. p." (pp. 220. it has been repeatedly held that the question whether certain amendments to the Constitution are invalid for non-compliance with the procedure therein prescribed. 37 N. But every officer under a constitutional government must act according to law and subject him to the restraining and controlling power of the people. are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity. 125 Ohio St. The exercise of its power thereon is subject to constitutional limitations which are claimed to be mandatory in nature. 417. R. to the end that the government may be one of laws and not men'-words which Webster said were the greatest contained in any written constitutional document.). 2d 29. free from judicial control. "It is well-settled doctrine that political questions are not within the province of the judiciary. R. C. however.. and not judicial. Vol.S. Where.W. 16. ". or that it has been specifically delegated to some other department or particular officer of the government. R. our opinion that we have.J. 439. It is frequently used to designate all questions that lie outside the scope of the judicial questions. 81 Wis.

Mr. Without an objection. in order to comply with the provision in the Constitution. to which Senator Tañada belongs and which he represents. 1956. Senator Sabido moved that Senator Tañada. with Senator Sumulong. nominated. he being the only Senator who belongs to the minority party in said House (Do. After some discussion. being devoid of authority to nominate the aforementioned members of said Tribunal. so that. and the appointment of their co-respondents.. Respondents allege. In the session of the Senate held on February 21. do. Mr. President. as the case may be". but. February 22. are null and void and have been made without power or color of authority. should be nominated by "the party having the second largest number of votes" in the Senate. Senators Laurel. as members of said Tribunal.. not because I don't believe that they do not deserve to be appointed to the tribunal but because of my sincere and firm conviction that these additional nominations are not sanctioned by the Constitution.". himself." six (6) of whom "shall be members of the Senate or of the House of Representatives. "SENATOR SUMULONG. pp. do. 338.. Thereupon." that. and qualifications of their respective Members. he thereby "waived his right to no two more Senators. Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members.) Los que no lo esten digan. Senator Sabido withdrew his motion above referred to. pp. Senator Tañada objected formally to this motion upon the-ground: (a) that the right to nominate said members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal belongs. I also wish to record my objection to the last nominations. relative to the number of members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. and that is Senator Lorenzo M. namely. "Now.m. "EL PRESIDENTE INTERINO. after the nomination by said party.. Said Senator Primicias and the Senate merely complied with the aforementioned provision of the fundamental law. President. Subsequently. President. 360-364. Although the deliberations of the Senate consumed the whole morning and afternoon of February 22." (Emphasis supplied. Senators Cuenco and Delgado are de jure members of said body. not to the Nacionalista Party of which Senator Sabido and the other Senators are members-but to the Citizens Party. not only seconding the opposition of Senator Tañada.) Los que esten conformes con la nominacion hecha por el Presidente del Comite de Reglamentos a favor de los Senadores Delgado y Cuenco para ser miembros del Tribunal Electoral.on which Senators Paredes. as the one having the second largest number of votes in the Senate. as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal-Senator Tañada nominated himself only."The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election. p. according to the provision above-quoted. "On behalf of the Citizens Party. 345. 358. "SENATOR TAÑADA. however. has such authority. What took place thereafter appears in the following quotations from the Congressional Record for the Senate. Senator Primicias. and (b) that Senator Sabido's motion would compel Senator Tañada to nominate three (3) Senators to said Tribunal. 330. of Senators Laurel. 349. 339. expressed their views (Do. Esta dispuesto el Senado a votar? (Varios Senadores: Si. Senator Primicias stood up and said:. 336. It appears that on February 22. When session was resumed at 8:10 p." in his discretion. do. in which Senators Primicias. For the reasons that I have stated a few moments ago when I took the floor. three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice. maintaining that "Senator Tañada should nominate only one" member of the Senate. 350. admittedly. and the election by the Senate. Pelaez. 1956 (Do. Tañada.whether or not one who does not belong to said party may be nominated by its spokesman. with a view to seeking a compromise formula (Do. who shall be members thereof. although as representative of the minority party in the Senate he has "the right to nominate one. as well as the other Senators already mentioned. emphasis supplied. as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. Senator Tañada . the other Senators. when Senator Primicias nominated Senators Cuenco and Delgado. I nominate the only Citizens Party member in this Body. Petitioners maintain that said nomination and election of Senators Cuenco and Delgado-who belong to the Nacionalista Party-as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. Lopez and Primicias. 1956. on motion of Senator Laurel.). Senators Delgado and Cuenco. to the nomination of two additional NP's to the Electoral Tribunal. digan. and the Senate elected. namely. Then. 343). which. as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. for. "the President of the Citizens Party. 329. Zulueta. "SENATOR SUMULONG. and such party is. and their election by the Senate. on behalf of the Nacionalista Party. So. Alfredo Cruz. Manuel Serapio and Placido Reyes is valid and lawful. III. and. Vol. that the constitutional mandate to the effect that "each Electoral Tribunal shall be compose of nine (9) members. must necessarily be nominated by the party having the second largest number of votes in the Senate. a satisfactory solution of the question before the Senate appeared to be remote. si. and the remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or of the House of Representatives. 377). 364. and Rodrigo took part. do. "EL PRESIDENTE INTERINO. Senator Tañada stated:. III. as the case may be.).) Queda aprobada. 375). "EL PRESIDENTE INTERINO. Rosales and Laurel. 328-329). Cea. Thus. this nomination was approved by the House. Lopez and Primicias. and these respondents were chosen by the Senate. the president of said party. Vol. Senator Tañada further stated that he reserved the right to determine how many he would nominate. referring to those who.m. two or three to the Electoral Tribunal. three upon nomination of the party having the largest number of votes and three of the party having the second largest number of votes therein. Caballero de Quezon.. Caballero de Rizal. that. (Varios Senadores: Si. also. already. I would like to record my opposition to the nominations of the last two named gentlemen.. pp. Then. Catalina Cayetano.. is mandatory. a new issue was raised . on behalf of the minority party. 1956.. no (Silencio. pp. the meeting was suspended. be given the privilege to nominate . the Committee on Rules of the Senate-and I am now making this proposal not on behalf of the Nacionalista Party but on behalf of the Committee on Rules of the Senate-I nominate two other members to complete the membership of the Tribunal: Senators Delgado and Cuenco. at 7:40 p. 332-333. Lim. as well as at present. Sumulong. "SENATOR TAÑADA. that when-after the nomination of three (3) Senators by the majority party. who is. the Nacionalista Party cannot give it to the Citizens Party. Senator Tañada. 369). 377.". who shall be chosen by each House. The Senior Justice in each Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman. the Senate adjourned until the next morning. the Senate of the Philippines consists of twenty three (23) members of the Nacionalista Party and one (1) member of the Citizens Party. Mr. accordingly.. The Constitution only permits the Nacionalista Party or the party having the largest number of votes to nominate three. returns. pp. pursuant to the Constitution." (Congressional Record for the Senate. the minority party in this Body. . said issues were debated upon more extensively. 354. three (3) members" of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (Congressional Record for the Senate. also. the Citizens Party.. after hearing the reasons of Senator Sabido in support of his motion.

that when Senator Tañada was included in the Nacionalista Party ticket in 1953. that although Senator Tañada formed part of the Nacionalista Party before the end of 1955.. 376. p.. "At present Senator Tañada is considered as forming the only minority or the one that has the second largest number of votes in the existing Senate. which is clear. itself to the discretion of some other department. contemporary or practical construction is not necessarily binding upon the courts.. ". stating:. The undue delay in the dispatch of election contests for legislative seats. not a fusion. 360.. "if in the judgment of the court. if any. emphasis supplied." which "approximates the situation desired by the framers of the Constitution" (Congressional Record for the Senate Vol. such construction is erroneous and its further application is not made imperative by any paramount considerations of public policy. even in a doubtful case. and that Senator Tañada "is the distinguished president of the Citizens Party. We have to bear in mind...)." (Id. therefore.At the outset. "The experience of the Filipino people under the provisions of the organic laws which left to the lawmaking body the determination of the elections. that is the reality of the actual situation-that he is not a Nacionalista now. 329-330). Similarly. now. I don't believe that we should be allowed to grant this authority to Senator Tañada only as a privilege but we must grant it as a matter of right. . returns and qualifications of members of the Legislative Department. it relies upon the compulsory nature of the word "shall". has the right and not a mere privilege to nominate. Nacionalista Party. while. for the practical construction of a Constitution is of little. therein used. as the party having the second largest number of votes in said House. and that. The flaw in the position taken in said opinion and by respondent herein is that. if any. said opinion has little. therefore. Referring." (16 C. and should be considered directory as regards the procedure for their selection. Commenting on the frame of mind of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Senator Sabido withdrew his motion to grant Senator Tañada the "privilege" to nominate. it may he rejected. "as a general rule. 6. and will not be allowed to distort or in any way change its natural meaning. Senator Primicias inquired why the movant had used the word "privilege". More important still. Moreover. "where the meaning of a constitutional provision is clear. as a distinguished citizen and public official. Senator Sabido explained that the present composition of the Senate had created a condition or situation which was not anticipated by the framers of our Constitution.. Regardless of the respect due its author. 1939.. there is not the slightest doubt in our mind that the purpose and spirit of said provisions do not warrant said change and that the rejection of the latter is demanded by paramount considerations of public policy. emphasis supplied. S. respondents have not even tried to show and we cannot conceive-why "shall" must be deemed mandatory insofar as the number of members of each Electoral Tribunal. thereafter. What is more. pp. Senator Sumulong maintained that "Senator Tañada. . and it is clear in my mind that there is such a party. it ignores the fact that the same term is used with respect to the method prescribed for their election. Jose M. 32. gradually built up a camp of thought in the Philippines inclined to leave to . . it will be recalled that the proceedings the organization of the Senate Electoral Tribunal began with a motion of Senator Sabido to the effect that "the distinguished gentleman from Quezon. objection whatsoever. Indeed." 6a Again." Hence.. Aruego. his situation .. as regards the number of members of the Electoral Tribunals. id.) 6b. In fact so blatant was the lack of political justice in the decisions that there was. the minority party in this Body"-not only without any. As a consequence. with the approval of the Senate-leave no room for doubt that the Senate-leave no room for doubt that the Senate has regarded the Citizens Party. When the Citizens Party entered into a mere coalition.. I think that on equitable ground and from the point of view of public opinion. the President of the Citizens Party. Then Senator Lim intervened.)... it is only in cases of substantial doubt and ambiguity that the doctrine of contemporaneous or practical construction has any application". is not that right? And if this is so. and that. represented by Senator Tañada. when they faced the task of providing for the adjudication of contests relating to the election. refute respondents' pretense. "The faith of the people in the uprightness of the lawmaking body in the performance of this function assigned to it in the organic laws was by no means great. that he is the head and the representative of the Citizens Party. and the very apparent injection of partisanship in the determination of a great number of the cases were decried by a great number of the people as well as by the organs of public opinion. party interests controlled and dictated the decisions. ". that party did not lose its personality as a party separate and distinct from the. pertinent parts of which are quoted at the footnote. for in a great number of cases. who remarked. he belongs to the minority. he subsequently parted ways with" said party.there is no doubt that he does not belong to the majority in the first place. and from the point of view of the spirit of the Constitution it would be a good thing if we grant the opportunity to Senator Tañada to help us in the organization of this Electoral Tribunal (Id. And we should also remember that the certificate of candidacy filed by Senator Tañada in the 1953 election was one to the effect that he belonged to the Citizens Party . Dr. "uniform" application of the view therein adopted. The foregoing statements and the fact that. as integral portions of one and the same thought. id. "except as to matters committed by the Constitution.). he did not thereby become a Nacionalista because that was a mere coalition." (Id. also. . returns. p. a contemporaneous or practical executive interpretation thereof is entitled to no weight. and that is the Citizens Party to which the gentleman from Quezon belongs. 71-72. p. says:." adding that:. The debate was closed by Senator Laurel. There were many complaints against the lack of political justice in this determination. And whether we like it or not. emphasis supplied.. id. III. is imperative in nature and that this is borne out by an opinion of the Secretary of Justice dated February 1. the history of section 11 of Article VI of the Constitution and the records of the Convention. and that both form part of a single sentence and must be considered. he should be given this as a matter of right.. to the contention of respondents herein. referring to Senator Tañada:. but.. and qualifications of its members was not altogether satisfactory. approximates or approaches what is within the spirit of that Constitution. The aforemention opinion of the Secretary of Justice is not backed up by a. not as a matter of privilege." The reason is that "the application of the doctrine of contemporaneous construction is more restricted as applied to the interpretation of constitutional provisions than when applied to statutory provisions". said opinion tends to change the natural meaning of section 11 of Article VI of the Constitution. and said petitioner actually nominated himself "on behalf of the Citizens Party. and back up the theory of petitioners herein. their main argument in support of the mandatory character of the constitutional provision relative to the number of members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal is that the word "shall". the irregularities that characterized the proceedings in some of them. J. emphasis supplied. a member of said Convention. weight in the solution of the question before this Court. . the question is whether we have a party here having the second largest number of votes. as Citizens Party Senator. be given the privilege to nominate the three Members" of said Tribunal. and I maintain that when Senator Tañada as head of the Citizens Party entered into a coalition with the Nacionalista Party. so essential to give thereto the weight accorded by the rules on contemporaneous constructions. it was by virtue of a coalition or an alliance between the Citizens Party and the Nacionalista Party at that time. unless it has been uniform .

. for the administration of justice to the parties. Vol. pp. Aruego states:. is the intervention of the three justices. Vol. and when you make each House the judge of every election protest involving any member of that House. I repeat. then we shall be placing protests exclusively in the hands of the party in power. the protestants as well as the protestees could remain tranquil in the certainty that they will receive the justice that they really deserve. President. From the moment that it is required that not only the majority but also the minority should intervene in these questions. III. you place the majority in a position to dominate and dictate the decision in the case and result was. 351. I say again. as a check upon the two parties. there were so many abuses. decision in the election protest. ". we have already enough guarantee that there would be no tyranny on the part of the majority.). Referring particularly to the philosophy underlying the constitutional provision quoted above. I. "I understand that from the time that this question is placed in the hands of members not only of the majority party but also of the minority party." (Congressional Record for the Senate. And I understand. 1. following the practice in some countries. like England and Canada. Vol. because each House will be composed of a majority and a minority. relating to the election. and three from the party having the second largest number votes so that these members may represent the party. that in practice that has not given good results. "Now. The overwhelming majority of election protests decided under the old system was that the majority being then in a position to dictate the. returns and qualifications of the members. under the proposed constitutional provision. who played an important role in the framing of our Constitution. purely political as has been observed in the past. p. Vol. 361. for the fact that the laws will not be applied rightfully or incorrectly as well as for the fact that the doctrines of the Supreme Court will be applied rightfully. If that is the case." (Congressional Record for the Senate. among other things. when you leave it to either House to decide election protests involving its own members. a factor which would make protests decided in a non-partisan manner. pp. emphasis supplied. I heard it said here correctly that there was a time when that was given to the corresponding chamber of the legislative department. 376. with the additional guarantee of the impartial judgment of three justices of the Supreme Court. what was intended in the creation of the electoral tribunal was to create a sort of collegiate court composed of nine members: Three of them belonging to the party having the largest number of votes. There was some doubt also expressed as to whether that should continue or not. like that case involving Senator Mabanag. what is really applied in the determination of electoral cases brought before the tribunals of justice or before the House of Representatives or the Senate? Well.. a veteran legislator and former Speaker of the House of Representatives." (The Framing of the Philippine Constitution by Aruego. emphasis supplied. I repeat that the best guarantee the fact that these questions will be judged not only by three members of the majority but also by three members of the minority. there is already a condition. would also be members of the same." (Congressional Record for the Senate. "It is true that justice had sometimes prevailed under the old system. Many have criticized. I repeat. emphasis supplied. We know from experience that many times in the many protests tried in the House or in the Senate. "Such were the conditions of things at the time of the meeting of the convention. Hence. or if there would be nothing but questions purely of party in which the members of the majority as well as those of the minority should wish to take lightly a protest because the protestant belongs to one of said parties. emphasis supplied. Senator Paredes.). Dr. when he almost became a victim of the majority when he had an election case. with reference to the protests or contests. 261-263. 111. . returns and qualifications of its members.). that is virtually placing the majority party in a position to dictate the decision in those election cases. Vol. it is nothing more than the law and the doctrine of the Supreme Court.). there were so main injustices: committed by the majority at the expense and to the prejudice of the minority protestants. would insure greater political justice in the determination of election contests for seats in the National Assembly than there would be if the power had been lodged in the lawmaking body itself. was tempted to commit as it did commit many abuses and injustices. And with the formation of the Electoral Commission. `I wish to call the attention of my distinguished colleagues to the fact that in electoral protests it is impossible to set aside party interests. p. Senator Sumulong declared:. and there was no reason why that power or that right vested in the legislative body should not be retained. the actuations of the three justices.the courts the determination of election contests. but the record will show that those cases were few and they were the rare exceptions. In the last analysis. 257-258. in its session of February 22. the system obtaining in the United States under the Federal Constitution of the United States. it was impossible to prevent the factor of party from getting in. emphasis supplied. Thus. Delegate Francisco summarized the arguments for the creation of the Electoral Commission in the following words:. But it was thought that would make the determination of this contest. said:.). Mr. This view is shared by distinguished members of the Senate. and that is the intervention of three justices. "The defense of the Electoral Commission was based primarily upon the hope and belief that the abolition of Party line because of the equal representation in this body of the majority and the minority parties of the National Assembly and the intervention of some members of the Supreme Court who. there will be greater skill in the application of the laws and in the application of doctrines to electoral matters having as we shall have three justices who will act impartially in these electoral questions. of this election protest. we have in this case.. It is interesting to note that not one of the members of the Senate contested the accuracy of the views thus expressed. and the members of said party who will sit before the electoral tribunal as protestees. gentlemen. there ground to believe that decisions will be made along party lines. III. So that with this intervention of three justices if there would be any question as to the justice applied by the majority or the minority. expressed himself as follows:. For when it comes to a party. If we eliminate from this precept the intervention of the party of the minority and that of the three justices. of the Congress or legislative body was entrusted to that body itself as the exclusive body to determine the election. and it was only through the intervention of President Quezon that he was saved from becoming the victim of majority injustices. the tyranny of the majority in electoral cases . 1956. p. `But there is another more detail which is the one which satisfies me most. many have complained against. the best guarantee. the best guarantee which we shall have. and the greatest argument in favor of the retention of that provision was the fact that was. "." (The Framing of the Philippine Constitution by Aruego. if there would be any fundamental disagreement. Senator Laurel. the returns and the qualifications of the members of the legislative bodies. Statements have been made here that justice was done even under the old system. So the election.

168-169. as hereinabove stated. Delegates Conejero and Roxas said:. xxx xxx x x x. Que dice el Comite?" El Sr. ROXAS. first. CONEJERO.. to provide for this body known as the Electoral Commission. Si y no.) 7. Electoral Commission. To achieve this purpose. was approved by that body by a vote of 98 against 58. a composite body in which both the majority and minority parties are equally represented to off-set partisan influence in its deliberations was created. the whole idea is to prevent the majority from controlling and dictating the decisions of the Tribunal and to make sure that the decisive vote will be wielded by the Congressmen or Senators who are members the Tribunal but will be wielded by the Justices who. and the party having the second largest number of votes. in the National Assembly or in each House of Congress. so that the influence of the former may be decisive and endow said Commission or Tribunal with judicial temper. CONEJERO. It is clear from the foregoing that the main objective of the framers of our Constitution in providing for the establishment. returns and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. They knew that even Senators like us are not angels. March 4. "El Sr. emphasis supplied. But the framers of. that we are human beings. Antes de votarse la enmienda. Senator Sabido-who had moved to grant to Senator Tañada the privilege" to make the nominations on behalf of party having the second largest number of votes in the Senate-agrees with it. "The members of the Constitutional Convention who framed our fundamental law were in their majoritymen mature in years and experience. emphasis supplied. the Constitution besides being learned were men of experience. quisiera pedir informacion del Subcomite de Siete. When. emphasis supplied. pp. as the long felt need of determining legislative contests devoid of partisan considerations which prompted the people acting through their delegates to the Convention. This is obvious from the very language of the constitutional provision under consideration. were given the same number of representatives in the Electoral Commission or Tribunal.. 349. (Abraham Lincoln. Vol. y otros t?-es a la minyoryia y atros a la Corte Suprerma. no cree su Senoria que este equivale pricticamente a dejar el asunto a los miembros del Tribunal Supremo?. Notwithstanding the vigorous opposition of some members of the Convention to its creation. therefore they deemed it wise to create an Electoral Commission as a constitutional organ and invested with the exclusive function of passing upon and determining the election. during the deliberations of the convention. III.." (Pp. or protestees. in Angara vs. "El Sr. supra. ROXAS. will have no partisan motives to serve. was to insure the exercise of judicial impartiality in the disposition of election contests affecting members of the lawmaking body. "El Sr. the plan. he asserted:. Speaking for this Court. either protestants. p. upon the approval of the Constitution. sabiendo que el partidismo no es suficiente para dar el triunbo. to an independent and impartial tribunal.The foregoing was corroborated by Senator Laurel. two devices were resorted to. "El Sr. 8 and then 9 of one Electoral Tribunal for each House of Congress. . the creation of the Electoral Commission is the expression of the wisdom `ultimate justice of the people'. case that hope that the three from the majority and the three from the minority who will act as Judges should result in disappointment. however. PRESIDENTE.). The creation of the Electoral Commission was designed to remedy certain evils of which the framers of our Constitution were cognizant. Senator Sabido replied:. many of them were familiar with the history and political development of other countries of the world.). With this end in view. "." (Angara vs.). CONEJERO. To be sure. 174-175. by virtue of their judicial offices. p. His words were: . and (b) the Supreme Court was given in said body the same number of representatives as each one of said political parties. tanto los miembros de la mayoria como los de la minoria asi como los miembros de la Corte Saprema consideration la cuestion sobre la base de sus meritos.. Con mucho gusto. 330. "El Sr. porque el partidismo no les daria el triunfo. Vol. namely: (a) the ". In fact. and thus be induced to act with greater impartiality. of an Electoral Commission. Upon further interpretation. Electoral Commission (63 Phil.. Senator Sabido said:. dando tres miembrosala mayoria. Senator Sumulong opined along the same line. and further endowed with judicial temper by including in its membership three justices of the Supreme Court. ROXAS. It was not so much the knowledge and appreciation of contemporary constitutional precedents. That is my understanding of the intention of the framers of the Constitution when they decided to create the Electoral Tribunal.. That is the ideal situation. ".). that if we should be chosen to go to the Electoral Tribunal no one can say that we will entirely be free from partisan influence to favor our party. not to protect the protestants or the protegees." (Congressional Record for the Senate. they must have done so not only in the light of their own experience but also having in view the experience of other enlightened peoples of the world. podriamos hacer que tanto los de la mayoria como los de la minoria prescindieran del partidisrno?. All that can be said now is that. 139). 1861. still there is the guarantee that they will offset each other and the result will be that the deciding vote will reside in the hands of the three Justices who have no partisan motives to favor either the protestees or the protestants. As Senator Sumulong inquired:. . As a matter of fact. In other words. Tal como esta el draft. Cree Su Senoria que en un caso como ese. III." (Id. Creo que si. in case they do not act as judges but they go there and vote along party liner. so that in..I suppose Your Honor will agree with me that the framers of the Constitution precisely thought of creating this Electoral Tribunal so as to prevent the majority from ever having a preponderant majority in the Tribunal.The intention is that when the three from the majority and the three from the minority become members of the Tribunal it is hoped that they will become aware of their judicial functions. "That is so. "From the deliberations of our Constitutional Convention it is evident that the purpose was to transfer in its totality all the powers previously exercised by the legislature in matters pertaining to contested elections of its members. It is hoped that they will act as judges because to decide election cases is a judicial function. "El Sr." (Congressional Record for the Senate.). p. First Inaugural Address. Creemos que si el tribunal a la Comision esta cotistuido en esa forma. party having the largest number of votes. the purpose of the creation of the Electoral Tribunal and of its composition is to maintain a balance between the two parties and make the members of the Supreme Court the controlling power so to speak of the Electoral Tribunal or hold the balance of power. so that they may realize that partisan considerations could not control the adjudication of said cases. 330.

unless followed by words of absolute prohibition. in lieu thereof. it is well settled that "the purpose of all rules or maxims as to the construction or interpretation of statutes is to discover the true intention of the law" (82 C. with the Justices of the Supreme Court. numerically handicapped. 463-467. On the other hand. it constitutes the essence of said Tribunals. in the determination of this question. and the second largest. and the purpose of the legislative can be accomplished in a manner other than that prescribed. when the terms of a statute are such that they cannot be made effective to the extent of giving each and all of them some reasonable operation. S. three (3) members nominated by the majority party and either one (1) or two (2) members nominated by the party having the second largest number of votes in the House concerned. III. Vol.) (See also. or when same antecedent and pre-requisite conditions must exist prior to the exercise of power. When the election of members of Congress to the Electoral Tribunal is made dependent upon the nomination of the political parties above referred to. the statute must be regarded as mandatory. but upon the principle involved. Vol. therein. but not within the spirit of a statute. it is generally regarded as directory. and did not. 376). . "There is no universal rule or absolute test by which directory provisions in a statute may in all circumstances be distinguished from those which are mandatory. Senators Lim. However. Vol." (82 C. as veteran politicians and as leaders in other fields of endeavor. and the statute must be construed in connection with other related statutes. to the Electoral Tribunals. 362-3. no injury can result from ignoring it. pp. the Nacionalista Party would have five (5) members in the Senate Electoral Tribunal. without construing the statute as mandatory. the Constitution thereby indicates its reliance upon the method of selection thus established. 349. Obviously. 364. Whether a statute is mandatory or directory depends on whether the thing directed to be done is of the essence of the thing required. otherwise. With the absolute majority thereby attained by the majority party in said Tribunal. and a statute is regarded as directory were no substantial rights depend on it. regardless of the individual qualities of those chosen therefor. if the same were sanctioned. and the solution herein adopted maintains the spirit of the Constitution. 348-9. they could not. the door would be thrown wide open for the predominance of political considerations in the determination of election protests pending before said Tribunal. This does not imply that the honesty. as representative of the Citizens Party-to nominate for the Senate Electoral Tribunal any Senator not belonging to said party. as of every other question of statutory construction. pp. It is true that the application of the foregoing criterion would limit the membership of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. that is. such construction should be given. but the construction of mandatory words as directory should not be lightly adopted and never where it would in fact make a new law instead of that passed by the legislature. In the words of the members of the present Senate. Furthermore. its object. as to which compliance with the statute is a matter of convenience rather than substance. he explicitly made of record that his opposition was based. Indeed. by the aforementioned nomination and election of Senators Cuenco and Delgado. and the consequences which would result from construing it one way or the other. the philosophy underlying the same would be entirely upset. 10. It is patent. reveals clearly that its framers intended to prevent the majority party from controlling the Electoral Tribunals. 362-363. The equilibrium between the political parties therein would be destroyed. Accordingly. thus. and that is sought to be done by never allowing the majority party to control the Tribunal. 526) and that." (Congressional Record for the Senate. he would worsen the already disadvantageous position. and. and the legislative intent does not require a mandatory construction. its nature. for the Senate Electoral Tribunal. 351. when Senator Tañada objected to their nomination. the decisive moderating role of the Justices of the Supreme Court would be wiped out. S. may be deemed directory whenever legislative purpose can best be carried out by such construction. 342.. is not within the statute.. vis-a-vis the majority party. to seven (7). for the purpose of this decision. 359. those members of Congress who do not belong to the party nominating them. 337. which directs acts or proceedings to be done in a certain way shows that the legislature intended a compliance with such provision to be essential to the validity of the act or proceeding. for partisan considerations can not be decisive in a tribunal consisting of three (3) Justices of the Supreme Court. pursuant to which the Senate Electoral Tribunal should be organized (Congressional Record for the Senate. however. the prime object is to ascertain the legislative intent. holding the resulting balance of power. emphasis supplied. The same is. hence. and whatever is within the spirit of statute is within the statute although it is not within the letter. said feature reflects the "intent" "purpose". a provision relating to the essence of the thing to be done. instead of nine (9). J. pp.). III. 375). and "spirit of the Constitution". while that which is within the letter. 330. and concomitant with. 13. to matters of substance. however mandatory in form. what would be the result of respondents' contention if upheld? Owing to the fact that the Citizens Party 12 has only one member in the Upper House. the spirit of the law prevails over its letter. On the other hand. The legislative intent must be obtained front all the surrounding circumstances.). Upon the other hand."My idea is that the intention of the framers of the constitution in creating the Electoral Tribunal is to insure impartially and independence in its decision. 365-366. Consideration must be given to the entire statute. So important in the "balance of powers" between the two political parties in the Electoral Tribunals. the language of a statute. compliance with said procedure is mandatory. and. Words and Phrases. 370.. The procedure prescribed in said provision for the selection of members of the Electoral Tribunals is vital to the role they are called upon to play.). As a matter of fact. because. and that the structure thereof is founded upon the equilibrium between the majority and the minority parties therein. and secondly by seeing to it that the decisive vote in the Tribunal will be left in the hands of persons who have no partisan interest or motive to favor either protestant or protestee. only said member of the Citizens Party. (Id. with substantially the same result. Words of permissive character may be given a mandatory significance in order to effect the legislative intent. Senator Tañada did not nominate other two Senators. the spirit or intention of a statute prevails over the letter thereof. not upon their character. and the determination does not depend on the form of the statute. "As a general rule of statutory construction. to determine whether the parties having the largest. Sabido. but.. of Senator Tañada. orderly. but. the letter of it is not to be disregarded on the pretext of pursuing its spirit. Considering the wealth of experience of the delegatesto the Convention. as against one (1) member of the Citizens Party and three members of the Supreme Court. of the Citizens Party. as lawyers of great note. Now then. in the case at bar. and when a fair interpretation of a statute. in said Tribunal. and the resulting equilibrium to be maintained by the Justices of the Supreme Court as members of said Tribunals. pp. number of votes in each House may nominate. 358. or where the directions of a statute are given merely with a view to the proper. emphasis supplied. it is conceded that the present composition of the Senate was not foreseen by the framers of our Constitution (Congressional Record for the Senate. when a particular provision of a statute relates to some immaterial matter. pp. is mandatory. 11. members. which is precisely what the fathers of our Constitution earnestly strove to forestall. relative to the conditions antecedent to. that several members of the Senate questioned the right of the party having the second largest number of votes in the Senate and. and prompt conduct of business. that the most vital feature of the Electoral Tribunals is the equal representation of said parties therein. and what is a matter of essence can often be determined only by judicial construction. What is worst. 613. Cea and Paredes maintained that the spirit of the Constitution would be violated if the nominees to the Electoral Tribunals did not belong to the parties respectively making the nominations. What has been said above. 26. 350. the adoption of section 11 of Article VI of the Constitution. where the law is free and clear from ambiguity. Hence. ignore the fact that the Constitution . or must be performed before certain other powers can be exercise. integrity or impartiality of Senators Cuenco and Delgado are being questioned. and acts performed in violation thereof are null and void. Senator Tañada felt he should nominate. . J. 354. who are members of said Tribunals. 355.. or is a mere matter of form. 869-874. It is not necessary. 329.

not of law. it would be a Senate Electoral Tribunal made up of three Supreme Court Justices and 5 or 6 members of the same party A accused of fraud and terrorism. the petition is dismissed. be permitted to falsify it" (Rule 69. Montemayor. the election of its personnel is an internal matter falling within the jurisdiction and control of said body. they were appointed by its Chairman. in relation to the four (4) respondents abovementioned. may be nominated by a person or party other than the one having the second largest number of votes in the Senate or its representative therein.. that the Committee on Rules for the Senate has no standing to validly make such nomination and that the nomination of Senators Cuenco and Delgado by Senator Primicias. which Senator Tañada did not have. as they are hereby. those Senators who have not been nominated by the political parties specified in the Constitution. likewise. with the composition of the Electoral Tribunals.. respondents Senators Mariano Jesus Cuenco and Francisco A. as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. that neither these three (3) Senators.B. and it has been held that where a statute is founded on public policy. specifically contested said nomination of Senators Cuenco and Delgado.. this was confirmed by distinguished members of the present Senate. Let us suppose. act or omission. sometimes. he cannot. intentionally and deliberately led another to believe a particular thing true. (See pp. Judge Zandueta assumed office by virtue of an appointment. those to whom it applies should not be permitted to waive its provisions" (82 C. supra. A. The rule estoppel is that "whenever a party has. other than that to which it is vested exclusively by the Constitution. with the consent of the majority of the de jure members of said body 14 or. The procedure outlined in the Constitution for the organization. the necessity for such a check by the minority disappears". or when the only electoral protests filed are by candidates of the majority against members-elect of the same majority party. S. 4 thereof. the pressure of which is bound to increase in proportion to the degree of predominance of the party from which it comes. it. In connection with the argument of the former Secretary of Justice to the effect that when "there is no minority party represented in the Assembly. Delgado have not been duly elected as Members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. we are not prepared to hold. Jur. of the Electoral Tribunals was adopted in response to the demands of the common weal. all the 8 candidates of party A are proclaimed elected through alleged fraud and/or terrorism. the legality of which he later on assailed. the very frauds or terrorism committed by a party would establish the legal basis for the final destruction of minority parties in the Congress at least. said petitioner repeatedly asserted that his was the exclusive right to make the nomination. Catalina Cayetano. 3. about the truth of which the other party is ignorant (see Moran's Comments on the Rules of Court. With the qualification stated above. who would sit in judgment on the election candidates of the minority parties? According to the contention of the respondents. 765. Lastly. In the senatorial elections to fill the remaining 8 seats.L. and the election of said respondents by the Senate. As above stated. hereafter take appropriate measures. J. the case of Zandueta vs. and contrary to the observation made in the above-quoted opinion. for example. that the party having the second largest number of votes in the Senate has the exclusive right to nominate the other three (3) Senators who shall sit as members in the Electoral Tribunal. as regards respondents Alfredo Cruz. petitioner Senator Tañada did not lead the Senate to believe that Senator Primicias could nominate Senators Cuenco and Delgado. At any rate. (11 Am. that they are not entitled to act as such and that they should be. 490. and there is every reason to believe that it will. enjoined from exercising the powers and duties of Members of said Electoral Tribunal and from acting in such capacity in connection with Senate Electoral Case No.must limit itself to giving general patterns or norms of action. "In the case of the cited opinion of Secretary Abad Santos rendered in 1939.. It is so ordered. 25-28. cited by respondents. judgment is hereby rendered declaring that. In the case at bar. In connection. . particularly those meant for the protection of his property. that the party having the largest number of votes in the Senate may nominate not more than three (3) members thereof to said Electoral Tribunal. as members of said Tribunal. particularly. I Cooley's Constitutional Limitations. it is at this point that a need for a check on the majority party is greatest. 33. concur. xxx xxx x x x. 68 [a]. 615). Reyes. JJ. by his declaration. the following observations of the petitioners herein are worthy of notice:. and. Catalina Cayetano. Vol. who are not lawful members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. the power to waive does not exist when "public policy or public morals" are involved. Chief Accountant (supra). nor any of them. Wherefore. did not appear that there were minority party candidates who were adversely affected by the ruling of the Secretary of Justice and who could have brought a test case to court. even the most well meaning individuals often find it difficult to shake off the bias and prejudice created by political antagonisms and to resist the demands of political exigencies. sec. 368-371). Manuel Serapio and Placido Reyes. the decision in the case at bar. in a litigation arising out of such declaration. Reyes. distinct and independent from the nomination and election of Senators Cuenco and Delgado. He. they believed that. and to act upon such belief. presumably. 495). Most respectfully.) There being no senator or only one senator belonging to the minority. ". we pray this Honorable Court to reject an interpretation that would make of a democratic constitution the very instrument by which a corrupt and ruthless party could entrench itself in power the legislature and thus destroy democracy in the Philippines.. there might be no objection to the statement. even those tending "to secure his personal liberty". act or omissions..). The defenses of waiver and estoppel set up against petitioner Tañada are untenable. In view of the foregoing. De la Costa (66 Phil. Although recommended by Senators Cuenco and Delgado. is not in point. pp. Padilla. When there are no electoral protests filed by the Minority party. the nomination and election of Senator Tañada as member of the Senate Electoral Tribunal was separate. that their appointments were null and void. conformably with the spirit of the Constitution and of. On the contrary. In the case at bar. Bengzon. Manuel Serapio and Placido Reyes. J. the alleged waiver or exhaustion of his rights does not justify the exercise thereof by a person or party. for the obvious and simple reason that they could easily be outvoted by the 6 members of the majority party in the Tribunal. the rule on estoppel applies to questions of fact. as held in Suanes vs. (The ouster of not less than 3 senators-elect in the elections held since liberation attests to the reality of election frauds and terrorism in our country. Bautista Angelo. Without special pronouncement as to costs. But if electoral protests are filed by candidates of the minority party. Such is not the nature of the situation that confronted Senator Tañada and the other members of the Senate. that in the Senate. Again. however. are null and void ab initio. there can be no waiver without an intent to such effect. we hold that the Senate may not elect." (Emphasis supplied. 34. Rules of Court).). pp. the 15 or 16 senators with unexpired terms belong to the party A. Again. and Felix. As regards respondents Alfredo Cruz. Although "an individual may waive constitutional provisions intended for his benefit". xxx xxx x x x. " Under the interpretation espoused by the respondents. 874). pursuant to the Rules thereof. Besides. such a cheek is a function that cannot be successfully exercised by the 3 Justices of the Supreme Court.

The Court is concerned with the existence and extent of said discretionary powers. Respondents contend that the Court is without jurisdiction to try the appointment of ET members. this cannot be done without violating the spirit & philosophy of Art. Yes. Sec. Furthermore. For respondents FACTS: On Feb. even if the Senate elects its members. although they followed mandate on number. the petition is without cause of action since Tañada exhausted his right to nominate 2 more senators. The issue is not the power of the Senate to elect or nominate. which is to provide against partisan decisions. The two seats. but an appeal to public opinion. Petitioner alleges that the nomination by Sen. WHEREFORE: The Senate cannot elect members of the ET not nominated by the proper party. the case at bar is a violation not only of Tañada's right as CP member of ET.WON Constitutional right of CP can be exercised by NP. Consequently. the Chairman of the Tribunal appointed the rest of the respondents as staff members of Cuenco & Delgado. 6 of PC. 6. 2. the power to waive is inexistent. and the election of respondents Cuenco & Delgado void ab initio. he is in estoppel. ISSUES: 1. The Court has jurisdiction. were filled with NP members to meet the Constitutional mandate under Sec. Petitioners pray for a writ of preliminary injunction against respondents (cannot exercise duties). Primicias on behalf of the Committee on Rules for the Senate. . over the objections of lone Citizen Party Senator Tañada. 4 of Senate. nor can the majority party elect more than 3 members of the ET. The contention that petitioner Tañada waived his rights or is in estoppel is not tenable. They contend that the present action is not the proper remedy. Teehankee & Macapagal for petitioners Solicitior General Ambrosio Padilla Solicitor Troadio Quizon Jr.TAÑADA & MACAPAGAL VS. as respondents are about to decide on Electoral Case No. RATIO: Although respondents allege that the Constitutional mandate of 6 Senate members in the ET must be followed. When interests of public policy & morals are at issue. since it is a constitutional right granted to Senate. since 3 seats on the ET are reserved for minority senators duly nominated by the minority party representatives. Tañada never led Primicias to believe that his nominations on behalf of the CP are valid. an NP member. The respondents' practical interpretation of the law (modifying law to fit the situation) cannot be accepted. Art. No. 2. but the validity of the manner by which power was exercised (constitutionality). AL.WON Court has jurisdiction over the matter 2. the CRS has no standing to nominate.a matter under the discretion of the Chairman. but respondent Macapagal's right to an impartial body that will try his election protest. Furthermore. 2 Art. 2. violates Sec. they disobeyed mandate on procedure. The ET is part of neither House. The appointment of the staff members are valid as it is a selection of personnel . originally for minority party nominees. Petition for Certiorari & Preliminary Injunction Ponente: Justice Concepcion Personalities: Lorenzo Tañada Diosdado Macapagal Petitioners Mariano Jesus Cuenco Francisco Delgado Alfredo Cruz Catalina Cayetano Manuel Serapio Placido Reyes Fernando Hipolito Respondents Tañada. CUENCO ET. Moreover. RATIO: The case at bar is not an action against the Senate compelling them to allow petitioners to exercise duties as members of ET. 6. or the Committee on Rules for the Senate HELD: 1. to be made permanent after a judgment to oust respondents is passed. 1956. the Senate on behalf of the Nacionalista Party elected respondents Cuenco & Delgado as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal upon the nomination of Senator Primicias. 22.

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