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Cruz and Manuel Reyes Respondents: Hon. Franklin Drilon and Richard Gordon Ponente: Bellosillo Facts: The constitutionality of Sec. 13, par. (d), of R.A. 7227, otherwise known as the "Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992," under which Mayor Richard J. Gordon of Olongapo City was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), is challenged in this original petition with prayer for prohibition, preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. Under said provision, ³for the first year of its operations from the effectivity of this Act, the mayor of the City of Olongapo shall be appointed as the chairman and chief executive officer of the Subic Authority.´ Petitioners, as taxpayers, contend that said provision is unconstitutional as under the following constitutional and statutory provisions: (a) Sec. 7, first par., Art. IX-B, of the Constitution, which states that "[n]o elective official shall be eligible for appointment or designation in any capacity to any public officer or position during his tenure," because the City Mayor of Olongapo City is an elective official and the subject posts are public offices; (b) Sec. 16, Art. VII, of the Constitution, which provides that "[t]he President shall appoint all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law, and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint", since it was Congress through the questioned proviso and not the President who appointed the Mayor to the subject posts; and, (c) Sec. 261, par. (g), of the Omnibus Election Code. Issue: WON the proviso in Sec. 13, par. (d), of R.A. 7227 violates the constitutional proscription against appointment or designation of elective officials to other government posts Held: Yes
Ratio: The rule expresses the policy against the concentration of several public positions in one person, so that a public officer or employee may serve full-time with dedication and thus be efficient in the delivery of public services. It is an affirmation that a public office is a full-time job. Hence, a public officer or employee, like the head of an executive department described in Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 83896, and Anti-Graft League of the Philippines, Inc. v. Philip Ella C. Juico, as Secretary of Agrarian Reform, G.R. No. 83815, should be allowed to attend to his duties and responsibilities without the distraction of other governmental duties or employment. He should be precluded from dissipating his efforts, attention and energy among too many positions of responsibility, which may result in haphazardness and inefficiency. In the case before us, the subject proviso directs the President to appoint an elective official, i.e., the Mayor of Olongapo City, to other government posts (as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of SBMA). Since this is precisely what the constitutional proscription seeks to prevent, it needs no stretching of the imagination to conclude that the proviso contravenes Sec. 7, first par., Art. IX-B, of the Constitution. Here, the fact that the
expertise of an elective official may be most beneficial to the higher interest of the body politic is of no moment. It is argued that Sec. 94 of the LGC permits the appointment of a local elective official to another post if so allowed by law or by the primary functions of his office. But, the contention is fallacious. Section 94 of the LGC is not determinative of the constitutionality of Sec. 13, par. (d), of R.A. 7227, for no legislative act can prevail over the fundamental law of the land. Moreover, since the constitutionality of Sec. 94 of LGC is not the issue here nor is that section sought to be declared unconstitutional, we need not rule on its validity. Neither can we invoke a practice otherwise unconstitutional as authority for its validity. In any case, the view that an elective official may be appointed to another post if allowed by law or by the primary functions of his office, ignores the clear-cut difference in the wording of the two (2) paragraphs of Sec. 7, Art. IX-B, of the Constitution. While the second paragraph authorizes holding of multiple offices by an appointive official when allowed by law or by the primary functions of his position, the first paragraph appears to be more stringent by not providing any exception to the rule against appointment or designation of an elective official to the government post, except as are particularly recognized in the Constitution itself, e.g., the President as head of the economic and planning agency; the Vice-President, who may be appointed Member of the Cabinet; and, a member of Congress who may be designated ex officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council. It is further argued that the SBMA posts are merely ex officio to the position of Mayor of Olongapo City, hence, an excepted circumstance, citing Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary, where we stated that the prohibition against the holding of any other office or employment by the President, Vice-President, Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants during their tenure, as provided in Sec. 13, Art. VII, of the Constitution, does not comprehend additional duties and functions required by the primary functions of the officials concerned, who are to perform them in an ex officio capacity as provided by law, without receiving any additional compensation therefor. This argument is apparently based on a wrong premise. Congress did not contemplate making the subject SBMA posts as ex officio or automatically attached to the Office of the Mayor of Olongapo City without need of appointment. The phrase "shall be appointed" unquestionably shows the intent to make the SBMA posts appointive and not merely adjunct to the post of Mayor of Olongapo City. Had it been the legislative intent to make the subject positions ex officio, Congress would have, at least, avoided the word "appointed" and, instead, "ex officio" would have been used. Even in the Senate deliberations, the Senators were fully aware that subject proviso may contravene Sec. 7, first par., Art. IX-B, but they nevertheless passed the bill and decided to have the controversy resolved by the courts. Indeed, the Senators would not have been concerned with the effects of Sec. 7, first par., had they considered the SBMA posts as ex officio. Cognizant of the complication that may arise from the way the subject proviso was stated, Senator Rene Saguisag remarked that "if the Conference Committee just said "the Mayor shall be the Chairman" then that should foreclose the issue. It is a legislative choice."The Senator took a view that the constitutional proscription against appointment of elective officials may have been sidestepped if Congress attached the SBMA posts to the Mayor of Olongapo City instead of directing the President to appoint him to the post. Without passing upon this view of Senator Saguisag, it suffices to state that Congress intended the posts to be appointive, thus nibbling in the bud the argument that they are ex officio. Petitioners also assail the legislative encroachment on the appointing authority of the President. Section 13, par. (d), itself vests in the President the power to appoint the
to other government posts (as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of SBMA). or appointment. RULING: The proviso violates the constitutional proscription against appointment or designation of elective officials to other government posts. of the Constitution. the mayor of the City of Olongapo shall be appointed as the chairman and chief executive officer of the Subic Authority. Sec. 7. He however remains Mayor of Olongapo City.A. In full. the law. Such supposed power of appointment.. the subject proviso directs the President to appoint an elective official. or because there was a want of power in the electing or appointing body. hence. As incumbent elective official. sans the essential element of choice. That for the first year of its operations from the effectivity of this Act. to fill an office or public function and discharge the duties of the same." Considering that appointment calls for a selection. though not those of a lawful officer. he must be the Mayor of Olongapo City. can qualify. such conferment necessarily carries the discretion of whom to appoint. since an incumbent elective official is not eligible to the appointive position. . it (Congress) cannot at the same time limit the choice of the President to only one candidate. the appointing power necessarily exercises a discretion. by the person or persons having authority therefor. 7227. 7227. upon principles of policy and justice. Appointment involves an exercise of discretion of whom to appoint. i. Flores vs. par. Art.Chairman of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer of SBMA. i. first par. the proviso nevertheless limits the appointing authority to only one eligible. IX-B. is no power at all and goes against the very nature itself of appointment. such enactment effectively eliminates the discretion of the appointing power to choose and constitutes an irregular restriction on the power of appointment. by the authority vested with the power.. 13. under color of a known election or appointment. Philippine Political Law. respondent Gordon is ineligible for appointment to the position of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive of SBMA.. of an individual who is to exercise the functions of a given office. ignores the clear-cut difference in the wording of the two (2) paragraphs of Sec. such ineligibility. Since this is precisely what the constitutional proscription seeks to prevent." or "[t]he selection or designation of a person. appointed to other government posts. although he really has no choice under the law but to appoint the Mayor of Olongapo City. . including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. 104732. i. par. and his acts as SBMA official are not necessarily null and void. Paragraph (d) reads ² (d) Chairman administrator ² The President shall appoint a professional manager as administrator of the Subic Authority with a compensation to be determined by the Board subject to the approval of the Secretary of Budget. notwithstanding his ineligibility. Drilon G. an "appointment" is "[t]he designation of a person.A. he does not automatically forfeit his elective office nor remove his ineligibility imposed by the Constitution. As may be defined.e. is challenged in this case. June 22. however. In the case at bar. Indeed. In any case. No. Once the power of appointment is conferred on the President. his appointment thereto pursuant to a legislative act that contravenes the Constitution cannot be sustained. Unless otherwise allowed by law or by the primary functions of his position. the incumbent Mayor of Olongapo City. 1993 FACTS: The constitutionality of Sec. an incumbent elective official was. . the choice of the appointee is a fundamental component of the appointing power. . Since only one can qualify for the posts in question. he may be considered a de facto officer. 7 of Art. the power of choice is the heart of the power to appoint. Art. of R. . where the duties of the office were exercised . 7227 is constitutional. of R. While the second paragraph authorizes holding of multiple offices by an appointive official when allowed by law . In his treatise. agency or instrumentality thereof. . will hold valid so far as they involve the interest of the public and third persons. as in the case of Gordon. directly or indirectly. and no other. Hence. to discharge the duties of some office or trust. it is not a ministerial act of issuing appointment papers to the appointee. the Mayor of Olongapo City. there is not doubt to conclude that the proviso contravenes Sec. by the person or persons having authority therefor.. Where. On the contrary. (d). it is manifestly an abuse of congressional authority to prescribe qualifications where only one. while Congress willed that the subject posts be filled with a presidential appointee for the first year of its operations from the effectivity of R. "one whose acts. IX-B of the Constitution provides: No elective official shall be eligible for appointment or designation in any capacity to any public office or position during his tenure. of his discretion to pick his own choice. (d). [or] under color of an election.A. 7. no appointive official shall hold any other office or employment in the Government or any subdivision. Congress may not abuse such power as to divest the appointing authority. Gordon of Olongapo City was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).R. when Congress clothes the President with the power to appoint an officer. In other words. want of power or defect being unknown to the public ." under which respondent Mayor Richard J. otherwise known as the "Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992. Consequently. While it may be viewed that the proviso merely sets the qualifications of the officer during the first year of operations of SBMA. before the same is adjudged to be such.e. by or pursuant to a public unconstitutional law. his appointment or designation thereto cannot be valid in view of his disqualification or lack of eligibility. In the case at bar. when the qualifications prescribed by Congress can only be met by one individual. ISSUE: Whether or not the proviso in Sec. void because the officer was not eligible. of the Constitution. 13. Cruz defines appointment as "the selection. the view that an elective official may be appointed to another post if allowed by law or by the primary functions of his office. who shall be the ex oficio chairman of the Board and who shall serve as the chief executive officer of the Subic Authority: Provided. IX-B. Senior Associate Justice Isagani A. the President is precluded from exercising his discretion to choose whom to appoint. or by reason of some defect or irregularity in its exercise. Even on the pretext of prescribing the qualifications of the officer.e.
hence. The appointment of Gordon as Chairman of the SBMA is null. thus running the risk of losing the elective post as well as not being appointed to the other post. the Constitution ensures a healthy system of checks and balance necessary in the nation¶s pursuit of political maturity and growth.or by the primary functions of his position. is the formal act by which a state confirms and accepts the provisions of a treaty concluded by its representative. extend or withhold recognition. despite his appointment to the said office. Ratification Significance of Ratification Who has power to ratify FACTS: The Rome Statute established the ICC which ³shall have the power to exercise its jurisdiction over persons for the most serious crimes of international concern xxx and shall be complementary to the national criminal jurisdictions. . notwithstanding his ineligibility. ISSUE: y Whether or not the Executive Secretary and the DFA have a ministerial duty to transmit to the Senate the copy of the Rome Statute HELD: We rule in the negative. being the head of state. the signature is primarily intended as a means of authenticating the instrument and as a symbol of the good faith of the parties. undertaken by the head of the state or of the government. Article VII of the 1987 Constitution provides that ³no treaty or international agreementshall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate. 13. 2000. require that it be subject to ratification. the Constitution provides a limitation to his power by requiring the concurrence of 2/3 of all the members of the Senate for the validity of the treaty entered into by him. on the other hand. as in the case of respondent Gordon. Executive Secretary G. maintain diplomatic relations. appointed to other government posts. Signing vs. VI. the President acts as the country¶s mouthpiece with respect to international affairs. No. As the chief architect of foreign policy. an incumbent elective official was. . As incumbent elective official. It is usually performed by the state¶s authorized representative in the diplomatic mission. It is generally held to be an executive act. Section 21.´ The Philippines. respondent Gordon is ineligible for appointment to the position of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive of SBMA. the President. 2005 President to transmit the signed copy of the Rome Statute to the Senate for its concurrence. Art. On the contrary. the President is vested with the authority to deal with foreign states and governments. Manalo of the Philippine Mission to the UN. In our system of government. is regarded as the sole organ and authority in external relations and is the country¶s sole representative with foreign nations. the President has the sole authority to negotiate with other states. through Charge d¶ Affairs Enrique A. he may be considered a de facto officer who may retain the benefits he may received from the position he may have assumed. since an incumbent elective official is not eligible to the appointive position. Petitioners now file this petition to compel the Office of the . except as are particularly recognized in the Constitution itself. while the President has the sole authority to negotiate and enter into treaties. By requiring the concurrence of the legislature in the treaties entered into by the President. his appointment or designation thereto cannot be valid in view of his disqualification or lack of eligibility. and his acts as SBMA official are not necessarily null and void. He however remains Mayor of Olongapo City. However. July 6.R. enter into treaties. . his appointment thereto pursuant to a legislative act that contravenes the Constitution cannot be sustained. during his term without forfeiting his seat . however. In the realm of treaty-making. Ratification. Pimentel vs. Its provisions.´ The participation of the legislative branch in the treaty-making process was deemed essential to provide a check on the executive in the field of foreign relations. This provision should not be confused with Sec. signed the Rome Statute on Dec. Nonetheless. Ratification of Treaty It should be underscored that the signing of the treaty and the ratification are two separate and distinct steps in the treaty-making process. As earlier discussed. Hence. 28. Purpose of Ratification y y y y ROME STATUTE Signing of Treaty vs. Gordon did not automatically forfeit his seat as Mayor of Olongapo City. and otherwise transact the business of foreign relations. . of the Constitution where "(n)o Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may hold any other office or employment in the Government . Where. he does not automatically forfeit his elective office nor remove his ineligibility imposed by the Constitution." The difference between the two provisions is significant in the sense that incumbent national legislators lose their elective posts only after they have been appointed to another government office. 158088. the first paragraph appears to be more stringent by not providing any exception to the rule against appointment or designation of an elective official to the government post. . while other incumbent elective officials must first resign their posts before they can be appointed. acceptance or approval of the signatory states.
such decision is within the competence of the President alone. Nevertheless. By ratifying a treaty signed in its behalf. President has the Power to Ratify Treaties It should be emphasized that under our Constitution. prohibiting Gen. There is no legal obligation to ratify a treaty. It has been held that a state has no legal or even moral duty to ratify a treaty which has been signed by its plenipotentiaries. prompting Gen. If that were so. is limited only to giving or withholding its consent. the requirement of ratification of treaties would be pointless and futile. acceptance or approval of the signatory states. RATIONALE: Our ruling that the President could. the President has the discretion even after the signing of the treaty by the Philippine representative whether or not to ratify the same. Hence. Final judicial orders have the force of the law of the land which the President has the duty to faithfully execute. we also hold that any chamber of Congress which seeks the appearance before it of a military officer against the consent of the President has adequate remedies under law to compel such attendance. but on the Chief Executive¶s power as commander-in-chief to control the actions and speech of members of the armed forces. having secured its consent for its ratification. The President¶s prerogatives as commander-in-chief are not hampered by the same limitations as in executive privilege. 15. In doing so. Gudani vs. it is within the authority of the President to refuse to submit a treaty to the Senate or. including Gen. by virtue of her power as commander-in-chief. Any military official whom Congress summons to testify before it may be compelled to do so by the President. Gudani. however. refuse to ratify it. cannot issue the writ of mandamus prayed for by the petitioners as it is beyond its jurisdiction to compel the executive branch of the government to transmit the signed text of Rome Statute to the Senate. therefore. FACTS: . This Court has no jurisdiction over actions seeking to enjoin the President in the performance of his official duties. is burdened with the responsibility and the duty to carefully study the contents of the treaty and ensure that they are not inimical to the interest of the state and its people. ISSUE: y Whether or not the President can prevent military officers from testifying at a legislative inquiry RULING: We hold that the President has constitutional authority to do so. Biazon invited several senior officers of the AFP. Ability of President to prevent military officers from testifying before Congress is based on Commander-in-chief powers As earlier noted. 22. which was subsequently declared unconstitutional. but on the Chief Executive¶s power as commander-in-chief to control the actions and speech of members of the armed forces. The role of the Senate. Aug. No. At the same time. the Rome Statute itself requires that the signature of the representatives of the states be subject to ratification. Sen. It is the ratification that binds the state to the provisions thereof. the Court recognized the considerable limitations on executive privilege. the other state would be justified in taking offense. The President¶s prerogatives as commander-in-chief are not hampered by the same limitations as in executive privilege. The Court. the President. require military officers to seek presidential approval before appearing before Congress is based foremost on the notion that a contrary rule unduly diminishes the prerogatives of the President as commander-in- y The ability of the President to prevent military officers from testifying before Congress does not turn on executive privilege. In fact. The signature does not signify the final consent of the state to the treaty. the ability of the President to prevent military officers from testifying before Congress does not turn on executive privilege. and affirmed that the privilege must be formally invoked on specified grounds. 2005. AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gudani and Col. to appear at a public hearing before the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security concerning the conduct of the 2004 elections wherein allegations of massive cheating and the ³Hello Garci´ tapes emerged. the President may be commanded by judicial order to compel the attendance of the military officer. we ruled in Senate that the President may not issue a blanket requirement of prior consent on executive officials summoned by the legislature to attend a congressional hearing. President Arroyo issued EO 464. Thus. Senga G. but it goes without saying that the refusal must be based on substantial grounds and not on superficial or whimsical reasons. the power to ratify is vested in the President. as a general rule. If the President is not so inclined. Balutan testified before said Committee. being accountable to the people. Senga issued a Memorandum. Senga to order them subjected to General Court Martial proceedings for willfully violating an order of a superior officer. Although the refusal of a state to ratify a treaty which has been signed in its behalf is a serious step that should not be taken lightly. After the treaty is signed by the state¶s representative. In the meantime. to the ratification. Col.R. or concurrence. which cannot be encroached by this Court via a writ of mandamus. However.Petitioners¶ submission that the Philippines is bound under treaty law and international law to ratify the treaty which it has signed is without basis. Balutan and company from appearing before the Senate Committee without Presidential approval. 2006 On Sept. Gudani. Otherwise. 170165. Gen. subject to the concurrence of the Senate. a state expresses its willingness to be bound by the provisions of such treaty. and that as a consequence a military officer who defies such injunction is liable under military justice. Ratification is the act by which the provisions of a treaty are formally confirmed and approved by a State. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties does not contemplate to defeat or even restrain this power of the head of states.
Whatever weakness inheres on judicial power due to its inability to originate national policies and legislation. No. Neri vs. the Office of the President has ordered Petitioner not to answer those questions. After all. The impasse did not come to pass in this petition. Remedy is judicial relief At the same time. ISSUE: y Are the communications elicited by the subject three (3) questions covered by executive privilege? RULING: IN AID OF LEGISLATION: Scope and Limitations -The power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is broad. since petitioners testified anyway despite the presidential prohibition. We believe and hold that our constitutional and legal order sanctions a modality by which members of the military may be compelled to attend legislative inquiries even if the President desires otherwise. and (c) whether or not she directed him to approve. the refusal of the President to allow members of the military to appear before Congress is still subject to judicial relief. has limitations. The judiciary. As such. which it then used as basis for initiating an investigation. Senate passed various Resolutions and pending bills. the clash may soon loom or actualize.R. Petitioner invoked executive privilege and refused to answer the questions on (a) whether or not President Arroyo followed up the NBN Project. There is considerable interplay between the legislative and executive branches. the Blue Ribbon issued a show cause Letter and a contempt Order against Petitioner. y y y Legislative Inquiry in Aid of Legislation vs. who was Director General of NEDA at the time. a modality which does not offend the Chief Executive¶s prerogatives as commander-in-chief. In connection with this NBN Project. coordinate branch of government to the legislative creates a wrinkle to any basic rule that persons summoned to testify before Congress must do so. and not the Senate. Inevitably. Inasmuch as it is illadvised for Congress to interfere with the President¶s power as commander-in-chief. who is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. 180643. it is similarly detrimental for the President to unduly interfere with Congress¶s right to conduct legislative inquiries. Reciprocal courtesy idealizes this relationship. adjunct thereto is the compulsory process to enforce it. Yet the Court is aware that with its pronouncement today that the President has the right to require prior consent from members of the armed forces. hence. informed by due deference and respect as to their various constitutional functions. Legislative Inquiry during Question Hour Elements of Presidential Communications Privilege Exception to Executive Privilege . it is imperative that it is done in accordance with the Senate or House duly published rules of procedure and that the rights of the persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries be respected. affirming that indeed those three questions mentioned were covered by ³executive privilege´ because such information if disclosed might impair diplomatic as well as economic relations with the People¶s Republic of China. to which Petitioner replied that he was willing to testify to other matters besides those three questions covered by ³executive privilege´ and that he wanted to be furnished beforehand matters to be taken up during the inquiry so that he may adequately prepare therefor. Thus. March 25. This is based on the proposition that a legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of information respecting the conditions which the legislation is intended to affect or change. such is balanced by the fact that it is the branch empowered by theConstitution to compel obeisance to its rulings by the other branches of government. the Constitution prescribes that it is the President. yet it is on the President that the Constitution vests the title as commander-in-chief and all the prerogatives and functions appertaining to the position. the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee issued a subpoena ad testificandum. the Court will without hesitation affirm that the officer has to choose the President. Congress holds significant control over the armed forces in matters such as budget appropriations and the approval of higher-rank promotions. broad as it is. But. Executive Secretary Ermita also sent a letter to the Blue Ribbon. the exigencies of military discipline and the chain of command mandate that the President¶s ability to control the individual members of the armed forces be accorded the utmost respect. The fact that the executive branch is an equal. Again. it is only as a last resort that one branch seeks to compel the other to a particular mode of behavior. Nevertheless. does not enjoy a similar dynamic with either the legislative or executive branches. this case. In view of his refusal. The remedy lies with the courts. During the 11-hour questioning. (b) whether or not she directed him to prioritize it. The Constitution itself recognizes as one of the legislature¶s functions is the conduct of inquiries in aid of legislation. Senate G. To be valid.chief. Where a military officer is torn between obeying the President and obeying the Senate. the power. One of the cabinet officials invited to appear before the Senate during the investigation was Petitioner. the third coordinate branch of government. 2008 FACTS: This is regarding the contract entered into by DOTC with ZTE for the supply of equipment and services for the NBN Project.
RA 6713. the information here is elicited. i. And third. Furthermore. Ermita ruled that ³the oversight function of Congress may be facilitated by compulsory process only to the extent that it is performed in pursuit of legislation. 24(e). on the procedural setting or the context in which the claim is made. the President did not interpose any claim of need to protect military. The provision (Section 7. 464 does not in any way diminish our concept of executive privilege. Executive Secretary Ermita categorically claims executive privilege on the grounds of presidential communications privilege in relation to her executive and policy decision-making process and diplomatic secrets. in Nixon. The judicial test is that an advisor must be in ³operational proximity´ with the President. there is no adequate showing of a compelling need that would justify the limitation of the privilege and of the unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority. there is a pending criminal proceeding where the information is requested and it is the demands of due process of law and the fair administration of criminal justice that the information be disclosed. the communications relate to a ³quintessential and non-delegable power´ of the President. it must be stressed that the revocation of E. 7. Clearly. In this regard. Executive Privilege vis-a-vis Right of the People to Information on Matters of Public Concern The right to public information.e. they do so as public officials and members of Congress. but in a legislative inquiry. also.´ It stressed that it is ³not concerned here with the balance between the President¶s generalized interest in confidentiality xxx and congressional demands for information. This authority of the President to enter into executive agreements without the concurrence of the Legislature has traditionally been recognized in Philippine jurisprudence. Legislative Inquiry in Aid of Legislation vis-a-vis Right of the People to Information on Matters of Public Concern: More than anything else. 2008 y JPEPA . 3) The presidential communications privilege remains a qualified privilege that may be overcome by a showing of adequate need. Rule 130. much will depend on the content of the questions and the manner of inquiry is conducted. Article III) itself provides the limitations. 229.The power extends even to executive officials and the only way for them to be exempted is through a valid claim of executive privilege. though. the communications are ³received´ by a close advisor of the President. The former cannot claim that every legislative inquiry is an exercise of the people¶s right to information. Second. 170516. the right of Congress or any of its Committees to obtain information in aid of legislation cannot be equated with the people¶s right to public information. Under the ³operational proximity´ test. petitioner can be considered a close advisor. like any other right. AKBAYAN vs. This is because this concept has Constitutional underpinnings. RPC. RA 3019. This is because when they discharge their power. such that the information sought ³likely contains important evidence´ and by the unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority. the record is bereft of any categorical explanation from respondent Committees to show a compelling or critical need for the answers to the three (3) questions in the enactment of a law. Using the above elements. in appropriate cases.O. indeed. the questions veer more towards the exercise of the legislative oversight function under Section 22 of Article VI rather than Section 21 of the same Article. Art. as may be provided by law. Respondent Committees failed to show a compelling or critical need: xxx presidential communications are presumptively privileged and that the presumption can be overcome only by mere showing of public need by the branch seeking access to conversations xxxx Here. being a member of President Arroyo¶s cabinet. Senate v. Instead. the power to enter into an executive agreement with other countries.´ Unlike in Nixon. In this regard. is subject to limitation. Some of these laws are Sec. specific need for evidence in pending criminal trialµ (US v. July 16. not in a criminal proceeding.´ 2) The communication must be authored or ³solicited and received´ by a close advisor of the President or the President himself.e. 3(k). We find the information subject of this case belonging to such kind. No. In the present case.´ It is conceded that it is difficult to draw the line between an inquiry in aid of legislation and an inquiry in the exercise of oversight function of Congress. Is there recognized claim of executive privilege despite revocation of E. This is the reason why the US Court was quick to ³limit the scope of its decision. Nixon) does not apply -In Nixon. Senate v. there is a recognized public interest in the confidentiality of certain information. These are in addition to what our body of jurisprudence clarifies as confidential and what our Constitution considers as belonging to the larger concept of executive privilege. Aquino G. 464? At this juncture. we are convinced that. ROC. Be that as it may. the right to information must be balanced with and should give way. xxx The members of respondent Committees should not invoke as justification in their exercise of power a right properly belonging to the people in general. diplomatic or sensitive national security secrets. to constitutional precepts particularly those pertaining to delicate interplay of executivelegislative powers and privileges which is the subject of careful review by numerous decided cases.O. i. Sec. EXCEPTION TO EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE: ´Demonstrated. and Sec. ELEMENTS OF PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS PRIVILEGE: 1) The protected communication must relate to a ³quintessential and non-delegable presidential power. First. Ermita stressed that the validity of the claim of executive privilege depends not only on the ground invoked but.R. the communications elicited by the three (3) questions are covered by the presidential communications privilege.
therefore. respondents do not dispute. therefore. It is reasonable to conclude that the Japanese representatives submitted their offers with the understanding that ³historic confidentiality´ would govern the same. trade in services. People's Right to Information requirement that it be a matter of public concern xxx From the nature of the JPEPA as an international trade agreement. petitioners need not show that they have any legal or special interest in the result.y y y y Diplomatic Negotiations are Privileged Executive Privilege. and oftentimes negotiators have to be willing to grant concessions in an area of lesser importance in order to obtain more favorable terms in an area of greater national interest. part of the general public which possesses the right. it is clear that while the final text of the JPEPA may not be kept perpetually confidential ± since there should be ³ample opportunity for discussion before [a treaty] is approved´ ± the offers exchanged by the parties during the negotiations continue to be privileged even after the JPEPA is published. Diplomatic negotiations. on first impression. the bilateral free trade agreement ratified by the President with Japan. citizens and taxpayers ± sought via petition for mandamus and prohibition to obtain from respondents the full text of the JPEPA. Does the exception apply even though JPEPA is primarily economic and does not involve national security? While there are certainly privileges grounded on the necessity of safeguarding national security such as those involving military secrets. ISSUES: y y y Whether or not petitioners have legal standing Whether or not the Philippine and Japanese offers during the negotiation process are privileged Whether or not the President can validly exclude Congress. the Court in Chavez v. it bears noting that treaty negotiations. Privileged Character of Diplomatic Negotiations Recognized The privileged character of diplomatic negotiations has been recognized in this jurisdiction. normally involve a process of quid pro quo. For as Senate v. but at the same time. Particularly. It bears emphasis. Manglapus. thus constituting an exception to the right to information and the policy of full public disclosure. strong enough to overcome its traditionally privileged status. A Matter of Public Concern To be covered by the right to information. that such privilege is only presumptive. concerning trade in goods. the Executive is refusing to give them the said copies until the negotiation is completed. or any negotiation for that matter. paperless trading. Ermita holds. JPEPA. however. Congress through the House Committee are calling for an inquiry into the JPEPA. the standing of petitioners to file the present suit is grounded in jurisprudence. Congresspersons. etc. including the Philippine and Japanese offers submitted during the negotiation process and all pertinent attachments and annexes thereto. In discussing valid limitations on the right to information. Prior to President¶s signing of JPEPA in Sept. exercising its power of inquiry and power to concur in treaties. investment.´ or the privilege of the Government not to disclose the identity of a person or persons who furnish information of violations of law to officers charged with the FACTS: This is regarding the JPEPA. Only after a consideration of the context in which the claim is made may it be determined if there is a public interest that calls for the disclosure of the desired information. One example is the ³informer¶s privilege. petitioners ± non-government organizations.´ Applying the principles adopted in PMPF v. A ruling that Philippine offers in treaty negotiations should not be open to public scrutiny would discourage future Philippine representatives from frankly expressing their views during negotiations. not all are founded thereon. rules of origin. it being sufficient to show that they are citizens and. They only claim that diplomatic negotiations are covered by the doctrine of executive privilege. are recognized as privileged in this jurisdiction. PCGG held that ³information on inter-government exchanges prior to the conclusion of treaties and executive agreements may be subject to reasonable safeguards for the sake of national interest. 2006. As the present petition is anchored on the right to information and petitioners are all suing in their capacity as citizens and groups of citizens including petitioners-members of the House of Representatives who additionally are suing in their capacity as such. it is evident that the Philippine and Japanese offers submitted during the negotiations towards its execution are matters of public concern. This. customs procedures. from the negotiation process RULING: Standing In a petition anchored upon the right of the people to information on matters of public concern. which is a public right by its very nature. recognizing a type of information as privileged does not mean that it will be considered privileged in all instances. While. it appears wise to deter Philippine representatives from entering into compromises. an Exception to Congress' Power of Inquiry Treaty-making Power Executive Privilege vs. the information sought must meet the threshold . Disclosing these offers could impair the ability of the Philippines to deal not only with Japan but with other foreign governments in future negotiations. the JPEPA negotiations constituting no exception.
subject only to the concurrence of at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate for the validity of the treaty.´ And. xxx While the power then to fix tariff rates and other taxes clearly belongs to Congress. to protect the independence in decision-making of the President. In the same way that the privilege for judicial deliberations does not depend on the nature of the case deliberated upon. It may be readily perceived that the rationale for the confidential character of diplomatic negotiations. such pertains only to the validity of the treaty under consideration.´ This qualification applies whether the privilege is being invoked in the context of a judicial trial or a congressional investigation conducted in aid of legislation. free from the glare of publicity and pressure by interested parties. the privilege accorded to diplomatic negotiations arises. the authority of the President to enter into trade agreements with foreign nations provided under P. PCGG. and other taxes xxx. Notably. the Court held that with regard to the duty to disclose ³definite propositions of the government. particularly in its capacity as ³the sole organ of the nation in its external relations. not on the need to protect national security but. one significant qualification being that ³the Executive cannot. Supreme Court in NLRB v. The suspect involved need not be so notorious as to be a threat to national security for this privilege to apply in any given instance. It bears emphasis. pursuant to Article VI.D. In this light. Legislative and Judicial power. deliberative process. deliberative process covers documents reflecting advisory opinions. but the power to fix tariff rates. The earlier discussion on PMPF v. Treaty-making power of the President xxx they (petitioners) argue that the President cannot exclude Congress from the JPEPA negotiations since whatever power and authority the President has to negotiate international trade agreements is derived only by delegation of Congress.S. and presidential communications is similar. import and export quotas. Manglapus shows that the privilege for diplomatic negotiations is meant to encourage a frank exchange of exploratory ideas between the negotiating parties by shielding such negotiations from public view. the rationale for the privilege being that a frank exchange of exploratory ideas and assessments. The subject of Article VI Section 28(2) of the Constitution is not the power to negotiate treaties and international agreements. Section 28(2) of the Constitution and Sections 401 and 402 of Presidential Decree No. if not identical. it has long been recognized that the power to enter into treaties is vested directly and exclusively in the President.´ such duty does not include recognized exceptions like privileged information. so presidential communications are privileged whether they involve matters of national security.enforcement of that law. the constitutional basis thereof is Section 21 of Article VII ± the article on the Executive Department. 1464 may be interpreted as an acknowledgment of a power already inherent in its office. It follows from the above discussion that Congress. must be presumed confidential. that the privilege accorded to presidential communications is not absolute. While Article VII. which are presumed privileged without distinguishing between those which involve matters of national security and those which do not. of course. Also illustrative is the privileged accorded to presidential communications. Closely related to the ³presidential communications´ privilege is the deliberative process privilege recognized in the United States. the privileged status of such documents rests. 1464.´ the objective of the privilege being to enhance the quality of agency decisions. the privilege accorded to diplomatic negotiations follows as a logical consequence from the privileged character of the deliberative process. PEA and Chavez v. the diplomatic negotiations privilege seeks. This is not to say. Does diplomatic privilege only apply to certain stages of the negotiation process? In Chavez v. but because the information is part of a process of deliberation which. in which case not only would this be contrary to long-standing practice. while possessing vast legislative powers. The diplomatic negotiations privilege bears a close resemblance to the deliberative process and presidential communications privilege. It may not be used as basis to hold the President or its representatives accountable to Congress for the conduct of treaty negotiations. As discussed by the U. and is exercised by the President only be delegation of that body. It would also be highly prejudicial to law enforcement efforts in general. any more than the other branches of government. Roebuck & Co. military and diplomatic secrets and similar matters affecting national security and public order. invoke a general confidentiality privilege to shield its officials and employees from investigations by the proper governmental institutions into possible criminal wrongdoing. in pursuit of the public interest. Sears. is essential to protect the independence of decision-making of those tasked to exercise Presidential. on the ³obvious realization that officials will not communicate candidly among themselves if each remark is a potential item of discovery and front page news. not to the conduct of negotiations attendant to its conclusion. and its sole representative with foreign nations. it is not even Congress as a while that has been given the authority to concur as a means of checking the treaty-making . that the President¶s power to enter into treaties is unlimited but for the requirement of Senate concurrence. through the same means. not on account of the content of the information per se. the privilege would be inapplicable in all but the most high-profile cases. recommendations and deliberations comprising part of a process by which governmental decisions and policies are formulated. Section 21 provides for Senate concurrence. however. Similar to the privilege for presidential communications. As to the power to negotiate treaties. since the President must still enure that all treaties will substantively conform to all the relevant provisions of the Constitution. Moreover. may not interfere in the field of treaty negotiations. Otherwise. Clearly. as with the deliberative process privilege.
and it has been established that the subject information is indeed covered by the privilege being claimed. and that the people must sign on a . the people must first see the full text of the proposed amendments before they sign. xxx what respondents received from the House Committee and petitioner-Congressman Aguja were mere requests for information. 25. and economic decision-making. the Court in such cases engages in a balancing of interests. And as priorly stated. 2006 y y y Requirements for Initiative Petition Constitutional Amendment vs. the deliberations of the framers of our Constitution clearly show that: (a) the framers intended to adopt relevant American jurisprudence on people¶s initiative. in determining whether an information is covered by the right to information. political. The proposed changes under the petition will shift the present Bicameral-Presidential system to a Unicameral-Parliamentary form of government.R. there is no strict necessity to assert the privilege. While this provision does not expressly state that the petition must set forth the full text of the proposed amendments. 174153. Constitutional Revision Tests to determine whether amendment or revision FACTS: The Lambino Group commenced gathering signatures for an initiative petition to change the 1987 Constitution and then filed a petition with COMELEC to hold a plebiscite for ratification under Sec. So long as Congress itself finds no cause to enforce such power. but only whether the same is a matter of public concern.. XVII. but only the Senate. without any further showing required? Certainly not. in substance. be construed as a waiver thereof by the Executive branch. not simply for the satisfaction of its curiosity. XVII on direct proposal by people Sec. for that would render the doctrine of executive privilege of no force and effect whatsoever as a limitation on the right to information. xxx (but) Respondent¶s failure to claim the privilege during the House Committee hearings may not. Such a balancing of interests is certainly not new in constitutional adjudication involving fundamental rights. as in the case of petitioners suing in their capacity as private citizens. No. the House Committee itself refrained from pursuing its earlier resolution to issue a subpoena duces tecum on account of then Speaker Jose de Venecia¶s alleged request to Committee Chairperson Congressman Teves to hold the same in abeyance. COMELEC G. failing which respondents are deemed to have waived it. ³Showing of Need´ Test In executive privilege controversies. Oct. a specific ³showing of need´ for such information is not a relevant consideration. when the Executive has ± as in this case ± invoked the privilege. that they should show a public interest in favor of disclosure sufficient in degree to overcome the claim of privilege. then the party demanding it. 7 of RA 6735. pursuant to Santiago v. 5(b) and (c) and Sec. the government has claimed executive privilege. Art. however. Did the respondent¶s alleged failure to timely claim executive privilege constitute waiver of such privilege? That respondent invoked the privilege for the first time only in their Comment to the present petition does not mean that the claim of privilege should not be credited. but for its ability to effectively and reasonably participate in social. Verily. can a party overcome the same by merely asserting that the information being demanded is a matter of public concern. respondent¶s failure to invoke the privilege during the House Committee investigations did not amount to waiver thereof. When. and it has established that the information is indeed covered by the same. 2. petitionersmembers of the House of Representatives fail to present a ³sufficient showing of need´ that the information sought is critical to the performance of the functions of Congress. must show that that information is vital. Comelec ruling. Art. if it is to overcome the privilege. because then the sole test in such controversies would be whether an information is a matter of public concern. ISSUES: y y Whether or not the proposed changes constitute an amendment or revision Whether or not the initiative petition is sufficient compliance with the constitutional requirement on direct proposal by the people RULING: Initiative petition does not comply with Sec. the requirement that parties present a ³sufficient showing of need´ only means. however.. The privilege is an exemption to Congress¶ power of inquiry. Petitioner¶s position presupposes that an assertion of the privilege should have been made during the House Committee investigations.power of the President. Lambino vs. COMELEC did not give it due course for lack of an enabling law governing initiative petitions to amend the Constitution. and (b) in particular.is the governing provision that allows a people¶s initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. 2. In this light. xxx However. Right to information vis-a-vis Executive Privilege xxx the Court holds that. functions that do not include treaty-negotiation. Thus.
or attached to it. reduces. The signature sheet merely asks a question whether the people approve a shift from the Bicameral-Presidential to the Unicameral. Similarly. like altering the principle of separation of powers or the system of checksand-balances. the proposal must be embodied in a petition. and unelected individuals. There is also revision if the change alters the substantial entirety of the constitution. a shift from a Bicameral-Presidential to a Unicameral-Parliamentary system. By any legal test and under any jurisdiction. while amendment generally affects only the specific provision being amended. a change reducing Filipino ownership of mass media companies from 100% to 60% is an amendment and not a revision. Amendment vs. referring to the third mode. In the case of the Lambino Group¶s petition. Moreover. Neither does the signature sheet state that the text of the proposed changes is attached to it. A people¶s initiative to change the Constitution applies only to an amendment of the Constitution and not to its revision. 2 elements of initiative 1. Section 2 of Article XVII. The initiative violates Section 2. Thus. Congress or a constitutional convention can propose both amendments and revisions to the Constitution. not a mere amendment. This is an assurance that everyone of the several millions of signatories to the petition had seen the full textof the proposed amendments before ± not after ± signing. Revision Courts have long recognized the distinction between an amendment and a revision of a constitution. The essence of amendments ³directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition´ is that the entire proposal on its face is a petition by the people. a change requiring a college degree as an additional qualification for election to the Presidency is an amendment and not a revision. The third mode is through a people¶s initiative. These changes do not also affect the structure of government or the system of checks-and-balances among or within the three branches. or sentence of text of the proposed changes in the signature sheet. as an initiative upon a petition.´ This distinction was intentional as shown by the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. Article XVII of the Constitution disallowing revision through initiatives Article XVII of the Constitution speaks of three modes of amending the Constitution. Revision generally affects several provisions of the constitution. a change reducing the voting age from 18 years to 15 years is an amendment and not a revision. Where the proposed change applies only to a specific provision of the Constitution without affecting any other section or article. This omission is fatal. On the other hand. amendment broadly refers to a change that adds. this Constitution. However. the writing of the text of the proposed amendments cannot be hidden from the people under a general or special power of attorney to unnamed. First. the substitution of the word ³republican´ with ³monarchic´ or ³theocratic´ in Section 1. referring to the first and second modes. the people must author and thus sign the entire proposal. as when the change affects substantial provisions of the constitution. applies only to ³amendments to this Constitution. 2. In contrast. The first . the change may generally be considered an amendment and not a revision. No agent or representative can sign on their behalf. Revision broadly implies a change that alters a basic principle in the constitution. For example. involving the abolition of the Office of the President and the abolition of one chamber of Congress. or deletes without altering the basic principle involved. applies to ³any amendment to. Article II of the Constitution radically overhauls the entire structure of government and the fundamental ideological basis of the Constitution. is beyond doubt a revision. ³an initiative signer must be informed at the time of signing of the nature and effect of that which is proposed´ and failure to do so is ³deceptive and misleading´ which renders the initiative void. Section 1 of Article XVII. phrase. The signature sheet does not show to the people the draft of the proposed changes before they are asked to sign the signature sheet. That¶s why the Constitution requires that an initiative must be ³directly proposed by the people x x x in a petition´ . each specific change will have to be examined case-by-case. The changes in these examples do not entail any modification of sections or articles of the Constitution other than the specific provision being amended. A change in a single word of one sentence of the Constitution may be a revision and not an amendment. there can be no fixed rule on whether a change is an amendment or a revision. or revision of.´ In contrast. Second. there¶s not a single word. This means two essential elements must be present.petition containing such full text. If so attached. Also.Parliamentary system of government. An initiative that gathers signatures from the people without first showing to the people the full text of the proposed amendments is most likely a deception. faceless. Does the Lambino Group¶s initiative constitute a revision of the Constitution? Yes. For example. the petition must stated the fact of such attachment. The second mode is through a constitutional convention. depending on how it affects other provisions. These essential elements are present only if the full text of the proposed amendments is first shown to the people who express their assent by signing such complete proposal in a petition. On so vital an issue as amending the nation¶s fundamental law.meaning that the people must sign on a petition that contains the full text of the proposed amendments. and can operate as a gigantic fraud on the people. The full text of the proposed amendments may be either written on the face of the petition. mode is through Congress upon three-fourths vote of all its Members.
xxx Bluntly stated. substantive changes are called revisions because members of the deliberative body work full-time on the changes. Exceptions FACTS: Petitioners in this case sought to amend certain provisions of the Constitution. Santiago et al. 127325. to undertake only amendments and not revisions.. the Lambino Group¶s proposed changes overhaul two articles . Likewise. from presidential to parliamentary. specifically lifting the limit of terms of elective officials. ISSUE: y Whether or not RA 6735 adequately provided for people·s initiative on Constitution RULING: Constitutional provision on people¶s initiative is not self-executory Sec. Where the intent of the framers and the language of the Constitution are clear and plainly stated.R.Article VI on the Legislature and Article VII on the Executive . however. or several provisions of a constitution. a deliberative body with recorded proceedings is best suited to undertake a revision. Under both the quantitative and qualitative tests. The same substantive changes. which do not have fixed and identifiable deliberative bodies or recorded proceedings. courts do not deviate from such categorical intent and language. A change in the structure of government is a revision A change in the structure of government is a revision of the Constitution. The SC. Merging the legislative and executive branches is a radical change in the structure of government. The qualitative test inquires into the qualitative effects of the proposed change in the constitution.. Since a revision of a constitution affects basic principles. Thus.is not self-executory. when proposed through an initiative. This alters the separation of powers in the Constitution. courts have developed a two-part test: the quantitative test and the qualitative test. Quantitatively. The court examines only the number of provisions affected and does not consider the degree of the change. The Lambino Group posits that when a deliberative body drafts and proposes changes to the Constitution. a change in the nature of [the] basic governmental plan includes change in its fundamental framework or the fundamental powers of its Branches. The Lambino Group theorizes that the difference between amendment and revision is only one of procedure. opposed on the ground that the constitutional provision on people¶s initiative to amend the Constitution can only be implemented by law to be passed by Congress. which provides for initiative on statues and local legislation but not initiative on the Constitution.affecting a total of 105 provisions in the entire Constitution. A shift from the present BicameralPresidential system to a Unicameral-Parliamentary system is a revision of the Constitution. the abolition alone of one chamber of Congress alters the system of checks-and-balances y y Constitutional provision on People's Initiative is not self-executory Principle of Non-delegation of Powers. and the underlying ideological basis of the existing Constitution. The main inquiry is whether the change will accomplish such far reaching changes in the nature of our basic governmental plan as to amount to a revision. ruled that the express intent of the framers and the plain language of the Constitution contradict the Lambino Group¶s theory. the carefully crafted system of checksand-balances. Tests to determine whether amendment or revision within the legislature and constitutes a revision of the Constitution. A change in the nature of the basic governmental plan also includes changes that jeopardize the traditional form of government and the system of check and balances. 1997 In California where the initiative clause allows amendments but not revisions to the constitution just like in our Constitution. but also the altered principles with those that remain unaltered. 2 of Art. or vocation out of such endeavor. The quantitative test asks whether the proposed change is so extensive in its provisions as to change directly the substantial entirety of the constitution by the deletion or alteration of numerous existing provisions. constitutions normally authorize deliberative bodies like constituent assemblies or constitutional conventions to undertake revisions. the proposed changes alter substantially the basic plan of government. Comelec G. profession. and from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature. A revision requires harmonizing not only several provisions. Thus. The abolition alone of the Office of the President as the locus of Executive Power alters the separation of powers and thus constitutes a revision of the Constitution. No. Santiago vs. the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the system of initiative would remain entombed in the cold niche of the . constitutions allow people¶s initiatives. Qualitatively. XVII of the Constitution. March 19. There is no law passed yet and RA 6735. are called amendments because the changes are made by ordinary people who do not make an occupation.as well as how it affects the structure of government. as when the three great co-equal branches of government in the present Constitution are reduced into two. On the other hand. the Lambino Group¶s initiative is a revision and not merely an amendment. not of substance. through people¶s initiative. Whether there is an alteration in the structure of government is a proper subject of inquiry.
Contrary to the assertion of public respondents COMELEC. xxx Third. 5 above. and resolutions. laws. Has Congress ³provided´ for the implementation of the exercise of this right? There is. or hierarchy of values. VI. 5 (Requirements) restates the constitutional requirements as to the percentage of the registered voters who must submit the proposal. enact. the people cannot exercise it if Congress. The said section reads: SECTION 2. considering that in the order of things. enact. It is true that Sec. and Delegation to administrative bodies. 3. an administrative body exercising quasi-judicial functions. ordinances. as the case may be. VI. ordinances. and that Sec. while the Constitution has recognized or granted that right. approved or rejected. cannot be delegated or as expressed in a Latin maxim: potestas delegata non delegari potest. But is RA 6735 a full compliance with the power and duty of Congress to ³provide for the implementation of the exercise of the right?´ A careful scrutiny of the Act yields a negative answer. 4. the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution is far more important than the initiative on national and local laws. the provisions ofthe Constitution sought to be amended. The people are not accorded the power to ³directly propose. 5. which exclusively relates to initiative and referendum on national laws and local laws. Empowering the COMELEC. It is valid only if the law (a) is complete in itself. Sec. 2. maps out its boundaries and specifies the public agency to apply it.Constitution until Congress provides for its implementation. The inclusion of the word ³Constitution´ therein was a delayed afterthought. in whole or in part. for whatever reason. approve or reject. As pointed out earlier. Insofar as initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution is concerned. ordinances. It indicates the circumstances under which the legislative command is to be effected. xxx The foregoing brings us to the conclusion that RA 6735 is incomplete. But unlike in the case of the other systems of initiative. as among the contents of the petition. 28(2). statement of the proposed law sought to be enacted. xxx We agree that RA 6735 was. to promulgate rules and regulations is a form of delegation of legislative authority under no. paragraph (c) requires. First. or wanting in essential terms and conditions insofar as initiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned. no other better way for Congress to implement the exercise of the right than through the passage of a statute or legislative act. the primacy of interest. or resolutions. 3 (Definition of Terms) of the Act defines initiative on amendments to the Constitution and mentions it as one of the three systems of initiative. However. Stated otherwise. intended to cover initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. approve. the Constitution. That word is neither germane nor relevant to said section. it could have provided for a subtitle therefor. Delegation of emergency powers to the President under Sec. or implemented by the delegate. If Congress intended RA 6735 to fully provide for the implementation of the initiative on amendments to the Constitution. initiative on the Constitution is confined only to proposals to AMEND. That section is silent as to amendments on the Constitution.´ Principle of non-delegation of power The rule is that what has been delegated. of course. recognized and guaranteed. as its history reveals. Art. inadequate. . 5. Delegation to the people at large. This conspicuous silence as to the latter simply means that the main thrust of the Act is initiative and referendum on national and local laws. RA 6735 miserably failed to satisfy both requirements in subordinate legislation. amended or repealed. Delegation of tariff powers to the President under Sec. the Act does not provide for the contents of a petition for initiative on the Constitution. and (b) fixes a standard ± the limits of which are sufficiently determinate and determinable ± to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions. setting forth therein the policy to be executed. in every case of permissible delegation. The delegation of the power to the COMELEC is then invalid.´ xxx Second. no subtitle is provided for initiative on the Constitution. the Constitution´ through the system of initiative. Delegation to local governments. carried out. They can only do so with respect to ³laws. among other things. Sec. Its lacunae on this substantive matter are fatal and cannot be cured by ³empowering´ the COMELEC ³to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the Act. ± The power of the people under a system of initiative and referendum to directly propose. in whole or in part. or reject. 23(2). in the case of initiative on the Constitution. Statement and Policy. or resolutions passed by any legislative body upon compliance with the requirements of this Act is hereby affirmed. marks its limits. While the Act provides subtitles for National Initiative and Referendum (Subtitle II) and for Local Initiative and Referendum (Subtitle III). It does not include. does not provide for its implementation. 2 of the Act does not suggest an initiative on amendments to the Constitution. Art. there must be a showing that the delegation itself is valid. A sufficient standard is one which defines legislative policy. The recognized exceptions to the rule are as follows: 1.
" On the issue of jurisdiction of the Electoral Commission The creation of the Electoral Commission was designed to remedy certain errors of which the framers of our Constitutionwere cognizant. On Dec. it does not assert any superiority over the other departments. Miguel Castillo. Ynsua filed before the Electoral Commission a "Motion of Protest" against Angara and praying. Although the Electoral Commission may not be interfered with. the judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments and among the integral and constituent units thereof. The Constitution itself has provided for the instrumentality of the judiciary as the rational way. 1935. that Ynsua be named/declared elected Member of the National Assembly or that the election of said position be nullified. this power of judicial review is limited to actual cases and controversies to be exercised after full opportunity of argument by the parties and limited further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis mota presented. when and while acting wihtin the limits of its authority. 8. the provincial board of canvassers proclaimed Angara as member-elect of the National Assembly and on Nov. ISSUES: (1) Whether or not the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commision and the subject matter of the controversy upon the foregoing related facts. he took his oath of office. 1935. Angara and the respondents Pedro Ynsua. and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. 6) stating that last day for filing of protests is on Dec. When the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries. In case of conflict. 3. and is supreme within its own sphere. which in effect. not only because the legislature is presumed to abide by the Constitution. It obtains not through a single provision but by actual division in our Constitution that each department of the government has exclusive cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction. here is then presented an actual controversy involving as it does a conflict of a grave constitutional nature between the National Assembly on the one hand. returns. 9. conflicting claims of authority under the fundamental law between departmental powers and agencies of the government are necessarily determined by the judiciary in justiciable and appropriate cases. 17. Even then. that instrument which is the expression of their sovereignty however limited. Electoral Commission 63 PHIL 143 FACTS: In the elections of Sept. it does not follow that it is beyond the reach of the constitutional mechanism adopted by the people and that it is not subject to constitutional restrictions. This is in truth all that is involved in what is termed "judicial supremacy" which properly is the power of judicial review under the Constitution. but also because the judiciary in the determination of actual cases and controversies must respect the wisdom and justice of the people as expressed through their representatives in the executive and legislative departments of government. On Oct. scope. petitioner Jose A. but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it bythe Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them.Angara vs. 15. (2) Whether or not the said Electoral Commission acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction in assuming to take cognizance of the protest filed against the election of the herein petitioner notwithstanding the previous confirmation of such election by resolution of the National Assembly RULING: On the issue of jurisdiction of the Supreme Court The separation of powers is a fundamental principle of a system of government. the National Assembly passed Resolution No. Angara contended that the Constitution confers exclusive jurisdiction upon the Electoral Commission solely as regards the merits of contested elections to the National Assembly and the Supreme Court therefore has no jurisdiction to hear the case. and extent of the constitutional grant to the Electoral Commission as "the sole judge of all contests relating to the election. But it does not follow from that fact that the three powers are to be kept separate and that the Constitution intended them to be absolutely restrained and independent of each other. The court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission and the subject matter of the present controversy for the purpose of determining the character. 1935. and Dionisio Mayor were candidates voted for the position of members of the National Assembly for the first district of Tayabas. 1935. among other things. 9. fixed the last date to file election protests. it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature. acting through their delegates to so provide. 1935. The purpose was to transfer in its totality all the . the Electoral Commission adopted a resolution (No. On Dec. 8. In the case at bar. 7. and even if it were. The Electoral Commission is not a separate department of the government. On Dec. and the Electoral Commission on the other. Courts accord the presumption of constitutionality to legislative enactments. The Constitution has provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the various departments of the government. 1935. has established a republican government intended to operate and function as a harmonious whole. and in the affirmative. As any human production. but as much as it was within the power of our people. our Constitution is of course lacking perfection and perfectability. under a system of checks and balances and subject to the specific limitations and restrictions provided in the said instrument.
the Electoral Commission had not yet met. the President shall have the power to make appointments during the recess of the Congress. the Electoral Commission met for the first time and approved a resolution fixing said date as the last day for the filing of election protests. 9. it is. and qualifications of members of the National Assembly. cannot in any manner toll the time for filing protest against the election. 16. Title I. as long as the President deems that person competent. Pursuant to the Constitution. when acting within the limits of its authority. 1935. there can be no appointments. returns. 1935. the incidental power to promulgate such rules necessary for the proper exercise of its exclusive power to judge all contests relating to the election. whether temporary or permanent. Ermita also pointed out EO 292 which allows such an appointment with the exception that such temporary designation shall not exceed one year. ISSUE: Whether or not the appointments made by GMA is valid. The creation of the Electoral Commission carried with it ex necessitate rei the power regulative in character to limit the time within which protests instructed to its cognizance should be filed. holds a position of great trust and confidence. nor prevent the filing of protests within such time as the rules of the Electoral Commission might prescribe. therefore. Art 7 of the Constitution to make such appointments. and qualifications of members of the National Assembly. an independent organ. Book III of EO 292 states that [t]he President may temporarily designate an officer already in the government service or any other competent person to perform the functions of an office in the executive branch. It appears that on Dec. is intended to be as complete and unimpaired as if it had remained originally in the legislature. invested with the necessary authority in the performance and exercise of the limited and specific function assigned to it by the Constitution. What Bernas Says . cannot impose on the President who her alter ego should be. GMA cannot issue appointments in an acting capacity to department secretaries while Congress is in session because the law does not give the President such power. They were appointed in acting capacities only. The grant of power to the Electoral Commission to judge all contests relating to the election.. the National Assembly passed its resolution of Dec. to all intents and purposes. GMA appointed Arthur Yap et al as secretaries of their respective departments. and that the resolution of the National Assembly on Dec. Thus. Congress.". And thus. During pendency. No. The express lodging of that power in the Electoral Commission is an implied denial in the exercise of that power by the National Assembly. 1935. Congress adjourned and GMA re-issued ad interim appointments re-appointing those previously appointed in acting capacity. When. to a vacant position of an office needing confirmation by the CoA. Also. it is as effective a restriction upon the legislative power as an express prohibition in the Constitution.powers previously exercised by the legislature in matters pertaining to contested elections of its members. While there might have been good reason for the legislative practice of confirmation of the election of members of the legislature at the time the power to decide election contests was still lodged in the legislature. Pimentel together w/ 7 other senators filed a complaint against the appointment of Yap et al. returns. Although it is not a power in our tripartite scheme of government. neither does it appear that said body had actually been organized. Congress. 3.. 3. Pimentel argues that GMA should not have appointed Yap et al as acting secretaries because in case of a vacancy in the Office of a Secretary. to an independent and impartial tribunal. The Electoral Commission is a constitutional creation. 164978 FACTS:While Congress was in session. but such appointments shall be effective only until disapproval by the CoA or until the next adjournment of the Congress. confirmation alone by the legislature cannot be construed as depriving the Electoral Commission of the authority incidental to its constitutional power to be "the sole judge of all contests. Pimentel further asserts that while Congress is in session. argued that GMA is allowed under Sec. Aquilino Pimentel vs Exec Secretary Ermita G. through a law. the President may even appoint in an acting capacity a person not yet in the government service. it is only an Undersecretary who can be designated as Acting Secretary. whether voluntary or compulsory. and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. Therefore. An alter ego. returns. must be deemed by necessary implication to have been lodged also in the Electoral Commission. in behalf of the other respondents. without first having obtained its consent.R. Jose A. confirming the election of the petitioner to the National Assembly. Chap 5. Sec 17. Angara. HELD: The Electoral Commission is acting within the legitimate exercise of its constitutional prerogative in assuming to take cognizance of the protest filed by the respondent. Pedro Ynsua against he election of the herein petitioner. whether regular or acting. to fix the time for the filing of said election protests. HELD: Ermita. in the guise of prescribing qualifications to an office. cannot impose on the President the obligation to appoint automatically the undersecretary as her temporary alter ego.
Moreover ad-interim appointments are submitted to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation or rejection. The absence of abuse is readily apparent from GMA s issuance of ad interim appointments to respondents immediately upon the recess of Congress. whereas acting appointments may be extended any time there is a vacancy. acting appointments are not submitted to the Commission on Appointments. ** The SC finds no abuse in what GMA did. they can also be a way of circumventing the need for confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. Acting appointments are a way of temporarily filling important offices but. way before the lapse of one year. if abused. Both of them are effective upon acceptance. . But ad-interim appointments are extended only during a recess of Congress.Ad-interim appointments must be distinguished from appointments in an acting capacity.
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