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D2013 Consti1 Reviewer Prof. Jardeleza SY 2009-2010


A. Fundamental law as overriding standard of validity in case of repugnancy

If two laws – one being a law or a statute and the other one a constitutional precept – are irreconcilably in conflict with each other, the court, by means of judicial review, must choose between the two. But since the Constitution is superior to any act of legislature, it being an enactment of the sovereign people, the Constitution must prevail.

Marbury vs. Madison


William Marbury, in a petition, challenged James Madison, then Secretary of State of the United States to show cause why a mandamus should not issue commanding the latter to deliver the commission of the former as justice of the peace in the district of Columbia. Madison contended that Marbury’s designation as justice of the peace was made in a form of a “midnight appointment” and is therefore unconstitutional.


This case declared, for the first time, an act of Congress unconstitutional, thus establishing the doctrine of judicial review. The Supreme Court held that a portion of the Judiciary Act of 1789, which authorized the court to issue a writ of mandamus, was unconstitutional and thus invalid. Chief Justice Marshall declared that in any conflict between the Constitution and a law passed by Congress, the Constitution must always take precedence.

B. Supremacy of the Constitution enforced through judicial review

One of the ways of enforcing the supremacy of the Constitution is through judicial review. Judicial review is the power of a court to settle actual


controversies between real conflicting parties thrugh the applications of a law. It involves the duty of the court of pronouncing void any such act which does not square with its own reading of the Constitution. When the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority over the other departments; it does not in reality nullify an act of the legislature, but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it the by the Constitution.

Angara vs. Electoral Commission


Angara was elected representative of Tayabas, Quezon and was already proclaimed a member of the National Assembly when Ynsua protested to the ELECOM. Angara filed a motion to dismiss the protest but since his motion was denied by the ELECOM, he filed an original action in the SC questioning the jurisdiction of the ELECOM to hear the protest of Ynsua, provided that ELECOM was under the National Assembly which already proclaimed him as its member as the elected representative of Tayabas, Quezon.


[1] When there’s an actual case or controversy, 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 integra constituent units thereof. [2]The judiciary has judicial power, and included in this power is judicial review. The Court has the discretion whether or not to exercise this power. Hence, it produced standards for justiciability.

Tañada vs. Cuenco


There were only two parties in the Senate, namely Nacionalista Party and Citizens Party and the minority party (Citizens Party) has only one seat in it, filled in by Tañada. The Constitution provides that the Senate Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of three members nominated by the party with the largest number of votes in the Senate and another three members nominated by the party with the second largest number. Tañada, after


nominating himself, refused to nominate two more Senators so the said slots were filled in by two more members of the Nacionalista Party.


To those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality of a particular measure.

C. Acts of government must conform to the norms of the Constitution

The concept of the Constitution as the fundamental law, setting forth the criterion for the validity of any public act whether proceeding from the highest official or the lowest functionary, is a postulate of our system of government. The three branches of government, in the discharge of their functions, have no choice but to yield obedience to the commands of the highest law of the land. Sovereignty belongs to the people and the Constitution is a written instrument through which the people entrust to government a measure of its own sovereignty and no more. What is thus entrusted to the government is limited power. Hence every act of government must conform to the terms of empowerment set by the Constitution.

Mutuc vs. COMELEC


Mutuc is a candidate for the Constitutional Convention called during the second Marcos term. COMELEC approved his candidacy but prohibited him from using jingles in his campaign. Mutuc contended that the prohibition was a violation of his right to free speech.


As a branch of the executive department, although independent of the President, to which the Constitution has given the exclusive charge of the enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of elections, the power of decision of the COMELEC is limited to purely administrative questions. The COMELEC cannot exercise any authority in


conflict with or outside the law, and there is no higher law than the Constitution.

Osmeña vs. COMELEC


Osmeña assails the constitutionality of RA 7056, “An Act Providing for the National and Local Elections on 1992, Pave Way for Synchronized and Simultaneous Elections Beginning 1995”.


RA 7056 was declared unconstitutional because it violated several provision of the Constitution, especially the provision on synchronization of elections. The mere absence of a provision in the 1987 Constitution which prohibits the holding of separate elections does not mean that the Constitution did not intend the holding of simultaneous or synchronized elections. Moreover, the legislature cannot extend the term of officers since it is clearly not mandated by the Constitution.

D. Constitutional Construction

The primary task in constitutional construction is to ascertain and thereafter assure the realization of the purpose of the framers and of the people in the adoption of the Constitution. It may also be safely assumed that the people in ratifying the Constitution were guided mainly by the explanation offered by the framers.

Nitafan vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue


Judges seek to prohibit the Commissioner of Internal Revenue from making any deduction of withholding taxes from their salaries. They submit that any tax withheld from their compensation as judicial officers constitutes a decrease of diminution of their salaries, contrary to the provisions of Art. VIII, Sec.10 of the 1987 Constitution.



The court accorded due respect to the intent of the people, through the discussions and deliberations of their representatives, in the spirit that all citizens should bear their part of the cost of maintaining the government and should share the burden of general income tax equitably. The framers of the Constitution, as the alter ego of the people, have expressed in unmistakable terms the meaning and import of Art. VIII, Sec. 10 of the Constitution, which says that members of the judiciary are NOT exempt from paying income taxes.


II. The 1987 Constitution

A. The Provisional Constitution

In virtue of Proclamation No. 1 of the Batasang Pambansa issued on February 25, 1986, Mr. Marcos was sworn in by Chief Justice Ramon Aquino at Malacañang. However, in defiance of the 1973 Constitution and without the sanction of the Batasang Pambansa, Corazon Aquino was proclaimed first woman President of the Republic of the Philippines.

Aquino turned her back from the 1973 Constitution whose officials (members of the Batasan), had denied her the presidency and chose instead to govern under a provisional constitution by virtue of Proclamation No. 3, also known as the “Freedom Constitution”. Article 4 of the Freedom Constitution provided for the adoption of a new constitution, which paved way for the creation of the 1987 Constitution.

Lawyers’ League for a Better Philippines vs. Pres. Aquino


Petitioners alleged that the Aquino gov’t is illegal because it was not established pursuant to the 1973 Constitution.


The legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable matter since it belongs to the realm of politics where only the people of the Philippines are


the judge. The Aquino government is not merely a de facto but it is in fact and law a de jure government

In Re: Saturnino Bermudez


A lawyer questions Article 18 of proposed 1986 Constitution regarding who the provision refers to when it says President and Vice President. The court dismisses it outright for lack of jurisdiction and a cause of action.


Petitioner's allegation of ambiguity or vagueness of the aforequoted provision is manifestly gratuitous, it being a matter of public record and common public knowledge that the Constitutional Commission refers therein to incumbent President Corazon C. Aquino and Vice-President Salvador H. Laurel, and to no other persons.

Philippine Bar Association vs. COMELEC


Petitioners assail the validity of BP Blg. 883 which calls for a snap election for the positions of President and Vice President. They filed a petition to prohibit the enforcement of the BP on the basis of its unconstitutionality.


Petition was dismissed since there are less than the required ten (10) votes to declare BP Blg. 883 unconstitutional. The issue of whether or not incumbent President Marcos should be allowed to run has turned into a political question, which can be truly decided by the people in their sovereign capacity at the scheduled election. Since it is a political question, it is outside the ambit of the courts. The Court cannot stand in the way of letting the people decide through their ballot, either to the give the incumbent president a new mandate or elect a new president.

B. Adoption and Effectivity of the 1987 Constitution

Provisional Constitution, Art. V: ADOPTION OF A NEW CONSTITUTION


S1. Within sixty (60) days from date of this Proclamation, a Commission shall be appointed by the President to draft a New Constitution. The Commission shall be composed of not less than thirty (30) nor more than fifty (50) natural born citizens of the Philippines, of recognized probity, known for their independence, nationalism and patriotism. They shall be chosen by the President after consultation with various sectors of society.

S2. The Commission shall complete its work within as short a period as may be consistent with the need both to hasten the return of normal constitutional government and to draft a document truly reflective of the ideals and aspirations of the Filipino people.

S3. The Commission shall conduct public hearings to ensure that the people will have adequate participation in the formulation of the New Constitution.

S4. The plenary sessions of the Commission shall be public and fully recorded.

S5. The New Constitution shall be presented by the Commission to the President who shall fix the date for the holding of a plebiscite. It shall become valid and effective upon ratification by a majority of the votes cast in such plebiscite which shall be held within a period of sixty (60) days following its submission to the President.

1987 Const., Art. XVIII, S27: This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose and shall supersede all previous Constitutions.

Proclamation No. 58 (Proclaiming the ratification of the 1987 Constitution):

“xxx that the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines adopted by the Constitutional Commission of 1986, including the Ordinance appended thereto, has been duly ratified by the Filipino people and is therefore effective and in full force and effect.”

De Leon v. Esguerra (1987)


Facts: During 1982 Barangay elections, petitioners were elected Brgy Capt and Brgy Councilmen respectively under BP 222 (Brgy Election Act of 1982). Memoranda signed Feb 8, 1987 by respondent OIC Gov Esguerra designated other people for said positions. Petitioners wanted these Memos nullified as S3/BP222 states that their terms of office "shall be six (6) years which shall commence on June 7, 1982 and shall continue until their successors shall have elected and shall have qualified," or up to June 7, 1988 Also, petitioners contend that with CON87 ratification, respondent OIC Gov. no longer has the authority to replace them and to designate their successors.

A3/S2/PROVCON, promulgated Mar 25, 1986: All elective and appointive officials and employees under the 1973 Constitution shall continue in office until otherwise provided by proclamation or executive order or upon the designation or appointment and qualification of their successors, if such appointment is made within a period of one year from February 25,1986. (NOTE: this ends Feb. 25, 1987).

Ruling: Was the designation of respondents validly made (during the one- year period which ended on February 25, 1987 pursuant toA3/S2/PROVCON)? NO. While Feb. 8, 1987 is still within the one-year deadline pursuant to PROVCON, PROVCON must be deemed overtaken by A18/S27/CON87. CON87 overtook PROVCON when former was ratified i a plebiscite Feb. 2, 1987.

Dissent (J. Sarmiento): For him, CON87 is made effective Feb. 11, 1987 and not Feb. 2, 1987. Quoting that A18/S27/CON87 says that CON87 “shall tak effect immediately upon its ratification xxx” he argues CON87 “takes effect on the date its ratification shall have been ascertained [as in Proclamation 58], and not at the time the people cast their votes… the will of the people as of that time, had not, and could not have been, vet determined.XXX”.

III. Popular Sovereignty and Constituent Power

A. Popular sovereignty and its collective powers

1. Constituent power

2. Electoral power


ARTICLE V: SUFFRAGE (A5 has only two sections)

Section 1. Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law, who are at least eighteen years of age, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year, and in the place wherein they propose to vote, for at least six months immediately preceding the election. No literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage.

Section 2. The Congress shall provide a system for securing the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot as well as a system for absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad. The Congress shall also design a procedure for the disabled and the illiterates to vote without the assistance of other persons. Until then, they shall be allowed to vote under existing laws and such rules as the Commission on Elections may promulgate to protect the secrecy of the ballot.

Bernas notes on A5/CON87

Suffrage as right and duty

Concept of suffrage (right to vote) started as a statutory right and evolved into a CON right. In the CON73, it took the form of an obligation. The obligation has been removed by the CON87.

3. Legislative power through Initiative and referendum

A6 (The Legislative Department)/S1/CON87:

Section 1. The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and referendum.

A6/S32/CON87: Section 32. The Congress shall, as early as possible, provide for a system of initiative and referendum, and the exceptions therefrom, whereby the people can directly propose and enact laws or approve or reject any act or law or part thereof passed by the Congress or local legislative body after the registration of a petition therefor signed by at


least ten per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters thereof.

Bernas notes on A6 (The Legislative Department)/S32/CON87:

Initiative and Referendum

Current implementing law is RA6735, some of the details of which are:

Sec. 5. Requirements. — (a) To exercise the power of initiative o referendum, at least ten per centum (10%) of the total number of th registered voters, of which every legislative district is represented by at leas three per centum (3%) of the registered voters thereof, shall sign a petitio for the purpose and register the same with the Commission.


(c) The petition shall state the following:

c.1. contents or text of the proposed law sought to be enacted approved or rejected, amended or repealed, as the case may be; c.2. the proposition; c.3. the reason or reasons therefor; c.4. that it is not one of the exceptions provided herein; c.5. signatures of the petitioners or registered voters; and c.6. an abstract or summary in not more than one hundred (100 words which shall be legibly written or printed at the top of ever page of the petition.


Sec. 6. Special Registration. — The Commission on Election shall set special registration day at least three (3) weeks before a scheduled initiativ or referendum. Sec. 7. Verification of Signatures. — The Election Registrar shall verify th signatures on the basis of the registry list of voters, voters' affidavits an voters identification cards used in the immediately preceding election.


National Initiative and Referendum


Sec. 8. Conduct and Date of Initiative or Referendum. — The Commission shall call and supervise the conduct of initiative or referendum.

Within a period of thirty (30) days from receipt of the petition, the Commission shall, upon determining the sufficiency of the petition, publish the same in Filipino and English at least twice in newspapers of general and local circulation and set the date of the initiative or referendum which shall not be earlier than forty-five (45) days but not later than ninety (90) days from the determination by the Commission of the sufficiency of the petition.

Sec. 9. Effectivity of Initiative or Referendum Proposition. — (a) The Proposition of the enactment, approval, amendment or rejection of a national law shall be submitted to and approved by a majority of the votes cast by all the registered voters of the Philippines.

(b) Statutes involving emergency measures, the enactment of which ar specifically vested in Congress by the Constitution, cannot be subject t referendum until ninety (90) days after its effectivity.

4. Power of Recall

A9C(Constitutional Commissions; The COMELEC)/S2(1)/CON87:

The Commission on Elections shall exercise the following powers an functions:

(1) Enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to th conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and recall.

Sec. 2

Bernas notes on COMELEC:

Nature of the powers of the COMELEC

If, as certified by the Commission, the proposition to reject a national law is approved by a majority of the votes cast, the said national law shall be

However, if the majority vote is not obtained, the national law sought to be

Like the CSC, COMELEC is an administrative agency. As such, its powers are executive, quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative.

deemed repealed and the repeal shall become effective fifteen (15) days

Extensive administrative powers must be deemed possessed also by

following the completion of publication of the proposition and the certification by the Commission in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines.

rejected or amended shall remain in full force and effect.

the COMELEC under the CON87 because of the broad language of S2(1) and S2(3). S2(3) grants power to “decide, except those involving the right to vote, all questions affecting elections, including determination of the number and location of polling places appointment of election officials and inspectors, and registration of voters.”




Amending of Revisionary Process

(c) A national or local initiative proposition approved by majority of the votes cast in an election called for the purpose shall become effective fifteen (15) days after certification and proclamation by the Commission.

Sec. 10. Prohibited Measures. — The following cannot be the subject of an initiative or referendum petition:

(a) No petition embracing more than one (1) subject shall be submitted to the electorate; and


1. In general

Del Rosario v. COMELEC (1970)



Facts: Simeon G. Del Rosario assails the constitutionality of RA 6132 (CONCON Act of 1970). He is temporary staff writer of Weekly Nation Magazine, and a permanent int’l Research Officer of SEA Treaty Organization. He is on home leave and is waiting to be reinstated to his post in Bangkok by DFA.


He assails S5 and 8 of said law because they are oppressive. S5/RA6132

disqualifies a person elected as CONCON delegate from running for any public office in any election or to assume any appointive office or position

in Govt until after final adjournment of CONCON. S8(a):

for delegate to the Convention shall represent or allow himself to be represented as being a candidate of any political party or any other organization, and no political party, political group, political committee, civic, religious, professional, or other organization xxx shall intervene in the nomination of any such candidate or in the filing of his certificate of candidacy or give aid or support, directly or indirectly, material or otherwise, favorable to or against his campaign for election xxx”.

“No candidate

He assails S21/RA6132 which involves appropriation of P29M for CONCON as such amount is a waste of money because CONCON has no time limit for its duration. His petition is recognized by virtue of his claim that he is a taxpayer and as such, he has an interest in the appropriation.

S8: Political parties or other organizations prohibited from helping CONCON delegates during campaign period.

Ruling: Is RA 6132 valid? Yes.

1. S4 is valid in accordance with CON prohibition on public employees/officials running for election. It does not deny them of due process or equal protection.

2. RA 6132 was enacted in Congress’ capacity as a legislative body exercising its broad lawmaking authority. They can grant powers and fix the qualifications and other requirements needed such as in the case of the CONCON delegates.

3. Congress has right to apportion the number of delegates per district. They can limit it if there are economic restraints. In this case, they were correct in using the preliminary population census taken by the Bureau of Census & Statistics. This method is fair. Though only provisional, it is still credible. We can’t really effect an absolutely proportional representation.

Ruling: Is RA 6132 constitutional? Yes. One, Del Rosario failed to prove that he has rights which will be impaired if the law is enacted. Another, Congress can sit as a constituent body to propose amendments to the CON. Whether to amend it or not and the means for amending it are issues beyond Court jurisdiction. People will ratify CON and decide if only parts of it will

Imbong v. COMELEC (1970)

4. S5 does not deprive petitioners of their rights to due process and equal protection as provision merely protects institution by making sure that delegate will not take advantage of his position. This is similar to Consti prohibition. All people in the same class are subjected to the same law thus there is equal protection of law.

be changed or it will be entirely overhauled. Thirdly, validity of questioned provisions has been upheld in previous Court decisions.

5. S8 prohibits material, moral, emotional assistance/support from political parties or civic associations. Created to prevent clear and present danger of debasement of electoral process. Process has to be cleaned. This provides everyone an equal opportunity to take part in

Santiago v. COMELEC (1997)


the electoral process. Although support of candidate is not a wrong

Facts: Manuel Imbong and Raul Gonzales, both members of the Bar, assail the constitutionality of S19/RA 6132 because it prejudices their rights as interested candidates for delegates to CONCON.

in itself, law can make it mala prohibita.

S2: Apportionment of delegates. CONCON should be composed of 320 delegates apportioned among the existing representative districts according


to the number of their respective inhabitants. Provided, each district is entitled to at least two delegates. S4: All public officers and employees are considered resigned upon filing certificates of candidacy.


In 1996, Atty. Jesus Delfin filed with COMELEC a petition to amend CON, to lift term limits of elective officials, by people’s initiative (PI). Delfin wanted COMELEC to control and supervise said PI the signature-gathering all over the country.

S5: Any elected delegate is disqualified from running for any public office while CONCON is ongoing.


The proposition is: “Do you approve of lifting the term limits of all elective government officials, amending for the purpose Sections 4



and 7 of Article VI, Section 4 of Article VII, and Section 8 of Article 8 of Article X of the 1987 Philippine Constitution?” Said Petition for Initiative will first be submitted to the people, and after it is signed by at least 12% total number of registered voters in the country, it will be formally filed with the COMELEC.

3. COMELEC in turn ordered Delfin for publication of the petition.

4. Petitioners Sen. Roco et al moved for dismissal of the Delfin Petition

on the ground that it is not the initiatory petition properly cognizable by the COMELEC.

a. CON provision on PI to amend CON can only be implemented by law to be passed by Congress. No such law has been passed.

b. RA 6735 provides for 3 systems on initiative but failed to

provide any subtitle on initiative on the Constitution, unlike in the other modes of initiative. This deliberate omission indicates matter of PI was left to some future law.

c. COMELEC has no power to provide rules and regulations for the exercise of PI. Only Congress is authorized by CON to pass the implementing law.

d. PI is limited to amendments to CON, not to revision thereof. Extending or lifting of term limits constitutes a revision.

e. Congress nor any govt agency has not yet appropriated funds for PI.

5. Respondents argue that

1. RA 6735 is the enabling law implementing PI. S9(b)/RA 6735 specifically provides that the proposition in an initiative to amend the Constitution approved by the majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite shall become effective as of the day of the plebiscite.

2. COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 pursuant to RA 6735 was upheld by the SC

3. The lifting of the limitation on the term of office of elective officials provided under the 1987 Constitution is not a “revision” of the Constitution, it is only an amendment.

4. The claim that COMELEC Resolution 2300 is ultra vires is contradicted by (a) Section 2, ART IX-C of the Constitution and (b) Section 20 of RA 6735 which empowers the


COMELEC to promulgate such rules and regulations as ma be necessary to carry out the purposes of the Act.


1. RA6735 was intended to include or cover PI on amendments to CON but, as worded, it does not adequately cover such intiative. A17/S2/CON87 providing for amendments to CON, is not self- executory. While CON has recognized or granted the right of the

people to directly propose amendments to CON via PI, the people cannot exercise it if Congress, for whatever reason, does not provide for its implementation.

a. 1 st , contrary to the assertion of COMELEC, Sec 2 of the Act does not suggest an initiative on amendments to the Constitution. The inclusion of the word “Constitution” therein was a delayed afterthought. The word is not relevant to the section which is silent as to amendments of the Constitution.

b. 2 nd , unlike in the case of the other systems of initiative, the Act does not provide for the contents of a petition for initiative on the Constitution. Sec 5(c) does not include the provisions of the Constitution sought to be amended, in the case of initiative on the Constitution.

c. 3 rd , no subtitle is provided for initiative on the Constitution. 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. The argument that the initiative on amendments to the Constitution is not accepted to be subsumed under the subtitle on National Initiative and Referendum because it is national in scope. Under Subtitle I and III, the classification is not based on the scope of the initiative involved, but on its nature and character. National initiative – what is proposed to be enacted is a national law, or a law which only Congress can pass. Local initiative – what is proposed to be adopted or enacted is a law, ordinance or resolution which only legislative bodies of the governments of the autonomous regions,


provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays can pass.

2. Potestas delegata non delegari potest. What has been delegated, cannot be delegated. The recognized exceptions to the rule are: [1] Delegation of tariff powers to the President; [2] Delegation of emergency powers to the President; [3] Delegation to the people at large; [4] Delegation to local governments; and [5] Delegation to administrative bodies.

3. Empowering the COMELEC, an administrative body exercising quasi- judicial functions, to promulgate rules and regulations is a form of delegation of legislative authority. In every case of permissible delegation, there must be a showing that the delegation itself is valid. It is valid only if the law (a) is complete in itself, setting forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out, or implemented by the delegate; 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. RA 6735 failed to satisfy both requirements in subordinate legislation. The delegation of the power to the COMELEC is then invalid.

4. COMELEC RESOLUTION NO. 2300, INSOFAR AS IT PRESCRIBES RULES AND REGULATIONS ON THE CONDUCT OF INITIATIVE ON AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION, IS VOID. COMELEC cannot validly promulgate rules and regulations to implement the exercise of the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the system of initiative. It does not have that power under RA6735.

5. Whether the COMELEC can take cognizance of, or has jurisdiction over, a petition solely intended to obtain an order: (a) fixing the time and dates for signature gathering; (b) instructing municipal election officers to assist Delfin’s movement and volunteers in establishing signature stations; and (c) directing or causing the publication of the unsigned proposed Petition for Initiative on the 1987 Constitution. COMELEC ACTED WITHOUT JURISDICTION OR WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN ENTERTAINING THE DELFIN PETITION. Even if it be conceded ex gratia that RA 6735 is a full compliance with the power of Congress to implement the right to initiate constitutional amendments, or that it has validly vested upon the COMELEC the power of subordinate legislation and that


COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 is valid, the COMELEC acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in entertaining the Delfin Petition.

The Delfin Petition does not contain signatures of the required number of voters. Without the required signatures, the petition cannot be deemed validly initiated. The COMELEC requires jurisdiction over a petition for initiative only after its filing. The petition then is the initiatory pleading. Nothing before its filing is cognizable by the COMELEC, sitting en banc.

Since the Delfin Petition is not the initiatory petition under RA6735 and COMELEC Resolution No. 2300, it cannot be entertained or given cognizance of by the COMELEC. The petition was merely entered as UND, meaning undocketed. It was nothing more than a mere scrap of paper, which should not have been dignified by the Order of 6 December 1996, the hearing on 12 December 1996, and the order directing Delfin and the oppositors to file their memoranda to file their memoranda or oppositions. In so dignifying it, the COMELEC acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion and merely wasted its time, energy, and resources.

RA 6735 (Initiative and Referendum Law) as worded did not apply to constitutional amendment.



a. By Congress and Constituent Assembly

Almario v. Alba (1984) (Source: Diane Sayo digest)

Facts: BP 643 provides for a plebiscite on 27 Jan 1984 to either approve or reject CON amendments proposed by BP Res. 104, 105, 1120, 112 and 113. There are four separate questions answerable by YES or NO. Question No. proposed by BP 105, provides that grant shall be an additional mode for the acquisition of lands, as part of A14/S11/CON73. Q4 proposed by BP 113 provides that a paragraph will be included in A14/S12/CON73 saying the state will undertake an urban land reform and social housing program


wherein reasonable opportunities to acquire land and decent housing will be made available, consistent with A14/S2/CON73. Petitioners: there has been no fair and proper submission to the people prior plebiscite. They ask for more time for the people to study meaning and implications of Res. 105 and


Ruling: Petition dismissed for lack of enough grounds to postpone plebiscite. On the issue of voter’s awareness of the wisdom, desirability or danger of an abuse that may come about with Res. 105 and 113, though the “grant” as a form of acquiring land may mean either “homestead” or “free patents” or just plain giving away of land, petitioners failed to show voter’s lack of discretion. Also, the Filipino people have long been aware of urban land reform and social housing, anyway. The wisdom of the proposed amendment is beyond court jurisdiction.

COMELEC and civic organizations including the IBP have been doing info- dissemination, that the petitioner’s request for 67 days (for Res. 105) and 42 days (for Res. 113) before ratification is too much. Also given, CON35 was ratified only after 36 days upon approval of Act No. 4200.


Teehankee, J.: Qs 3 and 4 do present a problem. They are unnecessary and redundant to the CON, since these are already encompassed in the “social justice and equity” responsibility of the government as provided by the CON. Also, there has been no ample time for the info-dissemination on the implications of Q3; this is proven by the fact that even the judiciary is doubting its significance and consider it as unnecessary.

Abad Santos, J.: Populace is not yet fully prepared to decide on Qs 3 and 4. Best that plebiscite for these questions be held on a separate date.

Melencio-Herrera, J.: Number of days to which a proposed CON amendment is to be submitted in a plebiscite is within the power of the Batasan, and will depend on the date of publication of the Batas Pambansa on the Official Gazette.


Relova, J.: The people, especially those from the provinces, are not yet fully informed of the implications of Qs 3 and 4. In fact, the proposed amendments have been translated only in Tagalog and Cebuano. The voter needs ample basis for an intelligent appraisal on the matter. (Note: the decision was given only two days before the plebiscite.)

Mabanag v. Lopez Vito (1947) -Adapt


A Resolution was passed Sep 18, 1946 proposing CON amendment. At the

time this resolution was adopted, Senate was composed of 24 Senators. House of Reps, 98 members, minus two who resigned (Note: This is the petitioners claim). Sixteen (16) Sens. voted in favor of Reso and 5 against it

68 Reps in favor, 18 against. Thereafter, Congress passed RA 73 calling a plebiscite to submit to the people the proposed amendment.

Petitioners assailed constitutionality of RA 73. They argue Congress may

not by said act submit to the people proposed CON amendment embodied in the resolution, as Congress did not comply with CON provision requiring affirmative votes of ¾ members of Senate and of HOR, voting separately (18

in Senate and 72 in HOR).

Respondents denied Senate is composed of 24 Senators by excluding Jose Vera, Ramon Diokno and Jose Romero since the three suspended on account

of alleged irregularities in their election. They also alleged HOR is

composed of only 90 and not 96. There was also a Reso for the suspension

of the eight Reps for the same reason.

Ruling: Question involving a proposal which leads to ratification of a CON amendment shall be a political question. In Coleman v. Miller: the efficacy

of ratification by state legislature of a proposed amendment to the Federal

CON is a political question and hence not justiciable. If ratification of an

amendment is a political question, a proposal which leads to ratification has

to be a political question as well. Mr. Justice Black, in his concurring

opinion in Coleman v. Miller: “Whether submission, intervening procedure

or Congressional determination of ratification conforms to the commands of

the Constitution, call for decisions by a political department of questions of a

type which this Court has frequently designated as political”.



A duly authenticated bill or resolution imports absolute verity and is binding

on the courts (Enrolled Bill Rule). In the case of Acts of the Phil Commission of the Phil Legislature, when there is an existence of a copy signed by the presiding officers and secretaries of said bodies, it shall be conclusive proof of the provisions of such Act and of the due enactment thereof (S313/old Code of Civil Procedure, as amended by Act No. 2210).

Note from Source: facts stated here are from the dissenting opinion, the majority opinion did not state all the facts.

such competence. It could and did propose the amendments embodied in the resolutions now being assailed. It is to be observed parenthetically that as fa as petitioner Occeña is concerned, the question of the authority of the Interim Batasang Pambansa to propose amendments is not new.

Dissent: Teehankee, J. The CON has withheld from the President the power to propose CON amendments. Such power must come from the Interim National Assembly.

Gonzales v. COMELEC (1967)

Occena v. Commission (1981) – Source: The other aside from Berne Guerrero digest


Facts: Petitioners Samuel Occeña and Ramon Gonzales, lawyers and former


NATURE: Original Action in the Supreme Court. Prohibition with preliminary injunction:

delegates to 1971 CONCON sue as taxpayers. The suit against validity of three Batasang Pambansa Resolutions proposing CON amendments was filed

a. to restrain (a) the COMELEC from enforcing Republic Act No. 4913, (b) the Director of Printing from printing the

on March 6, 1981. Petitions assert that CON73 is not the fundamental law, the Javellana ruling to the contrary notwithstanding.

ballots pursuant to said Act and Resolutions, and (c) the Auditor General form passing in audit any disbursement from the appropriation of funds made in the said Act; and

Ruling: Petitions are dismissed for lack of merit. Has the CON73 force and

being the vote of the majority, there is no further judicial obstacle to the new

b. to declare said the Act as unconstitutional and void.

applicability when the Batasang Pambansa resolutions were promulgated? YES. In Javellana v. Exec. Sec., dismissing petitions for prohibition and


On 16 March 1967, Senate and HOR passed the following resolutions:

mandamus to declare invalid CON73 ratification, the SC concluded, “This

Constitution being considered in force and effect.” It made manifest that as

a. R.B.H. (Resolution of Both Houses) No.1, proposing to amend Art. VI Sec. 5 of the Constitution of the Philippines, so as to increase the membership of the House of


January 17, 1983, the 1973 Constitution came into force and effect. With

Representatives from a maximum of 120, as provided in the

the cardinal postulate that what the SC says is entitled to respect and obedience, a factor for instability was removed. CON73 is the time’s fundamental law.


Constitution, to a maximum of 180, to be apportioned amon the several provinces as nearly as may be according to the number of their respective inhabitants, but each province was to have at least one member;

Is the Interim Batasang Pambansa authorized to meet as a constituent body

and propose CON amendments? CON73 Transitory Provisions vested the Interim National Assembly with the power to propose amendments upon special call by the Prime Minister by a vote of the majority of its members to be ratified in accordance with the Article on Amendments. When, therefore, the Interim Batasang Pambansa, upon the call of the President and Prime Minister Ferdinand Marcos, met as a constituent body, it acted by virtue of


b. R.B.H. No. 2, calling a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution, the convention to be composed of two delegates from each representative district, to be elected in the general elections to be held on the second Tuesday of November, 1971;and

c. R.B.H. No. 3, proposing to amend Art. VI Sec. 16 of the same Constitution as to authorize Senators and the members



of the House of Representatives to become delegates to the aforementioned constitutional convention, without forfeiting their respective seats in Congress.

3. On 17 June 1967, the Congress passed a bill, which upon approval by the President, became Republic Act No. 4913, providing that the

amendments to the Constitution proposed in the aforementioned Resolutions Nos. 1 and 3, be submitted for approval by the people, at the General Elections which shall be held on 14 November 1967.

4. On 21 October 1967, Petition L-28196 was filed; Petitioner Gonzales, citizen, taxpayer and voter, claims to have instituted the aforementioned case as a class unit, for and in behalf of all citizens, taxpayers and voters similarly situated.

5. On October 31 1967, PHILCONSA filed a petition for review by certiorari for a resolution by COMELEC in a substantially identical case. It is a duly organized corporation and a civic and non-profit organization which aims to uphold the constitution of the Philippines.

6. Senator Arturo Tolentino who opposed the earlier petition of PHILCONSA before the COMELEC was allowed to appear before the Court and objected on the following grounds:

a. The court has no jurisdiction over the case.

b. The petition, if granted, would render Congress inoperational.

c. The failure of Congress to enact a valid reapportionment law does not render it illegal and its subsequent acts null and void.


1. The issue whether or not a resolution of Congress, acting as a

constituent assembly, violates the constitution is essentially a justiciable and not a political question.

a. The power to amend or propose amendments to the constitution is not included in the general grant of legislative power to Congress, but is a part of the inherent powers of the people to make and amend their fundamental law.

b. Congress may therefore propose amendments merely because the constitution grants it the power to do so. When


exercising this power, Senators and members of the House do not act as members of Congress, but as elements of a constituent assembly that derive their authority from the constitution.

c. Since Congress derives its authority from the constitution when sitting as a constituent assembly, it does not have a final say on whether or not it is acting within or beyond its constitutional limits.

d. Therefore, the acts of Congress, when sitting as a constituen

assembly, are subject to judicial review. In so far as this ruling is inconsistent with the stand taken in Mabanag vs Lopez Vito, the latter is deemed modified.

2. WON the Congress of the Philippines was a de facto Congress, and

consequently, WON Congress did not have the authority to pass Resolution Nos. 1, 2, and 3 and RA 4913. NO. The failure of Congress to make a valid reapportionment does not render it illegal and its acts unconstitutional.

a. Congress actually passed a reapportionment bill within three years after the 1960 census but the same was declared unconstitutional because the apportionment taken therein was not made according to the number of inhabitants of the different provinces of the country.

b. The fact that Congress failed to enact a valid

reapportionment bill, however, does not render it illegal because the constitution provides that “until such apportionment shall have been made, the House of Representatives shall have the same number of Members as that by fixed by law for the National Assembly, who shall be elected by the qualified electors from the present assembly districts”.

c. Since the constitution itself provides for the continuance of the existing districts in case Congress fails to make a valid reapportionment, , the status quo is therefore rendered legal and de jure.

3. WON amendments to the constitution can be submitted to the people for ratification in a general election instead of a special election. YES. The term “election” in Article XV of the 1935 Constitution refers to a “general” and not a “special” election.



a. Article XV Section 1 of the 1935 Constitution reads: “The Congress in joint session assembled, by a vote of three- fourths of all the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately, may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a convention for that purpose.

Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification.” There is nothing in the said provision to indicate that the election therein referred to is a “special”, not a “general”, election.

b. The circumstance that the previous amendments were ratified in special elections merely indicate that Congress deemed it best to do so under the circumstances then obtaining, but does not negate its authority to propose amendments for ratification in a general election.

4. WON the submission of the proposed amendments to the people

violates the due process clause in the Constitution. NO. The term “due process” in Article I refers only to the provision of fair opportunity but does not guarantee that the opportunity given will in fact be availed of. As long as fair and reasonable opportunity is given, the due process clause is not infringed.

a. Article 1 Section 1 (1) of the 1935 Constitution reads: “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.” “Due process” in this provision refers only to providing fair opportunity. It does not

guarantee that the opportunity given will in fact be availed of; that is the look-out of the voter and the responsibility of the citizen. As long as fair and reasonable opportunity is given, the due process clause is not infringed.

b. The following provisions of the assailed RA 4913 provide for a reasonable and fair opportunity for voters to cast an intelligent vote on the proposed amendments of Congress:

i. the publication of the proposed amendments in the Official Gazette at least 20 days before the election;


ii. the posting of notices in public buildings not later than 14 October 1967, to remain posted until after the elections;

iii. the placing of copies of the proposed amendments in the polling places;

iv. the provision by the COMELEC of copies of the

same in English, Spanish, and whenever practicable, in the native languages, for free distribution; and

v. the printing of the proposed amendments at the back of the ballots.

c. The above provisions of RA 4913 also satisfy the constitutional requirement in Article XV Section 1 of the 1935 Constitution that the proposed amendments be

“submitted to the people for ratification”.

DISPOSITION: Six (6) members of the court believed that Resolution Nos. 1, 2, and 3 were constitutional and valid while only three (3) members believed that they violate the spirit of the constitution. With the number of votes in favor of declaring the assailed resolutions and republic act as unconstitutional being short of the required eight (8) votes, the petition is dismissed and the writs therein prayed for are denied.

b. By Constitutional Convention

Tan v. Macapagal (1972)

Facts: October 6, 1971: Eugene Tan (Roxas City), Silvestre Acejas (Romblon), and Rogelio Fernandez (Davao City) as taxpayers submitted petition assailing validity of the Laurel-Leido Resolution (Res. 2127 of the Constitutional Convention). They claim that 1971 CONCON is without power under A15/S1/CON35 and RA 6132 to consider, discuss and adopt proposals which seek to revise CON35 through the adoption of another form of government. SC dismissed petition after which an MR is submitted.

Ruling: Do the petitioners have the requisite standing to seek declaration of nullity of a resolution of the CONCON (Justiciability of the case)? NO. MR is denied. The Court shall exercise its power of judicial review only when the petitioners have requisite standing and the issue is ripe for adjudication.



The person who assails validity of a statute must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain,


Sigaw ng Bayan prepared signature sheets on the upper portions of which were written the abstract of the proposed amendments. Signature sheets were distributed nationwide to affiliated NGOs and

direct injury as a result of its enforcement. This rule has been relaxed though where many decisions nullified, at the instance of taxpayers, laws providing for the disbursement of public funds. This nullification is based upon the

volunteers and to local officials. Drafts of petition for initiative containing the propositions were also circulated to the local officials and multi-sectoral groups.

theory that expenditure of public funds by an officer of the State for the purpose of administering an unconstitutional act constitutes misapplication of such funds which may be enjoined by the taxpayers. Moreover, where a constitutional question is raised, a Senator has usually been considered to possess of the requisite personality to bring a suit. Petitioners in the present case do not assert that they qualify under such categories.


Alleged Sigaw ng Bayan held Barangay assemblies prior to inform people and explain the proposed amendments – then circulated signature sheets. Sig sheets were then submitted to local election officers for verification based on voter’s registration records. The respective local election officers issued certifications to attest the signature sheets have been verified. Verified signature sheets were then transmitted to the office of Sigaw ng Bayan for counting of signatures.

The doctrine of separation of powers calls for the other departments being left alone to discharge their duties as they see fit. It is a prerequisite that something had been accomplished or performed by the executive or legislative branch before a court may come into the picture. As long as any proposed amendment is still unacted on by it, there is no room for the interposition of judicial oversight. Only after the 1971 CONCON has made concrete what it intends to submit for ratification may the appropriate case be instituted.


Aug 25, 2006: herein petitioners Raul Lambino and Erico Aumentado filed with COMELEC a Petition for Initiative to Amend the Constitution entitled “In the Matter of Proposing Amendments to the 1987 Constitution through people’s initiative: A shift from bicameral presidential to unicameral parliamentary government…” They filed an amended petition to reflect the text of the proposed amendment that was actually presented to the people.


Petitioners prayed that Comelec issue an order:



By People’s Initiative

a) Finding the petition to be sufficient pursuant to



Lambino v. COMELEC (2006)


b) Directing the publication of the petition


c) Calling a plebiscite to be held not earlier than 60 and not



later than 90 days after certification of the sufficiency of the


Feb 15, 2006: Sigaw ng Bayan, in coordination with Union of Local

a) S1,2,3,4,5,6,7/A6




authorities of the Phils (ULAP) embarked on a nationwide drive to


Several groups filed with COMELEC respective oppositions to the

gather the signatures to support the move to adopt the parliamentary form of government in the country through CHACHA. They proposed these changes:

petition for initiative. ONE VOICE, Inc. alleged that COMELEC denied due course to the petition for initiative, citing Santiago vs. COMELEC ruling which permanently enjoined COMELEC from entertaining or taking cognizance of any petition for initiative on

b) S 1,2,3 and 4/A7

c) For the purpose of insuring an orderly transition from the

CON amendments until a sufficient law shall have been validly enacted to provide for the implementation of the system.

bicameral- presidential to a unicameral-parliamentary form


COMELEC denied the Lambino petition.

of government there shall be a new article XVIII entitled “Transitory Provisions”



8. Petitioners filed petitioned that SC set aside the August resolution of the COMELEC, direct COMLEC to comply with A17/S4/CON87 and set the date of the plebiscite.

9. Other oppositors-intervenors like IBP and the Senate submitted COMELEC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in denying due course to the Lambino petition for initiative as it merely followed the Santiago ruling by virtue of stare decisis. The oppositors also argued that:

a. Proposed changes are actually revisions, not mere amendments.

b. Petition for initiative does not meet the required number of signatories under A17/S2/CON87.

c. It was not shown the people have been informed of the proposed amendments as there was disparity between the proposal presented to them and the proposed amendments attached to petition for initiative. If indeed there was, the verification process was done ex parte rendering dubious the signatures attached to the petition.

d. Petitioners Lambino and Aumentado have no legal capacity

to represent the signatories in the petition for initiative.

10. SOLGEN filed comment affirming position of petitioners, praying inter alia for declaration of adequacy and sufficiency of RA 6735.

11. COMELEC claims the permanent injunction issued by SC against COMELEC from taking cognizance of petitions for initiative on amendments until a valid law is passed (Santiago ruling) covers not only the Delfin petition but also all other petitions involving constitutional initiatives.

Ruling: Resolution of COMELEC reversed and set aside. Petition remanded to COMELEC for further proceedings.

1. Have the petitions for initiative filed before the COMELEC complied with A17/S2/CON87? Oppositors and intervenors claim lack of number of signatures and no proper verification of signatures. The sufficiency of the Petition for Initiative and its Compliance with requirements of RA 6735 should be resolved by the COMELEC as it is the body that is mandated by the constitution to administer all laws and


regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum and recall.

2. Does the Santiago ruling bar the present petitions? NO. Stare decisis should not bar the re-examination of Santiago declaring RA 6735 insufficient but without striking it down as unconstitutional. The doctrine of separation of powers forbids this court to invade the exclusive lawmaking domain of Congress for courts can construe laws but not construct them. The 6 justices who ruled that RA 6735 is insufficient—cannot waylay the will of 6.3 M people (signatories) wh are the bearers of our sovereignty and from whom all government authority emanates.

3. Do the proposed changes constitute an amendment of revision of the CON? Oppositors-intervenors submit that the proposed changes effec major changes in the political structure and system, the fundamental powers and duties of the branches of government, the political tights o people and the modes by which political rights may be exercised, substantial amendments that cannot be done through PI. Only simple

and not substantial amendments can be done through PI. The quantitative test will say that PI will only affect 2 out of the 18 articles of the CON. Garner gave three major parts of CON: 1) constitution of liberty; 2) constitution of government and 3) constitution of sovereignty. Proposed changes will basically affect only the constitution of government. The proposed changes will not change th fundamental nature of the state as democratic and republican.

a. Amendment defined: a formal revision or addition proposed or made to a statute, constitution pleading, order or other instrument, specifically a change made by addition, deletion o correction. Revision defined: re-examination or careful review for correction or improvement; general and thorough rewriting of a governing document in which the entire document is open to amendment.

b. According to Vicente Singco: Amendment refers only to particular provisions to be added or to be altered in a CON. Revision refers to a consideration of the entire CON and the procedure for effecting such change.

c. Makasiar: Amending envisages a change of specific provisions only. Revision is the rewriting of the whole CON.



4. Under the foregoing views, substantial amendments are still amendments and thus can be proposed by the people via initiative. Cardinal rule in interpreting CON: construe them to give effect to the intention of the people who adopted it. Unlimited power to make laws (legal sovereignty) is possessor is the legal sovereign.

Separate Opinion:

Ynares-Santiago, J: On QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE TEST, qualitatively, the initiative petition if successful, will undoubtedly alter not only our basic governmental plan but also redefine our rights as citizens in relation to the government. It will strike at the very foundation of our basic constitutional plan and is thus an impermissible CON revision that may not be effected through a PI.

Dissenting Opinion:

Puno, J: Puno cites Santiago case stated that CON provision granting the people the power to directly amend the CON via PI is not self-executory and that enabling law is necessary to implement this right. RA 6735 was examined (majority of 8 members of court) said law was incomplete, inadequate or wanting in essential terms and conditions in so far as initiative on CON amendments is concerned.

Santiago v. COMELEC (supra)

d. By the President during Emergency

Sanidad v. COMELEC (1976)

Facts: Sep 2, 1976, Pres. Marcos issued PD 991 calling for a national referendum on October 16, 1976 for the Citizens Assemblies ("barangays") to resolve, among other things, the issues of Martial Law, the National Assembly, its replacement, the powers of such replacement, the period of its existence, the length of the period for exercise by the President of his present powers.


Twenty days after, FM issued PD 1031, amending PD 991, by declaring the provisions of PD 229 providing for the manner of voting and canvass of votes in "barangays" (Citizens Assemblies) applicable to the national referendum-plebiscite of October 16, 1976. (Presidential Decree No. 1031 repealed Section 4, of Presidential Decree No. 991.) Same date of September 22, 1976, FM issued PD 1033, stating the questions to be submitted to the people in the referendum-plebiscite on October 16, 1976. The Decree recites in its "whereas" clauses that the people's continued opposition to the convening of the National Assembly evince their desire to have such body abolished and replaced thru a constitutional amendment, providing for a legislative body, which will be submitted directly to the people in the referendum-plebiscite of October 16. The COMELEC was vested with the exclusive supervision and control of the October 1976 National Referendum-Plebiscite. September 27, 1976, PABLO SANIDAD and PABLITO SANIDAD sought to enjoin COMELEC from holding and conducting the Referendum Plebiscite on October 16; to declare without force and effect PDs 991 and 1033, insofar as they propose amendments to the CON, as well as PDs 1031, insofar as it directs COMELEC to supervise, control, hold, and conduct the Referendum-Plebiscite scheduled October 16. Petitioners contend that under CON35 and CON73, there is no grant to the incumbent President to exercise the constituent power to propose amendments to the new CON, thus the Referendum-Plebiscite on October 16 has no CON basis. Another action was instituted by VICENTE M. GUZMAN, 1971 CONCON delegate, asserting that the power to propose amendments to or revision of the CON during the transition period is expressly conferred on the interim National Assembly under A17/S16/CON73. Ruling: Petitions dismissed. The President possesses the power to propose CON amendments. The powe to legislate is constitutionally consigned to the interim National Assembly during the transition period. However, the initial convening of that Assembly is a matter fully addressed to the judgment of the incumbent President. And, in the exercise of that judgment, the President opted to defer convening of that body in utter recognition of the people's preference. As early as the referendums of January 1973 and February 1975, the people had already rejected the calling of the interim National Assembly. Likewise, in the period of transition, the power to propose amendments to the CON lies in the interim National Assembly upon special call by the President (See. 15 of



the Transitory Provisions). Again, harking to the dictates of the sovereign will, the President decided not to call the interim National Assembly. Would it then be within the bounds of the CON for the President to assume that constituent power of the interim Assembly vis-à-vis his assumption of that body's legislative functions? YES. If the President has been legitimately discharging the legislative functions of the interim Assembly, there is no reason why he cannot validly discharge the function of that Assembly to propose CON amendments which is but an adjunct, although peculiar, to its gross legislative power. With the interim National Assembly not convened and only the Presidency and the Supreme Court in operation, the urges of absolute necessity render it imperative upon the President to act as agent for and in behalf of the people to propose CON amendments. Otherwise the objective of a crisis government "to end the crisis and restore normal times" will be impeded.

3. Submission of Proposed Amendments

Planas v. COMELEC (1973)

Facts: Mar 16, 1967, Congress passed a Resolution calling a convention to propose CON amendments. Pursuant thereto, the election of delegates to the convention was held on Nov. 10, 1970. The convention began to perform its functions on June 1, 1971. While convention was in session, President Marcos issued Proc. No. 1081 placing the entire Philippines under Martial Law.

On Nov. 29, 1972 the convention approved its Proposed Constitution of the Philippines. On Nov. 30, 1972 the President issued PD 73 submitting the proposed constitution to the people for ratification or rejection, setting the plebiscite on Jan. 15, 1973.

The instant petitions were filed seeking to nullify PD 73 on the grounds that the powers exercised therein are lodged exclusively in Congress and that there was no proper submission of the proposed CON to the people for lack of time and lack of freedom of speech, press, and assembly.

Jan. 7, 1973 the President issued General Order 20 postponing scheduled plebiscite until further notice and suspending his previous order of Dec. 17,


1972 temporarily suspending the effects of Proc. No. 1081 for purposes of free and open debate on the proposed constitution.

Ruling: Cases dismissed. In view of these events relative to the postponement of the aforementioned plebiscite, the Court deemed it fit to refrain, for the time being, from deciding the aforementioned cases, for neither the date nor the conditions under which said plebiscite would be held were known or announced officially. Furthermore, Congress is scheduled to meet in the regular session on Jan. 22, 1973 pursuant to CON35, and since the main objection to PD 73 is that the President does not have the authority to call a plebiscite and appropriate funds therefore, which Congress unquestionably could do, the court deemed it more imperative to defer its final action on these cases.

There is unanimity on the justiciable nature of the issue on the legality of PD 73. On the validity of the decree itself, six: issue has become moot and academic, two: valid. On authority of the convention to pass proposed CON or to incorporate therein specific provisions, four: issue moot and academic, five: valid. Four:

convention had authority to continue its function despite proclamation of martial law. On the question whether the proclamation of martial law affected the proper submission of the proposed constitution to a plebiscite, insofar as the essential freedom is concerned, a justice is of the opinion that there is a repugnancy between the election contemplated under A15/CON35 and the existence of martial law, and would, therefore, grant the petitions were they not moot and academic. Three: issue involves question of fact which cannot be predetermined, and martial law per se does not necessarily preclude the factual possibility of adequate freedom for the purposes contemplated.

Tolentino v. COMELEC (1981)

Facts: The 1971 CONCON came into being by virtue of two resolutions of the Congress approved in its capacity as a constituent assembly convened for the purpose of calling a convention to propose amendments to the CON. After election of delegates held on Nov. 10, 1970, the Convention held its inaugural session on June 1, 1971. In the morning of Sept. 28, 1970, the



Convention approved Organic Resolution No. 1, reading thus: "A RESOLUTION AMENDING SECTION 1 OF ART. V OF THE CONSTITUTION SO AS TO LOWER THE VOTING AGE TO 18." On Sept. 30, 1971, COMELEC "resolved" to follow the mandate of the Convention, that it will hold the said plebiscite together with the senatorial elections on Nov. 8, 1971 .

Arturo Tolentino filed a petition for prohibition, its main thrust being that Organic Act 1 and the necessary implementing resolutions subsequently approved have no force and effect as laws in so far as they provide for the holding of a plebiscite co-incident with the senatorial elections, on the ground that the calling and holding of such a plebiscite is, by the Constitution, a power lodged exclusively in Congress as a legislative body and may not be exercised by the Convention, and that, under A15/S1/CON35, the proposed amendment in question cannot be presented to the people for ratification separately from each and all other amendments to be drafted and proposed by the CON.

Ruling: Does Organic Act No. 1 of the CONCON constitutional? NO. All the amendments to be proposed by the same Convention must be submitted to the people in a single "election" or plebiscite (Cannot submit amendments to the people piecemeal). In order that a plebiscite for the ratification of a CON amendment may be validly held, it must provide the voter not only sufficient time but ample basis for an intelligent appraisal of the nature of the amendment per se but as well as its relation to the other parts of the CON with which it has to form a harmonious whole. In the present context, where the Convention has hardly started considering the merits, if not thousands, of proposals to amend the existing CON, to present to the people any single proposal or a few of them cannot comply with this requirement.

UNIDO v. COMELEC (1981) Source: Berne Guerrero summary

Facts: UNIDO is a political organization or aggrupation campaigning for "NO" votes to amendments to CON73 proposed by the Batasang Pambansa. COMELEC issued 3 resolutions:


Res 1467 providing for Rules and Regulations for "equal

opportunity" on public discussions and debates on the plebiscite questions to be submitted to the people on 7 April


Res 1468 providing "equal time on the use of the broadcast media [radio and television] in the plebiscite campaign".

Res 1469 providing for "equal space on the use of the print media in the 1981 plebiscite of 7 April 1981". UNIDO addressed a letter to COMELEC to grant it the same opportunity as given President Marcos, who was campaigning for “YES”. It also requested radio and television coverage for its Plaza Miranda meeting. In denying this request, COMELEC said that Marcos conducts his pulong-pulong in light of the official government thrust to amend the constitution and in his capacity as President/Prime Minister and not as head of any political party. UNIDO or any of its leaders does not have the same constitutional prerogatives as those vested in the President/Prime Minister. Thus, UNIDO has no right to "demand" equal media coverage accorded President Marcos. UNIDO a sort of an MR. This the COMELEC denied so UNIDO brought case to SC.

Ruling: Is UNIDO entitled to equal time, equal space and equal quality of exposure? NO. UNIDO has failed to persuade that grant of its petition is compelled by the provisions of the CON, the Election Code of 1978 and the general resolutions and regulations of COMELEC regarding equal opportunity among contending political parties, groups, aggrupations or individuals. The COMELEC has indeed the power to supervise and regulate the mass media in such respect, but such authority arises only when there is a showing that any sector or member of the media has denied to any party or person the right to which it or he is entitled.



Javellana v. Exec. Sec. (1973)


On January 20, 1973, just two days before SC decided the sequel of plebiscite cases, Javellana filed this suit against the respondents to restrain them from implementing any of the provisions of the proposed CON not found in the present CON35. This is a petition filed by him as a Filipino




citizen and a qualified and registered voter and

as a class suit, for himself and in behalf of all citizens and voters similarly situated. Javellana also alleged that:






3 rd Issue












Can be no free expression,




there has even been no






Lack of





knowledge/competence to rule on the question




Lack of





knowledge/competence to rule on the question






People have already accepted






People have already accepted






People have already accepted






People have already accepted




Can be no free expression,





there has even been no expression






Not prepared to state




Lack of





knowledge/competence to rule on the question





WON proposed CON has been acquiesced in (with or without valid


ratification) by the people. WON the petitioners are


entitled to relief. WON the aforementioned propose CON is in force.

Pres. had announced the immediate

implementation of the New CON, thru his Cabinet, respondents including.

Respondents are acting without or in excess of jurisdiction in implementing the said proposed CON upon ground that the Pres., as Commander-in-Chief of the AFP is :


without authority to create the Citizens Assemblies


without power to approve proposed CON


without power to proclaim the ratification by the Filipino people of the proposed CON


Lastly, the election held to ratify the proposed CON was not a free election, hence null and void.


(1) J – justiciable, P – political,

DNV – did not vote, Q – qualified vote (comment)

(2) NVR – not validly ratified, VR – validly ratified, Q-

qualified vote (comment) (4) D – dismiss, G – grant (5) IF – in force, NIF – not in

force, DNV – did not cast vote on the premise stated that in thei

votes on the 3 rd question that the could not state with judicial

certainty whether the people hav accepted or not the Constitution

Similar actions followed. Petitioners prayed for nullification of Proc. 1102 and any order,

decree, proclamation having the same import and objective. After deliberating on these cases, the members of the Court agreed that each would write his own opinion and serve a copy thereof on his colleagues, and this they did. Subsequently, Court discussed said opinions and votes were cast thereon. Key issues are:

Accordingly, by virtue of the majority of six (6) votes of Justices Makalintal, Castro, Barredo, Makasiar, Antonio and Esguerra with the four (4) dissenting votes of the Chief Justice and Justices Zaldivar, Fernando and Teehankee, all the aforementioned cases are hereby dismissed. This being the vote of the majority, there is no further judicial obstacle to the new Constitution being considered in force and effect.


Justiciability of issue of validity of Proclamation 1102.


WON the CON proposed by the 1971 CONCON has been ratified validly (with substantial, if not strict, compliance) conformably to the applicable constitutional and statutory provisions.




WON the issue of the validity of Proclamation No. 1102 is a justiciable or political, and therefore non-justiciable, question. Concepcion, CJ:

records that permit judicial inquiry, when necessary, into the accuracy of the election returns.


To determine whether or not the new CON is in force depends upon whether or not the said new CON has been ratified in accordance with the requirements of the CON35. It is well settled that the matter of ratification of an amendment to the CON should be settled applying the provisions of the CON in force at the time of the alleged ratification of the old CON.

The issue whether the new CON proposed has been ratified in accordance with the provisions of A15/CON35 is justiciable as jurisprudence here and in the US (from whom we patterned our CON35) shall show.

2. WON the CON proposed by the 1971 CONCON has been ratified validly (with substantial, if not strict, compliance) conformably to the applicable constitutional and statutory provisions.

Concepcion, CJ:

CON does not allow Congress or anybody else to vest in those lacking the qualifications and having the disqualifications mentioned in the Constitution the right of suffrage.

The votes of persons less than 21 years of age render the proceedings in the Citizens assemblies void. Proceedings held in such Citizens' Assemblies were fundamentally irregular, in that persons lacking the qualifications prescribed in A5/S1/CON35 were allowed to vote in said Assemblies. And, since there is no means by which the invalid votes of those less than 21 years of age can be separated or segregated from those of the qualified voters, the proceedings in the Citizens' Assemblies must be considered null and void.

Viva voce voting for the ratification of the CON is void. A15/CON35 envisages with the term "votes cast" choices made on ballots – not orally or by raising hands – by the persons taking part in plebiscites. This is but natural and logical, for, since the early years of the American regime, we had adopted the Australian Ballot System, with its major characteristics, namely, uniform official ballots prepared and furnished by the Government and secrecy in the voting, with the advantage of keeping


The plebiscite on the CON not having been conducted under the supervision of COMELEC is void. The point is that, such of the Barrio Assemblies as were held took place without the intervention of the COMELEC and without complying with the provisions of the Election Code of 1971 or even of those of PD 73. The procedure therein mostly followed is such that there is no reasonable means of checking the accuracy of the returns filed by the officers who conducted said plebiscites. This is another patent violation of A10/CON3 which form part of the fundamental scheme set forth in the CON35, as amended, to insure the "free, orderly, and honest" expression of the people's will. For this, the alleged plebiscite in the Citizens' Assemblies is null and void, insofar as the same are claimed to have ratified the revised CON.

3. WON the aforementioned proposed Constitution has been acquiesced in (with or without valid ratification) by the people.

Concepcion, CJ:

Proclamation 1102 is not an evidence of ratification. A10/CON35 place under the "exclusive" charge of the COMELEC "the enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of elections," independently of the Executive. But there is not even a certification by the COMELEC in support of the alleged results of the citizens' assemblies relied upon in Proclamation 1102. Also, on January 17, 1973 neither the alleged president of the Federation of Provincial or City Barangays nor the Dep of LGs had certified to the President the alleged result of the citizens' assemblies all over the Philippines. The citizen’s assemblies did not adopt the proposed CON. It is to my mind a matter o judicial knowledge that there have been no such citizen’s assemblies in many parts of Manila and suburbs, not to say, also, in other parts of the Philippines.

4. WON the petitioners are entitled to relief.

Concepcion, CJ:




I am not prepared to concede that the acts the officers and offices of the Exec Dept, in line with Proc 1102, connote recognition of or acquiescence to the proposed CON.

A department of the Government cannot “recognize” its own acts. Recognition normally connotes the acknowledgment by a party of the acts of another.

Individual acts of recognition by members of Congress do not constitute congressional recognition, unless the members have performed said acts in session duly assembled. This is a well-established principle of Administrative Law and of the Law of Public Officers.

The compliance by the people with the orders of martial law government does not constitute acquiescence to the proposed CON. Neither am I prepared to declare that the people's inaction as regards Proc 1102, and their compliance with a number of Presidential orders, decrees and/or instructions, some or many of which have admittedly had salutary effects, issued subsequently thereto, amounts to a ratification, adoption or approval of said Proc 1102. The intimidation is there, and inaction or obedience of the people, under these conditions, is not necessarily an act of conformity or acquiescence.

As regards the applicability to these cases of the "enrolled bill" rule, it is well to remember that the same refers to a document certified to the President for his action under the CON by the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Reps, and attested to by the respective Secretaries of both Houses, concerning legislative measures approved by said Houses. Whereas, Proclamation No. 1102 is an act of the President declaring the results of a plebiscite on the proposed CON, an act which Article X of the 1935 Constitution denies the executive department of the Government.

In all other respects and with regard to the other respondent in said case (he mentions some more cases)… petitions therein should be given due course, there being more than prima facie showing that the proposed Constitution has not been ratified in accordance with Article XV of the 1935 Constitution, either strictly, substantially, or has been acquiesced in by the people or majority thereof; that said proposed Constitution is not in force and effect; and that the 1935 Constitution is still the Fundamental Law of the Land, without prejudice to the submission of said proposed Constitution to the people at a plebiscite for its ratification or rejection in accordance with Articles V, X and XV of the 1935

Constitution and the provisions of the Revised Election Code in force at the time of such plebiscite.

5.Is the aforementioned proposed Constitution by the 1971 CONCON in force? YES.

Four (4) members of the Court, namely, Justices Barredo, Makasiar, Antonio and Esguerra hold that it is in force by virtue of the people's acceptance thereof; 4 members of the Court, namely, Justices Makalintal, Castro, Fernando and Teehankee cast no vote thereon on the premise stated in their votes on the third question that they could not state with judicial certainty whether the people have accepted or not accepted the Constitution; and 2 members of the Court, namely, Justice Zaldivar and myself voted that the Constitution proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention is not in force; with the result, there are not enough votes to declare that the new Constitution is not in force.

IV. Judicial Review

A. Definition, Nature and Principles

Judicial Review

- is the Supreme Court’s power to declare a treaty, international executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance or regulation unconstitutional.

- invention of the American system.

- this power is not political but judicial

- it is the power of the Court to settle controversies between real conflicting parties through the application of law

- it is the obligation to assigned by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establis for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them.

Angara vs Electoral Commission, supra



Background: Angara was elected representative of Tayabas, Quezon and was already proclaimed a member of the National Assembly when Ynsua protested to the ELECOM. Angara filed a motion to dismiss the protest but since his motion was denied by the ELECOM, he filed an original action in the SC questioning the jurisdiction of the ELECOM to hear the protest of Ynsua, provided that ELECOM was under the National Assembly which already proclaimed him as its member as the elected representative of Tayabas, Quezon.


[1] When there’s an actual case or controversy, 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 constituent units thereof. [2]The judiciary has judicial power, and included in this power is judicial review. The Court has the discretion whether or not to exercise this power. Hence, it produced standards for justiciability. Standards: [1] actual controversy [2] lis mota of the case [3] legal standing of the parties [4] moot and academic [5] not a political question [6] ripeness: right to adjudication

Marbury vs Madison, supra - see above

Kilosbayan, Inc. vs Guingona

This case is about the “contract of lease” between PCSO and PGMC in connection of their establishment of an on-line lottery system for the purpose of increasing the revenue base of PCSO and diversifying its funds. A Malaysian group became interested to offer its services to PCSO and organized PGMC.

Petitioner claims that PCSO cannot enter into a contract of lease with PGMC because it is an arrangement wherein PCSO would conduct an online lottery system in collaboration or in association with PGMC which is prohibited by


1(B) of R.A. No. 1169, as amended by B.P. Blg. 42. Respondents claim that it is merely an independent contractor and not a co-operator of the franchise of PCSO.

Issue: WON the petitioners have locus standi.

Ratio: The Court found the instant petition to be of transcendental importance to the public. The ramifications of such issues immeasurably affect the social, economic, and moral well-being of the people even in the remotest barangays of the country and the counter-productive and retrogressive effects of the envisioned on-line lottery system are as staggering as the billions in pesos it is expected to raise. The legal standing then of the petitioners deserves recognition and, in the exercise of its sound discretion, this Court hereby brushes aside the procedural barrier which the respondents tried to take advantage of.

PHILCONSA vs Enriquez


[1] A member of Congress has the legal standing to question the validity of a presidential veto or any other act of the Executive which injures the institution of Congress. [2] The power of appropriation lodged in Congress carries with it the power

to specify the project or activity to be funded under the appropriation law, but it is still the executive that implements the project or activity specified to be funded. [3] The constitutional provision which directs the State shall assign the highest budgetary priority to education is merely directory. Codal – Art 14 Sec 5(5) "The State shall assign the highest budgetary "

priority to education [4] Any provision which does not relate to any particular item, or which extends in its operation beyond an item of appropriation, is considered “an inappropriate provision” which can be vetoed separately from an item. Codal – Article 6 Sec 27(2) “Pres. shall have the power to veto any particular item or items in an appropriation, revenue, or tariff bill, but veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not object.”



Notes: [a] This ratio was imported from Gonzales v Macaraig regarding the President’s item veto-power [b] The present Constitution only states item- veto but nothing specifies provision veto. However, jurisprudence (Gonzales v Macaraig and PHILCONSA v Enriquez) tackles the question on provision veto, which actually was expressly provided in the 1935 Constitution, hence the doctrine of inappropriate probision [c] In this case SC also stated that a provision in an appropriation act cannot be used to repeal or amend other laws.

B. Justiciable vs Political Question

- justiciable: question on the legality of the law

- political: question on the wisdom of the law

- when the question is the legality of a political act of government, the

Court derives its power to adjudicate from the constitutional grant of judicial power and from the explicit grant of power of judicial review found in Art. VIII Sec. 5 (2) (a).

continued to do business as a quorum, declared the Senate President position vacant and elected Senator Cuenco as Acting Senate President. Avelino brought the case to Court to determine if twelve members constituted a quorum to replace the Senate President. At first the Court declined to decide on the matter, ruling that it was a political question and that the

judiciary did not have the authority to take over the Senate’s power to elect its president, but after a motion for reconsideration the court assumed jurisdiction and ruled that 12 members constituted a quorum, as the calculation of the majority was based on the total membership of 23 and not


One senator was not counted in the calculation as he was out of the country and therefore out of the coercive jurisdiction of the Senate.

Miranda vs Aguirre

- the political question doctrine is a limitation on the power of judicial review

Petitioners are the mayor and the residents of Santiago city. Respondents are the local government officials of the province of Isabela. Assailed is the

Issue: WON the issue is justiciable.

- political questions are those questions which under the Constitution are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch [Tanada v Cuenco]


- various kinds of political questions:

“independent” and treats Santiago city just as a component city.


textual – where there is found a textually demonstrable commitment of the issue to a political department

Petitioners believe that this amounts to a conversion of Santiago City and must therefore be decided by the city’s citizens in a plebiscite, of which the


functional – where there is a lock of judicially discoverable

RA has no provisions provided for. Respondents, on the other hand, deem

and manageable standards for resolving it or the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for non-judicial discretion.

that this is a mere reclassification.


Prudential – where there is an impossibility of a court’s undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack

Decision: Yes.

of the respect due coordinate branches of government.


Avelino vs Cuenco

During a Senate session, Senate President Avelino walked out with his 9 supporters, leaving behind 12 senators, as one senator was abroad and the other was in a local hospital. The remaining group


The enumeration in Section 10, Article X of the 1987 Constitution shall include any material change in the political and economic rights of the local government unit(s) directly affected. Petitioners have standing. The change will affect the powers of the mayor and the voting exercise of residents.



Not a political question. Petitioners claim that under Sec. 10, Art. X of the 1987 Constitution they have a right to approve or disapprove RA 8528 in a plebiscite before it can be enforced. The Court has the duty to ensure that Congress complies with the Constitution in law-making.

C. Requisites of Judicial Review

David, et al. vs Gloria Macapagal Arroyo [1] Courts will decide cases, otherwise moot and academic, if: first, there is

a grave violation of the Constitution; second, the exceptional character of the

situation and the paramount public interest is involved; third, when constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling principles to

guide the bench, the bar, and the public; and fourth, the case is capable of repetition yet evading review. [2] The requirement of locus standi which is the right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question shall be set aside by the Court whenever

it is shown that the case is of transcendental importance.

[3] Notwithstanding the discretionary nature of the constitutional exercise of the President of his/her calling out of power, the Courts shall have authority to inquire into the sufficiency factual basis of such exercise to determine whether it was within the constitutionally permissible limits or whether grave abuse of discretion attended its exercise. Codal – Art 8 Sec. 1 on Judicial power [4] Facial invalidation of laws (Overbreadth Doctrine) shall not be resorted to in the absence of clear showing that (1) the law involves the exercise of free speech; (2) that there can be no instance that the assailed law may be valid; and that (3) the Court has no other alternative remedies available.

[4.a] The authority of the President to exercise his calling out power to suppress lawless violence shall not be deemed to include the power to authorize: (a) arrests and seizures without judicial warrants; (b) ban on public assemblies; (c) take-over of news media and agencies and press censorship; and (d) issuance of Presidential Decrees, as these powers can be exercised by the President as Commander-in-Chief only where there is a valid declaration of Martial Law or suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. Codal – Art. 7, Sec. 18


[4.b] The take care power of the President, which includes the power to enforce obedience of laws shall not be deemed to include calling the military to enforce or implement certain laws, such as customs laws, laws governing family and property relations, laws on obligations and contracts and the like. Codal – Art. 6, Sec 17 Note: The ordinance power of the President shall not include the power to make “decrees” with the same force and effect as those issued by President Marcos.

[4.c] In the absence of delegated authority from Congress the authority of the President to declare a state of emergency shall not be deemed to include the power to temporarily take over or direct the operation of any privately owne public utility or business affected with public interest. Codal – Art. 6, Sec. 23 (2) Note: Acts of terrorism no matter how repulsive shall not be deemed to be punishable in the absence of legislation clearly defining said acts and providing specific punishments therefor.

[4.d] The Court shall not declare laws as invalid solely on the basis of their misapplication or abuse or susceptibility to abuse by the people tasked to implement them. Note: The arrest of Randy David and other acts done by the authorities pursuant to the parts of the laws herein considered unconstitutional are also deemed unconstitutional without prejudice to the filing of necessary administrative, criminal or civil actions against specific abuses committed by authorities

Notes: [a] In this case, the extent of judicial review is not concerned with correctness, but with arbitrariness of the invocation of such power. Arbitrariness would mean WON there is a sufficient factual basis. [b] Art 12 Sec 17 should be read in relation to other provisions, like Art 6 Sec. 23.

1. Actual Case or Controversy

- for the court to be able to exercise judicial review there must be an actual case



- the Court has no authority to pass upon issues of constitutionality through advisory opinions and it has no authority to resolve hypothetical or feigned constitutional problems.

a. Prematurity

- the court will not rule on a case if the issue raised before it is premature

b. Mootness vs Ripeness

c. Exceptions to the Mootness rule

- the Court may tolerate exceptions to the mootness rule such as when

a lack of clarity about a law may be creating confusion.

David, et al. vs Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, supra - see above

- the Court will normally not entertain a petition touching on an issue that has already become moot because there would no longer be a


Earliest Opportunity


“flesh and blood” case for the Court to resolve.


the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest

- The question must be “ripe” for adjudication. This means that the governmental act being challenged has had a direct adverse effect on the individual challenging it.

opportunity, so that if not raised by the pleadings, ordinarily it may not be raised at the trial, and if not raised in the trial court, it will not be considered on appeal


this rule admits of exceptions

David, et al. vs Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, supra



see above


Standing of a Party



locus standi

Gonzales vs Narvasa - This case is about the PCCR created by the Office of the President to conduct study to possible amendments to the Constitution primarily the

Ratio Decidendi: A case is considered moot and academic when it no longer


the Court will not exercise judicial review unless the constitutional question is brought before it by a party having the requisite “standing” to challenge it.

economic provisions


A person has standing to challenge the governmental act only if he has “a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement.

presents a justiciable controversy (PCCR already adjourned when the petition


Elements of standing:

was filed).


Petitioner must have suffered injury in fact

Notes: Q: What’s the President’s power of studying the Constitution, as to propose amendments? What’s the legal or constitutional basis for this? (This is precisely what Gonzales argues in this case except that the timing is off since it was rendered moot and academic) A: Art 7 Sec. 1 and Sec 5. When he President orders to study the Constitution in concern for the development of the country without even changing any provision of the Consti, he is doing his duty to “preserve and defend the Constitution, execute its laws…” (Art 7 Sec 5). It is the Pres. through its departments who engages in the day to day execution of laws and the efficiency of the government. This is part of his discretion from the power vested upon him by the Constitution. (Art 7 Sec. 1)


The injury must be traceable to the environmental act challenged

The injury must be redressable by the remedy sough by the petitioner.

David, et al. vs Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, supra

- see above

Pascual vs Secretary

Facts: Pascual, provincial governor of Rizal prays an injunction upon RA 920 AN ACT APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR PUBLIC WORKS whic



appropriated P85,000.00 for the construction, reconstruction, repair, extension & improvement of Pasig feeder road terminal. According to Pascual, this area along with Antonio Subd. belong to Sen. Jose Zulueta. During the time that the law was enacted, the land was still a private property.

Issue: WON Pascual has standing in this case.

- have a clear standing as citizen in petitions on right to information and cases questioning the declaration of martial law

Kilosbayan vs Morato

Petitioners contend that the decision in the first case has already been settled


1. Yes.

Issue: WON the petitioners have standing to sue on constitutional grounds, given that the Constitution guarantees to people’s organizations “effective and reasonable participation at all levels of social, political and economic decision making (Art XIII Sec 16).

and reasonable participation at all levels of social, political and economic decision making (Art XIII Sec

a. Taxpayers can file a suit if a public official uses public funds in an unconstitutional act and it involves misapplication of the funds. They have sufficient interest in preventing such acts.

b. RP-citizen relationship similar to a state-taxpayer relationship.

c. US SC in Crampton v. Zabriskie, recognized right of taxpayers to assail constitutionality of legislation appropriating local or state funds.

d. Governor is not just a taxpayer but a representative of one of the most populated political subdivisions in the country which bears a substantial part of the burden of taxation. Thus he has every right to assail the validity of the legislation.

Standing vs Real-Party-in-Interest

- the rule of real-party-in-interest is subordinated to the doctrine of locus standi.

- In not a few cases, the Court has adopted a liberal attitude on the locus standi of a petitioner where the petitioner is able to craft an issue of transcendental significance to the people.

- Real-party-in-interest: Whether he is the party who would be benefited or injured by the judgment or the party entitled to the avails of the suit

1. Types of Standing





- NO. Petitioners do not question the validity of the law allowing lotteries. It

is the contract entered into by the PCSO and the PGMC which they are assailing. This case, therefore, does not raise issues of constitutionality but only of contract law, which petitioners, not being privies to the agreement,

cannot raise.

- Kilosbayan's status as a people's organization does not give it the requisite personality to question the validity of the contract in this case.

- These provisions have not changed the traditional rule that only real parties

in interest or those with standing, as the case may be, may invoke the judicia power. The jurisdiction of this Court, even in cases involving constitutional

questions, is limited by the "case and controversy" requirement of Art. VIII,


- Petitioners' right to sue as taxpayers cannot be sustained because this case does not involve illegal disbursement of public funds. Nor as concerned citizens can they bring this suit because no specific injury suffered by them is alleged. As for the petitioners, who are members of Congress, their right to sue as legislators cannot be invoked because they do not complain o any infringement of their rights as legislators.


IBP vs Zamora




- In view of the alarming increase in violent crimes in Metro Manila, President Estrada, in a verbal directive, ordered the PNP and the Marines to conduct joint visibility patrols for the purpose of crime prevention and suppression.


1. On Judicial Review: When questions of constitutional significance are raised, the Court can exercise its power of judicial review only if the requisites are complied with. - When the issues raised are of paramount importance to the public, the Court may brush aside technicalities of procedure. a. The IBP has not sufficiently complied with the requisites of standing in this case.

> Definition of locus standi

+ a personal and substantial interest in the case such that the party has

sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged

+ “interest” means a material interest, an interest in issue affected by

the decree, as distinguished from mere interest in the question involved, or a mere incidental interest

+ gist: whether a party alleges such a personal stake in the outcome of

the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions

> The mere invocation by the IBP of its duty to preserve the rule of law

and nothing more, while undoubtedly true, is not sufficient to clothe it with standing in this case

> IBP has failed to present a specific and substantial interest in the

resolution of the case. It has not shown any specific injury, which it has suffered or may suffer by virtue of the questioned government act.



have standing to sue if he has shown that:

he has sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by taxation

he will sustain a direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the questioned statute


ITF vs Comelec

Facts: Congress passed Republic Act 8046, which authorized Comelec to conduct a nationwide demonstration of a computerized election system and allowed the poll body to pilot-test the system in the March 1996 elections (ARMM). Congress enacted Republic Act 8436 authorizing Comelec to use an automated election system (AES) for the process of voting, counting vote and canvassing/consolidating the results of the national and local elections. I also mandated the poll body to acquire automated counting machines (ACMs), computer equipment, devices and materials; and to adopt new electoral forms and printing materials. On 29 October 2002, Comelec adopted in its Resolution 02-0170 a modernization program for the 2004 elections. It resolved to conduct biddings for the three (3) phases of its Automated Election System. Issue: Whether ITF, et. al. have the locus standi to file the case questioning the validity of the election computerization bidding. Held: Yes. As alleged, Comelec’s flawed bidding and questionable award o the Contract to an unqualified entity would impact directly on the success or the failure of the electoral process. Any taint on the sanctity of the ballot as the expression of the will of the people would inevitably affect their faith in the democratic system of government. Further, the award of any contract for automation involves disbursement of public funds are in gargantuan amounts; therefore, public interest requires that the laws governing the transaction must be followed strictly. Hence, there can be no serious doubt that the subject matter of the case is "a matter of public concern and imbued with public interest"; in other words, it is of "paramount public interest" and "transcendental importance." This fact alone would justify relaxing the rule on legal standing, following the liberal policy of the Court whenever a case involves "an issue of overarching significance to our society." ITF, et. al.’s legal standing should therefore be recognized and upheld. Moreover, the Court has held that taxpayers are allowed to sue when there is a claim of "illegal disbursement of public funds," or if public money is being "deflected to any improper purpose"; or when petitioner(s) seek to restrain respondent(s) from "wasting public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law." Jumamil vs Café



Facts: Petition for declaratory relief filed by Jumamil questioning the constitutionality of Municipal Resolution 7, Series of 1989 (Resolution 7). Resolution 7, enacting Appropriation Ordinance 111, provided for an initial appropriation of P765,000 for the construction of stalls around a proposed terminal fronting the Panabo Public Market which was destroyed by fire. He alleges that Resolution Nos. 7 and 49 were unconstitutional because they were passed for the business, occupation, enjoyment and benefit of private respondents, some of which were close friends and/or relative of the mayor and the sanggunian.

Issue: Whether Jumamil had the legal standing to bring the petition for declaratory relief

Ruling: Jumamil brought the petition in his capacity as taxpayer of the Municipality and not in his personal capacity. He was questioning the official acts of the the mayor and the members of the Sanggunian in passing the ordinances and entering into the lease contracts with private respondents. A taxpayer need not be a party to the contract to challenge its validity. Parties suing as taxpayers must specifically prove sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by taxation. The expenditure of public funds by an officer of the State for the purpose of executing an unconstitutional act constitutes a misapplication of such funds.

d. Voters

- There must be a showing of obvious interest in the validity of

the election law in question (David vs. Macapagal-Arroyo)

e. Legislative

members of Congress, as a body, have standing to challenge an unconstitutional act

even when members of Congress do not act as a body, the Court has recognized their standing to challenge a presidential veto or other acts of the Executive which “injures them in their person or the institution of Congress to which they belong.”


Legislators: There must be a claim that the official action complained of infringes upon their prerogatives as legislators. (David vs. Macapagal-Arroyo)

Philconsa vs Enriquez, supra

- see above


People vs Vera


People of the Philippines and HSBC are respectively the plaintiff and the offended party, and Mariano Cu Unjieng is one of the defendants, in the criminal case. Hon. Jose O. Vera, is the Judge ad interim of the seventh branch of the CFI Manila, who heard the application of Cu Unjieng for probation. HSBC intervened in the case as private prosecutor. After a protracted trial, the CFI, rendered a judgment of conviction sentencing Cu Unjieng to indeterminate penalty ranging from 4 years and 2 months of prision correccional to 8 years of prision mayor, to pay the costs and with reservation of civil action to the offended party, HSBC. Upon appeal, the court, on 26 March 1935, modified the sentence to an indeterminate penalty of from 5 years and 6 months of prision correccional to 7 years, 6 months and 27 days of prision mayor, but affirmed the judgment in all other respects Cu Unjieng filed a motion for reconsideration and four successive motions for new trial which were denied on 17 December 1935, and final judgment was accordingly entered on 18 December 1935. Cu Unjieng thereupon sought to have the case elevated on certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States but the latter denied the petition for certiorari in November, 1936. The Supreme Court, on 24 November 1936, denied the petition subsequently filed by Cu Unjieng for leave to file a second alternative motion for reconsideration or new trial and thereafter remanded the case to the court of origin for execution of the judgment. Issue: Whether the People of the Philippines, through the Solicitor General and Fiscal of the City of Manila, is a proper party in present case. Held: YES. The People of the Philippines, represented by the Solicitor- General and the Fiscal of the City of Manila, is a proper party in the present proceedings. The unchallenged rule is that the person who impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal and substantial interest in the case



such that he has sustained, or will sustained, direct injury as a result of its enforcement. It goes without saying that if Act 4221 really violates the constitution, the People of the Philippines, in whose name the present action

is brought, has a substantial interest in having it set aside. Of greater import than the damage caused by the illegal expenditure of public funds is the mortal wound inflicted upon the fundamental law by the enforcement of an invalid statute. Hence, the well-settled rule that the state can challenge the validity of its own laws.

4. Constitutionality is the very lis mota of the case

- tbe Court will not touch on the issue of unconstitutionality unless it really is unavoidable or is the very lis mota.

Arceta vs Mangrobang

- consolidated cases

Case 1

The City Prosecutor of Navotas charged Ofelia V. Arceta with violating Batas Pambansa 22, also known as the Bouncing Checks Law in an information that on or about September 16, 1998, Arceta issued a Regional Bank check worth P740,000 (postdated December 21, 1998) to Oscar R. Castro, payable in cash. At the time of issue, Arceta did not have sufficient funds or credit with the drawee bank and her check was subsequently dishonored by drawee bank for reason “drawn against insufficient funds”.

Case 2 The City Prosecutor of Caloocan filed a charge sheet against Gloria S. Dy for violation of Bouncing Checks Law in an alleged information that on the month of January 2000, Dy issued Prudential Bank Check in the amount of P2,500,000 dated January 19, 2000 in favour of Anita Chua but it was denied due to insufficient funds.

Issue: Whether or not the court should render BP Blg. 22 unconstitutional due to (1) the present economic and financial crisis and (2) the undue burden made upon the MeTCs to try bouncing check cases.



When the issue of constitutionality of a legislative act is raised, it is an established doctrine that the court may exercise its power of judicial review only if the following requisites are present [see requisites of judicial review]. In the case at bar, the court agreed that the requisites were adequately met by the petitioners. The court did not find the constitutional question raised by the petitioners to be the very lis mota of the case. In the nullification of a certain law, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, and not one that is doubtful, speculative or argumentative.

A. Police Power Definition

The most essential, insistent and least limitable of powers, extending as it does to all the great public needs. It enables the state to prohibit all that is hurtful to the comfort, safety, and welfare of society.

It is one of the three power of the states, but is not explicitly mentioned in the constitution. It rests upon public necessity and the right of the state and public to self protection. Its scope then expands and contracts with changing needs.

Power vested in the legislature by the constitution to make, ordain, establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes, and ordinances, either with penalties or without, not repugnant to the constitution, as they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of the commonwealth and of subjects of the same.

Police power regulates the exercise of life, liberty, and property. The bill of rights says we have rights to those three, even though police power is not mentioned, police power limits these. Since our constitution is one of limitations, the constitution says whenever it impinges, it is tested against the safeguards of due process of law an equal protection before the law.

Due process of law only kicks in when there is a deprivation of life, liberty, or property. It applies however to government, not individuals.

Writ of Amparo: remedy available to any person whose right to life liberty, and security is violated with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity.



Due Process Procedural Due Process Definitions, Requisites:

Daniel Webster in Dartmouth College – due process of law is law that hears before it condemns, proceeds upon enquiry, and renders judgment only after trial.

Banco Espanol Filipino v Palanca – requisites of due process (1) court with judicial power (2) with jurisdiction over the case (3) defendant must be given a chance to be heard and (4) judgment must be rendered upon lawful hearing.

Notice and hearing are not prerequisites in the promulgation of rules though they are in judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings. Fixing rates a a quasi-judicial process requires a hearing. Guzman v National University – proceedings in disciplinary cases involving students are different from those in courts of justice. The minimum standards are (1) the student must be informed in writing of the nature and cause of accusation (2) they shall have the right to answer the charges against them, with assistance of counsel if desired. (3) They shall be informed of the evidence against them (4) They shall have the right to adduce evidence in their own behalf (5) The evidence must be duly considered by those in charge of hearing the case

Ang Tibay v Court of Industrial Relations – cardinal primary


Substantive Due Process:

requirements in administrative cases include (1) right to a hearing and present one’s case (2) the tribunal must consider the evidence (3) decision must have something to support itself (4) evidence must be substantial (5) decision must be based on the evidence presented at hearing (6) tribunal must act on its own independent consideration of law and facts

Content, laws must have a reasonable basis. Lawton v Steel – The state may interfere wherever the public interest demands it… it must appear first that the interests of the public and second that the means are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not undult oppressive upon individuals. Determination as to what is proper exercise of police power by the legislature is not final but subject to the supervision of the courts. The legislative rarely met judicial disapproval.

(7) the board should render its decision in such manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the various issues and reason for the decision rendered.

Requirement of Publication For clarity, to prevent vagueness and overbreadth. Anything vague is defective because it fails to give notice of its commands, although there is a presumption of constitutionality that any


Contributes to accuracy of the proceedings

potential challenger will have to get past (such as what happened with


it gives the accused/petitioner a sense of rational participation in a decision that can affect his destiny, enhancing his dignity as a thinking person.

the Plunder Law that was not successfully challenged by President Estrada). Overbreadth generally involves vagueness in reference to freedom of speech; it has a chilling effect.

Bernas: Other Notes on Procedural Due Process The hearing officer does not have to be the one who decides the case, but the officer who reviews a case cannot be the same person whose decision is on appeal.


Equal protection Before the Law



Tolentino v Board of Accountancy – no person or class shall be deprived of

Rubi v Provincial Board (Substantive Due Process)

the same protection of the laws which is enjoyed by other persons in similar


law creating reservations for the Mangyan tribes and penalizing them


for noncompliance was challenged as a deprivation of liberty without du

People v Cayat – classification must (1) rest on substantial distinction (2) be germane to the purpose of the law (3) not be limited to existing conditions

process. Justice Malcolm responded defending the act as justified according to general welfare and public interest.

only and (4) must apply equally to all members of the same class Strict Scrutiny Test – prove compelling state interest and necessity of

Roxas & Co., v Court of Appeals (Procedural Due Process) Petitioner’s property was undergoing compulsory acquisition according

classification, race, national origin, alienage, denying right to vote, etc.


CARP but there were several procedural problems, such as

Intermediate Scrutiny Test important state interest, classification is substantially related, gender, legitimacy

problematic notification. The acquisition proceedings were deemed invalid and remanded to the DAR.

Rational basis Scrutiny Test – classification is rationally related to a legitimate state interest International School Alliance of Educators v Quisimbing – foreign and Filipino teachers deserve the same compensation. British American Tobacco - New and old brands can be taxed differently to avert prize wars. Sison Jr v Ancheta – Classification is rational in character is allowable. Central Bank Employees v Bangko Sentral – relative unconstitutionality as

2. National Security Lao Ichong v Hernandez The retail industry was nationalized. Lao Ichong challenged the act. Equal protection refers to the same treatment across classes of people, not absolute equality. The dominance of the alien retailer poses as a threat to national security, as alien retailers hold a great deal of power, more than many Filipino retailers, but do not have the loyalty to the country and as such will not invest in industries that need supporting. The alien’s interest in the country is transient. It was reasonable.

the classification only applied according to the third standard. The classification was only applicable to present conditions. Smith Bell and Co. v Natividad – alienage is a rational classification. Equal protection before the law has been taken into account additionally in

adjustments resulting from war, the political process, land reform, the crinminal process, women, etc.

Hierarchy of Rights Right to life and liberty are of higher than order than property. Life and liberty impingement uses strict scrutiny. Police power will usually win over property. Freedom to contract bows to police power. Police power can be used to enforce taxation. Caroline Products Footnote: Narrower scope for operation of the presumption of constitutionality, if it collides with specific provisions. Freedom of speech and of the press is specific. Liberty arguably includes freedom of speech, but there are special specific rights mentioned by the bill of rights. If it affects discrete and insular minorities and their access to the political system, it also requires strict scrutiny.

3. Public Order US v Pompeya Mandatory patrol duty is a reasonable exercise of police power as it serves the public interest of preserves public order.

4. Public Safety Agustin v Edu An act requiring early warning devices was questioned as not having gone through due process. The court ruled it had as the president had examined various studies and was a valid way of promoting public safety.

5. Public Health US v Gomez Jesus The court can penalize those who practice medicine without proper licenses in the protection of public health.

6. Public Morals Ermita-Malate Motel and Motel Operators Assn. V City Mayor Regulation: guests were required to fill out comprehensive information sheets. (allowed)



In General

White Light



Regulation: prohibited short time stays. (allowed) Manila v Laguio Ban: All motels, inns etc had to convert into more reputable establishments. (not allowed) The preceding cases all involved the legislature trying to manage public morals, regulating motels which were often cites for prostitution etc. The motels however were not conclusively proved as always used illicitly. There were many legitimate purposes for motels, and thus the legislature could not simply remove them.

7. Public Welfare and advancement Buck v Bell The sterilization of the mentally ill was not considered a deprivation of the right to life (although now, sterilization of the mentally ill is no longer enforced. Virginia repealed this law in the 1970s). It was considered a legitimate use of police power for public welfare. The court said although they could not solve the whole problem, they could at least try to solve part of it.

8. The National Economy Rutter v Esteban RA 342 allowed war veterans a certain amount of time before any debt could be collected. The court struck this down as unconstitutional as creditors would have to wait too long a time before they could collect and further cited that the Philippines was no longer struggling to recover from the war. It would be unreasonable and oppressive to creditors to make them wait that long when there was no longer any pressing cause. US v Toribio Regulating the slaughter of carabaos is a valid exercise of police power and reasonably necessary to protect the community from the loss of the services of such animals, by their owners, tempted either by greed of monetary gain or to enjoy the luxury of animal food, despite damaging the productive power of the community.

C. Taxation Definition

an inherent power of government

Art. VI sec 28 of the constitution doesn’t give the government the power of taxation, rather it limits this otherwise almost unlimited power.


It is given to the government with the primary purpose of raising revenue, in order to pay for debts and for the general welfare. Taxation as:

Power to destroy – taxation used as an instrument for the extermination of undesirable activities.

Power to keep alive – the foundation for the imposition of tariffs to protect locally produces goods against competition from imports. Limitations

Must be used only for a public purpose

Taxation is legislative in nature, although it can be delegated to the president. It is the only exception to the rule of non-delegability of legislative power

Uniformity – pertains to the uniformity of taxation

Equitability – related to the progressive system of taxation, in which the rate increases as the tax base increases. Tax Exemptions

Must be for a public purpose, uniform and equitable and in conformity with the equal protection clause.

o Examples: Sec 28(3) – Charitable institutions, churches … non-profit cemeteries and all lands, buildings … used exclusively for religious, charitable or educational purposes. Fiscal Powers of Congress:

The power of the purse – Only congress can generate money from the government through taxation and the power to spend it.

Before money can be paid out from the Treasury, the amount and the purpose must first be specified.

After congress has made the appropriation, it is the executive that actually spends the fund. Special Funds:

Tax levied for a special purpose, to be used only for a specific and legitimate object of the government

Any balance left after the purpose had been fulfilled or cancelled, will be returned to the general funds of the government.


Taxation in General:



COMISSIONER v. BOTELHO SHIPPING CORP (1967) Facts: two ships were sold by the government to private respondents. Registration of the vessels to the name of private respondent was stalled because of the non payment of compensation taxes. While the case was pending, the law requiring the payment of compensation taxes was repealed. Issue: Whether or not the current law applies retroactively, thus exempting the respondent from paying the required tax. Held: YES, There is no constitutional prohibition against granting tax exemptions to specific people so long as a denial of equal protection does not arise through unreasonable discrimination.

LUTZ v. ARANETA (1955) Facts: The constitutionality of a commonwealth act is being questioned. It is alleged that the act only benefits the sugar industry and not the public. Held: A tax law is not purely for taxation or revenue generating purposes only; it can also be an exercise of police power. In this case, the tax was levied with the stabilization of the sugar industry in mind, which falls under the expansive definition of the “general welfare” phrase in the constitution.

Republic v. Bacolod-Murcia Milling Co. (1966)

Facts: Philippine Sugar Institute was established with the purpose of advancing the sugar industry, its funds comes from a tax levied from sugar milling companies. After a series of losses by the PSI, the milling companies refused to pay the tax, stating that the continued operation of the PSI is inimical to their interest.

Issue: Whether the milling companies may refuse to pay the tax, which is a special fund tax distinct from an ordinary tax.

Definition: Judicial power is the right to determine actual controversies between adverse litigants duly instituted in courts of proper jurisdiction. It is the authority to settle justiciable controversies or disputes involving rights that are enforceable and demandable before the courts of justice or the redress of wrongs for violation of such rights. In addition the constitution also includes the authority to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse o discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on any branch or instrumentality of government.

Nature: The exercise of judicial power requires real parties to come to court to settle an actual controversy. In addition the power to control the execution of the decision of the court is part of its jurisdiction. Art. VIII, §1 however is not meant to be an exhaustive list of what judicial power is. It is not the function of the court to give advisory opinions because it is beyond judicial power.

Grave Abuse of Discretion: When an act is done contrary to the constitution, the law or jurisprudence or when an act is executed whimsically, capriciously or arbitrarily out of malice, ill will or personal bias. To qualify as grave abuse of discretion the power mus be exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility and must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined.

a. All Courts can exercise judicial power

Ynot vs. IAC (1987)]

Held: NO, as with Lutz vs. Araneta, Taxation sometimes comes under the police power of the state. The respondents should pay the tax.

Facts Six carabaos were confiscated by the police for having been transported from Masbate to Iloilo in violation of EO 626-A. He brought an action for replevin, challenging the constitutionality of theEO. Trial court sustained the confiscation of the animals and



Three Great Departments of Government

declined to rule on the validity of the law on the ground that it


Judicial Department

lacked authority to do so. The IAC affirmed the trial court’s



Judicial Power – Art. VIII, section 1




Ruling The grant to the Supreme Court of the jurisdiction to review, revise, reverse, modify or affirm on appeal or certiorari final judgments of lower courts in all cases involving the constitutionality of statues or acts of other branches of government also gives lower courts authority to pass upon the validity of a statue in first instance. Thus the trial court and the IAC are wrong in their presumption of constitutionality when the validity of the law itself was put into question.

Finally, on the matter of the confiscation of carabaos, the law was found unconstitutional due to the lack of guidelines or limitations it granted authority to the chair of the national meat inspection commission or the director of animal industry to disperse such confiscated carabaos.

2. Supreme Court

a. Jurisdiction – Article 8, §5(2)(d) Original Jurisdiction (Art. VIII, §5, (1)) - Cases affecting Ambassadors, other Public Ministers and Consuls - Petitions for Certiorari, Prohibition, Mandamus, Quo Warranto, Habeas Corpus

Review/Revise/Reverse/Modify/Affirm on Appeal or Certiorari (Art. VIII, §5(2))

- When Constitutionality, Validity of International Agreements, Law, PD, Proclamation, Order, Instruction, Ordinance or Regulation is in question.

- Legality of any tax, impost, assessment, toll, penalty is an issue

- Jurisdiction of any lower court is an issue

- Criminal Cases where Reclusion perpetua or higher is imposed

- Cases involving question/error of law


The enumeration in Art. VIII §5 (1)(2) represent the irreducible jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

b. Congressional Power over the Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court – Art. VIII, §2, par. 1, Art. VI, § 30

The exercise of judicial power by lower courts requires prior legislative action (1) defining enforceable and demandable rights and prescribing remedies for violations of such rights (2) Determining the court with jurisdiction to hear and decide controversies arising from legal rights

Without any applicable law, courts cannot settle controversies. Congress may creat courts of varying jurisdiction provided it does not reduce the jurisdiction of th Supreme Court as per Art. VIII §5(1)(2)

c. En Banc vs. Division – Art. VIII, §4 The Supreme Court has the discretion to sit en banc or in divisions of three (3), five (5), seven (7).

En Banc Cases are decided by concurrence of majority of members

who took part in the deliberation on the issues and voted thereon. Quorum is 8. The Supreme Court En Banc has no appellate jurisdiction over the divisions.

- All cases involving constitutionality of a treaty, international/executive agreement or law

- Cases involving Constitutionality, application or operation of PDs, Proclamations, Orders, Instructions, Ordinances and other regulations

- Cases heard in a division but required majority is not obtained

- When the Supreme Court modifies or reverses doctrine or principle of law laid down either en banc or division

- Administrative cases where vote is for dismissal of a judge of a lower court or otherwise to disciple such



- Election contests for President or Vice-President

Division Can be in divisions of 3, 5, 7 and cases shall be decided with concurrence of majority of members who took part, and in no case without concurrence of at least three of such members. The division cannot modify or reverse any doctrine laid down in a decision rendered en banc or in division. The decision of a division is a decision of the Supreme Court itself, and is not inferior to decisions rendered en banc.

Cases are decided and Matters are resolved. Thus when a division fails to muster the required number of votes it is elevated to the court en banc. But when a motion for reconsideration is filed in the division, it is matter not a case and thus when it fails to muster the required number of votes the decision is not reconsidered and therefore deemed affirmed.

d. Composition – Art. VIII § 4 One Chief Justice and Fourteen Assoicate justices and any vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from the time the vacancy started. The composition of the Supreme Court cannot be changed by ordinary legislation.

Vargas v. Rilloraza (1948) Facts The People’s Court act provided that in certain cases Supreme Court justices who held any office during the Japanese occupation are to be disqualified to take part in the deliberations and lieu of their presence would be any judge of first instance as may be designated by the President.

Ruling The people’s court act is unconstitutional because it prohibits members of the Supreme Court to exercise the


power and duty granted to them by the constitution. The constitution contemplates an uninterrupted continuity in the tenure of SC justices with prejudice to the proper cases of disqualification. The present case involves the disqualification of a majority of the court which is also repugnant to the constitution since this is tantamount to depriving the present court with jurisdiction.

However temporary the participation of the replacement judges designated by the President under the People’s Court Act, his/her vote is considered as a justice of the court, which violates the contemplation of the constitution which provides for the composition of the Supreme Court and definitely admits of no exceptions such as the so called temporary member in the contested law. Any person to sit as member of the Supreme Court is required by the constitution to be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Commission on Appointments (this is different now of course)the designation by the President of temporary justice also violates such requirement.

Judicial and Bar Council: Appointments and Qualification – Art. VIII, §7(1), §8, § The Judicial and Bar Council recommends to the President appointees to the judiciary. From a list of at least 3 nominee for every vacancy the President appoints a judge without need of confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.

Composition Regular Members are appointed by the President for a term of 4 years. Clerk of the Supreme Court serves as the Secretary Ex-officio of the council. The Supreme Court determines the emoluments, budget and can also assign othe functions and duties to the council.

- Chief Justice (Ex-officio Chairman)

- Secretary of Justice (Ex-officio Member)



- Representative of Congress (Ex-officio member/ there is one representative from Senate and another from the House but each only has ½ vote)

- A representative of Integrated Bar (Regular member)

- A Professor of Law (Regular member)

- A Retired Member of the Supreme Court (Regular member)

- A Representative of the Private Sector (Regular member)

Qualifications Supreme Court

- Natural-born Citizen of the Philippines

- At least 40 years old

- Must have been for 15 years or more a judge of a lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines

- Proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence Lower Courts

- Citizen of the Philippines (except in Collegiate Courts should be Natural-Born Citizen)

- Member of Philippine Bar

- Requirements prescribed by congress

- Proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence

e. Salary – Art. VIII §10; Art. XVIII § 17 Salary of the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and of judges of lower courts is fixed by law. There shall be no diminution of salary during their stay in office. As per Nitafan v. CIR taxes are not to be considered a diminution of salary.

f. Security of Tenure – Art. VIII §2, par. 2 and §11 Members of the judiciary shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of 70 or become incapacitated to discharge their office. Security of Tenure guarantees against actual removal and interruption of continuity in tenure as ruled in Vargas v. Rilloraza.


De la Llana v. Alba (1982) Facts De la Llana, sought to enjoin the implementation of BP 129 or the Judiciary Reorganization Act which abolished most o the courts under the existing judicial system on the grounds that it contravened the constitution granting security of tenure to members of the judiciary.

Ruling The Batasang Pambansa is expressly vested with the authority to reorganize inferior courts and in the process to abolish existing ones. The termination of office of their occupants, as a necessary consequence of such abolition, is hardly distinguishable from the practical standpoint from removal, a power that is now vested in the Supreme Court.

Removal is, of course, to be distinguished from termination by virtue of the abolition of the office. There can be no tenure to a non-existent office. After the abolition, there is in law no occupant. In case of removal, there is an office with an occupant who would thereby lose his position. It is in tha sense that from the standpoint of strict law, the question of any impairment of security of tenure does not arise. Nonetheless, for the incumbents of inferior courts abolished, the effect is one of separation. As to its effect, no distinction exists between removal and the abolition of the office. Realistically, it is devoid of significance. He ceases to be a member of the judiciary. In the implementation of the assailed legislation, therefore, it would be in accordance wit accepted principles of constitutional construction that as far as incumbent justices and judges are concerned, the Suprem Court be consulted and that its view be accorded the fullest consideration. No fear need be entertained that there is a failure to accord respect to the basic principle that the Supreme Court does not render advisory opinions. No question of law is involved. If such were the case, certainly the Supreme Court could not have its say prior to the action taken by either of the two departments. Even then, it could



do so but only by way of deciding a case where the matter has been put in issue. Neither is there any intrusion into who shall be appointed to the vacant positions created by the reorganization. That remains in the hands of the Executive to whom it properly belongs.

There is no departure therefore from the tried and tested ways of judicial power. Rather what is sought to be achieved by this liberal interpretation is to preclude any plausibility to the charge that in the exercise of the conceded power of reorganizing the inferior courts, the power of removal of the present incumbents vested in this Tribunal is ignored or disregarded. The challenged Act would thus be free from any unconstitutional taint, even one not readily discernible except to those predisposed to view it with distrust. Moreover, such a construction would be in accordance with the basic principle that in the choice of alternatives between one which would save and another which would invalidate a statute, the former is to be preferred. There is an obvious way to do so. The principle that the Constitution enters into and forms part of every act to avoid any unconstitutional taint must be applied. Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 could stand the most rigorous test of constitutionality. Further, it is of the essence of constitutionalism to assure that neither agency is precluded from acting within the boundaries of its conceded competence. That is why it has long been well-settled under the constitutional system we have adopted that the Supreme Court cannot, whenever appropriate, avoid the task of reconciliation. It is a cardinal article of faith of our constitutional regime that it is the people who are endowed with rights, to secure which a government is instituted. Acting as it does through public officials, it has to grant them either expressly or impliedly certain powers. Those they exercise not for their own benefit but for the body politic. The Constitution does not speak in the language of ambiguity: "A public office is a public trust." That is more than a moral adjuration. It is a legal imperative. The law may vest in a public official certain rights. It does so to enable


them to perform his functions and fulfill his responsibilities more efficiently. It is from that standpoint that the security o tenure provision to assure judicial independence is to be viewed.

There is no reason to assume that the failure of this suit to annul BP 129 would be attended with deleterious consequences to the administration of justice. It does not follow that the abolition in good faith of the existing inferior courts except the Sandiganbayan and the Court of Tax Appeals and the creation of new ones will result in a judiciary unable or unwilling to discharge with independenc its solemn duty or one recreant to the trust reposed in it. Nor should there be any fear that less than good faith will attend the exercise of the appointing power vested in the Executive It cannot be denied that an independent and efficient judiciary is something to the credit of any administration. Well and truly has it been said that the fundamental principl of separation of powers assumes, and justifiably so, that the three departments are as one in their determination to pursue the ideals and aspirations and to fulfill the hopes of the sovereign people as expressed in the Constitution.

g. Removal – Art. VIII, §11; Art. XI, §2

Members of the Supreme Court can only be removed through impeachment or if found incapacitated to discharge office. In cases of impeachment if they are found guilty on the grounds of impeachment it follows that they failed to satisfy the requirement of good behavior.

Incapacity to discharge office is not defined in the constitution nor does it specify who determines such incapacity, however it is part of the administrative powers o the Supreme Court and to determine such incapacity the Supreme Court should create a panel of doctors to assist them in making such decision.



Only the Supreme Court can discipline judges of inferior courts and congress cannot pass any law to declare otherwise. The constitution requires they Supreme Court to sit En banc in matters regarding discipline of judges, a majority of those who took part is required for imposing sanctions or a dismissal.

h. Requirements as to Decisions – Art. VIII, §§13-14

- Conclusions should be reached through consultation before a member is assigned to write the opinion of the court

- The Chief Justice must certify the ruling that such consultation took place

- Members who took no part, dissented, or abstained must state their reason for doing so

- Express clearly and distinctly the facts and the law which it is based

- No petition for review or motion for reconsideration shall be refused due course or denied without stating legal basis These requirements also apply to lower collegiate courts such as the Court of Tax Appeals, Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan. Absence of certification does not make the decision invalid but makes the official responsible for certification liable. Bernas doesn’t specify who from the lower collegiate courts shall certify, it is reasonable to assume that it is the presiding justice however Bernas also mentions that “ in cases of intermediate appellate courts, certification also applies to attest such consultation occurred, to protect the independence of the justice assigned his name is not identified in the certification. “ Since there’s no IAC anymore this seems to apply to the CA which used to be the IAC. (Not totally sure on this one sorry…)

Oil & Gas Nature Corporation v. CA (1999) Facts


A Philippine Company agreed to supply an Indian

Corporation with oil well cement, however due to a dispute with the cargo vessel it did not reach its point of destination. After negotiations to settle the matter it was finally referred

to an arbitrator as per their contract. Eventually it reached

Indian courts which adopted by reference the ruling of the arbitrator. The Indian Company eventually filed a petition to the RTC of Surigao for the enforcement of the ruling by the Indian court. The Philippine Company alleges that such decision is not enforceable in the Philippines because it failed to contain a statement of facts and the law upon which the award in favor of petitioner was based.

Ruling The ruling of the foreign court is considered a memorandum decision which adopt by the findings of facts and conclusions of law of inferior tribunals. Such do not

transgress the constitutional requirement of stating the facts and law where the ruling is based although it is more pruden

if a memorandum decision does not just provide a

dispositive portion but also state the nature of the case; summarize the facts, and state applicable laws and jurisprudence as well as its assessment and conclusion. Providing for these mentioned parts of the ruling allows the court to make an appropriate consideration and its consistency with the dispositive portion. Nonetheless, the procedural requirement in the constitution on a decision of the court should be read with substantial justice such that in certain cases it can be set aside.

i. Mandatory period for deciding cases – Art. VIII, §15; Art. VII, §18 par. 3; Art. XVIII, §12-14 Upon the filing of the last pleading/brief or memorandum required by the Rules of Court, the case/matter is deemed submitted for decision. Once deemed submitted for decision the Supreme Court is given 24 months, Lower Collegiate Courts have 12 months, and all other lower courts are given three months unless the Supreme Court reduces such



periods. The mandatory periods are prospective in application.

If upon expiration of the period no decision is rendered a certification by the Chief Justice or the Presiding Judge shall sate why a decision or resolution has not been rendered or issued within that period.

j. Presidential Electoral Tribunal Art. VII §4 provides that the Supreme Court sitting en banc shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the President or Vice- President. In addition the Supreme Court is empowered to promulgate rules and regulations to serve its purpose as the PET.

k. Administrative powers – Art. VIII, §§5 (3)(4)(6) and 11 1.Supervision of lower courts Art. VIII §6 provides that the Supreme Court shall have administrative supervision of all courts and its personnel. It involves the exclusive power of the Supreme Court sitting en banc to discipline or dismiss judges for cause. It is only the Supreme Court that can oversee the judges and court personnel’s compliance with all laws and take proper administrative action against them. Even the Ombudsman cannot conduct an investigation independent of any administrative action taken by the Supreme Court nor can the Ombudsman’s findings be binding to it.

Maceda v. Vasquez (1993) Facts A complaint was filed in the Ombudsman regarding the falsification of Judge Maceda of his certificate of service that he has decided on all cases submitted for decision when he was not able to render such.


Ruling In the absence of any administrative action taken against Judge Maceda by the court, the Ombudsman’s investigation on the matter is an encroachment of the power of administrative supervision of the SC.

The constitutional grant of administrative authority to the SC includes its power to oversee the compliance of judges and court personnel with all laws and take proper action against them.

Whenever a criminal complaint against a member o the court arises from their administrative duties, the ombudsman must defer action and refer it to the Supreme Court.

In re Demetria (2001)

Facts CA Justice Demetria was rumored/reported intercession in behalf of a known Drug Queen with the prosecutor to withdraw or settle the case. The Supreme Court then assigned a SC justice to investigate the said incident and appointed the Court Administrator as prosecutor.

Ruling The conduct and behavior of everyone charged with the dispensation of justice carries with it the responsibility to keep his actions proper and above suspicion. He must be free from even a whiff of impropriety not just in the performance of judicial duties but behavior as a private individual. The indiscretion of justice Demetria did not meet up to this expectation and undermined the integrity of the entire judiciary.



A position in the judiciary exacts great demand for moral righteousness and uprightness. High ethical principles and a sense of propriety should be maintained in order to preserve the faith of the people in the judicial system. There is no place for the judiciary for those who cannot meet the standards of judicial conduct and integrity.

The court sustained the findings of the investigating justice and dismissed justice Demetria.

2.Temporarily assign judges to other stations in public interest Only the Supreme Court can temporarily transfer

judges but such transfer could only last for six months without consent of the judge concerned.

In terms of permanent transfer the constitution is silent as to who can effectuate such. However, transfer imports removal from one office and because of security of tenure a permanent transfer cannot be affected without consent of the affected judge.

The power to determine the residence of judges lies with the legislature as part of its power to provide additional qualification of judges of lower courts.

3.Order a change of venue or place of trial to avoid miscarriage of justice

In People v. Gutierrez, the Supreme Court ruled that

judicial power connotes certain incidental and inherent attributes reasonable necessary for an effective administration of justice. Courts can do all things necessary to preserve and maintain every quality needful to make the judiciary an effective institution of government.


To order a change of venue to another court of equal rank in a neighboring site is part of these incidental or inherent powers of courts whenever there is an imperative of securing a fair and impartial trial or to prevent a miscarriage of justice.

It is not only the Supreme Court which has power to effect a change of venue as per the Gutierrez ruling.

Mondiguing v. Abad (1975) Facts Petitioners seeks for a transfer of venue of their case to Baguio City or Quezon City because they could not expect a fair and impartial trial in Lagawe, Ifugao because Judge Abad is a protégé’ of the governor, and that the witnesses would be afraid t testify due to harassment. They further place that their lives as well as their lawyers and witnesses are in danger due to the rising tensions brought about by the case and their political rivalry with the governor.

Ruling It is in the interest of the public to prosecute and punish the crime in the very place or as near as where it was committed. However the constitution grants the Supreme Court the prerogative to change the place of trial to avoid miscarriage of justice. A change of venue is justified in the interest of justice and truth, and that there are sufficient reasons to believe that the trial would not result in a fair and impartial trial.

People v. Sola (1981) Facts



Mayor Sola of Kabankalan was charged with murder. The trial was set at Himamaylan, 10 km. away from Kabankalan, the court granted them bail. Private Prosecutors then sought to effect a change of venue due to the influence of the accused in the area as well as reports of witness intimidation.

Ruling Only the Solicitor General can file to the Supreme Court any petition in behalf of the People of the Philippines and not the fiscal or private prosecutors.

The court evoked the People v. Gutierrez ruling that “to compel the prosecution to procced to trial in a locality where witnesses will not be at liberty to reveal what they know is a mockery of the purpose

of the courts.

The Supreme Court’s constitutional power to order a change of venue is appropriate in this case considering that witnesses are fearful for their lives if the trial was held at Himamaylan. The court must always consider the effect such fear has on the witnesses and in case of doubt then it should be construed in favor of a change in venue.

A plea for change in venue can be done


4.Appointment of officials and employees of the entire judiciary The authority of the Supreme Court to appoint its own officials and employees is meant to safeguard the independence of the judiciary. However this authority is subject to the Civil Service Law. In addition Congress may give authority to the courts


“to appoint officers lower in rank” as per art. VII


a.Promulgate rules concerning the enforcement and protection of constitutional rights The power to promulgate rules on the enforcemen and protection of constitutional rights is granted to the Supreme Court as part of its broad judicial power. The power to promulgate rules includes th power to suspend them in particular cases in order to do justice. One recent result of this power is the Writ of Amparo.

5.Promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure The power to promulgate rules on pleading, practice and procedure is part of the traditional powers of the Supreme Court. The summation of all powers granted to the Supreme Court in effect places into the hands of the Supreme Court the totality of the administration of justice making it a more independent judiciary. The Supreme Court also has the authority to disapprove rules promulgated by quasi-judicial bodies.

The power to promulgate rules has the following limitations and guidelines

Simplified and inexpensive procedure for speedy disposition of cases

Uniform for all courts of the same grade

Shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive rights

Although the constitution no longer provides for congress to have the power to legislate on matters of procedure it is deemed to have retained such power under the principle of checks and balances. However in an obiter dictum in Echegaray v. Secretary of Justice Justice Puno said without discussion that




Congress no longer has the power to amend rules of court (take note Obiter ito).

6. Admission to the practice of law The power to admit attorneys to the practice of law is not to be exercised at the pleasure of the court but must be done so with sound and judicial discretion.

The authority to promulgate rules concerning admission to the practice of law is quasi-legislative and Congress has a revisory role subordinate to the Supreme Court. On the matter of the actual admission to the practice through application of these rules is a judicial function and Congress has no role in it.

7.Integration of the bar Integration of the Bar means the official unification of the entire lawyer population of the Philippines. This requires membership and financial support of every attorney as conditions to the practice of law and the retention of his name in the Roll of Attorneys of the Supreme Court.

Purposes of an Integrated Bar

Assist in Administration of Justice

Foster and maintain high ideals of integrity, learning, professional competence, public service and conduct among members

Safeguard professional interest of members

Cultivate a spirit of cordiality and brotherhood

Provide a forum for discussion of law, jurisprudence, reform, pleading, practice and procedure and the relations of bar to the bench and to the public, and publish information on this

Encourage and foster legal education

Promote a continuing program of legal research in substantive and adjective law

Enable Bar to discharge public responsibility effectively

As a body, the Integrated Bar is expected to strengthen the justice system by providing effective assistance, protection, improvement, of the public, its members and the judiciary itself.

8.Legal assistance to the underprivileged The totality of powers granted to the Supreme Court laid on it much of the justice system, through these powers the Supreme Court is mandated to provide for legal assistance to the underprivileged. It is logical to note that this is inherent to judicial power especially that if justice is to reign supreme the underprivileged must be offered the protection and assistance they could not normally afford.

l. No quasi-judicial and administrative work for judges – Art. VIII,


All that is given to the judiciary is judicial power, courts cannot attempt to assume or be compelled to perform non-judicial functions. Art. VIII §12 prohibits their designation to any agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions.

Manila Electric Co. v. Pasay Trans Co. (1932) Facts: A statute was enacted, granting a franchise to an electric company that whenever a right-of-way is granted to any other entity over portions of franchise of the grantee, the compensation to be paid to the latter shall be fixed by the members of the SC, sitting as board of arbitrators. Ruling/Doctrine: The statute is unconstitutional. The functions performed ar administrative and quasi-judicial in nature, which would result in the performance of duties the SC could not lawfully perform. The Court is asked to determine if the members of the Court may be constituted as a board of arbitrators, which is not a court at all.

In re Judge Rodolfo Manzano (1988) Facts: Judge Manzano is appointed by provincial governor to sit as a membe of the Provincial Committee of Justice pursuant to Presidentail EO no. 856.



Petitioner asks Court if he can accept such designation without prejudice to


The number of Senators and the manner of electing them can only be

his position as an RTC judge of Ilocos Norte.

changed by constitutional amendment

Ruling/Doctrine: No, he cannot. The Committee performs administrative


Senate looks on problems from a national, not parochial perspective

functions and as such membership of the said judge is deemed

Natural-born citizen of the Philippines


At least 35 years old on the day of election.

Able to read and write


Fiscal autonomy

A registered voter

The judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy.

Resident of the Philippines for not less than 2 year immediately preceding the day of election.

Appropriations may no be reduced by the legislature below the amount appropriated for the previous year


Domicile; physical presence not necessary

Automatically and regularly released.

Term of 6 years; commences at noon on the 30 th day of June next following their election

The basic aim is to assure judicial independence

Judiciary should not be exempt form the budgetary process of submitting and justifying its budget, except upon approval, it shall be automatically and regularly released.


6 years: for the purpose of synchronizing elections

No Senator shall serve for more than 2 consecutive terms


Voluntary renunciation is not considered as an interruption



Can run again 3 years after the expiration of 2 nd term


Report on the Judiciary


senatorial elections take place every 3 years and all are elected for a 6-year term

The SC shall within 30 days from the opening of each regular session of the Congress, submit to the President and the Congress, an annual report on the operations and activities of the Judiciary.

b. House of Representatives

The purpose of this provision is not to subject the SC to the President and the Congress but simply to enable the judiciary to inform the government about its needs

Composed of not more than 250 members, unless otherwise fixed by law.


total membership may be raised from time to time by statute.

This can also be the basis o appropriate legislation and government policies intended to improve the administration of justice and strengthen the judiciary.

Kinds of representatives




Directly elected from the various legislative districts





Automatic release of an appropriation for the Judiciary

Chosen indirectly form a party elected by voters

Upon approval of the budget, it shall be automatically and regularly released.




Reserved seats intended to give meaningful representation to disadvantaged sectors.



This will last only for 3 consecutive terms following the ratification of the 1987 Constitution

1. Composition, Qualifications, and Term of Office




Appointment by the President needs confirmation by the Commission on Appointments

24 Senators elected at large (entire national electorate) by qualified voters of the Philippines



o District

1. natural-born citizen of the Philippines



2. at least 25 yrs old on the day of election

3. able to read and write

4. registered voter in the district in which he shall be elected

5. resident of that district for not less than 1 year immediately preceding the day of the election.

with the mandate, which they have received from their constituents. (However, this rule has been repealed by Farinas v. Executive Secretary. It was stated that a national elective official does not terminate his tenure by th mere fact of having filed for candidacy to a position different from what he i holding.)





natural-born citizen of the Philippines




at least 25 yrs old on the day of elections

Legislative districts shall be apportioned among the provinces, cities,


able to read and write

and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of thei


must represent marginalized and underrepresented sectors

respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive






3 years, beginning at noon on the 30 th day of June next following their election (starting date may be changed by law)

Each district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact and adjacent territory.



3 years – for the purpose of synchronization of elections


Gerrymandering – creation of representative districts out of



Not more than 3 consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation is not



separate portions of territory in order to favor a candidate.


an interruption in the continuity of service.

Each city with a population of at least 250k will have one district. If less

A province is entitled to 1 representative no matter what its population

than 250k, it will be represented as a part of one of the districts within


If one is elected to serve the unexpired term of another, that unexpired term will be considered one term for the purpose of computing the number of successive terms allowed.

the province.



term vs. tenure – term is the period of time allotted to the office by



law, while tenure is the period during which the official actually holds office.

Creation of new districts must be done by Congress within 3 years following the return of every census in order to ensure that proportional representation is preserved.

Dimaporo v. Mitra (1991) Facts: In section 67 of BP 881, members of the legislature are included in the

Basic principle behind the rule of apportionment is the concept of equality of representation, which is a basic principle of republicanism.

enumeration of elective public officials who are to be considered resigned

Congress cannot be compelled to make a reapportionment.

from public office from the moment of filing of their certificate of candidacy for another office. The President and the VP are exceptions. Dimaporo, after filing his candidacy for Governor of ARMM, was excluded from the Roll of Members of the HR. He challenged the law as an unconstitutional shortening of his term. Ruling/Doctrine: The law is constitutional. The law did not shorten his term; it merely shortened his tenure. The statutory provision seeks to ensure that such officials serve out their entire term of office by discouraging them from running for another public office and thereby cutting short their tenure by

Mariano v. COMELEC (1995) Facts: Section 52 of RA 7854, which provided for the conversion of the municipality of Makati into a highly urbanized city, was assailed as unconstitutional for its improper appropriation of legislative districts. Ruling/Doctrine: Court upheld that reapportionment of legislative districts may be made through a special law, such as in the charter of a new city. Also, the Constitution provides that a city with a population of at least 250k can have at least one representative . Therefore, said law is unconstitutional

making it clear that should they fail in their candidacy, they cannot go back to their former position. This is consonant with the constitutional edict that all public officials must serve the people with utmost loyalty and not trifle

Aquino v. COMELEC (1995)




Facts: : Petitioner Aquino ran – and won – as congressman in the new district of Makati. To meet the residence requirement he transferred from Tarlac and leased a condominium in Makati. Respondents assail his eligibility for failure to comply with the residency requirement. Petitioner contends inter alia that it is legally impossible to impose the one-year residency requirement in newly created political district. Ruling/Doctrine: It is not legally impossible. A new political district is not created out of thin air. it is carved out from part of a real and existing geographic are, in this case the old Municipality of Makati. Candidates cannot be allowed to take advantage of the creation of new political districts by suddenly transplanting themselves to such new districts, prejudicing the genuine residents in the process.

ii. Party-List Representation

Seeks to avoid the dilemma of choice of sectors and who constitute the members if the sectors

Those qualified are registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations.

PL representatives will constitute 20 per centum of the total number of representatives including the PL. (i.e. 250 representatives: 200 district representatives and 50 PL representatives.)

Maximum number will be prescribed by law and the nominees will be arranged by the party or organization according to an order of priorities.

RA 7941 requires parties, organizations, and coalitions participating in the system to obtain at least 2 percent of the total votes cast for the PL system in order to be entitled to a PL seat.

Those garnering more then 2% may have additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes.

No party may have more than 3 seats.

PL system limits participation to parties or organizations representing the “marginalized and underprivileged.”

Court sees PL system not as a proportional system of representation designed to strengthen democracy but as a “sectoral representation” meant to promote social justice.

Requisites laid down by LG code: (a) 20% allocation; (b) 2% threshold (meaningful representation; prevent proliferation of small parties); (c) 3-seat


maximum (to ensure entry of various parties; no single-group dominance); (d) proportional representation (additional seat in proportion to number of votes)

Veterans Federation Party v. COMELEC (2000) Facts: In May 1998, the first PL election was held simultaneously with the general elections. In June the Comelec en banc proclaimed 12 parties. In July PL PAG-ASA filed a petition to proclaim the full number of PL representatives as provided in the constitution. The issues raised were: 1) whether the 20% constitutional allocation is mandatory; 2) whtehr the 2% threshold requirement and the 3-seat limit is constitutional; and 3) how the additional seats of a qualified party should be determined. Ruling/Doctrine: 20% is a mere ceiling. It need not be filled. Congress was vested with the broad power to define and prescribe the mechanics of the PL system of representation. 2% threshold and 3 seat limit set a mandatory number that must be filled or just a ceiling – Congress wanted to ensure that only those parties, organizations and coalitions having a sufficient number o constituent deserving of representation were actually represented in Congres Panganiban’s Formula: may be replaced by the legislature via a statute

a. (No. of district representatives/0.80) x 0.20 = No. of Party-list representatives

b. (No. of votes of concerned party/No. of votes for first party) x No. of additional seats allocated to first party = Additional seats

Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. COMELEC (2001) Facts: Petitioner filed a complaint calling for the disqualification of several party-list groups from the 2001 party-list election. Ruling/Doctrine: Seats reserved for party-list groups in Congress are to be reserved for the marginalized sectors, and that party-list nominees must represent marginalized and underrepresented sectors.

Partido ng Manggagawa and Butil Farmers Party v. COMELEC (2006) Facts: This case involves the formula for computing the additional seats due, if any, for winners in party-list elections. Petitioners are claiming that they are entitled to additional seats in Congress.



Ruling/Doctrine: The prevailing formula for the computation of additional seats for party-list winners is the formula stated in the landmark case of Veterans. Using the said formula, petitioners are not entitled to additional seats. (The product derived from the formula is less then 1, i.e. 0,7 for PM and 0.71 for Butil. Court did not round up these numbers.)

1935 Consti: annual compensation included per diems and other emoluments or allowances.

1987 Consti: refers only to “salaries,” the fixed annual amount.

1971: set a limit to allowable travel, office and personnel expenses but was eventually withdrew for being an internal matter.



There is no legal limit as to how much the Congress can appropriate, only a moral limit.


Regular Election

PHILCONSA v. Mathay (1966)

Ligot v. Mathay (1974)

Elections shall be held on the 2 nd Monday of May, unless otherwise provided by law.

Facts: RA 4134 authorized salary increases of the Speaker and Members of the HR. The petition seeks to enjoin the officials from allowing the payment of these increases because the said increase is unconstitutional. Respondents


Special Election

maintain that the expiration of term of members of the HR who approved

In case of vacancy in the Senate or HR

should be enough to allow the remaining members of he HR to merit the

The Senator or HR Member elected shall serve only for the unexpired term.

increase, regardless of the term of the members of the Senate who approved, since the increase would not affect the Senate.

Service for the unexpired tem shall be counted as one term for the purpose of counting the successive allowable terms.

Ruling/Doctrine: The salary increase should not be allowed. The provision speaks of the “expiration of the full term.” The intendment of the law also

Not mandatory; and if held, no set prescribed date.

requires expiration of the fill term of all members of the Legislature who

Candidates need not indicate whether they are running under a special or regular election. The right and duty to hold special election emanates form the statute and not from a call for the election by some authority like the COMELEC.

approved the salary increase. Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguere debemus.

An election held at the time thus prescribed is not invalidated by the fact that the body charged by the law with the duty of calling the election failed to do so.

Facts: Rep. Ligot’s term in Congress will expire December 30, 1969. He is entitled to retirement gratuity under Commonwealth Act 186, Sec 12(c) as amended by RA 4968. The incoming Members of Congress will have a salary increase from P7,200 to P32,000 as provided for under RA 4134.


Salaries, Privileges and Disqualifications

Petitioner argues that his retirement pay must be computed based on that



salary increase, and not on his actual salary as Congressman. Auditor General denied his petition, as well as Rep. Singson’s who had a similar

The annual salary of members of the Congress has been initially fixed by Art XVIII, Sec 17 at Php204k, and the President of the Senate and the Speaker at Php240k, subject to change by the law.

case. Ruling/Doctrine: His retirement pay should not be computed based on the new increased salary, which he never received as an incumbent. As held in

No increase shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all the Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives approving such increase.

Philconsa, any salary increase should not take effect until retirement of all legislators who approved it. To grant the petitioner’s claim is a subtle way of increasing his compensation during his term of office and thus allow what

Retirement benefits of a legislator must be based in the salary in effect during his term and not on the increased salary of the subsequent term.

the Constitution prohibits.




b. Freedom from arrest

Immunity from all offenses punishable by not more than 6 years imprisonment

Immunity applies for as long as Congress is in session, whether or not the legislator involved is actually attending it.

Privilege did not include immunity from arrest arising from an act or omission punishable by law. It only covers immunity from civil arrest, because a legislator/delegate can perform his functions effectively well, without the need for any transgression of the criminal law.

One who is convicted does not enjoy immunity from arrest.

Martinez v. Morfe (1972) Facts: Petitioner Martinez was charged with falsification of a public document. For the purposes of qualifying in his certificate of candidacy for delegate to the Constitutional Convention, he said that he was born on June 20, 1945 when in fact he was born on June 20, 1946. Petitioner Bautista was proclaimed delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention. He was later charged with electioneering. Petitioners, as delegates of the Constitutional Convention invoke immunity under the Constitutional Convention Act, which entitles delegates parliamentary immunities of a senator or representative. Ruling/Doctrine:The privilege of immunity under Sec. 15, Article 6 of the Consti does not cover prosecution for treason, felony and breach of peace. The Martinez and Bautista cases fall under breach of peace. A breach of peace is any act that is defined by the RPC or any special statute. Further, the immunity extends only to CIVIL cases not CRIMINAL. Granting immunity when it comes to arrest is tantamount to creating a privileged class.

c. Speech and Debate Clause

Members are guaranteed immunity from answerability before an outside forum but nit from an answerability to the disciplinary authority of the Congress itself.

To come under the guarantee the “speech or debate” must be one made in the Congress or in any committee thereof (not only the locale of the speech but the nature.)

Said expression refers to the utterances made by the Congressmen in the performance of their official function


Essential requirement for its applicability has always been that the action involved must be legislative action.

Jimenez v. Cabangbang Facts: Cabangbang, a member of the House of Representatives, published in newspapers a letter to the President (while Congress is not in session) regarding a planned coup d’etat. Planners were unnamed bit the alleged instruments were identified. He was sued for libel. The issue is WON the publication in question is a privileged communication. Ruling/Doctrine: Such letter to the President when Congress is not in session and the Congressman-writer is not performing his official duty, is not covered by the privilege under Sec 15 of Art VI. However, the letter is not libelous.

Osmena v. Pendatun Facts: Rep. Sergio Osmeña attacked Pres. Garcia in a speech given in the House, charging – albeit without any evidence – the latter of selling pardons and other Presidential duties to those who can afford it (i.e. that the President was accepting bribery). A few weeks after, before the House finished its session, the President’s allies in the lower house suspended Rep. Osmeña for fifteen months for seriously imputing the President of bribery without evidence to substantiate it Ruling/Doctrine: It is true that the Constitution provided that for any speech or debate made in Congress a member thereof shall not be questioned in any other place. However, one should observe the word “other”: shall not be questioned in any other place. The Constitution guarantees the independence and free of a legislator to express himself w/o fear of being made responsible in criminal or civil actions before any court or forum outside the Congressional Hall, but he is still made responsible before the legislative body itself.

d. Disqualifications and other prohibitions

A member of the Congress may not hold, during his tenure as member, any other office in the government or in any of its instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.

Since the prohibition is only during his tenure, a legislator is not prevented from accepting an appointment.



If he chooses to accept another office, he automatically forfeits his seat in Congress.

No member shall be appointed to any office which may have been created or the emoluments thereof increased during the term for which he was elected.

Members of Congress shall, upon assumption of office, make full disclosure of their financial and business interest.

They shall notify the House concerned of a potential conflict of interest that may arise from the filing of a proposed legislation of which they ar authors.

Members of the Congress are not allowed to personally appear as counsel before any court

However, this does not prevent the legislator from filing the proposed legislation. This merely enables the house to examine the arguments he


may not be circumvented under the guise of appearing “ in

Legislator may appear in person if in fact he is a genuine party in

might present in the context of his personal interest.


intervention” in one’s behalf.

the case.

Records and books of accounts of the Congress shall be preserved and be open to the public in accordance with law.

Such books shall be audited by the Commission on Audit, which shall


A firm where a Member is a partner is allowed to appear as counsel.

publish annually an itemized list of amounts paid to, and expenses incurred for each member.

They are not allowed to have any interest in a contract with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by the government during his term.

o Thus, they cannot be member of the board of corporations with contracts with the government

Neither may a legislator “intervene in any matter before any office of the Government for his pecuniary benefit or where he may be called upon to act on account of his office.

These prohibitions are intended to prevent members from taking advantage of their position in their dealings with courts, any govt agency, or in their business operations.

Flores v. Drilon Facts: RA 7227 provided that for the first year of operations of SBMA from the effectivity of the said law, mayor of Olongapo City (Richard Gordon) shall be appointed as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the SBMA. Petitioners filed a taxpayer’s suit, assailing the constitutionality of the provision. Said provision violates the constitutional proscription against appointment or designation of elective officials to other government posts. Ruling/Doctrine: Provision is unconstitutional. Elected officials cannot hold more than one government position, unless that position is automatically attached to that particular office.

e. Duty to disclose


4. Internal Government of Congress A. Election of Officers Officers:

1. Senate President

2. Speaker of the House

3. Such officers as deemed by each house to be necessary.

Election of officers: by a majority vote of all its respective Members

Santiago vs. Guingona (1998) Facts:

Miriam and Tatad (who belong to the People Reform’s Party) instituted a petition for quo warranto against the election of Guingona as minority leader of the Senate. They sought for the declaration of Tatad as the rightful minority leader. In the election o officers, Fernan and Tatad were nominated for the position of president. Fernan won.

Tatad manifested that being the only other member of the minority who ran for that position, he was assuming the position of minority leader. The votes cast for Fernan comprised the ‘majority’, and the votes cast for him were the ‘minority’.

During the discussion on who should constitute the ‘minority’, LAKAS-NUCD-UMDP chose Guingona as minority leader, as manifested by Flavier. No concensus on the question was arrived at for 3 days. Majority Leader Drilon informed the HR on 30 July



1998 that Lakas-NUCD-UMDP chose Guingona as the minority leader, and was then recognized as such by Fernan. The following day, Miriam and Tatad filed this petition before the SC. Ruling/Doctrine:

Petitioners held that majority is the group who voted for winning Senate President and accepted committee chairmanships. Whereas, the minority is the group who voted for the losing candidate for Senate President and accepted no such chairmanships.

However, the Supreme Court held that the majority is the political party to which most number of lawmakers belonged (concept of plurality).

The Constitution is silent as regards the manner of electing officers other than the Senate President and the House Speaker. Hence, it is within the province of the Legislative, not the Supreme Court, as conferred by the Constitution.

As Guingona belonged to Lakas-NUCD-UMDP, one of the minority parties of the Senate, Fernan did not act with grave abuse of discretion in recognizing Guingona as the minority leader.

Avelino vs. Cuenco (1949) Facts:

During the Senate session on February 21, 1949, Senate President Avelino walked out of the session hall followed by nine other senators. This left only twelve senators in the session hall. (Of the twenty four senators, one was in the United States and another in a local hospital.) The Senate President Pro-Tempore then took over and, by a resolution approved by the twelve remaining senators, the position of Senate President was declared vacant, and Senator Cuenco was designated Acting Senate President. Avelino brought the case to court asking whether the twelve senators who had designated Cuenco as Senate President constituted a quorum. Ruling/Doctrine:

By a vote of 6-4, the Court refused to assume jurisdiction. It declared that the controversy was political in nature and that the constitutional grant to the Senate of the power to elect its own president should not be taken over by the judiciary.

In addition, 12 senators constitute a majority of the Senate of 23 senators (10 walked out and 1 is out of the country).


When the Constitution declares that a majority of "each House" shal constitute a quorum, "the House: does not mean "all" the members. Even a majority of all the members constitute "the House.”

The 12 senators ratified their actions placing them beyond a shadow of doubt, especially since at most, only 11 Senators can vote for Avelino.

C. Rules of Proceedings Each house shall determine its own procedural rules. Corollary to Congress’ power to make rules is the power to ignore them when circumstances require. Issues may either be:

Political - on matters affecting only internal operation of the legislature, the legislature’s formulation and implementation of its rules. Justiciable - when the legislative rule affects private rights. Pacete vs. Sec. of Commission on Appointments (1971) Facts:

Felizardo S. Pacete alleged that he was appointed by the then President of the Philippines on August 31, 1964 as Municipal Judge of Pigcawayan, Cotabato. He assumed office on September 11, 1964 and discharged his duties as such. As his appointment was made during recess of Congress, it was submitted to the Commission on Appointments at its next session in 1965. Appointment was unanimously confirmed on May 20, 1965 (with Senate President and Chairman of Commission on Appointments Ferdinand Marcos even sending him a congratulatory telegram). Nine months after his confirmation, on February 7, 1966, the then Secretary of Justice advised petitioner to vacate his position as municipal judge. Petitioner was informed that on May 21, 1965, Senator Rodolfo Ganzon (a member of the Commission on Appointments) wrote to it

Chairman stating that he was filing a motion for reconsideration of the appointment in view of derogatory information which he had received. Ruling/Doctrine:

The controlling principle is supplied by Altarejos v. Molo, which interpreted Rule 21 of the Revised Rules of the Commission on Appointments, which reads: “Resolution of the Commission on any



appointment may be reconsidered on motion by a member presented not more than one (1) day after their approval. If a majority of the members present concur to grant a reconsideration, the appointment

may be laid on the table, this shall be a final disposition of such a motion.” Holding of the Court was that the mere filing of a reconsideration did not have the effect of setting aside a confirmation. In the case, Aldeguer’s (respondent in Altarejos case) theory would give to the mere filing of a motion for reconsideration the effect which it would have if the motion approved, and hence, would dispense with the necessity of such approval, for which the concurrence of a majority of the members present is necessary. This is inconsistent with Rule 21 of the Revised Rules of the Commission.

National Internal Revenue Code by imposing so-called “sin taxes” on the manufacture and sale of beer and cigarettes.

The law originated in the House of Representatives as H. No. 7198. This bill was approved on third reading and transmitted to the Senate which approved it with certain amendments on third reading on. A bicameral conference committee was formed to reconcile the disagreeing provisions of the House and Senate versions of the bill.

The bicameral conference committee submitted its report to the House at 8 a.m. on November 21, 1996. At 11:48 a.m., after a recess, Rep. Exequiel Javier, proceeded to deliver his sponsorship speech, after which he was interpellated. Rep. Rogelio Sarmiento was first to interpellate. He was interrupted when Rep. Arroyo



In case of an adjournment sine die the period for filing the motion for reconsideration having expired, under Section 22, then the motion for reconsideration not having been acted upon is not approved and therefore, has no effect whatsoever.

moved to adjourn for lack of quorum. Rep. Antonio Cuenco objected to the motion and asked for a head count. After a roll call, the Chair (Deputy Speaker Raul Daza) declared the presence of a quorum. Rep. Arroyo appealed the ruling of the Chair, but his motion was defeated when put to a vote. The interpellation of the


sponsor thereafter proceeded.

What is decisive is that a confirmation duly made is not nullified simply by a motion of reconsideration being filed, without its being voted upon and approved.

Petitioner Rep. Joker Arroyo registered to interpellate. In the course of his interpellation, Rep. Arroyo announced that he was going to raise a question on the quorum, although until the end of his

On the same day, the bill was signed by the Speaker of the House of

Petitioners’ principal argument is that R.A. No. 8240 is null and

“The President shall have the power to make appointments during the recess of the Congress, but such appointments shall be effective only until disapproval by the CA or until the next adjournment of Congress.”


interpellation he never did.

Representatives and the President of the Senate and certified by the respective secretaries of both Houses of Congress as having been

A distinction is made between the exercise of such presidential prerogative requiring confirmation by the CA when Congress is in session and when it is in recess. In the former, the President nominates, and only upon the consent of the CA may the person assume office. As with ad interim appointments, the appointment takes effect at once. The appointment is effective until disapproval by the CA or until the next adjournment in Congress. There must either be a rejection by the CA or nonaction on its part.

Arroyo vs. De Venecia (1997) Facts:

finally passed by the House of Representatives and by the Senate on November 21, 1996. The enrolled bill was signed into law by President Fidel V. Ramos on November 22, 1996.

void because it was passed in violation of the rules of the House; tha these rules embody the “constitutional mandate” in Art. VI, §16(3) that “each House may determine the rules of its proceedings” and that, consequently, violation of the House rules is a violation of the Constitution itself. They contend that the certification of Speaker D Venecia that the law was properly passed is false and spurious.

Petition for certiorari and/or prohibition challenging the validity of Republic Act No. 8240, which amends certain provisions of the

Respondents’ defense is anchored on the principle of separation of powers and the enrolled bill doctrine. Ruling/Doctine:




What is alleged to have been violated in the enactment of R.A. No. 8240 are merely internal rules of procedure of the House rather than constitutional requirements for the enactment of a law. Therefore, it cannot be subject to judicial review.

The case does not present a situation in which a branch of the government has “gone beyond the constitutional limits of its jurisdiction” so as to call for the exercise of the Court’s power.

Petitioners were not prevented from seeking reconsideration.

Under the enrolled bill doctrine, the signing of H. No. 7198 by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate and the certification by the secretaries of both Houses of Congress that it was passed on November 21, 1996 are conclusive of its due enactment.

Osmeña vs Pendatun, supra Ruling/Doctrine:

The House is the judge of what constitutes disorderly behavior, not only because the Constitution has conferred jurisdiction upon it, but also because the matter depends mainly on factual circumstances of which the House knows best but which can not be depicted in black and white for presentation to, and adjudication by the Courts. For one thing, if the Court assumed the power to determine whether Osmeña's conduct constituted disorderly behavior, it would thereby have assumed appellate jurisdiction, which the Constitution never intended to confer upon a coordinate branch of the Government. The theory of separation of powers fastidiously observed by this Court, demands in such situation a prudent refusal to interfere. Each department, it has been said, has exclusive cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction and is supreme within its own sphere.

- "The Legislative power of the Philippine Congress is plenary, subject only to such limitations as are found in the Republic's Constitution. So that any power deemed to be legislative by usage or tradition, is necessarily possessed by the Philippine Congress, unless the Constitution provides otherwise." (Vera vs. Avelino, 77 Phil., 192, 212.)

D. Power over members and right to sit

Vera vs. Avelino (1946)



Petitioners (Jose Vera, Ramon Diokno and Jose Romera – Nacionalista party) were elected among the top 16 senators in the April 1946 elections. However, due to the rampant terrorism and violence in the provinces of Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan and Tarlac; the senate approved the Pendatun resolution ordering petitioners not be sworn, nor seated as members of the Senate pending the investigation. If the votes cast for the petitioners in the said regions were to be nullified, they would not get enough votes to claim their seats in Senate. It was alleged that the voting in the mentioned provinces did not reflect the true and free expression of the popular will. Ruling/Doctrine:

The Senate has not exceeded its powers. The senate did not usurp th powers of the Electoral Tribunal. Independent of a constitutional or statutory grant, the Senate has, under parliamentary practice, the power to inquire into the credentials of any member and the latter’s rights to participate in its deliberations. The constitution provides limits upon the plenary rights of the legislative. The Electoral Tribunal on the other hand, is given jurisdiction over all contests relating to elections.

The Senate as a branch of the legislative department had the constitutional power to adopt rules for its proceedings, and by legislature practice, it can create orders in preserving its prestige and dignity. The Senate made no error in putting into probability the Electoral Tribunal annulling the election returns in the provinces mentioned earlier where there was widespread violence. It was an exercise of the authority, discretion, and inherent power of self- preservation (initiated by dictates of precaution or public policy).

The Senate was avoiding undesirable results from the participation o disqualified members in its deliberations. Pendatun Resolution entry In order to maintain alive the respect for democratic institutions among our people, no man or group of men should be permitted to profit from the results of an election held under coercion, in violation of law and contrary to the principle of freedom of choice which should underline all elections under the Constitution.

E. Discipline of Members



Each House may punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members:

Suspension (not exceeding sixty days).

Expulsion. Other disciplinary measures:

1. Deletion of unparliamentary remarks from the record.

2. Fine

3. Imprisonment

4. Censure

Alejandrino vs. Quezon (1924) Facts:

A resolution was adopted by the Philippine Senate composed of the respondent Senators, on February 5, 1924, depriving Senator Alejandrino of all the prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments of his office for the period of one year from the first of January, 1924 for disorderly conduct and flagrant violation of the privileges of the Senate for having assaulted the Honorable Vicente de Vera, Senator for the Sixth District.

Petitioner contends that the resolution above quoted is unconstitutional and entirely of no effect, for five reasons.

By special appearance, the Attorney-General, in representation of the respondents, has objected to the jurisdiction of the court, and later, by demurrer, has pressed the same point.

This is, in effect, a suit instituted by one member of the Philippine Senate against the Philippine Senate and certain of its official employees. Ruling/Doctrine:

Precedents have held that where a member has been expelled by the legislative body, the courts have no power, irrespective of whether the expulsion was right or wrong, to issue a mandate to compel his reinstatement.

Osmeña vs Pendatun, supra Ruling/Doctrine:

Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two- thirds of all its Members, suspend or expel a Member. A penalty of suspension, when imposed, shall not exceed sixty days.

For unparliamentary conduct, members of Parliament or of Congress have been, or could be censured, committed to prison, suspended, even expelled by the votes of their colleagues. The practice and the traditional power of legislative assemblies to take, disciplinary actio against its members, including imprisonment, suspension or expulsion have been recognized in the United States. The Rules of Philippine House of Representatives provide that the parliamentary practices of the Congress of the United States shall apply in a supplementary manner to its proceedings.

Santiago vs. Sandiganbayan (2001) Facts:

Petition for Review on Certiorari of a Decision of the Sandiganbaya

to preventively suspend petitioner in connection with pending criminal cases filed against her for alleged violation of the Anti Graf and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019). Ruling/Doctrine:

Because of the separation of powers, the general rule of mandamus is that the writ will not lie from one branch of the government to a

Sandiganbayan had authority to order the petitioner’s preventive suspension.

coordinate branch, for the very obvious reason that neither is inferior to the other. Mandamus will not lie against the legislative body, its members, or its officers, to compel the performance of duties purely legislative in their character which therefore pertain to their legislative functions and over which they have exclusive


It is a ministerial duty of the court to issue an order of suspension upon the determination of the validity of the information filed before it. Once the information is found to be sufficient in form and substance, the court is bound to issue an order of suspension as a matter of course.

control. The courts cannot dictate action in this respect without a gross usurpation of power.


Preventive suspension is not a penalty because it is not imposed as a result of judicial proceedings. Section 13 does not state that the public officer must be suspended only in





the office where he is alleged to have committed the acts with which he has been charged.

House of Representatives; Roberto P. Nazareno, in his capacity as Secretary- General of the House of Representatives; Jose Ma. Antonio B. Tuaño,



The requirement of valid information does not require that the guilt of the accused must be established in a pre- suspension proceeding before a trial on the merits proceeds.

Cashier, House of Representatives; Antonio M. Chan, Chief, Property Division, House of Representatives, filed the petition for certiorari. Ruling/Doctrine:


It does not contemplate a proceeding to determine the strength of the evidence of culpability against him, the gravity of the offense charged, or whether or not his continuance in office could influence the witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records and other evidence before the court have a valid basis in decreeing preventive suspension pending the trial of the case. All it secures to the accused is the adequate opportunity to challenge the validity or regularity of the proceedings against him.

As held in Miriam Defensor Santiago v. Sandiganbayan, et al., it wa held that the doctrine of separation of powers does not exclude the members of Congress from the mandate of RA 3019. The order of suspension prescribed by Republic Act 3019 is distinct from the power of Congress to discipline its own ranks under the Constitution The suspension contemplated in the above constitutional provision is a punitive measure that is imposed upon a determination by the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, upon an erring member. The doctrine of separation of powers by itself may not be deemed to have effectively excluded members of Congress

RA 3019 does not exclude from its coverage the members of Congress and that, therefore, the Sandiganbayan did not err in thus decreeing the assailed preventive suspension order.

from Republic Act No. 3019 nor from its sanctions. The maxim simply recognizes that each of the three co-equal and independent,

De Venecia va. Sandiganbayan (2002) Facts:

On 12 March 1993, an Information (docketed as Criminal Case 18857) was filed with the Sandiganbayan (First Division) against then Congressman Ceferino S. Paredes, Jr., of Agusan del Sur for violation of Section 3 (e) of

albeit coordinate, branches of the government – the Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary – has exclusive prerogatives and cognizance within its own sphere of influence and effectively

prevents one branch from unduly intruding into the internal affairs o either branch.

F. Journal and Congressional Records