Cases for consti 1: The Constitution of the Philippines: De Leon vs Esguerra Gonzales vs COMELEC Imbong vs.

COMELEC Ocena vs COMELEC Tolentino vs COMELEC Sanidan vs COMELEC Santiago vs COMELEC Lambino vs COMELEC [ G.R. No. 78059] [GR. No. L-28196] [GR No. L-32432] [GR No. 56350] [GR. No. L-34150] [GR No. L-44640] [GR No. 127325] [GR No. 174153] Page 2 Page 24 Page 45 Page 65 Page 73 Page 96 Page 162 Page 224

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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 78059 August 31, 1987 ALFREDO M. DE LEON, ANGEL S. SALAMAT, MARIO C. STA. ANA, JOSE C. TOLENTINO, ROGELIO J. DE LA ROSA and JOSE M. RESURRECCION, petitioners, vs. HON. BENJAMIN B. ESGUERRA, in his capacity as OIC Governor of the Province of Rizal, HON. ROMEO C. DE LEON, in his capacity as OIC Mayor of the Municipality of Taytay, Rizal, FLORENTINO G. MAGNO, REMIGIO M. TIGAS, RICARDO Z. LACANIENTA, TEODORO V. MEDINA, ROSENDO S. PAZ, and TERESITA L. TOLENTINO, respondents.

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.: An original action for Prohibition instituted by petitioners seeking to enjoin respondents from replacing them from their respective positions as Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen of Barangay Dolores, Municipality of Taytay, Province of Rizal. As required by the Court, respondents submitted their Comment on the Petition, and petitioner's their Reply to respondents' Comment. In the Barangay elections held on May 17, 1982, petitioner Alfredo M. De Leon was elected Barangay Captain and the other petitioners Angel S. Salamat, Mario C. Sta. Ana, Jose C. Tolentino, Rogelio J. de la Rosa and Jose M. Resurreccion, as Barangay Councilmen of Barangay Dolores, Taytay, Rizal under Batas Pambansa Blg. 222, otherwise known as the Barangay Election Act of 1982. On February 9, 1987, petitioner Alfredo M, de Leon received a Memorandum antedated December 1, 1986 but signed by respondent OIC Governor Benjamin Esguerra on February 8, 1987 designating respondent Florentino G. Magno as Barangay Captain of Barangay Dolores, Taytay, Rizal. The designation made by the OIC Governor was "by authority of the Minister of Local Government." Also on February 8, 1987, respondent OIC Governor signed a Memorandum, antedated December 1, 1986 designating respondents Remigio M. Tigas, Ricardo Z. Lacanienta Teodoro V. Medina, Roberto S. Paz and Teresita L. Tolentino as members of the Barangay Council of the same Barangay and Municipality. That the Memoranda had been antedated is evidenced by the Affidavit of respondent OIC Governor, the pertinent portions of which read: xxx xxx xxx That I am the OIC Governor of Rizal having been appointed as such on March 20, 1986; That as being OIC Governor of the Province of Rizal and in the performance of my duties thereof, I among others, have signed as I did sign the unnumbered memorandum ordering the replacement of all the barangay officials of all the barangay(s) in the Municipality of Taytay, Rizal;

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That the above cited memorandum dated December 1, 1986 was signed by me personally on February 8,1987; That said memorandum was further deciminated (sic) to all concerned the following day, February 9. 1987. FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NONE. Pasig, Metro Manila, March 23, 1987. Before us now, petitioners pray that the subject Memoranda of February 8, 1987 be declared null and void and that respondents be prohibited from taking over their positions of Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen, respectively. Petitioners maintain that pursuant to Section 3 of the Barangay Election Act of 1982 (BP Blg. 222), 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. It is also their position that with the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, respondent OIC Governor no longer has the authority to replace them and to designate their successors. On the other hand, respondents rely on Section 2, Article III of the Provisional Constitution, promulgated on March 25, 1986, which provided: SECTION 2. 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. By reason of the foregoing provision, respondents contend that the terms of office of elective and appointive officials were abolished and that petitioners continued in office by virtue of the aforequoted provision and not because their term of six years had not yet expired; and that the provision in the Barangay Election Act fixing the term of office of Barangay officials to six (6) years must be deemed to have been repealed for being inconsistent with the aforequoted provision of the Provisional Constitution. Examining the said provision, there should be no question that petitioners, as elective officials under the 1973 Constitution, may continue in office but should vacate their positions upon the occurrence of any of the events mentioned. 1 Since the promulgation of the Provisional Constitution, there has been no proclamation or executive order terminating the term of elective Barangay officials. Thus, the issue for resolution is whether or not the designation of respondents to replace petitioners was validly made during the one-year period which ended on February 25, 1987. Considering the candid Affidavit of respondent OIC Governor, we hold that February 8, 1977, should be considered as the effective date of replacement and not December 1,1986 to which it was ante dated, in keeping with the dictates of justice. But while February 8, 1987 is ostensibly still within the one-year deadline, the aforequoted provision in the Provisional Constitution must be deemed to have been overtaken by Section 27, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution reading. SECTION 27. 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. The 1987 Constitution was ratified in a plebiscite on February 2, 1987. By that date, therefore, the Provisional Constitution must be deemed to have been superseded. Having become inoperative,

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respondent OIC Governor could no longer rely on Section 2, Article III, thereof to designate respondents to the elective positions occupied by petitioners. Petitioners must now be held to have acquired security of tenure specially considering that the Barangay Election Act of 1982 declares it "a policy of the State to guarantee and promote the autonomy of the barangays to ensure their fullest development as self-reliant communities. 2 Similarly, the 1987 Constitution ensures the autonomy of local governments and of political subdivisions of which the barangays form a part, 3 and limits the President's power to "general supervision" over local governments. 4 Relevantly, Section 8, Article X of the same 1987 Constitution further provides in part: Sec. 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be determined by law, shall be three years ... Until the term of office of barangay officials has been determined by law, therefore, the term of office of six (6) years provided for in the Barangay Election Act of 1982 5 should still govern. Contrary to the stand of respondents, we find nothing inconsistent between the term of six (6) years for elective Barangay officials and the 1987 Constitution, and the same should, therefore, be considered as still operative, pursuant to Section 3, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution, reading: Sec. 3. All existing laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations letters of instructions, and other executive issuances not inconsistent, with this Constitution shall remain operative until amended, repealed or revoked. WHEREFORE, (1) The Memoranda issued by respondent OIC Governor on February 8, 1987 designating respondents as the Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen, respectively, of Barangay Dolores, Taytay, Rizal, are both declared to be of no legal force and effect; and (2) the Writ of Prohibition is granted enjoining respondents perpetually from proceeding with the ouster/take-over of petitioners' positions subject of this Petition. Without costs. SO ORDERED. Yap, Fernan, Narvasa, Gutierrez, Jr., Paras, Feliciano, Gancayco, Padilla, Bidin and Cortes, JJ., concur.

Separate Opinions

TEEHANKEE, CJ., concurring: The main issue resolved in the judgment at bar is whether the 1987 Constitution took effect on February 2, 1987, the date that the plebiscite for its ratification was held or whether it took effect on February 11, 1987, the date its ratification was proclaimed per Proclamation No. 58 of the President of the Philippines, Corazon C. Aquino. The Court's decision, with the lone dissent of Mr. Justice Sarmiento, holds that by virtue of the provision of Article XVIII, Section 27 of the 1987 Constitution that it "shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose," the 1987 Constitution took effect on February 2, 1987, the date of its ratification in the plebiscite held on that same date.

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The thrust of the dissent is that the Constitution should be deemed to "take effect on the date its ratification shall have been ascertained and not at the time the people cast their votes to approve or reject it." This view was actually proposed at the Constitutional Commission deliberations, but was withdrawn by its proponent in the face of the "overwhelming" contrary view that the Constitution "will be effective on the very day of the plebiscite." The record of the proceedings and debates of the Constitutional Commission fully supports the Court's judgment. It shows that the clear, unequivocal and express intent of the Constitutional Conunission in unanimously approving (by thirty-five votes in favor and none against) the aforequoted Section 27 of Transitory Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution was that "the act of ratification is the act of voting by the people. So that is the date of the ratification" and that "the canvass thereafter [of the votes] is merely the mathematical confirmation of what was done during the date of the plebiscite and the proclamation of the President is merely the official confirmatory declaration of an act which was actually done by the Filipino people in adopting the Constitution when they cast their votes on the date of the plebiscite." The record of the deliberations and the voting is reproduced hereinbelow: 1 MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President, may we now put to a vote the original formulation of the committee as indicated in Section 12, unless there are other commissioners who would like to present amendments. MR. DAVIDE. Madam President. THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Davide is recognized. MR. DAVIDE. May I propose the following amendments. On line 2, delete the words "its ratification" and in lieu thereof insert the following-. "THE PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS BEEN RATIFIED." And on the last line, after "constitutions," add the following: "AND THEIR AMENDMENTS." MR. MAAMBONG. Just a moment, Madam President. If Commissioner Davide is going to propose an additional sentence, the committee would suggest that we take up first his amendment to the first sentence as originally formulated. We are now ready to comment on that proposed amendment. The proposed amendment would be to delete the words "its ratification and in lieu thereof insert the words "THE PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS BEEN RATIFIED." And the second amendment would be: After the word "constitutions," add the words" AND THEIR AMENDMENTS," The committee accepts the first proposed amendment. However, we regret that we cannot accept the second proposed amendment after the word "constitutions" because the committee feels that when we talk of all previous Constitutions, necessarily it includes "AND THEIR AMENDMENTS." MR. DAVIDE. With that explanation, l will not insist on the second. But, Madam President, may I request that I be allowed to read the second amendment so the Commission would be able to appreciate the change in the first. MR. MAAMBONG. Yes, Madam President, we can now do that. MR. DAVIDE. The second sentence will read: "THE PROCLAMATION SHALL BE MADE WITHIN FIVE DAYS FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF THE CANVASS BY THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS OF THE RESULTS OF SUCH PLEBISCITE."

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MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President, after conferring with our chairman, the committee feels that the second proposed amendment in the form of a new sentence would not be exactly necessary and the committee feels that it would be too much for us to impose a time frame on the President to make the proclamation. As we would recall, Madam President, in the approved Article on the Executive, there is a provision which says that the President shall make certain that all laws shall be faithfully complied. When we approve this first sentence, and it says that there will be a proclamation by the President that the Constitution has been ratified, the President will naturally comply with the law in accordance with the provisions in the Article on the Executive which we have cited. It would be too much to impose on the President a time frame within which she will make that declaration. It would be assumed that the President would immediately do that after the results shall have been canvassed by the COMELEC. Therefore, the committee regrets that it cannot accept the second sentence which the Gentleman is proposing, Madam President. MR. DAVIDE. I am prepared to withdraw the same on the assumption that there will be an immediate proclamation of the results by the President. MR. MAAMBONG. With that understanding, Madam President. MR. DAVIDE. I will not insist on the second sentence. FR. BERNAS. Madam President. THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Bernas is recognized. FR. BERNAS. I would ask the committee to reconsider its acceptance of the amendment which makes the effectivity of the new Constitution dependent upon the proclamation of the President. The effectivity of the Constitution should commence on the date of the ratification, not on the date of the proclamation of the President. What is confusing, I think, is what happened in 1976 when the amendments of 1976 were ratified. In that particular case, the reason the amendments of 1976 were effective upon the proclamation of the President was that the draft presented to the people said that the amendment will be effective upon the proclamation made by the President. I have a suspicion that was put in there precisely to give the President some kind of leeway on whether to announce the ratification or not. Therefore, we should not make this dependent on the action of the President since this will be a manifestation of the act of the people to be done under the supervision of the COMELECand it should be the COMELEC who should make the announcement that, in fact, the votes show that the Constitution was ratified and there should be no need to wait for any proclamation on the part of the President. MR. MAAMBONG. Would the Gentleman answer a few clarificatory questions? FR. BERNAS. Willingly, Madam President. MR. MAAMBONG. The Gentleman will agree that a date has to be fixed as to exactly when the Constitution is supposed to be ratified. FR. BERNAS. I would say that the ratification of the Constitution is on the date the votes were supposed to have been cast. MR. MAAMBONG. Let us go to the mechanics of the whole thing, Madam President. We present the Constitution to a plebiscite, the people exercise their right to vote, then the votes are canvassed by the Commission on Elections. If we delete the suggested

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amendment which says: "THE PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS BEEN RATIFIED," what would be, in clear terms, the date when the Constitution is supposed to be ratified or not ratified, as the case may be? FR. BERNAS. The date would be the casting of the ballots. if the President were to say that the plebiscite would be held, for instance, on January 19, 1987, then the date for the effectivity of the new Constitution would be January 19, 1987. MR. MAAMBONG. In other words, it would not depend on the actual issuance of the results by the Commission on Elections which will be doing the canvass? That is immaterial Madam President FR. BERNAS. It would not, Madam President, because "ratification" is the act of saying "yes" is done when one casts his ballot. MR. MAAMBONG. So it is the date of the plebiscite itself, Madam President? FR. BERNAS. Yes, Madam President. MR. MAAMBONG. With that statement of Commissioner Bernas, we would like to know from the proponent, Commissioner Davide, if he is insisting on his amendment. MR. DAVIDE. Madam President, I am insisting on the amendment because I cannot subscribe to the view of Commissioner Bernas, that the date of the ratification is reckoned from the date of the casting of the ballots. That cannot be the date of reckoning because it is a plebiscite all over the country. We do not split the moment of casting by each of the voters. Actually and technically speaking, it would be all right if it would be upon the announcement of the results of the canvass conducted by the COMELEC or the results of the plebiscite held all over the country. But it is necessary that there be a body which will make the formal announcement of the results of the plebiscite. So it is either the President or the COMELEC itself upon the completion of the canvass of the results of the plebiscite, and I opted for the President. xxx xxx xxx MR. NOLLEDO. Madam President. THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Nolledo is recognized. MR. NOLLEDO. Thank you, Madam President. I beg to disagree with Commissioner Davide. I support the stand of Commissioner Bernas because it is really the date of the casting of the "yes" votes that is the date of the ratification of the Constitution The announcement merely confirms the ratification even if the results are released two or three days after. I think it is a fundamental principle in political law, even in civil law, because an announcement is a mere confirmation The act of ratification is the act of voting by the people. So that is the date of the ratification. If there should be any need for presidential proclamation, that proclamation will merely confirm the act of ratification. Thank you, Madam President. THE PRESIDENT. Does Commissioner Regalado want to contribute? MR. REGALADO. Madam President, I was precisely going to state the same support for Commissioner Bernas, because the canvass thereafter is merely the mathematical

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confirmation of what was done during the date of the plebiscite and the proclamation of the President is merely the official confirmatory declaration of an act which was actually done by the Filipino people in adopting the Constitution when they cast their votes on the date of the plebiscite. MR. LERUM. Madam President, may I be recognized. THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Lerum is recognized. MR. LERUM. I am in favor of the Davide amendment because we have to fix a date for the effectivity of the Constitution. Suppose the announcement is delayed by, say, 10 days or a month, what happens to the obligations and rights that accrue upon the approval of the Constitution? So I think we must have a definite date. I am, therefore, in favor of the Davide amendment. MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President. THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Maambong is recognized. MR. MAAMBONG. With the theory of the Commissioner, would there be a necessity for the Commission on Elections to declare the results of the canvass? FR. BERNAS. There would be because it is the Commission on Elections which makes the official announcement of the results. MR. MAAMBONG. My next question which is the final one is: After the Commision on Elections has declared the results of the canvass, will there be a necessity for the President to make a proclamation of the results of the canvass as submitted by the Commission on Elections? FR. BERNAS. I would say there would be no necessity, Madam President. MR. MAAMBONG. In other words, the President may or may not make the proclamation whether the Constitution has been ratified or not. FR. BERNAS. I would say that the proclamation made by the President would be immaterial because under the law, the administration of all election laws is under an independent Commission on Elections. It is the Commission on Elections which announces the results. MR. MAAMBONG. But nevertheless, the President may make the proclamation. FR. BERNAS. Yes, the President may. And if what he says contradicts what the Commission on Elections says, it would have no effect. I would only add that when we say that the date of effectivity is on the day of the casting of the votes, what we mean is that the Constitution takes effect on every single minute and every single second of that day, because the Civil Code says a day has 24 hours.So that even if the votes are cast in the morning, the Constitution is really effective from the previous midnight. So that when we adopted the new rule on citizenship, the children of Filipino mothers or anybody born on the date of effectivity of the 1973 Constitution, which is January 17, 1973, are natural-born citizens, no matter what time of day or night. MR. MAAMBONG. Could we, therefore, safely say that whatever date is the publication of the results of the canvass by the COMELEC retroacts to the date of the plebiscite?

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Mention was made about the need for having a definite date. CONCEPCION. Madam President. the date of the Constitution as ratified should retroact to the date that the people have cast their affirmative votes in favor of the Constitution. Thank you. Thank you. MAAMBONG. BERNAS.FR. Madam President. I think it is precisely the proposal of Commissioner Bernas which speaks of the date (of ratification that would have a definite date. MR. Yes. I am withdrawing my amendment on the assumption that any of the following bodies the Office of the President or the COMELEC will make the formal announcement of the results. Commissioner Guingona is recognized. the validity does not begin on the date of ratification but it retroacts from the date the contract was executed. by a majority vote. Even in civil law. MR. Madam President. Commissioner Concepcion is recognized. MR. THE PRESIDENT. between an agent and a third person and that contract is confirmed or ratified by the principal. have cast their votes in favor of the Constitution. PADILLA. Whoever makes the announcement as to the result of the plebiscite. if there is a contract. say. THE PRESIDENT. Therefore. I am against the proposed amendment of Commissioner Davide and I support the view of Commissioner Bernas and the others because the ratification of the Constitution is on the date the people. GUINGONA. MAAMBONG. be it the COMELEC or the President. May we now hear Vice-President Padilla. MR. Madam President. effective. And that is the date when the Constitution takes effect. Commissioner Maambong is recognized MR. DAVIDE. 9 . At the end of the day of election or plebiscite. because there would be no definite date if we depend upon the canvassing by the COMELEC. the determination is made as of that time-the majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held on such and such a date. Madam President. THE PRESIDENT. MR. although I would not say from the very beginning of the date of election because as of that time it is impossible to determine whether there is a majority. apart from the fact that the provision on the drafting or amendment of the Constitution provides that a constitution becomes effective upon ratification by a majority of the votes cast. therefore. MAAMBONG. MR. In view of the explanation and overwhelming tyranny of the opinion that it will be effective on the very day of the plebiscite. I thank the Commissioner. So that is the time when the new Constitution will be considered ratified and. GUINGONA. We will now ask once more Commissioner Davide if he is insisting on his amendment MR. would announce that a majority of the votes cast on a given date was in favor of the Constitution. THE PRESIDENT.

The committee will read again the formulation indicated in the original committee report as Section 12.) As many as are against. the attempted replacement of petitioners by respondent OIC Governor's designation on February 8. Madam President. please raise their hand. Article VIII of the Constitution which require prior endorsement thereof by the Judicial and Bar Council created under the Constitution.) It is also a matter of record that since February 2. etc." in view of the provisions of Sections 8 (1) and 9. While the Provisional Constitution provided for a one-year period expiring on March 25. 1987. 3(Similarly. It should be stated for the record that the reported date of the appointments. February 2. February 2.g. We ask for a vote. 1987 and they were all appointed on or before January 31. extension of the six-year term of the incumbent President and Vice-President to noon of June 30. the continued exercise of legislative powers by the incumbent President until the convening of the first Congress. Madam President. J. concurring.MR. we are now ready to vote on the original provision as stated by the committee. 1987 and (2) by and after said date. .) The results show 35 votes in favor and none against. 1987 of the Constitution. As many as are in favor. the records of the Department of Justice likewise show that the appointment papers of the last batch of provincial and city fiscals signed by the President in completion of the reorganization of the prosecution service were made on January 31. as now expressly declared by the Court. absent any saying clause to the contrary in the Transitory Article of the Constitution. This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite called for the purpose and shall supersede all previous Constitutions. they would have so provided for in the Transitory Article. 1987. is incorrect. respondent OIC Governor could no longer exercise the power to replace petitioners in their positions as Barangay Captain and Councilmen. 1987 of their successors could no longer produce any legal force and effect.. (No Member raised his hand. please raise their hand. 10 . e. MAAMBONG. could be open to serious questions. 1987. 1992 for purposes of synchronization of elections. 1987 and transmitted to the Department on February 1. 1987 within which the power of replacement could be exercised. Hence. Had the intention of the framers of the Constitution been otherwise. 1987 . A final note of clarification. . 1987. 1987. indicating that the Chief Executive has likewise considered February 2. pending the constitution of the Judicial and Bar Council. 2 The Court next holds as a consequence of its declaration at bar that the Constitution took effect on the date of its ratification in the plebiscite held on February 2. MR. VOTING THE PRESIDENT. 71 provincial fiscals and 55 city fiscals reported extended (by) the President on February 2. 1987 as the effective date of the Constitution. that: (1) the Provisional Constitution promulgated on March 25. RAMA. this period was shortened by the ratification and effectivity on February 2. no appointments to the Judiciary have been extended by the President. 1986 must be deemed to have been superseded by the 1987 Constitution on the same date February 2. 1987. CRUZ. as to the statement in the dissent that "the appointments of some seven Court of Appeals Justices. Section 12 is approved. (Several Members raised their hands. The official records of the Court show that the appointments of the seven Court of Appeals Justices were transmitted to this Court on February 1. as indeed they provided for multifarious transitory provisions in twenty six sections of Article XVIII.

1987 the government performed acts that would have been valid under the Provisional Constitution but would otherwise have been void under the 1987 Charter. Our difference is that whereas I would make that right commence on February 25. I note that it in effect affirms my dissents in the De la Serna. 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. I have no doubt that between February 2. had not. a retired Member of the Supreme Court. the date of the plebiscite held to approve the new Charter. I yield to that better view and agree with her ponencia completely. on the language of the 1987 Charter itself. 27. vet determined. and a representative of the Congress as ex oficio Members. Zamora. Article VIII. and a representative of the private sector. 1987. 1986. the Secretary of Justice. SARMIENTO. having acquired security of tenure under the new Constitution. For it cannot be logically said that Constitution was ratified during such a plebiscite. and February 11. I recall. as follows: xxx xxx xxx Sec. I rely. a representative of the Integrated Bar. where I submitted that the local OICs may no longer be summarily replaced. if such appointment is made within a period of one year from February 25. Other than that. 8. 1987. of the l987 Constitution. a professor of law. as follows: SECTION 2. xxx xxx xxx 11 . in particular. plebiscite day. thus: Sec. She has written another persuasive opinion. and not February 2. and I am delighted to concur. 71 provincial fiscals. and 55 city fiscals the President reportedly extended on February 2. pragmatic considerations compel me to take the view. after the deadline set by the Freedom Constitution. 1987. To my mind the 1987 constitution took effect on February 11. Article III of the Provisional Constitution with respect to the tenure of government functionaries. the date the same was proclaimed ratified pursuant to Proclamation No. This Constitution shag 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. 58 of the President of the Philippines.In her quiet and restrained manner. 1987. Dissenting. J. With due respect to the majority I register this dissent. Justice Herrera would opt for February 2. While I agree that the one-year deadline prescribed by Section 2. first and foremost. Duquing and Bayas cases. 1987. (I)A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman. I entertain serious doubts whether or not that cut-off period began on February 2.. when the will of the people as of that time. when the new Constitution was ratified. 1 Under Sections 8 (1) and 9. Justice Herrera is able to prove her point with more telling effect than the tones of thunder. 1987. It is my reading of this provision that the Constitution takes effect on the date its ratification shall have been ascertained. the appointments of some seven Court of Appeals Justices. and not at the time the people cast their votes to approve or reject it. and could not have been. was cut short by the ratification of the 1987 Constitution.

Executive Secretary. 1980. On April 1. that. The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy. 1973. I hereby proclaim all the amendments embodied in this certificate as duly ratified by the Filipino people in the referendum. 1973. I and 2 of the Batasang Pambansa. 1959. It shall be noted that under Resolution No. 2 we held that the 1973 Constitution became in force and effect on January 17. Third Regular Session. "Announcing the Ratification by the Filipino People of the Constitution Proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention. then President Marcos promulgated Proclamation no. further declared them "[e]ffective and in full force and in effect as of the date of this Proclamation. On October 27. 122 and Declaring Them Therefore Effective and in Full Force and Effect.five and all amendments thereto. Manguera. the proposed amendment shall take effect on the date the incumbent President/Prime Minister shall proclaim its ratification. now Chief Justice. Article X of the Constitution" (lengthening the terms of office of judges and justices). in this connection." The Proclamation. 9 of the said 1976 amendments. 1979.plebiscite held Oct. 3 became final. 1980. 21. The Proclamation provides: [t]he above-quoted amendment has been duly ratified by a majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite held. 1595. The Proclamation states. dated December 18. which parented these amendments. 1976. 1102. 1976 and are therefore effective and in full force and effect as of this date. 2077 was issued "Proclaiming the Ratification in the Plebiscite of April 7. 9. xxx xxx xxx such appointments could be open to serious questions. Proclamation No. Teehankee would push its effectivity date further to April 17. "Proclaiming the Ratification by the Filipino People of the Amendments of Section 7. inter alia. It shall be noted that under Amendment No. proclaiming the ratification of the 1976 amendments submitted in the plebiscite of October 16. Justice." was issued. together with the election for local officials. 1981. This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite called for the purpose and. and that said amendment is hereby declared to take effect immediately. except as herein provided. the then Chief Executive issued Proclamation no. By virtue-of the powers vested in me by law. we have invariably reckoned the effectivity of the Constitution as well as the amendments thereto from the date it is proclaimed ratified. Since 1973." It shall be noted. These amendments shall take effect after the incumbent President shall have proclaimed that they have been ratified by a majority of the votes cast in the referendum-plebiscite. in declaring the said amendments duly approved. Article XVII. On April 7. Such appointments need no confirmation. on January 30. the date our decision in Javellana v. of the 1973 Constitution. And this was so notwithstanding Section 16. although Mr. the date Proclamation No. 1981 of the Amendments to the Constitution Embodied in Batas Pambansa Blg. thus: SEC. the same: 12 .Sec. 16. moreover. Sitting as a Constituent Assembly. 16-17. that under Resolutions Nos.17. In Magtoto v. shall supersede the Constitution of nineteen-hundred and thirty. 1976.

110 and 112 and Section 9. 643). 73 and the Resolution of Both Houses (of Congress) adopted on September 18. Batas Blg. 1987. Aquino) proclaimed on February 11. in passing. I now call for its re-examination. the remark was said in passing-we did not resolve the case on account of a categorical holding that the 1987 Constitution came to life on February 2. Proposed by the Batasang Pambansa. I hold that it took effect at no other time. of the Amendments to the Constitution Embodied in Batasang Pambansa Resolutions Nos. 112 and 113. including the Ordinance appended thereto.. 104 itself (as well as Resolutions Nos. that the new Charter was ratified on February 2. shad canvass and proclaim the result of the plebiscite using the certificates submitted to it. 2332. if we did. came into force and effect. 7. Corazon C. 1984." provides. 1947 plebiscite called pursuant to Republic Act No. I submit that our ruling in Ponsica v. does not in any way weaken this dissent. Article XVI of the Constitution. was adopted on April 9. "An Act to Submit to the Filipino People. that: These amendments shall be valid as a part of the Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast in an election/plebiscite at which it is submitted to the people for their ratification pursuant to Section 2 of Article XVI of the Constitution. 105.shall become valid as part of the Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be held pursuant to Section 2. the Amendment to the Constitution of the Philippines. 111. when the incumbent President (Mrs. That a Constitution or amendments thereto take effect upon proclamation of their ratification and not at the time of the plebiscite is a view that is not peculiar to the Marcos era." It states that the amendments: .. sitting en banc. as follows: SEC.. Sitting as a Constituent Assembly. As I stated. 105. for Ratification or Rejection. which states. and One. 1946. Two. 104. and 113 provide. 13 . 1987. The Commission on Elections. albeit Resolutions Nos.1947. . On the other hand. 4 the 1987 Constitution. at Malacanang Palace: . Accordingly. that: The proposed amendments shall take effect on the date the President of the Philippines shall proclaim that they have been ratified by a majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite held for the purpose. "Proclaiming the Ratification in the Plebiscite of January 27. and to Appropriate Funds Therefore. that the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines adopted by the Constitutional Commission of 1986. . 1987. We have. 110. in point of fact. 122. Batas Pambansa Blg. The April 9. It carries out Resolution no. 111. 1947 Resolution makes no mention of a retroactive application.. In any event. finally. The Resolution of Both Houses (of Congress) in Joint Session on the March 11.are therefore effective and in full force and effect as of the date of this Proclamation. duly authenticated and certified by the Board of Canvassers of each province or city.. in its Resolutions Numbered Three. Proclamation No. has been duly ratified by the Filipino people and is therefore effective and in full force and effect.. as amended. but not later than three months from the approval of the amendments. Ignalaga 5 in which we declared.

the date of its ratification in the plebiscite held on that same date. DAVIDE. concurring: The main issue resolved in the judgment at bar is whether the 1987 Constitution took effect on February 2. If Commissioner Davide is going to propose an additional sentence. unequivocal and express intent of the Constitutional Conunission in unanimously approving (by thirty-five votes in favor and none against) the aforequoted Section 27 of Transitory Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution was that "the act of ratification is the act of voting by the people. It shows that the clear. 1987. Just a moment. consistent with the views expressed above. that the challenged dismissals done on February 8." This view was actually proposed at the Constitutional Commission deliberations." add the following: "AND THEIR AMENDMENTS. Section 27 of the 1987 Constitution that it "shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose.I am therefore of the opinion. MAAMBONG." the 1987 Constitution took effect on February 2. On line 2. the 1987 Constitution not being then as yet in force. MR. 58 of the President of the Philippines. CJ. holds that by virtue of the provision of Article XVIII. DAVIDE. Separate Opinions TEEHANKEE. The thrust of the dissent is that the Constitution should be deemed to "take effect on the date its ratification shall have been ascertained and not at the time the people cast their votes to approve or reject it. the date that the plebiscite for its ratification was held or whether it took effect on February 11. The Court's decision. unless there are other commissioners who would like to present amendments. the date its ratification was proclaimed per Proclamation No. 1987. but was withdrawn by its proponent in the face of the "overwhelming" contrary view that the Constitution "will be effective on the very day of the plebiscite. Madam President. delete the words "its ratification" and in lieu thereof insert the following-. may we now put to a vote the original formulation of the committee as indicated in Section 12. "THE PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS BEEN RATIFIED. Commissioner Davide is recognized." The record of the deliberations and the voting is reproduced hereinbelow: 1 MR." And on the last line. Aquino. MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President. 1987 were valid. So that is the date of the ratification" and that "the canvass thereafter [of the votes] is merely the mathematical confirmation of what was done during the date of the plebiscite and the proclamation of the President is merely the official confirmatory declaration of an act which was actually done by the Filipino people in adopting the Constitution when they cast their votes on the date of the plebiscite. Corazon C. with the lone dissent of Mr. Madam President." MR." The record of the proceedings and debates of the Constitutional Commission fully supports the Court's judgment. 1987. the committee would suggest that we take up first his 14 . THE PRESIDENT. May I propose the following amendments. after "constitutions. Justice Sarmiento..

in the approved Article on the Executive. I would ask the committee to reconsider its acceptance of the amendment which makes the effectivity of the new Constitution dependent upon the proclamation of the President. MAAMBONG." MR." The committee accepts the first proposed amendment. not on the date of the proclamation of the President. Madam President. MR. MR. The proposed amendment would be to delete the words "its ratification and in lieu thereof insert the words "THE PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS BEEN RATIFIED. It would be too much to impose on the President a time frame within which she will make that declaration." And the second amendment would be: After the word "constitutions. DAVIDE. we regret that we cannot accept the second proposed amendment after the word "constitutions" because the committee feels that when we talk of all previous Constitutions. Commissioner Bernas is recognized. When we approve this first sentence. It would be assumed that the President would immediately do that after the results shall have been canvassed by the COMELEC. BERNAS. BERNAS." add the words" AND THEIR AMENDMENTS. MAAMBONG. DAVIDE. However. the committee feels that the second proposed amendment in the form of a new sentence would not be exactly necessary and the committee feels that it would be too much for us to impose a time frame on the President to make the proclamation. necessarily it includes "AND THEIR AMENDMENTS.amendment to the first sentence as originally formulated. we can now do that. the committee regrets that it cannot accept the second sentence which the Gentleman is proposing. Madam President. MR. there is a provision which says that the President shall make certain that all laws shall be faithfully complied. Therefore. MAAMBONG. As we would recall. Madam President. I think. and it says that there will be a proclamation by the President that the Constitution has been ratified. I am prepared to withdraw the same on the assumption that there will be an immediate proclamation of the results by the President. FR. THE PRESIDENT. l will not insist on the second. FR. may I request that I be allowed to read the second amendment so the Commission would be able to appreciate the change in the first. What is confusing. Madam President. Madam President. With that understanding. Madam President. Yes." MR. But. is what happened in 1976 when the amendments of 1976 were ratified. Madam President. The second sentence will read: "THE PROCLAMATION SHALL BE MADE WITHIN FIVE DAYS FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF THE CANVASS BY THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS OF THE RESULTS OF SUCH PLEBISCITE. We are now ready to comment on that proposed amendment. DAVIDE. MR. With that explanation. The effectivity of the Constitution should commence on the date of the ratification. In that particular 15 . MR. after conferring with our chairman. DAVIDE. I will not insist on the second sentence. the President will naturally comply with the law in accordance with the provisions in the Article on the Executive which we have cited.

it would be all right if it would be upon the announcement of the results of the canvass conducted by the COMELEC or the results of the plebiscite held all over the country. we should not make this dependent on the action of the President since this will be a manifestation of the act of the people to be done under the supervision of the COMELECand it should be the COMELEC who should make the announcement that. MR. FR. the date when the Constitution is supposed to be ratified or not ratified. 1987. MR. and I opted for the President. MAAMBONG. So it is either the President or the COMELEC itself upon the completion of the canvass of the results of the plebiscite. I would say that the ratification of the Constitution is on the date the votes were supposed to have been cast. BERNAS. it would not depend on the actual issuance of the results by the Commission on Elections which will be doing the canvass? That is immaterial Madam President FR. I am insisting on the amendment because I cannot subscribe to the view of Commissioner Bernas. Willingly. Yes. Madam President? FR. Commissioner Davide. MAAMBONG. With that statement of Commissioner Bernas. So it is the date of the plebiscite itself. MAAMBONG. that the date of the ratification is reckoned from the date of the casting of the ballots. if he is insisting on his amendment. the people exercise their right to vote. BERNAS. the votes show that the Constitution was ratified and there should be no need to wait for any proclamation on the part of the President. BERNAS. We present the Constitution to a plebiscite. MAAMBONG. Let us go to the mechanics of the whole thing. as the case may be? FR. DAVIDE.case. 1987. MR. MR. Actually and technically speaking. 16 . MR. in clear terms. But it is necessary that there be a body which will make the formal announcement of the results of the plebiscite. We do not split the moment of casting by each of the voters. That cannot be the date of reckoning because it is a plebiscite all over the country. BERNAS. the reason the amendments of 1976 were effective upon the proclamation of the President was that the draft presented to the people said that the amendment will be effective upon the proclamation made by the President. MR. It would not. Therefore. If we delete the suggested amendment which says: "THE PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS BEEN RATIFIED. then the votes are canvassed by the Commission on Elections. I have a suspicion that was put in there precisely to give the President some kind of leeway on whether to announce the ratification or not. because "ratification" is the act of saying "yes" is done when one casts his ballot. The date would be the casting of the ballots. Madam President. Madam President. Madam President. Madam President. The Gentleman will agree that a date has to be fixed as to exactly when the Constitution is supposed to be ratified. MAAMBONG. BERNAS. In other words." what would be. on January 19. then the date for the effectivity of the new Constitution would be January 19. Madam President. in fact. Would the Gentleman answer a few clarificatory questions? FR. we would like to know from the proponent. for instance. MR. MAAMBONG. if the President were to say that the plebiscite would be held.

BERNAS. will there be a necessity for the President to make a proclamation of the results of the canvass as submitted by the Commission on Elections? FR. I think it is a fundamental principle in political law. NOLLEDO. Does Commissioner Regalado want to contribute? MR. THE PRESIDENT. I am in favor of the Davide amendment because we have to fix a date for the effectivity of the Constitution. LERUM. REGALADO. MAAMBONG. My next question which is the final one is: After the Commision on Elections has declared the results of the canvass. say. So that is the date of the ratification. in favor of the Davide amendment.xxx xxx xxx MR. MAAMBONG. MAAMBONG. BERNAS. Commissioner Lerum is recognized. MR. may I be recognized. what happens to the obligations and rights that accrue upon the approval of the Constitution? So I think we must have a definite date. because the canvass thereafter is merely the mathematical confirmation of what was done during the date of the plebiscite and the proclamation of the President is merely the official confirmatory declaration of an act which was actually done by the Filipino people in adopting the Constitution when they cast their votes on the date of the plebiscite. because an announcement is a mere confirmation The act of ratification is the act of voting by the people. Suppose the announcement is delayed by. Thank you. MR. I was precisely going to state the same support for Commissioner Bernas. MR. Madam President. MR. I support the stand of Commissioner Bernas because it is really the date of the casting of the "yes" votes that is the date of the ratification of the Constitution The announcement merely confirms the ratification even if the results are released two or three days after. I would say there would be no necessity. MR. Commissioner Maambong is recognized. therefore. MR. would there be a necessity for the Commission on Elections to declare the results of the canvass? FR. THE PRESIDENT. 10 days or a month. I beg to disagree with Commissioner Davide. that proclamation will merely confirm the act of ratification. Madam President. NOLLEDO. With the theory of the Commissioner. There would be because it is the Commission on Elections which makes the official announcement of the results. I am. THE PRESIDENT. LERUM. Thank you. Madam President. Madam President. 17 . If there should be any need for presidential proclamation. Madam President. even in civil law. Commissioner Nolledo is recognized. THE PRESIDENT. Madam President. Madam President.

But nevertheless. BERNAS. And that is the date when the Constitution takes effect. I would only add that when we say that the date of effectivity is on the day of the casting of the votes. the determination is made as of that time-the majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held on such and such a date. Yes. be it the COMELEC or the President. GUINGONA. no matter what time of day or night. MAAMBONG. MAAMBONG. it would have no effect. So that even if the votes are cast in the morning. would announce that a majority of the votes cast on a given date was in favor of the Constitution. which is January 17. BERNAS. MR. It is the Commission on Elections which announces the results. Commissioner Concepcion is recognized. 1973. Whoever makes the announcement as to the result of the plebiscite. FR. I would say that the proclamation made by the President would be immaterial because under the law. Madam President. And if what he says contradicts what the Commission on Elections says. Yes. MR. MR. CONCEPCION. Mention was made about the need for having a definite date. Madam President. the President may or may not make the proclamation whether the Constitution has been ratified or not. I thank the Commissioner. MAAMBONG. the Constitution is really effective from the previous midnight. Thank you. 18 . MAAMBONG. therefore. Could we. THE PRESIDENT. THE PRESIDENT.MR. I think it is precisely the proposal of Commissioner Bernas which speaks of the date (of ratification that would have a definite date. GUINGONA. THE PRESIDENT. MR. BERNAS. FR. In other words. because there would be no definite date if we depend upon the canvassing by the COMELEC. So that is the time when the new Constitution will be considered ratified and. the administration of all election laws is under an independent Commission on Elections. At the end of the day of election or plebiscite. because the Civil Code says a day has 24 hours. although I would not say from the very beginning of the date of election because as of that time it is impossible to determine whether there is a majority. the President may. are natural-born citizens. the President may make the proclamation. effective. So that when we adopted the new rule on citizenship. Madam President. apart from the fact that the provision on the drafting or amendment of the Constitution provides that a constitution becomes effective upon ratification by a majority of the votes cast. Thank you. therefore. May we now hear Vice-President Padilla. Commissioner Guingona is recognized. what we mean is that the Constitution takes effect on every single minute and every single second of that day. safely say that whatever date is the publication of the results of the canvass by the COMELEC retroacts to the date of the plebiscite? FR. the children of Filipino mothers or anybody born on the date of effectivity of the 1973 Constitution. MR. MR.

1987 within which the power of replacement could be exercised. MR. Even in civil law. MR. MR. say. VOTING THE PRESIDENT. This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite called for the purpose and shall supersede all previous Constitutions. I am withdrawing my amendment on the assumption that any of the following bodies the Office of the President or the COMELEC will make the formal announcement of the results. 1987. 2 The Court next holds as a consequence of its declaration at bar that the Constitution took effect on the date of its ratification in the plebiscite held on February 2. that: (1) the Provisional Constitution promulgated on March 25. please raise their hand. RAMA. the validity does not begin on the date of ratification but it retroacts from the date the contract was executed. Madam President. MAAMBONG. the date of the Constitution as ratified should retroact to the date that the people have cast their affirmative votes in favor of the Constitution. between an agent and a third person and that contract is confirmed or ratified by the principal. MAAMBONG. have cast their votes in favor of the Constitution.MR. DAVIDE. please raise their hand. Madam President. While the Provisional Constitution provided for a one-year period expiring on March 25. We will now ask once more Commissioner Davide if he is insisting on his amendment MR.) As many as are against. Hence.) The results show 35 votes in favor and none against. 1987 of their successors could no longer produce any legal force and effect. (Several Members raised their hands. absent any saying clause to the contrary in the Transitory Article of the Constitution. Section 12 is approved. Commissioner Maambong is recognized MR. February 2. I am against the proposed amendment of Commissioner Davide and I support the view of Commissioner Bernas and the others because the ratification of the Constitution is on the date the people. this period was shortened by the ratification and effectivity on February 19 . PADILLA. MAAMBONG. As many as are in favor. THE PRESIDENT. if there is a contract. Madam President. Madam President. 1987. respondent OIC Governor could no longer exercise the power to replace petitioners in their positions as Barangay Captain and Councilmen. by a majority vote. the attempted replacement of petitioners by respondent OIC Governor's designation on February 8. In view of the explanation and overwhelming tyranny of the opinion that it will be effective on the very day of the plebiscite. we are now ready to vote on the original provision as stated by the committee. Therefore. 1987 and (2) by and after said date. (No Member raised his hand. 1986 must be deemed to have been superseded by the 1987 Constitution on the same date February 2. We ask for a vote. The committee will read again the formulation indicated in the original committee report as Section 12.

1987 . etc. as now expressly declared by the Court. Duquing and Bayas cases. Justice Herrera would opt for February 2. after the deadline set by the Freedom Constitution. 1987 of the Constitution. indicating that the Chief Executive has likewise considered February 2. The official records of the Court show that the appointments of the seven Court of Appeals Justices were transmitted to this Court on February 1. first and foremost. 1987 as the effective date of the Constitution. no appointments to the Judiciary have been extended by the President. 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. Justice Herrera is able to prove her point with more telling effect than the tones of thunder. 71 provincial fiscals and 55 city fiscals reported extended (by) the President on February 2..2. In her quiet and restrained manner. A final note of clarification. when the new Constitution was ratified. they would have so provided for in the Transitory Article. thus: 20 . It should be stated for the record that the reported date of the appointments. e. To my mind the 1987 constitution took effect on February 11. CRUZ.) It is also a matter of record that since February 2. . SARMIENTO. . J.g. 1987. February 2. plebiscite day. and not February 2. 1992 for purposes of synchronization of elections. on the language of the 1987 Charter itself. 1987. the continued exercise of legislative powers by the incumbent President until the convening of the first Congress. 1987. She has written another persuasive opinion. could be open to serious questions. and I am delighted to concur. having acquired security of tenure under the new Constitution. I note that it in effect affirms my dissents in the De la Serna. Article VIII of the Constitution which require prior endorsement thereof by the Judicial and Bar Council created under the Constitution. Had the intention of the framers of the Constitution been otherwise. I entertain serious doubts whether or not that cut-off period began on February 2. J. extension of the six-year term of the incumbent President and Vice-President to noon of June 30. 1987. the date the same was proclaimed ratified pursuant to Proclamation No. as indeed they provided for multifarious transitory provisions in twenty six sections of Article XVIII. 1987. where I submitted that the local OICs may no longer be summarily replaced. pending the constitution of the Judicial and Bar Council. While I agree that the one-year deadline prescribed by Section 2. Dissenting. Article III of the Provisional Constitution with respect to the tenure of government functionaries. 1987 and they were all appointed on or before January 31. With due respect to the majority I register this dissent. concurring.. 1987 and transmitted to the Department on February 1. Zamora." in view of the provisions of Sections 8 (1) and 9. is incorrect. as to the statement in the dissent that "the appointments of some seven Court of Appeals Justices. 1986. the date of the plebiscite held to approve the new Charter. 1987. I rely. Our difference is that whereas I would make that right commence on February 25. 1987. as follows: SECTION 2. 3(Similarly. I yield to that better view and agree with her ponencia completely. 1987. the records of the Department of Justice likewise show that the appointment papers of the last batch of provincial and city fiscals signed by the President in completion of the reorganization of the prosecution service were made on January 31. 1987. was cut short by the ratification of the 1987 Constitution. if such appointment is made within a period of one year from February 25. 58 of the President of the Philippines.

the appointments of some seven Court of Appeals Justices. Manguera. Executive Secretary. 1976. 1973. Justice. and a representative of the private sector. In Magtoto v. I recall. inter alia. Article VIII. 1 Under Sections 8 (1) and 9. pragmatic considerations compel me to take the view. 16. 1976. 1973.five and all amendments thereto. xxx xxx xxx such appointments could be open to serious questions. Article XVII. And this was so notwithstanding Section 16. I have no doubt that between February 2. 2 we held that the 1973 Constitution became in force and effect on January 17. shall supersede the Constitution of nineteen-hundred and thirty. of the l987 Constitution. 1595. and 55 city fiscals the President reportedly extended on February 2. (I)A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman. 1102. and February 11. On October 27. the date Proclamation No. 3 became final." was issued. had not. except as herein provided. a professor of law. now Chief Justice. moreover. the Secretary of Justice. 1987 the government performed acts that would have been valid under the Provisional Constitution but would otherwise have been void under the 1987 Charter. The Proclamation states. 27. Since 1973. and a representative of the Congress as ex oficio Members. proclaiming the ratification of the 1976 amendments submitted in the plebiscite of October 16. a retired Member of the Supreme Court.Sec. vet determined. as follows: xxx xxx xxx Sec. 9. and could not have been. It is my reading of this provision that the Constitution takes effect on the date its ratification shall have been ascertained. when the will of the people as of that time. Other than that. of the 1973 Constitution.17. xxx xxx xxx 2Sec. a representative of the Integrated Bar. 1987. For it cannot be logically said that Constitution was ratified during such a plebiscite. that. Teehankee would push its effectivity date further to April 17. and not at the time the people cast their votes to approve or reject it. 21 . in particular. the date our decision in Javellana v. 71 provincial fiscals. 8. The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy. then President Marcos promulgated Proclamation no. we have invariably reckoned the effectivity of the Constitution as well as the amendments thereto from the date it is proclaimed ratified. This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite called for the purpose and. "Announcing the Ratification by the Filipino People of the Constitution Proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention. This Constitution shag 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. although Mr. thus: SEC. Such appointments need no confirmation.

as follows: SEC. Proclamation No. I hereby proclaim all the amendments embodied in this certificate as duly ratified by the Filipino people in the referendum — plebiscite held Oct. It shall be noted that under Amendment No. 9 of the said 1976 amendments. further declared them "[e]ffective and in full force and in effect as of the date of this Proclamation. 16-17.. Article X of the Constitution" (lengthening the terms of office of judges and justices). 7. 1981. 111. which states. "An Act to Submit to the Filipino People. We have. 1984. but not later than three months from the approval of the amendments. Batas Blg. finally. 112 and 113. 110. and that said amendment is hereby declared to take effect immediately. Batas Pambansa Blg. the same: . On April 1. 122. I and 2 of the Batasang Pambansa. 21. the proposed amendment shall take effect on the date the incumbent President/Prime Minister shall proclaim its ratification. the Amendment to the Constitution of the Philippines. "Proclaiming the Ratification by the Filipino People of the Amendments of Section 7. 22 . 104 itself (as well as Resolutions Nos. Third Regular Session. 105. for Ratification or Rejection. on January 30. 643). 1979. 104. 2077 was issued "Proclaiming the Ratification in the Plebiscite of April 7. which parented these amendments. and One. duly authenticated and certified by the Board of Canvassers of each province or city. in declaring the said amendments duly approved. Sitting as a Constituent Assembly. that: The proposed amendments shall take effect on the date the President of the Philippines shall proclaim that they have been ratified by a majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite held for the purpose. shad canvass and proclaim the result of the plebiscite using the certificates submitted to it." provides. in this connection. 1980. shall become valid as part of the Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be held pursuant to Section 2. Proposed by the Batasang Pambansa. Sitting as a Constituent Assembly. "Proclaiming the Ratification in the Plebiscite of January 27. These amendments shall take effect after the incumbent President shall have proclaimed that they have been ratified by a majority of the votes cast in the referendum-plebiscite. The Proclamation provides: [t]he above-quoted amendment has been duly ratified by a majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite held. dated December 18.. 1976 and are therefore effective and in full force and effect as of this date. together with the election for local officials. It shall be noted that under Resolution No. Two. in its Resolutions Numbered Three. 110 and 112 and Section 9. and to Appropriate Funds Therefore." It shall be noted." It states that the amendments: .. of the Amendments to the Constitution Embodied in Batasang Pambansa Resolutions Nos. that under Resolutions Nos... Article XVI of the Constitution.By virtue-of the powers vested in me by law. 1959. 1980.are therefore effective and in full force and effect as of the date of this Proclamation. Proclamation No. The Commission on Elections. 2332. On the other hand. It carries out Resolution no." The Proclamation. 122 and Declaring Them Therefore Effective and in Full Force and Effect. the then Chief Executive issued Proclamation no. 1981 of the Amendments to the Constitution Embodied in Batas Pambansa Blg. sitting en banc. On April 7.

Jr.. Aquino) proclaimed on February 11. In any event. 222. 1947 plebiscite called pursuant to Republic Act No. Pimentel G. Torres. Footnotes 1 Topacio. 2 The entire draft Constitution was approved on October 12. Teehankee. 2 Section 2. I now call for its re-examination. consistent with the views expressed above. in passing. that the new Charter was ratified on February 2. 1987 were valid. Cecilio PE. at Malacanang Palace: . C. and 113 provide. came into force and effect. 1987. that the challenged dismissals done on February 8. The Resolution of Both Houses (of Congress) in Joint Session on the March 11. 4 Article X. 1947 Resolution makes no mention of a retroactive application. 1987. No. concurring: 1 Volume Five. 111. 14. 1946. BP Blg. 222. does not in any way weaken this dissent. Section 4.albeit Resolutions Nos. was adopted on April 9. 3 The seven Court of Appeals Justices referred to are Justices Alfredo L. if we did. Benipayo. 105. Reyes. emphasis supplied. 1987 to January 31. as amended.1947. 1986. Jesus Elbinias. 23 . BP Blg. Ignalaga 5 in which we declared. 73 and the Resolution of Both Houses (of Congress) adopted on September 18. I submit that our ruling in Ponsica v. The April 9.. 4 the 1987 Constitution. Sections 1. As I stated. Elma. vs. Corazon C. Accordingly. including the Ordinance appended thereto. 73770. Minerva G. 2. Record of the Constitutional Commission Proceedings and Debates. 1987. 5 Section 3. in point of fact. I am therefore of the opinion. 1986 forty forty-five votes in favor and two against. among others..J. when the incumbent President (Mrs. Jr. the remark was said in passing-we did not resolve the case on account of a categorical holding that the 1987 Constitution came to life on February 2. that: These amendments shall be valid as a part of the Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast in an election/plebiscite at which it is submitted to the people for their ratification pursuant to Section 2 of Article XVI of the Constitution. Nicolas Lapena Jr. That a Constitution or amendments thereto take effect upon proclamation of their ratification and not at the time of the plebiscite is a view that is not peculiar to the Marcos era. pages 620-623. April 10. Magdangal B. and their appointments bear various dates from January 9. 1987. Section 25 and Article X.. I hold that it took effect at no other time. that the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines adopted by the Constitutional Commission of 1986. and Justo P. 3 Article 11.R. has been duly ratified by the Filipino people and is therefore effective and in full force and effect. the 1987 Constitution not being then as yet in force.

1973. Feb. 1967. G. 6-7 Philippine Daily Inquirer. 3. No. 63 SCRA 4 (1975). 4 Proclamation No. No. cols. p. March 31. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. Gonzales for and in his own behalf as petitioner. 3720102 March 3. 1. Malaya. GONZALES. 72301. 1. 24 . No. 3 Nos.R. cot 1. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. J. 1. vs. pursuant to said Act and Resolutions. 28224: Salvador Araneta for petitioner. 1987. 4913. Feb. or from performing any act that will result in the holding of the plebiscite for the ratification of the constitutional amendments proposed in Joint Resolutions Nos. No. and (c) the Auditor General from passing in audit any disbursement from the appropriation of funds made in said Republic Act No. C.1987. 1967 PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION (PHILCONSA). No. respondent. L-28224 November 9. petitioner. R. L-36142. 1987. (b) the Director of Printing from printing ballots. 1967 RAMON A. 3..J. 58 (1987). COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. and 2) declaring said Act unconstitutional and void. Juan T. 3. 5 G. dissenting: 1 Manila Bulletin. Petitioner therein prays for judgment: 1) Restraining: (a) the Commission on Elections from enforcing Republic Act No.R. approved on March 16. 28196: Ramon A. 50 SCRA 30 (1973). 1. with preliminary injunction. respondents. 2 Nos.: G. L-28196 is an original action for prohibition.Sarmiento. 1 and 3 of the two Houses of Congress of the Philippines. col.R. David as amicus curiae Office of the Solicitor General for respondents. CONCEPCION. vs. 4913. No. Feb. p. p. L-28196 November 9. 1975. Office of the Solicitor General for respondent. petitioner. DIRECTOR OF PRINTING and AUDITOR GENERAL.

4913. At the hearing thereof. H. 1971. H. at least. The petition in L-28196 was filed on October 21. one (1) member. render in operational the legislative department. for a joint decision on the identical issues raised in both cases. b) that the petition. Gonzales. 1967. 1967. be amended so as to authorize Senators and members of the House of Representatives to become delegates to the aforementioned constitutional convention. 1967. Atty. for review bycertiorari of the resolution of the Commission on Elections2 dismissing the petition therein. without forfeiting their respective seats in Congress. On March 16. R. upon the filing of the answer of respondent. 1. 3. for and in behalf of all citizens. be amended so as to increase the membership of the House of Representatives from a maximum of 120. upon approval by the President. R. He claims to have instituted case L-28196 as a class unit. who appeared before the Commission on Elections and filed an opposition to the PHILCONSA petition therein. is admittedly a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines. L-28224. In fact. Juan T. as provided in the present Constitution. although each province shall have. at the general elections which shall be held on November 14. on June 17. 1967. Dr. The PHILCONSA. Although respondents and the Solicitor General have filed an answer denying the truth of this allegation. R. in effect. Moreover. the Solicitor General expressed himself in favor of a judicial determination of the merits of the issued raised in said case. calling a convention to propose amendments to said Constitution. is admittedly a Filipino citizen. Despite his aforementioned statement in L-28196. for approval by the people. Salvador Araneta. on October 31. the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the following resolutions: 1. became Republic Act No. The two (2) cases were deemed submitted for decision on November 8. and c) that "the failure of Congress to enact a valid 25 . Said counsel for the PHILCONSA. proposing that Section 5. Subsequently. H. was allowed to appear before this Court and objected to said petition upon the ground: a) that the Court has no jurisdiction either to grant the relief sought in the petition. to a maximum of 180.The main facts are not disputed. Article VI. which. Tolentino. upon the ground that they have no knowledge or information to form a belief as to the truth thereof. providing that the amendments to the Constitution proposed in the aforementioned Resolutions No. No. to be "elected in the general elections to be held on the second Tuesday of November. 1 and 3 be submitted. No. 1967. and a civic. such denial would appear to be a perfunctory one. on October 28. would. In fact. the memorandum of the petitioner and the reply memorandum of respondent in L-28224. in his answer in L-28224 the Solicitor General maintains that this Court has no jurisdiction over the subject-matter of L-28224. 2. Ramon A. upon the ground that the same is "merely political" as held in Mabanag vs. proposing that Section 16. B. the Solicitor General appeared on behalf of respondents. Article VI. 1967. (Resolution of Both Houses) No." and 3. of the same Constitution. No. the convention to be composed of two (2) elective delegates from each representative district. of the Constitution of the Philippines. or to pass upon the legality of the composition of the House of Representatives. Congress passed a bill.1 which was expected to decide it any time. to be apportioned among the several provinces as nearly as may be according to the number of their respective inhabitants. and a voter. taxpayers. a taxpayer. 1967. and voters similarly situated. non-profit and non-partisan organization the objective of which is to uphold the rule of law in the Philippines and to defend its Constitution against erosions or onslaughts from whatever source. and whose decision would. be appealed to this Court — had been submitted thereto for final determination. the petitioner in L-28196. likewise prayed that the decision in this case be deferred until after a substantially identical case brought by said organization before the Commission on Elections. if granted.3 Senator Arturo M. B. the PHILCONSA filed with this Court the petition in G. 2. B. petitioner in L-28224. at the hearing of case L28196. David and counsel for the Philippine Constitution Association — hereinafter referred to as the PHILCONSA — were allowed to argue as amici curiae. R. Lopez Vito. in all probability.

Senate Electoral Tribunal. in the second. to amend their own Fundamental Law. by Senators belonging to the party having the largest number of votes in said chamber. it is said that Senators and Members of the House of Representatives act. to the extent that this view may be inconsistent with the stand taken in Mabanag vs. unlike the people. Since. when proposing. upon the ground that the apportionment had not been made as may be possible according to the number of inhabitants of each province. by Suanes vs. . however. Lopez Vito.4 this Court — speaking through one of the leading members of the Constitutional Convention and a respected professor of Constitutional Law. 10 It is part of the inherent powers of the people — as the repository of sovereignty in a republican state. it follows.15 despite the eminently political character of treaty-making power. . Cuenco. Laurel — declared that "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 or constituent units thereof. and. Such rigidity is stressed by the fact that.16 the latter should be deemed modified accordingly.9 In the first. for the second party. The force of this precedent has been weakened. Indeed. of two (2) Senators belonging to the first party. Thus we rejected the theory. does not have the legal effect of rendering illegal the House of Representatives elected thereafter. Cuenco. that the issues therein raised were political questions the determination of which is beyond judicial review. advanced in these four (4) cases.13 for their authority does not emanate from the Constitution — they are the very source of all powers of government. Jose P." It is true that in Mabanag vs. 14 the power to declare a treaty unconstitutional. the power to amend the Constitution or to propose amendments thereto is not included in the general grant of legislative powers to Congress. such as ours11 — to make. When acting as such. Congress may propose amendments to the Constitution merely because the same explicitly grants such power. Otherwise. they could brush aside and set the same at naught.6 Avelino vs.reapportionment law ." JURISDICTION As early as Angara vs. Lopez Vito. Electoral Commission. and in the fourth. Chief Accountant of the Senate. when exercising the same. necessarily. not of that of the Senate President.12Hence. reads: 26 . the members of Congress derive their authority from the Constitution. and. hence. not of men. and. as claimed by the latter. this Court proceeded to determine the number of Senators necessary for a quorum in the Senate.7 Tañada vs. but as component elements of a constituent assembly. of the. we declared unconstitutional an act of Congress purporting to apportion the representative districts for the House of Representatives. the issue whether or not a Resolution of Congress — acting as a constituent assembly — violates the Constitution essentially justiciable. when performing the same function. as a constituent assembly. contrary to the basic tenet that ours is a government of laws. in the third. nor of rendering its acts null and void. amendments to the Constitution.8 and Macias vs. as amended. that they do not have the final say on whether or not their acts are within or beyond constitutional limits. subject to judicial review. as members.5 this Court characterizing the issue submitted thereto as a political one. In short. we held that the officers and employees of the Senate Electoral Tribunal are under its supervision and control. the members of Congress derive their authority from the Fundamental Law. notas members of Congress. Commission on Elections. declined to pass upon the question whether or not a given number of votes cast in Congress in favor of a proposed amendment to the Constitution — which was being submitted to the people for ratification — satisfied the three-fourths vote requirement of the fundamental law. purporting to act on behalf of the party having the second largest number of votes therein. The Members of the Court are unanimous on this point. the Constitution expressly confers upon the Supreme Court. THE MERITS Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution. not political. we nullified the election. hence. including the Constitution itself . and to the rigid nature of our Constitution. Dr.

not a general election. 1967 — will be chosen. the Congress of the Philippines and/or the election of its Members became illegal. the House of Representatives shall have the same number of Members as that fixed by law for the National Assembly. which became Republic Act No. contiguous and compact territory. It is not true. must be held under such conditions — which. it is conceded that the R.17 purporting to make said apportionment.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. as well as Republic Act No. either by Congress. declared unconstitutional. are null and void. proposing amendments to the Constitution. allegedly. H. amendments to the Constitution may be proposed. that. Nos." In the cases at bar. which approved the proposed amendments. that Congress has not made an apportionment within three years after the enumeration or census made in 1960. or by a convention called by Congress for that purpose. This Act was. The election. 4913. "such amendments shall be valid as part of" the "Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. propose amendment and call a convention — at the same time. may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a convention for that purpose. who shall be elected by the qualified electors from the present Assembly districts. consequently. in which officers of the national and local governments — such as the elections scheduled to be held on November 14. It did actually pass a bill. that Congress and its Members. Article VI. but each province shall have at least one Member. became a de facto Congress and/or de facto congressmen. at best. respectively. however. notwithstanding. Until such apportionment shall have been made. upon 27 . In either case. it is urged that said resolutions are null and void because: 1. as well as the resolution calling a convention to propose amendments. and not otherwise. 3040. And. in which proposals for amendment to the Constitution shall be submitted for ratification. are. The Congress shall by law make an apportionment within three years after the return of every enumeration. The Members of Congress. however. as far as practicable. Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. 1 and 3 have been approved by a vote of threefourths of all the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately. Congress may adopt either one of two alternatives propose — amendments or call a convention therefore but may not avail of both — that is to say. 3. the disputed Resolutions. 2. It is urged that the last enumeration or census took place in 1960. de facto Congressmen. do not exist — as to give the people a reasonable opportunity to have a fair grasp of the nature and implications of said amendments. of the Constitution. in which proposals for amendment shall be submitted to the people for ratification. which provides: The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than one hundred and twenty Members who shall be apportioned among the several provinces as nearly as may be according to the number of their respective inhabitants. likewise. Pursuant to this provision. and 4. must be aspecial election. the vote of "three-fourths of all the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately" is necessary. Legality of Congress and Legal Status of the Congressmen The first objection is based upon Section 5. This. The spirit of the Constitution demands that the election. and that. no apportionment having been made within three (3) years thereafter. B. Each representative district shall comprise.

considering that several provisions of the Constitution. after the earliest possible enumeration. . Then again. unwarranted. the Members of its House of Representatives are de facto officers.the ground that the apportionment therein undertaken had not been made according to the number of inhabitants of the different provinces of the Philippines. and are not aware of any rule or principle of law that would warrant such conclusion. became illegal holder of their respective offices. that the Senate and the House of Representatives organized or constituted on December 30. Congress has not made a valid apportionment as required in said fundamental law. for there had been no enumeration in 1935. by establishing a bicameral Congress. Thus. ." is mandatory. This theory assumes that an apportionment had to be made necessarily before the first elections to be held after the inauguration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. upon expiration of said period of three years. There can be no question. the House of Representatives. the House of Representatives shall have the same number of Members as that fixed by law for the National Assembly. Congress became an "unconstitutional Congress" and that. It is conceded that. since the report of the Director of the Census on the last enumeration was submitted to the President on November 30. Congress became illegal and its Members. the events contemporaneous with the framing and ratification of the original Constitution in 1935 and of the amendment thereof in 1940 strongly indicate that the provision concerning said apportionment and the effect of the failure to make it were expected to be applied to conditions obtaining after the elections in 1935 and 1938. had the effect of abrogating or repealing the legal provision creating Congress. it implies necessarily that Congress shall continue to function with the representative districts existing at the time of the expiration of said period. therefore. or after the Presidential elections in 1961. The fact that Congress is under legal obligation to make said apportionment does not justify. . therefore. the conclusion that failure to comply with such obligation rendered Congress illegal or unconstitutional.18 Moreover. were de jure bodies. would expire after the elections in 1938. and nobody could foretell when it would be made. Pursuant to the theory of petitioners herein. The provision does not support the view that. On the contrary. were amended in 1940. that the threeyear period. particularly those on the legislative department. 1961. or late in 1963. in consequence thereof. 28 . upon the expiration of the period to make the apportionment. It is argued that the above-quoted provision refers only to the elections held in 1935. incorporating therein the provision of the original Constitution regarding the apportionment of the districts for representatives. Petitioners do not allege that the expiration of said three-year period without a reapportionment. in view of the failure of Congress to make a valid apportionment within the period stated in the Constitution. The major premise of this process of reasoning is that the constitutional provision on "apportionment within three years after the return of every enumeration.19 The assumption. it follows that the three-year period to make the apportionment did not expire until 1963. or in 1938. pursuant to which: . those who drafted and adopted said amendment. however. . . however. or that its Members have become de facto officers. must have known that the three-year period therefor would expire after the elections scheduled to be held and actually held in 1941. and even after subsequent elections. or at least. and were de facto officers. at least. since the adoption of the Constitution in 1935. is. . and that the Members thereof were de jure officers. and not otherwise. who shall be elected by the qualified electors from the present Assembly districts. those of the House of Representatives. or. The effect of this omission has been envisioned in the Constitution. 1960. a Congress which fails to make it is dissolved or becomes illegal. What is more. Until such apportionment shall have been made. we are unable to agree with the theory that. Those who drafted and adopted the Constitution in 1935 could be certain.

deemed valid insofar as the public — as distinguished from the officer in question — is concerned. but also. Inasmuch as the general elections in 1965 were presumably held in conformity with said Election Law. also. under color of title. Tayko was one of the parties in the aforementioned suit. one of the parties to a suit being heard before Judge Capistrano objected to his continuing to hear the case.Neither do they allege that the term of office of the members of said House automatically expired or that they ipso facto forfeited their seats in Congress. otherwise. if within the competence of his office. because the Judge was at least.23 It may not be contested except directly. for the reason that. he had reached the age of retirement.before dealing with them.24 And the reasons are obvious: (1) it would be an indirect inquiry into the title to the office. This pretense is untenable. insofar as Congress is concerned.22 One can imagine this great inconvenience. and (2) the acts of a de facto officer. by quo warranto proceedings. we can not see how said Members of the House of Representatives can be regarded as de facto officers owing to the failure of their predecessors in office to make a reapportionment within the period aforementioned. likewise. in the absence of a statute to this effect. their main function. and the legal provisions creating Congress — with a House of Representatives composed of members elected by qualified voters of representative districts as they existed at the time of said elections — remained in force.25 In that case. in particular. In short. the Justices of the Supreme Court and the Auditor General for. upon the lapse of said period for reapportionment. In fact. despite the violation of such mandatory duty. Yet. an office created by a valid statute be. are valid. not only their mandatory duty. would automatically result in the forfeiture of an office. Needless to say. it would seem obvious that the provision of our Election Law relative to the election of Members of Congress in 1965 were not repealed in consequence of the failure of said body to make an apportionment within three (3) years after the census of 1960. as yet. Upon the other hand. unanimous in holding that the objection under consideration is untenable. culpable violation of the Constitution. the main reasons for the existence of the de facto doctrine is that public interest demands that acts of persons holding. Neither may the validity of his acts be questioned upon the ground that he is merely a de facto officer. It is argued that the foregoing rules do not apply to the cases at bar because the acts therein involved have not been completed and petitioners herein are not third parties. those dealing with officers and employees of the Government would be entitled to demand from them satisfactory proof of their title to the positions they hold. positions or employments. It is inconsistent withTayko vs. as regards the Resolutions herein contested and Republic Act No. it would not follow that the contested resolutions and Republic Act No. The Court is. supports the view that failure to discharge a mandatory duty. This Court held that the objection could not be entertained. are complete. Moreover. As a consequence. 4913. 4913 are null and void. the loss of office or the extinction of title thereto is not automatic. hardships and evils that would result in the absence of the de facto doctrine. however. No rights had vested in favor of the parties. until dismissal or ouster pursuant to a judgment of conviction rendered in accordance with Article IX of the Constitution. whatever it may be. Congress has nothing else to do in connection therewith. Similarly. finished hearing the case.21 Indeed. 29 . the Constitution authorizes the impeachment of the President. Even if we assumed. in consequence of the acts of said Judge. a de facto Judge. the title to their respective offices remains unimpaired. the title of a de facto officer cannot be assailed collaterally. much less rendered decision therein.20 the enforcement of which is. It should be noted that Tayko was not a third party insofar as the Judge was concerned. or before recognizing their authority or obeying their commands. This provision indicates that. the Vice-President. In fact. Capistrano. insofar as the public is concerned. Tayko's objection was overruled. neither our political law. whose title can not be assailed collaterally. meanwhile. nor our law on public officers. even if they should act within the limits of the authority vested in their respective offices. inter alia. that the present Members of Congress are merely de facto officers. Judge Capistrano had not. its acts.

B. will be submitted for ratification several years before those that may be proposed by the constitutional convention called in R. to consider proposals for amendment to the Constitution. Nos. Nos. May Constitutional Amendments Be Submitted for Ratification in a General Election? Article XV of the Constitution provides: . or one after the other. No. One seeming purpose thereof to permit Members of Congress to run for election as delegates to the constitutional convention and participate in the proceedings therein. No. And. at the same time. the term "or" has. Juan T. by a vote of three-fourths of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately. from the viewpoint of a thorough discussion of the proposed amendments. may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a contention for that purpose. they were notpassed at the same time. Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. also. Moreover. In other words. we do not find. but it can not do both. a weak one. . This theory is based upon the fact that the two (2) alternatives are connected in the Constitution by the disjunctive "or. oftentimes. whereas R. proposing some specific amendments. The Congress in joint session assembled. the amendments proposed under R. 1 and 3 propose amendments to the constitutional provision on Congress." Such basis is. as amicus curiae. that the same be submitted to the people's approval independently of the election of public officials. Counsel ask: Since Congress has decided to call a constitutional convention to propose amendments. to be submitted for ratification before said convention is held? The force of this argument must be conceded. without forfeiting their seats in Congress. In other words. B. in the absence of other circumstances — and none has brought to our attention — supporting the conclusion drawn by the amicus curiae.26 It is. however. H. Nos. 1 and 3. And there is no denying the fact that an adequate appraisal of the merits and demerits proposed amendments is likely to be overshadowed by the great attention usually commanded by the choice of personalities involved in 30 . but the same impugns the wisdom of the action taken by Congress. There is in this provision nothing to indicate that the "election" therein referred to is a "special. either in the Constitution. The circumstance that three previous amendments to the Constitution had been submitted to the people for ratification in special elections merely shows that Congress deemed it best to do so under the circumstances then obtaining." or vice-versa. B. On this question there is no disagreement among the members of the Court. H. 1 and 3. H." not a general. when the spirit or context of the law warrants it. or in the history thereof anything that would negate the authority of different Congresses to approve the contested Resolutions. they were taken up and put to a vote separately. H. 2. not subject to review by the courts of justice. It does not negate its authority to submit proposed amendments for ratification in general elections. likewise. B. maintains that Congress may either propose amendments to the Constitution or call a convention for that purpose. in general. 2 is different from that of R B. H. different sessions or different days of the same congressional session. No. not its authority to take it. B. David. Whether or not this should be done is a political question. . neither has any plausible reason been advanced to justify the denial of authority to adopt said resolutions on the same day. although the three (3) resolutions were passed on the same date. Again. instead of. noteworthy that R. election. been held to mean "and. H. the subject-matter of R. It would be better. In fact. to be submitted to the people for ratification on November 14. or of the same Congress to pass the same in. why not let the whole thing be submitted to said convention. 1967. In any event.Available Alternatives to Congress Atty. 2 calls for a convention in 1971.

XV of the Constitution. of such important. since the spirit of the law should not be a matter of sheer speculation. and (2) that the word used in Article V of the Constitution. in general. these considerations are addressed to the wisdom of holding a plebiscite simultaneously with the election of public officer. 1967. so that their votes thereon may reflect no more than their intelligent." as used in Section 1 of Art." without any "election." (4) that "when practicable. 1967. copies in the principal native languages. is a situation to be hoped for.general elections. let alone the partisan political considerations that are likely to affect the selection of elective officials. undiluted by extraneous. city and provincial office building and in every polling place not later than October 14. otherwise. impartial and considered view on the merits of the proposed amendments." (3) that "at least five copies of said amendment shall be kept in each polling place. of public officers. or. 31 . should be construed as meaning a special election. in effect. 4913 unconstitutional — as ably set forth in the opinion penned by Mr." Petitioners maintain that the term "election. The majority view — although the votes in favor thereof are insufficient to declare Republic Act No. Much as the writer and those who concur in this opinion admire the contrary view. by November 14. if not transcendental and vital nature as to demand that the attention of the people be focused exclusively on the subject-matter thereof. without qualification. 4913 provides: (1) that "the amendments shall be published in three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette. for free distributing:" and (6) that the contested Resolutions "shall be printed in full" on the back of the ballots which shall be used on November 14. in the abovequoted provision of the Constitution. is. to be made available for examination by the qualified electors during election day. unimpaired. Justice Sanchez." (5) that "the Commission on Elections shall make available copies of said amendments in English. then. reading into the Constitution what they believe is not written thereon and can not fairly be deduced from the letter thereof. Such authority becomes even more patent when we consider: (1) that the term "election. They opine that constitutional amendments are." normally refers to the choice or selection of candidates to public office by popular vote. is another thing. shall be kept in each polling place. Would the Submission now of the Contested Amendments to the People Violate the Spirit of the Constitution? It should be noted that the contested Resolutions were approved on March 16. in the principal native languages. particularly when provincial and municipal officials are to be chosen. if not insidious factors. so that. It is a goal the attainment of which should be promoted. as may be determined by the Commission on Elections. The ideal conditions are. one thing. 1967." but "plebiscite. Section 2 of Republic Act No." and that said copy "shall remain posted therein until after the election. 1967. if not always. This. not "election." general or special. our citizenry shall have had practically eight (8) months to be informed on the amendments in question. concerning the grant of suffrage to women is. The question whether the Constitution forbids the submission of proposals for amendment to the people except under such conditions." (2) that "a printed copy of the proposed amendments shall be posted in a conspicuous place in every municipality. however. certainly. whenever practicable. however. at least. at least twenty days prior to the election. They do not deny the authority of Congress to choose either alternative. Some members of the Court even feel that said term ("election") refers to a "plebiscite. they find themselves unable to subscribe thereto without. Spanish and. Then again. as implied in the term "election" used. But.

shall be kept at each polling place available for examination by the qualified electors during the plebiscite. and provincial government office building and in every polling place not later than February eleven. At least. ten copies of the said amendment shall be kept in each polling place to be made available for examination by the qualified electors during election day. Commonwealth Act No. for three consecutive issues at least fifteen days prior to said election. Thus. copies in the principal native languages. A printed copy thereof shall be posted in a conspicuous place in every municipal. nineteen hundred and forty-seven. nineteen hundred and forty. At least ten copies of the Constitution with the Ordinance appended thereto. shall also be kept in each polling place. in English and in Spanish. At least ten copies of said Article V of the Constitution. as may be determined by the Secretary of the Interior. from a constitutional viewpoint. with the Ordinance appended thereto. provides: Said Constitution. from the original Constitution down to the Parity Amendment. 32 . and shall remain posted therein continually until after the termination of the election. in English and in Spanish. copies in the principal native languages. city. and the said Article V shall be posted in a conspicuous place in each municipal and provincial office building and in each polling place not later than the twenty-second day of April. Similarly. city. reading: Said Article V of the Constitution shall be published in the Official Gazette. 73 is to the effect that: The said amendment shall be published in English and Spanish in three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette at least twenty days prior to the election. These were substantially the same means availed of to inform the people of the subject submitted to them for ratification. When practicable. Section 2. and shall remain posted therein until after the election. shall also be kept therein. Whenever practicable. shall be published in the Official Gazette. Section 2 of Republic Act No. copies in the principal local dialects as may be determined by the Secretary of the Interior shall also be kept in each polling place. shall be posted in a conspicuous place in each municipal and provincial government office building and in each polling place not later than the twenty-second day of April. The provision concerning woman's suffrage is Section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. referring to the 1940 amendments.We are not prepared to say that the foregoing measures are palpably inadequate to comply with the constitutional requirement that proposals for amendment be "submitted to the people for their ratification. nineteen and thirty-seven. in English and in Spanish. Section 1 of Act No. is of the following tenor: The said amendments shall be published in English and Spanish in three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette at least twenty days prior to the election. 4200. When practicable. in English and in Spanish. copies in the principal native languages. as may be determined by the Secretary of the Interior. as may be determined by the Commission on Elections. 34. Whenever practicable. As regards the Parity Amendment. with the Ordinance appended thereto. and provincial government office building and in every polling place not later than May eighteen." and that said measures are manifestly insufficient. 517. for three consecutive issues at least fifteen days prior to said election. and shall remain posted therein until after the election. and shall remain posted therein continually until after the termination of the plebiscite. nineteen hundred and thirty-five. At least ten copies of said amendments shall be kept in each polling place to be made available for examination by the qualified electors during election day. shall be kept at each polling place available for examination by the qualified electors during election day. and a printed copy of said Constitution. referring to the original Constitution. to inform the people of the amendment sought to be made. A printed copy thereof shall be posted in a conspicuous place in every municipal. shall also be kept in each polling place.

No. particularly those that take place subsequently to the passage or approval of the law. No. H. B. without forfeiting their seats in Congress. Referring particularly to the contested proposals for amendment. Upon the other hand. debated thereon at some length before the plebiscite took place. We are impressed by the factors considered by our distinguished and esteemed brethren. H. A legislation cannot. however. 4913 are such as to fairly apprise the people of the gist. But. B. 3 upon the work of the Constitutional Convention or upon the future of our Republic. No. we feel that such factors affect the wisdom of Republic Act No. that they are not interested in the details of the apportionment. 1 and 3 violate the spirit of the Constitution. 33 . conceivable that as many people. Its constitutionality or unconstitutionality depends upon no other factors than those existing at the time of the enactment thereof. 1 and 3. then. A considerable portion of the people may not know how over 160 of the proposed maximum of representative districts are actually apportioned by R. 3 — the authority given to the members of Congress to run for delegates to the Constitutional Convention and. It is not improbable. From our viewpoint. from a constitutional angle. not theauthority of Congress to approve the same. be nullified by reason of the failure of certain sectors of the community to discuss it sufficiently. from 120 to 180. B. The system of checks and balances underlying the judicial power to strike down acts of the Executive or of Congress transcending the confines set forth in the fundamental laws is not in derogation of the principle of separation of powers. of the submission thereof for ratification to the people on November 14. 4913. 1 among the provinces in the Philippines. constitutional. which is — under R. it could have done something better to enlighten the people on the subject-matter thereof. But. insofar as this phase of the case. B. the provisions of Article XV of the Constitution are satisfied so long as the electorate knows that R. as printed in full on the back of the ballots they will use. Six (6) Members of this Court believe. Presumably. The difference springs from the circumstance that the major political parties had taken sides on previous amendments to the Constitution — except. H. said Act and R. likewise. B. said political parties have not seemingly made an issue on the amendments now being contested and have. the sufficiency or insufficiency. those who are more sophisticated. accordingly. No product of human endeavor is beyond improvement. pursuant to which each department is supreme within its own sphere. Such debates or polemics as may have taken place — on a rather limited scale — on the latest proposals for amendment. B. no law is perfect. depends — in the view of those who concur in this opinion. who opine otherwise. 3 permits Congressmen to retain their seats as legislators. It is. 4913 satisfies such requirement and that said Act is. perhaps. to impair a clear vision thereof. even if they should run for and assume the functions of delegates to the Convention. no legislation would be constitutional and valid. the copies kept in the polling places and the text of contested resolutions. 1967. have been due principally to the initiative of a few civic organizations and some militant members of our citizenry who have voiced their opinion thereon. Upon the other hand. We do not believe it has been satisfactorily shown that Congress has exceeded the limits thereof in enacting Republic Act No. Nos. Nos. H. if not more. constitute the minority — upon whether the provisions of Republic Act No. accordingly. Otherwise. 1 — the increase of the maximum number of seats in the House of Representatives. or that a careful reading thereof may tend in their simple minds. No. The determination of the conditions under which the proposed amendments shall be submitted to the people is concededly a matter which falls within the legislative sphere. if elected thereto. the main idea or the substance of said proposals. consequently. however.The main difference between the present situation and that obtaining in connection with the former proposals does not arise from the law enacted therefor. but. the woman's suffrage — and. to discharge the duties of such delegates. and who. may fail to realize or envisage the effect of R. may enlighten themselves sufficiently by reading the copies of the proposed amendments posted in public places. unaffected by the acts or omissions of law enforcing agencies. nobody can foretell such effect with certainty. H. H. We — who constitute the minority — believe that Republic Act No. B. refrained from discussing the same in the current political campaign. then. however. and — under R. H. No. 4913 and that of R.

The amendments shall be published in three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette at least twenty days prior to the election. he shall write the word "No" or its equivalent in Pilipino or in the local dialect. 1 and 3 unconstitutional and invalid. At least five copies of the said amendments shall be kept in each polling place to be made available for examination by the qualified electors during election day. concur. That at the back of said ballot there shall be printed in full Resolutions of both Houses of Congress Numbered One and Three. The ballots which shall be used in the election for the approval of said amendments shall be printed in English and Pilipino and shall be in the size and form prescribed by the Commission on Elections:Provided.. concurs fully with the above opinion. and shall remain posted therein until after the election. It is so ordered. or that they should be the subject of any particular means or form of public discussion. that is. shall be kept in each polling place. The Commission on Elections shall make available copies of each amendments in English. Makalintal and Bengzon. 34 . city and provincial office building and in every polling place not later than October fourteen. both adopted on March sixteen. as may be determined by the Commission on Elections. 4913 provide: Sec.. for instance. Separate Opinions MAKALINTAL. to vote for the rejection thereof.. Fernando. That the questionnaire appearing on the face of the ballot shall be as follows: Are you in favor of the proposed amendment to Section five of Article VI of our Constitution printed at the back of this ballot? Are you in favor of the proposed amendment to section sixteen of Article VI of our Constitution printed at the back of this ballot? To vote for the approval of the proposed amendments. 4. I would make some additional observations in connection with my concurrence. copies in the principal native languages. Sections 2 and 4 of Republic Act No. whenever practicable. adding a few words on the question of jurisdiction. considered in itself and without reference to extraneous factors and circumstances. proposing the amendments: Provided. JJ.Inasmuch as there are less than eight (8) votes in favor of declaring Republic Act 4913 and R. however. J. concurring: I concur in the foregoing opinion of the Chief Justice. as enjoined in Section 1. xxx xxx xxx Sec. When practicable. the manner prescribed in the aforesaid provisions is sufficient for the purpose of having the proposed amendments submitted to the people for their ratification. I believe that intrinsically. without special pronouncement as to costs. Spanish and. the voter shall write the word "yes" or its equivalent in Pilipino or in the local dialect in the blank space after each question. for free distribution. the petitions in these two (2) cases must be. A printed copy thereof shall be posted in a conspicuous place in every municipality. further. I am at a loss to say what else should have been required by the Act to make it adhere more closely to the constitutional requirement. Article XV of the Constitution. H.P. 2. J. Certainly it would have been out of place to provide. as they are hereby. dismiss and the writs therein prayed for denied. that government officials and employees should go out and explain the amendments to the people. in the principal native languages. nineteen hundred and sixty-seven.. nineteen hundred and sixty-seven. B. Nos. J.

. such as the zeal with which they are carried out. Art. effective June 17. voter and citizen. 1 Based upon this principle. cannot be entirely focused on the proposed amendments. 1967. may not be so to another. the second. J. apportioning 160 of said 180 seats and eliminating the provision that Congress shall by law make an apportionment within three years after the return of every enumeration. VI. the Constitution speaks simply of "an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. filed this suit for prohibition with preliminary injunction to restrain the Commission on Elections. to amend Sec. Resolutions of Both Houses Nos. by increasing the maximum membership of the House of Representatives from 120 to 180. Otherwise a law may be either valid or invalid. that it means only a special election.. 1967. that no one can exercise any authority over the rights and interests of others except pursuant to and in the manner authorized by law. 1 and 3 propose two amendments to the Constitution: the first. and appropriates funds for said election. What one may regard as sufficient compliance with the requirement of submission to the people. Art." and I do not subscribe to the restrictive interpretation that the petitioners would place on this provision. according to circumstances not found in its provisions. assails the constitutionality not only of Republic Act 4913 but also of Resolutions of Both Houses Nos. as a civic.The objection of some members of the Court to Republic Act No. On the other hand. 1 and 3 of March 16. in a different setting. VI. While such procedure is highly to be preferred. The criterion would be too broad and relative. they are considered together herein. Director of Printing and Auditor General from implementing and/or complying with Republic Act 4913. Republic Act 4913. namely. Yet I cannot conceive that the constitutionality or unconstitutionality of a law may be made to depend willy-nilly on factors not inherent in its provisions. 1967. such that there is a failure to properly submit them for ratification within the intendment of the Constitution. by allowing Senators and Representatives to be delegates to a constitutional convention without forfeiting their seats.P. The same manner of submitting the proposed amendments to the people for ratification may. For a law to be struck down as unconstitutional it must be so by reason of some irreconcilable conflict between it and the Constitution. Said Republic Act fixes the date and manner of the election at which the aforesaid proposed amendments shall be voted upon by the people. Petitioner PHILCONSA. Petitioner Gonzales. is an Act submitting to the Filipino people for approval the amendments to the Constitution of the Philippines proposed by the Congress of the Philippines in Resolutions of Both Houses Numbered 1 and 3. adopted on March 16. 16. as taxpayer. then the defect is not intrinsic in the law but in its implementation. concurring: It is the glory of our institutions that they are founded upon law. petitioners Ramon A. If that is so. and allegedly in representation thru class suit of all citizens of this country. Gonzales and Philippine Constitution Association (PHILCONSA) come to this Court in separate petitions. to the exclusion of the opinions of others. 35 . 4913 seems to me predicated on the fact that there are so many other issues at stake in the coming general election that the attention of the electorate. non-profit and non-partisan corporation. J. 5. and dependent upon individual opinions that at best are subjective. The question is susceptible of as many views as there are viewers. BENGZON. within the context of the same law. and I do not think this Court would be justified in saying that its own view on the matter is the correct one. Since both petitions relate to the proposed amendments. to amend Sec. be sufficient for the purpose. assailing said law as unconstitutional. To such a thesis I cannot agree. I reject the argument that the ratification must necessarily be in a special election or plebiscite called for that purpose alone.

And to that extent. 1. Since observance of Constitutional provisions on the procedure for amending the Constitution is concerned. It only requires that it be at "an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. it not being a matter of policy or wisdom. XV clearly does not bear him on the point. to provide for how. as a matter of policy and wisdom. which again. therefore. by qualifying the phrase with some word such as "special" or "solely" or "exclusively". then Republic Act 4913 does not. Art. does not render it any less an election at which the proposed amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. on the other hand. and by what means the amendments shall be submitted to the people for approval. is perforce justiciable. XV of the Constitution. instead of printing at the back of the ballot only the proposed amendments. or also means. Sec. to the people for approval. Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election to which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. or that it would not have been better to provide for a separate election exclusively for the ratification of the proposed amendments. If. It nowhere requires that the ratification be thru an election solely for that purpose. 1. The function of the Judiciary is "not to pass upon questions of wisdom. justice or expediency of legislation".Specifically and briefly. 1.g. Petitioner Gonzales' second point is that Republic Act 4913 is deficient for not having been passed by Congress in joint session by 3/4 vote. (2) Republic Act 4913 violates Sec. To prohibition being found in the plain terms of the Constitution. 36 . e. such as by stating the provisions before and after said amendments. XV of the Constitution provides: Sec. petitioner Gonzales' objections are as follows: (1) Republic Act 4913 violates Sec. in submitting the proposed amendments to the Constitution. all questions bearing on whether Congress in proposing amendments followed the procedure required by the Constitution. For though the Constitution leaves Congress free to propose whatever Constitutional amendment it deems fit. The Congress in joint session assembled. It is not herein decided that such concurrence of election is wise. Art. may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a convention for that purpose. since it was not passed with the 3/4 vote in joint session required when Congress proposes amendments to the Constitution. Subsec. to make it concurrent with such election. Sec. Had the framers of requiring Constitution thought of requiring a special election for the purpose only of the proposed amendments. by a vote of three-fourths of all the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately. 1. XV of the Constitution. 1. Said procedure or manner. even if it may be better or wiser.2 It is limited to determining whether the action taken by the Legislative Department has violated the Constitution or not. then it does. it means. said Republic Act being a step in or part of the process of proposing amendments to the Constitution. the three-fourths vote requirement. The point however is that such separate and exclusive election. is not included in the procedure required by the Constitution to amend the same. 1. is fixed by the Constitution. Art. I am of the opinion that it has not. when. none should be inferred. from being left to the discretion of Congress. so that the substance or content of said proposed amendment is a matter of policy and wisdom and thus a political question." To join it with an election for candidates to public office. is not for this Court to decide. On this score. 1. Does Republic Act 4913 propose amendments to the Constitution? If by the term "propose amendment" is meant to determine WHAT said amendment shall be. Art. in not requiring that the substance of the proposed amendments be stated on the face of the ballot or otherwise rendering clear the import of the proposed amendments. and (3) Republic Act 4913 violates the due process clause of the Constitution (Sec. They did not. that is. Art. the Constitution nevertheless imposes requisites as to the manner orprocedure of proposing such amendments. III). they could have said so. Turning then to petitioner Gonzales' first objection. Resolutions of Both Houses 1 and 3 already did that.. at the general election of 1967 instead of at a special election solely for that purpose. the issue is cognizable by this Court under its powers to review an Act of Congress to determine its conformity to the fundamental law.

Due process refers only to providing fair opportunity. Petitioner Gonzales contends. .A careful reading of Sec. or the manner of holding it. under the doctrine of residuary powers. is the one intended. provide sufficient opportunity to the voters to cast an intelligent vote on the proposal. and the printing of the full proposed amendments at the back of the ballot instead of the substance thereof at the face of the ballot. to remain posted until after the elections. the plain language of Section 1. The same however is a matter of policy. thirdly. XV shows that the first sense. XV does not apply to such a measure providing for the holding of the election to ratify the proposed amendments. Republic Act 4913 is an appropriation measure. An examination of the provisions of the law shows no violation of the due process clause of the Constitution. Republic Act 4913. Furthermore. . Art. bills shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives". are not submitted for ratification to form part of the Constitution. XV. shall be submitted to the people for their ratification". XV of the Constitution. and that the 3/4 voting requirement applies only to the first step. it is argued. 6 thereof appropriates P1. it does not guarantee that the opportunity given will in fact be availed of. Petitioner Gonzales' other arguments touch on the merits or wisdom of the proposed amendments. therefore. do not deprive the voter of fair opportunity to be informed. The details of when the election shall be held for approval or rejection of the proposed amendments. the rule is that a power not lodged elsewhere under the Constitution is deemed to reside with the legislative body. 18. for it is this and this alone that is submitted to the people for their ratification.000 for carrying out its provisions. 1. It follows that the submission of proposed amendments can be done thru an ordinary statute passed by Congress. not for this Court. the fault does not lie with Congress. Art. it is not constitutionally defective. This clearly indicates that by the term "propose amendments" in the first sentence is meant to frame the substance or the content or the WHAT-element of the amendments. Art. Perhaps it would have been more convenient for the voters if the present wording of the provisions were also to be printed on the ballot. it provides that "such amendments .000. Two arguments were further advanced: first. Should the voters choose to remain ignorant of the present Constitution. they cannot propose amendments. The publication in the Official Gazette at least 20 days before the election. so that the Representatives elected in 1961 are de facto officers only. These are for the people in their sovereign capacity to decide. which must perforce appropriate funds for its purpose. Art. and it is. that is the look-out of the voter and the responsibility of the citizen. already proposed. Said Section has two sentences: in the first. . Non-printing of the provisions to be amended as they now stand. The Constitution does not expressly state by whom the submission shall be undertaken. The present wording of the Constitution is not being veiled or suppressed from him. And then in the second sentence. XV of the Constitution. shows that the act of proposing amendments is distinct from — albeit related to — that of submitting the amendments to the people for their ratification. Congress therefore validly enacted Republic Act 4913 to fix the details of the date and manner of submitting the proposed amendments to the people for their ratification. second. reinforcing the view that Sec. that the present Congress is a de facto one. are going to be voted upon. the due process clause is not infringed. could not have been validly adopted in a joint session. 1967. For opportunity to familiarize oneself with the Constitution as it stands has been available thru all these years. Not being de jure. As long as the method adopted provides sufficiently reasonable chance to intelligently vote on the amendments. Sec. . 1. that Republic Act 4913 offends against substantive due process. VI of the Constitution states that "All appropriation . the placing of copies of the proposed amendments in the polling places. Stated differently. the same does not need the 3/4 vote in joint session required in Sec. As long as fair and reasonable opportunity to be informed is given. 1. aside from printing the same at the back of the ballot. since no apportionment law was adopted within three years from the last census of 1960. not to the second one. the posting of notices in public buildings not later than October 14. Art. that Congress cannot both call a convention and propose amendments. he is conclusively presumed to know them and they are available should he want to check on what he is conclusively presumed to know. 37 . Since it does not "propose amendments" in the sense referred to by Sec. 1. for Congress to "propose amendments". and I think it does in this case. but merely provides for how and when the amendments. Sec. Art. it requires the 3/4 voting in joint session.

we are faced with a question of jurisdiction. it is not beyond the realm of possibility that a failure to observe the requirements of Article XV would occur. who shall be elected by the qualified electors from the present assembly districts. It may be said however that in Mabanag v. rendering legal and de jure the status quo. His opinion quoted with approval the view of Justice Black. It however further states in the next sentence: "Until such apportionment shall have been made. the House of Representatives shall have the same number of Members as that fixed by law for the National Assembly. as nothing less than judicial abdication or surrender. Surely. We start from the premise that only where it can be shown that the question is to be solved by public opinion or where the matter has been left by the Constitution to the sole discretion of any of the political branches. and rightly so. FERNANDO. 442). 404. it is also true that Sec. No. XV states that Congress "may propose amendments or call a convention for that purpose". without impugning the motives of Congress. which cannot be judicially inquired into at any rate. At the same time. therefore. VI of the Constitution provides in part that "The Congress shall by law make an apportionment within three years after the return of every enumeration. A few words may however be added. is frequently used as having the same meaning as "and" particularly in permissive. 5 of Art. Miller. The opinion prepared by the Chief Justice discusses the matter with a fullness that erases doubts and misgivings and clarifies the applicable principles. and fully concur with the opinion of the Chief Justice. And it should be pointed out that the resolutions proposing amendments (R. if Congress deems it better or wise to amend the Constitution before a convention called for is elected. As to the second argument. Cuenco. 108 La. Lopez Vito. that Congress may be entrusted with the full and uncontrolled discretion on the procedure leading to proposals for an amendment of the Constitution. it should not be fettered from doing so. suffice it to note that the Constitution does not prohibit it from doing so.H. as was so clearly stated by the then Justice Concepcion in Tañada v. For the above reasons. to rely automatically on the theory of political question to avoid passing on such a matter of delicacy might under certain circumstances be considered. to which three other members of the United States Supreme Court agreed. Goodenough.H. The term "or". to pass a valid redistricting law since the time the above provision was adopted. and not otherwise". 2).B. R. For the Constitution itself provides for its continuance in such case. and is not subject to judicial guidance.2 this Court through Justice Tuason followed Coleman v. Whatever may be said about the present question. that the process itself is political in its entirety. Sec.B.3 in its holding that certain aspects of the amending process may be considered political. 1 of Art. does not render the present districting illegal or unconstitutional. For our purposes in this case. 1 and 3) are different from that calling for a convention (R. affirmative sentences so that the interpretation of the word "or" as "and" in the Constitution in such use will not change its meaning (Vicksburg S. control or interference at any point. 38 . 32 So. J. it is hard to speak with certitude considering Article XV. 411.As to the first point. concurring: At the outset." In a sense that would solve the matter neatly. & P. I vote to uphold the constitutionality of Republic Act 4913. The judiciary would be spared the at times arduous and in every case soul-searching process of determining whether the procedure for amendments required by the Constitution has been followed.." The failure of Congress. "from submission until an amendment becomes part of the Constitution. however. v.1 may this Court avoid passing on the issue before it. Nos. Co. In the event that judicial intervention is sought.

two of these proposed amendments to the Constitution (Resolutions I and 3) are to be submitted to the people for their ratification next November 14. 1. 3 which permits Senators and Congressmen — without forfeiting their seats in Congress — to be members of the Constitutional Convention1 to be convened.. There is comfort in the thought that the view that then prevailed was itself a product of the times. The opinion of Chief Justice Concepcion renders crystal-clear why as of this date and in the foreseeable future judicial inquiry to assure the utmost compliance with the constitutional requirement would be a more appropriate response. the better part of wisdom in view of the grave economic situation then confronting the country would be to avoid the existence of any obstacle to its being submitted for ratification. the convention to sit on June 1. 1967. A companion resolution is Resolution No. a petition for prohibition. Thus the approach followed by Justice Tuason is not difficult to understand. 1 increases the membership of the House of Representatives from 120 to 180 members. Resolution No. in separate opinion: Right at the outset. Since the problem here presented has its roots in the resolutions aforesaid of both houses of Congress. It could very well be the inarticulate major premise. Directly under attack in this. Moreover. SANCHEZ. the parity rights ordinance. and immediately apportions 160 seats. 3 which gives Senators and Congressmen the right to sit as members of the constitutional convention to be convened on June 1. an erroneous appraisal it turned out later. constituted an effective argument for its submission. 1967 with the end in view of amending vital portions of the Constitution. would no longer be controlling. Of importance now are the proposed amendments increasing the number of members of the House of representatives under Resolution No. Dinglasan. it may just as well be that we recite in brief the salient features thereof. Justice Fred Ruiz Castro for their invaluable contribution to the substance and form of the opinion which follows." The consequences of a judicial veto on the then proposed amendment on the economic survival of the country. Parenthetically. The delegates thereto are to be elected on the second Tuesday of November 1970. approved on June 17. and that in Resolution No. the writer expresses his deep appreciation to Mr. is the constitutionality of Republic Act 4913. 1967. Nor is this mode of viewing the opinion of Justice Tuason to do injustice to his memory.What appears regrettable is that a major opinion of an esteemed jurist. and the amendments proposed by the convention to be submitted to the people thereafter for their ratification. J. As he so emphatically stated. This Act seeks to implement Resolutions 1 and 3 adopted by the Senate and the House of Representatives on March 16. 2 just adverted to calls for a constitutional convention also to propose amendments to the Constitution. which is all to the good. It may be said that there is less propensity now. American Supreme Court opinions on constitutional questions were-invariably accorded uncritical acceptance. It could very well be that considering the circumstances existing in 1947 as well as the particular amendment sought to be incorporated in the Constitution. Why not then consider the question political and let the people decide? That assumption could have been indulged in. the late Justice Tuason. 1971.4 in ascertaining the meaning to be given the Emergency Powers Act. Justice Calixto O. the Republic being less than a year old. 39 . For as he stated in another major opinion in Araneta v. for this Court to accord that much deference to constitutional views coming from the quarter. "We test a rule by its results. For many it did bear the stamp of judicial statesmanship.5 one should not ignore what would ensue if a particular mode of construction were followed. 2. as provided in another resolution — Resolution No. Resolution No. Zaldivar and Mr.

seven. which reads: The amendments to the Constitution of the Philippines proposed by the Congress of the Philippines in Resolutions of both Houses Numbered One and Three. With these as backdrop. The increase in the number of Congressmen has its proportional increase in the people's tax burdens. Bill of Rights in its entirety. These certainly affect the people as a whole. First. A constitutional amendment is not a temporary expedient.seven. the proposal is to eliminate the all important. They probably would ask: Why the hurry? These ponderables require the people's close scrutiny. and ask for a Congressman of their own. our approach to the problem of the mechanics of submission for ratification of amendments is thatreasoning on the basis of the spirit of the Constitution is just as important as reasoning by a strict adherence to the phraseology thereof. People in Quezon City. Article VI) that Congress "shall by law make an apportionment". In order that proposed amendments to the Constitution may become effective. it is intended to stand the test of time. which would require such amendments to be adopted by a constitutional convention. Article XV thereof commands that such amendments must be "approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. people may question the propriety of permitting the increased 180 Congressmen from taking part in the forthcoming constitutional convention and future conventions for fear that they may dominate its proceedings. It is an expression of the people's sovereign will. we take the view that the words "submitted to the people for their ratification"."2 The accent is on two words complementing each other. Republic Act 4913. 2. increase in the number of Congressmen should be a proper topic for deliberation in a constitutional convention which. in accordance with the provisions of this Act. 1967. without the necessity of disturbing the present constitutionally provided number of Congressmen. the spirit of the supreme enactment. nineteen hundred and sixty. Unlike a statute which may suffer amendments three or more times in the same year. Supposing three-fourths of the Constitution is to be amended. we are sure. The ceiling of the number of Congressmen is sought to be elevated from 120 to 180 members. forbids that proposals therefor be initiated by Congress and thereafter presented to the people for their ratification. we perforce go into the philosophy behind the constitutional directive that constitutional amendments be submitted to the people for their ratification. 1. both adopted on March sixteen. on the theory of equal representation. They may entertain the belief that. namely. because it is within the realm of possibility that a Constitution maybe overhauled. will soon take place. too. They may not look at this with favor. We believe it to be beyond debate that in some such situations the amendments ought to call for a constitutional convention rather than a legislative proposal. "submitted" and "ratification.1971. these are the two amendments to be submitted to the people in the general elections soon to be held on November 14. for instance. Section 1. We underscore this. And then. may balk at the specific apportionment of the 160 seats set forth in Resolution No. And this." 1. And then. upon the provisions of Section 1. In the context just adverted to. And so. if at all. what with the constitutional provision (Section 5. anyway. And yet. Republic Act 4913 projects the basic angle of the problem thrust upon us — the manner in which the amendments proposed by Congress just adverted to be brought to the people's attention. Because. and Senators and Congressmen may run in constitutional conventions without forfeiting their seats. because the amendments submitted are transcendental and encompassing. if construed in the light of the nature of the Constitution — a fundamental charter that is legislation direct from the people. nothing there is in the books or in the Constitution itself. nineteen hundred and sixty. to the controlling constitutional precept. We are forced to take a long hard look at the core of the problem facing us. an — expression of their sovereign will — is that it can only be amended 40 . shall be submitted to the people for approval at the general election which shall be held on November fourteen. Or.

viz: (1) The amendment shall be published in three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette at least twenty days prior to the election. who has said "A good Constitution should beyond the reach of temporary excitement and popular caprice or passion. and try to reach a conclusion as the dictates of their conscience suggest. Spanish and. For. one thing is submission and another is ratification. nineteen hundred and sixty-seven. and shall remain posted therein until after the election. . copies in the principal native languages. shall be kept in each polling place. and the proposed amendments and the meaning. By this. Aptly had it been said: . or the thought evolved the excitement or hot blood. then so be it." Am. if the government is to be safe. should strain every effort to inform very citizen of the provisions to be amended. (5) The Commission on Elections shall make available copies of said amendments in English. 41 . There must be fair submission. the word "submitted" can only mean that the government. For. (2) A printed copy thereof shall be posted in a conspicuous place in every municipality. educate them with respect to their act of ratification or rejection. As Montaign says: "All great mutations shake and disorder a state. It is needed for stability and steadiness. 1889. but the sober second thought. Tersely put. not to the whim of the people. can be allowed efficiency. free from the incubus of extraneous or possibly in insidious influences. .000 citizens cannot be reached. p. (4) When practicable. "the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification?" Our answer is "No". approved on June 17. in submitting an amendment for ratification. . They must be afforded ample opportunity to mull over the original provisions compare them with the proposed amendments. amendments must be fairly laid before the people for their blessing or spurning. If with all these safeguards the people still approve the amendment no matter how prejudicial it is to them. 1967 — the statute that submits to the people the constitutional amendments proposed by Congress in Resolutions 1 and 3. if one citizen or 100 citizens or 1.by the people expressing themselves according to the procedure ordained by the Constitution. the issue before us funnels down to this proposition: If the people are not sufficiently informed of the amendments to be voted upon. for free distribution. (3) At least five copies of the said amendments shall be kept in each polling place to be made available for examination by the qualified electors during election day. . within its maximum capabilities. should put every instrumentality or agency within its structural framework to enlighten the people. as we have earlier stated. city and provincial office building and in every polling place not later than October fourteen. The people are not to be mere rubber stamps. Law Rev. They are not to vote blindly. as may be determined by the Commission on Elections. consent or rejection. in the principal native languages. we are not to be understood as saying that. intelligent. Changes in government are to be feared unless the benefit is certain. which alone. to conscientiously deliberate thereon. The great men who builded the structure of our state in this respect had the mental vision of a good Constitution voiced by Judge Cooley. We examine Republic Act 4913. . whenever practicable. another evil may succeed and a worse. We believe. then there is no submission within the meaning of the word as intended by the framers of the Constitution. the people decree their own fate. 3113 3. Therefore. There are five parts in said Section 2. What the Constitution in effect directs is that the government. Section 2 of the Act provides the manner of propagation of the nature of the amendments throughout the country. nature and effects thereof. Good does not necessarily succeed evil. it must yield to the thought of the people. to express their will in a genuine manner can it be said that in accordance with the constitutional mandate.

And even if it reaches the barrios. especially those in the outlying barrios. was the vote for the amendments of the Constitution held simultaneously with the election officials. Candidates on the homestretch. It does not reach the barrios. we are quite certain that it is the latter that will be dented. Third. Comelec is not required to actively distribute them to the people. 1940 and 1947. and their leaders as well as the voters. is reflected in the sequence of uniform past practices. These plebiscites have been referred to either as an "election" or "general election". The Constitution had been amended thrice — in 1939. Pangasinan and Bukidnon. We. except those who are about to vote? Fourth. copies in the principal native languages shall be kept in each polling place. for free distribution. city and/or provincial office buildings. Iloilo. the Official Gazette is not widely read. is but a passive agency which may hold copies available. This is significant as to people in the provinces. it should be conceded that many citizens. the constitutional amendments cut no ice with them. Comelec. 4. national or local. A dissection of the mechanics yields disturbing thoughts. the fortunes of many elective officials. on the national and local levels. That proper submission of amendments to the people to enable them to equally ratify them properly is the meat of the constitutional requirement. a citizen may not intrude into the school building where the polling places are usually located without disturbing the school classes being held there. the amendments were embodied in resolutions adopted by the Legislature. 42 . the statute does not require that it be in any other language or dialect. In each case. gear their undivided efforts to the election of officials. But even the official sample ballot submitted to this Court would show that only the amendments are printed at the back. such copy again is in English (sample submitted to this Court by the Solicitor General) for. Spanish or whenever practicable. the voters do not have the benefit of proper notice of the proposed amendments thru dissemination by publication in extenso." Even if it be said that these are available before election. is it available to all? And if it is. Article XV of the Constitution.A question that comes to mind is whether the procedure for dissemination of information regarding the amendments effectively brings the matter to the people. who can enter the polling place. In a clash between votes for a candidate and conscience on the merits and demerits of the constitutional amendments. as Section 2 itself implies. hold that there is no proper submission of the proposed constitutional amendments within the meaning and intendment of Section 1. anyway. in the principal native languages. Finally. First. especially those in the far-flung barrios who are completely unmindful of the discussions that go on now and then in the cities and centers of population on the merits and demerits of the amendments. People do not have at hand the necessary data on which to base their stand on the merits and demerits of said amendments. 5. do not go to municipal. Contemporary history is witness to the fact that during the present election campaign the focus is on the election of candidates. the space accorded to the casting of "yes" or "no" vote would give one the impression that the constitutional amendments are but a bootstrap to the electoral ballot. would all under stand English? Second. They cannot possibly make extensive distribution. Worse still. voting time is not study time. Rather. the record shows that the sole issue was the 1947 parity amendment. Even with regard to the 1947 parity amendment. Fifth. and the special elections simultaneously held in only three provinces. However. The constitutional amendments are crowded out. Surely enough. however. And then. it would not help any if at least five copies are kept in the polling place for examination by qualified electors during election day. it is true that the Comelec is directed to make available copies of such amendments in English. And this. therefore. will they notice the printed amendments posted on the bulletin board? And if they do notice. At no time. Voters will soon go to the polls to say "yes" or "no". which thereafter fixed the dates at which the proposed amendments were to be ratified or rejected. are inextricably intertwined with the results of the votes on the plebiscite. except on special occasions like paying taxes or responding to court summonses. in the nature of a command because such copies shall be kept therein only "when practicable" and "as may be determined by the Commission on Elections. And if they do. but which copies may not be distributed at all. As petitioner puts it. it is of common knowledge that Comelec has more than its hands full in these pre-election days. in pursuance to Republic Act 4913 itself. But this is not. in this case. were merely incidental thereto. The truth is that even in the ballot itself.

"4 For the reasons given..B. JJ..L. one higher even than that required in order to declare war (Sec. concur.. the Constitutional amendments proposed in the aforementioned R. Article VI). The framers of the Constitution.. our vote is that Republic Act 4913 must be stricken down as in violation of the Constitution. 24. 63 Phil. concur. considered and voted upon at an election wherein the people could devote undivided attention to the subject. REYES. I find it impossible to believe that it was ever intended by its framers that such amendment should be submitted and ratified by just "a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification". JJ. 818. 1. To approve a mere proposal to amend the Constitution requires (Art. 1967. If such an overwhelming majority.B. 78 Phil. concurring: I concur in the result with the opinion penned by Mr.L. such as the choice of local and national officials. is asked for a proposal to amend the Constitution. that was evidently exacted in order to impress upon all and sundry the seriousness of every constitutional amendment. 1967. Dizon and Angeles. with all its dire consequences. Nos. could have only meant that any amendments thereto should be debated. Reyes. Zaldivar and Castro.In the end we say that the people are the last ramparts that guard against indiscriminate changes in the Constitution that is theirs. JJ. 139.. concur in the result. Footnotes 1 Urging the latter to refrain from implementing Republic Act. XV) a three-fourths (3/4) vote of all the members of each legislative chamber. 4913 and from submitting to a plebiscite in the general elections to be held on November 14. the highest majority ever demanded by the fundamental charter. J. their true voice be heard? The answer perhaps is best expressed in the following thoughts: "It must be remembered that the Constitution is the people's enactment.. That this was the intention and the spirit of the provision is corroborated in the case of all other constitutional amendments in the past. Is it too much to ask that reasonable guarantee be made that in the matter of the alterations of the law of the land.H. that were submitted to and approved in special elections exclusively devoted to the issue whether the legislature's amendatory proposals should be ratified or not. if the concentration of the people's attention thereon to be diverted by other extraneous issues. J. Zaldivar and Castro. 1 and 3. Justice Sanchez. Dizon. 81 Phil. 3 4 5 6 43 . 2 Dated October 30.B. Angeles. Supra. No proposed change can become effective unless they will it so through the compelling force of need of it and desire for it. J. 157. No. aware of the fundamental character thereof. and of the need of giving it as much stability as is practicable.

Electoral Commission.P... 23 24 25 26 50 Am. citing Heckathorn v. Section 1.7 L-2851. Art. L-14569. Art. BENGZON. Approved. 85 Phil. See. J. 50. Of amending the Constitution. November 23. Sheenan's Case. 677. Heckathorn. September 14. Commission on Elections. Rep. 26 Wash 171. 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Under the original Constitution providing for a unicameral legislative body. Article IX of the Constitution. Rep. June 17. 23 Am. Art. 282. concurring: 1 United States v. 22 Torres vs. De Vera. whose members were chosen for a term of three (3) years (Section 1. supra. Kobilka. 38 Conn. 2 FERNANDO.. 37 Phil. 192. Codilla vs. Justice Laurel. citing RCL. Smith. 2(1). 53 Phil. 866. Wilcox vs. of the Original Constitution). 141 SE 180. Carrol. 445. pp. 1958. ponente. Sec. 1961. 43 O. Rodriguez and De los Angeles. 284 Mich. Geiger v. Dec. 323. St. 1960. Art. II. 122 Mass. 1961. 3211. State vs. concurring: 44 . Jur. Section 1. San Jacinto Tin Co. Martinez. Nacionalista Party vs. also. 126.G. Supra. Rogelio Gabitanan. 20 Section 1. Robson v. Nacionalista Party vs. Angara v. VI. 1957. 280 NW 79. Art. L-18684. J. XV. 81 Phil. supra. 733 and many others. 125 U. J. Section 1. L-10520. to lower courts. 273. p. 1949. 5 Wendell [N. People vs. 139. Constitution of the Philippines. 267-268. And. citing RCL. S.. Macias vs. Sec. 66 P 423. 213.. Constitution of the Philippines. 21 Am.. 21 Lino Luna vs. VI.. De Vera. 63 Phil. Cantwell. 499.. February 28. March 4 and 14. Am.Y.. Ribo. 143 SC 104.] 231. Constitution of the Philippines. inferentially. VIII of the Constitution.

LINO M. 3 4 Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. Dye. 307 US 433 (1939). Dinglasan. 2 3 4 5 6 SANCHEZ. emphasis supplied.R. Emphasis supplied. respondent. as members thereof.A. 1051 (1957). 376. 671 (1941). L-32443 September 11. Commonwealth Act No. J. L-32432 September 11.E. 45 ." 2 Emphasis supplied. 1970 MANUEL B. 99 N.1 103 Phil. GONZALES. Elingham vs. however. 368 (1940). 84 Phil.petitioner. Dye. 1970 IN THE MATTER OF A PETITION FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT REGARDING THE VALIDITY OF R. vs. respondents. separate opinion: 1 The text of the law reads: "He (Senator or Member of the House of Representatives) may. PATAJO and CESAR MILAFLOR. supra. RAUL M. No.. Imbong in his own behalf. OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION ACT OF 1970. JAIME FERRER. pp. 78 Phil. Ellingham vs. be a Member of Constitutional Convention. 15. petitioner. Manuel B. Araneta v. at p. IMBONG. G. vs. No. supra. 6132. as Chairman of the Comelec. 17. COMELEC. 4. 1 (1947). No. at p.

4 amending the aforesaid Resolution No. XV of the Constitution. Congress. whether elective or appointive. 2. MAKASIAR. Congress. and Solicitors Raul I. 2 of March 16. namely Senator Lorenzo Tañada.: These two separate but related petitions for declaratory relief were filed pursuant to Sec. Goco. 6132. taxpayers and interested in running as candidates for delegates to the Constitutional Convention. was recently sustained by this Court. 6132 by petitioners Manuel B. enacted Republic Act No. Petitioner Manuel B. Jovito Salonga and Emmanuel Pelaez as amici curiae. de Leon. J. including members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. 4914. 6132 practically on the same grounds advanced by petitioner Gonzales. implementing Resolutions Nos. election of delegates to. Bernardo P. who shall have the same qualifications as those required of members of the House of Representatives. After the Solicitor General had filed answers in behalf the respondents. 4914 implementing the aforesaid Resolution No. Senator Jovito Salonga. After the adoption of said Res. claiming during the oral argument that it prejudices their rights as such candidates. Gonzales assails the validity of the entire law as well as the particular provisions embodied in Sections 2. both members of the Bar. 1967. that the same is merely an application of and in consonance with the prohibition in Sec. Pardo. and expressly repealing R. hearings were held at which the petitioners and the amici curiae. 4.A. 8(a) of said R. and the holding of. Office of the Solicitor General Felix Q. 19 of R. 1 of 8(a). Senator Arturo Tolentino. which considers. No. No. On June 17.A. XII of the 46 . passed Resolution No. and par. 4 of R. inter alia. 2 which among others called for a Constitutional Convention to propose constitutional amendments to be composed of two delegates from each representative district who shall have the same qualifications as those of Congressmen. No. acting as a legislative body. Gonzales in his own behalf. also acting as a Constituent Assembly. Pronove. enacted Republic Act No. Jr. Arturo Tolentino. 2 of Art. 6132." 2 On August 24.Raul M. the Constitutional Convention shall be embodied in an implementing legislation: Provided. 6132. as resigned from the date of the filing of their certificates of candidacy.A. 1969. 1970 in accordance with the Revised Election Code. Nakar for respondents.. on the grounds. 2 and practically restating in toto the provisions of said Resolution No. and Senator Emmanuel Pelaez argued orally. Vicente A. 2 and 4. Imbong and Raul M. all public officers and employees. that a representative district shall be entitled to at least two delegates. No. No. It will be recalled that on March 16. that it shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this Resolution. 3 Petitioner Raul M. passed Resolution No. I of Sec. Both impugn the constitutionality of R. 5.A.A. acting as a Constituent Assembly pursuant to Art. 1967 by providing that the convention "shall be composed of 320 delegates apportioned among the existing representative districts according to the number of their respective inhabitants: Provided. Congress. acting as a legislative body. No. Torres and Guillermo C. Antonio. Gonzales. Acting Assistant Solicitor General Ricardo L. Lorenzo Tañada. Congress." 1 "and that any other details relating to the specific apportionment of delegates. Rosalio A. 1970. 2 in 1967 but before the November elections of that year. I The validity of Sec. to be elected on the second Tuesday of November. Imbong impugns the constitutionality of only par. as well as officers and employees of corporations or enterprises of the government.

which authority is expressly recognized in Sec. The fact that a bill providing for such implementing details may be vetoed by the President is no argument against conceding such power in Congress as a legislative body nor present any difficulty. Unlike in the apportionment of representative districts. without pinpointing any specific provision of the Constitution with which it collides. acting as a Constituent Assembly. 2 and 4 calling for a constitutional convention were passed by the required three-fourths vote. XV of the Constitution. III Petitioner Raul M. 4. omits to provide for such implementing details after calling a constitutional convention. because — 1. when acting as a Constituent Assembly pursuant to Art. apportionment.A.Constitution and that it does not constitute a denial of due process or of the equal protection of the law. 2 and 4 as well as in R. may constitutionally allocate one delegate for. which power encompasses all matters not expressly or by necessary implication withdrawn or removed by the Constitution from the ambit of legislative action. all other powers essential to the effective exercise of the principal power granted. And as lone as such statutory details do not clash with any specific provision of the constitution. Congress. While the authority to call a constitutional convention is vested by the present Constitution solely and exclusively in Congress acting as a Constituent Assembly. they are valid. for reasons of economy and to avoid having 47 . 8(a) of R. No. No. by virtue of the doctrine of necessary implication. as well as all other implementing details indispensable to a fruitful convention. for it is not irremediable as Congress can override the Presidential veto or Congress can reconvene as a Constituent Assembly and adopt a resolution prescribing the required implementing details. such as the power to fix the qualifications. which are now contained in Resolutions Nos. 2 and 4 already embody the above-mentioned details. Likewise. 3. No. the constitutionality of paragraph 2 of Sec. does not exclusively pertain to Congress acting as a Constituent Assembly. 2 as amended by Res. except the appropriation of funds. and compensation of the delegates as well as appropriation of funds to meet the expenses for the election of delegates and for the operation of the Constitutional Convention itself. 6132 by Congress acting as a legislative body in the exercise of its broad lawmaking authority. 6132 was upheld. by a three-fourths vote of each House in joint session assembled but voting separately. 4 II Without first considering the validity of its specific provisions. 2 on the apportionment of delegates is not in accordance with proportional representation and therefore violates the Constitution and the intent of the law itself. 8 of Res No. Resolutions Nos. has full and plenary authority to propose Constitutional amendments or to call a convention for the purpose.A. The grant to Congress as a Constituent Assembly of such plenary authority to call a constitutional convention includes. the Constitution does not expressly or impliedly require such apportionment of delegates to the convention on the basis of population in each congressional district. 4. Consequently. and not as a Constituent Assembly. Congress.A. when Congress. we sustain the constitutionality of the enactment of R. Gonzales asserts that Sec. 2. can enact the necessary implementing legislation to fill in the gaps. 5. 6132. number. Resolutions Nos. Congress. sitting as a Constituent Assembly. each congressional district or for each province. acting as a legislative body. the power to enact the implementing details. Such implementing details are matters within the competence of Congress in the exercise of its comprehensive legislative power. No.

we are submitting herewith the results of the computation on the basis of the above-stated method. Const. we are not prepared to rule that the computation formula adopted by. Congress for proportional representation as. Absolute proportional apportionment is not required and is not possible when based on the number of inhabitants. Comelec. Such is not the case here. 77 sponsored by Senator Pelaez which is now R. 2 of R. 5 The apportionment provided for in Sec. may be overrepresented. stated that "on the basis of the preliminary count of the population." Even if such latest census were a preliminary census. show that it based its apportionment of the delegates on the 1970 official preliminary population census taken by the Bureau of Census and Statistics from May 6 to June 30. submitted to this Tribunal by the amici curiae. for it merely obeyed and implemented the intent of Congress acting as a Constituent Assembly expressed in Sec. No. and therefore under-represented.6 The fact that the lone and small congressional district of Batanes. 2. No. In the Macias case. the same could still be a valid basis for such apportionment. It is enough that the basis employed is reasonable and the resulting apportionment is substantially proportional. No. but fixing a minimum of at least two delegates for a representative district. Phil. VI. The presumption is that the factual predicate. dependent as it is on the diligence of the census takers. accordingly employed a formula for the necessary computation to effect the desired proportional representation. which was nullified as unconstitutional. The employment of the phrase "as nearly as may be according to their respective inhabitants" emphasizes the fact that the human mind can only approximate 48 . Art. emphasis supplied). for the population census cannot be accurate nor complete. which number is equal to the number of delegates accorded other provinces with more population. vs. vis-a-vis Batanes alone. The present petitions therefore do not present facts which fit the mould of the doctrine in the case of Macias et al. the latest available official population census. where under Sec. 2 lines 5 to 32 and p. 6132. 6132 does not constitute a substantially proportional representation. which. Upon your request at the session of the SenateHouse Conference Committee meeting last night. 6132 Batanes is allotted only two delegates.A. each of which is also allotted only two delegates.A. 4 is unreasonable and that the apportionment provided in R. 4 fixed a minimum of two delegates for a congressional district. 1970. supra. as amended.A. The records of the proceedings on Senate Bill No. does not vitiate the apportionment as not effecting proportional representation. While there may be other formulas for a reasonable apportionment considering the evidence submitted to Congress by the Bureau of Census and Statistics. for such apportionment was presented to Congress. No. aggravated by the constant movement of population. No. 3 line 12) which is a fair and an equitable method of distributing the delegates pursuant to the provisions of the joint Resolution of both Houses No. because it is allotted two delegates by R. in a letter to Senator Pelaez dated July 30. as well as daily death and birth. No. 1976. 4. directed in Res. but each province shall have at least one member" (Sec. we have computed the distribution of delegates to the Constitutional Convention based on Senate Bill 77 (p. which provides that the 320 delegates should be apportioned among the existing representative districts according to the number of their respective inhabitants. Resolution No. they would have done so in so many words as they did in relation to the apportionment of the representative districts. the apportionment law. 6132 cannot possibly conflict with its own intent expressed therein. relied on by petitioner Gonzales. 6132 despite the fact that it has a population very much less than several other congressional districts. 2 of R.A.an unwieldy convention. and that Congress adopted the formula to effect a reasonable apportionment of delegates. granted more representatives to a province with less population than the provinces with more inhabitants. 5.. 1 of Res. If the framers of the present Constitution wanted the apportionment of delegates to the convention to be based on the number of inhabitants in each representative district. The Director of the Bureau of Census and Statistics himself. The impossibility of absolute proportional representation is recognized by the Constitution itself when it directs that the apportionment of congressional districts among the various provinces shall be "as nearly as may be according to their respective inhabitants.A. No.

" That the citizen does not have any inherent nor natural right to a public office. 6132 is a valid limitation on the right to public office pursuant to state police power as it is reasonable and not arbitrary. Art.) As observed by the Solicitor General in his Answer. 10. No other public officer possesses such a power. propose 49 . 1934 to February 8. and applies to all members of the same class. The State through its Constitution or legislative body. Also it is a brake on the appointing power. Not love for self. Consequently. The convention that framed the present Constitution finished its task in approximately seven months — from July 30. 1935. (Sec. The discrimination under Sec. 5. otherwise the several provisions of the new Constitution may only satisfy individual or special interests. The inhibition is likewise "designed to prevent popular political figures from controlling elections or positions. defines the liberties of the people." (p. can create an office and define the qualifications and disqualifications therefor as well as impose inhibitions on a public officer. subversive of the welfare of the general citizenry. by his appointing power. With the disqualification embodied in Sec. 5 disqualifies any elected delegate from running "for any public office in any election" or from assuming "any appointive office or position in any branch of the government government until after the final adjournment of the Constitutional Convention. the overriding objective of the challenged disqualification. 6132 is attacked on the ground that it is an undue deprivation of liberty without due process of law and denies the equal protection of the laws. his seat in the convention will be vacant and his constituents will be deprived of a voice in the convention. The obvious reason for the questioned inhibition. is germane to the purposes of the law. IV Sec. the delegate will not utilize his position as a bargaining leverage for concessions in the form of an elective or appointive office as long as the convention has not finally adjourned. 5 of R.A. As admitted by petitioner Gonzales. is axiomatic under our constitutional system. not even the members of Congress unless they themselves. for it is based on a substantial distinction which makes for real differences. to curtail the latter's desire to 'raid' the convention of "talents" or attempt to control the convention. 16. from being appointed to any civil office which may have been created or the emolument whereof shall have been increased while he was a member of the Congress. Said Sec. temporary in nature. 7 The function of a delegate is more far-reaching and its effect more enduring than that of any ordinary legislator or any other public officer. but love for country must always motivate his actuations as delegate.a reasonable apportionment but cannot effect an absolutely proportional representation with mathematical precision or exactitude. Phil. pursuant to their representation and commitment to the people.) Thus the challenged disqualification prescribed in Sec. only those with qualifications and who do not fall under any constitutional or statutory inhibition can be validly elected or appointed to a public office. entice votes for his own proposals. 5 against delegates to the Constitutional Convention is likewise constitutional. Constitution. party interest or vested interest and to insure that he dedicates all his time to performing solely in the interest of the nation his high and well nigh sacred function of formulating the supreme law of the land. VI. its basic organization and powers.A. is to immunize the delegates from the perverting influence of self-interest. is to compel the elected delegates to serve in full their term as such and to devote all their time to the convention. constitutional amendments cannot be changed in one or two years. A delegate shapes the fundamental law of the land which delineates the essential nature of the government. this inhibition finds analogy in the constitutional provision prohibiting a member of Congress. otherwise. Answer in L-32443. and controls all other laws. It should be stressed that the disqualification is not permanent but only temporary only to continue until the final adjournment of the convention which may not extend beyond one year. The appointing authority may. Unlike ordinary statutes. 5 of R. No. during the time for which he was elected. which may endure for generations and which cannot easily be changed like an ordinary statute.

No. 8(a) of R. The classification. therefore. 1970. 8(a) in its provisos permits the candidate to utilize in his campaign the help of the members of his family within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity. No. and a campaign staff composed of not more than one for every ten precincts in his district. 9 Paragraph 1 of Sec.A. material or otherwise. 1 of Sec. equal protection of the laws. freedom of assembly and freedom of association. political committee. Sec. favorable to or against his campaign for election. moral. 8(a). civic. the inhibition is relevant to the object of the law. or (b) allowing himself to be represented as being a candidate of any political party or any other organization. the disqualification applies to all the delegates to the convention who will be elected on the second Tuesday of November. 8 In said Gonzalez vs. The right of a member of any political party or association to support him or oppose his opponent is preserved as long as such member acts individually. because he cannot be denied any permit to hold a public meeting on the pretext that the provision of said section may or will be violated. free expression. any political party. or injustice. they are always subject to the pervasive and dormant police power of the State and may be lawfully abridged to serve appropriate and important public interests. The very Sec. Comelec case the Court applied the clear and present danger test to determine whether a statute which trenches upon the aforesaid Constitutional guarantees.A. is a legitimate exercise of police power. corruption. peaceful assembly. freedom of expressions. 6132 is impugned by both petitioners as violative of the constitutional guarantees of due process. Lastly. emotional or otherwise. It allows the full exercise of his freedom of expression and his right to peaceful assembly. 6132 prohibits: 1. and the right of association are neither absolute nor illimitable rights.constitutional amendments when acting as a Constituent Assembly pursuant to Art. R. any candidate for delegate to the convention (a) from representing. is guaranteed the right to disseminate information 50 . V Paragraph 1. As heretofore intimated. is neither whimsical nor repugnant to the sense of justice of the community. The very party or organization to which he may belong or which may be in sympathy with his cause or program of reforms. political group. religious. is confined to party or organization support or assistance. The ban against all political parties or organized groups of whatever nature contained in par. whether material. professional or other organizations or organized group of whatever nature from (a) intervening in the nomination of any such candidate or in the filing of his certificate. or (b) from giving aid or support directly or indirectly. greed. equal protection of the laws. XV of the Constitution. 8(a). This Court ruled last year that the guarantees of due process. and 2. which is to insure that the proposed amendments are meaningful to the masses of our people and not designed for the enhancement of selfishness.

(b) publishing or distributing campaign literature or materials. or political group to nominate candidates for any elective public office voted for at large earlier than one hundred and fifty days immediately preceding an election. meetings.. No. It is therefore patent that the restriction contained in Sec. Their scope of legitimate activities. this Court gave "due recognition to the legislative concern to cleanse. the debasement of the electoral process." 11 Even if the partisan activity consists of (a) forming organizations. Lorenzo Tañada. supra. pars. Likewise. or to arouse public interest in. who appeared as amicus curiae. thus: The prohibition of too early nomination of candidates presents a question that is not too formidable in character. as to render meaningless such a basic right. And it is therefore a valid infringement of the aforesaid constitutional guarantees invoked by petitioners. Comelec case. this Court likewise held that the period for the conduct of an election campaign or partisan political activity may be limited without offending the aforementioned constitutional guarantees as the same is designed also to prevent a "clear and present danger of a substantive evil. the curtailment is not such. or to advocate for constitutional reforms. (b) holding political conventions. No. rallies. soliciting. not merely in danger of happening. and likely to continue unless curbed or remedied. Comelec.. 4880.about. dishonesty and corruption 51 . political committee. however. "that such provisions were deemed by the legislative body to be part and parcel of the necessary and appropriate response not merely to a clear and present danger but to the actual existence of a grave and substantive evil of excessive partisanship. In the aforesaid case of Gonzales vs. 4880. and if possible.A. (b). We do so unanimously. According to the act: "It shall be unlawful for any political party. 50-A of R. committees or other group of persons for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a party or candidate. R. (c). associations. 8(a) is so narrow that the basic constitutional rights themselves remain substantially intact and inviolate. Sen. announcements or commentaries or holding interviews for or against the election of any party or candidate for public office. 13 The debasement of the electoral process as a substantive evil exists today and is one of the major compelling interests that moved Congress into prescribing the total ban contained in par. caucuses. conferences. Neither is there infringement of their freedom to assemble. and for any other elective public office earlier than ninety days immediately preceding an election. the electoral process. the legislative declaration that its enactment was in response to a serious substantive evil affecting the electoral process. 8(a) of R. because four members dissented. save this one. the abridgment was still affirmed as constitutional by six members of this Court. or receiving contributions for election campaign either directly or indirectly. (Sec. and (c) giving. (a). 1 of Sec. They can do so. programs. To assert otherwise would be to close one's eyes to the reality of the situation. to justify such ban.A. We sustain its validity. failed to muster the required eight votes to declare as unconstitutional the limitation on the period for (a) making speeches. 6132. 10 In said Gonzales vs. 50-B.A. Comelec. and (c). 50-B. supra." 12. clubs. Political parties have less freedom as to the time during which they may nominate candidates. No. policies or constitutional proposals for amendments.A. Comelec case. this Court in said case of Gonzales vs. pars. parades or other similar assemblies for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against any candidate or party. The right of association is affected. render spotless. 4880. In the said Gonzales vs. 4880). and (e) directly or indirectly soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against any candidate or party specified in Sec. this Court unanimously sustained the validity of the limitation on the period for nomination of candidates in Sec. but not for such a purpose." 14 impressed as it was by the explanation made by the author of R. is not unduly narrowed. (d) & (e) of R.A. which could not "ignore . but actually in existence.

Senator Tolentino and Senator Salonga emphasized that under this provision. Public welfare demands that the delegates should speak for the entire nation. Both Senators stressed that the independent candidate who wins in the election against a candidate of the major political parties. civic or professional in character. Art. be ignored or disregarded. 1 of Sec. eloquently stated that "the function of a constitution is not to represent anyone in interest or set of interests. 8 (a) likewise can easily pass the balancing-of-interest test. 8(a) of R. Because what is to be amended is the fundamental law of the land. Senator Tolentino emphasized that "equality of chances may be better attained by banning all organization support. of the political parties or organizations supporting his opponent. 16 The primary purpose of the prohibition then is also to avert the clear and present danger of another substantive evil. financial and otherwise.as well as violence that of late has marred election campaigns and partisan political activities in this country." 19 52 . We are not prepared to disagree with them. the basic motivation. and their voices be not those of a particular segment of the citizenry. No. This position is further strengthened by the principle that the guarantee of social justice under Sec. not to favor one group at the expense or disadvantage of the candidates — but to encompass all the interests that exist within our society and to blend them into one harmonious and balanced whole. for the reasons aforestated. is to assure the candidates equal protection of the laws by according them equality of chances. 1 of Sec. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Codes and Constitutional Amendments. because such a conclusion. and equality before the law enunciated by Mr. as conceded by Senator Pelaez." 18 The questioned par. In the apt words of the Solicitor General: It is to be noted that right now the nation is on the threshold of rewriting its Constitution in a hopeful endeavor to find a solution to the grave economic. Nor should the cure prescribed by it. The candidates must depend on their individual merits and not on the support of political parties or organizations. unless clearly repugnant to fundamental rights. the poor candidate has an even chance as against the rich candidate. the sponsor of the Puyat-Tolentino amendment embodied in par. but the harmonious balancing thereof. Rural Progress Administration. includes the guarantee of equal opportunity. not the predominance of interests. equality of political rights. He did invite our attention likewise to the well-settled doctrine that in the choice of remedies for an admitted malady requiring governmental action. For the constitutional system means.which ban is a valid limitation on the freedom of association as well as expression." 15 But aside from the clear and imminent danger of the debasement of the electoral process. One such act is the party or organization support proscribed in Sec. Justice Tuazon in the case Guido vs.A. finds support in our recent political history and experience. on the legislature primarily rests the responsibility. social and political problems besetting the country. 17 While it may be true that a party's support of a candidate is not wrong per se it is equally true that Congress in the exercise of its broad law-making authority can declare certain acts as mala prohibita when justified by the exigencies of the times. V. Instead of directly proposing the amendments Congress has chosen to call a Constitutional Convention which shall have the task of fashioning a document that shall embody the aspirations and ideals of the people. the denial of the equal protection of the laws. Senator Pelaez. or of a particular class or group of people. political. II of the Constitution. 8(a). according to Senate Majority Floor Leader Senator Arturo Tolentino. predicated as it is on empirical logic. 6132. is a rare phenomenon in this country and the victory of an independent candidate mainly rests on his ability to match the resources. it is indispensable that the Constitutional Convention be composed of delegates truly representative of the people's will. be they religious.

or professional associations. Moreover. who advocates the reforms that these organizations champion and believe are imperative. the area commanders. which. religious or economic interest and not of the great majority of the people. I of Sec. despite the fact that the Constitution and by laws of such civic. Impressed as We are by the eloquent and masterly exposition of Senator Tañada for the invalidation of par. This. Senator Ganzon stressed that "without the group moving and working in joint collective effort" they cannot "exercise effective control and supervision over our leaders — the Women's League. the individual candidate who is without any organization support. country and conscience. to that extent it partakes of the nature of a political organization. A person may run independently on his own merits without need of catering to a political party or any other association for support. This is admitted by petitioner Gonzales thru the letter of Senator Ganzon dated August 17. but with their joining with the LP's they "could have presented a solid front with very bright chances of capturing all seats. The political parties and the other organized groups have built-in advantages because of their machinery and other facilities. this ban is to assure equal chances to a candidate with talent and imbued with patriotism as well as nobility of purpose. 20 We likewise concur with the Solicitor General that the equal protection of the laws is not unduly subverted in par. because it does not create any hostile discrimination against any party or group nor does it confer undue favor or privilege on an individual as heretofore stated. so that the country can utilize their services if elected. beholden to no one but to God. The ban is germane to the objectives of the law. No. 1970 attached to his petition as Annex "D". The discrimination applies to all organizations. 8(a) of R.A. Such delegates could very well be the spokesmen of narrow political. does not have. which the law seeks to prevent lies in the election of delegates who. it is necessary that the delegatee thereto be independent. does not vary the situation. as much as the candidate whose candidacy does not evoke sympathy from any political party or organized group. whether political parties or social. because it still has that much built-in advantage as against the individual candidate without similar support. because then by such exemption they would be free to utilize the facilities of the campaign machineries which they are denying to the political parties." The civic associations other than political parties cannot with reason insist that they should be exempted from the ban. as in this campaign for election of delegates to the Constitutional Convention. demonstrating once again his deep concern for the preservation of 53 . they must likewise respect the ban. these civic religious and professional organization may band together to support common candidates. must be afforded equal chances. The freedom of association also implies the liberty not to associate or join with others or join any existing organization. The fact that the other civic of religious organizations cannot have a campaign machinery as efficient as that of a political party. religious.So that the purpose for calling the Constitutional Convention will not be deflated or frustrated. wherein the Senator stated that his own "Timawa" group had agreed with the Liberal Party in Iloilo to support petitioner Gonzales and two others as their candidates for the convention. and to attain real equality of chances among individual candidates and thereby make real the guarantee of equal protection of the laws. And he. religious. etc. 1 of Sec. because they have been chosen with the aid and resources of organizations. or professional associations usually prohibit the association from engaging in partisan political activity or supporting any candidate for an elective office. 6132. 8(a). which organized support is nullified by the questioned ban. which are to avert the debasement of the electoral process. Whenever all organization engages in a political activity. Hence. civic. cannot be expected to be sufficiently representative of the people. As emphasized by Senators Tolentino and Salonga.". xxx xxx xxx The evil therefore.

has much to recommend it. This particular freedom has an indigenous cast. 6132 including Secs." 5 Thus is 54 . I find it difficult to reconcile the decision reached insofar as the aforesaid ban on political parties and civic. its origin being traceable to the Malolos Constitution.B." 1 It is with regret then that I dissent from that portion of the decision. professional. 4. I concur. in 1965. for five years earlier the American Supreme Court had already declared: "It is beyond debate that freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the "liberty" [embraced in] freedom of speech. Justice Douglas as. J. In the United States. I find difficulty. that it is primarily the First Amendment of her Constitution. Separate Opinions FERNANDO. concurs in the result. concurring and dissenting: The opinion of Justice Makasiar speaking for the Court. J. the prayers in both petitions are hereby denied and R.L.. 5. and while it is not extremely included in the First Amendment its existence is necessary in making the express guarantees fully meaningful. in the absence of an explicit provision of such character. cannot be declared unconstitutional.our civil liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights.." 3 Such is indeed the case. Dizon and Castro. persuasive in character and lucid in expression. however. J. J.A. Without costs. material or otherwise. Association in that context is a form of expression of opinion. thereof. professional and other organizations is concerned with the explicit provision that the freedom to form associations or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged. of assembly and of petition "that provides [associations] with the protection they need if they are to remain viable and continue to contribute to our Free Society. JJ.. 1. 2. which safeguards freedom of speech and of the press. comprehensive in scope. in accepting the conclusion that there is no basis for the challenge hurled against the validity of this provision: "No candidate 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. WHEREFORE. political group. Makalintal. and no political party. favorable to or against his campaign for election: . On the whole. Teehankee. it is the view of Justice Douglas.. and 8(a). in a 1963 article. civic.. religious. No. We are not persuaded to entertain the belief that the challenged ban transcends the limits of constitutional invasion of such cherished immunities. political committee. is on leave. or other organization or organized group of whatever nature 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." 4 Not long after.. Reyes. concur. spokesman for the American Supreme Court could elaborate further on the scope of the right of association as including "the right to express one's attitudes or philosophies by membership in a group or by affiliation with it or by other lawful means. 2 The right of an individual to join others of a like persuasion to pursue common objectives and to engage in activities is embraced within if not actually encouraged by the regime of liberty ordained by the Constitution.. paragraph 1.

if there is a clear and present danger of a substantive evil that would justify a limitation on such cherished freedoms. The infirmity of the ban is thus apparent on its face. There is much to be said for the point emphatically stressed by Senator Lorenzo M. that what the constitutional provisions in question allow." " 10 The majority of the Court would find the existence of a clear and present danger of debasing the electoral process. to support or oppose any candidate for delegate to the Constitutional Convention. It is in the light of the above fundamental postulates that I find merit in the plea of petitioners to annul the challenged provision. to the effect that there is nothing unlawful in a candidate for delegate to the Convention representing or allowing himself to be represented as such of any political party or any other organization as well as of such political party. 9 As repression is permissible only when the danger of substantive evil is present is explained by Justice Branders thus: . to avert the evil by the processes of education. political group. The assumption would. Tañada. "the matrix. For him the apprehended evil must be "relatively serious." It received its original formulation from Holmes." Justice Black would go further. the indispensable condition of nearly every other form of freedom. I find myself unable to share such a view. of course. for Justice Cardozo. or arouse public interest in. or to advocate constitutional reforms. professional or other organization or organized group intervening in his nomination. The Convention might not be able to live up to the high hopes entertained for an improvement of the fundamental law. 3. trade organizations or organized groups of whatever nature to disseminate information about. not enforced silence. religious. as they are precluded by the very same Act from giving aid or support precisely to the very individuals who can carry out whatever constitutional reforms. policies or proposals for amendment they might advocate. civic. 55 .. favorable to or against his campaign for election as such delegate. except at those extreme borders where thought merges into action. It would be a different matter. the forthcoming Constitutional Convention. the conviction I entertain as to its lack of validity is further strengthened and fortified. With due respect. directly or indirectly. or giving aid or support. appear to be that there is a clear and present danger of a grave substantive evil of partisanship running riot unless political parties are thus restrained. He would require that the substantive evil be "extremely serious. I find the conclusion inescapabe therefore. the remedy to be applied is more speech. to my mind. and no prohibition contained herein shall limit or curtail the right of their members. There would be a sacrifice then of the national interest involved. in the filing of his certificate of candidacy.. more specifically the right to form associations. is prohibited. programs. Thus: "The question in every case is whether the words used in such circumstances are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent. professional. political. political committee." 8 It is regrettable that such an explicit recognition of what cannot be forbidden consistently with the constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression and freedom of association falls short of according full respect to what is thus commanded. by the fundamental law. we will not have a Convention truly responsive to the needs of the hour and of the future insofar as they may be anticipated. policies or proposals for amendment of the present Constitution. The final proviso in the same section of the Act forbids any construction that would in any wise "impair or abridge the freedom of civic. is at once the instrument" and the guarantee and the bright consummate flower of all liberty" 6 and. Commission on Elections. It would appear though that what prompted such a ban is to assure that the present majority party would not continue to play its dominant role in the political life of the nation." 7 2. for Justice Laurel." Only thus may there be a realization of the ideal envisioned by Cardozo: "There shall be no compromise of the freedom to think one's thoughts and speak them. as long as they act individually. the evil apprehended is to imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies. material or otherwise. Reference has been made to Gonzales v. as amicus curiae." For "[prohibition] of free speech and assembly is a measure so stringent that it would be inappropriate as the means for averting a relatively trivial harm to society. another avenue of approach that leads to the same conclusion. religious. The thought is entertained that otherwise. There is. programs. It is a question of proximity and degree.further vitalized freedom of expression which. As thus viewed.

Moreover. an illusion like a munificent bequest in a pauper's will. 56 . that a candidate thus favored is sure of emerging the victor. too. political parties or political groups are to be denied the opportunity of launching the candidacy of their choice. by their election. such a ban is called for. is it not in keeping with the rights to intellectual freedom so sedulously safeguarded by the Constitution to remove all obstacles to organized civic groups making their influence felt in the task of constitution framing. a flagrant disregard of what the Constitution ordains is minimized. Then. to anyone running for the Convention. Therein lies the security of the Republic. to the end that government may be responsive to the will of the people and that changes. appearing as amicus curiae. A desirable end cannot be coerced by unconstitutional means. it may not be altogether unrealistic to consider the practical effects of the ban as thus worded as not lacking in effectivity insofar as civic. the more imperative is the need to preserve inviolate the constitutional rights of free speech. could translate into actuality their hopes for the fundamental law that the times demand. the presidency was won by the opposition candidate. Well has it been said by Chief Justice Hughes: "The greater the importance of safeguarding the community from incitements to the overthrow of our institutions by force and violence. The high hopes entertained by the articulate and vocal groups of young people. 4. so I am led to believe to assume that inevitably the prevailing dominant political party would continue its ascendancy in the coming Convention. It could very well happen. There is thus no assurance that the mere identification with party labels would automatically insure the success of a candidacy. but not necessarily so in the case of political party. assuming the strength of political parties. Nor can it be successfully argued that the judiciary should display reluctance in extending sympathy and understanding to such legislative determination. Nor it the fear that organizations could hastily be assembled or put up to camouflage their true colors as satellites of the political parties be valid. For me then the danger of a substantive evil is neither clear nor present. the Constitution must still be paid deference. religious. From such a source. There is. It is not easy to yield assent to the proposition that on a matter so essentially political as the amendment or revision of an existing Constitution. What causes me grave concern is that to guard against such undesirable eventuality. political group or political committee. Moreover. What is thus sought to be accomplished to guard against the evil of party spirit prevailing could very well be doomed to futility. Moreover. directly or indirectly material or otherwise. in national elections for senators alone. This is merely to stress that however worthwhile the objective. free press and free assembly in order to maintain the opportunity for free political discussion. if desired. professional or other organizations or organized group is concerned. that of 1951. in their individual capacity. may not be realized. saw a complete sweep of the field by the then minority party. could continue to assert their influence. This is not to deny the wide latitude as to the choice of means vested in Congress to attain a desirable goal. this is to lose sight of the fact that in the national elections of 1946. which may not even come to pass. moreover. in not a few cases. to mention only one instance. It would be unjustifiable.To my mind. The result would be that this unorthodox and novel provision could assume the character of a tease." 11 It is to carry this essential process one step farther to recognize and to implement the right of every political party or group to select the candidates who. professional or any other organization or organized group of whatever nature to field its own candidates or give aid or support. The electorate can see through such schemes and can emphatically register its reaction. 1953. then. the very foundation of constitutional government. make their wishes prevail. intellectuals and workers. may be obtained by peaceful means. There is the commendable admission by Senator Tolentino. 1961 and 1965. the result of the plebiscite in the two proposed amendments in 1967 indicate unmistakably that the people can. if so minded. still no such danger is presented by allowing civil. the result of which has momentuous implications for the nation? What is decisive of this aspect of the matter is not the character of the association or organized group as such but the essentially political activity thus carried out. Even if it be assumed that to guard against the evils of party spirit carried to excess. the further safeguard that whatever work the Convention may propose is ultimately subject to popular ratification. that the political leaders of stature. no such misgivings or apprehension need arise.

13 A corollary to the above limitation. whether or not a political party or political committee. conferences. to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity except during the above periods successfully hurdled. I am far from being persuaded that to preclude political parties or other groups or associations from lending aid and support to the candidates of men in whom they can repose their trust is consistent with the constitutional rights of freedom of association and freedom of expression. or receiving a contribution for election campaign purposes. from this mode of viewing the matter. although the restrictions as to the making of speeches. is that definite acts short of preventing the political parties from the choice of their candidates and thereafter working for them in effect were considered by this Court as not violative of the constitutional freedoms of speech. of assembly and of association. concur. the constitutional test. the outcome might belie expectations. Concepcion.. Insofar as election campaign or partisan political activity would limit or restrict the formation. concurring and dissenting: 57 . Commission on Elections which already was indicative of the cautious and hesitant judicial approach to lending its approval to what otherwise are invasions of vital constitutional safeguards to freedoms of belief. soliciting. Congress trespassing on a field hitherto rightfully assumed to be within the sphere of liberty. directly or indirectly. What survived the test of constitutional validity in that case. cautions against the affixing of the imprimatur of judicial approval to the challenged provision. C. rallies. four members of this Court unable to discern any constitutional infirmity as against the free speech guarantee. Thus. the giving. parades or other similar assemblies. thus resulting in failing to muster the necessary two-thirds majority for a declaration of invalidity. What emerges clearly. It is one thing to encourage a fresh and untried solution to a problem of gravity when the probability of its success may be assumed. whether or not a voter or candidate. J. Here. 5. this is to enter a forbidden domain. meetings. JJ. then. of organizations. survived by the narrow margin of one vote. goes much farther. The challenged provision in these two petitions. to my mind. or for any group or association of persons. Considering the well-settled principle that even though the governmental process be legitimate and substantial. and of association lends support to the decision reached by the majority insofar as this challenged provision is concerned. Villamor and Zaldivar. clubs. a radical approach to a problem possibly tainted with constitutional infirmity cannot hurdle the judicial test as to its validity. committees or other groups of persons for the purpose of soliciting votes or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a party or candidate or. when as in this case. the provision making it unlawful for any person. then. Political parties or any other organization or organized group are precluded from selecting and supporting candidates for delegates to the Constitutional Convention. either directly or indirectly as well as the holding of political conventions. is the prohibition for any political party. I am authorized to state that the Chief Justice is in agreement with the views herein expressed. political committee or political group to nominate candidates for any elective public office voted for at large earlier than 150 days immediately preceding election and for any other public office earlier than 90 days immediately preceding such election. associations. with the Court unanimous in its opinion. I am unable to conclude that our previous decision in Gonzales v.If such an appraisal is not unjustifiably tinged with pessimism. Hence my inability to subscribe in its entirety to the opinion of the Court. To my mind. magnified by the probability that the result would be the failure and not success of the statutory scheme.J. of press.. a minority thereof voted. Comelec 12 does not compel the conclusion reached by the majority sustaining the validity of this challenged provision. for their unconstitutionality. it would follow that the holding of this Court in Gonzales v. if the end can be narrowly achieved.. they cannot be pursued by means that broadly stifle fundamental personal liberties. so clear and manifest as to be offensive to constitutional standards. It is an entirely different matter to cut down the exercise of what otherwise are undeniable constitutional rights. announcements or commentaries or holding interviews for or against the election of any party or candidate for public office or the publishing or distributing of campaign literature or materials or the solicitation or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against any candidate or party. only five members of this Court. of expression. Necessarily then. with a similar and in view. the danger of overbreadth. caucuses. however. BARREDO.

R. to sustain the validity of the provisions of Republic Act 6132 impugned by petitioners in these cases. The only insurance of the people against political parties which may be inclined towards the Establishment and the status quo is to organize themselves to gain much needed strength and effectivity. insofar as civic or non-political organizations are concerned. 1969 and for the reasons therein stated. of course." I reserve my right to expand this explanation of my vote in the next few days. understood that this opinion is based on my considered view. assembly and speech involved in the ban on political parties to nominate and support their own candidates. Both men and issues are important. in concurrence with the majority. Nos. rights and liberties of all the people of this country most effectively. each of them alone is insignificant. counting of the votes and canvassing of the results can overcome the advantages of candidates more or less connected with political parties. I maintain that the right of suffrage which is the cornerstone of any democracy like ours is meaningless when the right to campaign in any election therein is unreasonably and unnecessarily curtailed. As I see it. for after all. groups or circumstances. cannot have any chance of support and final adoption.R. the said ban. similarly as in the use of platforms by political parties. pervasively and permanently. restrained or hampered. as is being done under the statute in dispute. is a deceptive device to preserve the built-in advantages of political parties while at the same time crippling completely the other kinds of associations. Precisely because the issues in this election of candidates are of paramount importance second to none. no matter how valid. No. The only way to accomplish the purported objective of the law of equalizing the forces that will campaign in behalf of the candidates to the constitutional convention is to maintain said ban only as against political parties. particularly the major and established ones. contrary to that of the majority. except Section 4 and the portion of Section 8(a) referring to political parties. Neither the elaborate provisions of Republic Act 6132 regarding methods of campaign nor its other provisions intended to minimize the participation of political parties in the electorate processes of voting. I hold that the considerations which take the restraint on the freedoms of association. April 18. the individual candidates who have never had any political party connections or very little of it would be at an obvious disadvantage unless they are allowed to seek and use the aid of civic organizations. Comelec. Consistently with my separate opinion in the case of Gonzales and Cabigao vs. only the activities and manners of operation of these parties and/or some of their members have made necessary the imposition thereof. As regards Section 4. it is imperative that all of the freedoms enshrined in the constitution should have the ampliest recognition for those who are minded to actively battle for them and any attempt to curtail them would endanger the very purposes for which a new constitutional convention has been conceived. It is axiomatic that issues. Under the resulting set up embodied in the provision in question. I vote. and the only way to relate them is by organization. To deny them this right is to stifle the people's only opportunity for change. The issues involved in the coming elections are grave and fundamental ones that are bound to affect the lives. but unrelated to each other. It is. if not related to particular candidates in an organized way. G. L-32436 and L-32439) With respect to Section 8(a). I reiterate my separate opinion in the cases of Subido and others.Without prejudice to a more extended opinion. that as Section 8(a) stands and taking into account its genesis. the ban against political parties is separable from that against other associations within the contemplation of Section 21 of the Act which expressly refers to the separability of the application thereof to any "persons. reasonable and within the limits of the Constitution do not obtain when it comes to civic or non-political organizations. L27833. 58 . (G. as long as the right to form other associations and the right of these associations to campaign for their candidates are denied considering particularly the shortness of the time that is left between now and election day.

that it is primarily the First Amendment of her Constitution. civic. the forthcoming Constitutional Convention." 3 Such is indeed the case. however. 2 The right of an individual to join others of a like persuasion to pursue common objectives and to engage in activities is embraced within if not actually encouraged by the regime of liberty ordained by the Constitution. the indispensable condition of nearly every other form of freedom. persuasive in character and lucid in expression. comprehensive in scope. professional and other organizations is concerned with the explicit provision that the freedom to form associations or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged. political. in accepting the conclusion that there is no basis for the challenge hurled against the validity of this provision: "No candidate 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. as long 59 . favorable to or against his campaign for election: .. The final proviso in the same section of the Act forbids any construction that would in any wise "impair or abridge the freedom of civic. I find it difficult to reconcile the decision reached insofar as the aforesaid ban on political parties and civic. Association in that context is a form of expression of opinion. for five years earlier the American Supreme Court had already declared: "It is beyond debate that freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the "liberty" [embraced in] freedom of speech. is prohibited. in the absence of an explicit provision of such character. religious. professional." 4 Not long after. is at once the instrument" and the guarantee and the bright consummate flower of all liberty" 6 and. religious. material or otherwise. In the United States. political committee. more specifically the right to form associations. professional or other organization or organized group intervening in his nomination. in the filing of his certificate of candidacy. political group. it is the view of Justice Douglas. This particular freedom has an indigenous cast. or to advocate constitutional reforms. to my mind. programs. I find difficulty. 1. or other organization or organized group of whatever nature 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. I concur. "the matrix. another avenue of approach that leads to the same conclusion. J. professional. favorable to or against his campaign for election as such delegate. It is in the light of the above fundamental postulates that I find merit in the plea of petitioners to annul the challenged provision. policies or proposals for amendment of the present Constitution. to the effect that there is nothing unlawful in a candidate for delegate to the Convention representing or allowing himself to be represented as such of any political party or any other organization as well as of such political party. There is much to be said for the point emphatically stressed by Senator Lorenzo M. as amicus curiae. in 1965.. that what the constitutional provisions in question allow. its origin being traceable to the Malolos Constitution. directly or indirectly." 1 It is with regret then that I dissent from that portion of the decision. and no prohibition contained herein shall limit or curtail the right of their members. for Justice Laurel. On the whole. and while it is not extremely included in the First Amendment its existence is necessary in making the express guarantees fully meaningful. of assembly and of petition "that provides [associations] with the protection they need if they are to remain viable and continue to contribute to our Free Society. I find the conclusion inescapabe therefore. trade organizations or organized groups of whatever nature to disseminate information about. religious. Justice Douglas as." 7 2. spokesman for the American Supreme Court could elaborate further on the scope of the right of association as including "the right to express one's attitudes or philosophies by membership in a group or by affiliation with it or by other lawful means. which safeguards freedom of speech and of the press. and no political party. in a 1963 article. Tañada.. concurring and dissenting: The opinion of Justice Makasiar speaking for the Court. There is. civic. material or otherwise. political group. or arouse public interest in. The infirmity of the ban is thus apparent on its face." 5 Thus is further vitalized freedom of expression which. for Justice Cardozo. political committee. or giving aid or support.# Separate Opinions FERNANDO. has much to recommend it.

the further safeguard that whatever work the Convention may propose is ultimately subject to popular ratification. The assumption would. appear to be that there is a clear and present danger of a grave substantive evil of partisanship running riot unless political parties are thus restrained. still no such danger is presented by allowing civil. too. if so minded. 1961 and 1965. as they are precluded by the very same Act from giving aid or support precisely to the very individuals who can carry out whatever constitutional reforms. For me then the danger of a substantive evil is neither clear nor present.." For "[prohibition] of free speech and assembly is a measure so stringent that it would be inappropriate as the means for averting a relatively trivial harm to society. no such misgivings or apprehension need arise. policies or proposals for amendment they might advocate." Justice Black would go further. to anyone running for the Convention. programs. There is. Commission on Elections. Reference has been made to Gonzales v. Moreover." Only thus may there be a realization of the ideal envisioned by Cardozo: "There shall be no compromise of the freedom to think one's thoughts and speak them. Then. To my mind. 3. For him the apprehended evil must be "relatively serious." It received its original formulation from Holmes. in national elections for senators alone. professional or any other organization or organized group of whatever nature to field its own candidates or give aid or support. the evil apprehended is to imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. Thus: "The question in every case is whether the words used in such circumstances are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent. There would be a sacrifice then of the national interest involved. moreover. saw a complete sweep of the field by the then minority party. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies.as they act individually. From such a source. this is to lose sight of the fact that in the national elections of 1946. As thus viewed. except at those extreme borders where thought merges into action. The electorate can see through such schemes and can emphatically register its reaction. With due respect. make their wishes prevail. It would appear though that what prompted such a ban is to assure that the present majority party would not continue to play its dominant role in the political life of the nation. the remedy to be applied is more speech. we will not have a Convention truly responsive to the needs of the hour and of the future insofar as they may be anticipated. to mention only one instance. 60 . the conviction I entertain as to its lack of validity is further strengthened and fortified. He would require that the substantive evil be "extremely serious. The thought is entertained that otherwise. so I am led to believe to assume that inevitably the prevailing dominant political party would continue its ascendancy in the coming Convention. by the fundamental law. It is a question of proximity and degree. directly or indirectly material or otherwise. What causes me grave concern is that to guard against such undesirable eventuality. A desirable end cannot be coerced by unconstitutional means. the presidency was won by the opposition candidate. if there is a clear and present danger of a substantive evil that would justify a limitation on such cherished freedoms. not enforced silence." 8 It is regrettable that such an explicit recognition of what cannot be forbidden consistently with the constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression and freedom of association falls short of according full respect to what is thus commanded. that of 1951. It would be unjustifiable. There is thus no assurance that the mere identification with party labels would automatically insure the success of a candidacy. which may not even come to pass. Nor it the fear that organizations could hastily be assembled or put up to camouflage their true colors as satellites of the political parties be valid." " 10 The majority of the Court would find the existence of a clear and present danger of debasing the electoral process. to avert the evil by the processes of education. The Convention might not be able to live up to the high hopes entertained for an improvement of the fundamental law. 9 As repression is permissible only when the danger of substantive evil is present is explained by Justice Branders thus: .. 1953. I find myself unable to share such a view. Even if it be assumed that to guard against the evils of party spirit carried to excess. such a ban is called for. of course. the result of the plebiscite in the two proposed amendments in 1967 indicate unmistakably that the people can. a flagrant disregard of what the Constitution ordains is minimized. to support or oppose any candidate for delegate to the Constitutional Convention. It would be a different matter.

4. It is not easy to yield assent to the proposition that on a matter so essentially political as the amendment or revision of an existing Constitution, political parties or political groups are to be denied the opportunity of launching the candidacy of their choice. Well has it been said by Chief Justice Hughes: "The greater the importance of safeguarding the community from incitements to the overthrow of our institutions by force and violence, the more imperative is the need to preserve inviolate the constitutional rights of free speech, free press and free assembly in order to maintain the opportunity for free political discussion, to the end that government may be responsive to the will of the people and that changes, if desired, may be obtained by peaceful means. Therein lies the security of the Republic, the very foundation of constitutional government." 11 It is to carry this essential process one step farther to recognize and to implement the right of every political party or group to select the candidates who, by their election, could translate into actuality their hopes for the fundamental law that the times demand. Moreover, is it not in keeping with the rights to intellectual freedom so sedulously safeguarded by the Constitution to remove all obstacles to organized civic groups making their influence felt in the task of constitution framing, the result of which has momentuous implications for the nation? What is decisive of this aspect of the matter is not the character of the association or organized group as such but the essentially political activity thus carried out. This is not to deny the wide latitude as to the choice of means vested in Congress to attain a desirable goal. Nor can it be successfully argued that the judiciary should display reluctance in extending sympathy and understanding to such legislative determination. This is merely to stress that however worthwhile the objective, the Constitution must still be paid deference. Moreover, it may not be altogether unrealistic to consider the practical effects of the ban as thus worded as not lacking in effectivity insofar as civic, religious, professional or other organizations or organized group is concerned, but not necessarily so in the case of political party, political group or political committee. There is the commendable admission by Senator Tolentino, appearing as amicus curiae, that the political leaders of stature, in their individual capacity, could continue to assert their influence. It could very well happen, then, in not a few cases, assuming the strength of political parties, that a candidate thus favored is sure of emerging the victor. What is thus sought to be accomplished to guard against the evil of party spirit prevailing could very well be doomed to futility. The high hopes entertained by the articulate and vocal groups of young people, intellectuals and workers, may not be realized. The result would be that this unorthodox and novel provision could assume the character of a tease, an illusion like a munificent bequest in a pauper's will. If such an appraisal is not unjustifiably tinged with pessimism, then, to my mind, a radical approach to a problem possibly tainted with constitutional infirmity cannot hurdle the judicial test as to its validity. It is one thing to encourage a fresh and untried solution to a problem of gravity when the probability of its success may be assumed. It is an entirely different matter to cut down the exercise of what otherwise are undeniable constitutional rights, when as in this case, the outcome might belie expectations. Considering the well-settled principle that even though the governmental process be legitimate and substantial, they cannot be pursued by means that broadly stifle fundamental personal liberties, if the end can be narrowly achieved, I am far from being persuaded that to preclude political parties or other groups or associations from lending aid and support to the candidates of men in whom they can repose their trust is consistent with the constitutional rights of freedom of association and freedom of expression. Here, the danger of overbreadth, so clear and manifest as to be offensive to constitutional standards, magnified by the probability that the result would be the failure and not success of the statutory scheme, cautions against the affixing of the imprimatur of judicial approval to the challenged provision. 5. Necessarily then, from this mode of viewing the matter, it would follow that the holding of this Court in Gonzales v. Comelec 12 does not compel the conclusion reached by the majority sustaining the validity of this challenged provision. What survived the test of constitutional validity in that case, with the Court unanimous in its opinion, is the prohibition for any political party, political committee or political group to nominate candidates for any elective public office voted for at large earlier than 150 days immediately preceding election and for any other public office earlier than 90 days immediately preceding such election. 13 A corollary to the above limitation, the provision making it unlawful for any person, whether or not a voter or candidate, or for any group or association of persons, whether or not a political party or political committee, to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity except during the above periods successfully hurdled, the constitutional test, although the restrictions as to the making of

61

speeches, announcements or commentaries or holding interviews for or against the election of any party or candidate for public office or the publishing or distributing of campaign literature or materials or the solicitation or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against any candidate or party, directly or indirectly, survived by the narrow margin of one vote, four members of this Court unable to discern any constitutional infirmity as against the free speech guarantee, thus resulting in failing to muster the necessary two-thirds majority for a declaration of invalidity. Insofar as election campaign or partisan political activity would limit or restrict the formation, of organizations, associations, clubs, committees or other groups of persons for the purpose of soliciting votes or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a party or candidate or, the giving, soliciting, or receiving a contribution for election campaign purposes, either directly or indirectly as well as the holding of political conventions, caucuses, conferences, meetings, rallies, parades or other similar assemblies, with a similar and in view, only five members of this Court, a minority thereof voted, for their unconstitutionality. What emerges clearly, then, is that definite acts short of preventing the political parties from the choice of their candidates and thereafter working for them in effect were considered by this Court as not violative of the constitutional freedoms of speech, of press, of assembly and of association. The challenged provision in these two petitions, however, goes much farther. Political parties or any other organization or organized group are precluded from selecting and supporting candidates for delegates to the Constitutional Convention. To my mind, this is to enter a forbidden domain, Congress trespassing on a field hitherto rightfully assumed to be within the sphere of liberty. Thus, I am unable to conclude that our previous decision in Gonzales v. Commission on Elections which already was indicative of the cautious and hesitant judicial approach to lending its approval to what otherwise are invasions of vital constitutional safeguards to freedoms of belief, of expression, and of association lends support to the decision reached by the majority insofar as this challenged provision is concerned. Hence my inability to subscribe in its entirety to the opinion of the Court. I am authorized to state that the Chief Justice is in agreement with the views herein expressed. Concepcion, C.J., Villamor and Zaldivar, JJ., concur. BARREDO, J., concurring and dissenting: Without prejudice to a more extended opinion, I vote, in concurrence with the majority, to sustain the validity of the provisions of Republic Act 6132 impugned by petitioners in these cases, except Section 4 and the portion of Section 8(a) referring to political parties. As regards Section 4, I reiterate my separate opinion in the cases of Subido and others. (G.R. Nos. L-32436 and L-32439) With respect to Section 8(a), I hold that the considerations which take the restraint on the freedoms of association, assembly and speech involved in the ban on political parties to nominate and support their own candidates, reasonable and within the limits of the Constitution do not obtain when it comes to civic or non-political organizations. As I see it, the said ban, insofar as civic or non-political organizations are concerned, is a deceptive device to preserve the built-in advantages of political parties while at the same time crippling completely the other kinds of associations. The only way to accomplish the purported objective of the law of equalizing the forces that will campaign in behalf of the candidates to the constitutional convention is to maintain said ban only as against political parties, for after all, only the activities and manners of operation of these parties and/or some of their members have made necessary the imposition thereof. Under the resulting set up embodied in the provision in question, the individual candidates who have never had any political party connections or very little of it would be at an obvious disadvantage unless they are allowed to seek and use the aid of civic organizations. Neither the elaborate provisions of Republic Act 6132 regarding methods of campaign nor its other provisions intended to minimize the participation of political parties in the electorate processes of voting, counting of the votes and canvassing of the results can overcome the advantages of candidates more or less connected with political parties, particularly the major and established ones, as long as the right to form other associations and the right of these associations to campaign for their candidates are denied considering particularly the shortness of the time that is left between now and election day.

62

The issues involved in the coming elections are grave and fundamental ones that are bound to affect the lives, rights and liberties of all the people of this country most effectively, pervasively and permanently. The only insurance of the people against political parties which may be inclined towards the Establishment and the status quo is to organize themselves to gain much needed strength and effectivity. To deny them this right is to stifle the people's only opportunity for change. It is axiomatic that issues, no matter how valid, if not related to particular candidates in an organized way, similarly as in the use of platforms by political parties, cannot have any chance of support and final adoption. Both men and issues are important, but unrelated to each other, each of them alone is insignificant, and the only way to relate them is by organization. Precisely because the issues in this election of candidates are of paramount importance second to none, it is imperative that all of the freedoms enshrined in the constitution should have the ampliest recognition for those who are minded to actively battle for them and any attempt to curtail them would endanger the very purposes for which a new constitutional convention has been conceived. Consistently with my separate opinion in the case of Gonzales and Cabigao vs. Comelec, G.R. No. L27833, April 18, 1969 and for the reasons therein stated, I maintain that the right of suffrage which is the cornerstone of any democracy like ours is meaningless when the right to campaign in any election therein is unreasonably and unnecessarily curtailed, restrained or hampered, as is being done under the statute in dispute. It is, of course, understood that this opinion is based on my considered view, contrary to that of the majority, that as Section 8(a) stands and taking into account its genesis, the ban against political parties is separable from that against other associations within the contemplation of Section 21 of the Act which expressly refers to the separability of the application thereof to any "persons, groups or circumstances." I reserve my right to expand this explanation of my vote in the next few days. # Footnotes 1 Sec. 1 of Res. No. 4. 2 Sec. 3, Res. No. 4. 3 Sec. 22, R.A. No. 6132. 4 Abelardo Subido vs. Comelec, in re validity of Sec. 4 and Sec. 8(a) par. 2, R.A. 6132, G.R. No. L-32436, and In the matter of the petition for declaratory relief re validity and constitutionality of Sec. 4, R.A. 6132, Hon. Guardson Lood, Judge, CFI, Pasig, Rizal et al., petitioners, G.R. No. L-32439, Sept. 9, 1970. 5 Sec. 5, Art. VI, Constitution. 6 Macias et al. vs. Comelec, G. R. No. L-18684, Sept. 14, 1961.. 7 People vs. Vera, 65 Phil. 56; People vs. Solon, G.R. No. L-14864, Nov. 23, 1960. 8 See Gonzales vs. Comelec, L-27833, April 18, 1969; Vol. 27, SCRA, p. 835, 858 et seq.; Justice Douglas in Elfbrandt v. Russel, 384 US 11, 18-19, 1966. 9 27 SCRA, pp. 860-861. 10 27 SCRA, p. 865.

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11 27 SCRA, p. 869. 12 27 SCRA, pp. 864-865, 868. 13 27 SCRA, pp. 869-870. 14 27 SCRA, p. 873. 15 27 SCRA, p. 872. 16 See his sponsorship speech of July 20, 1970. 17 84 Phil. 847, 852. 18 See his sponsorship speech on July 20, 1970. 19 See Justice Castro's separate opinion in Gonzales vs. Comelec, supra, 27 SCRA, pp. 898899 citing American Communications Association vs. Douds, 339 U.S. 383, 94 L. Ed., 925, 9437. 20 Pp. 4-5, 12, Answer in L-32432. FERNANDO, J., concurring and dissenting: 1 Sec. 8(a), Republic Act No. 6132 (1970). 2 The Constitution provides: "The right to form associations or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged." Art. III, Sec. 1, par. 6. 3 Douglas, The Right of Association, 63 Col. Law Rev. 1363 (1963). 4 NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Patterson, 357 US 449, 460 (1958) per Harlan, J. Cf. Bates v. Little Rock, 361 US 516 (1960); Shelton v. Tucker, 364 US 479. (1960); Louisiana ex rel. Gremillon v. NAACP, 366 US. 293 (1961); Communist Party v. Subversive Activities Control Board, 367 US 1 (1961); Scales v. United States, 367 US 203 (1961); NAACP v. Button, 371 US 415 (1963); Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation, Comm., 372 US 539 (1963); Brotherhood v. Virginia ex rel. State Bar 377 US 1 (1964); NAACP v. Alabama, 377 US 288 (1964). 5 Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 US 479, 483 (1965). In Elfbrandt v. Russel, 384 US 11, 18 (1966) he spoke of this right as a "cherished freedom." Cf. Keyishan v. Board of Regents, 385 US 589 (1967). 6 Planas v. Gil, 67 Phil. 62 (1939), Justice Laurel quoting Wendell Philipps. 7 Palko v. Connecticut, 302 US 319, 323 (1937). 8 Section 8(a), Republic Act No. 6132 (1970). 9 L-27833, April 18, 1969, 27 SCRA 835. 10 Ibid., pp. 859-860.

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11 De Jonge v. Oregon, 299 US 353, 365 (1937). 12 L-27833, April 18, 1969, 27 SCRA -835. 13 Sec. 50(a) of Republic Act 4880 (1967).

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-56350 April 2, 1981 SAMUEL C. OCCENA, petitioner, vs. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT, THE NATIONAL TREASURER, THE DIRECTOR OF PRINTING, respondents.

G.R. No. L-56404 April 2, 1981 RAMON A. GONZALES, MANUEL B. IMBONG, JO AUREA MARCOS-IMBONG, RAY ALLAN T. DRILON, NELSON B. MALANA and GIL M. TABIOS, petitioners, vs. THE NATIONAL TREASURER and the COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondents.

FERNANDO, C.J.: The challenge in these two prohibition proceedings against the validity of three Batasang Pambansa Resolutions 1proposing constitutional amendments, goes further than merely assailing their alleged constitutional infirmity. Petitioners Samuel Occena and Ramon A. Gonzales, both members of the Philippine Bar and former delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention that framed the present Constitution, are suing as taxpayers. The rather unorthodox aspect of these petitions is the assertion that the 1973 Constitution is not the fundamental law, the Javellana 2 ruling to the contrary notwithstanding. To put it at its mildest, such an approach has the arresting charm of novelty – but nothing else. It is in fact self defeating, for if such were indeed the case, petitioners have come to the wrong forum. We sit as a Court duty-bound to uphold and apply that Constitution. To contend otherwise as was done here would be, quite clearly, an exercise in futility. Nor are the arguments of petitioners cast in the traditional form of constitutional litigation any more persuasive. For reasons to be set forth, we dismiss the petitions. The suits for prohibition were filed respectively on March 6 3 and March 12, 1981. 4 On March 10 and 13 respectively, respondents were required to answer each within ten days from notice. 5 There was a comment on the part of the respondents. Thereafter, both cases were set for hearing and were duly argued on March 26 by petitioners and Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza for respondents. With the submission of pertinent data in amplification of the oral argument, the cases were deemed submitted for decision.

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It is the ruling of the Court, as set forth at the outset, that the petitions must be dismissed. 1. It is much too late in the day to deny the force and applicability of the 1973 Constitution. In the dispositive portion of Javellana v. The Executive Secretary, 6 dismissing petitions for prohibition and mandamus to declare invalid its ratification, this Court stated that it did so by a vote of six 7 to four. 8 It then concluded: "This being the vote of the majority, there is no further judicial obstacle to the new Constitution being considered in force and effect." 9 Such a statement served a useful purpose. It could even be said that there was a need for it. It served to clear the atmosphere. It made manifest that, as of January 17, 1973, the present Constitution came into force and effect. With such a pronouncement by the Supreme Court and with the recognition of the cardinal postulate that what the Supreme Court says is not only entitled to respect but must also be obeyed, a factor for instability was removed. Thereafter, as a matter of law, all doubts were resolved. The 1973 Constitution is the fundamental law. It is as simple as that. What cannot be too strongly stressed is that the function of judicial review has both a positive and a negative aspect. As was so convincingly demonstrated by Professors Black 10 and Murphy, 11 the Supreme Court can check as well as legitimate. In declaring what the law is, it may not only nullify the acts of coordinate branches but may also sustain their validity. In the latter case, there is an affirmation that what was done cannot be stigmatized as constitutionally deficient. The mere dismissal of a suit of this character suffices. That is the meaning of the concluding statement in Javellana. Since then, this Court has invariably applied the present Constitution. The latest case in point is People v. Sola, 12 promulgated barely two weeks ago. During the first year alone of the effectivity of the present Constitution, at least ten cases may be cited. 13 2. We come to the crucial issue, the power of the Interim Batasang Pambansa to propose amendments and how it may be exercised. More specifically as to the latter, the extent of the changes that may be introduced, the number of votes necessary for the validity of a proposal, and the standard required for a proper submission. As was stated earlier, petitioners were unable to demonstrate that the challenged resolutions are tainted by unconstitutionality. (1) The existence of the power of the Interim Batasang Pambansa is indubitable. The applicable provision in the 1976 Amendments is quite explicit. Insofar as pertinent it reads thus: "The Interim Batasang Pambansa shall have the same powers and its Members shall have the same functions, responsibilities, rights, privileges, and disqualifications as the interim National Assembly and the regular National Assembly and the Members thereof." 14One of such powers is precisely that of proposing amendments. The 1973 Constitution in its 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. 15When, therefore, the Interim Batasang Pambansa, upon the call of the President and Prime Minister Ferdinand E. Marcos, met as a constituent body it acted by virtue Of such impotence Its authority to do so is clearly beyond doubt. It could and did propose the amendments embodied in the resolutions now being assailed. It may be observed parenthetically that as far as petitioner Occena is Concerned, the question of the authority of the InterimBatasang Pambansa to propose amendments is not new. In Occena v. Commission on Elections, 16 filed by the same petitioner, decided on January 28, 1980, such a question was involved although not directly passed upon. To quote from the opinion of the Court penned by Justice Antonio in that case: "Considering that the proposed amendment of Section 7 of Article X of the Constitution extending the retirement of members of the Supreme Court and judges of inferior courts from sixty-five (65) to seventy (70) years is but a restoration of the age of retirement provided in the 1935 Constitution and has been intensively and extensively discussed at the Interim Batasang Pambansa, as well as through the mass media, it cannot, therefore, be said that our people are unaware of the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed amendment." 17 (2) Petitioners would urge upon us the proposition that the amendments proposed are so extensive in character that they go far beyond the limits of the authority conferred on the Interim Batasang Pambansa as Successor of the Interim National Assembly. For them, what was done was to revise and not to amend. It suffices to quote from the opinion of Justice Makasiar, speaking for the Court, in Del Rosario v. Commission on Elections 18 to dispose of this contention. Thus: "3. And whether the Constitutional Convention will only propose amendments to the Constitution or entirely overhaul the present Constitution

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and propose an entirely new Constitution based on an Ideology foreign to the democratic system, is of no moment; because the same will be submitted to the people for ratification. Once ratified by the sovereign people, there can be no debate about the validity of the new Constitution. 4. The fact that the present Constitution may be revised and replaced with a new one ... is no argument against the validity of the law because 'amendment' includes the 'revision' or total overhaul of the entire Constitution. At any rate, whether the Constitution is merely amended in part or revised or totally changed would become immaterial the moment the same is ratified by the sovereign people." 19 There is here the adoption of the principle so well-known in American decisions as well as legal texts that a constituent body can propose anything but conclude nothing. 20 We are not disposed to deviate from such a principle not only sound in theory but also advantageous in practice. (3) That leaves only the questions of the vote necessary to propose amendments as well as the standard for proper submission. Again, petitioners have not made out a case that calls for a judgment in their favor. The language of the Constitution supplies the answer to the above questions. The Interim Batasang Pambansa, sitting as a constituent body, can propose amendments. In that capacity, only a majority vote is needed. It would be an indefensible proposition to assert that the three-fourth votes required when it sits as a legislative body applies as well when it has been convened as the agency through which amendments could be proposed. That is not a requirement as far as a constitutional convention is concerned. It is not a requirement either when, as in this case, the Interim Batasang Pambansa exercises its constituent power to propose amendments. Moreover, even on the assumption that the requirement of three- fourth votes applies, such extraordinary majority was obtained. It is not disputed that Resolution No. 1 proposing an amendment allowing a natural-born citizen of the Philippines naturalized in a foreign country to own a limited area of land for residential purposes was approved by the vote of 122 to 5; Resolution No. 2 dealing with the Presidency, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, and the National Assembly by a vote of 147 to 5 with 1 abstention; and Resolution No. 3 on the amendment to the Article on the Commission on Elections by a vote of 148 to 2 with 1 abstention. Where then is the alleged infirmity? As to the requisite standard for a proper submission, the question may be viewed not only from the standpoint of the period that must elapse before the holding of the plebiscite but also from the standpoint of such amendments having been called to the attention of the people so that it could not plausibly be maintained that they were properly informed as to the proposed changes. As to the period, the Constitution indicates the way the matter should be resolved. There is no ambiguity to the applicable provision: "Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not later than three months after the approval of such amendment or revision." 21 The three resolutions were approved by the InterimBatasang Pambansa sitting as a constituent assembly on February 5 and 27, 1981. In the Batasang Pambansa Blg. 22, the date of the plebiscite is set for April 7, 1981. It is thus within the 90-day period provided by the Constitution. Thus any argument to the contrary is unavailing. As for the people being adequately informed, it cannot be denied that this time, as in the cited 1980 Occena opinion of Justice Antonio, where the amendment restored to seventy the retirement age of members of the judiciary, the proposed amendments have "been intensively and extensively discussed at the Interim Batasang Pambansa, as well as through the mass media, [ so that ] it cannot, therefore, be said that our people are unaware of the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed amendment [ s ]." 22 WHEREFORE, the petitions are dismissed for lack of merit. No costs. Barredo, Makasiar, Aquino Concepcion, Jr., Fernandez, Guerrero, De Castro and Melencio-Herrera, JJ., concur. Abad Santos, J., is on leave.

Separate Opinions

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TEEHANKEE, J., dissenting: I vote to give due course to the petitions at bar and to grant the application for a temporary restraining order enjoining the plebiscite scheduled for April 7, 1981. 1. Consistently with my dissenting opinion in Sanidad vs. Comelec 1 on the invalidity of the October 1976 amendments proposals to the 1973 Constitution for not having been proposed nor adopted in accordance with the mandatory provisions thereof, as restated by me in Hidalgo vs. Marcos 2 and De la Llana vs. Comelec 3 , questioning the validity of the December 17, 1977 referendum – exercise as to the continuance in office as incumbent President and to be Prime Minister after the organization of the Interim Batasang Pambansa as provided for in Amendment No. 3 of the 1976 Amendments, I am constrained to dissent from the majority decision of dismissal of the petitions. I had held in Sanidad that the transcendental constituent power to propose and approve amendments to the Constitution as well as to set up the machinery and prescribe the procedure for the ratification of the amendments proposals has been withheld by the Constitution from the President (Prime Minister) as sole repository of executive power and that so long as the regular National Assembly provided for in Article VIII of the Constitution had not come to existence and the proposals for constitutional amendments were now deemed necessary to be discussed and adopted for submittal to the people, strict adherence with the mandatory requirements of the amending process as provided in the Constitution must be complied with. This means, under the prevailing doctrine ofTolentino vs. Comelec 4 that the proposed amendments to be valid must come from the constitutional agency vested with the constituent power to do so, i.e. in the Interim National Assembly provided in the Transitory Article XVII which would then have to be convened and not from the executive power as vested in the President (Prime Minister) from whom such constituent power has been withheld. 2. As restated by me in the 1977 case of Hidalgo, under the controlling doctrine of Tolentino, the October 1976 constitutional amendments which created the Interim Batasang Pambansa in lieu of the Interim National Assembly were invalid since as ruled by the Court therein, constitutional provisions on amendments "dealing with the procedure or manner of amending the fundamental law are binding upon the Convention and the other departments of the government (and) are no less binding upon the people" and "the very Idea of deparcing from the fundamental law is anachronistic in the realm of constitutionalism and repugnant to the essence of the rule of law." The proposed amendments at bar having been adopted by the Interim Batasang Pambansa as the fruit of the invalid October, 1976 amendments must necessarily suffer from the same Congenital infirmity. 3. Prescinding from the foregoing and assuming the validity of the proposed amendments, I reiterate my stand inSanidad that the doctrine of fair and proper submission firs enunciated by a simple majority of six Justices (of an eleven member Court prior to the 1973 Constitution which increased the official composition of the Court to fifteen) in Gonzales vs. Comelec 5 and subsequently officially adopted by the required constitutional two-thirds majority vote of the Court (of eight votes, then) in Tolentino is fully applicable in the case at bar. The three resolutions proposing complex, complicated and radical amendments of our very structure of government were considered and approved by the Interim Batasang Pambansa sitting as a constituent assembly on February 27, 1981. It set the date of the plebiscite for thirty-nine days later on April 7, 1981 which is totally inadequate and far short of the ninety-day period fixed by the Constitution for submittal to the people to "sufficiently inform them of the amendments to be voted upon, to conscientiously deliberate thereon and to express their will in a genuine manner." 6 4. "The minimum requirements that must be met in order that there can be a proper submission to the people of a proposed constitutional amendment" as stated by retired Justice Conrado V. Sanchez in his separate opinion inGonzales bears repeating as follows: "... we take the view that the words 'submitted to the people for their ratification,' if construed in the light of the nature of the Constitution – a fundamental charter that is legislation direct from the people, an expression of their sovereign will – is that it can only

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which alone if the government is to be safe. The great men who builded the structure of our state in this respect had the mental vision of a good Constitution voiced by Judge Cooley. it must yield to the thought of the people. 1. or the thought evolved in excitement.. educate them with respect to their act of ratification or rejection.. under the prevailing doctrine ofTolentino vs. They must be afforded ample opportunity to mull over the original provisions. strict adherence with the mandatory requirements of the amending process as provided in the Constitution must be complied with. Comelec 3 .' As Montaign says: 'All great mutation shake and disorder a state. For. The people are not to be mere rubber stamps. I had held in Sanidad that the transcendental constituent power to propose and approve amendments to the Constitution as well as to set up the machinery and prescribe the procedure for the ratification of the amendments proposals has been withheld by the Constitution from the President (Prime Minister) as sole repository of executive power and that so long as the regular National Assembly provided for in Article VIII of the Constitution had not come to existence and the proposals for constitutional amendments were now deemed necessary to be discussed and adopted for submittal to the people. should strain every short to inform every citizen of the provisions to be amended. What the Constitution in effect directs is that the government. 3 of the 1976 Amendments. Therefore. 1981. dissenting: I vote to give due course to the petitions at bar and to grant the application for a temporary restraining order enjoining the plebiscite scheduled for April 7.. not to the whim of the people.. and the proposed amendments and the meaning. 69 . amendments must be fairly laid before the people for their blessing or spurning.. Good does not necessarily succeed evil. Consistently with my dissenting opinion in Sanidad vs. can be allowed efficacy . J.. For the people decree their own fate. or hot blood." Justice Sanchez therein ended the passage with an apt citation that ". This means. in submitting an amendment for ratification. as restated by me in Hidalgo vs. in the Interim National Assembly provided in the Transitory Article XVII which would then have to be convened and not from the executive power as vested in the President (Prime Minister) from whom such constituent power has been withheld. compare them with the proposed amendments. Marcos 2 and De la Llana vs. should put every instrumentality or agency within its structural framework to enlighten the people. nature and effects thereof.be amended by the people expressing themselves according to the procedure ordained by the Constitution. free from the incubus of extraneous or possibly insidious influences. questioning the validity of the December 17. another evil may succeed and a worse. but the sober second thought. 1977 referendum – exercise as to the continuance in office as incumbent President and to be Prime Minister after the organization of the Interim Batasang Pambansa as provided for in Amendment No. then so be it. as we have earlier stated. It is needed for stability and steadiness.. Comelec 1 on the invalidity of the October 1976 amendments proposals to the 1973 Constitution for not having been proposed nor adopted in accordance with the mandatory provisions thereof. I am constrained to dissent from the majority decision of dismissal of the petitions. intelligent consent or rejection. within its maximum capabilities. who has said 'A good Constitution should be beyond the reach of temporary excitement and popular caprice or passion. Comelec 4 that the proposed amendments to be valid must come from the constitutional agency vested with the constituent power to do so.e. We believe the word 'submitted' can only mean that the government."' Separate Opinions TEEHANKEE. . If with all these safeguards the people still approve the amendments no matter how prejudicial it is to them. There must be fair submission. They are not to vote blindly. and try to reach a conclusion as the dictates of their conscience suggest. one thing is submission and another is ratification. Changes in government are to be feard unless benefit is certain. i.

which alone if the government is to be safe... There must be fair submission. 50 SCRA 30. then) in Tolentino is fully applicable in the case at bar. 3. 1981." 6 4. nature and effects thereof. but the sober second thought. in submitting an amendment for ratification. The three resolutions proposing complex.' As Montaign says: 'All great mutation shake and disorder a state. Therefore. 28.' if construed in the light of the nature of the Constitution – a fundamental charter that is legislation direct from the people. The Executive Secretary. For the people decree their own fate. not to the whim of the people. can be allowed efficacy .. Good does not necessarily succeed evil. one thing is submission and another is ratification.. 104 and 106(1981). . 2 Javellana v.2. It is needed for stability and steadiness. If with all these safeguards the people still approve the amendments no matter how prejudicial it is to them. Prescinding from the foregoing and assuming the validity of the proposed amendments. What the Constitution in effect directs is that the government. and try to reach a conclusion as the dictates of their conscience suggest. the October 1976 constitutional amendments which created the Interim Batasang Pambansa in lieu of the Interim National Assembly were invalid since as ruled by the Court therein.. educate them with respect to their act of ratification or rejection. 1981 which is totally inadequate and far short of the ninety-day period fixed by the Constitution for submittal to the people to "sufficiently inform them of the amendments to be voted upon. an expression of their sovereign will – is that it can only be amended by the people expressing themselves according to the procedure ordained by the Constitution. It set the date of the plebiscite for thirty-nine days later on April 7. or hot blood. to conscientiously deliberate thereon and to express their will in a genuine manner.. 1973. Changes in government are to be feard unless benefit is certain. We believe the word 'submitted' can only mean that the government. amendments must be fairly laid before the people for their blessing or spurning. Sanchez in his separate opinion inGonzales bears repeating as follows: ". As restated by me in the 1977 case of Hidalgo. compare them with the proposed amendments. 70 . free from the incubus of extraneous or possibly insidious influences. intelligent consent or rejection. or the thought evolved in excitement. L-36142. Comelec 5 and subsequently officially adopted by the required constitutional two-thirds majority vote of the Court (of eight votes. They must be afforded ample opportunity to mull over the original provisions. and the proposed amendments and the meaning.. then so be it. constitutional provisions on amendments "dealing with the procedure or manner of amending the fundamental law are binding upon the Convention and the other departments of the government (and) are no less binding upon the people" and "the very Idea of deparcing from the fundamental law is anachronistic in the realm of constitutionalism and repugnant to the essence of the rule of law." The proposed amendments at bar having been adopted by the Interim Batasang Pambansa as the fruit of the invalid October.. within its maximum capabilities. we take the view that the words 'submitted to the people for their ratification. as we have earlier stated. should strain every short to inform every citizen of the provisions to be amended. They are not to vote blindly." Justice Sanchez therein ended the passage with an apt citation that ". The people are not to be mere rubber stamps. For. another evil may succeed and a worse. I reiterate my stand inSanidad that the doctrine of fair and proper submission firs enunciated by a simple majority of six Justices (of an eleven member Court prior to the 1973 Constitution which increased the official composition of the Court to fifteen) in Gonzales vs. should put every instrumentality or agency within its structural framework to enlighten the people. March 31. The great men who builded the structure of our state in this respect had the mental vision of a good Constitution voiced by Judge Cooley. 1976 amendments must necessarily suffer from the same Congenital infirmity. who has said 'A good Constitution should be beyond the reach of temporary excitement and popular caprice or passion. "The minimum requirements that must be met in order that there can be a proper submission to the people of a proposed constitutional amendment" as stated by retired Justice Conrado V. it must yield to the thought of the people. complicated and radical amendments of our very structure of government were considered and approved by the Interim Batasang Pambansa sitting as a constituent assembly on February 27. under the controlling doctrine of Tolentino."' Footnotes 1 Resolution Nos.

3 L-56350. 14 1976 Amendments. The Honorable Executive Secretary. Malana and Gil M. Samuel C. Section 14. but who felt bound to abide by the majority decision. Dilag v. L-30191. Republic v. L-30671. Imbong. by a majority vote of all its 71 . December 19. The National Treasurer and the Commission on Elections. Roxas v. Garcia v. Nelson V." Article VIII. L-33845. upon special call by the interim Prime Minister. The Commission on Elections. 56158-64. may. November 28. adopting the theory of petitioner Gonzales that the 1935 Constitution was once again in force and effect. 1981. 52 SCRA 155. 54 SCRA 47. C. The National Treasurer and the Director of Printing. 54 SCRA 253. L-36161. Villasor. both of whom were dissenters in Javellana. L-36283. People v. 52 SCRA 293. L-32362. 1973. L-36164. it shall not exercise the powers provided in article VIII. the late Justice Zaldivar.Imbong. also on the same date. The other co-petitioners are Manuel B. Paulo v. par. v. Court of Appeals. 1973. Herrera. (1) reads as follows: "Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution. Garcia. The People and the Court 56-58 (1962). 53 SCRA 495. 9 50 SCRA at 141. It may be mentioned that the first of such cases. Nao. Jo Aurea Marcos. Buendia v. L-36165. July 25. 1973. 4 L-56404. 11 Murphy. 8 The four votes were cast by then Chief Justice Concepcion. Monteclaro v. 54 SCRA 312. October 7. Ramon A. Section 14. 2. 1973. par. People v. Elements of Judicial Strategy 17-18 (1964). Zamora. December 18. 1973. no treaty shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by a majority of all the members of the National Assembly. City of Baguio. 13 Cf. People v. Tabios. Buendia. Molina. all reported in 50 SCRA 30. 1973. Tan v. dissented from this concluding statement. No. L-25232. August 17. L-28930.R. L-34090. 12 G. 7 The six votes came from Justices Makalintal Castro. Melchor. 52 SCRA 143. Gonzales v. Occena v. Ray Allan T. with Justice Teehankee as ponente. Drilon. (1) of the Constitution. The last sentence follows: "However. The Commission on Audit. July 25. Antonio and Esguerra. Flores v. Domingo. 1973 with the writer of this opinion as opposite and the next case.J. Makasiar. 5 There was on March 24 an amended petition in Occena." 15 Article XVII. L-34011. 1973. 10 Black. 54 SCRA 83. L-36236. December 20. The Executive Secretary. Flores. Alfanta v. Bacong. 1973.. Section 15 of the Constitution reads as follows: "The interim National Assembly. November 16. and Justice Teehankee as well as the writer of this opinion. 1973. 6 It should not be lost sight of that four other cases where decided in the joint resolution of dismissal dated March 31. Concepcion. The Executive Secretary. Barredo. 53 SCRA 76. 54 SCRA 288 and Asian Surety and Insurance Co. 1973. was promulgated on July 25. March 17. L-30104. September 19. 1973.

41 SCRA 702 and Resolution denying motion for reconsideration dated Nov. J. along with retired Chief Justice Concepcion and Justices Makalintal and Bengzon. 5 21 SCRA 774. which is the concern of the judiciary. 1971. Such amendments shall take effect when ratified in accordance with Article Sixteen hereof. November 9. 205 P279 (1922). 3 80 SCRA 525 (1977). 762. 4 L-34150.Members. is committed to the view expressed in the ponencia of the retired Chief Justice that in the final analysis the question of proper submission reduces itself not as to power. 2 80 SCRA 538 (1977)." 16 L-52265. which is entrusted to the constituent body proposing the amendments. 21 SCRA 774. 19 lbid. 801. propose amendments to this Constitution. 35 SCRA 367. Oct. The opposing view was set forth by Justice Sanchez. 369-370. Section 2 of the Constitution. 4. L-28196. Gonzales v. The writer of this opinion. 17 Ibid. 1971. 21 Article XVI. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC 72 . Teehankee. but as to wisdom. 95 SCRA 755. 1 73 SCRA 333 (1976). 95 SCRA 755. at page 817. 18 L-32476. 22 L-52265. 20 Cf. 762. October 20. 1967. 16. Ex parte Kerby. 6 21 SCRA. l970. Commission on Elections.

LEONARDO SIGUION REYNA. and THE DISBURSING OFFICER OF THE 1971 CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. have been allowed to intervene jointly. To further put things in proper order. In due time." at which the proposed constitutional amendment "reducing the voting age" in Section 1 of Article V of the Constitution of the Philippines to eighteen years "shall be. TRILLANA III. notwithstanding that their corresponding motions for leave to intervene or to appear as amicus curiae 1 have been denied. FERNAN. 1 of the Constitutional Convention of 1971. Jose Y. For reasons of orderliness and to avoid unnecessary duplication of arguments and even possible confusion. Feria. All said respondents. Victor Ortega and Juan B.R. thru counsel. submitted" for ratification by the people pursuant to Organic Resolution No. respondents. TOLENTINO. Pablo S. 1971. As a preliminary step. and considering that the fiscal officers of the Convention are indispensable parties in a proceeding of this nature. their interests would be adequately protected already. Juco and Tomas L. the Court had to limit the number of intervenors from the ranks of the delegates to the Convention who. for being violative of the Constitution of the Philippines. and so. THE AUDITOR. and considering that with the principal parties being duly represented by able counsel. Intervenors. and THE CHIEF ACCOUNTANT. Jesus G. all distinguished lawyers in their own right. Fernan. through its President. the Count required that copies thereof be served on the Solicitor General and the Constitutional Convention. have legal interest in the success of the respondents. the Court also ordered that the Disbursing Officer. respondent COMELEC filed its answer joining issues with petitioner. MANGLAPUS. After the petition was so amended. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.G. ORTEGA. At any rate. VICTOR DE LA SERNA. JESUS G. Ramon A. vs.: Petition for prohibition principally to restrain the respondent Commission on Elections "from undertaking to hold a plebiscite on November 8. PABLO S. resist petitioner's action. Tolentino in his own behalf. BARREDO. JOSE Y. Gonzales for respondents Chief Accountant and Auditor of the 1971 Constitutional Convention. only Delegates Raul S. 1971 ARTURO M. Echivarre for respondent Disbursing Officer of the 1971 Constitutional Convention. the first appeared thru Senator Emmanuel Pelaez and the last two thru Delegate Ramon Gonzales. more or less. Intervenors in their own behalf. Trillana III. the pleadings filed by the other delegates 73 . Chief Accountant and Auditor of the Convention be made respondents. FERIA. by declaring said resolutions to be without the force and effect of law in so far as they direct the holding of such plebiscite and by also declaring the acts of the respondent Commission (COMELEC) performed and to be done by it in obedience to the aforesaid Convention resolutions to be null and void. and the subsequent implementing resolutions. No. for such action as they may deem proper to take. Manglapus. Arturo M. Emmanuel Pelaez. Jorge M. Borra. L-34150 October 16. VICTOR F. petitioner. BARRERA. Marcelo B. J. since the petition named as respondent only the COMELEC. MARCELO B. and JUAN V. BORRA. The Court feels that with such an array of brilliant and dedicated counsel. RAUL S. since the acts sought to be enjoined involve the expenditure of funds appropriated by law for the Convention. Barrera. Leonardo Siguion Reyna. all interests involved should be duly and amply represented and protected. Victor de la Serna.

1971. and who shall have resided in the Philippines for one year and in the municipality wherein they propose to vote for at least six months preceding the election. as its first formal proposal to amend the Constitution. at about 3:30 in the morning of September 28. 1970. xxx xxx xxx SECTION 7. CC ORGANIC RESOLUTION NO. The Constitutional Convention of 1971 came into being by virtue of two resolutions of the Congress of the Philippines approved in its capacity as a constituent assembly convened for the purpose of calling a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution namely. Its preliminary labors of election of officers. This amendment shall be valid as part of the Constitution of the Philippines when approved by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to coincide with the local elections in November 1971. organization of committees and other preparatory works over. After the election of the delegates held on November 10. The delegates to the said Convention were all elected under and by virtue of said resolutions and the implementing legislation thereof. Republic Act 6132. Section 2. This partial amendment. There is hereby called a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution of the Philippines. The amendments proposed by the Convention shall be valid and considered part of the Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast in an election at which they are submitted to the people for their ratification pursuant to Article XV of the Constitution. 1 A RESOLUTION AMENDING SECTION ONE OF ARTICLE V OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES SO AS TO LOWER THE VOTING AGE TO 18 BE IT RESOLVED as it is hereby resolved by the 1971 Constitutional Convention: Section 1. the latter in representation of their minor children allegedly to be affected by the result of this case with the records and the Court acknowledges that they have not been without value as materials in the extensive study that has been undertaken in this case. or more accurately. 1971. 1969 respectively. Section 3. Resolutions 2 and 4 of the joint sessions of Congress held on March 16. The background facts are beyond dispute. which refers only to the age qualification for the exercise of suffrage shall be without prejudice to other amendments that will be proposed in the 74 .and some private parties. 1 reading thus: . 1971. Section One of Article V of the Constitution of the Philippines is amended to as follows: Section 1. who are (twenty-one) EIGHTEEN years or over and are able to read and write. 4 merely modified the number of delegates to represent the different cities and provinces fixed originally in Resolution No 2. the Convention held its inaugural session on June 1. to be composed of two elective Delegates from each representative district who shall have the same qualifications as those required of Members of the House of Representatives. Resolution No. 1967 and June 17. the Convention approved Organic Resolution No. its session which began on September 27. The pertinent portions of Resolution No 2 read as follows: SECTION 1. Suffrage may be exercised by (male) citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law.

however that should there be no savings or unexpended sums. provided. 1971. may we call upon you to help the Convention implement this resolution: Sincerely. and (c) Said official ballots and election forms will be delivered to the Commission in time so that they could be distributed at the same time that the Commission will distribute its official and sample ballots to be used in the elections on November 8.) DIOSDADO P. (Sgd.00 from its savings or from its unexpended funds for the expense of the advanced plebiscite. President Diosdado Macapagal. (b) The Constitutional Convention will adopt its own security measures for the printing and shipment of said ballots and election forms. called upon respondent Comelec "to help the Convention implement (the above) resolution. election returns and tally sheets for the use of said plebiscite at its expense." The said letter reads: September 28. MACAPAGAL DIOSDADO P. 1971. The Convention hereby authorizes the use of the sum of P75. Republic Act No.00 each or the equivalent of 2-1/2 days per diem. 6132 otherwise known as the Constitutional Convention Act of 1971. COMELEC "RESOLVED to inform the Constitutional Convention that it will hold the plebiscite on condition that: (a) The Constitutional Convention will undertake the printing of separate official ballots.000. 1971. 75 . MACAPAGAL President On September 30.future by the 1971 Constitutional Convention on other portions of the amended Section or on other portions of the entire Constitution. By a letter dated September 28. 1971 The Commission on Elections Manila Thru the Chairman Gentlemen: Last night the Constitutional Convention passed Resolution No. What happened afterwards may best be stated by quoting from intervenors' Governors' statement of the genesis of the above proposal: The President of the Convention also issued an order forming an Ad Hoc Committee to implement the Resolution. 1 quoted as follows: xxx xxx xxx (see above) Pursuant to the provision of Section 14. Section 4. the Delegates waive P250.

This Committee issued implementing guidelines which were approved by the President who then transmitted them to the Commission on Elections. Article XV of the Constitution. (Copies of the resolution and the transcript of debate thereon are hereto attached as Annexes 9 and 9-A Memorandum. RECESS RESOLUTION In its plenary session in the evening of October 7. 1. 1 and the other implementing resolutions thereof subsequently approved by the Convention have no force and effect as laws in so far as they provide for the holding of a plebiscite co-incident with the elections of eight senators and all city. were precisely unanimous in upholding its jurisdiction. RESOLUTION CONFIRMING IMPLEMENTATION On October 12. respondents Chief Accountant and Auditor of the convention expressly concede the jurisdiction of this Court in their answer acknowledging that the issue herein is a justifiable one. Comelec. 1971. 1971 to permit the delegates to campaign for the ratification of Organic Resolution No. it is to be noted that none of the respondent has joined intervenors in this posture. and may not be exercised by the Convention. In fact. In this connection. 1. hence all of Comelec's acts in obedience thereof and tending to carry out the holding of the plebiscite directed by said resolutions are null and void. resolution and letters of transmittal above referred to (Copy of the report is hereto attached as Annex 8-Memorandum). On the other hand. on the ground that the calling and holding of such a plebiscite is. fix the date and lay down the details of the plebiscite for the ratification of any amendment the Convention may deem proper to propose is within the authority of the Convention as a necessary consequence and part of its power to propose amendments and that this power includes that of submitting such amendments either individually or jointly at such time and manner as the Convention may direct in discretion. The Court's delicate task now is to decide which of these two poses is really in accord with the letter and spirit of the Constitution. 1971. 1971. a power lodged exclusively in Congress. respectively). and as such. its acts impugned by petitioner are beyond the control of the Congress and the courts. despite their being divided in their opinions as to the other matters therein involved. under Section 1. the proposed amendment in question cannot be presented to the people for ratification separately from each and all of the other amendments to be drafted and proposed by the Convention. the main thrust of the petition is that Organic Resolution No. Obviously. including the creation of the Ad Hoc Committee ratifying all acts performed in connection with said implementation. the Convention approved a resolution authored by Delegate Antonio Olmedo of Davao Oriental.1971. 21 SCRA 774. 76 . As a preliminary and prejudicial matter. and that. 1971 to November 9. intervenors cite in support of this contention portions of the decision of this Court in the case of Gonzales v. wherein the members of the Court. enclosing copies of the order. They contend that the issue before Us is a political question and that the Convention being legislative body of the highest order is sovereign. the Convention passed Resolution No. by the Constitution. Strangely. 24 submitted by Delegate Jose Ozamiz confirming the authority of the President of the Convention to implement Organic Resolution No. as a legislative body. The Committee on Plebiscite and Ratification filed a report on the progress of the implementation of the plebiscite in the afternoon of October 7. distinguished counsel have either failed to grasp the full impact of the portions of Our decision they have quoted or would misapply them by taking them out of context. Upon these facts. respondents and intervenors posit that the power to provide for. provincial and municipal officials to be held on November 8. the intervenors raise the question of jurisdiction. calling for a recess of the Convention from November 1.

by Senators belonging to the party having the largest number of votes in said chamber. when proposing. amendments to the Constitution. Chief Accountant of the Senate (81 Phil. to amend their own Fundamental Law. acting as a constituent assembly. Jose P. Cuenco. the power to amend the Constitution or to propose amendments thereto is not included in the general grant of legislative powers to Congress (Section 1. inferentially. (Section 1. it is said that Senators and members of the House of Representatives act. The force of this precedent has been weakened. A simple reading of Our ruling in that very case of Gonzales relied upon by intervenors should dispel any lingering misgivings as regards that point. 1961). In the first we held that the officers and employees of the Senate Electoral Tribunal are under its supervision and control. however. Art. Such rigidity is stressed by the fact that the Constitution expressly confers upon the Supreme Court. as claimed by the latter. unlike the people. for that matter. 14. Constitution of the Philippines) Hence. Avelino v. but as component elements of a constituent assembly. Electoral Commission (63 Phil. contrary to the basic tenet that ours is a government of laws. in the second. when exercising the same. the members of Congress derive their authority from the Constitution. Since. and to the rigid nature of our Constitution. Art. 1957) and Macias v. advanced in these four (4) cases that the issues therein raised were political questions the determination of which is beyond judicial review. those of a constitutional convention called for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution. as a constituent assembly. by Suanes v. Sept. not of men. Succinctly but comprehensively. hence. (L-2851. this Court characterizing the issue submitted thereto as a political one declined to pass upon the question whether or not a given number of votes cast in Congress in favor of a proposed amendment to the Constitution — which was being submitted to the people for ratification — satisfied the three-fourths vote requirement of the fundamental law. not of that of the Senate President. the members of Congress derive their authority from the Fundamental Law. Indeed. Congress may propose amendments to the Constitution merely because the same explicitly grants such power. purporting to act. this Court proceeded to determine the number of Senators necessary for quorum in the Senate. not as members of Congress. 28. VI. that they do not have the final say on whether or not their acts are within or beyond constitutional limits. 1949). Dr. Constitution of the Philippines). when performing the same function.There should be no more doubt as to the position of this Court regarding its jurisdiction vis-a-vis the constitutionality of the acts of the Congress. Laurel — declared that "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 or constituent units thereof. XV. Otherwise. As early as Angara vs. as members. we nullified the election. necessarily. Feb. (Of amending the Constitution) for their authority does not emanate from the Constitution — they are the very source of all powers of government including the Constitution itself. which concededly is at par with the former. Tañada v. Commission on Elections.) the power 77 . (L-10520. this Court — speaking through one of the leading members of the Constitutional Convention and a respected professor of Constitutional Law. (And. 157). 11. for the second party. in the third. they could brush aside and set the same at naught. When acting as such. and. upon the ground that the apportionment had not been made as may be possible according to the number of inhabitants of each province. and in the fourth. 818). of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. Cuenco. Thus we rejected the theory. on behalf of the party having the second largest number of votes therein of two (2) Senators belonging to the first party. and. to lower courts." It is true that in Mabanag v. March 4 & 14. Lopez Vito (supra). 139. Constitution of the Philippines) — to make. It is part of the inherent powers of the people — as the repository sovereignty in a republican state. it follows. Chief Justice Concepcion held for the Court thus: . (L-18684. we declared unconstitutional an act of Congress purporting to apportion the representatives districts for the House of Representatives. Art. such as ours (Section 1.

in the light of the existing Constitution. who can decide whether such a contention is correct or not? It is of the very essence of the rule of law that somehow somewhere the Power and duty to resolve such a grave constitutional question must be lodged on some authority. (supra) the latter should be deemed modified accordingly. and. as any other convention of the same nature. In short. for that matter. Article XV of the present Constitution which provides: ARTICLE XV — AMENDMENTS SECTION 1. As to such kind of conventions. liberty or property without due process of law.to declare a treaty unconstitutional. Art. suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. despite the eminently political character of treaty-making power. and. No amount of rationalization can belie the fact that the current convention came into being only because it was called by a resolution of a joint session of Congress acting as a constituent assembly by authority of Section 1. Nor. Nowhere in his petition and in his oral argument and memoranda does petitioner point otherwise. it is absolutely true that the convention is completely without restrain and omnipotent all wise. according to the existing Constitution. and it is as to such conventions that the remarks of Delegate Manuel Roxas of the Constitutional Convention of 1934 quoted by Senator Pelaez refer. but the compass of such powers can be co-extensive only with the purpose for which the convention was called and as it may propose cannot have any effect as part of the Constitution until the same are duly ratified by the people. No one can rightly claim that within the domain of its legitimate authority. this Convention became endowed with extra ordinary powers generally beyond the control of any department of the existing government. Actually. or we would have to confess that the integrated system of 78 . the Convention is not supreme. the issue whether or not a Resolution of Congress — acting as a constituent assembly — violates the Constitution is essentially justiciable not political. pardon a convict or render judgment in a controversy between private individuals or between such individuals and the state. hence. Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. 2(1). and operates even within the walls of that assembly. Lopez Vito. True it is that once convened. should an act of the Convention be assailed by a citizen as being among those not granted to or inherent in it. The Congress in joint session assembled. The present Constitution is in full force and effect in its entirety and in everyone of its parts the existence of the Convention notwithstanding. by a vote of three-fourths of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately. While it is indubitable that in its internal operation and the performance of its task to propose amendments to the Constitution it is not subject to any degree of restraint or control by any other authority than itself. (Sec. subject to judicial review. It being manifest that there are powers which the Convention may not and cannot validly assert. can such Convention validly pass any resolution providing for the taking of private property without just compensation or for the imposition or exacting of any tax. it necessarily follows that the acts of convention. owes its existence and derives all its authority and power from the existing Constitution of the Philippines. what respondents and intervenors are seemingly reluctant to admit is that the Constitutional Convention of 1971. in violation of the distribution of powers in the Constitution. deny to anyone in this country the equal protection of the laws or the freedom of speech and of the press in disregard of the Bill of Rights of the existing Constitution. VIII of the Constitution). its officers and members are not immune from attack on constitutional grounds. it is equally beyond cavil that neither the Convention nor any of its officers or members can rightfully deprive any person of life. impost or assessment. The Members of the Court are unanimous on this point. This Convention has not been called by the people directly as in the case of a revolutionary convention which drafts the first Constitution of an entirely new government born of either a war of liberation from a mother country or of a revolution against an existing government or of a bloodless seizure of power a la coup d'etat. may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a convention for the purpose. the simple question arises. much less exercise. to the extent that this view may be inconsistent with the stand taken in Mabanag v. or declare war or call the Congress to a special session.

if not entirely obliterated. this moderating power is granted. so much invoked by intervenors. Even then. acting through their delegates to so provide. under a system of check and balances and subject to specific limitations and restrictions provided in the said instrument. The overlapping and interlacing of functions and duties between the several departments. And when the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries. This is in truth all that is involved in what is termed "judicial supremacy" which properly is the power of judicial review under the Constitution. by clear implication from section 2 of Article VIII of our Constitution. More than that. In times of social disquietude or political excitement. it does not assert any superiority over the other departments. In cases of conflict. but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them. the possession of this moderating power of the courts. that instrument which is the expression of their sovereignty however limited. has established a republican government intended to operate and function as a harmonious whole. if not expressly. not only because the legislature is presumed to abide by the Constitution but also because the judiciary in the determination of actual cases and controversies must 79 . If these restrictions and limitations are transcended it would be inconceivable if the Constitution had not provided for a mechanism by which to direct the course of government along constitutional channels. justice or expediency of legislation. As any human production our Constitution is of course lacking perfection and perfectibility. however.. 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 or constituent units thereof. for then the distribution of powers would be mere verbiage.government established by our founding fathers contains a wide vacuum no intelligent man could ignore.. The very decision of Chief Justice Concepcion in Gonzales. has been set at rest by popular acquiescence for a period of more than one and half centuries. The Constitution is a definition of the powers or government. courts accord the presumption of constitutionality to legislative enactments. the bill of rights mere expressions of sentiment and the principles of good government mere political apothegms. the Constitution has blocked out with deft strokes and in bold lines. which is naturally unworthy of their learning. In our case. Who is to determine the nature. this power of judicial review is limited to actual cases and controversies to be exercised after full opportunity of argument by the parties. Narrowed as its functions is in this manner the judiciary does not pass upon questions of wisdom. reiterates and reinforces the irrefutable logic and wealth of principle in the opinion written for a unanimous Court by Justice Laurel in Angara vs. reading: . sometimes makes it hard to say where the one leaves off and the other begins. it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature. Electoral Commission. We need not go far in search for the answer to the query We have posed. scope and extent of such powers? The Constitution itself has provided for the instrumentality of the judiciary as the rational way. the great landmark of the Constitution are apt to be forgotten or marred. the legislative and the judicial departments of the government. but as much as it was within the power of our people. Any attempt at abstraction could only lead to dialectics and barren legal questions and to strike conclusions unrelated to actualities. and limited further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis mota presented. 63 Phil. not to speak of its historical origin and development there. allotment of power to the executive. 134. The Constitution sets forth in no uncertain language the restrictions and limitations upon governmental powers and agencies.. Certainly the limitations and restrictions embodied in our Constitution are real as they should be in any living Constitution. (I)n the main. In the United States where no express constitutional grant is found in their constitution. experience and craftsmanship in constitution-making.

notwithstanding the previous confirmations made by the National Assembly as aforesaid. returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly. the Constitution of Poland of 1921 expressly provides that courts shall have no power to examine the validity of statutes (art. as contended by the respondents. created for a specific purpose. 1935. in Czechoslovakia (arts.. it does not follow that it is beyond the reach of the constitutional mechanism adopted by the people and that it is not subject to constitutional restriction. as contended by the petitioner. Although the Electoral Commission may not be interfered with. Whereas. conflicting claims of authority under the fundamental law between departmental powers and agencies of the government are necessarily determined by the judiciary in justiciable and appropriate cases. For instance. returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly.. should be upheld. Constitution of the Republic of 1931) especial constitutional courts are 80 . This is taken as a recognition of what otherwise would be the rule that in the absence of direct prohibition. provisions have been inserted in their constitutions prohibiting the courts from exercising the power to interpret the fundamental law. and even if it were. 1935. is a constitutional organ. submitted after December 3. 1935 then the resolution of the Electoral Commission of December 9. when and while acting within the limits of its authority. 121-123." In the last and ultimate analysis then. But much as we might postulate on the internal checks of power provided in our Constitution. Preliminary Law to Constitutional Charter of the Czechoslavak. must the success of our government in the unfolding years to come be tested in the crucible of Filipino minds and hearts than in consultation rooms and court chambers.. fixed said date as the last day for the filing of protests against the election. But... The Electoral Commission is not a separate department of the government. upon the judicial department is thrown the solemn and inescapable obligation of interpreting the Constitution and defining constitutional boundaries. Greece. Title IX. it ought not the less to be remembered that. This is true in Norway. From the very nature of the republican government established in our country in the light of American experience and of our own. in the language of James Madison. the Electoral Commission has by resolution adopted on December 9. Republic. their voices to pronounce . confirmed the election of the herein petitioner to the said body. In some countries which have declined to follow the American example. On the other hand. then the resolution of December 9. Australia and South Africa. returns and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. courts are bound to assume what is logically their function. February 29. the people who are authors of this blessing must also be its guardians . the resolution of the National Assembly has the effect of cutting off the power of the Electoral Commission to entertain protests against the election.reflect the wisdom and justice of the people as expressed through their representatives in the executive and legislative departments of the government. The Electoral Commission as we shall have occasion to refer hereafter. namely. In countries whose constitution are silent in this respect. 8) of December 3. the National Assembly has by resolution (No. courts have assumed this power. 1920) and Spain (arts. Here is then presented an actual controversy involving as it does a conflict of a grave constitutional nature between the National Assembly on the one hand and the Electoral Commission on the other. the framers of our Constitution adopted the American type where the written constitution is interpreted and given effect by the judicial department. to determine all contests relating to the election. their eyes must be ever ready to mark. Chap. the system itself is not "the chief palladium of constitutional liberty . In the case at bar. the Electoral Commission has the sole power of regulating its proceedings to the exclusion of the National Assembly.. Discarding the English type and other European types of constitutional government. The former Austrian Constitution contained a similar declaration. IV). If. if. by which the Electoral Commission fixed said date as the last day for filing protests against the election. returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly. 81. 2 and 3. 1935. is mere surplusage and had no effect. 1935. aggression on the authority of their Constitution.

Indeed. even if it is an assembly of delegate elected directly by the people. and is. We come to the crux of the petition. like the electoral tribunals in Congress. and any other constitutionally created independent body. Is it within the powers of the Constitutional Convention of 1971 to order. and authority. 81 . at this juncture of its proceedings. so must we avoid exhaustion in our constitutional system. in fact. reason. when as it is a matter of common knowledge and judicial notice. like Justice Laurel did in Angara." per Justice Laurel. As the Chief Justice has made it clear in Gonzales. this court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission and the subject matter of the present controversy for the purpose of determining the character. he has advocated or sponsored in Congress such a proposal.established to pass upon the validity of ordinary laws. under the existing Constitution to resolve the issues in which petitioner. it is within the power as it is the solemn duty of the Court. the Comelec and the Constituent assemblies constituted by the House of Congress. who will determine the conflict? And if the conflict were left undecided and undetermined. the nature of the present controversy shows the necessity of a final constitutional arbiter to determine the conflict of authority between two agencies created by the Constitution. on its own fiat. Whenever he can. and. and that. the specific question raised in this case is limited solely and only to the point of whether or not it is within the power of the Convention to call for a plebiscite for the ratification by the people of the constitutional amendment proposed in the abovequoted Organic Resolution No. Were we to decline to take cognizance of the controversy. since at best. the environmental circumstances of this case demand the most accurate and unequivocal statement of the real issue which the Court is called upon to resolve. as the Court sees it. or. the holding of a plebiscite for the ratification of the proposed amendment reducing to eighteen years the age for the exercise of suffrage under Section 1 of Article V of the Constitution proposed in the Convention's Organic Resolution No. 1 in the manner and form provided for in said resolution and the subsequent implementing acts and resolution of the Convention? At the threshold. any violation of the Constitution of the Philippines even if it is committed in the course of or in connection with the most laudable undertaking. as already demonstrated. but simply because both the Convention and the Court are subject to the Constitution and the rule of law. we are clearly of the opinion that upon the admitted facts of the present case." . in the manner and form provided in said resolution as well as in the subject question implementing actions and resolution of the Convention and its officers. and "upon principle. It goes without saying that We do this not because the Court is superior to the Convention or that the Convention is subject to the control of the Court. Natura vacuum abhorret. respondents and intervenors have joined in this case. why the same ruling should not apply to the present Convention. Upon principle. his only purpose in filing the petition being to comply with his sworn duty to prevent. on the other. and none has been convincingly shown to Us by any of the respondents and intervenors. these postulates just quoted do not apply only to conflicts of authority between the three existing regular departments of the government but to all such conflicts between and among these departments. We are left with no alternative but to uphold the jurisdiction of the Court over the present case. We see no reason of logic or principle whatsoever. reason and authority. as a matter of fact. would not a void be thus created in our constitutional system which may in the long run prove destructive of the entire framework? To ask these questions is to answer them. Petitioner has very clearly stated that he is not against the constitutional extension of the right of suffrage to the eighteenyear-olds. the herein petition is not intended by him to prevent that the proposed amendment here involved be submitted to the people for ratification. scope and extent of the constitutional grant to the Electoral Commission as "the sole judge of all contests relating to the election. II The issue of jurisdiction thus resolved. In our case. it is not set to adjourn sine die. Accordingly. in truth. it has been convened by authority of and under the terms of the present Constitution. on the one hand.. between any of them. returns and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. still in the preliminary stages of considering other reforms or amendments affecting other parts of the existing Constitution. supra. 1.

including the provisions of the fundamental law related to the well-being and economic security of the underprivileged classes of our people as well as those concerning the preservation and protection of our natural resources and the national patrimony. can limit the extent of the constitutional innovations the Convention may propose. 1 itself expressly provides. to the point of being convinced that meaningful change is the only alternative to a violent revolution. anarchy and violence. from which the Convention itself draws life expressly speaks only of amendments which shall form part of it. and by striking down any act violative thereof. sincerity and purity of purpose cannot permit any other line of conduct or approach in respect of the problem before Us. We are resolved to discharge that duty. hence the complete substitution of the existing constitution is not beyond the ambit of the Convention's authority. Needless to say. because of the pressure brought to bear upon the Congress of the Philippines by various elements of the people. even those among them in which respondents and intervenors have joined in an apparent wish to have them squarely passed upon by the Court do not necessarily impose upon Us the imperative obligation to express Our views thereon. simply because that issue is not before Us now. as they see it. which opinion is not without persuasive force both in principle and in logic.indeed. in a great measure. During these twice when most anyone feels very strongly the urgent need for constitutional reforms. since its enabling provision. as in all other cases. Here. as an alternative to violent and chaotic ways of achieving such lofty ideals. Surely. in a larger measure than when it binds other departments of the government or any other official or entity. and so the Court may step in to clear up doubts as to the boundaries set down by the Constitution only when and to the specific extent only that it would be necessary to do so to avoid a constitutional crisis or a clearly demonstrable violation of the existing Charter. in any degree or means the individual or collective stand of the members of the Court on the fundamental issue of whether or not the eighteen-year-olds should be allowed to vote. of adhering always to the rule of law. and this rule is founded precisely on the principle of respect that the Court must accord to the acts of the other coordinate 82 . do not want confusion and disorder. under the fundamental principles of democracy to which the Filipino people is committed. There should be no doubt in the mind of anyone that. it is a very familiar principle of constitutional law that constitutional questions are to be resolved by the Supreme Court only when there is no alternative but to do it. this grave divergence of views. plazas and campuses. Withal. it will not hesitate to do its part so that the said proposed amendment may be presented to the people for their approval or rejection. the Court does not consider this case to be properly the one in which it should discharge its constitutional duty in such premises. The Court considers it to be of the utmost importance that the Convention should be untrammelled and unrestrained in the performance of its constitutionally as signed mission in the manner and form it may conceive best. if the Court were to allow itself in deciding this case to be carried astray by considerations other than the imperatives of the rule of law and of the applicable provisions of the Constitution. in general. the youth of the Philippines. Withal. even in the pursuit of what they strongly and urgently feel must be done to change the present order of things in this Republic of ours. It would be tragic and contrary to the plain compulsion of these perspectives. the Court rests securely in the conviction that the fire and enthusiasm of the youth have not blinded them to the absolute necessity. The Constitutional Convention of 1971 itself was born. If there are respectable sectors opining that it has not been called to supplant the existing Constitution in its entirety. nothing that the Court may say or do. what they really want are law and order. leaving aside the excesses of enthusiasm which at times have justifiably or unjustifiably marred the demonstrations in the streets. the youth in particular. the seemingly prevailing view is that only the collective judgment of its members as to what is warranted by the present condition of things. the Constitution imposes upon the Court the sacred duty to give meaning and vigor to the Constitution. by interpreting and construing its provisions in appropriate cases with the proper parties. once the Court finds it constitutionally permissible. The issues raised by petitioner. in their incessant search for a peaceful and orderly means of bringing about meaningful changes in the structure and bases of the existing social and governmental institutions. that the amendment therein proposed "shall be without prejudice to other amendments that will be proposed in the future by the 1971 Constitutional Convention on other portions of the amended section or on other portions of the entire Constitution. Article XV. this Court would be the last to put any obstruction or impediment to the work of the Constitutional Convention. in this case should be understood as reflecting. In brief." In other words. Organic Resolution No. peace and orderliness. like the rest of the people. their idealism. Desirable as it may be to resolve.

they must be insulated against precipitate and hasty actions motivated by more or less passing political moods or fancies. grave and important as it may be. It being indisputable that the amendment now proposed to be submitted to a plebiscite is only the first amendment the Convention propose We hold that the plebiscite being called for the purpose of submitting the same for ratification of the people on November 8. being nigh. In the view the Court takes of present case. future and every other conceivable aspect of the lives of all the people within the country and those subject to its sovereignty. It is obvious that correspondingly. any amendment of the Constitution is of no less importance than the whole Constitution itself. And because the Constitution affects the lives. as long as they can be adopted to the needs and exigencies of the people. We reiterate also that as to matters not related to its internal operation and the performance of its assigned mission to propose amendments to the Constitution. hence all acts of the Convention and the respondent Comelec in that direction are null and void. And when such limitations or conditions are so incorporated in the original constitution. therefore boils down to this: Is there any limitation or condition in Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution which is violated by the act of the Convention of calling for a plebiscite on the sole amendment contained in Organic Resolution No. if not for ages. After all. From the very nature of things. the drafters of an original constitution.departments of the government. In our discussion of the issue of jurisdiction. 1971 is not authorized by Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution. Now We hold that even as to its latter task of proposing amendments to the Constitution. because it is plain to Us that the framers of the Constitution took care that the process of amending the same should not be undertaken with the same ease and facility in changing an ordinary legislation. for obvious reasons. November 8. 83 . not only for reasons purely personal but more importantly. it does not perceive absolute necessity to resolve that question. as already observed earlier. This must be so. Truth to tell. Nothing of what is here said is to be understood as curtailing in any degree the number and nature and the scope and extent of the amendments the Convention may deem proper to propose. A constitution worthy of the people for which it is intended must not be prepared in haste without adequate deliberation and study. made so by the people themselves. hence. Constitution making is the most valued power. fortunes. because written constitutions are supposed to be designed so as to last for some time. the date set by the Convention for the plebiscite it is calling. and which we of the succeeding generations generally cherish. Thus. of the people in a constitutional democracy such as the one our founding fathers have chosen for this nation. and it is the condition and limitation that all the amendments to be proposed by the same Convention must be submitted to the people in a single "election" or plebiscite. second to none. operate without any limitations. This is not necessarily true of subsequent conventions called to amend the original constitution. and as time is of the essence in this case. the lack of unanimity or even of a consensus among the members of the Court in respect to this issue creates the need for more study and deliberation. the Convention and its officers and members are all subject to all the provisions of the existing Constitution. the basis of this decision is as important and decisive as any can be. more or less stringent. and perforce must be conceived and prepared with as much care and deliberation. every degree of care is taken in preparing and drafting it. restraints or inhibitions save those that they may impose upon themselves. Nor does the Court propose to pass on the issue extensively and brilliantly discussed by the parties as to whether or not the power or duty to call a plebiscite for the ratification of the amendments to be proposed by the Convention is exclusively legislative and as such may be exercised only by the Congress or whether the said power can be exercised concurrently by the Convention with the Congress. the original constitutions carry with them limitations and conditions. the Constitutional Convention stands almost in a unique footing in that regard. at least. it is subject to the provisions of Section I of Article XV. or for. already quoted earlier in this opinion. 1971. Generally. in regard to the process of their amendment. it does not lie in the delegates of any subsequent convention to claim that they may ignore and disregard such conditions because they are as powerful and omnipotent as their original counterparts. as a rule. We have already made it clear that the Convention came into being by a call of a joint session of Congress pursuant to Section I of Article XV of the Constitution. the framers of the latter see to it that their handiwork is not lightly treated and as easily mutilated or changed. 1? The Court holds that there is. The ultimate question. and certainly. We will refrain from making any pronouncement or expressing Our views on this question until a more appropriate case comes to Us.

social ideals. on the one hand. for when a whole constitution is submitted to them. what kind of judgment can he render on the proposal? But the situation actually before Us is even worse. if not radical ones." thus placing no limit as to the number of amendments that Congress or the Convention may propose. ideology. although it may already be observed that under Section 3. in almost every part and aspect of the existing social and political order enshrined in the present Constitution.. To be more specific. In the context of the present state of things. The language of the constitutional provision aforequoted is sufficiently clear. any amendment of the Constitution is as important as the whole of it if only because the Constitution has to be an integrated and harmonious instrument. 84 . Who can say whether or not later on the Convention may decide to provide for varying types of voters for each level of the political units it may divide the country into. lt says distinctly that either Congress sitting as a constituent assembly or a convention called for the purpose "may propose amendments to this Constitution. liberties. As already stated. more or less they can assumed its harmony as an integrated whole. and adequately formidable and reliable as the succinct but comprehensive articulation of the rights. they can examine it before casting their vote and determine for themselves from a study of the whole document the merits and demerits of all or any of its parts and of the document as a whole. (2) Very little reflection is needed for anyone to realize the wisdom and appropriateness of this provision. This cannot happen in the case of the amendment in question. The same provision also as definitely provides that "such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. it is evident that no fixed frame of reference is provided the voter. The root of the difficulty in other words." thus leaving no room for doubt as to how many "elections" or plebiscites may be held to ratify any amendment or amendments proposed by the same constituent assembly of Congress or convention. the part that the people play in its amendment becomes harder. we do not have any means of foreseeing whether the right to vote would be of any significant value at all. How can a voter in the proposed plebiscite intelligently determine the effect of the reduction of the voting age upon the different institutions which the Convention may establish and of which presently he is not given any idea? We are certain no one can deny that in order that a plebiscite for the ratification of an amendment to the Constitution may be validly held. when an amendment is submitted to them that is to form part of the existing constitution. and they can either accept or reject it in its entirety. At the very least. A constitution is the work of the people thru its drafters assembled by them for the purpose. and he does not see those conditions in the ballot nor is there any possible indication whether they will ever be or not. lies in that the Convention is precisely on the verge of introducing substantial changes. and the provision unequivocably says "an election" which means only one. because Congress has reserved those for future action. lt is inconceivable how a constitution worthy of any country or people can have any part which is out of tune with its other parts. No one knows what changes in the fundamental principles of the constitution the Convention will be minded to approve. in like fashion they can study with deliberation the proposed amendment in relation to the whole existing constitution and or any of its parts and thereby arrive at an intelligent judgment as to its acceptability. Indeed. Once the original constitution is approved. Prescinding already from the fact that under Section 3 of the questioned resolution. on the other. as to what finally will be concomitant qualifications that will be required by the final draft of the constitution to be formulated by the Convention of a voter to be able to enjoy the right of suffrage.We have arrived at this conclusion for the following reasons: 1. and national and nationalistic policies and aspirations of the people. And so also. there are other considerations which make it impossible to vote intelligently on the proposed amendment. amending the Constitution is as serious and important an undertaking as constitution making itself. if a voter would favor the reduction of the voting age to eighteen under conditions he feels are needed under the circumstances. it must provide the voter not only sufficient time but ample basis for an intelligent appraisal of the nature of the amendment per se as well as its relation to the other parts of the Constitution with which it has to form a harmonious whole. if it is to be viable as the framework of the government it establishes.

We are of the opinion that the present Constitution does not contemplate in Section 1 of Article XV a plebiscite or "election" wherein the people are in the dark as to frame of reference they can base their judgment on. J. the Court has its own duties to the people under the Constitution which is to decide in appropriate cases with appropriate parties Whether or not the mandates of the fundamental law are being complied with. Organic Resolution No. the Court declares this decision immediately executory. in the language of Justice Sanchez. Concepcion. to present to the people any single proposal or a few of them cannot comply with this requirement.. 1971. Article XV of the Constitution. We reject the rationalization that the present Constitution is a possible frame of reference. concur. JJ. Villamor and Makasiar. We are only holding that under Section 1. the lack of time to set down at length my opinion on the particular issue upon which the decision is made to rest. In brief. Much less does the Court want to pass judgment on the merits of the proposal to allow these eighteen years old to vote. which to be sure achieves the result from the legal and constitutional viewpoint. Article XV that there should only be one "election" or plebiscite for the ratification of all the amendments the Convention may propose. there can be. But like the Convention. Teehankee.where the Convention has hardly started considering the merits of hundreds. we are of the conviction that in providing for the questioned plebiscite before it has finished.. No costs. The respondents Comelec. supra. Disbursing Officer. However. speaking for the six members of the Court in Gonzales. III The Court has no desire at all to hamper and hamstring the noble work of the Constitutional Convention. "no proper submission".J. and the fact that a dissent on the said issue would necessarily be inconclusive unless the other issues raised in the 85 . the Convention's Organic Resolution No. and separately from. of proposals to amend the existing Constitution. if not thousands. C.. insofar as they provide for the holding of a plebiscite on November 8. reserves his vote — I reserve my vote. In view of the peculiar circumstances of this case. 1 of the Constitutional Convention of 1971 and the implementing acts and resolutions of the Convention. 1 and all subsequent acts of the Convention implementing the same violate the condition in Section 1. The resolution in question is voted down by a sufficient majority of the Court on just one ground. In the best light God has given Us. IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING. We are not denying any right of the people to vote on the proposed amendment. considering the urgent nature of this case. Separate Opinions MAKALINTAL. the same should be submitted to them not separately from but together with all the other amendments to be proposed by this present Convention. I entertain grave doubts as to the validity of the premises postulated and conclusions reached in support of the dispositive portion of the decision. Chief Accountant and Auditor of the Constitutional Convention are hereby enjoined from taking any action in compliance with the said organic resolution. for the simple reason that intervenors themselves are stating that the sole purpose of the proposed amendment is to enable the eighteen year olds to take part in the election for the ratification of the Constitution to be drafted by the Convention. the whole draft of the constitution it has been called to formulate. as well as the resolution of the respondent Comelec complying therewith (RR Resolution No. under the proposed plebiscite. 695) are hereby declared null and void. the petition herein is granted.

Like him. They must be afforded ample opportunity to mull over the original provisions. could have only meant that any amendments thereto should be debated.000 citizens cannot be reached. although they would seem to be superfluous because of the reach of the basic constitutional infirmity discussed in extenso in the main opinion. forthright and vigorous style. we are not to be understood as saying that. Justice C. articulate two additional objections of constitutional dimension which. The people are not to be mere rubber stamps.petition are also considered and ruled upon — a task that would be premature and pointless at this time — I limit myself to this reservation. REYES. J. There must be fair submission. Justice Barredo in his usual inimitable. By this. educate them with respect to their act of ratification or rejection. concurring: We concur in the main opinion penned by Mr. 4 86 . The second constitutional objection was given expression by one of the writers of this concurring opinion. and of the need of giving it as much stability as is practicable. They are not to vote blindly. with which we essentially agree.. For we have earlier stated. if one citizen or 100 citizens or 1. and (2) that the forthcoming election is not the proper election envisioned by the same provision of the Constitution. ZALDIVAR. within its maximum capabilities.B.. should strain every effort to inform citizen of the provisions to be amended. V. Sanchez. and try to reach a conclusion as the dictates of their conscience suggest. What the Constitution in effect directs is that the government. which is not in issue here because it is a matter that properly and exclusively addresses itself to the collective judgment of the people. should put every instrumentality or agency within its structural framework to enlighten the people. Commission on Elections." . we are nonetheless persuaded that (1) that there is no proper submissionof title proposed amendment in question within the meaning and intendment of Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution. Mr. JJ. amendments must be fairly laid before the people for their blessing or spurning. then there is no submission within the meaning of the word as intended by the framers of the Constitution. This is what he said: . nevertheless appear to us to be just as fundamental in character and scope. intelligent consent or rejection. such as the choice of local and national officials. considered and voted upon an election wherein the people could devote undivided attention to the subject. 2 expounded his view. compare them with the proposed amendments.. CASTRO and MAKASIAR. and the proposed amendments and the meaning. in the following words: I find it impossible to believe that it was ever intended by its framers that such amendment should be submitted and ratified by just "a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification". however.. one thing is submission and another is ratification. if the concentration of the people's attention thereon is to be diverted by other extraneous issues. aware of the fundamental character thereof. Assuming that the Constitutional Convention has power to propose piecemeal amendments and submit each separately to the people for ratification.L. in his dissent in Gonzales vs. on the minimum requirements that must be met in order that there can be a proper submission to the people of a proposed constitutional amendment. We believe the word "submitted" can only mean that the government. free from the incubus of extraneous or possibly insidious influences. We must. we do not express our individual views on the wisdom of the proposed constitutional amendment. nature and effects thereof. The framers of the Constitution. Commission on Elections 1 and Philippine Constitution Association vs. in submitting an amendment for ratification.

Thereby constitutionalism asserts itself. As the Constitution occupies the topmost rank in the hierarchy of legal norms. on the other. I find myself unable to join my brethren. The question presented is indeed novel. definite and certain. with the express recognition in the Constitution of the powers of the Constitutional Convention to propose amendments. They cannot thus weigh in tranquility the need for and the wisdom of the proposed amendment. It is gratifying to note that during the oral argument of petitioner and 87 . has not performed so well? If the proposed amendment is voted down by the people. I." embodied in Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution.True it is that the question posed by the proposed amendment. sovereignty resides. Under the circumstances. there and everywhere — from a domain (of searching questions) the bounds of which are not immediately ascertainable. They have been and are effectively distracted from a full and dispassionate consideration of the merits and demerits of the proposed amendment by their traditional pervasive involvement in local elections and politics. Upon the above disquisition. With the view I entertain of what is allowable. It is in that sense that. But it is one of life's verities that things which appear to be simple may turn out not to be so simple after all. does it thereby mean that the 18-year old should now also shoulder the moral and legal responsibilities of the 21-year old? Will he be required to render compulsory military service under the colors? Will the age of contractual consent be reduced to 18 years? If I vote against this amendment. Scanning the contemporary scene. must bow to its supremacy.. that commands assent. concurring and dissenting: There is much to be said for the opinion of the Court penned by Justice Barredo. in the first place? Why should the new voting age be precisely 18 years. will the Constitutional Convention insist on the said amendment? Why is there an unseemly haste on the part of the Constitutional Convention in having this particular proposed amendment ratified at this particular time? Do some of the members of the Convention have future political plans which they want to begin to subserve by the approval this year of this amendment? If this amendment is approved. and accorded undivided attention. "Do you or do you not want the 18-year old to be allowed to vote?. implicit in the petition and the answer of intervenors. pondered upon purposefully. FERNANDO. I cannot discern any objection to the validity of its action there being no legal impediment that would call for its nullification. can the 18-year old be relied upon to vote with judiciousness when the 21-year old. we say that the people are not. And the answers cannot be had except as the questions are debated fully. not being controlled by constitutional prescription. sufficiently informed of the meaning. J. Such an approach all the more commends itself to me considering that what was sought to be done is to refer the matter to the people in whom. The above are just samplings from here. Why should the voting age be lowered at all. nature and effects of the proposed constitutional amendment. the theory of conventional sovereignty favored by intervenors. It is understandable then why the decisive issue posed could not be resolved by reliance on. if not indeed required by the Constitution. no less than this Court. its manifestation of fealty to the rule of law couched in eloquent language. in the past elections. Surely. with due respect. characterized by clarity and vigor. it is our considered view that the intendment of the words. "at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. many more questions can be added to the already long litany. will I not be unfair to my own child who will be 18 years old. Congress and Constitutional Convention alike. and not 19 or 20? And why not 17? Or even 16 or 15? Is the 18-year old as mature as the 21-year old so that there is no need of an educational qualification to entitle him to vote? In this age of permissiveness and dissent. such concepts as legislative control of the constitutional convention referred to by petitioner on the one hand or. and by election time will not be. according to our Constitution. my conformity does not extend as far as the acceptance of the conclusion reached." would seem to be uncomplicated and innocuous. They have not been afforded ample time to deliberate thereon conscientiously. A number of doubts or misgivings could conceivably and logically assail the average voter. has not been met. come 1973? .

Nowhere has such a view been more vigorously expressed than in the Pennsylvania case of Wood's Appeal. Convention must find its source. a constitutional convention may lay claim to an attribute sovereign in character. It cannot be denied though that in at least one American state. It is appropriately termed constituent. 1 Its holding though finds no support under our constitutional provision. It is thus made subordinate to the legislature. but once convened." Clearly. expressly avowing the primacy of the Constitution. in whom sovereignty resides. as so vigorously stressed in the opinion of the Court. that is Pennsylvania. that yield a different conclusion. including revision. the applicable provision of which as interpreted by this Court. is a body independent of the legislature. It does not thereby follow that while free from legislative control.counsel for respondents and intervenors. like the Congress of the Philippines. there apparently was a retreat from such extreme position. and subject to the restrictions imposed on it by the legislative call. The view that commends itself for acceptance is that legislature and constitutional convention. It has to yield to the superior force of the Constitution. a constitutional convention enjoys a wide sphere of autonomy consistently with the Constitution which can be the only source of valid restriction on its competence. proposal and thereafter ratification. and to the people alone. there were decisions announcing the doctrine that the powers to be exercised by a constitutional convention are dependent on a legislative grant. in the absence of any authority conferred directly by the fundamental law. whose views have been most frequently cited in decisions. as to the extent of its constituent power. are concerned. and a constitutional convention that may be called into being. The convention was sovereign and subject to no restraint. it is denied unlimited legal competence though. A contrary conclusion would impair its usefulness for the delicate. Fredericks. It is to the Constitution. Once assembled. A third and intermediate view is that urged by Dodd — that a convention. possesses in all its 88 . subject in either case to popular approval. Insofar as the constituent power of proposing amendments to the Constitution is concerned. This view has become increasingly prevalent in the state decisions. it cannot in any wise be interfered with. I turn to its Article XV. may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a convention for that purpose. a constitutional convention. alike recognized by the Constitution. There can then be no basis for the exaggerated pretension that it is an alter ego of the people. It has to look to the latter for the delimitation of its permissible scope of activity. there are two steps." 4 2. A succinct statement of the appropriate principle that should govern the relationship between a constitutional convention and a legislative body under American law is that found in Orfield's work. 3 a Mississippi case. and paramount task assigned to it. that dates back to 1892. all parties. but not by the acts of the legislature. The result is a convention that is subordinate to the lawmaking body. are coordinate. viewed a convention as a body with strictly limited powers. two constituent bodies are provided for. the most notable of which is Sproule v. should be controlling on both Congress and the Convention. It reads: "The Congress in joint session assembled. that any limitation on the power the Constitutional. Thus as to the former. A convention then is to be looked upon as if it were one of the three coordinate departments which under the principle of separation of powers is supreme within its field and has exclusive cognizance of matters properly subject to its jurisdiction. much less controlled by Congress. and to the Constitution alone then. Our Constitution makes clear that the power of a constitutional convention is not sovereign. That is what sovereignty connotes. 2 Such a prerogative is therefore withheld from a convention. Jameson. It is an agency entrusted with the responsibility of high import and significance it is true. On the other hand. though not sovereign. limited as it is to the purpose of drafting a constitution or proposing revision or amendments to one in existence. It is true it is to the legislative body that the call to a convention must proceed. there being no superiority of one over the other. It is to be admitted that there are some American state decisions. Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. the Congress of the Philippines in the mode therein provided. The doctrine therein announced cannot bind us. as should be the case. it is bound by the existing constitution. Thus: "The earliest view seems to have been that a convention was absolute. by a vote of three fourths of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately. insofar as amendments. Its field of competence is circumscribed. The Constitution is quite explicit that it is to the people.

Such a proposition I do not find acceptable. it should be. be satisfied. Meaning is to be sought not from specific language in the singular but from the mosaic of significance derived from the total context. for me. if it were not thus. carry the day. an amendment is not to be passed upon by the electorate. 3. The spirit that informs it though would not. as an agent. It would appear to me that to view the convention as being denied a prerogative which is not withheld from Congress as a constituent body would be to place it in an inferior category. is not silently silent but silently vocal. for me. for me. I do not find such contention convincing. should be deemed possessed of all the necessary authority to assure that whatever amendments it seeks to introduce would be submitted to the people at an election called for that purpose. result in the frustration of the amending process. they derive vitality from the obvious purposes at which they are aimed. There is plausibility in such a view. to follow the phraseology of Thomas Reed Powel. A concept to the contrary 89 . Such a mode of construction does not commend itself. It is the conclusion arrived at by my brethren that there is to be only one election and that therefore the petition must be sustained as only when the convention has finished its work should all amendments proposed be submitted for ratification. the appropriate interpretation. No justification for such a drastic differentiation either in theory or practice exists.plenitude the constituent power. but if such a risk even if minimal could be avoided. What I deem the more important consideration is that while a public official. or. It is true that the Constitution uses the word "election" in the singular. Such a conclusion has for me the added reinforcement that to require ordinary legislation before the convention could be enabled to have its proposals voted on by the people would be to place a power in the legislative and executive branches that could. A literal reading of the Constitution would support it. That would be to brush aside the web of unreality spun from a toorestrictive mode of appraising the legitimate scope of its competence. It might be said of course that until impressed with finality. it would appear to be the better policy to interpret Article XV in such a way that would not sanction such restraint on the authority that must be recognized as vested in a constitutional convention. attended by such grave and awesome responsibility. unless the compelling force of an applicable constitutional provision requires otherwise. it would be easier to accommodate a constitution to the needs of an unfolding future. The words used in the Constitution are not inert. can only be limited in the exercise of their sovereign powers by the express terms of the Constitution. From its silence I deduce the inference that there is no repugnancy to the fundamental law when the Constitutional Convention ascertains the popular will. From such an approach then. There is nothing in such a view that to my mind would collide with a reasonable interpretation of Article XV. That would be. It certainly is one way by which freed from pernicious abstractions. That is to facilitate its being responsive to the challenge that time inevitably brings in its wake. and I say this with respect. Petitioner's stress on linguistic refinement. self-defeating. the Constitution. Congress and constitutional convention are agencies for submitting proposals under the fundamental law. That is not for me. I am irresistibly led to the conclusion that the challenged resolution was well within the power of the convention. the judiciary. It becomes pertinent to inquire then whether the last sentence of Article XV providing that such amendment shall be valid when submitted and thereafter approved by the majority of the votes cast by the people at an election is a bar to the proposed submission. they do not exert a compelling force in constitutional interpretation. as the principal. while not implausible does not. the people. In that sense. but that is not decisive. Inasmuch as Congress may determine what amendments it would have the people ratify and thereafter take all the steps necessary so that the approval or disapproval of the electorate may be obtained. It could be. to my mind. the convention likewise. I am the first to admit that such likelihood is remote. No undue reliance should be accorded rules of grammar. for that matter. A power granted to one should not be denied the other. has to locate his source of authority in either Constitution or statute. whether by act or omission. It was likewise argued by petitioner that the proposed amendment is provisional and therefore is not such as was contemplated in this article. Considering that a constitutional convention is not precluded from imposing additional restrictions on the powers of either the executive or legislative branches. to give added vigor and life to the conferment of authority vested in it. The fact that the Constitutional Convention did seek to consult the wishes of the people by the proposed submission of a tentative amendatory provision is an argument for its validity.

. it may be implied that under the 1971 Constitutional Convention Act. Assuming that the Constitutional Convention has power to propose piecemeal amendments and submit each separately to the people for ratification. and the people alone. I entertain grave doubts as to the validity of the premises postulated and conclusions reached in support of the dispositive portion of the decision. considering the urgent nature of this case. the conclusion arrived at by them cannot be characterized as in any wise bereft of a persuasive quality of a high order.. articulate two additional objections of constitutional dimension which. CASTRO and MAKASIAR. That is a purely executive function vested in it under Article X of the Constitution. and (2) that the forthcoming election is not the proper election envisioned by the same provision of the Constitution. JJ. Commission on Elections 1 and Philippine Constitution Association vs. At any rate. which to be sure achieves the result from the legal and constitutional viewpoint. Sanchez. and the fact that a dissent on the said issue would necessarily be inconclusive unless the other issues raised in the petition are also considered and ruled upon — a task that would be premature and pointless at this time — I limit myself to this reservation. as in this case.would to my way of thinking be inconsistent with the fundamental principle that it is in the people. to the electorate to ascertain its verdict.. concurring: We concur in the main opinion penned by Mr. J. The resolution in question is voted down by a sufficient majority of the Court on just one ground. however. Commission on Elections.B. to submit a proposal. although they would seem to be superfluous because of the reach of the basic constitutional infirmity discussed in extenso in the main opinion. in his dissent in Gonzales vs. 4. It should not be lost sight of that the Commission on Elections in thus being charged with such a duty does not act in its capacity as the constitutional agency to take charge of all laws relative to the conduct of election. Justice Barredo in his usual inimitable. Like him. the lack of time to set down at length my opinion on the particular issue upon which the decision is made to rest. with 90 . The constitutional Convention having acted within the scope of its authority. it is not to turn a deaf ear to a summons from the Convention to aid it in the legitimate discharge of its functions. V. such as they are. Mr. an action to restrain or prohibit respondent Commission on Elections from conducting the plebiscite does not lie. 2 expounded his view. leave me no alternative but to dissent from my brethren. forthright and vigorous style. that sovereignty resides. we are nonetheless persuaded that (1) that there is no proper submissionof title proposed amendment in question within the meaning and intendment of Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution. 6 The aforesaid considerations. J. with due acknowledgement of course that from their basic premises. However. ZALDIVAR. we do not express our individual views on the wisdom of the proposed constitutional amendment. We must. Separate Opinions MAKALINTAL. Justice C. even if admittedly tentative. but which for me have a force that I mind myself unable to overcome. REYES. 5 It is not precluded from assisting the Constitutional Convention if pursuant to its competence to amend the fundamental law it seeks. which is not in issue here because it is a matter that properly and exclusively addresses itself to the collective judgment of the people. nevertheless appear to us to be just as fundamental in character and scope. reserves his vote — I reserve my vote.L.

in the past elections.000 citizens cannot be reached. in the first place? Why should the new voting age be precisely 18 years. amendments must be fairly laid before the people for their blessing or spurning. if one citizen or 100 citizens or 1. The people are not to be mere rubber stamps. nature and effects thereof. one thing is submission and another is ratification. A number of doubts or misgivings could conceivably and logically assail the average voter. Surely. intelligent consent or rejection. This is what he said: . should put every instrumentality or agency within its structural framework to enlighten the people." would seem to be uncomplicated and innocuous. on the minimum requirements that must be met in order that there can be a proper submission to the people of a proposed constitutional amendment. The second constitutional objection was given expression by one of the writers of this concurring opinion. if the concentration of the people's attention thereon is to be diverted by other extraneous issues.. The framers of the Constitution. They are not to vote blindly.which we essentially agree. And the answers cannot be had except as the questions are debated fully. and try to reach a conclusion as the dictates of their conscience suggest. There must be fair submission." . But it is one of life's verities that things which appear to be simple may turn out not to be so simple after all. many more questions can be added to the already long litany. could have only meant that any amendments thereto should be debated. has not performed so well? If the proposed amendment is voted down by the people. considered and voted upon an election wherein the people could devote undivided attention to the subject. 91 . The above are just samplings from here. and not 19 or 20? And why not 17? Or even 16 or 15? Is the 18-year old as mature as the 21-year old so that there is no need of an educational qualification to entitle him to vote? In this age of permissiveness and dissent. They must be afforded ample opportunity to mull over the original provisions. will I not be unfair to my own child who will be 18 years old. free from the incubus of extraneous or possibly insidious influences. aware of the fundamental character thereof. there and everywhere — from a domain (of searching questions) the bounds of which are not immediately ascertainable. and accorded undivided attention. come 1973? . Why should the voting age be lowered at all. and the proposed amendments and the meaning. educate them with respect to their act of ratification or rejection. By this. "Do you or do you not want the 18-year old to be allowed to vote?. pondered upon purposefully. 4 True it is that the question posed by the proposed amendment. within its maximum capabilities. For we have earlier stated. We believe the word "submitted" can only mean that the government. should strain every effort to inform citizen of the provisions to be amended. in submitting an amendment for ratification. will the Constitutional Convention insist on the said amendment? Why is there an unseemly haste on the part of the Constitutional Convention in having this particular proposed amendment ratified at this particular time? Do some of the members of the Convention have future political plans which they want to begin to subserve by the approval this year of this amendment? If this amendment is approved. such as the choice of local and national officials. can the 18-year old be relied upon to vote with judiciousness when the 21-year old. does it thereby mean that the 18-year old should now also shoulder the moral and legal responsibilities of the 21-year old? Will he be required to render compulsory military service under the colors? Will the age of contractual consent be reduced to 18 years? If I vote against this amendment. we are not to be understood as saying that. and of the need of giving it as much stability as is practicable. in the following words: I find it impossible to believe that it was ever intended by its framers that such amendment should be submitted and ratified by just "a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification". What the Constitution in effect directs is that the government. then there is no submission within the meaning of the word as intended by the framers of the Constitution.. compare them with the proposed amendments.

that yield a different conclusion. Our Constitution makes clear that the power of a constitutional convention is not sovereign. Upon the above disquisition. with due respect. the most notable of which is Sproule v. we say that the people are not. That is what sovereignty connotes. Its field of competence is circumscribed. The Constitution is quite explicit that it is to the people. I cannot discern any objection to the validity of its action there being no legal impediment that would call for its nullification. according to our Constitution. definite and certain. J. its manifestation of fealty to the rule of law couched in eloquent language. It is in that sense that. no less than this Court." embodied in Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution. on the other. It has to look to the latter for the delimitation of its permissible scope of activity. FERNANDO. As the Constitution occupies the topmost rank in the hierarchy of legal norms. not being controlled by constitutional prescription. if not indeed required by the Constitution. sufficiently informed of the meaning. my conformity does not extend as far as the acceptance of the conclusion reached. 2 Such a prerogative is therefore withheld from a convention. should be controlling on both Congress and the Convention. implicit in the petition and the answer of intervenors. that commands assent. Under the circumstances. subject in either case to popular approval. expressly avowing the primacy of the Constitution. nature and effects of the proposed constitutional amendment. in whom sovereignty resides. With the view I entertain of what is allowable.. Such an approach all the more commends itself to me considering that what was sought to be done is to refer the matter to the people in whom. as should be the case. Thereby constitutionalism asserts itself. the applicable provision of which as interpreted by this Court. It is gratifying to note that during the oral argument of petitioner and counsel for respondents and intervenors. there were decisions announcing the doctrine that the powers to be exercised by a constitutional convention are dependent on a legislative grant. It does not thereby follow that while free from legislative control. 3 a Mississippi case. The result is a convention that is subordinate to the lawmaking body. It is understandable then why the decisive issue posed could not be resolved by reliance on. and by election time will not be. It is appropriately termed constituent. it is our considered view that the intendment of the words. the theory of conventional sovereignty favored by intervenors. Congress and Constitutional Convention alike. It is an agency entrusted with the responsibility of high import and significance it is true. Fredericks. characterized by clarity and vigor. It is to be admitted that there are some American state decisions. "at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. there apparently was a retreat from such extreme position. all parties. and to the people alone. The question presented is indeed novel. must bow to its supremacy. They have been and are effectively distracted from a full and dispassionate consideration of the merits and demerits of the proposed amendment by their traditional pervasive involvement in local elections and politics. with the express recognition in the Constitution of the powers of the Constitutional Convention to propose amendments. The doctrine therein announced cannot bind us. limited as it is to the purpose of drafting a constitution or proposing revision or amendments to one in existence. They cannot thus weigh in tranquility the need for and the wisdom of the proposed amendment. in the absence of any authority conferred directly by the fundamental law. that dates back to 1892. It is thus made subordinate to the legislature. It cannot be denied though that in at least one American state. There can then be no basis for the exaggerated pretension that it is an alter ego of the people. it is denied unlimited legal competence though. 92 . sovereignty resides. I. such concepts as legislative control of the constitutional convention referred to by petitioner on the one hand or. has not been met. that is Pennsylvania. concurring and dissenting: There is much to be said for the opinion of the Court penned by Justice Barredo. I find myself unable to join my brethren.Scanning the contemporary scene. 1 Its holding though finds no support under our constitutional provision. a constitutional convention may lay claim to an attribute sovereign in character. They have not been afforded ample time to deliberate thereon conscientiously. It has to yield to the superior force of the Constitution. Nowhere has such a view been more vigorously expressed than in the Pennsylvania case of Wood's Appeal.

Such a conclusion has for me the added reinforcement that to require ordinary legislation before the convention could be enabled to have its proposals voted on by the people would be to place a power in the legislative and executive branches that could. two constituent bodies are provided for. the Congress of the Philippines in the mode therein provided. 93 . possesses in all its plenitude the constituent power. Jameson. as to the extent of its constituent power. There is nothing in such a view that to my mind would collide with a reasonable interpretation of Article XV. viewed a convention as a body with strictly limited powers. a constitutional convention. Insofar as the constituent power of proposing amendments to the Constitution is concerned. there being no superiority of one over the other. but not by the acts of the legislature. and paramount task assigned to it. it is bound by the existing constitution. That is to facilitate its being responsive to the challenge that time inevitably brings in its wake. it would be easier to accommodate a constitution to the needs of an unfolding future. I am the first to admit that such likelihood is remote. may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a convention for that purpose. or. are coordinate. A convention then is to be looked upon as if it were one of the three coordinate departments which under the principle of separation of powers is supreme within its field and has exclusive cognizance of matters properly subject to its jurisdiction. Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. It is to the Constitution. including revision. and subject to the restrictions imposed on it by the legislative call. is a body independent of the legislature. A third and intermediate view is that urged by Dodd — that a convention. proposal and thereafter ratification. result in the frustration of the amending process. but if such a risk even if minimal could be avoided. This view has become increasingly prevalent in the state decisions. A contrary conclusion would impair its usefulness for the delicate. it would appear to be the better policy to interpret Article XV in such a way that would not sanction such restraint on the authority that must be recognized as vested in a constitutional convention. it cannot in any wise be interfered with. Considering that a constitutional convention is not precluded from imposing additional restrictions on the powers of either the executive or legislative branches. A succinct statement of the appropriate principle that should govern the relationship between a constitutional convention and a legislative body under American law is that found in Orfield's work. I turn to its Article XV. The convention was sovereign and subject to no restraint. are concerned. though not sovereign. insofar as amendments. Such a proposition I do not find acceptable. there are two steps. No justification for such a drastic differentiation either in theory or practice exists. it should be. and to the Constitution alone then. much less controlled by Congress. should be deemed possessed of all the necessary authority to assure that whatever amendments it seeks to introduce would be submitted to the people at an election called for that purpose. On the other hand. It is true it is to the legislative body that the call to a convention must proceed. by a vote of three fourths of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately. the judiciary. Inasmuch as Congress may determine what amendments it would have the people ratify and thereafter take all the steps necessary so that the approval or disapproval of the electorate may be obtained. a constitutional convention enjoys a wide sphere of autonomy consistently with the Constitution which can be the only source of valid restriction on its competence. alike recognized by the Constitution. for that matter. Congress and constitutional convention are agencies for submitting proposals under the fundamental law. Thus: "The earliest view seems to have been that a convention was absolute. to my mind. Convention must find its source. like the Congress of the Philippines. It certainly is one way by which freed from pernicious abstractions. and a constitutional convention that may be called into being. but once convened.The view that commends itself for acceptance is that legislature and constitutional convention. It reads: "The Congress in joint session assembled. Thus as to the former. A power granted to one should not be denied the other. whose views have been most frequently cited in decisions. that any limitation on the power the Constitutional. as so vigorously stressed in the opinion of the Court. whether by act or omission." 4 2. Once assembled. the convention likewise. It would appear to me that to view the convention as being denied a prerogative which is not withheld from Congress as a constituent body would be to place it in an inferior category." Clearly. unless the compelling force of an applicable constitutional provision requires otherwise.

There is plausibility in such a view. It should not be lost sight of that the Commission on Elections in thus being charged with such a duty does not act in its capacity as the constitutional agency to take charge of all laws relative to the conduct of election. 4. In that sense. From its silence I deduce the inference that there is no repugnancy to the fundamental law when the Constitutional Convention ascertains the popular will. to the electorate to ascertain its verdict. 3. even if admittedly tentative. that sovereignty resides. for me. to give added vigor and life to the conferment of authority vested in it. Footnotes 1 Under Section 36. carry the day. Such a mode of construction does not commend itself. 5 It is not precluded from assisting the Constitutional Convention if pursuant to its competence to amend the fundamental law it seeks. leave me no alternative but to dissent from my brethren. they derive vitality from the obvious purposes at which they are aimed. but that is not decisive.From such an approach then. That is not for me. It could be. no one may appear as amicus curiae unless invited or allowed. but which for me have a force that I mind myself unable to overcome. Petitioner's stress on linguistic refinement. It is true that the Constitution uses the word "election" in the singular. The fact that the Constitutional Convention did seek to consult the wishes of the people by the proposed submission of a tentative amendatory provision is an argument for its validity. and the people alone. Meaning is to be sought not from specific language in the singular but from the mosaic of significance derived from the total context. to follow the phraseology of Thomas Reed Powel. such as they are. No undue reliance should be accorded rules of grammar. That would be to brush aside the web of unreality spun from a toorestrictive mode of appraising the legitimate scope of its competence. A literal reading of the Constitution would support it. It might be said of course that until impressed with finality. It is the conclusion arrived at by my brethren that there is to be only one election and that therefore the petition must be sustained as only when the convention has finished its work should all amendments proposed be submitted for ratification. 94 . attended by such grave and awesome responsibility. The words used in the Constitution are not inert. That would be. can only be limited in the exercise of their sovereign powers by the express terms of the Constitution. At any rate. The constitutional Convention having acted within the scope of its authority. That is a purely executive function vested in it under Article X of the Constitution. What I deem the more important consideration is that while a public official. and I say this with respect. the people. the appropriate interpretation. is not silently silent but silently vocal. while not implausible does not. I do not find such contention convincing. as an agent. A concept to the contrary would to my way of thinking be inconsistent with the fundamental principle that it is in the people. by the Court. with due acknowledgement of course that from their basic premises. self-defeating. an amendment is not to be passed upon by the electorate. It becomes pertinent to inquire then whether the last sentence of Article XV providing that such amendment shall be valid when submitted and thereafter approved by the majority of the votes cast by the people at an election is a bar to the proposed submission. the Constitution. for me. to submit a proposal. if it were not thus. an action to restrain or prohibit respondent Commission on Elections from conducting the plebiscite does not lie. The spirit that informs it though would not. it is not to turn a deaf ear to a summons from the Convention to aid it in the legitimate discharge of its functions. I am irresistibly led to the conclusion that the challenged resolution was well within the power of the convention. has to locate his source of authority in either Constitution or statute. It was likewise argued by petitioner that the proposed amendment is provisional and therefore is not such as was contemplated in this article. as the principal. as in this case. be satisfied. the conclusion arrived at by them cannot be characterized as in any wise bereft of a persuasive quality of a high order. they do not exert a compelling force in constitutional interpretation. 6 The aforesaid considerations. Rule 138 as amended. it may be implied that under the 1971 Constitutional Convention Act. for me.

841.. Calixto O. these laws are supreme over all subjects unforbidden by the instrument itself. Cases in Constitutional Law. unless the power to call a convention by law. 4 Orfield on The Amending of the Federal Constitution. 2 of Article X of the Constitution: "The Commission on Elections shall have exclusive charge of its enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of elections and shall exercise all other functions which may be conferred upon it by law. 97 P. The right of the people to restrain their delegates by law cannot be denied. pp. law is the highest act of a people's sovereignty while their government and Constitution remain unchanged. So long as their frame of government is unchanged in its grant of all legislative power. 584. It wields the powers of sovereignty. Scales. concurred by Justices Arsenio P.. Fred Ruiz Castro and Eugenio Angeles. and regulating its action by law. including the Senate and House of Representatives. The following excerpt appears in the opinion: "We have spoken of the constitutional convention as a sovereign body. for the good of the whole commonwealth. 1967. and by which they bind themselves. CASTRO and MAKASIAR. Dizon.L. by the whole electoral body. concurring and dissenting: 1 Wood's Appeal. Reyes. 75 Pa. 4 21 SCRA 821. It is the highest legislative body known to freemen in a representative government. shall place at the disposal of the 95 . Imperial.B. The calling of a convention. State. for the purpose and the occasion. 816-817. 103 Phil. Zaldivar. 3 11 So. Abcede v. 20 So. It is a conceded manner. FERNANDO. 45-46 (1942).All government entities. but the particular fashioning of the parts of this framework is confided to the wisdom the faithfulness. through which the people may exercise the rights reserved in the bill of rights." 2 According to Sec. It is the supreme will of the people expressed in the forms and by the authority of their Constitution. 816-817. It is their own appointed mode through which they govern themselves.. is not forbidden in the Constitution. representing the people in their sovereignty. admitted the controversial character of the Sproule dictum. 2 L-28224. It is supreme in its sphere. J. State v. It was therein stated: "In a governmental and proper sense. 4-5 (1936). 9... 21 SCRA 774. 1 of Art. 136 (1958). 14 of the 1971 Constitutional Convention Act (1970):"Administration and Technical Assistance. The sole limitation upon its powers is that no change in the form of government shall be done or attempted. Nov. concurring: 1 L-28196.B. 472. agencies and instrumentalities. J. 21 SCRA 774. 9. 6 "According to Sec. and the patriotism of this great convocation. of the real nature of that august assembly. and the right of self protection be also denied." Cf. 59 (1874) cited in Malcolm and Laurel. JJ. II: "Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. specially delegated to it.REYES. and that characterization perfectly defines the correct view." The Sproule decision was cited with approval four years later by the Mississippi Supreme Court anew in Dickson v. -. 3 Per Justice J." . The spirit of republicanism must breathe through every part of the framework. A 1908 decision of the Southern State of Oklahoma. Nov. 1.L. 5 According to Sec. in our opinion. 1967. . ZALDIVAR.

the length of the period for tile exercise by the President of his present powers. October 12. petitioners." Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. October 12. the powers of such replacement.1976 VICENTE M. 991. vs. 1976 PABLO C. SANIDAD and PABLITO V. by declaring the provisions of presidential Decree No. HONORABLE COMMISSION ON SELECTIONS and HONORABLE NATIONAL TREASURER. amending the previous Presidential Decree No. the President issued another related decree. respondent.1 Twenty days after or on September 22. assembly. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. Quite relevantly. 229 providing for the manner of voting and canvass of votes in "barangays" (Citizens Assemblies) applicable to the national referendum-plebiscite of October 16. its replacement. 1976. GUZMAN. vs.R. and furniture thereof as can. 2 On the same date of September 22. MARTIN. refund or additional pay. 1031 repealed Section 4. No.: The capital question raised in these prohibition suits with preliminary injunction relates to the power of the incumbent President of the Philippines to propose amendments to the present Constitution in the absence of the interim National Assembly which has not been convened. among other things. 1976. without cost. Presidential Decree No. 1976. J. G. respondents. 991. 1976 for the Citizens Assemblies ("barangays") to resolve.. stating the questions to be submitted to the people in the referendum-plebiscite on October 16. the period of its existence. JR. HONORABLE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and HONORABLE NATIONAL TREASURER. petitioner. President Ferdinand E. GONZALES. 1033. petitioner.R. On September 2. 1976. No. GONZALES.1976 RAUL M. 1976.Convention such personnel premises. the issues of martial law. G. Presidential Decree No. L-44714. of Presidential Decree No. SANIDAD. RAUL T.R. respondents. 1031. vs. the President issued Presidential Decree No. the full text of which (Section 4) is quoted in the footnote below. L-44684. The Decree recites in its "whereas" clauses that the people's continued opposition to the convening of the National Assembly evinces their desire to have such body abolished and replaced thru a constitutional amendment. the I . No. and ALFREDO SALAPANTAN. L-44640 October 12. 96 . COMMISSION ELECTIONS. 991 calling for a national referendum on October 16. in their judgment be spared without detriment to public service.

within 30 days from the election and selection of the members. The President (Prime Minister) and his Cabinet shall exercise all the powers and functions. powers. in lieu of the interim National Assembly. responsibilities. 5. rights. it shall not exercise the power provided in Article VIII. manner of their election shall be prescribed and regulated by law. and composition may be altered by law. The barangays and sanggunians shall continue as presently constituted but their functions. which will be submitted directly to the people in the referendum-plebiscite of October 16. shall include the incumbent President of the Philippines. 2. issue the necessary decrees. 6. The incumbent President of the Philippines shall. orders or letters of instructions.providing for a legislative body. he may. unless otherwise provided by law. The interim Batasang Pambansa shall have the same powers and its members shall have the same functions. The President (Prime Minister) if he so desires may appoint a Deputy Prime Minister or as many Deputy Prime Ministers as he may deem necessary. However. and those chosen by the incumbent President from the members of the Cabinet. The questions ask. the referendum shall have the effect of a plebiscite within the contemplation of Section 2 of Article XVI of the Constitution. There shall be. those who shall not be less than eighteen years of age elected by their respective sectors. Section 14(l) of the Constitution. do you approve the following amendments to the Constitution? For the purpose of the second question. which shall form part of the law of the land. 97 . representatives elected from the different regions of the nation. Members of the interim Batasang Pambansa which shall not be more than 120. 7. The incumbent President of the Philippines shall be the Prime Minister and he shall continue to exercise all his powers even after the interim Batasang Pambansa is organized and ready to discharge its functions and likewise he shall continue to exercise his powers and prerogatives under the nineteen hundred and thirty five. and discharge the responsibilities of the regular President (Prime Minister) and his Cabinet. privileges. convene the interim Batasang Pambansa and preside over its sessions until the Speaker shall have been elected. and disqualifications as the interim National Assembly and the regular National Assembly and the members thereof. and shall be subject only to such disqualifications as the President (Prime Minister) may prescribe. 3. Constitution and the powers vested in the President and the Prime Minister under this Constitution. Whenever in the judgment of the President (Prime Minister). The incumbent President shall continue to exercise legislative powers until martial law shall have been lifted. The number of representatives from each region or sector and the. an interim Batasang Pambansa. Regional representatives shall be apportioned among the regions in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio while the sectors shall be determined by law. to wit: (1) Do you want martial law to be continued? (2) Whether or not you want martial law to be continued. in order to meet the exigency. 4. or whenever the interim Batasang Pambansa or the regular National Assembly fails or is unable to act adequately on any matter for any reason that in his judgment requires immediate action. PROPOSED AMENDMENTS: 1. there exists a grave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof.

as well as Presidential Decree No. 1976. control. These last petitioners argue that even granting him legislative powers under Martial Law. On October 5. the Referendum-Plebiscite on October 16 has no constitutional or legal basis. or revision of the Constitution during the transition period is expressly conferred on the interim National Assembly under Section 16. another action for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction. and conduct the Referendum-Plebiscite scheduled on October 16. Sanidad) possess locus standi to challenge the constitutional premise of Presidential Decree Nos. All provisions of this Constitution not inconsistent with any of these amendments shall continue in full force and effect. only the incumbent President has the authority to exercise constituent power. to declare without force and effect Presidential Decree Nos. GONZALES. at this state of the transition period. the issue raised is political in nature. the Solicitor General filed the comment for respondent Commission on Elections. 1976. Petitioners contend that under the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions there is no grant to the incumbent President to exercise the constituent power to propose amendments to the new Constitution. 991. SANIDAD and PABLITO V. insofar as they propose amendments to the Constitution.Referenda conducted thru the barangays and under the Supervision of the Commission on Elections may be called at any time the government deems it necessary to ascertain the will of the people regarding any important matter whether of national or local interest.3 Still another petition for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction was filed on October 5. commenced L44640 for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction seeking to enjoin the Commission on Elections from holding and conducting the Referendum Plebiscite on October 16. was instituted by VICENTE M. JR. 1031. beyond judicial cognizance of this Court. 98 .year olds to vote would amount to an amendment of the Constitution. asserting that the power to propose amendments to. SANIDAD. As a consequence. the incumbent President cannot act as a constituent assembly to propose amendments to the Constitution. the referendum-plebiscite is a step towards normalization. Sanidad and Pablito V. father and son. GUZMAN. and allowing 15-. Article XVII of the Constitution. We find the petitions in the three entitled cases to be devoid of merit. to restrain the implementation of Presidential Decrees relative to the forthcoming Referendum-Plebiscite of October 16. hold. a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention." The Commission on Elections was vested with the exclusive supervision and control of the October 1976 National Referendum-Plebiscite. and ALFREDO SALAPANTAN.44714. 1. PABLO C. to lift Martial Law. On September 27. The Solicitor General principally maintains that petitioners have no standing to sue. I Justiciability of question raised. 9. his son RAUL. 8. insofar as it directs the Commission on Elections to supervise. 991 and 1033.. the submission of the proposed amendments in such a short period of time for deliberation renders the plebiscite a nullity. On September 30. We rule that the petitioners in L-44640 (Pablo C. a referendum-plebiscite is untenable under the Constitutions of 1935 and 1973. These amendments shall take effect after the incumbent President shall have proclaimed that they have been ratified by I majority of the votes cast in the referendum-plebiscite. 1976. docketed as L. docketed as L-44684. the President need not consult the people via referendum. which confines the right of suffrage to those citizens of the Philippines 18 years of age and above. 1976. As a preliminary resolution. 1976 by RAUL M.

the regularity regularity of the procedure for amendments. so that the Supreme Court is vested with that authorities to determine whether that power has been discharged within its limits. Is it not that the people themselves. We disagree. 6 The interest of the aforenamed petitioners as taxpayers in the lawful expenditure of these amounts of public money sufficiently clothes them with that personality to litigate the validity of the Decrees appropriating said funds. The normal course has not been followed. 15. Whether the amending process confers on the President that power to propose amendments is therefore a downright justiciable question. 4 The breadth of Presidential Decree No. of the legality of a particular act. Where the vortex of the controversy refers to the legality or validity of the contested act." The Supreme Court has the last word in the construction not only of treaties and statutes. XVI. raises a judicial question. . or law may be declared unconstitutional without the concurrence of at least ten Members. and 1033. Article X of the new Constitution provides: "All cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty. laws providing for the disbursement of public funds may be enjoined. Section 2 (2). which commonly purport to have the force and effect of legislation are assailed as invalid. Rather than calling the National Assembly to constitute itself into a constituent assembly the incumbent President undertook the proposal of amendments and submitted the proposed amendments thru Presidential Decree 1033 to the people in a Referendum-Plebiscite on October 16. We deem it sound to exercise that discretion affirmatively so that the authority upon which the disputed Decrees are predicated may be inquired into. Should the contrary be found. written in lambent words in the very Constitution sought to be amended. can declare whether the procedure followed or the authority assumed was valid or not. Unavoidably. 8 This is especially true in cases where the power of the Presidency to initiate the of normally exercised by the legislature. executive agreement. the constitutional provision has been followed or not is the proper subject of inquiry. by their sovereign act. but also of the Constitution itself The amending. The implementing Presidential Decree Nos. 991 carries all appropriation of Five Million Pesos for the effective implementation of its purposes. that matter is definitely justiciable or non-political. as regards taxpayer's suits. Transitory provisions). or law may shall be heard and decided by the Supreme Court en banc and no treaty. the power to propose amendments becomes ipso facto the prerogative of the regular National Assembly (Sec. After that period. 1. and 1033.. 7 For the present case. If the Constitution provides how it may be amended. It is now an ancient rule that the valid source of a stature Presidential Decrees are of such nature-may be contested by one who will sustain a direct injuries as a in result of its enforcement. Political questions are neatly associated with the wisdom. the judiciary as the interpreter of that Constitution. 991. this Court enjoys that open discretion to entertain the same or not. Under the terms of the 1973 Constitution. is in form a delegated and hence a limited power. upon the theory that 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. The amending process both as to proposal and ratification. executive agreement. a power which includes the competence to determine whether the 99 . that the question of the President's authority to propose amendments and the regularity of the procedure adopted for submission of the proposal to the people ultimately lie in the judgment of the A clear Descartes fallacy of vicious circle.. in pursuing his theory of non-justiciability. 10 We cannot accept the view of the Solicitor General. but his constitutional authority to perform such act or to assume the power of a constituent assembly. 2. not by the people themselves of course who exercise no power of judicial but by the Supreme Court in whom the people themselves vested that power. The Solicitor General would consider the question at bar as a pure political one. therefore. is seriously doubted. 1031. 1 and 2 of Art. the actuation of the President would merely be a brutum fulmen. 1973 constitution). lying outside the domain of judicial review. pars.1031. like all other powers organized in the Constitution. within the competence of this Court to pass upon. At the instance of taxpayers. raises a contestable issue. thus the issue of the validity of said Decrees is plainly a justiciable one. and the regular National Assembly in its active session. 1031 appropriates the sum of Eight Million Pesos to carry out its provisions. 5 Presidential Decree No. Moreover. What is in the heels of the Court is not the wisdom of the act of the incumbent President in proposing amendments to the Constitution. provided for the authority and procedure for the amending process when they ratified the present Constitution in 1973? Whether. the power to propose amendments o the constitution resides in the interim National Assembly in the period of transition (See.

We did not apply and expressly modified.constitutional norms for amendments have been observed or not. Thus. this inquiry must be done a prior not a posterior i. Article XVI of the 1973 Constitution on Amendments ordains: SECTION 1. Subsequently in the Ratification Cases 12 involving the issue of whether or not the validity of Presidential Proclamation No. 1973) for ratification or rejection the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention and appropriating fund s therefore "is a political one. SECTION 2. the political-question theory adopted in Mabanag vs. and We unanimously declared that the issue was a justiciable one. was rejected and the Court unanimously considered the issue as justiciable in nature. 1973. was valid or not. which view We. abandoned and refused to apply." II The amending process as laid out in the new Constitution. (2) The National Assembly may. Commission on Elections. substantially the same as those given in support on the political question theory advanced in said habeas corpus and plebiscite cases. We rejected the theory of the respondents therein that the question whether Presidential Decree No. or revision of. (1) Any amendment to. For the same reason. As a consequence. Lopez Vito. accordingly. insofar as it adhered to the former case. for the ratification or rejection of the proposed new Constitution. In the Plebiscite Cases. submit the question of calling such a convention to the electorate in an election. Baker and Mabanag vs. by a majority vote of all its Members.. 1. in Gonzales vs. 1102. was decisively refused by the Court. or by a constitutional convention. Lopez Vito. And. Any amendment to. it partook of a political nature. prior constitutional cases underline the preference of the Court's majority to treat such issue of Presidential role in the amending process as one of non-political impression. before the submission to and ratification by the people. the Court ruled that the question raised is justiciable. they claimed. We overruled the respondent's contention in the 1971 habeas corpus cases. the interim National Assembly instituted in the Transitory Provisions is conferred with that amending power. said. 11 the contention of the Solicitor General that the issue on the legality of Presidential Decree No. expressing the majority view. this Constitution may be proposed by the National Assembly upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members. which were carefully considered by this Court and found by it to be legally unsound and constitutionally untenable. was not a proper subject of judicial inquiry because." 13 The return to Barcelon vs. the precedents evolved by the Court or. however. Chief Justice Concepcion continued: "The reasons adduced in support thereof are. Chief Justice Concepcion. With Identical unanimity. 73 calling a plebiscite to be held on January 15. by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members. Baker and Montenegro vs. 73 "submitting to the Pilipino people (on January 15. In the present period of transition. despite the opposite view taken by this Court in Barcelon vs. Indeed. in the aforementioned plebiscite cases. call a constitutional convention or. questioning Our authority to determine the constitutional sufficiency of the factual bases of the Presidential proclamation suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus on August 21." partakes of the nature of a political question. urged by the Solicitor General. announcing the Ratification by the Filipino people of the constitution proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention. 1971.e. Section 15 of the Transitory Provisions reads: 100 . Castaneda. Our decisions in the aforementioned habeas corpus cases partakes of the nature and effect of a stare decisis which gained added weight by its virtual reiteration. or revision of. the affirmative stand of' the Solicitor General was dismissed. this Constitution shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not later than three months after the approval of such amendment or revision.

lt is not legislating when engaged in the amending process. may. the people had already resolved against it. as a matter of fact. himself a member of that Constitutional Convention. In political science a distinction is made between constitutional content of an organic character and that of a legislative character'. approval of the President of any proposed amendment is a misnomer 18 The prerogative of the President to approve or disapprove applies only to the ordinary cases of legislation. made by Delegate Pimentel (V) was rejected. at which the ratification of the 1973 Constitution was submitted. however. In times of normally. The distinction. not of law. upon special call by the interim Prime Minister. In the referendum of July 24. 3. or (2) by a Constitutional Convention called by a vote of two-thirds of all the Members of the National Assembly. when the legislative arm of the state undertakes the proposals of amendment to a Constitution. who were deemed automatically members of the I interim National Assembly. were against its inclusion since in that referendum of January. 17 Such being the case. In the plebiscite of January 10-15. This Court in Aquino v. In sensu strictiore. i. consistent with the prevailing conditions of peace and order in the country. The interim National Assembly.. In times of transition. therefore. 1975. it was so stated plainly by the sponsor. that body is not in the usual function of lawmaking. 2. because some of the members of Congress and delegates of the Constitutional Convention. it is exercising a peculiar power bestowed upon it by the fundamental charter itself.16 Rather. 1973. the proposal that it be convened 'immediately'. that power is provided for in Article XVI of the 1973 Constitution (for the regular National Assembly) or in Section 15 of the Transitory Provisions (for the National Assembly). 1973. revealed: "(W)hen the Delegates to the Constitutional Convention voted on the Transitory Provisions. However the calling of a Constitutional Convention may be submitted to the electorate in an election voted upon by a majority vote of all the members of the National Assembly. in the referendum of February 27. Delegate Yaneza. the incumbent President was given the discretion as to when he could convene the interim National Assembly. COMELEC. by a majority vote of all its Members. two periods contemplated in the constitutional life of the nation.e. Justice Makasiar said: "The Constitutional Convention intended to leave to the President the determination of the time when he shall initially convene the interim National Assembly. the people voted against the convening of the interim National Assembly.SECTION 15. the Citizens Assemblies ("bagangays") reiterated their sovereign will to withhold the convening of the interim National Assembly. they were aware of the fact that under the same. There are. Justice Fernandez. is one of policy. period of normalcy and period of transition. the proposed question of whether the interim National Assembly shall be initially convened was eliminated.. amendments may be proposed by a majority vote of all the Members of the National Assembly upon special call by the interim Prime Minister. In the Philippines. Again. 101 . The President's decision to defer the convening of the interim National Assembly soon found support from the people themselves. Such amendments shall take effect when ratified in accordance with Article Sixteen hereof. Speaking for the majority opinion in that case. 1973. 19 III Concentration of Powers in the President during crisis government. The President has nothing to do with proposition or adoption of amendments to the Constitution. the amending process may be initiated by the proposals of the (1) regular National Assembly upon a vote of three-fourths of all its members." had already settled that the incumbent President is vested with that prerogative of discretion as to when he shall initially convene the interim National Assembly." Concurring. While ordinarily it is the business of the legislating body to legislate for the nation by virtue of constitutional conferment amending of the Constitution is not legislative in character. propose amendments to this Constitution.

it must also be freed from the normal system of constitutional and legal limitations. 'the very definition of tyranny. orders. inflation. issued. who shall then exercise their respective powers vested by this Constitution. 1 and 2) of the Transitory Provisions. Otherwise. yet the facts of our 102 . No. There are moments in the life of any government when all powers must work together in unanimity of purpose and action. or unless expressly and explicitly modified or repealed by the regular National Assembly. claims for the executive in its own right a broad discretion capable even of setting aside the ordinary laws in the meeting of special exigencies for which the legislative power had not provided. "(t)he concentration of government power in a democracy faced by an emergency is a corrective to the crisis inefficiencies inherent in the doctrine of the separation of powers. secession. and knowing that it may not be convened soon. instructions. revoked.' In normal times the separation of powers forms a distinct obstruction to arbitrary governmental action. In general. unless modified. This is evident in a comparison of the crisis potentialities of the cabinet and presidential systems of government. in abnormal times it may form an insurmountable barrier to a decisive emergency action in behalf of the state and its independent existence. which involve rebellion. 2. with no one to exercise the lawmaking powers. on the other hand. binding. By this same token. The more complete the separation of powers in a constitutional system. recession. instructions. there would be paralyzation of the entire governmental machinery. The presidential exercise of legislative powers in time of martial law is now a conceded valid at. or done by the incumbent President shall be part of the law of the land. and judiciary. 20 According to Rossiter. or superseded by subsequent proclamations. while conventional constitutional law just confines the President's power as Commander-in-Chief to the direction of the operation of the national forces. orders. 21 John Locke. He shall continue to exercise his powers and prerogatives under the nineteen hundred and thirty-five Constitution and the powers vested in the President and the Prime Minister under this Constitution until the calls upon the interim National Assembly to elect the interim President and the interim Prime Minister. The separation of executive and legislature ordained in the Constitution presents a distinct obstruction to efficient crisis government.1. the more difficult and yet the more necessary will be their fusion in time of crisis. subversion. The steady increase in executive power is not too much a cause for as the steady increase in the magnitude and complexity of the problems the President has been called upon by the Filipino people to solve in their behalf. as Madison wrote in the Federalist. cabinet is more easily established and more trustworthy than presidential dictatorship. In most free states it has generally been regarded as imperative that the total power of the government be parceled out among three mutually independent branches executive. the governmental powers in crisis government the Philippines is a crisis government today are more or less concentrated in the President. this is an extremely important factor in any constitutional dictatorship which extends over a period of time. and economic crisis-a crisis greater than war. or other acts of the incumbent President. "It is unthinkable. 22 The rationale behind such broad emergency powers of the Executive is the release of the government from "the paralysis of constitutional restrains" so that the crisis may be ended and normal times restored. In short. It is believed to be destructive of constitutionalism if any one branch should exercise any two or more types of power. That sun clear authority of the President is saddled on Section 3 (pars. decrees. "that the Constitutional Convention. In the former the all-important harmony of legislature and executive is taken for granted. in the latter it is neither guaranteed nor to be to confidently expected. while giving to the President the discretion when to call the interim National Assembly to session. 47." 24 Paraphrasing Rossiter. All proclamations. thus: 23 The incumbent President of the Philippines shall initially convene the interim National Assembly and shall preside over its sessions until the interim Speaker shall have been elected. even if this means the temporary union of executive. and certainly a total disregard of the separation of powers is. a 1971 Constitutional Convention delegate." said Justice Fernandez. and shall remain valid. As a result. decrees. and effective even after lifting of martial law or the ratification of this Constitution. would create a vacuum in the exercise of legislative powers. The power of the state in crisis must not only be concentrated and expanded. legislature. and judicial power in the hands of one man. and acts promulgated. legislative.

the initial convening of that Assembly is a matter fully addressed to the judgment of the incumbent President. and 60 cities had informed the President that the prevailing sentiment of the people is for the abolition of the interim National Assembly. 15 of the Transitory Provisions). This. harking to the dictates of the sovereign will. the "barangays" and the "sanggunians" endorsed to the President the submission of the proposed amendments to the people on October 16. Parenthetically. 9 officials with cabinet rank. 1033 on September 22. If the President has been legitimately discharging the legislative functions of the interim Assembly. 3 subprovinces. Likewise. 72 provinces. the length of the period for the exercise by the President of its present powers in a referendum to be held on October 16 . 28 The Batasang Bayan (legislative council) created under Presidential Decree 995 of September 10. of course.458 municipalities. 103 . the previously quoted proposed amendments to the Constitution. All the foregoing led the President to initiate the proposal of amendments to the Constitution and the subsequent issuance of Presidential Decree No. 1. the power to legislate is constitutionally consigned to the interim National Assembly during the transition period. representing 42.29 Similarly. there is no reason why he cannot validly discharge the function of that Assembly to propose amendments to the Constitution. thereby impeding the objective of a crisis government "to end the crisis and restore normal times. is not to say that the President has converted his office into a constituent assembly of that nature normally constituted by the legislature.political. And. Other issues concerned the lifting of martial law and amendments to the Constitution . 1976 submitting the questions (proposed amendments) to the people in the National Referendum-Plebiscite on October 16. As early as the referendums of January 1973 and February 1975. which is but adjunct. including the issue of martial law . although peculiar. to its gross legislative power. the Supreme Court possesses no capacity to propose amendments without constitutional infractions. the interim Assembly. The President's action is not a unilateral move. Again. composed of 19 cabinet members. social. After all. are mere agents of the people . For the President to shy away from that actuality and decline to undertake the amending process would leave the governmental machineries at a stalemate or create in the powers of the State a destructive vacuum. constituent assemblies or constitutional conventions. the President decided not to call the interim National Assembly. in the exercise of that judgment. its replacement." In these parlous times. The Lupong Tagapagpaganap of the Katipunan ng mga Sanggunian. the people had already rejected the calling of the interim National Assembly. Sanggunians in 1. and the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Barangay. indefinite power should be attributed to tile President to take emergency measures 25 IV Authority of the incumbent President t to propose amendments to the Constitution. However. with the interim National Assembly not convened and only the Presidency and the Supreme Court in operation. like the President now. the President opted to defer convening of that body in utter recognition of the people's preference. 91 members of the Lupong Tagapagpaganap (executive committee) of the Katipunan ng mga Sangguniang Bayan voted in session to submit directly to the people in a plebiscite on October 16. the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Barangay. about the same number of Kabataang Barangay organizations. As earlier pointed out. and economic disturbances had convincingly shown that in meeting the same. the power to propose amendments to the Constitution lies in the interim National Assembly upon special call by the President (See.27 The national organizations of Sangguniang Bayan presently proposed to settle the issues of martial law.000 barangays.26 2. Rather. in the period of transition. the urges of absolute necessity render it imperative upon the President to act as agent for and in behalf of the people to propose amendments to the Constitution. that Presidential initiative to reduce into concrete forms the constant voices of the people reigns supreme. the period of its existence. 1976. Would it then be within the bounds of the Constitution and of law for the President to assume that constituent power of the interim Assembly vis-a-vis his assumption of that body's legislative functions? The answer is yes. by its very constitution.

wherein the 15-year olds may participate. a republican and unitary state." A constitution is based. There is nothing objectionable in consulting the people on a given issue. This is the plebiscite aspect. VI Referendum-Plebiscite not rendered nugatory by the participation of the 15-year olds. it may well be said that the amending process is a sovereign act. feeble-minded. 38 2. as earlier discussed.30 In its fourth meaning. according to the Constitution. This was prompted by the desire of the Government to reach the larger mas of the people so that their true pulse may be felt to guide the President in pursuing his program for a New Order. It is apt to distinguish here between a "referendum" and a "plebiscite. And." 31 This is the concept of popular sovereignty. they are the collated thoughts of the sovereign will reduced only into enabling forms by the authority who can presently exercise the powers of the government. upon a self-limiting decision of the people when they adopt it. It means that the constitutional legislator. 33 This is because." 34"The necessities of orderly government. which is of current one and submitting to them for ratification of proposed constitutional amendments. "do not require that one generation should be permitted to permanently fetter all future generations. the Constitution "is an experiment. proceed not from the thinking of a single man.. is sovereign 32 In consequence." wrote Rottschaefer. In the Philippines. only those of voting age of 18 years may participate. as all life is all experiment. the location of sovereignty in a unitary state is easily seen.(1) Do you want martial law to be continued? . the results of the referendum-plebiscite shall be separately prepared for the age groupings. Rather. as contemplated in Section 2. Article XVI of the new Constitution. The fact that the voting populace are simultaneously asked to answer the referendum question and the plebiscite question does not infirm the referendum-plebiscite. Savigny would treat people as "that particular organized assembly of individuals in which. it would only be the votes of those 18 years old and above which will have valid bearing on the results. 36 On this second question. Indeed. 104 . therefore. The proposed amendments. the highest power exists. The fear of commingled votes (15-year olds and 18-year olds above) is readily dispelled by the provision of two ballot boxes for every barangay center. 37 The ballots in the ballot box for voters fifteen years of age and under eighteen shall be counted ahead of the ballots of voters eighteen years and above contained in another ballot box. October 16 is in parts a referendum and a plebiscite. 1. one containing the ballots of voters fifteen years of age and under eighteen. the submission of those proposed amendments and the question of martial law in a referendum-plebiscite expresses but the option of the people themselves implemented only by the authority of the President." A "referendum" is merely consultative in character. The October 16 referendum-plebiscite is a resounding call to the people to exercise their sovereign power as constitutional legislator.convicts .V The People is Sovereign 1." on the other hand. sovereignty "resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.is a referendum question. Unlike in a federal state. namely the people. i. as Holmes said. and another containing the ballots of voters eighteen years of age and above. the calling of which is derived from or within the totality of the executive power of the President. 35 2. ballots contained in each of the two boxes. the people may thus write into the Constitution their convictions on any subject they choose in the absence of express constitutional prohibition. In equal vein. For the succeeding question on the proposed amendments. 40 A "plebiscite. or ex. although the authority to initiate the same and the procedure to be followed reside somehow in a particular body. 39 It is participated in by all citizens from the age of fifteen. It is simply a means of assessing public reaction to the given issues submitted to the people foe their consideration. regardless of whether or not they are illiterates. The question .e.

but as succeeding steps in a single endeavor. The martial law regime which. 1937 (Com. may fix the time within which the people may act. They are the issues of the day. Justice Makasiar. political. The constitutional amendment to append as ordinance the complicated Tydings-Kocialskowski was published in only three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette for 10 days prior to the scheduled plebiscite (Com. Act No. The referendums of 1973 and 1975 carried the same issue of martial law. It is worthy to note that Article XVI of the Constitution makes no provision as to the specific date when the plebiscite shall be held. Miller. The period from September 21 to October 16 or a period of 3 weeks is not too short for free debates or discussions on the referendum-plebiscite issues. That notwithstanding. second. The questions are not new. 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 preceding the election Literacy." In Coleman v. VII 1. 34).involves the constituent act of those "citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law. The for the referendum-plebiscite on October 16 recognizes all the embracing freedoms of expression and assembly The President himself had announced that he would not countenance any suppression of dissenting views on the issues. That speaks of a bygone fear. in the Referendum Case. but on certain grounds no total suppression of that liberty is aimed at. 20 days of publication in three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette was fixed (Com Act No. the contested brief period for discussion is not without counterparts in previous plebiscites for constitutional amendments. the President. 43 Even government employees have been held by the Civil Service Commission free to participate in public discussion and even campaign for their stand on the referendum-plebiscite issues." which "are essentially political and not justiciable. it is only when there is deemed to be a necessity therefor that amendments are to be proposed. and third. the ratification aspect. more particularly. 517). who are eighteen years of age or over." The constituent body or in the instant cases. 44 VIII Time for deliberation is not short. an involved constitutional amendment affecting the economy as well as the independence of the Republic was publicized in three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette for 20 days prior to the plebiscite (Rep. but on the genuine sentiment of the people on the issues at hand. There appeals to be no valid basis for the claim that the regime of martial law stultifies in main the freedom to dissent. 1. 73). the dissenters soon found their way to the public forums. 42 Thus. This is because proposal and ratification are not treated as unrelated acts. Act 492). It is generally associated with the amending process of the Constitution. the reasonable implication being that when proposed. 47 In the words 105 . it must be done contemporaneously." 45 2. but simply states that it "shall be held not later than three months after the approval of such amendment or revision. property or any other substantive requirement is not imposed. the natural inference being that they are not to be widely separated in time. and the creation of the Commission on Elections. which is already a settled matter. there are restraints of the individual liberty. as he is not interested in winning a "yes" or "no" vote. ratification is but the expression of the approbation of the people. Act No. 41 is impressed with a mild character recorded no State imposition for a muffled voice. social and economic. 46 the United States Supreme court held that this matter of submission involves "an appraisal of a great variety of relevant conditions. For the 1940 Constitutional amendments providing for the bicameral Congress. The people have been living with them since the proclamation of martial law four years ago. And the Parity Amendment. To be sure. hence. in the observation of Justice Fernando. recalls: "Under the old Society. 15 days were allotted for the publication in three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette of the women's suffrage amendment to the Constitution before the scheduled plebiscite on April 30. they are to be considered and disposed of presently. the reelection of the President and Vice President. voicing out loud and clear their adverse views on the proposed amendments and even (in the valid ratification of the 1973 Constitution.

however that the period of time may be extended. Fernando. while Associate Justices Felix V. Felix Q. Hermogenes Concepcion Jr. and Martin are of the view that there is a sufficient and proper submission of the proposed amendments for ratification by the people. Concepcion Jr. and Ruperto G. 1031 and 1033 political or justiciable? 2.Associate Justices Teehankee and MUNOZ Palma hold that prescinding from the President's lack of authority to exercise the constituent power to propose the amendments. while Associate Justices Teehankee and Munoz Palma voted in the negative. it ought to be regarded as waived. Chief Justice Castro and Associate Justices Barredo. Chief Justice Fred Ruiz Castro and Associate Justices Enrique M. Associate Justices Teehankee and Munoz Palma voted to grant the petitions. This decision is immediately executory. Cecilia Munoz Palma. During the present stage of the transition period. COMELEC (21 SCRA 774). and under. Makasiar. Aquino. and Martin voted in the affirmative. Associate Justices Fernando. Upon the second issue. Aquino. the environmental circumstances now obtaining. thus raising serious doubts as to the power of the President to propose amendments. Barredo. Makasiar. Claudio Teehankee. the said petitions are hereby dismissed. Associate Justice Fernando concurs in the result. SO ORDERED. etc. Is the question of the constitutionality of Presidential Decrees Nos. Antonio. specifically dissents from the proposition that there is concentration of powers in the Executive during periods of crisis. Antonio. unless a second time proposed by proper body IN RESUME The three issues are 1. does the President possess power to propose amendments to the Constitution as well as set up the required machinery and prescribe the procedure for the ratification of his proposals by the people? 3. 991. Aquino.of Jameson. and not again to be voted upon. J. Concepcion Jr. Antonio and Ramon C. Associate Justice Fernando adheres to his concurrence in the opinion of Chief Justice Concepcion in Gonzales vs. in the result. if not ratified early while that sentiment may fairly be supposed to exist. Aquino. Associate Justice Fernando. and Martin voted to dismiss the three petitions at bar. the vote being 8 to 2 to dismiss. Aquino hold the view that the question is political. Makasiar and Antonio are of the view that the question is political and therefore beyond the competence and cognizance of this Court. For reasons as expressed in his separate opinion. Upon the third issue. Concepcion Jr. ACCORDINGLY. as above stated. "(a)n alteration of the Constitution proposed today has relation to the sentiment and the felt needs of today. Martin are of the view that the question posed is justiciable. supra. Enrile (59 SCRA 183). Chief Justice Castro and Associate Justices Barredo.. Antonio P. Separate Opinions 106 . and that. Makasiar. Associate Justices Barredo and Makasiar expressed the hope. there is no fair and proper submission with sufficient information and time to assure intelligent consent or rejection under the standards set by this Court in the controlling cases of Gonzales. conformably to his concurring and dissenting opinion in Aquino vs. and Tolentino vs. COMELEC (41 SCRA 702). Chief Justice Castro and Associate Justices Barredo. Is the submission to the people of the proposed amendments within the time frame allowed therefor a sufficient and proper submission? Upon the first issue. Makasiar.

to the extent this view may be inconsistent with the stand taken in Mabanag vs. The Members of the Court are unanimous on this point. inceptively announced the dictum thatProposal to amend the Constitution is a highly political function performed by the Congress in its sovereign legislative capacity and committed to its charges by the Constitution itself. xxx xxx xxx In short.J. Tanada vs. February 28. namely: (1) Is the question of the constitutionality of Presidential Decrees Nos. and. 50 SCRA 30)." (Gonzales vs. concurring: From the challenge as formulated in the three petitions at bar and the grounds advanced be the Solicitor General in opposition thereto. Lopez Vito the latter should be deemed modified accordingly. as well as the arguments adduced by the counsels of the parties at the hearing had on October 7 and 8. not political. Chief Accountant of the Senate (81 Phil. Lopez Vito (78 Phil. et al. 1051)- 107 . 21 SCRA 774. et al. C. three vital issues readily project themselves as the centers of controversy. however. with extensive quotations from Tanada vs. and. September 14. 1967. The abandonment of the Mabanag vs. in Mabanag vs. and Macias vs. and under the environmental circumstances now obtaining. there is less reason for judicial inquiry into the validity of a proposal than into that of a ratification. Cuenco (L-10520. submission" I First Issue The threshold question is not at all one of first impression Specifically on the matter of proposals to amend the Constitution. L-28196. In time. If on grounds of expediency scrupulous attention of the judiciary be needed to safeguard public interest. by Suanes vs. however. hence. November 9. 1949). Commission on Elections (L-18684. subject to judicial review. 1976. 1031 and 1033 political or justiciable? (2) During the present stage of the transition period. Cuenco (L-2581. As elucidated therein. March 3l. Commission on Elections. Avelino vs. in Javellana vs. six members of the Court concurred in the view that the question of whether the 1973 Constitution was ratified in accordance with the provisions of Article XV (Amendments) of the 1935 Constitution is inherently and essentially justiciable. 1957). 1973. 786-787). does the President possess power to propose amendments to the Constitution as well as set up the required machineries and prescribe the procedure for the ratification of his proposals by the people? (3) Is the submission to the people of the proposed amendments within the time frame allowed therefor a sufficient and proper.:. Secretary. Cuenco (103 Phil. the issue whether or not a Resolution of Congress-acting as a constituent assembly-violates the Constitution is essentially justiciable. The exercise of this power is even independent of any intervention by the Chief Executive. In the assessment of the Court itselfThe force of this precedent has been weakened. 1). 1961). (L-36142. March 4 and 14. the validity of the said pronouncement was eroded. 818). Lopez Vito doctrine appears to have been completed when. this Court.CASTRO. 991.

especially in these parlous years. Otherwise. shirk its constitutional responsibility. not legality. namely. The first stage comprises the period from the effectivity of the Constitution on January 17. I have thus no hesitancy in concluding that the question here presented is well within the periphery of judicial inquiry. the term 'political question' connotes. said qualifications. For the Court to shun cognizance of the challenge herein presented.. Evidently. Sections 1 and 3[1]. when the grant of power is qualified. I believe.' It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom. the issue on whether or not the prescribed qualifications or conditions have been met. conditional or subject to limitations. not its wisdom. or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the Legislature or executive branch of the government. a Constitution may be amended only in accord with the procedure set forth therein. II Second Issue The main question stands on a different footing. no express provision is extant in the Constitution regarding the agency or agent by whom and the procedure by which amendments thereto may be proposed and ratified fact overlooked by those who challenge the validity of the presidential acts in the premises. is justiciable or non-political. conditions or limitations . In other words. or the limitations respected. Unfortunately. normally or under normal conditions. if there be any such prescription for the amendatory process as invariable there is because one of the essential parts of a Constitution is the so-called "constitution of sovereignty" which comprises the provision or provisions on the modes in accordance with which formal changes in the fundamental law may be effected the same would ordinarily be the controlling criterion for the validity of the amendments sought. Its solution.. So it is in the situation here presented. however. This is so because there are at least two distinctly in the transition from the old system of government under the 1935 Constitution to the new one established by the 1973 Constitution. can be found and unraveled only by a critical assessment of the existing legal order in the light of the prevailing political and factual milieu. would be to abdicate its constitutional powers. in the language of Corpus Juris Secundum (supra).' Accordingly.particularly those prescribed or imposed by the Constitution . of a particular measure. are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity. the question does not concern itself with the wisdom of the exercise of the authority claimed or of the specific amendments proposed. supra)." (Javellana vs. and deny the people their ultimate recourse for judicial determination. Instead the inquiry vel non is focused solely on the existence of the said power in the President .would be set at naught. The basic issue is the constitutional validity of the presidential acts of proposing amendments to the Constitution and of calling a referendum-plebiscite for the ratification of the proposals made. it appears unprecedented both here and elsewhere. the crux of the problem being one of legality or validity of the contested act. what it means in ordinarily parlance.a question purely of legality determinable thru interpretation and construction of the letter and spirit of the Constitution by the Court as the final arbiter in the delineation of constitutional boundaries and the allocation of constitutional powers. as a body politic. 1973 to the time the National Assembly is convened by the incumbent President and the interim President and the interim Prime Minister are chosen Article XVII. To be sure. during the present transition period of our political development. it refers to 'those questions which. in legal parlance. Hence. under the Constitution. there is an impressive array of consistent jurisprudence on the proposition that. Executive Secretary.. a question of policy in matters concerning the government of a State. The existence of this stage as an 108 .

Not being a mere declaration of the traditions of a nation but more the embodiment of a people's hopes and aspirations. This is as it should be because it is recognized that the President has been accorded the discretion to determine when he shall initially convene the interim National Assembly. propose amendments to this Constitution. Such amendments shall take effect when ratified in accordance with Article Sixteen hereof. or revision of. The second stage embraces the period from the date the interim National Assembly is convened to the date the Government described in Articles VII to IX of the Constitution is inaugurated.obvious fact of the nation's political life was recognized by the Court in Aquino vs. it is readily discernible that neither of the two sets of provisions embodied in the Constitution on the amendatory process applied during the said first stage. i. by whom and in what manner such amendments may be proposed and ratified. Upon the other hand. after the interim? National Assembly shall have been convened and the interim Prime Minister shall have been chosen. this Constitution may be proposed by the National Assembly upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members. its strictures are not unalterable. Section 15. Article XVII (Transitory Provisions) provides"Sec. referring as they do to the National Assembly which will come into being only at that time." then a Constitution must be able to adjust to the changing needs and demands of society so that the latter may survive. progress and endure.. there can be no debate. or by a constitutional convention. Commission on Elections. to witSECTION 1. the reference to the "interim National Assembly" and the "interim Prime Minister" limits the application thereof to the second stage of the transition period. which interregnum. Thus. as aforesaid. Section 1) and the election of the regular President and Prime Minister. by a majority vote of all its Members. following the election of the members of the regular National Assembly (Article XVII. upon special call by the interim Prime Minister. et al. If it is conceded that "the political or philosophical aphorism of one generation is doubted by the next and entirely discarded by the third. or revision of." Patently. (L-40004. SEC. 2. this Constitution shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not later than three months after the approval of such amendment or revision.. They are. Against this factual backdrop. January 31. Any amendment to. (1) Any amendment to.. we are confronted with the dilemma whether amendments to the Constitution may be effected during the aforesaid first stage and. therein giving reality to an interregnum between the effectivity of the Constitution and the initial convocation of the interim National Assembly. and his decision to defer the convocation thereof has found overwhelming support by the sovereign people in two previous referenda. may. (2) The National Assembly may. 62 SCRA 275). In the face of this constitutional hiatus.. On these verities. 1975. 109 . the President was in duty bound to convene the interim National Assembly soon after the Constitution took effect. call a constitutional convention or. instead. by a majority vote of all its Members. when it rejected the claim that. dynamic precepts intended to keep in stride with and attuned to the living social organism they seek to fashion and govern. the provisions of Article XVI (Amendments). if in the affirmative.e. 15. under the 1973 Constitution. submit the question of ceiling such a convention to the electorate in an election. constitutes the first stage in the transition period. Susceptibility to change is one of the hallmarks of an Ideal Constitution. unequivocally contemplate amendments after the regular Government shall have become fully operative. The interim National Assembly. by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members.

With greater reason. Neither can it be successfully argued. In this contest. it is clear from the afore-quoted provisions on the amendatory process that the intent was.which is understandably the most critical . that the Constitution may be amended during the said first stage only by convening the interim National Assembly. The relaxation and the disparity in the vote requirement are revealing. remove imperfections therein. in a manner of speaking. to sustain such a contention would not only negate the mandate so resoundingly expressed by the people in two national referenda against the immediate convening of the interim National Assembly. Such view would deny the people a mechanism for effecting peaceful change. however. For. in default of an express grant thereof.the need for change may be most pressing and imperative. and to disavow the existence of the right to amend the Constitution would be sheer political heresy.the first stage. save possibly to determine whether arbitrariness has infected such exercise. the legislature . then. The can only signify a recognition of the need to facilitate the adoption of amendments during the second stage of the transition period so that the interim National Assembly will be able. proposals for amendment may be made directly by the regular National Assembly by a vote of at least three-fourths of all its members. Furthermore. hence. while under Article XVI thereof. Settled jurisprudence does not square with such a proposition. therefore. it is inutile speculation to assume that the Constitution was intended to render impotent or ar the effectuation of needful change at an even more critical period . Such a result obviously could not have been intended by the framers of the fundamental law. Commission on Elections. Given the constitutional stalemate or impasse spawned by these supervening developments. orders. to provide a simpler and more expeditious mode of amending the Constitution during the transition period. in the same context and in the present posture. the matter is solely in the keeping of the President. It seems. the framers committed to the sound judgment is not subject to judicial review. the constituent power is not to be confuse with legislative power in general because the prerogative to propose amendments to the Constitution is not in any sense embraced within the ambit of ordinary law-making. That is to say and require that he said stage must first be brought to an end before any amendment may be proposed and ratified. even in default of any he has acted arbitrarily or gravely abuse his discretion. conceptually. But such omission through inadvertence should not. the logical query that compels itself for resolution is: By whom.During the first stage of the transition period in which the Government is at present . neither would it be altogether unassailable to say that because by constitutional tradition and express allocation the constituent power under the Constitution is locate in the law-making agency and at this stage of the 110 . a bare majority vote of all the members of the National Assembly would suffice for the purpose. to iron out the kinks in the new Constitution. decrees and instructions having the stature and force of law. Upon the other hand. therefore. but as well deride their overwhelming approval of the manner in which the President has exercised the legislative power to issue proclamations. negate the sovereign power of the people to amend the fundamental charter that governs their lives and their future and perhaps even the very survival of the nation. Hence. To thus content that only by convening the interim National Assembly may the Constitution be amended at this time would effectively override the judgement vested in the President. albeit within its express and implied constraints. absent such a taint. supra. under Section 15 of Article XVII. may proposals for the amendment of the Constitution be made and in what manner may said proposals be ratified by the people? It is conventional wisdom that. because it cannot.traditionally the delegated repository thereof . that the happenstance that the first period would come to pass before the convocation of the interim National Assembly was not anticipated. and belie the organic conception of the Constitution by depriving it of its means of growth. In the same vein.. instead. and provide for changed or changing circumstances before the establishment of the regular Government. must the right and power to amend the Constitution during the first stage of te transition period be upheld. et al. there is much to recommend the proposition that. the framers of the Constitution set no deadline for the convening of the interim National Assembly because they could not have foreseen how long the crises which impelled the proclamation and justify the continued state of martial law would last. the omission of an express mandate to govern the said situation in so far as amendments are concerned.may not claim it under a general grant of legislative authority. As aptly noted in Aquino vs. Indeed.

to amend their own Fundamental Law. and.as the repository of sovereignty in a republican state. a flashback to the recent and contemporary political ferment in the country proves revelatory. Instead.t o make... the power to amend the Constitution or to propose amendments thereto . can wield. has not been delegated to anyone in the first place. The President merely formalized the said proposals in Presidential Decree No.. 1033.as it is reputedly the rule in some jurisdictions . It being conceded in all quarters that sovereignty resides in the people and it having been demonstrated that their constituent power to amend the Constitution has not been delegated by them to any instrumentality of the Government during the present stage of the transition period of our political development. Through consultations in the barangays and sanggunian assemblies. Accordingly. Since it has been shown that the people. choosing the President the only political arm of the State at this time through which that decision could be implemented and the end in view attained as their spokesman. without venturing to rule on whether or not the President is 111 .at their pleasure. et al. have unequivocally put their foot down. and to translate its constraints into concrete action. the people understandably agitated for a solution. the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Kabataang Barangay the Lupong Tagapagpaganap of the Katipunan ng mga Sanggunian. there would be no violence donde to such rule. The people. and accordingly may be exercised by them . hence. the underpinnings for the hastening of the return to constitutional normalcy quickly evolved into an overwhelming sentiment to amend the Constitution in order to replace the discredited interim National Assembly with what the people believe will be an appropriate agency to eventually take over the law-making power and thus pave the way for the early lifting of martial rule. such as ours . inasmuch as that power. But this patently salutary decision of the people proved to be double-edged. have come forward with definitive proposals for the amendment of the Constitution. At this juncture. under the environmental circumstance adverted to. they are directly those of the people themselves speaking thru their authorized instrumentalities. as it were. It likewise bound the political machinery of the Government in a virtual straight-jacket and consigned the political evolution of the nation into a state of suspended animation. And. shocked and revolted by the "obvious immorality" of the unabashed manner by which the delegates to the Constitutional Convention virtually legislated themselves into office as ipso facto members of the interim National Assembly by the mere fiat of voting for the transitory provisions of the Constitution. In pursuit of this sentiment. As such. even if it were conceded that . assuming it to be applicable here. the instrumentalities through which the people's voice is articulated in the unique system of participatory democracy in the country today. the Lupong Tagapagpaganap of the Katipunan ng mga Barangay. on the convocation thereof. and the stark reality that the unwieldy political monstrosity that the interim Assembly portended to be would have proven to be a veritable drain on the meager financial resources of a nation struggling for survival. have not delegated that power to any instrumentality during the current stage of our hegira from crisis to normalcy. inadvertently or otherwise. is part of the inherent powers of the people . have not delegated that power to inadvertently or otherwise. and finally the Batasang Bayan. it is undoubtedly a power that only the sovereign people. as pointed out in Gonzales vs.how and when ..a delegation of the constituent authority amounts to a complete divestiture from the people of the power delegated which they may not thereafter unilaterally reclaim from the delegate. Faced with the ensuing dilemma. supra. one thing is inescapable: the proposals now submitted to the people for their ratification in the forthcoming referendum-plebiscite are factually not of the President.transition period the law-making authority is firmly recognized as being lodged in the President. the said constituent power should now logically be in the hands of te President who may thus exercise it in place of the interim National Assembly. the Pambansang Katipunan ng Barangay. Commission on Elections. it follows of necessity that the same remains with them for them to exercise in the manner they see fit and through the agency they choose. the conclusion is ineluctable that their exertion of that residuary power cannot be vulnerable to any constitutional challenge as being ultra vires. The constituent power during the first stage of the transition period belongs to and remains with the people. to a man and as one voice. proposed the amendments under challenge in the cases at bar. either directly by themselves or through their chosen delegate. In the light of this milieu and its imperatives. and. the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Kabataang Barangay.

when the people cast their votes on October 16. from the very lowest level of the political hierarchy. It may thus well be assumed that the people in general have since acquired. A fortiori. J. in exercising said authority has acted as a mere alter ego of the people who made the proposals. cannot be said to be afflicted with unconstitutionality. I vote for the outright dismissal of the three petitions at bar. and Aquino v Military Commission. but likewise because the said authority is legislative in nature rather than constituent. Executive Secretary and followed successively in three crucial decisions. 1033 on September 22. being acts of the sovereign people no less. III Third Issue Little need be said of the claimed insufficiency and impropriety of the submission of the proposed amendments for ratification from the standpoint of time. the same cannot but be said to have been mulled over. and even the religious all over the land in acting and often enthusiastic if not frenetic involvement. The changes now proposed the most substantial of which being merely the replacement of the interim National assembly with another legislative arm for the Government during the transition period until the regular National Assembly shall have been constituted do not appear to be of such complexity as to require considerable time to be brought home to the full understanding of the people. Hence. it is a fact of which judicial notice may well be taken that in the not so distant past when the 1973 Constitution was submitted to the people for ratification. the massive and wide-ranging informational and educational campaign to this end has been and still is in full swing. an all-out campaign. Commission on Elections. Even if the proposal appear to have been formalized only upon the promulgation of Presidential Decree No. discussed and sufficiently understood by the great masses of the nation long before they ripened into formal proposals. Indeed. the latest in a series of cases starting from Planas v. a negative vote could very well mean an understanding of the proposals which they reject.vested with constituent power as it does not appear necessary to do so in the premises the proposals here challenged. Ponce Enrile Aquino v. The thesis cannot be disputed that a fair submission presupposes an adequate time lapse to enable the people to be sufficiently enlightened on the merits or demerits of the amendments presented for their ratification or rejection.. was launched to acquaint the people with the ramifications and working of the new system of government sought to be inaugurated thereunder. debated. in fact. FERNANDO. However. they are actually the crystallization of sentiments that for so long have preoccupied the minds of the people and their authorized representatives. Commission on Elections continuing with the epochal resolution in Javellana v. a working knowledge of the entirety of the Constitution. pondered upon. with all the media the barangay. And. in which all the delegates of the Constitutional Convention reportedly participated. while an affirmative vote could equally be indicative Of such understanding and/or an abiding credence in the fidelity with which the President has kept the trust they have confided to him as President and administrator of martial rule IV Conclusion It is thus my considered view that no question viable for this court to pass judgment upon is posed. the concomitant authority to call a plebiscite and to appropriate funds therefor is even less vulnerable not only because the President. 1976. the civic and sectoral groups. circumstances there are which unmistakably demonstrated that the is met. Besides. unlike proposals emanating from a legislative body. Aquino v. Accordingly. 5 manifest to the same degree the delicate and awesome character of the function of judicial 112 . in the least. concurring and dissenting: These three petitions.

though it may interfere with the exercise of one's ordinary rights. The judiciary must survey things as they are in the light of what they must become It must inquire into the specific problem posed not only in terms of the teaching of the past but also of the emerging political and legal theory. strictly speaking. To my mind that was the norm followed." Adherence to my concurring and dissenting opinion in Aquino v. absence in the American Constitution of any provision concerning it. The right to call out the military forces to maintain order and enforce the law is simply part of the Police power. This. No quality then can be more desirable in constitutional adjudication than that intellectual and imaginative insight which goes into the heart of the matter. care is to be taken to avoid doctrinaire rigidity unmindful of altered circumstances and the urgencies of the times. So-called declarations of martial law are. I am in agreement. much more so constitutional law. came out earlier with a similar appraisal. both Philippine and American. "there was a fuller treatment of the question of martial law While it is the formulation of Willoughby that for me is most acceptable. Burdick. and only justifies such acts as reasonably appear necessarily to meet the exigency. during the insurrection or riot. Constant in and Duncan v. When the exigency is over the members of the military forces are criminally and civilly habit for acts done beyond the scope of reasonable necessity. There is need therefore of adjusting inherited principles to new needs. It must be stated at the outset that with the sufficiency of doctrines supplied by our past decisions to point the way to what I did consider the appropriate response to the basic issue raised in the Aquino and the other habeas corpus petitions resolved jointly. who is charged with the enforcement of the law. killing of those who create the disorder or oppose the authorities. minimal by that. it was only in the latter portion of my opinion that reference was made to United States Supreme Court pronouncements on martial law. often made but their legal effect goes no further than to warn citizens that the military powers have been called upon by the executive to assist him in the maintenance of law and order. serious doubts could be entertained on the matter. at the most persuasive in character and rather few in number "due no doubt to the. When honestly and reasonably coping with a situation of insurrection or riot a member of the military forces cannot be made liable for his acts. Jural norms must be read in the context of social facts. There is still the need to demonstrate that the conclusion reached by it in cases appropriate for its determination has support in the law that must be applied. is simultaneously a reflection of and a force in the society that it controls. It must equally be borne in mind through that this Court must be conscious of the risk inherent in its being considered as a mere subservient instrument of government policy however admittedly salutary or desirable. following Rossiter. except in occupied territory of an enemy is merely the calling in of the aid of military forces by the executive. Kahanamoku." 11When the opinion cited Willoughby's concept of martial law. Ponce Enrile. especially so under a leadership notable for its innovative approach to social problems and the vigor of its implementation. I cannot see my way clear to accepting the view that the authority to propose amendments is not open to question. to the subject. the conclusion reached being that the three petitions be dismissed. While previous rulings supply guidance and enlightenment. 1." It was next set forth that in the works on American constitutional law published in this century specially after the leading cases of cases Sterling v. Ponce Enrile leaves me no choice. on the one side. no such thing in American law as a declaration of martial law whereby military law is substituted for civil law. or in extreme cases the.review. Consequently. indeed. then." 7 It was understandable then that it was only after the landmark Ex parte Milligan case. It is with regret however that based on my reading of past decisions. while the emergency lasts. stress was laid on his being "Partial to the claims of liberty. With due respect then. be free by writ of habeas corpus."12 This is evident in the explicit statement from his work quoted by me: "There is. with or without special authorization by the legislature. they must. It is inappropriate to resolve the complex problems of a critical period without full awareness of the consequences that flow from whatever decision is reached. and that. It is only justified when it reasonably appears necessary. Such declaration of martial law does not suspend the civil law. "are more or less concentrated in the President. that commentators like Cooley in 1868 and Watson in 1910 paid attention. upon pain of arrest and punishment not commit any acts which will in any way render more difficult the restoration of order 113 . I must dissent from the proposition set forth in the able and scholarly opinion of Justice Martin that there is concentration of power in the President during a crisis government. I have to dissociate myself from my brethren who would rule that governmental powers in a crisis government. For law. my opinion did take note that another commentator. 10 Thus: "So called martial law. including the arrest. At the very least. and more specifically my concurring opinion in Aquino v. and persons reasonably arrested under such circumstances will not.

necessity justifies its exercise. which furnished the foundation for Sterling and Duncan had its roots in the English common law. whose intervention is lawful only because an abnormal Actuation has made it necessary the executive's ipse dixit is not of itself conclusive of the necessity. whose treatise is the latest to be published. Declarations of martial law go no further than to warn citizens that the executive has called upon the military power to assist him in the maintenance of law and order. It is a power which has in itself no special connection with the existence of an armed force. The Crown has the right to put down breaches of the peace. We have nothing equivalent to what is called in France the "Declaration of the State of Siege. may. or a person in no way connected with the administration. After Duncan. an unbending rule of law that the exercise of military power. affords sufficient justification for the 114 . but is. There was this qualification: 'Martial law is sometimes employed as a name for the common law right of the Crown and its servants to repel force by force in the case of invasion. as a matter of legal duty. No doubt policemen or soldiers are the persons who. Under them. Under Sterling v." 16 Commitment to such an approach results in my inability to subscribe to the belief that martial law in terms of what is provided both in the 1935 and the present Constitution. such an approach becomes even more strongly fortified.' in the proper sense of that term. . and invasions. This is an unmistakable proof of the permanent supremacy of the law under our constitution. not only has the right. Burdick and Willoughby did not ignore the primacy of civil liberties. is essential to the very existence of orderly government. never be pushed beyond what the exigency requires. went or on the theory that the executive had a free hand in taking martial law measures. other than the writ of habeas corpus. The relations between the citizen and his stature unchanged. Some of the authorities stating substantially this doctrine are quoted in the footnote below Nor did I stop there.' such for example as a policeman. it has been widely supposed that in proclamation was so far conclusive that any action taken under it was immune from judicial scrutiny. or power. Necessities alone calls it forth. It would indeed be surprising if his opinion were otherwise." 14 The conclusion reached by me as to the state of American federal law on the question of martial law was expressed thus: 4'1 It is readily evident that even when Milligan supplied the only authoritative doctrine. where the rights of the citizen are concerned. Dicey: 'Martial law. has this summary of what he considers the present state of American law: 'The Milligan and Duncan cases show plainly that martial law is the public law of necessity. On the other hand. The words of Willis were likewise cited: "Martial law proper. Schwartz. If martial law rule survive the necessities on which alone it rests. insurrection. Constantin. or generally of any violent resistance to the law. is unknown to the law of England. but it is clear that all loyal subjects are bound to take their part in the suppression of riots. for even a single minute it becomes a mere exercise of lawless violence. whether what is called a servant of the government. are most generally called upon to suppress a riot. There is pertinence therefore in ascertaining its significance under that system." under which the authority ordinarily vested in the civil power for the maintenance of order and police passes entirely to the army (autorite militaire). including one the highest Court. that is. as being specially employed in the maintenance of order. are suspended. Milligan. is not a substitute for the civil law. riot. According to the noted English author. military law in case of insurrection. where martial law measures impinge upon personal or property rights-normally beyond the scope of military power. Willis wrote after Sterling. and necessities measures the extended degree to which it may be It is. This right. Constantin is of basic importance. and is most assuredly recognized in the most ample manner by the law of England. Every subject. While martial law is in force. in which . a number of decisions.' Further: Sterling v. bound to assist in putting down breaches of the peace. Constantin definitely discredits these earlier decisions and the doctrine of conclusiveness derived from them. no new powers are given to the executive and no civil rights of the individual.it means the suspension of ordinary law and the temporary government of a country or parts of it be military tribunals. whether a civilian or a soldier. riots. but is rather an aid to the execution of civil law. the high Court has affirmed.'"15 There was likewise an effort on my part to show what for me is the legal effect of martial law being expressly provided for in the Constitution rather than being solely predicated on the common law power based on the urgent need for it because of compelling circumstances incident to the state of actual clash of arms: "It is not to be lost sight of that the basis for the declaration of martial law in the Philippines is not mere necessity but an explicit constitutional provision. Before it. Sterling v.and the enforcement of law.

Commission on Elections. I felt justified in concluding: "Happily for the Philippines. to the defense of the political and social liberties of the people and to the institution of reforms to prevent the resurgence of rebellion or insurrection or secession or the threat thereof as well as to meet the impact of a worldwide recession. For in the opinion of the Court in the aforecited Aquino v. For me that is quite reassuring. Candor and accuracy compel the admission that such a conclusion his to be qualified. latitudinarian in scope. a step to be taken only when the dangers to a free state will be greater if the dictatorial institution is not adopted. Thus: "Constitutional Dictatorship is a dangerous thing." 21 To that extent. Willoughby. but because they were dangerous and oppressive. Rossiter's view mainly relied upon. orders and decrees during the period Martial Law essential to the security and preservation of the Republic. Kahanamoku: "Legislatures and courts are not merely cherished American institutions. has been adopted. for me at least. Ponce Enrile opinion. less than duly mindful of the jural effects of its inclusion in the Constitution itself as a legitimate device for coping with emergency conditions in times of grave danger. now possesses Juristic significant in this jurisdiction. The better view. just three pages later. military courts." 23 4. gives caused for concern is that with the opinion of the Court this intrusion of what I would consider an alien element in the limited concept of martial law as set forth in the Constitution would be allowed further incursion into the corpus of the law. abolishing it and providing for an interim National Assembly. Executive legislation. Schwartz formulations paying due regard to the primacy of liberty possess relevance. and arbitrary executive action were governmental features attacked by the men who fought for freedom not because they were inefficient or unsuccessful. considering the juristic theory on which our fundamental law rests is that expressed by Justice Black in Duncan v. lt cannot be said that the martial rule concept of Rossiter. the present Constitution was adopted. the Rossiter characterization of martial law has in it more of the common law connotation.concentration of powers in the Executive during periods of crisis. persuaded as I am likewise that the week." 19Since. 17 If there has been no observance of such a cardinal concept at the present. A declaration of martial law or the passage of an enabling act is a step which must always be feared and sometimes bitterly resisted. which puts a premium on freedom. and energy lavished on projects conducive to the general welfare. What is undeniable is that President Marcos has repeatedly maintained that Proclamation No. but always subject to attendant limitations in accordance with the fundamental postulate of a charter's supremacy. with the invocation of the view expressed in the last chapter of his work approving tile "concentration of governmental power in a democracy [as] a corrective to the crisis inefficiencies inherent in the doctrine of the separation of powers. state control of popular liberties. the declaration of martial law lends itself to the interpretation that the Burdick. it is due to the fact that before the former Congress could meet in regular session anew. inflation or economic crisis which presently threatens all nations including highly developed countries. What. considerable 115 . the incumbent President of the Philippines can reclamations. 2. for me at least. the substitution of the will of a military commander for the will of the people's elected government. This is not to lose sight of the undeniable fact that in this country through the zeal." 22 It is to the credit of the late Professor Rossiter as an objective scholar that in the very same last chapter. 1081 was precisely based on the Constitution and that the validity of acts taken there under could be passed upon by the Supreme court. which has not been convened. It is by virtue of such considerations that I find myself unable to share the view of those of my brethren who would accord recognition to the Rossiter concept of concentration of governmental power in the Executive during periods of crisis. penned by Justice Makasiar." 20 3. even on the assumption that it can be reconciled with our Constitution. 18 So I did view the matter. vigor.of Rossiter is opposed to the fundamental concept of our polity. for it is at once an admission of the incapacity of democratic institutions to defend the order within which they function and a too conscious employment of powers and methods long ago outlawed as destructive of constitutional government. Willis. It may be most precisely defined as an extension of military government to the civilian population. Nor did I ignore Rossiter in my Aquino v. he touched explicitly on the undesirable aspect of a constitutional dictatorship. Reference was made to the first chapter on his work on Constitutional Dictatorship where he spoke of martial rule as "a device designed for use in the crisis of invasion or rebellion. The reinstitution of any of these features is a perilous matter. they are indispensable to our government. the proposition was expressly affirmed "that as Commander-in-Chief and enforcer or administrator of martial law.

There is the further qualification if the stand of respondents be taken into account that the interim National Assembly has not been convened and is not likely to be called into session in deference to the wishes of the people as expressed in three previous referenda. the line between such an employment of the military and a regime of martial law is frequently any but a hard and fast one. is superseded for the time being by the will of a military commander. And having broken our crisis of Identity. And partly because of these ambiguities the conception itself of martial law today bifurcates into two conceptions. not hoarded by a few. I cannot yield assent to the Rossiter view of concentration of governmental powers in the Executive during martial law. such authority being well within the area of presidential competence. peace and order have been restored in a country once avoided as one of the most unsafe in the world. she said: "A dynamic economy has replaced a stagnant order. as was noted in the preceding section. as based on right. state of things. now travels the broad expressways of friendship and constructive interaction with the whole world. certainly not a permanent. once confined by fear and suspicion to a narrow alley of selfimposed isolation. we are no longer apologetic and afraid. was not averse to constitutional restraints even during periods of crisis." 24 Further. that the specific question raised in all three petitions be squarely faced. when President Marcos established the crisis government. which to the popular mind is associated with dictatorship. even if referred to as "constitutional. more precisely whether it covers proposing amendments to the Constitution. these in a new spirit of confidence and self-reliance. if not altogether accurately. It follows that. It does seem to me that the metes and bounds of the executive domain. President Marcos accordingly has not been hesitant in giving utterance to his conviction that full implementation of the modified parliamentary system under the present Constitution should not be further delayed. Finally. there is the situation that obtained throughout the North during the Civil War. We have liberated millions of Filipino farmers from the bondage of tenancy. It should be added at once. Our foreign policy. involve martial law in the strict sense. The full restoration of civilian rule can thus be expected." That has a less objectionable ring. or even usually. defined as one in which the ordinary law. authority being more Identified with the Idea of law. with due respect to the opinion of my brethren. So I would interpret this excerpt from the fourth edition of his classic treatise on the Presidency: "A regime of martial law may be compendiously. although other characteristics of martial law were generally absent. the very antithesis of naked force. the Filipino has re-discovered the well-springs of his strength and resilience As Filipinos. one of which shades off into military government and the other into the situation just described. forced to work out our own salvation." For me likewise. however. nevertheless. "25 The very Idea of a crisis. sustained as it is by a 116 . It should not go unnoticed either that the President has referred to the present regime as one of "constitutional authoritarianism. 5 There is necessity then. that the subject is one in which the record of actual practice fails often to support the niceties of theory. soldiers are often placed simply at the disposal and direction of the civil authorities as a kind of supplementary police. for me at least. and its rewards are distributed among the many. It is the ruling of the majority that the answer be in the affirmative. Again I find myself unable to join readily in that conviction. also invoked in the opinion of the Court. when martial law is instituted under national authority." 26 It is by virtue of the above considerations that. the employment of the military arm in the enforcement of the civil law does not invariably. while no doubt a partisan of d strong Presidency. that equally eminent scholar Corwin. as administered by the ordinary courts. in which the civil authority remains theoretically in control although dependent on military aid. This is not to assert that there is absolutely no basis for such a conclusion. That is more in accord with the imperatives of a constitutional order. Since September 1972. do appear blurred. A fair summary may be found in a recent address of the First Lady before the delegates to the 1976 international Monetary Fund-World Bank Joint Annual Meeting: "The wonder is that so much has been done in so brief a time. while still recognizable. Thus. when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus was suspended as to certain classes of suspects. And finally. It is to the credit of the opinion of the Court that it did so. in the most vigorous and extensive implementation of agrarian reform.progress has been achieved under martial rule. or posse comitatus on the other hand be reason of the discretion that the civil authorities themselves are apt to vest in the military in any emergency requiring its assistance. it rests ultimately on the will of the President of the United States in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief. for. signifies a transitory. The basic issue posed concerns the boundaries of the power of the President during this period of martial law. we have found our true Identity.

possessed of weight and significance. Hechanova. In the first place. This was evident in the dispositive portion where judgment was 117 . I will explain why. there may be paralyzation of governmental activities. that there may be indeed in this far-fromquiescent and static period a need for al.making authority is limited to the power of approving the laws 'of civil conduct relating to the details and particulars of the government instituted. the express provision of the Constitution conferring it on the by team National Assembly. I do not feel confident therefore that a negative vote on my part would be warranted. 27 The learned advocacy reflected in the pleadings as well as the oral discourse of Solicitor General Estelito P. Dye 31 which categorically distinguished between constituent and legislative powers. What would justify the step taken by the President. now Chief Justice. Nor is this all. It is solely the interim National Assembly that is mentioned. Congress may not claim it under the general grant of legislative power for such grant does not carry with it the right 'to erect the state. 6. In the main opinion of Justice Makasiar as well as that of the then Justice. Thus: "If there had been no express provision in the Constitution granting Congress the power to propose amendments. institute the form of its government."12 If that distinction be preserved. even if no complete acceptance be accorded to the view that he was a mere conduit of the barangays on this matter. I am not prepared to go that far. and that said writs should be issued when the right to the relief is clear * * by As he noted in his ponencia in the later case of Gonzales v. I am fortified in that conviction by the teaching of persuasive American decisions There is reinforcement to such a conclusion from retired Chief Justice Concepcion's concurring and dissenting opinion in Aytona v. 13 That is not the case with the power to propose amendments. was quite explicit. -As shown by my concurring and dissenting opinion in Tolentino Commission on Elections '34 a pre-martial law decision. That is the barrier that for me is well-nigh insurmountable. I cannot simply ignore the vigorous plea of petitioners that there is a constitutional deficiency consisting in the absence of any constituent power on the part of the President. while petitioner was sustained in his stand. Thus I would confine myself to the expression of serious doubts on the question rather than a dissent. is that as noted in both qualified concurrences by Justices Teehankee and Munoz Palma in Aquino. it would be outside its authority to assume that power. Constitutional amendments fall in that category. a well-known authority on the subject. to my mind.19 an action for prohibition.17 Which I consider applicable to the present situation. The constitutional issue posed as thus viewed leaves me free to concur in the result that the petitions be dismissed. as far as the legislative and appropriately powers are concerned. it is solely because of the consideration. Congressional law.' the government established by the people. to be exercised on equitable principles. a persuasive quality as far as the power to propose amendments is concerned. the stage of certitude has not been reached. one of the four decisions on the subject of constitutional amendments is Ellingham v. amendments. is beset with obstacles. That is implicit in the treatise on the 1935 Constitution by Justices Malcolm and Laurel In their casebook published the same year. such an approach would lose sight of the distinction between matters legislative and constituent. If I limit myself to entertaining doubts rather than registering a dissent on this point.liberal construction of the principle that underlies Aquino v. Castro. Dean Sinco. such an approach has. The way for me. The majority of my brethren took that step. Mendoza 21 failed to erase the grave doubts in my mind that the Aquino doctrine as to the possession of legislative competence by the President during this period of transition with the interim lawmaking body not called into session be thus expanded. the fundamental postulate that sovereignty resides in the people exerts a compelling force requiring the judiciary to refrain as much as possible from denying the people the opportunity to make known their wishes on matters of the utmost import for the life of the nation. Castillo. no injunction was issued. That is to accord respect to the principle that judicial review goes no further than to checking clear infractions of the fundamental law. support for the ruling that the President cannot be deemed as devoid of legislative power during this transition stage is supplied by implications from explicit constitutional provisions. While not squarely applicable. Commission on Elections as to the validity of the exercise of the legislative prerogative by the President as long as the interim National Assembly is not For me. except in the field of human rights where a much greater vigilance is required.' which is considered a function inherent in the people. That is to make of the Constitution a pathway to rather than a barrier against a desirable objective. then for me the aforecited Aquino decision does not reach the heart of the matter. is the necessity that unless such authority be recognized. These are his words: "It is well settled that the granting of writs of prohibition and mandamus is ordinarily within the sound discretion of the courts.

51 That may be the case in the United States. It may not be amiss to refer anew to what I deem the cardinal character of the jural postulate explicitly affirmed in both the 1935 and the present Constitutions that sovereignty resides in the people. So I made clear in Tolentino v. denied. but certainly not in this jurisdiction. 42 The destiny of the country lies in their keeping. 52 This is not to deny that the federal rule in the United States as set forth in the leading case of Coleman v. Commission on Elections. There is all the more reason then to encourage their participation in the power process. in Javellana v. 45. which. Miller . that the fundamental law be followed. and relatively recent State court decisions.. That is a consummation devoutly to be wished. it cannot prevail against the pressure of political forces if they are bent in other directions. Commission on Elections. It has to that extent participated in the molding of policy. it does not necessarily follow that even a dissent on my part would necessarily compel that I vote for the relief prayed for. Certainly this is not to belittle in any way the action taken by petitioners in filing these suits. accordingly. that should be controlling. That. realistically. BrynJones. Commission on Elections 49 Planas v. Nonetheless. It must face stubborn reality. So. prohibition being an equitable remedy. Commission on Election S. Even if their contention as to lack of presidential power be accepted in their entirety. Of even greater weight. 53 a 1939 decision. It may be said that this Court has shunned the role of a mere interpreter. The Executive Secretary This Court did not heed the vigorous plea of the Solicitor General to resurrect the political question doctrine announced in Mabanag v. It is crucial it is of the essence. much less the perpetuation of democratic values or. however. The assumption has been that just because it cannot by itself guarantee the formation. There is reassurance in the thought that this Court has affirmed its commitment to the principle that the amending process gives rise to a justiciable rather than a political question. With the prospect of the interim National Assembly being convened being dim. 48 It has since then been followed in Tolentino v. So I would interpret Laski. Constitutional orthodoxy requires. may urgently press for adoption.47 7. The thinking all these years has been that it goes to the heart of constitutionalism. it does not follow that it should not contribute its thinking to the extent that it can. 43 Corwin. therefore. It has to have a feel for the complexities of the times. that there has invariably been a judicial predisposition to activism rather than self-restraint. A society in flux calls for dynamism in "he law. 46and McIver. Philippine constitutional tradition is to the contrary. It must resist the temptation of allowing in the wasteland of meaningless abstractions. to my mind. Judicial activism gives rise to difficulties in an era of transformation and change. however. there is still discretion that may be exercised on the matter. for me. that he exceeded his jurisdiction in granting said authority. The Executive Secretary" and my concurrence in Aquino v. that said importation is not sanctioned by law and is contrary to its provisions. the injunction prayed for must be and is. This is not to discount the risk 118 . There must be. it is their will. if given expression in a manner sanctioned by law and with due care that there be no mistake in its appraisal. for lack of the requisite majority. as noted. the machinery be which the termination of martial law could be hastened. It has always recognized that in the large and undefined field of constitutional law. which must be responsive to the social forces at work." and lastly. Commission on Elections and thereafter in my dissent in Javellana v. for me. adjudication partakes of the quality of statecraft.rendered "declaring that respondent Executive Secretary had and has no power to authorize the importation in question. potent considerations that argue against acceding to the plea. Recto: "It is one of the paradoxes a democracy that the people of times place more confidence in instrumentalities of the State other than those directly chosen by them for the exercise of their sovereignty It can be said with truth. This Court then must avoid the rigidity of legal Ideas. supply ammunition to such a contention. to decide momentous questions at each critical stage of this nation's life. That does militate strongly against the stand of petitioners. is the pronouncement by the President that the plebiscite is intended not only to solve a constitutional anomaly with the country devoid of a legislative body but also to provide." 40 With the illumination thus supplied. It cannot remain static. however. That is to make the regime truly democratic. there would be no constitutional agency other than the Executive who could propose amendments. There are. The obstruction they would pose may be fraught with pernicious consequences. is commendable. It must be sensitive to life. it will continue to be asked. It has been asked. 44 Lerner. It attests to their belief in the rule of law. and that. this caveat. The role of leadership is not to be minimized.existent. It can trace its origin to these words in the valedictory address before the 1934-35 Constitutional Convention by the illustrious Claro M. if not non. it has been since the leading case of Gonzales v. it did exercise at times creative power. Lopez Vito. if only because of the results in three previous referenda.

Lastly. There must be. to be meaningful however. One may not advocate disorder in the name of protest. by previous judicial opinions to concur in the dismissal of the petitions. there should be. free assembly and free association. awareness of the truth that a new juridical age born before its appointed time may be the cause of unprecedented travail that may not end at birth. by a majority ore of all its members (to) propose amendments.. to propose amendments or call a constitutional convention for the purpose The 1973 Constitution expressly vests the constituent power in the regular National Assembly to propose amendments (by a three-fourths vote of all its members) or "call a constitutional convention" (by a twothirds vote of all its members) or "submit the question of calling such convention to the electorate in an election" (by a majority vote of all its members ) . I must confess that I did approach the matter with some misgivings and certainly without any illusion of omniscience. So the Constitution requires.. It is only the latter that is impressed with authoritative force. 1 am thus led by my studies on the subject of constitutional law and. much less of refusing to concede. much more so. as I did mention in my concurrence in Aquino v. it follows that the President's questioned decrease proposing and submitting constitutional amendments directly to the people (without the intervention of the interim National Assembly in whom the power is expressly vested) are devoid of constitutional and legal basis. Then. J. much less preach rebellion under the cloak of dissent. Constructive criticism is to be welcomed not so much because of the right to be heard but because there may be something worth hearing. It is undisputed that neither the 1935 Constitution nor the 1973 Constitution grants to the incumbent President the constituent power to propose and approve amendments to the Constitution to be submitted to the people for ratification in a plebiscite. and not solely due to presidential decrees. defines and delimits the powers of each and prescribes the manner of the exercise of such powers. requires both freedom in its manifestation and accuracy in ascertaining what it wills. the referendum and the plebiscite. there must be respect for the traditional liberties that make a society truly free. I am the first to recognize the worth of' the social and economic reforms so needed by the troubled present that have been introduced and implemented. I am comforted by the thought that immortality does not inhere in judicial opinions. be a three-fourths vote of all its members. TEEHANKEE. Certainly. It is by virtue of such considerations that I did strive for a confluence of principle and practicality. has been encouraged. History still has its uses. Dissent. That is to ensure a true ferment of Ideas. Again. it cannot just be summarily ignored. That ought to be the case. it is fortunate to note. It has not been Identified with disloyalty. It should strive to be a factor for unity under a rule of law. on its part." Since the Constitution provides for the organization of the essential departments of government. There is no thought then of minimizing. What I mean to stress is that except on a showing of clear and present danger. an interplay of knowledgeable minds. It must be deaf to the dissonant dialectic of what appears to be a splintered society. There are though well.defined limits. it is fitting and proper that a distinction was made between two aspects of the coming poll.. too. the considerable progress that has been made and the benefits that have been achieved under this Administration. The past too is entitled to a hearing. On the merits: I dissent from the majority's dismissal of the petitions for lack of merit and vote to grant the petitions for the following reasons and considerations: 1. it is solely due to deeply-ingrained beliefs. I certainly approve of the adherence to the fundamental principle of popular sovereignty which. It cannot simply yield to the sovereign sway of the accomplished fact. If I gave expression to byes not currently fashionable.that it may be swept too far and too fast in the surge of novel concepts. 8. dissenting: 1.2 The transitory provisions of the 1973 Constitution expressing vest the constituent power during the period of transition in the interim National Assembly "upon special call be the Prime Minister (the incumbent President 3). to reiterate one of my cherished convictions.. The 1935 Constitution expressly vests the constituent power in Congress. Commission on Elections. 119 . It is not for this Court to renounce the virtue of systematic jural consistency. and the constituent power has not been granted to but has been withheld from the President or Prime Minister.56 full respect for free speech and press. There should be no thought of branding the opposition as the enemy and the expression of its views as anathema.

mutandis." This body of representatives vested with the constituent .power "submits the result of their deliberations" and "puts in proper form the questions of amendment upon which the people are to pass"for ratification or rejection. 10 i. (land) are no less binding upon the people As long as an amendment is formulated and submitted under the aegis of the present Charter. and neither the officers of the State. invoking grounds at best controversial. It is obviously impossible for the whole people to meet. the mandatory requirements of the amending process as set forth in the Article on Amendments. 120 . 9 and -Accordingly barred the plebiscite as improper and premature. and issuing writs of prohibition and injunction against the holding of the plebiscite. it is clear that where the proposed amendments are violative of the Constitutional mandate on the amending process not merely for being a "partial amendment" of a "temporary or provisional character" (as in Tolentino) but more so for not being proposed and approved by the department vested by the Constitution with the constituent power to do so. mutatis.". 1971 for the purpose of submitting for the people's ratification an advance amendment reducing the voting age from 21 years to 18 years. if only because it is evident that the very Idea of departing from the fundamental law is anachronistic in the realm of constitutionalism and repugnant to the essence of the rule of law. Applying the above rulings of Tolentino to the case at bar. "From the very necessity of the case" Cooley points out "amendments to an existing constitution. Recto declared that "let those who would put aside. bu a majority vote of all its members that may propose the amendments. must be prepared and matured by some body of representatives chosen for the purpose.e. are at liberty to take action in opposition to this fundamental law. as expressed in the Constitution itself'. 3. As stressed by Cooley. since "the provisional nature of the proposed amendments and the manner of its submission to the people for ratification or rejection" did not "conform with the mandate of the people themselves in such regard. 8 The real issue here cannot be whether or not the amending process delineated by the present Constitution may be disregarded in favor of allowing the sovereign people to express their decision on the proposed amendments. the Court must declare the amendments proposals null and void. and hence transgressing the substantive provision that it is only the interim National Assembly. prepare. except by asking it upon the single point of assent or disapproval. The Court in Tolentino thus rejected the argument "that the end sought to be achieved is to be desired" and in denying reconsideration in paraphrase of the late Claro M. 4. Comelec is controlling in the case at bar In therein declaring null and void the acts of the 1971 Constitutional Convention and of the Comelec in calling a plebiscite with the general elections scheduled for November 8. or entire revisions of it. spirit and intent of the Charter for effecting amendments. This is so because the Constitution is a "superior paramount law. (the people) not only tie up the hands of their official agencies but their own hands as well.2. "by the Constitution which they establish." 12 The vesting of the constituent power to propose amendments in the legislative body (the regular National Assembly) or the interim National Assembly during the transition period) or in a constitutional convention called for the purpose is in accordance with universal practice. Justice Barredo ruled that --The Constitutional provisions on amendments "dealing with the procedure or manner of amending the fundamental law are binding upon the Convention and the other departments of the government. cannot receive the sanction of this Court . and there seems to be no feasible mode by which an expression of their will can be obtained. 13 5. and discuss the proposed alterations. this Court speaking through Mr. unchangeable by ordinary means" 11 but only by the particular mode and manner prescribed therein by the people. The doctrine in the leading case of Tolentino vs. any mandate of the fundamental purportedly in order to attain some laudable objective bear in mind that someday somehow others with purportedly more laudable objectives may take advantage of the precedent and continue the destruction of the Constitution. any proposal for such amendment which is not in conformity with the letter. nor the whole people as an aggregate body. upon special call of the interim Prime Minister.

Comelec 16. pointer out that "Indeed. and the principles of good government mere political apothegms. for then the distribution of powers sentiment. amendments as valid notwithstanding their being "not in conformity with the letter. If these restrictions and limitations are transcended it would be inconceivable if the Constitution had not provided for a mechanism by which to direct the course of government along constitutional channels. although that approval was not in accordance with the procedure and the requirements prescribed in the 1935 Constitution. it can happen again in some future time that some amendments to the Constitution may be adopted. and then said proposed amendments is submitted to the people in any manner and what will matter is that a basis is claimed that there was approval by the people. What I mean is that if this Court now declares that a new Constitution is now in force because the members of the citizens assemblies had approved said new Constitution. 1973 when the people voted against the convening of the interim National Assembly for at least seven years. Electoral Commissioner 21.18 Where it not for the express grant in the Transitory Provisions of the constituent power to the interim National Assembly. "(T)he Constitution sets forth in no uncertain language and restrictions and limitations upon governmental powers and agencies. 7. this Court speaking through now retired Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion." This same apprehension was echoed by now retired Justice Calixto O. "(W)hile it has been advanced that the decision to defer the initial convocation of the interim National Assembly was supported by the results of the referendum in January."15 In the earlier leading case of Gonzales vs. and necessarily no stability in our government. The sentiment of the people against the convening of the interim National Assembly and to have no elections for "at least seven (7) years" Concededly could not ament the Constitution insofar as the interim National Assembly is concerned (since it admittendly came into existence "immediately" upon the proclamation of ratification of the 1973 Constitution). the power to Congress" 17 or to the National Assembly. As stressed in the writer's separate opinion in the Referendum cases 22. there is no reason why he cannot validly discharge the functions. much less remove the constituent power from said interim National Assembly. Certainly. spirit and intent of the provision of the Charter for effecting amendments" on the reasoning that "If the President has been legitimately discharging the legislative functions of the interim National Assembly. It is not legally tenable for the majority. such sentiment cannot be given any legal force and effect in 121 . As was aptly stated by Justice Jose P. the limitations and restrictions embodied in our Constitution are real as they should be in any living Constitution". Neither is the justification of "constitutional impasses" tenable." 6.20 the contituent power has been lodged by the sovereign power of the people with the interim National Assembly during the transition period and there it must remain as the sole constitutional agency until the Constitution itself is changed. even in a manner contrary to the existing Constitution and the law. Paraphrasing Cooley on the non-delegation of legislative power as one of the settled maxims of constitutional law. Laurel in the 1936 landmak case of Angara vs. The majority's ruling in the Referendum cases 19 that the Transitory Provision in section 3(2) recognized the existence of the authority to legislate in favor of the incumbent President during the period of martial law manifestly cannot be stretched to encompass the constituent power as expressly vested in the interim National Assembly in derogation of the allotment of powers defined in the Constitution.making those who laid down the precedent of justifying deviations from the requirements of the Constitution the victims of their own folly. the interim National Assembly could not claim the power under the general grant of legislative power during the transition period. without overruling the controlling precedent of Tolentino (and without mustering the required majority vote to so overrule) to accept the proposed. There will not be stability in our constitutional system. Zaldivar in his dissenting opinion in the Ratification cases 14 that "we will be opening the gates for a similar disregard to the Constitution in the future.

the interim National Assembly. It will not do to contend that these proposals represent the voice of the people for as was aptly stated by Cooley "Me voice of the people. and not from the executive power as vested in the Prime Minister (the incumbent President) with the assistance of the Cabinet 25 from whom such power has been withheld.. strict adherence with the mandatory requirements of the amending process as provided in the Constitution must be complied with. they certainly had no opportunity and did not express themselves against convening the interim National Assembly to discharge the constituent power to propose amendments likewise vested in it by the people's mandate in the Constitution. when the holding of the October 16. of the people in a constitutional democracy such as the one our founding fathers have chosen for this nation."26 The same argument was put forward and rejected by this Court in Tolentino which rejected the contention that the "Convention being a legislative body of the highest order (and directly elected by the people to speak their voice) is sovereign. Constitution making is the most valued power.. or for. 23 It was further reported that the proposals which were termed tentative "will be discussed and studied by (the President). "The Constitution may be amended. notwithstanding the previous referenda on the convening of the interim National Assembly that "it is time to again ask the people's opinion of this matter " 24 8. and which we of the succeeding generations generally cherish. in continuing said section. . We must read it as if the people said. under the teaching of Tolentino that the proposed amendments must validly come from the constitutional agency vested with the constituent power to do so. hence. but it is our will that the amendment must be proposed and submitted to Us for ratification only in the manner herein provided'". Hence. they must be insulated against precipitate and hasty actions motivated by more or less passing political moods or 122 . And because the Constitution affects the lives. can be of legal force only when expressed at the times and under the conditions which they themselves have prescribed and pointed out by the Constitution. . the newspapers reported that among the seven questions proposed by the sanggunian and barangay national executive committies for the referendum was the convening of the interim National Assembly. in as such. if not for ages. its acts impugned by petitioner are beyond the control of Congress and the Courts" and ruled that the constitutional article on the amending process" is nothing more than a part of the Constitution thus ordained by the people. It is obvious that correspondingly. 27 This Court therein stressed that "This must be so." and that "written constitutions are supposed to be designed so as to last for some time. This means. second to none. 1976 referendum was first announced.the light of the State's admission at the hearing that such referendums are merely consultative and cannot amend the Constitution or Provisions which call for the 'immediate existence' and 'initial convening of the interim National Assembly to 'give priority to measures for the orderly transition from the presidential to the parliamentary system' and the other urgent measures enumerated in section 5 thereof". ever constitution worthy of the people for which it is intended must not be prepared in haste without adequate deliberation and study. and perforce must be conceived and prepared with as much care and deliberation. namely. future and every other conceivable aspect of the lives of all the people within the country and those subject to its sovereignity. at least. While the people reportedly expressed their mandate against the convening of the interim National Assembly to dischange its legislative tasks during the period of transition under martial law. fortunes. and the security council" and that the barangays felt. If proposals for constitutional amendments are now deemed necessary to be discussed and adopted for submittal to the people. the members of the cabinet. any amendment of the Constitution is of no less importance than the whole Constitution itself. because it is plain to Us that the framers of the Constitution took care that the process of amending the same should not be undertaken with the same ease and facility in changing an ordinary legislation. In point of fact. acting in their sovereign capacity. as long as they can be adopted to the needs and exigencies of the people.

suffice it to recall this Court's pronouncement in Tolentino (in reflecting a similar argument on the costs of holding a plebiscite separately from the general elections for elective officials) that "it is a matter of public knowledge that bigger amounts have been spent or thrown to waste for many lesser objectives... . when the public safety requires it and hence the use 123 . " 30 and that "while the financial costs of a separate plebiscite may be high. the original constitutions carry with them limitations and conditions. (P24 million annually in salaries alone for its 400 members at P600. Comelec 29 in the setting as in of a Comelec resolution banning the use of political taped jingles by candidates for Constitutional Convention delegates int he special 1970 elections. This is reinforced by the fact that the cited section does not grant to the regular National Assembly of calling a constitutional convention.000. The three departments of government in the discharge of the functions with which it is entrusted have no choice but to yield obedience to its commands." 28 9. is a postulate of our system of government.11 10. The Presidency in the execution of the laws cannot ignore of disregard what it ordains. In our democracy the hope and survival of the nation lie in the wisdom and unselfish patriotism of all officials and in their faithful 'Adherence to the Constitution". Justice Fernando emphasized for this Court in Mutuc vs. In its task of applying the law to the facts as found in deciding cases. As to the alleged costs involved in convening the interim National Assembly to propose amendments. Congress in the enactment of statutes must ever be on guart lest the restrictions on its authority. and the recognition now of his exercising the constituent power to propose amendments to the Fundamental Law "as agent for and in behalf of the people" 33 has no constitutional basis. "the concept of the Constitution as the fundamental law. Surely. among them its own abolition. secession. section 12 . as stressed by the writer in his separate opinion in the Referendum Cases. assuming that its deliberations could last for one year). or imminent danger thereof. That is to amnifst fealty to the rule of law. thus expressing the will of the Convention (and presumably of the people upon ratification) that if ever the need to propose amendments arose during the limited period of transition.fancies. the interim National Assembly alone would discharge the task and no constitutional convention could be call for the purpose. the amount of seventeen million pesos or even more is not too much a price to pay for fealty and loyalty to the Constitution . the judiciary is called upon the maintain inviolate what is decreed by the fundamental law. whether substantive or formal. The convening of the interim National Assembly to exercise the constituent power to proposed amendments is the only way to fulfill the express mandate of the Constitution. Thus. more or less stringent. The imposition of martial law (and "the problems of rebellion. as a rule. inflation and economic crisis a crisis greater than war") 32 cited by the majority opinion as justifying the concentration of powers in the President. subversion. upon special call therefor. it can never be as much as the dangers involved in disregarding clear mandate of the Constitution. made so by the people themselves.. section 10 (2) of the 1935 Constitution and provides for the imposition of martial law only 'in case of invasion. former Chief Justice Ricardo Paras reaffirmed for the Court the principle that emergency in itself cannot and should not create power.14 "is a verbatim reproduction of Article VII." This is but to give meaning to the plan and clear mandate of section 15 of the Transitory Provisions (which allows of no other interpretation) that during the stage of transition the interim National Assembly alone exercises the constituent power to propose amendments. resurrection or rebellion. be transcended. The martial law clause of the 1973 Constitution found in Article IX. In the post-war Emergency Powers 33*.00 per annum per member. with priority accorded to that which occupies the topmost rung in the legal heirarchy. Whatever limits it imposes must be observed.. in regard to the process of their amendment. setting forth the criterion for the validity of any public act whether proceeding from the highest official or the lowest functionary. recession. no matter how laudable the objective" and "no consideration of financial costs shall deter Us from adherence to the requirements of the Constitution". As Mr.

worse. the actual contents of our fundamental law will really be determined by the Convention. Former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion had observed before the elevation of the l971 Constitutional Convention that the records of past plebiscites show that the constitutional agency vested with the exercise of the constituent power (Congress or the Constitutional Convention) really determined the amendments to the Constitution since the proposals were invariably ratified by the people 37 thus: "although the people have the reserved power to ratify or reject the action taken by the Convention. such power is not. Article XVII.. despite the requisite ratification by the people. Its basic premise is to preserve and to maintain the Republic against the dangers that threaten it. and must lean in favor of a construction which will render every word operative. accordingly the people should exercise the greatest possible degree of circumspection in the election of delegates thereto . corresponding with the immense importance of the powers delegated. and to every section and clause. rather than one which may make some words Idle and nugatory. Martial law concededly does not abrogate the Constitution nor obliterate its constitutional boundaries and allocation of powers among the Executive. because by the very nature of the constituent power. by reason of martial law measures. " 38 12. or apply it otherwise than the natural construction would require if it stood by itself. Legislative and Judicial Departments. in which the people will be presumed to have expressed themselves in careful and measured terms. martial law would have become the enemy of the Republic rather than its defender and preserver. One part may qualify another so as to restrict its operation. It is scarcelly conceivable that a case can arise where a court would bye justified in declaring any portion of a written constitution nugatory because of ambiguity. such amendments proposals have to be prepared. if possible.. that. 36 The transcendental constituent power to propose and approve amendments to the Constitution as well as set up the machinery and prescribe the procedure for the ratification of his proposals has been withheld from the President (Prime Minister) as sole repository of the Executive Power. if by any reasonable construction the two can be made to stand together. they constitute but two provisions which are not to be considered in isolation from the Constitution but as mere integral parts thereof which must be harmonized consistently with the entire Constitution. If by reason of such measures the Republic is so transformed that it is changed in its nature and becomes a State other than republican. 39 It has thus been aptly observed that "Martial law is an emergency regime. then martial law is a failure. authorized by and subject to the Constitution. On the question of the Court's jurisdiction to pass upon the constitutionality of the questioned presidential decrees: let it be underscored that the Court has long set at rest the question. Together with the martial law clause. Such premise imposes constraints and limitations. 35 11. in view of the circumstances attending its exercise. deliberated and matured by a deliberative assembly of representatives such as the interim National Assembly and hence may not be antithetically entrusted to one man. but one part is not to be allowed to defeat another. presumably in view of the immense powers already vested in him by the Constitution but just as importantly. section 3 (2) of the 1973 Constitution which has been held by the majority in the Referendum Cases to be the recognition or warrant for the exercise of legislative power by the President during the period of martial law is but a transitory provision. For the martial law regime fulfills the constitutional purpose only if. the Republic is preserved. leaving as little as possible to implication. as effective as one might otherwise think: that. the courts must harmonize them. As Cooley restated the rule: "effect is to be given.of the legislative power or more accurately 'military power' under martial rule is limited to such necessary measures as will safeguard the Republic and suppress the rebellion (or invasion)". If different portions seem to conflict." 40 II. if practicable. 124 . to the whole instrument. This rule is applicable with special force to written constitutions.

the great landmarks of the Constitution are apt to be forgotten or marred. questions which are intended by the Constitutional and relevant laws to be conclusively determined by the "political". they could brush aside and set the same at naught. 42 (by a unanimous Court) and in Tolentino 43 (by the required constitutional majority). contrary to the basic tenet that outs is it government of lawsom not of men. are reserved for the people's decision. In cases of conflict. despite the eminently political character of treaty-making power". 44 As amplified by former Chief Justice Concepcion in Javellana vs Executive Secretary 45 (by a majority vote).e. the members of Congress. i. is justiciable or non-political. branches of government (namely.S. Laurel echoed U. it does not assert any superiority over the other departments . Chief Justice Marshall's "climactic phrase" that "we must never forget that it is a Constitution we are expounding" and declared the Court's "solemn and sacred" constitutional obligation of judicial review and laid down the doctrine that the Philippine Constitution as "a definition of the powers of government" placed upon the judiciary the great burden of "determining the nature. said qualifications. scope and extent of such powers" and stressed that "when the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries. Otherwise. the issue on whether or not the prescribed qualifications or conditions have been met. or the limitations by expected. the Constitution expressly confers upon the Supreme Court.The trail was blazed for the Court since the benchmark case of Angara vs. conditional or subject to limitations. the Court has since consistently ruled that when proposing and approving amendments to the Constitution. "when the grant of power is qualified. 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 or constituent units thereof". the power to declare a treaty unconstitutional. Such rigidity is stressed by the fact that. acting as a constituent assembly or the members of the Constitutional Convention elected directly for the purpose by not have the final say on whether or not their acts are within or beyond constitutional limits. in Gonzales. conditions and limitations-particularly those prescribed or imposed by the Constitution would be set at naught". the crux of the problem being one of legality or validity of the contested act.justiciable since as stressed even in Javellana the issue of validity of the President's proclamation of ratification of the Constitution presented a justiciable and non-political question Stated otherwise. in proposing amendments to the people for ratification followed the constitutional procedure and on the amending process is perforce a justiciable question and does not raise a political question of police or wisdom of the proposed amendments.the purpose. 41 Thus. The fact that the proposed amendments are to be submitted to the people for ratification by no means makes the question political and non. and to the rigid nature of our Constitution. the Executive and the Legislative) are outside the Court's jurisdiction. the question of whether the Legislative acting as a constituent assembly or the Constitutional Convention called fol. Justice Laurel in Angara had duly enjoined that "in times of social disquietude or political excitement. the Court likewise adhered to the constitutional tenet that political questions. . 125 . The substantive question presented in the case at bar of whether the President may legally exercise the constituent power vested in the interim National Assembly (which has not been granted to his office) and propose constitutional amendments is preeminently a justiciable issue. i. . if not entirely obliterated. but only asserts the solemn and sacred obliteration entrusted to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which the instrument secures and guarantees to them". At the same time. not its wisdom Otherwise. Electoral Commission when Justice Jose P.e. which if Submitted.

To follow the easy way out by disclaiming jurisdiction over the issue as a political question would be judicial abdication.. it must provide the voter not only sufficient time but ample basis for an intelligent appraisal of the nature of the amendment per se as well as its relation to the other parts of the Constitution with which it has to form a harmonious whole. in submitting an amendment for ratification. and the proposed amendments and the meaning. All in all.000 citizens cannot be reached. They are not to vote blindly. in great measures. educate them with respect to their act of ratification or rejection. nature and effects thereof. If with all these safeguards the people still approve the amendment no matter how prejudicial it is to them. 1. III. intelligent. They must be afforded ample opportunity to mull over the original provisions. as already pointed out in our discussion of movants' first ground. For. We believe the word submitted' can only mean that the government. consent or rejection. we are not to be understood as saying that. 48 126 ." and that there was no proper Submission wherein the people are in the dark as to frame of reference they can base their judgment on 2. if this kind of amendment is allowed. we take the view that the words 'submitted to the people for their ratification'. compare them with the proposed amendments. Sanchez' separate opinion in Gonzales "on the minimum requirements that must be met in order that there can be a proper submission to the people of a proposed constitutional amendment" which reads thus: . as we have earlier stated. There cannot be said to be fair and proper submission of the proposed amendments. free from the incubus of extraneous or possibly insidious influences. But it is one of life's verities that things which appear to be simple may turn out not to be so simple after all". one thing is submission and another is ratification. On the question of whether there is a sufficient and proper submittal of the proposed amendments to the people: Prescinding from the writer's view of the nullity of the questioned decree of lack of authority on the President's part to excercise the constituent power. amendments must be fairly laid before the people for their blessing or spurning. The now Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Conrado V. then so be it. I hold that the doctrine of fair and proper submission first enunciated by a simple majority of by Justices in Gonzales and subsequently officially adopted by the required constitutional two-thirds majority of the Court in is controlling in the case at bar. then there is no submission within the meaning of the word as intended by the framers of the Constitution. the Philippines will appear before the world to be in the absurd position of being the only country with a constitution containing a provision so ephemeral no one knows until when it will bet actually in force". and try to reach a conclusion as the dictates of their conscience suggest. it is too much of a speculation to assume what exactly the amendment would really amount lo in the end. As ruled by this Court in Tolentino where "the proposed amendment in question is expressly saddled with reservations which naturally impair. Justice Makasiar with two other members 46 graphically pointed out in their joint separate opinion that the solitary question "would seem to be uncomplicated and innocuous. Therefore. read together with the reservations tacked to it by the Convention thru Section 3 of the questioned resolution. By this. The people are not to be mere rubber stamps. there can be no proper submission. There must be fair submission.. For the people decree their own fate. should strain every effort to inform every citizen of the provisions to be amended. 47 They further expressed "essential agreement" with Mr. What the Constitution in effect directs is that the government. should put every instrumentality or agency within its structural framework to enlighten the people. In Tolentino a solitary amendment reducing the voting age to 18 years was struck down by this Court which ruled that "in order that a plebiscite for the ratification of an amendment to the Constitution may be validly held. if construed in the light of the nature of the Constitution a fundamental charter that is legislation direct from the people. its very essence as a proposed constitutional amendment" and where "the way the proposal is worded. within its maximum capabilities. an expression of their sovereign will .is that it can only be amended by the people expressing themselves according to the procedure ordained by the Constitution. if one citizen or 100 citizens or 1.

popular caprice or passion. an acknowledged parliamentarian of the highest order. October 11. Former Senator Arturo Tolentino. 1976 wherein the 15-year and under 18-year. it is manifest that there is no proper submission of the proposed amendments. It is needed for stability and steadiness. who has said 'A good Constitution should be beyond the reach of temporary excitement and.. He further pointed out that "apart from lacking the parliamentary style in the body of the Constitution. 1. should be clearly stated in careful and measured terms. the qualification age of members of the interim Batasang Pambansa is reduced to 18 years. 127 . Under Amendment No 3. not to the whim of the people. . the paper today reported his seven-page analysis questioning among others the proposed granting of dual legislative powers to both the President and the Batasang Pambansa and remarking that "This dual legislative authority can give rise to confusion and serious constitutional questions". they do not indicate what particular provisions are being repealed or amended". September 22. Under Amendment No. conscientious deliberation and intelligent consent or rejection. but the sober second thought. From the complex and complicated proposed amendments set forth in the challenged decree and the plethora of confused and confusing clarifications reported in the daily newspapers. 53 Aside from the inadequacy of the limited time given for the people's consideration of the proposed amendments. .another evil may succeed and a worse'. which alone.. As Montaign says: All great mutations shake and disorder state.. xxx xxx xxx Changes in government are to be feared unless the benefit is certain. There can be no proper submission because the vagueness and ambiguity of the proposals do not sufficiently inform the people of the amendments for. 1976. While the press and the Solicitor General at the hearing have stated that the principal thrust of the proposals is to substitute the interim National Assembly with an interim Batasang Pambansa. not withstanding the convening of the interim Batasang Pambansa within 30 days from the election and selection of the members (for which there is no fixed date) the incumbent President apparently becomes a regular President and Prime Minister (not ad interim). can be allowed efficiency. it must yield to the thought of the people. if the government is to be safe. there can be no proper submission because the proposed amendments are not in proper form and violate the cardinal rule of amendments of written constitutions that the specific provisions of the Constitution being repealed or amended as well as how the specific provisions as amended would read. a serious study thereof in detail would lead to the conclusion that the whole context of the 1973 Constitution proper would be affected and grave amendments and modifications thereof -would apparently be made. Nine (9) proposed constitutional amendments were officially proposed and made known as per Presidential Decree No. " The great men who builded the structure of our state in this respect had the mental vision of a good Constitution voiced by Judge Cooley. 52 As of this writing. October 16. 1033 dated. was reported by the newspapers last October 3 to have observed that "there is no urgency in approving the proposed amendments to the Constitution and suggested that the question regarding charter changes be modified instead of asking the people to vote on hurriedly prepared amendments".Justice Sanchez therein ended the passage with an apt citation that " .. 4. among others. to express their will in a genuine manner. 2." 50 3.olds are enjoined to vote notwithstanding their lack of qualification under Article VI of the Constitution. 1976 for submittal at the "referendum-plebiscite" called for this coming Saturday. Good does not necessarily succeed evil . the treaty-concurring power of the Legislature is withheld from the interim Batasang Pambansa. or the thought evolved in excitement or hot blood. as follows: Under Amendment No. to conscientiously deliberate thereon.." 49 Justice Sanchez thus stated the rule that has been adopted by the Court in Tolentino that there is no proper submission "if the people are not sufficiently affirmed of the amendments to be voted upon.

giving rise to the possibility fraught with grave consequences. the barangays and Sanggunians would apparently be constitutionalized. the President shall continue to exercise legislative powers until martial law is lifted. rather than by the rigid and strict amending process provided presently in Article XVI of the Constitution. 4. and Under Amendment No. Among the three branches of government. Majority of the members of the defunct Congress. as pointed out by Senator Tolentino. 5. 1976 comes as a welcome and refreshing model of conscientious deliberation. 5. as follows: THE REFERENDUM ISSUES On October 16. Under Amendment No. That a period of free debate and discussion has to be declared of itself shows the limitations on free debate and discussion. there is a duality of legislative authority given the President and the interim Batasang Pambansa as well as the regular National Assembly. the incumbent President is authorized to proclaim the ratification of the amendments by the majority of votes cast. 54 Indeed. 128 . thus radically affecting provisions of the Constitution governing the said departments. upon the declaration of martial law. It has likewise been stressed by the officials concerned that the proposed amendments come in a package and may not be voted upon separately but on an "all or nothing" basis. who are mandated by the Constitution to become members of the interim National Assembly. as our youth analyzes the issues "which will affect generations yet to come" and urge the people to mull over the pros and cons very carefully". it was the most discredited. with the President continuing to exercise legislative powers in case of "grave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof" (without definition of terms) or when said Assemblies "fail or are unable to act adequately on any matter for any reason that in his judgment requires immediate action". it is almost sure that the interim National Assembly will not be convened. 6. On the first issue. Under Amendment No. Referendums (which are not authorized in the present 1973 Constitution) would also be constitutionalized. although their functions. power and composition may be altered by law.the creation of a new legislative body and the lifting of martial law. as acknowledged at the hearing. Under Amendment No. Under Amendment No. the voice of the studentry as reflected in the editorial of the Philippine Collegian issue of September 23. Whether the people can normally express their will in a genuine manner and with due circumspection on the proposed amendments amidst the constraints of martial law is yet another question. that amendments to the Constitution may thereafter be effected by referendum.Under Amendment No. 7. some people were heard to mutter that a 'regime that has finally put an end to such congressional shenanigans could not be all that bad'. The facilities for free debate and discussion over the mass media. 9. 8. the people may be asked to decide on two important national issues . primarily because of its membership. print and otherwise are wanting. The President himself is reported to have observed the timidity of the media under martial law and to have directed the press to air the views of the opposition. if not prescribed by the President. there is a general statement in general that the unspecified provisions of the Constitution "not inconsistent with any of these amendments" shall continue in full force and effect. the disqualifications imposed on members of the Cabinet in the Constitution such as the prohibition against the holding of more than one office in the government including government-owned or -controlled corporations would appear to be eliminated. In fact. have gained so widespread a notoriety that the mere mention of Congress conjures the image of a den of thieves who are out to fool the people most of the time.

with the exception that some of our freedoms were taken away. have expressed the fear that its lifting might precipitate the revival of the abuses of the past. then we might have to conclude that the Filipinos deserve a dictatorial form of government. when the public safety requires it'. martial law shall only be declared in times of 'rebellion. it is absolutely necessary now that we look solemnly and perceptively into the Constitution and try to discover for ourselves what our role is in the successful implementation of that Constitution. let all of us then pass away as a pace in the development of our country. or imminent danger thereof. otherwise we will just have another nebulous creation having the form but lacking the substance. With this thought. insurrection. Since we no longer suffer from internal disturbances of a gargantuan scale.. If we justify the continuance of martial by economic or other reasons other than the foregoing constitutional grounds.A substitute legislative body is contemplated to help the President in promulgating laws. Some of them. martial law has initially secured some reforms for the country The people were quite willing to participate in the new experiment. it is about time we seriously rethink the 'necessity' of prolonging the martial law regime. This would afford the Chief Executive almost total power over the legislature. If the converse is true. Others say that it is about time martial law was lifted since the peace and order situation has already stabilized and the economy seems to have been parked up. The response of the people to the foregoing issues will affect generations yet to come. But care should be taken that this new legislative body would not become a mere rubber stamp akin to those of other totalitarian countries. whatever may his 129 . After all." 6. only the President himself can determine. It was not meant to be availed of for a long period of time. Even without martial law. for he could always offer the members thereof a carrot and a stick. The referendum results will show whether the people themselves have adopted this sad conclusion. . but let the Constitution remain firm and stable and let institutions grow in strength from day to day. We must bear in mind that martial law was envisioned only to cope with an existing national crisis. thus: . remembering the turmoil that prevailed before the declaration of martial law. then our faith in the Constitution might be questioned. The regime of martial law has been with us for four years now. In the words of the Constitution. from achievement to achievement. otherwise it would undermine our adherence to a democratic form of government. It should be given real powers. the people seem to have gone back to the old ways. On the matter of lifting martial law the people have expressed ambivalent attitudes. As to what would occasion such a need. thrilled by the novelty of it all. and provide an occasion for evil elements to resurface with their usual tricks. however.. and an authoritarian regime established. whoever may the man in power be. Whoever he may be and whatever position he may happen to have. . No doubt. the gains of the New Society can be secured without sacrificing the freedom of our people. whether in government or outside government. and that we "remain steadfast on the rule of law and the Constitution" as he recalled his rejection of the "exercise (of) power that can be Identified merely with a revolutionary government" that makes its own law. After the euphoria. the incumbent Chief Executive still holds vast powers under the constitution. Already the President has expressed the desire that among the powers he would like to have with regard to the proposed legislative body is that of abolishing it in case 'there is a need to do so'. therefore. and so long as that Constitution stands. we can agree on one thing and that is: Let all of us age. so they should mull over the pros and cons very carefully. This opinion by written in the same spirit as the President's exhortations on the first anniversary of proclamation of the 1973 Constitution that we "let the Constitution remain firm and stable" so that it may "guide the people". and perhaps minimize the issuance of ill-drafted decrees which necessitate constant amendments. invasion.

as in fact I vote for their dismissal.purpose be. sincerity and purity of purpose in which I am resolved to offer the same. having been often induced to exercise power that can be Identified merely with a revolutionary government. having proclaimed martial law. Plain honesty dictates that I should make of record here the pertinent contents of the official report of the Executive Committee of the Katipunan ng mga Sanggunian submitted to the Katipunan itself about the proceedings held on August 14. The lifting of the traditional inhibition of judges from public discussion and debate might blemish the image and independence of the judiciary. it would not be befitting my position in this Highest Tribunal of the land for me to leave unmentioned the circumstances which have given cause. In a way. The questions of the validity of the scheduled referendum. BARREDO. it can be said.. however. Aside from the fact that the fixing of a time limit for the acceptance of their courtesy resignations to avoid an indefinite state of insecurity of their tenure in office still spends litigants and their relatives and friends as well as a good sector of the public would be hesitant to air views contrary to that of the. J. A final word on the Court's resolution of October 5. and these views may he of some guidance to them. as well as to take sides in discussions and debates on the referendum-plebiscite questions under Section 7 of the same Decree. after office hours. This is essential for the maintenance and enhancement of the people's faith and confidence in the judiciary. I presume. on the ground that the non-participation of judges in such public discussions and debates on the referendum-plebiscite questions would preserve the traditional noninvolvement of the judiciary in public discussions of controversial issues. Justice Makasiar and Madame Justice Munoz Palma had dissented from the majority resolution. that Constitution will guide the people and no man. have remained steadfast or the rule of law and the Constitution. for others to feel apprehensive that my participation in these proceedings might detract from that degree of faith in the impartiality that the Court's judgment herein should ordinarily command. will dare to destroy and wreck the foundation of such a Constitution. of course." 55 The writer with Mr. I deem it imperative that I should state separately the considerations that have impelled me to do so.plebiscite and of whether there is proper submission of the proposed amendments were precisely subjudice by virtue of the cases at bar. 991. that I am the one most responsible for such a rather problematical situation. 1976.: concurring: While I am in full agreement with the majority of my brethren that the herein petitions should be dismissed. 130 . Judge. with all due respect. as amended. "to accept invitations to act as resource speakers under Section 5 of Presidential Decree No. powerful he may be. 1976 which in reply to the Comelec query allowed by a vote of 7 to 3. 54* IV. Perhaps. and it is precisely for this reason that I have decided to begin this opinion with a discussion of why I have not inhibited myself. trusting most confidently that what I have to say will be taken in the same spirit of good faith. Justices Makasiar and Munoz Palma who share these views have agreed that we make them of record here. judges of all courts. since we understand that the permission given in the resolution is nevertheless addressed to the personal decision and conscience of each judge. it is best that I should start by trying to disabuse the minds of those who have doubts as to whether or not I should have taken part in the consideration and resolution of these cases. It is stated in that public document that: THE ISSUE WITH REGARDS To THE CONVENING OF A LEGISLATIVE body came out when the President express his desire to share his powers with other people. These are the reasons why I personally. Indeed.

Local Government Secretary. the establishment of 'Sangguniang Pambansa' or 'Batasang Pambansa' which would help the President in the performance of his legislative functions. Nora Z. The federation of Kabataang Barangay. And looking back at the subsequent developments up to September 22. it is a matter of public knowledge that in a speech I delivered at the Coral Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel in the evening of August 17. 1976 at the initial conference called by the Comelec in the course of the information and educational campaign it was enjoined to conduct on the subject. Most importantly. which petitioners are here seeking to enjoin. August 8. the extent of my active participation in the events and deliberations that have culminated in the holding of the proposed referendum. when the Batasang Bayan approved and the President signed the now impugned Presidential Decree No. 1976. On August 6. The suggestion of the barangay units was made through their national association. I might say that I was the one most vehement and persistent in publicly advocating and urging the authorities concerned to directly submit to the people in a plebiscite whatever amendments of the Constitution might be considered necessary for the establishment of such substitute interim legislature. Rono granted the request by convening the 91 member National Executive Committee of the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Sanggunian on August 14 which was held at Session Hall. Moreover.plebiscite on October 16. I discourse on the indispensability of a new interim legislative body as the initial step towards the early lifting of martial law and on the fundamental considerations why in our present situation a constitutional convention would be superfluous in amending the Constitution. a five-man Committee members of the Philippine Constitution Association (PHILCONSA) headed by Supreme Court Justice Antonio Barredo proposed on July 28. 1976. Jose A. On August 7. has been more substantial and meaningful than the above report imparts. Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Barangay headed by Mrs.000 units like their elder counterparts in the Katipunan ng mga Barangay also asserted their own right to be heard on whatever plans are afoot to convene a new legislative body. aside from being probably the first person to publicly articulate the need for the creation of an interim legislative body to take the place of. She also said that since the people had ruled out the calling of such assembly and that they have once proposed that the President create instead the Sangguniang Pambansa or a legislative advisory body. I denounced in no uncertain terms the plan to call a constitutional convention. also numbering 42. A nationwide clamor for the holding of meeting in their respective localities to discuss more intellegently the proposal to create a new legislative body was made by various urban and rural Sangguniang Bayans. the interim National Assembly provided for in the Transitory Provisions of the Constitution. 131 .000 barangay assemblies on August 1 suggested that the people be consulted on a proposal to create a new legislative body to replace the interim assembly provided for by the Constitution. Invited also to participate were 13 Regional Federation Presidents each coming from the PKB and the PKKB Actually. 1976. She said that the people have shown in at least six instances including in the two past referenda that they are against the convening of the interim National Assembly. In the aforementioned session of the Executive Committee of the Katipunan. a meeting of the national directorate of PKB was held to discuss matters pertaining to the stand of the PKB with regards to the convening of a new legislative body. Quezon City. The stand of the PKB is to create a legislative advisory council in place of the old assembly. Two days after. then the proposal to create a new legislative must necessarily be referred to the people. The proposed new body will take the place of the interim National Assembly which is considered not practical to convene at this time considering the constitution of its membership. the country's 42. as suggested in the above report. Numerous requests made by some members coming from 75 provincial and 61 city SB assemblies. Patines. Upon learning the proposal of Justice Barredo. were forwarded to the Department of Local Government and Community Development (DLGCD). I reiterated the same views on September 7. the Kabataang Barangay held a symposium and made a stand which is the creation of a body with full legislative powers.Aware of this.

as a result of casual and occasional exchanges of thought with President Marcos. in the final analysis. it has always been my faith. where others would have preferred to be comfortably silent. Nothing has delighted me more than to discover that somebody else has thought of more weighty arguments refuting my own. I must hasten to add at this point. Actually. the situation has already so improved as to permit the implementation. that in a larger sense.major political cases in the recent past should more or less indicate our respective basic positions relevant to the issues now before Us. I am never beyond being convinced by good and substantial ratiocination. contending counsels cannot be entirely in the dark in this regard. our votes and opinions in the. however. the materialization of the forthcoming referendum-plebiscite.1033. To be sure. Besides. I feel I have always been able to appreciate. but I have always maintained that whatever improper factors might influence a judge will unavoidably always appear on the face of the decision. I have kept tract of all the public and private pronouncements of the President. Certainly. regardless of what or whose interests are at stake. the President would somehow make it known that in his judgment. this would inevitably involve the establishment of a legislative body to replace the abortive interim National Assembly. it is not that a judge has preconceptions that counts. That suspicions of prejudgment may likely arise is unavoidable. and the problem of national survival and of restoring democratic institutions and Ideals is seeking solution in the minds of all of us. To my mind. In other words. In any event. And if for having voiced the sentiments of our people. I am certain every true Filipino is anxiously looking forward to that eventuality. none of the parties have sought my inhibition or disqualification. I can only say that I do not believe there is any other Filipino in and out of the Court today who is not equally situated as I am . I have never allowed my preconceptions and personal inclinations to affect the objectivity needed in the resolution of any judicial question before the Court. The truth of the matter is that throughout the four years of this martial law government. it is his capacity and readiness to absorb contrary views that are indispensable for justice to prevail. of the constitutionally envisioned evolution of our government from its present state to a parliamentary one. and it was the result of my reading thereof that furnished the immediate basis for my virtually precipitating. I feel that it must have been precisely because of such awareness that despite my known public participation in the discussion of the questions herein involved. The matters that concern the Court in the instant petitions do not involve merely the individual interests of any single person or group of persons. although it may be difficult for others to believe it. Articulated or not. is there better guarantee of justice when the preconceptions of a judge are concealed? 132 . sparing none. the initiative for all I have done. it is but human for me to want to believe that to a certain extent my strong criticisms and resolute stand against any other alternative procedure of amending the Constitution for the purpose intended had borne fruit. was not altogether mine alone. if I did not consider myself privileged in having been afforded by Divine Providence the opportunity to contribute a modest share in the formulation of the steps that should lead ultimately to the lifting of martial law in our country. fully consider and duly weigh arguments and points raised by all counsels. Indeed. I would not have accepted my position in the Court had I felt I would not be able to be above my personal prejudices. I would not be human. and if for having made public what every Filipino must have been feeling in his heart all these years. The current of history that has passed through the whole country in the wake of martial law has swept all of us. not individually. I should be singled out as entertaining such preconceived opinions regarding the issues before the Court in the cases at bar as to preclude me from taking part in their disposition. the stakes in these cases affect everyone commonly. it was the President's own attitude on the matter that made it opportune for me to articulate my own feelings and Ideas as to how the nation can move meaningfully towards normalization and to publicly raise the issues that have been ventilated by the parties in the instant cases. That I have preferred to discuss publicly my own thoughts on the matter cannot mean that my colleagues in the Court have been indifferent and apathetic about it. all of us must have our own preconceived Ideas and notions in respect to the situation that confronts the country. for they too are Filipinos. in one way or another. Naturally. even when they conflict with my previous views. if gradual. that when the appropriate time does come.

The Charter establishes a Supreme Court "composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen Associate Justices". -IIn regard to the first issue as to whether the questions posed in the petitions herein are political or justiciable. the provisions of Section 9 of the Judiciary Act do not appear to conform with the concept of the office of Justice of the Supreme Court contemplated in the Constitution. mental and otherwise. And so. may it be feared that anyone's life. suffice it for me to reiterate the fundamental position I took in the Martial Law cases. The moral character of every member of the Court must be assumed to be such that in no case whatsoever. specially because. it would be indubitable that his judgment cannot be but objectively impartial. Nowhere in the Constitution is there any indication that the legislature may designate by law instances wherein any of the justices should not or may not take part in the resolution of any case. the Constitution does not envisage compulsory disqualification or inhibition in any case by any member of the Supreme Court. after all. I shall now address myself to the grave issues submitted for Our resolution. "The second is that it is settled that the Judiciary provisions of the Constitution point to the Supreme Court as the ultimate arbiter of all conflicts as to what the Constitution or any part thereof means. anyway.Withal. should never hope to be unduly favored by any action of the Supreme Court. Indeed. when as in the instant where. nobody who has not been duly appointed as a member of the Supreme Court can sit in it at any time or for any reason. If I have in practice actually refrained from participating in some cases. Members of the Supreme Court are definite constitutional officers. 1 thus As We enter the extremely delicate task of resolving the grave issues thus thrust upon Us. Absolute integrity. with the particular qualifications therein set forth and to be appointed in the manner therein provided. since. The very nature of the office of Justice of the Supreme Court as the tribunal of last resort and bulwark of the rights and liberties of all the people demands that only one of dependable and trustworthy probity should occupy the same. None of them may exercise any power unless it can be traced thereto either textually or by natural and logical implication. would ever be in jeopardy of being unjustly and improperly subjected to any kind of judicial sanction. While the other Departments may adopt their own construction 133 . We are immediately encountered by absolute verities to guide Us all the way. The Judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court composed as the Constitution ordains . even the appointing power. there would be no quorum . in point of law. regardless of the issues and the parties involved.it is the includible duty of all the incumbent justices to participate in the proceedings and to cast their votes. I belong to the school of thought that regards members of the Supreme Court as not covered by the general rules relative to disqualification and inhibition of judges in cases before them. it has not been because of any legal ground founded on said rules. The first and most important of them is that the Constitution (Unless expressly stated otherwise. must be by everyone who is appointed thereto.and no court to render the decision . considering that for the reasons stated above. With the preliminary matter of my individual circumstances out of the way. much less the national interests. liberty or property. much less who should take his place. such that with the legal training and experience he must of necessity be adequately equipped with. but for purely personal reasons. To put it the other way. This means among other things that all the powers of the government and of all its officials from the President down to the lowest emanate from it. every Justice of the Supreme Court is expected to be capable of rising above himself in every case and of having full control of his emotions and prejudices. All appointments to the Court are based on these considerations. the pertinent provisions are practically Identical in both is the supreme law of the land. In sum. to whom the Justices owe their positions. my vote would not have altered the results therein. all references to the Constitution in this discussion are to both the 1935 and 1973 charters. it is not within the power of the lawmaking body to replace them even temporarily for any reason.that power cannot be exercised by a Supreme Court constituted otherwise. hence the ordinary rules on inhibition and disqualification do not have to be applied to its members. It is my considered opinion that unlike in the cases of judges in the lower courts. if any of the member of Court is to abstain from taking part.

when such construction is challenged by the proper party in an appropriate case wherein a decision would be impossible without determining the correct construction. 5 Phil. 87. In this connection. It is in the very nature of republican governments that certain matters are left in the residual power of the people themselves to resolve. (Barcelona vs. for there can be no conceivable controversy. xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx From these incontrovertible postulates. And these reserved matters are easily distinguishable by their very nature. The judicial power of the courts being unlimited and unqualified. total and unlimited. especially one involving a conflict as to the correct construction of the Constitution. upon the theory that unless the courts intervene injustice might prevail. the Supreme Court's word on the matter controls. that is not contemplated to be within the judicial authority of the courts to hear and decide. 134 . these fundamental considerations are the ones that lie at the base of what is known in American constitutional law as the political question doctrine. The distinct role then of the Supreme Court of being the final arbiter in the determination of constitutional controversies does not have to be asserted in such contemplated situations. without any limitation or qualification. so also. exactly like its apparently more attractive or popular opposite. Severino vs. however. defense and preservation of the state against internal or external aggression threatening its very existence is far from being within the ambit of judicial responsibility. that the main question before Us is not in reality one of jurisdiction. is the very whole of that power. It has been invoked and applied by this Court in varied forms and mode of projection in several momentous instances in the past. thereby to give way to the ultimate prerogative of the people articulated thru suffrage or thru the acts of their political representatives they have elected for the purpose. the Constitution has coevally conferred upon it the discretion to determine. when one studiously considers the basic functions and responsibilities entrusted by the charter to each of the great Departments of the government. it extends over all situations that call for the as certainment and protection of the rights of any party allegedly violated. it results. the protection. Baker. judicial activism. which in that jurisdiction is unquestionably deemed to be part and parcel of the rule of law. which is the fullest exertion of judicial power. the Court's indisputable and plenary authority to decide does not necessarily impose upon it the duty to interpose its fiat as the only means of settling the conflicting claims of the parties before it. it must be borne in mind that in the form of government envisaged by the framers of the Constitution and adopted by our people. in consideration of the constitutional prerogatives granted to the other Departments. xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx The fifth is that in the same manner that the Executive power conferred upon the Executive by the Constitution is complete. To cite an obvious example. when to refrain from imposing judicial solutions and instead defer to the judgment of the latter. It is. It is ingrained in the distribution of powers in the fundamental law that hand in hand with the vesting of the judicial power upon the Court. the judicial power vested in the Supreme Court and the inferior courts. evidence that the Court's jurisdiction to take cognizance of and to decide the instant petitions on their merits is beyond challenge.thereof. even when the alleged violator is the highest official of the land or the government itself. first of all. therefore. either directly at the polls or thru their elected representatives in the political Departments of the government. Indeed.

Pendatun. Vera vs. 379-383. the ultimate constituent power is left to be exercised by the people themselves in a well. The choice of alternatives in any particular eventuality is naturally dictated by what in the Court's considered opinion is what the Constitution envisions should be by in order to accomplish the objectives of government and of nationhood. 45 Phil. Abueva vs. that that faculty lies in the interim National Assembly is to beg the main question. Wood. 91 Phil. Proclamation 1103 which. activism and self. under these circumstances. Lopez Vito. Avelino. The primary issue is. Cabin vs. 88 Phil. the existence of power is secondary. At the same time. In truth. It is my considered opinion that in resolving that question. 55 O. On this score. It is also referred to as the doctrine of judicial selfrestraint or abstention. is the constitutional relevance of the interim National Assembly to any proposal to amend the Constitution at this time. 366. 1975 clearly show that the great majority of our people.) and it is the main support of the stand of the Solicitor General on the issue of jurisdiction in the cases at bar. 8641 [Minute Resolution of Nov. in the light of Section 15 of Article XVII of the Charter. In these premises. it and have actually operated on the basis thereof. Yatco. 1960. I hold that it is not proper for the Court to interpose its judicial authority against the evident decision of the people and should leave it to the political department of the government to devise the ways and means of resolving the resulting problem of how to amend the Constitution. 882. the constitutional problem that confronts Us stems from the absence of any clear and definite express provision in the Charter applicable to the factual milieu herein involved. Quezon. 1973 and February 27.restraint are both subjective attitudes.ordered plebiscite as required by the fundamental law. 654. and what is more important clear and unmistakable. respect for the acts of a co-ordinate. it is my assessment that the results of the referenda of January 10-15. Francisco. Whether or not such a manifest determination of the sentiments of the people should be given effect without a formal amendment of the Constitution is something that constitutional scholars may endlessly debate on. despite the known existence of well-meaning. Oct. if insufficiently substantial dissent. is that the government and the nation have acquiesced to. 1973. 77 Phil. I maintain that the basic nature of the issues herein raised requires that the Court should exercise its constitutionally endowed prerogative to refrain from exerting its judicial authority in the premises. on the predicate that the overwhelming majority of the people desire that the interim Assembly be not convened. Such being the situation. 6.Governor-General. however. and reliable. 612. co-equal and independent Department being the general rule. which although manifested in a manner not explicitly provided for in the Constitution. Mabanag vs. Stripped of incidental aspects. the Court must have to grapple with the problem of what to do with the will of the people. July 27-28. if it could ' only be assumed that the interim National Assembly envisaged in Sections 1 and 2 of the same Article XVII may be convoked. the inquiry centers on whether or not the political developments since the ratification of the Constitution indicate that the people have in effect enjoined the convening of the interim National Assembly altogether. (59 SCRA. for reasons plainly obvious to anyone who would consider the composition of that Assembly. Alejandrino vs. the fundamental issue We are called upon to decide is whether or not it is still constitutionally possible to convene that body. not inherent imperatives. under the circumstances. 16 Phil.) Applying the foregoing considerations to the cases at bar. pp. 192. that We are not losing sight of the traditional approach based on the doctrine of separation of powers. 1. to whom. 19591 Osmena vs. 1973. And relative to that question. what with its more than 400 members automatically voted into it by the Constitutional Convention together with its own members.G. But precisely. Castaneda. are against its being convoked at all. so long as in choosing the same. 85. 46 Phil. 78 Phil. it is consequently the task of the Court to determine what. We perceive that even under such mode of rationalization. has ordained the suspension of its convocation. 28. I hold that the Court has jurisdiction to pass on the merits of the various claims of petitioners. Indeed. Montenegro vs. And perhaps it may be added here to avoid confusion of concepts. But as the nomenclatures themselves imply. What cannot be disputed. Santos vs. particularly when the issue is not encroachment of delimited areas of functions but alleged abuse of a Department's own basic prerogatives. has not been assailed either judicially or otherwise since the date of its promulgation on January 17. 135 . does the authority to propose amendments to the Constitution property belong? To say. however. there could be no occasion for doubt or debate. was nevertheless official.

we have here the unique case of a qualified ratification. he can and does legislate alone. Ordinarily. one has to bear in mind that. by President Marcos who not on retains all his powers under the 1935 Constitution but enjoys as well those of the President and the Prime Minister under the new Constitution. the reforms introduced thru the exercise of his martial law powers. Thus. that the delegates had to take into account not only the developments under it but.1973. with our 1973 Constitution. The whole Constitution was submitted for approval or disapproval of the people. its declared objectives and what the President. in analyzing the new Constitution. I should say that he legislates alone in spite of the existence of the interim National Assembly unequivocally ordained by the Constitution. Yes. but in the process. the constituent labors gained rapid tempo. and after the votes were counted and the affirmative majority known. Stated differently. according to the President. it is not yet so in full. the delegates were to realize that the reforms they were formulating could be best implemented if the martial law powers of the President were to be allowed to subsist even after the ratification of the Constitution they were approving. with the consequence that we have now a parliamentary government without 136 . the martial law proclaimed under the 1935 Constitution overtook the drafting of the new charter by the Constitutional Convention of 1971. the Presidential Decree in question is entirely consistent with the spirit and the principles underlying the Constitution. I hold that in the peculiar situation in which the government is today. In this connection. It is headed. It is a government that is neither presidential nor parliamentary. On the contrary. 1973 referendum. most of all. 1103 purportedly 'in deference to the sovereign will of the Filipino people' expressed in the January 10-15. we were told that the resulting ratification was subject to the condition that the interim National Assembly evidently established in the Constitution as the distinctive and indispensable element of a parliamentary form of government should nevertheless be not convened and that no elections should be held for about seven years. a constitution born out of a crisis is supposed to provide all the needed cures and can. the transitory provisions. But to be more accurate. it is not incompatible with the Constitution for the President to propose the subject amendments for ratification by the people in a formal plebiscite under the supervision of the Commission on Elections. This denouement was unusual. of course. according to the Supreme Court. perceived by many. Most importantly. The correctness of this conclusion should become even more patent. in the absence of any express prohibition in the letter of the Charter. but in truth. when one considers the political developments that the people have brought about since the ratification of the Constitution on January 17. but also to institutionalize. I consider it apropos at this juncture to repeat my own words in a speech I delivered on the occasion of the celebration of Law Day on September 18. 'there is no more judicial obstacle to the new Constitution being considered in force and effect'. for the simple reason that he has suspended the convening of said assembly by issuing Proclamation No. 1975 before the members of the Philippine Constitution Association and their guests: To fully comprehend the constitutional situation in the Philippines today. Not so. therefore. It is imperative to do so because the transitory provisions of our Constitution are extraordinary in the sense that obviously they have been designed to provide not only for the transition of our government from the presidential form under the past charter to a parliamentary one as envisaged in the new fundamental law. therefore. as its administrator. has in effect established a transition government. was doing to achieve them. I am sure. It was inevitable. we must be careful to distinguish between the body or main part thereof and its transitory provisions. Let me explain. To begin with. not. as it has turned out. Indeed. it is worthy of mention that an attempt to adjourn the convention was roundly voted down to signify the determination of the delegates to finish earliest their work. thereby to accomplish the mission entrusted to them by the people to introduce meaningful reforms in our government and society.-2Assuming We have to inquire into the merits of the issue relative to the constitutional authority behind the projected amendment of the Charter in the manner provided in Presidential Decree 1033. be immediately in full force and effect after ratification. as I have mentioned earlier.

there must be more reasons for them to frown on said politicians taking part in amendment of the fundamental law. relative to the main issue now before Us. we have established. I purposely made no mention of the referendum of February 27. 86. True it is that no proposed Constitution can be perfect and it may therefore be taken with the good and the bad in it. the Assembly should not be convened comparable to res adjudicata." In the foregoing disquisition. the clearer will it be that except for the fact that all the powers of government are being exercised by the President. we . our frame of reference should not necessarily be the Constitution but the outcome of referendums called from time to time by the President. that it was originally planned to ask the people in that referendum whether or not they would like the interim National Assembly to convene.something no head of a democratic republican state like ours should do. when we talk of the rule of law nowadays. wittingly or unwittingly. which later on have been transformed into barangays.the people impotent to act according to what they deem best suitable to their interests. a system of government proclaimed by the President as 'a real achievement in participatory democracy. As long as there are reliable means by which only partial approval can be manifested. specially because the particular amendment herein involved calls for the abolition of the interim National Assembly to which they belong and its substitution by the Batasang Pambansa.apply not only to the Assembly as an ordinary legislature but perhaps more to its being a constituent body. but when there are feasible ways by which it can be determined which portions of it. that the fundamental source of authority of our existing government may not be necessarily found within the four corners of the Constitution but rather in the results of periodic referendums conducted by the Commission on Elections in a manner well known to all of us This. the qualified or conditional ratification of a constitution is not contemplated. In other words. 1973 the transitory provisions envisioning the convening of the interim National Assembly have been rendered legally inoperative. There is no doubt in my mind that for the President to convoke the interim National Assembly as such would be to disregard the will of the people . in an unprecedented extra-constitutional way. no cogent reason exists why the sovereign people may not do so. 137 .powers sanctioned directly by the people which may not even be read in the language of the Constitution.do not in reality have a dictatorship but an experimental type of direct democracy. the people disapprove. It is my position that as a result of the political developments since January 17. And as you can see. my friends. It is inconsistent with the plenary power of the people to give or withhold their assent to a proposed Constitution to maintain that they can do so only wholly. I disagree. It is important to note. as I see it. this phenomenon came into being not by virtue of the Constitution but of the direct mandate of the sovereign people expressed in a referendum. And I find it simply logical that the reasons that motivated the people to enjoin the convening of the Assembly . It is argued that in law.' What I am trying to say. in brief. a direct democracy through the Citizens Assemblies created by Presidential Decree No. is that as I perceive it. what is now known as constitutional authoritarianism means. And to be more realistic. What is more. precisely because it was the prevalent view even among the delegates to the Convention as well as the members of the old Congress concerned that that matter had already been finally resolved in the previous referenda of January and July 1973 in the sense that.a parliament and a republic without any regular election of its officials. but the Comelec to whom the task of preparing the questions was assigned was prevailed upon not to include any -such question anymore. in the final analysis. it would be stretching technicality beyond its purported office to render the final authority . is perhaps what the President means by saying that under the new Constitution he has extra-ordinary powers independently of martial law .the unusually large and unmanageable number of its members and the controversial morality of its automatic composition consisting of all the incumbent elective national executive and legislative officials under the Old Constitution who would agree to join it and the delegates themselves to the Convention who had voted in favor of the Transitory Provisions . I cannot imagine any sound principle that can be invoked to support the theory that the proposing authority can limit the power of ratification of the people. The sooner we imbibe this vital concept the more intelligent will our perspective be in giving our support and loyalty to the existing government. 1975. it is but natural to conclude that since the people are against politicians in the old order having anything to do with the formulation of national policies.

In any event. fourteen million nine hundred seventy six thousand five hundred sixty-one (14. I do not believe this pattern set by the convention should be abandoned. the suggestion overlooks the imperative need recognized by the constitutional convention as may be inferred from the obvious purpose of the transitory provisions. that Proclamation 1103. it is binding on the Court. for a period of preparation and acquaintance by all concerned with the unfamiliar distinctive features and practices of the parliamentary system. is how can any such amendment be proposed for ratification by the people? To start with.976. While indeed procedurally feasible. but a majority of those who approved the new Constitution conditioned their votes on the demand that the interim National Assembly provided in its Transitory Provisions should not be convened.561) members of all the Barangays voted for the adoption of the proposed Constitution. and faced with the problem of amending the Constitution in order precisely to implement the people's rejection of that Assembly. the problem of constitutional dimension that confronts Us. the President should be deemed as having been granted also the cognate prerogative of proposing amendments to the Constitution. There is another consideration that leads to the same conclusion. The above factual premises of Proclamation 1103 is not disputed by petitioners. the legislative authority has perforce fallen into the hands of the President. the same being a political act of a coordinate department of the government not properly assailed as arbitrary or whimsical. it may not be supposed that just because the office or body designed by the constitutional convention to perform the constituent function of formulating proposed amendments has been rendered inoperative by the people themselves.it being the only political department of the government in existence . the President has acted accordingly by not convening the Assembly. 138 . In other words. In the face of the incontrovertible fact that the sovereign people have voted against the convening of the interim National Assembly. Incidentally. It was suggested during the oral. such a suggestion cannot be reconciled with the Ideal that a Constitution is the free act of the people. I submit that by the very nature of the office of the Presidency in the prevailing scheme of government we have . the people have thereby foreclosed the possibility of amending the Constitution no matter how desirable or necessary this might be. if only to avoid a complete paralysis of law-making and resulting anarchy and chaos. It is likewise conceded that the provisions of Section 3 (2) of Article XVII invest the President with legislative power for the duration of the transition period. which will take the corresponding measures to effectuate the efficient and smooth transition from the present system to the new one.869) who voted for its rejection. At this point. argument that instead of extending his legislative powers by proposing the amendment to create a new legislative body.it is consistent with basic principles of constitutionalism to acknowledge the President's authority to perform the constituent function. Proclamation 1103 categorically declares that: WHEREAS. there being no other entity or body lodged with the prerogative to exercise such function. It is conceded by petitioners that with the non-convening of the interim Assembly. the force of necessity and the cognate nature of the act justify that the department exercising the legislative faculty be the one to likewise perform the constituent function that was attached to the body rendered impotent by the people's mandate. In this connection. taken together with Proclamation 1102 which proclaimed the ratification of the Constitution. and in consequence. I reject most vehemently the proposition that the President may propose amendments to the Constitution in the exercise of his martial law powers. From these premises. must be accorded the same legal significance as the latter proclamation. hence not only persuasive but mandatory. as indeed it is part and parcel if the Act of ratification of the Constitution. Accustomed as we are to the presidential system. Such being the case. I feel it would be of no consequence to debate at length regarding the legal feasibility of qualified ratification. it is safe to conclude that in effect the President has been substituted by the people themselves in place of the interim Assembly. it must be emphasized in relation to the contention that a referendum is only consultative. as against seven hundred forty-three thousand eight hundred sixty-nine (743. Under any standards. the Convention has seen to it that there should be an interim parliament under the present leadership. Actually. the President should issue a decree providing for the necessary apportionment of the seats in the Regular National Assembly and call for an election of the members thereof and thus effect the immediate normalization of the parliamentary government envisaged in the Constitution.

all I can say is that while perhaps my other colleagues are right in holding that the period given to the people is adequate. as that provided for in the assailed Presidential Decree 1033 suggests itself as the one most in accord with the intent of the fundamental law. one can readily appreciate that the spirit of the Constitution does not countenance or favor the calling of a convention during the transition. in issue conforms admirably with the underlying tenet of our government . does not grant said body the prerogative of calling a convention. if only because such a procedure would be time consuming. In conclusion. the proposed amendments were initiated by the barangays and sanggunian members. in submitting the amendments for ratification. in the first place. 1033 does not infringe the Constitution. date of the referendum. I vote to dismiss all the three petitions before Us. Just to avoid adverse comments later I wish the President orders a postponement. I hold that Presidential Decree No. those of July. 1976 is too proximate to enable the people to sufficiently comprehend the issues and intelligently vote in the referendum and plebiscite set by Presidential Decree 1033. if the convening and operation of the interim National Assembly has been effectuated through a referendum-plebiscite in January. in reference to interim National Assembly. On the issue of whether or not October 16. as explained by Mr. having in mind that the most fundamental tenet on which our whole political structure rests is that "sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. And when it is further noted that the requirement as to the number of votes needed for a proposal is only a majority. cumbersome and expensive. the adoption of the most simple manner of amending the charter. would be of no vital import. the President is merely acting as the conduit thru whom a substantial portion of the people." In the light of the foregoing considerations. under Section 1 (1) and (2) of Article XVI. There is nothing strange in adopting steps not directly based on the letter of the Constitution for the purpose of amending or changing the same. 1973. I would regard myself as totally devoid of legal standing to question it. if only because the specific provision it is supposed to infringe does not exist in legal contemplation since it was coevally made inoperative when the people ratified the Constitution on January 17. To cite but one important precedent. Justice Makasiar in his concurring opinion in Javellana 2. actually. as indicated in the whereas of the impugned Presidential Decree. MAKASIAR. But. 1976 to any other later date. and. 1975. Barangay at Kabataang Barangay. whereas it is three-fourths in respect to regular Assembly. 1973 and February. I would leave it to the President to consider whether or not it would be wiser to extend the same. why may not a duly held plebiscite suffice for the purpose of creating a substitute for that Assembly? It should be borne in mind that after all.plebiscite anywhere from October 16. and ratified expressly and impliedly in two subsequent referenda. But whether such postponement is ordered or not. On the contrary. Section 15 of Article XVII. 1973. the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. relating this point to the provision of Section 2 of Article XVI to the effect that all ratification plebiscites must be held "not later than three months after the approval" of the proposed amendment by the proposing authority.. I am fully convinced that there is nothing in the procedure of amendment contained in said decree that is inconsistent with the fundamental principles of constitutionalism. concurring and dissenting: 139 . seek the approval of the people as a whole of the amendments in question. the regular National Assembly may call a Constitutional Convention or submit such a call for approval of the people.the sovereignty and plenary power of the people. In brief. the present Constitution of the United States was neither proposed nor ratified in the manner ordained by the original charter of that country. represented in the Katipunan ng Mga Sanggunian. If all these mean that the sovereign people have arrogated unto themselves the functions relative to the amendment to the Constitution.The alternative of calling a constitutional convention has also been mentioned. when it is considered that whereas. J. I find that the Decree. In other words.

(L 40004. the President therefore remains the lone law-making authority while martial law subsists. during the period of martial law. (L-36142). Once ratified. former delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention which drafted the 1973 Constitution. Executive Secretary. Such an opposite view likewise distrusts the wisdom of the people as much as it despises their intelligence. it refers to those questions which. as conceded by petitioner Vicente Guzman (L-44684). sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. vs' Executive Secretary. the method of making the proposal and the period for submission become relevant. It evinces a presumptuous pretension to intellectual superiority. Tan. Roxas. this Court has defined a "political question" as a "matter which is to be exercised by the people in their primary political capacity or that has been specifically delegated to some other department or particular officer of the government. Political questions. vs Executive Secretary. are those which the sovereign has entrusted to the so-called political departments of government or has reserved to be settled by its own extra-government or has reserved to be settled by its own extra-governmental action. admittedly a constituent power. Moreover. 50 SCRA 30. the absence of satisfactory creterion for a judicial determination or the appropriateness of attributing finality to the action of the 140 . vs. Monteclaro. similarly. which clearly or obscurely as the case may be. There are thousands upon thousands among the citizenry. under the Constitution. They may guide them. et al. can call a constitutional convention for the purpose. et al. Consequently. The procedure for amendment is not important Ratification by the people is all that is indispensable to validate an amendment." 1 According to Weston. et al. Jan. it stands to reason that the President can likewise legally propose amendments to the fundamental law. 1051). 31.. 62 SCRA 275. 204283). The contrary view negates the very essence of a republican democracy . (L-W283. are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity.Art. vs. with discretionary power to act." 3 In other words. 1973. (103 Phil. Executive Secretary. et al. whether "personal representatives of a truly sovereign king.Since the validity or effectivity of the proposed amendments is to be decided ultimately by the people in their sovereign capacity. for the reasons stated in Our opinion in Javellana. judges. and Ditag et al. et al. he can also exercise the power of the interim National Assembly to propose amendments to the New Constitution (Sec. et al.Comelec. the President. J. who are not in the public service. who are more learned and better skilled than many of their elected representatives. 15. etc. derive their power by a delegation. et al. Cuenco." 2 Reflecting a similar concept. et al. et al. but they cannot supplant their judgment. 4 In determining whether an issue falls within the political question category. March 31. vs. vs. 1975. et al. and that he has the discretion as to when the convene the interim National Assembly depending on prevailing conditions of peace and order. (@36236). concurring: I At the threshold. WE already ruled in Aquino. It is axiomatic that sovereignty is illimitable The representatives cannot dictate to the sovereign people. vs. Executive Secretary. et al.* * * Judicial questions * * * are those which the sovereign has set to be decided in the courts. ANTONIO. which is a bar to any judicial inquiry. the question is political as the term is defined in Tanada.. (L.that the people are sovereign and renders meaningless the emphatic declaration in the very first provision of Article II of the 1973 Constitution that the Philippines is a republican state.. et al. It must be noted that this device has been utilized by the judiciary "to avoid determining questions it is ill equipped to determine or that could be settled in any event only with the effective support of the political branches. or taking their seats as the creatures of a largely popular sovereignty speaking through a written constitution. 298-302) that the President as enforcer or administrator of martial rule during the period of martial law can legislate. or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of government. In view of the fact that the interim National Assembly has not been convoked in obedience to the desire of the people clearly expressed in the 1973 referenda.36164). (L-36165). et al. it is necessary to clarify what is a "political question". deliminates and delimits their delegated jurisdiction. XVII If.

we are unable to agree. Miller supra this Court. . the petitioners sought to prevent the enforcement of a resolution of Congress proposing the "Parity Amendment" to the Philippine Constitution on the ground that it had not been approved by the three-fourths vote of all the members of each house as required be Article XV of the 1935 Constitution. To the extent that the Court's opinion in the present case even by implieding assumes a power to make judicial interpretation of the exclusive constitutional authority of Congress over submission and by ratification of amendments. as well as all other officers. or whether that branch exceeds whatever authority has been committed.' And decision of a 'political question' by the political department' to which the Constitution has committed it 'conclusively binds the judges. Final determination by Congress their ratification by three-fourths of the States has taken place 'is conclusive upon the courts. an appraisal of a great variety of relevant conditions. The questions they involve are essentially political and not justiciable.' In the exercise of that power. Miller. which can hardly be said to be within the appropriate range of evidence receivable in a court of justice and as to which it would be an extravagant extension of juridical authority to assert judicial notice as the basis of deciding a controversy with respect to the validity of an amendment actually ratified. To decide whether a matter has in a measure been committed by the Constitution to another branch of government or retained be the people to be decided by them in their sovereign capacity. Frankfurter and Douglas stressed that: The Constitution grants Congress exclusive power to control submission off constitutional amendments. intervening procedure for Congressional determination of ratification conforms to the commands of the Constitution. . Relying on this doctrine enunciated in Coleman v. On the question of whether the State Legislature could constitutionally relative an amendment. ruled that the process of constitutional amendment. or the potentiality of embarrassment from from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on one question. is a political question. political. the Court held that the question was likewise political. learning to the judiciary its traditional authority of interpretation. is indeed a delicate exercise in constitutional interpretation. after the same had been previously rejected by it. these conditions are appropriate for the consideration of the political departments of the Government. government. 6 the United States Supreme Court held that the efficacy of the ratification by state legislatures of a constitutional amendment is a political question. it was held that the ultimate authority over the question was in Congress in the exercise of its control over the promulgation of the adoption of the amendment. Lopez Vitol. citizens and subjects of . vitality through the lapse of time. Proclamation under authority of Congress that an amendment has been ratified will carry with it a solemn assurance by the Congress that ratification has taken place as the Constitution commands. Carr. is governed by the Constitution. or the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for non-judicial discretion. This was explained by Justice Brennan in Baker v. involving proposal and ratification.. call for decisions by apolitical department of questions of a t@ which this Court has frequently designated 'political." ' In their concurring opinions. in Mabanag v. Roberts. involving "as it does . Justice Pedro Tuason. Justices Black. or the impossibility of a court's undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government. It was claimed that three (3) Senators and 141 .political departments of government is a dominant consideration.. However. Congress. 5 thus : Prominent on the surface of any case held to involve political question is found a textually demonstrable constitutional lack of judicially discoverrable and manageable standards for resolving it.. On the other hand. of course. In the Mabang case. or an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made. A whether submission. 7 speaking through Mr. social and economic. Upon this assurance a proclaimed amendment must be accepted as a part of the Constitution.. In Coleman v. . And in connection with the second question of whether the amendment has lost its.

It is to be noted that amendatory process as provided in Section I of Article XV of the Philippine Constitution 'consists of (only) two distinct parts: proposal and ratification. represent a consensus of the people. a majority of those who approved the new Constitution conditioned their votes on the demand that the interim National Assembly provided in the Transitory Provisions should not be and the President "in deference to the sovereign will of the Filipino people" declared that the convening of said body shall be suspended. the Kabataang Barangay organizations and the various sectoral groups had proposed the replacement of the interim National Assembly. The question was whether piecemeal amendments to the Constitution could submitted to the people for approval or rejection. This Court. Comelec.' There is no logic in attaching political character to one and withholding that character from the other. and hence.ore In dismissing the petition on the ground that the question of the validity of the proposal was political. however. the point has been stressed that the President is acting as agent for and in behalf of the people in proposing the amendment. And the reason why the same question was eliminated from the questions to be submitted at the referendum on February 27. Commission or Elections. Proposal to amend the Constitution is a highly political function performed by the Congress in its sovereign legislative capacity and committed to its charge by the Constitution itself. Similarly. It would be futile to insist that the intemi National Assembly should have been convened to propose those amendments pursuant to Section 15 of Article XVII of the Constitution. composed of nineteen (19) cabinet members and nine (9) officials with cabinet rank. in Tolentino v. the Court stated: "If ratification of an amendment is a political question. but to replace it with a more representative body acceptable to them in order to effect the desirable constitutional changes necessary to hasten the political evolution of the government towards the parliamentary system. representing 42. while at the same time ensuring that the gains of the New Society. acting as a constituent assembly .000 barangays. the people have expressed their desire not only to abolish the interim National Assembly. was not a proposed amendment to the Constitution but an act of Congress. 1976 the afore-mentioned constitutional amendments.fourths %. Through the Pambansang Katipunan by Barangay and the Pampurok ng Katipunan Sangguniang Bayan. . 1975. 10 what was involved was not the validity of the proposal to lower the voting age but rather that of the resolution of the Constitutional Convention submitting the proposal for ratification. not political." What was involved in Gonzales. 12 As this Court observed in the Aquino case: His decision to defer the initial convocation of the byiitttit National Assembly was supported by the sovereign people at the by referendum in January." (At pages 4-5. Commission an Elections. 9 submitting proposed amendments to the Constitution. and ninety-one (91) members of the Lupang Tagapagpaganap (Executive Committee) of the Katipunan ng mga Sangguniang Bayani voted in their special session to submit directly to the people in a plebiscite on October 16. there can be no question that in the referendums of January. 1973 when the people voted to postpone the convening of the interim National Assembly until after at least seven (7) years from the approval of the new Constitution. These barangays and the Sanggunian assemblies are effective instrumentalities through which the desires of the people are articulated and expressed.eight (8) members of the House of Representatives had been suspended and that their membership was not considered in the determination of the three. was not a proposed What was involved in Gonzales. in the case of Aquino v. 1973 and in the subsequent referendums the people had clearly and categorically rejected the calling of the interim National Assembly. therefore.) It is true that in Gonzales v. a proposal which leads to ratification has to be a political question. the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Barangay. Italics supplied.. subject to judicial review. As stated in the main opinion. is 142 . 1973. II Here. The Batasang Bayan (Legislative Council). The question to steps complement each other in a scheme intended to achieve a single objective.violates the Constitution is essentially justiciable.. shall be safeguarded. 11 took judicial notice of the fact that in the referendum of January. which are vital to the welfare of the people. The proposed constitutional amendments. however. 8 this Court held that "the issue whether or not a Resolution of Congress. the Lupang Tagapagpaganap of the Katipunan ng mga Sanggunian.

it acts pursuant to authority granted to it by the people through the Constitution. the voters have no title to consider themselves the proprietors of the commonwealth and to claim that their interests are Identical to the public interest. In the Philippines. While it is true that the constituent power is not to be confuse with legislative power in general because the prerogative to propose amendments is not embraced within the context of ordinary lawmaking. a people which exists not only in the urgent present but in the continuum of history. abhors a vacuum (natural vacuum abhorret). therefore. That is why so many crimes are committed in the People's name 15 In Gonzales v. Comelec. it follows from necessity that either the people should exercise that power themselves or through any other instrumentality they may choose. the Court clearly emphasized that the power to propose amendments or to amend the Constitution is part of the inherent power of the people as the repository of sovereignty in a republican state. The assumption that the opinion of The People as voters can be treated as the expression of the interests of the People as a historic community was. Absent an interim National Assembly upon whom the people. Both the power to propose and the authority to approve. it is essentially political. therefore. because the issue was already bycciled in the January. to the distinguished American journalist and public philosopher. Because of the discrepancy between The People as Voters and the People as the corporate nation. as sovereign creator of all political reality."13 The term "People" as sovereign is comprehensive in its context. The political character of the question is. inhere in the people as the bearer of the Constitution making power. The question then is whether the President has authority to act for the people in submitting such proposals for ratification at the plebiscite of October 16. is not merely the enfranchised citizens but the political unity of the people. A prevailing plurality of the voters are not The People. speaking through their authorized instrumentalities. like Nature. actually not of the President but directly of the people themselves.that even some members of the Congress and delegates of the Constitutional Convention. it must be noted that the proposals to be submitted for ratification in the forthcoming referendum are. The people. then it must be accepted as a necessary consequence that their objection against the immediate convening of the interim National Assembly must be respected as a positive mandate of the sovereign. supra. considering that ultimately it is the people who will decide whether the President has such authority. It certainly involves a matter which is to be exercised by the people in their sovereign capacity. As the Chief Justice aptly stated in his concurring opinion in this case: 143 . 1973 referendum by the sovereign people indicating thereby their disenchantment with any Assembly as the former Congress failed to institutionalize the reforms they demanded and wasted public funds through endless debates without relieving the suffering of the general mass of citizenry (p. not judicial. 302. which is a unitary state. through the Constitution. therefore. have delegated the authority to exercise constituent powers. For Law. While Congress may propose amendments to the Constitution. The claim that they are is a bogus title invoked to justify the usurpation of the executive power by representative assemblies and the intimidation of public men by demagogue politicians.) The action of the President in suspending the convening of the interim National Assembly has met the overwhelming approval of the people in subsequent referenda. in the final analysis. Walter Lipunan. sovereignty "resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. hence. who are already byjso ofitto members of the intetini National Assembly are against such inclusion. In fact demagoguery can be described as the sleight of hand by which a faction of The People as voters are invested with the authority of The People. 14 It connotes. unwarranted. particularly manifest. Since it was the action by the people that gave binding force and effect to the new Constitution.

. the basic premise of republicanism is that the ordinary citizen. can be trusted to determine his political destiny. "If the people are to control the constituent power the power to make and change the fundamental law of the State. it is time that the people should be accorded the fullest opportunity to decide the laws that shall provide for their governance. which is inherent in the people. because the measure derives all its vital force from the action of the people at the ballot box. for a Court to create by implication a limitation on . concur. has acted as a mere ofiffet byf of the people who made the proposals. and there can never be danger in submitting in an established form to a free people.. This is but a recognition that the People of the Philippines have the inherent. Difficulties and embarrassments in its exercise are in derogation of the right of free government. III The paramount consideration that impelled Us to arrive at the foregoing opinion is the necessity of ensuring popular control over the constituent power..the sovereign power of the people. dissenting: 144 . J. We vote to dismiss the petitions. MUNOZ PALMA. but likewise because the said authority is legislative in nature rather than constituent. under the existing." Indeed. A fortiori. the proposition whether they will change their fundamental law The means provided for the exercise of their Sovereign right of changing their constitution should receive such a construction as not to trammel the exercise of the right. the success of the national endeavor shall depend on the vision.as it does not appear necessary to do so in the premises the proposals here challenged. discipline and I by ininess of the moqqqtai will of every Filipino. J. Therefore. cannot be said to be afflicted with unconstitutionality. sole and exclusive right of regulating their own government. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS. the common man." "the process of Constitutional change must not be based too heavily upon existing agencies of government. For in the ultimate analysis. and the best security against tumult and revolution is the free and unobstructed privilege to the people of the State to change their constitution in the mode prescribed by the instrument. being acts of the sovereign people no less. the conclusion is ineluctable that their exertion of that residuary power cannot be vulnerable to any constitutional challenge as beingultravires. Accordingly. in exercising said authority. Aquino. As has been clearly explained in a previous case: There is nothing in the nature of the submission which should cause the free exercise of it to be obstructed. 1033. The President merely formalized the said proposals in Presidential Decree No. the concomitant authority to call a plebiscite and to appropriate funds therefor is even less vulnerable not only because the President. There appears to be no justification.." observed Wheeler. circumstances. and of altering or abolishing their Constitution whenever it may be necessary to their safety or happiness. or that could render it dangerous to the stability of the government.. It being conceded in all quarters that sovereignty resides in the people and it having been demonstrated that their constituent power to amend the Constitution has not been delegated by them to any instrumentality of the Government during the present stage of the transition period of our political development. without venturing to rule on whether or not the President is vested with constituent power .

I concur fully with the remarkably frank (so characteristic of him) dissenting opinion of my distinguished colleague. but their own hands as well. the burden byeing lightened only by the thought that in this grave task of administering justice. Justice Claudio Teehankee. Dr. has the sacred duty to respect and obey the Character they have so ordained. and neither the officers of the state. Was it the Greek philosopher Plato who warned that the rule of the mob is a prelude to the rule of the tyrant? I would use the following excerpt from Bernas. is not extreme popular sovereignty. The right of the people to amend or change their Constitution if and when the need arises is not to be denied. Notes and Cases" as relevant to my point: . stable.. regular and legitimate processes provided for in the Constitution. (Cooley's Constitutional Limitations.' I cannot subscribe therefore to the view taken by the Solicitor General that the people. Laurel. Vicente G. are at liberty to take action in opposition to this fundamental law. and civilized society. the people are bound by these constitutional limitations. It is the distinctive function of such written document to classify certain things 145 . Having done so. being sovereign. The afore-quoted passage from the eminent jurist and author Judge Cooley although based on declarations of law of more than a century ago. revise. For while there is no surrender or abdication of the people's ultimate authority to amend. Italics Our). 7th Ed. from the highest to the lowliest. Sinco and Justice Jose P. . 56. Generally. 1. have promulgated a Constitution whereby the power to govern themselves has been entrusted to and distributed among three branches of government. but we assert that absent a revolutionary state or condition in the country the change must be accomplished through the ordinary. By the Constitution which they establish.J. sound reason demands that they keep themselves within the procedural bounds of the existing fundamental law. . when matters of conscience are at issue. as embodied in the Philippine Constitution.' Popular sovereignty.2 Such a view will seriously undermine the very existence of a constitutional government and will permit anarchy and/or mob rule to set afoot and prevail. one who dissents from a majority view of the Court takes a lonely and at times precarious road. and which I pray will prevail at all times to ensure the existence of a free. the amendatory provisions are called a 'constitution of sovereighty' because they define the constitutional meaning of 'sovereignty of the people. lays down a principle which to my mind is one of the enduring cornerstones of the Rule of Law. it is a principle with which I have been familiar as a student of law under the tutelage of revered Professors. or adopt a new Constitution. and that the amendatory process is intended more as a limitation of a power rather than a grant of power to a particular agency and it should not be construed as limiting the ultimate sovereign will of the people to decide on amendments to the Constitution . As one American writer put it: A constitution like the American one serves as a basic check upon the popular will at any given time. S. nor the whole people as an aggregate body. basic principle of government which cannot be disputed. they not only tie up he hands of their official agencies. The Filipino people. they have also mandated in clear and unmistakable terms the method by which provisions in their fundamental Charter may be amended or revised. That sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them is a fundamental. but when the people have opted to govern themselves under the mantle of a written Constitution. one must be prepared to espouse and embrace a rightful cause however unpopular it may be. each and every citizen. wanting to ensure to themselves a democratic republican form of government. p. If I am writing this brief statement it is only to unburden myself of some thoughts which trouble my mind and leave my conscience with no rest nor peace. have the authority to amend the Constitution even in a manner different from and contrary to that expressly provided for in that instrument. 'The 1973 Philippine Constitution.

159 N. xxx xxx xxx We ought to ponder long before we adopt a doctrine so fraught with danger to republican institutions. . have looked at but one phase of the question. And it is precisely such limitation that enables those subject to governmental authority to appeal from the people drunk to the people sober in time of excitement and hysteria. 59. J." (quoted in Ellingham v.W. 15. But if it should be done by sanctioning the doctrine contended for. * Truly. to limit themselves ana future generations in the exercise of the sovereign power which they would otherwise possess.. 1. if revolution. So. what need is there for providing in the Constitution a process by which the fundamental law may be amended if. We fear that the advocates of this new doctrine. not to the whim of the people. these fundamentals may not be changed except by the slow and cumbersome process of amendment. Gilchrist 64 Fla.. 419. For it cannot be discounted that a situation may arise where the people are heralded to action at a point of a gun or by the fiery eloquence of a demagogue. and where passion overpowers reason.) 3 Crawford v. making the lame walk and the blind see. in State ex. It may be that the incorporation of this amendment in the constitution. 281. no matter how the change may be effected.. 916. 1914B. but shortly was condemned by the same people turned into fanatic rabble crying out "Crucify Him. Yes. and that the change. Changes in government are to be feared unless the benefit is certain. the people by themselves can set the same at naught even in times of peace when civil authority reigns supreme? To go along with the respondents' theory in this regard is to render written Constitutions useless or mere "ropes of sand allowing for a government of men instead of one of laws.. Poster v. 15.as legal fundamentals.. State v. or the thought evolved in excitement or hot blood. Opinion of Marshall. in constitutional convention assembled. . and have not fully considered the terrible consequences which would almost certainly follow a recognition of the doctrine for which they contend. which alone. 963. The Constitution. xxx xxx xxx 146 . The people themselves have decided.. It is needed for stability and steadiness. in the neat phrase of the Iowa court. Hall. 99 N. 609. but the sober second thought.. 152 N. a precedent would be set which would plague the state for all future time. and mass action overthrows legal processes. would not of itself produce any serious results.. Cas. From Kochier v.. even if the constitution has to be broken to accomplish it.W. . Ann. History has recorded such instances.. 41.. Hill. rel. after all. in a zeal to accomplish an end which the majority of the people desire.E. Vol. is peaceful resolution. is the protector of the people against injury by the . it must yield to the thought of the people. we quote: xxx xxx xxx It has been said that changes in the constitution may be introduced in disregard of its provisions. N. Crucify Him" upon being incited into action by chief priests and elders of Jerusalem. to quote once more from Judge Cooley: A good Constitution should be beyond the reason of temporary excitement and popular caprice or passion. A Banquo's ghost would arise at our incantation which would not down at our bidding. and I can think of no better example than that of Jesus Christ of Judea who was followed and loved by the people while curing the sick. that if the majority of the people desire a change the majority must be respected.. Marcus. if the government is to be sale can be allowed efficiency.people.W. Dye.

. To my mind. If I am constrained to make this statement it is because so much stress was given during the hearings of these cases on this particular point. then they are bound by their act and cannot escape from the pretended unfavorable consequences thereof.Appellants' counsel cite and rely upon section 2. 1889. leaving one with the impression that for petitioners to contest the holding of the October 16 referendum-plebiscite is for them to assume a position of blocking or installing the lifting of martial law. The Opinion of Justice Teehankee discusses in detail this particular matter. another evil may succeed and a worse. 991 and 1033 which call for a national referendum-plebiscite on October 16. 1976 for the purpose. in their nature.with another infirmity. and is as follows: 'All political power is inherent in the people. 15) Respondents contend that the calling of the referendum-plebiscite for the purpose indicated is a step necessary to restore the state of normalcy in the country. is a postulate of our system of government.the existence of a "vacuum" caused by the nonconvening of the interim National Assembly .. the only y being to set in motion the constitutional machinery by which the supposed desired amendments may properly be adopted and submitted to the electorate for ratification. The people did not derive the rights referred to by on the constitution. The concept of the Constitution as the fundamental law. As said by Justice Enrique Fernando in Mutuc vs. Does the 147 . which. quoted in Ellingham v. That is to manifest fealty to the rule of law. Presidential Decrees Nos. 234. 228. If the people have indeed ratified the 1973 Constitution. 311. p. p. the only possible measure that will lead our country and people to a condition of normalcy is the lifting or ending of the state of martial law. These principles are older than constitutions and older than governments. italics Ours) A contrary view would lead to disastrous consequences for.' Abstractly considered. the existence of a so-called "vacuum" or "hiatus" does not justify a transgression of the constitutional provisions on the manner of amending the fundamental law. Dye. security. setting forth the criterion for the validity of any public act whether proceeding from the highest official or the lowest funcitonary. Frankly. that is. among other things. which I believe is unfair to the petitioners. We cannot cure one infirmity . I cannot see the connection between the two. whenever the public good may require. if we have to maintain and preserve the system of government decreed under the fundamental Charter.. supra. with priority accorded to that which occupies the topmost rung in the legal hierarchy. art. 2. Government is instituted for the protection. Section 1 (1) and Article XVII. (supra. in the words of Chief Justice Cox of the Supreme Court of Indiana in Ellingham v. (Am. Constitutional processes are to be observed strictly. I would just wish to stress the point that although at present there is no by tterint National Assembly which may propose amendments to the Constitution. 3 . p. . thee are such that the people cannot surrender them . and they have the right at all times to alter or reform the same. Dye.. doing violence to the Charter. Section 15. Commission on Elections .. more particularly the latter which applies during the present transition period.. of amending certain provisions of the 1973 Constitution are null and void as they contravene the express provisions on the amending process of the 1973 Constitution laid down in Article XVI. All great mutations shake and disorder a state. Good does not necessarily succeed evil. 1. as proclaimed in Proclamation 1102. of the constitution of the staff This section is a portion of the bill of rights. My esteemed colleagues should pardon me therefore if I had ventured to state that the simple solution to the simple solution to the present dilemma is the lifting of martial law and the implementation of the constitutional provisions which will usher in the parliamentary form of government ordained in the Constitution. and. . The true question before Us is is one of power. and benefit of of the people. Law Rev.. the people themselves have ratified. (36 SCRA. 7) liberty and popular sovereignty are not meant to give rein to passion or thoughtless impulse but to allow the exercise of power by the people for the general good by tistlercoitaitt restraints of law. there can bye no doubt of the correctness of the propositions embraced in this suction.

. (Comment. invoked by the respondents. Jr. vs. said in Tolentino vs.. decrees. The state of necessity brought about by the current political situation. there will be a disruption of official functions resulting in a collapse of the government and of the existing social order. I hold the view that the President is empowered to issue proclamations. human liberty. one does not encompass the other unless so specified in the Charter. This is well-explained in Justice Teehankee's Opinion.. and which at any rate I believe is not essential in resolving this Petition for reasons to be given later. making those who laid down the precedent of justifying deviations from the requirements of the Constitution the victims of their own folly. The other issues such as the sufficiency and proper submission of the proposed amendments for ratification by the people are expounded in Justice Teehankee's Opinion. 275. 1975. Comelec: . this unlimited legislative qqqjwwel of the President continues by exist even after the ratification of the Constitution is a matter which I am not ready to concede at the moment. L-40004. provides no source of power to propose amendments to the existing Constitution. Nonetheless. to carry out and implement the objectives of the proclamation of martial law be it under the 1935 or 1973 Constitution. Commission on Elections. 18. I qualified my statement as follows: . liberty of abode and of travel..for it gives him expressly (which the 1973 Constitution or the 1935 Constitution does not) legislative powers even during the existence of the appropriate legislative body. et al. et al. speaking through Justice Barredo.Prime Minister or President or whatever you may call him . Must we "bend the Constitution to suit the law of the hour or cure its defects "by inflicting upon it a wound which nothing can heal commit one assault after the other "until all respect for the fundamental law is lost and the powers of government are just what those in authority please to call them?'" 5 Or can we now ignore what this Court. (62 SCRA.. supra. property rights. This grant of legislative power is necessary to fill up a vacuum during the transition period when the interim National Assembly is not yet convened and functioning. the negative answer is explained in detail in the dissenting opinion of Justice Teehankee. its instrumentalities. etc. protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. 22) Granting in gratia argument that it is so. a referendum (and now a plebiscite) held under a regime of martial law can be of no far reaching significance because it is being accomplished under an atmosphere or climate of fear as it entails a wide area of curtailment and infringement of individual rights.incumbent President of the Philippines possess constituent powers? Again. Aquino. pp. I wish to stress indeed that it is incorrect to state that the thrust of the proposed amendments is the abolition of the interim National Assembly and its substitution with an "interim Batasang Pambansa their in by in Proposed amendment No. January 31. let those who would put aside. whether. 148 . et al.347) I believe it is not disputed that legislative power is essentially different from constituent power. orders. invoking grounds at best controversial.the Executive . pp. 6 Respondents emphatically assert that the final word is the people's word and that ultimately it is in the hands of the people where the final decision rests. and agencies. 1 wish to stress that although in my separate opinion in said case I agreed that Section 3 (2) of the Transitory provisions grants to the incumbent President legislative powers. and for the orderly and efficient functioning of the government. 6 will permit or allow the concentration of power in one man . such as. for otherwise.. and so on. let it be an expression of the will of the people a normal political situation and not under the aegis of martial rule for as I have stated in Aquino vs. 4. As to. Respondents would justify the incumbent President's exercise of constituent powers on theory that he is vested with legislative powers as held by this Court in Benigno S.. rights of free expression and assembly. any mandate of the fundamental law purportedly by order to attain some laudable objective bear in mind that someday somehow others with purportedly more laudable objectives may take advantages of the precedent in continue the destruction of the Constitution. Comelec. 19.. and the 1973 Constitution contains provisions in this regard. or not.

subject to judicial review.. once said: . Verily. In Tolentino vs. To be deserving of this name. 2 this Court.. 1 Here. 1. Nor is it enough that our people possess a written constitution in order that their government may be called constitutional. not concerned with the present. and to drive away all lanirer of anarchy as well as of dictatorship whether by one man or a few. acting as a constituent assembly. however. resolving the issue of whether or not a Resolution of Congress. this is a matter of grave concern which necessitates full. violates the Constitution. and hence. and that the citizens be duly conversant not only with their rights but also with their duties. Recto.. not political. when we shall all be gone. or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the Legislature or executive branch of the Government. sober deliberation of the people but which they can do only in a climate of freedom without the restraints of martial law. concurring: I vote for the dismissal of the petitions. Comelec 3 this Court finally dispelled all doubts as to its position regarding its jurisdiction vis-a-vis the constitutionality of the acts of Congress. This is not a political question since it involves the determination of conflicting claims of authority under the constitution. In Gonzales vs. . 991 and 1033 unconstitutional and enjoin the implementation thereof. of a particular measure. As to the merits. refers to those questions which. not legality. To resolve 149 .' On the basis of the foregoing. President of the Constitutional Convention which drafted the 1935 Philippine Constitution.. an interim National Assembly was organized to bring about an orderly transition from the presidential to the parliamentary system of government. the issue is cognizable by this Court under its powers of judicial review. acting as a constituent assembly. under the constitution. as well as those of a constitutional convention called for the purpose of proposing amendments to the constitution. it is necessary that both the government authorities and the people faithfully observe and obey the constitution.dependent solely on the executive's judgment on the existence of a grave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof ** I must be forgiven if. the question raised is whether the President has authority to propose to the people amendments to the Constitution which the petitioners claim is vested solely upon the National Assembly. mature. I close. a brief backdrop of the decision to hold the referendum-plebiscite will help resolve the issue. The term "political question". CONCEPCION JR.. 2..' The people. Insofar as observance of constitutional provisions on the procedure for amending the constitution is concerned. and the by the National Assembly. the grave and perilous task of halting transgressions and vindicating cherished rights is reposed mainly oil the Judiciary and therefore let the Courts be the vestal keepers of the purity and sanctity of our Constitution. Laurel who served his people as Justice of the Supreme Court of this country gave this reminder. voted against the convening of the said interim assembly for at least seven years thus creating a political stalemate and a consequent delay' in the transformation of the government into the parliamentary system. 7 Jose P. It is concerned with the issues dependent upon the wisdom. are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity. I vote to declare Presidential Decrees Nos. ruled that the question is essentially justiciable. the constitutional convention called for the purpose. The issue is not political and therefore justiciable. Comelec. I am haunted however by what can happen in the future. J. as this Court has previously defined. It is to be noted that under the 1973 Constitution. probably distrustful of the members who are old time politicians and constitutional delegates who had voted themselves by to membership in the interim National Assembly. remembering what Claro M.

cannot be gainsaid. providing for a period of educational and information campaign on the issues. 3. addressed resolutions to the Batasang Bayan. Besides. as suggested by the petitioners. propose amendments to this Constitution. 3 SEC. 4 Who shall participate. ponente. through their barangays. 991. however. 150 . thus prompting the President to issue Presidential Decree No. by a majority vote of all its Members. calling for a national referendum on October -16. may. 1976. at the instance of the barangays and sanggunian assemblies through their duly authorized instrumentalities who recommended a study of the feasibility of abolishing and replacing the by interim National Assembly with another interim body truly representative of the people in a reformed society. issued Presidential Decree No." 4 Pascual v. See also Standing to Secure Judicial Review. L-34161. Fernando. Macapagal. 1976 to ascertain the wishes of the people as to the ways and means that may be available to attain the objective. PD 991. 15. 6 Section 5.1976. 74 Harvard Law Review 1265 (May 1961). But the people. 3. stating the questions to @ submitted to the people in the referendum-plebiscite on October 16. 1972. The National Assembly upon special call by the interim Prime Minister. 29. their authority to amend the Constitution through the means they have adopted. Footnotes 1 Sec. He was merely acting as an instrument to carry out the will of the people.. 5 Section 18. J. 110 Phil. literate or not. the authority to amend the Constitution was removed from the interim National Assembly and transferred to the seat of sovereignty itself. Secretary of Public Works. expressing their desire to have the constitution amended. 1033.-Every Filipino citizen. on September 2. Jaffe. aside from those mentioned in the Constitution. without doing violence to the people's will expressed overwhelmingly when they decided against convening the interim assembly for at least seven years. That any person who may not be able to participate in the consultations of his barangay may do so in any barangay member shall participate in more than one barangay consultation. PD 991 has required the barangays to hold assemblies or meetings to discuss and debate on the referendum questions. 2 SEC. 1976. The period granted to the people to consider the proposed amendments is reasonably long and enough to afford intelligent discussion of the issues to be voted upon. and establishing the mechanics and manner for holding thereof. Considering that the proposed amendments came from the representatives of the people themselves. 43 SCRA 677. Feb.the impasse. 7 Tan v. fifteen years of age or over who has resided in the barangay for at least six months shall participate in the consultation in his barangay. Neither could he convene the interim National Assembly. As will be seen. Provided. September 2. the President. 331 (1960). which in fact they have been doing. the Constitution itself requires the holding of a plebiscite for the ratification of an amendment not later than three (3) months after the approval of such amendment or revision but without setting a definite period within which such plebiscite shall not be held. Not much reflection is also needed to show that the President did not exercise his martial law legislative powers when he proposed the amendments to the Constitution. Since the Constitution emanates from the people who are the repository of all political powers. the people must have already formed a decision by this time on what stand to take on the proposed amendments come the day for the plebiscite. Such amendments shall take effect when ratified in accordance with Article Sixteen thereof. From this I can only conclude that the framers of the Constitution desired that only a short period shall elapse from the approval of such amendment or resolution to its ratification by the people.

1084.S. See Martial Law and the New Society in the Philippines. Justice Barredo qualified his vote. Zaldivar. 12 Idem. 1976. at 371. 210-224. the Court should keep its hands-off out of respect to the people's will.1969 ed. 1976. 1976. at 210. 20 There are 3 types of crisis in the life of a democratic nation. at 152. The President Office and Powers. Hornkbook series.8 Concurring and dissenting opinion of Justice Fernando in the Plebiscite Cases (Planas v. Supreme Court. quoting Tanada v. 103-105. Congress. 9 Orfield Amending the Federal Constitution. except the Twenty-first Amendment. when a state must convert its peacetime political and social order into a wartime fighting machine and overmatch the skill and efficiency of the enemy. Supreme Court. 1051. and Teehankee. Rossiter. Supreme Court. 17 The Amending of the Federal Constitution by Orfield 1942. Second. the Executive Secretary 50 SCRA 30). and. 15 Idem. at 1071. Third is economic depression-a crisis greater than war. Virginia. but." Justices Makasiar. 13 The view of the Chief Justice was shared by Justices Makalintal (later Chief Justice). 1976. 151 . 1976. the Court may determine from both factual and legal angles whether or not Article XV of the 1935 Constitution has been complied with. Cuenco." 14 62 SCRA 275. Martial Law and the New Society in the Philippines. 103 Phil. the Court may inquire into the question of whether or not there has actually been such an approval. is rebellion. Fernando. Constitutional Dictatorship. 10 Separate Opinion of Justice Concepcion in the Ratification Casts v. Martial Law and the New Society in the Philippines. Modern Constitutional Law. when the authority of a constitutional government is resisted openly by a large numbers of its citizens who are engaged in violent insurrection against the enforcement of its laws or are bent on capturing it illegally or even destroying it altogether. all amendments to the Federal constitution. Referendum Case. at 6. at 10791081. 288-290. 111. at p. 19 Hollingsworth v. at 482. in the affirmative. 16 In the United States. 23 See Separate Opinion of the Chief Justice (the Justice Castro in the Referendum Case (Aquino v. Antonio and Esguerra hold that the issue is political and "beyond the ambit of judicial inquiry. Martial Law and the New Society in the Philippines. 2. at 121. Supreme Court. at 42. stating that "inasmuch as it is claimed that there has been approval by the people. 18 Black's Constitutional Law. 21 Constitutional Dictatorship by Clinton Rossiter. 3 Dall 378. 22 Corwin. Comelec). Comelec. 49 SCRA 105). 11 See Martial Law and the New Society in the Philippines. Antieau Vol.. Supreme Court. Castro (present Chief Justice). in the negative. First is particularly a war to repel invasions. 48-53. had been proposed by the U.

no reference is made to the other petitions raising the same question as to te validity of Proclamation No. 1973 Constitution. 40 Separate opinion of Justices Makalintal and Castro in the Ratification Case (Javellana v. The first meaning includes all persons.. 1976. Martial Law and the New Society in the Philippines. March 31. 1976. 1. 1. 630. at 1082-83. at 1135. 43 See Times Journal.595-96. the second. 28 Sunday Express. 44 Times journal. 12-13. 35 Op Cit. 2 L-36142. October 2. 29 Daily Express. 368. Amending the Federal Constitution. September 23. at 55. Sept. COMELEC). The other cases disposed of by the Court are not referred to. 42 Daily Express. 50 SCRA 30. 49 SCRA 105. at 221. 31 See Orfield. Article II. Amending the Federal Constitution. Gloss. at 105. Supreme Court. 27 Daily Express. Times Journal. 17.S. 39 Separate opinion of Justice Palma in the Referendum Case (Aquino v. January 22. at 292-293. 1976. at 221. United States. The Executive Secretary. 1102 announcing the ratification of the Constitution proposed by the Constitutional Convention. Supreme Court. 250 U.26 Orfield. 1976. 1976. 46 307 U. 3rd ed. Again. 1973. 48 Willoughby on the Constitution of the Untied States. 1973 Constitution. 256 U. Article VI. 1973. 616.S. Martial Law and the New Society in the Philippines 41 Sec.. September 30. Sept. September 23. 152 . 1976. 433. Cushman and Cushman.S. 47 Dillon v. 1976. 1963. 30 Section 1. see Cases in Constitutional Law. 140-143. Vol. September 29. 34 Abrams v. the sum of all individuals as an organized group living within the state at the same time: and the third. living within the state during the whole time of the existence of the state. 50 SCRA 30).1976. 33 Orfield Amending the Federal Constitution. L-35925. 45 See Martial Law and the New Society. the organized group of individuals living the state with the exception of the government. 1976. 32 Friedrich. The Philosophy of Law in Historical Perspective. 27.

it was Willoughby's view that was cited." (At 347) There was likewise a concurring opinion by the then Justice. Barrett and Associates (1963). Dowling (1950). " 5 L-37364. Justice Teehankee would confine "his legislative and appropriation powers under martial law . It was likewise noted that Story. 10 Ibid. an explicit recognition that the incumbent President possesses legislative competence so that during the period of Martial Law he could assure "the security and preservation of the Republic. the institution of reforms to prevent the resurgence of rebellion or insurrection or secession or the threat thereof as well as to meet the impact of a worldwide recession. 1975.1975. May 9. to the law of necessity of preservation of the state which gave rise to its proclamation (including appropriations for operations of the government and its agencies and instrumentalities). 63 SCRA 546. . Munoz Palma and Aquino concurred. Among the casebooks on constitutional law referred to are those by Dodd (1949). now Chief Justice Justice Makalintal and Justices Barredo. Tanada in the Constitution of the Philippines Annotated published almost thirty Nears ago in 1947 (at 588-589) with two later editions that came out in 1949 (at 694-695) and 1993 (at 1013-1014). 302-303.. 6 SCRA 183. This decision affirmed the power of the incumbent President to issue decrees having the force and effect of law. although in a separate opinion. inflation or economic crisis which presently threatens all nations including highly developed countries . 303. 59 SCRA 183. It must be noted that there were other petitions decided likewise seeking the nullification of Proclamation No. Fernandez. Justice Munoz Palma qualified it by saying that the grant of legislative power "is necessarily to fill up a vacuum during the transition period when the interim National Assembly is not yet convened and functioning. 1081 declaring martial law. 4 L-4004. 2 (1966). Freund and Associates (1954).. 1974. Sterling is found in 287 US 378 (1932) and Duncan in 327 US 304 (1946). In a concurring and dissenting opinion. January 31.. 12 Ibid. 8 Ex parte Milligan is reported in 4 Wall. Lockhart and Associates (1970).. Antonio. the defense of the political and social liberties of the people and." (At 316-317) The writer of this opinion had his own concurrence and predicated his vote without an expression of his views as to the grant of legislative power to the President. penned by Justice Makasiar. 7 Ibid. is entitled Constitutional Limitations while that of Watson bears the title of Constitution of the United States.." (At 298) Justices Antonio. Cooley's work.. 261 (1922). At 302 9 Ibid. 153 . Frank (1932). It may be observed parenthetically that when I collaborated with Senator Lorenzo M. This was the formulation of Burdick in his The Law of the American Constitution.. now in its 8th edition.3 L-35546. Sholley (1951). 281-309. the first eminent commentator in American constitutional law made no reference to martial law. Esguerra and Fernandez concurred with this opinion.. There was in the main opinion in this case. The Court ruled in this case that military commissions may try civilians for certain specified offenses according to applicable presidential decrees. 62 SCRA 275. Kauper (1966). 301. September 17. there will be a disruption of official functions resulting in a collapse of the government and of the existing social order. Esguerra. for otherwise. 11 Ibid.

Philippine Constitutional Law. 23 Ibid. The Filipino Between Two Worlds. The citation is from Willoughby on the Constitution of the United States. 21 SCRA 275. The citation from Rossiter is from the first chapter of his work on Constitutional Dictatorship. Commission on Elections. Crisis Government in the French Republic (Chapters VI to IX). Sec. entitled The Powers of Government 244 (1963) that the citation came from. de Castro. 29 Malcolm and Laurel. 139-140 (1957). 306.. the Criteria. 2nd ed. 14 Ibid. Aquino v. 4th rev. 19 Ibid.1976. 1591 (1929). The quotation is from volume 2 of the treatise of Schwartz on the American Constitution. Philippines Daily Express lo. 24 Imelda Romualdez Marcos. 294. 305. the Dangers. 26 Corwin. 15 of the present Constitution: The interim National upon special call by the interim Prime Minister. 22 The extensive citation in the opinion of Justice martin is found in Chapter XIX of Rossiter's opus entitled Constitutional Dictatorship: The Forms. 18 Cf. Such amendments shall take effect when ratified in accordance with Article Sixteen hereof. :30:3-304. that is the last chapter of his work. 30 Malcolm and Laurel. 322. 25 Ibid. October 9." 28 He was assisted by Assistant Solicitor General Hugo E. Ellingham v. Gutierrez Jr. a majority vote of all its Members. 20 Ibid. 9 (1948). after a rather exhaustive discussion of what are referred to by him as Constitutional Dictatorship in Germany (Chapters III to V). and Trial Attorney Nannette R. The excerpt is from Williams on Constitutional Law. 16 Ibid. 62 SCRA 275. It is to be made clear that in our Constitution. 31 Ibid. it is only the privilege of the writ.. propose to amendments to this Constitution. 449 (1936). 15 Ibid.13 Ibid. 17 327 US 304. ed. Cases on Constitutional Law (1936). not the writ itself that is suspended. 154 . 298. Dye is reported in 99 NE 1 (1912). The President Office and Powers. The reference is to Dicey on the Law of the Constitution. Crisis Government in the United States (chapters XIV to XVII). 287-288 (1962). the Future. 27 According to Art XVII. Justice Makasiar cited pages 7 and 303 of Rossiter's Constitutional Dictatorship. 20-21 (1936). 3rd ed.

" 36 Cf. Selected Essays on Constitutional Law 3 (1938). Lesueur 83 SW 1130 (1896). 50 SCRA 30. 470 (1939). To be more precise. with the then Chief Justice Moran and the then Justices Paras. 172 SW 259 (1943). headed by Justice Tuason. 4. Crammer v. 37 L-19313. 1973. Vide in. 48 L-28916.1962. 270 (1934). 41 SCRA 702. Scott v. then it may be looked upon as political. 2 of the present Constitution. Sec. The Web of Government 84 (1947). Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. 49 SCRA 105. It is precisely Ellingham v.4 SCRA 1. 38 Ibid. 40 Ibid. 33 Justice Makasiar referred to Article XVII. 45 Lerner. later himself a Chief 155 . 322 (1902). January 19. 63 (1962). January 22. Treadgill v. then an Associate Justice. 156 So. 50 L-35925. 34 L-34150. 3. 41 50 SCRA 30. October 22. 244. Burns. The present Chief Justice would include paragraph 1 to the above. 1967. 70 P. 42 59 SCRA 275. October 16. Section 1 of the present Constitution: The Philippines is a republican state. Gray v. James. 9 SCRA 230. 39 L-21897. 47 McIver. Toward a Democratic New Order 23 (1945). 156 So. 4th ed. Weinland v. 306-315 (1974). 109 P 558 (1910). The Higher Law Background of American Constitutional Law. Gray v. par. Winthrop. Cross. March 31. Stockett 39 A2 803 (1944). 1971. 262 (1934). If I read correctly the concurring opinion of the then Chief Justice Makalintal and the now Chief Justice Castro. 21 SCRA 774. Hillman v. 1964. Dye that was cited. Fulton 121 NE 816 (1918). People v. where the question raised concerns the adoption and enforcement of a new Constitution. Ideas are Weapons.32 Philippine Political Law. November 9. 310-333 (1973).1951. October 16. Grammar of Politics. 46 Bryn-Jones. Mills.. 44 Corwin. 49 L-23415. llth ed. 1 (1947). 76 SE 283 (1912). Thorson 68 NE 202 (1896): Edwards v. 43 Laski. 35 According to Article 11. 1973. Mass. there were only five Justices. 52 78 Phil. 17-18. 34 (1937). 41 SCRA 702. State v. 51 L-36142.

Goldner v. 6 Art. 7 Resolution on motion for reconsideration in Tolentino vs. 4. 11 Marshall. 1 Cranch 137(1803). 800. In re Application of Borg. pp. who were of that persuasion. Bengzon and Justice Padilla.. 5 P. 306-315. Hamilton v. 1976". 1971. 50 SCRA 30 (1973). paragraphs (1) and (2). with Justices Roberts. Boe v. Superior Court of Maricopa County. as amended by P. 1973 Constitution). 55 Laurel. p. sec. XV. he made the categorial statement that such process "is 'political' in its entirety. 47 SO2d 643 (1950). In the concurring opinion of Justice Black. 81 13 Idem. 1976." At 459. 243 SW2d 474 (1951). City of Shreveport. 1. secs. XVI. section 15.20. 433. Pablo and Hontiveros. Frankfurther and Douglas in agreement.. at page 4. Funk v. 1935 Constitution (see Art. Newbry 267 P2d 220 (1954). at page 3. Hilado. 87-88. Comelec dated Nov. Meredith. The other two votes necessary for a majority for dismissing the prohibition petition were supplied by Justice. at page 4. 173 SW 2d 665 (1943). from submission until an amendment becomes part of the Constitution. 1 and 2. S. 1033 dated Sept. 156 . 12 Cooley's Constitutional Limitations. Fielder. Hatcher v. control or interference at any point. 2. section 1. 22. 1976 "Stating the questions to be submitted to te people i the referendum-plebiscite on October 16. 14 Javellana vs' Exec. No. Appendix L.. 4 Article XVII. No. Baum v. also later a Chief Justice. VII Proceedings of the Philippine Constitutional Convention (1934-1935). 35 A2d 220 (1944). section 3 (1). ed. No. Foss. In re Opinion of Justices. 77 NW2d 1 (1956). 54 Cf. 2 Article XVI. 1. C. Adams. 3 Article XVII. at page 4 10 Idem. 991 dated Sept. 1031 dated Sept. Secretary. 174 SO2d 529 (1965). Renck v.Justice. 187 P2d 656 (1947). 9 Idem. Madison.D.S.J. 1 Article XV. Vol. 8th Ed. and is not subject to judicial guidance. 53 307 U. 1976 and P. section 1. 167 SO2d 575 (1964). 22.D.D. 15 Majority opinion at p. 56 SCRA 275. in Marburg vs. 8 Idem.

22. Feb.1. Constitutional Limitations. Express issue of Aug.." (Phil. however. and approved by the President. do you want the members of such body elected by the people through the barangays in accordance with an election code to be promulgated in a decree by the President? "The barangay and sanggunian executive committees informed the President that it was 'the thing of the barangays to undertake the referendum on an informal manner and that they opted to devise their own ballots.1973 Constitution 19 Aquino vs. do you want to call a body with legislative powers? 4 Do you want such body to have full legislative powers? 5 If not. 1975 20 Cooley. Comelec. L40117.see also Gonzales vs.VI. except in small barangays where the residents can be gathered in one assembly to decide on the issues by roll call vote if desired by residents. 1975). 5. do you want to grant such body authority to propose amendments to the Constitution to make it conform with the aims to the New Society? 7 If you want to call the body referred to questions 4. 31.1. 30. the referendum will be done by secret ballot.' "As proposed.16 21 SCRA 774(1967) 17 Citing Sec. Comelec.Art. VIII. 157 . the following questions will be submitted in the discussions and referendums: 1 Do you want martial law to be lifted? 2 Do you want to call the interim National Assembly? 3 If not. do you want such body to have limited legislative powers as may be determined by the President in a presidential decree? 6 If you want to call a body with certain legislative powers.1976). "The canvassing will be done by the barangay referendum committee. 23 Sunday Express (and Times Journal) issues of August 29. Vol. 62 SCRA 275 (Jan. 1. 1976 reported that "(A)s proposed by the sanggunian and barangay national executive committees. and all other necessary from. of feel it is time to again ask the people's opinion of this matter. and 6. "This question was asked in two previous referenda-in 1973 and 1975 . tally sheets.and was rejected each time by the people "The barangays.1935 Constitution 18 See sec.Art. 134(1936). 224 21 63 Phil." 24 "The other issue to be taken up in the public discussions is the question on whether the interim national assembly should be convened or not. 8th Ed. p.

28 Tolentino vs. Comelec. citing Chief Justice Davis in Gibson vs.25 Art. 1349. Cas. either wholly or in part. or judicial powers. Professor Perfecto V.. 8th Ed. see also Araneta vs. 33 Idem. page 191. 1. which were widely publicized as a result of the court proceedings and decision in Gonzales vs. July 27. 1. as reported in Lawyers' Journal. 32 Majority opinion. 42 Supra. 291 thus. 22. 37 With the exception of the proposed amendments increasing the membership of the House of Representatives from 120 to 180 and authorizing members of Congress to become Con-Con delegates. all civil law by the exercise of military power. 603 (1953). p. 41 Louis H. 6.P. can be exercised by them. 725. 84 Phil. But since the organization of government it cannot be claimed that either the legislative. 36 Cooley's Constitutional Limitations. 5 Nev. see. 1972. 1. 90.It overreaches and supersedes.1970. Resolution of Feb. executive.128-129. emphasis supplied. 31 Idem. 367. 1973 Constitution. 1973 Constitution. 16. 26 Cooleys Constitutional Limitations. 39 Articles VIII. 27. March 31. 158 . 293. 33* Rodriguez vs. Comelec. holding that "Martial law is neither more nor less than the will of the general in command of the army." as cited in the Secretary of Justice's outline of a study on the exercise of Legislative Power by the President under Martial Law. at page 20. Dinglasan. IX. at page 19. Vol. IX and X. 38 "Perspectives and Dimensions of Constitutional Reforms" delivered as keynote speech at the National Conference on Constitutional Amendments. 368 (1949). at page 16 fn. Comelec. 41 SCRA 702. 34 Gonzales vs. who at least theoretically represent the supreme will of their constituents. By the institution of government the people surrender the exercise of all these sovereign functions of government to agents chosen by themselves. pp. 35 In re Egan 8 Fed. at page 13. L-40117.1975. Gella 92 Phil. 40 U. fn. 4.. Fernandez: Civil Liberties under Martial Law. p. 1971. dated Dec. Pollale The Constitution and the Supreme Court. Thus all power possessed by the people themselves is given and centered in their chosen representatives 27 See fns. Mason. 8th Ed. 1973 issue. 8-10: note in parenthesis supplied. 29 36 SCRA 228 234 (1970). 21 SCRA 774. 2. "The maxim which lies at the foundation of our government is that all political power originates with the people. Vol. 30 Resolution denying motion for reconsideration dated Nov. Vol.

Cuenco. 1976..E. Daily Express issue of Oct. sec. 103 Phil. 1 Aquino. 3. 413. Political questions. 38 Harv. 296. Marcos' address on observance of the first anniversary of the 1973 Constitution on Jan. 6 307 U. of course. Dye 99 N. 54* Pres.43 Supra. and it involves. 311. p. 2 Melville Fuller Weston. from my point of view". 59 SCRA 183. me personally. 1976 reporting the Comelec's stand that "Young voters. emphasis copied. 173. the President is quoted as himself abstaining from the debates: "I am trying to steer clear of the debates because it involves martial law. Vol. from age 15 to below 18 can vote not only on the question of martial law but also on the question regarding the proposed constitutional amendments". 48 21 SCRA at pages 816-817. 733. 28. Rev. pp. 1976. X. Italics supplied. 817. 44 Sec. 46 Now retired Justices J.s. vs Ponce Enrile and other cases. 2 50 SCRA 30. 11. 54 In the Bulletin Today issue of October 2. L. Italics supplied. J. 1958 ed.S. 47 SCRA at p. 1976. 433. 6.. 1974. 217. The Supreme Court in the Modern Role. 2 1935 Constitution. sec. 17. 3 Tanada v. 50 21 SCRA at p. 1057. 209 et seq. 4 16 C. fn. citing Ellingham vs. 5 369 U. So the less I say about it. emphasis copied. 1 Carl Brent Swisher. 11. Zaldivar. 186. 1974. 49 From Am. VIII. 1889. 5. Daily Express issues of Oct. Jan. Daily Express issue of Oct. Reyes and Calixto 0. VII. 1973 Constitution 45 SCRA 30 (1973) and cases cited.15. 1051. Art. 55 The resolution gave the same permission to court personnel by a 9 to 1 vote with Justice Makasiar and the writer presenting no objection in the case of personnel as classified civil service employees. the better. citing in re McConoughy. I guess. 159 . Phil. Labor Relations Journal. 53 Times journal and Phil. p.J. Art. Law Review.L. 52 Phil. p. while Justice Munoz Palma maintained the same negative vote.S.B. 119 NW 408. 4. 51 Phil.

9 Republic Act No. 10 41 SCRA 702. 8 21 SCRA 774. It is incumbent upon all who influence and mold public opinion to repudiate and discountenance so dangerous a doctrine before it bears fruits destructive of republican institutions. pp 19-20.r.11. 15 Todays Revolution: Democracy. Black. 87-88.568.. citing B. 150.S. 18 Sinco. pp.. and that they can set themselves above the instrumentalities appointed by the constitution for the administration of law. 1 (1947). pp. 1975. at page 5.. 16 Mabanag v. 24. he may in order to meet the exigency. 1961 ed. Weller. per Barredo. 11 L-40004. 14 Leibholz: Politics and Law. Changing the fundamental Law SALIENT ISSUES OF CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION..a. orders or letters of instructions. 56. supra. wheeler. 13 Section 1. p. I The Powers of Government (1963) 10. Schwartz. 12 Proclamation No.s. 10 L. 611-616) 4 Green castle Township v. November 4. Lopez Vito.1976. xxx xxx xxx It is well that the powers of the people and their relations to organized society should be understood. Constitution.7 78 Phil. Marcos.557. 48 19 T. 8. J.. 5 Oakley vs. 413..5. * p. 1971. issue the necessary decrees. or whenever the interim Batasang Pambansa or the regular National Assembly fails or is unable to act adequately on any matter for any reason that in his judgment requires immediate action. January 3l.15. January 17. No heresy has ever been taught in this country so fraught with evil as the doctrine that the people have a constitutional right to disregard the constitution. 716. 1103.12. Article II. p..Y. of hearing.. citing Green v.1973." (pp. 650. 5 Ind. 10th Ed. which shall form 160 . Jr. November 1971 6 Whenever in the judgment of the President (Prime Minister there exists a brave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof. Philippine Political Law. Aspinwall. 32 Miss. 3 N. note. 62 SCRA 275. 6 Resolution on Motion for Reconsideration. It will be well if the people come to understand the difference between natural and constitutional freedom. It tends directly to the encouragement of revolution and anarchy. 17 John P. 547. October 8. 1974 Ed. n. before license becomes destructive of liberty .N. Supreme Court Decisions. L-34150.

Madison. at page 4. 3 L-34150. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. 1971. Oct. 1976) 7 Speech upon conferment of the Doctor of Laws. Constitution. p. 8 The Lawyers' Journal. 1975. 302. 5 Aquino vs. Vol. 8th Ed. 9 Idem. 1936.. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.part of the law of the land. March 15. 127325 March 19. Nov.J. et al. 1051 2 L-28196. L-40004. by the Manila University. 81. 12 Cooley's Constitutional Limitations. 1997 MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO. 16. italics Ours. Section 1. ALEXANDER PADILLA. 103 Phil. 1.R. Jan. JESUS DELFIN. 62 SCRA 275. C.. the Lawyers' Journal. at page 4. Comelec. June 15. No. Cuenco. in their 161 . October 16. Honoris Causa. 4 Article XVII. 21 SCRA 774. 10 Idem. ALBERTO PEDROSA & CARMEN PEDROSA. and MARIA ISABEL ONGPIN. 11 Marshall. 41 SCRA 702.1967. in Marburg vs.. vs. (Taken from the Barangay Ballot Form distributed by COMELEC for Referendum-Plebiscite. 1936. 1 Tagada & by Macapagal v. I Cranch 137 (1803). 9. petitioners. 31.

to assist Petitioners and volunteers.capacities as founding members of the People's Initiative for Reforms. under the control and supervision of the COMELEC. INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES (IBP). DEMOKRASYA-IPAGTANGGOL ANG KONSTITUSYON (DIK). (MABINI). that before the Movement and other volunteers can gather signatures. for both under the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions. we resolved to give due course to this petition. Fixing the time and dates for signature gathering all over the country. except perhaps to a few scholars. to Lift Term Limits of Elective Officials. Undoubtedly. that. and LABAN NG DEMOKRATIKONG PILIPINO (LABAN). 2. that the exercise of that power shall be conducted in proceedings under the control and supervision of the COMELEC. 2300. with the assistance of municipal election registrars. SENATOR RAUL S. 6 a group of citizens desirous to avail of the system intended to institutionalize people power. the Constitution were recognized. (1) by Congress upon a vote of three-fourths of all its members and (2) by a constitutional convention. Article XVII of the Constitution. The 1986 Constitutional Commission itself. as required in COMELEC Resolution No. characterized this system as "innovative". Delfin alleged in his petition that he is a founding member of the Movement for People's Initiative. respondents. ROCO. or revision of.. and that to adequately inform the people of the electoral process involved. it is necessary that the time and dates to be designated for the purpose be first fixed in an order to be issued by the COMELEC. Causing the necessary publications of said Order and the attached "Petition for Initiative on the 1987 Constitution. JR. The Delfin Petition further alleged that the provisions sought to be amended are Sections 4 and 7 of Article VI. as this system of initiative was unknown to the people of this country. that he and the members of the Movement and other volunteers intend to exercise the power to directly propose amendments to the Constitution granted under Section 2. 7Section 4 of Article VII. J.. Jesus S. this demands special attention. 3 Indeed it is. Modernization and Action (PIRMA). 4 For this and the other reasons hereafter discussed. INC. it is likewise necessary that the said order. petitioners-intervenors. before the drafting of the 1987 Constitution. in establishing signing stations at the time and on the dates designated for the purpose. 3. Instructing Municipal Election Registrars in all Regions of the Philippines. as well as the Petition on which the signatures shall be affixed. by People's Initiative" (hereafter. DAVIDE. viz. Delfin Petition) 5 wherein Delfin asked the COMELEC for an order 1. MOVEMENT OF ATTORNEYS FOR BROTHERHOOD INTEGRITY AND NATIONALISM. only two methods of proposing amendments to. be published in newspapers of general and local circulation. private respondent Atty. Attached to the petition is a copy of a "Petition for Initiative on the 1987 Constitution" 10 embodying the proposed 162 . through the original proponent 1 and the main sponsor 2 of the proposed Article on Amendments or Revision of the Constitution. COMELEC) a "Petition to Amend the Constitution. who shall verify the signatures affixed by individual signatories. On 6 December 1996.: The heart of this controversy brought to us by way of a petition for prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the system of initiative under Section 2 of Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution. Delfin filed with public respondent Commission on Elections (hereafter. 8 and Section 8 of Article X 9 of the Constitution. in newspapers of general and local circulation. signature stations shall be established all over the country.

A. since the 163 . SECTION 4 OF ARTICLE VII. After hearing their arguments. 13 On 18 December 1996. At the hearing of the Delfin Petition on 12 December 1996. Quadra. and Maria Isabel Ongpin — filed this special civil action for prohibition raising the following arguments: (1) The constitutional provision on people's initiative to amend the Constitution can only be implemented by law to be passed by Congress. Demokrasya-Ipagtanggol ang Konstitusyon (DIK). Alexander Padilla. 1290 entitled An Act Prescribing and Regulating Constitution Amendments by People's Initiative. which was forthwith given the number UND 96-037 (INITIATIVE). the petitioners herein — Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.amendments which consist in the deletion from the aforecited sections of the provisions concerning term limits. AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE SECTIONS 4 AND 7 OF ARTICLE VI. it failed to provide any subtitle on initiative on the Constitution. This indicates that the Act covers only laws and not constitutional amendments because the latter take effect only upon ratification and not after publication. in fact. together with the attached Petition for Initiative on the 1987 Constitution (including the proposal. Pete Q. Public Interest Law Center. is still pending before the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments. (2) It is true that R. is ultra vires insofar asinitiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned. together with his two other lawyers. which are specifically provided for in Subtitle II and Subtitle III. (3) Republic Act No. 6735 provides for three systems of initiative. This deliberate omission indicates that the matter of people's initiative to amend the Constitution was left to some future law. 12 Senator Roco. Former Senator Arturo Tolentino stressed this deficiency in the law in his privilege speech delivered before the Senate in 1994: "There is not a single word in that law which can be considered as implementing [the provision on constitutional initiative]. on that same day. Upon the filing of the Delfin Petition. Roco. Senate Bill No. through its Chairman. on statutes. issued an Order 11 (a) directing Delfin "to cause the publication of the petition. the said Petition for Initiative will first be submitted to the people. unlike in the other modes of initiative. intervenor-oppositor Senator Raul S. which petitioner Senator Santiago filed on 24 November 1995. Modernization and Action (PIRMA). and the signature form). or counsel for. 6735 provides for the effectivity of the law after publication in print media. AND SECTION 8 OF ARTICLE X OF THE 1987 PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION? According to Delfin. and with the following proposition: DO YOU APPROVE OF LIFTING THE TERM LIMITS OF ALL ELECTIVE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS. initiative on the Constitution. and representatives of. and on local legislation. 2300. (4) COMELEC Resolution No.m. and (b) setting the case for hearing on 12 December 1996 at 10:00 a. and after it is signed by at least twelve per cent of the total number of registered voters in the country it will be formally filed with the COMELEC. Such implementing provisions have been obviously left to a separate law. filed a Motion to Dismiss the Delfin Petition on the ground that it is not the initiatory petition properly cognizable by the COMELEC. the following appeared: Delfin and Atty. and the notice of hearing in three (3) daily newspapers of general circulation at his own expense" not later than 9 December 1996. However. namely. adopted on 16 January 1991 to govern "the conduct of initiative on the Constitution and initiative and referendum on national and local laws. the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). the COMELEC directed Delfin and the oppositors to file their "memoranda and/or oppositions/memoranda" within five days. and Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LABAN). No such law has been passed. proposed constitutional amendment. No. the COMELEC. representatives of the People's Initiative for Reforms.

1996 DECISION IN THE CASE OF SUBIC BAY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY VS. (5) The people's initiative is limited to amendments to the Constitution. the transcendental importance to the public and the nation of the issues raised demands that this petition for prohibition be settled promptly and definitely. speedy. 3. 164 .00. 1290 IS A DUPLICATION OF WHAT ARE ALREADY PROVIDED FOR IN REP. and (b) issued a temporary restraining order. 2. effective immediately and continuing until further orders. and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. ACT NO. private respondents. not to mention the millions of additional pesos in expenses which would be incurred in the conduct of the initiative itself. 4. ALL EXPENSES IN THE SIGNATURE GATHERING ARE ALL FOR THE ACCOUNT OF RESPONDENT DELFIN AND HIS VOLUNTEERS PER THEIR PROGRAM OF ACTIVITIES AND EXPENDITURES SUBMITTED TO THE COMELEC. ET AL. and private respondents Alberto and Carmen Pedrosa from conducting a signature drive for people's initiative to amend the Constitution. 14 Besides. enjoining public respondent COMELEC from proceeding with the Delfin Petition. On 2 January 1997.000. G. 1. ACT NO. the people's initiative spearheaded by PIRMA would entail expenses to the national treasury for general re-registration of voters amounting to at least P180 million. NO. through Atty Quadra. THE ESTIMATED COST OF THE DAILY PER DIEM OF THE SUPERVISING SCHOOL TEACHERS IN THE SIGNATURE GATHERING TO BE DEPOSITED and TO BE PAID BY DELFIN AND HIS VOLUNTEERS IS P2. filed their Comment They argue therein that: 15 on the petition. outside the power of the people's initiative. brushing aside technicalities of procedure and calling for the admission of a taxpayer's and legislator's suit. REP. agency.000. COMELEC. not to revision thereof. On 19 December 1996.R. this Court (a) required the respondents to comment on the petition within a nonextendible period of ten days from notice. the petitioners allege that in the event the COMELEC grants the Delfin Petition.200. 125416. Extending or lifting of term limits constitutes a revision and is. or office has realigned funds for the purpose. (6) Finally. Only Congress is authorized by the Constitution to pass the implementing law. IT IS NOT TRUE THAT "IT WOULD ENTAIL EXPENSES TO THE NATIONAL TREASURY FOR GENERAL REGISTRATION OF VOTERS AMOUNTING TO AT LEAST PESOS: ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY MILLION (P180.00)" IF THE "COMELEC GRANTS THE PETITION FILED BY RESPONDENT DELFIN BEFORE THE COMELEC. 6735. there is no other plain. NOT A SINGLE CENTAVO WOULD BE SPENT BY THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT IF THE COMELEC GRANTS THE PETITION OF RESPONDENT DELFIN. 1989 IS THE ENABLING LAW IMPLEMENTING THE POWER OF PEOPLE INITIATIVE TO PROPOSE AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION. Congress has not yet appropriated funds for people's initiative. THE PENDING PETITION BEFORE THE COMELEC IS ONLY ON THE SIGNATURE GATHERING WHICH BY LAW COMELEC IS DUTY BOUND "TO SUPERVISE CLOSELY" PURSUANT TO ITS "INITIATORY JURISDICTION" UPHELD BY THE HONORABLE COURT IN ITS RECENT SEPTEMBER 26. Hence. therefore. neither the COMELEC nor any other government department. To justify their recourse to us via the special civil action for prohibition.COMELEC has no power to provide rules and regulations for the exercise of the right of initiative to amend the Constitution.571. 6735 APPROVED ON AUGUST 4. SENATOR DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO'S SENATE BILL NO.

NO. only those which lay term limits. As to the public expenditures for registration of voters. NO.A." (PP. if there will be a plebiscite it will be simultaneous with the 1997 Barangay Elections. CONSTITUTION. ET AL. In any event. which is not formally filed yet. ACT 6735 WAS UPHELD BY THE HONORABLE COURT IN THE RECENT SEPTEMBER 26.R. R. 412-413." (SEC." 6. plebiscite. 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. 2300 is ultra vires is contradicted by (a) Section 2. Besides. IT IS ONLY AN AMENDMENT. private respondent Delfin filed in his own behalf a Comment 16 which starts off with an assertion that the instant petition is a "knee-jerk reaction to a draft 'Petition for Initiative on the 1987 Constitution'. It does not seek to reexamine or overhaul the entire document. ENCLOSED AS ANNEX E. 1992.).B. referendum. 1996 DECISION IN THE CASE OF SUBIC BAY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY VS. .5. initiative. 1290. which grants the COMELEC the power to enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election.J. Article IX-C of the Constitution. S. which empowers the COMELEC to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the Act. IN IMPLEMENTING OF THESE LAWS. and (b) Section 20 of R. No. but mere amendment to. 6735. 7. "AMENDMENT ENVISAGES AN ALTERATION OF ONE OR A FEW SPECIFIC PROVISIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION. 12. which governs the conduct of initiative to amend the Constitution. there is a law. 6735. 2ND. BERNAS. PETITION). Delfin maintains as follows: (1) Contrary to the claim of the petitioners. 1097 PHIL. No. 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." What he filed on 6 December 1996 was an "Initiatory Pleading" or "Initiatory Petition. REVISION CONTEMPLATES A REEXAMINATION OF THE ENTIRE DOCUMENT TO DETERMINE HOW AND TO WHAT EXTENT IT SHOULD BE ALTERED. 2300 PROMULGATED ON JANUARY 16. EVEN SENATOR DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO'S SENATE BILL NO. Also on 2 January 1997. The absence therein of a subtitle for such initiative is not fatal. (4) The proposed initiative does not involve a revision of. 165 . the Constitution because it seeks to alter only a few specific provisions of the Constitution. COMELEC RESOLUTION NO. . G.A. BY JOAQUIN G. ED. 1290 CONTAINS A PROVISION DELEGATING TO THE COMELEC THE POWER TO "PROMULGATE SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT." which was legally necessary to start the signature campaign to amend the Constitution or to put the movement to gather signatures under COMELEC power and function. since subtitles are not requirements for the validity or sufficiency of laws. COMELEC. On the substantive allegations of the petitioners. Delfin considers petitioners' estimate of P180 million as unreliable. S. (2) Section 9(b) of R. 1991 PURSUANT TO REP. 125416 WHERE THE HONORABLE COURT SAID: "THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS CAN DO NO LESS BY SEASONABLY AND JUDICIOUSLY PROMULGATING GUIDELINES AND RULES FOR BOTH NATIONAL AND LOCAL USE. and recall. for only the COMELEC can give the exact figure. or more specifically.A. fund requirements for initiative will be a priority government expense because it will be for the exercise of the sovereign power of the people. (3) The claim that COMELEC Resolution No.

it can affect other provisions. (2) The prohibition against reelection of the President and the limits provided for all other national and local elective officials are based on the philosophy of governance. The rule-making power of the COMELEC to implement the provisions of R. includes initiative on the Constitution and defines the same as the power to propose amendments to the Constitution. which was later replaced by an Amended Petition in Intervention wherein they contend that: (1) The Delfin proposal does not involve a mere amendment to. No. No. (b) noted the aforementioned Comments and the Motion to Lift Temporary Restraining Order filed by private respondents through Atty. No. the Constitution because.J. 6735 does not deal with initiative on the Constitution. hence. No. filed a Motion for Intervention. Likewise. in the words of Fr. and (d) set the case for hearing on 23 January 1997 at 9:30 a. its Section 5 repeatedly mentionsinitiative on the Constitution. on synchronization of elections and on the State policy of guaranteeing equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibiting political dynasties.m..A. S. not a revision thereof. by express provision of Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution. but a revision of. (5) COMELEC Resolution No. and Senator Tolentino simply overlooked pertinent provisions of the law when he claimed that nothing therein was provided for initiative on the Constitution.A. such as. 1290 is neither a competent nor a material proof that R. as well as the latter's Manifestation stating that he is the counsel for private respondents Alberto and Carmen Pedrosa only and the Comment he filed was for the Pedrosas. and its Section 3. "to open up the political arena to as many as there are Filipinos qualified to handle the demands of leadership.A. the Demokrasya-Ipagtanggol ang Konstitusyon (DIK) and the Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood Integrity and Nationalism. 18 it would involve a change from a political philosophy that rejects unlimited tenure to one that accepts unlimited tenure. the Office of the Solicitor General contends that: (1) R. Its Section 2 on Statement of Policy explicitly affirms. 6735 and under the Omnibus Election Code. is limited to amendments. (MABINI). Joaquin Bernas. Attached to the motion was their Petition in Intervention. which enumerates the three systems of initiative. No. filed also on 2 January 1997. this Court (a) confirmed nunc pro tunc the temporary restraining order. COMELEC. Inc. 6735 because. being national in scope. 6735 deals with.In the Comment 17 for the public respondent COMELEC. (4) Extension of term limits of elected officials constitutes a mere amendment to the Constitution. (2) A separate subtitle on initiative on the Constitution is not necessary in R. that system of initiative is deemed included in the subtitle on National Initiative and Referendum. 19 A revisioncannot be done by initiative which. to remove the term limits is to negate and nullify the noble vision of the 1987 Constitution. Quadra. 166 . 2300 was validly issued under Section 20 of R. and to promote effective proper empowerment for participation in policy and decisionmaking for the common good". recognizes. and although the change might appear to be an isolated one. and (c) granted the Motion for Intervention filed on 6 January 1997 by Senator Raul Roco and allowed him to file his Petition in Intervention not later than 20 January 1997. and guarantees that power.A. 6735 was in fact upheld by this Court in Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority vs. inter alia. to break the concentration of political and economic powers in the hands of a few. On 14 January 1997. On 17 January 1997. people's initiative to amend the Constitution. (3) Senate Bill No.A.

(I) the holding of a plebiscite. 6735. (h) the appeal from any decision of the COMELEC. (b) the appropriate agency before whom the petition is to be filed. 17 and House Bill No. (4) The petition seeks. 21505. No. LABAN filed a Motion for Leave to Intervene. 2300. 20 (4) R. the COMELEC has no jurisdiction to hear Delfin's petition. 2300. The following day. Nevertheless.A. 6735 is deficient and inadequate in itself to be called the enabling law that implements the people's initiative on amendments to the Constitution. Senator Raul Roco filed his Petition in Intervention. Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution. the IBP filed a Motion for Intervention to which it attached a Petition in Intervention raising the following arguments: (1) Congress has failed to enact an enabling law mandated under Section 2. he contends that the respondent Commission is without jurisdiction to take cognizance of the Delfin Petition and to order its publication because the said petition is not the initiatory pleading contemplated under the Constitution. as the former does not set a sufficient standard for a valid delegation of power.Initiative is intended as a fallback position that may be availed of by the people only if they are dissatisfied with the performance of their elective officials.(3) The Delfin proposal runs counter to the purpose of initiative.A. Republic Act No. (e) the ways and means of gathering the signatures of the voters nationwide and 3% per legislative district. No. 6735 cannot be rectified or remedied by COMELEC Resolution No. (f) the proper parties who may oppose or question the veracity of the signatures. Section 20 of R. which can be proposed only by Congress or a constitutional convention. 6735 does not constitute a legal basis for the Resolution. No. On 20 January 1997.A. (2) COMELEC Resolution No. Accordingly. (c) the contents of the petition. 2300. On 20 January 1997.A. 2300 cannot substitute for the required implementing law on the initiative to amend the Constitution. as the COMELEC's role in an initiative on the Constitution is limited to the determination of the sufficiency of the initiative petition and the call and supervision of a plebiscite. and (g) the appropriation of funds for such people's initiative. (g) the role of the COMELEC in the verification of the signatures and the sufficiency of the petition. but not as a premium for good performance. What vests jurisdiction upon the COMELEC in an initiative on the Constitution is the filing of a petition for initiative which is signed by the required number of registered voters. (5) The deficiency of R. in effect a revision of the Constitution. and COMELEC Resolution No. It fails to state (a) the proper parties who may file the petition. since the COMELEC is without authority to legislate the procedure for a people's initiative under Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution. 21 He avers that R. (d) the publication of the same. particularly in a conflict-ofinterest situation. there being no enabling law. He likewise submits that the COMELEC was empowered under Section 20 of that law to promulgate COMELEC Resolution No. No. 22 167 . 6735 is the enabling law that implements the people's right to initiate constitutional amendments. He also submits that the proponents of a constitutional amendment cannot avail of the authority and resources of the COMELEC to assist them is securing the required number of signatures. That function exclusively pertains to Congress. This law is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. he co-authored the House Bill and even delivered a sponsorship speech thereon. (3) The Petition for Initiative suffers from a fatal defect in that it does not have the required number of signatures. if warranted.

as well as the Motion for Leave to Intervene filed by LABAN. On 27 January 1997. and (d) requiring LABAN to file its Petition in Intervention within a nonextendible period of three days from notice. or has jurisdiction over. At the hearing of the case on 23 January 1997. 2300 (In re: Rules and Regulations Governing the Conduct of Initiative on the Constitution. as proposed in the draft "Petition for Initiative on the 1987 Constitution." would constitute a revision of. 24 As we stated in the beginning. Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms. whether the Act. (c) requiring the respondents to file within a nonextendible period of five days their Consolidated Comments on the aforesaid Petitions in Intervention. Private respondents Alberto and Carmen Pedrosa filed their Consolidated Comments on the Petitions in Intervention of Senator Roco.On 21 January 1997. a petition solely intended to obtain an order (a) fixing the time and dates for signature gathering. LABAN filed its Petition in Intervention wherein it adopts the allegations and arguments in the main Petition. and if so. and the Petitions in Intervention of Senator Roco and of the IBP. 5. and Initiative and Referendum on National and Local Laws) regarding the conduct of initiative on amendments to the Constitution is valid. and IBP. 2. No. we promulgated a Resolution (a) granting the Motions for Intervention filed by the DIK and MABINI and by the IBP. On 28 January 1997. we required the parties to submit simultaneously their respective memoranda within twenty days and requested intervenor Senator Roco to submit copies of the deliberations on House Bill No. of 6 June 1989 on House Bill No. and (c) directing or causing the publication of. we resolved to give due course to this special civil action. 17. or an amendment to. entitled An Act Providing for a System of Initiative and Referendum and Appropriating Funds Therefor. 21505. Senator Roco submitted copies of portions of both the Journal and the Record of the House of Representatives relating to the deliberations of House Bill No. the unsigned proposed Petition for Initiative on the 1987 Constitution. 6735. (b) instructing municipal election officers to assist Delfin's movement and volunteers in establishing signature stations. Whether that portion of COMELEC Resolution No. (b) admitting the Amended Petition in Intervention of DIK and MABINI. 21505. 23 The parties thereafter filed. Whether the lifting of term limits of elective national and local officials. DIK and MABINI. 21505 and Senate Bill No. considering the absence in the law of specific provisions on the conduct of such initiative. which the Court formulated in light of the allegations and arguments raised in the pleadings so far filed: 1. the parties argued on the following pivotal issues. in due time. Whether it is proper for the Supreme Court to take cognizance of the petition when there is a pending case before the COMELEC. After hearing them on the issues.A. 168 . adequately covers such initiative. their separate memoranda. the Constitution. 3. 4. inter alia. It further submits that the COMELEC should have dismissed the Delfin Petition for failure to state a sufficient cause of action and that the Commission's failure or refusal to do so constituted grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. as worded. was intended to include or cover initiative on amendments to the Constitution. Whether R. and the respondents to comment thereon within a nonextendible period of five days from receipt of the said Petition in Intervention. as well as the transcripts of stenographic notes on the proceedings of the Bicameral Conference Committee. Whether the COMELEC can take cognizance of.

together with the attached Petition for Initiative. 26 The COMELEC made no ruling thereon evidently because after having heard the arguments of Delfin and the oppositors at the hearing on 12 December 1996. Rule 65. 30. In the final analysis. I THE INSTANT PETITION IS VIABLE DESPITE THE PENDENCY IN THE COMELEC OF THE DELFIN PETITION. p. in view of the highly divisive and adverse environmental consequences on the body politic of the questioned Comelec order. board. it becomes imperative to stop the Comelec from proceeding any further. for the purpose of preventing the inferior tribunal from usurping a jurisdiction with which it is not legally vested. corporation. whether it is proper for this Court to take cognizance of this special civil action when there is a pending case before the COMELEC. The Comelec has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the petition filed by private respondent Delfin. i. only the Supreme Court can save a nation in peril and uphold the paramount majesty of the Constitution. and the notice of hearing. The petitioners provide an affirmative answer.. the instant case may likewise be treated as a special civil action for certiorari under Section I of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. and there is no appeal or any other plain. and by setting the case for hearing.e. Petition for prohibition. In light of these claims. LABAN also asserts that the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in refusing to dismiss the Delfin Petition. which provides: Sec. supra. and under the Rules of Court. (People v. Section 2. or specifically on 6 December 1996. or person. are without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. This being so. 29. In this case the writ is an urgent necessity. 84). The writ of prohibition is an extraordinary judicial writ issuing out of a court of superior jurisdiction and directed to an inferior court. or with grave abuse of discretion.. a petition for prohibition is the proper remedy. whether exercising functions judicial or ministerial. The COMELEC's failure to act on Roco's motion to dismiss and its insistence to hold on to the petition rendered ripe and viable the instant petition under Section 2 of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. 2.For a more logical discussion of the formulated issues. it practically gave due course to the Delfin Petition by ordering Delfin to cause the publication of the petition. 27Earlier. — Where the proceedings of any tribunal. It must also be noted that intervenor Roco claims that the COMELEC has no jurisdiction over the Delfin Petition because the said petition is not supported by the required minimum number of signatures of registered voters. 25 It must be recalled that intervenor Roco filed with the COMELEC a motion to dismiss the Delfin Petition on the ground that the COMELEC has no jurisdiction or authority to entertain the petition. the parties paid no serious attention to the fifth issue. we shall first take up the fifth issue which appears to pose a prejudicial procedural question. the signature form. Thus: 28. The consequent climate of legal confusion and political instability begs for judicial statesmanship. a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the defendant to desist from further proceedings in the action or matter specified therein. it required them to submit within five days their memoranda or oppositions/memoranda. Vera. when the system of constitutional law is threatened by the political ambitions of man. 169 . which does not contain the required number of signatures. Except for the petitioners and intervenor Roco.

1. technicalities of procedure. 2. although this mode of amending the Constitution is a mode of amendment which bypasses congressional action. this Court may brush aside technicalities of procedure in cases of transcendental importance. This provision is not self-executory. BUT IS. In his book. INADEQUATE TO COVER THAT SYSTEM. a member of the 1986 Constitutional Without implementing legislation Section 2 cannot operate. 7 (Proposed Resolution No. does not provide for its implementation. v. In the landmark Emergency Powers Cases. of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein. in the last analysis it still is dependent on congressional action. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter. brushing aside. the people cannot exercise it if Congress. or (c) directly by the people themselves thru initiative as provided for in Article___ Section ___of the Constitution. Inc. Commission. Thus. 28 A party's standing before this Court is a procedural technicality which it may. Any amendment to. UNFORTUNATELY. as correctly pointed out by intervenor Roco in his Memorandum. Bluntly stated.In any event. NO.A. while the Constitution has recognized or granted that right. the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the system of initiative would remain entombed in the cold niche of the Constitution until Congress provides for its implementation. set aside in view of the importance of issues raised. or (b) by a constitutional convention. 332). The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters. stated: 29 Joaquin Bernas. 30 That section reads as follows: Sec. for whatever reason. This system of initiative was originally included in Section 1 of the draft Article on Amendment or Revision proposed by the Committee on Amendments and Transitory Provisions of the 1986 Constitutional Commission in its Committee Report No. or revision of. Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution provides: Sec. II R. Stated otherwise. As we stated in Kilosbayan. Jr. Guingona. this Constitution may be proposed: (a) by the National Assembly upon a vote of three-fourths of all its members.31 170 . if we must. 6735 INTENDED TO INCLUDE THE SYSTEM OF INITIATIVE ON AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION. in the exercise of its discretion. this Court brushed aside this technicality because the transcendental importance to the public of these cases demands that they be settled promptly and definitely.

SUAREZ. No. the first amendment that could be proposed through the exercise of this initiative power would be after five years. on Section 1 on the matter of initiative upon petition of at least 10 percent. FR. clarificatory questions. FR. the National Assembly can come up with the appropriate rules governing the exercise of this power. That is right. In any event. BERNAS. in effect. SUAREZ. thus: MR. what will be presented to the people for ratification is the work of the legislature rather than of the people? Does this provision exclude that possibility? MR. May we respectfully call attention of the Members of the Commission that pursuant to the mandate given to us last night. that for as long as the legislature does not pass the necessary implementing law on this. This completes the blanks appearing in the original Committee Report No. just two simple. 32 The interpellations on Section 2 showed that the details for carrying out Section 2 are left to the legislature. First. And do we also understand. may I quote Section 2: The people may. this will not operate? MR. we submitted this afternoon a complete Committee Report No. Madam President. This is now covered by Section 2 of the complete committee report. after five years from the date of the last plebiscite held. therefore. Do we understand. Madam President. BERNAS. BERNAS. there are no details in the provision on how to carry this out. With the permission of the Members. therefore. maybe individually or collectively. Madam President. SUAREZ. 7 which embodies the proposed provision governing the matter of initiative. 7. It is reasonably expected that within that five-year period. directly propose amendments to this Constitution thru initiative upon petition of at least ten percent of the registered voters. that we are leaving this matter to the legislature? MR.After several interpellations. but before the period of amendments. it does not exclude that possibility because even the legislature itself as a body could propose that amendment. That matter was also taken up during the committee hearing. no amendment through the power of initiative can be called until after five years from the date of the ratification of this Constitution. We deemed it best that this matter be left to the legislature. The Gentleman is right. Thank you. xxx xxx xxx 171 . especially with respect to the budget appropriations which would have to be legislated so that the plebiscite could be called. SUAREZ. as envisioned. if it fails to muster the three-fourths vote in order to constitute itself as a constituent assembly and submit that proposal to the people for ratification through the process of an initiative. Since the matter is left to the legislature — the details on how this is to be carried out — is it possible that. Therefore. Thus: FR. the Committee submitted a new formulation of the concept of initiative which it denominated as Section 2.

SUAREZ. . AQUINO. . has to be separated from the traditional modes of amending the Constitution as embodied in Section 1. . the Constitution is source of all legal mandates and that therefore we require a great deal of circumspection in the drafting and in the amendments of the Constitution? MR.MS. instead of setting it up as another separate section as if it were a self-executing provision? 172 . SUAREZ. The matter of implementing this could very well be placed in the hands of the National Assembly. Would the sponsor agree with me that in the hierarchy of legal mandate. 34 xxx xxx xxx MS. AQUINO. SUAREZ. MS. so we removed it from the operation of Section 1 of the proposed Article on Amendment or Revision. AQUINO. SUAREZ. AQUINO. The Commissioner is right. which came about because of the extraordinary developments this year. That is absolutely correct. That proposition is nondebatable. as written. as the provisions are drafted now. thus: MR. to again concede to the legislature the process or the requirement of determining the mechanics of amending the Constitution by people's initiative? MR. And would the sponsor agree with me that in the hierarchy of legal values. Would the sponsor be amenable to accepting an amendment in terms of realigning Section 2 as another subparagraph (c) of Section 1. AQUINO. I fully concur with the underlying precept of the proposal in terms of institutionalizing popular participation in the drafting of the Constitution or in the amendment thereof. The committee members felt that this system of initiative should not extend to the revision of the entire Constitution. MS. is the sponsor inclined. MS. 33 It was made clear during the interpellations that the aforementioned Section 2 is limited to proposals to AMEND — not to REVISE — the Constitution. SUAREZ. not unless we can incorporate into this provision the mechanics that would adequately cover all the conceivable situations. Therefore. Do I understand from the sponsor that the intention in the proposal is to vest constituent power in the people to amend the Constitution? MR. Madam President. In which case. AQUINO. Madam President. constituent power has primacy over all other legal mandates? MR. This proposal was suggested on the theory that this matter of initiative. SUAREZ. That is right. I am seriously bothered by providing this process of initiative as a separate section in the Article on Amendment. Such that in order to underscore the primacy of constituent power we have a separate article in the constitution that would specifically cover the process and the modes of amending the Constitution? MR. MS. Madam President. but I would have a lot of difficulties in terms of accepting the draft of Section 2.

we accept the proposed amendment. 173 . the implementation of this particular right would be subject to legislation. In other words. MR. xxx xxx xxx MR. Under Commissioner Davide's amendment. I have modified the proposed amendment after taking into account the modifications submitted by the sponsor himself and the honorable Commissioners Guingona.MR.. SUAREZ. Thank you Madam President. would only apply to amendments? MR. Ople. AQUINO. 7. The Commissioner is correct. SUAREZ. 35 Amendments to the proposed Section 2 were thereafter introduced by then Commissioner Hilario G. NO AMENDMENT UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL BE AUTHORIZED WITHIN FIVE YEARS FOLLOWING THE RATIFICATION OF THIS CONSTITUTION NOR OFTENER THAN ONCE EVERY FIVE YEARS THEREAFTER. whereas the process of initiation to amend. ROMULO. DAVIDE. which the Committee accepted. Monsod. That was the sense that was conveyed by the Committee. Jr. de los Reyes and Romulo. Madam President. It can. . — AMENDMENTS TO THIS CONSTITUTION MAY LIKEWISE BE DIRECTLY PROPOSED BY THE PEOPLE THROUGH INITIATIVE UPON A PETITION OF AT LEAST TWELVE PERCENT OF THE TOTAL NUMBER Of REGISTERED VOTERS. DAVIDE. I propose to substitute the entire Section 2 with the following: MR. . The modified amendment in substitution of the proposed Section 2 will now read as follows: "SECTION 2. 36 The interpellations which ensued on the proposed modified amendment to Section 2 clearly showed that it was a legislative act which must implement the exercise of the right. the Committee was attempting to distinguish the coverage of modes (a) and (b) in Section 1 to include the process of revision. ROMULO.? MR. DAVIDE. which is given to the public. is it possible for the legislature to set forth certain procedures to carry out the initiative. OF WHICH EVERY LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT MUST BE REPRESENTED BY AT LEAST THREE PERCENT OF THE REGISTERED VOTERS THEREOF. SUAREZ. That is right. In other words. this process of initiative is limited to the matter of amendment and should not expand into a revision which contemplates a total overhaul of the Constitution. We would be amenable except that. DAVIDE. considering that the proposed amendment is reflective of the sense contained in Section 2 of our completed Committee Report No. Those were the terms envisioned in the Committee. Davide. But the Commissioner's amendment does not prevent the legislature from asking another body to set the proposition in proper form. MR. Thus: MR. THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SHALL BY LAW PROVIDE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EXERCISE OF THIS RIGHT. as we clarified a while ago. Rama. Madam President. MS. Thus: MR.

ROMULO." Does it not cover the word "revision" as defined by Commissioner Padilla when he made the distinction between the words "amendments" and "revision"? MR. DAVIDE. Thus: MR. it can only relate to "amendments" not "revision. just to submit the issue of calling a constitutional convention. because "amendments" and "revision" should be covered by Section 1. including the determination of the proper form for submission to the people. Yes. With pleasure. My first question: Commissioner Davide's proposed amendment on line 1 refers to "amendment. MR. 37 Commissioner Davide also reaffirmed that his modified amendment strictly confines initiative to AMENDMENTS to — NOT REVISION of — the Constitution. MR.provided the legislature cannot determine anymore the percentage of the requirement. DAVIDE. In other words. In that provision of the Constitution can the procedures which I have discussed be legislated? MR. reads as follows: "AMENDMENT TO THIS CONSTITUTION MAY LIKEWISE BE DIRECTLY PROPOSED BY THE PEOPLE THROUGH INITIATIVE UPON A PETITION OF AT LEAST TWELVE PERCENT OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF REGISTERED VOTERS. and to call a constitutional convention would require a higher number. No. a majority of the National Assembly is required. may be subject to legislation. 174 . I cannot agree to reducing the requirement approved by the Committee on the Legislative because it would require another voting by the Committee. 39 The Davide modified amendments to Section 2 were subjected to amendments. it does not. when the Commission shall take up the Article on the Legislative or on the National Assembly on plenary sessions. the import being that the process of amendment must be made more rigorous and difficult than probably initiating an ordinary legislation or putting an end to a law proposed by the National Assembly by way of a referendum. Thus: MR."38 Commissioner Davide further emphasized that the process of proposing amendments through initiative must be more rigorous and difficult than the initiative on legislation. DAVIDE. As long as it will not destroy the substantive right to initiate. A distinction has to be made that under this proposal. Perhaps. which the Commission approved by a vote of 31 in favor and 3 against. I might present such a proposal. and the voting as precisely based on a requirement of 10 percent. Madam President. by way of an amendment. So insofar as initiative is concerned. Section 2. and the final version. DAVIDE. as amended. But the procedures. MR. DAVIDE. MAAMBONG. ROMULO. Thank you Madam President. DAVIDE. what is involved is an amendment to the Constitution. Moreover. none of the procedures to be proposed by the legislative body must diminish or impair the right conceded here. reads as follows: MR. MR. To amend a Constitution would ordinarily require a proposal by the National Assembly by a vote of threefourths.

42 However. upon his motion for reconsideration. 21505 into a draft bill. The Act is a consolidation of House Bill No. 6735 was. NO AMENDMENT UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL BE AUTHORIZED WITHIN FIVE YEARS FOLLOWING THE RATIFICATION OF THIS CONSTITUTION NOR OFTENER THAN ONCE EVERY FIVE YEARS THEREAFTER. There is. The former was prepared by the Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms of the House of Representatives on the basis of two House Bills referred to it. THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SHALL BY LAW PROVIDE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EXERCISE OF THIS RIGHT. (a) House Bill No. Has Congress "provided" for the implementation of the exercise of this right? Those who answer the question in the affirmative. 40 The entire proposed Article on Amendments or Revisions was approved on second reading on 9 July 1986. intended to cover initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. 497. was withdrawn. 988. no other better way for Congress to implement the exercise of the right than through the passage of a statute or legislative act. This substitute amendment was an investiture on Congress of a power to provide for the rules implementing the exercise of the right. 47 which dealt with the initiative and referendum mentioned in Sections 1 and 32 of Article VI of the Constitution. No. viz. Commissioner Gascon was allowed to introduce an amendment to Section 2 which. 17. This is the essence or rationale of the last minute amendment by the Constitutional Commission to substitute the last paragraph of Section 2 of Article XVII then reading: The Congress with The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right. 175 .OF WHICH EVERY LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT MUST BE REPRESENTED BY AT LEAST THREE PERCENT OF THE REGISTERED VOTERS THEREOF.A. nevertheless. No. the system of initiative on the Constitution under Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution is not self-executory. which was subsequently approved on 8 June 1989 by the Senate 50 and by the House of Representatives. indeed. 21505 and Senate Bill No." 46 We agree that R. The conclusion then is inevitable that. 6735.A. 51 This approved bill is now R. the Article was again approved on Second and Third Readings on 1 August 1986. No. In view thereof. Senate Bill No. 17 49 solely dealt with initiative and referendum concerning ordinances or resolutions of local government units. The "rules" means "the details on how [the right] is to be carried out. and (b) House Bill No. point to us R. as well as with initiative and referendum under Section 3 of Article X (Local Government) and initiative provided for in Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution. the Committee on Style recommended that the approved Section 2 be amended by changing "percent" to "per centum" and "thereof" to "therein" and deleting the phrase "by law" in the second paragraph so that said paragraph reads: The Congress 43 shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right. 17 and House Bill No. 6735. as its history reveals.A. of course. 44 This amendment was approved and is the text of the present second paragraph of Section 2. The Bicameral Conference Committee consolidated Senate Bill No. 45 shall by law provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right.41 Thereafter.. like the private respondents and intervenor Senator Roco. 48 which dealt with the subject matter of House Bill No. 497.

recognized and guaranteed. the Constitution" through the system of initiative. 17. which exclusively relates to initiative and referendum on national laws and local laws. amended or repealed. the Act does not provide for the contents of a petition forinitiative on the Constitution.4 that it is not one of the exceptions provided therein." "approve or reject" and "in whole or in part. and that Section 5 (Requirements) restates the constitutional requirements as to the percentage of the registered voters who must submit the proposal. The people are not accorded the power to "directly propose. in whole or in part.1 contents or text of the proposed law sought to be enacted. laws. or resolutions passed by any legislative body upon compliance with the requirements of this Act is hereby affirmed.3 the reason or reasons therefor. — The power of the people under a system of initiative and referendum to directly propose.6 an abstract or summary proposition is not more than one hundred (100) words which shall be legibly written or printed at the top of every page of the petition. ordinances. c. the Constitution. and c. enact. in the case of initiative on the Constitution. 6735 a full compliance with the power and duty of Congress to "provide for the implementation of the exercise of the right?" A careful scrutiny of the Act yields a negative answer. c. No. As pointed out earlier. approve. ordinances. c. which solely referred to a statement of policy on local initiative and referendum and appropriately used the phrases "propose and enact. approved or rejected. The said section reads: Sec.But is R. as the case may be. That section is silent as to amendments on the Constitution. statement of the proposed law sought to be enacted. Section 2 of the Act does not suggest an initiative on amendments to the Constitution. and resolutions. 176 . Contrary to the assertion of public respondent COMELEC. The inclusion of the word "Constitution" therein was a delayed afterthought.2 the proposition.A. amended or repealed. It is true that Section 3 (Definition of Terms) of the Act defines initiative on amendments to the Constitution and mentions it as one of the three systems of initiative. or reject. c. That word is neither germane nor relevant to said section. initiative on the Constitution is confined only to proposals to AMEND. It does not include. the provisions of the Constitution sought to be amended. among other things. approved or rejected. First. Statement and Policy. as among the contents of the petition. 2. But unlike in the case of the other systems of initiative. enact. in whole or in part. as the case may be. They can only do so with respect to "laws. Section 5. (Emphasis supplied). (Emphasis supplied). paragraph (c) requires." 52 Second." The foregoing conclusion is further buttressed by the fact that this section was lifted from Section 1 of Senate Bill No.5 signatures of the petitioners or registered voters. or resolutions. Said paragraph (c) reads in full as follows: (c) The petition shall state the following: c. ordinances. approve or reject.

It is "national initiative. 53 A further examination of the Act even reveals that the subtitling is not accurate. Definition of terms — xxx xxx xxx There are three (3) systems of initiative. It is "local initiative" if what is proposed to be adopted or enacted is a law. no subtitle is provided for initiative on the Constitution. cities. thus: 177 . or hierarchy of values. and barangays can pass.1 Initiative on the Constitution which refers to a petition proposing amendments to the Constitution. or a law which only Congress can pass. This classification of initiative into national and local is actually based on Section 3 of the Act. If Congress intended R. provincial. like (1) paragraphs (b) and (c) of Section 9. No. ordinance. Our reading of Subtitle II (National Initiative and Referendum) and Subtitle III (Local Initiative and Referendum) leaves no room for doubt that the classification is not based on the scope of the initiative involved. resolution or ordinance. namely: a.The use of the clause "proposed laws sought to be enacted. considering that in the order of things. to complete the classification under subtitles there should have been a subtitle on initiative on amendments to the Constitution. municipalities. Third. 6735 to fully provide for the implementation of the initiative on amendments to the Constitution. it could have provided for a subtitle therefor. amended or repealed" only strengthens the conclusion that Section 2. excludes initiative on amendments to the Constitution. provinces. quoted earlier. or resolution which only the legislative bodies of the governments of the autonomous regions. 3.2 Initiative on Statutes which refers to a petition proposing to enact a national legislation. (Emphasis supplied). city. Hence. or barangay law.3 Initiative on local legislation which refers to a petition proposing to enact a regional. the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution is far more important than the initiative on national and local laws. but on its nature and character. municipal. 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. While the Act provides subtitles for National Initiative and Referendum (Subtitle II) and for Local Initiative and Referendum (Subtitle III).A. the primacy of interest." if what is proposed to be adopted or enacted is a national law. (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 of the Commission. Provisions not germane to the subtitle on National Initiative and Referendum are placed therein. which reads: (b) The proposition in an initiative on the Constitution approved by the majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite shall become effective as to the day of the plebiscite. (2) that portion of Section 11 (Indirect Initiative) referring to indirect initiative with the legislative bodies of local governments. a. which we quote for emphasis and clearer understanding: Sec. We cannot accept the argument that the initiative on amendments to the Constitution is subsumed under the subtitle on National Initiative and Referendum because it is national in scope. (Emphasis supplied). approved or rejected. and a.

No. the Act provides for the following: (a) The required percentage of registered voters to sign the petition and the contents of the petition. and the invocation of the power of initiative as a consequence thereof. (b) The conduct and date of the initiative. and other legislative bodies. and (3) Section 12 on Appeal. (e) The publication of the approved proposition in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines. which could be petitions for both national and localinitiative and referendum. as defined by law. (c) The submission to the electorate of the proposition and the required number of votes for its approval. it failed. . and (f) The effects of the approval or rejection of the proposition. — Any duly accredited people's organization. Indirect Initiative. to do so on the system of initiative on amendments to the Constitution. . Anent the initiative on national legislation. (e) The period within which to gather the signatures. too. — Nothing in this Act shall prevent or preclude the proper courts from declaring null and void any proposition approved pursuant to this Act for violation of the Constitution or want of capacity of the local legislative body to enact the said measure.Sec. 55 178 . It reads: Sec. since it applies to decisions of the COMELEC on the findings of sufficiency or insufficiency of the petition for initiative or referendum. may file a petition for indirect initiative with the House of Representatives. Authority of Courts. Section 18 on "Authority of Courts" under subtitle III on Local Initiative and Referendum is misplaced. (f) The persons before whom the petition shall be signed. (c) The effect of the legislative body's failure to favorably act thereon. As regards local initiative. 18. Upon the other hand. the Act provides for the following: (a) The preliminary requirement as to the number of signatures of registered voters for the petition. (g) The issuance of a certification by the COMELEC through its official in the local government unit concerned as to whether the required number of signatures have been obtained. while R. . (d) The formulation of the proposition. 54 since the provision therein applies to both national and local initiative and referendum. rather intentionally. Curiously. 6735 exerted utmost diligence and care in providing for the details in the implementation of initiative and referendum on national and local legislation thereby giving them special attention. 11. (b) The submission of the petition to the local legislative body concerned. (d) The certification by the COMELEC of the approval of the proposition.A.

(c) speaks of "plebiscite" as the process by which the proposition in an initiative on the Constitution may be approved or rejected by the people. the word "Constitution" in Section 2. cannot be delegated or as expressed in a Latin maxim: potestas delegata non delegari potest. 58 The rule is that what has been delegated. merely (a) mentions. carried out. or implemented by the delegate. It is valid only if the law (a) is complete in itself. as to initiative on amendments to the Constitution. inadequate. 57 The foregoing brings us to the conclusion that R. No. 60 Empowering the COMELEC. 59 The recognized exceptions to the rule are as follows: (1) Delegation of tariff powers to the President under Section 28(2) of Article VI of the Constitution. to promulgate rules and regulations is a form of delegation of legislative authority under no. 6735 is incomplete. RA. 6735 miserably failed to satisfy both requirements in subordinate legislation.A. and (5) Delegation to administrative bodies. (d) reiterates the constitutional requirements as to the number of voters who should sign the petition. The delegation of the power to the COMELEC is then invalid. It indicates the circumstances under which the legislative command is to be effected. (4) Delegation to local governments. There was. (2) Delegation of emergency powers to the President under Section 23(2) of Article VI of the Constitution. 62 Insofar as initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution is concerned. R. there must be a showing that the delegation itself is valid. or wanting in essential terms and conditions insofar as initiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned. in all of its twenty-three sections. therefore. (j) The date of effectivity of the approved proposition. (k) The limitations on local initiative. R.A. However. in every case of permissible delegation. No. 5 above. and (e) provides for the date of effectivity of the approved proposition. which must be within the period specified therein. marks its limits. 6735. an administrative body exercising quasi-judicial functions. 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. an obvious downgrading of the more important or the paramount system of initiative. maps out its boundaries and specifies the public agency to apply it. 6735 thus delivered a humiliating blow to the system of initiative on amendments to the Constitution by merely paying it a reluctant lip service. 56 Upon the other hand. (3) Delegation to the people at large. (b) defines "initiative on the Constitution" and includes it in the enumeration of the three systems of initiative in Section 3.A. Its lacunae on this substantive matter are fatal and cannot be cured by "empowering" the COMELEC "to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of [the] Act. and (l) The limitations upon local legislative bodies. No. (i) The issuance of a certification of the result. setting forth therein the policy to be executed. No. 61 A sufficient standard is one which defines legislative policy.(h) The setting of a date by the COMELEC for the submission of the proposition to the registered voters for their approval. 179 .

Delfin himself admits that he has not yet gathered signatures and that the purpose of his petition is primarily to obtain assistance in his drive to gather signatures. 2300. sitting en banc. It logically follows that the 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. 2300. INSOFAR AS IT PRESCRIBES RULES AND REGULATIONS ON THE CONDUCT OF INITIATIVE ON AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION. 63 (2) to issue through its Election Records and Statistics Office a certificate on the total number of registered voters in each legislative district. the petition cannot be deemed validly initiated. which should not have been dignified by the Order of 6 December 1996. or that it has validly vested upon the COMELEC the power of subordinate legislation and that COMELEC Resolution No.A. The only participation of the COMELEC or its personnel before the filing of such petition are (1) to prescribe the form of the petition. 6735 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6735. it cannot be entertained or given cognizance of by the COMELEC. The Delfin Petition does not contain signatures of the required number of voters. It does not have that power under R. the COMELEC acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion and merely wasted its time. Nothing before its filing is cognizable by the COMELEC. through its election registrars. No. and not a revision of. for which reason it did not assign to the petition a docket number. Hence. 6735. In so dignifying it. CONCLUSION 180 . the signatures on the basis of the registry list of voters. The respondent Commission must have known that the petition does not fall under any of the actions or proceedings under the COMELEC Rules of Procedure or under Resolution No. the hearing on 12 December 1996. voters' affidavits. The COMELEC acquires jurisdiction over a petition for initiative only after its filing. Even if it be conceded ex gratia that R. the COMELEC acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in entertaining the Delfin Petition. That petition was nothing more than a mere scrap of paper. energy. Without the required signatures. The petition then is the initiatory pleading. a petition for initiative on the Constitution must be signed by at least 12% of the total number of registered voters of which every legislative district is represented by at least 3% of the registered voters therein. No. Reliance on the COMELEC's power under Section 2(1) of Article IX-C of the Constitution is misplaced. the Constitution is rendered unnecessary.A. and resources. 64 (3) to assist. or (b) a law where subordinate legislation is authorized and which satisfies the "completeness" and the "sufficient standard" tests.A. further discussion on the issue of whether the proposal to lift the term limits of elective national and local officials is an amendment to. and voters' identification cards used in the immediately preceding election. meaning. 2300.65 and (4) to verify. in the establishment of signature stations. if not academic. No. the said petition was merely entered as UND. Under Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution and Section 5(b) of R. 66 Since the Delfin Petition is not the initiatory petition under R. IV COMELEC ACTED WITHOUT JURISDICTION OR WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN ENTERTAINING THE DELFIN PETITION. and the order directing Delfin and the oppositors to file their memoranda or oppositions.A.III COMELEC RESOLUTION NO. 2300 is valid. No. IS VOID. undocketed. The foregoing considered. for the laws and regulations referred to therein are those promulgated by the COMELEC under (a) Section 3 of Article IX-C of the Constitution. through its election registrars. 6735 is a full compliance with the power of Congress to implement the right to initiate constitutional amendments.

and d) ORDERING the Commission on Elections to forthwith DISMISS the DELFIN petition (UND-96-037).. that the system of initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution should no longer be kept in the cold. No. Kapunan. concur. Jr. and the COMELEC should be permanently enjoined from entertaining or taking cognizance of any petition for initiative on amendments to the Constitution until a sufficient law shall have been validly enacted to provide for the implementation of the system. Jr. Justice Davide insofar as it orders the COMELEC to dismiss the Delfin petition. Separate Opinions PUNO.This petition must then be granted. Congress should not tarry any longer in complying with the constitutional mandate to provide for the implementation of the right of the people under that system. I regret. With due respect: I 181 . however. 2300 of the Commission on Elections prescribing rules and regulations on the conduct of initiative or amendments to the Constitution. and to have failed to provide sufficient standard for subordinate legislation. Regalado. 6735 inadequate to cover the system of initiative on amendments to the Constitution. No. it should be given flesh and blood. We feel. I cannot share the view that R. Hermosisima. SO ORDERED. took no part. I likewise submit that the petition with respect to the Pedrosas has no leg to stand on and should be dismissed.. b) DECLARING R. JJ. c) DECLARING void those parts of Resolution No. energy and strength. judgment is hereby rendered a) GRANTING the instant petition. Bellosillo. Padilla. 2300 are legally defective and cannot implement the people's initiative to amend the Constitution. C.. The Temporary Restraining Order issued on 18 December 1996 is made permanent as against the Commission on Elections. Resolution on the matter of contempt is hereby reserved. J. but is LIFTED as against private respondents.J.A. Mr.. concurring and dissenting: I join the ground-breaking ponencia of our esteemed colleague. WHEREFORE.A. Narvasa. J. Romero.. and Torres. 5735 and COMELEC Resolution No. however.

through the system of initiative and referendum. 17 was entitled "An Act Providing for a System of Initiative and Referendum and the Exception Therefrom. 21505 is the Committee's response to the duty imposed on Congress to implement the exercise by the people of the right to initiative and referendum. Section 32 of the same Article mandates Congress to pass at the soonest possible time. on the other hand. to institutionalize direct action of the people as exemplified in the 1986 Revolution. 17 did not include people's initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. Constitutional history then saw the shifting and sharing of legislative powers between the Legislature and the Executive departments. 2 Significantly." It ought to be so for this intent is crystal clear from the history of the law which was a consolidation of House Bill No. and to share its legislative powers with the people. the 1981 amendments to the Constitution of 1973 ensured presidential dominance over the Batasang Pambansa. 1. Mr. Roco recalled the beginnings of the system of initiative and referendum under Philippine Law. Our effort to discover the meaning of R. As cited in Vera vs. however. ROCO At the outset. Whereby People in Local Government Units Can Directly Propose and Enact Resolutions and Ordinances or Approve or Reject any Ordinance or Resolution Passed by the Local Legislative Body. the majority decision concedes that ". He cited Section 99 of the Local Government Code which vests in the barangay assembly the power to initiate legislative processes. 4 Senate Bill No. a bill on referendum and initiative. No. Under the 1987 Constitution. 1 Stated otherwise. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. While under the parliamentary system of the 1973 Constitution the principle remained applicable. Congressman (now Senator) Raul Roco emphasized in his sponsorship remarks: 6 xxx xxx xxx SPONSORSHIP REMARKS OF MR. upon petition of at least 12 percent of the total number of registered voters." Beyond doubt. No. Section 2. the presidential system which was introduced by the 1935 Constitution saw the application of the principle of separation of powers. Stating that House Bill No. Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution. No. In checkered contrast. the lawmaking power is still preserved in Congress. Senate Bill No. 6735 sufficiently implements the right of the people to initiate amendments to the Constitution thru initiative. the Constitution recognizes the power of the people. intent is the essence of the law.First. 21505 3 and Senate Bill No. vests in the people the power to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through initiative. Roco provided the following backgrounder on the constitutional basis of the proposed measure. Transcending changes in the exercise of legislative power is the declaration in the Philippine Constitution that the Philippines is a republican state where sovereignty resides in the people and all sovereignty emanates from them. 17. . R. Avelino (1946).A. As cited in Section 1. 3. 21505 5expressly included people's initiative to amend the Constitution. I submit that R. House Bill No. 6735 was intended to cover initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. 2.A. 6735 should start with the search of the intent of our lawmakers. Congress does not have plenary powers since reserve powers are given to the people expressly. the spirit which gives life to its enactment. A knowledge of this intent is critical for the intent of the legislature is the law and the controlling factor in its interpretation. Mr.A. . decide the holding of plebiscite and 182 .

submit a Bill for the consideration of the general electorate. the kind of laws to which initiative and referendum apply is also without limitation. are Alaska. Under Section 4 of the Bill the people can initiate a referendum which is a mode of plebiscite by presenting a petition therefor. Initiative means that the people. 3. Alabama. At this juncture Mr. Mr. the initiative to amend the Constitution once every five years. 183 . 2. Thereupon. 21505. Roco moved that pertinent quotation on the subject which he will later submit to the Secretary of the House be incorporated as part of his sponsorship speech. The instant Bill provides three kinds of initiative. the initiative to amend statutes approved by Congress. the COMELEC shall determine the sufficiency of the petition. He added that the holding of barangay plebiscites and referendum are likewise provided in Sections 100 and 101 of the same Code. and the Bill is patterned after American experience. on their own political judgment. These states. The instant Bill gives a definite procedure and allows the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to define rules and regulations on the power of initiative. he said. This is the reason. Roco explained the process of initiative and referendum as advocated in House Bill No. Montana. Dakota. and the initiative to amend local ordinances. He further explained that the bill has only 12 sections. is a tried and tested system in other jurisdictions. the system of initiative and referendum. Mr. for the sake of brevity. Although an infant in Philippine political structure. He added that the procedure provided by the Bill from the filing of the petition. 4. Oklahoma. which are likewise incorporated in House Bill No. the requirements of a certain percentage of supporters to present a proposition. to the submission to electors are substantially similar to the provisions in American laws. and practically all other states. 21505. Massachusets. Roco explained that in certain American states. except for emergency measures. 5. He then cited examples of initiative and referendum similar to those contained in the instant Bill among which are the constitutions of states in the United States which recognize the right of registered voters to initiate the enactment of any statute or to project any existing law or parts thereof in a referendum. why now is an opportune time to pass the Bill even as he noted the felt necessity of the times to pass laws which are necessary to safeguard individual rights and liberties. he claimed. Within 30 days after receipt of the petition. namely. he said. and set the date of the referendum within 45 to 90-day period. such as the signing of said petition by at least 10 percent of the total of registered voters at which every legislative district is represented by at least three percent of the registered voters thereof. all of which are variations of the power of initiative and referendum.hear reports of the Sangguniang Barangay. and recalled that the Constitutional Commissioners saw the system of the initiative and referendum as an instrument which can be used should the legislature show itself to be indifferent to the needs of the people. He stated that: 1. publish the same. but under certain limitations. Referendum means that the legislators seek the consent of the people on measures that they have approved. Oregon.

Mr. that the form of democracy is there. Now. viz: 7 xxx xxx xxx SPONSORSHIP REMARKS OF MR. at least this has been quite popular. because this is new in our political system. and produce more responsive legislation. The same sentiment as to the bill's intent to implement people's initiative to amend the Constitution was stressed by then Congressman (now Secretary of Agriculture) Salvador Escudero III in his sponsorship remarks. Escudero pointed out that the Constitution has provided a means whereby the people can exercise the reserved power of initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. 21505 will show that the Members can set aside their personal and political consideration for the greater good of the people. 1989. and requested that Sections 1 and 32. he continued. 21505 were threshed out in a Bicameral Conference Committee. Roco stressed that the Members cannot ignore the people's call for initiative and referendum and urged the Body to approve House Bill No. The disagreeing provisions in Senate Bill No. he said. Mr. ESCUDERO Mr. Article VI. 9 the members agreed that the two (2) bills should be consolidated and that the consolidated version should include people's initiative to amend the Constitution as contemplated by House Bill No. it shall become effective 15 days following the completion of its publication in the Official Gazette. . Mr. he added. While the enactment of the Bill will give way to strong competition among cause-oriented and sectoral groups. A substantial segment of the population feels. Escudero first pointed out that the people have been clamoring for a truly popular democracy ever since. aid the government in forming an enlightened public opinion. . In concluding his sponsorship remarks. Escudero also stressed that an implementing law is needed for the aforecited Constitutional provisions. the Senate decided on a more cautious approach and limiting it only to the local government units because even with that stage where . When the matter under referendum or initiative is approved by the required number of votes. 21505. Article X. ano? It has been attempted on a national basis. Alright.6. 184 . Mr. 21505. Article XVII of the Constitution be made part of his sponsorship remarks. But at any rate. so. Escudero stated that he and Mr. Roco hoped for the early approval of the Bill so that it can be initially used for the Agrarian Reform Law. The transcript of the meeting states: xxx xxx xxx CHAIRMAN GONZALES. Roco also requested that the prepared text of his speech together with the footnotes be reproduced as part of the Congressional Records. There has not been a single attempt. especially in the so-called parliament of the streets. as I have said. Section 3. Whereupon. but not the reality or substance of it because of the increasingly elitist approach of their representatives to the country's problem. He said that the passage of House Bill No. 8 In the meeting of the Committee on June 6. The passage of the Bill will also give street parliamentarians the opportunity to articulate their ideas in a democratic forum. Mr. it will hasten the politization of the citizenry. 17 and House Bill No. At this juncture. and Section 2.

CHAIRMAN GONZALES. And. Speaker. alright. What is the pleasure of the Minority Floor Leader? 185 . there ought to be any reason for initiative. MR. Consolidation of the Senate and House Bill No. because of that. number 3. so we concentrated on that. On the Conference Committee Report on the disagreeing provisions between Senate Bill No. and magiging basic nito. If after all. The Senators ironically provided for local initiative and referendum and the House Representatives correctly provided for initiative and referendum on the Constitution and on national legislation. again confirmed that it covered people's initiative to amend the Constitution. Sa amin. then Congressman Roco upon interpellation by Congressman Rodolfo Albano. national laws. The record of the House Representative states: 11 xxx xxx xxx THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE. 21505 which refers to the system providing for the initiative and referendum. And that is why . ano. amendment to the Constitution eh . we consolidated the Senate and the House versions. although we feel na it will in effect become a dead statute. my God. so both versions are totally intact in the bill. we can agree. And. Logically it should be ours sapagkat una iyong sa amin eh. fundamentally. . ALBANO. whether it is the Senate Bill or whether it is the House bill. Mr. we shall consolidate. so and so. na the people. let us not discuss anymore kung alin and magiging basic bill. Speaker. So ang mangyayari dito. ROCO. Huwag na nating pagusapan. 10 When the consolidated bill was presented to the House for approval. . The Gentleman from Camarines Sur is recognized. thru initiative. we consider also that it is only fair that the local legislative body should be given a chance to adopt the legislation bill proposed. Yes. we feel that there should be some limitation on the frequency with which it should be applied. so ang sa inyo naman includes iyon sa Constitution. Ha. makikita mo.kami limitado doon. It is one of the first bills approved by the Senate kaya ang number niyan. And Number 5. ____ gagawin na natin na consolidation of both bills. okay. . mag-aassume sila ng power that is broader and greater than the grant of legislative power to the Sanggunians. Now. ROCO. otherwise. then a proposition which has been the result of a successful initiative can only carry the force and effect of an ordinance and therefore that should not deprive the court of its jurisdiction to declare it null and void for want of authority. 17. Number 4. Iyon ang main essence namin. . MR. THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE. Mr. I move that we approve the consolidated bill. if you insist. if you insist on that. really iyong features ng national at saka constitutional. Alright. ano for initiative. di ba? I mean it is beyond powers of local government units to enact. HON. eh. and we can agree. second. the local legislative assembly or body is willing to adopt it in full or in toto. cannot enact any ordinance that is beyond the scope of authority of the local legislative body. right? Iyong sinasabing indirect system of initiative.

ALBANO. ironically was about local. the Senate version provide purely for local initiative and referendum. The gaps in our bill were filled by the Senate which. Will the distinguished sponsor answer just a few questions? THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE. it is every five years. 21505 (The Initiative and Referendum Act) 186 . ROCO. we cannot have multiple initiatives and referenda.B. MR.C. That is correct. there was no substantial difference between the two versions? MR. ALBANO. Therefore. NO. ROCO. The Gentlemen will please proceed. In fact. ROCO. ALBANO. Thank you. provincial and municipal legislation. MR. basically. we provided purely for national and constitutional legislation. ALBANO. Mr. Yes. as I said earlier. Speaker. That is correct. Speaker. 17 AND H. Down to barangay. MR. For constitutional amendments in the 1987 Constitution. MR. ALBANO. whereas the House version has none. MR. MR. ROCO. so that we shall have a system which can be done every five years. MR. ROCO. For every five years. NO. ALBANO. I heard the sponsor say that the only difference in the two bills was that in the Senate version there was a provision for local initiative and referendum. MR. And provincial as well as municipal resolutions? MR.MR. Speaker. MR. And this initiative and referendum is in consonance with the provision of the Constitution whereby it mandates this Congress to enact the enabling law. Mr. ON S. ROCO. And the two bills were consolidated? MR. whereas in the House version.R. Speaker? MR. ROCO. that the two provisions were incorporated? MR. ROCO. APPROVAL OF C. Within five years. Mr.B. Is it our understanding therefore. ALBANO. Speaker. ALBANO. MR. ALBANO. So that we will now have a complete initiative and referendum both in the constitutional amendment and national legislation. ALBANO. Is it five years in the provision of the Constitution? MR. MR. Mr. Yes. Mr. Speaker. Mr.

THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE. There was a motion to approve this consolidated bill on Senate Bill No. 17 and House Bill No. 21505. Is there any objection? (Silence. The Chair hears none; the motion is approved. Since it is crystalline that the intent of R.A. No. 6735 is to implement the people's initiative to amend the Constitution, it is our bounden duty to interpret the law as it was intended by the legislature. We have ruled that once intent is ascertained, it must be enforced even if it may not be consistent with the strict letter of the law and this ruling is as old as the mountain. We have also held that where a law is susceptible of more than one interpretation, that interpretation which will most tend to effectuate the manifest intent of the legislature will be adopted. 12 The text of R.A. No. 6735 should therefore be reasonably construed to effectuate its intent to implement the people's initiative to amend the Constitution. To be sure, we need not torture the text of said law to reach the conclusion that it implements people's initiative to amend the Constitution. R.A. No. 6735 is replete with references to this prerogative of the people. First, the policy statement declares: Sec. 2. Statement of Policy. — The power of the people under a system of initiative and referendum to directly propose, enact, approve or reject, in whole or in part, the Constitution, laws, ordinances, or resolutions passed by any legislative body upon compliance with the requirements of this Act is hereby affirmed, recognized and guaranteed. (emphasis supplied) Second, the law defines "initiative" as "the power of the people to propose amendments to the constitution or to propose and enact legislations through an election called for the purpose," and "plebiscite" as "the electoral process by which an initiative on the Constitution is approved or rejected by the people. Third, the law provides the requirements for a petition for initiative to amend the Constitution. Section 5(b) states that "(a) petition for an initiative on the 1987 Constitution must have at least twelve per centum (12%) of the total number of registered voters as signatories, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least threeper centum (3%) of the registered voters therein." It also states that "(i)nitiative on the Constitution may be exercised only after five (5) years from the ratification of the 1987 Constitution and only once every five (5) years thereafter. Finally, R.A. No. 6735 fixes the effectivity date of the amendment. Section 9(b) states that "(t)he proposition in an initiative on the Constitution approved by a majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite shall become effective as to the day of the plebiscite. It is unfortunate that the majority decision resorts to a strained interpretation of R.A. No. 6735 to defeat its intent which it itself concedes is to implement people's initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. Thus, it laments that the word "Constitution" is neither germane nor relevant to the policy thrust of section 2 and that the statute's subtitling is not accurate. These lapses are to be expected for laws are not always written in impeccable English. Rightly, the Constitution does not require our legislators to be word-smiths with the ability to write bills with poetic commas like Jose Garcia Villa or in lyrical prose like Winston Churchill. But it has always been our good policy not to refuse to effectuate the intent of a law on the ground that it is badly written. As the distinguished Vicente Francisco 13 reminds us: "Many laws contain words which have not been used accurately. But the use of inapt or inaccurate language or words, will not vitiate the statute if the legislative intention can be ascertained. The same is equally true with reference to awkward, slovenly, or ungrammatical expressions, that is, such expressions and words will be construed as carrying the meaning the legislature intended that they bear, although such a construction necessitates a departure from the literal meaning of the words used.

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In the same vein, the argument that R.A. No. 7535 does not include people's initiative to amend the Constitution simply because it lacks a sub-title on the subject should be given the weight of helium. Again, the hoary rule in statutory construction is that headings prefixed to titles, chapters and sections of a statute may be consulted in aid of interpretation, but inferences drawn therefrom are entitled to very little weight, and they can never control the plain terms of the enacting clauses. 14 All said, it is difficult to agree with the majority decision that refuses to enforce the manifest intent or spirit of R.A. No. 6735 to implement the people's initiative to amend the Constitution. It blatantly disregards the rule cast in concrete that the letter of the law must yield to its spirit for the letter of the law is its body but its spirit is its soul. 15 II COMELEC Resolution No. 2300, 16 promulgated under the stewardship of Commissioner Haydee Yorac, then its Acting Chairman, spelled out the procedure on how to exercise the people's initiative to amend the Constitution. This is in accord with the delegated power granted by section 20 of R.A. No. 6735 to the COMELEC which expressly states: "The Commission is hereby empowered to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act." By no means can this delegation of power be assailed as infirmed. In the benchmark case of Pelaez v. Auditor General, 17 this Court, thru former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion laid down the test to determine whether there is undue delegation of legislative power, viz: xxx xxx xxx Although Congress may delegate to another branch of the Government the power to fill details in the execution, enforcement or administration of a law, it is essential, to forestall a violation of the principle of separation of powers, that said law: (a) be complete in itself — it must set forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out or implemented by the delegate — and (b) to fix standard — the limits of which are sufficiently determinate or determinable — to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions. Indeed, without a statutory declaration of policy, which is the essence of every law, and, without the aforementioned standard, there would be no means to determine, with reasonable certainty, whether the delegate has acted within or beyond the scope of his authority. Hence, he could thereby arrogate upon himself the power, not only to make the law, but, also — and this is worse — to unmake it, by adopting measures inconsistent with the end sought to be attained by the Act of Congress, thus nullifying the principle of separation of powers and the system of checks and balances, and, consequently, undermining the very foundation of our republican system. Section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code does not meet these well-settled requirements for a valid delegation of the power to fix the details in the enforcement of a law. It does not enunciate any policy to be carried out or implemented by the President. Neither does it give a standard sufficiently precise to avoid the evil effects above referred to. R.A. No. 6735 sufficiently states the policy and the standards to guide the COMELEC in promulgating the law's implementing rules and regulations of the law. As aforestated, section 2 spells out the policy of the law; viz: "The power of the people under a system of initiative and referendum to directly propose, enact, approve or reject, in whole or in part, the Constitution, laws, ordinances, or resolutions passed by any legislative body upon compliance with the requirements of this Act is hereby affirmed, recognized and guaranteed." Spread out all over R.A. No. 6735 are the standards to canalize the delegated power to the COMELEC to promulgate rules and regulations from overflowing. Thus, the law states the number of signatures necessary to start a people's initiative, 18 directs how initiative proceeding is commenced, 19 what the COMELEC should do upon filing of the petition for initiative, 20 how a proposition

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is approved, 21 when a plebiscite may be held, 22 when the amendment takes effect 23 and what matters may not be the subject of any initiative. 24 By any measure, these standards are adequate. Former Justice Isagani A. Cruz, similarly elucidated that "a sufficient standard is intended to map out the boundaries of the delegates' authority by defining the legislative policy and indicating the circumstances under which it is to be pursued and effected. The purpose of the sufficient standard is to prevent a total transference of legislative power from the lawmaking body to the delegate." 25 In enacting R.A. No. 6735, it cannot be said that Congress totally transferred its power to enact the law implementing people's initiative to COMELEC. A close look at COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 will show that it merely provided the procedure to effectuate the policy of R.A. No. 6735 giving life to the people's initiative to amend the Constitution. The debates 26 in the Constitutional Commission make it clear that the rules of procedure to enforce the people's initiative can be delegated, thus: MR. ROMULO. Under Commissioner Davide's amendment, it is possible for the legislature to set forth certain procedures to carry out the initiative. . . ? MR. DAVIDE. It can. xxx xxx xxx MR. ROMULO. But the Commissioner's amendment does not prevent the legislature from asking another body to set the proposition in proper form. MR. DAVIDE. The Commissioner is correct. In other words, the implementation of this particular right would be subject to legislation, provided the legislature cannot determine anymore the percentage of the requirement. MR. DAVIDE. As long as it will not destroy the substantive right to initiate. In other words, none of the procedures to be proposed by the legislative body must diminish or impair the right conceded here. MR. ROMULO. In that provision of the Constitution can the procedures which I have discussed be legislated? MR. DAVIDE. Yes. In his book, The Intent of the 1986 Constitution Writers, 27 Father Bernas likewise affirmed: "In response to questions of Commissioner Romulo, Davide explained the extent of the power of the legislature over the process: it could for instance, prescribe the 'proper form before (the amendment) is submitted to the people,' it could authorize another body to check the proper form. It could also authorize the COMELEC, for instance, to check the authenticity of the signatures of petitioners. Davide concluded: 'As long as it will not destroy the substantive right to initiate. In other words, none of the procedures to be proposed by the legislative body must diminish or impair the right conceded here.'" Quite clearly, the prohibition against the legislature is to impair the substantive right of the people to initiate amendments to the Constitution. It is not, however, prohibited from legislating the procedure to enforce the people's right of initiative or to delegate it to another body like the COMELEC with proper standard. A survey of our case law will show that this Court has prudentially refrained from invalidating administrative rules on the ground of lack of adequate legislative standard to guide their promulgation. As aptly perceived by former Justice Cruz, "even if the law itself does not expressly pinpoint the standard, the courts will bend backward to locate the same elsewhere in order to spare the statute, if it can, from constitutional infirmity." 28 He cited the ruling in Hirabayashi v. United States, 29 viz:

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xxx xxx xxx It is true that the Act does not in terms establish a particular standard to which orders of the military commander are to conform, or require findings to be made as a prerequisite to any order. But the Executive Order, the Proclamations and the statute are not to be read in isolation from each other. They were parts of a single program and must be judged as such. The Act of March 21, 1942, was an adoption by Congress of the Executive Order and of the Proclamations. The Proclamations themselves followed a standard authorized by the Executive Order — the necessity of protecting military resources in the designated areas against espionage and sabotage. In the case at bar, the policy and the standards are bright-lined in R.A. No. 6735. A 20-20 look at the law cannot miss them. They were not written by our legislators in invisible ink. The policy and standards can also be found in no less than section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution on Amendments or Revisions. There is thus no reason to hold that the standards provided for in R.A. No. 6735 are insufficient for in other cases we have upheld as adequate more general standards such as "simplicity and dignity," 30 "public interest," 31"public welfare," 32 "interest of law and order," 33 "justice and equity," 34 "adequate and efficient instruction,"35 "public safety," 36 "public policy", 37 "greater national interest", 38 "protect the local consumer by stabilizing and subsidizing domestic pump rates", 39 and "promote simplicity, economy and efficiency in government." 40 A due regard and respect to the legislature, a co-equal and coordinate branch of government, should counsel this Court to refrain from refusing to effectuate laws unless they are clearly unconstitutional. III It is also respectfully submitted that the petition should he dismissed with respect to the Pedrosas. The inclusion of the Pedrosas in the petition is utterly baseless. The records show that the case at bar started when respondent Delfin alone and by himself filed with the COMELEC a Petition to Amend the Constitution to Lift Term Limits of Elective Officials by People's Initiative. The Pedrosas did not join the petition. It was Senator Roco who moved to intervene and was allowed to do so by the COMELEC. The petition was heard and before the COMELEC could resolve the Delfin petition, the case at bar was filed by the petitioners with this Court. Petitioners sued the COMELEC. Jesus Delfin, Alberto Pedrosa and Carmen Pedrosa in their capacities as founding members of the People's Initiative for Reform, Modernization and Action (PIRMA). The suit is an original action for prohibition with prayer for temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. The petition on its face states no cause of action against the Pedrosas. The only allegation against the Pedrosas is that they are founding members of the PIRMA which proposes to undertake the signature drive for people's initiative to amend the Constitution. Strangely, the PIRMA itself as an organization was not impleaded as a respondent. Petitioners then prayed that we order the Pedrosas ". . . to desist from conducting a signature drive for a people's initiative to amend the Constitution." On December 19, 1996, we temporarily enjoined the Pedrosas ". . . from conducting a signature drive for people's initiative to amend the Constitution." It is not enough for the majority to lift the temporary restraining order against the Pedrosas. It should dismiss the petition and all motions for contempt against them without equivocation. One need not draw a picture to impart the proposition that in soliciting signatures to start a people's initiative to amend the Constitution the Pedrosas are not engaged in any criminal act. Their solicitation of signatures is a right guaranteed in black and white by section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution which provides that ". . . amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative. . ." This right springs from the principle proclaimed in section 1, Article II of the Constitution that in a democratic and republican state "sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them." The Pedrosas are part of the people and their voice is part of the voice of the people. They may constitute but a particle of our sovereignty but no power can trivialize them for sovereignty is indivisible.

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But this is not all. Section 16 of Article XIII of the Constitution provides: "The right of the people and their organizations to effective and reasonable participation at all levels of social, political and economic decision-making shall not be abridged. The State shall by law, facilitate the establishment of adequate consultation mechanisms." This is another novel provision of the 1987 Constitution strengthening the sinews of the sovereignty of our people. In soliciting signatures to amend the Constitution, the Pedrosas are participating in the political decision-making process of our people. The Constitution says their right cannot be abridged without any ifs and buts. We cannot put a question mark on their right. Over and above these new provisions, the Pedrosas' campaign to amend the Constitution is an exercise of their freedom of speech and expression and their right to petition the government for redress of grievances. We have memorialized this universal right in all our fundamental laws from the Malolos Constitution to the 1987 Constitution. We have iterated and reiterated in our rulings that freedom of speech is a preferred right, the matrix of other important rights of our people. Undeniably, freedom of speech enervates the essence of the democratic creed of think and let think. For this reason, the Constitution encourages speech even if it protects the speechless. It is thus evident that the right of the Pedrosas to solicit signatures to start a people's initiative to amend the Constitution does not depend on any law, much less on R.A. 6735 or COMELEC Resolution No. 2300. No law, no Constitution can chain the people to an undesirable status quo. To be sure, there are no irrepealable laws just as there are no irrepealable Constitutions. Change is the predicate of progress and we should not fear change. Mankind has long recognized the truism that the only constant in life is change and so should the majority. IV In a stream of cases, this Court has rhapsodized people power as expanded in the 1987 Constitution. On October 5, 1993, we observed that people's might is no longer a myth but an article of faith in our Constitution. 41 On September 30, 1994, we postulated that people power can be trusted to check excesses of government and that any effort to trivialize the effectiveness of people's initiatives ought to be rejected. 42 On September 26, 1996, we pledged that ". . . this Court as a matter of policy and doctrine will exert every effort to nurture, protect and promote their legitimate exercise." 43 Just a few days ago, or on March 11, 1997, by a unanimous decision, 44 we allowed a recall election in Caloocan City involving the mayor and ordered that he submits his right to continue in office to the judgment of the tribunal of the people. Thus far, we have succeeded in transforming people power from an opaque abstraction to a robust reality. The Constitution calls us to encourage people empowerment to blossom in full. The Court cannot halt any and all signature campaigns to amend the Constitution without setting back the flowering of people empowerment. More important, the Court cannot seal the lips of people who are pro-change but not those who are anti-change without concerting the debate on charter change into a sterile talkaton. Democracy is enlivened by a dialogue and not by a monologue for in a democracy nobody can claim any infallibility. Melo and Mendoza, JJ., concur.

VITUG, J., concurring and dissenting: The COMELEC should have dismissed, outrightly, the Delfin Petition. It does seem to me that there is no real exigency on the part of the Court to engross, let alone to commit, itself on all the issues raised and debated upon by the parties. What is essential at this time would only be to resolve whether or not the petition filed with the COMELEC, signed by Atty. Jesus S. Delfin in his capacity as a "founding member of the Movement for People's Initiative" and seeking through a people initiative certain modifications on the 1987 Constitution, can properly be regarded and given its due

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course. The Constitution, relative to any proposed amendment under this method, is explicit. Section 2, Article XVII, thereof provides: Sec. 2. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve 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 therein. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter. The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right. The Delfin petition is thus utterly deficient. Instead of complying with the constitutional imperatives, the petition would rather have much of its burden passed on, in effect, to the COMELEC. The petition would require COMELEC to schedule "signature gathering all over the country," to cause the necessary publication of the petition "in newspapers of general and local circulation," and to instruct "Municipal Election Registrars in all Regions of the Philippines to assist petitioners and volunteers in establishing signing stations at the time and on the dates designated for the purpose. I submit, even then, that the TRO earlier issued by the Court which, consequentially, is made permanent under theponencia should be held to cover only the Delfin petition and must not be so understood as having intended or contemplated to embrace the signature drive of the Pedrosas. The grant of such a right is clearly implicit in the constitutional mandate on people initiative. The distinct greatness of a democratic society is that those who reign are the governed themselves. The postulate is no longer lightly taken as just a perceived myth but a veritable reality. The past has taught us that the vitality of government lies not so much in the strength of those who lead as in the consent of those who are led. The role of free speech is pivotal but it can only have its true meaning if it comes with the correlative end of being heard. Pending a petition for a people's initiative that is sufficient in form and substance, it behooves the Court, I most respectfully submit, to yet refrain from resolving the question of whether or not Republic Act No. 6735 has effectively and sufficiently implemented the Constitutional provision on right of the people to directly propose constitutional amendments. Any opinion or view formulated by the Court at this point would at best be only a non-binding, albeit possibly persuasive, obiter dictum. I vote for granting the instant petition before the Court and for clarifying that the TRO earlier issued by the Court did not prescribe the exercise by the Pedrosas of their right to campaign for constitutional amendments.

FRANCISCO, J., dissenting and concurring: There is no question that my esteemed colleague Mr. Justice Davide has prepared a scholarly and wellwritten ponencia. Nonetheless, I cannot fully subscribe to his view that R. A. No. 6735 is inadequate to cover the system of initiative on amendments to the Constitution. To begin with, sovereignty under the constitution, resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. 1 Unlike our previous constitutions, the present 1987 Constitution has given more significance to this declaration of principle for the people are now vested with power not only to propose, enact or reject any act or law passed by Congress or by the local legislative body, but to propose amendments to the constitution as well. 2To implement these constitutional edicts, Congress in 1989 enacted Republic Act No. 6735, otherwise known as "The initiative and Referendum Act". This law, to my mind, amply covers an initiative on the constitution. The contrary view maintained by petitioners is based

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principally on the alleged lack of sub-title in the law on initiative to amend the constitution and on their allegation that: Republic Act No. 6735 provides for the effectivity of the law after publication in print media. [And] [t]his indicates that Republic Act No. 6735 covers only laws and not constitutional amendments, because constitutional amendments take effect upon ratification not after publication. 3 which allegation manifests petitioners' selective interpretation of the law, for under Section 9 of Republic Act No. 6735 on the Effectivity of Initiative or Referendum Proposition paragraph (b) thereof is clear in providing that: The proposition in an initiative on the constitution approved by a majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite shall become effective as to the day of the plebiscite. It is a rule that every part of the statute must be interpreted with reference the context, i.e., that every part of the statute must be construed together with the other parts and kept subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment. 4 Thus, the provisions of Republic Act No. 6735 may not be interpreted in isolation. The legislative intent behind every law is to be extracted from the statute as a whole. 5 In its definition of terms, Republic Act No. 6735 defines initiative as "the power of the people to propose amendments to the constitution or to propose and enact legislations through an election called for the purpose". 6The same section, in enumerating the three systems of initiative, included an "initiative on the constitution which refers to a petition proposing amendments to the constitution" 7 Paragraph (e) again of Section 3 defines "plebiscite" as "the electoral process by which an initiative on the constitution is approved or rejected by the people" And as to the material requirements for an initiative on the Constitution, Section 5(b) distinctly enumerates the following: A petition for an initiative on the 1987 Constitution must have at least twelve per centum (12%) of the total number of the registered voters as signatories, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum (3%) of the registered voters therein. Initiative on the constitution may be exercised only after five (5) years from the ratification of the 1987 Constitution and only once every five years thereafter. These provisions were inserted, on purpose, by Congress the intent being to provide for the implementation of the right to propose an amendment to the Constitution by way of initiative. "A legal provision", the Court has previously said, "must not be construed as to be a useless surplusage, and accordingly, meaningless, in the sense of adding nothing to the law or having no effect whatsoever thereon". 8 That this is the legislative intent is further shown by the deliberations in Congress, thus: . . . More significantly, in the course of the consideration of the Conference Committee Report on the disagreeing provisions of Senate Bill No. 17 and House Bill No. 21505, it was noted: MR. ROCO. On the Conference Committee Report on the disagreeing provisions between Senate Bill No. 17 and the consolidated House Bill No. 21505 which refers to the system providing for the initiative and referendum, fundamentally, Mr. Speaker, we consolidated the Senate and the House versions, so both versions are totally intact in the bill. The Senators ironically provided for local initiative and referendum and the House of Representatives correctly provided for initiative and referendum an the Constitution and on national legislation. I move that we approve the consolidated bill.

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MR. ALBANO, Mr. Speaker. THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE. What is the pleasure of the Minority Floor Leader? MR. ALBANO. Will the distinguished sponsor answer just a few questions? THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE. What does the sponsor say? MR. ROCO. Willingly, Mr. Speaker. THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE. The Gentleman will please proceed. MR. ALBANO. I heard the sponsor say that the only difference in the two bills was that in the Senate version there was a provision for local initiative and referendum, whereas the House version has none. MR. ROCO. In fact, the Senate version provided purely for local initiative and referendum, whereas in the House version, we provided purely for national and constitutional legislation. MR. ALBANO. Is it our understanding, therefore, that the two provisions were incorporated? MR. ROCO. Yes, Mr. Speaker. MR. ALBANO. So that we will now have a complete initiative and referendum both in the constitutional amendment and national legislation. MR. ROCO. That is correct. MR. ALBANO. And provincial as well as municipal resolutions? MR. ROCO. Down to barangay, Mr. Speaker. MR. ALBANO. And this initiative and referendum is in consonance with the provision of the Constitution to enact the enabling law, so that we shall have a system which can be done every five years. Is it five years in the provision of the Constitution? MR. ROCO. That is correct, Mr. Speaker. For constitutional amendments to the 1987 Constitution, it is every five years." (Id. [Journal and Record of the House of Representatives], Vol. VIII, 8 June 1989, p. 960; quoted in Garcia v. Comelec, 237 SCRA 279, 292-293 [1994]; emphasis supplied) . . . The Senate version of the Bill may not have comprehended initiatives on the Constitution. When consolidated, though, with the House version of the Bill and as approved and enacted into law, the proposal included initiative on both the Constitution and ordinary laws. 9 Clearly then, Republic Act No. 6735 covers an initiative on the constitution. Any other construction as what petitioners foist upon the Court constitute a betrayal of the intent and spirit behind the enactment.

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" there is no implementing law for the purpose.A. not even by all the voters of the country acting together. 12% of all the registered voters in the Philippines with at least 3% in every legislative district — no public funds may be spent and no government resources may be used in an initiative to amend the Constitution. Under the above restrictive holdings espoused by the Court's majority.. In the absence. the Constitution cannot be amended at all through a people's initiative. 6735 is an "inadequate" legislation to cover a people's initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. No. 6735. or wanting in essential terms and conditions insofar as initiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned. therefore." (3) Comelec Resolution No. abrogate and render inutile the people's right to change the basic law. Thus: A petition for an initiative on the 1987 Constitution must have at least twelve per centum (12%) of the total number of registered voters as signatories. Mr. the majority 195 . JJ. C and B-1]) indicative of its having already assumed jurisdiction over private respondents' petition. writing for the majority. Initiative on the Constitution may be exercised only after five (5) years from the ratification of the 1987 Constitution and only once every five (5) years thereafter. 1996 [Annexes B. This defect notwithstanding. and 12. is a jurisdictional requirement. it is without prejudice to the refiling of their petition once compliance with the required percentage is satisfactorily shown by private respondents. the Comelec cannot even entertain any petition absent such signatures. Justice Hilario G. concurring and dissenting: Our distinguished colleague.A. inadequate. RA 6735 is "incomplete. Until and unless an initiatory petition can show the required number of signatures — in this case. This decision will effectively but unnecessarily curtail. of private respondents' petition for initiative before public respondent Commission on Elections until the same be supported by proof of strict compliance with Section 5 (b) of R. I take exception to the conclusion reached in the ponencia that R. Not by Delfin. ACCORDINGLY. of an appropriate petition before the Commission on Elections.A. of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum (3%) of the registered voters therein. At the very least. holds that: (1) The Comelec acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in entertaining the "initiatory" Delfin Petition. in the meantime. However. This is so because from the tenor of Section 5 (b) of R. Melo and Mendoza. No. not by anyone. No. however.. 6735 it would appear that proof of procurement of the required percentage of registered voters at the time the petition for initiative is filed. is void. Davide Jr. I dissent most respectfully from the majority's two other rulings. 9. (2) While the Constitution allows amendments to "be directly proposed by the people through initiative. 2330. any determination of whether private respondents' proposal constitutes an amendment or revision is premature. PANGANIBAN. Let me explain. nullify. cannot take any action (such as those contained in the Commission's orders dated December 6.At any rate. I agree with the ponencia that the Commission on Elections. Verily. register my concurrence with the dismissal. I. Here private respondents' petition is unaccompanied by the required signatures. at present. not by Pirma. concur. "insofar as it prescribes rules and regulations on the conduct of initiative on amendments to the Constitution." I concur with the first item above. J..

the Constitution (particularly Art. the Roco law on initiative. Rama and Magdara B. Indeed. With all due respect. it bears stressing. Andres R. Africa. and thus we cannot ascribe any vile motive unto them. There is no basis for such differentiation. 1 I completely agree with the inspired and inspiring opinions of Mr. is guaranteed by Section 2. Justice Ricardo J. other than an honest. Puno and Mr. of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein.. the Comelec issued its Resolution 2300 on 16 January 1991. are (to be) liberally construed to effectuate their purposes. I respectfully submit.holds the right hostage to congressional discretion on whether to pass a new law to implement it. Flores. Comms. it is void in reference to constitutional amendments. RA 6735 and Comelec Resolution 2300 Are Sufficient to Implement Constitutional Initiatives While RA 6735 may not be a perfect law. . it was — as the majority openly concedes — intended by the legislature to cover and. Such Resolution. Francisco that RA 6735. sufficiently implements the right of the people to initiate amendments to the Constitution. Dario C. there is a right way to do the right thing at the right time and for the right reason. when there is already one existing at present. and to killing the patient to relieve him of pain. RA 6735 wisely empowered 4 the Commission on Election "to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act. and in Garcia vs. 2). Comelec. Commission on Elections. 2. 3 that any "effort to trivialize the effectiveness of people's initiatives ought to be rejected. In recognition of this. . It is equivalent to burning the whole house to exterminate the rats. Taken Together and Interpreted Properly. are thoroughly consistent with this Court's unanimous en banc rulings in Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority vs. This right to amend through initiative. to facilitate and not hamper the exercise by the voters of the rights granted thereby". Dimaampao. Abueg Jr." not by the incumbent Commission on Elections but by one then composed of Acting Chairperson Haydee B. the Constitution. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter. RA 6735. 2 that "provisions for initiative . Petitioner Delfin and the Pedrosa Spouses Should Not Be Muzzled 196 . I respectfully submit that taken together and interpreted properly and liberally." No law can completely and absolutely cover all administrative details. by its very words. I find the majority's position all too sweeping and all too extremist. Such views. What Citizen Delfin wants the Comelec to do we should reject. But we should not thereby preempt any future effort to exercise the right of initiative correctly and judiciously. was promulgated "to govern the conduct of initiative on the Constitution and initiative and referendum on national and local laws. Article XVII of the Constitution. which I shall no longer repeat nor elaborate on. it contains enough provisions to effectuate an initiative on the Constitution. The source of and authority for the Resolution is the same law. Leopoldo L. XVII. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters." And pursuant thereto. Alfredo E. as follows: Sec. R4 6735 and Comelec Resolution 2300 provide more than sufficient authority to implement. Justice Reynato S. sincere and exemplary effort to give life to a cherished right of our people. The majority argues that while Resolution 2300 is valid in regard to national laws and local legislations. The fact that the Delfin Petition proposes a misuse of initiative does not justify a ban against its proper use. All of these Commissioners who signed Resolution 2300 have retired from the Commission. Yorac. Sec. effectuate and realize our people's power to amend the Constitution.

6735 should start with the search of the intent of our lawmakers. concurring and dissenting: I join the ground-breaking ponencia of our esteemed colleague. 17. Melo and Mendoza. I cannot share the view that R. No. In fact. I believe that such restraining order as against private respondents should not have been issued. The right to propose amendments to the Constitution is really a species of the right of free speech and free assembly. 5735 and COMELEC Resolution No. While I agree that the Comelec should be stopped from using public funds and government resources to help them gather signatures. 6735 was intended to cover initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. they are hallowed expressions of popular sovereignty. I vote to GRANT the petition of Sen. Initiative. it would be tyrannical and despotic to stop anyone from speaking freely and persuading others to conform to his/her beliefs. JJ. Separate Opinions PUNO." It ought to be so for this intent is crystal clear from the history of the law which was a consolidation of House Bill No. 2 Significantly. freedom is not really for the thought we agree with. Our effort to discover the meaning of R.A. opportunism.. but as Justice Holmes wrote. the majority decision concedes that ". on the other. their misuse and abuse must be resolutely struck down. No. J. Like elections and plebiscites. Alberto Pedrosa and Carmen Pedrosa from exercising their right to free speech in proposing amendments to the Constitution. With due respect: I First. All three are institutionalized legacies of the world-admired EDSA people power. I likewise submit that the petition with respect to the Pedrosas has no leg to stand on and should be dismissed. They are sacred democratic rights of our people to be used as their final weapons against political excesses. . intent is the essence of the law. oppression and misgovernance. in the first place. I firmly believe that this Court has no power to restrain them from exercising their right of initiative. "freedom for the thought that we hate. but not on the other grounds relied upon by the majority.. As the eminent Voltaire once said. 197 . No.A. and to DIRECT Respondent Commission on Elections to DISMISS the Delfin Petition on the ground of prematurity." After all. R. Miriam D.I am glad the majority decided to heed our plea to lift the temporary restraining order issued by this Court on 18 December 1996 insofar as it prohibited Petitioner Delfin and the Spouses Pedrosa from exercising their right of initiative. Justice Davide insofar as it orders the COMELEC to dismiss the Delfin petition. is a new and treasured feature of the Filipino constitutional system. the spirit which gives life to its enactment. concur. No. Mr. A knowledge of this intent is critical for the intent of the legislature is the law and the controlling factor in its interpretation. I submit that R." 5 Epilogue By way of epilogue. accountability and faithfulness from their chosen leaders. their legitimate exercise should be carefully nurtured and zealously protected.A. I regret. And certainly. 17 was entitled "An Act Providing for a System of Initiative and Referendum and the Exception Therefrom. While on the one hand. .A. like referendum and recall. I also vote to LIFT the temporary restraining order issued on 18 December 1996 insofar as it prohibits Jesus Delfin. as well as their reserved instruments to exact transparency. inaction. however. but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Santiago et al. 1 Stated otherwise. let me stress the guiding tenet of my Separate Opinion. 21505 3 and Senate Bill No. 6735 sufficiently implements the right of the people to initiate amendments to the Constitution thru initiative. WHEREFORE. 2300 are legally defective and cannot implement the people's initiative to amend the Constitution. "I may disagree with what you say. 4 Senate Bill No.

ROCO At the outset. Avelino (1946). 1. Mr. the 1981 amendments to the Constitution of 1973 ensured presidential dominance over the Batasang Pambansa. Transcending changes in the exercise of legislative power is the declaration in the Philippine Constitution that the Philippines is a republican state where sovereignty resides in the people and all sovereignty emanates from them. through the system of initiative and referendum. all of which are variations of the power of initiative and referendum. He added that the holding of barangay plebiscites and referendum are likewise provided in Sections 100 and 101 of the same Code. 3. a bill on referendum and initiative. 21505 5expressly included people's initiative to amend the Constitution. the presidential system which was introduced by the 1935 Constitution saw the application of the principle of separation of powers. House Bill No. 21505 is the Committee's response to the duty imposed on Congress to implement the exercise by the people of the right to initiative and referendum. upon petition of at least 12 percent of the total number of registered voters. Constitutional history then saw the shifting and sharing of legislative powers between the Legislature and the Executive departments. Section 2. Roco provided the following backgrounder on the constitutional basis of the proposed measure.Whereby People in Local Government Units Can Directly Propose and Enact Resolutions and Ordinances or Approve or Reject any Ordinance or Resolution Passed by the Local Legislative Body. decide the holding of plebiscite and hear reports of the Sangguniang Barangay. Mr. Under the 1987 Constitution. Congressman (now Senator) Raul Roco emphasized in his sponsorship remarks: 6 xxx xxx xxx SPONSORSHIP REMARKS OF MR. however. the lawmaking power is still preserved in Congress. Congress does not have plenary powers since reserve powers are given to the people expressly. He then cited examples of initiative and referendum similar to those contained in the instant Bill among which are the constitutions of states in the United States which recognize the 198 . vests in the people the power to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through initiative. Mr. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. 2. Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution. While under the parliamentary system of the 1973 Constitution the principle remained applicable. Roco moved that pertinent quotation on the subject which he will later submit to the Secretary of the House be incorporated as part of his sponsorship speech. Section 32 of the same Article mandates Congress to pass at the soonest possible time. for the sake of brevity. 17 did not include people's initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. the Constitution recognizes the power of the people. on the other hand. As cited in Section 1. Stating that House Bill No. Senate Bill No. Thereupon." Beyond doubt. He cited Section 99 of the Local Government Code which vests in the barangay assembly the power to initiate legislative processes. and to share its legislative powers with the people. Roco recalled the beginnings of the system of initiative and referendum under Philippine Law. As cited in Vera vs. In checkered contrast. to institutionalize direct action of the people as exemplified in the 1986 Revolution.

6. 4. He further explained that the bill has only 12 sections. Massachusets. the system of initiative and referendum. Under Section 4 of the Bill the people can initiate a referendum which is a mode of plebiscite by presenting a petition therefor. the COMELEC shall determine the sufficiency of the petition. The instant Bill provides three kinds of initiative. At this juncture. and practically all other states. but under certain limitations. and the Bill is patterned after American experience. 21505. Dakota. the initiative to amend the Constitution once every five years. such as the signing of said petition by at least 10 percent of the total of registered voters at which every legislative district is represented by at least three percent of the registered voters thereof. Mr. Mr. 21505. Although an infant in Philippine political structure. he said. When the matter under referendum or initiative is approved by the required number of votes. 2. except for emergency measures. Oregon. Initiative means that the people. Roco explained that in certain American states. is a tried and tested system in other jurisdictions. Oklahoma. 21505. and recalled that the Constitutional Commissioners saw the system of the initiative and referendum as an instrument which can be used should the legislature show itself to be indifferent to the needs of the people. the requirements of a certain percentage of supporters to present a proposition. submit a Bill for the consideration of the general electorate. This is the reason. In concluding his sponsorship remarks. publish the same. He stated that: 1. Roco stressed that the Members cannot ignore the people's call for initiative and referendum and urged the Body to approve House Bill No. Roco also requested that the prepared text of his speech together with the footnotes be reproduced as part of the Congressional Records. on their own political judgment. 199 . Mr. and the initiative to amend local ordinances. Referendum means that the legislators seek the consent of the people on measures that they have approved. Alabama. Roco explained the process of initiative and referendum as advocated in House Bill No. 3. namely. it shall become effective 15 days following the completion of its publication in the Official Gazette. The instant Bill gives a definite procedure and allows the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to define rules and regulations on the power of initiative. he said. These states. 5. he claimed. Montana. the initiative to amend statutes approved by Congress. to the submission to electors are substantially similar to the provisions in American laws. are Alaska. Within 30 days after receipt of the petition. He added that the procedure provided by the Bill from the filing of the petition. the kind of laws to which initiative and referendum apply is also without limitation. why now is an opportune time to pass the Bill even as he noted the felt necessity of the times to pass laws which are necessary to safeguard individual rights and liberties. which are likewise incorporated in House Bill No.right of registered voters to initiate the enactment of any statute or to project any existing law or parts thereof in a referendum. and set the date of the referendum within 45 to 90-day period. At this juncture Mr.

8 In the meeting of the Committee on June 6. so. And. Whereupon. because this is new in our political system. And Number 5. the local legislative assembly or body is willing to adopt it in full or in toto. cannot enact any ordinance that is beyond the scope of authority of the local legislative body. especially in the so-called parliament of the streets. And. Number 4. Escudero also stressed that an implementing law is needed for the aforecited Constitutional provisions. kami limitado doon. the Senate decided on a more cautious approach and limiting it only to the local government units because even with that stage where . Section 3. my God. and requested that Sections 1 and 32. he added. Escudero stated that he and Mr. Now. 21505 were threshed out in a Bicameral Conference Committee. Mr. The disagreeing provisions in Senate Bill No. but not the reality or substance of it because of the increasingly elitist approach of their representatives to the country's problem. thru initiative. Escudero first pointed out that the people have been clamoring for a truly popular democracy ever since. He said that the passage of House Bill No. Article VI. . The transcript of the meeting states: xxx xxx xxx CHAIRMAN GONZALES. na the people. number 3. 21505. aid the government in forming an enlightened public opinion. then a proposition which has been the result of a successful 200 . If after all. we consider also that it is only fair that the local legislative body should be given a chance to adopt the legislation bill proposed. there ought to be any reason for initiative. Mr. Article X. 1989. Roco hoped for the early approval of the Bill so that it can be initially used for the Agrarian Reform Law. . it will hasten the politization of the citizenry. and Section 2. that the form of democracy is there. and produce more responsive legislation. right? Iyong sinasabing indirect system of initiative. 17 and House Bill No. viz: 7 xxx xxx xxx SPONSORSHIP REMARKS OF MR. ano? It has been attempted on a national basis. Mr. The passage of the Bill will also give street parliamentarians the opportunity to articulate their ideas in a democratic forum. because of that. 21505 will show that the Members can set aside their personal and political consideration for the greater good of the people. While the enactment of the Bill will give way to strong competition among cause-oriented and sectoral groups. 9 the members agreed that the two (2) bills should be consolidated and that the consolidated version should include people's initiative to amend the Constitution as contemplated by House Bill No. But at any rate.The same sentiment as to the bill's intent to implement people's initiative to amend the Constitution was stressed by then Congressman (now Secretary of Agriculture) Salvador Escudero III in his sponsorship remarks. we feel that there should be some limitation on the frequency with which it should be applied. mag-aassume sila ng power that is broader and greater than the grant of legislative power to the Sanggunians. A substantial segment of the population feels. as I have said. he continued. ESCUDERO Mr. he said. second. ano for initiative. Alright. There has not been a single attempt. at least this has been quite popular. Escudero pointed out that the Constitution has provided a means whereby the people can exercise the reserved power of initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. Article XVII of the Constitution be made part of his sponsorship remarks. otherwise.

makikita mo. Mr. Ha. The record of the House Representative states: 11 xxx xxx xxx THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE. What is the pleasure of the Minority Floor Leader? MR. let us not discuss anymore kung alin and magiging basic bill. THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE. if you insist on that. so ang sa inyo naman includes iyon sa Constitution. ROCO. CHAIRMAN GONZALES. 10 When the consolidated bill was presented to the House for approval. really iyong features ng national at saka constitutional. The Senators ironically provided for local initiative and referendum and the House Representatives correctly provided for initiative and referendum on the Constitution and on national legislation. Sa amin. Logically it should be ours sapagkat una iyong sa amin eh. so both versions are totally intact in the bill. although we feel na it will in effect become a dead statute. we consolidated the Senate and the House versions. so and so. ALBANO. ano. Mr. whether it is the Senate Bill or whether it is the House bill. It is one of the first bills approved by the Senate kaya ang number niyan. MR. ALBANO. Will the distinguished sponsor answer just a few questions? THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE. and magiging basic nito. On the Conference Committee Report on the disagreeing provisions between Senate Bill No. ROCO. . if you insist. 17.initiative can only carry the force and effect of an ordinance and therefore that should not deprive the court of its jurisdiction to declare it null and void for want of authority. I move that we approve the consolidated bill. Speaker. then Congressman Roco upon interpellation by Congressman Rodolfo Albano. . national laws. Alright. 21505 which refers to the system providing for the initiative and referendum. we shall consolidate. we can agree. again confirmed that it covered people's initiative to amend the Constitution. Yes. And that is why . Now. whereas the House version has none. Consolidation of the Senate and House Bill No. Speaker. amendment to the Constitution eh . I heard the sponsor say that the only difference in the two bills was that in the Senate version there was a provision for local initiative and referendum. MR. Iyon ang main essence namin. alright. MR. and we can agree. So ang mangyayari dito. okay. 201 . The Gentleman from Camarines Sur is recognized. di ba? I mean it is beyond powers of local government units to enact. eh. ____ gagawin na natin na consolidation of both bills. HON. so we concentrated on that. . . fundamentally. ALBANO. Huwag na nating pagusapan. The Gentlemen will please proceed.

No. For every five years. Mr. ironically was about local. Mr.C. 21505. Within five years. So that we will now have a complete initiative and referendum both in the constitutional amendment and national legislation.R. so that we shall have a system which can be done every five years. we provided purely for national and constitutional legislation. there was no substantial difference between the two versions? MR. 21505 (The Initiative and Referendum Act) THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE. APPROVAL OF C. The Chair hears none. ALBANO. that the two provisions were incorporated? MR.B.A. 17 and House Bill No. 6735 is to implement the people's initiative to amend the Constitution. ALBANO. For constitutional amendments in the 1987 Constitution. Is it five years in the provision of the Constitution? MR.B. ON S. ROCO. Speaker. 17 AND H. ALBANO. And the two bills were consolidated? MR. The gaps in our bill were filled by the Senate which. Speaker? MR. And this initiative and referendum is in consonance with the provision of the Constitution whereby it mandates this Congress to enact the enabling law. Mr. MR. ROCO. ALBANO. Speaker. MR. ALBANO. the motion is approved. MR. whereas in the House version. Speaker. it is our bounden duty to interpret the law as it was intended by the 202 . provincial and municipal legislation. ROCO. MR. NO. ROCO.MR. Is there any objection? (Silence. as I said earlier. MR. ALBANO. Speaker. MR. NO. And provincial as well as municipal resolutions? MR. ALBANO. MR. ALBANO. it is every five years. the Senate version provide purely for local initiative and referendum. ROCO. Down to barangay. ROCO. basically. Yes. There was a motion to approve this consolidated bill on Senate Bill No. That is correct. Mr. ROCO. Speaker. Yes. Thank you. MR. we cannot have multiple initiatives and referenda. Is it our understanding therefore. Mr. ROCO. MR. Since it is crystalline that the intent of R. That is correct. Mr. In fact. Therefore.

But it has always been our good policy not to refuse to effectuate the intent of a law on the ground that it is badly written. (emphasis supplied) Second. 14 203 . Third." It also states that "(i)nitiative on the Constitution may be exercised only after five (5) years from the ratification of the 1987 Constitution and only once every five (5) years thereafter.A. Section 5(b) states that "(a) petition for an initiative on the 1987 Constitution must have at least twelve per centum (12%) of the total number of registered voters as signatories. 6735 fixes the effectivity date of the amendment. that interpretation which will most tend to effectuate the manifest intent of the legislature will be adopted. We have ruled that once intent is ascertained. that is. it laments that the word "Constitution" is neither germane nor relevant to the policy thrust of section 2 and that the statute's subtitling is not accurate. such expressions and words will be construed as carrying the meaning the legislature intended that they bear.A. ordinances. No. laws. We have also held that where a law is susceptible of more than one interpretation. and they can never control the plain terms of the enacting clauses. As the distinguished Vicente Francisco 13 reminds us: "Many laws contain words which have not been used accurately. will not vitiate the statute if the legislative intention can be ascertained. — The power of the people under a system of initiative and referendum to directly propose.A. but inferences drawn therefrom are entitled to very little weight. 6735 is replete with references to this prerogative of the people. Rightly. or resolutions passed by any legislative body upon compliance with the requirements of this Act is hereby affirmed. the law defines "initiative" as "the power of the people to propose amendments to the constitution or to propose and enact legislations through an election called for the purpose. But the use of inapt or inaccurate language or words." and "plebiscite" as "the electoral process by which an initiative on the Constitution is approved or rejected by the people. enact. 6735 to defeat its intent which it itself concedes is to implement people's initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. No. or ungrammatical expressions. Finally. the hoary rule in statutory construction is that headings prefixed to titles. In the same vein.A. we need not torture the text of said law to reach the conclusion that it implements people's initiative to amend the Constitution. the policy statement declares: Sec. No. 6735 should therefore be reasonably construed to effectuate its intent to implement the people's initiative to amend the Constitution. It is unfortunate that the majority decision resorts to a strained interpretation of R. Section 9(b) states that "(t)he proposition in an initiative on the Constitution approved by a majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite shall become effective as to the day of the plebiscite. First. No. approve or reject. although such a construction necessitates a departure from the literal meaning of the words used. the Constitution does not require our legislators to be word-smiths with the ability to write bills with poetic commas like Jose Garcia Villa or in lyrical prose like Winston Churchill. Statement of Policy. No. Thus. the Constitution. the argument that R. of which every legislative district must be represented by at least threeper centum (3%) of the registered voters therein.A. the law provides the requirements for a petition for initiative to amend the Constitution.legislature. To be sure. 12 The text of R. Again. in whole or in part. slovenly. 7535 does not include people's initiative to amend the Constitution simply because it lacks a sub-title on the subject should be given the weight of helium. R. R. These lapses are to be expected for laws are not always written in impeccable English. chapters and sections of a statute may be consulted in aid of interpretation. recognized and guaranteed. it must be enforced even if it may not be consistent with the strict letter of the law and this ruling is as old as the mountain. 2. The same is equally true with reference to awkward.

without a statutory declaration of policy. he could thereby arrogate upon himself the power. The purpose of the sufficient standard is to prevent a total transference of legislative power from the lawmaking body to the delegate. Neither does it give a standard sufficiently precise to avoid the evil effects above referred to. 17 this Court. enact. also — and this is worse — to unmake it. with reasonable certainty. these standards are adequate. It does not enunciate any policy to be carried out or implemented by the President. 6735 sufficiently states the policy and the standards to guide the COMELEC in promulgating the law's implementing rules and regulations of the law. Thus. without the aforementioned standard. enforcement or administration of a law.A. Indeed. and. spelled out the procedure on how to exercise the people's initiative to amend the Constitution. 21 when a plebiscite may be held. viz: "The power of the people under a system of initiative and referendum to directly propose. 24 By any measure. Auditor General. 15 II COMELEC Resolution No. it is difficult to agree with the majority decision that refuses to enforce the manifest intent or spirit of R. not only to make the law.A." 25 In enacting R. 6735 to the COMELEC which expressly states: "The Commission is hereby empowered to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act. there would be no means to determine. 22 when the amendment takes effect 23 and what matters may not be the subject of any initiative. This is in accord with the delegated power granted by section 20 of R. 20 how a proposition is approved. Hence. then its Acting Chairman. the law states the number of signatures necessary to start a people's initiative. that said law: (a) be complete in itself — it must set forth therein the policy to be executed.All said. No. Former Justice Isagani A. As aforestated. but. which is the essence of every law. and. thru former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion laid down the test to determine whether there is undue delegation of legislative power. or resolutions passed by any legislative body upon compliance with the requirements of this Act is hereby affirmed. approve or reject. No. recognized and guaranteed. R. No. 6735 are the standards to canalize the delegated power to the COMELEC to promulgate rules and regulations from overflowing. in whole or in part. carried out or implemented by the delegate — and (b) to fix standard — the limits of which are sufficiently determinate or determinable — to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions. similarly elucidated that "a sufficient standard is intended to map out the boundaries of the delegates' authority by defining the legislative policy and indicating the circumstances under which it is to be pursued and effected. 18 directs how initiative proceeding is commenced. Cruz. the Constitution. viz: xxx xxx xxx Although Congress may delegate to another branch of the Government the power to fill details in the execution. In the benchmark case of Pelaez v. 204 . ordinances. 16 promulgated under the stewardship of Commissioner Haydee Yorac." Spread out all over R." By no means can this delegation of power be assailed as infirmed. 6735 to implement the people's initiative to amend the Constitution. 6735. laws. consequently. 19 what the COMELEC should do upon filing of the petition for initiative. by adopting measures inconsistent with the end sought to be attained by the Act of Congress. it is essential. whether the delegate has acted within or beyond the scope of his authority. 2300. undermining the very foundation of our republican system. to forestall a violation of the principle of separation of powers. Section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code does not meet these well-settled requirements for a valid delegation of the power to fix the details in the enforcement of a law.A. thus nullifying the principle of separation of powers and the system of checks and balances. It blatantly disregards the rule cast in concrete that the letter of the law must yield to its spirit for the letter of the law is its body but its spirit is its soul. section 2 spells out the policy of the law. No.A.A. No.

the prohibition against the legislature is to impair the substantive right of the people to initiate amendments to the Constitution. DAVIDE. 6735 giving life to the people's initiative to amend the Constitution. It can. In other words. The Act of March 21. ROMULO. MR. ROMULO. The debates 26 in the Constitutional Commission make it clear that the rules of procedure to enforce the people's initiative can be delegated. A survey of our case law will show that this Court has prudentially refrained from invalidating administrative rules on the ground of lack of adequate legislative standard to guide their promulgation. 2300 will show that it merely provided the procedure to effectuate the policy of R. United States. ROMULO.' it could authorize another body to check the proper form. DAVIDE. none of the procedures to be proposed by the legislative body must diminish or impair the right conceded here. from constitutional infirmity. No. DAVIDE. the Proclamations and the statute are not to be read in isolation from each other.'" Quite clearly. The Intent of the 1986 Constitution Writers." 28 He cited the ruling in Hirabayashi v. A close look at COMELEC Resolution No. ? MR. In other words.A. But the Executive Order. to check the authenticity of the signatures of petitioners. In his book. As long as it will not destroy the substantive right to initiate. or require findings to be made as a prerequisite to any order. Yes. . The Commissioner is correct. prescribe the 'proper form before (the amendment) is submitted to the people. It could also authorize the COMELEC. if it can. 1942. for instance. They were parts of a single program and must be judged as such. It is not. MR. was an adoption by Congress of the Executive Order and of the 205 . 29 viz: xxx xxx xxx It is true that the Act does not in terms establish a particular standard to which orders of the military commander are to conform. . But the Commissioner's amendment does not prevent the legislature from asking another body to set the proposition in proper form. Under Commissioner Davide's amendment. none of the procedures to be proposed by the legislative body must diminish or impair the right conceded here. xxx xxx xxx MR. it is possible for the legislature to set forth certain procedures to carry out the initiative. "even if the law itself does not expressly pinpoint the standard. thus: MR. MR.it cannot be said that Congress totally transferred its power to enact the law implementing people's initiative to COMELEC. Davide concluded: 'As long as it will not destroy the substantive right to initiate. In that provision of the Constitution can the procedures which I have discussed be legislated? MR. however. In other words. the implementation of this particular right would be subject to legislation. DAVIDE. the courts will bend backward to locate the same elsewhere in order to spare the statute. prohibited from legislating the procedure to enforce the people's right of initiative or to delegate it to another body like the COMELEC with proper standard. As aptly perceived by former Justice Cruz. provided the legislature cannot determine anymore the percentage of the requirement. 27 Father Bernas likewise affirmed: "In response to questions of Commissioner Romulo. Davide explained the extent of the power of the legislature over the process: it could for instance.

Proclamations. 6735. the policy and the standards are bright-lined in R. Their solicitation of signatures is a right guaranteed in black and white by section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution which provides that ". 6735 are insufficient for in other cases we have upheld as adequate more general standards such as "simplicity and dignity. The policy and standards can also be found in no less than section 2." 32 "interest of law and order. economy and efficiency in government. The only allegation against the Pedrosas is that they are founding members of the PIRMA which proposes to undertake the signature drive for people's initiative to amend the Constitution. A 20-20 look at the law cannot miss them. Article II of the Constitution that in a democratic and republican state "sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.A. we temporarily enjoined the Pedrosas ". the case at bar was filed by the petitioners with this Court. Petitioners sued the COMELEC. 37 "greater national interest". The records show that the case at bar started when respondent Delfin alone and by himself filed with the COMELEC a Petition to Amend the Constitution to Lift Term Limits of Elective Officials by People's Initiative. political and economic decision-making shall not be abridged. Modernization and Action (PIRMA). Alberto Pedrosa and Carmen Pedrosa in their capacities as founding members of the People's Initiative for Reform. No. But this is not all."35 "public safety." The Pedrosas are part of the people and their voice is part of the voice of the people. . the Pedrosas 206 . Jesus Delfin. In the case at bar. In soliciting signatures to amend the Constitution. . 1996. from conducting a signature drive for people's initiative to amend the Constitution. The State shall by law." This is another novel provision of the 1987 Constitution strengthening the sinews of the sovereignty of our people. . should counsel this Court to refrain from refusing to effectuate laws unless they are clearly unconstitutional." This right springs from the principle proclaimed in section 1. Section 16 of Article XIII of the Constitution provides: "The right of the people and their organizations to effective and reasonable participation at all levels of social.A." 33 "justice and equity. ." 31"public welfare. . . to desist from conducting a signature drive for a people's initiative to amend the Constitution." It is not enough for the majority to lift the temporary restraining order against the Pedrosas. The petition was heard and before the COMELEC could resolve the Delfin petition. It should dismiss the petition and all motions for contempt against them without equivocation. facilitate the establishment of adequate consultation mechanisms." 30 "public interest." 36 "public policy". It was Senator Roco who moved to intervene and was allowed to do so by the COMELEC. Article XVII of the Constitution on Amendments or Revisions. Strangely. The Proclamations themselves followed a standard authorized by the Executive Order — the necessity of protecting military resources in the designated areas against espionage and sabotage. 39 and "promote simplicity. The petition on its face states no cause of action against the Pedrosas. amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative. The suit is an original action for prohibition with prayer for temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. Petitioners then prayed that we order the Pedrosas ". The Pedrosas did not join the petition. One need not draw a picture to impart the proposition that in soliciting signatures to start a people's initiative to amend the Constitution the Pedrosas are not engaged in any criminal act. the PIRMA itself as an organization was not impleaded as a respondent. No. ." On December 19." 34 "adequate and efficient instruction." 40 A due regard and respect to the legislature. The inclusion of the Pedrosas in the petition is utterly baseless. They may constitute but a particle of our sovereignty but no power can trivialize them for sovereignty is indivisible. a co-equal and coordinate branch of government. III It is also respectfully submitted that the petition should he dismissed with respect to the Pedrosas. They were not written by our legislators in invisible ink. There is thus no reason to hold that the standards provided for in R. . 38 "protect the local consumer by stabilizing and subsidizing domestic pump rates".

can properly be regarded and given its due course. Undeniably. The Constitution calls us to encourage people empowerment to blossom in full. Change is the predicate of progress and we should not fear change. freedom of speech enervates the essence of the democratic creed of think and let think. It does seem to me that there is no real exigency on the part of the Court to engross. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters. concur.are participating in the political decision-making process of our people. much less on R. concurring and dissenting: The COMELEC should have dismissed. we have succeeded in transforming people power from an opaque abstraction to a robust reality. is explicit. VITUG. of which every legislative district must be represented by at least 207 . What is essential at this time would only be to resolve whether or not the petition filed with the COMELEC. the Court cannot seal the lips of people who are pro-change but not those who are anti-change without concerting the debate on charter change into a sterile talkaton.A. we observed that people's might is no longer a myth but an article of faith in our Constitution. Thus far. Section 2. Over and above these new provisions. itself on all the issues raised and debated upon by the parties. the matrix of other important rights of our people. signed by Atty. 44 we allowed a recall election in Caloocan City involving the mayor and ordered that he submits his right to continue in office to the judgment of the tribunal of the people. 1996. . 41 On September 30. We have memorialized this universal right in all our fundamental laws from the Malolos Constitution to the 1987 Constitution. On October 5. we pledged that ". outrightly. the Delfin Petition. IV In a stream of cases. More important. protect and promote their legitimate exercise. no Constitution can chain the people to an undesirable status quo. Jesus S. It is thus evident that the right of the Pedrosas to solicit signatures to start a people's initiative to amend the Constitution does not depend on any law. J. Article XVII. there are no irrepealable laws just as there are no irrepealable Constitutions." 43 Just a few days ago. JJ. The Court cannot halt any and all signature campaigns to amend the Constitution without setting back the flowering of people empowerment. 6735 or COMELEC Resolution No. 42 On September 26. 2. The Constitution says their right cannot be abridged without any ifs and buts. Delfin in his capacity as a "founding member of the Movement for People's Initiative" and seeking through a people initiative certain modifications on the 1987 Constitution. 1994. For this reason. we postulated that people power can be trusted to check excesses of government and that any effort to trivialize the effectiveness of people's initiatives ought to be rejected. 1993. let alone to commit. To be sure. the Constitution encourages speech even if it protects the speechless. . or on March 11. by a unanimous decision.. Melo and Mendoza. The Constitution. 2300. relative to any proposed amendment under this method. thereof provides: Sec. No law. Mankind has long recognized the truism that the only constant in life is change and so should the majority. this Court has rhapsodized people power as expanded in the 1987 Constitution. We have iterated and reiterated in our rulings that freedom of speech is a preferred right. this Court as a matter of policy and doctrine will exert every effort to nurture. the Pedrosas' campaign to amend the Constitution is an exercise of their freedom of speech and expression and their right to petition the government for redress of grievances. Democracy is enlivened by a dialogue and not by a monologue for in a democracy nobody can claim any infallibility.. 1997. We cannot put a question mark on their right.

2To implement these constitutional edicts. 1 Unlike our previous constitutions. J. dissenting and concurring: There is no question that my esteemed colleague Mr. [And] [t]his indicates that Republic Act No. 6735 provides for the effectivity of the law after publication in print media. The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right.. I most respectfully submit. Congress in 1989 enacted Republic Act No. The grant of such a right is clearly implicit in the constitutional mandate on people initiative. but to propose amendments to the constitution as well. I cannot fully subscribe to his view that R. No. 6735 has effectively and sufficiently implemented the Constitutional provision on right of the people to directly propose constitutional amendments. obiter dictum. Any opinion or view formulated by the Court at this point would at best be only a non-binding. The contrary view maintained by petitioners is based principally on the alleged lack of sub-title in the law on initiative to amend the constitution and on their allegation that: Republic Act No. A. Justice Davide has prepared a scholarly and wellwritten ponencia." and to instruct "Municipal Election Registrars in all Regions of the Philippines to assist petitioners and volunteers in establishing signing stations at the time and on the dates designated for the purpose. otherwise known as "The initiative and Referendum Act". albeit possibly persuasive. resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. it behooves the Court. sovereignty under the constitution. The past has taught us that the vitality of government lies not so much in the strength of those who lead as in the consent of those who are led. I vote for granting the instant petition before the Court and for clarifying that the TRO earlier issued by the Court did not prescribe the exercise by the Pedrosas of their right to campaign for constitutional amendments." to cause the necessary publication of the petition "in newspapers of general and local circulation. The Delfin petition is thus utterly deficient. Instead of complying with the constitutional imperatives. The distinct greatness of a democratic society is that those who reign are the governed themselves. The petition would require COMELEC to schedule "signature gathering all over the country. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter. Pending a petition for a people's initiative that is sufficient in form and substance. that the TRO earlier issued by the Court which. 6735 is inadequate to cover the system of initiative on amendments to the Constitution. enact or reject any act or law passed by Congress or by the local legislative body. 6735 covers only laws and not constitutional 208 . even then. 6735. to yet refrain from resolving the question of whether or not Republic Act No. to the COMELEC. I submit. Nonetheless. To begin with. the petition would rather have much of its burden passed on. is made permanent under theponencia should be held to cover only the Delfin petition and must not be so understood as having intended or contemplated to embrace the signature drive of the Pedrosas. The role of free speech is pivotal but it can only have its true meaning if it comes with the correlative end of being heard. FRANCISCO.three per centum of the registered voters therein. to my mind. the present 1987 Constitution has given more significance to this declaration of principle for the people are now vested with power not only to propose. consequentially. in effect. The postulate is no longer lightly taken as just a perceived myth but a veritable reality. amply covers an initiative on the constitution. This law.

The Senators ironically provided for local initiative and referendum and the House of Representatives correctly provided for initiative and referendum an the Constitution and on national legislation. . of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum (3%) of the registered voters therein. ALBANO. because constitutional amendments take effect upon ratification not after publication. Section 5(b) distinctly enumerates the following: A petition for an initiative on the 1987 Constitution must have at least twelve per centum (12%) of the total number of the registered voters as signatories. in enumerating the three systems of initiative. 21505 which refers to the system providing for the initiative and referendum. so both versions are totally intact in the bill. meaningless. It is a rule that every part of the statute must be interpreted with reference the context. in the course of the consideration of the Conference Committee Report on the disagreeing provisions of Senate Bill No. on purpose. THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE. 6735 defines initiative as "the power of the people to propose amendments to the constitution or to propose and enact legislations through an election called for the purpose".amendments. Speaker.e. 6The same section. 17 and House Bill No. These provisions were inserted. that every part of the statute must be construed together with the other parts and kept subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment. Mr. ROCO. More significantly. "A legal provision". 21505. The legislative intent behind every law is to be extracted from the statute as a whole. Mr. the Court has previously said. On the Conference Committee Report on the disagreeing provisions between Senate Bill No.. Speaker. and accordingly. for under Section 9 of Republic Act No. thus: . 8 That this is the legislative intent is further shown by the deliberations in Congress. Republic Act No. MR. 6735 on the Effectivity of Initiative or Referendum Proposition paragraph (b) thereof is clear in providing that: The proposition in an initiative on the constitution approved by a majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite shall become effective as to the day of the plebiscite. What is the pleasure of the Minority Floor Leader? 209 . it was noted: MR. in the sense of adding nothing to the law or having no effect whatsoever thereon". . 4 Thus. included an "initiative on the constitution which refers to a petition proposing amendments to the constitution" 7 Paragraph (e) again of Section 3 defines "plebiscite" as "the electoral process by which an initiative on the constitution is approved or rejected by the people" And as to the material requirements for an initiative on the Constitution. by Congress the intent being to provide for the implementation of the right to propose an amendment to the Constitution by way of initiative. 17 and the consolidated House Bill No. 3 which allegation manifests petitioners' selective interpretation of the law. fundamentally. I move that we approve the consolidated bill. Initiative on the constitution may be exercised only after five (5) years from the ratification of the 1987 Constitution and only once every five years thereafter. 5 In its definition of terms. we consolidated the Senate and the House versions. i. the provisions of Republic Act No. "must not be construed as to be a useless surplusage. 6735 may not be interpreted in isolation.

Republic Act No. ALBANO. ROCO. At any rate. ALBANO. we provided purely for national and constitutional legislation. THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE. ROCO. and 12. Mr. MR. quoted in Garcia v. VIII. Mr. MR. Willingly. I agree with the ponencia that the Commission on Elections. Down to barangay. though. so that we shall have a system which can be done every five years. ALBANO. with the House version of the Bill and as approved and enacted into law. 9. When consolidated. 6735 covers an initiative on the constitution. it is every five years. Will the distinguished sponsor answer just a few questions? THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE. p. MR. whereas in the House version. MR. And provincial as well as municipal resolutions? MR. Is it five years in the provision of the Constitution? MR. Vol. I heard the sponsor say that the only difference in the two bills was that in the Senate version there was a provision for local initiative and referendum. therefore. cannot take any action (such as those contained in the Commission's orders dated December 6. Any other construction as what petitioners foist upon the Court constitute a betrayal of the intent and spirit behind the enactment. 8 June 1989. That is correct. 1996 [Annexes B. 6735 it would appear that proof of procurement 210 . 960. In fact. Mr. C and B-1]) indicative of its having already assumed jurisdiction over private respondents' petition. emphasis supplied) . whereas the House version has none. at present. MR. Yes. MR.A. 237 SCRA 279. That is correct. The Senate version of the Bill may not have comprehended initiatives on the Constitution. ROCO. the proposal included initiative on both the Constitution and ordinary laws. No. Is it our understanding. ROCO. . ALBANO. Speaker. What does the sponsor say? MR. ALBANO. Mr. 292-293 [1994]. ALBANO. ROCO. For constitutional amendments to the 1987 Constitution. So that we will now have a complete initiative and referendum both in the constitutional amendment and national legislation. Speaker. ROCO. 9 Clearly then." (Id.MR. Speaker. This is so because from the tenor of Section 5 (b) of R. Comelec. MR. [Journal and Record of the House of Representatives]. The Gentleman will please proceed. the Senate version provided purely for local initiative and referendum. . that the two provisions were incorporated? MR. And this initiative and referendum is in consonance with the provision of the Constitution to enact the enabling law. Speaker.

At the very least. inadequate. Under the above restrictive holdings espoused by the Court's majority. concur. Mr. Melo and Mendoza. Verily. Initiative on the Constitution may be exercised only after five (5) years from the ratification of the 1987 Constitution and only once every five (5) years thereafter. of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum (3%) of the registered voters therein.. nullify. the Constitution cannot be amended at all through a people's initiative. (2) While the Constitution allows amendments to "be directly proposed by the people through initiative. I. No.. RA 6735 is "incomplete.A. No. 6735. This defect notwithstanding. Not by Delfin. register my concurrence with the dismissal. Justice Hilario G. when there is already one existing at present. Let me explain. the majority holds the right hostage to congressional discretion on whether to pass a new law to implement it. This right to amend through initiative. it bears stressing. as follows: 211 . not even by all the voters of the country acting together.of the required percentage of registered voters at the time the petition for initiative is filed. Here private respondents' petition is unaccompanied by the required signatures. Article XVII of the Constitution. J. Davide Jr. PANGANIBAN.A. however. any determination of whether private respondents' proposal constitutes an amendment or revision is premature. JJ. the Comelec cannot even entertain any petition absent such signatures. writing for the majority. therefore. it is without prejudice to the refiling of their petition once compliance with the required percentage is satisfactorily shown by private respondents. Thus: A petition for an initiative on the 1987 Constitution must have at least twelve per centum (12%) of the total number of registered voters as signatories." (3) Comelec Resolution No. abrogate and render inutile the people's right to change the basic law.. Until and unless an initiatory petition can show the required number of signatures — in this case. I dissent most respectfully from the majority's two other rulings. concurring and dissenting: Our distinguished colleague. or wanting in essential terms and conditions insofar as initiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned. not by anyone. in the meantime. not by Pirma. In the absence." there is no implementing law for the purpose. is a jurisdictional requirement. 12% of all the registered voters in the Philippines with at least 3% in every legislative district — no public funds may be spent and no government resources may be used in an initiative to amend the Constitution. I take exception to the conclusion reached in the ponencia that R. of private respondents' petition for initiative before public respondent Commission on Elections until the same be supported by proof of strict compliance with Section 5 (b) of R. is void. of an appropriate petition before the Commission on Elections." I concur with the first item above. 6735 is an "inadequate" legislation to cover a people's initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. This decision will effectively but unnecessarily curtail. is guaranteed by Section 2. 2330. holds that: (1) The Comelec acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in entertaining the "initiatory" Delfin Petition. "insofar as it prescribes rules and regulations on the conduct of initiative on amendments to the Constitution. However. ACCORDINGLY.

was promulgated "to govern the conduct of initiative on the Constitution and initiative and referendum on national and local laws. are thoroughly consistent with this Court's unanimous en banc rulings in Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority vs. other than an honest. effectuate and realize our people's power to amend the Constitution. Commission on Elections. While I agree that the Comelec should be stopped from using public funds and government resources to help them gather signatures. . the Constitution (particularly Art. there is a right way to do the right thing at the right time and for the right reason. Indeed." not by the incumbent Commission on Elections but by one then composed of Acting Chairperson Haydee B. Yorac." And pursuant thereto. Leopoldo L. RA 6735. Such Resolution.. are (to be) liberally construed to effectuate their purposes. Comelec. . Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters. I firmly believe that this Court has 212 . Dimaampao. Justice Ricardo J. RA 6735 and Comelec Resolution 2300 Are Sufficient to Implement Constitutional Initiatives While RA 6735 may not be a perfect law.Sec. Abueg Jr. Puno and Mr. Africa. 1 I completely agree with the inspired and inspiring opinions of Mr. In recognition of this. The source of and authority for the Resolution is the same law. and in Garcia vs. I believe that such restraining order as against private respondents should not have been issued. R4 6735 and Comelec Resolution 2300 provide more than sufficient authority to implement. and thus we cannot ascribe any vile motive unto them. which I shall no longer repeat nor elaborate on. It is equivalent to burning the whole house to exterminate the rats. the Roco law on initiative. In fact. Petitioner Delfin and the Pedrosa Spouses Should Not Be Muzzled I am glad the majority decided to heed our plea to lift the temporary restraining order issued by this Court on 18 December 1996 insofar as it prohibited Petitioner Delfin and the Spouses Pedrosa from exercising their right of initiative. 2. But we should not thereby preempt any future effort to exercise the right of initiative correctly and judiciously. All of these Commissioners who signed Resolution 2300 have retired from the Commission. Alfredo E. sufficiently implements the right of the people to initiate amendments to the Constitution. I respectfully submit that taken together and interpreted properly and liberally. Justice Reynato S. I respectfully submit. Flores. it is void in reference to constitutional amendments. 2 that "provisions for initiative . 3 that any "effort to trivialize the effectiveness of people's initiatives ought to be rejected. Francisco that RA 6735. I find the majority's position all too sweeping and all too extremist. The fact that the Delfin Petition proposes a misuse of initiative does not justify a ban against its proper use. There is no basis for such differentiation. Andres R. What Citizen Delfin wants the Comelec to do we should reject. in the first place. Such views. 2). RA 6735 wisely empowered 4 the Commission on Election "to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act. Taken Together and Interpreted Properly. Sec. With all due respect. Dario C. it was — as the majority openly concedes — intended by the legislature to cover and. to facilitate and not hamper the exercise by the voters of the rights granted thereby". the Comelec issued its Resolution 2300 on 16 January 1991. by its very words. the Constitution." No law can completely and absolutely cover all administrative details. it contains enough provisions to effectuate an initiative on the Constitution. of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein. The majority argues that while Resolution 2300 is valid in regard to national laws and local legislations. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter. XVII. sincere and exemplary effort to give life to a cherished right of our people. Comms. and to killing the patient to relieve him of pain. Rama and Magdara B.

5 Annex "A" of Petition. it would be tyrannical and despotic to stop anyone from speaking freely and persuading others to conform to his/her beliefs. Modernization and Action. Article XV of the 1935 Constitution and Section 1(1). concur. Rollo. They are sacred democratic rights of our people to be used as their final weapons against political excesses. Miriam D. 15. they are hallowed expressions of popular sovereignty. but as Justice Holmes wrote. or PIRMA for brevity. 6 Later identified as the People's Initiative for Reforms. and to DIRECT Respondent Commission on Elections to DISMISS the Delfin Petition on the ground of prematurity." 5 Epilogue By way of epilogue. but I will defend to the death your right to say it. 378. on the other. As the eminent Voltaire once said. WHEREFORE." After all. opportunism. I also vote to LIFT the temporary restraining order issued on 18 December 1996 insofar as it prohibits Jesus Delfin. The term of office of the Senators shall be six years and shall commence. is a new and treasured feature of the Filipino constitutional system. as well as their reserved instruments to exact transparency. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected. 4 Section 1. their legitimate exercise should be carefully nurtured and zealously protected. xxx xxx xxx 213 . at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their election. inaction. 2 Commissioner Jose Suarez. Article XVI of the 1973 Constitution. "freedom for the thought that we hate. All three are institutionalized legacies of the world-admired EDSA people power. 7 These sections read: Sec.. JJ. And certainly. their misuse and abuse must be resolutely struck down. 4. I vote to GRANT the petition of Sen. oppression and misgovernance. unless otherwise provided by law. 371. Footnotes 1 Commissioner Blas Ople. Santiago et al. "I may disagree with what you say. freedom is not really for the thought we agree with. Melo and Mendoza. Alberto Pedrosa and Carmen Pedrosa from exercising their right to free speech in proposing amendments to the Constitution. Like elections and plebiscites. but not on the other grounds relied upon by the majority. let me stress the guiding tenet of my Separate Opinion. 3 I Record of the Constitutional Commission.no power to restrain them from exercising their right of initiative. accountability and faithfulness from their chosen leaders. Initiative. While on the one hand. No Senator shall serve for more than two consecutive terms. The right to propose amendments to the Constitution is really a species of the right of free speech and free assembly. like referendum and recall.

I Record of the Constitutional Commission. 100. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected. Rollo. 14 Citing Araneta v. 20 Citing Commissioner Ople of the Constitutional Commission. COMELEC. which shall be determined by law. The President and the Vice-President shall be elected by direct vote of the people for a term of six years which shall begin at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following the day of the election and shall end at noon of the same date six years thereafter. Article II. 8. 21 Rollo. 19. 239. 84 Phil. 68. No person who has succeeded as President and has served as such for more than four years shall be qualified for election to the same office at any time. Rollo. 19 Section 26. 12 Order of 12 December 1996. 130. 17 Rollo. The term of office of elective local officials. Sanidad v. 27. except barangay officials. unless otherwise provided by law. 9 The section reads: Sec. No Vice-President shall serve for more than two successive terms. 405. 16 Rollo. 8 The section reads: Sec. 7. 214 . Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length or time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of the service for the full term for which he was elected.Sec. at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their election. 18 A Member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. Dinglasan. 25. shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. 10 Rollo. No Member of the House of Representatives shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. 13 Id. Annex "B-1" of Petition. Constitution. 368 [1949]. The President shall not be eligible for any reelection. 15 Rollo. 73 SCRA 333 [1976]. 11 Annex "B" of Petition. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected. 4. The Members of the House of Representatives shall be elected for a term of three years which shall begin.

30 I Record of the Constitutional Commission 370-371. 32 Id. 23 Rollo. 399.. (b) Private respondents Alberto and Carmen Pedrosa — 10 February 1997 (Id. 371... 33 Id.. 398-399.. 386.. 184. 28.. 29 II The Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. 28 232 SCRA 110.. 553). Emphasis supplied. 25 Rollo. 37 Id. 27 Rollo. 401-402. (h) LABAN — 13 February 1997 (Id.. 465). 31 Id. 26 Annex "D" of Roco's Motion for Intervention in this case. Rollo. 476). 304. 391-392. (g) COMELEC — 12 February 1997 (Id. 606). (f) DIK and MABINI — 12 February 1997 (Id.. 402-403. 386. 38 Id. (c) Petitioners — 12 February 1997 (Id.. 568. (e) Senator Roco — 12 February 1997 (Id. 429). 489). (Emphasis supplied).. 215 . 34 Id. 36 Id. 39 Id. 35 Id. (d) IBP — 12 February 1997 (Id. 134 [1994].. A Commentary 571 [1988]. 585). 24 These were submitted on the following dates: (a) Private respondent Delfin — 31 January 1997 (Rollo. 446). 392.. 594..22 Rollo..

Romulo. after various amendments approved on Second and Third Readings on 9 October 1986 (Id. and the Exceptions Therefrom. 48 Entitled "An Act Implementing the Constitutional Provisions on Initiative and Referendum and for Other Purposes. 52 That section reads: Sec." introduced by Congressmen Salvador Escudero. 410. 1. 957-961. 1509-1510.40 Id. 47 Entitled "Initiative and Referendum Act of 1987. 51 VIII Journal and Record of the House of Representatives. and Lina. any ordinance or resolution passed by any local legislative body upon compliance with the requirements of this Act is hereby affirmed. 17 and House Bill No.. 143.. it was because there was in the Bicameral Conference Committee an initial agreement for the Senate panel to draft that portion on local initiative and for the House of Representatives panel to draft that portion covering national initiative and initiative on the 216 . did not contain any subtitles." introduced by Senators Gonzales. Raul del Mar and Narciso Monfort. 45 See footnote No." introduced by then Congressmen Raul Roco. 42 II Record of the Constitutional Commission 559-560. Whereby People in Local Government Units Can Directly Propose and Enact Resolutions and Ordinances or Approve or Reject Any Ordinance or Resolution Passed By the Local Legislative Body. 53 It must be pointed out that Senate Bill No. footnote 28. in whole or in part. The proposed new Article on the Legislative Department was. The power of the people under a system of initiative and referendum to directly propose and enact resolutions and ordinances or approve or reject. as approved on Third Reading. 50 IV Record of the Senate. 22 of the Committee on Legislative which changed The National Assembly to "The Congress of the Philippines" in view of the approval of the amendment to adopt the bicameral system (II Record of the Constitutional Commission 102-105). 46 As Stated by Commissioner Bernas in his interpellation of Commissioner Suarez. 21505. 41 Id. Jr. The change came about as a logical consequence of the amended Committee Report No. 412. pp. 702-703) 44 V Record of the Constitutional Commission 806. 42. Jr.. No. Pimentel.. Statement of Policy. 43 The Congress originally appeared as The National Assembly. recognized and guaranteed. 54 If some confusion attended the preparation of the subtitles resulting in the leaving out of the more important and paramount system of initiative on amendments to the Constitution. 49 Entitled "An Act Providing for a System of Initiative and Referendum.

Submit it to the Chairman. Now. So how do we proceed from this? The staff will consolidate. that we are introducing a novel and new system in politics. if you insist. we can agree. AQUINO. Pero gagawin na nating consolidation of both bills. . . (TSN. 15 and 16. to limit those powers 217 . ROCO. eventually. ano. 1-4 — 1-5). makikita mo. HON. Gumawa lang ng isang draft. Kung mabigyan tayo ng kopya bukas and you are not objecting naman kayo naman ganoon din. 17. President. 8. HON. 17 in the Bicameral Conference Committee meeting and in his sponsorship of the Committee's Report. 871). 17 recognizes the initiatives and referendum are recent innovations in our political system. Within today? HON. proceedings of Bicameral Conference Committee of 6 June 1989. III-4 — III-5). 21505. (TSN. pp. GONZALES. second. 56 Sections 13. eh. eh. the Members thereof agreed to leave the drafting of the consolidated bill to their staff. Hanggang Huwebes lang tayo. 55 Sec. So ang mangyayari dito. Within today and early tomorrow. 33.Constitution. (I Record of the Senate. Section 9(a). And recognizing that. submitted by E. No. as I have said Mr. allowing them only when the local legislative body had refused to act. third. not more frequently than once a year. and we can agree. 57 It would thus appear that the Senate's "cautious approach" in the implementation of the system of initiative as a mode of proposing amendments to the Constitution. Huwag na nating pag-usapan. Bongon. HON. and. as expressed by Senator Gonzales in the course of his sponsorship of Senate Bill No. Yung mga provisions naman namin wala sa inyo. xxx xxx xxx First. Logically it should be ours sapagkat una iyong sa amin. HON. 5(a & c). GONZALES. eh. okay. We feel it is prudent and wise at this point in time. kami na ang bahalang magconsult sa aming mga members na kung okay. limiting them to the national level. proceedings of the Bicameral Conference Committee on 6 June 1989 submitted by Nora. ang magiging basic nito. p. . ROCO. Editing na lang because on a physical consolidation nga ito. xxx xxx xxx HON. We have to adopt first a cautious approach. however. and I am saying for the nth time. Kinakailangang palusutin natin ito. it has adopted a cautious approach by: first. 14. really iyong features ng national at saka constitutional. might have insidiously haunted the preparation of the consolidated version of Senate Bill No. Thus: CHAIRMAN GONZALES. whether it is the Senate Bill or whether it is the House Bill. All right. eh. In the first he said: Senate Bill No. It is one of the first bills approved by the Senate kaya ang number niyan. Sec. 17 and House Bill No. pp. ROCO. R.S. let us not discuss anymore kung alin ang magiging basic bill.

Ericta.. therefore. In the last he declared: The initiatives and referendum are new tools of democracy. 29. 497 introduced by Congressmen Raul Roco. 15-9-1510). CRUZ. 28. Jr. 965. and Jose Lina... PUNO. concurring and dissenting:: 1 Agpalo. US v. 65 Sec. Tamparong 31 Phil. 56 [1937]. 988 introduced by Congressman Salvador Escudero. citing Torres v. pp. In the second he stated: But at any rate. Vera. 56 Phil. 974 [1965]. 65 Phil. as I have said. Export Control Committee. 30. submitted by stenographer Nora R. pp. Statutory Construction. 143. Jr. 100 Phil. RA. Alberto Romulo. 321. 59 People v. 328 [1939]. 1-2 to 1-3). id. (Id. 141. 2300. 86 SCRA 542. Raul del Mar and Narciso Monfort and H.B. 64 Sec. 58 Section 20. People v. 7. COMELEC Resolution No. 87. ISAGANI A. 122 Phil. 38.497 [1970]. inter alia.that may be the subject of initiatives and referendum to those exercisable or within the authority of the local government units. id. 218 . No. 66 Sec. 880). id. Aquilino Pimentel. we have decided to becautious in our approach. J. 2 Ibid. CRUZ. 973. because this is new in our political system. (IV Records of the Senate. Philippine Political Law 86 [1996] (hereafter CRUZ). 3 Prepared and sponsored by the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms on the basis of H. (TSN of the proceedings of the Bicameral Conference Committee on 6 June 1989. 62 Edu v. 6735.. supra. No. p. No. 1986 ed. 5 It was entitled "An Act Providing a System of Initiative and Referendum and Appropriating Funds therefor. Purisima. Rosenthal. Limjap. 2) that initiative can only be exercised if the local legislative cannot be exercised more frequently that once every year. 61 Pelaez v. the Senate decided on a more cautious approach and limiting it only to the local general units. Hence. Auditor General. 1) we limited initiative and referendum to the local government units. Hernani v. p.B. 35 SCRA 481. 4 Introduced by Senators Neptali Gonzales. citing. 63 Sec. No. 68 Phil. 60 People v.

399. p. 6735. R. Metro Manila. 25 Cruz. 5(b). Statutory Construction.6 Journal No. 237.. 13 Francisco. 1995 ed. 14 Black. See also Commissioner of Custom v. 219 . 6735. The House Committee was chaired by Congressman Magdaleno M. 258259. 8 The Senate Committee was chaired by Senator Neptali Gonzales with Senators Agapito Aquino and John Osmena as members. 6735.A. p. People v. No. p. 98. Toribio. 9(b). Greenhills. Relunia. 105 Phil 875 (1959). No. R. February 14. Yabut. 5(b). 337-338. 19 Phil 134 (1911). R. No.A. and Initiative and Referendum on National and Local Laws and promulgated on January 16. 8. No. 23 Sec. 1991 by the COMELEC with Commissioner Haydee B. Yorac as Acting Chairperson and Commissioners Alfredo E. p. as members.. 16 Entitled In re: Rules and Regulations Governing the Conduct of Initiative on the Constitution. 6735. p. Flores. US v. 3rd ed. 17 15 SCRA 569. 21 Sec. 19 Sec. (1968) pp. Dimaampao. Jr. 7 Ibid. Ciudad Fernandina. Handbook on the Construction and Interpretation of the Laws (2nd ed). 15 Phil 7 (1910). XVII of the Constitution. Jr. Palacol with Congressmen Raul Roco. 26 See July 8. 15 Alcantara. Andres R.A. Statutory Construction. 12 Agpalo. Navarro. op cit. Africa. No. 11 Record No. Escudero III and Joaquin Chipeco. 1989. 10.. Statutes. 26 citing Dwarris on Statutes. 24 Sec. Abueg. 22 Sec. Rama and Magdara B.A. pp. 38 citing US v. 1997. 20 Sec. Salvador H. June 8. San Juan.. 1990 ed. R. Art. 85. R. 6735. 10 See Compliance submitted by intervenor Roco dated January 28. 145-146 citing Crawford. 7. R. Leopoldo L.A.. Philippine Political Law.A. pp..A. 4. 960-961. 6735 in relation to Sec. pp. p. R. No. 18 Sec. 121. Dario C. 58 Phil 499 (1933). 9(b). 1986 Debates of the Concom. 137. 6735. 9 Held at Constancia Room. No. 1989.

COMELEC. 111511. 220 . p. et al. v. 97 Phil 806 (1955). 7 Section 3(a) [a. 5. 70 Phil 602 (1940).. G. Provincial Board of Mindoro. 38 Maceda v. G. 41 Garcia v. COMELEC. and Article XVII. 36 Edu v. COMELEC. Macaraig. Section 2. Republic Act No 6735. et al. Pangil Federation of Labor. Rosenthal. op cit. 1997. 29 320 US 99. 125416.. G. 953. 69 SCRA 460 (1976). 245 SCRA 253 (1995). 6 Section 3 (a). 4 Paras v. 88 SCRA 195 (1979). 33 Rubi v. 34 International Hardwood v. Secretary of Education. 1994. 110 Phil 150 (1910). 39 Osmena v. Republic Act No 6735. Edu.. 1987 Constitution.. 28 Cruz. vs. 35 Phil.27 1995 ed. No. p.R. 68 Phil 328 (1939). October 5. 1993. December 4. 5 Tamayo v. No. 31 People v. 1996. Gsell. No. 44 Malonzo vs. J. 32 Calalang v. 39 Phil 669 (1919). Orbos. 99. Secretary of Education. p.. 3 Petition.. et al. Section 32.1]. 123619. 1987 Constitution. Municipality of Tanawan Leyte. G. September 30. No. 127066. 111230. 1996. Agustin v. 35 SCRA 481 (1990). 70 Phil 726 (1940). Ericta. 2 Article VI. No.R. Section 1. 37 Pepsi Cola Bottling Co. Association of Colleges and Universities v. 1207. 43 Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority v. Orbos. concurring and dissenting: 1 Article II. COMELEC. 220 SCRA 703 (1993). Commission on Elections.R. FRANCISCO. 30 Balbuena v.. et al. 42 Garcia. September 26. Williams. 197 SCRA 771 (1991). March 11. 35 Phil. 980.R.R. G. 40 Chiongbian v. et al.

which are clear enough and speak for themselves.2 Initiative on statutes which refers to a petition proposing to enact a national legislation. Raul Roco. or resolution passed by any legislative body upon compliance with the requirements of this Act is hereby affirmed. 221 . in whole or in part. 890. resolution or ordinance. like: Sec. xxx xxx xxx (e) "Plebiscite" is the electoral process by which an initiative on the Constitution is approved or rejected by the people (f) "Petition" is the written instrument containing the proposition and the required number of signatories. 5 Requirements. enact. laws. city..3 Initiative on local legislation which refers to a petition proposing to enact a regional.8 Uytengsu v. — For purposes of this Act. provincial. the following terms shall mean: (a) "Initiative" is the power of the people to propose amendments to the Constitution or to propose and enact legislation's through an election called for the purpose. 3. Definition of Terms. There are three (3) systems of initiative. (b) A petition for an initiative on the 1987 Constitution must have at least twelve per centum (12 %) of the total number of registered voters as signatories.1 Initiative on the Constitution which refers to a petition proposing amendments to the Constitution. . PANGANIBAN. 2. RA 6735 contains sufficient provisions covering initiative on the Constitution. and a. 893 9 Petition in Intervention filed by Sen. a. J. namely: a. Republic. — . recognized and guaranteed. 95 Phil. approve or reject. It shall be in a form to be determined by and submitted to the Commission on Elections. Initiative on the Constitution may be exercised only after five (5) years from the ratification of the 1987 Constitution and only once every five (5) years thereafter. Sec. of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum (3%) of the registered voters therein. 15-16. municipal. hereinafter referred to as the Commission xxx xxx xxx Sec. or barangay law. concurring and dissenting: 1 Apart from its text on "national initiative" which could be used by analogy. . — The power of the people under a system of initiative and referendum to directly propose. ordinances. pp. Statement of Policy. the Constitution.

September 30. amended or repealed.S. R. 1994.Sec. September 26. 655 (1929). 5 United States vs. shall apply to all initiatives and referenda.3 the reason or reasons therefor. Effectivity of Initiative or Referendum Proposition. 1996. as the case may be. 3 237 SCRA 279. and c. Sec.A. 279 U. xxx xxx xxx (c) The petition shall state the following: c. c. xxx xxx xxx Sec. Applicability of the Omnibus Election Code.6 an abstract or summary proposition in not more than one hundred (100) words which shall be legibly written or printed at the top of every page of the petition. (Emphasis supplied) 2 G.R.1 contents or text of the proposed law sought to be enacted. 4 Sec. No. 20. not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act. 644. 125416. — The Omnibus Election Code and other election laws. — xxx xxx xxx (b) The proposition in an initiative on the Constitution approved by a majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite shall become effective as to the day of the plebiscite. 282. 20.2 the proposition.4 that it is not one of the exceptions provided herein. approved or rejected. 9. — The Commission is hereby empowered to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act. 6735. 19.5 signatures of the petitioners or registered voters. 222 . c. c. c. Rosika Schwimmer. Rules and Regulations.

TOGETHER WITH 6. 2006 RAUL L. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.R. Respondent. 174153 October 25. x--------------------------------------------------------x 223 . LAMBINO and ERICO B.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.Petitioners. vs.327. No. AUMENTADO.952 REGISTERED VOTERS.

MONSOD. FROILAN M. x ------------------------------------------------------. QUEZON III.x PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION (PHILCONSA).x TRADE UNION CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES. Dionito Cabillas. BAYAN MUNA represented by its Chairperson Dr. BENJAMIN T. REGINALD PAMUGAS of Health Action for Human Rights. SUSAN V.x ATTY.. JR. ROSALES. TOLEDO. CONRADO F. x ------------------------------------------------------. x---------------------------------------------------------x LUWALHATI RICASA ANTONINO. KILUSANG MAYO UNO represented by its Secretary General Joel Maglunsod.. x-----------------------------------------------------. MIGRANTE represented by its Chairperson Concepcion Bragas-Regalado. LEAGUE OF FILIPINO STUDENTS represented by Chair Vencer Crisostomo Palabay. VENUS. ECUMENICAL BISHOPS FORUM represented by Fr. Reynaldo Lesaca. DR..x RONALD L. and ANA THERESA HONTIVEROSBARAQUEL. Intervenor. TAJON. FORTUNATO P. BACUNGAN. AZURIN. x--------------------------------------------------------x LORETTA ANN P. OPLE.. PETE QUIRINO QUADRA. Intervenor. GABRIELA WOMEN'S PARTY represented by Sec. Intervenors. DE CASTRO. ADAMAT. x--------------------------------------------------------x BAYAN represented by its Chairperson Dr. ANAKBAYAN represented by Chairperson Eleanor de Guzman. Intervenor. x ------------------------------------------------------. Intervenors. DARBY SANTIAGO of the Solidarity of Health Against Charter Change. Intervenors. TOMAS C. MARIANO M. JOJO PINEDA of the League of Concerned Professionals and Businessmen. Cristina Palabay. Carolina Pagaduan-Araullo. x -------------------------------------------------------. INC.x ONEVOICE INC.ALTERNATIVE LAW GROUPS. HEAD represented by its Secretary General Dr. RENE B. ROLANDO MANUEL RIVERA.Intervenors. and RUELO BAYA. MEDINA.. DR. Intervenors. and AMADO GAT INCIONG. x -----------------------------------------------------. Gene Alzona Nisperos. AGUAS. ESTRELLA. Gen. TOLOSA. MANUEL L. JR. MARIO JOYO AGUJA. x--------------------------------------------------------x ARTURO M. CHRISTIAN S. JR. Intervenor.x 224 . Intervenor. and CARLOS P. GABRIELA represented by its Secretary General Emerenciana de Jesus. JOAQUIN T.

LAT. x ------------------------------------------------------.. ANTONIO L. ABALOS. and John Doe and Peter Doe. Intervenors. JR. BYRON D. FLORENTINO A. Intervenors. and Commissioners RESURRECCION Z. Intervenors.: The Case 225 . Intervenors.. JR. x -----------------------------------------------------x JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA and PWERSA NG MASANG PILIPINO. 2006 MAR-LEN ABIGAIL BINAY. LIM and PANFILO LACSON. Petitioners.R.PHILIPPINE TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS ORGANIZATION (PTGWO) and MR. NICODEMO T.V. Intervenors. SALVADOR. MANUEL VILLAR.. CADIZ. J. x ------------------------------------------------------. SAGUISAG.x SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. represented by its President. Intervenor. and RENE A. x -------------------------------------------------------. SOFRONIO UNTALAN.x INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES. JINGGOY ESTRADA. ALFREDO S. FERRER. No. MA. OSMENA III. TANYA KARINA A.x JOSE ANSELMO I. RENE V. DECISION CARPIO. INC. BOCAR... JR. ROMEO A. represented by Chairman BENJAMIN S. SR. JAMBY MADRIGAL. BRAWNER. SARMIENTO. BALAIS. x --------------------------------------------------------x SENATE MINORITY LEADER AQUILINO Q. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. TUASON..x SULONG BAYAN MOVEMENT FOUNDATION. Respondent. and SENATORS SERGIO R. PIMENTEL. VICTORINO F. JR. Intervenor. and RANDALL TABAYOYONG. CEBU CITY AND CEBU PROVINCE CHAPTERS. x -------------------------------------------------------. vs. x -----------------------------------------------------x G. BORRA. 174299 October 25.

6735 or the Initiative and Referendum Act ("RA 6735"). No.R. 7 The Ruling of the COMELEC On 31 August 2006.327. the Lambino Group claims that Santiago binds only the parties to that case. the Solicitor General joined causes with the petitioners.952 individuals constituting at least twelveper centum (12%) of all registered voters. the Lambino Group prays for the issuance of the writs of certiorari and mandamus to set aside the COMELEC Resolution of 31 August 2006 and to compel the COMELEC to give due course to their initiative petition." 226 . CHANGING THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT FROM THE PRESENT BICAMERAL-PRESIDENTIAL TO A UNICAMERAL-PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM. 9 In G.These are consolidated petitions on the Resolution dated 31 August 2006 of the Commission on Elections ("COMELEC") denying due course to an initiative petition to amend the 1987 Constitution. the COMELEC should submit the following proposition in a plebiscite for the voters' ratification: DO YOU APPROVE THE AMENDMENT OF ARTICLES VI AND VII OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION. the Lambino Group filed an Amended Petition with the COMELEC indicating modifications in the proposed Article XVIII (Transitory Provisions) of their initiative."6 These proposed changes will shift the present BicameralPresidential system to a Unicameral-Parliamentary form of government. Lambino and Erico B. the COMELEC issued its Resolution denying due course to the Lambino Group's petition for lack of an enabling law governing initiative petitions to amend the Constitution. Commission on Elections8 declaring RA 6735 inadequate to implement the initiative clause on proposals to amend the Constitution. commenced gathering signatures for an initiative petition to change the 1987 Constitution. 174153. The Court treated the Binay Group's petition as an opposition-in-intervention. No. The Solicitor General proposed that the Court treat RA 6735 and its implementing rules "as temporary devises to implement the system of initiative. petitioners ("Binay Group") pray that the Court require respondent COMELEC Commissioners to show cause why they should not be cited in contempt for the COMELEC's verification of signatures and for "entertaining" the Lambino Group's petition despite the permanent injunction in Santiago. The Lambino Group prayed that after due publication of their petition. 174299. The Lambino Group's initiative petition changes the 1987 Constitution by modifying Sections 1-7 of Article VI (Legislative Department)4 and Sections 1-4 of Article VII (Executive Department)5 and by adding Article XVIII entitled "Transitory Provisions.R. In his Comment to the Lambino Group's petition. The Lambino Group alleged that their petition had the support of 6.3 million individuals. Aumentado ("Lambino Group").R. the Lambino Group filed a petition with the COMELEC to hold a plebiscite that will ratify their initiative petition under Section 5(b) and (c)2 and Section 73 of Republic Act No. The Lambino Group contends that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in denying due course to their petition since Santiago is not a binding precedent. 174153. with other groups1 and individuals. AND PROVIDING ARTICLE XVIII AS TRANSITORY PROVISIONS FOR THE ORDERLY SHIFT FROM ONE SYSTEM TO THE OTHER? On 30 August 2006. No. The COMELEC invoked this Court's ruling in Santiago v. Alternatively." In G. and their petition deserves cognizance as an expression of the "will of the sovereign people. On 25 August 2006. with each legislative district represented by at least three per centum(3%) of its registered voters. namely Raul L. Antecedent Facts On 15 February 2006. petitioners in G. urging the Court to grant the petition despite the Santiago ruling. The Lambino Group also claimed that COMELEC election registrars had verified the signatures of the 6.

After receiving the parties' memoranda. as the present petition warrants dismissal based alone on the Lambino Group's glaring failure to comply with the basic requirements of the Constitution. The Lambino Group miserably failed to comply with the basic requirements of the Constitution for conducting a people's initiative. 2. Whether this Court should revisit its ruling in Santiago declaring RA 6735 "incomplete." thus: 227 . Thus. This section states: Sec. On the other hand. The Issues The petitions raise the following issues: 1. For following the Court's ruling in Santiago. and 3. the opposing intervenors 11 hold the contrary view and maintain that Santiago is a binding precedent.12 (4) the nature of the proposed changes as revisions and not mere amendments as provided under Section 2. and (5) the Lambino Group's compliance with the requirement in Section 10(a) of RA 6735 limiting initiative petitions to only one subject. The supporting intervenors10 uniformly hold the view that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in relying on Santiago. The Initiative Petition Does Not Comply with Section 2. 1. 2. Whether the Lambino Group's initiative petition complies with Section 2. Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution. The opposing intervenors also challenged (1) the Lambino Group's standing to file the petition. no grave abuse of discretion is attributable to the Commision on Elections. Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution. there is even no need to revisit Santiago.Various groups and individuals sought intervention. x x x x (Emphasis supplied) The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission vividly explain the meaning of an amendment "directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition. (3) the Lambino Group's compliance with the minimum requirement for the percentage of voters supporting an initiative petition under Section 2. Article XVII of the Constitution on amendments to the Constitution through a people's initiative. The Court heard the parties and intervenors in oral arguments on 26 September 2006. Article XVII of the Constitution is the governing constitutional provision that allows a people's initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve 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 therein. The Ruling of the Court There is no merit to the petition. filing pleadings supporting or opposing the Lambino Group's petition. Whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in denying due course to the Lambino Group's petition. Article XVII of the Constitution on Direct Proposal by the People Section 2. (2) the validity of the signature gathering and verification process. inadequate or wanting in essential terms and conditions" to implement the initiative clause on proposals to amend the Constitution. the Court considered the case submitted for resolution.

an amendment is "directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition" only if the people sign on a petition that contains the full text of the proposed amendments. loose interpretation of the subscription requirement can pose a significant potential for fraud. SUAREZ: As it is envisioned." The essence of amendments "directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition" is thatthe entire proposal on its face is a petition by the people. RODRIGO: No. because before they sign there is already a draft shown to them and they are asked whether or not they want to propose this constitutional amendment. the people must author and thus sign the entire proposal." The framers also "envisioned" that the people should sign on the proposal itself because the proponents must "prepare that proposal and pass it around for signature. This is an assurance that every one of the several millions of signatories to the petition had seen the full text of the proposed amendments before signing. A person permitted to describe orally the contents of an initiative petition to a potential signer. Madam President. without the signer having actually examined the petition. given the time constraint. No agent or representative can sign on their behalf. State Ballot Commission. the Supreme Court of Massachusetts.MR. Madam President. declared: [A] signature requirement would be meaningless if the person supplying the signature has not first seen what it is that he or she is signing. any Filipino can prepare that proposal and pass it around for signature. affirmed by the First Circuit Court of Appeals. the petition must state the fact of such attachment. In almost all States 15 which allow initiative petitions. If so attached. or attached to it. it is physically impossible. the proposal must be embodied in a petition.13 (Emphasis supplied) Clearly. the unbending requirement is that the people must first see the full text of the proposed amendments before they sign to signify their assent. This means two essential elements must be present. MR. and more importantly. RODRIGO: Let us look at the mechanics.16 The rationale for this requirement has been repeatedly explained in several decisions of various courts. 228 . Further. RODRIGO: What does the sponsor mean? The draft is ready and shown to them before they sign. who prepares the draft? MR. SUAREZ: That can be reasonably assumed. SUAREZ: The people themselves. Now. Otherwise. and that the people must sign on an initiative petition that contains the full text of the proposed amendments. inCapezzuto v. Second. Let us say some voters want to propose a constitutional amendment. The full text of the proposed amendments may be either written on the face of the petition. the framers of the Constitution intended that the "draft of the proposed constitutional amendment" should be "ready and shown" to the people "before" they sign such proposal. MR. Is the draft of the proposed constitutional amendment ready to be shown to the people when they are asked to sign? MR. as an initiative upon a petition. The framers plainly stated that "before they sign there is already a draft shown to them. First. Thus. could easily mislead the signer by. MR. to prove that every one of the millions of signatories had seen the full text of the proposed amendments before signing. Thus. These essential elements are present only if the full text of the proposed amendments is first shown to the people who express their assent by signing such complete proposal in a petition. The framers of the Constitution directly borrowed14 the concept of people's initiative from the United States where various State constitutions incorporate an initiative clause.

The proponents present favorably their proposal to the people and do not present the arguments against their proposal.18 the Court of Appeals of Oregon explained: The purposes of "full text" provisions that apply to amendments by initiative commonly are described in similar terms. The proponents. the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission explicitly reveal that the framers intended that the people must first see the full text of the proposed amendments before they sign. This danger seems particularly acute when. portions of the petition that might not be to the signer's liking. x x x (The purpose of the full text requirement is to provide sufficient information so that registered voters can intelligently evaluate whether to sign the initiative petition. or incorporated by attachment. of Verified Signatures: 229 . The signature sheet attached to Atty. there is no presumption that the proponents observed the constitutional requirements in gathering the signatures. the person giving the description is the drafter of the petition. The proponents secure the signatures in their private capacity and not as public officials.that the petition contained. Quadra's opposition and the signature sheet attached to the Lambino Group's Memorandum are the same. he must have this knowledge. downplaying. or their supporters. If he is to vote intelligently. The proponents are not disinterested parties who can impartially explain the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed amendments to the people. the Initiative and Referendum Act that the Lambino Group invokes as valid. in Kerr v. The signature sheet with this Court during the oral arguments was the signature sheet attached21 to the opposition in intervention filed on 7 September 2006 by intervenor Atty.for example. The Lambino Group submitted to this Court a copy of a signature sheet20 after the oral arguments of 26 September 2006 when they filed their Memorandum on 11 October 2006. requires that the people must sign the "petition x x x as signatories. However. often pay those who gather the signatures. Section 5(b) of Republic Act No. "an initiative signer must be informed at the time of signing of the nature and effect of that which is proposed" and failure to do so is "deceptive and misleading" which renders the initiative void."). Thus. Pete Quirino-Quadra. We reproduce below the signature sheet in full: Province: Legislative District: City/Municipality: Barangay: No. Article XVII of the Constitution does not expressly state that the petition must set forth the full text of the proposed amendments. and that the people must sign on a petition containing such full text. the full text of the proposed amendments.") (Emphasis supplied) Moreover. Bradbury. omitting. In particular.17 (Boldfacing and underscoring supplied) Likewise. 6735.19 Section 2. who obviously has a vested interest in seeing that it gets the requisite signatures to qualify for the ballot. x x x (publication of full text of amended constitutional provision required because it is "essential for the elector to have x x x the section which is proposed to be added to or subtracted from. Indeed. The proponents bear the burden of proving that they complied with the constitutional requirements in gathering the signatures . the deliberations of the framers of our Constitution clearly show that the framers intended to adopt the relevant American jurisprudence on people's initiative. Otherwise in many instances he would be required to vote in the dark. in this case. The Lambino Group did not attach to their present petition with this Court a copy of the paper that the people signed as their initiative petition. or even flatly misrepresenting." The proponents of the initiative secure the signatures from the people.

PROPOSITION: "DO YOU APPROVE OF THE AMENDMENT OF ARTICLES VI AND VII OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION, CHANGING THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT FROM THE PRESENT BICAMERAL-PRESIDENTIAL TO A UNICAMERAL-PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT, IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE GREATER EFFICIENCY, SIMPLICITY AND ECONOMY IN GOVERNMENT; AND PROVIDING AN ARTICLE XVIII AS TRANSITORY PROVISIONS FOR THE ORDERLY SHIFT FROM ONE SYSTEM TO ANOTHER?" I hereby APPROVE the proposed amendment to the 1987 Constitution. My signature herein which shall form part of the petition for initiative to amend the Constitution signifies my support for the filing thereof. Precinct Number Name Last Name, First Name, M.I. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 _________________ Barangay Official (Print Name and Sign) _________________ Witness (Print Name and Sign) __________________ Witness (Print Name and Sign) Address Birthdate MM/DD/YY Signature Verification

There is not a single word, phrase, or sentence of text of the Lambino Group's proposed changes in the signature sheet. Neither does the signature sheet state that the text of the proposed changes is attached to it. Petitioner Atty. Raul Lambino admitted this during the oral arguments before this Court on 26 September 2006. The signature sheet merely asks a question whether the people approve a shift from the BicameralPresidential to the Unicameral-Parliamentary system of government. The signature sheet does not show to the people the draft of the proposed changes before they are asked to sign the signature sheet. Clearly, the signature sheet is not the "petition" that the framers of the Constitution envisioned when they formulated the initiative clause in Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution. Petitioner Atty. Lambino, however, explained that during the signature-gathering from February to August 2006, the Lambino Group circulated, together with the signature sheets, printed copies of the Lambino Group's draft petition which they later filed on 25 August 2006 with the COMELEC. When asked if his group also circulated the draft of their amended petition filed on 30 August 2006 with the COMELEC, Atty. Lambino initially replied that they circulated both. However, Atty. Lambino changed his answer and stated that what his group circulated was the draft of the 30 August 2006 amended petition, not the draft of the 25 August 2006 petition. The Lambino Group would have this Court believe that they prepared the draft of the 30 August 2006 amended petition almost seven months earlier in February 2006 when they started gathering signatures. Petitioner Erico B. Aumentado's "Verification/Certification" of the 25 August 2006 petition, as well as of the 30 August 2006 amended petition, filed with the COMELEC, states as follows:

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I have caused the preparation of the foregoing [Amended] Petition in my personal capacity as a registered voter, for and on behalf of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, as shown by ULAP Resolution No. 2006-02 hereto attached, and as representative of the mass of signatories hereto. (Emphasis supplied) The Lambino Group failed to attach a copy of ULAP Resolution No. 2006-02 to the present petition. However, the "Official Website of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines" 22 has posted the full text of Resolution No. 2006-02, which provides: RESOLUTION NO. 2006-02 RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE PROPOSALS OF THE PEOPLE'S CONSULTATIVE COMMISSION ON CHARTER CHANGE THROUGH PEOPLE'S INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM AS A MODE OF AMENDING THE 1987 CONSTITUTION WHEREAS, there is a need for the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) to adopt a common stand on the approach to support the proposals of the People's Consultative Commission on Charter Change; WHEREAS, ULAP maintains its unqualified support to the agenda of Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for constitutional reforms as embodied in the ULAP Joint Declaration for Constitutional Reforms signed by the members of the ULAP and the majority coalition of the House of Representatives in Manila Hotel sometime in October 2005; WHEREAS, the People's Consultative Commission on Charter Change created by Her Excellency to recommend amendments to the 1987 Constitution has submitted its final report sometime in December 2005; WHEREAS, the ULAP is mindful of the current political developments in Congress which militates against the use of the expeditious form of amending the 1987 Constitution; WHEREAS, subject to the ratification of its institutional members and the failure of Congress to amend the Constitution as a constituent assembly, ULAP has unanimously agreed to pursue the constitutional reform agenda through People's Initiative and Referendum without prejudice to other pragmatic means to pursue the same; WHEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED AS IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, THAT ALL THE MEMBERLEAGUES OF THE UNION OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES OF THE PHILIPPINES (ULAP) SUPPORT THE PORPOSALS (SIC) OF THE PEOPLE'S CONSULATATIVE (SIC) COMMISSION ON CHARTER CHANGE THROUGH PEOPLE'S INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM AS A MODE OF AMENDING THE 1987 CONSTITUTION; DONE, during the ULAP National Executive Board special meeting held on 14 January 2006 at the Century Park Hotel, Manila.23 (Underscoring supplied) ULAP Resolution No. 2006-02 does not authorize petitioner Aumentado to prepare the 25 August 2006 petition, or the 30 August 2006 amended petition, filed with the COMELEC. ULAP Resolution No. 2006-02 "support(s) the porposals (sic) of the Consulatative (sic) Commission on Charter Change through people's initiative and referendum as a mode of amending the 1987 Constitution." The proposals of the Consultative Commission24 arevastly different from the proposed changes of the Lambino Group in the 25 August 2006 petition or 30 August 2006 amended petition filed with the COMELEC. For example, the proposed revisions of the Consultative Commission affect all provisions of the existing Constitution, from the Preamble to the Transitory Provisions. The proposed revisions have profound

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impact on the Judiciary and the National Patrimony provisions of the existing Constitution, provisions that the Lambino Group's proposed changes do not touch. The Lambino Group's proposed changes purport to affect only Articles VI and VII of the existing Constitution, including the introduction of new Transitory Provisions. The ULAP adopted Resolution No. 2006-02 on 14 January 2006 or more than six months before the filing of the 25 August 2006 petition or the 30 August 2006 amended petition with the COMELEC. However, ULAP Resolution No. 2006-02 does not establish that ULAP or the Lambino Group caused the circulation of the draft petition, together with the signature sheets, six months before the filing with the COMELEC. On the contrary, ULAP Resolution No. 2006-02 casts grave doubt on the Lambino Group's claim that they circulated the draft petition together with the signature sheets. ULAP Resolution No. 2006-02 does not refer at all to the draft petition or to the Lambino Group's proposed changes. In their Manifestation explaining their amended petition before the COMELEC, the Lambino Group declared: After the Petition was filed, Petitioners belatedly realized that the proposed amendments alleged in the Petition, more specifically, paragraph 3 of Section 4 and paragraph 2 of Section 5 of the Transitory Provisions were inaccurately stated and failed to correctly reflect their proposed amendments. The Lambino Group did not allege that they were amending the petition because the amended petition was what they had shown to the people during the February to August 2006 signature-gathering. Instead, the Lambino Group alleged that the petition of 25 August 2006 "inaccurately stated and failed to correctly reflect their proposed amendments." The Lambino Group never alleged in the 25 August 2006 petition or the 30 August 2006 amended petition with the COMELEC that they circulated printed copies of the draft petition together with the signature sheets. Likewise, the Lambino Group did not allege in their present petition before this Court that they circulated printed copies of the draft petition together with the signature sheets. The signature sheets do not also contain any indication that the draft petition is attached to, or circulated with, the signature sheets. It is only in their Consolidated Reply to the Opposition-in-Interventions that the Lambino Group first claimed that they circulated the "petition for initiative filed with the COMELEC," thus: [T]here is persuasive authority to the effect that "(w)here there is not (sic) fraud, a signer who did not read the measure attached to a referendum petition cannot question his signature on the ground that he did not understand the nature of the act." [82 C.J.S. S128h. Mo. State v. Sullivan, 224, S.W. 327, 283 Mo. 546.] Thus, the registered voters who signed the signature sheets circulated together with the petition for initiative filed with the COMELEC below, are presumed to have understood the proposition contained in the petition. (Emphasis supplied) The Lambino Group's statement that they circulated to the people "the petition for initiative filed with the COMELEC" appears an afterthought, made after the intervenors Integrated Bar of the Philippines (Cebu City Chapter and Cebu Province Chapters) and Atty. Quadra had pointed out that the signature sheets did not contain the text of the proposed changes. In their Consolidated Reply, the Lambino Group alleged that they circulated "the petition for initiative" but failed to mention the amended petition. This contradicts what Atty. Lambino finally stated during the oral arguments that what they circulated was the draft of the amended petition of 30 August 2006. The Lambino Group cites as authority Corpus Juris Secundum, stating that "a signer who did not read the measure attached to a referendum petition cannot question his signature on the ground that he did not understand the nature of the act." The Lambino Group quotes an authority that cites a proposed

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changeattached to the petition signed by the people. Even the authority the Lambino Group quotes requires that the proposed change must be attached to the petition. The same authority the Lambino Group quotes requires the people to sign on the petition itself. Indeed, it is basic in American jurisprudence that the proposed amendment must be incorporated with, or attached to, the initiative petition signed by the people. In the present initiative, the Lambino Group's proposed changes were not incorporated with, or attached to, the signature sheets. The Lambino Group's citation of Corpus Juris Secundum pulls the rug from under their feet. It is extremely doubtful that the Lambino Group prepared, printed, circulated, from February to August 2006 during the signature-gathering period, the draft of the petition or amended petition they filed later with the COMELEC. The Lambino Group are less than candid with this Court in their belated claim that they printed and circulated, together with the signature sheets, the petition or amended petition. Nevertheless, even assuming the Lambino Group circulated the amended petition during the signature-gathering period, the Lambino Group admitted circulating only very limited copies of the petition. During the oral arguments, Atty. Lambino expressly admitted that they printed only 100,000 copies of the draft petition they filed more than six months later with the COMELEC. Atty. Lambino added that he also asked other supporters to print additional copies of the draft petition but he could not state with certainty how many additional copies the other supporters printed. Atty. Lambino could only assure this Court of the printing of 100,000 copies because he himself caused the printing of these 100,000 copies. Likewise, in the Lambino Group's Memorandum filed on 11 October 2006, the Lambino Group expressly admits that "petitioner Lambino initiated the printing and reproduction of 100,000 copies of the petition for initiative x x x."25 This admission binds the Lambino Group and establishes beyond any doubt that the Lambino Group failed to show the full text of the proposed changes to the great majority of the people who signed the signature sheets. Thus, of the 6.3 million signatories, only 100,000 signatories could have received with certainty one copy each of the petition, assuming a 100 percent distribution with no wastage. If Atty. Lambino and company attached one copy of the petition to each signature sheet, only 100,000 signature sheets could have circulated with the petition. Each signature sheet contains space for ten signatures. Assuming ten people signed each of these 100,000 signature sheets with the attached petition, the maximum number of people who saw the petition before they signed the signature sheets would not exceed 1,000,000. With only 100,000 printed copies of the petition, it would be physically impossible for all or a great majority of the 6.3 million signatories to have seen the petition before they signed the signature sheets. The inescapable conclusion is that the Lambino Group failed to show to the 6.3 million signatories the full text of the proposed changes. If ever, not more than one million signatories saw the petition before they signed the signature sheets. In any event, the Lambino Group's signature sheets do not contain the full text of the proposed changes, either on the face of the signature sheets, or as attachment with an indication in the signature sheet of such attachment.Petitioner Atty. Lambino admitted this during the oral arguments, and this admission binds the Lambino Group. This fact is also obvious from a mere reading of the signature sheet. This omission is fatal. The failure to so include the text of the proposed changes in the signature sheets renders the initiative void for non-compliance with the constitutional requirement that the amendment must be "directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition." The signature sheet is not the "petition" envisioned in the initiative clause of the Constitution. For sure, the great majority of the 6.3 million people who signed the signature sheets did not see the full text of the proposed changes before signing. They could not have known the nature and effect of the proposed changes, among which are:

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1. The term limits on members of the legislature will be lifted and thus members of Parliament can be re-elected indefinitely;26 2. The interim Parliament can continue to function indefinitely until its members, who are almost all the present members of Congress, decide to call for new parliamentary elections. Thus, the members of the interim Parliament will determine the expiration of their own term of office; 27 3. Within 45 days from the ratification of the proposed changes, the interim Parliament shall convene to propose further amendments or revisions to the Constitution.28 These three specific amendments are not stated or even indicated in the Lambino Group's signature sheets. The people who signed the signature sheets had no idea that they were proposing these amendments. These three proposed changes are highly controversial. The people could not have inferred or divined these proposed changes merely from a reading or rereading of the contents of the signature sheets. During the oral arguments, petitioner Atty. Lambino stated that he and his group assured the people during the signature-gathering that the elections for the regular Parliament would be held during the 2007 local elections if the proposed changes were ratified before the 2007 local elections. However, the text of the proposed changes belies this. The proposed Section 5(2), Article XVIII on Transitory Provisions, as found in the amended petition, states: Section 5(2). The interim Parliament shall provide for the election of the members of Parliament, which shall be synchronized and held simultaneously with the election of all local government officials. x x x x (Emphasis supplied) Section 5(2) does not state that the elections for the regular Parliament will be held simultaneously with the 2007 local elections. This section merely requires that the elections for the regular Parliament shall be held simultaneously with the local elections without specifying the year. Petitioner Atty. Lambino, who claims to be the principal drafter of the proposed changes, could have easily written the word "next" before the phrase "election of all local government officials." This would have insured that the elections for the regular Parliament would be held in the next local elections following the ratification of the proposed changes. However, the absence of the word "next" allows the interim Parliament to schedule the elections for the regular Parliament simultaneously with any future local elections. Thus, the members of the interim Parliament will decide the expiration of their own term of office. This allows incumbent members of the House of Representatives to hold office beyond their current three-year term of office, and possibly even beyond the five-year term of office of regular members of the Parliament. Certainly, this is contrary to the representations of Atty. Lambino and his group to the 6.3 million people who signed the signature sheets. Atty. Lambino and his group deceived the 6.3 million signatories, and even the entire nation. This lucidly shows the absolute need for the people to sign an initiative petition that contains the full text of the proposed amendments to avoid fraud or misrepresentation. In the present initiative, the 6.3 million signatories had to rely on the verbal representations of Atty. Lambino and his group because the signature sheets did not contain the full text of the proposed changes. The result is a grand deception on the 6.3 million signatories who were led to believe that the proposed changes would require the holding in 2007 of elections for the regular Parliament simultaneously with the local elections.

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The Lambino Group's initiative springs another surprise on the people who signed the signature sheets. The proposed changes mandate the interim Parliament to make further amendments or revisions to the Constitution. The proposed Section 4(4), Article XVIII on Transitory Provisions, provides: Section 4(4). Within forty-five days from ratification of these amendments, the interim Parliament shall convene to propose amendments to, or revisions of, this Constitution consistent with the principles of local autonomy, decentralization and a strong bureaucracy. (Emphasis supplied) During the oral arguments, Atty. Lambino stated that this provision is a "surplusage" and the Court and the people should simply ignore it. Far from being a surplusage, this provision invalidates the Lambino Group's initiative. Section 4(4) is a subject matter totally unrelated to the shift from the Bicameral-Presidential to the Unicameral-Parliamentary system. American jurisprudence on initiatives outlaws this as logrolling - when the initiative petition incorporates an unrelated subject matter in the same petition. This puts the people in a dilemma since they can answer only either yes or no to the entire proposition, forcing them to sign a petition that effectively contains two propositions, one of which they may find unacceptable. Under American jurisprudence, the effect of logrolling is to nullify the entire proposition and not only the unrelated subject matter. Thus, in Fine v. Firestone,29 the Supreme Court of Florida declared: Combining multiple propositions into one proposal constitutes "logrolling," which, if our judicial responsibility is to mean anything, we cannot permit. The very broadness of the proposed amendment amounts to logrolling because the electorate cannot know what it is voting on - the amendment's proponents' simplistic explanation reveals only the tip of the iceberg. x x x x The ballot must give the electorate fair notice of the proposed amendment being voted on. x x x x The ballot language in the instant case fails to do that. The very broadness of the proposal makes it impossible to state what it will affect and effect and violates the requirement that proposed amendments embrace only one subject. (Emphasis supplied) Logrolling confuses and even deceives the people. In Yute Air Alaska v. McAlpine,30 the Supreme Court of Alaska warned against "inadvertence, stealth and fraud" in logrolling: Whenever a bill becomes law through the initiative process, all of the problems that the single-subject rule was enacted to prevent are exacerbated. There is a greater danger of logrolling, or the deliberate intermingling of issues to increase the likelihood of an initiative's passage, and there is a greater opportunity for "inadvertence, stealth and fraud" in the enactment-by-initiative process. The drafters of an initiative operate independently of any structured or supervised process. They often emphasize particular provisions of their proposition, while remaining silent on other (more complex or less appealing) provisions, when communicating to the public. x x x Indeed, initiative promoters typically use simplistic advertising to present their initiative to potential petition-signers and eventual voters. Many voters will never read the full text of the initiative before the election. More importantly, there is no process for amending or splitting the several provisions in an initiative proposal. These difficulties clearly distinguish the initiative from the legislative process. (Emphasis supplied) Thus, the present initiative appears merely a preliminary step for further amendments or revisions to be undertaken by the interim Parliament as a constituent assembly. The people who signed the signature sheets could not have known that their signatures would be used to propose an amendment mandating the interim Parliament to propose further amendments or revisions to the Constitution. Apparently, the Lambino Group inserted the proposed Section 4(4) to compel the interim Parliament to amend or revise again the Constitution within 45 days from ratification of the proposed changes, or before the May 2007 elections. In the absence of the proposed Section 4(4), the interim Parliament

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has the discretion whether to amend or revise again the Constitution. With the proposed Section 4(4), the initiative proponents want the interim Parliament mandated to immediately amend or revise again the Constitution. However, the signature sheets do not explain the reason for this rush in amending or revising again so soon the Constitution. The signature sheets do not also explain what specific amendments or revisions the initiative proponents want the interim Parliament to make, and why there is a need for such further amendments or revisions. The people are again left in the dark to fathom the nature and effect of the proposed changes. Certainly, such an initiative is not "directly proposed by the people" because the people do not even know the nature and effect of the proposed changes. There is another intriguing provision inserted in the Lambino Group's amended petition of 30 August 2006. The proposed Section 4(3) of the Transitory Provisions states: Section 4(3). Senators whose term of office ends in 2010 shall be members of Parliament until noon of the thirtieth day of June 2010. After 30 June 2010, not one of the present Senators will remain as member of Parliament if the interim Parliament does not schedule elections for the regular Parliament by 30 June 2010. However, there is no counterpart provision for the present members of the House of Representatives even if their term of office will all end on 30 June 2007, three years earlier than that of half of the present Senators. Thus, all the present members of the House will remain members of the interim Parliament after 30 June 2010. The term of the incumbent President ends on 30 June 2010. Thereafter, the Prime Minister exercises all the powers of the President. If the interim Parliament does not schedule elections for the regular Parliament by 30 June 2010, the Prime Minister will come only from the present members of the House of Representatives to theexclusion of the present Senators. The signature sheets do not explain this discrimination against the Senators. The 6.3 million people who signed the signature sheets could not have known that their signatures would be used to discriminate against the Senators. They could not have known that their signatures would be used to limit, after 30 June 2010, the interim Parliament's choice of Prime Minister only to members of the existing House of Representatives. An initiative that gathers signatures from the people without first showing to the people the full text of the proposed amendments is most likely a deception, and can operate as a gigantic fraud on the people. That is why the Constitution requires that an initiative must be "directly proposed by the people x x x in a petition" - meaning that the people must sign on a petition that contains the full text of the proposed amendments. On so vital an issue as amending the nation's fundamental law, the writing of the text of the proposed amendments cannot behidden from the people under a general or special power of attorney to unnamed, faceless, and unelected individuals. The Constitution entrusts to the people the power to directly propose amendments to the Constitution. This Court trusts the wisdom of the people even if the members of this Court do not personally know the people who sign the petition. However, this trust emanates from a fundamental assumption: the full text of the proposed amendment is first shown to the people before they sign the petition, not after they have signed the petition. In short, the Lambino Group's initiative is void and unconstitutional because it dismally fails to comply with the requirement of Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution that the initiative must be "directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition." 2. The Initiative Violates Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution Disallowing Revision through Initiatives

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A people's initiative to change the Constitution applies only to an amendment of the Constitution and not to its revision. In contrast, Congress or a constitutional convention can propose both amendments and revisions to the Constitution. Article XVII of the Constitution provides: ARTICLE XVII AMENDMENTS OR REVISIONS Sec. 1. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by: (1) The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members, or (2) A constitutional convention. Sec. 2. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative x x x. (Emphasis supplied) Article XVII of the Constitution speaks of three modes of amending the Constitution. The first mode is through Congress upon three-fourths vote of all its Members. The second mode is through a constitutional convention. The third mode is through a people's initiative. Section 1 of Article XVII, referring to the first and second modes, applies to "[A]ny amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution." In contrast, Section 2 of Article XVII, referring to the third mode, applies only to "[A]mendments to this Constitution." This distinction was intentional as shown by the following deliberations of the Constitutional Commission: MR. SUAREZ: Thank you, Madam President. May we respectfully call the attention of the Members of the Commission that pursuant to the mandate given to us last night, we submitted this afternoon a complete Committee Report No. 7 which embodies the proposed provision governing the matter of initiative. This is now covered by Section 2 of the complete committee report. With the permission of the Members, may I quote Section 2: The people may, after five years from the date of the last plebiscite held, directly propose amendments to this Constitution thru initiative upon petition of at least ten percent of the registered voters. This completes the blanks appearing in the original Committee Report No. 7. This proposal was suggested on the theory that this matter of initiative, which came about because of the extraordinary developments this year, has to be separated from the traditional modes of amending the Constitution as embodied in Section 1. The committee members felt that this system of initiative should be limited to amendments to the Constitution and should not extend to the revision of the entire Constitution, so we removed it from the operation of Section 1 of the proposed Article on Amendment or Revision. x x x x xxxx MS. AQUINO: [I] am seriously bothered by providing this process of initiative as a separate section in the Article on Amendment. Would the sponsor be amenable to accepting an amendment in terms of realigning Section 2 as another subparagraph (c) of Section 1, instead of setting it up as another separate section as if it were a self-executing provision? MR. SUAREZ: We would be amenable except that, as we clarified a while ago, this process of initiative is limited to the matter of amendment and should not expand into a revision

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the Supreme Court of Oregon ruled in Holmes v. Madam President. SUAREZ: That is right. This has been the consistent ruling of state supreme courts in the United States. would only apply to amendments? MR. Consequently if the scope of the proposed initiative measure (hereinafter termed 'the measure') now before us is so broad that if such measure became law a substantial revision of our present state Constitution would be effected. MS. the Committee was attempting to distinguish the coverage of modes (a) and (b) in Section 1 to include the process of revision. Those were the terms envisioned in the Committee.31 (Emphasis supplied) There can be no mistake about it. Section 1. and wrote. MAAMBONG: Thank you.which contemplates a total overhaul of the Constitution. which is given to the public. the people cannot propose revisions even as they are empowered to propose amendments. DAVIDE: No. That was the sense that was conveyed by the Committee. x x x x It is thus clear that a revision of the Constitution may be accomplished only through ratification by the people of a revised constitution proposed by a convention called for that purpose as outlined hereinabove. Thus. The framers intended. AQUINO: In other words. MAAMBONG: My first question: Commissioner Davide's proposed amendment on line 1 refers to "amendments. that a people's initiative may propose only amendments to the Constitution. because "amendments" and "revision" should be covered by Section 1." MR. and the writ sought by petitioner should issue. MS. Jordan. or other change only through the use of one of the specified means. then the measure may not properly be submitted to the electorate until and unless it is first agreed upon by a constitutional convention. whereas.32the Supreme Court of California ruled: The initiative power reserved by the people by amendment to the Constitution x x x applies only to the proposing and the adopting or rejecting of 'laws and amendments to the Constitution' and does not purport to extend to a constitutional revision. The constitution itself recognizes that there is a difference between an amendment and a revision. and wrote." Does it not cover the word "revision" as defined by Commissioner Padilla when he made the distinction between the words "amendments" and "revision"? MR. and wrote. Where the intent and language of the Constitution clearly withhold from the people the power to propose revisions to the Constitution. The document appears to be based in large part on the revision of the 238 . it can be altered by those who favor amendments. xxxx MR. So insofar as initiative is concerned. and thank you. The framers intended. Appling:33 It is well established that when a constitution specifies the manner in which it may be amended or revised. that only Congress or a constitutional convention may propose revisions to the Constitution. a clear distinction between "amendment" and "revision" of the Constitution. and it is obvious from an examination of the measure here in question that it is not an amendment as that term is generally understood and as it is used in Article IV. it does not. AQUINO: I thank the sponsor. it can only relate to "amendments" not "revision. The framers of the Constitution intended. x x x x (Emphasis supplied) Likewise. the process of initiation to amend. revision. in McFadden v.

whose members are sworn to defend and protect the Constitution. the Constitution. 364:34 It is a fundamental principle that a constitution can only be revised or amended in the manner prescribed by the instrument itself. The question is. in adopting a constitution. One of the earliest cases that recognized the distinction described the fundamental difference in this manner: [T]he very term "constitution" implies an instrument of a permanent and abiding nature. and the provisions contained therein for its revision indicate the will of the people that the underlying principles upon which it rests. x x x x Similarly. it is not such a measure as can be submitted to the people through the initiative. If a revision. Article XVII of the Constitution. as when the change affects 239 . cannot justify a deviation from the specific modes prescribed in the Constitution itself. Section 1. Whether it be a revision or a new constitution. While differing from that document in material respects. shall be of a like permanent and abiding nature. As the Supreme Court of Oklahoma ruled in In re Initiative Petition No. never revise. On the other hand.35 (Emphasis supplied) Revision broadly implies a change that alters a basic principle in the constitution. x x x and submitted to the 1963 Legislative Assembly. even one backed by 6. or better carry out the purpose for which it was framed. the measure sponsored by the plaintiffs is.constitution drafted by the 'Commission for Constitutional Revision' authorized by the 1961 Legislative Assembly. Courts have long recognized the distinction between an amendment and a revision of a constitution. Section 2(1). It failed to receive in the Assembly the two-third's majority vote of both houses required by Article XVII. And where the people.3 million signatures. x x x." x x x x (Emphasis supplied) This Court. is unconstitutional. in doing so. act in an orderly manner and according to the settled principles of constitutional law. To call it an amendment is a misnomer. in this jurisdiction there can be no dispute that a people's initiative can only propose amendments to the Constitution since the Constitution itself limits initiatives to amendments. cannot shirk from its solemn oath and duty to insure compliance with the clear command of the Constitution ― that a people's initiative may only amend. they must. nevertheless. x x x x "While it is universally conceded that the people are sovereign and that they have power to adopt a constitution and to change their own work at will. does the Lambino Group's initiative constitute an amendment or revision of the Constitution? If the Lambino Group's initiative constitutes a revision. A popular clamor. and that any attempt to revise a constitution in a manner other than the one provided in the instrument is almost invariably treated as extra-constitutional and revolutionary. an attempt to change the fundamental law in violation of the self-imposed restrictions. a thorough overhauling of the present constitution x x x. There can be no deviation from the constitutionally prescribed modes of revising the Constitution. and hence failed of adoption. it is subject to the requirements of Article XVII. then the present petition should be dismissed for being outside the scope of Section 2. as well as the substantial entirety of the instrument. There is also revision if the change alters the substantial entirety of the constitution. Section 2. it can only be proposed at a convention called in the manner provided in Article XVII. like altering the principle of separation of powers or the system of checks-and-balances. if a new constitution. have prescribed the method by which the people may alter or amend it. the significance of the term "amendment" implies such an addition or change within the lines of the original instrument as will effect an improvement.

S. not a mere amendment. the abolition alone of one chamber of Congress alters the system of checks-and-balances within the legislature and constitutes a revision of the Constitution. while amendment generally affects only the specific provision being amended. The abolition alone of the Office of the President as the locus of Executive Power alters the separation of powers and thus constitutes a revision of the Constitution. The guiding original intention of an amendment is to improve specific parts or to add new provisions deemed necessary to meet new conditions or to suppress specific portions that may have become obsolete or that are judged to be dangerous."38 A change in the nature of the basic governmental plan also includes changes that "jeopardize the traditional form of government and the system of check and balances. Revision generally affects several provisions of the constitution. or of provisions of the document which have over-all implications for the entire document. it is readily apparent that the changes will radically alter the framework of government as set forth in the Constitution.J. the guiding original intention and plan contemplates a re-examination of the entire document. involving the abolition of the Office of the President and the abolition of one chamber of Congress. In California where the initiative clause allows amendments but not revisions to the constitution just like in our Constitution. The qualitative test inquires into the qualitative effects of the proposed change in the constitution. the Lambino Group's initiative is a revision and not merely an amendment.40Qualitatively. the Lambino Group's proposed changes overhaul two articles Article VI on the Legislature and Article VII on the Executive . Father Joaquin Bernas. Thus. Quantitatively. as when the three great coequal branches of government in the present Constitution are reduced into two. This alters the separation of powers in the Constitution.substantial provisions of the constitution. So would a switch from a bicameral system to a unicameral system be because of its effect on other important provisions of the Constitution."39 Under both the quantitative and qualitative tests. amendment broadly refers to a change that adds. A shift from the present Bicameral-Presidential system to a Unicameral-Parliamentary system is a revision of the Constitution. On the face alone of the Lambino Group's proposed changes. or deletes without altering the basic principle involved. reduces. In revision.. to determine how and to what extent they should be altered. writes: An amendment envisages an alteration of one or a few specific and separable provisions. however. Merging the legislative and executive branches is a radical change in the structure of government.affecting a total of 105 provisions in the entire Constitution. Likewise."37 Whether there is an alteration in the structure of government is a proper subject of inquiry. for instance a switch from the presidential system to a parliamentary system would be a revision because of its over-all impact on the entire constitutional structure. the proposed changes alter substantially the basic plan of government. Thus. courts have developed a two-part test: the quantitative test and the qualitative test. is beyond doubt a revision. A change in the structure of government is a revision of the Constitution. The main inquiry is whether the change will "accomplish such far reaching changes in the nature of our basic governmental plan as to amount to a revision.41 (Emphasis supplied) 240 . On the other hand."36 The court examines only the number of provisions affected and does not consider the degree of the change. from presidential to parliamentary. "a change in the nature of [the] basic governmental plan" includes "change in its fundamental framework or the fundamental powers of its Branches. By any legal test and under any jurisdiction. a shift from a Bicameral-Presidential to a UnicameralParliamentary system. The quantitative test asks whether the proposed change is "so extensive in its provisions as to change directly the 'substantial entirety' of the constitution by the deletion or alteration of numerous existing provisions. a leading member of the Constitutional Commission. and from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature.

With this distinction in mind." The Supreme Court of Florida. of Section 1 of Article V. accordant. Thus. It would not only radically change the whole pattern of government in this state and tear apart the whole fabric of the Constitution. we note that the constitutional provisions expressly provide for both "amendment" and "revision" when it speaks of legislators and constitutional delegates. xxxx We conclude with the observation that if such proposed amendment were adopted by the people at the General Election and if the Legislature at its next session should fail to submit further amendments to revise and clarify the numerous inconsistencies and conflicts which would result. In Adams. are called "amendments" because the changes are made by ordinary people who do not make an "occupation. Callejo. Gunter. or vocation" out of such endeavor. All of this could disappear very quickly if we were to hold that it could be amended in the manner proposed in the initiative petition here. no less than 105 provisions of the Constitution would be affected based on the count of Associate Justice Romeo J. homogenous and up-to-date document. striking down the initiative as outside the scope of the initiative clause. In the Lambino Group's present initiative. while 241 .44 There is no doubt that the Lambino Group's present initiative seeks far more radical changes in the structure of government than the initiative in Adams. It would be difficult to visualize a more revolutionary change. ruled as follows: The proposal here to amend Section 1 of Article III of the 1968 Constitution to provide for a Unicameral Legislature affects not only many other provisions of the Constitution but provides for a change in the form of the legislative branch of government. The Lambino Group posits that when a deliberative body drafts and proposes changes to the Constitution. except one. which has been in existence in the United States Congress and in all of the states of the nation. The concept of a House and a Senate is basic in the American form of government. substantive changes are called "revisions" because members of the deliberative body work full-time on the changes. the same substantive changes. The Lambino Group theorizes that the difference between "amendment" and "revision" is only one of procedure. to provide for only a Supreme Court and Circuit Courts-and there could be other examples too numerous to detail. The same result would obtain from an amendment. profession. or if after submission of appropriate amendments the people should refuse to adopt them. but would even affect the physical facilities necessary to carry on government. the Lambino Group makes the following exposition of their theory in their Memorandum: 99. the Supreme Court of Florida enumerated 18 sections of the Florida Constitution that would be affected by the shift from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature. The issue turned on whether the initiative "was defective and unauthorized where [the] proposed amendment would x x x affect several other provisions of [the] Constitution. The purpose of the long and arduous work of the hundreds of men and women and many sessions of the Legislature in bringing about the Constitution of 1968 was to eliminate inconsistencies and conflicts and to give the State a workable. it also seeks to merge the executive and legislative departments.43 (Emphasis supplied) The rationale of the Adams decision applies with greater force to the present petition.42 an initiative petition proposed the amendment of the Florida State constitution to shift from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature. simple chaos would prevail in the government of this State. The Lambino Group's initiative not only seeks a shift from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature. not of substance. Sr.In Adams v. However. The initiative in Adams did not even touch the executive department. when proposed through an initiative. since the earliest days. for instance. These examples point unerringly to the answer.

the Supreme Court concluded that a revision of 242 . We first address Mabon's argument that Article XVII. Stated otherwise. However. Appling. does not prohibit revisions instituted by initiative. because the proposed ballot measure "will refashion the most basic principles of Oregon constitutional law. Keisling. the Lambino Group concedes that the proposed changes in the present initiative constitute a revision if Congress or a constitutional convention had drafted the changes. The Lambino Group trivializes the serious matter of changing the fundamental law of the land. only exposes the flimsiness of the Lambino Group's position. the difference between "amendment" and "revision" cannot reasonably be in the substance or extent of the correction. section 2. In Holmes v. while on the other hand. courts do not deviate from such categorical intent and language.46 the Supreme Court of Oregon rejected this theory. section 2 merely provides a procedure by which the legislature can propose a revision of the constitution." the trial court correctly held that it violated Article XVII. Thus. the changes would constitute a revision of the Constitution. Plaintiffs argue that the proposed ballot measure constitutes a wholesale change to the constitution that cannot be enacted through the initiative process. the legislators and constitutional convention delegates are expected to work fulltime on the same matter because that is their occupation. section 2. The express intent of the framers and the plain language of the Constitution contradict the Lambino Group's theory. Thus. x x x. the changes are merely amendments to the Constitution. devoid of any jurisprudential mooring and inviting inconsistencies in the Constitution. does not apply to changes to the constitution proposed by initiative. More so. Any theory advocating that a proposed change involving a radical structural change in government does not constitute a revision justly deserves rejection. Where the intent of the framers and the language of the Constitution are clear and plainly stated. boldfacing supplied) The Lambino Group in effect argues that if Congress or a constitutional convention had drafted the same proposed changes that the Lambino Group wrote in the present initiative. the difference between the words "revision" and "amendment" pertain only to the process or procedure of coming up with the corrections. In Lowe v. 100. His theory is that Article XVII. if such theory wreaks havoc by creating inconsistencies in the form of government established in the Constitution. profession or vocation. It would seem that the apparent distinction is based on the actual experience of the people. x x x x (Underlining in the original. that on one hand the common people in general are not expected to work full-time on the matter of correcting the constitution because that is not their occupation. They assert that the distinction between amendment and revision is determined by reviewing the scope and subject matter of the proposed enactment. 45 Any theory espousing a construction contrary to such intent and language deserves scant consideration. Such a theory. and that revisions are not limited to "a formal overhauling of the constitution. since the Lambino Group as private individuals drafted the proposed changes. for purposes of interpreting the constitutional provisions. but it does not affect proposed revisions initiated by the people. section 2(1)." They argue that this ballot measure proposes far reaching changes outside the lines of the original instrument.the same provisions expressly provide only for "amendment" when it speaks of the people. Plaintiffs assert that. The Lambino Group simply recycles a theory that initiative proponents in American jurisdictions have attempted to advance without any success. and cannot appear on the ballot without the prior approval of the legislature. including profound impacts on existing fundamental rights and radical restructuring of the government's relationship with a defined group of citizens. profession or vocation. thus: Mabon argues that Article XVII.

These three examples are located at the far green end of the spectrum. Since a revision of a constitution affects basic principles. does not apply to constitutional revisions proposed by initiative. this Court must reject the Lambino Group's theory which negates the express intent of the framers and the plain language of the Constitution. the Lambino Group's proposed Section 2 of the Transitory Provisions states: 243 . or several provisions of a constitution. Where the proposed change applies only to a specific provision of the Constitution without affecting any other section or article. (Emphasis supplied) Similarly." x x x x It then reviewed Article XVII. as well as how it affects the structure of government. there can be no fixed rule on whether a change is an amendment or a revision. each specific change will have to be examined case-by-case. On the other hand. However. the change may generally be considered an amendment and not a revision. A change in a single word of one sentence of the Constitution may be a revision and not an amendment. but also the altered principles with those that remain unaltered. and said: "It is the only section of the constitution which provides the means for constitutional revision and it excludes the idea that an individual. because of the provisions of Article XVII. depending on how it affects other provisions. constitutions normally authorize deliberative bodies like constituent assemblies or constitutional conventions to undertake revisions. relating to proposed amendments. the carefully crafted system of checks-and-balances. Article II 50 of the Constitution radically overhauls the entire structure of government and the fundamental ideological basis of the Constitution. the court said: "From the foregoing it appears that Article IV. section 2. we reject Mabon's argument that Article XVII. a change requiring a college degree as an additional qualification for election to the Presidency is an amendment and not a revision. Similarly. We can visualize amendments and revisions as a spectrum. relating to revisions. the substitution of the word "republican" with "monarchic" or "theocratic" in Section 1. Section 1. a change reducing the voting age from 18 years to 15 years 47 is an amendment and not a revision. These changes do not also affect the structure of government or the system of checks-and-balances among or within the three branches." x x x x Accordingly. requiring farreaching amendments in several sections and articles of the Constitution. authorizes the use of the initiative as a means of amending the Oregon Constitution. The present initiative seeks a radical overhaul of the existing separation of powers among the three co-equal departments of government. a change reducing Filipino ownership of mass media companies from 100 percent to 60 percent is an amendment and not a revision. at one end green for amendments and at the other end red for revisions. to undertake only amendments and not revisions. opposite the far red end where the revision sought by the present petition is located. 49 The changes in these examples do not entail any modification of sections or articles of the Constitution other than the specific provision being amended. A revision requires harmonizing not only several provisions.48 Also. section 2. a deliberative body with recorded proceedings is best suited to undertake a revision. constitutions allow people's initiatives. through the initiative. Thus. section 2. may place such a measure before the electorate. After reviewing Article XVII. For example. and the underlying ideological basis of the existing Constitution. In the present initiative. which do not have fixed and identifiable deliberative bodies or recorded proceedings. but it contains no similar sanction for its use as a means of revising the constitution. Thus. For example. The present initiative is indisputably located at the far end of the red spectrum where revision begins.the constitution may not be accomplished by initiative. Towards the middle of the spectrum. section1. colors fuse and difficulties arise in determining whether there is an amendment or revision.

" and the inconsistency shall be resolved in favor of a "unicameral parliamentary form of government. Singaporean. unless they are inconsistent with the Parliamentary system of government. 6 and 7 of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which shall hereby be amended and Sections 18 and 24 which shall be deleted. Australian. However. In sum. ad seriatim up to 26." 3. Revision of the Constitution through a people's initiative will only result in gross absurdities in the Constitution. The irreconcilable inconsistency envisioned in the proposed Section 2 of the Transitory Provisions is not between a provision in Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and a provision in the proposed changes. Realizing the absurdity of the need for such an amendment. 4. Did the people who signed the signature sheets realize that they were adopting the Bangladeshi. the earlier provision "shall be amended to conform with a unicameral parliamentary form of government. the present initiative is void and unconstitutional because it violates Section 2. Lambino wants to reinstate the rule of statutory construction so that the later provision automatically prevails in case of irreconcilable inconsistency. Article XVII of the Constitution on the conduct and scope of a people's initiative to amend the Constitution." In short. they shall be amended to conform with a unicameral parliamentary form of government. this Court must decline to revisit Santiago which effectively ruled that RA 6735 does not comply with the requirements of the Constitution to implement the initiative clause on amendments to the Constitution. inadequate or wanting in essential terms and conditions" to cover the system of initiative to amend the Constitution. A shift from the present Bicameral-Presidential to a Unicameral-Parliamentary system requires harmonizing several provisions in many articles of the Constitution. French. with the exception of Sections 1. Singaporean. Israeli. Spanish. This rule also applies to construction of constitutions. The inconsistency is between a provision in Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and the "Parliamentary system of government. Thus." which requires a future separate constitutional amendment. 244 . There is no need to revisit this Court's ruling in Santiago declaring RA 6735 "incomplete. 3. Atty. the later law prevails. 2. An affirmation or reversal of Santiago will not change the outcome of the present petition.Section 2. Thus. x x x x (Emphasis supplied) The basic rule in statutory construction is that if a later law is irreconcilably inconsistent with a prior law. Israeli. 5. Upon the expiration of the term of the incumbent President and Vice President. the Lambino Group's draft of Section 2 of the Transitory Provisions turns on its head this rule of construction by stating that in case of such irreconcilable inconsistency. or New Zealand parliamentary form of government? This drives home the point that the people's initiative is not meant for revisions of the Constitution but only for amendments. it is not as simple as that. which are among the few countries withunicameral parliaments? The proposed changes could not possibly refer to the traditional and well-known parliamentary forms of government ― the British." Now. Italian. or New Zealand models. what "unicameral parliamentary form of government" do the Lambino Group's proposed changes refer to ― the Bangladeshi. However. or Malaysian models." The effect is to freeze the two irreconcilable provisions until the earlier one "shall be amended. which have all bicameral parliaments. all other Sections of Article VI are hereby retained and renumbered sequentially as Section 2. in which case. A Revisit of Santiago v. there is no doubt whatsoever that the Lambino Group's initiative is a revision and not an amendment. Article XVII of the Constitution limiting the scope of a people's initiative to "[A]mendments to this Constitution. COMELEC is Not Necessary The present petition warrants dismissal for failure to comply with the basic requirements of Section 2. petitioner Atty. German. Canadian. Lambino readily conceded during the oral arguments that the requirement of a future amendment is a "surplusage.

Only Atty. mandating the interim Parliament to propose further amendments or revisions to the Constitution. Conclusion The Constitution. Article XVII of the Constitution even before complying with RA 6735. the Lambino Group. Article XVII of the Constitution. promulgated on March 19. 1997. 4. Thus." The 6. COMELEC. Demosthenes B. Modernization and Action (PIRMA) v. by a unanimous vote. RA 6735 prohibits submission of the initiative petition to the electorate. To be a valid initiative. merely attached the signature sheets to the petition and amended petition. 1997. "No petition embracing more than one (1) subject shall be submitted to the electorate. Lambino and Erico B. even assuming that RA 6735 is valid to implement the constitutional provision on initiatives to amend the Constitution.3 million signatories.This Court must avoid revisiting a ruling involving the constitutionality of a statute if the case before the Court can be resolved on some other grounds. Donato. this Court should reiterate its unanimous ruling in PIRMA: The Court ruled. the present petition warrants outright dismissal. to be tossed and turned by every dominant political group of the day. no grave abuse of discretion is attributable to the COMELEC. it appearing that it only complied with the dispositions in the Decisions of this Court in G. the present initiative must first comply with Section 2. Agra signed the petition and amended petition as counsels for "Raul L. tomorrow the new dominant 245 . the present initiative violates Section 5(b) of RA 6735 which requires that the "petition for an initiative on the 1987 Constitution must have at least twelve per centum (12%) of the total number of registered voters as signatories. 5." In the COMELEC. and Atty. the Lambino Group's initiative will still fail. Petitioners. even if RA 6735 is valid. Such avoidance is a logical consequence of the well-settled doctrine that courts will not pass upon the constitutionality of a statute if the case can be resolved on some other grounds. No. The COMELEC Did Not Commit Grave Abuse of Discretion in Dismissing the Lambino Group's Initiative In dismissing the Lambino Group's initiative petition.52 For following this Court's ruling. No one can trivialize the Constitution by cavalierly amending or revising it in blatant violation of the clearly specified modes of amendment and revision laid down in the Constitution itself.51 Nevertheless. that no grave abuse of discretion could be attributed to the public respondent COMELEC in dismissing the petition filed by PIRMA therein. as the fundamental law of the land. Lambino. this will not change the result here because the present petition violates Section 2. first. claiming to act "together with" the 6. Thus. Even then. On this ground alone. Aumentado.R. x x x. Alberto C.3 million signatories did not sign the petition of 25 August 2006 or the amended petition of 30 August 2006 filed with the COMELEC. To allow such change in the fundamental law is to set adrift the Constitution in unchartered waters. the COMELEC en banc merely followed this Court's ruling inSantiago and People's Initiative for Reform. the petition and amended petition filed with the COMELEC did not even comply with the basic requirement of RA 6735 that the Lambino Group claims as valid." The proposed Section 4(4) of the Transitory Provisions." Section 5(b) of RA 6735 requires that the people must sign the "petition x x x as signatories. The Lambino Group's logrolling initiative also violates Section 10(a) of RA 6735 stating. 127325. If this Court allows today a cavalier change in the Constitution outside the constitutionally prescribed modes. Thus. and its Resolution of June 10. Atty. deserves the utmost respect and obedience of all the citizens of this nation. Since the present initiative embraces more than one subject matter. is a subject matter totally unrelated to the shift in the form of government.

Sr. To allow such alteration and desecration is to lose this Court's raison d'etre. Then. An overwhelming majority − 16. propelled by deceptively gathered signatures.. Chico-Nazario. Incantations of "people's voice.327. Tinga. This forewarns the Court to be wary of incantations of "people's voice" or "sovereign will" in the present initiative. can change our Constitution contrary to the specific modes that the people. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS ET AL. we DISMISS the petition in G. Callejo. TOGETHER WITH 6. the Lambino Group unabashedly states in ULAP Resolution No.J. The Lambino Group claims that their initiative is the "people's voice. Ynares-Santiago. to alter basic principles in the Constitution is to allow a desecration of the Constitution. C." The Lambino Group thus admits that their "people's" initiative is an "unqualified support to the agenda" of the incumbent President to change the Constitution. this Court is sworn to perform its solemn duty to defend and protect the Constitution. 174153 October 25. Puno. Garcia. This Court cannot betray its primordial duty to defend and protect the Constitution. 2006 RAUL L.327.. Panganiban. prescribed when they ratified the Constitution. No amount of signatures.. That approval included the prescribed modes for amending or revising the Constitution. which embodies the real sovereign will of the people. Otherwise. The Constitution. No." However. in the verification of their petition with the COMELEC. concur. AUMENTADO.3 percent of the total votes cast 53 − approved our Constitution in a national plebiscite held on 11 February 1987. JJ. is the bible of this Court. A revolving-door constitution does not augur well for the rule of law in this country. which means subverting the people's sovereign will and discarding the Constitution. As the ultimate guardian of the Constitution.952 REGISTERED VOTERS V. Jr. Azcuna.111 voters comprising 76. 174153.952 million signatures gathered by the Lambino Group. the full expression of the people's sovereign will. the Constitution ― the people's fundamental covenant that provides enduring stability to our society ― becomes easily susceptible to manipulative changes by political groups gathering signatures through false promises. LAMBINO AND ERICO B. To allow this constitutionally infirm initiative. that "ULAP maintains its unqualified support to the agenda of Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for constitutional reforms.political group that comes will demand its own set of changes in the same cavalier and unconstitutional fashion.. which embodies the people's sovereign will.R. Austria-Martinez. The alternative is an extra-constitutional change. and Velasco. This Court exists to defend and protect the Constitution." or "let the people decide" cannot override the specific modes of changing the Constitution as prescribed in the Constitution itself. SO ORDERED. in their sovereign capacity.622. not even the 6. 2006-02. No. Sandoval-Gutierrez.R. ____________________ EN BANC G. Quisumbing. This is one act the Court cannot and should never do. the Constitution ceases to be the bedrock of the nation's stability. SEPARATE CONCURRING OPINION 246 . Corona." "people's sovereign will. That approval is the unmistakable voice of the people. Carpio Morales. WHEREFORE.

2 I opined "that taken together and interpreted properly and liberally. 6735 and Comelec Resolution 2300 Are Sufficient to Implement Constitutional Initiatives "While R. by its very words. are thoroughly consistent with this Court's unanimous en banc rulings in Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority vs. In recognition of this.' "With all due respect. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter. . was promulgated "to 247 . Justice Ricardo J. that any "effort to trivialize the effectiveness of people's initiatives ought to be rejected.A. it was — as the majority openly concedes — intended by the legislature to cover and. I completely agree with the inspired and inspiring opinions of Mr. XVII. the Constitution (particularly Art. 6735 wisely empowered the Commission on Election "to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act. Comelec.: Without the rule of law. In my Separate Opinion in Santiago v. Commission on Elections. I find the majority's position all too sweeping and all too extremist. it contains enough provisions to effectuate an initiative on the Constitution.A. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters. and to killing the patient to relieve him of pain. to show that my present disposition is completely consistent with my previous Opinions and votes on the two extant Supreme Court cases involving an initiative to change the Constitution. however. Justice Reynato S. the Roco law on initiative. Puno and Mr. Beverley McLachlin 1 Chief Justice of Canada After a deep reflection on the issues raised and a careful evaluation of the parties' respective arguments -both oral and written -. The fact that the Delfin Petition proposes a misuse of initiative does not justify a ban against its proper use. I write. Such Resolution. the Constitution. I respectfully submit. there can be no lasting prosperity and certainly no liberty. that "provisions for initiative . Francisco that RA 6735. It is equivalent to burning the whole house to exterminate the rats. R. and in Garcia vs. Comelec." And pursuant thereto.A.as well as the enlightened and enlightening Opinions submitted by my esteemed colleagues. which I shall no longer repeat nor elaborate on.PANGANIBAN. of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein. . 2. to facilitate and not hamper the exercise by the voters of the rights granted thereby". But we should not thereby preempt any future effort to exercise the right of initiative correctly and judiciously. I am fully convinced that the present Petition must be dismissed. Indeed. there is a right way to do the right thing at the right time and for the right reason. Republic Act 6735 and Comelec Resolution 2300 provide more than sufficient __________________ 'SEC. sufficiently implements the right of the people to initiate amendments to the Constitution. are (to be) liberally construed to effectuate their purposes." "No law can completely and absolutely cover all administrative details. 2). CJ. Such views. the Comelec issued its Resolution 2300 on 16 January 1991. Sec. R. What Citizen Delfin wants the Comelec to do we should reject. Taken Together and Interpreted Properly. 6735 may not be a perfect law.

Africa. 2). it is void in reference to constitutional amendments. but I will defend to the death your right to say it. other than an honest. Abueg. 6735. nonetheless the Court's injunction against the Comelec covered ANY petition. All of these Commissioners who signed Resolution 2300 have retired from the Commission. There is no basis for such differentiation. Jr.govern the conduct of initiative on the Constitution and initiative and referendum on national and local laws. in my Separate Opinion in People's Initiative for Reform. Comelec. R.A. "I respectfully submit that taken together and interpreted properly and liberally. XVII. "The majority argues that while Resolution 2300 is valid in regard to national laws and local legislations. 6735 and Comelec Resolution 2300 provide more than sufficient authority to implement. 'I may disagree with what you say. they are hallowed expressions of popular sovereignty. Dario C.' Epilogue "By way of epilogue. not just the Delfin petition which was the immediate subject of said case. The right to propose amendments to the Constitution is really a species of the right of free speech and free assembly. Dimaampao. As the eminent Voltaire once said. In fact. Yorac. Initiative. in the first place. Comms. Sec. While I agree that the Comelec should be stopped from using public funds and government resources to help them gather signatures. And certainly. that no grave abuse of discretion could be attributed to the Comelec in dismissing the petition filed by __________________ Constitution x x x." While concededly. 'freedom for the thought that we hate. I believe that such restraining order as against private respondents should not have been issued. R. They are sacred democratic rights of our people to be used as Six months after. Rama and Magdara B. Like elections and plebiscites. petitioners in this case were not direct parties in Santiago. let me stress the guiding tenet of my Separate Opinion. effectuate and realize our people's power to amend the Constitution. Alfredo authority to implement. and thus we cannot ascribe any vile motive unto them. like referendum and recall. Flores.3 I joined the rest of the members of the Court in ruling "by a unanimous vote. effectuate and realize our people's power to amend the Constitution. Modernization and Action (PIRMA) v. Andres R." not by the incumbent Commission on Elections but by one then composed of Acting Chairperson Haydee B.. is a new and treasured feature of the Filipino constitutional system. As a dissenter in Santiago. I believed. the Constitution (particularly Art. but as Justice Holmes wrote. Leopoldo L.A. All three are institutionalized legacies of the world-admired EDSA people power. The source of and authority for the Resolution is the same law. freedom is not really for the thought we agree with.' After all. Petitioner Delfin and the Pedrosa Spouses Should Not Be Muzzled "I am glad the majority decided to heed our plea to lift the temporary restraining order issued by this Court on 18 December 1996 insofar as it prohibited Petitioner Delfin and the Spouses Pedrosa from exercising their right of initiative." __________________ E. I firmly believe that this Court has no power to restrain them from exercising their right of initiative. sincere and exemplary effort to give life to a cherished right of our people. it would be tyrannical and despotic to stop anyone from speaking freely and persuading others to conform to his/her beliefs. 248 .

that the majority gravely erred in rendering such a sweeping injunction." Finally and most relevantly. which vests upon the Comelec the power to "enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election." since the Commission had "only complied" with the Santiago Decision. __________________ sovereignty. The promulgation of Resolution 2300 is sanctioned by Section 2. 1996]. XVII. effectuate and realize our people's power to amend the Constitution. 125416. plebiscite." Let me explain further.and still do. initiative and referendum are powerful and valuable modes of expressing popular PIRMA therein. Refusal to act on the PIRMA petition was the only recourse open to the Comelec. It is a new and treasured feature of the Filipino constitutional system." Let me now demonstrate the adequacy of RA 6735 by outlining. 2). but I cannot fault the Comelec for complying with the ruling even if it. too. the steps to be taken – the right way – to amend the Constitution through a people's initiative. The Right Thing "A people's initiative is direct democracy in action. in concrete terms.R. the Constitution (particularly Art. I wrote that "there is a right way to do the right thing at the right time and for the right reason. Second Issue: Sufficiency of RA 6735 "I repeat my firm legal position that RA 6735 is adequate to cover initiatives on the Constitution. disagreed with said decision's ratio decidendi. initiative." The Omnibus Election Code likewise empowers the electoral body to "promulgate rules and regulations implementing the provisions of this Code or other laws which the Commission is required to enforce and administer x x x. September 26." Hence. Comelec. Its obedience cannot constitute grave abuse of discretion. protect and promote their legitimate exercise. 249 . I have already maintained the view that "taken together and interpreted properly and liberally. Section 20 of Ra 6735 specifically authorizes Comelec "to promulgate rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act. RA 6735 and Comelec Resolution 2300 provide more than sufficient authority to implement. [G. Sec." "In my dissent in Santiago." The Right Way "From the outset. It had no choice but to obey. and that whatever administrative details may have been omitted in said law are satisfactorily provided by Comelec Resolution 2300. No. Even the majority implicitly conceded its value and worth in our legal firmament when it implored Congress "not to tarry any longer in complying with the constitutional mandate to provide for implementation of the right (of initiative) of the people x x x. It is the right thing that citizens may avail themselves of to articulate their will. this Court unanimously held that "(l)ike elections. Respondent Comelec was directly enjoined by the highest Court of the land. Any other mode of action would have constituted defiance of the Court and would have been struck down as grave abuse of discretion and contumacious disregard of this Court's supremacy as the final arbiter of justiciable controversies. And this Court as a matter of policy and doctrine will exert every effort to nurture. in the en banc case of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority vs. Article IX-C of the Constitution. referendum and recall.

it should be clear that my position upholding the adequacy of RA 6735 and the validity of Comelec Resolution 2300 will not ipso facto validate the PIRMA petition and automatically lead to a plebiscite to amend the Constitution. of the Constitution. they may thence file the petition with the Comelec which is tasked to determine the sufficiency thereof and to verify the signatures on the basis of the registry list of voters. i. Does the proposed change – the lifting of the term limits of elective officials -. c.4 that it is not one of exceptions provided herein. 5(c) thereof. the Commission shall motu proprio reject the petition. becomes effective as of the day of the plebiscite. and after the determination of its sufficiency. the Comelec shall also determine if the proposition is proper for an initiative.2 the proposition [in full text]. The proposition. and set the date of the plebiscite. PIRMA must still satisfactorily hurdle the following searching issues: 1. The conduct of the plebiscite should not be earlier than sixty (60) days.6 an abstract or summary proposition in not more than one hundred (100) words which shall be legibly written or printed at the top of every page of the petition. and is jurisdictional. if it consists of an amendment. not a revision."Pursuant to Section 3(f) of the law. c.. Without such requisite signatures. but not later than ninety (90) days after certification by the Comelec of the sufficiency of the petition.1 contents or text of the [provision or provisions] sought to be x x x amended. the Comelec shall publish the same in Filipino and English at least twice in newspapers of general and local circulation.' "Section 8(f) of Comelec Resolution 2300 additionally requires that the petition include a formal designation of the duly authorized representatives of the signatories. and c. Under Sec. Among others. "Where the initiators have substantially complied with the above requirements. Which registry of voters will be used to verify the signatures in the petition? This question is relevant considering that under RA 8189. c. voters' affidavits and voters' identification cards. the number of signatures becomes a condition precedent to the filing of the petition.5 signatures of the petitioners or registered voters. "Being a constitutional requirement. the petition shall state the following: 'c. the old registry of voters used in the 1995 national 250 . "From the foregoing.3 the reason or reasons therefor [fully and clearly explained]. the Comelec shall prescribe the form of the petition which shall contain the proposition and the required number of signatories.e. c. I added "that my position upholding the adequacy of RA 6735 and the validity of Comelec Resolution 2300 will notipso __________________ "Within thirty (30) days from receipt of the petition. Far from it. In deciding whether the petition is sufficient.constitute a mere amendment and not a revision of the Constitution? 2. x x x. Any decision of the electoral body may be appealed to the Supreme Court within thirty (30) days from notice. if approved by a majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite.

Question No. Question Nos. as claimed by many. The Right Reason "As mentioned. led by PIRMA. are basically legal in character and can be determined by argumentation and memoranda. of which every legislative district is represented by at least 3% of the registered voters therein? "I shall expound on the third question in the next section. as a member of this Court and as a citizen of this country. On the other hand. 1997. "More than anything else. If herein petitioners. Far from it. and the very rafters and foundations of the martial law society trembled. we specified that 'initiative is entirely the work of the electorate x x x a process of lawmaking by the people themselves without the participation and against the wishes of their elected representatives. facto validate the PIRMA petition and automatically lead to a plebiscite to amend the Constitution. PIRMA and its co-petitioners are claiming that they have gathered six million signatures. even if the adequacy of RA 6735 and the validity of Comelec Resolution 2300 were upheld by the majority is: Does the clamor for the proposed change to the Constitution really emanate from the people who signed the petition for initiative? Or is it the beneficiaries of term extension who are in fact orchestrating such move to advance their own political self-interests? In other words. The Right Reason. If. 4 involves not only legal issues but gargantuan hurdles of factual determination.' In Subic Bay.not just alleging -. as the 'ultimate weapon of the people to negate government malfeasance and misfeasance. these six million signatures are fraudulent. while important. is PIRMA's exercise of the right to initiative being done in accordance with our Constitution and our laws? Is such attempted exercise legitimate? "In Garcia vs. Does the clamor for the proposed change in the Constitution really emanate from the people who signed the petition for initiative? Or it is the beneficiaries of term extension who are in fact orchestrating such move to advance their own political self-interest? 4. 1 and 2 above. it is the truth that I.that six million voters of this country indeed want to amend the Constitution. then let them be exposed and damned for all history in a signature-verification process conducted under our open system of legal advocacy.elections was voided after the barangay elections on May 12. succeed in proving -. the litmus test. not even the President or Congress. This to my mind is the crucible. quaked and crumbled. This principle finds clear support from utterances of many constitutional commissioners like those quoted below: 251 . the majority effectively suppressed the quest for that truth." I stressed that PIRMA must show the following. the third question that must be answered. 3. what power on earth can stop them? Not this Court. not the Comelec. I stand foursquare on this principle: The right to amend through initiative belongs only to the people – not to the government and its minions. of a people's petition for initiative. would like to seek: Are these six million signatures real? By insisting on an entirely new doctrine of statutory inadequacy.' As ponente of Subic Bay. Commission on Elections. while the new list may be used starting only in the elections of May 1998. along with referendum. we described initiative. Are the six million signatures genuine and verifiable? Do they really belong to qualified warm bodies comprising at least 12% of the registered voters nationwide. among others: __________________ "It took only one million people to stage a peaceful revolution at EDSA. However.

where the single issue of the sufficiency of RA 6735 was resolved.the lifting of term limits of elective officials -. It has silenced the quest for truth into the interstices of the PIRMA petition. when they are dissatisfied with the National Assembly x x x [and] precisely a fallback position of the people in the event that they are dissatisfied. is inadequate or insufficient insofar as initiatives to the Constitutions are concerned. "Be that as it may. Section 2 of Article XVII precludes amendments "within five years following [its] ratification x x x nor oftener than once every five years thereafter. or even to revise it. the 1987 Constitution has never been amended. 1998 polls. our Charter itself provides them other ways of doing so.Commissioner Gascon (1) The proposed change -. by calling a constitutional convention or constituting Congress into a constituent assembly. cannot be judicially answered anymore. But the majority's theory of statutory inadequacy has pre-empted – unnecessarily and invalidly. Hence. because the Supreme Court majority ruled that the law that implements it." I firmly maintain that to defeat PIRMA's effort. I believe – given the present circumstances – that there is no more time to lift term limits to enable incumbents to seek reelection in the May 11. the five-year prohibition is now inoperative and amendments may theoretically be proposed at any time. in my view – any judicial determination of such legitimacy or illegitimacy."[Initiative is] a reserve power of the sovereign people." -. I exclaimed that such precipitate action "is equivalent to burning the whole house to exterminate the rats. "In the present case. namely. are PIRMA and its co-petitioners legitimate people's organizations or are they merely fronts for incumbents who want to extend their terms? This is a factual question which. if PIRMA's position is proven to be legitimate – if it hurdles the four issues I outlined earlier – by all means." -. On the other hand. RA 6735.Commissioner Ople "[Initiative is] a check on a legislative that is not responsive [and resorted to] only if the legislature is not as responsive to the vital and urgent needs of people. and to killing the patient to relieve him of pain. and they "really belong to qualified warm bodies comprising at __________________ elections. unfortunately. If PIRMA's exercise is not "legitimate. The Right Time "The Constitution itself sets a time limitation on when changes thereto may be proposed.Commissioner Romulo "Indeed. if the powers-that-be desire to amend the Constitution." it can be exposed as such in the ways I have discussed – short of abrogating the right itself. Santiago." Since its ratification. there is no need to "burn" the constitutional right to initiative. But initiative belongs to the people. Between today and the next national (2) The "six million signatures are genuine and verifiable"." -. These are officialdom's weapons. we should allow and encourage it."constitute[s] a mere amendment and not a revision of the Constitution. less than eight (8) months remain. and another two (2) months to decide the 252 ." _________________ "[Initiative is an] extraordinary power given to the people [and] reserved for the people [which] should not be frivolously resorted to. the majority effectively abrogated a constitutional right of our people. took this Court three (3) months. With such ruling. That is why in my Separate Opinion in Santiago.

Far from it. should not be equated with a desire to perpetuate a particular official or group of officials in power. by way of epilogue. considering that two of them involve tedious factual questions. the plebiscite itself – assuming such stage can be reached – may be scheduled only after sixty (60) but not more than ninety (90) days. then before the Comelec on appeal and finally. the election period and campaign for national officials start on February 10. on March 17. before this Court in a separate proceeding. it will have been overcome by the elections. "Meanwhile. initially before the election registrar. Initiative is an alternative to bloody revolution. however. "Comelec's herculean task alone of verifying each of the six million signatures is enormously timeconsuming. My firm 253 . political parties. such eight-month period will not be enough to tackle the four weighty issues I mentioned earlier. more important. of which every legislative district is represented by at least 3% of the registered voters therein. I think the Court can deliberate on these two items even more serenely and wisely now that the debates will be free from the din and distraction of the 1998 elections. (2) my faith in the power of the people to initiate changes in local and national laws and the Constitution. After all. the period for filing certificates of candidacy is from January 11 to February 9. In fact." __________________ Epilogue "I believe in democracy – in our people's natural right to determine our own destiny. groups organizations or coalitions may start selecting their official candidates for President.if the intention is to lift term limits in time for the 1998 elections. my unbending credo in favor of our people's right to initiative. I believe that Filipinos have the ability and the capacity to rise above themselves. under Comelec Resolution 2946. 1998. because due process requires that all parties be given sufficient time to file their pleadings. not counting a possible motion for reconsideration. The Comelec's decision on any of these issues can still be elevated to this Court for review. "Such beliefs. Time will simply run out on PIRMA. 1998. to use this right of initiative wisely and maturely. finally declare the petition to be sufficient. least 12% of the registered voters nationwide. and to choose what is best for themselves and their posterity. 1997. These time spans could not be abbreviated any further. for the hereafter and the morrow. while the campaign period for other elective officials. even if the Court were to rule now in favor of the adequacy of RA 6735 – as I believe it should – and allow the Comelec to act on the PIRMA petition. "That term limits may no longer be lifted prior to the 1998 elections via a people's initiative does not detract one whit from (1) my firm conviction that RA 6735 is sufficient and adequate to implement this constitutional right and. and reconsiderations on our decisions on each of those issues may again be sought. from the time the Comelec and this Court. on appeal. internal chaos and civil strife. The instant case. where the same issue is also raised by the petitioners. Such perpetuation is anathema to democracy. more so. the right to selfdetermination and the right to individual liberties. Let me therefore stress. "Thus. This means. Vice President and Senators on November 27. It is an inherent right of the people – as basic as the right to elect. Moreover. considering that any person may question the authenticity of each and every signature. took two months. "I believe in the process of initiative as a democratic method of enabling our people to express their will and chart their history.motion for reconsideration. jurisprudence is not merely for the here and now but. 1998. by the time PIRMA's proposition is ready – if ever – for submission directly to the voters at large.

sufficient safeguards to guarantee the proper use of such constitutional right and to forestall its misuse and abuse. not of incumbent officials and their machinators. but also of the judicial opportunity to verify the truth. 6 254 . Even assuming arguendo that Comelec erred in ruling on a very difficult and unsettled question of law. The only legal way to do this is to enable the Commission on Elections to conduct a nationwide verification process as mandated by the Constitution and the law. Third.5 Quite the contrary. Fourth and most important of all. In both Opinions." enjoining the poll body "from entertaining or taking cognizance of any petition for initiative on amendments to the Constitution until a sufficient law shall have been validly enacted to provide for the implementation of the system. arbitrariness or personal bias be attributed to the Commission. the Comelec did not violate the Constitution. I find no grave abuse of discretion in Comelec's dismissal of the Lambino Petition. and yet they changed the history of our country. it bears stressing. "There were. Such verification. it prudently followed this Court's jurisprudence in Santiago and PIRMA. the Court may have unwittingly yielded to PIRMA the benefit of the legal presumption of legality and regularity. fictitious or fabricated. the signatures must be verified as real and genuine. PIRMA claims six times that number. Second. after all. Unfortunately. only a million people who gathered at EDSA in 1986. caprice. not concocted. No Grave Abuse of Discretion by Comelec As in PIRMA. In suppressing a judicial answer to such questions. This mission is undertaken not only to resolve the vagaries of present events but also to build the pathways of tomorrow. the Court's majority has stifled the only legal method of determining whether PIRMA is real or not." In the present case. whether there is indeed a popular clamor to lift term limits of elected officials.4 Neither can whim. First. In its misplaced zeal to exterminate the rats. Let me explain." Indeed. as earlier noted. the laws or any jurisprudence. I steadfastly stand by my foregoing Opinions in Santiago and PIRMA. the present Petition of Raul Lambino and Erico Aumentado must be DISMISSED. the mission of the judiciary is to discover truth and to make it prevail.conviction that there is an adequate law implementing the constitutional right of initiative does not ipso facto result in the victory of the PIRMA petition or of any proposed constitutional change. is subject to review by this Court. It unceremoniously divested the people of a basic constitutional right. Is this claim through the invention of its novel theory of statutory insufficiency. initiative is a reverse power of and by the people. this Court still cannot attribute grave abuse of discretion to the poll body with respect to that action. not just from the National Capital Region but from all over the country. and whether six million voters want to initiate amendments to their most basic law. There are. the right thingis being rushed in the wrong way and for the wrong reasons. by the most generous estimate. Tested against them. only to amend it. The sum total of the entire process of adversarial litigation is the verity of facts and the application of law thereto. By the majority cop-out in this mission of discovery. our country and our people have been deprived not only of a basic constitutional right. After all. the Commission merely followed the holding in Santiago permanently ____________________ "In the ultimate. the petitioners' signatures must be validated against an existing list of voters and/or voters' identification cards. initiative cannot be used to revise the Constitution. I concluded that we must implement "the right thing [initiative] in the right way at the right time and for the right reason. it burned down the whole house.

Many of the justices' Opinions have cited the historical. until and unless Santiago is revisited and changed by this Court or the legal moorings of the exercise of the right are substantially changed. the proposed changes have an overall implication on the entire Constitution. It is argued that. The differences pointed out by Justice Reynato S. even remotely. the Comelec cannot be faulted for acting in accord with this Court's pronouncements. Justice Puno is urging a remand. The ponencia has amply demonstrated that the merger of the legislative and the executive branches under a unicameral-parliamentary system. that the PIRMA Petition should have been dismissed because the signatures were unverified. I adhere to my Opinion in PIRMA that. but also contemptuous. The Separate Opinions in PIRMA gave no other reason. superficial. Therefore. unlike the present Lambino Petition. 255 . they effectively rewrite its most important and basic provisions. that Republic Act 6735 is indeed sufficient to implement an initiative to amend the Constitution. 9 I submit that changing the system of government from presidential to parliamentary and the form of the legislature from bicameral to unicameral contemplates an overhaul of the structure of government. These are distinctions that do not make a difference. they both deserve the same treatment: DISMISSAL. the only reason given in the unanimous Resolution on PIRMA v. the same reason given by Comelec in this case. not revisions." Indeed. may I say that of the three modes of changing the Constitution. revisions (or amendments) may be proposed only through the first two: by Congress or by a constitutional convention." In addition. Clearly.only amendments are allowed. Respondent Commission has no discretion. with due respect. as "amendments. because the verification issue is "contentious" and remains unproven by petitioners. To stress. as I believe it should (for the reasons given in my Opinions in Santiago and PIRMA). may be the proper subject of an initiative to change the Constitution. both the PIRMA and the Lambino Petitions contain unverified signatures.The present Lambino Petition is in exactly the same situation as that of PIRMA in 1997.people's initiative -. Only Amendments. to refuse enforcement of any final decision of this Court. No one argued. the practical test to differentiate an amendment from a revision is found in the Constitution itself: a revision may be done only when the proposed change can be drafted. Even assuming further that this Court rules. Comelec was that the Commission had "only complied" with this Court's Decision in Santiago. It would have constituted defiance of the Court and would have surely been struck down as grave abuse of discretion and contumacious disregard of the supremacy of this Court as the final arbiter of justiciable controversies." will "radically alter the framework of government as set forth in the Constitution. Under the third mode -. Any other mode of action would appear not only presumptuous. even by semantic generosity. to me. Puno are." So. I will not add to the woes of the reader by reiterating them here. Not Revisions I reiterate that only amendments. philosophical and jurisprudential bases of their respective positions. no grave abuse of discretion can be attributed to the Comelec for merely following prevailing jurisprudence extant at the time it rendered its ruling in question. the Comelec shall motu proprio reject the petition. Besides. and is jurisdictional. "[b]eing a constitutional requirement. the number of signatures becomes a condition precedent to the filing of the petition. under any guise. The prolixity and complexity of the changes cannot be categorized. "[b]y any legal test and under any jurisdiction. 7 Without those signatures. still. This principle is crystal clear from even a layperson's reading of the basic law. Suffice it to say that. PIRMA did not contain verified signatures.8 The refusal of the poll body to act on the Lambino Petition was its only recourse. Precisely.

the 1972 and the 1987 Constitutions had to spend many months of purposeful discussions. even bills creating or changing the administrative structure of local governments take several weeks or even months of drafting. and debating before Congress can approve them. however. But a remand is both imprudent and futile. the present Petition is void and unconstitutional. So. Thus. Specifically. the full text of the proposed changes. In other words. the underlying principles.12 Even Justice Puno concedes that the 12 percent and 3 percent constitutional requirements involve "contentious facts. not an amendment. too. even under Republic Act 6735 -.. It is imprudent because the Constitution itself mandates the said requisites of an initiative petition. he is urging a remand to the Comelec.the law that Justice Puno and I hold to be sufficient and valid -. as the ponencia had discussed extensively. Inc. discussed and agreed upon after a mature and democratic debate in a deliberative body like Congress or a Convention.. At the very least. It points out that the Petition dismally fails to comply with the constitutional requirement that an initiative must be directly proposed by the people. or incorporated by attachment. 12 Percent and 3 Percent Thresholds Not Proven by Petitioners The litmus test of a people's petition for initiative is its ability to muster the constitutional requirement that it be supported by at least 12 percent of the registered voters nationwide. of which at least 3 percent of the registered voters in every legislative district must be represented.defined. in gross violation of the Constitution."10 The present initiative covers at least two subjects: (1) the shift from a presidential to a parliamentary form of government. articulated. The changes proposed must necessarily be scrutinized. why should a revision be rammed down our people's throats without the benefit of intelligent discussion in a deliberative assembly? Added to the constitutional mandate barring revisions is the provision of RA 6735 expressly prohibiting petitions for initiative from "embracing more than one subject matter. So. Summation Petitioners plead with this Court to hear the voice of the people because. as the Delfin Petition was. et al." 256 . democratic debates and rounds of voting before they could agree on the wordings covering the philosophy. records show that there was a failure to meet the minimum percentages required. in the words of Justice Puno who supports them. Indeed. a remand is futile. As pointed out by Intervenors One Voice. Even the initiative proponents admit this fact. and (2) the change from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature. in Santiago. it proposes more than one subject." which have not been proven by the Lambino Petition. reading.11 Thus. and the structure of government of our Republic. the "people's voice is sovereign in a democracy. Furthermore. Verily. in violation of Republic Act 6735. a petition that does not show the required percentages is fatally defective and must be dismissed. as their adoption or non-adoption must result from an informed judgment. How much more when it comes to constitutional changes? A change in the form of government of our country from presidential-bicameral to parliamentaryunicameral is monumental.the Lambino Petition deserves dismissal. Even if the required percentages are proven before the Commission. the constitutional bodies that drafted the 1935. the Petition must still be dismissed for proposing a revision. the ponencia has amply established that petitioners were unable to show that the Lambino Petition contained.

the people have solemnly expressed their will that all of them shall be governed by laws. because the present Petition violates the following: · The Constitution (specifically Article XVII. Comelec.the present Constitution -. to use this right of initiative wisely and maturely. the Comelec had not gravely abused its discretion). 257 . Upon assuming office. Nonetheless." This belief will not.which was ratified by a far greater majority almost twenty years ago. forged between the government and the people. because the people expect no less from this august and venerable institution of supreme justice. each of the justices of the Supreme Court took a solemn oath to uphold the Constitution. is a treasured feature of the Filipino constitutional system. except to quote the Good Book. we must faithfully abide by the processes the Constitution has ordained in order to bring about a peaceful. because our government must remain as one of laws and not of men. Through it. and to choose what is best for themselves and their posterity. too. Assuming arguendothat six million people allegedly gave their assent to the proposed changes in the Constitution. The strength of the judiciary lies not in its lack of brute power. I believe we must confront the issues head on. but mob rule vanquished. Democracy must be cherished. which allows only amendments. x x x. I reiterate my Separate Opinion in PIRMA that "initiative is a democratic method of enabling our people to express their will and chart their history. media outfits have been ablaze with reports and innuendoes about alleged carrots offered and sticks drawn by those interested in the outcome of this case. The Constitution is a sacred social compact. like referendum and recall. Epilogue At bottom. by following the Santiago ruling. It was born out of our world-admired and oftenimitated People Power. I shall not comment on them for the nonce. I believe that Filipinos have the ability and the capacity to rise above themselves. which says. I submit further that a remand of the Lambino Petition is both imprudent and futile. I elevate our society to the loftiest perch. lest it be trivialized and degraded by the assaults of the mob and of ill-conceived designs. Republic Act 6735. PIRMA v.15 During the past weeks. The judiciary may be the weakest branch of government. If we are to uphold the Rule of Law and reject the rule of the mob. they must subject to the strictest scrutiny any attempt to change it. when ranged against incessant voices from the more powerful branches of government. On the other hand. it should never cower in submission. which dismissed the Petition then under consideration on the ground that. between each individual and the rest of the citizenry. Instead of finger-pointing. a hand-washing already discredited 2000 years ago. just and humane society. and requires definite percentages of verified signatures) · The law (specifically. automatically and blindly result in an initiative to change the Constitution. Its might is in its being right. and their rights limited by agreed-upon covenants to promote the common good. which prohibits petitions containing more than one subject) · Jurisprudence (specifically. not revisions.14 I do not denigrate the majesty of the sovereign will. The Court must singlemindedly defend the Constitution from bogus efforts falsely attributed to the sovereign people. More tellingly. I daresay that the same weakness of the Court becomes its strength when it speaks independently through decisions that rightfully uphold the supremacy of the Constitution and the Rule of Law. it is a cop-out. 16 There being no judicial proof of these allegations.13 Initiative. the issue in this case is simply the Rule of Law.I. Being the protectors of the fundamental law as the highest expression of the sovereign will. but in its moral courage to perform its constitutional duty at all times against all odds. rather. but its misuse and abuse must be resolutely rejected. believe in heeding the people's voice. they are nevertheless still bound by the social covenant -. however.

WHEREFORE. the hand-washing of Pontius Pilate."There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. and how each justice opined and voted. it is my position that even if Santiago were reversed and Republic Act No.from now. However. 6735) be held as sufficient law for the purpose of people's initiative to amend the Constitution. the petition for initiative in this case must nonetheless be dismissed. and the loathing of Javellana still linger and haunt to this day. ABALOS. Respondents. SAGUISAG. Let not this case fall into the same damnation. and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. Indeed. 2006 MAR-LEN ABIGAIL BINAY. JR. BRAWNER.. even as they blindly invoke the said law to justify their alleged people's initiative. integrity. the Supreme Court is now on the crossroads of history.R. and Commissioners RESURRECCION Z.A. SARMIENTO. G. 6735.A. 174153 October 25.A. industry and intelligence. Justice Reynato Puno. ARTEMIO V. AUMENTADO. the proposition 3 or 258 .. J. vs. let this Court be known throughout the nation and the world for its independence.327. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. LAMBINO and ERICO B.or even a thousand years -. Ten years. 6735 requires that "[a] petition for an initiativeon the 1987 Constitution must have at least twelve per centum (12%) of the total number of registered voters as signatories. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. vs. among others. TUASON. Petitioners. what the Court did here. Q. Section 5(b) of R. No. JR. JR. By its decision. Petitioners. ROMEO A.: I agree with the opinion of our esteemed colleague. 2006 RAUL L. and RENE A. I vote to DISMISS the Petition. the abomination of Dred Scott. together with 6. represented by Chairman BENJAMIN S. either in shame or in pride. Respondents. a hundred years -.952 REGISTERED VOTERS. There is absolutely no showing here that petitioners complied with R. of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum (3%) of the registered voters therein. and John Doe and Peter Doe. Rather."17 Verily. the Court and each of its members shall be judged by posterity. will still be talked about." On the other hand. FLORENTINO A. BORRA. 6735 (R. ET AL. x ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------. 174299 October 25. No.R. COMELEC1 is not a binding precedent.x SEPARATE OPINION YNARES-SANTIAGO. Section 5(c)2 of the same law requires that the petition should state. that the Court's ruling in Santiago v. fifty years. SOFRONIO UNTALAN. PANGANIBAN Chief Justice ____________________ EN BANC G. RENE V.

as petitioners submit. It is not enough that they merely possess a general idea of the proposed changes. According to him. if he in fact knew whether the text was actually attached to the signature sheets which were distributed for signing. Let us look at the mechanics. Now. by signatures.A. the full text of the proposed changes must necessarily be stated in or attached to the initiative petition. Madam President. All that the signature sheets contained was the general proposition and abstract. 6735. approved or rejected.the "contents or text of the proposed law sought to be enacted. is it by signature? MR. MR. Section 2 of the complete committee report provides: "upon petition of at least 10 percent of the registered voters. Madam President. it might be noted that they themselves reasonably assumed that the draft of the proposed constitutional amendments would be shown to the people during the process of signature gathering. Upon being asked.A. in the first instance. know exactly what they are proposing. they must. That can be reasonably assumed. Although the framers of the Constitution left the matter of implementing the constitutional right of initiative to Congress. however. 259 . such requirement was not followed in the case at bar." If we were to apply Section 5(c) to an initiative to amend the Constitution.000 copies of the text of the proposed changes to the Constitution. RODRIGO: What does the sponsor mean? The draft is ready and shown to them before they sign. intelligent and well-informed choice on the matter. for the people to propose amendments to the Constitution.4 It may thus be logically assumed that even without Section 5(c) of R. he said that he merely assumed that they were. MR. In other words. However. RODRIGO. Is the draft of the proposed constitutional amendment ready to be shown to the people when they are asked to sign? MR. the petition for initiative signed by the required number of voters should incorporate therein a text of the proposed changes to the Constitution. SUAREZ. for attachment to the sheets of paper on which the signatures were to be affixed. he could not tell the Court for certain whether their representatives complied with this requirement. SUAREZ. these were subsequently distributed to their agents all over the country. To begin with. of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein. Article XVII. petitioner Lambino admitted that they printed a mere 100." Evidently. who prepares the draft? MR. amended or repealed. Section 2 of the Constitution unequivocally states that "[a]mendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters. as well as that which was shown to this Court. indubitably establish that the full text of the proposed changes was not attached to the signature sheets. Yes. RODRIGO. which falls short of the full text requirement of R." How will we determine that 10 percent has been achieved? How will the voters manifest their desire. During the oral arguments. Thus – MR. SUAREZ: The people themselves. The petition filed with the COMELEC. The necessity of setting forth the text of the proposed constitutional changes in the petition for initiative to be signed by the people cannot be seriously disputed. The signatories to the petition must be given an opportunity to fully comprehend the meaning and effect of the proposed changes to enable them to make a free. Let us say some voters want to propose a constitutional amendment. as the Constitution speaks of a "direct" proposal by the people. 6735.

9 and the convening of a constituent assembly to propose additional amendments to the Constitution. 6735: SEC. Section 26(1)6 of the Constitution. Apart from a shift from the presidential to a parliamentary form of government. This in turn guarantees that the signatories are fully aware of the nature. As applied to the initiative process.7 To elaborate.8 An examination of the text of the proposed changes reveals. that this is not the case. the convening of a constituent assembly to amend the Constitution 260 . By this process of log-rolling. which may or may not embrace unicameralism. 10 Also included within its terms is an omnibus declaration that those constitutional provisions under Articles VI and VII. it actually seeks to affect other subjects that are not reasonably germane to the constitutional alteration that is purportedly sought.5 The failure of petitioners in this case to comply with the full text requirement resultantly rendered their petition for initiative fatally defective. For one. as relating to an initiative to amend the Constitution. Petitioners insist that the proposed changes embodied in their petition for initiative relate only to one subject matter. intercalations and riders may be duly avoided.Needless to say. 10. I also fail to see the relation of convening a constituent assembly with the proposed change in our system of government. the one subject-one bill rule was designed to do away with the practice of inserting two or more unrelated provisions in one bill. if standing alone. shall be deemed amended to conform thereto. As a subject matter. the proposed changes include the abolition of one House of Congress. the one subject rule is essentially designed to prevent surprise and fraud on the electorate. scope and purpose of the proposed amendment. such provision must be viewed as an indispensable requirement and failure to substantially comply therewith is fatal. The proposed changes to the Constitution cover other subjects that are beyond the main proposal espoused by the petitioners. Only then can we be assured that the proposed changes are truly of the people and that the signatories have been fully apprised of its implications. The petition for initiative is likewise irretrievably infirm because it violates the one subject rule under Section 10(a) of R. It is not difficult to see that while the proposed changes appear to relate only to a shift in the form of government. corruption or deception in the initiative and referendum process. which are inconsistent with the unicameral-parliamentary form of government.11 In other words. a shift to a parliamentary system of government does not necessarily result in the adoption of a unicameral legislature. If the whole text of the proposed changes is contained in or attached to the petition.A. all of the other proposed changes are merely incidental to this main proposal and are reasonably germane and necessary thereto. so that those favoring one provision would be compelled to adopt the others. that is – the shift from presidential to a parliamentary system of government. x x x The one subject rule. If a statutory provision is essential to guard against fraud. the requirement of setting forth the complete text of the proposed changes in the petition for initiative is a safeguard against fraud and deception. has the same object and purpose as the one subject-one bill rule embodied in Article VI. Prohibited Measures. when neither. the adoption of both provisions could be accomplished and ensured. According to petitioners. could succeed on its own merits. however. A parliamentary system can exist in many different "hybrid" forms of government. It is meant to safeguard the integrity of the initiative process by ensuring that no unrelated riders are concealed within the terms of the proposed amendment.— The following cannot be the subject of an initiative or referendum petition: (a) No petition embracing more than one subject shall be submitted to the electorate. the shift from presidential to parliamentary structure and from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature is neither the cause nor effect of the other.

The intention of an act to amend is not to consider the advisability of changing the entire constitution or of considering that possibility. acting either as a constituent assembly or by calling out a constitutional convention. This mode refers to the people's right to propose amendments to the fundamental law through the filing of a petition for initiative. The reason for this is apparent. our experience of what constitutes amendment or revision under the past constitutions is not determinative of what the two terms mean now. or the greater portion of it. the need to highlight the difference was not as material because it was only Congress that could effect constitutional changes by choosing between the two modalities. a third mode was introduced for proposing changes to the Constitution. Otherwise stated. The statement does not specify what these inconsistencies and amendments may be. In contrast. Besides. the proposed changes indicate that the intendment is not simply to effect substantial amendments to the Constitution. but the authority for effecting either would never have been questioned since the same belonged solely to Congress. as it should be now under the 1987 Constitution. the factor that characterizes it as an act of revision is the original intention and plan authorized to be carried out. envisages a change of only a few specific provisions. The omnibus statement that all provisions under Articles VI and VII which are inconsistent with a unicameral-parliamentary system of government shall be deemed amended is equally bothersome. However. The intention rather is to improve specific parts of the existing constitution or to add to it provisions deemed essential on account of changed conditions or to suppress portions of it that seem obsolete. Under our past constitutions. it was Congress alone.presents a range of issues that is far removed from the subject of a shift in government. There is thus no reasonable measure of its impact on the other constitutional provisions. but a revision thereof. The distinction between an amendment and revision was explained by Dean Vicente G. the 1987 Constitution clearly limits the right of the people to directly propose constitutional changes to amendments 261 . The foregoing proposed changes cannot be the subject of a people's initiative under Section 2. Article XVII of the Constitution. Taken together. The changes introduced to both the Constitutions of 1935 and 1973 could have indeed been deemed an amendment or revision. This only goes to show that the convening of the constituent assembly is not necessary to effectuate a change to a parliamentary system of government. on the other hand. as related to the exercise of the right to propose either amendments or revision. that exercised authority to either amend or revise the Constitution through the procedures therein described. or perhaps only some of its important provisions."12 The foregoing traditional exposition of the difference between amendment and revision has indeed guided us throughout our constitutional history. the constituent assembly is supposed to convene and propose amendments to the Constitution after the proposed change in the system of government has already taken place. it is different now under the 1987 Constitution. the distinction between the two terms is not. The act of amending a constitution. It may result in the rewriting either of the whole constitution. as significant in the context of our past constitutions. The subject and scope of these automatic amendments cannot even be spelled out with certainty. Apart from providing for the two modes of either Congress constituting itself as a constituent assembly or calling out for a constitutional convention. That intention and plan must contemplate a consideration of all the provisions of the constitution to determine which one should be altered or suppressed or whether the whole document should be replaced with an entirely new one. Sinco. Although the distinction between the two terms was theoretically recognized under both the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions. as follows: "Strictly speaking. But whatever results the revision may produce. However. such that everyone is left to guess the provisions that could eventually be affected by the proposed changes. to my mind. or misleading in their effect. or dangerous. the act of revising a constitution involves alterations of different portions of the entire document.

would vest in the United States Supreme Court all judicial interpretative powers of the California courts over fundamental criminal defense rights in that state. Deukmeijan.only. The dual aspect of the amendment/revision analysis was reiterated by the California Supreme Court in Raven v. we have neither relevant precedent nor prior experience. the proposition did "not seem so extensive as to change directly the substantial entirety of the Constitution by the deletion or alteration of numerous existing provisions. However. Thus. apart from a measure effecting widespread deletions. For as long as the intention and plan to be carried out contemplate a consideration of all the provisions of the Constitution "to determine which should be altered or suppressed. State Board of Equalization. Executive Secretary13 related to the procedure to be followed in ratifying a completely new charter proposed by a constitutional convention.16 the Raven court said: ". We must thus confine ourselves to Dean Sinco's basic articulation of the two terms.14 the California Supreme Court laid down the groundwork for the combination of quantitative and qualitative assessment of proposed constitutional changes. In this regard. The part need not be a substantial part as a change may qualify as a revision even if it only involves some of the important provisions. nonetheless. it went on to consider the qualitative effects that the proposed initiative measure would have on California's basic plan of government. . in determining whether such changes are revisory or amendatory in nature. by delegating far-reaching and mixed powers to an independent commission created under the proposed measure. therefore. Antonio in Javellana v. another overriding factor is the "original intention and plan authorized to be carried out" by the proposed changes. . it should be noted that the distinction laid down by Justice Felix Q. No clear demarcation line can be drawn to distinguish the two terms and each circumstance must be judged on the basis of its own peculiar conditions. As far as determining what constitutes "amendments" for the purpose of a people's initiative. but was also held as having a substantive effect on the fundamental governmental plan of the State of California. additions and amendments involving many constitutional articles. Consequently. as the initiative in that case was called. or whether the whole document should be replaced with an entirely new one. In McFadden v. It observed that the proposal would alter the checks and balances inherent in such plan." Quoting Amador Valley Joint Union High School District v. We must consequently not be swayed by examples of constitutional changes effected prior to the present fundamental law.15 Proposition 115. the proposal inMcFadden was not only deemed as broad and numerous in physical scope. In that case. then the same constitutes a revision and not a mere amendment of the Constitution. The authority or right of the constitutional convention itself to effect such a revision was not put in issue in that case. If the same relates to a re-examination of the entire document to see which provisions remain relevant or if it has far-reaching effects on the entire document. it is not by the sheer number alone of the proposed changes that the same may be considered as either an amendment or revision. It is clear from Dean Sinco's explanation that a revision may either be of the whole or only part of the Constitution. and four new topics would be introduced. and not simply on an arithmetical appraisal of the specific provisions which it seeks to affect. in order to determine whether the same is revisory or merely amendatory. the McFadden court found the proposed changes extensive since at least 15 of the 25 articles contained in the California Constitution would either be repealed in their entirety or substantially altered. 'even a relatively simple enactment may accomplish such far reaching 262 . "would substantially alter the substance and integrity of the state Constitution as a document of independent force and effect." the same. In so determining." the proposed change may be deemed a revision and not merely an amendment. From the foregoing. but also consider what it means in relation to the entire document. it is readily apparent that a combination of the quantitative and qualitative test is necessary in assessing what may be considered as an amendment or revision. The determination lies in assessing the impact that the proposed changes may have on the entire instrument. It is not enough that we focus simply on the physical scope of the proposed changes. It was observed that although quantitatively. Jordan.

There will be a President who shall be the head of state. in resolving the amendment/revision issue. quantitatively. as well as provisions that will ensure the smooth transition from a presidential-bicameral system to a parliamentary-unicameral structure of government. What this implies is that there will be no separation between the law-making and enforcement powers of the state. Necessarily.17 I am persuaded that we can approach the present issue in the same manner. The proposed changes will set into motion a ripple effect that will strike at the very foundation of our basic constitutional plan. The preceding proposal indicates that. amount to a revision as to be excluded from the people's right to directly propose amendments to the fundamental law? As indicated earlier.S. The experience of the courts in California is not far removed from the standards expounded on by Dean Sinco when he set out to differentiate between amendment and revision. such that parliament will be the paramount governing institution. quantitatively. Petitioners' main proposal pertains to the shifting of our form of government from the presidential to the parliamentary system. the executive and legislature shall be one and the same.'" (Underscoring supplied and citations omitted) Thus." In any case.18 We must thus consider whether the proposed changes in this case affect our Constitution in both its substantial physical entirety and in its basic plan of government. will undoubtedly alter. It is actually consistent. he continues. However. that are traditionally delineated between the executive and legislature in a presidential form of government. These tests are consistent with Dean Sinco's traditional concept of amendment and revision when he explains that. or perhaps only some of its provisions. The initiative petition. "the factor that characterizes it as an act of revision is the original intention and plan authorized to be carried out. The question posed is: do the proposed changes. Substantial changes in either respect could amount to a revision. the checks and balances inherent in the fundamental plan of our U. namely. the California Court examines both the quantitative and qualitative effects of a proposed measure on its constitutional scheme. the latter statement refers to the qualitative effect of the proposed changes. It is therefore an impermissible constitutional revision that may not be effected through a people's initiative. not only our basic governmental plan. It may thus be conceded that. we may apply the quantitative/qualitative test in determining the nature of the proposed changes. revision "may result in the rewriting either of the whole constitution. not only with our traditional concept of the two terms. if successful. the changes espoused by the proponents in this case will affect only two (2) out of the eighteen (18) articles of the 1987 Constitution. but the head of government is the Prime Minister. regardless of whether these are simple or substantial. The quantitative effect of the proposed changes is neither broad nor extensive and will not affect the substantial entirety of the 1987 Constitution. No term limits are set for the members of parliament except for those elected under the party-list system whose terms and number shall be provided by law. under the proposed system." Unmistakably. An examination of their proposal reveals that there will be a fusion of the executive and legislative departments into one parliament that will be elected on the basis of proportional representation. or the greater part of it. Article VI (Legislative Department) and Article VII (Executive Department). but also with the mindset of our constitutional framers when they referred to the disquisition of Justice Antonio inJavellana.changes in the nature of our basic governmental plan as to amount to a revision also…[A]n enactment which purported to vest all judicial power in the Legislature would amount to a revision without regard either to the length or complexity of the measure or the number of existing articles or sections affected by such change. it is my opinion that the proposed changes will have serious qualitative consequences on the Constitution. The latter and his cabinet shall be elected from among the members of parliament and shall be responsible to parliament for the program of government.-style presidential 263 . but also redefine our rights as citizens in relation to government.

the shift from presidential to parliamentary form of government cannot be regarded as anything but a drastic change." To say that the proposed changes will affect only the constitution of government is therefore a fallacy.. To repeat. it is not true that only Articles VI and VII are covered by the alleged people's initiative. The legislature is generally limited to the enactment of laws. be deemed as a mere constitutional amendment. either to determine which of its provisions should be altered or suppressed or whether the whole document should be replaced with an entirely new one. An amendment envisages an alteration of one or a few specific and separable provisions. except the will of the parliamentary majority. a switch from the presidential system to a parliamentary system would be a revision because of its over-all impact on the entire constitutional structure.J. The guiding original intention of an amendment is to improve specific parts or to add new provisions deemed necessary to meet new conditions or to suppress specific portions that may have become obsolete or that are judged to be dangerous. or of provisions of the document which have over-all implications for the entire document. the combined effect of the proposed changes to Articles VI and VII and those pertaining to the Transitory Provisions under Article XVIII indubitably establish the intent and plan of the proponents to 264 . Joaquin Bernas. the doctrine of separation of powers is intended to secure action. This goes against the central principle of our present constitutional scheme that distributes the powers of government and provides for counteraction among the three branches. The inclusion of such a proposal reveals the proponents' plan to consider all provisions of the constitution. since both the Prime Minister and the members of his cabinet are drawn from parliament. In revision.system will be eliminated. The proposal to convene a constituent assembly. a constituent assembly can do away and replace any constitutional provision which may not even have a bearing on the shift to a parliamentary system of government. as reflected in their proposed changes. which by its terms is mandatory. As explained by Fr. If the original intent were to simply shift the form of government to the parliamentary system. Although both the presidential and parliamentary systems are theoretically consistent with constitutional democracy. by any standard. to determine how and to what extent they should be altered. there is an obvious lack of formal institutional checks on the legislative and executive powers of the state. Indeed. It should be noted that. the underlying tenets and resulting governmental framework are nonetheless radically different. Consequently. however. In the words of Justice Laurel. Our present governmental system is built on the separation of powers among the three branches of government. the guiding original intention and plan contemplates a re-examination of the entire document. goes beyond the shifting of government from the presidential to the parliamentary system. the executive to the enforcement of laws and the judiciary to the application of laws. It will require a total overhaul of our governmental structure and involve a re-orientation in the cardinal doctrines that govern our constitutional set-up. it could even extend to the "fundamental nature of our state as a democratic and republican state. will practically jeopardize the future of the entire Constitution and place it on shaky grounds.19 In the proposed parliamentary system. This separation is intended to prevent a concentration of authority in one person or group that might lead to an irreversible error or abuse in its exercise to the detriment of our republican institutions. Consequently.20 It cannot. The plan of the proponents. once convened. to forestall overaction. There are no effective limits to what the Prime Minister and parliament can do. The workings of government shall instead be controlled by the internal political dynamics prevailing in the parliament.21 (Underscoring supplied) The inclusion of a proposal to convene a constituent assembly likewise shows the intention of the proponents to effect even more far-reaching changes in our fundamental law. then there would have been no need for the calling out of a constituent assembly to propose further amendments to the Constitution. to prevent despotism and obtain efficiency. S.

The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right. The differentiation required is not merely between two words. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters. is to provide differing fields of application for the three modes of effecting changes to the Constitution. or (2) A constitutional convention. The intention. of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein. it would have been unnecessary to provide for Section 2 to distinguish its scope from the rights vested in Congress under Section 1. . or revision of. if we follow elementary principles of statutory construction. then. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter. Any amendment under Section 2 hereof shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the certification by the Commission of Elections of the sufficiency of the petition. not to be x x x a mere alternative procedure in the same field. not only a procedure but also a field of application appropriate to its procedure. on the other hand. SECTION 2. as may be seen from a cursory perusal of the above provisions. Again. Section 2. (Underscoring supplied) It is clear that the right of the people to directly propose changes to the Constitution is limited to amendments and does not include a revision thereof. xxxx SECTION 4. Each procedure. Otherwise. The latter lucidly states that Congress may propose both amendments and a revision of the Constitution by either convening a constituent assembly or calling for a constitutional convention. must be understood to denote. McFadden22 is instructive: ". this Constitution under Section 1 hereof shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the approval of such amendment or revision. that Section 2 allows substantial amendments amounting to revision obliterates the clear distinction in scope between Sections 1 and 2. The people of this state have spoken. We should thus apply these provisions with a discerning regard for this distinction. this Constitution may be proposed by: (1) The Congress. Any amendment to. or revision of. they made it clear when they adopted article XVIII and made amendment relatively simple but provided the 265 . We need not even delve into the intent of the constitutional framers to see that the distinction in scope is definitely marked. which state: SECTION 1. To hold. no valid reason exists for authorizing further amendments or revisions to the Constitution if the intention of the proposed changes is truly what it purports to be.possibly affect even the constitutions of liberty and sovereignty. Indeed. upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members. must be understood to have a substantial field of application. therefore. textually commits to the people the right to propose only amendments by direct action. respectively. . as textually reflected in the Constitution itself. more accurately it is between two procedures and between their respective fields of application. Any amendment to. There is no question here that only amendments to the Constitution may be undertaken through a people's initiative and not a revision. This conclusion is inevitable especially from a comparative examination of Section 2 in relation to Sections 1 and 4 of Article XVII. Each of the two words.

while leaving unmentioned the power and the procedure relative to constitutional revision. or which. either constitutional or statutory. The voice and will of our people cannot be any clearer when they limited people's initiative to mere amendments of the fundamental law and excluded revisions in its scope. as expressed unequivocally through the Constitution. and the three departments are responsible to and subject to be ordered. By approving these provisions." Thus. In this regard. In choosing to exercise self-limitation. the sovereign people have decided to limit themselves and future generations in the exercise of their sovereign power. which revisional power and procedure. We find nothing whatsoever in the language of the initiative amendment of 1911 (art. may do so. Each situation involving the question of amendment.25 (Underscoring supplied) Consequently. whatever their numbers. In the words of Cooley: x x x Although by their constitutions the people have delegated the exercise of sovereign powers to the several departments." Nor is it one where the people's sovereign power has been relegated to a lesser plane than that of Congress.Intervenors' contention--that any change less than a total one is but amendatory--would reduce to the rubble of absurdity the bulwark so carefully erected and preserved. had already been specifically treated in section 2 of article XVIII. § 1) to effect a breaking down of that difference. changed or abolished by them. it would be revolutionary in character. While Section 1 of Article XVII may be considered as a provision delegating the sovereign powers of amendment and revision to Congress. The people have chosen to delegate and limit their sovereign power by virtue of the Constitution and are bound by the parameters that they themselves have ordained. if the people choose to defy their self-imposed constitutional restraints. 26 266 . have been prescribed and pointed out for them by statute. our people too have spoken when they overwhelmingly ratified the 1987 Constitution.formidable bulwark of a constitutional convention as a protection against improvident or hasty (or any other) revision. Article XVII on amendments and revisions is called a "constitution of sovereignty" because it defines the constitutional meaning of "sovereignty of the people." It is through these provisions that the sovereign people have allowed the expression of their sovereign will and have canalized their powers which would otherwise be plenary. an attempt should be made to interfere with the regular working of the agencies of government at any other time or in any other mode than as allowed by existing law. acting in their sovereign capacity. IV. except through the means prescribed by the Constitution itself. so far as they have thought it needful to do so. we think. and must be resisted and repressed by the officers who. for the time being. represent legitimate government. to change or thwart its mandates. is a self-limitation on that sovereign power. The voice of the people. we will be faced with a revolutionary situation. that they understood that there was a real difference between amendment and revision. of the Constitution must. consistently with the Constitution. there is here no case of "the spring rising above its source. as contrasted with revision. But this control and direction must be exercised in the legitimate mode previously agreed upon. the distinction appears to be x x x scrupulously preserved by the express declaration in the amendment x x x that the power to propose and vote on "amendments to the Constitution" is reserved directly to the people in initiative proceedings. and if by any portion of the people. with the provisions on amendments and revisions under Article XVII. directed.24 It is thus misplaced to argue that the people may propose revisions to the Constitution through people's initiative because their representatives. On the contrary. can be of legal force only when expressed at the times and under the conditions which they themselves have prescribed and pointed out by the Constitution. however large. Section 2. whose power is merely delegated. they have not thereby divested themselves of the sovereignty. there is no absence or lack of even a fraction of the sovereign power of the people since self-limitation itself is an expression of that sovereign power. in contrast. the task of the Court is to give effect to the people's voice. be resolved upon its own facts. it will be remembered. a power to control the governments they create. They retain in their own hands. 23 They are thus bound by the constitution and are powerless. Otherwise.

we should not forget that. MANUEL VILLAR. PETE QUIRINO-QUADRA. 267 . ALTERNATIVE LAW GROUPS. INC. respondent. vs.petitioners-intervenors. petitioners-intervenors. MIGRANTE. BYRON D. AZURIN. ONEVOICE INC. SENATE MINORITY LEADER AQUILINO P. ADAMAT. oppositors-intervenors. JINGGOY ESTRADA. however. FORTUNATO P. MANUEL L. oppositor-intervenor. AND RENE A. 174153 RAUL L. LORETA ANN P.27 Even as we affirm.. SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. first and foremost.R.. SALVADOR AND RANDALL C. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. MONSOD. To uphold direct democracy at the expense of the fundamental law is to sanction. JR. LUISA P. GABRIELA WOMEN'S PARTY. petitioner-intervenor. BAYAN MUNA. OPLE AND CARLOS P.ESTRELLA. ANA THERESA HONTIVEROSBARAQUEL. JR. RONALD L. oppositor-intervenor. EJERCIRO-ESTRADA. No. not a constitutional. CADIZ. FROILAN M. REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT. JR. OSMENA III. JR. Q. LUWALHATI ANTONINO. I vote to DISMISS the petition in G. AGUAS AND AMADO GAT INCION. TOMAS C. DARBY SANTIAGO. but an extra-constitutional recourse. PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION (PHILCONSA). LACSON. RUELO BAYA. GABRIELA. PHILIPPINE TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS ORGANIZATION (PTGWO) AND VICTORINO F. ANAKBAYAN. 174299 MAR-LEN ABIGAIL BINAY. JOAQUIN T.petitioners. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.It has repeatedly been emphasized that ours is a democratic and republican state.LEONARDO SAN JOSE.S. PIMENTEL. CHRISTIAN S. AND PANFILO M. NO. LAMBINO AND ENRICO B. AND SENATORS SERGIO R. vs. BAYAN.. oppositors-intervenors. ROLANDO MANUEL RIVERA. BACUNGAN.. RENE B. TOLOSA. BOCAR. ECUMENICAL BISHOPS FROUM. oppostors-intervenors.R. MEDINA. MADRIGAL. SULONGBAYAN MOVEMENT FOUNDATION. VENUS. ANTONIO L. AND DR.. SAGUISAG. petitioners-intervenors. by sovereign mandate. oppositors-intervenors. petitioners.R. INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES CEBU CITY AND CEBU CHAPTER. This is clearly beyond the powers of the Court who. MA TANYA KARINA A. TAJON. CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO Associate Justice ____________________ EN BANC G. TABAYOYONG. oppositors-intervenors. oppositors-intervenors. JOSE ANSELMO I. MARIO JOYO AGUJA. ROSALES. ATTY. JR. CONRADO F. SOFRONIO UNTALAN. JR.327. LEAGUE OF FILIPINO STUDENTS. JAMBY A. NO. TRADE UNION CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES (TUCP). JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA AND PWERSA NG MASANG PILIPINO.952 REGISTERED VOTERS. ALFREDO S. oppositor-intervenor. that aspect of direct democracy. DR. QUEZON III. 174153. TOLEDO. oppositor-intervenor.. is the guardian and keeper of the Constitution. oppositors-intervenors. REGINALD PAMUGAS. JOJO PINEDA. SUSAN V. KILUSANG MAYO UNO. BALAIS.. oppositors-intervenors. HEAD. G. INC. AUMENTADO TOGETHER WITH 6. we are a constitutional democracy. LIM. LAT. MARIANO M. BENJAMIN T.

REPRESENTED BY CHAIRMAN BENJAMIN S.A. 6735). "nec audiendi qui solent dicere vox populi vox Dei quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit. JR. On motion for reconsideration. I have come to realize that man. On March 19. AND COMMISSIONERS RESSURRECCION Z. the monk Alcuin. Commission on Elections (COMELEC). respondents. 127325.. despotism tolerated and oppressions justified – all these transpired as man boasted of God's imprimatur. 6735 (R. The exercise was thwarted by a petition for prohibition filed with this Court by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago. RENE V. the Movement for People's Initiative sought to exercise the power of initiative under Section 2. The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right.x CONCURRING OPINION SANDOVAL–GUTIERREZ. the "voice of God. Today. or wanting in essential terms and conditions insofar as initiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned. has perfected the craft of imitating the voice of God. who advised Charlemagne. convincing this Court that the people's initiative is the "voice of the people" and. entitled "Miriam Defensor Santiago."2 The case was docketed as G. No. in their capacities as founding members of the People's Initiative for Reforms. lest it does more harm than good to one's cause. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters. Article XVII of the Constitution which reads: Section 2. The facts of the case are undisputed. It originated from a holy man. x ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------. it is by providence that the true meaning of the Latin phrase is revealed upon petitioners and their allies – that they may reflect upon the sincerity and authenticity of their "people's initiative. It is against this kind of genius that the Court must guard itself. In its original context. In 1996. therefore. while five (5) subscribed to the opposite view. 1997. One (1) opined that there is no need to rule on the adequacy of R. An Act Providing for a System of Initiative and Referendum and Appropriating Funds Therefor. inadequate. v. FLORENTINO A. No. 6735. two (2) of the eight (8) Justices reconsidered their positions.COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. Alberto Pedrosa and Carmen Pedrosa. ROMEO A. petitioners and their allies hum the same rallying call. BORRA. 'The voice of the people is the voice of God. of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein.: Vox populi vox Dei -. this Court rendered its Decision in favor of petitioners. Caution should be exercised in choosing one's battlecry. holding that Republic Act No. One (1) filed an inhibition and the other one (1) joined the minority opinion.the voice of the people is the voice of God." A majority of eight (8) Justices fully concurred with this ruling.R. is "incomplete. Wars were waged." After a thorough consideration of the petitions." meaning. Alexander Padilla and Maria Isabel Ongpin. No. petitioners." History has been a witness to countless iniquities committed in the name of God. "And those people should not be listened to who keep on saying.A. J. ABALOS. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter. Jesus Delfin. BRAWNER. As a consequence. respondents. SARMIENTO AND JOHN DOE AND PETER DOE. SR. with his ingenuity and arrogance. Modernization and Action (PIRMA). TUASON.' since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness. the complete version of this Latin phrase means exactly the opposite of what it is frequently taken to mean. et al. of the thirteen (13) 268 ."1 Perhaps.

while the other six (6) voted in favor of the minority opinion. The executive power shall be exercised by a Prime Minister. resignation or removal from office of the incumbent President. to be apportioned among the provinces. 1997. and each province must have at least one member. another group known as Sigaw ng Bayan." Seven (7) Justices voted that there was no need to re-examine its ruling. This time. 1997. Sections 1. For the purpose of insuring an orderly transition from the bicameral-Presidential to a unicameral-Parliamentary form of government." which shall read. and its Resolution of June 10.A. there shall be a new Article XVIII. B. No. Sections 1. at least twentyfive years old on the day of the election. Commission on Elections 4 on the ground that the COMELEC did not commit grave abuse of discretion when it dismissed PIRMA's Petition for Initiative to Propose Amendments to the Constitution "it appearing that that it only complied with the dispositions in the Decision of the Court in G. entitled People's Initiative for Reform. 127325 (Santiago v. (1) The incumbent President and Vice President shall serve until the expiration of their term at noon on the thirtieth day of June 2010 and shall continue to exercise their powers under the 1987 Constitution unless impeached by a vote of two thirds of all the members of the interim parliament. but on the different premise that the case at bar is not the proper vehicle for such re-examination. permanent disability. 2. Five (5) Justice opined otherwise. the Court dismissed a similar case. 1997. 269 . permanent disability. 6735. and cities in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants. or on September 23. 2. Modernization and Action (PIRMA) v. as regards the issue of the sufficiency of R. representative districts. the incumbent Vice President shall succeed as President.Justices who participated in the deliberation. The Prime Minister shall be elected by a majority of all the Members of Parliament from among themselves. have gathered signatures in support of the proposed amendments to the Constitution. resignation or removal from office of both the incumbent President and Vice President. (2) In case of death. 6 and 7 of Article VI shall be amended to read as follows: Section 1.3 A few months thereafter. There shall be a President who shall be the Head of State. as far as practicable. C. (1) The legislative and executive powers shall be vested in a unicameral Parliament which shall be composed of as many members as may be provided by law. which entail a change in the form of government from bicameralpresidential to unicameral-parliamentary. in coordination with the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP). 3. entitled "Transitory Provisions. Each district shall comprise. 3 and 4 of Article VII of the 1987 Constitution are hereby amended to read. contiguous. six (6) voted in favor of the majority opinion. no. and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. 5. COMELEC) promulgated on March 19. thus: A. as follows: Section 1.R. (2) Each Member of Parliament shall be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. with at least three hundred thousand inhabitants per district. with the assistance of the Cabinet. except those under the party-list system which shall be provided for by law and whose number shall be equal to twenty per centum of the total membership coming from the parliamentary districts. a resident of his district for at least one year prior thereto. In case of death. 4. and shall be elected by the qualified voters of his district for a term of five years without limitation as to the number thereof. He shall be responsible to the Parliament for the program of government. compact and adjacent territory. as follows: Section 1. Another Justice concurred.

(1) There shall exist. ad seriatim up to 14. that any and all references therein to "Congress. 2. 3 and 4 of Article VII of the 1987 Constitution which are hereby be amended and Sections 7." "House of Representatives" and "Houses of Congress" shall be changed to read "Parliament. decentralization and a strong bureaucracy. who shall be elected by a majority vote of the members thereof. with the exception of Sections 1." "Senator(s)" or "Member(s) of the House of Representatives" shall be changed to read as "Member(s) of Parliament" and any and all references to the "President" and/or "Acting President" shall be changed to read "Prime Minister. duties and 270 . 5. 4. who is the Chief Executive. It shall be composed of the incumbent Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives and the incumbent Members of the Cabinet who are heads of executive departments. from among the members of the interim Parliament." that any and all references therein to "Member(s) of Congress. unless they are inconsistent with the Parliamentary system of government." Section 4. with the exception of Sections 1. 6 and 7 of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which shall hereby be amended and Sections 18 and 24 which shall be deleted. 3. unless they shall be inconsistent with Section 1 hereof. ad seriatium up to 26. provided. Upon the expiration of the term of the incumbent President and Vice President.the interim Prime Minister shall assume all the powers and responsibilities of Prime Minister under Article VII as amended." "House of Representatives" and "Houses of Congress" shall be changed to read "Parliament. The duty elected Prime Minister shall continue to exercise and perform the powers." that any and all references therein to "Member(s) of Congress." "Senate. The interim Prime Minister shall oversee the various ministries and shall perform such powers and responsibilities as may be delegated to him by the incumbent President. Section 2. an interim Prime Minister. that any and all references therein to "Congress. (2) The incumbent Vice President shall automatically be a Member of Parliament until noon of the thirtieth day of June 2010." "Senate. however." (2) The interim Parliament shall provide for the election of the members of Parliament which shall be synchronized and held simultaneously with the election of all local government officials. (4) Within forty-five days from ratification of these amendments. they shall be amended to conform with a unicameral parliamentary form of government. however. He shall also be a member of the cabinet and shall head a ministry. an interim Parliament which shall continue until the Members of the regular Parliament shall have been elected and shall have qualified. 2. 11 and 12 which are hereby deleted. Upon the expiration of the term of the incumbent President and Vice President. upon the ratification of these amendments. (3) Senators whose term of office ends in 2010 shall be Members of Parliament until noon of the thirtieth day of June 2010. 9. or revisions of. He shall initially convene the interim Parliament and shall preside over its sessions for the election of the interim Prime Minister and until the Speaker shall have been elected by a majority vote of all the members of the interim Parliament from among themselves. 10. the interim Parliament shall convene to propose amendments to. 8." Sec