1.Senate v Ermita Case Digest

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Senate v. Ermita, G.R. No. 169777, April 20, 2006 FACTS: On Septemer 21 to 2!, 200", t#e Committee o$ t#e Senate a% a &#ole i%%'e( invitation% to vario'% o)*ial% o$ t#e E+e*'tive epartment $or t#em to appear a% re%o'r*e %pea-er% in a p'li* #earin on t#e rail&a/ proe*t o$ t#e Nort# 'on Rail&a/% Corporation &it# t#e C#ina National 3a*#iner/ an( E4'ipment Gro'p 5#ereina$ter Nort# Rail roe*t. On Septemer 28, 200", t#e re%i(ent t#en i%%'e( E+e*'tive Or(er 6, En%'rin O%ervan*e o$ t#e rin*iple o$ Separation o$ o&er%, A(#eren*e to t#e R'le on E+e*'tive rivilee an( Re%pe*t $or t#e Ri#t% o$ 'li* O)*ial% Appearin in ei%lative ;n4'irie% in Ai( o$ ei%lation e*t imme(iatel/.

;SSe*tivel/ in t#e a%en*e o$ in$ormation re%pe*tin *on(ition% &#i*# t#e lei%lation i% inten(e( to a>e*t or *#an[email protected] an( &#en it (oe% not po%%e%% t#e re4'ire( in$ormation, re*o'r%e m'%t e #a( on ot#er% &#o po%%e%% it. T#i% po&er i% roa( eno'# to *over o)*ial% o$ t#e e+e*'tive ran*#. T#e operation o$ t#e overnment i% a proper %'e*t $or inve%tiation, a% #el( in Arna'lt *a%e. 2.

Alt#o'# t#e in4'ir/ i% in ai( o$ lei%lation, t#ere are %till re*onie( e+emption% to t#e po&er o$ in4'ir/, &#i*# $all 'n(er t#e r'ri* o$ Je+e*'tive privileeK. ;t i% (ene( / S*#&art a% t#e po&er o$ t#e overnment to &it##ol( in$ormation $rom t#e p'li*, t#e *o'rt% an( t#e Conre%%.= 5e.. %tate %e*ret privilee, in$ormerK% privilee, eneri* privilee

!.  T#e po&er o$ Conre%% to *ompel t#e appearan*e o$ e+e*'tive o)*ial% 'n(er Se*tion 21 an( t#e la*- o$ it 'n(er Se*tion 22 n( t#eir a%i% in t#e prin*iple o$ %eparation o$ po&er%. ?#ile t#e e+e*'tive ran*# i% a *oe4'al ran*# o$ t#e lei%lat're, it *annot $r'%trate t#e po&er o$  Conre%% to lei%late / re$'%in to *ompl/ &it# it% (eman(% $or in$ormation. T#e over%i#t $'n*tion o$ Conre%% ma/ e $a*ilitate( / *omp'l%or/ pro*e%% onl/ to t#e e+tent t#at it i% per$orme( in p'r%'it o$ lei%lation. T#i% i% *on%i%tent &it# t#e intent (i%*erne( $rom t#e (elieration% o$ t#e Con%tit'tional Commi%%ion. .

Conre%% 'n(o'te(l/, #a% a ri#t to in$ormation $rom t#e e+e*'tive ran*# &#enever it i% %o'#t in ai( o$ lei%lation. ;$ t#e e+e*'tive ran*# &it##ol(% %'*# in$ormation on t#e ro'n( t#at it i% privilee(, it m'%t %o a%%ert it an( %tate t#e rea%on t#ere$or an( &#/ it m'%t e re%pe*te(.  T#e inrm provi%ion% o$ E.O. 6, #o&ever, allo& t#e e+e*'tive ran*# to eva(e *onre%%ional re4'e%t% $or in$ormation &it#o't nee( o$ *learl/ a%%ertin a ri#t to (o %o an(Lor pro>erin it% rea%on% t#ere$or. / t#e mere e+pe(ient o$ invo-in %ai( provi%ion%, t#e po&er o$ Conre%% to *on('*t in4'irie% in ai( o$ lei%lation i% $r'%trate(. T#at i% impermi%%ile.

".

E+e*'tive privilee, &#et#er a%%erte( aain%t Conre%%, t#e *o'rt%, or t#e p'li*, i% re*onie( onl/ in relation to *ertain t/pe% o$ in$ormation o$ a %en%itive *#ara*ter. ?#ile e+e*'tive privilee i% a *on%tit'tional *on*ept, a *laim t#ereo$ ma/ e vali( or not (epen(in on t#e ro'n( invo-e( to '%ti$/ it an( t#e *onte+t in &#i*# it i% ma(e. Noti*eal/ a%ent i% an/ re*onition t#at e+e*'tive o)*ial% are e+empt $rom t#e ('t/ to (i%*lo%e in$ormation / t#e mere $a*t o$ ein e+e*'tive o)*ial%. ;n(ee(, t#e e+traor(inar/ *#ara*ter o$ t#e e+emption% in(i*ate% t#at t#e pre%'mption in*line% #eavil/ aain%t e+e*'tive %e*re*/ an( in $avor o$ (i%*lo%'re.

Sec. #1 $Inuiry in %i! of &egis'ation( vs Sec. ## $)uestion *our( 6.

A (i%tin*tion &a% ma(e et&een in4'irie% in ai( o$ lei%lation an( t#e 4'e%tion #o'r. ?#ile atten(an*e &a% meant to e (i%*retionar/ in t#e 4'e%tion #o'r, it &a% *omp'l%or/ in in4'irie% in ai( o$ lei%lation. T#e%e are t&o (i%tin*t $'n*tion% o$ t#e lei%lat're. Se*. 21 an( 22 &#ile *lo%el/ relate( (oe% not pertain to t#e %ame po&er o$ t#e Conre%%. One %pe*i*all/ relate% to t#e po&er to *on('*t in4'irie% in ai( o$ lei%lation &it# t#e aim o$  eli*itin in$ormation t#at ma/ e '%e( in lei%lation &#ile t#e ot#er pertain% to t#e po&er to *on('*t a 4'e%tion #o'r, t#e oe*tive o$ &#i*# i% to otain in$ormation in p'r%'it o$  Conre%%K over%i#t $'n*tion. en*e, t#e over%i#t $'n*tion o$ Conre%% ma/ onl/ e $a*ilitate( / *omp'l%or/ pro*e%% onl/ to t#e e+tent t#at it i% per$orme( in p'r%'it o$  lei%lation.

7.

?#en Conre%% e+er*i%e% it% po&er o$ in4'ir/, t#e onl/ &a/ $or t#e (epartment #ea(% to e+empt t#em%elve% t#ere$rom i% / a vali( *laim o$ privilee, an( not / t#e mere $a*t t#at t#e/ are (epartment #ea(%. Onl/ one e+e*'tive o)*ial ma/ e e+empte( $rom t#i% po&er  t#e pre%i(ent on &#om t#e e+e*'tive po&er i% ve%te(, #en*e e/on( t#e rea*# o$ t#e Conre%% e+*ept / t#e po&er o$ impea*#ment. 3emer% o$ SC are li-e&i%e e+empt $rom t#i% po&er o$ in4'ir/. T#i% i% on t#e a%i% o$ %eparation o$ po&er% an( %*al a'tonom/, a% &ell a% t#e *on%tit'tional in(epen(en*e o$ t#e '(i*iar/. On the constitutiona'ity of EO 464

8.

Se*tion 1, in vie& o$ it% %pe*i* re$eren*e to Se*tion 22 o$ Arti*le B; o$ t#e Con%tit'tion an( t#e a%en*e o$ an/ re$eren*e to in4'irie% in ai( o$ lei%lation, m'%t e *on%tr'e( a% limite( in it% appli*ation to appearan*e% o$ (epartment #ea(% in t#e 4'e%tion #o'r *ontemplate( in t#e provi%ion o$ %ai( Se*tion 22 o$ Arti*le B;. T#e rea(in i% (i*tate( / t#e a%i* r'le o$  *on%tr'*tion t#at i%%'an*e% m'%t e interprete(, a% m'*# a% po%%ile, in a &a/ t#at &ill ren(er it *on%tit'tional. Se*tion 1 *annot, #o&ever, e applie( to appearan*e% o$  (epartment #ea(% in in4'irie% in ai( o$ lei%lation. Conre%% i% not o'n( in %'*# in%tan*e% to re%pe*t t#e re$'%al o$ t#e (epartment #ea( to appear in %'*# in4'ir/, 'nle%% a vali( *laim o$ privilee i% %'%e4'entl/ ma(e, eit#er / t#e re%i(ent #er%el$ or / t#e E+e*'tive Se*retar/.

9. Se*tion ! an( Se*tion 25 o$ E.O. 6 m'%t e invali(ate(. Se*tion ! o$ E.O. 6, t#ere$ore, *annot e (i%mi%%e( o'tri#t a% invali( / t#e mere $a*t t#at it %an*tion% *laim% o$ e+e*'tive privilee. T#i% Co'rt m'%t loo- $'rt#er an( a%%e%% t#e *laim o$ privilee a't#orie( / t#e Or(er to (etermine &#et#er it i% vali(. T#e *laim o$ privilee 'n(er Se*tion ! o$ E.O. 6 in relation to Se*tion 25 i% t#'% invali( per %e. ;t i% not a%%erte(. ;t i% merel/ implie(. ;n%tea( o$ provi(in pre*i%e an( *ertain rea%on% $or t#e *laim, it merel/ invo-e% E.O. 6, *o'ple( &it# an anno'n*ement t#at t#e re%i(ent #a% not iven #er *on%ent. ;t i% &oe$'ll/ in%')*ient $or Conre%% to (etermine &#et#er t#e &it##ol(in o$ in$ormation i% '%tie( 'n(er t#e *ir*'m%tan*e% o$ ea*# *a%e. ;t %everel/ $r'%trate% t#e po&er o$ in4'ir/ o$  Conre%%. 10. T#e impairment o$ t#e ri#t o$ t#e people to in$ormation a% a *on%e4'en*e o$ E.O. 6 i%,  '%t a% (ire*t a% it% violation o$ t#e lei%lat'reK% po&er o$ in4'ir/. 11. Conre%% 'n(o'te(l/ #a% a ri#t to in$ormation $rom t#e e+e*'tive ran*# &#enever it i% %o'#t in ai( o$ lei%lation. ;$ t#e e+e*'tive ran*# &it##ol(% %'*# in$ormation on t#e ro'n( t#at it i% privilee(, it m'%t %o a%%ert it an( %tate t#e rea%on t#ere$or an( &#/ it m'%t e re%pe*te(. T#e inrm provi%ion% o$ E.O. 6, #o&ever, allo& t#e e+e*'tive ran*# to eva(e *onre%%ional re4'e%t% $or in$ormation &it#o't nee( o$ *learl/ a%%ertin a ri#t to (o %o an(Lor pro>erin it% rea%on% t#ere$or. / t#e mere e+pe(ient o$ invo-in %ai( provi%ion%, t#e po&er o$ Conre%% to *on('*t in4'irie% in ai( o$ lei%lation i% $r'%trate(. T#at i% impermi%%ile. Re%ort to an/ mean% t#en / &#i*# o)*ial% o$ t#e e+e*'tive ran*# *o'l( re$'%e to (iv'le in$ormation *annot e pre%'me( vali(. Ot#er&i%e, &e %#all not #ave merel/ n'llie( t#e po&er o$ o'r lei%lat're to in4'ire into t#e operation% o$ overnment, 't &e %#all #ave iven 'p %omet#in o$ m'*# reater val'e  o'r ri#t a% a people to ta-e part in overnment.

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