79 Lopez v. Roxas

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FERNANDO LOPEZ vs. GERARDO ROXAS & PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL G.R. No. L-25716 July 28, 1966 CONCEPCION, C.J. Facts Petitioner Fernando Lopez and respondent Gerardo Roxas were candidates for the position of Vice-President of the Philippines. Petitioner was later proclaimed the winner as a result of the election. Respondent then filed a protest with the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. Petitioner then instituted in the Supreme Court an action for prohibition against respondent, preventing the Presidential Electoral Tribunal from hearing and deciding the contest upon the ground that RA No. 1793 which created the said tribunal is unconstitutional on the grounds that it was not provided for by the Constitution and that since the members of PET are Supreme Court Justices, Congress created another court within the Supreme Court, a violation of the Constitution. Issue Whether or not RA No. 1793 is unconstitutional on the ground that election protest for the position of President and Vice-President is not provided in the Constitution and that its enactment created a new court within the Supreme Court Ruling No. Instead of indicating that Congress may not enact Republic Act No. 1793, the provision of the Constitution, establishing Electoral Tribunals for Members of Congress only proves the exact opposite, namely: that the Constitution intended to vest Congress with discretion to determine by law whether or not the election of a president-elect or that of a vice-president-elect may be contested and, if Congress should decide in the affirmative, which court of justice shall have jurisdiction to hear the contest. Also, Republic Act No. 1793 has not created a new or separate court. It has merely conferred upon the Supreme Court the functions of a Presidential Electoral Tribunal. Indeed, the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and courts of first instance, are vested with original jurisdiction, as well as with appellate jurisdiction, in consequence of which they are booth trial courts and appellate courts, without detracting from the fact that there is only one Supreme Court, one Court of Appeals, and one court of first instance, clothed with authority to discharged dual functions. So, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal is not inferior to the Supreme Court, since it is the same Court although the functions peculiar to said Tribunal are more limited in scope than those of the Supreme Court in the exercise of its ordinary functions. Hence, the enactment of Republic Act No. 1793 does not entail an assumption by Congress of the power of appointment vested by the Constitution in the President. It merely connotes the imposition of additional duties upon the Members of the Supreme Court. The petition is hereby dismissed.

Tj G. Santiago Block 1B

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