Article 6 Legislative Case Digest
Legislative Case Digest Compilation, Constitutional Law 1...
GARCIA V EXECUTIVE SECRETARY Facts: On 27 November 1990, Cory issued EO 438 which imposed, in addition to any other duties, taxes and charges imposed by law on all articles imported into the Philippines, an additional duty of 5% ad valorem. This additional duty was imposed across the board on all imported articles, including crude oil and other oil products imported into the Philippines. In 1991, EO 443 increased the additional duty to 9%. In the same year, EO 475 was passed reinstating the previous 5% duty except that crude oil and other oil products continued to be taxed at 9%. Garcia, a representative from Bataan, avers that EO 475 and 478 are unconstitutional for they violate Sec 24 of Art 6 of the Constitution which provides: " All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of the public debt, bills of local application, and private bills shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments." He contends that since the Constitution vests the authority to enact revenue bills in Congress, the President may not assume such power of issuing Executive Orders Nos. 475 and 478 which are in the nature of revenue-generating measures. Issue: whether or not EO 475 and 478 are unconstitutional Held: Under Section 24, Article VI of the Constitution, the enactment of appropriation, revenue and tariff bills, like all other bills is, of course, within the province of the Legislative rather than the Executive Department. It does not follow, however, that therefore Executive Orders Nos. 475 and 478, assuming they may be characterized as revenue measures, are prohibited to the President, that they must be enacted instead by the Congress of the Philippines. Section 28(2) of Article VI of the Constitution provides as follows: "(2) The Congress may, by law, authorize the President to fix within specified limits, and subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues, and other duties or imposts within the framework of the national development program of the Government." There is thus explicit constitutional permission to Congress to authorize the President "subject to such limitations and restrictions as [Congress] may impose" to fix "within specific limits" "tariff rates . . . and other duties or imposts . . . ."
ANTONIO ARANETA VS JUDGE RAFAEL DINGLASAN Antonio Araneta is being charged for allegedly violating of Executive Order 62 which regulates rentals for houses and lots for residential buildings. Judge Rafael Dinglasan was the judge hearing the case. Araneta appealed seeking to prohibit Dinglasan and the Fiscal from proceeding with the case. He averred that EO 62 was issued by virtue of Commonwealth Act (CA) No. 671 which he claimed ceased to exist, hence, the EO has no legal basis. Three other cases were consolidated with this one. L-3055 which is an appeal by Leon Ma. Guerrero, a shoe exporter, against EO 192 which controls exports in the Philippines; he is seeking to have permit issued to him. L-3054 is filed by Eulogio Rodriguez to prohibit the treasury from disbursing funds [from ’49-‘50] pursuant to EO 225. L-3056 filed by Antonio Barredo is attacking EO 226 which was appropriating funds to hold the national elections. They all aver that CA 671, otherwise known as AN ACT DECLARING A STATE OF TOTAL EMERGENCY AS A RESULT OF WAR INVOLVING THE PHILIPPINES AND AUTHORIZING THE PRESIDENT TO PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS TO MEET SUCH EMERGENCY or simply the Emergency Powers Act, is already inoperative and that all EOs issued pursuant to said CA had likewise ceased. ISSUE: Whether or not CA 671 has ceased. HELD: Yes. CA 671, which granted emergency powers to the president, became inoperative ex proprio vigore when Congress met in regular session on May 25, 1946, and that Executive Orders Nos. 62, 192, 225 and 226 were issued without authority of law. In setting the first regular session of Congress instead of the first special session which preceded it as the point of expiration of the Act, the SC is giving effect to the purpose and intention of the National Assembly. In a special session, the Congress may “consider general legislation or only such subjects as he (President) may designate.” Such acts were to be good only up to the corresponding dates of adjournment of the following sessions of the Legislature, “unless sooner amended or repealed by the National Assembly.” Even if war continues to rage on, new legislation must be made and approved in order to continue the EPAs, otherwise it is lifted upon reconvening or upon early repeal.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS VERA G.R. No. L-45685 November 16 1937 En Banc [Non Delegation of Legislative Powers]
FACTS: Cu-Unjieng was convicted of criminal charges by the trial court of Manila. He filed a motion for reconsideration and four motions for new trial but all were denied. He then elevated to the Supreme Court of United States for review, which was also denied. The SC denied the petition subsequently filed by CuUnjieng for a motion for new trial and thereafter remanded the case to the court of origin for execution of the judgment. CFI of Manila referred the application for probation of the Insular Probation Office which recommended denial of the same. Later, 7th branch of CFI Manila set the petition for hearing. The Fiscal filed an opposition to the granting of probation to Cu Unjieng, alleging, among other things, that Act No. 4221, assuming that it has not been repealed by section 2 of Article XV of the Constitution, is nevertheless violative of section 1, subsection (1), Article III of the Constitution guaranteeing equal protection of the laws. The private prosecution also filed a supplementary opposition, elaborating on the alleged unconstitutionality on Act No. 4221, as an undue delegation of legislative power to the provincial boards of several provinces (sec. 1, Art. VI, Constitution). ISSUE: Whether or not there is undue delegation of powers. RULING: Yes. SC conclude that section 11 of Act No. 4221 constitutes an improper and unlawful delegation of legislative authority to the provincial boards and is, for this reason, unconstitutional and void. The challenged section of Act No. 4221 in section 11 which reads as follows: "This Act shall apply only in those provinces in which the respective provincial boards have provided for the salary of a probation officer at rates not lower than those now provided for provincial fiscals. Said probation officer shall be appointed by the Secretary of Justice and shall be subject to the direction of the Probation Office." The provincial boards of the various provinces are to determine for themselves, whether the Probation Law shall apply to their provinces or not at all. The applicability and application of the Probation Act are entirely placed in the hands of the provincial boards. If the provincial board does not wish to have the Act applied in its province, all that it has to do is to decline to appropriate the needed amount for the salary of a probation officer. The clear policy of the law, as may be gleaned from a careful examination of the whole context, is to make the application of the system dependent entirely upon the affirmative action of the different provincial boards through appropriation of the salaries for probation officers at rates not lower than those provided for provincial fiscals. Without such action on the part of the various boards, no probation officers would be appointed by the Secretary of Justice to act in the provinces. The Philippines is divided or subdivided into provinces and it needs no argument to show that if not one of the provinces — and this is the actual situation now — appropriate the necessary fund for the salary of a probation officer, probation under Act No. 4221 would be illusory. There can be no probation without a probation officer. Neither can there be a probation officer without the probation system.
EMMANUEL PELAEZ VS. THE AUDITOR GENERAL FACTS: From September 4, 1964 to October 29, 1964 the President of the Philippines issued executive orders to create thirty-three municipalities pursuant to Section 69 of the Revised Administrative Code. Public funds thereby stood to be disbursed in the implementation of said executive orders. Suing as a private citizen and taxpayer, Vice President Emmanuel Pelaez filed a petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction against the Auditor General. It seeks to restrain from the respondent or any person acting in his behalf, from passing in audit any expenditure of public funds in implementation of the executive orders aforementioned. ISSUE: Whether the executive orders are null and void, upon the ground that the President does not have the authority to create municipalities as this power has been vested in the legislative department. RULING: Section 10(1) of Article VII of the fundamental law ordains: “The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus or offices, exercise general supervision over all local governments as may be provided by law, and take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” The power of control under this provision implies the right of the President to interfere in the exercise of such discretion as may be vested by law in the officers of the executive departments, bureaus, or offices of the national government, as well as to act in lieu of such officers. This power is denied by the Constitution to the Executive, insofar as local governments are concerned. Such control does not include the authority to either abolish an executive department or bureau, or to create a new one. Section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code does not merely fail to comply with the constitutional mandate above quoted, it also gives the President more power than what was vested in him by the Constitution. The Executive Orders in question are hereby declared null and void ab initio and the respondent permanently restrained from passing in audit any expenditure of public funds in implementation of said Executive Orders or any disbursement by the municipalities referred to.
Francisco Tatad v. Secretary of Energy [Nov. 5, 1997] “Equal Protection” – Oil Deregulation Law
The petitions challenge the constitutionality of RA No. 8180 entitled “An Act Deregulating the Downstream Oil Industry and For Other Purposes.” The deregulation process has two phases: (a) the transition phase (Aug. 12, 1996) and the (b) full deregulation phase (Feb. 8, 1997 through EO No. 372). Sec. 15 of RA No. 8180 constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power to the President and the Sec. of Energy because it does not provide a determinate or determinable standard to guide the Executive Branch in determining when to implement the full deregulation of the downstream oil industry, and the law does not provide any specific standard to determine when the prices of crude oil in the world market are considered to be declining nor when the exchange rate of the peso to the US dollar is considered stable.
w/n the provisions of RA No. 8180 and EO No. 372 is unconstitutional. sub-issue: (a) w/n sec. 15 violates the constitutional prohibition on undue delegation of power, and (b) w/n the Executive misapplied RA No. 8180 when it considered the depletion of the OPSF fund as factor in fully deregulating the downstream oil industry in Feb. 1997.
HELD/RULING: (a) NO. Sec. 15 can hurdle both the completeness test and the sufficient standard test. RA No. 8180 provided that the full deregulation will start at the end of March 1997 regardless of the occurrence of any event. Thus, the law is complete on the question of the final date of full deregulation. Sec. 15 lays down the standard to guide the judgment of the President—he is to time it as far as practicable when the prices of crude oil and petroleum in the world market are declining and when the exchange rate of the peso to the US dollar is considered stable. Webster defines “practicable” as meaning possible to practice or perform, “decline” as meaning to take a downward direction, and “stable” as meaning firmly established.
(b) YES. Sec. 15 did not mention the depletion of the OPSF fund as a factor to be given weight by the Executive before ordering full deregulation. The Executive department failed to follow faithfully the standards set by RA No. 8180 when it co0nsidered the extraneous factor of depletion of the OPSF fund. The Executive is bereft of any right to alter either by subtraction or addition the standards set in RA No. 8180 for it has no powers to make laws.
Datu Michael Abas Kida v. Senate of the Philippines, et al., G.R. No. 196271, October 18, 2011 I.
Several laws pertaining to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) were enacted by Congress. Republic Act (RA) No. 6734 is the organic act that established the ARMM and scheduled the first regular elections for the ARMM regional officials. RA No. 9054 amended the ARMM Charter and reset the regular elections for the ARMM regional officials to the second Monday of September 2001. RA No. 9140 further reset the first regular elections to November 26, 2001. RA No. 9333 reset for the third time the ARMM regional elections to the 2nd Monday of August 2005 and on the same date every 3 years thereafter. Pursuant to RA No. 9333, the next ARMM regional elections should have been held on August 8, 2011. COMELEC had begun preparations for these elections and had accepted certificates of candidacies for the various regional offices to be elected. But on June 30, 2011, RA No. 10153 was enacted, resetting the next ARMM regular elections to May 2013 to coincide with the regular national and local elections of the country. In these consolidated petitions filed directly with the Supreme Court, the petitioners assailed the constitutionality of RA No. 10153. II. THE ISSUES: 1. 2.
Does the 1987 Constitution mandate the synchronization of elections [including the ARMM elections]? Does the passage of RA No. 10153 violate the three-readings-on-separate-days rule under Section 26(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution? 3. Is the grant [to the President] of the power to appoint OICs constitutional? III. THE RULING [The Supreme Court] DISMISSED the petitions and UPHELD the constitutionality of RA No. 10153 in toto.] 1.
YES, the 1987 Constitution mandates the synchronization of elections. While the Constitution does not expressly state that Congress has to synchronize national and local elections, the clear intent towards this objective can be gleaned from the Transitory Provisions (Article XVIII) of the Constitution, which show the extent to which the Constitutional Commission, by deliberately making adjustments to the terms of the incumbent officials, sought to attain synchronization of elections. The Constitutional Commission exchanges, read with the provisions of the Transitory Provisions of the Constitution, all serve as patent indicators of
the constitutional mandate to hold synchronized national and local elections, starting the second Monday of May 1992 and for all the following elections. In this case, the ARMM elections, although called “regional” elections, should be included among the elections to be synchronized as it is a “local” election based on the wording and structure of the Constitution. Thus, it is clear from the foregoing that the 1987 Constitution mandates the synchronization of elections, including the ARMM elections. 2.
NO, the passage of RA No. 10153 DOES NOT violate the three-readings-on-separate-days requirement in Section 26(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. The general rule that before bills passed by either the House or the Senate can become laws they must pass through three readings on separate days, is subject to the EXCEPTION when the President certifies to the necessity of the bill’s immediate enactment. The Court, in Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, explained the effect of the President’s certification of necessity in the following manner: The presidential certification dispensed with the requirement not only of printing but also that of reading the bill on separate days. The phrase "except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment, etc." in Art. VI, Section 26 qualifies the two stated conditions before a bill can become a law: [i] the bill has passed three readings on separate days and [ii] it has been printed in its final form and distributed three days before it is finally approved. In the present case, the records show that the President wrote to the Speaker of the House of Representatives to certify the necessity of the immediate enactment of a law synchronizing the ARMM elections with the national and local elections. Following our Tolentino ruling, the President’s certification exempted both the House and the Senate from having to comply with the three separate readings requirement.
YES, the grant [to the President] of the power to appoint OICs in the ARMM is constitutional [During the oral arguments, the Court identified the three options open to Congress in order to resolve the problem on who should sit as ARMM officials in the interim [in order to achieve synchronization in the 2013 elections]: (1) allow the [incumbent] elective officials in the ARMM to remain in office in a hold over capacity until those elected in the synchronized elections assume office; (2) hold special elections in the ARMM, with the terms of those elected to expire when those elected in the  synchronized elections assume office; or (3) authorize the President to appoint OICs, [their respective terms to last also until those elected in the 2013 synchronized elections assume office.]
1st option: Holdover is unconstitutional since it would extend the terms of office of the incumbent ARMM officials We rule out the [hold over] option since it violates Section 8, Article X of the Constitution . This provision states: Section 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be determined by law, shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. [emphases ours] Since elective ARMM officials are local officials, they are covered and bound by the three-year term limit prescribed by the Constitution; they cannot extend their term through a holdover. xxx. If it will be claimed that the holdover period is effectively another term mandated by Congress, the net result is for Congress to create a new term and to appoint the occupant for the new term. This view – like the extension of the elective term – is constitutionally infirm because Congress cannot do indirectly what it cannot do directly, i.e., to act in a way that would effectively extend the term of the incumbents. Indeed, if acts that cannot be legally done directly can be done indirectly, then all laws would be illusory. Congress cannot also create a new term and
effectively appoint the occupant of the position for the new term. This is effectively an act of appointment by Congress and an unconstitutional intrusion into the constitutional appointment power of the President. Hence, holdover – whichever way it is viewed – is a constitutionally infirm option that Congress could not have undertaken. Even assuming that holdover is constitutionally permissible, and there had been statutory basis for it (namely Section 7, Article VII of RA No. 9054) in the past, we have to remember that the rule of holdover can only apply as an available option where no express or implied legislative intent to the contrary exists; it cannot apply where such contrary intent is evident. Congress, in passing RA No. 10153, made it explicitly clear that it had the intention of suppressing the holdover rule that prevailed under RA No. 9054 by completely removing this provision. The deletion is a policy decision that is wholly within the discretion of Congress to make in the exercise of its plenary legislative powers; this Court cannot pass upon questions of wisdom, justice or expediency of legislation, except where an attendant unconstitutionality or grave abuse of discretion results. 3.2.
2nd option: Calling special elections is unconstitutional since COMELEC, on its own, has no authority to order special elections. The power to fix the date of elections is essentially legislative in nature. [N]o elections may be held on any other date for the positions of President, Vice President, Members of Congress and local officials, except when so provided by another Act of Congress, or upon orders of a body or officer to whom Congress may have delegated either the power or the authority to ascertain or fill in the details in the execution of that power. Notably, Congress has acted on the ARMM elections by postponing the scheduled August 2011 elections and setting another date – May 13, 2011 – for regional elections synchronized with the presidential, congressional and other local elections. By so doing, Congress itself has made a policy decision in the exercise of its legislative wisdom that it shall not call special elections as an adjustment measure in synchronizing the ARMM elections with the other elections. After Congress has so acted, neither the Executive nor the Judiciary can act to the contrary by ordering special elections instead at the call of the COMELEC. This Court, particularly, cannot make this call without thereby supplanting the legislative decision and effectively legislating. To be sure, the Court is not without the power to declare an act of Congress null and void for being unconstitutional or for having been exercised in grave abuse of discretion. But our power rests on very narrow ground and is merely to annul a contravening act of Congress; it is not to supplant the decision of Congress nor to mandate what Congress itself should have done in the exercise of its legislative powers. Thus, in the same way that the term of elective ARMM officials cannot be extended through a holdover, the term cannot be shortened by putting an expiration date earlier than the three (3) years that the Constitution itself commands. This is what will happen – a term of less than two years – if a call for special elections shall prevail. In sum, while synchronization is achieved, the result is at the cost of a violation of an express provision of the Constitution.
3rd option: Grant to the President of the power to appoint ARMM OICs in the interim is valid. The above considerations leave only Congress’ chosen interim measure – RA No. 10153 and the appointment by the President of OICs to govern the ARMM during the pre-synchronization period pursuant to Sections 3, 4 and 5 of this law – as the only measure that Congress can make. This choice itself, however, should be examined for any attendant constitutional infirmity. At the outset, the power to appoint is essentially executive in nature, and the limitations on or qualifications to the exercise of this power should be strictly construed; these limitations or qualifications must be clearly stated in order to be recognized. The appointing power is embodied in Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution, which states:
Section 16. The President shall nominate and, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, appoint the heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls or officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution. He shall also appoint all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law, and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint. The Congress may, by law, vest the appointment of other officers lower in rank in the President alone, in the courts, or in the heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards. [emphasis ours] This provision classifies into four groups the officers that the President can appoint. These are: First, the heads of the executive departments; ambassadors; other public ministers and consuls; officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, from the rank of colonel or naval captain; and other officers whose appointments are vested in the President in this Constitution; Second, all other officers of the government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law; Third, those whom the President may be authorized by law to appoint; and Fourth, officers lower in rank whose appointments the Congress may by law vest in the President alone. Since the President’s authority to appoint OICs emanates from RA No. 10153, it falls under the third group of officials that the President can appoint pursuant to Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution. Thus, the assailed law facially rests on clear constitutional basis. If at all, the gravest challenge posed by the petitions to the authority to appoint OICs under Section 3 of RA No. 10153 is the assertion that the Constitution requires that the ARMM executive and legislative officials to be “elective and representative of the constituent political units.” This requirement indeed is an express limitation whose non-observance in the assailed law leaves the appointment of OICs constitutionally defective. After fully examining the issue, we hold that this alleged constitutional problem is more apparent than real and becomes very real only if RA No. 10153 were to be mistakenly read as a law that changes the elective and representative character of ARMM positions. RA No. 10153, however, does not in any way amend what the organic law of the ARMM (RA No. 9054) sets outs in terms of structure of governance. What RA No. 10153 in fact only does is to “appoint officers-in-charge for the Office of the Regional Governor, Regional Vice Governor and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly who shall perform the functions pertaining to the said offices until the officials duly elected in the May 2013 elections shall have qualified and assumed office.” This power is far different from appointing elective ARMM officials for the abbreviated term ending on the assumption to office of the officials elected in the May 2013 elections. [T]he legal reality is that RA No. 10153 did not amend RA No. 9054. RA No. 10153, in fact, provides only for synchronization of elections and for the interim measures that must in the meanwhile prevail. And this is how RA No. 10153 should be read – in the manner it was written and based on its unambiguous facial terms. Aside from its order for synchronization, it is purely and simply an interim measure responding to the adjustments that the synchronization requires.
CASE DIGEST: ABAS KIDA V. SENATE G.R. No. 196271, : October 18, 2011 DATU MICHAEL ABAS KIDA, in his personal capacity, and in representation of MAGUINDANAO FEDERATION OF AUTONOMOUS IRRIGATORS ASSOCIATION, INC., et al., Petitioners, v. SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by its President JUAN PONCE ENRILE, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, et al., Respondents. FACTS:
On August 1, 1989 or two years after the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution, Congress acted through Republic Act (RA) No. 6734 entitled "An Act Providing for an Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao."The initially assenting provinces were Lanao del Sur,Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-tawi.RA No. 6734 scheduled the first regular elections for the regional officials of the ARMM on a date not earlier than 60 days nor later than 90 days after its ratification. Thereafter, R.A. No. 9054 was passed to further enhance the structure of ARMM under R.A. 6734. Along with it is the reset of the regular elections for the ARMM regional officials to the second Monday of September 2001. RA No. 9333was subsequently passed by Congress to reset the ARMM regional elections to the 2 ndMonday of August 2005, and on the same date every 3 years thereafter. Unlike RA No. 6734 and RA No. 9054, RA No. 9333 was not ratified in a plebiscite. Pursuant to RA No. 9333, the next ARMM regional elections should have been held onAugust 8, 2011. COMELEC had begun preparations for these elections and had accepted certificates of candidacies for the various regional offices to be elected.But onJune 30, 2011, RA No. 10153 was enacted, resetting the ARMM elections to May 2013, to coincide with the regular national and local elections of the country.With the enactment into law of RA No. 10153, the COMELEC stopped its preparations for the ARMM elections. Several cases for certiorari, prohibition and madamus originating from different parties arose as a consequence of the passage of R.A. No. 9333 and R.A. No. 10153 questioning the validity of said laws. OnSeptember 13, 2011, the Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the implementation of RA No. 10153 and ordering the incumbent elective officials of ARMM to continue to perform their functions should these cases not be decided by the end of their term onSeptember 30, 2011. The petitioners assailing RA No. 9140, RA No. 9333 and RA No. 10153 assert that these laws amend RA No. 9054 and thus, have to comply with the supermajority vote and plebiscite requirements prescribed under Sections 1 and 3, Article XVII of RA No. 9094 in order to become effective. The petitions assailing RA No. 10153 further maintain that it is unconstitutional for its failure to comply with the three-reading requirement of Section 26(2), Article VI of the Constitution.Also cited as grounds are the alleged violations of the right of suffrage of the people of ARMM, as well as the failure to adhere to the "elective and representative" character of the executive and legislative departments of the ARMM. Lastly, the petitioners challenged the grant to the President of the power to appoint OICs to undertake the functions of the elective ARMM officials until the officials elected under the May 2013 regular elections shall have assumed office. Corrolarily, they also argue that the power of appointment also gave the President the power of control over the ARMM, in complete violation of Section 16, Article X of the Constitution. ISSUE: A. Whether or not the 1987 Constitution mandates the synchronization of elections B. Whether or not the passage of RA No. 10153 violates the provisions of the 1987 Constitution HELD: Court dismissed the petition and affirmed the constitutionality of R.A. 10153 in toto. The Court agreed with respondent Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on its position that the Constitution mandates synchronization, citing Sections 1, 2 and 5, Article XVIII (Transitory Provisions) of the 1987 Constitution. While the Constitution does not expressly state that Congress has to synchronize national and local elections, the clear intent towards this objective can be gleaned from the Transitory Provisions (Article XVIII) of the Constitution,which show the extent to which the Constitutional Commission, by deliberately making adjustments to the terms of the incumbent officials, sought to attain synchronization of elections.
The objective behind setting a common termination date for all elective officials, done among others through the shortening the terms of the twelve winning senators with the least number of votes, is to synchronize the holding of all future elections whether national or local to once every three years.This intention finds full support in the discussions during the Constitutional Commission deliberations. Furthermore, to achieve synchronization, Congressnecessarilyhas to reconcile the schedule of the ARMMs regular elections (which should have been held in August 2011 based on RA No. 9333) with the fixed schedule of the national and local elections (fixed by RA No. 7166 to be held in May 2013). InOsme v. Commission on Elections, the court thus explained: It is clear from the aforequoted provisions of the 1987 Constitution that the terms of office of Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, the local officials, the President and the Vice-President have been synchronized to end on the same hour, date and year noon of June 30, 1992. It is likewise evident from the wording of the above-mentioned Sections that the term ofsynchronizationis used synonymously as the phraseholding simultaneouslysince this is the precise intent in terminating their Office Tenure on the sameday or occasion.This common termination date will synchronize future elections to once every three years (Bernas, the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, Vol. II, p. 605). That the election for Senators, Members of the House of Representatives and the local officials (under Sec. 2, Art. XVIII) will have to be synchronized with the election for President and Vice President (under Sec. 5, Art. XVIII) is likewise evident from the x x xrecords of the proceedings in the Constitutional Commission. [Emphasis supplied.] Although called regional elections, the ARMM elections should be included among the elections to be synchronized as it is a "local" election based on the wording and structure of the Constitution. Regional elections in the ARMM for the positions of governor, vice-governor and regional assembly representatives fall within the classification of "local" elections, since they pertain to the elected officials who will serve within the limited region of ARMM. From the perspective of the Constitution, autonomous regions are considered one of the forms of local governments, as evident from Article Xof the Constitution entitled "Local Government."Autonomous regions are established and discussed under Sections 15 to 21 of this Article the article wholly devoted to Local Government. Second issue: Congress, in passing RA No. 10153, acted strictly within its constitutional mandate. Given an array of choices, it acted within due constitutional bounds and with marked reasonableness in light of the necessary adjustments that synchronization demands. Congress, therefore, cannot be accused of any evasion of a positive duty or of a refusal to perform its duty nor is there reason to accord merit to the petitioners claims of grave abuse of discretion. In relation with synchronization, both autonomy and the synchronization of national and local elections are recognized and established constitutional mandates, with one being as compelling as the other.If their compelling force differs at all, the difference is in their coverage; synchronization operates on and affects the whole country, while regional autonomy as the term suggests directly carries a narrower regional effect although its national effect cannot be discounted. In all these, the need for interim measures is dictated by necessity; out-of-the-way arrangements and approaches were adopted or used in order to adjust to the goal or objective in sight in a manner that does not do violence to the Constitution and to reasonably accepted norms.Under these limitations, the choice of measures was a question of wisdom left to congressional discretion. However, the holdover contained in R.A. No. 10153, for those who were elected in executive and legislative positions in the ARMM during the 2008-2011 term as an option that Congress could have chosen because a holdover violates Section 8, Article X of the Constitution. In the case of the terms of local officials, their term has been fixed clearly and unequivocally, allowing no room for any implementing legislation with respect to the fixed term itself and no vagueness that would allow an interpretation from this Court. Thus, the term of three years for local officials should stay at three (3) years as fixed by the Constitution and cannot be extended by holdover by Congress. RA No. 10153, does not in any way amend what the organic law of the ARMM(RA No. 9054) sets outs in terms of structure of governance.What RA No. 10153 in fact only does is to"appoint officers-in-charge for the Office of the Regional Governor, Regional Vice Governor and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly who shall perform
the functions pertaining to the said offices until the officials duly elected in the May 2013 elections shall have qualified and assumed office."This power is far different from appointing elective ARMM officials for the abbreviated term ending on the assumption to office of the officials elected in the May 2013 elections. It must be therefore emphasized that the law must be interpreted as an interim measure to synchronize elections and must not be interpreted otherwise.
ANGARA vs ELECTORAL COMMISSION G.R. No. L-45081 July 15 1936
FACTS: Jose Angara and Pedro Ynsua, Miguel Castillo and Dionisio Mayor were candidates voted for the position of member of the National Assembly for the 1st district of Tayabas province. On Oct 17 1935, the provincial board of canvassers proclaimed Angara as member-elect of the Nat'l Assembly for garnering the most number of votes. He then took his oath of office on Nov 15th. On Dec 3rd, Nat'l Assembly passed Res. No 8 which declared with finality the victory of Angara. On Dec 8, Ynsua filed before the Electoral Commission a motion of protest against the election of Angara, that he be declared elected member of the Nat'l Assembly. Electoral Commission passed a resolution in Dec 9th as the last day for the filing of the protests against the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. On Dec 20, Angara filed before the Elec. Commission a motion to dismiss the protest that the protest in question was filed out of the prescribed period. The Elec. Commission denied Angara's petition. Angara prayed for the issuance of writ of prohibition to restrain and prohibit the Electoral Commission taking further cognizance of Ynsua's protest. He contended that the Constitution confers exclusive jurisdiction upon the said Electoral Commissions as regards the merits of contested elections to the Nat'l Assembly and the Supreme Court therefore has no jurisdiction to hear the case.
ISSUE: Whether or not the SC has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission and the subject matter of the controversy; Whether or not The Electoral Commission has acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction.
In this case, 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. The court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission and the subject matter of the present controversy for the purpose of determining the character, scope and extent of the constitutional grant to the Electoral
Commission as "the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly." (Sec 4 Art. VI 1935 Constitution). It is held, therefore, that the Electoral Commission was acting within the legitimate exercise of its constitutional prerogative in assuming to take cognizance of the election protest filed by Ynsua.
GARCIA vs MACARAIG 39 SCRA 106 – Political Law – Separation of Powers Judge Catalino Macaraig, Jr. took his oath as Judge of the CFI of Laguna and San Pablo City on June 29, 1970. The court, being one of the 112 newly created CFI branches, had to be organized from scratch. From July 1, 1970 to February 28, 1971, Macaraig was not able to assume the duties and functions of a judge due to the fact that his Court Room can not be properly established due to problems as to location and as to appropriations to make his Court up and running. When Macaraig realized that it would be some time before he could actually preside over his court, he applied for an extended leave (during the 16 years he had worked in the Department of Justice, he had, due to pressure of duties, never gone on extended leave, resulting in his forfeiting all the leave benefits he had earned beyond the maximum ten months allowed by the law). The Secretary of Justice, however, convinced Macaraig to forego his leave and instead to assist the Secretary, without being extended a formal detail, whenever he was not busy attending to the needs of his court. Paz Garcia on the other hand filed a complaint alleging that Macaraig is incompetent, dishonest and has acted in violation of his oath as a judge. Garcia said that Macaraig has not submitted the progress of his Courts as required by law. And that Macaraig has received salaries as a judge while he is fully aware that he has not been performing the duties of a judge. Also questioned was the fact that a member of the judiciary is helping the the DOJ, a department of the executive oi charge of prosecution of cases. ISSUE: Whether or not Macaraig has acted with incompetence and dishonesty as Judge. HELD: No. Macaraig’s inability to perform his judicial duties under the circumstances mentioned above does not constitute incompetence. Macaraig was, like every lawyer who gets his first appointment to the bench, eager to assume his judicial duties and rid himself of the stigma of being ‘a judge without a sala’, but forces and circumstances beyond his control prevented him from discharging his judicial duties. On the other hand, none of these is to be taken as meaning that the Court looks with favor at the practice of long standing, to be sure, of judges being detailed in the DOJ to assist the Secretary even if it were only in connection with his work of exercising administrative authority over the courts. The line between what a judge may do and what he may not do in collaborating or working with other offices or officers under the other great departments of the government must always be kept clear and jealously observed, lest the principle of separation of powers on which our government rests by mandate of the people thru the Constitution be gradually eroded by practices purportedly motivated by good intentions in the interest of the public service.
The fundamental advantages and the necessity of the independence of said three departments from each other, limited only by the specific constitutional precepts on check and balance between and among them, have long been acknowledged as more paramount than the serving of any temporary or passing governmental conveniences or exigencies. It is thus of grave importance to the judiciary under our present constitutional scheme of government that no judge of even the lowest court in this Republic should place himself in a position where his actuations on matters submitted to him for action or resolution would be subject to review and prior approval and, worst still, reversal, before they can have legal effect, by any authority other than the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, as the case may be. Needless to say, the Court feels very strongly that it is best that this practice is discontinued.
DEFENSOR – SANTIAGO vs COMELEC 270 SCRA 106 (G.R. No. 127325 - March 19, 1997) FACTS: Private respondent Atty. Jesus Delfin, president of People’s Initiative for Reforms, Modernization and Action (PIRMA), filed with COMELEC a petition to amend the constitution to lift the term limits of elective officials, through People’s Initiative. He based this petition on Article XVII, Sec. 2 of the 1987 Constitution, which provides for the right of the people to exercise the power to directly propose amendments to the Constitution. Subsequently the COMELEC issued an order directing the publication of the petition and of the notice of hearing and thereafter set the case for hearing. At the hearing, Senator Roco, the IBP, Demokrasya-Ipagtanggol ang Konstitusyon, Public Interest Law Center, and Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino appeared as intervenors-oppositors. Senator Roco filed a motion to dismiss the Delfin petition on the ground that one which is cognizable by the COMELEC. The petitioners herein Senator Santiago, Alexander Padilla, and Isabel Ongpin filed this civil action for prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court against COMELEC and the Delfin petition rising the several arguments, such as the following: (1) The constitutional provision on people’s initiative to amend the constitution can only be implemented by law to be passed by Congress. No such law has been passed; (2) The people’s initiative is limited to amendments to the Constitution, not to revision thereof. Lifting of the term limits constitutes a revision, therefore it is outside the power of people’s initiative. The Supreme Court granted the Motions for Intervention.
ISSUES: (1) Whether or not Sec. 2, Art. XVII of the 1987 Constitution is a self-executing provision. (2) Whether or not COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 regarding the conduct of initiative onamendments to the Constitution is valid, considering the absence in the law of specific provisions onthe conduct of such initiative. (3) Whether the lifting of term limits of elective officials would constitute a revision or anamendment of the Constitution.
HELD: Sec. 2, Art XVII of the Constitution is not self executory, thus, without implementing legislation the same cannot operate. Although the Constitution has recognized or granted the right, the people cannot exercise it if Congress does not provide for its implementation. The portion of COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 which prescribes rules and regulations on the conduct of initiative on amendments to the Constitution, is void. It has been an established rule
that what has been delegated, cannot be delegated (potestas delegata non delegari potest). The delegation of the power to the COMELEC being invalid, the latter cannot validly promulgate rules and regulations to implement the exercise of the right to people’s initiative. The lifting of the term limits was held to be that of a revision, as it would affect other provisions of the Constitution such as the synchronization of elections, the constitutional guarantee of equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibiting political dynasties. A revision cannot be done by initiative. However, considering the Court’s decision in the above Issue, the issue of whether or not the petition is a revision or amendment has become academic.
MIRIAM DEFENSOR- SANTIAGO VS. COMELEC G.R No. 127325 March 19, 1997 FACTS: On December 6, 1996, Atty. Jesus S. Delfin, founding member of the Movement for People's Initiative, filed with the COMELEC a "Petition to Amend the Constitution, to Lift Term Limits of Elective Officials, by People's Initiative" citing Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution. Acting on the petition, the COMELEC set the case for hearing and directed Delfin to have the petition published. After the hearing the arguments between petitioners and opposing parties, the COMELEC directed Delfin and the oppositors to file their "memoranda and/or oppositions/memoranda" within five days. On December 18, 1996, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, Alexander Padilla, and Maria Isabel Ongpin filed a special civil action for prohibition under Rule 65 raising the following arguments, among others: 1.) That the Constitution can only be amended by people’s initiative if there is an enabling law passed by Congress, to which no such law has yet been passed; and 2.) That R.A. 6735 does not suffice as an enabling law on people’s initiative on the Constitution, unlike in the other modes of initiative. ISSUE: WON R.A. No. 6735 sufficient to enable amendment of the Constitution by people’s initiative. WON RA 6735 was intended to include initiative on amendments to the Constitution, and if so WON the Act as worded adequately covers such initiative. WON COMELEC Res. No. 2300 regarding the conduct of initiative on amendments to the constitution is valid, considering the absence in the law of specific provisions on the conduct of such initiative? WON the lifting of term limits of elective national and local official, as proposed in the draft petition would constitute a revision of , or an amendment of the constitution. WON the COMELEC can take cognizance of or has jurisdiction over the petition. WON it is proper for the Supreme Court to take cognizance of the petition when there is a pending case before the COMELEC. HELD: NO. R.A. 6735 is inadequate to cover the system of initiative on amendments to the Constitution. Under the said law, initiative on the Constitution is confined only to proposals to AMEND. The people are not accorded the power to "directly propose, enact, approve, or reject, in whole or in part, the Constitution" through the system of initiative. They can only do so with respect to "laws, ordinances, or resolutions." The use of the clause "proposed laws sought to be enacted, approved or rejected, amended or repealed" denotes that R.A. No. 6735 excludes initiative on amendments to the Constitution.
Also, while the law provides subtitles for National Initiative and Referendum and for Local Initiative and Referendum, no subtitle is provided for initiative on the Constitution. This means that the main thrust of the law is initiative and referendum on national and local laws. If R.A. No. 6735 were intended to fully provide for the implementation of the initiative on amendments to the Constitution, it could have provided for a subtitle therefor, considering that in the order of things, the primacy of interest, or hierarchy of values, the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution is far more important than the initiative on national and local laws. While R.A. No. 6735 specially detailed the process in implementing initiative and referendum on national and local laws, it intentionally did not do so on the system of initiative on amendments to the Constitution. COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 is hereby declared void and orders the respondent to forthwith dismiss the Delfin Petition . TRO issued on 18 December 1996 is made permanent. WHEREFORE, petition is GRANTED.
RUBI VS PROVINCIAL BOARD OF MINDORO 39 PHIL. 660 – POLITICAL LAW – DELEGATION OF POWERS – LIBERTY AND DUE PROCESS
Rubi and various other Manguianes (Mangyans) in the province of Mindoro were ordered by the provincial governor of Mindoro to remove their residence from their native habitat and to established themselves on a reservation in Tigbao, still in the province of Mindoro, and to remain there, or be punished by imprisonment if they escaped. Manguianes had been ordered to live in a reservation made to that end and for purposes of cultivation under certain plans. The Manguianes are a Non-Christian tribe who were considered to be of “very low culture”. One of the Manguianes, a certain Dabalos, escaped from the reservation but was later caught and was placed in prison at Calapan, solely because he escaped from the reservation. An application for habeas corpus was made on behalf by Rubi and other Manguianes of the province, alleging that by virtue of the resolution of the provincial board of Mindoro creating the reservation, they had been illegally deprived of their liberty. In this case, the validity of Section 2145 of the Administrative Code, which provides: With the prior approval of the Department Head, the provincial governor of any province in which nonChristian inhabitants are found is authorized, when such a course is deemed necessary in the interest of law and order, to direct such inhabitants to take up their habitation on sites on unoccupied public lands to be selected by him and approved by the provincial board was challenged. ISSUE: Whether or not Section 2145 of the Administrative Code constitutes undue delegation. Whether or not the Manguianes are being deprived of their liberty. HELD: I. No. By a vote of five to four, the Supreme Court sustained the constitutionality of this section of the Administrative Code. Under the doctrine of necessity, who else was in a better position to determine whether or not to execute the law but the provincial governor. It is optional for the provincial governor to execute the law as circumstances may arise. It is necessary to give discretion to the provincial governor. The Legislature may make decisions of executive departments of subordinate official thereof, to whom it has committed the execution of certain acts, final on questions of fact.
II. No. Among other things, the term “non-Christian” should not be given a literal meaning or a religious signification, but that it was intended to relate to degrees of civilization. The term “non-Christian” it was said, refers not to religious belief, but in a way to geographical area, and more directly to natives of the Philippine Islands of a low grade of civilization. In this case, the Manguianes were being reconcentrated in the reservation to promote peace and to arrest their seminomadic lifestyle. This will ultimately settle them down where they can adapt to the changing times. The Supreme Court held that the resolution of the provincial board of Mindoro was neither discriminatory nor class legislation, and stated among other things: “. . . one cannot hold that the liberty of the citizen is unduly interfered with when the degree of civilization of the Manguianes is considered. They are restrained for their own good and the general good of the Philippines. Nor can one say that due process of law has not been followed. To go back to our definition of due process of law and equal protection of the laws, there exists a law; the law seems to be reasonable; it is enforced according to the regular methods of procedure prescribed; and it applies alike to all of a class.”
TUPAS vs Ople 137 SCRA 117 – Political Law – Delegation of Power – Administrative Bodies – Manner of Election and Selection of Representatives The Trade Unions of the Philippines and Allied Services (TUPAS) and the National Federation of Labor Unions (NFLU) are unions representing the agricultural and industrial sectors. They alleged they represent over a million workers all over the country. On the other hand, Batas Pambansa Blg. 697 is the implementing law of the constitutional provision which states that 3 sectors are to be represented (youth, agricultural labor, industrial labor). Each sector must have four representatives, 2 from Luzon, one each from Visayas and Mindanao respectively. These sectors can submit their nominees to the President for approval/appointment through the Minister of Labor. TUPAS however questions the constitutionality of the said BP because it allegedly lacks duly published rules on accreditation, nomination and appointment of industrial labor representatives. Being so, TUPAS questioned the acts of BlasOple, then Minister of Labor, in accrediting certain nominations provided by other industrial labor groups. TUPAS claims that since there are no rules clearly stated in the BP on how the nominations must be handled, the said law has provided undue delegation to the Minister of Labor and has left him with absolute discretion in carrying out the duty of accrediting such nominations. TUPAS did not submit their nomination within the given 20 day period of nominating their representation; they instead proceeded to question the constitutionality of the said BP and the legality of the acts of Ople. Because of their failure to submit their nominees, Ople did not accredit them. ISSUE: Whether or not there is undue delegation of power to the Minister of Labor by BP 697. HELD: No. The lack of merit of the contention that there is an unlawful delegation of legislative power is quite obvious. Appointment to office is intrinsically an executive act involving the exercise of discretion. What is involved then is not a legislative power but the exercise of competence intrinsically executive. What is more, the official who could make the recommendation is the Minister of Labor, an alter ego of the President. The argument, therefore, that there is an unlawful delegation of legislative power is bereft of any persuasive force.
To further test the validity of the said BP, and to avoid the taint of unlawful delegation, there must be a standard, which implies at the very least that the legislature itself determines matters of principle and lays down fundamental policy. Otherwise, the charge of complete abdication may be hard to repel. A standard thus defines legislative policy, marks its limits, maps out its boundaries and specifies the public agency to apply it. The standard does not even have to be spelled out. It could be implied from the policy and purpose of the act considered as a whole. Such standard is set forth with clarity in Article III, Section 6 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 697 which provides in full the limits and scope of the functions of the Minister of Labor in carrying out the said provisions. TUPAS and NFLU were free to submit their nominations to the President by merely writing a letter coursed through respondent, and their nominees should have been submitted to the President. They did not do so. In fact, as of May 30, 1984, which was still within the 20-day period, they wrote a letter to Ople which in effect stated that they were not submitting any nomination and informing him that they were questioning the validity of Sections 4, 5, and 6 of BP 697. Hence, if petitioners were not able to submit any nominee they had no one to blame but themselves. And the law cannot be declared unconstitutional on such ground.
US vs Ang Tang Ho 43 Phil. 1 – Political Law – Delegation of Power – Administrative Bodies In July 1919, the Philippine Legislature (during special session) passed and approved Act No. 2868 entitled An Act Penalizing the Monopoly and Hoarding of Rice, Palay and Corn. The said act, under extraordinary circumstances, authorizes the Governor General (GG) to issue the necessary Rules and Regulations in regulating the distribution of such products. Pursuant to this Act, in August 1919, the GG issued Executive Order No. 53 which was published on August 20, 1919. The said EO fixed the price at which rice should be sold. On the other hand, Ang Tang Ho, a rice dealer, sold a ganta of rice to Pedro Trinidad at the price of eighty centavos. The said amount was way higher than that prescribed by the EO. The sale was done on the 6th of August 1919. On August 8, 1919, he was charged for violation of the said EO. He was found guilty as charged and was sentenced to 5 months imprisonment plus a P500.00 fine. He appealed the sentence countering that there is an undue delegation of power to the Governor General. ISSUE: Whether or not there is undue delegation to the Governor General. HELD: First of, Ang Tang Ho’s conviction must be reversed because he committed the act prior to the publication of the EO. Hence, he cannot be ex post facto charged of the crime. Further, one cannot be convicted of a violation of a law or of an order issued pursuant to the law when both the law and the order fail to set up an ascertainable standard of guilt.
Anent the issue of undue delegation, the said Act wholly fails to provide definitely and clearly what the standard policy should contain, so that it could be put in use as a uniform policy required to take the place of all others without the determination of the insurance commissioner in respect to matters involving the exercise of a legislative discretion that could not be delegated, and without which the act could not possibly be put in use. The law must be complete in all its terms and provisions when it leaves the legislative branch of the government and nothing must be left to the judgment of the electors or other appointee or delegate of the legislature, so that, in form and substance, it is a law in all its details in presenti, but which may be left to take effect in future, if necessary, upon the ascertainment of any prescribed fact or event.
VALENTIN TIO VS VIDEOGRAM REGULATORY BOARD 151 SCRA 208 – Political Law – The Embrace of Only One Subject by a Bill Delegation of Power – Delegation to Administrative Bodies
In 1985, Presidential Dedree No. 1987 entitled “An Act Creating the Videogram Regulatory Board” was enacted which gave broad powers to the VRB to regulate and supervise the videogram industry. The said law sought to minimize the economic effects of piracy. There was a need to regulate the sale of videograms as it has adverse effects to the movie industry. The proliferation of videograms has significantly lessened the revenue being acquired from the movie industry, and that such loss may be recovered if videograms are to be taxed. Section 10 of the PD imposes a 30% tax on the gross receipts payable to the LGUs. In 1986, Valentin Tio assailed the said PD as he averred that it is unconstitutional on the following grounds:
1. Section 10 thereof, which imposed the 30% tax on gross receipts, is a rider and is not germane to the subject matter of the law. 2. There is also undue delegation of legislative power to the VRB, an administrative body, because the law allowed the VRB to deputize, upon its discretion, other government agencies to assist the VRB in enforcing the said PD. ISSUE: Whether or not the Valentin Tio’s arguments are correct. HELD: No. 1. The Constitutional requirement that “every bill shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof” is sufficiently complied with if the title be comprehensive enough to include the general purpose which a statute seeks to achieve. In the case at bar, the questioned provision is allied and germane to, and is reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of, the general object of the PD, which is the regulation of the video industry through the VRB as expressed in its title. The tax provision is not inconsistent with, nor foreign to that general subject and title. As a tool for regulation it is simply one of the regulatory and control mechanisms scattered throughout the PD. 2. There is no undue delegation of legislative powers to the VRB. VRB is not being tasked to legislate. What was conferred to the VRB was the authority or discretion to seek assistance in the execution, enforcement, and implementation of the law. Besides, in the very language of the decree, the authority of the BOARD to solicit such assistance is for a “fixed and limited period” with the deputized agencies concerned being “subject to the direction and control of the [VRB].”
TOLENTINO V. SECRETARY OF FINANCE Facts: The value-added tax (VAT) is levied on the sale, barter or exchange of goods and properties as well as on the sale or exchange of services. RA 7716 seeks to widen the tax base of the existing VAT system and enhance its administration by amending the National Internal Revenue Code. There are various suits challenging the constitutionality of RA 7716 on various grounds.
One contention is that RA 7716 did not originate exclusively in the House of Representatives as required by Art. VI, Sec. 24 of the Constitution, because it is in fact the result of the consolidation of 2 distinct bills, H. No. 11197 and S. No. 1630. There is also a contention that S. No. 1630 did not pass 3 readings as required by the Constitution. Issue:
Whether or not RA 7716 violates Art. VI, Secs. 24 and 26(2) ofthe Constitution Held: The argument that RA 7716 did not originate exclusively in the House of Representatives as required by Art. VI, Sec. 24 of the Constitution will not bear analysis. To begin with, it is not the law but the revenue bill which is required by the Constitution to originate exclusively in the House of Representatives. To insist that a revenue statute and not only the bill which initiated the legislative process culminating in the enactment of the law must substantially be the same as the House bill would be to deny the Senate’s power not only to concur with amendments but also to propose amendments. Indeed, what the Constitution simply means is that the initiative for filing revenue, tariff or tax bills, bills authorizing an increase of the public debt, private bills and bills of local application must come from the House of Representatives on the theory that, elected as they are from the districts, the members of the House can be expected to be more sensitive to the local needs and problems. Nor does the Constitutionprohibit the filing in the Senate of a substitute bill in anticipation of its receipt of the bill from the House, so long as action by the Senate as a body is withheld pending receipt of the House bill. The next argument of the petitioners was that S. No. 1630 did not pass 3 readings on separate days as required by the Constitution because the second and third readings were done on the same day. But this was because the President had certified S. No. 1630 as urgent. The presidential certification dispensed with the requirement not only of printing but also that of reading the bill on separate days. That upon the certification of a billby the President the requirement of 3 readings on separate days and of printing and distribution can be dispensed with is supported by the weightof legislative practice.
Arturo Tolentino vs Secretary of Finance Tolentino et al is questioning the constitutionality of RA 7716 otherwise known as the Expanded Value Added Tax (EVAT) Law. Tolentino averred that this revenue bill did not exclusively originate from the House of Representatives as required by Section 24, Article 6 of the Constitution. Even though RA 7716 originated as HB 11197 and that it passed the 3 readings in the HoR, the same did not complete the 3 readings in Senate for after the 1st reading it was referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee thereafter Senate passed its own version known as Senate Bill 1630. Tolentino averred that what Senate could have done is amend HB 11197 by striking out its text and substituting it w/ the text of SB 1630 in that way “the bill remains a House Bill and the Senate version just becomes the text (only the text) of the HB”. Tolentino and co-petitioner Roco [however] even signed the said Senate Bill. ISSUE: Whether or not EVAT originated in the HoR. HELD: By a 9-6 vote, the SC rejected the challenge, holding that such consolidation was consistent with the power of the Senate to propose or concur with amendments to the version originated in the HoR. What the Constitution simply means, according to the 9 justices, is that the initiative must come from the HoR. Note also that there were several instances before where Senate passed its own version rather than having the HoR version as far as revenue and other such bills are concerned. This practice of amendment by substitution has always been accepted. The proposition of Tolentino concerns a mere matter of form. There is no showing that it would make a significant difference if Senate were to adopt his over what has been done.
PHILCOMSAT VS. ALCUAZ 180 SCRA 218; GR NO 84818 18 DEC 1989 Facts: The petition before us seeks to annul and set aside an Order 1 issued by respondent Commissioner Jose Luis Alcuaz of the National Telecommunications Commission. Herein petitioner is engaged in providing for services involving telecommunications. Charging rates for certain specified lines that were reduced by order of herein respondent Jose AlcuazCommissioner of the National Telecommunications Commission. The rates were ordered to be reduced by fifteen percent (15%) due to Executive Order No. 546 which granted the NTC the power to fix rates. Said order was issued without prior notice and hearing. Under Section 5 of Republic Act No. 5514, petitioner was exempt from the jurisdiction of the then Public Service Commission, now respondent NTC. However, pursuant to Executive Order No. 196 issued on June 17, 1987, petitioner was placed under the jurisdiction, control and regulation of respondent NTC
Issue: Whether or Not E.O. 546 is unconstitutional.
Held: In Vigan Electric Light Co., Inc. vs. Public Service Commission the Supreme Court said that although the rule-making power and even the power to fix rates- when such rules and/or rates are meant to apply to all enterprises of a given kind throughout the Philippines-may partake of a legislative character. Respondent Alcuaz no doubt contains all the attributes of a quasi-judicial adjudication. Foremost is the fact that said order pertains exclusively to petitioner and to no other. The respondent admits that the questioned order was issued pursuant to its quasijudicial functions. It, however, insists that notice and hearing are not necessary since the assailed order is merely incidental to the entire proceedings and, therefore, temporary in nature but the supreme court said that While respondents may fix a temporary rate pending final determination of the application of petitioner, such rate-fixing order, temporary though it may be, is not exempt from the statutory procedural requirements of notice and hearing. The Supreme Court Said that it is clear that with regard to rate-fixing, respondent has no authority to make such order without first giving petitioner a hearing, whether the order be temporary or permanent. In the Case at bar the NTC didn’t scheduled hearing nor it did give any notice to the petitioner PHILCOMSAT VS. ALCUAZ 180 SCRA 218 – Political Law – Delegation of Power – Administrative Bodies
By virtue of Republic Act No. 5514, the Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT) was granted the authority to “construct and operate such ground facilities as needed to deliver telecommunications services from the communications satellite system and ground terminal or terminals” in the Philippines. PHILCOMSAT provides satellite services to companies like Globe Mackay (now Globe) and PLDT. Under Section 5 of the same law, PHILCOMSAT was exempt from the jurisdiction, control and regulation of the Public Service Commission later known as the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). However, Executive Order No. 196 was later promulgated and the same has placed PHILCOMSAT under the jurisdiction of the NTC. Consequently, PHILCOMSAT has to acquire permit to operate from the NTC in order to continue operating its existing satellites. NTC gave the necessary permit but it however directed PHILCOMSAT to reduce its current rates by 15%. NTC based its power to fix the rates on EO 546. PHILCOMSAT now sues NTC and its commissioner (Jose Luis Alcuaz) assailed the said directive and holds that the enabling act (EO 546) of the NTC, empowering it to fix rates for public service communications, does not provide the necessary standards which were constitutionally required, hence, there is an undue delegation of legislative power, particularly the adjudicatory powers of NTC. PHILCOMSAT asserts that nowhere in the provisions of EO 546, providing for the creation of NTC and granting its rate-fixing powers, nor of EO 196, placing PHILCOMSAT under the jurisdiction of NTC, can it be inferred that NTC is guided by any standard in the exercise of its rate-fixing and adjudicatory powers. PHILCOMSAT subsequently clarified its said submission to mean that the order mandating a reduction of certain rates is undue delegation not of legislative but of quasi-judicial power to NTC, the exercise of which allegedly requires an express conferment by the legislative body.
ISSUE: Whether or not there is an undue delegation of power.
HELD: No. There is no undue delegation. The power of the NTC to fix rates is limited by the requirements of public safety, public interest, reasonable feasibility and reasonable rates, which conjointly more than satisfy the requirements of a valid delegation of legislative power. Fundamental is the rule that delegation of legislative power may be sustained only upon the ground that some standard for its exercise is provided and that the legislature in making the delegation has prescribed the manner of the exercise of the delegated power. Therefore, when the administrative agency concerned, NTC in this case, establishes a rate, its act must both be non-confiscatory and must have been established in the manner prescribed by the legislature; otherwise, in the absence of a fixed standard, the delegation of power becomes unconstitutional. In case of a delegation of rate-fixing power, the only standard which the legislature is required to prescribe for the guidance of the administrative authority is that the rate be reasonable and just. However, it has been held that even in the absence of an express requirement as to reasonableness, this standard may be implied. However, in this case, it appears that the manner of fixing the rates was done without due process since no hearing was made in ascertaining the rate imposed upon PHILCOMSAT.
OCAMPO VS. HRET, super digested 432 SCRA 145, June 15 2004 (Constitutional Law – Disqualification) FACTS: In the case at bar, private respondent, a duly elected congressman, was declared disqualified 22 months after the May 14, 2001 elections. Petitioner avers that, having garnered the second highest number of votes, the same should be declared the winner in the said elections. ISSUE: Whether or not a second placer in congressional elections can be proclaimed the duly elected Congressman. HELD: No, it is settled jurisprudence that the subsequent disqualification of a candidate who obtained the highest number of votes does not entitle the candidate who garnered the second highest number of votes to be declared the winner. The latter could not be proclaimed winner as he could not be considered the first among the qualified candidates. Note: Voters are not afforded the opportunity of electing a ‘substitute congressman’ in the eventuality that their first choice dies, resigns, is disqualified, or in any other way leaves the post vacant. There can only be one representative for that particular legislative district. There are no runners-up or second placers. Thus, when the person vested with the mandate of the majority is disqualified from holding the post he was elected to, the only recourse to ascertain the new choice of the electorate is to hold another election.
Facts: Mario B. Crespo aka Mark Jimenez, a duly-elected congressman of the 6th district of Manila, was declared ineligible for the position in which he was elected for lack of residency in the district and was ordered to vacate his office. Ocampo then averred that since Crespo was declared as such, he should be declared the winner, having garnered the second highest number of votes. Issue: Whether or not the candidate who has the second highest vote should be declared as winner considering that the duly-elected representative is not eligible for the office. Ruling: No. The fact that the candidate who had the highest number of votes is later declared to be disqualified or ineligible for office does not give rise to the right of the candidate who garnered the second highest vote to be declared winner. To do otherwise would be anathema to the most basic precepts of republicanism and democracy. Therefore, the only recourse to ascertain the new choice of the electorate is to hold another election.
TERESITA QUINTOS-DELES VS COMMISSION ON CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSIONS 177 SCRA 259 – Political Law – Appointment of Sectoral Representatives Teresita Quintos-Deles was appointed by then President Corazon Aquino as a sectoral representative for women in 1988. Their appointment was done while Congress was in session. They were subsequently scheduled to take their oath of office but the Commission on Appointments (COA) filed an opposition against Deles et al alleging that their appointment must have the concurrence of the COA. Deles then questioned the objection of the COA. She said that her appointment does not need the concurrence of the COA. This is in pursuant to Section 7, Article XVIII of the Constitution, which does not require her appointment to be confirmed by the COA to qualify her to take her seat in the lower house. ISSUE: Whether the Constitution requires the appointment of sectoral representatives to the House of Representatives should be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. HELD: Yes. There are four (4) groups of officers whom the President shall appoint. These four (4) groups, to which we will hereafter refer from time to time, are: First, the heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution; Second, all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law; Third, those whom the President may be authorized by law to appoint; Fourth, officers lower in rank whose appointments the Congress may by law vest in the President alone. Only those appointments expressly mentioned in the first sentence of Sec. 16, Art. VII (or the first group abovementioned) are to be reviewed by the COA, namely, ‘the heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, or officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution.’ All other appointments by the President are to be made without the participation of the Commission on Appointments. Sectoral representatives belong to the phrase “and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution“. The provision of the Constitution which provides power to the president in this regard is Section 7, Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution: Until a law is passed, the President may fill by appointment from a list of nominees by the respective sectors the seats reserved for sectoral representation in paragraph (1), Section 5 of Article VI of this Constitution.
Ramon Ceniza et al vs Commission on Elections, COA & National Treasurer “Equal Protection” – Gerrymandering **”Gerrymandering” is a “term employed to describe an apportionment of representative districts so contrived as to give an unfair advantage to the party in power.” ** Pursuant to Batas Blg 51 (enacted 22 Dec 1979), COMELEC adopted Resolution No. 1421 which effectively bars voters in chartered cities (unless otherwise provided by their charter), highly urbanized (those earning above P40 M) cities, and component cities (whose charters prohibit them) from voting in provincial elections. The City of Mandaue, on the other hand, is a component city NOT a chartered one or a highly urbanized one. So when COMELEC added Mandaue to the list of 20 cities that cannot vote in provincial elections, Ceniza, in behalf of the other members of DOERS (Democracy or Extinction: Resolved to Succeed) questioned the constitutionality of BB 51 and the COMELEC resolution. They said that the regulation/restriction of voting being imposed is a curtailment of the right to suffrage. Further, petitioners claim that political and gerrymandering motives were behind the passage of Batas Blg. 51 and Section 96 of the Charter of Mandaue City. They contend that the Province of Cebu is politically and historically known as an opposition bailiwick and of the total 952,716 registered voters in the province, close to one-third (1/3) of the entire province of Cebu would be barred from voting for the provincial officials of the province of Cebu. Ceniza also said that the constituents of Mandaue never ratified their charter. Ceniza likewise aver that Sec 3 of BB 885 insofar as it classifies cities including Cebu City as highly urbanized as the only basis for not allowing its electorate to vote for the provincial officials is inherently and palpably unconstitutional in that such classification is not based on substantial distinctions germane to the purpose of the law which in effect provides for and regulates the exercise of the right of suffrage, and therefore such unreasonable classification amounts to a denial of equal protection. ISSUE: Whether or not there is a violation of equal protection. HELD: The thrust of the 1973 Constitution is towards the fullest autonomy of local government units. In the Declaration of Principles and State Policies, it is stated that “The State shall guarantee and promote the autonomy of local government units to ensure their fullest development as self-reliant communities. The petitioners allegation of gerrymandering is of no merit, it has no factual or legal basis. The Constitutional requirement that the creation, division, merger, abolition, or alteration of the boundary of a province, city, municipality, or barrio should be subject to the approval by the majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the governmental unit or units affected is a new requirement that came into being only with the 1973 Constitution. It is prospective in character and therefore cannot affect the creation of the City of Mandaue which came into existence on 21 June 1969. The classification of cities into highly urbanized cities and component cities on the basis of their regular annual income is based upon substantial distinction. The revenue of a city would show whether or not it is capable of existence and development as a relatively independent social, economic, and political unit. It would also show whether the city has sufficient economic or industrial activity as to warrant its independence from the province where it is geographically situated. Cities with smaller income need the continued support of the provincial government thus justifying the continued participation of the voters in the election of provincial officials in some instances. The petitioners also contend that the voters in Mandaue City are denied equal protection of the law since the voters in other component cities are allowed to vote for provincial officials. The contention is without merit. The practice of allowing voters in one component city to vote for provincial officials and denying the same privilege to voters in
another component city is a matter of legislative discretion which violates neither the Constitution nor the voter’s right of suffrage.
Jose Mari Eulalio Lozada vs Commission on Elections 120 SCRA 337 – Political Law – Vacancy in the Legislature Jose Mari Eulalio Lozada together with Romeo Igot filed a petition for mandamus compelling the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to hold an election to fill the vacancies in the Interim Batasang Pambansa (IBP). They anchor their contention on Section 5 (2), Art. VIII of the 1973 Constitution which provides: In case a vacancy arises in the Batasang Pambansa eighteen months or more before a regular election, the Commission on Election shall call a special election to be held within sixty (60) days after the vacancy occurs to elect the Member to serve the unexpired term COMELEC opposed the petition alleging that 1) petitioners lack standing to file the instant petition for they are not the proper parties to institute the action; 2) the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the petition; and 3) Section 5(2), Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution does not apply to the Interim Batasan Pambansa. ISSUE: Whether or not the SC can compel COMELEC to hold a special election to fill vacancies in the legislature. HELD: No. The SC’s jurisdiction over the COMELEC is only to review by certiorari the latter’s decision, orders or rulings. This is as clearly provided in Article XII-C, Section 11 of the New Constitution which reads: Any decision, order, or ruling of the Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from his receipt of a copy thereof. There is in this case no decision, order or ruling of the COMELEC which is sought to be reviewed by this Court under its certiorari jurisdiction as provided for in the aforequoted provision, which is the only known provision conferring jurisdiction or authority on the Supreme Court over the COMELEC. It is obvious that the holding of special elections in several regional districts where vacancies exist, would entail huge expenditure of money. Only the Batasang Pambansa (BP) can make the necessary appropriation for the purpose, and this power of the BP may neither be subject to mandamus by the courts much less may COMELEC compel the BP to exercise its power of appropriation. From the role BP has to play in the holding of special elections, which is to appropriate the funds for the expenses thereof, it would seem that the initiative on the matter must come from the BP, not the COMELEC, even when the vacancies would occur in the regular not IBP. The power to appropriate is the sole and exclusive prerogative of the legislative body, the exercise of which may not be compelled through a petition for mandamus. What is
more, the provision of Section 5(2), Article VIII of the Constitution was intended to apply to vacancies in the regular National Assembly, now BP, not to the IBP.
Philippine Constitution Association, Inc.(PHILCONSA) vs. Mathay G.R. No. L-25554, October 4, 1966
Facts: Petitioner has filed a suit against the former Acting Auditor General of the Philippines and the Auditor of the Congress of the Philippines seeking to permanently enjoin them from authorizing or passing in audit the payment of the increased salaries authorized by RA 4134 to the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives before December 30, 1969. The 1965-1966 Budget implemented the increase in salary of the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives set by RA 4134, approved just the preceding year 1964. Petitioner contends that such implementation is violative of Article VI, Sec. 14(now Sec. 10) of the Constitution. The reason given being that the term of the 8 senators elected in 1963, and who took part in the approval of RA 4134, would have expired only on December 30, 1969; while the term of the members of the House who participated in the approval of said Act expired on December 30, 1965. Issue: Does Sec. 14(now Sec. 10) of the Constitution require that not only the term of all the members of the House but also that of all the Senators who approved the increase must have fully expired before the increase becomes effective? Held: In establishing what might be termed a waiting period before the increased compensation for legislators becomes fully effective, the Constitutional provision refers to “all members of the Senate and the House of Representatives” in the same sentence, as a single unit, without distinction or separation between them. This unitary treatment is emphasized by the fact that the provision speaks of the “expiration of the full term” of the Senators and Representatives that approved the measure, using the singular form and not the plural, thereby rendering more evident the intent to consider both houses for the purpose as indivisible components of one single Legislature. The use of the word “term” in the singular, when combined with the following phrase “all the members of the Senate and the House,” underscores that in the application of Art. VI, Sec. 14(now Sec. 10), the fundamental consideration is that the terms of office of all members of the Legislature that enacted the measure must have expired before the increase in compensation can become operative. The Court agreed with petitioner that the increased compensation provided by RA 4134 is not operative until December 30, 1969, when the full term of all members of the Senate and House that approved it will have expired.
PHILCONSA vs. HON. SALVADOR ENRIQUEZ, G.R. No. 113105 August 19, 1994 Facts: House Bill No. 10900, the General Appropriation Bill of 1994 (GAB of 1994), was passed and approved by both houses of Congress on December 17, 1993. As passed, it imposed conditions and limitations on certain items of appropriations in the proposed budget previously submitted by the President. It also authorized members of Congress to propose and identify projects in the “pork barrels” allotted to them and to realign their respective operating budgets. Pursuant to the procedure on the passage and enactment of bills as prescribed by the Constitution, Congress presented the said bill to the President for consideration and approval. On December 30, 1993, the President signed the bill into law, and declared the same to have become Republic Act NO. 7663, entitled “AN ACT APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE OPERATION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES FROM JANUARY ONE TO DECEMBER THIRTY ONE, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND NINETY-FOUR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES” (GAA of 1994). On the same day, the President delivered his Presidential Veto Message, specifying the provisions of the bill he vetoed and on which he imposed certain conditions, as follows: 1.
Provision on Debt Ceiling, on the ground that “this debt reduction scheme cannot be validly done through the 1994 GAA.” And that “appropriations for payment of public debt, whether foreign or domestic, are automatically appropriated pursuant to the Foreign Borrowing Act and Section 31 of P.D. No. 1177 as reiterated under Section 26, Chapter 4, Book VI of E.O. No. 292, the Administrative Code of 1987.
Special provisions which authorize the use of income and the creation, operation and maintenance of revolving funds in the appropriation for State Universities and Colleges (SUC’s),
Provision on 70% (administrative)/30% (contract) ratio for road maintenance.
Special provision on the purchase by the AFP of medicines in compliance with the Generics Drugs Law (R.A. No. 6675).
The President vetoed the underlined proviso in the appropriation for the modernization of the AFP of the Special Provision No. 2 on the “Use of Fund,” which requires the prior approval of the Congress for the release of the corresponding modernization funds, as well as the entire Special Provision No. 3 on the “Specific Prohibition” which states that the said Modernization Fund “shall not be used for payment of six (6) additional S-211 Trainer planes, 18 SF-260 Trainer planes and 150 armored personnel carriers”
New provision authorizing the Chief of Staff to use savings in the AFP to augment pension and gratuity funds.
Conditions on the appropriation for the Supreme Court, Ombudsman, COA, and CHR, the Congress. Issue: whether or not the conditions imposed by the President in the items of the GAA of 1994: (a) for the Supreme Court, (b) Commission on Audit (COA), (c) Ombudsman, (d) Commission on Human Rights, (CHR), (e) Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGU’S) and (f) State Universities and Colleges (SUC’s) are
constitutional; whether or not the veto of the special provision in the appropriation for debt service and the automatic appropriation of funds therefore is constitutional Held: The veto power, while exercisable by the President, is actually a part of the legislative process. There is, therefore, sound basis to indulge in the presumption of validity of a veto. The burden shifts on those questioning the validity thereof to show that its use is a violation of the Constitution. The vetoed provision on the debt servicing is clearly an attempt to repeal Section 31 of P.D. No. 1177 (Foreign Borrowing Act) and E.O. No. 292, and to reverse the debt payment policy. As held by the court in Gonzales, the repeal of these laws should be done in a separate law, not in the appropriations law. In the veto of the provision relating to SUCs, there was no undue discrimination when the President vetoed said special provisions while allowing similar provisions in other government agencies. If some government agencies were allowed to use their income and maintain a revolving fund for that purpose, it is because these agencies have been enjoying such privilege before by virtue of the special laws authorizing such practices as exceptions to the “one-fund policy” (e.g., R.A. No. 4618 for the National Stud Farm, P.D. No. 902-A for the Securities and Exchange Commission; E.O. No. 359 for the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service). The veto of the second paragraph of Special Provision No. 2 of the item for the DPWH is unconstitutional. The Special Provision in question is not an inappropriate provision which can be the subject of a veto. It is not alien to the appropriation for road maintenance, and on the other hand, it specifies how the said item shall be expended — 70% by administrative and 30% by contract. The Special Provision which requires that all purchases of medicines by the AFP should strictly comply with the formulary embodied in the National Drug Policy of the Department of Health is an “appropriate” provision. Being directly related to and inseparable from the appropriation item on purchases of medicines by the AFP, the special provision cannot be vetoed by the President without also vetoing the said item. The requirement in Special Provision No. 2 on the “use of Fund” for the AFP modernization program that the President must submit all purchases of military equipment to Congress for its approval, is an exercise of the “congressional or legislative veto.” However the case at bench is not the proper occasion to resolve the issues of the validity of the legislative veto as provided in Special Provisions Nos. 2 and 3 because the issues at hand can be disposed of on other grounds. Therefore, being “inappropriate” provisions, Special Provisions Nos. 2 and 3 were properly vetoed. Furthermore, Special Provision No. 3, prohibiting the use of the Modernization fund for payment of the trainer planes and armored personnel carriers, which have been contracted for by the AFP, is violative of the Constitutional prohibition on the passage of laws that impair the obligation of contracts (Art. III, Sec. 10), more so, contracts entered into by the Government itself. The veto of said special provision is therefore valid. The Special Provision, which allows the Chief of Staff to use savings to augment the pension fund for the AFP being managed by the AFP Retirement and Separation Benefits System is violative of Sections 25(5) and 29(1) of the Article VI of the Constitution. Regarding the deactivation of CAFGUS, we do not find anything in the language used in the challenged Special Provision that would imply that Congress intended to deny to the President the right to defer or reduce the spending, much less to deactivate 11,000 CAFGU members all at once in 1994. But even if such is the intention, the appropriation law is not the proper vehicle for such purpose. Such intention must be embodied and manifested in another law considering that it abrades the powers of the Commander-in-Chief and there are existing laws on the creation of the CAFGU’s to be amended. On the conditions imposed by the President on certain provisions relating to appropriations to the Supreme Court, constitutional commissions, the NHA and the DPWH, there is less basis to complain when the President said that the expenditures shall be subject to guidelines he will issue. Until the guidelines are issued, it cannot be determined whether they are proper or inappropriate. Under the Faithful Execution Clause, the
President has the power to take “necessary and proper steps” to carry into execution the law. These steps are the ones to be embodied in the guidelines.
Benjamin Ligot vs Ismael Mathay 56 SCRA 823 – Political Law – Salaries of Representatives – Retirement Benjamin Ligot served as a member of the House of Representatives of the Congress of the Philippines for three consecutive four-year terms covering a twelve-year span from December 30, 1957 to December 30, 1969. During his second term in office (1961-1965), Republic Act No. 4134 “fixing the salaries of constitutional officials and certain other officials of the national government” was enacted into law and took effect on July 1, 1964. The salaries of members of Congress (senators and congressmen) were increased under said Act from P7,200.00 to P32,000.00 per annum, but the Act expressly provided that said increases “shall take effect in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.” Ligot’s term expired on December 30, 1969, so he filed a claim for retirement under Commonwealth Act No. 186, section 12 (c) as amended by Republic Act No. 4968 which provided for retirement gratuity of any official or employee, appointive or elective, with a total of at least twenty years of service, the last three years of which are continuous on the basis therein provided “in case of employees based on the highest rate received and in case of elected officials on the rates of pay as provided by law.” The House of Representatives granted his petition however, Jose Velasco, the then Congress Auditor refused to so issue certification. The Auditor General then, Ismael Mathay, also disallowed the same. The thrust of Ligot’s appeal is that his claim for retirement gratuity computed on the basis of the increased salary of P32,000.00 per annum for members of Congress (which was not applied to him during his incumbency which ended December 30, 1969, while the Court held in Philconsa vs. Mathay that such increases would become operative only for members of Congress elected to serve therein commencing December 30, 1969) should not have been disallowed, because at the time of his retirement, the increased salary for members of Congress “as provided by law” (under Republic Act 4134) was already P32,000.00 per annum. ISSUE: Whether or not Ligot is entitled to such retirement benefit. HELD: No. To allow Ligot a retirement gratuity computed on the basis of P32,000.00 per annum would be a subtle way of increasing his compensation during his term of office and of achieving indirectly what he could not obtain directly. Ligot’s claim cannot be sustained as far as he and other members of Congress similarly situated whose term of office ended on December 30, 1969 are concerned for the simple reason that a retirement gratuity or benefit is a form of compensation within the purview of the Constitutional provision limiting their compensation and “other emoluments” to their salary as provided by law. To grant retirement gratuity to members of Congress whose terms expired on December 30, 1969 computed on the basis of an increased salary of P32,000.00 per annum (which they were prohibited by the Constitution from receiving during their term of office) would be to pay them prohibited emoluments which in effect increase the salary beyond that which they were permitted by the Constitution to receive during their incumbency. As stressed by the Auditor-General in his decision in the similar case of Ligot’s colleague, ex-Congressman Melanio Singson, “Such a scheme would contravene the Constitution for it would lead to the same prohibited result by enabling administrative authorities to do indirectly what cannot be done directly.”
People of the Philippines, plaintiff-appellee vs. Romeo G. Jalosjos, accused-appellant GR Nos. 132875-76, February 3, 2000
Facts: Romeo G. Jalosjos is a full-fledged member of Congress who is now confined at the national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape on two counts and acts of lasciviousness on six counts is pending appeal. Jalosjos, filed a motion asking that he be allowed to fully discharge his duties of a Congressman including attendance at legislative sessions and committee meetings despite his having convicted in the first instance including of a non-bailable offense. Jalosjos argument is the mandate of sovereign will which he states that he was re-elected as Congressman of Firs District of Zamboanga del Norte by his constituents in order that their voices will be heard and since the accusedappellant is treated as bona fide member of the House of Representatives, the latter urges co-equal branch of government to respect his mandate.
Issue: Whether or not accused-appellant, Romeo G. Jalosjos, be allowed to discharge his mandate as member of the House of Representatives.
Held/Ruling: No. The immunity from arrest or detention of Senators or members of the House of Representatives arises from a provision of the Constitution and shows that this privilege has always been granted in a restrictive sense. It is true, that election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. However, the rights and privileges from being elected as public official may be restricted by law. Privilege has to be granted by law, not inferred from the duties of a position, the higher the rank the greater the requirement of obedience rather that exemption. The accused-appellant Romeo Jalosjos has not given any reason why he should be exempted from the operation of Section 11 Article VI of the Constitution. The members of Congress cannot compel absent members to attend sessions if the reason for the abuse is a legitimate one. The confinement of a Congressman with a crime punishable imprisonment by more than six (6) months is not merely authorized by law, has constitutional foundations. Allowing Jalosjos to attend in Congressional sessions and meetings for five (5) days in a week which will make him a free man with all the privileges and would make his status to that of a special class, it also would be a making of the purpose of the correction system.
Manuel Martinez vs Jesus Morfe 44 SCRA 22 – Political Law – The Legislative Department – Immunity from Arrest under the 1935 Constitution Manuel Martinez and Fernando Bautista, Sr. were delegates to the 1972 Constitutional Convention. Both were facing criminal prosecutions. Martinez was charged for falsification of a public document before the sala of Judge Jesus Morfe. While Bautista was charged for violation of the Revised Election Code. The two were later arrested, this is while the Constitutional Convention was still in session. They now assail the validity of their arrest. They contend that under the 1935 Constitution, they are immune from arrest because the charges upon which they were arrested are within the immunity. ISSUE: Whether or not Martinez and Bautista are immune from arrest. HELD: No. There is, to be sure, a full recognition of the necessity to have members of Congress, and likewise delegates to the Constitutional Convention. They are accorded the constitutional immunity of senators and representatives from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of Congress and in going to and returning from the same except in cases of treason, felony and breach of the peace. In the case at bar, the crimes for which Martinez and Bautista were arrested fall under the category 0f “breach of peace”. Breach of the peace covers any offense whether defined by the Revised Penal Code or any special statute. Therefore, Martinez and Bautista cannot invoke the privilege from arrest provision of the Constitution. NOTE: Under the 1987 Constitution: A Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session. No member shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in Congress or in any committee thereof.
SERGIO OSMEÑA, JR. VS SALIPADA PENDATUN 109 Phil. 863 – Political Law – The Legislative Department – Parliamentary Immunity In June 1960, Congressman Sergio Osmeña, Jr. delivered a speech entitled “A Message to Garcia”. In the said speech, he disparaged then President Carlos Garcia and his administration. Subsequently, House Resolution No. 59 was passed by the lower house in order to investigate the charges made by Osmeña during his speech and that if his allegations were found to be baseless and malicious, he may be subjected to disciplinary actions by the lower house. Osmeña then questioned the validity of the said resolution before the Supreme Court. Osmeña avers that the resolution violates his parliamentary immunity for speeches delivered in Congress. Congressman Salipada Pendatun filed an answer where he averred that the Supreme Court has not jurisdiction over the matter and Congress has the power to discipline its members. ISSUE: Whether or not Osmeña’s immunity has been violated? HELD: No. Section 15, Article VI of the 1935 Constitution enshrines parliamentary immunity upon members of the legislature which is a fundamental privilege cherished in every parliament in a democratic world. It guarantees the legislator complete freedom of expression without fear of being made responsible in criminal or civil actions before the courts or any other forum outside the Hall of Congress. However, it does not protect him from responsibility before the legislative body whenever his words and conduct are considered disorderly or unbecoming of a member therein. Therefore, Osmeña’s petition is dismissed.
MELANIO D. SAMPAYAN et al vs. RAUL A. DAZA et al MELANIO D. SAMPAYAN et al vs. RAUL A. DAZA et al G.R. No. 103903. September 11, 1992 Facts: On February 18, 1992, petitioners, filed the instant petition for prohibition seeking to disqualify respondent RaulDaza, then incumbent congressman, from continuing to exercise the functions of his office, on the ground that the latter is a greencard holder and a lawful permanent resident of the United States since October 16, 1974.Petitioners allege that Mr.Daza has not renounced his status as permanent resident.Petitioners manifested that on April 2, 1992, they filed a petition before the COMELEC to disqualify respondent Daza from running in the recent May 11, 1992 elections on the basis of Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code and that the instant petition is concerned with the unlawful assumption of office by respondent Daza from June 30, 1987 until June 30, 1992. Issue: Whether or not respondent Daza should be disqualified as a member of the House of Representatives for violation of Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code? Held: No. The prohibition case should be dismissed because this case is already moot and academic for the reason that petitioners seek to unseat respondent from his position forthe duration of his term of office commencing June 30, 1987 and ending June 30, 1992. Moreover the jurisdiction of this case rightfully pertains to the House Electoral Tribunal and a writ of prohibition can no longer be issued against respondent since his term has already expired. Furthermore as a de facto public officer, respondent cannot be made to reimburse funds disbursed during his term of office becaus e his acts are as valid as those of a dejure officer. Moreover, as a de facto officer, he is entitled to emoluments for actual services rendered.
Sampayan vs Daza (G.R. No. 87193) HRET has exclusive jurisdiction over election contests and qualifications of members of Congress Remedies against a disqualified House of Representative candidate: (1) cancellation of certificate of candidacy filed with COMELEC before election; (2) quo warranto case filed with HRET after proclamation FACTS: Petitioners filed a petition seeking to disqualify Daza, then incumbent congressman of their congressional district in Makati, from continuing to exercise the functions of his office on the ground that the latter is a greencard holder and a lawful permanent resident of the United States. They also alleged that Mr. Daza has not by any act or declaration renounced his status as permanent resident thereby violating the Omnibus Election Code (Section 68) and the 1987 Constitution (section 18, Article III). Respondent Congressman filed his Comment denying the fact that he is a permanent resident of the United States as evidenced by a letter order of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service, Los Angeles, U.S.A, he had long waived his status when he returned to the Philippines on August 12, 1985. ISSUE: Whether or not respondent Daza should be disqualified as a member of the House of Representatives for violation of Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code
RULING: The Supreme Court vote to dismiss the instant case, first, the case is moot and academic for it is evident from the manifestation filed by petitioners dated April 6, 1992, that they seek to unseat the
respondent from his position as Congressman for the duration of his term of office commencing June 30, 1987 and ending June 30, 1992. Secondly, jurisdiction of this case rightfully pertains to the House Electoral Tribunal. Under Section 17 of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, it is the House Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election returns and qualification of its members. The petitioner’s appropriate remedy should have been to file a petition to cancel respondent Daza’s certificate of candidacy before the election or a quo warranto case with the House of Electoral Tribunal within ten days after Daza’s proclamation
HOMOBONO ADAZA VS FERNANDO PACANA, JR. 135 SCRA 431 – Political Law – Congress – Singularity of Office/Position Homobono Adaza was elected governor of the province of Misamis Oriental in the January 30, 1980 elections. He took his oath of office and started discharging his duties as provincial governor on March 3, 1980. Fernando Pacana, Jr. was elected vice-governor for same province in the same elections. Under the law, their respective terms of office would expire on March 3, 1986. On March 27, 1984, Pacana filed his certificate of candidacy for the May 14, 1984 BP elections; petitioner Adaza followed suit on April 27, 1984. In the ensuing elections, petitioner won by placing first among the candidates, while Pacana lost. Adaza took his oath of office as Mambabatas Pambansa on July 19, 1984 and since then he has discharged the functions of said office. On July 23, 1984, Pacana took his oath of office as governor of Misamis Oriental before President Marcos, and started to perform the duties of governor on July 25, 1984. Claiming to be the lawful occupant of the governor’s office, Adaza has brought this petition to exclude Pacana therefrom. He argues that he was elected to said office for a term of six years, that he remains to be the governor of the province until his term expires on March 3, 1986 as provided by law, and that within the context of the parliamentary system, as in France, Great Britain and New Zealand, a local elective official can hold the position to which he had been elected and simultaneously be an elected member of Parliament. ISSUE: Whether or not Adaza can serve as a member of the Batasan and as a governor of the province simultaneously. Whether or not a vice governor who ran for Congress and lost can assume his original position and as such can, by virtue of succession, take the vacated seat of the governor. HELD: Section 10, Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution provides as follows: “Section 10. A member of the National Assembly [now Batasan Pambansa] shall not hold any other office or employment in the government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations, during his tenure, except that of prime minister or member of the cabinet . . .” The Philippine Constitution is clear and unambiguous. Hence Adaza cannot invoke common law practices abroad. He cannot complain of any restrictions which public policy may dictate on his holding of more than one office. Adaza further contends that when Pacana filed his candidacy for the Batasan he became a private citizen because he vacated his office. Pacana, as a mere private citizen, had no right to assume the governorship left vacant by petitioner’s election to the BP. This is not tenable and it runs afoul against BP. 697, the law governing the election of members of the BP on May 14, 1984, Section 13 of which specifically provides that “governors, mayors, members of the various sangguniang or barangay officials shall, upon filing a certificate of candidacy, be considered on forced leave of absence from office.” Indubitably, respondent falls within the coverage of this provision, considering that at the time he filed his certificate of candidacy for the 1984 BP election he was a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan as provided in Sections 204 and 205 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 337, otherwise known as the Local Government Code.
MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO VS SANDIGANBAYAN (2001) 356 SCRA 636 – Political Law – The Legislative Department – Suspension of a Member of Congress – Violations of RA 3019
In October 1988, Miriam Defensor Santiago, who was the then Commissioner of the Commission of Immigration and Deportation (CID), approved the application for legalization of the stay of about 32 aliens. Her act was said to be illegal and was tainted with bad faith and it ran counter against Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act). The legalization of such is also a violation of Executive Order No. 324 which prohibits the legalization of disqualified aliens. The aliens legalized by Santiago were allegedly known by her to be disqualified. Two other criminal cases were filed against Santiago. Pursuant to this information, Francis Garchitorena, a presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan, issued a warrant of arrest against Santiago. Santiago petitioned for provisional liberty since she was just recovering from a car accident which was approved. In 1995, a motion was filed with the Sandiganbayan for the suspension of Santiago, who was already a senator by then. The Sandiganbayan ordered the Senate President (Maceda) to suspend Santiago from office for 90 days. ISSUE: Whether or not Sandiganbayan can order suspension of a member of the Senate without violating the Constitution. HELD: Yes. it is true that the Constitution provides that each “… house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members, suspend or expel a Member. A penalty of suspension, when imposed, shall not exceed sixty days.” But on the other hand, Section 13 of RA 3019 provides: Suspension and loss of benefits. – any incumbent public officer against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid information under this Act or under Title 7, Book II of the Revised Penal Code or for any offense involving fraud upon government or public funds or property whether as a simple or as a complex offense and in whatever stage of execution and mode of participation, is pending in court, shall be suspended from office. Should he be convicted by final judgment, he shall lose all retirement or gratuity benefits under any law, but if he is acquitted, he shall be entitled to reinstatement and to the salaries and benefits which he failed to receive during suspension, unless in the meantime administrative proceedings have been filed against him.
In here, the order of suspension prescribed by RA. 3019 is distinct from the power of Congress to discipline its own ranks under the Constitution. The suspension contemplated in the above constitutional provision is a punitive measure that is imposed upon determination by the Senate or the Lower House, as the case may be, upon an erring member. This is quite distinct from the suspension spoken of in Section 13 of RA 3019, which is not a penalty but a preliminary, preventive measure, prescinding from the fact that the latter is not being imposed on petitioner for misbehavior as a Member of the Senate.
Republic Act No. 3019 does not exclude from its coverage the members of Congress and that, therefore, the Sandiganbayan did not err in thus decreeing the assailed preventive suspension order. But Santiago committed the said act when she was still the CID commissioner, can she still be suspended as a senator? Section 13 of Republic Act No. 3019 does not state that the public officer concerned must be suspended only in the office where he is alleged to have committed the acts with which he has been charged. Thus, it has been held that the use of the word “office” would indicate that it applies to any office which the officer charged may be holding, and not only the particular office under which he stands accused. Santiago has not yet been convicted of the alleged crime, can she still be suspended? The law does not require that the guilt of the accused must be established in a pre-suspension proceeding before trial on the merits proceeds. Neither does it contemplate a proceeding to determine (1) the strength of the evidence of culpability against him, (2) the gravity of the offense charged, or (3) whether or not his continuance in office could influence the witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records another evidence before the court could have a valid basis in decreeing preventive suspension pending the trial of the case. All it secures to the accused is adequate opportunity to challenge the validity or regularity of the proceedings against him, such as, that he has not been afforded the right to due preliminary investigation, that the acts imputed to him do not constitute a specific crime warranting his mandatory suspension from office under Section 13 of Republic Act No. 3019, or that the information is subject to quashal on any of the grounds set out in Section 3, Rule 117, of the Revised Rules on Criminal procedure.
Jose Avelino vs Mariano Cuenco 83 Phil. 17 – Political Law – The Legislative Department – Election of Members/Quorum/Adjournment/Minutes On February 18, 1949, Senator Lorenzo Tañada invoked his right to speak on the senate floor to formulate charges against the then Senate President Jose Avelino. He requested to do so on the next session (Feb. 21, 1949). On the next session day however, Avelino delayed the opening of the session for about two hours. Upon insistent demand by Tañada, Mariano Cuenco, Prospero Sanidad and other Senators, Avelino was forced to open session. He however, together with his allies initiated all dilatory and delaying tactics to forestall Tañada from delivering his piece. Motions being raised by Tañada et al were being blocked by Avelino and his allies and they even ruled Tañada and Sanidad, among others, as being out of order. Avelino’s camp then moved to adjourn the session due to the disorder. Sanidad however countered and they requested the said adjournment to be placed in voting. Avelino just banged his gavel and he hurriedly left his chair and he was immediately followed by his followers. Senator Tomas Cabili then stood up, and asked that it be made of record — it was so made — that the deliberate abandonment of the Chair by the Avelino, made it incumbent upon Senate President Pro-tempore Melencio Arranz and the remaining members of the Senate to continue the session in order not to paralyze the functions of the Senate. Tañada was subsequently recognized to deliver his speech. Later, Arranz yielded to Sanidad’s Resolution (No. 68) that Cuenco be elected as the Senate President. This was unanimously approved and was even recognized by the President of the Philippines the following day. Cuenco took his oath of office thereafter. Avelino then filed a quo warranto proceeding before the SC to declare him as the rightful Senate President. ISSUE: Whether or not the SC can take cognizance of the case.
HELD: No. By a vote of 6 to 4, the SC held that they cannot take cognizance of the case. This is in view of the separation of powers, the political nature of the controversy and the constitutional grant to the Senate of the power to elect its own president, which power should not be interfered with, nor taken over, by the judiciary. The SC should abstain in this case because the selection of the presiding officer affects only the Senators themselves who are at liberty at any time to choose their officers, change or reinstate them. Anyway, if, as the petition must imply to be acceptable, the majority of the Senators want petitioner to preside, his remedy lies in the Senate Session Hall — not in the Supreme Court. Supposed the SC can take cognizance of the case, what will be the resolution? There is unanimity in the view that the session under Senator Arranz was a continuation of the morning session and that a minority of ten senators (Avelino et al) may not, by leaving the Hall, prevent the other (Cuenco et al) twelve senators from passing a resolution that met with their unanimous endorsement. The answer might be different had the resolution been approved only by ten or less. **Two senators were not present that time. Sen. Soto was in a hospital while Sen. Confesor was in the USA. Is the rump session (presided by Cuenco) a continuation of the morning session (presided by Avelino)? Are there two sessions in one day? Was there a quorum constituting such session? The second session is a continuation of the morning session as evidenced by the minutes entered into the journal. There were 23 senators considered to be in session that time (including Soto, excluding Confesor). Hence, twelve senators constitute a majority of the Senate of twenty three senators. When the Constitution declares that a majority of “each House” shall constitute a quorum, “the House” does not mean “all” the members. Even a majority of all the members constitute “the House”. There is a difference between a majority of “all the members of the House” and a majority of “the House”, the latter requiring less number than the first. Therefore an absolute majority (12) of all the members of the Senate less one (23), constitutes constitutional majority of the Senate for the purpose of a quorum. Furthermore, even if the twelve did not constitute a quorum, they could have ordered the arrest of one, at least, of the absent members; if one had been so arrested, there would be no doubt Quorum then, and Senator Cuenco would have been elected just the same inasmuch as there would be eleven for Cuenco, one against and one abstained. MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (filed by Avelino on March 14, 1949) Avelino and his group (11 senators in all) insist that the SC take cognizance of the case and that they are willing to bind themselves to the decision of the SC whether it be right or wrong. Avelino contends that there is no constitutional quorum when Cuenco was elected president. There are 24 senators in all. Two are absentee senators; one being confined and the other abroad but this does not change the number of senators nor does it change the majority which if mathematically construed is ½ + 1; in this case 12 (half of 24) plus 1 or 13 NOT 12. There being only 12 senators when Cuenco was elected unanimously there was no quorum. The Supreme Court, by a vote of seven resolved to assume jurisdiction over the case in the light of subsequent events which justify its intervention. The Chief Justice agrees with the result of the majority’s pronouncement on the quorum upon the ground that, under the peculiar circumstances of the case, the
constitutional requirement in that regard has become a mere formalism, it appearing from the evidence that any new session with a quorum would result in Cuenco’s election as Senate President, and that the Cuenco group, taking cue from the dissenting opinions, has been trying to satisfy such formalism by issuing compulsory processes against senators of the Avelino group, but to no avail, because of the Avelino’s persistent efforts to block all avenues to constitutional processes. For this reason, the SC believes that the Cuenco group has done enough to satisfy the requirements of the Constitution and that the majority’s ruling is in conformity with substantial justice and with the requirements of public interest. Therefore Cuenco has been legally elected as Senate President and the petition is dismissed. Justice Feria: (Concurring) Art. 3 (4) Title VI of the Constitution of 1935 provided that “the majority of all the members of the National Assembly constitute a quorum to do business” and the fact that said provision was amended in the Constitution of 1939, so as to read “a majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business,” shows the intention of the framers of the Constitution to base the majority, not on the number fixed or provided for in the Constitution, but on actual members or incumbents, and this must be limited to actual members who are not incapacitated to discharge their duties by reason of death, incapacity, or absence from the jurisdiction of the house or for other causes which make attendance of the member concerned impossible, even through coercive process which each house is empowered to issue to compel its members to attend the session in order to constitute a quorum. That the amendment was intentional or made for some purpose, and not a mere oversight, or for considering the use of the words “of all the members” as unnecessary, is evidenced by the fact that Sec. 5 (5) Title VI of the original Constitution which required “concurrence of two-thirds of the members of the National Assembly to expel a member” was amended by Sec. 10 (3) Article VI of the present Constitution, so as to require “the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members of each House”. Therefore, as Senator Confesor was in the United States and absent from the jurisdiction of the Senate, the actual members of the Senate at its session of February 21, 1949, were twenty-three (23) and therefore 12 constituted a majority.
United States vs Juan Pons 34 Phil. 729 – Political Law – Journal – Conclusiveness of the Journals Juan Pons and Gabino Beliso were trading partners. On April 5, 1914, the steamer Lopez y Lopez arrived in Manila from Spain and it contained 25 barrels of wine. The said barrels of wine were delivered to Beliso. Beliso subsequently delivered 5 barrels to Pons’ house. On the other hand, the customs authorities noticed that the said 25 barrels listed as wine on record were not delivered to any listed merchant (Beliso not being one). And so the customs officers conducted an investigation thereby discovering that the 25 barrels of wine actually contained tins of opium. Since the act of trading and dealing opium is against Act No. 2381, Pons and Beliso were charged for illegally and fraudulently importing and introducing such contraband material to the Philippines. Pons appealed the sentence arguing that Act 2381 was approved while the Philippine Commission (Congress) was not in session. He said that his witnesses claim that the said law
was passed/approved on 01 March 1914 while the special session of the Commission was adjourned at 12MN on February 28, 1914. Since this is the case, Act 2381 should be null and void. ISSUE: Whether or not the SC must go beyond the recitals of the Journals to determine if Act 2381 was indeed made a law on February 28, 1914. HELD: The SC looked into the Journals to ascertain the date of adjournment but the SC refused to go beyond the recitals in the legislative Journals. The said Journals are conclusive on the Court and to inquire into the veracity of the journals of the Philippine Legislature, when they are, as the SC have said, clear and explicit, would be to violate both the letter and the spirit of the organic laws by which the Philippine Government was brought into existence, to invade a coordinate and independent department of the Government, and to interfere with the legitimate powers and functions of the Legislature. Pons’ witnesses cannot be given due weight against the conclusiveness of the Journals which is an act of the legislature. The journals say that the Legislature adjourned at 12 midnight on February 28, 1914. This settles the question, and the court did not err in declining to go beyond these journals. The SC passed upon the conclusiveness of the enrolled bill in this particular case.
Mabanag vs Lopez Vito (G.R. NO. L-1123) Journal – Adoption of the Enrolled Bill Theory FACTS: Petitioners include 3 senators and 8 representatives. The three senators were suspended by senate due to election irregularities. The 8 representatives were not allowed to take their seat in the lower House except in the election of the House Speaker. They argued that some senators and House Reps were not considered in determining the required ¾ vote (of each house) in order to pass the Resolution (proposing amendments to the Constitution) – which has been considered as an enrolled bill by then. At the same time,
the votes were already entered into the Journals of the respective House. As a result, the Resolution was passed but it could have been otherwise were they allowed to vote. If these members of Congress had been counted, the affirmative votes in favor of the proposed amendment would have been short of the necessary three-fourths vote in either branch of Congress. Petitioners filed or the prohibition of the furtherance of the said resolution amending the constitution. Respondents argued that the SC cannot take cognizance of the case because the Court is bound by the conclusiveness of the enrolled bill or resolution. ISSUE: Whether or not the Court can take cognizance of the issue at bar. Whether or not the said resolution was duly enacted by Congress. HELD: As far as looking into the Journals is concerned, even if both the journals from each House and an authenticated copy of the Act had been presented, the disposal of the issue by the Court on the basis of the journals does not imply rejection of the enrollment theory, for, as already stated, the due enactment of a law may be proved in either of the two ways specified in section 313 of Act No. 190 as amended. The SC found in the journals no signs of irregularity in the passage of the law and did not bother itself with considering the effects of an authenticated copy if one had been introduced. It did not do what the opponents of the rule of conclusiveness advocate, namely, look into the journals behind the enrolled copy in order to determine the correctness of the latter, and rule such copy out if the two, the journals and the copy, be found in conflict with each other. No discrepancy appears to have been noted between the two documents and the court did not say or so much as give to understand that if discrepancy existed it would give greater weight to the journals, disregarding the explicit provision that duly certified copies “shall be conclusive proof of the provisions of such Acts and of the due enactment thereof.” **Enrolled Bill – that which has been duly introduced, finally passed by both houses, signed by the proper officers of each, approved by the president and filed by the secretary of state. Section 313 of the old Code of Civil Procedure (Act 190), as amended by Act No. 2210, provides: “Official documents may be proved as follows: . . . (2) the proceedings of the Philippine Commission, or of any legislatives body that may be provided for in the Philippine Islands, or of Congress, by the journals of those bodies or of either house thereof, or by published statutes or resolutions, or by copies certified by the clerk of secretary, or printed by their order; Provided, That in the case of Acts of the Philippine Commission or the Philippine Legislature, when there is an existence of a copy signed by the presiding officers and secretaries of said bodies, it shall be conclusive proof of the provisions of such Acts and of the due enactment thereof.” The SC is bound by the contents of a duly authenticated resolution (enrolled bill) by the legislature. In case of conflict, the contents of an enrolled bill shall prevail over those of the journals.
Casco Philippine Chemical Co., Inc. vs Pedro Gimenez 7 SCRA 347 – Political Law – Journal – Conclusiveness of the Enrolled Bill
Casco Philippine Chemical Co., Inc. (Casco) was engaged in the production of synthetic resin glues used primarily in the production of plywood. The main components of the said glue are urea and formaldehyde which are both being imported abroad. Pursuant to a Central Bank circular, Casco paid the required margin fee for its imported urea and formaldehyde. Casco however paid in protest as it maintained that urea and formaldehyde are tax exempt transactions. The Central Bank agreed and it issued vouchers for refund. The said vouchers were submitted to Pedro Gimenez, the then Auditor General, who denied the tax refund. Gimenez maintained that urea and formaldehyde, as two separate and distinct components are not tax exempt; that what is tax exempt is urea formaldehyde (the synthetic resin formed by combining urea and formaldehyde). Gimenez cited the provision of Sec. 2, par 18 of Republic Act No. 2609 which provides: The margin established by the Monetary Board pursuant to the provision of section one hereof shall not be imposed upon the sale of foreign exchange for the importation of the following: xxx
“XVIII. Urea formaldehyde for the manufacture of plywood and hardboard when imported by and for the exclusive use of end-users. Casco however averred that the term “urea formaldehyde” appearing in this provision should be construed as “urea and formaldehyde”. It further contends that the bill approved in Congress contained the copulative conjunction “and” between the terms “urea” and, “formaldehyde”, and that the members of Congress intended to exempt “urea” and “formaldehyde” separately as essential elements in the manufacture of the synthetic resin glue called “urea formaldehyde”, not the latter a finished product, citing in support of this view the statements made on the floor of the Senate, during the consideration of the bill before said House, by members thereof. The enrolled bill however used the term “urea formaldehyde” ISSUE: Whether or not the term “urea formaldehyde” should be construed as “urea and formaldehyde”. HELD: No. Urea formaldehyde is not a chemical solution. It is the synthetic resin formed as a condensation product from definite proportions of urea and formaldehyde under certain conditions relating to temperature, acidity, and time of reaction. “Urea formaldehyde” is clearly a finished product, which is patently distinct and different from “urea” and “formaldehyde”, as separate articles used in the manufacture of the synthetic resin known as “urea formaldehyde”. The opinions or statements of any member of Congress during the deliberation of the said law/bill do not represent the entirety of the Congress itself. What is printed in the enrolled bill would be conclusive upon the courts. The enrolled bill — which uses the term “urea formaldehyde” instead of “urea and formaldehyde” — is conclusive upon the courts as regards the tenor of the measure passed by Congress and approved by the President. If there has been any mistake in the printing of the bill before it was certified by the officers of Congress and approved by the Executive — on which the SC cannot speculate, without jeopardizing the principle of separation of powers and undermining one of the cornerstones of our democratic system — the remedy is by amendment or curative legislation, not by judicial decree.
Herminio Astorga vs Antonio Villegas 56 SCRA 714 – Political Law – The Legislative Department – Journal;When to be Consulted In 1964, Antonio Villegas (then Mayor of Manila) issued circulars to the department heads and chiefs of offices of the city government as well as to the owners, operators and/or managers of business establishments in Manila to disregard the provisions of Republic Act No. 4065. He likewise issued an order to the Chief of Police to recall five members of the city police force who had been assigned to then ViceMayor Herminio Astorga (assigned under authority of RA 4065). Astorga reacted against the steps carried out by Villegas. He then filed a petition for “Mandamus, Injunction and/or Prohibition with Preliminary Mandatory and Prohibitory Injunction” to compel Villegas et al and the members of the municipal board to comply with the provisions of RA 4065 (filed with the SC). In his defense, Villegas denied recognition of RA 4065 (An Act Defining the Powers, Rights and Duties of the Vice-Mayor of the City of Manila) because the said law was considered to have never been enacted. When the this said “law” passed the 3rd reading in the lower house as House Bill No. 9266, it was sent to the Senate which referred it to the Committee on Provinces and Municipal Governments and Cities headed by then Senator Roxas. Some minor amendments were made before the bill was referred back to the Senate floor for deliberations. During such deliberations, Sen. Tolentino made significant amendments which were subsequently approved by the Senate. The bill was then sent back to the lower house and was thereafter approved by the latter. The bill was sent to the President for approval and it became RA 4065. It was later found out however that the copy signed by the Senate President, sent to the lower house for approval and sent to the President for signing was the wrong version. It was in fact the version that had no amendments thereto. It was not the version as amended by Tolentino and as validly approved by the Senate. Due to this fact, the Senate president and the President of the Philippines withdrew and invalidated their signatures that they affixed on the said law. Astorga maintains that the RA is still valid and binding and that the withdrawal of the concerned signatures does not invalidate the statute. Astorga further maintains that the attestation of the presiding officers of Congress is conclusive proof of a bill’s due enactment. ISSUE: Whether or not RA 4065 was validly enacted. HELD: No. The journal of the proceedings of each House of Congress is no ordinary record. The Constitution requires it. While it is true that the journal is not authenticated and is subject to the risks of misprinting and other errors, the journal can be looked upon in this case. The SC is merely asked to inquire whether the text of House Bill No. 9266 signed by the President was the same text passed by both Houses of Congress. Under the specific facts and circumstances of this case, the SC can do this and resort to the Senate journal for the purpose. The journal discloses that substantial and lengthy amendments were introduced on the floor and approved by the Senate but were not incorporated in the printed text sent to the President and signed by him. Note however that the SC is not asked to incorporate such amendments into the alleged law but only to declare that the bill was not duly enacted and therefore did not become law. As done by both the President of the Senate and the Chief Executive, when they withdrew their signatures therein, the SC also declares that the bill intended to be as it is supposed to be was never made into law. To perpetuate that error by disregarding such rectification and holding that the erroneous bill has become law would be to sacrifice truth to fiction and bring about mischievous consequences not intended by the lawmaking