Astorga vs. Villegas

September 13, 2017 | Author: Paolo Sison Go | Category: Bill (Law), United States Congress, United States Government, United States Senate, Veto
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Case digest astorga vs. Villegas...


Digest Author: Paolo Go Astorga vs. Villegas Petition: Mandamus, injunction and/or prohibition with preliminary mandatory and prohibitory injunction. Petitioner: Herminio Astorga (Vice-mayor of Manila) Respondents: Antonio Villegas (Mayor of Manila) Abelardo Subido (Executive Secretary) plus various others. Ponente: C.J. Makalintal Date: April 30, 1974 Facts: March 30, 1964 - House Bill No. 9266 filed in HoR. April 21, 1964 – Passed on 3rd reading w/o amendments. (Sent to senate for concurrence)  Referred to Senate Committee on Provinces and Municipal Governments and Cities headed by Senator Roxas and was approved with a minor amendment, that. instead of the City Engineer the President Protempore of the Municipal Board will be the one to succeed the Vice-Mayor in case of the latter’s incapacity. May 20, 1964 – Bill was discussed on the floor of the Senate on second reading and substantial amendments were made to Section 1. (Introduced by senator Tolentino) Approved in toto by Senate and amendment recommended by Senator Roxas was not acted upon. May 21, 1964 – Senate sent a letter to the HoR that House Bill No. 9266 had been passed by the Senate with “minor amendments.” The letter included the recommended amendment by Senator Roxas instead of the amendment by Tolentino which was the one actually approved by the Senate. June 16, 1964 – Secretary of the house gave four copies of the bill to the president to sign. June 18, 1964 – Bill was signed by the President and became Republic Act No. 4065. July 5, 1964 – Senator Tolentino issued a statement saying that the enrolled copy of House Bill No. 9266 signed by the president was the wrong version. July 11, 1964 – Senate President sent a letter to the President explaining that his signature in the bill was invalid as it was the wrong version approved. July 21, 1964 – A letter to the President further clarified that the invalidation of the Senate President’s signature meant that the bill had never been approved by the senate and the fact that he and the Senate Sec. had signed it did not make the bill a valid enactment. July 31, 1964 – The president officially withdrew his signature from the House Bill.

After the withdrawal of the President, Villegas as Mayor of Manila, issued circulars to disregard the provisions of RA 4065 and recalled the five members of the police who had been assigned to the ViceMayor under authority of RA 4065. Sep 7, 1964 – Vice-Mayor Astorga filed a petition for "Mandamus, Injunction and/or Prohibition with Preliminary Mandatory and Prohibitory Injunction" to compel respondents Mayor of Manila, the Executive Secretary, the Commissioner of Civil Service, the Manila Chief of Police, the Manila City Treasurer and the members of the municipal board to comply with the provisions of Republic Act 4065.  Respondents: RA 4065 never became law as it was not the bill actually passed by the Senate, and that the entries in the journal of that body and not the enrolled bill itself should be decisive in the resolution of the issue.  Court issued a TRO enjoining Astorga from exercising any of the powers of the ViceMayor conferred by RA 4065.  Astorga has already been succeeded since the filing of this case. Pertinent laws/provisions: From 1935 Constitution: Sec. 10 (4). "Each House shall keep a Journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in its judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays on any question shall, at the request of one-fifth of the Members present, be entered in the Journal." Sec. 21 (2). "No bill shall be passed by either House unless it shall have been printed and copies thereof in its final form furnished its Members at least three calendar days prior to its passage, except when the President shall have certified to the necessity of its immediate enactment. Upon the last reading of a bill no amendment thereof shall be allowed, and the question upon its passage shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered on the Journal." Issues: 1. WON House Bill No. 9266 or Republic Act 4065 is valid. 2. WON the court can look at the entries in the journal to determine if the due enactment of the bill.

Digest Author: Paolo Go 

Ruling: 1. 2.

No, RA 4065 was not duly enacted and did not become a law. Yes, if the attestation is absent and the same is not required for the validity of a statute, the courts may resort to the journals and other records of Congress for proof of its due enactment.

Ratio Decidendi: 1.

 

The signing of the respective presiding officers and secretaries of the approved bill is merely a mode of authentication, to signify to the Chief Executive that the bill has been approved by Congress and is ready for his approval or rejection.  The function of an attestation is not of approval, because a bill is considered approved after it has passed both Houses.  By saying that the attestation is approval, would give the presiding officers veto powers. In Field vs. Clark the U.S. SC. held that the signatures of the presiding officers on a bill, although not required by the Constitution, are conclusive evidence of its passage. (Refer to page 721 for further reference)  Enrolled bill theory is based mainly on "the respect due to coequal and independent departments," which requires the judicial department "to accept, as having passed Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated." The (1935) Constitution is silent as to what shall constitute proof of due enactment of a bill. It does not require the presiding officers to certify to the same. Senate President declared his signature on the bill to be invalid and clarified that this invalidation meant the bill he had signed has never been approved by the Senate. It is the approval by Congress and not the signatures of the presiding officers that is essential. 1935 constitution says “that every bill passed by the Congress shall, before it becomes law, be presented to the President”. The Chief Executive also withdrew his signature.

Holding that the erroneous bill has become law would be to sacrifice truth to fiction and bring about mischievous consequences not intended by the law-making body.

 2.

Absent the attestation of Congress as a result of the disclaimer of the Senate President, and consequently there being no enrolled bill to speak of, what evidence is there to determine whether or not the bill had been duly enacted? In such a case the entries in the journal should be consulted.  

The constitution requires the journal proceedings of each house. Court is only asked to determine WON the bill signed by the Chief Executive was the same text passed by both Houses of Congress.( Court is not asked to incorporate amendments but to only declare if the bill was duly enacted and became law)

In view of the foregoing considerations, the petition is denied and the so-called Republic Act No. 4065 entitled "AN ACT DEFINING THE POWERS, RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF THE VICE-MAYOR OF THE CITY OF MANILA, FURTHER AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE SECTIONS TEN AND ELEVEN OF REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED FOUR HUNDRED NINE, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE REVISED CHARTER OF THE CITY OF MANILA" is declared not to have been duly enacted and therefore did not become law. The temporary restraining order dated April 28, 1965 is hereby made permanent. No pronouncement as to costs. Principles: Matters to be entered in the journal & Journal entry rule v. Enrolled bill theory.

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