Consitutional Commissions Case Digests

September 17, 2017 | Author: Emilee Teresta | Category: Mandamus, Certiorari, Commission On Elections (Philippines), Lawsuit, Jurisdiction
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Consitutional Commissions Case Digests...


CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSIONS COMMON PROVISIONS Section 6 Article IX Each Commission en banc may promulgate its own rules concerning pleadings and practice before it or before any of its offices. Such rules however shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Aruelo VS CA The rule of the Commission should prevail if the proceeding is before a Commission. But if the proceeding is before a court, the Rules of Court prevails. (Sec. 6) Mamerto Sevilla VS Comelec The Comelec Rules of Procedure specifically states that if the opinion of the Comelec En Banc is equally divided, the case shall be reheard Section 7 Article IX Each Commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its members any case or matter brought before it within sixty days from the date of its submission for decision or resolution. A case or matter is deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the rules of the Commission or by the Commission itself. Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or by law, any decision, order, or ruling of each Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof. Cua VS Comelec The three members who voted to affirm the first division constituted a majority of the five members who voted and deliberated thereon Acena VS Civil Service Commission SC states: proper remedy which petitioner should have taken from the resolution of public respondent Civil Service Commission is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court and not a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of said rules. Although Rule 65 does not provide for a period, the petition for certiorari assailing the resolution of the Civil Service Commission should be filed within thirty (30) days from receipt of the resolution as provided under Section 7, Article IX of the 1987 Constitution. Vital-Gozon VS Court of Appeals Issue: Whether or not the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction to take cognizance of the matter of damages in a special civil action of mandamus. Held: Yes. CA has jurisdiction to award damages in mandamus petitions. Rules of Court explicitly authorized the rendition of judgment in a mandamus action “commanding the defendant, immediately or at some other specified time, to do the act required to be done to protect the rights of

the petitioner, and to pay the damages sustained by the petitioner by reason of the wrongful acts of the defendant.” The provision makes plain that the damages are an incident, or the result of, the defendant’s wrongful act in failing and refusing to do the act required to be done. The Solicitor General’s theory that the rule in question is a mere procedural one allowing joinder of an action of mandamus and another for damages, is untenable, for it implies that a claim for damages arising from the omission or failure to do an act subject of a mandamus suit may be litigated separately from the latter, the matter of damages not being inextricably linked to the cause of action for mandamus, which is certainly not the case. Issue: Whether or not the SolGen is authorized to represent Vital-Gozon in this case Held: Yes. The doctrine laid down in the Urbano and Co cases already adverted to, is quite clear to the effect that the Office of the Solicitor General is not authorized to represent a public official at any stage of a criminal case. This observation should apply as well to a public official who is haled to court on a civil suit for damages arising from a felony allegedly committed by him (Article 100, Revised Penal Code). Any pecuniary liability he may be held to account for on the occasion of such civil suit is for his own account. The State is not liable for the same. The Office of the Solicitor General likewise has no authority to represent him in such a civil suit for damages. Here, Dr. Vital-Gozon is not charged with a crime, or civilly prosecuted for damages arising from a crime, there is no legal obstacle to her being represented by the Office of the Solicitor General. Filipinas Engineering and Machine Shop VS Ferrer What is contemplated by the term "final orders, rulings and decisions" of the COMELEC reviewable by certiorari by the Supreme Court as provided by law are those rendered in actions or proceedings before the COMELEC and taken cognizance of by the said body in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers. (If non judicial, cannot appeal on certiorari to SC decisions of Comelec.) FACTS: COMELEC awarded the contract to Acme for the manufacture and supply of voting booths. However, the losing bidder, petitioner in the instant case, Filipinas Engineering filed an Injunction suit against COMELEC and Acme. The lower court denied the writ prayed for. Thereafter, ACME filed a motion to Dismiss on the grounds that the lower court has no jurisdiction over the case which the court granted. Filipinas' motion for reconsideration was denied for lack of merit. Hence, this appeal for certiorari. ISSUES: Whether or not the lower court has jurisdiction to take cognizance of a suit involving an order of the COMELEC dealing with an award of contract arising from its invitation to bid; HELD: Yes. The Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction to review on certiorari; final decisions, orders or rulings of the COMELEC relative to the conduct of elections and enforcement of election laws. The COMELEC awarding the contract in favor of Acme was not issued pursuant to its quasi-judicial functions but merely as an incident of its inherent administrative functions over the conduct of elections, and hence, the said resolution may not be deemed as a "final order" reviewable by certiorari by the Supreme Court.

Being non-judicial in character, no direct and exclusive appeal by certiorari to this Tribunal lie from such order. Any question arising from said order may be well taken in an ordinary civil action before the trial courts. Mateo VS CA Issue: Whether or not the Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction over a case involving dismissal of an employee of a quasi-public corporation. Held: No. A quasi-public corporation with original charter fall under the jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission. Indeed, the hiring and firing of employees of government-own and controlled corporations are governed by the provisions of the Civil Service Law and Rules and Regulations. Civil Service Commission spell out the initial remedy of private respondent against illegal dismissal. They categorically provide that the party aggrieved by a decision, ruling, order, or action of an agency of the government involving termination of services may appeal to the Commission within fifteen (15) days. Thereafter, private respondent could go on certiorari to the Supreme Court under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court if he still feels aggrieved by the ruling of the Civil Service Commission.

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSIONS Section 2 (1) The civil service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters. (2) Appointments in the civil service shall be made only according to merit and fitness to be determined, as far as practicable, and, except to positions which are policy-determining, primarily confidential, or highly technical, by competitive examination. (3) No officer or employee of the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause provided by law. (4) No officer or employee in the civil service shall engage, directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political campaign. (5) The right to self-organization shall not be denied to government employees. (6) Temporary employees of the Government shall be given such protection as may be provided by law. Tupas VS National Housing Corporation Under the present (1987) Constitution, the civil service now covers only government owned or controlled corporations with original or legislative charters, that is those created by an act of Congress or by special law, and not those incorporated under and pursuant to a general legislation. Since the NHC is a GOCC without an original charter, it is not covered by the Civil Service Law but by the Labor Code.

Whether the NHC is covered by Labor Code or the Civil Service Law is beside the point. The right to unionize or to form organizations is now explicitly recognized and granted to employees in both the governmental and the private sectors. The Bill of Rights provides that the right of the people, including those employed in the public and private sectors, to form unions, associations or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged. The right to self-organization shall not be denied to government employees. Salazar VS Mathay The petitioner’s position being confidential, petitioner cannot complain termination of her services as confidential agent is in violation of her security of tenure. Primarily confidential positions are excluded from the merit system and dismissal at pleasure of officers. If removed, not considered “removed or dismissed from office.” His term merely expires. When can a position be considered primary confidential? Two instances. 1.) When the President upon recommendation of the Civil Service Commission declares the position to be primary confidential. 2.) Absence of such declaration, when nature of the function of the office exists close intimacy between the appointee and appointing power which insures freedom of intercourse without embarrassment. Corpus VS Cuaderno The Constitution distinguishes the primarily confidential from the highly technical employees, and to the latter the loss of confidence as a ground for removal is not applicable. No public officer or employee in the Civil Service shall be removed or suspended except for a cause provided by law. Primarily Confidential – loss of confidence ground for removal. Highly Technical employee – loss of confidence NOT ground for removal. Luego VS Civil Service Commission Facts: Petitioner was appointed Admin Officer II by the City Mayor. The appointment was described as “permanent” but the CSC approved it as “temporary,” subject to the final action taken in the protest filed by the private respondent and another employee. Subsequently, the CSC found the private respondent better qualified than the petitioner for the contested position and, accordingly directed that the latter be appointed to said position in place of the petitioner whose appointment is revoked. Hence, the private respondent was so appointed to the position by the new mayor. The petitioner, invoking his earlier permanent appointment, questions the order and the validity of the respondent’s appointment. Issue: WON the CSC is authorized to disapprove a permanent appointment on the ground that another person is better qualified than the appointee and, on the basis of this finding, order his replacement.

Held: No. The appointment of the petitioner was not temporary but permanent and was therefore protected by Constitution. The appointing authority (The Mayor) indicated that it was permanent, as he had the right to do so, and it was not for the respondent CSC to reverse him and call it temporary. The CSC is not empowered to determine the kind or nature of the appointment extended by the appointing officer, its authority being limited to approving or reviewing the appointment in the light of the requirements of the CSC Law. When the appointee is qualified and all the other legal requirements are satisfied, the Commission has no choice but to attest to the appointment in accordance with the CSC Laws. CSC is without authority to revoke an appointment because of its belief that another person was better qualified, which is an encroachment on the discretion vested solely in the city mayor. Pagcor vs Rilloraza Two ways to determine if position is primarily confidential, policy-determining or highly technical. 1.) President so declares. 2.) Nature of the position. In the case there was a presidential decree that state casino worker is confidential, as such loss of confidence is a ground for dismissal. But SC said, it is the nature of the position that should be considered. Even though there’s a presidential decree. Since the enactment of the Civil Service Act of 1959, it is the nature of the position which finally determines whether a position is primarily confidential, policy-determining or highly technical. And the Court explicitly decreed that executive pronouncements, such as Presidential Decree No. 1869, can be no more than initial determinations that are not conclusive in case of conflict. It must be so, or else it would then lie within the discretion of the Chief Executive to deny to any officer, by executive fiat, the protection of Section 4, Article XII (now Section 2[3], Article IX-B) of the Constitution. In other words, Section 16 of Presidential Decree No. 1869 cannot be given a literally stringent application without compromising the constitutionally protected right of an employee to security of tenure. SSS employees association VS Court of Appeals Issue: Whether or not employees of the Social Security System (SSS) have the right to strike. HELD: No. They have a right to organize but not to strike. "The civil service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters" SSS is a government-controlled corporation with an original charter, having been created under R.A. No. 1161, its employees are part of the civil service and are covered by the Civil Service Commission's memorandum prohibiting strikes. This being the case, the strike staged by the employees of the SSS was illegal.

Lopez VS Civil Service Commission The SC held that the CSC has no power to revoke an appointment simply because it believes that the person protesting the appointment or somebody is better qualified, for that will constitute an encroachment of the discretion vested solely in the appointing authority. University of the Philippines and Alfredo de Torres VS CSC ISSUE: WON Civil Service rules on AWOL prevail over a university's academic freedom to choose who may teach or who may continue to teach in its faculty? HELD: NO. CSC had no authority to dictate to UP the outright dismissal of its personnel. The former could not have done so without trampling upon the latter's constitutionally enshrined academic freedom. Five years absent without leave but still retained in the rolls even after being warned, his salary was increased three times and was even promoted in rank with explicit approval of the Board of Regents. CSC argued his failure to assume duty as ordered caused his automatic separation from the service. These circumstances demonstrate that the University has chosen not to exercise its prerogative of dismissing petitioner from its employ. Navarro VS CSC The MSPB rendered a favorable decision for Navarro and this fact alone should have prevented EPZA from appealing to the Commission on the bases of prevailing jurisprudence. The Philippine Civil Service Law, the CSC has no appellate jurisdiction over MSPB’s decisions exonerating officers and employees from administrative charges and does not contemplate a review of decisions exonerating officers or employees. The Commission shall decide upon appeal all administrative cases involving suspension for more than thirty days or removal or dismissal from office. P.D. 807 provides that appeals shall be made by the party adversely affected by the decision. The party adversely affected by the decision refers to the government employee whom the administrative case is filed for the purpose of disciplinary action. EPZA, for appealing MSPB’s decision and exonerating Navarro from administrative charge and CSC, for taking recognizance of, and deciding the appeal shows that both EPZA and CSC acted without jurisdiction. CSC VS Dacoycoy FACTS: Dacoycoy is a vocational school administrator. After formal investigation by the CSC, he was found guilty of nepotism on two counts. Respondent filed motion for reconsideration, anchoring on the argument that he was not the appointing or the recommending authority. ISSUE: Whether or not respondent is guilty of nepotism. DECISION: YES

The law defines nepotism as all appointments to the national, provincial, city and municipal governments or in any branch or instrumentality thereof, including government owned or controlled corporations, made in favor of a relative of the 1. Appointing or 2. Recommending authority, or of the 3. Chief of the bureau or office, or of 4. the persons exercising immediate supervision over him. The word "relative" and members of the family referred to are those related within the third degree either of consanguinity or of affinity. CSC found respondent guilty of nepotism as a result of the appointment of his 2 sons Rito, a driver and Ped, a utility worker, as they are under his immediate supervision and control as the school administrator. Santos VS Yatco (PARTISAN POLITICAL ACTIVITY) No officer or employee in the civil service shall engage, directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political campaign {Sec. 2(4), Art. IX-B}. But this DOES NOT PREVENT expression of views on current political problems or issues, or mention of the names of candidates for public office whom the public officer supports. EXEMPT from this provision are members of the Cabinet (Santos v. Yatco, 106 Phil 745) CSC, Anicia De Lima VS Larry Alfonso (Preventive suspension.) There are two kinds of preventive suspension of government employees charged with offenses punishable by removal or suspension, (1) Preventive suspension pending investigation; and (2) Preventive suspension pending appeal if the penalty imposed by the disciplining authority is suspension or dismissal and, after review, the respondent is exonerated. Preventive suspension pending investigation is not a penalty. It is a measure intended to enable the disciplining authority to investigate charges against respondent by preventing the latter from intimidating or in any way influencing witnesses against him. If the investigation is not finished and a decision is not rendered within that period, the suspension will be lifted and the respondent will automatically be reinstated. If after investigation, respondent is found innocent of the charges and is exonerated, he should be reinstated.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS Section 1 (1) There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, holders of a college degree, and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the immediately preceding elections. However, a majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be Members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. (2) The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, three Members shall hold office for seven years, two Members for five years, and the last Members for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity. Cayetano VS Monsod Practice of law means any activity, in or out court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience. (LLKTE) The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court; it embraces the preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special proceeding, the management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of clients before judges and courts, and in addition, conveying. In general, all advice to clients, and all action taken for them in matters connected with the law incorporation services, assessment and condemnation services, contemplating an appearance before judicial body, the foreclosure of mortgage, enforcement of a creditor’s claim in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, and conducting proceedings in attachment, and in matters of estate and guardianship have been held to constitute law practice. Brillantes VS Yorac FACTS: President Corazon Aquino appointed Comelec Associate Commissioner Haydee Yorac as Acting Chairman of the Commission on Elections, in place of Chairman Hilario B. Davide, who had been named chairman of the fact-finding commission to investigate the December 1989 coup d’ etat attempt. Petitioner Brillantes questioned the appointment in view of the status of the COMELEC as an independent constitutional body and the specific provision of Article IX-C, Section 1(2) of the Constitution that “In no case shall any Member (of the Commission on Elections) be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.” President argued: administrative expediency,” to prevent disruption of the functions of the COMELEC. ISSUES: Whether or not the designation of an Acting Chairman of COMELEC is unconstitutional HELD: Yes. The appointment of Yorac as Acting Chairman of the COMELEC is unconstitutional.

Although essentially executive in nature, they are not under the control of the President of the Philippines in the discharge of their respective functions. Each of these Commissions conducts its own proceedings under the applicable laws and its own rules and in the exercise of its own discretion. The choice of a temporary chairman in the absence of the regular chairman comes under that discretion. That discretion cannot be exercised for it, even with its consent, by the President of the Philippines. Lindo VS Comelec Promulgation is the process by which a decision is published, officially announced, made known to the public or delivered to the clerk of court for filing, coupled with notice to the parties of their counsel. Petitioner's contention that the act of merely furnishing the parties with a copy of the decision violated the COMELEC rules and did not constitute a valid promulgation, hence the five (5) day period within which the decision should be appealed to the COMELEC did not commence to run is untenable. Section 2 The Commission on Elections shall exercise the following powers and functions: (1) Enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and recall. (2) Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective regional, provincial, and city officials, and appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal officials decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction, or involving elective barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction. Decisions, final orders, or rulings of the Commission on election contests involving elective municipal and barangay offices shall be final, executory, and not appealable. (3) Decide, except those involving the right to vote, all questions affecting elections, including determination of the number and location of polling places, appointment of election officials and inspectors, and registration of voters. 4) Deputize, with the concurrence of the President, law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the Government, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, for the exclusive purpose of ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections. (5) Register, after sufficient publication, political parties, organizations, or coalitions which, in addition to other requirements, must present their platform or program of government; and accredit citizens’ arms of the Commission on Elections. Religious denominations and sects shall not be registered. Those which seek to achieve their goals through violence or unlawful means, or refuse to uphold and adhere to this Constitution, or which are supported by any foreign government shall likewise be refused registration. Financial contributions from foreign governments and their agencies to political parties, organizations, coalitions, or candidates related to elections constitute interference in national affairs, and, when accepted, shall be an additional ground for the cancellation of their registration with the Commission, in addition to other penalties that may be prescribed by law.

(6) File, upon a verified complaint, or on its own initiative, petitions in court for inclusion or exclusion of voters; investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute cases of violations of election laws, including acts or omissions constituting election frauds, offenses, and malpractices. (7) Recommend to the Congress effective measures to minimize election spending, including limitation of places where propaganda materials shall be posted, and to prevent and penalize all forms of election frauds, offenses, malpractices, and nuisance candidacies. (8) Recommend to the President the removal of any officer or employee it has deputized, or the imposition of any other disciplinary action, for violation or disregard of, or disobedience to its directive, order, or decision. (9) Submit to the President and the Congress a comprehensive report on the conduct of each election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, or recall. Gallardo VS Judge Tabamo Petitioner filed a petition before the RTC to prohibit and restrain his political opponent from undertaking public works projects and from disbursing, releasing, and/or spending public funds for said projects, allegedly because projects were undertaken in violation of the 45-day ban on public works imposed by the Omnibus Election Code. ISSUE: Whether the RTC has jurisdiction over cases involving violations of the Omnibus Election Code? HELD: No. The COMELEC is vested by the Constitution (Art IX-C, Sec 2(2)) with the exclusive original jurisdiction of all laws relative to the conduct of elections. Relampagos VS Cumba ISSUE: Does the COMELEC have jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto or habeas corpus? HELD: Yes. But only in aid of its appellate jurisdiction over election protest cases involving elective municipal officials decided by courts of general jurisdiction. It has concurrent jurisdiction with that of the Supreme Court.

Edding v COMELEC 246 SCRA 502 (Regional trial courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all election contests involving elective municipal officials) FACTS: After the canvassing of the election returns, Bernardo was declared winner over Edding. Unconvinced and alleging massive election fraud, Edding filed an election protest with the RTC. The RTC rendered judgment proclaming Edding as the winner of the election. Bernardo filed a Notice of Appeal while Edding moved for the immediate execution of the decision. RTC granted both the Notice of Appeal and Motion for Immediate Execution. Edding assumed office while Bernardo filed with the COMELEC a petition for certiorari with application for preliminary injunctions and for the issuance of TRO. The petition were granted hence this petition before the Supreme Court. ISSUE: Whether the COMELEC have jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto or habeas corpus?

HELD: Yes the COMELEC has the authority to issue the extraordinary writs but only in aid of its appellate jurisdiction over election protest cases involving elective municipal officials decided by courts of general jurisdiction. Regina Ongsiako Reyes VS Comelec ISSUE : Whether or not Comelec has jurisdiction over the petitioner who is proclaimed as winner and who has already taken her oath of office for the position of member of the House of Representatives. HELD: Yes. Comelec retains jurisdiction because the jurisdiction of the HRET begins only after the candidate is considered a member of the House of Representatives. Requirements: (1) Valid proclamation as winner, (2) Taken proper oath, and (3) Assumption of Office. Petitioner has not yet taken office. 2nd requirement was also not validly complied because to be valid oath must be made (1) before the Speaker of the House of Representatives and (2) in open session. In this case, although it was made before Speaker Belmonte, there is no indication it was made during plenary or in open session. Jose Miguel Arroyo VS DOJ (Concurrent jurisdiction exists where two or more courts from different systems simultaneously have jurisdiction over a specific case. This situation leads to forum shopping, as parties will try to have their civil or criminal case heard in the court that they perceive will be most favorable to them.) ISSUE: Does the Comelec have exclusive power to investigate election cases? HELD: No. The Comelec and other prosecuting arms of the government, such as the DOJ, now exercise concurrent jurisdiction in the investigation and prosecution of election offenses.” ISSUE: Is the creation of the joint committee not repugnant to the concept of “concurrent jurisdiction”? HELD: No. It is authorized by the amendatory law. There is no prohibition on simultaneous exercise of power between two coordinate bodies. ISSUE: But is the creation of the joint committee not an abdication of comelec’s independence under the constitution? HELD: No. Because the comelec has still to approve the resolutions of the joint committee. Salic Dumarpa VS Comelec FACTS: Salic Dumarpa asked the high court to restrain the Comelec from enforcing its resolution covering the conduct of special polls in seven Lanao del Sur towns. Dumarpa had asked the court to nullify two provisions of the Comelec resolution on reclustering and the creation of special boards of election inspectors because, he said, these were imposed without informing the candidates.

But the high court said in its April 2 ruling that the Comelec issued the resolution “to prevent another occurrence of a failure of elections” in Lanao del Sur. HELD: The Commission on Elections, by constitutional mandate, must do everything in its power to secure a fair and honest canvass of the votes cast in the elections. In the performance of its duties, the Commission must be given a considerable latitude in adopting means and methods that will insure the accomplishment of the great objective for which it was created - to promote free, orderly, and honest elections. The choice of means taken by the Commission on Elections, unless they are clearly illegal or constitute grave abuse of discretion, should not be interfered with. Marc Douglas Cagas VS Comelec ISSUE: Whether or not the COMELEC act without or in excess of its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion when it resolved to hold the plebiscite for the creation of the Province of Davao Occidental on simultaneous with the Barangay Elections. HELD:

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