Legislative Department case digest
Legislative Department case digest...
Santiago v comelec
required them to submit within five days their memoranda or oppositions/memoranda. Earlier, or specifically on 6 Dec 1996, it practically gave due course to the Delfin Petition by ordering Delfin to cause the publication of the petition, together with the attached Petition for Initiative, the signature form, and the notice of hearing; and by setting the case for hearing.
Political Law – Separation of Powers On 6 December 1996, Atty. Jesus S. Delfin filed with COMELEC a “Petition to Amend the Constitution to Lift Term Limits of elective Officials by People’s Initiative” The COMELEC then, upon its approval, a.) set the time and dates for signature gathering all over the country, b.) caused the necessary publication of the said petition in papers of general circulation, and c.) instructed local election registrars to assist petitioners and volunteers in establishing signing stations. On 18 Dec 1996, MD Santiago et al filed a special civil action for prohibition against the Delfin Petition. Also, Raul Roco filed with the COMELEC a motion to dismiss the Delfin petition, the petition having been untenable due to the foregoing. Santiago argues among others that the People’s Initiative is limited to amendments to the Constitution NOT a revision thereof. The extension or the lifting of the term limits of those in power (particularly the President) constitutes revision and is therefore beyond the power of people’s initiative. The respondents argued that the petition filed by Roco is pending under the COMELEC hence the Supreme Court cannot take cognizance of it. ISSUE: Whether or not the Supreme Court can take cognizance of the case. HELD: COMELEC acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in entertaining the Delfin petition.Since the Delfin Petition is not the initiatory petition under R.A. No. 6735 and COMELEC Resolution No. 2300, it cannot be entertained or given cognizance of by the COMELEC. The respondent Commission must have known that the petition does not fall under any of the actions or proceedings under the COMELEC Rules of Procedure or under Resolution No. 2300, for which reason it did not assign to the petition a docket number. Hence, the said petition was merely entered as UND, meaning, undocketed. That petition was nothing more than a mere scrap of paper, which should not have been dignified by the Order of 6 December 1996, the hearing on 12 December 1996, and the order directing Delfin and the oppositors to file their memoranda or oppositions. In so dignifying it, the COMELEC acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion and merely wasted its time, energy, and resources. Being so, the Supreme Court can then take cognizance of the petition for prohibition filed by Santiago notwithstanding Roco’s petition. COMELEC did not even act on Roco’s petition. In the final analysis, when the system of constitutional law is threatened by the political ambitions of man, only the Supreme Court can save a nation in peril and uphold the paramount majesty of the Constitution. It must be recalled that intervenor Roco filed with the COMELEC a motion to dismiss the Delfin Petition on the ground that the COMELEC has no jurisdiction or authority to entertain the petition. The COMELEC made no ruling thereon evidently because after having heard the arguments of Delfin and the oppositors at the hearingon 12 December 1996, it
Amendment to the Constitution On 6 Dec 1996, Atty. Jesus S. Delfin filed with COMELEC a “Petition to Amend the Constitution to Lift Term Limits of elective Officials by People’s Initiative” The COMELEC then, upon its approval, a.) set the time and dates for signature gathering all over the country, b.) caused the necessary publication of the said petition in papers ofgeneral circulation, and c.) instructed local election registrars to assist petitioners and volunteers in establishing signing stations. On 18 Dec 1996, MD Santiago et al filed a special civil action for prohibition against the Delfin Petition. Santiago argues that 1.) the constitutional provision on people’s initiative to amend the constitution can only be implemented by law to be passed by Congress and no such law has yet been passed by Congress,2.) RA 6735 indeed provides for three systems of initiative namely, initiative on the Constitution, on statues and on local legislation. The two latter forms of initiative were specifically provided for in Subtitles II and III thereof but no provisions were specifically made for initiatives on the Constitution. This omission indicates that the matter of people’s initiative to amend the Constitution was left to some future law – as pointed out by former Senator Arturo Tolentino. ISSUE: Whether or not RA 6735 was intended to include initiative on amendments to the constitution and if so whether the act, as worded, adequately covers such initiative. HELD: RA 6735 is intended to include the system of initiative on amendments to the constitution but is unfortunately inadequate to cover that system. Sec 2 of Article 17 of the Constitution provides: “Amendments to this constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least there per centum of the registered voters therein. . . The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right” This provision is obviously not self-executory as it needs an enabling law to be passed by Congress. Joaquin Bernas, a member of the 1986 Con-Con stated “without implementing legislation Section 2, Art 17 cannot operate. Thus, although this mode of amending the constitution is a mode of amendment which bypasses Congressional action in the last analysis is still dependent on Congressional action.” Bluntly stated, the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the system of inititative would remain entombed in the cold niche of the constitution until Congress provides for its implementation. The people cannot exercise such
right, though constitutionally guaranteed, if Congress for whatever reason does not provide for its implementation.
remove the term limits is to negate and nullify the noble vision of the 1987 Constitution.
***Note that this ruling has been “reversed” on November 20, 2006 when ten justices of the SC ruled that RA 6735 is adequate enough to enable such initiative. HOWEVER, this was a mere minute resolution which reads in part: Ten (10) Members of the Court reiterate their position, as shown by their various opinions already given when the Decision herein was promulgated, that Republic Act No. 6735 is sufficient and adequate to amend the Constitution thru a people’s initiative. As such, it is insisted that such minute resolution did not become stare decisis.
SUBIC BAY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY vs. COMELEC G.R. No. 125416 September 26, 1996FACTS: March 13, 1992, Congress enacted RA. 7227(The Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992), which created the Subic Economic Zone. RA 7227 likewise created SBMA to implement the declared national policy of converting the Subic military reservation into alternative productive uses. November 24, 1992, the American navy turned over the Subic military reservation to the Philippines government. Immediately, petitioner commenced the implementation of its task, particularly the preservation of the sea-ports, airport, buildings, houses and other installations left by the American navy. On April 1993, the Sangguniang Bayan of Morong, Bataan passed Pambayang Kapasyahan Bilang 10 , Serye 1993, expressing therein its absolute concurrence, as required by said Sec. 12 of RA 7227, to join the Subic Special Economic Zone and submitted such to the Office of the President. May 24, 1993, respondents Garcia filed a petition with the Sangguniang Bayan of Morong to annul Pambayang Kapasyahan Blg.10, Serye 1993. The petition prayed for the following: a) to nullify Pambayang Kapasyang Blg. 10 for Morong to join the Subic Special Economic Zone, b) to allow Morong to join provided conditions are met. Sangguniang Bayan ng Morong acted upon the petition by promulgating Pambayang Kapasyahan Blg. 18, Serye 1993, requesting Congress of the Philippines so amend certain provisions of RA 7227. satisfied, respondents resorted to their power initiative under theLGC of 1991. July 6, 1993, COMELEC denied the petition for local initiative on the ground that the subject thereof was merely a resolution and not an ordinance. February 1, 1995, the President issued Proclamation No. 532 defining the metes and bounds of the SSEZ including therein the portion of the former naval base within the territorial jurisdiction of the Municipality of Morong.
Political Law – Revision vs Amendment to the Constitution On 6 Dec 1996, Atty. Jesus S. Delfin filed with COMELEC a “Petition to Amend the Constitution to Lift Term Limits of elective Officials by People’s Initiative” The COMELEC then, upon its approval, a.) set the time and dates for signature gathering all over the country, b.) caused the necessary publication of the said petition in papers ofgeneral circulation, and c.) instructed local election registrars to assist petitioners and volunteers in establishing signing stations. On 18 Dec 1996, MD Santiago et al filed a special civil action for prohibition against the Delfin Petition. Santiago argues among others that the People’s Initiative is limited to amendments to the Constitution NOT a revision thereof. The extension or the lifting of the term limits of those in power (particularly the President) constitutes revision and is therefore beyond the power of people’s initiative. ISSUE: Whether the proposed Delfin petition constitutes amendment to the constitution or does it constitute arevision. HELD: The Delfin proposal does not involve a mere amendment to, but a revision of, the Constitution because, in the words of Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ., it would involve a change from a political philosophy that rejects unlimited tenure to one that accepts unlimited tenure; and although the change might appear to be an isolated one, it can affect other provisions, such as, on synchronization of elections and on the State policy of guaranteeing equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibiting political dynasties. A revisioncannot be done by initiative which, by express provision of Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution, is limited to amendments. The prohibition against reelection of the President and the limits provided for all other national and local elective officials are based on the philosophy of governance, “to open up the political arena to as many as there are Filipinos qualified to handle the demands of leadership, to break the concentration of political and economic powers in the hands of a few, and to promote effective proper empowerment for participation in policy and decision-making for the common good”; hence, to
June 18, 19956, respondent Comelec issued Resolution No. 2845and2848, adopting a "Calendar of Activities for local referendum And providing for "the rules and guidelines to govern the conduct of the referendum
July 10, 1996, SBMA instituted a petition for certiorari Contesting the validity of Resolution No. 2848 alleging that public respondent is intent on proceeding with a local initiative that proposes an amendment of a national law
prohibition cannot issue upon a mere conjecture or possibility. Constitutionally speaking, courts may decide only actual controversies, not hypothetical questions or cases. In the present case, it is quite clear that the Court has authority to review Comelec Resolution No. 2848 to determine the commission of grave abuse of discretion. However, it does not have the same authority in regard to the proposed initiative since it has not been promulgated or approved, or passed upon by any "branch or instrumentality" or lower court, for that matter. The Commission on Elections itself has made no reviewable pronouncements about the issues brought by the pleadings. The Comelec simply included verbatim the proposal in its questioned Resolution No. 2848. Hence, there is really no decision or action made by a branch, instrumentality or court which this Court could take cognizance of and acquire jurisdiction over, in the exercise of its review powers. GARCIA ET AL. VS COMELEC G.R. No. 111511 October 5, 1993 [Initiative and Referendum; Recall proceeding]
ISSUE: 1. WON Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion in promulgating Resolution No. 2848 which governs the conduct of the referendum proposing to annul or repeal Pambayang Kapasyahan Blg. 10 2. WON the questioned local initiative covers a subject within the powers of the people of Morong to enact; i .e., whether such initiative "seeks the amendment of a national law." HELD: 1.YES. COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion. FIRST. The process started by private respondents was an INITIATIVE but respondent Comelec made preparations for a REFERENDUM only. In fact, in the body of the Resolution as reproduced in the footnote below, the word "referendum" is repeated at least 27 times, but "initiative" is not mentioned at all. The Comelec labeled the exercise as a "Referendum"; the counting of votes was entrusted to a "Referendum Committee"; the documents were called "referendum returns"; the canvassers, "Referendum Board of Canvassers" and the ballots themselves bore the description "referendum". To repeat, not once was the word "initiative" used in said body of Resolution No. 2848. And yet, this exercise is unquestionably an INITIATIVE.As defined, Initiative is the power of the people to propose bills and laws, and to enact or reject them at the polls independent of the legislative assembly. On the other hand, referendum is the right reserved to the people to adopt or reject any act or measure which has been passed by a legislative body and which in most cases would without action on the part of electors become a law. In initiative and referendum, the Comelec exercises administration and supervision of the process itself, akin to its powers over the conduct of elections. These law-making powers belong to the people, hence the respondent Commission cannot control or change the substance or the content of legislation. 2. The local initiative is NOT ultra vires because the municipal resolution is still in the proposal stage and not yet an approved law. The municipal resolution is still in the proposal stage. It is not yet an approved law. Should the people reject it, then there would be nothing to contest and to adjudicate. It is only when the people have voted for it and it has become an approved ordinance or resolution that rights and obligations can be enforced or implemented thereunder. At this point, it is merely a proposal and the writ or
FACTS: Enrique T. Garcia was elected governor of Bataan in the 1992 elections. Some mayors, vice-mayors and members of the Sangguniang Bayan of the twelve (12) municipalities of the province constituted themselves into a Preparatory Recall Assembly to initiate the recall election of petitioner Garcia. They issued Resolution No. 1 as formal initiation of the recall proceedings. COMELEC scheduled the recall election for the gubernatorial position of Bataan. Petitioners then filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with writ of preliminary injunction to annul the Resolution of the COMELEC because the PRAC failed to comply with the "substantive and procedural requirement" laid down in Section 70 of R.A. 7160 (Local Government Code 1991). They pointed out the most fatal defect of the proceeding followed by the PRAC in passing the Resolution: the deliberate failure to send notices of the meeting to 65 members of the assembly. ISSUES: 1) Whether or not the people have the sole and exclusive right to initiate recall proceedings. 2) Whether or not the procedure for recall violated the right of elected local public officials belonging to the political minority to equal protection of the law. RULING:
1) No. The history of Section 70 reveals a conscious effort on the part of our lawmakers to institute an alternative mode of initiating recall apart from the old means of commencement of the process solely by the people. The lawmakers had observed that the mode was almost impossible to implement and had been poorly used, thus precipitating the enactment of Section 3 Article X, which sought to provide for “a more responsible and accountable system of decentralization with effective means of recall… There is nothing in the Constitution that will remotely suggest that the people have the "sole and exclusive right to decide on whether to initiate a recall proceeding." The Constitution did not provide for any mode, let alone a single mode, of initiating recall elections. The mandate given by section 3 of Article X of the Constitution is for Congress to "enact a local government code which shall provide for a more responsive and accountable local government structure through a system of decentralization witheffective mechanisms of recall, initiative, and referendum . . ." By this constitutional mandate, Congress was clearly given the power to choose the effective mechanisms of recall as its discernment dictates. What the Constitution simply required is that the mechanisms of recall, whether one or many, to be chosen by Congress should be effective. Using its constitutionally granted discretion, Congress deemed it wise to enact an alternative mode of initiating recall elections to supplement the former mode of initiation by direct action of the people. The legislative records reveal there were two (2) principal reasons why this alternative mode of initiating the recall process thru an assembly was adopted, viz: (a) to diminish the difficulty of initiating recall thru the direct action of the people; and (b) to cut down on its expenses.
for discriminating against local officials belonging to the minority. Moreover, the law instituted safeguards to assure that the initiation of the recall process by a preparatory recall assembly will not be corrupted by extraneous influences. We held that notice to all the members of the recall assembly is a condition sine qua non to the validity of its proceedings. The law also requires a qualified majority of all the preparatory recall assembly members to convene in session and in a public place. Needless to state, compliance with these requirements is necessary, otherwise, there will be no valid resolution of recall which can be given due course by the COMELEC. Evardone v. Comelec, 204 SCRA 464, 472, December 2, 1991 Petitioner: Felipe Evardone Respondents: Comelec, Alexander Apelado, Victorino Aclana and Noel NivalPonente: Padilla Facts: Felipe Evardone the mayor of Sulat, Eastern Samar, having been elected to the position during the 1988 local elections. He assumed office immediately after proclamation. In 1990, Alexander R. Apelado, Victozino E. Aclan and Noel A. Nival filed a petition for the recall of Evardone with the Office of the Local Election Registrar, Municipality of Sulat. The Comelec issued a Resolution approving the recommendation of Election Registrar Vedasto Sumbilla to hold the signing of petition for recall against Evardone.Evardone filed a petition for prohibition with urgent prayer of restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. Later, in an en banc resolution, the Comelec nullified the signing process for being violative of the TRO of the court. Hence, this present petition. Issue 1: WON Resolution No. 2272 promulgated by the COMELEC by virtue of its powers under the Constitution and BP 337 (Local Government Code) was valid. Held: Yes Ratio: Evardone maintains that Article X, Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution repealed Batas Pambansa Blg. 337 in favor of one to be enacted by Congress. Since there was, during the period material to this case, no local government code enacted by Congress after the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution nor any law for that matter on the subject of recall of elected government officials, Evardone contends that there is no basis for COMELEC Resolution No. 2272 and that the recall proceedings in the case at bar is premature. The COMELEC avers that the constitutional provision does not refer only to a local government code which is in futurum butalso in esse . It merely sets forth the guidelines which Congress will consider in amending the provisions of the present LGC. Pending the enactment of the amendatory law, the existing Local Government Code remains operative. Article XVIII, Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution express provides that all existing laws not inconsistent with the 1987Constitution shall remain operative, until amended, repealed or revoked. Republic Act No. 7160 providing for the Local Government Code of 1991, approved by the President on 10 October 1991, specifically repeals B.P. Blg. 337 as provided in Sec. 534, Title Four of said Act .But the Local Government Code of 1991 will take effect only on 1 January 1992 and therefore the old Local Government Code (B.P. Blg.337) is still the law
2) No. Under the Sec. 70 of the LGC, all mayors, vice-mayors and sangguniang members of the municipalities and component cities are made members of the preparatory recall assembly at the provincial level. Its membership is not apportioned to political parties. No significance is given to the political affiliation of its members. Secondly, the preparatory recall assembly, at the provincial level includes all the elected officials in the province concerned. Considering their number, the greater probability is that no one political party can control its majority. Thirdly, sec. 69 of the Code provides that the only ground to recall a locally elected public official is loss of confidence of the people. The members of the PRAC are in the PRAC not in representation of their political parties but as representatives of the people. By necessary implication, loss of confidence cannot be premised on mere differences in political party affiliation. Indeed, our Constitution encourages multi-party system for the existence of opposition parties is indispensable to the growth and nurture of democratic system. Clearly then, the law as crafted cannot be faulted
applicable to the present case. Prior to the enactment of the new Local Government Code, the effectiveness of B.P. Blg. 337 was expressly recognized in the proceedings of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. We therefore rule that Resolution No. 2272promulgated by the COMELEC is valid and constitutional. Consequently, the COMELEC had the authority to approve the petition for recall and set the date for the signing of said petition. Issue 2: WON the TRO issued by this Court rendered nugatory the signing process of the petition for recall held pursuant to Resolution No. 2272. Held: No Ratio: In the present case, the records show that Evardone knew of the Notice of Recall filed by Apelado, on or about 21 February 1990 as evidenced by the Registry Return Receipt; yet, he was not vigilant in following up and determining the outcome of such notice. Evardone alleges that it was only on or about 3 July 1990 that he came to know about the Resolution of the COMELEC setting the signing of the petition for recall on 14 July 1990. But despite his urgent prayer for the issuance of a TRO, Evardone filed the petition for prohibition onlyon 10 July 1990. Indeed, this Court issued a TRO on 12 July 1990 but the signing of the petition for recall took place just the same on the scheduled date through no fault of the COMELEC and Apelado. The signing process was undertaken by the constituents of the Municipality of Sulat and its Election Registrar in good faith and without knowledge of the TRO earlier issued by this Court. As attested by Election Registrar Sumbilla, about 2,050 of the 6,090 registered voters of Sulat, Eastern Samar or about 34% signed the petition for recall. As held in Parades vs. Executive Secretary there is no turning back the clock. The right to recall is complementary to the right to elect or appoint. It is included in the right of suffrage. It is based on the theory that the electorate must maintain a direct and elastic control over public functionaries. It is also predicated upon the idea that a public office is "burdened" with public interests and that the representatives of the people holding public offices are simply agents or servants of the people with definite powers and specific duties to perform and to follow if they wish to remain in their respective offices. Whether or not the electorate of Sulat has lost confidence in the incumbent mayor is a political question. It belongs to the realm of politics where only the people are the judge. "Loss of confidence is the formal withdrawal by an electorate of their trust in a person's ability to discharge his office previously bestowed on him by the same electorate. The constituents have made a judgment and their will to recall Evardone has already been ascertained and must be afforded the highest respect. Thus, the signing process held last 14 July1990 for the recall of Mayor Felipe P. Evardone of said municipality is valid and has legal effect. However, recall at this time is no longer possible because of the limitation provided in Sec. 55 (2) of B.P. Blg, 337. The Constitution has mandated a synchronized national and local election prior to 30 June 1992, or more specifically, as provided for in Article XVIII, Sec. 5 on the second Monday of May, 1992. Thus, to hold an election on recall approximately seven (7) months before the regular local election will be violative of the above provisions of the applicable Local Government Code VETERANS FEDERATION PARTY VS. COMELEC, digested Posted by Pius Morados on November 9, 2011 342 SCRA 247, October 6, 2000 (Constitutional Law – Party List Representatives, 20% Allocation)
FACTS: Petitioner assailed public respondent COMELEC resolutions ordering the proclamation of 38 additional party-list representatives to complete the 52 seats in the House of Representatives as provided by Sec 5, Art VI of the 1987 Constitution and RA 7941. On the other hand, Public Respondent, together with the respondent parties, avers that the filling up of the twenty percent membership of party-list representatives in the House of Representatives, as provided under the Constitution, was mandatory, wherein the twenty (20%) percent congressional seats for party-list representatives is filled up at all times. ISSUE: Whether or not the twenty percent allocation for party-list lawmakers is mandatory. HELD: No, it is merely a ceiling for the party-list seats in Congress. The same declared therein a policy to promote “proportional representation” in the election of party-list representatives in order to enable Filipinos belonging to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors to contribute legislation that would benefit them. It however deemed it necessary to require parties, organizations and coalitions participating in the system to obtain at least two percent of the total votes cast for the party-list system in order to be entitled to a party-list seat. Those garnering more than this percentage could have “additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes.” Furthermore, no winning party, organization or coalition can have more than three seats in the House of Representatives (sec 11(b) RA 7941). Note: Clearly, the Constitution makes the number of district representatives the determinant in arriving at the number of seats allocated for party-list lawmakers, who shall comprise ―twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party-list.‖ We thus translate this legal provision into a mathematical formula, as follows: No. of district representatives ———————————- x .20 = No. of party-list .80 representatives This formulation means that any increase in the number of district representatives, as may be provided by law, will necessarily result in a corresponding increase in the number of party-list seats. To illustrate, considering that there were 208 district representatives to be elected during the 1998 national elections, the number of party-list seats would be 52, computed as follows: 208 ——– x .20 = 52 .80
The foregoing computation of seat allocation is easy enough to comprehend. The problematic question, however, is this: Does the Constitution require all such allocated seats to be filled up all the time and under all circumstances? Our short answer is ―No.‖ G.R. No. 147589 June 26, 2001 ANG BAGONG BAYANI vs. Comelec x---------------------------------------------------------x G.R. No. 147613 June 26, 2001 BAYAN MUNA vs. Comelec
Representatives may "be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations” . It is however, incumbent upon the Comelec to determine proportional representation of the “marginalized and underrepresented”, the criteria for participation, in relation to the cause of the party list applicants so as to avoid desecration of the noble purpose of the party-list system. 3. The Court acknowledged that to determine the propriety of the inclusion of respondents in the Omnibus Resolution No. 3785, a study of the factual allegations was necessary which was beyond the pale of the Court. The Court not being a trier of facts.
Facts Petitioners challenged the Comelec’s Omnibus Resolution No. 3785, which approved the participation of 154 organizations and parties, including those herein impleaded, in the 2001 party-list elections. Petitioners sought the disqualification of private respondents, arguing mainly that the party-list system was intended to benefit the marginalized and underrepresented; not the mainstream political parties, the non-marginalized or overrepresented. Unsatisfied with the pace by which Comelec acted on their petition, petitioners elevated the issue to the Supreme Court.
1. 2. 3.
However, seeing that the Comelec failed to appreciate fully the clear policy of the law and the Constitution, the Court decided to set some guidelines culled from the law and the Constitution, to assist the Comelec in its work. The Court ordered that the petition be remanded in the Comelec to determine compliance by the party lists. Summary of Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186, 82 S. Ct. 691, 7 L. Ed. 2d 663 (1962). Facts Charles Baker (P) was a resident of Shelby County, Tennessee. Baker filed suit against Joe Carr, the Secretary of State of Tennessee. Baker’s complaint alleged that the Tennessee legislature had not redrawn its legislative districts since 1901, in violation of the Tennessee State Constitution which required redistricting according to the federal census every 10 years. Baker, who lived in an urban part of the state, asserted that the demographics of the state had changed shifting a greater proportion of the population to the cities, thereby diluting his vote in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Baker sought an injunction prohibiting further elections, and sought the remedy of reapportionment or at-large elections. The district court denied relief on the grounds that the issue of redistricting posed a political question and would therefore not be heard by the court. Issues 1. Do federal courts have jurisdiction to hear a constitutional challenge to a legislative apportionment? 2. What is the test for resolving whether a case presents a political question? Holding and Rule 1. Yes. Federal courts have jurisdiction to hear a constitutional challenge to a legislative apportionment. 2. The factors to be considered by the court in determining whether a case presents a political question are:
Issue: Whether or not petitioner’s recourse to the Court was proper. Whether or not political parties may participate in the party list elections. Whether or not the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion in promulgating Omnibus Resolution No. 3785.
Ruling: 1. The Court may take cognizance of an issue notwithstanding the availability of other remedies "where the issue raised is one purely of law, where public interest is involved, and in case of urgency." The facts attendant to the case rendered it justiciable. 2. Political parties – even the major ones -- may participate in the party-list elections subject to the requirements laid down in the Constitution and RA 7941, which is the statutory law pertinent to the Party List System. Under the Constitution and RA 7941, private respondents cannot be disqualified from the party-list elections, merely on the ground that they are political parties. Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution provides that members of the House of
Is there a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department (i.e. foreign affairs or executive war powers)? 2. Is there a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving the issue? 3. The impossibility of deciding the issue without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for nonjudicial discretion. 4. The impossibility of a court’s undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government. 5. Is there an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made? 6. Would attempting to resolve the matter create the possibility of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on one question? The political question doctrine is based in the separation of powers and whether a case is justiciable is determined on a case by cases basis. In regards to foreign relations, if there has been no conclusive governmental action regarding an issue then a court can construe a treaty and decide a case. Regarding the dates of the duration of hostilities, when there needs to be definable clarification for a decision, the court may be able to decide the case. The court held that this case was justiciable and did not present a political question. The case did not present an issue to be decided by another branch of the government. The court noted that judicial standards under the Equal Protection Clause were well developed and familiar, and it had been open to courts since the enactment of the Fourteenth Amendment to determine if an act is arbitrary and capricious and reflects no policy. When a question is enmeshed with any of the other two branches of the government, it presents a political question and the Court will not answer it without further clarification from the other branches. MARIANO, JR. VS. COMELEC, digested Posted by Pius Morados on November 10, 2011 G.R. No. 118627; 242 SCRA 213, March 7, 1995 (Constitutional Law – Requirements in challenging the constitutionality of the law) FACTS: Petitioners suing as tax payers, assail a provision (Sec 51) of RA No. 7859 (An Act Converting the Municipality of Makati Into a Highly Urbanized City to be known as the City of Makati) on the ground that the same attempts to alter or restart the “3-consecutive term” limit for local elective officials disregarding the terms previously served by them, which collides with the Constitution (Sec 8, Art X & Sec 7, Art VI). ISSUE: Whether or not challenge to the constitutionality of questioned law is with merit.
HELD: No. The requirements before a litigant can challenge the constitutionality of a law are well-delineated. They are: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy; (2) the question of constitutionality must be raised by the proper party; (3) the constitutional question must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and (4) the decision on the constitutional question must be necessary to the determination of the case itself. The court cannot entertain this challenge to the constitutionality of section 51. The requirements before a litigant can challenge the constitutionality of a law are well delineated. They are: 1) there must be an actual case or controversy; (2) the question of constitutionality must be raised by the proper party; (3) the constitutional question must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and (4) the decision on the constitutional question must be necessary to the determination of the case itself. Petitioners have far from complied with these requirements. The petition is premised on the occurrence of many contingent events, i.e., that Mayor Binay will run again in this coming mayoralty elections; that he would be re-elected in said elections; and that he would seek re-election for the same position in the 1998 elections. Considering that these contingencies may or may not happen, petitioners merely pose a hypothetical issue which has yet to ripen to an actual case or controversy. Petitioners who are residents of Taguig (except Mariano) are not also the proper parties to raise this abstract issue. Worse, they hoist this futuristic issue in a petition for declaratory relief over which this Court has no jurisdiction. Montejo vs. COMELEC 242 SCRA 415 March 16, 1995 Facts: Petitioner Cerilo Roy Montejo, representative of the first district of Leyte, pleads for the annulment of Section 1 of Resolution no. 2736, redistricting certain municipalities in Leyte, on the ground that it violates the principle of equality of representation. The province of Leyte with the cities of Tacloban and Ormoc is composed of 5 districts. The 3rd district is composed of: Almeria, Biliran, Cabucgayan, Caibiran, Calubian, Culaba, Kawayan, Leyte, Maripipi, Naval, San Isidro, Tabango and Villaba. Biliran, located in the 3rd district of Leyte, was made its subprovince by virtue of Republic Act No. 2141 Section 1 enacted on 1959. Said section spelled out the municipalities comprising the subprovince: Almeria, Biliran, Cabucgayan,
Section 3 : Any province that may hereafter be created…The number of Members apportioned to the province out of which such new province was created or where the city, whose population has so increases, is geographically located shall be correspondingly adjusted by the Commission on Elections but such adjustment shall not be made within one hundred and twenty days before the election.
Caibiran, Culaba, Kawayan, Maripipi and Naval and all the territories comprised therein. On 1992, the Local Government Code took effect and the subprovince of Biliran became a regular province. (The conversion of Biliran into a regular province was approved by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite.) As a consequence of the conversion, eight municipalities of the 3rd district composed the new province of Biliran. A further consequence was to reduce the 3rd district to five municipalities (underlined above) with a total population of 146,067 as per the 1990 census.
Minor adjustments does not involve change in the allocations per district. Examples include error in the correct name of a particular municipality or when a municipality in between which is still in the territory of one assigned district is forgotten. And consistent with the limits of its power to make minor adjustments, section 3 of the Ordinance did not also give the respondent COMELEC any authority to transfer municipalities from one legislative district to another district. The power granted by section 3 to the respondent is to adjust the number of members (not municipalities.) Romualdez-Marcos vs. COMELEC CITATION: 248 SCRA 300
To remedy the resulting inequality in the distribution of inhabitants, voters and municipalities in the province of Leyte, respondent COMELEC held consultation meetings with the incumbent representatives of the province and other interested parties and on December 29, 1994, it promulgated the assailed resolution where, among others, it transferred the municipality of Capoocan of the 2nd district and the municipality of Palompon of the 4th district to the 3rd district of Leyte.
FACTS: Issue: Imelda, a little over 8 years old, in or about 1938, established her domicile in Tacloban, Leyte where she studied and graduated high school in the Holy Infant Academy from 1938 to 1949. She then pursued her college degree, education, in St. Paul’s College now Divine Word University also in Tacloban. Subsequently, she taught in Leyte Chinese School still in Tacloban. She went to manila during 1952 to work with her cousin, the late speaker Daniel Romualdez in his office in the House of Representatives. In 1954, she married late President Ferdinand Marcos when he was still a Congressman of Ilocos Norte and was registered there as a voter. When Pres. Marcos was elected as Senator in 1959, they lived together in San Juan, Rizal where she registered as a voter. In 1965, when Marcos won presidency, they lived in Malacanang Palace and registered as a voter in San Miguel Manila. She served as member of the Batasang Pambansa and Governor of Metro Manila during 1978.
Whether the unprecedented exercise by the COMELEC of the legislative power of redistricting and reapportionment is valid or not. Held: Section 1 of Resolution no. 2736 is annulled and set aside. The deliberations of the members of the Constitutional Commission shows that COMELEC was denied the major power of legislative apportionment as it itself exercised the power. Regarding the first elections after the enactment of the 1987 constitution, it is the Commission who did the reapportionment of the legislative districts and for the subsequent elections, the power was given to the Congress. Also, respondent COMELEC relied on the ordinance appended to the 1987 constitution as the source of its power of redistricting which is traditionally regarded as part of the power to make laws. Said ordinance states that:
Imelda Romualdez-Marcos was running for the position of Representative of the First District of Leyte for the 1995 Elections. Cirilo Roy Montejo, the incumbent Representative of the First District of Leyte and also a candidate for the same position, filed a “Petition for Cancellation and Disqualification" with the Commission on Elections alleging that petitioner did not meet the constitutional requirement for residency. The petitioner, in an honest misrepresentation, wrote seven months under residency, which she sought to
Section 2: The Commission on Elections is hereby empowered to make minor adjustments to the reapportionment herein made.”
rectify by adding the words "since childhood" in her Amended/Corrected Certificate of Candidacy filed on March 29, 1995 and that "she has always maintained Tacloban City as her domicile or residence. She arrived at the seven months residency due to the fact that she became a resident of the Municipality of Tolosa in said months.
COMELEC is hereby directed to order the Provincial Board of Canvassers to proclaim petitioner as the duly elected Representative of the First District of Leyte. issue: whether or not petitioner lost her domicile of origin by operation of law as a result of her marriage to the late president Marcos. held: For election purposes, residence is used synonymously with domicile. the court upheld the qualification of petitioner, despite her own declaration in her certificate of candidacy that she had resided in the district for only 4 months, because of the followiing (a) a minor follows the domicile of her parents: tacloban became petitioner1s domicile of origin by operation of law when her father brought the family toLeyte; (b) domicile of origin is lost only 'hen there is actual removal or change of domicile, a bona fide intention of abandoning the former residence and establishing a new one, and acts which correspond with the purpose; in the absence of clear and positive proof of the concurrence of all these, the domicile of origin should be deemed to continue; (c) the wife does not automatically gain the husbands domicile because the term “residence” in civil Law does not mean the same thing in political Law; when petitioner married president Marcos in 1954, she kept her domicile of origin and merely gained a new home, not adomicilium necessarium; (d) even assuming that she gained a new domicile after her marriage and acquired the right to choose a new one only after her husband died, her acts following her return to the country clearly indicate that she chose tacloban, her domicile of origin, as her domicile of choice.
ISSUE: Whether petitioner has satisfied the 1year residency requirement to be eligible in running as representative of the First District of Leyte. HELD: Residence is used synonymously with domicile for election purposes. The court are in favor of a conclusion supporting petitoner’s claim of legal residence or domicile in the First District of Leyte despite her own declaration of 7 months residency in the district for the following reasons: 1. A minor follows domicile of her parents. Tacloban became Imelda’s domicile of origin by operation of law when her father brought them to Leyte; 2. Domicile of origin is only lost when there is actual removal or change of domicile, a bona fide intention of abandoning the former residence and establishing a new one, and acts which correspond with the purpose. In the absence and concurrence of all these, domicile of origin should be deemed to continue. 3. A wife does not automatically gain the husband’s domicile because the term “residence” in Civil Law does not mean the same thing in Political Law. When Imelda married late President Marcos in 1954, she kept her domicile of origin and merely gained a new home and not domicilium necessarium.
Aquino v. comelec 62 SCRA 275 – Political Law – De Jure vs De Facto Government – Marcos as a De Jure President Under the 1973 Constitution In January 1975, a petition for prohibition was filed to seek the nullification of some Presidential Decrees issued by then President Ferdinand Marcos. It was alleged that Marcos does not hold any legal office nor possess any lawful authority under either the 1935 Constitution or the 1973 Constitution and therefore has no authority to issue the questioned proclamations, decrees and orders. ISSUE: Whether or not the Marcos government is a lawful government. HELD: Yes. First of, this is actually a quo warranto proceedings and Benigno Aquino, Jr. et al, have no legal personality to sue because they have no claim to the office of the president. Only the Solicitor General or the person who asserts title to the same office can legally file such a quo warranto petition. On the issue at bar, the Supreme Court affirmed the validity of Martial Law Proclamation No. 1081 issued on September 22, 1972 by President Marcos because there was no arbitrariness in the issuance of said proclamation pursuant
4. Assuming that Imelda gained a new domicile after her marriage and acquired right to choose a new one only after the death of Pres. Marcos, her actions upon returning to the country clearly indicated that she chose Tacloban, her domicile of origin, as her domicile of choice. To add, petitioner even obtained her residence certificate in 1992 in Tacloban, Leyte while living in her brother’s house, an act, which supports the domiciliary intention clearly manifested. She even kept close ties by establishing residences in Tacloban, celebrating her birthdays and other important milestones. WHEREFORE, having determined that petitioner possesses the necessary residence qualifications to run for a seat in the House of Representatives in the First District of Leyte, the COMELEC's questioned Resolutions dated April 24, May 7, May 11, and May 25, 1995 are hereby SET ASIDE. Respondent
to the 1935 Constitution; that the factual bases (the circumstances of lawlessness then present) had not disappeared but had even been exacerbated; that the question as to the validity of the Martial Law proclamation has been foreclosed by Section 3(2) of Article XVII of the 1973 Constitution. Under the (1973) Constitution, the President, if he so desires; can continue in office beyond 1973. While his term of office under the 1935 Constitution should have terminated on December 30, 1973, by the general referendum of July 27-28, 1973, the sovereign people expressly authorized him to continue in office even beyond 1973 under the 1973 Constitution (which was validly ratified on January 17, 1973 by the sovereign people) in order to finish the reforms he initiated under Martial Law; and as aforestated, as this was the decision of the people, in whom “sovereignty resides . . . and all government authority emanates . . .,” it is therefore beyond the scope of judicial inquiry. The logical consequence therefore is that President Marcos is ade jure President of the Republic of the Philippines. BENGSON vs. HRET and CRUZ G.R. No. 142840 May 7, 2001 FACTS: The citizenship of respondent Cruz is at issue in this case, in view of the constitutional requirement that “no person shall be a Member of the House of Representatives unless he is a natural-born citizen.” Cruz was a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. He was born in Tarlac in 1960 of Filipino parents. In 1985, however, Cruz enlisted in the US Marine Corps and without the consent of the Republic of the Philippines, took an oath of allegiance to the USA. As a Consequence, he lost his Filipino citizenship for under CA No. 63 [(An Act Providing for the Ways in Which Philippine Citizenship May Be Lost or Reacquired (1936)] section 1(4), a Filipino citizen may lose his citizenship by, among other, “rendering service to or accepting commission in the armed forces of a foreign country.” Whatever doubt that remained regarding his loss of Philippine citizenship was erased by his naturalization as a U.S. citizen in 1990, in connection with his service in the U.S. Marine Corps. In 1994, Cruz reacquired his Philippine citizenship through repatriation under RA 2630 [(An Act Providing for Reacquisition of Philippine Citizenship by Persons Who Lost Such Citizenship by Rendering Service To, or Accepting Commission In, the Armed Forces of the United States (1960)]. He ran for and was elected as the Representative of the 2nd District of Pangasinan in the 1998 elections. He won over petitioner Bengson who was then running for reelection. Subsequently, petitioner filed a case for Quo Warranto Ad Cautelam with respondent HRET claiming that Cruz was not qualified to become a member of the HOR since he is not a natural-born citizen as required under Article VI, section 6 of the Constitution.
HRET rendered its decision dismissing the petition for quo warranto and declaring Cruz the duly elected Representative in the said election. ISSUE: WON Cruz, a natural-born Filipino who became an American citizen, can still be considered a natural-born Filipino upon his reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. HELD: petition dismissed YES Filipino citizens who have lost their citizenship may however reacquire the same in the manner provided by law. C.A. No. 63 enumerates the 3 modes by which Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by a former citizen: 1. by naturalization, 2. by repatriation, and 3. by direct act of Congress. ** Repatriation may be had under various statutes by those who lost their citizenship due to: 1. desertion of the armed forces; 2. services in the armed forces of the allied forces in World War II; 3. service in the Armed Forces of the United States at any other time, 4. marriage of a Filipino woman to an alien; and 5. political economic necessity Repatriation results in the recovery of the original nationality This means that a naturalized Filipino who lost his citizenship will be restored to his prior status as a naturalized Filipino citizen. On the other hand, if he was originally a natural-born citizen before he lost his Philippine citizenship, he will be restored to his former status as a natural-born Filipino. R.A. No. 2630 provides: Sec 1. Any person who had lost his Philippine citizenship by rendering service to, or accepting commission in, the Armed Forces of the United States, or after separation from the Armed Forces of the United States, acquired United States citizenship, may reacquire Philippine citizenship by taking an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and registering the same with Local Civil Registry in the place where he resides or last resided in the Philippines. The said oath of allegiance shall contain a renunciation of any other citizenship. Having thus taken the required oath of allegiance to the Republic and having registered the same in the Civil Registry of Magantarem, Pangasinan in accordance with the aforecited provision, Cruz is deemed to have recovered his original status as a natural-born citizen, a status which he acquired at birth as the son of a Filipino father. It bears stressing that the act of repatriation allows him to recover, or return to, his original status before he lost his Philippine citizenship.