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Political Law

MUST READ CASES (POLITICAL LAW AND PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW) POLITICAL LAW HOLY SEE v. ROSARIO, G.R. No. 101949,December 1, 1994 The Lateran Treaty established the statehood of the Vatican City "for the purpose of assuring to the Holy See absolute and visible independence and of guaranteeing to it indisputable sovereignty also in the field of international relations." In view of the wordings of the Lateran Treaty, it is difficult to determine whether the statehood is vested in the Holy See or in the Vatican City. Some writers even suggested that the treaty created two international persons —  persons —  the  the Holy See and Vatican City. The Vatican City fits into none of the established categories of states, and the attribution to it of "sovereignty" must be made in a sense different from that in which it is applied to other states. In a community of national states, the Vatican City represents an entity organized not for political  but for ecclesiastical purposes and international objects. Despite its size and object, the Vatican City has an independent government of its own, with the Pope, who is also head of the Roman Catholic Church, as the Holy See or Head of State, in conformity with its traditions, and the demands of its mission in the world. Indeed, the world-wide interests and activities of the Vatican City are such as to make it in a sense an "international state".

HEIRS OF DIOSDADO M. MENDOZA vs. DPWH, G.R. No. 203834, July 9, 2014 We reiterate that the DPWH is an unincorporated government agency without any separate  juridical personality of its own and it enjoys immunity from suit. The then Ministry of Public Works and Highways, now DPWH, was created under Executive Order No. 710, series of 1981 (EO 710). EO 710 abolished the old Ministry of PublicWorks and the Ministry of Public Highways and transferred their functions to the newly-created Ministry of Public Works of Highways.

MOST REV. PEDRO D. ARIGO, Vicar Apostolic of Puerto Princesa D.D. et. al. vs. th  SCOTT H. SWIFT in his capacity as Commander of the  et.al.  et.al. th e U.S. 7  F leet  leet  G.R. No. 206510, September 16, 2014 If the acts giving rise to a suit are those of a foreign government done by its foreign agent, although not necessarily a diplomatic personage, but acting in his official capacity, the complaint could be barred by the immunity of the foreign sovereign from suit without its consent. However, a public official may be liable in his personal private capacity for whatever damage he may have caused by his act done with malice and in bad faith, or beyond the scope of his authority or jurisdiction. In this case, the US respondents were sued in their official capacity as commanding officers of the US Navy who had control and supervision over the USS Guardian and its crew. The alleged act or omission resulting in the unfortunate grounding of the USS Guardian on Guardian on the TRNP was

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committed while they were performing official military duties. Considering that the satisfaction of a judgment against said officials will require remedial actions and appropriation of funds by the US government, the suit is deemed to be one against the US itself. The principle of State immunity therefore bars the exercise of jurisdiction by this Court over the persons of respondents Swift, Rice and Robling.

SANTIAGO v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 127325, March 19,1997 Republic Act No. 6735 provided for the system of initiative and referendum for local legislation and national statutes, without providing for initiative for the amendment of the Constitution. A  petition was filed to amend the constitution regarding term limits. However, the SC held that the constitutional provision on people's initiatives under the 1987 Constitution (Article XVII § 2) required implementing legislation to be executory. R.A. 6735 lacked the implementing rules for  people's initiatives and such lack could not be b e cured by Comelec Comele c providing rules. Congress also could not delegate its legislative authority to Comelec, so Comelec could not validly promulgate rules on the matter as it was not empowered to do so under law.

LAMBINO v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 174153, October 25, 2006 Lambino made a petition to amend the 1987 Constitution via people’s initiative. However, his  petition did not include the full text of the proposed amendments. The SC ruled that the initiative did not meet the requirements of the Constitution. An amendment is “directly proposed by the  people through initiative upon a petition” p etition” only if the people sign a petition that contains the full text of the proposed amendments. To do otherwise would be deceptive and misleading and would render the initiative void, since there should be both direct proposal and authorship by the  person affixing their signature to the petition.

TANADA v. ANGARA, G.R. No. 118295, May 2, 1997 By its very title, Article II of the Constitution is a declaration of principles and state policies. The counterpart of this article in the 1935 Constitution is called the basic political creed of the nation by Dean Vicente Sinco. These principles in Article II are not intended to be self-executing  principles ready for enforcement through the courts. They are used by the judiciary as aids or as guides in the exercise of its power of judicial review, and by the legislature in its enactment of laws. As held in the leading case of Kilosbayan, of Kilosbayan, Incorporated vs. Morato, the principles and state policies enumerated in Article II and some sections of Article XII are not self-executing  provisions, the disregard of which can give rise to a cause of action in the courts. They do not embody judicially enforceable constitutional rights but guidelines for legislation.

MANILA PRINCE HOTEL v. GSIS, G.R. No. 122156, February 3, 1997 A provision which lays down a general principle, such as those found in Art. II of the 1987 Constitution, is usually not self-executing. But a provision which is complete in itself and  becomes operative without the aid of supplementary or enabling legislation, or that which supplies sufficient rule by means of which the right it grants may be enjoyed or protected, is selfexecuting. Thus a constitutional provision is self-executing if the nature and extent of the right

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committed while they were performing official military duties. Considering that the satisfaction of a judgment against said officials will require remedial actions and appropriation of funds by the US government, the suit is deemed to be one against the US itself. The principle of State immunity therefore bars the exercise of jurisdiction by this Court over the persons of respondents Swift, Rice and Robling.

SANTIAGO v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 127325, March 19,1997 Republic Act No. 6735 provided for the system of initiative and referendum for local legislation and national statutes, without providing for initiative for the amendment of the Constitution. A  petition was filed to amend the constitution regarding term limits. However, the SC held that the constitutional provision on people's initiatives under the 1987 Constitution (Article XVII § 2) required implementing legislation to be executory. R.A. 6735 lacked the implementing rules for  people's initiatives and such lack could not be b e cured by Comelec Comele c providing rules. Congress also could not delegate its legislative authority to Comelec, so Comelec could not validly promulgate rules on the matter as it was not empowered to do so under law.

LAMBINO v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 174153, October 25, 2006 Lambino made a petition to amend the 1987 Constitution via people’s initiative. However, his  petition did not include the full text of the proposed amendments. The SC ruled that the initiative did not meet the requirements of the Constitution. An amendment is “directly proposed by the  people through initiative upon a petition” p etition” only if the people sign a petition that contains the full text of the proposed amendments. To do otherwise would be deceptive and misleading and would render the initiative void, since there should be both direct proposal and authorship by the  person affixing their signature to the petition.

TANADA v. ANGARA, G.R. No. 118295, May 2, 1997 By its very title, Article II of the Constitution is a declaration of principles and state policies. The counterpart of this article in the 1935 Constitution is called the basic political creed of the nation by Dean Vicente Sinco. These principles in Article II are not intended to be self-executing  principles ready for enforcement through the courts. They are used by the judiciary as aids or as guides in the exercise of its power of judicial review, and by the legislature in its enactment of laws. As held in the leading case of Kilosbayan, of Kilosbayan, Incorporated vs. Morato, the principles and state policies enumerated in Article II and some sections of Article XII are not self-executing  provisions, the disregard of which can give rise to a cause of action in the courts. They do not embody judicially enforceable constitutional rights but guidelines for legislation.

MANILA PRINCE HOTEL v. GSIS, G.R. No. 122156, February 3, 1997 A provision which lays down a general principle, such as those found in Art. II of the 1987 Constitution, is usually not self-executing. But a provision which is complete in itself and  becomes operative without the aid of supplementary or enabling legislation, or that which supplies sufficient rule by means of which the right it grants may be enjoyed or protected, is selfexecuting. Thus a constitutional provision is self-executing if the nature and extent of the right

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conferred and the liability imposed are fixed by the constitution itself, so that they can be determined by an examination and construction of its terms, and there is no language indicating that the subject is referred to the legislature for action .

OPOSA v. FACTORAN, G.R. No. 101083, February 30, 1993 Oposa, et al. filed a petition to prevent further logging licenses from being issued. The Supreme Court, recognizing the intergenerational equity of the petitioners as the basis of their standing, held that the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is explicitly provided in Art. II § 16 of the Constitution. While it is found under the Declaration of Principles and State Policies, not Bill of Rights, but it is not any less important than any civil and political rights enumerated in the latter. It concerns nothing less than self- preservation and self-perpetuation and is assumed to exist from the inception of mankind. Thus, those provisions are self-executing.

ESTRADA v. ESCRITOR, A.M. No. P-02-1651. August 4, 2003 Considering the American origin of the Philippine religion clauses and the intent to adopt the historical background, nature, extent and limitations of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution when it was included in the 1935 Bill of Rights, it is not surprising that nearly all the major Philippine cases involving the religion clauses turn to U.S. jurisprudence in explaining the nature, extent ex tent and limitations of o f these clauses. However, a close scrutiny of these cases would also reveal that while U.S. jurisprudence on religion clauses flows into two main streams of interpretation - separation and benevolent neutrality - the well-spring of Philippine

 jurisprudence on this subject is for the most part, benevolent neutrality which gives room for accommodation. IMBONG v. OCHOA, G.R. No. 204819, April 8, 2014 In case of conflict between the religious beliefs and moral convictions of individuals, on one hand, and the interest of the State, on the other, to provide access and information on reproductive health products, services, procedures and methods to enable the people to determine the timing, number and spacing of the birth of their children, the Court is of the strong view that the religious freedom of health providers, whether public or private, should be accorded primacy. Accordingly, a conscientious objector should be exempt from compliance with the mandates of the RH Law. If he would be compelled to act contrary to his religious belief and conviction, it would be violative of "the principle of non-coercion" enshrined in the constitutional right to free exercise of religion.

DATU ANDAL AMPATUAN JR. v. SEC. LEILA DE LIMA, as Secretary of the Department of Justice, CSP CLARO ARELLANO, as Chief State Prosecutor, National Prosecution Service, and PANEL OF PROSECUTORS OF THE MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE, headed by RSP PETER MEDALLE, G.R. No. 197291, April 3, 2013 Consistent with the principle of separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution, the Court deems it a sound judicial policy not to interfere in the conduct of preliminary investigations, and

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to allow the Executive Department, through the Department of Justice, exclusively to determine what constitutes sufficient evidence to establish probable cause for the prosecution of supposed offenders. By way of exception, however, judicial review may be allowed where it is clearly established that the public prosecutor committed grave abuse of discretion, that is, when he has exercised his discretion “in an arbitrary, capricious, whimsical or despotic manner by reason of  passion or personal hostility, patent and gross enough as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law. Hence, in matters involving the exercise of judgment and discretion, mandamus may only be resorted to in order to compel respondent tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person to take action, but it cannot be used to direct the manner or the particular way discretion is to be exercised, or to compel the retraction or reversal of an action already taken in the exercise of judgment or discretion.

DIMAPORO v. MITRA, G.R. No.96859, October 15, 1991 Dimaporo, while serving as Representative of Lanao del Sur, filed a COC for the post of ARMM Governor. He lost the latter election, and despite making known his desire to continue as Representative, was not able to return to that office. The Supreme Court did not allow him to take office as Representative again. It differentiated a term, i.e. the period an official may serve as provided for by law from tenure, i.e. the period that an official actually serves. The Constitution protects the term, not the tenure. By filing the certificate of candidacy, Dimaporo shortened his tenure. Thus, there is no violation of the Constitution when he was prevented from re-assuming his post. A term of office prescribed by the Constitution may not be extended or shortened by law, but the period during which an officer actually serves (tenure) may be affected  by circumstances within or beyond the power of the officer.

BAGABUYO v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 176970, December 8, 2008 RA 9371, which provided for apportionment of lone district of City of Cagayan de Oro was assailed on constitutional grounds, on the ground that it is not re-apportionment legislation but that it involves the division and conversion of an LGU. The Supreme Court held that RA 9371 is simply a reapportionment legislation passed in accordance with the authority granted to Congress Con gress under Article VI, section 5(4).

BANAT v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179271, July 8, 2009 The filling-up of all available party-list seats is not mandatory. Actual occupancy of the party-list seats depends on the number of participants in the party-list election. If only ten parties  participated in the 2007 party-list election, then, despite the availability of 54 seats, the maximum possible number of occupied party-list seats would only be 30 because of the threeseat cap. In such a case, the three-seat cap prevents the mandatory allocation of all the 54 available seats. Under Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 7941, garnering 2% of the total votes cast guarantees a party one seat. This 2% threshold for the first round of seat allocation does not violate any provision of the 1987 Constitution. In the second round allocation of additional seats, there is no minimum vote requirement to obtain a party-list seat because the Court has struck down the application of

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the 2% threshold in the allocation of additional seats. Specifically, the provision in Section 11(b) of the Party-List Act stating that "those garnering more than two percent (2%) of the votes shall  be entitled to additional seats in the proportion to their total number of votes" can no longer be given any effect. Otherwise, the 20 percent party-list seats in the total membership of the House of Representatives as provided in the 1987 Constitution will mathematically be impossible to fill up. However, a party-list organization has to obtain a sufficient number of votes to gain a seat in the second round of seat allocation. What is deemed a sufficient number of votes is dependent upon the circumstances of each election, such as the number of participating parties, the number of available party-list seats, and the number of parties with guaranteed seats received in the first round of seat allocation.

ATONG PAGLAUM, INC., represented by its President, Mr. Alan Igot v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, G.R. No. 203766, April 2, 2013 The recognition that national and regional parties, as well as sectoral parties of professionals, the elderly, women and the youth, need not be "marginalized and underrepresented" will allow small ideology-based and cause-oriented parties who lack "well-defined political constituencies" a chance to win seats in the House of Representatives. On the other hand, limiting to the "marginalized and underrepresented" the sectoral parties for labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban  poor, indigenous cultural communities, handicapped, veterans, overseas workers, and other sectors that by their nature are economically at the margins of society, will give the "marginalized and underrepresented" an opportunity to likewise win seats in the House of Representatives. This interpretation will harmonize the 1987 Constitution and R.A. No. 7941 and will give rise to a multi-party system where those "marginalized and underrepresented," both i n economic and , will have the opportunity to send their own members to the House of ideological status  Representatives. This interpretation will also make the party-list system honest and transparent, eliminating the need for relatively well-off party-list representatives to masquerade as "wallowing in poverty, destitution and infirmity," even as they attend sessions in Congress riding in SUVs. The 1987 Constitution and R.A. No. 7941 allow major political parties to participate in party-list elections so as to encourage them to work assiduously in extending their constituencies to the "marginalized and underrepresented" and to those who "lack well-defined political constituencies." The participation of major political parties in party-list elections must be geared towards the entry, as members of the House of Representatives, of the "marginalized and underrepresented" and those who "lack well-defined political constituencies," giving them a voice in law-making. Thus,to participate in party-list elections, a major political party that fields candidates in the legislative district elections must organize a sectoral wing, like a labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, professional, women or youth wing, that can register under the party-list system.


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Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, provides that the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal has the exclusive jurisdiction to be the "sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications" of the Members of the House of Representatives. To be considered a Member of the House of Representatives, there must be a concurrence of all of the following requisites: (1) a valid proclamation, (2) a proper oath, and (3) assumption of office. Absent any of the foregoing, the COMELEC retains jurisdiction over the said contests.

JIMENEZ v. CABANGBANG, G.R. No. L-15905, August 3, 1966 The expression "speeches or debates herein" in Art. VI § 15 (1935 Constitution) only refers to utterances made by Congressmen in the performance of their official functions, such as speeches (sponsorship, interpellation, privilege uttered in Committees or to Congress in plenary session), statements and votes cast while Congress is in session, as well as bills introduced in Congress. It also includes other acts performed by the same either in or out of Congressional premises while in the official discharge of their duty when they performed the acts. It does not include acts not connected with the discharge of their office.

Flores v. Drilon, G.R. No. 104732, June 22, 1993 Gordon, an incumbent elective official was, notwithstanding his ineligibility, being appointed to other government posts, does not automatically forfeit his elective office nor remove his ineligibility imposed by the Constitution. On the contrary, since an incumbent elective official is not eligible to the appointive position, his appointment or designation thereto cannot be valid in view of his disqualification or lack of eligibility. This provision should not be confused with Sec. 13, Art. VI, of the Constitution where "(n)o Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may hold any other office or employment in the Government . . . during his term without forfeiting his seat . . . ." The difference between the two provisions is significant in the sense that incumbent national legislators lose their elective posts only after they have been appointed to another government office, while other incumbent elective officials must first resign their posts  before they can be appointed, thus running the risk of losing the elective post as well as not being appointed to the other post. It is therefore clear that ineligibility is not directly related with forfeiture of office. ". . . . The effect is quite different where it is expressly provided by law that a  person holding one office shall be ineligible to another. Such a provision is held to incapacitate the incumbent of an office from accepting or holding a second office (State ex rel. Van Antwerp v Hogan, 283 Ala. 445, 218 So 2d 258; McWilliams v Neal, 130 Ga 733, 61 SE 721) and to render his election or appointment to the latter office void (State ex rel. Childs v Sutton, 63 Minn 147, 65 NW 262. Annotation: 40 ALR 945) or voidable (Baskin v State, 107 Okla 272, 232 p 388, 40 ALR 941)." Where the constitution, or statutes declare that persons holding one office shall be ineligible for election or appointment to another office, either generally or of a certain kind, the prohibition has been held to incapacitate the incumbent of the first office to hold the second so that any attempt to hold the second is void (Ala.  —   State ex rel. Van Antwerp v. Hogan, 218 So 2d 258, 283 Ala 445).

AVELINO v. CUENCA, G.R. No. L-2821, March 4, 1949

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As there were 23 senators considered to be in session that time (including Soto, excluding Confesor), twelve senators constitute a majority of the Senate of twenty three senators. When the Constitution declares that a majority of “each House” shall constitute a quorum, “the House” does not mean “all” the members. Even a majority of all the members constitute “the House”. There is a difference between a majority of “all the members of the House” and a majority of “the House”, the latter requiring less number than the first. Therefore an absolute majority (12) of all the members of the Senate less one (23), constitutes constitutional majority of the Senate for the purpose of a quorum. Furthermore, even if the twelve did not constitute a quorum, they could have ordered the arrest of one, at least, of the absent members; if one had been so arrested, there would be no doubt about Quorum then, and Senator Cuenco would have been elected just the same inasmuch as there would be eleven for Cuenco, one against and one abstained

OSMENA v. PENDATUN, G.R. No. L-17144, October 28, 1960 Section 15, Article VI of our Constitution provides that "for any speech or debate" in Congress, the Senators or Members of the House of Representative "shall not be questioned in any other  place." This section was taken or is a copy of sec. 6, clause 1 of Art. 1 of the Constitution of the United States. In that country, the provision has always been understood to mean that although exempt from prosecution or civil actions for their words uttered in Congress, the members of Congress may, nevertheless, be questioned in Congress itself . Observe that "they shall not be questioned in any other place" than Congress. Furthermore, the Rules of the House which  petitioner himself has invoked (Rule XVII, sec. 7), recognize the House's power to hold a member responsible "for words spoken in debate."

ABAKADA GURO PARTY LIST v. ERMITA, G.R. No. 168056, September 1, 2005 Congress did not give President the power to exercise discretion in making a law, only the power to ascertain the facts necessary to exercise the law. The criteria for valid delegation are that: (1) Law is complete in itself, setting forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out or implemented by the delegate (2) Law fixes a standard, the limits of which are determinate and determinable to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions.

GARCILLANO v. HOUSE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC INFORMATION, G.R. No. 170338, December 23, 2008 It would be an injustice if a citizen is burdened with violating a law or rule he did not get notice of. It consists of “publication either in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines” (Civil Code Art. 2) and the law shall only take effect 15 days after said publication. Publication via the Internet alone is considered invalid since the provisions state that the rules must be published in the OG or in a newspaper. According to RA 8792, an electronic document serves as the functional equivalent of a written document for evidentiary  purposes. Thus, it does not make the Internet a medium for publishing laws, rules, and regulations. The rules must also be republished by the Senate after every expiry of the term of 12 Senators as it is a continuing body independent of the Senate before it, and its own rules state that they expire after every Senate.

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BENGZON v. SENATE BLUE RIBBON COMMITTEE, G.R. No. 89914, November 20, 1991 Investigations must be in aid of legislation in accordance with duly published rules of procedure and must respect the rights of the persons appearing in or affected by the inquiries. Senator Enrile’s privilege speech that prompted the committee investigation contained no suggestion of contemplated legislation, only a call to look into a possible violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The call seems to fall under the jurisdiction of the courts rather than the legislature, such as the case filed with the Sandiganbayan. For the Committee to probe and inquire into the same justiciable controversy already before the Sandiganbayan would be an encroachment into the exclusive domain of the court.

SENATE v. ERMITA, G.R. No. 169777, April 20, 2006 In question hour, attendance is meant to be discretionary. In aid of legislation, attendance is compulsory. In the absence of a mandatory question period, it becomes a greater imperative to enforce Congress’ right to executive information in the performance of its legislative function. When Congress exercises its power of inquiry, department heads can only exempt themselves by a valid claim of inquiry. The only officials exempt are the President on whom the executive  power is vested and members of the Supreme Court on whom the judicial power is vested as a collegial body as co-equal branches of government. For § 1, the requirement for Presidential consent is limited only to appearances of department heads in the question hour but not in inquiries in aid of legislation unless a valid claim of privilege is made by the President or Executive Secretary. Although some executive officials hold information covered by “executive privilege”, there can  be no implied claim of executive privilege thereby exempting some officials from attending inquiries in aid of legislation. Congress has a right to know the reasons behind the claim of executive privilege before an official would be exempt from the investigation.

STANDARD CHARTERED BANK v. SENAE COMMITTEE ON BANKS, FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND CURRENCIES, G.R. No. 167173, December 27, 2007 The exercise by Congress or by any of its committees of the power to punish contempt is based on the principle of self-preservation. As the branch of the government vested with the legislative  power, independently of the judicial branch, it can assert its authority and punish contumacious acts against it. Such power is sui generis, as it attaches not to the discharge of legislative functions per se, but to the sovereign character of the legislature as one of the three independent and coordinate branches of government.

ABAKADA v. PURISIMA, G.R. No. 166715, August 14, 2008 Any post-enactment congressional measure such as this should be limited to scrutiny and investigation. In particular, congressional oversight must be confined to the following: (1) scrutiny based primarily on Congress’ power of appropriation and the budget hearings conducted in connection with it, its power to ask heads of departments to appear before and be heard by

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either of its Houses on any matter pertaining to their departments and its power of confirmation and (2) investigation and monitoring of the implementation of laws pursuant to the power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation. Any action or step beyond that will undermine the separation of powers guaranteed by the Constitution. Legislative vetoes fall in this class. Legislative veto is a statutory provision requiring the President or an administrative agency to  present the proposed implementing rules and regulations of a law to Congress which, by itself or through a committee formed by it, retains a "right" or "power" to approve or disapprove such regulations before they take effect. As such, a legislative veto in the form of a congressional oversight committee is in the form of an inward-turning delegation designed to attach a congressional leash (other than through scrutiny and investigation) to an agency to which Congress has by law initially delegated broad powers. It radically changes the design or structure of the Constitution’s diagram of power as it entrusts to Congress a direct role in enforcing, applying or implementing its own laws.

LIDASAN v. COMELEC, G.R. No. L-28089, October 25, 1967 The Constitution has 2 limitations for bills: 1) Congress can not conglomerate under 1 statute heteregeneous subjects, and, 2) The title of the bill must be couched in language sufficient to notify legislators and the public of the import of the single title. Complying with the second directive is imperative since the Constitution does not require Congress to read a bill’s entire text during deliberations.

BELGICA et al. v. OCHOA JR.; SJS v. DRILON et al.; NEPOMUCENO v. PRESIDENT AQUINO III, G.R. No. 208566, G.R. No. 208493, G.R. No. 209251, November 19, 2013 The 2013 PDAF Article violates the principle of non-delegability since legislators are effectively allowed to individually exercise the power of appropriation, which is lodged in Congress. The  power to appropriate must be exercised only through legislation, pursuant to Section 29(1), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. Under the 2013 PDAF Article, individual legislators are given a personal lump-sum fund from which they are able to dictate (a) how much from such fund would go to (b) a specific project or beneficiary that they themselves also determine. Since these two acts comprise the exercise of the power of appropriation and given that the 2013 PDAF Article authorizes individual legislators to perform the same, undoubtedly, said legislators have  been conferred the power to legislate which the Constitution does not, however, allow. Under the 2013 PDAF Article, the amount of P24.79 Billion only appears as a collective allocation limit since the said amount would be further divided among individual legislators who would then receive personal lump-sum allocations and could, after the GAA is passed, effectively appropriate PDAF funds based on their own discretion. As these intermediate appropriations are made by legislators only after the GAA is passed and hence, outside of the law, it means that the actual items of PDAF appropriation would not have been written into the General Appropriations Bill and thus effectuated without veto consideration. This kind of lumpsum/post-enactment legislative identification budgeting system fosters the creation of a “budget

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within a budget” which subverts the prescribed procedure of presentment and consequently impairs the President’s power of item veto. As petitioners aptly point out, the President is forced to decide between (a) accepting the entire P24. 79 Billion PDAF allocation without knowing the specific projects of the legislators, which may or may not be consistent with his national agenda and (b) rejecting the whole PDAF to the detriment of all other legislators with legitimate  projects.

TAGUIWALO, et. al. vs. Aquino et. al. G.R. No. 209287, July 1, 2014 The DAP did not violate Section 29(1), Art. VI of the Constitution. DAP was merely a program  by the Executive and is not a fund nor is it an appropriation. It is a program for prioritizing government spending. As such, it did not violate the Constitutional provision cited in Section 29(1), Art. VI of the Constitution. In DAP no additional funds were withdrawn from the Treasury otherwise, an appropriation made by law would have been required. Funds, which were already appropriated for by the GAA, were merely being realigned via the DAP.

MARIA CAROLINA P. ARAULLO, CHAIRPERSON, BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN, et al. vs. BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, et al. G.R. No. 209287, February 3, 2015 If the Legislature may declare what a law means, or what a specific portion of the Constitution means, especially after the courts have in actual case ascertain its meaning by interpretation and applied it in a decision, this would surely cause confusion and instability in judicial processes and court decisions. Herein, the Executive has violated the GAA when it stated that savings as a concept is an ordinary species of interpretation that calls for legislative, instead of judicial determination. Section 25(5), Article VI of the Constitution states: 5) No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations; however, the President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the heads of Constitutional Commissions may, by law, be authorized to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations. Section 39, Chapter 5, Book VI of the Administrative Code provide: Section 39. Authority to Use Savings in Appropriations to Cover Deficits. — Except as otherwise provided in the General Appropriations Act, any savings in the regular appropriations authorized in the General Appropriations Act for programs and projects of any department, office or agency, may, with the approval of the President, be used to cover a deficit in any other item of the regular appropriations: Provided, that the creation of new positions or increase of salaries shall not be allowed to be funded from budgetary savings except when specifically authorized by law: Provided, further, that whenever authorized po sitions are transferred from one program or project to another within the same department, office or agency, the corresponding amounts appropriated for personal services are also deemed transferred, without, however increasing the total outlay for personal services of the department, office or agency concerned.

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On the other hand, Section 39 is evidently in conflict with the plain text of Section 25(5), Article VI of the Constitution because it allows the President to approve the use of any savings in the regular appropriations authorized in the GAA for programs and projects of any department, office or agency to cover a deficit in any other item of the regular appropriations. As such, Section 39 violates the mandate of Section 25(5) because the latter expressly limits the authority of the President to augment an item in the GAA to only those in his own Department out of the savings in other items of his own Department’s appropriations. Accordingly, Section 39 cannot serve as a valid authority to justify cross-border transfers under the DAP. Augmentations under the DAP which are made by the Executive within its department shall, however, remain valid so long as the requisites under Section 25(5) are complied with.

ESTRADA v. DESIERTO, G.R. Nos. 146710-15, March 2, 2001 Estrada had constructively resigned, because both elements of resignation were present, namely: 1. Intent 2. Acts of relinquishment (calling for snap election in which Estrada would not be a candidate, listening to Pimentel's advice for resignation, negotiation for peaceful and orderly transfer of power, declaring his intent to leave without anything about reassuming the  presidency, etc.) As for prosecution of cases against him, resignation or retirement is not a bar to prosecution.  Neither was there a pending impeachment case when he resigned; if this were a bar to a criminal  prosecution, then he would be perpetually immune. Finally, Congress has already recognized Arroyo as the new President, and so the decision can no longer be reviewed by the Court.

ATTY. ALICIA RISOS-VIDAL and ALFREDO S. LIM vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA G.R. No. 206666, January 21, 2015 When the pardon extended to former President Estrada shows that both the principal penalty of reclusion perpetua and its accessory penalties are included in the pardon. The first sentence refers to the executive clemency extended to former President Estrada who was convicted by the Sandiganbayan of plunder and imposed a penalty of reclusion perpetua. The latter is the principal  penalty pardoned which relieved him of imprisonment. The sentence that followed, which states that "(h)e is hereby restored to his civil and political rights," expressly remitted the accessory  penalties that attached to the principal penalty of reclusion perpetua. Hence, from the text of the  pardon that the accessory penalties of civil interdiction and perpetual absolute disqualification were expressly remitted together with the principal penalty of reclusion perpetua. Furthermore, the third preambular clause of the pardon, i.e., “[w]hereas, Joseph Ejercito Estrada has publicly committed to no longer seek any elective position or office,” neither makes the  pardon conditional, nor militate against the conclusion that former President Estrada’s rights to suffrage and to seek public elective office have been restored. A preamble is really not an integral part of a law. It is merely an introduction to show its intent or purposes. It cannot be the origin of rights and obligations. Where the meaning of a statute is clear and unambiguous, the  preamble can neither expand nor restrict its operation much less prevail over its text. Hence if the

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 pardon was intended be conditional, it should have explicitly stated the same in the text of the  pardon itself. Since it did not make an integral part of the decree of pardon, the 3rd preambular clause cannot be interpreted as a condition to the pardon extended.

NERI v. SENATE COMMITTEE ON ACCOUNTABILITY, G.R. No. 180643, September 4, 2008 Executive privilege is not a personal privilege, b ut one that adheres to the Office of the President. It exists to protect public interest, not to benefit a particular public official. Its purpose, among others, is to assure that the nation will receive the benefit of candid, objective and untrammeled communication and exchange of information between the President and his/her advisers in the  process of shaping or forming policies and arriving at decisions in the exercise of the functions of the Presidency under the Constitution. The confidentiality of the President’s conversations and correspondence is not unique. It is akin to the confidentiality of judicial deliberations. It  possesses the same value as the right to privacy of all citizens and more, because it is dictated by  public interest and the constitutionally ordained separation of governmental powers.

AKBAYAN v. AQUINO, G.R. No. 170516, July 16, 2008 The diplomatic negotiations privilege bears a close resemblance to the deliberative process and  presidential communications privilege. It may be readily perceived that the rationale for the confidential character of diplomatic negotiations, deliberative process, and presidential communications is similar, if not identical.

MANALO v. SISTOZA, G.R. No. 107369, August 11, 1999 Conformably, as consistently interpreted and ruled in the leading case of Sarmiento III vs. Mison, and in the subsequent cases of Bautista vs. Salonga, Quintos-Deles vs. Constitutional Commission, and Calderon vs. Carale; under Section 16, Article VII, of the Constitution, there are four groups of officers of the government to be appointed by the President: First, the heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this C onstitution; Second, all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise  provided for by law; Third, those whom the President may be authorized by law to appoint; Fourth, officers lower in rank whose appointments the Congress may by law vest in the President alone. It is well-settled that only presidential appointments belonging to the first group require the confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. The appointments of respondent officers

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who are not within the first category, need not be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments.

MATIBAG v. BENIPAYO, G.R. No. 149036, April 2, 2002 An ad interim appointment is a permanent appointment because it takes effect immediately and can no longer be withdrawn by the President once the appointee has qualified into office. The fact that it is subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments does not alter its  permanent character. The Constitution itself makes an ad interim  appointment permanent in character by making it effective until disapproved by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of Congress.

PIMENTEL v. ERMITA, G.R. No. 164978, October 13, 2005 Ad-interim appointments must be distinguished from appointments in an acting capacity. Both of them are effective upon acceptance. But ad-interim appointments are extended only during a recess of Congress, whereas acting appointments may be extended any time there is a vacancy. Moreover ad-interim appointments are submitted to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation or rejection; acting appointments are not submitted to the Commission on Appointments. Acting appointments are a way of temporarily filling important offices but, if abused, they can also be a way of circumventing the need for confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.

DENNIS FUNA v. ACTING SECRETARY OF JUSTICE ALBERTO C. AGRA, et al., G.R. No. 191644, February 19, 2013 The language of Section 13, Art. VII of the Constitution makes no reference to the nature of the appointment or designation, as such, the prohibition against dual or multiple offices being held  by one official must be construed as to apply to all appointments or designations, whether  permanent or temporary.

DENNIS A. B. FUNA vs. THE CHAIRMAN, CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, FRANCISCO T. DUQUE III, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY LEANDRO R. MENDOZA, OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, G.R. No. 191672, November 25, 2014 The concerned GOCCs are vested by their respective charters with various powers and functions to carry out the purposes for which they were created. While powers and functions associated with appointments, compensation and benefits affect the career development, employment status, rights, privileges, and welfare of government officials and employees, the concerned GOCCs are also tasked to perform other corporate powers and functions that are not personnel-related. All of these powers and functions, whether personnel-related or not, are carried out and exercised by the respective Boards of the concerned GOCCs. Hence, when the CSC Chairman sits as a member of the governing Boards of the concerned GOCCs, he may exercise these powers and functions, which are not anymore derived from his position as CSC Chairman. Such being the case, the designation of Duque was unconstitutional.

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MARITIME INDUSTRY AUTHORITY vs. COMMISSION ON AUDIT G.R. No. 185812, January 13, 2015 The Court cannot rule on the validity of the alleged approval by the then President Estrada of the grant of additional allowances and benefits. MIA failed to prove its existence. The alleged approval of the President was contained in a mere photocopy of the memorandum... The original was not presented during the proceedings. A copy of the document is not in the Malacañang Records Office. Further, “the grant of allowances and benefits amounts to double compensation proscribed by Art. IX(B), Sec. 8 of the 1987 Constitution.”

DE CASTRO v. JBC, G.R. No. 191002, March 17, 2010 Section 4 (3), Article VII requires the regular elections to be held on the second Monday of May, letting the elections fall on May 8, at the earliest, or May 14, at the latest. If the regular  presidential elections are held on May 8, the period of the prohibition is 115 days. If such elections are held on May 14, the period of the prohibition is 109 days. Either period of the  prohibition is longer than the full mandatory 90-day period to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court. The result is that there are at least   19 occasions (i.e., the difference between the shortest  possible period   of the ban of 109 days and   the 90-day mandatory period for appointments) in which the outgoing President would be in no position to comply with the constitutional duty to fill up a vacancy in the Supreme Court. It is safe to assume that the framers of the Constitution could not have intended such an absurdity. In fact, in their deliberations on the mandatory period for the appointment of Supreme Court Justices under Section 4 (1), Article VIII, the framers neither discussed, nor mentioned, nor referred to the ban against midnight appointments under Section 15, Article VII, or its effects on the 90-day period, or vice versa. They did not need to,  because they never intended Section 15, Article VII to apply to a vacancy in the Supreme Court, or in any of the lower courts.

GARAFIL v. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, G.R. No. 203372, June 16, 2015 Paragraph (b), Section 1 of EO 2 considered as midnight appointments those appointments to offices that will only be vacant on or after 11 March 2010 even though the appointments are made prior to 11 March 2010. EO 2 remained faithful to the intent of Section 15, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution: the outgoing President is prevented from continuing to rule the country indirectly after the end of his term.

IBP v. ZAMORA, G.R. No. 141284. August 15, 2000 Calling out armed forces is discretionary power solely vested in the President’s wisdom but the matter may be reviewed by the Court to see whether or not there was grave abuse of discretion.

SANLAKAS v. REYES, G.R. No. 159085, February 3, 2004

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Actual invasion/rebellion and requirement of public safety are not required for calling out the armed forces. Nothing prohibits President from declaring a state of rebellion; it springs from  powers as Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief. Finally, calling out of the armed forces is not the same as a declaration of martial law.

DAVID v. ARROYO, G.R. No. 171396, May 3, 2006 Let it be emphasized that while the President alone can declare a state of national emergency, however, without legislation, he has no power to take over privately owned public utility or  business affected with public interest. The President cannot decide whether exceptional circumstances exist warranting the take over of privately-owned public utility or  business affected with public interest. Nor can he determine when such exceptional circumstances have ceased. Likewise, without legislation , the President has no power to point out the types of businesses affected with public interest that should be taken over. In short, the President has no absolute authority to exercise all the powers of the State under Section 17, Article VII in the absence of an emergency powers act passed by Congress.

MARCOS v. MANGLAPUS, G.R. No. 88211, October 27, 1989 Imelda Marcos wanted to return home from Hawaii. Her return was prevented by Pres. Aquino. She invoked her rights to travel and abode. The SC upheld the decision to prevent her from returning to the Philippines as an exercise of the President’s residual powers. Whatever power inherent  in the government that is neither legislative nor judicial has to be executive. The President's residual power is for protecting  people's general welfare, preserving and defending the Constitution, protecting the peace, attending to day-to-day problems. Even the Resolution proposed in the House urging the President to allow Marcos to return shows recognition of this power. Residual powers are implicit in and correlative to the paramount dut y to safeguard and protect general welfare.

YNOT v. IAC, G.R. No. 74457, March 20, 1987 This Court has declared that while lower courts should observe a becoming modesty in examining constitutional questions, they are nonetheless not prevented from resolving the same whenever warranted, subject only to review by the highest tribunal. We have jurisdiction under the Constitution to "review, revise, reverse, modify or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or rules of court may provide," final judgments and orders of lower courts in, among others, all cases involving the constitutionality of certain measures. This simply means that the resolution of such cases may be made in the first instance by these lower courts.

MIRANDA v. AGUIRRE, G.R. No. 133064, September 16, 1999 A political question connotes a question of policy and referred to those questions which under the constitution were 1) to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity or 2) in regard to which full discretionary authority had been delegated to the legislative/executive branch of government.

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Political questions are concerned with issues on the wisdom and not legality of a particular measure. Additionally, a political question has no standards by which its legality or constitutionality could be determined. A purely justiciable issue implied a given right, legally demandable and enforceable, an act or omission violative of such right and a remedy granted and sanctioned by law for said breach of right.

FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ v. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL, SEN. FRANCIS JOSEPH G. ESCUDERO and REP. NIEL C. TUPAS, JR., G.R. No. 202242, April 16, 2013 A reading of the 1987 Constitution would reveal that several provisions were indeed adjusted as to be in tune with the shift to bicameralism. It is also very clear that the Framers were not keen on adjusting the provision on congressional representation in the JBC because it was not in the exercise of its primary function –  to legislate. In the creation of the JBC, the Framers arrived at a unique system by adding to the four (4) regular members, three (3) representatives from the major branches of government. In so providing, the Framers simply gave recognition to the Legislature, not because it was in the interest of a certain constituency, but in reverence to it as a major branch of government. Hence, the argument that a senator cannot represent a member of the House of Representatives in the JBC and vice-versa is, thus, misplaced. In the JBC, any member of Congress, whether from the Senate or the House of Representatives, is constitutionally empowered to represent the entire Congress.

FRANCIS H. JARDELEZA, vs. CHIEF JUSTICE MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO, THE JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL AND EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR. , G.R. No. 213181, August 19, 2014 a.) Section 2, Rule 10 of JBC-009 provides: SEC. 2. Votes required when integrity of a qualified applicant is challenged.  - In every case where the integrity of an applicant who is not otherwise disqualified for nomination is raised or challenged, the affirmative vote of all the Members of the Council must be obtained for the favorable consideration of his nomination. A simple reading of the above provision undoubtedly elicits the rule that a higher voting requirement is absolute in cases where the integrity of an applicant is questioned. Simply put, when an integrity question arises, the voting requirement for his or her inclusion as a nominee to a judicial post becomes “unanimous” instead of the “majority vote” required in the preceding section. Considering that JBC-009 employs the term “integrity” as an essential qualification for appointment, and its doubtful existence in a person merits a higher hurdle to surpass, that is, the unanimous vote of all the members of the JBC , the Court is of the safe conclusion that “integrity” as used in the rules must be interpreted uniformly. Hence, Section 2, Rule 10 of JBC-009 envisions only a situation where an applicant’s moral fitness is challenged. It follows then that the “unanimity rule” only comes into operation when the moral character of a person is put in issue. It finds no application where the question is essentially unrelated to an applicant’s moral uprightness.

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ROMUALDEZ v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 167011, April 30, 2008 The test in determining whether a criminal statute is void for uncertainty is whether the language conveys a sufficiently definite warning as to the proscribed conduct when measured by common understanding and practice. This Court has similarly stressed that the vagueness doctrine merely requires a reasonable degree of certainty for the statute to be upheld - not absolute precision or mathematical exactitude.

FRANKLlN ALEJANDRO v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN FACT-FINDING AND INTELLIGENCE BUREAU, represented by Atty. Maria Olivia Elena A. Roxas, G.R. No. 173121, April 3, 2013 The Office of the Ombudsman was created by no less than the Constitution. It is tasked to exercise disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials, save only for impeachable officers. The Ombudsman has primary jurisdiction to investigate any act or omission of a public officer or employee who is under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. The Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction extends only to public officials occupying positions corresponding to salary grade 27 and higher. Consequently, any act or omission of a public officer or employee occupying a salary grade lower than 27 is within the concurrent jurisdiction of the Ombudsman and of the regular courts or other investigative a gencies.

BRILLANTES v. YORAC, G.R. No. 93867, December 18, 1990 Yorac, as Associate COMELEC Chairman, was appointed by the President as Chairman of the COMELEC. Brillantes challenged Yorac’s appointment for being contrary to Article IX-C, Sec. 1(2) of 1987 Constitution, where "(I)n no case shall any Member (of the Commission on Elections) be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity." The SC agreed. The appointment was unconstitutional. Article IX-A, Sec. 1 provides for the independence of ConCom from the executive department.

DAZA v. SINGSON, G.R. No. 86344, December 21, 1989 The Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) was reorganized resulting in a political realignment in the lower house. LDP also changed its representation in the Commission on Appointments. They withdrew the seat occupied by Daza (LDP member) and gave it to the new LDP member. Thereafter the chamber elected a new set of representatives in the CoA which consisted of the original members except Daza who was replaced by Singson. Daza questioned such replacement on the ground that the LDP’s reorganization was not permanent and stable. The LDP has been existing for more than one year and its members include the Philippine President, and its internal disagreements are expected in any political organization in a democracy. The test that the party must survive a general congressional election was never laid down in jurisprudence. The Court ruled in favor of the authority of the House to change its representation in the CoA to reflect at any time the permanent changes and not merely temporary

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alliances or factional divisions without severance of loyalties/formal disaffiliation that may transpire in the political alignments of its members.

AGAN v. PIATCO, G.R. No. 155001, January 21, 2004 Article XII, Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution provides that in times of national emergency, when the public interest so requires, the State may, during the emergency and under reasonable terms prescribed by it, temporarily take over or direct the operation of any privately owned  public utility or business affected with public interest.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW MANILA MEMORIAL PARK v. SECRETARY OF DSWD, G.R. No. 175356, December 3, 2013 Traditional distinctions exist between police power and eminent domain. In the exercise of police  power, a property right is impaired by regulation, or the use of property is merely prohibited, regulated or restricted to promote public welfare. In such cases, there is no compensable taking, hence, payment of just compensation is not required. Examples of these regulations are property condemned for being noxious or intended for noxious purposes (e.g., a building on the verge of collapse to be demolished for public safety, or obscene materials to be destroyed in the interest of public morals) as well as zoning ordinances prohibiting the use of property for purposes injurious to the health, morals or safety of the community (e.g., dividing a city’s territory into residential and industrial areas).

WHITE LIGHT CORPORATION v. CITY OF MANILA, G.R. No. 122846, January 20, 2009 Police power, while incapable of an exact definition, has been purposely veiled in general terms to underscore its comprehensiveness to meet all exigencies and provide enough room for an efficient and flexible response as the conditions warrant. Police power is based upon the concept of necessity of the State and its corresponding right to protect itself and its people. Police power has been used as justification for numerous and varied actions by the State. These range from the regulation of dance halls, movie theaters, gas stations and cockpits. The awesome scope of police  power is best demonstrated by the fact that in its hundred or so years of presence in our nation’s legal system, its use has rarely been denied.

REPUBLIC v. CASTELLVI, G.R. No. L-20620, August 5, 18974 The SC said that the prices in 1959 will apply since in 1947, they did not possess the property with a permanent characteristic seeing that they were just leasing on a yearly basis. Their  possession did not also deprive the owner of the benefits of the land since they were paying rent. It was only in 1959 when they filed the expropriation proceedings that they gained possession with a permanent character when the lower court granted them such possession. The price of Php 10.00 however was quite high taking in consideration that the said properties could be sold on a

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range of Php 2.50 –   4.00 per sq meters and the fact that the value of the peso went down. The  proper price is now at Php5.00 per square meters. This case is doctrinal for giving the elements of a compensable taking, to wit: 1. The expropriator must enter a private property 2. For more than a momentary period 3. Under warrant or color of legal authority 4. The property must be devoted to a public use or otherwise informally appropriated or injuriously affected 5. The owner must be ousted of all beneficial enjoyment of the property.

HACIENDA LUISITA INCORPORATED v. PARC, G.R. No. 171101, April 24, 2012 Precisely because due regard is given to the rights of landowners to just compensation, the law on stock distribution option acknowledges that landowners can require payment for the shares of stock corresponding to the value of the agricultural lands in relation to the outstanding capital stock of the corporation.

FIRST CLASS CADET ALDRIN JEFF P. CUDIA OF THE PHILIPPINE MILITARY ACADEMY, REPRESENTED BY HIS FATHER RENATO P. CUDIA, WHO ALSO ACTS ON HIS OWN BEHALF, AND BERTENI CATALUÑA CAUSING vs. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE PHILIPPINE MILITARY ACADEMY (PMA), THE HONOR COMMITTEE (HC) OF 2014 OF THE PMA AND HC MEMBERS, AND THE CADET REVIEW AND APPEALS BOARD (CRAB) G.R. No. 211362, February 24, 2015 Contending that Cadet Cudia was dismissed without being afforded due process, the petitioners filed the instant petition assailing the dismissal of Cadet Cudia from the PMA. In order to be  proper and immune from constitutional infirmity, a cadet who is sought to be dismissed or separated from the academy must be afforded a hearing, be apprised of the specific charges against him, and be given an adequate opportunity to present his or her defense both from the  point of view of time and the use of witnesses and other evidence. In the case at bar, the investigation of Cadet 1CL Cudia’s Honor Code violation followed the prescribed procedure and existing practices in the PMA. He was notified of the Honor Report from Maj. Hindang. He was then given the opportunity to explain the report against him. He was informed about his options and the entire process that the case would undergo. Thus, the petitioners could not argue that Cadet Cudia was not afforded due process.

ANG TIBAY v. CIR, G.R. No. L-46496, February 27, 1940 The fact, however, that the Court of Industrial Relations may be said to be free from the rigidity of certain procedural requirements does not mean that it can, in justifiable cases before it, entirely ignore or disregard the fundamental and essential requirements of due process in trials and investigations of an administrative character. There are primary rights which must be respected even in proceedings of this character.

PEOPLE v. CAYAT, G.R. No. L-45987, May 5, 1939

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It is an established principle of constitutional law that the guaranty of the equal protection of the laws is not equal protection of the laws is not violated by a legislation based on reasonable classification. And the classification, to be reasonable, (1) must rest on substantial distinctions; (2) must be germane to the purposes of the law; (3) must not be limited to existing conditions only; and (4) must apply equally to all members of the same class.

BIRAOGO v. PTC, G.R. No. 192935, December 7, 2010 In the instant case, the fact that other administrations are not the subject of the PTC’s investigative aim is not a case of selective prosecution that violates equal protection. The Executive is given broad discretion to initiate criminal prosecution and enjoys clear presumption of regularity and good faith in the performance thereof. For petitioners to overcome that  presumption, they must carry the burden of showing that the PTC is a preliminary step to selective prosecution, and that it is laden with a discriminatory effect and a discriminatory  purpose. However, petitioner has sorely failed in discharging that burden.

PHILIPPINE BLOOMING MILLS EMPLOYMENT ORGANIZATION v. PHILIPPINE BLOOMING MILLS CO., INC., G.R. No. L-31195, June 5, 1973 As heretofore stated, the primacy of human rights  —   freedom of expression, of peaceful assembly and of petition for redress of grievances  —   over property rights has been sustained. Emphatic reiteration of this basic tenet as a coveted boon —   at once the shield and armor of the dignity and worth of the human personality, the all-consuming ideal of our enlightened civilization —   becomes Our duty, if freedom and social justice have any meaning at all for him who toils so that capital can produce economic goods that can generate happiness for all. To regard the demonstration against police officers, not against the employer, as evidence of bad faith in collective bargaining and hence a violation of the collective bargaining agreement and a cause for the dismissal from employment of the demonstrating employees, stretches unduly the compass of the collective bargaining agreement, is "a potent means of inhibiting speech" and therefore inflicts a moral as well as mortal wound on the constitutional guarantees of free expression, of peaceful assembly and of petition.

BAYAN v. ERMITA, G.R. No. 169838, April 25, 2005 A fair and impartial reading of B.P. No. 880 thus readily shows that it refers to all kinds of public assemblies that would use public places. The reference to "lawful cause" does not make it content-based because assemblies really have to be for lawful causes, otherwise they would not  be "peaceable" and entitled to protection. Neither are the words "opinion," "protesting" and "influencing" in the definition of public assembly content based, since they can refer to any subject. The words "petitioning the government for redress of grievances" come from the wording of the Constitution, so its use cannot be avoided. Finally, maximum tolerance is for the  protection and benefit of all rallyists and is independent of the content of the expressions in the rally.

CHAVEZ v. GONZALES, G.R. No. 168338, February 15, 2008

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It is not enough to determine whether the challenged act constitutes some form of restraint on freedom of speech. A distinction has to be made whether the restraint is (1) a contentneutral regulation, i.e., merely concerned with the incidents of the speech, or one that merely controls the time, place or manner, and under well defined standards; or (2) a content based restraint or censorship, i.e., the restriction is based on the subject matter of the utterance or speech. The cast of the restriction determines the test by which the challenged act is assayed with.

THE DIOCESE OF BACOLOD, REPRESENTED BY THE MOST REV. BISHOP VICENTE M. NAVARRA and THE BISHOP HIMSELF IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY vs. COMMISSION OF ELECTIONS AND THE ELECTION OFFICER OF BACOLOD CITY, ATTY. MAVIL V. MAJARUCON G.R. No. 205728, January 21, 2015 When petitioners, a Diocese and its Bishop posted tarpaulins in front of the cathedral which aimed to dissuade voters from electing candidates who supported the RH Law, and the COMELEC twice ordered the latter to dismantle the tarpaulin for violation of its regulation which imposed a size limit on campaign materials, the case is about COMELEC’s breach of the  petitioners’ fundamental right of expression of matters relating to election. Thus, the COMELEC had no legal basis to issue said order as the tarpaulins were not paid for by any candidate or political party and the candidates therein were not consulted regarding its posting. It was part of the petitioner’s advocacy against the RH Law. Jurisprudence which sets the limit to free speech of candidates during elections but do not limit the rights of broadcasters to comment on the candidates do not apply to the petitioners, as the petitioners are private individuals who have lost their right to give commentary on the candidates when the COMELEC ordered the tarpaulin removed. Second, the tarpaulin is protected speech. The size of the tarpaulins is fundamentally part of protected speech, as it is important to convey the advocacy of the  petitioners, who are also part of the electorate. More importantly, every citizen’s expression with  political consequences enjoys a high degree of protection. While the tarpaulin may influence the success or failure of the named candidates and political parties, this does not necessarily mean it is election propaganda. The tarpaulin was not paid for or posted “in return for consideration” by any candidate, political party or party-list group. The COMELEC, therefore, has no jurisdiction to issue its order as it lacks the requisites of a valid content-based regulation of speech. Third, the tarpaulins and their messages are not religious speech, as they do not convey any religious doctrine of the Catholic Church. With all due respect to the Catholic faithful, the church doctrines relied upon by petitioners are not binding upon this court. The position of the Catholic religion in the Philippines as regards the RH Law does not suffice to qualify the posting by one of its members of a tarpaulin as religious speech solely on such basis. The enumeration of candidates on the face of the tarpaulin precludes any doubt as to its nature as speech with  political consequences and not religious speech.

IN RE: JURADO, A.M. No. 93-2-037 SC April 6, 1995 Liability for published statements demonstrably false or misleading, and derogatory of the courts and individual judges, is what is involved in the proceeding at bar —   than which, upon its facts,

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there is perhaps no more appropriate setting for an inquiry into the limits of press freedom as it relates to public comment about the courts and their workings within a constitutional order.

SWS v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 147571, May 5, 2001 SWS and Kamahalan Publishing seek to enjoin COMELEC from enforcing Sec. 5.4 of RA 9006 (Fair Election Act) which prohibits the publishing of election surveys 15 days before the election of national candidates and 7 days before the election of local candidates. The petitioners wish to  publish surveys covering the entire election period and argue that the resolution violates their right to free speech and expression. The SC held that the resolution is invalid as because (1) it imposes a prior restraint on the freedom of expression, (2) it is a direct and total suppression of a category of expression even though such suppression is only for a limited period, and that (3) the governmental interest sought to be promoted can be achieved by means other than suppression of freedom of expression.


G.R. No. 202666, September 29, 2014 The concept of privacy has, through time, greatly evolved, with technological advancements having an influential part therein. This evolution was briefly recounted in former Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno’s speech, The Common Right to Privacy, where he explained the three strands of the right to privacy, viz: (1) locational or situational privacy; (2) informational privacy; and (3) decisional privacy. Of the three, what is relevant to the case at bar is the right to informational privacy –– usually defined as the right of individuals to control information

about themselves. SPOUSES BILL AND VICTORIA HING v. ALEXANDER CHOACHUY, SR. and ALLAN CHOACHUY, G.R. No. 179736, June 26, 2013 An individual’s right to privacy under Article 26(1) of the Civil Code should not be confined to his house or residence as it may extend to places where he has the right to exclude the public or deny them access. The phrase "prying into the privacy of another’s residence," therefore, covers  places, locations, or even situations which an individual considers as private, including a  business office. In this day and age, video surveillance cameras are installed practically everywhere for the protection and safety of everyone. The installation of these cameras, however, should not cover places where there is reasonable expectation of privacy, unless the consent of the individual, whose right to privacy would be affected, was obtained. Simply put, a  person have a "reasonable expectation of privacy" in his property, whether he uses it as a  business office or as a residence and that the installation of video surveillance cameras directly facing his property or covering a significant portion thereof, without his consent, is a clear violation of their right to privacy.

AGLIPAY v. RUIZ, G.R. No. L-45459, March 13, 1997

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Gregorio Aglipay, the Supreme Head of the Philippine Independent Church, filed for a writ of  prohibition against Juan Ruiz, Director of Posts, to stop him from selling postage stamps which commemorated the 33rd International Eucharistic Congress organized by the Catholic Church in Manila. Petitioner alleges that this violates the Constitutional provision prohibiting the use of  public money for the benefit of any religious denomination. The Court denied the petition. The Director of Posts acted by virtue of Act No. 4052 which appropriated 60,000 pesos for the cost of printing of stamps with new designs. The stamps themselves featured a map of the Philippines. The government’s goal was to promote the Philippines. There was no religious goal. The proceeds of the sale of the stamps also went to the government and not to any church.

AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY v. CITY OF MANILA, G.R. No. L-9637, April 30, 1957 American Bible Society (ABS) is a nonstock, nonprofit, religious missionary corporation distributing and selling bibles/gospel portions in the Philippines. ABS was informed that it has to comply with Ordinance No. 3000 (obtain a mayor’s permit) and Ordinance No. 2529 (pay municipal license fee for the period covering 1945 to 1953 and amounting to 5, 821.45). ABS  paid in protest and filed a case to declare said Ordinances void and to seek a refund. Trial court dismissed case. SC ruled that Ordinance 3000 is valid as it merely requires a mayor’s permit. Ordinance 2529 is also valid but cannot be made to apply to ABS because such license fee constitutes a restraint in the free exercise of religion. The constitutional guaranty of the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship carries with it the right to disseminate religious information. Any restraint of such right could only be justified like other restraints of freedom of expression on the grounds that there is clear and present danger of any substantive evil, which the State has the right to prevent.

EBRALINAG v. DIVISION SUPERINTENDENT, G.R. No. 95770, March 1, 1993 Petitioners in this consolidated petition are high school and elementary students from Cebu who were expelled for not participating in the flag ceremony of their schools. They are represented by their parents. As Jehovah’s Witnesses, they consider the flag as an idol which, according to their religion, should not be worshipped. They believe that the flag ceremony is a form of worship which is prohibited by their religion. Respondents counter by invoking RA 1265, Department Order 8 and the ruling of Gerona v. Secretary of Education which upheld that all students should  participate in the flag ceremony. The Court reversed the Gerona ruling and ruled in favor of the  petitioners. Expelling them based on their religious beliefs would be a curtailment of their right to religious profession and worship and their right to free edu cation.

Iglesia Ni Cristo v. CA (1996) The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) operates a TV program titled “Ang Iglesia ni Cristo.” The Board of Review for Motion Pictures and Television classified such program as rated X, being not fit for  public viewing as it offends and constitutes an attack against other religions. The SC held that INC is protected by Art. III, Sec. 4 of the Constitution. The Board failed to show any imminent or grave danger that would be brought about by the telecast of the show. Also, the show itself is not an attack against, but rather a criticism of, other religions. Such ground (i.e., criticism) is not a valid ground in order to prohibit the broadcasting of the show. SC also affirmed MTRCB’s

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 power to regulate these types of television programs citing the 1921 case of Sotto v Ruiz regarding the Director of Post’s power to check as to whether or not publications are of a libelous character.

RUBI v. PROVINCIAL BOARD OF MINDORO, G.R. No. L-14078, March 7, 1919 The right to travel can validly be suspended in the valid exercise of police power.

CHAVEZ v. PEA, G.R. No. 133250, July 9, 2002 The right to information includes official information on on-going negotiations before a final contract. The information, however, must constitute definite propositions by the government and should not cover recognized exceptions like privileged information, military and diplomatic secrets, and similar matters affecting national security and public order.

STONEHILL v. DIOKNO, G.R. No. L-19550, June 19, 1967 Two points must be stressed in connection with this constitutional mandate, namely: (1) that no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge in the manner set forth in said provision; and (2) that the warrant shall particularly describe the things to be seized.  None of these requirements has been complied with in the contested warrants. Indeed, the same were issued upon applications stating that the natural and juridical person therein named had committed a "violation of Central Ban Laws, Tariff and Customs Laws, Internal Revenue (Code) and Revised Penal Code." In other words, no specific offense had been alleged in said applications.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, vs. MARK JASON CHAVEZ Y BITANCOR ALIAS “NOY”, G.R. No. 207950, September 22, 2014 The  Miranda rights is a right guaranteed by the Constitution to the accused during custodial investigation. Republic Act No. 7438 even expanded its definition to “include the practice of issuing an ‘invitation’ to a person who is investigated in connection with an offense he is suspected to have committed, without prejudice to the liability of the ‘inviting’ officer for any violation of law.” This means that even those who voluntarily surrendered before a police officer must be apprised of their Miranda rights. For one, the same pressures of a custodial setting exist in this scenario. Chavez is also being questioned by an investigating officer in a police station. As an additional pressure, he may have been compelled to surrender by his mother who accompanied him to the police station.

MARIETA DE CASTRO vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 171672, February 02, 2015 The right to remain silent and to counsel can be invoked only in the context in which the Miranda doctrine applies  –   when the official proceeding is conducted under the coercive atmosphere of a custodial interrogation. There are no cases extending them to a non-coercive

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setting. The rights are invocable only when the accused is under custodial investigation. A  person undergoing a normal audit examination is not under custodial investigation and, hence, the audit examiner may not be considered the law enforcement officer contemplated by the rule. By a fair analogy, Marieta may not be said to be under custodial investigation. She was not even  being investigated by any police or law enforcement officer. She was under administrative investigation by her superiors in a private firm and in purely voluntary manner. She was not restrained of her freedom in any manner. She was free to stay or go. There was no evidence that she was forced or pressured to say anything.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. MEDARIO CALANTIAO y DIMALANTA G.R. No. 203984, June 18, 2014 The purpose of allowing a warrantless search and seizure incident to a lawful arrest is "to protect the arresting officer from being harmed by the person arrested, who might be armed with a concealed weapon, and to prevent the latter from destroying evidence within reach." It is therefore a reasonable exercise of the State’s police power to protect (1) law enforcers from the injury that may be inflicted on them by a person they have lawfully arrested; and (2) evidence from being destroyed by the arrestee. It seeks to ensure the safety of the arresting officers and the integrity of the evidence under the control and within the reach of the arrestee.

JAIME D. DELA CRUZ, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 200748, July 23, 2014 A person apprehended or arrested cannot literally mean any person apprehended or arrested for any crime. The phrase must be read in context and understood in consonance with R.A. 9165. Section 15 comprehends persons arrested or apprehended for unlawful acts listed under Article II of the law. Hence, a drug test can only be made upon persons who are apprehended or arrested for violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act. To make the provision applicable to all persons arrested or apprehended for any crime not listed under Article II of the Dangerous Drugs Act is tantamount to unduly expanding its meaning. Furthermore, making the phrase “a person apprehended or arrested” in Section 15 applicable to all persons arrested or apprehended for unlawful acts, not only under R.A. 9165 but for all other crimes, is tantamount to a mandatory drug testing of all persons apprehended or arrested for any crime. Moreover, “a waiver of an illegal warrantless arrest does not mean a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized during an illegal warrantless arrest.”

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES  vs. VICTOR COGAED Y ROMANA G.R. No. 200334, July 30, 2014 One of these jurisprudential exceptions to search warrants is “stop and frisk”. “Stop and frisk” searches are often confused with searches incidental to lawful arrests under the Rules of Court. Searches incidental to a lawful arrest require that a crime be committed in flagrante delicto, and the search conducted within the vicinity and within reach by the person arrested is done to ensure that there are no weapons, as well as to preserve the evidence.

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The balance lies in the concept of “suspiciousness” present in  the situation where the police officer finds himself or herself in. This may be undoubtedly based on the experience of the  police officer. Hence, they should have the ability to discern  —   based on facts that they themselves observe —   whether an individual is acting in a suspicious manner. Clearly, a basic criterion would be that the police officer, with his or her personal knowledge, must observe the facts leading to the suspicion of an illicit act. It is the police officer who should observe facts that would lead to a reasonable degree of suspicion of a person. The police officer should not adopt the suspicion initiated by another person. This is necessary to justify that the person suspected  be stopped and reasonably searched. Anything less than this would be an infringement upon one’s basic right to security of one’s person and effects. Police officers cannot justify unbridled searches and be shielded by this exception, unless there is compliance with the “genuine reason” requirement and that the search serves the purpose of protecting the public.

MAPALO v. LIM, G.R. No. 136051, June 8, 2006 The right against self-incrimination is accorded to every person who gives evidence, whether voluntary or under compulsion of subpoena, in any civil, criminal or administrative  proceeding. The right is not to be compelled to be a witness against himself.

GOVT. OF HONGKONG v. OLALIA, G.R. No. 153675, April 19, 2007 If bail can be granted in deportation cases, we see no justification why it should not also be allowed in extradition cases. Likewise, considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights applies to deportation cases, there is no reason why it cannot be invoked in extradition cases. After all, both are administrative proceedings where the innocence or guilt of the person detained is not in issue.

JOSE JESUS M. DISINI, Jr., ET AL v. THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, ET AL., G.R. No. 203335. February 18, 2014 Charging offenders of violation of RA 10175 and the RPC both with regard to libel; likewise with RA 9775 on Child pornography constitutes double jeopardy. The acts defined in the Cybercrime Law involve essentially the same elements and are in fact one and the same with the RPC and RA 9775.

RENATO M. DAVID vs. EDITHA A. AGBAY AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 199113, March 18, 2015 David argued that the Court has disregarded the undisputed fact that he is a natural-born Filipino citizen, and that by re-acquiring the same status under R.A. No. 9225 he was by legal fiction “deemed not to have lost” it at the time of his naturalization in Canada and through the time when he was said to have falsely claimed Philippine citizenship in his Miscellaneous Lease Application. However, while Section 2 declares the general policy that Filipinos who have  become citizens of another country shall be deemed “not to have lost their Philippine citizenship,” such is qualified by the phrase “under the conditions of this Act.” It provides that

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those natural-born Filipinos who have lost their citizenship by naturalization in a foreign country shall re-acquire their Philippine citizenship upon taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines.

COQUILLA v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 151914, July 13, 2002 A person loses Philippine citizenship and domicile of origin by becoming a U.S. citizen after enlisting in the U.S. Navy, as residence in the U.S. is a requirement for naturalization as a U.S. citizen. This results in the abandonment of domicile in the Philippines. The person may only be said to have been domiciled in the Philippines again once he repatriates or by an act of Congress,  but the period before this act of reacquisition will not count in the residency requirement for elected officials. His status during that period is one of an alien who has obtained an immigrant visa and has waived his status as a non-resident.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AZUCENA SAAVEDRA BATUGAS, G.R. No. 183110, October 7, 2013 A Petition for judicial declaration of Philippine citizenship is different from judicial naturalization under CA 473. In the first, the petitioner believes he is a Filipino citizen and asks a court to declare or confirm his status as a Philippine citizen. In the second, the petitioner acknowledges he is an alien, and seeks judicial approval to acquire the privilege of becoming a Philippine citizen based on requirements required under CA 473.

ELECTION, PUBLIC OFFICERS AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW YRA v. ABANO, G.R. No. 30187, November 15, 1928 Abano was a native of Meycauayan who studied in Manila, where he was registered to vote. After completing his studies as a lawyer, Abano returned to Meycauayan and ran for office though his cancellation of voter’s registr ation in Manila was denied because of his failure to deposit in the mails on time. In ruling in Abano’s favor, the Court explained that the registration of a voter does not confer the right to vote; it is but a condition precedent to the exercise of the right. Registration is a regulation, not a qualification.

SVETLANA P. JALOSJOS v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, et al., G.R. No. 193314, February 26, 2013 A change of residence requires an actual and deliberate abandonment, and one cannot have two legal residences at the same time, otherwise the residence of origin should be deemed to continue.

CASAN MACODE MAQUILING v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ROMMEL ARNADO y CAGOCO, LINOG G. BALUA, G.R. No. 195649, April 16, 2013 Dual citizens by naturalization are required to take not only the Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines but also to personally renounce foreign citizenship in order to qualify

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as a candidate for public office. If by the time an aspiring candidate filed his certificate of candidacy, he was a dual citizen enjoying the rights and privileges of Filipino and foreign citizenship. He was qualified to vote, but by the express disqualification under Section 40(d) of the Local Government Code, he was not qualified to run for a local elective position. By being  barred from even becoming a candidate, his certificate of candidacy is thus rendered void from the beginning. Being a non-candidate, the votes cast in his favor should not have been counted. This leaves the qualified candidate who obtained the highest number of votes. Therefore, the rule on succession under the Local Government Code will not apply.

OLIVIA DA SILVA CERAFICA vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, G.R. No. 205136, December 2, 2014 The COMELEC has no discretion to give or not to give due couse to COCs. The Court emphasized that the duty of the COMELEC to give due course to COCs filed in due form is ministerial in character, and that while the COMELEC may look into patent defects in the COCs, it may not go into matters not appearing on their face. The question of eligibility or ineligibility of a candidate is thus beyond the usual and proper cognizance of the COMELEC. The determination of whether a candidate is eligible for the position he is seeking involves a determination of fact where parties must be allowed to adduce evidence in support of their contentions. Thus, in simply relying on the Memorandum of Director Amora Ladra in cancelling Kimberly’s COC and denying the latter’s substitution by Olivia, and absent any petition to deny due course to or cancel said COC, the Court finds that the COMELEC once more gravely abused its discretion.

LUIS R. VILLAFUERTE v. COMELEC and MIGUEL VILLAFUERTE, G.R. No. 206698, February 25, 2014 Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code states that the false representation in the contents of the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) must refer to material matters in order to justify the cancellation of the COC. Material misrepresentation under the Omnibus Election Code refers to “Qualifications for elective office” (residency, age, citizenship, or any other legal qualifications necessary to run for local elective office as provided in the Local Government Code) coupled with a showing that there was an intent to deceive the electorate.

GONZALES v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 192856, March 8, 2011 We find it necessary to point out that Sections 5 and 7 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6646, contrary to the erroneous arguments of both parties, did not in any way amend the period for filing "Section 78" petitions. While Section 7 of the said law makes reference to Section 5 on the  procedure in the conduct of cases for the denial of due course to the CoCs of nuisance candidates (retired Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., in his dissenting opinion in Aquino v. Commission on Elections explains that "the ‘procedure hereinabove provided’ mentioned in Section 7 cannot  be construed to refer to Section 6 which does not provide for a procedure but for the effects of disqualification cases, [but] can only refer to the procedure provided in Section 5 of the said Act

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on nuisance candidates x x x."), the same cannot be taken to mean that the 25-day period for filing "sec. 78" petitions under the oec is changed to 5 days counted from the last day for the filing of COCs. The clear language of Section 78 certainly cannot be amended or modified by the mere reference in a subsequent statute to the use of a procedure specifically intended for another type of action. Cardinal is the rule in statutory construction that repeals by implication are disfavored and will not be so declared by the Court unless the intent of the legislators is manifest. In addition, it is noteworthy that Loong, which upheld the 25-day period for filing "Section 78" petitions, was decided long after the enactment of R.A. 6646. In this regard, we therefore find as contrary to the unequivocal mandate of the law, Rule 23, Section 2 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. As the law stands, the petition to deny due course to or cancel a CoC "may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy."

SILVERIO R.TAGOLINO v. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL AND LUCY MARIE TORRES GOMEZ, G.R. No. 202202, March 19, 2013 The existence of a valid certificate of candidacy (COC) is a condition sine qua non for a disqualified candidate to be validly substituted. If the COC is thereby cancelled or denied due course, the candidate cannot be validly substituted.

RENATO M. FEDERICO v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 199612, January 22, 2013 When there has been no valid substitution, the candidate with the highest number of votes should  be proclaimed as the duly elected mayor.

EMILIO RAMON "E.R." P. EJERCITO vs. HON. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and EDGAR "EGAY" S. SAN LUIS, G.R. No. 212398, November 25, 2014 San Luis filed a disqualification case against co-gubernatorial candidate Ejercito. The COMELEC First Division and COMELEC En banc granted the disqualification petition. In the said petition, San Luis alleges that Ejercito was distributing an “Orange Card” with the intent to entice voters to vote for him and that Ejercito exceeded the allowable amount for campaign funds. Ejercito alleges that a preliminary investigation should have been conducted prior to the decision of the COMELEC. In this regard, the Supreme Court ruled that, As contemplated in  paragraph 1 of COMELEC Resolution No. 2050, a complaint for disqualification filed before the election which must be inquired into by the COMELEC for the purpose of determining whether the acts complained of have in fact been committed. Where the inquiry results in a finding before the election, the COMELEC shall order the candidate's disqualification. In case the complaint was not resolved before the election, the COMELEC may motu propio or on motion of any of the parties, refer the said complaint to the Law Department of the COMELEC for preliminary investigation.

PENERA v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 131613, November 25, 2009

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Penera was disqualified as a mayoralty candidate for engaging in election campaigning before the campaign period. The Court ruled in her favor. A candidate is any person aspiring for or seeking an elective public office, who has filed a certificate of candidacy. Any person who files a certificate of candidacy within the period for filing shall only be considered as a candidate at the start of the campaign period for which he filed his certificate of candidacy. Accordingly, a candidate is only liable for an election offense for acts done during the campaign period, not  before. Any unlawful act or omission applicable to a candidate shall take effect only upon the start of the campaign period, when partisan political acts become unlawful as to a candidate. Before the start of the campaign period, the same partisan political acts are lawful.

MAYOR GAMAL S. HAYUDINI vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and MUSTAPHA J. OMAR, G.R. No. 207900, April 22, 2014 As a general rule, statutes providing for election contests are to be liberally construed in order that the will of the people in the choice of public officers may not be defeated by mere technical objections. Settled is the rule that the COMELEC Rules of Procedure are subject to liberal construction. The COMELEC has the power to liberally interpret or even suspend its rules of  procedure in the interest of justice, including obtaining a speedy disposition of all matters  pending before it. This liberality is for the purpose of promoting the effective and efficient implementation of its objectives −  ensuring the holding of free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections, as well as achieving just, expeditious, and inexpensive determination and disposition of every action and proceeding brought before the COMELEC. Unlike an ordinary civil action, an election contest is imbued with public interest. It involves not only the adjudication of private and pecuniary interests of rival candidates, but also the paramount need of dispelling the uncertainty which beclouds the real choice of the electorate. And the tribunal has the corresponding duty to ascertain, by all means within its command, whom the people truly chose as their rightful leader.

ANGEL G. NAVAL vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS AND NELSON B. JULIA G.R. No. 207851, July 08, 2014 It bears noting that the actual difference in the population of the old Second District from that of the current Third District amounts to less than 10% o f the population of the latter. This numerical fact renders the new Third District as essentially, although not literally, the same as the old Second District. Hence, while Naval is correct in his argument that Sanggunian members are elected by district, it does not alter the fact that the district which elected him for the third and fourth time is the same one which brought him to office in 2004 and 2007. Accordingly, Naval is disqualified to serve another term a Sangguniang Member.  Naval’s ineligibility to run, by reason of violation of the three-term limit rule, does not undermine the right to equal representation of any of the districts in Camarines Sur. With or without him, the renamed Third District, which he labels as a new set of constituents, would still  be represented, albeit by another eligible person.

JOSEPH B. TIMBOL vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, G.R. No. 206004, February 24, 2015

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Petitioner filed the instant petition contending that he was denied due process for being considered a nuisance candidate even before a clarificatory was even conducted. The SC ruled that nuisance candidates are persons who file their certificates of candidacy "to put the election  process in mockery or disrepute or to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates or by other circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of candidacy has been filed and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate." To minimize the logistical confusion caused by nuisance candidates, their certificates of candidacy may be denied due course or cancelled by respondent. This denial or cancellation may be “motu proprio or upon a verified petition of an interested party,” “subject to an opportunity to be heard.” Respondent in this case declared petitioner a nuisance candidate without giving him a chance to explain his bona fide intention to run for office. Respondent had already declared petitioner a nuisance candidate even before the clarificatory hearing. This was an ineffective opportunity to be heard.

GMA NETWORK, INC. vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS G.R. No. 205357, September 2, 2014 There is no question that the COMELEC is the office constitutionally and statutorily authorized to enforce election laws but it cannot exercise its powers without limitations  –   or reasonable  basis. It could not simply adopt measures or regulations just because it feels that it is the right thing to do, in so far as it might be concerned. It does have discretion, but such discretion is something that must be exercised within the bounds and intent of the law. The COMELEC is not free to simply change the rules especially if it has consistently interpreted a legal provision in a  particular manner in the past. If ever it has to change the rules, the same must be properly explained with sufficient basis. Clearly, the respondent in this instance went beyond its legal mandate when it provided for rules beyond what was contemplated by the law it is supposed to implement.

FORTICH v. CORONA, G.R. No. 131457, November 17, 1998 It must be emphasized that a decision/resolution/order of an administrative body, court or tribunal which is declared void on the ground that the same was rendered without or in excess of  jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion, is by no means a mere technicality of law or  procedure. It is elementary that jurisdiction of a body, court or tribunal is an essential and mandatory requirement before it can act on a case or controversy. And even if said body, court or tribunal has jurisdiction over a case, but has acted in excess of its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion, such act is still invalid. The decision nullifying the questioned act is an adjudication on the merits.

REPUBLIC v. EXPRESS TELLECOMMUNICATION, CO. INC. G.R. No. 147096, January 15, 2002 The 1993 Revised Rules of the NTC were not published in a newspaper of general circulation, thus, they did not take effect. Even though the 1993 Rules were filed with the UP Law Center, in

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accordance with Section 3, Chapter 2, Book VII of the Administrative Code, the same is not the operative act that gives rules valid force and effect since the bulletin of codified rules by the ONAR is furnished only to the Office of the President, Congress, all appellate courts, the  National Library, and other public officers or agencies specified by Congress. Publication in the Official Gazette or newspaper of general circulation is required before laws can take effect.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF GSIS v. MOLINA, G.R. No. 170463, February 2, 2011 The assailed resolutions pertain only to internal rules to regulate GSIS personnel, thus, there was no need to comply with the publication or filing requirements. According to the UP Law Center’s guidelines, “interpretative regulations, and those merely internal in nature, that is, regulating only the personnel of the administrative agency and not the public” need not be filed with the center.

PUBLIC HEARING COMMITTEE v. SM PRIME HOLDINGS INC., G.R. No. 170599, SEPTEMBER 22, 2010 the LLDA has the power to impose fines in the exercise of its function as a regulatory and quasi judicial body with respect to pollution cases in the Laguna Lake region. In expounding on this issue, the Court held that the adjudication of pollution cases generally pertains to the Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB), except where a special law, such as the LLDA Charter, provides for another forum. The Court further ruled that although the PAB assumed the powers and functions of the National Pollution Control Commission with respect to adjudication of pollution cases, this does not preclude the LLDA from assuming jurisdiction of pollution cases within its area of responsibility and to impose fines as penalty.

OPLE v. TORRES, G.R. No. 127685, July 23, 1998 It cannot be simplistically argued that A.O. No. 308 merely implements the Administrative Code of 1987. It establishes for the first time a National Computerized Identification Reference System. Such a System requires a delicate adjustment of various contending state policies —   the  primacy of national security, the extent of privacy interest against dossier-gathering by government, the choice of policies, etc. Indeed, the dissent of Mr. Justice Mendoza states that the A.O. No. 308 involves the all-important freedom of thought. As said administrative order redefines the parameters of some basic rights of our citizenry vis-a-vis the State as well as the line that separates the administrative power of the President to make rules and the legislative  power of Congress, it ought to be evident that it deals with a subject that should be covered by law.

KILUSANG MAYO UNO v. BAYAN MUNA, G.R. No. 167798, April 16, 2006 A unified ID system for all these government entities can be achieved in either of two ways. First, the heads of these existing government entities can enter into a memorandum of agreement making their systems uniform. If the government entities can individually adopt a format for their own ID pursuant to their regular functions under existing laws, they can also adopt by mutual agreement a uniform ID format, especially if the uniform format will result in

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substantial savings, greater efficiency, and optimum compatibility. This is purely an administrative matter, and does not involve the exercise of legislative power.

Panay Autobus Co. v. Philippine Railway Co. (1933) Public Service Commission granted the Phil. Railway Co. the power to fix its own rates in order to compete with the rates of road trucks and auto buses. Such grant is invalid. The Legislature delegated to the PSC the power of fixing rates of public services but it was not authorized by law to delegate to Phil. Railway Co. the power to alter its freight rates whenever it should find it necessary to do so, because the PSC cannot determine whether such new rates will be just and reasonable.

Philippine Veterans Bank v. CA (2000) Parcels of land owned by petitioner were taken by the DAR for distribution pursuant to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. It was dissatisfied with the valuation of the land so it filed a petition for a determination of just compensation for its property with the RTC. The RTC dismissed the petition on the ground that it was filed beyond the 15-day reglementary period for filing appeals from the orders of the DARAB. Pursuant to Rule XIII, Sec. 11 of the DARAB Rules of Procedure, the decision of the Adjudicator on the land valuation and preliminary determination and payment of just compensation shall not be appealable to the Board but shall be brought to the RTC designated as a Special Agrar ian Court within 15 days from receipt of the notice thereof. Since Veterans’  petition in the RTC was filed beyond the 15-day period, the RTC correctly dismissed the case.

HON. ORLANDO C. CASIMIRO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS ACTING OMBUDSMAN, OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN; HON. ROGELIO L. SINGSON, IN HIS CAPACITY AS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS SECRETARY vs. JOSEFINO N. RIGOR, G.R. No. 206661, December 10, 2014 Falsification of an official document such as the SALN is considered a grave offense. It amounts to dishonesty. Both falsification and dishonesty are grave offenses punishable by dismissal from the service, even for the first offense, with forfeiture of retirement benefits, except accrued leave  benefits, and perpetual disqualification from reemployment in government service. The act of falsifying an official document is in itself grave because of its possible deleterious effects on government service. At the same time, it is also an act of dishonesty, which violates fundamental  principles of public accountability and integrity. Under Civil Service regulations, falsification of an official document and dishonesty are distinct offenses, but both may be committed in one act, as in this case. The constitutionalization of public accountability shows the kind of standards of  public officers that are woven into the fabric of our legal system. To reiterate, public office is a  public trust, which embodies a set of standards such as responsibility, integrity and efficiency. Unfortunately, reality may sometimes depart from these standards, but our society has consciously embedded them in our laws so that they may be demanded and enforced as legal  principles, and the Court is mandated to apply these principles to bridge actual reality to the norms envisioned for our public service.

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SALES v. CARREON, G.R. No. 160791, February 13, 2007 All 83 appointments are void. The CSC is required to publish the list of vacant positions and such publication shall be posted by the chief personnel or administrative officer of all local government units in the designated places. The vacant positions may only be filled by the appointing authority after they have been reported to the CSC as vacant, and only after  publication. In this case, the publication of vacancies was made even before the positions involved actually became vacant. CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY OF THE PHILIPPINES EMMPLOYEES’ UNION

(CAAP-EU) vs. CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY OF THE PHILIPPINE, et al., G.R. No. 190120, November 11, 2014 Apropos then is the Court’s ruling in Kapisanan ng mga Kawani ng Energy Regulatory Board v. Barin, to wit: however, abolition of an office and its related positions is different from removal of an incumbent from his office. Abolition and removal are mutually exclusive concepts. From a legal standpoint, there is no occupant in an abolished office. Where there is no occupant, there is no tenure to speak of. Thus, impairment of the constitutional guarantee of security of tenure does not arise in the abolition of an office. On the other hand, removal implies that the office and its related positions subsist and that the occupants are merely separated from their positions. Based on the premise that there was a valid abolition of ATO, in the absence of any bad faith, we rule that the ATO employees’ right to security of tenure was not violated.

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION vs. MARICELLE M. CORTES G.R. No. 200103, April 23, 2014  Nepotism is defined as an appointment issued in favor of a relative within the third civil degree of consanguinity or affinity of any of the following: (1) appointing authority; (2) recommending authority; (3) chief of the bureau or office; and (4) person exercising immediate supervision over 1 the appointee. Here, it is undisputed that respondent Cortes is a relative of Commissioner Mallari in the first degree of consanguinity, as in fact Cortes is the daughter of Commissioner Mallari. The defense of respondent Cortes that her appointment was made by the Commission En Banc and that his father, a member of the Commission, abstain from voting for his appointment did not cure the nepotistic character of the appointment because the evil sought to  be avoided by the prohibition still exists. His mere presence during the deliberation for the appointment of IO V created an impression of influence and cast doubt on the impartiality and neutrality of the Commission En Banc.


Political Law

The plebiscite called for the conversion of Cabanatuan City from a component city into a highly urbanized citys should be participated by the qualified registered voters of the entire province of  Nueva Ecija not of Cabanatuan City only. While conversion to an HUC is not ex plicitly provided in Sec. 10, Art. X of the Constitution we nevertheless observe that the conversion of a component city into an HUC is substantial alteration of boundaries. As the phrase implies, "substantial alteration of boundaries" involves and necessarily entails a change in the geographical configuration of a local government unit or units. However, the phrase "boundaries" should not be limited to the mere physical one, referring to the metes and bounds of the LGU, but also to its political boundaries. It also connotes a modification of the demarcation lines between political subdivisions, where the LGU’s exercise of corporate power ends and that of the other begins. And as a qualifier, the alteration must be "substantial" for it to be within the ambit of the constitutional provision.

CITY OF GENERAL SANTOS, represented by its Mayor, HON. DARLENE MAGNOLIA R. ANTONINO-CUSTODIO vs. COMMISSION ON AUDIT G.R. No. 199439, April 22, 2014 Designing and implementing a local government unit’s own "organizational structure and staffing pattern" also implies the power to revise and reorganize. Without such power, local governments will lose the ability to adjust to the needs of its constituents. Effective and efficient governmental services especially at the local government level require rational and deliberate changes planned and executed in good faith from time to time. However, the assailed decision by respondent Commission on Audit was anchored on Section 28, paragraph (b) of Commonwealth Act No. 186, otherwise known as the Government Service Insurance Act, as amended by Republic Act No. 4968, which proscribes all supplementary retirement or pension plans for government employees.

NAVARRO v. ERMITA, G.R. No. 180050, April 12, 2011 Republic Act 9355 is valid and constitutional. The exemption from the minimum land area requirement –  when the Local Government Unit to be created consists of one or more islands –  is expressly stated in the Local Government Code for municipalities but is absent in the requisites for the creation of a province, but such exemption is expressly stated in Art. 9(2) of the Local Government Code Implementing Rules and Regulations (LGC-IRR). The omission of the exemption in the case of provinces was intended to be corrected by Art. 9(2) of the LGC-IRR to reflect the true legislative intent. This will also be consistent with the declared policy to provide said local government units genuine and meaningful local autonomy by construing liberally the contiguity and minimum land area requirements for prospective local government units in order to achieve the desired results.

MMDA v. BEL-AIR VILLAGE ASSOCIATION, G.R. No. 135962, March 27, 2000 The MMDA’s power is limited to administration and implementation of metro-wide services in Metro Manila and is not a Local Government Unit nor a public corporation endowed with legislative power nor police power to enact ordinances for the closure or opening of roads. It can only lay down policies and coordinate with various agencies, as well as the private sector.

Political Law

LEAGUE OF CITIES v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 176951, April 12, 2011 The 16 Cityhood Laws are constitutional. Senator Pimentel during the deliberations showed that Republic Act 9009 would not apply to the conversion bills then pending deliberation in the Senate during the 11th Congress, for Local Government Units covered by the Cityhood Laws  belong to a class of their own, having proven themselves viable and capable to become component cities of their respective provinces (by being tourism spots, centers of trade and commerce, points of convergence of transportation, and havens of agricultural, mineral and other natural resources).

AQUINO v. ROBREDO, G.R. No. 189793, April 7, 2010 Republic Act 9716 is constitutional. Sec. 5(3), Art. VI of the Constitution requires a 250,000 minimum population only for a city to be entitled to a representative, but not for a province. Records of the Constitutional Commission show that the population was not the sole determinant of the creation of a legislative district.

SEMA v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 177597, July 16, 2008 Sec. 19, Art. VI of Republic Act 9054 is unconstitutional insofar as it grants to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create provinces and cities. Regional legislative bodies may be delegated the power to create municipalities and barangays provided in Sec. 10, Art, X of the Constitution but only Congress may create provinces and cities.

ORDILLO v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 93054, December 4, 1990 The sole province of Ifugao cannot validly constitute the CAR. The Constitution is clear that the autonomous regions must consist of more than one province, as the term “region” used in its ordinary sense means two or more provinces. Further, it can be seen from Republic Act 6766 (Organic Act of the CAR) that Congress never intended that a single province can constitute an autonomous region; otherwise, the province will be composed of two sets of officials: one for the Ifugao Local Government Unit and another set of regional officials for the CAR, both of whom will be exercising executive and legislative powers over the same area.

MUNICIPALITY OF SAN NARCISO v. MENDEZ, G.R. No. 103702, December 6, 1994 The Municipality of San Andres attained a status closely approximating that of a de facto municipal corporation, by virtue of the circumstances of the case, such as the existence of governmental acts (e.g., EO 174 classifying the municipality of San Andres as a fifth class municipality) that point to the state’s recognition of the continued existence of the Municipality of San Andres. Furthermore, by virtue of Sec. 442 (d) of the Local Government Code, which states that municipal districts “organized pursuant to presidential issuances or executive orders and which have their respective sets of elective municipal officials holding office” at the time of the effectivity of the Code shall be considered regular municipalities, it has now attained the status of a de jure municipality. Also, the petitioner challenged the legality of EO 353 only thirty

Political Law

years after its issuance. A quo warranto proceeding assailing the lawful authority of a political subdivision should be timely raised.

SAMPIANO v. INDAR, A.M. No. RTJ-05-1953, December 21, 2009 The IRA may not be automatically released. The automatic release of the IRA under Sec. 286 is a mandate to the national government through the Department of Budget and Management to effect automatic release of the said funds from the treasury directly to the local government units, free from any holdbacks or liens imposed by the national government, but this automatic realease of the IRA from the national treasury does not prevent the proper court from deferring or suspending its release to particular local officials when there is a legal question presented in court as to the rights of the parties to receive the IRA.

PIMENTEL v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, G.R. No. 195770, July 17, 2012 There was no recentralization as the local government units have no power over a program for which funding has been provided by the National Government under the General Appropriations Act, even if the said program is within the jurisdiction of an LGU. The programs and services involved in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program are funded by the National Government, which it may designate to implementing agencies such as the DSWD. The concept of local autonomy does imply the establishment of local government units into mini-states, as what is involved in local autonomy is decentralization of administration and not of power.

GANCAYCO v. Quezon City, G.R. No. 177807, October 11, 2011 Congress granted the city government, through its city council, police power by virtue of the Revised Quezon City Charter, which allowed the regulation of the construction of buildings. Property rights of individuals may be subjected to restraints and burdens in the exercise of police  power, but the methods and means used in exercising such power to protect public health, morals, safety or welfare must have a reasonable relation to the end in view. The ordinance in question is valid as the city’s primary goal in enacting it was to increase health and safety of the city since these arcardes were intended to provide safe and convenient passageways along the sidewalk for pedestrians.

SJS v. LIM, G.R. No. 187836, November 25, 2014 The Local Government Code of 1991 expressly provides that the Sangguniang Panlungsod  is 116 vested with the power to “reclassify land within the jurisdiction of the city”   subject to the  pertinent provisions of the Code. It is also settled that an ordinance may be modified or repealed  by another ordinance. The Pandacan oil depot remains a terrorist target even if the contents have been lessened. In the absence of any convincing reason to persuade this Court that the life, security and safety of the inhabitants of Manila are no longer put at risk by the presence of the oil depots, we hold that Ordinance No. 8187 in relation to the Pandacan Terminals is invalid and unconstitutional.

Political Law

PARAYNO v. JOVELLANOS, G.R. No. 148408, July 14, 2006 The Resolution was an invalid exercise of police power as the Ordinance which served as its  basis only prohibits gasoline service stations within 100 meters from any school, church or hospital, and not gasoline filling stations. The ordinance makes a distinction between gasoline filling stations and gasoline service centers, prohibiting the latter and not the former. Also, there was no due process as the Sangguniang Bayan sought to abate the alleged nuisance (Parayno’s gasoline filling station) without proper judicial proceedings.

CITY OF MANILA v. CHINESE COMMUNITY OF MANILA, G.R. No. L-14355, October 31, 1919 Though the City Charter of Manila allows it to expropriate land for public purposes, the right of expropriation is not an inherent power in a municipal corporation in that where the statute does not designate the property to be taken nor how it may be taken, the necessity of taking a  particular property is a question for the courts to decide. In this case, the first condition on expropriation by the City of Manila was met, as the land sought to be expropriated is private but the second condition (public purpose) was not met as it was not shown that the extension of the street was necessary and its extension through the cemetery was also not shown to be necessary as other lots have been offered to the city free of charge.

JIL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL FOUNDATION v. CITY OF PASIG, G.R. No. 152230, August 9, 2005 The expropriation was improper as there was no valid and definite offer. Before a local government unit can exercise the power of eminent domain, there must first be a) an ordinance enacted by the local legislative council authorizing the local chief executive, in behalf of the LGU, to exercise the power of eminent domain or pursue expropriation proceedings over a  particular private property; b) The power of eminent domain is exercised for public use, purpose or welfare, or for the benefit of the poor and the landless; c) There is payment of just compensation, as required under Section 9, Article III of the Constitution and other pertinent laws; and d) A valid and definite offer has been previously made to the owner of the property sought to be expropriated, but said offer was not accepted. There was no offer because the letter Pasig sent the Cuangcos and the invitation to the engineer’s office only proved its intent to acquire the property for a right of way and did not amount to a valid and definite offer.

ONGSUCO v. MALONES, G.R. No. 182065, October 27, 2009 The rentals and goodwill fees imposed by the municipal ordinance are charges, making the municipal ordinance void and unenforceable as there was no valid public hearing conducted as mandated by Sec. 186 of the Local Government Code, which expressly provides that ordinances levying taxes, fees or charges cannot be enacted without any public hearing.


Political Law

Bayantel is exempt from realty taxes on its properties that are actually, directly and exclusively used in the pursuit of its franchise. Congress may grant a tax exemption previously withdrawn by the LGC. Despite the fact that Sec. 5, Article X of the Constitution gives local legislative bodies the power to tax, their exercise of this power may be subject to guidelines and limitations as Congress may provide. Thus, the power to tax is still primarily vested in Congress. Through Sec. 232 of the Local Government Code which provides that “a province or city or municipality within the Metropolitan Manila Area may levy an annual ad valorem tax on real property...not hereinafter specifically exempted,” the Congress highlighted its power to thereafter exempt certain realties from the taxing power of local government units. The use, in turn, of the same  phrase “exclusive of this franchise” in Republic Act 7633, which was the basis for Bayante’s exemption from realty taxes prior to the LGC, shows the intention on the part of Congress to once again remove from the LGC’s delegated taxing power all of the franchisee’s properties actually, directly and exclusively used in the pursuit of its franchise.

MIAA v. COURT OF APPEALS, G.R. No. 155650, July 20, 2006 MIAA, not being a government-owned and controlled corporation, is exempt from real estate tax  because it is a government instrumentality vested with corporate powers. An instrumentality refers to any agency of the National Government not integrated within the department framework, vested with special functions or jurisdiction by law, endowed with some if not all corporate powers, administering special funds, and enjoying operational autonomy, usually through a charter. Sec. 133 of the LGC states that the taxing powers of provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays shall not extend to the levy of taxes, fees or charges of any kind on the National Government, its agencies and instrumentalities. This constitutes a limitation imposed by Congress on the local government’s exercise of the power to tax. Furthermore, the  power of local governments to tax national government instrumentalities is construed strictly against local governments and the rule is that a tax is never presumed and that there must be clear language in the law imposing the tax.

QUEZON CITY v. ABS-CBN, G.R. No. 166408, October 6, 2008 While Congress has the inherent power to tax and grant tax exemptions, Sec. 5, Article X of the 1987 Constitution confers on municipal corporations a general power to levy taxes and otherwise create sources of revenue and they no longer have to wait for a statutory grant of these powers. In interpreting statutory provisions on municipal fiscal powers, doubts will be resolved in favor of municipal corporations. In this case, the “in lieu of other taxes” provision does not expressly  provide in clear and unambiguous language what kind of taxes ABS -CBN is exempted from, and as a claim of tax exemption is not favored nor presumed in law but must be clearly shown, ABSCBN is liable for Quezon City’s franchise tax.

SMART COMMUNICATIONS v. CITY OF DAVAO, G.R. No. September 16, 2008 Smart is liable to pay Davao’s franchise tax because its legislative franchise did not expressly  provide the specific taxes from which it was exempt. The “in lieu of all taxes” clause in Smart’s legislative franchise did not expressly and categorically state that the exemption applies to both local and national taxes and thus, the phrase in question must be applied only to national internal

Political Law

revenue taxes. Tax exemptions are never presumed and are construed strictly against the taxpayer and liberally in favor of the taxing authority.

SANGALANG v. IAC, G.R. No. 71169, December 22, 1988 The Mayor’s act is valid because in this case, the city has the power to open  a city street for  public use. Despite loss of privacy among Bel-Air residents, more important than this is the duty of a local executive to take care of the needs of the majority at the expense of the minority.

CITY OF MANILA v. TEOTICO, G.R. No. L-23053, January 29, 1968 The applicable provision is that of Art. 2189 of the Civil Code as it governs liability due to “defective streets”, which Teotico alleged to be the cause of his injuries. Sec. 4 of the City Charter is not decisive on the issue as it refers merely to liability arising from negligence in general, regardless of the object thereof, while Art. 2189 governs liability due to “defective streets” in particular. On the allegation of the City of Manila that it is not liable because the street where Teotico was injured was a national highway, the Court ruled that under Art. 2189 of the Civil Code, it is not necessary that the defective roads or streets belong to the province, city or municipality on which responsibility is placed. It is enough that the said province, city or municipality have either control or supervision over the said street or road.

TORIO v. FONTANILLA, G.R. No. L-29993, October 23, 1978 The provision simply gives authority to the municipality to celebrate a yearly fiesta but it does not impose upon it a duty to observe one. Holding a fiesta even if the purpose is to commemorate a religious or historical event of the town is in essence an act for the special benefit of the community and not for the general welfare of the public performed in pursuance of a policy of the state. The mere fact that the celebration, as claimed was not to secure profit or gain but merely to provide entertainment to the town inhabitants is not a conclusive test. For instance, the maintenance of parks is not a source of income for the nonetheless it is private undertaking as distinguished from the maintenance of public schools, jails, and the like which are for public service.

KANANGA v. MADRONA, G.R. No. 141375, April 30, 2003 Sec. 118 of the Local Government Code, requiring that boundary disputes involving municipalities or component cities of different provinces be jointly referred for settlement to the sanggunians of the provinces concerned, has no application in this case since one party is an independent component city. Since there is no legal provision specifically governing jurisdiction over boundary disputes between a municipality and an independent component city, the general rules governing jurisdiction should then be used and as the RTCs have general jurisdiction to adjudicate all controversies except those expressly withheld from their plenary powers, the RTCs have the power to hear and resolve the dispute in the case at bar.

SOCRATES v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 154512, November 12, 2002

Political Law

The recall assembly was proper. Hagedorn is not disqualified from running in the recall election as any subsequent election, like a recall election, is no longer covered by the prohibition on serving for more than 3 consecutive terms contained in Sec. 43 of the Local Government Code. Any subsequent election like a recall election is no longer an immediate re-election after three consecutive terms and the intervening period constitutes an involuntary interruption in the continuity of service.

MONTEBON v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 180444, April 8, 2008 Sec. 43 of the Local Government Code provides that an elective local official cannot serve for more than three consecutive terms, and that voluntary renunciation of office for any length of time does not interrupt the continuity of service. For an official to be disqualified from running  because of the three-term limit, the official must have been elected for three consecutive terms in the same local government post, and he must have fully served three consecutive terms. In this case, there was an interruption in Potencioso’s second term as municipal councilor as he succeeded the retired Vice Mayor Mendoza. Such succession in local government offices is by operation of law and does not constitute voluntary renunciation of office. Thus, since the succession did not amount to a voluntary renunciation of office (which does not interrupt the continuity of service), Potencioso could not be said to have fully served his second term and as such, he is entitled to run for another term as municipal councilor.

MENDOZA v. LAXINA, G.R. No. 146875, July 14, 2003 The re-taking of an oath of office by a duly-proclaimed but subsequently unseated local elective official is not a condition sine qua non to the validity of his re-assumption into his office. Once Laxina was proclaimed and duly sworn into office the first time, he became entitled to assume office and exercise its functions. The pendency of an election protest is not sufficient basis to stop him from assuming office or discharging his functions. When the COMELEC nullified the writ of execution pending appeal issued by the MTC in favor of Fermo, the MTC’s decision  proclaiming Fermo as winner of the election was stayed and the status quo –  or when Laxina was occupying the office of Barangay Captain –   was restored. As such, the re-taking of his oath was a mere formality, because through the stay of the MTC’s decision, it was as if the writ of execution was not issued and he was not ousted from office.

VALLES v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 137000, August 9, 2000 Lopez is not disqualified. Sec. 40(d) of the Local Government Code uses the term ‘dual citizenship’ as a disqualification, meaning dual allegiance. For candidates like Lopez with dual citizenship, it is enough that they elect Philippine citizenship upon the filing of their certificate of candidacy to terminate their status as persons with dual citizenship. As such, if in the certificate of candidacy, one declares that he/she is a Filipino citizen and that he/she will support and defend the Constitution of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto, such a declaration, under oath, operates as an effective renunciation of foreign citizenship. In this case, Lopez should not be disqualified as the Philippine law on citizenship adheres to the  principle of jus sanguinis. Thereunder, a child follows the nationality or citizenship of the parents regardless of the place of his/her birth. Lopez, is a Filipino citizen, having been born to a Filipino

Political Law

father. Also, the fact that Lopez was born in Australia did not amount to her losing her Philippine citizenship. Furthermore, the fact that Lopez was a holder of an Australian passport and had an alien certificate of registration did not mean that she was renouncing her Filipino citizenship since a renunciation must be express to result in the loss of citizenship.

MERCADO v. MANZANO, G.R. No. 135083, May 26, 1999 Manzano should not be disqualified because the “dual citizenship” meant in Sec. 40 (d) of the Local Government Code as a ground for disqualification, refers to “dual allegiance”. Dual citizenship arises when, as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of two or more states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states, while dual allegiance, refers to the situation in which a person simultaneously owes, by some positive act, loyalty to two or more states. For candidates with dual citizenship, it is enough that they elect Philippine citizenship upon the filing of their certificate of candidacy, to terminate their status as  persons with dual citizenship. Manzano‘s oath of allegiance to the Philippines, when considered with the fact that he has spent his youth and adulthood, received his education, practiced his  profession as an artist, and taken part in past elections in this country, shows his election of Philippine citizenship.

MONDANO v. SILVOSA, G.R. No. L-7708, May 30, 1955 The investigation and suspension were illegal because, although provincial supervision over municipal officials belongs to the Provincial Governor and he may submit written charges before the Provincial Board and suspend the official, the charges in this case are not malfeasances contemplated under Sec. 2188 of the Revised Administrative Code. The charges may be considered as involving moral turpitude, but before the Provincial Board/Governor may formally charge and suspend the petitioner, there must first be a conviction which was lacking in this case.

TALAGA v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 196804, October 9, 2012 Talaga deliberately made misrepresentations in his COC, therefore the same was null and void. The false representation here must be a deliberate attempt to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact that would otherwise render a candidate ineligible. To prevent a candidate from running in an electoral race, one may resort to either a petition for disqualification under Sec. 40 of the Local Government Code (the effect of which will be the prohibition of the person from continuing as a candidate) or to a petition to deny due course to, or cancel, a certificate of candidacy grounded on a statement of a material representation in the said certificate that is false (the effect of which is the cancellation or denial of due course of the person’s certificate, with the said person not treated as a candidate at all –   as if she never filed a COC). A person whose COC was cancelled does not give rise to a valid candidacy and therefore cannot be substituted by another person.


Political Law

Baselines laws are nothing but statutory mechanisms for UNCLOS III States parties to delimit with precision the extent of their maritime zones and continental shelves. In turn, this gives notice to the rest of the international community of the scope of the maritime space and submarine areas within which States parties exercise treaty-based rights, namely, the exercise of sovereignty over territorial waters (Article 2), the jurisdiction to enforce customs, fiscal, immigration, and sanitation laws in the contiguous zone (Article 33), and the right to exploit the living and non-living resources in the exclusive economic zone (Article 56) and continental shelf (Article 77).

VINUYA v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, G.R. No. 162230, April 28, 2010 The Latin phrase, ‘erga omnes,’ has since become one of the rallying cries of those sharing a  belief in the emergence of a value-based international public order. However, as is so often the case, the reality is neither so clear nor so bright. Whatever the relevance of obligations erga omnes as a legal concept, its full potential remains to be realized in practice. The term is closely connected with the international law concept of jus cogens. In international law, the term " jus cogens" (literally, "compelling law") refers to norms that command  peremptory authority, superseding conflicting treaties and custom. Jus cogens norms are considered peremptory in the sense that they are mandatory, do not admit derogation, and can be modified only by general international norms of equivalent authority. As a general principle –   and particularly here, where such an extraordinary length of time has lapsed between the treaty’s conclusion and our consideration –   the Executive must be given ample discretion to assess the foreign policy considerations of espousing a claim against Japan, from the standpoint of both the interests of the petitioners and those of the Republic, and decide on that basis if apologies are sufficient, and wheth er further steps are appropriate or necessary.

ANG LADLAD v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 190582, April 8, 2010 At this time, we are not prepared to declare that these Yogyakarta Principles contain norms that are obligatory on the Philippines. There are declarations and obligations outlined in said Principles which are not reflective of the current state of international law, and do not find basis in any of the sources of international law enumerated under Article 38(1) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. Petitioner has not undertaken any objective and rigorous analysis of these alleged principles of international law to ascertain their true status.

PHARMACEUTICAL AND HEALTHCARE ASSOCIATION v. DUQUE, G.R. No. 173034, October 9, 2007 Under the 1987 Constitution, international law can become part of the sphere of domestic law either by transformation or incorporation. The transformation method requires that an international law be transformed into a domestic law through a constitutional mechanism such as local legislation. The incorporation method applies when, by mere constitutional declaration, international law is deemed to have the force of domestic law.

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