Anda di halaman 1dari 65

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I

File No. 7

V. LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

a. SENATE (COMPOSITION; QUALIFICATIONS; TERM OF OFFICE)


SEC. 2, 3 AND 4.

Section 2. The Senate shall be composed of twenty-four


Senators who shall be elected at large by the qualified voters
of the Philippines, as may be provided by law.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator unless he is a natural-


born citizen of the Philippines and, on the day of the election,
is at least thirty-five years of age, able to read and write, a
registered voter, and a resident of the Philippines for not less
than two years immediately preceding the day of the election.

Section 4. The term of office of the Senators shall be six years


and shall commence, unless otherwise provided by law, at
noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their election.
No Senator shall serve for more than two consecutive terms.
Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall
not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his
service for the full term of which he was elected.

b. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Particulars Senate House of Representative

Compositio 24 Senators Not more than 250


n
35 yrs. old 25 yrs. old.
Age
Natural-born citizen of the Natural-born citizen of the
Citizenship Phils. Phils.

Able to read and write Able to read and write

Registered voter Registered voter in the


district in which he shall be
elected – n/a party list
Residency Resident of the
Philippines for at least 2 Resident of the said district
years immediately for at least 1 year
preceding the election immediately preceding
Term election – n/a to party-list
6 years
3 years
Unless otherwise provided
by law, term of office Unless otherwise provided
commence at noon of by law, term of office
Term Limit June 30, next following commence at noon of June
the election. 30, next following the
election.
Not more than 2
consecutive years. Not more than 3
consecutive years.

Note: The qualifications of both Senators and Members of the House


are limited to those provided by the Consttution. Congress cannot, by
law, add or subtract from these qualifications.

i) Composition (District Representatives; Party-list


Representatives) Sec. 5

Section 5. (1) The House of Representatives shall be composed


of not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless
otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative
districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the
Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of
their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and
progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be
elected through a party-list system of registered national,
regional, and sectoral parties or organizations.

(2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per


centum of the total number of representatives including those
under the party list. For three consecutive terms after the
ratification of this Constitution, one-half of the seats allocated
to party-list representatives shall be filled, as provided by law,
by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor,
indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such
other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious
sector.

(3) Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as


practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory. Each
city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand,
or each province, shall have at least one representative.

(4) Within three years following the return of every census, the
Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts
based on the standards provided in this section.

Senate – 24 elected at large by the qualified voters of the


Philippines;

House of Representatives – not more than 250 members


consisting of:

a. District Representatives – elected from legislative districts


apportioned among the provinces, cities and the Metropolitan
Manila area;

b. Party-list Representatives – shall constitute 20% of the total number


of representatives elected through a party-list system of registered
national, regional and sectoral parties or organizations.

District Representative Party-list Representative

Elected according to legislative Elected nationality with party-


district by the constituents of such list organizations garnering at
district. least 3% of all votes cast for
the party-list system entitled to
1 seat, which is increased
according to proportional
representation, but is in no way
Must be a resident of his legislative to exceed 3 seats per
district for at least 1 year organization
immediately before the election.
No special residency
Elected personally, by name. requirement.
Voted upon by party or
Does not lose seat if he/she changes organization. It is only when a
party or affiliation. party is entitled to
representation that it
designates who will sit as
representative.

In case of vacancy, a special If he/she changes party or


election may be held provided that affiliation, loses his seat, in
the vacancy takes place at least 1 which case he/she will be
year before the next election. substituted by another qualified
person in the party /
A district representative is not organization based on the list
prevented from running again as a submitted to the COMELEC.
district representative if he/she lost
during the previous election. In case of vacancy, a
substitution will be made within
A change in affiliation within months the party, based on the list
prior to election does not prevent a submitted to the COMELEC.
district representative from running
under his new party. A party-list representative
cannot sit if he ran and lost in
the previous election.

A change in affiliation within 6


months prior to election
prohibits the party-list
representatives from listing as
representative under his new
party or organization.

CASES

• We rule that a simple reading of Section 5, Article VI of the


Constitution, easily conveys the equally simple message that
Congress was vested with the broad power to define and prescribe
the mechanics of the party-list system of representation. The
Constitution explicitly sets down only the percentage of the total
membership in the House of Representatives reserved for party-list
representatives. In the exercise of its constitutional prerogative,
Congress enacted RA 7941. As said earlier, Congress declared
therein a policy to promote "proportional representation" in the
election of party-list representatives in order to enable Filipinos
belonging to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors to
contribute legislation that would benefit them. It however deemed
it necessary to require parties, organizations and coalitions
participating in the system to obtain at least two percent of the
total votes cast for the party-list system in order to be entitled to a
party-list seat. Those garnering more than this percentage could
have "additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes."
Furthermore, no winning party, organization or coalition can have
more than three seats in the House of Representatives.

In imposing a two percent threshold, Congress wanted to ensure


that only those parties, organizations and coalitions having a
sufficient number of constituents deserving of representation are
actually represented in Congress. This intent can be gleaned from
the deliberations on the proposed bill. The two percent threshold is
consistent not only with the intent of the framers of the
Constitution and the law, but with the very essence of
"representation." Under a republican or representative state, all
government authority emanates from the people, but is exercised
by representatives chosen by them. But to have meaningful
representation, the elected persons must have the mandate of a
sufficient number of people. Otherwise, in a legislature features the
party-list system, the result might be the proliferation of small
groups which are incapable of contributing significant legislation,
and which might even pose a threat to the stability of Congress.
Thus, even legislative districts are apportioned according to "the
number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a
uniform and progressive ratio" to ensure meaningful local
representation.

The three-seat limit ensures the entry of various interest-


representations into the legislature; thus, no single group, no
matter how large its membership, would dominate the party-list
seats, if not the entire House (Veterans Federation Party vs. COMELEC, GR
136781, Oct. 06, 2000).

• Under the Constitution and RA 7941, private respondents cannot


be disqualified from the party-list elections, merely on the ground
that they are political parties. Section 5, Article VI of the
Constitution, provides that members of the House of
Representatives may "be elected through a party-list system of
registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations."
For its part, Section 2 of RA 7941 also provides for "a party-list
system of registered national, regional and sectoral parties or
organizations or coalitions thereof, . . .." Section 3 expressly states
that a "party" is "either a political party or a sectoral party or a
coalition of parties." More to the point, the law defines "political
party" as "an organized group of citizens advocating an ideology or
platform, principles and policies for the general conduct of
government and which, as the most immediate means of securing
their adoption, regularly nominates and supports certain of its
leaders and members as candidates for public office."

Sec. 2 of RA 7941 mandates a state policy of promoting


proportional representation by means of the Filipino-style party-list
system, which will "enable" the election to the House of
Representatives of Filipino citizens, who belong to marginalized
and underrepresented sectors, organizations and parties; and who
lack well-defined constituencies; but who could contribute to the
formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will
benefit the nation as a whole. "Proportional representation" here
does not refer to the number of people in a particular district,
because the party-list election is national in scope. Neither does it
allude to numerical strength in a distressed or oppressed group.
Rather, it refers to the representation of the "marginalized and
underrepresented" as exemplified by the enumeration in Section 5
of the law; namely, "labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor,
indigenous cultural communities, elderly, handicapped, women,
youth, veterans, overseas workers, and professionals."

However, it is not enough for the candidate to claim representation


of the marginalized and underrepresented, because representation
is easy to claim and to feign. The party-list organization or party
must factually and truly represent the marginalized and
underrepresented constituencies mentioned in Section 5. 36
Concurrently, the persons nominated by the party-list candidate-
organization must be "Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized
and underrepresented sectors, organizations and parties."

Finally, "lack of well-defined constituenc[y]" refers to the absence


of a traditionally identifiable electoral group, like voters of a
congressional district or territorial unit of government. Rather, it
points again to those with disparate interests identified with the
"marginalized or underrepresented."

The intent of the Constitution is clear: to give genuine power to the


people, not only by giving more law to those who have less in life,
but more so by enabling them to become veritable lawmakers
themselves. Consistent with this intent, the policy of the
implementing law, we repeat, is likewise clear: "to enable Filipino
citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors,
Organizations and parties, . . ., to become members of the House of
Representatives." Where the language of the law is clear, it must
be applied according to its express terms (Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW
Labor Party vs. Comelec, GR 147589, June 26, 2001).

ii) Apportionment of Legislative Districts

1. Maintain proportional representation based on number of


inhabitants;

o Each city with not less than 250 thousand inhabitants, entitled
to at least one (1) representative;
o Each province, irrespective of the number of inhabitants,
entitled to at least one (1) representative.
2. Each district must be contiguous compact and adjacent.
Gerrymandering is not allowed.

Gerrymandering – formation of one legislative district out of separate


territories for the purpose of favoring a candidate or a party.

3. Reapportionment within 3 years following


return of every census.

CASES

• According to the Constitution, "the Congress shall by law, make


an apportionment (of Members of the House) within three years
after the return of every enumeration, and not otherwise." It is
admitted that the bill, which later became Republic Act 3040, was
based upon a report submitted to the President by the Director of
the Census on November 23, 1960. Petitioners maintain that the
apportionment could not legally rest on this report since it is merely
"preliminary" and "may be subject to revision." On the other hand,
respondents point out that the above letter says the report should
be considered "official for all purposes." They also point out that
the ascertainment of what constitutes a return of an enumeration is
a matter for Congress action. This issue does not clearly favor
petitioners, because there are authorities sustaining the view that
although not final, and still subject to correction, a census
enumeration may be considered official, in the sense that
Governmental action may be based thereon even in matters of
apportionment of legislative districts.
The Constitution directs that the one hundred twenty Members of
the House of Representatives "shall be apportioned among the
several provinces as nearly as may be according to the number of
their respective inhabitants." In our resolution on August 23, we
held that this provision was violated by Republic Act 3040 because
(a) it gave Cebu seven members, while Rizal with a bigger number
of inhabitants got four only; (b) it gave Manila four members, while
Cotabato with a bigger population got three only; (c) Pangasinan
with less inhabitants than both Manila and Cotabato got more than
both five members having been assigned to it; (d) Samar (with
871,857) was allotted four members while Davao with 903,224 got
three only; (e) Bulacan vs. with 557,691 got two only, while Albay
with less inhabitants (515,691) got three, and (f) Misamis Oriental
with 387,839 was given one member only, while Cavite with less
inhabitants (379,904) got two. These were not the only instances of
unequal apportionment. We see that Mountain Province has 3
whereas Isabela, Laguna and Cagayan with more inhabitants have
2 each. And then Capiz, La Union and Ilocos Norte got 2 each,
whereas, Sulu that has more inhabitants got 1 only. And Leyte with
967,323 inhabitants got 4 only, whereas Iloilo with less inhabitants
(966,145) was given 5.For all the foregoing, we hereby reiterate our
resolution declaring that Republic Act 3040 infringed the provisions
of the Constitution and is therefore void (Macias vs. Comelec, 3 SCRA 1).

• The Constitution ordains:


The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than
one hundred and twenty Members who shall be apportioned among
the several provinces as nearly as may be according to the number
of their respective inhabitants, but each province shall have at least
one Member. The Congress shall by law make an apportionment
within three years after the return of every enumeration, and not
otherwise. Until such apportionment shall have been made, the
House of Representatives shall have the same number of Members
as that fixed by law for the National Assembly, who shall be elected
by the qualified electors from the present Assembly districts, as far
as practicable, contiguous and compact territory.
Pursuant to this Section, a representative district may come into
existence: (a) indirectly, through the creation of a province � for
"each province shall have at least one member" in the House of
Representatives; or (b) by direct creation of several representative
districts within a province. The requirements concerning the
apportionment of representative districts and the territory thereof
refer only to the second method of creation of representative
districts, and do not apply to those incidental to the creation of
provinces, under the first method. This is deducible, not only from
the general tenor of the provision above quoted, but, also, from the
fact that the apportionment therein alluded to refers to that which
is made by an Act of Congress. Indeed, when a province is created
by statute, the corresponding representative district comes into
existence neither by authority of that statute which cannot provide
otherwise nor by apportionment, but by operation of the
Constitution, without a reapportionment.
There is no constitutional limitation as to the time when, territory
of, or other conditions under which a province may be created,
except, perhaps, if the consequence thereof were to exceed the
maximum of 120 representative districts prescribed in the
Constitution, which is not the effect of the legislation under
consideration. As a matter of fact, provinces have been created or
subdivided into other provinces, with the consequent creation of
additional representative districts without complying with the
aforementioned requirements. , the constitutional command to the
effect that "each representative district shall comprise . . .
contiguous and compact territory" is, not absolute, but, qualified by
the phrase "as far as practicable." In the case at bar, the
delimitation of the provinces involved therein is based upon the
tribes or ethnic groups inhabiting the same (Felwa vs. Salas, 18 SCRA
606).

• It is urged that the last enumeration or census took place in


1960; that, no apportionment having been made within three (3)
years thereafter, the Congress of the Philippines and/or the election
of its Members became illegal; that Congress and its Members,
likewise, became a de facto Congress and/or de facto congressmen,
respectively; and that, consequently, the disputed Resolutions,
proposing amendments to the Constitution, as well as Republic Act
No. 4913, are null and void.

It is not true, however, that Congress has not made an


apportionment within three years after the enumeration or census
made in 1960. It did actually pass a bill, which became a Republic
Act No, 3040, purporting to in make said apportionment. This Act
was, however, declared unconstitutional, upon the ground that the
apportionment therein undertaken had not been made according to
the number of inhabitants of the different provinces of the
Philippines.

Moreover, we are unable to agree with the theory that, in view of


the failure of Congress to make a valid apportionment within the
period stated in the Constitution, Congress became an
"unconstitutional Congress" and that, in consequence thereof, the
Members of its House of Representatives are de facto officers. The
major premise of this process of reasoning is that the constitutional
provision on "apportionment within three years after the return of
every enumeration, and not otherwise," is mandatory. The fact that
Congress is under legal obligation to make said apportionment
does not justify, however, the conclusion that failure to comply with
such obligation rendered Congress illegal or unconstitutional, or
that its Members have become de facto officers.

It is conceded that, since the adoption of the Constitution in 1935,


Congress has not made a valid apportionment as required in said
fundamental law. The effect of this omission has been envisioned in
the Constitutional pursuant to which:

". . . Until such apportionment shall have been made, the House of
Representatives shall have the same number of Members as that
fixed by law for the National Assembly, who shall be elected by the
qualified electors from the present Assembly districts . . ."

The provision does not support the view that, upon the expiration
of the period to make the apportionment, a Congress which fails to
make it is dissolved or becomes illegal. On the contrary, it implies
necessarily that Congress shall continue to function with the
representative districts existing at the time of the expiration of said
period (Gonzales vs. Comelec, 21 SCRA 774).

• Reapportionment (attempts to change the way voting districts


are delineated) issues are justiciable questions, thus enabling
federal courts to intervene in and to decide reapportionment cases
(Baker vs. Carr, 369 US 186).

• The Court ruled that reapportionment of legislative districts may


be made through a special law, such as in the charter of a new city.
The Constitution clearly provides that Congress shall be composed
of not more than two hundred fifty (250) members, unless
otherwise fixed by law. As thus worded, the Constitution did not
preclude Congress from increasing its membership by passing a
law, other than a general reapportionment law. This is exactly what
was done by Congress in enacting R.A. No. 7854 and providing for
an increase in Makati's legislative district. Moreover, to hold that
reapportionment can only be made through a general
apportionment law, with a review of all the legislative districts
allotted to each local government unit nationwide, would create an
inequitable situation where a new city or province created by
Congress will be denied legislative representation for an
indeterminate period of time. That intolerable situation will deprive
the people of a new city or province a particle of their sovereignty.
Sovereignty cannot admit of any kind of subtraction. It is indivisible.
It must be forever whole or it is not sovereignty (Mariano vs. Comelec,
242 SCRA 211).

• Consistent with the limits of its power to make minor


adjustments, Section 3 of the Ordinance did not also give the
respondent COMELEC any authority to transfer municipalities from
one legislative district to another district. The power granted by
Section 3 to the respondent COMELEC is to adjust the number of
members (not municipalities) "apportioned to the province out of
which such new province was created. . . ."
Presiding from these premises, we hold that respondent COMELEC
committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
jurisdiction when it promulgated section 1 of its Resolution No.
2736 transferring the municipality of Capoocan of the Second
District and the municipality of Palompon of the Fourth District to
the Third District of Leyte.
It may well be that the conversion of Biliran from a sub-province to
a regular province brought about an imbalance in the distribution of
voters and inhabitants in the five (5) legislative districts of the
province of Leyte. This imbalance, depending on its degree, could
devalue a citizen's vote in violation of the equal protection clause
of the Constitution. Be that as it may, it is not proper at this time
for petitioner to raise this issue using the case at bench as his legal
vehicle. The issue involves a problem of reapportionment of
legislative districts and petitioner's remedy lies with Congress.
Section 5(4), Article VI of the Constitution categorically gives
Congress the power to reapportion, thus: "Within three (3) years
following the return of every census, the Congress shall make a
reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards
provided in this section." In Macias v. COMELEC, we ruled that the
validity of a legislative apportionment is a justiciable question. But
while this Court can strike down an unconstitutional
reapportionment, it cannot itself make the reapportionment as
petitioner would want us to do by directing respondent COMELEC to
transfer the municipality of Tolosa from the First District to the
Second District of the province of Leyte (Montejo vs. Comelec, GR
118702, March 19, 1995).

iii) Qualifications (Section 6)


Section 6. No person shall be a Member of the House of
Representatives unless he is a natural-born citizen of the
Philippines and, on the day of the election, is at least twenty-
five years of age, able to read and write, and, except the
party-list representatives, a registered voter in the district in
which he shall be elected, and a resident thereof for a period
of not less than one year immediately preceding the day of the
election.

CASES

• The essential distinction between residence and domicile in law


is that residence involves the intent to leave when the purpose for
which the resident has taken up his abode ends. One may seek a
place for purposes such as pleasure, business, or health. If a
person's intent be to remain, it becomes his domicile; if his intent is
to leave as soon as his purpose is established it is residence. It is
thus, quite perfectly normal for an individual to have different
residences in various places. However, a person can only have a
single domicile, unless, for various reasons, he successfully
abandons his domicile in favor of another domicile of choice.

The deliberations of the 1987 Constitution on the residence


qualification for certain elective positions have placed beyond
doubt the principle that when the Constitution speaks of
"residence" in election law, it actually means only "domicile.

We have stated, many times in the past, that an individual does


not lose his domicile even if he has lived and maintained
residences in different places.

To successfully effect a change of domicile, one must demonstrate:

1. An actual removal or an actual change of domicile;


2. A bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of
residence and establishing a new one; and
3. Acts which correspond with the purpose.

In the absence of clear and positive proof based on these criteria,


the residence of origin should be deemed to continue (Marcos vs.
Comelec, 248 SCRA 300).

• The Constitution requires that a person seeking election to the


House of Representatives should be a resident of the district in
which he seeks election for a period of not less than one (I) year
prior to the elections. Residence, for election law purposes, has a
settled meaning in our jurisdiction.

In Co v. Electrocal Tribunal of the House of Representatives this


Court held that the term "residence" has always been understood
as synonymous with "domicile" not only under the previous
Constitutions but also under the 1987 Constitution.

Clearly, the place "where a party actually or constructively has his


permanent home," 21 where he, no matter where he may be found
at any given time, eventually intends to return and remain, i.e., his
domicile, is that to which the Constitution refers when it speaks of
residence for the purposes of election law.

As found by the COMELEC en banc petitioner in his Certificate of


Candidacy for the May 11, 1992 elections, indicated not only that
he was a resident of San Jose, Concepcion, Tarlac in 1992 but that
he was a resident of the same for 52 years immediately preceding
that election. 23 At the time, his certificate indicated that he was
also a registered voter of the same district. His birth certificate
places Concepcion, Tarlac as the birthplace of both of his parents
Benigno and Aurora. Thus, from data furnished by petitioner
himself to the COMELEC at various times during his political career,
what stands consistently clear and unassailable is that his domicile
of origin of record up to the time of filing of his most recent
certificate of candidacy for the 1995 elections was Concepcion,
Tarlac.

Petitioner's alleged connection with the Second District of Makati


City is an alleged lease agreement of a condominium unit in the
area. As the COMELEC, in its disputed Resolution noted:
The intention not to establish a permanent home in Makati City is
evident in his leasing a condominium unit instead of buying one.
While a lease contract may be indicative of respondent's intention
to reside in Makati City it does not engender the kind of
permanency required to prove abandonment of one's original
domicile especially since, by its terms, it is only for a period of two
(2) years, and respondent Aquino himself testified that his intention
was really for only one(1) year, because he has other "residences"
in Manila or Quezon City.

To successfully effect a change of domicile, petitioner must prove


an actual removal or an actual change of domicile, a bona fide
intention of abandoning the former place of residence and
establishing a new one and definite acts which correspond with the
purpose. These requirements are hardly met by the evidence
adduced in support of petitioner's claims of a change of domicile
from Tarlac to the Second District of Makati. In the absence of clear
and positive proof, the domicile of origin should be deemed to
continue (Aquino vs. Comelec, Sept. 18, 1995).

• The 1987 Constitution enumerates who are Filipino citizens as


follows:

(1) Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the
adoption of this Constitution;
(2) Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines;
(3) Those born before January 17, 1973 of Filipino mothers, who
elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority, and
(4) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.

There are two ways of acquiring citizenship: (1) by birth, and (2) by
naturalization. These ways of acquiring citizenship correspond
to the two kinds of citizens: the natural-born citizen, and the
naturalized citizen. A person who at the time of his birth is a citizen
of a particular country, is a natural-born citizen thereof.

As defined in the same Constitution, natural-born citizens "are


those citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to
perform any act to acquire or perfect his Philippine citizenship."

On the other hand, naturalized citizens are those who have become
Filipino citizens through naturalization, generally under
Commonwealth Act No. 473, otherwise known as the Revised
Naturalization Law, which repealed the former Naturalization Law
(Act No. 2927), and by Republic Act No. 530. To be
naturalized, an applicant has to prove that he possesses all the
qualifications and none of the disqualifications provided by law to
become a Filipino citizen. The decision granting Philippine
citizenship becomes executory only after two (2) years from its
promulgation when the court is satisfied that during the
intervening period, the applicant has (1) not left the Philippines;
(2) has dedicated himself to a lawful calling or profession; (3) has
not been convicted of any offense or violation of Government
promulgated rules; or (4) committed any act prejudicial to the
interest of the nation or contrary to any Government
announced policies.

Filipino citizens who have lost their citizenship may however


reacquire the same in the manner provided by law. Commonwealth
Act No. 63 (CA No. 63), enumerates the three modes by which
Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by a former citizen: (1) by
naturalization, (2) by repatriation, and (3) by direct act of
Congress.

Naturalization is a mode for both acquisition and reacquisition of


Philippine citizenship. As a mode of initially acquiring Philippine
citizenship, naturalization is governed by Commonwealth Act No.
473, as amended. On the other hand, naturalization as a mode
for reacquiring Philippine citizenship is governed by
Commonwealth Act No. 63. Under this law, a former Filipino
citizen who wishes to reacquire Philippine citizenship must
possess certain qualifications 17 and none of the
disqualifications mentioned in Section 4 of C.A. 473.

Repatriation, on the other hand, may be had under various statutes


by those who lost their citizenship due to: (1) desertion of the
armed forces; (2) service in the armed forces of the allied
forces in World War II; (3) service in the Armed Forces of the United
States at any other time; (4) marriage of a Filipino woman to an
alien; and (5) political and economic necessity.

As distinguished from the lengthy process of naturalization,


repatriation simply consists of the taking of an oath of allegiance
to the Republic of the Philippines and registering said oath in the
Local Civil Registry of the place where the person concerned
resides or last resided.

In Angara v. Republic, the Court held:

. . .. Parenthetically, under these statutes [referring to RA Nos. 965


and 2630], the person desiring to reacquire Philippine citizenship
would not even be required to file a petition in court, and all that
he had to do was to take an oath of allegiance to the Republic of
the Philippines and to register that fact with the civil registry in the
place of his residence or where he had last resided in the
Philippines.

Moreover, repatriation results in the recovery of the original


nationality. This means that a naturalized Filipino who lost his
citizenship will be restored to his prior status as a naturalized
Filipino citizen. On the other hand, if he was originally a natural-
born citizen before he lost his Philippine citizenship, he will be
restored to his former status as a natural-born Filipino.

SECTION 4. A natural-born citizen is one who is a citizen of the


Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to
acquire or perfect his Philippine citizenship.
Two requisites must concur for a person to be considered as such:
(1) a person must be a Filipino citizen from birth and (2) he
does not have to perform any act to obtain or perfect his
Philippine citizenship.

Under the 1973 Constitution definition, there were two categories


of, Filipino citizens which were not considered natural-born: (1)
those who were naturalized and (2) those born before January 17,
1973, of Filipino mothers who, upon reaching the age of
majority, elected Philippine citizenship. Those "naturalized
citizens" were not considered natural-born obviously because they
were not Filipinos at birth and had to perform an act to acquire
Philippine citizenship. Those born of Filipino mothers before the
effectivity of the 1973 Constitution were likewise not considered
natural-born because they also had to perform an act to
perfect their Philippine citizenship.

The present Constitution, however, now considers those born of


Filipino mothers before the effectivity of the 1973 Constitution and
who elected Philippine citizenship upon reaching the majority age
as natural-born. After defining who are natural-born citizens,
Section 2 of Article IV adds a sentence: "Those who elect Philippine
citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3), Section 1 hereof shall
be deemed natural-born citizens." Consequently, only naturalized
Filipinos are considered not natural-born citizens. It is apparent
from the enumeration of who are citizens under the present
Constitution that there are only two classes of citizens: (1) those
who are natural-born and (2) those who are naturalized in
accordance with law. A citizen who is not a naturalized Filipino, i.e.,
did not have to undergo the process of naturalization to obtain
Philippine citizenship, necessarily is a natural-born Filipino.
Noteworthy is the absence in said enumeration of a separate
category for persons who, after losing Philippine citizenship,
subsequently reacquire it. The reason therefor is clear: as to such
persons, they would either be natural-born or naturalized
depending on the reasons for the loss of their citizenship and the
mode prescribed by the applicable law for the reacquisition thereof
(Bengson vs. HRET, GR 142840. May 7, 2001)

iv)Term of Office (Section 7, 8 and 9)

Section 7. The Members of the House of Representatives shall


be elected for a term of three years which shall begin, unless
otherwise provided by law, at noon on the thirtieth day of June
next following their election. No Member of the House of
Representatives shall serve for more than three consecutive
terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of
time shall not be considered as an interruption in the
continuity of his service for the full term for which he was
elected.

Section 8. Unless otherwise provided by law, the regular


election of the Senators and the Members of the House of
Representatives shall be held on the second Monday of May.

Section 9. In case of vacancy in the Senate or in the House of


Representatives, a special election may be called to fill such
vacancy in the manner prescribed by law, but the Senator or
Member of the House of Representatives thus elected shall
serve only for the unexpired term.

iv)Compensation (Section 10)

Section 10. The salaries of Senators and Members of the House


of Representatives shall be determined by law. No increase in
said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of
the full term of all the Members of the Senate and the House of
Representatives approving such increase.

v) Privileges (Section 11)

Section 11. A Senator or Member of the House of


Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not more
than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while
the Congress is in session. No Member shall be questioned nor
be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in
the Congress or in any committee thereof.

a. Freedom from Arrest

 Legislators are privileged from arrest, and not to prosecution for


criminal offenses, while Congress is “in session” only (whether
regular or special) with respect to offenses punishable by up to 6
years of imprisonment.
b. Parliamentary Immunity

CASES

• "The Senators and Members of the House of Representatives


shall in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace.
be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of
the Congress, and in going to and returning from the same; and for
any speech or debate therein, they shall not be questioned in any
other place." (Article VI, Section 15.)

The determination of the issue depends on whether or not the


aforementioned publication falls within the purview of the phrase
"speech or debate therein" — that is to say in Congress — used in
this provision.

The publication involved in this case does not belong to this


category. According to the complaint herein, it was an open letter
to the President of the Philippines, dated November 14, 1958, when
Congress presumably was not in session, and defendant caused
said letter to be published in several newspapers of general
circulation in the Philippines, on or about said date. It is obvious
that, in thus causing the communication to be so published, he was
not performing his official duty, either as a member of Congress or
as officer of any Committee thereof. Hence, contrary to the finding
made by His Honor, the trial Judge, said communication is not
absolutely privileged (Jimenez vs. Cabangbang, 17 SCRA 714).

• As defendant's imputations against plaintiff were not made


privately nor officially as to be qualifiedly privilege under Article
354 of the Revised Penal Code, the trial court correctly held that by
virtue of their defamatory and libelous nature against the honor,
integrity and reputation of plaintiff, malice in law was presumed. It
further correctly ruled that defendant had not overcome such
presumption of malice, not having shown the truth thereof, or that
they were published with good intentions and with justifiable
motive or even from the most liberal standpoint that they were
made in the exercise of the right of fair comment on the character,
good faith, ability and sincerity of public officials.
The trial court aptly observed that "(A)t the time of the publication
of the defamatory imputation, the plaintiff was not a candidate for
any public office there being no election to be held and his term of
office as Senator would not expire until several years more. As a
member of the Senate of the Philippines, he was answerable to
said body for any misconduct committed as a Senator because it
had the authority to take disciplinary action against any member
thereof. Had the defendant been prompted by a sense of duty, and
not because of malice, the charge at least with respect to the
alleged threat made against an American, should have been filed
with the Senate or any of its Committees. The defendant did not do
so but instead made the accusations publicly by causing them to
be given widest publication by all the metropolitan newspapers,
obviously in retaliation to the charge filed against him by the
plaintiff with the Blue Ribbon. Committee of the Senate."
The trial court likewise properly rejected defendant-appellant's
claim of defensive libel thus: "(S)tress had also been laid by the
defendant on the argument that he had been libeled by the plaintiff
and accordingly the former was justified to hit back with another
libel. The emphasis laid had been misplaced and based upon a
wrong premise. The defendant was charged with the commission of
certain anomalous transactions in his capacity as Secretary of
Public Works and Communications and the same were filed with
the Investigation Committee (Blue Ribbon) of the Senate of the
Philippines and the Commission on Appointments. Accordingly, the
said charges, even assuming that they contain defamatory
imputation, would not be libelous because the letter sent by the
plaintiff was a privileged communication." (Antonino vs. Valencia, 57
SCRA 70).

• Issue: Did the actions of the Senate Subcommittee on Internal


Security fall within the sphere of legitimate legislative activity and
not violate the First Amendment? The Court held that the Senate
Subcommittee's actions were legitimate and did not violate the
Fund's First Amendment rights. Chief Justice Burger argued that
the power to investigate, even through a compulsory mechanism
like a subpoena, is "inherent in the power to make laws."
Furthermore, the investigation was related to and aided in
furthering a "legitimate task of Congress," namely, the
investigation of the Internal Security Act. Burger disregarded the
Fund's claim that the investigation was being conducted to expose
its beliefs, many of which were "unorthodox or unpopular." He
reasoned that the legitimacy of a congressional investigatory
action is not derived from the motives of the members or by the
information that the investigation uncovers (Eastland vs. US
Servicemen’s Fund, 421 US 491).

• Chief Justice Burger, relying on the Court's finding in Doe v.


McMillan (1973), concluded that while speeches in Congress and
discussions with staff were protected by Section 6, statements in
newsletters and press releases were not because they were not
"essential to the deliberations of the Senate" nor were they part of
the legislature's "deliberative process (Hutchinson vs. Proxmire, 443 US
111).”

vi) Disqualifications and Disabilities (Section 12, 13


and
14)

Section 12. All Members of the Senate and the House of


Representatives shall, upon assumption of office, make a full
disclosure of their financial and business interests. They shall
notify the House concerned of a potential conflict of interest
that may arise from the filing of a proposed legislation of
which they are authors.

Section 13. No Senator or Member of the House of


Representatives may hold any other office or employment in
the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality
thereof, including government-owned or controlled
corporations or their subsidiaries, during his term without
forfeiting his seat. Neither shall he be appointed to any office
which may have been created or the emoluments thereof
increased during the term for which he was elected.

Section 14. No Senator or Member of the House of


Representatives may personally appear as counsel before any
court of justice or before the Electoral Tribunals, or quasi-
judicial and other administrative bodies. Neither shall he,
directly or indirectly, be interested financially in any contract
with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by the
Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality
thereof, including any government-owned or controlled
corporation, or its subsidiary, during his term of office. He
shall not intervene in any matter before any office of the
Government for his pecuniary benefit or where he may be
called upon to act on account of his office.

Disqualification When Applicable

1. Cannot hold any other office or During his term. If he does so,
employment in the Government he forfeits his seat.
or any subdivision, agency or
instrumentality thereof, including
GOCCS or their subsidiaries.

2. Legislators cannot be appointed If the office was created or the


to any office. emoluments thereof increased
during the term for which he was
elected.
3. Legislators cannot personally
appear as counsel before any During his term of office.
court of justice, electoral
tribunal, quasi-judicial and
administrative bodies.
During his term office.
4. Legislators cannot be financially
interested directly or indirectly in
any contrct with or in any
franchise, or special privilege
granted by the Government, or
any subdivision, agency or When it is for his pecuniary
instrumentality thereof, including benefit or where he may be
any GOCC or its subsidiary. called upon to act on account of
his office.
5. Legislators cannot intervene in
any matter before any office of
the government.

CASES

• The performance of legitimate and even essential duties by


public officers has never been an excuse to free a person validly in
prison. The duties imposed by the "mandate of the people" are
multifarious. The accused-appellant asserts that the duty to
legislate ranks highest in the hierarchy of government. The
accused-appellant is only one of 250 members of the House of
Representatives, not to mention the 24 members of the Senate,
charged with the duties of legislation. Congress continues to
function well in the physical absence of one or a few of its
members. A strict scrutiny of classifications is essential lest
wittingly or otherwise, insidious discriminations are made in favor
of or against groups or types of individuals. The election to the
position of Congressman is not a reasonable classification in
criminal law enforcement. The functions and duties of the office are
not substantial distinctions which lift him from the class of
prisoners interrupted in their freedom and restricted in liberty of
movement. Lawful arrest and confinement are germane to the
purposes of the law and apply to all those belonging to the same
class (People vs. Jalosjos, GR 132875-76, February 03, 2000).

vii) Discipline

CASES

• Section 15, Article VI of our Constitution provides that "for any


speech or debate" in Congress, the Senators or Members of the
House of Representatives "shall not be questioned in any other
place." 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."

Our Constitution enshrines parliamentary immunity which is a


fundamental privilege cherished in every legislative assembly of
the democratic world. But it does not protect him from
responsibility before the legislative body itself whenever his words
and conduct are considered by the latter disorderly or unbecoming
a member thereof. On the question whether delivery of speeches
attacking the Chief Executive constitutes disorderly conduct for
which Osmeña may be disciplined, many arguments pro and con
have been advanced. We believe, however, that the House is the
judge of what constitutes disorderly behaviour, not only because
the Constitution has conferred jurisdiction upon it, but also because
the matter depends mainly on factual circumstances of which the
House knows best but which can not be depicted in black and white
for presentation to, and adjudication by the Courts. The theory of
separation of powers fastidiously observed by this Court, demands
in such situation a prudent refusal to interfere. Each department, it
has been said, has exclusive cognizance of matters within its
jurisdiction and is supreme within its own sphere (Osmena vs.
Pendatun, 109 Phil 863).

• Section 1, Article VIII, of the 1987 Constitution, empowers the


Court to act not only in the settlement of “actual controversies
involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable,”
but also in the determination of “whether or not there has been a
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
Government. The provision allowing the Court to look into any
possible grave abuse of discretion committed by any government
instrumentality has evidently been couched in general terms in
order to make it malleable to judicial interpretation in the light of
any emerging milieu. In its normal concept, the term has been said
to imply an arbitrary, despotic, capricious or whimsical exercise of
judgment amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. When the
question, however, pertains to an affair internal to either of
Congress or the Executive, the Court subscribes to the view that
unless an infringement of any specific Constitutional proscription
thereby inheres the Court should not deign substitute its own
judgment over that of any of the other two branches of
government. It is an impairment or a clear disregard of a specific
constitutional precept or provision that can unbolt the steel door
for judicial intervention. If any part of the Constitution is not, or
ceases to be, responsive to contemporary needs, it is the people,
not the Court, who must promptly react in the manner prescribed
by the Charter itself (Santiago vs. Sandiganbayan, GR 128055, April 18,
2001).

c. INTERNAL GOVERNMENT (SECTION 15 AND 16)

Section 15. The Congress shall convene once every year on the
fourth Monday of July for its regular session, unless a different
date is fixed by law, and shall continue to be in session for
such number of days as it may determine until thirty days
before the opening of its next regular session, exclusive of
Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. The President may call
a special session at any time.

Section 16. (1). The Senate shall elect its President and the
House of Representatives, its Speaker, by a majority vote of all
its respective Members. Each House shall choose such other
officers as it may deem necessary.

(2) A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do


business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day
and may compel the attendance of absent Members in such
manner, and under such penalties, as such House may provide.

(3) Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings,


punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and, with the
concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members, suspend or expel
a Member. A penalty of suspension, when imposed, shall not
exceed sixty days.
(4) Each House shall keep a Journal of its proceedings, and
from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as
may, in its judgment, affect national security; and the yeas
and nays on any question shall, at the request of one-fifth of
the Members present, be entered in the Journal. Each House
shall also keep a Record of its proceedings.

(5) Neither House during the sessions of the Congress shall,


without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three
days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses
shall be sitting.

i) Sessions, Adjournment, Officers

Sessions: (Sec. 15)

Regular Sessions:
o Congress convenes once every year on the 4th Monday of July
(unless otherwise provided for by law).
o Continues in session for as long as it sees fit, until 30 days before
the opening of the next regular session, excluding Saturdays,
Sundays, and legal holidays.

Special Sessions:
Called by the President at any time when Congress is not in session.

Adjournments:

1. Neither House can adjourn for more than 3 days during the time
Congress is in session without the consent of the other House.
2. Neither can they adjourn to any other place than that where the two
houses are sitting, without the consent of the other.

Officers: (Sec. 16)


1. Senate President
2. Speaker of the House; and
3. Such other officers as it may deem necessary.

Election of Officers
o By a majority vote of all respective
members.
Quorum to do business:
1. Majority of each House shall constitute a quorum.
2. A smaller number may adjourn from day to day and may compel the
attendance of absent members.
3. In computing a quorum, members who are outside the country and
thus outside of each House’s coercive jurisdiction are not included.

Discipline:
1. Suspension – needs concurrence of
2/3 of ALL its members and shall not
exceed 60 days. Or,
2. Expulsion – concurrence of 2/3 of
ALL its members.

CASES

• The term "majority" has been judicially defined a number of


times. When referring to a certain number out of a total or
aggregate, it simply "means the number greater than half or more
than half of any total." The plain and unambiguous words of the
subject constitutional clause simply mean that the Senate
President must obtain the votes of more than one half of all the
senators. Not by any construal does it thereby delineate who
comprise the "majority", much less the "minority," in the said body.
And there is no showing that the framers of our Constitution had in
mind other than the usual meanings of these terms.

In effect, while the Constitution mandates that the President of the


Senate must be elected by a number constituting more than one
half of all the members thereof, it does not provide that the
members who will not vote for him shall ipso facto constitute the
"minority", who could thereby elect the minority leader. Verily, no
law or regulation states that the defeated candidate shall
automatically become the minority leader.

Majority may also refer to "the group, party, or faction with the
larger number of votes," not necessarily more than one half. This is
sometimes referred to as plurality. In contrast, minority is "a group,
party, or faction with a smaller number of votes or adherents than
the majority." Between two unequal parts or numbers comprising a
whole or totality, the greater number would obviously be the
majority, while the lesser would be the minority. But where there
are more than two unequal groupings, it is not as easy to say which
is the minority entitled to select the leader representing all the
minorities. While the Constitution is explicit on the manner of
electing a Senate President and a House Speaker, it is, however,
dead silent on the manner of selecting the other officers in both
chambers of Congress. All that the Charter says is that "[e]ach
House shall choose such other officers as it may deem necessary."
The method of choosing who will be such other officers is merely a
derivative of the exercise of the prerogative conferred by the
aforequoted constitutional provision. Therefore, such method must
be prescribed by the Senate itself, not by this Court. Notably, the
Rules of the Senate do not provide for the positions of majority and
minority leaders. Neither is there an open clause providing
specifically for such offices and prescribing the manner of creating
them or of choosing the holders thereof . At any rate, such offices,
by tradition and long practice, are actually extant. But, in the
absence of constitutional or statutory guidelines or specific rules,
this Court is devoid of any basis upon which to determine the
legality of the acts of the Senate relative thereto. On grounds of
respect for the basic concept of separation of powers, courts may
not intervene in the internal affairs of the legislature; it is not within
the province of courts to direct Congress how to do its work.
Legislative rules, unlike statutory laws, do not have the imprints of
permanence and obligatoriness during their effectivity. In fact, they
"are subject to revocation, modification or waiver at the pleasure of
the body adopting them." Being merely matters of procedure, their
observance are of no concern to the courts, for said rules may be
waived or disregarded by the legislative body 49 at will, upon the
concurrence of a majority (Santiago vs. Guingona, GR 134577, Nov. 18,
1998).

ii) Quorum

Majority of each House, but a smaller number may adjourn from day ro
day and may compel the attendance of absent Members in such
manner and under such penalties as such House may determine (Sec.
16 (2), Art. VI)

CASES

• The basis for determining the existence of a quorum in the Senate


shall be the total number of Senators who are in the country and
within the coercive jurisdiction of the Senate.

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". (Missouri Pac. vs. Kansas, 63 Law ed. [U. S.], p. 239). 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 (Avelino vs.
Cuenco, 83 Phil 17).

iii)Internal Rules

o As part of their inherent power, they can


determine their own rules. Hence, the
courts cannot intervene in the
implementation of these rules insofar as
they affect the members of Congress.

CASES

• The President shall nominate and with the consent of the


Commission on Appointments, shall appoint the heads of the
executive departments and bureaus, officers of the Army from the
rank of colonel, of the Navy and air forces from the rank of captain
or commander, and all other officers of the Government whose
appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and those
whom he maybe authorized by law to appoint; but the Congress
may by law vest the appointment of inferior officers, in the
President alone, in the courts, or in the heads of departments. The
other provision is worded thus: "The President shall have the power
to make appointments during the recess of the Congress, but such
appointments shall be effective only until disapproval by the
Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of the
Congress." A distinction is thus made between the exercise of such
presidential prerogative requiring confirmation by the Commission
on Appointments when Congress is in session and when it is in
recess. In the former the President nominates, and only upon the
consent of the Commission on Appointments may the person thus
named assume office. It is not so with reference to ad interim
appointments. It takes effect at once. The individual chosen may
thus qualify and perform his function without loss of time. His title
to such office is complete. In the language of the Constitution, the
appointment is effective "until disapproval by the Commission on
Appointments or until the next adjournment of the Congress (Pacete
vs. Secretary of Commission on Appointment, 40 SCRA 58).”
• The cases, both here and abroad, in varying forms of expression,
all deny to the courts the power to inquire into allegations that, in
enacting a law, a House of Congress failed to comply with its own
rules, in the absence of showing that there was a violation of a
constitutional provision or the rights of private individuals. It would
be an unwarranted invasion of the prerogative of a coequal
department for this Court either to set aside a legislative action as
void because the Court thinks the House has disregarded its own
rules of procedure, or to allow those defeated in the political arena
to seek a rematch in the judicial forum when petitioners can find
their remedy in that department itself. The Court has not been
invested with a roving commission to inquire into complaints, real
or imagined, of legislative skullduggery. It would be acting in
excess of its power and would itself be guilty of grave abuse of its
discretion were it to do so. In the absence of anything to the
contrary, the Court must assume that Congress or any House
thereof acted in the good faith belief that its conduct was
permitted by its rules, and deference rather than disrespect is due
the judgment of that body (Arroyo vs. De Venecia, GR 127255, Aug. 14,
1997).

viii) Journals and Enrolled Bill

Journals

Enrolled Bill – is the official copy of approved legislation and bears


the certifications of the presiding officers of each House. Thus where
the certifications are valid and are not withdrawn, the contents of the
enrolled bill are conclusive upon the courts as regards the provision of
that particular bill.

Conclusive upon the courts as regards the tenor of the measure passed
by Congress and approved by the President (Mabanag v, Lopez Vito, 78
Phil.1).

General rule: the journal is conclusive upon the courts but an


enrolled bill prevails over the contents of the Journal.

Note: Enrolled bill prevails (Field v. Clark, 143 US 649), except to


matters, which under the Constitution, must be entered into the
Journal (Astorga v. Villegas, 56 SCRA 714).

CASES
• The Act of Congress, approved July 1, 1902, provides, among other
things, in section 7, that the Philippine Assembly "shall keep a
journal of its proceedings, which shall be published . . . ." Section
275 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that the existence of
the "official acts of the legislative, executive, and judicial
departments of the United States and of the Philippine Islands . . .
shall be judicially recognized by the court without the introduction
of proof; but the court may receive evidence upon any of the
subjects in this section stated, when it shall find it necessary for its
own information, and may resort for its aid to appropriate books,
documents, or evidence (US vs Pons, 34 Phil 729).”

• It will be seen upon examination of section 313 of the Code of


Civil Procedure, as amended by Act No. 2210, that, roughly, it
provides two methods of proving legislative proceedings: (1) by the
journals, or by published statutes or resolutions, or by copies
certified by the clerk or secretary or printed by their order; and (2)
in case of acts of the legislature, by a copy signed by the presiding
Officers and secretaries thereof, which shall be conclusive proof of
the provisions of such Acts and of the due enactment thereof.

Even if both the journals and an authenticated copy of the Act had
been presented, the disposal of the issue by the Court on the basis
of the journals does not imply rejection of the enrollment theory,
for, as already stated, the due enactment of a law may be proved
in either of the two ways specified in section 313 of Act No. 190 as
amended (Mabanag vs. Lopez Vito, 78 Phil 1).

• It is well settled that the enrolled bill — which uses the term
"urea formaldehyde" instead of "urea and formaldehyde" — is
conclusive upon the courts as regards the tenor of the measure
passed by Congress and approved by the President. If there has
been any mistake in the printing of the bill before it was certified
by the officers of Congress and approved by the Executive — on
which we cannot speculate, without jeopardizing the principle of
separation of powers and undermining one of the cornerstones of
our democratic system — the remedy is by amendment or curative
legislation, not by judicial decree (Casco Chemical vs. Gimenez, 7 SCRA
347).

• The inclusion of desirable enlargements in the statute is


addressed to the judgment of Congress and unless such
enlargements are by it accepted courts are without power to make
them. As Mr. Justice Frankfurter put the matter with lucidity: "An
omission at the time of enactment, whether careless or calculated,
cannot be judicially supplied however much later wisdom may
recommend the inclusion….The vital difference between initiating
policy, often involving a decided break with the past, and merely
carrying out a formulated policy, indicates the relatively narrow
limits within which choice is fairly open to courts and the extent to
which interpreting law is inescapably making law (Morales vs. Subido,
27 SCRA 131).”

• Congress devised its own system of authenticating bills duly


approved by both Houses, namely, by the signatures of their
respective presiding officers and secretaries on the printed copy of
the approved bill. It has been held that this procedure is merely a
mode of authentication, to signify to the Chief Executive that the
bill being presented to him has been duly approved by Congress
and is ready for his approval or rejection. It may be noted that the
enrolled bill theory is based mainly on "the respect due to coequal
and independent departments," which requires the judicial
department "to accept, as having passed Congress, all bills
authenticated in the manner stated." Thus it has also been stated
in other cases that if the attestation is absent and the same is not
required for the validity of a statute, the courts may resort to the
journals and other records of Congress for proof of its due
enactment. This was the logical conclusion reached in a number of
decisions, although they are silent as to whether the journals may
still be resorted to if the attestation of the presiding officers is
present.

The journal of the proceedings of each House of Congress is no


ordinary record. The Constitution requires it. While it is true that
the journal is not authenticated and is subject to the risks of
misprinting and other errors, the point is irrelevant in this case.
This Court is merely asked to inquire whether the text of House Bill
No. 9266 signed by the Chief Executive was the same text passed
by both Houses of Congress. Under the specific facts and
circumstances of this case, this Court can do this and resort to the
Senate journal for the purpose. In the face of the manifest error
committed and subsequently rectified by the President of the
Senate and by the Chief Executive, for this Court to perpetuate that
error by disregarding such rectification and holding that the
erroneous bill has become law would be to sacrifice truth to fiction
and bring about mischievous consequences not intended by the
law-making body (Astorga vs. Villegas, 56 SCRA 714).

d. ELECTORAL TRIBUNALS
Section 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall
each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge
of all contests relating to the election, returns, and
qualifications of their respective Members. Each Electoral
Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, three of whom
shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the
Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of the
Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be,
who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional
representation from the political parties and the parties or
organizations registered under the party-list system
represented therein. The senior Justice in the Electoral
Tribunal shall be its Chairman.

i) Composition

The Senate and the House shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which
shall be composed of:

1. 3 Supreme Court Justices to be designted by


the Chief Justices; &
2. 6 members of the Senate or House, as the
case may be.

The senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman.

Note: The congressional members of the ET’s shall be chosen on


the basis of proportional representation from the political parties
and party-list organizations.

CASES

• Is the House of Representatives empowered by the Constitution


to interfere with the disposition of an election contest in the House
Electoral Tribunal through the ruse of "reorganizing" the
representation in the tribunal of the majority party? Section 17,
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution supplies the answer to that
question. Under the said provision, the Justices held the deciding
votes, and it was impossible for any political party to control the
voting in the tribunal. The use of the word "sole" in both Section 17
of the 1987 Constitution and Section 11 of the 1935 Constitution
underscores the exclusive jurisdiction of the House Electoral
Tribunal as judge of contests relating to the election, returns and
qualifications of the members of the House of Representatives. The
tribunal was created to function as a nonpartisan court although
two-thirds of its members are politicians. It is a non-political body in
a sea of politicians. To be able to exercise exclusive jurisdiction,
the House Electoral Tribunal must be independent. Its jurisdiction
to hear and decide congressional election contests is not to be
shared by it with the Legislature nor with the Courts. The
resolution of the House of Representatives removing Congressman
Camasura from the House Electoral Tribunal for disloyalty to the
LDP, because he cast his vote in favor of the Nacionalista Party's
candidate, Bondoc, is a clear impairment of the constitutional
prerogative of the House Electoral Tribunal to be the sole judge of
the election contest between Pineda and Bondoc (Bondoc vs. Pineda,
201 SCRA 792).

• The proposed amendment to the Tribunal's Rules (Section 24) —


requiring the concurrence of five (5) members for the adoption of
resolutions of whatever nature — is a proviso that where more than
four (4) members are disqualified, the remaining members shall
constitute a quorum, if not less than three (3) including one (1)
Justice, and may adopt resolutions by majority vote with no
abstentions. We do not agree with petitioners' thesis. We opine
that in fact the most fundamental objection to such proposal lies in
the plain terms and intent of the Constitution itself which, in its
Article VI, Section 17, creates the Senate Electoral Tribunal, ordains
its composition and defines its jurisdiction and powers. For a
Tribunal to be staffed by both Justices of the Supreme Court and
Members of the Senate, the Constitution intended that both those
"judicial" and "legislative" components commonly share the duty
and authority of deciding all contests relating to the election,
returns and qualifications of Senators. Every Member of the
Tribunal may, as his conscience dictates, refrain from participating
in the resolution of a case where he sincerely feels that his
personal interests or biases would stand in the way of an objective
and impartial judgment. What we are merely saying is that in the
light of the Constitution, the Senate Electoral Tribunal cannot
legally function as such, absent its entire membership of Senators
and that no amendment of its Rules can confer on the three
Justices-Members alone the power of valid adjudication of a
senatorial election contest (Abbas vs. Senate Electoral Tribunal, 166 SCRA
651).

ii) Powers

1. Sole judge of all contest relating to the election, returns and


qualification of their respective members (Sec. 17, Art.VI);
2. Rule-making power

CASES

• The electoral tribunal clearly assumes jurisdiction over all


contests relative to the election, returns and qualifications of
candidates for either the Senate or the House only when the latter
become members of either the Senate or the House of
Representatives. A candidate who has not been proclaimed and
who has not taken his oath of office cannot be said to be a member
of the House of Representatives subject to Section 17 of Article VI
of the Constitution. Even after the elections, the COMELEC is still
empowered by Section 6 (in relation to Section 7) of R.A. 6646 to
continue to hear and decide questions relating to qualifications of
candidates (Aquino vs. Comelec, GR 120265, Sept. 18, 1995).

• Under Section 17 of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, it is the


House Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all
contests relating to the election, returns and qualification of its
members. Since petitioners challenge the qualifications of
Congressman Daza, the appropriate remedy should have been to
file a petition to cancel respondent Daza's certificate of candidacy
before the election or a quo warranto case with the House Electoral
Tribunal within ten (10) days after Daza's proclamation (Sampayan vs.
Daza, 213 SCRA 807).

iii)Jurisdiction over Proclamation Controversy

 Each electoral tribunal shall be the sole judge of all CONTEST


relating to the election, returns; and qualifications of their
respective members. This includes determining the validity or
invalidity of a proclamation declaring a particular candidate as the
winner.
 An ‘election contest’ is one where a defeated candidate challenges
the qualification and claims for himself the seat of a proclaimed
winner.
 In the absence of an election contest, the
Electoral Tribunal is without jurisdiction. However, the power of
each House to expel its own members or even to defer their oath-
taking until their qualifications are determines may still be
exercised even without an election contest.
CASES

• Article VI thereof states: Sec. 17. The Senate and the House of
Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall
be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns,
and qualifications of their respective Members. . . .The foregoing
constitutional provision is reiterated in Rule 14 of the 1991 Revised
Rules of the Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives. In
the recent case of Rasul v. COMELEC and Aquino-Oreta, the Court,
in interpreting the aforesaid constitutional provision, stressed the
exclusivity of the Electoral Tribunal's jurisdiction over its members.
In the same vein, considering that petitioner questions the
proclamation of Henry Lanot as the winner in the congressional
race for the sole district of Pasig City, his remedy should have been
to file an electoral protest with the House of Representatives
Electoral Tribunal (HRET) (Caruncho vs. Comelec, GR 135996, Sept. 30,
1999).

e. COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENTS (SEC. 18 & 19)

Section 18. There shall be a Commission on Appointments


consisting of the President of the Senate, as ex officio
Chairman, twelve Senators, and twelve Members of the House
of Representatives, elected by each House on the basis of
proportional representation from the political parties and
parties or organizations registered under the party-list system
represented therein. The chairman of the Commission shall not
vote, except in case of a tie. The Commission shall act on all
appointments submitted to it within thirty session days of the
Congress from their submission. The Commission shall rule by
a majority vote of all the Members.

Section 19. The Electoral Tribunals and the Commission on


Appointments shall be constituted within thirty days after the
Senate and the House of Representatives shall have been
organized with the election of the President and the Speaker.
The Commission on Appointments shall meet only while the
Congress is in session, at the call of its Chairman or a majority
of all its Members, to discharge such powers and functions as
are herein conferred upon it.
i) Composition

1. Senate President as ex-officio chairman;


2. 12 Senators: and
3. 12 Members of the House.

Note: The 12 Senators and 12 Representatives are elected on the


basis of proportional representation from the political parties and
party-list organizations.

Voting / Action
1. The Commission shall rule by majority vote of all
members.
2. The chairman shall only vote in case of a tie.
3. The Commission on Appointments shall act on all appointment
within 30 session days from their submission to Congress.

CASES

• The provision of Section 18 on proportional representation is


mandatory in character and does not leave any discretion to the
majority party in the Senate to disobey or disregard the rule on
proportional representation; otherwise, the party with a majority
representation in the Senate or the House of Representatives can
by sheer force of numbers impose its will on the hapless minority.
By requiring a proportional representation in the Commission on
Appointments, Section 18 in effect works as a check on the
majority party in the Senate and helps to maintain the balance of
power. No party can claim more than what it is entitled to under
such rule. To allow it to elect more than its proportional share of
members is to confer upon such a party a greater share in the
membership in the Commission on Appointments and more power
to impose its will on the minority, who by the same token, suffers a
diminution of its rightful membership in the Commission.

A political party must have at least two senators in the Senate to be


able to have a representative in the Commission on Appointments,
so that any number less than 2 will not entitle such a party a
membership in the Commission on Appointments. We do not agree
with respondents' claim that it is mandatory to elect 12 Senators to
the Commission on Appointments. The Constitution does not
contemplate that the Commission on Appointments must
necessarily include twelve (12) senators and twelve (12) members
of the House of Representatives. What the Constitution requires is
that there be at least a majority of the entire membership. Under
Section 18, the Commission shall rule by majority vote of all the
members and in Section 19, the Commission shall meet only while
Congress is in session, at the call of its Chairman or a majority of all
its members "to discharge such powers and functions herein
conferred upon it (Guingona vs. Gonzales, 214 SCRA 789).”

ii) Powers

1. Acts on all appointments submitted to it within 30 session days of


Congress from their submission; and
2. Promulgates its own rules of proceedings.

CASES

• Under the provisions of the 1987 Constitution, there are four (4)
groups of officers whom the President shall appoint:

First, the heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other


public ministers and consuls, officers of the armed forces from the
rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose
appointments are vested in him in this Constitution;

Second, all other officers of the Government whose appointments


are not otherwise provided for by law;

Third, those whom the President may be authorized by law to


appoint;

Fourth, officers lower in rank whose appointments the Congress


may by law vest in the President alone.

The first group of officers is clearly appointed with the consent of


the Commission on Appointments. Appointments of such officers
are initiated by nomination and, if the nomination is confirmed by
the Commission on Appointments, the President appoints.The
second, third and fourth groups of officers are the present bone of
contention. Should they be appointed by the President with or
without the consent (confirmation) of the Commission on
Appointments? In the 1987 Constitution, the clear and expressed
intent of its framers was to exclude presidential appointments from
confirmation by the Commission on Appointments (Sarmiento vs.
Mison, 156 SCRA 549).
f. POWERS OF CONGRESS

i) General Legislative Power

a. general plenary power (Sec. 1, Art VI);

Section 1. The legislative power shall be vested in the


Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and
a House of Representatives, except to the extent reserved to
the people by the provision on initiative and referendum.

b. specific power of appropriation;


c. taxation and expropriation;
d. legislative investigations;
e. question hour.

CASES

• The doctrine is well established in the various States of the Union


that the legislatures have no power to establish rules which
operates to deprive the courts of their constitutional authority to
exercise the judicial functions. A constitutional court when
exercising its proper judicial functions can no more be
unreasonably controlled by the legislature than can the legislature
when properly exercising legislative power be subjected to the
control of the courts. Each acts independently within its exclusive
field. In a certain sense these courts are not constitutional courts.
In a broader sense, and for the purposes of construing and testing
the validity of the Acts of the Philippine Legislature, they are
constitutional courts, because they, like the Legislature, exist by
virtue of a written Organic Law enacted by the supreme legislative
body. The validity of all legislative Acts must be determined by
their compliance with this Organic Law, and the determination of
the legal question of compliance or noncompliance therewith is a
judicial question, which must in the last analysis be determined by
the judiciary. This principle is inherent in every government
organized under the American system which distributes the powers
of government among executive, legislative and judicial
departments (Ocampo vs. Cabangis, 15 Phil. 626).

ii) Inherent Legislative Power

a. police power
 The power vested in the legislature by the
constitutionto make, ordain, and establish
all manner of wholesome and reasonable
laws, statutes, and ordinances, either with
penalties or without, not repugnant to the
Constitution, as they shall judge to be for
the good and welfare of the commonwealth,
and of the subjects of the same.

Law of overruling necessity – power promoting public welfare by


restraining and regulating the use of liberty and property.

Basis : public necessity and the right of the State and of the public to
self-protection and self preservation.

Who may exercise: generally the legislature, but also upon valid
delegation:

1. the President
2. Administrative bodies
3. Law making bodies of LGU

b. power of taxation

 power by which the State raises revenue


to defray the necessary expenses of the
Government that covers persons,
property, or __________.

Basis: power emanating from necessity. ( ____ theory)

Who may exercise: generally the legislature, but also upon valid
delegation:

1. Law-making bodies of LGUs (Sec. 5,


Art. X); and;
2. The President under Sec 28 (2), Art
VI of the Constitution or as an
incident of emergency powers that
Congress may grant to him under
Sec. 23 (2), Art. VI).

c. eminent domain
 power of the State to forcibly take
private property for public use upon
payment of just compensation.

Basis: necessity of the property for public use.

Who may exercise: generally the legislature, but also upon valid
delegation:

1. the President
2. Law-making bodies of LGUs;
3. Public corporations; and
4. Quasi-public corporations

iii)Limitations

a. Substantive Limitations
- Limitations on specific powers (Section
30 and 31)

Section 30. No law shall be passed increasing the appellate


jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as provided in this
Constitution without its advice and concurrence.

Section 31. No law granting a title of royalty or nobility shall


be enacted.

- Bill of Rights
- Implied limitations: no irrepealable law,
non-encroachment, non-delegation

b. Procedural Limitations

-One Bill, one subject (Section 26)


 only one subject to be stated in the title
of the bill (Sec, 26 (1), Art. VI);
 Every bill shall embrace only one (1)
subject, as expressed in the title thereof,
which does not have to be a complete
catalogue of everything stated in the bill.
A title expressing the general subject of
the bill and all the provisions of the
statute are germane to that general
subject is sufficient.
Section 26. (1) Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace
only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof.

CASES

• The objectives of Section 26(1), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution,


that "[e]very bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one
subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof", are:

1. To prevent hodge-podge or log-rolling legislation;


2. To prevent surprise or fraud upon the legislature by means of
provisions in bills of which the titles gave no information, and which
might therefore be overlooked and carelessly and unintentionally
adopted; and
3. To fairly apprise the people, through such publication of
legislative proceedings as is usually made, of the subjects of
legislation that are being considered, in order that they may have
opportunity of being heard thereon by petition or otherwise if they
shall so desire.
Section 44 of RA 8189 is not isolated considering that it is related
and germane to the subject matter stated in the title of the law.
The title of RA 8189 is "The Voter’s Registration Act of 1996" with a
subject matter enunciated in the explanatory note as "AN ACT
PROVIDING FOR A GENERAL REGISTRATION OF VOTERS, ADOPTING
A SYSTEM OF CONTINUING REGISTRATION, PRESCRIBING THE
PROCEDURES THEREOF AND AUTHORIZING THE APPROPRIATION OF
FUNDS THEREFOR." Section 44, which provides for the
reassignment of election officers, is relevant to the subject matter
of registration as it seeks to ensure the integrity of the registration
process by providing a guideline for the COMELEC to follow in the
reassignment of election officers. It is not an alien provision but one
which is related to the conduct and procedure of continuing
registration of voters. In this regard, it bears stressing that the
Constitution does not require Congress to employ in the title of an
enactment, language of such precision as to mirror, fully index or
catalogue, all the contents and the minute details therein.
In determining the constitutionality of a statute dubbed as
defectively titled, the presumption is in favor of its validity (Guzman
vs. Comelec, GR 129118, July 19, 2000).

Sufficiency of Title
CASES

• The title of the bill is not required to be an index to the body of


the act, or to be as comprehensive as to cover every single detail of
the measure. It has been held that if the title fairly indicates the
general subject, and reasonably covers all the provisions of the act,
and is not calculated to mislead the legislature or the people, there
is sufficient compliance with the constitutional requirement. To
require every end and means necessary for the accomplishment of
the general objectives of the statute to be expressed in its title
would not only be unreasonable but would actually render
legislation impossible.

This is particularly true of the repealing clause, on which Cooley


writes: "The repeal of a statute on a given subject is properly
connected with the subject matter of a new statute on the same
subject; and therefore a repealing section in the new statute is
valid, notwithstanding that the title is silent on the subject. It would
be difficult to conceive of a matter more germane to an act and to
the object to be accomplished thereby than the repeal of previous
legislations connected therewith."We are convinced that the
withdrawal of the franking privilege from some agencies is
germane to the accomplishment of the principal objective of R.A.
No. 7354, which is the creation of a more efficient and effective
postal service system. Our ruling is that, by virtue of its nature as a
repealing clause, Section 35 did not have to be expressly included
in the title of the said law (Philippine Judges Assn vs. Prado, GR 105371,
Nov. 11, 1993).

• The question is whether Congress has provided a sufficient


standard by which the President is to be guided in the exercise of
the power granted and whether in any event the grant of power to
him is included in the subject expressed in the title of the law.
First, the question of standard. A legislative standard need not be
expressed. It may simply be gathered or implied. Nor need it be
found in the law challenged because it may be embodied in other
statutes on the same subject as that of the challenged legislation
(Chiongbian vs. Orbos, 245 SCRA 253).

Bills that must originate exclusively from the House


 The initiative for filing of ART bills must
come from the House, but it does not
prohibit the filing in the Senate a
substitute bill in anticipation of its receipt
of the bill from House, so long as the
action by the Senate is withheld pending
the receipt of the House bill (Tolentino v.
Sec. of Finance, 235 SCRA 630).

 Appropriation, revenue and tariff bills


(ART Bills) shall originate exclusively in
the House of Representatives (sec. 24,
Art. VI).

Section 24. All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills


authorizing increase of the public debt, bills of local
application, and private bills, shall originate exclusively in the
House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or
concur with amendments.

CASES

• Petitioners' contention is that Republic Act No. 7716 did not


"originate exclusively" in the House of Representatives as required
by Art. VI, § 24 of the Constitution, because it is in fact the result of
the consolidation of two distinct bills, H. No. 11197 and S. No.
1630. This argument will not bear analysis. To begin with, it is not
the law — but the revenue bill — which is required by the
Constitution to "originate exclusively" in the House of
Representatives. It is important to emphasize this, because a bill
originating in the House may undergo such extensive changes in
the Senate that the result may be a rewriting of the whole (Tolentino
vs. Secretary of Finance, GR 115455, Aug. 25, 1994).

• The enactment of S. No. 1630 is not the only instance in which


the Senate proposed an amendment to a House revenue bill by
enacting its own version of a revenue bill. the power of the Senate
to propose amendments must be understood to be full, plenary and
complete "as on other Bills." Thus, because revenue bills are
required to originate exclusively in the House of Representatives,
the Senate cannot enact revenue measures of its own without such
bills. After a revenue bill is passed and sent over to it by the House,
however, the Senate certainly can pass its own version on the
same subject matter. This follows from the coequality of the two
chambers of Congress. In sum, while Art. VI, 24 provides that all
appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of
the public debt, bills of local application, and private bills must
"originate exclusively in the House of Representatives," it also
adds, "but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments."
In the exercise of this power, the Senate may propose an entirely
new bill as a substitute measure. Without H. No. 11197, the
Senate could not have enacted S. No. 1630. Because the Senate
bill was a mere amendment of the House bill, H. No. 11197 in its
original form did not have to pass the Senate on second and three
readings. It was enough that after it was passed on first reading it
was referred to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. Neither
was it required that S. No. 1630 be passed by the House of
Representatives before the two bills could be referred to the
Conference Committee (Tolentino vs. Secretary of Finance, GR 115455,
Motion for Recon., Oct. 30, 1995).

Three readings on separate days

 3 readings on separate days;


printed copies of the bill in its
final form distributed to members
3 days before its passage, except
if President certifies to its
immediate enactment to meet a
public calamity or emergency;
upon its last reading, no
amendment allowed and the vote
thereon taken immediately and
the yeas and nays entered into
the Journal (Sec. 26 (2), Art. VI).

(2) No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has
passed three readings on separate days, and printed copies thereof in
its final form have been distributed to its Members three days before
its passage, except when the President certifies to the necessity of its
immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency. Upon
the last reading of a bill, no amendment thereto shall be allowed, and
the vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas
and nays entered in the Journal.

Bicameral Conference Committee

g. LEGISLATIVE PROCESS (SEC. 27)

Section 27. (1) Every bill passed by the Congress shall, before
it becomes a law, be presented to the President. If he
approves the same he shall sign it; otherwise, he shall veto it
and return the same with his objections to the House where it
originated, which shall enter the objections at large in its
Journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such
reconsideration, two-thirds of all the Members of such House
shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the
objections, to the other House by which it shall likewise be
reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the Members
of that House, it shall become a law. In all such cases, the
votes of each House shall be determined by yeas or nays, and
the names of the Members voting for or against shall be
entered in its Journal. The President shall communicate his
veto of any bill to the House where it originated within thirty
days after the date of receipt thereof, otherwise, it shall
become a law as if he had signed it.

(2) The President shall have the power to veto any particular
item or items in an appropriation, revenue, or tariff bill, but
the veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not
object.

i) Approval of Bills

Bills that must originate in the House of Representatives:

1. Appropriation bill;
2. Revenue and tariff bills;
3. Bill authorizing increase in public
debts;
4. Bill of local application; and
5. Private bills (Sec. 24, Art. VI)

Procedure for Approval of Bills:


1. Bill is approved by both chambers;
2. President approves and signs it;
3. If the President vetoes the bill, returns the bill with presidential
objections to the House of origin. Veto may be overridden upon vote
of 2/3 of all members of the House of origin and the other House and;
4. Presidential inaction for 30 days from receipt of the bill (bill
becomes a law as if the same has been signed by him.

How a Bill becomes Law;


1. Approved and signed by the President;
2. President veto overridden by 2/3 of all members of both Houses;
3. Failure of the President to veto the bill and to rturn it with his
objections to the House where it originated within 30 days after the
date of receipt;
4. A bill calling a special election for President and Vice-President
under Sec. 10, Art. VII becomes a law upon third and final reading.
ii) Presidential veto

General Rule: If the President disapproved a bill enacted by


Congress, he should veto the entire bill. He is not allowed to veto
separate item of a bill.

Exception : Item-veto in case of appropriation, revenue and tariff


bill (Sec. 27(2), Art. VI).

Exception to The Exception:

- Doctrine of inappropriate Provision – a provision that is


constitutionally inappropriate for an appropriation bill may be
singled out for veto even if it is not an appropriation or revenue
“item” (Gonzales v. Macaraig, Jr., 191 SCRA 452)

- Executive Impoundment - refusal of the President to spend funds


already allocated by Congress for specific purpose. It is the failure
to spend or obligate budget authority of any type (Philconsa v.
Enriquez, GR. No. 1131105, Aug. 19, 1994).

iii)Pocket veto

- occurs when :

1. the President fails to act on a bill and;


2. the reason he does not return the bill to the Congress is that
Congress is not in session.

Note: Not applicable in the Philippines because inaction by


the President for 30 days never produces a veto even if Congress is in
recess. The President must still act to veto the bill and communicate
his veto to Congress without need of returning the vetoed bill with his
veto message.

iv)Item veto

Line – item veto – is the power of an executive to nullify or cancel


specific provisions of a bill, usually budget appropriations, without
vetoing the entire legislative package.

CASES
• The Executive must veto a bill in its entirety or not at all. He or
she cannot act like an editor crossing out specific lines, provisions,
or paragraphs in a bill that he or she dislikes. In the exercise of the
veto power, it is generally all or nothing. However, when it comes
to appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, the Administration needs
the money to run the machinery of government and it can not veto
the entire bill even if it may contain objectionable features. The
President is, therefore, compelled to approve into law the entire
bill, including its undesirable parts. It is for this reason that the
Constitution has wisely provided the "item veto powers" to avoid
inexpedient riders being attached to an indispensable appropriation
or revenue measure. The Constitution provides that only a
particular item or items may be vetoed. The power to disapprove
any item or items in an appropriate bill does not grant the authority
to veto a part of an item and to approve the remaining portion of
the same item. We distinguish an item from a provision in the
following manner: "The terms item and provision in budgetary
legislations and practice are concededly different. An item in a bill
refers to the particulars, the details, the distinct and severable
parts . . . of the bill. An 'item' of an appropriation bill obviously
means an item which in itself is a specific appropriation of money,
not some general provision of law, which happens to be put into an
appropriation bill.” Thus, the augmentation of specific
appropriations found inadequate to pay retirement payments, by
transferring savings from other items of appropriation is a provision
and not an item. It gives power to the Chief Justice to transfer funds
from one item to another. There is no specific appropriation of
money involved (Bengzon vs. Drilon, 208 SCRA 133).

v) Legislative veto; One-House Veto

Legislative veto - exists in governments that separate executive


and legislative functions, action by the executive can be rejected by
the legislature.

CASES

• The legislative veto was a simple concept to retain some control


over power delegated to the president to reorganize executive
branch agencies. At the same time it became apparent that the
legislative veto might be a means for exercising congressional
control over administrative regulations. However, the rule of law
states that Congress may not promulgate a statute granting to
itself a legislative veto over actions of the executive branch
inconsistent with the bicameralism principle and Presentment
Clause of the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court held
that the resolution of the House of Representatives vetoing the
Attorney General's determination is constitutionally invalid,
unenforceable, and not binding (Immigration Service vs. Chadha, 462 US
919, 77 L.Ed.2d 317).

• The veto power, while exercisable by the President, is actually a


part of the legislative process. That is why it is found in Article VI on
the Legislative Department rather than in Article VII on the
Executive Department in the Constitution. There is, therefore,
sound basis to indulge in the presumption of validity of a veto. The
burden shifts on those questioning the validity thereof to show that
its use is a violation of the Constitution. As the Constitution is
explicit that the provision which Congress can include in an
appropriations bill must "relate specifically to some particular
appropriation therein" and "be limited in its operation to the
appropriation to which it relates," it follows that any provision which
does not relate to any particular item, or which extends in its
operation beyond an item of appropriation, is considered "an
inappropriate provision" which can be vetoed separately from an
item. Also to be included in the category of "inappropriate
provisions" are unconstitutional provisions and provisions which are
intended to amend other laws, because clearly these kind of laws
have no place in an appropriations bill. These are matters of
general legislation more appropriately dealt with in separate
enactments ( Phil. Constitution Assn vs. Enriquez, 235 SCRA 506).

h. POWER OF THE PURSE (SEC. 24, 25, ART. VI; 20 - Art. VII,
SEC. 20 AND 22)

Article VI

Section 24. All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills


authorizing increase of the public debt, bills of local
application, and private bills, shall originate exclusively in the
House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or
concur with amendments.

Section 25. (1) The Congress may not increase the


appropriations recommended by the President for the
operation of the Government as specified in the budget. The
form, content, and manner of preparation of the budget shall
be prescribed by law.
(2) No provision or enactment shall be embraced in the general
appropriations bill unless it relates specifically to some
particular appropriation therein. Any such provision or
enactment shall be limited in its operation to the appropriation
to which it relates.

(3) The procedure in approving appropriations for the


Congress shall strictly follow the procedure for approving
appropriations for other departments and agencies.

(4) A special appropriations bill shall specify the purpose for


which it is intended, and shall be supported by funds actually
available as certified by the National Treasurer, or to be raised
by a corresponding revenue proposal therein.

(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.

(6) Discretionary funds appropriated for particular officials


shall be disbursed only for public purposes to be supported by
appropriate vouchers and subject to such guidelines as may be
prescribed by law.

(7) If, by the end of any fiscal year, the Congress shall have
failed to pass the general appropriations bill for the ensuing
fiscal year, the general appropriations law for the preceding
fiscal year shall be deemed re-enacted and shall remain in
force and effect until the general appropriations bill is passed
by the Congress.

Article VII

Section 20. The President may contract or guarantee foreign


loans on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines with the prior
concurrence of the Monetary Board, and subject to such
limitations as may be provided by law. The Monetary Board
shall, within thirty days from the end of every quarter of the
calendar year, submit to the Congress a complete report of its
decision on applications for loans to be contracted or
guaranteed by the Government or government-owned and
controlled corporations which would have the effect of
increasing the foreign debt, and containing other matters as
may be provided by law.

Section 22. The President shall submit to the Congress, within


thirty days from the opening of every regular session as the
basis of the general appropriations bill, a budget of
expenditures and sources of financing, including receipts from
existing and proposed revenue measures.

 No money shall be paid out of the


National Treasury EXCEPT in
pursuance of an appropriation
made by law.
 BUT: This rule does not prohibit
continuing appropriations. E.g. for
debt servicing. This is because
the rule does not require yearly,
or annual appropriation.

Appropriation Law - a statute, the primary and specific purpose of


which is to authorize release of public funds from the treasury.
 The existence of
appropriations and the
availability of funds are
indispensable pre-requisites
to or conditions sine qua
non for the execution of
government contracts
(Comelec v. Judge Quijano-
Padilla and Photokina
Marketing Corp. GR No.
151992, Sept. 18, 2002).

i) Implied limitations on appropriation measure

1. must specify public purpose; and


2. sum authorized for release must be determinate, or at least
determinable.

CASES
• Petitioners argue that the said automatic appropriations under
the aforesaid decrees of then President Marcos became functus
oficio when he was ousted in February, 1986; that upon the
expiration of the one-man legislature in the person of President
Marcos, the legislative power was restored to Congress on February
2, 1987 when the Constitution was ratified by the people; that
there is a need for a new legislation by Congress providing for
automatic appropriation, but Congress, up to the present, has not
approved any such law; and thus the said P86.8 Billion automatic
appropriation in the 1990 budget is an administrative act that rests
on no law, and thus, it cannot be enforced. The Court, however, is
not persuaded. Section 3, Article XVIII of the Constitution
recognizes that "All existing laws, decrees, executive orders,
proclamations, letters of instructions and other executive issuances
not inconsistent with the Constitution shall remain operative until
amended, repealed or revoked." This transitory provision of the
Constitution has precisely been adopted by its framers to preserve
the social order so that legislation by the then President Marcos
may be recognized. Such laws are to remain in force and effect
unless they are inconsistent with the Constitution or are otherwise
amended, repealed or revoked (Guingona vs. Carague, 196 SCRA 221).

ii) Constitutional limitations and rules


Constitutional limitations on special
appropriations
measures:

1. must specify public purpose for which the sum was intended; and
2. must be supported by funds actually available as certified by the
National Treasurer or to be raised by corresponding revenue
proposal included therein (Sec. 25(4),Art. VI).

Constitutional Rules on General Appropriations Laws (Sec. 25,


Art. VI)

Section 25. (1) The Congress may not increase the


appropriations recommended by the President for the
operation of the Government as specified in the budget. The
form, content, and manner of preparation of the budget shall
be prescribed by law.

(2) No provision or enactment shall be embraced in the general


appropriations bill unless it relates specifically to some
particular appropriation therein. Any such provision or
enactment shall be limited in its operation to the appropriation
to which it relates.

(3) The procedure in approving appropriations for the


Congress shall strictly follow the procedure for approving
appropriations for other departments and agencies.

(4) A special appropriations bill shall specify the purpose for


which it is intended, and shall be supported by funds actually
available as certified by the National Treasurer, or to be raised
by a corresponding revenue proposal therein.

(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.

(6) Discretionary funds appropriated for particular officials


shall be disbursed only for public purposes to be supported by
appropriate vouchers and subject to such guidelines as may be
prescribed by law.

(7) If, by the end of any fiscal year, the Congress shall have
failed to pass the general appropriations bill for the ensuing
fiscal year, the general appropriations law for the preceding
fiscal year shall be deemed re-enacted and shall remain in
force and effect until the general appropriations bill is passed
by the Congress.

a. Riders

i. Is a provision which does not relate to a particular appropriation


stated in the bill.
ii. Since it is invalid provision under Section 25(2), the President may
veto it as an item.

b. Prohibition against transfer of


appropriation
Rule: No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of
appropriations BUT the following 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
appropriation 1. President, 2. President of the Senate 3. Speaker of the
House of Representatives 4. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 5.
Heads of the Constitutional Commissions

CASES

• Under the Constitution, the spending power called by James


Madison as "the power of the purse," belongs to Congress, subject
only to the veto power of the President. The President may propose
the budget, but still the final say on the matter of appropriations is
lodged in the Congress.

The power of appropriation carries with it the power to specify the


project or activity to be funded under the appropriation law. It can
be as detailed and as broad as Congress wants it to be. The special
provision on realignment of the operating expenses of members of
Congress is authorized by Section 16 of the General Provisions of
the GAA of 1994. Each member of Congress is allotted for his own
operating expenditure a proportionate share of the appropriation
for the House to which he belongs. If he does not spend for one
item of expense, Sec. 16 of GAA of 1994 allows him to transfer his
allocation in said item to another item of expense.

Petitioners assail the special provision allowing a member of


Congress to realign his allocation for operational expenses to any
other expense category (Rollo, pp. 82-92), claiming that this
practice is prohibited by Section 25(5) Article VI of the Constitution.
Under the Special Provisions applicable to the Congress of the
Philippines, the members of Congress only determine the necessity
of the realignment of the savings in the allotments for their
operating expenses. They are in the best position to do so because
they are the ones who know whether there are deficiencies in other
items of their operating expenses that need augmentation.
However, it is the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, as the case may be, who shall approve the
realignment. Before giving their stamp of approval, these two
officials will have to see to it that:

(1) The funds to be realigned or transferred are actually savings in


the items of expenditures from which the same are to be taken;
and
(2) The transfer or realignment is for the purpose of augmenting
the items of expenditure to which said transfer or realignment is to
be made (Phil. Constitution Assn vs. Enriquez, 235 SCRA 506).

c. Purpose

CASES

• Generally, under the express or implied provisions of the


constitution, public funds may be used only for public purpose. The
right of the legislature to appropriate funds is correlative with its
right to tax, and, under constitutional provisions against taxation
except for public purposes and prohibiting the collection of a tax for
one purpose and the devotion thereof to another purpose, no
appropriation of state funds can be made for other than for a public
purpose. The test of the constitutionality of a statute requiring the
use of public funds is whether the statute is designed to promote
the public interest, as opposed to the furtherance of the advantage
of individuals, although each advantage to individuals might
incidentally serve the public (Pascual vs. Sec. Of Public Works, 110 Phil
331).

• An attempt was made to take money out of the government


treasury, which belongs to the City of Manila, a municipal
corporation, and apply it to the payment of a debt which a public
corporation claims to have against the city. That proceeding was in
direct conflict with the express provisions of section 3 of the Jones
Law. It violates that portion of the section which says that no
money shall be paid out of the treasury except in pursuance of an
appropriation by law; and the other provision which says that all
money collected on any tax levied or assessed for a special
purpose shall be treated as a special fund in the treasury and paid
out for such purpose only. Here, the defendants propose to take
public money from and out of the government treasury, which is in
a special fund, and which was assessed, levied and collected for a
special purpose, and pay it over to a public corporation. No
authority has been cited, and none will ever be found to legalize
such a proceeding (Manila to pay the claim of the Metropolitan
Water District against the City of Manila (City of Manila vs. Posadas, 48
Phil 390).

• The question raised refers to the alleged violation of the


Constitution by the respondent in issuing and selling postage
stamps commemorative of the Thirty-third International Eucharistic
Congress. It is alleged that this action of the respondent is violative
of the provisions of section 23, subsection 3, Article VI, of the
Constitution of the Philippines, which provides as follows: No public
money or property shall ever be appropriated ...for the use, benefit,
or support of any sect, church... except when such priest, preacher,
minister, or dignitary is assigned to the armed forces or to any
penal institution, orphanage, or leprosarium. The prohibition herein
expressed is a direct corollary of the principle of separation of
church and state. But, upon very serious reflection, examination of
Act No. 4052, and scrutiny of the attending circumstances, we have
come to the conclusion that there has been no constitutional
infraction in the case at bar, Act No. 4052 grants the Director of
Posts, with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works and
Communications, discretion to misuse postage stamps with new
designs "as often as may be deemed advantageous to the
Government ( Aglipay vs. Ruiz, 64 Phil 201).”

i. POWER OF TAXATION (SEC. 28)

Section 28. (1) The rule of taxation shall be uniform and


equitable. The Congress shall evolve a progressive system of
taxation.

(2) The Congress may, by law, authorize the President to fix


within specified limits, and subject to such limitations and
restrictions as it may impose, tariff rates, import and export
quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues, and other duties or
imposts within the framework of the national development
program of the Government.

(3) Charitable institutions, churches and personages or


convents appurtenant thereto, mosques, non-profit
cemeteries, and all lands, buildings, and improvements,
actually, directly, and exclusively used for religious, charitable,
or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation.

(4) No law granting any tax exemption shall be passed without


the concurrence of a majority of all the Members of the
Congress.

CASES
• If the Legislature has the power to impose a tax... then "the
judicial cannot prescribed to the legislative department of the
Government limitation upon the exercise of its acknowledge
powers." That the Philippine Legislature has the power to impose
such taxes, we think there can be no serious doubt, because "the
power to impose taxes is one so unlimited in force and so
searching in extent, that the courts scarcely venture to declare that
it is subject to any restrictions whatever, except such as rest in the
discretion of the authority which exercises it. It reaches to every
trade or occupation; to every object of industry, use, or enjoyment;
to every species of possession; and it imposes a burden which, in
case of failure to discharge it, may be followed by seizure and sale
or confiscation of property. No attribute of sovereignty is more
pervading, and at no point does the power of the government
affect more constantly and intimately all the relations of life than
through the exactions made under it." If a case were presented
where the abuse of the taxing power of the local legislature was to
extreme as to make it plain to the judicial mind that the power had
been exercised for the sole purpose of destroying rights which
could not be rightfully destroyed consistently with the principles of
freedom and justice upon which the Philippine Government rests,
then it would be the duty of the courts to say that such an arbitrary
act was not merely an abuse of the power, but was the exercise of
an authority not conferred. The only limitation, in so far as these
questions are concerned, placed upon the Philippine Legislature in
the exercise of its taxing power is that found in section 5 of the
Philippine Bill, wherein it is declared "that the rule of taxation in
said Islands shall be uniform." A tax is uniform when it operates
with the same force and effect in every place where the subject of
it is found. The words "uniform throughout the United States," as
required of a tax by the Constitution, do not signify an intrinsic, but
simply a geographical, uniformity, and such uniformity is therefore
the only uniformity which is prescribed by the Constitution.
"Uniformity," as applied to the constitutional provision that all
taxes shall be uniform, means that all property belonging to the
same class shall be taxed alike. The rule does not require taxes to
be graded according to the value of the subject or subjects upon
which they are imposed, especially those levied as privilege or
occupation taxes. We can hardly see wherein the tax in question
constitutes double taxation. The fact that the land upon which the
billboards are located is taxed at so much per unit and the
billboards at so much per square meter does not constitute "double
taxation." Double taxation, within the true meaning of that
expression, does not necessarily affect its validity. And again, it is
not for the judiciary to say that the classification upon which the
tax is based "is mere arbitrary selection and not based upon any
reasonable grounds." The Legislature selected signs and billboards
as a subject for taxation and it must be presumed that it, in so
doing, acted with a full knowledge of the situation (Churchill vs.
Concepcion, 34 Phil 969).

• The exemption in favor of the convent in the payment of the land


tax (sec. 344 [c] Administrative Code) refers to the home of the
parties who presides over the church and who has to take care of
himself in order to discharge his duties. In therefore must, in the
sense, include not only the land actually occupied by the church,
but also the adjacent ground destined to the ordinary incidental
uses of man. Except in large cities where the density of the
population and the development of commerce require the use of
larger tracts of land for buildings, a vegetable garden belongs to a
house and, in the case of a convent, it use is limited to the
necessities of the priest, which comes under the exemption. In
regard to the lot which formerly was the cemetery, while it is no
longer used as such, neither is it used for commercial purposes
and, according to the evidence, is now being used as a lodging
house by the people who participate in religious festivities, which
constitutes an incidental use in religious functions, which also
comes within the exemption. Malcolm, in his dissenting opinion
elucidate that The Assessment Law exempts from taxation
"Cemeteries or burial grounds . . . and all lands, buildings, and
improvements use exclusively for religious . . . purposes, but this
exemption shall not extend to property held for investment, or
which produces income, even though the income be devoted to
some one or more of the purposes above specified."
(Administrative Code, sec. 344; Act No. 2749, sec. 1.) That is the
applicable law (Bishop of Nueva Segovia vs. Prov. Board, 51 Phil 352).

• A tax refers to a financial obligation imposed by a state on


persons, whether natural or juridical, within its jurisdiction, for
property owned, income earned, business or profession engaged
in, or any such activity analogous in character for raising the
necessary revenues to take care of the responsibilities of
government. An often-quoted definition is that of Cooley: "Taxes
are the enforced proportional contributions from persons and
property levied by the state by virtue of its sovereignty for the
support of government and for all public needs." As distinguished
from other pecuniary burdens, the differentiating factor is that the
purpose to be subserved is the raising of revenue. A tax then is
neither a penalty that must be satisfied or a liability arising from
contract. Much less can it be confused or identified with a license
or a fee as a manifestation of an exercise of the police power. It
has been settled law in this jurisdiction that this broad and all-
encompassing governmental competence to restrict rights of
liberty and property carries with it the undeniable power to collect
a regulatory fee. Unlike a tax, it has not for its object the raising of
revenue but looks rather to the enactment of specific measures
that govern the relations not only as between individuals but also
as between private parties and the political society. To quote from
Cooley anew: "Legislation for these purposes it would seem proper
to look upon as being made in the exercise of that authority ...
spoken of as the police power. The conclusion is difficult to resist
therefore that the Motor Vehicle Act requires the payment not of a
tax but of a registration fee under the police power. Hence the
inapplicability of the section relied upon by defendant-appellee
under the Back Pay Law. It is not held liable for a tax but for a
registration fee. It therefore cannot make use of a backpay
certificate to meet such an obligation (Republic vs. Philippine Rabbit
Busline, 32 SCRA 211).

ϕ. POWER OF LEGISLATIVE INVESTIGATION (SEC. 21 AND


22)

Section 21. The Senate or the House of Representatives or any


of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of
legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of
procedure. The rights of persons appearing in, or affected by,
such inquiries shall be respected.

Section 22. The heads of departments may, upon their own


initiative, with the consent of the President, or upon the
request of either House, as the rules of each House shall
provide, appear before and be heard by such House on any
matter pertaining to their departments. Written questions
shall be submitted to the President of the Senate or the
Speaker of the House of Representatives at least three days
before their scheduled appearance. Interpellations shall not be
limited to written questions, but may cover matters related
thereto. When the security of the State or the public interest
so requires and the President so states in writing, the
appearance shall be conducted in executive session.

Limitation on Power of Legislative Investigation:

1. must be in aid of legislation;


2. in accordance with duly published rules of procedure; and
3. right of person appearing in, or affected by such inquiry shall be
respected.

Legislative
Question Hour (Sec. Investigation
22) (Sec. 21)

As to persons who may Only a department Any person


appear head

As to who conducts the Committees


investigation Entire body

As to the subject matter Any matter for the


Matters related to the purpose of
department only legislation

CASES

• E.O. 464, to the extent that it bars the appearance of executive


officials before Congress, deprives Congress of the information in
the possession of these officials. To resolve the question of whether
such withholding of information violates the Constitution,
consideration of the general power of Congress to obtain
information, otherwise known as the power of inquiry, is in
order.The Congress power of inquiry is expressly recognized in
Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution. The power of inquiry,
the Court therein ruled, is co-extensive with the power to
legislate.60 The matters which may be a proper subject of
legislation and those which may be a proper subject of
investigation are one. It follows that the operation of government,
being a legitimate subject for legislation, is a proper subject for
investigation. Since Congress has authority to inquire into the
operations of the executive branch, it would be incongruous to hold
that the power of inquiry does not extend to executive officials who
are the most familiar with and informed on executive operations.
From the discussion on the meaning and scope of executive
privilege, both in the United States and in this jurisdiction, a clear
principle emerges. Executive privilege, whether asserted against
Congress, the courts, or the public, is recognized only in relation to
certain types of information of a sensitive character. While
executive privilege is a constitutional concept, a claim thereof may
be valid or not depending on the ground invoked to justify it and
the context in which it is made. Noticeably absent is any
recognition that executive officials are exempt from the duty to
disclose information by the mere fact of being executive officials.
Indeed, the extraordinary character of the exemptions indicates
that the presumption inclines heavily against executive secrecy
and in favor of disclosure (Senate vs. Ermita (E.O. 464), GR 169777).

• The 1987 Constitution expressly recognizes the power of both


houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation. The
power of both houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of
legislation is not, therefore, absolute or unlimited. Its exercise is
circumscribed by the afore-quoted provision of the Constitution.
Thus, as provided therein, the investigation must be "in aid of
legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure"
and that "the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such
inquiries shall be respected." It follows then that the rights of
persons under the Bill of Rights must be respected, including the
right to due process and the right not to be compelled to testify
against one's self (Bengzon vs. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, 203 SCRA
767).

• The power of inquiry — with process to enforce it — is an


essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function. A
legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence
of information respecting the conditions which the legislations is
intended to affect or change; and where the legislative body does
not itself possess the requisite information — which is not
frequently true — recourse must be had to others who do possess
it. Experience has shown that mere requests for such information
are often unavailing, and also that information which is volunteered
is not always accurate or complete; so some means of compulsion
is essential to obtain what is needed. The fact that the Constitution
expressly hives to congress the power to punish its Members for
disorderly behaviour, does not by necessary implication exclude
the power to punish for contempt any other person. Once an
inquiry is admitted or established to be within the jurisdiction of a
legislative body to make, the investigating committee has the
power to require a witness to answer any question pertinent to that
inquiry, subject of course to his constitutional right against self-
incrimination. The inquiry, to be within the jurisdiction of the
legislative body to make, must be material or necessary to the
exercise of a power in it vested by the Constitution, such as to
legislate, or to expel a Member; and every question which the
investigator is empowered to coerce a witness to answer must be
material or pertinent to the subject of the inquiry or investigation.
The power of the Court is limited to determining whether the
legislative body has jurisdiction to institute the inquiry or
investigation; that once that jurisdiction is conceded, this Court
cannot control the exercise of that jurisdiction or the use of
Congressional discretion; and, it is insinuated, that the ruling of the
Senate on the materiality of the question propounded to the
witness is not subject to review by this Court under the principle of
the separation of powers (Arnault vs. Nazareno, 87 Phil 29).

• It was admitted and we had ruled that the Senate has the
authority to commit a witness if he refuses to answer a question
pertinent to a legislative inquiry, to compel him to give the
information, i. e., by reason of its coercive power, not its punitive
power. It is now contented by petitioner that if he committed an
offense of contempt or perjury against the legislative body,
because he refused to reveal the identity of the person in
accordance with the demands of the Senate Committee, the
legislature may not punish him, for the punishment for his refusal
should be sought through the ordinary processes of the law, i.e., by
the institution of a criminal action in a court of justice. American
legislative bodies, after which our own is patterned, have the power
to punish for contempt if the contempt has had the effect of
obstructing the exercise by the legislature of, or deterring or
preventing it from exercising, its legitimate functions. The principle
that Congress or any o fits bodies has the power to punish
recalcitrant witnesses is founded upon reason and policy. Said
power must be considered implied or incidental to the exercise of
legislative power, or necessary to effectuate said power. How could
a legislative body obtain the knowledge and information on which
to base intended legislation if it cannot require and compel the
disclosure of such knowledge and information, if it is impotent to
punish a defiance of its power and authority? When the framers of
the Constitution adopted the principle of separation of powers,
making each branch supreme within the realm of its respective
authority, it must have intended each department's authority to be
full and complete, independently of the other's authority or power.
And how could the authority and power become complete if for
every act of refusal, every act of defiance, every act of contumacy
against it, the legislative body must resort to the judicial
department for the appropriate remedy, because it is impotent by
itself to punish or deal therewith, with the affronts committed
against its authority or dignity (Arnault vs. Balagtas, 97 Phil 358).

κ. POWER TO DECLARE EXISTENCE OF STATE OF WAR


CASES

• By Acts of Congress the President is authorized to call out the


militia and use the military and naval forces to suppress
insurrection against the government of a state or the U.S. The
proclamation of the blockade is official and conclusive evidence to
the court that a state of war existed which demanded and
authorized a recourse to such a measure. The President was bound
to meet the war in the shape it presented itself, without waiting for
Congress. Congress passed an Act “approving, legalizing, and
making valid all the acts, proclamations, and orders of the
President as if they had been issued and done under the previous
express authority and direction of the Congress (The Prize Cases, 67 US
635, 17 L.Ed. 459).

• Whether the U.S. involvement was a “War,” and if so could the


petitioner be ordered by the Executive to participate absent a
declaration? The rule is that Congress shall have the power to
declarations of war. Court ruled the issue was not justiciable,
lacked a controversy on which a determination could be rendered.
Conflicts between the Congress and the President are not
justiciable issues the petitioner can raise. The plaintiff argued that
the Vietnam conflict is not a war, and if so, Congress has not
declared it to be such. The defendant argue that the President can
take emergency action to protect the security of the U.S. and
further military action only requires approval of Congress not a
formal declaration of war (Mora vs. McNamara, 389 US 934, 19 L.Ed. 2D
287).

λ. INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM, AND RECALL (SEC. 32)

Section 32. The Congress shall, as early as possible, provide


for a system of initiative and referendum, and the exceptions
therefrom, whereby the people can directly propose and enact
laws or approve or reject any act or law or part thereof passed
by the Congress or local legislative body after the registration
of a petition therefor signed by at least ten per centum of the
total number of registered voters, of which every legislative
district must be represented by at least three per centum of
the registered voters thereof.
Initiative – power of the people to propose amendments to the
Constitution or to propose and enact legislation through an election
called for the purpose.

Referendum - power of the electorate to approve or reject legislation


through an election called for that purpose.

CASES

• Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution provides: SEC. 2.


Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed
by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve
per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every
legislative district must be represented by at least three per
centum of the registered voters therein. No amendment under this
section shall be authorized within five years following the
ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five
years thereafter.

The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise


of this right. the right of the people to directly propose
amendments to the Constitution through the system of initiative
would remain entombed in the cold niche of the Constitution until
Congress provides for its implementation. Stated otherwise, while
the Constitution has recognized or granted that right, the people
cannot exercise it if Congress, for whatever reason, does not
provide for its implementation. This provision is not self-executory.

If Congress intended R.A. No. 6735 to fully provide for the


implementation of the initiative on amendments to the
Constitution, it could have provided for a subtitle therefor,
considering that in the order of things, the primacy of interest, or
hierarchy of values, the right of the people to directly propose
amendments to the Constitution is far more important than the
initiative on national and local laws.

We cannot accept the argument that the initiative on amendments


to the Constitution is subsumed under the subtitle on National
Initiative and Referendum because it is national in scope. Our
reading of Subtitle II (National Initiative and Referendum) and
Subtitle III (Local Initiative and Referendum) leaves no room for
doubt that the classification is not based on the scope of the
initiative involved, but on its nature and character. It is "national
initiative," if what is proposed to be adopted or enacted is a
national law, or a law which only Congress can pass. It is "local
initiative" if what is proposed to be adopted or enacted is a law,
ordinance, or resolution which only the legislative bodies of the
governments of the autonomous regions, provinces, cities,
municipalities, and barangays can pass (Defensor-Santiago vs.
COMELEC, GR 127325, March 19, 1997).

i) Indirect Initiative

 Exercise of initiative by the people through a


proposition sent to the Congress or the local
legislative body for action.

CASES

• There are statutory and conceptual demarcations between a


referendum and an initiative. In enacting the "Initiative and
Referendum Act, Congress differentiated one term from the other,
thus:

(a) "Initiative" is the power of the people to propose amendments


to the Constitution or to propose and enact legislations through an
election called for the purpose.There are three (3) systems of
initiative, namely: a.1. Initiative on the Constitution which refers to
a petition proposing amendments to the Constitution; a.2. Initiative
on statutes which refers to a petition proposing to enact a national
legislation; and a.3. Initiative on local legislation which refers to a
petition proposing to enact a regional, provincial, city, municipal, or
barangay law, resolution or ordinance.

(b) "Indirect initiative" is exercise of initiative by the people


through a proposition sent to Congress or the local legislative body
for action.
(c) "Referendum" is the power of the electorate to approve or
reject a legislation through an election called for the purpose. It
may be of two classes, namely: c.1. Referendum on statutes which
refers to a petition to approve or reject an act or law, or part
thereof, passed by Congress; and c.2 Referendum on local law
which refers to a petition to approve or reject a law, resolution or
ordinance enacted by regional assemblies and local legislative
bodies.
Justice Isagani A. Cruz defines initiative as the "power of the people
to propose bills and laws, and to enact or reject them at the polls
independent of the legislative assembly." On the other hand, he
explains that referendum "is the right reserved to the people to
adopt or reject any act or measure which has been passed by a
legislative body and which in most cases would without action on
the part of electors become a law." The process and the voting in
an initiative are understandably more complex than in a
referendum where expectedly the voters will simply write either
"Yes" of "No" in the ballot.
In initiative and referendum, the Comelec exercises administration
and supervision of the process itself, akin to its powers over the
conduct of elections. These law-making powers belong to the
people, hence the respondent Commission cannot control or
change the substance or the content of legislation. In the exercise
of its authority, it may (in fact it should have done so already) issue
relevant and adequate guidelines and rules for the orderly exercise
of these "people-power" features of our Constitution (SBMA vs.
COMELEC, GR 125416, Sept. 26, 1996).

ii) Recall

CASES

• Recall is a mode of removal of a public officer by the people


before the end of his term of office. The people's prerogative to
remove a public officer is an incident of their sovereign power and
in the absence of constitutional restraint, the power is implied in all
governmental operations. Such power has been held to be
indispensable for the proper administration of public affairs. Not
undeservedly, it is frequently described as a fundamental right of
the people in a representative democracy. Section 3 of its Article X
also reiterated the mandate for Congress to enact a local
government code which "shall provide for a more responsive and
accountable local government structure instituted through a
system of decentralization with effective mechanisms of recall,
initiative and
referendum. . ..”The Batasang Pambansa then enacted BP 337
entitled "The Local Government Code of 1983." Section 54 of its
Chapter 3 provided only one mode of initiating the recall elections
of local elective officials, i.e., by petition of at least twenty-five
percent (25%) of the total number of registered voters in the local
government unit concerned. Effective January 1, 1992, Congress
enacted R.A. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code
of 1991which provided for a second mode of initiating the recall
process through a preparatory recall assembly which in the
provincial level is composed of all mayors, vice-mayors and
sanggunian members of the municipalities and component cities.
The alternative mode of initiating recall proceedings thru a
preparatory recall assembly is an innovative attempt by Congress
to remove impediments to the effective exercise by the people of
their sovereign power to check the performance of their elected
officials. The power to determine this mode was specifically given
to Congress and is not proscribed by the Constitution (Garcia vs.
COMELEC, GR 111511, Oct. 5, 1993).

iii) Loss of confidence, a political question

CASES

• Whether or not the electorate of the Municipality of Sulat has lost


confidence in the incumbent mayor is a political question. It
belongs to the realm of politics where only the people are the
judge. 9 "Loss of confidence is the formal withdrawal by an
electorate of their trust in a person's ability to discharge his office
previously bestowed on him by the same electorate. 10 The
constituents have made a judgment and their will to recall the
incumbent mayor (Evardone) has already been ascertained and
must be afforded the highest respect. Thus, the signing process
held last 14 July 1990 in Sulat, Eastern Samar, for the recall of
Mayor Felipe P. Evardone of said municipality is valid and has legal
effect (Evardone vs. COMELEC, 204 SCRA 464, 472).