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TOPIC: Role of the Judiciary in the Separation of Powers (Sec. 1, Art. VII of 1987 Phil.

Constitution)

FACTS:

Petitioner Jose Angara was proclaimed winner and took his oath of office as member of the National Assembly
of the Commonwealth Government. On December 3, 1935, the National Assembly passed a resolution
confirming the election of those who have not been subject of an election protest prior to the adoption of the
said resolution.

On December 8, 1935, however, private respondent Pedro Ynsua filed an election protest against the petitioner
before the Electoral Commission of the National Assembly. The following day, December 9, 1935, the Electoral
Commission adopted its own resolution providing that it will not consider any election protest that was not
submitted on or before December 9, 1935.

Citing among others the earlier resolution of the National Assembly, the petitioner sought the dismissal of
respondents protest. The Electoral Commission however denied his motion.


CONTENTIONS:

On Dec 8, 1935, Ynsua, filed before the Electoral Commission a Motion of Protest against the election of
Angara. On Dec 9, 1935, the EC adopted a resolution, par. 6 of which fixed said date as the last day for the filing
of protests against the election, returns and qualifications of members of the NA, notwithstanding the previous
confirmation made by the NA. Angara filed a Motion to Dismiss arguing that by virtue of the NA proclamation,
Ynsua can no longer protest. Ynsua argued back by claiming that EC proclamation governs and that the EC can
take cognizance of the election protest and that the EC cannot be subject to a writ of prohibition from the SC.

ISSUES: Whether or not the SC has jurisdiction over such matter.

HELD:

The SC ruled in favor of Angara. The SC emphasized that in cases of conflict between the several
departments and among the agencies thereof, the judiciary, with the SC as the final arbiter, is the
only constitutional mechanism devised finally to resolve the conflict and allocate constitutional
boundaries. That judicial supremacy is but the power of judicial review in actual and appropriate cases and
controversies, and is the power and duty to see that no one branch or agency of the government
transcends the Constitution, which is the source of all authority.
That the Electoral Commission is an independent constitutional creation with specific powers and functions
to execute and perform, closer for purposes of classification to the legislative than to any of the other two
departments of the government. That the Electoral Commission is the sole judge of all contests relating to
the election, returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly.


**** Generally, by virtue of the theory of the separation of powers, one branch of government/ constitutional
body cannot intervene with the functions of the other. However, if there are cases of conflict between the several
departments and among the agencies, the Judiciary, with the SC as the final arbiter, is the ONLY one that has
authority to intervene and resolve the conflict and allocate constitutional boundaries among departments.