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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 1

Chapter 6 Cases

Bayan vs. Zamora


Pimentel vs. House of Representatives
Perfection vs. Meer
Endencia vs. David
Gustillo vs. Real
Araullo vs. PNoy

Bayan v. Zamora
G.R. No. 138570
October 10, 2000
DECISION
(En Banc)
BUENA, J.:
Facts: The Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America entered into an agreement
called the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The agreement was treated as a treaty by the
Philippine government and was ratified by then-President Joseph Estrada with the concurrence of
2/3 of the total membership of the Philippine Senate.
The VFA defines the treatment of U.S. troops and personnel visiting the Philippines. It
provides for the guidelines to govern such visits, and further defines the rights of the U.S. and the
Philippine governments in the matter of criminal jurisdiction, movement of vessel and aircraft,
importation and exportation of equipment, materials and supplies.
Petitioners argued, inter alia, that the VFA violates 25, Article XVIII of the 1987
Constitution, which provides that foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in
the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate . . . and recognized as a treaty by
the other contracting State.
Issue: Was the VFA unconstitutional?
Held:
[The Court DISMISSED the consolidated petitions, held that the petitioners did not commit
grave abuse of discretion, and sustained the constitutionality of the VFA.]
NO, the VFA is not unconstitutional.
Section 25, Article XVIII disallows foreign military bases, troops, or facilities in the country,
unless the following conditions are sufficiently met, viz: (a) it must be under a treaty; (b) the treaty
must be duly concurred in by the Senate and, when so required by congress, ratified by a
majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum; and (c) recognized as a
treaty by the other contracting state.
There is no dispute as to the presence of the first two requisites in the case of the VFA. The
concurrence handed by the Senate through Resolution No. 18 is in accordance with the provisions
of the Constitution . . . the provision in [in 25, Article XVIII] requiring ratification by a majority of
the votes cast in a national referendum being unnecessary since Congress has not required it.
xxx

xxx

xxx

This Court is of the firm view that the phrase recognized as a treaty means that the other
contracting party accepts or acknowledges the agreement as a treaty. To require the other
contracting state, the United States of America in this case, to submit the VFA to the United States
Senate for concurrence pursuant to its Constitution, is to accord strict meaning to the phrase.

Well-entrenched is the principle that the words used in the Constitution are to be given
their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed, in which case the significance
thus attached to them prevails. Its language should be understood in the sense they have in
common use.
Moreover, it is inconsequential whether the United States treats the VFA only as an
executive agreement because, under international law, an executive agreement is as binding as a
treaty. To be sure, as long as the VFA possesses the elements of an agreement under international
law, the said agreement is to be taken equally as a treaty.
xxx

xxx

xxx

The records reveal that the United States Government, through Ambassador Thomas C.
Hubbard, has stated that the United States government has fully committed to living up to the terms
of the VFA. For as long as the United States of America accepts or acknowledges the VFA as a treaty,
and binds itself further to comply with its obligations under the treaty, there is indeed marked
compliance with the mandate of the Constitution.

BAYAN v. ZAMORA
G. R. No. 138570
October 10, 2000
Facts:
The United States panel met with the Philippine panel to discussed, among others, the possible
elements of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). This resulted to a series of conferences and
negotiations which culminated on January 12 and 13, 1998. Thereafter, President Fidel Ramos
approved the VFA, which was respectively signed by Secretary Siazon and United States
Ambassador Thomas Hubbard.
Pres. Joseph Estrada ratified the VFA on October 5, 1998 and on May 27, 1999, the senate approved
it by (2/3) votes.
Cause of Action:
Petitioners, among others, assert that Sec. 25, Art XVIII of the 1987 constitution is applicable and
not Section 21, Article VII.
Following the argument of the petitioner, under they provision cited, the foreign military bases,
troops, or facilities may be allowed in the Philippines unless the following conditions are
sufficiently met:
a) it must be a treaty,
b) it must be duly concurred in by the senate, ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a national
referendum held for that purpose if so required by congress, and
c) recognized as such by the other contracting state.
Respondents, on the other hand, argue that Section 21 Article VII is applicable so that, what is
requires for such treaty to be valid and effective is the concurrence in by at least two-thirds of all
the members of the senate.
Issue: Is the VFA governed by the provisions of Section 21, Art VII or of Section 25, Article XVIII of
the Constitution?

Held: Section 25, Article XVIII, which specifically deals with treaties involving foreign military
bases, troops or facilities should apply in the instant case. To a certain extent and in a limited sense,
however, the provisions of section 21, Article VII will find applicability with regard to the issue and
for the sole purpose of determining the number of votes required to obtain the valid concurrence of
the senate.
The Constitution, makes no distinction between transient and permanent. We find nothing in
section 25, Article XVIII that requires foreign troops or facilities to be stationed or placed
permanently in the Philippines.
It is inconsequential whether the United States treats the VFA only as an executive agreement
because, under international law, an executive agreement is as binding as a treaty.
PIMENTEL vs. ZAMORA
Facts: On 03 March 1995, the Party-List System Act took effect and election on 1998 was held in
accordance to this. Proclaimed winners were fourteen party-list representatives from thirteen
organizations. This was assailed by Senator Pimentel. He contend that party-list representatives
should conform with Article 6 Section 17 18 of the 1987 Constitiution.
Issue: Whether or not Party-list System Act should be null and void?
Decision: Petition dismissed. The Constitution expressly grants to the House of Representatives the
prerogative, within constitutionally defined limits to choose from among its members those who
may occupy the seats allotted to the House in Electoral Tribunal.
PERFECTO vs. MEER
G.R. No. L-2348
February 27, 1950. 85 Phil 522
Gregorio
Perfecto, plaintiff-appellee,
vs. Bibiano
Meer,
Collector
Revenue, defendant-appellant G.R. No. L-2348. February 27, 1950. 85 Phil 522

of

Internal

Facts: In April, 1947 the Collector of Internal Revenue required plaintiff-appellee to pay income tax
upon his salary as member of this Court during the year 1946. After paying the amount, he
instituted this action in the Manila Court of First Instance contending that the assessment was
illegal, his salary not being taxable for the reason that imposition of taxes thereon would reduce it
in violation of the Constitution.
Issue: Whether or not the imposition of an income tax upon this salary in 1946 amount to a
diminution thereof.
Held: The Supreme Court held that unless and until the Legislature approves an amendment to the
Income Tax Law expressly taxing "that salaries of judges thereafter appointed", salaries of judges
are not included in the word "income" taxed by the Income Tax Law. Two paramount circumstances
may additionally be indicated, to wit: First, when the Income Tax Law was first applied to the
Philippines 1913, taxable "income" did not include salaries of judicial officers when these are
protected from diminution. That was the prevailing official belief in the United States, which must
be deemed to have been transplanted here; and second, when the Philippine Constitutional

Convention approved (in 1935) the prohibition against diminution off the judges compensation,
the Federal principle was known that income tax on judicial salaries really im
PERFECTO VS. MEER
Facts: In April 1947 the Collector of Internal Revenue required Mr. Justice Gregorio Perfecto to pay
income tax upon his salary as member of the Court during the year 1946. After paying the amount,
he instituted an action in Manila Court of First Instance contending that the assessment was illegal,
his salary not being taxable for the reason that imposition of taxes thereon would reduce it in
violation of the Constitution. It provides in its Article VIII, Section 9 that the members of the
Supreme Court and all judges of inferior courts shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by
law, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.
Issue: Whether or not the imposition of an income tax upon this salary in 1946 amount to a
diminution.
Held: Yes, the imposition of the income tax upon the salary of Justice Perfecto amount to a
diminution thereof. The prohibition is general, contains no excepting words, and appears to be
directed against all diminution, whether for one purpose or another. The fathers of the Constitution
intended to prohibit diminution by taxation as well as otherwise, that they regarded the
independence of the judges as of far greater importance than any revenue that could come from
taxing their salaries. Thus, taxing the salary of a judge as a part of his income is a violation of the
Constitution.
ENDENCIA VS DAVID
93 Phil 696 August 31 1953 [Salaries of Judges Tax Exemption]
Facts: Saturnino David was the Internal Revenue Collector who ordered Judges Endencio and Jugos
salaries. A case was filed. However, upon construing Article VIII Section 9 of the constitution, it
shows that judicial officers are exempt from paying tax from their salaries and thus considered that
the deduction of salaries from the said judges as a violation from the compensation received by
judicial officers.
Issue: Whether or not Section 13 of RA 590 is constitutional.
Held: No, the Section 13 of RA 590 is unconstitutional. The collection of income taxes in judicial
officers is considered as against the provisions given by the Article VIII Sec 9 of the Constitution.
The compensation shall not be diminished during their continuance of their service. Section 13 of
RA 590 stated that no salary received by any public officer of the republic shall be exempted from
paying its taxes. This specific part of RA 590 is in contrary with what is Article VIII Sec 9 has
provided.
93 Phil. 699 Political Law The Judiciary Te Legislature Separation of Powers
Statutory Construction Who May Interpret Laws
Saturnino David, the then Collector of Internal Revenue, ordered the taxing of Justice Pastor
Endencias and Justice Fernando Jugos (and other judges) salary pursuant to Sec. 13 of Republic
Act No. 590 which provides that

No salary wherever received by any public officer of the Republic of the Philippines shall be considered
as exempt from the income tax, payment of which is hereby declared not to be a diminution of his
compensation fixed by the Constitution or by law.
The judges however argued that under the case of Perfecto vs Meer, judges are exempt from
taxation this is also in observance of the doctrine of separation of powers, i.e., the executive,
to which the Internal Revenue reports, is separate from the judiciary; that under the Constitution,
the judiciary is independent and the salaries of judges may not be diminished by the
other branches of government; that taxing their salaries is already a diminution of their
benefits/salaries (see Section 9, Art. VIII, Constitution).
The Solicitor General, arguing in behalf of the CIR, states that the decision in Perfecto vs Meer was
rendered ineffective when Congress enacted Republic Act No. 590.
Issue: Whether or not Sec 13 of RA 590 is constitutional.
Held: No. The said provision is a violation of the separation of powers. Only courts have the power
to interpret laws. Congress makes laws but courts interpret them. In Sec. 13, R.A. 590, Congress is
already encroaching upon the functions of the courts when it inserted the phrase: payment of
which [tax] is hereby declared not to be a diminution of his compensation fixed by the Constitution or
by law.
Here, Congress is already saying that imposing taxes upon judges is not a diminution of their salary.
This is a clear example of interpretation or ascertainment of the meaning of the phrase which shall
not be diminished during their continuance in office, found in Section 9, Article VIII of the
Constitution, referring to the salaries of judicial officers. This act of interpreting the Constitution or
any part thereof by the Legislature is an invasion of the well-defined and established province and
jurisdiction of the Judiciary.
The rule is recognized elsewhere that the legislature cannot pass any declaratory act, or act
declaratory of what the law was before its passage, so as to give it any binding weight with the
courts. A legislative definition of a word as used in a statute is not conclusive of its meaning as used
elsewhere; otherwise, the legislature would be usurping a judicial function in defining a term.
The interpretation and application of the Constitution and of statutes is within the exclusive
province and jurisdiction of the judicial department, and that in enacting a law, the Legislature may
not legally provide therein that it be interpreted in such a way that it may not violate a
Constitutional prohibition, thereby tying the hands of the courts in their task of later interpreting
said statute, especially when the interpretation sought and provided in said statute runs counter to
a previous interpretation already given in a case by the highest court of the land.
Facts: Saturnino David, then Collector of Internal Revenue, ordered the taxing of Justice Pastor
Endencias and Justice Fernando Jugos salary pursuant to Sec13 of RA590 which provides that
SEC. 13. No salary wherever received by any public officer of the Republic of the Philippines shall
be considered as exempt from the income tax, payment of which is hereby declared not to be
adiminution of his compensation fixed by the Constitution or by law. According to the brief of the
Solicitor General on behalf of appellant Collector of Internal Revenue, the decision in the case of
Perfecto vs. Meer, was not received favorably by Congress, because immediately after its
promulgation, Congress enacted Republic Act No.590. To bring home his point, the Solicitor General
reproduces what he considers the pertinent discussion in the Lower House of House Bill No. 1127
which became Republic Act No. 590.

Issue:
1. WON the imposition of an income tax upon the salaries of Justice Endencia and Justice Jugo and
other members of the Supreme Court and all judges of inferior courts amount to adiminution?
2. WON Section 13 of Republic Act No. 590 constitutional?
Held: On the issue of imposition of income tax upon the salaries of the judges, in a rather
exhaustive and well considered decision found and held under the doctrine laid down by the court
in the case of Perfecto vs. Meer, 85 Phil 552, Judge Higinio B. Macadaeg held that the collection of
income taxes from the salaries of Justice Jugo and Justice Endencia was in violation of the
Constitution of the Philippines, and so ordered there fund of said taxes. On the issue of whether
Section 13 of Republic Act No. 590 is constitutional, the court believes that this is a clear example of
interpretation or ascertainment of the meaning of the phrase which shall not be diminished during
their continuance in office, found in section 9, Article VIII of the Constitution, referring to the
salaries of judicial officers. By legislative fiat as enunciated in section 13, Republic Act No. 590,
Congress says that taxing the salary of a judicial officer is not a decrease of compensation. This act
of interpreting the Constitution or any part thereof by the Legislature is an invasion of the welldefined and established province and jurisdiction of the Judiciary. The rule is recognized
elsewhere that the legislature cannot pass any declaratory act, or act declaratory of what the law
was before its passage, so as to give it any binding weight with the courts. A legislative definition of
a word as used in a statute is not conclusive of its meaning as used elsewhere; otherwise, the
legislature would be usurping a judicial function in defining a term. The court reiterates the
doctrine laid down in the case of Perfecto vs. Meer, to the effect that the collection of income tax on
the salary of a judicial officer is a diminution thereof and so violates the Constitution. Further, the
court holds that the interpretation and application of the Constitution and of statutes is within the
exclusive province and jurisdiction of the judicial department, and that in enacting a law, the
Legislature may not legally provide therein that it be interpreted in such a way that it may not
violate a Constitutional prohibition, thereby tying the hands of the courts in their task of later
interpreting said statute, especially when the interpretation sought and provided in said statute
runs counter to a previous interpretation already given in a case by the highest court of the land.
Thus the court holds that judgment is affirmed, that Section13, Republic Act 590 in so far as it
provides that taxing of the salary of a judicial officer shall be considered not to be adiminution of
his compensation fixed by the Constitution or by law, constitutes and invasion of the province and
jurisdiction of the judiciary. In this sense, the court is of the opinion that said section is null and
void, it being a transgression of the fundamental principles underlying the separation of powers. In
the light of the issue on imposing income tax on judges salaries, dissenting opinion of court cited
that judges are also citizens and thus their salaries are subjected to the Income Tax Law prevailing.
The debates, interpellations and opinions expressed regarding the constitutional provision in
question until it was finally approved by the Commission disclosed that the true intent of the
framers of the1987 Constitution, in adopting it, was to make the salaries of members of the
Judiciary taxable. The ascertainment of that intent is but in keeping with the fundamental principle
of constitutional construction that the intent of the framers of the organic law and of the people
adopting it should be given effe.
Dispo:
Court affirms judgment as in Perfecto vs. Meer on the issue of imposing income tax on judges
salaries.

MA. CAROLINA P. ARAULLO ET AL. v. BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III ET AL.


G.R. NO. 209287, July 1, 2014
In a Decision dated July 1, 2014, the Supreme Court partially granted the consolidated petitions for
certiorari and prohibition and declared the following acts and practices under the Disbursement
Acceleration Program (DAP), National Budget Circular No. 541 and related executive issuances
unconstitutional for violating Section 25(5), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and the doctrine of
separation of powers, namely:
(a) The withdrawal of unobligated allotments from the implementing agencies, and the declaration
of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end
of the fiscal year and without complying with the statutory definition of savings contained in the
General Appropriations Acts;
(b) The cross-border transfers of the savings of the Executive to augment the appropriations of
other offices outside the Executive; and
(c) The funding of projects, activities and programs that were not covered by any appropriation in
the General Appropriations Acts.
The Court further declared void the use of unprogrammed funds despite the absence of a
certification by the National Treasurer that the revenue collections exceeded the revenue targets
for non-compliance with the conditions provided in the relevant General Appropriations Acts
(GAAs).
Remedial law; Certiorari and prohibition. The remedies of certiorari and prohibition are necessarily
broader in scope and reach, and the writ of certiorari or prohibition may be issued to correct errors
of jurisdiction committed not only by a tribunal, corporation, board or officer exercising judicial,
quasi-judicial or ministerial functions but also to set right, undo and restrain any act of grave abuse
of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction by any branch or instrumentality of the
Government, even if the latter does not exercise judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial
functions. Thus, petitions for certiorari and prohibition are appropriate remedies to raise
constitutional issues and to review and/or prohibit or nullify the acts of legislative and executive
officials.
Remedial law; Locus standi. Citing De Castro v. Judicial and Bar Council, the Supreme Court ruled
that the assertion of a public right as a predicate for challenging a supposedly illegal or
unconstitutional executive or legislative action rests on the theory that the petitioner represents
the public in general. Although such petitioner may not be as adversely affected by the action
complained against as are others, it is enough that he sufficiently demonstrates in his petition that
he is entitled to protection or relief from the Court in the vindication of a public right. The Court
likewise cited Agan, Jr. v. Philippine International Air Terminals Co., Inc., to explain that [s]tanding
is a peculiar concept in constitutional law because in some cases, suits are not brought by
parties who have been personally injured by the operation of a law or any other government act but
by concerned citizens, taxpayers or voters who actually sue in the public interest.
Transcendental importance as a ground to waive locus standi. Each of the petitioners has established
sufficient interest in the outcome of the controversy as to confer locus standi on each of them. In
addition, considering that the issues center on the extent of the power of the Chief Executive to
disburse and allocate public funds, whether appropriated by Congress or not, these cases
pose issues that are of transcendental importance to the entire Nation, the petitioners included.
As such, the determination of such important issues call for the Courts exercise of its broad and
wise discretion to waive the requirement and so remove the impediment to its addressing and
resolving the serious constitutional questions raised.

Administrative law; Budget process; Implementation and funding of the Disbursement Allocation
Program (DAP). Four phases comprise the Philippine budget process, specifically: (1) Budget
Preparation; (2) Budget Legislation; (3) Budget Execution; and (4) Accountability.
The DAP was to be implemented and funded (1) by declaring savings coming from the various
departments and agencies derived from pooling unobligated allotments and withdrawing
unreleased appropriations; (2) releasing unprogrammed funds; and (3) applying the savings and
unprogrammed funds to augment existing [program, activity or project] or to support other
priority PAPs.
Administrative law; Nature of the DAP. The DAP was a government policy or strategy designed to
stimulate the economy through accelerated spending. In the context of the DAPs adoption and
implementation being a function pertaining to the Executive as the main actor during the Budget
Execution Stage under its constitutional mandate to faithfully execute the laws, including the GAAs,
Congress did not need to legislate to adopt or to implement the DAP.
Constitutional law; The DAP is not an appropriation measure and does not contravene Section 29(1),
Article VI. The President, in keeping with his duty to faithfully execute the laws, had sufficient
discretion during the execution of the budget to adapt the budget to changes in the countrys
economic situation. He could adopt a plan like the DAP for the purpose. He could pool the
savings and identify the PAPs to be funded under the DAP. The pooling of savings pursuant to the
DAP, and the identification of the PAPs to be funded under the DAP did not involve appropriation
in the strict sense because the money had been already set apart from the public treasury by
Congress through the GAAs. In such actions, the Executive did not usurp the power vested
in Congress under Section 29(1), Article VI of the Constitution [that no money shall be paid out of
the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law].
Requisites of a valid transfer of appropriated funds under Section 25(5), Article VI. The transfer of
appropriated funds, to be valid under Section 25(5), [Article VI of the Constitution], must be made
upon a concurrence of the following requisites, namely: (1) There is a law authorizing 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 the Constitutional Commissions to transfer funds
within their respective offices; (2) The funds to be transferred are savings generated from
the appropriations for their respective offices; and (3) The purpose of the transfer is to augment an
item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices.
It is then indubitable that the power to augment was to be used only when the purpose for which
the funds had been allocated were already satisfied, or the need for such funds had ceased to exist,
for only then could savings be properly realized. This interpretation prevents the Executive from
unduly transgressing Congress power of the purse.
Savings, defined. The definition of savings under the 2011, 2012 and 2013 GAAs refer to portions
or balances of any programmed appropriation in this Act free from any obligation or encumbrance
which are: (i) still available after the completion or final discontinuance or abandonment of the
work, activity or purpose for which the appropriation is authorized; (ii) from appropriations
balances arising from unpaid compensation and related costs pertaining to vacant positions and
leaves of absence without pay; and (iii) from appropriations balances realized from the
implementation of measures resulting in improved systems and efficiencies and thus enabled
agencies to meet and deliver the required or planned targets.
The Court agreed with petitioners that respondents were forcing the generation of savings in order
to have a larger fund available for discretionary spending. Respondents, by withdrawing

unobligated allotments in the middle of the fiscal year, in effect deprived funding for PAPs
with existing appropriations under the GAAs.
The mandate of Section 28, Chapter IV, Book VI of the Administrative Code is to revert to the
General Fund balances of appropriations that remained unexpended at the end of the fiscal
year. The Executive could not circumvent this provision by declaring unreleased appropriations
and unobligated allotments as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year.
Augmentation is valid only when funding is deficient. The GAAs for 2011, 2012 and 2013 set as a
condition for augmentation that the appropriation for the PAP item to be augmented must be
deficient, to wit: x x x Augmentation implies the existence in this Act of a program, activity, or
project with an appropriation, which upon implementation, or subsequent evaluation of needed
resources, is determined to be deficient. In no case shall a non-existent program, activity, or project,
be funded by augmentation from savings or by the use of appropriations otherwise authorized in
this Act.
The President cannot substitute his own will for that of Congress. The Court held that the savings
pooled under the DAP were allocated to PAPs that were not covered by any appropriations in
the pertinent GAAs. Although the [Office of the Solicitor General] rightly contends that the Executive
was authorized to spend in line with its mandate to faithfully execute the laws (which included the
GAAs), such authority did not translate to unfettered discretion that allowed the President to
substitute his own will for that of Congress. He was still required to remain faithful to the
provisions of the GAAs, given that his power to spend pursuant to the GAAs was but a delegation to
him from Congress. Verily, the power to spend the public wealth resided in Congress, not in the
Executive. Moreover, leaving the spending power of the Executive unrestricted would threaten to
undo the principle of separation of powers.
Cross-border transfers or augmentations are prohibited. By providing that 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 the Constitutional Commissions may be authorized to augment
any item in the GAA for their respective offices, Section 25(5) has delineated borders between
their offices, such that funds appropriated for one office are prohibited from crossing over to
another office even in the guise of augmentation of a deficient item or items. Thus, we call such
transfers of funds cross-border transfers or cross-border augmentations.
Regardless of the variant characterizations of the cross-border transfers of funds, the plain text of
Section 25(5) disallowing cross-border transfers was disobeyed. Cross-border transfers, whether
as augmentation, or as aid, are prohibited under Section 25(5).
No violation of equal protection. Petitioners claim that the Executive discriminated against some
legislators on the ground alone of their receiving less than the others could not of itself warrant a
finding of contravention of the Equal Protection Clause. The denial of equal protection of any law
should be an issue to be raised only by parties who supposedly suffer it, and, in these cases, such
parties would be the few legislators claimed to have been discriminated against in the releases of
funds under the DAP. The reason for the requirement is that only such affected legislators could
properly and fully bring to the fore when and how the denial of equal protection occurred, and
explain why there was a denial in their situation. The requirement was not met here.
Operative fact doctrine. The doctrine of operative fact recognizes the existence of the law or
executive act prior to the determination of its unconstitutionality as an operative fact that produced
consequences that cannot always be erased, ignored or disregarded. In short, it nullifies the void

law or executive act but sustains its effects. It provides an exception to the general rule that a void
or unconstitutional law produces no effect. But its use must be subjected to great scrutiny and
circumspection, and it cannot be invoked to validate an unconstitutional law or executive act, but is
resorted to only as a matter of equity and fair play. It applies only to cases where
extraordinary circumstances exist, and only when the extraordinary circumstances have met the
stringent conditions that will permit its application.
The operative fact doctrine applies to the implementation of the DAP. To declare the implementation
of the DAP unconstitutional without recognizing that its prior implementation constituted an
operative fact that produced consequences in the real as well as juristic worlds of the Government
and the Nation is to be impractical and unfair. Unless the doctrine is held to apply, the Executive as
the disburser and the offices under it and elsewhere as the recipients could be required to undo
everything that they had implemented in good faith under the DAP. That scenario would be
enormously burdensome for the Government. Equity alleviates such burden.

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