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As will be seen, the authority to amend the Constitution was removed from the interim National Assembly

and transferred to the seat of sovereignty itself. Since the Constitution emanates from the people who are
the repository of all political powers, their authority to amend the Constitution through the means they have
adopted, aside from those mentioned in the Constitution, cannot be gainsaid. Not much reflection is also
needed to show that the President did not exercise his martial law legislative powers when he proposed the
amendments to the Constitution. He was merely acting as an instrument to carry out the will of the people.
Neither could he convene the interim National Assembly, as suggested by the petitioners, without doing
violence to the peoples will expressed overwhelmingly when they decided against convening the interim
assembly for at least seven years.
3. The period granted to the people to consider the proposed amendments is reasonably long and enough to
afford intelligent discussion of the issues to be voted upon. PD 991 has required the barangays to hold
assemblies or meetings to discuss and debate on the referendum questions, which in fact they have been
doing. Considering that the proposed amendments came from the representatives of the people themselves,
the people must have already formed a decision by this time on what stand to take on the proposed
amendments come the day for the plebiscite. Besides, the Constitution itself requires the holding of a
plebiscite for the ratification of an amendment not later than three (3) months after the approval of such
amendment or revision, 6 but without setting a definite period within which such plebiscite shall not be held.
From this I can only conclude that the framers of the Constitution desired that only a short period shall
elapse from the approval of such amendment or resolution to its ratification by the people.
Sanidad vs. Commission on Elections
Facts
On 2 September 1976, President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued PD 991 calling for a national
referendum on 16 October 1976 for the Citizens Assemblies ("barangays") to resolve the issues of martial
law, the interim assembly, its replacement, the powers of such replacement, the period of its existence, the
length of the period for the exercise by the President of his present powers.
On 22 September 1976, the President issued another PD 1031, amending the previous Presidential
Decree 991, by declaring the provisions of Presidential Decree 229 providing for the manner of voting and
canvass of votes in "barangays" (Citizens Assemblies) applicable to the national referendum-plebiscite of 16
October 1976. The President also issued PD 1033, stating the questions to be submitted to the people in the
referendum-plebiscite on 16 October 1976. The Decree recites in its "whereas" clauses that the people's
continued opposition to the convening of the interim National Assembly evinces their desire to have such
body abolished and replaced thru a constitutional amendment, providing for a new interim legislative body,
which will be submitted directly to the people in the referendum-plebiscite of October 16. The Commission on
Elections was vested with the exclusive supervision and control of the October 1976 National ReferendumPlebiscite.
Pablo C. Sanidad and Pablito V. Sanidad, father and son, commenced for Prohibition with Preliminary
Injunction seeking to enjoin the COMELEC from holding and conducting the Referendum Plebiscite on October
16; to declare without force and effect PD 991, 1033 and 1031. They contend that under the 1935 and 1973
Constitutions there is no grant to the incumbent President to exercise the constituent power to propose
amendments to the new Constitution.
On 30 September 1976, another action for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction, was instituted by
Vicente M. Guzman, a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, asserting that the power to propose
amendments to, or revision of the Constitution during the transition period is expressly conferred on the
interim National Assembly under action 16, Article XVII of the Constitution. Another petition for Prohibition
with Preliminary Injunction was filed by Raul M. Gonzales, his son, and Alfredo Salapantan, to restrain the
implementation of Presidential Decrees.
Issue: W/N the President may call upon a referendum for the amendment of the Constitution.
Held:
Section 1 of Article XVI of the 1973 Constitution on Amendments ordains that "(1) Any amendment
to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by the National Assembly upon a vote of three-fourths of
all its Members, or by a constitutional convention. (2) The National Assembly may, by a vote of two-thirds of
all its Members, call a constitutional convention or, by a majority vote of all its Members, submit the question
of calling such a convention to the electorate in an election." Section 2 thereof provides that "Any

amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a
plebiscite which shall be held not later than three months a after the approval of such amendment or
revision."
In the present period of transition, the interim National Assembly instituted in the Transitory
Provisions is conferred with that amending power. Section 15 of the Transitory Provisions reads "The interim
National Assembly, upon special call by the interim Prime Minister, may, by a majority vote of all its
Members, propose amendments to this Constitution. Such amendments shall take effect when ratified in
accordance with Article 16 hereof."
There are, therefore, two periods contemplated in the constitutional life of the nation: period of
normalcy and period of transition. In times of normalcy, the amending process may be initiated by the
proposals of the (1) regular National Assembly upon a vote of three-fourths of all its members; or (2) by a
Constitutional Convention called by a vote of two-thirds of all the Members of the National Assembly.
However the calling of a Constitutional Convention may be submitted to the electorate in an election voted
upon by a majority vote of all the members of the National Assembly. In times of transition, amendments
may be proposed by a majority vote of all the Members of the interim National Assembly upon special call by
the interim Prime Minister.
The Court in Aquino v. COMELEC, had already settled that the incumbent President is vested with
that prerogative of discretion as to when he shall initially convene the interim National Assembly. The
Constitutional Convention intended to leave to the President the determination of the time when he shall
initially convene the interim National Assembly, consistent with the prevailing conditions of peace and order
in the country.
When the Delegates to the Constitutional Convention voted on the Transitory Provisions, they were
aware of the fact that under the same, the incumbent President was given the discretion as to when he could
convene the interim National Assembly. The President's decision to defer the convening of the interim
National Assembly soon found support from the people themselves.
In the plebiscite of January 10-15, 1973, at which the ratification of the 1973 Constitution was
submitted, the people voted against the convening of the interim National Assembly. In the referendum of 24
July 1973, the Citizens Assemblies ("bagangays") reiterated their sovereign will to withhold the convening of
the interim National Assembly. Again, in the referendum of 27 February 1975, the proposed