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Manila Prince Hotel vs.

February 3, 1997
267 SCRA 408
FACTS: Pursuant to the privatization program of the government, the Government Service Insurance
System (GSIS) decided to sell 30-51% of the Manila Hotel Corporation. Two bidders participated, Manila
Prince Hotel and the Malaysian Firm Renong Berhad. Manila Prince Hotels bid was at P41.58/per share
while Renong Berdads bid was at P44.00/share. Renong Berdad was the highest bidder hence it was
logically considered as the winning bidder but is yet to be declared so. Pending declaration, Manila Prince
Hotel matches Renong Berdads bid and invoked the Filipino First Policy enshrined under par. 2, Sec. 10,
Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution which provides:
Section 10. The Congress shall, upon recommendation of the economic and planning agency, when
the national interest dictates, reserve to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations at least
sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens, or such higher percentage as Congress may
prescribe, certain areas of investments. The Congress shall enact measures that will encourage the formation
and operation of enterprises whose capital is wholly owned by Filipinos. In the grant of rights, privileges,
and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified
Filipinos. The State shall regulate and exercise authority over foreign investments within its national
jurisdiction and in accordance with its national goals and priorities.
But GSIS refused to accept said offer. In turn Manila Prince Hotel filed a petition for TRO against GSIS to
avoid the perfection/consummation of the sale to Renong Berdad. TRO was granted.
Reining Berdad then assailed the TRO issued in favor of Manila Prince Hotel arguing among others that:
1. Par. 2, Sec. 10, Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution needs an implementing law because it is merely a
statement of principle and policy (not self-executing);
2. Even if said passage is self-executing, Manila Hotel does not fall under national patrimony.
ISSUE: Whether or not Renong Berdad should be admitted as the highest bidder and hence be proclaimed
as the legit buyer of shares.
HELD: No. Manila Prince Hotel should be awarded the sale pursuant to Art 12 of the 1987 Const. This is in
light of the Filipino First Policy.
Par. 2, Sec. 10, Art. 12 of the 1987 Constitution is self executing. The Constitution is the fundamental,
paramount and supreme law of the nation, it is deemed written in every statute and contract.
Manila Hotel falls under national patrimony. Patrimony in its plain and ordinary meaning pertains to
heritage. When the Constitution speaks of national patrimony, it refers not only to the natural resources of
the Philippines, as the Constitution could have very well used the term natural resources, but also to
the cultural heritage of the Filipinos. It also refers to our intelligence in arts, sciences and letters. Therefore,
we should develop not only our lands, forests, mines and other natural resources but also the mental ability
or faculty of our people. Note that, for more than 9 decades Manila Hotel has bore mute witness to the
triumphs and failures, loves and frustrations of the Filipinos; its existence is impressed with public interest;
its own historicity associated with our struggle for sovereignty, independence and nationhood.
Herein resolved as well is the term Qualified Filipinos which not only pertains to individuals but to
corporations as well and other juridical entities/personalities. The term qualified Filipinos simply means
that preference shall be given to those citizens who can make a viable contribution to the common good,
because of credible competence and efficiency. It certainly does NOT mandate the pampering and
preferential treatment to Filipino citizens or organizations that are incompetent or inefficient, since such an
indiscriminate preference would be counter productive and inimical to the common good.
In the granting of economic rights, privileges, and concessions, when a choice has to be made between a
qualified foreigner and a qualified Filipino, the latter shall be chosen over the former.

Nitafan vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

July 23, 1987
GR no. L-78780
FACTS: Judge David Nitafan and several other judges of the Manila Regional Trial Court seek to prohibit
the Commissioner of Internal Revenue from making any deduction of withholding taxes from their salaries
or compensation for such would tantamount to a diminution of their salary, which is unconstitutional. Earlier
however, or on June 7, 1987, the Court en banc had already reaffirmed the directive of the Chief Justice
which directs the continued withholding of taxes of the justices and the judges of the judiciary but the SC
decided to rule on this case nonetheless to settle the issue once and for all.
ISSUE: Whether or not the members of the judiciary are exempt from the payment of income tax.
HELD: No. The clear intent of the framers of the Constitution, based on their deliberations, was NOT to
exempt justices and judges from general taxation. Members of the judiciary, just like members of the other
branches of the government, are subject to income taxation. What is provided for by the constitution is that
salaries of judges may not be decreased during their continuance in office. They have a fix salary which may
not be subject to the whims and caprices of congress. But the salaries of the judges shall be subject to the
general income tax as well as other members of the judiciary.
Congress can also pass a law decreasing the salary of the members of the judiciary but such will only be
applicable to members of the judiciary which were appointed AFTER the effectivity of such law.
Amores vs. HRET
June 29, 2010
GR no. 189600
FACTS: On May 14, 2009, Petition for certiorari challenging the assumption of office of
one Emmanuel Joel Villanueva as representative of CIBAC in the House of
Petitioner argues that Villanueva was 31 years old at the time of filing of nomination,
beyond the age limit of 30 which was the limit imposed by RA 7941 for "youth sector
and Villanueva's change of affiliation from Youth Sector to OFW and families not
affected six months prior to elections. Respondent argues that RA 7941 requirement
for "age" for youth sector representative only applicable to first three elections after
the party list act and there was no resultant change in affiliation.
ISSUE: Whether or not the requirement for youth sector representatives applies to
respondent Villanueva.
HELD: Villanueva is ineligible to hold office as a member of House of Representatives
representing CIBAC. Villanuevas arguments are invalid because the law is clear that a
representative of youth sector should be between 25 to 30 years of age. Villanueva is
also ineligible to represent the OFW because sectoral representation should be
changed SIX MONTHS prior to elections.

Ernesto B. Francisco, Jr. vs. HRET

November 10, 2003
GR no. 160261
FACTS: On July 22, 2002, the House of Representatives adopted a Resolution, sponsored by Representative
Felix William D. Fuentebella, which directed the Committee on Justice "to conduct an investigation, in aid
of legislation, on the manner of disbursements and expenditures by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF)." On June 2, 2003, former President Joseph E. Estrada filed an
impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. and seven Associate Justices of this
Court for "culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of the public trust and other high crimes." The
complaint was endorsed by Representatives Rolex T. Suplico, Ronaldo B. Zamora and Didagen Piang
Dilangalen, and was referred to the House Committee. The House Committee on Justice ruled on October
13, 2003 that the first impeachment complaint was "sufficient in form," but voted to dismiss the same on
October 22, 2003 for being insufficient in substance. To date, the Committee Report to this effect has not yet
been sent to the House in plenary in accordance with the said Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution.
Four months and three weeks since the filing on June 2, 2003 of the first complaint or on October 23, 2003,
a day after the House Committee on Justice voted to dismiss it, the second impeachment complaint was filed
with the Secretary General of the House by Representatives Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. and Felix William B.
Fuentebella against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., founded on the alleged results of the legislative
inquiry initiated by above-mentioned House Resolution. This second impeachment complaint was
accompanied by a "Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment" signed by at least one-third (1/3) of all the
Members of the House of Representatives.
1. Whether or not the filing of the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide,
Jr. with the House of Representatives falls within the one year bar provided in the Constitution.
2. Whether the resolution thereof is a political question has resulted in a political crisis.
1. Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing of the impeachment complaint and
referral to the House Committee on Justice, the initial action taken thereon, the meaning of Section 3 (5) of
Article XI becomes clear. Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated in the foregoing manner,
another may not be filed against the same official within a one year period following Article XI, Section 3(5)
of the Constitution. In fine, considering that the first impeachment complaint, was filed by former President
Estrada against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., along with seven associate justices of this Court, on
June 2, 2003 and referred to the House Committee on Justice on August 5, 2003, the second impeachment
complaint filed by Representatives Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. and Felix William Fuentebella against the Chief
Justice on October 23, 2003 violates the constitutional prohibition against the initiation of impeachment
proceedings against the same impeachable officer within a one-year period.
2.From the foregoing record of the proceedings of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, it is clear that
judicial power is not only a power; it is also a duty, a duty which cannot be abdicated by the mere specter of
this creature called the political question doctrine. Chief Justice Concepcion hastened to clarify, however,
that Section 1, Article VIII was not intended to do away with "truly political questions." From this
clarification it is gathered that there are two species of political questions: (1) "truly political questions" and
(2) those which "are not truly political questions." Truly political questions are thus beyond judicial review,
the reason for respect of the doctrine of separation of powers to be maintained. On the other hand, by virtue
of Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution, courts can review questions which are not truly political in
Civil Liberties Union vs. Executive Secretary
February 22, 1991

GR no. 83896
FACTS: In July 1987, then President Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order No. 284 which allowed
members of the Cabinet, their undersecretaries and assistant secretaries to hold other government offices or
positions in addition to their primary positions subject to limitations set therein. The Civil Liberties Union
assailed this EO averring that such law is unconstitutional. The constitutionality of EO 284 is being
challenged by CLU on the principal submission that it adds exceptions to Sec 13, Article 7 of the
Constitution which provides:
Sec. 13. The President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies or
assistants shall not, unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any other office
employment during their tenure. They shall not, during said tenure, directly or indirectly practice any other
profession, participate in any business, or be financially interested in any contract with, or in any franchise,
or special privilege granted by the Government or any
subdivision, agency, or instrumentality
thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. They shall strictly
avoid conflict of interest in the conduct
of their office.
CLU avers that by virtue of the phrase unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, the only exceptions
against holding any other office or employment in Government are those provided in the Constitution,
namely: (i) The Vice-President may be appointed as a Member of the Cabinet under Sec 3, par. (2), Article
7; and (ii) the Secretary of Justice is an ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council by virtue of Sec 8
(1), Article 8.
ISSUE: Whether or not EO 284 is constitutional.
HELD: No, it is unconstitutional. It is clear that the 1987 Constitution seeks to prohibit the President, VicePresident, members of the Cabinet, their deputies or assistants from holding during their tenure multiple
offices or employment in the government, except in those cases specified in the Constitution itself and as
above clarified with respect to posts held without additional compensation in an ex-officio capacity as
provided by law and as required by the primary functions of their office, the citation of Cabinet members
(then called Ministers) as examples during the debate and deliberation on the general rule laid down for all
appointive officials should be considered as mere personal opinions which cannot override the constitutions
manifest intent and the peoples understanding thereof.
In the light of the construction given to Sec 13, Art 7 in relation to Sec 7, par. (2), Art IX-B of the 1987
Constitution, EO 284 is unconstitutional. Ostensibly restricting the number of positions that Cabinet
members, undersecretaries or assistant secretaries may hold in addition to their primary position to not more
than 2 positions in the government and government corporations, EO 284 actually allows them to hold
multiple offices or employment in direct contravention of the express mandate of Sec 13, Art 7 of the 1987
Constitution prohibiting them from doing so, unless otherwise provided in the 1987 Constitution itself.
William Chiongbian vs. Alfredo De Leon
January 31, 1949
GR no. L-2007
FACTS: William Chiongbian is a son of a Chinese citizen. His father has been elected into office before the
adoption of the Constitution, wherein William was still a minor. De Leon seeks to cancel petitioners
registration certificates of vessels and rescind the sale of vessels from the same on the ground that William
Chiongbian is allegedly not a Filipino citizen and therefore not qualified to operate and own vessels of
Philippine registry.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner is a Filipino citizen.

HELD: Yes, because the petitioner, aside from the fact that he was a minor at the time of the adoption of the
Constitution, follows the citizenship of his father who having been elected to public office before the
adoption of the said Constitution became a Filipino citizen as provided by the same.
Article IV, 1987 Constitution states that
Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:
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.
Romulo Macalintal vs. COMELEC
July 10, 2003
GR no. 157013
FACTS: A petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by Romulo B. Macalintal, a member of the Philippine
Bar, seeking a declaration that certain provisions of Republic Act No. 9189 (The Overseas Absentee Voting
Act of 2003) suffer from constitutional infirmity. Claiming that he has actual and material legal interest in
the subject matter of this case in seeing to it that public funds are properly and lawfully used and
appropriated, petitioner filed the instant petition as a taxpayer and as a lawyer.
A. Does Section 5(d) of Rep. Act No. 9189 allowing the registration of voters who are immigrants or
permanent residents in other countries by their mere act of executing an affidavit expressing their
intention to return to the Philippines, violate the residency requirement in Section 1 of Article V of
the Constitution?
B. Does Section 18.5 of the same law empowering the COMELEC to proclaim the winning
candidates for national offices and party list representatives including the President and the VicePresident violate the constitutional mandate under Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution that the
winning candidates for President and the Vice-President shall be proclaimed as winners by
C. May Congress, through the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee created in Section 25 of
Rep. Act No. 9189, exercise the power to review, revise, amend, and approve the Implementing
Rules and Regulations that the Commission on Elections shall promulgate without violating the
independence of the COMELEC under Section 1, Article IX-A of the Constitution?
HELD: In resolving the issues , the application of the rules in Statutory Construction must be applied.
1. All laws are presumed to be constitutional
2. The constitution must be construed as a whole
1. In case of doubt in the interpretation of the provision of the constitution, such meaning must be
deduced from the discussions of the members of the constitutional commission.
Does Section 5(d) of Rep. Act No. 9189 violate Section 1, Article V of the 1987 Constitution of the
Republic of the Philippines?

Section 4 of R.A. No. 9189 provides for the coverage of the absentee voting process, to wit:
SEC. 4. Coverage. All citizens of the Philippines abroad, who are not otherwise disqualified by
law, at least eighteen (18) years of age on the day of elections, may vote for president, vice-president,
senators and party-list representatives.
which does not require physical residency in the Philippines; and Section 5 of the assailed law which
enumerates those who are disqualified, to wit:
SEC. 5. Disqualifications. The following shall be disqualified from voting under this Act:
a) Those who have lost their Filipino citizenship in accordance with Philippine laws;
b) Those who have expressly renounced their Philippine citizenship and who have pledged allegiance
to a foreign country;
c) Those who have committed and are convicted in a final judgment by a court or tribunal of an
offense punishable by imprisonment of not less than one (1) year, including those who have
committed and been found guilty of Disloyalty as defined under Article 137 of the Revised Penal
Code, such disability not having been removed by plenary pardon or amnesty: Provided, however,
That any person disqualified to vote under this subsection shall automatically acquire the right to
vote upon expiration of five (5) years after service of sentence; Provided, further, That the
Commission may take cognizance of final judgments issued by foreign courts or tribunals only on
the basis of reciprocity and subject to the formalities and processes prescribed by the Rules of Court
on execution of judgments;
d) An immigrant or a permanent resident who is recognized as such in the host country, unless he/she
executes, upon registration, an affidavit prepared for the purpose by the Commission declaring that
he/she shall resume actual physical permanent residence in the Philippines not later than three (3)
years from approval of his/her registration under this Act. Such affidavit shall also state that he/she
has not applied for citizenship in another country. Failure to return shall be cause for the removal of
the name of the immigrant or permanent resident from the National Registry of Absentee Voters and
his/her permanent disqualification to vote in absentia.
e) Any citizen of the Philippines abroad previously declared insane or incompetent by competent
authority in the Philippines or abroad, as verified by the Philippine embassies, consulates or foreign
service establishments concerned, unless such competent authority subsequently certifies that such
person is no longer insane or incompetent.
As finally approved into law, Section 5(d) of R.A. No. 9189 specifically disqualifies an immigrant or
permanent resident who is "recognized as such in the host country" because immigration or permanent
residence in another country implies renunciation of ones residence in his country of origin. However, same
Section allows an immigrant and permanent resident abroad to register as voter for as long as he/she
executes an affidavit to show that he/she has not abandoned his domicile in pursuance of the constitutional
intent expressed in Sections 1 and 2 of Article V that "all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise
disqualified by law" must be entitled to exercise the right of suffrage and, that Congress must establish a
system for absentee voting; for otherwise, if actual, physical residence in the Philippines is required, there is
no sense for the framers of the Constitution to mandate Congress to establish a system for absentee voting.
B. Is Section 18.5 of R.A. No. 9189 in relation to Section 4 of the same Act in contravention of Section 4,
Article VII of the Constitution?
Section 4 of R.A. No. 9189 provides that the overseas absentee voter may vote for president, vicepresident, senators and party-list representatives.
Section 18.5 of the same Act provides:
SEC. 18. On-Site Counting and Canvassing.

18. 5 The canvass of votes shall not cause the delay of the proclamation of a winning candidate if the
outcome of the election will not be affected by the results thereof. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the
Commission is empowered to order the proclamation of winning candidates despite the fact that the
scheduled election has not taken place in a particular country or countries, if the holding of elections
therein has been rendered impossible by events, factors and circumstances peculiar to such country
or countries, in which events, factors and circumstances are beyond the control or influence of the
SEC. 4 The returns of every election for President and Vice-President, duly certified by the board of
canvassers of each province or city, shall be transmitted to the Congress, directed to the President of
the Senate. Upon receipt of the certificates of canvass, the President of the Senate shall, not later than
thirty days after the day of the election, open all the certificates in the presence of the Senate and the
House of Representatives in joint public session, and the Congress, upon determination of the
authenticity and due execution thereof in the manner provided by law, canvass the votes.
The person having the highest number of votes shall be proclaimed elected, but in case two or more
shall have an equal and highest number of votes, one of them shall forthwith be chosen by the vote of
a majority of all the Members of both Houses of the Congress, voting separately.
The Congress shall promulgate its rules for the canvassing of the certificates.
Such provison gives the Congress the duty to canvass the votes and proclaim the winning candidates
for president and vice-president.
It was held that this provision must be harmonized with paragraph 4, Section 4, Article VII of the
Constitution and should be taken to mean that COMELEC can only proclaim the winning Senators and
party-list representatives but not the President and Vice-President.
The phrase, proclamation of winning candidates, in Section 18.5 of R.A. No. 9189 is far too
sweeping that it necessarily includes the proclamation of the winning candidates for the presidency and the
clashes with paragraph 4, Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution which provides that the returns of
every election for President and Vice-President shall be certified by the board of canvassers to Congress.
Congress could not have allowed the COMELEC to usurp a power that constitutionally belongs to it
or, as aptly stated by petitioner, to encroach "on the power of Congress to canvass the votes for president and
vice-president and the power to proclaim the winners for the said positions." The provisions of the
Constitution as the fundamental law of the land should be read as part of The Overseas Absentee Voting Act
of 2003 and hence, the canvassing of the votes and the proclamation of the winning candidates for president
and vice-president for the entire nation must remain in the hands of Congress.
C. Are Sections 19 and 25 of R.A. No. 9189 in violation of Section 1, Article IX-A of the Constitution?
Section 1. The Constitutional Commissions, which shall be independent, are the Civil Service
Commission, the Commission on Elections, and the Commission on Audit.
SEC. 17. Voting by Mail.
17.1. For the May, 2004 elections, the Commission shall authorize voting by mail in not more than
three (3) countries, subject to the approval of the Congressional Oversight Committee. Voting by
mail may be allowed in countries that satisfy the following conditions:
a) Where the mailing system is fairly well-developed and secure to prevent occasion for fraud;
b) Where there exists a technically established identification system that would preclude multiple or
proxy voting; and

c) Where the system of reception and custody of mailed ballots in the embassies, consulates and
other foreign service establishments concerned are adequate and well-secured.
Thereafter, voting by mail in any country shall be allowed only upon review and approval of the
Joint Congressional Oversight Committee
Such provision is unconstitutional as it violates Section 1, Article IX-A mandating the independence of
constitutional commissions.
The phrase, "subject to the approval of the Congressional Oversight Committee" in the first sentence of
Section 17.1 which empowers the Commission to authorize voting by mail in not more than three countries
for the May, 2004 elections; and the phrase, "only upon review and approval of the Joint Congressional
Oversight Committee" found in the second paragraph of the same section are unconstitutional as they
require review and approval of voting by mail in any country after the 2004 elections. Congress may not
confer upon itself the authority to approve or disapprove the countries wherein voting by mail shall be
allowed, as determined by the COMELEC pursuant to the conditions provided for in Section 17.1 of R.A.
No. 9189. Otherwise, Congress would overstep the bounds of its constitutional mandate and intrude into the
independence of the COMELEC.
WHEREFORE, the petition is partly GRANTED. The following portions of R.A. No. 9189 are
declared VOID for being UNCONSTITUTIONAL.