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In re Application of MAX SHOOP for admission to practice law

Facts of the Case:

An application has been made by Max Shoop for admission to practice law in the Philippine Islands under
Paragraph Four (4) of the Rules for the Examination of Candidates for Admission to the Practice of Law, effective
July 1, 1920.
Anent to this he showed supporting papers showing that he has has been admitted to practice, and has
practiced for more than five years in the highest court of the State of New York.

Whether or not Max Shoop can be allowed to practice law in the Philippines?

The Court held that the petition of applicant be granted and that he be admitted to the practice of law in the
Philippine Islands.
The promulgation of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands effective after July 1, 1920 of the rules for
the examination of candidates for admission to the practice of law, Paragraph Four (4) in part, reads: "Applicants for
admission who have been admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States or in any circuit court of
appeal or district court, therein, or in the highest court of any State or territory of the United States, which State or
territory by comity confers the same privilege on attorneys admitted to practice in the Philippine Islands, and who
can show by satisfactory affidavits that they have practiced at least five years in any of -said courts, may, in the
discretion of the court, be admitted without examination."
A portion of the rules adopted by the Appellate Division of the New York Court, concerning admission to the
Bar of New York without examination, states that: "(1) Any person admitted to practice and who has practiced five
years as member of the bar in the highest law court in any other state or territory of the American Union or in the
District of Columbia. (2) Any person admitted to practice and who has practiced five years in another country whose
jurisprudence is based on .the principles of the English Common Law." The supporting papers of Max Shoop
showed that he has been admitted to practice and has practiced for more than five years in the highest court in the
State of New York. Held: That the petition of applicant be granted and that he be admitted to the practice of law in
the Philippine Islands.
The formation of what may be termed a Philippine Common Law, as supplemental to the statute law of this
jurisdiction shows that Philippine Reports shows reliance upon English and American authorities. An analysis of two
groups of recent casesthe first, those under the subjects covered by Spanish statutes, and the second, those
covered by American-Philippine legislation and affected by the change in sovereigntyshows that Anglo-American
case law has entered practically every one of the leading subjects in the field of law and in a large majority of such
subjects has formed the sole basis for the guidance of this court in developing the local jurisprudence.
The past twenty years have developed a Philippine Common Law or case law based almost exclusively,
except where conflicting with local customs and institutions, upon Anglo-American Common Law. The Philippine
Common Law supplements and amplifies our statute law. The jurisprudence of this jurisdiction is based upon
English Common Law in its present day form of Anglo American Common Law to an almost exclusive extent.
In interpreting and applying the bulk of the written laws of this jurisdiction, and in rendering its decision in
cases not covered by the letter of the written law, this court relies upon the theories and precedents of AngloAmerican cases, subject to the limited exception of those instances where the remnants of the Spanish written law
present well-defined civil law theories and of the few cases where such precedents are inconsistent with local
customs and institutions.


COSTAS, and ANSELMO HILARIO, defendants.
Facts of the Case:
This is an original action against three directors of the National Coal Company who were elected to their
positions by the legislative members of the committee created by Acts Nos. 2705 and 2822. The purpose of the
proceeding is to test the validity of the part of section 4 of Act No. 2705, as amended by section 2 of Act No. 2822,
which provides that "The voting power of all such stock (in the National Coal Company) owned by the Government
of the Philippine Islands shall be vested exclusively in a committee consisting of the Governor General, the
President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives."

Whether or not the provision under the said law is valid.

The powers entrusted by the Congress of the United States to the Government of the Philippine Islands are
distributed among three coordinate departments, the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. No department of
the Government of the Philippine Islands may legally exercise any of the powers conferred by the Organic Law upon
any of the others.
The chief exponent of autonomy in domestic affairs in the Government of the Philippine Islands is the
Philippine Legislature. The Governor-General on the other hand is the head of the Government and symbolizes
American sovereignty. Under such a political system, lines of demarcation between the legislative and the executive
departments are difficult to fix, and attempted encroachments of one on the other maybe expected. It is, however,
the duty of the Supreme Court, as the guardian of the constitution, to enforce fundamental principles.
The Organic Act vests "the supreme executive power" in the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands.
The Governor-General since the approval of the last Organic Act has no prerogative powers. The Congress of the
United States clearly intended that the Governor-General's power should be commensurate with his responsibility.
The Congress never intended that the Governor-General should be saddled with the responsibility of administering
the government and of executing the laws but shorn of the power to do so.
The legislative power of the Philippine Government is granted in general terms subject to specific limitations.
Legislative power is the authority, under the constitution, to make laws, and to alter and repeal them. The
Legislature cannot lawfully exercise powers which are in their nature essentially executive or judicial. The
Legislature cannot make a law and then take part in its execution or construction.
The appointment of public officials is generally looked upon as properly an executive function. Appointments
may be made by the Legislature or the courts, but when so made should be taken as an incident to the discharge of
functions properly within their respective spheres.
Under a system' of government of delegated powers, under which delegation legislative power vests in the
Philippine Legislature and executive power vests in the Governor-General, and under which delegation a general
power of appointment resides in the Governor-General and a specified power of appointment resides in the
Philippine Legislature, the latter cannot directly or indirectly perform functions of an executive nature through the
designation of its presiding officers as majority members of a body which has executive functions. The Legislature
may add to, but may not diminish, the power of appointment of the Governor-General. The exceptions made in favor
of the Legislature as to appointments to office strengthen rather than weaken the grant to the executive. The
expression of one thing in the constitution is necessarily the exclusion of things not expressed. Appointment to office
in the Philippines is intrinsically an executive act involving the exercise of discretion.

G.R. No. 88211.September 15, 1989

Marcos vs Manglapus
This is a case wherein a dictator forced out of office after causing twenty years of political, economic and
social havoc in the country and who within the three years of exile seeks to return. This petition for mandamus and
prohibition asks the Court to order the respondents to issue travel documents to Mr. Marcos and the immediate his
family members and to enjoin the implementation of the Presidents decision to bar their return to the Philippines.

Whether or not the President may prohibit the Marcoses from returning to the Philippines.

The Court ruled that the right to return to ones country is not among the rights specifically guaranteed in the
Bill of Rights, which treats only of the liberty of abode and the right to travel, but it is our well-considered view that
the right to return may be considered, as a generally accepted principle of international law and, under our
Constitution, is part of the law of the land.
The constitutional guarantees invoked by petitioners are not absolute and inflexible, they admit of limits and
must be adjusted to the requirements of equally important public interests.The resolution of the problem is made
difficult because the persons who seek to return to the country are the deposed dictator and his family at whose
door the travails of the country are laid and from whom billions of dollars believed to be ill-gotten wealth are sought
to be recovered. The constitutional guarantees they invoke are neither absolute nor inflexible. For the exercise of
even the preferred freedoms of speech and of expression, although couched in absolute terms, admits of limits and
must be adjusted to the requirements of equally important public interests.
The 1987 Constitution has fully restored the separation of powers of the three great branches of
government. To recall the words of Justice Laurel in Angara v. Electoral Commission the Constitution has blocked
out with deft strokes and in bold lines, allotment of power to the executive, the legislative and the judicial
departments of the government. Thus, the 1987 constitution explicitly provides that the legislative power shall be
vested in the Congress of the Philippines [Art. VI, Sec. 1], the executive power shall be vested in the President of
the Philippines [Art. VII, Sec. 1], and the judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower
courts as may be established by law [Art. VIII, Sec. 1]. These provisions not only establish a separation of powers
by actual division but also confer plenary legislative, executive and judicial powers subject only to limitations
provided in the Constitution.
The powers granted to the President are not limited to those powers specifically enumerated in the
Constitution.It would not be accurate, however, to state that executive power is the power to enforce the laws,
for the President is head of state as well as head of government and whatever powers inherent in such positions
pertain to the office unless the Constitution itself withholds it. Furthermore, the Constitution itself provides that the
execution of the laws is only one of the powers of the President. It also grants the President other powers that do
not involve the execution of any provision of law, e.g., his power over the countrys foreign relations. On these
premises, we hold the view that although the 1987 Constitution imposes limitations on the exercise of specific
powers of the President, it maintains intact what is traditionally considered as within the scope of executive power.
Corollary, the powers of the President cannot be said to be limited only to the specific powers enumerated in the
Constitution. In other words, executive power is more than the sum of specific powers so enumerated.
The President can exercise Commander-In-Chief powers in order to keep the peace and maintain public
order and security even in the absence of an emergency. More particularly, this case calls for the exercise of the
Presidents powers as protector of the peace. The power of the President to keep the peace is not limited merely to
exercising the commander-in-chief powers in times of emergency or to leading the State against external and
internal threats to its existence. The President is not only clothed with extraordinary powers in times of emergency,

but is also tasked with attending to the day-to-day problems of maintaining peace and order and ensuring domestic
tranquility in times when no foreign foe appears on the horizon. Wide discretion, within the bounds of law, in fulfilling
presidential duties in times of peace is not in any way diminished by the relative want of an emergency specified in
the commander-in-chief provision. For in making the President Commander-in-chief the enumeration of powers that
follow cannot be said to exclude the Presidents exercising as Commander-in-Chief Powers short of the calling of
the armed forces, or suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or declaring martial law, in order to keep
the peace, and maintain public order and security.
The President has the power under the Constitution to bar the Marcoses from returning to our country.
That the President has the power under the Constitution to bar the Marcoses from returning has been recognized by
members of the Legislature, and is manifested by the Resolution proposed in the House of Representatives and
signed by 103 of its members urging the President to allow Mr. Marcos to return to the Philippines as a genuine
unselfish gesture for true national reconciliation and as irrevocable proof of our collective adherence to
uncompromising respect for human rights under the Constitution and our laws. [House Resolution No. 1342, Rollo,
p. 321.] The Resolution does not question the Presidents power to bar the Marcoses from returning to the
Philippines, rather, it appeals to the Presidents sense of compassion to allow a man to come home to die in his
country. What we are saying in effect is that the request or demand of the Marcoses to be allowed to return to the
Philippines cannot be considered in the light solely of the constitutional provisions guaranteeing liberty of abode and
the right to travel, subject to certain exceptions, or of case law which clearly never contemplated situations even
remotely similar to the present one. It must be treated as a matter that is appropriately addressed to those residual
unstated powers of the President which are implicit in and correlative to the paramount duty residing in that office to
safeguard and protect general welfare. In that context, such request or demand should submit to the exercise of a
broader discretion on the part of the President to determine whether it must be granted or denied.
The present Constitution limits resort to the political question doctrine and broadens the scope of judicial
inquiry.Under the Constitution, judicial power includes the duty to determine 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 Goverment. [Art. VIII, Sec. 1.] Given this wording, we cannot agree with the Solicitor General that the issue
constitutes a political question which is beyond the jurisdiction of the Court to decide. The present Constitution limits
resort to the political question doctrine and broadens the scope of judicial inquiry into areas which the Court, under
previous constitutions, would have normally left to the political departments to decide. But nonetheless there remain
issues beyond the Courts jurisdiction the determination of which is exclusively for the President, for Congress or for
the people themselves through a plebiscite or referendum. We cannot, for example, question the Presidents
recognition of a foreign government, no matter how premature or improvident such action may appear. We cannot
set aside a presidential pardon though it may appear to us that the beneficiary is totally undeserving of the grant.
Nor can we amend the Constitution under the guise of resolving a dispute brought before us because the power is
reserved to the people.
In the exercise of the power of judicial review, the function of the court is merely to check, not to supplant the
Executive.There is nothing in the case before us that precludes our determination thereof on the political question
doctrine. The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission cited by petitioners show that the framers intended to
widen the scope of judicial review but they did not intend courts of justice to settle all actual controversies before
them. When political questions are involved, the Constitution limits the determination to whether or not there has
been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the official whose action is
being questioned. If grave abuse is not established, the Court will not substitute its judgment for that of the official
concerned and decide a matter which by its nature or by law is for the latter alone to decide. In this light, it would
appear clear that the second paragraph of Article VIII, Section 1 of the Constitution, defining judicial power, which
specifically empowers the courts to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion on the part
of any branch or instrumentality of the government, incorporates in the fundamental law the ruling in Lansang v.
Garcia [G.R. No. L-33964, December 11, 1971, 42 SCRA 448] that: Article VII of the [1935] Constitution vests in the
Executive the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus under specified conditions. Pursuant to
the principle of separation of powers underlying our system of government, the Executive is supreme within his own
sphere. However, the separation of powers, under the Constitution, is not absolute. What is more, it goes hand in
hand with the system of checks and balances, under which the Executive is supreme, as regards the suspension of
the privilege, but only if and when he acts within the sphere alloted to him by the Basic Law, and the authority to
determine whether or not he has so acted is vested in the Judicial Department, which, in this respect, is, in turn,
constitutionally supreme. In the exercise of such authority, the function of the Court is merely to checknot to

supplantthe Executive, or to ascertain merely whether he has gone beyond the constitutional limits of his
jurisdiction, not to exercise the power vested in him or to determine the wisdom of his act. . . . [At 479-480.]
The President did not act arbitrarily, capriciously and whimsically in determining that the return of the Marcoses
poses a serious threat to national interest and welfare, and in prohibiting their return.We find that from the
pleadings filed by the parties, from their oral arguments, and the facts revealed during the briefing in chambers by
the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the National Security Adviser, wherein petitioners and
respondents were represented, there exist factual basis for the Presidents decision. The Court cannot close its eyes
to present realities and pretend that the country is not besieged from within by a well-organized communist
insurgency, a separatist movement in Mindanao, rightist conspiracies to grab power, urban terrorism, the murder
with impunity of military men, police officers and civilian officials, to mention only a few. The documented history of
the efforts of the Marcoses and their followers to destabilize the country, as earlier narrated in this ponencia bolsters
the conclusion that the return of the Marcoses at this time would only exacerbate and intensify the violence directed
against the State and instigate more chaos. As divergent and discordant forces, the enemies of the State may be
contained. The military establishment has given assurances that it could handle the threats posed by particular
groups. But it is the catalytic effect of the return of the Marcoses that may prove to be the proverbial final straw that
would break the camels back. With these before her, the President cannot be said to have acted arbitrarily and
capriciously and whimsically in determining that the return of the Marcoses poses a serious threat to the national
interest and welfare and in prohibiting their return.

In the Matter of the Petitions for Admission to the Bar of Unsuccessful Candidates of 1946 to
This controversy aroused from Republic Act No. 972, popularly known as the "Bar Flunkers' Act of 1953."
Under the Rules of Court governing admission to the bar, "in order that a candidate be admitted is for him to have
passed his examinations successfully, having obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without
falling below 50 per cent in any subject." Nevertheless, considering the varying difficulties of the different bar
examinations held since 1946 and the varying degree of strictness with which the examination papers were graded,
this court passed and admitted to the bar those candidates who had obtained an average of only 72 per cent in
1946, 69 per cent in 1947, 70 per cent in 1948, and 74 per cent in 1949. In 1950 to 1953, the 74 per cent was raised
to 75 per cent.
Believing themselves as fully qualified to practice law as those reconsidered and passed by this court, and
feeling conscious of having been discriminated against, the unsuccessful candidates who obtained averages of a
few percentage lower than those admitted to the Bar agitated and secured in 1951 the passage of Senate Bill No.
12 which, among others, reduced the passing general average in bar examinations to 70 per cent effective since
1946. The President requested the views of this court on the bill. Complying with that request, seven members of
the court subscribed to and submitted written comments adverse thereto, and shortly thereafter the President
vetoed it. Congress did not override the veto. Instead, it approved the said bill.

Whether or not the Congress can pass a law enabling Bar flunkers to pass the Bar exam.

By its declared objective, Republic Act No. 972 is contrary to public interest because it qualifies 1,094 law
graduates who confessedly had inadequate preparation for the practice of the profession, as was exactly found by
this Tribunal in the aforesaid examinations. The public interest demands of the legal profession adequate
preparation and efficiency, precisely more so as legal problems evolved by the times become more difficult.
The Constitution has not conferred on Congress and this Tribunal equal responsibility governing the
admission to the practice of law. The primary power and responsibility which the Constitution recognizes continue to
reside in this court. Congress may repeal, alter and supplement the rules promulgated by this court, but the
authority and responsibility over the admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of attorneys-at-law and
their supervision remain vested in the Supreme Court.
Republic Act No. 972 is a class legislation. There is no actual nor reasonable basis to classify unsuccessful
bar candidates by years nor to exclude those of other years.
In the judicial system from which ours has been evolved, the admission, suspension, disbarment and
reinstatement of attorneys-at-law in the practice of the profession and their supervision have been indisputably a
judicial function and responsibility. Because of this attribute, its continuous and zealous possession and exercise by
the judicial power have been demonstrated during more than six centuries, which certainly "constitutes the most
solid of titles.
Article 2 of Republic Act No. 972 is not embraced in the title of the law, contrary to what the Constitution
enjoins. Being inseparable from the provisions of article 1, the entire law is void.
There being no unanimity in the eight Justices who constitute the majority of the court in this case, that part of article
1 Republic Act No. 972 which refers to the examinations of 1953 to 1955 shall continue in force.

No. 45081. July 15, 1936

Angara vs Electoral Commission
Facts of the Case:
Petitioner, Jose A. Angara, and the respondents, Pedro Ynsua, Miguel Castillo and Dionisio Mayor, were
candidates voted for the position of member of the National Assembly for the first district of the Province of Tayabas.
The provincial board of canvassers proclaimed the petitioner as member-elect of the National Assembly for the said
district, for having received the most number of votes and took his oath of office. Respondent Pedro Ynsua filed
before the Electoral Commission a "Motion of Protest" against the election of the herein petitioner, Jose A. Angara,
being the only protest filed after the passage of Resolution No. 8 aforequoted, and praying, among other-things, that
said respondent be declared elected member of the National Assembly for the first district of Tayabas, or that the
election of said position be nullified. Jose A. Angara filed before the Electoral Commission a "Motion to Dismiss the
Protest", alleging (a) that Resolution No. 8 of the National Assembly was adopted in the legitimate exercise of its
constitutional prerogative to prescribe the period during which protests against the election of its members should
be presented; (b) that the aforesaid resolution has for its object, and is the accepted formula for, the limitation of
said period; and (c) that the protest in question was filed out of the prescribed period.

Whether or not the Supreme Court can review the resolution of Electoral Commission.

The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in our system of government. It obtains not through
express provision but by actual division in our Constitution. Each department of the government has exclusive
cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own sphere.
But it does not follow from the fact that the three powers are to be kept separate and distinct that the
Constitution intended them to be absolutely unrestrained and independent of each other. The Constitution has
provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of various
departments of government
But in the main, the Constitution has blocked out with deft strokes and in bold lines, allotment of power to the
executive, the legislative and the judicial departments of the government. The overlapping and interlacing of
functions and duties between the several departments, however, sometimes makes it hard to say just where the one
leaves off and the other begins. In times of social disquietude or political excitement, the great landmarks of the
Constitution are apt to be forgotten or marred, if not entirely obliterated. In cases of conflict, the judicial department
is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the
several departments and among the integral or constituent units thereof.
Even then, this power of judicial review is limited to actual cases and controversies to be exercised after full
opportunity of argument by the parties, and limited further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis mota
presented. Any attempt at abstraction could only lead to dialectics and barren legal questions and to sterile
conclusions unrelated to actualities. Narrowed as its function is in this manner, the judiciary does not pass upon
questions of wisdom, justice or expediency of legislation. More than that, courts accord the presumption of
constitutionality to legislative enactments not only because the Legislature is presumed to abide by the Constitution
but also because the judiciary in the determination of actual cases and controversies must reflect the wisdom and
justice of the people as expressed through their representatives in the executive and legislative departments of the
But much as we might postulate on the internal checks of power provided in our Constitution, it ought not the less to
be remembered that, in the language of James Madison, the system itself is not "the chief palladium of constitutional
liberty * * * the people who are authors of this blessing must also be its guardians * * * their eyes must be ever ready
to mark, their voice to pronounce * * * aggression on the authority of their constitution." In the last and ultimate
analysis, then, must the success of our government in the unfolding years to come be tested in the crucible of
Filipino minds and hearts than in the consultation rooms and court chambers.

The nature of the present controversy shows the necessity of a final constitutional arbiter to determine the
conflict of authority between two agencies created by the Constitution. If the conflict were left undecided and
undetermined, a void would be created in our constitutional system which may in the long run prove destructive of
the entire framework. Natura vacuum abhorret, so must we avoid exhaustion in our constitutional system. Upon
principle, reason and authority, the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission and the subject
matter of the present controversy for the purpose of deter mining the character, scope and extent of the
constitutional grant to the Electoral Commission as "the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and
qualifications of the members of the National Assembly."
The original provision regarding this subject in the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902 (sec. 7, par. 5) laying
down the rule that "the assembly shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its members", was
taken from clause 1 of section 5, Article I of the Constitution of the United States providing that "Each House shall
be the Judge of the Elections, Returns, and Qualifications of its own Members, * * *." The Act of Congress of August
29, 1916 (sec. 18, par. 1) modified this provision by the insertion of the word "sole" as follows: "That the Senate and
House of Representatives, respectively, shall be the sole judges of the elections, returns, and qualifications of their
elective members, * * *" apparently in order to emphasize the exclusive character of the jurisdiction conferred upon
each House of the Legislature over the particular cases therein specified. This court has had occasion to
characterize this grant of power to the Philippine Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, as "full, clear
and complete".