Anda di halaman 1dari 2

G.R. No.

191618: November 23, 2010


TRIBUNAL, Respondent.

Nachura, J.:


Atty. Romulo Macalintal questions the constitutionality of the Presidential Electoral

Tribunal(PET) as an illegal and unauthorized progeny of Section 4,Article VII of the


Whether the creation of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal is unconstitutional for

being a violation of paragraph 7, Section 4 of Article VII of the 1987 Constitution

Whether the designation of members of the supreme court as members of the

presidential electoral tribunal is unconstitutional for being a violation of Section 12,
Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution


Constitutional Law

First Issue:

Petitioner, a prominent election lawyer who has filed several cases before this Court
involving constitutional and election law issues, including, among others, the
constitutionality of certain provisions of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9189 (The Overseas
Absentee Voting Act of 2003),cannot claim ignorance of: (1) the invocation of our
jurisdiction under Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution; and (2) the unanimous
holding thereon. Unquestionably, theoverarching frameworkaffirmed inTecson v.
Commission on Electionsis that the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction to decide
presidential and vice-presidential election protests while concurrentlyacting as an
independent Electoral Tribunal.

Verba legisdictates that wherever possible, the words used in the Constitution must
be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed, in
which case the significance thus attached to them prevails. However, where there is
ambiguity or doubt, the words of the Constitution should be interpreted in
accordance with the intent of its framers orratio legis et anima. A doubtful provision
must be examined in light of the history of the times, and the condition and
circumstances surrounding the framing of the Constitution. Last,ut magis valeat
quam pereat the Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole.

By the same token, the PET is not a separate and distinct entity from the Supreme
Court, albeit it has functions peculiar only to the Tribunal. It is obvious that the PET
was constituted in implementation of Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution, and it
faithfully complies not unlawfully defies the constitutional directive. The adoption of a
separate seal, as well as the change in the nomenclature of the Chief Justice and
the Associate Justices into Chairman and Members of the Tribunal, respectively,
was designed simply to highlight the singularity and exclusivity of the Tribunals
functions as a special electoral court. the PET, as intended by the framers of the
Constitution, is to be an institutionindependent,but not separate, from the judicial
department,i.e., the Supreme Court.

Second Issue:

It is also beyond cavil that when the Supreme Court, as PET, resolves a presidential
or vice-presidential election contest, it performs what is essentially a judicial power.
In the landmark case ofAngara v. Electoral Commission,Justice Jose P. Laurel
enucleated that "it would be inconceivable if the Constitution had not provided for a
mechanism by which to direct the course of government along constitutional
channels." In fact,Angarapointed out that "[t]he Constitution is a definition of the
powers of government." And yet, at that time, the 1935 Constitution did not contain
the expanded definition of judicial power found in Article VIII, Section 1, paragraph 2
of the present Constitution.