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Political Law Review for Atty. Jimenez by Jason Arteche

Magallona vs. Ermita


Facts
In 1961, Congress passed Republic Act No. 3046 (RA 3046) demarcating the maritime baselines of
the Philippines as an archipelagic State. This law followed the framing of the Convention on the
Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone in 1958 (UNCLOS I), codifying, among others, the
sovereign right of States parties over their territorial sea, the breadth of which, however, was left
undetermined. Attempts to fill this void h the second round of negotiations in Geneva in 1960
(UNCLOS II) proved futile. Thus, domestically, RA 3046 remained unchanged for nearly five
decades, save for legislation passed in 1968 (Republic Act No. 5446 [RA 5446]) correcting
typographical errors and reserving the drawing of baselines around Sabah in North Borneo.

In March 2009, Congress amended RA 3046 by enacting RA 9522, the statute now under scrutiny.
The change was prompted by the need to make RA 3046 compliant with the terms of the United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which the Philippines ratified on 27
February 1984. Among others, UNCLOS III prescribes the water-land ratio, length, and contour of
baselines of archipelagic States like the Philippines and sets the deadline for the filing of application
for the extended continental shelf. Complying with these requirements, RA 9522 shortened one
baseline, optimized the location of some basepoints around the Philippine archipelago and classified
adjacent territories, namely, the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) and the Scarborough Shoal, as regimes
of islands whose islands generate their own applicable maritime zones.

Issue
Whether or not RA 9522 is unconstitutional.

Held
Constitutional

RA 9522 is a Statutory Tool to Demarcate the Countrys Maritime Zones and Continental Shelf
Under UNCLOS III, not to Delineate Philippine Territory

UNCLOS III has nothing to do with the acquisition (or loss) of territory. It is a multilateral treaty
regulating, among others, sea-use rights over maritime zones (i.e., the territorial waters [12 nautical
miles from the baselines], contiguous zone [24 nautical miles from the baselines], exclusive economic
zone [200 nautical miles from the baselines]), and continental shelves that UNCLOS III delimits.

On the other hand, baselines laws such as RA 9522 are enacted by UNCLOS III States parties to
mark-out specific basepoints along their coasts from which baselines are drawn, either straight or
contoured, to serve as geographic starting points to measure the breadth of the maritime zones and
continental shelf.

Thus, baselines laws are nothing but statutory mechanisms for UNCLOS III States parties to delimit
with precision the extent of their maritime zones and continental shelves. UNCLOS III and its
ancillary baselines laws play no role in the acquisition, enlargement or, as petitioners claim,
diminution of territory.

RA 9522s Use of the Framework of Regime of Islands to Determine the Maritime Zones of the
KIG and the Scarborough Shoal, not Inconsistent with the Philippines Claim of Sovereignty
Over these Areas

Hence, far from surrendering the Philippines claim over the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal,
Congress decision to classify the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal as Regime[s] of Islands under the
Republic of the Philippines consistent with Article 121 of UNCLOS III manifests the Philippine
States responsible observance of its pacta sunt servanda obligation under UNCLOS III. Under Article
121 of UNCLOS III, any naturally formed area of land, surrounded by water, which is above water at

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high tide, such as portions of the KIG, qualifies under the category of regime of islands, whose islands
generate their own applicable maritime zones.

UNCLOS III and RA 9522 not Incompatible with the Constitutions Delineation of Internal
Waters

The fact of sovereignty, however, does not preclude the operation of municipal and international law
norms subjecting the territorial sea or archipelagic waters to necessary, if not marginal, burdens in the
interest of maintaining unimpeded, expeditious international navigation, consistent with the
international law principle of freedom of navigation. In the absence of municipal legislation,
international law norms, now codified in UNCLOS III, operate to grant innocent passage rights over
the territorial sea or archipelagic waters, subject to the treaty limitations and conditions for their
exercise.

The fact that for archipelagic States, their archipelagic waters are subject to both the right of innocent
passage and sea lanes passage does not place them in lesser footing vis--vis continental coastal States
which are subject, in their territorial sea, to the right of innocent passage and the right of transit
passage through international straits. The imposition of these passage rights through archipelagic
waters under UNCLOS III was a concession by archipelagic States, in exchange for their right to
claim all the waters landward of their baselines, regardless of their depth or distance from the coast,
as archipelagic waters subject to their territorial sovereignty. More importantly, the recognition of
archipelagic States archipelago and the waters enclosed by their baselines as one cohesive entity
prevents the treatment of their islands as separate islands under UNCLOS III. Separate islands
generate their own maritime zones, placing the waters between islands separated by more than 24
nautical miles beyond the States territorial sovereignty, subjecting these waters to the rights of other
States under UNCLOS III.

Petitioners invocation of non-executory constitutional provisions in Article II (Declaration of


Principles and State Policies) must also fail. Our present state of jurisprudence considers the
provisions in Article II as mere legislative guides, which, absent enabling legislation, do not embody
judicially enforceable constitutional rights x x x. Article II provisions serve as guides in formulating
and interpreting implementing legislation, as well as in interpreting executory provisions of the
Constitution. Although Oposa v. Factoran treated the right to a healthful and balanced ecology under
Section 16 of Article II as an exception, the present petition lacks factual basis to substantiate the
claimed constitutional violation.

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Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Authority vs Confederation of Union in


Government Corporation and Offices
Facts
2 consolidated petitions
1st petition
The President of the Philippines signed into law the Agricultural Land Reform Code (Republic Act
No. 3844), which among other things required the reorganization of the administrative machinery of
the Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration (ACCFA) and changed its name to
Agricultural Credit Administration (ACA). The ACCFA Supervisors' Association and the ACCFA
Workers' Association filed a petition for certification election with the Court of Industrial Relations
(Case No. 1327-MC) praying that they be certified as the exclusive bargaining agents for the
supervisors and rank-and-file employees, respectively, in the ACA.

2nd petition
The Unions, together with its mother union, the Confederation of Unions in Government Corporations
and Offices (CUGCO), filed a complaint with the Court of Industrial Relations against the ACCFA
(Case No. 3450-ULP) for having allegedly committed acts of unfair labor practice

Issue
Whether or not the CIR has jurisdiction to entertain the petition of the Unions for certification election
and unfair labor practice

Held
No jurisdiction.

Under Section 3 of the Agricultural Land Reform Code the ACA was established, among other
governmental agencies, to extend credit and similar assistance to agriculture The power to audit the
operations of farmers' cooperatives and otherwise inquire into their affairs, as given by Section 113, is
in the nature of the visitorial power of the sovereign, which only a government agency specially
delegated to do so by the Congress may legally exercise. The implementation of the land reform
program of the government according to Republic Act No. 3844 is most certainly a governmental, not
a proprietary, function; and for that purpose Executive Order No. 75 has placed the ACA under the
Land Reform Project Administration together with the other member agencies, the personnel
complement of all of which are placed in one single pool and made available for assignment from one
agency to another, subject only to Civil Service laws, rules and regulations, position classification and
wage structures.

The considerations set forth above militate quite strongly against the recognition of collective
bargaining powers in the respondent Unions within the context of Republic Act No. 875, and hence
against the grant of their basic petition for certification election as proper bargaining units. The ACA
is a government office or agency engaged in governmental, not proprietary functions. These functions
may not be strictly what President Wilson described as "constituent" (as distinguished from
"ministrant"), such as those relating to the maintenance of peace and the prevention of crime, those
regulating property and property rights, those relating to the administration of justice and the
determination of political duties of citizens, and those relating to national defense and foreign
relations. Under this traditional classification, such constituent functions are exercised by the State as
attributes of sovereignty, and not merely to promote the welfare, progress and prosperity of the people
these letter functions being ministrant the exercise of which is optional on the part of the
government.

The growing complexities of modern society, however, have rendered this traditional classification of
the functions of government quite unrealistic, not to say obsolete. The areas which used to be left to
private enterprise and initiative and which the government was called upon to enter optionally, and
only "because it was better equipped to administer for the public welfare than is any private individual
or group of individuals," continue to lose their well-defined boundaries and to be absorbed within

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activities that the government must undertake in its sovereign capacity if it is to meet the increasing
social challenges of the times. Here as almost everywhere else the tendency is undoubtedly towards a
greater socialization of economic forces. Here of course this development was envisioned, indeed
adopted as a national policy, by the Constitution itself in its declaration of principle concerning the
promotion of social justice.

It was in furtherance of such policy that the Land Reform Code was enacted and the various agencies,
the ACA among them, established to carry out its purposes. There can be no dispute as to the fact that
the land reform program contemplated in the said Code is beyond the capabilities of any private
enterprise to translate into reality. It is a purely governmental function, no less than, say, the
establishment and maintenance of public schools and public hospitals. And when, aside from the
governmental objectives of the ACA, geared as they are to the implementation of the land reform
program of the State, the law itself declares that the ACA is a government office, with the formulation
of policies, plans and programs vested no longer in a Board of Governors, as in the case of the
ACCFA, but in the National Land Reform Council, itself a government instrumentality; and that its
personnel are subject to Civil Service laws and to rules of standardization with respect to positions
and salaries, any vestige of doubt as to the governmental character of its functions disappears.

In view of the foregoing premises, we hold that the respondent Unions are not entitled to the
certification election sought in the Court below. Such certification is admittedly for purposes of
bargaining in behalf of the employees with respect to terms and conditions of employment, including
the right to strike as a coercive economic weapon, as in fact the said unions did strike in 1962 against
the ACCFA.

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Imbong vs. Ochoa


Facts
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10354, otherwise known as the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive
Health Act of 2012 (RH Law), was enacted by Congress on December 21, 2012. Shortly after the
President placed his imprimatur on the said law, challengers from various sectors of society came
knocking on the doors of the Court, beckoning it to wield the sword that strikes down constitutional
disobedience.

The petitioners assail the RH Law because it violates the right to life and health of the unborn child
under Section 12, Article II of the Constitution. The assailed legislation allowing access to
abortifacients/abortives effectively sanctions abortion. According to the petitioners, notwithstanding
its declared policy against abortion, the implementation of the RH Law would authorize the purchase
of hormonal contraceptives, intra-uterine devices and injectables which are abortives, in violation of
Section 12, Article II of the Constitution which guarantees protection of both the life of the mother
and the life of the unborn from conception.

Issue
Whether or not the RH law is constitutional.

Held
Constitutional save for a few provisions (Check dispositive portion of the case)

When life begins


Textually, the Constitution affords protection to the unborn from conception. This is undisputable
because before conception, there is no unborn to speak of. For said reason, it is no surprise that the
Constitution is mute as to any proscription prior to conception or when life begins. The problem has
arisen because, amazingly, there are quarters that have conveniently disregarded the scientific fact
that conception is reckoned from fertilization. They are waving the view that life begins at
implantation. Hence, the issue of when life begins.

In a nutshell, those opposing the RH Law contend that conception is synonymous with "fertilization"
of the female ovum by the male sperm. On the other side of the spectrum are those who assert that
conception refers to the "implantation" of the fertilized ovum in the uterus.

Conclusion: The Moment of Conception is reckoned from Fertilization


In all, whether it be taken from a plain meaning, or understood under medical parlance, and more
importantly, following the intention of the Framers of the Constitution, the undeniable conclusion is
that a zygote is a human organism and that the life of a new human being commences at a
scientifically well-defined moment of conception, that is, upon fertilization.

For the above reasons, the Court cannot subscribe to the theory advocated by Hon. Lagman that life
begins at implantation. According to him, "fertilization and conception are two distinct and successive
stages in the reproductive process. They are not identical and synonymous." Citing a letter of the
WHO, he wrote "medical authorities confirm that the implantation of the fertilized ovum is the
commencement of conception and it is only after implantation that pregnancy can be medically
detected."

This theory of implantation as the beginning of life is devoid of any legal or scientific mooring. It
does not pertain to the beginning of life but to the viability of the fetus.

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The RH Law and Abortion


The clear and unequivocal intent of the Framers of the 1987 Constitution in protecting the life of the
unborn from conception was to prevent the Legislature from enacting a measure legalizing abortion.
A reading of the RH Law would show that it is in line with this intent and actually proscribes abortion.

Moreover, the RH Law recognizes that abortion is a crime under Article 256 of the Revised Penal
Code. In carrying out its declared policy, the RH Law is consistent in prohibiting abortifacients. The
RH Law mandates that protection must be afforded from the moment of fertilization. By using the
word " or," the RH Law prohibits not only drugs or devices that prevent implantation, but also those
that induce abortion and those that induce the destruction of a fetus inside the mother's womb.

Contrary to the assertions made by the petitioners, the Court finds that the RH Law, consistent with
the Constitution, recognizes that the fertilized ovum already has life and that the State has a bounden
duty to protect it. The conclusion becomes clear because the RH Law, first, prohibits any drug or
device that induces abortion (first kind), which, as discussed exhaustively above, refers to that which
induces the killing or the destruction of the fertilized ovum, and, second, prohibits any drug or device
preventing the fertilized ovum to reach and be implanted in the mother's womb (third kind).

By expressly declaring that any drug or device that prevents the fertilized ovum to reach and be
implanted in the mother's womb is an abortifacient (third kind), the RH Law does not intend to mean
at all that life only begins only at implantation, as Hon. Lagman suggests. It also does not declare
either that protection will only be given upon implantation, as the petitioners likewise suggest. Rather,
it recognizes that: one, there is a need to protect the fertilized ovum which already has life, and two,
the fertilized ovum must be protected the moment it becomes existent - all the way until it reaches and
implants in the mother's womb. After all, if life is only recognized and afforded protection from the
moment the fertilized ovum implants - there is nothing to prevent any drug or device from killing or
destroying the fertilized ovum prior to implantation.

From the foregoing, the Court finds that inasmuch as it affords protection to the fertilized ovum, the
RH Law does not sanction abortion. To repeat, it is the Court's position that life begins at fertilization,
not at implantation. When a fertilized ovum is implanted in the uterine wall, its viability is sustained
but that instance of implantation is not the point of beginning of life. It started earlier. And as defined
by the RH Law, any drug or device that induces abortion, that is, which kills or destroys the fertilized
ovum or prevents the fertilized ovum to reach and be implanted in the mother's womb, is an
abortifacient.

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Oposa vs. Factoran


Facts
The complaint was instituted as a taxpayers' class suit and alleges that the plaintiffs "are all citizens of
the Republic of the Philippines, taxpayers, and entitled to the full benefit, use and enjoyment of the
natural resource treasure that is the country's virgin tropical forests. The petitioners pray for the Court
to cancel all existing timber license agreements (TLA) and to prevent new TLAs from being issued.

Issue
Whether or not petitioners have a cause of action to prevent the misappropriation or impairment of
Philippine rainforests and "arrest the unabated hemorrhage of the country's vital life support systems
and continued rape of Mother Earth

Held
Cause of action exists.

Procedural
This case, however, has a special and novel element. Petitioner minors assert that they represent their
generation as well as generations yet unborn. We find no difficulty in ruling that they can, for
themselves, for others of their generation and for the succeeding generations, file a class suit. Their
personality to sue in behalf of the succeeding generations can only be based on the concept of
intergenerational responsibility insofar as the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is concerned.

Such a right, as hereinafter expounded, considers the "rhythm and harmony of nature." Nature means
the created world in its entirety. Such rhythm and harmony indispensably include, inter alia, the
judicious disposition, utilization, management, renewal and conservation of the country's forest,
mineral, land, waters, fisheries, wildlife, off-shore areas and other natural resources to the end that
their exploration, development and utilization be equitably accessible to the present as well as future
generations. Needless to say, every generation has a responsibility to the next to preserve that rhythm
and harmony for the full enjoyment of a balanced and healthful ecology. Put a little differently, the
minors' assertion of their right to a sound environment constitutes, at the same time, the performance
of their obligation to ensure the protection of that right for the generations to come.

The locus standi of the petitioners having thus been addressed, we shall now proceed to the merits of
the petition.

Substantive
The complaint focuses on one specific fundamental legal right the right to a balanced and healthful
ecology that, for the first time in our nation's constitutional history, is solemnly incorporated in the
fundamental law.

While the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is to be found under the Declaration of Principles
and State Policies and not under the Bill of Rights, it does not follow that it is less important than any
of the civil and political rights enumerated in the latter. Such a right belongs to a different category of
rights altogether for it concerns nothing less than self-preservation and self-perpetuation aptly and
fittingly stressed by the petitioners the advancement of which may even be said to predate all
governments and constitutions. As a matter of fact, these basic rights need not even be written in the
Constitution for they are assumed to exist from the inception of humankind. If they are now explicitly
mentioned in the fundamental charter, it is because of the well-founded fear of its framers that unless
the rights to a balanced and healthful ecology and to health are mandated as state policies by the
Constitution itself, thereby highlighting their continuing importance and imposing upon the state a
solemn obligation to preserve the first and protect and advance the second, the day would not be too
far when all else would be lost not only for the present generation, but also for those to come
generations which stand to inherit nothing but parched earth incapable of sustaining life.

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The right to a balanced and healthful ecology carries with it the correlative duty to refrain from
impairing the environment.

Thus, the right of the petitioners (and all those they represent) to a balanced and healthful ecology is
as clear as the DENR's duty under its mandate and by virtue of its powers and functions under E.O.
No. 192 and the Administrative Code of 1987 to protect and advance the said right.

A denial or violation of that right by the other who has the correlative duty or obligation to respect or
protect the same gives rise to a cause of action. Petitioners maintain that the granting of the TLAs,
which they claim was done with grave abuse of discretion, violated their right to a balanced and
healthful ecology; hence, the full protection thereof requires that no further TLAs should be renewed
or granted.

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Abakada Group Party List vs. Purisima


Facts
RA 9335 was enacted to optimize the revenue-generation capability and collection of the Bureau of
Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC). The law intends to encourage BIR and
BOC officials and employees to exceed their revenue targets by providing a system of rewards and
sanctions through the creation of a Rewards and Incentives Fund (Fund) and a Revenue Performance
Evaluation Board (Board).

The Fund is sourced from the collection of the BIR and the BOC in excess of their revenue targets for
the year, as determined by the Development Budget and Coordinating Committee (DBCC). Any
incentive or reward is taken from the fund and allocated to the BIR and the BOC in proportion to their
contribution in the excess collection of the targeted amount of tax revenue.

Petitioners assert that the law unduly delegates the power to fix revenue targets to the President as it
lacks a sufficient standard on that matter. While Section 7(b) and (c) of RA 9335 provides that BIR
and BOC officials may be dismissed from the service if their revenue collections fall short of the
target by at least 7.5%, the law does not, however, fix the revenue targets to be achieved. Instead, the
fixing of revenue targets has been delegated to the President without sufficient standards. It will
therefore be easy for the President to fix an unrealistic and unattainable target in order to dismiss BIR
or BOC personnel.

Finally, petitioners assail the creation of a congressional oversight committee on the ground that it
violates the doctrine of separation of powers. While the legislative function is deemed accomplished
and completed upon the enactment and approval of the law, the creation of the congressional
oversight committee permits legislative participation in the implementation and enforcement of the
law.

Issue
Whether or not there was undue delegation and violation of the separation of powers.

Held
No undue delegation || There was violation of separation of powers

Undue Delegation
Two tests determine the validity of delegation of legislative power:
1. The completeness test and
2. The sufficient standard test.

A law is complete when it sets forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out or implemented by
the delegate. It lays down a sufficient standard when it provides adequate guidelines or limitations in
the law to map out the boundaries of the delegates authority and prevent the delegation from running
riot. To be sufficient, the standard must specify the limits of the delegates authority, announce the
legislative policy, and identify the conditions under which it is to be implemented.

RA 9335 adequately states the policy and standards to guide the President in fixing revenue targets
and the implementing agencies in carrying out the provisions of the law. On the other hand, Section 7
specifies the limits of the Boards authority and identifies the conditions under which officials and
employees whose revenue collection falls short of the target by at least 7.5% may be removed from
the service.

Clearly, RA 9335 in no way violates the security of tenure of officials and employees of the BIR and
the BOC. In the case of RA 9335, it lays down a reasonable yardstick for removal with due
consideration of all relevant factors affecting the level of collection. This standard is analogous to
inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duties, a ground for disciplinary action
under civil service laws.

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At any rate, this Court has recognized the following as sufficient standards: "public interest," "justice
and equity," "public convenience and welfare" and "simplicity, economy and welfare." In this case,
the declared policy of optimization of the revenue-generation capability and collection of the BIR and
the BOC is infused with public interest.

On the requirement for Congress to approve IRR

Congressional oversight is not unconstitutional per se, meaning, it neither necessarily constitutes an
encroachment on the executive power to implement laws nor undermines the constitutional separation
of powers. Rather, it is integral to the checks and balances inherent in a democratic system of
government. It may in fact even enhance the separation of powers as it prevents the over-
accumulation of power in the executive branch.

Any post-enactment congressional measure such as this should be limited to scrutiny and
investigation. In particular, congressional oversight must be confined to the following:
1. Scrutiny based primarily on Congress power of appropriation and the budget hearings
conducted in connection with it, its power to ask heads of departments to appear before and
be heard by either of its Houses on any matter pertaining to their departments and its power of
confirmation and
2. Investigation and monitoring of the implementation of laws pursuant to the power of
Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation.

Moreover, the requirement that the implementing rules of a law be subjected to approval by Congress
as a condition for their effectivity violates the cardinal constitutional principles of bicameralism and
the rule on presentment.

From the moment the law becomes effective, any provision of law that empowers Congress or any of
its members to play any role in the implementation or enforcement of the law violates the principle of
separation of powers and is thus unconstitutional. Under this principle, a provision that requires
Congress or its members to approve the implementing rules of a law after it has already taken effect
shall be unconstitutional, as is a provision that allows Congress or its members to overturn any
directive or ruling made by the members of the executive branch charged with the implementation of
the law. Following this rationale, Section 12 of RA 9335 should be struck down as unconstitutional.

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People vs. Rosenthal


Facts
Nicasio Osmea and Jacob Rosenthal, two of ten promotersthe former being, in addition, one of the
members of the board of directors of, the O.R.O. Oil Co., Inc., a domestic corporation, according to
the said agreement which shares were speculative securities did then and there, with deliberate intent
of evading the provisions of sections 2 and 5 of the said Act No. 2581, andtrade in, negotiate and
speculate with, their shares aforesaid, by making personally or through brokers or agents repeated and
successive sales of the said shares at a price ranging from P100 to P300 per share, as follows:

The accused Nicasio Osmea sold 163 shares to nine different parties, and the accused Jacob Rosenthal sold 21
shares to seven others, without first obtaining the corresponding written permit or license from the Insular
Treasurer of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, as by law required.

The accused Nicasio Osmea sold 185 shares to nine different parties, and the accused Jacob Rosenthal sold 12
shares to seven others, without first obtaining the corresponding written permit or license form the Insular
Treasurer of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, as by law provided.

Issue
Whether or not the law provides sufficient standards for the Insular Treasurer to cancel certificates or
permits for sale of speculative securities.

Held
The law provides sufficient standards in the form of public interest.

Appellants argue that, while Act No. 2581 empowers the Insular Treasurer to issue and cancel
certificates or permits for the sale of speculative securities, no standard or rule is fixed in the Act
which can guide said official in determining the cases in which a certificate or permit ought to be
issued, thereby making his opinion the sole criterion in the matter of its issuance, with the result that,
legislative powers being unduly delegated to the Insular Treasurer, Act No. 2581 is unconstitutional.

We are of the opinion that the Act furnishes a sufficient standard for the Insular Treasurer to follow in
reaching a decision regarding the issuance or cancellation of a certificate or permit. The certificate or
permit to be issued under the Act must recite that the person, partnership, association or corporation
applying therefor "has complied with the provisions of this Act", and this requirement, construed in
relation to the other provisions of the law, means that a certificate or permit shall be issued by the
Insular Treasurer when the provisions of Act No. 2581 have been complied with. Upon the other hand,
the authority of the Insular Treasurer to cancel a certificate or permit is expressly conditioned upon a
finding that such cancellation "is in the public interest." In view of the intention and purpose of Act
No. 2581 to protect the public against "speculative schemes which have no more basis than so
many feet of blue sky" and against the "sale of stock in fly-by-night concerns, visionary oil wells,
distant gold mines, and other like fraudulent exploitations", we incline to hold that "public interest"
in this case is a sufficient standard to guide the Insular Treasurer in reaching a decision on a matter
pertaining to the issuance or cancellation of certificates or permits.

Counsel for appellant Nicasio Osmea further alleges that Act No. 2581 is unconstitutional on the
ground that it is vague and uncertain. In this connection we cannot pretermit reference to the rule that
"legislation should not be held invalid on the ground of uncertainty if susceptible of any reasonable
construction that will support and give it effect. An Act will not be declared inoperative and
ineffectual on the ground that it furnishes no adequate means to secure the purpose for which it is
passed, if men of common sense and reason can devise and provide the means, and all the
instrumentalities necessary for its execution are within the reach of those intrusted therewith. We hold
that Act No. 2581 is valid and constitutional.

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Agustin vs. Edu


Facts
The validity of a letter of Instruction providing for an early warning device for motor vehicles is
assailed in this prohibition proceeding as violating the constitutional guarantee of due process and,
insofar as the rules and regulations for its implementation are concerned, for transgressing the
fundamental principle of non-delegation of legislative power. Petitioner, who is possessed of the
requisite standing, characterizes the Letter of Instruction as being arbitrary and oppressive.

Issue
Whether or not there was undue delegation of legislative power.

Held
The alleged infringement of the fundamental principle of non-delegation of legislative power is
equally without any support of well-settled legal doctrines.

An excerpt from Edu v. Ericta sheds light on the matter: "To avoid the taint of unlawful delegation,
there must be a standard, which implies at the very least that the legislature itself determines matters
of principle and lays down fundamental policy. Otherwise, the charge of complete abdication may be
hard to repel. A standard thus defines legislative policy, marks and maps out its boundaries and
specifies the public agency to apply it. Thereafter, the executive or administrative office designated
may in pursuance of the above guidelines promulgate supplemental rules and regulations. The
standard may be either express or implied. The non-delegation objection is easily met if its the
former. The standard though does not have to be spelled out specifically. It could be implied from the
policy and purpose of the act considered as a whole.

In the Reflector Law clearly, the legislative objective is public safety. What is sought to be attained is
"safe transit upon the roads.' The principle of non-delegation "has been made to adapt itself to the
complexities of modern governments, giving rise to the adoption, within certain limits, of the
principle of "subordinate legislation" not only in the United States and England but in practically all
modern governments.' He continued: 'Accordingly, with the growing complexity of modern life, the
multiplication of the subjects of governmental regulation, and the increased difficulty of
administering the laws, there is a constantly growing tendency toward the delegation of greater
powers by the legislature and toward the approval of the practice by the courts.' Consistency with the
conceptual approach requires the reminder that what is delegated is authority non-legislative in
character, the completeness of the statute when it leaves the hands of Congress being assumed."

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Chiongbian vs. Orbos1


Facts
Congress passed the Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, calling for a
plebiscite to be held in certain provinces in Mindanao. In the ensuing plebiscite, four provinces voted
in favor of creating an autonomous region. In accordance with the constitutional provision, these
provinces became the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Pursuant to the authority granted by
the law, then President Corazon C. Aquino issued Executive Order No. 429, "providing for the
Reorganization of the Administrative Regions in Mindanao."

Issue
Whether or not there was undue delegation.

Held
None.

The President, pursuant to authority granted to her by law, executed the creation and subsequent
reorganization of administrative regions. In conferring on the President the power "to merge [by
administrative determination] the existing regions" following the establishment of the Autonomous
Region in Muslim Mindanao, the choice of the President as delegate is logical because the division of
the country into regions is intended to facilitate not only the administration of local governments but
also the direction of executive departments that the law requires should have regional offices. While
the power to merge administrative regions is not expressly provided for in the Constitution, it is a
power which has traditionally been lodged with the President to facilitate the exercise of the power of
general supervision over local governments."

There is, therefore, no abdication by Congress of its legislative power in conferring on the President
the power to merge administrative regions. The question is whether Congress has provided a
sufficient standard by which the President is to be guided in the exercise of the power granted and
whether in any event the grant of power to him is included in the subject expressed in the title of the
law.

First is the question of standard. A legislative standard need not be expressed. It may simply be
gathered or implied. Nor need it be found in the law challenged because it may be embodied in other
statutes on the same subject as that of the challenged legislation.

With respect to the power to merge existing administrative regions, the standard is to be found in the
same policy underlying the grant to the President in R.A. No. 5435 of the power to reorganize the
Executive Department, to wit: "to promote simplicity, economy and efficiency in the government to
enable it to pursue programs consistent with national goals for accelerated social and economic
development and to improve the service in the transaction of the public business." Indeed, as the
original eleven administrative regions were established in accordance with this policy, it is logical to
suppose that in authorizing the President to "merge [by administrative determination] the existing
regions" in view of the withdrawal from some of those regions of the provinces now constituting the
Autonomous Region, the purpose of Congress was to reconstitute the original basis for the
organization of administrative regions.


1 Standard can be found in other laws dealing with the same matter

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Rubi vs. Provincial Board


Facts
This is an application for habeas corpus in favor of Rubi and other Manguianes of the Province of
Mindoro. It is alleged that the Maguianes are being illegally deprived of their liberty by the provincial
officials of that province. Rubi and his companions are said to be held on the reservation established
at Tigbao, Mindoro, against their will, and one Dabalos is said to be held under the custody of the
provincial sheriff in the prison at Calapan for having run away from the reservation.

It thus appears that the provincial governor of Mindoro and the provincial board thereof directed the
Manguianes in question to take up their habitation in Tigbao, a site on the shore of Lake Naujan,
selected by the provincial governor and approved by the provincial board. The action was taken in
accordance with section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917, and was duly approved by the
Secretary of the Interior as required by said action. Petitioners, however, challenge the validity of this
section of the Administrative Code. This, therefore, becomes the paramount question that the court is
called upon to decide.

Issue
Whether or not there was undue delegation of legislative power.

Held
Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 is not an unlawful delegation of legislative power
by the Philippine Legislature to provincial official and a department head.

Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 reads as follows:


SEC. 2145. Establishment of non-Christina upon sites selected by provincial governor. With the prior
approval of the Department Head, the provincial governor of any province in which non-Christian inhabitants
are found is authorized, when such a course is deemed necessary in the interest of law and order, to direct such
inhabitants to take up their habitation on sites on unoccupied public lands to be selected by him an approved by
the provincial board.

The rule has been stated: "The true distinction therefore is between the delegation of power to make
the law, which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring an authority or
discretion as to its execution, to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot be
done; to the later no valid objection can be made." Discretion may be committed by the Legislature to
an executive department or official. The Legislature may allow the executive departments and their
subordinate official to commit the execution of certain acts, final on questions of fact. The growing
tendency in the decision is to give prominence to the "necessity" of the case.

Is not all this exactly what the Legislature has attempted to accomplish by the enactment of section
2145 of the Administrative Code? Has not the Legislature merely conferred upon the provincial
governor, with the approval of the provincial board and the Department Head, discretionary authority
as to the execution of the law? Is not this "necessary"?

There is another aspect of the question, which once accepted, is decisive. An exception to the general
rule, sanctioned by immemorial practice, permits the central legislative body to delegate legislative
powers to local authorities. The Philippine Legislature has here conferred authority upon the Province
of Mindoro, to be exercised by the provincial governor and the provincial board.

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People vs. Vera


Facts
Petitioners herein, the People of the Philippine and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation,
are respectively the plaintiff and the offended party, and the respondent herein Mariano Cu Unjieng is
one of the defendants, in a criminal case. The Court rendered a judgment of conviction sentencing the
defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng.

The instant proceedings have to do with the application for probation filed by the herein respondent
Mariano Cu Unjieng before the trial court, under the provisions of Act No. 4221 of the defunct
Philippine Legislature. The government filed its opposition to the granting of probation arguing,
among others, that Act No. 4221 is unconstitutional.

Issue
Whether or not there was undue delegation.

Held
We conclude that section 11 of Act No. 4221 constitutes an improper and unlawful delegation of
legislative authority to the provincial boards and is, for this reason, unconstitutional and void.

The challenged section of Act No. 4221 in section 11 which reads as follows:
This Act shall apply only in those provinces in which the respective provincial boards have provided for the
salary of a probation officer at rates not lower than those now provided for provincial fiscals. Said probation
officer shall be appointed by the Secretary of Justice and shall be subject to the direction of the Probation Office.

In testing whether a statute constitute an undue delegation of legislative power or not, it is usual to
inquire whether the statute was complete in all its terms and provisions when it left the hands of the
legislature so that nothing was left to the judgment of any other appointee or delegate of the
legislature.

For the purpose of the Probation Act, the provincial boards may be regarded as administrative bodies
endowed with power to determine when the Act should take effect in their respective provinces.

In the case at bar, what rules are to guide the provincial boards in the exercise of their discretionary
power to determine whether or not the Probation Act shall apply in their respective provinces? The
probation Act does not, by the force of any of its provisions, fix and impose upon the provincial
boards any standard or guide in the exercise of their discretionary power. What is granted is a "roving
commission" which enables the provincial boards to exercise arbitrary discretion. By section 11 if the
Act, the legislature does not seemingly on its own authority extend the benefits of the Probation Act
to the provinces but in reality leaves the entire matter for the various provincial boards to determine.
In other words, the provincial boards of the various provinces are to determine for themselves,
whether the Probation Law shall apply to their provinces or not at all.

It is contended, however, that a legislative act may be made effective as law after it leaves the hands
of the legislature. It is true that laws may be made effective on certain contingencies, as by
proclamation of the executive or the adoption by the people of a particular community. But in the case
at bar, the legislature has not made the operation of the Prohibition Act contingent upon specified
facts or conditions to be ascertained by the provincial board.

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Philippine Coconut Producers Federation vs. Republic


Facts2
This began as a suit for recovery of ill-gotten wealth commenced by the Presidential Commission on
Good Government (PCGG), for the Republic of the Philippines (Republic), against Ferdinand E.
Marcos and several individuals who occupied, at one time or another, directorial or top management
positions in either the Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, Inc. (COCOFED) or the Philippine
Coconut Authority (PCA), or both.

Issue
Whether or not there was undue delegation of legislative power.

Held
P.D. No. 755 involves an invalid delegation of legislative power

In the instant case, the requisite standards or criteria are absent in P.D. No. 755. As may be noted, the
decree authorizes the PCA to distribute to coconut farmers, for free, the shares of stocks of UCPB and
to pay from the CCSF levy the financial commitments of the coconut farmers under the Agreement
for the acquisition of such bank. Yet, the decree does not even state who are to be considered as
coconut farmers. The definition of a coconut farmer and the basis as to the number of shares a farmer
is entitled to receive for free are important variables to be determined by law and cannot be left to the
discretion of the implementing agency.

Moreover, P.D. No. 755 did not identify or delineate any clear condition as to how the disposition of
the UCPB shares or their conversion into private ownership will redound to the advancement of the
national policy declared under it. To recall, P.D. No. 755 seeks to accelerate the growth and
development of the coconut industry and achieve a vertical integration thereof so that coconut farmers
will become participants in, and beneficiaries of, such growth and development. The said law
gratuitously gave away public funds to private individuals, and converted them exclusively into
private property without any restriction as to its use that would reflect the avowed national policy or
public purpose. Conversely, the private individuals to whom the UCPB shares were transferred are
free to dispose of them by sale or any other mode from the moment of their acquisition. P.D. No. 755
did not provide for any guideline, standard, condition or restriction by which the said shares shall be
distributed to the coconut farmers that would ensure that the same will be undertaken to accelerate the
growth and development of the coconut industry pursuant to its national policy.

Clearly, P.D. No. 755 presents a case of undue delegation of legislative power. As such, there is even
no need to discuss the validity of the administrative orders and resolutions of PCA implementing P.D.
No. 755. Even so, PCA AO 1 and PCA Resolution No. 078-74 are in themselves, infirm under the
undue delegation of legislative powers.

The said PCA issuances did not take note of the national policy or public purpose for which the
coconut levy funds were imposed under P.D. No. 755. Instead, the PCA prioritized the coconut
farmers themselves by fully disposing of the bank shares, totally disregarding the national policy for
which the funds were created. This is clearly an undue delegation of legislative powers.


2 Just read the case for the facts

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United States vs. Panlilio


Facts
This is an appeal from a judgment convicting the accused of a violation of the law relating to the
quarantining of animals suffering from dangerous communicable or contagious diseases and
sentencing him to pay a fine of P40, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay
the costs of the trial.

The defendant demurred to this information on the ground that the acts complained of did not
constitute a crime. The contention of the accused is that the facts alleged in the information and
proved on the trial do not constitute a violation of Act No. 1760 or any portion thereof. The original
information against the accused charged a violation of section 6 of Act No. 1760 committed by the
accused in that he ordered and permitted his carabaos, which, at the time, were in quarantine, to be
taken from quarantine and moved from one place to another on his hacienda.

Issue
Whether or not a violation of the orders of the Bureau of Agriculture is punishable.

Held
Not punishable.

A simple reading of these sections demonstrates clearly that the case at bar does not fall within any of
them. There is no question here of importation and there is no charge or proof that the animals in
question were suffering from a dangerous communicable disease or that the Secretary of the Interior
had made the declaration provided for in section 5 or that the accused had driven or taken said
animals from one island, province, municipality, township or settlement to another. It was alleged had
been exposed to a dangerous communicable disease and that they had been placed in a corral in
quarantine on the premises of the accused and that he, in violation of the quarantine, had taken them
from the corral and worked them upon the lands adjoining. They had not been in highway nor moved
from one municipality or settlement to another. They were left upon defendant's hacienda, where they
were quarantined, and there worked by the servants of the accused.

The Solicitor-General suggests, but does not argue, that section 6 is applicable to the case at bar.
Section 6 simply authorizes the Director of Agriculture to do certain things, among them, paragraph
(c) "to require that animals which are suffering from dangerous communicable diseases or have been
exposed thereto be placed in quarantine at such place and for such time as may be deemed by him
necessary to prevent the spread of the disease." Nowhere in the law, however, is the violation of the
orders of the Bureau of Agriculture prohibited or made unlawful, nor is there provided any
punishment for a violation of such orders. Section 8 provides that "any person violating any of the
provisions of this Act shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand
pesos, or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in
the discretion of the court, for each offense." A violation of the orders of the Bureau of Agriculture, as
authorized by paragraph (c), is not a violation of the provision of the Act. The orders of the Bureau of
Agriculture, while they may possibly be said to have the force of law, are statutes and particularly not
penal statutes, and a violation of such orders is not a penal offense unless the statute itself somewhere
makes a violation thereof unlawful and penalizes it. Nowhere in Act No. 1760 is a violation of the
orders of the Bureau of Agriculture made a penal offense, nor is such violation punished in any way
therein.

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Atong Panglaam vs. Comelec


Facts
These cases constitute 54 Petitions for Certiorari and Petitions for Certiorari and Prohibition filed by
52 party-list groups and organizations assailing the Resolutions issued by the Commission on
Elections (COMELEC) disqualifying them from participating in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections,
either by denial of their petitions for registration under the party-list system, or cancellation of their
registration and accreditation as party-list organizations.

Issue
Whether or not the Comelec was correct in disqualifying the party-list groups because they didnt
represent the marginalized and underrepresented.

Held
Comelec was wrong.

On the marginalized and underrepresented requirement


The clear intent, express wording, and party-list structure ordained in Section 5(1) and (2), Article VI
of the 1987 Constitution cannot be disputed: the party-list system is not for sectoral parties only, but
also for non-sectoral parties.

The party-list system is composed of three different groups:


1. National parties or organizations;
2. Regional parties or organizations; and
3. Sectoral parties or organizations.

National and regional parties or organizations are different from sectoral parties or organizations.
National and regional parties or organizations need not be organized along sectoral lines and need not
represent any particular sector. R.A. No. 7941, or the Party-list System Act, does not require national
and regional parties or organizations to represent the "marginalized and underrepresented" sectors.
The phrase "marginalized and underrepresented" should refer only to the sectors in Section 5 that are,
by their nature, economically "marginalized and underrepresented." These sectors are: labor, peasant,
fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, handicapped, veterans, overseas workers,
and other similar sectors. For these sectors, a majority of the members of the sectoral party must
belong to the "marginalized and underrepresented." The nominees of the sectoral party either must
belong to the sector, or must have a track record of advocacy for the sector represented. The
economically "marginalized and underrepresented" are those who fall in the low-income group as
classified by the National Statistical Coordination Board.

Participation of major political parties in the party-list system


The major political parties are those that field candidates in the legislative district elections. Major
political parties cannot participate in the party-list elections since they neither lack "well-defined
political constituencies" nor represent "marginalized and underrepresented" sectors. Thus, the national
or regional parties under the party-list system are necessarily those that do not belong to major
political parties. This automatically reserves the national and regional parties under the party-list
system to those who "lack well-defined political constituencies," giving them the opportunity to have
members in the House of Representatives. However, major political parties can participate in party-
list elections only through their sectoral wings. Such sectoral wing of a major political party must
have its own constitution, by-laws, platform or program of government, officers and members, a
majority of whom must belong to the sector represented. The sectoral wing is in itself an independent
sectoral party, and is linked to a major political party through a coalition.

Qualifications of party-list nominee


A party-list nominee must be a bona fide member of the party or organization that he or she seeks to
represent. In the case of sectoral parties, to be a bona fide party-list nominee one must either belong to
the sector represented, or have a track record of advocacy for such sector.

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The summarized rules:


1. Three different groups may participate in the party-list system: (1) national parties or
organizations, (2) regional parties or organizations, and (3) sectoral parties or organizations.
2. National parties or organizations and regional parties or organizations do not need to organize
along sectoral lines and do not need to represent any "marginalized and underrepresented"
sector.
3. Political parties can participate in party-list elections provided they register under the party-
list system and do not field candidates in legislative district elections. A political party,
whether major or not, that fields candidates in legislative district elections can participate in
party-list elections only through its sectoral wing that can separately register under the party-
list system. The sectoral wing is by itself an independent sectoral party, and is linked to a
political party through a coalition.
4. Sectoral parties or organizations may either be "marginalized and underrepresented" or
lacking in "well-defined political constituencies." It is enough that their principal advocacy
pertains to the special interest and concerns of their sector. The sectors that are "marginalized
and underrepresented" include labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural
communities, handicapped, veterans, and overseas workers. The sectors that lack "well-
defined political constituencies" include professionals, the elderly, women, and the youth.
5. A majority of the members of sectoral parties or organizations that represent the
"marginalized and underrepresented" must belong to the "marginalized and underrepresented"
sector they represent. Similarly, a majority of the members of sectoral parties or organizations
that lack "well-defined political constituencies" must belong to the sector they represent. The
nominees of sectoral parties or organizations that represent the "marginalized and
underrepresented," or that represent those who lack "well-defined political constituencies,"
either must belong to their respective sectors, or must have a track record of advocacy for
their respective sectors. The nominees of national and regional parties or organizations must
be bona-fide members of such parties or organizations.
6. National, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations shall not be disqualified if some of
their nominees are disqualified, provided that they have at least one nominee who remains
qualified.

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BANAT vs. Comelec


Facts
The 14 May 2007 elections included the elections for the party-list representatives. The COMELEC
counted 15,950,900 votes cast for 93 parties under the Party-List System.

On 27 June 2002, BANAT filed a Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List Representatives
Provided by the Constitution, docketed as NBC No. 07-041 (PL) before the NBC. BANAT filed its
petition because [t]he Chairman and the Members of the [COMELEC] have recently been quoted in
the national papers that the [COMELEC] is duty bound to and shall implement the Veterans ruling,
that is, would apply the Panganiban formula in allocating party-list seats.

Issue
Whether or not the Veterans formula is correct.

Held
Wrong.

We maintain that a Philippine-style party-list election has at least four inviolable parameters as clearly
stated in Veterans. For easy reference, these are:
1. The twenty percent allocation; the combined number of all party-list congressmen shall not
exceed twenty percent of the total membership of the House of Representatives, including
those elected under the party list;
2. The two percent threshold; only those parties garnering a minimum of two percent of the total
valid votes cast for the party-list system are qualified to have a seat in the House of
Representatives;
3. Three-seat limit; each qualified party regardless of the number of votes it actually obtained, is
entitled to a maximum of three seats; that is, one qualifying and two additional seats;
4. Proportional representation; the additional seats which a qualified party is entitled to shall be
computed in proportion to their total number of votes.

We compute the number of seats available to party-list representatives from the number of legislative
districts. On this point, we do not deviate from the first formula in Veterans, thus:

Number of seats available to Number of seats available to


legislative districts x .20 = party-list representatives
.80

We rule that, in computing the allocation of additional seats, the continued operation of the two
percent threshold for the distribution of the additional seats as found in the second clause of Section
11(b) of R.A. No. 7941 is unconstitutional. This Court finds that the two percent threshold makes it
mathematically impossible to achieve the maximum number of available party list seats when the
number of available party list seats exceeds 50.

There are two steps in the second round of seat allocation. First, the percentage, solved for by dividing
the votes received and total votes cast, is multiplied by the remaining available seats, solved for by
subtracting the maximum possible seats to the guaranteed seats. The whole integer of the product of
the percentage and of the remaining available seats corresponds to a partys share in the remaining
available seats. Second, we assign one party-list seat to each of the parties next in rank until all
available seats are completely distributed. We distributed all of the remaining 38 seats in the second
round of seat allocation. Finally, we apply the three-seat cap to determine the number of seats each
qualified party-list candidate is entitled.

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Jimenez vs. Cabangbang


Facts
This is an ordinary civil action for the recovery, by plaintiffs of several sums of money, by way of
damages for the publication of an allegedly libelous letter of defendant. Upon being summoned, the
latter moved to dismiss the complaint upon the ground that the letter in question is not libelous, and
that, even if were, said letter is a privileged communication. This motion having been granted by the
lower court, plaintiffs interposed the present appeal from the corresponding order of dismissal.

Issue
Whether or not the publication in question is a privileged communication.

Held
No.

The first issue stems from the fact that, at the time of said publication, defendant was a member of the
House of Representatives and Chairman of its Committee on National Defense, and that pursuant to
the Constitution:
The Senators and Members of the House of Representatives shall in all cases except treason, felony,
and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of the
Congress, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate therein, they
shall not be questioned in any other place. (Article VI, Section 15.)

The determination of the first issue depends on whether or not the aforementioned publication falls
within the purview of the phrase "speech or debate therein" that is to say, in Congress used in
this provision.

Said expression refers to utterances made by Congressmen in the performance of their official
functions, such as speeches delivered, statements made, or votes cast in the halls of Congress, while
the same is in session, as well as bills introduced in Congress, whether the same is in session or not,
and other acts performed by Congressmen, either in Congress or outside the premises housing its
offices, in the official discharge of their duties as members of Congress and of Congressional
Committees duly authorized to perform its functions as such, at the time of the performance of the
acts in question.

The publication involved in this case does not belong to this category. According to the complaint
herein, it was an open letter to the President of the Philippines when Congress presumably was not in
session, and defendant caused said letter to be published in several newspapers of general circulation
in the Philippines, on or about said date. It is obvious that, in thus causing the communication to be so
published, he was not performing his official duty, either as a member of Congress or as officer or any
Committee thereof. Hence, contrary to the finding made by His Honor, the trial Judge, said
communication is not absolutely privileged.

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Pobre vs. Defensor-Santiago


Facts
Antero J. Pobre invites the Courts attention to the following excerpts of Senator Miriam Defensor-
Santiagos speech delivered on the Senate floor:
x x x I am not angry. I am irate. I am foaming in the mouth. I am homicidal. I am suicidal. I am humiliated,
debased, degraded. And I am not only that, I feel like throwing up to be living my middle years in a country of
this nature. I am nauseated. I spit on the face of Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban and his cohorts in the
Supreme Court, I am no longer interested in the position [of Chief Justice] if I was to be surrounded by idiots. I
would rather be in another environment but not in the Supreme Court of idiots x x x.

To Pobre, the foregoing statements reflected a total disrespect on the part of the speaker towards then
Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban and the other members of the Court and constituted direct contempt
of court. Accordingly, Pobre asks that disbarment proceedings or other disciplinary actions be taken
against the lady senator.

Senator Santiago does not deny making the aforequoted statements. She, however, explained that
those statements were covered by the constitutional provision on parliamentary immunity, being part
of a speech she delivered in the discharge of her duty as member of Congress or its committee. The
purpose of her speech, according to her, was to bring out in the open controversial anomalies in
governance with a view to future remedial legislation. She averred that she wanted to expose what she
believed to be an unjust act of the Judicial Bar Council [JBC], which, after sending out public
invitations for nomination to the soon to-be vacated position of Chief Justice, would eventually
inform applicants that only incumbent justices of the Supreme Court would qualify for nomination.
She felt that the JBC should have at least given an advanced advisory that non-sitting members of the
Court, like her, would not be considered for the position of Chief Justice.

Issue
Whether or not Senator Miriams speech is covered by parliamentary immunity.

Held
Covered.

This legislative privilege is founded upon long experience and arises as a means of perpetuating
inviolate the functioning process of the legislative department. Without parliamentary immunity,
parliament, or its equivalent, would degenerate into a polite and ineffective debating forum.
Legislators are immune from deterrents to the uninhibited discharge of their legislative duties, not for
their private indulgence, but for the public good. The privilege would be of little value if they could
be subjected to the cost and inconvenience and distractions of a trial upon a conclusion of the pleader,
or to the hazard of a judgment against them based upon a judges speculation as to the motives.

Any claim of an unworthy purpose or of the falsity and mala fides of the statement uttered by the
member of the Congress does not destroy the privilege. The disciplinary authority of the assembly
and the voters, not the courts, can properly discourage or correct such abuses committed in the
name of parliamentary immunity.3

For the above reasons, the plea of Senator Santiago for the dismissal of the complaint for disbarment
or disciplinary action is well taken. Indeed, her privilege speech is not actionable criminally or in a
disciplinary proceeding under the Rules of Court. It is felt, however, that this could not be the last
word on the matter.
The Court is not hesitant to impose some form of disciplinary sanctions on Senator/Atty. Santiago for
what otherwise would have constituted an act of utter disrespect on her part towards the Court and its
members. The factual and legal circumstances of this case, however, deter the Court from doing so,


3 The Senate could have held her liable based on its own rules

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even without any sign of remorse from her. Basic constitutional consideration dictates this kind of
disposition.

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Puyat vs. De Guzman


Facts
An election for the eleven Directors of the International Pipe Industries Corporation (IPI) a private
corporation, was held. There were two main groups in the elections namely the Acero group and the
Puyat group; the Puyat group won. The Acero group questioned the election before the SEC. The
Puyat Group claims Justice Estanislao A. Fernandez, then a member of the Interim Batasang
Pambansa, orally entered his appearance as counsel for respondent Acero to which the Puyat Group
objected on Constitutional grounds. Later, when the SEC case was called, it turns out Assemblyman
Estanislao A. Fernandez had purchased from Augusto A. Morales ten (10) shares of stock of IPI for
P200.00 upon request of respondent Acero to qualify him to run for election as a Director.
Assemblyman Ferandez then filed a motion for leave to intervene alleging legal interest. The SEC
granted leave to intervene on the basis of Atty. Fernandez' ownership of the said ten shares.

Issue
Whether or not Assemblyman Fernandez, as a then stockholder of IPI may intervene in the SEC Case
without violating Section 11, Article VIII of the Constitution

Held
In brief, we hold that the intervention of Assemblyman Fernandez in SEC. No. 1747 falls within the
ambit of the prohibition contained in Section 11, Article VIII of the Constitution.

Ordinarily, by virtue of the Motion for Intervention, Assemblyman Fernandez cannot be said to be
appearing as counsel. His appearance could theoretically be for the protection of his ownership of ten
(10) shares of IPI in respect of the matter in litigation and not for the protection of the petitioners nor
respondents who have their respective capable and respected counsel.

However, certain salient circumstances militate against the intervention of Assemblyman Fernandez
in the SEC Case. He had acquired a mere P200.00 worth of stock in IPI, representing ten shares out of
262,843 outstanding shares. He acquired them "after the fact. And what is more, before he moved to
intervene, he had signified his intention to appear as counsel for respondent Eustaquio T. C. Acero,
but which petitioners objected to. Realizing, perhaps, the validity of the objection, he decided, instead,
to "intervene" on the ground of legal interest in the matter under litigation. And it maybe noted that in
the case filed before the Rizal Court of First Instance, he appeared as counsel for defendant Excelsior,
co-defendant of respondent Acero therein.

Under those facts and circumstances, we are constrained to find that there has been an indirect
"appearance as counsel before ... an administrative body" and, in our opinion, that is a circumvention
of the Constitutional prohibition. The "intervention" was an afterthought to enable him to appear
actively in the proceedings in some other capacity. To believe the avowed purpose, that is, to enable
him eventually to vote and to be elected as Director in the event of an unfavorable outcome of the
SEC Case would be pure naivete. He would still appear as counsel indirectly.

A ruling upholding the "intervention" would make the constitutional provision ineffective. All an
Assemblyman need do, if he wants to influence an administrative body is to acquire a minimal
participation in the "interest" of the client and then "intervene" in the proceedings. That which the
Constitution directly prohibits may not be done by indirection or by a general legislative act that is
intended to accomplish the objects specifically or impliedly prohibited.

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Avelino vs. Cuenco


Facts
In the session of the Senate, Senator Lorenzo M. Taadare quested that his right to speak on the next
session day to formulate charges against the then Senate President Jose Avelino be reserved. In the
next session, hours before the opening of the session, Senator Taada and Senator Prospero Sanidad
filed with the Secretary of the Senate a resolution enumerating charges against the then Senate
President and ordering the investigation thereof.

Although a sufficient number of senators to constitute a quorum were at the Senate session hall at the
appointed time (10:00 A.M.), and the petitioner was already in his office, said petitioner delayed his
appearance at the session hall. Senator Sanidad, following a long established practice, moved that the
roll call be dispensed with, but Senator Tirona opposed said motion. Senator Sanidad next moved, as
is the usual practice, to dispense with the reading of the minutes, but this motion was likewise
opposed by Senator Tirona and David.

Senator Taada repeatedly stood up to claim his right to deliver his one-hour privilege speech but the
petitioner, then presiding, continuously ignored him. At this juncture, some disorderly conduct broke
out in the Senate gallery and Senator Pablo Angeles David moved for adjournment of session. Senator
Sanidad registered his opposition to the adjournment of the session and this opposition was seconded
by herein respondent who moved that the motion of adjournment be submitted to a vote. Another
commotion ensued.

Suddenly, the petitioner banged the gavel and abandoning the Chair hurriedly walked out of the
session hall followed by a few Senators. Whereupon Senator Melencio Arranz, Senate President Pro-
tempore, urged by those senators present took the Chair and proceeded with the session. Senate
President Pro-tempore Arranz then suggested that respondent be designated to preside over the
session which suggestion was carried unanimously; the respondent thereupon took the Chair.

With Senate President Pro-tempore Arranz again occupying the Chair, after the respondent had
yielded it to him, Senator Sanidad introduced Resolution No. 67, entitled "Resolution declaring
vacant the position of the President of the Senate and designated the Honorable Mariano Jesus
Cuenco Acting President of the Senate." Put to a vote, the said resolution was unanimously approved.
Senator Cuenco took the oath. The next day the President of the Philippines recognized the
respondent as acting president of the Philippines Senate.

Issue
Whether or not there was still a quorum despite some of the Senators leaving.

Held
There is still a quorum.

The second question depends upon these sub-questions. (1) Was the session of the so-called rump
Senate a continuation of the session validly assembled with twenty two Senators in the morning of
February 21, 1949?; (2) Was there a quorum in that session?

Supposing that the Court has jurisdiction, there is unanimity in the view that the session under Senator
Arranz was a continuation of the morning session and that a minority of ten senators may not, by
leaving the Hall, prevent the other twelve senators from passing a resolution that met with their
unanimous endorsement. The answer might be different had the resolution been approved only by ten
or less.

If the rump session was not a continuation of the morning session, was it validly constituted? In other
words, was there the majority required by the Constitution for the transaction of the business of the
Senate? Justice Paras, Feria, Pablo and Bengzon say there was, firstly because the minute say so,
secondly, because at the beginning of such session there were at least fourteen senators including

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Senators Pendatun and Lopez, and thirdly because in view of the absence from the country of Senator
Tomas Confesor, twelve senators constitute a majority of the Senate of twenty-three senators. When
the Constitution declares that a majority of "each House" shall constitute a quorum, "the House: does
not mean "all" the members. Even a majority of all the members constitute "the House". There is a
difference between a majority of "the House", the latter requiring less number than the first. Therefore
an absolute majority (12) of all the members of the Senate less one (23) constitutes constitutional
majority of the Senate for the purpose of a quorum. Mr. Justice Pablo believes furthermore than even
if the twelve did not constitute a quorum, they could have ordered the arrest of one, at least, of the
absent members; if one had been so arrested, there would be no doubt Quorum then, and Senator
Cuenco would have been elected just the same inasmuch as there would be eleven for Cuenco, one
against and one abstained.

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Santiago vs. Guingona


Facts
On the agenda for the day of the Senate was the election of officers. Nominated by Sen. Blas F. Ople
to the position of Senate President was Sen. Marcelo B. Fernan. Sen. Francisco S. Tatad was also
nominated to the same position by Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago. By a vote of 20 to 2, Senator
Fernan was declared the duly elected President of the Senate.

Senator Tatad thereafter manifested that, with the agreement of Senator Santiago, allegedly the only
other member of the minority, he was assuming the position of minority leader. He explained that
those who had voted for Senator Fernan comprised the majority, while only those who had voted for
him, the losing nominee, belonged to the minority.

During the discussion on who should constitute the Senate minority, Sen. Juan M. Flavier manifested
that the senators belonging to the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP Party had chosen Senator Guingona as the
minority leader. The majority leader informed the body that he was in receipt of a letter signed by the
seven Lakas-NUCD-UMDP senators, stating that they had elected Senator Guingona as the minority
leader. By virtue thereof, the Senate President formally recognized Senator Guingona as the minority
leader of the Senate.

The following day, Senators Santiago and Tatad filed before this Court the subject petition for quo
warranto, alleging in the main that Senator Guingona had been usurping, unlawfully holding and
exercising the position of Senate minority leader, a position that, according to them, rightfully
belonged to Senator Tatad.

Issue
Whether or not the Court can determine who is the rightful Senate Minority Leader.

Held
Cannot determine.

The plain and unambiguous words of the subject constitutional clause simply mean that the Senate
President must obtain the votes of more than one half of all the senators. Not by any construal does it
thereby delineate who comprise the majority, much less the minority, in the said body. And there is no
showing that the framers of our Constitution had in mind other than the usual meanings of these terms.

In effect, while the Constitution mandates that the President of the Senate must be elected by a
number constituting more than one half of all the members thereof, it does not provide that the
members who will not vote for him shall ipso facto constitute the minority, who could thereby elect
the minority leader. Verily, no law or regulation states that the defeated candidate shall automatically
become the minority leader. No constitutional or statutory provision prescribes which of the many
minority groups or the independents or a combination thereof has the right to select the minority
leader.

While the Constitution is explicit on the manner of electing a Senate President and a House Speaker,
it is, however, dead silent on the manner of selecting the other officers in both chambers of Congress.
Therefore, the Senate itself must prescribe such method, not by this Court.

In this regard, the Constitution vests in each house of Congress the power to determine the rules of its
proceedings. Pursuant thereto, the Senate formulated and adopted a set of rules to govern its internal
affairs. Notably, the Rules of the Senate do not provide for the positions of majority and minority
leaders. Neither is there an open clause providing specifically for such offices and prescribing the
manner of creating them or of choosing the holders thereof. At any rate, such offices, by tradition and
long practice, are actually extant. But, in the absence of constitutional or statutory guidelines or
specific rules, this Court is devoid of any basis upon which to determine the legality of the acts of the
Senate relative thereto.

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In view of the foregoing, Congress verily has the power and prerogative to provide for such officers
as it may deem. And it is certainly within its own jurisdiction and discretion to prescribe the
parameters for the exercise of this prerogative. This Court has no authority to interfere and
unilaterally intrude into that exclusive realm, without running afoul of constitutional principles that it
is bound to protect and uphold -- the very duty that justifies the Courts being.

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People vs. Jalosjos


Facts
The accused-appellant, Romeo G. Jalosjos is a full-fledged member of Congress who is now confined
at the national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape on two counts and acts of
lasciviousness on six counts is pending appeal. The accused-appellant filed this motion asking that he
be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman, including attendance at legislative sessions
and committee meetings despite having been convicted in the first instance of a non-bailable offense.

Issue
Whether or not his duty to attend sessions of Congress is reason to allow him reprieve from jail.

Held
No.

The accused-appellant argues that a member of Congress function to attend sessions is underscored by
Section 16 (2), Article VI of the Constitution that states:
(2) A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from
day to day and may compel the attendance of absent Members in such manner, and under such penalties, as
such House may provide.

However, the accused-appellant has not given any reason why he should be exempted from the
operation of Section 11, Article VI of the Constitution. The members of Congress cannot compel
absent members to attend sessions if the reason for the absence is a legitimate one. The confinement
of a Congressman charged with a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than six years is not
merely authorized by law, it has constitutional foundations.

A person charged with crime is taken into custody for purposes of the administration of justice. The
accused-appellant states that the plea of the electorate that voted him into office cannot be supplanted
by unfounded fears that he might escape eventual punishment if permitted to perform congressional
duties outside his regular place of confinement.

It will be recalled that when a warrant for accused-appellants arrest was issued, he fled and evaded
capture despite a call from his colleagues in the House of Representatives for him to attend the
sessions and to surrender voluntarily to the authorities. Ironically, it is now the same body whose call
he initially spurned which accused-appellant is invoking to justify his present motion. This can not be
countenanced because, to reiterate, aside from its being contrary to well-defined Constitutional
restrains, it would be a mockery of the aims of the States penal system.

What the accused-appellant seeks is not of an emergency nature. Allowing accused-appellant to attend
congressional sessions and committee meetings for five (5) days or more in a week will virtually
make him a free man with all the privileges appurtenant to his position. Such an aberrant situation not
only elevates accused-appellants status to that of a special class, it also would be a mockery of the
purposes of the correction system.

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Arroyo vs. De Venecia4


Facts
This is a petition for certiorari and/or prohibition challenging the validity of Republic Act No. 8240,
which amends certain provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code by imposing so-called sin
taxes (actually specific taxes) on the manufacture and sale of beer and cigarettes. The bill was
approved on third reading in both houses. A bicameral conference committee was formed to reconcile
the disagreeing provisions of the House and Senate versions of the bill.

During the bicameral conference committee meeting, Rep. Arroyo moved to adjourn for lack of
quorum. Rep. Antonio Cuenco objected to the motion and asked for a head count. After a roll call, the
Chair declared the presence of a quorum. Rep. Arroyo appealed the ruling of the Chair, but his motion
was defeated when put to a vote. The interpellation of the sponsor thereafter proceeded.

On the same day, the bill was signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the
President of the Senate and certified by the respective secretaries of both Houses of Congress as
having been finally passed by the House of Representatives and by the Senate. President Fidel V.
Ramos signed the enrolled bill into law.

Petitioners principal argument is that R.A. No. 8240 is null and void because it was passed in
violation of the rules of the House.

Issue
Whether or not the Law is invalid for violating the House Rules of Procedure.

Held
Valid.

What is alleged to have been violated in the enactment of R.A. No. 8240 are merely internal rules of
procedure of the House rather than constitutional requirements for the enactment of a law. Petitioners
do not claim that there was no quorum but only that; by some maneuver allegedly in violation of the
rules of the House, Rep. Arroyo was effectively prevented from questioning the presence of a quorum.
But the cases, both here and abroad, in varying forms of expression, all deny to the courts the power
to inquire into allegations that, in enacting a law, a House of Congress failed to comply with its own
rules, in the absence of showing that there was a violation of a constitutional provision or the rights of
private individuals. In this case no rights of private individuals are involved but only those of a
member who, instead of seeking redress in the House, chose to transfer the dispute to this Court. We
have no more power to look into the internal proceedings of a House than members of that House
have to look over our shoulders, as long as no violation of constitutional provisions is shown.

Here, the matter complained of concerns a matter of internal procedure of the House with which the
Court should not be concerned. Rep. Arroyos earlier motion to adjourn for lack of quorum had
already been defeated, as the roll call established the existence of a quorum.

Also, under the enrolled bill doctrine, the signing of H.B No. 7198 by the Speaker of the House and
the President of the Senate and the certification by the secretaries of both Houses of Congress that it
was passed on November 21, 1996 are conclusive of its due enactment. Moreover, as already noted,
the due enactment of the law in question is confirmed by the Journal of the House. The Journal is
regarded as conclusive with respect to matters that are required by the Constitution to be recorded
therein. With respect to other matters, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the Journals have
also been accorded conclusive effect.


4 The Supreme Court also said the House can suspend its own rules, The Creator cannot be a slave of its

creation. The exception is when the rule is required by the Constitution or the rights of private
individuals are involved.

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Osmena vs. Pendatun


Facts
Congressman Sergio Osmea, Jr., submitted to this Court a verified petition for "declaratory relief,
certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction" against Congressman Salapida K. Pendatun
and fourteen other congressmen in their capacity as members of the Special Committee created by
House Resolution No. 59. He asked for annulment of such Resolution on the ground of infringement
of his parliamentary immunity; he also asked, principally, that said members of the special committee
be enjoined from proceeding in accordance with it, particularly the portion authorizing them to
require him to substantiate his charges against the President with the admonition that if he failed to do
so, he must show cause why the House should not punish him.

There is no question that Congressman Osmea, in a privilege speech delivered before the House,
made the serious imputations of bribery against the President which are quoted in Resolution No. 59
and that he refused to produce before the House Committee created for the purpose, evidence to
substantiate such imputations. There is also no question that for having made the imputations and for
failing to produce evidence in support thereof, he was, by resolution of the House, suspended from
office for a period of fifteen months for serious disorderly behavior.

Issue
Whether or not the House Resolutions are valid.

Held
Valid.

The provision (on parliamentary immunity) has always been understood to mean that although
exempt from prosecution or civil actions for their words uttered in Congress, the members of
Congress may, nevertheless, be questioned in Congress itself. Furthermore, the Rules of the House
which petitioner himself has invoked (Rule XVII, sec. 7) recognize the House's power to hold a
member responsible "for words spoken in debate."

On the question whether delivery of speeches attacking the Chief Executive constitutes disorderly
conduct for which Osmea may be discipline, many arguments pro and con have been advanced. We
believe, however, that the House is the judge of what constitutes disorderly behavior, not only
because the Constitution has conferred jurisdiction upon it, but also because the matter depends
mainly on factual circumstances of which the House knows best but which can not be depicted in
black and white for presentation to, and adjudication by the Courts. The House has exclusive power;
the courts have no jurisdiction to interfere.

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Santiago vs. Sandiganbayan


Facts
The instant case arose from complaints filed by a group of employees of the Commission of
Immigration and Deportation (CID) against petitioner, then CID Commissioner, for alleged violation
of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The Ombudsman directed the OSP to file the appropriate
informations against petitioner. The prosecution filed with the Sandiganbayan a motion to issue an
order suspending petitioner. The Sandiganbayan granted the motion and suspended her for 90 days.

Hence, the instant recourse. The petition assails the authority of the Sandiganbayan to decree a ninety-
day preventive suspension of Mme. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, a Senator of the Republic of the
Philippines, from any government position, and furnishing a copy thereof to the Senate of the
Philippines for the implementation of the suspension order.

Issue
Whether or not the preventive suspension is valid.

Held
Valid.

The authority of the Sandiganbayan to order the preventive suspension of an incumbent public official
charged with violation of the provisions of Republic Act No. 3019 has both legal and jurisprudential
support. It would appear, indeed, to be a ministerial duty of the court to issue an order of suspension
upon determination of the validity of the information filed before it. Once the information is found to
be sufficient in form and substance, the court is bound to issue an order of suspension as a matter of
course, and there seems to be "no ifs and buts about it." It is not a penalty because it is not imposed as
a result of judicial proceedings. In fact, if acquitted, the official concerned shall be entitled to
reinstatement and to the salaries and benefits which he failed to receive during suspension."

The order of suspension prescribed by Republic Act No. 3019 is distinct from the power of Congress
to discipline its own ranks under the Constitution that provides
"x x x . house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and, with
the concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members, suspend or expel a Member. A penalty of suspension, when
imposed, shall not exceed sixty days."

The suspension contemplated in the above constitutional provision is a punitive measure that is
imposed upon determination by the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, upon
an erring member. In a case, the Court ruled:
"x x x . Petitioner's invocation of Section 16 (3), Article VI of the Constitution which deals with the power of
each House of Congress inter alia to 'punish its Members for disorderly behavior,' and 'suspend or expel a
Member' by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members subject to the qualification that the penalty of suspension,
when imposed, should not exceed sixty days is unavailing, as it appears to be quite distinct from the
suspension spoken of in Section 13 of RA 3019, which is not a penalty but a preliminary, preventive measure,
prescinding from the fact that the latter is not being imposed on petitioner for misbehavior as a Member of the
House of Representatives."

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US vs. Pons
Facts
The information in this case reads:
The undersigned charges Gabino Beliso, Juan Pons, and Jacinto Lasarte with the crime of illegal importation
of opium

Each were found guilty of the crime charged and sentenced accordingly. In his motion, counsel
alleged and offered to prove that the last day of the special session of the Philippine Legislature for
1914 was the 28th day of February; that Act No. 2381, under which Pons must be punished if found
guilty, was not passed or approved on the 28th of February but on March 1 of that year; and that,
therefore, the same is null and void. As it is admitted that the last day of the special session was,
under the Governor-General's proclamation.

Issue
Whether or not the journal is conclusive on the courts.

Held
Conclusive.

While there are no adjudicated cases in this jurisdiction upon the exact question whether the courts
may take judicial notice of the legislative journals, it is well settled in the United States that such
journals may be noticed by the courts in determining the question whether a particular bill became a
law or not. The result is that the law and the adjudicated cases make it our duty to take judicial notice
of the legislative journals of the special session of the Philippine Legislature of 1914. These journals
are not ambiguous or contradictory as to the actual time of the adjournment. They show, with absolute
certainty that the Legislature adjourned sine die at 12 o'clock midnight on February 28, 1914.

Passing over the question whether the printed Act (No. 2381), published by authority of law, is
conclusive evidence as to the date when it was passed, we will inquire whether the courts may go
behind the legislative journals for the purpose of determining the date of adjournment when such
journals are clear and explicit.

On the one hand, it is maintained that the Legislature did not, as we have indicated, adjourn at
midnight on February 28, 1914, but on March 1st, and that this allegation or alleged fact may be
established by extraneous evidence; while, on the other hand, it is urged that the contents of the
legislative journals are conclusive evidence as to the date of adjournment. Counsel in his argument
says that the public knows that the Assembly's clock was stopped on February 28, 1914, at midnight
and left so until the determination of the discussion of all pending matters. Or, in other words, the
hands of the clock were stayed in order to enable the Assembly to effect an adjournment apparently
within the time fixed by the Governor's proclamation for the expiration of the special session, in direct
violation of the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902. If the clock was, in fact, stopped, as here suggested,
"the resultant evil might be slight as compared with that of altering the probative force and character
of legislative records, and making the proof of legislative action depend upon uncertain oral evidence,
liable to loss by death or absence, and so imperfect on account of the treachery of memory.

The journals say that the Legislature adjourned at 12 midnight on February 28, 1914. This settles the
question, and the court did not err in declining to go behind these journals.

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Casco Philippines vs. Gimenez


Facts
Petitioner Casco Philippine Chemical Co., Inc. which is engaged in the manufacture of synthetic
resin glues, used in bonding lumber and veneer by plywood and hardwood producers bought
foreign exchange for the importation of urea and formaldehyde which are the main raw materials
in the production of said glues and paid therefor the aforementioned margin fee.

Petitioner then sought a refund, relying upon Resolution No. 1529 of the Monetary Board of said
Bank, dated November 3, 1959, declaring that the separate importation of urea and formaldehyde is
exempt from said fee. Although the Central Bank issued the corresponding margin fee vouchers for
the refund of said amounts, the Auditor of the Bank refused to pass in audit and approve said
vouchers, upon the ground that the exemption granted by the Monetary Board for petitioner's separate
importations of urea and formaldehyde is not in accord with the provisions of section 2, paragraph
XVIII of Republic Act No. 2609.

Issue
Whether or not urea formaldehyde should be construed as urea and formaldehyde

Held
Construed as urea formaldehyde.

Petitioner maintains that the term "urea formaldehyde" appearing in this provision should be
construed as "urea and formaldehyde" (emphasis supplied) and that respondents herein, the Auditor
General and the Auditor of the Central Bank, have erred in holding otherwise. "Urea formaldehyde"
is clearly a finished product, which is patently distinct and different from urea" and "formaldehyde."

Petitioner contends that the bill approved in Congress contained the copulative conjunction "and"
between the terms "urea" and "formaldehyde", and that the members of Congress intended to exempt
"urea" and "formaldehyde" separately as essential elements in the manufacture of the synthetic resin
glue called "urea" formaldehyde", not the latter as a finished product, citing in support of this view the
statements made on the floor of the Senate, during the consideration of the bill before said House, by
members thereof. But, said individual statements do not necessarily reflect the view of the Senate.
Much less do they indicate the intent of the House of Representatives.

Furthermore, it is well settled that the enrolled bill which uses the term "urea formaldehyde"
instead of "urea and formaldehyde" is conclusive upon the courts as regards the tenor of the
measure passed by Congress and approved by the President. If there has been any mistake in the
printing of the bill before it was certified by the officers of Congress and approved by the Executive
on which we cannot speculate, without jeopardizing the principle of separation of powers and
undermining one of the cornerstones of our democratic system the remedy is by amendment or
curative legislation, not by judicial decree.

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Astorga vs. Villegas


Facts
House Bill No. 9266 was filed in the House of Representatives. It was there passed on third reading
without amendments and sent to the Senate for its concurrence. When the bill was discussed on the
floor of the Senate on second reading, Senator Arturo Tolentino introduced substantial amendments.
Those amendments were approved in toto by the Senate. The amendment recommended by Senator
Roxas does not appear in the journal of the Senate proceedings as having been acted upon. The
Secretary of the Senate sent a letter to the House of Representatives that House Bill No. 9266 had
been passed by the Senate "with amendments." Attached to the letter was a certification of the
amendment, which was the one recommended by Senator Roxas and not the Tolentino amendments.
The bill thereupon became Republic Act No. 4065.

Senator Tolentino issued a press statement that the enrolled copy of House Bill No. 9266 signed into
law by the President of the Philippines was a wrong version of the bill actually passed by the Senate.
As a consequence, the Senate President addressed a letter to the President of the Philippines,
explaining that the enrolled copy of House Bill No. 9266 was not the bill duly approved by Congress
and that he considered his signature on the enrolled bill as invalid and of no effect. The President of
the Philippines officially withdrew his signature on House Bill No. 9266.

Upon the foregoing facts the Mayor of Manila, Antonio Villegas, issued circulars ordering the
disregard of the provisions of Republic Act 4065. Reacting to these steps taken by Mayor Villegas,
the then Vice-Mayor, Herminio A. Astorga, filed a petition with this Court to compel compliance with
the provisions of Republic Act 4065.

Respondents' position is that the so-called Republic Act 4065 never became law since it was not the
bill actually passed by the Senate, and that the entries in the journal of that body and not the enrolled
bill itself should be decisive in the resolution of the issue.

Issue
Whether or not the enrolled bill should prevail over the journal in case of discrepancy.

Held
The enrolled bill prevails over the journal.

It may be noted that the enrolled bill theory is based mainly on "the respect due to coequal and
independent departments," which requires the judicial department "to accept, as having passed
Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated." Thus it has also been stated in other cases that
if the attestation is absent and the same is not required for the validity of a statute, the courts may
resort to the journals and other records of Congress for proof of its due enactment.

Petitioner's argument that the attestation of the presiding officers of Congress is conclusive proof of a
bill's due enactment, required, it is said, by the respect due to a co-equal department of the
government, is neutralized in this case by the fact that the Senate President declared his signature on
the bill to be invalid and issued a subsequent clarification that the invalidation of his signature meant
that the bill he had signed had never been approved by the Senate.

Petitioner agrees that the attestation in the bill is not mandatory but argues that the disclaimer thereof
by the Senate President, granting it to have been validly made, would only mean that there was no
attestation at all, but would not affect the validity of the statute. Hence, it is pointed out, Republic Act
No. 4065 would remain valid and binding. This argument begs the issue. It would limit the court's
inquiry to the presence or absence of the attestation and to the effect of its absence upon the validity
of the statute. The inquiry, however, goes farther. Absent such attestation as a result of the disclaimer,
and consequently there being no enrolled bill to speak of, what evidence is there to determine whether
or not the bill had been duly enacted? In such a case the entries in the journal should be consulted.

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The journal of the proceedings of each House of Congress is no ordinary record. The Constitution
requires it. While it is true that the journal is not authenticated and is subject to the risks of
misprinting and other errors, the point is irrelevant in this case. This Court is merely asked to inquire
whether the text of House Bill No. 9266 signed by the Chief Executive was the same text passed by
both Houses of Congress. Under the specific facts and circumstances of this case, this Court can do
this and resort to the Senate journal for the purpose. The journal discloses that substantial and lengthy
amendments were introduced on the floor and approved by the Senate but were not incorporated in
the printed text sent to the President and signed by him. This Court is not asked to incorporate such
amendments into the alleged law, which admittedly is a risky undertaking, but to declare that the bill
was not duly enacted and therefore did not become law.

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Philippine Judges Association vs. Prado


Facts
The main target of this petition is Section 35 of R.A. No. 7354 as implemented by the Philippine
Postal Corporation through its Circular No. 92-28. These measures withdraw the franking privilege
from the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Regional Trial Courts, the Metropolitan Trial
Courts, the Municipal Trial Courts, and the Land Registration Commission and its Registers of Deeds,
along with certain other government offices.

The petition assails the constitutionality of R.A. No. 7354 on the ground, among others, that it did not
pass the required readings in both Houses of Congress and printed copies of the bill in its final form
were not distributed among the members before its passage.

Issue
Whether or not the Supreme Court can look into the allegation that the bill did not pass the required
readings in both Houses of Congress and printed copies of the bill in its final form were not
distributed among the members before its passage

Held
Cannot look into the allegation.

The petitioners maintain that the second paragraph of Sec. 35 covering the repeal of the franking
privilege from the petitioners and this Court under E.O. 207, PD 1882 and PD 26 was not included in
the original version of Senate Bill No. 720 or House Bill No. 4200. As this paragraph appeared only
in the Conference Committee Report.

It is a matter of record that the conference Committee Report on the bill in question was returned to
and duly approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Thereafter, the bill was
enrolled with its certification by Senate President Neptali A. Gonzales and Speaker Ramon V. Mitra
of the House of Representatives as having been duly passed by both Houses of Congress. It was then
presented to and approved by President Corazon C. Aquino on April 3, 1992.

Under the doctrine of separation of powers, the Court may not inquire beyond the certification of the
approval of a bill from the presiding officers of Congress. Casco Philippine Chemical Co. v. Gimenez
laid down the rule that the enrolled bill, is conclusive upon the Judiciary (except in matters that have
to be entered in the journals like the yeas and nays on the final reading of the bill). The journals are
themselves also binding on the Supreme Court, as we held in the old (but still valid) case of U.S. vs.
Pons.

Applying these principles, we shall decline to look into the petitioners' charges that an amendment
was made upon the last reading of the bill that eventually became R.A. No. 7354 and that copies
thereof in its final form were not distributed among the members of each House. Both the enrolled bill
and the legislative journals certify that the measure was duly enacted i.e., in accordance with Article
VI, Sec. 26(2) of the Constitution. We are bound by such official assurances from a coordinate
department of the government, to which we owe, at the very least, a becoming courtesy.

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Abakada Guro Party List vs. Ermita


Facts
Mounting budget deficit, revenue generation, inadequate fiscal allocation for education, increased
emoluments for health workers, and wider coverage for full value-added tax benefits these are the
reasons why Republic Act No. 9337 (R.A. No. 9337) was enacted. Reasons, the wisdom of which, the
Court even with its extensive constitutional power of review, cannot probe. The petitioners in these
cases, however, question not only the wisdom of the law, but also perceived constitutional infirmities
in its passage.

R.A. No. 9337 is a consolidation of three legislative bills. The Senate agreed to the request of the
House of Representatives for a committee conference on the disagreeing provisions of the proposed
bills. Before long, the Conference Committee recommended the approval of its report, which the
Senate did and with the House of Representatives agreeing thereto. The enrolled copy of the
consolidated House and Senate version was transmitted to the President, who signed the same into
law; Thus, came R.A. No. 9337.

Petitioners Escudero, et al., and Pimentel, et al., allege that the Bicameral Conference Committee
exceeded its authority by inserting provisions in the bill. These are:
1. Inserting the stand-by authority in favor of the President in Sections 4, 5, and 6 of R.A. No.
9337;
2. Deleting entirely the no pass-on provisions found in both the House and Senate bills;
3. Inserting the provision imposing a 70% limit on the amount of input tax to be credited against
the output tax; and
4. Including the amendments introduced only by Senate Bill No. 1950 regarding other kinds of
taxes in addition to the value-added tax.

Issue
Whether or not the Supreme Court can investigate the alleged irregularities made by the bicameral
conference committee.

Held
Cannot investigate.

The power of internal regulation and discipline are intrinsic in any legislative body. Thus, Article VI,
Section 16 (3) of the Constitution provides that "each House may determine the rules of its
proceedings." Pursuant to this inherent constitutional power to promulgate and implement its own
rules of procedure, the respective rules of each house of Congress provided for the creation of a
Bicameral Conference Committee.

The creation of such conference committee was apparently in response to a problem, not addressed by
any constitutional provision, where the two houses of Congress find themselves in disagreement over
changes or amendments introduced by the other house in a legislative bill. Note that in the present
petitions, the issue is not whether provisions of the rules of both houses creating the bicameral
conference committee are unconstitutional, but whether the bicameral conference committee has
strictly complied with the rules of both houses, thereby remaining within the jurisdiction conferred
upon it by Congress.

In the recent case of Farias vs. The Executive Secretary, the Court En Banc, unanimously reiterated
and emphasized its adherence to the "enrolled bill doctrine," thus, declining therein petitioners plea
for the Court to go behind the enrolled copy of the bill. In said case the Court declared:
Under the "enrolled bill doctrine," the signing of a bill by the Speaker of the House and the Senate President
and the certification of the Secretaries of both Houses of Congress that it was passed are conclusive of its due
enactment. A review of cases reveals the Courts consistent adherence to the rule. The Court finds no reason to
deviate from the salutary rule in this case where the irregularities alleged by the petitioners mostly involved the
internal rules of Congress, e.g., creation of the 2nd or 3rd Bicameral Conference Committee by the House.

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The foregoing declaration is exactly in point with the present cases, where petitioners allege
irregularities committed by the conference committee in introducing changes or deleting provisions in
the House and Senate bills. Akin to the Farias case, the present petitions also raise an issue
regarding the actions taken by the conference committee on matters regarding Congress compliance
with its own internal rules.

Moreover, as far back as 1994 or more than ten years ago, in the case of Tolentino vs. Secretary of
Finance, the Court already made the pronouncement that "[i]f a change is desired in the practice [of
the Bicameral Conference Committee] it must be sought in Congress since this question is not
covered by any constitutional provision but is only an internal rule of each house." To date, Congress
has not seen it fit to make such changes adverted to by the Court. It seems, therefore, that Congress
finds the practices of the bicameral conference committee to be very useful for purposes of prompt
and efficient legislative action.

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Vera vs. Avelino


Facts
Pursuant to a constitutional provision (section 4, Article X), the Commission on elections submitted,
last May, to the President and the Congress of the Philippines, its report on the national elections held
the preceding month, and, among other things, stated that, by reason of certain specified acts of
terrorism and violence in the Provinces of Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan and Tarlac, the voting in
said region did not reflect the true and free expression of the popular will.

When the Senate convened on May 25, 1946, it proceeded with the selection of its officers. Thereafter,
in the course of the session, a resolution (Pendatun Resolution) was approved referring to the report
and ordering that, pending the termination of the protest lodged against their election, the herein
petitioners, Jose O. Vera, Ramon Diokno and Jose E. Romero who had been included among the
sixteen candidates for senator receiving the highest number of votes, proclaimed by the Commission
on Elections shall not be sworn, nor seated, as members of the chamber.

Petitioners immediately instituted this action against their colleagues responsible for the resolution.
They pray for an order annulling it, and compelling respondents to permit them to occupy their seats,
and to exercise their senatorial prerogatives.

Issue
Whether or not the suspension is valid.

Held
Valid.

No jurisdiction
Here, there is actually no antagonism between the Electoral Tribunal of the Senate and the Senate
itself, for it is not suggested has adopted a rule contradicting the Pendatun Resolution. Consequently,
there is no occasion for our intervention. Such conflict of jurisdiction, plus the participation of the
Senate Electoral Tribunal are essential ingredients to make the facts of this case fit the mold of the
Angara doctrine.

Now, under the principles enunciated in the Alejandrino case5, may this petition be entertained? The
answer must naturally be in the negative. Granting that the postponement of the administration of the
oath amounts to suspension of the petitioners from their office, and conceding arguendo that such
suspension is beyond the power of the respondents, who in effect are and acted as the Philippine
Senate, this petition should be denied. As was explained in the Alejandrino case, we could not order
one branch of the Legislature to reinstate a member thereof. To do so would be to establish judicial
predominance, and to upset the classic pattern of checks and balances wisely woven into our
institutional setup.

Senate has not exceeded powers


The discussions in the constitutional Convention showed that instead of transferring to the Electoral
Commission all the powers of the House or Senate as "the sole judge of the election, returns, and
qualifications of the members of the National Assembly," it was given only jurisdiction over "all
contests" relating to the election, etc. The Convention, bent on circumscribing the latter's authority to
"contests" relating to the election, etc. altered the draft. The Convention did not intend to give it all
the functions of the Assembly on the subject of election and qualifications of its members. The
distinction is not without a difference. "As used in constitutional provisions", election contest "relates
only to statutory contests in which the contestant seeks not only to oust the intruder, but also to have
himself inducted into the office."


5 The Supreme Court refused to take jurisdiction in the Alejandrino case on the theory of separation of

powers.

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One concrete example will serve to illustrate the remaining power in either House of Congress: A
man is elected by a congressional district who had previously served ten years in Bilibid Prison for
estafa. As he had no opponent, no protest is filed. And the Electoral Tribunal has no jurisdiction,
because there is no election contest. When informed of the fact, may not the House, motu propio
postpone his induction? May not the House suspend, investigate and thereafter exclude him? It must
be observed that when a member of the House raises a question as to the qualifications of another, an
"election contest" does not thereby ensue, because the former does not seek to be substituted for the
latter.

So that, if not all the powers regarding the election, returns, and qualifications of members was
withdrawn by the Constitution from the Congress; and if, as admitted by petitioners themselves at the
oral argument, the power to defer the oath-taking, until the contests is adjudged, does not belong to
the corresponding Electoral Tribunal, then it must be held that the House or Senate still retains such
authority, for it has not been transferred to, nor assumed by, the Electoral Tribunal.

Therefore, independently of constitutional or statutory grant, the Senate has, under parliamentary
practice, the power to inquire into the credentials of any member and the latter's right to participate in
its deliberations. As we have seen, the assignment by the constitution of the Electoral Tribunal does
not actually negative that power provided the Senate does not cross the boundary line, deciding an
election contest against the member. Which the respondents at bar never attempted to do. Precisely,
their resolution recognized, and did not impair, the jurisdiction of the Electoral Tribunal to decide the
contest. To test whether the resolution trenched on the territory of the last named agency let ask the
question: May the Electoral Tribunal of the Senate order that Body to defer the admission of any
member whose election has been contested? Obviously not. Then it must be conceded that the passage
of the disputed resolution meant no invasion of the former's realm.

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Abbas vs. SET


Facts
This is a Special Civil Action for certiorari to nullify and set aside the Resolutions of the Senate
Electoral Tribunal, denying respectively, the petitioners' Motion for Disqualification or Inhibition and
their Motion for Reconsideration thereafter filed.

Petitioners filed before the respondent Tribunal an election contest against 22 candidates of the
LABAN coalition who were proclaimed senators-elect in the May 11, 1987 congressional elections by
the Commission on Elections.

Petitioners, with the exception of Senator Estrada but including Senator Juan Ponce Enrile (who had
been designated Member of the Tribunal replacing Senator Estrada, the latter having affiliated with
the Liberal Party and resigned as the Opposition's representative in the Tribunal) filed with the
respondent Tribunal a Motion for Disqualification or Inhibition of the Senators-Members thereof from
the hearing and resolution of SET Case on the ground that all of them are interested parties to said
case, as respondents therein.

The petitioners, in essence, argue that considerations of public policy and the norms of fair play and
due process imperatively require the mass disqualification sought and that the doctrine of necessity
which they perceive to be the foundation petition of the questioned Resolutions does not rule out a
solution both practicable and constitutionally unobjectionable, namely; the amendment of the
respondent Tribunal's Rules of procedure so as to permit the contest being decided by only three
Members of the Tribunal.

Issue
Whether or not the Senators-members of the SET can be disqualified.

Held
The charge that the respondent Tribunal gravely abused its discretion in its disposition of the incidents
referred to must therefore fail. In the circumstances, it acted well within law and principle in
dismissing the petition for disqualification or inhibition filed by herein petitioners. The instant petition
for certiorari is DISMISSED for lack of merit.

It seems quite clear to us that in thus providing for a Tribunal to be staffed by both Justices of the
Supreme Court and Members of the Senate, the Constitution intended that both those "judicial' and
'legislative' components commonly share the duty and authority of deciding all contests relating to the
election, returns and qualifications of Senators.

Where, as here, a situation is created which precludes the substitution of any Senator sitting in the
Tribunal by any of his other colleagues in the Senate without inviting the same objections to the
substitute's competence, the proposed mass disqualification, if sanctioned and ordered, would leave
the Tribunal no alternative but to abandon a duty that no other court or body can perform, but which it
cannot lawfully discharge if shorn of the participation of its entire membership of Senators.

To our mind, this is the overriding considerationthat the Tribunal be not prevented from
discharging a duty that it alone has the power to perform, the performance of which is in the highest
public interest as evidenced by its being expressly imposed by no less than the fundamental law.

It is aptly noted in the first of the questioned Resolutions that the framers of the Constitution could not
have been unaware of the possibility of an election contest that would involve all 24 Senators-elect,
six of whom would inevitably have to sit in judgment thereon. Yet the Constitution provides no
scheme or mode for settling such unusual situations or for the substitution of Senators designated to
the Tribunal whose disqualification may be sought. Litigants in such situations must simply place
their trust and hopes of vindication in the fairness and sense of justice of the Members of the Tribunal.

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Let us not be misunderstood as saying that no Senator-Member of the Senate Electoral Tribunal may
inhibit or disqualify himself from sitting in judgment on any case before said Tribunal. Every Member
of the Tribunal may, as his conscience dictates, refrain from participating in the resolution of a case
where he sincerely feels that his personal interests or biases would stand in the way of an objective
and impartial judgment. What we are merely saying is that in the light of the Constitution, the Senate
Electoral Tribunal cannot legally function as such; absent its entire membership of Senators and that
no amendment of its Rules can confer on the three Justices-Members alone the power of valid
adjudication of a senatorial election contest.

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Bondoc vs. Pineda


Facts
In the local and congressional elections held on May 11, 1987, Marciano M. Pineda of the LDP and
Dr. Emigdio A. Bondoc of the NP were rival candidates for the position of Representative. Pineda
was proclaimed winner in the election. In due time, Bondoc filed a protest in the HRET. Bondoc's
protest was submitted for decision in July, 1989. By October 1990, a decision had been reached in
which Bondoc won over Pineda by a margin of twenty-three (23) votes. Congressman Camasura
voted with the Supreme Court Justices and Congressman Cerilles to proclaim Bondoc the winner of
the contest.

Moved by candor and honesty, Congressman Camasura revealed on March 4, 1991, to his 'Chief,"
Congressman Jose S. Cojuangco, Jr., LDP Secretary General, not only the final tally in the Bondoc
case but also that he voted for Bondoc "consistent with truth and justice and self- respect," and to
honor a "gentlemen's agreement" among the members of the HRET that they would "abide by the
result of the appreciation of the contested ballot. Congressman Camasura's revelation stirred a hornets'
nest in the LDP which went into a flurry of plotting appropriate moves to neutralize the pro-Bondoc
majority in the Tribunal.

On March 5, 1991, the HRET issued a Notice of Promulgation of Decision on March 14, 1991. On
March 13, 1991, the eve of the promulgation of the Bondoc decision, Congressman Cojuangco
informed the Speaker that Congressman Camasura and Congressman Benjamin Bautista had been
expelled from the LDP. The House of Representatives decided to withdraw the nomination and
rescind the election of Congressman Camasura, Jr. to the House of Electoral Tribunal. The Tribunal
issued a Resolution cancelling the promulgation of the decision in HRET Case.

A petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus was filed by Dr. Emigdio A. Bondoc against
Representatives Marciano M. Pineda, Magdaleno M. Palacol, Juanita G. Camasura, Jr., or any other
representative who may be appointed Vice Representative Juanita G. Camasura, Jr., and the House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal

Issue
Whether or not the House of Representatives was empowered by the Constitution to do that, i.e., to
interfere with the disposition of an election contest in the House Electoral Tribunal through the ruse of
"reorganizing" the representation in the tribunal of the majority party.

Held
The House of Representatives cant do that.

The use of the word "sole" underscores the exclusive jurisdiction of the House Electoral Tribunal as
judge of contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the House of
Representatives. The tribunal was created to function as a nonpartisan court although two-thirds of its
members are politicians. It is a non-political body in a sea of politicians. To be able to exercise
exclusive jurisdiction, the House Electoral Tribunal must be independent.

Resolution of the House of Representatives violates the independence of the HRET.


The independence of the House Electoral Tribunal so zealously guarded by the framers of our
Constitution, would, however, by a myth and its proceedings a farce if the House of Representatives,
or the majority party therein, may shuffle and manipulate the political (as distinguished from the
judicial) component of the electoral tribunal, to serve the interests of the party in power.

The resolution of the House of Representatives removing Congressman Camasura from the House
Electoral Tribunal for disloyalty to the LDP, because he cast his vote in favor of the Nacionalista
Party's candidate, Bondoc, is a clear impairment of the constitutional prerogative of the House
Electoral Tribunal to be the sole judge of the election contest between Pineda and Bondoc.

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To sanction such interference by the House of Representatives in the work of the House Electoral
Tribunal would reduce the tribunal to a mere tool for the aggrandizement of the party in power (LDP)
which the three justices of the Supreme Court and the lone NP member would be powerless to stop. A
minority party candidate may as well abandon all hope at the threshold of the tribunal.

Disloyalty to party is not a valid cause for termination of membership in the HRET.
As judges, the members of the tribunal must be non-partisan. They must discharge their functions
with complete detachment, impartiality, and independence; even independence from the political
party to which they belong. Hence, "disloyalty to party" and "breach of party discipline," are not valid
grounds for the expulsion of a member of the tribunal. In expelling Congressman Camasura from the
HRET for having cast a conscience vote" in favor of Bondoc, based strictly on the result of the
examination and appreciation of the ballots and the recount of the votes by the tribunal, the House of
Representatives committed a grave abuse of discretion, an injustice, and a violation of the
Constitution. Its resolution of expulsion against Congressman Camasura is, therefore, null and void.

Expulsion of Congressman Camasura violates his right to security of tenure.


Another reason for the nullity of the expulsion resolution of the House of Representatives is that it
violates Congressman Camasura's right to security of tenure. Members of the HRET as "sole judge"
of congressional election contests, are entitled to security of tenure just as members of the judiciary
enjoy security of tenure under our Constitution (Sec. 2, Art. VIII, 1987 Constitution). Therefore,
membership in the House Electoral Tribunal may not be terminated except for a just cause, such as,
the expiration of the member's congressional term of office, his death, permanent disability,
resignation from the political party he represents in the tribunal, formal affiliation with another
political party, or removal for other valid cause. A member may not be expelled by the House of
Representatives for "party disloyalty" short of proof that he has formally affiliated with another
political group. As the records of this case fail to show that Congressman Camasura has become a
registered member of another political party, his expulsion from the LDP and from the HRET was not
for a valid cause, hence, it violated his right to security of tenure.

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Daza vs. Singson


Facts
After the congressional elections of May 11, 1987, the House of Representatives proportionally
apportioned its twelve seats in the Commission on Appointments among the several political parties
represented in that chamber. Petitioner Raul A. Daza was among those chosen and was listed as a
representative of the Liberal Party.

The LDP was reorganized, resulting in a political realignment in the House of Representatives.
Twenty-four members of the Liberal Party formally resigned from that party and joined the LDP,
thereby swelling its number to 159 and correspondingly reducing their former party to only 17
members.

On the basis of this development, the House of Representatives revised its representation in the
Commission on Appointments by withdrawing the seat occupied by the petitioner and giving this to
the newly-formed LDP. The chamber elected a new set of representatives consisting of the original
members except the petitioner and including therein respondent Luis C. Singson as the additional
member from the LDP.

The petitioner came to this Court to challenge his removal from the Commission on Appointments
and the assumption of his seat by the respondent.

Briefly stated, the contention of the petitioner is that he cannot be removed from the Commission on
Appointments because his election thereto is permanent under the doctrine announced in Cunanan v.
Tan. His claim is that the reorganization of the House representation in the said body is not based on a
permanent political realignment because the LDP is not a duly registered political party and has not
yet attained political stability.

Issue
Whether or not petitioners removal from the Commission on Appointments is valid.

Held
We resolve that issue in favor of the authority of the House of Representatives to change its
representation in the Commission on Appointments to reflect at any time the changes that may
transpire in the political alignments of its membership. It is understood that such changes must be
permanent and do not include the temporary alliances or factional divisions not involving severance
of political loyalties or formal disaffiliation and permanent shifts of allegiance from one political
party to another.

Ruling first on the jurisdictional issue, we hold that, contrary to the respondent's assertion, the Court
has the competence to act on the matter at bar. Our finding is that what is before us is not a
discretionary act of the House of Representatives that may not be reviewed by us because it is
political in nature. What is involved here is the legality, not the wisdom, of the act of that chamber in
removing the petitioner from the Commission on Appointments. In the case now before us, the
jurisdictional objection becomes even less tenable and decisive. The reason is that, even if we were to
assume that the issue presented before us was political in nature, we would still not be precluded from
resolving it under the expanded jurisdiction conferred upon us that now covers, in proper cases, even
the political question.

The petitioner vigorously argues that the LDP is not the permanent political party contemplated in the
Constitution because it has not been registered in accordance with Article IX-B, Section 2(5), in
relation to the other provisions of the Constitution. However, that argument boomeranged against the
petitioner. On that date, the Commission on Elections in an en banc resolution affirmed the resolution
of its First Division dated August 28, 1989, granting the petition of the LDP for registration as a
political party.

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The petitioner's contention that, even if registered, the party must still pass the test of time to prove its
permanence is not acceptable. If the petitioner's argument were to be pursued, the 157 members of the
LDP in the House of Representatives would have to be denied representation in the Commission on
Appointments and, for that matter, also the Electoral Tribunal. By the same token, the KBL, which
the petitioner says is now "history only," should also be written off. The independents also cannot be
represented because they belong to no political party. That would virtually leave the Liberal Party
only with all of its seventeen members to claim all the twelve seats of the House of Representatives in
the Commission on Appointments and the six legislative seats in the House Electoral Tribunal.

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Coseteng vs. Mitra


Facts
The congressional elections of May 11, 1987 resulted in the election to the House of Representatives
of the candidates of diverse political parties. Petitioner Anna Dominique M.L. Coseteng was the only
candidate elected under the banner of KAIBA. The House of Representatives, upon nomination by the
Majority Floor Leader, Cong. Francisco Sumulong, elected from the Coalesced Majority, eleven (11)
out of twelve (12) congressmen to represent the House in the Commission on Appointments. The
House elected Honorable Roque Ablan, Jr., KBL, as the twelfth member of the Commission on
Appointments, representing the Coalesced Minority in the House.

A year later, the LDP was organized as a political party. As 158 out of 202 members of the House of
Representatives formally affiliated with the LDP, the House committees, including the House
representation in the Commission on Appointments, had to be reorganized.

Petitioner Coseteng wrote a letter to Speaker Ramon Mitra requesting that as representative of
KAIBA, she be appointed as a member of the Commission on Appointments and House Electoral.
Nine (9) congressmen endorsed her request.

Congresswoman Coseteng and her party, the KAIBA, filed this Petition for Extraordinary Legal Writs
(which may be considered as a petition for quo warranto and injunction) praying this Court to declare
as null and void the election of respondent Ablan, Verano-Yap, Romero, Cuenco, Mercado, Bandon,
Cabochan, Imperial, Lobregat, Beltran, Locsin, and Singson, as members of the Commission on
Appointments, to enjoin them from acting as such and to enjoin also the other respondents from
recognizing them as members of the Commission on Appointments on the theory that their election to
that Commission violated the constitutional mandate of proportional representation

Petitioner Coseteng further alleged that she is qualified to sit in the Commission on Appointments as a
representative of the Minority because she has the support of nine (9) other congressmen and
congresswomen of the Minority.

Issue
Whether or not Coseteng is entitled to a seat in the Commission on Appointments.

Held
After deliberating on the petition and the comments of the respondents, we hold that the petition
should be dismissed, not because it raises a political question, which it does not, but because the
revision of the House representation in the Commission on Appointments is based on proportional
representation of the political parties therein as provided in Section 18, Article VI of the 1987
Constitution.

The composition of the House membership in the Commission on Appointments was based on
proportional representation of the political parties in the House. There are 160 members of the LDP in
the House. They represent 79% of the House membership (which may be rounded out to 80%). Eighty
percent (80%) of 12 members in the Commission on Appointments would equal 9.6 members, which
may be rounded out to ten (10) members from the LDP. The remaining two seats were apportioned to
the LP (respondent Lorna Verano-Yap) as the next largest party in the Coalesced Majority and the
KBL (respondent Roque Ablan) as the principal opposition party in the House. There is no doubt that
this apportionment of the House membership in the Commission on Appointments was done "on the
basis of proportional representation of the political parties therein."

The other political parties or groups in the House, such as petitioner's KAIBA (which is presumably a
member also of the Coalesced Majority), are bound by the majority's choices. Even if KAIBA were to
be considered as an opposition party, its lone member (petitioner Coseteng) represents only .4% or
less than 1% of the House membership, hence, she is not entitled to one of the 12 House seats in the
Commission on Appointments. To be able to claim proportional membership in the Commission on

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Appointments, a political party should represent at least 8.4% of the House membership, i.e., it should
have been able to elect at least 17 congressmen or congresswomen.

The endorsements of the nine (9) congressmen and congresswomen in favor of the petitioner's
election to the Commission are inconsequential because they are not members of her party and they
signed identical endorsements in favor of her rival, respondent Congresswoman Verano-Yap.

There is no merit in the petitioner's contention that the House members in the Commission on
Appointments should have been nominated and elected by their respective political parties. The
petition itself shows that they were nominated by their respective floor leaders in the House. They
were elected by the House (not by their party) as provided in Section 18, Article VI of the
Constitution. The validity of their election to the Commission on Appointments eleven (11) from
the Coalesced Majority and one from the minority is unassailable.

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Guingona vs. Gonzales


Facts
The resulting composition of the senate based on the rule of proportional representation of each
political party with elected representatives in the Senate, is as follows:

Political Party/ Proportional & Political Coalition Membership Representatives


LDP 7.5 members NPC 2.5 members LAKAS-NUCD 1.5 members
LP-PDP-LABAN .5 members

Senator Romulo nominated, on behalf of the LDP, eight (8) senators for membership in the
Commission on Appointments. The nomination of the eight senators was objected to by Petitioner,
Senator Guingona and Senator John Osmea, in representation of the NPC. To resolve the impasse,
Senator Arturo Tolentino proposed a compromise to the effect that Senate elect 12 members to the
Commission on Appointments, eight coming from the LDP, two coming from NPC, one coming from
the Liberal Party, with the understanding that there are strong reservations against this proportion of
these numbers so that if later on in action in the Supreme Court, if any party is found to have an
excess in representation, and if any party is found to have a deficiency in representation, that party
will be entitled to nominate and have elected by this body its additional representatives.

The proposed compromise above stated was a temporary arrangement and it was approved. The
elected members consisted of eight LDP, one LP-PDP-LABAN, two NPC and one LAKAS-NUCD.
Senator Teofisto Guingona. Jr. filed a petition for the issuance of a writ of prohibition to prohibit the
respondent Senate President Neptali Gonzales, as ex-officio Chairman of the Commission on
Appointments, from recognizing the membership of Senators Alberto Romulo as the eight senator
elected by the LDP, and Wigberto E. Taada, as the lone member representing the LP-PDP-LABAN,
in the Commission on Appointments, on the ground that the proposed compromise of Senator
Tolentino was violative of the rule of proportional representation, and that it is the right of the
minority political parties in the Senate, consistent with the Constitution, to combine their fractional
representation in the Commission on Appointments to complete one seat therein, and to decide who,
among the senators in their ranks, shall be additionally nominated and elected thereto.

Issue
Whether or not the composition of the Commission on Appointments was constitutional.

Held
Unconstitutional.

The problem is what to do with the fraction of .5 or 1/2 to which each of the parties is entitled. The
LDP majority in the Senate converted a fractional half membership into a whole membership of one
senator by adding one half or .5 to 7.5 to be able to elect Senator Romulo. In so doing one other
party's fractional membership was correspondingly reduced leaving the latter's representation in the
Commission on Appointments to less than their proportional representation in the Senate. This is
clearly a violation of Section 18 because it is no longer in compliance with its mandate that
membership in the Commission be based on the proportional representation of the political parties.
The election of Senator Romulo gave more representation to the LDP and reduced the representation
of one political party either the LAKAS-NUCD or the NPC.

On the claim of Senator Taada that he has a right to be elected as a member of the Commission on
Appointments because of: (a) the physical impossibility of dividing a person, so that the fractional
membership must be rounded up into one senator; (b) being the sole elected senator of his party, his
party is entitled to be represented in the Commission on Appointments; (c) having been elected
senator, rounding up into one full senator his fractional membership is consistent with the provision
and spirit of the Constitution and would be in full accord with the principle of republicanism that
emphasizes democracy. In the present case, if there were political parties in the Senate, and We
follow Senators Taada's claim that he is entitled to full membership as lone representative of his

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party, We have the anomaly of having 13 senators, where the Constitution allows only twelve (12) in
the Commission on Appointments.

We find the respondents' claim to membership in the Commission on Appointments by nomination


and election of the LDP majority in the Senate as not in accordance with Section 18 of Article VI of
the 1987 Constitution and therefore violative of the same because it is not in compliance with the
requirements that twelve senators shall be elected on the basis of proportional representation of the
resulting fractional membership of the political parties represented therein. To disturb the resulting
fractional membership of the political parties in the Commission on Appointments by adding together
two halves to make a whole is a breach of the rule on proportional representation because it will give
the LDP an added member in the Commission by utilizing the fractional membership of the minority
political party, who is deprived of half a representation.

The provision of Section 18 on proportional representation is mandatory in character and does not
leave any discretion to the majority party in the Senate to disobey or disregard the rule on
proportional representation.

A political party must have at least two senators in the Senate to be able to have representatives in the
Commission on Appointments, so that any number less than 2 will not entitle such a party a
membership in the Commission on Appointments.

We lay down the following guidelines accordingly:


1. In the Senate, political party or coalition must have at least two duly elected senators for
every seat in the Commission on Appointments.
2. Where there are more than two political parties represented in the Senate, a political
party/coalition with a single senator in the Senate cannot constitutionally claims seat in the
Commission.

We do not agree with respondents' claim that it is mandatory to elect 12 Senators to the Commission
on Appointments. The Constitution does not contemplate that the Commission on Appointments must
necessarily include twelve (12) senators and twelve (12) members of the House of Representatives.
What the Constitution requires is that there be at least a majority of the entire membership. It is quite
evident that the Constitution does not require the election and presence of twelve (12) senators and
twelve (12) members of the House of Representatives in order that the Commission may function.
Assuming that the Constitution intended that there be always twelve (12) senators in the Commission
on Appointments, the instant situation cannot be rectified by the Senate in disregard of the rule on
proportional representation.

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Arnault vs. Nazareno


Facts6
The Senate investigated the purchase by the government of two parcels of land, known as Buenavista
and Tambobong estates. An intriguing question that the Senate sought to resolve was the apparent
irregularity of the governments payment to one Ernest Burt, a non-resident American citizen, of the
total sum of Php1.5 million for his alleged interest in the two estates that only amounted to Php20,
000.00, which he seemed to have forfeited anyway long before. The Senate sought to determine who
were responsible for and who benefited from the transaction at the expense of the government.

Petitioner Jean Arnault, who acted, as agent of Ernest Burt in the subject transactions, was one of the
witnesses summoned by the Senate to its hearings. In the course of the investigation, the petitioner
repeatedly refused to divulge the name of the person to whom he gave the amount of Php440, 000.00,
which he withdrew from the Php1.5 million proceeds pertaining to Ernest Burt.

Arnault was therefore cited in contempt by the Senate and was committed to the custody of the Senate
Sergeant-at-Arms for imprisonment until he answers the questions. He thereafter filed a petition
for habeas corpus directly with the Supreme Court questioning the validity of his detention.

Issue
1. Whether or not the questions propounded were within Congress power.
2. Whether or not Congress has the power to punish Arnault for contempt.

Held
1. Within Congress power
2. Has the power

Since, as we have noted, the Congress of the Philippines has a wider range of legislative field than
either the Congress of the United States or a State Legislature, we think it is correct to say that the
field of inquiry into which it may enter is also wider. It would be difficult to define any limits by
which the subject matter of its inquiry can be bounded. It is not necessary to do so in this case. Suffice
it to say that it must be coextensive with the range of the legislative power.

In the present case the jurisdiction of the Senate, thru the Special Committee created by it, to
investigate the Buenavista and Tambobong Estates deal is not challenged by the petitioner; and we
entertain no doubt as to the Senate's authority to do so and as to the validity of Resolution No. 8
hereinabove quoted.

First He contends that the Senate has no power to punish him for contempt for refusing to reveal the
name of the person to whom he gave the P440,000, because such information is immaterial to, and
will not serve, any intended or purported legislation and his refusal to answer the question has not
embarrassed, obstructed, or impeded the legislative process. It is argued that since the investigating
committee has already rendered its report and has made all its recommendations as to what legislative
measures should be taken pursuant to its findings, there is no necessity to force the petitioner to give
the information desired other than that mentioned in its report.

Once an inquiry is admitted or established to be within the jurisdiction of a legislative body to make,
we think the investigating committee has the power to require a witness to answer any question
pertinent to that inquiry, subject of course to his constitutional right against self-incrimination. The
inquiry, to be within the jurisdiction of the legislative body to make, must be material or necessary to
the exercise of a power in it vested by the Constitution, such as to legislate, or to expel a Member; and
every question which the investigator is empowered to coerce a witness to answer must be material or
pertinent to the subject of the inquiry or investigation. So a witness may not be coerced to answer a
question that obviously has no relation to the subject of the inquiry. Its direct relation to any proposed

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or possible legislation must determine the materiality of the question. The reason is, that the necessity
or lack of necessity for legislative action and the form and character of the action itself are determined
by the sum total of the information to be gathered as a result of the investigation, and not by a fraction
of such information elicited from a single question.

In this connection, it is suggested by counsel for the respondents that the power of the Court is limited
to determining whether the legislative body has jurisdiction to institute the inquiry or investigation;
that once that jurisdiction is conceded, this Court cannot control the exercise of that jurisdiction; and
it is insinuated, that the ruling of the Senate on the materiality of the question propounded to the
witness is not subject to review by this Court under the principle of the separation of powers.
However, we are of the opinion that where the alleged immateriality of the information sought by the
legislative body from a witness is relied upon to contest its jurisdiction, the court is in duty bound to
pass upon the contention. The fact that the legislative body has jurisdiction or the power to make the
inquiry would not preclude judicial intervention to correct a clear abuse of discretion in the exercise
of that power.

Applying the criterion laid down in the last two preceding paragraphs to the resolution of the issue
under consideration, we find that the question for the refusal to answer which the petitioner was held
in contempt by the Senate is pertinent to the matter under inquiry. In fact, this is not and cannot be
disputed. Senate Resolution No. 8, the validity of which is not challenged by the petitioner, requires
the Special Committee, among other things, to determine the parties responsible for the Buenavista
and Tambobong estates deal, and it is obvious that the name of the person to whom the witness gave
the P440,000 involved in said deal is pertinent to that determination it is in fact the very thing
sought to be determined. The contention is not that the question is impertinent to the subject of the
inquiry but that it has no relation or materiality to any proposed legislation. We have already
indicated that it is not necessary for the legislative body to show that every question
propounded to a witness is material to any proposed or possible legislation; what is required is
that is that it be pertinent to the matter under inquiry.

If the subject of investigation before the committee is within the range of legitimate legislative inquiry
and the proposed testimony of the witness called relates to that subject, obedience, to its process may
be enforced by the committee by imprisonment.

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Sabio vs. Gordon


Facts7
When President Aquino came to power, she issued E.O. No. 1 which established the Presidential
Commission on Good Government (PCGG). The task of PCGG is to recover the ill-gotten wealth
accumulated by the deposed President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

Section 4 (b) of E.O. No. 1 provides that: "No member or staff of the Commission shall be required to
testify or produce evidence in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding concerning
matters within its official cognizance." Apparently, the purpose is to ensure PCGG's unhampered
performance of its task.

Years later, on February 20, 2006, Senator Miriam Santiago introduced Senate Resolution No. 455
directing an inquiry in aid of legislation on the anomalous losses incurred by the POTC,
PHILCOMSAT, and PHC due to the alleged improprieties in their operations by their respective
Board of Directors. The resolution was referred to the Senate Committee on Government
Corporations and Public Enterprises.

Chief of Staff Rio C. Inocencio, under the authority of Senator Richard J. Gordon, wrote Chairman
Camilo L. Sabio of the PCGG, inviting him to be one of the resource persons in the public meeting
jointly conducted by the Senate Committee to deliberate on Senate Res. No. 455.

On May 9, 2006, Chairman Sabio declined the invitation because of prior commitment.7 At the same
time, he invoked Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1

Senator Gordon issued a Subpoena Ad Testificandum, approved by Senate President Manuel Villar,
requiring Chairman Sabio and PCGG Commissioners Ricardo Abcede, Nicasio Conti, Tereso
Javier and Narciso Nario to appear in the public hearing scheduled on August 23, 2006 and testify on
what they know relative to the matters specified in Senate Res. No. 455.

Again, Chairman Sabio refused to appear. In his letter to Senator Gordon dated August 18, 2006, he
reiterated his earlier position, invoking Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1.

This prompted Senator Gordon to issue an Order dated September 7, 2006 requiring Chairman Sabio
and Commissioners Abcede, Conti, Javier and Nario to show cause why they should not be cited in
contempt of the Senate. The PCGG Commissioners sent their explanation but the Senate was
unconvinced. Chairman Sabio was arrested and detained in the Senate premises.

Chairman Sabio then filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus. The Senate, in its response, claimed
that Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 has already been repealed by the Constitution granting Congress the
power to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation.

Issue
Whether or not Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 is constitutional.

Held
Unconstitutional

Crucial to the resolution of the present petitions is the fundamental issue of whether Section 4(b) of
E.O. No. 1 is repealed by the 1987 Constitution. Perched on one arm of the scale of justice is Article
VI, Section 21 of the 1987 Constitution granting respondent Senate Committees the power of
legislative inquiry.


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On the other arm of the scale is Section 4(b) of E.O. No.1 limiting such power of legislative inquiry
by exempting all PCGG members or staff from testifying in any judicial, legislative or administrative
proceeding, thus:
No member or staff of the Commission shall be required to testify or produce evidence in any judicial,
legislative or administrative proceeding concerning matters within its official cognizance.

Notably, the 1987 Constitution recognizes the power of investigation, not just of Congress, but also of
"any of its committee." This is significant because it constitutes a direct conferral of investigatory
power upon the committees and it means that the mechanisms which the Houses can take in order to
effectively perform its investigative function are also available to the committees.

It can be said that the Congress' power of inquiry has gained more solid existence and expansive
construal. The Court's high regard to such power is rendered more evident in Senate v. Ermita, where
it categorically ruled that "the power of inquiry is broad enough to cover officials of the executive
branch." Verily, the Court reinforced the doctrine in Arnault that "the operation of government,
being a legitimate subject for legislation, is a proper subject for investigation" and that "the
power of inquiry is co-extensive with the power to legislate."

Considering these jurisprudential instructions, we find Section 4(b) directly repugnant with Article VI,
Section 21. Section 4(b) exempts the PCGG members and staff from the Congress' power of
inquiry. This cannot be countenanced. Nowhere in the Constitution is any provision granting such
exemption. The Congress' power of inquiry, being broad, encompasses everything that concerns the
administration of existing laws as well as proposed or possibly needed statutes. It even extends "to
government agencies created by Congress and officers whose positions are within the power of
Congress to regulate or even abolish." PCGG belongs to this class.

Certainly, a mere provision of law cannot pose a limitation to the broad power of Congress, in the
absence of any constitutional basis.

Incidentally, an argument repeated by Chairman Sabio is that respondent Senate Committees have no
power to punish him and his Commissioners for contempt of the Senate.

Article VI, Section 21 grants the power of inquiry not only to the Senate and the House of
Representatives, but also to any of their respective committees. The conferral of the legislative
power of inquiry upon any committee of Congress must carry with it all powers necessary and proper
for its effective discharge.

Meanwhile, with respect to G.R. No. 174177, the petition of Philcomsat Holdings Corporation and its
directors and officers, this Court holds that the respondent Senate Committees' inquiry does not
violate their right to privacy and right against self-incrimination.

One important limitation on the Congress' power of inquiry is that "the rights of persons appearing
in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected." This is just another way of saying that the
power of inquiry must be "subject to the limitations placed by the Constitution on government
action." As held in Barenblatt v. United States, "the Congress, in common with all the other
branches of the Government, must exercise its powers subject to the limitations placed by the
Constitution on governmental action, more particularly in the context of this case, the relevant
limitations of the Bill of Rights."

First is the right to privacy. The right to privacy is not absolute where there is an overriding
compelling state interest. Anent the right against self-incrimination, it must be emphasized that this
right maybe invoked by the said directors and officers of Philcomsat Holdings Corporation only when
the incriminating question is being asked, since they have no way of knowing in advance the
nature or effect of the questions to be asked of them." That this right may possibly be violated or
abused is no ground for denying respondent Senate Committees their power of inquiry.

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Senate vs. Ermita


Facts8
The Senate invited several officials of the Executive Department to appear as resource speakers in a
public hearing on the North Rail Project. The Senate Committee on National Defense and Security
also invited several AFP officials to attend as resource persons in a public hearing regarding electoral
fraud and wire-tapping.

The AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Senga, by letter, requested a postponement of the hearing due to a
pressing operational situation. Executive Secretary Ermita, requesting the postponement of the
hearing, also sent a letter to afford said officials ample time and opportunity to study and prepare for
the various issues so that they may better enlighten the Senate Committee on its investigation. The
President of the North Luzon Railways Corporation also requested a postponement until a copy of the
report of the UP Law Center on the contract agreements relative to the project had been secured.
Senate President Drilon sent a letter back to Ermita saying that the postponement could not be granted.

Later, President Arroyo issued E.O. 464, entitled, Ensuring Observance Of The Principle Of
Separation Of Powers, Adherence To The Rule On Executive Privilege And Respect For The Rights
Of Public Officials Appearing In Legislative Inquiries In Aid Of Legislation Under The Constitution,
And For Other Purposes. The order required all heads of department to secure the consent of the
President before appearing in either House of Congress. The executive order was made to apply even
to senior officials of executive departments who in the judgment of the department heads are covered
by the executive privilege. Both Ermita and Senga bow out of their respective Senate public hearings
using this order.

The public hearing pushed through, regardless, with only two AFP officers attending. These two
officers, for defying the order of the President, were relieved of their military posts and made to face
court martial proceedings. Ermita sent a letter of regrets for the govt officials who did not attend by
reason of E.O. 464. The North Rail President also sent a similar letter, also citing E.O. 464 for his
failure to attend. Several investigations and hearings conducted by the Senate and/or its committees
suffered the same effect: officials who claimed to be covered under E.O. 464 did not attend because
they did not secure the clearance therein required.

Issue
1. Whether or not Section 1 of the E.O is valid.
2. Whether or not Section 3 in relation to Section 2 of the E.O is valid.

Held
1. Valid
2. Unconstitutional

E.O. 464, to the extent that it bars the appearance of executive officials before Congress, deprives
Congress of the information in the possession of these officials. To resolve the question of whether
such withholding of information violates the Constitution, consideration of the general power of
Congress to obtain information, otherwise known as the power of inquiry, is in order.

Section 21, Article VI establishes crucial safeguards that proscribe the legislative power of inquiry.
The provision requires that the inquiry be done in accordance with the Senate or Houses duly
published rules of procedure, necessarily implying the constitutional infirmity of an inquiry conducted
without duly published rules of procedure. Section 21 also mandates that the rights of persons
appearing in or affected by such inquiries be respected, an imposition that obligates Congress to
adhere to the guarantees in the Bill of Rights.


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Even where the inquiry is in aid of legislation, there are still recognized exemptions to the power of
inquiry, which exemptions fall under the rubric of "executive privilege."

Executive privilege

Schwartz defines executive privilege as "the power of the Government to withhold information from
the public, the courts, and the Congress." Similarly, Rozell defines it as "the right of the President and
high-level executive branch officers to withhold information from Congress, the courts, and
ultimately the public.

One variety of the privilege, Tribe explains, is the state secrets privilege invoked by U.S. Presidents,
beginning with Washington, on the ground that the information is of such nature that its disclosure
would subvert crucial military or diplomatic objectives. Another variety is the informers privilege, or
the privilege of the Government not to disclose the identity of persons who furnish information of
violations of law to officers charged with the enforcement of that law. Finally, a generic privilege for
internal deliberations has been said to attach to intragovernmental documents reflecting advisory
opinions, recommendations and deliberations comprising part of a process by which governmental
decisions and policies are formulated.

That a type of information is recognized as privileged does not, however, necessarily mean that it
would be considered privileged in all instances. Executive privilege, whether asserted against
Congress, the courts, or the public, is recognized only in relation to certain types of information of a
sensitive character. While executive privilege is a constitutional concept, a claim thereof may be valid
or not depending on the ground invoked to justify it and the context in which it is made. Noticeably
absent is any recognition that executive officials are exempt from the duty to disclose information by
the mere fact of being executive officials. Indeed, the extraordinary character of the exemptions
indicates that the presumption inclines heavily against executive secrecy and in favor of disclosure.

Validity of Section 1

Section 1 is similar to Section 3 in that both require the officials covered by them to secure the
consent of the President prior to appearing before Congress. There are significant differences between
the two provisions, however, which constrain this Court to discuss the validity of these provisions
separately.

Section 1 specifically applies to department heads. It does not, unlike Section 3, require a prior
determination by any official whether they are covered by E.O. 464. The President herself has,
through the challenged order, made the determination that they are. Further, unlike also Section 3, the
coverage of department heads under Section 1 is not made to depend on the department heads
possession of any information which might be covered by executive privilege. In fact, in marked
contrast to Section 3 vis--vis Section 2, there is no reference to executive privilege at all. Rather, the
required prior consent under Section 1 is grounded on Article VI, Section 22 of the Constitution on
what has been referred to as the question hour

Question hour (Article VI Section 22)

The framers of the 1987 Constitution removed the mandatory nature of such appearance during the
question hour in the present Constitution so as to conform more fully to a system of separation of
powers. To that extent, the question hour, as it is presently understood in this jurisdiction, departs
from the question period of the parliamentary system. That department heads may not be required to
appear in a question hour does not, however, mean that the legislature is rendered powerless to elicit
information from them in all circumstances. In fact, in light of the absence of a mandatory question
period, the need to enforce Congress right to executive information in the performance of its
legislative function becomes more imperative.

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Sections 21 and 22, therefore, while closely related and complementary to each other, should not be
considered as pertaining to the same power of Congress. One specifically relates to the power to
conduct inquiries in aid of legislation, the aim of which is to elicit information that may be used for
legislation, while the other pertains to the power to conduct a question hour, the objective of which is
to obtain information in pursuit of Congress oversight function.

When Congress merely seeks to be informed on how department heads are implementing the statutes
that it has issued, its right to such information is not as imperative as that of the President to whom, as
Chief Executive, such department heads must give a report of their performance as a matter of duty.
In such instances, Section 22, in keeping with the separation of powers, states that Congress may only
request their appearance. Nonetheless, when the inquiry in which Congress requires their appearance
is "in aid of legislation" under Section 21, the appearance is mandatory.

In fine, the oversight function of Congress may be facilitated by compulsory process only to the
extent that it is performed in pursuit of legislation.

When Congress exercises its power of inquiry, the only way for department heads to exempt
themselves therefrom is by a valid claim of privilege. They are not exempt by the mere fact that they
are department heads. Only one executive official may be exempted from this power the President
on whom executive power is vested, hence, beyond the reach of Congress except through the power
of impeachment. It is based on her being the highest official of the executive branch, and the due
respect accorded to a co-equal branch of government which is sanctioned by a long-standing custom.

By the same token, members of the Supreme Court are also exempt from this power of inquiry.
Unlike the Presidency, judicial power is vested in a collegial body; hence, each member thereof is
exempt on the basis not only of separation of powers but also on the fiscal autonomy and the
constitutional independence of the judiciary.

Section 1 of the E.O.

Section 1, in view of its specific reference to Section 22 of Article VI of the Constitution and the
absence of any reference to inquiries in aid of legislation, must be construed as limited in its
application to appearances of department heads in the question hour contemplated in the provision of
said Section 22 of Article VI. The requirement then to secure presidential consent under Section 1,
limited as it is only to appearances in the question hour, is valid on its face. For under Section 22,
Article VI of the Constitution, the appearance of department heads in the question hour is
discretionary on their part.

Section 1 cannot, however, be applied to appearances of department heads in inquiries in aid of


legislation. Congress is not bound in such instances to respect the refusal of the department head to
appear in such inquiry, unless a valid claim of privilege is subsequently made, either by the President
herself or by the Executive Secretary.

Section 2 and 3 of the E.O.

Section 3 of E.O. 464 requires all the public officials enumerated in Section 2(b) to secure the consent
of the President prior to appearing before either house of Congress.

Upon a determination by the designated head of office or by the President that an official is "covered
by the executive privilege," such official is subjected to the requirement that he first secure the
consent of the President prior to appearing before Congress. This requirement effectively bars the
appearance of the official concerned unless the President permits the same. The proviso allowing the
President to give its consent means nothing more than that the President may reverse a prohibition
that already exists by virtue of E.O. 464.

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In view thereof, whenever an official invokes E.O. 464 to justify his failure to be present, such
invocation must be construed as a declaration to Congress that the President, or a head of office
authorized by the President, has determined that the requested information is privileged, and that the
President has not reversed such determination. Such declaration, however, even without mentioning
the term "executive privilege," amounts to an implied claim that the information is being withheld by
the executive branch, by authority of the President, on the basis of executive privilege. Verily, there is
an implied claim of privilege.

The letter dated September 28, 2005 of respondent Executive Secretary Ermita to Senate President
Drilon illustrates the implied nature of the claim of privilege authorized by E.O. 464. It reads:
In connection with the inquiry to be conducted by the Committee of the Whole regarding the Northrail Project
of the North Luzon Railways Corporation on 29 September 2005 at 10:00 a.m., please be informed that officials
of the Executive Department invited to appear at the meeting will not be able to attend the same without the
consent of the President, pursuant to Executive Order No. 464 (s. 2005), entitled "Ensuring Observance Of The
Principle Of Separation Of Powers, Adherence To The Rule On Executive Privilege And Respect For The Rights
Of Public Officials Appearing In Legislative Inquiries In Aid Of Legislation Under The Constitution, And For
Other Purposes". Said officials have not secured the required consent from the President. (Underscoring
supplied)

The letter does not explicitly invoke executive privilege or that the matter on which these officials are
being requested to be resource persons falls under the recognized grounds of the privilege to justify
their absence. Nor does it expressly state that in view of the lack of consent from the President under
E.O. 464, they cannot attend the hearing.

While the validity of claims of privilege must be assessed on a case-to-case basis, examining the
ground invoked therefor and the particular circumstances surrounding it, there is, in an implied claim
of privilege, a defect that renders it invalid per se. By its very nature, and as demonstrated by the letter
of respondent Executive Secretary quoted above, the implied claim authorized by Section 3 of E.O.
464 is not accompanied by any specific allegation of the basis thereof. Certainly, Congress has the
right to know why the executive considers the requested information privileged. Absent then a
statement of the specific basis of a claim of executive privilege, there is no way of determining
whether it falls under one of the traditional privileges, or whether, given the circumstances in which it
is made, it should be respected.

The claim of privilege under Section 3 of E.O. 464 in relation to Section 2(b) is thus invalid per se. It
is not asserted. It is merely implied. Instead of providing precise and certain reasons for the claim, it
merely invokes E.O. 464, coupled with an announcement that the President has not given her consent.
It is woefully insufficient for Congress to determine whether the withholding of information is
justified under the circumstances of each case. It severely frustrates the power of inquiry of Congress.

In fine, Section 3 and Section 2(b) of E.O. 464 must be invalidated.


Petitioners, however, assert as another ground for invalidating the challenged order the alleged
unlawful delegation of authority to the heads of offices in Section 2(b). Petitioner Senate of the
Philippines, in particular claims, only the President can assert executive privilege to withhold
information from Congress.

Section 2(b) in relation to Section 3 virtually provides that, once the head of office determines that a
certain information is privileged, such determination is presumed to bear the Presidents authority and
has the effect of prohibiting the official from appearing before Congress, subject only to the express
pronouncement of the President that it is allowing the appearance of such official. These provisions
thus allow the President to authorize claims of privilege by mere silence.

Such presumptive authorization, however, is contrary to the exceptional nature of the privilege. In
light of this highly exceptional nature of the privilege, the Court finds it essential to limit to the
President the power to invoke the privilege. In other words, the President may not authorize her
subordinates to exercise such power. There is even less reason to uphold such authorization in the

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instant case where the authorization is not explicit but by mere silence. Section 3, in relation to
Section 2(b), is further invalid on this score.

It follows, therefore, that when an official is being summoned by Congress on a matter which, in his
own judgment, might be covered by executive privilege, he must be afforded reasonable time to
inform the President or the Executive Secretary of the possible need for invoking the privilege. This is
necessary in order to provide the President or the Executive Secretary with fair opportunity to
consider whether the matter indeed calls for a claim of executive privilege. If, after the lapse of that
reasonable time, neither the President nor the Executive Secretary invokes the privilege, Congress is
no longer bound to respect the failure of the official to appear before Congress and may then opt to
avail of the necessary legal means to compel his appearance.

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Neri vs. Senate Committee on Accountability


Facts9
Petitioner appeared before respondent committees and testified for about 11 hours on matters
concerning the NBN Project, which was awarded by DOTC to ZTE. Petitioner disclosed that then
COMELEC Chairman Abalos offered him 200 million in exchange for his approval of the NBN
Project. He further narrated that he informed PGMA of the bribery attempt and that she instructed him
not to accept the bribe. However, when probed further on PGMA and petitioners discussions relating
to the NBN Project, petitioner refused to answer, invoking executive privilege. He refused to
answer questions on:
1. W/N PGMA followed up on the Project
2. W/N PGMA directed him to prioritize the project
3. W/N PGMA directed him to approve it.

Petitioner was once against required to appear and testify to answer the 3 questions. Sec. Ed Ermita
wrote to respondent Committees and requested them to dispense with petitioners testimony on the
ground of executive privilege. The essence of the letter: The context in which executive privilege is
being invoked is that the information sought to be disclosed might impair our diplomatic as well as
economic relations with the Peoples Republic of China.

So, petitioner did not appear in the Nov. 2007 hearing, upon orders of the president invoking
executive privilege. Respondent issued a show-cause letter. Petitioner explained that it was not his
intention to ignore the hearing and manifested his willingness to appear and testify should there be
new matters to be taken up, aside from the 3 questions. Nevertheless, respondent still cited petitioner
in contempt.

Issue
Whether or not the 3 questions asked are covered by Executive Privilege.

Held
Covered.

The claim of executive privilege is highly recognized in cases where the subject of inquiry relates to a
power textually committed by the Constitution to the President, such as the area of military and
foreign relations. Under our Constitution, the President is the repository of the commander-in-chief
appointing, pardoning, and diplomatic powers. Consistent with the doctrine of separation of powers,
the information relating to these powers may enjoy greater confidentiality than others.

The case of Nixon, In Re Sealed Case and Judicial Watch, somehow provide the elements of
presidential communications privilege, to wit:
1. The protected communication must relate to a quintessential and non-delegable presidential
power.
2. The communication must be authored or solicited and received by a close advisor of the
President or the President himself. The judicial test is that an advisor must be in operational
proximity with the President.
3. The presidential communications privilege remains a qualified privilege that may be
overcome by a showing of adequate need, such that the information sought likely contains
important evidence and by the unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate
investigating authority.

In the case at bar, Executive Secretary Ermita premised his claim of executive privilege on the ground
that the communications elicited by the three (3) questions fall under conversation and
correspondence between the President and public officials necessary in her executive and policy
decision-making process and, that the information sought to be disclosed might impair our diplomatic

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as well as economic relations with the Peoples Republic of China. Simply put, the bases are
presidential communications privilege and executive privilege on matters relating to diplomacy or
foreign relations.

Using the above elements, we are convinced that, indeed, the communications elicited by the three (3)
questions are covered by the presidential communications privilege. First, the communications relate
to a quintessential and non-delegable power of the President, i.e. the power to enter into an executive
agreement with other countries. This authority of the President to enter into executive agreements
without the concurrence of the Legislature has traditionally been recognized in Philippine
jurisprudence. Second, a close advisor of the President receives the communications. Under the
operational proximity test, petitioner can be considered a close advisor, being a member of President
Arroyos cabinet. And third, there is no adequate showing of a compelling need that would justify the
limitation of the privilege and of the unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate
investigating authority.

The third element deserves a lengthy discussion.

Here, the record is bereft of any categorical explanation from respondent Committees to show a
compelling or critical need for the answers to the three (3) questions in the enactment of a law.
Instead, the questions veer more towards the exercise of the legislative oversight function under
Section 22 of Article VI rather than Section 21 of the same Article. In the present case, Executive
Secretary Ermita categorically claims executive privilege on the grounds of presidential
communications privilege in relation to her executive and policy decision-making process and
diplomatic secrets.

The respondent Committees should cautiously tread into the investigation of matters which may
present a conflict of interest that may provide a ground to inhibit the Senators participating in the
inquiry if later on an impeachment proceeding is initiated on the same subject matter of the present
Senate inquiry.

The claim of Executive Privilege is properly invoked

We now proceed to the issue -- whether the President properly invokes the claim. Jurisprudence
teaches that for the claim to be properly invoked, there must be a formal claim of privilege, lodged by
the head of the department that has control over the matter. A formal and proper claim of executive
privilege requires a precise and certain reason for preserving their confidentiality.

The Letter dated November 17, 2007 of Executive Secretary Ermita satisfies the requirement. It
serves as the formal claim of privilege. There, he expressly states that this Office is constrained to
invoke the settled doctrine of executive privilege as refined in Senate v. Ermita, and has advised
Secretary Neri accordingly. Obviously, he is referring to the Office of the President. That is more than
enough compliance. In Senate v. Ermita, a less categorical letter was even adjudged to be sufficient.

With regard to the existence of precise and certain reason, we find the grounds relied upon by
Executive Secretary Ermita specific enough so as not to leave respondent Committees in the dark on
how the requested information could be classified as privileged. The case of Senate v. Ermita only
requires that an allegation be made whether the information demanded involves military or diplomatic
secrets, closed-door Cabinet meetings, etc. The particular ground must only be specified. The
enumeration is not even intended to be comprehensive. The following statement of grounds satisfies
the requirement:
The context in which executive privilege is being invoked is that the information sought to be disclosed might
impair our diplomatic as well as economic relations with the Peoples Republic of China. Given the confidential
nature in which these information were conveyed to the President, he cannot provide the Committee any further
details of these conversations, without disclosing the very thing the privilege is designed to protect.

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At any rate, as held further in Senate v. Ermita, the Congress must not require the executive to state
the reasons for the claim with such particularity as to compel disclosure of the information which the
privilege is meant to protect. This is a matter of respect to a coordinate and co-equal department.

There was grave abuse of discretion

First, there being a legitimate claim of executive privilege, the issuance of the contempt Order suffers
from constitutional infirmity.

Second, respondent Committees did not comply with the requirement laid down in Senate v. Ermita
that the invitations should contain the possible needed statute that prompted the need for the inquiry,
along with the usual indication of the subject of inquiry and the questions relative to and in
furtherance thereof. Compliance with this requirement is imperative, both under Sections 21 and 22 of
Article VI of the Constitution. This must be so to ensure that the rights of both persons appearing in
or affected by such inquiry are respected as mandated by said Section 21 and by virtue of the express
language of Section 22. Unfortunately, despite petitioners repeated demands, respondent Committees
did not send him an advance list of questions.

Third, a reading of the transcript of respondent Committees January 30, 2008 proceeding reveals that
only a minority of the members of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee was present during the
deliberation. Clearly, the needed vote is a majority of all the members of the Committee. Apparently,
members who did not actually participate in the deliberation were made to sign the contempt Order.

Fourth, we find merit in the argument of the OSG that respondent Committees likewise violated
Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution, requiring that the inquiry be in accordance with the duly
published rules of procedure. Not having published its Rules of Procedure, the subject hearings in aid
of legislation conducted by the 14th Senate, are therefore, procedurally infirm.

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Neri vs. Senate Committee on Accountability (MR)


Facts10
The case is a motion for reconsideration of an earlier decision granting the petition for certiorari by
petitioner Romulo Neri against respondent Senate Committees on Accountability of Public Officers
and Investigations, Trade and Commerce, and National Defense and Security.

Issue
Whether or not the 3 questions asked are covered by Executive Privilege.

Held
Covered

Respondent Committees ardently argue that the Courts declaration that presidential communications
are presumptively privileged reverses the "presumption" laid down in Senate v. Ermita that "inclines
heavily against executive secrecy and in favor of disclosure." Obviously, the last sentence of the
above-quoted paragraph in Senate v. Ermita refers to the "exemption" being claimed by the executive
officials mentioned in Section 2(b) of E.O. No. 464, solely by virtue of their positions in the
Executive Branch. This means that when an executive official, who is one of those mentioned in the
said Sec. 2(b) of E.O. No. 464, claims to be exempt from disclosure, there can be no presumption of
authorization to invoke executive privilege given by the President to said executive official, such
that the presumption in this situation inclines heavily against executive secrecy and in favor of
disclosure.

In this case, it was the President herself, through Executive Secretary Ermita, who invoked executive
privilege on a specific matter involving an executive agreement between the Philippines and China,
which was the subject of the three (3) questions propounded to petitioner Neri in the course of the
Senate Committees investigation. Thus, if what is involved is the presumptive privilege of
presidential communications when invoked by the President on a matter clearly within the domain of
the Executive, the said presumption dictates that the same be recognized and be given preference or
priority, in the absence of proof of a compelling or critical need for disclosure by the one assailing
such presumption.

Respondent Committees claim that the communications elicited by the three (3) questions are
not covered by executive privilege because the elements of the presidential communications
privilege are not present.

First, respondent Committees contend that the power to secure a foreign loan does not relate to a
"quintessential and non-delegable presidential power," because the Constitution does not vest it in the
President alone, but also in the Monetary Board which is required to give its prior concurrence and to
report to Congress. The executive power to enter or not to enter into a contract to secure foreign loans
does not become less executive in nature because of conditions laid down in the Constitution. The
final decision in the exercise of the said executive power is still lodged in the Office of the President.

Second, respondent Committees also seek reconsideration of the application of the "doctrine of
operational proximity" for the reason that "it maybe misconstrued to expand the scope of the
presidential communications privilege to communications between those who are operationally
proximate to the President but who may have "no direct communications with her." In the case at bar,
the danger of expanding the privilege "to a large swath of the executive branch" (a fear apparently
entertained by respondents) is absent because the official involved here is a member of the Cabinet,
thus, properly within the term "advisor" of the President; in fact, her alter ego and a member of her
official family. Thus, respondent Committees fear that the scope of the privilege would be
unnecessarily expanded with the use of the operational proximity test is unfounded.


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Third, respondent Committees claim that the Court erred in upholding the Presidents invocation,
through the Executive Secretary, of executive privilege because (a) between respondent Committees
specific and demonstrated need and the Presidents generalized interest in confidentiality, there is a
need to strike the balance in favor of the former; and (b) in the balancing of interest, the Court
disregarded the provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution on government transparency,
accountability and disclosure of information. It must be stressed that the Presidents claim of
executive privilege is not merely founded on her generalized interest in confidentiality. The Letter
dated November 15, 2007 of Executive Secretary Ermita specified presidential communications
privilege in relation to diplomatic and economic relations with another sovereign nation as the
bases for the claim. No Executive can effectively discharge constitutional functions in the face of
intense and unchecked legislative incursion into the core of the Presidents decision-making process,
which inevitably would involve her conversations with a member of her Cabinet. Further, in
upholding executive privilege with respect to three (3) specific questions, did not in any way curb the
publics right to information or diminish the importance of public accountability and transparency.
The assailed Decision did not enjoin respondent Committees from inquiring into the NBN Project. All
that is expected from them is to respect matters that are covered by executive privilege.

Respondent Committees Failed to Show That the Communications Elicited by the Three
Questions Are Critical to the Exercise of their Functions

Whatever test we may apply, the starting point in resolving the conflicting claims between the
Executive and the Legislative Branches is the recognized existence of the presumptive presidential
communications privilege.

The presumption in favor of Presidential communications puts the burden on the respondent Senate
Committees to overturn the presumption by demonstrating their specific need for the information to
be elicited by the answers to the three (3) questions subject of this case, to enable them to craft
legislation. Here, there is simply a generalized assertion that the information is pertinent to the
exercise of the power to legislate and a broad and non-specific reference to pending Senate bills. It is
not clear what matters relating to these bills could not be determined without the said information
sought by the three (3) questions.

The general thrust and the tenor of the three (3) questions is to trace the alleged bribery to the Office
of the President. While it may be a worthy endeavor to investigate the potential culpability of high
government officials, including the President, in a given government transaction, it is simply not a
task for the Senate to perform. The role of the Legislature is to make laws, not to determine anyones
guilt of a crime or wrongdoing.

Respondent Committees Committed Grave Abuse of Discretion in Issuing the Contempt Order

Petitioners request to be furnished an advance copy of questions is a reasonable demand that should
have been granted by respondent Committees. Unfortunately, the Subpoena Ad Testificandum dated
November 13, 2007 made no specific reference to any pending Senate bill. It did not also inform
petitioner of the questions to be asked. As it were, the subpoena merely commanded him to "testify on
what he knows relative to the subject matter under inquiry."

In the assailed Decision, we said that there is a cloud of doubt as to the validity of the contempt order
because during the deliberation of the three (3) respondent Committees, only seven (7) Senators were
present. This number could hardly fulfill the majority requirement needed by respondent Committee
on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations which has a membership of seventeen (17)
Senators and respondent Committee on National Defense and Security which has a membership of
eighteen (18) Senators. Obviously the deliberation of the respondent Committees that led to the
issuance of the contempt order is flawed. Instead of being submitted to a full debate by all the
members of the respondent Committees, the contempt order was prepared and thereafter presented to
the other members for signing.

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We now proceed to respondent Committees fourth argument. Respondent Committees argue that the
Senate does not have to publish its Rules because the same was published in 1995 and in 2006.
Further, they claim that the Senate is a continuing body; thus, it is not required to republish the Rules,
unless the same is repealed or amended.

However, all pending matters and proceedings, i.e. unpassed bills and even legislative investigations,
of the Senate of a particular Congress are considered terminated upon the expiration of that Congress
and it is merely optional on the Senate of the succeeding Congress to take up such unfinished matters,
not in the same status, but as if presented for the first time.

The language of Section 21, Article VI of the Constitution requiring that the inquiry be conducted in
accordance with the duly published rules of procedure is categorical. It is incumbent upon the
Senate to publish the rules for its legislative inquiries in each Congress or otherwise make the
published rules clearly state that the same shall be effective in subsequent Congresses or until they are
amended or repealed to sufficiently put public on notice.

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Tolentino vs. Secretary of Finance11


Facts
The contention of petitioners is that in enacting Republic Act No. 7716, or the Expanded Value-
Added Tax Law, Congress violated the Constitution because, although H. No. 11197 had originated in
the House of Representatives, it was not passed by the Senate but was simply consolidated with the
Senate version (S. No. 1630) in the Conference Committee to produce the bill which the President
signed into law.

It appears that several bills were introduced in the House of Representatives seeking to amend certain
provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code relative to the value-added tax or VAT. These bills
were referred to the House Ways and Means Committee that recommended for approval a substitute
measure, H. No. 11197. The bill (H. No. 11197) was approved by the House of Representatives after
third and final reading.

It was sent to the Senate and later referred by that body to its Committee on Ways and Means. The
Senate Committee submitted its report recommending approval of S. No. 1630.

It was stated that the bill was being submitted "in substitution of Senate Bill No. 1129, taking into
consideration P.S. Res. No. 734 and H.B. No. 11197." The Senate began consideration of the bill (S.
No. 1630). It finished debates on the bill and approved it on second reading. On the same day, it
approved the bill on third reading by the affirmative votes of 13 of its members, with one abstention.

H. No. 11197 and its Senate version (S. No. 1630) were then referred to a conference committee
which, after meeting four times, recommended that "House Bill No. 11197, in consolidation with
Senate Bill No. 1630, be approved in accordance with the attached copy of the bill as reconciled and
approved by the conferees."

The Conference Committee bill, entitled "AN ACT RESTRUCTURING THE VALUE-ADDED
TAX (VAT) SYSTEM, WIDENING ITS TAX BASE AND ENHANCING ITS ADMINISTRATION
AND FOR THESE PURPOSES AMENDING AND REPEALING THE RELEVANT PROVISIONS
OF THE NATIONAL INTERNAL REVENUE CODE, AS AMENDED, AND FOR OTHER
PURPOSES," was thereafter approved by the House of Representatives and by the Senate.

Issue
Whether or not R.A. 7716 violated Section 24 of Art. VI of the Constitution.

Held
Did not violate.

First. Petitioners' contention is that Republic Act No. 7716 did not "originate exclusively" in the
House of Representatives as required by Art. VI, 24 of the Constitution, because it is in fact the
result of the consolidation of two distinct bills, H. No. 11197 and S. No. 1630. This means, according
to them, that to be considered as having originated in the House, Republic Act No. 7716 must retain
the essence of H. No. 11197.

This argument will not bear analysis. To begin with, it is not the law but the revenue bill which
is required by the Constitution to "originate exclusively" in the House of Representatives. It is
important to emphasize this, because a bill originating in the House may undergo such extensive
changes in the Senate that the result may be a rewriting of the whole. The possibility of a third version
by the conference committee will be discussed later. At this point, what is important to note is that, as
a result of the Senate action, a distinct bill may be produced. To insist that a revenue statute and
not only the bill which initiated the legislative process culminating in the enactment of the law
must substantially be the same as the House bill would be to deny the Senate's power not only to

11 Sir asked about the MR in this case (not in the syllabus, so beware).

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"concur with amendments" but also to "propose amendments." It would be to violate the coequality of
legislative power of the two houses of Congress and in fact make the House superior to the Senate.
Given, then, the power of the Senate to propose amendments, the Senate can propose its own version
even with respect to bills which are required by the Constitution to originate in the House.

It is insisted, however, that S. No. 1630 was passed not in substitution of H. No. 11197 but of another
Senate bill (S. No. 1129) earlier filed and that what the Senate did was merely to "take [H. No. 11197]
into consideration" in enacting S. No. 1630. There is really no difference between the Senate
preserving H. No. 11197 up to the enacting clause and then writing its own version following the
enacting clause (which, it would seem, petitioners admit is an amendment by substitution), and, on the
other hand, separately presenting a bill of its own on the same subject matter. In either case the result
are two bills on the same subject.

Indeed, what the Constitution simply means is that the initiative for filing revenue, tariff, or tax bills,
bills authorizing an increase of the public debt, private bills and bills of local application must come
from the House of Representatives.

Nor does the Constitution prohibit the filing in the Senate of a substitute bill in anticipation of its
receipt of the bill from the House, so long as action by the Senate as a body is withheld pending
receipt of the House bill. The Court cannot, therefore, understand the alarm expressed over the fact
that on March 1, 1993, eight months before the House passed H. No. 11197, S. No. 1129 had been
filed in the Senate. After all it does not appear that the Senate ever considered it. It was only after the
Senate had received H. No. 11197 on November 23, 1993 that the process of legislation in respect of
it began with the referral to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means of H. No. 11197 and the
submission by the Committee on February 7, 1994 of S. No. 1630. For that matter, if the question
were simply the priority in the time of filing of bills, the fact is that it was in the House that a bill (H.
No. 253) to amend the VAT law was first filed on July 22, 1992. Several other bills had been filed in
the House before S. No. 1129 was filed in the Senate, and H. No. 11197 was only a substitute of those
earlier bills.

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Garcia vs. Mata


Facts
Petitioner was a reserve officer on active duty with the Armed Forces of the Philippines until his
reversion to inactive status pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 2334. At the time of
reversion, Petitioner held the rank of Captain with a monthly emolument of P478.00, comprising his
base and longevity pay, quarters and subsistence allowances.

On June 18, 1955, the date when Republic Act No. 1382 took effect, petitioner had a total of 9 years,
4 months and 12 days of accumulated active commissioned service in the Armed Forces of the
Philippines. On July 11, 1956, the date when Republic Act 1600 took effect, petitioner had an
accumulated active commissioned service of 10 years, 5 months and 5 days in the Armed Forces of
the Philippines.

Petitioner's reversion to inactive status on 15 November 1960 was pursuant to the provisions of
Republic Act 2334, and such reversion was neither for cause, at his own request, nor after court-
martial proceedings. From 15 November 1960 up to the present, petitioner has been on inactive status
and as such, he has neither received any emoluments from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, nor
was he ever employed in the Government in any capacity.

As a consequence of his reversion to inactive status, petitioner filed the necessary petitions with the
offices of the AFP Chief of Staff, the Secretary of National Defense, and the President, respectively,
but received reply only from the Chief of Staff through the AFP Adjutant General.

The petitioner brought an action for "Mandamus and Recovery of a Sum of Money" in the court a quo
to compel the respondents Secretary of National Defense and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of
the Philippines to reinstate him in the active commissioned service of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines, to readjust his rank, and to pay all the emoluments and allowances due to him from the
time of his reversion to inactive status. The trial court dismissed the petition. The court ruled that
paragraph 11 of the "Special Provisions for the Armed Forces of the Philippines" in Republic Act
1600 is "invalid, unconstitutional and inoperative."

Issue
Whether or not the provision in R.A. 1600 is a rider.

Held
A rider.

The petitioner had a total of 9 years, 4 months and 12 days of accumulated active commissioned
service in the AFP when Republic Act 1382 took effect on June 18, 1955. Section I of this law
provided:
Reserve officers with at least ten years of active accumulated commissioned service who are still on active duty
at the time of the approval of this Act shall not be reverted into inactive status except for cause after proper
court-martial proceedings or upon their own request: Provided, That for purposes of computing the length of
service, six months or more of active service shall be considered one year.

The petitioner's accumulated active commissioned service was thus short of the minimum service
requirement prescribed in the aforequoted provision of R.A. 1382. While the petitioner was yet in the
active service, Republic Act 1600 was enacted into law. Paragraph 11 of the SPECIAL PROVISIONS
FOR THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES (Petitioner had 10 years accumulated service
by this time).

The petitioner consequently argues that his reversion to inactive status on November 15, 1960 was in
violation of the above quoted provision that prohibits the reversion to inactive status of reserve
officers on active duty with at least ten years of accumulated active commissioned service.

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On the other hand, the respondents contend that the said provision has no relevance or pertinence
whatsoever to the budget in question or to any appropriation item contained therein, and is therefore
proscribed by Art. VI, Sec. 19, par. 2 of the 1935 Constitution of the Philippines, which reads:
No provision or enactment shall be embraced in the general appropriation bill unless it relates specifically to
some particular appropriation therein; and any such provision or enactment shall be limited in its operation to
such appropriation.

A perusal of the challenged provision of R.A. 1600 fails to disclose its relevance or relation to any
appropriation item therein, or to the Appropriation Act as a whole. From the very first clause of
paragraph 11, which reads,
After the approval of this Act, and when there is no emergency, no reserve officer of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines may be called to a tour of active duty for more than two years during any period of five consecutive
years.

The incongruity and irrelevancy are already evident. While R.A. 1600 appropriated money for the
operation of the Government for the fiscal year 1956-1957, the said paragraph 11 refers to the
fundamental government policy matters of the calling to active duty and the reversion to inactive
status of reserve officers in the AFP. The incongruity and irrelevancy continue throughout the entire
paragraph.

In the language of the respondents-appellees, "it was indeed a non-appropriation item inserted in an
appropriation measure in violation of the constitutional inhibition against "riders" to the general
appropriation act." It was indeed a new and completely unrelated provision attached to the
Appropriation Act.

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Philippine Constitution Association vs. Enriquez


Facts
House Bill No. 10900, the General Appropriation Bill of 1994 (GAB of 1994), was passed and
approved by both houses of Congress on December 17, 1993. As passed, it imposed conditions and
limitations on certain items of appropriations in the proposed budget previously submitted by the
President. It also authorized members of Congress to propose and identify projects in the "pork
barrels" allotted to them and to realign their respective operating budgets.

Pursuant to the procedure on the passage and enactment of bills as prescribed by the Constitution,
Congress presented the said bill to the President for consideration and approval.

On December 30, 1993, the President signed the bill into law, and declared the same to have become
Republic Act No. 7663, entitled "AN ACT APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE OPERATION OF
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES FROM JANUARY ONE TO DECEMBER THIRTY
ONE, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND NINETY-FOUR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES" (GAA of
1994). On the same day, the President delivered his Presidential Veto Message, specifying the
provisions of the bill he vetoed and on which he imposed certain conditions. No step was taken in
either House of Congress to override the vetoes.

Issue
1. Whether or not the provision authorizing Congressmen to realign savings in their operating
expenses is valid.
2. Whether or not the provision authorizing the AFP Chief of Staff to realign savings to pension
and gratuity funds is valid.

Held
1. Valid
2. Unconstitutional

The Special Provision Applicable to the Congress of the Philippines provides:


4. Realignment of Allocation for Operational Expenses. A member of Congress may realign his allocation for
operational expenses to any other expenses category provide the total of said allocation is not exceeded. (GAA
of 1994, p. 14).

Petitioners assail the special provision allowing a member of Congress to realign his allocation for
operational expenses to any other expense category, claiming that Section 25(5), Article VI of the
Constitution prohibits this practice. The proviso of said Article of the Constitution grants the
President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives the power to augment items
in an appropriation act for their respective offices from savings in other items of their appropriations,
whenever there is a law authorizing such augmentation.

The special provision on realignment of the operating expenses of members of Congress is authorized
by Section 16 of the General Provisions of the GAA of 1994, which provides:
Expenditure Components. Except by act of the Congress of the Philippines, no change or modification shall be
made in the expenditure items authorized in this Act and other appropriation laws unless in cases
of augmentations from savings in appropriations as authorized under Section 25(5) of Article VI of the
Constitution (GAA of 1994, p. 1273).

Petitioners argue that the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, but not
the individual members of Congress are the ones authorized to realign the savings as appropriated.

Under the Special Provisions applicable to the Congress of the Philippines, the members of Congress
only determine the necessity of the realignment of the savings in the allotments for their operating
expenses. They are in the best position to do so because they are the ones who know whether there are
savings available in some items and whether there are deficiencies in other items of their operating

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expenses that need augmentation. However, it is the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, as the case may be, who shall approve the realignment. Before giving their stamp of
approval, these two officials will have to see to it that:
1. The funds to be realigned or transferred are actually savings in the items of expenditures from
which the same are to be taken; and
2. The transfer or realignment is for the purposes of augmenting the items of expenditure to
which said transfer or realignment is to be made.

In the appropriation for the AFP Pension and Gratuity Fund, the President vetoed the new provision
authorizing the Chief of Staff to use savings in the AFP to augment pension and gratuity funds. The
vetoed provision reads:
2. Use of Savings. The Chief of Staff, AFP, is authorized, subject to the approval of the Secretary of National
Defense, to use savings in the appropriations provided herein to augment the pension fund being managed by
the AFP Retirement and Separation Benefits System as provided under Sections 2(a) and 3 of P.D. No. 361
(GAA of 1994, p. 746).

According to the President, the grant of retirement and separation benefits should be covered by direct
appropriations specifically approved for the purpose pursuant to Section 29(1) of Article VI of the
Constitution. Moreover, he stated that the authority to use savings is lodged in the officials
enumerated in Section 25(5) of Article VI of the Constitution (Veto Message, pp. 7-8).

Petitioners claim that the Special Provision on AFP Pension and Gratuity Fund is a condition or
limitation that is so intertwined with the item of appropriation that it could not be separated therefrom.

The Special Provision, which allows the Chief of Staff to use savings to augment the pension fund for
the AFP being managed by the AFP Retirement and Separation Benefits System is violative of
Sections 25(5) and 29(1) of the Article VI of the Constitution.

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Sanchez vs. COA


Facts
Congress passed Republic Act No. 7180 (R.A. 7180) otherwise known as the General Appropriations
Act of 1992. This law provided an appropriation for the DILG and set aside the amount of
P75,000,000.00 for the DILGs Capability Building Program. The usage of the Capability Building
Program Fund (Fund) is provided under the Special Provisions of the law.

Later, Atty. Hiram C. Mendoza (Atty. Mendoza), Project Director of the Ad Hoc Task Force for Inter-
Agency Coordination to Implement Local Autonomy, informed then Deputy Executive Secretary
Dionisio de la Serna of the proposal to constitute and implement a shamrock type task force to
implement local autonomy institutionalized under the Local Government Code of 1991.

The proposal was accepted by the Deputy Executive Secretary and attested by then DILG Secretary
Cesar N. Sarino, one of the petitioners herein, who consequently issued a memorandum for the
transfer and remittance to the Office of the President of the sum of P300, 000.00 for the operational
expenses of the task force. An additional cash advance of P300, 000.00 was requested. These amounts
were taken from the Fund.

Two (2) cash advances both in the amount of P300, 000.00 were withdrawn from the Fund by the
DILG and transferred to the Cashier of the Office of the President. The Particulars of Payment
column of the disbursement voucher states that the transfer of funds was made to the Office of the
President for Ad-Hoc Task Force for Inter-Agency Coordination to Implement Local Autonomy.

Upon post-audit conducted by Department auditor Iluminada M.V. Fabroa, however, the amounts
were disallowed. Finding no reason to deviate from the findings of the Department Auditor, the COA
affirmed the disallowance in its assailed COA Decision

Issue
Whether or not the transfer is valid.

Held
With the foregoing considerations, it is clear that no valid transfer of the Fund to the Office of the
President could have occurred in this case as there was neither allegation nor proof that the amount
transferred was savings or that the transfer was for the purpose of augmenting the item to which the
transfer was made.

Petitioners fail to point out to the Court the specific law and provision thereof which authorizes the
transfer of funds in this case. Thus, the submission that there was a valid transfer of funds within the
Executive Department should be rejected as it overlooks the fact that the power and authority to
transfer in this case was exercised not by the President but only at the instance of the Deputy
Executive Secretary, not the Executive Secretary himself. Even if the DILG Secretary had
corroborated the initiative of the Deputy Executive Secretary, it does not even appear that the
President authorized the matter. More fundamentally, as will be shown later, even the President
himself could not have validly authorized the transfer under the Constitution.

Clearly, there are two essential requisites in order that a transfer of appropriation with the
corresponding funds may legally be effected. First, there must be savings in the programmed
appropriation of the transferring agency. Second, there must be an existing item, project or activity
with an appropriation in the receiving agency to which the savings will be transferred.

Actual savings is a sine qua non to a valid transfer of funds from one government agency to another.
The word actual denotes that something is real or substantial, or exists presently in fact as opposed to
something which is merely theoretical, possible, potential or hypothetical.

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The thesis that savings may and should be presumed from the mere transfer of funds is plainly
anathema to the doctrine laid down in Demetria v. Alba as it makes the prohibition against transfer of
appropriations the general rule rather than the stringent exception the constitutional framers clearly
intended it to be. It makes a mockery of Demetria v. Alba as it would have the Court allow the mere
expectancy of savings to be transferred.

Contrary to another submission in this case, the President, Chief Justice, Senate President, and the
heads of constitutional commissions need not first prove and declare the existence of savings before
transferring funds, the Court in Philconsa v. Enriquez, supra, categorically declared that the Senate
President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, shall approve the
realignment (of savings). However, before giving their stamp of approval, these two officials will
have to see to it that:
1. The funds to be realigned or transferred are actually savings in the items of expenditures from
which the same are to be taken; and
2. The transfer or realignment is for the purpose of augmenting the items of expenditure to
which said transfer or realignment is to be made.

Further, the records of this case unmistakably point to the reality that there were no savings at the
time of the questioned transfer. To begin with, the first disallowed voucher in the amount of
P300,000.00 was paid under Check No. 160404 dated 31 January 1992. The records indicate that the
second transfer occurred on 28 April 1992. Presumably, the disallowed amount was remitted to and
spent by the ad hoc task force within the first two quarters of fiscal year 1992. There could not have
been savings from the Fund on 31 January 1992 because the 1992 GAA took effect only on 1 January
1992 or 30 days before.

Obviously, the amount transferred from the Fund did not constitute savings as there were no such
savings at the time of the transfer. It is preposterous to pronounce that savings already existed as early
as 31 January 1992. It is even more ridiculous to claim that savings may be presumed from the mere
transfer of funds.

The fact that the subsequent years appropriations acts, i.e., the 1993 and 1994 GAA, provided an
appropriation for the Capability Building Program, moreover, signifies that there were no savings
from the Fund from the prior years appropriation in the 1992 GAA that could have been validly
transferred.

From the foregoing, there is no question that there were no savings from the Fund at the time of the
transfer. The Court cannot hold on to the disputable presumptions that official duty had been regularly
performed and that the law had been obeyed.

Furthermore, the 1992 GAA itself forecloses the use of savings from the Fund for purposes other than
those for which it was established as specified under the law.

As regards the requirement that there be an item to be augmented, which is also a sine qua non like
the first requirement on the existence of savings, there was no item for augmentation in the
appropriation for the Office of the President at the time of the transfers in question. Augmentation
denotes that an appropriation was determined to be deficient after the implementation of the project or
activity for which an appropriation was made, or after an evaluation of the needed resources. To say
that the existing items in the appropriation for the Office of the President already needed
augmentation as early as 31 January 1992 is putting the cart before the horse.

The task force spent the disallowed amount on behalf of the DILG allegedly to implement an item of
appropriation of the DILG. This evinces the fact that there was no item in the appropriation for the
Office of the President that the disallowed amount could have augmented.

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The ad hoc nature of the task force whose operations the illegally transferred funds were supposed to
finance precisely underscores the impermanence and transitoriness of the group and its activities.
Hence, the ad hoc body itself is inconsistent with the notion that there was an existing item of
appropriation which needed to be augmented.

The absence of any item to be augmented starkly projects the illegality of the diversion of the funds
and the profligate spending thereof.

Further, we find that the use of the transferred funds was not in accordance with the purposes laid
down by the Special Provisions of R.A. 7180. In this case, there is no evidence on record as to how
the task force was created, what its functions were and who composed it. Atty. Mendoza, the project
director of the task force, does not even appear to have been an officer or employee of or connected in
any capacity to either the DILG or the Office of the President, or at least to have been acting under the
authority of either office. The proposal to create the task force was initiated by Atty. Mendoza in his
personal capacity and on his own authority. There is also no evidence to the effect that the amount
taken from the Fund was actually spent for the task forces avowed objectives or that the purpose of
the task force came to fruition. There is no indication at all whether the task force was actually able to
design programs, strategize and prepare modules in furtherance of local autonomy using the Fund.
What is apparent from the records is that the amount in question was spent to defray salaries of
personnel, office supplies, office rentals, foods and meals, etc.

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Araullo vs. Aquino


Facts
On September 25, 2013, Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada delivered a privilege speech in the Senate of
the Philippines to reveal that some Senators, including himself, had been allotted an additional P50
Million each as "incentive" for voting in favor of the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

Responding to Sen. Estradas revelation, Secretary Florencio Abad of the DBM issued a public
statement entitled Abad: Releases to Senators Part of Spending Acceleration Program, explaining that
the funds released to the Senators had been part of the DAP, a program designed by the DBM to ramp
up spending to accelerate economic expansion. He clarified that the funds had been released to the
Senators based on their letters of request for funding; and that it was not the first time that releases
from the DAP had been made because the DAP had already been instituted in 2011 to ramp up
spending after sluggish disbursements had caused the growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) to
slow down. He explained that the funds under the DAP were usually taken from (1) unreleased
appropriations under Personnel Services; (2) unprogrammed funds; (3) carry-over appropriations
unreleased from the previous year; and (4) budgets for slow-moving items or projects that had been
realigned to support faster-disbursing projects.

The DBM soon came out to claim in its website that the DAP releases had been sourced from savings
generated by the Government, and from unprogrammed funds; and that the savings had been derived
from (1) the pooling of unreleased appropriations, like unreleased Personnel Services appropriations
that would lapse at the end of the year, unreleased appropriations of slow-moving projects and
discontinued projects per zero based budgeting findings; and (2) the withdrawal of unobligated
allotments also for slow-moving programs and projects that had been earlier released to the agencies
of the National Government.

The DBM listed the following as the legal bases for the DAPs use of savings, namely: (1) Section
25(5), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, which granted to the President the authority to augment an
item for his office in the general appropriations law; (2) Section 49 (Authority to Use Savings for
Certain Purposes) and Section 38 (Suspension of Expenditure Appropriations), Chapter 5, Book VI of
Executive Order (EO) No. 292 (Administrative Code of 1987); and (3) the General Appropriations
Acts (GAAs) of 2011, 2012 and 2013, particularly their provisions on the (a) use of savings; (b)
meanings of savings and augmentation; and (c) priority in the use of savings.

As for the use of unprogrammed funds under the DAP, the DBM cited as legal bases the special
provisions on unprogrammed fund contained in the GAAs of 2011, 2012 and 2013.

The revelation of Sen. Estrada and the reactions of Sec. Abad and the DBM brought the DAP to the
consciousness of the Nation for the first time, and made this present controversy inevitable. That the
issues against the DAP came at a time when the Nation was still seething in anger over Congressional
pork barrel "an appropriation of government spending meant for localized projects and secured
solely or primarily to bring money to a representatives district"7 excited the Nation as heatedly as
the pork barrel controversy.

Issue
Whether or not the DAP violated the prohibition on transfer of appropriations.

Held
Violated.

The transfer of appropriated funds, to be valid under Section 25(5), supra, 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;

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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.

b.1. First RequisiteGAAs of 2011 and 2012 lacked valid provisions to authorize transfers of
funds under the DAP; hence, transfers under the DAP were unconstitutional

Section 25(5), supra, not being a self-executing provision of the Constitution, must have an
implementing law for it to be operative. That law, generally, is the GAA of a given fiscal year. To
comply with the first requisite, the GAAs should expressly authorize the transfer of funds.

Did the GAAs expressly authorize the transfer of funds? A reading shows, however, that the
aforequoted provisions of the GAAs of 2011 and 2012 were textually unfaithful to the Constitution
for not carrying the phrase "for their respective offices" contained in Section 25(5). To that extent did
the 2011 and 2012 GAAs contravene the Constitution. At the very least, the aforequoted provisions
cannot be used to claim authority to transfer appropriations from the Executive to another branch, or
to a constitutional commission. Apparently realizing the problem, Congress inserted the omitted
phrase in the counterpart provision in the 2013 GAA.

Even had a valid law authorizing the transfer of funds pursuant to Section 25(5), existed, there still
remained two other requisites to be met, namely: that the source of funds to be transferred were
savings from appropriations within the respective offices; and that the transfer must be for the purpose
of augmenting an item of appropriation within the respective offices.

b.2. Second Requisite There were no savings from which funds could be sourced for the DAP
Were the funds used in the DAP actually savings?

The definition of "savings" in the GAAs, particularly for 2011, 2012 and 2013, reflected this
interpretation and made it operational, viz:
Savings 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,
programs and services approved in this Act at a lesser cost.

The three instances listed in the GAAs aforequoted definition were a sure indication that savings
could be generated only upon the purpose of the appropriation being fulfilled, or upon the need for the
appropriation being no longer existent.

The phrase "free from any obligation or encumbrance" in the definition of savings in the GAAs
conveyed the notion that the appropriation was at that stage when the appropriation was already
obligated and the appropriation was already released. This interpretation was reinforced by the
enumeration of the three instances for savings to arise, which showed that the appropriation referred
to had reached the agency level. It could not be otherwise, considering that only when the
appropriation had reached the agency level could it be determined whether (a) the PAP for which the
appropriation had been authorized was completed, finally discontinued, or abandoned; or (b) there
were vacant positions and leaves of absence without pay; or (c) the required or planned targets,
programs and services were realized at a lesser cost because of the implementation of measures
resulting in improved systems and efficiencies.

The DBM declares that part of the savings brought under the DAP came from "pooling of unreleased
appropriations such as unreleased Personnel Services appropriations which will lapse at the end of the

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year, unreleased appropriations of slow moving projects and discontinued projects per Zero-Based
Budgeting findings." The declaration of the DBM by itself does not state the clear legal basis for the
treatment of unreleased or unalloted appropriations as savings.

The fact alone that the appropriations are unreleased or unalloted is a mere description of the status of
the items as unalloted or unreleased. They have not yet ripened into categories of items from which
savings can be generated. Appropriations have been considered "released" if there has already been an
allotment or authorization to incur obligations and disbursement authority. Ergo, unreleased
appropriations refer to appropriations with allotments but without disbursement authority.

For us to consider unreleased appropriations as savings, unless these met the statutory definition of
savings, would seriously undercut the congressional power of the purse, because such appropriations
had not even reached and been used by the agency concerned vis--vis the PAPs for which Congress
had allocated them. However, if an agency has unfilled positions in its plantilla and did not receive an
allotment and NCA for such vacancies, appropriations for such positions, although unreleased, may
already constitute savings for that agency under the second instance.

Unobligated allotments, on the other hand, were encompassed by the first part of the definition of
"savings" in the GAA, that is, as "portions or balances of any programmed appropriation in this Act
free from any obligation or encumbrance." But the first part of the definition was further qualified by
the three enumerated instances of when savings would be realized. As such, unobligated allotments
could not be indiscriminately declared as savings without first determining whether any of the three
instances existed. This signified that the DBMs withdrawal of unobligated allotments had
disregarded the definition of savings under the GAAs. The Executive could not circumvent this
provision by declaring unreleased appropriations and unobligated allotments as savings prior to the
end of the fiscal year.

b.3. Third Requisite No funds from savings could be transferred under the DAP to augment
deficient items not provided in the GAA

The third requisite for a valid transfer of funds is that the purpose of the transfer should be "to
augment an item in the general appropriations law for the respective offices." The term "augment"
means to enlarge or increase in size, amount, or degree.

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. In other words, an appropriation for any PAP must first
be determined to be deficient before it could be augmented from savings. Upon careful review of the
documents contained in the seven evidence packets, we conclude that the "savings" pooled under the
DAP were allocated to PAPs that were not covered by any appropriations in the pertinent GAAs.

b.4 Third Requisite Cross-border augmentations from savings were prohibited by the
Constitution

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), supra, 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.

Did any cross-border transfers or augmentations transpire? The records show, indeed, that funds
amounting to P143, 700,000.00 and P250, 000,000.00 were transferred under the DAP respectively to
the COA and the House of Representatives. Those transfers of funds, which constituted cross-border
augmentations for being from the Executive to the COA and the House of Representatives Regardless

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of the variant characterizations of the cross-border transfers of funds, the plain text of Section 25(5),
supra, disallowing cross border transfers was disobeyed. Cross-border transfers, whether as
augmentation, or as aid, were prohibited under Section 25(5)

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Araullo vs. Aquino (MR)


Facts
MR on the Araullo case

Issue
Whether or not the DAP violated the prohibition on transfer of appropriations.

Held
Violated.

Strict construction on the accumulation and utilization of savings

The decision of the Court has underscored that the exercise of the power to augment shall be strictly
construed by virtue of its being an exception to the general rule that the funding of PAPs shall be
limited to the amount fixed by Congress for the purpose. Necessarily, savings, their utilization and
their management will also be strictly construed against expanding the scope of the power to augment.
Such a strict interpretation is essential in order to keep the Executive and other budget implementors
within the limits of their prerogatives during budget execution, and to prevent them from unduly
transgressing Congress power of the purse. Hence, regardless of the perceived beneficial purposes of
the DAP, and regardless of whether the DAP is viewed as an effective tool of stimulating the national
economy, the acts and practices under the DAP and the relevant provisions of NBC No. 541 cited in
the Decision should remain illegal and unconstitutional as long as the funds used to finance the
projects mentioned therein are sourced from savings that deviated from the relevant provisions of the
GAA, as well as the limitation on the power to augment under Section 25(5), Article VI of the
Constitution. In a society governed by laws, even the best intentions must come within the parameters
defined and set by the Constitution and the law. Laudable purposes must be carried out through legal
methods.

We now clarify.

Section 38 refers to the authority of the President to suspend or otherwise stop further expenditure of
funds allotted for any agency, or any other expenditure authorized in the General Appropriations Act.
When the President suspends or stops expenditure of funds, savings are not automatically generated
until it has been established that such funds or appropriations are free from any obligation or
encumbrance, and that the work, activity or purpose for which the appropriation is authorized has
been completed, discontinued or abandoned.

On the other hand, Section 39 is evidently in conflict with the plain text of Section 25(5), Article VI
of the Constitution because it allows the President to approve the use of any savings in the regular
appropriations authorized in the GAA for programs and projects of any department, office or agency
to cover a deficit in any other item of the regular appropriations. As such, Section 39 violates the
mandate of Section 25(5) because the latter expressly limits the authority of the President to augment
an item in the GAA to only those in his own Department out of the savings in other items of his own
Departments appropriations. Accordingly, Section 39 cannot serve as a valid authority to justify
cross-border transfers under the DAP. Augmentations under the DAP which are made by the
Executive within its department shall, however, remain valid so long as the requisites under Section
25(5) are complied with.

The power to augment cannot be used to fund non-existent provisions in the GAA

There must be an existing item, project or activity, purpose or object of expenditure with an
appropriation to which savings may be transferred for the purpose of augmentation. Accordingly, so
long as there is an item in the GAA for which Congress had set aside a specified amount of public
fund, savings may be transferred thereto for augmentation purposes. This interpretation is consistent

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not only with the Constitution and the GAAs, but also with the degree of flexibility allowed to the
Executive during budget execution in responding to unforeseeable contingencies.

Nonetheless, this modified interpretation does not take away the caveat that only DAP projects found
in the appropriate GAAs may be the subject of augmentation by legally accumulated savings.
Whether or not the 116 DAP-funded projects had appropriation cover and were validly augmented
require factual determination that is not within the scope of the present consolidated petitions under
Rule 65.cralawred

Cross-border transfers are constitutionally impermissible

The respondents assail the pronouncement of unconstitutionality of cross-border transfers made by the
President. They submit that Section 25(5), Article VI of the Constitution prohibits only the transfer of
appropriation, not savings. They relate that cross-border transfers have been the practice in the past,
being consistent with the Presidents role as the Chief Executive.

In view of the clarity of the text of Section 25(5), however, the Court stands by its pronouncement,
and will not brook any strained interpretations.

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Tolentino vs. Secretary of Finance12


Facts
The contention of petitioners is that in enacting Republic Act No. 7716, or the Expanded Value-
Added Tax Law, Congress violated the Constitution because, although H. No. 11197 had originated in
the House of Representatives, it was not passed by the Senate but was simply consolidated with the
Senate version (S. No. 1630) in the Conference Committee to produce the bill which the President
signed into law.

It appears that several bills were introduced in the House of Representatives seeking to amend certain
provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code relative to the value-added tax or VAT. These bills
were referred to the House Ways and Means Committee that recommended for approval a substitute
measure, H. No. 11197. The bill (H. No. 11197) was approved by the House of Representatives after
third and final reading.

It was sent to the Senate and later referred by that body to its Committee on Ways and Means. The
Senate Committee submitted its report recommending approval of S. No. 1630.

It was stated that the bill was being submitted "in substitution of Senate Bill No. 1129, taking into
consideration P.S. Res. No. 734 and H.B. No. 11197." The Senate began consideration of the bill (S.
No. 1630). It finished debates on the bill and approved it on second reading. On the same day, it
approved the bill on third reading by the affirmative votes of 13 of its members, with one abstention.

H. No. 11197 and its Senate version (S. No. 1630) were then referred to a conference committee
which, after meeting four times, recommended that "House Bill No. 11197, in consolidation with
Senate Bill No. 1630, be approved in accordance with the attached copy of the bill as reconciled and
approved by the conferees."

The Conference Committee bill, entitled "AN ACT RESTRUCTURING THE VALUE-ADDED
TAX (VAT) SYSTEM, WIDENING ITS TAX BASE AND ENHANCING ITS ADMINISTRATION
AND FOR THESE PURPOSES AMENDING AND REPEALING THE RELEVANT PROVISIONS
OF THE NATIONAL INTERNAL REVENUE CODE, AS AMENDED, AND FOR OTHER
PURPOSES," was thereafter approved by the House of Representatives and by the Senate.

Issue
Whether or not Art. VI Section 26 (2) was violated.

Held
Not violated.

Second. We now pass to the next argument of petitioners that S. No. 1630 did not pass three readings
on separate days as required by the Constitution because the second and third readings were done on
the same day, March 24, 1994. But this was because on February 24, 1994 and again on March 22,
1994, the President had certified S. No. 1630 as urgent. The presidential certification dispensed with
the requirement not only of printing but also that of reading the bill on separate days. The phrase
"except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment, etc." in Art. VI,
26(2) qualifies the two stated conditions before a bill can become a law: (i) the bill has passed three
readings on separate days and (ii) it has been printed in its final form and distributed three days before
it is finally approved.

In other words, the "unless" clause must be read in relation to the "except" clause, because the two are
really coordinate clauses of the same sentence. To construe the "except" clause as simply dispensing
with the second requirement in the "unless" clause (i.e., printing and distribution three days before
final approval) would not only violate the rules of grammar. It would also negate the very premise of

12 I did not include the issue of executive impoundment anymore.

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the "except" clause: the necessity of securing the immediate enactment of a bill that is certified in
order to meet a public calamity or emergency. For if it is only the printing that is dispensed with by
presidential certification, the time saved would be so negligible as to be of any use in insuring
immediate enactment. It may well be doubted whether doing away with the necessity of printing and
distributing copies of the bill three days before the third reading would insure speedy enactment of a
law in the face of an emergency requiring the calling of a special election for President and Vice-
President. Under the Constitution such a law is required to be made within seven days of the
convening of Congress in emergency session.

There is, therefore, no merit in the contention that presidential certification dispenses only with the
requirement for the printing of the bill and its distribution three days before its passage but not with
the requirement of three readings on separate days, also.

It is nonetheless urged that the certification of the bill in this case was invalid because there was no
emergency, the condition stated in the certification of a "growing budget deficit" not being an unusual
condition in this country.

It is noteworthy that no member of the Senate saw fit to controvert the reality of the factual basis of
the certification. To the contrary, by passing S. No. 1630 on second and third readings on March 24,
1994, the Senate accepted the President's certification. Should such certification be now reviewed by
this Court, especially when no evidence has been shown that, because S. No. 1630 was taken up on
second and third readings on the same day, the members of the Senate were deprived of the time
needed for the study of a vital piece of legislation?

The sufficiency of the factual basis of the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus or declaration of
martial law under Art. VII, 18, or the existence of a national emergency justifying the delegation of
extraordinary powers to the President under Art. VI, 23(2), is subject to judicial review because
basic rights of individuals may be at hazard. But the factual basis of presidential certification of bills,
which involves doing away with procedural requirements designed to insure that bills are duly
considered by members of Congress, certainly should elicit a different standard of review.

Petitioners also invite attention to the fact that the President certified S. No. 1630 and not H. No.
11197. That is because S. No. 1630 was what the Senate was considering. When the matter was
before the House, the President likewise certified H. No. 9210 the pending in the House.

Art. VI, 26(2) must, therefore, be construed as referring only to bills introduced for the first time in
either house of Congress, not to the conference committee report. For if the purpose of requiring three
readings is to give members of Congress time to study bills, it cannot be gainsaid that H. No. 11197
was passed in the House after three readings; that in the Senate it was considered on first reading and
then referred to a committee of that body; that although the Senate committee did not report out the
House bill, it submitted a version (S. No. 1630) which it had prepared by "taking into consideration"
the House bill; that for its part the Conference Committee consolidated the two bills and prepared a
compromise version; that the Conference Committee Report was thereafter approved by the House
and the Senate, presumably after appropriate study by their members. We cannot say that, as a matter
of fact, the members of Congress were not fully informed of the provisions of the bill. The allegation
that the Conference Committee usurped the legislative power of Congress is, in our view, without
warrant in fact and in law.

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Gonzales vs. Macaraig


Facts
Congress passed House Bill No. 19186, or the General Appropriations Bill for the Fiscal Year 1989.
As passed, it eliminated or decreased certain items included in the proposed budget submitted by the
President. The President signed the Bill into law, and declared the same to have become Rep. Act No.
6688. In the process, seven (7) Special Provisions and Section 55, a "General Provision," were vetoed.

On 2 February 1989, the Senate, in the same Resolution No. 381 mentioned at the outset, further
expressed:
"WHEREAS, Be it Resolved, as it is hereby Resolved, That the Senate express its sense that the veto by the
President of Section 55 of the GENERAL PROVISIONS of the General Appropriation Bill of 1989 (H.B. No.
19186) is unconstitutional and, therefore, void and without any force and effect; hence, the aforesaid Section 55
remains;

Thus it is that, on 11 April 1989, this Petition for Prohibition/ Mandamus was filed, with a prayer for
the issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Restraining Order, assailing mainly the
constitutionality or legality of the Presidential veto of Section 55, and seeking to enjoin respondents
from implementing Rep. Act No. 6688.

In essence, petitioners cause is anchored on the following grounds: (1) the Presidents line-veto
power as regards appropriation bills is limited to item/s and does not cover provision/s; therefore, she
exceeded her authority when she vetoed Section 55 (FY 89) and Section 16 (FY 90) which are
provisions; (2) when the President objects to a provision of an appropriation bill, she cannot exercise
the item-veto power but should veto the entire bill; (3) the item-veto power does not carry with it the
power to strike out conditions or restrictions for that would be legislation, in violation of the doctrine
of separation of powers; and (4) the power of augmentation in Article VI, Section 25 [5] of the 1987
Constitution, has to be provided for by law and, therefore, Congress is also vested with the
prerogative to impose restrictions on the exercise of that power.

The Solicitor General, as counsel for public respondents, counters that the issue at bar is a political
question beyond the power of this Court to determine; that petitioners had a political remedy, which
was to override the veto; that Section 55 is a "rider" because it is extraneous to the Appropriations Act
and, therefore, merits the Presidents veto; that the power of the President to augment items in the
appropriations for the executive branches had already been provided for in the Budget Law,
specifically Sections 44 and 45 of Pres. Decree No. 1177, as amended by Rep. Act No. 6670 (4
August 1988); and that the President is empowered by the Constitution to veto provisions or other
"distinct and severable parts" of an Appropriations Bill.

Issue
Whether or not the President has the power to veto "provisions" of an Appropriations Bill?

Held
Has the power.

The Extent of the Presidents Item-veto Power

Petitioners contend that Section 55 (FY 89) and Section 16 (FY 90) are provisions and not items and
are, therefore, outside the scope of the item-veto power of the President.

Paragraph (1) refers to the general veto power of the President and if exercised would result in the
veto of the entire bill, as a general rule. Paragraph (2) is what is referred to as the item-veto power or
the line-veto power. It allows the exercise of the veto over a particular item or items in an
appropriation, revenue, or tariff bill. As specified, the President may not veto less than all of an item
of an Appropriations Bill. In other words, the power given the executive to disapprove any item or

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items in an Appropriations Bill does not grant the authority to veto a part of an item and to approve
the remaining portion of the same item.

The terms item and provision in budgetary legislation and practice are concededly different. An item
in a bill refers to the particulars, the details, the distinct and severable parts . . . of the bill (Bengzon,
supra, at 916). It is an indivisible sum of money dedicated to a stated purpose. The United States
Supreme Court, in the case of Bengzon v. Secretary of Justice declared "that an item of an
appropriation bill obviously means an item which in itself is a specific appropriation of money, not
some general provision of law, which happens to be put into an appropriation bill."

The restrictive interpretation urged by petitioners that the President may not veto a provision without
vetoing the entire bill not only disregards the basic principle that a distinct and severable part of a bill
may be the subject of a separate veto but also overlooks the Constitutional mandate that any provision
in the general appropriations bill shall relate specifically to some particular appropriation therein and
that any such provision shall be limited in its operation to the appropriation to which it relates. In
other words, in the true sense of the term, a provision in an Appropriations Bill is limited in its
operation to some particular appropriation to which it relates, and does not relate to the entire bill.

Inappropriateness of the so-called "Provisions"

But even assuming arguendo that provisions are beyond the executive power to veto, we are of the
opinion that Section 55 (FY 89) and Section 16 (FY 90) are not provisions in the budgetary sense of
the term.

Explicit is the requirement that a provision in the Appropriations Bill should relate specifically to
some" particular appropriation" therein. The challenged "provisions" fall short of this requirement.
Firstly, the vetoed "provisions" do not relate to any particular or distinctive appropriation. They apply
generally to all items disapproved or reduced by Congress in the Appropriations Bill. Secondly, the
disapproved or reduced items are nowhere to be found on the face of the Bill. Thirdly, the vetoed
Sections are more of an expression of Congressional policy in respect of augmentation from savings
rather than a budgetary appropriation. Consequently, Section 55 (FY 89) and Section 16 (FY 90)
although labelled as "provisions," are actually inappropriate provisions that should be treated as items
for the purpose of the Presidents veto power.

Inappropriateness of the so-called "Conditions/Restrictions"

Petitioners maintain, however, that Congress is free to impose conditions in an Appropriations Bill
and where conditions are attached, the veto power does not carry with it the power to strike them out.
In other words, their theory is that Section 55 (FY 89) and Section 16 (FY 90) are such
conditions/restrictions and thus beyond the veto power.

However, for the rule to apply restrictions should be such in the real sense of the term, not some
matters which are more properly dealt with in a separate legislation. Restrictions or conditions in an
Appropriations Bill must exhibit a connection with money items in a budgetary sense in the schedule
of expenditures. Again, the test is appropriateness.

Tested by these criteria, Section 55 (FY 89) and Section 16 (FY 90) must also be held to be
inappropriate "conditions." While they, particularly, Section 16 (FY 90), have been "artfully drafted"
to appear as true conditions or limitations, they are actually general law measures more appropriate
for substantive and, therefore, separate legislation.
Further, neither of them shows the necessary connection with a schedule of expenditures.

Considering that the vetoed provisions are not, in the budgetary sense of the term, conditions or
restrictions, the case of Bolinao Electronics Corporation v. Valencia (supra), invoked by petitioners,
becomes inapplicable. In contrast with the case at bar, there is no condition, in the budgetary sense of

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the term, attached to an appropriation or item in the appropriation bill that was struck out. For
obviously, Sections 55 (FY 89) and 16 (FY 90) partake more of a curtailment on the power to
augment from savings; in other words, "a general provision of law, which happens to be put in an
appropriation bill" (Bengzon v. Secretary of Justice, supra).

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Bengzon vs. Drilon


Facts
Republic Act No, 910 was enacted to provide the retirement pensions of Justices of the Supreme
Court and of the Court of Appeals. Republic Act No. 910 was amended by Republic Act No. 1797.
However, President Marcos issued Presidential Decree 644 repealing Section 3-A of Republic Act No.
1797 and Republic Act No. 3595 (amending Republic Act No. 1568 and Presidential Decree No. 578)
which authorized the adjustment of the pension of the retired Justices of the Supreme Court, Court of
Appeals, Chairman and members of the Constitutional Commissions and the officers and enlisted
members of the Armed Forces to the prevailing rates of salaries. Significantly, under Presidential
Decree 1638, President Marcos subsequently restored the automatic readjustment of the retirement
pension of officers and enlisted men. A later decree Presidential Decree 1909 was also issued
providing for the automatic readjustment of the pensions of members of the Armed Forces who have
retired prior to September 10, 1979. While the adjustment of the retirement pensions for members of
the Armed Forces who number in the tens of thousands was restored, that of the retired Justices of the
Supreme Court and Court of Appeals who are only a handful and fairly advanced in years, was not.

Realizing the unfairness of the discrimination against the members of the Judiciary and the
Constitutional Commissions, Congress approved in 1990 a bill for the reenactment of the repealed
provisions of Republic Act No. 1797 and Republic Act No. 3595. Congress was under the impression
that Presidential Decree 644 became law after it was published in the Official Gazette. President
Aquino, however, vetoed House Bill No. 16297. She said that "the Government should not grant
distinct privileges to select group of officials whose retirement benefits under existing laws already
enjoy preferential treatment over those of the vast majority of our civil service servants."

Prior to the instant petition, however, Retired Court of Appeals Justices filed a letter/petition asking
this Court far a readjustment of their monthly pensions in accordance with Republic Act No. 1797.
They reasoned out that Presidential Decree 644 repealing Republic Act No. 1797 did not become law,
as there was no valid publication. The Court acted favorably on the request. Pursuant to the above
resolution, Congress included in the General Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 1992 certain
appropriations for the Judiciary intended for the payment of the adjusted pension rates due the retired
Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. The President vetoed the underlined portions of
the Special Provisions of the General Fund Adjustments for the Judiciary.

Issue
Whether or not the veto is valid.

Held
Invalid.

The act of the Executive in vetoing the particular provisions is an exercise of a constitutionally vested
power. But even as the Constitution grants the power, it also provides limitations to its exercise. The
veto power is not absolute.

The OSG is correct when it states that the Executive must veto a bill in its entirety or not at all. He or
she cannot act like an editor crossing out specific lines, provisions, or paragraphs in a bill that he or
she dislikes. In the exercise of the veto power, it is generally all or nothing. However, when it comes
to appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, the Administration needs the money to run the machinery of
government and it cannot veto the entire bill even if it may contain objectionable features. The
President is, therefore, compelled to approve into law the entire bill, including its undesirable parts. It
is for this reason that the Constitution has wisely provided the "item veto power" to avoid inexpedient
riders being attached to an indispensable appropriation or revenue measure.
The Constitution provides that only a particular item or items may be vetoed. The power to
disapprove any item or items in an appropriate bill does not grant the authority to veto a part of an
item and to approve the remaining portion of the same item.

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We distinguish an item from a provision in the following manner:


The terms item and provision in budgetary legislation and practice are concededly different. An item in a bill
refers to the particulars, the details, the distinct and severable parts . . . of the bill (Bengzon, supra, at 916.) It is
an indivisible sum of money dedicated to a stated purpose (Commonwealth v. Dodson, 11 S.E. 2d 120, 124, 125,
etc., 176 Va. 281) The United States Supreme Court, in the case of Bengzon v. Secretary of Justice (299 U.S.
410, 414, 57 Ct. 252, 81 L. Ed, 312) declared "that an "item" of an appropriation bill obviously means an item
which in itself is a specific appropriation of money, not some general provision of law, which happens to be put
into an appropriation bill." (id. at page 465)

We regret having to state that misimpressions or unfortunately wrong advice must have been the basis
of the disputed veto. The general fund adjustment is an item which appropriates P500,000,000.00 to
enable the Government to meet certain unavoidable obligations which may have been inadequately
funded by the specific items for the different branches, departments, bureaus, agencies, and offices of
the government. The President did not veto this item. What were vetoed were methods or systems
placed by Congress to insure that permanent and continuing obligations to certain officials would be
paid when they fell due.

An examination of the entire sections and the underlined portions of the law that were vetoed will
readily show that portions of the item have been chopped up into vetoed and unvetoed parts. Less than
all of an item has been vetoed. Moreover, the vetoed portions are not items. They are provisions.

Thus, the augmentation of specific appropriations found inadequate to pay retirement payments, by
transferring savings from other items of appropriation is a provision and not an item. It gives power to
the Chief Justice to transfer funds from one item to another. There is no specific appropriation of
money involved.

In the same manner, the provision that states that in compliance with decisions of the Supreme Court
and the Commission on Audit, funds still undetermined in amount may be drawn from the general
fund adjustment is not an item. It is the "general fund adjustment" itself which is the item. This was
not touched. It was not vetoed.

More ironic is the fact that misinformation led the Executive to believe that the items in the 1992
Appropriations Act were being vetoed when, in fact, the veto struck something else. When the
President vetoed certain provisions of the 1992 General Appropriations Act, she was actually vetoing
Republic Act No. 1797 which, of course, is beyond her power to accomplish. We need no lengthy
justifications or citations of authorities to declare that no President may veto the provisions of a law
enacted thirty-five (35) years before his or her term of office. Neither may the President set aside or
reverse a final and executory judgment of this Court through the exercise of the veto power.

As early as 1953, Congress passed a law providing for retirement pensions to retired Justices of the
Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. This law was amended by Republic Act 1797 in 1957.
Funds necessary to pay the retirement pensions under these statutes are deemed automatically
appropriated every year.

Thus, Congress included in the General Appropriations Act of 1992, provisions identifying funds and
savings which may be used to pay the adjusted pensions pursuant to the Supreme Court Resolution.
As long as retirement laws remain in the statute book, there is an existing obligation on the part of the
government to pay the adjusted pension rate pursuant to RA 1797 and AM-91-8-225-CA.
Neither may the veto power of the President be exercised as a means of repealing RA 1797. This is
arrogating unto the Presidency legislative powers that are beyond its authority. The President has no
power to enact or amend statutes promulgated by her predecessors much less to repeal existing laws.
The President's power is merely to execute the laws as passed by Congress.

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Philippine Constitution Association vs. Enriquez


Facts
House Bill No. 10900, the General Appropriation Bill of 1994 (GAB of 1994), was passed and
approved by both houses of Congress on December 17, 1993. As passed, it imposed conditions and
limitations on certain items of appropriations in the proposed budget previously submitted by the
President. It also authorized members of Congress to propose and identify projects in the "pork
barrels" allotted to them and to realign their respective operating budgets.

Pursuant to the procedure on the passage and enactment of bills as prescribed by the Constitution,
Congress presented the said bill to the President for consideration and approval.

On December 30, 1993, the President signed the bill into law, and declared the same to have become
Republic Act No. 7663, entitled "AN ACT APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE OPERATION OF
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES FROM JANUARY ONE TO DECEMBER THIRTY
ONE, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND NINETY-FOUR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES" (GAA of
1994). On the same day, the President delivered his Presidential Veto Message, specifying the
provisions of the bill he vetoed and on which he imposed certain conditions. No step was taken in
either House of Congress to override the vetoes.

Issue
Whether or not the veto of the Special Provision for the Appropriations for Debt Service is valid.

Held
Valid.

The Congress added a Special Provision to Article XLVIII (Appropriations for Debt Service) of the
GAA of 1994. The President vetoed the first Special Provision, without vetoing the
P86,323,438,000.00 appropriation for debt service in said Article. Petitioners claim that the President
cannot veto the Special Provision on the appropriation for debt service without vetoing the entire
amount of P86,323,438.00 for said purpose. The Solicitor General counter posed that the Special
Provision did not relate to the item of appropriation for debt service and could therefore be the subject
of an item veto.

It is readily apparent that the Special Provision applicable to the appropriation for debt service insofar
as it refers to funds in excess of the amount appropriated in the bill, is an "inappropriate" provision
referring to funds other than the P86,323,438,000.00 appropriated in the General Appropriations Act
of 1991. Likewise the vetoed provision is clearly an attempt to repeal Section 31 of P.D. No. 1177
(Foreign Borrowing Act) and E.O. No. 292, and to reverse the debt payment policy. As held by the
Court in Gonzales, the repeal of these laws should be done in a separate law, not in the appropriations
law.

Congress cannot include in a general appropriations bill matters that should be more properly enacted
in separate legislation, and if it does that, the inappropriate provisions inserted by it must be treated as
"item", which can be vetoed by the President in the exercise of his item-veto power.

Under his general veto power, the President has to veto the entire bill, not merely parts thereof. The
exception to the general veto power is the power given to the President to veto any particular item or
items in a general appropriations bill. In so doing, the President must veto the entire item.

As the Constitution is explicit that the provision which Congress can include in an appropriations bill
must "relate specifically to some particular appropriation therein" and "be limited in its operation to
the appropriation to which it relates," it follows that any provision which does not relate to any
particular item, or which extends in its operation beyond an item of appropriation, is considered "an
inappropriate provision" which can be vetoed separately from an item. Also to be included in the
category of "inappropriate provisions" are unconstitutional provisions and provisions which are

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intended to amend other laws, because clearly these kind of laws have no place in an appropriations
bill. These are matters of general legislation more appropriately dealt with in separate enactments.

The President vetoed the entire paragraph one of the Special Provision of the item on debt service,
including the provisions that the appropriation authorized in said item "shall be used for payment of
the principal and interest of foreign and domestic indebtedness" and that "in no case shall this fund be
used to pay for the liabilities of the Central Bank Board of Liquidators." These provisions are
germane to and have a direct connection with the item on debt service. Inherent in the power of
appropriation is the power to specify how the money shall be spent. The said provisos, being
appropriate provisions, cannot be vetoed separately. Hence the item veto of said provisions is void.

We reiterate, in order to obviate any misunderstanding, that we are sustaining the veto of the Special
Provision of the item on debt service only with respect to the proviso therein requiring that "any
payment in excess of the amount herein, appropriated shall be subject to the approval of the President
of the Philippines with the concurrence of the Congress of the Philippines . . ."

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Tolentino vs. Secretary of Finance


Facts
The contention of petitioners is that in enacting Republic Act No. 7716, or the Expanded Value-
Added Tax Law, Congress violated the Constitution because, although H. No. 11197 had originated in
the House of Representatives, it was not passed by the Senate but was simply consolidated with the
Senate version (S. No. 1630) in the Conference Committee to produce the bill which the President
signed into law.

It appears that several bills were introduced in the House of Representatives seeking to amend certain
provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code relative to the value-added tax or VAT. These bills
were referred to the House Ways and Means Committee that recommended for approval a substitute
measure, H. No. 11197. The bill (H. No. 11197) was approved by the House of Representatives after
third and final reading.

It was sent to the Senate and later referred by that body to its Committee on Ways and Means. The
Senate Committee submitted its report recommending approval of S. No. 1630.

It was stated that the bill was being submitted "in substitution of Senate Bill No. 1129, taking into
consideration P.S. Res. No. 734 and H.B. No. 11197." The Senate began consideration of the bill (S.
No. 1630). It finished debates on the bill and approved it on second reading. On the same day, it
approved the bill on third reading by the affirmative votes of 13 of its members, with one abstention.

H. No. 11197 and its Senate version (S. No. 1630) were then referred to a conference committee
which, after meeting four times, recommended that "House Bill No. 11197, in consolidation with
Senate Bill No. 1630, be approved in accordance with the attached copy of the bill as reconciled and
approved by the conferees."

The Conference Committee bill, entitled "AN ACT RESTRUCTURING THE VALUE-ADDED
TAX (VAT) SYSTEM, WIDENING ITS TAX BASE AND ENHANCING ITS ADMINISTRATION
AND FOR THESE PURPOSES AMENDING AND REPEALING THE RELEVANT PROVISIONS
OF THE NATIONAL INTERNAL REVENUE CODE, AS AMENDED, AND FOR OTHER
PURPOSES," was thereafter approved by the House of Representatives and by the Senate.

Issue
Whether or not the VAT law violates the rule on progressive taxation.

Held
The argument is hypothetical.

Thus, the broad argument against the VAT is that it is regressive and that it violates the requirement
that "The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable [and] Congress shall evolve a progressive
system of taxation."

Petitioners quote from a paper, entitled "VAT Policy Issues: Structure, Regressivity, Inflation and
Exports" by Alan A. Tait of the International Monetary Fund, that "VAT payment by low-income
households will be a higher proportion of their incomes (and expenditures) than payments by higher-
income households. That is, the VAT will be regressive." Petitioners contend that as a result of the
uniform 10% VAT, the tax on consumption goods of those who are in the higher-income bracket,
which before were taxed at a rate higher than 10%, has been reduced, while basic commodities, which
before were taxed at rates ranging from 3% to 5%, are now taxed at a higher rate.

Just as vigorously as it is asserted that the law is regressive, the opposite claim is pressed by
respondents that in fact it distributes the tax burden to as many goods and services as possible
particularly to those which are within the reach of higher-income groups, even as the law exempts
basic goods and services. It is thus equitable. The goods and properties subject to the VAT are those

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used or consumed by higher-income groups. These include real properties held primarily for sale to
customers or held for lease in the ordinary course of business, the right or privilege to use industrial,
commercial or scientific equipment, hotels, restaurants and similar places, tourist buses, and the like.
On the other hand, small business establishments, with annual gross sales of less than P500,000, are
exempted. This, according to respondents, removes from the coverage of the law some 30,000
business establishments. On the other hand, an occasional paper of the Center for Research and
Communication cities a NEDA study that the VAT has minimal impact on inflation and income
distribution and that while additional expenditure for the lowest income class is only P301 or 1.49% a
year, that for a family earning P500,000 a year or more is P8,340 or 2.2%.

Lacking empirical data on which to base any conclusion regarding these arguments, any discussion
whether the VAT is regressive in the sense that it will hit the "poor" and middle-income group in
society harder than it will the "rich," as the Cooperative Union of the Philippines (CUP) claims is
largely an academic exercise. On the other hand, the CUP's contention that Congress' withdrawal of
exemption of producers cooperatives, marketing cooperatives, and service cooperatives, while
maintaining that granted to electric cooperatives, not only goes against the constitutional policy to
promote cooperatives as instruments of social justice (Art. XII, 15) but also denies such
cooperatives the equal protection of the law is actually a policy argument. The legislature is not
required to adhere to a policy of "all or none" in choosing the subject of taxation.

Nor is the contention of the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Association (CREBA), petitioner in
G.R. 115754, that the VAT will reduce the mark up of its members by as much as 85% to 90% any
more concrete. It is a mere allegation. On the other hand, the claim of the Philippine Press Institute,
petitioner in G.R. No. 115544, that the VAT will drive some of its members out of circulation because
their profits from advertisements will not be enough to pay for their tax liability, while purporting to
be based on the financial statements of the newspapers in question, still falls short of the
establishment of facts by evidence so necessary for adjudicating the question whether the tax is
oppressive and confiscatory.

Indeed, regressivity is not a negative standard for courts to enforce. What Congress is required by the
Constitution to do is to "evolve a progressive system of taxation." This is a directive to Congress, just
like the directive to it to give priority to the enactment of laws for the enhancement of human dignity
and the reduction of social, economic and political inequalities (Art. XIII, 1), or for the promotion
of the right to "quality education" (Art. XIV, 1). These provisions are put in the Constitution as
moral incentives to legislation, not as judicially enforceable rights.

At all events, our 1988 decision in Kapatiran should have laid to rest the questions now raised against
the VAT. There similar arguments made against the original VAT Law (Executive Order No. 273)
were held to be hypothetical, with no more basis than newspaper articles that this Court found to be
"hearsay and [without] evidentiary value." As Republic Act No. 7716 merely expands the base of the
VAT system and its coverage as provided in the original VAT Law, further debate on the desirability
and wisdom of the law should have shifted to Congress.

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Abra Valley College vs. Aquino


Facts
Abra Valley Junior College, Inc. is the owner of the lot and buildings disputed in this case. Later, the
defendant Gaspar V. Bosque, as Municipal treasurer of Bangued, Abra caused to be served upon the
Abra Valley Junior College, Inc. a Notice of Seizure on the property of said school for the satisfaction
of real property taxes thereon. Afterwards, the above properties of the Abra Valley Junior College, Inc.
was sold at public auction for the satisfaction of the unpaid real property taxes thereon.

Petitioner contends that the primary use of the lot and building for educational purposes, and not the
incidental use thereof, determines and exemption from property taxes under Section 22 (3), Article VI
of the 1935 Constitution. Hence, the seizure and sale of subject college lot and building, which are
contrary thereto as well as to the provision of Commonwealth Act No. 470, otherwise known as the
Assessment Law, are without legal basis and therefore void.

On the other hand, private respondents maintain that the college lot and building in question which
were subjected to seizure and sale to answer for the unpaid tax are used: (1) for the educational
purposes of the college; (2) as the permanent residence of the President and Director thereof, Mr.
Pedro V. Borgonia, and his family including the in-laws and grandchildren; and (3) for commercial
purposes because the ground floor of the college building is being used and rented by a commercial
establishment, the Northern Marketing Corporation.

Issue
Whether or not the lot and building in question are used exclusively for educational purposes.

Held
Used exclusively for educational purposes except for the 1st floor that is leased to the Northern
Marketing Corporation.

The test of exemption from taxation is the use of the property for purposes mentioned in the
Constitution

Due to its time frame, the constitutional provision which finds application in the case at bar is Section
22, paragraph 3, Article VI, of the then 1935 Philippine Constitution, which expressly grants
exemption from realty taxes for "Cemeteries, churches and parsonages or convents appurtenant
thereto, and all lands, buildings, and improvements used exclusively for religious, charitable or
educational purposes ...

It must be stressed however, that while this Court allows a more liberal and non-restrictive
interpretation of the phrase "exclusively used for educational purposes" as provided for in Article VI,
Section 22, paragraph 3 of the 1935 Philippine Constitution, reasonable emphasis has always been
made that exemption extends to facilities which are incidental to and reasonably necessary for the
accomplishment of the main purposes. Otherwise stated, the use of the school building or lot for
commercial purposes is neither contemplated by law, nor by jurisprudence. Thus, while the use of the
second floor of the main building in the case at bar for residential purposes of the Director and his
family, may find justification under the concept of incidental use, which is complimentary to the main
or primary purposeeducational, the lease of the first floor thereof to the Northern Marketing
Corporation cannot by any stretch of the imagination be considered incidental to the purpose of
education.

Under the 1935 Constitution, the trial court correctly arrived at the conclusion that the school building
as well as the lot where it is built, should be taxed, not because the second floor of the same is being
used by the Director and his family for residential purposes, but because the first floor thereof is being
used for commercial purposes. However, since only a portion is used for purposes of commerce, it is
only fair that half of the assessed tax be returned to the school involved.
Philippine Coconut Producers Federation Inc. vs. Republic

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Facts13
This began as a suit for recovery of ill-gotten wealth commenced by the Presidential Commission on
Good Government (PCGG), for the Republic of the Philippines (Republic), against Ferdinand E.
Marcos and several individuals who occupied, at one time or another, directorial or top management
positions in either the Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, Inc. (COCOFED) or the Philippine
Coconut Authority (PCA), or both.

Issue
Whether or not the reclassification of the coconut levy funds into private funds to be owned by private
individuals is constitutional.

Held
Unconstitutional.

The coconut levy funds are in the nature of taxes and can only be used for public purpose.
Consequently, they cannot be used to purchase shares of stocks to be given for free to private
individuals.

Indeed, We have hitherto discussed, the coconut levy was imposed in the exercise of the States
inherent power of taxation.

We have ruled time and again that taxes are imposed only for a public purpose. They cannot be used
for purely private purposes or for the exclusive benefit of private persons. When a law imposes taxes
or levies from the public, with the intent to give undue benefit or advantage to private persons, or the
promotion of private enterprises, that law cannot be said to satisfy the requirement of public purpose.
Similarly in this case, the coconut levy funds were sourced from forced exactions decreed under P.D.
Nos. 232, 276 and 582, among others, with the end-goal of developing the entire coconut industry.
Clearly, to hold therefore, even by law, that the revenues received from the imposition of the coconut
levies be used purely for private purposes to be owned by private individuals in their private capacity
and for their benefit, would contravene the rationale behind the imposition of taxes or levies.

Needless to stress, courts do not, as they cannot, allow by judicial fiat the conversion of special funds
into a private fund for the benefit of private individuals. In the same vein, We cannot subscribe to the
idea of what appears to be an indirect if not exactly direct conversion of special funds into private
funds, i.e., by using special funds to purchase shares of stocks, which in turn would be distributed for
free to private individuals. Even if these private individuals belong to, or are a part of the coconut
industry, the free distribution of shares of stocks purchased with special public funds to them,
nevertheless cannot be justified.

Coconut levy funds are special public funds of the government.

Plainly enough, the coconut levy funds are public funds. We have ruled in Republic v. COCOFED
that the coconut levy funds are not only affected with public interest; they are prima facie public
funds. And more importantly, in the same decision, we clearly explained exactly what kind of
government fund the coconut levies are. We were categorical in saying that coconut levies are treated
as special funds by the very laws that created them. Moreover, the Court, in Gaston, stated the
observation that the character of a stabilization fund as a special fund is emphasized by the fact that
the funds are deposited in the Philippine National Bank [PNB] and not in the Philippine Treasury,
moneys from which may be paid out only in pursuance of an appropriation made by law. Similarly in
this case, Sec.1 (a) of P.D. No. 276 states that the proceeds from the coconut levy shall be deposited
with the PNB, then a government bank, or any other government bank under the account of the CCSF,
as a separate trust fund, which shall not form part of the governments general fund. And even
assuming arguendo that the coconut levy funds were transferred to the general fund pursuant to P.D.

13 Just read the case for the facts.

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No. 1234, it was with the specific directive that the same be treated as special accounts in the general
fund.

The coconut levy funds can only be used for the special purpose and the balance thereof should
revert back to the general fund. Consequently, their subsequent reclassification as a private
fund to be owned by private individuals in their private capacities under P.D. Nos. 755, 961 and
1468 are unconstitutional.

As couched, P.D. No. 276 created and exacted the CCSF to advance the governments avowed policy
of protecting the coconut industry. Evidently, the CCSF was originally set up as a special fund to
support consumer purchases of coconut products. To put it a bit differently, the protection of the
entire coconut industry, and even more importantly, for the consuming public provides the rationale
for the creation of the coconut levy fund. There can be no quibbling then that the foregoing provisions
of P.D. No. 276 intended the fund created and set up therein not especially for the coconut farmers but
for the entire coconut industry, albeit the improvement of the industry would doubtless redound to the
benefit of the farmers. Upon the foregoing perspective, the following provisions of P.D. Nos. 755,
961 and 1468 insofar as they declared, as the case may be, that: [the coconut levy] fund and the
disbursements thereof [shall be] authorized for the benefit of the coconut farmers and shall be owned
by them in their private capacities; or the coconut levy fund shall not be construed by any law to be a
special and/or fiduciary fund, and do not therefore form part of the general fund of the national
government later on; or the UCPB shares acquired using the coconut levy fund shall be distributed to
the coconut farmers for free, violated the special public purpose for which the CCSF was established.

In sum, not only were the challenged presidential issuances unconstitutional for decreeing the
distribution of the shares of stock for free to the coconut farmers and, therefore, negating the public
purpose declared by P.D. No. 276, i.e., to stabilize the price of edible oil and to protect the coconut
industry. They likewise reclassified, nay treated, the coconut levy fund as private fund to be disbursed
and/or invested for the benefit of private individuals in their private capacities, contrary to the
original purpose for which the fund was created. To compound the situation, the offending provisions
effectively removed the coconut levy fund away from the cavil of public funds that normally can be
paid out only pursuant to an appropriation made by law. The conversion of public funds into private
assets was illegally allowed, in fact mandated, by these provisions. Clearly therefore, the pertinent
provisions of P.D. Nos. 755, 961 and 1468 are unconstitutional for violating Article VI, Section 29 (3)
of the Constitution. In this context, the distribution by PCA of the UCPB shares purchased by means
of the coconut levy fund a special fund of the government to the coconut farmers, is therefore void.

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Planters Products Inc. vs. Fertiphil Corporation


Facts
Petitioner PPI and private respondent Fertiphil are private corporations incorporated under Philippine
laws. They are both engaged in the importation and distribution of fertilizers, pesticides and
agricultural chemicals.

Then President Ferdinand Marcos, exercising his legislative powers, issued LOI No. 1465 which
provided, among others, for the imposition of a capital recovery component (CRC) on the domestic
sale of all grades of fertilizers in the Philippines. Pursuant to the LOI, Fertiphil paid P10 for every bag
of fertilizer it sold in the domestic market to the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA). FPA then
remitted the amount collected to the Far East Bank and Trust Company, the depositary bank of PPI.

After the 1986 Edsa Revolution, FPA voluntarily stopped the imposition of the P10 levy. With the
return of democracy, Fertiphil demanded from PPI a refund of the amounts it paid under LOI No.
1465, but PPI refused to accede to the demand.

Fertiphil filed a complaint for collection and damages against FPA and PPI with the RTC in Makati. It
questioned the constitutionality of LOI No. 1465 for being unjust, unreasonable, oppressive, invalid
and an unlawful imposition that amounted to a denial of due process of law. Fertiphil alleged that the
LOI solely favored PPI, a privately owned corporation, which used the proceeds to maintain its
monopoly of the fertilizer industry.

In its Answer, FPA, through the Solicitor General, countered that the issuance of LOI No. 1465 was a
valid exercise of the police power of the State in ensuring the stability of the fertilizer industry in the
country. It also averred that Fertiphil did not sustain any damage from the LOI because the burden
imposed by the levy fell on the ultimate consumer, not the seller.

Issue
Whether or not the P10 levy is constitutional.

Held
Unconstitutional.

The P10 levy under LOI No. 1465 is an exercise of the power of taxation.

PPI insists that LOI No. 1465 is a valid exercise either of the police power or the power of taxation. It
claims that the LOI was implemented for the purpose of assuring the fertilizer supply and distribution
in the country and for benefiting a foundation created by law to hold in trust for millions of farmers
their stock ownership in PPI.

Fertiphil counters that the LOI is unconstitutional because it was enacted to give benefit to a private
company. The levy was imposed to pay the corporate debt of PPI. Fertiphil also argues that, even if
the LOI is enacted under the police power, it is still unconstitutional because it did not promote the
general welfare of the people or public interest.

We agree with the RTC that the imposition of the levy was an exercise by the State of its taxation
power. While it is true that the power of taxation can be used as an implement of police power, the
primary purpose of the levy is revenue generation. If the purpose is primarily revenue, or if revenue is,
at least, one of the real and substantial purposes, then the exaction is properly called a tax.

The P10 levy under LOI No. 1465 is too excessive to serve a mere regulatory purpose. The levy, no
doubt, was a big burden on the seller or the ultimate consumer.

Taxes are exacted only for a public purpose. The P10 levy is unconstitutional because it was not
for a public purpose. The levy was imposed to give undue benefit to PPI.

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An inherent limitation on the power of taxation is public purpose. Taxes are exacted only for a public
purpose. They cannot be used for purely private purposes or for the exclusive benefit of private
persons. As an old United States case bluntly put it: To lay with one hand, the power of the
government on the property of the citizen, and with the other to bestow it upon favored individuals to
aid private enterprises and build up private fortunes, is nonetheless a robbery because it is done under
the forms of law and is called taxation. The term public purpose is not defined. It is an elastic concept
that can be hammered to fit modern standards. Jurisprudence states that public purpose should be
given a broad interpretation.

While the categories of what may constitute a public purpose are continually expanding in light of the
expansion of government functions, the inherent requirement that taxes can only be exacted for a
public purpose still stands. Public purpose is the heart of a tax law. When a tax law is only a mask to
exact funds from the public when its true intent is to give undue benefit and advantage to a private
enterprise, that law will not satisfy the requirement of public purpose.

Here, We agree with the RTC and that CA that the levy imposed under LOI No. 1465 was not for a
public purpose.

First, the LOI expressly provided that the levy be imposed to benefit PPI, a private company.

Second, the LOI provides that the imposition of the P10 levy was conditional and dependent upon PPI
becoming financially viable. This suggests that the levy was actually imposed to benefit PPI. The LOI
notably does not fix a maximum amount when PPI is deemed financially viable. Worse, the liability
of Fertiphil and other domestic sellers of fertilizer to pay the levy is made indefinite. They are
required to continuously pay the levy until adequate capital is raised for PPI.

Third, the RTC and the CA held that the levies paid under the LOI were directly remitted and
deposited by FPA to Far East Bank and Trust Company, the depositary bank of PPI. This proves that
PPI benefited from the LOI. It is also proves that the main purpose of the law was to give undue
benefit and advantage to PPI.

Fourth, the levy was used to pay the corporate debts of PPI. The levy was imposed precisely to pay
the corporate debts of PPI. We cannot agree with PPI that the levy was imposed to ensure the stability
of the fertilizer industry in the country. The letter of understanding and the plain text of the LOI
clearly indicate that the levy was exacted for the benefit of a private corporation.

All told, the RTC and the CA did not err in holding that the levy imposed under LOI No. 1465 was
not for a public purpose. LOI No. 1465 failed to comply with the public purpose requirement for tax
laws.

The LOI is still unconstitutional even if enacted under the police power; it did not promote
public interest.

Even if We consider LOI No. 1695 enacted under the police power of the State, it would still be
invalid for failing to comply with the test of lawful subjects and lawful means. Jurisprudence states
the test as follows: (1) the interest of the public generally, as distinguished from those of particular
class, requires its exercise; and (2) the means employed are reasonably necessary for the
accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive upon individuals.

For the same reasons as discussed, LOI No. 1695 is invalid because it did not promote public interest.
The law was enacted to give undue advantage to a private corporation.

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Guingona vs. Carague


Facts
The 1990 budget consists of P98.4 Billion in automatic appropriation (with P86.8 Billion for debt
service) and P155.3 Billion appropriated under Republic Act No. 6831, otherwise known as the
General Appropriations Act, or a total of P233.5 Billion, while the appropriations for the Department
of Education, Culture and Sports amount to P27,017,813,000.00.

The said automatic appropriation for debt service is authorized by P.D. No. 81, entitled "Amending
Certain Provisions of Republic Act Numbered Four Thousand Eight Hundred Sixty, as Amended (Re:
Foreign Borrowing Act)," by P.D. No. 1177, entitled "Revising the Budget Process in Order to
Institutionalize the Budgetary Innovations of the New Society," and by P.D. No. 1967, entitled "An
Act Strengthening the Guarantee and Payment Positions of the Republic of the Philippines on Its
Contingent Liabilities Arising out of Relent and Guaranteed Loan by Appropriating Funds For The
Purpose.

The petitioner seek the declaration of the unconstitutionality of P.D. No. 81, Sections 31 of P.D. 1177,
and P.D. No. 1967. The petition also seeks to restrain the disbursement for debt service under the
1990 budget pursuant to said decrees.

Respondents contend that the petition involves a pure political question that is the repeal or
amendment of said laws addressed to the judgment, wisdom and patriotism of the legislative body and
not this Court.

Issue
Whether or not there was undue delegation of legislative power.

Held
No undue delegation.

Petitioners state said decrees violate Section 29(l) of Article VI of the Constitution. They assert that
there must be definiteness, certainty and exactness in an appropriation, otherwise it is an undue
delegation of legislative power to the President who determines in advance the amount appropriated
for the debt service.

The Court finds that in this case the questioned laws are complete in all their essential terms and
conditions and sufficient standards are indicated therein.

The legislative intention in R.A. No. 4860, as amended, Section 31 of P.D. No. 1177 and P.D. No.
1967 is that the amount needed should be automatically set aside in order to enable the Republic of
the Philippines to pay the principal, interest, taxes and other normal banking charges on the loans,
credits or indebtedness incurred as guaranteed by it when they shall become due without the need to
enact a separate law appropriating funds therefor as the need arises. The purpose of these laws is to
enable the government to make prompt payment and/or advances for all loans to protect and maintain
the credit standing of the country.

Although the subject presidential decrees do not state specific amounts to be paid, necessitated by the
very nature of the problem being addressed, the amounts nevertheless are made certain by the
legislative parameters provided in the decrees. The Executive is not of unlimited discretion as to the
amounts to be disbursed for debt servicing. The mandate is to pay only the principal, interest, taxes
and other normal banking charges on the loans, credits or indebtedness, or on the bonds, debentures or
security or other evidences of indebtedness sold in international markets incurred by virtue of the law,
as and when they shall become due. No uncertainty arises in executive implementation as the limit
will be the exact amounts as shown by the books of the Treasury.

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Philippine Constitution Association vs. Enriquez


Facts
House Bill No. 10900, the General Appropriation Bill of 1994 (GAB of 1994), was passed and
approved by both houses of Congress on December 17, 1993. As passed, it imposed conditions and
limitations on certain items of appropriations in the proposed budget previously submitted by the
President. It also authorized members of Congress to propose and identify projects in the "pork
barrels" allotted to them and to realign their respective operating budgets.

Pursuant to the procedure on the passage and enactment of bills as prescribed by the Constitution,
Congress presented the said bill to the President for consideration and approval.

On December 30, 1993, the President signed the bill into law, and declared the same to have become
Republic Act No. 7663, entitled "AN ACT APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE OPERATION OF
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES FROM JANUARY ONE TO DECEMBER THIRTY
ONE, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND NINETY-FOUR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES" (GAA of
1994). On the same day, the President delivered his Presidential Veto Message, specifying the
provisions of the bill he vetoed and on which he imposed certain conditions. No step was taken in
either House of Congress to override the vetoes.

Issue14
1. Whether or not the Pork Barrel is constitutional.
2. Whether or not the Presidents refusal to deactivate CAFGU is valid.

Held
1. Constitutional.
2. Supreme Court did not rule directly on this by stating such provision should be embodied in a
separate law

Pork Barrel

Article XLI of the GAA of 1994 sets up a Countrywide Development Fund of P2,977,000,000.00 to
"be used for infrastructure, purchase of ambulances and computers and other priority projects and
activities and credit facilities to qualified beneficiaries."

Petitioners claim that the power given to the members of Congress to propose and identify the
projects and activities to be funded by the Countrywide Development Fund is an encroachment by the
legislature on executive power, since said power in an appropriation act in implementation of a law.
They argue that the proposal and identification of the projects do not involve the making of laws or
the repeal and amendment thereof, the only function given to the Congress by the Constitution.

Under the Constitution, the spending power called by James Madison as "the power of the purse,"
belongs to Congress, subject only to the veto power of the President. The President may propose the
budget, but still the final say on the matter of appropriations is lodged in the Congress.

The power of appropriation carries with it the power to specify the project or activity to be funded
under the appropriation law. It can be as detailed and as broad as Congress wants it to be.

The Countrywide Development Fund is explicit that it shall be used "for infrastructure, purchase of
ambulances and computers and other priority projects and activities and credit facilities to qualified
beneficiaries . . ." It was Congress itself that determined the purposes for the appropriation.

Executive function under the Countrywide Development Fund involves implementation of the priority
projects specified in the law.

14 The case had many issues but I just chose these 2

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The authority given to the members of Congress is only to propose and identify projects to be
implemented by the President. Under Article XLI of the GAA of 1994, the President must perforce
examine whether the proposals submitted by the members of Congress fall within the specific items
of expenditures for which the Fund was set up, and if qualified, he next determines whether they are
in line with other projects planned for the locality. Thereafter, if the proposed projects qualify for
funding under the Funds, it is the President who shall implement them. In short, the proposals and
identifications made by the members of Congress are merely recommendatory.

The procedure of proposing and identifying by members of Congress of particular projects or


activities under Article XLI of the GAA of 1994 is imaginative as it is innovative.

The Constitution is a framework of a workable government and its interpretation must take into
account the complexities, realities and politics attendant to the operation of the political branches of
government. Prior to the GAA of 1991, there was an uneven allocation of appropriations for the
constituents of the members of Congress, with the members close to the Congressional leadership or
who hold cards for "horse-trading," getting more than their less favored colleagues. The members of
Congress also had to reckon with an unsympathetic President, who could exercise his veto power to
cancel from the appropriation bill a pet project of a Representative or Senator.

The Countrywide Development Fund attempts to make equal the unequal. It is also a recognition that
individual members of Congress, far more than the President and their congressional colleagues are
likely to be knowledgeable about the needs of their respective constituents and the priority to be given
each project.

CAFGU

Congress appropriated compensation for the CAFGU's, including the payment of separation benefits
but it added the following Special Provision providing for CAFGUs eventual deactivation.

The President declared in his Veto Message that the implementation of this Special Provision to the
item on the CAFGU's shall be subject to prior Presidential approval pursuant to P.D. No. 1597 and
R.A.. No. 6758.

Petitioners claim that the Congress has required the deactivation of the CAFGU's when it appropriated
the money for payment of the separation pay of the members of thereof. The President, however,
directed that the deactivation should be done in accordance to his timetable, taking into consideration
the peace and order situation in the affected localities.

Petitioners complain that the directive of the President was tantamount to an administrative embargo
of the congressional will to implement the Constitution's command to dissolve the CAFGU's.

They argue that the President cannot impair or withhold expenditures authorized and appropriated by
Congress when neither the Appropriations Act nor other legislation authorize such impounding.
The Solicitor General contends that it is the President, as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces
of the Philippines, who should determine when the services of the CAFGU's are no longer needed.

This is the first case before this Court where the power of the President to impound is put in issue.
Impoundment refers to a refusal by the President, for whatever reason, to spend funds made available
by Congress. It is the failure to spend or obligate budget authority of any type.

Those who deny to the President the power to impound argue that once Congress has set aside the
fund for a specific purpose in an appropriations act, it becomes mandatory on the part of the President
to implement the project and to spend the money appropriated therefor. The President has no
discretion on the matter, for the Constitution imposes on him the duty to faithfully execute the laws.

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In refusing or deferring the implementation of an appropriation item, the President in effect exercises
a veto power that is not expressly granted by the Constitution. As a matter of fact, the Constitution
does not say anything about impounding. The source of the Executive authority must be found
elsewhere.

Proponents of impoundment have invoked at least three principal sources of the authority of the
President. Foremost is the authority to impound given to him either expressly or impliedly by
Congress. Second is the executive power drawn from the President's role as Commander-in-Chief.
Third is the Faithful Execution Clause which ironically is the same provision invoked by petitioners
herein.

The proponents insist that a faithful execution of the laws requires that the President desist from
implementing the law if doing so would prejudice public interest. An example given is when through
efficient and prudent management of a project, substantial savings are made. In such a case, it is sheer
folly to expect the President to spend the entire amount budgeted in the law.

We do not find anything in the language used in the challenged Special Provision that would imply
that Congress intended to deny to the President the right to defer or reduce the spending, much less to
deactivate 11,000 CAFGU members all at once in 1994. But even if such is the intention, the
appropriation law is not the proper vehicle for such purpose. Such intention must be embodied and
manifested in another law considering that it abrades the powers of the Commander-in-Chief and
there are existing laws on the creation of the CAFGU's to be amended. Again we state: a provision in
an appropriations act cannot be used to repeal or amend other laws, in this case, P.D. No. 1597 and
R.A. No. 6758.

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Webb vs. De Leon15


Facts
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed with the Department of Justice a letter-complaint
charging petitioners Hubert Webb, Michael Gatchalian, Antonio J. Lejano and six (6) other persons,
with the crime of Rape with Homicide.

The DOJ Panel issued a Resolution "finding probable cause to hold respondents for trial" and
recommending that Information for rape with homicide be filed against petitioners and their co-
respondents, on the same date, it filed the corresponding Information against petitioners and their co-
accused with the Regional Trial Court.

In their petitions at bar, petitioners contend, among others, the DOJ Panel unlawfully intruded into
judicial prerogative when it failed to charge Jessica Alfaro in the Information as an accused.

Issue
Whether or not Alfaro shouldve been included in the information.

Held
Who to prosecute is the Executives prerogative.

Petitioners fault the DOJ Panel for not including Alfaro in the Information considering her alleged
conspiratorial participation in the crime of rape with homicide. The non-inclusion of Alfaro is
anchored on Republic Act No. 6981, entitled "An Act Providing For A Witness Protection, Security
And Benefit Program And For Other Purposes" enacted on April 24, 1991. Alfaro qualified under its
Section 10. Upon qualification of Alfaro to the program, Section 12 of the said law mandates her non-
inclusion in the criminal Complaint or Information

Petitioner Webb challenges the validity of these provisions. It is urged that they constitute ". . . an
intrusion into judicial prerogative for it is only the court which has the power under the Rules on
Criminal Procedure to discharge an accused as a state witness." The argument is based on Section 9,
Rule 119 that gives the court the prerogative to approve the discharge of an accused to be a state
witness.

Petitioner's argument lacks appeal for it lies on the faulty assumption that the decision whom to
prosecute is a judicial function, the sole prerogative of courts and beyond executive and legislative
interference. In truth, the prosecution of crimes appertains to the executive department of government
whose principal power and responsibility is to see that our laws are faithfully executed. A necessary
component of this power to execute our laws is the right to prosecute their violators. The right to
prosecute vests the prosecutor with a wide range of discretion the discretion of whether, what and
whom to charge, the exercise of which depends on a smorgasbord of factors that are best appreciated
by prosecutors.

We thus hold that it is not constitutionally impermissible for Congress to enact R.A. No. 6981 vesting
in the Department of Justice the power to determine who can qualify as a witness in the program and
who shall be granted immunity from prosecution. Section 9 of Rule 119 does not support the
proposition that the power to choose who shall be a state witness is an inherent judicial prerogative.
Petitioner Webb's challenge to the validity of R.A. No. 6981 cannot therefore succeed.


15 Not sure why this case is under Art. VII Sec. 1

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Belgica vs. Ochoa Jr.16

Why the PDAF is unconstitutional


1. Violates separation of powers
a. Congress is limited to oversight function in the implementation and/or enforcement
of the law (such as the GAA). The PDAF Articles allowed individual legislators to
identify projects post-GAA, post-enactment authority to identify PDAF projects, and
post-enactment authority in the areas of fund release and alignment.
b. Clearly, these post-enactment measures that govern the areas of project identification,
fund release and fund realignment are not related to functions of congressional
oversight and, hence, allow legislators to intervene and/or assume duties that properly
belong to the sphere of budget execution.
2. Undue delegation of legislative power
a. Legislators are effectively allowed to individually exercise the power of appropriation,
which is lodged in Congress.
b. Individual legislators are given a personal lump-sum fund from which they are able to
dictate
i. How much from such fund would go to
ii. A specific project or beneficiary that they themselves also determine.
As these two (2) acts comprise the exercise of the power of appropriation as
described in Bengzon, and given that the 2013 PDAF Article authorizes individual
legislators to perform the same, undoubtedly, said legislators have been conferred the
power to legislate which the Constitution does not, however, allow.
3. Violates checks and balances
a. The PDAF provides for appropriations that merely provide a singular lump-sum
amount to be tapped as a source of funding for multiple purposes.
b. Legislators are provided funds and able to identify projects only post-GAA thereby
depriving the President of his/her veto power.
c. The President is forced to decide without knowing the specific allocations for the
PDAF funds
4. Accountability
a. The fact that individual legislators are given post-enactment roles in the
implementation of the budget makes it difficult for them to become disinterested
"observers" when scrutinizing, investigating or monitoring the implementation of the
appropriation law. To a certain extent, the conduct of oversight would be tainted as
said legislators, who are vested with post-enactment authority, would, in effect, be
checking on activities in which they themselves participate.
5. Local autonomy
a. Individual legislators are authorized to intervene in purely local matters and thereby
subvert genuine local autonomy. A Congressman can simply bypass the local
development council and initiate projects on his own, and even take sole credit for its
execution.
b. The allocation/division limits are clearly not based on genuine parameters of equality,
wherein economic or geographic indicators have been taken into consideration. As a
result, a district representative of a highly urbanized metropolis gets the same amount
of funding as a district representative of a far-flung rural province that would be
relatively underdeveloped compared to the former.


16 Case is too long, just read the original. Besides, its a landmark case sure to appear in the Bar.

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Why the Presidents pork barrel is unconstitutional


1. Appropriation is valid
a. The Court cannot sustain the argument that the appropriation must be the "primary
and specific" purpose of the law in order for a valid appropriation law to exist. To
reiterate, if a legal provision designates a determinate or determinable amount of
money and allocates the same for a particular public purpose, then the legislative
intent to appropriate becomes apparent and, hence, already sufficient to satisfy the
requirement of an "appropriation made by law" under contemplation of the
Constitution.
2. There was undue delegation
a. The phrase "and for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the
President" under Section 8 of PD 910 constitutes an undue delegation of legislative
power insofar as it does not lay down a sufficient standard to adequately determine
the limits of the Presidents authority with respect to the purpose for which the
Malampaya Funds may be used.
b. As to the Presidential Social Fund
i. The phrase "to finance the priority infrastructure development projects" must
be stricken down as unconstitutional since similar to the above-assailed
provision under Section 8 of PD 910 it lies independently unfettered by any
sufficient standard of the delegating law. As they are severable, all other
provisions of Section 12 of PD 1869, as amended by PD 1993, remains
legally effective and subsisting.

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Estrada vs. Desierto


Facts
Key phrase: Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson accused President Estrada of receiving money from
Jueteng lords. The accusation started a landslide that resulted in impeachment proceedings against
him. The impeachment proceedings were aborted however when the senators, voting 11-10, refused to
open the controversial envelope containing evidence President Estrada held billions in a secret bank
account under the name Jose Velarde. The non-opening started rallies resulting in President
Estradas eventual overthrow from the Presidency and Vice-President Arroyo replacing him.

Issue
Whether or not petitioner resigned as President.

Held
Petitioner resigned.

Petitioner denies he resigned as President or that he suffers from a permanent disability. Hence, he
submits that the office of the President was not vacant when respondent Arroyo took her oath as
president.

The issue then is whether the petitioner resigned as President or should be considered resigned when
respondent took her oath as the 14th President of the Republic. Resignation is not a high level legal
abstraction. It is a factual question and its elements are beyond quibble: there must be intent to resign
and the intent must be coupled by acts of relinquishment. The validity of a resignation is not governed
by any formal requirement as to form. It can be oral. It can be written. It can be express. It can be
implied. As long as the resignation is clear, it must be given legal effect.

In the cases at bar, the facts shows that petitioner did not write any formal letter of resignation before
he evacuated Malacanang Palace in the Afternoon of January 20, 2001 after the oath taking of
respondent Arroyo. Consequently, whether or not petitioner resigned has to be determined from his
acts and omissions before, during and after January 20, 2001 or by the totality of prior,
contemporaneous and posterior facts and circumstantial evidence bearing a material relevance on the
issue.

Using this totality test, we hold that petitioner resigned as President.

We hold that the resignation of the petitioner cannot be doubted:17


1. His leaving Malacanang confirmed it.
2. In the press release containing his final statement,
a. He acknowledged the oath-taking of the respondent as President of the Republic
albeit with the reservation about its legality;
b. He emphasized he was leaving the Palace, the seat of the presidency, for the sake of
peace and in order to begin the healing process of our nation. He did not say he was
leaving the Palace due to any kind of inability and that he was going to re-assume the
presidency as soon as the disability disappears;
c. He expressed his gratitude to the people for the opportunity to serve them. Without
doubt, he was referring to the past opportunity given him to serve the people as
President;
d. He assured that he would not shirk from any future challenge that may come ahead in
the same service of our country. Petitioners reference is to a future challenge after
occupying the office of the president which he has given up; and
e. He called on his supporters to join him in the promotion of a constructive national
spirit of reconciliation and solidarity. Certainly, the national spirit of reconciliation
and solidarity could not be attained if he did not give up the presidency. The press

17 Take note of Angara Diary as well

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release was petitioners valedictory, his final act of farewell. His presidency is now in
the past tense.

It is, however, urged that the petitioner did not resign but only took a temporary leave of absence due
to his inability to govern. In support of this thesis, the letter dated January 20, 2001 of the petitioner
sent to Senate President Pimentel and Speaker Fuentebella is cited. Again, we refer to the said letter,
viz:
Sir
By virtue of the provisions of Section II, Article VII of the Constitution, I am hereby transmitting this declaration
that I am unable to exercise the powers and duties of my office. By operation of law and the Constitution, the
Vice President shall be the Acting President.
(Sgd.) Joseph Ejercito Estrada

To say the least, the above letter is wrapped in mystery. The pleadings filed by the petitioner in the
cases at bar did not discuss, nay even intimate, the circumstances that led to its preparation. Neither
did the counsel of the petitioner reveal to the Court these circumstances during the oral argument. It
strikes the Court as strange that the petitioner never referred to the letter, despite its legal value,
during the weeklong crisis. Under any circumstance, however, the mysterious letter cannot negate the
resignation of the petitioner. Petitioners resignation from the presidency cannot be the subject of a
changing caprice nor of a whimsical will especially if the resignation is the result of his repudiation
by the people.

After petitioner contended that as a matter of fact he did not resign, he also argues that he could not
resign as a matter of law. He relies on section 12 of RA No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft
and Corrupt Practices Act, which allegedly prohibits his resignation. Be that as it may, the intent of
the law ought to be obvious. It is to prevent the act of resignation or retirement from being used by a
public official as a protective shield to stop the investigation of a pending criminal or administrative
case against him and to prevent his prosecution under the Anti-Graft Law or prosecution for bribery
under the Revised Penal Code.

Whether or not the petitioner is only unable to temporarily act as President

We shall now tackle the contention of the petitioner that he is merely temporarily unable to perform
the powers and duties of the presidency, and hence is a President on leave. As aforestated, the
inability claim is contained in the January 20, 2001 letter of petitioner sent on the same day to Senate
President Pimentel and Speaker Fuentebella.

Petitioner postulates that respondent Arroyo as Vice President has no power to adjudge the inability
of the petitioner to discharge the powers and duties of the presidency. His significant submittal is that
Congress has the ultimate authority under the Constitution to determine whether the President is
incapable of performing his functions in the manner provided for in section 11 of Article VII. This
contention is the centerpiece of petitioners stance that he is a President on leave and respondent
Arroyo is only an Acting President.

However, both houses of Congress have recognized respondent Arroyo as the President. Implicitly
clear in that recognition is the premise that the inability of petitioner Estrada is no longer temporary.
Congress has clearly rejected petitioners claim of inability.

The question is whether this Court has jurisdiction to review the claim of temporary inability of
petitioner Estrada and thereafter revise the decision of both Houses of Congress recognizing
respondent Arroyo as President of the Philippines. Following Tanada v. Cuenco, we hold that this
Court cannot exercise its judicial power for this is an issue in regard to which full discretionary
authority has been delegated to the Legislative branch of the government. Or to use the language in
Baker vs. Carr, there is a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a
coordinate political department or a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for

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resolving it. Clearly, the Court cannot pass upon petitioners claim of inability to discharge the powers
and duties of the presidency. The question is political in nature and addressed solely to Congress by
constitutional fiat. It is a political issue that cannot be decided by this Court without transgressing the
principle of separation of powers.

In fine, even if the petitioner can prove that he did not resign, still, he cannot successfully claim that
he is a President on leave on the ground that he is merely unable to govern temporarily. That claim
has been laid to rest by Congress and the decision that respondent Arroyo is the de jure President
made by a co-equal branch of government cannot be reviewed by this Court.

Whether or not petitioner enjoys immunity from suit

Petitioner Estrada makes two submissions: first, the cases filed against him before the respondent
Ombudsman should be prohibited because he has not been convicted in the impeachment proceedings
against him; and second, he enjoys immunity from all kinds of suit, whether criminal or civil.

We reject his argument that he cannot be prosecuted for the reason that he must first be convicted in
the impeachment proceedings. The impeachment trial of petitioner Estrada was aborted by the
walkout of the prosecutors and by the events that led to his loss of the presidency. Indeed, the Senate
passed Senate Resolution No. 83 Recognizing that the Impeachment Court is Functus Officio. Since
the Impeachment Court is now functus officio, it is untenable for petitioner to demand that he should
first be impeached and then convicted before he can be prosecuted. The plea if granted, would put a
perpetual bar against his prosecution. To be sure, the debates in the Constitutional Commission make
it clear that when impeachment proceedings have become moot due to the resignation of the President,
the proper criminal and civil cases may already be filed against him.

Incumbent Presidents are immune from suit or from being brought to court during the period of their
incumbency and tenure but not beyond. Considering the peculiar circumstance that the impeachment
process against the petitioner has been aborted and thereafter he lost the presidency, petitioner Estrada
cannot demand as a condition sine qua non to his criminal prosecution before the Ombudsman that he
be convicted in the impeachment proceedings.

We now come to the scope of immunity that can be claimed by petitioner as a non-sitting President.
The cases filed against petitioner Estrada are criminal in character. They involve plunder, bribery and
graft and corruption. By no stretch of the imagination can these crimes, especially plunder which
carries the death penalty, be covered by the allege mantle of immunity of a non-sitting president.
Petitioner cannot cite any decision of this Court licensing the President to commit criminal acts and
wrapping him with post-tenure immunity from liability. It will be anomalous to hold that immunity is
an inoculation from liability for unlawful acts and omissions.

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Civil Liberties Union vs. Executive Secretary


Facts
These two (2) petitions seek a declaration of the unconstitutionality of Executive Order No. 284
issued by President Corazon C. Aquino. The pertinent provisions of the assailed Executive Order are:
Sec. 1. Even if allowed by law or by the ordinary functions of his position, a member of the Cabinet,
undersecretary or assistant secretary or other appointive officials of the Executive Department may, in addition
to his primary position, hold not more than two positions in the government and government corporations and
receive the corresponding compensation therefor; Provided, that this limitation shall not apply to ad hoc bodies
or committees, or to boards, councils or bodies of which the President is the Chairman.
Sec. 2. If a member of the cabinet, undersecretary or assistant secretary or other appointive official of the
Executive Department holds more positions than what is allowed in Section 1 hereof, they (sic) must relinquish
the excess position in favor of the subordinate official who is next in rank, but in no case shall any official hold
more than two positions other than his primary position.

Petitioners, on the principal submission that it adds exceptions to Section 13 Article VII other than
those provided in the Constitution, are challenging the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 284.
According to petitioners, 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: (1) The Vice-President may be appointed as a Member of the Cabinet under
Section 3, par. (2), Article VII thereof; and (2) the Secretary of Justice is an ex-officio member of the
Judicial and Bar Council by virtue of Section 8 (1), Article VIII.

Petitioners further argue that the exception to the prohibition in Section 7, par. (2), Article I-XB on
the Civil Service Commission applies to officers and employees of the Civil Service in general and
that said exceptions do not apply and cannot be extended to Section 13, Article VII which applies
specifically to the President, Vice-President, Members of the Cabinet and their deputies or assistants.

There is no dispute that the prohibition against the President, Vice-President, the members of the
Cabinet and their deputies or assistants from holding dual or multiple positions in the Government
admits of certain exceptions. The disagreement between petitioners and public respondents lies on the
constitutional basis of the exception. Petitioners insist that because of the phrase "unless otherwise
provided in this Constitution" used in Section 13 of Article VII, the exception must be expressly
provided in the Constitution, as in the case of the Vice-President being allowed to become a Member
of the Cabinet under the second paragraph of Section 3, Article VII or the Secretary of Justice being
designated an ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council under Article VIII, Sec. 8 (1). Public
respondents, on the other hand, maintain that the phrase "unless otherwise provided in the
Constitution" in Section 13, Article VII makes reference to Section 7, par. (2), Article I-XB insofar as
the appointive officials mentioned therein are concerned.

Issue
Whether or not the prohibition in Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution insofar as Cabinet
members, their deputies or assistants are concerned admit of the broad exceptions made for appointive
officials in general under Section 7, par. (2), Article I-XB

Held
The exceptions in Article I-XB do not apply to the prohibition in Section 13, Article VII

While all other appointive officials in the civil service are allowed to hold other office or employment
in the government during their tenure when such is allowed by law or by the primary functions of
their positions, members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants may do so only when expressly
authorized by the Constitution itself. In other words, Section 7, Article I-XB is meant to lay down the
general rule applicable to all elective and appointive public officials and employees, while Section 13,
Article VII is meant to be the exception applicable only to the President, the Vice- President,
Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants.

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This being the case, the qualifying phrase "unless otherwise provided in this Constitution" in Section
13, Article VII cannot possibly refer to the broad exceptions provided under Section 7, Article I-XB
of the 1987 Constitution. To construe said qualifying phrase as respondents would have us do, would
render nugatory and meaningless the manifest intent and purpose of the framers of the Constitution to
impose a stricter prohibition on the President, Vice-President, Members of the Cabinet, their deputies
and assistants with respect to holding other offices or employment in the government during their
tenure. Respondents' interpretation that Section 13 of Article VII admits of the exceptions found in
Section 7, par. (2) of Article IX-B would obliterate the distinction so carefully set by the framers of
the Constitution as to when the high-ranking officials of the Executive Branch from the President to
Assistant Secretary, on the one hand, and the generality of civil servants from the rank immediately
below Assistant Secretary downwards, on the other, may hold any other office or position in the
government during their tenure.

The phrase "unless otherwise provided in this Constitution" must be given a literal interpretation to
refer only to those particular instances cited in the Constitution itself, to wit: the Vice-President being
appointed as a member of the Cabinet under Section 3, par. (2), Article VII; or acting as President in
those instances provided under Section 7, pars. (2) and (3), Article VII; and, the Secretary of Justice
being ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council by virtue of Section 8 (1), Article VIII.

The prohibition against holding dual or multiple offices or employment under Section 13, Article VII
of the Constitution must not, however, be construed as applying to posts occupied by the Executive
officials specified therein without additional compensation in an ex-officio capacity as provided by
law and as required by the primary functions of said officials' office. The reason is that these posts do
no comprise "any other office" within the contemplation of the constitutional prohibition but are
properly an imposition of additional duties and functions on said officials.

Mandating additional duties and functions to the President, Vice-President, Cabinet Members, their
deputies or assistants which are not inconsistent with those already prescribed by their offices or
appointments by virtue of their special knowledge, expertise and skill in their respective executive
offices is a practice long-recognized in many jurisdictions. It is a practice justified by the demands of
efficiency, policy direction, continuity and coordination among the different offices in the Executive
Branch in the discharge of its multifarious tasks of executing and implementing laws affecting
national interest and general welfare and delivering basic services to the people. It is consistent with
the power vested on the President and his alter egos, the Cabinet members, to have control of all the
executive departments, bureaus and offices and to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed.
Without these additional duties and functions being assigned to the President and his official family to
sit in the governing bodies or boards of governmental agencies or instrumentalities in an ex-officio
capacity as provided by law and as required by their primary functions, they would be supervision,
thereby deprived of the means for control and resulting in an unwieldy and confused bureaucracy.

In the light of the construction given to Section 13, Article VII in relation to Section 7, par. (2),
Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution, Executive Order No. 284 dated July 23, 1987 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 two (2) positions in the government and government corporations, Executive Order No. 284
actually allows them to hold multiple offices or employment in direct contravention of the express
mandate of Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution prohibiting them from doing so, unless
otherwise provided in the 1987 Constitution itself.

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In re Appointment of Valenzuela18
Facts
Key phrase: The President appointed Hon. Mateo A. Valenzuela and Hon. Placido B. Vallarta as
Judges of the Regional Trial Court. The Chief Justice received from Malacanang the appointments.
The trouble is that in doing so, the Chief Justice runs the risk of acting in a manner inconsistent with
the Constitution, for these appointments appear prima facie, at least, to be expressly prohibited by
Section 15, Article VII of the charter.

Issue
Whether or not, during the period of the ban on appointments imposed by Section 15, Article VII of
the Constitution, the President is nonetheless required to fill vacancies in the judiciary, in view of
Sections 4(1) and 9 of Article VIII.

Held
Not required.

The Court's view is that during the period stated in Section 15, Article VII of the Constitution - "(t)wo
months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term" - the
President is neither required to make appointments to the courts nor allowed to do so; and that
Sections 4(1) and 9 of Article VIII simply mean that the President is required to fill vacancies in the
courts within the time frames provided therein unless prohibited by Section 15 of Article VII. It is
noteworthy that the prohibition on appointments comes into effect only once every six years.

Section 15, Article VII has a broader scope than the Aytona ruling.19 It may not unreasonably be
deemed to contemplate not only "midnight" appointments - those made obviously for partisan reasons
as shown by their number and the time of their making - but also appointments presumed made for the
purpose of influencing the outcome of the Presidential election.

On the other hand, the exception in the same Section 15 of Article VII - allowing appointments to be
made during the period of the ban therein provided - is much narrower than that recognized in Aytona.
The exception allows only the making of temporary appointments to executive positions when
continued vacancies will prejudice public service or endanger public safety. Obviously, the article
greatly restricts the appointing power of the President during the period of the ban.

Considering the respective reasons for the time frames for filling vacancies in the courts and the
restriction on the President's power of appointment, it is this Court's view that, as a general
proposition, in case of conflict, the former should yield to the latter. Surely, the prevention of vote-
buying and similar evils outweighs the need for avoiding delays in filling up of court vacancies or the
disposition of some cases. Temporary vacancies can abide the period of the ban which, incidentally
and as earlier pointed out, comes to exist only once in every six years. Moreover, those occurring in
the lower courts can be filled temporarily by designation. But prohibited appointments are long-
lasting and permanent in their effects. They may, as earlier pointed out, in fact influence the results of
elections and, for that reason, their making is considered an election offense.

To the contention that may perhaps be asserted, that Sections 4 (1) and 9 of Article VIII should
prevail over Section 15 of Article VII, because they may be considered later expressions of the people
when they adopted the Constitution, it suffices to point out that the Constitution must be construed in
its entirety as one, single, instrument.

To be sure, instances may be conceived of the imperative need for an appointment, during the period
of the ban, not only in the executive but also in the Supreme Court. This may be the case should the
membership of the court be so reduced that it will have no quorum or should the voting on a

18 Overturned by De Castro vs. JBC
19 Midnight appointments made by outgoing President Garcia were upheld.

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particularly important question requiring expeditious resolution be evenly divided. Such a case,
however, is covered by neither Section 15 of Article VII nor Section 4 (1) and 9 of Article VIII.

Conclusion
The appointments of Messrs. Valenzuela and Vallarta on March 30, 1998 (transmitted to the Office of
the Chief Justice on May 14, 1998) were unquestionably made during the period of the ban.
Consequently, they come within the operation of the first prohibition relating to appointments that are
considered to be for the purpose of buying votes or influencing the election. While the filling of
vacancies in the judiciary is undoubtedly in the public interest, there is no showing in this case of any
compelling reason to justify the making of the appointments during the period of the ban. On the other
hand, as already discussed, there is a strong public policy for the prohibition against appointments
made within the period of the ban.

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De Castro vs. JBC20


Facts
These cases trace their genesis to the controversy that has arisen from the forthcoming compulsory
retirement of Chief Justice Puno on May 17, 2010, or seven days after the presidential election. Under
Section 4(1), in relation to Section 9, Article VIII, that vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from
the occurrence thereof from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council
for every vacancy.

On December 22, 2009, Congressman Matias V. Defensor, an ex officio member of the JBC,
addressed a letter to the JBC, requesting that the process for nominations to the office of the Chief
Justice be commenced immediately.

Conformably with its existing practice, the JBC automatically considered for the position of Chief
Justice the five most senior of the Associate Justices of the Court. The JBC resolved to proceed to the
next step of announcing the names of the following candidates to invite the public to file their sworn
complaint, written report, or opposition, if any, not later than February 22, 2010.

Although it has already begun the process for the filling of the position of Chief Justice Puno in
accordance with its rules, the JBC is not yet decided on when to submit to the President its list of
nominees for the position due to the controversy now before us being yet unresolved. In the
meanwhile, time is marching in quick step towards May 17, 2010 when the vacancy occurs upon the
retirement of Chief Justice Puno.

Issue
Whether or not the prohibition in Section 15, Article VII extends to the Judiciary.

Held
Prohibition under Section 15, Article VII does not apply to appointments to fill a vacancy in the
Supreme Court or to other appointments to the Judiciary.

As can be seen, Article VII is devoted to the Executive Department, and, among others, it lists the
powers vested by the Constitution in the President. Article VIII is dedicated to the Judicial
Department and defines the duties and qualifications of Members of the Supreme Court, among

Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition contained in Section 15, Article VII to the
appointment of Members of the Supreme Court, they could have explicitly done so. That such
specification was not done only reveals that the prohibition against the President or Acting President
making appointments within two months before the next presidential elections and up to the end of
the Presidents or Acting Presidents term does not refer to the Members of the Supreme Court.

Moreover, the usage in Section 4(1), Article VIII of the word shall an imperative, operating to impose
a duty that may be enforced should not be disregarded. Thereby, Sections 4(1) imposes on the
President the imperative duty to make an appointment of a Member of the Supreme Court within 90
days from the occurrence of the vacancy. The failure by the President to do so will be a clear
disobedience to the Constitution.

Section 14, Section 15, and Section 16 are obviously of the same character, in that they affect the
power of the President to appoint. The fact that Section 14 and Section 16 refer only to appointments
within the Executive Department renders conclusive that Section 15 also applies only to the Executive
Department. This conclusion is consistent with the rule that every part of the statute must be
interpreted with reference to the context, i.e. that every part must be considered together with the
other parts, and kept subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment.


20 Overturns In re Valenzuela, prohibition on midnight appointments does not extend to Judiciary.

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Section 15, Article VII does not apply as well to all other appointments in the Judiciary.

Given the background and rationale for the prohibition in Section 15, Article VII, we have no doubt
that the Constitutional Commission confined the prohibition to appointments made in the Executive
Department. The framers did not need to extend the prohibition to appointments in the Judiciary,
because their establishment of the JBC and their subjecting the nomination and screening of
candidates for judicial positions to the unhurried and deliberate prior process of the JBC ensured that
there would no longer be midnight appointments to the Judiciary. Also, the intervention of the JBC
eliminates the danger that appointments to the Judiciary can be made for the purpose of buying votes
in a coming presidential election, or of satisfying partisan considerations.

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Rafael vs. Embroidery and Apparel Control Board


Facts
Petitioner, who was engaged in the manufacture of embroidery and apparel products for the purpose
of exportation, using imported raw materials and doing business under the style "El Barato Alce
Company", was authorized by the Collector of Customs to operate a manufacturing bonded
warehouse. By virtue of such authority petitioner imported raw materials exempt from duty and
proceeded to manufacture them into finished products for export under the terms and conditions
required and specified in the letter-authority.

Meanwhile, Republic Act No. 313721 was enacted, creating "an embroidery and apparel control and
inspection board covering control, issuance of entry permits and inspection of conditionally tax-free
raw material importations by local embroidery apparel manufacturers and the corresponding
liquidation of re-exportations thereof as Philippine made embroideries and apparels."

In compliance with these provisions the Apparel Control and Inspection Board (hereinafter referred to
as the Board) was subsequently constituted with the representative from the Bureau of Customs as
Chairman and the representatives from the Central Bank, the Department of Commerce and Industry,
and the National Economic Council as members, each of them having been previously designated by
their respective department heads. Upon recommendation of the Philippine Association of
Embroidery and Apparel Exporters, Inc., the Department of Finance named Quintin Santiago,
association president, as the representative from the private sector.

The Board requested petitioner to "submit to (the Board) pertinent data called for in the attached form
of application for license which should be duly accomplished before a notary public." Petitioner was
"also requested to remit with the aforementioned application the amount of P200.00 either in cash or
in a check drawn in favor of the Embroidery and Apparel Control Board. This amount will be charged
against (petitioner's) future assessments as per Sec. 4, par. XVI of Republic Act No. 3137."

Unwilling to comply with the Board's request, petitioner filed an action for prohibition with
preliminary injunction in the court a quo or the purpose of enjoining or restraining respondents from
enforcing the provisions of Republic Act 3137.

Issue
Whether or not RA 3137 deprives the President of the power to make appointments.

Held
We see no attempt in Republic Act 3137 to deprive the President of his power to make appointments,
and therefore on this point we rule that the law is not unconstitutional.
Petitioner points to several features of Republic Act 3137 to support his claim of invalidity. The first
is found in section 2, providing for the composition of the Board. The argument is that while
Congress may create an office it cannot specify who shall be appointed therein; that the members of

21 Sec. 2. This license required hereof under Section One of this Act shall be duly issued by an Embroidery

and Apparel Control and Inspection Board which is hereby created and hereinafter referred to as the
Board, composed of: (1) A representative from the Bureau of Customs to act as Chairman, to be
designated by the Secretary of Finance; (2) A representative from the Central Bank to be designated by its
Governor; (3) A representative from the Department of Commerce and Industry to be designated by the
Secretary of Commerce and Industry; (4) A representative from the National Economic Council to be
designated by its Chairman; (5) A representative from the private sector coming from the Association of
Embroidery and Apparel Exporters of the Philippines. The Board shall have the over-all control and shall
administer the checks and counter-checks of consigned textile, leather gloves raw materials and/or
supplies to embroidery and apparel manufacturers and corresponding counter-checks for liquidations of
said goods prior to re-exportations. No other government instrumentality or agency shall be authorized
to qualify or question the validity of license so issued by the Board. Questions of legality and
interpretation of any license so issued shall be decided exclusively by the Board subject to appeal to
courts, of competent jurisdiction.

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the Board can only be appointed by the President in accordance with Article VII, Sec. 10, sub-section
3 of the Constitution; that since the Act prescribes that the chairman and members of the Board
should come from specified offices, it is equivalent to a declaration by Congress as to who should be
appointed, thereby infringing the constitutional power of the President to make appointments.

We find the argument untenable.

An examination of section 2 of the questioned statute reveals that for the chairman and members of
the Board to qualify the respective department heads need only designate them. With the exception of
the representative from the private sector, they sit ex-officio. In order to be designated they must
already be holding positions in the offices mentioned in the law. Thus, for instance, one who does not
hold a previous appointment in the Bureau of Customs cannot, under the Act, be designated
representative from that office. The same is true with respect to the representatives from the other
offices. No new appointments are necessary. This is as it should be, because the representatives so
designated merely perform duties in the Board in addition to those they already perform under their
original appointments.

Congress may increase the power and duties of an existing office without thereby rendering it
necessary that the incumbent should be again nominated and appointed.

Inasmuch as nothing in the Act, nor in the records of the case for that matter, suggests that the
designated representatives to the Board will lose or forfeit their original appointments in their "parent"
offices, it is evident that for purposes of their tenure on the Board they can be considered as merely on
detail, subject to recall by their respective chiefs.

It is significant that Congress, took care to specify, that the representatives should come from the
Bureau of Customs, Central Bank, Department of Commerce and Industry and the National Economic
Council. The obvious reason must be because these departments and/or bureaus perform functions
that have a direct relation to the importation of raw materials, the manufacture thereof into
embroidery and apparel products and their subsequent exportation abroad.

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Bermudez vs. Torres


Facts
The occurrence of a vacancy in the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Tarlac impelled the main
contestants in this case, petitioner Oscar Bermudez and respondent Conrado Quiaoit, to take
contrasting views on the proper interpretation of a provision in the 1987 Revised Administrative Code.

Bermudez, the First Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of Tarlac and Officer-In-Charge of the Office of
the Provincial Prosecutor, was a recommendee of then Justice Secretary Teofisto Guingona, Jr., for
the position of Provincial Prosecutor. Quiaoit, on the other hand, would appear to have had the
support of then Representative Jose Yap of the Second Legislative District of Tarlac. Quiaoit emerged
the victor when he was appointed by President Ramos to the coveted office

Bermudez together with his co-petitioners filed with the Regional Trial Court of Tarlac, a petition for
prohibition and/or injunction, and mandamus, with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of
injunction/temporary restraining order, against herein respondents, challenging the appointment of
Quiaoit primarily on the ground that the appointment lacks the recommendation of the Secretary of
Justice prescribed under the Revised Administrative Code of 1987

Issue
Whether or not the absence of a recommendation of the Secretary of Justice to the President can be
held fatal to the appointment of respondent Conrado Quiaoit.

Held
Appointment is valid.

This question would, in turn, pivot on the proper understanding of the provision of the Revised
Administrative Code of 1987 (Book IV, Title III, Chapter II, Section 9) to the effect that-
All provincial and city prosecutors and their assistants shall be appointed by the President upon the
recommendation of the Secretary of Justice.

Petitioners contend that an appointment of a provincial prosecutor mandatorily requires a prior


recommendation of the Secretary of Justice endorsing the intended. Respondents argue differently.

The power to appoint is, in essence, discretionary. The appointing power has the right of choice which
he may exercise freely according to his judgment, deciding for himself who is best qualified among
those who have the necessary qualifications and eligibilities. It is a prerogative of the appointing
power. Indeed, it may rightly be said that the right of choice is the heart of the power to appoint. In
the exercise of the power of appointment, discretion is an integral part thereof.

When the Constitution or the law clothes the President with the power to appoint a subordinate officer,
such conferment must be understood as necessarily carrying with it an ample discretion of whom to
appoint.

It is the considered view of the Court, given the above disquisition, that the phrase upon
recommendation of the Secretary, found in Section 9, Chapter II, Title III, Book IV, of the Revised
Administrative Code, should be interpreted, as it is normally so understood, to be a mere advise,
exhortation or indorsement, which is essentially persuasive in character and not binding or obligatory
upon the party to whom it is made. The recommendation is here nothing really more than advisory in
nature. The President, being the head of the Executive Department, could very well disregard or do
away with the action of the departments, bureaus or offices even in the exercise of discretionary
authority, and in so opting, he cannot be said as having acted beyond the scope of his authority.
The doctrine in San Juan, relied upon by petitioners, is tangential. While the tenor of the legal
provision in Executive Order No. 112 has some similarity with the provision in the 1987
Administrative Code in question, it is to be pointed out, however, that San Juan, construing the law,
has distinctively given stress to the constitutional mandate on local autonomy.

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When the Civil Service Commission interpreted the recommending power of the Provincial Governor
as purely directory, it went against the letter and spirit of the constitutional provisions on local
autonomy. If the DBM Secretary jealously hoards the entirety of budgetary powers and ignores the
right of local governments to develop self-reliance and resoluteness in the handling of their own funds,
the goal of meaningful local autonomy is frustrated and set back.

The Court there has explained that the President merely exercises general supervision over local
government units and local officials; hence, in the appointment of a Provincial Budget Officer, the
executive department, through the Secretary of Budget and Management, indeed had to share the
questioned power with the local government.

In the instant case, the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice and the appointment of the
President are acts of the Executive Department itself, and there is no sharing of power to speak of, the
latter being deemed for all intents and purposes as being merely an extension of the personality of the
President.

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Sarmiento vs. Mison


Facts
In this petition for prohibition, the petitioners seek to enjoin the respondent Salvador Mison from
performing the functions of the Office of Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs and the respondent
Guillermo Carague, as Secretary of the Department of Budget, from effecting disbursements in
payment of Mison's salaries and emoluments, on the ground that Mison's appointment as
Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs is unconstitutional by reason of its not having been
confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. The respondents, on the other hand, maintain the
constitutionality of respondent Mison's appointment without the confirmation of the Commission on
Appointments.

Issue
Whether or not the appointment of Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs requires the consent of
the Commission on Appointment.

Held
Consequently, we rule that the President of the Philippines acted within her constitutional authority
and power in appointing respondent Salvador Mison, Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs,
without submitting his nomination to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation. He is thus
entitled to exercise the full authority and functions of the office and to receive all the salaries and
emoluments pertaining thereto.

It is readily apparent that under the provisions of the 1987 Constitution, just quoted, there are four (4)
groups of officers whom the President shall appoint. These four (4) groups, to which we will hereafter
refer from time to time, are:
First, the heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, officers of the
armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in
him in this Constitution;
Second, all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law;
Third, those whom the President may be authorized by law to appoint;
Fourth, officers lower in rank whose appointments the Congress may by law vest in the President alone.

The first group of officers is clearly appointed with the consent of the Commission on Appointments.
Appointments of such officers are initiated by nomination and, if the Commission on Appointments
confirms the nomination, the President appoints.

The second, third and fourth groups of officers are the present bone of contention. Should they be
appointed by the President with or without the consent (confirmation) of the Commission on
Appointments? By following the accepted rule in constitutional and statutory construction that an
express enumeration of subjects excludes others not enumerated, it would follow that only those
appointments to positions expressly stated in the first group require the consent (confirmation) of the
Commission on Appointments. But we need not rely solely on this basic rule of constitutional
construction. We can refer to historical background as well as to the records of the 1986
Constitutional Commission to determine, with more accuracy, if not precision, the intention of the
framers of the 1987 Constitution and the people adopting it, on whether the appointments by the
President, under the second, third and fourth groups, require the consent (confirmation) of the
Commission on Appointments. Again

The purposive intention and deliberate judgment of the framers of the 1987 Constitution that,
except as to those officers whose appointments require the consent of the Commission on
Appointments by express mandate of the first sentence in Sec. 16, Art. VII, appointments of other
officers are left to the President without need of confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.
Besides, the power to appoint is fundamentally executive or presidential in character. Limitations on
or qualifications of such power should be strictly construed against them. Such limitations or
qualifications must be clearly stated in order to be recognized. But, it is only in the first sentence of

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Sec. 16, Art. VII where it is clearly stated that appointments by the President to the positions therein
enumerated require the consent of the Commission on Appointments.

As to the fourth group of officers whom the President can appoint, the intervenor Commission on
Appointments underscores the third sentence in Sec. 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, which
reads:
The Congress may, by law, vest the appointment of other officers lower in rank in the President alone, in the
courts, or in the heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards. [Emphasis supplied].

and argues that, since a law is needed to vest the appointment of lower-ranked officers in the
President alone, this implies that, in the absence of such a law, lower-ranked officers have to be
appointed by the President subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments; and, if this
is so, as to lower-ranked officers, it follows that higher-ranked officers should be appointed by the
President, subject also to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.

The respondents, on the other hand, submit that the third sentence of Sec. 16, Article VII,
abovequoted, merely declares that, as to lower-ranked officers, the Congress may by law vest their
appointment in the President, in the courts, or in the heads of the various departments, agencies,
commissions, or boards in the government. No reason however is submitted for the use of the word
"alone" in said third sentence.

The Court is not impressed by both arguments. It is of the considered opinion, after a careful study of
the deliberations of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, that the use of the word alone" after the
word "President" in said third sentence of Sec. 16, Article VII is, more than anything else, a slip or
lapsus in draftsmanship.

In the 1987 Constitution, however, as already pointed out, the clear and expressed intent of its framers
was to exclude presidential appointments from confirmation by the Commission on Appointments,
except appointments to offices expressly mentioned in the first sentence of Sec. 16, Article VII.
Consequently, there was no reason to use in the third sentence of Sec. 16, Article VII the word
"alone" after the word "President" because the power to appoint officers whom he (the President) may
be authorized by law to appoint is already vested in the President, without need of confirmation by the
Commission on Appointments, in the second sentence of the same Sec. 16, Article VII.

Therefore, the third sentence of Sec. 16, Article VII could have stated merely that, in the case of
lower-ranked officers, the Congress may by law vest their appointment in the President, in the courts,
or in the heads of various departments of the government. In short, the word "alone" in the third
sentence of Sec. 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, as a literal import from the last part of par. 3,
section 10, Article VII of the 1935 Constitution, appears to be redundant in the light of the second
sentence of Sec. 16, Article VII. And, this redundancy cannot prevail over the clear and positive intent
of the framers of the 1987 Constitution that presidential appointments, except those mentioned in the
first sentence of Sec. 16, Article VII, are not subject to confirmation by the Commission on
Appointments.

Coming now to the immediate question before the Court, it is evident that the position of
Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs (a bureau head) is not one of those within the first group of
appointments where the consent of the Commission on Appointments is required.

Moreover, the President is expressly authorized by law to appoint the Commissioner of the Bureau of
Customs. Of course, these laws (Rep. Act No. 1937 and PD No. 34) were approved during the
effectivity of the 1935 Constitution, under which the President may nominate and, with the consent of
the Commission on Appointments, appoint the heads of bureaus, like the Commissioner of the Bureau
of Customs. After the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution, however, Rep. Act No. 1937 and PD No.
34 have to be read in harmony with Sec. 16, Art. VII, with the result that, while the appointment of
the Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs is one that devolves on the President, as an appointment

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he is authorized by law to make, such appointment, however, no longer needs the confirmation of the
Commission on Appointments.

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Calderon vs. Carale


Facts
RA 6715 (Herrera-Veloso Law), amending the Labor Code (PD 442) was approved. It provided as
follows:
Chairman, the Division Presiding Commissioners and other Commissioners shall all be appointed by
the President, subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.

Pursuant to said law (RA 6715), President Aquino appointed the Chairman and Commissioners of the
NLRC representing the public, workers and employers sectors. This petition for prohibition questions
the constitutionality and legality of the permanent appointments extended by the President of the
Philippines to the respondents Chairman and Members of the National Labor Relations Commission
(NLRC), without submitting the same to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation pursuant
to Art. 215 of the Labor Code as amended by said RA 6715.

Petitioner insists on a mandatory compliance with RA 6715 that has in its favor the presumption of
validity. RA 6715 is not, according to petitioner, an encroachment on the appointing power of the
executive contained in Section 16, Art. VII, of the Constitution, as Congress may, by law, require
confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of other officers appointed by the President
additional to those mentioned in the first sentence of Section 16 of Article VII of the Constitution.

The Solicitor General, on the other hand, contends that RA 6715 that amended the Labor Code
transgresses Section 16, Article VII by expanding the confirmation powers of the Commission on
Appointments without constitutional basis. Mison and Bautista laid the issue to rest, says the Solicitor
General

Issue
Whether or not Congress may, by law, require confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of
appointments extended by the president to government officers additional to those expressly
mentioned in the first sentence of Sec. 16, Art. VII of the Constitution whose appointments require
confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.

Held
Congress cannot, by law, require confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of appointments
extended by the president to government officers additional to those expressly mentioned in the first
sentence of Sec. 16, Art. VII of the Constitution whose appointments require confirmation by the
Commission on Appointments.

Indubitably, the NLRC Chairman and Commissioners fall within the second sentence of Section 16,
Article VII of the Constitution, more specifically under the "third groups" of appointees referred to in
Mison, i.e. those whom the President may be authorized by law to appoint. Undeniably, the Chairman
and Members of the NLRC are not among the officers mentioned in the first sentence of Section 16,
Article VII whose appointments requires confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. To the
extent that RA 6715 requires confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of the appointments
of respondents Chairman and Members of the National Labor Relations Commission, it is
unconstitutional because:
1. It amends by legislation, the first sentence of Sec. 16, Art. VII of the Constitution by adding
thereto appointments requiring confirmation by the Commission on Appointments; and
2. It amends by legislation the second sentence of Sec. 16, Art. VII of the Constitution, by
imposing the confirmation of the Commission on Appointments on appointments that are
otherwise entrusted only with the President.

The rulings in Mison, Bautista and Quintos-Deles have interpreted Art. VII, Sec. 16 consistently in
one manner. Can legislation expand a constitutional provision after the Supreme Court has interpreted
it?

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It cannot be overlooked that Sec. 16, Art. VII of the 1987 Constitution was deliberately, not
unconsciously, intended by the framers of the 1987 Constitution to be a departure from the system
embodied in the 1935 Constitution where the Commission on Appointments exercised the power of
confirmation over almost all presidential appointments, leading to many cases of abuse of such power
of confirmation.

The deliberate limitation on the power of confirmation of the Commission on Appointments over
presidential appointments, embodied in Sec. 16, Art. VII of the 1987 Constitution, has undoubtedly
evoked the displeasure and disapproval of members of Congress. The solution to the apparent
problem, if indeed a problem, is not judicial or legislative but constitutional. A future constitutional
convention or Congress sitting as a constituent (constitutional) assembly may then consider either a
return to the 1935 Constitutional provisions or the adoption of a hybrid system between the 1935 and
1987 constitutional provisions. Until then, it is the duty of the Court to apply the 1987 Constitution in
accordance with what it says and not in accordance with how the legislature or the executive would
want it interpreted.

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Rufino vs. Endriga


Facts
President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Executive Order No. 30 (E.O. 30) creating the Cultural Center
of the Philippines as a trust governed by a Board of Trustees to preserve and promote Philippine
culture. During the term of President Fidel V. Ramos, the CCP Board included the Endriga group.
Then President Joseph E. Estrada appointed new trustees (the Rufino group) to the CCP Board to
replace the Endriga group.

The Endriga group filed a petition for quo warranto before this Court questioning President Estrada's
appointment of seven new members to the CCP Board. The Endriga group alleged that under Section
6(b) of PD 15, vacancies in the CCP Board "shall be filled by election by a vote of a majority of the
trustees held at the next regular meeting x x x." In case "only one trustee survive[s], the vacancies
shall be filled by the surviving trustee acting in consultation with the ranking officers of the [CCP]."
The Endriga group claimed that it is only when the CCP Board is entirely vacant may the President of
the Philippines fill such vacancies, acting in consultation with the ranking officers of the CCP.

The Endriga group asserted that when former President Estrada appointed the Rufino group, only one
seat was vacant due to the expiration of Maosa's term. The CCP Board then had 10 incumbent
trustees. Presidential action was neither necessary nor justified since the CCP Board then still had 10
incumbent trustees who had the statutory power to fill by election any vacancy in the Board. The
Endriga group refused to accept that the CCP was under the supervision and control of the President.
The Endriga group cited Section 3 of PD 15, which states that the CCP "shall enjoy autonomy of
policy and operation x x x."

The Rufino group asserted that the law could only delegate to the CCP Board the power to appoint
officers lower in rank than the trustees of the Board. The law may not validly confer on the CCP
trustees the authority to appoint or elect their fellow trustees, for the latter would be officers of equal
rank and not of lower rank. Section 6(b) of PD 15 authorizing the CCP trustees to elect their fellow
trustees should be declared unconstitutional being repugnant to Section 16, Article VII of the 1987
Constitution allowing the appointment only of "officers lower in rank" than the appointing power.

Issue
Whether or not the provision allowing the vacancy in the Board of Trustees to be filled by election by
a vote of a majority of the trustees is valid.

Held
Invalid.

Congress May Vest the Authority to Appoint Only in the Heads of the Named Offices

In a department in the Executive branch, the head is the Secretary. The law may not authorize the
Undersecretary, acting as such Undersecretary, to appoint lower-ranked officers in the Executive
department. In an agency, the power is vested in the head of the agency for it would be preposterous
to vest it in the agency itself. In a commission, the head is the chairperson of the commission. In a
board, the head is also the chairperson of the board. In the last three situations, the law may not also
authorize officers other than the heads of the agency, commission, or board to appoint lower-ranked
officers.

The grant of the power to appoint to the heads of agencies, commissions, or boards is a matter of
legislative grace. Congress has the discretion to grant to, or withhold from, the heads of agencies,
commissions, or boards the power to appoint lower-ranked officers. If it so grants, Congress may
impose certain conditions for the exercise of such legislative delegation, like requiring the
recommendation of subordinate officers or the concurrence of the other members of the commission
or board.

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This is in contrast to the President's power to appoint which is a self-executing power vested by the
Constitution itself and thus not subject to legislative limitations or conditions. The power to appoint
conferred directly by the Constitution on the Supreme Court en banc and on the Constitutional
Commissions is also self-executing and not subject to legislative limitations or conditions.

The Constitution authorizes Congress to vest the power to appoint lower-ranked officers specifically
in the "heads" of the specified offices, and in no other person. The word "heads" refers to the
chairpersons of the commissions or boards and not to their members. As an enumeration of offices,
what applies to the first office in the enumeration also applies to the succeeding offices mentioned in
the enumeration. Since the words "in the heads of" refer to "departments," the same words "in the
heads of" also refer to the other offices listed in the enumeration, namely, "agencies, commissions, or
boards."

The Chairperson of the CCP Board is the Head of CCP

The head of the CCP is the Chairperson of its Board. PD 15 and its various amendments constitute the
Chairperson of the Board as the head of CCP. Thus, the Chairman of the CCP Board is the "head" of
the CCP who may be vested by law, under Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, with the
power to appoint lower-ranked officers of the CCP. Under PD 15, the CCP is a public corporation
governed by a Board of Trustees. The CCP, being governed by a board, is not an agency but a board
for purposes of Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution.

Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 Repugnant to Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution

Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 is thus irreconcilably inconsistent with Section 16, Article VII of the
1987 Constitution. Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 empowers the remaining trustees of the CCP Board
to fill vacancies in the CCP Board, allowing them to elect their fellow trustees. On the other hand,
Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution allows heads of departments, agencies, commissions,
or boards to appoint only "officers lower in rank" than such "heads of departments, agencies,
commissions, or boards." This excludes a situation where the appointing officer appoints an officer
equal in rank as him. Thus, insofar as it authorizes the trustees of the CCP Board to elect their co-
trustees, Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 is unconstitutional because it violates Section 16, Article VII
of the 1987 Constitution.

It does not matter that Section 6(b) of PD 15 empowers the remaining trustees to "elect" and not
"appoint" their fellow trustees for the effect is the same, which is to fill vacancies in the CCP Board.
A statute cannot circumvent the constitutional limitations on the power to appoint by filling vacancies
in a public office through election by the co-workers in that office. Such manner of filling vacancies
in a public office has no constitutional basis.

Further, Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 makes the CCP trustees the independent appointing power of
their fellow trustees. The creation of an independent appointing power inherently conflicts with the
President's power to appoint. This inherent conflict has spawned recurring controversies in the
appointment of CCP trustees every time a new President assumes office.

In the present case, the incumbent President appointed the Endriga group as trustees, while the
remaining CCP trustees elected the same Endriga group to the same positions. This has been the
modus vivendi in filling vacancies in the CCP Board, allowing the President to appoint and the CCP
Board to elect the trustees. In effect, there are two appointing powers over the same set of officers
in the Executive branch. Each appointing power insists on exercising its own power, even if the two
powers are irreconcilable. The Court must put an end to this recurring anomaly.

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The President's Power of Control

The CCP does not fall under the Legislative or Judicial branches of government. The CCP is also not
one of the independent constitutional bodies. Neither is the CCP a quasi-judicial body nor a local
government unit. Thus, the CCP must fall under the Executive branch. Since the President exercises
control over "all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices," the President necessarily exercises
control over the CCP that is an office in the Executive branch. In mandating that the President "shall
have control of all executive x x x offices,"

Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15, which authorizes the trustees of the CCP Board to fill vacancies in the
Board, runs afoul with the President's power of control under Section 17, Article VII of the 1987
Constitution. The intent of Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 is to insulate the CCP from political
influence and pressure, specifically from the President. Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 makes the CCP
a self-perpetuating entity, virtually outside the control of the President. Such a public office or board
cannot legally exist under the 1987 Constitution.

Section 3 of PD 15, as amended, states that the CCP "shall enjoy autonomy of policy and operation x
x x." This provision does not free the CCP from the President's control, for if it does, then it would be
unconstitutional. This provision may give the CCP Board a free hand in initiating and formulating
policies and undertaking activities, but ultimately these policies and activities are all subject to the
President's power of control.

The CCP is part of the Executive branch. No law can cut off the President's control over the CCP in
the guise of insulating the CCP from the President's influence. By stating that the "President shall
have control of all the executive x x x offices," the 1987 Constitution empowers the President not
only to influence but even to control all offices in the Executive branch, including the CCP. Control
is far greater than, and subsumes, influence.

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Ang-Angco vs. Castillo


Facts22
Pepsi-Cola Far East Trade Development Co., Inc., approached Collector of Customs Isidro
Ang-Angco in an attempt to secure from him the immediate release of Pepsi-Cola concentrates from
the customs house. Ang-Angco, seeing that the importation did not carry any release certificate from
the Central Bank, Ang-Angco advised them to try to secure the necessary release certificate from the
No-Dollar Import Office that had jurisdiction over the case.

Aquiles Lopez, of said Office, wrote a letter to the Collector of which Ang-Angco read the letter to
Secretary of Finance Hernandez over the telephone and the latter verbally expressed his approval of
the release on the basis of said certificate. Thus, the release was finally authorized by Ang-Angco,
despite still being in doubt as to the action suggested.

When Commissioner of Customs Manuel Manahan learned of the release of the concentrates, he
immediately ordered their seizure but only a negligible portion remained in the warehouse. He filed
an administrative complaint against Ang-Angco. An investigating committee was formed by President
Ramon Magsaysay to investigate both Ang-Angco and Lopez. Executive Secretary Natalio Castillo,
by authority of the President, rendered a decision finding Ang-Angco guilty of conduct prejudicial to
the best interest of the service, and considering him resigned effective from the date of notice, with
prejudice to reinstatement in the Bureau of Customs.

Ang-Angco wrote a letter to President Garcia saying that Castillos action in removing him from
office had the effect of depriving him of his statutory right to have his case originally decided by the
Commissioner of Civil Service, as well as of his right of appeal to the Civil Service Board of Appeals,
whose decision under Republic Act No. 2260 is final, besides the fact that such decision is in
violation of the guaranty vouchsafed by the Constitution to officers or employees in the civil service
against removal or suspension except for cause in the manner provided by law. Castillo denied the
request for consideration and a subsequent appeal through a memorandum filed by Ang-Angco.
Castillo asserted that the President by virtue of his power of control over all executive departments,
bureaus and offices, can take direct action and dispose of the administrative case in question inasmuch
as the provisions of law that would seem to vest final authority in subordinate officers of the
executive branch of the government over administrative matters falling under their jurisdiction cannot
divest the President of his power of control nor diminish the same.

Issue
Whether or not the President has the power to take direct action on the case of petitioner even if he
belongs to the classified service in spite of the provisions now in force in the Civil Service Act of
1959.

Held
No power.

Under the present provision of the Civil Service Act of 1959, the case of petitioner comes under the
exclusive jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Civil Service, and having been deprived of the
procedure laid down therein in connection with the investigation and disposition of his case, it may be
said that he has been deprived of due process as guaranteed by said law.

Petitioner sustains the negative contending that the contrary view would deprive him of his office
without due process of law while respondents sustain the affirmative invoking the power of control
given to the President by the Constitution over all officers and employees, belonging to the executive
department.
The removal, separation and suspension of the officers and employees of the classified service are
subject to the saving clause "Except as otherwise provided by law." The question then may be asked:

22 Taken from the block digest.

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Is the President empowered by any other law to remove officers and employees in the classified civil
service?

The only law that we can recall on the point is Section 64 (b) of the Revised Administrative Code, the
pertinent portion of which we quote:
(b) To remove officials from office conformably to law

The phrase "conformably to law" is significant. It shows that the President does not have blanket
authority to move any officer or employee of the government but his power must still be subject to the
law passed by the legislative body particularly with regard the procedure, cause and finality of the
removal of persons who may be the subject of disciplinary action. Here, as above stated we have such
law that governs action to be taken against officers and employees in classified civil service. This law
is binding upon President.

Another provision that may be mentioned is Section (D) of the Revised Administrative Code, which
provides:
Power to appoint and remove. xxx in accordance the Civil Service Law.

The phrase "in accordance with the Civil Service is also significant. So we may say that even granting
for administrative purposes, the President of the Philippines is considered as the Department Head of
the Civil Service Commission, his power to remove is still subject to the Civil Service Act of 1959,
and we already know with regard to officers and employees who belong to classified service the
finality of the action is given to the Commissioner of Civil Service or the Civil Board of Appeals.

Let us now take up the power of control given to President by the Constitution over all officers and
employees in the executive department that is now in by respondents as justification to override the
specific visions of the Civil Service Act. The power of control merely applies to the exercise of
control over the acts of the subordinate and not over the actor or agent himself of the act. It only
means that the President may set aside the judgment or action taken by a subordinate in the
performance of his duties.

But the strongest argument against the theory of respondents is that it would entirely nullify and set at
naught the beneficient purpose of the whole civil service system implanted in this jurisdiction, which
is to give stability to the tenure of office of those who belong to the classified service, in derogation of
the provisions of our Constitution which provides that "No officer or employee in the civil service
shall be removed or suspended except for cause as provided by law" (Section 4, Article XII,
Constitution).

There is some point in the argument that the Power of control of the President may extend to the
Power to investigate, suspend or remove officers and employees who belong to the executive
department if they are presidential appointees or do not belong to the classified service for such can
be justified under the principle that the power to remove is inherent in the power to appoint (Lacson V.
Romero, supra), but not with regard to those officers or employees who belong to the classified
service for as to them that inherent power cannot be exercised.

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National Marketing Corporation vs. Arca


Facts
Respondent Juan T. Arive was the Manager of the Traffic-Storage Department of the NAMARCO.
Pursuant to the General Manager's Administrative Order, he was investigated by a committee for
violating Management Memorandum Order, directing "that the allocation and deliveries of
merchandise imported under the so-called Trade Assistance Program to its designated beneficiaries be
stopped;" and causing the improper release of shipments intended for delivery upon full payment
thereof by the Federation of United NAMARCO Distributors (FUND).

After due hearing, the investigating committee found Arive guilty of the charges but left the
imposition of the penalty to the discretion of the General Manager and the Board of Directors.
Subsequently, the General Manager issued Administrative Order holding Arive guilty of the charges
and dismissing him from the service.

Arive appealed from the decision of the NAMARCO to the President of the Philippines. The
NAMARCO was advised by the Office of the President of the appeal, and was asked to forward the
records of the administrative case. On January 26, 1965, then Executive Secretary Ramon A. Diaz,
presumably acting for the President, handed down a decision setting aside Resolution No. 584-60 of
the NAMARCO and reinstating Juan T. Arive to his former position.

NAMARCO, in a letter addressed to the President, asked for a reconsideration of the decision
ordering Arive's reinstatement. The President, through Salvador Marino, as Acting Executive
Secretary, denied the motion and directed immediate compliance with the order of reinstatement.
NAMARCO however refused to reinstate Arive.

Respondent Juan T. Arive filed a complaint the Court of First Instance of Manila against the
NAMARCO and the members of its Board of Directors for reinstatement and damages, with prayer
for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction.

Issue
Whether or not the President of the Philippines had authority to reverse the decision of the Board of
Directors of the NAMARCO and to order the reinstatement of Juan T. Arive.

Held
We hold that the President of the Philippines' authority to review and reverse the decision of the
NAMARCO Board of Directors dismissing Juan T. Arive from his position in the NAMARCO and to
order his re-instatement falls within the constitutional power of the President over all executive
departments, bureaus and offices.

Respondents maintain that he had, and they anchor their stand on Section 10(1), Article VII, of the
Constitution, which reads:
The President shall have control of all executive departments bureau or offices, exercise general supervision
over all local governments as may be provided by law, and take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Petitioners, however, disagree, and contend that the word "offices," interpreted in the light of the
preceding words "executive departments," and "bureaus," refers to offices performing governmental
functions that have no juridical personality, and, therefore, does not include government-owned and
controlled corporations. They claim that the above-quoted constitutional provision is not applicable
and that what should apply is Section 13(d) of Republic Act No. 1345, (NAMARCO Charter) which
vests in the General Manager the power and/or duty, with the approval of the Board of Directors, to
remove, suspend or otherwise discipline for cause any subordinate employee of the NAMARCO.
They contend that in reversing the order of the NAMARCO Board of Directors dismissing Juan T.
Arive from the service, and in ordering his reinstatement, the President of the Philippines arrogated
unto himself a power not authorized either by the Constitution or by the law, hence his actuations

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were legally ineffective and certainly could not be a basis for issuance of the writ of preliminary
injunction.

Under our governmental set-up, corporations owned or controlled by the government, such as the
NAMARCO, partake of the nature of government bureaus or offices, which are administratively
supervised by the Administrator of the Office of Economic Coordination, "whose compensation and
rank shall be that of a head of an Executive Department" and who "shall be responsible to the
President of the Philippines under whose control his functions ... shall be exercised." (Executive
Order No. 386 of December 22, 1950, section 1, issued under the Reorganization Act of 1950).

The fact that section 13(d) of Republic Act No. 1345 (the NAMARCO Charter and likewise section
11(d) of the Uniform Charter for Government Owned or Controlled Corporations (Ex. Order No. 399
of January 5, 1951) which authorize the general manager of such corporations, with the approval of
the Board of Directors, to remove for cause any subordinate employee of the Corporation do not
provide for an appeal from the general manager's decision of removal to any superior officer, body or
agency, does not mean that no appeal lies from such decision to the President.

We find the President's action through his Executive Secretary of reversing the NAMARCO Board
decision and ordering the reinstatement of respondent Arive to be an act of justice due respondent.

Implementation of the President's decision has been delayed all these long years by the NAMARCO,
notwithstanding the Government Corporate Counsel's advice and opinion that "may not legally refuse
to implement the decision of the Office of the President in the performance of the exercise of his
supervision and control over said government owned and controlled corporations." Yet, in the case of
a co-employee of respondent Arive, Victor Macaraig, who was similarly dismissed by the Board, the
NAMARCO Board promptly reinstated him on December 4, 1962, in implementation of the
President's decision of August 30, 1962, ordering his reinstatement. Arive's right to reinstatement by
virtue of the President's decision, which was reiterated twice in denying the petitioner's persistent
motions for reconsideration was, therefore, clearly established, and which is now final and binding
upon petitioners, and respondent judge did not act without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of
discretion in issuing the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction for his immediate reinstatement.
We deem it unnecessary to pass upon the other issues raised by the parties, which are after all, merely
incidental to the main issue of the President's authority to review and reverse Resolution No. 584-60
of the NAMARCO Board of Directors.

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Angeles vs. Gaite


Facts
Petitioner, Judge Adoracion G. Angeles, was the foster mother of her fourteen-year-old grandniece
Maria Mercedes Vistan. She was entrusted the care of the former by the girls grandmother and
petitioners sister Leonila Angeles Vda. de Vistan when the child was orphaned at the tender age of
four.

Petitioners love for the child extended to her siblings, particularly her half-brother respondent Michael
Vistan, a former drug-addict. Later, Michael Vistan had a falling out with petitioner for his failure to
do a very important errand for which he was severely reprimanded over the phone. He was told that
from then on, no assistance of any kind would be extended to him and that he was no longer welcome
at petitioners residence. Feeling thwarted, he, in conspiracy with his cohorts, retaliated by inducing
his half-sister, Maria Mercedes, to leave petitioners custody. Michael Vistan, with his little sister in
tow, shuttled back and forth from Guiguinto to Hagonoy, Bulacan as well as in Manila and Quezon
City, living the life of a fugitive from justice.

Petitioner filed a complaint against Michael Vistan before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor for
violations of the Child Abuse Act, and Obstructions of Justice. She likewise filed a complaint for
Libel against Maria Cristina Vistan, aunt of Michael and Maria Mercedes.

The Investigating Prosecutor recommended and upheld the charge of Child Abuse but recommended
that only one Information be filed against Michael Vistan. The charge of Obstruction of Justice was
dismissed. However, the Provincial Prosecutor denied the recommendation of the Investigating
Prosecutor that Michael Vistan be indicted for Child Abuse. He also approved the recommendation
for the dismissal of the charge for Obstruction of Justice.

Petitioner then filed a Petition for Review before the Department of Justice. The DOJ denied the
petition for review. The petitioner filed a Petition for Review before the Office of the President. The
petition was dismissed, anchored on Memorandum Circular No. 58 which bars an appeal or a petition
for review of decisions/orders/resolutions of the Secretary of Justice except those involving offenses
punishable by reclusion perpetua or death.

Issue
Whether or not the Memorandum is valid.

Held
Petitioners contention that Memorandum Circular No. 58 violates both the Constitution and Section 1,
Chapter 1, Book III of EO No. 292, for depriving the President of his power of control over the
executive departments deserves scant consideration. In the first place, Memorandum Circular No. 58
was promulgated by the Office of the President and it is settled that the acts of the secretaries of such
departments, performed and promulgated in the regular course of business are, unless disapproved or
reprobated by the Chief Executive, presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive. The President has
not reprobated memorandum Circular No. 58; therefore, it goes without saying that the said
Memorandum Circular has the approval of the President.

Petitioner argues in the main that Memorandum Circular No. 58 is an invalid regulation, because it
diminishes the power of control of the President and bestows upon the Secretary of Justice, a
subordinate officer, almost unfettered power. This argument is absurd. The President's act of
delegating authority to the Secretary of Justice by virtue of said Memorandum Circular is well within
the purview of the doctrine of qualified political agency, long been established in our jurisdiction.

Under this doctrine, which primarily recognizes the establishment of a single executive, "all executive
and administrative organizations are adjuncts of the Executive Department; the heads of the various
executive departments are assistants and agents of the Chief Executive; and, except in cases where the
Chief Executive is required by the Constitution or law to act in person or the exigencies of the

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situation demand that he act personally, the multifarious executive and administrative functions of the
Chief Executive are performed by and through the executive departments, and the acts of the
secretaries of such departments, performed and promulgated in the regular course of business, are,
unless disapproved or reprobated by the Chief Executive, presumptively the acts of the Chief
Executive. The CA cannot be deemed to have committed any error in upholding the Office of the
President's reliance on the Memorandum Circular as it merely interpreted and applied the law, as it
should be.

Memorandum Circular No. 58, promulgated by the Office of the President on June 30, 1993 reads:
xxx
No appeal from or petition for review of decisions/orders/resolutions of the Secretary of Justice on preliminary
investigations of criminal cases shall be entertained by the Office of the President, except those involving
offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua to death x x x.
xxx

It is quite evident from the foregoing that the President himself set the limits of his power to review
decisions/orders/resolutions of the Secretary of Justice in order to expedite the disposition of cases.
Petitioner's argument that the Memorandum Circular unduly expands the power of the Secretary of
Justice to the extent of rendering even the Chief Executive helpless to rectify whatever errors or
abuses the former may commit in the exercise of his discretion is purely speculative to say the least.
Petitioner cannot second guess the President's power and the President's own judgment to delegate
whatever it is he deems necessary to delegate in order to achieve proper and speedy administration of
justice, especially that such delegation is upon a cabinet secretary his own alter ego.

Nonetheless, the power of the President to delegate is not without limits. No less than the Constitution
provides for restrictions. There are certain constitutional powers and prerogatives of the Chief
Executive of the Nation that must be exercised by him in person and no amount of approval or
ratification will validate the exercise of any of those powers by any other person. Such, for instance, is
his power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and proclaim martial law and the exercise by him of
the benign prerogative of mercy.

These restrictions hold true to this day, as they remain embodied in our fundamental law. There are
certain presidential powers that arise out of exceptional circumstances, and if exercised, would
involve the suspension of fundamental freedoms, or at least call for the supersedence of executive
prerogatives over those exercised by co-equal branches of government. The declaration of martial law,
the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and the exercise of the pardoning power, notwithstanding
the judicial determination of guilt of the accused, all fall within this special class that demands the
exclusive exercise by the President of the constitutionally vested power. The list is by no means
exclusive, but there must be a showing that the executive power in question is of similar gravitas and
exceptional import.

In the case at bar, the power of the President to review the Decision of the Secretary of Justice dealing
with the preliminary investigation of cases cannot be considered as falling within the same
exceptional class that cannot be delegated. Besides, the President has not fully abdicated his power of
control as Memorandum Circular No. 58 allows an appeal if the imposable penalty is reclusion
perpetua or higher. Certainly, it would be unreasonable to impose upon the President the task of
reviewing all preliminary investigations decided by the Secretary of Justice. To do so will unduly
hamper the other important duties of the President by having to scrutinize each and every decision of
the Secretary of Justice notwithstanding the latters expertise in said matter.

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Lansang vs. Garcia


Facts
In the evening of August 21, 1971, at about 9 p.m., while the Liberal Party of the Philippines was
holding a public meeting at Plaza Miranda, Manila, for the presentation of its candidates in the
general elections scheduled for November 8, 1971, two (2) hand grenades were thrown, one after the
other, at the platform where said candidates and other persons were. As a consequence, eight (8)
persons were killed and many more injured, including practically all of the aforementioned candidates,
some of whom sustained extensive, as well as serious, injuries which could have been fatal had it not
been for the timely medical assistance given to them.

On August 23, soon after noontime, the President of the Philippines announced the issuance of
Proclamation No. 889, dated August 21, 1971, reading:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested
upon me by Article VII, Section 10, Paragraph (2) of the Constitution, do hereby suspend the privilege of the
writ of habeas corpus, for the persons presently detained, as well as others who may be hereafter similarly
detained for the crimes of insurrection or rebellion, and all other crimes and offenses committed by them in
furtherance or on the occasion thereof, or incident thereto, or in connection therewith.

Presently, petitions for writ of habeas corpus were filed by petitioners, who, having been arrested
without a warrant therefor and then detained, upon the authority of said proclamation, assail its
validity, as well as that of their detention

Issue
Whether or not Proclamation No. 889 is valid.

Held
Valid.

Pursuant to the Constitution, two (2) conditions must concur for the valid exercise of the authority to
suspend the privilege to the writ, to wit:
1. There must be "invasion, insurrection, or rebellion" or pursuant to paragraph (2), section
10 of Art. VII of the Constitution "imminent danger thereof," and
2. Public safety" must require the suspension of the privilege.

The Presidential Proclamation under consideration declares that there has been and there is actually a
state of rebellion and that "public safety requires that immediate and effective action be taken in order
to maintain peace and order, secure the safety of the people and preserve the authority of the State."

Are these findings conclusive upon the Court? Respondents maintain that they are, upon the authority
of Barcelon v. Baker and Montenegro v. Castaeda. Upon the other hand, petitioners press the
negative view and urge a reexamination of the position taken in said two (2) cases, as well as a
reversal thereof.

Far from being full and plenary, the authority to suspend the privilege of the writ is thus
circumscribed, confined and restricted, not only by the prescribed setting or the conditions essential to
its existence, but, also, as regards the time when and the place where it may be exercised. These
factors and the aforementioned setting or conditions mark, establish and define the extent, the
confines and the limits of said power, beyond which it does not exist. And, like the limitations and
restrictions imposed by the Fundamental Law upon the legislative department, adherence thereto and
compliance therewith may, within proper bounds, be inquired into by courts of justice. Otherwise, the
explicit constitutional provisions thereon would be meaningless. Surely, the framers of our
Constitution could not have intended to engage in such a wasteful exercise in futility.
Upon further deliberation, the members of the Court are now unanimous in the conviction that it has
the authority to inquire into the existence of said factual bases in order to determine the constitutional
sufficiency thereof.

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Two (2) facts are undeniable: (a) all Communists believe that force and violence are indispensable to
the attainment of their main and ultimate objective, and act in accordance with such belief, although
they may disagree on the means to be used at a given time and in a particular place; and (b) there is a
New People's Army, other, of course, than the armed forces of the Republic and antagonistic thereto.
Such New People's Army is per se proof of the existence of a rebellion, especially considering that its
establishment was announced publicly by the reorganized CPP. Such announcement is in the nature of
a public challenge to the duly constituted authorities and may be likened to a declaration of war,
sufficient to establish a war status or a condition of belligerency, even before the actual
commencement of hostilities.

We entertain, therefore, no doubts about the existence of a sizeable group of men who have publicly
risen in arms to overthrow the government and have thus been and still are engaged in rebellion
against the Government of the Philippines.

In fact, the thrust of petitioners' argument is that the New People's Army proper is too small,
compared with the size of the armed forces of the Government, that the Communist rebellion or
insurrection cannot so endanger public safety as to require the suspension of the privilege of the writ
of habeas corpus. This argument does not negate, however, the existence of a rebellion, which, from
the constitutional and statutory viewpoint, need not be widespread or attain the magnitude of a civil
war.

The magnitude of the rebellion has a bearing on the second condition essential to the validity of the
suspension of the privilege namely, that the suspension be required by public safety.

It is urged by the Solicitor General


... that judicial inquiry into the basis of the questioned proclamation can go no further than to satisfy the Court
not that the President's decision is correct and that public safety was endangered by the rebellion and justified
the suspension of the writ, but that in suspending the writ, the President did not act arbitrarily.

No cogent reason has been submitted to warrant the rejection of such test. Indeed, the co-equality of
coordinate branches of the Government, under our constitutional system, seems to demand that the
test of the validity of acts of Congress and of those of the Executive be, mutatis mutandis,
fundamentally the same. Hence, counsel for petitioner Rogelio Arienda admits that the proper
standard is not correctness, but arbitrariness.

Did public safety require the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus decreed in
Proclamation No. 889, as amended? The existence of a rebellion is obvious, so much so that counsel
for several petitioners herein have admitted it.

With respect to the normal operation of government, including courts, prior to and at the time of the
suspension of the privilege, suffice it to say that, if the conditions were such that courts of justice no
longer functioned, a suspension of the privilege would have been unnecessary, there being no courts
to issue the writ of habeas corpus. Then, too, the alleged absence of any untoward incident after
August 21, 1971, does not necessarily bear out petitioners' view. What is more, it may have been due
precisely to the suspension of the privilege. To be sure, one of its logical effects is to compel those
connected with the insurrection or rebellion to go into hiding. In fact, the authorities could not locate
most of them, after August 21, 1971.

The records before Us show that, on or before August 21, 1971, the Executive had information and
reports to the effect that the Communist Party of the Philippines does not merely adhere to Lenin's
idea of a swift armed uprising; that it has, also, adopted Ho Chi Minh's terrorist tactics and resorted to
the assassination of uncooperative local official; that, in line with this policy, the insurgents have
killed 5 mayors, 20 barrio captains and 3 chiefs of police; that there were fourteen (14) meaningful
bombing incidents in the Greater Manila Area in 1970; that the Constitutional Convention Hall was
bombed on June 12, 1971; that, soon after the Plaza Miranda incident, the NAWASA main pipe, at

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the Quezon City-San Juan boundary, was bombed; that this was followed closely by the bombing of
the Manila City Hall, the COMELEC building, the Congress Building and the MERALCO substation
at Cubao, Quezon City; and that the respective residences of Senator Jose J. Roy and Congressman
Eduardo Cojuangco were, likewise, bombed, as were the MERALCO main office premises, along
Ortigas Avenue, and the Doctor's Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Building, in Caloocan City.

Considering that the President was in possession of the above data except those related to events
that happened after August 21, 1971 when the Plaza Miranda bombing took place, the Court is not
prepared to hold that the Executive had acted arbitrarily or gravely abused his discretion when he then
concluded that public safety and national security required the suspension of the privilege of the writ,
particularly if the NPA were to strike simultaneously with violent demonstrations staged by the two
hundred forty-five (245) KM chapters, all over the Philippines, with the assistance and cooperation of
the dozens of CPP front organizations, and the bombing or water mains and conduits, as well as
electric power plants and installations a possibility which, no matter how remote, he was bound to
forestall, and a danger he was under obligation to anticipate and arrest.

Petitioners insist that, nevertheless, the President had no authority to suspend the privilege in the
entire Philippines, even if he may have been justified in doing so in some provinces or cities thereof.
At the time of the issuance of Proclamation No. 889, he could not be reasonably certain, however,
about the placed to be excluded from the operation of the proclamation.

Neither should we overlook the significance of another fact. The President could have declared a
general suspension of the privilege. Instead, Proclamation No. 889 limited the suspension to persons
detained "for crimes of insurrection or rebellion, and all other crimes and offenses committed by
them in furtherance or on the occasion thereof, or incident thereto, or in connection therewith." Even
this was further limited by Proclamation No. 889-A, which withdrew from the coverage of the
suspension persons detained for other crimes and offenses committed "on the occasion" of the
insurrection or rebellion, or "incident thereto, in or connection therewith." In fact, the petitioners in L-
33964, L-33982 and L-34004 concede that the President had acted in good faith.

In view of the foregoing, it does not appear that the President has acted arbitrary in issuing
Proclamation No. 889, as amended, or that the same is unconstitutional.

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David vs. Arroyo


Facts23
These 7 consolidated petitions allege that in issuing Presidential Proclamation No. 1017 (PP 1017)
and General Order No. 5 (GO No. 5), President Macapagal-Arroyo committed grave abuse of
discretion. Hence, such issuances are void for being unconstitutional.

On February 24, 2006, as the nation celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Edsa People Power I,
President Arroyo issued PP 1017 declaring a state of national emergency, stating:
I hereby order that all persons presently detained, as well as those detained for the crimes of insurrection or
rebellion, and all other crimes and offenses committed in furtherance or on the occasion thereof, or incident
thereto, or in connection therewith, for crimes against national security and the law of nations, crimes, against
the fundamental laws of the state, crimes against public order shall be kept under detention until otherwise
ordered released by me or by my duly designated representative.

The Office of the President announced the cancellation of all programs and activities related to the
20th anniversary celebration and revoked the permits to hold rallies issued earlier by the local
governments. Justice Secretary Gonzales stated that political rallies are cancelled. Presidential Chief
of Staff Michael Defensor announced, Warrantless arrests and take-over of facilities, including
media, can already be implemented.

Notwithstanding the ban, some groups of protesters still pursued the march to EDSA Shrine the
following day. The police violently dispersed the crowds & conducted arrests invoking PP1017.
During the dispersal of the rallyists along EDSA, police arrested (without warrant) Randy David, a
professor at UP and newspaper columnist. On February 25, 2006, the CIDG operatives raided and
ransacked without warrant the office of Cacho-Olivares and Tribune Publishing Co., Inc. Other facts
were established such as the following: first, the Daily Tribunes offices were searched without
warrant; second, the police operatives seized several materials for publication; third, the search was
conducted at about 1:00 o clock in the morning of February 25, 2006; fourth, the search was
conducted in the absence of any official of the Daily Tribune except the security guard of the
building; and fifth, policemen stationed themselves at the vicinity of the Daily Tribune offices. All of
this was done on the basis of PP1017.

On March 3, 2006, President Arroyo issued PP 1021 declaring that the state of national emergency
has ceased to exist.

David and some opposition Congressmen averred that PP1017 is unconstitutional for it has no factual
basis and the president cannot validly declare it for such power is reposed in Congress. Also such
declaration is actually a declaration of martial law. Olivares-Cacho also averred that the emergencies
contemplated in the Constitution are those of natural calamities and that such is an overbreadth. The
Sol-Gen argued that the issue has become moot and academic by reason of the lifting of PP 1017 by
virtue of the declaration of PP 1021. The Sol-Gen averred that PP 1017 is within the presidents
calling out power, take care power and take over power.

Issue
Whether or not PP 1017 is valid.

Held
The Court finds and so holds that PP 1017 is constitutional insofar as it constitutes a call by the
President for the AFP to prevent or suppress lawless violence. Section 18, Article VII of the
Constitution and the relevant jurisprudence discussed earlier, sustains the proclamation. However, PP
1017s extraneous provisions giving the President express or implied power (1) to issue decrees; (2)
to direct the AFP to enforce obedience to all laws even those not related to lawless violence as well as
decrees promulgated by the President; and (3) to impose standards on media or any form of prior

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restraint on the press, are ultra vires and unconstitutional. The Court also rules that under Section 17,
Article XII of the Constitution, the President, in the absence of legislation, cannot take over privately
owned public utility and private business affected with public interest.

Review of Factual Bases

Petitioners maintain that PP 1017 has no factual basis. Hence, it was not necessary for President
Arroyo to issue such Proclamation.

Petitioners failed to show that President Arroyos exercise of the calling-out power, by issuing PP
1017, is totally bereft of factual basis. A reading of the Solicitor Generals Consolidated Comment
and Memorandum shows a detailed narration of the events leading to the issuance of PP 1017, with
supporting reports forming part of the records. Mentioned is the escape of the Magdalo Group, their
audacious threat of the Magdalo D-Day, the defections in the military, particularly in the Philippine
Marines, and the reproving statements from the communist leaders. There was also the Minutes of the
Intelligence Report and Security Group of the Philippine Army showing the growing alliance between
the NPA and the military. Petitioners presented nothing to refute such events. Thus, absent any
contrary allegations, the Court is convinced that the President was justified in issuing PP 1017 calling
for military aid.

Constitutional Basis of PP 1017


The operative portion of PP 1017 may be divided into three important provisions, thus:

First provision:
By virtue of the power vested upon me by Section 18, Article VII, do hereby command the Armed
Forces of the Philippines, to maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress
all forms of lawless violence as well any act of insurrection or rebellion.

Second provision:
And to enforce obedience to all the laws and to all decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me
personally or upon my direction;

Third provision:
As provided in Section 17, Article XII of the Constitution do hereby declare a State of National
Emergency.

First Provision: Calling-out Power


The only criterion for the exercise of the calling-out power is that whenever it becomes necessary, the
President may call the armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. Are
these conditions present in the instant cases? As stated earlier, considering the circumstances then
prevailing, President Arroyo found it necessary to issue PP 1017. Owing to her Offices vast
intelligence network, she is in the best position to determine the actual condition of the country.

Under the calling-out power, the President may summon the armed forces to aid him in suppressing
lawless violence, invasion and rebellion. This involves ordinary police action. But every act that goes
beyond the Presidents calling-out power is considered illegal or ultra vires. For this reason, a
President must be careful in the exercise of his powers. He cannot invoke a greater power when he
wishes to act under a lesser power. There lies the wisdom of our Constitution, the greater the power,
the greater are the limitations.

It is pertinent to state, however, that there is a distinction between the Presidents authority to declare
a state of rebellion (in Sanlakas) and the authority to proclaim a state of national emergency. While
President Arroyos authority to declare a state of rebellion emanates from her powers as Chief
Executive, the statutory authority cited in Sanlakas was Section 4, Chapter 2, Book II of the Revised
Administrative Code of 1987.

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President Arroyos declaration of a state of rebellion was merely an act declaring a status or condition
of public moment or interest, a declaration allowed under Section 4 cited above. Such declaration, in
the words of Sanlakas, is harmless, without legal significance, and deemed not written. In these cases,
PP 1017 is more than that. In declaring a state of national emergency, President Arroyo did not only
rely on Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution, a provision calling on the AFP to prevent or
suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. She also relied on Section 17, Article XII, a
provision on the States extraordinary power to take over privately owned public utility and business
affected with public interest. Indeed, PP 1017 calls for the exercise of an awesome power. Obviously,
such Proclamation cannot be deemed harmless, without legal significance, or not written, as in the
case of Sanlakas.

Some of the petitioners vehemently maintain that PP 1017 is actually a declaration of Martial Law. It
is no so. What define the character of PP 1017 are its wordings. It is plain therein that what the
President invoked was her calling-out power.

Justice Mendoza stated that PP 1017 is not a declaration of Martial Law. It is no more than a call by
the President to the armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence. As such, it cannot be used to
justify acts that only under a valid declaration of Martial Law can be done. Its use for any other
purpose is a perversion of its nature and scope, and any act done contrary to its command is ultra
vires.

Based on the above disquisition, it is clear that PP 1017 is not a declaration of Martial Law. It is
merely an exercise of President Arroyos calling-out power for the armed forces to assist her in
preventing or suppressing lawless violence.

Second Provision: Take Care Power

Petitioners, especially Representatives Francis Joseph G. Escudero, Satur Ocampo, Rafael Mariano,
Teodoro Casio, Liza Maza, and Josel Virador argue that PP 1017 is unconstitutional as it arrogated
upon President Arroyo the power to enact laws and decrees in violation of Section 1, Article VI of the
Constitution, which vests the power to enact laws in Congress. They assail the clause to enforce
obedience to all the laws and to all decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or
upon my direction.

Petitioners contention is understandable. A reading of PP 1017 operative clause shows that it was
lifted from Former President Marcos Proclamation No. 1081. We all know that it was PP 1081 that
granted President Marcos legislative power. Its enabling clause states: to enforce obedience to all the
laws and decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction. Upon
the other hand, the enabling clause of PP 1017 issued by President Arroyo is: to enforce obedience to
all the laws and to all decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my
direction.

This Court rules that the assailed PP 1017 is unconstitutional insofar as it grants President Arroyo the
authority to promulgate decrees. Legislative power is peculiarly within the province of the
Legislature. Section 1, Article VI categorically states that the legislative power shall be vested in the
Congress of the Philippines that shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives. To be sure,
neither Martial Law nor a state of rebellion nor a state of emergency can justify President Arroyos
exercise of legislative power by issuing decrees.

Can President Arroyo enforce obedience to all decrees and laws through the military?

As this Court stated earlier, President Arroyo has no authority to enact decrees. It follows that these
decrees are void and, therefore, cannot be enforced. With respect to laws, she cannot call the military
to enforce or implement certain laws, such as customs laws, laws governing family and property

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relations, laws on obligations and contracts and the like. She can only order the military, under PP
1017, to enforce laws pertinent to its duty to suppress lawless violence.

Third Provision: Power to Take Over

The import of this provision is that President Arroyo, during the state of national emergency under PP
1017, can call the military not only to enforce obedience to all the laws and to all decrees x x x but
also to act pursuant to the provision of Section 17, Article XII.

Petitioners, particularly the members of the House of Representatives, claim that President Arroyos
inclusion of Section 17, Article XII in PP 1017 is an encroachment on the legislatures emergency
powers.

This is an area that needs delineation.

A distinction must be drawn between the Presidents authority to declare a state of national
emergency and to exercise emergency powers. To the first, as elucidated by the Court, Section 18,
Article VII grants the President such power, hence, no legitimate constitutional objection can be
raised. But to the second, manifold constitutional issues arise.

Clearly, the framer of the Constitution did not intend that Congress should first authorize the
President before he can declare a state of national emergency. The logical conclusion then is that
President Arroyo could validly declare the existence of a state of national emergency even in the
absence of a Congressional enactment.

But the exercise of emergency powers, such as the taking over of privately owned public utility or
business affected with public interest, is a different matter. This requires a delegation from Congress.

Generally, Congress is the repository of emergency powers. This is evident in the tenor of Section 23
(2), Article VI authorizing it to delegate such powers to the President. Certainly, a body cannot
delegate a power not reposed upon it. However, knowing that during grave emergencies, it may not be
possible or practicable for Congress to meet and exercise its powers, the Framers of our Constitution
deemed it wise to allow Congress to grant emergency powers to the President, subject to certain
conditions, thus:
1. There must be a war or other emergency.
2. The delegation must be for a limited period only.
3. The delegation must be subject to such restrictions as the Congress may prescribe.
4. The emergency powers must be exercised to carry out a national policy declared by
Congress.

Section 17, Article XII must be understood as an aspect of the emergency powers clause. The taking
over of private business affected with public interest is just another facet of the emergency powers
generally reposed upon Congress. Thus, when Section 17 states that the State may, during the
emergency and under reasonable terms prescribed by it, temporarily take over or direct the operation
of any privately owned public utility or business affected with public interest, it refers to Congress,
not the President. Now, whether or not the President may exercise such power is dependent on
whether Congress may delegate it to him pursuant to a law prescribing the reasonable terms thereof.

Emergency, as contemplated in our Constitution, may include rebellion, economic crisis, pestilence or
epidemic, typhoon, flood, or other similar catastrophe of nationwide proportions or effect.

Following our interpretation of Section 17, Article XII, invoked by President Arroyo in issuing PP
1017, this Court rules that such Proclamation does not authorize her during the emergency to
temporarily take over or direct the operation of any privately owned public utility or business affected
with public interest without authority from Congress.

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Let it be emphasized that while the President alone can declare a state of national emergency,
however, without legislation, he has no power to take over privately owned public utility or business
affected with public interest. The President cannot decide whether exceptional circumstances exist
warranting the take over of privately owned public utility or business affected with public interest.
Nor can he determine when such exceptional circumstances have ceased. Likewise, without
legislation, the President has no power to point out the types of businesses affected with public
interest that should be taken over. In short, the President has no absolute authority to exercise all the
powers of the State under Section 17, Article VII in the absence of an emergency powers act passed
by Congress.

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Cristobal vs. Labrador


Facts
The Court of First Instance of Rizal found Teofilo C. Santos, respondent herein, guilty of the crime of
estafa. On appeal, this court, confirmed the judgment of conviction. Notwithstanding his conviction,
Teofilo C. Santos continued to be a registered elector in the municipality of Malabon, Rizal, and
seated as the municipal president of that municipality. Later, Commonwealth Act No. 357, otherwise
known as the Election Code, was approved by the National Assembly, section 94, paragraph (b) of
which disqualifies the respondent from voting for having been "declared by final judgment guilty of
any crime against property."

In view of this provision, the respondent forthwith applied to His Excellency, the President, for an
absolute pardon. Upon the favorable recommendation of the Secretary of Justice, the Chief Executive
granted the said petition, restoring the respondent to his "full civil and political rights, except that with
respect to the right to hold public office or employment, he will be eligible for appointment only to
positions which are clerical or manual in nature and involving no money or property responsibility."

The herein petitioner, Miguel Cristobal, filed a petition for the exclusion of the name of Teofilo C.
Santos from the list of voters in precinct No. 11 of Malabon, Rizal, on the ground that the latter is
disqualified under paragraph (b) of section 94 of Commonwealth Act No. 357. After hearing, the
court below denied the petition.

Petitioner Cristobal has filed the present petition for certiorari in which he impugns the decision of
the court below on the several grounds stated in the petition.

Issue
Whether or not the Presidents pardon restored to Santos the full enjoyment of his political rights.

Held
Restored.

It is the contention of the petitioner that the pardon granted by His Excellency, the President of the
Philippines, to the respondent, Teofilo C. Santos, did not restore the said respondent to the full
enjoyment of his political rights, because
1. The pardoning power of the Chief Executive does not apply to legislative prohibitions;
2. The pardoning power here would amount to an unlawful exercise by the Chief Executive of a
legislative function; and
3. The respondent having served his sentence and all the accessory penalties imposed by law,
there was nothing to pardon.

All these propositions involve an inquiry into the primary question of the nature and extent of the
pardoning power vested in the Chief Executive of the Nation by the Constitution. It should be
observed that there are two limitations upon the exercise of this constitutional prerogative by the
Chief Executive, namely:
1. That the power be exercised after conviction; and
2. That such power does not extend cases of impeachment.

Subject to the limitations imposed by the Constitution, the pardoning power cannot be restricted or
controlled by legislative action. It must remain where the sovereign authority has placed it and must
be exercised by the highest authority to which it is entrusted. An absolute pardon not only blots out
the crime committed, but also removes all disabilities resulting from the conviction. In the present
case, the disability is the result of conviction without which there would be no basis for
disqualification from voting. Imprisonment is not the only punishment that the law imposes upon
those who violate its command. There are accessory and resultant disabilities, and the pardoning
power likewise extends to such disabilities. When granted after the term of imprisonment has expired,
absolute pardon removes all that is left of the consequences of conviction.

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In the present case, while the pardon extended to respondent Santos is conditional in the sense that
"he will be eligible for appointment only to positions which are clerical or manual in nature involving
no money or property responsibility," it is absolute insofar as it "restores the respondent to full civil
and political rights." Upon other hand, the suggestion that the disqualification imposed in paragraph
(b) of section 94 of Commonwealth Act No. 357, does not fall within the purview of the pardoning
power of the Chief Executive, would lead to the impairment of the pardoning power of the Chief
Executive, not contemplated in the Constitution, and would lead furthermore to the result that there
would be no way of restoring the political privilege in a case of this nature except through legislative
action.

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Torres vs. Gonzales


Facts
1. Petitioner was convicted for the crime of estafa (two counts).
2. A conditional pardon was granted to the petitioner by the President of the Philippines on
condition that petitioner would "not again violate any of the penal laws of the Philippines.
Should this condition be violated, he will be proceeded against in the manner prescribed by
law." Petitioner accepted the conditional pardon and was consequently released from
confinement.
3. The Board of Pardons and Parole (the "Board") resolved to recommend to the President the
cancellation of the conditional pardon granted to the petitioner. The evidence before the
Board showed that petitioner had been charged with twenty counts of estafa. The record
before the Board also showed that petitioner had been convicted of the crime of sedition. The
records of the NBI showed that a long list of charges had been brought against the petitioner
during the last twenty years for a wide assortment of crimes including estafa, other forms of
swindling, grave threats, grave coercion, illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and
explosives, malicious mischief, violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22, and violation of
Presidential Decree No. 772 (interfering with police functions).
4. The President cancelled the conditional pardon of the petitioner.
5. The respondent Minister of Justice issued "by authority of the President" an Order of Arrest
and Recommitment against petitioner. The petitioner was accordingly arrested and confined
in Muntinlupa to serve the unexpired portion of his sentence.

Petitioner now impugns the validity of the Order of Arrest and Recommitment. He claims that he did
not violate his conditional pardon since he has not been convicted by final judgment of the twenty
(20) counts of estafa charged nor of the crime of sedition. Petitioner also contends that he was not
given an opportunity to be heard before he was arrested and recommitted to prison, and accordingly
claims he has been deprived of his rights under the due process clause of the Constitution.

Issue
Whether or not conviction of a crime by final judgment of a court is necessary before the petitioner
can be validly rearrested and recommitted for violation of the terms of his conditional pardon and
accordingly to serve the balance of his original sentence.

Held
Unnecessary.

The status of our case law on the matter under consideration may be summed up in the following
propositions:
1. The grant of pardon and the determination of the terms and conditions of a conditional pardon
are purely executive acts that are not subject to judicial scrutiny.
2. The determination of the occurrence of a breach of a condition of a pardon, and the proper
consequences of such breach, may be either a purely executive act, not subject to judicial
scrutiny under Section 64 (i) of the Revised Administrative Code; or it may be a judicial act
consisting of trial for and conviction of violation of a conditional pardon under Article 159 of
the Revised Penal Code. Where the President opts to proceed under Section 64 (i) of the
Revised Administrative Code, no judicial pronouncement of guilt of a subsequent crime is
necessary, much less conviction therefor by final judgment of a court, in order that a convict
may be recommended for the violation of his conditional pardon.
3. Because due process is not semper et unique judicial process, and because the conditionally
pardoned convict had already been accorded judicial due process in his trial and conviction
for the offense for which he was conditionally pardoned, Section 64 (i) of the Revised
Administrative Code is not afflicted with a constitutional vice.

We do not believe we should depart from the clear and well-understood rules and doctrine on this
matter.

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It may be emphasized that what is involved in the instant case is not the prosecution of the parolee for
a subsequent offense in the regular course of administration of the criminal law. What is involved is
rather the ascertainment of whether the convict has breached his undertaking that he would "not again
violate any of the penal laws of the Philippines" for purposes of reimposition upon him of the remitted
portion of his original sentence. The consequences that we here deal with are the consequences of an
ascertained breach of the conditions of a pardon. A convict granted conditional pardon, like the
petitioner herein, who is recommitted must of course be convicted by final judgment of a court of the
subsequent crime or crimes with which he was charged before the criminal penalty for such
subsequent offense(s) can be imposed upon him. Again, since Article 159 of the Revised Penal Code
defines a distinct, substantive, felony, the parolee or convict who is regarded as having violated the
provisions thereof must be charged, prosecuted and convicted by final judgment before he can be
made to suffer the penalty prescribed in Article 159.

Succinctly put, in proceeding against a convict who has been conditionally pardoned and who is
alleged to have breached the conditions of his pardon, the Executive Department has two options: (i)
to proceed against him under Section 64 (i) of the Revised Administrative Code; or (ii) to proceed
against him under Article 159 of the Revised Penal Code which imposes the penalty of prision
correccional, minimum period, upon a convict who "having been granted conditional pardon by the
Chief Executive, shall violate any of the conditions of such pardon." Here, the President has chosen to
proceed against the petitioner under Section 64 (i) of the Revised Administrative Code. That choice is
an exercise of the President's executive prerogative and is not subject to judicial scrutiny.

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Monsanto vs. Factoran


Facts
The Sandiganbayan convicted petitioner Salvacion A. Monsanto (then assistant treasurer of Calbayog
City) and three other accused, of the complex crime of estafa thru falsification of public documents.
Petitioner Monsanto appealed her conviction to this Court that subsequently affirmed the same. She
then filed a motion for reconsideration but while said motion was pending, she was extended by then
President Marcos absolute pardon that she accepted.

By reason of said pardon, petitioner wrote the Calbayog City treasurer requesting that she be restored
to her former post as assistant city treasurer since the same was still vacant. Petitioner's letter-request
was referred to the Ministry of Finance that ruled that petitioner might be reinstated to her position
without the necessity of a new appointment not earlier than the date she was extended the absolute
pardon. Seeking reconsideration of the foregoing ruling, petitioner stressed that the full pardon
bestowed on her has wiped out the crime which implies that her service in the government has never
been interrupted and therefore the date of her reinstatement should correspond to the date of her
preventive suspension; that she is entitled to back pay for the entire period of her suspension.

The Ministry of Finance referred petitioner's letter to the Office of the President who denied
petitioners reconsideration.

Issue
Whether or not a public officer, who has been granted an absolute pardon by the Chief Executive, is
entitled to reinstatement to her former position without need of a new appointment.

Held
Not entitled.

Petitioner's basic theory is that the general rules on pardon cannot apply to her case by reason of the
fact that she was extended executive clemency while her conviction was still pending appeal in this
Court. There having been no final judgment of conviction, her employment therefore as assistant city
treasurer could not be said to have been terminated or forfeited. In other words, without that final
judgment of conviction, the accessory penalty of forfeiture of office did not attach and the status of
her employment remained "suspended." More importantly, when pardon was issued before the final
verdict of guilt, it was an acquittal because there was no offense to speak of. In effect, the President
has declared her not guilty of the crime charged and has accordingly dismissed the same.

Pardon is defined as "an act of grace, proceeding from the power entrusted with the execution of the
laws, which exempts the individual, on whom it is bestowed, from the punishment the law inflicts for
a crime he has committed. It is the private, though official act of the executive magistrate, delivered to
the individual for whose benefit it is intended, and not communicated officially to the Court. ... A
pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential, and delivery is not complete without
acceptance."

It is our view that in the present case, it is not material when the pardon was bestowed, whether before
or after conviction, for the result would still be the same. Having accepted the pardon, petitioner is
deemed to have abandoned her appeal and her unreversed conviction by the Sandiganbayan assumed
the character of finality.

Having disposed of that preliminary point, we proceed to discuss the effects of a full and absolute
pardon in relation to the decisive question of whether or not the plenary pardon had the effect of
removing the disqualifications prescribed by the Revised Penal Code.

The better considered cases regard full pardon (at least one not based on the offender's innocence) as
relieving the party from all the punitive consequences of his criminal act, including the
disqualifications or disabilities based on the finding of guilt. But it relieves him from nothing more.

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"To say, however, that the offender is a "new man", and "as innocent as if he had never committed the
offense;" is to ignore the difference between the crime and the criminal. A person adjudged guilty of
an offense is a convicted criminal, though pardoned; he may be deserving of punishment, though left
unpunished; and the law may regard him as more dangerous to society than one never found guilty of
crime, though it places no restraints upon him following his conviction."

Petitioner maintains that when she was issued absolute pardon, the Chief Executive declared her not
guilty of the crime for which she was convicted.

In this ponencia, the Court wishes to stress one vital point: While we are prepared to concede that
pardon may remit all the penal consequences of a criminal indictment if only to give meaning to the
fiat that a pardon, being a presidential prerogative, should not be circumscribed by legislative action,
we do not subscribe to the fictitious belief that pardon blots out the guilt of an individual and that
once he is absolved, he should be treated as if he were innocent. For whatever may have been the
judicial dicta in the past, we cannot perceive how pardon can produce such "moral changes" as to
equate a pardoned convict in character and conduct with one who has constantly maintained the mark
of a good, law-abiding citizen.

Pardon cannot mask the acts constituting the crime. These are "historical" facts which, despite the
public manifestation of mercy and forgiveness implicit in pardon, "ordinary, prudent men will take
into account in their subsequent dealings with the actor."

Pardon granted after conviction frees the individual from all the penalties and legal disabilities and
restores him to all his civil rights. But unless expressly grounded on the person's innocence (which is
rare), it cannot bring back lost reputation for honesty, integrity and fair dealing. This must be
constantly kept in mind lest we lose track of the true character and purpose of the privilege.

Pardon does not ipso facto restore a convicted felon to public office necessarily relinquished or
forfeited by reason of the conviction although such pardon undoubtedly restores his eligibility for
appointment to that office. To insist on automatic reinstatement because of a mistaken notion that the
pardon virtually acquitted one from the offense of estafa would be grossly untenable. A pardon, albeit
full and plenary, cannot preclude the appointing power from refusing appointment to anyone deemed
to be of bad character, a poor moral risk, or who is unsuitable by reason of the pardoned conviction.

For petitioner Monsanto, this is the bottom line: the absolute disqualification or ineligibility from
public office forms part of the punishment prescribed by the Revised Penal Code for estafa thru
falsification of public documents. It is clear from the authorities referred to that when her guilt and
punishment were expunged by her pardon, this particular disability was likewise removed. Henceforth,
petitioner may apply for reappointment to the office that was forfeited by reason of her conviction.
And in considering her qualifications and suitability for the public post, the facts constituting her
offense must be and should be evaluated and taken into account to determine ultimately whether she
can once again be entrusted with public funds. Stated differently, the pardon granted to petitioner has
resulted in removing her disqualification from holding public employment but it cannot go beyond
that. To regain her former post as assistant city treasurer, she must re-apply and undergo the usual
procedure required for a new appointment.

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Llamas vs. Orbos


Facts
Petitioner Rodolfo D. Llamas is the incumbent Vice-Governor of the Province of Tarlac and later the
Governor. Private respondent Mariano Un Ocampo III is the incumbent Governor of the Province of
Tarlac and was suspended from office for a period of 90 days. Public respondent Oscar Orbos was the
Executive Secretary at the time of the filing of this petition and is being impleaded herein in that
official capacity for having issued, by authority of the President, the assailed Resolution granting
executive clemency to respondent governor.

Petitioner, together with the Tarlac Board Members filed complaint before the DILG against
respondent governor charging him with violation of the Local Government Code, and other
appropriate laws, among them, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The complaint before the
DLG, docketed as Administrative Case, was subsequently tried.

Petitioner maintains that respondent governor entered into and executed a Loan Agreement with
Lingkod Tarlac Foundation, Inc., a non-stock and non-profit organization headed by the governor
himself as chairman and controlled by his brother-in-law as executive director, trustee, and secretary;
that the said Loan Agreement was never authorized and approved by the Provincial Board, in direct
contravention of the provisions of the Local Government Code; that the said Agreement is wholly
one-sided in favor of the Foundation and grossly inimical to the interest of the Provincial
Government; that the transactions constitute a fraudulent scheme to defraud the Provincial
Government; and that the said Agreement is wholly unconstitutional, illegal, a immoral.

After trial, the Secretary of the then Department of Local Government rendered a decision finding the
Governor guilty and suspending him. The Governor appealed to the Office of the President that was
initially denied causing him to file a motion for reconsideration.

Petitioner took his oath of office as acting governor. Without ruling on respondent governor's Motion
for Reconsideration, public respondent issued a Resolution granting the Governor executive clemency.
By virtue of the Resolution, respondent governor reassumed the governorship of the province,
allegedly without any notification made to the petitioner.

Issue
Whether or not the President can grant clemency in administrative cases.

Held
Can grant.

Petitioner's main argument is that the President may grant executive clemency only in criminal cases,
based on Article VII, Section 19 of the Constitution. According to the petitioner, the qualifying phrase
"after conviction by final judgment" applies solely to criminal cases, and no other law allows the grant
of executive clemency or pardon to anyone who has been "convicted in an administrative case,"
allegedly because the word "conviction" refers only to criminal cases.

It is also important to note that respondent governor's Motion for Reconsideration filed on March 1,
1991 was withdrawn in his petition for the grant of executive clemency, which fact rendered the
Resolution dated February 26, 1991 affirming the DLG Decision (which found respondent governor
guilty of neglect of duty and/or abuse of authority and which suspended him for ninety (90) days)
final.

Applying the doctrine "Ubi lex non distinguit, nec nos distinguire debemos," We cannot sustain
petitioner's view. In other words, if the law does not distinguish, so we must no distinguish. The
Constitution does not distinguish between which cases the President, with the sole exclusion of
impeachment cases, may exercise executive clemency. By the same token, if executive clemency may
be exercised only in criminal cases, it would indeed be unnecessary to provide for the exclusion of

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impeachment cases from the coverage of Article VII, Section 19 of the Constitution. Following
petitioner's proposed interpretation, cases of impeachment are automatically excluded inasmuch as the
same do not necessarily involve criminal offenses.

It is evident from the intent of the Constitutional Commission, therefore, that the President's executive
clemency powers may not be limited in terms of coverage, except as already provided in the
Constitution, that is, "no pardon, amnesty, parole, or suspension of sentence for violation of election
laws, rules and regulations shall be granted by the President without the favorable recommendation of
the COMELEC" (Article IX, C, Section 5, Constitution). If those already adjudged guilty criminally
in court may be pardoned, those adjudged guilty administratively should likewise be extended the
same benefit.

In the same vein, we do not clearly see any valid and convincing reason why the President cannot
grant executive clemency in administrative cases. It is Our considered view that if the President can
grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures in criminal cases, with
much more reason can she grant executive clemency in administrative cases, which are clearly less
serious than criminal offenses. Also, a number of laws impliedly or expressly recognize or support the
exercise of the executive clemency in administrative cases.

In criminal cases, the quantum of evidence required to convict an individual is proof beyond
reasonable doubt, but the Constitution grants to the President the power to pardon the act done by the
proved criminal and in the process exempts him from punishment therefor. On the other hand, in
administrative cases, the quantum of evidence required is mere substantial evidence to support a
decision, not to mention that as to the admissibility of evidence, administrative bodies are not bound
by the technical and rigid rules of admissibility prescribed in criminal cases. It will therefore be unjust
and unfair for those found guilty administratively of some charge if the same effects of pardon or
executive clemency cannot be extended to them, even in the sense of modifying a decision to
subserve the interest of the public.

We wish to stress however that when we say the President can grant executive clemency in
administrative cases, we refer only to all administrative cases in the Executive branch, not in the
Judicial or Legislative branches of the government.

It is urged by the Solicitor General that in the present case, the President, in the exercise of her power
of supervision and control over all executive departments, may substitute her decision for that of her
subordinate, most especially where the basis therefor would be to serve the greater public interest. It is
clearly within the power of the President not only to grant "executive clemency" but also to reverse or
modify a ruling issued by a subordinate against an erring public official, where a reconsideration of
the facts alleged would support the same. It is in this sense that the alleged executive clemency was
granted, after adducing reasons that subserve the public interest. "the relative success of . . .
livelihood loan program.

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Drilon vs. CA
Facts
It appears that sometime in 1973, the private respondents were charged with double murder before
Military Commission No. 34. The military promulgated a decision acquitting Raul Paredes but
sentencing Rodolfo Ganzon to life imprisonment with hard labor. Paredes was thereupon released
from custody while Ganzon was made to serve sentence until he was released on March 25, 1978 and
placed under house arrest under guard.

In 1988, administration having changed, then Secretary of Justice Sedfrey Ordoez directed State
Prosecutor Aurelio Trampe to conduct a preliminary investigation against the private respondents for
the above murders. The private respondents moved for dismissal, in Ganzon's case, on the ground that
he, Ganzon, had been extended an absolute pardon by the President Ferdinand Marcos, and he, having
been previously convicted, can no longer be tried anew, and in Paredes' case, on the ground that he,
Paredes, had been acquitted. Trampe, however, denied both requests and reconsideration having been
likewise denied, the private respondents went to the Court of Appeals on prohibition.

The Court of Appeals granted prohibition

Issue
Whether or not Marcos pardoned Ganzon.

Held
Marcos commuted Ganzons sentence.

Apparently, the question is whether or not, with respect to Ganzon, he has completed the service of
his sentence, since as we held in Cruz, civilians serving sentences "may be given the option either to
complete the service of their sentence," the option Ganzon has apparently accepted, "or be tried anew
by the civil courts, the option he is obviously rejecting. The Court believes that the question is
material since if he, Ganzon, has completed the service of his sentence, Tan and Cruz are with more
reason applicable, and second, if he has served his sentence, the question of pardon is moot and
academic.

As we indicated, Ganzon served six years in the stockades of the military no doubt as a result of
his conviction but was released in 1978 and put under so-called house arrest (although then
President Marcos never apparently carried this out seriously as Ganzon was free apparently, to move
in and out of his residence). The Court is of the considered opinion that these twin developments
six-year service of sentence and subsequent release are significant, since if then President Marcos
ordered Ganzon's release after six years of imprisonment, he then President Marcos, unavoidably
commuted Ganzon's imprisonment to six years (give or take a few days), although as a condition,
Ganzon shall remain under "house arrest." Court is of the opinion that if Ganzon's sentence had been
commuted, he, Ganzon, has therefore served his sentence and if he has served his sentence fully, he
can no longer be reinvestigated, or, as the Cruz cases decreed, be made to "complete the service of
[his] sentence."

Under the 1973 Constitution, as is under the present Charter, the "pardoning power" of the President
(that is, to grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, remit fines and forfeitures) is final and
unappealable, so is commutation of sentence, in which the Chief Executive reduces a sentence. It
extinguishes criminal liability partially, and has the effect of changing the penalty to a lesser one.

The Court does not believe, in Ganzon's case, that commutation of sentence need be in a specific form.
It is sufficient, to mind, that Ganzon was voluntarily released in 1978 with terms or conditions, except
that he should remain under house arrest.

The Court can not consider Ganzon's house arrest as a continuation of his sentence, first, because in
no way is arrest a penalty, but rather a mere means of "taking ... a person custody in order that he may

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be forthcoming to answer for the commission of an offense," or, during early martial law, a means to
carry out Proclamation No. 1881, and second, because of the records own scant condition as the exact
terms of his "house arrest." Hence, the view of the Court is that irrespective of the "pardon," Ganzon
has served his sentence and to reiterate, he can no longer be reinvestigated for the same offense, much
more undergo further imprisonment to complete his service.

The fact that Ganzon might have gotten off too lightly, so to speak, is immaterial, and even as we
sympathize with his victims' bereaved families, we cannot ignore the legal effects of then President
Marcos' acts as we did not ignore the legal implications of trials by military tribunals, although void,
as faits accomplis.

The Court therefore need not consider whether or not Rodolfo Ganzon had been pardoned, and
whatever "pardon" the former President may have extended to him did not erase the fact that as early
as 1978, he was a free man. Of course, he was supposed to have remained under house arrest but as
we said, not as a continuation of his sentence, but pursuant to Marcos' vast arrest and commitment
powers during martial rule. The question of whether or not he should continue to remain under
house arrest is also a moot question as we noted, and arrests except upon lawful judicial orders are
no longer possible.

The Court's disposition, it is true, leaves Ganzon to all intents and purposes "scot-free", yet whatever
liberal treatment he may have received is not his fault either, and in the second place, "worse" people
have been better rewarded in this regime.

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USAFFE Veterans Association Inc. vs. Treasurer of the Philippines


Facts
The central issue in this litigation concerns the validity of the Romulo-Snyder Agreement (1950)
whereby the Philippine Government undertook to return to the United States Government in ten
annual installments, a total of about 35-million dollars advanced by the United States to, but
unexpanded by, the National Defense Forces of the Philippines.

The USAFFE Veterans Associations Inc., hereafter called Usaffe Veterans prayed in its complaint
before the Manila court of first instance that said Agreement be annulled, that payments thereunder be
declared illegal and that defendants as officers of the Philippine Republic be restrained from
disbursing any funds in the National Treasury in pursuance of said Agreement. Said Usaffe Veterans
further asked that the moneys available, instead of being remitted to the United States, should be
turned over to the Finance Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the payment of all
pending claims of the veterans represented by plaintiff.

The complaint rested on plaintiff's three propositions: first, that the funds to be "returned" under the
Agreement were funds appropriated by the American Congress for the Philippine army, actually
delivered to the Philippine Government and actually owned by said Government; second, that U.S.
Secretary Snyder of the Treasury, had no authority to retake such funds from the P.I. Government;
and third, that Philippine foreign Secretary Carlos P. Romulo had no authority to return or promise to
return the aforesaid sums of money through the so-called Romulo-Snyder Agreement.

Of the millions so transferred, there remained unexpended and uncommitted in the possession of the
Philippine Armed Forces as of December 31, 1949 about 35 million dollars. As at that time, the Philippine
Government badly needed funds for its activities, President Quirino, through Governor Miguel Cuaderno of the
Central Bank proposed to the corresponding officials of the U.S. Government the retention of the 35-million
dollars as a loan, and for its repayment in ten annual installments. After protracted negotiations the deal was
concluded, and the Romulo-Snyder Agreement was signed in Washington on November 6, 1950, by the then
Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Carlos P. Romulo, and the then American Secretary of the Treasury,
John W. Snyder.

Issue
Whether or not the Romulo-Snyder Agreement is valid.

Held
Valid.

The most important argument, however, rests on the lack of ratification of the Agreement by the
Senate of the Philippines to make it binding on this Government.

On this matter, the defendants explain as follows:

That the agreement is not a "treaty" as that term is used in the Constitution is conceded. The
agreement was never submitted to the Senate for concurrence. However, it must be noted that treaty is
not the only form that an international agreement may assume. For the grant of the treaty-making
power to the Executive and the Senate does not exhaust the power of the government over
international relations. Consequently, executive agreements may be entered with other states and are
effective even without the concurrence of the Senate. It is observed in this connection that from the
point of view of the international law, there is no difference between treaties and executive
agreements in their binding effect upon states concerned as long as the negotiating functionaries have
remained within their powers. "The distinction between so-called executive agreements" and
"treaties" is purely a constitutional one and has no international legal significance"

There are now various forms of such pacts or agreements entered into by and between sovereign
states which do not necessarily come under the strict sense of a treaty and which do not require

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ratification or consent of the legislative body of the State, but nevertheless, are considered valid
international agreements. In a survey of the practice of States made by Harvard Research in the Draft
Convention in the Law of Treaties, it has been shown that there had been more executive agreements
entered into by States than treaties.

Nature of Executive Agreements.

Executive Agreements fall into two classes:


1. Agreements made purely as executive acts affecting external relations and independent of or
without legislative authorization, which may be termed as presidential agreements and
2. Agreements entered into in pursuants of acts of Congress, which have been designated as
Congressional-Executive Agreements

The Romulo-Snyder Agreement may fall under any of these two classes, for precisely on September 18,
1946, Congress of the Philippines specifically authorized the President of the Philippines to obtain
such loans or incur such indebtedness with the Government of the United States, its agencies or
instrumentalities.

Even granting, arguendo, that there was no legislative authorization, it is hereby maintained that the
Romulo-Snyder Agreement was legally and validly entered into to conform to the second category,
namely, "agreements entered into purely as executive acts without legislative authorization." This
second category usually includes money agreements relating to the settlement of pecuniary claims of
citizens. It may be said that this method of settling such claims has come to be the usual way of
dealing with matters of this kind.

Such considerations seems persuasive; indeed, the Agreement was not submitted to the U.S. Senate
either; but we do not stop to check the authorities above listed nor test the conclusions derived
therefrom in order to render a definite pronouncement, for the reason that our Senate Resolution No.
15 practically admits the validity and binding force of such Agreement. Furthermore, the acts of
Congress Appropriating funds for the yearly installments necessary to comply with such Agreements
constitute a ratification thereof, which places the question of validity out of the Court's reach, no
constitutional principle having been invoked to restrict Congress' plenary power to appropriate funds-
loan or no loan.

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Gonzales vs. Hechanova


Facts
Respondent Executive Secretary authorized the importation of 67,000 tons of foreign rice to be
purchased from private sources, and created a rice procurement committee composed of the other
respondents herein for the implementation of said proposed importation. Thereupon, herein petitioner,
Ramon A. Gonzales a rice planter, and president of the Iloilo Palay and Corn Planters Association,
whose members are, likewise, engaged in the production of rice and corn filed the petition herein,
averring that, in making or attempting to make said importation of foreign rice, the aforementioned
respondents "are acting without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction", because Republic Act No.
3452 which allegedly repeals or amends Republic Act No. 220 explicitly prohibits the importation
of rice and corn "the Rice and Corn Administration or any other government agency;" that petitioner
has no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law; and that a preliminary
injunction is necessary for the preservation of the rights of the parties during the pendency this case
and to prevent the judgment therein from coming ineffectual. Petitioner prayed, therefore, that said
petition be given due course; that a writ of preliminary injunction be forthwith issued restraining
respondent their agents or representatives from implementing the decision of the Executive Secretary
to import the aforementioned foreign rice; and that, after due hearing, judgment be rendered making
said injunction permanent.

Issue
Whether or not the agreements are valid.

Held
Invalid.

IV. The contracts with Vietnam and Burma

It is lastly contended that the Government of the Philippines has already entered into two (2) contracts
for the Purchase of rice, one with the Republic of Vietnam, and another with the Government of
Burma; that these contracts constitute valid executive agreements under international law; that such
agreements became binding and effective upon the signing thereof by representatives the parties
thereto; that in case of conflict between Republic Acts Nos. 2207 and 3452 on the one hand, and
aforementioned contracts, on the other, the latter should prevail, because, if a treaty and a statute are
inconsistent with each other, the conflict must be resolved under the American jurisprudence in
favor of the one which is latest in point of time; that petitioner herein assails the validity of acts of the
Executive relative to foreign relations in the conduct of which the Supreme Court cannot interfere;
and the aforementioned contracts have already been consummated, the Government of the Philippines
having already paid the price of the rice involved therein through irrevocable letters of credit in favor
of the sell of the said commodity. We find no merit in this pretense.

The Court is not satisfied that the status of said tracts as alleged executive agreements has been
sufficiently established. The parties to said contracts do not appear to have regarded the same as
executive agreements. But, even assuming that said contracts may properly considered as executive
agreements, the same are unlawful, as well as null and void, from a constitutional viewpoint, said
agreements being inconsistent with the provisions of Republic Acts Nos. 2207 and 3452. Although
the President may, under the American constitutional system enter into executive agreements without
previous legislative authority, he may not, by executive agreement, enter into a transaction that is
prohibited by statutes enacted prior thereto. He may not defeat legislative enactments that have
acquired the status of law, by indirectly repealing the same through an executive agreement providing
for the performance of the very act prohibited by said laws.

The American theory to the effect that, in the event of conflict between a treaty and a statute, the one
which is latest in point of time shall prevail, is not applicable to the case at bar, for respondents not
only admit, but, also insist that the contracts adverted to are not treaties. Said theory may be justified
upon the ground that treaties to which the United States is signatory require the advice and consent of

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its Senate, and, hence, of a branch of the legislative department. No such justification can be given as
regards executive agreements not authorized by previous legislation, without completely upsetting the
principle of separation of powers and the system of checks and balances which are fundamental in our
constitutional set up and that of the United States.

As regards the question whether an international agreement may be invalidated by our courts, suffice
it to say that the Constitution of the Philippines has clearly settled it in the affirmative, by providing,
in Section 2 of Article VIII thereof, that the Supreme Court may not be deprived "of its jurisdiction to
review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal, certiorari, or writ of error as the law or the rules
of court may provide, final judgments and decrees of inferior courts in (1) All cases in which the
constitutionality or validity of any treaty, law, ordinance, or executive order or regulation is in
question". In other words, our Constitution authorizes the nullification of a treaty, not only when it
conflicts with the fundamental law, but, also, when it runs counter to an act of Congress.

The alleged consummation of the aforementioned contracts with Vietnam and Burma does not render
this case academic, Republic Act No. 2207 enjoins our Government not from entering into contracts
for the purchase of rice, but from importing rice, except under the conditions Prescribed in said Act.
Upon the other hand, Republic Act No. 3452 has two (2) main features, namely: (a) it requires the
Government to purchase rice and corn directly from our local planters, growers or landowners; and
(b) it prohibits importations of rice by the Government, and leaves such importations to private parties.
The pivotal issue in this case is whether the proposed importation which has not been
consummated as yet is legally feasible.

Lastly, a judicial declaration of illegality of the proposed importation would not compel our
Government to default in the performance of such obligations as it may have contracted with the
sellers of the rice in question, because, aside from the fact that said obligations may be complied with
without importing the commodity into the Philippines, the proposed importation may still be legalized
by complying with the provisions of the aforementioned laws.

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Vinuya vs. Romulo


Facts
Petitioners are all members of the MALAYA LOLAS, a non-stock, non-profit organization registered
with the Securities and Exchange Commission, established for the purpose of providing aid to the
victims of rape by Japanese military forces in the Philippines during the Second World War.

Petitioners narrate that during the Second World War, the Japanese army attacked villages and
systematically raped the women as part of the destruction of the village. Their communities were
bombed, houses were looted and burned, and civilians were publicly tortured, mutilated, and
slaughtered. Japanese soldiers forcibly seized the women and held them in houses or cells, where they
were repeatedly raped, beaten, and abused by Japanese soldiers. As a result of the actions of their
Japanese tormentors, the petitioners have spent their lives in misery, having endured physical injuries,
pain and disability, and mental and emotional suffering.

Petitioners claim that since 1998, they have approached the Executive Department through the DOJ,
DFA, and OSG, requesting assistance in filing a claim against the Japanese officials and military
officers who ordered the establishment of the comfort women stations in the Philippines. However,
officials of the Executive Department declined to assist the petitioners, and took the position that the
individual claims of the comfort women for compensation had already been fully satisfied by Japans
compliance with the Peace Treaty between the Philippines and Japan.

Petitioners arguments

Petitioners argue that the general waiver of claims made by the Philippine government in the Treaty
of Peace with Japan is void. They claim that the comfort women system established by Japan, and the
brutal rape and enslavement of petitioners constituted a crime against humanity, sexual slavery, and
torture. They allege that the prohibition against these international crimes is jus cogens norms from
which no derogation is possible; as such, in waiving the claims of Filipina comfort women and failing
to espouse their complaints against Japan, the Philippine government is in breach of its legal
obligation not to afford impunity for crimes against humanity. Finally, petitioners assert that the
Philippine governments acceptance of the apologies made by Japan as well as funds from the Asian
Womens Fund (AWF) were contrary to international law.

Respondents Arguments

Respondents maintain that all claims of the Philippines and its nationals relative to the war were dealt
with in the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951 and the bilateral Reparations Agreement of 1956.

Issue
Whether or not the Executive is bound to espouse the claims of the comfort women against Japan.

Held
Not bound.

Certain types of cases often have been found to present political questions. One such category
involves questions of foreign relations. It is well-established that "the conduct of the foreign relations
of our government is committed by the Constitution to the executive and legislative--'the political'--
departments of the government, and the propriety of what may be done in the exercise of this political
power is not subject to judicial inquiry or decision.

To be sure, not all cases implicating foreign relations present political questions, and courts certainly
possess the authority to construe or invalidate treaties and executive agreements. However, the
question whether the Philippine government should espouse claims of its nationals against a foreign
government is a foreign relations matter, the authority for which is demonstrably committed by our
Constitution not to the courts but to the political branches. In this case, the Executive Department has

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already decided that it is to the best interest of the country to waive all claims of its nationals for
reparations against Japan in the Treaty of Peace of 1951. The wisdom of such decision is not for the
courts to question. Neither could petitioners herein assail the said determination by the Executive
Department via the instant petition for certiorari.

The Executive Department has determined that taking up petitioners cause would be inimical to our
countrys foreign policy interests, and could disrupt our relations with Japan, thereby creating serious
implications for stability in this region. For us to overturn the Executive Departments determination
would mean an assessment of the foreign policy judgments by a coordinate political branch to which
authority to make that judgment has been constitutionally committed.

In any event, it cannot reasonably be maintained that the Philippine government was without authority
to negotiate the Treaty of Peace with Japan. And it is equally true that, since time immemorial, when
negotiating peace accords and settling international claims.

Indeed, except as an agreement might otherwise provide, international settlements generally wipe out
the underlying private claims, thereby terminating any recourse under domestic law. This practice of
settling claims by means of a peace treaty is certainly nothing new.

Respondents explain that the Allied Powers concluded the Peace Treaty with Japan not necessarily for
the complete atonement of the suffering caused by Japanese aggression during the war, not for the
payment of adequate reparations, but for security purposes. The treaty sought to prevent the spread of
communism in Japan, which occupied a strategic position in the Far East. Thus, the Peace Treaty
compromised individual claims in the collective interest of the free world.

This was also the finding in a similar case involving American victims of Japanese slave labor during
the war.

We thus hold that, from a municipal law perspective, that certiorari will not lie. As a general principle
and particularly here, where such an extraordinary length of time has lapsed between the treatys
conclusion and our consideration the Executive must be given ample discretion to assess the foreign
policy considerations of espousing a claim against Japan, from the standpoint of both the interests of
the petitioners and those of the Republic, and decide on that basis if apologies are sufficient, and
whether further steps are appropriate or necessary.

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Santiago vs. Bautista


Facts
Appellant Teodoro Santiago, Jr. was a pupil in Grade Six at the public school named Sero Elementary
School in Cotabato City. As the school year was then about to end, the "Committee On The Rating Of
Students For Honor" was constituted by the teachers concerned at said school for the purpose of
selecting the "honor students" of its graduating class. The committee deliberated and finally adjudged
Socorro Medina, Patricia Ligat and Teodoro C. Santiago, Jr. as first, second and third honors,
respectively. The school's graduation exercises were thereafter set for May 21, 1965; but three days
before that date, the "third placer" Teodoro Santiago, Jr., represented by his mother, and with his
father as counsel, sought the invalidation of the "ranking of honor students" thus made, by instituting
a civil case.

The corresponding complaint filed alleged, inter alia: that:


Teodoro Santiago, Jr. Had been a consistent honor pupil from Grade I to Grade V of the Sero
Elementary School, while Patricia Ligat (second placer in the disputed ranking in Grade VI)
had never been a close rival of petitioner before, except in Grade V wherein she ranked third;
That Santiago, Jr. had been prejudiced, while his closest rival had been so much benefited, by
the circumstance that the latter, Socorro Medina, was coached and tutored during the summer
vacation of 1964 by Mrs. Alpas who became the teacher of both pupils in English in Grade VI,
resulting in the far lead Medina obtained over the other pupil;
That the committee referred to in this case had been illegally constituted as the same was
composed of all the Grade VI teachers only, in violation of the Service Manual for Teachers
of the Bureau of Public Schools which provides that the committee to select the honor
students should be composed of all teachers in Grades V and VI;
That there are direct and circumstantial matters, which shall be proven during the trial,
wherein respondents have exercised grave abuse of discretion and irregularities, such as the
changing of the final ratings on the grading sheets of Socorro Medina and Patricia Ligat
from 80% to 85%, and some teachers giving petitioner a starting grade of 75% in Grade VI,
which proves that there has already an intention to pull him to a much lower rank at the end
of the school year;
That several district examinations outside of teachers' daily units and other than periodical
tests were given, ratings in which were heavily considered in the determination of periodical
ratings, whereas according to the Academic Supervisor and Acting Division Superintendent
of schools of the place such district examinations were not advisable;
That there was a unanimous agreement and understanding among the respondent teachers to
insult and prejudice the second and third honors by rating Socorro Medina with a perfect
score, which is very unnatural; that the words "first place" in petitioner's certificate in Grade I
was erased and replaced with the words "second place", which is an instance of the unjust and
discriminating abuses committed by the respondent teachers in the disputed selection of honor
pupils they made;

The court dismissed the case for lack of cause of action.

Issue
Whether or not certiorari is a proper remedy.

Held
Certiorari does not lie because no law governs the instant case.

The last point raised by appellees deserves first consideration, for if really the said committee of
teachers does not fall within the category of the tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial
functions contemplated by Rule 65, further discussion of the issues raised by appellant may no longer
be necessary.

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In this jurisdiction certiorari is a special civil action instituted against 'any tribunal, board, or officer
exercising judicial functions.' A judicial function is an act performed by virtue of judicial powers; the
exercise of a judicial function is the doing of something in the nature of the action of the court. In
order that a special civil action of certiorari may be invoked in this jurisdiction the following
circumstances must exist:
1. That there must be a specific controversy involving rights of persons or property and said
controversy is brought before a tribunal, board or officer for hearing and determination of
their respective rights and obligations.
2. The tribunal, board or officer before whom the controversy is brought must have the power
and authority to pronounce judgment and render a decision on the controversy construing and
applying the laws to that end.
3. The tribunal, board or officer must pertain to that branch of the sovereign power which
belongs to the judiciary, or at least, which does not belong to the legislative or executive
department.

The so-called committee on the rating of students for honor whose actions are questioned in this case
exercised neither judicial nor quasi-judicial functions in the performance of its assigned task. Before
the tribunal board, or officer may exercise judicial or quasi judicial acts, it is necessary that there be a
law that give rise to some specific rights of persons or property under which adverse claims to such
rights are made, and the controversy ensuing therefrom is brought, in turn, before the tribunal, board
or officer clothed with power and authority to determine what that law is and thereupon adjudicate the
respective rights of the contending parties. As pointed out by appellees, however, there is nothing on
record about any rule of law that provides that when teachers sit down to assess the individual merits
of their pupils for purposes of rating them for honors, such function involves the determination of
what the law is and that they are therefore automatically vested with judicial or quasi judicial
functions. Worse still, this Court has not even been appraised by appellant of the pertinent provisions
of the Service Manual of Teachers for Public Schools appellees allegedly violated in the composition
of the committee they constituted thereunder, and, in the performance of that committee's duties.

At any rate, the situation brought before us in this case, the seemingly one of first impression, is not
without substantial parallel. In the case of Felipe vs. Leuterio, etc., et al., the issue presented for
determination was whether or not the courts have the authority to reverse the award of the board of
judges of an oratorical contest, and this Court declared that the judiciary has no power to reverse the
award of the board of judges of that contest and, for that matter, it would not interfere in literary
contests, beauty contests and similar competitions.

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Noblejas vs. Teehankee


Facts
Petitioner Antonio H. Noblejas is the duly appointed, confirmed and qualified Commissioner of Land
Registration. By the terms of section 2 of said Act, the said Commissioner is declared "entitled to the
same compensation, emoluments and privileges as those of a Judge of the Court of First Instance."
The appropriation laws in the item setting forth the salary of said officer, use the following
expression:

One Land Registration Commissioner with the rank and privileges of district judge P19,000.00.

Later, respondent Secretary of Justice coursed to the petitioner a letter requiring him to explain in
writing why no disciplinary action should be taken against petitioner for "approving or recommending
approval of subdivision, consolidation and consolidated-subdivision plans covering areas greatly in
excess of the areas covered by the original titles." Noblejas answered and apprised the Secretary of
Justice that, as he enjoyed the rank, privileges, emoluments and compensation of a Judge of the Court
of First Instance, he could only be suspended and investigated in the same manner as a Judge of the
Courts of First Instance, and, therefore, the papers relative to his case should be submitted to the
Supreme Court, for action thereon conformably to section 67 of the Judiciary Act (R. A. No. 296) and
Revised Rule 140 of the Rules of Court.

Petitioner Noblejas received a communication signed by the Executive Secretary, "by authority of the
President", whereby, based on "finding that a prima facie case exists against you for gross negligence
and conduct prejudicial to the public interest", petitioner was "hereby suspended, upon receipt hereof,
pending investigation of the above charges."

Petitioner applied to this Court, reiterating the contentions advanced in his letter to the Secretary of
Justice, claiming lack of jurisdiction and abuse of discretion, and praying for restraining writs. In their
answer respondents admit the facts but denied that petitioner, as Land Registration Commissioner,
exercises judicial functions, or that the petitioner may be considered a Judge of First Instance within
the purview of the Judiciary Act and Revised Rules of Court 140; that the function of investigating
charges against public officers is administrative or executive in nature; that the Legislature may not
charge the judiciary with non-judicial functions or duties except when reasonably incidental to the
fulfillment of judicial duties, as it would be in violation of the principle of the separation of powers.

Issue
Whether or not the Commissioner of Land Registration may only be investigated by the Supreme
Court, in view of the conferment upon him by the Statutes heretofore mentioned (Rep. Act 1151 and
Appropriation Laws) of the rank and privileges of a Judge of the Court of First Instance.

Held
We are constrained to rule that the grant by Republic Act 1151 to the Commissioner of Land
Registration of the "same privileges as those of a Judge of the Court of First Instance" did not include,
and was not intended to include, the right to demand investigation by the Supreme Court, and to be
suspended or removed only upon that Court's recommendation; for otherwise, the said grant of
privileges would be violative of the Constitution and be null and void. Consequently, the investigation
and suspension of the aforenamed Commissioner pursuant to sections 32 and 34 of the Civil Service
Law (R. A. 2260) are neither abuses of discretion nor acts in excess of jurisdiction.

First to militate against petitioner's stand is the fact that section 67 of the Judiciary Act providing for
investigation, suspension or removal of Judges, specifically recites that "No District Judge shall be
separated or removed from office by the President of the Philippines unless sufficient cause shall exist
in the judgment of the Supreme Court . . ." and it is nowhere claimed, much less shown, that the
Commissioner of Land Registration is a District Judge, or in fact a member of the Judiciary at all.

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In the second place, petitioner's theory that the grant of "privileges of a Judge of First Instance"
includes by implication the right to be investigated only by the Supreme Court and to be suspended or
removed upon its recommendation, would necessarily result in the same right being possessed by a
variety of executive officials upon whom the Legislature had indiscriminately conferred the same
privileges. To adopt petitioner's theory, therefore, would mean placing upon the Supreme Court the
duty of investigating and disciplining all these officials, whose functions are plainly executive, and
the consequent curtailment by mere implication from the Legislative grant, of the President's power to
discipline and remove administrative officials who are presidential appointees, and which the
Constitution expressly placed under the President's supervision and control.

Incidentally, petitioner's stand would also lead to the conclusion that the Solicitor General, another
appointee of the President, could not be removed by the latter, since the Appropriation Acts confer
upon the Solicitor General the rank and privileges of a Justice of the Court of Appeals, and these
Justices are only removable by the Legislature, through the process of impeachment.

In our opinion, such unusual corollaries could not have been intended by the Legislature when it
granted these executive officials the rank and privileges of Judges of First Instance.

But the more fundamental objection to the stand of petitioner Noblejas is that, if the Legislature had
really intended to include in the general grant of "privileges" or "rank and privileges of Judges of the
Court of First Instance" the right to be investigated by the Supreme Court, and to be suspended or
removed only upon recommendation of that Court, then such grant of privileges would be
unconstitutional, since it would violate the fundamental doctrine of separation of powers, by charging
this court with the administrative function of supervisory control over executive officials, and
simultaneously reducing pro tanto the control of the Chief Executive over such officials.

In this spirit, it has been held that the Supreme Court of the Philippines and its members should not
and cannot be required to exercise any power or to perform any trust or to assume any duty not
pertaining to or connected with the administration of judicial functions.

Petitioner Noblejas seeks to differentiate his case from that of other executive officials by claiming
that under Section 4 of Republic Act No. 1151, he is endowed with judicial functions.

Serious doubt may well be entertained as to whether the resolution of a consulta by a Register of
Deeds is a judicial function, as contrasted with administrative process. It will be noted that by specific
provision of the section, the decision of the Land Registration Commissioner "shall be conclusive and
binding upon all Registers of Deeds" alone, and not upon other parties. This limitation in effect
identifies the resolutions of the Land Registration Commissioner with those of any other bureau
director, whose resolutions or orders bind his subordinates alone. That the Commissioner's resolutions
are appealable does not prove that they are not administrative; any bureau director's ruling is likewise
appealable to the corresponding department head.

But even granting that the resolution of consultas by the Register of Deeds should constitute a judicial
(or more properly quasi judicial) function, analysis of the powers and duties of the Land Registration
Commissioner under Republic Act No. 1151, sections 3 and 4, will show that the resolution of
consultas are but a minimal portion of his administrative or executive functions and merely incidental
to the latter.

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Director of Prisons vs. Ang Cho Kio


Facts
Respondent Ang Cho Kio Ang Ming Huy had been charged, tried and convicted of various offenses
committed in the Philippines and was sentenced to suffer penalties. After serving partially his
sentence, said respondent was granted conditional pardon by the President of the Philippines on the
condition that he will voluntarily leave the Philippines never to return.

However, Ang Cho Kio returned to the Philippines under the name "Ang Ming Huy." He contacted
his two friends in Manila, Lim Pin and Go Bon Kim. These two friends invited him to stay longer in
the Philippines. He and his two friends went to the Bureau of Immigration, where his friend Lim Pin
signed a letter addressed to the Commissioner of Immigration requesting for a fourteen-day extension
of stay in the Philippines for him. Inspector Mariano Cristi of the Immigration Bureau as the Ang Cho
Kio who was deported to Taipeh on July 18, 1959 identified Ang Cho Kio. The Executive Secretary,
by authority of the President, ordered him recommitted to prison to serve the unexpired portion of the
sentence that were imposed on him, for having violated the conditioned of his pardon.

Ang Cho Kio filed with the Executive Secretary a motion, for the reconsideration of the supplemental
order of recommitment. The Executive Secretary failed to act on the motion for reconsideration, and
so Ang Cho Kio filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

After due hearing the Court of First Instance rendered a decision dismissing the petition for habeas
corpus. Ang Cho Kio appealed to the Court of Appeals from the decision of the Court of First
Instance of Rizal. The Court of Appeals rendered a decision that in effect affirmed the decision of the
Court of First Instance of Rizal dismissing Ang Cho Kio's petition for habeas corpus.

The aforequoted portion of the majority opinion affirms the reasons of the Court of First Instance of
Rizal in dismissing the petition for habeas corpus. However, the majority opinion contains the
recommendation that Ang Cho Kio
... be sent out at once from this country and that he be allowed to leave Muntinlupa Prisons under guard only
when he has been booked for outward flight at the Manila International Airport so as to avoid the possibility of
any further violation of his conditional pardon. At any rate it would be to the best interest of the security and
peace of this country to have the petitioner expatriated from the Philippines, instead of being recommitted for a
long duration of time to prison where his presence may constitute a constant menace to our country's welfare
and bring about some sinister influence among the people with whom he will associate or come in contact.

The Solicitor General filed with the Court of Appeals a motion for reconsideration, praying for the
deletion from the majority opinion of the recommendation to allow Ang Cho Kio to leave the country
on the first available transportation abroad.

Issue
Whether or not the CAs recommendation on what action to take is proper.

Held
Improper.

We agree with the Solicitor General. The case before the Court of Appeals was for habeas corpus.
The only question to be resolved by the Court of Appeals was whether, or not, the Court of First
Instance of Rizal, had rightly dismissed the petition of Ang Cho Kio for habeas corpus. The Court of
Appeals was not called upon to review any sentence imposed upon Ang Cho Kio. The sentence
against him had long become final, and, in fact, he has served part of the sentence when he was
extended pardon on July 4, 1959, upon the condition that he should leave the country, never to return.
The opinion of the three justices of the special division of the Court of Appeals, to which the two
other justices have concurred, found that the recommitment to prison of Ang Cho Kio was done in the
exercise by the President of the Philippines of his power pursuant to the provision of Section 64(i) of
the Revised Administrative Code, and the courts should not interfere with the exercise of that power.

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The majority opinion should have been limited to the affirmance of the decision of the lower court,
and no more.

The recommendatory power of the courts in this jurisdiction is limited to those expressly provided in
the law and such law is the provision of Section 5 of the Revised Penal Code.

Certainly, the recommendation in the majority opinion of the special division of the Court of Appeals,
now in question, is not authorized under the aforequoted provision of Article 5 of the Revised Penal
Code. We do not consider it proper that the majority of the justices in the special division make a
recommendation that would suggest a modification or a correction of the act of the Chief Executive,
after the same justices have said in their opinion "that the Chief Executive may determine, alone and
by himself, whether the condition attached to a pardon given by him had been violated; and in the
exercise of this prerogative, the courts may not interfere, however erroneous the findings may be."

For the court to suggest to the Chief Executive to modify his decision to recommit Ang Cho Kio to
prison by allowing him to leave the country instead is indeed to interfere with the functions of the
Chief Executive. It would be, as urged by the Solicitor General, an interference on, or an attempt to
influence, the exercise by the Chief Executive of the political powers of his office. The matter of
whether an alien who violated the laws in this country may remain or be deported is a political
question that should be left entirely to the Chief Executive to decide. Under the principle of separation
of powers, it is not within the province of the judiciary to express an opinion, or express a suggestion,
that would reflect on the wisdom or propriety of the action of the Chief Executive on matters purely
political in nature.

It may be said that the recommendation embodied in the majority opinion of the special division of
the Court of Appeals simply represents the private opinion of the three justices, and judges should be
left free to express even their private opinions in judicial decisions. We believe, however, that the
better practice should be that the decision of a court should contain only opinion that is relevant to the
question that is before the court for decision. After all, courts are not concerned with the wisdom or
morality of laws, but only in the interpretation and application of the law. We believe that judges
should refrain from expressing irrelevant opinions in their decisions that may only reflect unfavorably
upon their competence and the propriety of their judicial actuations.

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In re Laureta
Minute digest

Facts
Atty. Laureta and his client, Eva Maravilla, lost in the case involving the estate of Digna Maravilla,
Evas aunt. The Supreme Court disposed of the case in a minute resolution. Laureta and Maravilla
sent letters to the Supreme Court accusing it of railroading the minute resolution and one of its
Justices of conflict of interest because the counsel of the opposing party was formerly a law partner of
one of the SC Justices. The Supreme Court denied the accusations in another minute resolution.
Petitioners then filed a complaint before the Tanodbayan, in what was a highly publicized affair,
against the SC Justices alleging the minute resolutions were unjust decisions punishable under the
RPC. The Supreme Court demanded petitioners to show cause why they should not be punished for
contempt.

Held
Indeed, resolutions of the Supreme Court as a collegiate court, whether en banc or division, speak for
themselves and are entitled to full faith and credence and are beyond investigation or inquiry under
the same principle of conclusiveness of enrolled bills of the legislature. The principle is fully and
reciprocally applicable to Supreme Court orders, resolutions and decisions, mutatis mutandis.

The Court has consistently stressed "the doctrine of separation of powers calls for the executive,
legislative and judicial departments being left alone to discharge their duties as they see. It has thus
maintained in the same way that the judiciary has a right to expect that neither the President nor
Congress would cast doubt on the mainspring of its orders or decisions, it should refrain from
speculating as to alleged hidden forces at work that could have impelled either coordinate branch into
acting the way it did. The concept of separation of powers presupposes mutual respect by and
between the three departments of the government.

To allow litigants to go beyond the Court's resolution and claim that the members acted "with
deliberate bad faith" and rendered an "unjust resolution" in disregard or violation of the duty of their
high office to act upon their own independent consideration and judgment of the matter at hand would
be to destroy the authenticity, integrity and conclusiveness of such collegiate acts and resolutions and
to disregard utterly the presumption of regular performance of official duty. To allow such collateral
attack would destroy the separation of powers and undermine the role of the Supreme Court as the
final arbiter of all justiciable disputes.

Dissatisfied litigants and/or their counsels cannot, without violating the separation of powers
mandated by the Constitution, re-litigate in another forum the final judgment of this Court on legal
issues submitted by them and their adversaries for final determination to and by the Supreme Court
and which fall within the judicial power to determine and adjudicate exclusively vested by the
Constitution in the Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as may be established by law.

In resume, we find that respondent Ilustre has transcended the permissible bounds of fair comment
and criticism to the detriment of the orderly administration of justice in her letters addressed to the
individual Justices quoted in the show-cause Resolution of this Court en banc, particularly the
underlined portions thereof; in the language of the charges she filed before the Tanodbayan quoted
and underscored in the same Resolution; in her statements, conduct, acts and charges against the
Supreme Court and/or the official actions of the Justices concerned and her ascription of improper
motives to them; and in her unjustified outburst that she can no longer expect justice from this Court.
The fact that said letters are not technically considered pleadings, nor the fact that they were
submitted after the main petition had been finally resolved does not detract from the gravity of the
contempt committed. The constitutional right of freedom of speech or right to privacy cannot be used
as a shield for contemptuous acts against the Court.

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Echegaray vs. Secretary of Justice24


Facts
For resolution are public respondents' Urgent Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of this
Court temporarily restraining the execution of petitioner and Supplemental Motion to Urgent Motion
for Reconsideration.

In their Consolidated Comment, petitioner contends:


1. The stay order. . . is within the scope of judicial power and duty and does not trench on
executive powers nor on congressional prerogatives;
2. The exercise by this Court of its power to stay execution was reasonable;
3. The Court did not lose jurisdiction to address incidental matters involved or arising from the
petition;
4. Public respondents are estopped from challenging the Court's jurisdiction; and
5. There is no certainty that the law on capital punishment will not be repealed or modified until
Congress convenes and considers all the various resolutions and bills filed before it.

Issue
Whether or not the Supreme Court exceeded its jurisdiction in restraining petitioners execution.

Held
Did not exceed its jurisdiction.

First. We do not agree with the sweeping submission of the public respondents that this Court lost its
jurisdiction over the case at bar and hence can no longer restrain the execution of the petitioner.
Obviously, public respondents are invoking the rule that final judgments can no longer be altered in
accord with the principle that "it is just as important that there should be a place to end as there should
be a place to begin litigation." To start with, the Court is not changing even a comma of its final
Decision.

The power to control the execution of its decision is an essential aspect of jurisdiction. It cannot be
the subject of substantial subtraction for our Constitution vests the entirety of judicial power in one
Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. To be sure, the important part
of a litigation, whether civil or criminal, is the process of execution of decisions where supervening
events may change the circumstance of the parties and compel courts to intervene and adjust the rights
of the litigants to prevent unfairness. It is because of these unforeseen, supervening contingencies that
courts have been conceded the inherent and necessary power of control of its processes and orders to
make them conformable to law and justice. It bears repeating that what the Court restrained
temporarily is the execution of its own Decision to give it reasonable time to check its fairness in light
of supervening events in Congress as alleged by petitioner. The Court, contrary to popular
misimpression, did not restrain the effectivity of a law enacted by Congress.

The more disquieting dimension of the submission of the public respondents that this Court has no
jurisdiction to restrain the execution of petitioner is that it can diminish the independence of the
judiciary. Since the implant of republicanism in our soil, our courts have been conceded the
jurisdiction to enforce their final decisions. In accord with this unquestioned jurisdiction, this Court
promulgated rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure that, among others, spelled out the
rules on execution of judgments. These rules are all predicated on the assumption that courts have the
inherent, necessary and incidental power to control and supervise the process of execution of their
decisions.

The 1987 Constitution molded an even stronger and more independent judiciary. Among others, it
enhanced the rule making power of this Court. The rule making power of this Court was expanded.

24 Syllabus mentioned the same case but on a different date, however that case has nothing to do with Art

VIII Sec. 1

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This Court for the first time was given the power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and
enforcement of constitutional rights. The Court was also granted for the first time the power to
disapprove rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies. But most importantly, the
1987 Constitution took away the power of Congress to repeal, alter, or supplement rules concerning
pleading, practice and procedure. In fine, the power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice and
procedure is no longer shared by this Court with Congress, more so with the Executive. If the
manifest intent of the 1987 Constitution is to strengthen the independence of the judiciary, it is inutile
to urge, as public respondents do, that this Court has no jurisdiction to control the process of
execution of its decisions, a power conceded to it and which it has exercised since time immemorial.

Second. We likewise reject the public respondents' contention that the "decision in this case having
become final and executory, its execution enters the exclusive ambit of authority of the executive
department . . .. By granting the TRO, the Honorable Court has in effect granted reprieve which is an
executive function."

The text and tone of this provision will not yield to the interpretation suggested by the public
respondents. The provision is simply the source of power of the President to grant reprieves,
commutations, and pardons and remit fines and forfeitures after conviction by final judgment. It also
provides the authority for the President to grant amnesty with the concurrence of a majority of all the
members of the Congress. The provision, however, cannot be interpreted as denying the power of
courts to control the enforcement of their decisions after their finality. In truth, an accused who has
been convicted by final judgment still possesses collateral rights and these rights can be claimed in the
appropriate courts.

For instance, a death convict who becomes insane after his final conviction cannot be executed while
in a state of insanity. The suspension of such a death sentence is undisputably an exercise of judicial
power. It is not a usurpation of the presidential power of reprieve though its effects are the same
the temporary suspension of the execution of the death convict. In the same vein, it cannot be denied
that Congress can at any time amend R.A. No. 7659 by reducing the penalty of death to life
imprisonment. The effect of such an amendment is like that of commutation of sentence. But by no
stretch of the imagination can the exercise by Congress of its plenary power to amend laws be
considered as a violation of the power of the President to commute final sentences of conviction. The
powers of the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary to save the life of a death convict do not
exclude each other for the simple reason that there is no higher right than the right to life. For the
public respondents therefore to contend that only the Executive can protect the right to life of an
accused after his final conviction is to violate the principle of co-equal and coordinate powers of the
three branches of our government.

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Lina vs. Purisima


Facts
Petition for certiorari and mandamus to annul the two successive orders of dismissal, for supposed
lack of jurisdiction, of petitioner's complaint in Special Civil Action of the Court of First Instance
issued by respondent judge and to command said respondent to try and decide the said case on the
merits.

The Second order of dismissal dated September 3, 1974 runs thus:


It now appears from the annexes of the amended petition that petitioner was dismissed by respondent president
of the Philippine Veterans Bank pursuant to Letters of Instruction No. 14 and No. 19-A, for being notoriously
undesirable. This being the case, petitioner had a right to appeal from her dismissal, and the venue of the
appeal is the Office of the President. She did appeal. But the appeal was denied. The aforesaid letter from the
Office of the President in effect affirmed the position taken by respondent Cabanos in dismissing petitioner
pursuant to Letter of Instruction No. 14-A.

Since the removal of petitioner is pursuant to a Letter of Instruction issued by the President pursuant to
Proclamation No. 1081, the validity or legality of said act is beyond the power of the courts to review, much less
modify or reverse, whether by means of the writ of certiorari and/or mandamus, or any other court process.
This is one of the express limitations upon the power of Courts imposed by General Order No.3 issued by the
President. Said general order provides:
xxx xxx xxx
I do hereby further order that the Judiciary shall continue to function in accordance with its present
organization and personnel, and shall try and decide in accordance with existing laws all criminal and civil
cases, except the following cases:
1. Those involving the validity, legality, or constitutionality of any decree, order or act issued,
promulgated or performed by me or by my duly designated representative pursuant to Proclamation
No. 1081, dated Sept. 21, 1972.
2. Those involving the validity, legality or constitutionality of any rules, orders or acts issued,
promulgated or performed by public servants pursuant to decrees, orders, rules and regulations issued
and promulgated by me or by my duly designated representative pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081,
dated Sept. 21, 1972.

Issue
Whether or not the court can dismiss the case on the basis of General Order No. 3

Held
Cannot dismiss.

It is at once obvious that petitioner's right to redress against the same is beyond dispute. Respondent
court's invocation of General Order No. 3 is nothing short of an unwarranted abdication of judicial
authority, which no judge duly imbued with the implications of the paramount principle of
independence of the judiciary should ever think of doing. It is unfortunate indeed that respondent
judge is apparently unaware that it is a matter of highly significant historical fact that this Court has
always deemed General Order No. 3 including its amendment by General Orders No. 3-a as
practically inoperative even in the light of Proclamation 1081 of September 21, 1972 and
Proclamation 1104 of January 17, 1973 placing the whole Philippines under martial law. There is
unanimity among us in the view that it is for the Court rather than the Executive to determine whether
or not we may take cognizance of any given case involving the validity of acts of the Executive
Department purportedly under the authority of the martial law proclamations.

In this regard, to the credit of President Marcos, it has been noted by the Court that the President has
publicly acknowledged as one of the distinctive cardinal features of the prevailing martial law regime
that the constitutional authority, prerogatives and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, as they have ever
existed in normal times, remain integrally unimpaired despite the proclamation of martial law. In
plainer terms, it has been repeatedly announced by the President, even to international or foreign
audiences, that our martial law government is subject, as by constitutional mandate it should always
be, to the authority and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. And undoubtedly, in appropriate cases,

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such pronouncements can apply to the judiciary as a whole. Accordingly, We do not hesitate to reject
the reasoning advanced by respondent court as a constitutionally uncalled for submissiveness to the
Executive, certainly unworthy of the judicial office.

We hold that the legal premise of the impugned order is absolutely erroneous from the point of view
of sacred constitutional principles. Such an order does not deserve to be given sanction by this Court
as being in keeping with the role of the courts in this momentous era of our national existence as a
democratic republic committed to hold inviolate the independence of the judiciary at all times, so long
as the constitution continues to be in force.

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Tan vs. Macapagal


Facts
A petition filed by Eugene A. Tan, Silvestre J. Acejas and Rogelio V. Fernandez, respectively, of
Roxas City, Romblon and Davao City, for declaratory relief as taxpayers, but purportedly suing on
behalf of themselves and the Filipino people, in assailing the validity of the Laurel-Leido Resolution,
dealing with the range of the authority of the 1971 Constitutional Convention, would have this Court
declare that it is "without power, under Section 1, Article XV of the Constitution and Republic Act
6132, to consider, discuss and adopt proposals which seek to revise the present Constitution through
the adoption of a form of government other than the form now outlined in the present Constitution
[the Convention being] merely empowered to propose improvements to the present Constitution
without altering the general plan laid down therein."

Such a plea of the utmost seriousness was compressed in a five-page pleading. It is understandable,
therefore, why the petition could hardly be characterized as possessed of merit. Accordingly, this
Court issued a resolution dismissing it. Then came on the last day of that month a printed thirty-two-
page motion for reconsideration. It is evident that petitioners took some pains this time, although the
main reliance seems to be on a secondary authority, American Jurisprudence. The show of diligence is
impressive but the persuasive quality is something else. A perusal thereof yields the conclusion that
petitioners are oblivious of the authoritative precedents in this jurisdiction. The approach is not
distinguished by its conformity with the law as it stands.
Whether or not the Court can decide the case.

Held
Case is not yet ripe for adjudication.

What calls for prior determination is whether or not petitioners had the requisite standing to seek a
declaration of the alleged nullity of a resolution of the Constitutional Convention. In the categorical
and succinct language of Justice Laurel: "The unchallenged rule is that the person who impugns the
validity of a statute must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained,
or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement." There has been a relaxation of this rule.
There are many decisions nullifying, at the instance of taxpayers, laws providing for the disbursement
of public funds, upon the theory that the "expenditure of public funds, by an officer of the State for
the purpose of administering an unconstitutional act constitutes a misapplication of such funds,"
which may be enjoined at the request of a taxpayer." Moreover, where a constitutional question is
raised, a Senator has usually been considered as possessed of the requisite personality to bring a suit.
Petitioners in the present case cannot be heard to assert that they do qualify under such a category.

Moreover, as far as a taxpayer's suit is concerned, Court is not devoid of discretion as to whether or
not it should be entertained. It is our view that a negative answer is indicated. Nor should petitioners
feel discriminated against just because in Gonzales v. Commission on Elections, a member of the
Philippine Bar, now Delegate Ramon Gonzales, was allowed to prosecute his action for prohibition
instituted by him as a taxpayer. Petitioners have no cause for legitimate resentment as such suit could
be distinguished from the present.

Petitioner Gonzales in accordance with the controlling doctrine had the good sense to wait before
filing his suit until after the enactment of the statute for the submission to the electorate of certain
proposed amendments to the Constitution. It was only then that the matter was ripe for adjudication.
Prior to that stage, the judiciary had to keep its hands off.

Such a principle applies as well when the inquiry concerns the scope of the competence lodged in the
Constitutional Convention. The judiciary must leave it free to fulfill its responsibility according to its
rights. There is to be no interference. Its autonomy is to be respected. It cannot be otherwise if it is to
perform its function well. Such should be the case not only because it is a coordinate agency but also
because its powers are transcendent, amounting as it does to submitting for popular ratification
proposals which may radically alter the organization and functions of all three departments, including

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the courts. It is therefore much more imperative that the rule of non-interference be strictly adhered to
until the appropriate time comes.

More specifically, as long as any proposed amendment is still unacted on by it, there is no room for
the interposition of judicial oversight. Only after it has made concrete what it intends to submit for
ratification may the appropriate case be instituted. Until then, the courts are devoid of jurisdiction.
That is the command of the Constitution as interpreted by this Court. Unless and until such a doctrine
loses force by being overruled or a new precedent being announced, it is controlling. That is implicit
in the rule of law. Petitioners' motion for reconsideration cannot therefor be sustained.

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Telecommunications and Broadcast Attorneys vs. Comelec


Facts
In the present case, we consider the validity of 92 of B.P. Blg. No. 881 against claims that the
requirement that radio and television time be given free takes property without due process of law;
that it violates the eminent domain clause of the Constitution which provides for the payment of just
compensation; that it denies broadcast media the equal protection of the laws; and that, in any event, it
violates the terms of the franchise of petitioner GMA Network, Inc.

Petitioner Telecommunications and Broadcast Attorneys of the Philippines, Inc. is an organization of


lawyers of radio and television broadcasting companies. They are suing as citizens, taxpayers, and
registered voters. The other petitioner, GMA Network, Inc., operates radio and television
broadcasting stations throughout the Philippines under a franchise granted by Congress.

Petitioners challenge the validity of 92 on the ground


1. That it takes property without due process of law and without just compensation;
2. That it denies radio and television broadcast companies the equal protection of the laws; and
3. That it is in excess of the power given to the COMELEC to supervise or regulate the
operation of media of communication or information during the period of election.

Issue
Whether or not petitioners have standing.

Held
Only GMA has standing.

The Question of Standing

At the threshold of this suit is the question of standing of petitioner Telecommunications and
Broadcast Attorneys of the Philippines, Inc. (TELEBAP). As already noted, its members assert an
interest as lawyers of radio and television broadcasting companies and as citizens, taxpayers, and
registered voters.

In those cases in which citizens were authorized to sue, this Court upheld their standing in view of the
"transcendental importance" of the constitutional question raised which justified the granting of relief.
In contrast, in the case at bar, as will presently be shown, petitioner's substantive claim is without
merit. To the extent, therefore, that a party's standing is determined by the substantive merit of his
case or preliminary estimate thereof, petitioner TELEBAP must be held to be without standing.
Indeed, a citizen will be allowed to raise a constitutional question only when he can show that he has
personally suffered some actual or threatened injury as a result of the allegedly illegal conduct of the
government; the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action; and the injury is likely to be
redressed by a favorable action. Members of petitioner have not shown that they have suffered harm
as a result of the operation of 92 of B.P. Blg. 881.

Nor do members of petitioner TELEBAP have an interest as registered voters since this case does not
concern their right of suffrage. Their interest in 92 of B.P. Blg. 881 should be precisely in upholding
its validity.

Much less do they have an interest as taxpayers since this case does not involve the exercise by
Congress of its taxing or spending power. A party suing as a taxpayer must specifically show that he
has a sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by taxation and that he
will sustain a direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the questioned statute.

Nor indeed as a corporate entity does TELEBAP have standing to assert the rights of radio and
television broadcasting companies. Standing jus tertii will be recognized only if it can be shown that
the party suing has some substantial relation to the third party, or that the third party cannot assert his

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constitutional right, or that the right of the third party will be diluted unless the party in court is
allowed to espouse the third party's constitutional claim. None of these circumstances is here present.
The mere fact that TELEBAP is composed of lawyers in the broadcast industry does not entitle them
to bring this suit in their name as representatives of the affected companies.

Nevertheless, we have decided to take this case since the other petitioner, GMA Network, Inc.,
appears to have the requisite standing to bring this constitutional challenge. Petitioner operates radio
and television broadcast stations in the Philippines affected by the enforcement of 92 of B.P. Blg.
881 requiring radio and television broadcast companies to provide free airtime to the COMELEC for
the use of candidates for campaign and other political purposes.

Petitioner claims that it suffered losses running to several million pesos in providing COMELEC
Time in connection with the 1992 presidential election and the 1995 senatorial election and that it
stands to suffer even more should it be required to do so again this year. Petitioner's allegation that it
will suffer losses again because it is required to provide free airtime is sufficient to give it standing to
question the validity of 92.

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Kilosbayan Inc. vs. Morato


Facts
As a result of our decision in Kilosbayan, Incorporated v. Guingona, invalidating the Contract of
Lease between the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and the Philippine Gaming
Management Corp. (PGMC) on the ground that it had been made in violation of the charter of the
PCSO, the parties entered into negotiations for a new agreement that would be "consistent with the
latter's [PCSO] charter . . . and conformable to this Honorable Court's aforesaid Decision."

The parties signed an Equipment Lease Agreement (hereafter called ELA) whereby the PGMC leased
on-line lottery equipment and accessories to the PCSO in consideration of a rental equivalent to 4.3%
of the gross amount of ticket sales derived by the PCSO from the operation of the lottery which in no
case shall be less than an annual rental computed at P35, 000.00 per terminal in commercial operation.
In the operation of the lottery, the PCSO is to employ its own personnel. It is responsible for the loss
of, or damage to, the equipment arising from any cause and for the cost of their maintenance and
repair. Upon the expiration of the lease, the PCSO has the option to purchase the equipment for the
sum of P25 million.

The suit was filed seeking to declare the ELA invalid on the ground that it is substantially the same as
the Contract of Lease nullified in the first case.

Issue
Whether or not petitioners have standing.

Held
No standing.

The Kilosbayan, Inc. is an organization described in its petition as "composed of civic-spirited


citizens, pastors, priests, nuns and lay leaders who are committed to the cause of truth, justice, and
national renewal." Its trustees are also suing in their individual and collective capacities as "taxpayers
and concerned citizens." The other petitioners (Sen. Freddie Webb, Sen. Wigberto Taada and Rep.
Joker P. Arroyo) are members of Congress suing as such and as "taxpayers and concerned citizens."

Respondents question the right of petitioners to bring this suit on the ground that, not being parties to
the contract of lease that they seek to nullify, they have no personal and substantial interest likely to
be injured by the enforcement of the contract. Petitioners on the other hand contend that the ruling in
the previous case sustaining their standing to challenge the validity of the first contract for the
operation of lottery is now the "law of the case" and therefore the question of their standing can no
longer be reopened.

Neither the doctrine of stare decisis nor that of "law of the case," nor that of conclusiveness of
judgment poses a barrier to a determination of petitioners' right to maintain this suit.

Stare decisis is usually the wise policy. However, the previous ruling sustaining petitioners'
intervention may itself be considered a departure from settled rulings on "real parties in interest"
because no constitutional issues were actually involved. There is an additional reason for a
reexamination of the ruling on standing. The voting on petitioners' standing in the previous case was a
narrow one, with seven (7) members sustaining petitioners' standing and six (6) denying petitioners'
right to bring the suit. The majority was thus a tenuous one that is not likely to be maintained in any
subsequent litigation. In addition, there have been changes in the membership of the Court. Given this
fact it is hardly tenable to insist on the maintenance of the ruling as to petitioners' standing.

Petitioners argue that inquiry into their right to bring this suit is barred by the doctrine of "law of the
case." We do not think this doctrine is applicable considering the fact that while this case is a sequel
to G.R. No. 113375, it is not its continuation. The doctrine applies only when a case is before a court
a second time after a ruling by an appellate court. It follows that since the present case is not the same

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one litigated by the parties before in G.R. No. 113375, the ruling there cannot in any sense be
regarded as "the law of this case." The parties are the same but the cases are not.

Nor is inquiry into petitioners' right to maintain this suit foreclosed by the related doctrine of
"conclusiveness of judgment." According to the doctrine, an issue actually and directly passed upon
and determined in a former suit cannot again be drawn in question in any future action between the
same parties involving a different cause of action.

The question whether petitioners have standing to question the Equipment Lease Agreement or ELA
is a legal question. As will presently be shown, the ELA, which petitioners seek to declare invalid in
this proceeding, is essentially different from the 1993 Contract of Lease entered into by the PCSO
with the PGMC. Hence the determination in the prior case (G.R. No. 113375) that petitioners had
standing to challenge the validity of the 1993 Contract of Lease of the parties does not preclude
determination of their standing in the present suit.

Not only is petitioners' standing a legal issue that may be determined again in this case. It is, strictly
speaking, not even the issue in this case, since standing is a concept in constitutional law and here no
constitutional question is actually involved. The issue in this case is whether petitioners are the "real
parties in interest" within the meaning of Rule 3, 2 of the Rules of Court that requires that "Every
action must be prosecuted and defended in the name of the real party in interest."

Petitioners do not in fact show what particularized interest they have for bringing this suit. It does not
detract from the high regard for petitioners as civic leaders to say that their interest falls short of that
required to maintain an action under Rule 3, 2. It is true that the present action involves not a mere
contract between private individuals but one made by a government corporation. There is, however,
no allegation that public funds are being misspent so as to make this action a public one and justify
relaxation of the requirement that an action must be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest.

Petitioners invoke the Principles and State Policies set forth in Art. II of the Constitution. These are
not, however, self executing provisions, the disregard of which can give rise to a cause of action in the
courts. They do not embody judicially enforceable constitutional rights but guidelines for legislation.
Thus, while constitutional policies are invoked, this case involves basically questions of contract law.
More specifically, the question is whether petitioners have a legal right that has been violated.

In actions for the annulment of contracts, such as this action, the real parties are those who are parties
to the agreement or are bound either principally or subsidiarily or are prejudiced in their rights with
respect to one of the contracting parties and can show the detriment which would positively result to
them from the contract even though they did not intervene in it, or who claim a right to take part in a
public bidding but have been illegally excluded from it.

Petitioners do not have such present substantial interest in the ELA as would entitle them to bring this
suit. Denying to them the right to intervene will not leave without remedy any perceived illegality in
the execution of government contracts. Questions as to the nature or validity of public contracts or the
necessity for a public bidding before they may be made can be raised in an appropriate case before the
Commission on Audit or before the Ombudsman. In addition, the Solicitor General is authorized to
bring an action for quo warranto if it should be thought that a government corporation, like the PCSO,
has offended against its corporate charter or misused its franchise.

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Francsisco vs. House of Representatives


Minute digest

Facts
Former president Estrada filed an impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide and 8 other
Associate Judges. Congress dismissed the complaint for being sufficient in form but insufficient in
substance. 4 months and 3 weeks later, another impeachment complaint was filed against CJ Davide.
Hence, the instant complaints on the basis of the 2nd complaint being prohibited by the Constitution
because of the 1-year prohibition on filing of impeachment complaints.

Key held:

Judicial review

Respondents Speaker De Venecia, et. al. and intervenor Senator Pimentel raise the novel argument
that the Constitution has excluded impeachment proceedings from the coverage of judicial review. In
furthering their arguments on the proposition that impeachment proceedings are outside the scope of
judicial review, respondents Speaker De Venecia, et. al. and intervenor Senator Pimentel rely heavily
on American authorities, principally the majority opinion in the case of Nixon v. United States.

Said American jurisprudence and authorities, much less the American Constitution, are of dubious
application for these are no longer controlling within our jurisdiction and have only limited persuasive
merit insofar as Philippine constitutional law is concerned. This Court should not be beguiled by
foreign jurisprudence some of which are hardly applicable because they have been dictated by
different constitutional settings and needs.

Respondents are also of the view that judicial review of impeachments undermines their finality and
may also lead to conflicts between Congress and the judiciary. Thus, they call upon this Court to
exercise judicial statesmanship on the principle that "whenever possible, the Court should defer to the
judgment of the people expressed legislatively, recognizing full well the perils of judicial willfulness
and pride."

But did not the people also express their will when they instituted safeguards in the Constitution? This
shows that the Constitution did not intend to leave the matter of impeachment to the sole discretion of
Congress. Instead, it provided for certain well-defined limits, or in the language of Baker v. Carr,
"judicially discoverable standards" for determining the validity of the exercise of such discretion,
through the power of judicial review.

Finally, there exists no constitutional basis for the contention that the exercise of judicial review over
impeachment proceedings would upset the system of checks and balances. Verily, the Constitution is
to be interpreted as a whole and "one section is not to be allowed to defeat another." Both are integral
components of the calibrated system of independence and interdependence that insures that no branch
of government act beyond the powers assigned to it by the Constitution.

Standing

Intervenor Soriano, in praying for the dismissal of the petitions, contends that petitioners do not have
standing since only the Chief Justice has sustained and will sustain direct personal injury. Amicus
curiae former Justice Minister and Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza similarly contend.

While rights personal to the Chief Justice may have been injured by the alleged unconstitutional acts
of the House of Representatives, none of the petitioners before us asserts a violation of the personal
rights of the Chief Justice. On the contrary, they invariably invoke the vindication of their own rights
as taxpayers; members of Congress; citizens, individually or in a class suit; and members of the bar

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and of the legal profession which were supposedly violated by the alleged unconstitutional acts of
the House of Representatives.
When suing as a citizen, the interest of the petitioner assailing the constitutionality of a statute must be
direct and personal. He must be able to show, not only that the law or any government act is invalid,
but also that he sustained or is in imminent danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of its
enforcement, and not merely that he suffers thereby in some indefinite way.

In the case of a taxpayer, he is allowed to sue where there is a claim that public funds are illegally
disbursed, or that public money is being deflected to any improper purpose, or that there is wastage of
public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law.

As for a legislator, he is allowed to sue to question the validity of any official action that he claims
infringes his prerogatives as a legislator.

While an association has legal personality to represent its members, especially when it is composed of
substantial taxpayers and the outcome will affect their vital interests, the mere invocation by the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines or any member of the legal profession of the duty to preserve the
rule of law and nothing more, although undoubtedly true, does not suffice to clothe it with standing.
Its interest is too general.

The Philippine Bar Association invokes the sole ground of transcendental importance, while Atty.
Dioscoro U. Vallejos, in G.R. No. 160397, is mum on his standing.

There being no doctrinal definition of transcendental importance, the following instructive


determinants formulated by former Supreme Court Justice Florentino P. Feliciano are instructive: (1)
the character of the funds or other assets involved in the case; (2) the presence of a clear case of
disregard of a constitutional or statutory prohibition by the public respondent agency or
instrumentality of the government; and (3) the lack of any other party with a more direct and specific
interest in raising the questions being raised. Applying these determinants, this Court is satisfied that
the issues raised herein are indeed of transcendental importance.

Ripeness and prematurity

The instant petitions raise in the main the issue of the validity of the filing of the second impeachment
complaint against the Chief Justice in accordance with the House Impeachment Rules adopted by the
12th Congress, the constitutionality of which is questioned. The questioned acts having been carried
out, i.e., the second impeachment complaint had been filed with the House of Representatives and the
2001 Rules have already been already promulgated and enforced, the prerequisite that the alleged
unconstitutional act should be accomplished and performed before suit, as Tan v. Macapagal holds,
has been complied with.

First, the withdrawal by the Representatives of their signatures would not, by itself, cure the House
Impeachment Rules of their constitutional infirmity. Neither would such a withdrawal, by itself,
obliterate the questioned second impeachment complaint since it would only place it under the ambit
of Sections 3(2) and (3) of Article XI of the Constitution and, therefore, petitioners would continue to
suffer their injuries.

Second and most importantly, the futility of seeking remedies from either or both Houses of Congress
before coming to this Court is shown by the fact that, as previously discussed, neither the House of
Representatives nor the Senate is clothed with the power to rule with definitiveness on the issue of
constitutionality, whether concerning impeachment proceedings or otherwise, as said power is
exclusively vested in the judiciary by the earlier quoted Section I, Article VIII of the Constitution.
Remedy cannot be sought from a body that is bereft of power to grant it.

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Justiciability

In our jurisdiction, the determination of a truly political question from a non-justiciable political
question lies in the answer to the question of whether there are constitutionally imposed limits on
powers or functions conferred upon political bodies. If there are, then our courts are duty-bound to
examine whether the branch or instrumentality of the government properly acted within such limits.
This Court shall thus now apply this standard to the present controversy.

Although Section 2 of Article XI of the Constitution enumerates six grounds for impeachment, two of
these, namely, other high crimes and betrayal of public trust, elude a precise definition. In fact, an
examination of the records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission shows that the framers could find
no better way to approximate the boundaries of betrayal of public trust and other high crimes than by
alluding to both positive and negative examples of both, without arriving at their clear cut definition
or even a standard therefor. Clearly, the issue calls upon this court to decide a non-justiciable political
question that is beyond the scope of its judicial power under Section 1, Article VIII.

Lis Mota

In sum, this Court holds that the two remaining issues, inextricably linked as they are, constitute the
very lis mota of the instant controversy: (1) whether Sections 15 and 16 of Rule V of the House
Impeachment Rules adopted by the 12th Congress are unconstitutional for violating the provisions of
Section 3, Article XI of the Constitution; and (2) whether, as a result thereof, the second impeachment
complaint is barred under Section 3(5) of Article XI of the Constitution.

Judicial restraint

Senator Pimentel urges this Court to exercise judicial restraint on the ground that the Senate, sitting as
an impeachment court, has the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. Again, this
Court reiterates that the power of judicial review includes the power of review over justiciable issues
in impeachment proceedings.

The exercise of judicial restraint over justiciable issues is not an option before this Court.
Adjudication may not be declined, because this Court is not legally disqualified. Nor can jurisdiction
be renounced as there is no other tribunal to which the controversy may be referred." Otherwise, this
Court would be shirking from its duty vested under Art. VIII, Sec. 1(2) of the Constitution. More than
being clothed with authority thus, this Court is duty-bound to take cognizance of the instant petitions.
In the august words of amicus curiae Father Bernas, "jurisdiction is not just a power; it is a solemn
duty which may not be renounced. To renounce it, even if it is vexatious, would be a dereliction of
duty."

Respondents Speaker de Venecia, et. al. raise another argument for judicial restraint the possibility
that "judicial review of impeachments might also lead to embarrassing conflicts between the Congress
and the Judiciary." They stress the need to avoid the appearance of impropriety or conflicts of interest
in judicial hearings, and the scenario that it would be confusing and humiliating and risk serious
political instability at home and abroad if the judiciary countermanded the vote of Congress to remove
an impeachable official. Intervenor Soriano echoes this argument by alleging that failure of this Court
to enforce its Resolution against Congress would result in the diminution of its judicial authority and
erode public confidence and faith in the judiciary.
Such an argument, however, is specious, to say the least. As correctly stated by the Solicitor General,
the possibility of the occurrence of a constitutional crisis is not a reason for this Court to refrain from
upholding the Constitution in all impeachment cases. Justices cannot abandon their constitutional
duties just because their action may start, if not precipitate, a crisis.

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Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities vs. Secretary of Education


Facts
The petitioning colleges and universities request that Act No. 2706 as amended by Act No. 3075 and
Commonwealth Act No. 180 be declared unconstitutional, because:
1. They deprive owners of schools and colleges as well as teachers and parents of liberty and
property without due process of law;
2. They deprive parents of their natural rights and duty to rear their children for civic efficiency;
and
3. Their provisions conferring on the Secretary of Education unlimited power and discretion to
prescribe rules and standards constitute an unlawful delegation of legislative power.

The Government's legal representative submitted a mimeographed memorandum contending that,


1. The matter constitutes no justiciable controversy exhibiting unavoidable necessity of deciding
the constitutional questions;
2. Petitioners are in estoppel to challenge the validity of the said acts; and
3. The Acts are constitutionally valid.

Issue
Whether or not a justiciable exists.

Held
None.

Act No. 2706 approved in 1917 is entitled, "An Act making the inspection and recognition of private
schools and colleges obligatory for the Secretary of Public Instruction." Under its provisions, the
Department of Education has, for the past 37 years, supervised and regulated all private schools in this
country apparently without audible protest, nay, with the general acquiescence of the general public
and the parties concerned.

It should be understandable, then, that this Court should be doubly reluctant to consider petitioner's
demand for avoidance of the law aforesaid, specially where, as respondents assert, petitioners suffered
no wrongnor allege anyfrom the enforcement of the criticized statute.

In support of their first proposition petitioners contend that the right of a citizen to own and operate a
school is guaranteed by the Constitution, and any law requiring previous governmental approval or
permit before such person could exercise said right, amounts to censorship of previous restraint, a
practice abhorent to our system of law and government. Petitioners obviously refer to section 3 of Act
No. 2706 as amended which provides that before a private school may be opened to the public it must
first obtain a permit from the Secretary of Education. The Solicitor General on the other hand points
out that none of the petitioners has cause to present this issue, because all of them have permits to
operate and are actually operating by virtue of their permits. And they do not assert that the
respondent Secretary of Education has threatened to revoke their permits. They have suffered no
wrong under the terms of lawand, naturally need no relief in the form they now seek to obtain.

Mere apprehension that the Secretary of Education might under the law withdraw the permit of one of
petitioners does not constitute a justiciable controversy.

And action, like this, is brought for a positive purpose, nay, to obtain actual and positive relief. Courts
do not sit to adjudicate mere academic questions to satisfy scholarly interest therein, however
intellectually solid the problem may be. This is specially true where the issues "reach constitutional
dimensions, for then there comes into play regard for the court's duty to avoid decision of
constitutional issues unless avoidance becomes evasion."
The above notwithstanding, in view of the several decisions of the United States Supreme Court
quoted by petitioners, apparently outlawing censorship of the kind objected to by them, we have

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decided to look into the matter, lest they may allege we refuse to act even in the face of clear violation
of fundamental personal rights of liberty and property.

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David vs. Arroyo


Facts25
These 7 consolidated petitions allege that in issuing Presidential Proclamation No. 1017 (PP 1017)
and General Order No. 5 (GO No. 5), President Macapagal-Arroyo committed grave abuse of
discretion. Hence, such issuances are void for being unconstitutional.

On February 24, 2006, as the nation celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Edsa People Power I,
President Arroyo issued PP 1017 declaring a state of national emergency, stating:
I hereby order that all persons presently detained, as well as those detained for the crimes of
insurrection or rebellion, and all other crimes and offenses committed in furtherance or on the
occasion thereof, or incident thereto, or in connection therewith, for crimes against national security
and the law of nations, crimes, against the fundamental laws of the state, crimes against public
order shall be kept under detention until otherwise ordered released by me or by my duly
designated representative.

The Office of the President announced the cancellation of all programs and activities related to the
20th anniversary celebration and revoked the permits to hold rallies issued earlier by the local
governments. Justice Secretary Gonzales stated that political rallies are cancelled. Presidential Chief
of Staff Michael Defensor announced, Warrantless arrests and take-over of facilities, including
media, can already be implemented.

Notwithstanding the ban, some groups of protesters still pursued the march to EDSA Shrine the
following day. The police violently dispersed the crowds & conducted arrests invoking PP1017.
During the dispersal of the rallyists along EDSA, police arrested (without warrant) Randy David, a
professor at UP and newspaper columnist. On February 25, 2006, the CIDG operatives raided and
ransacked without warrant the office of Cacho-Olivares and Tribune Publishing Co., Inc. Other facts
were established such as the following: first, the Daily Tribunes offices were searched without
warrant; second, the police operatives seized several materials for publication; third, the search was
conducted at about 1:00 o clock in the morning of February 25, 2006; fourth, the search was
conducted in the absence of any official of the Daily Tribune except the security guard of the
building; and fifth, policemen stationed themselves at the vicinity of the Daily Tribune offices. All of
this was done on the basis of PP1017.

On March 3, 2006, President Arroyo issued PP 1021 declaring that the state of national emergency
has ceased to exist. David and some opposition Congressmen averred that PP1017 is unconstitutional
for it has no factual basis and the president cannot validly declare it for such power is reposed in
Congress. Also such declaration is actually a declaration of martial law. Olivares-Cacho also averred
that the emergencies contemplated in the Constitution are those of natural calamities and that such is
an overbreadth. The Sol-Gen argued that the issue has become moot and academic by reason of the
lifting of PP 1017 by virtue of the declaration of PP 1021. The Sol-Gen averred that PP 1017 is within
the presidents calling out power, take care power and take over power.

Issue
1. Whether or not the case is moot and academic
2. Whether or not petitioners have standing

Held
1. Not moot and academic
2. All petitioners have standing


25 Facts taken from block digest

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Moot and Academic Principle

The power of judicial review does not repose upon the courts a self-starting capacity. Courts may
exercise such power only when the following requisites are present:
1. There must be an actual case or controversy;
2. Petitioners have to raise a question of constitutionality;
3. The constitutional question must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and
4. The decision of the constitutional question must be necessary to the determination of the case
itself.

Respondents maintain that the first and second requisites are absent; hence, we shall limit our
discussion thereon.

An actual case or controversy involves a conflict of legal right, an opposite legal claims susceptible of
judicial resolution. The Solicitor General refutes the existence of such actual case or controversy,
contending that the present petitions were rendered moot and academic by President Arroyos
issuance of PP 1021.

Such contention lacks merit.

A moot and academic case is one that ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue of
supervening events, so that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or value. Generally,
courts decline jurisdiction over such case or dismiss it on ground of mootness.

The Court holds that President Arroyos issuance of PP 1021 did not render the present petitions moot
and academic. During the eight (8) days that PP 1017 was operative, the police officers, according to
petitioners, committed illegal acts in implementing it. Are PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5 constitutional or
valid? Do they justify these alleged illegal acts? These are the vital issues that must be resolved in
the present petitions. It must be stressed that an unconstitutional act is not a law, it confers no rights,
it imposes no duties, it affords no protection; it is in legal contemplation, inoperative.

The moot and academic principle is not a magical formula that can automatically dissuade the courts
in resolving a case. Courts will decide cases, otherwise moot and academic, if:
1. There is a grave violation of the Constitution;
2. The exceptional character of the situation and the paramount public interest is involved;
3. When constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling principles to guide the
bench, the bar, and the public; and
4. The case is capable of repetition yet evading review.

All the foregoing exceptions are present here and justify this Courts assumption of jurisdiction over
the instant petitions.

In their attempt to prove the alleged mootness of this case, respondents cited Chief Justice Artemio V.
Panganibans Separate Opinion in Sanlakas v. Executive Secretary. However, they failed to take into
account the Chief Justices very statement that an otherwise moot case may still be decided provided
the party raising it in a proper case has been and/or continues to be prejudiced or damaged as a
direct result of its issuance. The present case falls right within this exception to the mootness rule
pointed out by the Chief Justice.

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Legal Standing

In view of the number of petitioners suing in various personalities, the Court deems it imperative to
have a more than passing discussion on legal standing or locus standi.

Locus standi is defined as a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question. In private
suits, standing is governed by the real-parties-in interest rule as contained in Section 2, Rule 3 of the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended. It provides that every action must be prosecuted or
defended in the name of the real party in interest. Accordingly, the real-party-in interest is the party
who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit or the party entitled to the avails of
the suit. Succinctly put, the plaintiffs standing is based on his own right to the relief sought.

The difficulty of determining locus standi arises in public suits. Here, the plaintiff who asserts a
public right in assailing an allegedly illegal official action, does so as a representative of the general
public. He may be a person who is affected no differently from any other person. He could be suing
as a stranger, or in the category of a citizen, or taxpayer. In either case, he has to adequately show
that he is entitled to seek judicial protection. In other words, he has to make out a sufficient interest in
the vindication of the public order and the securing of relief as a citizen or taxpayer.

Case law in most jurisdictions now allows both citizen and taxpayer standing in public actions. In a
taxpayers suit, the plaintiff is affected by the expenditure of public funds, while in a citizens suit; he
is but the mere instrument of the public concern. This Court adopted the direct injury test in our
jurisdiction. The person who impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal and substantial
interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain direct injury as a result.

However, being a mere procedural technicality, the requirement of locus standi may be waived by the
Court in the exercise of its discretion. This was done in the 1949 Emergency Powers Cases, Araneta v.
Dinglasan, where the transcendental importance of the cases prompted the Court to act liberally. In
Aquino v. Comelec, this Court resolved to pass upon the issues raised due to the far-reaching
implications of the petition notwithstanding its categorical statement that petitioner therein had no
personality to file the suit. Thus, the Court has adopted a rule that even where the petitioners have
failed to show direct injury, they have been allowed to sue under the principle of transcendental
importance.

By way of summary, the following rules may be culled from the cases decided by this Court.
Taxpayers, voters, concerned citizens, and legislators may be accorded standing to sue, provided that
the following requirements are met:
1. The cases involve constitutional issues;
2. For taxpayers, there must be a claim of illegal disbursement of public funds or that the tax
measure is unconstitutional;
3. For voters, there must be a showing of obvious interest in the validity of the election law in
question;
4. For concerned citizens, there must be a showing that the issues raised are of transcendental
importance which must be settled early; and
5. For legislators, there must be a claim that the official action complained of infringes upon
their prerogatives as legislators.

Now, the application of the above principles to the present petitions. This Court holds that all the
petitioners herein have locus standi.

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De Agbayani vs. PNB


Facts
Plaintiff obtained a loan from defendant Bank, secured by real estate mortgage, maturing on 19 July
1944. On 13 July 1959, defendant instituted extra-judicial foreclosure proceedings in the office of
defendant Provincial Sheriff of Pangasinan for the recovery of the balance of the loan remaining
unpaid. Plaintiff countered with his suit against both defendants, her main allegation being that the
mortgage sought to be foreclosed had long prescribed, fifteen years having elapsed from the date of
maturity. She sought and was able to obtain a writ of preliminary injunction against defendant
Provincial Sheriff, which was made permanent in the decision now on appeal.

Defendant Bank in its answer prayed for the dismissal of the suit as even on plaintiff's own theory the
defense of prescription would not be available if the period from March 10, 1945, when Executive
Order No. 32 was issued, to July 26, 1948, when the subsequent legislative act extending the period of
moratorium was declared invalid, were to be deducted from the computation of the time during which
the bank took no legal steps for the recovery of the loan. As noted, the lower court did not find such
contention persuasive and decided the suit in favor of plaintiff.

Issue
Whether or not the period from the time E.O 32 was valid until declared unconstitutional should be
deducted from the counting of the prescriptive period.

Held
The error of the lower court in sustaining plaintiff's suit is thus manifest. From July 19, 1944, when
her loan matured, to July 13, 1959, when extra-judicial foreclosure proceedings were started by
appellant Bank, the time consumed is six days short of fifteen years. The prescriptive period was
tolled however, from March 10, 1945, the effectivity of Executive Order No. 32, to May 18, 1953,
when the decision of Rutter v. Esteban was promulgated, covering eight years, two months and eight
days. Obviously then, when resort was had extra-judicially to the foreclosure of the mortgage
obligation, there was time to spare before prescription could be availed of as a defense.

The decision now on appeal reflects the orthodox view that an unconstitutional act, for that matter an
executive order or a municipal ordinance likewise suffering from that infirmity, cannot be the source
of any legal rights or duties. Nor can it justify any official act taken under it. Its repugnancy to the
fundamental law once judicially declared results in its being to all intents and purposes a mere scrap
of paper.

Such a view has support in logic and possesses the merit of simplicity. It may not however be
sufficiently realistic. It does not admit of doubt that prior to the declaration of nullity such challenged
legislative or executive act must have been in force and had to be complied with. This is so as until
after the judiciary, in an appropriate case, declares its invalidity, it is entitled to obedience and respect.
Parties may have acted under it and may have changed their positions. It is now accepted as a doctrine
that prior to its being nullified, its existence as a fact must be reckoned with. This is merely to reflect
awareness that precisely because the judiciary is the governmental organ which has the final say on
whether or not a legislative or executive measure is valid, a period of time may have elapsed before it
can exercise the power of judicial review that may lead to a declaration of nullity. It would be to
deprive the law of its quality of fairness and justice then, if there be no recognition of what had
transpired prior to such adjudication.

Such an approach all the more commends itself whenever police power legislation intended to
promote public welfare but adversely affecting property rights is involved. While subject to be
assailed on due process, equal protection and non-impairment grounds, all that is required to avoid the
corrosion of invalidity is that the rational basis or reasonableness test is satisfied. The legislature on
the whole is not likely to allow an enactment suffering, to paraphrase Cardozo, from the infirmity of
out running the bounds of reason and resulting in sheer oppression. It may be of course that if
challenged, an adverse judgment could be the result, as its running counter to the Constitution could

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still be shown. In the meanwhile though, in the normal course of things, it has been acted upon by the
public and accepted as valid. To ignore such a fact would indeed be the fruitful parent of injustice.
Moreover, as its constitutionality is conditioned on its being fair or reasonable, which in turn is
dependent on the actual situation, never static but subject to change, a measure valid when enacted
may subsequently, due to altered circumstances, be stricken down.

That is precisely what happened in connection with Republic Act No. 342, the moratorium legislation,
which continued Executive Order No. 32, issued by the then President Osmea, suspending the
enforcement of payment of all debts and other monetary obligations payable by war sufferers. So it
was explicitly held in Rutter v. Esteban where such enactment was considered in 1953 "unreasonable
and oppressive, and should not be prolonged a minute longer, and, therefore, the same should be
declared null and void and without effect." At the time of the issuance of the above Executive Order in
1945 and of the passage of such Act in 1948, there was a factual justification for the moratorium. The
Philippines was confronted with an emergency of impressive magnitude at the time of her liberation
from the Japanese military forces in 1945. Business was at a standstill. Her economy lay prostrate.
Measures, radical measures, were then devised to tide her over until some semblance of normalcy
could be restored and an improvement in her economy noted. No wonder then that the suspension of
enforcement of payment of the obligations then existing was declared first by executive order and
then by legislation. The Supreme Court was right therefore in rejecting the contention that on its face,
the Moratorium Law was unconstitutional, amounting as it did to the impairment of the obligation of
contracts. Considering the circumstances confronting the legitimate government upon its return to the
Philippines, some such remedial device was needed and badly so. Time passed however, and
conditions did change.

When the legislation was before this Court in 1953, the question before it was its satisfying the
rational basis test, not as of the time of its enactment but as of such date. Clearly, if then it were found
unreasonable, the right to non-impairment of contractual obligations must prevail over the assertion of
community power to remedy an existing evil. The Supreme Court was convinced that such indeed
was the case. The conclusion to which the foregoing considerations inevitably led was that as of the
time of adjudication, it was apparent that Republic Act No. 342 could not survive the test of validity.
Executive Order No. 32 should likewise be nullified. That before the decision they were not
constitutionally infirm was admitted expressly. There is all the more reason then to yield assent to the
now prevailing principle that the existence of a statute or executive order prior to its being adjudged
void is an operative fact to which legal consequences are attached.

Precisely though because of the judicial recognition that moratorium was a valid governmental
response to the plight of the debtors who were war sufferers, this Court has made clear its view in a
series of cases impressive in their number and unanimity that during the eight-year period that
Executive Order No. 32 and Republic Act No. 342 were in force, prescription did not run.

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CIR vs. San Roque


Facts
This Resolution resolves the Motion for Reconsideration filed by San Roque Power Corporation (San
Roque) and the Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR). San Roque filed an administrative claim for
tax refund before the CIR. However, 13 days after filing its administrative claim, San Roque filed a
judicial claim for tax refund before the CTA.

San Roque prays that the rule established in our 12 February 2013 Decision (Aichi case) 26 be given
only a prospective effect, arguing that "the manner by which the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
and the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) actually treated the 120 + 30 day periods constitutes an
operative fact the effects and consequences of which cannot be erased or undone."

The CIR, on the other hand, asserts that Taganito Mining Corporation's (Taganito) judicial claim for
tax credit or refund was prematurely filed before the CTA and should be disallowed because BIR
Ruling No. DA-489-0327 was issued by a Deputy Commissioner, not by the Commissioner of Internal
Revenue.

Issue
Whether or not the 12 February 2013 decision should be given only prospective effect.

Held
Decision also has retroactive effect.

The general rule is that a void law or administrative act cannot be the source of legal rights or duties.
The doctrine of operative fact is an exception to the general rule, such that a judicial declaration of
invalidity may not necessarily obliterate all the effects and consequences of a void act prior to such
declaration.

Clearly, for the operative fact doctrine to apply, there must be a "legislative or executive measure,"
meaning a law or executive issuance that is invalidated by the court. From the passage of such law or
promulgation of such executive issuance until its invalidation by the court, the effects of the law or
executive issuance, when relied upon by the public in good faith, may have to be recognized as valid.
In the present case, however, there is no such law or executive issuance that has been invalidated by
the Court except BIR Ruling No. DA-489-03.

To justify the application of the doctrine of operative fact as an exemption, San Roque asserts that
"the BIR and the CTA in actual practice did not observe and did not require refund seekers to comply
with the120+30 day periods." This is glaring error because an administrative practice is neither a law
nor an executive issuance. Moreover, in the present case, there is even no such administrative practice
by the BIR as claimed by San Roque.

Before the issuance of BIR Ruling No. DA-489-03 on 10 December 2003, there was no
administrative practice by the BIR that supported simultaneous filing of claims. Prior to BIR Ruling
No. DA-489-03, the BIR considered the 120+30 day periods mandatory and jurisdictional. Thus, prior
to BIR Ruling No. DA-489-03, the BIRs actual administrative practice was to contest simultaneous
filing of claims at the administrative and judicial levels, until the CA declared in Hitachi that the
BIRs position was wrong. The CAs Hitachi decision is the basis of BIR Ruling No. DA-489-03
dated 10 December 2003 allowing simultaneous filing. From then on taxpayers could rely in good
faith on BIR Ruling No. DA-489-03 even though it was erroneous as this Court subsequently decided
in Aichi that the 120+30 day periods were mandatory and jurisdictional.


26 In this decision, the 120+30 day period was declared mandatory and jurisdictional.
27 This BIR ruling, eventually declared void by the SC, allowed simultaneous filing of administrative and

judicial claims for refund.

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In San Roques case, it filed its petition with the CTA a mere 13 days after it filed its administrative
claim with the Commissioner. Indisputably, San Roque knowingly violated the mandatory 120-day
period, and it cannot blame anyone but itself.

San Roques argument must, therefore, fail. The doctrine of operative fact is an argument for the
application of equity and fair play. In the present case, we applied the doctrine of operative fact when
we recognized simultaneous filing during the period between 10 December 2003, when BIR Ruling
No. DA-489-03 was issued, and 6 October 2010, when this Court promulgated Aichi declaring the
120+30 day periods mandatory and jurisdictional, thus reversing BIR Ruling No. DA-489-03.

The doctrine of operative fact is in fact incorporated in Section 246 of the Tax Code, which provides:
SEC. 246. Non-Retroactivity of Rulings. - Any revocation, modification or reversal of any of the rules and
regulations promulgated in accordance with the preceding Sections or any of the rulings or circulars
promulgated by the Commissioner shall not be given retroactive application if the revocation, modification or
reversal will be prejudicial to the taxpayers, except in the following cases:
(a) Where the taxpayer deliberately misstates or omits material facts from his return or any document required
of him by the Bureau of Internal Revenue;
(b) Where the facts subsequently gathered by the Bureau of Internal Revenue are materially different from the
facts on which the ruling is based; or
(c) Where the taxpayer acted in bad faith.

There must, however, be a rule or ruling issued by the Commissioner that is relied upon by the
taxpayer in good faith. A mere administrative practice, not formalized into a rule or ruling, will not
suffice because such a mere administrative practice may not be uniformly and consistently applied.
An administrative practice, if not formalized as a rule or ruling, will not be known to the general
public and can be availed of only by those within formal contacts with the government agency.

Since the law has already prescribed in Section 246 of the Tax Code how the doctrine of operative
fact should be applied, there can be no invocation of the doctrine of operative fact other than what the
law has specifically provided in Section 246. In the present case, the rule or ruling subject of the
operative fact doctrine is BIR Ruling No. DA-489-03 dated 10 December 2003. Prior to this date,
there is no such rule or ruling calling for the application of the operative fact doctrine in Section 246.
Section 246, being an exemption to statutory taxation, must be applied strictly against the taxpayer
claiming such exemption.

CTA or CA rulings are not the executive issuances covered by Section 246 of the Tax Code, which
adopts the operative fact doctrine. CTA or CA decisions are specific rulings applicable only to the
parties to the case and not to the general public. CTA or CA decisions, unlike those of this Court, do
not form part of the law of the land. Decisions of lower courts do not have any value as precedents.
Obviously, decisions of lower courts are not binding on this Court. To hold that CTA or CA decisions,
even if reversed by this Court, should still prevail is to turn upside down our legal system and
hierarchy of courts, with adverse effects far worse than the dubious doomsday scenario San Roque
has conjured.

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Mirallosa vs. Carmel


Facts
Respondent Carmel Development, Inc. was the registered owner of a Caloocan property known as the
Pangarap Village located at Barrio Makatipo, Caloocan City. The lot that petitioner presently
occupies is Lot No. 32, Block No. 73.

On 14 September 1973, President Ferdinand Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 293 (P.D. 293),
which invalidated the titles of respondent and declared them open for disposition to the members of
the Malacaang Homeowners Association, Inc. (MHAI).

On the basis of P.D. 293, petitioners predecessor-in-interest, Pelagio M. Juan, a member of the
MHAI, occupied Lot No. 32 and subsequently built houses there. On the other hand, respondent was
constrained to allow the members of MHAI to also occupy the rest of Pangarap Village. On 29
January 1988, the Supreme Court promulgated Roman Tuason and Remedio V. Tuason, Attorney-in-
fact, Trinidad S. Viado v. The Register of Deeds, Caloocan City, Ministry of Justice and the National
Treasurer (Tuason), which declared P.D. 293 as unconstitutional and void ab initio in all its parts.

On 17 February 1988, the Register of Deeds then cancelled the Memorandum inscripted on
respondents title, eventually restoring respondents ownership of the entire property. Meanwhile,
sometime in 1995, petitioner took over Lot No. 32 by virtue of an Affidavit executed by Pelagio M.
Juan in his favor. As a consequence of Tuason, respondent made several oral demands on petitioner to
vacate the premises, but to no avail. A written demand letter that was sent sometime in April 2002
also went unheeded. On 14 January 2003, respondent filed a Complaint for Unlawful Detainer before
the MeTC.

Issue
Whether or not the Tuason case should prejudice petitioner.

Held
Tuason can prejudice petitioner.

Tuason may be applied despite petitioner not being a party to that case, because an
unconstitutional law produces no effect and confers no right upon any person.

Petitioner argues that respondent has no cause of action against him, because under the doctrine of
operative fact and the doctrine of res inter alios judicatae nullum aliis praejudicium faciunt, petitioner
should not be prejudiced by Tuason; the declaration of the unconstitutionality of P.D. 293 should not
affect the rights of other persons not party to the case.

Again, petitioners argument deserves scant consideration. In declaring a law null and void, the real
issue is whether the nullity should have prospective, not retroactive, application.

Petitioners invocation of the doctrine of res inter alios judicatae nullum aliis praejudicium faciunt
cannot be countenanced. We have categorically stated that the doctrine does not apply when the party
concerned is a "successor in interest by title subsequent to the commencement of the action, or the
action or proceeding is in rem, the judgment in which is binding against him." While petitioner may
not have been a party to Tuason, still, the judgment is binding on him because the declaration of P.D.
293 as a nullity partakes of the nature of an in rem proceeding.

Neither may petitioner avail himself of the operative fact doctrine, which recognizes the interim
effects of a law prior to its declaration of unconstitutionality. The operative fact doctrine is a rule of
equity. As such, it must be applied as an exception to the general rule that an unconstitutional law
produces no effects. The doctrine is applicable when a declaration of unconstitutionality will impose
an undue burden on those who have relied on the invalid law, but it can never be invoked to validate
as constitutional an unconstitutional act.

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In this case, petitioner could not be said to have been unduly burdened by reliance on an invalid law.
Petitioner merely anchored his right over the property to an Affidavit allegedly issued by Pelagio M.
Juan, a member of the MHIA, authorizing petitioner to occupy the same. However, this Affidavit was
executed only sometime in 1995, or approximately seven years after the Tuason case was
promulgated. At the time petitioner built the structures on the premises, he ought to have been aware
of the binding effects of the Tuason case and the subsequent unconstitutionality of P.D. 293. These
circumstances necessarily remove him from the ambit of the operative fact doctrine.

Petitioner may not be deemed to be a builder in good faith. Petitioner also argues that he is a builder
in good faith for want of knowledge of any infirmity in the promulgation of P.D. 293. Being a builder
in good faith, he believes that he is entitled to the reimbursement of his useful expenses and that he
has a right to retain possession of the premises, pending reimbursement of the value of his
improvements to be proven during trial, in accordance with Article 545 of the Civil Code.

Upon perusal of the records, however, we hold that petitioner is not a builder in good faith. A builder
in good faith is one who builds with the belief that the land he is building on is his, or that by some
title one has the right to build thereon, and is ignorant of any defect or flaw in his title. Since
petitioner only started occupying the property sometime in 1995 (when his predecessor-in-interest
executed an Affidavit in his favor), or about seven years after Tuason was promulgated, he should
have been aware of the binding effect of that ruling. Since all judicial decisions form part of the law
of the land, its existence should be on one hand, x x x matter of mandatory judicial notice; on the
other, ignorantia. legis non excusat. He thus loses whatever he has built on the property, without right
to indemnity, in accordance with Article 449 of the Civil Code.

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Planters Products vs. Fertiphil


Facts
Petitioner PPI and private respondent Fertiphil are private corporations incorporated under Philippine
laws. They are both engaged in the importation and distribution of fertilizers, pesticides and
agricultural chemicals.

Then President Ferdinand Marcos, exercising his legislative powers, issued LOI No. 1465 which
provided, among others, for the imposition of a capital recovery component (CRC) on the domestic
sale of all grades of fertilizers in the Philippines. Pursuant to the LOI, Fertiphil paid P10 for every bag
of fertilizer it sold in the domestic market to the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA). FPA then
remitted the amount collected to the Far East Bank and Trust Company, the depositary bank of PPI.

After the 1986 Edsa Revolution, FPA voluntarily stopped the imposition of the P10 levy. With the
return of democracy, Fertiphil demanded from PPI a refund of the amounts it paid under LOI No.
1465, but PPI refused to accede to the demand.

Fertiphil filed a complaint for collection and damages against FPA and PPI with the RTC in Makati. It
questioned the constitutionality of LOI No. 1465 for being unjust, unreasonable, oppressive, invalid
and an unlawful imposition that amounted to a denial of due process of law. Fertiphil alleged that the
LOI solely favored PPI, a privately owned corporation, which used the proceeds to maintain its
monopoly of the fertilizer industry.

In its Answer, FPA, through the Solicitor General, countered that the issuance of LOI No. 1465 was a
valid exercise of the police power of the State in ensuring the stability of the fertilizer industry in the
country. It also averred that Fertiphil did not sustain any damage from the LOI because the burden
imposed by the levy fell on the ultimate consumer, not the seller.

Issue
Whether or not PPI should return the money.

Held
Return it.

The general rule is that an unconstitutional law is void; the doctrine of operative fact is
inapplicable.

PPI also argues that Fertiphil cannot seek a refund even if LOI No. 1465 is declared unconstitutional.
It banks on the doctrine of operative fact, which provides that an unconstitutional law has an effect
before being declared unconstitutional. PPI wants to retain the levies paid under LOI No. 1465 even if
it is subsequently declared to be unconstitutional.

We cannot agree. It is settled that no question, issue or argument will be entertained on appeal, unless
it has been raised in the court a quo. PPI did not raise the applicability of the doctrine of operative fact
with the RTC and the CA. It cannot belatedly raise the issue with Us in order to extricate itself from
the dire effects of an unconstitutional law.

At any rate, We find the doctrine inapplicable. The general rule is that an unconstitutional law is void.
It produces no rights, imposes no duties and affords no protection. It has no legal effect. It is, in legal
contemplation, inoperative as if it has not been passed. Being void, Fertiphil is not required to pay the
levy. All levies paid should be refunded in accordance with the general civil code principle against
unjust enrichment.

The doctrine of operative fact, as an exception to the general rule, only applies as a matter of equity
and fair play. It nullifies the effects of an unconstitutional law by recognizing that the existence of a

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statute prior to a determination of unconstitutionality is an operative fact and may have consequences
that cannot always be ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration.

The doctrine is applicable when a declaration of unconstitutionality will impose an undue burden on
those who have relied on the invalid law. Here, We do not find anything iniquitous in ordering PPI to
refund the amounts paid by Fertiphil under LOI No. 1465. It unduly benefited from the levy. It was
proven during the trial that the levies paid were remitted and deposited to its bank account. Quite the
reverse, it would be inequitable and unjust not to order a refund. To do so would unjustly enrich PPI
at the expense of Fertiphil. We cannot allow PPI to profit from an unconstitutional law. Justice and
equity dictate that PPI must refund the amounts paid by Fertiphil.

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People vs. Mateo28


Facts29
10 Informations of rape were filed against appellant Mateo in RTC of Tarlac. Mateo pleaded not
guilty to the charges against him. To summarize, Mateo, the live-in partner of the complainants
(Imelda Mateo) mother, raped the latter when the mother was not at home. Complainant Imelda never
reported the 10 incidents of rape to anybody because the accused had threatened to kill her and her
mother if she were to disclose the matter to anyone. Furthermore, these incidents occurred in the
presence of her three sleeping siblings who failed to wake up despite the struggles she exerted to fend
off the advances.

On the other hand, the accused interposed the defense that the charges against him were false as being
the malicious retribution of a vengeful stepdaughter. Mateo alleged that complainant Imelda was
caught engaging in sexual intercourse with one Pikong Navarro inside the room of their house. In
anger, he hit Imelda twice with a piece of bamboo. He then forbade her from going out at night and
leaving her siblings alone in the house. Rosemarie Capulong, Imeldas mother testified in defense of
her common-law husband, corroborating the accuseds claims and whereabouts. Furthermore, Sharon
Flores, Anselmo Botio, and Marlon Mateo corroborated the accuseds claims, allegations and alibi.

RTC convicted the accused to 10 counts of rape on the ground that the complainant sufficiently
proved the crime charged against the accused per her testimony. The Solicitor General, however,
assailed the factual findings of the RTC since the testimony of the complainant, Imelda were full of
discrepancies and thus recommended the acquittal of the accused.

Issue
Whether or not Mateo is guilty.

Held
Case remanded to CA.

Up until now, the Supreme Court has assumed the direct appellate review over all criminal cases in
which the penalty imposed is death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment (or lower but involving
offenses committed on the same occasion or arising out of the same occurrence that gave rise to the
more serious offense for which the penalty of death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment is
imposed). The practice finds justification in the 1987 Constitution. It must be stressed, however, that
the constitutional provision is not preclusive in character, and it does not necessarily prevent the Court,
in the exercise of its rulemaking power, from adding an intermediate appeal or review in favor of the
accused.

In passing, during the deliberations among the members of the Court, there has been a marked
absence of unanimity on the crucial point of guilt or innocence of herein appellant. Some are
convinced that the evidence would appear to be sufficient to convict; some would accept the
recommendation of acquittal from the Solicitor General on the ground of inadequate proof of guilt
beyond reasonable doubt. Indeed, the occasion best demonstrates the typical dilemma, i.e., the
determination and appreciation of primarily factual matters, which the Supreme Court has had to face
with in automatic review cases; yet, it is the Court of Appeals that has aptly been given the direct
mandate to review factual issues.

While the Fundamental Law requires a mandatory review by the Supreme Court of cases where the
penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment, or death, nowhere, however, has it
proscribed an intermediate review. If only to ensure utmost circumspection before the penalty of

28 Case is inaccurate, the following are the correct rules:

RP and LP: CA can render and enter judgment


Death: CA can render judgment but refrain from entering judgment and bring the case to SC
29 Facts taken from block digest.

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death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment is imposed, the Court now deems it wise and
compelling to provide in these cases a review by the Court of Appeals before the case is elevated to
the Supreme Court. Where life and liberty are at stake, all possible avenues to determine his guilt or
innocence must be accorded an accused, and no care in the evaluation of the facts can ever be
overdone. A prior determination by the Court of Appeals on, particularly, the factual issues, would
minimize the possibility of an error of judgment. If the Court of Appeals should affirm the penalty of
death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, it could then render judgment imposing the
corresponding penalty as the circumstances so warrant, refrain from entering judgment and elevate the
entire records of the case to the Supreme Court for its final disposition.

Under the Constitution, the power to amend rules of procedure is constitutionally vested in the
Supreme Court, review is such a procedural matter. Pertinent provisions of the Revised Rules on
Criminal Procedure, more particularly Section 3 and Section 10 of Rule 122, Section 13 of Rule 124,
Section 3 of Rule 125, and any other rule insofar as they provide for direct appeals from the Regional
Trial Courts to the Supreme Court in cases where the penalty imposed is death, reclusion perpetua or
life imprisonment, as well as the resolution of the Supreme Court en banc, dated 19 September 1995,
in Internal Rules of the Supreme Court in cases similarly involving the death penalty, are to be
deemed modified accordingly.

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People vs. Gutierrez


Facts
A group of armed persons descended on barrio Ora Centro, municipality of Bantay, Province of
Ilocos Sur, and set fire to various inhabited houses therein. On the afternoon of the same day, in barrio
Ora Este of the same municipality and province, several residential houses were likewise burned by
the group, resulting in the destruction of various houses and in the death of an old woman. After
investigation by the authorities, the provincial fiscal, with several state prosecutors assigned by the
Department of Justice to collaborate with him filed in the Court of First Instance of Vigan, Ilocos Sur,
two informations for arson with homicide and for arson.

It appears that on the same day, the Secretary of Justice issued Administrative Order No. 221,
authorizing Judge Lino Anover, of the Circuit Criminal Court of the Second Judicial District, with
official station at San Fernando, La Union, to hold a special term in Ilocos Sur, from and after 1 July
1970. Later, the Secretary further issued Administrative Order No. 226, authorizing Judge Mario
Gutierrez to transfer the Criminal Cases to the Circuit Criminal Court, "in the interest of justice and
pursuant to Republic Act No. 5179, as implemented by Administrative Order Nos. 258 and 274" of
the Department of Justice.

The prosecution moved the respondent judge for a transfer of cases to the Circuit Criminal Court,
invoking the Administrative Orders just mentioned and calling attention to the circumstance that they
were issued at the instance of the witnesses seeking transfer of the hearing from Vigan to either San
Fernando, La Union, or Baguio City, for reasons of security and personal safety, as shown in their
affidavits. The accused vigorously opposed such transfer, and the respondent judge declined the
transfer sought.

The prosecution resorted to Us for writs of certiorari and mandamus, to compel the respondent Court
of First Instance to remand the cases to the Circuit Criminal Court of the Second Judicial District, as
well as to authorize the latter to try the cases at either San Fernando, La Union, or Baguio City.

Respondents in their answer denied any abuse of discretion in view of the fact that the Administrative
Order No. 226 merely authorized the court below, but did not require or command it, to transfer the
cases in question to the Circuit Criminal Court, and likewise denied that the circumstances justified
any such transfer.

Issue
Whether or not the criminal cases can be transferred to a court other than the place where the crime
was committed.

Held
Can transfer.

We agree with respondents that the present laws do not confer upon the Secretary of Justice power to
determine what court should hear specific cases. Any such power, even in the guise of administrative
regulation of executive affairs, trenches upon the time-honored separation of the Executive and the
Judiciary; and while not directly depriving the courts of their independence, it would endanger the
rights and immunities of the accused or civil party.

Respondent Judge Gutierrez, therefore in construing Administrative Order No. 226 as permissive and
not mandatory, acted within the limits of his discretion and violated neither the law nor the Executive
Orders heretofore mentioned. It is unfortunate, however, that in refusing to consider Department
Administrative Order No. 226 of the Secretary of Justice as mandatory respondent Judge Gutierrez
failed to act upon the contention of the prosecuting officers that the cases against private respondents
herein should be transferred to the Circuit Criminal Court of the Second Judicial District because a
miscarriage of justice was impending, in view of the refusal of the prosecution witnesses to testify in
the court sitting in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, where they felt their lives would be endangered.

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This just refusal to testify in Ilocos Sur manifested by the complaining witnesses, who had on a
previous occasion freely given evidence before the investigators in Manila, renders manifest the
imperious necessity of transferring the place of trial to a site outside of Ilocos Sur, if the cases are to
be judicially inquired into conformably to the interest of truth and justice and the State is to be given a
fair chance to present its side of the case.

The respondents vigorously contend that a transfer of the trial site can not be made, because it is a
long standing rule of criminal procedure in these Islands that one who commits a crime is amenable
therefor only in the jurisdiction where the crime is committed. In the particular case before Us, to
compel the prosecution to proceed to trial in a locality where its witnesses will not be at liberty to
reveal what they know is to make a mockery of the judicial process, and to betray the very purpose for
which courts have been established. Since the rigorous application of the general principle of Rule
110, Section 14 (a), would result here in preventing a fair and impartial inquiry into the actual facts of
the case, it must be admitted that the exigencies of justice demand that the general rule relied upon by
accused respondents should yield to occasional exceptions wherever there are weighty reasons
therefor. Otherwise, the rigor of the law would become the highest injustice "summum jus, summa
in juria."

One of these incidental and inherent powers of courts is that of transferring the trial of cases from one
court to another of equal rank in a neighboring site, whenever the imperative of securing a fair and
impartial trial, or of preventing a miscarriage of justice, so demands.

Since the requirements for proper jurisdiction have been satisfied by the filing of the criminal case in
question with the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur, in which province the offenses charged were
committed, according to the informations; since the holding of the trial in a particular place is more a
matter of venue, rather than jurisdiction; since the interests of truth and justice can not be subserved
by compelling the prosecution to proceed to trial in the respondent court in Ilocos Sur, because its
witnesses, for just and weighty reasons, are unwilling to testify therein, and the respondent court,
ignoring their safety, has abusively denied the motion to have the case transferred to another court,
this Supreme Court, in the exercise of judicial power possessed by it under the Constitution and the
statutes, should decree that the trial of cases 47-V and 48-V should be heard and decided by the
Circuit Criminal Court of the Second Judicial District, either in San Fernando, La Union, or in Baguio
City, at the earlier available date.

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PNB vs. Asuncion


Facts
Philippine National Bank granted in favor of respondent Fabar Incorporated various credit
accommodations and advances. Petitioner likewise made advances by way of insurance premiums
covering the chattels subject matter of a mortgage securing the aforementioned credit
accommodations.

All of the above credit accommodations are secured by the joint and several signatures of Jose Ma.
Barredo, Carmen B. Borromeo and Tomas L. Borromeo (private respondents herein) and Manuel H.
Barredo. For failure of private respondents to pay their obligations notwithstanding repeated demands,
petitioner instituted a case for collection against all private respondents and Manuel H. Barredo.

Before the case could be decided, Manuel H. Barredo died. Subsequently, respondent Court issued an
Order of dismissal. Petitioner thereupon filed a Motion praying for the reconsideration of respondent
Court's Order dismissing the case as against all the defendants, contending that the dismissal should
only be as against the deceased defendant Manuel H. Barredo. Respondent Court denied petitioner's
motion for reconsideration for lack of meritorious grounds.

Issue
Whether or not the case was properly dismissed.

Held
Improperly dismissed.

Petitioner, in its lone assignment of error, alleged that the respondent Court erred in dismissing the
case against all the defendants, instead of dismissing the case only as against the deceased defendant
and thereafter proceeding with the hearing as against the other defendants, private respondents herein.

Petitioner's contention is well taken. Respondent Court's reliance on Section 6, Rule 86 of the Revised
Rules of Court was erroneous.

A cursory perusal of Section 6, Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of Court reveals that nothing therein
prevents a creditor from proceeding against the surviving solidary debtors. Said provision merely sets
up the procedure in enforcing collection in case a creditor chooses to pursue his claim against the
estate of the deceased solidary debtor. The rule has been set forth that a creditor (in a solidary
obligation) has the option whether to file or not to file a claim against the estate of the solidary debtor.

Section 6 of Rule 87 (of the Old Rules of Court) provides the procedure should the creditor desire to
go against the deceased debtor, but there is certainly nothing in the said provision making compliance
with such procedure a condition precedent before an ordinary action against the surviving debtors,
should the creditor choose to demand payment from the latter, could be entertained to the extent that
failure to observe the same would deprive the court jurisdiction to 'take cognizance of the action
against the surviving debtors. Upon the other hand, the Civil Code expressly allow the creditor to
proceed against any one of the solidary debtors or some or all of them simultaneously.

It is crystal clear that Article 1216 of the New Civil Code is the applicable provision in this matter.
Said provision gives the creditor the right to "proceed against anyone of the solidary debtors or some
or all of them simultaneously. "The choice is undoubtedly left to the solidary creditor to determine
against whom he will enforce collection. In case of the death of one of the solidary debtors, he (the
creditor) may, if he so chooses, proceed against the surviving solidary debtors without necessity of
filing a claim in the estate of the deceased debtors. It is not mandatory for him to have the case
dismissed as against the surviving debtors and file its claim against the estate of the deceased solidary
debtor, as was made apparent in the aforequoted decision. For to require the creditor to proceed
against the estate, making it a condition precedent for any collection action against the surviving

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debtors to prosper, would deprive him of his substantive rights provided by Article 1216 of the New
Civil Code.

As correctly argued by petitioner, if Section 6, Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of Court were applied
literally, Article 1216 of the New Civil Code would, in effect, be repealed since under the Rules of
Court, petitioner has no choice but to proceed against the estate of Manuel Barredo only. Obviously,
this provision diminishes the Bank's right under the New Civil Code to proceed against any one, some
or all of the solidary debtors. Such a construction is not sanctioned by the principle, which is too well
settled to require citation, that a substantive law cannot be amended by a procedural rule. Otherwise
stated, Section 6, Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of Court cannot be made to prevail over Article 1216
of the New Civil Code, the former being merely procedural, while the latter, substantive

Moreover, no less than the New Constitution of the Philippines, in Section 5, Article X, provides that
rules promulgated by the Supreme Court should not diminish, increase or modify substantive rights.

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Santero vs. CFI


Facts
Petitioners are the children begotten by the late Pablo Santero with Felixberta Pacursa while private
respondents are four of the seven children begotten by the same Pablo Santero with Anselma Diaz.
Both sets of children are the natural children of the late Pablo Santero since neither of their mothers,
was married to their father Pablo. Pablo Santero in turn, who died on November 30, 1973 was the
only legitimate son of Pascual Santero who died in 1970 and Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero who
died in 1976.

Meanwhile before We could act on the instant petition private respondents filed another Motion for
Allowance with the respondent court to include Juanita, Estelita and Pedrito all surnamed Santero as
children of the late Pablo Santero with Anselma Diaz praying that an order be granted directing the
administrator Reynaldo C. Evaristo, to deliver the sum of P6,000.00 to each of the seven (7) children
of Anselma Diaz as their allowance from the estate of Pablo Santero. The respondent Court granted
the motion of the private respondents but oppositors (petitioners herein) asked the court to reconsider
said Order.

An Amended Order was issued by respondent Court directing Anselma Diaz to submit her
clarification or explanation as to the additional three (3) children of Anselma Diaz included in the
motion. In compliance therewith Anselma Diaz filed her "Clarification" stating among others that in
her previous motions, only the last four minor children as represented by the mother, Anselma Diaz
were included in the motion for support and her first three (3) children who were then of age should
have been included since all her children have the right to receive allowance as advance payment of
their shares in the inheritance of Pablo Santero under Art. 188, of the New Civil Code.

Petitioners herein filed their Motion to Admit Supplemental Petition opposing the inclusion of three
(3) more heirs. Another Order was issued by the respondent court directing the administrator of the
estate to get back the allowance of the three additional recipients or children of Anselma Diaz
apparently based on the oppositors' (petitioners herein) "Urgent Motion to Direct the Administrator to
Withhold Disbursement of Allowance to the Movants."

Issue
Whether or not respondents have a right to support.

Held
They have a right to support based on the Civil Code.

Petitioners argue that private respondents are not entitled to any allowance since they have already
attained majority age, two are gainfully employed and one is married as provided for under Sec. 3
Rule 83, of the Rules of Court. Petitioners also allege that there was misrepresentation on the part of
the guardian in asking for allowance for tuition fees, books and other school materials and other
miscellaneous expenses for school term 1982-83 because these wards have already attained majority
age so that they are no longer under guardianship. They further allege that the administrator of the
estate of Pablo Santero does not have sufficient funds to cover said allowance because whatever funds
are in the hands of the administrator constitute funds held in trust for the benefit of whoever will be
adjudged as owners of the Kawit properties from where these funds now held by the administrator are
derived.

In this connection, the question of whether the private respondents are entitled to allowance or not
concerns only the intestate estate of the late Pablo Santero and not the intestate estates of Pascual
Santero and Simona Pamuti, parents of their late legitimate son Pablo Santero. The reason for this is
Art. 992 of the New Civil Code that states that "An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab
intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother; nor shall such children or
relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child." The question of whether or not the
petitioners and private respondents are entitled to inherit by right of representation from their

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grandparents more particularly from Simona Pamuti was settled by Us in the related case of "Anselma
Diaz, et al. vs. Felisa Pamuti-Jardin" (G.R. No. 66574-R) wherein We held that in view of the barrier
present in said Art. 992, petitioners and private respondents are excluded from the intestate estate of
Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero.

The controlling provision of law is not Rule 83, Sec. 3 of the New Rules of Court but Arts. 290 and
188 of the Civil Code.

The fact that private respondents are of age, gainfully employed, or married is of no moment and
should not be regarded as the determining factor of their right to allowance under Art. 188. While the
Rules of Court limit allowances to the widow and minor or incapacitated children of the deceased, the
New Civil Code gives the surviving spouse and his/her children without distinction. Hence, the
private respondents Victor, Rodrigo, Anselmina and Miguel all surnamed Santero are entitled to
allowances as advances from their shares in the inheritance from their father Pablo Santero. Since the
provision of the Civil Code, a substantive law, gives the surviving spouse and to the children the right
to receive support during the liquidation of the estate of the deceased, such right cannot be impaired
by Rule 83 Sec. 3 of the Rules of Court which is a procedural rule. Be it noted however that with
respect to "spouse," the same must be the "legitimate spouse" (not common-law spouses who are the
mothers of the children here).

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Damasco vs. Lagui


Facts
In an Information, petitioner Atty. Eugenio S. Damasco was charged with the crime of grave threats.
Upon arraignment, petitioner pleaded not guilty. After trial, respondent judge found that the evidence
presented did not establish the crime of grave threats but only of light threats. As a result, petitioner
was convicted of the latter crime and was sentenced to pay a fine of P100.00 and the costs.

Subsequently, petitioner filed a Motion to Rectify and Set Aside the dispositive part of respondent
Judge's decision, contending that he cannot be convicted of light threats, necessarily included in grave
threats charged in the information, as the lighter offense had already prescribed when the information
was filed. Petitioner states that the crime was committed on 8 July 1987 and the information was filed
only on 17 September 1987 or after the lapse of 71 days. Upon the other hand, the crime of light
threats, which is a light offense, prescribes in two (2) months which means sixty (60) days.

Issue
Whether or not the crime of light threats has prescribed.

Held
Prescribed.

In the case of Francisco vs. Court of Appeals, the Court held that where an accused has been found to
have committed a lesser offense includible within the graver offense charged, he cannot be convicted
of the lesser offense if it has already prescribed. To hold otherwise, according to the Court, would be
to sanction a circumvention of the law on prescription by the simple expedient of accusing the
defendant of the graver offense.

Philippine jurisprudence considers prescription of a crime or offense as a loss or waiver by the State
of its right to prosecute an act prohibited and punished by law. Hence, while it is the rule that an
accused who fails to move to quash before pleading, is deemed to waive all objections which are
grounds of a motion to quash, yet, this rule cannot apply to the defense of prescription, which under
Art. 69 of the Revised Penal Code extinguishes criminal liability. To apply the suggestion in the
aforecited memorandum could contravene said Article 89, which is a part of substantive law. This
position is further strengthened by Sec. 8, Rule 117, 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, which added
extinction of offense as one of the exceptions to the general rule regarding the effects of a failure to
assert a ground of a motion to quash.

Thus, as suggested by the cited memorandum, a departure from the ruling in Francisco vs. CA, can be
done only "through an overhaul of some existing rules on criminal procedure to give prescription a
limited meaning, i.e., a mere bar to the commencement of a criminal action and therefore, waivable.
But this will have to contend with the Constitutional provision that while the Supreme Court has the
power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights,
pleadings, practice and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the integrated bar,
and the legal assistance to the underprivileged, such rules shall not however diminish, increase or
modify substantive rights.

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People vs. Lacson


Facts
Before the Court is the petitioners Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution remanding this case
to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) for the determination of several factual issues relative to the
application of Section 8 of Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure on the dismissal of
Criminal Cases filed against the respondent and his co-accused with the said court. In the aforesaid
criminal cases, the respondent and his co-accused were charged with multiple murders for the
shooting and killing of eleven male persons.

The Court ruled in the Resolution sought to be reconsidered that the provisional dismissal of Criminal
Cases were with the express consent of the respondent as he himself moved for said provisional
dismissal when he filed his motion for judicial determination of probable cause and for examination
of witnesses. The Court also held therein that although Section 8, Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure could be given retroactive effect, there is still a need to determine whether the
requirements for its application are attendant.

The Court further held that the reckoning date of the two-year bar had to be first determined whether
it shall be from the date of the order of then Judge Agnir, Jr. dismissing the cases, or from the dates of
receipt thereof by the various offended parties, or from the date of effectivity of the new rule.
According to the Court, if the cases were revived only after the two-year bar, the State must be given
the opportunity to justify its failure to comply with the said time-bar. It emphasized that the new rule
fixes a time-bar to penalize the State for its inexcusable delay in prosecuting cases already filed in
court. However, the State is not precluded from presenting compelling reasons to justify the revival of
cases beyond the two-year bar.

In support of their Motion for Reconsideration, the petitioners contend that (a) Section 8, Rule 117 of
the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure is not applicable to Criminal Cases; and (b) the time-bar in
said rule should not be applied retroactively.

Issue
Whether or not the Time-Bar rule should be applied retroactively.

Held
Applied prospectively.

The petitioners contend that the two-year bar in Section 8 of Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure should be applied prospectively and not retroactively against the State. To apply
the time limit retroactively to the criminal cases against the respondent and his co-accused would
violate the right of the People to due process, and unduly impair, reduce, and diminish the States
substantive right to prosecute the accused for multiple murder. They posit that under Article 90 of the
Revised Penal Code, the State had twenty years within which to file the criminal complaints against
the accused. However, under the new rule, the State only had two years from notice of the public
prosecutor of the order of dismissal of Criminal Cases within which to revive the said cases. When the
new rule took effect on December 1, 2000, the State only had one year and three months within which
to revive the cases or refile the Informations. The period for the State to charge respondent for
multiple murder under Article 90 of the Revised Penal Code was considerably and arbitrarily reduced.
They submit that in case of conflict between the Revised Penal Code and the new rule, the former
should prevail. They also insist that the State had consistently relied on the prescriptive periods under
Article 90 of the Revised Penal Code. It was not accorded a fair warning that it would forever be
barred beyond the two-year period by a retroactive application of the new rule. Petitioners thus pray
to the Court to set aside its Resolution of May 28, 2002.

For his part, the respondent asserts that the new rule under Section 8 of Rule 117 of the Revised Rules
of Criminal Procedure may be applied retroactively since there is no substantive right of the State that
may be impaired by its application to the criminal cases in question since [t]he States witnesses were

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ready, willing and able to provide their testimony but the prosecution failed to act on these cases until
it became politically expedient in April 2001 for them to do so. According to the respondent, penal
laws, either procedural or substantive, may be retroactively applied so long as they favor the accused.
He asserts that the two-year period commenced to run on March 29, 1999 and lapsed two years
thereafter was more than reasonable opportunity for the State to fairly indict him. In any event, the
State is given the right under the Courts assailed Resolution to justify the filing of the Information in
Criminal Cases beyond the time-bar under the new rule.

The respondent insists that Section 8 of Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure does
not broaden the substantive right of double jeopardy to the prejudice of the State because the
prohibition against the revival of the cases within the one-year or two-year periods provided therein is
a legal concept distinct from the prohibition against the revival of a provisionally dismissed case
within the periods stated in Section 8 of Rule 117. Moreover, he claims that the effects of a
provisional dismissal under said rule do not modify or negate the operation of the prescriptive period
under Article 90 of the Revised Penal Code. Prescription under the Revised Penal Code simply
becomes irrelevant upon the application of Section 8, Rule 117 because a complaint or information
has already been filed against the accused, which filing tolls the running of the prescriptive period
under Article 90.

In this case, the Court agrees with the petitioners that the time-bar of two years under the new rule
should not be applied retroactively against the State.

In the new rule in question, as now construed by the Court, it has fixed a time-bar of one year or two
years for the revival of criminal cases provisionally dismissed with the express consent of the accused
and with a priori notice to the offended party. The time-bar may appear, on first impression,
unreasonable compared to the periods under Article 90 of the Revised Penal Code. However, in fixing
the time-bar, the Court balanced the societal interests and those of the accused for the orderly and
speedy disposition of criminal cases with minimum prejudice to the State and the accused. It took into
account the substantial rights of both the State and of the accused to due process. The Court believed
that the time limit is a reasonable period for the State to revive provisionally dismissed cases with the
consent of the accused and notice to the offended parties. The time-bar fixed by the Court must be
respected unless it is shown that the period is manifestly short or insufficient that the rule becomes a
denial of justice. The petitioners failed to show a manifest shortness or insufficiency of the time-bar.

The new rule was conceptualized by the Committee on the Revision of the Rules and approved by the
Court en banc primarily to enhance the administration of the criminal justice system and the rights to
due process of the State and the accused by eliminating the deleterious practice of trial courts of
provisionally dismissing criminal cases on motion of either the prosecution or the accused or jointly,
either with no time-bar for the revival thereof or with a specific or definite period for such revival by
the public prosecutor. There were times when such criminal cases were no longer revived or refiled
due to causes beyond the control of the public prosecutor or because of the indolence, apathy or the
lackadaisical attitude of public prosecutors to the prejudice of the State and the accused despite the
mandate to public prosecutors and trial judges to expedite criminal proceedings.

The inordinate delay in the revival or refiling of criminal cases may impair or reduce the capacity of
the State to prove its case. As to the accused, it may diminish his capacity to defend himself and thus
eschew the fairness of the entire criminal justice system.

The time-bar under the new rule was fixed by the Court to excise the malaise that plagued the
administration of the criminal justice system for the benefit of the State and the accused; not for the
accused only.

The Court agrees with the petitioners that to apply the time-bar retroactively so that the two-year
period commenced to run on March 31, 1999 when the public prosecutor received his copy of the
resolution of Judge Agnir, Jr. dismissing the criminal cases is inconsistent with the intendment of the

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new rule. Instead of giving the State two years to revive provisionally dismissed cases, the State had
considerably less than two years to do so. Thus, Judge Agnir, Jr. dismissed Criminal Cases Nos. Q-
99-81679 to Q-99-81689 on March 29, 1999. The new rule took effect on December 1, 2000. If the
Court applied the new time-bar retroactively, the State would have only one year and three months or
until March 31, 2001 within which to revive these criminal cases. The period is short of the two-year
period fixed under the new rule. On the other hand, if the time limit is applied prospectively, the State
would have two years from December 1, 2000 or until December 1, 2002 within which to revive the
cases. This is in consonance with the intendment of the new rule in fixing the time-bar and thus
prevents injustice to the State and avoids absurd, unreasonable, oppressive, injurious, and wrongful
results in the administration of justice.

The period from April 1, 1999 to November 30, 1999 should be excluded in the computation of the
two-year period because the rule prescribing it was not yet in effect at the time and the State could not
be expected to comply with the time-bar. It cannot even be argued that the State waived its right to
revive the criminal cases against respondent or that it was negligent for not reviving them within the
two-year period under the new rule.

To require the State to give a valid justification as a condition sine qua non to the revival of a case
provisionally dismissed with the express consent of the accused before the effective date of the new
rule is to assume that the State is obliged to comply with the time-bar under the new rule before it
took effect. This would be a rank denial of justice.

In this case, the eleven Informations in Criminal Cases Nos. 01-101102 to 01-101112 were filed with
the Regional Trial Court on June 6, 2001 well within the two-year period.

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St. Martin Funeral Homes vs. NLRC


Facts
The present petition for certiorari stemmed from a complaint for illegal dismissal filed by herein
private respondent before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). Private respondent
alleges that he started working as Operations Manager of petitioner St. Martin Funeral Home.
However, there was no contract of employment executed between him and petitioner nor was his
name included in the semi-monthly payroll. Later, he was dismissed from his employment for
allegedly misappropriating P38,000.00 which was intended for payment by petitioner of its value
added tax (VAT) to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Petitioner on the other hand claims that private respondent was not its employee but only the uncle of
Amelita Malabed, the owner of petitioner St. Martin's Funeral Home. Private respondent, who was
formerly working as an overseas contract worker, asked for financial assistance from the mother of
Amelita. Since then, as an indication of gratitude, private respondent voluntarily helped the mother of
Amelita in overseeing the business.

Later, the mother of Amelita passed away, so the latter then took over the management of the business.
She then discovered that there were arrears in the payment of taxes and other government fees,
although the records purported to show that the same were already paid. Amelita then made some
changes in the business operation and private respondent and his wife were no longer allowed to
participate in the management thereof. As a consequence, the latter filed a complaint charging that
petitioner had illegally terminated his employment.

Based on the position papers of the parties, the labor arbiter rendered a decision in favor of petitioner
declaring that no employer-employee relationship existed between the parties and, therefore, his
office had no jurisdiction over the case. Not satisfied with the said decision, private respondent
appealed to the NLRC. The NLRC rendered a resolution setting aside the questioned decision and
remanding the case to the labor arbiter for immediate appropriate proceedings.

Issue
Whether or not appeals from the NLRC should go straight to the SC.

Held
NLRC decisions/resolutions should first be appealed to the CA.

Under the present state of the law, there is no provision for appeals from the decision of the NLRC.
The law instead merely provides that the Commission shall decide all cases within twenty days from
receipt of the answer of the appellee, and that such decision shall be final and executory after ten
calendar days from receipt thereof by the parties.

As earlier explained, our mode of judicial review over decisions of the NLRC has for some time now
been understood to be by a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

It will, however, be noted that paragraph (3), Section 9 of B.P. No. 129 now grants exclusive
appellate jurisdiction to the Court of Appeals over all final adjudications of the Regional Trial Courts
and the quasi-judicial agencies generally or specifically referred to therein except, among others,
"those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with . . . the Labor
Code of the Philippines under Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, . . . ." The appeal from the
NLRC cannot be brought to the Court of Appeals, but to this Court by necessary implication.

A review of the legislative records persuades us that there may have been an oversight in the course of
the deliberations on the law or an imprecision in the terminology used therein. In fine, Congress did
intend to provide for judicial review of the adjudications of the NLRC in labor cases by the Supreme
Court, but there was an inaccuracy in the term used for the intended mode of review.

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The Court is, therefore, of the considered opinion that ever since appeals from the NLRC to the
Supreme Court were eliminated, the legislative intendment was that the special civil action of
certiorari was and still is the proper vehicle for judicial review of decisions of the NLRC. The use of
the word "appeal" in relation thereto and in the instances we have noted could have been a lapsus
plumae because appeals by certiorari and the original action for certiorari are both modes of judicial
review addressed to the appellate courts. The important distinction between them, however, and with
which the Court is particularly concerned here is that the special civil action of certiorari is within the
concurrent original jurisdiction of this Court and the Court of Appeals; whereas to indulge in the
assumption that appeals by certiorari to the Supreme Court are allowed would not subserve, but
would subvert, the intention of Congress as expressed in the sponsorship speech on Senate Bill No.
1495.

Incidentally, it was noted by the sponsor therein that some quarters were of the opinion that recourse
from the NLRC to the Court of Appeals as an initial step in the process of judicial review would be
circuitous and would prolong the proceedings.

While we do not wish to intrude into the Congressional sphere on the matter of the wisdom of a law,
on this score we add the further observations that there is a growing number of labor cases being
elevated to this Court which, not being a trier of fact, has at times been constrained to remand the case
to the NLRC for resolution of unclear or ambiguous factual findings; that the Court of Appeals is
procedurally equipped for that purpose, aside from the increased number of its component divisions;
and that there is undeniably an imperative need for expeditious action on labor cases as a major aspect
of constitutional protection to labor.

Therefore, all references in the amended Section 9 of B.P. No. 129 to supposed appeals from the
NLRC to the Supreme Court are interpreted and hereby declared to mean and refer to petitions for
certiorari under Rule 65. Consequently, all such petitions should hence forth be initially filed in the
Court of Appeals in strict observance of the doctrine on the hierarchy of courts as the appropriate
forum for the relief desired.

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Maceda vs. Vasquez


Facts
Petitioner Bonifacio Sanz Maceda, Presiding Judge of a Regional Trial Court, seeks the review of the
following orders of the Office of the Ombudsman: (1) the Order denying the ex-parte motion to refer
to the Supreme Court filed by petitioner; and (2) the Order denying petitioner's motion for
reconsideration and directing petitioner to file his counter-affidavit and other controverting evidences.

In his affidavit-complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman, respondent Napoleon A. Abiera
of the Public Attorney's Office alleged that petitioner had falsified his Certificate of Service by
certifying "that all civil and criminal cases which have been submitted for decision or determination
for a period of 90 days have been determined and decided on or before January 31, 1998," when in
truth and in fact, petitioner knew that no decision had been rendered in five (5) civil and ten (10)
criminal cases that have been submitted for decision. Respondent Abiera further alleged that
petitioner similarly falsified his certificates of service for other months totalling of seventeen (17)
months.

On the other hand, petitioner contends that this Court granted him an extension of ninety (90) days to
decide the aforementioned cases.

Petitioner also contends that the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over said case despite this Court's
ruling in Orap vs. Sandiganbayan, since the offense charged arose from the judge's performance of his
official duties, which is under the control and supervision of the Supreme Court. Furthermore, the
investigation of the Ombudsman constitutes an encroachment into the Supreme Court's constitutional
duty of supervision over all inferior courts.

Issue
Whether the Office of the Ombudsman could entertain a criminal complaint for the alleged
falsification of a judge's certification submitted to the Supreme Court, and assuming that it can,
whether a referral should be made first to the Supreme Court.

Held
In fine, where a criminal complaint against a Judge or other court employee arises from their
administrative duties, the Ombudsman must defer action on said complaint and refer the same to this
Court for determination whether said Judge or court employee had acted within the scope of their
administrative duties.

The Court disagrees with the first Part of petitioner's basic argument. There is nothing in the decision
in Orap that would restrict it only to offenses committed by a judge unrelated to his official duties. A
judge who falsifies his certificate of service is administratively liable to the Supreme Court for serious
misconduct and inefficiency under Section 1, Rule 140 of the Rules of Court, and criminally liable to
the State under the Revised Penal Code for his felonious act.

However, We agree with petitioner that in the absence of any administrative action taken against him
by this Court with regard to his certificates of service, the investigation being conducted by the
Ombudsman encroaches into the Court's power of administrative supervision over all courts and its
personnel, in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers. It is only the Supreme Court that can
oversee the judges' and court personnel's compliance with all laws, and take the proper administrative
action against them if they commit any violation thereof. No other branch of government may intrude
into this power, without running afoul of the doctrine of separation of powers.

The Ombudsman cannot justify its investigation of petitioner on the powers granted to it by the
Constitution, for such a justification not only runs counter to the specific mandate of the Constitution
granting supervisory powers to the Supreme Court over all courts and their personnel, but likewise
undermines the independence of the judiciary.

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Thus, the Ombudsman should first refer the matter of petitioner's certificates of service to this Court
for determination of whether said certificates reflected the true status of his pending case load, as the
Court has the necessary records to make such a determination. The Ombudsman cannot compel this
Court, as one of the three branches of government, to submit its records, or to allow its personnel to
testify on this matter, as suggested by public respondent Abiera in his affidavit-complaint.

The rationale for the foregoing pronouncement is evident in this case. Administratively, the question
before Us is this: should a judge, having been granted by this Court an extension of time to decide
cases before him, report these cases in his certificate of service? As this question had not yet been
raised with, much less resolved by, this Court, how could the Ombudsman resolve the present
criminal complaint that requires the resolution of said question?

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Chavez vs. JBC


Facts
Congress, from the moment of the creation of the JBC, designated one representative to sit in the JBC
to act as one of the ex officio members. Perhaps in order to give equal opportunity to both houses to
sit in the exclusive body, the House of Representatives and the Senate would send alternate
representatives to the JBC. In other words, Congress had only one (1) representative.

In 1994, the composition of the JBC was substantially altered. Instead of having only seven (7)
members, an eighth (8th) member was added to the JBC as two (2) representatives from Congress
began sitting in the JBC - one from the House of Representatives and one from the Senate, with each
having one-half (1/2) of a vote. Then, curiously, the JBC En Banc, in separate meetings held in 2000
and 2001, decided to allow the representatives from the Senate and the House of Representatives one
full vote each.

Issue
Whether or not the first paragraph of Section 8, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution allow more than
one (1) member of Congress to sit in the JBC? Whether or not the practice of having two (2)
representatives from each house of Congress with one (1) vote each sanctioned by the Constitution?

Held
The Constitution allows Congress only 1 representative from both houses.

As petitioner correctly posits, the use of the singular letter "a" preceding "representative of Congress"
is unequivocal and leaves no room for any other construction. It is indicative of what the members of
the Constitutional Commission had in mind, that is, Congress may designate only one (1)
representative to the JBC. Had it been the intention that more than one (1) representative from the
legislature would sit in the JBC, the Framers could have, in no uncertain terms, so provided.

Applying the rules of statutory construction to this case, it becomes apparent that the word "Congress"
used in Article VIII, Section 8(1) of the Constitution is used in its generic sense. No particular
allusion whatsoever is made on whether the Senate or the House of Representatives is being referred
to, but that, in either case, only a singular representative may be allowed to sit in the JBC.

Indeed, the spirit and reason of the statute may be passed upon where a literal meaning would lead to
absurdity, contradiction, injustice, or defeat the clear purpose of the lawmakers. Not any of these
instances, however, is present in the case at bench. Considering that the language of the subject
constitutional provision is plain and unambiguous, there is no need to resort extrinsic aids such as
records of the Constitutional Commission.

Nevertheless, even if the Court should proceed to look into the minds of the members of the
Constitutional Commission, it is undeniable from the records thereof that it was intended that the JBC
be composed of seven (7) members only.

At this juncture, it is worthy to note that the seven-member composition of the JBC serves a practical
purpose, that is, to provide a solution should there be a stalemate in voting. This underlying reason
leads the Court to conclude that a single vote may not be divided into half (1/2), between two
representatives of Congress, or among any of the sitting members of the JBC for that matter. This
unsanctioned practice can possibly cause disorder and eventually muddle the JBCs voting process,
especially in the event a tie is reached. The aforesaid purpose would then be rendered illusory,
defeating the precise mechanism that the Constitution itself created. While it would be unreasonable
to expect that the Framers provide for every possible scenario, it is sensible to presume that they knew
that an odd composition is the best means to break a voting deadlock.

The respondents insist that owing to the bicameral nature of Congress, the word "Congress" in
Section 8(1), Article VIII of the Constitution should be read as including both the Senate and the

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House of Representatives. They theorize that it was so worded because at the time the said provision
was being drafted, the Framers initially intended a unicameral form of Congress. Then, when the
Constitutional Commission eventually adopted a bicameral form of Congress, the Framers, through
oversight, failed to amend Article VIII, Section 8 of the Constitution.

The Courts conclusion that "Congress," in the context of JBC representation, should be considered as
one body. It is evident that the definition of "Congress" as a bicameral body refers to its primary
function in government - to legislate. This, however, cannot be said in the case of JBC representation
because no liaison between the two houses exists in the workings of the JBC. No mechanism is
required between the Senate and the House of Representatives in the screening and nomination of
judicial officers. Hence, the term "Congress" must be taken to mean the entire legislative department.
A fortiori, a pretext of oversight cannot prevail over the more pragmatic scheme which the
Constitution laid with firmness, that is, that the JBC has a seat for a single representative of Congress,
as one of the co-equal branches of government.

Therefore, to allow the Legislature to have more quantitative influence in the JBC by having more
than one voice speak, whether with one full vote or one-half (1/2) a vote each, would, as one former
congressman and member of the JBC put it, "negate the principle of equality among the three
branches of government which is enshrined in the Constitution.

It is clear, therefore, that the Constitution mandates that the JBC be composed of seven (7) members
only. Thus, any inclusion of another member, whether with one whole vote or half (1/2) of it, goes
against that mandate. Section 8(1), Article VIII of the Constitution, providing Congress with an equal
voice with other members of the JBC in recommending appointees to the Judiciary is explicit.

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Chavez vs. JBC (motion for reconsideration)


Facts
Through the subject motion, respondents pray that the Court reconsider its decision and dismiss the
petition on the following grounds:
1. That allowing only one representative from Congress in the JBC would lead to absurdity
considering its bicameral nature;
2. That the failure of the Framers to make the proper adjustment when there was a shift from
unilateralism to bicameralism was a plain oversight;
3. That two representatives from Congress would not subvert the intention of the Framers to
insulate the JBC from political partisanship; and
4. That the rationale of the Court in declaring a seven-member composition would provide a
solution should there be a stalemate is not exactly correct.

Issue
Whether or not the first paragraph of Section 8, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution allow more than
one (1) member of Congress to sit in the JBC? Whether or not the practice of having two (2)
representatives from each house of Congress with one (1) vote each sanctioned by the Constitution?

Held
The Constitution allows Congress only 1 representative from both houses.

The Court cannot accede to the argument of plain oversight in order to justify constitutional
construction. As stated in the July 17, 2012 Decision, in opting to use the singular letter "a" to
describe "representative of Congress," the Filipino people through the Framers intended that Congress
be entitled to only one (1) seat in the JBC. Had the intention been otherwise, the Constitution could
have, in no uncertain terms, so provided, as can be read in its other provisions.

A reading of the 1987 Constitution would reveal that several provisions were indeed adjusted as to be
in tune with the shift to bicameralism. In all these provisions, the bicameral nature of Congress was
recognized and, clearly, the corresponding adjustments were made as to how a matter would be
handled and voted upon by its two Houses.

Thus, to say that the Framers simply failed to adjust Section 8, Article VIII, by sheer inadvertence, to
their decision to shift to a bicameral form of the legislature, is not persuasive enough. Respondents
cannot just lean on plain oversight to justify a conclusion favorable to them. It is very clear that the
Framers were not keen on adjusting the provision on congressional representation in the JBC because
it was not in the exercise of its primary function to legislate. JBC was created to support the
executive power to appoint, and Congress, as one whole body, was merely assigned a contributory
non-legislative function.

The argument that a senator cannot represent a member of the House of Representatives in the JBC
and vice-versa is, thus, misplaced. In the JBC, any member of Congress, whether from the Senate or
the House of Representatives, is constitutionally empowered to represent the entire Congress. It may
be a constricted constitutional authority, but it is not an absurdity.

From this score stems the conclusion that the lone representative of Congress is entitled to one full
vote. This pronouncement effectively disallows the scheme of splitting the said vote into half (1/2),
between two representatives of Congress. Not only can this unsanctioned practice cause disorder in
the voting process, it is clearly against the essence of what the Constitution authorized. After all, basic
and reasonable is the rule that what cannot be legally done directly cannot be done indirectly. To
permit or tolerate the splitting of one vote into two or more is clearly a constitutional circumvention
that cannot be countenanced by the Court. Succinctly put, when the Constitution envisioned one
member of Congress sitting in the JBC, it is sensible to presume that this representation carries with
him one full vote.

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It is also an error for respondents to argue that the President, in effect, has more influence over the
JBC simply because all of the regular members of the JBC are his appointees. The principle of checks
and balances is still safeguarded because the appointment of all the regular members of the JBC is
subject to a stringent process of confirmation by the Commission on Appointments, which is
composed of members of Congress.

Respondents contention that the current irregular composition of the JBC should be accepted, simply
because it was only questioned for the first time through the present action, deserves scant
consideration. Well-settled is the rule that acts done in violation of the Constitution no matter how
frequent, usual or notorious cannot develop or gain acceptance under the doctrine of estoppel or
laches, because once an act is considered as an infringement of the Constitution it is void from the
very beginning and cannot be the source of any power or authority.

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Nitafan vs. CIR


Facts
Petitioners, the duly appointed and qualified Judges of the Regional Trial Court seek to prohibit
and/or perpetually enjoin respondents, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the Financial
Officer of the Supreme Court, from making any deduction of withholding taxes from their salaries.

They submit that "any tax withheld from their emoluments or compensation as judicial officers
constitutes a decrease or diminution of their salaries, contrary to the provision of Section 10, Article
VIII of the 1987 Constitution mandating that "(d)uring their continuance in office, their salary shall
not be decreased," even as it is anathema to the Ideal of an independent judiciary envisioned in and by
said Constitution."

Issue
Whether or not the deduction of withholding taxes on salaries of judges violates the Constitution.

Held
Non-violative.

It may be pointed out that, early on, the Court had dealt with the matter administratively in response
to representations that the Court direct its Finance Officer to discontinue the withholding of taxes
from salaries of members of the Bench. Thus, the Court en banc had reaffirmed the Chief Justice's
directive as follows:
RE: Question of exemption from income taxation. The Court REAFFIRMED the Chief Justice's previous and
standing directive to the Fiscal Management and Budget Office of this Court to continue with the deduction of
the withholding taxes from the salaries of the Justices of the Supreme Court as well as from the salaries of all
other members of the judiciary.

That should have resolved the question. However, with the filing of this petition, the Court has
deemed it best to settle the legal issue raised through this judicial pronouncement.

The clear intent of the Constitutional Commission was to delete the proposed express grant of
exemption from payment of income tax to members of the Judiciary, so as to "give substance to
equality among the three branches of Government" in the words of Commissioner Rigos. In the
course of the deliberations, it was further expressly made clear, specially with regard to
Commissioner Joaquin F. Bernas' accepted amendment to the amendment of Commissioner Rigos,
that the salaries of members of the Judiciary would be subject to the general income tax applied to all
taxpayers. The debates, interpellations and opinions expressed regarding the constitutional provision
in question until the Commission finally approved it disclosed that the true intent of the framers of the
1987 Constitution, in adopting it, was to make the salaries of members of the Judiciary taxable.

This intent was somehow and inadvertently not clearly set forth in the final text of the Constitution.
The Court hereby makes of record that it had then discarded the ruling in Perfecto vs. Meer and
Endencia vs. David, infra, that declared the salaries of members of the Judiciary exempt from
payment of the income tax and considered such payment as a diminution of their salaries during their
continuance in office. The Court hereby reiterates that the salaries of Justices and Judges are properly
subject to a general income tax law applicable to all income earners and that the payment of such
income tax by Justices and Judges does not fall within the constitutional protection against decrease
of their salaries during their continuance in office.

It is plain that the Constitution authorizes Congress to pass a law fixing another rate of compensation
of Justices and Judges but such rate must be higher than that which they are receiving at the time of
enactment, or if lower, it would be applicable only to those appointed after its approval. It would be a
strained construction to read into the provision an exemption from taxation in the light of the
discussion in the Constitutional Commission.

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With the foregoing interpretation, and as stated heretofore, the ruling that "the imposition of income
tax upon the salary of judges is a dimunition thereof, and so violates the Constitution" in Perfecto vs.
Meer as affirmed in Endencia vs. David must be declared discarded.

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Vargas vs. Rilloraza


Facts
Counsel for the defense assails the constitutionality of section 14 of the People's Court Act
(Commonwealth Act No. 682). Such question of unconstitutionality or repugnancy to the constitution
arises in relation to the disqualification of certain members of the Supreme Court provided for in
section 14 of the People's Court Act that says:
SEC. 14. Any Justice of the Supreme Court who held any office or position under the Philippine Executive
Commission or under the government called Philippine Republic may not sit and vote in any case brought to
that Court under section thirteen hereof in which the accused is a person who held any office or position under
either or both the Philippine Executive Commission and the Philippine Republic or any branch, instrumentality
and/or agency thereof.
If, on account of such disqualification, or because of any of the grounds or disqualification of judges, in Rule
126, section 1 of the Rules of Court, or on account of illness, absence of temporary disability the requisite
number of Justices necessary to constitute a quorum or to render judgment in any case is not present, the
President may designate such number of Judges of First Instance, Judges-at-large of First Instance, or
Cadastral Judges, having none of the disqualifications set forth in said section one hereof, as may be necessary
to sit temporarily as Justice of said Court, in order to form a quorum or until a judgment in said case is reached.

Issue
Whether or not section 14 is Constitutional.

Held
Unconstitutional.

Validity of mandatory inhibition

If said section 14 were to be effective, such members of the Court "who held any office or position
under the Philippine Executive Commission or under the government called Philippine Republic"
would be disqualified from sitting and voting in the instant case, because the accused herein is a
person who likewise held an office or position at least under the Philippine Executive Commission. In
other words, what the constitution in this respect ordained as a power and a duty to be exercised and
fulfilled by said members of the People's Court Act would prohibit them from exercising and
fulfilling. What the constitution directs the section prohibits. A clearer case of repugnancy of
fundamental law can hardly be imagined.

For repugnancy to result it is not necessary that there should be an actual removal of the disqualified
Justice from his office for, as above demonstrated, were it not for the challenged section 14 there
would have been an uninterrupted continuity in the tenure of the displaced Justice and in his exercise
of the powers and fulfillment of the duties appertaining to his office, saving only proper cases or
disqualification under Rule 126. What matters here is not only that the Justice affected continue to be
a member of the Court and to enjoy the emoluments as well as to exercise the other powers and fulfill
the other duties of his office, but that he be left unhampered to exercise all the powers and fulfill all
the responsibilities of said office in all cases properly coming before his Court under the constitution,
again without prejudice to proper cases of disqualification under Rule 126. Any statute enacted by the
legislature that would impede him in this regard simply cannot become law.

To disqualify any of these constitutional component members of the Court particularly, as in the
instant case, a majority of them is nothing short of pro tanto depriving the Court itself of its
jurisdiction as established by the fundamental law.

Let it not be argued that the Court is the same, only the membership being different. Because Article
VIII, sections 4 and 5, of the Constitution do not admit any composition of the Supreme Court other
than the Chief Justice and Associate Justices therein mentioned appointed as therein provided. And
the infringement is enhanced and aggravated where judges of first instance replace a majority of the
members of the Court as in this case . It is distinctly another Supreme Court in addition to this.
And the constitution provides for only one Supreme Court.

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From all that has been said above it results that the ground for disqualification added by section 14 of
Commonwealth Act No. 682 to those already existing at the time of the adoption of the Constitution
and continued by it is not only arbitrary and irrational but positively violates the organic law.

Validity of substitutions

In the face of the constitutional requirement (Art. VIII, section 5) that the members of the Supreme
Court should be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, we
are of the opinion that no person not so appointed may act as Justice of the Supreme Court and that
the "designation" authorized in section 14 of the People's Court Act to be made by the President of
any Judge of First Instance, Judge-at-large of First Instance or cadastral Judge can not possibly be a
compliance with the provision requiring that appointment. An additional disqualifying circumstance
of the designee is the lack of confirmation by or consents of the Commission on Appointments.

A Judge of First Instance, Judge-at-large of First Instance or Cadastral Judge, under section 149 of the
Revised Administrative Code, need not be at least forty years of age, nor have more than ten years or
more been a judge of a court of record or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines (as required
by section 6 of Article VIII of the Constitution). Here again is another point of repugnancy between
the challenged section and the constitution.

We find absolutely nothing in the context that may soundly be construed as authorizing, merely by
legislation, any change in the constitutional composition of the Supreme Court, or the performance of
its functions by any but its constitutional members. Hence, we do not see the way clear to the
proposition that the "designees" in such a case can constitutionally "sit temporarily as Justices" of the
Supreme Court.

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CSC vs. DBM


Facts
The Civil Service Commission (petitioner) via the present petition for mandamus seeks to compel the
Department of Budget and Management (respondent) to release the balance of its budget for fiscal
year 2002. At the same time, it seeks a determination by this Court of the extent of the constitutional
concept of fiscal autonomy.

By petitioners claim, the amount of P215,270,000.00 was appropriated for its Central Office by the
General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2002, while the total allocations for the same Office, if all
sources of funds are considered, amount to P285,660,790.44. It complains, however, that the total
fund releases by respondent to its Central Office during the fiscal year 2002 was only
P279,853,398.14, thereby leaving an unreleased balance of P5,807,392.30.

To petitioner, this balance was intentionally withheld by respondent on the basis of its no report, no
release policy whereby allocations for agencies are withheld pending their submission of the
documents mentioned in the National Budget Circular No. 478 on Guidelines on the Release of the
FY 2002 Funds

Petitioner contends that the application of the no report, no release policy upon independent
constitutional bodies, of which it is one, is a violation of the principle of fiscal autonomy and,
therefore, unconstitutional.

Issue
Whether or not the DBMs refusal to release appropriations to the CSC on the basis of its no-report,
no release policy is constitutional.

Held
Unconstitutional.

That the no report, no release policy may not be validly enforced against offices vested with fiscal
autonomy is not disputed. Indeed, such policy cannot be enforced against offices possessing fiscal
autonomy without violating Article IX (A), Section 5 of the Constitution.

By parity of construction, automatic release of approved annual appropriations to petitioner, a


constitutional commission that is vested with fiscal autonomy, should thus be construed to mean that
no condition to fund releases to it may be imposed. This conclusion is consistent with the June 3,
1993 Resolution of this Court which effectively prohibited the enforcement of a no report, no release
policy against the Judiciary which has also been granted fiscal autonomy by the Constitution.

Respecting respondents justification for the withholding of funds from petitioner as due to a shortfall
in revenues, the same does not lie. In the first place, the alleged shortfall is totally unsubstantiated. In
the second place, even assuming that there was indeed such a shortfall, that does not justify non-
compliance with the mandate of above-quoted Article IX (A), Section 5 of the Constitution.

If respondents theory were adopted, then the constitutional mandate to automatically and regularly
release approved appropriations would be suspended every year, or even every month that there is a
shortfall in revenues, thereby emasculating to a significant degree, if not rendering insignificant
altogether, such mandate.

Furthermore, the Constitution grants the enjoyment of fiscal autonomy only to the Judiciary, the
Constitutional Commissions of which petitioner is one, and the Ombudsman. To hold that petitioner
may be subjected to withholding or reduction of funds in the event of a revenue shortfall would, to
that extent, place petitioner and the other entities vested with fiscal autonomy on equal footing with
all others which are not granted the same autonomy, thereby reducing to naught the distinction
established by the Constitution.

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The agencies that the Constitution has vested with fiscal autonomy should thus be given priority in the
release of their approved appropriations over all other agencies not similarly vested when there is a
revenue shortfall.

Significantly, the Year 2002 GAA itself distinguished between two types of public institutions in the
matter of fund releases. While the retention or reduction of appropriations for an office is generally
allowed when there is an unmanageable budget deficit, the Year 2002 GAA, in conformity with the
Constitution, excepted from such rule the appropriations for entities vested with fiscal autonomy.
Thus, even assuming that there was a revenue shortfall as respondent claimed, it could not withhold
full release of petitioners funds without violating not only the Constitution but also Section 64 of the
General Provisions of the Year 2002 GAA.

This Court is not unaware that its June 3, 1993 Resolution also states as a guiding principle on the
Constitutional Mandate on the Judiciarys Fiscal Autonomy that:
4. After approval by Congress, the appropriations for the Judiciary shall be automatically and regularly
released subject to availability of funds. (Underscoring supplied)

This phrase subject to availability of funds does not, however, contradict the present ruling that the
funds of entities vested with fiscal autonomy should be automatically and regularly released, a
shortfall in revenues notwithstanding. What is contemplated in the said quoted phrase is a situation
where total revenue collections are so low that they are not sufficient to cover the total appropriations
for all entities vested with fiscal autonomy. In such event, it would be practically impossible to fully
release the Judiciarys appropriations or any of the entities also vested with fiscal autonomy for that
matter, without violating the right of such other entities to an automatic release of their own
appropriations. It is under that situation that a relaxation of the constitutional mandate to
automatically and regularly release appropriations is allowed.

Considering that the budget for agencies enjoying fiscal autonomy is only a small portion of the total
national budget, only in the most extreme circumstances will the total revenue collections fall short of
the requirements of such agencies.

Finally, petitioners claim that its budget may not be reduced by Congress lower than that of the
previous fiscal year, as is the case of the Judiciary, must be rejected. For with respect to the Judiciary,
Art. VIII, Section 3 of the Constitution explicitly provides. On the other hand, in the parallel provision
granting fiscal autonomy to Constitutional Commissions, a similar proscription against the reduction
of appropriations below the amount for the previous year is clearly absent. The plain implication of
the omission of the provision proscribing such reduction of appropriations below that for the previous
year is that Congress is not prohibited from reducing the appropriations of Constitutional
Commissions below the amount appropriated for them for the previous year.

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Filipinas Engineering and Machine Shop vs. Ferrer


Facts
In preparation for the national elections of November 11, 1969, then respondent Commissioners of the
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued an INVITATION TO BID calling for the submission
of sealed proposals for the manufacture and delivery of 11,000 units of voting booths.

Among the seventeen bidders who submitted proposals in response to the said INVITATION were the
herein petitioner, Filipinos Engineering and Machine Shop, (Filipinas for short) and the private
respondent, Acme Steel Manufacturing Company, (Acme for short).

The respondent COMELEC Bidding Committee Chairman and Members submitted their
Memorandum on the proceedings taken pursuant to the said Invitation to Bid which stated that
Acme's bid had to be rejected. The Committee instead recommended that Filipinas be awarded the
contract to manufacture and supply the voting booths, but that an "ocular inspection be made by all
members of the Commission of all the samples before the final award be made."

After an ocular inspection of all the samples submitted was conducted by the COMELEC
Commissioners, and after the Commissioners noted that Acme submitted the lowest bid, the
COMELEC issued a Resolution awarding the contract (for voting booths) to Acme, subject to the
condition, among others, that "(Acme) improves the sample submitted in such manner as it would be
rust proof or rust resistant. ... ."

The COMELEC issued Purchase Orders for the manufacture and supply of the 11,000 Units of voting
booths in favor of Acme. Acme accepted the terms of the purchase. Filipinas filed an Injunction suit
with the then Court of First Instance of Manila against herein public respondents COMELEC
Commissioners, chairman and members of the Comelec Bidding Committee, and private respondent
Acme.

Issue
Whether or not the lower court has jurisdiction to take cognizance of a suit involving an order of the
COMELEC dealing with an award of contract arising from its invitation to bid

Held
Has jurisdiction.

Section 5 of the Revised Election Code (Republic Act No. 180, approved June 21, 1947, the election
law then enforced) provided that, "(a) any controversy submitted to the Commission on Elections
shall be tried, heard and decided by it within fifteen days counted from the time the corresponding
petition giving rise to said controversy is filed," and that, "any violation of any final and executory
decision, order, or ruling of the Commission shall" constitute contempt of court Likewise, the same
section provided that, "any decision, order or ruling of the Commission on Elections may be reviewed
by the Supreme Court by writ of certiorari in accordance with the Rules of Court or with such rules as
may be promulgated by the Supreme Court.

Similarly, Section 17(5) of the Judiciary Act of 1948 (Republic Act No. 296), as amended, provides
that, "final awards, judgments, decisions or orders of the Commission on Elections ..." fall within the
exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court by way of certiorari. Section 1, Rule 43 of the 1964
Revised Rules of Court prescribed the manner of appeal by certiorari to the Supreme Court from a
final ruling or decision of the Commission on Elections, among other administrative bodies.

Hence it has been consistently held that it is the Supreme Court, not the Court of First Instance, which
has exclusive jurisdiction to review on certiorari final decisions, orders or rulings of the COMELEC
relative to the conduct of elections and enforcement of election laws.

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We are however, far from convinced that an order of the COMELEC awarding a contract to a private
party, as a result of its choice among various proposals submitted in response to its invitation to bid
comes within the purview of a "final order" which is exclusively and directly appealable to this court
on certiorari. What is contemplated by the term "final orders, rulings and decisions" of the
COMELEC reviewable by certiorari by the Supreme Court as provided by law are those rendered in
actions or proceedings before the COMELEC and taken cognizance of by the said body in the
exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers.

It cannot be gainsaid that the powers vested by the Constitution and the law on the Commission on
Elections may either be classified as those pertaining to its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial functions, or
those that are inherently administrative and sometimes ministerial in character.

We agree with petitioner's contention that the order of the Commission granting the award to a bidder
is not an order rendered in a legal controversy before it wherein the parties filed their respective
pleadings and presented evidence after which the questioned order was issued; and that this order of
the commission was issued pursuant to its authority to enter into contracts in relation to election
purposes. In short, the COMELEC resolution awarding the contract in favor of Acme was not issued
pursuant to its quasi-judicial functions but merely as an incident of its inherent administrative
functions over the conduct of elections, and hence, the said resolution may not be deemed as a "final
order" reviewable by certiorari by the Supreme Court. Being non-judicial in character, no contempt
may be imposed by the COMELEC from said order, and no direct and exclusive appeal by certiorari
to this Tribunal lie from such order. Any question arising from said order may be well taken in an
ordinary civil action before the trial courts.

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Saligumba vs. CA
Facts
This is a petition to review the decision of the Commission on Audit (COA) in an Administrative
Case for disgraceful and immoral conduct. On the basis of the sworn complaint of Editha Saligumba,
the COA instituted the administrative case against Leonardo Estella, Auditing Examiner III, in the
Auditors Office of Misamis Occidental. The charge was that the respondent raped Editha Saligumba
on several occasions.

The COA rendered a decision dropping the charges.

Editha Saligumba now wants Us to review the COA decision. She insists that the decision of the COA
is contrary to the evidence.

Issue
Whether or not the SC can review the case.

Held
Cannot review.30

The petition has to be dismissed for the following reasons:


1. Our power to review COA decisions refers to money matters and not to administrative cases
involving the discipline of its personnel.
2. Even assuming that We have jurisdiction to review decisions on administrative matters as
mentioned above, We can not do so on factual issues; Our power to review is limited to legal
issues.


30 Shouldve been brought to the CSC.

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NSC vs. NLRC


Facts
Eugenia C. Credo was an employee of the National Service Corporation (NASECO), a domestic
corporation that provides security guards as well as messengerial, janitorial and other similar
manpower services to the Philippine National Bank (PNB) and its agencies. She was first employed
with NASECO as a lady guard. Through the years, she was promoted to Clerk Typist, then Personnel
Clerk until she became Chief of Property and Records.

Later, Sisinio S. Lloren, Manager of Finance and Special Project and Evaluation Department of
NASECO, stemming from her non-compliance with Lloren's memorandum, administratively charged
Credo regarding certain entry procedures in the company's Statement of Billings Adjustment.

Credo was placed on "Forced Leave" status for 15 days. Credo filed a complaint with the Arbitration
Branch, Ministry of Labor and Employment, Manila, against NASECO for placing her on forced
leave, without due process. Likewise, while Credo was on forced leave, NASECO's Committee on
Personnel Affairs recommended Credo's termination, with forfeiture of benefits.

Credo was handed a Notice of Termination. Credo filed a supplemental complaint for illegal dismissal.
The labor arbiter rendered a decision: 1) dismissing Credo's complaint, and 2) directing NASECO to
pay Credo separation pay equivalent to one half month's pay for every year of service. 11

Both parties appealed to respondent National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) which, rendered a
decision: 1) directing NASECO to reinstate Credo to her former position, or substantially equivalent
position, with six (6) months' backwages and without loss of seniority rights and other privileges
appertaining thereto, and 2) dismissing Credo's claim for attorney's fees, moral and exemplary
damages.

Issue
Whether or not it is the CSC, and not the NLRC, that has jurisdiction over the case.

Held
It is the NLRC.

In NASECO's comment, it is belatedly argued that the NLRC has no jurisdiction to order Credo's
reinstatement. NASECO claims that, as a government corporation (by virtue of its being a subsidiary
of the National Investment and Development Corporation (NIDC), a subsidiary wholly owned by the
Philippine National Bank (PNB), which in turn is a government owned corporation), the terms and
conditions of employment of its employees are governed by the Civil Service Law, rules and
regulations.

In support of this argument, NASECO cites National Housing Corporation vs. JUCO, where this
Court held that "There should no longer be any question at this time that employees of government-
owned or controlled corporations are governed by the civil service law and civil service rifles and
regulations."

It would appear that, in the interest of justice, the holding in said case should not be given retroactive
effect, that is, to cases that arose before its promulgation on 17 January 1985. To do otherwise would
be oppressive to Credo and other employees similarly situated, because under the same 1973
Constitution, but prior to the ruling in National Housing Corporation vs. Juco, this Court had
recognized the applicability of the Labor Code to, and the authority of the NLRC to exercise
jurisdiction over, disputes involving terms and conditions of employment in government owned or
controlled corporations, among them, the National Service Corporation (NASECO).

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Furthermore, in the matter of coverage by the civil service of government-owned or controlled


corporations, the 1987 Constitution starkly varies from the 1973 Constitution, upon which National
Housing Corporation vs. Juco is based.

The situations sought to be avoided by the 1973 Constitution appear relegated to relative
insignificance by the 1987 Constitutional provision that the Civil Service embraces government-
owned or controlled corporations with original charter; and, therefore, by clear implication, the Civil
Service does not include government-owned or controlled corporations which are organized as
subsidiaries of government-owned or controlled corporations under the general corporation law.

On the premise that it is the 1987 Constitution that governs the instant case because it is the
Constitution in place at the time of decision thereof, the NLRC has jurisdiction to accord relief to the
parties. As an admitted subsidiary of the NIDC, in turn a subsidiary of the PNB, the NASECO is a
government-owned or controlled corporation without original charter.

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MWSS vs. Hernandez


Facts
Petitioner Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) was haled before the Arbitration
Branch of the National Labor Relations Commission on charges of willful failure to pay wage
differentials, allowances and other monetary benefits to its contractual employees. In answer, MWSS
assessed, among others, that:
1. It "is a government-owned and controlled corporation and therefore ... (the NLRC) has no
jurisdiction over the ... case"

Judgment was rendered by the labor Arbiter to whom the case was assigned, adverse to MWSS. As
regards the claim of MWSS of lack of jurisdiction in the NLRC over the case, the Arbiter made the
following observations:
... This Commission agree (sic) with the respondent that if the complainants are regular employees of MWSS, it
being a government owned and controlled corporation, said employees are within the mantle of the civil service
rules and regulations, their salaries are standardized by the National Assembly, then this Commission has no
jurisdiction in the case. ... (But an examination of the records shows) ... that complainants are not a regular
employee of the respondent MWSS, but one of a hired workers or employees for limited period, that is upon
completion of the project for which they were hired, they can be removed by the respondent, because there is no
more work or the contract has already been terminated (Sic).

The proferred deduction: while controversies respecting terms and conditions of employment between MWSS
and its regular employees are not within the jurisdiction of the NLRC, said controversies do fall within the
competence of the NLRC if they involve non-regular or contractual employees of the MWSS.

Issue
Whether or not employees of the MWSS are covered by the Labor Code or by laws and regulations
governing the civil service?

Held
Covered by the civil service.

That question, framed in identical terms save only that it had reference to another entity, the National
Housing Corporation, has already been answered by this Court. In National Housing Corporation vs.
Juco, this Court ruled that
1. "The NHC is a one hundred percent (100%) government-owned corporation.
2. "There should no longer be any question at this time that employees of government-owned or
controlled corporations are governed by the civil service law and civil service rules and
regulation "; and
3. "The decision of the Labor Arbiter dismissing the case (filed against the NHC by an
employee) for lack of jurisdiction" was correct.

Now, the character of the MWSS as a government-owned or controlled corporation is not contested; it
is, in any case, a proposition that cannot be gainsaid. Republic Act No. 6234 created it as a
"government corporation to be known as the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System." As in
the case of the National Housing Authority, therefore, employment in the MWSS is governed not by
the Labor Code but by the civil service law, rules and regulations; and controversies arising from or
connected with that employment are not cognizable by the National Labor Relations Commission.

The argument of the Labor Arbiter that it is only disputes between the MWSS and its regular
employees that are beyond the jurisdiction of the NLRC, not those between it and its "non-regular or
contractual" employees, is sophistical. There is no legal or logical justification for such a distinction.
Indeed, it is ruled out by the fact that positions in the civil service are classified into career and non-
career service, and that the non-career service includes inter alia-
... Contractual personnel or those whose employment in the government is in accordance with a special contract
to undertake a specific work or job, requiring special or technical skin not available in the employing agency, to
be accomplished within a specific period, which in no case shall exceed one year, and performs or accomplishes

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the specific work or job, under his own responsibility with a minimum of direction and supervision from the
hiring agency.

The Labor Arbiter's other postulation, that the Civil Service Law governs employment in the MWSS
in all aspect except "monetary claims," and that as to the latter, it is the Labor Code that applies, is
even more patently illogical and deserves no confutation.

But even more fallacious, almost unintelligible, is private respondents' contention that they "are not
employees of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS)"; and "not being employees
of the petitioner ... (MWSS) ... this case therefore lies within the National Labor Relations
Commission (NLRC) through Arbiter Bienvenido Hernandez." Such a contention also does not merit
refutation As absurd and as undeserving of response, too, is the claim that "Existence of employer-
employee relationship (between the MWSS and an individual) is not per se equivalent to being a
government employee."

Arguments such as these, and the fractured syntax by which they are tendered, should really have no
place in a judicial record. They cannot persuade; they do but irritate. What is worse, they produce
much waste of valuable time. They are symptomatic of defects in the training and appointing
processes that must be remedied.

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CSC vs. Sojor


Facts
Respondent Sojor was appointed by then President Corazon Aquino as president of the Central
Visayas Polytechnic College (CVPC). Later, Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8292, or the "Higher Education
Modernization Act of 1997," was enacted. This law mandated that a Board of Trustees (BOT) be
formed to act as the governing body in state colleges. The BOT of CVPC appointed respondent as
president.

Later, CVPC was converted into the Negros Oriental State University (NORSU). A Board of Regents
(BOR) succeeded the BOT as its governing body.

Meanwhile, CVPC faculty members, before the CSC Regional Office (CSC-RO), filed three (3)
separate administrative cases against respondent.

Respondent moved to dismiss the first two complaints on grounds of lack of jurisdiction. He claimed
that the CSC had no jurisdiction over him as a presidential appointee. Being part of the non-
competitive or unclassified service of the government, he was exclusively under the disciplinary
jurisdiction of the Office of the President (OP). He argued that CSC had no authority to entertain,
investigate and resolve charges against him; that the Civil Service Law contained no provisions on the
investigation, discipline, and removal of presidential appointees.

Finding no sufficient basis to sustain respondents arguments, the CSC-RO denied his motion to
dismiss.

Respondent appealed the actions of the regional office to the Commission proper (CSC), raising the
same arguments in his motion to dismiss. On the matter of the jurisdiction granted to CSC by virtue of
Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 807 respondent contended that this was superseded by the provisions
of R.A. No. 8292, a later law which granted to the BOT the power to remove university officials.

Issue
Whether or not president of a state university is outside the reach of the disciplinary jurisdiction
constitutionally granted to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) over all civil servants and officials.

Held
CSC has concurrent jurisdiction.

I. Jurisdiction of the CSC

The jurisdiction of the Regional Office of the CSC and the Commission central office (Commission
Proper) is specified in the CSC rules as:

Except as otherwise provided by the Constitution or by law, the Civil Service Commission shall have the final
authority to pass upon the removal, separation and suspension of all officers and employees in the civil service
and upon all matters relating to the conduct, discipline and efficiency of such officers and employees.

Complaints against Civil Service officials and employees which are not acted upon by the agencies and such
other complaints requiring direct or immediate action, in the interest of justice;

Complaints initiated by, or brought before, the Civil Service Commission Regional Offices provided that the
alleged acts or omissions were committed within the jurisdiction of the Regional Office, including Civil Service
examination anomalies or irregularities and the persons complained of are employees of agencies, local or
national, within said geographical areas;

II. The power of the BOR to discipline officials and employees is not exclusive. CSC has
concurrent jurisdiction over a president of a state university.

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R.A. No. 9299 now provides that the administration of the university and exercise of corporate
powers of the board of the school shall be exclusive:
Sec. 4. Administration. The University shall have the general powers of a corporation set forth in Batas
Pambansa Blg. 68, as amended, otherwise known as "The Corporation Code of the Philippines." The
administration of the University and the exercise of its corporate powers shall be vested exclusively in the
Board of Regents and the president of the University insofar as authorized by the Board.

Measured by the foregoing yardstick, there is no question that administrative power over the school
exclusively belongs to its BOR. But does this exclusive administrative power extend to the power to
remove its erring employees and officials?

In light of the other provisions of R.A. No. 9299, respondents argument that the BOR has exclusive
power to remove its university officials must fail. Section 7 of R.A. No. 9299 states that the power to
remove faculty members, employees, and officials of the university is granted to the BOR "in addition
to its general powers of administration."

Verily, the BOR of NORSU has the sole power of administration over the university. But this power
is not exclusive in the matter of disciplining and removing its employees and officials.

Although the BOR of NORSU is given the specific power under R.A. No. 9299 to discipline its
employees and officials, there is no showing that such power is exclusive. All members of the civil
service are under the jurisdiction of the CSC, unless otherwise provided by law. Being a non-career
civil servant does not remove respondent from the ambit of the CSC. Career or non-career, a civil
service official or employee is within the jurisdiction of the CSC.

Thus, CSC validly took cognizance of the administrative complaints directly filed before the regional
office, concerning violations of civil service rules against respondent.

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De los Santos vs. Mallare


Facts
Eduardo de los Santos, the petitioner, was appointed City Engineer of Baguio, by the President and
confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Later, the President, to the same position, extended
Gil R. Mallare an ad interim appointment after which, the Undersecretary of the Department of Public
Works and Communications directed Santos to report to the Bureau of Public Works for another
assignment. Santos refused to vacate the office, and when the City Mayor and the other officials
ignored him and paid Mallare the salary corresponding to the position, he commenced these
proceedings.

Issue
Whether or not Eduardo is entitled to remain in office as City Engineer.

Held
We therefore hold that the petitioner is entitled to remain in office as City Engineer of Baguio with all
the emoluments, rights and privileges appurtenant thereto, until he resigns or is removed for cause,
and that respondent Mallare's appointment is ineffective in so far as it may adversely affect those
emoluments, rights and privileges.

The petitioner rests his case on Article XII of the Constitution, section 4 of which reads: "No officer
or employee in the Civil Service shall be removed or suspended except for cause as provided by law."

It is admitted in respondents' answer that the City Engineer of Baguio "belongs to the unclassified
service." And this Court previously ruled that officers or employees in the unclassified as well as
those in the classified service are protected by the above-cited provision of the organic law. But there
is this difference between the Lacson case and the case at bar: Section 2545 of the Revised
Administrative Code, which falls under Chapter 61 entitled "City of Baguio," authorizes the Governor
General (now the President) to remove at pleasure any of the officers enumerated therein, one of
whom is the city engineer. The first question that presents itself is, is this provision still in force?

It seems plain beyond doubt that the provision of section 2545 of the Revised Administrative Code,
he (Governor-General now President) may remove at pleasure any of the said appointive officers," is
incompatible with the constitutional inhibition that "No officer or employee in the Civil Service shall
be removed or suspended except for cause as provided by law." The two provisions are mutually
repugnant and absolutely irreconcilable. One in express terms permits what the other in similar terms
prohibits.

Reconsideration of the decision in Lacson vs. Romero as far as officers in the unclassified service are
concerned is urged. It is contended that only officers and employees in the classified service should be
brought within the purview of Article XII of the Constitution. However, it seems obvious from that
definition that the entire Civil Service is contemplated, except positions "which are policy-
determining, primarily confidential or highly technical in nature."

As has been seen, three specified classes of positions policy-determining, primarily confidential
and highly technical are excluded from the merit system and dismissal at pleasure of officers and
employees appointed therein is allowed by the Constitution. These positions involved the highest
degree of confidence, or are closely bound out with and dependent on other positions to which they
are subordinate, or are temporary in nature. It may truly be said that the good of the service itself
demands that appointments coming under this category determinable at the will of the officer that
makes them.

The office of city engineer is neither primarily confidential, policy determining, nor highly technical.

Every appointment implies confidence, but much more than ordinary confidence is reposed in the
occupant of a position that is primarily confidential. The latter phrase denotes not only confidence in

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the aptitude of the appointee for the duties of the office but primarily close intimacy which insures
freedom of intercourse without embarrassment or freedom from misgivings of betrayals of personal
trust or confidential matters of state.

Nor is the position of city engineer policy-determining. A city engineer does not formulate a method
of action for the government or any its subdivisions. His job is to execute policy, not to make it.

Finally, the position of city engineer is technical but not highly so. A city engineer is not required nor
is he supposed to possess a technical skill or training in the supreme or superior degree, which is the
sense in which "highly technical" is, we believe, employed in the Constitution. There are hundreds of
technical men in the classified civil service whose technical competence is not lower than that of a
city engineer. As a matter of fact, the duties of a city engineer are eminently administrative in
character and could very well be discharged by non-technical men possessing executive ability.

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CSC vs. Salas


Facts
Respondent Salas was appointed by the PAGCOR Chairman as Internal Security Staff (ISS) member
and assigned to the casino at the Manila Pavilion Hotel. However, the Board of Directors of
PAGCOR terminated his employment, allegedly for loss of confidence, after a covert investigation
conducted by the Intelligence Division of PAGCOR. The summary of intelligence information
claimed that respondent was allegedly engaged in proxy betting as detailed in the affidavits
purportedly executed by two customers of PAGCOR who claimed that respondent used them as
gunners on different occasions. The two-polygraph tests taken by the latter also yielded corroborative
and unfavorable results.

Respondent Salas submitted a letter of appeal to the Chairman and the Board of Directors of
PAGCOR, requesting reinvestigation of the case since he was not given an opportunity to be heard,
but the same was denied. He appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) that denied the
appeal on the ground that, as a confidential employee, respondent was not dismissed from the service
but his term of office merely expired. On appeal, the CSC affirmed the decision of the MSPB.

The case was referred to the Court of Appeals which its questioned decision with the finding that
herein respondent Salas is not a confidential employee, hence he may not be dismissed on the ground
of loss of confidence.

Issue
Whether or not Salas is a confidential employee.

Held
Not a confidential employee.

Petitioners aver that respondent Salas, as a member of the Internal Security Staff of PAGCOR, is a
confidential employee. On the other hand, respondent Salas argues that it is the actual nature of an
employee's functions, and not his designation or title, which determines whether or not a position is
primarily confidential, and that while Presidential Decree No. 1869 may have declared all PAGCOR
employees to be confidential appointees, such executive pronouncement may be considered as a mere
initial determination of the classification of positions which is not conclusive in case of conflict.

Prior to the passage of the aforestated Civil Service Act of 1959, there were two recognized instances
when a position may be considered primarily confidential: Firstly, when the President, upon
recommendation of the Commissioner of Civil Service, has declared the position to be primarily
confidential; and, secondly in the absence of such declaration, when by the nature of the functions of
the office there exists "close intimacy" between the appointee and appointing power which insures
freedom of intercourse without embarrassment or freedom from misgivings of betrayals of personal
trust or confidential matters of state.

However, when the Civil Service Act of 1959 was enacted, Section 5 thereof provided that "the non-
competitive or unclassified service shall be composed of positions expressly declared by law to be in
the non-competitive or unclassified service or those which are policy-determining, primarily
confidential, or highly technical in nature."

Hence, since the enactment of the Civil Service Act of 1959, it is the nature of the position which
finally determines whether a position is primarily confidential, policy-determining or highly technical.
Executive pronouncements, such as Presidential Decree No. 1869, can be no more than initial
determinations that are not conclusive in case of conflict. It must be so, or else it would then lie within
the discretion of the Chief Executive to deny to any officer, by executive fiat, the protection of
Section 4, Article XII (now Section 2[3], Article IX-B) of the Constitution.

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The question that may now be asked is whether the Piero doctrine -- to the effect that notwithstanding
any statutory classification to the contrary, it is still the nature of the position, as may be ascertained
by the court in case of conflict, which finally determines whether a position is primarily confidential,
policy-determining or highly technical -- is still controlling with the advent of the 1987 Constitution
and the Administrative Code of 1987, Book V of which deals specifically with the Civil Service
Commission, considering that from these later enactments, in defining positions which are policy-
determining, primarily confidential or highly technical, the phrase "in nature" was deleted.

We rule in the affirmative. Such being the case, the submission that PAGCOR employees have been
declared confidential appointees by operation of law under the bare authority of CSC Resolution No.
91-830 must be rejected.

We likewise find that in holding that herein private respondent is not a confidential employee.

Several factors lead to the conclusion that private respondent does not enjoy such "close intimacy"
with the appointing authority of PAGCOR which would otherwise place him in the category of a
confidential employee.

Taking into consideration the nature of his functions, his organizational ranking and his compensation
level, it is obviously beyond debate that private respondent cannot be considered a confidential
employee. As set out in the job description of his position, the ordinary, routinary and quotidian
character of his duties and functions strikes one. Moreover, the modest rank and fungible nature of the
position occupied by private respondent is underscored by the fact that the salary attached to it is a
meager P2,200.00 a month. There thus appears nothing to suggest that private respondents's position
was "highly" or much less, "primarily" confidential in nature. The fact that, sometimes, private
respondent may handle ordinarily "confidential matters" or papers that are somewhat confidential in
nature does not suffice to characterize his position as primarily confidential.

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CSC vs. Javier


Facts
Respondent was first employed as Private Secretary in the GSIS, a government owned and controlled
corporation (GOCC), on a confidential status. Later, respondent was promoted to Tabulating
Equipment Operator with permanent status. The permanent status stayed with respondent throughout
her career. She spent her entire career with GSIS, earning several more promotions, until she was
appointed Corporate Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the corporation.

Later a month shy of her 64th birthday, respondent opted for early retirement and received the
corresponding monetary benefits. GSIS President Winston F. Garcia, with the approval of the Board
of Trustees, reappointed respondent as Corporate Secretary, the same position she left and retired
from barely a year earlier. Respondent was 64 years old at the time of her reappointment. In its
Resolution, the Board of Trustees classified her appointment as confidential in nature and the tenure
of office is at the pleasure of the Board.

Petitioner alleges that respondent's reappointment on confidential status was meant to illegally extend
her service and circumvent the laws on compulsory retirement. This is because under the Government
Service Insurance System Act of 1997, the compulsory retirement age for government employees is
65 years,

Petitioner issued a resolution invalidating the reappointment of respondent as Corporate Secretary, on


the ground that the position is a permanent, career position and not primarily confidential. Respondent
and GSIS sought to reconsider the ruling of petitioner. CSC replied that the position of Corporate
Secretary is a permanent (career) position, and not primarily confidential (non-career); thus, it was
wrong to appoint respondent to this position since she no longer complies with eligibility
requirements for a permanent career status. More importantly, as respondent by then has reached
compulsory retirement at age 65, respondent was no longer qualified for a permanent career position.

Issue
Whether or not the position of corporate secretary in a GOCC, currently classified by the CSC as
belonging to the permanent, career service, should be classified as primarily confidential, i.e.,
belonging to the non-career service.

Held
Primarily confidential.

The courts may determine the proper classification of a position in government.

At present, there is no law enacted by the legislature that defines or sets definite criteria for
determining primarily confidential positions in the civil service. Neither is there a law that gives an
enumeration of positions classified as primarily confidential. What is available is only petitioner's
own classification of civil service positions, as well as jurisprudence that describe or give examples of
confidential positions in government.

Thus, the corollary issue arises: should the Court be bound by a classification of a position as
confidential already made by an agency or branch of government?

Presently, it is still the rule that executive and legislative identification or classification of primarily
confidential, policy-determining or highly technical positions in government is no more than mere
declarations, and does not foreclose judicial review, especially in the event of conflict. Far from what
is merely declared by executive or legislative fiat, it is the nature of the position which finally
determines whether it is primarily confidential, policy determining or highly technical, and no
department in government is better qualified to make such an ultimate finding than the judicial branch.

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Judicial review was also extended to determinations made by petitioner. The intent to lay in the courts
the power to determine the nature of a position is evident in the deliberations of the Constitutional
Commission.

The position of corporate secretary in a government owned and controlled corporation,


currently classified as a permanent career position, is primarily confidential in nature.

The position of Corporate Secretary of GSIS, or any GOCC, for that matter, is a primarily
confidential position. The position is clearly in close proximity and intimacy with the appointing
power. It also calls for the highest degree of confidence between the appointer and appointee.

In classifying the position of Corporate Secretary of GSIS as primarily confidential, the Court took
into consideration the proximity rule together with the duties of the corporate secretary. The nature of
the duties and functions attached to the position points to its highly confidential character. The
secretary reports directly to the board of directors, without an intervening officer in between them. In
such an arrangement, the board expects from the secretary nothing less than the highest degree of
honesty, integrity and loyalty, which is crucial to maintaining between them freedom of intercourse
without embarrassment or freedom from misgivings or betrayals of personal trust or confidential
matters of state.

The responsibilities of the corporate secretary are not merely clerical or routinary in nature. The work
involves constant exposure to sensitive policy matters and confidential deliberations that are not
always open to the public, as unscrupulous persons may use them to harm the corporation. Board
members must have the highest confidence in the secretary to ensure that their honest sentiments are
always and fully expressed, in the interest of the corporation. In this respect, the nature of the
corporate secretary's work is akin to that of a personal secretary of a public official, a position long
recognized to be primarily confidential in nature. The only distinction is that the corporate secretary is
secretary to the entire board, composed of a number of persons, but who essentially act as one body,
while the private secretary works for only one person. However, the degree of confidence involved is
essentially the same.

Not only do the tasks listed point to sensitive and confidential acts that the corporate secretary must
perform, they also include such other functions as the Board may direct and/or require, a clear
indication of a closely intimate relationship that exists between the secretary and the board. In such a
highly acquainted relation, great trust and confidence between appointer and appointee is required.

The loss of such trust or confidence could easily result in the board's termination of the secretary's
services and ending of his term. This is understandably justified, as the board could not be expected to
function freely with a suspicious officer in its midst. It is for these same reasons that jurisprudence, as
earlier cited, has consistently characterized personal or private secretaries, and board secretaries, as
positions of a primarily confidential nature.

The CA did not err in declaring that the position of Corporate Secretary of GSIS is primarily
confidential in nature and does not belong to the career service.

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Grino vs. CSC


Facts
Petitioner Sixto Demaisip was the first appointed Provincial Attorney of Iloilo. He held this position
until he offered to resign and his resignation was accepted by the then Acting Governor. OIC
Governor later on decided to appoint respondent Arandela as the Provincial Attorney. Respondent
Cirilo Gelvezon, on the other hand, was promoted from Legal Officer II to Senior Legal Officer.
Respondents Teodolfo Dato-on and Nelson Geduspan were appointed to the position of Legal Officer
II.

Later, petitioner Simplicio Grio assumed office as the newly elected governor of Iloilo. One month
later, he informed respondent Arandela and all the legal officers at the Provincial Attorney's Office
about his decision to terminate their services. In his letter, petitioner Grio made mention of an article
pertaining to the Iloilo office of the Provincial Attorney which appeared in the Panay News and which
"undermined that trust and confidence" that he reposed on them. Petitioner Demaisip was reappointed
by Governor Grio as the Provincial Attorney, The latter, on the other hand, arranged the
replacements of the other legal officers.

Petitioner Governor Grio formally terminated the services of the respondents herein on the ground of
loss of trust and confidence. This action taken by the governor was appealed by respondents to the
Merit Systems Protection Board of the Civil Service Commission. The Merit Systems Board issued an
Order declaring the respondents' termination illegal and ordering that they be immediately restored to
their positions with back salaries and other emoluments due them.

Issue
Whether or not the position of a provincial attorney and those of his legal subordinates are primarily
confidential in nature so that the services of those holding the said items can be terminated upon loss
of confidence.

Held
Provincial attorney confidential
Legal subordinate not confidential

In Cadiente vs. Santos, this Court ruled that the position of a city legal officer is undeniably one that
is primarily confidential. The question now is should the ruling in Cadiente be made applicable to
a provincial attorney?

According to the petitioners, Cadiente must be applied because by the nature of the functions of a
provincial attorney and a city legal officer, their positions are both primarily confidential.
Respondents, on the other hand, maintain that since the Civil Service Commission has already
classified the position of private respondent Arandela as a career position and certified the same as
permanent, he is removable only for cause, and therefore Cadiente is not applicable.

We agree with the petitioners and answer the question earlier propounded in the affirmative. A city
legal officer appointed by a city mayor to work for and in behalf of the city has for its counterpart in
the province a provincial attorney appointed by the provincial governor. In the same vein, a
municipality may have a municipal attorney who is to be named by the appointing power. The
positions of city legal officer and provincial attorney were created under Republic Act No. 5185 that
categorized them together as positions of "trust."

By virtue of Republic Act No. 5185, both the provincial attorney and city legal officer serve as the
legal adviser and legal officer for the civil cases of the province and the city that they work for. Their
services are precisely categorized by law to be "trusted services."
A comparison of the functions, powers and duties of a city legal officer as provided in the Local
Government Code with those of the provincial attorney of Iloilo would reveal the close similarity of
the two positions. Said functions clearly reflect the highly confidential nature of the two offices and

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the need for a relationship based on trust between the officer and the head of the local government
unit he serves. The "trusted services" to be rendered by the officer would mean such trusted services
of a lawyer to his client which is of the highest degree of trust.

The fact that the position of respondent Arandela as provincial attorney has already been classified as
one under the career service and certified as permanent by the Civil Service Commission cannot
conceal or alter its highly confidential nature. This Court holds that the position of respondent
Arandela as the provincial attorney of Iloilo is also a primarily confidential position. The Court finds
that private respondent Arandela was not dismissed or removed from office when his services were
terminated. His term merely expired.

Further, it is therefore possible to distinguish positions in the civil service where lawyers act as
counsel in confidential and non-confidential positions by simply looking at the proximity of the
position in question in relation to that of the appointing authority. Occupants of such positions would
be considered confidential employees if the predominant reason they were chosen by the appointing
authority is the latter's belief that he can share a close intimate relationship with the occupant which
measures freedom of discussion, without fear of embarrassment or misgivings of possible betrayal of
personal trust on confidential matters of state.

This implies that positions in the civil service of such nature would be limited to those not separated
from the position of the appointing authority by an intervening public officer, or series of public
officers, in the bureaucratic hierarchy. This is an additional reason why the positions of "City Legal
Officer" and "Private Secretary to the President" were considered primarily confidential by the Court.

There is no need to extend the professional relationship to the legal staff which assists the confidential
employer above described. Since the positions occupied by these subordinates are remote from that of
the appointing authority, the element of trust between them is no longer predominant. The importance
of these subordinates to the appointing authority now lies in the contribution of their legal skills to
facilitate the work of the confidential employee. At this level of the bureaucracy, any impairment of
the appointing authority's interest as a client, which may be caused through the breach of residual trust
by any of these lower-ranked lawyers, can be anticipated and prevented by the confidential employee,
as a reasonably competent office head, through the exercise of his power to "review, approve, reverse,
or modify" their acts and decisions. Hence, there is now no obstacle to giving full effect to the security
of tenure principle to these members of the civil service.

Thus, with respect to the legal assistants or subordinates of the provincial attorney, the Cadiente
rulings cannot apply. They have been employed due to their technical qualifications. Their positions
are highly technical in character and not confidential, so they are permanent employees, and they
belong to the category of classified employees under the Civil Service Law. Thus, the items of Senior
Legal Officer and Legal Officer II remain permanent as classified by the Civil Service Commission.
Consequently, the holders of the said items, being permanent employees, enjoy security of tenure as
guaranteed under the Constitution.

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Briones vs. Osmena


Facts
Petitioner Concepcion G. Briones is a first grade civil service eligible. He was appointed as Clerk-
Stenographer in the Office of the City Treasurer of Cebu and later, she was transferred to the Office
of the City Mayor, in the same capacity as Clerk-Stenographer, but with permanent status, since then
she remained in service continuously, receiving repeated promotions and increases in salary.

Petitioner Faustino O. Rosagaran, on the other hand, is a second grade civil service eligible. He was
employed in the Office of the City Mayor of Cebu and promoted to Administrative Officer. In 1955,
he was publicly declared and adjudged "Model Employee".

The Municipal Board of the City of Cebu, acting upon the request of the respondent City Mayor,
passed a resolution creating 35 positions in the City Mayor's office, and appropriating therefor the
necessary amount for salaries for six months. The Municipal Board also passed another resolution
abolishing a total of 32 positions. Among the positions abolished in the Office of the City Mayor were
those occupied by petitioners.

The City Mayor wrote separate letters to petitioners notifying them of the abolition of their positions
and advising them of the termination of their services. In reply thereto, petitioners Briones and
Rosagaran, protested the abolition of their positions, and informed him that they will not relinquish
their positions "until otherwise determined by higher competent authorities or courts."

Issue
Whether or not the abolition is valid.

Held
Invalid.

Nevertheless, in our opinion, the decision appealed from should be sustained, but on different grounds.
Our review of the evidence on record convinced us that the reasons given for the abolition of the
positions of the appellees (alleged to be economy and efficiency) are untrue, and constitute a mere
subterfuge for the removal without cause of the said appellees, in violation of the security of Civil
Service tenures as provided by the Constitution.

Considering that the appellees have served in the office of the Mayor of Cebu, since Commonwealth
days, before the war; that their efficiency and merit has been attested by repeated and constant
promotions and increases in salary; that petitioner Rosagaran was even proclaimed "Model
Employee" as recently as 1955; and that just a short time before the abolition of their positions, the
respondents had created for the same office of the City Mayor no less than 35 new positions calling
for an outlay of P68,100 per annum, almost P6,000 a month, the excuse of promoting efficiency and
economy is most transparent and unimpressive. A decent respect for the Civil Service provisions of
our Constitution dictates that civil service eligibles, like petitioners herein who have rendered long
and honorable service, should not be sacrificed in favor of non-eligibles given positions of recent
creation, nor should they be left at the mercy of political changes.

This Court has always upheld these salutary principles. While abolition of the office does not imply
removal of the incumbent, the rule is true only where the abolition is made in good faith; that the right
to abolish can not be used to discharge employees in violation of the civil service law nor can it be
exercised for personal or political reasons. That ruling is conclusive on the case now before us.

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Abakada Group Party List vs Purisima


Facts
RA 9335 was enacted to optimize the revenue-generation capability and collection of the Bureau of
Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC). The law intends to encourage BIR and
BOC officials and employees to exceed their revenue targets by providing a system of rewards and
sanctions through the creation of a Rewards and Incentives Fund (Fund) and a Revenue Performance
Evaluation Board (Board).

Petitioners assert that the law unduly delegates the power to fix revenue targets to the President as it
lacks a sufficient standard on that matter. While Section 7(b) and (c) of RA 9335 provides that BIR
and BOC officials may be dismissed from the service if their revenue collections fall short of the
target by at least 7.5%, the law does not, however, fix the revenue targets to be achieved. Instead, the
fixing of revenue targets has been delegated to the President without sufficient standards. It will
therefore be easy for the President to fix an unrealistic and unattainable target in order to dismiss BIR
or BOC personnel.

Issue
Whether or not there was undue delegation of powers.

Held
No undue delegation

Two tests determine the validity of delegation of legislative power:


1. The completeness test and
2. The sufficient standard test.

RA 9335 adequately states the policy and standards to guide the President in fixing revenue targets
and the implementing agencies in carrying out the provisions of the law. On the other hand, Section 7
specifies the limits of the Boards authority and identifies the conditions under which officials and
employees whose revenue collection falls short of the target by at least 7.5% may be removed from
the service.

Clearly, RA 9335 in no way violates the security of tenure of officials and employees of the BIR and
the BOC. In the case of RA 9335, it lays down a reasonable yardstick for removal with due
consideration of all relevant factors affecting the level of collection. This standard is analogous to
inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duties, a ground for disciplinary action
under civil service laws.

At any rate, this Court has recognized the following as sufficient standards: "public interest," "justice
and equity," "public convenience and welfare" and "simplicity, economy and welfare." In this case,
the declared policy of optimization of the revenue-generation capability and collection of the BIR and
the BOC is infused with public interest.

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CSC vs. Sojor


Facts
Respondent Sojor was appointed by then President Corazon Aquino as president of the Central
Visayas Polytechnic College (CVPC). Later, Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8292, or the "Higher Education
Modernization Act of 1997," was enacted. This law mandated that a Board of Trustees (BOT) be
formed to act as the governing body in state colleges. The BOT of CVPC appointed respondent as
president.

Later, CVPC was converted into the Negros Oriental State University (NORSU). A Board of Regents
(BOR) succeeded the BOT as its governing body.

Meanwhile, CVPC faculty members, before the CSC Regional Office (CSC-RO), filed three (3)
separate administrative cases against respondent.

Respondent moved to dismiss the first two complaints on grounds of lack of jurisdiction. He claimed
that the CSC had no jurisdiction over him as a presidential appointee. Being part of the non-
competitive or unclassified service of the government, he was exclusively under the disciplinary
jurisdiction of the Office of the President (OP). He argued that CSC had no authority to entertain,
investigate and resolve charges against him; that the Civil Service Law contained no provisions on the
investigation, discipline, and removal of presidential appointees.

Finding no sufficient basis to sustain respondents arguments, the CSC-RO denied his motion to
dismiss.

Respondent appealed the actions of the regional office to the Commission proper (CSC), raising the
same arguments in his motion to dismiss. On the matter of the jurisdiction granted to CSC by virtue of
Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 807 respondent contended that this was superseded by the provisions
of R.A. No. 8292, a later law which granted to the BOT the power to remove university officials.

Issue
Whether or not president of a state university is outside the reach of the disciplinary jurisdiction
constitutionally granted to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) over all civil servants and officials.

Held
CSC has concurrent jurisdiction.

I. Jurisdiction of the CSC

It is evident that CSC has been granted by the Constitution and the Administrative Code jurisdiction
over all civil service positions in the government service, whether career or non-career. Respondent, a
state university president with a fixed term of office appointed by the governing board of trustees of
the university, is a non-career civil service officer. He was appointed by the chairman and members of
the governing board of CVPC. By clear provision of law, respondent is a non-career civil servant who
is under the jurisdiction of the CSC.

The jurisdiction of the Regional Office of the CSC and the Commission central office (Commission
Proper) is specified in the CSC rules as:

Except as otherwise provided by the Constitution or by law, the Civil Service Commission shall have
the final authority to pass upon the removal, separation and suspension of all officers and employees
in the civil service and upon all matters relating to the conduct, discipline and efficiency of such
officers and employees.

Complaints against Civil Service officials and employees which are not acted upon by the agencies
and such other complaints requiring direct or immediate action, in the interest of justice;

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Complaints initiated by, or brought before, the Civil Service Commission Regional Offices provided
that the alleged acts or omissions were committed within the jurisdiction of the Regional Office,
including Civil Service examination anomalies or irregularities and the persons complained of are
employees of agencies, local or national, within said geographical areas;

II. The power of the BOR to discipline officials and employees is not exclusive. CSC has
concurrent jurisdiction over a president of a state university.

R.A. No. 9299 now provides that the administration of the university and exercise of corporate
powers of the board of the school shall be exclusive:
Sec. 4. Administration. The University shall have the general powers of a corporation set forth in
Batas Pambansa Blg. 68, as amended, otherwise known as "The Corporation Code of the
Philippines." The administration of the University and the exercise of its corporate powers shall be
vested exclusively in the Board of Regents and the president of the University insofar as authorized
by the Board.

Measured by the foregoing yardstick, there is no question that administrative power over the school
exclusively belongs to its BOR. But does this exclusive administrative power extend to the power to
remove its erring employees and officials?

In light of the other provisions of R.A. No. 9299, respondents argument that the BOR has exclusive
power to remove its university officials must fail. Section 7 of R.A. No. 9299 states that the power to
remove faculty members, employees, and officials of the university is granted to the BOR "in addition
to its general powers of administration."

Verily, the BOR of NORSU has the sole power of administration over the university. But this power
is not exclusive in the matter of disciplining and removing its employees and officials.

Although the BOR of NORSU is given the specific power under R.A. No. 9299 to discipline its
employees and officials, there is no showing that such power is exclusive. All members of the civil
service are under the jurisdiction of the CSC, unless otherwise provided by law. Being a non-career
civil servant does not remove respondent from the ambit of the CSC. Career or non-career, a civil
service official or employee is within the jurisdiction of the CSC.

Thus, CSC validly took cognizance of the administrative complaints directly filed before the regional
office, concerning violations of civil service rules against respondent.

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CSC vs. Magnaye


Facts
Mayor Roman H. Rosales of Lemery, Batangas, appointed Magnaye as Utility Worker I at the Office
of Economic Enterprise [Operation of Market] (OEE). After a few days, Mayor Rosales detailed him
to the Municipal Planning and Development Office.

In the May elections of that year, Mayor Rosales was defeated by Raul L. Bendaa. Thereafter,
Magnaye was returned to his original assignment at the OEE. Bendaa also placed him on detail at the
Municipal Planning and Development Office to assist in the implementation of a Survey on the
Integrated Rural Accessibility Planning Project.

Later, the new mayor served him a notice of termination from employment effective the following
day for unsatisfactory conduct and want of capacity. Magnaye questioned his termination before the
CSC head office on the ground that Mayor Bendaa was not in a position to effectively evaluate his
performance because it was made less than one and one-half months after his (Mayor Bendaas)
assumption to office. He added that his termination was without basis and was politically motivated.

Issue
Whether or not the termination of Magnaye was in accordance with the pertinent laws and the rules.

Held
Not in accordance with pertinent laws and rules.

Under Civil Service rules, the first six months of service following a permanent appointment shall be
probationary in nature, and the probationer may be dropped from the service for unsatisfactory
conduct or want of capacity anytime before the expiration of the probationary period.

The CSC is of the position that a civil service employee does not enjoy security of tenure during his
6-month probationary period. It submits that an employees security of tenure starts only after the
probationary period.

The CSC position is contrary to the Constitution and the Civil Service Law itself. Our Constitution, in
using the expressions all workers and no officer or employee, puts no distinction between a
probationary and a permanent or regular employee; that means that both probationary and permanent
employees enjoy security of tenure. Probationary employees enjoy security of tenure in the sense that
during their probationary employment, they cannot be dismissed except for cause or for failure to
qualify as regular employees.

The constitutional and statutory guarantee of security of tenure is extended to both those in the career
and non-career service positions, and the cause under which an employee may be removed or
suspended must naturally have some relation to the character or fitness of the officer or employee, for
the discharge of the functions of his office, or expiration of the project for which the employment was
extended. Further, well-entrenched is the rule on security of tenure that such an appointment is issued
and the moment the appointee assumes a position in the civil service under a completed appointment,
he acquires a legal, not merely equitable right (to the position), which is protected not only by statute,
but also by the Constitution [Article IX-B, Section 2, paragraph (3)] and cannot be taken away from
him either by revocation of the appointment, or by removal, except for cause, and with previous
notice and hearing.

Notably, jurisprudence has it that the right to security of tenure is unavailing in certain instances. In
Orcullo Jr. v. Civil Service Commission, it was ruled that the right is not available to those employees
whose appointments are contractual and co-terminous in nature. Such employment is characterized by
a tenure that is limited to a period specified by law, or that which is coterminous with the appointing
authority or subject to his pleasure, or which is limited to the duration of a particular project for which
purpose employment was made. In Amores M.D. v. Civil Service Commission, it was held that a civil

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executive service appointee who meets all the requirements for the position, except only the
appropriate civil service eligibility, holds the office in a temporary capacity and is, thus, not entitled
to a security of tenure enjoyed by permanent appointees.

Clearly, Magnayes appointment is entirely different from those situations. From the records, his
appointment was never classified as co-terminous or contractual. Neither was his eligibility as a
Utility Worker I challenged by anyone.

Mayor Bendaa dismissed Magnaye for lack of capacity and unsatisfactory conduct. While
unsatisfactory conduct and want of capacity are valid causes that may be invoked for dismissal from
the service, the CA observed that the Memorandum issued by Mayor Bendaa terminating Magnayes
employment did not specify the acts constituting his want of capacity and unsatisfactory conduct. It
merely stated that the character investigation conducted during his probationary period showed that
his employment need not be necessary to be permanent in status.

Magnaye asserts that no performance evaluation was made when Mayor Rosales hired him until
Mayor Bendaa terminated his services. It was only 2 years after Magnayes termination, at Mayor
Bendaas behest, that his two supervisors prepared and submitted the evaluation report. Common sense
dictates that the evaluation report could not have been the basis for Magnayes termination.

Besides, Mayor Bendaas own assessment of Magnayes performance could not have served as a
sufficient basis to dismiss him because said mayor was not his immediate superior and did not have
daily contacts with him. Additionally, Mayor Bendaa terminated his employment less than one and
one-half months after his assumption to office. This is clearly a short period within which to assess his
performance. In this case, the evidence against Magnaye was woefully inadequate.

Moreover, Magnaye was denied procedural due process when he received his notice of termination
only a day before he was dismissed from the service. As well, during his appeal to the CSCRO-IV, he
was not furnished with the submissions of Mayor Bendaa that he could have opposed. He was also
denied substantive due process because he was dismissed from the service without a valid cause for
lack of any factual or legal basis for his want of capacity and unsatisfactory conduct.

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Santos vs. Yatco31


Facts
Alejo SANTOS is the Secretary of National Defense. Before an election, he was campaigning for
Governor Tomas Martin, candidate of the Nacionalista Party in the Province of Bulacan. A case was
filed against SANTOS for his supposed partisan political activity in violation of the Civil Service Act
of 1959, which prohibits all officers and employees in the civil service, "whether in the competitive or
classified, or non-competitive or unclassified service," from engaging directly or indirectly in partisan
political activities or taking part in any election except to vote.

Judge YATCO ruled that the Secretary of National Defense is embraced within the civil service who
are prohibited to take part in partisan political activities. A preliminary injunction was issued
restraining the secretary of National Defense to campaign. The Office of the Solicitor General
appealed the case to the Supreme Court.

Issue
Whether or not Cabinet members/department secretaries are covered in the Constitutional prohibition
against partisan political activity.

Held
Not covered.

The ban does not extend to those officers and employees outside of the civil service such as members
of the Cabinet. The Secretary of National Defense is not embraced within the terms: "officers and
employees in the civil service" (as disclosed in the proceedings in the Constitutional Convention
wherein the attempt of Delegate Mumar to include the heads of executive departments within the civil
service was rejected) who are prohibited to take part in partisan political activities. Cabinet Members
serve at the behest and pleasure of the President. As such, their positions are essentially political.
Although such campaigning may be seen as improper (because of SANTOS supposed deleterious
influence upon the members of the Armed Forces, who are administratively subordinated to the
Secretary of National Defense, and who are often called upon by the Commission on Election to aid
in the conduct of orderly and impartial elections), it is not considered as illegal. Injunction set aside.

Additional note so important reasons:


SANTOS and GOV were discussing the issues before the electorate and defending the
actuations of the Administration to which he belongs
Since we have a presidential form of government set up in the Constitution and the
democratic procedures established therein of determining issues, political, economic or
otherwise, by election, allows political parties to submit their views and the principles and
policies they stand for to the electorate for decision

P.S. The ban under the 1987 Constitution, Civil Service Law and Administrative Code of 1987 only
covers officers and employees in the Civil Service.


31 Digest taken from Political Law Review (Jimenez) 2011-2012

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De La Cruz vs. CA
Facts
Petitioners are public school teachers from various schools in Metro Manila who were simultaneously
charged, preventively suspended, and eventually dismissed in October 1990 by then Secretary Isidro
D. Cariio of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS), in decisions issued by him
which uniformly read -
This is a motu-propio administrative complaint separately filed by the Secretary of Education, Culture and
Sports against the following public school teachers x x x x based on the report submitted by their respective
school principals wherein it was alleged that the above-named teachers participated in the mass action/illegal
strike on Sept. 19-21, 1990 and subsequently defied the return-to-work order dated September 17, 1990 issued
by this Office, which acts constitute grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, gross violation of Civil Service
Law, Rules and Regulations and reasonable office regulations, refusal to perform official duty, gross
insubordination, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and absence without official leave
(AWOL), in violation of Presidential Decree 807, otherwise known as the Civil Service Decree of the
Philippines.

The CSC found petitioners guilty as charged. Petitioners contend that the Court of Appeals grievously
erred in affirming the CSC resolutions finding them guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of
the service when their only "offense" was to exercise their constitutional right to peaceably assemble
and petition the government for redress of their grievances. Moreover petitioners insist that the mass
actions of September/October 1990 were not "strikes" as there was no actual disruption of classes.
Petitioners therefore ask for exoneration or, in the alternative, award of back wages for the period of
three (3) years when they were not allowed to work while awaiting resolution of their appeals by the
MSPB and CSC, deducting the period of six (6) months' suspension eventually meted them.

Issue
Whether or not petitioners are guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service

Held
Considering the foregoing, we find that respondent Court of Appeals did not err in sustaining the CSC
resolutions finding petitioners guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

The petitions must be denied in view of previous rulings of this Court already settling all the issues
raised by petitioners.

As early as 18 December 1990 we have categorically ruled that the mass actions of
September/October 1990 staged by Metro Manila public school teachers "amounted to a strike in
every sense of the term, constituting as they did, a concerted and unauthorized stoppage of or absence
from work which it was said teachers' sworn duty to perform, carried out for essentially economic
reasons -- to protest and pressure the Government to correct what, among other grievances, the
strikers perceived to be the unjust or prejudicial implementation of the salary standardization law
insofar as they were concerned, the non-payment or delay in payment of various fringe benefits and
allowances to which they were entitled, and the imposition of additional teaching loads and longer
teaching hours."

In another case, we denied the claim that the teachers were thereby denied their rights to peaceably
assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances reasoning that this constitutional
liberty to be upheld, like any other liberty, must be exercised within reasonable limits so as not to
prejudice the public welfare. But the public school teachers in the case of the 1990 mass actions did
not exercise their constitutional rights within reasonable limits. On the contrary, they committed acts
prejudicial to the best interest of the service by staging the mass protests on regular school days,
abandoning their classes and refusing to go back even after they had been ordered to do so. Had the
teachers availed of their free time - recess, after classes, weekends or holidays - to dramatize their
grievances and to dialogue with the proper authorities within the bounds of law, no one - not the
DECS, the CSC or even the Supreme Court - could have held them liable for their participation in the
mass actions.

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The PBM ruling - that the rights of free expression and assembly could not be lightly disregarded as
they occupy a preferred position in the hierarchy of civil liberties - was not applicable to defend the
validity of the 1990 mass actions because what were pitted therein against the rights of free
expression and of assembly were inferior property rights while the higher consideration involved in
the case of the striking teachers was the education of the youth which must, at the very least, be
equated with the freedom of assembly and to petition the government for redress of grievances.

We affirmed the foregoing rulings in Bagana v. Court of Appeals by denying a similar petition filed
by another group of teachers who participated in the 1990 mass actions but who claimed to have been
merely exercising their constitutional right to free assembly. In Bangalisan v. Court of Appeals we
added that the persistent refusal of the striking teachers to call the mass actions by the conventional
term "strike" did not erase the true nature of the mass actions as unauthorized stoppages of work the
purpose of which was to obtain a favorable response to the teachers' economic grievances. We again
stressed that the teachers were penalized not because they exercised their right to peaceably assemble
but because of the manner by which such right was exercised, i.e., going on unauthorized and
unilateral absences thus disrupting classes in various schools in Metro Manila which produced
adverse effects upon the students for whose education the teachers were responsible.

But herein petitioners contend that classes were not actually disrupted because substitute teachers
were immediately appointed by Secretary Cario. Besides being a purely factual assertion which this
Court cannot take cognizance of in a petition for review, the fact that the prompt remedial action
taken by Secretary Cario might have partially deflected the adverse effects of the mass protests did
not erase the administrative liability of petitioners for the intended consequences thereof which were
the very reason why such prompt remedial action became necessary.

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Flores vs. Drilon


Facts
The constitutionality of Sec. 13, par. (d), of the "Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992,"
under which respondent Mayor Richard J. Gordon of Olongapo City was appointed Chairman and
Chief Executive Officer of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), is challenged. Paragraph
(d) reads
(d) Chairman administrator The President shall appoint a professional manager as administrator of the
Subic Authority with a compensation to be determined by the Board subject to the approval of the Secretary of
Budget, who shall be the ex oficio chairman of the Board and who shall serve as the chief executive officer of
the Subic Authority: Provided, however, That for the first year of its operations from the effectivity of this Act,
the mayor of the City of Olongapo shall be appointed as the chairman and chief executive officer of the Subic
Authority (emphasis supplied).

Petitioners maintain that the proviso in par. (d) of Sec. 13 infringes on the following constitutional
and statutory provisions: (a) Sec. 7, first par., Art. IX-B, of the Constitution, which states that "[n]o
elective official shall be eligible for appointment or designation in any capacity to any public officer
or position during his tenure," because the City Mayor of Olongapo City is an elective official and the
subject posts are public offices;

Issue
Whether the proviso in Sec. 13, par. (d), of R.A. 7227 which states, "Provided, however, That for the
first year of its operations from the effectivity of this Act, the mayor of the City of Olongapo shall be
appointed as the chairman and chief executive officer of the Subic Authority," violates the
constitutional proscription against appointment or designation of elective officials to other
government posts.

Held
Violates.

In the case before us, the subject proviso directs the President to appoint an elective official, i.e., the
Mayor of Olongapo City, to other government posts (as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive
Officer of SBMA). Since this is precisely what the constitutional proscription seeks to prevent, it
needs no stretching of the imagination to conclude that the proviso contravenes Sec. 7, first par., Art.
IX-B, of the Constitution. Here, the fact that the expertise of an elective official may be most
beneficial to the higher interest of the body politic is of no moment.

It is argued that Sec. 94 of the Local Government Code (LGC) permits the appointment of a local
elective official to another post if so allowed by law or by the primary functions of his office. But, the
contention is fallacious. Section 94 of the LGC is not determinative of the constitutionality of Sec. 13,
par. (d), of R.A. 7227, for no legislative act can prevail over the fundamental law of the land.
Moreover, since the constitutionality of Sec. 94 of LGC is not the issue here nor is that section sought
to be declared unconstitutional, we need not rule on its validity. Neither can we invoke a practice
otherwise unconstitutional as authority for its validity.

In any case, the view that an elective official may be appointed to another post if allowed by law or by
the primary functions of his office, ignores the clear-cut difference in the wording of the two (2)
paragraphs of Sec. 7, Art. IX-B, of the Constitution. While the second paragraph authorizes holding
of multiple offices by an appointive official when allowed by law or by the primary functions of his
position, the first paragraph appears to be more stringent by not providing any exception to the rule
against appointment or designation of an elective official to the government post, except as are
particularly recognized in the Constitution itself.

The distinction between the first and second paragraphs of Sec. 7, Art. IX-B, was not accidental when
drawn, and not without reason. It was purposely sought by the drafters of the Constitution as shown in

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their deliberation. The distinction being clear, the exemption allowed to appointive officials in the
second paragraph cannot be extended to elective officials who are governed by the first paragraph.

It is further argued that the SBMA posts are merely ex officio to the position of Mayor of Olongapo
City, hence, an excepted circumstance. This argument is apparently based on a wrong premise.
Congress did not contemplate making the subject SBMA posts as ex officio or automatically attached
to the Office of the Mayor of Olongapo City without need of appointment. The phrase "shall be
appointed" unquestionably shows the intent to make the SBMA posts appointive and not merely
adjunct to the post of Mayor of Olongapo City. Had it been the legislative intent to make the subject
positions ex officio, Congress would have, at least, avoided the word "appointed" and, instead, "ex
officio" would have been used.

Even in the Senate deliberations, the Senators were fully aware that subject proviso may contravene
Sec. 7, first par., Art. IX-B, but they nevertheless passed the bill and decided to have the controversy
resolved by the courts. Indeed, the Senators would not have been concerned with the effects of Sec. 7,
first par., had they considered the SBMA posts as ex officio.

Consequently, as long as he is an incumbent, an elective official remains ineligible for appointment to


another public office.

Where, as in the case of respondent Gordon, an incumbent elective official was, notwithstanding his
ineligibility, appointed to other government posts, he does not automatically forfeit his elective office
nor remove his ineligibility imposed by the Constitution. On the contrary, since an incumbent elective
official is not eligible to the appointive position, his appointment or designation thereto cannot be
valid in view of his disqualification or lack of eligibility. This provision should not be confused with
Sec. 13, Art. VI, of the Constitution where "(n)o Senator or Member of the House of Representatives
may hold any other office or employment in the Government . . . during his term without forfeiting
his seat . . . ." The difference between the two provisions is significant in the sense that incumbent
national legislators lose their elective posts only after they have been appointed to another
government office, while other incumbent elective officials must first resign their posts before they
can be appointed, thus running the risk of losing the elective post as well as not being appointed to the
other post. It is therefore clear that ineligibility is not directly related with forfeiture of office. ". . . .
The effect is quite different where it is expressly provided by law that a person holding one office
shall be ineligible to another. Such a provision is held to incapacitate the incumbent of an office from
accepting or holding a second office. "

As incumbent elective official, respondent Gordon is ineligible for appointment to the position of
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive of SBMA; hence, his appointment thereto pursuant to a
legislative act that contravenes the Constitution cannot be sustained. He however remains Mayor of
Olongapo City, and his acts as SBMA official are not necessarily null and void; he may be considered
a de facto officer.

The illegality of his appointment to the SBMA posts being now evident, other matters affecting the
legality of the questioned proviso as well as the appointment of said respondent made pursuant thereto
need no longer be discussed.

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Peralta vs. Mathay


Facts
There is need in this appeal from a decision of respondent Auditor General Ismael Mathay for an
inquiry into the meaning and significance of the constitutional inhibition against an officer or
employee of the government receiving additional or double compensation unless specifically
authorized by law, the decisive legal question being whether or not the cost of living allowance as
well as incentive and Christmas bonuses paid to petitioner Pedro G. Peralta, a Trustee of the
Government Service Insurance System, hereinafter called the GSIS, did fall within such a ban. The
answer given by respondent Auditor General was in the affirmative. After a careful study of the
matter, this Court arrives at a similar conclusion. Hence this appeal cannot prosper.

As set forth in the brief of petitioner, the GSIS, granted him an optional retirement gratuity. Of that
amount, he was not able to collect the sum of P7,032.26, covering P3,982.26 as cost of living
allowance, P1,275.00 as incentive bonus, and P1,775.00 as Christmas bonus. Such items were not
passed in audit. the view of respondent Auditor General being that they should be deducted from his
gratuity, although during petitioners incumbency as Trustee, no question was raised when he was
paid such allowance and bonuses. Respondent Auditor General justified his action on the ground that
they "partake of the nature of additional compensation," a trustees remuneration being fixed by law
in the form of a per diem of P25.00 for every board meeting of the GSIS attended.

Issue
Whether or not there was double compensation.

Held
There was double compensation.

Petitioner has not disputed, nor can he dispute that as a trustee, he was an officer of the government.
As such officer, petitioner cannot receive additional or double compensation unless specifically
authorized by law. Under the GSIS Act, he is entitled as trustee "to a per diem of P25.00 for each day
of actual attendance in session." As in the case of government-controlled corporations, the term "per
diems" was used in the sense of the compensation or remuneration attached to the office of Trustee. If
employed in a statute, as in this case, in the concept of remuneration, however, there must be, to
justify an additional compensation, a specific law that so provides. Otherwise, fidelity to the
constitutional command is lacking.

A similar approach is called for in determining the nature of a cost of living allowance. If it could
rightfully be considered as in the nature of a reimbursement rather than additional emoluments or
perquisites, then the ruling of respondent Auditor General cannot find support in the Constitution. He
was unable to show that the cost of living allowance received by him was in the nature of a
reimbursement. It did amount then to an additional compensation.

So it is in the case of the bonuses received by him. It is quite obvious that by its very nature, a bonus
partakes of an additional remuneration or compensation. The very characterization of what was
received by petitioner as bonuses being intended by way of an incentive to spur him possibly to more
diligent efforts and to add to the feeling of well-being traditionally associated with the Christmas
season would remove any doubt that the Auditor General had no choice except to deduct from
petitioners gratuity such items.

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Cayetano vs. Monsod


Facts
President Corazon C. Aquino nominated Monsod to the position of Chairman of the COMELEC.
Cayetano opposed the nomination because allegedly Monsod didnt possess the required qualification
of having been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. Nevertheless, the Commission on
Appointments confirmed the nomination of Monsod as Chairman of the COMELEC.

Atty. Christian Monsod is a member of the Philippine Bar but has mostly worked in business and
finance, where he has distinguished himself.

Issue
Whether or not Atty. Monsods activities constitute practice of law.

Held
Constitute practice of law.

There seems to be no jurisprudence as to what constitutes practice of law as a legal qualification to an


appointive office.

Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal
procedure, knowledge, training and experience. To engage in the practice of law is to perform those
acts that are characteristics of the profession. Generally, to practice law is to give notice or render any
kind of service, which device or service requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill.

After graduating from the College of Law (U.P.) and having hurdled the bar, Atty. Monsod worked in
the law office of his father. During his stint in the World Bank Group (1963-1970), Monsod worked
as an operations officer for about two years in Costa Rica and Panama, which involved getting
acquainted with the laws of member-countries negotiating loans and coordinating legal, economic,
and project work of the Bank. Upon returning to the Philippines in 1970, he worked with the Meralco
Group, served as chief executive officer of an investment bank and subsequently of a business
conglomerate, and since 1986, has rendered services to various companies as a legal and economic
consultant or chief executive officer. As former Secretary-General (1986) and National Chairman
(1987) of NAMFREL. Monsod's work involved being knowledgeable in election law. He appeared
for NAMFREL in its accreditation hearings before the Comelec. In the field of advocacy, Monsod, in
his personal capacity and as former Co-Chairman of the Bishops Businessmen's Conference for
Human Development, has worked with the under privileged sectors, such as the farmer and urban
poor groups, in initiating, lobbying for and engaging in affirmative action for the agrarian reform law
and lately the urban land reform bill. Monsod also made use of his legal knowledge as a member of
the Davide Commission, a quast judicial body, which conducted numerous hearings (1990) and as a
member of the Constitutional Commission (1986-1987), and Chairman of its Committee on
Accountability of Public Officers, for which he was cited by the President of the Commission, Justice
Cecilia Muoz-Palma for "innumerable amendments to reconcile government functions with
individual freedoms and public accountability and the party-list system for the House of
Representative.

Interpreted in the light of the various definitions of the term Practice of law, particularly the modern
concept of law practice, and taking into consideration the liberal construction intended by the framers
of the Constitution, Atty. Monsod's past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-manager,
a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both the
rich and the poor verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement that he has been
engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.

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Matibag vs. Benipayo


Facts
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo appointed, ad interim, Benipayo as COMELEC Chairman, and
Borra and Tuason as COMELEC Commissioners, each for a term of seven years. The Office of the
President submitted to the Commission on Appointments the ad interim appointments of Benipayo,
Borra and Tuason for confirmation. However, the Commission on Appointments did not act on said
appointments.

President Arroyo renewed the ad interim appointments of Benipayo, Borra and Tuason to the same
positions and for the same term of seven years. The Office of the President transmitted their
appointments to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation.

The COMELEC en banc appointed petitioner as Acting Director IV of the EID. Later, in his capacity
as COMELEC Chairman, Benipayo issued a Memorandum addressed to petitioner as Director IV of
the EID and to Cinco as Director III also of the EID, designating Cinco Officer-in-Charge of the EID
and reassigning petitioner to the Law Department. Petitioner requested Benipayo to reconsider her
relief as Director IV of the EID and her reassignment to the Law Department. Benipayo denied her
request for reconsideration.

During the pendency of her complaint, petitioner filed the instant petition questioning the appointment
and the right to remain in office of Benipayo, Borra and Tuason, as Chairman and Commissioners of
the COMELEC, respectively. Petitioner claims that the ad interim appointments of Benipayo, Borra
and Tuason violate the constitutional provisions on the independence of the COMELEC, as well as on
the prohibitions on temporary appointments and reappointments of its Chairman and members.

In the meantime, President Macapagal Arroyo renewed once again the ad interim appointments of
Benipayo as COMELEC Chairman and Borra and Tuason as Commissioners, respectively.

Issue
1. Whether or not ad interim appointments are temporary in nature
2. Whether or not the consistent renewal of ad interim appointments is constitutional

Held
1. Permanent.
2. Constitutional.

Nature of ad interim appointment

Petitioner argues that an ad interim appointment to the COMELEC is a temporary appointment that is
prohibited by Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of the Constitution. Petitioner posits the view that an ad
interim appointment can be withdrawn or revoked by the President at her pleasure, and can even be
disapproved or simply by-passed by the Commission on Appointments.

We find petitioners argument without merit.

An ad interim appointment is a permanent appointment because it takes effect immediately and can
no longer be withdrawn by the President once the appointee has qualified into office. The fact that it
is subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments does not alter its permanent character.
The Constitution itself makes an ad interim appointment permanent in character by making it
effective until disapproved by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of
Congress. The fear that the President can withdraw or revoke at any time and for any reason an ad
interim appointment is utterly without basis. The Constitution imposes no condition on the effectivity
of an ad interim appointment, and thus an ad interim appointment takes effect immediately. The
appointee can at once assume office and exercise, as a de jure officer, all the powers pertaining to the
office.

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A distinction is thus made between the exercise of such presidential prerogative requiring
confirmation by the Commission on Appointments when Congress is in session and when it is in
recess. In the former, the President nominates, and only upon the consent of the Commission on
Appointments may the person thus named assume office. It is not so with reference to ad interim
appointments. It takes effect at once. The individual chosen may thus qualify and perform his function
without loss of time. His title to such office is complete.

An ad interim appointment can be terminated for two causes specified in the Constitution. The first
cause is the disapproval of his ad interim appointment by the Commission on Appointments. The
second cause is the adjournment of Congress without the Commission on Appointments acting on his
appointment.

In the instant case, the President did in fact appoint permanent Commissioners to fill the vacancies in
the COMELEC, subject only to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. Benipayo, Borra
and Tuason were extended permanent appointments during the recess of Congress. They were not
appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.

While the Constitution mandates that the COMELEC shall be independent, this provision should be
harmonized with the Presidents power to extend ad interim appointments. To hold that the
independence of the COMELEC requires the Commission on Appointments to first confirm ad
interim appointees before the appointees can assume office will negate the Presidents power to make
ad interim appointments.

Clearly, the reinstatement in the present Constitution of the ad interim appointing power of the
President was for the purpose of avoiding interruptions in vital government services that otherwise
would result from prolonged vacancies in government offices, including the three constitutional
commissions. If Benipayo, Borra and Tuason were not extended ad interim appointments to fill up the
three vacancies in the COMELEC, there would only have been one division functioning in the
COMELEC instead of two during the May 2001 elections. The remaining one division would have
been swamped with election cases. There was a great probability that disruptions in the conduct of the
May 2001 elections could occur because of the three vacancies in the COMELEC.

Constitutionality of renewal of appointments

Petitioner also agues that assuming the first ad interim appointments and the first assumption of office
by Benipayo, Borra and Tuason are constitutional, the renewal of the their ad interim appointments
and their subsequent assumption of office to the same positions violate the prohibition on
reappointment under Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of the Constitution. Petitioner theorizes that once an
ad interim appointee is by-passed by the Commission on Appointments, his ad interim appointment
can no longer be renewed because this will violate Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of the Constitution that
prohibits reappointments. Petitioner asserts that this is particularly true to permanent appointees who
have assumed office, which is the situation of Benipayo, Borra and Tuason if their ad interim
appointments are deemed permanent in character.

There is no dispute that an ad interim appointee disapproved by the Commission on Appointments


can no longer be extended a new appointment. In this instance, the President can no longer renew the
appointment not because of the constitutional prohibition on reappointment, but because of a final
decision by the Commission on Appointments to withhold its consent to the appointment.
An ad interim appointment that is by-passed because of lack of time or failure of the Commission on
Appointments to organize is another matter. A by-passed appointment is one that has not been finally
acted upon on the merits by the Commission on Appointments at the close of the session of Congress.
There is no final decision by the Commission on Appointments to give or withhold its consent to the
appointment as required by the Constitution. Absent such decision, the President is free to renew the
ad interim appointment of a by-passed appointee.

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The prohibition on reappointment in Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of the Constitution applies neither to
disapproved nor by-passed ad interim appointments.

Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of the Constitution provides that [t]he Chairman and the Commissioners
shall be appointed x x x for a term of seven years without reappointment. There are four situations
where this provision will apply.

The first situation is where an ad interim appointee to the COMELEC, after confirmation by the
Commission on Appointments, serves his full seven-year term. Such person cannot be reappointed to
the COMELEC, whether as a member or as a chairman, because he will then be actually serving more
than seven years.

The second situation is where the appointee, after confirmation, serves a part of his term and then
resigns before his seven-year term of office ends. Such person cannot be reappointed, whether as a
member or as a chair, to a vacancy arising from retirement because a reappointment will result in the
appointee also serving more than seven years.

The third situation is where the appointee is confirmed to serve the unexpired term of someone who
died or resigned, and the appointee completes the unexpired term. Such person cannot be reappointed,
whether as a member or chair, to a vacancy arising from retirement because a reappointment will
result in the appointee also serving more than seven years.

The fourth situation is where the appointee has previously served a term of less than seven years, and
a vacancy arises from death or resignation. Even if it will not result in his serving more than seven
years, a reappointment of such person to serve an unexpired term is also prohibited because his
situation will be similar to those appointed under the second sentence of Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of
the Constitution. This provision refers to the first appointees under the Constitution whose terms of
office are less than seven years, but are barred from ever being reappointed under any situation.

Not one of these four situations applies to the case of Benipayo, Borra or Tuason. The phrase without
reappointment applies only to one who has been appointed by the President and confirmed by the
Commission on Appointments, whether or not such person completes his term of office. There must
be a confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of the previous appointment before the
prohibition on reappointment can apply. To hold otherwise will lead to absurdities and negate the
Presidents power to make ad interim appointments.

The ad interim appointments and subsequent renewals of appointments of Benipayo, Borra and
Tuason do not violate the prohibition on reappointments because there were no previous appointments
that were confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. A reappointment presupposes a previous
confirmed appointment. The same ad interim appointments and renewals of appointments will also
not breach the seven-year term limit because all the appointments and renewals of appointments of
Benipayo, Borra and Tuason are for a fixed term expiring on February 2, 2008. Any delay in their
confirmation will not extend the expiry date of their terms of office. Consequently, there is no danger
whatsoever that the renewal of the ad interim appointments of these three respondents will result in
any of the evils intended to be exorcised by the twin prohibitions in the Constitution. The continuing
renewal of the ad interim appointment of these three respondents, for so long as their terms of office
expire on February 2, 2008, does not violate the prohibition on reappointments in Section 1 (2),
Article IX-C of the Constitution.

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Pangilinan vs. Comelec


Facts
The petitioner Francis Pancratius N. Pangilinan and private respondent Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. were
both candidates for congressman in the fourth legislative district of Quezon City in the 11 May 1992
elections. Elmer Candano and Jose Umali, Jr. as registered voters of the fourth legislative district of
Quezon City, filed with the COMELEC a petition for disqualification against the private respondent
for violation of Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines.

Acting upon said petition, the respondent COMELEC referred the same to its Law Department
(Investigation and Prosecution Division) for preliminary investigation.

The petitioner herein together with the petitioners/complainants filed in the said case an Urgent
Motion to Suspend Canvass and/or Proclamation, alleging therein that the election returns for the
fourth district of Quezon City were being canvassed by the City Board of Canvassers and that in order
that the petition for disqualification against private respondent may not become moot and academic,
there was need for an immediate order directing the City Board of Canvassers of Quezon City to
suspend at once the canvassing of the election returns and the proclamation of the winning candidate
for Representative of the fourth district of Quezon City. The COMELEC, however, failed to act on
the said motion.

During the canvass of the returns, the petitioner, thru his counsel, objected to over 120 election
returns being canvassed by the City Board of Canvassers on the ground that they were tampered,
altered or spurious. The City Board of Canvassers, however, overruled petitioner's objections on the
ground that under Section 15 of R.A. No. 7166 and Section 23 of COMELEC Resolution No. 2413,
entitled "General Instructions for the Provincial/City/District and Municipal Board of Canvassers"
pre-proclamation controversies are not allowed in the election of members of the House of
Representatives.

The petitioner filed the present petition, claiming that public respondents acted with grave abuse of
discretion and/or exceeded their respective jurisdictions and/or unlawfully neglected to perform acts
that the law requires them to do, and that there was no plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the
ordinary course of law other than the present petition, and in support thereof, the petitioner argues that.

Issue
Whether or not Section 15 of R.A. No. 7166 and Section 23 of COMELEC Resolution No. 2413
disallowing pre-proclamation controversies in the election of members of the House of
Representatives are unconstitutional.

Held
Constitutional.

We will first discuss the constitutional issue raised in the petition. Section 15 of R.A. 7166 provides:
Sec. 15. Pre-Proclamation Cases Not Allowed in Elections for President, Vice-President, Senator, and Members
of the House of Representatives.

Petitioner contends that the above-quoted provision is unconstitutional, insofar as it disallows pre-
proclamation controversies in the election of members of the House of Representatives because it
violates Sec. 3, Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution.

The petitioner claims that the Constitution vests in the COMELEC the power to hear and decide pre-
proclamation controversies without distinction as to whether the pre-proclamation controversy
involves the election of Members of the House of Representatives or provincial or local elective
officials. Hence, the petitioner concludes, the phrase "pre-proclamation controversies" in Sec. 3,
Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution embraces all pre-proclamation controversies, including pre-
proclamation controversies involving the election of Members of the House of Representatives.

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We do not accept petitioner's contention, Sec. 3, Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution should be read
in relation to Sec. 2, Article IX-C of the same Constitution. It will be noted that the aforequoted
provision of the Constitution vests in the COMELEC "exclusive original jurisdiction over all contest
relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective regional, provincial and city
officials." It has no jurisdiction over contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of
Members of the House of Representatives. On the other hand, under Sec. 17, Article VI of the 1987
Constitution, the Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives is the "sole judge of all contests
relating to the election, returns, and qualifications" of its members. Consequently, the phrase
"including pre-proclamation controversies" used in Sec. 3, Article IX-C of the Constitution should be
construed as referring only to "pre-proclamation controversies" in election cases that fall within the
exclusive original jurisdiction of the COMELEC, i.e., election cases pertaining to the election of
regional, provincial and city officials.

It follows that the COMELEC is now bereft of jurisdiction to hear and decide pre-proclamation
controversies against members of the House of Representatives as well as of the Senate.

Sec. 15 of R.A. 7166 is not, therefore, unconstitutional. On the contrary, it is in harmony with the
1987 Constitution.

Finally, the private respondent Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. has already been proclaimed as the winner in
the fourth district of Quezon City. He has taken his oath of office and assumed his duties as
representative; hence, the remedy open to the petitioner was to have filed an electoral protest with the
Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives.

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Sarmiento vs. Comelec


Facts
Petitioners impugn the challenged Comelec resolutions as having been issued with grave abuse of
discretion in that, inter alia, the Commission, sitting en banc, took cognizance of and decided the
appeals without first referring them to any of its Divisions.

Issue
Whether or not the Comelec en banc properly decided the cases.

Held
Improper.

The 1987 Constitution provides that election cases include pre-proclamation controversies, and all
such cases must first be heard and decided by a Division of the Commission. The Commission, sitting
en banc, does not have the authority to hear and decide the same at the first instance. In the
COMELEC RULES OF PROCEDURE, pre-proclamation cases are classified as Special Cases and, in
compliance with the above provision of the Constitution, the two (2) Divisions of the Commission are
vested with the authority to hear and decide these Special Cases. Rule 27 thereof governs Special
Cases; specifically, Section 9 of the said Rule provides that appeals from rulings of the Board of
Canvassers are cognizable by any of the Divisions to which they are assigned and not by the
Commission en banc.

Indisputably then, the COMELEC en banc acted without jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of
discretion, when it resolved the appeals of petitioners in the abovementioned Special Cases without
first referring them to any of its Divisions. Said resolutions are, therefore, null and void and must be
set aside. Consequently, the appeals are deemed pending before the Commission for proper referral to
a Division.

A resolution directing the COMELEC to assign said Special Cases to the Divisions pursuant to
Section 8, Rule 3 of its Rules on assignment of cases would, logically, be in order. However, Section
16 of R.A. No. 7166 provides that all pre-proclamation cases pending before it shall be deemed
terminated at the beginning of the term of the office involved.

The terms of the offices involved in the Special Cases subject of these petitions commenced at noon
of 30 June 1992. These cases have thus been rendered moot and such a resolution would only be an
exercise in futility.

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Funa vs. Villar


Minute Digest

To sum up, the Court restates its ruling on Sec. 1(2), Art. IX(D) of the Constitution, viz:
1. The appointment of members of any of the three constitutional commissions, after the
expiration of the uneven terms of office of the first set of commissioners, shall always be for a
fixed term of seven (7) years; an appointment for a lesser period is void and unconstitutional.
The appointing authority cannot validly shorten the full term of seven (7) years in case of the
expiration of the term as this will result in the distortion of the rotational system prescribed by
the Constitution.
2. Appointments to vacancies resulting from certain causes (death, resignation, disability or
impeachment) shall only be for the unexpired portion of the term of the predecessor, but such
appointments cannot be less than the unexpired portion as this will likewise disrupt the
staggering of terms laid down under Sec. 1(2), Art. IX(D).
3. Members of the Commission, e.g. COA, COMELEC or CSC, who were appointed for a full
term of seven years and who served the entire period, are barred from reappointment to any
position in the Commission. Corollarily, the first appointees in the Commission under the
Constitution are also covered by the prohibition against reappointment.
4. A commissioner who resigns after serving in the Commission for less than seven years is
eligible for an appointment to the position of Chairman for the unexpired portion of the term
of the departing chairman. Such appointment is not covered by the ban on reappointment,
provided that the aggregate period of the length of service as commissioner and the unexpired
period of the term of the predecessor will not exceed seven (7) years and provided further that
the vacancy in the position of Chairman resulted from death, resignation, disability or
removal by impeachment. The Court clarifies that reappointment found in Sec. 1(2), Art.
IX(D) means a movement to one and the same office (Commissioner to Commissioner or
Chairman to Chairman). On the other hand, an appointment involving a movement to a
different position or office (Commissioner to Chairman) would constitute a new appointment
and, hence, not, in the strict legal sense, a reappointment barred under the Constitution.
5. Any member of the Commission cannot be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting
capacity.

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Mison vs. COA


Minute Digest

The first point that the petitioner would make is that the COA Decision, although signed only by the
Manager, Technical Service Office of the COA, was ratified or made valid because it "was adopted in
toto as a decision of the COA in the letters of then COA Chairman Francisco T. Tantuico, Jr. to Atty.
Juan T. David." The point cannot be conceded.

In the first place the "Espiritu decision" was void ab initio. As manager of the COA Technical Service
Office, Mr. Espiritu obviously had no power whatever to render and promulgate a decision of or for
the Commission. Indeed, even the Chairman, alone, had not that power. As clearly set out in the
Constitution then in force, the power was lodged in the Commission on Audit, "composed of a
Chairman and two Commissioners." It was the Commission, as a collegial body, which then as now,
had the jurisdiction to "(d)ecide any case brought before it within sixty days from the date of its
submission for resolution," subject to review by the Supreme Court on certiorari.

Hence, the adoption or ratification of the Espiritu decision by the Acting COA Chairman was
inconsequential. Ratification cannot validate an act void ab initio because done absolutely without
authority. The act has to be done anew by the person or entity duly endowed with authority to do so.

Moreover, even conceding the contrary, no proper ratification or validation could have been effected
by the Acting Chairman since he was not the Commission, and he himself had no power to decide any
case brought before the Commission, that power, to repeat, being lodged only in the Commission
itself, as a collegial body.

Parenthetically, the proposition advocated in this connection that Chairman Domingo may no longer
question the validity of the Espiritu Decision" (No. 77-142) because in assailing it, he had referred to
it as "a decision of the Commission on Audit and not merely of its then Acting Chairman," is so
patently unmeritorious as to deserve scant consideration.

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Philippine Operators vs. Auditor General


Minute Digest

The powers of treasury officials of the United States over the settlement of accounts has always been
clearly distinguished from their power over claims. It has been generally held that an account is
something that may be adjusted and liquidated by an arithmetical computation, and that claims for
unliquidated damages cannot be considered as accounts and are not committed by law to their control
and decision.

There are other fundamental reasons why Act No. 3083 could not have contemplated unliquidated
claims, or cases where the liability of the Government or its non-liability is in issue. In these cases the
most important questions to be determined are judicial in nature, involving the examination of
evidence and the use of judicial discretion. To assume that the legislature granted this jurisdiction to
an administrative officer like the Auditor General is not warranted, because it would amount to an
illegal act, as a delegation of judicial power to an executive officer. If the power were interpreted as
having been granted to the Auditor General to pass upon the rights of private persons, without the
judicial process established by the Constitution and the laws, private parties would be deprived of
their property without due process of law. For these very obvious reasons, therefore, Act No., 3083
may not be interpreted to grant jurisdiction to the Auditor General to determine and decide cases
involving unliquidated damages.

Having come to the conclusion that under the Jones law and the laws in force up to the time of the
adoption of the Constitution the Auditor General has no jurisdiction or power to take cognizance of
claims for unliquidated damages, we now come to the questions as to whether under the provisions of
the Constitution and the laws enacted thereafter by Congress, such power may not be considered as
having been lodged in the Auditor General. An examination of the provisions of the Constitution fails
to disclose any power vested in or granted to the Auditor General to consider claims. All that is vested
in the Auditor General is the settlement of accounts. "Accounts," because of the absence of any
reasons to the contrary, must be deemed to have the same meaning as accounts under the laws in force
before the approval of the Constitution. The Constitution does not grant the Auditor General the right
to consider claims. After the promulgation of the Constitution, the power was granted under the
provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 327. We have examined this law, and we find nothing therein
to show that the term "moneyed claims," the jurisdiction over which is granted the Auditor General,
should not be interpreted in the same sense that it was understood prior to the adoption of the
Constitution.

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Euro-Med Laboratories Phil. Vs. Province of Batangas


Minute Digest

The resolution of this case turns on whether it is the COA or the RTC that has primary jurisdiction to
pass upon petitioners money claim against the Province of Batangas. We rule that it is the COA that
does. Therefore, we deny the petition.

The doctrine of primary jurisdiction holds that if a case is such that its determination requires the
expertise, specialized training and knowledge of an administrative body, relief must first be obtained
in an administrative proceeding before resort to the courts is had even if the matter may well be within
their proper jurisdiction. It applies where a claim is originally cognizable in the courts and comes into
play whenever enforcement of the claim requires the resolution of issues which, under a regulatory
scheme, have been placed within the special competence of an administrative agency. In such a case,
the court in which the claim is sought to be enforced may suspend the judicial process pending
referral of such issues to the administrative body for its view or, if the parties would not be unfairly
disadvantaged, dismiss the case without prejudice.

This case is one over which the doctrine of primary jurisdiction clearly held sway for although
petitioners collection suit for P487,662.80 was within the jurisdiction of the RTC, the circumstances
surrounding petitioners claim brought it clearly within the ambit of the COAs jurisdiction.

First, petitioner was seeking the enforcement of a claim for a certain amount of money against a local
government unit. This brought the case within the COAs domain to pass upon money claims against
the government or any subdivision thereof under Section 26 of the Government Auditing Code of the
Philippines.

The scope of the COAs authority to take cognizance of claims is circumscribed, however, by an
unbroken line of cases holding statutes of similar import to mean only liquidated claims, or those
determined or readily determinable from vouchers, invoices, and such other papers within reach of
accounting officers. Petitioners claim was for a fixed amount and although respondent took issue with
the accuracy of petitioners summation of its accountabilities, the amount thereof was readily
determinable from the receipts, invoices and other documents. Thus, the claim was well within the
COAs jurisdiction under the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines.

Second, petitioners money claim was founded on a series of purchases for the medical supplies of
respondents public hospitals. Both parties agreed that these transactions were governed by the Local
Government Code provisions on supply and property management and their implementing rules and
regulations promulgated by the COA pursuant to Section 383 of said Code. Petitioners claim therefore
involved compliance with applicable auditing laws and rules on procurement. Such matters are not
within the usual area of knowledge, experience and expertise of most judges but within the special
competence of COA auditors and accountants. Thus, it was but proper, out of fidelity to the doctrine
of primary jurisdiction, for the RTC to dismiss petitioners complaint.

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Ramos vs. Aquino


Minute Digest

Appellants, in their brief, reiterate their principal argument that the order of the lower court
dismissing their motion and thus allowing their investigation by cases Fiscal to proceed, did amount
to an encroachment on the constitutional prerogatives of the Auditor General. Such a contention lacks
merit. It betrays on its face a lack of understanding of the constitutional provision relied upon. The
Auditor General, as noted, is vested with the power to examine, audit and settle all accounts
pertaining to the revenues and receipts from whatever source, and to audit, in accordance with law
and administrative regulations" all expenditures of funds or property pertaining to or held in trust by
the government as well as the provinces or municipalities thereof. That is one thing. The
ascertainment of whether a crime committed and by whom is definitely another.

From the constitutional, no less than the statutory standpoint then, this claim of appellants finds no
support. It has nothing but novelty to call for any attention being paid to it. It is singularly
unpersuasive. To repeat, it would be to stretch to unwarranted limits the constitutional power thus
conferred on the Auditor General to accede to such a plea. Nothing is better settled than that, broad
and comprehensive as it is, it does not include a participation in the investigation of charges to
determine whether or not a criminal prosecution should be instituted.

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Blue Bar Coconut Philippines vs. Tantuico


Minute Digest

The petitioners also question the respondents' authority to audit them. They contend that they are
outside the ambit of respondents' "audit" power that is confined to government-owned or controlled
corporations. This argument has no merit. Section 2 (1) of Article IX-D of the Constitution provides
that "The Commission on Audit shall have the power, authority and duty to examine, audit, and settle
all accounts pertaining to the revenues and receipts of, and expenditures or uses of funds and property,
owned or held in trust by or pertaining to, the Government, or any of its subdivisions, agencies or
instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporation with original charters, and
on a post-audit basis. ... (d) such non-governmental entities receiving subsidy or equity directly or
indirectly from or through the Government which are required by law or the granting institution to
submit to such audit as a condition of subsidy or equity." (Emphasis supplied) The Constitution
formally embodies the long established rule that private entities who handle government funds or
subsidies in trust may be examined or audited in their handling of said funds by government auditors.

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NHA vs. COA


Minute Digest

In Caltex Philippines, Inc. v. COA, We recognized the authority of COA to disallow irregular,
unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or unconscionable (IUEEU) expenditures. We ruled: "Since the
COA is responsible for the enforcement of the rules and regulations, it goes without saying that
failure to comply with them is a ground for disapproving the payment of the proposed expenditure."

There can be no dispute on the proposition that the continued extension of the services of Engr.
Murdoch as a foreign consultant constitutes at the very least an unnecessary expense.

Crystal clear from the records is that the nature of the terminal phase of the Dagat-Dagatan project
does not require the expertise of a foreign consultant. The necessity of extending the services of Engr.
Murdoch has been questioned by NEDA "considering the relatively simple supervision work required
for the final stages of the project." This observation was echoed by COA in its post audit review of
the First and Second Supplemental Contracts.

Petitioner itself has taken the position that the services of Engr. Murdoch can be dispensed with and
can well be done by Filipinos. In 1987, petitioners Board already directed its management to make
representations with KFW to replace Engr. Murdoch with a Filipino consultant if the project would
still be unfinished. Again, in its memorandum petitioner categorically admitted that the KFW
components of the Dagat-dagatan Project involved simple designs and construction procedures which
could easily be handled by a local consultant. Despite all these admissions, petitioner proceeded to
extend the unnecessary services of Engr. Murdoch as it consummated the disputed Third
Supplemental Contract. The amount of money that was spent for the unnecessary services of Engr.
Murdoch speaks for itself.

Petitioner argues that the renewal of the loan agreement with the KFW would have been jeopardized
if it did not agree to the extension of the services of Engr. Murdoch. The short answer to this
argument is that the imperative necessity to comply with the command of our Constitution prohibiting
unnecessary expenses of public funds is beyond compromise. No amount of the almighty dollar can
justify anybody, especially foreigners, to mangle the mandates of our fundamental law. The postulates
of our Constitution are not mere platitudes that we should honor only in rhetorics but not in reality. In
fine, the power to contract a foreign loan does not carry with it the authority to bargain away the
ideals of our Constitution.

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Ganzon vs. CA
Minute Digest

In resume the Court is laying down the following rules:


1. Local autonomy, under the Constitution, involves a mere decentralization of administration,
not of power, in which local officials remain accountable to the central government in the
manner the law may provide;
2. The new Constitution does not prescribe federalism;
3. The change in constitutional language (with respect to the supervision clause) was meant but
to deny legislative control over local governments; it did not exempt the latter from legislative
regulations provided regulation is consistent with the fundamental premise of autonomy;
4. Since local governments remain accountable to the national authority, the latter may, by law,
and in the manner set forth therein, impose disciplinary action against local officials;
5. "Supervision" and "investigation" are not inconsistent terms; "investigation" does not signify
"control" (which the President does not have);
6. The petitioner, Mayor Rodolfo Ganzon. may serve the suspension so far ordered, but may no
longer be suspended for the offenses he was charged originally; provided:
a. that delays in the investigation of those charges "due to his fault, neglect or request,
(the time of the delay) shall not be counted in computing the time of suspension.
b. that if during, or after the expiration of, his preventive suspension, the petitioner
commits another or other crimes and abuses for which proper charges are filed
against him by the aggrieved party or parties, his previous suspension shall not be a
bar to his being preventively suspended again, if warranted under subpar. (2), Section
63 of the Local Government Code.

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League of Provinces of the Philippines vs. DENR


Minute Digest

Hence, the decision of the DENR Secretary, declaring that the Application for Exploration Permit of
AMTC was valid and may be given due course, and canceling the Small-Scale Mining Permits issued
by the Provincial Governor, emanated from the power of review granted to the DENR Secretary under
R.A. No. 7076 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations. The DENR Secretary's power to review
and, therefore, decide, in this case, the issue on the validity of the issuance of the Small-Scale Mining
Permits by the Provincial Governor as recommended by the PMRB, is a quasi-judicial function,
which involves the determination of what the law is, and what the legal rights of the contending
parties are, with respect to the matter in controversy and, on the basis thereof and the facts obtaining,
the adjudication of their respective rights. The DENR Secretary exercises quasi-judicial function
under R.A. No. 7076 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations to the extent necessary in settling
disputes, conflicts or litigations over conflicting claims. This quasi-judicial function of the DENR
Secretary can neither be equated with "substitution of judgment" of the Provincial Governor in issuing
Small-Scale Mining Permits nor "control" over the said act of the Provincial Governor as it is a
determination of the rights of AMTC over conflicting claims based on the law.

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Borja vs. Comelec


Minute Digest

To recapitulate, the term limit for elective local officials must be taken to refer to the right to be
elected as well as the right to serve in the same elective position. Consequently, it is not enough that
an individual has served three consecutive terms in an elective local office, he must also have been
elected to the same position for the same number of times before the disqualification can apply. This
point can be made clearer by considering the following cases or situations:

Case No. 1. Suppose A is a vice-mayor who becomes mayor by reason of the death of the incumbent.
Six months before the next election, he resigns and is twice elected thereafter. Can he run again for
mayor in the next election.

Yes, because although he has already first served as mayor by succession and subsequently resigned
from office before the full term expired, he has not actually served three full terms in all for the
purpose of applying the term limit. Under Art. X, 8, voluntary renunciation of the office is not
considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term only if the term is one
for which he was elected. Since A is only completing the service of the term for which the deceased
and not he was elected. A cannot be considered to have completed one term. His resignation
constitutes an interruption of the full term.

Case No. 2. Suppose B is elected Mayor and, during his first term, he is twice suspended for
misconduct for a total of 1 year. If he is twice reelected after that, can he run for one more term in the
next election?

Yes, because he has served only two full terms successively. In both cases, the mayor is entitled to
run for reelection because the two conditions for the application of the disqualification provisions
have not concurred, namely, that the local official concerned has been elected three consecutive times
and that he has fully served three consecutive terms. In the first case, even if the local official is
considered to have served three full terms notwithstanding his resignation before the end of the first
term, the fact remains that he has not been elected three times. In the second case, the local official
has been elected three consecutive times, but he has not fully served three consecutive terms.

Case No. 3. The case of vice-mayor C who becomes mayor by succession involves a total failure of
the two conditions to concur for the purpose of applying Art. X 8. Suppose he is twice elected after
that term, is he qualified to run again in the next election?

Yes, because he was not elected to the office of the mayor in the first term but simply found himself
thrust into it by operation of law. Neither had he served the full term because he