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THEORY AND JUSTIFICATION OF JUDICIAL Assembly, must be deemed by necessary implication to have

REVIEW been lodged also in the Electoral Commission.


***In this case, the nature of the present controversy shows
ANGARA VS ELECTORAL COMMISSION the necessity of a final constitutional arbiter to determine the
Separation of Powers conflict of authority between two agencies created by the
Constitution. The court has jurisdiction over the Electoral
LAUREL, J.: Commission and the subject matter of the present
controversy for the purpose of determining the character,
I. THE FACTS scope and extent of the constitutional grant to the Electoral
Commission as "the sole judge of all contests relating to the
Petitioner Jose Angara was proclaimed winner and took his election, returns and qualifications of the members of the
oath of office as member of the National Assembly of the National Assembly." (Sec 4 Art. VI 1935 Constitution). It is
Commonwealth Government. On December 3, 1935, the held, therefore, that the Electoral Commission was acting
National Assembly passed a resolution confirming the within the legitimate exercise of its constitutional
election of those who have not been subject of an election prerogative in assuming to take cognizance of the election
protest prior to the adoption of the said resolution. protest filed by Ynsua.

On December 8, 1935, however, private respondent Pedro


Ynsua filed an election protest against the petitioner before
the Electoral Commission of the National Assembly. The
following day, December 9, 1935, the Electoral Commission
adopted its own resolution providing that it will not consider
any election protest that was not submitted on or before
December 9, 1935.

Citing among others the earlier resolution of the National


Assembly, the petitioner sought the dismissal of respondent’s
protest. The Electoral Commission however denied his
motion.

II. THE ISSUE

Did the Electoral Commission act without or in excess of its


jurisdiction in taking cognizance of the protest filed against
the election of the petitioner notwithstanding the previous
confirmation of such election by resolution of the National
Assembly?

III. THE RULING

[The Court DENIED the petition.]

NO, the Electoral Commission did not act without or in


excess of its jurisdiction in taking cognizance of the protest
filed against the election of the petitioner notwithstanding
the previous confirmation of such election by resolution of the
National Assembly.

The Electoral Commission acted within the legitimate


exercise of its constitutional prerogative in assuming to take
cognizance of the protest filed by the respondent Ynsua
against the election of the petitioner Angara, and that the
earlier resolution of the National Assembly cannot in any
manner toll the time for filing election protests against
members of the National Assembly, nor prevent the filing of
a protest within such time as the rules of the Electoral
Commission might prescribe.

The grant of power to the Electoral Commission to judge all


contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of
members of the National Assembly, is intended to be as
complete and unimpaired as if it had remained originally in
the legislature. The express lodging of that power in the
Electoral Commission is an implied denial of the exercise of
that power by the National Assembly. xxx.

[T]he creation of the Electoral Commission carried with it ex


necesitate rei the power regulative in character to limit the
time with which protests intrusted to its cognizance should
be filed. [W]here a general power is conferred or duty
enjoined, every particular power necessary for the exercise of
the one or the performance of the other is also conferred. In
the absence of any further constitutional provision relating
to the procedure to be followed in filing protests before the
Electoral Commission, therefore, the incidental power to
promulgate such rules necessary for the proper exercise of its
exclusive power to judge all contests relating to the election,
returns and qualifications of members of the National
JUSTICIABLE AND POLITICAL QUESTIONS The President, not Congress, has the better opportunity of knowing
the conditions which prevail in foreign countries, and especially is
VINUYA VS SECRETARY ROMULO this true in time of war. He has his confidential sources of
information. He has his agents in the form of diplomatic, consular
G.R. No. 162230, April 28, 2010 and other officials.

FACTS: The Executive Department has determined that taking up


petitioners’ cause would be inimical to our country’s foreign policy
This is an original Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules interests, and could disrupt our relations with Japan, thereby
of Court with an application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary creating serious implications for stability in this region. For the to
mandatory injunction against the Office of the Executive Secretary, overturn the Executive Department’s determination would mean an
the Secretary of the DFA, the Secretary of the DOJ, and the OSG. assessment of the foreign policy judgments by a coordinate political
branch to which authority to make that judgment has been
Petitioners are all members of the MALAYA LOLAS, a non-stock, constitutionally committed.
non-profit organization registered with the SEC, established for the
purpose of providing aid to the victims of rape by Japanese military From a municipal law perspective, certiorari will not lie. As a general
forces in the Philippines during the Second World War. principle, where such an extraordinary length of time has lapsed
between the treaty’s conclusion and our consideration – the
Petitioners claim that since 1998, they have approached the Executive must be given ample discretion to assess the foreign policy
Executive Department through the DOJ, DFA, and OSG, requesting considerations of espousing a claim against Japan, from the
assistance in filing a claim against the Japanese officials and standpoint of both the interests of the petitioners and those of the
military officers who ordered the establishment of the “comfort Republic, and decide on that basis if apologies are sufficient, and
women” stations in the Philippines. But officials of the Executive whether further steps are appropriate or necessary.
Department declined to assist the petitioners, and took the position
that the individual claims of the comfort women for compensation In the international sphere, traditionally, the only means available
had already been fully satisfied by Japan’s compliance with the for individuals to bring a claim within the international legal system
Peace Treaty between the Philippines and Japan. has been when the individual is able to persuade a government to
bring a claim on the individual’s behalf. By taking up the case of one
Hence, this petition where petitioners pray for this court to (a) of its subjects and by resorting to diplomatic action or international
declare that respondents committed grave abuse of discretion judicial proceedings on his behalf, a State is in reality asserting its
amounting to lack or excess of discretion in refusing to espouse their own right to ensure, in the person of its subjects, respect for the rules
claims for the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed of international law.
against them; and (b) compel the respondents to espouse their claims
for official apology and other forms of reparations against Japan Within the limits prescribed by international law, a State may
before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and other exercise diplomatic protection by whatever means and to whatever
international tribunals. extent it thinks fit, for it is its own right that the State is asserting.
Should the natural or legal person on whose behalf it is acting
Respondents maintain that all claims of the Philippines and its consider that their rights are not adequately protected, they have no
nationals relative to the war were dealt with in the San Francisco remedy in international law. All they can do is resort to national law,
Peace Treaty of 1951 and the bilateral Reparations Agreement of if means are available, with a view to furthering their cause or
1956. obtaining redress. All these questions remain within the province of
municipal law and do not affect the position internationally.
On January 15, 1997, the Asian Women’s Fund and the Philippine
government signed a Memorandum of Understanding for medical Even the invocation of jus cogens norms and erga omnes obligations
and welfare support programs for former comfort women. Over the will not alter this analysis. Petitioners have not shown that the
next five years, these were implemented by the Department of Social crimes committed by the Japanese army violated jus cogens
Welfare and Development. prohibitions at the time the Treaty of Peace was signed, or that the
duty to prosecute perpetrators of international crimes is an erga
ISSUE: omnes obligation or has attained the status of jus cogens.

WON the Executive Department committed grave abuse of discretion The term erga omnes (Latin: in relation to everyone) in international
in not espousing petitioners’ claims for official apology and other law has been used as a legal term describing obligations owed by
forms of reparations against Japan. States towards the community of states as a whole. Essential
distinction should be drawn between the obligations of a State
RULING: towards the international community as a whole, and those arising
vis-à-vis another State in the field of diplomatic protection. By their
Petition lacks merit. From a Domestic Law Perspective, the very nature, the former are the concern of all States. In view of the
Executive Department has the exclusive prerogative to determine importance of the rights involved, all States can be held to have a
whether to espouse petitioners’ claims against Japan. legal interest in their protection; they are obligations erga omnes.

Political questions refer “to those questions which, under the The term “jus cogens” (literally, “compelling law”) refers to norms
Constitution, are to be decided by the people in their sovereign that command peremptory authority, superseding conflicting
capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been treaties and custom. Jus cogens norms are considered peremptory in
delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. It the sense that they are mandatory, do not admit derogation, and can
is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality of be modified only by general international norms of equivalent
a particular measure.” authority.

One type of case of political questions involves questions of foreign WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DISMISSED.
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.”
are delicate, complex, and involve large elements of prophecy. They
are and should be undertaken only by those directly responsible to
the people whose welfare they advance or imperil.

But 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 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.
FRANCISCO VS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES It falls within the one year bar provided in the Constitution.
Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing
Facts: of the impeachment complaint and referral to the House Committee
on Justice, the initial action taken thereon, the meaning of Section 3
On 28 November 2001, the 12th Congress of the House of (5) of Article XI becomes clear. Once an impeachment complaint has
Representatives adopted and approved the Rules of Procedure in been initiated in the foregoing manner, another may not be filed
Impeachment Proceedings, superseding the previous House against the same official within a one year period following Article
Impeachment Rules approved by the 11th Congress. XI, Section 3(5) of the Constitution.

On 22 July 2002, the House of Representatives adopted a Resolution, Considering that the first impeachment complaint, was filed by
which directed the Committee on Justice “to conduct an former President Estrada against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide,
investigation, in aid of legislation, on the manner of disbursements Jr., along with seven associate justices of this Court, on June 2, 2003
and expenditures by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the and referred to the House Committee on Justice on August 5, 2003,
Judiciary Development Fund (JDF). the second impeachment complaint filed by Representatives Gilberto
C. Teodoro, Jr. and Felix William Fuentebella against the Chief
On 2 June 2003, former President Joseph E. Estrada filed an Justice on October 23, 2003 violates the constitutional prohibition
impeachment complaint (first impeachment complaint) against against the initiation of impeachment proceedings against the same
Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. and seven Associate Justices of impeachable officer within a one-year period.
the Supreme Court for “culpable violation of the Constitution,
betrayal of the public trust and other high crimes.” The complaint Hence, Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the Rules of Procedure in
was endorsed by House Representatives, and was referred to the Impeachment Proceedings which were approved by the House of
House Committee on Justice on 5 August 2003 in accordance with Representatives on November 28, 2001 are unconstitutional.
Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution. The House Committee Consequently, the second impeachment complaint against Chief
on Justice ruled on 13 October 2003 that the first impeachment Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. which was filed by Representatives
complaint was “sufficient in form,” but voted to dismiss the same on Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. and Felix William B. Fuentebella with the
22 October 2003 for being insufficient in substance. Office of the Secretary General of the House of Representatives on
October 23, 2003 is barred under paragraph 5, section 3 of Article XI
The following day or on 23 October 2003, the second impeachment of the Constitution.
complaint was filed with the Secretary General of the House by
House Representatives against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., 2. Whether the resolution thereof is a political question – has
founded on the alleged results of the legislative inquiry initiated by resulted in a political crisis.
above-mentioned House Resolution. The second impeachment
complaint was accompanied by a “Resolution of From the foregoing record of the proceedings of the 1986
Endorsement/Impeachment” signed by at least 1/3 of all the Constitutional Commission, it is clear that judicial power is not only
Members of the House of Representatives. a power; it is also a duty, a duty which cannot be abdicated by the
mere specter of this creature called the political question doctrine.
Various petitions for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus were Chief Justice Concepcion hastened to clarify, however, that Section
filed with the Supreme Court against the House of Representatives, 1, Article VIII was not intended to do away with "truly political
et. al., most of which petitions contend that the filing of the second questions." From this clarification it is gathered that there are two
impeachment complaint is unconstitutional as it violates the species of political questions: (1) "truly political questions" and (2)
provision of Section 5 of Article XI of the Constitution that “[n]o those which "are not truly political questions." Truly political
impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official questions are thus beyond judicial review, the reason for respect of
more than once within a period of one year.” the doctrine of separation of powers to be maintained. On the other
hand, by virtue of Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution, courts
Issues: can review questions which are not truly political in nature.

Whether or not the offenses alleged in the Second impeachment


complaint constitute valid impeachable offenses under the
Constitution.

Whether or not Sections 15 and 16 of Rule V of the Rules on


Impeachment adopted by the 12th Congress are unconstitutional for
violating the provisions of Section 3, Article XI of the Constitution.

Whether the second impeachment complaint is barred under Section


3(5) of Article XI of the Constitution.

Rulings:

This issue is a non-justiciable political question which is beyond the


scope of the judicial power of the Supreme Court under Section 1,
Article VIII of the Constitution.

Any discussion of this issue would require the Court to make a


determination of what constitutes an impeachable offense. Such a
determination is a purely political question which the Constitution
has left to the sound discretion of the legislation. Such an intent is
clear from the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission.

Courts will not touch the issue of constitutionality unless it is truly


unavoidable and is the very lis mota or crux of the controversy.
The Rule of Impeachment adopted by the House of Congress is
unconstitutional.

Section 3 of Article XI provides that “The Congress shall promulgate


its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this
section.” Clearly, its power to promulgate its rules on impeachment
is limited by the phrase “to effectively carry out the purpose of this
section.” Hence, these rules cannot contravene the very purpose of
the Constitution which said rules were intended to effectively carry
out. Moreover, Section 3 of Article XI clearly provides for other
specific limitations on its power to make rules.

It is basic that all rules must not contravene the Constitution which
is the fundamental law. If as alleged Congress had absolute rule
making power, then it would by necessary implication have the
power to alter or amend the meaning of the Constitution without
need of referendum.
OCAMPO VS ENRIQUEZ