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C.

PRESIDENCY canvass the votes for President and Vice-President not later than thirty days after the day of the
elections in accordance with Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution.
1. PIMENTEL vs. CONGRESS
Moreover, as pointed out in the Comment filed by the Senate Panel for respondent Joint Committee
EN BANC: Gentlemen: and that of the Office of the Solicitor General, the precedents set by the 1992 and 1998 Presidential
Elections do not support the move to stop the ongoing canvassing by the Joint Committee, they citing
Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this Court dated JUN 22 2004. the observations of former Senate President Jovito Salonga.

G. R. No. 163783 (Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. vs. Joint Committee of Congress to Canvass the Votes Cast for Thus, during the 1992 Presidential elections, both Houses of Congress adjourned sine die on May 25,
President and Vice-President in the May 10, 2004 Elections.) 1992. On June 16, 1992, the Joint Committee finished tallying the votes for President and Vice-
President.[1]cralaw Thereafter, on June 22, 1992, the Eighth Congress convened in joint public session as
the National Board of Canvassers, and on even date proclaimed Fidel V. Ramos and Joseph Ejercito
RESOLUTION
Estrada as President and Vice-President, respectively.[2]cralaw

By the present Petition for Prohibition, petitioner Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. seeks a judgment
Upon the other hand, during the 1998 Presidential elections, both Houses of Congress adjourned sine
declaring null and void the continued existence of the Joint Committee of Congress (Joint Committee)
dieon May 25, 1998. The Joint Committee completed the counting of the votes for President and Vice-
to determine the authenticity and due execution of the certificates of canvass and preliminarily canvass
President on May 27, 1998.[3]cralaw The Tenth Congress then convened in joint public session on May
the votes cast for Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates in the May 10, 2004 elections following
29, 1998 as the National Board of Canvassers and proclaimed Joseph Ejercito Estrada as President and
the adjournment of Congress sine die on June 11, 2004. The petition corollarily prays for the issuance of
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as President and Vice-President, respectively.[4]cralaw
a writ of prohibition directing the Joint Committee to cease and desist from conducting any further
proceedings pursuant to the Rules of the Joint Public Session of Congress on Canvassing.
As for petitioner's argument that "the [e]xistence and [p]roceedings [o]f the Joint Committee of
Congress [a]re [i]nvalid, [i]llegal and [u]nconstitutional [f]ollowing the [a]djournment [s]ine [d]ie [o]f
Petitioner posits that with "the adjournment sine die on June 11, 2004 by the Twelfth Congress of its last
[b]oth Houses of Congress [o]f [t]heir [r]egular [s]essions on June 11, 2004," he cites in support thereof
regular session, [its] term ... terminated and expired on the said day and the said Twelfth Congress
Section 15, Article VI of the Constitution which reads:
serving the term 2001 to 2004 passed out of legal existence." Henceforth, petitioner goes on, "all
pending matters and proceedings terminate upon the expiration of ... Congress." To advance this view,
he relies on "legislative procedure, precedent or practice [as] borne [out] by the rules of both Houses of Sec. 15. The Congress shall convene once every year on the fourth Monday of July for its regular
Congress." session, unless a different date is fixed by law, and shall continue to be in session for such number of
days as it may determine until thirty days before the opening of its next regular session, exclusive of
Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. The President may call a special session at any time.
Given the importance of the constitutional issue raised and to put to rest all questions regarding the
regularity, validity or constitutionality of the canvassing of votes fro President and Vice-President in
the recently concluded national elections, this Court assumes jurisdiction over the instant petition Contrary to petitioner's argument, however, the term of the present Twelfth Congress did not
pursuant to its power and duty "to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion terminate and expire upon the adjournment sine die of the regular session of both Houses on June 11,
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the 2004.
Government" under Section 1 of Article VIII of the Constitution and its original jurisdiction over
petitions for prohibition under Section 5 of the same Article. Section 15, Article VI of the Constitution cited by petitioner does not pertain to the term of Congress,
but to its regular annual legislative sessions and the mandatory 30-day recess before the opening of its
After a considered and judicious examination of the arguments raised by petitioner as well as those next regular session (subject to the power of the President to call a special session at any time).
presented in the Comments filed by the Solicitor General and respondent Joint Committee, this Court
finds that the petition has absolutely no basis under the Constitution and must, therefore, be dismissed. Section 4 of Article VIII also of the Constitution clearly provides that "[t]he term of office of the
Senators shall be six years and shall commence, unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on the
Petitioner's claim that his arguments are buttressed by "legislative procedure, precedent or practice [as] thirtieth day of June next following their election." Similarly, Section 7 of the same Article provides that
borne [out] by the rules of both Houses of Congress" is directly contradicted by Section 42 of Rule XIV "[t]he Members of the House of Representatives shall be elected for a term of three years which shall
of the Rules adopted by the Senate, of which he is an incumbent member.� This section clearly begin, unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their
provides that the Senate shall convene in joint session during any voluntary or compulsory recess to
election." Consequently, there being no law to the contrary, until June 30, 2004, the present Twelfth The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election,
Congress to which the present legislators belong cannot be said to have "passed out of legal existence." returns, and qualifications of the President or Vice-President, and may promulgate its rules for the
purpose.
The legislative functions of the Twelfth Congress may have come to a close upon the final
adjournment of its regular sessions on June 11, 2004, but this does not affect its non- While petitioner concedes that the Supreme Court is "authorized to promulgate its rules for the
legislative functions, such as that of being the National Board of Canvassers. In fact, the joint public purpose," he chafes at the creation of a purportedly "separate tribunal" complemented by a budget
session of both Houses of Congress convened by express directive of Section 4, Article VII of the
allocation, a seal, a set of personnel and confidential employees, to effect the constitutional mandate.
Constitution to canvass the votes for and to proclaim the newly elected President and Vice-President
Petitioner’s averment is supposedly supported by the provisions of the 2005 Rules of the Presidential
has not, and cannot, adjourn sine dieuntil it has accomplished its constitutionally mandated tasks. For
only when a board of canvassers has completed its functions is it rendered functus officio. Its Electoral Tribunal (2005 PET Rules),3 specifically:
membership may change, but it retains its authority as a board until it has accomplished its purposes.
(Pelayo v. Commission on Elections, 23 SCRA 1374, 1385 [1968], citing Bautista v. Fugoso, 60 Phil. 383, 389 (1) Rule 3 which provides for membership of the PET wherein the Chief Justice and the Associate
[1934] and Aquino v. Commission on Elections, L-28392, January 29 1968) Justices are designated as "Chairman and Members," respectively;

Since the Twelfth Congress has not yet completed its non-legislative duty to canvass the votes and (2) Rule 8(e) which authorizes the Chairman of the PET to appoint employees and confidential
proclaim the duly elected President and Vice-President, its existence as the National Board of employees of every member thereof;
Canvassers, as well as that of the Joint Committee to which it referred the preliminary tasks of
authenticating and canvassing the certificates of canvass, has not become functus officio. (3) Rule 9 which provides for a separate "Administrative Staff of the Tribunal" with the appointment of
a Clerk and a Deputy Clerk of the Tribunal who, at the discretion of the PET, may designate the Clerk
In sum, despite the adjournment sine die of Congress, there is no legal impediment to the Joint of Court (en banc) as the Clerk of the Tribunal; and
Committee completing the tasks assigned to it and transmitting its report for the approval of the joint
public session of both Houses of Congress, which may reconvene without need of call by the President (4) Rule 11 which provides for a "seal" separate and distinct from the Supreme Court seal.
to a special session.
Grudgingly, petitioner throws us a bone by acknowledging that the invoked constitutional provision
WHEREFORE, the instant Petition is hereby DISMISSED. does allow the "appointment of additional personnel."

Vitug, J., on official leave; Ynares-Santiago and Austria-Martinez, JJ., on leave. Further, petitioner highlights our decision in Buac v. COMELEC4 which peripherally declared that
"contests involving the President and the Vice-President fall within the exclusive original jurisdiction of
Very truly yours, the PET, x x x in the exercise of quasi-judicial power." On this point, petitioner reiterates that the
constitution of the PET, with the designation of the Members of the Court as Chairman and Members
(Sgd.) LUZVIMINDA D. PUNO thereof, contravenes Section 12, Article VIII of the Constitution, which prohibits the designation of
Clerk of Court Members of the Supreme Court and of other courts established by law to any agency performing quasi-
judicial or administrative functions.
2. ATTY. ROMULO B. MACALINTAL, Petitioner, vs. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL,
Respondent. The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), as directed in our Resolution dated April 6, 2010, filed a
Comment5 thereon. At the outset, the OSG points out that the petition filed by Atty. Macalintal is
NACHURA, J.: unspecified and without statutory basis; "the liberal approach in its preparation x x x is a violation of
the well known rules of practice and pleading in this jurisdiction."
Confronting us is an undesignated petition1 filed by Atty. Romulo B. Macalintal (Atty. Macalintal), that
questions the constitution of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) as an illegal and unauthorized In all, the OSG crystallizes the following issues for resolution of the Court:
progeny of Section 4,2 Article VII of the Constitution:
I
WHETHER x x x PETITIONER HAS LOCUS STANDI TO FILE THE INSTANT PETITION. settled on the test laid down in Baker v. Carr:10 "whether the party has alleged such a personal stake in
the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation
II of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult questions."11 Until and
unless such actual or threatened injury is established, the complainant is not clothed with legal
WHETHER x x x THE CREATION OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL IS
personality to raise the constitutional question.
UNCONSTITUTIONAL FOR BEING A VIOLATION OF PARAGRAPH 7, SECTION 4 OF ARTICLE
VII OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION. Our pronouncements in David v. Macapagal-Arroyo12 illuminate:

III 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.
WHETHER x x x THE DESIGNATION OF MEMBERS OF THE SUPREME COURT AS MEMBERS OF
He may be a person who is affected no differently from any other person. He could be suing as a
THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL FOR BEING A
"stranger," or in the category of a "citizen," or "taxpayer." In either case, he has to adequately show that
VIOLATION OF SECTION 12, ARTICLE VIII OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION.6
he is entitled to seek judicial protection. In other words, he has to make out a sufficient interest in the
In his Reply,7 petitioner maintains that: vindication of the public order and the securing of relief as a" citizen" or "taxpayer."

1. He has legal standing to file the petition given his averment of transcendental importance of the xxxx
issues raised therein;
However, to prevent just about any person from seeking judicial interference in any official policy or
2. The creation of the PET, a separate tribunal from the Supreme Court, violates Section 4, Article VII of act with which he disagreed with, and thus hinders the activities of governmental agencies engaged in
the Constitution; and public service, the United States Supreme Court laid down the more stringent "direct injury" test in Ex
Parte Levitt, later reaffirmed in Tileston v. Ullman. The same Court ruled that for a private individual
3. The PET, being a separate tribunal, exercises quasi-judicial functions contrary to Section 12, Article to invoke the judicial power to determine the validity of an executive or legislative action, he must
VIII of the Constitution. show that he has sustained a direct injury as a result of that action, and it is not sufficient that he has a
general interest common to all members of the public.
We winnow the meanderings of petitioner into the singular issue of whether the constitution of the
PET, composed of the Members of this Court, is unconstitutional, and violates Section 4, Article VII and This Court adopted the "direct injury" test in our jurisdiction. In People v. Vera, it held that the person
Section 12, Article VIII of the Constitution. 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." The Vera doctrine was upheld in a litany
But first, we dispose of the procedural issue of whether petitioner has standing to file the present
of cases, such as, Custodio v. President of the Senate, Manila Race Horse Trainers’ Association v. De la
petition.
Fuente, Pascual v. Secretary of Public Works and Anti-Chinese League of the Philippines v. Felix.

The issue of locus standi is derived from the following requisites of a judicial inquiry:
However, being a mere procedural technicality, the requirement of locus standi may be waived by the

1. There must be an actual case or controversy; 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.
2. The question of constitutionality must be raised by the proper party; Such liberality was neither a rarity nor accidental. In Aquino v. Comelec, this Court resolved to pass
upon the issues raised due to the "far-reaching implications" of the petition notwithstanding its
3. The constitutional question must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and categorical statement that petitioner therein had no personality to file the suit. Indeed, there is a chain
of cases where this liberal policy has been observed, allowing ordinary citizens, members of Congress,
4. The decision of the constitutional question must be necessary to the determination of the case itself.8
and civic organizations to prosecute actions involving the constitutionality or validity of laws,
On more than one occasion we have characterized a proper party as one who has sustained or is in regulations and rulings.
immediate danger of sustaining an injury as a result of the act complained of.9 The dust has long
xxxx Prior to petitioner’s appearance as counsel for then protestee Macapagal-Arroyo, we had occasion to
affirm the grant of original jurisdiction to this Court as a Presidential Electoral Tribunal in the
By way of summary, the following rules may be culled from the cases decided by this Court. auspicious case of Tecson v. Commission on Elections.15 Thus -
Taxpayers, voters, concerned citizens, and legislators may be accorded standing to sue, provided that
the following requirements are met: Petitioners Tecson, et al., in G.R. No. 161434, and Velez, in G.R. No. 161634, invoke the provisions of
Article VII, Section 4, paragraph 7, of the 1987 Constitution in assailing the jurisdiction of the
(1) cases involve constitutional issues; COMELEC when it took cognizance of SPA No. 04-003 and in urging the Supreme Court to instead
take on the petitions they directly instituted before it. The Constitutional provision cited reads:
(2) for taxpayers, there must be a claim of illegal disbursement of public funds or that the tax measure
is unconstitutional; "The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election,
returns, and qualifications of the President or Vice-President, and may promulgate its rules for the
(3) for voters, there must be a showing of obvious interest in the validity of the election law in question;
purpose."
(4) for concerned citizens, there must be a showing that the issues raised are of transcendental
The provision is an innovation of the 1987 Constitution. The omission in the 1935 and the 1973
importance which must be settled early; and
Constitution to designate any tribunal to be the sole judge of presidential and vice-presidential
(5) for legislators, there must be a claim that the official action complained of infringes upon their contests, has constrained this Court to declare, in Lopez vs. Roxas, as "not (being) justiciable"
prerogatives as legislators. controversies or disputes involving contests on the elections, returns and qualifications of the President
or Vice-President. The constitutional lapse prompted Congress, on 21 June 1957, to enact Republic Act
Contrary to the well-settled actual and direct injury test, petitioner has simply alleged a generalized No. 1793, "An Act Constituting an Independent Presidential Electoral Tribunal to Try, Hear and Decide
interest in the outcome of this case, and succeeds only in muddling the issues. Paragraph 2 of the Protests Contesting the Election of the President-Elect and the Vice-President-Elect of the Philippines
petition reads: and Providing for the Manner of Hearing the Same." Republic Act 1793 designated the Chief Justice
and the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court to be the members of the tribunal. Although the
2. x x x Since the creation and continued operation of the PET involves the use of public funds and the
subsequent adoption of the parliamentary form of government under the 1973 Constitution might have
issue raised herein is of transcendental importance, it is petitioner’s humble submission that, as a
implicitly affected Republic Act No. 1793, the statutory set-up, nonetheless, would now be deemed
citizen, a taxpayer and a member of the BAR, he has the legal standing to file this petition.
revived under the present Section 4, paragraph 7, of the 1987 Constitution.

But even if his submission is valid, petitioner’s standing is still imperiled by the white elephant in the
Former Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, in his separate opinion, was even more categorical:
petition, i.e., his appearance as counsel for former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Macapagal-
Arroyo) in the election protest filed by 2004 presidential candidate Fernando Poe, Jr. before the The Court is unanimous on the issue of jurisdiction. It has no jurisdiction on the Tecson and Valdez
Presidential Electoral Tribunal,13 because judicial inquiry, as mentioned above, requires that the petitions. Petitioners cannot invoke Article VII, Section 4, par. 7 of the Constitution which provides:
constitutional question be raised at the earliest possible opportunity.14 Such appearance as counsel
before the Tribunal, to our mind, would have been the first opportunity to challenge the "The Supreme Court, sitting en banc shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election,
constitutionality of the Tribunal’s constitution. returns and qualifications of the President or Vice President and may promulgate its rules for the
purpose."
Although there are recognized exceptions to this requisite, we find none in this instance. Petitioner is
unmistakably estopped from assailing the jurisdiction of the PET before which tribunal he had The word "contest" in the provision means that the jurisdiction of this Court can only be invoked after
ubiquitously appeared and had acknowledged its jurisdiction in 2004. His failure to raise a seasonable the election and proclamation of a President or Vice President. There can be no "contest" before a
constitutional challenge at that time, coupled with his unconditional acceptance of the Tribunal’s winner is proclaimed.16
authority over the case he was defending, translates to the clear absence of an indispensable requisite
Similarly, in her separate opinion, Justice Alicia Austria-Martinez declared:
for the proper invocation of this Court’s power of judicial review. Even on this score alone, the petition
ought to be dismissed outright.
G.R. Nos. 161434 and 161634 invoke the Court’s exclusive jurisdiction under the last paragraph of As the Constitution is not primarily a lawyer’s document, it being essential for the rule of law to obtain
Section 4, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. I agree with the majority opinion that these petitions that it should ever be present in the people’s consciousness, its language as much as possible should be
should be dismissed outright for prematurity. The Court has no jurisdiction at this point of time to understood in the sense they have in common use. What it says according to the text of the provision to
entertain said petitions. be construed compels acceptance and negates the power of the courts to alter it, based on the postulate
that the framers and the people mean what they say. Thus these are cases where the need for
The Supreme Court, as a Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) and construction is reduced to a minimum.
House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) are electoral tribunals, each specifically and
exclusively clothed with jurisdiction by the Constitution to act respectively as "sole judge of all contests However, where there is ambiguity or doubt, the words of the Constitution should be interpreted in
relating to the election, returns, and qualifications" of the President and Vice-President, Senators, and accordance with the intent of its framers or ratio legis et anima. A doubtful provision must be
Representatives. In a litany of cases, this Court has long recognized that these electoral tribunals examined in light of the history of the times, and the condition and circumstances surrounding the
exercise jurisdiction over election contests only after a candidate has already been proclaimed winner framing of the Constitution.21 In following this guideline, courts should bear in mind the object sought
in an election. Rules 14 and 15 of the Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal provide that, for to be accomplished in adopting a doubtful constitutional provision, and the evils sought to be
President or Vice-President, election protest or quo warranto may be filed after the proclamation of the prevented or remedied.22 Consequently, the intent of the framers and the people ratifying the
winner.17 constitution, and not the panderings of self-indulgent men, should be given effect.

Petitioner, a prominent election lawyer who has filed several cases before this Court involving Last, ut magis valeat quam pereat – the Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole. We intoned thus in
constitutional and election law issues, including, among others, the constitutionality of certain the landmark case of Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary:23
provisions of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9189 (The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003),18 cannot claim
ignorance of: (1) the invocation of our jurisdiction under Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution; and It is a well-established rule in constitutional construction that no one provision of the Constitution is to

(2) the unanimous holding thereon. Unquestionably, the overarching framework affirmed in Tecson v. be separated from all the others, to be considered alone, but that all the provisions bearing upon a
Commission on Elections19 is that the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction to decide presidential particular subject are to be brought into view and to be so interpreted as to effectuate the great

and vice-presidential election protests while concurrently acting as an independent Electoral Tribunal. purposes of the instrument. Sections bearing on a particular subject should be considered and
interpreted together as to effectuate the whole purpose of the Constitution and one section is not to be
Despite the foregoing, petitioner is adamant on his contention that the provision, as worded, does not allowed to defeat another, if by any reasonable construction, the two can be made to stand together.
authorize the constitution of the PET. And although he concedes that the Supreme Court may
promulgate its rules for this purpose, petitioner is insistent that the constitution of the PET is In other words, the court must harmonize them, if practicable, and must lean in favor of a construction
unconstitutional. However, petitioner avers that it allows the Court to appoint additional personnel for which will render every word operative, rather than one which may make the words idle and

the purpose, notwithstanding the silence of the constitutional provision. nugatory.

Petitioner’s pastiche arguments are all hurled at the Court, hopeful that at least one might possibly We had earlier expounded on this rule of construction in Chiongbian v. De Leon, et al., 24 to wit:

stick. But these arguments fail to elucidate on the scope of the rules the Supreme Court is allowed to
[T]he members of the Constitutional Convention could not have dedicated a provision of our
promulgate. Apparently, petitioner’s concept of this adjunct of judicial power is very restrictive.
Constitution merely for the benefit of one person without considering that it could also affect others.
Fortunately, thanks in no part to petitioner’s opinion, we are guided by well-settled principles of
When they adopted subsection 2, they permitted, if not willed, that said provision should function to
constitutional construction.
the full extent of its substance and its terms, not by itself alone, but in conjunction with all other
Verba legis dictates that wherever possible, the words used in the Constitution must be given their provisions of that great document.
ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed, in which case the significance thus
On its face, the contentious constitutional provision does not specify the establishment of the PET. But
attached to them prevails. This Court, speaking through former Chief Justice Enrique Fernando, in J.M.
neither does it preclude, much less prohibit, otherwise. It entertains divergent interpretations which,
Tuason & Co., Inc. v. Land Tenure Administration20 instructs:
though unacceptable to petitioner, do not include his restrictive view – one which really does not offer
a solution.
Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution, the provision under scrutiny, should be read with other MR. REGALADO. My personal position is that the rule-making power of the Supreme Court with
related provisions of the Constitution such as the parallel provisions on the Electoral Tribunals of the respect to its internal procedure is already implicit under the Article on the Judiciary; considering,
Senate and the House of Representatives. however, that according to the Commissioner, the purpose of this is to indicate the sole power of the
Supreme Court without intervention by the legislature in the promulgation of its rules on this
Before we resort to the records of the Constitutional Commission, we discuss the framework of judicial particular point, I think I will personally recommend its acceptance to the Committee.26
power mapped out in the Constitution. Contrary to petitioner’s assertion, the Supreme Court’s
constitutional mandate to act as sole judge of election contests involving our country’s highest public xxxx
officials, and its rule-making authority in connection therewith, is not restricted; it includes all
necessary powers implicit in the exercise thereof. MR. NOLLEDO. x x x.

We recall the unprecedented and trailblazing case of Marcos v. Manglapus:25 With respect to Sections 10 and 11 on page 8, I understand that the Committee has also created an
Electoral Tribunal in the Senate and a Commission on Appointments which may cover membership
The 1987 Constitution has fully restored the separation of powers of the three great branches of from both Houses. But my question is: It seems to me that the committee report does not indicate
government. To recall the words of Justice Laurel in Angara v. Electoral Commission, "the Constitution which body should promulgate the rules that shall govern the Electoral Tribunal and the Commission
has blocked but with deft strokes and in bold lines, allotment of power to the executive, the legislative on Appointments. Who shall then promulgate the rules of these bodies?
and the judicial departments of the government." Thus, the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides that
"[t]he legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines" [Art. VI, Sec. 1], "[t]he MR. DAVIDE. The Electoral Tribunal itself will establish and promulgate its rules because it is a body
executive power shall be vested in the President of the Philippines" [Art. VII, Sec. 1], and "[t]he judicial distinct and independent already from the House, and so with the Commission on Appointments also.
power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law" It will have the authority to promulgate its own rules.27

[Art. VIII, Sec. 1]. These provisions not only establish a separation of powers by actual division but also
On another point of discussion relative to the grant of judicial power, but equally cogent, we listen to
confer plenary legislative, executive and judicial powers subject only to limitations provided in the
former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion:
Constitution. For as the Supreme Court in Ocampo v. Cabangis pointed out "a grant of the legislative
power means a grant of all legislative power; and a grant of the judicial power means a grant of all the MR. SUAREZ. Thank you.
judicial power which may be exercised under the government."
Would the Commissioner not consider that violative of the doctrine of separation of powers?
The Court could not have been more explicit then on the plenary grant and exercise of judicial power.
Plainly, the abstraction of the Supreme Court acting as a Presidential Electoral Tribunal from the MR. CONCEPCION. I think Commissioner Bernas explained that this is a contest between two parties.
unequivocal grant of jurisdiction in the last paragraph of Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution is This is a judicial power.
sound and tenable.
MR. SUAREZ. We know, but practically the Committee is giving to the judiciary the right to declare
The mirabile dictu of the grant of jurisdiction to this Court, albeit found in the Article on the executive who will be the President of our country, which to me is a political action.
branch of government, and the constitution of the PET, is evident in the discussions of the
MR. CONCEPCION. There are legal rights which are enforceable under the law, and these are
Constitutional Commission. On the exercise of this Court’s judicial power as sole judge of presidential
essentially justiciable questions.
and vice-presidential election contests, and to promulgate its rules for this purpose, we find the
proceedings in the Constitutional Commission most instructive: MR. SUAREZ. If the election contest proved to be long, burdensome and tedious, practically all the
time of the Supreme Court sitting en banc would be occupied with it considering that they will be
MR. DAVIDE. On line 25, after the words "Vice-President," I propose to add AND MAY
going over millions and millions of ballots or election returns, Madam President.28
PROMULGATE ITS RULES FOR THE PURPOSE. This refers to the Supreme Court sitting en banc.
This is also to confer on the Supreme Court exclusive authority to enact the necessary rules while Echoing the same sentiment and affirming the grant of judicial power to the Supreme Court, Justice
acting as sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the President or Florenz D. Regalado29 and Fr. Joaquin Bernas30 both opined:
Vice-President.
MR. VILLACORTA. Thank you very much, Madam President. Before the passage of that republic act, in case there was any contest between two presidential
candidates or two vice-presidential candidates, no one had jurisdiction over it. So, it became necessary
I am not sure whether Commissioner Suarez has expressed his point. On page 2, the fourth paragraph to create a Presidential Electoral Tribunal. What we have done is to constitutionalize what was
of Section 4 provides: statutory but it is not an infringement on the separation of powers because the power being given to
the Supreme Court is a judicial power.31
The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election,
returns and qualifications of the President or Vice-President. Unmistakable from the foregoing is that the exercise of our power to judge presidential and vice-
presidential election contests, as well as the rule-making power adjunct thereto, is plenary; it is not as
May I seek clarification as to whether or not the matter of determining the outcome of the contests
restrictive as petitioner would interpret it. In fact, former Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., who
relating to the election returns and qualifications of the President or Vice-President is purely a political
proposed the insertion of the phrase, intended the Supreme Court to exercise exclusive authority to
matter and, therefore, should not be left entirely to the judiciary. Will the above-quoted provision not
promulgate its rules of procedure for that purpose. To this, Justice Regalado forthwith assented and
impinge on the doctrine of separation of powers between the executive and the judicial departments of
then emphasized that the sole power ought to be without intervention by the legislative department.
the government?
Evidently, even the legislature cannot limit the judicial power to resolve presidential and vice-
MR. REGALADO. No, I really do not feel that would be a problem. This is a new provision presidential election contests and our rule-making power connected thereto.
incidentally. It was not in the 1935 Constitution nor in the 1973 Constitution.
To foreclose all arguments of petitioner, we reiterate that the establishment of the PET simply
MR. VILLACORTA. That is right. constitutionalized what was statutory before the 1987 Constitution. The experiential context of the PET
in our country cannot be denied.32
MR. REGALADO. We feel that it will not be an intrusion into the separation of powers guaranteed to
the judiciary because this is strictly an adversarial and judicial proceeding. Consequently, we find it imperative to trace the historical antecedents of the PET.

MR. VILLACORTA. May I know the rationale of the Committee because this supersedes Republic Act Article VII, Section 4, paragraph 7 of the 1987 Constitution is an innovation. The precursors of the
7950 which provides for the Presidential Electoral Tribunal? present Constitution did not contain similar provisions and instead vested upon the legislature all
phases of presidential and vice-presidential elections – from the canvassing of election returns, to the
FR. BERNAS. Precisely, this is necessary. Election contests are, by their nature, judicial. Therefore, they proclamation of the president-elect and the vice-president elect, and even the determination, by
are cognizable only by courts. If, for instance, we did not have a constitutional provision on an electoral ordinary legislation, of whether such proclamations may be contested. Unless the legislature enacted a
tribunal for the Senate or an electoral tribunal for the House, normally, as composed, that cannot be law creating an institution that would hear election contests in the Presidential and Vice-Presidential
given jurisdiction over contests. race, a defeated candidate had no legal right to demand a recount of the votes cast for the office
involved or to challenge the ineligibility of the proclaimed candidate. Effectively, presidential and vice-
So, the background of this is really the case of Roxas v. Lopez. The Gentleman will remember that in
presidential contests were non-justiciable in the then prevailing milieu.
that election, Lopez was declared winner. He filed a protest before the Supreme Court because there
was a republic act which created the Supreme Court as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. The The omission in the 1935 Constitution was intentional. It was mainly influenced by the absence of a
question in this case was whether new powers could be given the Supreme Court by law. In effect, the similar provision in its pattern, the Federal Constitution of the United States. Rather, the creation of
conflict was actually whether there was an attempt to create two Supreme Courts and the answer of the such tribunal was left to the determination of the National Assembly. The journal of the 1935
Supreme Court was: "No, this did not involve the creation of two Supreme Courts, but precisely we are Constitutional Convention is crystal clear on this point:
giving new jurisdiction to the Supreme Court, as it is allowed by the Constitution. Congress may
allocate various jurisdictions." Delegate Saguin. – For an information. It seems that this Constitution does not contain any provision
with respect to the entity or body which will look into the protests for the positions of the President
and Vice-President.

President Recto. – Neither does the American constitution contain a provision over the subject.
Delegate Saguin. – But then, who will decide these protests? opinion had participated in any irregularity connected with the canvassing and/or accomplishing of
election returns.
President Recto. – I suppose that the National Assembly will decide on that.33
The independence of the tribunal was highlighted by a provision allocating a specific budget from the
To fill the void in the 1935 Constitution, the National Assembly enacted R.A. No. 1793, establishing an national treasury or Special Activities Fund for its operational expenses. It was empowered to appoint
independent PET to try, hear, and decide protests contesting the election of President and Vice- its own clerk in accordance with its rules. However, the subordinate officers were strictly employees of
President. The Chief Justice and the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court were tasked to sit as its the judiciary or other officers of the government who were merely designated to the tribunal.
Chairman and Members, respectively. Its composition was extended to retired Supreme Court Justices
and incumbent Court of Appeals Justices who may be appointed as substitutes for ill, absent, or After the historic People Power Revolution that ended the martial law era and installed Corazon
temporarily incapacitated regular members. Aquino as President, civil liberties were restored and a new constitution was formed.

The eleven-member tribunal was empowered to promulgate rules for the conduct of its proceedings. It With R.A. No. 1793 as framework, the 1986 Constitutional Commission transformed the then statutory
was mandated to sit en banc in deciding presidential and vice-presidential contests and authorized to PET into a constitutional institution, albeit without its traditional nomenclature:
exercise powers similar to those conferred upon courts of justice, including the issuance of subpoena,
taking of depositions, arrest of witnesses to compel their appearance, production of documents and FR. BERNAS. x x x.
other evidence, and the power to punish contemptuous acts and bearings. The tribunal was assigned a
x x x. So it became necessary to create a Presidential Electoral Tribunal. What we have done is to
Clerk, subordinate officers, and employees necessary for the efficient performance of its functions.
constitutionalize what was statutory but it is not an infringement on the separation of powers because
R.A. No. 1793 was implicitly repealed and superseded by the 1973 Constitution which replaced the the power being given to the Supreme Court is a judicial power.34

bicameral legislature under the 1935 Constitution with the unicameral body of a parliamentary
Clearly, petitioner’s bete noire of the PET and the exercise of its power are unwarranted. His
government.
arguments that: (1) the Chief Justice and Associate Justices are referred to as "Chairman" and

With the 1973 Constitution, a PET was rendered irrelevant, considering that the President was not "Members," respectively; (2) the PET uses a different seal; (3) the Chairman is authorized to appoint
directly chosen by the people but elected from among the members of the National Assembly, while personnel; and (4) additional compensation is allocated to the "Members," in order to bolster his claim
the position of Vice-President was constitutionally non-existent. of infirmity in the establishment of the PET, are too superficial to merit further attention by the Court.

In 1981, several modifications were introduced to the parliamentary system. Executive power was Be that as it may, we hasten to clarify the structure of the PET as a legitimate progeny of Section 4,

restored to the President who was elected directly by the people. An Executive Committee was formed Article VII of the Constitution, composed of members of the Supreme Court, sitting en banc. The
to assist the President in the performance of his functions and duties. Eventually, the Executive following exchange in the 1986 Constitutional Commission should provide enlightenment:
Committee was abolished and the Office of Vice-President was installed anew.
MR. SUAREZ. Thank you. Let me proceed to line 23, page 2, wherein it is provided, and I quote:
These changes prompted the National Assembly to revive the PET by enacting, on December 3, 1985,
The Supreme Court, sitting en banc[,] shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election,
Batas Pambansa Bilang (B.P. Blg.) 884, entitled "An Act Constituting an Independent Presidential
returns and qualifications of the President or Vice-President.
Electoral Tribunal to Try, Hear and Decide Election Contests in the Office of the President and Vice-
President of the Philippines, Appropriating Funds Therefor and For Other Purposes." This tribunal was Are we not giving enormous work to the Supreme Court especially when it is directed to sit en banc as
composed of nine members, three of whom were the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and two the sole judge of all presidential and vice-presidential election contests?
Associate Justices designated by him, while the six were divided equally between representatives of
the majority and minority parties in the Batasang Pambansa. MR. SUMULONG. That question will be referred to Commissioner Concepcion.

Aside from the license to wield powers akin to those of a court of justice, the PET was permitted to MR. CONCEPCION. This function was discharged by the Supreme Court twice and the Supreme
recommend the prosecution of persons, whether public officers or private individuals, who in its Court was able to dispose of each case in a period of one year as provided by law. Of course, that was
probably during the late 1960s and early 1970s. I do not know how the present Supreme Court would MR. CONCEPCION. The time consumed or to be consumed in this contest for President is dependent
react to such circumstances, but there is also the question of who else would hear the election protests. upon they key number of teams of revisors. I have no experience insofar as contests in other offices are
concerned.
MR. SUAREZ. We are asking this question because between lines 23 to 25, there are no rules provided
for the hearings and there is not time limit or duration for the election contest to be decided by the
Supreme Court. Also, we will have to consider the historical background that when R.A. 1793, which
organized the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, was promulgated on June 21, 1957, at least three famous MR. SUAREZ. Although there is a requirement here that the Supreme Court is mandated to sit en

election contests were presented and two of them ended up in withdrawal by the protestants out of banc?

sheer frustration because of the delay in the resolution of the cases. I am referring to the electoral
MR. CONCEPCION. Yes.
protest that was lodged by former President Carlos P. Garcia against our "kabalen" former President
Diosdado Macapagal in 1961 and the vice-presidential election contest filed by the late Senator Gerardo MR. SUAREZ. I see.
Roxas against Vice-President Fernando Lopez in 1965.
MR. CONCEPCION. The steps involved in this contest are: First, the ballot boxes are opened before
MR. CONCEPCION. I cannot answer for what the protestants had in mind. But when that protest of teams of three, generally, a representative each of the court, of the protestant and of the "protestee." It is
Senator Roxas was withdrawn, the results were already available. Senator Roxas did not want to have all a questions of how many teams are organized. Of course, that can be expensive, but it would be
a decision adverse to him. The votes were being counted already, and he did not get what he expected expensive whatever court one would choose. There were times that the Supreme Court, with
so rather than have a decision adverse to his protest, he withdrew the case. sometimes 50 teams at the same time working, would classify the objections, the kind of problems, and
the court would only go over the objected votes on which the parties could not agree. So it is not as
xxxx
awesome as it would appear insofar as the Court is concerned. What is awesome is the cost of the
MR. SUAREZ. I see. So the Commission would not have any objection to vesting in the Supreme Court revision of the ballots because each party would have to appoint one representative for every team,
this matter of resolving presidential and vice-presidential contests? and that may take quite a big amount.

MR. CONCEPCION. Personally, I would not have any objection. MR. SUAREZ. If we draw from the Commissioner’s experience which he is sharing with us, what
would be the reasonable period for the election contest to be decided?
MR. SUAREZ. Thank you.
MR. CONCEPCION. Insofar as the Supreme Court is concerned, the Supreme Court always manages
Would the Commissioner not consider that violative of the doctrine of separation of powers? to dispose of the case in one year.

MR. CONCEPCION. I think Commissioner Bernas explained that this is a contest between two parties. MR. SUAREZ. In one year. Thank you for the clarification.35
This is a judicial power.
Obvious from the foregoing is the intent to bestow independence to the Supreme Court as the PET, to
MR. SUAREZ. We know, but practically the Committee is giving to the judiciary the right to declare undertake the Herculean task of deciding election protests involving presidential and vice-presidential
who will be the President of our country, which to me is a political action. candidates in accordance with the process outlined by former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion. It was
made in response to the concern aired by delegate Jose E. Suarez that the additional duty may prove
MR. CONCEPCION. There are legal rights which are enforceable under the law, and these are too burdensome for the Supreme Court. This explicit grant of independence and of the plenary powers
essentially justiciable questions. needed to discharge this burden justifies the budget allocation of the PET.

MR. SUAREZ. If the election contest proved to be long, burdensome and tedious, practically all the The conferment of additional jurisdiction to the Supreme Court, with the duty characterized as an
time of the Supreme Court sitting en banc would be occupied with it considering that they will be "awesome" task, includes the means necessary to carry it into effect under the doctrine of necessary
going over millions and millions of ballots or election returns, Madam President. implication.36 We cannot overemphasize that the abstraction of the PET from the explicit grant of
power to the Supreme Court, given our abundant experience, is not unwarranted.
A plain reading of Article VII, Section 4, paragraph 7, readily reveals a grant of authority to the MR. AZCUNA. Yes, they are not separate departments because the separate departments are the
Supreme Court sitting en banc. In the same vein, although the method by which the Supreme Court legislative, the executive and the judiciary; but they are constitutional bodies.39
exercises this authority is not specified in the provision, the grant of power does not contain any
limitation on the Supreme Court’s exercise thereof. The Supreme Court’s method of deciding The view taken by Justices Adolfo S. Azcuna40 and Regalado E. Maambong41 is schooled by our
presidential and vice-presidential election contests, through the PET, is actually a derivative of the holding in Lopez v. Roxas, et al.:42
exercise of the prerogative conferred by the aforequoted constitutional provision. Thus, the subsequent
Section 1 of Republic Act No. 1793, which provides that:
directive in the provision for the Supreme Court to "promulgate its rules for the purpose."
"There shall be an independent Presidential Electoral Tribunal x x x which shall be the sole judge of all
The conferment of full authority to the Supreme Court, as a PET, is equivalent to the full authority
contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the president-elect and the vice-
conferred upon the electoral tribunals of the Senate and the House of Representatives, i.e., the Senate
president-elect of the Philippines."
Electoral Tribunal (SET) and the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET),37 which we
have affirmed on numerous occasions.38 has the effect of giving said defeated candidate the legal right to contest judicially the election of the
President-elect of Vice-President-elect and to demand a recount of the votes case for the office involved
in the litigation, as well as to secure a judgment declaring that he is the one elected president or vice-
Particularly cogent are the discussions of the Constitutional Commission on the parallel provisions of president, as the case may be, and that, as such, he is entitled to assume the duties attached to said

the SET and the HRET. The discussions point to the inevitable conclusion that the different electoral office. And by providing, further, that the Presidential Electoral Tribunal "shall be composed of the
tribunals, with the Supreme Court functioning as the PET, are constitutional bodies, independent of the Chief Justice and the other ten Members of the Supreme Court," said legislation has conferred upon
three departments of government – Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary – but not separate therefrom. such Court an additional original jurisdiction of an exclusive character.

MR. MAAMBONG. x x x. Republic Act No. 1793 has not created a new or separate court. It has merely conferred upon the
Supreme Court the functions of a Presidential Electoral Tribunal. The result of the enactment may be
My questions will be very basic so we can go as fast as we can. In the case of the electoral tribunal, likened to the fact that courts of first instance perform the functions of such ordinary courts of first
either of the House or of the Senate, is it correct to say that these tribunals are constitutional creations? I instance, those of court of land registration, those of probate courts, and those of courts of juvenile and
will distinguish these with the case of the Tanodbayan and the Sandiganbayan which are created by domestic relations. It is, also, comparable to the situation obtaining when the municipal court of a
mandate of the Constitution but they are not constitutional creations. Is that a good distinction? provincial capital exercises its authority, pursuant to law, over a limited number of cases which were
previously within the exclusive jurisdiction of courts of first instance.
xxxx
In all of these instances, the court (court of first instance or municipal court) is only one, although the
MR. MAAMBONG. Could we, therefore, say that either the Senate Electoral Tribunal or the House functions may be distinct and, even, separate. Thus the powers of a court of first instance, in the
Electoral Tribunal is a constitutional body? exercise of its jurisdiction over ordinary civil cases, are broader than, as well as distinct and separate
from, those of the same court acting as a court of land registration or a probate court, or as a court of
MR. AZCUNA. It is, Madam President.
juvenile and domestic relations. So too, the authority of the municipal court of a provincial capital,
MR. MAAMBONG. If it is a constitutional body, is it then subject to constitutional restrictions? when acting as such municipal court, is, territorially more limited than that of the same court when
hearing the aforementioned cases which are primary within the jurisdiction of courts of first instance.
MR. AZCUNA. It would be subject to constitutional restrictions intended for that body. In other words, there is only one court, although it may perform the functions pertaining to several
types of courts, each having some characteristics different from those of the others.
MR. MAAMBONG. I see. But I want to find out if the ruling in the case of Vera v. Avelino, 77 Phil. 192,
will still be applicable to the present bodies we are creating since it ruled that the electoral tribunals are Indeed, the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and courts of first instance, are vested with original
not separate departments of the government. Would that ruling still be valid? jurisdiction, as well as with appellate jurisdiction, in consequence of which they are both trial courts
and, appellate courts, without detracting from the fact that there is only one Supreme Court, one Court
of Appeals, and one court of first instance, clothed with authority to discharge said dual functions. A the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government."45 The power was expanded, but it
court of first instance, when performing the functions of a probate court or a court of land registration, remained absolute.
or a court of juvenile and domestic relations, although with powers less broad than those of a court of
first instance, hearing ordinary actions, is not inferior to the latter, for one cannot be inferior to itself. So The set up embodied in the Constitution and statutes characterizes the resolution of electoral contests
too, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal is not inferior to the Supreme Court, since it is the same Court as essentially an exercise of judicial power.1avvphi1
although the functions peculiar to said Tribunal are more limited in scope than those of the Supreme
At the barangay and municipal levels, original and exclusive jurisdiction over election contests is
Court in the exercise of its ordinary functions. Hence, the enactment of Republic Act No. 1793, does not
vested in the municipal or metropolitan trial courts and the regional trial courts, respectively.
entail an assumption by Congress of the power of appointment vested by the Constitution in the
President. It merely connotes the imposition of additional duties upon the Members of the Supreme At the higher levels – city, provincial, and regional, as well as congressional and senatorial – exclusive
Court. and original jurisdiction is lodged in the COMELEC and in the House of Representatives and Senate
Electoral Tribunals, which are not, strictly and literally speaking, courts of law. Although not courts of
By the same token, the PET is not a separate and distinct entity from the Supreme Court, albeit it has
law, they are, nonetheless, empowered to resolve election contests which involve, in essence, an
functions peculiar only to the Tribunal. It is obvious that the PET was constituted in implementation of
exercise of judicial power, because of the explicit constitutional empowerment found in Section 2(2),
Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution, and it faithfully complies – not unlawfully defies – the
Article IX-C (for the COMELEC) and Section 17, Article VI (for the Senate and House Electoral
constitutional directive. The adoption of a separate seal, as well as the change in the nomenclature of
Tribunals) of the Constitution. Besides, when the COMELEC, the HRET, and the SET decide election
the Chief Justice and the Associate Justices into Chairman and Members of the Tribunal, respectively,
contests, their decisions are still subject to judicial review – via a petition for certiorari filed by the
was designed simply to highlight the singularity and exclusivity of the Tribunal’s functions as a special
proper party – if there is a showing that the decision was rendered with grave abuse of discretion
electoral court.
tantamount to lack or excess of jurisdiction.46

As regards petitioner’s claim that the PET exercises quasi-judicial functions in contravention of Section
12, Article VIII of the Constitution, we point out that the issue in Buac v. COMELEC43 involved the
characterization of the enforcement and administration of a law relative to the conduct of a plebiscite It is also beyond cavil that when the Supreme Court, as PET, resolves a presidential or vice-presidential
which falls under the jurisdiction of the Commission on Elections. However, petitioner latches on to election contest, it performs what is essentially a judicial power. In the landmark case of Angara v.
the enumeration in Buac which declared, in an obiter, that "contests involving the President and the Electoral Commission,47 Justice Jose P. Laurel enucleated that "it would be inconceivable if the
Vice-President fall within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the PET, also in the exercise of quasi- Constitution had not provided for a mechanism by which to direct the course of government along
judicial power." constitutional channels." In fact, Angara pointed out that "[t]he Constitution is a definition of the
powers of government." And yet, at that time, the 1935 Constitution did not contain the expanded
The issue raised by petitioner is more imagined than real. Section 12, Article VIII of the Constitution
definition of judicial power found in Article VIII, Section 1, paragraph 2 of the present Constitution.
reads:
With the explicit provision, the present Constitution has allocated to the Supreme Court, in conjunction
SEC. 12. The Members of the Supreme Court and of other courts established by law shall not be
with latter’s exercise of judicial power inherent in all courts,48 the task of deciding presidential and
designated to any agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions.
vice-presidential election contests, with full authority in the exercise thereof. The power wielded by

The traditional grant of judicial power is found in Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution which PET is a derivative of the plenary judicial power allocated to courts of law, expressly provided in the
provides that the power "shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be Constitution. On the whole, the Constitution draws a thin, but, nevertheless, distinct line between the
established by law." Consistent with our presidential system of government, the function of "dealing PET and the Supreme Court.
with the settlement of disputes, controversies or conflicts involving rights, duties or prerogatives that
If the logic of petitioner is to be followed, all Members of the Court, sitting in the Senate and House
are legally demandable and enforceable" 44 is apportioned to courts of justice. With the advent of the
Electoral Tribunals would violate the constitutional proscription found in Section 12, Article VIII.
1987 Constitution, judicial power was expanded to include "the duty of the courts of justice to settle
Surely, the petitioner will be among the first to acknowledge that this is not so. The Constitution which,
actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine
in Section 17, Article VI, explicitly provides that three Supreme Court Justices shall sit in the Senate and
whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on
House Electoral Tribunals, respectively, effectively exempts the Justices-Members thereof from the FACTS: This case involved two consolidated petitions assailing the April 12, 2010 Decision of the
prohibition in Section 12, Article VIII. In the same vein, it is the Constitution itself, in Section 4, Article Court of Appeals granting the writ of amparo and writ of habeas data by petitioner Noriel Rodriguez,
VII, which exempts the Members of the Court, constituting the PET, from the same prohibition. who is a member of Alyansa Dagiti Mannalon Iti Cagayan (Kagimungan), a peasant organization
affiliated with Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).
We have previously declared that the PET is not simply an agency to which Members of the Court
were designated. Once again, the PET, as intended by the framers of the Constitution, is to be an Rodriguez claims that the military tagged KMP as an enemy of the State under the Oplan Bantay Laya,
institution independent, but not separate, from the judicial department, i.e., the Supreme Court. making its members targets of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Petitioner was then
McCulloch v. State of Maryland49 proclaimed that "[a] power without the means to use it, is a nullity." abducted, tortured and forced to confess to being a member of the New People's Army (NPA).
The vehicle for the exercise of this power, as intended by the Constitution and specifically mentioned
by the Constitutional Commissioners during the discussions on the grant of power to this Court, is the Rodriguez filed before this Court a Petition for the Writ of Amparo and Petition for the Writ of Habeas

PET. Thus, a microscopic view, like the petitioner’s, should not constrict an absolute and constitutional Data with Prayers for Protection Orders, Inspection of Place, and Production of Documents and
grant of judicial power. Personal Properties. The petition was filed against former President Arroyo, Gen. Ibrado, PDG.
Versoza, Lt. Gen. Bangit, Major General
One final note. Although this Court has no control over contrary people and naysayers, we reiterate a
word of caution against the filing of baseless petitions which only clog the Court’s docket. The petition Nestor Z. Ochoa, P/CSupt. Tolentino, P/SSupt. Santos, Col. De Vera, and five others. The writs were
in the instant case belongs to that classification. granted but the CA dropped President Arroyo as party-respondent, as she may not be sued in any case
during her tenure of office or actual incumbency as part of her presidential immunity. Also, the prayer
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. Costs against petitioner. for the issuance of a temporary protection order and inspection order was denied by the CA.

SO ORDERED. The respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration on the decision of the CA but before such motion
could be resolved petitioner filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration raising that the CA erred in not
3. CLINTON v JONES granting the interim relief for temporary protection order and in dropping President Arroyo as party-
respondent.
FACTS: Paula Jones accused President Clinton, then Governor of Arkansas, of having a trooper bring
her up to his hotel room, whereupon he made unwanted sexual advances toward her. Jones filed ISSUES: 1. Whether or not the interim reliefs prayed for by petitioner may be granted even after the
claims the act occurred prior to Clinton becoming President, but sued while he was President of the writs of amparo and habeas data have been granted.
United States.
2. Whether or not President Arroyo should be dropped as respondent because of her presidential
ISSUE: Whether a President can claim executive immunity for acts that are alleged to have occurred immunity.
prior to his election as President and for acts undertaken in a private capacity.
3. Whether the doctrine of command responsibility can be used in amparo and habeas data cases
HOLDING/ANALYSIS: No, the immunity is not valid in this case. The President is subject to private
law suit for conduct prior to entering the office. The President, moreover, may not defer the litigation 4. Whether the rights to life, liberty and property of Rodriguez were violated or threatened by
until after the office term expires. The court believes there is no precedent which supports a deferral of respondents
the lawsuit and clearly the President cannot shed private litigation upon entering the office. A deferral
HELD: 1. The interim reliefs prayed for by the petitioner is only available before final judgment.
of the suit would be unfairly lengthy and violate the private citizen’s right to a speedy and fair trial.
Section 14 of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo clearly provides that interim reliefs may only be availed
The court makes clear that there is no immunity for the President’s “unofficial” conduct at any point
of upon filing of the petition or at anytime before final judgment. Given that there has already been a
during this tenure. Insofar as executive immunity can be claimed to protect national security or the
final judgment in the given case, petitioner may no longer avail of the interim relief of temporary
public interest, the court may do so; but when the issue is clearly a private matter, especially occurring
protection order.
prior his tenure in office, the immunity cannot rightly be sustained.

4. Rodriguez vs Arroyo
2. No, President Arroyo should not be dropped. There is no determination of administrative, civil or Noriel Rodriguez claims that the military tagged Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) as an
criminal liability in amparo and habeas data proceedings as courts can only go as far as ascertaining enemy of the State under the Oplan Bantay Laya, making its members targets of extrajudicial killings
responsibility or accountability for the enforced disappearance or extrajudicial killing. and enforced disappearances. Later Rodriguez was freed under certain conditions where Rodriguez
was made to sign an affidavit stating that he was neither abducted nor tortured. Afraid and desperate
As it was held in the case of Estrada v Desierto, a non-sitting President does not enjoy immunity from to return home, he was forced to sign the document. Cruz advised him not to file a case against his
suit, even for acts committed during the latter’s tenure; that courts should look with disfavor upon the abductors because they had already freed him. The CHR personnel then led him and his family to the
presidential privilege of immunity, especially when it impedes the search for truth or impairs the CHR Toyota Tamaraw FX service vehicle. On 7 December 2009, Rodriguez filed before this Court a
vindication of a right. Also, the Supreme Court (SC) reiterated that the presidential immunity from suit Petition for the Writ of Amparo and Petition for the Writ of Habeas Data with Prayers for Protection
exists only in concurrence with the president’s incumbency. Given these, former Pres. GMA cannot use Orders, Inspection of Place, and Production of Documents and Personal Properties dated 2 December
presidential immunity to shield herself from judicial scrutiny that would assess whether, within the 2009.
context of amparo proceedings, she was responsible or accountable for the abduction of Rodriguez.
The petition was filed against former President Arroyo, Gen. Ibrado, PDG. Versoza, Lt. Gen. Bangit,
3. Yes, As we explained in Rubrico v. Arroyo, command responsibility pertains to the “responsibility of Major General (Maj. Gen.) Nestor Z. Ochoa, P/CSupt. Tolentino, P/SSupt. Santos, Col. De Vera, 1st
commanders for crimes committed by subordinate members of the armed forces or other persons Lt.Matutina, Calog, George Palacpac (Palacpac), Cruz, Pasicolan and Callagan. The petition prayed for
subject to their control in international wars or domestic conflict.” Although originally used for the following reliefs: a.) The issuance of the writ of amparo ordering respondents to desist from
ascertaining criminal complicity, the command responsibility doctrine has also found application in violating Rodriguez’s right to life, liberty and security; b.) The issuance of an order to enjoin
civil cases for human rights abuses. Precisely in the given case, the doctrine of command responsibility respondents from doing harm to or approaching Rodriguez, his family and his witnesses; c.) Allowing
may be used to determine whether respondents are accountable for and have the duty to address the the inspection of the detention areas of the Headquarters of Bravo Co., 5th Infantry Division, Maguing,
abduction of Rodriguez in order to enable the courts to devise remedial measures to protect his rights. Gonzaga, Cagayan and another place near where Rodriguez was brought; d.) Ordering respondents to
Nothing precludes this Court from applying the doctrine of command responsibility in amparo produce documents submitted to them regarding any report on Rodriguez, including operation reports
proceedings to ascertain responsibility and accountability in extrajudicial killings and enforced and provost marshall reports of the 5th Infantry Division, the Special Operations Group of the Armed
disappearances. Forces of the Philippines (AFP), prior to, on and subsequent to 6 September 2009; e.) Ordering records
pertinent or in any way connected to Rodriguez, which are in the custody of respondents, to be
4. Yes, the rights to life, liberty and property of Rodriguez were violated or threatened by respondents.
expunged, disabused, and forever barred from being used.
The SC held that there was no reason to depart from the factual findings of the Court of Appeals, the
same being supported by substantial evidence following the doctrine of totality of evidence in amparo On 15 December 2009, the Supreme Court granted the respective writs after finding that the petition
cases which is to consider all the pieces of evidence adduced in their totality, and to consider any sufficiently alleged that Rodriguez had been abducted, tortured and later released by members of the
evidence otherwise inadmissible under our usual rules to be admissible if it is consistent with the 17th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army. The Court likewise ordered respondents therein to file a
admissible evidence adduced. The sworn affidavit of the petitioner and the medical examinations verified return on the writs on or before 22 December 2009 and to comment on the petition on or before
conducted on him are sufficient evidence proving that the military personnel involved in the case 4 January 2010. Finally, it directed the Court of Appeals (CA) to hear the petition on 4 January 2010 and
indeed abducted Rodriguez on September 6, 2009 and then detained and tortured him. decide on the case within 10 days after its submission for decision.

ISSUES:

1. Whether the doctrine of command responsibility can be used in amparo and habeas data cases.

5. IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR THE WRIT OF AMPARO AND HABEAS DATA IN 2. Whether the rights to life, liberty and property of Rodriguez were violated or threatened by
FAVOR OF NORIEL H. RODRIGUEZ, NORIEL H. RODRIGUEZ v. GLORIA MACAPAGAL- respondents in G.R. No. 191805.
ARROYO, et al.
RULING:
G.R. No. 191805 & 193160, 15 November 2011, EN BANC (Sereno, J.)
1. YES. To attribute responsibility or accountability to former President Arroyo, Rodriguez contends his appointment. Agra argued that his concurrent designations were merely in a temporary capacity.
that the doctrine of command responsibility may be applied. As we explained in Rubrico v. Arroyo, Even assuming that he was holding multiple offices at
command responsibility pertains to the "responsibility of commanders for crimes committed by
subordinate members of the armed forces or other persons subject to their control in international wars the same time, his designation as an Acting Solicitor General is merely akin to a hold-over, so that he
or domestic conflict." Although originally used for ascertaining criminal complicity, the command never received salaries and emoluments for being the Acting Solicitor General when he was appointed
responsibility doctrine has also found application in civil cases for human rights abuses. as the Acting Secretary of Justice.

In the United States, for example, command responsibility was used in Ford v. Garcia and Romagoza v. ISSUES:

Garcia civil actions filed under the Alien Tort Claims Act and the Torture Victim Protection Act .This
(1) Whether or not Agra’s designation as Acting Secretary of Justice is valid.
development in the use of command responsibility in civil proceedings shows that the application of
this doctrine has been liberally extended even to cases not criminal in nature. Thus, it is our view that (2) Whether or not Agra may concurrently hold the positions by virtue of the “hold-over principle”.
command responsibility may likewise find application in proceedings seeking the privilege of the writ
of amparo. Precisely in the case at bar, the doctrine of command responsibility may be used to (3) Whether or not the offices of the Solicitor General and Secretary of Justice is in an ex officio capacity
determine whether respondents are accountable for and have the duty to address the abduction of in relation to the other.
Rodriguez in order to enable the courts to devise remedial measures to protect his rights. Clearly,
RULING:
nothing precludes this Court from applying the doctrine of command responsibility in amparo
proceedings to ascertain responsibility and accountability in extrajudicial killings and enforced (1) No. The designation of Agra as Acting Secretary of Justice concurrently with his position of Acting
disappearances Solicitor General violates the constitutional prohibition under Article VII, Section 13 of the 1987
Constitution.
2. YES. The fair and proper rule, to our mind, is to consider all the pieces of evidence adduced in their
totality, and to consider any evidence otherwise inadmissible under our usual rules to be admissible if It is immaterial that Agra’s designation was in an acting or temporary capacity. Section 13 plainly
it is consistent with the admissible evidence adduced. In other words, we reduce our rules to the most indicates the intent of the Framers of the Constitution is to impose a stricter prohibition on the
basic test of reason, i.e. to the relevance of the evidence to the issue at hand and its consistency with all President and the Cabinet Members in so far as holding other offices or employments in the
other pieces of adduced evidence. Thus, even hearsay evidence can be admitted if it satisfies this basic Government or in GOCCs is concerned. The prohibition against dual or multiple offices being held by
minimum test. one official must be construed as to apply to all appointments or designations, whether permanent or
temporary, because the objective of Section 13 is to prevent the concentration powers in the Executive
In the case at bar, we find no reason to depart from the factual findings of the Court of Appeals, the
Department officials, specifically the President, the Vice-President, the Cabinet Members and their
same being supported by substantial evidence. A careful examination of the records of this case reveals
deputies and assistants.
that the totality of the evidence adduced by Rodriguez indubitably prove the responsibility and
accountability of some respondents in G.R. No. 191805 for violating his right to life, liberty and (2) No. Agra’s designation as the Acting Secretary of Justice was not in an ex officio capacity, by which
security. he would have been validly authorized to concurrently hold the two positions due to the holding of
one office being the consequence of holding the other.
6. DENNIS A.B. FUNA v. ALBERTO C. AGRA AND LEANDRO R. MENDOZA
Being included in the stricter prohibition embodied in Section 13, Agra cannot liberally apply in his
G.R. No. 191644, 19 February 2013, EN BANC (Bersamin, J.)
favor the broad exceptions provided in Article IX-B, Sec 7 (2) of the Constitution to justify his

FACTS: Agra was then the Government Corporate Counsel when President Arroyo designated him as designation as Acting Secretary of Justice concurrently with his designation as Acting Solicitor General,

the Acting Solicitor General in place of former Solicitor General Devanadera, who has been appointed or vice versa. It is not sufficient for Agra to show that his holding of the other office was “allowed by

as the Secretary of Justice. Again, Agra was designated as the Acting Secretary in place of Secretary law or the primary functions of his position.” To claim the exemption of his concurrent designations

Devanadera when the latter resigned. Agra then relinquished his position as Corporate Counsel and from the coverage of the stricter prohibition under Section 13, he needed to establish that his

continued to perform the duties of an Acting Solicitor General. Funa, a concerned citizen, questioned concurrent designation was expressly allowed by the Constitution.
(3) No. The powers and functions of the Solicitor General are neither required by the primary functions It must also be noted that cabinet secretaries are the alter egos of the president. The choice is the
nor included in the powers of the DOJ, and vice versa. The OSG, while attached to the DOJ, is not a president’s to make and the president normally appoints those whom he/she can trust. She cannot be
constituent of the latter, as in fact, the Administrative Code of 1987 declares that the OSG is constrained to choose the undersecretary. She has the option to choose. An alter ego, whether
independent and autonomous. With the enactment of RA. 9417, the Solicitor General is now vested temporary or permanent, holds a position of great trust and confidence. Congress, in the guise of
with a cabinet rank, and has the same qualifications for appointment, rank, prerogatives, allowances, prescribing qualifications to an office, cannot impose on the President who her alter ego should be.
benefits and privileges as those of Presiding Judges of the Court of Appeals.
The office of a department secretary may become vacant while Congress is in session. Since a
department secretary is the alter ego of the President, the acting appointee to the office must
necessarily have the President’s confidence. That person may or may not be the permanent appointee,
7. Aquilino Pimentel vs Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita but practical reasons may make it expedient that the acting appointee will also be the permanent
appointee.
472 SCRA 587 – Political Law – Commission on Appointment – Ad Interim Appointments vs
Appointments in an Acting Capacity Anent the issue that GMA appointed “outsiders”, such is allowed. EO 292 also provides that the
president “may temporarily designate an officer already in the government service or any other
Law on Public Officers – Modes and Kinds of Appointment
competent person to perform the functions of an office in the executive branch.” Thus, the President
may even appoint in an acting capacity a person not yet in the government service, as long as the
FACTS: While Congress was in session, due to vacancies in the cabinet, then president Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) appointed Arthur Yap et al as secretaries of their respective departments. President deems that person competent.

They were appointed in an acting capacity only. Senator Aquilino Pimentel together with 7 other
8. Rufino vs Endriga
senators filed a complaint against the appointment of Yap et al. Pimentel averred that GMA cannot
make such appointment without the consent of the Commission on Appointment; that, in accordance Rufino vs Endriga
with Section 10, Chapter 2, Book IV of Executive Order No. 292, only the undersecretary of the G.R. No. 139554
respective departments should be designated in an acting capacity and not anyone else. July 21, 2006

On the contrary, then Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita averred that the president is empowered by FACTS:
Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution to issue appointments in an acting capacity to On 25 June 1966, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Executive Order No. 30 (EO
department secretaries without the consent of the Commission on Appointments even while Congress 30) creating the Cultural Center of the Philippines as a trust governed by a Board of Trustees of seven
is in session. Further, EO 292 itself allows the president to issue temporary designation to an officer in
members to preserve and promote Philippine culture.
the civil service provided that the temporary designation shall not exceed one year.
On 5 October 1972, or soon after the declaration of Martial Law, President Marcos issued PD

During the pendency of said case, Congress adjourned and GMA issued ad interim appointments re- 15, the CCP’s charter, which converted the CCP under EO 30 into a non-municipal public corporation
appointing those previously appointed in acting capacity. free from the “pressure or influence of politics.” PD 15 increased the members of CCP’s Board from
seven to nine trustees. Later, Executive Order No. 1058, issued on 10 October 1985, increased further
ISSUE: Whether or not the appointments made by ex PGMA is valid. the trustees to 11.

HELD: Yes. The argument raised by Ermita is correct. Further, EO 292 itself provided the safeguard so After the People Power Revolution in 1986, then President Corazon C. Aquino asked for the

that such power will not be abused hence the provision that the temporary designation shall not exceed courtesy resignations of the then incumbent CCP trustees and appointed new trustees to the
one year. In this case, in less than a year after the initial appointments made by GMA, and when the Board. Eventually, during the term of President Fidel V. Ramos, the CCP Board included Endriga,
Congress was in recess, GMA issued the ad interim appointments – this also proves that the president Lagdameo, Sison, Potenciano, Fernandez, Lenora A. Cabili (“Cabili”), and Manuel T. Mañosa
was in good faith. (“Mañosa”).
On 22 December 1998, then President Joseph E. Estrada appointed seven new trustees to the The Endriga group refused to accept that the CCP was under the supervision and control of
CCP Board for a term of four years to replace the Endriga group as well as two other incumbent the President. The Endriga group cited Section 3 of PD 15, which states that the CCP “shall enjoy
trustees. The seven new trustees were: autonomy of policy and operation x x x.”

1. Armita B. Rufino - President, vice Baltazar N. Endriga On 14 May 1999, the Court of Appeals granted the quo warranto petition. The Court of
Appeals declared the Endriga group lawfully entitled to hold office as CCP trustees. On the other
2. Zenaida R. Tantoco - Member, vice Doreen Fernandez hand, the appellate court’s Decision ousted the Rufino group from the CCP Board.

3. Federico Pascual - Member, vice Lenora A. Cabili In their motion for reconsideration, 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
4. Rafael Buenaventura - Member, vice Manuel T. Mañosa 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
5. Lorenzo Calma - Member, vice Ma. Paz D. Lagdameo 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
6. Rafael Simpao, Jr. - Member, vice Patricia C. Sison “officers lower in rank” than the appointing power.

7. Freddie Garcia - Member, vice Irma Ponce-Enrile On 3 August 1999, the Court of Appeals denied the Rufino group’s motion for
Potenciano reconsideration. The Court of Appeals also denied the Endriga group’s motion for immediate
execution of the 14 May 1999 Decision.

Except for Tantoco, the Rufino group took their respective oaths of office and assumed the Hence, the instant consolidated petitions.
performance of their duties in early January 1999.
ISSUE: Whether or not Sec. 6 (b) of PD 15 is constitutional and CCP trustees have the authority to
On 6 January 1999, the Endriga group filed a petition for quo warranto before this Court appoint and elect their fellow trustees when there is vacancy.
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 RULING: NO. The SC ruled that Sec. 6 (b) and (c) of PD 15 as amended which authorizes the
by a vote of a majority of the trustees held at the next regular meeting x x x.” In case “only one trustee remaining trustees to fill by election vacancies in the Board of Trustees of CCP is unconstitutional.
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 Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15, which authorizes the trustees of the CCP Board to fill vacancies in the
may the President of the Philippines fill such vacancies, acting in consultation with the ranking officers Board, runs afoul with the President’s power of control under Section 17, Article VII of the 1987
of the CCP. 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-
The Endriga group asserted that when former President Estrada appointed the Rufino group, perpetuating entity, virtually outside the control of the President. Such a public office or board cannot
only one seat was vacant due to the expiration of Mañosa’s term. The CCP Board then had 10 legally exist under the 1987 Constitution.
incumbent trustees.
Section 3 of PD 15, as amended, states that the CCP “shall enjoy autonomy of policy and The OSG contends that the incumbent President may appoint the next Chief Justice, because the

operation x x x.” This provision does not free the CCP from the President’s control, for if it does, then prohibition under Section 15, Article VII of the Constitution does not apply to appointments in the
Supreme Court. It argues that any vacancy in the Supreme Court must be filled within 90 days from its
it would be unconstitutional. This provision may give the CCP Board a free hand in initiating and
occurrence, pursuant to Section 4(1), Article VIII of the Constitution; that had the framers intended the
formulating policies and undertaking activities, but ultimately these policies and activities are all
prohibition to apply to Supreme Court appointments, they could have easily expressly stated so in the
subject to the President’s power of control.
Constitution, which explains why the prohibition found in Article VII (Executive Department) was not
written in Article VIII (Judicial Department); and that the framers also incorporated in Article VIII
The CCP is part of the Executive branch. No law can cut off the President’s control over the ample restrictions or limitations on the President’s power to appoint members of the Supreme Court to
CCP in the guise of insulating the CCP from the President’s influence. By stating that the “President ensure its independence from “political vicissitudes” and its “insulation from political pressures,” such
shall have control of all the executive x x x offices,” the 1987 Constitution empowers the President not as stringent qualifications for the positions, the establishment of the JBC, the specified period within
only to influence but even to control all offices in the Executive branch, including the CCP. Control is which the President shall appoint a Supreme Court Justice.
far greater than, and subsumes, influence.
A part of the question to be reviewed by the Court is whether the JBC properly initiated the process,
9. ARTURO M. DE CASTRO vs. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL (JBC) and PRESIDENT GLORIA
there being an insistence from some of the oppositors-intervenors that the JBC could only do so once
MACAPAGAL – ARROYO
the vacancy has occurred (that is, after May 17, 2010). Another part is, of course, whether the JBC may
G.R. No. 191002, March 17, 2010 resume its process until the short list is prepared, in view of the provision of Section 4(1), Article VIII,
which unqualifiedly requires the President to appoint one from the short list to fill the vacancy in the
FACTS: The compulsory retirement of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno by May 17, 2010 occurs just days Supreme Court (be it the Chief Justice or an Associate Justice) within 90 days from the occurrence of
after the coming presidential elections on May 10, 2010. the vacancy.

These cases trace their genesis to the controversy that has arisen from the forthcoming compulsory ISSUE: Whether the incumbent President can appoint the successor of Chief Justice Puno upon his
retirement of Chief Justice Puno on May 17, 2010, or seven days after the presidential election. Under retirement.
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 HELD: Prohibition under Section 15, Article VII does not apply to appointments to fill a vacancy in the
for every vacancy.” Also considering that Section 15, Article VII (Executive Department) of the Supreme Court or to other appointments to the Judiciary.
Constitution prohibits the President or Acting President from making appointments within two
Two constitutional provisions are seemingly in conflict.
months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, except
temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public
The first, Section 15, Article VII (Executive Department), provides: Section 15. Two months
service or endanger public safety.
immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting
President shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive positions when
The JBC, in its en banc meeting of January 18, 2010, unanimously agreed to start the process of filling
continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety.
up the position of Chief Justice.

The other, Section 4 (1), Article VIII (Judicial Department), states: Section 4. (1). The Supreme Court
Conformably with its existing practice, the JBC “automatically considered” for the position of Chief
shall be composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen Associate Justices. It may sit en banc or in its
Justice the five most senior of the Associate Justices of the Court, namely: Associate Justice Antonio T.
discretion, in division of three, five, or seven Members. Any vacancy shall be filled within ninety days
Carpio; Associate Justice Renato C. Corona; Associate Justice Conchita Carpio Morales; Associate
from the occurrence thereof.
Justice Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr.; and Associate Justice Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura. However, the last
two declined their nomination through letters dated January 18, 2010 and January 25, 2010,
Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition contained in Section 15, Article VII to the
respectively.
appointment of Members of the Supreme Court, they could have explicitly done so. They could not
have ignored the meticulous ordering of the provisions. They would have easily and surely written the
prohibition made explicit in Section 15, Article VII as being equally applicable to the appointment of As I reflected in my Separate Opinion (which three other Justices joined),3 the election appointment
Members of the Supreme Court in Article VIII itself, most likely in Section 4 (1), Article VIII. That such ban under Article VII, Section 15 of the Constitution should not apply to the appointment of Members
specification was not done only reveals that the prohibition against the President or Acting President of the Supreme Court whose period for appointment is separately provided for under Article VIII,
making appointments within two months before the next presidential elections and up to the end of Section 4(1). I shared this conclusion with the Court’s Decision although our reasons differed on some
the President’s or Acting President’s term does not refer to the Members of the Supreme Court. points.

Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition contained in Section 15, Article VII to the I diverged fully from the Decision on the question of whether we should maintain or reverse our ruling
appointment of Members of the Supreme Court, they could have explicitly done so. They could not in Valenzuela. I maintained that it is still good law; no reason exists to touch the ruling as its main
have ignored the meticulous ordering of the provisions. They would have easily and surely written the focus – the application of the election ban on the appointment of lower court judges under Article VIII,
prohibition made explicit in Section 15, Article VII as being equally applicable to the appointment of Section 9 of the Constitution – is not even an issue in the present case and was discussed only because
Members of the Supreme Court in Article VIII itself, most likely in Section 4 (1), Article VIII. That such the petitions incorrectly cited the ruling as authority on the issue of the Chief Justice’s appointment.
specification was not done only reveals that the prohibition against the President or Acting President The Decision proposed to reverse Valenzuela but only secured the support of five (5) votes, while my
making appointments within two months before the next presidential elections and up to the end of Separate Opinion in support of Valenzuela had four (4) votes. Thus, on the whole, the Decision did not
the President’s or Acting President’s term does not refer to the Members of the Supreme Court. prevail in reversing Valenzuela, as it only had five (5) votes in a field of 12 participating Members of
the Court. Valenzuela should therefore remain, as of the filing of this Opinion, as a valid precedent.
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 Acting on the present motions for reconsideration, I join the majority in denying the motions with
the Executive Department renders conclusive that Section 15 also applies only to the Executive respect to the Chief Justice issue, although we differ in some respects on the reasons supporting the
Department. This conclusion is consistent with the rule that every part of the statute must be denial. I dissent from the conclusion that the Valenzuela ruling should be reversed. My divergence
interpreted with reference to the context, i.e. that every part must be considered together with the other from the majority’s reasons and conclusions compels me to write this Concurring and Dissenting
parts, and kept subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment. It is absurd to assume that the Opinion.
framers deliberately situated Section 15 between Section 14 and Section 16, if they intended Section 15
to cover all kinds of presidential appointments. If that was their intention in respect of appointments to The Basic Requisites / Justiciability
the Judiciary, the framers, if only to be clear, would have easily and surely inserted a similar
One marked difference between the Decision and my Separate Opinion is our approach on the basic
prohibition in Article VIII, most likely within Section 4 (1) thereof.
requisites/justiciability issues. The Decision apparently glossed over this aspect of the case, while I fully
CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION explained why the De Castro4 and Peralta5 petitions should be dismissed outright. In my view, these
petitions violated the most basic requirements of their chosen medium for review – a petition for
BRION, J.: certiorari and mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

The Motions for Reconsideration The petitions commonly failed to allege that the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) performs judicial or
quasi-judicial functions, an allegation that the petitions could not really make, since the JBC does not
After sifting through the motions for reconsideration, I found that the arguments are largely the same really undertake these functions and, for this reason, cannot be the subject of a petition for certiorari;
arguments that we have passed upon, in one form or another, in the various petitions. Essentially, the hence, the petitions should be dismissed outright. They likewise failed to facially show any failure or
issues boil down to justiciability; the conflict of constitutional provisions; the merits of the cited refusal by the JBC to undertake a constitutional duty to justify the issuance of a writ of mandamus;
constitutional deliberations; and the status and effect of the Valenzuela1 ruling. Even the motion for they invoked judicial notice that we could not give because there was, and is, no JBC refusal to act.6
reconsideration of the Philippine Bar Association (G.R. No. 191420), whose petition I did not expressly Thus, the mandamus aspects of these petitions should have also been dismissed outright. The
touch upon in my Separate Opinion, basically dwells on these issues. ponencia, unfortunately, failed to fully discuss these legal infirmities.

I have addressed most, if not all, of these issues and I submit my Separate Opinion2 as my basic The motions for reconsideration lay major emphasis on the alleged lack of an actual case or controversy
response to the motions for reconsideration, supplemented by the discussions below. that made the Chief Justice’s appointment a justiciable issue. They claim that the Court cannot exercise
the power of judicial review where there is no clash of legal rights and interests or where this clash is I recognized in the Separate Opinion that, unlike in Valenzuela where an outright defiance of the
merely anticipated, although the anticipated event shall come with certainty.7 election ban took place, no such obvious triggering event transpired in the Mendoza petition.13 Rather,
the Mendoza petition looked to the supervisory power of the Court over judicial personnel and over
What the movants apparently forgot, focused as they were on their respective petitions, is that the the JBC as basis to secure a resolution of the election ban issue. The JBC, at that time, had indicated its
present case is not a single-petition case that rises or falls on the strength of that single petition. The intent to look up to the Court’s supervisory power and role as the final interpreter of the Constitution
present case involves various petitions and interventions,8 not necessarily pulling towards the same to guide it in responding to the challenges it confronts.14 To me, this was "a point no less critical, from
direction, although each one is focused on the issue of whether the election appointment ban under the point of view of supervision, than the appointment of the two judges during the election ban
Article VII, Section 15 of the Constitution should apply to the appointment of the next Chief Justice of period in Valenzuela."15
the Supreme Court.
In making this conclusion, I pointed out in my Separate Opinion the unavoidable surrounding realities
Among the petitions filed were those of Tolentino (G.R. No. 191342), Soriano (G.R. No. 191032) and evident from the confluence of events, namely: (1) an election to be held on May 10, 2010; (2) the
Mendoza (A.M. No. 10-2-5-SC). The first two are petitions for prohibition under Section 2 of Rule 65 of retirement of the Chief Justice on May 17, 2010; (3) the lapse of the terms of the elective officials from
the Rules of Court.9 While they commonly share this medium of review, they differ in their supporting the President to the congressmen on June 30, 2010; (4) the delay before the Congress can organize and
reasons. The Mendoza petition, on the other hand, is totally different – it is a petition presented as an send its JBC representatives; and (5) the expiration of the term of a non-elective JBC member in July
administrative matter (A.M.) in the manner that the Valenzuela case was an A.M. case. As I pointed out 2010.16 All these – juxtaposed with the Court’s supervision over the JBC, the latter’s need for guidance,
in the Separate Opinion, the Court uses the A.M. docket designation on matters relating to its exercise and the existence of an actual controversy on the same issues bedeviling the JBC – in my view, were
of supervision over all courts and their personnel.10 I failed to note then, but I make of record now, sufficient to save the Mendoza petition from being a mere request for opinion or a petition for
that court rules and regulations – the outputs in the Court’s rulemaking function – are also docketed as declaratory relief that falls under the jurisdiction of the lower court. This recognition is beyond the
A.M. cases. level of what this Court can do in handling a moot and academic case – usually, one that no longer
presents a judiciable controversy but one that can still be ruled upon at the discretion of the court when
That an actual case or controversy involving a clash of rights and interests exists is immediately and
the constitutional issue is of paramount public interest and controlling principles are needed to guide
patently obvious in the Tolentino and Soriano petitions. At the time the petitions were filed, the JBC
the bench, the bar and the public.17
had started its six-phase nomination process that would culminate in the submission of a list of
nominees to the President of the Philippines for appointive action. Tolentino and Soriano – lawyers To be sure, this approach in recognizing when a petition is actionable is novel. An overriding reason
and citizens with interest in the strict observance of the election ban – sought to prohibit the JBC from for this approach can be traced to the nature of the petition, as it rests on the Court’s supervisory
continuing with this process. The JBC had started to act, without any prodding from the Court, because authority and relates to the exercise of the Court’s administrative rather than its judicial functions
of its duty to start the nomination process but was hampered by the petitions filed and the legal (other than these two functions, the Court also has its rulemaking function under Article VIII, Section
questions raised that only the Supreme Court can settle with finality.11 Thus, a clash of interests based 5(5) of the Constitution). Strictly speaking, the Mendoza petition calls for directions from the Court in
on law existed between the petitioners and the JBC. To state the obvious, a decision in favor of the exercise of its power of supervision over the JBC,18 not on the basis of the power of judicial
Tolentino or Soriano would result in a writ of prohibition that would direct the JBC not to proceed with review.19 In this sense, it does not need the actual clash of interests of the type that a judicial
the nomination process. adjudication requires. All that must be shown is the active need for supervision to justify the Court’s
intervention as supervising authority.
The Mendoza petition cited the effect of a complete election ban on judicial appointments (in view of
the already high level of vacancies and the backlog of cases) as basis, and submitted the question as an Under these circumstances, the Court’s recognition of the Mendoza petition was not an undue stretch
administrative matter that the Court, in the exercise of its supervisory authority over the Judiciary and of its constitutional powers. If the recognition is unusual at all, it is so only because of its novelty; to my
the JBC itself, should act upon. At the same time, it cited the "public discourse and controversy" now knowledge, this is the first time ever in Philippine jurisprudence that the supervisory authority of the
taking place because of the application of the election ban on the appointment of the Chief Justice, Court over an attached agency has been highlighted in this manner. Novelty, per se, however, is not a
pointing in this regard to the very same reasons mentioned in Valenzuela about the need to resolve the ground for objection nor a mark of infirmity for as long as the novel move is founded in law. In this
issue and avoid the recurrence of conflict between the Executive and the Judiciary, and the need to case, as in the case of the writ of amparo and habeas data that were then novel and avowedly activist in
"avoid polemics concerning the matter."12
character, sufficient legal basis exists to actively invoke the Court’s supervisory authority – granted related to the underlying facts of these petitions, without clear guidelines to the JBC on the proper
under the Constitution, no less – as basis for action. parameters to observe vis-à-vis the constitutional dispute along the lines the JBC needs. In fact,
concrete guidelines addressed to the JBC in the resolution of the Tolentino/Soriano petitions may even
To partly quote the wording of the Constitution, Article VIII, Section 8(1) and (5) provide that "A lead to accusations that the Court’s resolution is broader than is required by the facts of the petitions.
Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the supervision of the Supreme Court… It may The Mendoza petition, because it pertains directly to the performance of the JBC’s duty and the Court’s
exercise such other functions and duties as the Supreme Court may assign to it." Supervision, as a legal supervisory authority, allows the issuance of precise guidelines that will enable the JBC to fully and
concept, more often than not, is defined in relation with the concept of control.20 In Social Justice seasonably comply with its constitutional mandate.
Society v. Atienza,21 we defined "supervision" as follows:
I hasten to add that the JBC’s constitutional task is not as simple as some people think it to be. The
[Supervision] means overseeing or the power or authority of an officer to see that subordinate officers process of preparing and submitting a list of nominees is an arduous and time-consuming task that
perform their duties. If the latter fail or neglect to fulfill them, the former may take such action or step cannot be done overnight. It is a six-step process lined with standards requiring the JBC to attract the
as prescribed by law to make them perform their duties. Control, on the other hand, means the power best available candidates, to examine and investigate them, to exhibit transparency in all its actions
of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer ha[s] done in the while ensuring that these actions conform to constitutional and statutory standards (such as the
performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter. election ban on appointments), to submit the required list of nominees on time, and to ensure as well
that all these acts are politically neutral. On the time element, the JBC list for the Supreme Court has to
Under this definition, the Court cannot dictate on the JBC the results of its assigned task, i.e., who to
be submitted on or before the vacancy occurs given the 90-day deadline that the appointing President
recommend or what standards to use to determine who to recommend. It cannot even direct the JBC on
is given in making the appointment. The list will be submitted, not to the President as an outgoing
how and when to do its duty, but it can, under its power of supervision, direct the JBC to "take such
President, nor to the election winner as an incoming President, but to the President of the Philippines
action or step as prescribed by law to make them perform their duties," if the duties are not being
whoever he or she may be. If the incumbent President does not act on the JBC list within the time left in
performed because of JBC’s fault or inaction, or because of extraneous factors affecting performance.
her term, the same list shall be available to the new President for him to act upon. In all these, the
Note in this regard that, constitutionally, the Court can also assign the JBC other functions and duties –
Supreme Court bears the burden of overseeing that the JBC’s duty is done, unerringly and with utmost
a power that suggests authority beyond what is purely supervisory.
dispatch; the Court cannot undertake this supervision in a manner consistent with the Constitution’s
Where the JBC itself is at a loss on how to proceed in light of disputed constitutional provisions that expectation from the JBC unless it adopts a pro-active stance within the limits of its supervisory
require interpretation,22 the Court is not legally out of line – as the final authority on the interpretation authority.
of the Constitution and as the entity constitutionally-tasked to supervise the JBC – in exercising its
The Disputed Provisions
oversight function by clarifying the interpretation of the disputed constitutional provision to guide the
JBC. In doing this, the Court is not simply rendering a general legal advisory; it is providing concrete The movants present their arguments on the main issue at several levels. Some argue that the disputed
and specific legal guidance to the JBC in the exercise of its supervisory authority, after the latter has constitutional provisions – Article VII, Section 15 and Article VIII, Section 4(1) – are clear and speak for
asked for assistance in this regard. That the Court does this while concretely resolving actual themselves on what the Constitution covers in banning appointments during the election period.23
controversies (the Tolentino and Soriano petitions) on the same issue immeasurably strengthens the One even posits that there is no conflict because both provisions can be given effect without one
intrinsic correctness of the Court’s action. detracting against the full effectiveness of the other,24 although the effect is to deny the sitting
President the option to appoint in favor of a deferment for the incoming President’s action. Still others,
It may be asked: why does the Court have to recognize the Mendoza petition when it can resolve the
repeating their original arguments, appeal to the principles of interpretation and latin maxims to prove
conflict between Article VII, Section 15 and Article VIII, Section 4(1) through the Tolentino and Soriano
their point.25
petitions?
In my discussions in the Separate Opinion, I stated upfront my views on how the disputed provisions
The answer is fairly simple and can be read between the lines of the above explanation on the
interact with each other. Read singly and in isolation, they appear clear (this reading applies the "plain
relationship between the Court and the JBC. First, administrative is different from judicial function and
meaning rule" that Tolentino advocates in his motion for reconsideration, as explained below). Arrayed
providing guidance to the JBC can only be appropriate in the discharge of the Court’s administrative
side by side with each other and considered in relation with the other provisions of the Constitution,
function. Second, the resolution of the Tolentino and Soriano petitions will lead to rulings directly
particularly its structure and underlying intents, the conflict however becomes obvious and Constitution and the law. Any provision in each of the Articles on these three departments31 that
unavoidable. intrudes into the other must be closely examined if the provision affects and upsets the desired balance.

Section 15 on its face disallows any appointment in clear negative terms ("shall not make") without Under the division of powers, the President as Chief Executive is given the prerogative of making
specifying the appointments covered by the prohibition.26 From this literal and isolated reading appointments, subject only to the legal qualification standards, to the checks provided by the
springs the argument that no exception is provided (except that found in Section 15 itself) so that even Legislature’s Commission on Appointments (when applicable) and by the JBC for appointments in the
the Judiciary is covered by the ban on appointments. Judiciary, and to the Constitution’s own limitations. Conflict comes in when the Constitution laid
down Article VII, Section 15 limiting the President’s appointing power during the election period. This
On the other hand, Section 4(1) is likewise very clear and categorical in its terms: any vacancy in the limitation of power would have been all-encompassing and would, thus, have extended to all
Court shall be filled within 90 days from its occurrence.27 In the way of Section 15, Section 4(1) is also government positions the President can fill, had the Constitution not inserted a provision, also on
clear and categorical and provides no exception; the appointment refers solely to the Members of the appointments, in the Article on the Judiciary with respect to appointments to the Supreme Court. This
Supreme Court and does not mention any period that would interrupt, hold or postpone the 90-day conflict gives rise to the questions: which provision should prevail, or should both be given effect? Or
requirement. should both provisions yield to a higher concern – the need to maintain the integrity of our elections?

From this perspective, the view that no conflict exists cannot be seriously made, unless with the A holistic reading of the Constitution – a must in constitutional interpretation – dictates as a general
mindset that one provision controls and the other should yield. Many of the petitions in fact advocate rule that the tasks assigned to each department and their limitations should be given full effect to fulfill
this kind of reading, some of them openly stating that the power of appointment should be reserved the constitutional purposes under the check and balance principle, unless the Constitution itself
for the incoming President.28 The question, however, is whether – from the viewpoint of strict law and expressly indicates its preference for one task, concern or standard over the others,32 or unless this
devoid of the emotionalism and political partisanship that permeate the present Philippine political Court, in its role as interpreter of the Constitution, has spoken on the appropriate interpretation that
environment – this kind of mindset can really be adopted in reading and applying the Constitution. should be made.33

In my view, this kind of mindset and the conclusion it inevitably leads to cannot be adopted; the In considering the interests of the Executive and the Judiciary, a holistic approach starts from the
provisions of the Constitution cannot be read in isolation from what the whole contains. To be exact, premise that the constitutional scheme is to grant the President the power of appointment, subject to
the Constitution must be read and understood as a whole, reconciling and harmonizing apparently the limitation provided under Article VII, Section 15. At the same time, the Judiciary is assured,
conflicting provisions so that all of them can be given full force and effect,29 unless the Constitution without qualifications under Article VIII, Section 4(1), of the immediate appointment of Members of
itself expressly states otherwise.30 the Supreme Court, i.e., within 90 days from the occurrence of the vacancy. If both provisions would be
allowed to take effect, as I believe they should, the limitation on the appointment power of the
Not to be forgotten in reading and understanding the Constitution are the many established
President under Article VII, Section 15 should itself be limited by the appointment of Members of the
underlying constitutional principles that we have to observe and respect if we are to be true to the
Court pursuant to Article VIII, Section 4(1), so that the provision applicable to the Judiciary can be
Constitution. These principles – among them the principles of checks and balances and separation of
given full effect without detriment to the President’s appointing authority. This harmonization will
powers – are not always expressly stated in the Constitution, but no one who believes in and who has
result in restoring to the President the full authority to appoint Members of the Supreme Court
studied the Constitution can deny that they are there and deserve utmost attention, respect, and even
pursuant to the combined operation of Article VII, Section 15 and Article VIII, Section 4(1).
priority consideration.

Viewed in this light, there is essentially no conflict, in terms of the authority to appoint, between the
In establishing the structures of government, the ideal that the Constitution seeks to achieve is one of
Executive and Judiciary; the President would effectively be allowed to exercise the Executive’s
balance among the three great departments of government – the Executive, the Legislative and the
traditional presidential power of appointment while respecting the Judiciary’s own prerogative. In
Judiciary, with each department undertaking its constitutionally-assigned task as a check against the
other words, the President retains full powers to appoint Members of the Court during the election
exercise of power by the others, while all three departments move forward in working for the progress
period, and the Judiciary is assured of a full membership within the time frame given.
of the nation. Thus, the Legislature makes the laws and is supreme in this regard, in the way that the
Executive is supreme in enforcing and administering the law, while the Judiciary interprets both the Interestingly, the objection to the full application of Article VIII, Section 4(1) comes, not from the
current President, but mainly from petitioners echoing the present presidential candidates, one of
whom shall soon be the incoming President. They do not, of course, cite reasons of power and the loss influence in the Court, however, cannot be active considerations in resolving the election ban issue as
of the opportunity to appoint the Chief Justice; many of the petitioners/intervenors oppose the full they are, in their present form and presentation, all speculative. If past record is to be the measure, the
application of Article VIII, Section 4(1) based on the need to maintain the integrity of the elections record of past Chief Justices and of this Court speaks for itself with respect to the Justices’ relationship
through the avoidance of a "midnight appointment." with, and deferral to, the appointing authority in their decisions.

What should not be forgotten in examining the records of the Court, from the prism of problems an
electoral exercise may bring, is the Court’s unique and proven capacity to intervene and diffuse
This "integrity" reason is a given in a democracy and can hardly be opposed on the theoretical plane, as situations that are potentially explosive for the nation. EDSA II particularly comes to mind in this
the integrity of the elections must indeed prevail in a true democracy. The statement, however, begs a regard (although it was an event that was not rooted in election problems) as it is a perfect example of
lot of questions, among them the question of whether the appointment of a full Court under the terms the potential for damage to the nation that the Court can address and has addressed. When acting in
of Article VIII, Section 4(1) will adversely affect or enhance the integrity of the elections. this role, a vacancy in the Court is not only a vote less, but a significant contribution less in the Court’s
deliberations and capacity for action, especially if the missing voice is the voice of the Chief Justice.
In my Separate Opinion, I concluded that the appointment of a Member of the Court even during the
election period per se implies no adverse effect on the integrity of the election; a full Court is ideal Be it remembered that if any EDSA-type situation arises in the coming elections, it will be compounded
during this period in light of the Court’s unique role during elections. I maintain this view and fully by the lack of leaders because of the lapse of the President’s term by June 30, 2010; by a possible failure
concur in this regard with the majority. of succession if for some reason the election of the new leadership becomes problematic; and by the
similar absence of congressional leadership because Congress has not yet convened to organize itself.34
During the election period, the court is not only the interpreter of the Constitution and the election
In this scenario, only the Judiciary of the three great departments of government stands unaffected by
laws; other than the Commission on Elections and the lower courts to a limited extent, the Court is
the election and should at least therefore be complete to enable it to discharge its constitutional role to
likewise the highest impartial recourse available to decisively address any problem or dispute arising
its fullest potential and capacity. To state the obvious, leaving the Judiciary without any permanent
from the election. It is the leader and the highest court in the Judiciary, the only one of the three
leader in this scenario may immeasurably complicate the problem, as all three departments of
departments of government directly unaffected by the election. The Court is likewise the entity
government will then be leaderless.
entrusted by the Constitution, no less, with the gravest election-related responsibilities. In particular, it
is the sole judge of all contests in the election of the President and the Vice-President, with leadership To stress what I mentioned on this point in my Separate Opinion, the absence of a Chief Justice will
and participation as well in the election tribunals that directly address Senate and House of make a lot of difference in the effectiveness of the Court as he or she heads the Judiciary, sits as Chair
Representatives electoral disputes. With this grant of responsibilities, the Constitution itself has spoken of the JBC and of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, presides over impeachment proceedings, and
on the trust it reposes on the Court on election matters. This reposed trust, to my mind, renders provides the moral suasion and leadership that only the permanent mantle of the Chief Justice can
academic any question of whether an appointment during the election period will adversely affect the bestow. EDSA II is just one of the many lessons from the past when the weightiest of issues were
integrity of the elections – it will not, as the maintenance of a full Court in fact contributes to the tackled and promptly resolved by the Court. Unseen by the general public in all these was the
enforcement of the constitutional scheme to foster a free and orderly election. leadership that was there to ensure that the Court would act as one, in the spirit of harmony and
stability although divergent in their individual views, as the Justices individually make their
In reading the motions for reconsideration against the backdrop of the partisan political noise of the
contributions to the collegial result. To some, this leadership may only be symbolic, as the Court has
coming elections, one cannot avoid hearing echoes from some of the arguments that the objection is
fully functioned in the past even with an incomplete membership or under an Acting Chief Justice. But
related, more than anything else, to their lack of trust in an appointment to be made by the incumbent
as I said before, an incomplete Court "is not a whole Supreme Court; it will only be a Court with 14
President who will soon be bowing out of office. They label the incumbent President’s act as a
members who would act and vote on all matters before it." To fully recall what I have said on this
"midnight appointment" – a term that has acquired a pejorative meaning in contemporary society.
matter:
As I intimated in my Separate Opinion, the imputation of distrust can be made against any appointing
The importance of the presence of one Member of the Court can and should never be underestimated,
authority, whether outgoing or incoming. The incoming President himself will be before this Court if
particularly on issues that may gravely affect the nation. Many a case has been won or lost on the basis
an election contest arises; any President, past or future, would also naturally wish favorable outcomes
of one vote. On an issue of the constitutionality of a law, treaty or statute, a tie vote – which is possible
in legal problems that the Court would resolve. These possibilities and the potential for continuing
in a 14 member court – means that the constitutionality is upheld. This was our lesson in Isagani Cruz The ponencia’s ruling reversing Valenzuela, in my view, is out of place in the present case, since at
v. DENR Secretary. issue here is the appointment of the Chief Justice during the period of the election ban, not the
appointment of lower court judges that Valenzuela resolved. To be perfectly clear, the conflict in the
More than the vote, Court deliberation is the core of the decision-making process and one voice is less constitutional provisions is not confined to Article VII, Section 15 and Article VIII, Section 4(1) with
is not only a vote less but a contributed opinion, an observation, or a cautionary word less for the respect to the appointment of Members of the Supreme Court; even before the Valenzuela ruling, the
Court. One voice can be a big difference if the missing voice is that of the Chief Justice. conflict already existed between Article VII, Section 15 and Article VIII, Section 9 – the provision on the
appointment of the justices and judges of courts lower than the Supreme Court. After this Court’s
Without meaning to demean the capability of an Acting Chief Justice, the ascendancy in the Court of a
ruling in Valenzuela, no amount of hairsplitting can result in the conclusion that Article VII, Section 15
permanent sitting Chief Justice cannot be equaled. He is the first among equals – a primus inter pares –
applied the election ban over the whole Judiciary, including the Supreme Court, as the facts and the
who sets the tone for the Court and the Judiciary, and who is looked up to on all matters, whether
fallo of Valenzuela plainly spoke of the objectionable appointment of two Regional Trial Court judges.
administrative or judicial. To the world outside the Judiciary, he is the personification of the Court and
To reiterate, Valenzuela only resolved the conflict between Article VII, Section 15 and appointments to
the whole Judiciary. And this is not surprising since, as Chief Justice, he not only chairs the Court en
the Judiciary under Article VIII, Section 9.
banc, but chairs as well the Presidential Electoral Tribunal that sits in judgment over election disputes
affecting the President and the Vice-President. Outside of his immediate Court duties, he sits as Chair If Valenzuela did prominently figure at all in the present case, the prominence can be attributed to the
of the Judicial and Bar Council, the Philippine Judicial Academy and, by constitutional command, petitioners’ mistaken reading that this case is primary authority for the dictum that Article VII, Section
presides over the impeachment of the President. To be sure, the Acting Chief Justice may be the ablest, 15 completely bans all appointments to the Judiciary, including appointments to the Supreme Court,
but he is not the Chief Justice without the mantle and permanent title of the Office, and even his during the election period up to the end of the incumbent President’s term.
presence as Acting Chief Justice leaves the Court with one member less. Sadly, this member is the Chief
Justice; even with an Acting Chief Justice, the Judiciary and the Court remains headless. 35 In reality, this mistaken reading is an obiter dictum in Valenzuela, and hence, cannot be cited for its
primary precedential value. This legal situation still holds true as Valenzuela was not doctrinally
Given these views, I see no point in re-discussing the finer points of technical interpretation and their reversed as its proposed reversal was supported only by five (5) out of the 12 participating Members of
supporting latin maxims that I have addressed in my Separate Opinion and now feel need no further the Court. In other words, this ruling on how Article VII, Section 15 is to be interpreted in relation with
elaboration; maxims can be found to serve a pleader’s every need and in any case are the last Article VIII, Section 9, should continue to stand unless otherwise expressly reversed by this Court.
interpretative tools in constitutional interpretation. Nor do I see any point in discussing arguments
based on the intent of the framers of the Constitution now cited by the parties in the contexts that But separately from the mistaken use of an obiter ruling as primary authority, I believe that I should
would serve their own ends. As may be evident in these discussions, other than the texts of the sound the alarm bell about the Valenzuela ruling in light of a recent vacancy in the position of
disputed provisions, I prefer to examine their purposes and the consequences of their application, Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan resulting from Presiding Justice Norberto Geraldez’s death
understood within the context of democratic values. Past precedents are equally invaluable for the soon after we issued the decision in the present case. Reversing the Valenzuela ruling now, in the
lead, order, and stability they contribute, but only if they are in point, certain, and still alive to current absence of a properly filed case addressing an appointment at this time to the Sandiganbayan or to any
realities, while the history of provisions, including the intents behind them, are primarily important to other vacancy in the lower courts, will be an irregular ruling of the first magnitude by this Court, as it
ascertain the purposes the provisions serve. will effectively be a shortcut that lifts the election ban on appointments to the lower courts without the
benefit of a case whose facts and arguments would directly confront the continued validity of the
From these perspectives and without denigrating the framers’ historical contributions, I say that it is Valenzuela ruling. This is especially so after we have placed the Court on notice that a reversal of
the Constitution that now primarily speaks to us in this case and what we hear are its direct words, not Valenzuela is uncalled for because its ruling is not the litigated issue in this case.
merely the recorded isolated debates reflecting the personal intents of the constitutional commissioners
as cited by the parties to fit their respective theories. The voice speaking the words of the Constitution In any case, let me repeat what I stressed in my Separate Opinion about Valenzuela which rests on the
is our best guide, as these words will unalterably be there for us to read in the context of their purposes reasoning that the evils Section 15 seeks to remedy – vote buying, midnight appointments and partisan
and the nation’s needs and circumstances. This Concurring and Dissenting Opinion hears and listens to reasons to influence the elections – exist, thus justifying an election appointment ban. In particular, the
that voice. "midnight appointment" justification, while fully applicable to the more numerous vacancies at the
lower echelons of the Judiciary (with an alleged current lower court vacancy level of 537 or a 24.5%
The Valenzuela Decision
vacancy rate), should not apply to the Supreme Court which has only a total of 15 positions that are not the Sandiganbayan from Judges to Justices, co-equal in rank with the Justices of the Court of Appeals;
even vacated at the same time. The most number of vacancies for any one year occurred only last year and provided that the Sandiganbayan shall sit in three divisions of three Justices each. Republic Act
(2009) when seven (7) positions were vacated by retirement, but this vacancy rate is not expected to be No.
replicated at any time within the next decade. Thus "midnight appointments" to the extent that they
were understood in Aytona36 will not occur in the vacancies of this Court as nominations to its 79756 was approved into law on March 30, 1995 and it increased the composition of the Sandiganbayan
vacancies are all processed through the JBC under the public’s close scrutiny. As already discussed from nine to fifteen Justices who would sit in five divisions of three members each. Republic Act No.
above, the institutional integrity of the Court is hardly an issue. If at all, only objections personal to the 10660, recently enacted on April 16, 2015, created two more divisions of the Sandiganbayan with three

individual Members of the Court or against the individual applicants can be made, but these are Justices each, thereby resulting in six vacant positions.
matters addressed in the first place by the JBC before nominees are submitted. There, too, are specific
On July 20, 2015, the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) published in the Philippine Star and Philippine
reasons, likewise discussed above, explaining why the election ban should not apply to the Supreme
Daily Inquirer and posted on the JBC website an announcement calling for applications or
Court. These exempting reasons, of course, have yet to be shown to apply to the lower courts. Thus, on
recommendations for the six newly created positions of Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan. After
the whole, the reasons justifying the election ban in Valenzuela still obtain in so far as the lower courts
screening and selection of applicants, the JBC submitted to President Aquino six shortlists contained in
are concerned, and have yet to be proven otherwise in a properly filed case. Until then, Valenzuela,
six separate letters President Aquino issued on January 20, 2015 the appointment papers for the six
except to the extent that it mentioned Section 4(1), should remain an authoritative ruling of this Court.
new Sandiganbayan Associate Justices, namely: (1) respondent Musngi; (2) Justice Reynaldo P. Cruz
CONCLUSION (R. Cruz); (3) respondent Econg; (4) Justice Maria Theresa V. Mendoza-Arcega (Mendoza-Arcega); (5)
Justice Karl B. Miranda (Miranda); and (6) Justice Zaldy V. Trespeses (Trespeses). The appointment
In light of these considerations, a writ of prohibition cannot issue to prevent the JBC from performing papers were transmitted on January 25, 2016 to the six new Sandiganbayan Associate Justices, who
its principal function, under the Constitution, of recommending nominees for the position of Chief took their oaths of office on the same day all at the Supreme Court Dignitaries Lounge. Respondent
Justice. Thus, I vote to deny with finality the Tolentino and Soriano motions for reconsideration. Econg, with Justices Mendoza-Arcega and Trespeses, took their oaths of office before Supreme Court
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno (Sereno); while respondent Musngi, with Justices R. Cruz and
The other motions for reconsideration in so far as they challenge the conclusion that the President can Miranda, took their oaths of office before Supreme Court Associate Justice Francis H. Jardeleza
appoint the Chief Justice even during the election period are likewise denied with finality for lack of (Jardeleza). Petitioners Aguinaldo, Alhambra, D. Cruz, Pozon, And Timbang (Aguinaldo, Et Al.), were
merit, but are granted in so far as they support the continued validity of the ruling of this Court in In all nominees in the shortlist for the 16th Sandiganbayan Associate Justice. They assert that President
Re: Valenzuela and Vallarta, A.M. No. 98-5-01-SC, November 9, 1998. Aquino violated Section 9, Article VIII Of The 1987 constitution in that he did not appoint anyone from
the shortlist submitted by the JBC for the vacancy for position of the 16th Associate Justice of the
My opinion on the Mendoza petition stands.
Sandiganbayan and that he appointed Undersecretary Musngi and Judge Econg as associate justices of
ARTURO D. BRION The Sandiganbayan to the vacancy for the position of 21st Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan.
Associate Justice
According to Aguinaldo, Et Al., the JBC was created under the 1987 Constitution to reduce the
10. HON. PHILIP A. AGUINALDO v. HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT BENIGNO SIMEON C.
politicization of the appointments to the Judiciary, i.e., "to rid the process of appointments to the
AQUINO III et al.
Judiciary from the political pressure and partisan activities."
G.R. No. 224302, 29 November 2016, (Leonardo-De Castro, J.)
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), on behalf of the Office of the President (OP), filed a
On June 11, 1978, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos (Marcos) issued Presidential Decree No. 1486, Comment, seeking the dismissal of the Petition on procedural and substantive grounds.
creating a special court called the Sandiganbayan, composed of a Presiding Judge and eight Associate
ISSUES:
Judges to be appointed by the President, which shall have jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases
involving graft and corrupt practices and such other offenses committed by public officers and
1. Whether president aquino enjoyed immunity from suit in this instant case
employees, including those in governmentowned or controlled corporations. A few months later,
President Marcos also issued Presidential Decree No. 1606, which elevated the rank of the members of
2. Whether president aquino, under the circumstances, was limited to appoint only from the nominees before their appointment by the President and, thus, unduly arrogating unto itself a vital part of the
in the shortlist submitted by the jbc for each specific vacancy. President's power of appointment.

RULING There is also a legal ground why the simultaneous vacant positions of Sandiganbayan Associate Justice
should not each be assigned a specific number by the JBC. The Sandiganbayan Associate Justice
1. YES, the Court finds it proper to drop President Aquino as respondent taking into account that when positions were created without any distinction as to rank in seniority or order of preference in the
this Petition was filed on May 17, 2016, he was still then the incumbent President who enjoyed collegiate court. The President appoints his choice nominee to the post of Sandiganbayan Associate
immunity from suit. The presidential immunity from suit remains preserved in the system of Justice, but not to a Sandiganbayan Associate Justice position with an identified rank, which is
government of this country, even though not expressly reserved in the 1987 Constitution. The automatically determined by the order of issuance of appointment by the President. The appointment
President is granted the privilege of immunity from suit "to assure the exercise of Presidential duties does not specifically pertain to the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, or 21st Sandiganbayan Associate Justice,
and functions free from any hindrance or distraction, considering that being the Chief Executive of the because the Sandiganbayan Associate Justice's ranking is temporary and changes every time a vacancy
Government is a job that, aside from requiring all of the office-holder's time, also demands undivided occurs in said collegiate court. In fact, by the end of 2016, there will be two more vacancies for
attention." Sandiganbayan Associate Justice.51 These vacancies will surely cause movement in the ranking within
the Sandiganbayan. At the time of his/her appointment, a Sandiganbayan Associate Justice might be
2. NO, the JBC was created under the 1987 Constitution with the principal function of recommending
ranked 16th, but because of the two vacancies occurring in the court, the same Sandiganbayan
appointees to the Judiciary. It is a body, representative of all the stakeholders in the judicial
Associate Justice may eventually be higher ranked.
appointment process, intended to rid the process of appointments to the Judiciary of the evils of
political pressure and partisan activities. Furthermore, the JBC, in sorting the qualified nominees into six clusters, one for every vacancy, could
influence the appointment process beyond its constitutional mandate of recommending qualified
It should be stressed that the power to recommend of the JBC cannot be used to restrict or limit the
nominees to the President. Clustering impinges upon the President's power of appointment, as well as
President's power to appoint as the latter's prerogative to choose someone whom he/she considers
restricts the chances for appointment of the qualified nominees, because (1) the President's option for
worth appointing to the vacancy in the Judiciary is still paramount. As long as in the end, the President
every vacancy is limited to the five to seven nominees in the cluster; and (2) once the President has
appoints someone nominated by the JBC, the appointment is valid. On this score, the Court finds
appointed from one cluster, then he is proscribed from considering the other nominees in the same
herein that President Aquino was not obliged to appoint one new Sandiganbayan Associate Justice
cluster for the other vacancies. The said limitations are utterly without legal basis and in contravention
from each of the six shortlists submitted by the JBC, especially when the clustering of nominees into the
of the President's appointing power.
six shortlists encroached on President Aquino's power to appoint members of the Judiciary from all
those whom the JBC had considered to be qualified for the same positions of Sandiganbayan Associate To recall, the JBC invited applications and recommendations and conducted interviews for the "six
Justice. newly created positions of Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan." Applicants, including respondents
Musngi and Econg, applied for the vacancy for "Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan."
Moreover, in the case at bar, there were six simultaneous vacancies for the position of Sandiganbayan
Associate Justice, and the JBC cannot, by clustering of the nominees, designate a numerical order of Throughout the application process before the JBC, the six newly-created positions of Sandiganbayan
seniority of the prospective appointees. The Sandiganbayan, a collegiate court, is composed of a Associate Justice were not specifically identified and differentiated from one another for the simple
Presiding Justice and 20 Associate Justices divided into seven divisions, with three members each. The reason that there was really no legal justification to do so. The requirements and qualifications, as well
numerical order of the seniority or order of preference of the 20 Associate Justices is determined as the power, duties, and responsibilities are the same for all the Sandiganbayan Associate Justices. If
pursuant to law by the date and order of their commission or appointment by the President. an individual is found to be qualified for one vacancy, then he/she is also qualified for all the other
vacancies. It was only at the end of the process that the JBC precipitously clustered the 37 qualified
It bears to point out that part of the President's power to appoint members of a collegiate court, such as
nominees into six separate shortlists for each of the six vacant positions.
the Sandiganbayan, is the power to determine the seniority or order of preference of such newly
appointed members by controlling the date and order of issuance of said members' appointment or 10B. (2017) Aguinaldo v. Aquino
commission papers. By already designating the numerical order of the vacancies, the JBC would be
establishing the seniority or order of preference of the new Sandiganbayan Associate Justices even G.R. No 224302 TOPIC: Power of Appointment
PONENTE: LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.: o The JBC, as a constitutional body, enjoys independence, and as such, it may change its
practice from time to time in accordance with its wisdom.
CASE LAW/ DOCTRINE:
• The JBC maintains that it did not exceed its authority and, in fact, it only faithfully complied
The power to recommend of the JBC cannot be used to restrict or limit the President's power to appoint with the literal language of Article VIII, Section 9 of the 1987 Constitution, when it prepared six short
as the latter's prerogative to choose someone whom he/she considers worth appointing to the vacancy lists for the six vacancies in the Sandiganbayan.
in the Judiciary is still paramount. As long as in the end, the President appoints someone nominated by
the JBC, the appointment is valid, and he, not the JBC, determines the seniority of appointees to a • The JBC renounces any duty to increase the chances of appointment of every candidate it
collegiate court. adjudged to have met the minimum qualifications. It asserts that while there might have been
favorable experiences with the past practice of submitting long consolidated short lists, past practices
Emergency Recit: cannot be used as a source of rights and obligations to override the duty of the JBC to observe a
straightforward application of the Constitution.
The JBC filed a Motion for Reconsideration-in-Intervention (Of the Decision dated 29 November 2016)
on February 6, 2017. It alleged that the clustering of nominees was in accordance with the Constitution. • The JBC further contends that since each vacancy creates discrete and possibly unique
The Supreme Court reiterated its 2016 decision that as long as in the end, the President appoints situations, there can be no general rule against clustering. Submitting separate, independent short lists
someone nominated by the JBC, the appointment is valid, and he, not the JBC, determines the seniority for each vacancy is the only way for the JBC to observe the constitutional standards of (a) one list for
of appointees to a collegiate court. every vacancy, and (b) choosing candidates of competence, independence, probity, and integrity for
every such vacancy.
FACTS:

• It is also the asseveration of the JBC that it did not encroach on the President's power to
• The JBC successively filed a Motion for Reconsideration (with Motion for the Inhibition of the
appoint members of the Judiciary.
Ponente) on December 27, 2016 and a Motion for Reconsideration-in-Intervention (Of the Decision
dated 29 November 2016) on February 6, 2017. • The numbering of the lists from 16th to 21st had nothing to do with seniority in the
Sandiganbayan, but was only an ordinal designation of the cluster to which the candidates were
o The immediate concern of the JBC is this Court's pronouncement that the former's act of
included.
submitting six lists for six vacancies was unconstitutional.
ISSUE(S):
• The JBC asserts that in submitting six short lists for six vacancies, it was only acting in
accordance with the clear and unambiguous mandate of Article VIII, Section 9[3] of the 1987 Whether or not the Decision dated 29 November 2016, which ruled the clustering of nominees by the
Constitution for the JBC to submit a list for every vacancy. Judicial and Bar Council as unconstitional, must be reversed. must be reversed.

• According to the JBC, its new practice of "clustering," in fact, is more in accord with the RATIO:
purpose of the JBC to rid the appointment process to the Judiciary from political pressure as the
President has to choose only from the nominees for one particular vacancy. No. The Supreme Court sustained the Nov. 2016 Decision.

o Otherwise, the President can choose whom he pleases, and thereby completely disregard the • The clustering of nominees for the six vacancies in the Sandiganbayan by the JBC impaired
purpose for the creation of the JBC. the President's power to appoint members of the Judiciary and to determine the seniority of the newly-
appointed Sandiganbayan Associate Justices.
o The JBC clarifies that it numbered the vacancies, not to influence the order of precedence, but
for practical reasons, i.e., to distinguish one list from the others and to avoid confusion. o The Court ruled that the clustering impinged upon the President's appointing power in the
following ways:
o The JBC also points out that the acts invoked against the JBC are based on practice or custom,
but "practice, no matter how long continued, cannot give rise to any vested right."
o The President's option for every vacancy was limited to the five to seven nominees in each • By already designating the numerical order of the vacancies, the JBC would be establishing
cluster. Once the President had appointed a nominee from one cluster, then he was proscribed from the seniority or order of preference of the new Sandiganbayan Associate Justices even before their
considering the other nominees in the same cluster for the other vacancies. appointment by the President and, thus, unduly arrogating unto itself a vital part of the President's
power of appointment.
o All the nominees applied for and were found to be qualified for appointment to any of the
vacant Associate Justice positions in the Sandiganbayan, but the JBC failed to explain why one nominee 11. ATTY. CHELOY E. VELICARIA-GARAFIL v. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT and HON.
should be considered for appointment to the position assigned to one specific cluster only. SOLICITOR GENERAL JOSE ANSELMO I. CADIZ

o Correspondingly, the nominees' chance for appointment was restricted to the consideration of G.R. No. 203372, June 16, 2015, EN BANC (Carpio, J.)
the one cluster in which they were included, even though they applied and were found to be qualified
for all the vacancies. Prior to the May 2010 elections, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued more than 800
appointments including the petitioners in several government offices. Section 15, Article VII of the 1987
o Moreover, by designating the numerical order of the vacancies, the JBC established the Constitution provides for a ban on midnight appointments. For purposes of the 2010 elections, March
seniority or order of preference of the new Sandiganbayan Associate Justices, a power which the law 10, 2010 was the cutoff date for valid appointments and the next day, 11 March 2010, was the start of
(Section 1, paragraph 3 of Presidential Decree No. 1606), rules (Rule II, Section 1(b) of the Revised the ban. An exception is provided under such provision which allows temporary appointments to
Internal Rules of the Sandiganbayan), and jurisprudence (Re: Seniority Among the Four Most Recent executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public
Appointments to the Position of Associate Justices of the Court of Appeals), vest exclusively upon the safety. None of the petitioners claim that their appointments fall under this exception. President
President. Aquino issued EO 2 recalling, withdrawing, and revoking appointments issued by President
Macapagal-Arroyo which violated the constitutional ban. The officers and employees who were
• Clustering can be used as a device to favor or prejudice a qualified nominee.
affected by EO 2 were informed that they were terminated from service effective the next day. Several

o The clustering by the JBC of nominees for simultaneous or closely successive vacancies in petitions were filed seeking to declare the executive order as unconstitutional and for the declaration of

collegiate courts can actually be a device to favor or prejudice a particular nominee. A favored nominee their appointment as legal.

can be included in a cluster with no other strong contender to ensure his/her appointment; or
ISSUE: IS VELICARIA-GARAFIL’S APPOINTMENT VALID?
conversely, a nominee can be placed in a cluster with many strong contenders to minimize his/her
chances of appointment. RULING:

• There are no objective criteria, standards, or guidelines for the clustering of nominees by the No. The following elements should always concur in the making of a valid (which should be
JBC. understood as both complete and effective) appointment: (1) authority to appoint and evidence of the
exercise of the authority; (2) transmittal of the appointment paper and evidence of the transmittal; (3) a
o The JBC has so far failed to present a legal, objective, and rational basis for determining which
vacant position at the time of appointment; and (4) receipt of the appointment paper and acceptance of
nominee shall be included in a cluster. Simply saying that it is the result of the deliberation and voting
the appointment by the appointee who possesses all the qualifications and none of the
by the JBC for every vacancy is unsatisfactory.
disqualifications.

• The designation by the JBC of numbers to the vacant Sandiganbayan Associate Justice posts
The concurrence of all these elements should always apply, regardless of when the appointment is
encroached on the President's power to determine the seniority of the justices appointed to the said
made, whether outside, just before, or during the appointment ban. These steps in the appointment
court.
process should always concur and operate as a single process. There is no valid appointment if the

• Part of the President's power to appoint members of a collegiate court, such as the process lacks even one step.

Sandiganbayan, is the power to determine the seniority or order of preference of such newly appointed
In this case, petitioners have failed to show compliance with all four elements of a valid appointment.
members by controlling the date and order of issuance of said members' appointment or commission
They cannot prove with certainty that their appointment papers were transmitted before the
papers.
appointment ban took effect. On the other hand, petitioners admit that they took their oaths of office qualification standards, rules and regulations to implement the reorganization, separation incentive
during the appointment ban. The President's exercise of his power to appoint officials is provided for packages and timetable of implementation. Undoubtedly, TIDCORP effected the reorganization within
in the Constitution and laws. Considering that appointment calls for a selection, the appointing power legal bounds and in response to the perceived need to make the agency more attuned to the changing
necessarily exercises a discretion. There should be evidence that the President intended the times.
appointment paper to be issued. Release of the appointment paper through the MRO is an unequivocal
act that signifies the President's intent of its issuance. For purposes of verification of the appointment Having found the 2002 reorganization to be valid and made pursuant to Republic Act No. 8494, we
paper's existence and authenticity, the appointment paper must bear the security marks and must bE declare that there are no legal and practical bases for reinstating Demigillo to her former position as

accompanied by a transmittal letter from the MRO. Also, an appointment can be made only to a vacant Senior Vice President in the LCSD. To be sure, the reorganization plan abolished the LCSD, and put in
office. An appointment cannot be made to an occupied office. The incumbent must first be place a setup completely different from the previous one, including a new staffing pattern in which
legallyremoved, or his appointment validly terminated, before one could be validly installed to Demigillo would be heading the RCMSS, still as a Senior Vice President of TIDCORP. With that

succeed him. abolition, reinstating her as Senior Vice President in the LCSD became legally and physically
impossible.
Lastly, acceptance is indispensable to complete an appointment. Assuming office and taking the
oathamount to acceptance of the appointment. The appointments made by President Arroyo are void. Demigillo’s contention that she was specifically appointed to the position of Senior Vice President in
the LCSD was bereft of factual basis. The records indicate that her permanent appointment pertained
12. Manalang-Demigillo vs Trade and Investment Development Corporation of the Philippines only to the position of Senior Vice President. Her appointment did not indicate at all that she was to
hold that specific post in the LCSD. Hence, her re-assignment to the RCMSS was by no means a
G.R. No. 168613 March 5, 2013 diminution in rank and status considering that she maintained the same rank of Senior Vice President
with an accompanying increase in pay grade.
Facts: On February 12, 1998, the Philippine Export and Foreign Loan Guarantee was renamed Trade
and Investment Development Corporation of the Philippines (TIDCORP) pursuant to Republic Act No. The assignment to the RCMSS did not also violate Demigillo’s security of tenure as protected by
8494 entitled An Act Further Amending Presidential Decree No. 1080, As Amended, by Reorganizing Republic Act No. 6656. We have already upheld reassignments In the Civil Service resulting from valid
And Renaming the Philippine Export and Foreign Loan Guarantee Corporation, Expanding Its Primary reorganizations. Nor could she claim that her reassignment was invalid because it caused the reduction
Purpose, and for Other Purposes. Republic Act No. 8494 reorganized the structure of TIDCORP. The in her rank, status or salary. On the contrary, she was reappointed as Senior Vice President, a position
issuance of appointments in accordance with the reorganization ensued. Petitioner Rosario Manalang- that was even upgraded like all the other similar positions to Pay Grade 16, Step 4, Level II. In every
Demigillo (Demigillo) was appointed as Senior Vice President (PG 15) with permanent status, and was sense, the position to which she was reappointed under the 2002 reorganization was comparable with,
assigned to the Legal and Corporate Services Department (LCSD) of TIDCORP. Petitioner was if not similar to her previous position.
evaluated and given a ‘poor’ rating for two consecutive evaluations due to her unimproved
performance resulting to her name being dropped from the rolls of TIDCORP. 13. ABAKADA Guro Party List vs Executive Secretary

Issue: Whether or not the reorganization is valid resulting to Demigillo’s reassignment valid. Bills Must Originate EXCLUSIVELY from the House of Representatives; Undue Delegation of
Legislative Power; Equal Protection Clause
Held: Yes. Under the circumstances, when the members of the Board of Directors effected the assailed
2002 reorganization, they were acting as the responsible members of the Board of Directors of Facts:
TIDCORP constituted pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1080, as amended by Republic Act No. 8494,
not as the alter egos of the President. We cannot stretch the application of a doctrine that already Petitioners ABAKADA GURO Party List challenged the constitutionality of R.A. No. 9337 particularly
delegates an enormous amount of power. Also, it is settled that the delegation of power is not to be Sections 4, 5 and 6, amending Sections 106, 107 and 108, respectively, of the National Internal Revenue

lightly inferred. Code (NIRC). These questioned provisions contain a uniform proviso authorizing the President, upon
recommendation of the Secretary of Finance, to raise the VAT rate to 12%, effective January 1, 2006,
The result of the lengthy consultations and close coordination was the comprehensive reorganization after any of the following conditions have been satisfied, to wit:
plan that included a new organizational structure, position classification and staffing pattern,
. . . That the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance, shall, effective January 1, the local needs and problems. On the other hand, the senators, who are elected at large, are expected to
2006, raise the rate of value-added tax to twelve percent (12%), after any of the following conditions has approach the same problems from the national perspective. Both views are thereby made to bear on the
been satisfied: enactment of such laws.

(i) Value-added tax collection as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the previous year In testing whether a statute constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power or not, it is usual to
exceeds two and four-fifth percent (2 4/5%); or 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
(ii) National government deficit as a percentage of GDP of the previous year exceeds one and one-half legislature.
percent (1 ½%).
The equal protection clause under the Constitution means that “no person or class of persons shall be
Petitioners argue that the law is unconstitutional, as it constitutes abandonment by Congress of its deprived of the same protection of laws which is enjoyed by other persons or other classes in the same
exclusive authority to fix the rate of taxes under Article VI, Section 28(2) of the 1987 Philippine place and in like circumstances.”
Constitution. They further argue that VAT is a tax levied on the sale or exchange of goods and services
and cannot be included within the purview of tariffs under the exemption delegation since this refers Rulings:
to customs duties, tolls or tribute payable upon merchandise to the government and usually imposed
on imported/exported goods. They also said that the President has powers to cause, influence or create R.A. No. 9337 has not violated the provisions. The revenue bill exclusively originated in the House of

the conditions provided by law to bring about the conditions precedent. Moreover, they allege that no Representatives, the Senate was acting within its constitutional power to introduce amendments to the
guiding standards are made by law as to how the Secretary of Finance will make the recommendation. House bill when it included provisions in Senate Bill No. 1950 amending corporate income taxes,
They claim, nonetheless, that any recommendation of the Secretary of Finance can easily be brushed percentage, excise and franchise taxes. Verily, Article VI, Section 24 of the Constitution does not

aside by the President since the former is a mere alter ego of the latter, such that, ultimately, it is the contain any prohibition or limitation on the extent of the amendments that may be introduced by the
President who decides whether to impose the increased tax rate or not. Senate to the House revenue bill.

Issues: There is no undue delegation of legislative power but only of the discretion as to the execution of a law.
This is constitutionally permissible. Congress does not abdicate its functions or unduly delegate power
Whether or not R.A. No. 9337 has violated the provisions in Article VI, Section 24, and Article VI, when it describes what job must be done, who must do it, and what is the scope of his authority; in our
Section 26 (2) of the Constitution. complex economy that is frequently the only way in which the legislative process can go forward.

Whether or not there was an undue delegation of legislative power in violation of Article VI Sec 28 Par Supreme Court held no decision on this matter. The power of the State to make reasonable and natural
1 and 2 of the Constitution. classifications for the purposes of taxation has long been established. Whether it relates to the subject of
taxation, the kind of property, the rates to be levied, or the amounts to be raised, the methods of
Whether or not there was a violation of the due process and equal protection under Article III Sec. 1 of assessment, valuation and collection, the State’s power is entitled to presumption of validity. As a rule,
the Constitution. the judiciary will not interfere with such power absent a clear showing of unreasonableness,
discrimination, or arbitrariness.
Discussions:

Basing from the ruling of Tolentino case, it is not the law, but the revenue bill which is required by the 14. LOUIS “BAROK” C. BIRAOGO vs. THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION OF 2010

Constitution to “originate exclusively” in the House of Representatives, but Senate has the power not
FACTS:
only to propose amendments, but also to propose its own version even with respect to bills which are
required by the Constitution to originate in the House. the Constitution simply means is that the Pres. Aquino signed E. O. No. 1 establishing Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 (PTC) dated July 30,
initiative for filing revenue, tariff or tax bills, bills authorizing an increase of the public debt, private 2010.
bills and bills of local application must come from the House of Representatives on the theory that,
elected as they are from the districts, the members of the House can be expected to be more sensitive to
PTC is a mere ad hoc body formed under the Office of the President with the primary task to 3] The Truth Commission does not duplicate or supersede the functions of the Ombudsman and the
investigate reports of graft and corruption committed by third-level public officers and employees, DOJ, because it is a fact-finding body and not a quasi-judicial body and its functions do not duplicate,
their co-principals, accomplices and accessories during the previous administration, and to submit its supplant or erode the latter’s jurisdiction.
finding and recommendations to the President, Congress and the Ombudsman. PTC has all the powers
of an investigative body. But it is not a quasi-judicial body as it cannot adjudicate, arbitrate, resolve, 4] The Truth Commission does not violate the equal protection clause because it was validly created for
settle, or render awards in disputes between contending parties. All it can do is gather, collect and laudable purposes.
assess evidence of graft and corruption and make recommendations. It may have subpoena powers but
ISSUES:
it has no power to cite people in contempt, much less order their arrest. Although it is a fact-finding
body, it cannot determine from such facts if probable cause exists as to warrant the filing of an 1. WON the petitioners have legal standing to file the petitions and question E. O. No. 1;
information in our courts of law.
2. WON E. O. No. 1 violates the principle of separation of powers by usurping the powers of Congress
Petitioners asked the Court to declare it unconstitutional and to enjoin the PTC from performing its to create and to appropriate funds for public offices, agencies and commissions;
functions. They argued that:
3. WON E. O. No. 1 supplants the powers of the Ombudsman and the DOJ;
(a) E.O. No. 1 violates separation of powers as it arrogates the power of the Congress to create a public
office and appropriate funds for its operation. 4. WON E. O. No. 1 violates the equal protection clause.

(b) The provision of Book III, Chapter 10, Section 31 of the Administrative Code of 1987 cannot RULING:
legitimize E.O. No. 1 because the delegated authority of the President to structurally reorganize the
The power of judicial review is subject to limitations, to wit: (1) there must be an actual case or
Office of the President to achieve economy, simplicity and efficiency does not include the power to
controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must have the
create an entirely new public office which was hitherto inexistent like the “Truth Commission.”
standing to question the validity of the subject act or issuance; otherwise stated, he must have a
(c) E.O. No. 1 illegally amended the Constitution and statutes when it vested the “Truth Commission” personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as
with quasi-judicial powers duplicating, if not superseding, those of the Office of the Ombudsman a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest
created under the 1987 Constitution and the DOJ created under the Administrative Code of 1987. opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.

(d) E.O. No. 1 violates the equal protection clause as it selectively targets for investigation and 1. The petition primarily invokes usurpation of the power of the Congress as a body to which they
prosecution officials and personnel of the previous administration as if corruption is their peculiar belong as members. To the extent the powers of Congress are impaired, so is the power of each
species even as it excludes those of the other administrations, past and present, who may be indictable. member thereof, since his office confers a right to participate in the exercise of the powers of that
institution.
Respondents, through OSG, questioned the legal standing of petitioners and argued that:
Legislators have a legal standing to see to it that the prerogative, powers and privileges vested by the
1] E.O. No. 1 does not arrogate the powers of Congress because the President’s executive power and Constitution in their office remain inviolate. Thus, they are allowed to question the validity of any
power of control necessarily include the inherent power to conduct investigations to ensure that laws official action which, to their mind, infringes on their prerogatives as legislators.
are faithfully executed and that, in any event, the Constitution, Revised Administrative Code of 1987,
PD No. 141616 (as amended), R.A. No. 9970 and settled jurisprudence, authorize the President to create With regard to Biraogo, he has not shown that he sustained, or is in danger of sustaining, any personal
or form such bodies. and direct injury attributable to the implementation of E. O. No. 1.

2] E.O. No. 1 does not usurp the power of Congress to appropriate funds because there is no Locus standi is “a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question.” In private suits,
appropriation but a mere allocation of funds already appropriated by Congress. standing is governed by the “real-parties-in interest” rule. It provides that “every action must be
prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest.” 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 Equal protection requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to
the suit.” rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. It requires public bodies and institutions to treat
similarly situated individuals in a similar manner. The purpose of the equal protection clause is to
Difficulty of determining locus standi arises in public suits. Here, the plaintiff who asserts a “public secure every person within a state’s jurisdiction against intentional and arbitrary discrimination,
right” in assailing an allegedly illegal official action, does so as a representative of the general public. whether occasioned by the express terms of a statue or by its improper execution through the state’s
He has to show that he is entitled to seek judicial protection. He has to make out a sufficient interest in duly constituted authorities.
the vindication of the public order and the securing of relief as a “citizen” or “taxpayer.
There must be equality among equals as determined according to a valid classification. Equal
The person who impugns the validity of a statute must have “a personal and substantial interest in the protection clause permits classification. Such classification, however, to be valid must pass the test of
case such that he has sustained, or will sustain direct injury as a result.” The Court, however, finds reasonableness. The test has four requisites: (1) The classification rests on substantial distinctions; (2) It
reason in Biraogo’s assertion that the petition covers matters of transcendental importance to justify the is germane to the purpose of the law; (3) It is not limited to existing conditions only; and (4) It applies
exercise of jurisdiction by the Court. There are constitutional issues in the petition which deserve the equally to all members of the same class.
attention of this Court in view of their seriousness, novelty and weight as precedents
The classification will be regarded as invalid if all the members of the class are not similarly treated,
The Executive is given much leeway in ensuring that our laws are faithfully executed. The powers of both as to rights conferred and obligations imposed.
the President are not limited to those specific powers under the Constitution. One of the recognized
powers of the President granted pursuant to this constitutionally-mandated duty is the power to create Executive Order No. 1 should be struck down as violative of the equal protection clause. The clear
ad hoc committees. This flows from the obvious need to ascertain facts and determine if laws have mandate of truth commission is to investigate and find out the truth concerning the reported cases of
been faithfully executed. The purpose of allowing ad hoc investigating bodies to exist is to allow an graft and corruption during the previous administration only. The intent to single out the previous
inquiry into matters which the President is entitled to know so that he can be properly advised and administration is plain, patent and manifest.
guided in the performance of his duties relative to the execution and enforcement of the laws of the
land. Arroyo administration is but just a member of a class, that is, a class of past administrations. It is not a
class of its own. Not to include past administrations similarly situated constitutes arbitrariness which
2. There will be no appropriation but only an allotment or allocations of existing funds already the equal protection clause cannot sanction. Such discriminating differentiation clearly reverberates to
appropriated. There is no usurpation on the part of the Executive of the power of Congress to label the commission as a vehicle for vindictiveness and selective retribution. Superficial differences do
appropriate funds. There is no need to specify the amount to be earmarked for the operation of the not make for a valid classification.
commission because, whatever funds the Congress has provided for the Office of the President will be
the very source of the funds for the commission. The amount that would be allocated to the PTC shall The PTC must not exclude the other past administrations. The PTC must, at least, have the authority to
be subject to existing auditing rules and regulations so there is no impropriety in the funding. investigate all past administrations.

3. PTC will not supplant the Ombudsman or the DOJ or erode their respective powers. If at all, the The Constitution is the fundamental and paramount law of the nation to which all other laws must
investigative function of the commission will complement those of the two offices. The function of conform and in accordance with which all private rights determined and all public authority
determining probable cause for the filing of the appropriate complaints before the courts remains to be administered. Laws that do not conform to the Constitution should be stricken down for being

with the DOJ and the Ombudsman. PTC’s power to investigate is limited to obtaining facts so that it unconstitutional.
can advise and guide the President in the performance of his duties relative to the execution and
WHEREFORE, the petitions are GRANTED. Executive Order No. 1 is hereby declared
enforcement of the laws of the land.
UNCONSTITUTIONAL insofar as it is violative of the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
4. Court finds difficulty in upholding the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 1 in view of its
15. ALMARIO v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
apparent transgression of the equal protection clause enshrined in Section 1, Article III (Bill of Rights)
of the 1987 Constitution. G.R. No. 189028 July 16, 2013 701 SCRA 269
FACTS: The National Artists Awards Committee. and the NCCA decided to team up and jointly FACTS: On September 12, 2007, the Sandiganbayan convicted former President Estrada, a former
administer the National Artists Award. There were three deliberations for determining the nominees President of the Republic of the Philippines, for the crime of plunder and was sentenced to suffer the
and on the final deliberation, a final list of four names was agreed upon namely: Manuel Conde, penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and the accessory penalties of civil interdiction during the period of
Ramon Santos, Lazaro Francisco and Federico Aguilar-Alcuaz. sentence and perpetual absolute disqualification.

They submitted this recommendation to the President. According to respondents, the aforementioned On October 25, 2007, however, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo extended executive
letter was referred by the Office of the President to the Committee on Honors. Meanwhile, the Office of clemency, by way of pardon, to former President Estrada explicitly states that “He is hereby restored to
the President allegedly received nominations from various sectors, cultural groups and individuals his civil and political rights.”
strongly endorsing private respondents.
On November 30, 2009, former President Estrada filed a Certificate of Candidacy for the position of
Acting on this recommendation, a series of Proclamations were issued declaring Lazaro Francisco, President but was opposed by three petitions seeking for his disqualification. None of the cases
Federico Aguilar-Alcuaz and private respondents, Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, Masa and Moreno, prospered and MRs were denied by Comelec en banc. Estrada only managed to garner the second
respectively, as National Artists. highest number of votes on the May 10, 2010 synchronized elections.

Hence, the petition. All of the petitioners claim that former President Macapagal-Arroyo gravely On October 2, 2012, former President Estrada once more ventured into the political arena, and filed a
abused her discretion in disregarding the results of the rigorous screening and selection process for the Certificate of Candidacy,[10] this time vying for a local elective post, that of the Mayor of the City of
Order of National Artists and in substituting her own choice for those of the Deliberation Panels. Manila.

ISSUE: Whether or not the act of the President amounted to grave abuse of discretion with regards to Petitioner Risos-Vidal filed a Petition for Disqualification against former President Estrada before the
the violation of the right to equal protection COMELEC because of Estrada’s Conviction for Plunder by the Sandiganbayan Sentencing Him to
Suffer the Penalty of Reclusion Perpetua with Perpetual Absolute Disqualification. Petitionerrelied on
RULING: Yes. It should be recalled that one of the respondents was disqualified to be nominated for Section 40 of the Local Government Code (LGC), in relation to Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code
being the Executive Director of the NCCA at that time while respondents Masa and Caparas did not (OEC)
make it to the preliminary shortlist and respondent Moreno was not included in the second shortlist.
In a Resolution dated April 1, 2013, the COMELEC, Second Division, dismissed the petition for
Yet, the four of them were treated differently and considered favorably when they were exempted disqualification holding that President Estrada’s right to seek public office has been effectively restored
from the rigorous screening process of the NCCA and the CCP and conferred the Order of National by the pardon vested upon him by former President Gloria M. Arroyo.
Artists.
Estrada won the mayoralty race in May 13, 2013 elections. Petitioner-intervenor Alfredo Lim garnered
The special treatment accorded to respondents Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, Masa and Moreno fails to the second highest votes intervene and seek to disqualify Estrada for the same ground as the
pass rational scrutiny. No real and substantial distinction between respondents and petitioner Abad contention of Risos-Vidal and praying that he be proclaimed as Mayor of Manila.
has been shown that would justify deviating from the laws, guidelines and established procedures, and
placing respondents in an exceptional position. Issue:

In view of the foregoing, there was a violation of petitioner Abads right to equal protection, an interest Whether or not the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
that is substantial enough to confer him standing in this case. jurisdiction in ruling that former President Estrada is qualified to vote and be voted for in public office
as a result of the pardon granted to him by former President Arroyo.
16. ATTY. ALICIA RISOS-VIDAL v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
Ruling:
G.R. No. 206666, 21 January 2015, (Leonardo-De Castro J.)
Yes. Estrada was granted an absolute pardon that fully restored all his civil and political rights, which
naturally includes the right to seek public elective office, the focal point of this controversy. The
wording of the pardon extended to former President Estrada is complete, unambiguous, and DE LIMA of the Department of Justice, HON. PAQUITO N. OCHOA JR., the Executive Secretary,
unqualified. Respondents.

It is likewise unfettered by Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal Code. The only reasonable, DECISION
objective, and constitutional interpretation of the language of the pardon is that the same in fact
conforms to Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal Code. PERLAS-BERNABE, J.:

It is insisted that, since a textual examination of the pardon given to and accepted by former Before the Court is a petition for habeas corpus 1 filed by petitioner Ruben E. Tiu (petitioner), who is
detained at the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, seeking his
President Estrada does not actually specify which political right is restored, it could be inferred that immediate release from prison on the strength of his conditional pardon without parole conditions, as
former President Arroyo did not deliberately intend to restore former President Estrada’s rights of well as the automatic reduction of his sentence by virtue of his status as a penal colonist.2
suffrage and to hold public office, orto otherwise remit the penalty of perpetual absolute
disqualification. The Facts

Even if her intention was the contrary, the same cannot be upheld based on the pardon’s text. On June 16, 2000, petitioner and two others 3 were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt by the
Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 143, of selling, delivering, and giving away to a poseur-
The pardoning power of the President cannot be limited by legislative action. buyer 1,977 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride, commonly known as "shabu," a regulated drug,
without authority of law or corresponding license therefor. 4 Consequently, they were sentenced to
The 1987 Constitution, specifically Section 19 of Article VII and Section 5 of Article IX-C, provides that suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay the fine of ₱10,000,000.00 each. 5 Their conviction,
the President of the Philippines possesses the power to grant pardons, along with other acts of which was affirmed by the Court in a Decision 6 dated March 10, 2004, became final and executory on
executive clemency The proper interpretation of Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal Code. July 29, 2004.7

A close scrutiny of the text of the pardon extended to former President Estrada shows that both the On March 24, 2009, the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) issued Resolution No. 022-3-
principal penalty of reclusion perpetua and its accessory penalties are included in the pardon. The 098 recommending the grant of executive clemency to petitioner, among many others. On June 3, 2010,
acting on said recommendation, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (PGMA) granted 9 him
sentence which states that “(h)e is hereby restored to his civil and political rights,” expressly remitted
"conditional pardon without parole conditions," 10 but was, nonetheless, still "subject to the conditions
the accessory penalties that attached to the principal penalty of reclusion perpetua. Hence, even if we
indicated in [the individual pardon papers]." 11 It turned out, however, that no such papers were issued
apply Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal Code, it is indubitable from the text of the pardon that the in petitioner's favor. Thus, petitioner repeatedly requested12 for a certificate of conditional pardon
accessory penalties of civil interdiction and perpetual absolute disqualification were expressly remitted without parole conditions from the Legal Affairs Office of the Office of the President (OP), but said
together with the principal penalty of reclusion perpetua. requests were denied by Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs Michael G. Aguinaldo (Deputy
Executive Secretary Aguinaldo) in three (3) separate letters dated March 13, 2013, 13 August 12,
The disqualification of former President Estrada under Section 40 of the LGC in relation to Section 12 of 2013, 14 and August 14, 2013, 15 informing petitioner that the records of his case were referred back to
the OEC was removed by his acceptance of the absolute pardon granted to him the BPP. Respondent Natividad G. Dizon, Chairman of the BPP, confirmed in a letter 16 dated
September 5, 2013 that: (a) petitioner's Certificate of Conditional Pardon without Parole Conditions was
While it may be apparent that the proscription in Section 40(a) of the LGC is worded in absolute terms, not signed by PGMA; (b) consequently, the documents relative to petitioner's case were returned to the
Section 12 of the OEC provides a legal escape from the prohibition – a plenary pardon or amnesty. In BPP; and (c) the BPP had resolved to defer action thereon pending compliance with all the basic
requirements for executive clemency.17
other words, the latter provision allows any person who has been granted plenary pardon or amnesty
after conviction by final judgment of an offense involving moral turpitude, inter alia, to run forand
In the meantime, President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III signed into law Republic Act No. (RA)
hold any public office, whether local or national position.
10592, 18 which, subject to its provisions, would substantially increase the Good Conduct Time
Allowance (GCTA) of qualified inmates. Thus, on July 27, 2013, petitioner's carpeta was returned to the
17. RUBEN E. TIU, Petitioner, Bureau of Corrections in Muntinlupa City for the re-computation of his time served.19
vs.HON. NATIVIDAD G. DIZON, Acting Chairperson of the Board of Pardons and Parole, HON.
FRANKLIN JESUS BUCAYU, Director of the Bureau of Corrections, HON. SECRETARY LEILA M.
On July 7, 2014, petitioner filed the instant Amended Petition for Habeas Corpus, 20 insisting on the a. credit of an additional GCTA of five (5) days for each calendar month while he retains said
efficacy and enforceability of his conditional pardon without parole conditions, which allegedly classification aside from the regular GCTA authorized under Article 97 of the Revised Penal
necessitates his release from prison. Further, he claims that he is entitled to nineteen (19) years and Code;
seven (7) months of GCTA, computed hereafter, which, when tacked to his actual service of fourteen
(14) years and nine (9) months, would add up to thirty-four (34) years and four (4) months, or more b. automatic reduction of the life sentence imposed on the colonist to a sentence of thirty (30)
than his alleged reduced sentence of thirty (30) years: 21 years;

x x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)

To bolster his claim of reduction of sentence, petitioner cites 24 Sections 5 and 7 of Act No.
2489, 25 which provide for automatic modification of sentence from life imprisonment to thirty (30)
years for prisoners receiving and retaining the classification of penal colonists or trusties. He
theorizes26 that, although said law requires executive approval for such classification, his colonist
status was nonetheless "regularly awarded" by the Director of Corrections whose authority to so
DAYS MONTHLY
MONTHS classify him as such is derived from Section 6, Chapter 3, Part II, Book I of the BuCor-OM. The
GCTA GCTA aforementioned provisions read:

Provisions in Act No. 2489


01 October 1999 – 01 20
24 months
October 2001 days
Section 5. Prisoners serving sentences of life imprisonment receiving and retaining the classification
of penal colonists or trusties will automatically have the sentence of life imprisonment modified to a
01 October 2002 – 01 23 sentence of thirty years when receiving the executive approval for this classification upon which the
36 months regular credit now authorized by law and special credit authorized in the preceding paragraph, for
October 2005 days
good conduct, may be made.

01 October 2006 – 01 25 Section 7. The provisions of this Act as applied in the case of penal colonists and trusties may, by
178 months executive approval and upon recommendation of the Director of Prisons [(now Director of
October 2010 days
Corrections)], be made applicable to all first-class workmen confined in Bilibid Prison who have
earned the privilege of classification as penal colonists or trusties by serving one-fifth of the time
01 October 2011 – 01 July 30 sentence as imposed by the court, or seven years in the case of a life-sentenced prisoner, in
44 months
2014 days
addition to the compensation allowed, if any of such first-class workmen shall by written petition elect
to remain in the industrial division at Bilibid Prison: Provided, That no prisoner shall receive the benefit
1âwphi1
of this section during the first two years of imprisonment unless authorized by the Director of Prisons
[(now Director of Corrections)] for special reasons. (Emphases and underscoring supplied)
He argues that, since he was granted a "colonist status" by then Director of Corrections Gaudencio S.
Pangilinan (Director of Corrections Pangilinan) on December 21, 2011, as contained in Correction's Section 6, Chapter 3, Part II, Book I of the BuCor-OM
Order No. 015-5-2012,22his sentence was automatically reduced to thirty (30) years 23 pursuant to
Section 7 (b), Chapter 3, Part II, Book I of the Bureau of Corrections Operating Manual (BuCor-OM), the
Section 6. Colonist. - The Director may, upon the recommendation of the Classification Board.
pertinent portions of which read as follows:
classify an inmate who has the following qualifications as a colonist:

SECTION 7. Privileges of a colonist. - A colonist shall have the following privileges:


a. be at least a first class inmate and has served one (1) year immediately preceding the completion of
the period specified in the following qualifications;
b. has served imprisonment with good conduct for a period equivalent to one fifth (1/5) of the It must be emphasized that pardon is an act of grace, proceeding from the power entrusted with the
maximum term of his prison sentence, or seven (7) years in the case of a life sentence. (Emphasis and execution of the laws, which exempts the individual, on whom it is bestowed, from the punishment the
underscoring supplied) 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
Finally, petitioner invokes Section 527 of RA 10592, which provides that the time allowances for good to the court. A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential. 38
conduct once granted shall not be revoked.28He further proposes that RA 10592 be given retroactive
effect in light of the liberal construction provided for in the rules to favor detained or convicted The executive clemency extended by PGMA on June 3, 2010 to a number of prisoners including
prisoners like him.29 petitioner was made "subject to the conditions indicated in the corresponding documents." 39 It is
undisputed, however, that no individual pardon papers were issued in petitioner's favour, thereby
On the other hand, herein respondents, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), maintain30 rendering the grant of executive clemency to him as incomplete and ineffective, as clarified by Deputy
that a prisoner serving a sentence of life imprisonment receiving and retaining classification as a penal Executive Secretary Aguinaldo. 40 The necessity for the individual pardon papers is best explained by
colonist will automatically have his sentence modified to thirty (30) years of imprisonment only "when the nature of a conditional pardon, which is "a contract between the sovereign power or the Chief
receiving the executive approval for this classification." 31 However, petitioner failed to obtain such Executive and the convicted criminal to the effect that the former will release the latter subject to the
executive approval. They argue further against petitioner's reliance on the BuCor-OM, which is a mere condition that if he does not comply with the terms of the pardon, he will be recommitted to prison to
administrative rule or regulation that cannot amend Act No. 2489 by abridging or expanding its serve the unexpired portion of the sentence or an additional one. By the pardonee's consent to the
scope. 32 Petitioner's colonist status granted merely by the Director of Corrections, without executive terms stipulated in this contract, the pardonee has thereby placed himself under the supervision of the
approval, did not modify his sentence. 33 Hence, there being no unlawful restraint, no writ of habeas Chief Executive or his delegate who is duty-bound to see to it that the pardonee complies with the
corpus should be issued in his favor. terms and conditions of the pardon."41The individual pardon papers, therefore, contain the terms and
conditions of the contract of pardon, the compliance of which is essential to the pardonee's freedom
The Issue Before the Court from recommitment to prison.

The essential issue for the Court's resolution is whether or not a writ of habeas corpus should be issued Notably, when the records of petitioner's case were referred back to the BPP, it required compliance
in favor of petitioner.1âwphi1 first with all the basic requirements for executive clemency before acting thereon. 42 This is not to say,
however, that petitioner's pardon papers may not have been issued due to non-compliance with the
requirements, which is a matter that the Court shall not, and could not, resolve here. This is because the
The Court's Ruling
grant of pardon and the determination of the terms and conditions of a conditional pardon are purely
executive acts which are not subject to judicial scrutiny.43
The petition lacks merit.

Second. As correctly argued by the OSG, the conferment by the Director of Corrections of a colonist
The object of the writ of habeas corpus is to inquire into the legality of the detention, and, if the
status to petitioner did not operate to reduce the latter's sentence. Section 5 of Act No. 2489 is clear and
detention is found to be illegal, to require the release of the detainee. Well-settled is the rule that the
unambiguous: "[p]risoners serving sentences of life imprisonment receiving and retaining the classification
writ will not issue where the person in whose behalf the writ is sought is in the custody of an officer
of penal colonistsor trusties will automatically have the sentence of life imprisonment modified to a sentence of
under process issued by a court or judge with jurisdiction or by virtue of a judgment or order of a court
thirty years when receiving the executive approval for this classification upon which the regular credit
of record.34 The writ is denied if the petitioner fails to show facts that he is entitled thereto ex merito
now authorized by law and special credit authorized in the preceding paragraph, for good conduct, may be
justicias.35
made."44

In this case, petitioner is serving sentence by virtue of a final judgment convicting him of the offense of
The wording of the law is such that the act of classification as a penal colonist or trustie is separate
selling and delivering prohibited drugs defined and penalized under Section 15, Article III of RA
from and necessarily precedes the act of approval by the Executive. Under Section 6, Chapter 3, Part
6425,36 as amended by RA 7659. 37 He failed to show, however, that his further incarceration is no
II, Book I of the BuCor-OM quoted earlier, the Director of Corrections may, upon the recommendation
longer lawful and that he is entitled to relief under a writ of habeas corpus.
of the Classification Board45 of the Bureau of Corrections, classify an inmate as a colonist. It is crucial,
however, that the prisoner not only receives, but retains such classification, because the grant of a
First. Petitioner's insistence on the efficacy and enforceability of the conditional pardon without parole colonist status may, for cause, be revoked at any time by the Superintendent with the approval of the
conditions granted to him by PGMA on June 3, 2010 deserves scant consideration. Director of Corrections pursuant to Section 946 of the same Chapter. It is the classification of the penal
colonist and trustie of the Director of Corrections which subsequently receives executive approval.
The foregoing is bolstered by the fact that the reduction of a prisoner's sentence is a partial FACTS: On Sept. 22, 2005, Sen. Biazon invited several senior officers of the AFP, including Gen.
pardon,47 and our Constitution reposes in the President the power and the exclusive prerogative to Gudani, to appear at a public hearing before the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security
extend the same.48 The 1987 Constitution, specifically under Section 19, Article VII thereof, provides concerning the conduct of the 2004 elections wherein allegations of massive cheating and the “Hello
that the President possesses the power to grant pardons, along with other acts of executive
Garci” tapes emerged. AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Senga issued a Memorandum, prohibiting Gen. Gudani,
clemency, 49 which petitioner explicitly recognized by applying for commutation of sentence even
Col. Balutan and company from appearing before the Senate Committee without Presidential approval.
during the pendency of his request for the implementation of the conditional pardon. 50 Section 19,
Article VII of the 1987 Constitution reads: Nevertheless, Gen. Gudani and Col. Balutan testified before said Committee, prompting Gen. Senga to
order them subjected to General Court Martial proceedings for willfully violating an order of a
Section 19. Except in cases of impeachment, or as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the President superior officer. In the meantime, President Arroyo issued EO 464, which was subsequently declared
may grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction by unconstitutional.
final judgment.
ISSUE:
He shall also have the power to grant amnesty with the concurrence of a majority of all the Members of
the Congress. Whether or not the President can prevent military officers from testifying at a legislative inquiry

It has long been recognized that the exercise of the pardoning power, notwithstanding the judicial RULING:
determination of guilt of the accused, demands the exclusive exercise by the President of the
constitutionally vested power. 51Stated otherwise, since the Chief Executive is required by the We hold that the President has constitutional authority to do so, by virtue of her power as commander-
Constitution to act in person, he may not delegate the authority to pardon prisoners under the doctrine in-chief, and that as a consequence a military officer who defies such injunction is liable under military
of qualified political agency, which "essentially postulates that the heads of the various executive justice. At the same time, we also hold that any chamber of Congress which seeks the appearance
departments are the alter egos of the President, and, thus, the actions taken by such heads in the before it of a military officer against the consent of the President has adequate remedies under law to
performance of their official duties are deemed the acts of the President unless the President himself compel such attendance. Any military official whom Congress summons to testify before it may be
should disapprove such acts."52
compelled to do so by the President. If the President is not so inclined, the President may be
commanded by judicial order to compel the attendance of the military officer. Final judicial orders
In sum, there being no unlawful restraint on petitioner's liberty, no relief under a writ of habeas
have the force of the law of the land which the President has the duty to faithfully execute.
corpus can be granted to him.

Ability of President to prevent military officers from testifying before Congress is based on
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED.
Commander-in-chief powers

SO ORDERED. As earlier noted, we ruled in Senate that the President may not issue a blanket requirement of prior
consent on executive officials summoned by the legislature to attend a congressional hearing. In doing
ESTELA M. PERLAS-BERNABE
so, the Court recognized the considerable limitations on executive privilege, and affirmed that the
Associate Justice
privilege must be formally invoked on specified grounds. However, the ability of the President to
prevent military officers from testifying before Congress does not turn on executive privilege, but on
18. Gudani vs. Senga
the Chief Executive’s power as commander-in-chief to control the actions and speech of members of
G.R. No. 170165, Aug. 15, 2006 the armed forces. The President’s prerogatives as commander-in-chief are not hampered by the same
limitations as in executive privilege.
The ability of the President to prevent military officers from testifying before Congress does not turn
on executive privilege, but on the Chief Executive’s power as commander-in-chief to control the actions RATIONALE: Our ruling that the President could, as a general rule, require military officers to seek
and speech of members of the armed forces. The President’s prerogatives as commander-in-chief are presidential approval before appearing before Congress is based foremost on the notion that a contrary
not hampered by the same limitations as in executive privilege. rule unduly diminishes the prerogatives of the President as commander-in-chief. Congress holds
significant control over the armed forces in matters such as budget appropriations and the approval of
higher-rank promotions, yet it is on the President that the Constitution vests the title as commander-in- An exercise by another official, even if he is the local chief executive, is ultra vires, and may not be
chief and all the prerogatives and functions appertaining to the position. Again, the exigencies of justified by the invocation of Section 465 of the Local Government Code.
military discipline and the chain of command mandate that the President’s ability to control the
individual members of the armed forces be accorded the utmost respect. Where a military officer is Three members from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were kidnapped in the
torn between obeying the President and obeying the Senate, the Court will without hesitation affirm vicinity of the Provincial Capitol in Patikul, Sulu. Andres Notter, Eugenio Vagni, and Marie Jean
that the officer has to choose the President. After all, the Constitution prescribes that it is the President, Lacaba, were purportedly inspecting a water sanitation project for the Sulu Provincial Jail when they
and not the Senate, who is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. were seized by three armed men who were later confirmed to be members of the Abu Sayyaf Group
(ASG). A Local Crisis Committee, later renamed Sulu Crisis Committee (Committee) was then formed
Remedy is judicial relief to investigate the kidnapping incident. The Committee convened under the leadership of respondent
Abdusakur Mahail Tan, the Provincial Governor of Sulu.
At the same time, the refusal of the President to allow members of the military to appear before
Congress is still subject to judicial relief. The Constitution itself recognizes as one of the legislature’s Governor Tan issued Proclamation No. 1, Series of 2009, declaring a state of emergency in the province
functions is the conduct of inquiries in aid of legislation. Inasmuch as it is ill-advised for Congress to of Sulu. The Proclamation cited the kidnapping incident as a ground for the said declaration,
interfere with the President’s power as commander-in-chief, it is similarly detrimental for the President describing it as a terrorist act pursuant to the Human Security Act (R.A. 9372). It also invoked Section
to unduly interfere with Congress’s right to conduct legislative inquiries. The impasse did not come to 465 of the Local Government Code of 1991 (R.A. 7160), which bestows on the Provincial Governor the
pass in this petition, since petitioners testified anyway despite the presidential prohibition. Yet the power to carry out emergency measures during man-made and natural disasters and calamities, and to
Court is aware that with its pronouncement today that the President has the right to require prior call upon the appropriate national law enforcement agencies to suppress disorder and lawless violence.
consent from members of the armed forces, the clash may soon loom or actualize.
In the Proclamation, Tan called upon the PNP and the Civilian Emergency Force (CEF) to set up
We believe and hold that our constitutional and legal order sanctions a modality by which members of checkpoints and chokepoints, conduct general search and seizures including arrests, and other actions
the military may be compelled to attend legislative inquiries even if the President desires otherwise, a necessary to ensure public safety. Petitioners, Jamar Kulayan, et al. claimed that Proclamation No. 1-09
modality which does not offend the Chief Executive’s prerogatives as commander-in-chief. The remedy was issued ultra vires, and thus null and void, for violating Sections 1 and 18, Article VII of the
lies with the courts. Constitution, which grants the President sole authority to exercise emergency powers and calling-out
powers as the chief executive of the Republic and commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
The fact that the executive branch is an equal, coordinate branch of government to the legislative
creates a wrinkle to any basic rule that persons summoned to testify before Congress must do so. There ISSUE:
is considerable interplay between the legislative and executive branches, informed by due deference
and respect as to their various constitutional functions. Reciprocal courtesy idealizes this relationship; Whether or not a governor can exercise the calling-out powers of a President
hence, it is only as a last resort that one branch seeks to compel the other to a particular mode of
RULING:
behavior. The judiciary, the third coordinate branch of government, does not enjoy a similar dynamic
with either the legislative or executive branches. Whatever weakness inheres on judicial power due to It has already been established that there is one repository of executive powers, and that is the
its inability to originate national policies and legislation, such is balanced by the fact that it is the President of the Republic. This means that when Section 1, Article VII of the Constitution speaks of
branch empowered by the Constitution to compel obeisance to its rulings by the other branches of executive power, it is granted to the President and no one else. Corollarily, it is only the President, as
government.
Executive, who is authorized to exercise emergency powers as provided under Section 23, Article VI, of
19. JAMAR KULAYAN, et al. v. GOV. ABDUSAKUR TAN, et al. G.R. No. 187298, 03 July 2012, EN the Constitution, as well as what became known as the calling-out powers under Section 7, Article VII
BANC (Sereno, J.) thereof.

The calling-out powers contemplated under the Constitution is exclusive to the President. While the President is still a civilian, Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution mandates that civilian
authority is, at all times, supreme over the military, making the civilian president the nation’s supreme
military leader. The net effect of Article II, Section 3, when read with Article VII, Section 18, is that a
civilian President is the ceremonial, legal and administrative head of the armed forces. The YES, the issuance of PP 1963, lifting martial law and restoring the [privilege of the] writ in
Constitution does not require that the President must be possessed of military training and talents, but Maguindanao, rendered the issues moot and academic
as Commander-in-Chief, he has the power to direct military operations and to determine military
strategy. Prudence and respect for the co-equal departments of the government dictate that the Court should be
cautious in entertaining actions that assail the constitutionality of the acts of the Executive or the
Normally, he would be expected to delegate the actual command of the armed forces to military Legislative department. The issue of constitutionality, said the Court in Biraogo v. Philippine Truth
experts; but the ultimate power is his. Commission of 2010, must be the very issue of the case, that the resolution of such issue is unavoidable.

Given the foregoing, Governor Tan is not endowed with the power to call upon the armed forces at his The issue of the constitutionality of Proclamation 1959 is not unavoidable for two reasons:
own bidding. In issuing the assailed proclamation, Governor Tan exceeded his authority when he
declared a state of emergency and called upon the Armed Forces, the police, and his own Civilian One. President Arroyo withdrew her proclamation of martial law and suspension of the
Emergency Force. The calling-out powers contemplated under the Constitution is exclusive to the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus before the joint houses of Congress could fulfill their automatic
President. An exercise by another official, even if he is the local chief executive, is ultra vires, and may duty to review and validate or invalidate the same.

not be justified by the invocation of Section 465 of the Local Government Code.
[U]nder the 1987 Constitution the President and the Congress act in tandem in exercising the power to
proclaim martial law or suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. They exercise the power,
20. Philip Sigfrid Fortun v. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, et al., G.R. No. 190293, March 20, 2012 (and
not only sequentially, but in a sense jointly since, after the President has initiated the proclamation or
other consolidated cases)
the suspension, only the Congress can maintain the same based on its own evaluation of the situation
I. THE FACTS on the ground, a power that the President does not have.

On November 23, 2009, heavily armed men believed led by the ruling Ampatuan family of Consequently, although the Constitution reserves to the Supreme Court the power to review the
Maguindanao gunned down and buried under shoveled dirt 57 innocent civilians. In response to this sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation or suspension in a proper suit, it is implicit that the
carnage, President Arroyo issued on November 24, 2009 PP 1946 declaring a state of emergency in Court must allow Congress to exercise its own review powers, which is automatic rather than initiated.
Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, and Cotabato City. Only when Congress defaults in its express duty to defend the Constitution through such review
should the Supreme Court step in as its final rampart. The constitutional validity of the President’s
On December 4, 2009, President Arroyo issued PP 1959 declaring martial law and suspending the proclamation of martial law or suspension of the writ of habeas corpus is first a political question in the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Maguindanao except for identified areas of the Moro Islamic hands of Congress before it becomes a justiciable one in the hands of the Court.
Liberation Front. On December 6, 2009, President Arroyo submitted her report to Congress. On
December 9, 2009, Congress convened in joint session to review the validity of the President’s action. xxx xxx xxx
But two days later, or on December 12, 2009, before Congress could act, the President issued PP 1963,
Here, President Arroyo withdrew Proclamation 1959 before the joint houses of Congress, which had in
lifting martial law and restoring the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
fact convened, could act on the same. Consequently, the petitions in these cases have become moot
II. THE ISSUES and the Court has nothing to review. The lifting of martial law and restoration of the privilege of the
writ of habeas corpus in Maguindanao was a supervening event that obliterated any justiciable
Did the issuance of PP 1963, lifting martial law and restoring the [privilege of the] writ in controversy.
Maguindanao, render the issues moot and academic?
Two. Since President Arroyo withdrew her proclamation of martial law and suspension of the
III. THE RULING privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in just eight days, they have not been meaningfully implemented.
The military did not take over the operation and control of local government units in Maguindanao.
[The Court DISMISSED the consolidated petitions on the ground that they have become MOOT and
The President did not issue any law or decree affecting Maguindanao that should ordinarily be enacted
ACADEMIC.]
by Congress. No indiscriminate mass arrest had been reported. Those who were arrested during the
period were either released or promptly charged in court. Indeed, no petition for habeas corpus had
been filed with the Court respecting arrests made in those eight days. The point is that the President The Lagman Group, the Cullamat Group and the Mohamad Group petitioned (Petitions) the Supreme
intended by her action to address an uprising in a relatively small and sparsely populated province. In Court, questioning the factual basis of President Duterte's Proclamation of martial law. The OSG sided
her judgment, the rebellion was localized and swiftly disintegrated in the face of a determined and with President Duterte.
amply armed government presence.
ISSUES:[1] Are the Petitions the proper proceeding to invoke the SC's power of review over
xxx. In a real sense, the proclamation and the suspension never took off. The Congress itself adjourned proclamations of martial law?
without touching the matter, it having become moot and academic.
[2] Is the President required to be factually correct or only not arbitrary in his appreciation of facts?
21. REPRESENTATIVE LAGMAN, etc. v. HON. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY MEDIALDEA, et al.
[3] Is the President required to obtain the favorable recommendation thereon bf the Secretary of
FACTS: Effective May 23, 2017, and for a period not exceeding 60 days, President Duterte issued National Defense?
Proclamation No. 216 declaring a state of martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of
[4] Is the President is required to take into account only the situation at the time ff the proclamation,
habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao.
even if subsequent events prove the situati n to have not been accurately reported?
Within the timeline set by Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution, the President submitted to
[5] Is the power of this Court to review the sufficiency of tlie factual basis [of] the proclamation of
Congress on May 25, 2017, a written Report on the factual basis of Proclamation No. 216. The Report
martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is independent of the actual
pointed out that for decades, Mindanao has been plagued with rebellion and lawless violence which
actiorls that have been taken by Congress jointly or separately
only escalated and worsened with the passing of time.

[6] Whether or not there were sufficient factual [basis] for the proclamation of martial law or the
The President went on to explain that on May 23, 2017, a government operation to capture the high-
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habea~ corpus; · a. What are the parameters for review? b.
ranking officers of the Abu Sayyaf IP (ASG) and the Maute Group was conducted. These groups, which
Who has the burden of proof? I !I c. What is the threshold of evidence?
have been unleashing havoc in Mindanao, however, confronted the government operation by
intensifying their efforts at sowing violence aimed not only against the government authorities and its [7] Whether the exercise of the power of judicial review by this Couj involves the calibration of
facilities but likewise against civilians and their properties. In particular, the President chronicled in his graduated powers granted the President ~~ Commander-in-Chief, namely calling out powers,
Report the events which took place on May 23, 2017 in Marawi City which impelled him to declare a suspension of th~ privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, and declaration of martial law
state of martial law and suspend the privilege of writ of habeas corpus
[8] Whether or not Proclamation No. 216 of23 May 2017 may be considered, vague and thus null and
The Report highlighted the strategic location of Marawi City and the crucial and significant role it void: a. with its inclusion of "other rebel groups;" or b. since it has no guidelines specifying its actual
plays in Mindanao, and the Philippines as a whole. In addition, the Report pointed out the possible operational parameters within the entire Mindanao region;
tragic repercussions once Marawi City falls under the control of the lawless groups.
[9] Whether or not the armed hostilities mentioned in Proclamation No. 216 and in the Report of the
President Duterte concluded, "While the government is presently conducting legitimate operations to President to Congress are sufficient [bases]: a. for the existence of actual rebellion; or b. for a
address the on-going rebellion, if not the seeds of invasion, public safety necessitates the continued declaration of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the entire
implementation of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the Mindanao 1 region;
whole of Mindanao until such time that the rebellion is completely quelled."
[10] Whether or not terrorism or acts attributable to terrorism are equivalent to actual rebellion and the
After the submission of the Report and the briefings, the Senate issued P.S. Resolution No. 390 requirements of public safety sufficient to declare martial law or suspend the privilege of the writ of
expressing full support to the martial law proclamation and finding Proclamation No. 216 "to be habeas corpus; and
satisfactory, constitutional and in accordance with the law". In the same Resolution, the Senate
declared that it found "no compelling reason to revoke the same".
[11] Whether or not nullifying Proclamation No. 216 of23 May 2017 will: a. have the effect of recalling independent from each other although, concededly, they have the same trajectory, which is, the
Proclamation No. 55 s. 2016; or b. also nullify the acts of the President in calling out the armed forces to nullification of the presidential proclamation. Needless to say, the power of the Court to review can be
quell lawless violence in Marawi and other parts of the Mindanao region. exercised independently from the power of revocation of Congress.

HELD: [3] The judicial power to review the sufficiency of factual basis of the declaration of martial law or the
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus does not extend to the calibration of the
[0] The Constitution only requires that questions regarding the validity and factual basis of a President's decision of which among his graduated powers he will avail of in a given situation.
proclamation of martial law or a suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus be raised by
any citizen, considering the transcendental importance of such questions. These extraordinary powers are conferred by the Constitution with the President as Commander-in-
Chief; it therefore necessarily follows that the power and prerogative to determine whether the
[1] Yes, the Petitions invoke the proper proceedings as contemplated by the Constitution. "The situation warrants a mere exercise of the calling out power; or whether the situation demands
Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus; or whether it calls for the declaration of
factual basis of the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ or the martial law, also lies, at least initially, with the President. The power to choose, initially, which among
extension thereof, and must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from filing." these extraordinary powers to wield in a given set of conditions, is a judgment call on the part of the
President. As Commander-in-Chief, his powers are broad enough to include his prerogative to address
exigencies or threats that endanger the government, and the very integrity of the State.
Jurisdiction is conferred by law. The Constitution confers the Supreme Court the power to review
It is thus beyond doubt that the power of judicial review does not extend to calibrating the President's
martial law proclamations.
decision pertaining to which extraordinary power to avail given a set of facts or conditions. To do so
A petition for certiorari is not the proper petition. The power of the Supreme Court to review the would be tantamount to an incursion into the exclusive domain of the Executive and an infringement
factual basis of martial law proclamations is not limited by Sections 1 and 5 of Article VIII of the on the prerogative that solely, at least initially, lies with the President.
Constitution. It's a completely different proceeding not limited by lack of or abuses of discretion.
[4] There is no vagueness because the whereas clauses of the Proclamation explain the meaning of
The factual basis of the declaration of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of "other rebel groups." Also, the vagueness doctrine is an analytical tool developed for testing "on their
habeas corpus is not a political question but precisely within the ambit of judicial review. faces" statutes in free speech cases or, as they are called in American law, First Amendment cases.
Vagueness doctrine applies only in free speech cases.
In fine, the phrase "in an appropriate proceeding" appearing on the third paragraph of Section 18,
Article VII refers to any action initiated by a citizen for the purpose of questioning the sufficiency of the Moreover, lack of guidelines/operational parameters does not make Proclamation No. 216 vague.
factual basis of the exercise of the Chief Executive's emergency powers, as in these cases. It could be Clearly, therefore, there is no need for the Court to determine the constitutionality of the implementing
denominated as a complaint, a petition, or a matter to be resolved by the Court. and/or operational guidelines, general orders, arrest orders and other orders issued after the
proclamation for being irrelevant to its review. Thus, any act committed under the said orders in
[2] The power of the Court to review the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial violation of the Constitution and the laws, such as criminal acts or human rights violations, should be
law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus under Section 18, Article VII of the resolved in a separate proceeding. Finally, there is a risk that if the Court wades into these areas, it
1987 Constitution is independent of the actions taken by Congress. The framers of the 1987 would be deemed as trespassing into the sphere that is reserved exclusively for Congress in the
Constitution intended the judicial power to review to be exercised independently from the exercise of its power to revoke.
congressional power to revoke.
[5] The calling out power is in a different category from the power to declare martial law and the
The Court may strike down the presidential proclamation in an appropriate proceeding filed by any power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus; nullification of Proclamation No. 216 will
citizen on the ground of lack of sufficient factual basis. On the other hand, Congress may revoke the not affect Proclamation No. 55. The Court's ruling in these cases will not, in any way, affect the
proclamation or suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the President. Thus, the power President's declaration of a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence in Mindanao
to review by the Court and the power to revoke by Congress are not only totally different but likewise through Proclamation No. 55 dated September 4, 2016, where he called upon the Armed Forces and the
Philippine National Police (PNP) to undertake such measures to suppress any and all forms of lawless President As such, he is not expected to completely validate all the information he has received before
violence in the Mindanao region, and to prevent such lawless violence from spreading and escalating declaring martial law or suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
elsewhere in the Philippines.
Moreover, the alleged false and/or inaccurate statements are just pieces and parcels of the Report;
In other words, the President may exercise the power to call out the Armed Forces independently of along with these alleged false data is arsenal of other independent facts showing that more likely than
the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and to declare martial law, although, of not, actua1 rebellion exists, and public safety requires the declaration of martial law or the suspension
course, it may also be a prelude to a possible future exercise of the latter powers, as in this case. of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. To be precise, the alleged false and/or inaccurate
statements are only five out of the seven statements bulleted in the President's Report. Notably, in the
[6] After all, the Court's review is confined to the sufficiency, not accuracy, of the information at hand interpellation by Justice Francis H. Jardeleza during the second day of the oral argument, petitioner
during the declaration or suspension; subsequent events do not have any bearing insofar as the Court's Lagman admitted that he was not aware or that he had no personal knowledge of the other incidents
review is concerned. In any event, safeguards under Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution are in cited.241 As it thus stands, there is no question or challenge with respect to the reliability of the other
place to cover such a situation, e.g., the martial law period is good only for 60 days; Congress may incidents, which by themselves are ample to preclude the conclusion that the President's report is
choose to revoke it even immediately after the proclamation is made; and, this Court may investigate unreliable and that Proclamation No. 216 was without sufficient factual basis. Verily, there is no
the factual background of the declaration. credence to petitioners' claim that the bases for the President's imposition of martial law and
suspension of the writ of habeas corpus were mostly inaccurate, simulated, false and/or hyperbolic.
Hence, the maxim falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus finds no application in this case. Falsities of and/or
inaccuracies in some of the facts stated in the proclamation and the written report are not enough [9] Public safety requires the declaration of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ
reasons for the Court to invalidate the declaration and/or suspension as long as there are other facts in of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao.
the proclamation and the written Report that support the conclusion that there is an actual invasion or
rebellion and that public safety requires the declaration and/or suspension. In sum, the Court's power nvasion or rebellion alone may justify resort to the calling out power but definitely not the declaration
to review is limited to the determination of whether the President in declaring martial law and of martial law or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. For a declaration of martial
suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus had sufficient factual basis. Thus, our review law or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus to be valid, there must be a concurrence
would be limited to an examination on whether the President acted within the bounds set by the of actual rebellion or invasion and the public safety requirement. In his Report, the President noted that
Constitution, i.e., whether the facts in his possession prior to and at the time of the declaration or the acts of violence perpetrated by the ASG and the Maute Group were directed not only against
suspension are sufficient for him to declare martial law or suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas government forces or establishments but likewise against civilians and their properties.242 In addition
corpus. and in relation to the armed hostilities, bomb threats were issued;243 road blockades and checkpoints
were set up; 244 schools and churches were burned;245 civilian hostages were taken and killed;246
non-Muslims or Christians were targeted;247 young male Muslims were forced to join their group; 248
[7] To summarize, the parameters for determining the sufficiency of factual basis are as follows: l) medical services and delivery of basic services were hampered;249 reinforcements of government
actual rebellion or invasion; 2) public safety requires it; the first two requirements must concur; and 3) troops and civilian movement were hindered;250 and the security of the entire Mindanao Island was
there is probable cause for the President to believe that there is actual rebellion or invasion. compromised.

[8] There is sufficient factual basis for the declaration of martial law and the suspension of the writ of Indeed, martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ ff habeas corpus are necessary for
habeas corpus. the protection of the security of the natil.; suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is
"precautiona , and although it might [curtail] certain rights of individuals, [it] is for t e purpose of
At this juncture, it bears to emphasize that the purpose of judicial review is not the determination of
defending and protecting the security of the state or the entire country and our sovereign people".253
accuracy or veracity of the facts upon which the President anchored his declaration of martial law or
Commissioner Ople referred to the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus as a "form
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus; rather, only the sufficiency of the factual basis
of immobilization" or "as a means of immobilizing potential internal enemies" "especially in areas like
as to convince the President that there is probable cause that rebellion exists. It must also be reiterated
Mindanao."
that martial law is a matter of urgency and much leeway and flexibility should be accorded the
To be sure, the facts mentioned in the Proclamation and the Report are far from being exhaustive or all- President. "The Court cannot indulge in judicial legislation without violating the principle of
encompassing. At this juncture, it may not be amiss to state that as Commander-in-Chief, the President separation of powers, and, hence, undermining the foundation of our republican system."281
has possession of documents and information classified as "confidential", the contents of which cannot
be included in the Proclamation or Report for reasons of national security. These documents may To reiterate, the Court is not equipped with the competence and logistical machinery to determine the
contain information detailing the position of government troops and rebels, stock of firearms or strategical value of other places in the military's efforts to quell the rebellion and restore peace. It
ammunitions, ground commands and operations, names of suspects and sympathizers, etc. , In fact, would be engaging in an act of adventurism if it dares to embark on a mission of deciphering the
during the closed door session held by the Court, some information came to light, although not territorial metes and bounds of martial law. To be blunt about it, hours after the proclamation of

mentioned in the Proclamation or Report. But then again, the discretion whether to include the same in martial law none of the members of this Court could have divined that more than ten thousand souls
the Proclamation or Report is the judgment call of the President. In fact, petitioners concede to this. would be forced to evacuate to Iligan and Cagayan de Oro and that the military would have to secure
During the oral argument, petitioner Lagman admitted that "the assertion of facts [in the Proclamation those places also; none of us could have predicted that Cayamora Maute would be arrested in Davao

and Report] is the call of the Preside City or that his wife Ominta ' Romato Maute would be apprehended in Masiu, Lanao del Sur; and,
none of us had an inkling that the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) would launch an
It is beyond cavil that the President can rely on intelligence repo1s and classified documents. "It is for attack in Cotabato City.
the President as [C]ommander-in- [C]hief of the Armed Forces to appraise these [classified evidence qr
documents/]reports and be satisfied that the public safety demands thb suspension of the writ."256 TERRORISM v. REBELLION
Significantly, respect to these so-called classifietl documents is accorded even "when [the] authors of or
It is also of judicial notice that the insurgency in Mindanao has be' n ongoing for decades. While some
witnesses to thes~ 257 I documents may not be revealed."
groups have sought legal and peace 1 means, others have resorted to violent extremism and terrorism.
The Court has no machinery or tool equal to that of the Commander-in-Chief to ably and properly Rebelli n may be subsumed under the crime of terrorism, which has a broader sco e covering a wide

assess the ground conditions. range of predicate crimes. In fact, rebellion is only one f the various means by which terrorism can be
committed.299 However, while the scope of terrorism may be comprehensive, its purpose is distinct
Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution states that "[i]n case of invasion or rebellion, when the public and well-defined. The objective of a "'terrorist" is to sow and create a condition of widespread fear
safety requires it, [the President] may x x x suspend the privilege of writ of habeas corpus or place the among the populace in order to coerce the government to give in to an unlawful demand. This
Philippines or any part thereof under martial law." Clearly, the Constitution grants to the President the condition of widespread fear is traditionally achieved through bombing, kidnapping, mass killing, and
discretion to determine the territorial coverage of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the beheading, among others. In contrast, the purpose of rebellion, as previously discussed, is political, i.e.,
writ of habeas corpus. He may put the entire Philippines or only a part thereof under martial law. (a) to remove from the allegiance to the Philippine Government or its laws: (i) the territory of the
Philippines or any part thereof; (ii) any body of land, naval, or armed forces; or (b) to deprive the Chief
This is both an acknowledgement and a recognition that it is the Executive Department, particularly Executive or Congress, wholly or partially, of any of their powers and prerogatives.
the President as Commander-in-Chief, who is the repository of vital, classified, and live information
necessary for and relevant in calibrating the territorial application of martial law and the suspension of In determining what crime was committed, we have to look into the main objective of the malefactors.
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. It, too, is a concession that the President has the tactical and If it is political, such as for the purpose of severing the allegiance of Mindanao to the Philippine
military support, and thus has a more informed understanding of what is happening on the ground. Government to establish a wilayat therein, the crime is rebellion. If, on the other hand, the primary
Thus, the Constitution imposed a limitation on the period of application, which is 60 days, unless objective is to sow and create a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the
sooner nullified, revoked or extended, but not on the territorial scope or area of coverage; it merely populace in order to coerce the government to give in to an unlawful demand, the crime is terrorism.
stated "the Philippines or any part thereof," depending on the assessment of the President. Here, we have already explained and ruled that the President did not err in believing that what is
going on in Marawi City is one contemplated under the crime of rebellion.
The Constitution has provided sufficient safeguards against possible abuses of Commander-inChief's
powers; further curtailment of Presidential powers should not only be discouraged but also avoided. In any case, even assuming that the insurgency in Marawi City can also be characterized as terrorism,
the same will not in any manner affect Proclamation No. 216. Section 2 of Republic Act (RA) No. 9372,
The Court can only act within the confines of its power. For the Court to overreach is to infringe upon otherwise known as the Human Security Act of 2007 expressly provides that "[n]othing in this Act shall
another's territory. Clearly, the power to determine the scope of territorial application belongs to the be interpreted as a curtailment, restriction or diminution of constitutionally recognized powers of the
executive branch of the government." Thus, as long as the President complies with all the requirements In the Petition for Mandamus of Alexander A. Padilla (Padilla), Rene A.V. Saguisag (Saguisag),
of Section 18, Article VII, the existence of terrorism cannot prevent him from exercising his Christian S. Monsod (Monsod), Loretta Ann P. Rosales (Rosales), Rene B. Gorospe (Gorospe), and
extraordinary power of proclaiming martial ' law or suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas Senator Leila M. De Lima (Senator De Lima), filed on June 6, 2017 and docketed as G.R. No. 231671 (the
corpus.After all, the ~ ~I extraordinary powers of the President are bestowed on him by the Padilla Petition), petitioners seek a ruling from the Court directing the Congress to convene in joint
Constitution. No act of Congress can, therefore, curtail or diminish sutjh powers. session to deliberate on Presidential Proclamation No. 216, and to vote thereon.[1]

Besides, there is nothing in Art. 134 of the RPC and RA 9372 whiJh states that rebellion and terrorism In the Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus of former Senator Wigberto E. Tañada (Tañada), Bishop
are mutuallty exclusive of each other ?r that they cannot co-exist together. RA 93 72 does not expressly Emeritus Deogracias Iñiguez (Bishop Iñiguez), Bishop Broderick Pabillo (Bishop Pabillo), Bishop
or impliedly repeal Art. 134 of the RPC. And while rebellion is one of the predicate crimes of terrorism, Antonio Tobias (Bishop Tobias), Mo. Adelaida Ygrubay (Mo. Ygrubay), Shamah Bulangis (Bulangis),
one cannot absorb the other as they have differett elements. and Cassandra D. Deluria (Deluria), filed on June 7, 2017 and docketed as G.R. No. 231694 (the Tañada
Petition), petitioners entreat the Court to: (a) declare the refusal of the Congress to convene in joint
22. [ G.R. No. 231671, July 25, 2017] session for the purpose of considering Proclamation No. 216 to be in grave abuse of discretion
amounting to a lack or excess of jurisdiction; and (b) issue a writ of mandamus directing the Congress
ALEXANDER A. PADILLA, RENE A.V. SAGUISAG, CHRISTIAN S. MONSOD, LORETTA ANN
to convene in joint session for the aforementioned purpose.[2]
P. ROSALES, RENE B. GOROSPE, AND SENATOR LEILA M. DE LIMA, PETITIONERS, VS.
CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES, CONSISTING OF THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, AS Respondent Congress, represented by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), filed its Consolidated
REPRESENTED BY SENATE PRESIDENT AQUILINO "KOKO" PIMENTEL III, AND THE HOUSE Comment on June 27, 2017. Respondents Senate of the Philippines and Senate President Aquilino
OF REPRESENTATIVES, AS REPRESENTED BY HOUSE SPEAKER PANTALEON D. ALVAREZ, "Koko" Pimentel III (Senate President Pimentel), through the Office of the Senate Legal Counsel,
RESPONDENTS. separately filed their Consolidated Comment (Ex Abudanti Cautela) on June 29, 2017.

[G.R. No. 231694] ANTECEDENT FACTS

FORMER SEN. WIGBERTO E. TAÑADA, BISHOP EMERITUS DEOGRACIAS S. IÑIGUEZ, On May 23, 2017, President Duterte issued Proclamation No. 216, declaring a state of martial law and
BISHOP BRODERICK PABILLO, BISHOP ANTONIO R. TOBIAS, MO. ADELAIDA YGRUBAY, suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the Mindanao group of islands on the grounds
SHAMAH BULANGIS AND CASSANDRA D. DELURIA, PETITIONERS, VS. CONGRESS OF of rebellion and necessity of public safety pursuant to Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution.
THE PHILIPPINES, CONSISTING OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
AQUILINO "KOKO" PIMENTEL III, PRESIDENT, SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, AND Within forty-eight (48) hours after the proclamation, or on May 25, 2017, and while the Congress was in
PANTALEON D. ALVAREZ, SPEAKER, HOUSE OF THE REPRESENTATIVES, RESPONDENTS. session, President Duterte transmitted his "Report relative to Proclamation No. 216 dated 23 May 2017"
(Report) to the Senate, through Senate President Pimentel, and the House of Representatives, through
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.: House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez (House Speaker Alvarez).

These consolidated petitions under consideration essentially assail the failure and/or refusal of According to President Duterte's Proclamation No. 216 and his Report to the Congress, the declaration
respondent Congress of the Philippines (the Congress), composed of the Senate and the House of of a state of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of
Representatives, to convene in joint session and therein deliberate on Proclamation No. 216 issued on Mindanao ensued from the series of armed attacks, violent acts, and atrocities directed against civilians
May 23, 2017 by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (President Duterte). Through Proclamation No. 216, and government authorities, institutions, and establishments perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf and
President Duterte declared a state of martial law and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas Maute terrorist groups, in complicity with other local and foreign armed affiliates, who have pledged
corpus in the whole of Mindanao for a period not exceeding sixty (60) days effective from the date of allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), to sow lawless violence, terror, and political
the proclamation's issuance. disorder over the said region for the ultimate purpose of establishing a DAESH wilayah or Islamic
Province in Mindanao.
Representatives from the Executive Department, the military, and other security officials of the These series of events led to the filing of the present consolidated petitions.
government were thereafter invited, on separate occasions, by the Senate and the House of
Representatives for a conference briefing regarding the circumstances, details, and updates THE PARTIES' ARGUMENTS
surrounding the President's proclamation and report.
The Padilla Petition

On May 29, 2017, the briefing before the Senate was conducted, which lasted for about four (4) hours,
Petitioners in G.R. No. 231671 raise the question of "[w]hether Congress is required to convene in joint
by Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenza (Secretary Lorenzana), National Security Adviser
session, deliberate, and vote jointly under Article VII, [Section] 18 of the Constitution" and submit the
and Director General of the National Security Council Hermogenes C. Esperon, Jr. (Secretary Esperon),
following arguments in support of their petition:
and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) General Eduardo M. Año (General
Año). The following day, May 30, 2017, the Senate deliberated on these proposed resolutions: (a) [I] THE PETITION SATISFIES THE REQUISITES FOR THE EXERCISE OF THE HONORABLE
Proposed Senate (P.S.) Resolution No. 388,[3]which expressed support for President Duterte's COURT'S POWER OF JUDICIAL REVIEW.
Proclamation No. 216; and (b) P.S. Resolution No. 390,[4] which called for the convening in joint
session of the Senate and the House of Representatives to deliberate on President Duterte's [i] THERE IS AN ACTUAL CASE OR CONTROVERSY.
Proclamation No. 216.
[ii] PETITIONERS, AS PART OF THE PUBLIC AND AS TAXPAYERS, POSSESS LEGAL
P.S. Resolution No. 388 was approved, after receiving seventeen (17) affirmative votes as against five STANDING TO FILE THIS PETITION.
(5) negative votes, and was adopted as Senate Resolution No. 49[5] entitled "Resolution Expressing the
[iii] PETITIONER (DE LIMA], AS MEMBER OF CONGRESS, HAS LEGAL STANDING TO FILE
Sense of the Senate Not to Revoke, at this Time, Proclamation No. 216, Series of 2017, Entitled
THIS PETITION.
'Declaring a State of Martial Law and Suspending the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus in the
Whole of Mindanao.'"[6] [iv] THE CASE AND THE ISSUE INVOLVED ARE RIPE FOR JUDICIAL DETERMINATION.

P.S. Resolution No. 390, on the other hand, garnered only nine (9) votes from the senators who were in [II] THE PLAIN TEXT OF THE CONSTITUTION, SUPPORTED BY THE EXPRESS INTENT OF THE
favor of it as opposed to twelve (12) votes from the senators who were against its approval and FRAMERS, AND CONFIRMED BY THE SUPREME COURT, REQUIRES THAT CONGRESS
adoption.[7] CONVENE IN JOINT SESSION TO DELIBERATE AND VOTE AS A SINGLE DELIBERATIVE BODY.

On May 31, 2017, the House of Representatives, having previously constituted itself as a Committee of [i] THE PLAIN TEXT OF THE CONSTITUTION REQUIRES THAT CONGRESS CONVENE IN
the Whole House,[8] was briefed by Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea (Executive Secretary JOINT SESSION.
Medialdea), Secretary Lorenzana, and other security officials for about six (6) hours. After the closed-
door briefing, the House of Representatives resumed its regular meeting and deliberated on House
Resolution No. 1050 entitled "Resolution Expressing the Full Support of the House of Representatives
to President Rodrigo Duterte as it Finds No Reason to Revoke Proclamation No. 216, Entitled [ii] THE EXPRESS INTENT OF THE FRAMERS IS FOR CONGRESS TO CONVENE IN JOINT
'Declaring a State of Martial Law and Suspending the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus in the SESSION TO DELIBERATE AND VOTE AS A SINGLE DELIBERATIVE BODY.
Whole of Mindanao.'"[9] The House of Representatives proceeded to divide its members on the matter
of approving said resolution through viva voce voting. The result shows that the members who were in
favor of passing the subject resolution secured the majority vote.[10] [iii] THE SUPREME COURT CONFIRMED IN FORTUN v. GMA THAT CONGRESS HAS THE
"AUTOMATIC DUTY" TO CONVENE IN JOINT SESSION.
The House of Representatives also purportedly discussed the proposal calling for a joint session of the
Congress to deliberate and vote on President Duterte's Proclamation No. 216. After the debates,
however, the proposal was rejected.[11]
[iv] LEGISLATIVE PRECEDENT ALSO RECOGNIZES CONGRESS' DUTY TO CONVENE IN
JOINT SESSION.
and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Maguindanao was also a legislative
precedent where the Congress clearly recognized its duty to convene in joint session.[19]
[III] THE REQUIREMENT TO ACT AS A SINGLE DELIBERATIVE BODY UNDER ARTICLE VII,
[SECTION] 18 OF THE CONSTITUTION IS A MANDATORY, MINISTERIAL CONSTITUTIONAL The mandate upon the Congress to convene jointly is allegedly intended by the 1986 Constitutional
DUTY OF CONGRESS, WHICH CAN BE COMPELLED BY MANDAMUS.[12] Commission (ConCom) to serve as a protection against potential abuses in the exercise of the
President's power to declare martial law and suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. It is "a
Petitioners claim that there is an actual case or controversy in this instance and that their case is ripe for mechanism purposely designed by the Constitution to compel Congress to review the propriety of the
adjudication. According to petitioners, the resolutions separately passed by the Senate and the House President's action x x x [and] meant to contain martial law powers within a democratic framework for
of Representatives, which express support as well as the intent not to revoke President Duterte's the preservation of democracy, prevention of abuses, and protection of the people."[20]
Proclamation No. 216, injure their rights "to a proper [and] mandatory legislative review of the
declaration of martial law" and that the continuing failure of the Congress to convene in joint session The Tañada Petition
similarly causes a continuing injury to their rights.[13]
The petitioners in G.R. No. 231694 chiefly opine that:
Petitioners also allege that, as citizens and taxpayers, they all have locus standi in their "assertion of a
public right" which they have been deprived of when the Congress refused and/or failed to convene in I. A PLAIN READING OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION LEADS TO THE INDUBITABLE
joint session to deliberate on President Duterte's Proclamation No. 216. Senator De Lima adds that she, CONCLUSION THAT A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS TO REVIEW A DECLARATION OF

together with the other senators who voted in favor of the resolution to convene the Congress jointly, MARTIAL LAW BY THE PRESIDENT IS MANDATORY.
were even effectively denied the opportunity to perform their constitutionally-mandated duty, under
II. FAILURE TO CONVENE A JOINT SESSION DEPRIVES LAWMAKERS OF A
Article VII, Section 18 of the Constitution, to deliberate on the said proclamation of the President in a
DELIBERATIVE AND INTERROGATORY PROCESS TO REVIEW MARTIAL LAW.
joint session of the Congress.[14]
III. FAILURE TO CONVENE A JOINT SESSION DEPRIVES THE PUBLIC OF TRANSPARENT
On the propriety of resorting to the remedy of mandamus, petitioners posit that "the duty of Congress
PROCEEDINGS WITHIN WHICH TO BE INFORMED OF THE FACTUAL BASES OF MARTIAL LAW
to convene in joint session upon the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of
AND THE INTENDED PARAMETERS OF ITS IMPLEMENTATION.
the writ of habeas corpus does not require the exercise of discretion." Such mandate upon the Congress
is allegedly a purely ministerial act which can be compelled through a writ of mandamus.[15] IV. THE FRAMERS OF THE CONSTITUTION INTENDED THAT A JOINT SESSION OF
CONGRESS BE CONVENED IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE DECLARATION OF MARTIAL LAW.[21]
As for the substantive issue, it is the primary contention of petitioners that a plain reading of Article
VII, Section 18 of the Constitution shows that the Congress is required to convene in joint session to Similar to the contentions in the Padilla Petition, petitioners maintain that they have sufficiently shown
review Proclamation No. 216 and vote as a single deliberative body. The performance of the all the essential requisites in order for this Court to exercise its power of judicial review, in that: (1) an
constitutional obligation is allegedly mandatory, not discretionary.[16] actual case or controversy exists; (2) they possess the standing to file this case; (3) the constitutionality
of a governmental act has been raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and (4) the constitutionality
According to petitioners, the discretionary nature of the phrase "may revoke such proclamation or
of the said act is the very lis mota of the petition.
suspension" under Article VII, Section 18 of the Constitution allegedly pertain to the power of the
Congress to revoke but not to its obligation to jointly convene and vote which, they stress, is According to petitioners, there is an actual case or controversy because the failure and/or refusal of the
mandatory. To require the Congress to convene only when it exercises the power to revoke is Congress to convene jointly deprived legislators of a venue within which to raise a motion for
purportedly absurd since the Congress, without convening in joint session, cannot know beforehand revocation (or even extension) of President Duterte's Proclamation No. 216 and the public of an
whether a majority vote in fact exists to effect a revocation.[17] opportunity to be properly informed as to the bases and particulars thereof.[22]

Petitioners claim that in Fortun v. Macapagal-Arroyo,[18] this Court described the "duty" of the
Congress to convene in joint session as "automatic." The convening of the Congress in joint session
when former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (President Macapagal-Arroyo) declared martial law
Petitioners likewise claim to have legal standing to sue as citizens and taxpayers. Nonetheless, they writ of habeas corpus.[29] In the absence of such duty, the non-convening of the Congress in joint
submit that the present case calls for the Court's liberality in the appreciation of their locus standi given session does not pose any actual case or controversy that may be the subject of judicial
the fact that their petition presents "a question of first impression - one of paramount importance to the review.[30]Additionally, respondents argue that the petitions raise a political question over which the
future of our democracy - as well as the extraordinary nature of Martial Law itself."[23] Court has no jurisdiction.

Petitioners contend that the convening of the Congress in joint session, whenever the President Petitioners' avowal that they are citizens and taxpayers is allegedly inadequate to clothe them with
declares martial law or suspends the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, is a public right and duty locus standi. Generalized interests, albeit accompanied by the assertion of a public right, do not
mandated by the Constitution. The writ of mandamus is, thus, the "proper recourse for citizens who establish locus standi. Petitioners must show that they have a direct and personal interest in the
seek to enforce a public right and to compel the performance of a public duty, especially when the Congress' failure to convene in joint session, which they failed to present herein. A taxpayer's suit is
public right involved is mandated by the Constitution."[24] likewise proper only when there is an exercise of the spending or taxing power of the Congress.
However, in these cases, the funds used in the implementation of martial law in Mindanao are taken
For this group of petitioners, the Members of the Congress gravely abused their discretion for their from those funds already appropriated by the Congress. Senator De Lima's averment of her locus
refusal to convene in joint session, underscoring that "[w]hile a writ of mandamus will not generally lie standi as an incumbent member of the legislature similarly lacks merit. Insofar as the powers of the
from one branch of the government to a coordinate branch, or to compel the performance of a Congress are not impaired, there is no prejudice to each Member thereof; and even assuming arguendo
discretionary act, this admits of certain exceptions, such as in instances of gross abuse of discretion, that the authority of the Congress is indeed compromised, Senator De Lima still does not have
manifest injustice, or palpable excess of authority, when there is no other plain, speedy and adequate standing to file the present petition for mandamus because it is not shown that she has been allowed to
remedy."[25] participate in the Senate sessions during her incarceration. She cannot, therefore, claim that she has
suffered any direct injury from the non-convening of the Congress in joint session.[31]
As to the merits, petitioners assert that the convening of the Congress in joint session after the
declaration of martial law is mandatory under Article VII, Section 18 of the Constitution, whether or Respondents further contend that the constitutional right to information, as enshrined under Article III,
not the Congress is in session or there is intent to revoke. It is their theory that a joint session should be Section 7 of the Constitution, is not absolute. Matters affecting national security are considered as a
a deliberative process in which, after debate and discussion, legislators can come to an informed valid exception to the right to information of the public. For this reason, the petitioners' and the
decision as to the factual and legal bases for the declaration of martial law. Moreover, "legislators who public's right to participate in the deliberations of the Congress regarding the factual basis of a martial
wish to revoke the martial law proclamation should have the right to put that vote on historical record law declaration may be restricted in the interest of national security and public safety.[32]
in joint session and, in like manner, the public should have the right to know the position of their
legislators with respect to this matter of the highest national interest."[26] Respondents allege that petitioners failed to present an appropriate case for mandamus to lie.
Mandamus will only issue when the act to be compelled is a clear legal duty or a ministerial duty
Petitioners add that a public, transparent, and deliberative process is purportedly necessary to allay the imposed by law upon the defendant or respondent to perform the act required that the law specifically
people's fears against "executive overreach." This concern allegedly cannot be addressed by briefings in enjoins as a duty resulting from office, trust, or station.[33]
executive sessions given by representatives of the Executive Branch to both Houses of the
Congress.[27] According to respondents, it is erroneous to assert that it is their ministerial duty to convene in joint
session whenever martial law is proclaimed or the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended
Petitioners further postulate that, based on the deliberations of the Members of the ConCom, the in the absence of a clear and specific constitutional or legal provision. In fact, Article VII, Section 18
phrase "voting jointly" under Article VII, Section 18 was intended to mean that a joint session is a does not use the words "joint session" at all, much less impose the convening of such joint session upon
procedural requirement, necessary for the Congress to decide whether to revoke, affirm, or even the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. What
extend the declaration of martial law.[28] the Constitution requires is joint voting when the action of the Congress is to revoke or extend the
proclamation or suspension.[34]
Consolidation of Respondents' Comments

Respondents assert firmly that there is no mandatory duty on their part to "vote jointly," except in cases
of revocation or extension of the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the
Indeed, prior concurrence of the Congress is not constitutionally required for the effectivity of the On July 14, 2017, petitioners in G.R. No. 231671, the Padilla Petition, filed a Manifestation, calling the
proclamation or suspension. Quoting from the deliberations of the framers of the Constitution attention of the Court to the imminent expiration of the sixty (60)-day period of validity of
pertaining to Article VII, Section 18, the Congress points out that it was the intention of the said Proclamation No. 216 on July 22, 2017. Despite the lapse of said sixty (60)-day period, petitioners exhort
framers to grant the President the power to declare martial law or suspend the privilege of the writ of the Court to still resolve the instant cases for the guidance of the Congress, State actors, and all
habeas corpusfor a period not exceeding sixty (60) days without the concurrence of the Congress. There Filipinos.
is absolutely nothing under the Constitution that mandates the Congress to convene in joint session
when their intention is merely to discuss, debate, and/or review the factual and legal basis for the On July 22, 2017, the Congress convened in joint session and, with two hundred sixty-one (261) votes in

proclamation. That is why the phrase "voting jointly" is limited only in case the Congress intends to favor versus eighteen (18) votes against, overwhelmingly approved the extension of the proclamation
revoke the proclamation.[35] In a situation where the Congress is not in session, the Constitution of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao until
simply provides that the Congress must convene in accordance with its rules but does not state that it December 31, 2017.

must convene in joint session. Respondents further refer to the proper procedure for the holding of
STATEMENT OF THE ISSUES
joint sessions.
After a meticulous consideration of the parties' submissions, we synthesize them into the following
Respondents brush aside as mere obiter dictum the Court's pronouncement in the Fortun case that it is
fundamental issues:
the duty of the Congress to convene upon the declaration of martial law. That whether or not the
Congress should convene in joint session in instances where it is not revoking the proclamation was I. Whether or not the Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of these consolidated
not an issue in that case. Moreover, the factual circumstances in the Fortun case are entirely different petitions;
from the present cases. The Congress then issued a concurrent resolution calling for the convening of a
joint session as the intention- at least as far as the Senate was concerned - was to revoke the II. Whether or not the petitions satisfy the requisites for the Court's exercise of its power of
proclamation of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in judicial review;
Maguindanao. The Fortun case then cannot be considered a legislative precedent of an "automatic
III. Whether or not the Congress has the mandatory duty to convene jointly upon the President's
convening of a joint session by the Congress upon the President's proclamation of martial law."[36]
proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus under
Respondents argue that the remedy of certiorari is likewise unavailing. To justify judicial intervention, Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution; and
the abuse of discretion must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a
IV. Whether or not a writ of mandamus or certiorari may be issued in the present cases.
virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law or to act at all in contemplation of law, as where the
power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion or hostility.[37] The THE COURT'S RULING
Congress has the duty to convene and vote jointly only in two (2) instances, as respondents have
already explained. The Congress had even issued their respective resolutions expressing their support The Court's jurisdiction over these consolidated petitions
to, as well as their intent not to revoke, President Duterte's Proclamation No. 216. There then can be no
evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty on the part of the Congress if there is The principle of separation of powers
no duty to begin with.[38]
The separation of powers doctrine is the backbone of our tripartite system of government. It is implicit
Respondents respectfully remind the Court to uphold the "constitutional demarcation of the three in the manner that our Constitution lays out in separate and distinct Articles the powers and
fundamental powers of government."[39] The Court may not intervene in the internal affairs of the prerogatives of each co-equal branch of government. In Belgica v. Ochoa,[41] this Court had the
Legislature and it is not within the province of the courts to direct the Congress how to do its work. opportunity to restate:
Respondents stress that this Court cannot direct the Congress to convene in joint session without
The principle of separation of powers refers to the constitutional demarcation of the three fundamental
violating the basic principle of the separation of powers.[40]
powers of government In the celebrated words of Justice Laurel in Angara v. Electoral Commission, it
Subsequent Events means that the "Constitution has blocked out with deft strokes and in bold lines, allotment of power to
the executive, the legislative and the judicial departments of the government" To the legislative branch
of government, through Congress, belongs the power to make laws; to the executive branch of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government." Further, in past cases, the
government, through the President, belongs the power to enforce laws; and to the judicial branch of Court has exercised its power of judicial review noting that the requirement of interpreting the
government, through the Court, belongs the power to interpret laws. Because the three great powers constitutional provision involved the legality and not the wisdom of a manner by which a
have been, by constitutional design, ordained in this respect, "[e]ach department of the government has constitutional duty or power was exercised.[47]
exclusive cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own sphere." Thus,
"the legislature has no authority to execute or construe the law, the executive has no authority to make In Association of Medical Clinics for Overseas Workers, Inc. (AMCOW) v. GCC Approved Medical
or construe the law, and the judiciary has no power to make or execute the law." The principle of Centers Association, Inc.,[48] we explained the rationale behind the Court's expanded certiorari

separation of powers and its concepts of autonomy and independence stem from the notion that the jurisdiction. Citing former Chief Justice and Constitutional Commissioner Roberto R. Concepcion in his
powers of government must be divided to avoid concentration of these powers in any one branch; the sponsorship speech for Article VIII, Section 1 of the Constitution, we reiterated that the courts cannot
division, it is hoped, would avoid any single branch from lording its power over the other branches or hereafter evade the duty to settle matters, by claiming that such matters constitute a political question.

the citizenry. To achieve this purpose, the divided power must be wielded by co-equal branches of
Existence of the requisites for judicial review
government that are equally capable of independent action in exercising their respective mandates.
Lack of independence would result in the inability of one branch of government to check the arbitrary Petitioners' legal standing
or self-interest assertions of another or others. (Emphases supplied, citations omitted.)
Petitioners in G.R. No. 231671 allege that they are suing in the following capacities: (1) Padilla as a
Contrary to respondents' protestations, the Court's exercise of jurisdiction over these petitions cannot member of the legal profession representing victims of human rights violations, and a taxpayer; (2)
be deemed as an unwarranted intrusion into the exclusive domain of the Legislature. Bearing in mind Saguisag as a human rights lawyer, former member of the Philippine Senate, and a taxpayer; (3)
that the principal substantive issue presented in the cases at bar is the proper interpretation of Article Monsod as a framer of the Philippine Constitution and member of the 1986 ConCom, and a taxpayer;
VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution, particularly regarding the duty of the Congress to vote jointly (4) Rosales as a victim of human rights violations committed under martial law declared by then
when the President declares martial law and/or suspends the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, President Ferdinand E. Marcos, and a taxpayer; (5) Gorospe as a lawyer and a taxpayer; and (6) Senator
there can be no doubt that the Court may take jurisdiction over the petitions. It is the prerogative of the De Lima as an incumbent Member of the Philippine Senate, a human rights advocate, a former
Judiciary to declare "what the law is."[42] It is worth repeating here that: Secretary of Justice, Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, and a taxpayer.

[W]hen the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority On the other hand, in G.R. No. 231694, while petitioner Tañada sues in his capacity as a Filipino citizen
over the other departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only and former legislator, his co-petitioners (Bishop Iñiguez, Bishop Pabillo, Bishop Tobias, Mo. Ygrubay,
asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting Bulangis, and Deluria) all sue in their capacity as Filipino citizens.
claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the
rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them.[43] (Emphases supplied.) Respondents insist that none of the petitioners have legal standing, whether as a citizen, taxpayer, or
legislator, to file the present cases.
Political question doctrine
The Court has consistently held that locus standi is a personal and substantial interest in a case such
Corollary to respondents' invocation of the principle of separation of powers, they argue that these that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the challenged governmental act.
petitions involve a political question in which the Court may not interfere. It is true that the Court The question is whether the challenging party alleges such personal stake in the outcome of the
continues to recognize questions of policy as a bar to its exercise of the power of judicial review.[44] controversy so as to assure the existence of concrete adverseness that would sharpen the presentation
However, in a long line of cases,[45] we have given a limited application to the political question of issues and illuminate the court in ruling on the constitutional question posed.[49]
doctrine.
Petitioners satisfy these standards.
In The Diocese of Bacolod v. Commission on Elections,[46] we emphasized that the Court's judicial
power as conferred by the Constitution has been expanded to include "the duty of the courts of justice
to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to
determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
The Court has recognized that every citizen has the right, if not the duty, to interfere and see that a Petitioners seek relief through a writ of mandamus and/or certiorari. Mandamus is a remedy granted
public offense be properly pursued and punished, and that a public grievance be remedied.[50] When by law when any tribunal, corporation, board, officer, or person unlawfully neglects the performance
a citizen exercises this "public right" and challenges a supposedly illegal or unconstitutional executive of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station, or
or legislative action, he represents the public at large, thus, clothing him with the requisite locus standi. unlawfully excludes another from the use or enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is
He may not sustain an injury as direct and adverse as compared to others but it is enough that he entitled.[57] Certiorari, as a special civil action, is available only if: (1) it is directed against a tribunal,
sufficiently demonstrates in his petition that he is entitled to protection or relief from the Court in the board, or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions; (2) the tribunal, board, or officer acted
vindication of a public right.[51] without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction; and (3) there is no appeal nor any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary
Verily, legal standing is grounded on the petitioner's personal interest in the controversy. A citizen course of law.[58] With respect to the Court, however, certiorari is broader in scope and reach, and it
who files a petition before the court asserting a public right satisfies the requirement of personal may be issued to correct errors of jurisdiction committed not only by a tribunal, corporation, board, or
interest simply because the petitioner is a member of the general public upon which the right is officer exercising judicial, quasi¬judicial, or ministerial functions, but also to set right, undo, and
vested.[52] A citizen's personal interest in a case challenging an allegedly unconstitutional act lies in his restrain any act of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction by any branch
interest and duty to uphold and ensure the proper execution of the law.[53] or instrumentality of the Government, even if the latter does not exercise judicial, quasi-judicial or
ministerial functions.[59]
The present petitions have been filed by individuals asserting that the Senate and the House of
Representatives have breached an allegedly constitutional duty to convene in joint session to deliberate As the present petitions allege an omission on the part of the Congress that constitutes neglect of their
on Presidential Proclamation No. 216. The citizen-petitioners' challenge of a purportedly constitutional duties, the petitions make a prima facie case for mandamus, and an actual case or
unconstitutional act in violation of a public right, done in behalf of the general public, gives them legal controversy ripe for adjudication exists. When an act or omission of a branch of government is
standing. seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution, it becomes not only the right but, in fact, the duty
of the judiciary to settle the dispute.[60]
On the other hand, Senator De Lima questions the Congress' failure to convene in joint session to
deliberate on Proclamation No. 216, which, according to the petitioners, is the legislature's Respondents aver that the Congress cannot be compelled to do something that is discretionary on their
constitutional duty. part nor could they be guilty of grave abuse of discretion in the absence of any mandatory obligation to
jointly convene on their part to affirm the President's proclamation of martial law. Thus, petitioners are
We have ruled that legislators have legal standing to ensure that the constitutional prerogatives,
not entitled to the reliefs prayed for in their petitions for mandamus and/or certiorari; consequently, no
powers, and privileges of the Members of the Congress remain inviolate.[54] Thus, they are allowed to
actual case or controversy exists.
question the validity of any official action - or in these cases, inaction - which, to their mind, infringes
on their prerogatives as legislators.[55] There is no merit to respondents' position.

Actual case or controversy For the Court to exercise its power of judicial review and give due course to the petitions, it is sufficient
that the petitioners set forth their material allegations to make out a prima facie case for mandamus or
It is long established that the power of judicial review is limited to actual cases or controversies. There
certiorari.[61] Whether the petitioners are actually and ultimately entitled to the reliefs prayed for is
is an actual case or controversy where there is a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal
exactly what is to be determined by the Court after careful consideration of the parties' pleadings and
claims, where the contradiction of the rights can be interpreted and enforced on the basis of existing
submissions.
law and jurisprudence.[56]
Liberality in cases of transcendental importance
There are two conflicting claims presented before the Court: on the one hand, the petitioners' assertion
that the Congress has the mandatory duty to convene in joint session to deliberate on Proclamation No. In any case, it is an accepted doctrine that the Court may brush aside procedural technicalities and,
216; and, on the other, the respondents' view that so convening in joint session is discretionary on the nonetheless, exercise its power of judicial review in cases of transcendental importance.
part of the Congress.
There are marked differences between the Chief Executive's military powers, including the power to It cannot be gainsaid that there are compelling and weighty reasons for the Court to proceed with the
declare martial law, as provided under the present Constitution, in comparison to that granted in the resolution of these consolidated petitions on the merits. As explained in the preceding discussion, these
1935 Constitution. Under the 1935 Constitution,[62] such powers were seemingly limitless, cases involve a constitutional issue of transcendental significance and novelty. A definitive ruling from
unrestrained, and purely subject to the President's wisdom and discretion. this Court is imperative not only to guide the Bench, the Bar, and the public but, more importantly, to
clarify the parameters of congressional conduct required by the 1987 Constitution, in the event of a
At present, the Commander-in-Chief still possesses the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of repetition of the factual precedents that gave rise to these cases.
habeas corpus and to proclaim martial law. However, these executive powers are now subject to the
review of both the legislative and judicial branches. This check-and-balance mechanism was installed The duty of the Congress to vote jointly under Article VII, Section 18
in the 1987 Constitution precisely to prevent potential abuses of these executive prerogatives.
We now come to the crux of the present petitions - the issue of whether or not under Article VII,
Inasmuch as the present petitions raise issues concerning the Congress' role in our government's Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution, it is mandatory for the Congress to automatically convene in joint
system of checks and balances, these are matters of paramount public interest or issues of session in the event that the President proclaims a state of martial law and/or suspends the privilege of
transcendental importance deserving the attention of the Court in view of their seriousness, novelty, the writ of habeas corpus in the Philippines or any part thereof.
and weight as precedents.[63]
The Court answers in the negative. The Congress is not constitutionally mandated to convene in joint
Mootness session except to vote jointly to revoke the President's declaration or suspension.

The Court acknowledges that the main relief prayed for in the present petitions (i.e., that the Congress By the language of Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution, the Congress. is only required to
be directed to convene in joint session and therein deliberate whether to affirm or revoke Proclamation vote jointly to revoke the President's proclamation of martial law and/or suspension of the privilege of
No. 216) may arguably have been rendered moot by: (a) the lapse of the original sixty (60) days that the the writ of habeas corpus.
President's martial law declaration and suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus were
effective under Proclamation No. 216; (b) the subsequent extension by the Congress of the Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution fully reads:

proclamation of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus over the
Sec. 18. The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and
whole of Mindanao after convening in joint session on July 22, 2017; and (c) the Court's own decision in
whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless
Lagman v. Medialdea,[64] wherein we ruled on the sufficiency of the factual bases for Proclamation
violence, invasion or rebellion. In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he
No. 216 under the original period stated therein.
may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place

In David v. Macapagal-Arroyo, the jurisprudential rules regarding mootness were succinctly the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law. Within forty-eight hours from the proclamation
summarized, thus: of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, the President shall submit
a report in person or in writing to the Congress. The Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a
A moot and academic case is one that ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue of majority of all its Members in regular or special session, may revoke such proclamation or suspension
supervening events, so that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or value. Generally, which revocation shall not be set aside by the President. Upon the initiative of the President, the
courts decline jurisdiction over such case or dismiss it on ground of mootness. Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be
determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it.
xxxx
The Congress, if not in session, shall, within twenty-four hours following such proclamation or
The "moot and academic" principle is not a magical formula that can automatically dissuade the courts suspension, convene in accordance with its rules without need of a call.
in resolving a case. Courts will decide cases, otherwise moot and academic, if: first, there is a grave
violation of the Constitution; second, the exceptional character of the situation and the paramount
public interest is involved; third, when constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling
principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public; and fourth, the case is capable of repetition yet
evading review.[65] (Emphasis supplied, citations omitted.)
The Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of b. The Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all its Members in regular or special
the factual basis of the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ or the session, may revoke such proclamation or suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the
extension thereof, and must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from its filing. President;

A state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor supplant the functioning c. Upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may, in the same manner. extend such
of the civil courts or legislative assemblies, nor authorize the conferment of jurisdiction on military proclamation or suspension for a period to he determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion
courts and agencies over civilians where civil courts are able to function, nor automatically suspend the shall persist; and
privilege of the writ.

d. The Congress, if not in session, shall within twenty-¬four hours (24) following such proclamation or
The suspension of the privilege of the writ shall apply only to persons judicially charged for rebellion suspension, convene in accordance with its rules without need of call.
or offenses inherent in or directly connected with invasion.
There is no question herein that the first provision was complied with, as within forty-eight (48) hours
During the suspension of the privilege of the writ, any person thus arrested or detained shall be from the issuance on May 23, 2017 by President Duterte of Proclamation No. 216, declaring a state of
judicially charged within three days, otherwise he shall be released. (Emphasis supplied.) martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao, copies of President
Duterte's Report relative to Proclamation No. 216 was transmitted to and received by the Senate and
Outside explicit constitutional limitations, the Commander-in-Chief clause in Article VII, Section 18 of the House of Representatives on May 25, 2017.
the 1987 Constitution vests on the President, as Commander-in-Chief, absolute authority over the
persons and actions of the members of the armed forces,[66] in recognition that the President, as Chief The Court will not touch upon the third and fourth provisions as these concern factual circumstances
Executive, has the general responsibility to promote public peace, and as Commander-in-Chief, the which are not availing in the instant petitions. The petitions at bar involve the initial proclamation of
more specific duty to prevent and suppress rebellion and lawless violence.[67] However, to safeguard martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, and not their extension; and
against possible abuse by the President of the exercise of his power to proclaim martial law and/or the 17th Congress was still in session[68] when President Duterte issued Proclamation No. 216 on May
suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, the 1987 Constitution, through the same provision, 23, 2017.
institutionalized checks and balances on the President's power through the two other co-equal and
independent branches of government, i.e., the Congress and the Judiciary. In particular, Article VII, It is the second provision that is under judicial scrutiny herein: "The Congress, voting jointly, by a vote
Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution requires the President to submit a report to the Congress after his of at least a majority of all its Members in regular or special session, may revoke such proclamation or
proclamation of martial law and/or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and grants suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the President."

the Congress the power to revoke, as well as extend, the proclamation and/or suspension; and vests
A cardinal rule in statutory construction is that when the law is clear and free from any doubt or
upon the Judiciary the power to review the sufficiency of the factual basis tor such proclamation and/or
ambiguity, there is no room for construction or interpretation. There is only room for application.
suspension.
According to the plain¬-meaning rule or verba legis, when the statute is clear, plain, and free from
There are four provisions in Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution specifically pertaining to ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without attempted interpretation. It is
the role of the Congress when the President proclaims martial law and/or suspends the privilege of the expressed in the maxims index animi sermo or "speech is the index of intention[,]" and verba legis non
writ of habeas corpus, viz.: est recedendum or "from the words of a statute there should be no departure."[69]

a. Within forty-eight (48) hours from the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege In Funa v. Chairman Villar,[70] the Court also applied the verba legis rule in constitutional

of the writ of habeas corpus, the President shall submit a report in person or in writing to the Congress; construction, thus:
The rule is that if a statute or constitutional provision is clear, plain and free from ambiguity, it must he proclamation of martial law and/or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, under all
given its literal meaning and applied without attempted interpretation. This is known as the plain circumstances.
meaning rule enunciated by the maxim verba legis non est recedendum, or from the words of a statute
there should be no departure. The deliberations of the 1986 ConCom reveal the framers' specific intentions to (a) remove the
requirement of prior concurrence of the Congress for the effectivity of the President's proclamation of
The primary source whence to ascertain constitutional intent or purpose is the language of the martial law and/or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus; and (b) grant to the
provision itself. If possible, the words in the Constitution must be given their ordinary meaning, save Congress the discretionary power to revoke the President's proclamation and/or suspension by a vote
where technical terms are employed. J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. v. Land Tenure Administration illustrates of at least a majority of its Members, voting jointly.
the verbal legis rule in this wise:
The Court recognized in Civil Liberties Union v. The Executive Secretary[73] that:
We look to the language of the document itself in our search for its meaning. We do not of course stop
there, but that is where we begin. It is to he assumed that the words in which constitutional provisions A fool proof yardstick in constitutional construction is the intention underlying the provision under
are couched express the objective sought to be attained. They are to be given their ordinary meaning consideration. Thus, it has been held that the Court in construing a Constitution should bear in mind

except where technical terms are employed in which case the significance thus attached to them the object sought to be accomplished by its adoption, and the evils, if any, sought to be prevented or
prevails. As the Constitution is not primarily a lawyer's document, it being essential for the rule of law remedied. A doubtful provision will be examined in the light of the history of the times, and the
to obtain that it should ever be present in the people's consciousness, its language as much as possible condition and circumstances under which the Constitution was framed. The object is to ascertain the

should be understood in the sense they have in common use. What it says according to the text of the reason which induced the framers of the Constitution to enact the particular provision and the purpose
provision to be construed compels acceptance and negates the power of the courts to alter it, based on sought to be accomplished thereby, in order to construe the whole as to make the words consonant to
the postulate that the framers and the people mean what they say. Thus there are cases where the need that reason and calculated to effect that purpose.

for construction is reduced to a minimum. (Emphases supplied.)


However, in the same Decision, the Court issued the following caveat:

The provision in question is clear, plain, and unambiguous. In its literal and ordinary meaning, the
While it is permissible in this jurisdiction to consult the debates and proceedings of the constitutional
provision grants the Congress the power to revoke the President's proclamation of martial law or the
convention in order to arrive at the reason and purpose of the resulting Constitution, resort thereto
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and prescribes how the Congress may exercise
may be had only when other guides fail as said proceedings are powerless to vary the terms of the
such power, i.e., by a vote of at least a majority of all its Members, voting jointly, in a regular or special
Constitution when the meaning is clear. Debates in the constitutional convention "are of value as
session. The use of the word "may" in the provision - such that "[t]he Congress x x x may revoke such
showing the views of the individual members, and as indicating the reasons for their votes, but they
proclamation or suspension x x x" - is to be construed as permissive and operating to confer discretion
give us no light as to the views' of the large majority who did not talk, much less of the mass of our
on the Congress on whether or not to revoke,[71] but in order to revoke, the same provision sets the
fellow citizens whose votes at the polls gave that instrument the force of fundamental law. We think it
requirement that at least a majority of the Members of the Congress, voting jointly, favor revocation.
safer to construe the constitution from what appears upon its face." The proper interpretation therefore

It is worthy to stress that the provision does not actually refer to a "joint session." While it may be depends more on how it was understood by the people adopting it than in the framer's understanding
conceded, subject to the discussions below, that the phrase "voting jointly" shall already be understood thereof.[74] (Emphasis supplied.)
to mean that the joint voting will be done "in joint session," notwithstanding the absence of clear
As the Court established in its preceding discussion, the clear meaning of the relevant provision in
language in the Constitution,[72] still, the requirement that "[t]he Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of
Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution is that the Congress is only required to vote jointly on
at least a majority of all its Members in regular or special session, x x x" explicitly applies only to the
the revocation of the President's proclamation of martial law and/or suspension of the privilege of the
situation when the Congress revokes the President's proclamation of martial law and/or suspension of
writ of habeas corpus. Based on the Civil Liberties Union case, there is already no need to look beyond
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Simply put, the provision only requires Congress to vote
the plain language of the provision and decipher the intent of the framers of the 1987 Constitution.
jointly on the revocation of the President's proclamation and/or suspension.
Nonetheless, the deliberations on Article VII, Section 18 of the 1986 ConCom does not reveal a manifest
Hence, the plain language of the subject constitutional provision does not support the petitioners' intent of the framers to make it mandatory for the Congress to convene in joint session following the
argument that it is obligatory for the Congress to convene in joint session following the President's
President's proclamation and/or suspension, so it could deliberate as a single body, regardless of MR. SUAREZ. x x x
whether its Members will concur in or revoke the President's proclamation and/or suspension.
The Commissioner is suggesting that in connection with Section 15, we delete the phrase "and, with the
What is evident in the deliberations of the 1986 ConCom were the framers' intentions to (a) remove the concurrence of at least a majority of all the Members of the Congress..."
requirement of prior concurrence by the Congress for the effectivity of the President's proclamation of
martial law and/or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus; and (b) grant to the MR. PADILLA. That is correct especially for the initial suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
Congress the discretionary power to revoke the President's proclamation and/or suspension by a vote corpus or also the declaration of martial law.

of at least a majority of its Members, voting jointly.


MR. SUAREZ. So in both instances, the Commissioner is suggesting that this would be an exclusive
As the Commander-in-Chief clause was initially drafted, the President's suspension of the privilege of prerogative of the President?

the writ of habeas corpus required the prior concurrence of at least a majority of all the members of the
MR. PADILLA. At least initially, for a period of 60 days. But even that period of 60 days may be
Congress to be effective. The first line read, "The President shall be the commander-in-chief of all the
shortened by the Congress or the Senate because the next sentence says that the Congress or the Senate
armed forces of the Philippines and, whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces
may even revoke the proclamation.
to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion[;]" and the next line, "In case of invasion
or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, and, with xxxx
the concurrence of at least a majority of all the members of the Congress, suspend the privilege of the
writ of habeas corpus."[75] MR. MONSOD. x x x

The Commissioners, however, extensively debated on whether or not there should be prior We are back to Section 15, page 7, lines 1 and 2. I just want to reiterate my previous proposal to amend
concurrence by the Congress, and the exchanges below present the considerations for both sides: by deletion the phrase "and, with the concurrence of at least a majority of all the members of Congress."

MR. NATIVIDAD. First and foremost, we agree with the Commissioner's thesis that in the first xxxx
imposition of martial law there is no need for concurrence of the majority of the Members of Congress
MR. SUAREZ. x x x
because the provision says "in case of actual invasion and rebellion." If there is actual invasion and
rebellion, as Commissioner Crispino de Castro said, there is need for immediate response because The Commissioner is proposing a very substantial amendment because this means that he is vesting
there is an attack. Second, the fact of securing a concurrence may be impractical because the roads exclusively unto the President the right to determine the factors which may lead to the declaration of
might be blocked or barricaded. They say that in case of rebellion, one cannot even take his car and go martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. I suppose he has strong and compelling
to the Congress, which is possible because the roads are blocked or barricaded. And maybe if the reasons in seeking to delete this particular phrase. May we be informed of his good and substantial
revolutionaries are smart, they would have an individual team for each and every Member of the reasons?
Congress so he would not be able to respond to a call for a session. So the requirement of an initial
concurrence of the majority of all the Members of the Congress in case of an invasion or rebellion might MR. MONSOD. This situation arises in cases of invasion or rebellion. And in previous interpellations
be impractical as I can see it. regarding this phrase, even during the discussions on the Bill of Rights, as I understand it, the
interpretation is a situation of actual invasion or rebellion. In these situations, the President has to act
Second, Section 15 states that the Congress may revoke the declaration or lift the suspension. quickly. Secondly, this declaration has a time fuse. It is only good for a maximum of 60 days. At the
end of 60 days, it automatically terminates. Thirdly, the right of the judiciary to inquire into the
And third, the matter of declaring martial law is already a justiciable question and no longer a political
sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation always exists, even during those first 60 days.
one in that it is subject to judicial review at any point in time. So on that basis, I agree that there is no
need for concurrence as a prerequisite to declare martial law or to suspend the privilege of the writ of MR. SUAREZ. Given our traumatic experience during the past administration, if we give exclusive
habeas corpus. x x x right to the President to determine these factors, especially the existence of an invasion or rebellion and
the second factor of determining whether the public safety requires it or not, may I call the attention of
xxxx
the Gentleman to what happened to us during the past administration. Proclamation No. 1081 was
issued by Ferdinand E. Marcos in his capacity as President of the Philippines by virtue of the powers hand, in case of invasion or rebellion, even during the first 60 days when the intention here is to protect
vested upon him purportedly under Article VII, Section 10(2) of the Constitution, wherein he made this the country in that situation, it would be unreasonable to ask that there should be a concurrence on the
predicate under the "Whereas" provision. part of the Congress, which situation is automatically terminated at the end of such 60 days.

Whereas, the rebellion and armed action undertaken by these lawless elements of the Communists and xxxx
other armed aggrupations organized to overthrow the Republic of the Philippines by armed violence
and force have assumed the magnitude of an actual state of war against our people and the Republic of MR. SUAREZ. Would the Gentleman not feel more comfortable if we provide for a legislative check on

the Philippines. this awesome power of the Chief Executive acting as Commander-in-Chief?

And may I also call the attention of the Gentleman to General Order No.3, also promulgated by MR. MONSOD. I would be less comfortable if we have a presidency that cannot act under those

Ferdinand E. Marcos, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of the Philippines conditions.
and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated September 21, 1972 wherein he said, among other things:
MR. SUAREZ. But he can act with the concurrence of the proper or appropriate authority.

Whereas, martial law having been declared because of wanton destruction of lives and properties,
MR. MONSOD. Yes. But when those situations arise, it is very unlikely that the concurrence of
widespread lawlessness and anarchy and chaos and disorder now prevailing throughout the country,
Congress would be available; and, secondly, the President will be able to act quickly in order to deal
which condition has been brought about by groups of men who are actively engaged in a criminal
with the circumstances.
conspiracy to seize political and state power in the Philippines in order to take over the government by
force and violence, the extent of which has now assumed the proportion of an actual war against our MR. SUAREZ. So, we would be subordinating actual circumstances to expediency.
people and the legitimate government...
MR. MONSOD. I do not believe it is expediency when one is trying to protect the country in the event
And he gave all reasons in order to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and declare of an invasion or a rebellion.
martial law in our country without justifiable reason. Would the Gentleman still insist on the deletion
of the phrase "and, with the concurrence of at least a majority of all the members of the Congress"? MR. SUAREZ. No. But in both instances, we would be seeking to protect not only the country but the
rights of simple citizens. We have to balance these interests without sacrificing the security of the State.
MR. MONSOD. Yes, Madam President, in the case of Mr. Marcos he is undoubtedly an aberration in
our history and national consciousness. But given the possibility that there would be another Marcos, MR. MONSOD. I agree with the Gentleman that is why in the Article on the Bill of Rights, which was
our Constitution now has sufficient safeguards. As I said, it is not really true, as the Gentleman has approved on Third Reading, the safeguards and the protection of the citizens have been strengthened.
mentioned, that there is an exclusive right to determine the factual bases because the paragraph And on line 21 of this paragraph, I endorsed the proposed amendment of Commissioner Padilla. We
beginning on line 9 precisely tells us that the Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding are saying that those who are arrested should be judicially charged within five days; otherwise, they
filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial law or the shall be released. So, there are enough safeguards.
suspension of the privilege of the writ or the extension thereof and must promulgate its decision on the
MR. SUAREZ. These are safeguards after the declaration of martial law and after the suspension of the
same within 30 days from its filing.
writ ofhabeas corpus.
I believe that there are enough safeguards. The Constitution is supposed to balance the interests of the
MR. MONSOD. That is true.[76] (Emphases supplied.)
country. And here we are trying to balance the public interest in case of invasion or rebellion as against
the rights of citizens. And I am saying that there are enough safeguards, unlike in 1972 when Mr. Ultimately, twenty-eight (28) Commissioners voted to remove the requirement for prior concurrence
Marcos was able to do all those things mentioned. by the Congress for the effectivity of the President's proclamation of martial law and/or suspension of
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, against only twelve (12) Commissioners who voted to retain
MR. SUAREZ. Will that prevent a future President from doing what Mr. Marcos had done?
it.
MR. MONSOD. There is nothing absolute in this world, and there may be another Marcos. What we
are looking for are safeguards that are reasonable and, I believe, adequate at this point. On the other
As the result of the foregoing, the 1987 Constitution does not provide at all for the manner of MR. RODRIGO. May I comment on the statement made by Commissioner Bernas? I was a Member of
determination and expression of concurrence (whether prior or subsequent) by the Congress in the the Senate for 12 years. Whenever a bicameral Congress votes, it is always separately.
President's proclamation of martial law and/or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
In the instant cases, both Houses of the Congress separately passed resolutions, in accordance with For example, bills coming from the Lower House are voted upon by the Members of the House. Then
their respective rules of procedure, expressing their support for President Duterte's Proclamation No. they go up to the Senate and voted upon separately. Even on constitutional amendments, where
216. Congress meets in joint session, the two Houses vote separately.

In contrast, being one of the constitutional safeguards against possible abuse by the President of his Otherwise, the Senate will be useless; it will be sort of absorbed by the House considering that the

power to proclaim martial law and/or suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, the 1987 Members of the Senate are completely outnumbered by the Members of the House. So, I believe that
Constitution explicitly provides for how the Congress may exercise its discretionary power to revoke whenever Congress acts, it must be the two Houses voting separately.

the President's proclamation and/or suspension, that is, "voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority
If the two Houses vote "jointly," it would mean mixing the 24 Senators with 250 Congressmen. This
of all its Members in regular or special session."
would result in the Senate being absorbed and controlled by the House. This violates the purpose of

The ConCom deliberations on this particular provision substantially revolved around whether the two having a Senate.
Houses will have to vote jointly or separately to revoke the President's proclamation of martial law
FR. BERNAS. I quite realize that that is the practice and, precisely, in proposing this, I am consciously
and/or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus; but as the Court reiterates, it is
proposing this as an exception to this practice because of the tremendous effect on the nation when the
undisputedly for the express purpose of revoking the President's proclamation and/or suspension.
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended and then martial law is imposed. Since we have
Based on the ConCom deliberations, pertinent portions of which are reproduced hereunder, the allowed the President to impose martial law and suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus

underlying reason for the requirement that the two Houses of the Congress will vote jointly is to avoid unilaterally, we should make it a little more easy for Congress to reverse such actions for the sake of
the possibility of a deadlock and to facilitate the process of revocation of the President's proclamation protecting the rights of the people.

of martial law and/or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus:
MR. RODRIGO. Maybe the way it can be done is to vest this function in just one of the Chambers - to
MR. MONSOD. Madam President, I want to ask the Committee a clarifying question on line 4 of page 7 the House alone or to the Senate alone. But to say, "by Congress," both House and Senate "voting"

as to whether the meaning here is that the majority of all the Members of each House vote separately. Is jointly is practically a vote by the House.
that the intent of this phrase?
FR. BERNAS. I would be willing to say just the vote of the House.

xxxx
MR. RODRIGO. That is less insulting to the Senate. However, there are other safeguards. For example,
FR. BERNAS. We would like a little discussion on that because yesterday we already removed the if, after 60 days the Congress does not act, the effectiveness of the declaration of martial law or the

necessity for concurrence of Congress for the initial imposition of martial law. If we require the Senate suspension of the privilege of the writ ceases. Furthermore, there is recourse to the Supreme Court.
and the House of Representatives to vote separately for purposes of revoking the imposition of martial
FR. BERNAS. I quite realize that there is this recourse to the Supreme Court and there is a time limit,
law, that will make it very difficult for Congress to revoke the imposition of martial law and the
but at the same time because of the extraordinary character of this event when martial law is imposed, I
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. That is just thinking aloud. To balance the fact
would like to make it easier for the representatives of the people to review this very significant action
that the President acts unilaterally, then the Congress voting as one body and not separately can revoke
taken by the President.
the declaration of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
MR. RODRIGO. Between the Senate being absorbed and controlled by the House numerically and the
MR. MONSOD. In other words, voting jointly.
House voting alone, the lesser of two evils is the latter.

FR. BERNAS. Jointly, yes.

xxxx
xxxx MR. REGALADO. May the Committee seek this clarification from Commissioner Rodrigo? This voting
is supposed to revoke the proclamation of martial law. If the two Houses vote separately and a
MR. GUINGONA. x x x majority is obtained in the House of Representatives for the revocation of the proclamation of martial
law but that same majority cannot he obtained in the Senate voting separately, what would be the
In connection with the inquiry of Commissioner Monsod, and considering the statements made by
situation?
Commissioner Rodrigo, I would like to say, in reply to Commissioner Bernas, that perhaps because of
necessity, we might really have to break tradition. Perhaps it would be better to give this function of MR. RODRIGO. Then the proclamation of martial law or the suspension continues for almost two
revoking the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the writ or extending the same to the months. After two months, it stops. Besides, there is recourse to the Supreme Court.
House of Representatives, instead of to the Congress. I feel that even the Senators would welcome this
because they would feel frustrated by the imbalance in the number between the Senators and the MR. REGALADO. Therefore, that arrangement would be very difficult for the legislative since they are
Members of the House of Representatives. voting separately and, for lack of majority in one of the Houses they are precluded from revoking that
proclamation. They will just, therefore, have to wait until the lapse of 60 days.
Anyway, Madam President, we have precedents or similar cases. For example, under Section 24 of the
committee report on the Legislative, appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, and bills authorizing MR. RODRIGO. It might be difficult, yes. But remember, we speak of the Members of Congress who
increase of public debt are supposed to originate exclusively in the House of Representatives. Besides, are elected by the people. Let us not forget that the President is also elected by the people. Are we
we have always been saying that it is the Members of the House of Representatives who are mostly in forgetting that the President is elected by the people? We seem to distrust all future Presidents just
touch with the people since they represent the various districts of our country. became one President destroyed our faith by his declaration of martial law. I think we are overreacting.
Let us not judge all Presidents who would henceforth be elected by the Filipino people on the basis of
xxxx the abuses made by that one President. Of course, we must be on guard; but let us not overreact.

MR. MONSOD. I would prefer to have the vote of both Houses because this is a very serious question Let me make my position clear. I am against the proposal to make the House and the Senate vote
that must be fully discussed. By limiting it alone to the House of Representatives, then we lose the jointly. That is an insult to the Senate.
benefit of the advice and opinion of the Members of the Senate. I would prefer that they would be in
joint session, but I would agree with Father Bernas that they should not be voting separately as part of xxxx
the option. I think they should be voting jointly, so that, in effect, the Senators will have only one vote.
But at least we have the benefit of their advice. MR. RODRIGO. Will the Gentleman yield to a question?

xxxx MR. MONSOD. Yes, Madam President.

MR. RODRIGO. I was the one who proposed that the two Houses vote separately because if they vote MR. RODRIGO. So, in effect, if there is a joint session composed of 250 Members of the House plus 24

jointly, the Senators are absolutely outnumbered. It is insulting to the intelligence of the Senators to join Members of the Senate, the total would be 274. The majority would be one-half plus one.
a session where they know they are absolutely outnumbered. Remember that the Senators are elected
MR. MONSOD. So, 148 votes.
at large by the whole country. The Senate is a separate Chamber. The Senators have a longer term than
the Members of the House; they have a six-year term. They are a continuing Senate. Out of 24, twelve MR. RODRIGO. And the poor Senators would be absolutely absorbed and outnumbered by the 250
are elected every year. So, if they will participate at all, the Senate must vote separately. That is the Members of the House. Is that it?
practice everywhere where there are two chambers. But as I said, between having a joint session of the
Senate and the House voting jointly where it is practically the House that will decide alone, the lesser MR. MONSOD. Yes, that is one of the implications of the suggestion and the amendment is being made
of two evils is just to let the House decide alone instead of insulting the Senators by making them nonetheless because there is a higher objective or value which is to prevent a deadlock that would
participate in a charade. enable the President to continue the full 60 days in case one House revokes and the other House does
not.
The proposal also allows the Senators to participate fully in the discussions and whether we like it or FR. BERNAS. Madam President, the proposed amendment is really a motion for reconsideration. We
not, the Senators have very large persuasive powers because of their prestige and their national vote. have already decided that both Houses will vote jointly. Therefore, the proposed amendment, in effect,
asks for a reconsideration of that vote in order to give it to the House of Representatives.
MR. RODRIGO. So, the Senators will have the "quality votes" but Members of the House will have the
"quantity votes." Is that it? MR. RODRIGO. Madam President, the opposite of voting jointly is voting separately. If my
amendment were to vote separately, then, yes, it is a motion for reconsideration. But this is another
MR. MONSOD. The Gentleman is making an assumption that they will vote against each other. I formula.
believe that they will discuss, probably in joint session and vote on it; then the consensus will be clear.
xxxx
xxxx
MR. DE CASTRO. What is the rationale of the amendment?
MR. NOLLEDO. Madam President, the purpose of the amendment is really to set forth a limitation
because we have to avoid a stalemate. For example, the Lower House decides that the declaration of MR. RODRIGO. It is intended to avoid that very extraordinary and awkward provision which would
martial law should be revoked, and that later on, the Senate sitting separately decides that it should not make the 24 Senators meet jointly with 250 Members of the House and make them vote jointly. What I
be revoked. It becomes inevitable that martial law shall continue even if there should be no factual mean is, the 24 Senators, like a drop in the bucket, are absorbed numerically by the 250 Members of the
basis for it. House.

MR. OPLE. Madam President, if this amendment is adopted, we will be held responsible for a glaring xxxx
inconsistency in the Constitution to a degree that it distorts the bicameral system that we have agreed
to adopt. I reiterate: If there are deadlocks, it is the responsibility of the presidential leadership, MR. SARMIENTO. Madam President, we need the wisdom of the Senators. What is at stake is the
together with the leaders of both Houses, to overcome them.[77] (Emphases supplied.) future of our country - human rights and civil liberties. If we separate the Senators, then we deprive the
Congressmen of the knowledge and experience of these 24 men. I think we should forget the
When the matter was put to a vote, twenty-four (24) Commissioners voted for the two Houses of the classification of "Senators" or "Congressmen." We should all work together to restore democracy in our
Congress "voting jointly" in the revocation of the President's proclamation of martial law and/or country. So we need the wisdom of 24 Senators.
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, and thirteen (13) Commissioners opted for the
two Houses "voting separately." MR. RODRIGO. Madam President, may I just answer. This advice of the 24 Senators can be sought
because they are in the same building. Anyway, the provision, with the amendment of Commissioner
Yet, there was another attempt to amend the provision by requiring just the House of Representatives, Monsod, does not call for a joint session. It only says: "the Congress, by a vote of at least a majority of
not the entire Congress, to vote on the revocation of the President's proclamation of martial law and/or all its Members in regular or special session" - it does not say "joint session." So, I believe that if the
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus: Members of the House need the counsel of the Senators, they can always call on them, they can invite
them.[78](Emphasis supplied.)
MR. RODRIGO. Madam President, may I propose an amendment?
The proposed amendment was not adopted, however, as only five (5) Commissioners voted in its favor
xxxx and twenty-five (25) Commissioners voted against it. Thus, the power to revoke the President's
proclamation of martial law and/or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus still lies
MR. RODRIGO. On Section 15, page 7, line 4, I propose to change the word "Congress" to HOUSE OF
with both Houses of the Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all its Members.
REPRESENTATIVES so that the sentence will read: "The HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, by a vote of
at least a majority of all its Members in regular or special session, may revoke such proclamation or Significantly, the Commissioners only settled the manner of voting by the Congress, i.e., "voting jointly,
suspension or extend the same if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it." by a vote of at least a majority of all its Members," in order to revoke the President's proclamation of
martial law and/or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, but they did not directly
take up and specify in Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution that the voting shall be done
during a joint session of both Houses of the Congress. In fact, Commissioner Francisco A. Rodrigo
expressly observed that the provision does not call for a joint session. That the Congress will vote on 3. During the plenary session of the Senate on the following day, 24 May 2017, privilege speeches and
the revocation of the President's proclamation and/or suspension in a joint session can only be inferred discussions had already been made about the declaration of martial law and the suspension of the
from the arguments of the Commissioners who pushed for the "voting jointly" amendment that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. This prompted Senator Franklin M. Drilon to move to invite the
Members of the House of Representatives will benefit from the advice, opinion, and/or wisdom of the Secretary of National Defense, the National Security Adviser and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces
Senators, which will be presumably shared during a joint session of both Houses. Such inference is far of the Philippines to brief the senators in closed session on what transpired in Mindanao. Submitted to
from a clear mandate for the Congress to automatically convene in joint session, under all a vote and there being no objection, the Senate approved the motion. x x x
circumstances, when the President proclaims martial law and/or suspends the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus, even when Congress does not intend to revoke the President's proclamation and/or 4. On 25 May 2017, the President furnished the Senate and the House of Representatives, through
suspension. Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III and Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez, respectively, with
copies of his report (hereinafter, the "Report") detailing the factual and legal basis for his declaration of
There was no obligation on the part of the Congress herein to convene in joint session as the provision martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao.
on revocation under Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution did not even come into operation in
light of the resolutions, separately adopted by the two Houses of the Congress in accordance with their 5. On or about 25 May 2017, invitation letters were issued and sent by the Senate Secretary, Atty.

respective rules of procedure, expressing support for President Duterte's Proclamation No. 216. Lutgardo B. Barbo to the following officials requesting them to attend a briefing for the Senators on 29
May 2017 at 3:00 p.m. at the Senators' Lounge at the Senate in a closed door session to describe what
The provision in Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution requiring the Congress to vote jointly transpired in Mindanao which was the basis of the declaration of martial law in Mindanao: (a)
in a joint session is specifically for the purpose of revocation of the President's proclamation of martial Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, Secretary of National Defense (hereinafter, "Secretary Lorenzana"); (b)
law and/or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. In the petitions at bar, the Senate Secretary Hermogenes C. Esperon, Jr., National Security Adviser and Director General of the National
and House of Representatives already separately adopted resolutions expressing support for President Security Council (hereinafter, "Secretary Esperon"); and (c) General Eduardo M. Año, Chief of Staff of
Duterte's Proclamation No. 216. Given the express support of both Houses of the Congress for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (hereinafter, "Gen. Año"). The said letters stated that the Senators
Proclamation No. 216, and their already evident lack of intent to revoke the same, the provision in requested that the President's Report be explained and that more details be given about the same. x x x
Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution on revocation did not even come into operation and,
therefore, there is no obligation on the part of the Congress to convene in joint session. 6. On 29 May 2017, about 3:30 p.m., a closed door briefing was conducted by Secretary Lorenzana,
Secretary Esperon and other security officials for the Senators to brief them about the circumstances
Practice and logic dictate that a collegial body will first hold a meeting among its own members to get a surrounding the declaration of martial law and to inform them about details about the President's
sense of the opinions of its individual members and, if possible and necessary, reach an official stance, Report. The briefing lasted for about four (4) hours. After the briefing, the Senators had a caucus to
before convening with another collegial body. This is exactly what the two Houses of the Congress did determine what could be publicly revealed.
in these cases.
7. On the same day, 29 May 2017, the House of Representatives resolved to constitute itself as a
The two Houses of the Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives immediately took Committee of the Whole on 31 May 2017 to consider the President's Report.
separate actions on President Duterte's proclamation of martial law and suspension of the privilege of
the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao through Proclamation No. 216, in accordance with their 8. On 30 May 2017, two (2) resolutions were introduced in the Senate about the proclamation of martial
respective rules of procedure. The Consolidated Comment (Ex Abudanti Cautela), filed by the Senate law. The first one was P.S. Resolution No. 388 (hereinafter, "P.S.R. No. 388") introduced by Senators

and Senate President Pimentel, recounted in detail the steps undertaken by both Houses of the Sotto, Pimentel, Recto, Angara, Binay, Ejercito, Gatchalian, Gordon, Honasan, Lacson, Legarda,
Congress as regards Proclamation No. 216, to wit: Pacquiao, Villanueva, Villar and Zubiri which was entitled, "Expressing the Sense of the Senate,
Supporting the Proclamation No. 216 dated May 23, 2017, entitled "Declaring a State of Martial Law
2. On the date of the President's declaration of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the and Suspending the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Whole of Mindanao" and Finding no
writ of habeas corpus, Congress was in session (from May 2, to June 2, 2017), in its First Regular Cause to revoke the Same." The second one was P.S. Resolution No. 390 (hereinafter, "P.S.R. No. 390")
Session of the 17th Congress, as evidenced by its Legislative Calendar, otherwise known as Calendar of introduced by Senators Pangilinan, Drilon, Hontiveros, Trillanes, Aquino and De Lima which was
Session as contained in Concurrent Resolution No. 3 of both the Senate and the House of entitled, "Resolution to Convene Congress in Joint Session and Deliberate on Proclamation No. 216
Representatives. x x x
dated 23 May 2017 entitled, "Declaring a State of Martial Law and Suspending the Privilege of the Writ WHEREAS, the Proclamation does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, which among others,
of Habeas Corpus in the Whole of Mindanao." x x x guarantees respect for human rights and guards against any abuse or violation thereof: Now, therefore,
be it
9. Discussions were made on the two (2) proposed resolutions during the plenary deliberations of the
Senate on 30 May 2017. The first resolution to be discussed was P.S.R. No. 388. During the Resolved, as it is hereby resolved, To express the sense of the Senate, that there is no compelling reason
deliberations, amendments were introduced to it and after the amendments and the debates, P.S.R. No. to revoke Proclamation No. 216, series of 2017 at this time.
388 was voted upon and it was adopted by a vote of seventeen (17) affirmative votes and five (5)
negative votes. The amended, substituted and approved version of P.S.R. No. 388, which was then Adopted. x x x"

renamed Resolution No. 49, states as follows:


xxxx

RESOLUTION NO. 49
10. Immediately thereafter, P.S.R. No. 390 was also deliberated upon. After a prolonged discussion, a
RESOLUTION EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF THE SENATE NOT TO REVOKE, AT THIS TIME, vote was taken on it and nine (9) senators were in favor and twelve (12) were against. As such, P.S.R.

PROCLAMATION NO. 216, SERIES OF 2017, ENTITLED, "DECLARING A STATE OF MARTIAL No. 390 calling for a joint session of Congress was not adopted. x x x
LAW AND SUSPENDING THE PRIVILEGE OF THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS IN THE WHOLE
OF MINDANAO."
11. In the meantime, on 31 May 2017, the House of Representatives acting as a Committee of the Whole
WHEREAS, the 1987 Philippine Constitution, Article VII, Section 18, provides that:
was briefed for about six (6) hours by officials of the government led by Executive Secretary Salvador

"... in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he (President) may, for a period C. Medialdea (hereinafter, "Executive Secretary Medialdea"), Secretary Lorenzana and other security
not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or officials on the factual circumstances surrounding the President's declaration of martial law and on the
any part thereof under martial law..."; statements contained in the President's Report. During the evening of the same day, a majority of the
House of Representatives passed Resolution No. 1050 entitled, "Resolution Expressing the Full Support
WHEREAS, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte issued Proclamation No. 216, series of 2017, entitled of the House of Representatives to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte As It Finds No Reason to Revoke
"Declaring a State of Martial Law and Suspending the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Proclamation No. 216 Entitled, 'Declaring A State of Martial Law and Suspending the Privilege of the
Whole of Mindanao," on May 23, 2017 (the "Proclamation"); Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Whole of Mindanao.'" In the same deliberations, it was likewise proposed
that the House of Representatives call for a joint session of Congress to deliberate and vote on the
WHEREAS, pursuant to his duty under the Constitution, on May 25, 2017, and within forth-eight hours President's declaration of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
after the issuance of the Proclamation, President Duterte submitted to the Senate his report on the However, after debates, the proposal was not carried. x x x.[79]
factual and legal basis of the Proclamation;
It cannot be disputed then that the Senate and House of Representatives placed President Duterte's
WHEREAS, on May 29, 2017, the Senators were briefed by the Department of National Defense (DND), Proclamation No. 216 under serious review and consideration, pursuant to their power to revoke such
the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and by the National Security Council (NSC) on the factual a proclamation vested by the Constitution on the Congress. Each House timely took action by
circumstances surrounding the Proclamation as well as the updates on the situation in Mindanao; accepting and assessing the President's Report, inviting over and interpellating executive officials, and
deliberating amongst their fellow Senators or Representatives, before finally voting in favor of
WHEREAS, on the basis of the information received by the Senators, the Senate is convinced that
expressing support for President Duterte's Proclamation No. 216 and against calling for a joint session
President Duterte declared martial law and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the
with the other House. The prompt actions separately taken by the two Houses of the Congress on
whole of Mindanao because actual rebe11ion exists and that the public safety requires it;
President Duterte's Proclamation No. 216 belied all the purported difficulties and delays such
WHEREAS, the Senate, at this time, agrees that there is no compelling reason to revoke Proclamation procedures would cause as raised in the Concurring and Dissenting Opinion of Associate Justice
No. 216, series of 2017; Marvic M.V.F. Leonen (Justice Leonen). As earlier pointed out, there is no constitutional provision
governing concurrence by the Congress in the President's proclamation of martial law and/or
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, and absent a specific mandate for the Congress its rules; and as such, the exercise of this power is generally exempt from judicial supervision and
to hold a joint session in the event of concurrence, then whether or not to hold a joint session under interference.[81] Moreover, unless there is a clear showing by strong and convincing reasons that they
such circumstances is completely within the discretion of the Congress. conflict with the Constitution, "all legislative acts are clothed with an armor of constitutionality
particularly resilient where such acts follow a long-settled and well-established practice by the
The Senate and Senate President Pimentel explained in their Consolidated Comment (Ex Abudanti Legislature."[82] Nothing in this Decision should be presumed to give precedence to the rules of the
Cautela), that, by practice, the two Houses of the Congress must adopt a concurrent resolution to hold Houses of the Congress over the provisions of the Constitution. This Court simply holds that since the
a joint session, and only thereafter can the Houses adopt the rules to be observed for that particular Constitution does not regulate the manner by which the Congress may express its concurrence to a
joint session: Presidential proclamation of martial law and/or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus, the Houses of the Congress have the discretion to adopt rules of procedure as they may deem
It must be stated that the Senate and the House of Representatives have their own respective Rules, i.e.,
appropriate for that purpose.
the Rules of the Senate and the Rules of the House of Representatives. There is no general body of
Rules applicable to a joint session of Congress. Based on parliamentary practice and procedure, the The Court highlights the particular circumstance herein that both Houses of Congress already
Senate and House of Representatives only adopt Rules for a joint session on an ad hoc basis but only separately expressed support for President Duterte's Proclamation No. 216, so revocation was not even
after both Houses have already agreed to convene in a joint session through a Concurrent Resolution. a possibility and the provision on revocation under Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution
The Rules for a Joint Session for a particular purpose become functus officioafter the purpose of the requiring the Congress to vote jointly in a joint session never came into operation. It will be a
joint session has been achieved. Examples of these Rules for a Joint Session are (1) the Rules of the Joint completely different scenario if either of the Senate or the House of Representatives, or if both Houses
Public Session of Congress on Canvassing the Votes Cast for Presidential and Vice-Presidential of the Congress, resolve/s to revoke the President's proclamation of martial law and/or suspension of
Candidates in the May 9, 2016 Election adopted on 24 May 2016; and (2) the Rules of the Joint Session the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, in which case, Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution
of Congress on Proclamation No. 1959 (Proclaiming a State of Martial Law and Suspending the shall apply and the Congress must convene in joint session to vote jointly on the revocation of the
Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Province of Maguindanao, Except for Certain Areas) proclamation and/or suspension. Given the foregoing parameters in applying Article VII, Section 18 of
adopted on 09 December 2009. The only time that the Senate and the House of Representatives do not the 1987 Constitution, Justice Leonen's concern, expressed in his Concurring and Dissenting Opinion,
adopt Rules for a joint session is when they convene on the fourth Monday of July for its regular that a deadlock may result in the future, is completely groundless.
session to receive or listen to the State of the Nation Address of the President and even then, they adopt
a Concurrent Resolution to do so. The legislative precedent referred to by petitioners actually supports the position of the Court in the
instant cases. On December 4, 2009, then President Macapagal-Arroyo issued Proclamation No. 1959,
The usual procedure for having a .ioint session is for both Houses to first adopt a Concurrent entitled "Proclaiming a State of Martial Law and Suspending the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas
Resolution to hold a joint session. This is achieved by either of two (2) ways: (1) both the Senate and the Corpus in the Province of Maguindanao, except for Certain Areas." The Senate, on December 14, 2009,
House of Representatives simultaneously adopting the Concurrent Resolution - an example would be adopted Resolution No. 217, entitled "Resolution Expressing the Sense of the Senate that the
when the two (2) Houses inform the President that they are ready to receive his State of the Nation Proclamation of Martial Law in the Province of Maguindanao is Contrary to the Provisions of the 1987
Address or (2) For one (1) House to pass its own resolution and to send it to the other House for the Constitution." Consequently, the Senate and the House of Representatives adopted Concurrent
latter's concurrence. Once the joint session of both Houses is actually convened, it is only then that the Resolutions, i.e., Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 14 and House Concurrent Resolution No. 33,
Senate and the House of Representatives jointly adopt the Rules for the joint session. x x calling both Houses of the Congress to convene in joint session on December 9, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. at the
x[80](Emphases supplied.) Session Hall of the House of Representatives to deliberate on Proclamation No. 1959. It appears then
that the two Houses of the Congress in 2009 also initially took separate actions on President
With neither Senate nor the House of Representatives adopting a concurrent resolution, no joint session
Macapagal-Arroyo's Proclamation No. 1959, with the Senate eventually adopting Resolution No. 217,
by the two Houses of the Congress can be had in the present cases.
expressing outright its sense that the proclamation of martial law was unconstitutional and necessarily
The Court is bound to respect the rules of the Congress, a co-equal and independent branch of implying that such proclamation should be revoked. With one of the Houses favoring revocation, and
government. Article VI, Section 16(3) of the 1987 Constitution states that "[e]ach House shall determine in observation of the established practice of the Congress, the two Houses adopted concurrent
the rules of its proceedings." The provision has been traditionally construed as a grant of full resolutions to convene in joint session to vote on the revocation of Proclamation No. 1959.
discretionary authority to the Houses of Congress in the formulation, adoption, and promulgation of
For the same reason, the Fortun case cannot be deemed a judicial precedent for the present cases. The separately. By initially undertaking separate actions on President Duterte's Proclamation No. 216 and
factual background of the Fortuncase is not on all fours with these cases. Once more, the Court points making their respective determination of whether to support or revoke said Proclamation, the Senate
out that in the Fortun case, the Senate expressed through Resolution No. 217 its objection to President and the House of Representatives were only acting in accordance with their own rules of procedure
Macapagal-Arroyo's Proclamation No. 1959 for being unconstitutional, and both the Senate and the and were not in any way remiss in their constitutional duty to guard against a baseless or unjustified
House of Representatives adopted concurrent resolutions to convene in joint session for the purpose of proclamation of martial law and/or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus by the
revoking said proclamation; while in the cases at bar, the Senate and the House of Representatives President.
adopted Senate Resolution No. 49 and House Resolution No. 1050, respectively, which expressed
support for President Duterte's Proclamation No. 216, and both Houses of the Congress voted against There is likewise no basis for petitioners' assertion that without a joint session, the public cannot hold
calling for a joint session. In addition, the fundamental issue in the Fortun case was whether there was the Senators and Representatives accountable for their respective positions on President Duterte's
factual basis for Proclamation No. 1959 and not whether it was mandatory for the Congress to convene Proclamation No. 216. Senate records completely chronicled the deliberations and the voting by the

in joint session; and even before the Congress could vote on the revocation of Proclamation No. 1959 Senators on Senate Resolution No. 49 (formerly P.S. Resolution No. 388) and P.S. Resolution No. 390.
and the Court could resolve the Fortun case, President Macapagal-Arroyo already issued Proclamation While it is true that the House of Representatives voted on House Resolution No. 1050 viva voce, this is
No. 1963 on December 12, 2009, entitled "Proclaiming the Termination of the State of Martial Law and only in accordance with its rules. Per the Rules of the House of Representatives:

the Restoration of the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Province of Maguindanao."
RULE XV
Furthermore, the word "automatic" in the Fortun case referred to the duty or power of the Congress to
review the proclamation of martial law and/or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, Voting
rather than the joint session ofCongress.[83]
Sec. 115. Manner of Voting. - The Speaker shall rise and state the motion or question that is being put to
Petitioners invoke the following provision also in Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution: "The a vote in clear, precise and simple language. The Speaker shall say "as many as are in favor, (as the
Congress, if not in session, shall, within twenty-four hours following such proclamation or suspension question may be) say 'aye'". After the affirmative vote is counted, the Speaker shall say "as many as are
convene in accordance with its rules without call." Petitioners reason that if the Congress is not in opposed, (as the question may be) say 'nay'".
session, it is constitutionally mandated to convene within twenty-four (24) hours from the President's
proclamation of martial law and/or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, then it is If the Speaker doubts the result of the voting or a motion to divide the House is carried, the House shall
with all the more reason required to convene immediately if in session. divide. The Speaker shall ask those in favor to rise, to be followed by those against. If still in doubt of
the outcome or a count by tellers is demanded, the Speaker shall name one (1) Member from each side
The Court is not persuaded. of the question to count the Members in the affirmative and those in the negative. After the count is
reported, the Speaker shall announce the result.
First, the provision specially addresses the situation when the President proclaims martial law and/or
suspends the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus while the Congress is in recess. To ensure that the An abstention shall not be counted as a vote. Unless otherwise provided by the Constitution or by
Congress will be able to act swiftly on the proclamation and/or suspension, the 1987 Constitution these rules, a majority of those voting, there being a quorum, shall decide the issue.
provides that it should convene within twenty-four (24) hours without need for call. It is a whole
different situation when the Congress is still in session as it can readily take up the proclamation Sec. 116. Nominal Voting. - Upon motion of a Member, duly approved by one-fifth (115) of the
and/or suspension in the course of its regular sessions, as what happened in these cases. Second, the Members present, there being a quorum, nominal voting on any question may be called. In case of
provision only requires that the Congress convene without call, but it does not explicitly state that the nominal voting, the Secretary General shall call, in alphabetical order, the nan1es of the Members who
Congress shall already convene in joint session. In fact, the provision actually states that the Congress shall state their vote as their names are called.
"convene in accordance with its rules," which can only mean the respective rules of each House as there
Sec. 117. Second Call on Nominal Voting. - A second call on nominal voting shall be made to allow
are no standing rules for joint sessions. And third, it cannot be said herein that the Congress failed to
Members who did not vote during the first call to vote. Members who fail to vote during the second
convene immediately to act on Proclamation No. 216. Both Houses of the Congress promptly took
call shall no longer be allowed to vote.
action on Proclamation No. 216, with the Senate already issuing invitations to executive officials even
prior to receiving President Duterte's Report, except that the two Houses of the Congress acted
Since no one moved for nominal voting on House Resolution No. 1050, then the votes of the individual Rule XLVII of the Rules of the Senate similarly sets forth the following:
Representatives cannot be determined. It does not render though the proceedings unconstitutional or
invalid.

The Congress did not violate the right of the public to information when it did not convene in joint SEC. 126. The executive sessions of the Senate shall be held always behind closed doors. In such

session. sessions, only the Secretary, the Sergeant-at-Arms, and/or such other persons as may be authorized by
the Senate may be admitted to the session hall.
The Court is not swayed by petitioners' argument that by not convening in joint sessionthe Congress
violated the public's right to information because as records show, the Congress still conducted
deliberations on President Duterte's Proclamation No. 216, albeit separately; and the public's right to
SEC. 127. Executive sessions shall be held whenever a Senator so requests it and his petition has been
information on matters of national security is not absolute. When such matters are being taken up in
duly seconded, or when the security of the State or public interest so requires. Thereupon, the
the Congress, whether in separate or joint sessions, the Congress has discretion in the manner the
President shall order that the public be excluded from the gallery and the doors of the session hall be
proceedings will be conducted.
closed.
Petitioners contend that the Constitution requires a public deliberation process on the proclamation of
The Senator who presented the motion shall then explain the reasons which he had for submitting the
martial law: one that is conducted via a joint session and by a single body. They insist that the
same.
Congress must be transparent, such that there is an "open and robust debate," where the evaluation of
the proclamation's factual bases and subsequent implementation shall be openly discussed and where The minutes of the executive sessions shall be recorded in a separate book. (Emphasis supplied)
each member's position on the issue is heard and made known to the public.
From afore-quoted rules, it is clear that matters affecting the security of the state are considered
The petitioners' insistence on the conduct of a "joint session" contemplates a mandatory joint confidential and must be discussed and deliberated upon in an executive session, excluding the public
Congressional session where public viewing is allowed. therefrom.

However, based on their internal rules, each House has the discretion over the manner by which That these matters are considered confidential is in accordance with settled jurisprudence that, in the
Congressional proceedings are to be conducted. Verily, sessions are generally open to the public,[84] exercise of their right to information, the government may withhold certain types of information from
but each House may decide to hold an executive session due to the confidential nature of the subject the public such as state secrets regarding military, diplomatic, and other national security matters.[85]
matter to be discussed and deliberated upon. The Court has also ruled that the Congress' deliberative process, including information discussed and
deliberated upon in an executive session,[86] may be kept out of the public's reach.
Rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives provides:
The Congress not only recognizes the sensitivity of these matters but also endeavors to preserve their
Section 82. Sessions Open to the Public. - Sessions shall be open to the public. However, when the
confidentiality. In fact, Rule XLVII, Section 128[87] of the Rules of the Senate expressly establishes a
security of the State or the dignity of the House or any of its Members are affected by any motion or
secrecy ban prohibiting all its members, including Senate officials and employees, from divulging any
petition being considered, the House may hold executive sessions.
of the confidential matters taken up by the Senate. A Senator found to have violated this ban faces the
Guests and visitors in the galleries are prohibited from using their cameras and video recorders. possibility of expulsion from his office.[88] This is consistent with the Ethical Standards Act[89] that
Cellular phones and other similar electronic devices shall be put in silent mode. prohibits public officials and employees from using or divulging "confidential or classified information
officially known to them by reason of their office and not made available to the public."[90]
Section 83. Executive Sessions. - When the House decides to hold an executive session, the Speaker
shall direct the galleries and hallways to be cleared and the doors closed. Only the Secretary General, Certainly, the factual basis of the declaration of martial law involves intelligence information, military

the Sergeant¬at-Arms and other persons specifically authorized by the House shall be admitted to the tactics, and other sensitive matters that have an undeniable effect on national security. Thus, to
executive session. They shall preserve the confidentiality of everything read or discussed in the session. demand Congress to hold a public session during which the legislators shall openly discuss these

(Emphasis supplied.) matters, all the while under public scrutiny, is to effectively compel them to make sensitive information
available to everyone, without exception, and to breach the recognized policy of preserving these a public officer and gives him the right to decide how or when the duty shall be performed, such duty
matters' confidentiality, at the risk of being sanctioned, penalized, or expelled from Congress is discretionary and not ministerial. The duty is ministerial only when the discharge of the same
altogether. requires neither the exercise of official discretion or judgment.[92] (Emphases added.)

That these are the separate Rules of the two Houses of the Congress does not take away from their It is essential to the issuance of a writ of mandamus that petitioner should have a clear legal right to the
persuasiveness and applicability in the event of a joint session. Since both Houses separately recognize thing demanded and it must be the imperative duty of the respondent to perform the act required.
the policy of preserving the confidentiality of national security matters, then in all likelihood, they will Mandamus never issues in doubtful cases. While it may not be necessary that the ministerial duty be
consistently observe the same in a joint session. The nature of these matters as confidential is not absolutely expressed, it must however, be clear. The writ neither confers powers nor imposes duties. It
affected by the composition of the body that will deliberate upon it - whether it be the two Houses of is simply a command to exercise a power already possessed and to perform a duty already
the Congress separately or in joint session. imposed.[93]

Also, the petitioners' theory that a regular session must be preferred over a mere briefing for purposes Although there are jurisprudential examples of the Court issuing a writ of mandamus to compel the
of ensuring that the executive and military officials are placed under oath does not have merit. The fulfillment of legislative duty,[94] we must distinguish the present controversy with those previous
Senate Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries In Aid of Legislation[91]require that all witnesses at cases. In this particular instance, the Court has no authority to compel the Senate and the House of
executive sessions or public hearings who testify as to matters of fact shall give such testimony under Representatives to convene in joint session absent a clear ministerial duty on its part to do so under the
oath or affirmation. The proper implementation of this rule is within the Senate's competence, which is Constitution and in complete disregard of the separate actions already undertaken by both Houses on
beyond the Court's reach. Proclamation No. 216, including their respective decisions to no longer hold a joint session, considering
their respective resolutions not to revoke said Proclamation.
Propriety of the issuance of a writ of mandamus or certiorari
In the same vein, there is no cause for the Court to grant a writ of certiorari.
For mandamus to lie, there must be compliance with Rule 65, Section 3, Rules of Court, to wit:
As earlier discussed, under the Court's expanded jurisdiction, a petition tor certiorari is a proper
SECTION 3. Petition for mandamus. - When any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person remedy to question the act of any branch or instrumentality of the government on the ground of grave
unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction by any branch or instrumentality of the
from an office, trust, or station, or unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right government, even if the latter does not exercise judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions.[95]
or office to which such other is entitled, and there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the Grave abuse of discretion implies such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as to be
ordinary course of law, the person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, equivalent to lack or excess of jurisdiction; in other words, power is exercised in an arbitrary or
alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the respondent, despotic manner by reason of passion, prejudice, or personal hostility; and such exercise is so patent or
immediately or at some other time to be specified by the court, to do the act required to be done to so gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal either to perform the duty
protect the rights of the petitioner, and to pay the damages sust;rined by the petitioner by reason of the enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law.[96] It bears to mention that to pray in one petition for
wrongful acts of the respondent. the issuance of both a writ of mandamus and a writ of certiorari for the very same act - which, in the
Tañada Petition, the non-convening by the two Houses of the Congress in joint session - is
Jurisprudence has laid down the following requirements for a petition for mandamus to prosper:
contradictory, as the former involves a mandatory duty which the government branch or
[T]hus, a petition for mandamus will prosper if it is shown that the subject thereof is a ministerial act or instrumentality must perform without discretion, while the latter recognizes discretion on the part of
duty, and not purely discretionary on the part of the board, officer or person, and that the petitioner the government branch or instrumentality but which was exercised arbitrarily or despotically.
has a well¬defined, clear and certain right to warrant the grant thereof. Nevertheless, if the Court is to adjudge the petition for certiorari alone, it still finds the same to be
without merit. To reiterate, the two Houses of the Congress decided to no longer hold a joint session
The difference between a ministerial and discretionary act has long been established. A purely only after deliberations among their Members and putting the same to vote, in accordance with their
ministerial act or duty is one which an officer or tribunal performs in a given state of facts, in a respective rules of procedure. Premises considered, the Congress did not gravely abuse its discretion
prescribed manner, in obedience to the mandate of a legal authority, without regard to or the exercise
of his own judgment upon the propriety or impropriety of the act done. If the law imposes a duty upon
when it did not jointly convene upon the President's issuance of Proclamation No. 216 prior to corpus in the entire Mindanao for one year beginning January 1, 2018 “for compelling reasons based on
expressing its concurrence thereto. current security assessment.”

WHEREFORE, the petitions are DISMISSED for lack of merit. On the basis of this security assessment, Secretary Lorenzana wrote a similar recommendation to the
President “primarily to ensure total eradication of DAESH-inspired Da’awatul Islamiyah Waliyatul
SO ORDERED. Masriq (DIWM), other like-minded Local/Foreign Terrorist Groups (L/FTGs) and Armed Lawless
Groups (ALGs), and the communist terrorists (CTs) and their coddlers, supporters and financiers, and
23. REPRESENTATIVES EDCEL LAGMAN, TOMASITO S. VILLARIN, EDGAR R. ERICE, TEDDY
to ensure speedy rehabilitation, recovery and reconstruction efforts in Marawi, and the attainment of
BRAWNER BAGUILAT, JR., GARY C. ALEJANO, AND EMMANUEL A. BILLONES, Petitioners,
lasting peace, stability, economic development and prosperity in Mindanao.”
vs. SENATE PRESIDENT AQUILINO PIMENTEL III, SPEAKER PANTALEON D. ALVAREZ,
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY SALVADOR C. MEDIALDEA, DEFENSE SECRETARY DELFIN N. Acting on said recommendations, the President, in a letter dated December 8, 2017, asked both the
LORENZANA, BUDGET SECRETARY BENJAMIN E. DIOKNO AND ARMED FORCES OF THE Senate and the House of Representatives to further extend the proclamation of martial law and the
PHILIPPINES CHIEF OF STAFF GENERAL REY LEONARDO GUERRERO, Respondents. suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the entire Mindanao for one year, from
January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018, or for such period as the Congress may determine.
GR Nos. 235935, 236061, 236145, 236155
On December 13, 2017, the Senate and the House of Representatives, in a joint session, adopted
February 6, 2018
Resolution of Both Houses No. 4 further extending the period of martial law and suspension of the
TOPIC: martial law extension privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the entire Mindanao for one year, from January 1, 2018 to
December 31, 2018.
PONENTE: Tijam
ISSUE: PROCEDURAL:
FACTS: These are consolidated petitions assailing the constitutionality of the extension of the
proclamation of martial law and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in the entire Mindanao for 1. Whether or not the petitioners’ failure to attach Resolution of Both Houses No. 4 fatal to their
one year from January 1 to December 31, 2018. petitions.

On May 23, 2017, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte issued Proclamation No. 216, declaring a state of 2. Whether or not the President should be dropped as party respondent.
martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao for a
3. Whether or not the Congress was an indispensable party to the consolidated petitions.
period not exceeding sixty (60) days, to address the rebellion mounted by members of the Maute
Group and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). 4. Whether or not the Court was barred by the doctrine of conclusiveness of judgment from
examining the persistence of rebellion in Mindanao.
On May 25, 2017, within the 48-hour period set in Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution, the
President submitted to the Senate and the House of Representatives his written Report, citing the 5. Whether or not the petitioners may invoke the expanded (certiorari) jurisdiction of the
events and reasons that impelled him to issue Proclamation No. 216. Thereafter, the Senate adopted Supreme Court under Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution in seeking review of the extension of
P.S. Resolution No. 388 while the House of Representatives issued House Resolution No. 1050, both Proclamation No. 216.
expressing full support to the Proclamation and finding no cause to revoke the same.
6. Whether or not the manner in which Congress deliberated on the President’s request for
On July 18, 2017, the President requested the Congress to extend the effectivity of Proclamation No. extension of martial law is subject to judicial review.
216. In a Special Joint Session on July 22, 2017, the Congress adopted Resolution of Both Houses No. 2
extending Proclamation No. 216 until December 31, 2017. 7. Whether or not the Congress has the power to extend and determine the period of martial law
and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
In a letter to the President, through Defense Secretary Lorenzana, AFP Chief of Staff General Guerrero,
recommended the further extension of martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
8. Whether or not the President and the Congress had sufficient factual basis to extend The Court further ruled that in these consolidated petitions, petitioners are questioning the
Proclamation No. 216. constitutionality of a congressional act, specifically the approval of the President’s request to extend
martial law in Mindanao. Clearly, therefore, it is the Congress as a body, and not just its leadership,
9. Whether or not there is necessity to impose tests on the choice and manner of the President’s which has interest in the subject matter of these cases.
exercise of military powers.
FOURTH ISSUE: Whether or not the Court was barred by the doctrine of conclusiveness of judgment
10. Whether or not the petitioners were able to comply with all the requisites for the issuance of from examining the persistence of rebellion in Mindanao. NO.
an injunctive writ.
The Court held that as to the second requirement, there was np identity of issues between the Lagman
HELD: and Padilla cases, on one hand, and the case at bar.

FIRST ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners’ failure to attach Resolution of Both Houses No. 4 fatal to Conclusiveness of judgment, a species of the principle of res judicata, bars the re-litigation of any right,
their petitions. NO. fact or matter in issue directly adjudicated or necessarily involved in the determination of an action
before a competent court in which judgment is rendered on the merits. In order to successfully apply in
The Court held that since Resolution of Both Houses No. 4 is an official act of Congress, the they can
a succeeding litigation the doctrine of conclusiveness of judgment, mere identities of parties and issues
take judicial notice thereof. Section 1, Rule 129 of the Rules of Court provides that a court can take
is required.
judicial notice of the official actsof the legislative department without the introduction of evidence.
The issue put forth by petitioners in the earlier Lagman case, which this Court already settled, refers to
Moreover, the Court noted that respondents annexed a copy of the Resolution to their Consolidated
the existence of a state of rebellion which would trigger the President’s initial declaration of martial
Comment.
law, whereas the factual issue in the case at bar refers to the persistence of the same rebellion in
SECOND ISSUE: Whether or not the President should be dropped as party respondent. YES. Mindanao which would justify the extension of martial law.

The Court held that the President should be dropped as party respondent considering that he enjoys The fact that petitioners are not barred from questioning the alleged persistence of the rebellion in
the presidential immunity from suit. these consolidated petitions is also supported by the transitory nature of the Court’s judgment on the
sufficiency of the factual basis for a declaration of martial law.
The Court reiterated their ruling in Rubrico v. Macapagal-Arroyo, to wit:
Verily, the Court’s review in martial law cases is largely dependent on the existing factual scenario
It will degrade the dignity of the high office of the President, the Head of State, if he can be dragged used as basis for its imposition or extension. The gravity and scope of rebellion or invasion, as the case
into court litigations while serving as such. Furthermore, it is important that he be freed from any form may be, should necessarily be re-examined, in order to make a justiciable determination on whether
of harassment, hindrance or distraction to enable him to fully attend to the performance of his official rebellion persists in Mindanao as to justify an extension of a state of martial law.
duties and functions. Unlike the legislative and judicial branch, only one constitutes the executive
branch and anything which impairs his usefulness in the discharge of the many great and important FIFTH ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners may invoke the expanded (certiorari) jurisdiction of the
duties imposed upon him by the Constitution necessarily impairs the operation of the Government. Supreme Court under Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution in seeking review of the extension of
Proclamation No. 216. NO.
THIRD ISSUE: Whether or not the Congress was an indispensable party to the consolidated petitions.
YES. The Court reiterated their earlier ruling in Lagman case where they emphasized that the Court’s
jurisdiction under the third paragraph of Section 18, Article VII is special and specific, different from
The Court held that in cases impugning the extension of martial law for lack of sufficient factual basis, those enumerated in Sections 1 and 5 of Article VIII. It was further stressed therein that the standard of
the entire body of the Congress, composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives, must be review in a petition for certiorari is whether the respondent has committed any grave abuse of
impleaded, being an indispensable party thereto. discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in the performance of his or her functions,
whereas under Section 18, Article VII, the Court is tasked to review the sufficiency of the factual basis
of the President’s exercise of emergency powers.
Hence, the Court concluded that a petition for certiorari pursuant to Section 1 or Section 5 of Article Construing the full discretionary power granted to the Congress in promulgating its rules, the Court,
VIII is not the proper tool to review the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial in the case of Spouses Dela Paz (Ret.) v. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, et al. explained that
law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. the limitation of this unrestricted power deals only with the imperatives of quorum, voting and
publication. It should be added that there must be a reasonable relation between the mode or method
The Court added that to apply the standard of review in a petition for certiorari will emasculate the of proceeding established by the rule and the result which is sought to be attained.
Court’s constitutional task under Section 18, Article VII, which was precisely meant to provide an
additional safeguard against possible martial law abuse and limit the extent of the powers of the In the instant case, the rules in question did not pertain to quorum, voting or publication. Furthermore,
Commander-in-Chief. deliberations on extending martial law certainly cannot be equated to the consideration of regular or
ordinary legislation. The Congress may consider such matter as urgent as to necessitate swift action, or
Finally, the Court held that a certiorari petition invoking the Court’s expanded jurisdiction is not the it may take its time investigating the factual situation. This Court cannot engage in undue speculation
proper remedy to review the sufficiency of the factual basis of the Congress’ extension of the that members of Congress did not review and study the President’s request based on a bare allegation
proclamation of martial law or suspension of the privilege of the writ. that the time allotted for deliberation was too short.

PRELIMINARIES ON MARTIAL LAW SEVENTH ISSUE: Whether or not the Congress has the power to extend and determine the period of
martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. YES.
Congressional check on martial law

Section 18, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution is indisputably silent as to how many times the
Congressional check on the President’s martial law and suspension powers thus consists of:
Congress, upon the initiative of the President, may extend the proclamation of martial law or the
1. The power to review the President’s proclamation of martial law or suspension of the suspension of the privilege of habeas corpus.
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, and to revoke such proclamation or suspension. The review is
What is clear is that the ONLY limitations to the exercise of the congressional authority to extend such
“automatic in the sense that it may be activated by Congress itself at any time after the proclamation or
proclamation or suspension are (1) that the extension should be upon the President’s initiative; (2) that
suspension is made.” The Congress’ decision to revoke the proclamation or suspension cannot be set
it should be grounded on the persistence of the invasion or rebellion and the demands of public safety;
aside by the President.
and (3) that it is subject to the Court’s review of the sufficiency of its factual basis upon the petition of
2. The power to approve any extension of the proclamation or suspension, upon the President’s any citizen.
initiative, for such period as it may determine, if the invasion or rebellion persists and public safety
Section 18, Article VII did not also fix the period of the extension of the proclamation and suspension.
requires it.
However, it clearly gave the Congress the authority to decide on its duration; thus, the provision states
Joint executive and legislative act that that the extension shall be “for a period to be determined by the Congress.”

When approved by the Congress, the extension of the proclamation or suspension, as described during Commissioner Jose E. Suarez’s proposal to limit the extension to 60 days was not adopted by the
the deliberations on the 1987 Constitution, becomes a “joint executive and legislative act” or a majority of the Commission’s members. The framers evidently gave enough flexibility on the part of
“collective judgment” between the President and the Congress. the Congress to determine the duration of the extension. Plain textual reading of Section 18, Article VII
and the records of the deliberation of the Constitutional Commission buttress the view that as regards
the frequency and duration of the extension, the determinative factor is as long as “the invasion or
rebellion persists and public safety requires” such extension.
SIXTH ISSUE: Whether or not the manner in which Congress deliberated on the President’s request for
extension of martial law is subject to judicial review. NO. EIGHTH ISSUE: Whether or not the President and the Congress had sufficient factual basis to extend
Proclamation No. 216. YES.
The Court ruled that they cannot review the rules promulgated by Congress in the absence of any
constitutional violation. Petitioners have not shown that the above-quoted rules of the Joint Session
violated any provision or right under the Constitution.
Section 18, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution requires two factual bases for the extension of the there exists sufficient factual basis for the further extension sought by the President and approved by
proclamation of martial law or of the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus: (a) the the Congress in its Resolution of Both Houses No. 4.
invasion or rebellion persists; and (b) public safety requires the extension.
NINTH ISSUE: Whether or not there is necessity to impose tests on the choice and manner of the
Rebellion persists as to satisfy the first condition for the extension of martial law or of the suspension of President’s exercise of military powers. NO.
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
The Court reiterated their ruling in the earlier Lagman case that the determination of which among the
The reasons cited by the President in his request for further extension indicate that the rebellion, which Constitutionally given military powers should be exercised in a given set of factual circumstances is a
caused him to issue Proclamation No. 216, continues to exist and its “remnants” have been resolute in prerogative of the President. The Court’s power of review, as provided under Section 18, Article VII do
establishing a DAESH/ISIS territory in Mindanao, carrying on through the recruitment and training of not empower the Court to advise, nor dictate its own judgment upon the President, as to which and
new members, financial and logistical build-up, consolidation of forces and continued attacks. how these military powers should be exercised.

AFP General Guerrero also cited, among others, the continued armed resistance of the DAESH- TENTH ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners were able to comply with all the requisites for the
inspired DIWM and their allies. Moreover, The AFP’s data also showed that Foreign Terrorist Fighters issuance of an injunctive writ. NO.
(FTFs) are now acting as instructors to the new members of the Dawlah Islamiyah.
By jurisprudence, to be entitled to an injunctive writ, petitioners have the burden to establish the
Also, it does not necessarily follow that with the liberation of Marawi, the DAESH/ISIS-inspired following requisites: (1) a right in esse or a clear and unmistakable right to be protected; (2) a violation
rebellion no longer exists. Secretary Lorenzana, during the Congress’ Joint Session on December 13, of that right; (3) that there is an urgent and permanent act and urgent necessity for the writ to prevent
2017, explained that while the situation in Marawi has substantially changed, the rebellion has not serious damage; and (4) no other ordinary, speedy, and adequate remedy exists to prevent the
ceased but simply moved to other places in Mindanao. infliction of irreparable injury.

Acts upon which extension was based posed danger to general public Petitioners anchored their prayer for the issuance of an injunctive writ on respondents’ gross
transgressions of the Constitution when they extended the martial law in Mindanao for one year. The
The Court also ruled that the acts, circumstances and events upon which the extension was based Lagman petition likewise alleges that petitioner Villarin, a Davao City resident, is personally
posed a significant danger, injury or harm to the general public. prejudiced by the extension or martial law in Mindanao “which would spawn violations of civil
liberties of Mindanaoans like petitioner Villarin who is a steadfast critic of the Duterte administration
The Court added that the information upon which the extension of martial law or of the suspension of
and of the brutalities committed by police and military forces”.
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall be based principally emanate from and are in the
possession of the Executive Department. Thus, “the Court will have to rely on the fact-finding The alleged violations of the petitioners’ civil liberties do not justify the grant of injunctive relief. The
capabilities of the Executive Department; in tum, the Executive Department will have to open its petitioners failed to prove that the alleged violations are directly attributable to the imposition of
findings to the scrutiny of the Court.” martial law. They likewise failed to establish the nexus between the President’s exercise of his martial
law powers and their unfounded apprehension that the imposition “will target civilians who have no
The Executive Department did open its findings to the Court when the• AFP gave its “briefing” or
participation at all in any armed uprising or struggle”. Incidentally, petitioners failed to state what the
“presentation” during the oral arguments, presenting data, which had been vetted by the NICA,
“civil liberties” specifically refer to, and how the extension of martial law in Mindanao would threaten
“based on intelligence reports gathered on the ground,” from personalities they were able to capture
these “civil liberties” in derogation of the rule of law. Evidently, petitioners’ right is doubtful or
and residents in affected areas, declassified official documents, and intelligence obtained by the PNP.
disputed, and can hardly be considered a clear legal right, sufficient for the grant of an injunctive writ.
According to the AFP, the same presentation, save for updates, was given to the Congress. As it stands,
the information thus presented has not been challenged or questioned as regards its reliability. This Court cannot rely on speculations, conjectures or guesswork, but must depend upon competent
proof and on the basis of the best evidence obtainable under the circumstances. We emphasize that the
The facts as provided by the Executive and considered by Congress amply establish that rebellion
grant or denial of an injunctive writ cannot be properly resolved by suppositions, deductions, or even
persists in Mindanao and public safety is significantly endangered by it. The Court, thus, holds that
presumptions, with no basis in evidence, for the truth must have to be determined by the procedural 3. Are the documents and information being requested in relation to the JPEPA exempted from the
rules of admissibility and proof. general rules on transparency and full public disclosure such that the Philippine government is
justified in denying access thereto.
Incidentally, there is nothing in the Constitution, nor in any law which supports petitioners’ theory.
Such purported human right violations cannot be utilized as ground either to enjoin the President from Rulings:
exercising the power to declare martial law, or the Congress in extending the same. To sanction
petitioners’ plea would result into judicial activism, thereby going against the principle of separation of The Supreme Court en banc promulgated last July 16, 2008 its ruling on the case of “Akbayan Citizens

powers. Action Party et al vs. Thomas G. Aquino et al” (G.R. No. 170516). The Highest Tribunal dismissed the
Petition for mandamus and prohibition, which sought to compel respondents Department of Trade
As discussed above, petitioners are not left without any recourse. Such transgressions can be addressed Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Thomas Aquino et al to furnish petitioners the full text of the Japan-
in a separate and independent court action. Hence, petitioners can lodge a complaint-affidavit before Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) and the lists of the Philippine and Japanese
the prosecutor’s office or file a direct complaint before the appropriate courts against erring parties. offers submitted during the negotiation process and all pertinent attachments and annexes thereto.

24. AKBAYAN VS. AQUINO In its Decision, the Court noted that the full text of the JPEPA has been made accessible to the public
since 11 September 2006, and thus the demand to be furnished with copy of the said document has
Facts: The signing of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) at the sidelines become moot and academic. Notwithstanding this, however, the Court lengthily discussed the
of the Asia-Europe Summit in Helsinki in September 2006 was hailed by both Japanese Prime Minister substatives issues, insofar as they impinge on petitioners' demand for access to the Philippine and
Junichiro Koizumi and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as a “milestone in the Japanese offers in the course of the negotiations.
continuing cooperation and collaboration, setting a new chapter of strategic partnership for mutual
opportunity and growth (for both countries).” The Court held: “Applying the principles adopted in PMPF v. Manglapus, it is clear that while the final
text of the JPEPA may not be kept perpetually confidential – since there should be 'ample opportunity
JPEPA which has been referred to as a ‘mega treaty’ is a comprehensive plan for opening up of markets for discussion before [a treaty] is approved' – the offers exchanged by the parties during the
in goods and services as well as removing barriers and restrictions on investments. It is a deal that negotiations continue to be privileged even after the JPEPA is published. It is reasonable to conclude
encompasses even our commitments to the WTO. that the Japenese representatives submitted their offers with the understanding that 'historic
confidentiality' would govern the same. Disclosing these offers could impair the ability of the
The complexity of JPEPA became all the more evident at the Senate hearing conducted by the
Philippines to deal not only with Japan but with other foreign governments in future negotiations.”
Committee on Trade and Commerce last November 2006. The committee, chaired by Senator Mar
Roxas, heard differing views and perspectives on JPEPA. On one hand the committee heard It also reasoned out that opening for public scrutiny the Philippine offers in treaty negotiations would
Government’s rosy projections on the economic benefits of JPEPA and on the other hand the views of discourage future Philippine representatives from frankly expressing their views during negotiations.
environmental and trade activists who raised there very serious concerns about the country being The Highest Tribunal recognized that treaty negotiations normally involve a process of quid pro quo,
turned into Japan’s toxic waste basket. The discussion in the Senate showed that JPEPA is not just an where negotiators would willingly grant concessions in an area of lesser importance in order to obtain
issue concerning trade and economic relations with Japan but one that touches on broader national more favorable terms in an area of greater national interest.
development concerns.
In the same Decision, the Court took time to address the dissent of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno. It
Issues: said: “We are aware that behind the dissent of the Chief Justice lies a genuine zeal to protect our
people's right to information against any abuse of executive privilege. It is a zeal that We fully share.
1. Do the therein petitioners have standing to bring this action for mandamus in their capacity as
The Court, however, in its endeavour to guard against the abuse of executive privilege, should be
citizens of the Republic, as taxpayers, and as members of the Congress
careful not to veer towards the opposite extreme, to the point that it would strike down as invalid even
2. Can this Honorable Court exercise primary jurisdiction of this case and take cognizance of the a legitimate exercise thereof.”
instant petition.
25. VINUYA VS. SEC. ROMULO Political questions refer “to those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the
people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated
FACTS: to the legislative or executive branch of the government. It is concerned with issues dependent upon
the wisdom, not legality of a particular measure.”
This is an original Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court with an application for the
issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction against the Office of the Executive Secretary, One type of case of political questions involves questions of foreign relations. It is well-established that
the Secretary of the DFA, the Secretary of the DOJ, and the OSG. “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
Petitioners are all members of the MALAYA LOLAS, a non-stock, non-profit organization registered
be done in the exercise of this political power is not subject to judicial inquiry or decision.” are delicate,
with the SEC, established for the purpose of providing aid to the victims of rape by Japanese military
complex, and involve large elements of prophecy. They are and should be undertaken only by those
forces in the Philippines during the Second World War.
directly responsible to the people whose welfare they advance or imperil.
Petitioners claim that since 1998, they have approached the Executive Department through the DOJ,
But not all cases implicating foreign relations present political questions, and courts certainly possess
DFA, and OSG, requesting assistance in filing a claim against the Japanese officials and military officers
the authority to construe or invalidate treaties and executive agreements. However, the question
who ordered the establishment of the “comfort women” stations in the Philippines. But officials of the
whether the Philippine government should espouse claims of its nationals against a foreign
Executive Department declined to assist the petitioners, and took the position that the individual
government is a foreign relations matter, the authority for which is demonstrably committed by our
claims of the comfort women for compensation had already been fully satisfied by Japan’s compliance
Constitution not to the courts but to the political branches. In this case, the Executive Department has
with the Peace Treaty between the Philippines and Japan.
already decided that it is to the best interest of the country to waive all claims of its nationals for
Hence, this petition where petitioners pray for this court to (a) declare that respondents committed reparations against Japan in the Treaty of Peace of 1951. The wisdom of such decision is not for the
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of discretion in refusing to espouse their claims courts to question.
for the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed against them; and (b) compel the
The President, not Congress, has the better opportunity of knowing the conditions which prevail in
respondents to espouse their claims for official apology and other forms of reparations against Japan
foreign countries, and especially is this true in time of war. He has his confidential sources of
before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and other international tribunals.
information. He has his agents in the form of diplomatic, consular and other officials.
Respondents maintain that all claims of the Philippines and its nationals relative to the war were dealt
The Executive Department has determined that taking up petitioners’ cause would be inimical to our
with in the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951 and the bilateral Reparations Agreement of 1956.
country’s foreign policy interests, and could disrupt our relations with Japan, thereby creating serious
On January 15, 1997, the Asian Women’s Fund and the Philippine government signed a Memorandum implications for stability in this region. For the to overturn the Executive Department’s determination
of Understanding for medical and welfare support programs for former comfort women. Over the next would mean an assessment of the foreign policy judgments by a coordinate political branch to which
five years, these were implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. authority to make that judgment has been constitutionally committed.

ISSUE: From a municipal law perspective, certiorari will not lie. As a general principle, where such an
extraordinary length of time has lapsed between the treaty’s conclusion and our consideration – the
WON the Executive Department committed grave abuse of discretion in not espousing petitioners’ Executive must be given ample discretion to assess the foreign policy considerations of espousing a
claims for official apology and other forms of reparations against Japan. 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
RULING:
or necessary.

Petition lacks merit. From a Domestic Law Perspective, the Executive Department has the exclusive
In the international sphere, traditionally, the only means available for individuals to bring a claim
prerogative to determine whether to espouse petitioners’ claims against Japan.
within the international legal system 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 of its subjects and by resorting to
diplomatic action or international judicial proceedings on his behalf, a State is in reality asserting its 1. The defeat of the Spanish fleet at the hands of the US naval forces at the Battle of Manila on May 1,
own right to ensure, in the person of its subjects, respect for the rules of international law. 1898, cleared the day for the US occupation in Manila and the transfer of the Phil. To US from Spain.

Within the limits prescribed by international law, a State may exercise diplomatic protection by 2. Philippine independence was declared on June 12 , 1898;
whatever means and to whatever 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 consider that their rights are not 3. Treaty of Paris was signed by US and Spain on Dec. 10, 1898, whereby Spain ceding several islands
adequately protected, they have no remedy in international law. All they can do is resort to national to US;

law, if means are available, with a view to furthering their cause or obtaining redress. All these
4. In 1901, President Roosvelt issued an executive order establishing the Subic Bay Naval Reservation;
questions remain within the province of municipal law and do not affect the position internationally.
5. In 1902, Roosvelt signed another EO establishing Fort Stotsenburg which was later occupied by
Even the invocation of jus cogens norms and erga omnes obligations will not alter this analysis.
Clark Airbase.
Petitioners have not shown that the crimes committed by the Japanese army violated jus cogens
prohibitions at the time the Treaty of Peace was signed, or that the duty to prosecute perpetrators of 6. The was ensued between Phil. And US. The military victory enabled the US to establish control over
international crimes is an erga omnes obligation or has attained the status of jus cogens. the Phil. Politically and economically. Successive military governors exercising military, executive and
civilian functions were appointed;
The term erga omnes (Latin: in relation to everyone) in international law has been used as a legal term
describing obligations owed by States towards the community of states as a whole. Essential distinction 7. On March 14, 1947, Agreement between US and phil concerning military bases was signed. (
should be drawn between the obligations of a State towards the international community as a whole, president Roxas and US)
and those arising vis-à-vis another State in the field of diplomatic protection. By their very nature, the
former are the concern of all States. In view of the importance of the rights involved, all States can be 8. MBA gave the US the control of at least 16 bases including Clark and Subic base as well as the access
held to have a legal interest in their protection; they are obligations erga omnes. to use of Philippine facilities such as Mactan Island Army and Florida Blanca in Pampanga

The term “jus cogens” (literally, “compelling law”) refers to norms that command peremptory 9. RP-US Military Assistance Agreement was signed provided for the creation of JUSMAG ( Joint US
authority, superseding conflicting treaties and custom. Jus cogens norms are considered peremptory in Advisory Group and permanent stationing of USmilitary forces in Manila;
the sense that they are mandatory, do not admit derogation, and can be modified only by general
10. Mutual Defense Treaty was signed in Washington. MDT lasted for 25 years. Over the years, US
international norms of equivalent authority
military bases in the country served as launching sites for US involvement in various wars such as
WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DISMISSED. Vietnam war.

26. Saguisag vs. Ochoa 11. In 1987 the Phil constitution was ratified , which explicitly prohibits foreign military bases, troops
and facilities in the country beyond the year 1991, except under a treaty concurred by Senate. Therafter,
FACTS: These consolidated petitions before the Court question the constitutionality of the Phil. Senate voted not to renew the MDT.
Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and US. Petitioners
alleged that respondents committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of 12. However, on May 27, 1999, the Phil Senate ratified the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
jurisdiction when they entered into EDCA with the U.S., claiming that EDCA violated multiple
13. Petitioner Bayan challenged the Constitutionality of VFA but the agreement was upheld as valid.
constitutional provisions. While, Respondents argued that petitioners lack standing to bring the
suit. To support the legality of their actions, respondents invoke the 1987 Constitution, treaties, 14. In 2002 , Balikatan was launched to send US troops to Mindanao to assist Phil forces in the war on
and judicial precedents. terror against Abu Sayaff.

HISTORICAL FACTS OF EDCA ( YOU MAY DISREGARD THIS)


15. On Sep. 23, 2009, in the light of the Subic rape case and after hearings regarding VFA , Senate The President may enter into an executive agreement on foreign military bases, troops, or
paased a resolution calling on the Executive to renegotiate the VFA and if the US refused, issue a notice facilities, if (a) it is not the instrument that allows the presence of foreign military bases, troops,
of termination of the agreement or facilities; or (b) it merely aims to implement an existing law or treaty.

16. In 2012, Pres. Obama announced its strategic pivot towards Asia as laid down in Sustaining US The President had the choice to enter into EDCA by way of a executive agreement or a treaty.
global leadership, priorities for 21st century defense seeking to deploy 60% of its warship to Asia. No court can tell the President to desist from choosing an executive agreement over a treaty to
Thereafter, dialogues were made in Washington . The dialogue ended with the Phil. Delegation clearly embody an international agreement, unless the case falls squarely within Article VIII, Section 25.
upon the instruction of Pres. Aquino, agreeing to adopt a policy of increased of rotational presence of Executive agreements may cover the matter of foreign military forces if it merely involves detail
US troops , increased military exercises and more frequent port calls by the US ships. adjustments.

17. In 2013 , US-Phil began negotiations for the Framework Agreement for increased rotational The executive agreement must not go beyond the parameters, limitations, and standards set by
presence and enhanced defense cooperation which sought to give US military access to the Phil the law and/or treaty that the former purports to implement; and must not unduly expand the
facilities. The framework was in the form of EXECUTIVE AGREEMENT NOT NEEDING THE international obligation expressly mentioned or necessarily implied in the law or treaty.
SENATE’S CONCURRENCE. The negotiators the changed the name of the framework agreement to
EDCA ( enhanced defense cooperation Agreement) The executive agreement must be consistent with the Constitution, as well as with existing laws
and treaties.
18 April 28, 2014 DFA Sec. Gazmin and US Ambassador to Ph. Philip Goldberg signed the EDCA.
In light of the President's choice to enter into EDCA in the form of an executive agreement,
19. It was only on April 29, 2014 , the text of EDCA was made publicy available via government respondents carry the burden of proving that it is a mere implementation of existing laws and
websites. treaties concurred in by the Senate. EDCA must thus be carefully dissected to ascertain if it
remains within the legal parameters of a valid executive agreement. EDCA is consistent with the
20. Finding EDCA grossly one-sided and greatly disadvantageous to the Philippines , petitioners, then, content, purpose, and framework of the MDT and the VFA
filed petitions before the SC questioning the constitutionality and or legality of EDCA.
The starting point of our analysis is the rule that "an executive agreement xx x may not be used
Hence, this petition. to amend a treaty. Both the history and intent of the Mutual Defense Treaty and the VFA
support the conclusion that combat-related activities as opposed to combat itself such as the one
ISSUES:
subject of the instant petition, are indeed authorized.
1. A. Whether the President may enter into an executive agreement on foreign military bases,
Hence, even if EDCA was borne of military necessity, it cannot be said to have strayed from
troops, or facilities? (YES)
the intent of the VFA since EDCA's combat-related components are allowed under the treaty.
B. Is EDCA a treaty or an international agreement that requires Senate concurrence? (No)
Another difference is that EDCA supposedly introduces a new concept not contemplated in the
HELD: VFA or the MDT: Agreed Locations, Contractors, Pre- positioning, and Operational Control. As
previously mentioned, these points shall be addressed fully and individually in the latter
1. A. YES.The President may enter into an executive agreement pertaining to foreign military bases, analysis of EDCA's provisions. However, it must already be clarified that the terms and details
troops, or facilities. The role of the President as the executor of the law includes the duty to used by an implementing agreement need not be found in the mother treaty. They must be source
defend the State, for which purpose he may use that power in the conduct of foreign relations. SC has from the authority derived from the treaty, but are not necessarily expressed word-for-word in
interpreted the faithful execution clause as an obligation imposed on the President, and not a the mother treaty.
separate grant of power.
B. Meanwhile, the power of the President to enter into binding executive agreements without Executive agreements may dispense with the requirement of Senate concurrence because of the legal
Senate concurrence is already well-established in this jurisdiction. Although the provision of Section mandate with which they are concluded. As culled from the deliberations of the Constitutional
25, Article XVIII of the Constitution provides that: Commission, past Supreme Court Decisions, and works of noted scholars, executive agreements
merely involve arrangements on the implementation of existing policies, rules, laws, or
SECTION 25. After the expiration in 1991 of the Agreement between the Republic of the agreements. They are concluded (1) to adjust the details of a treaty; (2) pursuant to or upon
Philippines and the United States of America concerning Military Bases, foreign military bases, confirmation by an act of the Legislature;or (3) in the exercise of the President's independent
troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred power.
in by the Senate and, when the Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of the votes by cast
the people in a national referendum held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the First, executive agreements must remain traceable to an express or implied authorization under
other contracting State. the Constitution, statutes, or treaties. The absence of these precedents puts the validity and
effectivity of executive agreements under serious question for the main function of the Executive
The effect of this statement is surprisingly profound, for, if taken literally, the phrase "shall not is to enforce the Constitution and the laws enacted by the Legislature, not to defeat or interfere in
be allowed in the Philippines" plainly refers to the entry of bases, troops, or facilities in the the performance of these rules.
country.
In sum, executive agreements cannot create new international obligations that are not expressly
It is evident that the constitutional restriction refers solely to the initial entry of the foreign allowed or reasonably implied in the law they purport to implement.
military bases, troops, or facilities. Once entry is authorized, the subsequent acts are thereafter
subject only to the limitations provided by the rest of the Constitution and Philippine law, and not Second, treaties are, by their very nature, considered superior to executive agreements. Treaties
to the Section 25 requirement of validity through a treaty. are products of the acts of the Executive and the Senate unlike executive agreements, which are
solely executive actions. Because of legislative participation through the Senate, a treaty is
The VFA has already allowed the entry of troops in the Philippines. This Court stated in Lim v. regarded as being on the same level as a statute. If there is an irreconcilable conflict, a later law
Executive Secretary: Thus, EDCA can be in the form of an executive agreement, since it merely or treaty takes precedence over one that is prior. An executive agreement is treated differently.
involves "adjustments in detail" in the implementation of the MDT and the VFA. It points out Executive agreements that are inconsistent with either a law or a treaty are considered ineffective.
that there are existing treaties between the Philippines and the U.S. that have already been Both types of international agreement are nevertheless subject To the supremacy of the Constitution.
concurred in by the Philippine Senate and have thereby met the requirements of the
Constitution under Section 25. Because of the status of these prior agreements, respondent This rule does not imply, though, that the President is given carte blanche to exercise this
emphasizes that EDCA need not be transmitted to the Senate. discretion. Although the Chief Executive wields the exclusive authority to conduct our foreign
relations, this power must still be exercised within the context and the parameters set by the
Therefore, the President may generally enter into executive agreements subject to limitations Constitution, as well as by existing domestic and international laws. There are constitutional
defined by the Constitution and may be in furtherance of a treaty already concurred in by the provisions that restrict or limit the President's prerogative in concluding international agreements,
Senate. such as those that involve the following:

The duty to faithfully execute the laws of the land is inherent in executive power and is intimately 1. The policy of freedom from nuclear weapons within Philippine territory
related to the other executive functions. These functions include the faithful execution of the
law in autonomous regions; the right to prosecute crimes; the implementation of transportation 2. The fixing of tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues, and
projects; the duty to ensure compliance with treaties, executive agreements and executive other duties or imposts, which must be pursuant to the authority granted by Congress
orders; the authority to deport undesirable aliens; the conferment of national awards under the
President's jurisdiction; and the overall administration and control of the executive department. These 3. The grant of any tax exemption, which must be pursuant to a law concurred in by a

obligations are as broad as they sound, for a President cannot function with crippled hands, but majority of all the Members of Congress. The contracting or guaranteeing, on behalf of the
must be capable of securing the rule of law. Philippines, of foreign loans that must be previously concurred in by the Monetary Board.
27. Spouses Renato Constantino, Jr. and Lourdes Constantino vs Jose Cuisia constitutional interpretation would negate the very existence of cabinet positions and the respective
expertise which the holders thereof are accorded and would unduly hamper the President’s effectivity
472 SCRA 505 – Political Law – Constitutional Law – The Executive Department – Qualified Political in running the government. The act of the Cuisia et al are not unconstitutional.
Agency – when not applied – Borrowing Powers of the President
Exception
During the Corazon Aquino regime, her administration came up with a scheme to reduce the country’s
external debt. The solution resorted to was to incur foreign debts. Three restructuring programs were There are certain acts which, by their very nature, cannot be validated by subsequent approval or
sought to initiate the program for foreign debts – they are basically buyback programs and bond- ratification by the President. There are certain constitutional powers and prerogatives of the Chief
conversion programs. The spouses Renato Constantino, Jr. and Lourdes Constantino, as a taxpayers, Executive of the Nation which must be exercised by him in person and no amount of approval or
and in behalf of their minor children who are Filipino citizens, together with FFDC (Freedom From ratification will validate the exercise of any of those powers by any other person. Such, for instance, in
Debt Coalition) averred that the buyback and bond-conversion schemes were onerous and they do not his power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and proclaim martial law and the exercise by him of
constitute the loan “contract” or “guarantee” contemplated in Sec. 20, Art. VII of the Constitution. And the benign prerogative of pardon (mercy).
assuming that the President has such power, unlike other powers which may be validly delegated by
the President, the power to incur foreign debts is expressly reserved by the Constitution in the person There are certain presidential powers which arise out of exceptional circumstances, and if exercised,
of the President, hence, the respondents herein, Central Bank Governor Josse Cuisia et al, cannot incur would involve the suspension of fundamental freedoms, or at least call for the supersedence of
debts for the Philippines or such power can be delegated to them. Constantino argue that the gravity executive prerogatives over those exercised by co-equal branches of government. The declaration of

by which the exercise of the power will affect the Filipino nation requires that the President alone must martial law, the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and the exercise of the pardoning power
exercise this power. They argue that the requirement of prior concurrence of an entity specifically notwithstanding the judicial determination of guilt of the accused, all fall within this special class that
named by the Constitution–the Monetary Board–reinforces the submission that not respondents but demands the exclusive exercise by the President of the constitutionally vested power. The list is by no

the President “alone and personally” can validly bind the country. Hence, they would like Cuisia et al means exclusive, but there must be a showing that the executive power in question is of similar
to stop acting pursuant to the said scheme. gravitas and exceptional import.

ISSUE: Whether or not the President of the Philippines can validly delegate her debt power to the 28. HON. CARLOS O. FORTICH, PROVINCIAL GOVERNOR OF BUKIDNON, HON. REY B.
respondents. BAULA, MUNICIPAL MAYOR OF SUMILAO, BUKIDNON, NQSR MANAGEMENT AND
DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION,petitioners, vs. HON. RENATO C. CORONA, DEPUTY
HELD: Yes. There is no question that the president has borrowing powers and that the President may EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, HON. ERNESTO D. GARILAO, SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT
contract or guarantee foreign loans in behalf of this country with prior concurrence of the Monetary OF AGRARIAN REFORM, respondents.
Board. It makes no distinction whatsoever and the fact that a debt or a loan may be onerous is
irrelevant. On the other hand, the President can delegate this power to her direct subordinates. The This case involves a land located at San Vicente, Sumilao, Bukidnon, owned by the Norberto
evident exigency of having the Secretary of Finance implement the decision of the President to execute Quisumbing, Sr. Management and Development Corporation (NQSRMDC), one of the petitioners. The
the debt-relief contracts is made manifest by the fact that the process of establishing and executing a property is covered by a Transfer Certificate of Title No. 14371 of the Registry of Deeds of the Province
strategy for managing the government’s debt is deep within the realm of the expertise of the of Bukidnon.
Department of Finance, primed as it is to raise the required amount of funding, achieve its risk and cost
In 1984, the land was leased as a pineapple plantation to the Philippine Packing Corporation, now Del
objectives, and meet any other sovereign debt management goals. If the President were to personally
Monte Philippines, Inc. (DMPI), a multinational corporation, for a period of ten (10) years under the
exercise every aspect of the foreign borrowing power, he/she would have to pause from running the
Crop Producer and Growers Agreement duly annotated in the certificate of title. The lease expired in
country long enough to focus on a welter of time-consuming detailed activities–the propriety of
April, 1994.
incurring/guaranteeing loans, studying and choosing among the many methods that may be taken
toward this end, meeting countless times with creditor representatives to negotiate, obtaining the In October, 1991, during the existence of the lease, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) placed
concurrence of the Monetary Board, explaining and defending the negotiated deal to the public, and the entire 144-hectare property under compulsory acquisition and assessed the land value at P2.38
more often than not, flying to the agreed place of execution to sign the documents. This sort of million.
When NQSRMDC was about to transfer the title over the 4-hectare donated to DECS, it discovered that (2) Whether or not the petitioners failed to file a motion for reconsideration of the assailed Win-Win
the title over the subject property was no longer in its name. It soon found out that during the Resolution before filing the present petition; and
pendency of both the Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition, with Preliminary Injunction it filed against
DAR in the Court of Appeals and the appeal to the President filed by Governor Carlos O. Fortich, the (3) Whether or not Petitioner NQSRMDC is guilty of forum-shopping.
DAR, without giving just compensation, caused the cancellation of NQSRMDCs title on August 11,
Held:
1995 and had it transferred in the name of the Republic of the Philippines under TCT No. T-50264 of
the Registry of Deeds of Bukidnon. Thereafter, on September 25, 1995, DAR caused the issuance of 1. In order to determine whether the recourse of petitioners is proper or not, it is necessary to draw a
Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) No. 00240227 and had it registered in the name of 137 line between an error of judgment and an error of jurisdiction.
farmer-beneficiaries under TCT No. AT-3536 of the Registry of Deeds of Bukidnon.
An error of judgment is one which the court may commit in the exercise of its jurisdiction, and which
NQSRMDC filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malaybalay, Bukidnon docketed error is reviewable only by an appeal. On the other hand, an error of jurisdiction is one where the act
as Civil Case No. 2687-97, for annulment and cancellation of title, damages and injunction against DAR complained of was issued by the court, officer or a quasi-judicial body without or in excess of
and 141 others. The RTC then issued a Temporary Restraining Order and a Writ of Preliminary jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion which is tantamount to lack or in excess of jurisdiction.
Injunction on May 19, 1997, restraining the DAR and 141 others from entering, occupying and/or This error is correctable only by the extraordinary writ of certiorari.
wresting from NQSRMDC the possession of the subject land.
It is true that under Rule 43, appeals from awards, judgments, final orders or resolutions of any quasi-
Meanwhile, an Order was issued by then Executive Secretary Ruben D. Torres denying DARs motion judicial agency exercising quasi-judicial functions, including the Office of the President, may be taken
for reconsideration for having been filed beyond the reglementary period of fifteen (15) days. The said to the Court of Appeals by filing a verified petition for review within fifteen (15) days from notice of
order further declared that the March 29, 1996 OP decision had already become final and executory. the said judgment, final order or resolution, whether the appeal involves questions of fact, of law, or
mixed questions of fact and law.
On December 12, 1997, a Motion For Leave To Intervene was filed by alleged farmer-beneficiaries,
through counsel, claiming that they are real parties in interest as they were previously identified by However, in this particular case, the remedy prescribed in Rule 43 is inapplicable considering that the
respondent DAR as agrarian reform beneficiaries on the 144-hectare property subject of this case. The present petition contains an allegation that the challenged resolution is patently illegal and was issued
motion was vehemently opposed by the petitioners. with grave abuse of discretion and beyond his (respondent Secretary Renato C. Coronas) jurisdiction
when said resolution substantially modified the earlier OP Decision of March 29, 1996 which had long
In seeking the nullification of the Win-Win Resolution, the petitioners claim that the Office of the
become final and executory. In other words, the crucial issue raised here involves an error of
President was prompted to issue the said resolution after a very well-managed hunger strike led by
jurisdiction, not an error of judgment which is reviewable by an appeal under Rule 43. Thus, the
fake farmer-beneficiary Linda Ligmon succeeded in pressuring and/or politically blackmailing the
appropriate remedy to annul and set aside the assailed resolution is an original special civil action for
Office of the President to come up with this purely political decision to appease the farmers, by
certiorari under Rule 65, as what the petitioners have correctly done. The pertinent portion of Section 1
reviving and modifying the Decision of 29 March 1996 which has been declared final and executory in
thereof provides:
an Order of 23 June 1997. Thus, petitioners further allege, respondent then Deputy Executive Secretary
Renato C. Corona committed grave abuse of discretion and acted beyond his jurisdiction when he SECTION 1. Petition for certiorari. When any tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-
issued the questioned Resolution of 7 November 1997. They availed of this extraordinary writ of judicial functions has acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of
certiorari because there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy, and
They never filed a motion for reconsideration of the subject Resolution because (it) is patently illegal or adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition
contrary to law and it would be a futile exercise to seek reconsideration. in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered annulling
or modifying the proceedings of such tribunal, board or officer, and granting such incidental reliefs as
Issue:
law and justice may require.
1) Whether or not the proper remedy of petitioners should have been to file a petition for review
The office of a writ of certiorari is restricted to truly extraordinary cases in which the act of the lower
directly with the Court of Appeals in accordance with Rule 43 of the Revised Rules of Court;
court or quasi-judicial body is wholly void.
magnitude of the problem created by the issuance of the assailed resolution. Moreover, as will be
discussed later, we find the assailed resolution wholly void and requiring the petitioners to file their
The aforequoted Section 1 of Rule 65 mandates that the person aggrieved by the assailed illegal act may petition first with the Court of Appeals would only result in a waste of time and money.
file a verified petition (for certiorari) in the proper court. The proper court where the petition must be
filed is stated in Section 4 of the same Rule 65 which reads: 2. The rules and regulations governing appeals to the Office of the President of the Philippines are
embodied in Administrative Order No. 18. Section 7 thereof provides:
SEC. 4. Where petition filed.- The petition may be filed not later than sixty (60) days from notice of the
judgment, order or resolution sought to be assailed in the Supreme Court or, if it relates to the acts or SEC. 7. Decisions/resolutions/orders of the Office of the President shall, except as otherwise provided
omissions of a lower court or of a corporation, board, officer or person, in the Regional Trial Court for by special laws, become final after the lapse of fifteen (15) days from receipt of a copy thereof by the
exercising jurisdiction over the territorial area as defined by the Supreme Court. It may also be filed in parties, unless a motion for reconsideration thereof is filed within such period.
the Court of Appeals whether or not the same is in aid of its appellate jurisdiction, or in the
Sandiganbayan if it is in aid of its jurisdiction. If it involves the acts or omissions of a quasi-judicial Only one motion for reconsideration by any one party shall be allowed and entertained, save in
agency, and unless otherwise provided by law or these Rules, the petition shall be filed in and exceptionally meritorious cases.

cognizable only by the Court of Appeals.


It is further provided for in Section 9 that The Rules of Court shall apply in a suppletory character
Under the above-quoted Section 4, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Regional Trial Court have whenever practicable.

original concurrent jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus. But the
When the Office of the President issued the Order dated June 23,1997 declaring the Decision of March
jurisdiction of these three (3) courts are also delineated in that, if the challenged act relates to acts or
29, 1996 final and executory, as no one has seasonably filed a motion for reconsideration thereto, the
omissions of a lower court or of a corporation, board, officer or person, the petition must be filed with
said Office had lost its jurisdiction to re-open the case, more so modify its Decision. Having lost its
the Regional Trial Court which exercises jurisdiction over the territorial area as defined by the Supreme
jurisdiction, the Office of the President has no more authority to entertain the second motion for
Court. And if it involves the act or omission of a quasi-judicial agency, the petition shall be filed only
reconsideration filed by respondent DAR Secretary, which second motion became the basis of the
with the Court of Appeals, unless otherwise provided by law or the Rules of Court. We have clearly
assailed Win-Win Resolution. Section 7 of Administrative Order No. 18 and Section 4, Rule 43 of the
discussed this matter of concurrence of jurisdiction in People vs. Cuaresma, et. al., through now Chief
Revised Rules of Court mandate that only one (1) motion for reconsideration is allowed to be taken
Justice Andres R. Narvasa, thus:
from the Decision of March 29, 1996. And even if a second motion for reconsideration was permitted to
This Courts original jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari (as well as prohibition, mandamus, quo be filed in exceptionally meritorious cases, as provided in the second paragraph of Section 7 of AO 18,
warranto, habeas corpus and injunction) is not exclusive. It is shared by this Court with Regional Trial still the said motion should not have been entertained considering that the first motion for

Courts , which may issue the writ, enforceable in any part of their respective regions. It is also shared reconsideration was not seasonably filed, thereby allowing the Decision of March 29, 1996 to lapse into
by this Court, and by the Regional Trial Court, with the Court of Appeals, although prior to the finality. Thus, the act of the Office of the President in re-opening the case and substantially modifying
effectivity of Batas Pambansa Bilang 129, the latters competence to issue the extraordinary writs was its March 29,1996 Decision which had already become final and executory, was in gross disregard of

restricted to those in aid of its appellate jurisdiction. This concurrence of jurisdiction is not, however, to the rules and basic legal precept that accord finality to administrative determinations.
be taken as according to parties seeking any of the writs an absolute, unrestrained freedom of choice of
In San Luis, et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et al. we held:
the court to which application therefor will be directed.
Since the decisions of both the Civil Service Commission and the Office of the President had long
But the Supreme Court has the full discretionary power to take cognizance of the petition filed directly
become final and executory, the same can no longer be reviewed by the courts. It is well-established in
to it if compelling reasons, or the nature and importance of the issues rose, warrant. This has been the
our jurisprudence that the decisions and orders of administrative agencies, rendered pursuant to their
judicial policy to be observed.
quasi-judicial authority, have upon their finality, the force and binding effect of a final judgment within

Pursuant to said judicial policy, we resolve to take primary jurisdiction over the present petition in the the purview of the doctrine of res judicata The rule of res judicata which forbids the reopening of a
interest of speedy justice and to avoid future litigations so as to promptly put an end to the present matter once judicially determined by competent authority applies as well to the judicial and quasi-
controversy which, as correctly observed by petitioners, has sparked national interest because of the
judicial acts of public, executive or administrative officers and boards acting within their jurisdiction as Resolution of the Office of the President dated November 7, 1997, which resolution was issued long
to the judgments of courts having general judicial powers. after the previous two cases were instituted.

The orderly administration of justice requires that the judgments/resolutions of a court or quasi-judicial 29. OCAMPO VS. ENRIQUEZ
body must reach a point of finality set by the law, rules and regulations. The noble purpose is to write
finis to disputes once and for all. This is a fundamental principle in our justice system, without which Facts: During 2016 presidential campaign, Duterte publicly announced he would allow the burial of
there would be no end to litigations. Utmost respect and adherence to this principle must always be Marcos in LNMB. After winning the elections, through Sec. of National DefenseLorenzana, a
maintained by those who wield the power of adjudication. Any act which violates such principle must Memorandum was issued to Chief of Staff of AFP, Gen. Visaya, for the interment of Marcos, in
immediately be struck down. compliance with the verbal order of the President to implement his election campaign promise. AFP
rear Admiral Enriquez issued directives to the Philippine Army Commanding General to provide
3. There is forum-shopping whenever, as a result of an adverse opinion in one forum, a party seeks a services, honors, and other courtesies for the late Former President Marcos. Dissatisfied with the
favorable opinion (other than by appeal or certiorari) in another. The principle applies not only with issuances and directives, various petitioners filed petition for Certiorari and Prohibition.
respect to suits filed in the courts but also in connection with litigation commenced in the courts while
an administrative proceeding is pending, as in this case, in order to defeat administrative processes and - SaturninoOcampo, et. al., in their capacity as human rights advocates and human rights
in anticipation of an unfavorable administrative ruling and a favorable court ruling. This specially so, violations victims
as in this case, where the court in which the second suit was brought, has no jurisdiction.
- Rene Saguisag and his son, as members of the Bar and human rights lawyers
The test for determining whether a party violated the rule against forum shopping has been laid down
- EdcelLagman, as member of Congress
in the 1986 case of Buan vs. Lopez and that is, forum shopping exists where the elements of litis
pendentia are present or where a final judgment in one case will amount to res judicata in the other, as - Loretta Pargas-Rosales, former Chairperson of CHr, as victims of State-sanctioned human
follows: rights violations during martial law

There thus exists between the action before this Court and RTC Case No. 86-36563 identity of parties, - Heherson Alvarez, former Senator, as concerned citizens and taxpayers
or at least such parties as represent the same interests in both actions, as well as identity of rights
asserted and relief prayed for, the relief being founded on the same facts, and the identity on the two - ZairaBaniaga, as concerned citizens and taxpayers
preceding particulars is such that any judgment rendered in the other action, will, regardless of which
party is successful, amount to res adjudicata in the action under consideration: all the requisites, in fine, - AlgamarLatiph, former chairperson of regional human rights commission ARMM, on behalf

of auter action pendant. of Moros who are victims during martial law

It is clear from the above-quoted rule that the petitioners are not guilty of forum shopping. The test for - Leila De Lima, as Senator

determining whether a party has violated the rule against forum shopping is where a final judgment in
Issues
one case will amount to res adjudicata in the action under consideration. A cursory examination of the
cases filed by the petitioners does not show that the said cases are similar with each other. The petition PROCEDURAL
for certiorari in the Court of Appeals sought the nullification of the DAR Secretarys order to proceed
with the compulsory acquisition and distribution of the subject property. On the other hand, the civil 1. Whether Pres. Duterte’s determination to have the remains of Marcos interred at LNMB poses
case in RTC of Malaybalay, Bukidnon for the annulment and cancellation of title issued in the name of a justiciable controversy
the Republic of the Philippines, with damages, was based on the following grounds: (1) the DAR, in
NO. The Court agrees with the OSG that Pres. Duterte’s decision to have the remains of Marcos
applying for cancellation of petitioner NQSRMDCs title, used documents which were earlier declared
interred at the LNMB involves a political question that is not a justiciable controversy. It is also under
null and void by the DARAB; (2) the cancellation of NQSRMDCs title was made without payment of
the Constitution and EO 292 (Admin Code of 1987) to allow the interment in LNMB which is a land of
just compensation; and (3) without notice to NQSRMDC for the surrender of its title. The present
public domain devoted for national military cemetery and military shrine purposes.It is based on his
petition is entirely different from the said two cases as it seeks the nullification of the assailed Win-Win
wisdom that it shall promote national healing and forgiveness. It is outside the ambit of judicial Art. XIV: Sec. 3(2) – reliance in this provision is misplaced it refers to duty of educ institutions to teach
review. values of nationalism and patriotism and respect for human rights

2. Whether petitioners have locus standi to file the instant petitions Art. XI: Sec. 1 –not self-executory but RA 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public
Officials and Employees), RA 7080 (Penalizing Plunder), RA 9485 (Anti-red Tape Act) was enacted
NO. Petitioners failed to show that they have suffered or will suffer direct or personal injury as a result pursuant to this
of the interment of Marcos at the LNMB. The interment of Marcos would have no profound effect on
the political, economic, and other aspects of our national life considering that more than 27 years since Art. XVIII: Sec. 26 – transitory provision and freeze order to recover ill-gotten wealth
his death and 30 years after his ouster have already passed. Petitioners failed to demonstrate a clear
and imminent threat to their fundamental constitutional rights RA 289 –authorized the construction of a National Pantheon as a burial place for Presidents, National
Heroes, and Patriots for the perpetuation of the memory and for the inspiration and emulation of this
3. Whether petitioners violated the doctrines of exhaustion of administrative remedies and generation and of generations still unborn.
hierarchy of courts
Petitioners failed to provide legal and historical bases that LNMB and National Pantheon is one and
YES. Petitioners violated the doctrines of exhaustion of administrative remedies and hierarchy of the same. LNMB is distinct from the burial place envisioned in rA 289. The National Pantheon does not
courts. They should seek reconsideration of the assailed memorandum and directive before the exist at present. Also to apply the standard that LNMB is reserved only for the decent and brave or
Secretary of National Defense and give them the opportunity to correct themselves, if warranted. If hero, it will put into question all the mortal remains therein. The name of LNMB is a misnomer,
petitioners are still dissatisfied with the Secretary’s decision they could have elevated it before the interment of Marcos remain does not confer upon him the status of a hero.
Office of the President which has control and supervision of the DND.
RA 10368 – (compensation for Human rights violations victims during Marcos regime)recognizes the
Even though there are exceptions that would warrant a direct resort to the Supreme Court under human rights violations committed and gives them reparation. However, the court cannot subscribe to
exceptional cases, the petitioners cannot brush aside the doctrine of Hierarchy of Courts that requires petitioner’s logic that the reparation includes the prohibition of Marcos’ interment when it is not
such petitions to be filed first with the proper RTC which are not only trier of facts but can also resolve provided. It is undue to extend the law beyond what it contemplates. Legislators could have easily
questions of law in the exercise of its original and concurrent jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari, inserted a provision prohibiting Marcos internment as reparation but they did not. The law is silent
prohibition and mandamus, and has the power to issue restraining order and injunction when proven and should remain to be so. We cannot read into law what is simply not there. That would be
necessary. tantamount to judicial legislation.

In fine, the petitions at bar should be dismissed on procedural grounds alone. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – these are principles that call for an enactment of
legislative measures. The PH is compliant with its international obligations evident by the various RAs,
SUBSTANTIVE exec issuances, and even in the Constitution

1. Whether the issuance and implementation of the memorandum violates the Constitution, Our nation’s history will not be instantly revised by a single resolve of President Duterte to bury
domestic and international law Marcos at the LNMB. Whetherpetititoners admit it or not, the lessons of Martial Law are already
engraved, albeit in varying degrees, in the hearts and minds of the present generation of Filipinos.
NO. The President’s decision to bury Marcos at the LNMB is in accordance with the Constitution, the
law or jurisprudence. 2. Whether the Sec. of National Defense and AFP rear admiral commited grave abuse of
discretion when they issued the memorandum and directive in compliance with the verbal order of
Laws and Constitutional provisions cited by petitioner:
Pres. Duterte to implement his election campaign promise of Marcos interment in LNMB
Art. II: Sec. 2, 11, 13, 23, 26, 27, and 28 – not self-executory
The President’s decision to bury Marcos at the LNMB is not done whimsically, capriciously or
Art. VII: Sec. 17 – Faithful execution clause, it is consistent with President Duterte’s mandate, the burial arbitrarily, out of malice, ill will or personal bias.Presumption of regularity in the performance of
does not contravene RA 289, RA 10368, and the international human rights laws cited by petitioner official duty prevails over the petitioners allegation of Duterte’sutangnaloob or bayadutang to the
Marcoses. Petitioners should establish such claims but failed to do so. Then again, the court is not a THOSE WHO Are NOT QUALIFIED:
trier of facts.
a.) Personnel who are dishonorably discharged
3. Whether historical facts, laws enacted to recover ill-gotten wealth of Marcos and his cronies,
and pronouncement of SC, nullifies his entitlement as a soldier and former President to interment at b.) Convicted of final judgment of an offense involving moral turpitude

the LNMB
Moral Turpitude – conduct that is contrary to community standards of justice, honesty, or good morals.
National Shrines are governed by NHCP, military shrines are not. They are governed by PVAO of
4. Whether the Marcos family waived the burial of remains of Marcos in LNMB when they
DND. LNMB is a military shrine.
entered into agreement with Gov. of PH as to the condition and procedures by which his remains shall

Magsaysay issued EO 77 – orders remains of war dead interred at Bataan to be reinterred in McKinley be brought back to and interred in the PH.
to minimize expenses and accessibility to widows.
The presidential power of control over the Executive Branch of Government is a self-executing

Magsaysay issued Proc. 86 – changing the name to LNMB provision of the Constitution nor its exercise belimted by legislature. As the incumbent President,
Duterte is not bound by the 1992 Agreement between ramos and the Marcos family to have the
Garcia issued Proc. 423, Marcos issued Proc and General Orders, Cory issued EOs too. The point is the remains of Marcos interred in IlocosNorte, he is free to amend, revoke orrescind political agreements
PVAO manages military shrines which is under DND which is under the Office of the President entered into by his predecessors, and to determine policies which he considers, based on informed
judgment and presumed wisdom, will be most effective in carrying out his mandate.
AFP Regulations G 161-375 – who may be interred
In sum, there is no clear constitutional or legal basis to hold that there was grave abuse of discretion
a.) Medal of Valor awardee which would justify the Court to interpose its authority to check and override an act entrusted to the
judgment of another branch. The President through respondents acted within the bounds of law and
b.) Presidents or Commander-in-Chief, AFP
jurisprudence. The Court must uphold what is legal and just and that is not to deny Marcos of his
c.) Sec. of National Defense rightful place in LNMB

d.) Chief of Staff, AFP WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the petitions are DISMISSED. Necessarily, the Status Quo
Ante Order is hereby LIFTED.
e.) General/Flag Officers, AFP

f.) Active and retired military personnel

g.) Gov dignitaries, statesman,national artists and others as long as approved by the C-i-C,
Congress or Sec. of National defense

h.) Widows of former presidents

Petitioners did not dispute that Marcos was a former President and C-i-C, legislator, Sec. of National
Defense, veteran, medal of valor awardee.

Marcos does not have any disqualification. He was not convicted of moral turpitude nor dishonourably
discharged.

Marcos rendered significant active military service and military-related activities.