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Dean’s

Circle 2016
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

Digested by: DC 2016 Members

Editors: Tricia Lacuesta


Lorenzo Luigi Gayya
Cristopher Reyes
Macky Siazon
Janine Arenas
Ninna Bonsol
Lloyd Javier

CONSTITUTIONAL
LAW 1
FIRST SEM CASES
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 1 DEAN’S CIRCLE
2016

Table of Contents
PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS .....................................................................................................2
THE STATE ................................................................................................................................................3
STATE IMMUNITY...................................................................................................................................6
SEPARATION OF POWERS AND CHECKS AND BALANCES ...................................................... 15
DELEGATION OF POWERS ................................................................................................................ 24
STATE PRINCIPLES AND POLICIES ................................................................................................ 30
LEGISLATURE........................................................................................................................................ 42
PRESIDENCY .......................................................................................................................................... 74
JUDICIARY ........................................................................................................................................... 108
CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSIONS ............................................................................................... 132
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION......................................................................................................... 138
COMMISSION ON ELECLTIONS ..................................................................................................... 147
COMMISSION ON AUDIT ................................................................................................................. 154
ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS .................................................................................. 159
AMENDMENTS AND REVISIONS ................................................................................................... 181

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 1
PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS

MANILA PRINCE HOTEL vs. GSIS, MANILA HOTEL CORPORATION, COMMITTEE ON PRIVATIZATION,
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATE COUNSEL
G.R. No. 122156, February 3, 1997, BELLOSILLO, J.

Adhering to the doctrine of constitutional supremacy, the subject constitutional provision is, as it should
be, impliedly written in the bidding rules issued by respondent GSIS, lest the bidding rules be nullified for being
violative of the Constitution.

Facts:

GSIS, pursuant to the privatization program of the Philippine Government decided to sell through
public bidding issued and outstanding shares of respondent Manila Hotel Corporation (MHC). Two bidders
participated: Manila Prince Hotel Corporation, a Filipino corporation, which offered to buy the shares at
P41.58 per share, and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian firm, which bid for the same number of shares at P44.00
per share.

Pending the declaration of Renong Berhard as the winning bidder/strategic partner and the
execution of the necessary contracts, Manila Prince matched the bid price of P44.00 per share. Perhaps
apprehensive that GSIS has disregarded the tender of the matching bid, Manila Prince came to the Supreme
Court on prohibition and mandamus.

Issue:

Whether GSIS is mandated to abide the dictates of the Constitution on National Economy and
Patrimony.

Ruling:

YES. It should be stressed that while the Malaysian firm offered the higher bid it is not yet the
winning bidder. The bidding rules expressly provide that the highest bidder shall only be declared the
winning bidder after it has negotiated and executed the necessary contracts, and secured the requisite
approvals. Since the Filipino First Policy provision of the Constitution bestows preference on qualified
Filipinos the mere tending of the highest bid is not an assurance that the highest bidder will be declared the
winning bidder. Resultantly, respondents are not bound to make the award yet, nor are they under obligation
to enter into one with the highest bidder. For in choosing the awardee, respondents are mandated to abide by
the dictates of the 1987 Constitution the provisions of which are presumed to be known to all the bidders and
other interested parties.

Adhering to the doctrine of constitutional supremacy, the subject constitutional provision is, as it
should be, impliedly written in the bidding rules issued by respondent GSIS, lest the bidding rules be nullified
for being violative of the Constitution. It is a basic principle in constitutional law that all laws and contracts
must conform with the fundamental law of the land. Those which violate the Constitution lose their reason for
being.

Certainly, the constitutional mandate itself is reason enough not to award the block of shares
immediately to the foreign bidder notwithstanding its submission of a higher, or even the highest, bid. In fact,
we cannot conceive of a stronger reason than the constitutional injunction itself.

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THE STATE

PROF. MERLIN M. MAGALLONA vs EDUARDO ERMITA


G.R No. 187167, July 16, 2011, Carpio

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

Facts:

R.A. 3046 was passed demarcating the maritime baselines of the Philippines. After five decades, RA
9552 was passed, amending RA 3046 to comply with the terms of the United Nations Convention on the Law
of the Sea (UNCLOS). The new law shorterned one baseline, optimized the location of some basepoints
around the Philippine archipelago and classified adjacent territories, namely, the Kalayaan Island Group and
the Scarborough Shoal, as regimes of islands whose islands generate their own applicable maritime zones.

Petitioners assailed the constitutionality of the new law on the ground that: it reduces the Philippine
maritime territory, in violation of Article 1 of the Constitution and it opens the country’s waters to maritime
passage by all vessels, thus undermining Philippine sovereignty. Respondents, on the other hand, defended
the new law as the country’s compliance with the terms of UNCLOS. Respondents stressed that RA 9522 does
not relinquish the country’s claim over Sabah.

Issue:

Whether RA 9522 is unconstitutional.

Ruling:

NO. UNCLOS III has nothing to do with the acquisition (or loss) of territory. It is a multilateral treaty
regulating, among others, sea-use rights over maritime zones (i.e., the territorial waters [12 nautical miles
from the baselines], contiguous zone [24 nautical miles from the baselines], exclusive economic zone [200
nautical miles from the baselines]), and continental shelves that UNCLOS III delimits. UNCLOS III was the
culmination of decades-long negotiations among United Nations members to codify norms regulating the
conduct of States in the world’s oceans and submarine areas, recognizing coastal and archipelagic States
graduated authority over a limited span of waters and submarine lands along their coasts.

UNCLOS III and its ancillary baselines laws play no role in the acquisition, enlargement or, as
petitioners claim, diminution of territory. Under traditional international law typology, States acquire (or
conversely, lose) territory through occupation, accretion, cession and prescription, not by executing
multilateral treaties on the regulations of sea-use rights or enacting statutes to comply with the treatys terms
to delimit maritime zones and continental shelves. Territorial claims to land features are outside UNCLOS III,
and are instead governed by the rules on general international law.

WILLIAM C. REAGAN, ETC. vs.COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE


G.R. No. L-26379, December 27, 1969, FERNANDO, J.

The court cited Schooner Exchange v. M'Faddon which held that the jurisdiction of the nation within its
own territory is necessarily exclusive and absolute. It is susceptible of no limitation not imposed by itself. Any
restriction upon it, deriving validity from an external source, would imply a diminution of its sovereignty to the
extent of the restriction, and an investment of that sovereignty to the same extent in that power which could
impose such restriction.

Facts:

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Petitioner William C. Reagan, at one time a civilian employee of an American corporation providing
technical assistance to the United States Air Force in the Philippines, imported a 1960 Cadillac car. The car
thereafter was sold to a member of the United States Marine Corps, the transaction having taken place at the
Clark Field Air Base at Pampanga. Respondent Commissioner of Internal Revenue assessed Petitioner for
income tax in the sum of P2,979.00. Consequently, petitioner questioned the assessment by respondent
Commissioner of Internal Revenue contending that the sale was made outside Philippine territory and
therefore beyond our jurisdictional power to tax.

Issue:

Whether the sale was made outside the Philippine territory and therefore beyond its jurisdictional
power to tax.

Ruling:

NO. Nothing is better settled than that the Philippines being independent and sovereign, its authority
may be exercised over its entire domain. There is no portion thereof that is beyond its power. Within its
limits, its decrees are supreme, its commands paramount. Its laws govern therein, and everyone to whom it
applies must submit to its terms. That is the extent of its jurisdiction, both territorial and personal.
Necessarily, likewise, it has to be exclusive. If it were not thus, there is a diminution of its sovereignty.

It is to be admitted that any state may, by its consent, express or implied, submit to a restriction of its
sovereign rights. There may thus be a curtailment of what otherwise is a power plenary in character. That is
the concept of sovereignty as auto-limitation, which, in the succinct language of Jellinek, "is the property of a
state-force due to which it has the exclusive capacity of legal self-determination and self-restriction." A state
then, if it chooses to, may refrain from the exercise of what otherwise is illimitable competence.

Its laws may as to some persons found within its territory no longer control. Nor does the matter end
there. It is not precluded from allowing another power to participate in the exercise of jurisdictional right
over certain portions of its territory. If it does so, it by no means follows that such areas become impressed
with an alien character. They retain their status as native soil. They are still subject to its authority. Its
jurisdiction may be diminished, but it does not disappear. So it is with the bases under lease to the American
armed forces by virtue of the military bases agreement of 1947. They are not and cannot be foreign territory.

Note:

In People v. Acierto thus: "By the Military Bases Agreement, it should be noted, the Philippine
Government merely consents that the United States exercise jurisdiction in certain cases. The consent was
given purely as a matter of comity, courtesy, or expediency over the bases as part of the Philippine territory
or divested itself completely of jurisdiction over offenses committed therein."

Nor did he stop there. He did stress further the full extent of our territorial jurisdiction in words that
do not admit of doubt. Thus: "This provision is not and can not on principle or authority be construed as a
limitation upon the rights of the Philippine Government. If anything, it is an emphatic recognition and
reaffirmation of Philippine sovereignty over the bases and of the truth that all jurisdictional rights granted to
the United States and not exercised by the latter are reserved by the Philippines for itself."
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SHIPSIDE INCORPORATED vs. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS [Special Former Twelfth Division], HON.
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 26 (San Fernando City, La Union) & The REPUBLIC OF THE
PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 143377, February 20, 2001, MELO, J.

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With the transfer of Camp Wallace to the BCDA (Bases Conversion and Development Authority) under
Section 2 of Proclamation No. 216, the government no longer has a right or interest to protect. Consequently, the
Republic is not a real party in interest and it may not institute the instant action. Nor may it raise the defense of
imprescriptibility, the same being applicable only in cases where the government is a party in interest. Being the
owner of the areas covered by Camp Wallace, it is the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, not the
Government, which stands to be benefited if the land covered by TCT No. T-5710 issued in the name of petitioner
is cancelled.

Facts:

Rafael Galvez conveyed two parcels of land to Filipina Mamaril, Cleopatra Llana, Regina Bustos, and
Erlinda Balatbat which in turn conveyed the said lots to Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation. The latter
then conveyed the said lots to petitioner Shipside Incorporated. However, unknown to Lepanto Consolidated
Mining Corporation, the Court of First Instance declared the land title of Rafael Galvez, including the two
parcels of land, null and void. The Court, in this case, issue a writ of execution of the judgment declaring the
land title of Rafael Galvez null and void.

Twenty four long years thereafter, the Office of the Solicitor General received a letter from Mr. Victor
G. Floresca, Vice-President, John Hay Poro Point Development Corporation, stating that the aforementioned
orders and decision of the trial court have not been executed by the Register of Deeds, San Fernando, La
Union despite receipt of the writ of execution.

The Office of the Solicitor General filed a complaint for revival of judgment and cancellation of titles
before the Regional Trial Court. The Solicitor General, nonetheless, argues that the States cause of action in
the cancellation of the land title issued to petitioners predecessor-in-interest is imprescriptible because it is
included in Camp Wallace, which belongs to the government.

Issue:

Whether the Republic has a cause of action.

Ruling:

NO. While it is true that prescription does not run against the State, the same may not be invoked by
the government in this case since it is no longer interested in the subject matter. While Camp Wallace may
have belonged to the government at the time Rafael Galvezs title was ordered cancelled in Land Registration
Case No. N-361, the same no longer holds true today.

With the transfer of Camp Wallace to the BCDA (Bases Conversion and Development Authority)
under Section 2 of Proclamation No. 216, the government no longer has a right or interest to protect.
Consequently, the Republic is not a real party in interest and it may not institute the instant action. Nor may it
raise the defense of imprescriptibility, the same being applicable only in cases where the government is a
party in interest. Under Section 2 of Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, every action must be
prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest. To qualify a person to be a real party in
interest in whose name an action must be prosecuted, he must appear to be the present real owner of the
right sought to enforced. A real party in interest is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the
judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit. And by real interest is meant a present
substantial interest, as distinguished from a mere expectancy, or a future, contingent, subordinate or
consequential. Being the owner of the areas covered by Camp Wallace, it is the Bases Conversion and
Development Authority, not the Government, which stands to be benefited if the land covered by TCT No. T-
5710 issued in the name of petitioner is cancelled.

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STATE IMMUNITY

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, CAPT. JAMES E. GALLOWAY, WILLIAM I. COLLINS and ROBERT GOHIER
vs.HON. V. M. RUIZ, Presiding Judge of Branch XV, Court of First Instance of Rizal and ELIGIO DE
GUZMAN & CO., INC., respondents.
R. No. L-35645, May 22, 1985, ABAD SANTOS, J.

The restrictive application of State immunity is proper only when the proceedings arise out of
commercial transactions of the foreign sovereign, its commercial activities or economic affairs. Stated
differently, a State may be said to have descended to the level of an individual and can thus be deemed to have
tacitly given its consent to be sued only when it enters into business contracts. It does not apply where the
contract relates to the exercise of its sovereign functions. In this case the projects are an integral part of the
naval base which is devoted to the defense of both the United States and the Philippines, indisputably a function
of the government of the highest order; they are not utilized for nor dedicated to commercial or business
purposes.

Facts:

United States invited the submission of bids for projects for the repair of wharves and shoreline.
Eligio de Guzman & Co., Inc. responded to the invitation and submitted bids. Thereafter, a letter was sent
saying that the company did not qualify to receive an award for the projects because of its previous
unsatisfactory performancerating on a repair contract for the sea wall at the boat landings of the U.S. Naval
Station in Subic Bay. The company sued the United States of America and Messrs. James E. Galloway, William
I. Collins and Robert Gohier all members of the Engineering Command of the U.S. Navy. The complaint is to
order the plaintiff to allow the company to perform the work on the projects and, in the event that specific
performance was no longer possible, to order the defendants to pay damages.

The company also asked for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction to restrain the
defendants from entering into contracts with third parties for work on the projects. The Trial court issued the
writ.

Issue:

Whether the company has the capacity to sue the plaintiff.

Ruling:

NO. The traditional rule of State immunity exempts a State from being sued in the courts of another
State without its consent or waiver. This rule is a necessary consequence of the principles of independence
and equality of States. However, the rules of International Law are not petrified; they are constantly
developing and evolving. And because the activities of states have multiplied, it has been necessary to
distinguish them-between sovereign and governmental acts (jure imperii) and private, commercial and
proprietary acts (jure gestionis). The result is that State immunity now extends only to acts jure imperil. The
restrictive application of State immunity is now the rule in the United States, the United Kingdom and other
states in western Europe.

That the correct test for the application of State immunity is not the conclusion of a contract by a
State but the legal nature of the act is shown in Syquia vs. Lopez. Further, the latter case ruled that the United
States concluded contracts with private individuals but the contracts notwithstanding the States was not
deemed to have given or waived its consent to be sued for the reason that the contracts were for
jureimperii and not for jure gestionis.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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MOBIL PHILIPPINES EXPLORATION, INC., vs. CUSTOMS ARRASTRE SERVICE and BUREAU of CUSTOMS
G.R. No.L-23139, December 17, 1966, BENGZON, J.P., J.

Although said arrastre function may be deemed proprietary, it is a necessary incident of the primary
and governmental function of the Bureau of Customs, so that engaging in the same does not necessarily render
said Bureau liable to suit. For otherwise, it could not perform its governmental function without necessarily
exposing itself to suit. Sovereign immunity, granted as to the end, should not be denied as to the necessary means
to that end.

Facts:

Four cases of rotary drill parts were shipped and consigned to Mobil Philippines Exploration, Inc.,
Manila. Later on, the cases were discharged to the custody of the Customs Arrastre Service, the unit of the
Bureau of Customs then handling arrastre operations therein. Unfortunately, only three cases of rotary drill
parts were delivered. Mobil Philippines Exploration, Inc., filed suit in the Court of First Instance of Manila
against the Customs Arrastre Service and the Bureau of Customs to recover the value of the undelivered case
plus other damages. One of the arguments raised by the respondent was that they cannot be sued.

Issue:

Whether or not the respondent arrastre service is immune from suit.

Ruling:

YES. The fact that a non-corporate government entity performs a function proprietary in nature does
not necessarily result in its being suable. If said non-governmental function is undertaken as an incident to its
governmental function, there is no waiver thereby of the sovereign immunity from suit extended to such
government entity.

The situation here is not materially different. The Bureau of Customs, to repeat, is part of the
Department of Finance, with no personality of its own apart from that of the national government. Its primary
function is governmental, that of assessing and collecting lawful revenues from imported articles and all other
tariff and customs duties, fees, charges, fines and penalties. To this function, arrastre service is a necessary
incident. For practical reasons said revenues and customs duties can not be assessed and collected by simply
receiving the importer's or ship agent's or consignee's declaration of merchandise being imported and
imposing the duty provided in the Tariff law. Customs authorities and officers must see to it that the
declaration tallies with the merchandise actually landed. And this checking up requires that the landed
merchandise be hauled from the ship's side to a suitable place in the customs premises to enable said
customs officers to make it, that is, it requires arrastre operations.

Regardless of the merits of the claim against it, the State, for obvious reasons of public policy, cannot
be sued without its consent. Plaintiff should have filed its present claim to the General Auditing Office, it being
for money under the provisions of Commonwealth Act 327, which state the conditions under which money
claims against the Government may be filed. It must be remembered that statutory provisions waiving State
immunity from suit are strictly construed and that waiver of immunity, being in derogation of sovereignty,
will not be lightly inferred. From the provision authorizing the Bureau of Customs to lease arrastre
operations to private parties, We see no authority to sue the said Bureau in the instances where it undertakes
to conduct said operation itself. The Bureau of Customs, acting as part of the machinery of the national
government in the operation of the arrastre service, pursuant to express legislative mandate and as a
necessary incident of its prime governmental function, is immune from suit, there being no statute to the
contrary.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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ANGEL MINISTERIO and ASUNCION SADAYA vs. THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF CEBU, Fourth
Branch, Presided by the Honorable, Judge JOSE C. BORROMEO, THE PUBLIC HIGHWAY
COMMISSIONER, and THE AUDITOR GENERAL
G.R. No. L-31635, August 31, 1971, FERNANDO, J.

The doctrine of governmental immunity from suit cannot serve as an instrument for perpetrating an
injustice on a citizen. Had the government followed the procedure indicated by the governing law at the time, a
complaint would have been filed by it, and only upon payment of the compensation fixed by the judgment, or
after tender to the party entitled to such payment of the amount fixed, may it "have the right to enter in and
upon the land so condemned" to appropriate the same to the public use defined in the judgment."

Facts:

Petitioners as plaintiffs filed a complaint seeking the payment of just compensation for a registered
lot, alleging that in 1927 the National Government through its authorized representatives took physical and
material possession of it and used it for the widening of the Gorordo Avenue, a national road, Cebu City,
without paying just compensation and without any agreement, either written or verbal.

The respondent lower court ruled that the suit was against the government without its consent. But
granting that no compensation was given to the owner of the land, the case is undoubtedly against the
National Government and there is no showing that the government has consented to be sued in this case. It
may be contended that the present case is brought against the Public Highway Commissioner and the Auditor
General and not against the National Government. Considering that the herein defendants are sued in their
official capacity the action is one against the National Government who should have been made a party in this
case, but, as stated before, with its consent.

Issue:

Whether the petitioners could sue defendants Public Highway Commissioner and the Auditor
General, in their capacity as public officials

Ruling:

YES. It is a different matter where the public official is made to account in his capacity as such for acts
contrary to law and injurious to the rights of plaintiff. As was clearly set forth by Justice Zaldivar in Director of
the Bureau of Telecommunications v. Aligean: "Inasmuch as the State authorizes only legal acts by its officers,
unauthorized acts of government officials or officers are not acts of the State, and an action against the
officials or officers by one whose rights have been invaded or violated by such acts, for the protection of his
rights, is not a suit against the State within the rule of immunity of the State from suit. In the same tenor, it
has been said that an action at law or suit in equity against a State officer or the director of a State department
on the ground that, while claiming to act for the State, he violates or invades the personal and property rights
of the plaintiff, under an unconstitutional act or under an assumption of authority which he does not have, is
not a suit against the State within the constitutional provision that the State may not be sued without its
consent."

However, as noted in Alfonso v. Pasay City, this Court speaking through Justice Montemayor,
restoration would be "neither convenient nor feasible because it is now and has been used for road
purposes." The only relief, in the opinion of this Court, would be for the government "to make due
compensation, ..." It was made clear in such decision that compensation should have been made "as far back
as the date of the taking."

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If there were an observance of procedural regularity, petitioners would not be in the sad plaint they are now.
It is unthinkable then that precisely because there was a failure to abide by what the law requires, the
government would stand to benefit. It is just as important, if not more so, that there be fidelity to legal norms
on the part of officialdom if the rule of law were to be maintained. It is not too much to say that when the
government takes any property for public use, which is conditioned upon the payment of just compensation,
to be judicially ascertained, it makes manifest that it submits to the jurisdiction of a court. There is no thought
then that the doctrine of immunity from suit could still be appropriately invoked.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

MUNICIPALITY OF SAN FERNANDO, LA UNION vs. HON. JUDGE ROMEO N. FIRME, JUANA RIMANDO-
BANIÑA, IAUREANO BANIÑA, JR., SOR MARIETA BANIÑA, MONTANO BANIÑA, ORJA BANIÑA, AND
LYDIA R. BANIÑA
G.R. No.L-52179, April 8, 1991, MEDIALDEA, J.

It has already been remarked that municipal corporations are suable because their charters grant them
the competence to sue and be sued. Nevertheless, they are generally not liable for torts committed by them in the
discharge of governmental functions and can be held answerable only if it can be shown that they were acting in
a proprietary capacity. In permitting such entities to be sued, the State merely gives the claimant the right to
show that the defendant was not acting in its governmental capacity when the injury was committed or that the
case comes under the exceptions recognized by law.

Facts:

The passengers of the jeepney died as a result of the collision between a jeepney and a dump truck of
the Municipality of San Fernando, La Union. As a result, the heirs filed a complaint for damages against the
owner and driver of the jeepney, as well as the Municipality of San Fernando, La Union. The respondent judge
rendered a judgment ruling that the Municipality of San Fernando is jointly and severally liable with the
driver of the dump truck. Petitioner maintains that the respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion
amounting to excess of jurisdiction in issuing the aforesaid orders and in rendering a decision.

Issue:

Whether the Municipality can be held liable for the tort committed.

Ruling:

NO. In the case at bar, the driver of the dump truck of the municipality insists that "he was on his way
to the Naguilian river to get a load of sand and gravel for the repair of San Fernando's municipal streets." In
the absence of any evidence to the contrary, the regularity of the performance of official duty is presumed
pursuant to Section 3(m) of Rule 131 of the Revised Rules of Court. Hence, We rule that the driver of the
dump truck was performing duties or tasks pertaining to his office.

We already stressed in the case of Palafox, et. al. vs. Province of IlocosNorte, the District Engineer,
and the Provincial Treasurer that "the construction or maintenance of roads in which the truck and the driver
worked at the time of the accident are admittedly governmental activities." Consequently, municipality
cannot be held liable for the torts committed by its regular employee, who was then engaged in the discharge
of governmental functions. Hence, the death of the passenger –– tragic and deplorable though it may be ––
imposed on the municipality no duty to pay monetary compensation.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. HON. VICENTE A. HIDALGO, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of the
Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 37, CARMELO V. CACHERO, in his capacity as Sheriff IV,
Regional Trial Court of Manila, and TARCILA LAPERAL MENDOZA,

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G.R. No. 161657, October 4, 2007,GARCIA , J.

The State generally operates merely to liquidate and establish the plaintiffs claim in the absence of
express provision; otherwise, they can not be enforced by processes of law.

Facts:

Tarcila Mendoza filed a suit with the RTC of Manila for reconveyance and the corresponding
declaration of nullity of a deed of sale and title against the Republic, the Register of Deeds of Manila and one
Atty. Fidel Vivar, alleging that he was the owner of the Arlegui property and that the Republic used the
property for public use without just compensation. The trial court ruled that defendant Republic must pay the
plaintiff the sum of P1,480,627,688.00 representing the reasonable rental for the use of the subject property,
the interest thereon at the legal rate, and the opportunity cost at the rate of three (3%) per cent per annum,
commencing July 1975 continuously up to July 30, 2003, plus an additional interest at the legal rate,
commencing from this date until the whole amount is paid in full;

Issue:

Whether the Republic should be held liable by the assessment.

Ruling:

NO. The assessment of costs of suit against the petitioner is, however, nullified, costs not being
allowed against the Republic, unless otherwise provided by law. The assailed trial courts issuance of the writ
of execution against government funds to satisfy its money judgment is also nullified. It is basic that
government funds and properties may not be seized under writs of execution or garnishment to satisfy such
judgments.

Albeit title to the Arlegui property remains in the name of the petitioner Republic, it is actually the
Office of the President which has beneficial possession of and use over it since the 1975 takeover.
Accordingly, and in accord with the elementary sense of justice, it behooves that office to make the
appropriate budgetary arrangements towards paying private respondent what is due her under the premises.
This, to us, is the right thing to do. The imperatives of fair dealing demand no less. And the Court would be
remiss in the discharge of its duties as dispenser of justice if it does not exhort the Office of the President to
comply with what, in law and equity, is its obligation.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

MUNICIPALITY OF MAKATI vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, HON. SALVADOR P. DE GUZMAN,
JR., as Judge RTC of Makati, Branch CXLII ADMIRAL FINANCE CREDITORS CONSORTIUM, INC., and
SHERIFF SILVINO R. PASTRANA
G.R. Nos. 89898-99, October 1, 1990, CORTES, J.

Well-settled is the rule that public funds are not subject to levy and execution, unless otherwise provided
for by statute. More particularly, the properties of a municipality, whether real or personal, which are necessary
for public use cannot be attached and sold at execution sale to satisfy a money judgment against the
municipality. Municipal revenues derived from taxes, licenses and market fees, and which are intended primarily
and exclusively for the purpose of financing the governmental activities and functions of the municipality, are
exempt from execution.

Facts:

Petitioner Municipality of Makati expropriated a portion of land owned by private respondents,


Admiral Finance Creditors Consortium, Inc. After proceedings, the RTC of Makati determined the cost of the

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said land which the petitioner must pay to the private respondents amounting to P5,291,666.00 minus the
advanced payment of P338,160.00. It issued the corresponding writ of execution accompanied with a writ of
garnishment of funds of the petitioner which was deposited in PNB. However, such order was opposed by
petitioner through a motion for reconsideration, contending that its funds at the PNB could neither be
garnished nor levied upon execution, for to do so would result in the disbursement of public funds without
the proper appropriation required under the law, citing the case of Republic of the Philippines v. Palacio.

Issue:

Whether the funds of the Municipality of Makati are exempt from garnishment and levy upon
execution.

Ruling:

YES. The funds deposited in the second PNB Account are public funds of the municipal government.
In this jurisdiction, well-settled is the rule that public funds are not subject to levy and execution, unless
otherwise provided for by statute. More particularly, the properties of a municipality, whether real or
personal, which are necessary for public use cannot be attached and sold at execution sale to satisfy a money
judgment against the municipality. Municipal revenues derived from taxes, licenses and market fees, and
which are intended primarily and exclusively for the purpose of financing the governmental activities and
functions of the municipality, are exempt from execution. The foregoing rule finds application in the case at
bar. Absent a showing that the municipal council of Makati has passed an ordinance appropriating from its
public funds an amount corresponding to the balance due under the RTC decision dated June 4, 1987, less the
sum of P99,743.94 deposited in Account No. S/A 265-537154-3, no levy under execution may be validly
effected on the public funds of petitioner deposited in Account No. S/A 263-530850-7.

Nevertheless, this is not to say that private respondent and PSB are left with no legal recourse. Where
a municipality fails or refuses, without justifiable reason, to effect payment of a final money judgment
rendered against it, the claimant may avail of the remedy of mandamus in order to compel the enactment and
approval of the necessary appropriation ordinance, and the corresponding disbursement of municipal funds
therefor.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET.AL. VS. HON. AGUSTIN S. DIZON, ET. AL.
G.R. No. 171182, August 23, 2012, BERSAMIN, J.

All the funds going into the possession of the UP, including any interest accruing from the deposit of such
funds in any banking institution, constitute a “special trust fund,” the disbursement of which should always be
aligned with the UP’s mission and purpose, and should always be subject to auditing by the COA. Hence, the funds
subject of this action could not be validly made the subject of the RTC’s writ of execution or garnishment. The
adverse judgment rendered against the UP in a suit to which it had impliedly consented was not immediately
enforceable by execution against the UP, because suability of the State did not necessarily mean its liability.

Facts:

UP failed to pay in a contract it entered with Stern Builders Corporation. The RTC ruled in favour of
Stern Builders Corporation. Consequently, the RTC authorized eventually the release of the garnished funds
of the UP directing DBP to release the funds. While UP brought a petition for certiorari in the CA to challenge
the jurisdiction of the RTC in issuing the order averring that the UP funds, being government funds and
properties, could not be seized by virtue of writs of execution or garnishment.

Issue:

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Whether UP funds are subject to garnishment.

Ruling:

NO. The UP is a government instrumentality, performing the State’s constitutional mandate of


promoting quality and accessible education. Presidential Decree No. 1445 defines a “trust fund” as a fund that
officially comes in the possession of an agency of the government or of a public officer as trustee, agent or
administrator, or that is received for the fulfillment of some obligation. A trust fund may be utilized only for
the “specific purpose for which the trust was created or the funds received.”

The funds of the UP are government funds that are public in character. They include the income
accruing from the use of real property ceded to the UP that may be spent only for the attainment of its
institutional objectives. Hence, the funds subject of this action could not be validly made the subject of the
RTC’s writ of execution or garnishment. The adverse judgment rendered against the UP in a suit to which it
had impliedly consented was not immediately enforceable by execution against the UP, because suability of
the State did not necessarily mean its liability.

A marked distinction exists between suability of the State and its liability. As the Court succinctly
stated in Municipality of San Fernando, La Union v. Firme:

A distinction should first be made between suability and liability. “Suability depends on the consent
of the state to be sued, liability on the applicable law and the established facts. The circumstance that a state
is suable does not necessarily mean that it is liable; on the other hand, it can never be held liable if it does not
first consent to be sued. Liability is not conceded by the mere fact that the state has allowed itself to be sued.
When the state does waive its sovereign immunity, it is only giving the plaintiff the chance to prove, if it can,
that the defendant is liable.

The CA and the RTC thereby unjustifiably ignored the legal restriction imposed on the trust funds of
the Government and its agencies and instrumentalities to be used exclusively to fulfill the purposes for which
the trusts were created or for which the funds were received except upon express authorization by Congress
or by the head of a government agency in control of the funds, and subject to pertinent budgetary laws, rules
and regulations. Indeed, an appropriation by Congress was required before the judgment that rendered the
UP liable for moral and actual damages (including attorney’s fees) would be satisfied considering that such
monetary liabilities were not covered by the “appropriations earmarked for the said project.” The
Constitution strictly mandated that “(n)o money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an
appropriation made by law.”
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

MOST REV. PEDRO D. ARIGO, ET. AL. VS.SCOTT H. SWIFT, ET. AL.
G.R. No. 206510, September 16, 2014, VILLARAMA, JR., J.

Warships enjoy sovereign immunity from suit as extensions of their flag State, Art. 31 of the UNCLOS
creates an exception to this rule in cases where they fail to comply with the rules and regulations of the coastal
State regarding passage through the latter's internal waters and the territorial sea.

Facts:

Under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10067 otherwise known as the "Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (TRNP)
Act of 2009", a "no-take" policy was created whereby entry into the waters of TRNP is strictly regulated and
many human activities are prohibited and penalized or fined, including fishing, gathering, destroying and
disturbing the resources within the TRNP. The USS Guardian requested diplomatic clearance for the said
vessel "to enter and exit the territorial waters of the Philippines and to arrive at the port of Subic Bay for the

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purpose of routine ship replenishment, maintenance, and crew liberty." However, the ship ran aground on the
northwest side of South Shoal of the Tubbataha Reefs.

Petitioners cite the following violations committed by US respondents under R.A. No. 10067:
unauthorized entry; non-payment of conservation fees; obstruction of law enforcement officer; damages to
the reef; and destroying and disturbing resources. Furthermore, petitioners assail certain provisions of the
Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) which they want this Court to nullify for being unconstitutional.
Consequently, the petitioners filed a petition for a Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO)
and/or a Writ of Kalikasan.

Issue:

Whether the Court has jurisdiction over the US respondents who did not submit any pleading or
manifestation in this case.

Ruling:

YES. During the deliberations, Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio took the position that the
conduct of the US in this case, when its warship entered a restricted area in violation of R.A. No. 10067 and
caused damage to the TRNP reef system, brings the matter within the ambit of Article 31 of the United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). He explained that while historically, warships enjoy
sovereign immunity from suit as extensions of their flag State, Art. 31 of the UNCLOS creates an exception to
this rule in cases where they fail to comply with the rules and regulations of the coastal State regarding
passage through the latter's internal waters and the territorial sea.

Non-membership in the UNCLOS does not mean that the US will disregard the rights of the
Philippines as a Coastal State over its internal waters and territorial sea. We thus expect the US to bear
"international responsibility" under Art. 31 in connection with the USS Guardian grounding which adversely
affected the Tubbataha reefs. Under Article 197 of the UNCLOS provides, “Cooperation on a global or regional
basis: States shall cooperate on a global basis and, as appropriate, on a regional basis, directly or through
competent international organizations, in formulating and elaborating international rules, standards and
recommended practices and procedures consistent with this Convention, for the protection and preservation
of the marine environment, taking into account characteristic regional features.”

No Waiver of State Immunity in the VFA

As it is, the waiver of State immunity under the VFA pertains only to criminal jurisdiction and not to
special civil actions such as the present petition for issuance of a writ of Kalikasan. In fact, it can be inferred
from Section 17, Rule 7 of the Rules that a criminal case against a person charged with a violation of an
environmental law is to be filed separately.

In any case, it is our considered view that a ruling on the application or non-application of criminal
jurisdiction provisions of the VF A to US personnel who may be found responsible for the grounding of the
USS Guardian, would be premature and beyond the province of a petition for a writ of Kalikasan. We also find
it unnecessary at this point to determine whether such waiver of State immunity is indeed absolute. In the
same vein, we cannot grant damages which have resulted from the violation of environmental laws. The Rules
allows the recovery of damages, including the collection of administrative fines under R.A. No. 10067, in a
separate civil suit or that deemed instituted with the criminal action charging the same violation of an
environmental law.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

CHINA NATIONAL MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT CORP. (GROUP), v. HON. CESAR D. SANTAMARIA, in his
official capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch 145, Regional Trial Court of Makati City, HERMINIO

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HARRY L. ROQUE, JR., JOEL R. BUTUYAN, ROGER R. RAYEL, ROMEL R. BAGARES, CHRISTOPHER
FRANCISCO C. BOLASTIG, LEAGUE OF URBAN POOR FOR ACTION (LUPA), KILUSAN NG MARALITA SA
MEYCAUAYAN (KMM-LUPA CHAPTER), DANILO M. CALDERON, VICENTE C. ALBAN, MERLYN M. VAAL,
LOLITA S. QUINONES, RICARDO D. LANOZO, JR., CONCHITA G. GOZO, MA. TERESA D. ZEPEDA, JOSEFINA
A. LANOZO, and SERGIO C. LEGASPI, JR., KALIPUNAN NG DAMAYANG MAHIHIRAP (KADAMAY), EDY
CLERIGO, RAMMIL DINGAL, NELSON B. TERRADO, CARMEN DEUNIDA, and EDUARDO LEGSON
G.R. No. 185572, February 7, 2012, SERENO, J.

According to the classical or absolute theory, a sovereign cannot, without its consent, be made a
respondent in the courts of another sovereign. According to the newer or restrictive theory, the immunity of the
sovereign is recognized only with regard to public acts or acts jure imperii of a state, but not with regard to
private acts or acts jure gestionis.

Facts:

Northrail and CNMEG executed a Contract Agreement for the construction of Section I, Phase I of the
North Luzon Railway System. Export Import Bank of China and the Department of Finance of the Philippines
(DOF) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding, wherein China agreed to extend Preferential Buyer’s
Credit to the Philippine government to finance the Northrail Project. Thereafter, Roque et al. filed a Complaint
for Annulment of Contract and Injunction with Urgent Motion for Summary Hearing to Determine the
Existence of Facts and Circumstances Justifying the Issuance of Writs of Preliminary Prohibitory and
Mandatory Injunction and/or TRO against CNMEG, the Office of the Executive Secretary, the DOF, the
Department of Budget and Management, the National Economic Development Authority and Northrail.
CNMEG filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that the trial court did not have jurisdiction over (a) its person, as it
was an agent of the Chinese government, making it immune from suit.

Issue:

Whether CNMEG is entitled to immunity.

Ruling:

NO. CNMEG is engaged in a proprietary activity. The Loan Agreement was entered into between
EXIM Bank and the Philippine government, while the Contract Agreement was between Northrail and
CNMEG. Although the Contract Agreement is silent on the classification of the legal nature of the transaction,
the foregoing provisions of the Loan Agreement, which is an inextricable part of the entire undertaking,
nonetheless reveal the intention of the parties to the Northrail Project to classify the whole venture as
commercial or proprietary in character.The application of the doctrine of immunity from suit has been
restricted to sovereign or governmental activities (jure imperii). The mantle of state immunity cannot be
extended to commercial, private and proprietary acts (jure gestionis).
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

JEFFREY LIANG (HUEFENG), v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. No. 125865, January 28, 2000, YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.

It is well-settled principle of law that a public official may be liable in his personal private capacity for
whatever damage he may have caused by his act done with malice or in bad faith or beyond the scope of his
authority or jurisdiction.

Facts:

Liang is an economist working with the Asian Development Bank (ADB). He was charged before the
MeTC of Mandaluyong City with two counts of grave oral defamation for allegedly uttering defamatory words

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against fellow ADB worker Joyce Cabal. Thereafter, MeTC judge received an "office of protocol" from the
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) stating that Liang is covered by immunity from legal process under
Section 45 of the Agreement between the ADB and the Philippine Government regarding the Headquarters of
the ADB (hereinafter Agreement) in the country. As a result, MeTc judge dismissed the two criminal cases.
However, RTC set aside the MeTC rulings and ordered the latter court to enforce the warrant of arrest. Liang
elevated the case to the Supreme Court via a petition for review arguing that he is covered by immunity under
the Agreement.

Issue:

Whether Liang is covered by the immunity under the agreement.

Ruling:

NO. Section 45 of the Agreement between the ADB and the Philippine Government regarding the
Headquarters of the ADB provides that Officers and staff of the Bank including for the purpose of this Article
experts and consultants performing missions for the Bank shall enjoy immunity from legal process with
respect to acts performed by them in their official capacity except when the Bank waives the immunity. The
immunity mentioned therein is not absolute, but subject to the exception that the acts was done in "official
capacity”. Slandering a person is not covered by the immunity agreement because Philippines laws do not
allow the commission of a crime, such as defamation, in the name of official duty.

SEPARATION OF POWERS AND CHECKS AND BALANCES

PASTOR M. ENDENCIA and FERNANDO JUGO, v. SATURNINO DAVID


G.R. No. L-6355-5, August 31, 1953, MONTEMAYOR, J.

The legislature cannot, upon passing a law which violates a constitutional provision, validate it so as to
prevent an attack thereon in the courts, by a declaration that it shall be so construed as not to violate the
constitutional inhibition.

Facts:

A petition was filed by Endencia and Jugo to declaring section 13 of Republic Act No. 590
unconstitutional. Section 13 of Republic Act No. 590 states that no salary wherever received by any public
officer of the Republic of the Philippines shall be considered as exempt from the income tax. The basis of the
petition were the Constitution, particularly section 9, Article VIII, mandates that judicial officers are exempt
from payment of income tax on their salaries, because the collection thereof was a diminution of such
salaries, specifically prohibited by the Constitution and Supreme Court decision.

Issue:

Whether the Legislature can lawfully declare the collection of income tax on the salary of a public
official, specially a judicial officer, after the Supreme Court has found and decided otherwise.

Ruling:

NO. Before the courts can determine whether a law is constitutional or not, it will have to interpret
and ascertain the meaning not only of said law, but also of the pertinent portion of the Constitution in order
to decide whether there is a conflict between the two, and if there is, then the law will have to give way and
has to be declared invalid and unconstitutional. The collection of income tax on the salary of a judicial officer
is a diminution thereof and so violates the Constitution. Supreme Court further held that the interpretation
and application of the Constitution and of statutes is within the exclusive province and jurisdiction of the

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Judicial department. In enacting a law, the Legislature may not legally provide therein that it be interpreted in
such a way that it may not violate a Constitutional prohibition, thereby tying the hands of the courts in their
task of later interpreting said statute, especially when the interpretation sought and provided in said statute
runs counter to a previous interpretation already given in a case by the highest court of the land.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SAMEER OVERSEAS PLACEMENT AGENCY, INC., v. JOY C. CABILES


G.R. No. 170139, August 5, 2014, LEONEN, J.

The Court is possessed with the constitutional duty to promulgate rules concerning the protection and
enforcement of constitutional rights.

Facts:

Sameer Overseas Placement Agency, Inc., is a recruitment and placement agency. Joy C. Cabiles
deployed to work for Taiwan Wacoal, Co. Ltd. to work as quality control for one year. Thereafter, without
prior notice, she was terminated. This prompted Joy to file a complaint before NLRC against petitioner and
Wacoal for illegally dismissal. She asked for the return of her placement fee, the withheld amount for
repatriation costs, payment of her salary for 23 months as well as moral and exemplary damages. LA
dismissed her complaint. Joy appealed to the NLRC and the latter reversed the decision. Sameer appealed
before the CA which affirmed the decision of the NLRC. CA under Sec. 10 of RA 8042 and RA 10022 awarded
Cabiles NT$46,080.00 or the three month equivalent of her salary, attorney’s fees of NT$300.00, and the
reimbursement of the withheld NT$3,000.00 salary, which answered for her repatriation. SC reversed the CA
and ruled that the clause "or for three (3) months for every year of the unexpired term, whichever is less" Sec.
10 of RA 8042 and RA 10022 is unconstitutional for violating the equal protection clause and substantive due
process.

Issue:

Whether Congress classification may be subjected to judicial review.

Ruling:

YES. When RA 10022 was passed it incorporates the exact clause from R.A. 8042 which was already
declared as unconstitutional, without any perceived substantial change in the circumstances. This may cause
confusion on the part of the National Labor Relations Commission and the Court of Appeals. When cases
become moot and academic, SC do not hesitate to provide for guidance to bench and bar in situations where
the same violations are capable of repetition but will evade review. Limiting wages that should be recovered
by an illegally dismissed overseas worker to three months is both a violation of due process and the equal
protection clauses of the Constitution. The Congress’ classification may be subjected to judicial review. In
Serrano, there is a "legislative classification which impermissibly interferes with the exercise of a
fundamental right or operates to the peculiar disadvantage of a suspect class. Overseas workers regardless of
their classifications are entitled to security of tenure, at least for the period agreed upon in their contracts.
This means that they cannot be dismissed before the end of their contract terms without due process. If they
were illegally dismissed, the workers’ right to security of tenure is violated.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

BLAS F. OPLE, v. RUBEN D. TORRES, ALEXANDER AGUIRRE, HECTOR VILLANUEVA, CIELITO HABITO,
ROBERT BARBERS, CARMENCITA REODICA, CESAR SARINO, RENATO VALENCIA, TOMAS P. AFRICA,
HEAD OF THE NATIONAL COMPUTER CENTER and CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT
G.R. No. 127685, July 23, 1998, PUNO, J.

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Administrative power is concerned with the work of applying policies and enforcing orders as
determined by proper governmental organs. It enables the President to fix a uniform standard of administrative
efficiency and check the official conduct of his agents.

Facts:

Senator Blas F. Ople prays to declare Administrative Order No. 308 entitled "Adoption of a National
Computerized Identification Reference System" invalid on two constitutional grounds, first, it is a usurpation
of the power of Congress to legislate, and second, it impermissibly intrudes on our citizenry's protected zone
of privacy. According to Senator Ople, A.O. No. 308 establishes a system of identification that is all-
encompassing in scope, affects the life and liberty of every Filipino citizen and foreign resident, violates their
right to privacy and also not a mere administrative order but a law and hence, beyond the power of the
President to issue.

Issue:

Whether Administrative Order No. 308 is beyond the power of the President.

Ruling:

YES. While Congress is vested with the power to enact laws, the President executes the laws. The
executive power is generally defined as the power to enforce and administer the laws. It is the power of
carrying the laws into practical operation and enforcing their due observance.

A.O. No. 308 does not merely implement the Administrative Code of 1987. It establishes for the first
time a National Computerized Identification Reference System. Such a System requires a delicate adjustment
of various contending state policies — the primacy of national security, the extent of privacy interest against
dossier-gathering by government, the choice of policies, etc. As said administrative order redefines the
parameters of some basic rights of our citizenry vis-a-vis the State as well as the line that separates the
administrative power of the President to make rules and the legislative power of Congress, it ought to be
evident that it deals with a subject that should be covered by law.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

KILUSANG MAYO UNO, NATIONAL FEDERATION OF LABOR UNIONS-KILUSANG MAYO UNO (NAFLU-
KMU), JOSELITO V. USTAREZ, EMILIA P. DAPULANG, SALVADOR T. CARRANZA, MARTIN T. CUSTODIO,
JR. and ROQUE M. TAN, v. THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL, NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
AUTHORITY, and THE SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET and MANAGEMENT

The act of issuing ID cards and collecting the necessary personal data for imprinting on the ID card does
not require legislation.

Facts:

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued EO 420 requiring all government agencies and
government-owned and controlled corporations to streamline and harmonize their identification systems.
Section 3 of EO 420 limits the data to be collected and recorded under the uniform ID system to only 14
specific items, namely: (1) Name; (2) Home Address; (3) Sex; (4) Picture; (5) Signature; (6) Date of Birth; (7)
Place of Birth; (8) Marital Status; (9) Name of Parents; (10) Height; (11) Weight; (12) Two index fingers and
two thumbmarks; (13) Any prominent distinguishing features like moles or others; and (14) Tax
Identification Number. KMU challenges the constitutionality of EO 420 because it allegedly usurped the
legislative power of Congress as President Arroyo has no power to issue EO 420 and that the implementation
of the EO will use public funds not appropriated by Congress for that purpose.

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Issue:

Whether EO 420 is a usurpation of legislative power by the President.

Ruling:

NO. What require legislation are three aspects of a government maintained ID card system. First,
when the implementation of an ID card system requires a special appropriation because there is no existing
appropriation for such purpose. Second, when the ID card system is compulsory on all branches of
government, including the independent constitutional commissions, as well as compulsory on all citizens
whether they have a use for the ID card or not. Third, when the ID card system requires the collection and
recording of personal data beyond what is routinely or usually required for such purpose, such that the
citizen’s right to privacy is infringed.

In the present case, EO 420 does not require any special appropriation because the existing ID card
systems of government entities covered by EO 420 have the proper appropriation or funding. EO 420 is not
compulsory on all branches of government and is not compulsory on all citizens. EO 420 requires a very
narrow and focused collection and recording of personal data while safeguarding the confidentiality of such
data. In fact, the data collected and recorded under EO 420 are far less than the data collected and recorded
under the ID systems existing prior to EO 420.

The adoption of a uniform ID data collection and format under EO 420 is designed to reduce costs,
increase efficiency, and in general, improve public services. Thus, in issuing EO 420, the President is simply
performing the constitutional duty to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. EDUARDO ERMITA


G.R. No. 169777 April 20, 2006, Carpio, Morales J.

While executive privilege is a constitutional concept, a claim thereof may be valid or not depending on
the ground invoked to justify it and the context in which it is made.

Facts:

The Committee of the Senate issued invitations to various officials of the Executive Department for
them to appear as resource speakers in a public hearing on the railway project of the North Luzon Railways
Corporation with the China National Machinery and Equipment Group (hereinafter North Rail Project).
Thereafter, President issued Executive Order 464, ensuring observance of the principle of separation of
powers, adherence to the rule on executive privilege and respect for the rights of public officials appearing in
legislative inquiries in aid of legislation under the constitution. Section 2 in relation to 3 of the said executive
order states that Senior officials of executive departments who in the judgment of the department heads shall
secure prior consent of the President prior to appearing before either House of Congress to ensure the
observance of the principle of separation of powers, adherence to the rule on executive privilege and respect
for the rights of public officials appearing in inquiries in aid of legislation. As a result, Bayan Muna, House of
Representatives Members Satur Ocampo et al., all claiming to have standing to file the suit because of the
transcendental importance of the issues they posed, pray, in their petition that E.O. 464 be declared null and
void for violating the power of inquiry vested in Congress being hence, unconstitutional.

Issue:

Whether Section 3 and Section 2(b) of E.O. 464 contravene the power of inquiry vested in Congress.

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Ruling:

YES. Section 2(b) in relation to Section 3 provides that, once the head of office determines that a
certain information is privileged, such determination is presumed to bear the President’s authority and has
the effect of prohibiting the official from appearing before Congress, subject only to the express
pronouncement of the President that it is allowing the appearance of such official. These provisions thus
allow the President to authorize claims of privilege by mere silence. Such presumptive authorization,
however, is contrary to the exceptional nature of the privilege. Executive privilege is recognized with respect
to information the confidential nature of which is crucial to the fulfillment of the unique role and
responsibilities of the executive branch, or in those instances where exemption from disclosure is necessary
to the discharge of highly important executive responsibilities. The doctrine of executive privilege is thus
premised on the fact that certain information must, as a matter of necessity, be kept confidential in pursuit of
the public interest.

In light of this highly exceptional nature of the privilege, the Court finds it essential to limit to the
President the power to invoke the privilege. The privilege being an extraordinary power, it must be wielded
only by the highest official in the executive hierarchy. In other words, the President may not authorize her
subordinates to exercise such power.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ROMMEL JACINTO DANTES SILVERIO, v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. No. 174689, October 22, 2007, CORONA, J.:

The determination of a person’s gender appearing in his birth certificate is a legal issue and the court
must look to the statutes.

Facts:

Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio filed a petition for the change of his first name and sex in his birth
certificate in the RTC. He prays that his name to Mely and gender be changed to female since he underwent
sex reassignment surgery. Trial court rendered a decision in favor of Silverio. Republic of the Philippines, thru
the OSG, filed a petition for certiorari in the CA. OSG alleges that there is no law allowing the change of entries
in the birth certificate by reason of sex alteration. Court of Appeals rendered a decision in favor of the
Republic.

Issue:

Whether it is within the power of the court to change Silverio’s gender and name on the ground of
sex reassignment.

Ruling:

NO. It is within the power of the legislative to determine what guidelines should govern the
recognition of the effects of sex reassignment. The need for legislative guidelines becomes particularly
important in this case where the claims asserted are statute-based. It is the statutes that defines who may file
petitions for change of first name and for correction or change of entries in the civil registry, where they may
be filed, what grounds may be invoked, what proof must be presented and what procedures shall be
observed. If the legislature intends to confer on a person who has undergone sex reassignment the privilege
to change his name and sex to conform with his reassigned sex, it has to enact legislation laying down the
guidelines in turn governing the conferment of that privilege.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, vs. FLORENCIO M. REYES, Officer-in-Charge, and RENE DE
GUZMAN, Clerk, Regional Trial Court, Branch 31, Guimba, Nueva Ecija
A.M. No. P-08-2535, June 23, 2010, Per curiam

Legislative policy as embodied in Republic Act No. 9165 in deterring dangerous drug use by resort to
sustainable programs of rehabilitation and treatment must be considered in light of this Court’s constitutional
power of administrative supervision over courts and court personnel.

Facts:

A complaint for gross misconduct against Rene de Guzman, Clerk, RTC of Guimba, Nueva Ecija by
Atty. Hugo B. Sansano, Jr. alleged incompetence/inefficiency in the transmittal of the records of Criminal Case
No. 1144-G to the Court of Appeals. De Guzman was also asked to comment on the allegation that he is using
illegal drugs and had been manifesting irrational and queer behavior while at work. Thereafter, Nueva Ecija
Provincial Crime Laboratory Office after mandatory drug testing found de Guzman positive for "marijuana"
and "shabu”. As a result, OCA recommended that de Guzman be held guilty of two counts of gross misconduct.
Majority of the SC adopts the OCA’s recommendation. On the other hand, the minority opines that the SC’s
action in this case contravenes an express public policy, under Republic Act No. 9165 "imprisonment for drug
dealers and pushers, rehabilitation for their victims." They also posit that De Guzman’s failure to properly
perform his duties and promptly respond to Court orders precisely springs from his drug addiction that
requires rehabilitation.

Issue:

Whether or the not De Guzman must be sanctioned despite the underlying policy under Republic Act
No. 9165.

Ruling:

YES. The legislative power imposing policies through laws is not unlimited and is subject to the
substantive and constitutional limitations that set parameters both in the exercise of the power itself and the
allowable subjects of legislation. As such, it cannot limit the Court’s power to impose disciplinary actions
against erring justices, judges and court personnel. Neither should such policy be used to restrict the Court’s
power to preserve and maintain the Judiciary’s honor, dignity and integrity and public confidence that can
only be achieved by imposing strict and rigid standards of decency and propriety governing the conduct of
justices, judges and court employees.

Finally, it must be emphasized at this juncture that De Guzman’s dismissal is not grounded only on
his being a drug user. His outright dismissal from the service is likewise anchored on his contumacious and
repeated acts of not heeding the directives of this Court. As we have already stated, such attitude betrays not
only a recalcitrant streak of character, but also disrespect for the lawful orders and directives of the Court.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

BAGUAN M. MAMISCAL v. CLERK OF COURT MACALINOG S. ABDULLAH, SHARI'A CIRCUIT COURT,


MARAWI CITY
A.M. No.SCC-13-18-J, July 1, 2015, MENDOZA, J.

Shari’a Circuit Court which, under the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines (Muslim Code)
enjoys exclusive original jurisdiction to resolve disputes relating to divorce.

Facts:

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Mamiscal and Adelaidah decided to have divorce repudiated Adelaidahs (talaq) embodied in an
agreement (kapasadan) but later on they reconciled. Despite such, Adelaidah still filed the Certificate of
Divorce (COD) with the office of Abdullah for registration. Albeit the same was not signed by Mamiscal it was
annotated in the certificate that it was executed in the presence of two witnesses and in accordance with
Islamic Law. Abdullah then issued the Certificate of Registration of Divorce finalizing the same. It was
opposed through a motion by Mamiscal contended that the kapasadan and the COD was invalid because he
did not prepare such and that there were no witnesses to its execution but it was denied by Abdullah opined
that it was his ministerial duty to receive the COD and the attached kapasadan. Mamiscal then filed a
complaint with the SC against Abdullah charging the same with partiality, violation of due process,
dishonesty, and conduct unbecoming of a court employee.

Issue:

Whether or not the SC has jurisdiction to impose administrative sanction against Abdullah for his
acts

Ruling:

NO. Shari’a Circuit Court which, under the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines (Muslim
Code) enjoys exclusive original jurisdiction to resolve disputes relating to divorce.

The civil registrar is the person charged by law for the recording of vital events and other documents
affecting the civil status of persons. The Civil Registry Law embraces all acts of civil life affecting the status of
persons and is applicable to all persons residing in the Philippines. Under Article 185 of the Muslim Code
provides that neglect of duty by registrars. Any district registrar or circuit registrar who fails to perform
properly his duties in accordance with this Code shall be penalized in accordance with Section 18 of Act 3753
states that “any local registrar who fails to properly perform his duties in accordance with the provisions of
this Act and of the regulations issued hereunder, shall be punished for the first offense, by an administrative
fine in a sum equal to his salary for not less than fifteen days nor more than three months, and for a second or
repeated offense, by removal from the service.”

Prescinding from the foregoing, it becomes apparent that SC Court does not have jurisdiction to
impose the proper disciplinary action against civil registrars. While he is undoubtedly a member of the
Judiciary as Clerk of Court of the Shari'a Circuit Court, a review of the subject complaint reveals that Mamiscal
seeks to hold Abdullah liable for registering the divorce and issuing the CRD pursuant to his duties as Circuit
Registrar of Muslim divorces. It has been said that the test of jurisdiction is the nature of the offense and not
the personality of the offender. The fact that the complaint charges Abdullah for "conduct unbecoming of a
court employee" is of no moment. Well-settled is the rule that what controls is not the designation of the
offense but the actual facts recited in the complaint. Verily, unless jurisdiction has been conferred by some
legislative act, no court or tribunal can act on a matter submitted to it.

SERGIO OSMEÑA, JR. v. SALIPADA K. PENDATUN ET AL.


G.R. No.L-17144, October 28, 1960, BENGZON, J.

There is no provision authority courts to control, direct, supervise, or forbid the exercise by either house
of the power to expel a member. These powers are functions of the legislative department and therefore, in the
exercise of the power this committed to it, the senate is supreme. An attempt by this court to direct or control the
legislature, or either house thereof, in the exercise of the power, would be an attempt to exercise legislative
functions, which it is expressly forbidden to do.

Facts:

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Congressman Sergio Osmena Jr. delivered his privilege speech wherein he attacked the President of
the Philippines that it committed crime but did not substantiate such with evidence. Thus, the Congress
issued a House Resolution which created Special Committee which to investigate whether or not
Congressman Osmenas speech is with basis or pure assault. Congressman Osmena filed a petition for
declaratory relief, certiorari, and prohibition with preliminary injunction against the special committee to
enjoin them from proceedings because it is a ground of infringement of his parliamentary immunity.
However, the special committee ruled that the allegations of Osmena is without basis. Thus, he was
suspended. The petition of Osmena was opposed by the Congress contending that it is within its discretion to
punish its erring members and cannot be interfered by the SC.

Issue:

Whether the Supreme Court may intervene in a disciplinary action against a member of Congress.

Ruling:

NO. On the question whether delivery of speeches attacking the Chief Executive constitutes
disorderly conduct for which Osmeña may be discipline, many arguments pro and con have been advanced.
SC believe, however, that the House is the judge of what constitutes disorderly behaviour, not only because
the Constitution has conferred jurisdiction upon it, but also because the matter depends mainly on factual
circumstances of which the House knows best but which cannot be depicted in black and white for
presentation to, and adjudication by the Courts. For one thing, if this Court assumed the power to determine
whether Osmeña conduct constituted disorderly behaviour, it would thereby have assumed appellate
jurisdiction, which the Constitution never intended to confer upon a coordinate branch of the Government.

The theory of separation of powers fastidiously observed by this Court, demands in such situation a
prudent refusal to interfere. Each department, it has been said, had exclusive cognizance of matters within its
jurisdiction and is supreme within its own sphere.

Judicial Interference with Legislature provides that the principle is well established that the courts
will not assume a jurisdiction in any case amount to an interference by the judicial department with the
legislature since each department is equally independent within the power conferred upon it by the
Constitution. The general rule has been applied in other cases to cause the courts to refuse to intervene in
what are exclusively legislative functions. Thus, where the stated Senate is given the power to example a
member, the court will not review its action or revise even a most arbitrary or unfair decision. Under our
form of government, the judicial department has no power to revise even the most arbitrary and unfair action
of the legislative department, or of either house thereof, taking in pursuance of the power committed
exclusively to that department by the Constitution. It has been held by high authority that, even in the
absence of an express provision conferring the power, every legislative body in which is vested the general
legislative power of the state has the implied power to expel a member for any cause which it may deem
sufficient.

In Hiss. vs. Barlett, (3 Gray 473, 63 Am. Dec. 768,) the supreme court of Mass. says, in substance, that this
power is inherent in every legislative body; that it is necessary to the to enable the body 'to perform its high
functions, and is necessary to the safety of the state;' 'That it is a power of self-protection, and that the
legislative body must necessarily be the sole judge of the exigency which may justify and require its exercise.
There is no provision authority courts to control, direct, supervise, or forbid the exercise by either house of
the power to expel a member. These powers are functions of the legislative department and therefore, in the
exercise of the power this committed to it, the senate is supreme. An attempt by this court to direct or control
the legislature, or either house thereof, in the exercise of the power, would be an attempt to exercise
legislative functions, which it is expressly forbidden to do.

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JOKER P. ARROYO ET.AL. v. JOSE DE VENECIA ET AL.


G.R. No. 127255, August 14, 1997, MENDOZA, J.

At any rate, courts have declared that 'the rules adopted by deliberative bodies are subject to
revocation, modification or waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them.' And it has been said that
'Parliamentary rules are merely procedural, and with their observance, the courts have no concern. They may be
waived or disregarded by the legislative body.' Consequently, 'mere failure to conform to parliamentary usage
will not invalidate the action (taken by a deliberative body) when the requisite number of members have agreed
to a particular measure.'

Facts:

Arroyo questioned the validity of RA No. 8240 which amends certain provisions of NIRC imposing sin
taxes on manufacture and sale of beer and cigarettes. He alleged that law was passed in violation of Internal
House Rules. Arroyo contend that the House rules were adopted pursuant to the constitutional provision that
"each House may determine the rules of its proceedings" and that for this reason they are judicially
enforceable. He filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition before the SC. Jose De Venecia on his defense is
anchored on the principle of separation of powers and the enrolled bill doctrine. He argued that the Court is
not the proper forum for the enforcement of the rules of the House and that there is no justification for
reconsidering the enrolled bill doctrine. Although the Constitution provides in Art. VI, §16(3) for the adoption
by each House of its rules of proceedings, enforcement of the rules cannot be sought in the courts except
insofar as they implement constitutional requirements such as that relating to three readings on separate
days before a bill may be passed.

Issue:

Whether or not the Courts may enforce Internal House Rules

Ruling:

No, It is clear from the foregoing facts that what is alleged to have been violated in the enactment of
R.A. No. 8240 are merely internal rules of procedure of the House rather than constitutional requirements for
the enactment of a law, i.e., Art. VI, §§26-27.

Arroyo contend that the House rules were adopted pursuant to the constitutional provision that
"each House may determine the rules of its proceedings" and that for this reason they are judicially
enforceable. To begin with, this contention stands the principle on its head. In the decided cases, the
constitutional provision that "each House may determine the rules of its proceedings" was invoked by parties,
although not successfully, precisely to support claims of autonomy of the legislative branch to conduct its
business free from interference by courts. Here petitioners cite the provision for the opposite purpose of
invoking judicial review.

But the cases, both here and abroad, in varying forms of expression, all deny to the courts the power
to inquire into allegations that, in enacting a law, a House of Congress failed to comply with its own rules, in
the absence of showing that there was a violation of a constitutional provision or the rights of private
individuals.

In this case no rights of private individuals are involved but only those of a member who, instead of
seeking redress in the House, chose to transfer the dispute to this Court. SC has no more power to look into
the internal proceedings of a House than members of that House have to look over our shoulders, as long as
no violation of constitutional provisions is shown. Arroyo must realize that each of the three departments of
our government has its separate sphere which the others may not invade without upsetting the delicate
balance on which our constitutional order rests. Due regard for the working of our system of government,

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more than mere comity, compels reluctance on our part to enter upon an inquiry into an alleged violation of
the rules of the House.

DELEGATION OF POWERS

SOUTHERN CROSS CEMENT CORPORATION v. THE PHILIPPINE CEMENT MANUFACTURERS CORP., ET


AL.
G.R. No. 158540, July 8, 2004, TINGA, J.

The Congress may, by law, authorize the President to fix within specified limits, and subject to such
limitations and restrictions as it may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues,
and other duties or imposts within the framework of the national development program of the Government.

Facts:

Philippine Cement Manufaturers Corporation is an association of domestic cement manufacturers. It


contended that because of the importation of Gray Portland cement, it affected caused declines in domestic
production, capacity utilization, market share, sales and employment; as well as caused depressed local
prices. It sought the imposition of provisional remedies but the Tariff Commissioner did not grant such
imposition. DTI then imposed the provisional remedies in violation of the Safeguard Measures (SMA). This
was then alleged by South Cement that DTI cannot impose provisional remedies since Tariff Commissioner
did not approve such. It was contended by South Cement that the power delegated by Congress to President
in case of tariff and customs is absolute.

Issue:

Whether the power of the President delegated by the Congress in case of tariffs and customs code is
absolute and not subject to limitation.

Ruling:

NO. Section 28(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution confirms the delegation of legislative power,
yet ensures that the prerogative of Congress to impose limitations and restrictions on the executive exercise
of this power:

The Congress may, by law, authorize the President to fix within specified limits, and subject to such
limitations and restrictions as it may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage
dues, and other duties or imposts within the framework of the national development program of the
Government.

This delegation of the taxation power by the legislative to the executive is authorized by the
Constitution itself. At the same time, the Constitution also grants the delegating authority (Congress) the right
to impose restrictions and limitations on the taxation power delegated to the President. The restrictions and
limitations imposed by Congress take on the mantle of a constitutional command, which the executive branch
is obliged to observe.

The SMA empowered the DTI Secretary, as alter ego of the President, to impose definitive general
safeguard measures, which basically are tariff imposts of the type spoken of in the Constitution. However, the
law did not grant him full, uninhibited discretion to impose such measures. The DTI Secretary authority is
derived from the SMA; it does not flow from any inherent executive power. Thus, the limitations imposed by
Section 5 are absolute, warranted as they are by a constitutional fiat.

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PHILIPPINE AIR LINES, INC. v. CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD, and FILIPINAS ORIENT AIRWAYS
G.R. No. L-24219, June 13, 1968, CONCEPCION, C.J.:

Under, Section 10-C(1) of Republic Act No. 776, reads that CAB shall have the following specific power
and duty to issue, deny, amend, revise, alter, modify, cancel suspend or revoke, in whole or in part, upon
petitioners complaint, or upon its own initiative, any temporary operating permit or Certificate of Public
Convenience and Necessity; Provided, however, That in the case of foreign air carriers, the permit shall be issued
with the approval of the President of the Republic of the Philippines.

Facts:

Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) granted Filipinas Orient Airways Inc. provisional authority to operate
scheduled and non-scheduled domestic air services subject to specified conditions. However, Philippine Air
Lines opposed to such contending that CAB is not empowered to grant any provisional authority to operate,
prior to the submission for decision of the main application for a certificate of public convenience and
necessity.

Issue:

Whether or not CAB has the authority to grant provisional authority to operate

Ruling:

YES. Under, Section 10-C(1) of Republic Act No. 776, reads that CAB shall have the following specific
power and duty to issue, deny, amend, revise, alter, modify, cancel suspend or revoke, in whole or in part,
upon petitioners complaint, or upon its own initiative, any temporary operating permit or Certificate of Public
Convenience and Necessity; Provided, however, That in the case of foreign air carriers, the permit shall be
issued with the approval of the President of the Republic of the Philippines. This explicitly authorizes CAB to
issue a "temporary operating permit," and nothing contained, either in said section, or in Chapter IV of
Republic Act No. 776, negates the power to issue said "permit", before the completion of the applicant's
evidence and that of the oppositor thereto on the main petition. Indeed, the CAB's authority to grant a
temporary permit "upon its own initiative," strongly suggests the power to exercise said authority, even
before the presentation of said evidence has begun.

EMMANUEL PELAEZv.THE AUDITOR GENERAL


G.R. No. L-23825, December 24, 1965, CONCEPCION, J.

Although Congress may delegate to another branch of the Government the power to fill in the details in
the execution, enforcement or administration of a law, it is essential, to forestall a violation of the principle of
separation of powers, that said law: (a) be complete in itself — it must set forth therein the policy to be executed,
carried out or implemented by the delegate— and (b) fix a standard — the limits of which are sufficiently
determinate or determinable — to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions.

Facts:

President Marcos issued executive orders creating 33 municipalities pursuant to Section 68 of the
Revised Administrative Code (RAC). Later on Pelaez challenge the validity of the Executive Orders contending
that Section 68 was already repealed by Section 3 of RA 2370 which provides that barrios may not be created
or their boundaries may not be changed. The Auditor General contended that there was no repeal on the law
and maintains that under Section 68 of RAC congress has delegated the power to create Municipalities to the
President.

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Issue:

Whether under section 68 of RAC delegates to the President the authority to create municipalities

Ruling:

NO. Indeed, without a statutory declaration of policy, the delegate would in effect, make or formulate
such policy, which is the essence of every law; and, without the aforementioned standard, there would be no
means to determine, with reasonable certainty, whether the delegate has acted within or beyond the scope of
his authority. Hence, he could thereby arrogate upon himself the power, not only to make the law, but, also —
and this is worse — to unmake it, by adopting measures inconsistent with the end sought to be attained by
the Act of Congress, thus nullifying the principle of separation of powers and the system of checks and
balances, and, consequently, undermining the very foundation of our Republican system.

Thus, Section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code does not meet these well settled requirements
for a valid delegation of the power to fix the details in the enforcement of a law. It does not enunciate any
policy to be carried out or implemented by the President. Neither does it give a standard sufficiently precise
to avoid the evil effects above referred to.

SULTAN OSOP B. CAMID v. THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT


G.R. No. 161414, January 17, 2005, TINGA, J.:

President has no power to create municipalities, yet limited its nullificatory effects to the particular
municipalities challenged in actual cases before SC. However, with the promulgation of the Local Government
Code in 1991, the legal cloud was lifted over the municipalities similarly created by executive order but not
judicially annulled. Thus, creating a de facto municipality which is recognized to be existing.

Facts:

Municipality of Andong in Lanao del Sur was one of the Municipalities created by virtue of Executive
Order No. 107.4. However, the creation of the same was not valid since EO 107.4 was declared null and void
pursuant to the ruling of the SC in Pelaez v. Auditor General. But it was alleged by Camid that the Municipality
continued to exist but without local officials and no appropriation of funds for the same thus, must be
declared as a valid Municipality.

Issue:

Whether a municipality whose creation by executive fiat was previously voided by the SC may attain
recognition in the absence of any curative or reimplementing statute.

Ruling:

NO. The Court can employ a simplistic approach in resolving the substantive aspect of the petition,
merely by pointing out that the Municipality of Andong never existed. Executive Order No. 107, which
established Andong, was declared "null and void ab initio" in 1965 by this Court.

The de facto status of such municipalities as San Andres, Alicia and Sinacaban was recognized by this
Court, and Section 442(b) of the Local Government Code deemed curative whatever legal defects to title these
municipalities had labored under.

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However, Andong is not entitled to be recognized as a de facto municipal corporation Andong does
not meet the requisites set forth by Section 442(d) of the Local Government Code. Section 442(d) requires
that in order that the municipality created by executive order may receive recognition, they must "have their
respective set of elective municipal officials holding office at the time of the effectivity of the Local
Government Code." Camid admits that Andong has never elected its municipal officers at all. This incapacity
ties in with the fact that Andong was judicially annulled in 1965. Out of obeisance to our ruling in Pelaez, the
national government ceased to recognize the existence of Andong, depriving it of its share of the public funds,
and refusing to conduct municipal elections for the void municipality.

The failure to appropriate funds for Andong and the absence of elections in the municipality in the
last four decades are eloquent indicia of the non-recognition by the State of the existence of the town. The
certifications relied upon by Camid, issued by the DENR-CENRO and the National Statistics Office, can hardly
serve the purpose of attesting to Andong’s legal efficacy. In fact, both these certifications qualify that they
were issued upon the request of Camid, "to support the restoration or re-operation of the Municipality of
Andong, Lanao del Sur,” thus obviously conceding that the municipality is at present inoperative.

BAI SANDRA S. A. SEMA v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and DIDAGEN P. DILANGALEN


G.R. No. 177597, July 16, 2008, CARPIO, J.

Only Congress can create provinces and cities because the creation of provinces and cities necessarily
includes the creation of legislative districts, a power only Congress can exercise under Section 5, Article VI of the
Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution.

Facts:

Cotabato City is the first district of Maguindanao. Although it forms part of Maguindanao’s first
legislative district, it is not part of the ARMM but Region XII. ARMM Regional Assembly exercising its power to
create provinces under Art VI Section 9 of RA 9054 enacted Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 201 (MMA
Act 201) creating the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan which Maguindanao ratified. Cotabato City was then
became part of Shariff Kabunsuan.

Issue:

Whether Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, delegating to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to
create provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays, is constitutional

Ruling:

NO. Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054 is unconstitutional insofar as it grants to the ARMM Regional
Assembly the power to create provinces and cities, is void for it is contrary to the constitution, as well as
Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution.

The ARMM Regional Assembly cannot create a province without a legislative district because the
Constitution mandates that every province shall have a legislative district. Moreover, the ARMM Regional
Assembly cannot enact a law creating a national office like the office of a district representative of Congress
because the legislative powers of the ARMM Regional Assembly operate only within its territorial jurisdiction
as provided in Section 20, Article X of the Constitution. Thus, we rule that MMA Act 201, enacted by the
ARMM Regional Assembly and creating the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan, is void.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

RAMON P. BINAMIRA v. PETER D. GARRUCHO, JR.


G.R. No. 92008, July 30, 1990, CRUZ, J.

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Appointment involves the exercise of discretion, which because of its nature cannot be delegated.

Facts:

Binamira was designated as General Manager of the Philippine Tourism Authority by the Secretary of
tourism and Garrucho was then appointed by the President to the same position since Binamiras
appointment was not valid since it was not made by the latter. It was then opposed by Binamira for violation
of his security of tenure. He also contended that Secretary of Tourism has the authority to appoint which is
delegated by the President

Issue:

Whether the power to appoint by the President can be delegated.

Ruling:

NO. Appointment involves the exercise of discretion, which because of its nature cannot be
delegated. Legally speaking, it was not possible for Minister Gonzales to assume the exercise of that discretion
as an alter ego of the President. The appointment of the Banamira was not a merely mechanical or ministerial
act that could be validly performed by a subordinate even if he happened as in this case to be a member of the
Cabinet.

An officer to whom a discretion is entrusted cannot delegate it to another, the presumption being
that he was chosen because he was deemed fit and competent to exercise that judgment and discretion, and
unless the power to substitute another in his place has been given to him, he cannot delegate his duties to
another. In those cases in which the proper execution of the office requires, on the part of the officer, the
exercise of judgment or discretion, the presumption is that he was chosen because he was deemed fit and
competent to exercise that judgment and discretion, and, unless power to substitute another in his place has
been given to him, he cannot delegate his duties to another.

RODOLFO D. LLAMASv. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OSCAR ORBOS and MARIANO UN OCAMPO III
G.R. No. 99031, October 15, 1991, Paras, J.

The disciplinary authority to investigate, suspend, and remove provincial or city officials devolves at the
first instance on the Department of Interior and Local Government and ultimately on the President. Implicit in
this authority, however, is the "supervision and control" power of the President to reduce, if circumstances so
warrant, the imposable penalty or to modify the suspension or removal order, even "in the sense" of granting
executive clemency.

Facts:

A verified complaint was filed before the then Department of Local Government (DLG) against
private respondent Mariano Un Ocampo III (Ocampo), then incumbent governor of Tarlac, for allegedly
violating the Local Government Code as well as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. After trial, then
Secretary of DLG issued a decision finding Ocampo guilty of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Consequently, Ocampo was suspended from office for 90 days. Ocampo’s motion for reconsideration having
been denied, he elevated the matter to the Office of the President. Meanwhile, petitioner Rodolfo Llamas
(Llamas), then incumbent Vice-Governor of Tarlac, assumed the governorship while Ocampo was serving his
penalty of suspension. Subsequently thereafter, public respondent Orbos, by authority of the President,
issued a resolution granting executive clemency to private respondent Ocampo. Hence, the current petition.

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It is the position of Llamas that executive clemency could only be granted by the President in criminal
cases as there is nothing in the statute books or even in the Constitution which allows the grant thereof in
administrative cases.

Issue:

Whether the President can grant executive clemency in administrative cases.

Ruling:

YES. The disciplinary authority to investigate, suspend, and remove provincial or city officials
devolves at the first instance on the Department of Interior and Local Government (Secs. 61 and 65, B.P. Blg.
337) and ultimately on the President (Sec. 66). Implicit in this authority, however, is the "supervision and
control" power of the President to reduce, if circumstances so warrant, the imposable penalty or to modify
the suspension or removal order, even "in the sense" of granting executive clemency. "Control," within the
meaning of the Constitution, is the power to substitute one's own judgment for that of a subordinate. Under
the doctrine of Qualified Political Agency, the different executive departments are mere adjuncts of the
President. Their acts are presumptively the acts of the President until countermanded or reprobated by her
(Vinena v. Secretary, 67 Phil. 451; Free Telephone Workers Union vs. Minister of Labor and Employment, 108
SCRA 767 [1981]). Replying upon this view, it is urged by the Solicitor General that in the present case, the
President, in the exercise of her power of supervision and control over all executive departments, may
substitute her decision for that of her subordinate, most especially where the basis therefor would be to serve
the greater public interest. It is clearly within the power of the President not only to grant "executive
clemency" but also to reverse or modify a ruling issued by a subordinate against an erring public official,
where a reconsideration of the facts alleged would support the same. It is in this sense that the alleged
executive clemency was granted, after adducing reasons that subserve the public interest. — "the relative
success of . . . livelihood loan program."

NPC DRIVERS AND MECHANICS ASSOCIATION, (NPC DAMA), represented by Its President ROGER S.
SAN JUAN, SR., NPC EMPLOYEES & WORKERS UNION (NEWU) NORTHERN LUZON REGIONAL CENTER,
represented by its Regional President JIMMY D. SALMAN, in their own individual capacities and in
behalf of the members of the associations and all affected officers and employees of National Power
Corporation (NPC), ZOL D. MEDINA, NARCISO M. MAGANTE, VICENTE B. CIRIO, JR., NECITAS B.
CAMAMA, in their individual capacities as employees of National Power Corporationv. THE NATIONAL
POWER CORPORATION (NPC), NATIONAL POWER BOARD OF DIRECTORS (NPB), JOSE ISIDRO N.
CAMACHO as Chairman of the National Power Board of Directors (NPB), ROLANDO S. QUILALA, as
President Officer-in-charge/CEO of National Power Corporation and Member of National Power
Board, and VINCENT S. PEREZ, JR., EMILIA T. BONCODIN, MARIUS P. CORPUS, RUBEN S. REINOSO, JR.,
GREGORY L. DOMINGO and NIEVES L. OSORIO
G.R. No. 156208, September 26, 2006, Chico-Nazario, J.

In those cases in which the proper execution of the office requires, on the part of the officer, the exercise
of judgment or discretion, the presumption is that he was chosen because he was deemed fit and competent to
exercise that judgment and discretion, and, unless power to substitute another in his place has been given to him,
he cannot delegate his duties to another. However, a delegate may exercise his authority through persons he
appoints to assist him in his functions provided that the judgment and discretion finally exercised are those
of the officer authorized by law.

Facts:

On 8 June 2001, Republic Act No. 9136, otherwise known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act
of 2001 (EPIRA Law), was approved and signed into law by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Under

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the EPIRA Law a new National Power Board of Directors was constituted composed of the Secretary of
Finance as Chairman, with the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Budget and Management, the Secretary of
Agriculture, the Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority, the Secretary of
Environment and Natural Resources, the Secretary of Interior and Local Government, the Secretary of the
Department of Trade and Industry, and the President of the National Power Corporation as members.
Subsequently thereafter, the NPB passed NPB Resolution No. 2002-124 which provided for the Guidelines on
the Separation Program of the NPC and the Selection and Placement of Personnel in the NPC Table of
Organization. Under said Resolution, all NPC personnel shall be legally terminated on 31 January 2003, and
shall be entitled to separation benefits. On the same day, the NPB approved NPB Resolution No. 2002-125,
whereby a Transition Team was constituted to manage and implement the NPCs Separation Program.

Arguing that NPB Resolution Nos. 2002-124 and 2002-125 are void for having been issued by only
three members of the Board of Directors of the NPC, petitioners filed the present Petition for Injunction
praying that the implementation of the said Resolutions be enjoined. According to the petitioners although
there were seven board members who were present during the meeting where the assailed Board
Resolutions were passed, four of the board members who were present therein and signed the questioned
resolutions were not the secretaries of their respective departments but were merely representatives or
designated alternates of the officials who were named under the EPIRA Law to sit as members of the
NPB. Petitioners claim that the acts of these representatives are violative of the well-settled principle that
delegated power cannot be further delegated.

Issue:

Whether or not NPB Resolution Nos. 2002-124 and 2002-125 are void.

Ruling:

YES. In enumerating under Section 48 those who shall compose the National Power Board of
Directors, the legislature has vested upon these persons the power to exercise their judgment and discretion
in running the affairs of the NPC. Discretion may be defined as the act or the liberty to decide according to the
principles of justice and ones ideas of what is right and proper under the circumstances, without willfulness
or favor. Discretion, when applied to public functionaries, means a power or right conferred upon them by
law of acting officially in certain circumstances, according to the dictates of their own judgment and
conscience, uncontrolled by the judgment or conscience of others. It is to be presumed that in naming the
respective department heads as members of the board of directors, the legislature chose these secretaries of
the various executive departments on the basis of their personal qualifications and acumen which made them
eligible to occupy their present positions as department heads. Thus, the department secretaries cannot
delegate their duties as members of the NPB, much less their power to vote and approve board resolutions,
because it is their personal judgment that must be exercised in the fulfillment of such responsibility.

STATE PRINCIPLES AND POLICIES

LEON G. MAQUERA v. JUAN BORRA, CESAR MIRAFLOR, and GREGORIO SANTAYANA, in their respective
capacities as Chairman and Members of the Commission on Elections, and the COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS
G.R. No. L-24761, September 7, 1965, Per Curiam

The Constitution provides for the qualifications required to be met before a person may be allowed to
run for public office. No property qualification of any kind is thereunder required. Consequently, a law requiring
the posting of a bond before a person may be allowed to run for public office is void for being unconstitutional.

Facts:

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The Congress passed Republic Act 4421 requiring all candidates for national, provincial, city and
municipal offices to post a surety bond equivalent to the one-year salary or emoluments of the position to
which he is a candidate. In compliance with said Republic Act No. 4421, the Commission on Elections had, on
July 20, 1965, decided to require all candidates for President, Vice-President, Senator and Member of the
House of Representatives to file a surety bond, by a bonding company of good reputation, acceptable to the
Commission.

Finding RA 4421 as well as the aforementioned action of the COMELEC to be undemocratic and
contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution, the petitioners filed the present petition assailing the
constitutionality of RA 4421.

Issue:

Whether RA 4421 is constitutional.

Ruling:

NO. Said property qualifications are inconsistent with the nature and essence of the Republican
system ordained in our Constitution and the principle of social justice underlying the same, for said political
system is premised upon the tenet that sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority
emanates from them, and this, in turn, implies necessarily that the right to vote and to be voted for shall not
be dependent upon the wealth of the individual concerned, whereas social justice presupposes equal
opportunity for all, rich and poor alike, and that, accordingly, no person shall, by reason of poverty, be denied
the chance to be elected to public office.

ZACARIAS VILLAVICENCIO, ET AL. v. JUSTO LUKBAN, ET AL.


G.R. No. L-14639, March 25, 1919, Malcolm, J.

No freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or be disseized of his freehold, or liberties, or free customs, or
be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will we pass upon him nor condemn him, but by lawful
judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

Facts:

Respondent Justo Lukban (Lukban), then Mayor of the City of Manila, ordered the segregation of 170
women considered to be of ill repute and directed that they be sent to Mindanao to work as laborers therein.
About midnight of October 25, 1918, the police, acting pursuant to orders from the chief of police, Anton
Hohmann (Hohmann) and City Mayor Lukban, forcibly hustled on board two steamers going to Mindanao the
170 women. The women were given no opportunity to collect their belongings. They had no knowledge that
they were destined for a life in Mindanao. They had not been asked if they wished to depart from that region
and had neither directly nor indirectly given their consent to the deportation.

Issue:

Whether City Mayor Lukban has the authority to order the deportation of the 170 women.

Ruling:

NO. Law defines power. Centuries ago Magna Charta decreed that — "No freeman shall be taken, or
imprisoned, or be disseized of his freehold, or liberties, or free customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any
other wise destroyed; nor will we pass upon him nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his peers or by

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the law of the land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either justice or right."
(Magna Charta, 9 Hen., 111, 1225, Cap. 29; 1 eng. stat. at Large, 7.) No official, no matter how high, is above
the law. The courts are the forum which functionate to safeguard individual liberty and to punish official
transgressors. "The law," said Justice Miller, delivering the opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States,
"is the only supreme power in our system of government, and every man who by accepting office participates
in its functions is only the more strongly bound to submit to that supremacy, and to observe the limitations
which it imposes upon the exercise of the authority which it gives." (U.S. vs. Lee [1882], 106 U.S., 196, 220.)
"The very idea," said Justice Matthews of the same high tribunal in another case, "that one man may be
compelled to hold his life, or the means of living, or any material right essential to the enjoyment of life, at the
mere will of another, seems to be intolerable in any country where freedom prevails, as being the essence of
slavery itself." (Yick Wo vs. Hopkins [1886], 118 U.S., 356, 370.)

CITY OF MANILA and MAYOR ANTONIO J. VILLEGAS, in his capacity as City Mayor of Manila vs.
ABELARDO SUBIDO, in his capacity as Commissioner of Civil Service; HERMINIO A. ASTORGA, in his
capacity as Vice-Mayor and Presiding Officer of the Municipal Board, Manila; FELICISIMO REYES
CABIGAO and GERINO M. TOLENTINO, in their respective capacity as Members of the Municipal Board
of Manila
G.R. No. L-25835 May 20, 1966 BENGZON, C.J.

Nothing is better settled in the law than that a public official exercises power, not rights. The
government itself is merely an agency through which the will of the state is expressed and enforced. Its officers
therefore are likewise agents entrusted with the responsibility of discharging its functions. As such there is no
presumption that they are empowered to act. There must be a delegation of such authority, either express or
implied. In the absence of a valid grant, they are devoid of power. It must be conceded that departmental zeal
may not be permitted to outrun the authority conferred by statute. Neither the high dignity of the office nor the
righteousness of the motive then is an acceptable substitute. Otherwise the rule of law becomes a myth. Such an
eventuality, we must take all pains to avoid.

Facts:

91 women as street sweepers in the City of Manila was appointed by the then City Mayor of Manila
Petitioner Antonio Villegas (Villegas). The appointment of the 91 women as street sweepers was subject to
the approval of the Office of the Civil Service Commission. Respondent Abelardo Subido (Subido), in his
capacity as Commissioner of Civil Service, however, refused to extend the approval of such appointment on
the ground that the appointment of women as street sweepers is in violation of Memorandum Circular No. 18
series of 1964 which prohibits the appointment of women to positions requiring them to perform manual
labor outside offices. According to the questioned Memorandum Circular the act of putting women workers
with men workers outside under the heat of the sun and placing them under manual labor exposes them to
contempt and ridicule and constitutes a violation of the traditional dignity and respect accorded Filipino
womanhood. Villegas on the other hand argues that Memorandum Circular No. 18 series of 1964 have been
declared to be without force and effect by the Office of the President under a fifth endorsement to Villegas on
September 14, 1965.

Issue:

Whether the refusal of Subido to extend the approval to the appointment of the 91 women as street
sweepers is justified.

Ruling:

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NO. In the present case, it appears that Subido is unalterably convinced that to allow women laborers
to work outside their offices as street sweepers would run counter to Filipino tradition. The sincerity of his
conviction is conceded, but that does not suffice. A public official must be able to point to a particular
provision of law or rule justifying the exercise of a challenged authority. So it was correctly held in the
decision on appeal. The pertinent excerpt from the case of Villegas v. Subido decision follows: "One last word.
Nothing is better settled in the law than that a public official exercises power, not rights. The government
itself is merely an agency through which the will of the state is expressed and enforce. Its officers therefore
are likewise agents entrusted with the responsibility of discharging its functions. As such there is no
presumption that they are empowered to act. There must be delegation of such authority, either express or
implied. In the absence of a valid grant, they are devoid or power. What they do suffers from a fatal infirmity.
The principle cannot be sufficiently stressed. In the appropriate language of Chief Justice Hughes: 'It must be
conceded that departmental zeal may not be permitted to outrun the authority conferred by statute. "Neither
the high dignity of the office nor the righteousness of the motive then is an acceptable substitute. Otherwise
the rule of law becomes a myth. Such an eventuality, we must take all pains to avoid."

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. HON. LORENZO B. VENERACION, Presiding Judge of the Regional
Trial Court, National Capital Judicial Region, Branch 47, Manila, HENRY LAGARTO y PETILLA and
ERNESTO CORDERO
G.R. Nos. 119987-88, October 12, 1995, Kapunan, J.

Obedience to the rule of law forms the bedrock of our system of justice. If judges, under the guise of
religious or political beliefs were allowed to roam unrestricted beyond boundaries within which they are
required by law to exercise the duties of their office, then law becomes meaningless. A government of laws, not of
men excludes the exercise of broad discretionary powers by those acting under its authority. Under this system,
judges are guided by the Rule of Law, and ought "to protect and enforce it without fear or favor,"resist
encroachments by governments, political parties, 5 or even the interference of their own personal beliefs.

Facts:

Two separate informations were filed against respondents Lagarto and Cordero charging them of the
crime of Rape with homicide. After trial, the RTC found respondents guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime charged and sentenced both accused with the "penalty of reclusion perpetua with all the accessories
provided for by law.” Disagreeing with the sentence imposed, the City Prosecutor of Manila,filed a Motion for
Reconsideration, praying that the Decision be modified in that the penalty of death be imposed against
respondents Lagarto and Cordero, in place of the original penalty (reclusion perpetua).Refusing to act on the
merits of the said Motion for Reconsideration, respondent Judge Veneracion issued an Order denying the
same for lack of jurisdiction.

Issue:

Whether the respondent judge acted with grave abuse of discretion and in excess of jurisdiction
when he failed and/or refused to impose the mandatory penalty of death under Republic Act No. 7659, after
finding the accused guilty of the crime of Rape with Homicide.

Ruling:

YES. In the case at bench, respondent judge, after weighing the evidence of the prosecution and the
defendant at trial found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape with Homicide.
Since the law in force at the time of the commission of the crime for which respondent judge found the
accused guilty was Republic Act No. 7659, he was bound by its provisions.

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RA 7659 plainly and unequivocably provides that "[w]hen by reason or on the occasion of rape, a
homicide is committed, the penalty shall be death." The provision leaves no room for the exercise of
discretion on the part of the trial judge to impose a penalty under the circumstances described, other than a
sentence of death.

We are aware of the trial judge's misgivings in imposing the death sentence because of his religious
convictions. While this Court sympathizes with his predicament, it is its bounden duty to emphasize that a
court of law is no place for a protracted debate on the morality or propriety of the sentence, where the law
itself provides for the sentence of death as a penalty in specific and well-defined instances. The discomfort
faced by those forced by law to impose the death penalty is an ancient one, but it is a matter upon which
judges have no choice. Courts are not concerned with the wisdom, efficacy or morality of laws.

2nd LT. SALVADOR PARREÑO represented by his daughter Myrna P. Caintic v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT
and CHIEF OF STAFF, ARMEDFORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 162224, June 7, 2007, Carpio, J.

The constitutional right to equal protection of the laws is not absolute but is subject to reasonable
classification. To be reasonable, the classification (a) must be based on substantial distinctions which make real
differences; (b) must be germane to the purpose of the law; (c) must not be limited to existing conditions only;
and (d) must apply equally to each member of the class.

Facts:

Petitioner Salvador Parreño (Parreño) is a retired member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
After having served the AFP for more than 32 years, Parreño was entitled to receive monthly pension from
the government. In 1985, Parreño started receiving his monthly pension, the AFP, however, pursuant to
Section 27 of PD 1638 which provides that a retiree who loses his Filipino citizenship shall be removed from
the retired list and his retirement benefits terminated upon loss of Filipino citizenship, stopped Parreño’s
monthly pension when he migrated to Hawaii and became a naturalized American citizen. Parreño requested
for reconsideration but the same was denied. Subsequently, Parreño filed a claim before the COA for the
continuance of his monthly pension, the COA however, denied the claim of Parreño for lack of jurisdiction.
Hence, this petition. Parreño argues that Section 27 of PD 1638 is unconstitutional. According to him, the
obligation to retain his Filipino citizenship as a condition for him to remain in the AFP retired list and receive
his retirement benefit is contrary to public policy and welfare, oppressive, discriminatory, and violative of the
due process clause of the Constitution. Parreño further argues that Section 27 of PD 1638, as amended,
discriminates against AFP retirees who have changed their nationality.

Issue:

Whether Section 27 of PD 1638, as amended, is constitutional.

Ruling:

YES. There is a substantial difference between retirees who are citizens of the Philippines and
retirees who lost their Filipino citizenship by naturalization in another country, such as petitioner in the case
before us. The constitutional right of the state to require all citizens to render personal and military service
necessarily includes not only private citizens but also citizens who have retired from military service. A
retiree who had lost his Filipino citizenship already renounced his allegiance to the state. Thus, he may no
longer be compelled by the state to render compulsory military service when the need arises. Petitioner’s loss
of Filipino citizenship constitutes a substantial distinction that distinguishes him from other retirees who
retain their Filipino citizenship. If the groupings are characterized by substantial distinctions that make real
differences, one class may be treated and regulated differently from another.

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Republic Act No. 7077(RA 7077) affirmed the constitutional right of the state to a Citizen Armed
Forces. Section 11 of RA 7077 provides that citizen soldiers or reservists include ex-servicemen and retired
officers of the AFP. Hence, even when a retiree is no longer in the active service, he is still a part of the Citizen
Armed Forces. Thus, we do not find the requirement imposed by Section 27 of PD 1638, as amended,
oppressive, discriminatory, or contrary to public policy. The state has the right to impose a reasonable
condition that is necessary for national defense. To rule otherwise would be detrimental to the interest of the
state.

ISLAMIC DA'WAH COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., herein represented by PROF. ABDULRAFIH H.
SAYEDYv.OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY of the Office of the President of the Philippines,
herein represented by HON. ALBERTO G. ROMULO, Executive Secretary, and the OFFICE ON MUSLIM
AFFAIRS, herein represented by its Executive Director, HABIB MUJAHAB HASHIM
G.R. No. 153888, July 9, 2003, Corona, J.

The act of certifying food products as halal is one considered to be a religious function which can be
performed only by practicing Muslims. Thus, the government cannot pass a law vesting the exclusive authority to
issue halal certificates to a government agency without violating the constitutional provision on the separation
of Church and State.

Facts:

Petitioner IDCP is a non-governmental organization that extends voluntary services to the Filipino
people, especially to Muslim communities. One of the functions IDCP carries out is to conduct seminars, orient
manufacturers on halal food and issue halal certifications to qualified products and manufacturers.
Subsequently however, respondent Office of the Executive Secretary issued EO 46 creating the Philippine
Halal Certification Scheme. Under the EO, respondent OMA has the exclusive authority to issue halal
certificates and perform other related regulatory activities.

Finding EO 46 to be in violative of the constitutional provision on the separation of Church and State,
IDCP filed the present petition for prohibition praying that EO 46 be declared null and void. According to
IDCP, it is unconstitutional for the government to formulate policies and guidelines on the halal certification
scheme because said scheme is a function only religious organizations, entity or scholars can lawfully and
validly perform for the Muslims. IDCP argues that a food product becomes halal only after the performance of
Islamic religious ritual and prayer. Thus, only practicing Muslims are qualified to slaughter animals for food.
A government agency like herein respondent OMA cannot therefore perform a religious function like
certifying qualified food products as halal.

Issue:

Whether EO 46 is constitutional.

Ruling:

NO. Freedom of religion was accorded preferred status by the framers of our fundamental law. And
this Court has consistently affirmed this preferred status, well aware that it is "designed to protect the
broadest possible liberty of conscience, to allow each man to believe as his conscience directs, to profess his
beliefs, and to live as he believes he ought to live, consistent with the liberty of others and with the common
good."

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Without doubt, classifying a food product as halal is a religious function because the standards used
are drawn from the Qur'an and Islamic beliefs. By giving OMA the exclusive power to classify food products as
halal, EO 46 encroached on the religious freedom of Muslim organizations like herein petitioner to interpret
for Filipino Muslims what food products are fit for Muslim consumption. Also, by arrogating to itself the task
of issuing halal certifications, the State has in effect forced Muslims to accept its own interpretation of the
Qur'an and Sunnah on halal food.

MAXIMO CALALANGv. MAXIMO CALALANG


G.R. No. 47800, December 2, 1940, Laurel, J.

Social justice is "neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy," but the humanization
of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and
objectively secular conception may at least be approximated.

Facts:

Respondent Williams, Chairman of the National Traffic Commission, recommended to the Director of
Public Works that animal-drawn vehicles be prohibited from passing certain streets at certain hours for a
period of one year. Acting favorably on the recommendation of Williams, the Director of Public Works, with
the approval of the Secretary of Public Works, promulgated rules and regulations prohibiting animal-vehicles
from passing in the streets mentioned in the rules and regulations.

Contending that the rules and regulations promulgated by the Director of Public Works have the
effect of infringing upon the constitutional precept regarding the promotion of social justice, petitioner
Calalang, in his capacity as a private citizen and taxpayer of Manila, brought the present petition for
prohibition against herein respondents praying that the disputed rules and regulations be declared
unconstitutional.

Issue:

Whether the rules and regulations promulgated by the Director of Public Works is unconstitutional
for being violative of the constitutional provision regarding social justice.

Ruling:

NO. The promotion of social justice, however, is to be achieved not through a mistaken sympathy
towards any given group. Social justice is "neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy,"
but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that justice in
its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated. Social justice means the
promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the Government of measures calculated to insure
economic stability of all the competent elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic
and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally, through the
adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying
the existence of all governments on the time-honored principle of salus populi est suprema lex.

Social justice, therefore, must be founded on the recognition of the necessity of interdependence
among divers and diverse units of a society and of the protection that should be equally and evenly extended
to all groups as a combined force in our social and economic life, consistent with the fundamental and
paramount objective of the state of promoting the health, comfort, and quiet of all persons, and of bringing
about "the greatest good to the greatest number."
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY v. THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS


COMMISSION and MARILYN ABUCAY
G.R. No. 80609, August 23, 1988, Cruz, J.

As a rule an employee dismissed for a valid cause is not entitled to separation pay. However, the 1987
Constitution being replete with positive commands for the promotion of social justice, particularly the protection
of the rights of the workers, an employee validly dismissed for causes other than serious misconduct or those
reflecting on his moral character may be entitled to separation pay as a measure of social justice.

Facts:

Marilyn Abucay (Abucay), a traffic operator of PLDT was accused by two complainants of having
demanded and received money in consideration of her promise to facilitate the approval of their applications
for telephone installation. After investigation she was found guilty and accordingly separated from the
service. She went to the Ministry of labor claiming the she had been illegally removed. The Ministry of labor
sustained the decision of the company and dismissed the complaint of Abucay for lack of merit. It however
ordered PLDT to give her one month pay for every year of service as financial assistance. Both PLDT and
Abucay appealed to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB in its decision affirmed in toto the
decision of the Ministry of Labor saying that it is for reasons of equity and compassion that it resolves to
uphold the award of financial assistance. Abucay took no further action, but PLDT questions the financial
assistance awarded to Abucay.

PLDT argues that under the law if an employee has been validly dismissed he is entitled neither to
reinstatement nor to backwages for his dismissal is in accordance with law. Furthermore they argue that
equity and compassion cannot be a substitute for law.

Issue:

Whether the award of financial assistance to an employee who had been validly dismissed is legal.

Ruling:

YES. Strictly speaking, however, it is not correct to say that there is no express justification for the
grant of separation pay to lawfully dismissed employees other than the abstract consideration of equity. The
reason is that our Constitution is replete with positive commands for the promotion of social justice, and
particularly the protection of the rights of the workers. The enhancement of their welfare is one of the
primary concerns of the present charter. In fact, instead of confining itself to the general commitment to the
cause of labor in Article II on the Declaration of Principles of State Policies, the new Constitution contains a
separate article devoted to the promotion of social justice and human rights with a separate sub- topic for
labor. Article XIII expressly recognizes the vital role of labor, hand in hand with management, in the
advancement of the national economy and the welfare of the people in general. The categorical mandates in
the Constitution for the improvement of the lot of the workers are more than sufficient basis to justify the
award of separation pay in proper cases even if the dismissal be for cause.

JAMES M. IMBONG AND LOVELY-ANN C. IMBONG, FOR THEMSELVES AND IN BEHALF OF THEIR MINOR
CHILDREN, LUCIA CARLOS IMBONG AND BERNADETTE CARLOS IMBONG AND MAGNIFICAT CHILD
DEVELOPMENT CENTER, INC. v. HON. PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR., EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, HON.
FLORENCIO B. ABAD, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT, HON. ENRIQUE T.
ONA, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, HON. ARMIN A. LUISTRO, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF
EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS AND HON. MANUELA. ROXAS II, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF
INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

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G.R. No. 204819April 8, 2014, Mendoza, J.

Section 12, Article II of the 1987 Constitution absolutely proscribes abortion, or the taking away of the life of
the unborn, in all cases. Since life begins at “conception”, or more specifically, from fertilization, the duty of the State to
protect the unborn begins at that point—and not at the time of implantation of the fertilized ovum in the mother’s
womb.

Facts:

Immediately after the Reproductive Health Law was passed, various petitions were filed questioning
the constitutionality of the said law. Among other arguments, the petitions claim that the RH Law violates the
right to life of the unborn in violation of Section 12, Article II of the Constitution which guarantees protection
of both the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.

Issue:

Whether the RH Law is unconstitutional for violating the right to life of the unborn.

Ruling:

NO. Section 12, Article II of the 1987 Constitution makes it a policy of the State to “equally protect the
life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception”. The provision unequivocably proscribes
abortion, or the taking away of the life of the unborn, in all cases. Since life begins at “conception”, or more
specifically, from fertilization, the duty of the State to protect the unborn begins at that point—and not at the
time of implantation of the fertilized ovum in the mother’s womb. This is precisely what the RH Law seeks to
achieve when it prohibited all forms of abortifacients, which are drugs or devices which either (a) induces
abortion, (b) induces destruction of the fetus inside the mother’s womb, or (c) prevents the fetus from being
implanted inside the mother’s womb.

By expressly declaring that any drug or device that prevents the fertilized ovum to reach and be
implanted in the mother's womb is an abortifacient (third kind), the RH Law recognizes that: one, there is a
need to protect the fertilized ovum which already has life, and two, the fertilized ovum must be protected the
moment it exists- all the way until it reaches and implants in the mother's womb. After all, if life is only
recognized and protection only from the moment of implantation of the fertilized ovum, there is nothing to
prevent any drug or device from killing or destroying the fertilized ovum prior to implantation, which is
tantamount to abortion as stated in the Constitution.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS (DECS) AND DIRECTOR OF CENTER FOR
EDUCATIONAL MEASUREMENT V. ROBERTO REY C. SAN DIEGO AND JUDGE TERESITA DIZON-
CAPULONG, IN HER CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF
THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF VALENZUELA, METRO MANILA, BRANCH 172
G.R. No. 89572December 21, 1989, Cruz, J.

The right to quality education is not absolute. No less than the Constitution provides that "every citizen has
the right to choose a profession or course of study, subject to fair, reasonable and equitable admission and academic
requirements.”

Facts:

Roberto Rey C. San Diego took the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) thrice and flunked it as
many times. Invoking his right to quality education, San Diego filed a petition to declare the three-flunk rule
of the DECS as invalid, and to allow him to take the NMAT for a fourth time.

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Issue:

Whether San Diego should be allowed to take the NMAT for a fourth time.

Ruling:

NO. The right to quality education invoked by San Diego is not absolute. No less than the Constitution
provides that "every citizen has the right to choose a profession or course of study, subject to fair, reasonable
and equitable admission and academic requirements.” It is not enough to simply invoke the right to quality
education as a guarantee of the Constitution: one must show that he is entitled to it because of his
preparation and promise.

The right of the citizen to quality education is likewise tempered by the duty of the State to regulate
and enrich the country’s system of education by directing the student to the course for which he is best suited
as determined by initial tests and evaluations. Otherwise, the country will be "swamped with mediocrity," in
the words of Justice Holmes, not because its citizens lack intelligence but because the country has become a
nation of misfits.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

JUAN ANTONIO, ANNA ROSARIO AND JOSE ALFONSO, ALL SURNAMED OPOSA, MINORS, AND
REPRESENTED BY THEIR PARENTS ANTONIO AND RIZALINA OPOSA, ROBERTA NICOLE SADIUA,
MINOR, REPRESENTED BY HER PARENTS CALVIN AND ROBERTA SADIUA, CARLO, AMANDA SALUD
AND PATRISHA, ALL SURNAMED FLORES, MINORS AND REPRESENTED BY THEIR PARENTS ENRICO
AND NIDA FLORES, GIANINA DITA R. FORTUN, MINOR, REPRESENTED BY HER PARENTS SIGRID AND
DOLORES FORTUN, GEORGE II AND MA. CONCEPCION, ALL SURNAMED MISA, MINORS AND
REPRESENTED BY THEIR PARENTS GEORGE AND MYRA MISA, BENJAMIN ALAN V. PESIGAN, MINOR,
REPRESENTED BY HIS PARENTS ANTONIO AND ALICE PESIGAN, JOVIE MARIE ALFARO, MINOR,
REPRESENTED BY HER PARENTS JOSE AND MARIA VIOLETA ALFARO, MARIA CONCEPCION T. CASTRO,
MINOR, REPRESENTED BY HER PARENTS FREDENIL AND JANE CASTRO, JOHANNA DESAMPARADO,
MINOR, REPRESENTED BY HER PARENTS JOSE AND ANGELA DESAMPRADO, CARLO JOAQUIN T.
NARVASA, MINOR, REPRESENTED BY HIS PARENTS GREGORIO II AND CRISTINE CHARITY NARVASA,
MA. MARGARITA, JESUS IGNACIO, MA. ANGELA AND MARIE GABRIELLE, ALL SURNAMED SAENZ,
MINORS, REPRESENTED BY THEIR PARENTS ROBERTO AND AURORA SAENZ, KRISTINE, MARY ELLEN,
MAY, GOLDA MARTHE AND DAVID IAN, ALL SURNAMED KING, MINORS, REPRESENTED BY THEIR
PARENTS MARIO AND HAYDEE KING, DAVID, FRANCISCO AND THERESE VICTORIA, ALL SURNAMED
ENDRIGA, MINORS, REPRESENTED BY THEIR PARENTS BALTAZAR AND TERESITA ENDRIGA, JOSE MA.
AND REGINA MA., ALL SURNAMED ABAYA, MINORS, REPRESENTED BY THEIR PARENTS ANTONIO AND
MARICA ABAYA, MARILIN, MARIO, JR. AND MARIETTE, ALL SURNAMED CARDAMA, MINORS,
REPRESENTED BY THEIR PARENTS MARIO AND LINA CARDAMA, CLARISSA, ANN MARIE, NAGEL, AND
IMEE LYN, ALL SURNAMED OPOSA, MINORS AND REPRESENTED BY THEIR PARENTS RICARDO AND
MARISSA OPOSA, PHILIP JOSEPH, STEPHEN JOHN AND ISAIAH JAMES, ALL SURNAMED QUIPIT,
MINORS, REPRESENTED BY THEIR PARENTS JOSE MAX AND VILMI QUIPIT, BUGHAW CIELO, CRISANTO,
ANNA, DANIEL AND FRANCISCO, ALL SURNAMED BIBAL, MINORS, REPRESENTED BY THEIR PARENTS
FRANCISCO, JR. AND MILAGROS BIBAL, AND THE PHILIPPINE ECOLOGICAL NETWORK, INC., V.THE
HONORABLE FULGENCIO S. FACTORAN, JR., IN HIS CAPACITY AS THE SECRETARY OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, AND THE HONORABLE ERIBERTO U.
ROSARIO, PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE RTC, MAKATI, BRANCH 66
G.R. No. 101083July 30, 1993, Davide, Jr., J.

While the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is found under the Declaration of Principles and State
Policies and not under the Bill of Rights, it does not mean that it is less important than the latter. Such a right belongs
to a different category of rights altogether for it concerns self-preservation and self-perpetuation, the advancement of
which may even be said to predate all governments and constitutions.

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Facts:

The petitioners-minors, for themselves and for “generations yet unborn”, filed a complaint for the
cancellation of all existing Timber License Agreements (TLAs) in the country, and to desist from processing
and approving new TLAs. They claim that the continued deforestation threaten their right to a balanced and
healthful ecology. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, alleging that the complainants have no cause of
action. In particular, defendants point out that complainants failed to point out a specific legal right violated
by the defendants.

Issue:

Whether the petitioners have a cause of action against the defendants.

Ruling:

YES. While the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is found under the Declaration of Principles
and State Policies and not under the Bill of Rights, it does not mean that it is less important than any of the
civil and political rights enumerated in the latter. Such a right belongs to a different category of rights
altogether for it concerns nothing less than self-preservation and self-perpetuation, the advancement of
which may even be said to predate all governments and constitutions. As a matter of fact, these basic rights
need not even be written in the Constitution for they are assumed to exist from the inception of humankind.

In this case, the right of the citizens, both present and those yet to be born, to a balanced and
healthful ecology carries with it the correlative duty on the part of the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources to protect and preserve the said right. A violation of such right gives rise to a cause of
action.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND


NATURAL RESOURCES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS, DEPARTMENT OF
HEALTH, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS,
DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT, PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD, PHILIPPINE NATIONAL
POLICE MARITIME GROUP, AND DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT v.
CONCERNED RESIDENTS OF MANILA BAY, REPRESENTED AND JOINED BY DIVINA V. ILAS, SABINIANO
ALBARRACIN, MANUEL SANTOS, JR., DINAH DELA PEÑA, PAUL DENNIS QUINTERO, MA. VICTORIA
LLENOS, DONNA CALOZA, FATIMA QUITAIN, VENICE SEGARRA, FRITZIE TANGKIA, SARAH JOELLE
LINTAG, HANNIBAL AUGUSTUS BOBIS, FELIMON SANTIAGUEL, AND JAIME AGUSTIN R. OPOSA
G.R. No. 171947-48 December 18, 2008, Velasco, Jr., J.

The issuance of a “continuing mandamus” is proper to place government agencies tasked to preserve the
environment on continuing notice and to ensure that the decision would not be set to naught by administrative
inaction.

Facts:

The concerned residents of Manila Bay filed a complaint against Metro Manila Development Authority
(MMDA), et al. for the clean-up, rehabilitation, and protection of the Manila Bay, arguing that the water quality of
Manila Bay had fallen way below the allowable standards set by law due to MMDA, et al.’s continued neglect. In
their defense, MMDA, et al. argued that the cleaning of Manila Bay is not a ministerial act which can be compelled
by mandamus.

Issue:

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1. Whether the clean-up of Manila Bay is discretionary on the part of MMDA, et al.
2. Whether the duty of MMDA, et al. extends only to specific pollution incidents.

Ruling:

1. NO. A discretionary duty allows a person to exercise judgment and choose to perform or not to
perform. However, a perusal of MMDA, et al.’s charters readily show their duty to take care of the
environment, which includes the clean-up of Manila Bay. In fact, their ministerial duty does not end with the
clean-up and/or restoration of Manila Bay, but extends to the preservation of the water quality of the bay
after the rehabilitation process. Otherwise, any clean-up effort would be futile. To place MMDA, et al. on
continuing notice and to ensure that the decision would not be set to naught by administrative inaction, the
issuance of a “continuing mandamus” is proper.

2. NO. Section 17 and 20 of the Environmental Code requires them to act even in the absence of a
specific pollution incident, as long as water quality "has deteriorated to a degree where its state will
adversely affect its best usage. The duty to upgrade the quality of water is not conditioned on the occurrence
of any pollution incident. In any case, even if MMDA, et al.’s duty is limited to a specific pollution incident, it
should be observed that the pollution in Manila Bay is of such magnitude that it is well-nigh impossible to
draw the line between a general and a specific pollution incident.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

BORACAY FOUNDATION, INC. v. THE PROVINCE OF AKLAN, REPRESENTED BY GOVERNOR CARLITO S.


MARQUEZ, THE PHILIPPINE RECLAMATION
AUTHORITY, AND THE DENR-EMB (REGION VI)
G.R. No. 196870June 26, 2012, Leonardo-De Castro, J.

It is the policy of the State to “protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology
in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature”, and to strike a rational and orderly balance between socio-
economic growth and environmental protection.

Facts:

Gov. Carlito S. Marquez of the Province of Aklan was authorized by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to
file an application before the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) to reclaim a portion of Caticlan
foreshore, which is a strait away from Boracay, for commercial purposes. The Sangguniang Bayan of the
Municipality of Malay and the Sangguniang Barangay of Caticlan registered their opposition, arguing that no
public consultation was made prior to the approval of the Province of Aklan’s application for an
Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), which is a prerequisite for the reclamation. Thereafter, the
Municipality of Malay and Barangay Caticlan filed for a Temporary Environmental Protection Order.

Issue:

Whether prior public consultation with all stakeholders is mandatory before a national project affecting the
environment may be made.

Ruling:

YES. It is the policy of the State to “protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and
healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature”, and to strike a rational and orderly
balance between socio-economic growth and environmental protection. It is in that light that the Local
Government Code establishes the duties of national government agencies in the maintenance of ecological
balance, and requires them to secure both prior public consultation and approval of local government units

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for the projects described therein. Absent either of these requirements makes the project illegal. In fact, the
prior public consultation is necessary so that the environmental concerns of all stakeholders could be taken
into account in the Environmental Impact Assessment, which in turn, is required before an ECC is issued and
a national project undertaken.

In this case, since the Municipality of Malay and Barangay Caticlan were not consulted prior to the
issuance of the ECC and prior to the approval of the project by the PRA, the implementation of the
reclamation project must be enjoined.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

REV. ELLY VELEZ LAO PAMATONG, ESQUIRE v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS


G.R. No. 161872 April 13, 2004, Tinga, J.

There is no constitutional right to run for or hold public office, but a privilege, subject to limitations imposed
by the law. Section 26, Article II of the Constitution neither bestows such right nor elevates the privilege to the level of
an enforceable right since the “equal access” provision, like the other state principles and policies under Article II, are
generally not self-executing.

Facts:

Rev. Elly Velez Pamatong filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for President for the 2004 elections,
but the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) refused to give due course to the same on the ground that he
was a nuisance candidate who could not wage a nationwide campaign and/or not nominated by a political
party or are not supported by a registered political party with a national constituency. Pamatong questions
the COMELEC ruling before the Supreme Court, arguing that the COMELEC violated his right to “equal access
to opportunities for public service” under Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Constitution.

Issue:

Whether Pamatong has the constitutional right to run for or hold public office.

Ruling:

NO. It is not a constitutional right, but a privilege subject to limitations imposed by law. Section 26,
Article II of the Constitution neither bestows such right nor elevates the privilege to the level of an
enforceable right. The state principles and policies under Article II are generally not self-executing, and this
includes the “equal access” provision. Like the rest of the policies under Article II, the provision merely
specifies a guideline for legislative or executive action.

In this case, the privilege to run for the Presidency is limited by the provisions of the Omnibus
Election Code on “Nuisance Candidates”. As long as the limitations apply to everybody equally without
discrimination, the equal access clause is not violated. Hence, the COMELEC’s act of denying due course to
Pamatong’s COC on the ground that he is a nuisance candidate is valid.

LEGISLATURE

THE CITY OF DAVAO, CITY TREASURER AND THE CITY ASSESSOR OF DAVAO CITY v. THE REGIONAL
TRIAL COURT, BRANCH XII, DAVAO CITY AND
THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM (GSIS)
G.R. No. 127383August 18, 2005, Tinga, J.

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Like irrepealable laws, those laws which impose conditions for its future repeal effectively restricts on the
competency of Congress to enact future legislation. It restrains the plenary power of the legislature to amend or repeal
laws. Only the Constitution may preclude or restrict the power to amend or repeal laws, and not a prior statute.

Facts:

GSIS enjoyed tax-exempt status by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 1146. With the enactment of the
Local Government Code (LGC), the City of Davao thought that Sec. 193 of the said law withdrew the tax
exemption privileges of GSIS. Thus, the City of Davao sent a Notice of Public Auction to the GSIS Davao City
branch office due to non-payment of realty taxes. GSIS protested, claiming that since the LGC failed to comply
with the conditions set forth in Sec. 33 of PD 1146 to withdraw the tax exemption privileges of GSIS, the
subsequent enactment of the LGC did not repeal the tax exemptions of GSIS.

Issue:

Whether a law may validly impose conditions for its future repeal.

Ruling:

NO. Like irrepealable laws, those laws which impose conditions for its future repeal effectively
restricts on the competency of Congress to enact future legislation. It restrains the plenary power of the
legislature to amend or repeal laws. Only the Constitution may preclude or restrict the power to amend or
repeal laws, and not a prior statute. Since the past, present, and future legislative assemblies are regarded
with equal footing with the same plenary powers, it would be anathema to democratic principles to allow one
legislative body to restrain or bind the actions of the future legislative body.

In this case, President Marcos cannot bind the future legislature to a particular mode of repeal. He
cannot, like all legislative bodies, declare in advance the intent of subsequent legislatures or the effect of
subsequent legislation upon existing statutes. Thus, the conditions for repeal imposed by Sec. 33 of PD 1146
is invalid.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY (SJS) v. DANGEROUS DRUGS BOARD


AND PHILIPPINE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY (PDEA)
G.R. No. 157870November 3, 2008, Velasco, Jr., J.

Congress’ inherent legislative powers, broad as they may be, are subject to certain substantive and
constitutional limitations, which circumscribe both the exercise of the power itself and the allowable subjects of
legislation. As such, Congress may not amend or enlarge the qualification requirements for senatorial candidates
as enumerated in Section 3, Article VI of the Constitution.

Facts:

Section 36 of Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 requires
mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office. Pursuant to the said legal provision, COMELEC issued a
Resolution which required “all candidates for public office, both national and local, in the May 10, 2004
Synchronized National and Local Elections” to undergo mandatory drug tests. Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., a
candidate for re-election, claims that the mandatory drug tests are unconstitutional since these impose a
qualification for candidates for senators in addition to those already provided for in the 1987 Constitution.

Issue:

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Whether mandatory drug tests may be validly imposed as an additional qualification for senatorial
candidates.

Ruling:

NO. Congress’ inherent legislative powers, broad as they may be, are subject to certain substantive
and constitutional limitations, which circumscribe both the exercise of the power itself and the allowable
subjects of legislation. One such limitation is found in Section 3, Article VI of the Constitution prescribing the
qualifications of candidates for senators.

In this case, neither Congress nor the COMELEC may enlarge the qualification requirements
enumerated in the aforesaid constitutional provision. To require a senatorial candidate to be certified illegal-
drug clean would add another qualification layer to what the 1987 Constitution, at the minimum, requires for
membership in the Senate. Hence, the mandatory drug test requirement for senatorial candidates is
unconstitutional.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SENATOR BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III AND MAYOR JESSE ROBREDO v. COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRMAN JOSE A.R. MELO AND ITS COMMISSIONERS, RENE V.
SARMIENTO, NICODEMO T. FERRER, LUCENITO N. TAGLE, ARMANDO VELASCO, ELIAS R. YUSOPH AND
GREGORIO LARRAZABAL
G.R. No. 189793 April 7, 2010, Perez, J.

The Constitution requires a 250,000 minimum population only for a city to be entitled to a
representative, but not so for a province.

Facts:

A law was passed increasing the legislative districts of the Province of Camarines Sur from four (4) to
five (5). Because of the reapportionment, the first legislative district was left with a population of only
176,383. The constitutionality of the reapportionment was questioned on the ground that each legislative
district should contain a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand (250,000), based on Section 5 (3),
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. The said provision reads: “(3) Each legislative district shall comprise, as
far as practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory. Each city with a population of at least two
hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at least one representative.”

Issue:

Whether there is a minimum population requirement to apportion a new legislative district in a province.

Ruling:

NO. The cited provision draws a plain and clear distinction between the entitlement of a city to a
district on one hand, and the entitlement of a province to a district on the other. While a province is entitled
to at least a representative, with nothing mentioned about population, a city must first meet a population
minimum of 250,000 in order to be similarly entitled. In fact, pursuant to the Local Government Code, a
province may be created even if its population is less than 250,000.

In addition, the use by the subject provision of a comma to separate the phrase "each city with a
population of at least two hundred fifty thousand" from the phrase "or each province" point to no other
conclusion than that the 250,000 minimum population is only required for a city, but not for a province.
Plainly read, Section 5(3) of the Constitution requires a 250,000 minimum population only for a city to be
entitled to a representative, but not so for a province.

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______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

VICTORINO B. ALDABA, CARLO JOLETTE S. FAJARDO,JULIO G. MORADA, AND


MINERVA ALDABA MORADA v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
G.R. No. 188078March 15, 2010, Carpio, J.

A city should have a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) before it could have a
legislative district in the immediately following election. Although demographic projections are valid bases for
purposes of legislative apportionment, such projection forming the basis for the creation of a legislative district
must be based on an official and credible source.

Facts:

On May 1, 2009, Republic Act No. 9591 amended the Charter of Malolos City and created a separate
legislative district for the city. The apportionment was based on unofficial projections that Malolos City’s
population will breach the two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) mark before the May 10, 2010 elections,
which under the law will entitle it to one (1) representative.

Issue:

Whether the creation of a legislative district in Malolos City is valid.

Ruling:

NO. A city should have a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) before it could
have a legislative district in the immediately following election. Although demographic projections are valid
bases for purposes of legislative apportionment, the source of the projections must be authoritative. Any
population projection forming the basis for the creation of a legislative district must be based on an official
and credible source.

Pursuant to Section 6 of Executive Order 135, dated November 6, 1993, for certifications on
demographic projections to be used as valid reference, (1) the projections must be declared official by the
National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB), (2) certifications based on demographic projections should be
issued only by the NSO Administrator or his designated certifying officer, and (3)intercensal population
projections must be as of the middle of every year.

In this case, the source used by Republic Act No. 9591 to project the population of Malolos City is
unauthoritative since it failed to comply with the requisites of Sec. 6, EO 135. Since there is no official record
that Malolos City will have a population of at least 250,000, whether actual or projected, by May 10, 2010, the
legislative district of Malolos City as apportioned by Republic Act No. 9591 is invalid.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

RODOLFO G. NAVARRO, VICTOR F. BERNAL, and RENE O. MEDINA v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO
ERMITA, representing the President of the Philippines; Senate of the Philippines, represented by the
SENATE PRESIDENT; House of Representatives, represented by the HOUSE SPEAKER; GOVERNOR
ROBERT ACE S. BARBERS, representing the mother province of Surigao del Norte; GOVERNOR
GERALDINE ECLEO VILLAROMAN, representing the new Province of Dinagat Islands
G.R. No. 180050,April 12, 2011, Nachura, J.

Congress, in its collective wisdom, has debated on the relative weight in the criteria of income,
population and land area, placing emphasis on which of them should enjoy preferential consideration. Without
doubt, the primordial criterion in the creation of local government units, particularly of a province, is economic
viability. This is the clear intent of the framers of the LGC.

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Facts:

Petitioners, as taxpayers and residents of the Province of Surigao del Norte sought to nullify R.A. No.
9355 for being unconstitutional. They alleged that when the law was passed, Dinagat had a land area of
802.12 square kilometers only failing to comply with Section 10, Article X of the Constitution and of Section
461 of the LGC.

On February 2010, Supreme Court declared R.A. No. 9355 unconstitutional for failure to comply with
the land requirement of 2,000 sq. km. in the creation of a province under the LGC. Consequently, it declared
the proclamation of Dinagat and the election of its officials as null and void. The Decision likewise declared as
null and void the provision on Article 9(2) LGC-IRR, stating that the land area requirement shall not apply
where the proposed province is composed of one (1) or more islands for being beyond the ambit of Article
461 of the LGC, inasmuch as such exemption is not expressly provided in the law.

Issue:

Whether the creation of the Congress of the Island Province of Dinagat is valid even if it did not
comply with the land and population requirement under Section 10, Article X of the Constitution and of
Section 461 of the LGC.

Ruling:

YES. It must be borne in mind that the central policy considerations in the creation of local
government units are economic viability, efficient administration, and capability to deliver basic services to
their constituents. The criteria prescribed by the LGC, i.e., income, population and land area, are all designed
to accomplish these results. In this light, Congress, in its collective wisdom, has debated on the relative weight
of each of these three criteria, placing emphasis on which of them should enjoy preferential consideration.
Without doubt, the primordial criterion in the creation of local government units, particularly of a province, is
economic viability. This is the clear intent of the framers of the LGC.

The land area, while considered as an indicator of viability of a local government unit, is not
conclusive in showing that Dinagat cannot become a province, taking into account its average annual income
of P82,696,433.23 at the time of its creation, which is four times more than the minimum requirement of
P20,000,000.00 for the creation of a province. The delivery of basic services to its constituents has been
proven possible and sustainable. Rather than looking at the results of the plebiscite and the May 10, 2010
elections as mere fait accompli circumstances which cannot operate in favor of Dinagat’s existence as a
province, they must be seen from the perspective that Dinagat is ready and capable of becoming a province.
This Court should not be instrumental in stunting such capacity.

ROGELIO Z. BAGABUYO v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS


G.R. No. 176970, December 8, 2008, Brion, J.

The Constitution and the Local Government Code expressly require a plebiscite to carry out any
creation, division, merger, abolition or alteration of boundary of a local government unit. In contrast, no
plebiscite requirement exists under the apportionment or reapportionment provision.

Facts:

On August 10, 2006, Congressman Jaraula filed and sponsored House Bill No. 5859, entitled "An Act
Providing for the Apportionment of the Lone Legislative District of the City of Cagayan De Oro." The bill
eventually became a law, R.A. No. 9371. It increased Cagayan de Oro’s legislative district from one to two. For

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the election of May 2007, Cagayan de Oro’s voters would be classified as belonging to either the first or the
second district, depending on their place of residence. The constituents of each district would elect their own
representative to Congress as well as eight members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod. The COMELEC
thereafter promulgated Resolution No. 7837 implementing RA 9371. Rogelio Bagabuyo assails the COMELEC
Resolution as unconstitutional. According to him, RA 9371 cannot be implemented without conducting a
plebiscite because the apportionment under the law falls within the meaning of creation, division, merger,
abolition or substantial alteration of boundaries of cities under Section 10, Article X of the 1987 Constitution.

Issue:

Whether a plebiscite is necessary in case of apportionment of the legislative district of the City of
Cagayan De Oro.

Ruling:

NO. The pronounced distinction between Article VI, Section 5 and, Article X, Section 10 is on the
requirement of a plebiscite. The Constitution and the Local Government Code expressly require a plebiscite to
carry out any creation, division, merger, abolition or alteration of boundary of a local government unit. In
contrast, no plebiscite requirement exists under the apportionment or reapportionment provision.

Under the wordings of RA 9371 and Resolution 7837, no division of Cagayan de Oro City as a political
and corporate entity takes place or is mandated. Cagayan de Oro City politically remains a single unit and its
administration is not divided along territorial lines. Its territory remains completely whole and intact; there is
only the addition of another legislative district and the delineation of the city into two districts for purposes
of representation in the House of Representatives. Thus, Article X, Section 10 of the Constitution does not
come into play and no plebiscite is necessary to validly apportion Cagayan de Oro City into two districts

BARANGAY ASSOCIATION FORNATIONAL ADVANCEMENT AND TRANSPARENCY (BANAT) v.


COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (sitting as the National Board of Canvassers)
G.R. No. 179271, April 21, 2009, Carpio, J.

The two percent threshold in relation to the distribution of the additional seats is unconstitutional. It
presents an unwarranted obstacle to the full implementation of Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution and
prevents the attainment of the broadest possible representation of party, sectoral or group interests in the House
of Representatives.

Facts:

In May 2007 elections, Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency
(BANAT)filed before the National Board of Canvassers(NBC) a petition to proclaim the full number of party
list representatives provided by the Constitution; that Section 11(b) of RA 7941 which prescribes the 2%
threshold votes, should be harmonized with Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution and with Section 12 of RA
7941 and should be applicable only to the first party-list representative seats to be allotted on the basis of
their initial/first ranking; that the 3-seat limit prescribed by RA 7941 shall be applied; and that the
formula/procedure prescribed in the allocation of party-list seats, Annex A of Comelec Res. 2847 shall be
used for the purpose of determining how many seats shall be proclaimed, which party-list groups are entitled
to representative seats and how many of their nominees shall seat. However, COMELEC denied the same for
being moot and academic. It announced that it would determine the total number of seats of each winning
party, organization, or coalition in accordance with Veterans Federation Party v.COMELEC formula.

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Subsequently, Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher asked the COMELEC to reconsider its decision to
use the Veterans formula because the Veterans formula is violative of the Constitution and of Republic Act No.
7941.

Issue:

1. Whether or not the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives in Section 5(2), Article VI
of the Constitution mandatory.
2. Whether or not the three-seat limit in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 is constitutional.
3. Whether or not the two percent threshold prescribed in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 in allocation of
additional seats is constitutional.

Ruling:

1. NO. Neither the Constitution nor RA. 7941 mandates the filling-up of the entire 20% allocation of
party-list representatives found in the Constitution. The 20% allocation of party-list representatives is merely
a ceiling; party-list representatives cannot be more than 20% of the members of the House of
Representatives. However, we cannot allow the continued existence of a provision in the law which will
systematically prevent the constitutionally allocated 20% party-list representatives from being filled.

2. YES. The three-seat cap, as a limitation to the number of seats that a qualified party-list organization
may occupy, remains a valid statutory device that prevents any party from dominating the party-list
elections.

3. NO. We therefore strike down the two percent threshold only in relation to the distribution of the
additional seats as found in the second clause of Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 7941. The two percent threshold
presents an unwarranted obstacle to the full implementation of Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution
and prevents the attainment of the broadest possible representation of party, sectoral or group interests in
the House of Representatives. The continued operation of the two percent threshold in the distribution of the
additional seats frustrates the attainment of the permissive ceiling that 20% of the members of the House of
Representatives shall consist of party-list representatives.

ATONG PAGLAUM, INC., represented by its President, Mr. Alan Igot v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
G.R. No. 203766, April 2, 2013, Carpio, J.

Sectoral parties or organizations may either be "marginalized and underrepresented" or lacking in


"well-defined political constituencies." It is enough that their principal advocacy pertains to the special interest
and concerns of their sector.

Facts:

52 party-list groups and organizations filed separate petitions with the SC in an effort to reverse
various resolutions by the Comelec disqualifying them from the May 2013 party-list race. The Comelec, in its
assailed resolutions issued in October, November and December of 2012, ruled, among others, that these
party-list groups and organizations failed to represent a marginalized and underrepresented sector, their
nominees did not come from a marginalized and underrepresented sector, and/or some of the organizations
or groups were not truly representative of the sector they intend to represent in Congress.

Issue:

Whether COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in disqualifying petitioners from


participating in the May 2013 party-list election.

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Ruling:

NO. COMELEC merely followed the guidelines set in the cases of Ang Bagong Bayani and BANAT.
However, cases were remanded back to the COMELEC because petitioners may now possibly qualify to
participate in the coming 13 May 2013 party-list elections under the new parameters prescribed by this
Court.

In determining who may participate in the party-list elections, the COMELEC shall adhere to the
following parameters:

1. Three different groups may participate in the party-list system: (1) national parties or organizations,
(2) regional parties or organizations, and (3) sectoral parties or organizations.

2. National parties or organizations and regional parties or organizations do not need to organize along
sectoral lines and do not need to represent any "marginalized and underrepresented" sector.

3. Political parties can participate in party-list elections provided they register under the party-list
system and do not field candidates in legislative district elections. A political party, whether major or not, that
fields candidates in legislative district elections can participate in party-list elections only through its sectoral
wing that can separately register under the party-list system. The sectoral wing is by itself an independent
sectoral party, and is linked to a political party through a coalition.

4. Sectoral parties or organizations may either be "marginalized and underrepresented" or lacking in


"well-defined political constituencies." It is enough that their principal advocacy pertains to the special
interest and concerns of their sector. The sectors that are "marginalized and underrepresented" include
labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, handicapped, veterans, and overseas
workers. The sectors that lack "well-defined political constituencies" include professionals, the elderly,
women, and the youth.

5. A majority of the members of sectoral parties or organizations that represent the "marginalized and
underrepresented" must belong to the "marginalized and underrepresented" sector they represent. Similarly,
a majority of the members of sectoral parties or organizations that lack "well-defined political constituencies"
must belong to the sector they represent. The nominees of sectoral parties or organizations that represent the
"marginalized and underrepresented," or that represent those who lack "well-defined political
constituencies," either must belong to their respective sectors, or must have a track record of advocacy for
their respective sectors. The nominees of national and regional parties or organizations must be bona-fide
members of such parties or organizations.

6. National, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations shall not be disqualified if some of their
nominees are disqualified, provided that they have at least one nominee who remains qualified.

ABANG LINGKOD PARTY-LIST v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS


G.R. No. 206952, October 22, 2013, Reyes, J.

Sectoral parties or organizations, such as ABANG LINGKOD, are no longer required to adduce evidence
showing their track record. It is sufficient that the ideals represented by the sectoral organizations are geared
towards the cause of the sector/s, which they represent.

Facts:

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COMELEC cancelled ABANG LINGKOD's registration as a party-list group. It pointed out that ABANG
LINGKOD failed to establish its track record in uplifting the cause of the marginalized and underrepresented;
that it merely offered photographs of some alleged activities it conducted after the May 2010 elections. It
further opined that ABANG LINGKOD failed to show that its nominees are themselves marginalized and
underrepresented or that they have been involved in activities aimed at improving the plight of the
marginalized and underrepresented sectors it claims to represent.

Issue:

Whether COMELEC can cancel a party list's registration upon failure to show that its nominees
belong to a marginalized and underrepresented sector or that they have been involved in activities aimed at
improving the plight of the marginalized and underrepresented sectors it claims to represent.

Ruling:

NO. Contrary to the COMELEC's claim, sectoral parties or organizations, such as ABANG LINGKOD,
are no longer required to adduce evidence showing their track record, i.e. proof of activities that they have
undertaken to further the cause of the sector they represent. Indeed, it is enough that their principal advocacy
pertains to the special interest and concerns of their sector. Otherwise stated, it is sufficient that the ideals
represented by the sectoral organizations are geared towards the cause of the sector/s, which they represent.

There is thus no basis in law and established jurisprudence to insist that groups seeking registration
under the party-list system still comply with the track record requirement. Indeed, nowhere in R.A. No. 7941
is it mandated that groups seeking registration thereunder must submit evidence to show their track record
as a group.

ANG LADLAD LGBT PARTY represented herein by its Chair, DANTON REMOTO v. COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS
G.R. No. 190582,April 8, 2010, Del Castillo. J.

Moral disapproval, without more, is not a sufficient governmental interest to justify exclusion of
homosexuals from participation in the party-list system. The denial of Ang Ladlad’s registration on purely moral
grounds amounts more to a statement of dislike and disapproval of homosexuals, rather than a tool to further
any substantial public interest.

Facts:

Ang Ladlad is an organization composed of men and women who identify themselves as lesbians,
gays, bisexuals, or trans-gendered individuals (LGBTs). It filed a petition for accreditation as a party-list
organization to public respondent. COMELEC dismissed the Petition on moral grounds citing certain biblical
and quranic passages in their decision. It also stated that since their ways are immoral and contrary to public
policy, they are considered nuisance. In fact, their acts are even punishable under the Revised Penal Code in
its Article 201.

Ang Ladlad now argues that the denial of accreditation, insofar as it justified the exclusion by using
religious dogma, violated the constitutional guarantees against the establishment of religion. Petitioner also
claimed that the Assailed Resolutions contravened its constitutional rights to privacy, freedom of speech and
assembly, and equal protection of laws, as well as constituted violations of the Philippines international
obligations against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Issue:

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Whether the COMELEC can exclude Ang Ladlad as a party-list on moral grounds and for being
violative of public policy.

Ruling:

NO. Our Constitution provides in Article III, Section 5 that “[n]o law shall be made respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” At bottom, what our non-establishment
clause calls for is “government neutrality in religious matters.” Clearly, “governmental reliance on religious
justification is inconsistent with this policy of neutrality.” We thus find that it was grave violation of the non-
establishment clause for the COMELEC to utilize the Bible and the Koran to justify the exclusion of Ang
Ladlad.

Respondent has failed to explain what societal ills are sought to be prevented, or why special
protection is required for the youth. Neither has the COMELEC condescended to justify its position that
petitioner’s admission into the party-list system would be so harmful as to irreparably damage the moral
fabric of society. We hold that moral disapproval, without more, is not a sufficient governmental interest to
justify exclusion of homosexuals from participation in the party-list system. The denial of Ang Ladlad’s
registration on purely moral grounds amounts more to a statement of dislike and disapproval of
homosexuals, rather than a tool to further any substantial public interest.

COALITION OF ASSOCIATIONS OF SENIOR CITIZENS IN THE PHILIPPINES, INC. (SENIOR CITIZENS


PARTY-LIST), represented herein by its Chairperson and First Nominee, FRANCISCO G. DATOL, Jr. v.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
G.R. Nos. 206844-45, July 23, 2013, Leonardo-De Castro. J.

If the term-sharing agreement was not actually implemented by the parties thereto, it appears that
SENIOR CITIZENS, as a party-list organization, had been unfairly and arbitrarily penalized by the COMELEC En
Banc. There can be no disobedience on the part of SENIOR CITIZENS when its nominees, in fact, desisted from
carrying out their agreement.

Facts:

On May 2010, the nominees of SENIOR CITIZENS signed an agreement, entitled Irrevocable
Covenant, which contains the list of their candidates and terms on sharing of their powers. It contained an
agreement on who among the candidates will serve the terms according to the power sharing agreement. By
virtue of the term-sharing agreement, the term of Kho as member of the HR was cut short to 1 yr and 6 mos.
In line with this, Kho tendered his resignation to be effective on December 31, 2011.

In the interim, COMELEC Resolution was promulgated on February 21, 2012. Pertinently, Section 7 of
Rule 4 thereof provided that filing of vacancy as a result of term sharing agreement among nominees of
winning party-list groups/organizations shall not be allowed. On March 12, 2012, the Board of Trustees of
SENIOR CITIZENS issued recalled the resignation of Kho and allowed him to continue to represent the party-
list. Despite of the recall of resignation, COMELEC found the term-sharing agreement contrary to public policy
and hence resolved to CANCEL the registration of SENIOR CITIZENS under the Party-List System of
Representation.

Issue:

Whether the COMELEC can disqualify and cancel the registration and accreditation of SENIOR
CITIZENS solely on account of its purported violation of the prohibition against term-sharing.

Ruling:

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NO. There was no indication that the nominees of SENIOR CITIZENS still tried to implement, much
less succeeded in implementing, the term-sharing agreement. Before this Court, the Arquiza Group and the
Datol Group insist on this fact of non-implementation of the agreement. Thus, for all intents and purposes,
Rep. Kho continued to hold his seat and served his term as a member of the House of Representatives.

Indubitably, if the term-sharing agreement was not actually implemented by the parties thereto, it
appears that SENIOR CITIZENS, as a party-list organization, had been unfairly and arbitrarily penalized by the
COMELEC En Banc. Verily, how can there be disobedience on the part of SENIOR CITIZENS when its
nominees, in fact, desisted from carrying out their agreement? Hence, there was no violation of an election
law, rule, or regulation to speak of. Clearly then, the disqualification of SENIOR CITIZENS and the cancellation
of its registration and accreditation have no legal leg to stand on.

MILAGROS E. AMORES v. HOUSE OF


REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL and EMMANUEL JOEL J. VILLANUEVA
G.R. No. 189600, June 29, 2010, Carpio Morales. J.

The law states in unequivocal terms that a nominee of the youth sector must at least be twenty-five (25)
but not more than thirty (30) years of age on the day of the election, so it must be that a candidate who is more
than 30 on election day is not qualified to be a youth sector nominee.

Facts:

In her Petition for Quo Warranto, petitioner alleged that private respondent was disqualified to be a
nominee of the youth sector of CIBAC since, at the time of the filing of his certificates of nomination and
acceptance, he was already 31 years old or beyond the age limit of 30 pursuant to Section 9 of RA No. 7941,
the Party-List System Act and that since his change of affiliation from CIBACs youth sector to its overseas
Filipino workers and their families sector was not effected at least six months prior to the May 14, 2007
elections, he is not qualified to represent the new sector pursuant to Section 15 of the same law. Public
respondent countered that the age limit applied only to those nominated as such during the first three
congressional terms after the ratification of the Constitution.

Issue:

Whether or not respondent, 31 years of age, can still be a nominee of a youth sector.

Ruling:

NO. The law states in unequivocal terms that a nominee of the youth sector must at least be twenty-
five (25) but not more than thirty (30) years of age on the day of the election, so it must be that a candidate
who is more than 30 on election day is not qualified to be a youth sector nominee. Since this mandate is
contained in RA No. 7941, it covers ALL youth sector nominees vying for party-list representative seats. The
Court finds that private respondent was not qualified to be a nominee of either the youth sector or the
overseas Filipino workers and their families sector in the May, 2007 elections. The records disclose that
private respondent was already more than 30 years of age in May, 2007, it being stipulated that he was born
in August, 1975.

DR. HANS CHRISTIAN M. SEÑERES v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and MELQUIADES A. ROBLES


G.R. No. 178678, April 16, 2009, Velasco, Jr. J.

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Since no successor was ever elected or qualified, Robles remained the President of BUHAY in a “hold-
over” capacity. By fiction of law, the acts of such de facto officer are considered valid and effective.

Facts:

In 1999, private respondent Robles was elected president and chairperson of BUHAY party-list. The
constitution of BUHAY provides for a three-year term for all its party officers, without re-election. BUHAY
participated in the 2001 and 2004 elections, with Robles as its president. On March 2007, Robles signed and
filed a Certificate of Nomination of BUHAY’s nominees for the 2007 elections. Earlier, however, petitioner
Hans Christian Seneres, holding himself up as acting president and secretary-general of BUHAY, also filed a
Certificate of Nomination.

Seneres, in his Petition to Deny Due Course to Certificates of Nomination, claims that the nominations
made by Robles were, for lack of authority, null and void owing to the expiration of the latter’s term as party
president. Seneres also contends that Robles, acting as BUHAY President and nominating officer, as well as
being the Administrator of the LRTA, was engaging in electioneering or partisan political campaign, hence, in
violation of Civil Service Law and Omnibus Election Code.

Issues:

1. Whether Robles’ term as President of BUHAY had already expired, thus effectively nullifying the
Certificate of Nomination and the nomination process.
2. Whether Robles was engaging in electioneering or partisan political campaign.

Ruling:

1. NO. As a general rule, officers and directors of a corporation hold over after the expiration of their
terms until such time as their successors are elected or appointed. The voting members of BUHAY duly
elected Robles as party President in October 1999. And although his regular term as such President expired in
October 2002, no election was held to replace him and the other original set of officers. Further, the
constitution and by-laws of BUHAY do not expressly or impliedly prohibit a hold-over situation. As such, since
no successor was ever elected or qualified, Robles remained the President of BUHAY in a “hold-over” capacity.
By fiction of law, the acts of such de facto officer are considered valid and effective.

2. NO. The twin acts of signing and filing a Certificate of Nomination are purely internal processes of the
party or organization and are not designed to enable or ensure the victory of the candidate in the elections.
The act of Robles of submitting the certificate nomination and others was merely in compliance with the
COMELEC requirements for nomination of party-list representatives and, hence, cannot be treated as
electioneering or partisan political activity proscribed under by Sec. 2(4) of Art. IX(B) of the Constitution for
civil servants.

LUISK. LOKIN, JR. and TERESITA F. PLANAS v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (COMELEC), CITIZENS’
BATTLE AGAINST CORRUPTION PARTY LIST represented by VIRGINIA S. JOSE SHERWIN N. TUGNA, and
CINCHONA CRUZ-GONZALES
G.R. No. 193808, June 26, 2012, Sereno, J.

COMELEC’s power to register political parties necessarily involved the determination of the persons who
must act on its behalf. Thus, the COMELEC may resolve an intra-party leadership dispute, in a proper case
brought before it, as an incident of its power to register political parties.

Facts:

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Respondents submitted a certified Certificate of Nomination of CIBAC to the COMELEC. The


nomination was certified by President Villanueva and Secretary General Jose. Subsequently, Derla submitted
a 2nd Certificate of Nominees including Lokin, and Planasas party-list nominees, affixing her signature as
“acting secretary-general” of CIBAC. Alleging that the nomination made by Derla was unauthorized,
respondents filed with the COMELEC a “Petition to expunge from the records and/or for disqualification.”
Respondents contended that Derla had misrepresented herself as “acting secretary-general”, and not even a
member of CIBAC.

COMELEC First division granted the petition, ordered the Certificate filed by Derla to be expunged
from the records, and declared respondents’ group as the true nominees of CIBAC. COMELEC en banc
affirmed the Division’s findings. Aggrieved, petitioners now argue that the authority of Secretary General Jose
to file the party’s Certificate of Nomination is an intra-corporate matter, exclusively cognizable by special
commercial courts, and over which the COMELEC has no jurisdiction.

Issue:

Whether the controversy on who has authority to file the nomination in a party-list is an intra-
corporate dispute, exclusively cognizable by special commercial courts, and over which the COMELEC has no
jurisdiction.

Ruling:

NO. COMELEC’s jurisdiction to settle the struggle for leadership within the party is well established.
This singular power to rule upon questions of party identity and leadership is exercised by the COMELEC as
an incident to its enforcement powers.The Court ruled in Kalaw v. Commission on Elections that the
COMELEC’s powers and functions under Section 2, Article IX-C of the Constitution, "include the ascertainment
of the identity of the political party and its legitimate officers responsible for its acts." The Court also declared
in another case that the COMELEC’s power to register political parties necessarily involved the determination
of the persons who must act on its behalf. Thus, the COMELEC may resolve an intra-party leadership dispute,
in a proper case brought before it, as an incident of its power to register political parties.

DARYL GRACE J. ABAYON v. THE HONORABLE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL,


PERFECTO C. LUCABAN, JR., RONYL S. DE LA CRUZ and AGUSTIN C. DOROGA
G.R. No. 189466, February 11, 2010, Abad, J.

CONGRESSMAN JOVITO S. PALPARAN, JR. v. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL


(HRET), DR. REYNALDO LESACA, JR., CRISTINA PALABAY, RENATO M. REYES, JR., ERLINDA CADAPAN,
ANTONIO FLORES and JOSELITO USTAREZ
G.R. No. 189506, February 11, 2010, Abad, J.

Since party-list nominees are "elected members" of the House of Representatives no less than the district
representatives are, the HRET has jurisdiction to hear and pass upon their qualifications.

Facts:

D aryl Grace Abayon and Jovito Palparan were both first nominees of Aangat Tayo party-list
organization and Bantayparty-list group respectively that won seats in the House of Representatives in the
2007 elections. In two separate petitions for quo warranto, respondents questioned the eligibility of Abayon
and Palparan and their respective party-list groups. Abayon and Palparan both questioned the jurisdiction of
the HRET contending that it is the party-list that was elected in the House of Representatives and not them
who were just its nominees. The HRET, on both petitions, issued an order dismissing the petition against
against the party-list groups for the reason that the issue of the qualification of the party-list group fell within

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the jurisdiction of the COMELEC pursuant to the Party-List System Act. However, it defended its jurisdiction
over the question of the qualifications of Abayon and Palparan.

Issue:

Whether the HRET has jurisdiction to pass upon the eligibilities of the nominees of the party-list
groups that won seats in the lower house of Congress.

Ruling:

YES. The members of the House of Representatives are of two kinds: "members x x x who shall be
elected from legislative districts" and "those who x x x shall be elected through a party-list system of
registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations." This means that, from the Constitution’s
point of view, it is the party-list representatives who are "elected" into office, not their parties or
organizations. Once elected, both the district representatives and the party-list representatives are treated in
like manner.

Sec. 17, Art. VI of the Constitution provides that the HRET shall be the sole judge of all contests
relating to, among other things, the qualifications of the members of the House of Representatives. Since, as
pointed out above, party-list nominees are "elected members" of the House of Representatives no less than
the district representatives are, the HRET has jurisdiction to hear and pass upon their qualifications. By
analogy with the cases of district representatives, once the party or organization of the party-list nominee has
been proclaimed and the nominee has taken his oath and assumed office as member of the House of
Representatives, the COMELEC’s jurisdiction over election contests relating to his qualifications ends and the
HRET’s own jurisdiction begins.

ABC (ALLIANCE FOR BARANGAY CONCERNS) PARTY LIST, represented herein by its Chairman, JAMES
MARTY LIM v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and MELANIO MAURICIO, JR.
G.R. No. 193256, March 22, 2011, Peralta, J.

Based on Sec. 2 (5) of Art. IX-C of the Constitution, the COMELEC has the authority to register political
parties, organizations or coalitions, and the authority to cancel the registration of the same on legal grounds.

Facts:

Melanio Mauricio, Jr. filed a petition with the COMELEC for the cancellation of registration and
accreditation of ABC Party-List on the ground that it is a front for a religious organization called Children of
God International, which is more popularly known as Ang Dating Daan; hence, it is disqualified to become a
party-list group under Section 6 (1) of R.A. 7941 or the Party-List System Act. The said petition was dismissed
by the COMELEC Second Division. The COMELEC en banc partially granted Mauricio's Motion for
Reconsideration with Motion to Annul Proclamation and Suspend Its Effects. ABC then filed a petition for
certiorari questioning the said resolution of the COMELEC en banc reinstating the petition for cancellation.

Issue:

Whether the COMELEC en banc has jurisdiction to cancel the registration and accreditation of ABC
after its proclamation.

Ruling:

YES. Based on Sec. 2 (5) of Art. IX-C of the Constitution, the COMELEC has the authority to register
political parties, organizations or coalitions, and the authority to cancel the registration of the same on legal

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grounds. The said authority of the COMELEC is also reflected in Section 6 of R.A. No. 7941. It provides that the
COMELEC may motu proprio or upon verified complaint of any interested party, refuse or cancel, after due
notice and hearing, the registration of any national, regional or sectoral party, organization or coalition on the
ground that it is a religious sect or denomination, organization or association organized for religious
purposes. It is, therefore, clear that the COMELEC has jurisdiction over the instant petition for cancellation of
the registration of the ABC Party-List.

In the case of the party-list nominees/representatives, it is the HRET that has jurisdiction over
contests relating to their qualifications. Although it is the party-list organization that is voted for in the
elections, it is not the organization that sits as and becomes a member of the House of Representatives, but it
is the party-list nominee/representative who sits as a member of the House of Representatives.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROMEO G. JALOSJOS


G.R. No. 132875-76, February 3, 2000, Ynares-Santiago, J.

The performance of legitimate and even essential duties by public officers has never been an excuse to
free a person validly in prison.

Facts:

Romeo Jaloslos is a full-pledged member of Congress who is now confined at the national
penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape on two counts and acts of lasciviousness on six counts is
pending appeal. He filed this motion asking that he be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman,
including attendance at legislative sessions and committee meetings despite his having been convicted in the
first instance of a non-bailable offense. He raised among others that his reelection being an expression of
popular will cannot be rendered inutile by any ruling, giving priority to any right or interest — not even the
police power of the State.

Issue:

Whether Jalosjos should be allowed to discharge his duties as a member of the House of
Representatives.

Ruling:

NO. Jalosjos has not given any reason why he should be exempted from the operation of Section 11,
Art. VI of the Constitution. The members of Congress cannot compel absent members to attend sessions if the
reason for the absence is a legitimate one. The confinement of a Congressman charged with a crime
punishable by imprisonment of more than six months is not merely authorized by law, it has constitutional
foundations.

The performance of legitimate and even essential duties by public officers has never been an excuse
to free a person validly in prison. The duties imposed by the "mandate of the people" are multifarious. The
accused-appellant asserts that the duty to legislative ranks highest in the hierarchy of government. The
accused-appellant is only one of 250 members of the House of Representatives, not to mention the 24
members of the Senate, charged with the duties of legislation. Congress continues to function well in the
physical absence of one or a few of its members. Depending on the exigency of Government that has to be
addressed, the President or the Supreme Court can also be deemed the highest for that particular duty. The
importance of a function depends on the need to its exercise. The duty of a mother to nurse her infant is most
compelling under the law of nature. A doctor with unique skills has the duty to save the lives of those with a
particular affliction. An elective governor has to serve provincial constituents. A police officer must maintain

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peace and order. Never has the call of a particular duty lifted a prisoner into a different classification from
those others who are validly restrained by law.

ANTONIO F. TRILLANES IV v. HON. OSCAR PIMENTEL, SR., IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE,
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT- BRANCH 148, MAKATI CITY; GEN. HERMOGENES ESPERON, VICE ADM.
ROGELIO I. CALUNSAG, MGEN. BENJAMIN DOLORFINO, AND LT. COL. LUCIARDO OBEÑA
G.R. No. 179817, June 27, 2008, Carpio-Morales, J.

The determination that the evidence of guilt is strong, whether ascertained in a hearing of an
application for bail or imported from a trial court’s judgment of conviction, justifies the detention of an accused
as a valid curtailment of his right to provisional liberty. Such justification for confinement with its underlying
rationale of public self-defense applies equally to detention prisoners like petitioner or convicted prisoners-
appellants like Jalosjos.

Facts:

Antonio Trillanes IV was charged with coup d' etat before the RTC of Makati City in connection with
the Oakwood Incident that happened in 2003. While in detention, he won a seat in the Senate in the 2007
elections. On June 22, 2007, he filed with the RTC an "Omnibus Motion for Leave of Court to be Allowed to
Attend Senate Sessions and Related Requests." The trial court denied his request and his motion for
reconsideration. Hence, this petition for certiorari. He points out that in Jalosjos case, he was already
convicted, albeit his conviction was pending appeal, when he filed a motion similar to petitioner’s Omnibus
Motion, whereas in Trillanes' case, he is a mere detention prisoner. Jalosjos was charged with crimes
involving moral turpitude whereas Trillanes was charged with a "political offense."

Issue:

Whether the trial court erred in denying his request.

Ruling:

NO. The Constitution provides that all persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by
reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties,
or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. Also, the Rules of Court state no person charged
with a capital offense, or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, shall be admitted
to bail when evidence of guilt is strong, regardless of the stage of the criminal action. That the cited provisions
apply equally to rape and coup d’etat cases, both being punishable by reclusion perpetua, is beyond cavil.
Within the class of offenses covered by the stated range of imposable penalties, there is clearly no distinction
as to the political complexion of or moral turpitude involved in the crime charged.

In the present case, it is uncontroverted that Trillanes’ application for bail and for release on
recognizance was denied. The determination that the evidence of guilt is strong, whether ascertained in a
hearing of an application for bail or imported from a trial court’s judgment of conviction, justifies the
detention of an accused as a valid curtailment of his right to provisional liberty. This accentuates the proviso
that the denial of the right to bail in such cases is "regardless of the stage of the criminal action." Such
justification for confinement with its underlying rationale of public self-defense applies equally to detention
prisoners like petitioner or convicted prisoners-appellants like Jalosjos.

MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO v. SANDIGANBAYAN, FRANCIS E. GARCHITORENA, JOSE S. BALAJADIA


AND MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO, AS PRESIDING JUSTICE AND MEMBERS OF THE FIRST DIVISION

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G.R. No. 128055, April 18, 2001, Vitug, J.

R.A. No. 3019 does not exclude from its coverage the members of Congress and that, therefore, the
Sandiganbayan did not err in thus decreeing the assailed preventive suspension order.

Facts:

A group of employees of the Commission of Immigration and Deportation filed complaints for alleged
violation of R.A. 3019 against Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago. Subsequently, a criminal case was filed
against her before the Sandiganbayan. The prosecution then filed a motion to issue an order suspending
Santiago. The Sandiganbayan granted the motion and ordered the suspension of Santiago for 90 days from
her position as Senator of the Republic of the Philippines and from any other government position she may be
holding at present or hereafter. Hence, this petition assailing the said order of the Sandiganbayan.

Issue:

Whether the Sandiganbayan has the authority to decree a ninety-day preventive suspension of
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

Ruling:

YES. The order of suspension prescribed by R.A. No. 3019 is distinct from the power of Congress to
discipline its own ranks under the Constitution. The suspension contemplated in the said constitutional
provision is a punitive measure that is imposed upon determination by the Senate or the House of
Representatives, as the case may be, upon an erring member. The Court ruled that Section 16 (3), Art. VI of
the Constitution deals with the power of each House of Congress inter alia to 'punish its Members for
disorderly behavior,' and 'suspend or expel a Member' by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members subject to
the qualification that the penalty of suspension, when imposed, should not exceed sixty days — is unavailing,
as it appears to be quite distinct from the suspension spoken of in Section 13 of R.A. 3019, which is not a
penalty but a preliminary, preventive measure, prescinding from the fact that the latter is not being imposed
on petitioner for misbehavior as a Member of the House of Representatives."

The doctrine of separation of powers by itself may not be deemed to have effectively excluded
members of Congress from R.A. No. 3019 nor from its sanctions. The maxim simply recognizes each of the
three co-equal and independent, albeit coordinate, branches of the government — the Legislative, the
Executive and the Judiciary — has exclusive prerogatives and cognizance within its own sphere of influence
and effectively prevents one branch from unduly intruding into the internal affairs of either branch. R.A. No.
3019 does not exclude from its coverage the members of Congress and that, therefore, the Sandiganbayan did
not err in thus decreeing the assailed preventive suspension order.

ANTERO J. POBRE v. Sen. MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO


A.C. No. 7399, August 25, 2009, Velasco, Jr., J.

No member shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the
Congress or in any committee thereof.

Facts:

Antero Pobre filed an administrative complaint against Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago regarding
the speech she delivered on the Senate floor. In the said speech, she said the following:

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"I am not angry. I am irate. I am foaming in the mouth. I am homicidal. I am suicidal. I am humiliated,
debased, degraded. And I am not only that, I feel like throwing up to be living my middle years in a country of
this nature. I am nauseated. I spit on the face of Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban and his cohorts in the
Supreme Court, I am no longer interested in the position [of Chief Justice] if I was to be surrounded by idiots. I
would rather be in another environment but not in the Supreme Court of idiots."

In her comment, Senator Santiago, through counsel, does not deny making the aforequoted
statements. However, she invoked parliamentary immunity contending that it was delivered in the discharge
of her duty as member of Congress or its committee.

Issue:

Whether Santiago can be subject to a disciplinary action.

Ruling:

NO. Indeed, her privilege speech is not actionable criminally or in a disciplinary proceeding under
the Rules of Court.

The immunity Senator Santiago claims is rooted primarily on the provision of Art. VI, Sec. 11 of the
Constitution, which provides: "A Senator or Member of the House of Representative shall, in all offenses
punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in
session. No member shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the
Congress or in any committee thereof."

The Court is aware of the need and has in fact been in the forefront in upholding the institution of
parliamentary immunity and promotion of free speech. Neither has the Court lost sight of the importance of
the legislative and oversight functions of the Congress that enable this representative body to look diligently
into every affair of government, investigate and denounce anomalies, and talk about how the country and its
citizens are being served. Courts do not interfere with the legislature or its members in the manner they
perform their functions in the legislative floor or in committee rooms. Any claim of an unworthy purpose or
of the falsity and mala fides of the statement uttered by the member of the Congress does not destroy the
privilege. The disciplinary authority of the assembly and the voters, not the courts, can properly discourage
or correct such abuses committed in the name of parliamentary immunity.

DANTE V. LIBAN, REYNALDO M. BERNARDO, and SALVADOR M. VIARI v. RICHARD J. GORDON


G.R. No. 175352, July 15, 2009, Carpio, J.

The office of the PNRC Chairman is not a government office or an office in a government-owned or
controlled corporation for purposes of the prohibition in Section 13, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.

Facts:

On February 23, 2006, Senator Richard Gordon was elected as Chairman of the Philippine National
Red Cross during his incumbency as a member of the Senate. Petitioners then filed a petition to declare
Senator Gordon as having forfeited his seat in the Senate. They allege that by accepting the chairmanship of
the PNRC Board of Governors, he has ceased to be a member of the Senate as provided in Sec. 13, Art. VI of the
Constitution. In his Comment, Senator Gordon asserted that petitioners have no standing to file this petition
which appears to be an action for quo warranto and that it was already barred by prescription. He further
insisted that the PNRC is not a government-owned or controlled corporation and that the prohibition under
Sec. 13, Art. VI of the Constitution does not apply in the present case since volunteer service to the PNRC is
neither an office nor an employment.

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Issue:

Whether the office of the PNRC Chairman is a government office or an office in a government-owned
or controlled corporation for purposes of the prohibition in Sec. 13, Art.VI of the Constitution.

Ruling:

NO. The office of the PNRC Chairman is not a government office or an office in a government-owned
or controlled corporation for purposes of the prohibition in Section 13, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.

The PNRC is not government-owned but privately owned. The vast majority of the thousands of
PNRC members are private individuals, including students. Under the PNRC Charter, those who contribute to
the annual fund campaign of the PNRC are entitled to membership in the PNRC for one year. Thus, any one
between 6 and 65 years of age can be a PNRC member for one year upon contributing P35, P100, P300, P500
or P1,000 for the year. Even foreigners, whether residents or not, can be members of the PNRC. Sec. 5 of the
PNRC Charter, as amended by P.D. No. 1264, provides that membership in the PNRC shall be open to the
entire population in the Philippines regardless of citizenship. Thus, the PNRC is a privately owned, privately
funded, and privately run charitable organization. The PNRC is not a government-owned or controlled
corporation.

REGINA ONGSIAKO REYES v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and JOSEPH SOCORRO B. TAN


G.R. No. 207264, June 25, 2013, Perez, J.

To be considered a Member of the House of Representatives, there must be a concurrence of the


following requisites: (1) a valid proclamation, (2) a proper oath, and (3) assumption of office.

Facts:

In 2012, Joseph Tan filed a petition to deny due course or to cancel the COC of Regina Reyes before
the COMELEC citing material misrepresentations contained therein such as her citizenship, civil status, and
residence. The COMELEC First Division cancelled her COC on the ground that she is not a Filipino citizen and
she did not meet the one-year residency requirement making her ineligible to run as representative of the
lone district of Marinduque. The COMELEC en banc denied her motion for reconsideration. Four days after
the election, Regina Reyes was proclaimed winner. However, on June 5, 2013, the resolution of the COMELEC
en banc became final and executory. She took her oath of office on the same day. Petitioner has yet to assume
office, the term of which officially starts at noon of June 30, 2013. Reyes filed this present petition for
certiorari.

Issue:

Whether the COMELEC has jurisdiction over Reyes who has been proclaimed and who has already
taken her oath of office for the position of Member of the House of Representatives.

Ruling:

YES. The COMELEC retains jurisdiction for the reason that the jurisdiction of the HRET begins only
after the candidate is considered a Member of the House of Representatives, as stated in Sec. 17, Art. VI of the
1987 Constitution.

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To be considered a Member of the House of Representatives, there must be a concurrence of the


following requisites: (1) a valid proclamation, (2) a proper oath, and (3) assumption of office. Here, Reyes
cannot be considered a Member of the House of Representatives because, primarily, she has not yet assumed
office. To repeat what has earlier been said, the term of office of a Member of the House of Representatives
begins only "at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their election." Thus, until such time, the
COMELEC retains jurisdiction.

REGINA ONGSIAKO REYES v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and JOSEPH SOCORRO B. TAN


G.R. No. 207264, October 22, 2013, Perez, J.

The HRET is the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the
Members of the House of Representatives.

Facts:

In 2012, Joseph Tan filed a petition to deny due course or to cancel the COC of Regina Reyes before
the COMELEC citing material misrepresentations contained therein such as her citizenship, civil status, and
residence. The COMELEC First Division cancelled her COC on the ground that she is not a Filipino citizen and
she did not meet the one-year residency requirement making her ineligible to run as representative of the
lone district of Marinduque. The COMELEC en banc denied her motion for reconsideration. Four days after
the election, Regina Reyes was proclaimed winner. However, on June 5, 2013, the resolution of the COMELEC
en banc became final and executory. She took her oath of office on the same day. Petitioner has yet to assume
office, the term of which officially starts at noon of June 30, 2013.
Issue:

Whether the jurisdiction to pass upon the qualifications of Reyes is lodged with the HRET.

Ruling:

NO. Reyes, therefore, is in error when she posits that at present it is the HRET which has exclusive
jurisdiction over her qualifications as a Member of the House of Representatives. That the HRET is the sole
judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the Members of the House of
Representatives is a written constitutional provision. It is, however unavailable to petitioner because she is
not a Member of the House at present. The COMELEC never ordered her proclamation as the rightful winner
in the election for such membership. Indeed, the action for cancellation of petitioner's certificate of candidacy,
the decision in which is the indispensable determinant of the right of petitioner to proclamation, was
correctly lodged in the COMELEC, was completely and fully litigated in the COMELEC and was finally decided
by the COMELEC. On and after May 14, 2013, there was nothing left for the COMELEC to do to decide the case.
The decision sealed the proceedings in the COMELEC regarding petitioner's ineligibility as a candidate for
Representative of Marinduque. The decision erected the bar to Reyes' proclamation.

LORD ALLAN JAY Q. VELASCO v. HON. SPEAKER FELICIANO R. BELMONTE, JR., SECRETARY GENERAL
MARILYN B. BARUA-YAP AND REGINA ONGSIAKO REYES
G.R. No. 211140, January 12, 2016, Leonardo-De Castro, J.

The administration of oath and the registration of Velasco in the Roll of Members of the House of
Representatives for the Lone District of the Province of Marinduque are no longer a matter of discretion or
judgment on the part of Speaker Belmonte, Jr. and Sec. Gen. Barua-Yap.

Facts:

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The COC of Regina Reyes was cancelled in a petition filed for the purpose. Pending the resolution of
Reyes' motion for reconsideration, elections were held. A day after the election, the COMELEC en banc
affirmed the said resolution. Despite such decision, Reyes was still proclaimed as the representative of the
lone district of Marinduque. In the meantime, the COMELEC's resolution became final and executory. Velasco
filed a petition for certiorari assailing that the proceedings of the PBOC and the proclamation of Reyes were
null and void. The COMELEC denied the aforementioned petition. The COMELEC en banc reversed the denial
of Velasco's petition and declared null and void the proclamation of Reyes. However, Velasco alleged that
despite all the letters and requests to Speaker Belmonte, Jr. and Sec. Gen. Barua-Yap, they refused to
recognize him as the duly elected Representative of the Lone District of Marinduque. Hence, the instant
Petition for Mandamus with prayer for issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or injunction.

Issue:

Whether Speaker Belmonte and Sec. Gen. Barua-Yap can be compelled to administer oath and to
delete the name of Reyes in the Roll of the members of the House of Representatives respectively.

Ruling:

YES. The present Petition for Mandamus seeks to compel respondents Speaker Belmonte, Jr. and Sec.
Gen. Barua-Yap to acknowledge and recognize the final and executory Decisions and Resolution of this Court
and of the COMELEC by administering the oath of office to Velasco and entering the latter's name in the Roll
of Members of the House of Representatives. In other words, the Court is called upon to determine whether
or not the prayed for acts, i.e., (i) the administration of the oath of office to Velasco; and (if) the inclusion of
his name in the Roll of Members, are ministerial in character vis-a-vis the factual and legal milieu of this case.
As the Court has previously stated, the administration of oath and the registration of Velasco in the Roll of
Members of the House of Representatives for the Lone District of the Province of Marinduque are no longer a
matter of discretion or judgment on the part of Speaker Belmonte, Jr. and Sec. Gen. Barua-Yap. They are
legally duty-bound to recognize Velasco as the duly elected Member of the House of Representatives for the
Lone District of Marinduque in view of the ruling rendered by the Court and the COMELEC'S compliance with
the said ruling, now both final and executory.

MARY ELIZABETH TY-DELGADO v. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL AND PHILIP


ARREZA PICHAY
GR. No. 219603, January 26, 2016, Carpio, J.

A sentence by final judgment for a crime involving moral turpitude is a ground for disqualification
under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code.

Facts:

In 2008, Philip Pichay was convicted of four counts of libel. In 2016, he filed his certificate of
candidacy for the position of Member of the House of Representatives for the First Legislative District of
Surigao del Sur for the 2013 elections. A petition for his disqualification was filed by Mary Elizabeth Ty-
Delgado under Sec. 12 of the Omnibus Election Code on the ground that he was convicted of libel, a crime
involving moral turpitude. When Pichay paid the fine in lieu of imprisonment, on February 17, 2011, the five-
year period barring him to be a candidate had yet to lapse. When Pichay was proclaimed as the winner, she
filed a petition for quo warranto before the HRET reiterating that Pichay's ineligibility. However, the HRET
concluded that the circumstances surrounding Pichay's conviction for libel showed that the crime did not
involve moral turpitude.

Issue:

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Whether Pichay is disqualified to become a member of the House of Representatives.

Ruling:

YES. A sentence by final judgment for a crime involving moral turpitude is a ground for
disqualification under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code. Libel is listed as one of the crimes involving
moral turpitude. In the present case, Pichay admits his conviction for four counts of libel. In Tulfo v. People of
the Philippines (587 Phil. 64, 2008), the Court found Pichay liable for publishing the four defamatory articles,
which are libelous per se, with reckless disregard of whether they were false or not.

Considering his ineligibility due to his disqualification under Section 12, which became final on June
1, 2009, Pichay made a false material representation as to his eligibility when he filed his certificate of
candidacy for the 2013 elections. Pichay's disqualification under Sec. 12 is a material fact involving the
eligibility of a candidate under Secs. 74 and 78 of the Omnibus Election Code. The HRET committed grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack of or excess of jurisdiction when it failed to disqualify Pichay for his
conviction for libel, a crime involving moral turpitude.

DR. EMIGDIO A. BONDOC v. REPRESENTATIVES MARCIANO M. PINEDA, et al.


G.R. No. 97710, September 26, 1991, GRIÑO-AQUINO, J.

To be able to exercise exclusive jurisdiction, the House Electoral Tribunal must be independent. Its
jurisdiction to hear and decide congressional election contests is not to be shared by it with the Legislature nor
with the Courts.

Facts:

Marciano Pineda of Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) and Dr. Emigdio Bondoc of the
Nacionalista Party (NP) were rival candidates for the position of Representative for the Fourth District of the
province of Pampanga. Pineda was proclaimed winner in the elections, thus, Bondoc filed a protest in the
House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET). The Tribunal issued a decision in favor of Bondoc. One
of the members of the HRET was Congressman Juanito Camasura, JR. of LDP. He revealed to his party that he
voted for Bondoc in the said HRET case. Thus, LDP expelled him from the political party. The LDP informed
the House of Representatives about Cong. Camasura’s expulsion. The House of Representatives then decided
to withdraw the nomination and rescind the election of Cong. Camasura to the HRET. This resulted to the
cancellation of the promulgation of the election contest between Bondoc and Pineda. Hence, Bondoc filed a
petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus.

Issue:

Whether the House of Representatives can validly removed Congressman Camasura from the HRET.

Ruling:

NO. The use of the word "sole" in both Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution and Section 11 of the 1935
Constitution underscores the exclusive jurisdiction of the House Electoral Tribunal as judge of contests
relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the House of Representatives. The
tribunal was created to function as a nonpartisan court although two-thirds of its members are politicians. To
be able to exercise exclusive jurisdiction, the House Electoral Tribunal must be independent. Its jurisdiction to
hear and decide congressional election contests is not to be shared by it with the Legislature nor with the
Courts.

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“Disloyalty to party" and "breach of party discipline," are not valid grounds for the expulsion of a
member of the tribunal. In expelling Congressman Camasura from the HRET for having cast a “conscience
vote” in favor of Bondoc, based strictly on the result of the examination and appreciation of the ballots and
the recount of the votes by the tribunal, the House of Representatives committed a grave abuse of discretion,
an injustice, and a violation of the Constitution. Furthermore, membership in the House Electoral Tribunal
may not be terminated except for a just cause. Since the expulsion of Congressman Camasura from the House
Electoral Tribunal by the House of Representatives was not for a lawful and valid cause, but to unjustly
interfere with the tribunal's disposition of the Bondoc case and to deprive Bondoc of the fruits of the
Tribunal's decision in his favor, the action of the House of Representatives is clearly violative of the
constitutional mandate (Sec. 17, Art. VI, 1987 Constitution) which created the House Electoral Tribunal to be
the "sole judge" of the election contest between Pineda and Bondoc.

JEAN L. ARNAULT v.LEON NAZARENO, et al.


G.R. No.L-3820, July 18, 1950, OZAETA, J.

The power of inquiry – with process to enforce it – is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the
legislative function.

Facts:

The Senate investigated the purchase by the Government of the Buenavista and Tambobong estates.A
certain amount of money was paid to Ernest Burt thru his agent petitioner Jean Arnault. Arnault was called
upon by the Senate to answer questions regarding the whereabouts of the P440,000.00.Upon his failure to
answer questions pertinent to the subject of inquiry, the Senate ordered his confinement to the New Bilibid
Prison. Hence, Arnault filed a petition for habeas corpus contending that the Senate has no power to compel
him to answer questions which are not pertinent to the matter under inquiry and to punish him for contempt.

Issue:

Whether the Senate has the power to punish for contempt a person for refusing to answer a question
pertinent to the matter under inquiry.

Ruling:

YES. The power of inquiry – with process to enforce it – is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the
legislative function. A legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of information
respecting the conditions which the legislation is intended to effect or change; and where the legislative body
does not itself possess the requisite information – which is not infrequently true – recourse must be had to
others who do possess it. Once an inquiry is admitted or established to be within the jurisdiction of a
legislative body to make, the investigating committee has the power to require a witness to answer any
question pertinent to that inquiry, subject of course to his constitutional right against self-incrimination. The
inquiry, to be within the jurisdiction of the legislative body to make, must be material or necessary to the
exercise of a power in it vested by the Constitution, such as to legislate, or to expel a Member; and every
question which the investigator is empowered to coerce a witness to answer must be material or pertinent to
the subject of the inquiry or investigation. The materiality of the question must be determined by its direct
relation to any proposed or possible legislation.

Where the alleged immateriality of the information sought by the legislative body from a witness is
relied upon to contest its jurisdiction, the court is in duty bound to pass upon the contention. By refusing to
answer the questions, the witness has obstructed the performance by the Senate of its legislative function,
and the Senate has the power to remove the obstruction by compelling the witness to answer the questions

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thru restraint of his liberty until he shall have answered them. That power subsists as long as the Senate,
which is a continuing body, persists in performing the particular legislative function involved.

STANDARD CHARTERED BANK (Philippine Branch), et al. v. SENATE COMMITTEE ON BANKS,


FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND CURRENCIES
G.R. No. 167173, December 27, 2007, NACHURA, J.

The mere filing of a criminal or an administrative complaint before a court or a quasi-judicial body
should not automatically bar the conduct of legislative investigation.

Facts:

Because of the privilege speech delivered by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile regarding the sale of
unregistered foreign securities by the Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) Philippines which is a violation of the
Securities Regulation Code, the respondent Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies
conducted an investigation, in aid of legislation, of the subject matter of the speech. Petitioners, who are the
officials of SCB, filed a petition for prohibition against respondent to enjoin the members thereof from
compelling the petitioners to testify before any hearing to be conducted by the respondent. Petitioners
contended that the respondent has no jurisdiction to conduct the inquiry because its subject matter was
already the subject matter of the civil and criminal cases against the SCB pending before the CA and the trial
courts.

Issue:

Whether the respondent may conduct the subject inquiry, in aid of legislation, and compel the
petitioners to testify, despite the pendency of cases involving the same subject matter of the inquiry.

Ruling:

YES. The mere filing of a criminal or an administrative complaint before a court or a quasi-judicial
body should not automatically bar the conduct of legislative investigation. Otherwise, it would be extremely
easy to subvert any intended inquiry by Congress through the convenient ploy of instituting a criminal or an
administrative complaint. Surely, the exercise of sovereign legislative authority, of which the power of
legislative inquiry is an essential component, cannot be made subordinate to a criminal or an administrative
investigation.

As succinctly stated in the landmark case Arnault v. Nazareno, “[t]he power of inquiry with process to
enforce it is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function. A legislative body cannot
legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of information respecting the conditions which the legislation is
intended to affect or change; and where the legislative body does not itself possess the requisite information
which is not infrequently true recourse must be had to others who possess it.”

The exercise by Congress or by any of its committees of the power to punish contempt is based on
the principle of self-preservation. Such power is sui generis, as it attaches not to the discharge of legislative
functions per se, but to the sovereign character of the legislature as one of the three independent and
coordinate branches of government. It is axiomatic that the power of legislative investigation includes the
power to compel the attendance of witnesses. Corollary to the power to compel the attendance of witnesses is
the power to ensure that said witnesses would be available to testify in the legislative investigation.

SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, et al. v. EDUARDO R. ERMITA

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G.R. Nos. 169777, 169659, 169660, 169667, 169834 & 171246, April 20, 2006, CARPIO-MORALES, J.

Congress has a right to information from the executive branch whenever it is sought in aid of legislation.
If the executive branch withholds such information on the ground that it is privileged, it must so assert it and
state the reason therefor and why it must be respected.

Facts:

The Senate invited several executive officials as resource speakers for public hearings involving the
alleged overpricing of the North Rail Projects and the massive electoral fraud in the presidential elections of
May 2005. Thereafter, the President issued Executive Order No. (EO) 464 which requires that all heads of
departments of the Executive Branch of the government shall secure the consent of the President prior to
appearing before either House of Congress. Because of the EO, many of those who were invited were not able
to go to the inquiry because of lack of approval from the President. Hence, the Senate of the Philippines filed
a petition to Supreme Court to question the validity of EO 464.

Issue:

Whether EO 464 is void on the ground that it contravenes the power of inquiry vested in Congress.

Ruling:

Sections 2(b) and 3 of EO 464 are void while sections 1 and 2 (a) are valid.

Congress has a right to information from the executive branch whenever it is sought in aid of
legislation. If the executive branch withholds such information on the ground that it is privileged, it must so
assert it and state the reason therefor and why it must be respected.

Section 3 of E.O. 464 requires all official mentioned in Sec. 2 (b) to obtain the consent of the president
before they can appear before congress. This enumeration is broad and when the officials concerned invokes
this as a basis for not attending the inquiries there is already an implied claim of privilege. Executive privilege
is properly invoked in relation to specific categories of information and not to categories of person.

Sections 2(b) and 3 of E.O. 464 are void because they are too broad and would frustrate the power of
Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation because it allows the executive branch to evade
congressional requests for information without need of clearly asserting a right to do so and or pro-offering
its reasons therefor.

ROMULO L. NERI v. SENATE COMMITTEE ON ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS AND


INVESTIGATIONS, et al.
G.R. No. 180643, March 25, 2008, LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.

The power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation extends even to executive officials and
the only way for them to be exempted is through a valid claim of executive privilege.

Facts:

Petitioner Romulo Neri, as the former Director of NEDA, was invited by the respondent Senate
Committees to appear and testify on matters involving the controversial ZTE-NBN deal. Neri testified that he
was offered a bribe to accept the deal, but did not accept such as instructed by the President. When he was
further asked on the details of the matters he discussed with the President about the NBN Project, Neri,
invoking executive privilege, refused to answer particularly three questions: (a) whether or not President

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Arroyo followed up the NBN Project, (b) whether or not she directed him to prioritize it, and (c) whether or
not she directed him to approve. When called again to testify in another hearing, Neri refused upon orders of
the President, invoking executive privilege. Thus, he was arrested for contempt of the Senate.

Issue:

Whether the communications elicited by the subject three (3) questions are covered by executive
privilege.

Ruling:

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

The power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is broad. This is based on the
proposition that a legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of information
respecting the conditions which the legislation is intended to affect or change. Inevitably, adjunct thereto is
the compulsory process to enforce it. But, the power, broad as it is, has limitations. To be valid, it is
imperative that it is done in accordance with the Senate or House duly published rules of procedure and that
the rights of the persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries be respected. The power extends even to
executive officials and the only way for them to be exempted is through a valid claim of executive privilege.

ROMULO L. NERI v. SENATE COMMITTEE ON ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS AND


INVESTIGATIONS, et al.
G.R. No. 180643, September 4, 2008, LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.

The presumption of executive privilege can only be overturned by a showing of compelling need for
disclosure of the information covered by the privilege.

Facts:

Respondent Senate Committees filed a motion for reconsideration of the March 25, 2008 Decision of
the Court wherein the Senate cited in contempt Romulo Neri for his refusal to answer three specific questions
involving the controversial ZTE-NBN deal. The Court held that the communications elicited by the three
questions are covered by the presidential communications privilege, hence, the contempt order issued by
respondents was void. Respondents now contend that the information elicited by the three questions are
necessary in the discharge of their legislative functions.

Issue:

Whether respondent Committees have shown that the communications elicited by the three
questions are critical to the exercise of their functions.

Ruling:

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NO. The Court recognizes respondent Committees’ power to investigate the NBN Project in aid of
legislation. However, the Court cannot uphold the view that when a constitutionally guaranteed privilege or
right is validly invoked by a witness in the course of a legislative investigation, the legislative purpose of
respondent Committees’ questions can be sufficiently supported by the expedient of mentioning statutes
and/or pending bills to which their inquiry as a whole may have relevance. The jurisprudential test laid down
by the Court in past decisions on executive privilege is that the presumption of privilege can only be
overturned by a showing of compelling need for disclosure of the information covered by executive
privilege.

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

The general thrust and the tenor of the three (3) questions is to trace the alleged bribery to the Office
of the President. While it may be a worthy endeavor to investigate the potential culpability of high
government officials, including the President, in a given government transaction, it is simply not a task for the
Senate to perform. The role of the Legislature is to make laws, not to determine anyone’s guilt of a crime or
wrongdoing. Our Constitution has not bestowed upon the Legislature the latter role. Just as the Judiciary
cannot legislate, neither can the Legislature adjudicate or prosecute.

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR ISSUANCE OF WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS OF CAMILO L. SABIO
v.HONORABLE SENATOR RICHARD GORDON, et al.
G.R. No. 174340, October 17, 2006, SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.

Section 4(b) exempts the PCGG members and staff from the Congress' power of inquiry. This cannot be
countenanced. Nowhere in the Constitution is any provision granting such exemption.

Facts:

Chairman Camilo Sabio of the PCGG was invited as one of the resource persons in the public meeting
for the investigation of the anomalous losses incurred by the POTC, PHILCOMSAT and PHC due to the alleged
improprieties in their operations by their respective Board of Directors. Sabio refused to appear invoking
Sec. 4(b) of Executive Order (EO) No. 1 issued by former President Corazon Aquino, which exempts all PCGG
members or staff from testifying in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding. Hence, he was
arrested for contempt of the Senate. Because of this, Sabio filed a petition for habeas corpus alleging that the
respondent Senate committees disregarded Section 4(b) of EO No. 1.

Issue:

Whether Sec. 4(b) of EO No. 1, which limits the Senate’s power to conduct legislative inquiry, has
been repealed by the 1987 Constitution.

Ruling:

YES. Section 4(b) of EO No. 1 is directly repugnant with Article VI, Section 21 of the Constitution.
Section 4(b) exempts the PCGG members and staff from the Congress' power of inquiry. This cannot be
countenanced. Nowhere in the Constitution is any provision granting such exemption. The Congress' power
of inquiry, being broad, encompasses everything that concerns the administration of existing laws as well as
proposed or possibly needed statutes. It even extends "to government agencies created by Congress and

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officers whose positions are within the power of Congress to regulate or even abolish." PCGG belongs to this
class.

Certainly, a mere provision of law cannot pose a limitation to the broad power of Congress, in the
absence of any constitutional basis.The Constitution is the highest law of the land. It is "the basic and
paramount law to which all other laws must conform and to which all persons, including the highest officials
of the land, must defer. No act shall be valid, however noble its intentions, if it conflicts with the
Constitution." Consequently, the Court has no recourse but to declare Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 repealed by
the 1987 Constitution.

ARTURO M. TOLENTINO v.THE SECRETARY OF FINANCE and THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL


REVENUE
G.R. Nos. 115455, 115525, 115543, 115544, 115754, 115781, 115852, 115873, 115931, August 25,
1994, MENDOZA, J.

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

Facts:

This involves suits for certiorari and prohibition questioning the constitutionality of Republic Act
(RA) No. 7716 or the Expanded Value-Added Tax Law. One of the grounds invoked by petitioners is the
violation of Article VI, Section 26(2) of the Constitution. Petitioners contended that in enacting the said law,
Congress violated the Constitution because, although H. No. 11197 had originated in the House of
Representatives, it was not passed by the Senate but was simply consolidated with the Senate version (S. No.
1630) in the Conference Committee to produce the bill which the President signed into law. In other words,
they alleged that RA 7716 did not originate in the House of Representatives, as required by the Constitution,
and it has not thereby become a law.

Issue:

Whether RA 7716 violated Article VI, Section 26(2) of the Constitution.

Ruling:

NO. It is not the law – but the revenue bill – which is required by the Constitution to "originate
exclusively" in the House of Representatives. It is important to emphasize this, because a bill originating in
the House may undergo such extensive changes in the Senate that the result may be a rewriting of the whole.
What is important to note is that, as a result of the Senate action, a distinct bill may be produced. To insist that
a revenue statute – and not only the bill which initiated the legislative process culminating in the enactment
of the law – must substantially be the same as the House bill would be to deny the Senate's power not only to
"concur with amendments" but also to "propose amendments." It would be to violate the coequality of
legislative power of the two houses of Congress and in fact make the House superior to the Senate.

Indeed, what the Constitution simply means is that the initiative for filing revenue, tariff, or tax bills,
bills authorizing an increase of the public debt, private bills and bills of local application must come from the
House of Representatives on the theory that, elected as they are from the districts, the members of the House
can be expected to be more sensitive to the local needs and problems. On the other hand, the senators, who
are elected at large, are expected to approach the same problems from the national perspective. Both views
are thereby made to bear on the enactment of such laws.

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PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION, et al. v. HON. SALVADOR ENRIQUEZ, et al.


G.R. Nos. 113105, 113174, 113766 & 113888, August 19, 1994, QUIASON, J.

Any provision which does not relate to any particular item, or which extends in its operation beyond an
item of appropriation, is considered "an inappropriate provision" which can be vetoed separately from an item.

Facts:

Petitioners, as taxpayers and members of the Senate, assail the constitutionality of Republic Act (RA)
No. 7763 or the General Appropriations Bill of 1994. When the law was passed, the President vetoed specific
provisions and imposed certain conditions therein. One of petitioners’ contentions is that the President
exceeded his veto power when he vetoed specific provisions of the Bill and not the entire bill itself.

Issue:

Whether the President has the power to veto certain provisions of an Appropriations Bill, and not the
entire bill itself.

Ruling:

YES. The Court will indulge every intendment in favor of the constitutionality of a veto, the same as it
will presume the constitutionality of an act of Congress. The veto power, while exercisable by the President,
is actually a part of the legislative process. That is why it is found in Article VI on the Legislative Department
rather than in Article VII on the Executive Department in the Constitution. There is, therefore, sound basis to
indulge in the presumption of validity of a veto. The burden shifts on those questioning the validity thereof to
show that its use is a violation of the Constitution.

Under his general veto power, the President has to veto the entire bill, not merely parts thereof
(1987 Constitution, Art. VI, Sec. 27[1]). The exception to the general veto power is the power given to the
President to veto any particular item or items in a general appropriations bill (1987 Constitution, Art. VI, Sec.
27[2]).In so doing, the President must veto the entire item.

A general appropriations bill is a special type of legislation, whose content is limited to specified
sums of money dedicated to a specific purpose or a separate fiscal unit. As the Constitution is explicit that the
provision which Congress can include in an appropriations bill must "relate specifically to some particular
appropriation therein" and "be limited in its operation to the appropriation to which it relates," it follows that
any provision which does not relate to any particular item, or which extends in its operation beyond an item
of appropriation, is considered "an inappropriate provision" which can be vetoed separately from an item.

CESAR BENGZON, et al. v. HON. FRANKLIN N. DRILON, et al.


G.R. No. 103524 & A.M. No. 91-8-225-CA, April 15, 1992, GUTIERREZ, JR., J.

The power to disapprove any item or items in an appropriate bill does not grant the authority to veto a
part of an item and to approve the remaining portion of the same item.

Facts:

Republic Act No. (RA) 910, as amended by RA 1797, provided for the retirement pensions of Justices
of the Supreme Court (SC) and of the Court of Appeals (CA). The benefits under the said law were extended to
members of the Constitutional Commissions under RA 1563, as amended by RA 3595. President Marcos

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issued Presidential Decree No. (PD) 644 which repealed RAs 1797 and 3595.Subsequently, automatic
readjustment of pensions for retired Armed Forces officers and men was restored through PDs 1638 and
1909. Realizing that the adjustment of the retirement pensions for members of the AFP was restored while
that of the retired Justices of the SC and CA was not, Congress approved House Bill No. 16297 and Senate Bill
No. 740 providing for the reenactment of the repealed provisions of RAs 1797 and RA 3595. However,
President Aquino vetoed House Bill No. 16297.

Pursuant to the Resolution of the SC in A.M. No. 91-8-225-CA, Congress included in the General
Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 1992 (House Bill No. 34925) certain appropriations for the Judiciary
intended for the payment of the adjusted pension rates due the retired Justices of the SC and CA. However, the
President vetoed the provisionsrelating to the said appropriations.Hence, petitioners, who are retired Justices
of the SC and the CA, assailed the constitutionality of the said veto by the President.

Issue:

Whether the challenged veto by the Executive is violative of the doctrine of separation of powers.

Ruling:

YES. Under the principle of separation of powers, neither Congress, the President nor the Judiciary
may encroach on fields allocated to the other branches of government. The legislature is generally limited to
the enactment of laws, the executive to the enforcement of laws and the judiciary to their interpretation and
application to cases and controversies. The act of the Executive in vetoing the particular provisions is an
exercise of a constitutionally vested power. But even as the Constitution grants the power, it also provides
limitations to its exercise. The veto power is not absolute.

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

The Constitution provides that only a particular item or items may be vetoed. The power to
disapprove any item or items in an appropriate bill does not grant the authority to veto a part of an item and
to approve the remaining portion of the same item.

GRECO ANTONIOUS BEDA B. BELGICA, et al. v. HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N.


OCHOA JR., et al.
G.R. Nos. 208566, 208493& 209251, November 19, 2013, PERLAS-BERNABE, J.

The 2013 PDAF Article, insofar as it confers post-enactment identification authority to individual
legislators, violates the principle of non-delegability since said legislators are effectively allowed to individually
exercise the power of appropriation, which is lodged in Congress.

Facts:

These are consolidated petitions assailing the constitutionality of the Pork Barrel System in the
Philippines. The controversy arose when several whistleblowers revealed that certain legislators received
“kickbacks” from the PDAF Funds. They declared that JLN (Janet Lim Napoles) Corporation had swindled

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billions of pesos from the public coffers for "ghost projects" using dummy NGOs. While the NGOs were
supposedly the ultimate recipients of PDAF funds, the whistle-blowers declared that the money was diverted
into Napoles’ private accounts. After the NBI conducted an investigation of the Napoles controversy,
complaints for plunder, malversation of funds, direct bribery and violations of Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act were filed against certain legislators. The Commission on Audit (CoA) also released a report
about its three-year audit investigation covering the use of legislators' PDAF during the last three years of the
Arroyo administration, which showed anomalies in the disbursement of PDAF funds.

Issue:

Whether the 2013 PDAF Article and all other Congressional Pork Barrel Laws similar thereto are
unconstitutional for violation of the principle of non-delegability of legislative powers.

Ruling:

YES. As an adjunct to the separation of powers principle, legislative power shall be exclusively
exercised by the body to which the Constitution has conferred the same. In particular, Section 1, Article VI of
the 1987 Constitution states that such power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall
consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the people by the
provision on initiative and referendum. Based on this provision, it is clear that only Congress, acting as a
bicameral body, and the people, through the process of initiative and referendum, may constitutionally wield
legislative power and no other. This premise embodies the principle of non-delegability of legislative power.

The Court observes that the 2013 PDAF Article, insofar as it confers post-enactment identification
authority to individual legislators, violates the principle of non-delegability since said legislators are
effectively allowed to individually exercise the power of appropriation, which – as settled in Philconsa – is
lodged in Congress. That the power to appropriate must be exercised only through legislation is clear from
Section 29(1), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which states that: "No money shall be paid out of the
Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law." To understand what constitutes an act of
appropriation, the Court, in Bengzon v. Secretary of Justice and Insular Auditor (Bengzon), held that the
power of appropriation involves (a) the setting apart by law of a certain sum from the public revenue for (b) a
specified purpose. Essentially, under the 2013 PDAF Article, individual legislators are given a personal lump-
sum fund from which they are able to dictate (a) how much from such fund would go to (b) a specific project
or beneficiary that they themselves also determine. As these two (2) acts comprise the exercise of the power
of appropriation as described in Bengzon, and given that the 2013 PDAF Article authorizes individual
legislators to perform the same, undoubtedly, said legislators have been conferred the power to legislate
which the Constitution does not, however, allow. Thus, keeping with the principle of non-delegability of
legislative power, the Court hereby declares the 2013 PDAF Article, as well as all other forms of Congressional
Pork Barrel which contain the similar legislative identification feature as herein discussed, as
unconstitutional.

MARIA CAROLINA P. ARAULLO vs. BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III


G.R. No. 209287 July 1, 2014 J. Bersamin

Appropriation has been defined as nothing more than the legislative authorization prescribed by the
Constitution that money may be paid out of the Treasury, while appropriation made by law refers to the act of
the legislature setting apart or assigning to a particular use a certain sum to be used in the payment of debt or
dues from the State to its creditors.

Facts:

Jinggoy Estarda delivered a privliege speech in the Senate to reveal that some Senators, with him,
have been given an additional P50 Million for voting in favor of the impeachment of Chief Justice Corona.

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Responding to this, Secretary Abad issued a statement explaining that the funds for these were part of the
DAP, a program designed to hasten economic expansion. This DAP have been sourced from savings which
comes from the pooling of unreleased and the withdrawal of unobligated allotments also meant for slow-
moving programs amd projefcts. Aruallo then brogutht the case to the Court alleging that the DAP is
unconstitutional alleging that its implementing arm direcrted the withdrawal of unobligated allotments of
government agencies and offices with low levels of obligations, both for continuing and current allotments.

Issue:

Whether there is a law necessary to implement the DAP.

Ruling:

NO. The DAP was a government policy or strategy designed to stimulate the economy through
accelerated spending. In the context of the DAP’s adoption and implementation being a function pertaining to
the Executive as the main actor during the Budget Execution Stage under its constitutional mandate to
faithfully execute the laws, including the GAAs, Congress did not need to legislate to adopt or to implement
the DAP. Congress could appropriate but would have nothing more to do during the Budget Execution Stage.
Indeed, appropriation was the act by which Congress "designates a particular fund, or sets apart a specified
portion of the public revenue or of the money in the public treasury, to be applied to some general object of
governmental expenditure, or to some individual purchase or expense.

In a strict sense, appropriation has been defined as nothing more than the legislative authorization
prescribed by the Constitution that money may be paid out of the Treasury, while appropriation made by law
refers to the act of the legislature setting apart or assigning to a particular use a certain sum to be used in the
payment of debt or dues from the State to its creditors.

The President, in keeping with his duty to faithfully execute the laws, had sufficient discretion during
the execution of the budget to adapt the budget to changes in the country’s economic situation. He could
adopt a plan like the DAP for the purpose. He could pool the savings and identify the PAPs to be funded under
the DAP. The pooling of savings pursuant to the DAP, and the identification of the PAPs to be funded under
the DAP did not involve appropriation in the strict sense because the money had been already set apart from
the public treasury by Congress through the GAAs. In such actions, the Executive did not usurp the power
vested in Congress under Section 29(1), Article VI of the Constitution.

ABAKADA GURO PARTY LIST vs.HON. CESAR V. PURISIMA


G.R. No. 166715 August 14, 2008 J. Corona

Legislative veto is a statutory provision requiring the President or an administrative agency to present
the proposed implementing rules and regulations of a law to Congress which, by itself or through a committee
formed by it, retains a "right" or "power" to approve or disapprove such regulations before they take effect.

Facts:

Abakada is seeking for prohibition in implementing RA 9335 or the Attrition Act of 2005 which was
enacted to optimize the revenue-generation capability and collection of the BIR and Customs. It provides for a
system of rewards and sanctions to the employees of the agencies for them to exceed their revenue target.
Abakada claims that by establishing such system, the law turns officials and employees of the two agencies
into mercenaries and bounty hunters as they will do their best only in consideration of such rewards.
Furthermore, Abakada assails the creation of a congressional oversight committee on the ground that it
violates the doctrine of separation of powers for it permits legislative participation in the implementation and
enforcement of such law.

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Issue:

Whether the joint congressional committee is valid and constitutional.

Ruling:

NO. Congressional oversight is not unconstitutional per se, meaning, it neither necessarily
constitutes an encroachment on the executive power to implement laws nor undermines the constitutional
separation of powers. Rather, it is integral to the checks and balances inherent in a democratic system of
government. It may in fact even enhance the separation of powers as it prevents the over-accumulation of
power in the executive branch.

However, to forestall the danger of congressional encroachment "beyond the legislative sphere," the
Constitution imposes two basic and related constraints on Congress. It may not vest itself, any of its
committees or its members with either executive or judicial power. And, when it exercises its legislative
power, it must follow the "single, finely wrought and exhaustively considered, procedures" specified under
the Constitution including the procedure for enactment of laws and presentment.

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

Any action or step beyond that will undermine the separation of powers guaranteed by the
Constitution. Legislative vetoes fall in this class.

Legislative veto is a statutory provision requiring the President or an administrative agency to


present the proposed implementing rules and regulations of a law to Congress which, by itself or through a
committee formed by it, retains a "right" or "power" to approve or disapprove such regulations before they
take effect. As such, a legislative veto in the form of a congressional oversight committee is in the form of an
inward-turning delegation designed to attach a congressional leash (other than through scrutiny and
investigation) to an agency to which Congress has by law initially delegated broad powers. It radically
changes the design or structure of the Constitution's diagram of power as it entrusts to Congress a direct role
in enforcing, applying or implementing its own laws.

PRESIDENCY

MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD S. POE-LLAMANZARES vs. COMELEC AND ESTRELLA C. ELAMPARO, ANTONIO
P. CONTRERAS AND AMADO D. VALDEZ
G.R. Nos. 221697 and 221698-700 March 8 2016 J. Perez

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 purpose.

Facts:

In the May 2016 elections, Grace Poe ran for president and she stated in her COC that she is a natural-
born citizen and that she met the residency requirement to run for the highest position in the land. Before her
permanent stay on May 24, 2005, she was having frequent trips before the US and the Philippines. She was
adopted by FPJ and Susan Roces when she when she was found a newborn infant in Iloilo. She then moved to

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the US in 1991 and was naturalized as an American citizen in 2001. Immigration granted her reacquisition of
citizenship on July 18, 2006 and when she assumed her post as chairperson of MTRCB, she renounced her
American cirizenship. From then on, she stopped using her American passport. Several petitions were filed
before the COMELEC to prevent her candidancy on the ground that she is not a natural-born citizen as she has
not proven that her biological parents are Filipinos. The COMELEC en banc denied her candidancy for not
meeting the citizenship and residency requimrents and finds that she has done material misrepresentation in
her COC.

Issue:

Whether the COMELEC validly denied Grace Poe’s COC.

Ruling:

NO. 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 purpose.

The tribunals which have jurisdiction over the question of the qualifications of the President, the
Vice-President was made clear by the Constitution. The Constitution did not provide any provision for the
COMELEC to have jurisdiction over such issues.

The lack of provision for declaring the ineligibility of candidates, however, cannot be supplied by a
mere rule. Such an act is equivalent to the creation of a cause of action which is a substantive matter which
the COMELEC, in the exercise of its rule-making power under Art. IX, A, 6 of the Constitution, cannot do it. It is
noteworthy that the Constitution withholds from the COMELEC even the power to decide cases involving the
right to vote, which essentially involves an inquiry into qualifications based on age, residence and citizenship
of voters.

Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. vs. Joint Committee of Congress to Canvass the Votes Cast for President and
Vice-President in the May 10, 2004 Elections.
G.R. No. 163783June 22, 2004 J. Puno

The Senate shall convene in joint session during any voluntary or compulsory recess to 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.

Facts:

Senator Pimentel Jr. seeks to declare null and void the continued existence of the Joint Committee
and prohibit it with its continuous action. He claims that with the adjournment on June 11, 2004 by the 12th
Congress of its last regular session, its legal existence has ended thus all pending matters and proceedings
end upon the expiration of the Congress.

Issue:

Whether Senator Pimentel’s action will prosper.

Ruling:

NO. Petitioner's claim that his arguments are buttressed by legislative procedure, precedent or
practice as borne out by the rules of both Houses of Congress is directly contradicted by Section 42 of Rule
XIV of the Rules adopted by the Senate, of which he is an incumbent member. This section clearly provides

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that the Senate shall convene in joint session during any voluntary or compulsory recess to 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.

Moreover, as pointed out in the Comment filed by the Senate Panel for respondent Joint Committee
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 the observations
of former Senate President Jovito Salonga.

Thus, during the 1992 Presidential elections, both Houses of Congress adjourned sine die on May 25,
1992. On June 16, 1992, the Joint Committee finished tallying the votes for President and Vice-President.
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 Estrada as President and Vice-
President, respectively.

Upon the other hand, during the 1998 Presidential elections, both Houses of Congress adjourned sine
die on May 25, 1998. The Joint Committee completed the counting of the votes for President and Vice-
President on May 27, 1998. The Tenth Congress then convened in joint public session on May 29, 1998 as the
National Board of Canvassers and proclaimed Joseph Ejercito Estrada as President and Gloria Macapagal-
Arroyo as President and Vice-President, respectively.

ATTY. EVILLO C. PORMENTO vs. JOSEPH "ERAP" EJERCITO ESTRADA and COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
G.R. No. 191988 August 31, 2010 C.J. Corona

The Constitution prohibits a President from having the highest position twice but he is not considered as
having two terms if he does not win the elections.

Facts:

Former President Estrada won the presidency in the 1998 elections but was later on ousted by
former President Arroyo in which he was not able to finish his term. He sought to run again in 2010.
Pormento opposed such candidacy and filed a petition for Estrada’s disqualification which was denied by the
2nd division of the COMELEC. His motion for reconsideration was also denied by the COMELEC en banc.
Pormento filed for certiorari on May 7, 2010 but he did not file for any TRO or writ of preliminary injunction
thus Estrada was able to participate as a candidate for the position of President in May 10, 2010 where he
garnered the second highest number of votes.

Issue:

Whether Estrada violated the Constitution when he ran for president in the May 10, 2010 elections.

RULING:

NO. Private respondent was not elected President the second time he ran in the May 2010 elections.
Since the issue on the proper interpretation of the phrase “any reelection” will be premised on a person’s
second (whether immediate or not) election as President, there is no case or controversy to be resolved in
this case. No live conflict of legal rights exists. There is in this case no definite, concrete, real or substantial
controversy that touches on the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interests. No specific relief may
conclusively be decreed upon by this Court in this case that will benefit any of the parties herein.

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Assuming an actual case or controversy existed prior to the proclamation of a President who has
been duly elected in the May 10, 2010 elections, the same is no longer true today. Following the results of that
elections, private respondent was not elected President for the second time. Thus, any discussion of his
“reelection” will simply be hypothetical and speculative. It will serve no useful or practical purpose.

ATTY. ROMULO B. MACALINTAL vs.PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL


G.R. No. 191618 November 23, 2010 J. Nachura

It is expressly provided in the Constitution in a clear and concise language that the Supreme Court is
vested the authority to be the sole judge in all electoral contests against the President or Vice-President.

Facts:

Atty. Macalintal claims that the PET is unconstitutional on the ground that Article 7, Sec 4 of the
Constitution does not provide for the creation of the PET and it violates Art VIII, Sec 12 of the Constitution.
The Solicitor General maintains that the constitution of the PET is valid on the ground that the grant of
authority to the SC to be the sole judge of all electoral contests for the President or Vice-President is given in
Article 7, Sec 4, par 7 of the Constitution.

Issue:

Whether the PET is constitutional.

Ruling:

YES. The explicit reference of the Members of the Constitutional Commission to a Presidential
Electoral Tribunal, with Fr. Joaquin Bernas categorically declaring that in crafting the last paragraph of Sec. 4,
Art VII of the 1987 Constitution, they “constitutionalized what was statutory.” Judicial power granted to the
Supreme Court by the same Constitution is plenary. And under the doctrine of necessary implication, the
additional jurisdiction bestowed by the last paragraph of Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution to decide
presidential and vice-presidential elections contests includes the means necessary to carry it into effect.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

JOSEPH E. ESTRADA vs. ANIANO DESIERTO


G.R. No. 146710-15 March 2, 2001 J. Puno

The rule is that unlawful acts of public officials are not acts of the State and the officer who acts illegally
is not acting as such but stands in the same footing as any trespasser.

Facts:

Former President Estrada was impeached for allegations of wrong doings eventually amounting to
graft and corruption. In the impeachment proceeding before the Senate, 11 senators were sympathetic
towards the president and they succeeded in suppressing the evidence against Estrada which led to an uproar
within the Senate. The PNP and AFP eventually withdrew their support for Estrada and joined the crowd at
the EDSA Shrine. Estrada called for snap elections to be held with the local and congressional elections where
he said he would not be running thus the SC declared that he constructively resigned from his post. Arroyo
became the President in lieu of him. Estrada filed for prohibition with a prayer for Preliminary Injunction to
enjoin the Ombudsman from conducting further proceedings in cases filed against him until his term as
president ends. He also wishes to be declared the President still albeit the fact that he is only temporarily
unable to discharge his duties.

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Issue:

Whether Estrada enjoys immunity from suit.

Ruling:

NO. The cases filed against Estrada are criminal in character. They involve plunder, bribery and graft
and corruption. By no stretch of the imagination can these crimes, especially plunder which carries the death
penalty, be covered by the alleged mantle of immunity of a non-sitting president. He cannot cite any decision
of this Court licensing the President to commit criminal acts and wrapping him with post-tenure immunity
from liability. The rule is that unlawful acts of public officials are not acts of the State and the officer who acts
illegally is not acting as such but stands in the same footing as any trespasser.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION vs. THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY


G.R. No. 83896 February 22, 1991 C.J. Fernan

It being clear, as it was in fact one of its best selling points, that the 1987 Constitution seeks to prohibit
the President, Vice-President, members of the Cabinet, their deputies or assistants from holding during their
tenure multiple offices or employment in the government, except in those cases specified in the Constitution itself
and as above clarified with respect to posts held without additional compensation in an ex-officio capacity as
provided by law and as required by the primary functions of their office.

Facts:

Former President Cory Aquino issued EO 284 which allowed members of the Cabinet, their
undersecretaries and assistant secretaries to have other government posts in addition to their primary one.
The petitioner assailed that such law is unconstitutional on the ground that it adds an exception to Article 7,
Sec 13 of the Constitution. It further contends that only the Vice President when appointed as a Cabinet
Member and the Secretary of Justice as member of the JBC is technically allowed to have more than one
offense.

Issue:

Whether EO 284 is constitutional.

RULING:

NO. It being clear, as it was in fact one of its best selling points, that the 1987 Constitution seeks to
prohibit the President, Vice-President, members of the Cabinet, their deputies or assistants from holding
during their tenure multiple offices or employment in the government, except in those cases specified in the
Constitution itself and as above clarified with respect to posts held without additional compensation in an ex-
officio capacity as provided by law and as required by the primary functions of their office, the citation of
Cabinet members (then called Ministers) as examples during the debate and deliberation on the general rule
laid down for all appointive officials should be considered as mere personal opinions which cannot override
the constitution's manifest intent and the people' understanding thereof.

In the light of the construction given to Section 13, Article VII in relation to Section 7, par. (2), Article
IX-B of the 1987 Constitution, Executive Order No. 284 dated July 23, 1987 is unconstitutional. Ostensibly
restricting the number of positions that Cabinet members, undersecretaries or assistant secretaries may hold
in addition to their primary position to not more than two (2) positions in the government and government
corporations, Executive Order No. 284 actually allows them to hold multiple offices or employment in direct

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contravention of the express mandate of Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution prohibiting them
from doing so, unless otherwise provided in the 1987 Constitution itself.

DENNIS A.B. FUNA vs. ALBERTO C. AGRA


G.R. No. 191644 February 19, 2013 J. Bersamin

Except as to those officers whose appointments require the consent of the Commission on Appointments
by express mandate of the first sentence in Sec. 16, Art. VII, appointments of other officers are left to the
President without need of confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.

Facts:

Agra was designated Acting Solicitor General in place of Solicitor General Devandera while being
Government Corporate Counsel. Agra was also designated Acting Secretary of Justice when Devandera
resigned. He relinquished his position as Corporate Counsel to continue performing his duties as Acting
Solicitor General. Funa questioned his appointment. Agra claims that his designation were only temporary in
nature in that even if he was holding multiple offices at the same time, his designation as Solicitor General is
merely a hold-over and that he did not receive any of his salaries and other money benefits as Acting Solicitor
General when he was appointed Acting Secretary of Justice.

Issue:

Whether Agra’s designation as Acting Secretary of Justice is valid.

Ruling:

NO. Section 7, paragraph (2), Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution, provides that:

Unless otherwise allowed by law or the primary functions of his position, no appointive official shall
hold any other office or employment in the Government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality
thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.

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

On its face, the language of Section 13, Article VII is prohibitory so that it must be understood as
intended to be a positive and unequivocal negation of the privilege of holding multiple government offices or
employment. The phrase "unless otherwise provided in this Constitution" must be given a literal
interpretation to refer only to those particular instances cited in the Constitution itself, to wit: the Vice-
President being appointed as a member of the Cabinet under Section 3, par. (2), Article VII; or acting as
President in those instances provided under Section 7, pars. (2) and (3), Article VII; and, the Secretary of
Justice being ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council by virtue of Section 8 (1), Article VIII.

Being designated as the Acting Secretary of Justice concurrently with his position of Acting Solicitor
General, therefore, Agra was undoubtedly covered by Section 13, Article VII, supra, whose text and spirit were

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too clear to be differently read. Hence, Agra could not validly hold any other office or employment during his
tenure as the Acting Solicitor General, because the Constitution has not otherwise so provided.

ULPIANO P. SARMIENTO III AND JUANITO G. ARCILLA vs. SALVADOR MISON, AND GUILLERMO
CARAGUE
G.R. No. 79974 December 17, 1987 J. Padilla

Except as to those officers whose appointments require the consent of the Commission on Appointments
by express mandate of the first sentence in Sec. 16, Art. VII, appointments of other officers are left to the
President without need of confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.

Facts:

Mison was appointed as the Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs by President Aquino. Sarmiento
and Arcilla are assailing the said appointment stating that the said appointment is not valid since it was not
submitted to the Commission on Appointment for approval further arguing that under the constitution the
appointments made for Heads of Bureaus need confirmation from the COA.

Issue:

Whether the appointment of Mison is valid.

Ruling:

YES. In the 1987 Constitution the clear and expressed intent of its framers was to exclude
presidential appointments from confirmation by the Commission on Appointments, except appointments to
offices expressly mentioned in the first sentence of Sec. 16, Article VII. Consequently, there was no reason to
use in the third sentence of Sec. 16, Article VII the word "alone" after the word "President" in providing that
Congress may by law vest the appointment of lower-ranked officers in the President alone, or in the courts, or
in the heads of departments, because the power to appoint officers whom he (the President) may be
authorized by law to appoint is already vested in the President, without need of confirmation by the
Commission on Appointments, in the second sentence of the same Sec. 16, Article VII.

Moreover, the President is expressly authorized by law to appoint the Commissioner of the Bureau of
Customs under RA 1937 and PD 34.

After the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution, Rep. Act No. 1937 and PD No. 34 have to be read in
harmony with Sec. 16, Art. VII, with the result that, while the appointment of the Commissioner of the Bureau
of Customs is one that devolves on the President, as an appointment he is authorized by law to make, such
appointment, however, no longer needs the confirmation of the Commission on Appointments.

MA. J. ANGELINA G. MATIBAG v. ALFREDO L. BENIPAYO, RESURRECCION Z. BORRA, FLORENTINO A.


TUASON, JR., VELMA J. CINCO, and GIDEON C. DE GUZMAN
G.R. NO. 149036, APRIL 2, 2002, J. CARPIO

An ad interim appointment is a permanent appointment because it takes effect immediately and can no
longer be withdrawn by the President once the appointee has qualified into office. In order to determine whether
the renewal of an ad interim appointment violates the prohibition on reappointment under Section 1 (2), Article
IX-C of the Constitution we must distinguish those which weredisapproved from those which were by-passed, for
the by-passed reappointment is valid and allowed while the disapproved is not and can no longer be renewed.

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FACTS:

On March 22, 2001, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo appointed, ad interim, Benipayo as COMELEC
Chairman, and Borra and Tuason as COMELEC Commissioners, each for a term of seven years and all expiring
on February 2, 2008. However, the Commission on Appointments did not act on said appointments.
Consequently, On June 1, 2001, President Arroyo renewed the ad interim appointments of Benipayo, Borra
and Tuason to the same positions and for the same term of seven years, expiring on February 2, 2008.
Congress adjourned before the Commission on Appointments could act on their appointments. Thus, on June
8, 2001, President Macapagal Arroyo renewed again the ad interim appointments of Benipayo, Borra and
Tuason to the same positions.

Petitioner Ma. J. Angelina G. Matibag filed the instant petition questioning the appointments Matibag
claims that the ad interim appointments of Benipayo, Borra and Tuason violate the prohibitions on
temporary appointments and reappointments of its Chairman and members.

Issues:

1. Whether the assumption of office by Benipayo, Borra and Tuason on the basis of the ad interim
appointments issued by the President amounts to a temporary appointment prohibited by Section 1 (2),
Article IX-C of the Constitution.
2. Whether the renewal of their ad interim appointments and subsequent assumption of office to the
same positions violate the prohibition on reappointment under Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of the Constitution.

RULING:

1. NO. An ad interim appointment is a permanent appointment because it takes effect immediately and
can no longer be withdrawn by the President once the appointee has qualified into office. The fact that it is
subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments does not alter its permanent character. The
Constitution itself makes an ad interim appointment permanent in character by making it effective until
disapproved by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of Congress. Thus, the ad
interim appointment remains effective until such disapproval or next adjournment, signifying that it can no
longer be withdrawn or revoked by the President. The fear that the President can withdraw or revoke at any
time and for any reason an ad interim appointment is utterly without basis.

In the instant case, the President did in fact appoint permanent Commissioners to fill the vacancies in
the COMELEC, subject only to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. Benipayo, Borra and Tuason
were extended permanent appointments during the recess of Congress. They were not appointed or
designated in a temporary or acting capacity, unlike Commissioner Haydee Yorac in Brillantes vs. Yorac and
Solicitor General Felix Bautista in Nacionalista Party vs. Bautista. The ad interim appointments of Benipayo,
Borra and Tuason are expressly allowed by the Constitution which authorizes the President, during the
recess of Congress, to make appointments that take effect immediately.

2. NO. We must distinguish those which were disapproved from those which were by-passed. An ad
interim appointee disapproved by the Commission on Appointments can no longer be extended a new
appointment. The disapproval is a final decision of the Commission on Appointments in the exercise of its
checking power on the appointing authority of the President. On the contrary a by-passed ad interim
appointment can be revived by a new ad interim appointment because there is no final disapproval under
Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution, and such new appointment will not result in the appointee serving
beyond the fixed term of seven years.

The ad interim appointments and subsequent renewals of appointments of Benipayo, Borra and
Tuason do not violate the prohibition on reappointments because there were no previous appointments that

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were confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. A reappointment presupposes a previous confirmed


appointment. The same ad interim appointments and renewals of appointments will also not breach the
seven-year term limit because all the appointments and renewals of appointments of Benipayo, Borra and
Tuason are for a fixed term expiring on February 2, 2008. Any delay in their confirmation will not extend the
expiry date of their terms of office. The continuing renewal of the ad interim appointment of these three
respondents, for so long as their terms of office expire on February 2, 2008, does not violate the prohibition
on reappointments in Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of the Constitution.

AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, JR. v. EXEC. SECRETARY EDUARDOR. ERMITA, FLORENCIO B. ABAD, AVELINO
J. CRUZ, JR.
G.R. No. 164978, OCTOBER 13, 2005, J. CARPIO

Being an alter ego of the president, a department secretary may be appointed in an acting capacity even
when the congress is in session in line with its purpose as a stop-gap measure intended to fill an office for a
limited time until the appointment of a permanent occupant to the office.

Facts:

This is a petition to declare unconstitutional the appointments issued by President Gloria Macapagal-
Arroyo to respondents Abad et al as Department Secretaries in an acting capacity while the Congress is in
session. Nonetheless, when Congress adjourned on 22 September 2004. On 23 September 2004, President
Arroyo issued ad interim appointments to respondents as secretaries of the departments to which they were
previously appointed in an acting capacity.

Issue:

Whether the appointment of respondents Abad et.al as acting secretaries without the consent of the
Commission on Appointments while Congress is in session is unconstitutional.

Ruling:

NO. The essence of an appointment in an acting capacity is its temporary nature. It is a stop-gap
measure intended to fill an office for a limited time until the appointment of a permanent occupant to the
office. In case of vacancy in an office occupied by an alter ego of the President, such as the office of a
department secretary, the President must necessarily appoint an alter ego of her choice as acting secretary
before the permanent appointee of her choice could assume office. 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 Presidents confidence. Thus, by the very nature of the
office of a department secretary, the President must appoint in an acting capacity a person of her choice even
while Congress is in session. That person may or may not be the permanent appointee, but practical reasons
may make it expedient that the acting appointee will also be the permanent appointee.

Further, contrary to the claims of petitioner members of congress, we find no abuse in the present
case. In addition to the 1 year limit of effectivity of temporary appointments the absence of abuse is readily
apparent from President Arroyo’s issuance of ad interim appointments to respondents immediately upon the
recess of Congress, way before the lapse of one year.

ARMITA B. RUFINO, v. BALTAZAR N. ENDRIGA ET AL.


G.R. NO. 139554, JULY 21, 2006, J. CARPIO

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Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution excludes a situation where the appointing officer
appoints an officer equal in rank as him for what it allow are heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or
boards to appoint only "officers lower in rank" than such "heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or
boards.

Facts:

Presidential Decree No. 15 (PD 15) created the Cultural Center of the Philippines. PD 15 created a
Board of Trustees "Board" to govern the CCP. The case boils down to the constitutionality of the provision of
PD 15 on the manner of filling vacancies in the Board.The clear and categorical language of Section 6(b) of PD
15 states that vacancies in the CCP Board shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining trustees. Should
only one trustee survive, the vacancies shall be filled by the surviving trustee acting in consultation with the
ranking officers of the CCP. Should the Board become entirely vacant, the vacancies shall be filled by the
President of the Philippines acting in consultation with the same ranking officers of the CCP Thus, the
remaining trustees, whether one or more, elect their fellow trustees for a fixed four-year term. On the other
hand, Section 6(c) of PD 15 does not allow trustees to reelect fellow trustees for more than two consecutive
terms.

The petition claims that Section 6(b) of PD 15 authorizing the CCP trustees to elect their fellow
trustees should be declared unconstitutional being repugnant to Section 16, Article VII of the 1987
Constitution allowing the appointment only of "officers lower in rank" than the appointing power. Further, PD
15 must be struck down for impeding the President’s power of control.

Issues:

1. Whether PD 15 violates Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution.


2. Whether PD 15 violates the President’s constitutional power of control and supervision over the CCP.

Ruling:

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

It does not matter that Section 6(b) of PD 15 empowers the remaining trustees to "elect" and not
"appoint" their fellow trustees for the effect is the same, which is to fill vacancies in the CCP Board. A statute
cannot circumvent the constitutional limitations on the power to appoint by filling vacancies in a public office
through election by the co-workers in that office. Such manner of filling vacancies in a public office has no
constitutional basis. Further, Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 makes the CCP trustees the independent
appointing power of their fellow trustees. The creation of an independent appointing power inherently
conflicts with the President's power to appoint. This inherent conflict has spawned recurring controversies in
the appointment of CCP trustees every time a new President assumes office.

2. YES. The CCP does not fall under the Legislative or Judicial branches of government. The CCP is also
not one of the independent constitutional bodies. Neither is the CCP a quasi-judicial body nor a local
government unit. Thus, the CCP must fall under the Executive branch. Under the Revised Administrative Code
of 1987, any agency "not placed by law or order creating them under any specific department" falls "under
the Office of the President."Since the President exercises control over "all the executive departments, bureaus,

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and offices," the President necessarily exercises control over the CCP which is an office in the Executive
branch. In mandating that the President "shall have control of all executive offices," Section 17, Article VII of
the 1987 Constitution does not exempt any executive office — one performing executive functions outside of
the independent constitutional bodies — from the President's power of control. There is no dispute that the
CCP performs executive, and not legislative, judicial, or quasi-judicial functions.

The Legislature cannot validly enact a law that puts a government office in the Executive branch
outside the control of the President in the guise of insulating that office from politics or making it
independent. If the office is part of the Executive branch, it must remain subject to the control of the
President. Otherwise, the Legislature can deprive the President of his constitutional power of control over "all
the executive offices." Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15, which authorizes the trustees of the CCP Board to fill
vacancies in the Board, runs afoul with the President's power of control under Section 17, Article VII of the
1987 Constitution. The intent of Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 is to insulate the CCP from political influence
and pressure, specifically from the President. Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 makes the CCP a self-perpetuating
entity, virtually outside the control of the President. Such a public office or board cannot legally exist under
the 1987 Constitution.

DOMINADOR R. AYTONA v. ANDRES V. CASTILLO, ET AL.


G.R. NO.L-19313, JANUARY 19, 1962, CJ. BENGZON

As early as this case midnight or last minute appointments were already abhorred for an incumbent
president is no more than a "care-taker" administration and should not do acts which he ought to know, would
embarrass or obstruct the policies of his successor such as having midnight appointments.

Facts:

On December 29, 1961, then President Carlos P. Garcia appointed Dominador R. Aytona as ad interim
Governor of the Central Bank and others all in all, about three hundred fifty (350) "midnight" or "last minute"
appointments. On December 30, 1961, at noon, President-elect Diosdado Macapagal assumed office; and on
December 31, 1961, he issued Administrative Order No. 2 recalling, withdrawing, and cancelling all ad
interim appointment made by President Garcia after December 13, 1961, (date when he, Macapagal, had been
proclaimed elected by the Congress).

Aytona claims he was validly appointed, had qualified for the post and that Administrative Order No.
2 is invalid.

Issue:

Whether the new President had power to issue the order of cancellation of the ad
interim appointments made by the past President, even after the appointees had already qualified.

Ruling:

YES. Nobody will assert that President Garcia ceased to be such earlier than at noon of December 30,
1961. But it is common sense to believe that after the proclamation of the election of President Macapagal, his
was no more than a "care-taker" administration. He was duty bound to prepare for the orderly transfer of
authority the incoming President, and he should not do acts which he ought to know, would embarrass or
obstruct the policies of his successor. The time for debate had passed; the electorate had spoken. It was not
for him to use powers as incumbent President to continue the political warfare that had ended or to avail
himself of presidential prerogatives to serve partisan purposes. The filling up vacancies in important
positions, if few, and so spaced to afford some assurance of deliberate action and careful consideration of the
need for the appointment and the appointee's qualifications may undoubtedly be permitted. But the issuance

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of 350 appointments in one night and planned induction of almost all of them a few hours before the
inauguration of the new President may, with some reason, be regarded by the latter as an abuse Presidential
prerogatives, the steps taken being apparently a mere partisan effort to fill all vacant positions irrespective of
fitness and other conditions, and thereby deprive the new administration of an opportunity to make the
corresponding appointments.

Incidentally, it should be stated that the underlying reason for denying the power to revoke after the
appointee has qualified is the latter's equitable rights. Yet it is doubtful if such equity might be successfully
set up in the present situation, considering the rush conditional appointments, hurried maneuvers and other
happenings detracting from that degree of good faith, morality and propriety which form the basic foundation
of claims to equitable relief. The appointees, it might be argued, wittingly or unwittingly cooperated with the
stratagem to beat the deadline, whatever the resultant consequences to the dignity and efficiency of the
public service.

Of course, the Court is aware of many precedents to the effect that once an appointment has been
issued, it cannot be reconsidered, especially where the appointee has qualified. But none of them refer to
mass ad interim appointments (three-hundred and fifty), issued in the last hours of an outgoing Chief
Executive, in a setting similar to that outlined herein. On the other hand, the authorities admit of exceptional
circumstances justifying revocation and if any circumstances justify revocation, those described herein
should fit the exception.

IN RE APPOINTMENTS DATED MARCH 30, 1998 of HON. MATEO A. VALENZUELA AND HON. PLACIDO B.
VALLARTA
A.M. NO. 98-5-01-SC., NOVEMBER9, 1998, CJ. NARVASA

The prohibited appointments contemplated by Article VII section 15 not only applies to the executive
department but also to appointments by the president to the members of the judiciary. Nonetheless, as an
exception appointments to the judiciary can be made during the period of the ban in the interest of public
service.

Facts:

The Hon. Valenzuela and Hon. Vallarta and others were appointed by the president as RTC judges
and to other judicial positions during the prohibited period contemplated by Art. VII, Sec. 15 of the
Constitution in light of the upcoming elections. The President expressed the view that "the election-ban
provision Article VII, Sec. 15 applies only to executive appointments or appointments in the executive branch
of government," the whole article being "entitled 'EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT.'" He also observed that further
proof of his theory "is the fact that appointments to the judiciary have special, specific provisions applicable
to them" citing Article VIII, Sec. 4 [1] and Article VIII, Section 9. In view thereof, he "firmly and respectfully
reiterate his request for the Judicial and Bar Council to transmit the final list of nominees for the lone
Supreme Court vacancy in order to complete the appointments. On the contrary, Chief Justice Narvasa is of
the contrary view, CJ Narvasa claims that the election ban provision also applies to appointments in the
judiciary. Faced by an important and ripe constitutional question, hence, the Court En banc was called to
decide on the instant Administrative matter.

Issues:

1. Whether during the period of the ban on appointments imposed by Section 15, Article VII of the
Constitution, the President is required to fill vacancies in the judiciary, in view of Sections 4(1) and 9 of
Article VIII.
2. Whether the President can make appointments to the judiciary during the period of the ban in the
interest of public service.

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Ruling:

1. NO. The Court's view is that during the period stated in Section 15, Article VII of the Constitution
"two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term" - the President
is neither required to make appointments to the courts nor allowed to do so; and that Sections 4(1) and 9 of
Article VIII simply mean that the President is required to fill vacancies in the courts within the time frames
provided therein unless prohibited by Section 15 of Article VII. It is noteworthy that the prohibition on
appointments comes into effect only once every six years.

In view of the general prohibition in Art. VII, sec.15, One interpretation that immediately suggests
itself is that Section 4(1), Article VIII is a general provision while Section 15, Article VII is a particular one;
that is to say, normally, when there are no presidential elections - which after all occur only every six years -
Section 4(1), Article VIII shall apply: vacancies in the Supreme Court shall be filled within 90 days; but when
(as now) there are presidential elections, the prohibition in Section 15, Article VII comes into play: the
President shall not make any appointments. The reason for said prohibition, according to Fr. J. Bernas, S.J., an
authority on Constitutional Law and himself a member of the Constitutional Commission, is "In order not to
tie the hands of the incoming President through midnight appointments."

In the ultimate analysis of the provision, it appears that Section 15, Article VII is directed against two
types of appointments: (1) those made for buying votes and (2) those made for partisan considerations. The
first refers to those appointments made within the two months preceding a Presidential election and are
similar to those which are declared election offenses in the Omnibus Election Code. The second type of
appointments prohibited by Section 15, Article VII consists of the so-called "midnight" appointments. In
Aytona v. Castillo, it was held that after the proclamation of Diosdado Macapagal as duly elected President,
President Carlos P. Garcia, who was defeated in his bid for reelection, became no more than a "caretaker"
administrator whose duty was to "prepare for the orderly transfer of authority to the incoming President.
Therefore, the appointments by Hon. Valenzuela and Vallarta by the President during the prohibited period is
deemed void.

2. YES. The exception allows only the making of temporary appointments to executive positions when
continued vacancies will prejudice public service or endanger public safety. To be sure, instances may be
conceived of the imperative need for an appointment, during the period of the ban, not only in the executive
but also in the Supreme Court. This may be the case should the membership of the court be so reduced that it
will have no quorum or should the voting on a particularly important question requiring expeditious
resolution be evenly divided. Such a case, however, is covered by neither Section 15 of Article VII nor Section
4 (1) and 9 of Article VIII. The appointments of Valenzuela and Vallarta on March 30, 1998 (transmitted to the
Office of the Chief Justice on May 14, 1998) were unquestionably made during the period of the ban.
Consequently, they come within the operation of the first prohibition relating to appointments which are
considered to be for the purpose of buying votes or influencing the election. While the filling of vacancies in
the judiciary is undoubtedly in the public interest, there is no showing in this case of any compelling reason to
justify the making of the appointments during the period of the ban. On the other hand, as already discussed,
there is a strong public policy for the prohibition against appointments made within the period of the ban.

ARTURO M. DE CASTRO v. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL (JBC) and PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL
ARROYO
G. R. NO. 191002, MARCH 17, 2010, J. BERSAMIN

In reversing the Valenzuela ruling, the prohibition under Section 15, Article VII is now deemed
inapplicable to the appointments in the judiciary.

Facts:

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In the consolidated petitions, the petitioners De Castro, with the exception of Soriano, Tolentino and
Inting, submit that the incumbent President can appoint the successor of Chief Justice Puno upon his
retirement on May 17, 2010, on the ground that the prohibition against presidential appointments under
Section 15, Article VII does not extend to appointments in the Judiciary. In support thereof, the OSG contends
that the incumbent President may appoint the next Chief Justice, because the prohibition under Section 15,
Article VII of the Constitution does not apply to appointments in the Supreme Court.

Issue:

Whether Section 15, Article VII applies to appointments to the Judiciary (specifically in this case the
upcoming Chief Justice position).

Ruling:

NO. We reverse Valenzuela. As can be seen, Article VII is devoted to the Executive Department, and,
among others, it lists the powers vested by the Constitution in the President. The presidential power of
appointment is dealt with in Sections 14, 15 and 16 of the Article.Article VIII is dedicated to the Judicial
Department and defines the duties and qualifications of Members of the Supreme Court, among others.
Section 4(1) and Section 9 of this Article are the provisions specifically providing for the appointment of
Supreme Court Justices. In particular, Section 9 states that the appointment of Supreme Court Justices can
only be made by the President upon the submission of a list of at least three nominees by the JBC; Section
4(1) of the Article mandates the President to fill the vacancy within 90 days from the occurrence of the
vacancy.

Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition contained in Section 15, Article VII to the
appointment of Members of the Supreme Court, they could have explicitly done so. 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 Members of the
Supreme Court in Article VIII itself, most likely in Section 4 (1), Article VIII. That such specification was not
done only reveals that the prohibition against the President or Acting President making appointments within
two months before the next presidential elections and up to the end of the Presidents or Acting Presidents
term does not refer to the Members of the Supreme Court.

Although Valenzuela came to hold that the prohibition covered even judicial appointments, it cannot
be disputed that the Valenzuela dictum did not firmly rest on the deliberations of the Constitutional
Commission. Thereby, the confirmation made to the JBC by then Senior Associate Justice Florenz D. Regalado
of this Court, a former member of the Constitutional Commission, about the prohibition not being intended to
apply to the appointments to the Judiciary, which confirmation Valenzuela even expressly mentioned, should
prevail.

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

The 90-day limitation fixed in Section 4(1), Article VIII for the President to fill the vacancy in the
Supreme Court was undoubtedly a special provision to establish a definite mandate for the President as the
appointing power, and cannot be defeated by mere judicial interpretation in Valenzuela to the effect that
Section 15, Article VII prevailed because it was couched in stronger negative language. Such interpretation
even turned out to be conjectural, in light of the records of the Constitutional Commissions deliberations on
Section 4 (1), Article VIII.

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Consequently, prohibiting the incumbent President from appointing a Chief Justice on the premise
that Section 15, Article VII extends to appointments in the Judiciary cannot be sustained. A misinterpretation
like Valenzuela should not be allowed to last after its false premises have been exposed. It will not do to
merely distinguish Valenzuela from these cases, for the result to be reached herein is entirely incompatible
with what Valenzuela decreed. Consequently, Valenzuela now deserves to be quickly sent to the dustbin of
the unworthy and forgettable.

SEPARATE OPINION:
J. BRION, CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION
The Disputed Provisions

In my view, the provisions of the Constitution cannot be read in isolation from what the whole
contains. In considering the interests of the Executive and the Judiciary, a holistic approach starts from the
premise that the constitutional scheme is to grant the President the power of appointment, subject to the
limitation provided under Article VII, Section 15. At the same time, the Judiciary is assured, without
qualifications under Article VIII, Section 4(1), of the immediate appointment of Members of 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 President under Article VII,
Section 15 should itself be limited by the appointment of Members of the Court pursuant to Article VIII,
Section 4(1), so that the provision applicable to the Judiciary can be given full effect without detriment to the
President’s appointing authority. This harmonization will result in restoring to the President the full
authority to appoint Members of the Supreme Court pursuant to the combined operation of Article VII,
Section 15 and Article VIII, Section 4(1).

Viewed in this light, there is essentially no conflict, in terms of the authority to appoint, between the
Executive and Judiciary; the President would effectively be allowed to exercise the Executive’s traditional
presidential power of appointment while respecting the Judiciary’s own prerogative. In other words, the
President retains full powers to appoint Members of the Court during the election period, and the Judiciary is
assured of a full membership within the time frame given.

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 during this period in light of the
Court’s unique role during elections. I maintain this view and fully concur in this regard with the majority.

On the Valenzuela Decision

In any case, let me repeat what I stressed about Valenzuela which rests on the reasoning that the
evils Section 15 seeks to remedy – vote buying, midnight appointments and partisan reasons to influence the
elections – exist, thus justifying an election appointment ban. In particular, the "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% vacancy rate), should not apply to the
Supreme Court which has only a total of 15 positions that are not even vacated at the same time. The most
number of vacancies for any one year occurred only last year (2009) when seven (7) positions were vacated
by retirement, but this vacancy rate is not expected to be replicated at any time within the next decade. Thus
"midnight appointments" to the extent that they were understood in Aytona will not occur in the vacancies of
this Court as nominations to its vacancies are all processed through the JBC under the public’s close scrutiny.
The institutional integrity of the Court is hardly an issue. If at all, only objections personal to the individual
Members of the Court or against the individual applicants can be made, but these are matters addressed in
the first place by the JBC before nominees are submitted. There, too, are specific reasons, likewise discussed
above, explaining why the election ban should not apply to the Supreme Court. These exempting reasons, of
course, have yet to be shown to apply to the lower courts. Thus, on the whole, the reasons justifying the
election ban in Valenzuela still obtain in so far as the lower courts are concerned, and have yet to be proven

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otherwise in a properly filed case. Until then, Valenzuela, except to the extent that it mentioned Section 4(1),
should remain an authoritative ruling of this Court.

ATTY. CHELOY E. VELICARIA-GARAFIL v. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT


G.R. No. 203372, JUNE 16, 2015, J. CARPIO

Appointment is a process in which all of its requisites starting with the selection by the appointing
power up to the acceptance of the appointment by the appointee must be present. Hence, if the act of acceptance
falls within the prohibited appointment contemplated by Section 15, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution such
appointment even if the other requisites were done prior to the ban shall be void.

Facts:

On 30 July 2010, President Aquino issued EO 2 recalling, withdrawing, and revoking appointments
issued by President Macapagal-Arroyo which violated the constitutional ban on midnight appointments. Prior
to the conduct of the May 2010 elections, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued more than 800
appointments to various positions in several government offices. Atty. Velicaria-Garafil one of the appointed
(as State Solicitor II) persons during the alleged midnight appointments and petitioner in this consolidated
case assails that EO No. 2 is unconstitutional and that their appointments were already perfected before
March 11 2010 which was the start of the ban on midnight appointments. However, as gleaned from the
records it was shown that the transmittal of their appointments to the MRO and their corresponding Oath and
assumption of office all came at a later date than March 10, 2010.

Issue:

Whether Atty. Velicaria-Garafil et AL’s appointments violate Section 15, Article VII of the 1987
Constitution.

Ruling:

YES. All of petitioners’ appointments are midnight appointments and are void for violation of Section
15, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. The well-settled rule in our jurisprudence, that an appointment is a
process that begins with the selection by the appointing power and ends with acceptance of the appointment
by the appointee, stands.The following elements should always concur in the making of a valid (which should
be 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
vacant position at the time of appointment; and (4) receipt of the appointment paper and acceptance of the
appointment by the appointee who possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications. The
concurrence of all these elements should always apply, regardless of when the appointment is made, whether
outside, just before, or during the appointment ban.

The facts in all these cases show that “none of the petitioners have shown that their appointment
papers (and transmittal letters) have been issued (and released) before the ban.” The dates of receipt by the
MRO, which in these cases are the only reliable evidence of actual transmittal of the appointment papers by
President Macapagal-Arroyo, are dates clearly falling during the appointment ban. Thus, this ponencia (J.
Carpio) and the dissent both agree that all the appointments in these cases are midnight appointments in
violation of Section 15, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. For an appointment to be valid, it must be made
outside of the prohibited period or, failing that, fall under the specified exception like the appointments in the
judiciary as held in De Castro v JBC.

The inclusion of acceptance by the appointee as an integral part of the entire appointment process
prevents the abuse of the Presidential power to appoint. It is relatively easy to antedate appointment papers

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and make it appear that they were issued prior to the appointment ban, but it is more difficult to simulate the
entire appointment process up until acceptance by the appointee.

Petitioners Atty. Velicaria-Garafil have failed to show compliance with all four elements of a valid
appointment. They cannot prove with certainty that their appointment papers were transmitted before the
appointment ban took effect. On the other hand, petitioners admit that they took their oaths of office during
the appointment ban. Petitioners have failed to raise any valid ground for the Court to declare EO 2, or any
part of it, unconstitutional. Consequently, EO 2 remains valid and constitutional.

RESIDENT MARINE MAMMALS OF THE PROTECTED SEASCAPE TANON STRAIT v. SECRETARY ANGELO
REYES, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
G.R. NO. 180771, APRIL 21, 2015, J. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO

Under the principle of qualified political agency the heads of the various executive departments are
assistants and agents of the Chief Executive except in cases where the Chief Executive is required by the
Constitution or law to act in person or the exigencies of the situation demand that he act personally.

Facts:

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was impleaded as an unwilling co-petitioner, for her
express declaration and undertaking in the ASEAN Charter to protect the Tañon Strait, among others in this
case. Petitioners toothed whales, dolphins, porpoises, and other cetacean species referred to as the "Resident
Marine Mammals, which inhabit the waters in and around the Tañon Strait and Gloria Estenzo Ramos and
Rose-Liza Eisma-Osorio as their legal guardians and as friends (to be collectively known as "the Stewards")
filed a case against the secretary of the Dept. of Energy and others for granting JAPEX exploration,
development, and production of petroleum resources in a block covering approximately 2,850 square
kilometers offshore the Tañon Strait which hampers the environment and habitat of the petitioners resident
marine mammals.

In defense, public respondents, through the Solicitor General, contend that petitioners Resident
Marine Mammals and Stewards have no legal standing to file the present petition; that SC-46 does not violate
the 1987 Constitution and the various laws cited in the petitions. Further, invoking the alter ego principle in
political law, the public respondents claim that absent any proof that former President Arroyo had
disapproved of their acts in entering into and implementing SC-46 granting JAPEX exploration, development,
and production, such acts remain to be her own.

Issues:

1. Whether former President Macapagal Arroyo can be impleaded as an unwilling co-petitionerfor her
express declaration and undertaking in the ASEAN Charter to protect the Tañon Strait.
2. Whether the alter-ego principle invoked here by the public respondents apply.

Ruling:

1. NO. Albeit the court here ruled that it liberalizes standing for all cases filed enforcing environmental
laws and collapses the traditional rule on personal and direct interest, on the principle that humans are
stewards of nature. The reason cited by the petitioners Stewards for including former President Macapagal-
Arroyo in their petition, is not sufficient to implead her as an unwilling co-petitioner. Impleading the former
President as an unwilling co-petitioner, for an act she made in the performance of the functions of her office,
is contrary to the public policy against embroiling the President in suits, "to assure the exercise of
Presidential duties and functions free from any hindrance or distraction, considering that being the Chief
Executive of the Government is a job that, aside from requiring all of the office holder's time, also demands

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undivided attention."Therefore, former President Macapagal-Arroyo cannot be impleaded as one of the


petitioners in this suit. Thus, her name is stricken off the title of this case.

2. NO. Under this doctrine, which recognizes the establishment of a single executive, all executive and
administrative organizations are adjuncts of the Executive Department, the heads of the various executive
departments are assistants and agents of the Chief Executive, and, except in cases where the Chief Executive
is required by the Constitution or law to act in person or the exigencies of the situation demand that he act
personally, the multifarious executive and administrative functions of the Chief Executive are performed by
and through the executive departments, and the acts of the Secretaries of such departments, performed and
promulgated in the regular course of business, are, unless disapproved or reprobated by the Chief Executive
presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive.

As this Court has held in La Bugal, our Constitution requires that the President himself be the
signatory of service agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving the exploration, development,
and utilization of our minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils.

In this case, the public respondents have failed to show that the President had any participation in
SC-46. Their argument that their acts are actually the acts of then President Macapagal-Arroyo, absent proof
of her disapproval, must fail as the requirement that the President herself enter into these kinds of contracts
is embodied not just in any ordinary statute, but in the Constitution itself. These service contracts involving
the exploitation, development, and utilization of our natural resources are of paramount interest to the
present and future generations. Hence, safeguards were put in place to insure that the guidelines set by law
are meticulously observed and likewise to eradicate the corruption that may easily penetrate departments
and agencies by ensuring that the President has authorized or approved of these service contracts herself.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ABAKADA GURO PARTY LIST (Formerly AASJAS) OFFICERS SAMSON S. ALCANTARA and ED VINCENT S.
ALBANO v. THE HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA et al.
G.R. NO. 168056,SEPTEMBER 1, 2005, J. AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ

When the act of the Secretary of Finance is in pursuance of a mandate as an agent of the congress and
not as the president’s alter ego the President cannot alter or modify or nullify, or set aside the findings of the
Secretary of Finance and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter.

Facts:

R.A. No. 9337 or the VAT law provides that the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary
of Finance, shall, effective January 1, 2006, raise the rate of value-added tax to twelve percent (12%), after
any of the following conditions has been satisfied:

(i) Value-added tax collection as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the previous year
exceeds two and four-fifth percent (2 4/5%); or
(ii) National government deficit as a percentage of GDP of the previous year exceeds one and one-half
percent (1 %).

Petitioner Escudero, et al. claims that any recommendation by the Secretary of Finance can easily be
brushed aside by the President since the former is a mere alter ego of the latter.

Issue:

Whether the President notwithstanding the mandate of R.A. 9337 can easily brushed aside the
recommendation by the Secretary of Finance on the assumption that the latter is a mere alter ego of the
President.

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Ruling:

NO. When one speaks of the Secretary of Finance as the alter ego of the President, it simply means
that as head of the Department of Finance he is the assistant and agent of the Chief Executive. The
multifarious executive and administrative functions of the Chief Executive are performed by and through the
executive departments, and the acts of the secretaries of such departments, such as the Department of
Finance, performed and promulgated in the regular course of business, are, unless disapproved or reprobated
by the Chief Executive, presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive. The Secretary of Finance, as such,
occupies a political position and holds office in an advisory capacity, and, in the language of Thomas Jefferson,
"should be of the President's bosom confidence" and, in the language of Attorney-General Cushing, is subject
to the direction of the President."

In the present case, in making his recommendation to the President on the existence of either of the
two conditions, the Secretary of Finance is not acting as the alter ego of the President or even her
subordinate. In such instance, he is not subject to the power of control and direction of the President. He is
acting as the agent of the legislative department, to determine and declare the event upon which its expressed
will is to take effect. The Secretary of Finance becomes the means or tool by which legislative policy is
determined and implemented, considering that he possesses all the facilities to gather data and information
and has a much broader perspective to properly evaluate them. His function is to gather and collate statistical
data and other pertinent information and verify if any of the two conditions laid out by Congress is present.
His personality in such instance is in reality but a projection of that of Congress. Thus, being the agent of
Congress and not of the President, the President cannot alter or modify or nullify, or set aside the findings of
the Secretary of Finance and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter.

LOUIS BAROK C. BIRAOGO v. THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION OF 2010


G.R. No. 192935, December 7, 2010, J. MENDOZA

Pursuant to Section 17, Article VII of the Constitution which mandates the President to faithfully execute
all laws, the President may create ad hoc committees such as truth commissions to investigate against class of
previous administrations graft and corruptions.

Facts:

This is a consolidated petition assailing Executive Order No.1 dated July 30, 2010, entitled Creating
the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010, a separate body dedicated solely to investigating and finding out
the truth concerning the reported cases of graft and corruption during the previous administration.
Petitioners Louis Biraogo assails Executive Order No. 1 for being violative of the legislative power of Congress
under Section 1, Article VI of the Constitution as it usurps the constitutional authority of the legislature to
create a public office and to appropriate funds therefor. In addition, Biraogo claims that it is unconstitutional
for it is not under the President’s continuing authority to reorganize the Office of the President. Finally, E.O.
No. 1 accordingly, violates the equal protection clause as it selectively targets for investigation and
prosecution officials and personnel of the previous administration

In defense, the Office of the Solicitor General claims that,E.O. No. 1 does not arrogate the powers of
Congress to create a public office because the Presidents executive power and power of control necessarily
include the inherent power to conduct investigations to ensure that laws are faithfully executed. Also, E.O. No.
1 does not usurp the power of Congress to appropriate funds because there is no appropriation but a mere
allocation of funds already appropriated by Congress. And that the Truth Commission does not violate the
equal protection clause because it was validly created for laudable purposes.

Issues:

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1. Whether the Creation of the Truth Commission of 2010’s basis is the President’s power of control.
2. Whether the Creation of the Truth Commission of 2010’s basis is the President’s duty to faithfully
execute the laws under Section 17,Article VII.
3. Whether the Truth Commission of 2010 is constitutional.

Ruling:

1. NO. The creation of the PTC is not justified by the Presidents power of control. Control is essentially
the power to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of
his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former with that of the latter. Clearly, the power of control is
entirely different from the power to create public offices. The former is inherent in the Executive, while the
latter finds basis from either a valid delegation from Congress, or his inherent duty to faithfully execute the
laws. Further, there is no valid delegation from the congress that would warrant the creation of the
commission because P.D. 1416, as amended by P.D. No. 1772 where the respondent anchors its legality was
already held functus oficio. Thus, it begs the question of where does the Truth Commission of 2010 finds legal
basis? This is answered by the second issue herein.

2. YES. While the power to create a truth commission cannot pass muster on the basis of P.D. No. 1416
as amended by P.D. No. 1772, the creation of the PTC finds justification under Section 17, Article VII of the
Constitution, imposing upon the President the duty to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed. The
Presidents power to conduct investigations to aid him in ensuring the faithful execution of laws in this case,
fundamental laws on public accountability and transparency is inherent in the President’s powers as the Chief
Executive. That the authority of the President to conduct investigations and to create bodies to execute this
power is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution or in statutes does not mean that he is bereft of such
authority.Indeed, the Executive is given much leeway in ensuring that our laws are faithfully executed. The
powers of 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 ad
hoc committees. This flows from the obvious need to ascertain facts and determine if laws have been
faithfully executed.

On the charge that Executive Order No. 1 transgresses the power of Congress to appropriate funds
for the operation of a public office, suffice it to say that there will be no appropriation but only an allotment or
allocations of existing funds already appropriated.

3. NO. It violates the equal protection clause. The intent to single out the previous administration is
plain, patent and manifest. In this regard, it must be borne in mind that the 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 the equal protection clause cannot
sanction.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

NATIONAL ARTIST FOR LITERATURE VIRGILIO ALMARIO, ET. AL V. THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, ET.
AL
G.R. No. 189028, July 16, 2013, LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.

The President’s discretion in the conferment of the Order of National Artists should be exercised in
accordance with the duty to faithfully execute the relevant laws.

Facts:

After the Cultural Center of the Philippines and National Commission for Culture and the Arts
submitted the recommendation of final list of National Artists to the President, aforementioned letter was

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referred by the Office of the President to the Committee on Honors. Meanwhile, the OP allegedly received
nominations from various sectors, cultural groups and individuals strongly endorsing Cecile Guidote-Alvarez,
et.al. The Committee on Honors purportedly processed these nominations and invited resource persons to
validate the qualifications and credentials of the nominees. Acting on this recommendation, Proclamation No.
1823 declaring Manuel Conde a National Artist was issued. Subsequently, Proclamation Nos. 1824 to 1829
were issued declaring Lazaro Francisco, Federico Aguilar Alcuaz and Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, Masa and
Moreno, respectively, as National Artists. A petition for prohibition, certiorari and injunction was filed by
Virgilio Almario, et. al who claim that former President Macapagal-Arroyo gravely abused her discretion in
disregarding the results of the rigorous screening and selection process for the Order of National Artists and
in substituting her own choice for those of the Deliberation Panels. According to them, the Presidents
discretion to name National Artists is not absolute but limited. In particular, her discretion on the matter
cannot be exercised in the absence of or against the recommendation of the NCCA and the CCP.

Issue:

Whether there was grave abuse of discretion committed by former President Arroyo.

Ruling:

YES. The "power to recommend" includes the power to give "advice, exhortation or indorsement,
which is essentially persuasive in character, not binding upon the party to whom it is made."In view of the
various stages of deliberation in the selection process and as a consequence of his/her duty to faithfully
enforce the relevant laws, the discretion of the President in the matter of the Order of National Artists is
confined to the names submitted to him/her by the NCCA and the CCP Boards. This means that the President
could not have considered conferment of the Order of National Artists on any person not considered and
recommended by the NCCA and the CCP Boards. That is the proper import of the provision of Executive Order
No. 435, s. 2005, that the NCCA and the CCP "shall advise the President on the conferment of the Order of
National Artists." Applying this to the instant case, the former President could not have properly considered
respondents Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, Masa and Moreno, as their names were not recommended by the
NCCA and the CCP Boards. Otherwise, not only will the stringent selection and meticulous screening process
be rendered futile, the respective mandates of the NCCA and the CCP Board of Trustees under relevant laws to
administer the conferment of Order of National Artists, draft the rules and regulations to guide its
deliberations, formulate and implement policies and plans, and undertake any and all necessary measures in
that regard will also become meaningless.

CESAR R. DE LEON V. J. ANTONIO M. CARPIO


G.R. No. 85243 October 12, 1989, CRUZ, J.

It is an elementary principle of our republican government, enshrined in the Constitution and honored
not in the breach but in the observance, that all executive departments, bureaus and offices are under the control
of the President of the Philippines.

Facts:

Francisco Estavillo and Cesar de Leon are two NBI agents terminated by then Minister of Justice
Neptali A. Gonzales. Upon appeal to the Review Committee, the said body declined to act on their petitions for
reconsideration on the ground that it had lost its jurisdiction with the ratification of the new Constitution.
They were advised instead to seek relief from the Civil Service Commission. The Merit Systems Protection
Board of CSC held that their dismissals were invalid and unconstitutional, having been done in violation of
their security of tenure under the 1987 Constitution. Accordingly, the Board ordered their reinstatement.
However, respondent Carpio, as Director of NBI, returned the orders issued by the Secretary of Justice to CSC
“without action,” claiming that they were null and void for having been rendered without jurisdiction.

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Issue:

Whether the Director of the NBI can disobey an explicit and direct order issued to him by the
Secretary of Justice.

Ruling:

NO. The President’s power of control is directly exercised by him over the members of the Cabinet
who, in turn and by his authority, control the bureaus and other offices under their respective jurisdictions in
the executive department. The constitutional vesture of this power in the President is self-executing and does
not require statutory implementation, nor may its exercise be limited, much less withdrawn, by the
legislature.

In the case of Villena v. Secretary of the Interior, the Court ruled that theoretically, the President has
full control of all the members of his Cabinet and may appoint them as he sees fit or shuffle them at pleasure,
subject only to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments, and replace them in his discretion. Once in
place, they are at all times under the disposition of the President as their immediate superior. “Without
minimizing the importance of the heads of the various departments, their personality is in reality but the
projection of that of the President. Hence, their acts, performed and promulgated in the regular course of
business are, unless disapproved or reprobated by the Chief Executive, presumptively the acts of the Chief
Executive.

In the case at bar, there is no question that when the Sec. of Jusice directed Carpio to reinstate
Estavillo and de Leon, Sec. Ordonez was acting in the regular discharge of his functions as an alter ego of the
President. His acts should therefore have been respected by Carpio, the Director of the NBI, which is in the
Department of Justice under the direct control of its Secretary. As a subordinate in this department, Carpio
was (and is) bound to obey the Secretary’s directives, which are presumptively the acts of the President of the
Philippines.

LORETO BARRIOQUINTO AND NORBERTO JIMENEZ, PETITIONERS, VS. ENRIQUE A. FERNANDEZ, ET. AL
G.R. No.L-1278, January 21, 1949,FERIA, J.

Although the accused does not confess the imputation against him, he may be declared by the court or
the Amnesty Commissions entitled to the benefits of the amnesty.

Facts:

Petitioners Norberto Jimenez and Loreto Barrioquinto were charged with the crime of murder.
Jimenez was the only one arrested and after trial was sentenced to life imprisonment. Before the period for
perfecting an appeal, Jimenez decided to submit his case to the Guerrilla Amnesty Commission in accordance
with Proclamation No. 8, issued by the then President Manuel Roxas, which grants amnesty. After a
preliminary hearing had started, the Amnesty Commission returned the cases to the CFI without deciding
whether or not they are entitled to the benefits of the said Amnesty Proclamation, on the ground that
inasmuch as neither Barrioquinto nor Jimenez have admitted having committed the offense, because
Barrioquinto alleged that it was Hipolito Tolention who shot and killed the victim, they cannot invoke the
benefits of amnesty.

Issue:

Whether the petitioners are entitled to the benefits of the amnesty issued by the President.

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Ruling:

YES. In order to entitle a person to the benefits of the amnesty proclamation, it is not necessary that
he should, as a condition precedent or sine qua non, admit having committed the criminal act of offense with
which he is charged, and allege the amnesty as a defense; it is sufficient that the evidence, either of the
complainant or the accused, shows that the offense committed comes within the terms of said Amnesty
Proclamation. Hence, it is not correct to say that "invocation of the benefits of amnesty is in the nature of a
plea of confession and avoidance." Although the accused does not confess the imputation against him, he may
be declared by the court or the Amnesty Commissions entitled to the benefits of the amnesty. For, whether or
not he admits or confesses having committed the offense with which he is charged, the Commissions should,
if necessary or requested by the interested party, conduct summary hearing of the witnesses both for the
complainants and the accused on whether he has committed the offense in furtherance of the resistance to
the enemy , or against persons aiding in the war efforts of the enemy, and decide whether he is entitled to the
benefits of amnesty and to be "regarded as a patriot or hero who have rendered invaluable services to the
nation," or not, in accordance with the terms of the Amnesty Proclamation. Since the Amnesty Proclamation is
a public act, the courts as well as the Amnesty Commissions created thereby should take notice of the terms
of said Proclamation and apply the benefits granted therein to cases coming within their province or
jurisdiction, whether pleaded or claimed by the person charged with such offenses or not, if the evidence
presented shows that the accused is entitled to said benefits.

SALVACION A. MONSANTO V. FULGENCIO S. FACTORAN, JR.


G.R. No. 78239 February 9, 1989, FERNAN, C.J.

Pardon does not ipso facto restore a convicted felon to public office necessarily relinquished or forfeited
by reason of the conviction although such pardon undoubtedly restores his eligibility for appointment to that
office.

Facts:

Salvacion A. Monsanto, then assistant treasurer of Calbayog City, and three other accused were
convicted before the Sandiganbayan of the complex crime of estafa thru falsification of public documents.
Monsanto appealed her conviction to the Court which subsequently affirmed the same. She then filed a
motion for reconsideration but while said motion was pending, she was extended by then President Marcos
absolute pardon. By reason of said pardon, Monsanto wrote the Calbayog City treasurer requesting that she
be restored to her former post as assistant city treasurer since the same was still vacant. The Finance
Ministry ruled that Monsanto may be reinstated to her position without the necessity of a new appointment
not earlier than the date she was extended the absolute pardon.

Issue:

Whether a public officer, who has been granted an absolute pardon by the Chief Executive, is entitled
to reinstatement to her former position without need of a new appointment.

Ruling:

NO. Pardon granted after conviction frees the individual from all the penalties and legal disabilities
and restores him to all his civil rights. But unless expressly grounded on the person's innocence, it cannot
bring back lost reputation for honesty, integrity and fair dealing. This must be constantly kept in mind lest we
lose track of the true character and purpose of the privilege. To insist on automatic reinstatement because of
a mistaken notion that the pardon virtually acquitted one from the offense of estafa would be grossly
untenable. A pardon, albeit full and plenary, cannot preclude the appointing power from refusing

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appointment to anyone deemed to be of bad character, a poor moral risk, or who is unsuitable by reason of
the pardoned conviction.

The absolute disqualification or ineligibility from public office forms part of the punishment
prescribed by the Revised Penal Code for estafa thru falsification of public documents. It is clear from the
authorities referred to that when her guilt and punishment were expunged by her pardon, this particular
disability was likewise removed. Henceforth, Monsanto may apply for reappointment to the office which was
forfeited by reason of her conviction. And in considering her qualifications and suitability for the public post,
the facts constituting her offense must be and should be evaluated and taken into account to determine
ultimately whether she can once again be entrusted with public funds. Stated differently, the pardon granted
to petitioner has resulted in removing her disqualification from holding public employment but it cannot go
beyond that. To regain her former post as assistant city treasurer, she must re-apply and undergo the usual
procedure required for a new appointment.

VICENTE GARCIA V. THE HONORABLE CHAIRMAN, COMMISSION ON AUDIT, ET. AL


G.R. No. 75025 September 14, 1993, BELLOSILLO, J.

The bestowal of executive clemency on Garcia in effect completely obliterated the adverse effects of the
administrative decision which found him guilty of dishonesty and ordered his separation from the service.

Facts:

Vicente Garcia was a Supervising Lineman in the Region IV Station of the Bureau of
Telecommunications in Lucena City. He was summarily dismissed from the service on the ground of
dishonesty. A criminal case for qualified theft was filed against him however the trial court acquitted him.
Consequently, Garcia sought reinstatement to his former position in view of his acquittal in the criminal case.
However the same was denied. Hence, he pleaded to the President of the Philippines for executive clemency,
which was granted. Garcia thereafter filed with COA a claim for payment of back salaries but the same was
denied on the ground that the executive clemency granted to him did not provide for the payment of back
salaries and that he has not been reinstated in the service. He was recalled to the service but the records do
not show whether petitioner's reinstatement was to the same position of Supervising Lineman. Garcia again
filed a claim to recover his back salaries when he was reinstated. The same was denied again.

Issue:

Whether Garcia is entitled to the payment of back wages after having been reinstated pursuant to the
grant of executive clemency.

Ruling:

YES. Garcia's automatic reinstatement to the government service entitles him to back wages. This is
meant to afford relief to Garcia who is innocent from the start and to make reparation for what he has
suffered as a result of his unjust dismissal from the service. Moreover, the right to back wages is afforded to
those with have been illegally dismissed and were thus ordered reinstated or to those otherwise acquitted of
the charges against them.

Further, it is worthy to note that the dismissal of petitioner was not the result of any criminal
conviction that carried with it forfeiture of the right to hold public office, but is the direct consequence of an
administrative decision of a branch of the Executive Department over which the President, as its head, has the
power of control. The President's control has been defined to mean "the power of an officer to alter or modify
or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to the

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judgment of the former for the latter." In pardoning Garcia and ordering his reinstatement, the Chief
Executive exercised his power of control and set aside the decision of the Ministry of Transportation and
Communications. The clemency nullified the dismissal of petitioner and relieved him from administrative
liability. The separation of the petitioner from the service being null and void, he is thus entitled to back
wages. After having been declared innocent of the crime of qualified theft, which also served as basis for the
administrative charge, petitioner should not be considered to have left his office for all legal purposes, so that
he is entitled to all the rights and privileges that accrued to him by virtue of the office held, including back
wages.

LEO ECHEGARAY V. SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, ET AL.,


G.R. No. 132601 January 19, 1999, PUNO, J.

For the Secretary of Justice to contend that only the Executive can protect the right to life of an accused
after his final conviction is to violate the principle of co-equal and coordinate powers of the three branches of our
government.

Facts:

On January 4, 1999, the Supreme Court issued a TRO staying the execution of petitioner Leo
Echegaray scheduled on that same day. The Secretary of Justice assailed the issuance of the TRO arguing that
the action of the Supreme Court not only violated the rule on finality of judgment but also encroached on the
power of the executive to grant reprieve.

Issue:

Whether the court abused its discretion in granting a TRO on the execution of Echegaray despite the
fact that the finality of judgment has already been rendered by which the Court has in effect granted reprieve
which is an executive function.

Ruling:

NO. Section 19, Article VII of the Constitution is simply the source of power of the President to grant
reprieves, commutations, and pardons and remit fines and forfeitures after conviction by final judgment. The
provision, however, cannot be interpreted as denying the power of courts to control the enforcement of their
decisions after their finality. In truth, an accused who has been convicted by final judgment still possesses
collateral rights and these rights can be claimed in the appropriate courts. The suspension of a death sentence
is undisputably an exercise of judicial power. It is not a usurpation of the presidential power of reprieve
though its effects is the same — the temporary suspension of the execution of the death convict.

ATTY. ALICIA RISOS-VIDAL V. COMELEC and JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA


G.R. No. 206666, January 21, 2015, LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.

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 wording of the pardon extended to former
President Estrada is complete, unambiguous, and unqualified.

Facts:

The Sandiganbayan convicted former President Estrada for the crime of plunder and was sentenced
to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and accessory penalties. However, former President Arroyo

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extended executive clemency, by way of pardon, to Estrada, explicitly stating that he is restored to his civil
and political rights. After failing to win during the presidential election, Estrada filed a Certificate of
Candidacy for Mayor of the City of Manila. Atty. Alicia Risos-Vidal filed a Petition for Disqualification against
Estrada before the COMELEC stating that Estrada is disqualified to run for public office because of his
conviction for plunder sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua with perpetual absolute
disqualification. Risos-Vidal relied on Section 40 of the LGC, in relation to Section 12 of the Omnibus Election
Code. The COMELEC dismissed the petition for disqualification holding that President Estrada’s right to seek
public office has been effectively restored by the pardon vested upon him by former President Gloria M.
Arroyo. Estrada won the mayoralty race.

Issue:

Whether Estrada may run for public office despite having been convicted of the crime of plunder
which carried an accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification to hold public office.

Ruling:

YES. The pardoning power of the President cannot be limited by legislative action as provided under
Section 19 of Article VII and Section 5 of Article IX-C. Moreover, even if we apply Articles 36 and 41 of the
RPC, it is indubitable from the text of the pardon that the accessory penalties of civil interdiction and
perpetual absolute disqualification were expressly remitted together with the principal penalty of reclusion
perpetua. Section 12 of the OEC 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 for and hold any public
office, whether local or national position. Contrary to Risos-Vidal’s declaration, the third preambular clause of
the pardon, neither makes the pardon conditional, nor militate against the conclusion that former President
Estrada’s rights to suffrage and to seek public elective office have been restored. The whereas clause at issue
is not an integral part of the decree of the pardon, and therefore, does not by itself alone operate to make the
pardon conditional or to make its effectivity contingent upon the fulfillment of the aforementioned
commitment nor to limit the scope of the pardon.

JAMAR M. KULAYAN, ET. AL V. GOV. ABDUSAKUR M. TAN


GR. NO.187298, JUY 3, 2012, SERENO. J.

It is only the President, as Executive, who is authorized to exercise emergency powers as provided under
Section 23, Article VI, of the Constitution, as well as what became known as the calling-out powers under Section
7, Article VII thereof.

Facts:

Three members from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were kidnapped in Sulu. A
task force was created by the ICRC and the PNP. The local group convened under the leadership of Governor
Abdusakur Mahail Tan. He organized the Civilian Emergency Force, a group of armed male civilians coming
from different municipalities, who were redeployed to surrounding areas of Patikul. Later on, Governor Tan
issued Proclamation 1-09 declaring a state of emergency in the province of Sulu. In the same Proclamation,
respondent Tan called upon the PNP and the CEF to set up checkpoints and chokepoints, conduct general
search and seizures including arrests, and other actions necessary to ensure public safety. Jamar M. Kulayan,
et. al filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition, claiming that Proclamation 1-09 was issued with grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, as it threatened fundamental freedoms
guaranteed under Article III of the 1987 Constitution.

Issue:

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Whether Governor Tan can exercise the calling out powers of a President.

Ruling:

NO. A local chief executive, such as the provincial governor, exercises operational supervision over
the police, and may exercise control only in day-to-day operations. Moreover, in the discussions of the
Constitutional Commission, the framers never intended for local chief executives to exercise unbridled
control over the police in emergency situations. This is without prejudice to their authority over police units
in their jurisdiction as provided by law, and their prerogative to seek assistance from the police in day to day
situations. But as a civilian agency of the government, the police, through the NAPOLCOM, properly comes
within, and is subject to, the exercise by the President of the power of executive control.

Given the foregoing, Governor Tan is not endowed with the power to call upon the armed forces at
his 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 Emergency Force.
The calling-out powers contemplated under the Constitution is exclusive to the President. An exercise by
another official, even if he is the local chief executive, is ultra vires, and may not be justified by the invocation
of Section 465 of the Local Government Code.

DATU ZALDY UY AMPATUAN, ET. AL V. HON. RONALDO PUNO


G.R. No. 190259, June 7, 2011, ABAD, J.

The calling out of the armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence in such places is a power that
the Constitution directly vests in the President. It is clearly to the President that the Constitution entrusts the
determination of the need for calling out the armed forces to prevent and suppress lawless violence.

Facts:

After the gruesome massacre of 57 men and women, including some news reporters, then President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Proclamation 1946, placing the Provinces of Maguindanao and Sultan
Kudarat and the City of Cotabato under a state of emergency. She directed the AFP and the PNP to undertake
such measures as may be allowed by the Constitution and by law to prevent and suppress all incidents of
lawless violence in the named places. Consequently, President Arroyo also issued AO 273 transferring
supervision of the ARMM from the Office of the President to the DILG. But, due to issues raised over the
terminology used in AO 273, the President issued AO 273-A amending the former, by delegating instead of
transferring supervision of the ARMM to the DILG.C laiming that the President’s issuances encroached on the
ARMMs autonomy, Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan, et. al filed a petition for prohibition under Rule 65. ARMM
officials claimed that the President had no factual basis for declaring a state of emergency, especially in
the Province of Sultan Kudarat and the City of Cotabato, where no critical violent incidents occurred. The
deployment of troops and the taking over of the ARMM constitutes an invalid exercise of the Presidents
emergency powers. Ampatuan, et. al asked that Proclamation 1946 as well as AOs 273 and 273-A be declared
unconstitutional and that respondents DILG Secretary, the AFP, and the PNP be enjoined from implementing
them.

Issue:

1. Whether President Arroyo invalidly exercised emergency powers when she called out the AFP and
the PNP to prevent and suppress all incidents of lawless violence in Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, and
Cotabato City.
2. Whether the President had factual bases for her actions.

Ruling:

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1. NO. The President did not proclaim a national emergency, only a state of emergency in the three
places mentioned. And she did not act pursuant to any law enacted by Congress that authorized her to
exercise extraordinary powers. The calling out of the armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence in
such places is a power that the Constitution directly vests in the President. She did not need a congressional
authority to exercise the same.

2. YES. As the Court acknowledged in Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Hon. Zamora, it is clearly to the
President that the Constitution entrusts the determination of the need for calling out the armed forces to
prevent and suppress lawless violence. Unless it is shown that such determination was attended by grave
abuse of discretion, the Court will accord respect to the Presidents judgment.

Here, Ampatuan, et. al failed to show that the declaration of a state of emergency in the Provinces of
Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City, as well as the Presidents exercise of the calling out power
had no factual basis. They simply alleged that, since not all areas under the ARMM were placed under a state
of emergency, it follows that the take over of the entire ARMM by the DILG Secretary had no basis too.

The imminence of violence and anarchy at the time the President issued Proclamation 1946 was too
grave to ignore and she had to act to prevent further bloodshed and hostilities in the places
mentioned. Progress reports also indicated that there was movement in these places of both high-powered
firearms and armed men sympathetic to the two clans. Thus, to pacify the people’s fears and stabilize the
situation, the President had to take preventive action. She called out the armed forces to control the
proliferation of loose firearms and dismantle the armed groups that continuously threatened the peace and
security in the affected places.

PHILIP SIGFRID A. FORTUN and ALBERT LEE G. ANGELES V. GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, ET. AL
G.R. No. 190293, March 20, 2012, ABAD, J.

The constitutional validity of the Presidents proclamation of martial law or suspension of the writ
of habeas corpus is first a political question in the hands of Congress before it becomes a justiciable one in the
hands of the Court.

Facts:

After the killing of 57 innocent civilians on a highway in Maguindanao, President Arroyo issued
Presidential Proclamation 1946, declaring a state of emergency in Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat,
and Cotabato City to prevent and suppress similar lawless violence in Central Mindanao. Consequently,
President Arroyo issued Presidential Proclamation 1959 declaring martial law and suspending the privilege
of the writ of habeas corpus in that province except for identified areas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
However, after her submission of report as required under the Constitution and before Congress could act,
the President issued Presidential Proclamation 1963, lifting martial law and restoring the privilege of the writ
of habeas corpus in Maguindanao. Philip Sigfrid A. Fortun, et. Al challenged the constitutionality of President
Arroyos Proclamation 1959 affecting Maguindanao.

Issue:

Whether the Court can rule on the constitutionality of Proclamation 1959.

Ruling:

NO. President Arroyo withdrew Proclamation 1959 before the joint houses of Congress, which had in
fact convened, could act on the same. Consequently, the petitions in these cases have become moot and the

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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 controversy.

Since President Arroyo withdrew her proclamation of martial law and suspension of the 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 President did not
issue any law or decree affecting Maguindanao that should ordinarily be enacted 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 intended by her action to address
an uprising in a relatively small and sparsely populated province. In her judgment, the rebellion was localized
and swiftly disintegrated in the face of a determined and amply armed government presence.

FRANCISCO V. GUDANI AND LT. COL. ALEXANDER F. BALUTAN v. LT./GEN. GENEROSO S. SENGA
G.R. No. 170165, August 15, 2006, TINGA, J.

The Constitution reposes final authority, control and supervision of the AFP to the President, a civilian
who is not a member of the armed forces, and whose duties as commander-in-chief represent only a part of the
organic duties imposed upon the office, the other functions being clearly civil in nature.

Facts:

Senator Biazon invited several senior officers of the AFP to appear at a public hearing regarding
allegations of massive cheating and the surfacing of copies of an audio allegedly of a phone conversation
between President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and an official of the COMELEC. That same day, President Gloria-
Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order No. 464 enjoining officials of the executive department including
the military establishment from appearing in any legislative inquiry without her approval.

Issue:

Whether the president may prevent a member of the armed forces from testifying before a legislative
inquiry.

Ruling:

YES. The vitality of the tenet that the President is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces is
most crucial to the democratic way of life, to civilian supremacy over the military, and to the general stability
of our representative system of government. The Constitution reposes final authority, control and supervision
of the AFP to the President, a civilian who is not a member of the armed forces, and whose duties as
commander-in-chief represent only a part of the organic duties imposed upon the office, the other functions
being clearly civil in nature. Civilian supremacy over the military also countermands the notion that the
military may bypass civilian authorities, such as civil courts, on matters such as conducting warrantless
searches and seizures.

The President has constitutional authority to do so, by virtue of her power as commander-in-chief,
and that as a consequence a military officer who defies such injunction is liable under military justice. At the
same time, any chamber of Congress which seeks the appearance before it of a military officer against the
consent of the President has adequate remedies under law to compel such attendance. Any military official
whom Congress summons to testify before it may be 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 have the force of the law of the land which the President has the duty to faithfully
execute.

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The Court’s ruling that the President could, as a general rule, require military officers to seek
presidential approval before appearing before Congress is based foremost on the notion that a contrary 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-chief and all the
prerogatives and functions appertaining to the position.

PROVINCEOFNORTHCOTABATOv.GOVERNMENTOFTHEREPUBLICOFTHEPHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 183591, October 14, 2008, CARPIO MORALES, J.

The Presidents power to conduct peace negotiations is implicitly included in her powers as Chief
Executive and Commander-in-Chief.

Facts:

Invoking the right to information on matters of public concern, petitioners sought to compel
respondents to disclose and furnish them the complete and official copies of the MOA-AD including its
attachments, and to prohibit the slated signing of the MOA-AD, pending the disclosure of the contents of the
MOA-AD. Petitioners alleged that respondents exceeded their authority by the mere act of guaranteeing
amendments to the Constitution.

Issue:

Whether the President, in the course of peace negotiations may agree to pursue reforms that would
require new legislation and constitutional amendments.

Ruling:

YES. That the authority of the President to conduct peace negotiations with rebel groups is not
explicitly mentioned in the Constitution does not mean that she has no such authority. The Presidents power
to conduct peace negotiations is implicitly included in her powers as Chief Executive and Commander-in-
Chief. As Chief Executive, the President has the general responsibility to promote public peace, and as
Commander-in-Chief, she has the more specific duty to prevent and suppress rebellion and lawless violence.

The constitutional provisions on autonomy and the statutes enacted pursuant to them have, to the
credit of their drafters, been partly successful. Nonetheless, the Filipino people are still faced with the reality
of an on-going conflict between the Government and the MILF. If the President is to be expected to find means
for bringing this conflict to an end and to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao, then she must be given the
leeway to explore, in the course of peace negotiations, solutions that may require changes to the Constitution
for their implementation. Being uniquely vested with the power to conduct peace negotiations with rebel
groups, the President is in a singular position to know the precise nature of their grievances which, if resolved,
may bring an end to hostilities.

The President may not, of course, unilaterally implement the solutions that she considers viable, but
she may not be prevented from submitting them as recommendations to Congress, which could then, if it is
minded, act upon them pursuant to the legal procedures for constitutional amendment and revision. In
particular, Congress would have the option, pursuant to Article XVII, Sections 1 and 3 of the Constitution, to
propose the recommended amendments or revision to the people, call a constitutional convention, or submit
to the electorate the question of calling such a convention.

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RAMON A. GONZALES v. RUFINO G. HECHANOVA


G.R. No. L-21897, October 22, 1963, CONCEPCION, J.

The main function of the Executive is to enforce laws enacted by Congress.

Facts:

Respondent Executive Secretary authorized the importation of 67,000 tons of foreign rice to be
purchased from private sources, and created a rice procurement committee composed of the other
respondents herein for the implementation of said proposed importation. Herein petitioner, Ramon A.
Gonzales, filed a petition averring that respondents "are acting without jurisdiction or in excess of
jurisdiction", because Republic Act No. 3452 which allegedly repeals or amends Republic Act No. 220 —
explicitly prohibits the importation of rice and corn.

Issue:

Whether the Executive Secretary has the authority to authorize the importation of 67,000 tons of
foreign rice to be purchased from private sources.

Ruling:

NO. Under the Constitution, the main function of the Executive is to enforce laws enacted by
Congress. The former may not interfere in the performance of the legislative powers of the latter, except in
the exercise of his veto power. He may not defeat legislative enactments that have acquired the status of law,
by indirectly repealing the same through an executive agreement providing for the performance of the very act
prohibited by said laws.

AKBAYAN CITIZENS ACTION PARTY v. THOMAS G. AQUINO


G.R. No. 170516, July 16, 2008, CARPIO MORALES, J.

While the Court should guard against the abuse of executive privilege, it should also give full recognition
to the validity of the privilege whenever it is claimed within the proper bounds of executive power,

Facts:

Petitioners sought to obtain from respondents the full text of the Japan-Philippines Economic
Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) including the Philippine and Japanese offers submitted during the
negotiation process and all pertinent attachments and annexes thereto.

Petitioners asserted that the refusal of the government to disclose the documents bearing on the
JPEPA negotiations violates their right to information on matters of public concernand contravenes other
constitutional provisions on transparency, such as that on the policy of full public disclosure of all
transactions involving public interest. Respondents only claimed that from the nature of the JPEPA as an
international trade agreement, it is evident that the Philippine and Japanese offers submitted during the
negotiations towards its execution are matters of public concern and that diplomatic negotiations are covered
by the doctrine of executive privilege, thus constituting an exception to the right to information and the policy
of full public disclosure.

Issue:

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Whether the information sought by the petitioners are of public concern and are still covered by the
doctrine of executive privilege.

Ruling:

YES. It is well-established in jurisprudence that neither the right to information nor the policy of full
public disclosure is absolute, there being matters which, albeit of public concern or public interest, are
recognized as privileged in nature.The privileged character of diplomatic negotiations has been recognized in
this jurisdiction. In discussing valid limitations on the right to information, the Court in Chavez v. PCGG held
that information on inter-government exchanges prior to the conclusion of treaties and executive agreements
may be subject to reasonable safeguards for the sake of national interest. Even earlier, the same privilege was
upheld in Peoples Movement for Press Freedom (PMPF) v. Manglapus wherein the Court discussed the reasons
for the privilege in more precise terms.

In PMPF v. Manglapus, the therein petitioners were seeking information from the Presidents
representatives on the state of the then on-going negotiations of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement. The
Court denied the petition, stressing that secrecy of negotiations with foreign countries is not violative of the
constitutional provisions of freedom of speech or of the press nor of the freedom of access to
information. Verily, while the Court should guard against the abuse of executive privilege, it should also give
full recognition to the validity of the privilege whenever it is claimed within the proper bounds of executive
power, as in this case. Otherwise, the Court would undermine its own credibility, for it would be perceived as
no longer aiming to strike a balance, but seeking merely to water down executive privilege to the point of
irrelevance.

SENATOR AQUILINO PIMENTEL, JR. v. OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVESECRETARY, represented by HON.


ALBERTO ROMULO, and the DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGNAFFAIRS, represented by HON. BLAS OPLE
G.R. No. 158088, July 6, 2005 PUNO J.

The power to ratify is vested in the President, subject to the concurrence of the Senate.

Facts:

Petitioners filed the instant petition to compel the respondents to transmit the signed text of a treaty
to the Senate of the Philippines for ratification. It is the theory of the petitioners that ratification of a treaty,
under both domestic law and international law, is a function of the Senate. Hence, it is the duty of the
executive department to transmit the signed copy of the Rome Statute to the Senate to allow it to exercise its
discretion with respect to ratification of treaties.

Issue:

Whether the Executive Secretary and the Department of Foreign Affairs have a ministerial duty to
transmit to the Senate the copy of the Rome Statute signed by a member of the Philippine Mission to the
United Nations even without the signature of the President.

Ruling:

NO. It should be emphasized that under our Constitution, the power to ratify is vested in the
President, subject to the concurrence of the Senate. The role of the Senate, however, is limited only to giving
or withholding its consent, or concurrence, to the ratification. Hence, it is within the authority of the President
to refuse to submit a treaty to the Senate or, having secured its consent for its ratification, refuse to ratify it.
Although the refusal of a state to ratify a treaty which has been signed in its behalf is a serious step that
should not be taken lightly, such decision is within the competence of the President alone, which cannot be

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encroached by this Court via a writ of mandamus. This Court has no jurisdiction over actions seeking to enjoin
the President in the performance of his official duties. The Court, therefore, cannot issue the writ
of mandamus prayed for by the petitioners as it is beyond its jurisdiction to compel the executive branch of
the government to transmit the signed text of Rome Statute to the Senate.

In our system of government, the President, being the head of state, is regarded as the sole organ and
authority in external relations and is the country’s sole representative with foreign nations. As the chief
architect of foreign policy, the President acts as the country’s mouthpiece with respect to international affairs.
Hence, the President is vested with the authority to deal with foreign states and governments, extend or
withhold recognition, maintain diplomatic relations, enter into treaties, and otherwise transact the business
of foreign relations. In the realm of treaty-making, the President has the sole authority to negotiate with other
states.

BAYAN (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan) v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY RONALDO ZAMORA


G.R. No. 138570, October 10, 2000, BUENA, J.

The power to enter into treaties or international agreements, the Constitution vests the same in the
President, subject only to the concurrence of at least two-thirds vote of all the members of the Senate.

Facts:

The VFA provides for the mechanism for regulating the conditions under which US Armed Forces and
defense personnel may be present in the Philippines. President Joseph E. Estrada, through respondent
Secretary of Foreign Affairs, ratified the VFA and transmitted the document to the Senate of the Philippinesfor
concurrence pursuant to Section 21, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution.Petitioners imputed grave abuse of
discretion on the part of the chief Executive in ratifying the VFA, and referring the same to the Senate
pursuant to the provisions of Section 21, Article VII of the Constitution.

Issue:

Whether the Chief Executive committed grave abuse of discretion in ratifying the VFA, and referring
the same to the Senate pursuant to the provisions of Section 21, Article VII of the Constitution.

Ruling:

NO. As regards the power to enter into treaties or international agreements, the Constitution vests
the same in the President, subject only to the concurrence of at least two-thirds vote of all the members of the
Senate. In this light, the negotiation of the VFA and the subsequent ratification of the agreement are exclusive
acts which pertain solely to the President, in the lawful exercise of his vast executive and diplomatic powers
granted him no less than by the fundamental law itself. Into the field of negotiation the Senate cannot intrude,
and Congress itself is powerless to invade it. Consequently, the acts or judgment calls of the President involving
the VFA-specifically the acts of ratification and entering into a treaty and those necessary or incidental to the
exercise of such principal acts - squarely fall within the sphere of his constitutional powers and thus, may not
be validly struck down, much less calibrated by this Court, in the absence of clear showing of grave abuse of
power or discretion.

It is the Courts considered view that the President, in ratifying the VFA and in submitting the same to
the Senate for concurrence, acted within the confines and limits of the powers vested in him bythe
Constitution. It is of no moment that the President, in the exercise of his wide latitude of discretion and in the
honest belief that the VFA falls within the ambit of Section 21, Article VII of the Constitution, referred the VFA
to the Senate for concurrence under the aforementioned provision. Certainly, no abuse of discretion, much

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less a grave, patent and whimsical abuse of judgment, may be imputed to the President in his act of ratifying
the VFA and referring the same to the Senate for the purpose of complying with the concurrence requirement
embodied in the fundamental law. In doing so, the President merely performed a constitutional task and
exercised a prerogative that chiefly pertains to the functions of his office.

ISABELITA C. VINUYA, et al., v. THE HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ALBERTO G. ROMULO


G.R. No. 162230, April 28, 2010,DEL CASTILLO, J.

The President is the sole organ of the nation in its external relations, and its sole representative with foreign
relations.

Facts:

Petitioners are all members of the MALAYA LOLAS, a non-stock, non-profit organization registered
with the Securities and Exchange Commission, established for the purpose of providing aid to the victims of
rape by Japanese military forces in the Philippines during the Second World War.

Petitioners claimed that since 1998, they have approached the Executive Department through the DOJ, DFA,
and OSG, requesting assistance in filing a claim against the Japanese officials and military officers who ordered the
establishment of the comfort women stations in the Philippines. However, officials of the Executive Department declined
to assist the petitioners, and took the position that the individual claims of the comfort women for compensation had
already been fully satisfied by Japan’s compliance with the Peace Treaty between the Philippines and Japan.

Issue:

Whether the Executive Department committed grave abuse of discretion in not espousing petitioners’ claims
for official apology and other forms of reparations against Japan.

Ruling:

NO. From a Domestic Law Perspective, the Executive Department has the exclusive prerogative to determine
whether to espouse petitioners claims against Japan. The question whether the Philippine government should espouse
claims of its nationals against a foreign government is a foreign relations matter, the authority for which is demonstrably
committed by our Constitution not to the courts but to the political branches. In this case, the Executive Department has
already decided that it is to the best interest of the country to waive all claims of its nationals for reparations
against Japan in the Treaty of Peace of 1951. The wisdom of such decision is not for the courts to question. Neither could
petitioners herein assail the said determination by the Executive Department via the instant petition for certiorari.

In the seminal case of US v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp., the US Supreme Court held that the President is the sole
organ of the nation in its external relations, and its sole representative with foreign relations.The Executive Department
has determined that taking up petitioners cause would be inimical to our country’s foreign policy interests, and could
disrupt our relations with Japan, thereby creating serious implications for stability in this region. For the court to
overturn the Executive Departments determination would mean an assessment of the foreign policy judgments by a
coordinate political branch to which authority to make that judgment has been constitutionally committed.

As a general principle and particularly here, where such an extraordinary length of time has lapsed between the
treaty’s conclusion and our consideration the Executive must be given ample discretion to assess the foreign policy
considerations of espousing a claim against Japan, from the standpoint of both the interests of the petitioners and those
of the Republic, and decide on that basis if apologies are sufficient, and whether further steps are appropriate or
necessary.

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FERDINAND E. MARCOS v. HONORABLE RAUL MANGLAPUS


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

The powers of the President cannot be said to be limited only to the specific powers enumerated in the
Constitution. In other words, executive power is more than the sum of specific powers so enumerated.

Facts:

Ferdinand E. Marcos was deposed from the presidency via the non-violent "people power" revolution
and forced into exile. In his stead, Corazon C. Aquino was declared President of the Republic under a
revolutionary government. Now, Mr. Marcos, in his deathbed, has signified his wish to return to the
Philippines. But Mrs. Aquino has stood firmly on the decision to bar the return of Mr. Marcos and his family.

The petitioners contended that the President is without power to impair the liberty of abode of the
Marcoses because only a court may do so "within the limits prescribed by law." Petitioners likewise advanced
the view that the President's powers are limited to those specifically enumerated in the 1987 Constitution.
Thus, they asserted: "The President has enumerated powers, and what is not enumerated is impliedly denied
to her.

Issue:

Whether the President has the power under the Constitution, to bar the Marcoses from returning to
the Philippines.

Ruling:

YES. The Constitution provides that "the executive power shall be vested in the President of the
Philippines." It would not be accurate, however, to state that "executive power" is the power to enforce the
laws, for the President is head of state as well as head of government and whatever powers inherent in such
positions pertain to the office unless the Constitution itself withholds it. Furthermore, the Constitution itself
provides that the execution of the laws is only one of the powers of the President. It also grants the President
other powers that do not involve the execution of any provision of law, e.g., his power over the country's
foreign relations.

On these premises, we hold the view that although the 1987 Constitution imposes limitations on the
exercise of specific powers of the President, it maintains intact what is traditionally considered as within the
scope of "executive power." Corollarily, the powers of the President cannot be said to be limited only to the
specific powers enumerated in the Constitution. In other words, executive power is more than the sum of
specific powers so enumerated.

The President has determined that the destabilization caused by the return of the Marcoses would
wipe away the gains achieved during the past few years and lead to total economic collapse. Given what is
within our individual and common knowledge of the state of the economy, we cannot argue with that
determination.

JUDICIARY

FERNANDO LOPEZ v. GERARDO ROXAS and PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL


G.R. No. L-25716, July 28, 1966, CONCEPCION, C.J.

Facts:

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Petitioner Fernando Lopez and respondent Gerardo Roxas were the main contenders for the Office of
Vice-President of the Philippines in the general elections. Petitioner Fernando Lopez was proclaimed Vice
President of the Philippines. Respondent filed, with the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, Election Protest No. 2,
contesting the election of petitioner herein as Vice-President of the Philippines, upon the ground that it was
not he, but said respondent, who had obtained the largest number of votes for said office.

Petitioner Lopez instituted in the SC the present action, for prohibition with preliminary injunction,
against respondent Roxas, to prevent the Presidential Electoral Tribunal from hearing and deciding the
aforementioned election contest, upon the ground that Republic Act No. 1793, creating said Tribunal, is
“unconstitutional,” and that, “all proceedings taken by it are a nullity.”

Issue:

Whether the Presidential Electoral Tribunal has judicial power to hear and decide the election
contest.

Ruling:

YES. The Presidential Electoral Tribunal has the judicial power to determine whether or not said duly
certified election returns have been irregularly made or tampered with, or reflect the true result of the
elections in the areas covered by each, and, if not, to recount the ballots cast, and, incidentally thereto, pass
upon the validity of each ballot or determine whether the same shall be counted, and, in the affirmative, in
whose favor, which Congress has power to do.

Pursuant to the Constitution, “the judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such
inferior courts as may be established by law. This provision vests in the judicial branch of the government,
not merely some specified or limited judicial power, but “the” judicial power under our political system, and,
accordingly, the entirety or “all” of said power, except, only, so much as the Constitution confers upon some
other agency, such as the power to “judge all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications” of
members of the Senate and those of the House of Representatives which is vested by the fundamental law
solely in the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the House Electoral Tribunal, respectively.

Judicial power is the authority to settle justiciable controversies or disputes involving rights that are
enforceable and demandable before the courts of justice or the redress of wrongs for violations of such
rights.The proper exercise of said authority requires legislative action: (1) defining such enforceable and
demandable rights and/or prescribing remedies for violations thereof; and (2) determining the court with
jurisdiction to hear and decide said controversies or disputes, in the first instance and/or on appeal. For this
reason, the Constitution ordains that “Congress shall have the power to define, prescribe, and apportion the
jurisdiction of the various courts,” subject to the limitations set forth in the fundamental law.

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF TEODOSIO LANSANG RODOLFO DEL
ROSARIO, and BAYANI ALCALA, v. BRIGADIER-GENERAL EDUARDO M. GARCIA, Chief, Philippine
Constabulary
G.R. No. L-33964, December 11, 1971, CONCEPCION, C.J.

When there is a substantial showing that the exertion of state power has overridden private rights
secured by that Constitution, the subject is necessarily one for judicial inquiry.

Facts:

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While the Liberal Party of the Philippines was holding a public meeting at Plaza Miranda, Manila, for
the presentation of its candidates in the general elections, two (2) hand grenades were thrown, one after the
other, at the platform where said candidates and other persons were. As a consequence, the President of the
Philippines announced the issuance of Proclamation No. 889, wherein the President suspended the privilege
of the writ of habeas corpus,

Petitioner assailed the validity of the proclamation. The respondents, on the other hand, averred that
the determination thus made by the President in suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is
"final and conclusive upon the court and upon all other persons.”

Issue:

Whether the proclamation is subject to judicial inquiry.

Ruling:

YES. In Sterling v. Constantin, in which the Supreme Court of the United States, declared that when
there is a substantial showing that the exertion of state power has overridden private rights secured by that
Constitution, the subject is necessarily one for judicial inquiry in an appropriate proceeding directed against
the individuals charged with the transgression. To such a case the Federal judicial power extends and, so
extending, the court has all the authority appropriate to its
exercise.

In the Court’s resolution, it stated that "a majority of the Court" had "tentatively arrived at a
consensus that it may inquire in order to satisfy itself of the existence of the factual bases for the issuance of
Presidential Proclamations Nos. 889 and 889-A ... and thus determine the constitutional sufficiency of such
bases in the light of the requirements of Article III, sec. 1, par. 14, and Article VII, sec. 10, par 2, of the
Philippine Constitution...." Upon further deliberation, the members of the Court are now unanimous in the
conviction that it has the authority to inquire into the existence of said factual bases in order to determine the
constitutional sufficiency thereof.

HON. ISIDRO CARIÑO et al. v. THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS et al.


G.R. No. 9668, December 2, 1991, NARVASA, J.

Fact finding is not adjudication, and cannot be likened to the judicial function of a court of justice, or
even a quasi-judicial agency or official.

Facts:

As a result of their participation in a mass concerted action and their refusal to comply with the
“Return to Work” order, administrative case were filed against the private respondents with the Department
of Education, Culture & Sports (DECS). Furthermore, they were preventively suspended and temporarily
replaced. Subsequently, Secretary Cariño ordered the dismissal and suspension of some of the teachers
involved. In the meantime, the respondent teachers filed with the Commission on Human Rights a complaint
alleging that their replacement was arbitrary and done without due process thereby violating their civil and
political rights. Later, Sec. Cariño, through the OSG, moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of cause of action
and that the CHR has no jurisdiction over the case. CHR denied the motion to dismiss and it further held that
the teachers were denied due process. Hence this present action of certiorari and prohibition praying to
invalidate and set aside the order of the CHR.

Issue:

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Whether the Commission on Human Rights has jurisdiction or the power to try and decide, or hear
and determine the complaint filed by the teachers.

Ruling:

NO. The Commission on Human Rights to have no such power and that it was not meant by the
fundamental law to be another court or quasi-judicial agency in this country, or duplicate much less take over
the functions of the latter. The most that may be conceded to the Commission in the way of adjudicative
power is that it may investigate, i.e., receive evidence and make findings of fact as regards claimed human
rights violations involving civil and political rights. But fact finding is not adjudication, and cannot be likened
to the judicial function of a court of justice, or even a quasi-judicial agency or official. The function of receiving
evidence and ascertaining therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial function, properly speaking. To
be considered such, the faculty of receiving evidence and making factual conclusions in a controversy must be
accompanied by the authority of applying the law to those factual conclusions to the end that the controversy
may be decided or determined authoritatively, finally and definitively, subject to such appeals or modes of
review as may be provided by law. This function, to repeat, the Commission does not have.

The Constitution clearly and categorically grants to the Commission the power to investigate all
forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights. But it cannot try and decide cases (or
hear and determine causes) as courts of justice, or even quasi-judicial bodies do. To investigate is not to
adjudicate or adjudge. Hence it is that the Commission on Human Rights, having merely the power "to
investigate," cannot and should not "try and resolve on the merits" (adjudicate) the matters involved in
Striking Teachers HRC Case No. 90-775. These are matters undoubtedly and clearly within the original
jurisdiction of the Secretary of Education, being within the scope of the disciplinary powers granted to him
under the Civil Service Law, and also, within the appellate jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission.

THE DIRECTOR OF PRISONS and THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY vs. ANG CHO KIO and THE COURT OF
APPEALS
G.R. No.L-30001, June 23, 1970, ZALDIVAR, J.

Under the principle of separation of powers, it is not within the province of the judiciary to express an
opinion, or express a suggestion, that would reflect on the wisdom or propriety of the action of the Chief
Executive on matters purely political in nature.

Facts:

Ang Cho Kio (Kio) was convicted and later granted pardon by the President with a condition that Ang
Cho Kio will voluntarily leave the Philippines upon his release and never to return. Kio agreed to the said
conditions. Later, Kio, under the name "Ang Ming Huy", arrived at the Manila International Airport for a 72-
hour stop-over for his trip to Honolulu. When his friends knew of his presence in the country, they convince
him to stay longer. They sent a letter to the Commissioner of Immigration requesting for an extension for his
stay. However, Kio was identified by the inspector of the Bureau of immigration who later arrested him for
violating the condition of his pardon. Subsequently, the Executive Secretary, by authority of the President,
ordered that Kio be recommitted to prison to serve the unexpired portion of his sentence. Kio filed a motion
for reconsideration with the Executive Secretary but the same remained unacted which prompted him to file
a petition for writ of habeas corpus with the CFI of Rizal against the Director of Prisons and Executive
Secretary. The CFI dismissed the petition and held that Kio was validly recommitted. On appeal, the CA
affirmed the decision of the CFI however it recommended that Kio be allowed to leave the country
immediately. The Solicitor General moved for the reconsideration of the CA’s decision but the same was
denied.

Issue:

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Whether Kio can be allowed to leave the country.

Ruling:

NO. The recommendation in the majority opinion of the special division of the Court of Appeals is not
authorized under the provision of Article 5 of the Revised Penal Code. The Court of Appeals was not called
upon to review any sentence that was imposed on Ang Cho Kio. It was simply called upon to determine
whether Ang Cho Kio was illegally confined, or not, in the insular penitentiary under the Director of Prisons. It
is not proper that the majority of the justices in the special division make a recommendation that would
suggest a modification or a correction of the act of the Chief Executive. When the Chief Executive, exercising
his powers pursuant to Section 64(i) of the Revised Administrative Code, ordered Ang Cho Kio recommitted
to prison, it is assumed that the Chief Executive had decided that Ang Cho Kio should be dealt with that way
under the circumstances. For the court to suggest to the Chief Executive to modify his decision to recommit
Ang Cho Kio to prison by allowing him to leave the country instead is indeed to interfere with the functions of
the Chief Executive. It would be to interfere on, or an attempt to influence, the exercise by the Chief Executive
of the political powers of his office. The matter of whether an alien who violated the laws in this country may
remain or be deported is a political question that should be left entirely to the Chief Executive to decide.

LEO ECHEGARAY v. SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, ET AL.


G.R. No. 132601, January 19, 1999, PUNO, J.

The power to control the execution of its decision is an essential aspect of jurisdiction. It cannot be the
subject of substantial subtraction for our Constitution vests the entirety of judicial power in one Supreme Court
and in such lower courts as may be established by law.

Facts:

After the decision of the Court convicting Echegaray has attained finality, the Secretary of Justice
sought the reconsideration of the resolution of the Supreme Court temporarily restraining the execution of
Echegaray. The Secretary alleged that since the decision affirming the guilt of Echegaray, the execution of the
decision enters the exclusive ambit of the executive branch and the issuance by the Court of the TRO
encroached on the power of the executive branch. For his part, Echegaray contends that the decision to stay
the order is still within the scope of judicial power and duty and does not trench on executive powers.

Issues:
1. Whether or not the Court lost its jurisdiction over case upon its finality.
2. Whether or not the execution of the decision falls exclusively on the executive branch.

Ruling:

1. NO. The rule on finality of judgment cannot divest this Court of its jurisdiction to execute and enforce
the same judgment. The finality of a judgment does not mean that the Court has lost all its powers nor the
case. By the finality of the judgment, what the court loses is its jurisdiction to amend, modify or alter the
same. Even after the judgment has become final the court retains its jurisdiction to execute and enforce
it. There is a difference between the jurisdiction of the court to execute its judgment and its jurisdiction to
amend, modify or alter the same. The former continues even after the judgment has become final for the
purpose of enforcement of judgment; the latter terminates when the judgment becomes final. For after the
judgment has become final facts and circumstances may transpire which can render the execution unjust or
impossible. The power to control the execution of its decision is an essential aspect of jurisdiction. It cannot
be the subject of substantial subtraction for our Constitution vests the entirety of judicial power in one
Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. To be sure, the important part of

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litigation, whether civil or criminal, is the process of execution of decisions where supervening events may
change the circumstance of the parties and compel courts to intervene and adjust the rights of the litigants to
prevent unfairness. It is because of these unforeseen, supervening contingencies that courts have been
conceded the inherent and necessary power of control of its processes and orders to make them conformable
to law and justice.

2. NO. An accused who has been convicted by final judgment still possesses collateral rights and these
rights can be claimed in the appropriate courts. The suspension of such a death sentence is undisputably an
exercise of judicial power. It is not a usurpation of the presidential power of reprieve though its effects are
the same — the temporary suspension of the execution of the death convict. The powers of the Executive, the
Legislative and the Judiciary to save the life of a death convict do not exclude each other for the simple reason
that there is no higher right than the right to life.

Re: COA Opinion on the Computation of the Appraised Value of the Properties Purchased by the
Retired Chief/Associate Justices of the Supreme Court.
A.M. No. 11-7-10-SC, July 31, 2012, PER CURIAM

The imposition of restrictions and constraints on the manner the independent constitutional offices
allocate and utilize the funds appropriated for their operations is anathema to fiscal autonomy and violative not
only of the express mandate of the Constitution but especially as regards the Supreme Court, of the independence
and separation of powers upon which the entire fabric of our constitutional system is based.

Facts:

In an opinion issued by the Legal Services Sector, Office of the General Counsel of the Commission on
Audit (COA), it shows that the scheme in the judiciary allowing the sale of their personal properties to retired
justices after their incumbency resulted to an underpayment amounting to P221,021.50. This underpayment
was attributed to the erroneous appraisal of the value of the property involved using the Constitutional Fiscal
Autonomy Group (CFAG) Joint Resolution No. 35 and its guidelines. Acting on this Opinion, Atty. Eden T.
Candelaria, Deputy Clerk of Court and Chief Administrative Officer, Office of Administrative Services, to the
Office of the Chief Justice, submitted Memorandum to the SC praying that the Court advise the COA to respect
the scheme existing in the Judiciary pursuant to the recognize fiscal autonomy of the Judicial Branch.

Issue:

Whether the post-audit examination conducted by COA violated the Judiciary’s fiscal autonomy.

Ruling:

YES. The COA’s authority to conduct post-audit examinations on constitutional bodies granted fiscal
autonomy as provided under Section 2(1), Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution must be read not only in light
of the Court’s fiscal autonomy, but also in relation with the constitutional provisions on judicial independence
and the existing jurisprudence and Court rulings on these matters. The Constitution mandates that the
judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy, and grants the Supreme Court administrative supervision over all
courts and judicial personnel. The imposition of restrictions and constraints on the manner the independent
constitutional offices allocate and utilize the funds appropriated for their operations is anathema to fiscal
autonomy and violative not only of the express mandate of the Constitution but especially as regards the
Supreme Court, of the independence and separation of powers upon which the entire fabric of our
constitutional system is based.

The Judiciary’s fiscal autonomy is realized through the actions of the Chief Justice, as its head, and of
the Supreme Court En Banc, in the exercise of administrative control and supervision of the courts and its

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personnel. Thus, under the guarantees of the Judiciary’s fiscal autonomy and its independence, the Chief
Justice and the Court En Banc determine and decide the who, what, where, when and how of the privileges
and benefits they extend to justices, judges, court officials and court personnel within the parameters of the
Court’s granted power; they determine the terms, conditions and restrictions of the grant as grantor.

The use of the formula provided in CFAG Joint Resolution No. 35 is a part of the Court’s exercise of its
discretionary authority to determine the manner the granted retirement privileges and benefits can be
availed of. Any kind of interference on how these retirement privileges and benefits are exercised and availed
of, not only violates the fiscal autonomy and independence of the Judiciary, but also encroaches upon the
constitutional duty and privilege of the Chief Justice and the Supreme Court En Banc to manage the Judiciary’s
own affairs.

THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY et al. v. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS et al.


G.R. No. 131719, May 25, 2004, CALLEJO, SR., J.

In litigations between governmental and private parties, courts go much further both to give and
withhold relief in furtherance of public interest than they are accustomed to go when only private interests are
involved.

Facts:

With the enactment of RA No. 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 and
the promulgation of its rules and regulations, the Asian Recruitment Council Philippine Chapter, Inc. (ARCO-
Phil.) filed a petition for declaratory relief praying that provisions of the law be declared unconstitutional and
for the court to restrain its enforcement. ARCO alleged that the enforcement of RA 8042 will cause grave and
irreparable injury to recruitment agencies. Later, 11 other corporation joined the petition for the invalidation
of the law. In their answer, the respondent averred that the presumption of constitutionality should apply
and such presumption is based on the doctrine of separation of powers which enjoin upon each department a
becoming respect for the acts of the other departments. Necessarily, the ancillary remedy of a temporary
restraining order and/or a writ of preliminary injunction prayed for must fall for an act of legislature
approved by the executive is presumed to be within constitutional bounds

Later the RTC issued a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the enforcement of RA No. 8042.
Dissatisfied, the petitioner filed a petition for certiorari before the CA. The CA dismissed the petition and
affirmed the decision of the RTC. Undeterred the petitioners filed this present petition alleging that the trial
court committed grave abuse of its discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction in issuing the
assailed order and the writ of preliminary injunction.

Issue:

Whether the RTC in issuing the writ of preliminary injunction committed grave abuse of discretion.

Ruling:

YES. A law is presumed constitutional until otherwise declared by judicial interpretation. The
suspension of the operation of the law is a matter of extreme delicacy because it is an interference with the
official acts not only of the duly elected representatives of the people but also of the highest magistrate of the
land. Considering that injunction is an exercise of equitable relief and authority, in assessing whether to issue
a preliminary injunction, the courts must sensitively assess all the equities of the situation, including the
public interest. In litigations between governmental and private parties, courts go much further both to give
and withhold relief in furtherance of public interest than they are accustomed to go when only private

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interests are involved. The higher standard reflects judicial deference toward "legislation or regulations
developed through presumptively reasoned democratic processes."

LORENZO M. TAÑADA et al. vs. HON. JUAN C. TUVERA et al.


G.R. No.L-63915, April 24, 1985, ESCOLIN, J.

The implementation/enforcement of presidential decrees prior to their publication in the Official


Gazette is "an operative fact which may have consequences which cannot be justly ignored. The past cannot
always be erased by a new judicial declaration ... that an all-inclusive statement of a principle of absolute
retroactive invalidity cannot be justified.

Facts:

Senator Tañada, invoking the right to be informed, sought to compel respondents via a writ of
mandamus to publish in the Official Gazette of various presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general
orders, proclamations, executive orders, letter of implementation and administrative orders. For their part,
Tuvera et al contends that publication is not a sine qua non requirement for the effectivity of laws. The Court
however ruled that law presidential issuances, letters of instructions, general orders, proclamations,
executive orders, letter of implementation and administrative orders of general application, which have not
been published, shall have no force and effect.

Issue:

Whether the presidential issuances and orders which have been judicially declared void have
absolute retroactive invalidity.

Ruling:

NO. Some members of the Court, quite apprehensive about the possible unsettling effect this decision
might have on acts done in reliance of the validity of those presidential decrees which were published only
during the pendency of this petition, have put the question as to whether the Court's declaration of invalidity
apply to P.D.s which had been enforced or implemented prior to their publication.

In Chicot County Drainage District vs. Baxter Bank, the court ruled that “the Act of Congress, having
been found to be unconstitutional, was not a law; that it was inoperative, conferring no rights and imposing
no duties, and hence affording no basis for the challenged decree. It is quite clear, however, that such broad
statements as to the effect of a determination of unconstitutionality must be taken with qualifications. The
actual existence of a statute, prior to such a determination, is an operative fact and may have consequences
which cannot justly be ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration. The effect of
the subsequent ruling as to invalidity may have to be considered in various aspects-with respect to particular
conduct, private and official. Questions of rights claimed to have become vested, of status, of prior
determinations deemed to have finality and acted upon accordingly, of public policy in the light of the nature
both of the statute and of its previous application, demand examination. An all-inclusive statement of a
principle of absolute retroactive invalidity cannot be justified.”

ARTURO M. TOLENTINO v. THE SECRETARY OF FINANCE and THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL


REVENUE
G.R. No. 115455, G.R. No. 115525, G.R. No. 115543, G.R. No. 115544, G.R. No. 115754, G.R. No. 115781,
G.R. No. 115852, G.R. No. 115873, G.R. No. 115931, August 25, 1994, MENDOZA, J.

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The Court does not have power to render advisory opinions or even jurisdiction over petitions for
declaratory judgment.

Facts:

This consolidated petition is filed to question the constitutionality of the R.A. No. 7716, or the
Expanded Value-Added Tax Law. Petitioners alleged that it violated the some provisions of the Constitution
and should therefore be declared invalid. The petitioners alleged that since there has been grave abuse in the
passage of the law, the court has the duty to pass upon all issues presented before it relative to the
constitutionality of the law.

Issue:

Whether the Court may pass upon hypothetical issues on the pretext that it has the duty to review
acts tainted with grave abuse of discretion.

Ruling:

NO. The substantive issues raised are presented in abstract, hypothetical form because of the lack of
a concrete record. The issues presented before the Court do not have a fully developed factual record that
alone can impart to our adjudication the impact of actuality to insure that decision-making is informed and
well grounded. Needless to say, the Court does not have power to render advisory opinions or even
jurisdiction over petitions for declaratory judgment.

Furthermore, when the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert
any superiority over the other departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature,
but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting
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.

It does not add anything, therefore, to invoke this "duty" to justify this Court's intervention in what is
essentially a case that at best is not ripe for adjudication. That duty must still be performed in the context of a
concrete case or controversy, as Art. VIII, § 5(2) clearly defines our jurisdiction in terms of "cases," and
nothing but "cases." That the other departments of the government may have committed a grave abuse of
discretion is not an independent ground for exercising our power. Disregard of the essential limits imposed
by the case and controversy requirement can in the long run only result in undermining our authority as a
court of law. For, as judges, what we are called upon to render is judgment according to law, not according to
what may appear to be the opinion of the day.

ATTY. OLIVER O. LOZANO and ATTY. EVANGELINE J. LOZANO-ENDRIANO v. SPEAKER PROSPERO C.


NOGRALES
G.R. No. 187883 and G.R. No. 187910, June 16, 2009, PUNO, C.J.

This Court, so long as the fundamentals of republicanism continue to guide it, shall not shirk its bounden
duty to wield its judicial power 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 a lack or
excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government." Be that as it may, no
amount of exigency can make this Court exercise a power where it is not proper.

Facts:

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The two petitions, filed by their respective petitioners in their capacities as concerned citizens and
taxpayers, prayed for the nullification of House Resolution No. 1109 entitled "A Resolution Calling upon the
Members of Congress to Convene for the Purpose of Considering Proposals to Amend or Revise the
Constitution, Upon a Three-fourths Vote of All the Members of Congress." In essence, both petitions seek to
trigger a justiciable controversy that would warrant a definitive interpretation by this Court of Section 1,
Article XVII, which provides for the procedure for amending or revising the Constitution.

Issue:

Whether the court rule on the constitutionality of the said House Resolution.

Ruling:

NO. Unfortunately, this Court cannot indulge petitioners’ supplications. While some may interpret
petitioners’ moves as vigilance in preserving the rule of law, a careful perusal of their petitions would reveal
that they cannot hurdle the bar of justiciability set by this Court before it will assume jurisdiction over cases
involving constitutional disputes.

It is well settled that it is the duty of the judiciary to say what the law is. The determination of the
nature, scope and extent of the powers of government is the exclusive province of the judiciary, such that any
mediation on the part of the latter for the allocation of constitutional boundaries would amount, not to its
supremacy, but to its mere fulfillment of its "solemn and sacred obligation" under the Constitution. This
Court’s power of review may be awesome, but it is limited to actual cases and controversies dealing with
parties having adversely legal claims, to be exercised after full opportunity of argument by the parties, and
limited further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis mota presented. The "case-or-controversy"
requirement bans this court from deciding "abstract, hypothetical or contingent questions," lest the court give
opinions in the nature of advice concerning legislative or executive action.

An aspect of the "case-or-controversy" requirement is the requisite of "ripeness." The issue of


ripeness is generally treated in terms of actual injury to the plaintiff. Hence, a question is ripe for adjudication
when the act being challenged has had a direct adverse effect on the individual challenging it. An alternative
road to review similarly taken would be to determine whether an action has already been accomplished or
performed by a branch of government before the courts may step in.

In the present case, the fitness of petitioners’ case for the exercise of judicial review is grossly
lacking. In the first place, petitioners have not sufficiently proven any adverse injury or hardship from the act
complained of. In the second place, House Resolution No. 1109 only resolved that the House of
Representatives shall convene at a future time for the purpose of proposing amendments or revisions to the
Constitution. No actual convention has yet transpired and no rules of procedure have yet been adopted. More
importantly, no proposal has yet been made, and hence, no usurpation of power or gross abuse of discretion
has yet taken place. In short, House Resolution No. 1109 involves a quintessential example of an uncertain
contingent future event that may not occur as anticipated, or indeed may not occur at all. The House has not
yet performed a positive act that would warrant an intervention from this Court.

Yet another requisite rooted in the very nature of judicial power is locus standi or standing to sue.
Thus, generally, a party will be allowed to litigate only when he can demonstrate that (1) he has personally
suffered some actual or threatened injury because of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government; (2) the
injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action; and (3) the injury is likely to be redressed by the remedy
being sought. In the cases at bar, petitioners have not shown the elemental injury in fact that would endow
them with the standing to sue. Locus standi requires a personal stake in the outcome of a controversy for
significant reasons. It assures adverseness and sharpens the presentation of issues for the illumination of the
Court in resolving difficult constitutional questions. The lack of petitioners’ personal stake in this case is no
more evident than in Lozano’s three-page petition that is devoid of any legal or jurisprudential basis.

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Neither can the lack of locus standi be cured by the claim of petitioners that they are instituting the
cases at bar as taxpayers and concerned citizens. A taxpayer’s suit requires that the act complained of directly
involves the illegal disbursement of public funds derived from taxation. It is undisputed that there has been
no allocation or disbursement of public funds in this case as of yet. To be sure, standing as a citizen has been
upheld by this Court in cases where a petitioner is able to craft an issue of transcendental importance or
when paramount public interest is involved. While the Court recognizes the potential far-reaching
implications of the issue at hand, the possible consequence of House Resolution No. 1109 is yet unrealized
and does not infuse petitioners with locus standi under the "transcendental importance" doctrine.

The rule on locus standi is not a plain procedural rule but a constitutional requirement derived from
Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution, which mandates courts of justice to settle only "actual controversies
involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable."

A lesser but not insignificant reason for screening the standing of persons who desire to litigate
constitutional issues is economic in character. Given the sparseness of our resources, the capacity of courts to
render efficient judicial service to our people is severely limited. For courts to indiscriminately open their
doors to all types of suits and suitors is for them to unduly overburden their dockets, and ultimately render
themselves ineffective dispensers of justice. To be sure, this is an evil that clearly confronts our judiciary
today.

Moreover, while the Court has taken an increasingly liberal approach to the rule of locus standi,
evolving from the stringent requirements of "personal injury" to the broader "transcendental importance"
doctrine, such liberality is not to be abused. It is not an open invitation for the ignorant and the ignoble to file
petitions that prove nothing but their cerebral deficit.

JELBERT B. GALICTO v. H.E. PRESIDENT BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III et al.


G.R. No. 193978, February 28, 2012, BRION, J.

The respondents neither acted in any judicial or quasi-judicial capacity nor arrogated unto themselves
any judicial or quasi-judicial prerogatives. A petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure is a special civil action that may be invoked only against a tribunal, board, or officer exercising
judicial or quasi-judicial functions.

Facts:

Aiming to curb the grant of unwarranted and excessive allowances, bonuses and other benefits given
to GOCCs and government financial institutions, President Aquino issued EO 7, entitled "Directing the
Rationalization of the Compensation and Position Classification System in the GOCCs and GFIs, and for Other
Purposes." The Executive Order precluded the Board of Directors, Trustees and/or Officers of GOCCs from
granting and releasing bonuses and allowances to members of the board of directors, and from increasing
salary rates of and granting new or additional benefits and allowances to their employees.

Later, Jelbert Galicto, a Court Attorney of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, filed a Petition
for Certiorari and Prohibition with Application for Writ of Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary
Restraining Order seeking to nullify and enjoin the implementation of Executive Order No. 7 for being
unconstitutional for having been issued beyond the powers of the President and for being in breach of
existing laws.

Issue:

Whether the issuance of the Executive Order be made subject to a petition for certiorari.

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Ruling:

NO. Certiorari is not the proper remedy.Under the Rules of Court, petitions for Certiorari and
Prohibition are availed of to question judicial, quasi-judicial and mandatory acts. Since the issuance of an EO
is not judicial, quasi-judicial or a mandatory act, a petition for certiorari and prohibition is an incorrect
remedy; instead a petition for declaratory relief under Rule 63 of the Rules of Court, filed with the Regional
Trial Court (RTC), is the proper recourse to assail the validity of EO 7.

The respondents neither acted in any judicial or quasi-judicial capacity nor arrogated unto
themselves any judicial or quasi-judicial prerogatives. A petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997
Rules of Civil Procedure is a special civil action that may be invoked only against a tribunal, board, or officer
exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions. A respondent is said to be exercising judicial function where he
has the power to determine what the law is and what the legal rights of the parties are, and then undertakes
to determine these questions and adjudicate upon the rights of the parties. Quasi-judicial function is "a term
which applies to the actions, discretion, etc., of public administrative officers or bodies … required to
investigate facts or ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings, and draw conclusions from them as a basis
for their official action and to exercise discretion of a judicial nature."

MOLDEX REALTY, INC. v. HOUSING AND LAND USE REGULATORY BOARD, OFFICE OF APPEALS,
ADJUDICATION AND LEGAL AFFAIRS et al
G.R. No. 149719, June 21, 2007, TINGA, J.

It must be emphasized that this Court does not have exclusive original jurisdiction over petitions
assailing the constitutionality of a law or an administrative regulation.

Facts:

Moldex Realty, Inc. is the owner-developer of Metrogate Complex Phase I Subdivision while private
respondent is the association of homeowners in the said subdivision. The controversy arose when Moldex
stopped paying the electric bills for the operation of streetlights in the subdivision and advised the
association that it should assume such obligation. The association objected ad refused to pay. Consequently,
Meralco discontinued its services which prompted the Association to apply for a preliminary injunction and
preliminary mandatory injunction with the HLURB against petitioner. The HLURB granted the application
and issued a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction. Moldex filed a motion for reconsideration but the
same was denied.

Aggrieved, Moldex filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the CA against the decision of
HLURB and it seeks the nullification of the HUDCC Resolution No. R-562. The CA dismissed the petition
holding that the question of constitutionality of the Resolution should be lodged before the SC and not to the
CA. As such, Moldex filed this present petition. The Solicitor General opposed the petition arguing that it is the
Regional Trial Court, and not the SC nor the CA, which has jurisdiction over the present petition.

Issue:

Whether the doctrine of hierarchy of courts was violated.

Ruling:

YES. It must be emphasized that this Court does not have exclusive original jurisdiction over petitions
assailing the constitutionality of a law or an administrative regulation. The lower courts also have jurisdiction
to resolve the constitutionality at the first instance.The general rule is that this Court shall exercise only

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appellate jurisdiction over cases involving the constitutionality of a statute, treaty or regulation, except in
circumstances where the Court believes that resolving the issue of constitutionality of a law or regulation at
the first instance is of paramount importance and immediately affects the social, economic and moral well
being of the people. Thus, the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that a question on the constitutionality of a
regulation may be brought only to this Court.

The instant petition does not allege circumstances and issues of transcendental importance to the
public requiring their prompt and definite resolution and the brushing aside of technicalities of procedure.
Neither is the Court convinced that the issues presented in this petition are of such nature that would nudge
the lower courts to defer to the higher judgment of this Court. The application of the assailed HUDCC
resolution mainly affects the proprietary interests of the parties involved and can hardly be characterized as
overriding to the general well-being of the people. Ultimately, the Court is called upon to resolve the question
of who bears the obligation of paying electricity cost, a question that the lower courts undoubtedly have the
competence to resolve.

TERESITA G. FABIAN v. HON. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, in his capacity as Ombudsman; HON. JESUS F.
GUERRERO, in his capacity as Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon; and NESTOR V. AGUSTIN
G.R. No. 129742, September 16, 1998, REGALADO, J.

Sec. 27, RA No. 6770 cannot validly authorize an appeal to the Court from decisions of the Office of the
Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases as it violates the proscription of the Constitution against a law
which increases the appellate jurisdiction of the Court.

Facts:

Teresita Fabian and Nestor Agustin, then incumbent District Engineer, had a relationship. When
Fabian tried to terminate their relationship, Agustin refused and employed acts of harassment. Fabian filed an
administrative case against Agustin. Ombudsman Desierto found Agustin guilty of grave misconduct. Agustin
moved for reconsideration, and he was exonerated from administrative charges. Fabian then appealed to the
Supreme Court by certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, in accordance with Sec. 27, RA No. 6770
(Ombudsman Act of 1989). She argued that said provision is not violative of Sec. 30, Art. VI of the
Constitution. She claimed that what is proscribed is the passage of law "increasing" the appellate jurisdiction
of this Court "as provided in this Constitution," and such appellate jurisdiction includes "all cases in which
only an error or question of law is involved." Since Sec. 5, Art. VIII of the Constitution authorizes the Court to
review on appeal or certiorari these final judgment or orders as the law or the Rules of Court may provide,
said Section 27 does not increase the Court's appellate jurisdiction since, by providing that the mode of
appeal shall be by petition for certiorari under Rule 45, then what may be raised therein are only questions of
law of which the Court already has jurisdiction.

Issue:

Whether Sec. 27, RA No. 6770 (Ombudsman Act of 1989) is valid.

Ruling:

NO. The Court has allowed appeals by certiorari under Rule 45 even if questions of fact are involved
and have to be resolved by the appellate court. Also, Rule 45 specifies that the appellate jurisdiction of the
Court contemplated therein is to be exercised over "final judgments and orders of lower courts," that is, the
courts composing the integrated judicial system. It does not include the quasi-judicial bodies or agencies,
hence whenever the legislature intends that the decisions or resolutions of the quasi-judicial agency shall be
reviewable by the Supreme Court or the CA, a specific provision to that effect is included in the law creating

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that quasi-judicial agency and, for that matter, any special statutory court. No such provision on appellate
procedure is required for the regular courts of the integrated judicial system because they are what are
referred to and already provided for in Section 5, Article VIII. Appeals from judgments and final orders of
quasi-judicial agencies are now required to be brought to the Court of Appeals on a verified petition for
review, under the requirements and conditions in Rule 43 which was precisely formulated and adopted to
provide for a uniform rule of appellate procedure for quasi-judicial agencies. Thus, the Court held that Sec. 27,
RA No. 6770 cannot validly authorize an appeal to the Court from decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in
administrative disciplinary cases. It consequently violates the proscription of the Constitution against a law
which increases the appellate jurisdiction of the Court.

SAMEER OVERSEAS PLACEMENT AGENCY, INC. v. JOY C. CABILES


G.R. No. 170139, August 5, 2014, LEONEN, J.

A law or provision of law that was already declared unconstitutional remains as such unless
circumstances have so changed as to warrant a reverse conclusion.

Facts:

Joy Cabiles, an overseas worker, filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against Sameer Overseas
Placement Agency. The Labor Arbiter dismissed her complaint but the NLRC declared that she was illegally
dismissed. Such decision was affirmed by the CA. Cabiles, having been illegally dismissed, is entitled to her
salary for the unexpired portion of the employment contract that was violated together with attorney’s fees
and reimbursement of amounts withheld from her salary, pursuant to Sec. 10, RA No. 8042 (Migrant Workers
and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995). Said provision provides that overseas workers who were terminated
without just, valid, or authorized cause "shall be entitled to the full reimbursement of his placement fee with
interest of twelve (12%) per annum, plus his salaries for the unexpired portion of his employment contract or
for three (3) months for every year of the unexpired term, whichever is less." However, in Serrano v.
GallantMaritime Services, Inc. and Marlow Navigation Co., Inc., the Court ruled that the clause "or for three (3)
months for every year of the unexpired term, whichever is less" is unconstitutional for violating the equal
protection clause and substantive due process. Despite being declared unconstitutional, the clause was
reinstated in RA No. 10022 in 2010, amending RA No. 8042. Thus, it creates confusion on the part of the NLRC
and the CA with regard to the execution of the judgment.

Issue:

Whether the clause declared as unconstitutional be cured by reenactment or reincorporation.

Ruling:

NO. When a law is passed, the Court awaits an actual case that clearly raises adversarial positions in
their proper context before considering a prayer to declare it as unconstitutional. However, this case shows a
unique situation. The law passed incorporates the exact clause already declared as unconstitutional, without
any perceived substantial change in the circumstances.

In the hierarchy of laws, the Constitution is supreme. No branch or office of the government may
exercise its powers in any manner inconsistent with the Constitution, regardless of the existence of any law
that supports such exercise. The Constitution cannot be trumped by any other law. All laws must be read in
light of the Constitution. Any law that is inconsistent with it is a nullity. Thus, when a law or a provision of law
is null because it is inconsistent with the Constitution, the nullity cannot be cured by reincorporation or
reenactment of the same or a similar law or provision. A law or provision of law that was already declared
unconstitutional remains as such unless circumstances have so changed as to warrant a reverse conclusion.

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In this case, the parties failed to prove that the situation has so changed so as to cause the reversal of the
binding precedent.

SAMEER OVERSEAS PLACEMENT AGENCY, INC. v. JOY C. CABILES


G.R. No. 170139, August 5, 2014, LEONEN, J.

A law or provision of law that was already declared unconstitutional remains as such unless
circumstances have so changed as to warrant a reverse conclusion.

Facts:

Joy Cabiles, an overseas worker, filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against Sameer Overseas
Placement Agency. The Labor Arbiter dismissed her complaint but the NLRC declared that she was illegally
dismissed. Such decision was affirmed by the CA. Cabiles, having been illegally dismissed, is entitled to her
salary for the unexpired portion of the employment contract that was violated together with attorney’s fees
and reimbursement of amounts withheld from her salary, pursuant to Sec. 10, RA No. 8042 (Migrant Workers
and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995). Said provision provides that overseas workers who were terminated
without just, valid, or authorized cause "shall be entitled to the full reimbursement of his placement fee with
interest of twelve (12%) per annum, plus his salaries for the unexpired portion of his employment contract or
for three (3) months for every year of the unexpired term, whichever is less." However, in Serrano v. Gallant
Maritime Services, Inc. and Marlow Navigation Co., Inc., the Court ruled that the clause "or for three (3) months
for every year of the unexpired term, whichever is less" is unconstitutional for violating the equal protection
clause and substantive due process. Despite being declared unconstitutional, the clause was reinstated in RA
No. 10022 in 2010, amending RA No. 8042. Thus, it creates confusion on the part of the NLRC and the CA with
regard to the execution of the judgment.

Issue:

Whether the clause declared as unconstitutional be cured by reenactment or reincorporation.

Ruling:

NO. When a law is passed, the Court awaits an actual case that clearly raises adversarial positions in
their proper context before considering a prayer to declare it as unconstitutional. However, this case shows a
unique situation. The law passed incorporates the exact clause already declared as unconstitutional, without
any perceived substantial change in the circumstances.

In the hierarchy of laws, the Constitution is supreme. No branch or office of the government may
exercise its powers in any manner inconsistent with the Constitution, regardless of the existence of any law
that supports such exercise. The Constitution cannot be trumped by any other law. All laws must be read in
light of the Constitution. Any law that is inconsistent with it is a nullity. Thus, when a law or a provision of law
is null because it is inconsistent with the Constitution, the nullity cannot be cured by reincorporation or
reenactment of the same or a similar law or provision. A law or provision of law that was already declared
unconstitutional remains as such unless circumstances have so changed as to warrant a reverse conclusion.
In this case, the parties failed to prove that the situation has so changed so as to cause the reversal of the
binding precedent.

PLANTERS PRODUCTS, INC. v. FERTIPHIL CORPORATION


G.R. No. 166006, March 14, 2008, REYES, R.T., J.

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The Regional Trial Courts have the authority and jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of
statutes, executive orders, presidential decrees and other issuances. The Constitution vests that power not only in
the Supreme Court but in all Regional Trial Courts.

Facts:

Then President Ferdinand Marcos issued LOI No. 1465 which provided for the imposition of a capital
recovery component (CRC) on the domestic sale of all grades of fertilizers in the Philippines. Pursuant to the
LOI, Fertiphil paid for every bag of fertilizer it sold in the domestic market to the Fertilizer and Pesticide
Authority (FPA). After the 1986 EDSA Revolution, FPA stopped the imposition of the levy. Fertiphil then
demanded from Planters Product, Inc. (PPI) a refund of the amounts it paid under the LOI, but the latter
refused. Fertiphil filed a complaint for collection against FPA and PPI and also questioned the
constitutionality of LOI No. 1465. The RTC ruled in favor of Fertiphil, and was affirmed by the CA, as the lis
mota of the complaint was the constitutionality of LOI No. 1465. PPI insisted that the RTC and the CA erred in
ruling the constitutionality of the LOI, as it cannot be collaterally attacked in a complaint for collection and
that it is the very lis mota of the case.

Issue:

Whether the RTC has jurisdiction to resolve the constitutionality of LOI No. 1465.

Ruling:

YES. It is settled that the RTC has jurisdiction to resolve the constitutionality of a statute, presidential
decree or an executive order, under Sec. 5 (2)(a), Art. VIII of the 1987 Constitution. Judicial review of official
acts on the ground of unconstitutionality may be sought or availed of through any of the actions cognizable by
courts of justice, not necessarily in a suit for declaratory relief. Such review may be had in criminal actions or
in ordinary actions. The constitutional issue, however, (a) must be properly raised and presented in the case,
and (b) its resolution is necessary to a determination of the case, i.e., the issue of constitutionality must be the
very lis mota presented.

In this case, the constitutionality of LOI No. 1465 was properly and adequately raised in the
complaint for collection filed with the RTC. The constitutionality of LOI No. 1465 is also the very lis mota of
the complaint for collection. Fertiphil filed the complaint to compel PPI to refund the levies paid under the
statute on the ground that the law imposing the levy is unconstitutional. The thesis is that an unconstitutional
law is void. It has no legal effect. Being void, Fertiphil had no legal obligation to pay the levy. Necessarily, all
levies duly paid pursuant to an unconstitutional law should be refunded under the principle of unjust
enrichment. The refund is a mere consequence of the law being declared unconstitutional. The RTC surely
cannot order PPI to refund Fertiphil if it does not declare the LOI unconstitutional. It is the unconstitutionality
of the LOI which triggers the refund. The issue of constitutionality is the very lis mota of the complaint with
the RTC.

PHILIPPINE DUPLICATORS, INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and PHILIPPINE


DUPLICATORS EMPLOYEES UNION
G.R. No. 110068, February 15, 1995, FELICIANO, J.

Where the two cases present quite different factual situations and the doctrines enunciated in fact co-
exist one with the other, the later decided case cannot serve as precedent under the doctrine of stare decisis.

Facts:

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In November 1993, the Supreme Court dismissed the Petition for Certiorari filed by Philippine
Duplicators, upholding the NLRC’s decision directing the Duplicators to pay 13th month pay to Philippine
Duplicators Employees Union computed on the basis of their fixed wages plus sales commissions. Duplicator’s
motion for reconsideration was also denied. In 1994, a second motion for reconsideration was filed invoking
the Court’s decision in the two consolidated cases of Boie-Takeda Chemicals, Inc. vs. Hon. Dionisio de la Serna
and Philippine Fuji Xerox Corp. vs. Hon. Cresenciano B. Trajano, in December 1993. In the said cases, the Court
declared null and void the second paragraph of Sec. 5 (a)of the Revised Guidelines issued by then Secretary of
Labor Drilon. Duplicators submits that the decision in the 1993 Duplicators case should now be considered as
having been abandoned or reversed by the 1993Boie-Takeda decision, considering that the latter went
"directly opposite and contrary to" the conclusion reached in the former. Duplicators prays that the decision
rendered in 1993 Duplicators casebe set aside and another be entered directing the dismissal of the money
claims of Philippine Duplicators Employees' Union.

Issue:

Whether the 1993 Duplicators case has been abandoned or reversed by the 1993 Boie-Takeda case.

Ruling:

NO. The decision rendered in Boie-Takeda cannot serve as a precedent under the doctrine of stare
decisis. The Boie-Takeda decision was promulgated a month after the Court had rendered the decision in the
instant case. Also, the Duplicators’ first Motion for Reconsideration of the decision dated 10 November 1993
had already been denied, with finality, on 15 December 1993, i.e.; before the Boie-Takeda decision became
final on 5 January 1994.

The Court noted that Duplicators did not put in issue the validity of the Revised Guidelines on the
Implementary on of the 13th Month Pay Law either in its Petition for Certiorari or in its first Motion for
Reconsideration. In fact, Duplicators’ counsel relied upon these Guidelines and asserted their validity in
opposing the decision rendered by NLRC. More importantly, the decision in Boie-Takeda is not directly
opposite or contrary to the decision in the present case. To the contrary, the doctrines enunciated in these
two cases in fact co-exist one with the other. The two cases present quite different factual situations
(although the same word "commissions" was used or invoked) the legal characterizations of which must
accordingly differ.

GROUP COMMANDER, INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY GROUP, PHILIPPINE ARMY, represented by


COLONEL PEDRO R. CABUAY, JR. v. DR. POTENCIANO MALVAR and MARCELINO LOPEZ
G.R. No. 123780, September 24, 2002, SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.

No doctrine or principle of law laid down by the Supreme Court en banc or its divisions may be modified
or reversed except by the Court sitting en banc. A decision rendered by a division of the Court in violation of the
above constitutional provision would be in excess of jurisdiction and, therefore, invalid.

Facts:

G.R. No. 90380 was rendered by the Supreme Court First Division recognizing the right of ownership
of Hermogenes Lopez (predecessor-in-interest of the Lopez heirs) over the property by reason of his
continuous possession since for 30 years and his full compliance with the requirements by the Public Land
Act for the issuance of a homestead patent. On the other hand, G.R. No. 110900 of the Third Division affirmed,
in a Resolution, the CA Decision sustaining the Land Management Bureau (LMB) decision dismissing
Hermogenes’ claim over the property and ordering the reconstitution of the homestead application of the
Adia heirs predecessor-in-interest, Elino Adia, or the filing of a new application by the Adia heirs. The CA
ruled that the Court’s decision in G.R. No. 90380 did not bind the government. Meanwhile, pursuant to the

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decision in G.R. No. 90380, the Lopez heirs filed a motion for the issuance of writ of execution, which was
granted by the RTC. Thus, in a writ of execution, the RTC ordered the demolition of the communication
facilities and other structures belonging to the Intelligence and Security Group (ISG) of the Philippine Army
which also purchased a portion of the property from the Adia heirs. This prompted Col. Pedro Cabuay, Jr. to
file a Petition Seeking for Clarification as to the Validity and Forceful Effect of Two Final and Executory but
Conflicting Decisions of the Supreme Court.

Issue:

Whether G.R. No. 110900 of the Third Division is valid.

Ruling:

NO. The Court held that its decision in G.R. No. 90380 is the law of the case binding upon the LMB and
the Court of Appeals and is beyond their authority to reverse. Sec. 4 (3), Art. VIII of the 1987 Constitution
provides that no doctrine or principle of law laid down by the Supreme Court en banc or its Divisions may be
modified or reversed except by the Court sitting en banc. A decision rendered by a Division of the Court in
violation of the above constitutional provision would be in excess of jurisdiction and, therefore, invalid.

In this case, G.R. No. 90380 was rendered by the First Division, while G.R. No. 90380 was rendered by
the Third Division. This obviously runs afoul with the constitutional prohibition.

RE: REQUEST OF JURISCONSULT SAMANODIN L. AMPASO FOR UPGRADING OF HIS POSITION TO


SALARY GRADE 31, EQUIVALENT TO ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT
A.M. No. 91-10-160, May 15, 1996, PER CURIAM

As an aspiring member of the Bench, it is incumbent upon him to check the important personal data
being supplied in his documents.

Facts:

Samadon L. Ampaso was appointed as Jurisconsult in Inslamic Law by then President Corazon
Aquino. Said position was created by virtue of PD No. 1083 (Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the
Philippines). Ampaso requested the Court for the upgrading of his position to Salary Grade 31, equivalent to
an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, claiming that under PD No. 1083, he is the highest Muslim Judicial
Officer of the Philippines. However, a cursory check by the Office of the Court Administrator into the 201 file
of Ampaso revealed that he was born on January 2, 1952. This information regarding his date of birth was
personally supplied by him in his Personal Data Sheet for judges and in the information sheet for membership
in the GSIS. On the basis of such data, it is evident that when he took his oath as Jurisconsult, he was only 39
years, 3 months and 8 days, and that therefore, he failed to comply with the age requirement as provided
under Art. 165 of PD 1083, which must be at least 40 years of age. Ampaso argued that his true birthdate is
January 2, 1948 and not January 2, 1952, as the said documents were not personally prepared by him but by
his brother who inadvertently mis-stated the year of his birth. He submitted various documents to bolster his
claim. He alleged that the mis-statement in his year of birth was not done in bad faith nor was it intended to
cause damage to any party, it having been the result of an honest mistake.

Issue:

Whether the appointment of Ampaso was valid.

Ruling:

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NO. The Senior Deputy Court Administrator found the explanation of Ampaso attributing to his
brother the innocent mis-declaration of his year of birth, to be unacceptable. The Court holds that Ampaso’s
claim is nothing but a lame excuse and a mere after-thought. It is very unlikely, improbable and unbecoming
that a person aspiring for such a high office would request another to fill up and file such personal data forms.
But granting that he did make such request, still, he himself had to sign the forms just the same prior to filing,
and in the normal course of things, he should have read the documents before affixing his signature thereto.
That he signed it without reading and/or understanding its contents is not excusable, nor credible. As an
aspiring member of the Bench, it was incumbent upon Ampaso to check and double-check important personal
data being supplied through such forms.

IN RE: UNDATED LETTER OF MR. LOUIS C. BIRAOGO, PETTIONER IN BIRAOGO V. NOGRALES AND
LIMKAICHONG, G.R. No. 179120
A.M. No. 09-02-19-SC, February 24, 2009, PER CURIAM

The internal deliberations of the Supreme Court are confidential. A frank exchange of exploratory ideas
and assessments, free from the glare of publicity and pressure by interested parties, is essential to protect the
independence of decision-making of those tasked to exercise judicial power.

Facts:

Louis Biraogo circulated to the media an undated letter signed by him, together with the photocopy
of the unpromulgated ponencia (Gilbert copy) of Justice Ruben T. Reyes in the consolidated cases of
Limkaichong v. COMELEC, Villando v. COMELEC, Biraogo v. Nograles and Limkaichong, and Paras v. Nograles.
Since the unauthorized release of a copy of the unpromulgated ponencia infringed on the confidential internal
deliberations of the Court and constituted contempt of court, the Investigating Committee was created under
the Court Resolution to investigate and determine who are responsible for the leakage of a confidential
internal document of the En Banc. The Investigating Committee then found that the leakage was intentionally
done as the top page of the Gilbert copy sent to the Office of the Chief Justice and Justice Nachura’s Office for
signature and the top page of Biraogo’s copy differ. The Committee found that the evident undue interest of
Justice Reyes to circulate a draft ponencia of the case soonest even before the memoranda of all the parties
fell due, and to withhold the information to his staff that the promulgation of the ponencia was put on hold
and, instead, allow the immediate promulgation after lunch despite his admission that the decision to hold the
promulgation was arrived at lunchtime, it was Justice Reyes himself who leaked a photocopy thereof.
Subsequently, Justice Reyes retired, but the Committee ruled that the subsequent retirement of a judge or any
judicial officer from the service does not preclude the finding of any administrative liability to which he is
answerable. Thus, the Committee found Justice Reyes administratively liable for gross misconduct

Issue:

Whether Justice Reyes is administratively liable for the leakage of confidential internal document.

Ruling:

YES. The Court, in adopting the report of the Committee, reiterates the importance of the task of
preserving the confidentiality and integrity of court records. A number of rules and internal procedures are in
place to ensure the observance of this task by court personnel. The New Code of Judicial Conduct provides
that confidential information acquired by justices and judges in their judicial capacity shall not be used or
disclosed for any other purpose not related to their judicial duties. Thus, any release of a copy to the public, or
to the parties, of an unpromulgated ponencia infringes on the confidential internal deliberations of the Court.
It is settled that the internal deliberations of the Court are confidential. A frank exchange of exploratory ideas

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and assessments, free from the glare of publicity and pressure by interested parties, is essential to protect the
independence of decision-making of those tasked to exercise judicial power.

RE: PETITION FOR RECOGNITION OF THE EXEMPTION OF THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE
SYSTEM FROM PAYMENT OF LEGAL FEES
A.M. No. 08-2-01-0, February 11, 2010, CORONA, J.

The rule-making power is now the Supreme Court’s exclusive domain and is no longer shared by the
Court with Congress and with the Executive.

Facts:

The GSIS seeks exemption from the payment of legal fees imposed on government-owned or
controlled corporations under Sec. 22, Rule 141 (Legal Fees) of the Rules of Court. It anchors its claim on Sec.
39, RA No. 8291 (The GSIS Act of 1997). The GSIS argues that its exemption from the payment of legal fees
would not mean that RA No. 8291 is superior to the Rules of Court. It would merely show deference by the
Court to the legislature as a co-equal branch. This deference will recognize the compelling and overriding
State interest in the preservation of the actuarial solvency of the GSIS for the benefit of its members.

Issue:

Whether Congress may exempt the GSIS from the payment of legal fees.

Ruling:

NO. Rule 141 of the Rules of Court was promulgated by the Court in the exercise of its rule-making
powers under Sec. 5(5), Art. VIII of the Constitution. The Rules of Court is essentially procedural in nature as
it does not create, diminish, increase or modify substantive rights. Corollarily, Rule 141 is basically
procedural. It does not create or take away a right but simply operates as a means to implement an existing
right. Thus, the payment of legal fees under Rule 141 is an integral part of the rules promulgated by the Court
and it is part of the rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure in courts. Indeed, payment of legal fees
is a jurisdictional requirement. Thus, the rules on payment of legal fees cannot be validly annulled, changed or
modified by Congress. As one of the safeguards of the Court’s institutional independence, the rule-making
power is now the Supreme Court’s exclusive domain and is no longer shared by the Court with Congress and
with the Executive.

The Court also held that Congress could not exempt GSIS from the payment of legal fees without
transgressing another equally important institutional safeguard of the Court’s independence fiscal autonomy,
which recognizes the power and authority of the Court to levy, assess and collect fees, including legal fees.
Moreover, legal fees have two basic components, the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF) and the Special
Allowance for the Judiciary Fund (SAJF), which guarantee the independence of the Judiciary. Thus, any
exemption from the payment of legal fees granted by Congress to government-owned or controlled
corporations and local government units will necessarily reduce the JDF and the SAJF. Undoubtedly, such
situation is constitutionally infirm for it impairs the Court’s guaranteed fiscal autonomy and fiscal
independence.

FIRST LEPANTO CERAMICS, INC. v. THE COURT OF APPEALS and MARIWASA MANUFACTURING, INC.
G.R. No. 110571, March 10, 1994, NOCON, J.

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Circular 1-91 effectively repealed or superseded Art. 82, EO No. 226 insofar as the manner and method
of enforcing the right to appeal from decisions of the BOI are concerned as these are procedural aspects which
the Supreme Court has the power to regulate by virtue of its rule-making power.

Facts:

The Board of Investments (BOI) granted First Lepanto’s application to amend its BOI certificate of
registration. Mariwasa Manufacturung opposed such decision and filed a petition for review with the CA
pursuant to Supreme Court Circular No. 1-91. The CA temporarily restrained the BOI from implementing its
decision. First Lepanto then filed a motion to dismiss petition and to lift restraining order on the ground that
the CA has no appellate jurisdiction over the BPI case, as the same is being exclusively vested with the
Supreme Court pursuant to Art. 82, EO No. 226 (Omnibus Investments Code of 1987). The CA denied the
motion, prompting First Lepanto to file a petition for certiorari and prohibition before the Supreme Court,
arguing that BP Blg. 129 (Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980 and Circular 1-91, "Prescribing the Rules
Governing Appeals to the Court of Appeals from a Final Order or Decision of the Court of Tax Appeals and
Quasi-Judicial Agencies" cannot be the basis of Mariwasa's appeal to the CA because the procedure for appeal
laid down therein runs contrary to Art. 82, E.O. 226, which provides that appeals from decisions or orders of
the BOI shall be filed directly with the Supreme Court.

Issue:

Whether EO No. 226 has been repealed or superseded by Circular No. 1-91.

Ruling:

YES. The right of appeal provided in EO No. 226 is clearly not in consonance with the current
procedure before the Court, since only decisions, orders or rulings of a Constitutional Commission may be
brought to the Supreme Court on petitions for certiorari under Rule 65 by the aggrieved party. Thus, the
Court, pursuant to its rule-making power under Sec. 5(5), Art. VIII of the 1987, and by way of implementing
BP Blg. 129, issued Circular 1-91 prescribing the rules governing appeals to the CA from final orders or
decisions of the CTA and quasi-judicial agencies to eliminate unnecessary contradictions and confusing rules
of procedure.

The argument that Art. 82, EO No. 226 cannot be validly repealed by Circular 1-91 because the
former grants a substantive right which, under the Constitution cannot be modified, diminished or increased
by the Court in the exercise of its rule-making powers is not entirely defensible as it seems. Such provision
grants the right of appeal from decisions or final orders of the BOI and in granting such right, it also provided
where and in what manner such appeal can be brought. These latter portions simply deal with procedural
aspects which the Court has the power to regulate by virtue of its constitutional rule-making powers.

FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ v. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL, SEN. FRANCIS JOSEPH G. ESCUDERO and REP.
NIEL C. TUPAS, JR.
G.R. No. 202242, July 17, 2012, MENDOZA, J.

Allowing the Legislature to have more than one representative in the JBC negates the principle of
equality among the three branches of government which is enshrined in the Constitution.

Facts:

Pursuant to Sec. 8(1), Art. VIII of the 1987 Constitution, the Congress, from the moment of the
creation of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), designated one representative to sit in the JBC to act as one of
the ex officio members. Perhaps in order to give equal opportunity to both houses to sit in the exclusive body,

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the House of Representatives and the Senate would send alternate representatives to the JBC. In other words,
Congress had only one representative. In 1994, the composition of the JBC was substantially altered. Instead
of having only seven members, an eighth member was added to the JBC as two representatives from Congress
began sitting in the JBC – one from the House of Representatives and one from the Senate, with each having
one-half of a vote. Then, in 2001, the JBC En Banc decided to allow the representatives from the Senate and
the House of Representatives one full vote each. At present, Senator Escudero and Congressman Tupas
simultaneously sit in the JBC as representatives of the legislature. Thus, arising from the unexpected
departure of Chief Justice Renato Corona, former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez was nominated and
questioned this practice in the JBC.

Issue:

Whether or not this practice of the JBC is violative of the 1987 Constitution.

Ruling:

YES. First, Sec. 8(1), Art. VIII of the 1987 Constitution uses the singular letter "a" preceding
"representative of Congress" which is unequivocal and leaves no room for any other construction. It is
indicative of the intention of the Constitutional Commission that Congress may designate only one
representative to the JBC.

Second, the purpose of the seven-member composition of the JBC is to provide a solution should
there be a stalemate in voting. This reason leads the Court to conclude that a single vote may not be divided
into half, between two representatives of Congress, or among any of the sitting members of the JBC for that
matter. This practice can possibly cause disorder and eventually muddle the JBC’s voting process. The
purpose would then be rendered illusory, defeating the precise mechanism which the Constitution itself
created.

Lastly, the paramount justification of the Court is that "Congress," in the context of JBC
representation, should be considered as one body. It is evident that the definition of "Congress" as a
bicameral body refers to its primary function in government – to legislate.In the passage of laws, the
Constitution is explicit in the distinction of the role of each house in the process and in its non-legislative
powers. An inter-play between the two houses is necessary in the realization of these powers causing a vivid
dichotomy that the Court cannot simply discount. Verily, each house is constitutionally granted with powers
and functions peculiar to its nature and with keen consideration to 1) its relationship with the other chamber;
and 2) in consonance with the principle of checks and balances, to the other branches of government. This,
however, cannot be said in the case of JBC representation because no mechanism is required between the
Senate and the House of Representatives in the screening and nomination of judicial officers. Hence, the term
"Congress" must be taken to mean the entirelegislative department. Therefore, the practice of having more
than one representative from the Congress in the JBC negates the principle of equality among the three
branches of government which is enshrined in the Constitution.

Note: In an En Banc decision (April 16, 2013 penned by J. Mendoza), the Court denied the OSG’s
motion for reconsideration on behalf of Sen. Escudero and Rep. Tupas.

FRANCIS H. JARDELEZAv. CHIEF JUSTICE MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO, THE JUDICIAL AND BAR
COUNCIL AND EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR.
G.R. No. 213181, August 19, 2014, Mendoza, J.

As provided for by the 1987 Constitution, the Court has supervisory powers over the Judicial and Bar
Council (JBC). Verily, as a meaningful guidepost, jurisprudence provides the definition and scope of supervision. It
is the power of oversight, or the authority to see that subordinate officers perform their duties. It ensures that

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the laws and the rules governing the conduct of a government entity are observed and complied with.
Supervising officials see to it that rules are followed, but they themselves do not lay down such rules, nor do they
have the discretion to modify or replace them. If the rules are not observed, they may order the work done or
redone, but only to conform to such rules. They may not prescribe their own manner of execution of the act. They
have no discretion on this matter except to see to it that the rules are followed.

Facts:

Due to the compulsory retirement of Associate Justice Abad, the JBC announced the opening for
application or recommendation for the said vacated position of Justice Abad. The JBC received a letter
nominating herein petitioner Jardeleza, incumbent Solicitor General of the Republic, for the said position.
Upon acceptance of the nomination, Jardeleza was included in the names of candidates, as well as in the
schedule of public interviews. Subsequently however, Jardeleza received telephone calls from Justice Aurora
Santiago Lagman (Justice Lagman), an incumbent member of the JBC, informing him that Chief Justice and JBC
ex-officio Chairperson, Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno (Chief Justice Sereno), during the JBC meeting manifested
that she is questioning the integrity of Jardeleza. As a consequence thereof, Jardeleza was directed to make
himself available on June 30, 2014 before the JBC wherein he would be informed of the objections to his
integrity.

Meanwhile, Jardeleza filed a letter-petition with the SC with a prayer that it issue an order, in the
exercise of its constitutional power of supervision over the JBC, directing the latter to give him a written
notice of the specific charges against him and that the hearing on June 30, 2014 as well as the deliberation as
to who will be the nominees to the position vacated by Justice Abad be rescheduled to another date.

On June 30, 2014, both the hearing and the deliberation proceeded. Subsequently, the JBC issued a
shortlist naming therein the nominees for the position vacated by Justice Abad. Jardeleza was not included in
the shortlist, hence, the current petition.

Jardeleza filed the present petition for certiorari and mandamus seeking to compel the JBC to include
him in the list of nominees.

Issue:

Whether the Court can assume jurisdiction over the case.

Ruling:

YES. Section 8, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution provides for the creation of the JBC. The Court
was given supervisory authority over it. Section 8 reads: A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under
the supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman, the Secretary of
Justice, and a representative of the Congress as ex officio Members, a representative of the Integrated Bar, a
professor of law, a retired Member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of the private sector.

As a meaningful guidepost, jurisprudence provides the definition and scope of supervision. It is the
power of oversight, or the authority to see that subordinate officers perform their duties. It ensures that the
laws and the rules governing the conduct of a government entity are observed and complied with.
Supervising officials see to it that rules are followed, but they themselves do not lay down such rules, nor do
they have the discretion to modify or replace them. If the rules are not observed, they may order the work
done or redone, but only to conform to such rules. They may not prescribe their own manner of execution of
the act. They have no discretion on this matter except to see to it that the rules are followed.

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Based on this, the supervisory authority of the Court over the JBC covers the overseeing of
compliance with its rules. In this case, Jardeleza’s principal allegations in his petition merit the exercise of this
supervisory authority.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

FERDINAND R. VILLANUEVA, PRESIDING JUDGE, MCTC, COMPOSTELA-NEW BATAAN, COMPOSTELA


VALLEY PROVINCE v. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL
G.R. No. 211833, April 07, 2015, Reyes J.

JBC's ultimate goal is to recommend nominees and not simply to fill up judicial vacancies in order to
promote an effective and efficient administration of justice. Given this pragmatic situation, the JBC had to
establish a set of uniform criteria in order to ascertain whether an applicant meets the minimum constitutional
qualifications and possesses the qualities expected of him and his office. Thus, the adoption of the five-year
requirement policy applied by JBC to the petitioner's case is necessary and incidental to the function conferred by
the Constitution to the JBC.

Facts:

Ferdiand Villanueva (Villanueva) herein petitioner, is an MTC Judge who has been serving as such for
a period of one year and a half. Subsequently, Villanueva sought appointment as RTC Judge with the Judicial
and Bar Council. The JBC did not include Villanueva’s name in the list of candidates because the rules of the
JBC require that a judge of a first level court should rendered service for a minimum of five years before he
may be considered and shortlisted for nomination as RTC judge. Villanueva assails the legality of the
aforementioned rule imposed by the JBC. Hence this petition.

Issue:

Whether the five year service rule required upon first level court judges before they may be eligible
and shortlisted for RTC judgeship is valid

Ruling:

YES. As the constitutional body granted with the power of searching for, screening, and selecting
applicants relative to recommending appointees to the Judiciary, the JBC has the authority to determine how
best to perform such constitutional mandate. Pursuant to this authority, the JBC issues various policies setting
forth the guidelines to be observed in the evaluation of applicants, and formulates rules and guidelines in
order to ensure that the rules are updated to respond to existing circumstances. Its discretion is freed from
legislative, executive or judicial intervention to ensure that the JBC is shielded from any outside pressure and
improper influence. Limiting qualified applicants in this case to those judges with five years of experience
was an exercise of discretion by the JBC. The potential applicants, however, should have been informed of the
requirements to the judicial positions, so that they could properly prepare for and comply with them. Hence,
unless there are good and compelling reasons to do so, the Court will refrain from interfering with the
exercise of JBC's powers, and will respect the initiative and independence inherent in the latter.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

In the Matter of the Petitions for Admission to the Bar of Unsuccessful Candidates of 1946 to 1953;
ALBINO CUNANAN, ET AL.
94 Phil. 534, March 18, 1954, Diokno J.

Laws are unconstitutional on the following grounds: first, because they are not within the legislative
powers of Congress to enact, or Congress has exceeded its powers; second, because they create or establish
arbitrary methods or forms that infringe constitutional principles; and third, because their purposes or effects

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violate the Constitution or its basic principles. As has already been seen, the contested law suffers from these
fatal defects.

Facts:

Sometime in 1953, Republic Act No. 972 (RA 972) or the “Bar Flunkers’ Act of 1953” was passed
which in essence sought to admit to the Bar, those candidates between the years 1946 up to 1953 who
flunked the Bar examinations. The reason for the law was that allegedly because of the recently concluded
wars in the Philippines, the flunkers suffered from insufficiency of reading materials and inadequate
preparation.

Now, the constitutionality of RA 972 is being questioned, hence this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not RA 972 is unconstitutional

Ruling:

YES. By the disputed law, Congress has exceeded its legislative power to repeal, alter and supplement
the rules on admission to the Bar. Such additional or amendatory rules are, as they ought to be, intended to
regulate acts subsequent to its promulgation and should tend to improve and elevate the practice of law, and
this Tribunal shall consider these rules as minimum norms towards that end in the admission, suspension,
disbarment and reinstatement of lawyers to the Bar, inasmuch as a good bar assists immensely in the daily
performance of judicial functions and is essential to a worthy administration of justice. It is therefore the
primary and inherent prerogative of the Supreme Court to render the ultimate decision on who may be
admitted and may continue in the practice of law according to existing rules.

CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSIONS

SIXTO S. BRILLANTES, JR. vs. HAYDEE B. YORAC, in her capacity as ACTING CHAIRPERSON of the
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
G.R. No. 93867, December 18, 1990, Cruz J.

Article IX-A, Section 1, of the Constitution expressly describes all the Constitutional Commissions as
"independent." Although essentially executive in nature, they are not under the control of the President of the
Philippines in the discharge of their respective functions. Each of these Commissions conducts its own
proceedings under the applicable laws and its own rules and in the exercise of its own discretion.

Facts:

Sixto Brillantes Jr (Brillantes) herein petitioner assails the legality of the action of the President in
appointing Associate Commissioner Haydee Yorac (Yorac) as acting Chairman of the COMELEC when then
Chairman Hilario Davide was named chairman of the fact-finding commission to investigate a coup d’ etat
attempt.

Sixto argues that the President has no authority to appoint an official of an independent commission
created by the Constitution such as the COMELEC and therefore such act is void for having been made outside
the ambit of law. Hence this petition.

Issue:

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Whether the action of the President in appointing Assoc. Comm. Yorac as Chairman of the COMELEC
was valid.

Ruling:

NO. The choice of a temporary chairman in the absence of the regular chairman comes under that
discretion. That discretion cannot be exercised for it, even with its consent, by the President of the
Philippines.

A designation as Acting Chairman is by its very terms essentially temporary and therefore revocable
at will. No cause need be established to justify its revocation. Assuming its validity, the designation of the
respondent as Acting Chairman of the Commission on Elections may be withdrawn by the President of the
Philippines at any time and for whatever reason she sees fit. It is doubtful if the respondent, having accepted
such designation, will not be estopped from challenging its withdrawal.

It is true, as the Solicitor General points out, that the respondent cannot be removed at will from her
permanent position as Associate Commissioner. It is no less true, however, that she can be replaced as Acting
Chairman, with or without cause, and thus deprived of the powers and perquisites of that temporary position.

The lack of a statutory rule covering the situation at bar is no justification for the President of the
Philippines to fill the void by extending the temporary designation in favor of the respondent. This is still a
government of laws and not of men. The problem allegedly sought to be corrected, if it existed at all, did not
call for presidential action. The situation could have been handled by the members of the Commission on
Elections themselves without the participation of the President, however well-meaning.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

THELMA P. GAMINDE v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT and/or Hon. CELSO D. GANGAN, Hon. RAUL C. FLORES
and EMMANUEL M. DALMAN
G.R. No. 140335, December 13, 2000, Pardo J.

The operation of the rotational plan requires two conditions, both indispensable to its workability: (1)
that the terms of the first three (3) Commissioners should start on a common date, and, (2) that any vacancy due
to death, resignation or disability before the expiration of the term should only be filled only for the unexpired
balance of the term. Consequently, the terms of the first Chairmen and Commissioners of the Constitutional
Commissions under the 1987 Constitution must start on a common date, irrespective of the variations in the
dates of appointments and qualifications of the appointees, in order that the expiration of the first terms of
seven, five and three years should lead to the regular recurrence of the two-year interval between the expiration
of the terms.

Facts:

On June 11, 1993, the President appointed Thelma Gaminde (Gaminde) herein petitioner as ad
interim Commissioner of the Civil Service Commission (CSC). Verily, her appointment letter provides that her
term would expire on February 2, 1999 pursuant to provisions of existing law. Come February 24, 1998,
Gaminde sought clarification from the President as to the date of the end of her term in office. The Chief
Presidential Legal Counsel opined that Gaminde’s term of office would expire on February 2, 2000 and not
on February 2, 1999. Thereafter, Gaminde remained in office after February 2, 1999. Subsequently, the
Commission on Audit (COA) questioned the extension of Gaminde’s term. Since as per her appointment letter,
Gaminde’s term of office should have been only until February 2, 1999.

Issue:

Whether the term of Gaminde expired on February 2, 1999 as per her letter of appointment.

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Ruling:

YES. The term of office of Gaminde expired on February 2, 1999. The term of office of the Chairman
and members of the Civil Service Commission is prescribed in the 1987 Constitution, as follows:

"Section 1 (2). The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be appointed by the President with the
consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of those first
appointed, the Chairman shall hold office for seven years, a Commissioner for five years, and another
Commissioner for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the
unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or
acting capacity."

In a string of cases, we said that "the operation of the rotational plan requires two conditions, both
indispensable to its workability: (1) that the terms of the first three (3) Commissioners should start on a
common date, and, (2) that any vacancy due to death, resignation or disability before the expiration of the
term should only be filled only for the unexpired balance of the term."

Consequently, the terms of the first Chairmen and Commissioners of the Constitutional Commissions
under the 1987 Constitution must start on a common date, irrespective of the variations in the dates of
appointments and qualifications of the appointees, in order that the expiration of the first terms of seven, five
and three years should lead to the regular recurrence of the two-year interval between the expiration of the
terms.

On June 11, 1993, the President appointed Atty. Thelma P. Gaminde Commissioner, Civil Service
Commission, for a term expiring February 02, 1999. This terminal date is specified in her appointment paper.
On September 07, 1993, the Commission on Appointments confirmed the appointment. She accepted the
appointment and assumed office on June 22, 1993. She is bound by the term of the appointment she accepted,
expiring February 02, 1999. In this connection, the letter dated April 07, 1998, of Deputy Executive Secretary
Renato C. Corona clarifying that her term would expire on February 02, 2000, was in error. What was
submitted to the Commission on Appointments was a nomination for a term expiring on February 02, 1999.
Thus, the term of her successor must be deemed to start on February 02, 1999, and expire on February 02,
2006.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

DENNIS A. B. FUNA v. THE CHAIRMAN, COMMISSION ON AUDIT, REYNALDO A. VILLAR


G.R. No. 192791, April 24, 2012, Velasco J.

Appointments to vacancies resulting from certain causes (death, resignation, disability or


impeachment) shall only be for the unexpired portion of the term of the predecessor, but such appointments
cannot be less than the unexpired portion as this will likewise disrupt the staggering of terms laid down under
Sec. 1(2), Art. IX(D).

Facts:

On February 15, 2001, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (President Macapagal-Arroyo) appointed


Guillermo N. Carague (Carague) as Chairman of the Commission on Audit (COA) for a term of seven (7) years.
Carague’s term of office started on February 2, 2001 to end on February 2, 2008.

Meanwhile, on February 7, 2004, President Macapagal-Arroyo appointed Reynaldo A. Villar (Villar)


as the third member of the COA for a term of seven (7) years starting February 2, 2004 until February 2,
2011.Following the retirement of Carague on February 2, 2008 and during the fourth year of Villar as COA
Commissioner, Villar was designated as Acting Chairman of COA from February 4, 2008 to April 14, 2008.

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Subsequently, on April 18, 2008, Villar was nominated and appointed as Chairman of the COA. Shortly
thereafter, on June 11, 2008, the Commission on Appointments confirmed his appointment. He was to serve
as Chairman of COA, as expressly indicated in the appointment papers, until the expiration of the original
term of his office as COA Commissioner or on February 2, 2011.

Villar, insists that his appointment as COA Chairman accorded him a fresh term of seven (7) years
which is yet to lapse. He would argue, in fine, that his term of office, as such chairman, is up to February 2,
2015, or 7 years reckoned from February 2, 2008 when he was appointed to that position.

Now, Dennis Funa (Funa) assails the constitutionality of Villar's appointment as Chairman of COA on
the ground that an appointee of a vacant office shall only serve the unexpired portion of the term of the
vacated office. Hence this petition.

Issue:

Whether the appointment of Villars as Chairman was unconstitutional.

Ruling:

YES. The appointment of members of any of the three constitutional commissions, after the
expiration of the uneven terms of office of the first set of commissioners, shall always be for a fixed term of
seven (7) years; an appointment for a lesser period is void and unconstitutional. The appointing authority
cannot validly shorten the full term of seven (7) years in case of the expiration of the term as this will result in
the distortion of the rotational system prescribed by the Constitution. Appointments to vacancies resulting
from certain causes (death, resignation, disability or impeachment) shall only be for the unexpired portion of
the term of the predecessor, but such appointments cannot be less than the unexpired portion as this will
likewise disrupt the staggering of terms laid down under Sec. 1(2), Art. IX(D). Members of the Commission,
e.g. COA, COMELEC or CSC, who were appointed for a full term of seven years and who served the entire
period, are barred from reappointment to any position in the Commission. Corollary, the first appointees in
the Commission under the Constitution are also covered by the prohibition against reappointment. A
commissioner who resigns after serving in the Commission for less than seven years is eligible for an
appointment to the position of Chairman for the unexpired portion of the term of the departing chairman.
Such appointment is not covered by the ban on reappointment, provided that the aggregate period of the
length of service as commissioner and the unexpired period of the term of the predecessor will not exceed
seven (7) years and provided further that the vacancy in the position of Chairman resulted from death,
resignation, disability or removal by impeachment. The Court clarifies that "reappointment" found in Sec.
1(2), Art. IX(D) means a movement to one and the same office (Commissioner to Commissioner or Chairman
to Chairman). On the other hand, an appointment involving a movement to a different position or office
(Commissioner to Chairman) would constitute a new appointment and, hence, not, in the strict legal sense, a
reappointment barred under the Constitution. Any member of the Commission cannot be appointed or
designated in a temporary or acting capacity.

Thus, Villar’s appointment as chairman ending February 2, 2011 which Justice Mendoza considers as
valid is likewise unconstitutional, as it will destroy the rationale and policy behind the rotational system or
the staggering of appointments and terms in COA as prescribed in the Constitution. It disturbs in a way the
staggered rotational system of appointment under Sec. 1(2), Art. IX(D) of the 1987 Constitution.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

DENNIS A. B. FUNA v. THE CHAIRMAN, CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION (CSC), FRANCISCO T. DUQUE III,
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY LEANDRO R. MENDOZA, OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
G.R. No. 191672, November 25, 2014, Bersamin J.

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Duque’s designation as member of the governing Boards of the GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC and HDMF
impairs the independence of the CSC. Under Section 17,Article VII of the Constitution, the President exercises
control over all government offices in the Executive Branch which includes the aforementioned agencies. Thus
the appointment of is unconstitutional.

Facts:

Pursuant to Executive Order No. 864 (EO 864) CSC Commissioner Francisco Duque III was appointed
as member of the Board of Trustees or Directors in an ex officio capacity of the GSIS, PhilHealth, the
Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) and the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF). Dennis Funa
(Funa) assails the constitutionality of EO 864 on the ground that it violates the independence of
constitutionally created office of the CSC since the aforementioned agencies are within the control and
supervision of the President, thus subjecting Duque under the control and supervision of the President. Hence
this petition.

Issue:

Whether EO 864 is unconstitutional.

Ruling:

YES. the President sits at the apex of the Executive branch, and exercises "control of all the executive
departments, bureaus, and offices." There can be no instance under the Constitution where an officer of the
Executive branch is outside the control of the President. The Executive branch is unitary since there is only
one President vested with executive power exercising control over the entire Executive branch. Any office in
the Executive branch that is not under the control of the President is a lost command whose existence is
without any legal or constitutional basis.

As provided in their respective charters, PHILHEALTH and ECC have the status of a government
corporation and are deemed attached to the Department of Health45 and the Department of Labor,46
respectively. On the other hand, the GSIS and HDMF fall under the Office of the President.47 The corporate
powers of the GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC and HDMF are exercised through their governing Boards, members of
which are all appointed by the President of the Philippines. Undoubtedly, the GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC and
HDMF and the members of their respective governing Boards are under the control of the President. As such,
the CSC Chairman cannot be a member of a government entity that is under the control of the President
without impairing the independence vested in the CSC by the 1987 Constitution.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ATTY. ROMULO B. MACALINTAL vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, HON. ALBERTO ROMULO, in his
official capacity as Executive Secretary, and HON. EMILIA T. BONCODIN, Secretary of the Department
of Budget and Management
G.R. No. 157013, July 10, 2003, Austria-Martinez J.

The Court has no general powers of supervision over COMELEC which is an independent body except
those specifically granted by the Constitution, that is, to review its decisions, orders and rulings. In the same vein,
it is not correct to hold that because of its recognized extensive legislative power to enact election laws, Congress
may intrude into the independence of the COMELEC by exercising supervisory powers over its rule-making
authority.

Facts:

Atty. Romulo Macalintal (Macalintal) herein petitioner, assails the constitutionality of some of the
provisions in Republic Act 9189 (RA 9189) or the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 on the ground that

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the aforementioned provisions are in violation of the independence of the constitutionally created office –
that is COMELEC. Specifically, Macalintal assails the power of Congress through a Joint Congressional
Oversight Committee (JCOC) to review, revise, amend and prove the Implementing Rules and Regulations
(IRR) for RA 9189 that the COMELEC shall promulgate. Hence this petition.

Issue:

Whether the provisions authorizing the JCOC to review, revise, amend and approve the IRR of RA
9189 to be issued by the COMELEC is valid.

Ruling:

NO. By vesting itself with the powers to approve, review, amend, and revise the IRR for The Overseas
Absentee Voting Act of 2003, Congress went beyond the scope of its constitutional authority. Congress
trampled upon the constitutional mandate of independence of the COMELEC. Under such a situation, the
Court is left with no option but to withdraw from its usual reticence in declaring a provision of law
unconstitutional.

The second sentence of the first paragraph of Section 19 stating that [t]he Implementing Rules and
Regulations shall be submitted to the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee created by virtue of this Act
for prior approval, and the second sentence of the second paragraph of Section 25 stating that [i]t shall
review, revise, amend and approve the Implementing Rules and Regulations promulgated by the Commission,
whereby Congress, in both provisions, arrogates unto itself a function not specifically vested by the
Constitution, should be stricken out of the subject statute for constitutional infirmity. Both provisions
brazenly violate the mandate on the independence of the COMELEC.

Similarly, the phrase, subject to the approval of the Congressional Oversight Committee in the first
sentence of Section 17.1 which empowers the Commission to authorize voting by mail in not more than three
countries for the May, 2004 elections; and the phrase, only upon review and approval of the Joint
Congressional Oversight Committee found in the second paragraph of the same section are unconstitutional
as they require review and approval of voting by mail in any country after the 2004 elections. Congress may
not confer upon itself the authority to approve or disapprove the countries wherein voting by mail shall be
allowed, as determined by the COMELEC pursuant to the conditions provided for in Section 17.1 of R.A. No.
9189. Otherwise, Congress would overstep the bounds of its constitutional mandate and intrude into the
independence of the COMELEC.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Civil Service Commission (CSC) v Department of Budget and Management (DBM)


G.R. No. 158791, July 22, 2005, Carpio-Morales J.

That the no report, no release policy may not be validly enforced against offices vested with fiscal
autonomy is not disputed. Indeed, such policy cannot be enforced against offices possessing fiscal autonomy
without violating Article IX (A), Section 5 of the Constitution which provides: Sec. 5. The Commission shall enjoy
fiscal autonomy. Their approved appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released.

Facts:

The CSC herein petitioner, seeks to compel the DBM herein respondent, to release the balance of its
budget pursuant to the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for the fiscal year 2002. Verily, the balance in favor
of CSC was intentionally withheld by DBM on the basis of DBM’s no report, no release policy whereby
allocations for agencies are withheld pending their submission of certain documents which CSC allegedly
failed to undertake. On its part the CSC contends that the application of the no report, no release policy upon

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an independent constitutional body such as the CSC is a violation of its fiscal autonomy and is therefore void.
Hence this petition.

Issue:

Whether the DBM can validly withhold the appropriated balance of funds against the CSC

Ruling:

NO. By parity of construction, automatic release of approved annual appropriations to petitioner, a


constitutional commission which is vested with fiscal autonomy, should thus be construed to mean that no
condition to fund releases to it may be imposed.

If respondent’s theory were adopted, then the constitutional mandate to automatically and regularly
release approved appropriations would be suspended every year, or even every month that there is a
shortfall in revenues, thereby emasculating to a significant degree, if not rendering insignificant altogether,
such mandate.

Furthermore, the Constitution grants the enjoyment of fiscal autonomy only to the Judiciary, the
Constitutional Commissions of which petitioner is one, and the Ombudsman. To hold that petitioner may be
subjected to withholding or reduction of funds in the event of a revenue shortfall would, to that extent, place
petitioner and the other entities vested with fiscal autonomy on equal footing with all others which are not
granted the same autonomy, thereby reducing to naught the distinction established by the Constitution.

The agencies which the Constitution has vested with fiscal autonomy should thus be given priority in
the release of their approved appropriations over all other agencies not similarly vested when there is a
revenue shortfall.

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

ERLINDA P. MERAM v. FILIPINA V. EDRALIN, THE MINISTER OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE
PRESIDENTIAL ASSISTANT FOR LEGAL AFFAIRS
G.R. No. 71228, September 24, 1987, GUTIERREZ, JR., J.

Civil service laws are not enacted to penalize anyone. They are designed to eradicate the system of
appointment to public office based on political considerations and to eliminate as far as practicable the element
of partisanship and personal favoritism in making appointments. These laws intend to establish a merit system
of fitness and efficiency as the basis of appointment; to secure more competent employees, and thereby promote
better government.

Facts:

Private respondent Filipino V. Edralin (Edralin) was proposed to be appointed to the position of
Administrative Officer V. Alleging that they are the next-in rank to the position of Administrative Officer V,
thus, much more entitled to be appointed to the said position, petitioner ErlindaMeram (Erlinda) and
Hermocio M. Agravio (Agravio), filed their protests against the proposal. Meanwhile, respondent Minister of
Natural Resources (Minister) appointed Edralin to the position of Administrative Officer V. The Civil Service
Commission (CSC) approved the appointment of Edralin but noted that it was still subject to the outcome of
the protests of Erlinda and Agravio.S ubsequently, the Minister issued a decision dismissing the protests of
Erlinda and Agravio. On appeal, however, by Agravio, the Merits Systems Board (MSB)reversed the decision
of the Minister and directed the Minister to appoint Agravio to the contested position instead of Edralin. Both
the Erlinda and Edralin filed motions for reconsideration. The MSB promulgated another decision modifying
the earlier one and appointed Erlinda. Edralin appealed with the CSC, but the same was denied.

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Subsequently, Edralin filed a letter-petition with the Office of the President. In her petition, Edralin
argued that it is the Office of the President that has jurisdiction over an appeal from the decision of the
Ministry head and not the MSB nor the CSC. Acting favourably on the letter-petition of Edralin, the Office of
the President issued a decision affirming the decision of the Minister dismissing the protests of Erlinda and
Agravio. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether the Office of the President acted correctly in taking cognizance of respondent's letter-
petition, and passing upon the same, and thereafter, setting aside the decisions of the Merit Systems Board
and the Civil Service Commission.

Ruling:

NO. P.D. No. 1409, Section 5(2) provides: Sec. 5. Powers and Functions of the Board. — The Board
shall have the following functions, among others: (2) Hear and decide cases brought before it by officers and
employees who feel aggrieved by the determination of appointing authorities involving appointment,
promotion, transfer, detail reassignment and other personnel actions, as well as complaints against any
officers in the government arising from abuses arising from personnel actions of these officers or from
violations of the merit system."

In connection with this power of the MSB, Section 8 of this decree also provides: Sec. 8. Relationship
with the Civil Service Commission. — Decisions of the Board involving the removal of officers and employees
from the service shall be subject to automatic review by the Commission. The Commission shall likewise hear
and decide appeals from other decisions of the Board, provided that the decisions of the Commission shall be
subject to review only by the Courts.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

EDUARDO DE LOS SANTOS v. GIL R. MALLARE, LUIS P. TORRES


G.R. No.L-3881, August 31, 1950, Tuason, J.

Three specified classes of positions — policy-determining, primarily confidential and highly technical —
are excluded from the merit system and dismissal at pleasure of officers and employees appointed therein is
allowed by the Constitution.

Facts:

Eduardo de los Santos, the petitioner, was appointed City Engineer of Baguio, by the President,
appointment which was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Subsequently, Gil R. Mallare was
extended an ad interim appointment by the President to the same position, after which, the Undersecretary of
the Department of Public Works and Communications directed Santos to report to the Bureau of Public
Works for another assignment. Santos refused to vacate the office, and when the City Mayor and the other
officials named as Mallare's co-defendants ignored him and paid Mallare the salary corresponding to the
position, he commenced these proceedings.

Issue:

Whether Petitioner’s removal from office is legal.

Ruling:

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NO. The office of city engineer is neither primarily confidential, policy-determining, nor highly
technical. Every appointment implies confidence, but much more than ordinary confidence is reposed in the
occupant of a position that is primarily confidential. The latter phrase denotes not only confidence in the
aptitude of the appointee for the duties of the office but primarily close intimacy which insures freedom of
intercourse without embarrassment or freedom from misgivings of betrayals of personal trust or confidential
matters of state. Nor is the position of city engineer policy-determining. A city engineer does not formulate a
method of action for the government or any its subdivisions. His job is to execute policy, not to make it.
Finally, the position of city engineer is technical but not highly so. A city engineer is not required nor is he
supposed to possess a technical skill or training in the supreme or superior degree, which is the sense in
which "highly technical" is employed in the Constitution.

THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF CAMARINES NORTEv. BEATRIZ O. GONZALES


G.R. No. 185740, July 23, 2013, Brion, J.

The nature of a position may change by law according to the dictates of Congress. The right to hold a
position, on the other hand, is a right that enjoys constitutional and statutory guarantee, but may itself change
according to the nature of the position. For purposes of determining whether Gonzales’ termination violated her
right to security of tenure, the nature of the position she occupied at the time of her removal should be
considered, and not merely the nature of her appointment at the time she entered government service.

Facts:

Gonzales was appointed as the provincial administrator of the Province of Camarines Norte on a
permanent capacity by then Governor Roy A. Padilla, Jr. Years after, he was dismissed by Governor Pimentel.
Gonzales appealed Governor Pimentel’s decision to the Civil Service Commission which held him guilty of
insubordination and suspending her for six months. Governor Pimentel reinstated Gonzales as provincial
administrator but terminated her services the next day for lack of confidence. He then wrote a letterto the
CSC regarding his dismissal for lack of confidence. The CSC, in its response, held that the conversion of the
provincial administrator position from a career to a non-career service should not jeopardize Gonzales’
security of tenure guaranteed to her by the Constitution. As a permanent appointee, Gonzales may only be
removed for cause, after due notice and hearing. Loss of trust and confidence is not among the grounds for a
permanent appointee’s dismissal or discipline under existing laws.

Issue:

Whether Gonzales has security of tenure over her position as provincial administrator which was
converted from career to a non-career service.

Ruling:

NO. Congress has the power and prerogative to introduce substantial changes in the provincial
administrator position and to reclassify it as a primarily confidential, non-career service position. Flowing
from the legislative power to create public offices is the power to abolish and modify them to meet the
demands of society; Congress can change the qualifications for and shorten the term of existing statutory
offices. When done in good faith, these acts would not violate a public officer’s security of tenure, even if they
result in his removal from office or the shortening of his term. Modifications in public office, such as changes
in qualifications or shortening of its tenure, are made in good faith so long as they are aimed at the office and
not at the incumbent.
In the case, Congress, through RA 7160, did not abolish the provincial administrator position but
significantly modified many of its aspects. It is now a primarily confidential position under the non-career
service tranche of the civil service. This change could not have been aimed at prejudicing Gonzales, as she was

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not the only provincial administrator incumbent at the time RA 7160 was enacted. Rather, this change was
part of the reform measures that RA 7160 introduced to further empower local governments and
decentralize the delivery of public service.

PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT AND GAMING CORPORATION v. MARITA A. ANGARA


G.R. NO.142937, November 15, 2005, Austria-Martinez, J.

Justice Regalado’s incisive discourse yields three (3) important points: first, the classification of a
particular position as primarily confidential, policy-determining or highly technical amounts to no more than an
executive or legislative declaration that is not conclusive upon the courts, the true test being the nature of the
position. Second, whether primarily confidential, policy-determining or highly technical, the exemption provided
in the Charter pertains to exemption from competitive examination to determine merit and fitness to enter the
civil service. Such employees are still protected by the mantle of security of tenure. Last, and more to the point,
Section 16 of P.D. 1869, insofar as it declares all positions within PAGCOR as primarily confidential, is not
absolutely binding on the courts.

Facts:

Respondents Beatriz T. La Victoria (La Victoria) and Marita A. Angara (Angara) were Slot Machine
Roving Token Attendants (SMRTAs) of petitioner Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR)
assigned at its casino in Davao City. Eventually, they were dismissed by the PAGCOR Board of Directors for
loss of trust and confidence. Respondents filed a motion for reconsideration but their motion was denied.
They, then, filed their appeal memorandum with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) which ruled in their
favor; hence, the case.

Issue:

Whether respondents hold confidential positions whose removal from the service can be justified
through loss of trust and confidence.

Ruling:

NO. From the nature of respondents’ functions, their organizational ranking, and their compensation
level, it is obviously beyond debate that respondents, occupying one of the lowest ranks in petitioner, cannot
be considered confidential employees. Their job description spells out their routinary functions.

Petitioner, therefore, cannot justify respondents’ dismissal on loss of trust and confidence since the
latter are not confidential employees. Being regular employees that enjoy security of tenure, respondents can
only be dismissed for just cause and with due process, notice and hearing. Petitioner cannot, in the
alternative, allege that respondents are being dismissed for dishonesty since petitioner’s thesis, in its motion
for reconsideration in the CSC and petition before the CA, has always been that respondents, as confidential
employees, can be dismissed for loss of trust and confidence. Besides, dishonesty is not the reason for which
they were dismissed per the letter of dismissal of July 23, 1997, but for loss of trust and confidence.

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. NITA P. JAVIER


G.R. No. 173264, February 22, 2008, Austria-Martinez, J.

Presently, it is still the rule that executive and legislative identification or classification of primarily
confidential, policy-determining or highly technical positions in government is no more than mere declarations,
and does not foreclose judicial review, especially in the event of conflict. Far from what is merely declared by

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executive or legislative fiat, it is the nature of the position which finally determines whether it is primarily
confidential, policy determining or highly technical, and no department in government is better qualified to
make such an ultimate finding than the judicial branch.

Facts:

Respondent Javier was first employed as Private Secretary in the GSIS on a "confidential" and
permanent status. She spent her entire career with GSIS. Before her 64 th birthday, respondent opted for early
retirement but GSIS President Winston F. Garcia, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, reappointed
respondent as Corporate Secretary, the same position she left and retired from barely a year earlier.
Respondent was 64 years old at the time of her reappointment. In its Resolution, the Board of Trustees
classified her appointment as "confidential in nature and the tenure of office is at the pleasure of the Board.”
Subsequently, petitioner issued a resolution, invalidating the reappointment of respondent as Corporate
Secretary, on the ground that the position is a permanent, career position and not primarily confidential; thus
she cannot be reappointed for being at the age of retirement. They may reappoint her even she is beyond the
retirement age but only if the position is primarily confidential position but the CSC, in its resolution, held
that the position occupied by respondent is a career position.

Issue:

Whether the courts may determine the proper classification of a position in government.

Ruling:

YES. Jurisprudence establishes that the Court is not bound by the classification of positions in the
civil service made by the legislative or executive branches, or even by a constitutional body like the
petitioner. The Court is expected to make its own determination as to the nature of a particular position, such
as whether it is a primarily confidential position or not, without being bound by prior classifications made by
other bodies. The findings of the other branches of government are merely considered initial and not
conclusive to the Court. Moreover, it is well-established that in case the findings of various agencies of
government, such as the petitioner and the CA in the instant case, are in conflict, the Court must exercise its
constitutional role as final arbiter of all justiciable controversies and disputes.

HON. RICARDO T. GLORIAv. HON. COURT OF APPEALS AND DR. BIENVENIDO A. ICASIANO
G.R. No. 119903, August 15, 2000, Purisima, J.

While a temporary transfer or assignment of personnel is permissible even without the employees prior
consent, it cannot be done when the transfer is a preliminary step toward his removal, or is a scheme to lure him
away from his permanent position, or designed to indirectly terminate his service, or force his resignation. Such a
transfer would in effect circumvent the provision which safeguards the tenure of office of those who are in the
Civil Service.

Facts:

Private respondent Icasiano was appointed Schools Division Superintendent, Division of City Schools,
Quezon City, by the then President Corazon C. Aquino. Subsequently, Respondent Secretary Gloria
recommended to the President of the Philippines that the petitioner be reassigned as Superintendent of the
MIST (Marikina Institute of Science and Technology), to fill up the vacuum created by the retirement of its
Superintendent; which recommendation was approved by the President. When Private Respondent learned
of such reassignment, he requested respondent Secretary Gloria to reconsider the reassignment, but the
latter denied the request. The petitioner prepared a letter to the President of the Philippines asking for a

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reconsideration of his reassignment. However, he subsequently changed his mind and refrained from filing
the letter with the Office of President.

Issue:

Whether the reassignment of private respondent from School Division Superintendent of Quezon
City to Vocational School Superintendent of MIST is violative of his security of tenure.

Ruling:

YES. It appears that the reassignment of private respondent to MIST appears to be indefinite. The
same can be inferred from the Memorandum of Secretary Gloria for President Fidel V. Ramos to the effect that
the reassignment of private respondent will "best fit his qualifications and experience" being "an expert in
vocational and technical education." It can thus be gleaned that subject reassignment is more than temporary
as the private respondent has been described as fit for the (reassigned) job, being an expert in the field.
Besides, there is nothing in the said Memorandum to show that the reassignment of private respondent is
temporary or would only last until a permanent replacement is found as no period is specified or fixed; which
fact evinces an intention on the part of petitioners to reassign private respondent with no definite period or
duration. Such feature of the reassignment in question is definitely violative of the security of tenure of the
private respondent.

CESAR Z. DARIOv. HON. SALVADOR M. MISON, HON. VICENTE JAYME


G.R. No. 81954, August 8, 1989, Sarmiento, J.

The present organic act requires that removals "not for cause" must be as a result of reorganization. As
we observed, the Constitution does not provide for "automatic" vacancies. It must also pass the test of good faith.
As a general rule, a reorganization is carried out in "good faith" if it is for the purpose of economy or to make
bureaucracy more efficient. In that event, no dismissal (in case of a dismissal) or separation actually occurs
because the position itself ceases to exist. Be that as it may, if the "abolition," which is nothing else but a
separation or removal, is done for political reasons or purposely to defeat security of tenure, or otherwise not in
good faith, no valid "abolition" takes place and whatever "abolition" is done, is void ab initio. There is an invalid
"abolition" as where there is merely a change of nomenclature of positions, or where claims of economy are
belied by the existence of ample funds.

Facts:

President Corazon Aquino promulgated Proclamation No. 3 providing for an orderly transition to a
government under a new constitution. Subsequently, the President promulgated an executive order providing
for the reorganization of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and prescribing a new staffing patter. During the said
period, the Filipino people adopted the new constitution. The problem arose when incumbent Commissioner
of Customs Salvador Mison issued a Memorandum prescribing the procedure in personnel placement. On the
same date, Commissioner Mison constituted a Reorganization Appeals Board charged with adjudicating
appeals from removals under the above Memorandum which issued notices to the petitioners for their
separation. A total of 394 officials and employees of the BOC were given individual notices of separation. A
number supposedly sought reinstatement with the Reorganization Appeals Board while others went to the
Civil Service Commission (CSC). The first thirty-one mentioned above came directly to the SC. The petitions
under the CSC where granted ordering the reinstatement of the employees. All the petitions were
consolidated in this case.

Issue:

Whether Commissioner Mison acted in good faith in issuing the notices of separation.

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Ruling:

NO. The Court finds that Commissioner Mison did not act in good faith since after February 2, 1987
no perceptible restructuring of the Customs hierarchy - except for the change of personnel - has occurred,
which would have justified the contested dismissals. There is also no showing that legitimate structural
changes have been made or a reorganization actually undertaken at the Bureau since Commissioner Mison
assumed office, which would have validly prompted him to hire and fire employees. The records indeed show
that Commissioner Mison separated about 394 Customs personnel but replaced them with 522 as of August
18, 1988. This betrays a clear intent to "pack" the Bureau of Customs. He did so, furthermore, in defiance of
the President's directive to halt further layoffs as a consequence of reorganization. Finally, he was aware that
layoffs should observe the procedure laid down by Executive Order No. 17.

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. PEDRO O. DACOYCOY


G.R. No. 135805, April 29, 1999, Pardo, J.

Under the definition of nepotism, one is guilty of nepotism if an appointment is issued in favor of a
relative within the third civil degree of consanguinity or affinity of any of the following: a) appointing authority;
b) recommending authority; c) chief of the bureau or office, and d) person exercising immediate supervision over
the appointee. To constitute a violation of the law, it suffices that an appointment is extended or issued in favor
of a relative within the third civil degree of consanguinity or affinity of the chief of the bureau or office, or the
person exercising immediate supervision over the appointee.

Facts:

Respondent was found guilty for nepotism on two counts by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) as a
result of the appointment of his two sons, Rito and Ped Dacoycoy, as driver and utility worker, respectively,
and their assignment under his immediate supervision and control as the Vocational School Administrator
Balicuatro College of Arts and Trades, and imposed on him the penalty of dismissal from the service. On
appeal, the CA reversed the decision of the CSC ruling that respondent did not appoint or recommend his two
sons Rito and Ped, and, hence, was not guilty of nepotism.

Issue:

Whether respondent is guilty for nepotism.

Ruling:

YES. Respondent Dacoycoy is the Vocational School Administrator, Balicuatro College of Arts and
Trades, Allen, Northern Samar. It is true that he did not appoint or recommend his two sons to the positions
of driver and utility worker in the Balicuatro College of Arts and Trades. In fact, it was Mr. Jaime Daclag, Head
of the Vocational Department of the BCAT, who recommended the appointment of Rito. Mr. Daclag's authority
to recommend the appointment of first level positions such as watchmen, security guards, drivers, utility
workers, and casuals and emergency laborers for short durations of three to six months was recommended
by respondent Dacoycoy and approved by DECS Regional Director Eladio C. Dioko, with the provision that
such positions shall be under Mr. Daclags immediate supervision. On July 1, 1992, Atty. Victorino B. Tirol II,
Director III, DECS Regional Office VIII, Palo, Leyte, appointed Rito Dacoycoy driver of the school. On January 3,
1993, Mr. Daclag also appointed Ped Dacoycoy casual utility worker. However, it was respondent Dacoycoy
who certified that funds are available for the proposed appointment of Rito Dacoycoy and even rated his
performance as very satisfactory. On the other hand, his son Ped stated in his position description form that
his father was his next higher supervisor. The circumvention of the ban on nepotism is quite obvious.
Unquestionably, Mr. Daclag was a subordinate of respondent Pedro O. Dacoycoy, who was the school

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administrator. He authorized Mr. Daclag to recommend the appointment of first level employees under his
immediate supervision. Then Mr. Daclag recommended the appointment of respondents two sons and placed
them under respondents immediate supervision serving as driver and utility worker of the school. Both
positions are career positions.

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. MARICELLE M. CORTES


G.R. No. 200103, April 23, 2014, ABAD, J.

Nepotism is defined as an appointment issued in favor of a relative within the third civil degree of
consanguinity or affinity of any of the following: (1) appointing authority; (2) recommending authority; (3) chief
of the bureau or office; and (4) person exercising immediate supervision over the appointee. By way of exception,
the following shall not be covered by the prohibition: (1) persons employed in a confidential capacity; (2)
teachers; (3) physicians; and (4) members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Facts:

Respondent Cortes was appointed by the Commission En Banc of the Commission on Human Rights
(CHR) to the position of Information Officer V (IO V). Commissioner Eligio P. Mallari, father of respondent
Cortes, abstained from voting and requested the CHR to render an opinion on the legality of the respondent's
appointment. The opinion given by the CSC is that the appointment is not valid because it is covered by the
rule on nepotism under Section 9 of the Revised Omnibus Rules on Appointments and Other Personnel
Actions. According to the CSC-NCR, Commissioner Mallari is considered an appointing authority with respect
to respondent Cortes despite being a mere member of the Commission En Banc. On appeal, the CA granted the
petition.

Issue:

Whether the CA erred when it ruled that the appointment of respondent Cortes as IO V in the CHR is
not covered by the prohibition against nepotism.

Ruling:

YES. It is undisputed that respondent Cortes is a relative of Commissioner Mallari in the first degree
of consanguinity, as in fact Cortes is the daughter of Commissioner Mallari. In the present case, however, the
appointment of respondent Cortes as IO V in the CHR does not fall to any of the exemptions provided by law.
Moreover, basic rule in statutory construction is the legal maxim that "we must interpret not by the letter that
killeth, but by the spirit that giveth life." To rule that the prohibition applies only to the Commission, and not
to the individual members who compose it, will render the prohibition meaningless. Apparently, the
Commission En Banc, which is a body created by fiction of law, can never have relatives to speak of.

LUCIANO VELOSOv. COMMISSION ON AUDIT


G.R. No. 193677, September 6, 2011, Peralta, J.

IRR of RA 7160 reproduced the Constitutional provision that "no elective or appointive local official or
employee shall receive additional, double, or indirect compensation, unless specifically authorized by law, nor
accept without the consent of the Congress, any present, emoluments, office, or title of any kind from any foreign
government." Section 325 of the law limit the total appropriations for personal services 37 of a local government
unit to not more than 45% of its total annual income from regular sources realized in the next preceding fiscal
year.

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Facts:

The City Council of Manila enacted an ordinance Authorizing the Conferment of Exemplary Public
Service Award to Elective Local Officials of Manila Who Have Been Elected for Three (3) Consecutive Terms in
the Same Position. However, Atty. Espina, Supervising Auditor of the City of Manila, observed that the
monetary award is tantamount to double compensation in contravention to Article 170 (c) of the IRR of RA
716 which provides that no elective or appointive local official shall receive additional, double or indirect
compensation unless specifically authorized by law.

Issue:

Whether the conferment of exemplary public service award to Elective Local officials are considered
double compensation.

Ruling:

YES. The recomputation of the award disclosed that it is equivalent to the total compensation
received by each awardee for nine years that includes basic salary, additional compensation, Personnel
Economic Relief Allowance, representation and transportation allowance, rice allowance, financial assistance,
clothing allowance, 13th month pay and cash gift. This is not disputed by petitioners. There is nothing wrong
with the local government granting additional benefits to the officials and employees. The laws even
encourage the granting of incentive benefits aimed at improving the services of these employees. Considering,
however, that the payment of these benefits constitute disbursement of public funds, it must not contravene
the law on disbursement of public funds. Undoubtedly, the above computation of the awardees' reward is
excessive and tantamount to double and additional compensation. This cannot be justified by the mere fact
that the awardees have been elected for three (3) consecutive terms in the same position. Neither can it be
justified that the reward is given as a gratuity at the end of the last term of the qualified elective official. The
fact remains that the remuneration is equivalent to everything that the awardees received during the entire
period that he served as such official. Indirectly, their salaries and benefits are doubled, only that they receive
half of them at the end of their last term.

CONRADO L. DE RAMAv. THE COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 131136, February 28, 2001, Ynares-Santiago, J.

The prohibition under Article VII, section 15 of the 1987 Constitution applies only to presidential
appointments. In truth and in fact, there is no law that prohibits local elective officials from making
appointments during the last days of his or her tenure.

Facts:

Petitioner de Rama is seeking for the recall of the appointments of fourteen (14) municipal
employees alleging that the appointments of the said employees were "midnight" appointments of the former
mayor, Ma. Evelyn S. Abeja, done in violation of Article VII, Section 15 of the 1987 Constitution. The CSC
denied the request for the recall of the appointments of the fourteen employees for lack of merit. The CA
upheld CSC’s decision; hence, the case.

Issue:

Whether the CA erred in finding that the CSC was correct in not upholding the Petitioner’s recall of
the appointments of private respondent.

Ruling:

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NO. The records reveal that when the petitioner brought the matter of recalling the appointments of
the fourteen (14) private respondents before the CSC, the only reason he cited to justify his action was that
these were "midnight appointments" that are forbidden under Article VII, Section 15 of the Constitution.
However, the CSC ruled, and correctly so, that the said prohibition applies only to presidential appointments.
In truth and in fact, there is no law that prohibits local elective officials from making appointments during the
last days of his or her tenure.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

RENATO CAYETANO v. CHRISTIAN MONSOD, HON. JOVITO R. SALONGA, COMMISSION ON


APPOINTMENT, and HON. GUILLERMO CARAGUE, in his capacity as Secretary of Budget and
Management
G.R. No. 100113, September 3, 1991, PARAS, J.

Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal
procedure, knowledge, training and experience. "To engage in the practice of law is to perform those acts which
are characteristics of the profession. Generally, to practice law is to give notice or render any kind of service,
which device or service requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill."

Facts:

Christian Monsod was nominated by President Corazon C. Aquino to the position of Chairman of the
COMELEC in a letter received by the Secretariat of the Commission on Appointments on April 25, 1991.
Renato Cayetano opposed the nomination because allegedly Monsod does not possess the required
qualification of having been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years as required under Section 1
(1), Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution. Commission on Appointments confirmed the nomination of Monsod
as Chairman of the COMELEC and he took his oath of office. On the same day, he assumed office as Chairman
of the COMELEC. Renato Cayetano challenged the validity of the confirmation by the Commission on
Appointments of Monsod's nomination and filed the instant petition for certiorari and Prohibition praying
that said confirmation and the consequent appointment of Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on
Elections be declared null and void.

Issue:

Whether there was a valid nomination and confirmation of appointment of Monsod as he satisfied
the ten year practice of law requirement.

Ruling:

YES. Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal
procedure, knowledge, training and experience. "To engage in the practice of law is to perform those acts
which are characteristics of the profession. Generally, to practice law is to give notice or render any kind of
service, which device or service requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill." (111 ALR 23)

Interpreted in the light of the various definitions of the term Practice of law". particularly the modern
concept of law practice, and taking into consideration the liberal construction intended by the framers of the
Constitution, Atty. Monsod's past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-manager, a lawyer-
entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the
poor — verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement — that he has been engaged in the practice of
law for at least ten years.

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LABAN NG DEMOKRATIKONG PILIPINO, REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRMAN EDGARDO J. ANGARA V. THE


COMMISION ON ELECTIONS AND AGAPITO A. AQUINO
G.R. No. 161265, February 24, 2004,TINGA, J.

COMELEC is empowered to register political parties [Sec. 2(5), Article IX-C.] Necessarily, the power to
act on behalf of a party and the responsibility for the acts of such political party must be fixed in certain persons
acting as its officers. In the exercise of the power to register political parties, the COMELEC must determine who
these officers are. Consequently, if there is any controversy as to leadership, the COMELEC may, in a proper case
brought before it, resolve the issue incidental to its power to register political parties.

Facts:

General Counsel of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) political party, manifested to the
COMELEC that only the Party Chairman, Senator Edgardo J. Angara, or his authorized representative may
endorse the certificate of candidacy of the party’s official candidates. It further stated that Sen. Angara had
placed the LDP Secretary General, Representative Agapito A. Aquino, on “indefinite forced leave.” In the
meantime, Ambassador Enrique A. Zaldivar was designated Acting Secretary General. Rep. Aquino filed
his Comment, contending that the Party Chairman does not have the authority to impose disciplinary
sanctions on the Secretary General. The COMELEC resolved that the chairman and the secretary general
should share the authority to nominate certain number of nominations of LDP’s candidates. Sen. Angara filed
a petition for certiorari.

Issues:

1. Whether the COMELEC has jurisdiction to decide who is authorized to nominate candidates for a
political party.
2. Whether the Party Chairman has the authority to sign certificates of candidacy of the official
candidates of the political party.

Ruling:

1. YES. In Palmares v. Commission on Elections, to which the assailed Resolution made reference and
which involved the Nacionalista Party, this Court ruled… that the COMELEC has jurisdiction over the issue of
leadership in a political party. Under the Constitution, the COMELEC is empowered to register political
parties [Sec. 2(5), Article IX-C.] Necessarily, the power to act on behalf of a party and the responsibility for
the acts of such political party must be fixed in certain persons acting as its officers. In the exercise of the
power to register political parties, the COMELEC must determine who these officers are. Consequently, if
there is any controversy as to leadership, the COMELEC may, in a proper case brought before it, resolve the
issue incidental to its power to register political parties.

2. YES. The LDP has a set of national officers composed of, among others, the Party Chairman and the
Secretary General. The Party Chairman is the Chief Executive Officer of the Party, whose powers and
functions include:

(1) To represent the Party in all external affairs and concerns, sign documents for and on its behalf, and
call the meetings and be the presiding officer of the National Congress and the National Executive Council…

The Secretary General, on the other hand, assists the Party Chairman in overseeing the day-to-day
operations of the Party. Among his powers and functions is:

(1) When empowered by the Party Chairman, to sign documents for and on behalf of the Party….

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The Secretary General’s authority to sign documents, therefore, is only a delegated power, which
originally pertains to the Party Chairman.

Assuming that Rep. Aquino previously had such authority, this Court cannot share the COMELEC’s
finding that the same “has not been revoked or recalled.” No revocation of such authority can be more explicit
than the totality of Sen. Angara’s Manifestations and Petition before the COMELEC, through which he informed
the Commission that Rep. Aquino’s had been placed on indefinite forced leave and that Ambassador Zaldivar
has been designated Acting Secretary General, who “shall henceforth exercise all the powers and functions of
the Secretary General under the Constitution and By-Laws of the LDP.” As the prerogative to empower Rep.
Aquino to sign documents devolves upon Sen. Angara, so he may choose, at his discretion, to withhold or
revoke such power.

MA. SALVACION BUAC AND ANTONIO BAUTISTA v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS AND ALAN PETER S.
CAYETANO
G.R. No. 155855, January 26, 2004, EN BANC, PUNO, J.

The power of the COMELEC to ascertain the true results of the plebiscite is implicit in its power to
enforce all laws relative to the conduct of plebiscite.

Facts:

A plebiscite was held in Taguig for the ratification of the Taguig Cityhood Law (Republic Act No.
8487) proposing the conversion of Taguig from a municipality into a city. The Plebiscite Board of Canvassers
declared that the "NO" votes won without completing the canvass of sixty-four (64) other election returns.
The Board of Canvassers was ordered by the COMELEC en banc to reconvene and complete the canvass. The
Board did and it issued an Order proclaiming that the negative votes prevailed in the plebiscite conducted.
Salvacion Buac and Antonio Bautista filed with the COMELEC a petition to annul the results of the plebiscite
with a prayer for revision and recount of the ballots cast therein. Cayetano intervened and moved to dismiss
the petition on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of the COMELEC. COMELEC treated the petition akin to an
election protest. Cayetano filed an MR which was granted. It dismissed the petition to annul the results of the
Taguig plebiscite and ruled that the COMELEC has no jurisdiction over said case as it involves an exercise of
quasi-judicial powers not contemplated under Section 2 (2), Article IX (C) of the 1987 Constitution.

Issue:

Whether the COMELEC has jurisdiction over the plebiscite protest?

Ruling:

YES. Article LX-C, Section 2(1) is very explicit that the COMELEC has the power to "enforce administer
all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum and recall." To
enforce means to cause to take effect or to cause the performance of such act or acts necessary to bring into
actual effect or operation, a plan or measure. When we say the COMELEC has the power to enforce all laws
relative to the conduct of a plebiscite, it necessarily entails all the necessary and incidental power for it to
achieve the holding of an honest and credible plebiscite. Obviously, the power of the COMELEC is not limited
to the mere administrative function of conducting the plebiscite. The law is clear. It is also mandated to
enforce the laws relative to the conduct of the plebiscite. Hence, the COMELEC, whenever it is called upon to
correct or check what the Board of Canvassers erroneously or fraudulently did during the canvassing, can
verify or ascertain the true results of the plebiscite either through a pre-proclamation case or through
revision of ballots. To remove from the COMELEC the power to ascertain the true results of the plebiscite
through revision of ballots is to render nugatory its constitutionally mandated power to "enforce" laws

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relative to the conduct of plebiscite. It is not correct to argue that the quasi-judicial power of the COMELEC is
limited to contests relating to the elections, returns and qualifications of all elective regional, provincial and
city officials, and appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal officials decided by trial
courts of general jurisdiction, or involving elective Barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited
jurisdiction. If the COMELEC has quasi-judicial power to enforce laws relating to elective officials then there is
no reason why it cannot exercise the same power to ascertain the true results of a plebiscite. All that the
Constitution provides is that the COMELEC shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction over all contests relating to
elective officials. The provision is not a limiting provision in the sense that it only limits the quasi-judicial
power of the COMELEC to said cases. To repeat, the power of the COMELEC to ascertain the true results of the
plebiscite is implicit in its power to enforce all laws relative to the conduct of plebiscite.

ALROBEN J. GOH v. HON. LUCILO R. BAYRON AND COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS


G.R. No. 212584, November 25, 2014, EN BANC, CARPIO, J.

The 1987 Constitution not only guaranteed the COMELEC’s fiscal autonomy, but also granted its head,
as authorized by law, to augment items in its appropriations from its savings.

Facts:

Goh filed before the COMELEC a recall petition, against Mayor Bayron due to loss of trust and
confidence brought about by “gross violation of pertinent provisions of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
Act, gross violation of pertinent provisions of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials,
Incompetence, and other related gross inexcusable negligence/dereliction of duty, intellectual dishonesty and
emotional immaturity as Mayor of Puerto Princesa City.” The COMELEC found the recall petition sufficient in
form and substance, but suspended the funding of any and all recall elections until the resolution of the
funding issue. Mayor Bayron filed with the COMELEC an Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and for
Clarification. COMELEC en banc affirmed the resolution of the division.

Issue:

Whether the 2014 GAA provides the line item appropriation to allow the COMELEC to perform its
constitutional mandate of conducting recall elections.

Ruling:

YES. the 1987 Constitution expressly provides the COMELEC with the power to “enforce and
administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum,
and recall.” The 1987 Constitution not only guaranteed the COMELEC’s fiscal autonomy, but also granted its
head, as authorized by law, to augment items in its appropriations from its savings.

Under these factual circumstances, we find it difficult to justify the COMELEC’s reasons why it is
unable to conduct recall elections in 2014 when the COMELEC was able to conduct recall elections in 2002
despite lack of the specific words “Conduct and supervision of x x x recall votes x x x” in the 2002 GAA. In the
2002 GAA, the phrase “Conduct and supervision of elections and other political exercises” was sufficient to
fund the conduct of recall elections. In the 2014 GAA, there is a specific line item appropriation for the
“Conduct and supervision of x x x recall votes x x x.”

More importantly, the COMELEC admits in its Resolution No. 9882 that the COMELEC has “a line
item for the ‘Conduct and supervision of elections, referenda, recall votes and plebiscites.’” This admission of
the COMELEC is a correct interpretation of this specific budgetary appropriation. To be valid, an
appropriation must indicate a specific amount and a specific purpose. However, the purpose may be specific

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even if it is broken down into different related sub-categories of the same nature. For example, the purpose
can be to “conduct elections,” which even if not expressly spelled out covers regular, special, or recall
elections. The purpose of the appropriation is still specific – to fund elections, which naturally and logically
include, even if not expressly stated, not only regular but also special or recall elections.

KILOSBAYAN, INC., FERNANDO A. SANTIAGO, QUINTIN S. DOROMAL, EMILIO C. CAPULONG JR., RAFAEL
G. FERNANDO v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, SALVADOR ENRIQUEZ, FRANKLIN DRILON, CESAR
SARINO, LEONORA V. DE JESUS, TIBURCIO RELUCIO, RONALDO V. PUNO, BENITO R. CATINDIG, MANUEL
CALUPITAN III, VICENTE CARLOS, FRANCISCO CANCIO, JIMMY DURANTE, MELVYN MENDOZA
G.R. No. 128054 October 16, 1997, HERMOSISIMA, JR., J.

Indeed probable cause need not be based on clear and convincing evidence of guilt, neither on evidence
establishing guilt beyond reasonable doubt and definitely, not on evidence establishing absolute certainty of
guilt, but it certainly demands more than "bare suspicion" and can never be "left to presupposition, conjecture,
or even convincing logic".

Facts:

Countrywide Development Fund (CDF) under Republic Act No. 7180, otherwise known as the
"General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 1992" allocates a specific amount of government funds for
infrastructure and other priority projects and activities. Cesar Sarino as Secretary of DILG entered into a MOA
with an accredited NGO known as the "Philippine Youth Health and Sports Development Foundation, Inc."
(PYHSDFI). PYHSDFI applied with the DILG for accreditation as NGO. Memorandum of Agreement was
entered into by PYHSDFI President Catindig and DILG-NCR Regional Director Relucio to transfer 70 million
pesos. Commission on Elections (Comelec) received from petitioner Kilosbayan a letter informing the former
of two serious violations of election laws: That the amount of P70 million was released by his department,
shortly before the elections of May 11, 1992, in favor of a private entity, the so-called "Philippine Youth,
Health and Sports Development Foundation," headed by Mr. Ronaldo Puno and the illegal diversion of P330
million by Malacanang from the Countryside Development Fund to the Department of Interior and Local
Government which disbursed this huge amount shortly before the May 11, 1992 elections. COMELEC en banc
issued a resolution dismissing the charge against Secretary Enriquez (Secretary of DBM) and held in
abeyance the charges as to the others for further investigation. MR was denied and the supplemental MR was
also denied.

Issue:

Whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the letter-complaint.

Ruling:

NO. The COMELEC, whenever any election offense charge is filed before it, must have first, before
dismissing the same or filing the corresponding information, conducted the preliminary investigation proper
of the case. At this initial stage of criminal prosecution, is the determination of probable cause, i.e., whether or
not there is reason to believe that the accused is guilty of the offense charged and, therefore, whether or not
he should be subjected to the expense, rigors and embarrassment of trial or as the COMELEC Rules of
Procedure phrase it, whether or not "there is reasonable ground to believe that a crime has been committed" .

Kilosbayan must have necessarily tendered evidence, independent of and in support of the
allegations in its letter-complaint, of such quality as to engender belief in an ordinarily prudent and cautious
man that the offense charged therein has been committed by herein respondents. Indeed probable cause need
not be based on clear and convincing evidence of guilt, neither on evidence establishing guilt beyond

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reasonable doubt and definitely, not on evidence establishing absolute certainty of guilt, but it certainly
demands more than "bare suspicion" and can never be "left to presupposition, conjecture, or even convincing
logic". The efforts of petitioner Kilosbayan, thus, in order to successfully lead to the judicial indictment of
respondents, should have gone beyond a largely declamatory condemnation of respondents and diligently
focused on its two-fold obligation of not only substantiating its charges against respondents but also
proffering before the COMELEC substantial evidence of respondents' utilization, through conspiratorial,
cooperative and/or interrelated acts, of Seventy Million Pesos from the CDF for electioneering activities in
violation of the pertinent provisions on election offenses as enumerated in the Omnibus Election Code.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS v. HON LUCENITO N. TAGLE, PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT,
BRANCH 20, IMUS, CAVITE
G. R. Nos. 148948 & 148951-60, February 17, 2003,DAVIDE JR., C.J.

Respondents in I.S. No. 1-99-1080, who are the accused in Criminal Cases Nos. 7950-00 to 7959-00 and
7980-00, are exempt from criminal prosecution for vote-selling by virtue of the proviso in the last paragraph of
Section 28 of R.A. No. 6646.

Facts:

Florentino A. Bautista ran for the position of mayor in the Municipality of Kawit, Cavite. He filed with
the COMELEC a complaint against then incumbent mayor Atty. Federico Poblete, Bienvenido Pobre, Reynaldo
Aguinaldo, Arturo Ganibe, Leonardo Llave, Diosdado del Rosario, Manuel Ubod, Angelito Peregrino, Mario
Espiritu, Salvador Olaes and Pedro Paterno, Jr., for violation of Section 261 (a) and (b) of the Omnibus
Election Code or vote-buying activities. Law Department of the COMELEC filed the information. Office of the
Provincial Prosecutor resolved to file separate informations for vote-selling (I.S. No. 1-99-1080) in the
various branches of the RTC in Imus, Cavite. The Law Department of the COMELEC filed motions to suspend
proceedings which was granted. COMELEC en banc declared null and void the resolution of the Office of the
Provincial Prosecutor in I.S. No. 1-99-1080 pursuant to the fourth paragraph of Section 28 of R.A. No.
6646 otherwise known as “The Electoral Reforms Law of 1987,” which grants immunity from criminal
prosecution persons who voluntarily give information and willingly testify against those liable for vote-
buying or vote-selling. Law Department filed a motion to dismiss for the criminal cases but it was denied.

Issue:

Whether the respondents of I.S. No. 1-99-1080 should be exempted from criminal liability pursuant
to the immunity to witnesses of vote-buying or vote-selling.

Ruling:

YES. The respondents in I.S. No. 1-99-1080, who are the accused in Criminal Cases Nos. 7950-00 to
7959-00 and 7980-00, are exempt from criminal prosecution for vote-selling by virtue of the proviso in the
last paragraph of Section 28 of R.A. No. 6646. Respondent judge lost sight of the fact that at the time the
complaint for vote-selling was filed with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor, the respondents in I.S. No. 1-
99-1080 had already executed sworn statements attesting to the corrupt practice of vote-buying in the case
docketed as Criminal Case No. 7034-99. It cannot then be denied that they had already voluntarily given
information in the vote-buying case. In fact, they willingly testified in Criminal Case No. 7034-99 per
petitioner’s Memorandum filed with this Court.

BARANGAY ASSOCIATION FOR NATIONAL ADVANCEMENT AND TRANSPARENCY (BANAT) PARTY-LIST,


REPRESENTED BY SALVADOR B. BRITANICO v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

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G.R. No. 177508, August 07, 2009, CARPIO, J.

It is settled that every statute is presumed to be constitutional. The presumption is that the legislature
intended to enact a valid, sensible and just law.

Facts:

Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) Party List filed a
petition for prohibition with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order or a writ of
preliminary injunction, assailing the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 9369 (RA 9369)and enjoining
respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) from implementing the statute. BANAT also assails the
constitutionality of Sections 34, 37, 38, and 43 of RA 9369.

Issues:

1. Whether o RA 9369 violates Section 26(1), Article VI of the Constitution.


2. Whether Sections 37 and 38 violate Section 17, Article VI and Paragraph 7, Section 4, Article VII of
the Constitution.
3. Whether Section 43 violates Section 2(6), Article IX-C of the Constitution.
4. Whether Section 34 violates Section 10, Article III of the Constitution.

Ruling:

1. NO. It is settled that every statute is presumed to be constitutional. The presumption is that the
legislature intended to enact a valid, sensible and just law. Those who petition the Court to declare a law
unconstitutional must show that there is a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not merely a
doubtful, speculative or argumentative one; otherwise, the petition must fail.

The constitutional requirement that "every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one
subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof" has always been given a practical rather than a technical
construction. The requirement is satisfied if the title is comprehensive enough to include subjects related to
the general purpose which the statute seeks to achieve. The title of a law does not have to be an index of its
contents and will suffice if the matters embodied in the text are relevant to each other and may be inferred
from the title. Moreover, a title which declares a statute to be an act to amend a specified code is sufficient
and the precise nature of the amendatory act need not be further stated.

2. NO. In the present case, Congress and the COMELEC en banc do not encroach upon the jurisdiction of
the PET and the SET. There is no conflict of jurisdiction since the powers of Congress and the COMELEC en
banc, on one hand, and the PET and the SET, on the other, are exercised on different occasions and for
different purposes. The PET is the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications
of the President or Vice President. The SET is the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns,
and qualifications of members of the Senate. The jurisdiction of the PET and the SET can only be invoked once
the winning presidential, vice presidential or senatorial candidates have been proclaimed. On the other hand,
under Section 37, Congress and the COMELEC en banc shall determine only the authenticity and due
execution of the certificates of canvass. Congress and the COMELEC en banc shall exercise this power before
the proclamation of the winning presidential, vice presidential, and senatorial candidates.

3. NO. It is clear that the grant of the "exclusive power" to investigate and prosecute election offenses to
the COMELEC was not by virtue of the Constitution but by BP 881, a legislative enactment. If the intention of
the framers of the Constitution were to give the COMELEC the "exclusive power" to investigate and prosecute
election offenses, the framers would have expressly so stated in the Constitution. They did not.

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4. NO. Section 34 would still be constitutional because the law was enacted in the exercise of the police
power of the State to promote the general welfare of the people. We agree with the COMELEC that the role of
poll watchers is invested with public interest. In fact, even petitioner concedes that poll watchers not only
guard the votes of their respective candidates or political parties but also ensure that all the votes are
properly counted. Ultimately, poll watchers aid in fair and honest elections. Poll watchers help ensure that the
elections are transparent, credible, fair, and accurate. The regulation of the per diem of the poll watchers of
the dominant majority and minority parties promotes the general welfare of the community and is a valid
exercise of police power.

COMMISSION ON AUDIT

CALTEX PHILIPPINES, INC. v. THE HONORABLE COMMISSION ON AUDIT, HONORABLE COMMISSIONER


BARTOLOME C. FERNANDEZ and HONORABLE COMMISSIONER ALBERTO P. CRUZ
G.R. No. 92585, May 8, 1992, DAVIDE, JR., J.

There can be no doubt, however, that the audit power of the Auditor General under the 1935
Constitution and the Commission on Audit under the 1973 Constitution authorized them to
disallow illegal expenditures of funds or uses of funds and property. Our present Constitution retains that same
power and authority, further strengthened by the definition of the COA's general jurisdiction in Section 26 of the
Government Auditing Code of the Philippines and Administrative Code of 1987.

Facts:

COA sent a letter to Caltex Philippines, Inc. (CPI) directing it to remit to the Oil Price Stabilization
Fund (OPSF) its collection, excluding that unremitted for the years 1986 and 1988, of the additional tax on
petroleum products authorized under the aforesaid Section 8 of P.D. No. 1956 which amounted to
P335,037,649.00 and informing it that, pending such remittance, all of its claims for reimbursement from the
OPSF shall be held in abeyance. COA sent another demand letter with a grand total of P1,287,668,820.00.
Caltex requested the COA for an early release of its reimbursement certificates from the OPSF covering claims
with the Office of Energy Affairs since June 1987 up to March 1989 but COA denied. Caltex submitted a letter
of proposal to pay which was granted but prohibiting petitioner from further offsetting remittances and
reimbursements for the current and ensuing years. Caltex filed an MR. Unsatisfied with the decision, Caltex
filed the present petition.

Issue:

Whether the Constitution gives the COA discretionary power to disapprove irregular or unnecessary
government expenditures.

Ruling:

YES. There can be no doubt, however, that the audit power of the Auditor General under the 1935
Constitution and the Commission on Audit under the 1973 Constitution authorized them to
disallow illegal expenditures of funds or uses of funds and property. Our present Constitution retains that
same power and authority, further strengthened by the definition of the COA's general jurisdiction in Section
26 of the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines and Administrative Code of 1987. Pursuant to its
power to promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations for the prevention of irregular,
unnecessary, excessive or extravagant expenditures or uses of funds, the COA promulgated on 29 March
1977 COA Circular No. 77-55. Since the COA is responsible for the enforcement of the rules and regulations, it
goes without saying that failure to comply with them is a ground for disapproving the payment of the
proposed expenditure.

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DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, JESUS P. ESTANISLAO, DOLORES A. SANTIAGO, LYNN H.


CATUNCAN, NORMA O. TERREL, MA. ANTONIA G. REBUENO v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT
G.R. No. 88435, January 16, 2002,CARPIO, J.

The clear and unmistakable conclusion from a reading of the entire Section 2 is that the COA’s power to
examine and audit is non-exclusive. On the other hand, the COA’s authority to define the scope of its audit,
promulgate auditing rules and regulations, and disallow unnecessary expenditures is exclusive.

Facts:

Philippine government obtained from the World Bank an Economic Recovery Loan of US$310
million. As a condition for granting the loan, the World Bank required the Philippine government to
rehabilitate the DBP. Philippine government sent the World Bank a letter assuring the World Bank that
pursuant to Central Bank Circular No. 1124, “all Banks, including government banks, shall be fully audited by
external independent auditors in addition to that provided by the Commission on Audit.” The new COA
Chairman, Eufemio Domingo protested the Central Bank’s issuance of Circular No. 1124 which allegedly
encroached upon the COA’s constitutional and statutory power to audit government agencies. DBP Chairman
wrote the COA Chairman for an MR but it was denied. COA en banc also denied. DBP filed this petition for
review.

Issue:

Whether the COA has the sole and exclusive power to examine and audit government banks under
Section 2, Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution.

Ruling:

NO. The qualifying word “exclusive” in the second paragraph of Section 2 cannot be applied to the
first paragraph which is another sub-section of Section 2. A qualifying word is intended to refer only to the
phrase to which it is immediately associated, and not to a phrase distantly located in another paragraph or
sub-section. Thus, the first paragraph of Section 2 must be read the way it appears, without the word
“exclusive”, signifying that non-COA auditors can also examine and audit government agencies. Besides, the
framers of the Constitution intentionally omitted the word “exclusive” in the first paragraph of Section 2
precisely to allow concurrent audit by private external auditors.

The clear and unmistakable conclusion from a reading of the entire Section 2 is that the COA’s power
to examine and audit is non-exclusive. On the other hand, the COA’s authority to define the scope of its audit,
promulgate auditing rules and regulations, and disallow unnecessary expenditures is exclusive.

Manifestly, the express language of the Constitution, and the clear intent of its framers, point to only
one indubitable conclusion - the COA does not have the exclusive power to examine and audit government
agencies. The framers of the Constitution were fully aware of the need to allow independent private audit of
certain government agencies in addition to the COA audit, as when there is a private investment in a
government-controlled corporation, or when a government corporation is privatized or publicly listed, or as
in the case at bar when the government borrows money from abroad.

PHILIPPINE SOCIETY FOR THEPREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT


G.R. No. 169752, September 25, 2007, AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.

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The fact that a private corporation is impressed with public interest does not make the entity a public
corporation subject to the audit authority of the Commission on Audit.

Facts:

The Philippine Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA) was incorporated as a
juridical entity over one hundred years ago by virtue of Act No. 1285at the time it was created, was composed
of animal aficionados and animal propagandists. The objects of PSPCA, as stated in Section 2 of its charter,
shall be to enforce laws relating to cruelty inflicted upon animals or the protection of animals in the
Philippines and generally, to do and perform all things which may tend in any way to alleviate the suffering of
animals and promote their welfare. On December 1, 2003, an audit team from respondent COA visited the
office of the petitioner to conduct an audit survey addressed to the PSPCA. The petitioner demurred on the
ground that it was a private entity not under the jurisdiction of COA.
Issue:

Whether PSPCA is subject to COA’s jurisdiction.

Ruling:

NO. COA shall have the power, authority, and duty to examine, audit, and settle all accounts owned or
held in trust by, or pertaining to the Government, or any of its subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities,
including government-owned and controlled corporations with original charters, and on a post-audit basis:
(a) constitutional bodies, commissions and officers that have been granted fiscal autonomy under the
Constitution; (b) autonomous state colleges and universities; (c) other government-owned or controlled
corporations and their subsidiaries; and (d) such non-governmental entities receiving subsidy or equity,
directly or indirectly, from or through the government, which are required by law or the granting institution
to submit to such audit as a condition of subsidy or equity.

However on the case at hand, PSPCA is not an agency of the government. The mere fact that a
corporation has been created by a special law doesn’t necessarily qualify it as a public corporation. At the
time PSPCA was formed, the Philippine Bill of 1902 was the applicable law and no proscription similar to the
charter test can be found therein. Moreover, PSPCA’s charter shows that it is not subject to control or
supervision by any agency of the State. The fact that a private corporation is impressed with public interest
does not make the entity a public corporation. They may be considered quasi-public corporations which are
private corporations that render public service, supply public wants and pursue other exemplary objectives.

LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT


G.R. Nos. 89679-81, September 28, 1990, MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.

The power to compromise or release claims or liabilities of banking institutions, is not limited to the
COA, although commercial banks granted with such authority may still be subjected to COA’s general audit
jurisdiction.

Facts:

Pursuant to Resolution No. 80-222, the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), through its Loan
Executive Committee, waived the penalty charges in the amount of P9,636.36 on the loan of Home Savings
Bank and Trust Company (HSBTC), a thrift banking institution organized under Philippine laws. The LBP
asserts that it has the power to condone penalties being a commercial bank clothed with authority to exercise
all the general powers mentioned in the Corporation Law and the General Banking Act. COA, on the other
hand, maintains that such power is exclusively vested in the Commission pursuant to Section 36 of Pres.
Decree No. 1445, or the Government Auditing Code.

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Issue:

Whether LBP is authorized to release claims or liabilities in whole or in part.

Ruling:

YES. LBP was created as a body corporate and government instrumentality to provide timely and
adequate financial support in all phases involved in the execution of needed agrarian reform under RA 3844.
Section 75 of its Charter also authorizes it to exercise the general powers mentioned in the General Banking
Act including writing-off loans and advances with an outstanding amount of one hundred thousand pesos or
more. Thus, that LBP is a unique and specialized banking institution, not an ordinary government agency
within the scope of Section 36 of P.D. No 1445.
However, LBP is still subject to COA's general audit jurisdiction under Sec 26 of P.D. No. 1445, to see
to it that the fiscal responsibility that rests directly with the head of the government agency has been
properly and effectively discharged.

THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT


G.R. No. 101976, January 29, 1993, NARVASA, C.J.,J.

COA is vested with the power, authority and duty to examine, audit and settle all accounts pertaining to
the expenditures or uses of funds owned by, or pertaining to, the Government or any of its subdivisions, agencies,
or instrumentalities.

Facts:

Tirso B. Savellano furnished the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) with a confidential affidavit of
information denouncing the National Coal Authority (NCA) and the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC)
for non-payment of taxes totalling P234 Million on interest earnings. BIR Commissioner Bienvenido Tan, Jr.
recommended to the Minister of Finance payment to petitioner Savellano of an informer's reward equivalent
to 15% of the amount of P15,986,165.00. COA disllowed in audit the payment of informer's reward to
Savellano on the ground that payment of an informer's reward under Section 281 of the National Internal
Revenue Code is conditioned upon the actual recovery or collection of revenues, and no such revenue or
income was actually realized, since two government agencies were involved. Under Sec 90, the final
determination by the Department of Finance, through the recommendation of the BIR, of petitioner
Savellano's entitlement to the informer's reward is conclusive only upon the executive agencies concerned.

Issue:

Whether the final determination made by the Finance Department can bind respondent COA or
foreclose its review.

Ruling:

NO. The exercise by respondent COA of its general audit power is among the constitutional
mechanisms that give life to the check-and-balance system inherent in a republican form of government such
as ours. Taken in this light, such exercise cannot be regarded as an unlawful or unwarranted invasion of, or
interference with, the authority and power of the executive agency concerned to determine whether or not a
person is entitled to a reward provided by law and the amount thereof. Under Art IX-D, not only is the COA
vested with the power and authority, but it is also charged with the duty, to examine, audit and settle all
accounts pertaining to the expenditures or uses of funds owned by, or pertaining to, the Government or any

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of its subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities. The disallowance in audit by respondent COA is not in itself
final. The same may be set aside and nullified by this Court, if done with grave abuse of discretion.

FELIX UY, ROMAN CAGATIN, JAMES ENGUITO et al., v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT


G.R. No. 130685, March 21, 2000, PUNO, J.

The audit authority of COA is intended to prevent irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or
unconscionable expenditures, or uses of government funds and properties, therefore it cannot disallow the
necessary payment of the Provincial Government of its liabilities.

Facts:

Petitioners were among the more than sixty permanent employees of the Provincial Engineering
Office, Province of Agusan del Sur, who were dismissed from the service by then Governor Ceferino S.
Paredes, Jr. when the latter assumed office, allegedly to scale down the operations. However, the COA ruled
that payment of their back salaries and other money benefits became the personal liability of former
Governor Ceferino Paredes Jr. and not of the Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur.

Issue:

Whether the COA can disallow the payment of backwages of illegally dismissed employees by the
Provincial Government.

Ruling:

NO. The audit authority of COA is intended to prevent irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant
or unconscionable expenditures, or uses of government funds and properties. Payment of backwages to
illegally dismissed government employees can hardly be described as irregular, unnecessary, excessive,
extravagant or unconscionable. The exercise of the power to decide administrative cases involving
expenditure of public funds involves the quasi-judicial aspect of government audit. This pertains to the
examination, audit, and settlement of all debts and claims of any sort due from or owing to the Government or
any of its subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities. Its work as adjudicator of money claims for or against
the government means the exercise of judicial discretion. It includes the investigation, weighing of evidence,
and resolving whether items should or should not be included, or as applied to claim, whether it should be
allowed or disallowed in whole or in part. Its conclusions are not mere opinions but are decisions which may
be elevated to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party.

GUALBERTO J. DELA LLANA v. THE CHAIRPERSON, COMMISSION ON AUDIT, THE EXECUTIVE


SECRETARY and THE NATIONAL TREASURER
G. R. No. 180989, February 7, 2012, SERENO, J.

The conduct of a pre-audit is not a mandatory duty of COA. COA has the exclusive authority to define the
scope of its audit and examination.

Facts:

The COA issued Circular No. 82-195, lifting the system of pre-audit of government financial
transactions, albeit with certain exceptions. After the change in administration due to the February 1986
revolution, grave irregularities and anomalies in the government’s financial transactions were uncovered.
Hence, the COA issued Circular No. 86-257, which reinstated the pre-audit of selected government

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transactions. Thereafter, COA issued a series of circulars which lifted and again reinstated the pre-audit of
government transactions of national government agencies (NGAs) and government-owned or -controlled
corporations (GOCCs).In the interregnum, Gualberto dela Llana wrote to the COA regarding the
recommendation of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food that the Department of Agriculture set up
an internal pre-audit service. Gualberto alleges that the pre-audit duty on the part of the COA cannot be lifted
by a mere circular, considering that pre-audit is a constitutional mandate enshrined in Section 2 of Article IX-
D of the 1987 Constitution.

Issue:

Whether the pre-audit of government transactions is the duty of COA, that cannot be lifted by a mere
circular.

Ruling:

No. There is nothing in Sec 2 of Art IX-D that requires the COA to conduct a pre-audit of all
government transactions and for all government agencies. The only clear reference to a pre-audit
requirement is found in Sec 2, par 1, which provides that a post-audit is mandated for certain government or
private entities with state subsidy or equity and only when the internal control system of an audited entity is
inadequate. In such a situation, the COA may adopt measures, including a temporary or special pre-audit, to
correct the deficiencies. Hence, the conduct of a pre-audit is not a mandatory duty that this Court may compel
the COA to perform. This discretion on its part is in line with the constitutional pronouncement that the COA
has the exclusive authority to define the scope of its audit and examination.

ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS

ABAKADA GURO PARTY LISTOFFICERSv. HON. CESAR V. PURISIMA, HON. GUILLERMO L. PARAYNO, JR.
and HON. ALBERTO D. LINA
G.R. No. 166715, August 14, 2008, CORONA, J.

A system of incentives for exceeding the set expectations of a public office is not anathema to the
concept of public accountability.

Facts:

RA 9335 or the Attrition Act of 2005 was enacted to optimize the revenue-generation capability and
collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC).The law intends to
encourage BIR and BOC officials and employees to exceed their revenue targets by providing a system of
rewards and sanctions through the creation of a Rewards and Incentives Fundand a Revenue Performance
Evaluation Board. The petitioner challenge the constitutionality of RA 9335, contending that by establishing a
system of rewards and incentives, the law transforms the officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC into
mercenaries and bounty hunters as they will do their best only in consideration of such rewards. Thus, the
system of rewards and incentives invites corruption and undermines the constitutionally mandated duty of
these officials and employees to serve the people with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency.

Issue:

Whether the implementation of RA 9335 runs counter to the concept of public accountability.

Ruling:

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NO. Petitioners’ claim is not only without any factual and legal basis but is also purely speculative.
Public officers enjoy the presumption of regularity in the performance of their duties. This presumption
necessarily obtains in favor of BIR and BOC officials and employees. The presumption is disputable but proof
to the contrary is required to rebut it. It cannot be overturned by mere conjecture especially in this case
where it is an underlying principle to advance a declared public policy. Public service is its own reward.
Nevertheless, public officers may by law be rewarded for exemplary and exceptional performance. A system
of incentives for exceeding the set expectations of a public office is not anathema to the concept of public
accountability. In fact, it recognizes and reinforces dedication to duty, industry, efficiency and loyalty to
public service of deserving government personnel.

CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES, IN HER CAPACITY AS THE OMBUDSMAN v. COURT OF APPEALS (SIXTH
DIVISION) AND JEJOMAR ERWIN S. BINAY, JR.,
G.R. Nos. 217126-27, November 10, 2015, PERLAS-BERNABE, J.

The condonation doctrine is abandoned, for being inconsistent with the concept of public office as a
public trust and the corollary requirement of accountability to the people at all times.

Facts:

A complaint for Plunder and violation of RA 3019 or the the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act was
filed before the Office of the Ombudsman against Jejomar Erwin S. Binay, Jr. and other public officers and
employees of the City Government of Makati in connection with the five phases of the procurement and
construction of the Makati City Hall Parking Building. Primarily, Binay, Jr. argued that he could not be held
administratively liable since Phases I and II were undertaken before he was elected Mayor of Makati in 2010
and Phases III to V transpired during his first term. Binay Jr assails and that his re-election as City Mayor of
Makati for a second term effectively condoned his administrative liability, if any, thus rendering the
administrative cases against him moot and academic. Binay Jr. added that in view of the condonation doctrine
his suspension from office would undeservedly deprive the electorate of his services.

Issue:

Whether or not the condonation doctrine can be applied to pardon a public official’s administrative
liability.

Ruling:

NO. Condonation is a victim's express or implied forgiveness of an offense, especially by treating the
offender as if there had been no offense. It is a jurisprudential creation that originated from the 1959 case of
Pascual v. Hon. Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija. The decision in Pascual was based on American authorities
who argued that when the people have elected a man to office, it must be assumed that they did this with
knowledge of his life and character, and that they disregarded or forgave his faults or misconduct, if he had
been guilty of any.

However, the doctrine of condonation is actually bereft of legal bases. The concept of public office is a
public trust and the corollary requirement of accountability to the people at all times, as mandated under the
Constitution, is plainly inconsistent with the condonation doctrine. Election is not a mode of condoning an
administrative offense. Furthermore, Sec 40 (b) of the LGC precludes condonation since, an elective local
official who is meted with the penalty of removal could not be re-elected to an elective local position due to a
direct disqualification from running for such post. Also, it cannot be inferred from Section 60 of the LGC that
the grounds for discipline enumerated therein cannot anymore be invoked against an elective local official to
hold him administratively liable once he is re-elected to office. In addition, it is contrary to human experience

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that the electorate would have full knowledge of a public official's misdeeds. Thus, there could be no
condonation of an act that is unknown.

However, the abandonment of the condonation doctrine should be prospective in application for the
reason that judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution, until reversed, shall form
part of the legal system of the Philippines.

MAYOR FRANCISCO LECAROZ v. SANDIGANBAYAN


G.R. No. 56384.March 22, 1984, RELOVA, J.

Sandiganbayan has jurisdictional competence not only over criminal and civil cases involving graft and
corrupt practices committed by public officers and employees but also over other crimes committed by them in
relation to their office, though not involving graft and corrupt practices.

Facts:

Francisco Lecaroz was charged with the crime of grave coercion when he allegedly took over the
operation and control of the gasoline station owned by Pedro Par, to sell the gasoline therein to the public.
The information was amended with the insertion of the phrase "by ordering his policemen companions"
between the words "Pedro Par" and "to sell the gasoline.” Lecaroz claimed that offense of grave coercion is
not among those mentioned or determined by Section 4(c), P.D. No. 1486 or the Act Creating the
Sandiganbayan.

Issue:

Whether the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over cases not involving graft and corrupt practices
committed by public officers.

Ruling:

Yes. Under Section 5, Article XIII of the Constitution, Sandiganbayan has jurisdictional competence
not only over criminal and civil cases involving graft and corrupt practices committed by public officers and
employees but also over other crimes committed by them in relation to their office, though not involving graft
and corrupt practices, as may be determined by law. The intention of the framers of the Constitution is patent
from the explicit language thereof as well as from Section 1 of the same Article XIII on Accountability of Public
Officers. On the case at hand, the original and amended information clearly alleged that petitioner took
advantage of his position as mayor when he intimidated the gasoline station’s owner in taking over the
operation and control of the establishment, ordering his policemen to sell the gasoline therein and padlocking
the dispensing pump thereof without legal authority. Stated differently, if petitioner were not the mayor he
would not have allegedly directed the policeman and the latter would not have followed his orders and
instructions to sell Pedro Par’s gasoline and padlocked the station

MIGUEL CUENCOv.HON. MARCELO B. FERNAN


A.M. No. 3135, February 17, 1988, PER CURIAM

Members of the Supreme Court may be removed from office only by impeachment and not through
disbarment during the Member’s incumbency.

Facts:

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Vito Borromeo died without any forced heirs, but instituted Fortunate, Tomas and Amelia Borromeo,
under a will, as the sole heirs. The probate court rendered a Decision declaring the will to be a forgery. That
decision became final after being affirmed by the Supreme Court. Atty. Miguel Cuenco ordered the disbarment
of Mr. Justice Marcelo B. Fernan, Chairman of the Third Division of the Supreme Court. Miguel alleges that
Justice Fernan despite having already accepted his appointment as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
continued to be counsel for the instituted heirs. Moreover, Miguel asserted that Justice Fernan exerted
personal efforts to take away from the Supreme Court en banc, the First and Second Divisions of the Tribunal,
the Vito Borromeo proceedings to his Office as Chairman of the Third Division to enable him to influence the
decision or the outcome of the Vito Borromeo proceedings.

Issue:

Whether Justice Fernan as member of the Supreme Court, can be disbarred.

Ruling:

No. The charges against Mr. Justice Fernan were completely unsupported by the facts and evidence of
record. There was nothing in the record to indicate that Mr. Justice Fernan had appeared as counsel in such
proceedings representation of instituted heir. The record reveals that Mr. Justice Fernan withdrew as such
counsel. It is entirely clear that Mr. Justice Fernan's professional involvement in the Special Proceedings had
ceased long before his appointment to the Supreme Court in April of 1986. Moreover, Mr. Justice Fernan
inhibited himself from participating in the deliberations on the Vito Borromeo estate cases and, in fact, did
not take part in the resolution thereon. Consequently, Members of the Supreme Court must, under Article VIII
(7) (1) of the Constitution, be members of the Philippine Bar and may be removed from office only by
impeachment as provided under Article XI [2] of the Constitution. To grant a complaint for disbarment of a
Member of the Court during the Member's incumbency, would in effect be to circumvent and hence to ran
afoul of the constitutional mandate that Members of the Court may be removed from office only by
impeachment for and conviction of certain offenses listed in Article XI (2) of the Constitution. Precisely the
same situation exists in respect of the Ombudsman, a majority of the members of the Commission on
Elections and the members of the Commission on audit who are not certified public accountants all of whom
are constitutionally required to be members of the Philippine Bar.

OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN v. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS AND FORMER DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN
FOR THE VISAYAS ARTURO C. MOJICA
G.R. No. 146486, March 4, 2005, CHICO-NAZARIO, J.

The list of impeachable officials under the Constitution is exclusive and it excludes the Deputy
Ombudsman.

Facts:

Officials and employees of the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas, led by its two
directors, filed a formal complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman requesting an investigation on Arturo
Mojica, then Deputy Ombudsman who allegedly committed offenses including sexual harassment, forfeiture
of money from confidential employees and oppression against employees. The Ombudsman directed his Fact-
Finding and Intelligence Bureau (FFIB) to conduct a verification and fact-finding investigation. The FFIB
report was referred by the Ombudsman to a constituted Committee of Peers. The Committee of Peers initially
recommended that the investigation be converted into one solely for purposes of impeachment. However,
this recommendation was denied by the Ombudsman after careful study that the Deputy Ombudsmen and
The Special Prosecutor are not removable through impeachment.

Issue:

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Whether the Deputy Ombudsman is an impeachable officer.

Ruling:

NO. Sec 2, Art XI of the Constitution provides the list of impeachable officers namely the President,
Vice-President, Members of the Supreme Court, Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the
Ombudsman. The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission reveal that the term Ombudsman refers to
the person and not to the office. Therefore only the Ombudsman may be removed through impeachment,
excluding his deputies. Moreover, the leading legal luminaries of the Constitution agree that the list under Sec
2 is exclusive and may not be increased or reduced by legislative enactment. The power to impeach is
essentially a non-legislative prerogative and can be exercised by the Congress only within the limits of the
authority conferred upon it by the Constitution. This authority may not be expanded by the grantee itself
even if motivated by the desire to strengthen the security of tenure of other officials of the government.

ERNESTO B. FRANCISCO, JR.,NAGMAMALASAKIT NA MGA MANANANGGOL NG MGA MANGGAGAWANG


PILIPINO, INC., ITS OFFICERS AND MEMBERS, WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE
PHILIPPINES, INC.v.THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, REPRESENTED BY SPEAKER JOSE G. DE
VENECIA, THE SENATE, REPRESENTED BY SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. DRILON,
REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO C. TEODORO, JR. AND REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B.
FUENTEBELLA, JAIME N. SORIANO
SENATOR AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL
G.R. No. 160261, November 10, 2003, CARPIO MORALES, J.

Judicial review is indeed an integral component of the delicate system of checks and balances which,
together with the corollary principle of separation of powers, forms the bedrock of our republican form of
government and insures that its vast powers are utilized only for the benefit of the people for which it serves.

Facts:

Former President Estrada filed an the first impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G.
Davide Jr. (CJ Davide) for culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of the public trust and other high
crimes. The House Committee on Justice ruled that the first impeachment complaint was sufficient in form,
but voted to dismiss the same for being insufficient in substance.

Four months after the dismissal of the first complaint, the second impeachment complaint was filed
by Representatives Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. and Felix William B. Fuentebella against CJ Davide, Jr. founded on
the alleged results of the investigation, in aid of legislation, on the manner of disbursements and expenditures
by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF).

The instant petitions arose against the House of Representatives, et. al., most of which contend that
the filing of the second impeachment complaint is unconstitutional as it violates the provision of Section 5 of
Article XI of the Constitution that "no impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official
more than once within a period of one year."

Issue:

Whether the power of judicial review extends to those arising from impeachment proceedings.

Ruling:

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YES. As reflected above, petitioners plead for this Court to exercise the power of judicial review to
determine the validity of the second impeachment complaint.

This Court's power of judicial review is conferred on the judicial branch of the government in Section
1, Article VIII of our present 1987 Constitution which states that the judicial power shall be vested in one
Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. Judicial power includes 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
jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government.

The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in our system of government. The Constitution
has provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the
various departments of the government and the judiciary in turn, with the Supreme Court as the final arbiter,
effectively checks the other departments in the exercise of its power to determine the law, and hence to
declare executive and legislative acts void if violative of the Constitution.

Finally, there exists no constitutional basis for the contention that the exercise of judicial review over
impeachment proceedings would upset the system of checks and balances. Verily, the Constitution is to be
interpreted as a whole and one section is not to be allowed to defeat another. Both are integral components of
the calibrated system of independence and interdependence that insures that no branch of government act
beyond the powers assigned to it by the Constitution.

Consequently, the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. which
was filed by Representatives Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. and Felix William B. Fuentebella with the Office of the
Secretary General of the House of Representatives on October 23, 2003 is barred under paragraph 5, section
3 of Article XI of the Constitution.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

MA. MERCEDITAS N. GUTIERREZ v. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE, RISA


HONTIVEROS-BARAQUEL,FELICIANO BELMONTE, JR.et al.
G.R. No. 193459, February 15, 2011, CARPIO MORALES, J.

It bears stressing that, unlike the process of inquiry in aid of legislation where the rights of witnesses are
involved, impeachment is primarily for the protection of the people as a body politic, and not for the punishment
of the offender.

Facts:

Respondents Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, Danilo Lim, and spouses Felipe and Evelyn Pestaño
(Baraquel group) filed an impeachment complaint against Ma. Merceditas Gutierrez. Also, respondents
Renato Reyes, Jr., Mother Mary John Mananzan, Danilo Ramos, Edre Olalia, Ferdinand Gaite and James Terry
Ridon (Reyes group) filed another impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Gutierrez.

During its plenary session, the House of Representatives simultaneously referred both complaints to
the public respondent HOR Committee on Justice. After hearing, public respondent, through two separate
Resolutions, found both complaints sufficient in form and in substance which both allege culpable violation of
the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.

Petitioner Gutierrez, challenges via petition for certiorari and prohibition the Resolutions of the
House of Representatives Committee on Justice. Respondents raise the impropriety of the remedies of
certiorari and prohibition. They argue that public respondent was not exercising any judicial, quasi-judicial or
ministerial function in taking cognizance of the two impeachment complaints as it was exercising a political
act that is discretionary in nature.

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Issue:

Whether HOR Committee on Justice committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
of jurisdiction in issuing its two assailed Resolutions.

Ruing:

NO. Petitioner alleges that public respondent’s chairperson, Representative NielTupas, Jr. (Rep.
Tupas), is the subject of an investigation she is conducting, while his father, former Iloilo Governor Niel
Tupas, Sr., had been charged by her with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act before the
Sandiganbayan. To petitioner, the actions taken by her office against Rep. Tupas and his father influenced the
proceedings taken by public respondent in such a way that bias and vindictiveness played a big part in
arriving at the finding of sufficiency of form and substance of the complaints against her.

The Court finds petitioner’s allegations of bias and vindictiveness bereft of merit, there being hardly
any indication thereof. Mere suspicion of partiality does not suffice. The act of the head of a collegial body
cannot be considered as that of the entire body itself.

The determination of sufficiency of form and substance of an impeachment complaint is an exponent


of the express constitutional grant of rule-making powers of the House of Representatives which committed
such determinative function to public respondent. In the discharge of that power and in the exercise of its
discretion, the House has formulated determinable standards as to the form and substance of an
impeachment complaint. Prudential considerations behoove the Court to respect the compliance by the
House of its duty to effectively carry out the constitutional purpose, absent any contravention of the
minimum constitutional guidelines.

In another vein, petitioner, pursuing her claim of denial of due process, questions the lack of or, more
accurately, delay in the publication of the Impeachment Rules. Public respondent counters that
"promulgation" in this case refers to "the publication of rules in any medium of information, not necessarily in
the Official Gazette or newspaper of general circulation."

Promulgation must thus be used in the context in which it is generally understood—that is, to make
known. Generalia verba sunt generaliter inteligencia. What is generally spoken shall be generally understood.
Between the restricted sense and the general meaning of a word, the general must prevail unless it was
clearly intended that the restricted sense was to be used.

Since the Constitutional Commission did not restrict "promulgation" to "publication," the former
should be understood to have been used in its general sense. It is within the discretion of Congress to
determine on how to promulgate its Impeachment Rules, in much the same way that the Judiciary is
permitted to determine that to promulgate a decision means to deliver the decision to the clerk of court for
filing and publication. Publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation is but one
avenue for Congress to make known its rules.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

CHIEF JUSTICE RENATO C. CORONA v. SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES sitting as an IMPEACHMENT


COURT, BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, PHILIPPINE SAVINGS BANK, ARLENE "KAKA" BAG-AO,
GIORGIDI AGGABAO, MARILYN PRIMICIAS-AGABAS, NIEL TUPAS, RODOLFO FARINAS, SHERWIN
TUGNA, RAUL DAZA, ELPIDIO BARZAGA, REYNALDO UMALI, NERI COLMENARES (ALSO KNOWN AS THE
PROSECUTORS FROM THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES)
G.R. No. 200242, July 17, 2012, VILLARAMA, JR., J.

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Given their concededly political character, the precise role of the judiciary in impeachment cases is a
matter of utmost importance to ensure the effective functioning of the separate branches while preserving the
structure of checks and balance in our government. Moreover, in this jurisdiction, the acts of any branch or
instrumentality of the government, including those traditionally entrusted to the political departments, are
proper subjects of judicial review if tainted with grave abuse or arbitrariness.

Facts:

A caucus was held by the majority bloc of the House of Representatives (HOR) during which a
verified complaint for impeachment against Chief Justice Renato Corona (CJ Corona) was submitted by the
leadership of the Committee on Justice. On the same day, the complaint was voted in session and 188
Members signed and endorsed it. The complaint was transmitted to the Senate which convened as an
impeachment court the following day.

CJ Corona received a copy of the complaint charging him with culpable violation of the Constitution,
betrayal of public trust and graft and corruption. On January 16, 2012, the Senate, acting as an Impeachment
Court, commenced trial proceedings against CJ Corona.

CJ Corona filed with the SC a petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for immediate
issuance of TRO and writ of preliminary injunction assailing the impeachment case initiated by the Members
of the HOR and trial being conducted by Senate. Senate contends that unless there is a clear transgression of
these constitutional limitations, this Court may not exercise its power of expanded judicial review over the
actions of Senator-Judges during the proceedings.

Issue:

Whether the certiorari jurisdiction of this Court may be invoked to assail matters or incidents arising
from impeachment proceedings, and to obtain injunctive relief for alleged violations of right to due process of
the person being tried by the Senate sitting as Impeachment Court.

Ruling:

YES. Impeachment, described as the most formidable weapon in the arsenal of democracy, was
foreseen as creating divisions, partialities and enmities, or highlighting pre-existing factions with the greatest
danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real
demonstrations of innocence or guilt. Our own Constitution’s provisions on impeachment were adopted from
the US Constitution. CJ Corona was impeached through the mode provided under Art. XI, par. 4, Sec. 3, in a
manner that he claims was accomplished with undue haste and under a complaint which is defective for lack
of probable cause.

In the first impeachment case decided by this Court, Francisco, Jr. v. Nagmamalasakit na mga
Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino, Inc., the Court ruled that the power of judicial review in this
jurisdiction includes the power of review over justiciable issues in impeachment proceedings. Subsequently,
in Gutierrez v. House of Representatives Committee on Justice, the Court resolved the question of the validity
of the simultaneous referral of two impeachment complaints against petitioner Ombudsman which was
allegedly a violation of the due process clause and of the one-year bar provision.

In the meantime, the impeachment trial had been concluded with the conviction of CJ Corona by
more than the required majority vote of the Senator-Judges. Petitioner immediately accepted the verdict and
without any protest vacated his office. Unarguably, the constitutional issue raised by CJ Corona had been
mooted by supervening events and his own acts. An issue or a case becomes moot and academic when it
ceases to present a justiciable controversy so that a determination thereof would be without practical use and

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value. In such cases, there is no actual substantial relief to which the petitioner would be entitled to and
which would be negated by the dismissal of the petition.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN (Fifth Division) and EFREN L.
ALAS
G.R. Nos. 147706-07, February 16, 2005, CORONA, J.

The Court ruled that the concerned officers of government-owned or controlled corporations, whether
created by special law or formed under the Corporation Code, come under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan
for purposes of the provisions of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Facts:

Two separate informationsf or violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019were filed with the Sandiganbayan
against Efren Alas (Alas) for the alleged anomalous advertising contracts entered into by Alas, in his capacity
as President and COO of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PPSB), with Bagong Buhay Publishing Company
which caused damage and prejudice to the government.

Alas filed a motion to quash the informations for lack of jurisdiction. The Sandiganbayan ruled that
PPSB was a private corporation and that its officers did not fall under Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction. The
records disclosed that while PPSB is a subsidiary of the Philippine Postal Corporation which is a GOCC, the
same is not created by a special law. It was organized and incorporated under the Corporation Code.

The People, through the OSP, contends that in further defining the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan,
RA 8249 did not make a distinction as to the manner of creation of the GOCC for their officers to fall under its
jurisdiction. Hence, being President and COO of the PPSB at the time of commission of the crimes charged,
Alas came under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.

Issue:

Whether the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of
government-owned or controlled corporations organized and incorporated under the Corporation Code for
purposes of the provisions of RA 3019.

Ruling:

YES. PPSB fits the bill as a government-owned or controlled corporation, and organized and
incorporated under the Corporation Code as a subsidiary of the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHILPOST).
More than 99% of the authorized capital stock of PPSB belongs to the government while the rest is nominally
held by its incorporators who are/were themselves officers of PHILPOST.

It is not disputed that the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over presidents, directors or trustees, or
managers of government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters whenever charges of graft
and corruption are involved. However, a question arises whether the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the
same officers in government-owned or controlled corporations organized and incorporated under the
Corporation Code in view of the delimitation provided for in Article IX-B Section 2(1) of the 1987 Constitution
which states that the Civil Service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the
government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters.

It should be pointed out however, that the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan is separate and distinct
from the Civil Service Commission. The same is governed by Article XI, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution

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which provides that the present anti-graft court known as the Sandiganbayan shall continue to function and
exercise its jurisdiction as now or hereafter may be provided by law.

On March 30, 1995, Congress, pursuant to its authority vested under the 1987 Constitution, enacted
RA 7975 maintaining the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over presidents, directors or trustees, or
managers of government-owned or controlled corporations without any distinction whatsoever. The
legislature, in mandating the inclusion of presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned
or controlled corporations within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, has consistently refrained from
making any distinction with respect to the manner of their creation.

The deliberate omission, in Court’s view, clearly reveals the intention of the legislature to include the
presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of both types of corporations within the jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan whenever they are involved in graft and corruption. Had it been otherwise, it could have
simply made the necessary distinction. But it did not. Corollarily, Article XI Section 12 of the 1987
Constitution, on the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman (the government’s prosecutory arm against persons
charged with graft and corruption), includes officers and employees of government-owned or controlled
corporations, likewise without any distinction.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION


G.R. No. 159940, February 16, 2005, CARPIO-MORALES, J.

It bears emphasis that that under P.D. No 807, Sec. 9 (h) which authorizes the CSC to approve
appointments to positions in the civil service, except those specified therein, its authority is limited only to
determine whether or not the appointees possess the legal qualifications and the appropriate eligibility, nothing
else.

Facts:

The CSC approved the Qualification Standards for several positions in the Office of the Ombudsman
including that for Graft Investigation Officer III. The Career Executive Service Board (CESB) advised the
Ombudsman that the position of Graft Investigation Officer IIIwas classified as a Career Executive Service
(CES) position, hence, governed by the rules of the CES pertaining to eligibility, appointment to CES ranks,
and performance evaluation.

Melchor Arthur H. Carandang (Carandang), Paul Elmer M. Clemente (Clemente) and Jose Tereso U. de
Jesus, Jr (De Jesus) were temporarily appointed Graft Investigation Officers III of the Ombudsman. The CSC
approved the appointments on the condition that for the appointees to acquire security of tenure, they must
obtain Civil Service Executive (CSE) eligibility. It appears that Carandang and Clemente were conferred with
CSE Eligibility.

Ombudsman subsequently reclassified several positions, including Graft Investigation Officer III
which was reclassified to Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer III. With respect to the reclassified Graft
Investigation and Prosecution Officer III position, the Qualification Standards were the same as those for Graft
Investigation Officer III.

The CSC issued the questioned resolution changing the status of Carandang’s and Clemente’s
appointments to permanent, but not with respect to De Jesus on the ground that he has not met the eligibility
requirements. The questioned resolution provided that a Graft Investigation Officer III position is a career
service position requiring a CSE Eligibility. Considering that De Jesus has not met the eligibility requirement,
the change of status of his appointment from temporary to permanent cannot be effected.

Issue:

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Whether the of CSC can constitutionally and validly restrict the specific discretionary power of
appointment, including the grant of security of tenure, by the Ombudsman as an independent constitutional
body in favor of the latter’s own officials.

Ruling:

NO. The positions subject of the present case are unique and highly technical in nature, as are those
of the Judiciary. A person occupying the position of Graft Investigation Officer III is not, however, appointed
by the President but by the Ombudsman as provided in Article IX of the Constitution which states that the
officials and employees of the ombudsman, other than the deputies, shall be appointed by the ombudsman
according to the civil service law.

To classify the position of Graft Investigation Officer III as belonging to the CES and require an
appointee thereto to acquire CSE eligibility before acquiring security of tenure would be absurd as it would
result either in 1) vesting the appointing power for said position in the President, in violation of the
Constitution; or 2) including in the CES a position not occupied by a presidential appointee, contrary to the
Administrative Code.

It is not disputed that, except for his lack of CSE eligibility, De Jesus possesses the basic qualifications
of a Graft Investigation Officer III, as provided in the Qualification Standards. Such being the case, the CSC has
the ministerial duty to grant the request of the Ombudsman that appointment be made permanent effective
December 18, 2002. To refuse to heed the request is a clear encroachment on the discretion vested solely on
the Ombudsman as appointing authority. It goes without saying that the status of the appointments of
Carandang and Clemente, who were conferred CSE eligibility pursuant to CSC Resolution No. 03-0665 dated
June 6, 2003, should be changed to permanent effective December 18, 2002 too.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

EMILIO A. GONZALES IIIv.OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES, acting through and
represented by EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR., SENIOR DEPUTY EXECUTIVE
SECRETARY JOSE AMOR M. AMORANDO, Officer in Charge, Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for
Legal Affairs, ATTY. RONALDO A. GERON, DIR. ROWENA TURINGAN-SANCHEZ, and ATTY. CARLITOD.
CATAYONG
G.R. No. 196231, September 4, 2012, PERLAS-BERNABE, J.

In giving the President the power to remove a Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor, Congress
simply laid down in express terms an authority that is already implied from the President's constitutional
authority to appoint the aforesaid officials in the Office of the Ombudsman.

Facts:

G.R. No. 196231

P/S Insp. Rolando Mendoza (Mendoza), and four others were charged criminally and
administratively for Grave Misconduct. Petitioner Emilio A. Gonzales III (Gonzales) requested all relevant
documents and evidence in relation to said case to the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for appropriate
administrative adjudication. Upon the recommendation of Gonzales, a decision in the administrative case
finding Mendoza and his fellow police officers guilty of Grave Misconduct was approved by the Ombudsman
with the penalty of dismissal from the service.

Mendoza and his fellow police officers filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the foregoing Decision.
The motion remained pending for final review and action when P/S Insp. Mendoza hijacked a bus-load of

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foreign tourists on that fateful day of August 23, 2010 in a desperate attempt to have himself reinstated in the
police service.

Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) found that Deputy Ombudsman Gonzales
committed serious and inexcusable negligence and gross violation of their own rules of procedure by
allowing Mendoza's motion for reconsideration to languish for more than nine months without any
justification. The inaction is gross, considering there is no opposition thereto. The prolonged inaction
precipitated the desperate resort to hostage-taking.

The Office of the President issued a resolution, after due investigation, finding Deputy Ombudsman
Gonzales guilty of Gross Neglect of Duty and Grave Misconduct constituting betrayal of public trust, and
meted out the penalty of dismissal from service.

G.R. No. 196232

Major General Carlos F. Garcia and his family were charged with Plunder and Money Laundering
before the Sandiganbayan. The government, represented by petitioner Special Prosecutor Wendell Barreras-
Sulit (Barreras-Sulit), sought the Sandiganbayan's approval of a Plea Bargaining Agreement entered into with
the accused. The Sandiganbayan approved the Plea Bargaining Agreement.

The House of Representatives' Committee on Justice conducted public hearings on the Plea
Bargaining Agreement which in effect recommended to the President the dismissal of petitioner Barreras-
Sulit from the service and the filing of appropriate charges.

The Office of the President initiated an investigation against petitioner Barreras-Sulit. In her written
explanation, petitioner raised the defenses of prematurity and the lack of jurisdiction of the OP with respect
to the administrative disciplinary proceeding against her.

Issue:

Whether the Office of the President has jurisdiction to exercise administrative disciplinary power
over a Deputy Ombudsman and a Special Prosecutor who belong to the constitutionally-created Office of the
Ombudsman.

Ruling:

YES. It is a basic canon of statutory construction that in interpreting a statute, care should be taken
that every part thereof be given effect, on the theory that it was enacted as an integrated measure and not as a
hodge-podge of conflicting provisions. A construction that would render a provision inoperative should be
avoided; instead, apparently inconsistent provisions should be reconciled whenever possible as parts of a
coordinated and harmonious whole. Otherwise stated, the law must not be read in truncated parts. Every part
thereof must be considered together with the other parts, and kept subservient to the general intent of the
whole enactment.

A harmonious construction of these two apparently conflicting provisions in R.A. No. 6770 leads to
the inevitable conclusion that Congress had intended the Ombudsman and the President to exercise
concurrent disciplinary jurisdiction over petitioners as Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor,
respectively. This sharing of authority goes into the wisdom of the legislature, which prerogative falls beyond
the pale of judicial inquiry.

Indubitably, the manifest intent of Congress in enacting both provisions - Section 8(2) and Section 21
- in the same Organic Act was to provide for an external authority, through the person of the President, that
would exercise the power of administrative discipline over the Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor

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without in the least diminishing the constitutional and plenary authority of the Ombudsman over all
government officials and employees. Such legislative design is simply a measure of "check and balance"
intended to address the lawmakers' real and valid concern that the Ombudsman and his Deputy may try to
protect one another from administrative liabilities.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

GEORGE UYv. SANDIGANBAYAN, OMBUDSMAN and ROGER C. BERBANO, SR., Special Prosecution
Officer III, Office of the Special Prosecutor
G.R. Nos. 105965-70, August 9, 1999, PARDO, J.

It can be deduced from provisions of law that both the nature of the offense and the position occupied by
the accused are conditions sine qua non before the Sandiganbayan can validly take cognizance of the case.

Facts:

George Uy (Uy) was Deputy Comptroller of the Philippine Navy and has the authority is to sign
disbursement vouchers relative to the procurement of equipment needed by the Philippine Navy. Six
informations for estafa through falsification of official documents and one information for violation of Section
3 (e), R.A. No. 3019, were filed with the Sandiganbayan against petitioner Uy and 19 co-accused.

The Special Prosecutor Desierto recommended that the informations for estafa through falsification
of official documents be withdrawn and, in lieu thereof, informations for violation of Section 3 (e) of R. A. No.
3019, as amended, be filed against five accused including the petitioner Uy.

Petitioner Uy filed with the Sandiganbayan a motion to quash the informations on the grounds that the
Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over the offense charged or the person of the accused, the facts charged do
not constitute an offense and more than one offense is charged. The Sandiganbayan denied petitioner Uy's
motion to quash for lack of merit.

Issue:

Whether the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the subject criminal cases or the person of
petitioner Uy.

Ruling:

NO. The Court rules that the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over petitioner, at the time of the
filing of the informations, and as now prescribed by law. RA No. 8249, the latest amendment to P. D.
1606 creating the Sandiganbayan, provides the prevailing scope of the Sandiganbayan's jurisdiction.

The pertinent portions of Section 4 of the Sandiganbayan Law states that the Sandiganbayan shall
exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving; a. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as
amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II,
Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are officials
occupying the following positions in the government, whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity, at
the time of the commission of the offense: xxx (d.) Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and
all officers of higher rank.

In the instant case, while petitioner Uy is charged with violation of Section 3(e) of R. A. No. 3019, as
amended, which is an offense covered by Section 4 of the Sandiganbayan Law, his position as Lieutenant
Commander of the Philippine Navy is a rank lower than "naval captains and all officer of higher rank" as
prescribed under sub-paragraph (d) of Section 4.

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Thus, not falling within the "rank" requirement stated in Section 4, exclusive jurisdiction over
petitioner is vested in the regular courts pursuant to the provision of Section 4 of the Sandiganbayan Law, as
amended by R.A. No. 8249, which states that "In cases where none of the accused are occupying positions
corresponding to Salary Grade "27" or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or military and
PNP officers mentioned above, exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper regional
trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, and municipal circuit trial court, as the case may be,
pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended.

In this connection, it is the prosecutor, not the Ombudsman, who has the authority to file the
corresponding information/s against petitioner Uy in the regional trial court. The Ombudsman exercises
prosecutorial powers only in cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

RENATO A. TAPIADOR v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN and ATTY. RONALDO P. LEDESMA


G.R. No. 129124, March 15, 2002, DE LEON, JR., J.

Under Section 13, subparagraph (3), of Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, the Ombudsman can only
"recommend" the removal of the public official or employee found to be at fault, to the public official concerned.

Facts:

Walter Beck (Beck), a U.S. citizen, filed a complaint-affidavit against the Renato Tapiador (Tapiador),
a BID Special Investigator, with the BID Resident Ombudsman alleging that Tapiador demanded and received
from herP10, 000.00 in exchange for the issuance of an alien certificate of registration (ACR) which was
subsequently withheld by Tapiadorunless Beck pay an additional P7, 000.00. Tapiador denied that he
demanded nor received any amount of money from Beck in consideration for the issuance of Beck’s ACR.

BID Resident Ombudsman found Tiapador liable for violating civil service rules and penal laws and
thus, recommended that criminal and administrative charges be filed against the Tapiador.The Ombudsman
dismissed the criminal charge for lack of evidence but found Tapiador liable for grave misconduct and
imposed the penalty of dismissal from the government service.

Issue:

Whether or not the Ombudsman erred in finding Tapiadorliable for grave misconduct and imposing
the penalty of dismissal from the government service.

Ruling:

YES. In administrative proceedings, the complainant has the burden of proving, by substantial
evidence, the allegations in the complaint. Substantial evidence does not necessarily import preponderance of
evidence as is required in an ordinary civil case; rather, it is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind
might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.

Notably, the instant administrative complaint was resolved by the Ombudsman merely on the basis
of the evidence extant in the record of OMB-ADM-0-94-0983. The preliminary conference required under
Republic Act No. 6770was dispensed with after the nominal complainant. Consequently, the only basis for the
questioned resolution of the Ombudsman dismissing the petitioner from the government service was the
unverified complaint-affidavit of Walter H. Beck and that of his alleged witness, PurisimaTerencio.

A thorough review of the records, however, showed that the subject affidavits of Beck and Terencio
were not even identified by the respective affiants during the fact-finding investigation conducted by the BID
Resident Ombudsman at the BID office in Manila. Neither did they appear during the preliminary

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investigation to identify their respective sworn statements despite prior notice before the investigating
officer who subsequently dismissed the criminal aspect of the case upon finding that the charge against the
petitioner "was not supported by any evidence". Hence, Beck's affidavit is hearsay and inadmissible in
evidence. On this basis alone, the Administrative Adjudication Bureau of the Office of the Ombudsman should
have dismissed the administrative complaint against Tapiador in the first instance.

Nonetheless, a perusal of the affidavit executed by Walter Beck does not categorically state that it
was petitioner Tapiador who personally demanded from Beck the amount of P10,000.00 in consideration for
the issuance of the latter's ACR. Walter Beck could have easily stated in his affidavit that he paid the said
amount directly to Tapiador if it were indeed the latter who actually received the same, but he did not. This
significant omission in his affidavit is fatal in establishing the alleged administrative liability of the petitioner.

The complainant clearly failed to present the quantum of proof necessary to prove the charge in the
subject administrative case, that is, with substantial evidence. Besides, assuming arguendo, that Tapiador was
administratively liable, the Ombudsman has no authority to directly dismiss Tapiador from the government
service, more particularly from his position in the BID.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

EDGARDO V. ESTARIJA v. EDWARD F. RANADA and the Honorable OMBUDSMAN Aniano A. Desierto
(now succeeded by Hon. Simeon Marcelo), and his Deputy OMBUDSMAN for Mindanao, Hon. Antonio E.
Valenzuela
G. R. No. 159314, June 26, 2006, QUISUMBING, J.

Rep. Act No. 6770 provides for the functional and structural organization of the Office of the
Ombudsman. In passing Rep. Act No. 6770, Congress deliberately endowed the Ombudsman with the power to
prosecute offenses committed by public officers and employees to make him a more active and effective agent of
the people in ensuring accountability in public office. Moreover, the legislature has vested the Ombudsman with
broad powers to enable him to implement his own actions.

Facts:

Edward Ranada, a member of the Davao Pilots Association, Inc. (DPAI) and Davao Tugboat and Allied
Services, Inc., (DTASI) filed an administrative complaint for Gross Misconduct before the Office of the
Ombudsman-Mindanao, against petitioner Captain Edgardo V. Estarija (Estarija), who as Harbor Master,
issues the necessary berthing permit for all ships that dock in the Davao Port.

NBI caught Estarija in possession of the P5, 000 marked money used by the NBI to entrap Estarija for
his alleged extortion activities. Estarija denied demanding money for the approval of berthing permits. The
Ombudsman issued a decision in the administrative case finding Estarija guilty of dishonesty and grave
misconduct imposed the penalty of dismissal from the service with forfeiture of all leave credits and
retirement benefits.

Estarija questioned the penalty of dismissal imposed upon him with the CA claiming that dismissal
was unconstitutional since the Ombudsman did not have direct and immediate power to remove government
officials, whether elective or appointive, who are not removable by impeachment. He maintains that under
the 1987 Constitution, the Ombudsman’s administrative authority is merely recommendatory, and that
Republic Act No. 6770, otherwise known as "The Ombudsman Act of 1989", is unconstitutional because it gives
the Office of the Ombudsman additional powers that are not provided for in the Constitution. The CA
dismissed the petition and affirmed the Ombudsman’s decision.

Issue:

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Whether the power of the Ombudsman to directly remove, suspend, demote, fine or censure erring
officials is constitutional.

Ruling:

YES. When the issue of unconstitutionality of a legislative act is raised, the Court may exercise its
power of judicial review only if the following requisites are present: (1) an actual and appropriate case and
controversy; (2) a personal and substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional question; (3) the
exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional question raised is
the very lismota of the case.

In Ledesma v. Court of Appeals, the Court held that Rep. Act No. 6770 is consistent with the intent of
the framers of the 1987 Constitution. Thus, in addition to the power of the Ombudsman to prosecute and
conduct investigations, the lawmakers intended to provide the Ombudsman with the power to punish for
contempt and preventively suspend any officer under his authority pending an investigation when the case so
warrants. He was likewise given disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials of the
government and its subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies except members of Congress and the
Judiciary.The Court also held in Ledesma that the statement in Tapiador v. Office of the Ombudsman that made
reference to the power of the Ombudsman is, at best, merely an obiter dictum and cannot be cited as a
doctrinal declaration of this Court.

Lastly, the Constitution gave Congress the discretion to give the Ombudsman other powers and
functions. Thus, the Constitution does not restrict the powers of the Ombudsman in Section 13, Article XI of
the 1987 Constitution, but allows the Legislature to enact a law that would spell out the powers of the
Ombudsman. Through the enactment of Rep. Act No. 6770, specifically Section 15, par. 3, the lawmakers gave
the Ombudsman such powers to sanction erring officials and employees, except members of Congress, and
the Judiciary.To conclude, the Court holds that Sections 15, 21, 22 and 25 of Republic Act No. 6770 are
constitutionally sound. The powers of the Ombudsman are not merely recommendatory. His office was given
teeth to render this constitutional body not merely functional but also effective. Thus, the Court rules that
under Republic Act No. 6770 and the 1987 Constitution, the Ombudsman has the constitutional power to
directly remove from government service an erring public official other than a member of Congress and the
Judiciary.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

BONIFACIO SANZ MACEDA, Presiding Judge, Branch 12, Regional Trial Court, Antique v. HON.
OMBUDSMAN CONRADO M. VASQUEZ AND ATTY. NAPOLEON A. ABIERA
G.R. No. 102781, April 22, 1993, NOCON, J.

Article VIII, section 6 of the 1987 Constitution exclusively vests in the Supreme Court administrative
supervision over all courts and court personnel, from the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals down to the
lowest municipal trial court clerk. By virtue of this power, it is only the Supreme Court that can oversee the
judges' and court personnel's compliance with all laws, and take the proper administrative action against them
if they commit any violation thereof. No other branch of government may intrude into this power, without
running afoul of the doctrine of separation of powers.

Facts:

Respondent Napoleon Abiera (Abeira) of the Public Attorney's Office filed his affidavit-complaint
before the Office of the Ombudsman, alleging that Judge Bonifacio Sanz Maceda (Maceda) had falsified his
Certificate of Service by certifying "that all civil and criminal cases which have been submitted for decision or
determination for a period of 90 days have been determined and decided on or before January 31, 1998,"
when no decision had been rendered in five civil and ten criminal cases that have been submitted for
decision.

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Judge Maceda contends that he had been granted by this Court an extension of 90 days to decide the
cases and that the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over said case despite this Court's ruling in Orap vs.
Sandiganbayan, since the offense charged arose from the judge's performance of his official duties, which is
under the control and supervision of the Supreme Court.

Issue:

Whether the Office of the Ombudsman could entertain a criminal complaint for the alleged
falsification of a judge's certification submitted to the Supreme Court.

Ruling:

NO. The Court disagrees with the first Part of Judge Maceda’s basic argument. There is nothing in the
decision in Orap that would restrict it only to offenses committed by a judge unrelated to his official duties. A
judge who falsifies his certificate of service is administratively liable to the Supreme Court for serious
misconduct and inefficiency under Section 1, Rule 140 of the Rules of Court, and criminally liable to the State
under the Revised Penal Code for his felonious act.

However, the Court agrees with Judge Maceda that in the absence of any administrative action taken
against him by this Court with regard to his certificates of service, the investigation being conducted by the
Ombudsman encroaches into the Court's power of administrative supervision over all courts and its
personnel, in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers.

The Ombudsman cannot justify its investigation of Jude Macedaon the powers granted to it by the
Constitution, for such a justification not only runs counter to the specific mandate of the Constitution granting
supervisory powers to the Supreme Court over all courts and their personnel, but likewise undermines the
independence of the judiciary.

Thus, the Ombudsman should first refer the matter of petitioner's certificates of service to this Court
for determination of whether said certificates reflected the true status of his pending case load, as the Court
has the necessary records to make such a determination. The Ombudsman cannot compel this Court, as one of
the three branches of government, to submit its records, or to allow its personnel to testify on this matter, as
suggested by Abiera in his affidavit-complaint.

In fine, where a criminal complaint against a Judge or other court employee arises from their
administrative duties, the Ombudsman must defer action on said complaint and refer the same to this Court
for determination whether said Judge or court employee had acted within the scope of their administrative
duties.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

JUDGE JOSE CAOIBES, JR. v. OMBUDSMAN and JUDGE FLORENTINO ALUMBRES


G.R. No. 132177, July 19, 2001, BUENA, J.

Under Section 6, Article VIII of the Constitution, it is the SC which is vested with exclusive administrative
supervision over all courts and its personnel. The Ombudsman cannot determine for itself and by itself whether a
criminal complaint against a judge, or court employee, involves an administrative matter. The Ombudsman is
duty bound to have all cases against judges and court personnel filed before it, referred to the SC for
determination as to whether an administrative aspect is involved therein.

Facts:

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Alumbres filed before the Ombudsman, 2 complaints, the 2 nd one being an administrative case
against Caoibes Jr., praying for his dismissal from the judiciary. Caoibes Jr. filed an Ex-Parte Motion for
Referral to the SC and contended that the SC, not the Ombudsman, has the authority to make a preliminary
determination of their respective culpability, both being members of the bench, are under its exclusive
supervision and control. Ombudsman denied and invoked Sec 15(1) of RA 6770. MR denied, hence a petition
for certiorari was filed.

Issue:

Whether the Ombudsman should defer action on the case before it, pending the resolution of the
administrative case.

Ruling:

YES. Section 15(1) of RA 6770 grants the powers and duties to the Ombudsman. The provisions
supply the legal basis for the Ombudsman in maintaining its jurisdiction over the charges of physical injuries,
malicious mischief and assault upon a person in authority filed by Alumbres against Caoibes Jr. This
conclusion seems to be reinforced by Section 16 which states that the powers of the Ombudsman apply to all
kinds of malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance committed by public officers and employees during their
tenure or office.

But it appears that the present case involves two members of the judiciary who were entangled in a
fight within court premises over a piece of office furniture. Under Section 6, Article VIII of the Constitution, it
is the SC which is vested with exclusive administrative supervision over all courts and its personnel. The
Ombudsman cannot determine for itself and by itself whether a criminal complaint against a judge, or court
employee, involves an administrative matter. The Ombudsman is duty bound to have all cases against judges
and court personnel filed before it, referred to the SC for determination as to whether an administrative
aspect is involved therein. This rule should hold true regardless of whether an administrative case based on
the act subject of the complaint before the Ombudsman is already pending with the Court. For, aside from the
fact that the Ombudsman would not know of this matter unless he is informed of it, he should give due
respect for and recognition of the administrative authority of the Court, because in determining whether an
administrative matter is involved, the Court passes upon not only administrative liabilities but also other
administrative concerns.

The Ombudsman cannot dictate to, and bind the Court, to its findings that a case before it does or
does not have administrative implications. To do so is to deprive the Court of the exercise of its
administrative prerogatives and to arrogate unto itself a power not constitutionally sanctioned. This is a
dangerous policy which impinges, as it does, on judicial independence. By virtue of its constitutional power of
administrative supervision over all courts and court personnel, from the Presiding Justice of the CA down to
the lowest MTC clerk, it is only the SC that can oversee the judges’ and court personnel’s compliance with all
laws, and take the proper administrative action against them if they commit any violation thereof. No other
branch of government may intrude into this power, without running afoul of the doctrine of separation of
powers.

JUAN GALLANOSA FRIVALDO v. COMELEC AND THE LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES, SORSOGON


CHAPTER, REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT, SALVADOR NEE ESTUYE
G.R. No. 87193, June 23, 1989, CRUZ, J.

Article XI, Section 9, of the Constitution: all public officials and employees owe the State and the
Constitution "allegiance at all times". Under CA 473 and PD 725, Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by
direct act of Congress, by naturalization, or by repatriation.

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Facts:

Frivaldo was proclaimed governor-elect of Sorsogon and assumed office in due time. The League filed
with COMELEC a petition for the annulment of Frivaldo’s election and proclamation on the ground that he
was not a Filipino citizen, having been naturalized in the US. Frivaldo admitted that he was naturalized but
pleaded the special and affirmative defenses that he had sought American citizenship only to protect himself
against Marcos..

Issue:

Whether Frivaldo was a citizen of the Philippines at the time of his election as provincial governor of
Sorsogon.

Ruling:

NO. Article XI, Section 9, of the Constitution: all public officials and employees owe the State and the
Constitution "allegiance at all times". Sec 42 of the LGC: a candidate for local elective office must be inter alia a
citizen of the Philippines and a qualified voter of the constituency where he is running. Sec 117 of the OEC: a
qualified voter must be, among other qualifications, a citizen of the Philippines, this being an indispensable
requirement for suffrage.

The SC cannot agree that as a consequence thereof he was coerced into embracing American
citizenship. His feeble suggestion that his naturalization was not the result of his own free and voluntary
choice is totally unacceptable and must be rejected outright.There were many other Filipinos in the US
similarly situated as Frivaldo, and some of them subject to greater risk than he, who did not find it necessary
nor do they claim to have been coerced to abandon their cherished status as Filipinos. They did not take the
oath of allegiance to the US, unlike Frivaldo who solemnly declared "on oath, that I absolutely and entirely
renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty of whom
or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen," meaning in his case the Republic of the Philippines. The
martyred Ninoy Aquino heads the impressive list of those Filipinos in exile who, unlike Frivaldo, held fast to
their Philippine citizenship despite the perils of their resistance to the Marcos regime. If he really wanted to
disavow his American citizenship and reacquire Philippine citizenship, he should have done so in accordance
with the laws of our country. Under CA 473 and PD 725, Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by direct
act of Congress, by naturalization, or by repatriation.

It does not appear that Frivaldo has taken these categorical acts. He contends that by simply filing his
certificate of candidacy he had, without more, already effectively recovered Philippine citizenship. But that is
hardly the formal declaration the law envisions surely, Philippine citizenship previously disowned is not that
cheaply recovered. If the Special Committee had not yet been convened, what that meant simply was that
Frivaldo had to wait until this was done, or seek naturalization by legislative or judicial proceedings.

MATEO CAASI v. CA and MERITO C. MIGUEL


G.R. No. 88831, November 8, 1990, GRIÑO-AQUINO, J.

To be qualified to run for elective office, the law requires that the candidate who is a green card holder
must have waived his status as a permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country. His act of filing a COC
for elective office in the Philippines, did not of itself constitute a waiver of his status as a permanent resident or
immigrant of the US. The waiver of his green card should be manifested by some act or acts independent of and
done prior to filing his candidacy for elective office. Without such prior waiver, he was disqualified to run for any
elective office.

Facts:

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Under dispute is the disqualification under Section 68 of the OEC of Miguel for the position of
municipal mayor of Bolinao on the ground that he is a green card holder, hence, a permanent resident of the
USA. Miguel admitted that he holds a green card issued to him by the US Immigration Service, but he denied
that he is a permanent resident of the US. He allegedly obtained the green card for convenience in order that
he may freely enter the US for his periodic medical examination and to visit his children there. COMELEC
dismissed the petitions. RTC denied the MD. CA ordered RTC to dismiss and desist from the quo warranto
case.

Issue:

Whether Miguel is disqualified to hold the position of municipal mayor of Bolinao.

Ruling:

YES. “Section 68 of the OEC: Any person who is a permanent resident of or an immigrant to a foreign
country shall not be qualified to run for any elective office under this Code, unless said person has waived his
status as permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country in accordance with the residence requirement
provided for in the election laws.” In the "Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration", Miguel's
answer to Question 21 therein regarding his "Length of intended stay", was," Permanently."On its face, the
green card that was subsequently issued to Miguel identifies him in clear bold letters as a RESIDENT ALIEN.
Miguel's immigration to the US constituted an abandonment of his domicile and residence in the Philippines.
Based on that application of his, he was issued by the US the requisite green card or authority to reside there
permanently.

“To be qualified to run for elective office, the law requires that the candidate who is a green card
holder must have waived his status as a permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country. Therefore, his
act of filing a COC for elective office in the Philippines, did not of itself constitute a waiver of his status as a
permanent resident or immigrant of the US. The waiver of his green card should be manifested by some act or
acts independent of and done prior to filing his candidacy for elective office in this country. Without such
prior waiver, he was disqualified to run for any elective office.” Miguel's said application and his possession of
a green card attesting to such status are conclusive proof that he is a permanent resident of the US despite his
occasional visits to the Philippines. The waiver of such immigrant status should be as indubitable as his
application for it. Absent clear evidence that he made an irrevocable waiver of that status or that he
surrendered his green card before he ran for mayor of Bolinao in the local elections, our conclusion is that he
was disqualified to run for said public office, hence, his election thereto was null and void.

PRESIDENTIAL AD HOC FACT-FINDING COMMITTEE ON BEHEST LOANS, MAGTANGGOL GUNIGUNDO


and ORLANDO SALVADOR v. HON. ANIANO DESIERTO; JOSE OSIAS; PACIFICO MARCOS; EDUARDO
ROMUALDEZ; FERNANDO and JUANITO ORDOVEZA
G.R. No. 130140, October 25, 1999, DAVIDE, JR., C.J.

Behest loans are part of the ill-gotten wealth which Marcos and his cronies accumulated and which the
Government through the PCGG seeks to recover. Besides, even assuming ex gratia that the right to file criminal
charges against Osias, et. al. is prescriptible, the prescriptive period should be counted from the discovery of the
crimes charged, and not from the date of their commission.

Facts:

President Ramos issued AO no. 13, creating the Committee. The Committee reported that the PSI of
which Osias, et. al. were the Directors, was one of the 21 corporations which obtained behest loans. Through
Salvador, the Committee filed a sworn complaint against the Directors of PSI. The Ombudsman dismissed the

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complaint on the ground of prescription and relied on the ruling in People v. Dinsay(CA 40 O.G., 12th Supp.,
50): the questioned transactions were evidenced by public instruments and were thus open for the perusal of
the public, the prescriptive period commenced to run from the time of the commission of the crime, not from
the discovery thereof.

Issue:

Whether the Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion in holding that the offenses with
which Osias, et. al. were charged had already prescribed.

Ruling:

YES. Behest loans are part of the ill-gotten wealth which Marcos and his cronies accumulated and
which the Government through the PCGG seeks to recover. Besides, even assuming ex gratia that the right to
file criminal charges against Osias, et. al. is prescriptible, the prescriptive period should be counted from
the discovery of the crimes charged, and not from the date of their commission. The ruling in Dinsay is not
applicable to the case at bar. First, it is a decision of CA. Second, it involved a prosecution for
estafa. Third, Dinsay involved private parties, while the instant case involves the Government and public
officers. Fourth, the ruling is not absolute.

Since the law alleged to have been violated, i.e., paragraphs (e) and (g) of Sec 3, RA 3019, is a special
law, the applicable rule in the computation of the prescriptive period is Sec 2 of Act No. 3326. This simply
means that if the commission of the crime is known, the prescriptive period shall commence to run on the day
it was committed.

In the present case, it was well-nigh impossible for the State, the aggrieved party, to have known the
violations at the time the questioned transactions were made because, as alleged, the public officials
concerned connived or conspired with the beneficiaries of the loans. Thus, we agree with the Committee that
the prescriptive period should be computed from the discovery of the commission thereof and not from the
day of such commission.The Ombudsman’s reliance on Dinsay is misplaced. The estafa committed by the
accused was known to the offended party from the very start; hence, it could even be said that the
commission and the discovery of the offense were simultaneous. Since the computation of the prescriptive
period for the filing of the criminal action should commence from the discovery of the offense, the
Ombudsman clearly acted with grave abuse of discretion in dismissing outright the case. It should have first
received the evidence to resolve the case on its merits and on the issue of the date of discovery of the offense.

ILUMINADO URBANO and MARCIAL ACAPULCO v. FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ, RAMON BARCELONA and AMY
LAZARO-JAVIER
G.R. No. 87977, March 19, 1990, GANCAYCO, J.

This Court held that once an information is filed against the public official, the OSG can no longer
represent the said official in the litigation. The anomaly in this paradigm becomes obvious when, in the event of a
judgment of conviction, the case is brought on appeal to the appellate courts. The OSG, as the appellate counsel
of the People of the Philippines, is expected to take a stand against the accused. More often than not, it does.
Accordingly, there is a clear conflict of interest here, and one which smacks of ethical considerations.

Facts:

Chavez caused to be published certain defamatory imputations against Urbano. Chavez was the
counsel of the PCGG and a Solicitor General(Solgen). By way of a Motion seeking the disqualification of the
OSG to act as counsel of Solgen Chavez, Urbano manifested that he is suing the Solgen in his personal capacity

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for acts which he committed beyond the scope of his authority and as such he cannot be represented by the
said Office in the civil suit instituted. RTC denied Urbano’s motion.

Issue:

Whether the OSG has the authority to appear for Solgen Chavez in the said civil suit for damages.

Ruling:

NO. This Court held that once an information is filed against the public official, the OSG can no longer
represent the said official in the litigation. The anomaly in this paradigm becomes obvious when, in the event
of a judgment of conviction, the case is brought on appeal to the appellate courts. The OSG, as the appellate
counsel of the People of the Philippines, is expected to take a stand against the accused. More often than not,
it does. Accordingly, there is a clear conflict of interest here, and one which smacks of ethical considerations,
where the OSG as counsel for the public official, defends the latter in the preliminary investigation stage of the
criminal case, and where the same office, as appellate counsel of the People of the Philippines, represents the
prosecution when the case is brought on appeal. This anomalous situation could not have been contemplated
and allowed by the law, its unconditional terms and provisions notwithstanding. It is a situation which cannot
be countenanced by the Court. Otherwise, if the Solgen who represents the state on appeal in criminal cases
can appear for the accused public official in a preliminary investigation, then by the same token a provincial
or city fiscal, his assistant or any government prosecutor who represents the People of the Philippines at the
preliminary investigation of a case up to the trial thereof can appear for an accused public official at the
preliminary investigation being conducted by another fiscal, prosecutor or municipal judge. The situation
would simply be scandalous, to say the least.

This observation should apply as well to a public official who is haled to court on a civil suit for
damages arising from a felony allegedly committed by him. Any pecuniary liability he may be held to account
for on the occasion of such civil suit is for his own account. The State is not liable for the same. A fortiori, the
OSG likewise has no authority to represent him in such a civil suit for damages.

HON. RICARDO T. GLORIA, in his capacity as Secretary of the DECS v. CA, AMPARO A. ABAD, VIRGILIA
M. BANDIGAS, ELIZABETH A. SOMEBANG and NICANOR MARGALLO
G.R. No. 131012, April 21, 1999, MENDOZA, J

Preventive suspension pending investigation, as already discussed, is not a penalty but only means of
enabling the disciplining authority to conduct an unhampered investigation. On the other hand, preventive
suspension pending appeal is actually punitive although it is in effect subsequently considered illegal if
respondent is exonerated and the administrative decision finding him guilty is reversed. Hence, he should be
reinstated with full pay for the period of the suspension.

Facts:

Abad, et. al. are public school teachers. They were administratively charged and placed under
preventive suspension. The investigation was concluded before the lapse of 90-day suspension and they were
found guilty as charged. Merit Systems and Protection Board(MSPB) found Margallo guilty and imposed on
him a six-month suspension and dismissed the appeal of the others. Civil Service Commission(CSC) affirmed
with respect to Margallo, but found the other three guilty only of violation of reasonable office rules and
regulation, by filing to file applications for leave of absence and, therefore, reduced the penalty imposed on
them to reprimand and ordered them reinstated to their former positions. CA affirmed but ruled that they
were entitled to the payment of salaries during their suspension beyond 90 days.

Issue:

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Whether Abad, et. al. were entitled to the payment of salaries during their suspension beyond 90
days.

Ruling:

YES. Preventive suspension pending investigation, as already discussed, is not a penalty but only
means of enabling the disciplining authority to conduct an unhampered investigation. On the other hand,
preventive suspension pending appeal is actually punitive although it is in effect subsequently considered
illegal if respondent is exonerated and the administrative decision finding him guilty is reversed. Hence, he
should be reinstated with full pay for the period of the suspension. Thus, respondent "shall be considered as
under preventive suspension during the pendency of the appeal in the event he wins." On the other hand, if
his conviction is affirmed, i.e., if he is not exonerated, the period of his suspension becomes part of the final
penalty of suspension or dismissal.

Sec. 47 of the present law providing that an administrative decision meting out the penalty of
suspension or dismissal shall be immediately executory and that if the respondent appeals he shall be
considered as being merely under preventive suspension if eventually he prevails is taken from P.D No. 807.
Nonetheless, under R.A. No. 2260 the payment of salaries was ordered in cases in which employees were
found to be innocent of the charges or their suspension was held to be unjustified, because the penalty of
suspension or dismissal was executed without a finding by the Civil Service Commissioner that it was
necessary "in the interest of the public service." On the other hand, payment of back salaries was denied
where it was shown that the employee concerned was guilty as charged and the immediate execution of the
decision was ordered by the Civil Service Commissioner "in the interest of the public service."To be entitled
to such compensation, the employee must not only be found innocent of the charges but his suspension must
likewise be unjustified. But through an employee is considered under preventive suspension during the
pendency of his appeal in the event he wins, his suspension is unjustified because what the law authorizes is
preventive suspension for a period not exceeding 90 days. Beyond that period the suspension is illegal.
Hence, the employee concerned is entitled to reinstated with full pay.

AMENDMENTS AND REVISIONS

MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, ALEXANDER PADILLA, and MARIA ISABEL ONGPIN v. COMELEC, JESUS
DELFIN, ALBERTO & CARMEN PEDROSA, as founding members of PIRMA
G.R. No. 127325, March 19, 1997, DAVIDE, JR., J.

Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution is not self-executory. While the Constitution has recognized
or granted that right, the people cannot exercise it if Congress, for whatever reason, does not provide for its
implementation. There is, of course, no other better way for Congress to implement the exercise of the right than
through the passage of a statute or legislative act. This is the essence or rationale of the last minute amendment
by the Constitutional Commission to substitute the last paragraph of Section 2 of Article XVII.

Facts:

Delfin filed with COMELEC a Petition to Amend the Constitution, to Lift Term Limits of Elective
Officials, by People's Initiative. The provisions sought to be amended are Sec 4 and 7 of Article VI, Sec 4 of
Article VII, and Sec 8 of Article X of the Constitution. Said Petition for Initiative will first be submitted to the
people, and after it is signed by at least 12% of the total number of registered voters in the country it will be
formally filed with the COMELEC. Hearing ensued. Santiago, et. al. filed this SCA for prohibition.

Issue:

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Whether RA no. 6735 which intended to include the system of initiative on amendments to the
Constitution is inadequate to cover that system.

Ruling:

YES. Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution is not self-executory. While the Constitution has
recognized or granted that right, the people cannot exercise it if Congress, for whatever reason, does not
provide for its implementation. There is, of course, no other better way for Congress to implement the
exercise of the right than through the passage of a statute or legislative act. This is the essence or rationale of
the last minute amendment by the Constitutional Commission to substitute the last paragraph of Section 2 of
Article XVII.

We agree that R.A. No. 6735 was, as its history reveals, intended to cover initiative to propose
amendments to the Constitution. But R.A. No. 6735 is not a full compliance with the power and duty of
Congress to provide for the implementation of the exercise of the right. First, Sec 2 of the Act does not suggest
an initiative on amendments to the Constitution. That section is silent as to amendments on the Constitution.
Initiative on the Constitution is confined only to proposals to AMEND. The people are not accorded the power
to "directly propose, enact, approve, or reject, in whole or in part, the Constitution" through the system
of initiative. They can only do so with respect to "laws, ordinances, or resolutions." Second, the Act does not
provide for the contents of a petition for initiative on the Constitution. It does not include, as among the
contents of the petition, the provisions of the Constitution sought to be amended, in the case of initiative on
the Constitution. Third,no subtitle is provided for initiative on the Constitution. This conspicuous silence
simply means that the main thrust of the Act is initiative and referendum on national and local laws. If
Congress intended it to fully provide for the implementation of the initiative on amendments to the
Constitution, it could have provided for a subtitle therefor, considering that in the order of things, the primacy
of interest, or hierarchy of values, the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution
is far more important than the initiative on national and local laws.

While R.A. No. 6735 exerted utmost diligence and care in providing for the details in the
implementation of initiative and referendum on national and local legislation thereby giving them special
attention, it failed, rather intentionally, to do so on the system of initiative on amendments to the
Constitution. There was, therefore, an obvious downgrading of the more important or the paramount system
of initiative. RA. No. 6735 thus delivered a humiliating blow to the system of initiative on amendments to the
Constitution by merely paying it a reluctant lip service. Thus, R.A. No. 6735 is incomplete, inadequate, or
wanting in essential terms and conditions insofar as initiative on amendments to the Constitution is
concerned. Its lacunae on this substantive matter are fatal and cannot be cured by "empowering" the
COMELEC "to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the Act.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

RAUL L. LAMBINO and ERICO B. AUMENTADO, TOGETHER WITH 6,327,952 REGISTERED VOTERS v.
COMELEC
G.R. No. 174153, October 25, 2006, CARPIO, J.

Two essential elements must be present: the people must author and sign the entire proposal and it
must be embodied in a petition. These are present only if the full text of the proposed amendments is first
shown to the people who express their assent by signing such complete proposal in a petition. Thus, an
amendment is "directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition" only if the people sign on a
petition that contains the full text of the proposed amendments.

Facts:

Lambino Group, commenced gathering signatures for an initiative petition to change the 1987
Constitution. They filed a petition with the COMELEC to hold a plebiscite that will ratify their initiative

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petition under Sec 5(b) and (c) and Sec 7 of RA No. 6735. They alleged that their petition had the support of
6,327,952 individuals constituting at least 12% of all registered voters, with each legislative district
represented by at least 3% of its registered voters. COMELEC denied the petition.

Issue:

Whether the Lambino Group's initiative petition complies with Section 2, Article XVII of the
Constitution.

Ruling:

NO. The framers intended that the "draft of the proposed constitutional amendment" should be
"ready and shown" to the people "before" they sign such proposal, before they sign there is already a draft
shown to them and that the people should sign on the proposal itself because the proponents must "prepare
that proposal and pass it around for signature."The essence of amendments "directly proposed by the people
through initiative upon a petition" is that the entire proposal on its face is a petition by the people. Two
essential elements must be present: the people must author and sign the entire proposal andit must be
embodied in a petition. These are present only if the full text of the proposed amendments is first shown to
the people who express their assent by signing such complete proposal in a petition. Thus, an amendment is
"directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition" only if the people sign on a petition that
contains the full text of the proposed amendments. The full text of the proposed amendments may be either
written on the face of the petition, or attached to it. If so attached, the petition must state such fact. This is an
assurance that every one of the several millions of signatories had seen the full text of the proposed
amendments before signing. Otherwise, it is physically impossible to prove.

The Lambino Group did not attach to their present petition, a copy of the paper that the people
signed as their initiative petition. The Lambino Group submitted a copy of a signature sheet after the oral
arguments. The signature sheet merely asks a question whether the people approve a shift from the
Bicameral-Presidential to the Unicameral-Parliamentary system of government. The signature sheet does not
show to the people the draft of the proposed changes before they are asked to sign the signature sheet.
Clearly, the signature sheet is not the "petition" that the framers of the Constitution envisioned when they
formulated the initiative clause in Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution.

Indeed, it is basic in American jurisprudence that the proposed amendment must be incorporated
with, or attached to, the initiative petition signed by the people. In the present initiative, the Lambino Group's
proposed changes were not incorporated with, or attached to, the signature sheets. The Lambino Group's
citation of Corpus Juris Secundum pulls the rug from under their feet. With only 100,000 printed copies of the
petition, it would be physically impossible for all or a great majority of the 6.3 million signatories to have seen
the petition before they signed the signature sheets. The inescapable conclusion is that the Lambino Group
failed to show to the 6.3 million signatories the full text of the proposed changes. If ever, not more than one
million signatories saw the petition before they signed the signature sheets.

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