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2) Constitutional protections

a) Constitutional status-Art. VIII Sec 2

ARTICLE VIII Instance of Tayabas.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law


library
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
During the course of the trial, defendant filed a motion praying that said
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to define, prescribe, and
court refrain from proceeding further in the case and from sentencing him,
apportion the jurisdiction of the various courts but may not deprive the
and that it disqualify itself in favor of the competent court, on the ground
Supreme Court of its jurisdiction over cases enumerated in Section 5 hereof.
that it was not legally constituted, because said Act No. 2347, which had
No law shall be passed reorganizing the Judiciary when it undermines the created it, was contrary to the Organic act of the Philippines and therefore
security of tenure of its Members. void, and said court and the judge presiding therein lacked jurisdiction to try
and decide the case and sentence him, because such jurisdiction belonged
i. EN BANC to the Court of First Instance of Tayabas, Seventh Judicial District, in which
G.R. No. L-10292 March 31, 1915 the complaint had been filed and which still existed in the province. This
motion was denied by the court, with exception on the part of the
EUSTAQUIO CONCHADA, Petitioner, vs. THE DIRECTOR OF defendant, and the trial was carried forward in the same court presided
PRISONS, Respondent. over by the Honorable Isidro Paredes, who, as has already been said,
Reyes and Millar and Mariano A. Albert for petitioner. rendered the said judgment of
Office of the Solicitor-General Corpus for respondent. conviction.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

ARAULLO, J.: Later the attorneys Reyes, Millar, and Albert, representing the said
Eustaquio Conchada, prayed this Supreme Court to issue a writ of habeas
On May 19, 1914, the provincial fiscal charged Eustaquio Conchada with the corpus to the Director of Prisons to compel him to produce said defendant
crime of murder in the Court of First Instance of the Province of Tayabas, and, after due hearing, to order his release or grant him a trial in a
Seventh Judicial District, then presided over by the Honorable George R. competent court. After mentioning the facts already set forth, they virtually
Harvey, judge. The case against him having been duly prepared, he was alleged that the judgment rendered by the Court of First Instance of
tried on July 23, 1914, before the same Court of First Instance of Tayabas, Tayabas, fourteenth Judicial District, on September 23, 1914, against the
then presided over by the Honorable Isidro Paredes and on that date defendant was illegal, null and void, because: (1) The Philippine Legislature
included in the Fourteenth Judicial District by virtue of Act No. 2347 of the had no authority to abolish or deprive of jurisdiction the Court of First of
Philippine Legislature which went into effect on the 1st day of the same Tayabas, Seventh Judicial District, created by the constitution, nor to
month of July and which provided for the reorganization of the Courts of substitute therefor another court of its own creation; (2) the Philippine
First Instance and of the Court of Land Registration. Defendant was Legislature had no authority to dis miss or remove the judge of said Court of
sentenced on September 23 of that year, 1914, by the same judge, the First Instance, which had exclusive jurisdiction, as established by the
Honorable Isidro Paredes, to the penalty of life imprisonment and constitution, of the crime specified in the complaint; and (3) the judge of
consequently confined in Bilibid Prison of this city of Manila under an order first instance of Tayabas, Seventh Judicial District, established by the
issued by said Honorable Isidro Paredes as judge of the Court of First Organic Act, having first acquired jurisdiction over the cause of action and
the person of the defendant, no territorial law could validly compel the
defendant-petitioner to submit to the jurisdiction of another court created 11, 1901, by the United States Philippine Commission, are constitutional
by the Legislature and presided over by a judge who held office subject to courts and that said courts have been replaced or supplanted by the
the will of that Legislature.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law Philippine Legislature through Act No. 2347 with other courts of its own
library creation.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

After this court had directed that the respondent Director of Prisons show 2. That the same Philippine Legislature, through Act No. 2347, without
cause why the writ of habeas corpus sought should not issue, and the authority therefor, has limited the jurisdiction of the courts, characterized
Solicitor General, representing ting the said Director of Prisons, had by petitioner's counsel as constitutional, created by the Organic Act, and has
submitted such arguments as he deemed proper, the hearing was had, and abolished, suppressed, or destroyed said
counsel for the petitioner set forth in their brief that on the appeal they courts.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
relied upon the following legal propositions:
3. That the Philippine Legislature has removed, likewise without authority
1. The Philippine Legislature has no authority to limit the jurisdiction of the therefor, the judges appointed under the Organic Act to preside over the
constitutional courts created by the Organic Act and still less to abolish, courts created thereby.
suppress, or destroy said courts.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles
From these hypotheses said counsel for the petitioner, after arguing at
virtual law library
length in support of the propositions laid down by them, deduce that the
2. The Philippine Legislature has no authority to remove the judges courts "organized" by Act No. 2347 are not legally constituted and that
appointed under the Organic Act to preside over the court created thereby, Judge Paredes, appointed under said Act, lacked jurisdiction to try and
without abolishing the courts in which they sentence Eustaquio Conchada, the
sit.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library petitioner.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

3. The Philippine Legislature, by Act No. 2347, has decreed the final When the United States Philippine Commission on June 11, 1901, passed
extinction, abolition or destruction of the constitutional courts created by Act No. 136, the law organizing the courts of justice of the Philippine
the Organic Act, and has replaced or supplanted them with other courts of Islands, the law known as "The Philippine Bill" - that is, the Act of July 1,
its own creation.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library 1902 had not yet been passed by the Congress of the United States. The
organization of the courts of justice in the Philippine Islands and the
4. The removal of the judges, along with all the officers and employees of
definition of their jurisdiction by means of act No. 136 were effected, as
the old courts, and the limitation of their jurisdiction to certain causes
petitioner's counsel say, by virtue of or under the instructions of the
pending, necessarily imply the destruction or abolition of said
President of the United States. What was the organization of those courts of
courts.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
justice? How was the jurisdiction thereof defined? The very Act, No. 136,
5. The courts "organized" by Act No. 2347 are not legally constituted and categorically answers these queries.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles
the judges appointed by virtue of said Act lack jurisdiction to try and virtual law library
sentence the petitioner.
Section 1 of said Act says:
These five propositions rest upon the following hypotheses:
Courts of justice shall be maintained in every province of the Philippine
1. That the courts created by the Organic Act, or the law organizing the Islands in which civil government shall be established; which courts shall be
courts of justice of the Philippine islands to wit, Act No. 136, passed on June open for the trial of all causes proper for their cognizance, and justice shall
be therein impartially administered without corruption or unnecessary After the judiciary was organized, the jurisdiction corresponding to each of
delay. the divisions of that power was assigned, and after the courts established by
virtue of said Act No. 136 were already in operation, the Congress of the
Section 2 of the same Act says:
United States passed the Act of July 1, 1902, known as "The Philippine Bill,"
The judicial power of the Government of the Philippine Islands shall be which, among other matters relating to the administration of the affairs of
vested in a Supreme Court, Courts of First Instance, and courts of justices of civil government in the Philippine Islands set forth in section 9 thereof:
the peace, together with such special jurisdictions of municipal courts, and
That the Supreme Court and the Courts of First Instance of the Philippine
other special tribunals as now are or hereafter may be authorized by law.
Islands shall possess and exercise jurisdiction as heretofore provided and
With reference to the Courts of First Instance, section 48 of the same Act such additional jurisdiction as shall hereafter be prescribed by the
says: Government of said Islands, subject to the power of said Government to
change the practice and method of procedure. The municipal courts of said
There shall be in each province in which civil government has been or shall Islands shall possess and exercise jurisdiction as heretofore provided by the
be organized under the sovereignty of the United States, a Court of First Philippine Commission, subject in all matters to such alteration and
Instance, in each of which a judge shall preside, to be appointed by the amendment as may be hereafter enacted by law; and the Chief Justice and
Philippine Commission, to hold office during its pleasure. Each judge so Associate Justices of the Supreme Court shall hereafter be appointed by the
appointed shall preside in all Courts of First Instance in his judicial district, President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and shall
which shall consist of such provinces as shall be hereafter by law designated receive the compensation heretofore prescribed by the commission until
to constitute such judicial district. otherwise provided by congress. The judges of the Court of First Instance
Said section makes an exception with reference to the city of Manila, which shall be appointed by the Civil Governor, by and with the advice and
is dealt with in the next succeeding section, 49, in a way not pertinent consent of the Philippine Commission: Provided,That the admiralty
here.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Courts of First Instance shall not
be changed except by Act of Congress.
In treating of the jurisdiction of the Courts of First Instance, section 55 of
said Act says that it shall be of two kinds, original and appellate, the next It is therefore unquestionable that the Congress of the United States
succeeding section, 56, mentioning among the first kind that of trying and through the Philippine Bill placed, as petitioner's counsel say, its high
deciding all criminal cases in which a penalty of more than six months' sanction upon the institutions already existing in said Islands and definitely
imprisonment or a fine exceeding $100 may be confirmed their existence, and it is also unquestionable that, with reference
imposed.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library to the organization of the judiciary - that is, to the institution for the
administration of justice - said Act approved and confirmed it, leaving it as it
A simple reading of the provisions of the Act No. 136 is sufficient for had been established by Act No. 136, while it sets forth what appears in the
understanding that its object was to organize, or, rather, to create, the section 9 above quoted with reference to the different divisions of that
judiciary in this Philippine Islands under the system of government same judiciary and to the appointment of the Chief Justice and Associate
established thereinby the United States of America in substitution for that Justices of the Supreme Court and the judges of the Courts of First
which existed when, by virtue of the treaty of Paris, sovereignty over said Instance.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
Islands was transferred by the Spanish Government to the United States of
America.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Said section ratified the jurisdiction which Act No. 136, prior to the
Philippine Bill, has already conferred upon the Supreme Court and the
Courts of First Instance, and also clearly stated that such Supreme Court and of these Islands, the Congress of the United States referred to the power of
Courts of First Instance should thereafter have such additional jurisdiction First Instance of these Islands are invested by Act No. 136, which organized
as might be conferred upon them by the Government of the Philippine the courts of justice of these Islands, and to such as they might in the future
Islands, subject to the power of said Government to change the practice and be invested with or as might be granted to them by the Government of the
method of procedure. Islands, subject to the power of said Government to change the practice and
method of procedure; but in no way did it refer to the districts or provinces
Jurisdiction is the power or authority one has to govern and to execute the
wherein the Courts of First Instance or the judges appointed to exercise
laws, and especially the power with which judges are invested for
such jurisdiction were then exercising it by virtue of Act No. 140, which was
administering justice - that is, for trying civil or criminal cases, or both, and
passed by the same United States Commission in these Islands on June 12,
deciding them and rendering judgment in accordance with the laws.
1901, prior to the Philippine bill itself; or, rather, this Act did not refer to the
(Escriche, Diccionario de Legislacion y Jurisprudencia, vol. 3, p. 743, ed.
place where said jurisdiction was to be exercised, or the particular extent of
1875. )chanrobles virtual law library
territory in which it was then being exercised, or to the place or the
Jurisdiction, when applied to courts, is defined to be the power to hear and particular extent of territory in which it might be exercised, by virtue of the
determine the cause. (Wightman vs. Karsner, 20 Ala. , 446, 451; Pullman laws which might in the future be enacted for such purpose by the
Palace Car Co. vs. Harrison, 25 South, 697, 699; 82 Am. St. Rep. , 68; In Government of these Islands through the medium of the Philippine
re Greenough St. , 32 Atl. , 427, 428; State vs. Wakefield, 15 Atl. , 181, 183; Commission or Philippine Legislature. In short, the Congress of the United
and innumerable cases. )chanrobles virtual law library States did not in the Philippine Bill pay any attention to the organization of
the judiciary with reference to the creation and establishment of judicial
In the meaning of the law, "jurisdiction" is the authority or power which a districts, or to the number of such districts, or, finally, to the number of
man hath to do justice in causes of complain brought before him. provinces that should be comprised in each district; it accepted the
(State vs. Whitford, 11 N. W. , 424, 426; 54 Wis. , 150. )chanrobles virtual organization of the judiciary in this respect as had been provided by said Act
law library No. 140, and it did not restrict, limit, or modify the authority which the
The term "jurisdiction,' when confined to the judicial department of the Philippine Commission had exercised in said Act No. 140 in dividing the
Government, means the legal authority to administer justice. judicial territory of the Islands into various districts, each of which embraced
(Holmes vs. Campbell, 12 Minn. 221, 227, [141, 146]. ) one or more provinces of the Archipelago, and in establishing therein the
Courts of First Instance, or courts of justice, in accordance with the
"Jurisdiction" is "controlling authority; the right of making or enforcing laws provision of section 1 of the same Organic Act, No. 136, nor did it attempt
or regulations, the capacity of determining rules of action or use, and to assume authority or to establish regulations or procedure to which the
exacting penalties; the function or capacity of judging or governing in Philippine Commission or the Philippine Legislature must conform in its
general; the inherent power of decision or control. " (People vs. Pierce, 41 future exercise of that authority. Otherwise the said Congress would have
N. Y. Suppl. , 858, 860. ) stated, as it did state in section 9 of the Philippine Bill in speaking of the
Jurisdiction is the power of hearing and determining causes, and of doing jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and of the Courts of First Instance as well
justice in matters of complaint. (State vs. Whitford, 11 N. W. , 424, 426; Wis. as the jurisdiction of the municipal courts, that the establishment by the
, 150. ) Philippine Government of judicial districts or the determination of the
provinces to be comprised in each district should be made subject to certain
So there can be no doubt that in speaking in said section 9 of the Philippine regulations or to the changes or amendments which might be necessary in
Bill of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Courts of First Instance the future. Since the Congress of the United States in the said Philippine Bill
did not so state, it is evident that it left the Philippine Commission and the in the judicial division of the territory of the Philippine Islands and the
Philipppine Legislature (which was created by the same Act and which formation of each of these new districts by a larger or smaller number of
succeeded said Commission in the exercise of the legislative power) at provinces than those assigned to each district by Act No. 140 and the other
liberty to enact such laws as said Legislature might deem expedient or Acts mentioned above, as well as changes in the designation of some of
necessary to modify or change the division of the judicial territory of the those districts and of some of the provinces comprised in the former district
Islands, as effected under Act No. 140, and to establish new districts which for others finally designated in Act No. 2347, and the reduction in some of
might be included in such divisions of the judicial territory, as has in fact the new districts, according to the same Act, of the number of provinces
been done, first by the Philippine Commission and afterwards by the comprised, to the extent that the Fourteenth Judicial District should include
Philippine Legislature through the medium of Acts Nos. 450, 496, 501, 552, only the Province of Tayabas, which, with the Province of Batangas had
867, 1345, 1708, 1952, and 2038, all these being Acts of which the Congress formed the Seventh Judicial District under Act No. 501 and prior thereto
of the United States had knowledge, in compliance with the provision in under Act No. 140 the Sixth District, along with the Provinces of Laguna,
section 86 of the same Philippine Bill, without annulling them in the exercise Cavite, Principe and Infanta, and Polillo Island, do not constitute limitation
of the authority it naturally reserved to itself in that or increase of the jurisdiction of those courts, because the power and
section.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library authority to hear, try, and decide civil and criminal cases pertaining to each
court are always the same, and what was increased or diminished by said
From all of the foregoing it necessarily follows that the Courts of First
Act No. 2347 was the places wherein said jurisdiction is exercised or the
Instance for these Islands, which are the ones to which the appellant refers
exercise of the jurisdiction itself with reference to the place in which it is
in the question raised on the appeal, are not constitutional courts, or courts
publicly manifested.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law
created by the Constitution, but by the Legislature of the Philippine Islands,
library
as territory not incorporated into the United States of America and
governed by the Congress of those States through the medium of the Act of It is true that the word "jurisdiction" is also understood, according to
July 1, 1902. This Act has come to be the constitution of the Philippine Escriche in his work above cited, "as the district or territory over which a
Islands, and the fact that the creation of said courts was sanctioned by that judge's authority extends; and as the boundary of a place or province; and
constitution did not convert them into constitutional courts in the sense likewise as the court in which justice is administered;" but this is not the
understood and maintained by petitioner's counsel - that is, in such manner sense in which the word "jurisdiction" is used in section 9 of the Philippine
that the Philippine Legislature cannot act with respect to the division of the Bill, as petitioner's counsel seem to have understood in saying that the
judicial territory without awaiting the consent or approval of Congress, for Philippine Legislature had no authority to limit the jurisdiction of what they
the simple reason that Congress by virtue of the constitution of the call the constitutional courts, created by the Organic Act, and in establishing
Philippines did not arrogate to itself or assume any authority on this point as to the grounds for the whole argument developed in their brief that the
concerning the organization of the judicial power, and, consequently, the Philippine Legislature has by Act No. 2347 limited such jurisdiction. Though
courts have, by virtue of Act No. 2347, replaced or supplanted those that that is the meaning commonly given to the word, it is there employed in its
had been previously established above, are also created by the Legislature strictly legal acception as defined above, for there can be no doubt that
by virtue of the powers which said constitution confers upon when the Congress of the United States said in section 9 "that the Supreme
it.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Court and the Courts of First Instance of the Philippine Islands shall possess
and exercise jurisdiction as heretofore provided and such additional
If, as has already been seen, jurisdiction is the power with which judges are
jurisdiction as shall hereafter be prescribed by the Government of said
invested to try civil and criminal cases and to decide them or render
Islands, etc. ," it referred only to the powers of the Supreme Court and of
judgment in accordance with the law, the increase in the number of districts
the Courts of First Instance to have original and appellate jurisdiction of the the jurisdiction conferred upon them from the time of their
case mentioned - the former by sections 16, 17, and 18, and the latter by creation.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
sections 55, 56, and 57, of Act No. 136 - and to perform the acts specified in
For the same reason it cannot be said that the jurisdiction of those same
some of those sections. This is so perfectly plain that at the close of section
courts has been limited to certain causes pending, as has occurred in the
9 of the Philippine Bill it is stated that the admiralty jurisdiction of the
present case, according to petitioner's counsel, with relation to the case
Supreme Court and Courts of First Instance shall not be changed except by
instituted against said petitioner, Eustaquio Conchada, by virtue of the
Act of Congress - that is, that the power and authority of the Supreme Court
provisions of section 24 of said Act No. 2347, in that it was tried and decided
and of the Courts of First Instance with reference to said actions and to
by a judge other than the one who presided over the Court of First Instance
deciding the cases arising thereunder shall be the same as stated in section
of Tayabas, Seventh Judicial District when the complaint was filed against
56, No. 4, of Act No. 136 - that is, original for the Courts of First Instance,
him, for the cause was submitted to the same Court of First Instance of
irrespective of the value of the property in controversy or the amount of the
Tayabas wherein the complaint had been filed, and was tried in said court,
demand, and appellate for the Supreme Court, according to section 18 of
belonging then to the Fourteenth District, presided over by the judge who
the same Act. It cannot be altered except by act of Congress. And if
had jurisdiction to try it, as successor and continuator of the judge who
petitioner's counsel have tried, in the second of the hypotheses they have
preceded him, having the same jurisdiction as the former in his character of
started from in laying down the five propositions contained in their brief, to
judge of the Court of First Instance of said province, and it cannot thereby
show that by Act No. 2347 in the Philippine Legislature has limited the
be understood that any jurisdiction was taken away from said court or from
jurisdiction, strictly speaking, of the courts - that is, of the Courts of First
the judge who had formerly officiated
Instance from among those in question - created by the Organic Act, and
therein.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
the particular extent of the exercise of that jurisdiction by reason of the
increase of new judicial districts, they have also fallen into a flagrant It is true that section 7 of Act No. 2347 of the Philippine Legislature provided
inaccuracy, because the fact really is that said Act No. 2347 contains no that the judges of the Courts of First Instance, judges-at-large, and judges of
provision which alters or modifies the provisions in section 55, 56, and 67 of the Court of Land Registration should vacate their positions on the date
said Act for the organization of the when said Act went into effect, but the same section went on to say further
judiciary.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library that the Governor-General, with the advice and consent of the Philippine
Commission, should make new appointments of judges of the Courts of First
Neither it is true that the Philippine Legislature has by Act No. 2347
Instance and auxiliary judges in accordance with the provisions of that Act.
abolished, suppressed, or destroyed the courts to which the appellant's
So that the ceasing to hold their respective positions in the cases of the
counsel refer, to wit, the Courts of First Instance in these Islands, created by
judges to whom said section referred is not and cannot be considered really
the Act organizing the judiciary, for an organism is not destroyed, abolished,
as a removal or dismissal of said judicial officers, as petitioner's counsel
or suppressed by varying its original form, and said Act has done nothing
characterize it, but a measure related to the new division of the judicial
more than make a new division of the judicial territory by increasing the
territory into a greater number of districts and the assignment to each
number of districts and by including only one, or two or more provinces in
district of different provinces - in some of them, of the provinces that
each district, but preserving the Courts of First Instance in each province,
composed the districts theretofore existing - which made necessary the new
according to the purport of the prescription in section 1 of said Judiciary
appointment of the respective judge for each district, an appointment
Act, or, what amounts to the same thing, has reorganized the Courts of First
which the Governor-General of the Islands, with the advice and consent of
Instance of the Islands without altering the organism thereof or the system
the Philippine Commission, was empowered to make, according to section 9
of which they form a part, and without also depriving them of any portion of
of the Act of Congress, the Philippine bill, nor can it be in any way
maintained, as petitioner's counsel contend, that the ceasing of said judges create new judicial districts, the constitution in advance having created the
to hold their positions, call it removal or not, has necessarily implied the office of circuit judge for such district. "chanrobles virtual law library
destruction, abolition, or suppression of the courts in which they discharge
The syllabus of said decision states: "The office of circuit judge is created by
their duties, for the court as an entity is one thing and the person of the
the constitution, which also fixes the term. The legislature may increase the
officer who exercises his jurisdiction therein is
number of circuits, but cannot deprive a judge of his office and
another.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
compensation by creating new circuits of the territory from which he was
The case cited by petitioner's counsel on page 23 of their brief elected. Once elected, he holds his office under the constitution, unless
(People vs. Dubois, 23 Ill. , 498), in support of their contention to the effect removed by address or impeachment. "chanrobles virtual law library
that the Philippine Legislature had no authority, according to the Philippine
And in citing the said case petitioner's counsel have quoted on page 23 of
Bill, to reorganize the Courts of First Instance of the Islands and that in
their brief from pages 507 and 508 [vol. 23] of the Cyclopedia of Law and
doing so it violated said Act - that is, the constitution - making null and void
Procedure, as follows: "When the office of judge is created by the
both the ceasing of the old judges to hold their positions as well as the
constitution, it cannot be abolished by the legislature (State vs. Scott, 9 Ark.
appointment of the new, effected by virtue of said Act No. 2347, shows that
, 270); but when created by statute under authority of the constitution, it
error into which said counsel have fallen and the erroneous hypotheses on
may be abolished by statute and the incumbent deprived of his office. Thus
which they have based their whole
the legislature cannot expel a circuit judge from his office by creating a new
argument.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
district and taking from him the territory that constituted his district.
In fact, the seventh section of the fifth article the constitution of the State of (People vs. Dubois, 23 Ill. , 498. )"chanrobles virtual law library
Illinois provides:
In the Illinois case cited above, the State constitution had fixed the number
The State shall be divided into nine judicial districts, in each of which one of judicial districts into which the State should be divided, the time each
circuit judge shall be elected by the qualified voters thereof, who shall hold circuit judge should hold his office, and had provided, furthermore, that the
his office for the term of six years, and until his successor shall be circuit judge of each district should be chosen through election by the
commissioned and qualified:Provided, The General Assembly may increase qualified voters of the State.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual
the number of circuits to meet the future exigencies of the State. law library

The question that arose in the case cited, People vs. Dubois (23 Ill. , 498), is According to the statement of facts given in the decision mentioned, the
the following: "Can the legislature expel a circuit judge from his office by legislature of the State of Illinois on February 11, 1859, passed an act
creating a new district, and taking from him the territory which constitute creating the twenty-third judicial circuit and providing that the county of
his district?"chanrobles virtual law library Bureau should be added to and form a part of the ninth circuit, thus leaving
Judge Ballou, who was holding office by election and should have held it
This question was answered as follows: "The bare reading of the
under the constitution for six years, without territory wherein to perform
constitution [of the State of Illinois] must convince every one that it
his duties or exercise jurisdiction, or, what amounts to the same thing, thus
intended to prohibit such a proceeding. It was the intention of that
removing or dismissing him from said office; and this was the point decided
instrument to place the judges entirely above and beyond the legislative
in that decision in a favorable sense by granting themandamus sought, on
control or interference, except by impeachment or address, as provided for
the grounds already explained that the legislature could increase the
in the twelfth section of the fifth article. It is the constitution which creates
number of circuits but could not deprive a judge of his office or of his
the office of circuit judge, and not the legislature. All the latter can do is to
compensation through the creation of new circuits in the territory for which
he had been elected, and that after election he occupied the office under Act No. 140 was the first to designate the judicial districts and the provinces
the authority of the constitution and could only be removed therefrom by to be included in each district.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual
address or impeachment.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law law library
library
Thereafter and successively, first by the Philippine Commission and
It is perfectly understood that the act passed by the legislature of Illinois to afterwards by the Legislature, various laws were enacted modifying the
the effect already set forth was unconstitutional, illegal, and null and void, above-cited Act No. 140 with reference to the division of the judicial
for by reason of the provision in such act that the county of Bureau should territory, the designation and numbering of districts, and the provinces that
form part of the ninth circuit, the same law creating another judicial circuit should form part of each district, nor has the Congress of the United States,
as the twenty-third, Judge Ballou was removed from the office he was as has also been said above, declared any of said laws to be null and void,
holding before the expiration of the terms of six years, the time that he was which implies that they were all approved by that
entitled to hold it, as no address or proceedings in impeachment had been Congress.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
effected under the authority of the State constitution, which, in the seventh
So there is no similarity at all between the case decided by the supreme
section of its fifth article, contained provision for making the designation for
court of Illinois in People vs. Dubois (23 Ill. , 498) and the case at
such office of circuit judge - that is, through the medium of election by the
bar.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
qualified voters of the State.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual
law library The Illinois legislature could not, without violating the constitution of that
State, on the occasion of providing for or modifying the organization of the
Neither in Act No. 136, the law organizing the courts of justice in the
judicial territory thereof that forms part of a circuit, a certain county, that of
Philippine Islands, nor in the Act of July 1, 1902, the constitutional law or
Bureau, and of creating a new district, could not, we repeat, remove Judge
constitution of the Philippines, is there any provision which fixes or indicates
Ballou from his office or dismiss him, thus depriving him of the jurisdiction
the time during which the judges of the Court of First Instance of the Islands
he exercised in the territory for which he had been duly elected, but the
are entitled to hold such office, the former Act merely stating in its section
Philippine Legislature could, without violating the law organizing the
48 that the judge appointed by the Philippine Commission shall hold office
judiciary in the Philippine Islands or the Philippine Bill passed by Congress
during its pleasure. Neither is there in the Act organizing the judiciary or in
on July 1, 1902, the constitution of the Philippines, by means of Act No.
the Philippine Bill any provision which fixes the precise number of districts
2347, reorganize the judicial territory of the Islands by creating new
of the judicial territory of the Philippines and the number of provinces to be
districts, changing the numbers of those that previously existed, including in
included in each district, it being merely stated in section 1 of aid Act that
each district one or more provinces, whether or not they were those which
"courts of justice shall be maintained in every province in the Philippine
formed part of the districts previously created by Act No. 140 and the others
Islands in which civil government shall be established," and in section 48
already enumerated. Furthermore, by reason of this organization, it could
thereof that "there shall be in each province in which civil government has
provide that the judges should cease to hold their respective offices in
been or shall be organized under the sovereignty of the United States, a
accordance with the previous organization and that new judges should be
Court of First Instance, in each of which a judge shall preside, to be
appointed to hold them in the districts newly created by virtue of such
appointed by the Philippine Commission," and that "each judge so
reorganization, for neither the law organizing the judiciary nor the
appointed shall preside in all Courts of First Instance in his judicial district,
Philippine Bill contains any provisions fixing the number of districts of which
which shall consist of such provinces as shall be hereafter by law
the division of the judicial territory of the Philippines must necessarily
designated. "chanrobles virtual law library
consist, nor the provinces or the number thereof which must be included in
each district, nor has it limited or restricted the power of the Legislature or the subject of this formation, the appointment of the Justices that compose
of the Government of the Philippines in connection with the organization of it, or the place where it must hold its sessions. Hence it was necessary for
the judiciary with respect to the Courts of First Instance, nor has it laid down Congress to adopt the joint resolution of April 9, 1910, which petitioner's
any rules to which their actions must conform in the exercise of such power, counsel mentioned in their brief, in order that this Supreme Court might
the Governor-General having been expressly empowered, as we have hold sessions in Baguio, a joint resolution which it is not necessary to secure
already seen, by section 9 of the Philippine Bill, to appoint the judges of the from the Congress of the United States to enable the Court of First Instance
Courts of First Instance with the advice and consent of the Philippine for one district to be transferred to another district or to enable the judge of
Commission. All this clearly demonstrates that said Courts of First Instance the Court of First Instance of one district to hold sessions in a different
are not constitutional courts, and the hypothesis from which petitioner's district, it being sufficient that the Legislature so provide. And this is the
counsel have started in their brief being incorrect, the whole argument clearest demonstration that the Supreme Court and the Courts of First
advanced by them to show that Act No. 2347, which provides for the Instance do not, as petitioner's counsel have maintained in their brief, have
organization of the Courts of First Instance of these Islands, is illegal and null the same status from the constitutional point of view.
and void, falls through. Moreover, without going beyond that same law
In conclusion, since Act No. 2347 of the Legislature, whereby the
organizing the courts of justice of these Islands and the Act of Congress of
reorganization of the Courts of First Instance of these Islands was provided
July 1, 1902, the Philippine Bill, we have a plain demonstration of the
for, is not illegal and null and void, and the said courts are legally
difference between the constitutional courts and those which are not such,
constituted by virtue of said reorganization, the Honorable Judge Isidro
a difference which exists between the Courts of First Instance of these
Paredes had jurisdiction to try and sentence the petitioner. Eustaquio
Islands and the Supreme Court
Conchada, for the crime of murder and to order, as he did, the
thereof.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
imprisonment of said defendant by virtue of the sentence imposed upon
The appointment of the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme him.
Court is made, according to said section 9 of the Philippine Bill, by the
It is therefore held that there is no ground for issuing to the Directors of
President of the United States of America with the advice and consent of
Prisons the writ of habeas corpus applied for the counsel for said petitioner.
the Senate, a provision which repeals that of section 8 of the said Act
So ordered.
organizing the judiciary which states that the Justices, including the Chief
Justice, of the Supreme Court should be appointed b the Commission and Torres and Johnson, JJ., concur.
should hold office during its pleasure. The Supreme Court, according to the Moreland and Trent, JJ., concur in the result.
same section 8 of the Act organizing the judiciary, shall consist of a Chief
Justice and six Associate Justices, and the same section provides the number XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
of Justices necessary to form a quorum and to try any case within its G.R. No. L-22449 July 28 1924
jurisdiction, as well as the number of them whose concurrence is necessary
to pronounce a judgment; section 11 of the same Act authorizes the
ANDRES FUENTES
Supreme Court to hold sessions, not only in Manila, but also in Iloilo and
Petitioner
Cebu, provisions of said Judiciary Act which, not having been modified by
Congress in the Act of July 1, 1902, have been ratified and sanctioned , vs.
thereby, and so the Supreme Court of the Philippines had become a THE DIRECTOR OF PRISONS
constitutional court, and the Philippine Legislature cannot enact laws upon
Respondent
. Legislature. Though the Organic Act does not specifically so provide, it may be conceded thatthe
Legislature has the power to make reasonable changes in the laws of the procedure of the court,
. butit cannot by a statute of procedure prevent a court from exercising its constitutional
jurisdiction duringthe lawful sessions of the court. (12 C. J., 817, citing Flanigan

vs.
OSTRAND :
Guggenheim Smelting Co., 63 N. J. Law,647.) This is exactly what Act No. 3104 would do if
interpreted in accordance with the petitioner'scontention. In this connection we may quote the
language of the court in the leading case of
FACTS:
Ocampo vs. Cabangis
Andres Fuentes, was convicted of the crime of parricide by the Court of First Instance of Cebu
andsentenced to suffer the death penalty. Upon its review by this court the sentence was (15 Phil., 626):. . . The doctrine is well established in the various States of the United States that
affirmed in adecision promulgated January 29, 1923, the legislature have nopower to establish rules which operate to deprive the courts of
their constitutional authority to exercisethe judicial functions

. A constitutional court when exercising its proper judicial functions can no more beunreasonably
and the petitioner is now in confinement awaiting its execution.Only eight justices took part in the
controlled by the legislature than can the legislature when properly exercising legislaturepower
review of the case, the ninth being absent. The decision of the courtwas written by one of the
be subjected to the control of the courts. Each acts independently within its exclusive field.
justices and concurred in by the other seven justices present. Fuentes argued that one of the
justices being absent, the case not considered per curiam andthat the decision being written by XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
only one of the justices and not having been signed by the absent justice, it has not been
rendered in the manner provided for by subsection 2 of section 1 of Act No. 3104,and therefore Tolentino v. COMELEC
is null and void.Subsection 2 of section 1 of Act No. 3104, which was enacted subsequently to
the promulgation of thedecision in question. The pertinent portions of the section read as G.R. No. L-34150; October 16, 1971
follows:SECTION 1. The death penalty shall be imposed in all cases in which it must be imposed Ponente: Barredo, J.
underexisting law, except in the following:First. * * *Second. When in the consideration of the
case in the second instance there is not a unanimousvote of all the members of the Supreme FACTS:
Court as to the propriety of the imposition of the deathpenalty;
After the election of delegates to the Constitutional Convention held on November 10, 1970, the
Provided, however convention held its inaugural session on June 1, 1971. On the early morning of September 28,
1971, the Convention approved Organic Resolution No. 1 which seeks to amend Section 1 of
, That the consideration of the case in the second instance shall always be
Article V of the Constitution, lowering the voting age to 18. On September 30, 1971, COMELEC
per curiam resolved to inform the Constitutional Convention that it will hold the plebiscite together with the
senatorial elections on November 8, 1971. Arturo Tolentino filed a petition for prohibition
and the sentence shall be signed by all the members of the said court:And against COMELEC and prayed that Organic Resolution No. 1 and acts in obedience to the
resolution be null and void.
provided, further

, That in case one or more Justices are legally disqualified from taking part inthe consideration of ISSUE:
the case, the unanimous vote and signature of only the remaining justicesshall be required.
1. Does the court have jurisdiction over the case?
ISSUE: 2. Is the Organic Resolution No. 1 constitutional?

whether or notsubsection 2 of section 1 of Act No. 3104 mandatory, thus absence of one of HELD:
the justices of the Court makes the decision null and void?
1. The case at bar is justiciable. As held in Gonzales vs. Comelec, the issue of whether or not a
RULING: resolution of Congress, acting as a constituent assembly, violates the constitution is a justiciable
one and thus subject to judicial review. The jurisdiction is not because the Court is superior to
No. The Court cannot presumed that the Legislature intended that in such eventualitiespersons
the Convention but they are both subject to the Constitution.
sentenced to death by lower courts shall languish in prison until the absent justice returns toduty
so that all the members who are legally entitled to sit on the court may take part in the revision
ofthe sentences of the lower courts. On the contrary, the presumption is that the Legislature 2. The act of the Convention calling for a plebiscite on a single amendment in Organic
intended to soframe the law as to conform with the provisions of the Organic Act.The jurisdiction Resolution No. 1 violated Sec. 1 of Article XV of the Constitution which states that all
of the Supreme Court is fixed by the Organic Act and cannot be restricted by anact of the amendments must be submitted to the people in a single election or plebiscite. Moreover, the
voter must be provided sufficient time and ample basis to assess the amendment in relation to rebellion, or to safeguard public safety against imminent danger thereof. The preservation of
the other parts of the Constitution, not separately but together. society and national survival takes precedence. The proclamation of martial law automatically
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX suspends the privilege of the writ as to the persons referred to in this case.

Aquino vs Minister of Defense Juan Ponce Enrile


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

G.R. No. L-35546 – 59 SCRA 183 – Political Law – Constitutional Law – Martial Law – Habeas
Corpus – Power of the President to Order Arrests

Enrile (then Minister of National Defense), pursuant to the order of Marcos issued and ordered
the arrest of a number of individuals including Benigno Aquino Jr even without any charge
against them. Hence, Aquino and some others filed for habeas corpus against Juan Ponce Enrile.
Enrile answered that the arrest is valid pursuant to Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law.

ISSUE: Whether or not Aquino’s detention is legal in accordance to the declaration of Martial
Law.

HELD: The Constitution provides that in case of invasion, insurrection or rebellion, or imminent
danger against the state, when public safety requires it, the President may suspend the privilege
of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part therein under Martial Law. In the
case at bar, the SC ruled that the state of rebellion plaguing the country has not yet disappeared,
therefore, there is a clear and imminent danger against the state. The arrest is then a valid
exercise pursuant to the President’s order.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Aquino v. Enrile
59 SCRA 183
FACTS:
The cases are all petitions for habeas corpus, the petitioners having been arrested and detained
by the military by virtue of Proclamation 1081. The petitioners were arrested and held pursuant
to General Order No.2 of the President “for being participants or for having given aid and
comfort in the conspiracy to seize political and state power in the country and to take over the
Government by force…” General Order No. 2 was issued by the President in the exercise of the
power he assumed by virtue of Proclamation 1081 placing the entire country under martial law.

ISSUES:
1) Is the existence of conditions claimed to justify the exercise of the power to declare martial
law subject to judicial inquiry?; and
2) Is the detention of the petitioners legal in accordance with the declaration of martial law?

HELD:
5 Justices held that the issue is a political question, hence, not subject to judicial inquiry, while 4
Justices held that the issue is a justiciable one. However, any inquiry by this Court in the present
cases into the constitutional sufficiency of the factual bases for the proclamation of martial law
has become moot and academic. Implicit in the state of martial law is the suspension of the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus with respect to persons arrested or detained for acts
related to the basic objective of the proclamation, which is to suppress invasion, insurrection or