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ARTICLE VI: THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. Legislative Power and the Doctrine of Non-Delegation; Composition of Congress;

Section 1. The legislative 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.

 Q: What is legislative power?


o A: Legislative power is the authority to make laws and to alter and repeal them.
(Bernas Commentary, 2009)
 Q: Where is it vested?
o A: It is vested “in the Congress of the Philippines” except to the extent reserved to
the people by the provision on initiative and referendum. (Section 1, Article VI)
 Q: Who may exercise legislative power?
o A: (1) The Congress; (2) the people through initiative and referendum; (3) the
local governments; (4) the president under a martial law rule or in a
revolutionary government.
 Q: What is the scope of legislative power granted to the Congress?
o A: The 1987 Constitution embodies a grant of plenary legislative power to the
Philippines legislature. (Vera v. Avelino, 1946)
 Q: What are the kinds of legislative power?
o A: The kinds of legislative power are: (1) original which is the power possessed
by the sovereign people; (2) derivative which is vested to the legislative bodies by
the sovereign people; (3) constituent which is the power to amend and revise the
Constitution; and (4) ordinary or power to pass ordinary laws. (UP Political Law
Reviewer, 2010)
 Q: What are the kinds of limitations on legislative power?
o A: There are two kinds of limitations on legislative power, namely: (1) substantive
limitations which limits the content of a law; and (2) procedural limitations which
are the procedural requirements to be complied with by the Congress in the
passage of the bills. (UP Political Law Reviewer, 2010)
o Substantive limitations:
 Bill of Rights
 Sections 25 & 28-31, Article VI
 No power to pass irrepealable law
 Non-encroachment on powers of other departments
 Non-delegability of powers
o Procedural limitations
 Section 26, Article VI
 Q: A law was passed requiring that if ever such law should be repealed, it must be done
so expressly. Is this constitutional?
o A: No. The provisiont in the law requiring express repeal is unconstitutional. This
places an undue restraint on the plenary power of the legislature to amend or
repeal laws. Only the Constitution may operate to preclude or place restrictions
on the amendment or repeal of laws. Thus, the same rationale for prohibiting
irrepealable laws applies in prohibiting restraints on future amendatory laws.
(City of Davao v. Regional Trial Court, Br. XII, Davao City,2005)
 Q: May Congress delegate its legislative power?
o A: No. The constitution follows the principle of non-delegation of power which is
embodied in the maxim “Delegata potestas non potest delegari”.
 Q: What is the rationale behind this principle?
o A: The rationale is based on the principle of separation of powers. Why go to the
trouble of separating the three powers of government if they can straightaway
remerge on their own notion? (Bernas Commentary, 2009)
 Q: What are the exceptions in the non-delegation of legislative power?
o A: The exceptions are: (1) delegation to local governments (Rubi v. Provincial
Board of Mindoro GR. L-14078 March 7, 1919); and (2) Sections 23 (2) and 28
(2), Article VI.
 Q: What power is delegated to administrative bodies?
o A: What is delegated to administrative bodies is not legislative power but rule-
making power or law execution.
 Q: Why does the constitution allow such delegation to administrative bodies?
o A: Administrative agencies are delegated such powers, so they can: (1) fill up the
details on otherwise complete statue or; (2) ascertain the facts necessary to bring
a “contingent” law or provision into actual operation. (Bernas Commentary,
2009)
 Q: What are the requisites of valid delegation of legislative power?
o A: The delegating law must (1) be complete in itself—it must set forth therein the
policy to be executed, carried out or implemented by the delegate; and (2) fix a
standard the limits of which are sufficiently determinate or determinable to which
the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions. (Pelaez v. Auditor
General, 1965)
 Q: A law creating a system of rewards and sanctions in the BIR and BOC to encourage
employees to exceed revenue targets was passed, where fixing the targets was left to the
discretion of the President. Is this a valid delegation of legislative power?
o A: Yes. The two requisites for the valid delegation of legislative power was
satisfied by the statute. RA 9335 adequately states the policy and standards to
guide the President in fixing revenue targets and the implementing agencies in
carrying out the provisions of the law. Revenue targets are based on the original
estimated revenue collection expected respectively of the BIR and the BOC for a
given fiscal year as approved by the DBCC and stated in the BESF submitted by
the President to Congress. Thus, the determination of revenue targets does not
rest solely on the President as it also undergoes the scrutiny of the DBCC.
(Abakada v. Purisima, 2008)
 Q: Can the duration of the penalty of imprisonment being solely left to the discretion of
the court when the implementing law is silent?
o A: No. It is not for the court to fix the term of imprisonment where no points of
reference have been provided by the legislature. (People v. Dacuycuy, 1989)
 Since 1922, the pork barrel system has been around the Philippine government. Budgets
are included in the GAAs allocating appropriations for individual legislators and the
Vice-President. This allows legislators to identify programs/projects outside of his
legislative district. Realignment of funds and release of funds were required to be
favorably endorsed by the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate
Committee on Finance, as the case may be. Is the “pork-barrel system” constitutional?
o A: No. 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. The power to appropriate funds is solely lodged in the Congress
collectively and not lodged in the individual members. (Belgica, et al. vs.
Executive Secretary, et al., 2013)
 Q: What is the composition of the Congress?
o A: The Congress of the Philippines shall consist of a Senate and a House of
Representatives. (Section 1, Article VI)
 Q: Differentiate unicameralism vs. bicameralism.
o A: A unicameral congress is a one-house legislature while a bicameral congress
is a two-house legislature. The Congress of the Philippines is a bicameral body
composed of a Senate and House of Representatives, the first being considered as
the upper house and the second the lower house. (Bernas Commentary, 2009)
Section 2 & 3: Composition of Senate; Qualifications of a Senator

Section 2. The Senate shall be composed of twenty-four Senators who shall be elected at
large by the qualified voters of the Philippines, as may be provided by law.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator unless he is a natural-born citizen of the


Philippines and, on the day of the election, is at least thirty-five years of age, able to read
and write, a registered voter, and a resident of the Philippines for not less than two years
immediately preceding the day of the election.

 Q: How many senators shall sit in the Senate?


o A: Twenty-four senators elected at large. (Section 2, Article VI)
 Q: What are the qualifications of a senator?
o A: The qualifications of a senator are: (1) a natural-born citizen of the
Philippines; (2) at least 35 years old at the day of the election; (3) able to read
and write; (4) a registered voter; and (5) a resident of the Philippines for not less
than two years immediately preceding the day of the election. (Section 3, Article
VI)
 Q: Is a foundling considered a natural-born citizen?
o A: In the case of Poe-Llamanzares v. COMELEC, the Supreme Court ruled that
foundlings are automatically conferred with the natural-born citizenship as to the
country where they are being found, as covered and supported by the UN
Convention Law.

Section 4. Term of Office of Senators

Section 4. The term of office of the Senators shall be six years and shall commence,
unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following
their election. No Senator shall serve for more than two consecutive terms. Voluntary
renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an
interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term of which he was elected.

 Q: What is the term of office of Senators?


o A: The term of office of Senators is 6 years, commencing at noon on the 30th day
of June next following their election. (Section 4, Article VI)
 Q: What is the term limit?
o A: The term limit is only up to 2 consecutive terms. However, they may serve for
more than 2 terms provided that the terms are not consecutive. (Section 4, Article
VI)
 Q: What is the rule on voluntary renunciation?
o A: Voluntary renunciation of office for any length of time shall not be considered
as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he
was elected. (Section 4, Article VI)
 Q: Explain the staggering of terms of Senators.
o A: The Senate shall not at any time be completely dissolved. One-half of the
membership is retained as the other half is replaced or reelected every three
years. (Cruz, Philippine Political Law)
 Q: Senator Colle first run for the Senate in 2007. He placed 13th but he filed an election
protest against the one who obtained the 12th highest number of votes. After two years,
the protest was decided in his favor and he replaced the 12th placer. He then served the
rest of the term, until 2013. He then ran again in 2013 and he won once more. Can he run
for a third time considering that he already had served two terms for a Senator?
o A: Yes, since he is not deemed to have served two full terms. For what would have
been his first term, somebody else served as senator until the protest was finally
decided in favor of Senator Colle. Thus, he only served for four years of the six-
year term. Analogous is the case of local elective officials. If they do not fully
serve the term because somebody else occupied the position for some time, then
that would not be counted as a term served by the rightful official. (Abundo v.
Commission on Elections, 2013)
 BAR QUESTION: A few months before the end of the present Congress, Strongwill
was invited by the Senate to shed light in an inquiry relative to the alleged siphoning and
diverting of the pork barrel of members of Congress to non-existent or fictitious projects.
Strongwill has been identified in the news as the principal actor responsible for the
scandal, the leader of a nongovernmental organization which ostensibly funneled the
funds to certain local government projects which existed only on paper. At the start of the
hearings before the Senate, Strongwill refused at once to cooperate. The Senate cited him
in contempt and sent him to jail until he would have seen the light. The Congress,
thereafter, adjourned sine die preparatory to the assumption to office of the newly-elected
members. In the meantime, Strongwill languished behind bars and the remaining senators
refused to have him released, claiming that the Senate is a continuing body and,
therefore, he can be detained indefinitely. Are the senators, right?
o A: The Senators are right. The Senate is to be considered as a continuing body of
purposes of its exercise of its power punish for contempt. Accordingly, the
continuing validity of its orders punishing for contempt should not be affected by
its sine die adjournment (Arnault v. Nazareno, 87 Phil. 29, 1950) (2014 BAR
EXAMS)

Section 5. Composition of the House of Representatives

Section 5. (1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two
hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from
legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila
area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a
uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be elected through
a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations.

 Q: What is the composition of the House of Representatives?


o A: Not more than 250 members, unless otherwise provided by law. (Section 5(1),
Article VI)
 Q: Where should the members be elected from?
o A: Representatives shall be elected from (1) legislative districts; and through (2)
the party-list system.

Section 5.2 The Party-list System

Section 5. (2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total
number of representatives including those under the party list. For three consecutive terms
after the ratification of this Constitution, one-half of the seats allocated to party-list
representatives shall be filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor,
peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other
sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector.

 Q: What is the Party-list System?


o A: It is a mechanism of proportional representation in the election of
representatives of the House of Representatives from national, regional, and
sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof registered with the
Commission on Elections. (Section 3, RA 7941)
 Q: What is the implementing law for the Party-list System?
o A: Republic Act No. 7941 or the Philippine Party-List System Act
 Q: What is the reason for the inclusion of party-list representatives in the House of
Representatives?
o A: It is hoped that the system will democratize political power by encouraging the
growth of a multi-party system. (Bernas Reviewer, 2011)
 Q: What are the guidelines in determining which party-list may be allowed to participate
in the elections?
o A: The following guidelines must be followed: [a] must represent marginalized
and under-represented sectors; [b] major political parties must comply with this
statutory policy; [c] religious sector may not be represented; [d] the party must
not be disqualified under RA 7941; [e] the party must not be an adjunct of an
entity or project funded by the government; [f] the party and its nominees must
comply with the requirements of the law; and [g] the nominee must be able to
contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will
benefit the nation. (Ang Bagong Bayani v. COMELEC, 2001)
 Q: How is the composition of the House of Representatives computed?
o A:
No. of seats available to No. of seats available
Legislative districts x 20% = to party-list representatives
0.80

 Is the 2% threshold of Section 11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional?


o No. The continued operation of the 2% threshold in relation to the distribution of
the additional seats 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 interest in the
House of Representatives.” (BANAT v. COMELEC, 2009)
 Q: COMELEC refused Ang Ladlad, an LGBT party-list, to be accredited based on moral
grounds. Is their contention valid?
o A: The proscription by law relative to acts against morality must be for a secular
purpose (that is, the conduct prohibited or sought to be repressed is “detrimental
or dangerous to those conditions upon which depend the existence and progress
of human society"), rather than out of religious conformity. The Comelec failed to
substantiate their allegation that allowing registration to Ladlad would be
detrimental to society. (Ang Ladlad LGBT Party v. COMELEC, 2010)
 Q: What are the qualifications of a party-list nominee as per RA 7941?
o A: The qualifications are: (1) natural-born citizen of the Philippines; (2)
registered voter; (3) resident of the Philippines for a period of not less than 1
year immediately preceding the day of election; (4) able to read and write; (5) a
bona fide member of the party or organization which he seeks to represent for at
least 90 days preceding the day of election; and (6) at least 25 years of age.
(Section 9, RA 7941)
 BAR QUESTION: The Partido ng Mapagkakatiwalaang Pilipino (PMP) is a major
political party which has participated in every election since the enactment of the 1987
Constitution. It has fielded candidates mostly for legislative district elections. In fact, a
number of its members were elected, and are actually serving, in the House of
Representatives. In the coming 2016 elections, the PMP leadership intends to join the
party-list system. Can PMP join the party-list system without violating the Constitution
and Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7941?
o A: Yes. As for political parties, they may participate in the party-list race by
registering under the party-list system and no longer field congressional
candidates. These parties, if they field congressional candidates, however, are not
barred from participating in the party-list elections; what they need to do is
register their sectoral wing or party under the party-list system. This sectoral
wing shall be considered an “independent sectoral party” linked to a political
party through a coalition. ( Atong Paglaum vs COMELEC, April 2, 2013) (2015
BAR EXAMS)

Section 5.3 & 5.4 Rules on Apportionment

Section 5. (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.

Section 5. (4) Within three years following the return of every census, the Congress shall
make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this
section.

 Q: What are the rules on apportionment?


o A: (1) Legislative districts are apportioned in accordance with the number of
their respect inhabitants and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio; (2)
each province or city with a population of at least 250,000 shall have at least one
representative; (3) the districts must be contiguous, compact and adjacent
territory; (4) Following the return of every census, Congress shall make a
reapportionment. (Section 3 and 4, Article VI)
 Q: How are legislative districts created?
o A: Legislative districts may be created only by law. (Sema v. Comelec, 2008)
 Q: What is gerrymandering?
o A: It is the formation of one legislative district out of separate territories for the
purpose of favoring a candidate or a party. Gerrymandering is not allowed. The
Constitution provides that each district shall comprise, as far as practicable,
contiguous, compact and adjacent territory. (Bernas Commentary, 2009)
 Q: Is a census required in creating every new legislative district?
o A: When one of the municipalities of a congressional district is converted to a city
large enough to entitle it to one legislative district, the incidental effect is the
splitting of district into two. The incidental arising of a new district in this manner
need not be preceded by a census. (Tobias v. Abalos, 1994)
 Q: Is it always required for a legislative district to have a population of 250,000?
o A: A population of 250,000 is not an indispensable constitutional requirement for
the creation of a new legislative district in a province. (Aquino v. COMELEC,
2010)
 BAR QUESTION: On August 15, 2015, Congresswoman Dina Tatalo filed and
sponsored House Bill No. 5432, entitled "An Act Providing for the Apportionment of the
Lone District of the City of Pangarap." The bill eventually became a law, R.A. No. 1234.
It mandated that the lone legislative district of the City of Pangarap would now consist of
two (2) districts. For the 2016 elections, the voters of the City of Pangarap would be
classified as belonging to either the first or second district, depending on their place of
residence. The constituents of each district would elect their own representative to
Congress as well as eight (8) members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod. R.A. No. 1234
apportioned the City's barangays. The COMELEC thereafter promulgated Resolution No.
2170 implementing R.A. No. 1234.
Piolo Cruz assails the COMELEC Resolution as unconstitutional. According to him,
R.A. No. 1234 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 o f
the 1987 Constitution. Is the claim correct? Explain.
o A: No, Piolo Cruz’s claim in incorrect. While the Constitution and the Local
Government Code expressly require a plebiscite to carry out any creation,
division, merger, abolition or alteration of the boundary of a local government
unit, no plebiscite requirement exists under the apportionment or
reapportionment provision (Bagabuyo v. COMELEC). In the case at bar, RA
1234 merely increased its representation in the House of Representatives. There
was no creation, division, merger, abolition or alteration of a local government
unit that took place. RA 1234 did not bring about any change in the City of
Pangarap’s territory, population and income classification. Hence no plebiscite is
required. (2015 BAR EXAMS)

Section 6 Qualification of Representatives

Section 6. No person shall be a Member of the House of Representatives unless he is a


natural-born citizen of the Philippines and, on the day of the election, is at least twenty-five
years of age, able to read and write, and, except the party-list representatives, a registered
voter in the district in which he shall be elected, and a resident thereof for a period of not
less than one year immediately preceding the day of the election.

 Q: What are the qualifications of a member of the House of Representatives?


o A: The qualifications are: (1) a natural-born citizen of the Philippines; (2) at
least 25 years old on the day of the election; (3) able to read and write; (4) a
registered voter in the district in which he shall be elected; and (5) a resident
thereof for a period of not less than one year immediately preceding the day of the
election. (Section 6, Article VI)
 Q: What is the meaning of the residence qualification in Section 6, Article VI?
o A: Residence as a qualification means “domicile”. Normally a person’s domicile
is his domicile of origin. (Romualdez-Marcos v. COMELEC, 1995)
 Q: What are the requirements to successfully change domicile?
o A: There must be (1) animus manendi or intention to remain in the new place,
coupled with (2) animus non revertendi or intention to abandon old domicile.
(Domino v. COMELEC, 1999)

Section 7. Term of Office of Representatives

Section 7. The Members of the House of Representatives shall be elected for a term of
three years which shall begin, unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on the thirtieth
day of June next following their election. No Member of the House of Representatives
shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for
any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his
service for the full term for which he was elected.

 Q: What is the term of office of a House Representative?


o A: The term is 3 years, beginning at noon on the thirtieth day of June next
following their election. (Section 7, Article VI)
 Q: May a member of the House serve for more than 3 terms?
o A: Yes, provided that the terms are not consecutive. (Bernas Reviewer, 2011)
 Q: What is the difference between term and tenure?
o A: Term refers to the period during which an official is entitled to hold office
while tenure refers to the period during which the official actually holds the
office.

Sections 8&9. Regular and Special Elections

Section 8. Unless otherwise provided by law, the regular election of the Senators and the
Members of the House of Representatives shall be held on the second Monday of May.

Section 9. In case of vacancy in the Senate or in the House of Representatives, a special


election may be called to fill such vacancy in the manner prescribed by law, but the
Senator or Member of the House of Representatives thus elected shall serve only for the
unexpired term.

 Q: Should the second-highest earner of votes be declared as winner when the actual
winner was eventually disqualified?
o A: No. Jurisprudence has long established the doctrine that a second placer
cannot be proclaimed the first among the remaining qualified candidates in the
event that the highest earner of votes is disqualified. When the person vested with
the mandate of the majority is disqualified from holding the post he was elected
to, the only recourse to ascertain the new choice of the electorate is to hold
another election. (Ocampo v. HRET, 2004)
 Q: Is it mandatory to hold a special election in case of vacancy in the Congress?
o A: A special election to fill in a vacancy is not mandatory. (Bernas Commentary,
2009)
 Q: What are the rules for a special election as provided in RA 6645?
o A: 1. No special election will be called if vacancy occurs: (a) at least 18 months
before the next regular election for the members of the Senate; or (b) at least one
year before the next regular election members of Congress
2. The particular House of Congress where vacancy occurs must pass either a
resolution if Congress is in session or the Senate President or the Speaker must
sign a certification, if Congress is not in session, (a) declaring the existence of
vacancy; (b) calling for a special election to be held within 45 to 90 days from the
date of the resolution or certification.
3. The Senator or representative elected shall serve only for the unexpired term.
(Section 1, RA 6645)

Section 10. Salaries of the Congress

Section 10. The salaries of Senators and Members of the House of Representatives shall be
determined by law. No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the
expiration of the full term of all the Members of the Senate and the House of
Representatives approving such increase.
 Q: When can an increase passed by the Congress may take effect?
o A: Only after the expiration of the full term of all the members approving such
increase. (Section 10, Article VI)
 Q: May a member, elected to fill a vacancy enjoy such increase?
o A: No, because he is serving the unexpired term of an approving member.
 Q: What is the reason for the delay?
o A: Its purpose is to place a “legal bar to the legislators’ yielding to the natural
temptation to increase their salaries. (PHILCONSA v. Mathay, 1966)
Section 11. Parliamentary Immunity

Section 11. A Senator or Member of the House of Representatives 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.

 Q: What is the scope of privilege from arrest?


o A: It only includes the immunity from arrest, and not of being filed suit. (Cruz,
Philippine Political Law)
 Q: When is it available?
o A: The privilege is available while the Congress is in session. (Section 11, Article
VI). “Session” as here used does not refer to the day-to-day meetings of the
legislature but to the entire period from its initial convening until its final
adjournment. Hence the privilege is not available while Congress is in recess.
(Cruz, Philippine Political Law).
 Q: Why is it not available during recess?
o A: Since the purpose of the privilege is to protect the legislator against
harassment which will keep him away from legislative sessions, there is no point
in extending the privilege to the period when the Congress is not in session.
(Bernas Commentary, 2009)
 Q: Congressman Jalosjos was convicted for rape and detained in prison, he now asks that
he be allowed to attend sessions of the House. Decide.
o A: Members of Congress are not exempt from detention for crime. They may be
arrested, even when the House in session, for crimes punishable by a penalty of
more than six months. (People v. Jalosjos, 2000)
 Q: Trillanes was charged with coup d’état and while in detention was able to win as a
Senator. He now asks that he be allowed to perform his duty as legislator and attend
sessions in the Senate. Decide.
o A: Election to office does not obliterate a criminal charge. The performance of
legitimate and even essential duties by public officers has never been an excuse to
free a person validly in prison. (Trillanes v. Pimentel, 2008)
 Q: What is the purpose of the privilege of speech and debate?
o A: It is intended to leave legislator unimpeded in the performance of his duties
and free form harassment outside. (Bernas Reviewer, 2011)
o It is indispensably necessary that he should enjoy the fullest liberty of speech and
that he should be protected from resentment of everyone, however, powerful, to
whom the exercise of that liberty may occasion offense. (Pobre v. Defensor-
Santiago, 2009)
 Q: What is the scope of the privilege?
o A: (1) The privilege is a protection only against forums other than the Congress
itself; (2) “Speech or debate” includes utterances made in the performance of
official functions, such as speeches delivered, statements made, votes cast, as well
as bills introduced, and other acts done in the performance of official duties.
(Jimenez v. Cabangbang)
o To come under the privilege, it is not essential that the Congress be in session
when the utterance is made. What is essential is that the utterance must constitute
“legislative action”, that is, it must be part of the deliberative and communicative
process by which legislators participate in committee or congressional
proceedings in the consideration of proposed legislation or of other matters
which the Constitution has placed within the jurisdiction of Congress. (Bernas
Commentary, 2009)
 Q: Is the privilege absolute?
o A: Privilege is not absolute. The rule provides that the legislator may not be
questioned “in any other place,” which means that he may be called to account
for his remarks by his own colleagues in the Congress itself and, when warranted,
punished for “disorderly behavior.” (Cruz, Philippine Political Law)
 Q: May a lawyer-senator be disbarred or be imposed with disciplinary sanction for her
intemperate and highly improper speech made on the senate floor?
o A: No. 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. 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. (Pobre v. Defensor-Santiago, 2009)
 Q: Senator Trillanes called Laureano Gregorio Jr.a “dummy” of Vice-President Binay
during his media interviews. May he invoke the privilege of speech and debate?
o A: No. Petitioner’s remarks fall outside the privilege of speech or debate. The
statements were clearly not part of any speech delivered in the Senate or any of
its committees. A lawmaker’s participation in media interviews is not a legislative
act. (Trillanes v. Castillo-Marigomen, 2018)

Section 12. Duty to Disclose

Section 12. All Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives shall, upon
assumption of office, make a full disclosure of their financial and business interests. They
shall notify the House concerned of a potential conflict of interest that may arise from the
filing of a proposed legislation of which they are authors.

 Q: What matters are required to be disclosed?


o A: Members of the Congress should disclose (1) financial and business interest
upon assumption of office; and (2) potential conflict of interest that may arise
from filing of a proposed legislation of which they are authors. (Section 12,
Article VI)

Section 13&14 Disqualifications and Prohibitions

Section 13. No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may hold any other
office or employment in the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality
thereof,
Section including government-owned
14. No Senator or Member of or thecontrolled
House of corporations
Representativesor their subsidiaries,
may personally appear
during his term without forfeiting his seat. Neither shall he be appointed to any office
as counsel before any court of justice or before the Electoral Tribunals, or quasi-judicial
which mayadministrative
and other have been created or the
bodies. emoluments
Neither shall he,thereof
directlyincreased during
or indirectly, be the term for
interested
which he was elected.
financially in any contract with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by the
Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including any
government-owned or controlled corporation, or its subsidiary, during his term of office.
He shall not intervene in any matter before any office of the Government for his pecuniary
benefit or where he may be called upon to act on account of his office.
 Q: What constitutes disqualification for a member of the Congress?
o A: (1) Holding any other office or employment in the government, or any
subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or
controlled corporation or their subsidiaries during his term without forfeiting his
seat; and (2) Being appointed to any office which may have been created or the
emoluments thereof increased during the term for which he was elected. (Section
13, Article VI)
 Q: Senator Gordon’s acceptance of chairmanship of Philippine National Red Cross was
being challenged as a violation of Section 13, Article VI of the Constitution. Decide.
o A: Senator Gordon did not violate the Constitution because PNRC is a private
corporation. The office of the chairman of the PNRC is not a Government Office
or an Office of a Government-Owned or Controlled Corporation for purposes of
the prohibition in Section 13. (Liban v. Gordon, 2009)
 Q: What is the purpose of the prohibition on lawyer-legislators?
o A: The purpose is to prevent the legislator from exerting undue influence,
deliberately or not, upon the body where he is appearing. (Cruz, Philippine
Political Law)
 Q: A congressman bought nominal account of shares in a corporation which is party to a
suit before the SEC. May he appear in the court as an “intervenor”?
o A: No. That which the Constitution directly prohibits may not be done by
indirection. (Puyat v. De Guzman, 1982)
 Q: Is owning a law firm part of the prohibition stated in Section 14?
o A: No. Prohibition is personal and does not apply to law firm where a lawyer-
legislator may be a member. The lawyer-legislator may still engage in the
practice of his profession except that when it comes to trials and hearings before
the bodies above-mentioned, appearance may be made not by him but by some
member of his law office. (Cruz, Philippine Political Law)
 Q: What is the rationale on the prohibition of being financially interested in a contract
granted by the government?
o A: The idea is to prevent abuses from being committed by the members of
Congress to the prejudice of the public welfare and particularly of legitimate
contractors with the government who otherwise might be placed at a
disadvantageous position vis-a-vis the legislator. (Cruz, Philippine Political Law)
 BAR QUESTION: In the May 2013 elections, the Allied Workers’ Group of the
Philippines (AWGP), representing land-based and sea-based workers in the Philippines
and overseas, won in the party list congressional elections. Atty. Abling, a labor lawyer,
is its nominee. As part of the party’s advocacy and services, Congressman Abling
engages in labor counseling, particularly for local workers with claims against their
employers and for those who need representation in collective bargaining negotiations
with employers. When labor cases arise, AWGP enters its appearance in representation of
the workers and the Congressman makes it a point to be there to accompany the workers,
although a retained counsel also formally enters his appearance and is invariably there.
Congressman Abling largely takes a passive role in the proceedings although he
occasionally speaks to supplement the retained counsel’s statements. It is otherwise in
CBA negotiations where he actively participates. Management lawyers, feeling aggrieved
that a congressman should not actively participate before labor tribunals and before
employers because of the influence a congressman can wield, filed a disbarment case
against the Congressman before the Supreme Court for his violation of the Code of
Professional Responsibility and for breach of trust, in relation particularly with the
prohibitions on legislators under the Constitution. Is the cited ground for disbarment
meritorious?
o A: Being a congressman, Atty. Abling is disqualified under Article Vi, Section 14
of the 1987 Constitution from personally appearing as counsel before quasi-
judicial and other administrative bodies handling labor cases constitutes personal
appearance before them (Puyat v. De Guzman, G.R. No. L-5122, 1982, 1135
SCRA 33).His involvement in collective bargaining, negotiations also involves
practice of law, because he is making use of his legal knowledge for the benefit of
others (Cayetano v. Monsod, G.R. No. 100113, September 3, 1991, 201 SCRA
210). The Bureau of Labor Relations is involved in collective bargaining
negotiations (Article 250 of Labor Code)
Atty. Abling should not be disbarred but should be merely suspended from
the practice of law. Suspension is the appropriate penalty for involvement in the
unlawful practice of law (Tapay v. Bancolo, A.C. No. 9604, March 20, 2013, 694
SCRA 1).
o Alternative Answer: No, Congressman Abling cannot be disbarred. A retained
counsel formally appears for AWGP. His role is largely passive and cannot be
considered as personal appearance. His participation in the collective brgaining
negotiations does not entail personal appearance before an administrative bode
(Article VI, Section 13 of the 1987 Constitution) (2013 BAR EXAMS)

Section 15. Internal Government of Congress

Section 15. The Congress shall convene once every year on the fourth Monday of July for
its regular session, unless a different date is fixed by law, and shall continue to be in
session for such number of days as it may determine until thirty days before the opening of
its next regular session, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. The President
may call a special session at any time.
Section 16. Officers of Congress; Quorum; Discipline; Journal/Records

 Q: When and how often shall the Congress convene?


o A: Once every year on the 4th Monday of July. (Section 15, Article VI)
 Q: When shall a regular session end?
o A: 30 days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and legal holiday, before the opening
of the next regular session. (Section 15, Article VI)
o This 30-day period is called mandatory recess.

SECTION 16. (1) The Senate shall elect its President and the House of Representatives its
Speaker, by a majority vote of all its respective Members.
Each House shall choose such other officers as it may deem necessary.
(2) A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller
number may adjourn from day to day and may compel the attendance of absent Members in
such manner, and under such penalties, as such House may provide.
(3) Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its Members for
disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members, suspend or
expel a Member. A penalty of suspension, when imposed, shall not exceed sixty days.
(4) Each House shall keep a Journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish
the same, excepting such parts as may, in its judgment, affect national security; and the yeas
and nays on any question shall, at the request of one-fifth of the Members present, be entered
in the Journal.
Each House shall also keep a Record of its proceedings.
(5) Neither House during the sessions of the Congress shall, without the consent of the
other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two
Houses shall be sitting.

 Q: What is a special session?


o A: A special session is one called by the President while the legislature is in
recess.
 Q: What are the instances when the President’s call is not necessary to hold a special
session?
o A: (1) When the Congress meets to canvass the presidential elections; (2) when
calling a special election when both the Presidency and Vice-Presidency are
vacated; and (3) when it decides to exercise the power of impeachment where the
respondent is the President himself. (Cruz, Philippine Political Law)
 Q: Who are the officers of the Congress?
o A: The officers of the Congress are the Senate President, the Speaker of the
House, and such other officers as each house may deem necessary. (Section 16
(1), Article VI)
 Q: What is required to constitute quorum in the Congress?
o A: There is quorum to do business when the majority of each house is present.
(Section 16(2), Article VI)
 Q: What happens when quorum is not reached?
o A: A smaller number may adjourn day to day and compel the attendance of absent
members. (Section 16(2), Article VI)
 Q: What is the majority if one of the senators is outside the country?
o A: 12. “Majority” refers to the number of members within the “jurisdiction” of
the Congress (those it can order arrested for the purpose of questioning). In this
case, one Senator was out of the Philippines which is not within the “jurisdiction”
of the Senate, so that the working majority was of 23 Senators. (Avelino v.
Cuenco, 1949)
 Q: How may the members be punished by the Congress?
o A: With the concurrence of 2/3 of all its members, each house may punish its
members for disorderly behavior through (1) suspension, without exceeding 60
days; and (2) expulsion.
 Q: A new rule has been adopted by the House of Representatives in electing the officers
of the House. The affected party then sought relief from the Supreme Court and prayed
that such rule is a grave abuse of discretion and that in effect he be elected as the minority
leader. Decide.
o A: Section 16 (3), Article VI of the Constitution vests in the House of
Representatives the sole authority to, inter alia, "determine the rules of its
proceedings." Accordingly, notwithstanding the existence of a longstanding
tradition, the rules on choosing the minority leader may be altered by the House
as it so chooses. For as long as the matter is not governed by any particular
provision of the Constitution and does not violate the right of others, then the
judiciary has no authority to oversee the same. (Baguilat, Jr. v. Alvarez, 2017)
 Q: May Sandiganbayan order the suspension of a senator who committed a crime?
o A: Yes. Section 13 of RA 3019 is not a penalty but a preliminary, preventive
measure not being imposed on petitioner for misbehavior as a Member of the
House of Representatives but for the violation of the said law. (Santiago v.
Sandiganbayan, 2001)
 BAR QUESTION: Senator Fleur De Lis is charged with plunder before the
Sandiganbayan. After finding the existence of probable cause, the court issues a warrant
for the Senator's arrest. The prosecution files a motion to suspend the Senator relying on
Section 5 of the Plunder Law. According to the prosecution, the suspension should last
until the termination of the case. Senator Lis vigorously opposes the motion contending
that only the Senate can discipline its members; and that to allow his suspension by the
Court would violate the principle of separation of powers. Is Senator Lis' contention
tenable? Explain.
o A: No, Senator Lis’, contention is not tenable. The suspension contemplated in the
Constitution to discipline Member of the Senate is not the suspension
contemplated under the Sec. 5 of the Plunder Law. The latter is not a penalty but
a preliminary preventive measure and is not imposed upon the petitioner for
misbehavior as a member of Congress. In a synonymous case (Miriam Defensor-
Santiago v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 128055, April 18,2001) it appears to be a
ministerial duty of the court to issue the order of suspension upon a determination
of the validity of the criminal information filed before it. The order of suspension
provided in RA 3019 is distinct from the power of Congress to discipline its own
ranks. Neither does the order of suspension encroach upon the power of
Congress. The doctrine of separation of powers, by itself, is not deemed to have
effectively excluded the members of Congress from RA 3019. (2015 BAR
EXAMS)
 Q: What is a legislative journal?
o A: A legislative journal is defined as “the official record of what is ‘done and
past’ in a legislative”. It is so called because the proceedings are entered therein,
in chronological order as they occur from day to day. (Utopia Reviewer, 2010)
 Q: What is the reason for the requirement to keep a journal?
o A: (1) To insure publicity to the proceedings of the legislature, and a
correspondent responsibility of the members of their respective constituents; and
(2) to provide proof of what actually transpired in the legislature. (Bernas
Commentary, 2009)
 Q: What is the value of the Journal as evidence when it is in conflict with extraneous
evidence such as the testimony of witnesses?
o A: The Journals are conclusive evidence of the contents thereof and Courts are
bound to take judicial notice of them. (US vs Pons, 1916)
 Q: What is the enrolled bill doctrine?
o A: The enrolled bill doctrine states that if a legislative document is authenticated
in regular form by the appropriate officials, the court treats that document as
properly adopted. The signing of a bill by the Speaker of the House and the
Senate President and the certification by the secretaries of both Houses of
Congress that such bill was passed are conclusive of its due enactment. (Arroyo
v. De Venecia, 1997)
 Q: What happens if the presiding officer removes his signature from the enrolled bill?
o A: When such co-equal department itself repudiates the enrolled bill, then the
journal must be accepted as conclusive. (Astorga v. Villegas, 1974)

Section 17. Electoral Tribunals

Section 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral
Tribunal, which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and
qualifications of their respective Members. Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of
nine Members, three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the
Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or the House of
Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional
representation from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered under
the party-list system represented therein. The senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall
be its Chairman.
 Q: Who is the sole judge of the all contests relating to the election, returns, and
qualifications of the members of the Congress?
o A: The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) and the House of Representatives
Electoral Tribunal (HRET). (Section 17, Article VI)
 Q: What is the composition of the electoral tribunals?
o A: 3 Supreme Court Justices to be designated by the Chief Justice and 6 Members
of the Senate or House, as the case may be, chosen on the basis of proportional
representation from the political parties and party-list organizations. (Section 17,
Article VI)
 Q: Who shall act as the Chairman?
o The senior Justice in the electoral tribunal. (Section 17, Article VI)
 Q: May the Congress interfere with the electoral tribunals?
o A: The Congress may not regulate the actions of the electoral tribunals even in
procedural matters. The tribunal is an independent constitutional body. (Angara
v. Electoral Commission, 1936)
 Q: What is an election contest?
o A: It is one where a defeated candidate challenges the qualification and claims
for himself the seat of a proclaimed winner. (UP Political Law Reviewer)
 Q: Can HRET gain jurisdiction over a contest against a candidate?
o A: No. while composed of a majority of members of the legislature it is a body
separate from and independent of the legislature. (Bondoc v. Pineda, 1991)
 Q: When does jurisdiction turn over to the electoral tribunals?
o A: Once the person who got the highest number of votes has been proclaimed and
he has taken his oath and assumed office as member of the House of
Representatives, the COMELECs jurisdiction over election contests relating to his
qualifications ends and the HRETs own jurisdiction begins. (Reyes v.
COMELEC, 2013)
 Q: What is the requirement for an electoral tribunal to reach a decision?
o A: Rule 89 of the 2004 Rules of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal
provides that for rendition of decisions and the adoption of formal resolutions, the
concurrence of at least five (5) Members shall be necessary. (Duenas v. HRET,
2010)
 Are the decisions of electoral tribunals appealable to the Supreme Court?
o No. The decisions rendered by the Electoral Tribunals in the contests of which
they are the sole judge are not appealable to the Supreme Court except in cases of
a clear showing of a grave abuse of discretion. (Robles v. HRET, 1990)
Section 18. Commission on Appointments

Section 18. There shall be a Commission on Appointments consisting of the President of


the Senate, as ex officio Chairman, twelve Senators and twelve Members of the House of
Representatives, elected by each House on the basis of proportional representation from
the political parties and parties or organizations registered under the party-list system
represented therein. The Chairman of the Commission shall not vote, except in case of a
tie. The Commission shall act on all appointments submitted to it within thirty session days
of the Congress from their submission. The Commission shall rule by a majority vote of all
the Members.

 Q: What is the composition of the Commission on Appointments?


o A: The Commission on Appointments shall be composed of the Senate President
as ex-officio Chairman, 12 Senators and 12 members of the House of
Representatives. (Section 18, Article VI)
 Q: What is the function of the Commission on Appointments?
o A: It acts as a legislative check on the appointing authority of the President. For
the effectivity of the appointment of certain key officials, the consent of CA is
needed. (Utopia Reviewer, 2010)
 Q: How shall the members be selected?
o A: The members of the Commission shall be elected by each House on the basis of
proportional representation from the political party and party list. (Section 18,
Article VI)
 Q: Is it mandatory to elect all the twelve senators and members of the House in the
Commission on Appointments?
o A: No. The Constitution does not contemplate that the Commission on
Appointments must necessarily include twelve (12) senators and twelve (12)
members of the House of Representatives. What the Constitution requires is that
there be at least a majority of the entire membership. (Guingona v. Gonzales,
1993)
 Q: How shall the commission rule?
o The Commission shall rule by a majority vote of all its Members. The Chairman
shall not vote except in the case of a tie. (Section 18, Article VI)

Section 19. Constitution of Commission on Appointments and Electoral Tribunal

Section 19. The Electoral Tribunals and the Commission on Appointments shall be
constituted within thirty days after the Senate and the House of Representatives shall have
been organized with the election of the President and the Speaker. The Commission on
Appointments shall meet only while the Congress is in session, at the call of its Chairman
or a majority of all its members, to discharge such powers and functions as are herein
conferred upon it.
 Q: How should the Commission arrive at its decision?
o A: The Commission shall act on all appointments submitted to it within thirty days
from submission to prevent the Commission from freezing appointments. The
Commission can meet and act only when Congress is in session.
 Q: Reason for Early organization of ETs
o A: In the case of Electoral Tribunals, the need for their early organization is
obvious, considering the rash of election contests already waiting to be filed after,
even before, the proclamation of the winners. This is also the reason why, unlike
the Commission of Appointments, the Electoral Tribunals are supposed to
continue functioning even during the recess.
 Q: Why the Commission on Appointments can meet only during the session of the
Congress?
o A: The provision is based on the need to enable the President to exercise his
appointing power with dispatch in coordination with the Commission on
Appointments.
o The rule that the Commission on Appointments can meet only during the session
of the Congress is the reason why ad interim appointments are permitted under
the Constitution. These appointments are made during the recess, subject to
consideration later by the Commission, for confirmation or rejection. But where
the Congress in is in session, the President must first clear his nominations with
the Commission on Appointments, which is why it must be constituted as soon as
possible. Unless it is organized, no appointment can be made by the President in
the meantime.
Section 20. Records and Books of Accounts

Section 20. The records and books of accounts of the Congress shall be preserved and be
open to the public in accordance with law, and such books shall be audited by the
Commission on Audit which shall publish annually an itemized list of amounts paid to and
expenses incurred for by each Member.

Section 21. Power of Inquiry


Section 21. The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees
may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of
procedure. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be
respected.

 Q: Who has the power of inquiry?


o A: The Senate or the House of Representative or any of its respective committee
may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation.
 Q: Reghis Romero II, as owner of R-II Builders, Inc, herein petitioner, was invited to
a Senate Hearing to answer questions concerning the investments of OWWA funds
in the Smokey Mountain project. This was done by the Senate Committee in aid of
legislation – to determine propriety of amending Migrant Workers’ Act and
enactment of laws to protect OWWA funds. Petitioner filed this petition to assail
the constitutionality of the invitations and subpoenas issued by the Senate on the
ground that the subject matter of the inquiry is subjudice. Decide.
o A: SC held that it is no longer sub judice because the Chavez case was already
decided with finalit. Moreover, even assuming it was still pending, mere pendency
of any prosecution or administrative action (or while it is on appeal) shall not bar
any inquiry in aid of legislation. Reason is that inquiry and court
proceedings have different purposes. (Romero vs. Estrada, G.R. NO. 174105,
April 2, 2009)
 Q: Senator Rodolfo Biazon invited several senior officers of the AFP, including Gen.
Gudani and Col. Balutan, to appear at a public hearing before the Senate Committee on
National Defense and Security to shed light on the “Hello Garci” controversy. Gudani and
Balutan were directed by AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Senga, per instruction of Pres. Arroyo,
not testify before said Committee. On the very day of the hearing, 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. May the President prevent a member of the armed forces from
testifying before a legislative inquiry? Decide.
o o A: Yes. 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. Our 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. (Gudani v. Senga- 498 SCRA 671 [2006])
 Q: What is the nature and essence of power of inquiry?
o A: The power of inquiry in an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the
legislative action. It has been remarked that the power of legislative investigation
may be implied from the express power of legislation and does not itself have to
be expressly granted.
 Q: The SP of Dumaguete sought to conduct an investigation in connection with pending
legislation related to the operations of public utilities. Invited in the hearing are the heads
of NORECO II. Paterio Torres and Arturo Umbac. NORECO II is alleged to have installed
inefficient power lines in the said city. Torres and Umbac refused to appear before the
Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) and they alleged that the power to investigate, and to order
the improvement of alleged inefficient power lines to conform to standards is lodged
exclusively with the National Electrification Administration; and neither the Charter of the
City of Dumaguete nor the [old] Local Government Code (LGCBP 337) grants the SP. The
SP averred that inherent in the legislative functions performed by the respondent SP is the
power to conduct investigations in aid of legislation and with it, the power to punish for
contempt in inquiries on matters within its jurisdiction. Decide.
o o A: There is no express provision either in the 1973 Constitution or in the
LGC (BP 337) granting local legislative bodies, the power to subpoena witnesses
and the power to punish non-members for contempt. Absent a constitutional or
legal provision for the exercise of these powers, the only possible justification for
the issuance of a subpoena and for the punishment of non-members for
contumacious behavior would be for said power to be deemed implied in the
statutory grant of delegated legislative power. But, the contempt power and the
subpoena power partake of a judicial nature. They cannot be implied in the grant
of legislative power. Neither can they exist as mere incidents of the performance
of legislative functions. (Neg. O. II Elec. Coop. v. Sangguniang Panlungsod-
155 SCRA 421 [1991])
 Q: Are there limitations in the power of inquiry?
o A: Yes. There are four limitations to such power, provided that (1) It must be in
aid of legislation; (2) It must be in accordance with its duly published rules of
procedure; (3) The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries
shall be respected; and (4) power of Congress to commit a witness for contempt
terminates when the legislative body ceases to exist upon its final adjournment.
(Note: 1-3 are explicit limitations while 4 is an implicit limitation.)
 Q: What is the reason for such limitation?
o A: The reason is in the past, this power was much abused by some legislators who
used it for illegitimate ends to browbeat or intimidate witnesses usually for
grandstanding purposes only. There were also times when the subject of inquiry
was purely private in nature and therefore outside the scope of the powers of
Congress.
 Q: What is the purpose of Legislative Investigation?
o A: The power of inquiry – with the 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 chance; and where the
legislative body does not itself possesses the requisite information- which is not
infrequently true- recourse must be had to others who does possess it. Arnault v.
Nazareno, 87 Phil. 29, 45 (1950).

 Q: What are the requisite of Inquiries in aid of legislation?


o A: There are three requisites: (1) In aid of legislation; (2) In Accordance with
Duly Published Rules of Procedure; (3) Respect for the Rights of Persons
Appearing In or Affected by Such Inquires.
 Q: It was alleged that Benjamin “Kokoy” Romualdez and his wife together with the
Marcoses unlawfully and unjustly enriched themselves at the expense of the Filipino
people. That they obtained with the help of the Bengzon Law Office and Ricardo Lopa –
Cory’s brother in law, among others, control over some of the biggest business enterprises
in the country including MERALCO, PCI Bank, Shell Philippines and Benguet
Consolidated Mining Corporation. By virtue of a privilege speech made by Sen. Enrile
urging the Senate to look into the transactions, an investigation was conducted by the
Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. Petitioner contended that the Senate Blue Ribbon
Committee acted in excess of its jurisdiction and legislative purpose. Decide.
o A: The contemplated inquiry by the SBRC is not really “in aid of legislation”
because it is not related to a purpose within the jurisdiction of Congress, since the
aim of the investigation is to find out whether or not the relatives of the President
or Mr. Ricardo Lopa had violated Section 5 of RA No. 3019, the “Anti-Graft and
Corrupt Practices Act”, a matter that appears more within the province of the
courts rather than of the legislature. (Bengzon v. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee-
203 SCRA 767 November 20, 1991)
 Q: Gen. De La Paz, a senior officer of the PNP, headed a delegation of 8 to attend an
Interpol GA was apprehended in the departure area for he was carrying an amount that is
in violation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the United Nations
Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. Upon arrival to the Philippines, De
La Paz was issued a subpoena by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for the
investigation it was to conduct involving the Moscow incident. De La Paz averred that
the said committee does not have jurisdiction of the case. Decide.
o A: The SC ruled against De La Paz. This provision has been traditionally
construed as a grant of full discretionary authority to the Houses of Congress in
the formulation, adoption and promulgation of its own rules. It is also shown that
the Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation were also
published in two newspapers of general circulation. (De la Paz v. Senate- 579
SCRA 521 [2009])
 Q: During the 2007 election the conversation of President Arroyo and the herein
petitioner Virgilio Garciliano, COMELEC regional director, regarding the desire of the
president to have a favourable outcome in terms of his senatoriables was recorded and
was played during the house of representative investigation. Thus, a petition for
injunction prays that the Senate committee be prevented from further conducting such
investigation for the basic reason that there was no proper publication of the senate rules,
empowering them to make such investigation of the unlawfully seized documents.
o A: The Senate cannot be allowed to continue with the conduct of the questioned
legislative inquiry without duly published rules of procedure, in clear derogation
of the constitutional requirement. Such inquiry if allowed without observance of
the required publication will put a person’s life, liberty and property at stake
without due process of law. In this regard the high court granted the petition for
injunction preventing the senate to conduct such inquiry in aid of legislation.
(Garcillano v. House- GR 170338, December 23, 2008)
 Q: DOTC entered into a contract with (ZTE) for the supply of equipment and services for
the (NBN) Project, however De Venecia issued a statement that several high executive
officials and power brokers were using their influence to push the approval of the NBN
Project by the NEDA. Neri, the head of NEDA, was then invited to testify before the
Senate Blue Ribbon. When probed further on what they discussed about the NBN
Project, Neri refused to answer, invoking “executive privilege“. Decide.
o A: The divided Supreme Court (voting 9-6) was convinced that the three questions
are covered by presidential communications privilege, and that this privilege has
been validly claimed by the executive department, enough to shield petitioner Neri
from any arrest order the Senate may issue against him for not answering such
questions. (Neri v. Senate- 564 SCRA 152 [2008])
 Q: How is the power of legislative investigation enforced?
o A: Experienced had shown that mere request for information are frequently
unavailing and that information that is volunteered is not always accurate or
complete. Hence, the power of investigation necessarily includes the power to
punish a contumacious witness for contempt. Arnault v. Nazareno, supra.
 Q: When may a witness in an investigation be punished for contempt?
o A: No person can be punished for contumacy as a witness unless his testimony is
required in a matter into which the legislature or any of its committee has
jurisdiction to inquire. The requirement that the investigation be “in aid of
legislation” is an essential element for establishing the jurisdiction of the
legislative body.
 Q: What does the Constitution mean when it says that “The rights of persons appearing in
or affected by such inquiries shall be respected?
o A: This is just another way of saying that the legislative investigations must be
“subject to the limitations placed by the Constitution on governmental action.”
And since all governmental action must be exercised subject to the constitutional
limitations, principally found in the Bill of Rights, this limitation really creates
new constitutional right.
 Q: For how long may Congress keep a contumacious witness in detention?
o A: In addition to the above express limitations on the power of Congress, is the
implicit limitation that the legislature’s power to commit a witness for the
contempt terminates when the legislative body to exist upon its final adjournment.
“This must be so, in as much as the basis of the power to impose such a penalty is
the right which the legislature has to self-preservation, and which right is
enforceable during the exsistence of the legislative body.” Avanceña, C.J.
concurring in Lopez v. de los Reyes, 55 Phil. 170. 186 (1930).
 Q: What is the limitation on the power of contempt during inquiries in aid of legislation?
o A: The period of imprisonment under the inherent power of contempt by the Senate
during inquiries in aid of legislation should only last until the termination of the
legislative inquiry under which the said power is invoked. the legislative inquiry of
the Senate terminates on two instances: (1) upon the approval or disapproval of
the Committee Report; or (2) the legislative inquiry of the Senate also terminates
upon the expiration of one (1) Congress. (Balag v. Senate, G.R. No. 234608, July
3, 2018)
 Q: A first year law student from UST named Horacio Castillo III, allegedly died due to
hazing related activities conducted by the Aegis Juris Fraternity. The senate released Senate
Resolution No. 504 entitled “A Resolution directing the appropriate Senate committees to
conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the recent death of Horacio Castillo III
allegedly due to hazing related activities filed by Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV. When
the petitioner attended the hearing, Sen. Grace Poe asked the petitioner if he was the
president of Aegis Juris fraternity however, the petitioner refused to answer and invoked
his right to self- incrimination. The petitioner was then cited in contempt and was ordered
to place in detention under the Senate Sergeant at arms supervision after the senate hearing.
Did the Senate committee acted with grave abuse of discretion in conducting the legislative
inquiry and citing petitioner in contempt? Decide.
o A: Yes. The Court decided that there is no more justiciable controversy to decide
up since in its resolution, the court ordered in the interim the immediate release of
petitioner pending resolution of the instant petition. Thus, petitioner was no longer
detained under the Senate’s authority. The court ruled that the period of
imprisonment under the inherent power of contempt of the Senate during inquiries
in aid of legislation should only last until the termination of the legislative inquiry.
(Balag v. Senate, G.R. No. 234608, July 3, 2018)

 Q: May the inherent power of Congress to punish for contempt be applied, mutatis
mutandis, to local legislative bodies?
o A: No, the power is recognized as inherent in Congress as a matter of self-
preservation of one of the three independent and coordinate branches of
government. It is sui generis and may not be claimed by local legislative bodies.
Negros Oriental II Electric Cooperative v. Sangguniang Panglunsod,
G.R.72492, November 5, 1987.
 Q: Pursuant to Senate Resolution No. 455, Senator Gordon requested PCGG Chairman
Sabio and his Commissioners to appear as resource persons in the public meeting jointly
conducted by the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and
Committee on Public Services. Chairman Sabio declined the invitation because of prior
commitment, and at the same time invoked Section 4(b) of EO No. 1 exempting all
PCGG members or staff from testifying in any judicial, legislative or administrative
proceeding. Decide.
o A: The EO does not limit the power of inquiry. It can be said that the Congress’
power of inquiry has gained more solid existence and expansive construal. The
Congress’ power of inquiry, being broad, encompasses everything that concerns
the administration of existing laws as well as proposed or possibly needed
statutes. It even extends “to government agencies created by Congress and
officers whose positions are within the power of Congress to regulate or even
abolish.” PCGG belongs to this class. (Sabio v. Gordon- 504 SCRA 704 [2006])

Section 22. Oversight Function

Sec 22. The head of Departments may upon their own initiative, with the consent of the
President, or upon the request of either House, as the rules of each House shall provide,
appear before and be heard by such House on any matter pertaining to their departments.
Written questions shall be submitted to the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the
House of Representatives at least three days before their scheduled appearance.
Interpellations shall not be limited to written questions, but may cover matters related
thereto. When the security of the State or the public interest so requires and the President
so states in writing, the appearance shall be conducted in executive session.
 Q: Does section 22 provide for a “question hour”
o A: No. The “question hour” is proper to a parliamentary system where there are
no separation between the legislative and executive department, Section 22,
unlike in the “question hour” under the 1973 Constitution, has made the
appearance of department heads voluntary. They can appear on their own
initiative, with the consent of the President, ort at the request of the Congress.
Because of the separation of powers, however, department secretaries may not
impose their appearance upon either House.
 Q: What is the purpose of this section?
o A: The provision formalizes the “oversight function” of Congress. Section 22
establishes the rule for the exercise of what is called the “oversight function” of
Congress. Such function is intended to enable Congress to determine how laws it
has passed are being implemented.
 Q: Is the appearance of Heads of Department necessary?
o A: No. The Heads of Departments may upon their own initiative, with the consent
of the President appear before and be heard by either House on any matter
pertaining to their departments.
 Q: In the exercise of its legislative power, 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, others on the issues of massive election fraud
in the Philippine elections, wire tapping, and the role of military in the so-called
“Gloriagate Scandal”. Said officials were not able to attend due to lack of consent from
the President as provided by E.O. 464, Section 3 which requires all the public officials
enumerated in Section 2(b) to secure the consent of the President prior to appearing
before either house of Congress. Decide.
o A: The claim of privilege under Section 3 of E.O. 464 in relation to Section 2(b) is
thus invalid per se. It is not asserted. It is merely implied. Instead of providing
precise and certain reasons for the claim, it merely invokes E.O. 464, coupled
with an announcement that the President has not given her consent. 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.
(Senate v. Ermita- 488 SCRA 1 [2006])
 Q: Why Permission of President Needed?
o A: In deference to separation of powers, and because Department Heads are alter
egos of the President, they may not appear without the permission of the
President.
 Q: Who are exempted from Summons?
o A: Exemption to summons applies only to Department Heads and not to everyone
who has Cabinet rank.
Section 23. War Power

Section 23. (1) The Congress, by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses in joint session
assembled, voting separately, shall have the sole power to declare the existence of a state of
war.
(2) In times of war or other national emergency, the Congress may by law authorize the
President, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe, to
exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy. Unless
sooner withdrawn by resolution of the Congress, such power shall cease upon the next
adjournment thereof.

 Q: May the Country engage in war in absence of a declaration of war?


o A: While the constitution gives to the legislature the power to declare the
existence of a state of war and to enact all measures to support the war, the
actual power to make a war is lodge elsewhere, that is, in the executive power
which holds the sword of the nation. The executive power, when necessary, may
make a war even in the absence of a declaration of war. In the words of the
American Supreme Court, war being a question of actualities, “the President was
bound to meet in the shape it presented itself, without waiting for Congress to
baptize it with a name; and no name given to it by him or them could change the
fact. “See Prize Cases, 2 B1.635 (U.S. 1863).
 Q: May emergency powers be delegated to the President?
o A: Yes. Section 23 Par 2 provides that In times of war or other national
emergency, the Congress may by law authorize the President, for a limited period
and subject to such restriction as it may prescribe, to exercise powers necessary
and proper to carry out a declared national policy. Unless sooner withdraw by
resolution of the Congress, such power shall cease upon the next adjournment
thereof.
 Q: What emergency powers may be delegated?
o A: Under the present provision, Congress may authorize the president “to
exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy.”
Note that the nature of the delegable power is not specified. It is submitted that,
on the basis of this provision, the President may be given emergency legislative
powers if Congress so desires. This is confirmed by the explanation made in the
florr of the 1971 Convention, which is the source of this provision, that
emergency powers can include the power to rule by “executive fiat.”
 Q: Three-hundred junior officers and enlisted men of the AFP, acting upon instigation,
command and direction of known and unknown leaders have seized the Oakwood
Building in Makati. Publicly, declared their withdrawal of support for the government,
demanding the resignation of the President, Secretary of Defense and the PNP Chief.
These acts constitute a violation of Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code, and by virtue
of Proclamation No. 427 and General Order No. 4, the Philippines was declared under the
State of Rebellion. Does said Proclamation and General order constitutional. Decide.
o A: The Court rendered that the both the Proclamation No. 427 and General
Order No. 4 are constitutional. In declaring a state of rebellion and in calling out
the armed forces, the President was merely exercising a wedding of her Chief
Executive and Commander-in-Chief powers. These are purely executive powers,
vested on the President by Sections 1 and 18, Article VII, as opposed to the
delegated legislative powers contemplated by Section 23 (2), Article VI.
(SANLAKAS v. Executive Secretary, 421 SCRA 656 [2004])
 Q: The day after the Maguindanao Massacre, then Pres. 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. Petitioners contends 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 and that the
deployment of troops and the taking over of the ARMM constitutes an invalid exercise of
the President’s emergency powers. Decide.
o A: The deployment is not by itself an exercise of emergency powers as understood
under Section 23 (2), Article VI of the Constitution. 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. (Ampatuan v. Hon. DILG Sec. Puno, GR 190259,
June 7, 2011)
 Q: What are the requisites in order for a delegation be valid?
o A: The following are the requisites in order for a delegation be valid: (1) There
must be a war or other national emergency; (2) Law authorizing the president for
a limited period and subject to such restrictions as Congress may prescribe; (3)
Power to be exercised must be necessary and proper to carry out a declared
national policy.
 Q: How long does the duration of delegation be valid?
o A: Validation of delegation continues to exist (1) until withdrawn by resolution of
Congress (2) Until the next adjournment of Congress.
 Q: How does delegation of powers be withdrawn?
o A: Congress may do it by a mere resolution and such resolution does not need
presidential approval.
 Q: Does a resolution of Congress withdrawing the emergency powers need presidential
approval?
o A: No.
Section 24. Origination Clause

Sec 24: All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bill authorizing increase of the public
debt, bills of local application, and private bills shall originate exclusively in the House of
the Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments.

 Q: What is the meaning of the requirement that the money bills must originate in the
House of Representatives?
o A: In Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance- 235 SCRA 630 [1994], the court said
that the exclusivity of the prerogative of the House of Representatives means
simply that the House alone can initiate the passage of a revenue bill, such that, if
the House does not initiate one, no revenue law will be passed. Textually, it is the
“bill” which must exclusively originate from the House; but the “law| itself is the
product of the total bicameral legislative process originates not just from the
House but from both Senate and House.
 Q: A group of senators in the Philippines questioning the constitutionality of the
automatic appropriation for debt service, it being higher than the budget for education,
therefore it is against Section 5(5), Article XIV of the Constitution which mandates to
“assign the highest budgetary priority to education.” The principal contention of
petitioner was that appropriation bills under section 24 must originate in the House of
Representatives. Decide.
o A: While it is true that the Congress is mandated to “assign the highest budgetary
priority to education,” it does not thereby follow that the hands of Congress are
so hamstrung as to deprive it the power to respond to the imperatives of the
national interest and for the attainment of other state policies or objectives.
Congress is certainly not without any power, guided only by its good judgment, to
provide an appropriation that can reasonably service our enormous debt. Thus, if
in the process Congress appropriated an amount for debt service bigger than the
share allocated to education, the Court finds and so holds that said appropriation
cannot be thereby assailed as unconstitutional. (Guingona v. Carague- 196
SCRA 221 [1991])
 Q: What is the reason for exclusive origination?
o A: The district representatives are closer to the pulse of the people than senators
are and are therefore in a better position to determine both the extent of the legal
burden they are capable of bearing and the benefits that they need. It is more
numerous in membership and therefore also more representative of the people.
 Q: RA 920 (An Act Appropriating Funds for Public Works) was enacted in 1953
containing an item for the construction, reconstruction, repair, extension of Pasig feeder
road terminals which projected feeder roads do not connect any government property or
any important premises to the main highway. The provincial governor of Rizal, Pascual,
questioned the constitutionality of the item in RA 920, it being not for a public purpose.
The respondents' contention is that there is public purpose because people living in the
subdivision will directly be benefitted from the construction of the roads, and the
government also gains from the donation of the land supposed to be occupied by the
streets, made by its owner to the government. Decide.
o A: As a general rule that the legislature is without power to appropriate public
revenue for anything but a public purpose. Incidental to the public or to the state,
which results from the promotion of private interest and the prosperity of private
enterprises or business, does not justify their aid by the use public money. The test
of the constitutionality of a statute requiring the use of public funds is whether the
statute is designed to promote the public interest, as opposed to the furtherance of
the advantage of individuals, although each advantage to individuals might
incidentally serve the public. (Pascual v. Secretary of Public Works- 110 PHIL.
331 [1960-1961])
Section 25. Appropriation Bills

Sec 25: (1) The Congress may not increase he appropriations recommended by the
President for the operation of the government as specified in the budget. The form content
and manner of preparation of the budget shall be prescribed by law.
(2) No provision or enactment shall be embraced in the general appropriations bill unless
it relate specifically to some particular appropriation therein. Any such provision or
enactment shall be limited in its operation to the appropriation to which it relates.
(3) The procedure in approving appropriations for the Congress shall strictly follow the
procedure for approving appropriations for other departments and agencies.
(4) A special appropriations bill shall specify the purpose for which it is intended, and
shall be supported by funds actually available as certified by the National Treasurer, or to
be raised by a corresponding revenue proposal therein.
(5) No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations; however, the
President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the
Chief Justice to the Supreme Court, and the heads of the Constitutional Commissions
may, by law, be authorized to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their
respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations.
(6) Discretionary funds for particular officials shall be disbursed only for public purposes
to be supported by appropriate vouchers and subject to such guidelines as may be
prescribed by law.
(7) If, by the end of any fiscal year, the Congress shall have failed to pass the general
appropriations bill for the ensuing fiscal year, the general appropriations law for the
preceding fiscal year shall be deemed reenacted and shall remain in force and effect until
the general appropriations bill is passed by the Congress.

 Q: Goh filed before the COMELEC a recall petition. COMELEC promulgated Resolution
No. 9864. Resolution No. 9864 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. Resolution No. 9882 suspended any proceeding relative to recall as the recall
process, as stated in said Resolution, does not have an appropriation in the General
Appropriations Act of 2014 (2014 GAA) and the 2014 GAA does not provide the
COMELEC with legal authority to commit public funds for the recall process. Decide.
o A: A careful review of the Commission's budget under the 2014 GAA reveals that
it does not have any appropriation or line item budget (line item) to serve as a
contingency fund for the conduct of recall elections. While the Commission has a
line item for the "Conduct and supervision of elections, referenda, recall votes
and plebiscites" under the Program category of its 2014 budget, the said amount
cannot be considered as "an appropriation made by law" as required by the
Constitution nor a contingent fund provided under the LGC considering that the
said line item is legally intended to finance the basic continuing staff support and
administrative operations of the Commission such as salaries of officials and
employees as well as essential office maintenance and other operating expenses.
As such, it cannot be used for the actual conduct of recall elections. Goh v.
COMELEC GR No. 212584, November 25, 2014
 Q: What is the rule on riders in the general appropriations bill?
o A: Under Article VI Sec 25(2), no provision shall be enacted in general
appropriations bill unless it relates specifically to some particular appropriations
therein and such provision shall be limited in its operation to the appropriation to
which it relates.
 Q: President Estrada signed the GAA 2000 which includes the assailed special
provisions, then issued an E.O 270 to extend the implementation of the winding up of
operations of the CAR and extended it by virtue of E.O 328.The petitioners seek the
declaration of nullity of paragraph 1 of the special provisions of RA 870 (GAA2000)
directing that the appropriation for the CAR shall be spent to wind up its activities and
pay the separation and retirement benefits of all the affected members and employees.
Whether the assailed special provisions in RA 8760 is a rider and as such is
unconstitutional. Decide.
o A: The assailed paragraph 1 of the RA8760 does not constitute a rider; it follows
the standard that a provision in an appropriations bill must relate specifically to
some particular appropriations. (Atitiw v. Zamora, GR 143374, Sept. 30, 2005)
 Q: The Appropriation Act for FY 1956-57 contained the following provision “after the
approval of this Act, and when there is no emergency, no reserve officer of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines may be called to a tour of active duty for more than two years
during any period of five consecutive years”. Is the provision valid?
o A: No. The provision violates the rule on “riders”. The said provision has no
relevance or pertinence whatsoever to the budget or to any appropriation item
contained therein since it refers to the fundamental government policy matters of
the calling to active duty and the reversion to inactive status of reserve officers in
the AFP. Garcia v Mata, 65 SCRA 517 [July 30, 1975]
 Q: May the Congress treat appropriations for Congress itself differently from those for
others?
o A: No. Provided under Article VI Sec 25(3) that the procedure in approving
appropriations for the Congress shall strictly follow the procedure approving
appropriations for other departments and agencies.
 Q: What are the rules on special appropriations?
o A: Under Article VI Sec 25(4), A special appropriations bill shall specify the
purpose for which it is intended and shall be supported by funds actually
available as certified by the National Treasurer, or to be raised by a
corresponding revenue proposal therein.
 Q: What are the requisites for the valid transfer of appropriated funds?
o A: Under Article VI Sec 25 (5), the following are the requisites: (1) There is a law
authorizing the President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the heads of the
Constitutional Commissions to transfer funds within their respective offices; (2)
The funds to be transferred are savings generated from the appropriations of their
respective offices; and (3) The purpose of the transfer is to augment an item in the
general appropriations law for their respective offices. (Araullo v. Aquino, G.R.
No., 209287, July 1, 2014)
 Q: To what extent may Congress allow transfer of funds?
o A: No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer or appropriations. However,
the President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the HoR, the Chief
Justice of SC, and Heads of Constitutional Commission, by law, be authorize to
augment any item in general appropriation law for their respective offices from
savings in other items of their respective appropriations.
 Q: Demetrio Demetria et al as taxpayers and members of the Batasan Pambansa sought to
prohibit Manuel Alba, then Minister of the Budget, from disbursing funds pursuant to
Presidential Decree No. 1177 or the Budget Reform Decree of 1977. Demetria assailed the
constitutionality of paragraph 1, Section 44 of the said PD. Decide.
o A: Paragraph 1 of Section 44 of PD 1177 unduly overextends the privilege granted
under the Constitution. It empowers the President to indiscriminately transfer funds
from one department, bureau, office or agency of the Executive Department to any
program, project or activity of any department, bureau or office included in the
General Appropriations Act or approved after its enactment, without regard as to
whether or not the funds to be transferred are actually savings in the item from
which the same are to be taken, or whether or not the transfer is for the purpose
of augmenting the item to which said transfer is to be made. Demetria v. Alba- 148
SCRA 208 [1987]
 Q: Nazareth, the Regional Director of the Department of Science and Technology in the
Region IX, has approved the release of Magna Carta benefits to the covered officials and
employees commencing 1998, 1999, and 2001. The said appropriation has no provision in
the GAA, which means that it has not been officially approved yet. Does the release of the
Magna Carta funds for 1998, 1999, and 2001 qualified officials and employees legal and
valid?
o A: It is not valid, but the officials and employees do not have to reimburse the
disallowed allowance. According to Section 25 (5) Article IV of the Constitution,
the President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the heads of
Constitutional Commissions are authorized to transfer appropriations to augment
any item in the GAA for their respective offices in their respective appropriations.
When the statute itself enumerates the exceptions to the application of the general
rule, the exceptions are strictly but reasonably construed. Nazareth v. Villar,
G.R. No. 188635, 29 January 2013, 689 SCRA 385
 Q: The appropriation for operating expenditures for each House is further divided into
expenditures for salaries, personal services, other compensation benefits, maintenance
expenses and other operating expenses. In turn, each member of Congress is allotted for
his own operating expenditure a proportionate share of the appropriation for the House to
which he belongs. If he does not spend for one items of expense, the provision in
question allows him to transfer his allocation in said item to another item of expense.
Petitioners assail the special provision allowing a member of Congress to realign his
allocation for operational expenses to any other expense category, claiming that this
practice is prohibited by Section 25(5), Article VI of the Constitution. Decide.
o A: The list of those who may be authorized to transfer funds are exclusive.
Likewise, individual members of Congress may not be given such authority and
must seek approval from the Speaker or Senate President if these latter have been
authorized by law. Under the Special Provisions applicable to the Congress of the
Philippines, the members of Congress only determine the necessity of the
realignment of the savings in the allotments for their operating expenses.
(Philconsa v. Enriquez- 235 SCRA 506 August 19,1994)
 Q: What is the rule on discretionary funds?
o A: Discretionary funds for particular officials shall be disbursed only for public
purposes to be supported by appropriate vouchers and subject to such guidelines
as may be prescribed by law.
 Q: On what budget does the government operate when Congress fails to approve a
general appropriation bill?
o A: The general appropriations law for the preceding fiscal year shall be deemed
reenacted and shall remain in force and effect until the general appropriations
bill is passed by the Congress.

The Legislative Process

Section 26. (1) Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which
shall be expressed in the title thereof.
(2) No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings
on separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its
Members three days before its passage, except when the President certifies to the necessity
of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency. Upon the last reading
of a bill, no amendment thereto shall be allowed, and the vote thereon shall be taken
immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal.
 Q: What is the nature and purpose of the rule on title and subject of bills?
o A: To prevent surprise and fraud on the legislature is one of the purposes this
provision was intended to accomplish. Was intended to correct was the blending
in one and the same statute of such things as were diverse in their nature and
were connected only to combine in favor of the statute all the advocates of each,
thus often securing the passage of several measures no one of which could have
succeeded on own merits.
 Q: What is the purpose of the mandatory nature of the rule?
o A: The purpose of the rule is to (1) to prevent the hodge-podge of log-rolling
legislation; (2) to prevent surprise or fraud upon the legislature; (3) to fairly
appraise the people.
 Q: How the rule must be interpreted, liberally or strictly?
o A: Liberally. The rule should be given a practical rather than technical
construction. It should be sufficient compliance with such requirement if the title
expresses the general subject and all the provisions of the statute are germane to
that general subject.
 Q: A bill is passed entitled “An Act Amending Certain Sections of Republic Act 1199
otherwise known as “The Agricultural Tenancy Act of the Philippines.” The bill
contained a provision authorizing the Secretary of Justice to mediate tenancy disputes
through a tenancy mediation division. Valid?
o A: Yes. Cordero v. Cabatuando- 6 SCRA 418 [1962]

 Q: The title of R.A. 1435 is “An act to Provide Means of Increasing the Highway
Special Fund. “It is contended that, since the purpose of the bill is to increase the
highway fund, the provision in Section 5 which creates an exemption and thus does not
contribute to an increase is alien to the subject of the law and is therefore
unconstitutional. Decide.
o A: The purpose of the constitutional provision requiring unity of content and
expression of the content in the title is to prevent duplicity of subject and surprise
upon the legislators and the public. Clearly, the provision for exemption comes
under the general subject expressed in the title. (Insular Lumber Company v.
CTA- 104 SCRA 710 [1981])
Section 27. Presidential Veto Power

Section 27. (1) Every bill passed by the Congress shall, before it becomes a law, be
presented to the President. If he approves the same, he shall sign it; otherwise, he shall
veto it and return the same with his objections to the House where it originated, which
shall enter the objections at large in its Journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such
reconsideration, two-thirds of all the Members of such House shall agree to pass the bill, it
shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House by which it shall likewise be
reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the Members of that House, it shall
become a law. In all such cases, the votes of each House shall be determined by yeas or
nays, and the names of the Members voting for or against shall be entered in its Journal.
The President shall communicate his veto of any bill to the House where it originated
within thirty days after the date of receipt thereof, otherwise, it shall become a law as if he
had signed it.
(2) The President shall have the power to veto any particular item or items in an
appropriation, revenue, or tariff bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items to which
he does not object.

 Q: What steps are needed before a bill finally becomes a law??


o A: Two steps are required before a bill finally becomes a law. First, it must be
approved by Congress. The legislative action required of Congress is a positive
act; there is no enactment law by legislative in action. Miller v. Mardo, 2 SCRA
398, 908-9 (1961). Second, it must be approved by the President. Approval by the
President may be by positive action or by in action. “The President shall
communicate his veto of any bill to the House where it originated within thirty
days after the date of receipt thereof; otherwise, it shall become a law as if he had
signed it.”
 Q: If a version approved by senate is different from that approved by the House of
Representatives, how are the differences reconciled?
o A: In a bicameral system bills are independently processed by both Houses of
Congress. It is not unusual that the final version approved by one House differs
from what has been approved by the other. The “conference committee,”
consisting of members nominated from both Houses, is an extra-constitutional
creation of Congress whose function is to propose to Congress ways of
reconciling conflicting provisions found the State version and in the House
version of a bill.
 Q: If a bill is vetoed by the President, may it still become a law?
o A: Yes. If after such reconsideration, two-thirds of all Members of such House
shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the
House by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of
all the Members of that House, it shall become a law. In all such cases, the votes
of each House shall be determined by yeas or nays, and the names of the
Members voting for or against shall be entered in its Journal.
 Q: May the president approve some part or parts of a bill and veto the rest?
o A: As a general rule, if the president disapproves a bill approved by Congress, he
should veto the entire bill. He is not allowed to veto separate items of a bill. It is
only in the case of appropriation, revenue, and tariff bills that he is authorized to
exercise item-veto.
 Q: The case involved the GAA of 1992. The law appropriated 500,000,000.00 pesos “For
general fund adjustment for operational and special requirements as indicated hereunder”.
Among the several authorized uses of fund was the adjustment of pension of justices as
authorized by earlier law. The President vetoed the use of the fund for the adjustment of
the pension of justices. Decide.
o A: The essence of the item veto is that the President may veto distinct and
severable parts. In declaring the veto invalid, the Court said that it was not the
veto of an item. The item was the entire 500,000,000.00 allocation out of which
unavoidable obligations not adequately funded in separate items could be met.
What the President had vetoed, was the method of meeting unavoidable
obligations or the matter of using the 500,000,000.00. (Bengzon v. Drilon- 208
SCRA 133 [1992])
 Q: What is the effect of an invalid veto?
o A: Is it without effect, it is as if the President did not act on the bill at all. Hence,
the bill becomes a law by executive inaction. Bolinao Electronics v. Valencia, 11
SCRA 486 (1964)
 Q: May the publication of laws prior to their effectivity be dispensed with?
o A: No. Publication in every case is indispensable. However, the legislature has
discretion to determine the manner and duration of publication before effectivity.
Total omission of publication would be denial of due process in that the people
would not know what laws to obey. Tanada v. Tuvera, 146 SCRA 446 (1986)
 Q: Section 42 of H.B 17839 which became R.A 6110 imposed a caterer’s tax on various
operators of restaurants. President Marcos, however, vetoed the portion of Section 42
which imposed a 20% caterers tax on restaurants operated by hotels, motels, and rest
houses. It is contended that the veto was invalid since item veto refers to a veto of an
entire section and not portions of section. Decide.
o A: The veto was invalid. “An item” in a revenue bill does not refer to an entire
section imposing a particular kind of tax, but rather to the subject of the tax and
the tax rate. To construe the word item as referring to the whole section would tie
the Presidents hand in choosing either to approve the whole section at the
expense of also approving a provision therein which he deems unacceptable or
veto the entire section at the expense of foregoing the collection of the kind of tax
altogether. CIR vs. CTA- 185 SCRA 329 [1990]
 Q: What is the doctrine of “inappropriate provisions”?
o A: The doctrine says that a provision that is constitutionally inappropriate for an
appropriation bill may be singled out for veto even if it is not an appropriation or
revenue item. In essence what this means is that the President may veto “riders”
in an appropriation bill.
 Q: What is the meaning of Executive Impoundment?
o A: Refusal of the President to spend funds already allocated by Congress for a
specific purpose.

Taxation

Section 28. (1) The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable. The Congress shall
evolve a progressive system of taxation.
(2) 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.
(3) Charitable institutions, churches and parsonages or covenants appurtenant thereto,
mosques, non-profit cemeteries, and all lands, buildings, and improvements actually,
directly, and exclusively used for religious, charitable, or educational purposes shall be
exempt from taxation.

 Q: What is the purpose of the power to tax?


(4) No lawo granting
A: The specific
any tax purpose
exemptionof power topassed
shall be tax is towithout
raise revenue. However,offrom
the concurrence a the
earliest days of the history
majority of all the members of the Congress.of the power of taxation, the power to tax has been
recognized as an instrument of national economic and social policy. It has, for
instance, been used as an instrument for the extermination of undesirable
activities and enterprises. In the celebrated words of Justice Marshall, the power
to tax involves the power to destroy. McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat, 316, 431
(U.S.1819)
 Q: President Ferdinand Marcos, exercising his legislative powers, issued LOI No. 1465
which provided, among others, for the imposition of a capital recovery component (CRC)
on the domestic sale of all grades of fertilizers which resulted in having Fertiphil paying
to the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA). After the Edsa Revolution, FPA
voluntarily stopped the imposition of the P10 levy. Upon return of democracy, Fertiphil
demanded a refund but PPI refused. Fertiphil filed a complaint contending that LOI No.
1465 is unjust, unreasonable oppressive, invalid and unlawful resulting to denial of due
process of law. Decide if LOI No. 1465 is an invalid exercise of the power of taxation.
o A: Yes. Police power and the power of taxation are inherent powers of the state
but distinct and have different tests for validity. While, the power of taxation is
the power to levy taxes as to be used for public purpose. The main purpose of
police power is the regulation of a behavior or conduct, while taxation is revenue
generation. The lawful subjects and lawful means tests are used to determine the
validity of a law enacted under the police power. The power of taxation, on the
other hand, is circumscribed by inherent and constitutional limitations.
 Q: What is the general limit on the power to tax?
o A: The power to tax exists for general welfare. Hence implicit in the power is the
limitation that it should be exercised only for a public purpose.
 Q: What are the specific limits on the power to tax?
o A: (1) Rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable. Congress shall evolve a
progressive system of taxation; (2) Charitable institutions, etc. and all lands,
building and improvements actually, directly and exclusively used for religious,
charitable or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation. (art. 6 sec
28(3)); (3) All revenues and assets of non-stock, non-profit educational
institutions used actually, directly and exclusively for educational purposes shall
be exempt from taxes and duties (art. 14 sec 4(3)); (4) Law granting tax
exemption shall be passed only with the concurrence of the majority of all the
members of Congress. (Art. 6 sec 29(4)).
 Q: When is taxation “uniform and equitable”?
o A: The requirement of uniformity has been interpreted by Philippine
jurisprudence as equivalent to the requirement of valid classification under the
equal protection clause. The word equitable seems to add nothing except by way
of emphasis.
 Q: What is progressive system of taxation?
o A: A tax system is progressive when the rate increases as the tax base increases.
 Q: What is the reason for progressive system?
o A: The explicit mention of progressive taxation in the Constitution reflects the
wish of the Commission that the legislature should use the power of taxation as an
instrument for a more equitable distribution of wealth.
 Q: May the power to tax be delegated?
o A: Yes. The Congress may by law, authorize the President to fix within specified
limits, and subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose.
 Q: What are the conditions in the delegation of the power to tax?
o A: There are three conditions. (1) Delegation must be made by law (2) The power
granted is to fix tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage
dues, and other duties and impost. 232 Cruz, Philippine Political Law, p. 168
(1995 ed). 233 Bernas Commentary, p 779 (2003 ed). (3) The said power is to be
exercised within specified limits and subject to such limitations and restrictions as
the Congress may impose. (4) The authorization of such power must be within the
framework of the national development program of the Government.
 Q: Are there constitutionally created tax exemptions?
o A: Yes. It is provided under section 28 (3), that charitable institutions, churches,
parsonages or convents appurtenant to churches, mosques, non-profit cemeteries,
all lands, buildings and improvement actually, directly, and exclusively used for
religious charitable, or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation.
 Q: What kind of tax exemption is created in Section 28(3)?
o A: The exemption is only for taxes assessed as property taxes, as
contradistinguished from excise taxes.
 Q: What are the elements to consider in determining whether an enterprise is a charitable
institution/entity?
o A: The following are the elements to consider. (1) Statute creating the enterprise;
(2) Its corporate purposes; (3) Its constitution and by-laws; (4) Method of
administration; (5) Nature of actual work performed; (6) Character of services
rendered; (7) Indefiniteness of the beneficiaries; (8) Use and occupation of the
properties. (Lung Center v. QC)
 Q: Lung Center is a non-stock, non-profit entity established by virtue of PD No. 1823,
seeks exemption from real property taxes when the City Assessor issued Tax
Declarations for the land and the hospital building. Petitioner predicted on its claim that it
is a charitable institution thus exempted from real property taxes under Sec 28(3) Art VI
of the Constitution Decide.
o A: Partly No. Under PD 1823, the lung center does not enjoy any property tax
exemption privileges for its real properties as well as the building constructed
thereon. Accordingly, the portions occupied by the hospital used for its patients
are exempt from real property taxes while those leased to private entities are not
exempt from such taxes. (Lung Center v. QC, GR 144104, June 29, 2004)
 Q: Bills are ordinarily passed with support of only a simple majority, or a majority of
those present and voting. Under section 28 (4), what is the reason for absolute majority?
o A: The above provision requires for absolute majority of an entire membership of
the Congress because a tax exemption represents a withholding of the power to
tax and consequent loss of revenue to the government.
Section 29. Spending Power

Section 29. (1) No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an
appropriation made by law.
(2) No public money or property shall be appropriated, applied, paid, or employed, directly or
indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian
institution, or system of religion, or of any priest, preacher, minister, other religious teacher,
or dignitary as such, except when such priest, preacher, minister, or dignitary is assigned to
the armed forces, or to any penal institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium.
(3) All money collected on any tax levied for a special purpose shall be treated as a special
fund and paid out for such purpose only. If the purpose for which a special fund was created
has been fulfilled or abandoned, the balance, if any, shall be transferred to the general funds
of the Government.

 Q: Who has control of the expenditure of public funds?


o A: The Congress
 Q: COMELEC issued resolutions adopting an Automated Elections System including the
assailed resolution, Resolution 6712, which provides for the electronic transmission of
advanced result of “unofficial” count. The petitioners-in-intervention point to several
constitutional infractions occasioned by the assailed resolution, as there has been no
appropriation by Congress for the respondent COMELEC to conduct an unofficial
electronic transmission of results of the May 10, 2004 elections. Decide.
o A: The assailed COMELEC resolution likewise contravened the constitutional
provision that "no money shall be paid out of the treasury except in pursuance of
an appropriation made by law." It being “unofficial”, any disbursement of public
fund would be contrary to the provisions of the Constitution and Rep. Act No.
9206, which is the 2003 General Appropriations Act. (Brillantes v. Comelec, GR
163193, June 15, 2004)
 Q: Reason why the congress has control?
o A: Behind the provision stands the principle that the people’s treasure may be
sent only with their consent. That consent is to be expressed either in the
Constitution itself or in valid acts of the legislature as the direct representative of
the people.
 Q: What is the meaning of appropriation?
o A: An appropriation measure may be defined as a statute the primary and specific
purpose of which is to authorize the release of public funds from the treasury. A
law creating an office and providing funds therefore is not an appropriation law
since the main purpose is not to appropriate funds but to create the office.
 Q: What are the different classifications of appropriation measures?
o A: (1) General- The general appropriations law passed annually is intended to
provide for the financial operations of the entire government during one fiscal
period; (2) Special - designed for a specific purpose such as the creation of a
fund for the relief of typhoon victims.
 Q: Are their limitations on Appropriations?
o A: (1) Must specify the public purpose for which the sum is intended; (2) Must be
supported by funds actually available as certified to by National Treasurer, or to
be raised by a corresponding revenue proposal included therein; (3) Prohibition
against appropriations for sectarian benefit.
 Q: What are the limits on the power of the Congress?
o A: The specific limits are those found in section 29 (2). Aside from the explicit
limitations, there is also the most important implicit limitation that public money
can be appropriated only for a public purpose. This limitation arises from the
relation between the power to spend and the power to tax. The right of the
legislature to appropriate public funds is correlative with is right to tax, and,
under the constitutional provisions against taxation except for public purposes…
no appropriation of state funds can be made for other than a public purpose.

Sections 30&31. Other Prohibited Measure

Section 30. No law shall be passed increasing the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme
Court as provided in this Constitution without its advice and concurrence.

Section 31. No law granting a title of royalty or nobility shall be enacted.

 Q: May the congress increase the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court?
o A: Yes, but only with the advice and concurrence of the Supreme Court itself.
 Q: Reason for such limitation on the power of the Congress?
o A: To prevent further additions to the present tremendous case load of the
Supreme Court which includes the backlog of the past decades.
 Q: What is the reason for prohibiting the Stare from granting titles of royalty or nobility?
o A: To preserve the republican and democratic nature of our society by prohibiting
the creation of privileged classes with special perquisites not available to the rest
of the citizenry.

Section 32. Initiative and Referendum

Section 32. The Congress shall as early as possible, provide for a system of initiative and
referendum, and the exceptions therefrom, whereby the people can directly propose and
enact laws or approve or reject any act or law or part thereof passed by the Congress or local
legislative body after the registration of a petition therefor signed by at least ten per centum
of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented
by at least three per centum of the registered voters thereof.
 Q: Does the congress have the exclusive right to pass national legislation?
o A: No. Section 32 has introduced the concept of “initiative and referendum”
whereby the people themselves legislate. The enabling law R.A. 6735, the
Initiative and Referendum Law. The first case to come under this implementing
law involved local “initiative and referendum.” Garcia v. Commission on
Elections, 237 SCRA 279 (1994), upheld the validity of the procedure prescribed
by the Local Government Code for local initiative and referendum.
 Q: What is “initiative and referendum”
o A: Initiative is the power of the people to propose amendments to the Constitution
or to propose and enact legislation, while referendum is the power of the
electorate to approve or reject legislation through an election called for the
purpose.
 Q: What are the systems of initiative?
o A: There are three systems of initiative: (1) Initiative on the Constitution which
refers to a petition proposing amendments to the Constitution; (2) Initiative on
statutes which refers to a petition proposing to enact a national legislation; (3)
Initiative on local legislation which refers to a petition proposing to enact a
regional, provincial, city, municipal or barangay law, resolution or ordinance.
 Q: Are there limitations on local initiative?
o A: (1) The power of local initiative shall not be exercised more than once a year;
(2) Initiative shall extend only to subjects or matters which are within the legal
matters which are within the legal powers of the local legislative bodies to enact;
(3) If any time before the initiative is held, the local legislative body shall adopt in
toto the proposition presented, the initiative shall be cancelled. However, those
against such action may if they so desire, apply for initiative.

 Q: Petitioners filed a petition with COMELEC to hold a plebiscite on their petition for an
initiative to amend the Constitution by adopting a unicameral-parliamentary form of
government and by providing for transitory provisions.
o A: An initiative to change the Constitution applies only to an amendment and not
revision. Revision broadly implies a change that alters basic principle in the
Constitution like altering the principle of separation of powers or the system of
checks and balance. The initiative of the petitioners is a revision and not merely
an amendment. (Lambino v. COMELEC)
 Q: Is the People Power recognized in the Constitution?
o A: “People power” is recognized in the Constitution, Article III, Section 4 of the
1987 Constitution guarantees the right of the people peaceable to assemble and
petition the government for redress of grievances. Article VI, Section 32 of the
1987 Constitution requires Congress to pass a law allowing the people to directly
propose or reject any act or law or part of it passed by congress or a local
legislative body.