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PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

By

ISAGANI A. CRUZ
Associate Justice
(1986-1994)
Supreme Court of the Philippines

CARLO L. CRUZ
Professorial Lecturer
College of Law, Lyceum of the Philippines University
College of Law, University of the Philippines

Bar Review Lecturer


Jurists Bar Review Center
College of Law, Lyceum of the Philippines University
UP Law Center

2014 Edition
Philippine Copyright, 1989, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2014

by

ISAGANI A. CRUZ

and

CARLO L. CRUZ

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Any book without the correlative number and not bearing


the signature of the author shall be denounced
as proceeding from an illegal source.

ISBN 978-971-011-761-1

Printed, by

CENTRAL BOOK SUPPLY, INC.


927 Quezon Avenue, Quezon City
Philippines
central_bks@yahoo.com

ii
FOREWORD

ON FEBRUARY 22, 1986, after almost thirteen years of


oppression and repression, the light at the end of the
tunnel glowed fitfully but hopefully to signal the advent
of a new liberation for the Filipino people. That was the
day Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and the Deputy
Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,
General Fidel V. Ramos, burrowed themselves at Camp
Crame and proclaimed their defiance of President Mar-
cos, whom they accused of rigging the election held on
February 7, 1986. The real winner, they said, was Cora-
zon C. Aquino, the unassuming widow who had
launched a charismatic campaign against the Marcos
regime and received throughout the land a response
that can only be described as phenomenal. Marcos was
asked to respect the mandate of the electorate and step
down in favor of the legitimate choice of the people.
The announcement stunned, then electrified, the
nation. Before long, a crowd of civilians from all walks of
life—the rich mingling with the slum-dwellers, children
in the care of grandparents, nuns and housewives hold-
ing vigil with doctors and jeepney drivers, students
pitching makeshift tents with their professors, every
single one of them sharing a common obsession for free-
dom—gathered in front of the military camp to give
support and protection to the men inside. The military
was no less affected and inspired. Generals began de-
fecting with their men to the endangered citadel. The
onlookers were at first alarmed, then thrilled, when
several helicopters landed, not to fight, as it turned out,
but to pledge their support for the outnumbered rebels.
Soon millions had massed at the gates of Camp Crame
and the nearby Camp Aguinaldo, to form a human
shield and buffer against the expected onslaughts of the

iii
Marcos loyalists. They came soon enough, their mighty
tanks rumbling along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue,
trucks and trucks of combatants in battle gear and
ready for the kill. But the tanks were stopped on their
tracks and the soldiers themselves were disarmed, ren-
dered hors de combat even before the first shot could be
fired. How? With the opposite of everything the would-
be attackers threatened: peace, not war; love for hate;
flowers instead of bloodshed; rosaries draped on the
barrel of a gun; an old woman in a wheelchair on the
path of the advancing tank—liberty for the long, long
night of enslavement and loss of human dignity.
The choice was obvious. As the whole world
watched in admiration and wonder, the Revolution was
won in the jubilant wash of what came proudly to be
called “people power.”
On February 25, 1986, Corazon C. Aquino and Sal-
vador H. Laurel were sworn in at the Club Filipino as
President and Vice-President of the Philippines respec-
tively. Their induction was held under the auspices of
the New Armed Forces of the Philippines in a festive air
of victory and hope. Meanwhile, Ferdinand Marcos, who
had been proclaimed winner by the Batasang Pam-
bansa, took his own oath in Malacanang before a jittery
group of loyalists which, significantly, did not include
his vice-presidential running-mate, Arturo Tolentino.
There was a show of bravado, but the mood was gener-
ally despondent because the angry mob was at that time
practically at the gates of the palace. It was almost anti-
climatic only when the happy news spread that the
Marcoses had fled in a U.S. helicopter that took them to
Hawaii. There was, literally, dancing in the streets.
One of President Aquino’s first official acts was the
proclamation of a Freedom Constitution to become ope-
rative until the adoption of a new Constitution.

iv
Toward this end, she created a Constitutional Com-
mission which undertook the framing of a new charter
“truly reflective of the ideals and aspirations of the Fili-
pino people.” The draft charter, hammered out for more
than four months, was submitted to the electorate in a
plebiscite held on February 2, 1987, and was ratified
with a comfortable margin, due largely to a desire for
stability and normal government rather than to the
intrinsic merits of the document.
It is this Constitution of 1987 that will serve as the
basis of the eighth revision of this book on the political
structure of the Republic of the Philippines. If there
were these many revisions before, it was because the old
Constitution changed with the fickle whims and designs
of the deposed dictator. It is hoped that this time, there
will be more permanence in the new Constitution, and it
will remain, as it ought to be, “firm and immovable, like
a mountain amidst the strife of storms or a rock in the
ocean amidst the ranging of the waves.”
In a way then, this book is beginning again, not
with a mere revision but with a first edition.

ISAGANIA. CRUZ

May 3, 1987

V
For My Children

with the hope that


they will help burnish
the nation’s future with
their inviolate ideals,
their unflappable faith,
and their not impossible
dreams.

vi
... and

for SALLY
beautiful and beloved

.. .from the blessed and bountiful beyond.

vii
PREFACE TO THE 2014 EDITION

THIS edition comes after the demise of the author, Jus-


tice Isagani A. Cruz, who, prior to his passing, instructed
the undersigned to undertake the changes required to
make this text both current and comprehensive.
He hesitated for many years to make this revision
himself because of his well-founded apprehension that
our Constitution would be changed, considering the
stubborn and selfish efforts of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
to perpetuate herself in power with the conversion of
our political structure from presidential to parliamen-
tary, thereby enabling her to slide into the premiership
of a new government. By the time it became certain that
she would not succeed, the author, although possessing
still both wisdom and wit, had become weak and thus
physically unable to write.
Had he written this edition himself, he would have,
without doubt, discussed the most recent developments
in the realm of Philippine Political Law with his charac-
teristic incisive commentaries presented in his inimita-
ble and unparalleled writing flair which earned for him
the richly deserved and uncontested title of Lyricist of
the Court.
Nonetheless, this edition is based largely on the
discussions of the undersigned with the author on the
significant cases and laws which merit discussion, and
therefore inclusion, in this book. As ever, it is intended
to aid, more than anyone else, the student of law in his
better understanding, and appreciation, of this subject.
Featured prominently in this edition would be the
most recent, and often conflicting, if not confusing, pro-
nouncements of the Supreme Court on the three
branches of government, with particular emphasis on
the Judiciary, which, in recent years, has grown to be

viii
more assertive of its independence and role as “not only
the highest arbiter of legal questions but also the con-
science of the government.”
Important new decisions on executive privilege, as
invoked against the legislative prerogative of investiga-
tion, the President’s appointment, control, diplomatic and
military powers, and the Legislature’s exercise of its law-
making and non-legislative powers, including its power of
impeachment, are also discussed in this edition.
Principles pertinent to the Constitutional Commis-
sions, as either promulgated or clarified by the Supreme
Court, are likewise presented along with segments on
the greater participation of the people in our democratic
government, as intended in our Constitution.
The undersigned has written these changes in this
book with every intention of remaining consistent with,
if not absolutely faithful to, the views of the author, his
teacher and idol, as expressed and discussed by him
during his final years. It is hoped that the reader would
consider this new edition as a continuation of the au-
thor’s legacy of masterful mentorship in the field of Phil-
ippine Political Law, which he started in his first edition
of this book almost forty years ago.
That first edition was dedicated by the author to
his children. He there, and then, expressed his hope that
they will help burnish the nation’s future with their in-
violate ideals, their unflappable faith, and their not im-
possible dreams. That dedication is retained in this edi-
tion as his continuing prayer for his offspring, and, in
turn, as their affirmation, made with profound grati-
tude, that, as to the hopes their father held for them
when they were young, all is well.

CARLO L. CRUZ
October 11, 2013

ix
PREFACE TO THE 2002 EDITION

MANY significant events have happened during the last


two years that have affected the politics of our nation
and will certainly influence our future. The impeach-
ment of President Joseph Estrada, his replacement by
Vice-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the validity of
the constitutional succession, and the current prosecu-
tion of the former President, the first in the history of
our country, are among the important recent develop-
ments that have been the subject of deliberation and
decision by the Supreme Court. The corresponding cases
are discussed in this latest edition of this book, now on
its 27th year, to update the reader on the evolving end-
less narrative of Philippine political law.
I express my warm greetings and appreciation to
those who, through my books on the Constitution as
interpreted (or misinterpreted) by the Supreme Court,
have joined me as kindred spirits in the study of the
republican government under the aegis of the Rule of
Law.

ISAGANI A. CRUZ
May 3, 2002

X
PRAYER
delivered on July 23, 1986
at the Constitutional Commission
by
J.B. LAUREL, Jr.
Commissioner
Almighty God, even as the eagle flies at will in the in-
finite reaches of the skies, let our vision soar untrammeled as
we seek that radiant future we hope to ensure for our people
in the Constitution we are writing.
Let it be a future where all persons are born free, rel-
ishing their rights but always with deference to the rights of
others and recognizing authority as long as its highest com-
mitment is to the strengthening and defense of liberty.
Grant that the spirit of freedom shall always reign in
our land, touching one and all like a benediction and igniting
that divine spark in every human being that can make him,
indeed, slightly “lower than angels” in this imperfect world.
Grant us courage, that we may face up to the powerful
and defend those who are weak and oppressed.
Grant us wisdom, that we may distinguish between
what is right and what is just, for they are not always the
same.
Grant us candor, that we may be true to ourselves and
so not be false to others.
Grant us strength when we are assailed by despair, or
self-doubt, or temptation.
And finally, Lord, grant the new Constitution grace and
beauty of language, so that generations from now, when all of
us here are gone, our people will still be moving reverently to
the cadence of its thoughts.
Bless us all, Eternal Spirit, and keep us free, forever and
ever.
Amen.

xi
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

Chapter 1

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

Scope of the Study .........

H H CO CO
Necessity for the Study...
Basis of the Study............
Background of the Study ................................................................

Chapter 2

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES

Outstanding Features .......................

r-1 i—I i—I


CO CD CO
The Supremacy of the Constitution ..............................................
Prospects of the Constitution............

Chapter 3

THE CONCEPT OF THE STATE

Definition............................................................................................
............................................................................................
(1) People ................... .' ................................... 21
(2) Territory ......................................................
(3) Government ................................................
A. Functions ..........................................
B. Doctrine of Parens Patriae...............
C. De Jure and De Facto Governments .....................
WN2WO<!WWM

D. Government of the Philippines .........

(4) ......................................................................
Sovereignty.
E. Administration ..................................

........................................................................................

xiii
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page
Chapter 4

THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY

Basis .......................
Application .............
Waiver of Immunity .......................................................................
Forms of Consent ....
Suits Against Government Agencies .................................................. 70
Exemption from Legal Requirements ................................................. 75
Suability vs. Liability ......................................................................... 77

Chapter 5

FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES

Preamble ..........................

CD 00 00
bo <i co
Republicanism .................
The Defense of the State.. .
.......................................... .95
Peace and Order ................ .95
The Incorporation Clause ...............................................................10
Rearing.............................................................................................
of the Youth........ 2
Social Justice .................................................................................... 110
Separation of Church and State ........................................................ 115
Supremacy of Civilian Authority ..................................................... 118
Local Autonomy ............................................................................... 119
Economy........................................................................................... 120
Miscellaneous ................................................................................... 126
Chapter 6

SEPARATION OF POWERS

Purposes .................................................... 133


Blending of Powers ................................... ... ................................ 134
Checks and Balances ......................................................................... 135
The Role of the Judiciary ..................................................................136
Justiciable and Political Questions .................................................... 139
Application of the Doctrine ............................................................... 144
Political Questions Uudei the New Constitution .............................. 152

xiv
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

Chapter 7

DELEGATION OF POWERS

Permissible Delegation ...................................................................... 162


(1) Tariff Powers ................................................................. 162
(2) Emergency Powers ........................................................ 163
(3) Delegation to the People ................................................. 171
(4) Delegation to Local Governments .................................. 172
(5) Delegation to Administrative Bodies .............................. 173
Tests of Delegation........................................................................... 175
(1) The Completeness Test ................................................... 176
(2) The Sufficient Standard Test .......................................... 178
The Pelaez Case ............................................................................... 182

Chapter 8

THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

The Senate ........................................ .............................................. 186


(1) Composition ................................................................... 186
(2) Qualifications ................................................................. 187
.......................................................................................
The House of Representatives .........................................................200
(1) Composition ...................................................................200
(A) The District Representatives ................................ 201
(B) The Party-list Representatives .......................... 205
Qualifications ................................................................ 215
Term .............................................................................. 222
............................................................................................
............................................................................................
Parliamentary Immunities ................................................................ 227
(1) Privilege from Arrest ....................................................... 228
(2) Privilege of Speech and Debate ....................................... 229
Conflict of Interest............................................................................

...........................................................................................
...........................................................................................
Incompatible
Quorum and Forbidden Offices ................................................241
............................................................................................
Inhibitionsofand
Discipline Disqualifications
Members ..................................................... 243
......................................................................
Journals ............................................................................................ 245
............................................................................................

...........................................................................................
xv
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page
Adjournment ................................................................................... 249
The Electoral Tribunals ................................................................... 250
The Commission on Appointments ................................................. 264
Organization .................................................................................... 267

Chapter 9

POWERS OF THE CONGRESS

Legislative Power in General ...................................................... 269


........................................................................................
Origin of Bills .......... 275
Prohibited Measures ...................................................................
Title of Bills .............
......................................................................................
Approval of Bills .............................................................................. 287
Legislative Inquiries ........................................................................ 296
Appearance of Department Heads .................................................... 302
The Power of Appropriation............................................................. 304
(1) Appropriation Defined .................................................. 305
(2) Implied Limitations ...................................................... 306
(3) Constitutional Limitations ............................................. 307
(4) Appropriations for Sectarian Purposes .......................... 315
(5) Automatic Re-appropriation .......................................... 317
(6) Special Funds ................................................................ 318
The Power of Taxation ..................................................................... 319
The Power of Concurrence ............................................................... 325
The War Powers .............................................................................. 325
Referendum and Initiative ................................................................ 327

Chapter 10

THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Executive Power................. 33
Qualifications ..................... 5
Election and Proclamation ........................................................... 33
4^ CO
oo
CO

................................................................................................ 6
The Vice-President ............................................................................ 349
Presidential Succession ................................................................... 350
co co
O1 CJl

Oath of Office ..................................................................................


Ci cn

Perquisites and Inhibitions ...............................................................

xvi
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

Executive Privilege ................................................... .366


Presidential Immunity ............................................... 376
Chapter 11

POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT

The Appointing Power ............................................... 389


(1) The Removal Power .................................... 407
The Control Power .................................................... 409
The “Take-Care” Clause ............................................. 419
The Military Power .................................................... 421
(1) Command of the Armed Forces ..............
(2) Habeas Corpus .........................................
(3) Martial Law .............................................

..................................................................... 443
.................................................................... 444
................................................................... 444
(4) Limitations on the Military Powers .........
The Pardoning Power.................................................. 445
(1) Definitions ............................................... 448
(2) Limitations ............................................... 453
(3) Kinds of Pardon ....................................... 453
(4) Effects of Pardon .....................................
(5) Distinctions ..............................................
(6) Amnesty ...................................................
The Borrowing Power ................................................. 463
The Diplomatic Power ............................................... 464
..........................................................................................................................................................

......................................................................
Chapter 12
The Budgetary Power .................................................
THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
..................................................................................
The Informing Power ..................................................
Other Powers ..............................................................
Independence of the Judiciary ........................................................... 467
Judicial Power ................................................................................... 468
Jurisdiction ....................................................................................... 474
Appointments .................................................................................... 474
(1) Qualifications ................................................................ 475
(2) The Judicial and Bar Council ................................... 476
Fiscal Autonomy ............................................................................... 481
Composition of the Supreme Court ................................................... 485

xvii
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Pag
e
(1) En Banc cases ................................................... .487
(2) Division Cases .................................................. .489
Requisites of a Judicial Inquiry ........................................... .490
(1) Actual Case ....................................................... .491
(2) Proper Party ...................................................... .506
(3) Earliest Opportunity ................................... ..... .520
(4) Necessity of Deciding Constitutional Question ...........521
Effects of a Declaration of Unconstitutionality ....................
.526
(1) Partial Unconstitutionality ....................................
.533
Powers of the Supreme Court ...............................................
(1) Original Jurisdiction...........................................
(2) Appellate Jurisdiction ........................................
(3) Temporary Assignment of Judges ...................... 54
(4) Change of Venue or Place of Trial .................... 8
(5) Rule-making Power ........................................... 54
(6) Appointment of Court 9
(7) Personnel 55
............................................................................ 0
Administrative Supervision or Courts 55
............................................................................ 9
Tenure of Judges................................................................... 55
Consultations of the Court .................................................... 9

O r-l
LO IO
Decisions of the Court ..........................................................

00 o
56
Salaries of Judges ................................................................. 4
Periods for Decision .............................................................
Chapter 13 56
................................................................................ 8
Annual Report ....................................................................... 57
THE CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSIONS
0
........................................................................................................................................................... 58

Disqualifications ............................................................................... 5
Ql CH
CD C©
on

................................................................................ 596
Reappointment ...................................................................................
Staggering
Other of Terms ..........................................................................
Perquisites 602
Proceedings ...........................................................603

Chapter 14

THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

Composition and Qualifications ....................................................... 607


Scope of the Civil Service ................................................................. 609
Appointments..................................................................................... 620

xviii
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

(1) Exceptions ........................................................................ 621


Security of Tenure............................................................................ 624
Partisan Political Activity ................................................................ 629
Self-organization .............................................................................. 634
Temporary Employees ..................................................................... 63
Objectives of the Civil Service ........................................................ 6
................................................................................................ 63
Disqualifications .............................................................................. 8
Standardization of Compensation .................................................... 64
..................................................................... 1
Double Compensation ...................................................................... 647

Chapter 15

THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS


Composition and Qualifications ...................................................... 652
Powers and Functions ....................................................................... 654
(1) Enforcement of Election Laws ...................................... 654
(2) Decision of Election Contests ........................................ 681
(3) Decision of Administrative Questions ........................... 689
(4) Deputization of Law-Enforcement Agencies................. 690
(5) Registration of Political Parties ..................................... 691
(6) Improvement of Elections ............................................. 700
Election Period ................................................................................. 701
Party System ..................................................................................... 702
...............................................................................................
Judicial Review ................................................................................ 705

Chapter 16

THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT

Composition and Qualifications ...................................................... 709


Powers and Functions ....................................................................... 710
Prohibited Exemptions ..................................................................... 725
Report ............................................................................................... 727

Chapter 17

ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS

Impeachment .................................................................................... 730

xix
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

(1) Impeachable Officers .................................................... 736


(2) Grounds for Impeachment .............................................. 738
(3) Procedure ....................................................................... 740
(4) Judgment ........................................................................ 746
The Sandiganbayan ............................................................................ 750
The Ombudsman ................................................................................ 756
(1) Composition .................................................................. 758
(2) Qualifications and Appointment ................................... 758
(3) Term ............................................................................... 759
(4) Powers and Functions .................................................... 759
(5) Salary ............................................................................. 782
(6) Deputy Ombudsman andPersonnel of the Office
of the Ombudsman ......................................................... 782
The Special Prosecutor ...................................................................... 788
Ill-gotten Wealth ............................................................................... 790
Loans ................................................................................................. 793
Assets and Liabilities ......................................................................... 793
Change of Citizenship ........................................................................ 798

Chapter 18

AMENDMENT OR REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION

Kinds of Constitutions ....................................................................... 805


Permanence of the Constitution ......................................................... 806
Amendment and Revision .................................................................. 807
Procedure ........................................................................................... 807
(1) Proposal.......................................................................... 808
(A) Position of the Constitutional Convention ............... 819
(2) Ratification ..................................................................... 820
Judicial Review of Amendments ....................................................... 824

Chapter 19

TRANSITORY PROVISIONS

Elections ............................................................................................ 827


Existing Laws and Treaties ................................................................ 829
Reserved Executive Powers ............................................................... 830
Court and Judges ............................................................................... 832
Constitutional Commissions .............................................................. 832
Career Civil Service .......................................................................... 833

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page
Priority Measures .............................................................................
Sequestration ...................................................................................
............................................................................................

APPENDICES

The Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines ....... 83


p to >

The 1973 Constitution .................................................... 7


Ordinance Appended to the Constitution Apportioning 91
the Members of the Batasang Pambansa to the Differ- 7
ent Provinces with their Component Cities, Highly
Urbanized Cities, and the Districts of Metropolitan
Manila .............................................................................

CD CD
C0 CD
LO IO
D. The 1935 Constitution .....................................................

>0o ---

xxi
TABLE OF CASES

Page

Abainza v. Arellano, G.R. No. 181644, December 8, 2008,


573 SCRA 332 ....................................................................... 662
Abakada Guro Party List v. Ermita, G.R. Nos. 168056,
September 1, 2005, 469 SCRA 1 .................... 160, 177,178, 179
Abakada Guro Party List v. Purisima, G.R. No. 166715
August 14, 2008, 562 SCRA 251 ............................ 275, 290,
Abanilla v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 142347, Au- 729
gust 25, 2005, 468 SCRA 87 ..........................................
Abayon v. COMELEC and Raul Daza, G.R. No. 181295, ...... 721
April 2, 2009, 583 SCRA 473 .........................................
Abayon v. HRET, G.R. No. 189466, February 11, 2010, ...... 663
612 SCRA 375 ................................................................
Abbas v. Senate Electoral Tribunal, 164 SCRA 651 ................
ABC Party List v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 193256, March
22, 2011, 646 SCRA 93 .................................................. ...... 698
Abella v. Larrazabal, G.R. Nos. 87721-30 & 88004,
December 21,1989,180 SCRA 509 ................................. ...... 658
Abella vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 100710, September 3,
1991, 201 SCRA 253 ...................................................... ...... 664
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation v. Office of the
Ombudsman, G.R. No. 133347, October 15, 2008,
569 SCRA 59 ................................................. •. ...... 765
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation v. Phil. Multi-Media
Inc., G.R. Nos. 175769-70, January 19, 2009, 576
SCRA 262 ............................................................... 129, 520, 524
Abueva v. Wood, 45 Phil. 612 .................................................. ...... 144
Abundo v. COMELEC G.R. No. 201716, January 8, 2013,
Cd
Cd
CO

688 SCRA 149 ................................................................


ACCFA v. Federation of Labor Unions, 30 SCRA 649 ............
CO
to

Achacoso v. Macaraig, G.R. No. 93023, March 13, 1991,


CD Cd

195 SCRA 235 ................................................................


H
N CO

Adaza v. Pacana, 135 SCRA 431 ..............................................

................................................................. 460
Adolfo v. CFI of Zambales, G.R. No. L-30650, July 31,
1970, 34 SCRA 166 ........................................................

xxiii
TABLE OF CASES

Page
Anillo v. Commission on the Settlement of Land Problems,
G.R. No. 157856, September 27, 2007, 534 SCRA 228 .........537
Antolin v. Domondon, G.R. No. 165036, July 5, 2010,
623 SCRA 163 ........................................................................ 505
Antonino v. Ombudsman, G.R. No. 144492, December 18,
2008, 574 SCRA 403 ............................................................. 765
Aparri v. Court of Appeals, 127 SCRA 231 ............................. 389, 408
Apex Mining Co., Inc. v. Southeast Mindanao Gold
Mining Corporation, G.R. Nos. 152613 &
152628, November 20, 2009, 605 SCRA 100 ........................ 520
Apo Fruits Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
164195, December 4, 2009, 607 SCRA 200 ........................... 583
Aquino v. Commission on Elections, 318 Phil. 467 (1995) ............. 668
Aquino v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 120265,
September 18, 1995, 248 SCRA 400 .............................. 658, 664
Aquino v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 189793,
April 7, 2010, 617 SCRA 623 ............................................. 203
Aquino v. Enrile, 59 SCRA 183 ................................................... 7, 438
Aquino v. Military Commission No. 2, 63 SCRA 546 .................. 529
Aquino, Jr. v. Military Commission No. 2, G.R. No.
L-37364, May 9, 1975, 63 SCRA 546 .....................427
Araneta v. Dinglasan, 84 Phil. 368 ...................................165, 241, 509
Aranetav. Gatmaitan, 101 Phil. 328...................................75, 415
Arasola v. Trinidad, 40 Phil. 252 ......................................77
Aratea v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 195229,
October 9, 2012, 683 SCRA 105 ..................... 659, 661
Aratuc v. COMELEC, 88 SCRA 251 ....................... 603, 706
Arcega v. Court of Appeals, 66 SCRA 229 .............. 71
Arnault v. Balagtas, 97 Phil. 358 ............................... 148
Arnault v. Nazareno, 87 Phil. 29 ............................... 138,198, 300, 371
Arquero v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 168053,
September 21, 2011, 658 SCRA 70 ........................................ 390
Arroyo v. De Venecia, 277 SCRA 268 ............................................. 245
Arroyo v. Department of Justice, G.R. No. 199082,
September 18, 2012, 681 SCRA 181 ....... 502, 539, 653, 676, 679
Asean Pacific Planners v. City of Urdaneta, G.R. No.
162525, September 23, 2008, 566 SCRA 219 .........................
Ashwander v. TVA, 297 U.S. 288 (1936) .........................................
Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines,
Inc. v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform, 175 SCRA
343 ........................................................................... 115, 270, 831
Astorga v. Villegas, 56 SCRA 714 ................................... 248

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Atienza v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 188920, February 16,


2010,612 SCRA 761 .............................................................. 699
Atienza v. Villarosa, G.R. No. 161081, May 10, 2005,
458 SCRA 385 ....................................................................... 503
Atizado v. People, G.R. No. 173822, October 13, 2010, 633
SCRA 105 .............................................................................. 273
Atizado v. People, G.R. No. 173822, October 13, 2010, 633
SCRA 105 .............................................................................. 108
Atong Paglaum, Inc. v. Commission on Elections,
G.R. No. 203766, April 2, 2013, 694 SCRA
477................................................... 158, 206, 209, 215, 473, 696
Atty. De Vera v. Judge Layague, 395 Phil. 253 (2000) ............ 780
Austria v. Amante, 79 Phil. 780 ................ 390
Avelino v. Cuenco, 83 Phil. 17 ................. 150, 242
Aytona v. Castillo, 4 SCRA 1 ................... 146, 405
Azarcon v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 116033,
February 26, 1997, 268 SCRA 747 ........................................ 752
Aznar v. IIRET, G.R. No. 65000, January 9, 1990 .......................... 254
W

Bacolod City Water District v. Bayona, G.R. No. 168780,


November 23, 2007, 538 SCRA 518 ...................................... 610
Bagabuyo v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 176970, December 8,
2008, 573 SCRA 290 .................................................... 204, 538
Balaba v. People, G.R. No. 169519, July 17, 2009, 593
SCRA 210 ......................................................................... 754
Balao v. Macapagal-Arroyo, G.R. No. 186050, December
13, 2011, 662 SCRA 312 ....................................................... 434
Balbastro v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 171481,
June 30, 2008, 556 SCRA 729 ............................................... 778
Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation v. Pacana,
G.R. No. 171673, May 30, 2011, 649 SCRA 196 .....................75
BANAT v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 177508, August 7,
2009, 595 SCRA 477 ..................................... 263, 281, 677, 678
BANAT v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179271, April 21, 2009,
586 SCRA 210 ........................................................................ 214
BANAT v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179271, July 8, 2009,
592 SCRA 294 ........................................................ 208, 212, 697
Banda v. Ermita, G.R. No. 166620. April 20, 2010,
618 SCRA 488 ........................................................................ 384

xxvii
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Page

Bank of Commerce v. Planters Development Bank,


G.R. Nos. 154470-71, September 24, 2012,
681 SCRA 521 ....................................................................... 555
Bank of the Philippine Islands v. Leobrera, G.R. No.
137147, January 29, 2002, 375 SCRA 81 ..............................574
Bantay Republic Act v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 177271,
May 4, 2007, 523 SCRA 1 ............................................. 128, 209
Barbo v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 157542,
October 10, 2008, 568 SCRA 302.................................. 723
Barcelon v. Baker, 5 Phil. 87 ................................................... 150, 436
Barrameda v. Moir, 25 Phil. 44 ............................................... 534
Bases Conversion and Development Authority v.
Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 178160,
February 26, 2009, 580 SCRA 295 .................................... 37, 82
Bautista v. Commission on Elections,
460 Phil. 459, 478 (2003)....................................................... 685
Bautista v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 133840,
November 13, 1998, 298 SCRA 480.......................655, 656, 660
Bautista v. Salonga, 172 SCRA 169 ..................................396
Bayan Muna v. Romulo, G.R. No. 159618, February 1,
2011, 641 SCRA 17 ....................................... 100, 458, 460, 488
Baylosis v. Chavez, Jr., G.R. No. 95136, October 3, 1991,
202 SCRA 405 ....................................................................... 766
Bayot v. Sandiganbayan, No. L-61776 to No. L-61861,
March 23, 1984,128 SCRA 383 ............................................. 754
Bedol v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179830, December 3, 2009,
606 SCRA 554 ....................................................................... 689
Bejarasco, Jr. v. Buenconsejo, A.M. No. MTJ-02-1417,
May 27, 2004, 429 SCRA 212 ............................................... 768
Belgica v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 208566,
November 19, 2013 ................................................................ 156
Bello v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 191998, December 7, 2010,
637 SCRA 59 ......................................................................... 214
Belongilot v. Cua, G.R. No. 160933, November 24, 2010,
636 SCRA 34 ..........................................................................767
Bengzon v. Drilon, G.R. No. 103524, April 15, 1992,
208 SCRA 133 ........................................................ 133, 482, 483
Bengzon v. Secretary of Justice, 229 U.S. 410 .................. 275
Bengzon v. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, 203 SCRA 767 ........... 299
Benito vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 106053, August 17,1994,
235 SCRA 436 ......................................................................... 664
Bermoy v. Philippine Normal College, 99 Phil. 1031 ...................... 71
Bernabe v. Geraldez, 51 SCRA 369 .................................................. 571

xxviii
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Besa v. PNB, 33 SCRA 330 ............................................................. 622


Betoy v. Board of Directors, National Power Corporation,
G.R. Nos. 156556-57, October 4, 2011, 658 SCRA
420 ...........................................................................363, 393, 628
Bibas v. Ombudsman, G.R. No. 172580, July 23, 2008,
559 SCRA 591 ................................................ 730
Binamira v. Garrucho, 188 SCRA 154 ............................................. 392
Biraogo v. The Philippine Truth Commission of 2010,
G.R. No. 192935, December 7, 2010, 637 SCRA 78 ............. 420
Blanco v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 180164, June 17, 2008,
554 SCRA 755 ................................................................ 605, 680
Bolastig v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 110503, August 4,
1994, 235 SCRA 103 .............................................................. 754
Bolinao Electronics Corp. v. Valencia, 11 SCRA 486 ..................... 288
Boncalon v. Ombudsman, G.R. No. 171812, December 24,
2008, 575 SCRA 449 .............................................................. 778
Bondoc v. Pineda, 201 SCRA 792 ................................................... 255
Boracay Foundation, Inc. v. The Province of Aklan, G.R.
No. 196870, June 26, 2012, 674 SCRA 555 ........................... 473
Borja v. People, G.R. No. 164298, April 30, 2008,
553 SCRA 250 ........................................................................ 610
Borlongan v. Buenaventura, G.R. No. 167234, February
27, 2006, 483 SCRA 405 ........................................................ 780
Borromeo v. Court of Appeals, 186 SCRA 1 ................................... 575
Boy Scouts of the Philippines v. Commission on Audit,
G.R. No. 177131, June 7, 2011, 651 SCRA 146 .................... 723
Boy Scouts of the Philippines v. National Labor Relations
Commission, G.R. No. 80767, April 22, 1991, 196
SCRA 176................................................................................ 615
Brillante v. Puyat-Reyes, House Electoral Tribunal
Case No. 31 (1988) ......................................................... 188, 216
Brillantes v. Yorac, 192 SCRA 358 .......................................... 600
British American Tobacco v. Camacho, G.R. No. 163583,
August 20, 562 SCRA 511 ............................................. 320, 546
British American Tobacco v. Camacho, G.R. No. 163583,
April 15, 2009, 585 SCRA 36 ................................................ 320
Buac v. COMELEC, 465 Phil. 800, 810 (2004) ............................... 341
Buehs v. Bacatan, A.C. No. 6674, June 30, 2009,
591 SCRA 217 ........................................................................ 563
Buencaminov. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 175895, 12
April 2007, 520 SCRA 797 .................................................... 779
Buklod ng Kawaning EIIB v. Zamora, G.R. Nos. 142801-
802, July 10, 2001, 360 SCRA 718 ......................................... 385

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Page
Bulilis v. Nuez, G.R. No. 195953, August 9, 2011,
655 SCRA 241 ........................................................................ 685
Burdick v. United States, 235 U.S. 476 ........................................... 455
Bureau of Customs Employees Association v.
Teves, G.R. No. 181704, December 6, 2011,
661 SCRA 589 ................................................ 133, 160, 179, 183
Bureau of Fisheries v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No.
169815, August 13, 2008, 562 SCRA 134.......................... 37, 82
Bureau of Printing v. Bureau of Printing Employees
Association, 1 SCRA 340 ....................................................... 73
Buscayno v. Enrile, 102 SCRA 7 ..................................................... 579

Cabalit v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 180236,


January 17, 2012, 663 SCRA 133............................................769
Caballero v. Philippine Coast Guard, G.R. No. 174312,
September 22, 2008, 566 SCRA 186 .......................................396
Caballero v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 137355-58, Sep-
tember 25, 2007, 534 SCRA 30 .........................................752
Cabanas v. Pilapil, 58 SCRA 94..................................................38, 105
Cadiente v. Santos, 142 SCRA 280 .............................................622
Cagas v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 194139,
January 24, 2012, 663 SCRA 644.................... 604, 605, 686, 687
Caguioa v. Aucena, A.M. No. P-09-2646, June 18, 2012,
673 SCRA 352 ................................................. 473
Cailles v. Bonifacio, 65 Phil. 328 .............................. 633
Calalang v. Williams, 70 Phil. 726 ............................ 114, 174, 176, 179
Calano v. Cruz, 94 Phil. 230 ..................................... ............... .. 541
Calderon v. Carale, 208 SCRA 254 .................................................. 397
Caltex Philippines, Inc. v. Commission on Audit,
G.R. No. 92585, May 8, 1992, 208 SCRA 726 ....................... 717
Camacho v. Gloria, 456 Phil. 399 (2003) .......................................... 627
Campomanes v. Violon, A.M. No. P-11-2983, July 25,
2012, 677 SCRA 433 ............................................................. 563
Caoibes v. Ombudsman, 413 Phil. 717 (2001) .................................. 560
Capalla v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 201112, June 13, 2012,
673 SCRA1.............................................................................. 519
Carandang v. Desierto, G.R. No. 148076, January 11,
2011, 639 SCRA 293 ............................................................... 752
Cardona v. Binangonan, 36 Phil. 547 ............................................... 182
Cariaga v. People, G.R. No. 180010, July 30, 2010,
626 SCRA 231 ......................................................................... 754

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Page

Casco Phil. Chemical Co. v. Gimenez, 7 SCRA 374 .......................

I—* tO
OO
Casibang v. Aquino, 92 SCRA 642 .................................................

........................................................................
672 SCRA 500........................................................................ 766
Casing v.
Casino Ombudsman,
Labor Association G.R. No. 192334,
v. Court of Appeals,June G.R.
13, 2012,No.
141020, June 12, 2008, 554 SCRA 323 .................................. 610
Castillo v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 187231, June 22, 2010,
621 SCRA 499................................................................ 553, 684
Castriciones v. Chief of Staff Armed Forces of the
Philippines, G.R. No. 65731, September 28, 1989
(Minute Resolution)................................................................ 437
Castro v. Deloria, G.R. No. 163586, January 27, 2009,
577 SCRA 20.......................................................................... 530
Castro, Jr., et al. v. Castaneda and Liceralde, 111 Phil.
765 (1961) ............................................................................... 766
Cavite Crusade for Good Government v. Cajigal,
422 Phil. 1,9(2001) ................................................................. 795
Cayat v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 163776,
April 24, 2007, 522 SCRA 23 ........................................ 666, 668
Cayetano v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 193846,
April 12, 2011, 648 SCRA 561 ...................... 604, 686, 687, 707
Cervantes v. Auditor General, 91 Phil. 359 .............. 179
Cesa v. Ombudsman, G.R. No. 166658, April 30, 2008,
553 SCRA 357........................................................................ 778
Chavez v. Gonzales, G.R. No. 168338, February 15, 2008,
545 SCRA 441........................................................................ 517
Chavez v. Judicial and Bar Council, G.R. No. 202242,
July 17, 2012, 676 SCRA 579 ................................ 477, 519, 532
Chavez v. Presidential Commission on Good Govern-
ment, G.R. No. 130716, December 9, 1998, 299
SCRA 744 ............................................................................... 370
Chavez v. Public Estates Authority, G.R. No. 133250,
July 9, 2002, 433 Phil. 506, 534 (2002), 384
SCRA 152 .......................................................................299, 371
Chevron Philippines, Inc. v. Commissioner of the Bureau
of Customs, G.R. No. 178759, August 11, 2008, 561
SCRA710 ................................................................................ 548
China National Machinery & Equipment Corporation
v. Sta. Maria, G.R. No. 185572, February 7,
2012, 665 SCRA 189..., ........................ 50, 51, 52, 58, 66, 458
Chua-Qua v. Clave, G.R. No. 49549, August 30, 1990,
189 SCRA 117 .......................................................................... 87

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Chung v. Mondragon, G.R. No. 179754, November 21,


2012, 686 SCRA 112 ............................................... . ........... 573
Cipriano v. COMELEC, 479 Phil. 677 (2004) ................................. 692
City Government of Makati v. Civil Service Commission,
426 Phil. 631, 644 (2002) ....................................................... 640
City Government of Quezon City v. Bayan Telecommuni-
cations, Inc., 484 SCRA 169 .................................................. 323
City Government of Tuguegarao v. Ting, G.R. Nos.
192435-36, September 14, 2011, 657 SCRA 760 ........... 756, 766
City of Cebu v. Dedamo, G.R. No. 172852, January 30,
2013, 689 SCRA 547 ............................................................ 581
City of Iriga v. Camarines Sur III Electric Cooperative,
G.R. No. 192945, September 5, 2012 .................................... 173
City of Pasig v. Republic of the Philippines, G.R. No.
185023, August 24, 2011, 656 SCRA 271 ............................. 323
Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary,
194 SCRA 317 ................................................................358, 642
Civil Service Commission v. Alfonso, G.R. No. 179452,
June 11, 2009, 589 SCRA 88 ..........................................627, 774
Civil Service Commission v. Andal, G.R. No. 185749,
December 16, 2009, 608 SCRA 370 ...............................562, 628
Civil Service Commission v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
176162, October 9, 2012, 682 SCRA 353 ............................... 627
Civil Service Commission v. Javier, G.R. No. 173264,
February 22, 2008, 546 SCRA 485 ......................... 622, 623, 624
Civil Service Commission v. Ledesma, G.R. No. 154521,
September 30, 2005, 471 SCRA 589 ....................................... 571
Civil Service Commission v. Pillila Water District, G.R.
No. 190147, March 5, 2013, 692 SCRA 406 ........... 619, 622, 624
Civil Service Commission v. Pobre, 438 SCRA 334......... 723
Civil Service Commission v. Salas, 274 SCRA 414 ......... 622
Civil Service Commission v. Sojor, G.R. No. 168766, May
22, 2008, 554 SCRA 160............................................... 627
Co Kim Chan v. Valdez Tan Keh, 75 Phil. 113 ....................... 40, 44, 98
Coffin v. Coffin, 4 Mass 1 ....................................................... 229
Cojuangco v. Republic, G.R. No. 180705, November 27,
2012, 686 SCRA 472............................................................... 755
Cojuangco, Jr. v. Presidential Commission on Good Gov-
ernment, G.R. Nos. 92319-20, October 2, 1990, 190
SCRA 226 ................................................................................ 770
Commission on Appointments v. Paler, G.R. No. 172623,
March 3, 2010, 614 SCRA 127 ................................................ 640

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265 Page
Commission on Elections v. Cruz, G.R. No. 186616,
November 20, 2009, 605 SCRA 167 ..................... 152, 282, 472
Commission on Elections v. Espanol, G.R. Nos. 149164-
73, December 10, 2003, 417 SCRA 554, 565 ........................ 679
Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Court of Appeals,
240 SCRA 368 (1995) ........................................................... 639
Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Court of Appeals,
G.R. No. 107135, February 23,1999, 303 SCRA 508 ............. 312
Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Eastern Telecom-
munications Phils., Inc., G.R. No. 163835, 7 July
2010, 624 SCRA 340 .............................................................. 323
Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. General Foods
(Phils.), Inc., 401 SCRA 545 .................................................. 547
Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Philippine
American Accident Insurance Company, Inc.,
453 SCRA 668 ........................................................................
Connally v. Scudder, 160 N.E. 655 ..................................................
Constantino v. People, G.R. No. 140656, September 13,
2007, 533 SCRA 205 ..................................................... 501, 506
Continental Steel Manufacturing Corporation v.
Montano, G.R. No. 182836, October 13, 2009, 603
SCRA 621 ............................................................................... 104
Cordillera Broad Coalition v. Commission on Audit,
181 SCRA 495 ........................................................................
Comejov. Gabriel, 41 Phil. 188, 193-194 (1920) .............................
Corona v. Senate of the Philippines, G.R. No. 200242,
July 17, 2012, 676 SCRA 563 ........................................ 730, 749
Corpus v. Cuaderno, G.R. No. L-23721, March 31, 1965,
13 SCRA 591 .......................................................................... 629
osco Philippines Shipping, Inc. v. Kemper Insurance
Company, G.R. No. 179488, April 23, 2012, 670
SCRA 343 ............................................................ 147,
...... 521
CREBA v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform, G.R. No. 509
183409, June 18, 2010, 621 SCRA 295 .................. 537,
Crespo v. Mogul, No. L-53373, June 30, 1987, 151 538
SCRA 462 ......................................................
Cruz v. Youngberg, 56 Phil. 234 ............................. ...... 767
Cua v. COMELEC, 156 SCRA 582 ........................ 175,
Cuenco v. Fernan, A.C. No. 3135, February 17, 176
1988,158 SCRA 29 ................. ... .................. ...... 605
Culanag v. Director of Prisons, 20 SCRA 1123 .......
Cunanan v. Tan, 5 SCRA 1 ................ .... ................
Custodio v. Senate President, 42 O.G. 1243 ............

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Cuyegkeng v. Cruz, 108 Phil. 1147 ................................................ 508

D.M. Consunji, Inc. v. Esguerra, 328 Phil. 1168 (1996) ..................765


Dabalos v. Regional Trial Court, G.R. No. 193960,
January 7, 2013, 688 SCRA 64 ............................................. 110
Dadubo v. Civil Service Commission, 223 SCRA 747 .................... 579
Dario v. Mison, 176 SCRA 83 ........................................................ 628
Datu Michael Abas Kida v. Senate of the Philippines,
G.R. No. 196271, October 18, 2011, 659 SCRA
270 ........................................... 120, 242, 270, 284, 396, 403, 674
Datu Michael Abas Kida v. Senate of the Philip-
pines, G.R. No. 196271, February 28, 2012,
677 SCRA 200........................................................ 489, 828, 829
David v. Arroyo, G.R. No. 171396, May 3,
2006, 489 SCRA 161 ..................... 169, 270, 379, 383, 387, 430,
439, 501, 510, 511, 517, 519, 831
Dayao v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 193643,
January 29, 2013, 689 SCRA 412 .......................... 698
Daza v. Singson, 180 SCRA 496 ...................................... 144, 265, 471
De Castro v. Committee on Justice, G.R. No. 71688,
Sept. 3, 1985 .................................................................. 149, 743
De Castro v. Judicial and Bar Council, G.R. No. 191002,
March 17, 2010, 615 SCRA 666 .................................... 406, 486
De Guzman v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 180048, June 19,
2009, 590 SCRA 149 ..............................................................
De Guzman v. People, 119 SCRA 337 .............................................
De Haber v. Queen of Portugal, 17 Q.B. 171 .................
De Jesus v. Commission on Audit, 451 Phil. 812 (2003) 725
De Jesus v. Commission on Audit, 466 Phil. 912 (2004) 725
De Jesus v. Commission on Audit, 471 SCRA 624 ......... •. ............. 721
De Jesus v. Office of the Ombudsman, G.R. No. 140240,
October 18, 2007, 536 SCRA 547 ................................... 778
De Jesus v. People, 120 SCRA 760 .......................................... 678, 788
De la Cruz v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No.
192221, November 13, 2012, 685 SCRA 347 .. 656, 660, 661, 668
De la Cruz v. Gracia, G.R. No. 177728, July 31, 2009,
594 SCRA 648 ............................................................... .-......... 39
De la Liana v. Alba, 112 SCRA 294 .................................136, 180, 567
De la Liana v. COMELEC, 82 SCRA 30 .........................147
De la Liana v. Chairman, Commission on Audit, G.R. No.
180989, February 7, 2012, 665 SCRA 176 ..................... 511, 719

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De la Paz v. Senate, G.R. No. 184849, February 13, 2009,
579 SCRA 521 ............................................................... 298, 300
De Leon v. Carpio, 178 SCRA 457.......................................... 418
De los Santos v. Intermediate Appellate Court,
223 SCRA1 ............................................................ 51,61, 62, 63
De los Santos v. Mallare, 87 Phil. 289 ............................ 622, 624
Defensor-Santiago v. Ramos, P.E.T. Case No. 001,
February 13,1996, 253 SCRA 559 ......................................... 344
Delector v. Ogayan, 123 SCRA 774 ................................................ 636
Deloso v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 86899-903,
May 15, 1989, 173 SCRA 409, 419 ............................... 753
Demetria v. Alba, 148 SCRA 208 ........................................... 311, 525
Dept, of Education v. San Diego, 180 SCRA 533 ................... 107
Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon v. Franciso, G.R. No.
172553, December 14, 2011, 662 SCRA 439 ........................ 776
Deputy Ombudsman v. Abugan, G.R. No. 168892,
March 24, 2008, 549 SCRA 34 .............................................. 778
Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Technische Zusammenarbeit
(GTZ) v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 152318,
April 16, 2009, 585 SCRA 150 .......................................... 52, 58
Dimagiba v. Espartero, G.R. No. 154952, July 16, 2012,
676 SCRA 420 ............................................................... 650, 777
Dimaporo v. COMELEC, 544 SCRA 381 ............................... 259
Dimayuga v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 174763,
April 24, 2007, 522 SCRA 220 .............................................. 687
Dino v. Olivarez, G.R. No. 170447, December 4, 2009, 607
SCRA 251...............................................................................
o i> .
r> co oo
05 O LO

Dinsay v. Cioco, 264 SCRA 703 (1996) ..........................................


District of Abington Township v. Schempp, 374 US 203 ..
Divinagracia v. Consolidated Broadcasting System, Inc.,
G.R. No. 162272, April 7, 2009, 584 SCRA 213 ........... 170, 383
Domingo v. Zamora, G.R. No. 142283, February 6, 2003,
397 SCRA 56 .......................................................................... 385
Domino vs. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 134015,
July 19, 1999, 310 SCRA 546 .........................................189, 664
Dra. Bayion v. Fact-Finding Intelligence Bureau,
442 Phil. 217 (2002) ................................................................ 584
Drillon v. Lim, 235 SCRA 135 ........................................................ 410
Duarte v. Dade, 32 Phil. 36, 49 (1915) ............................................. 272
Duenas v. HRET, G.R. No. 185401, July 21, 2009,
593 SCRA 316 ........................................................................ 254
Duenas v. HRET, G.R. No. 191550, May 4, 2010,
620 SCRA 78 .......................................................................... 254

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Dumarpa v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 192249,


April 2, 2013, 694 SCRA 403 ................................ ..675
Dumlao v. COMELEC, 95 SCRA 392 ............................ ..491
Dungog v. Court of Appeals, G.R. Nos. L-77850-51,
March 25,1988, 159 SCRA 145, 148 ..................... ..767
Duque v. Veloso, G.R. No. 196201, June 19, 2012,
673 SCRA 676 ....................................................... ..113
Duty Free Philippines v. Mojica, G.R. No. 166365,
September 30, 2005, 471 SCRA 776 .................... ..610

Eastern Mediterranean Mantime Ltd. v. Surio, G.R.


No. 154213, August 23, 2012, 679 SCRA 21 ........... ..... 416
Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. vs. POEA, No. L-76633,
October 18, 1988, 166 SCRA 533 ........................ ..... 178
Echegaray v. Secretary of Justice, 361 Phil. 76 (1999),
301 SCRA 96 ....................................................... ..... 554
Edu vs. Ericta, No. L-32096, October 24, 1970, 35
SCRA 481, 497 ............................................. ..... 178
Emnace v. Court of Appeals, 422 Phil. 10 ..... 555
Endencia v. David, 93 Phil. 696 ............................................ 152, 585
Equi-Asia Placement, Inc. v. Department of Foreign
Affairs G.R. No. 152214, September 19, 2006,
502 SCRA 295 ..................................................... ..... 546
Eriguel v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 190526, February 26,
2010 (January 26, 2010), 613 SCRA 809 .................. ..... 686
Espina v. Zamora, G.R. No. 143855, September 21, 2010,
631 SCRA 17 ............................................................. ..... 121
Espinosa v. Aquino, El. Case No. 9, Senate Electoral
Tribunal .................................................................... ..... 188
Espinosa v. Office of the Ombudsman, 397 Phil. 829,
831 (2000) ................................................................. ..... 764
Espinosa v. Office of the Ombudsman, G.R. No. 135775,
October 19, 2000, 343 SCRA 744 ............................. ..... 766
Espiritu v. Fugoso, 81 Phil. 637 ......................................... ..... 545
Espuelas v. Provincial Warden of Bohol, 108 Phil. 353 ... ..... 447
Estandarte v. People, G.R. Nos. 156851-55, February 18,
2008, 546 SCRA 130 ................................................ ..... 783
Estarija v. Ranada, G.R. No. 159314, June 26, 2006,
492 SCRA 652 .......................................................... ..... 782
Esteves v. Sarmiento, G.R. No. 182374, November 11,
2008, 570 SCRA 656 ................................................ ......686

xxxvi
TABLE OF CASES

Page

Estrada v. Arroyo, G.R. No. 146738, Mar. 2, 2001,


353 SCRA 452 ....................................................................... 352
Estrada v. Desierto, G.R. Nos. 146710-15, March 2, 2001,
353 SCRA 452 ............................................................... 376, 767
Estrada v. Desierto, G.R. No. 146710-15, April 3, 2001,
406 Phil. 1 (2001), 356 SCRA 108 ................................ 152, 472
Estrada v. Escritor, A.M. No. P-02-1651, June 22, 2006,
492 SCRA 1 ............................................................................. 86
Estrella v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 160465, May 27, 2004,
429 SCRA 789 ............................................................... 606, 653
Eternal Gardens Memorial Park Corp. v. Court of Appeals,
247 Phil. 387, 394 (1988) .......................................................

in •
CO 00
co in
Everson v. Board of Education, 330 US 1 ............
Executive Judge Basilia v. Judge Becamon, 487
Phil. 490 (2004) ........................................... ..... 780
Executive Secretary v. Southwing Heavy Industries, Inc.,
G.R. No. 164171, March 1, 2006, 482 SCRA 673 ..... ..... 175
Ex-Parte Levitt, 303 U.S. 633 .............................................. 506,
Ex-Parte Milligan, 4 Wall, 127, L.Ed., 297 .......................... 508
428,
435
*
1

Fabella v. Court of Appeals, 346 Phil. 940 (1997) ...........................771


Fabian v. Desierto, G.R. No. 129742, September 16,
1998, 295 SCRA 470 ...................................................... 278, 776
Facura v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 166495,
February 16, 2011, 643 SCRA 427 ......................... 778, 779, 780
Far East Bank and Trust Company v. Court of Appeals,
477 SCRA 49 ...................................................................... 547
Farinas v. Executive Secretary, 417 SCRA 503............................ 282
Farolan v. Court of Tax Appeals, 217 SCRA 298 ....................... 72, 75
Federation of Free Farmers v. CA, G.R. No. L-41222,
November 13,1985 ................................................................. 587
Federico v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 199612,
January 22, 2013, 689 SCRA 134 ........................................... 661
Feliciano v. Aranez, G.R. No. 165641, August 25, 2010,
629 SCRA 103 ........................................................................
Feliciano v. Commission on Audit, 464 Phil. 439 ............................
Feria v. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 122954,
........................................437
February 15, 2000, 325 SCRA 525.........................................
Fermin v. Commission on Elections, G.R. Nos. 179695
and 182369, December 18, 2008, 574 SCRA 782 ........... 660, 676

xxxvii
TABLE OF CASES

Page
Fermin v. People, G.R. No. 157643, 28 March 2008,
550 SCRA 132 ........................................................ 582
Fernandez v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 176296, June 30,
2008, 556 SCRA 765 ..............................................
Festejo v. Fernando, 50 O.G. 1556....................................
Fetalino v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 191890,
December 4, 2012, 686 SCRA 813 ......................... 234, 401
Filipinas Engineering & Machine Shop v. Ferrer,
135 SCRA 25 ....................................................... .. ...... 707
Filipino v. Macabuhay, G.R. No. 158960, November 24,
2006, 508 SCRA 50 ..................................................... ...... 768
Flauta v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 184586, July 22, 2009,
593 SCRA 504 ............................................................. ...... 662
Flora v. Pajarillaga, G.R. No. L-24806, January 22, 1980,
95 SCRA 100 ............................................................... ...... 588
Flores v. COMELEC, 184 SCRA 484 ....................................... 534,
684
Flores v. Layosa, G.R. No. 154714, August 12, 2004,
436 SCRA 337
.............................................................................................................
753
Flores v. Montemayor, G.R. No. 170146, August 25, 2010,
629 SCRA 178
Forbes v. Chuoco Tiaco, 16 Phil. 534
.............................................................................................................
.............................................................................................................
795
146
Fonacier v. Court of Appeals, 96 Phil. 417 (1955)
Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation v. Commis-
.............................................................................................................
sioner
117 of Internal Revenue, G.R. No. 173425,
Septemberv.4,Maliaman,
Fontanilla 2012, 679 SCRA G.R. No. 566L-55963
....................................................
December 1,
Fortich668 SCRA 504
v. Corona,
1989, 312..........................................................................
SCRA 179 751 ......................................................
SCRA 685441
Francia v. Municipality of Meycauayan, G.R. No. 170432,
.............................................................................................................
March 24, 2008, 549 SCRA
610 53
..........................................................................
........................................................................................................
Fortun v. Arroyo, G.R. No. 190293, March 20, 2012,
173
Francisco v. Fernando, G.R. No. 166501, November 16,
2006, 507 SCRA 173
............................................................................................................
518
Francisco v. The House of Representatives, G.R. No.
160261 November 10, 2003, 415 SCRA 44 ............. 517, 742,
747
Frantz v. Autry, 91 Pac. 193 ............................................... 820
Freedom from Debt Coalition v. Metropolitan Water-
works and Sewerage System, G.R. No. 173044,
December 10, 2007, 539 SCRA
621 xxxviii
............................................................................................................
537
Frias, Sr. v. People, G.R. No. 171437, October 4, 2007,
534 SCRA
TABLE OF CASES

Page
Frivaldo v. Commission on Elections, G.R. Nos. 120295
& 123755, June 28,1996, 257 SCRA 727, G.R. No.
87193, June 23, 1989, 174 SCRA 245 ...................................... 658
Froilan v. Pan Oriental Shipping Co., G.R. No. L-6060,
September 30,1950 ..................................................................... 63
Fuentes v. Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao, G.R. No.
124295, October 23, 2001, 368 SCRA 36 ................................ 561
Funa v. Agra, G.R. No. 191644, February 19, 2013,
691 SCRA 196 .......................................................................... 363
Funa v. Ermita, G.R. No. 184740, February 11, 2010,
612 SCRA 308 .................................................................. 362, 505
Funa v. The Chairman, Commission on Audit, G.R.
No. 192791, April 24, 2012, 670 SCRA 579 .................... 501, 598

Gachon v. Devera, Jr., G.R. No. 116695, June 20, 1997,


274 SCRA 540 .......................................................................... 587
Galang v. Geronimo, G.R. No. 192793, February 22,
2011, 643 SCRA 631 ................................................................ 685
Galero v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 151121, July 21,
2008, 559 SCRA 11 .................................................................. 778
Galicto v. Aquino, G.R. No. 193978, February 28, 2012,
667 SCRA 150 .................................................. 158, 386, 498, 520
Gallardo-Corro v. Gallardo, G.R. No. 136228, January 30,
2001, 350 SCRA 568 ................................................................ 583
Gamboa v. Finance Secretary, G.R. No. 176579,
June 28, 2011, 652 SCRA 690 .................................................. 123
Gamogamo v. PNOC Shipping and Transport Corpora-
tion, G.R. No. 141707, May 7, 2002, 431 Phil. 510,
381 SCRA 742 .......................................................................... 617
Ganaden v. Ombudsman, G.R. Nos. 169359-61, June 1,
2011, 650 SCRA 76 ..................................................................
H4 GJ
CO <1
cn

Garces v. Estenzo, 104 SCRA 510 .....................................................


Garcia v. Chairman, Commission on Audit, G.R. No.
75025, September 14, 1993, 226 SCRA 356 ...................... 450
Garcia v. Chief of Staff, 16 SCRA 120......................................... 54
Garcia v. Drilon, G.R. No. 179267, June 25, 2013 ....................... 85, 110
Garcia v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 157584,
April 2, 2009, 583 SCRA 119 ........................................... 491, 522
Garcia v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 198554,
July 30, 2012, 677 SCRA 750 ..................... 119, 237, 425, 429, 543, 544
Garcia v. Mata, 65 SCRA 520 .................... 309

xxxix
TABLE OF CASES

Page

Garcia v. Miro, G.R. No. 167409, March 20, 2009,


582 SCRA 127 ......................................................... 537, 561, 562
Garcia v. Molina, G.R. Nos. 157383 & 174137,
August 10, 2010, 627 SCRA 540 .................................... 626
Garcia-Padilla v. Enrile, 121 SCRA 472 ................................... 151, 437
Garcillano v. House of Representatives,
G.R. No. 170338, December 23, 2008,
575 SCRA 170 .................................. 197, 198, 297, 495, 503, 516
Garvida v. Sales, Jr., 338 Phil. 484 (1997) .. 685
Gascon v. Arroyo, 178 SCRA 582 ............. 415
Gaston v. Republic Planters Bank, 242 Phil. 377 (1988)............ 722, 726
Gayo v. Verceles, G.R. No. 150477, February 28, 2005,
452 SCRA 504 ......................................................................... 504
General v. Urro, G.R. No. 191560, March 29, 2011, 646
SCRA 567 ................................................................ 390, 524, 621
German Agency for Technical Cooperation v. Court
of Appeals, G.R. No. 152318, April 16, 2009,
585 SCRA 150 ..................................................................... 52, 58
Gerochi v. Department of Energy, G.R. No. 159796,
July 17, 2007, 527 SCRA 696 ......................................... 174, 176
Geronimo v. Ramos, G.R. Nos. L-60504, L-60591,
60732-39, May 14, 1985,136 SCRA 435 ................................. 664
Giron v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 188179,
January 22, 2013, 689 SCRA 97 ...............................................282
Go v. Sunbanun, G.R. No. 168240, February 9, 2011,
642 SCRA 367 ..........................................................................554
Gobenciong v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 159883, March
31, 2008, 550 SCRA 502 ..........................................................776
Gonzales v. Abaya, G.R. No. 164007, August 10, 2006,
498 SCRA 445 ..........................................................433
Gonzales v. COMELEC, 21 SCRA 774 ..............................821
Gonzales v. COMELEC, 644 SCRA 761 ............................257, 660, 666
Gonzales v. Hechanova, 9 SCRA 230 .................................99, 270
Gonzales v. Narvasa, G.R. No. 140835, 392 Phil.
518 (2000) ................................................................................ 511
Gonzales v. Office of the President, G.R.
No. 196231, September 4, 2012, 679
SCRA 614 ................................................ 141, 408, 488, 737, 740,
757, 764, 775, 783, 784, 790
Gonzales v. Prov. Auditor of Iloilo, 12 SCRA 711 ......................... 712
Gov’t, of the Phil. Islands v. Monte de Piedad, 35 Phil. 728 ........... 37, 77
Governor Sahali v. Commission on Elections, G.R.
No. 201796, January 15, 2013, 688 SCRA 552 ......... 682, 686, 688

xl
TABLE OF CASES

Page

Grego v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 125955, June


19, 1997, 274 SCRA 481 .........................................602, 639, 665
Grino v. Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 91602,
194 SCRA 458 .........................................................................622
GSIS v. Group Management Corporation, G.R. No.
167000, June 8, 2011, 651 SCRA 279 ....................................... 80
GSIS v. Kapisanan ng mga Manggagawa sa GSIS, G.R.
No. 170132, December 6, 2006, 510 SCRA. 622 ................... 635
GSIS v. Villaviza, G.R. No. 180291, July 27, 2010,
625 SCRA 669 ......................................................................... 635
Guazon v. De Villa, 181 SCRA 623 .................................................. 515
Gudani v. Senga, G.R. No. 170165, August 15, 2006,
498 SCRA 671 ......................................................... 119, 299, 433
Guerrero v. COMELEC, 391 Phil. 344, 352 (2000) ........... 257
Guevara v. COMELEC, 104 Phil. 269 ................................ 689
Guevara v. Gimenez, 6 SCRA 813 ..................................... 715
Guevara v. Inocentes, G.R. No. L-25577, March 15, 1966,
18 SCRA 379 ................................................................... 268, 400
Guiao v. Figueroa, 94 Phil. 1018 (1954) ..................................... 766
Guingona v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 191846,
May 6, 2010, 620 SCRA 448 ................................................... 519
Gumaru v. Quirino State College, G.R. No. 164196, June
22, 2007, 525 SCRA 412 ......................................................... 583
Gunsi v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 168792, February 23,
2009, 580 SCRA 70 ................................................. 495, 501, 658
Gutierrez v. The House of Representatives, G.R. No.
193459, February 15, 2011, 643 SCRA 198.... 653, 743, 744, 747
Gutierrez v. The House of Representatives, G.R. No.
193459, March 8, 2011, 644 SCRA 804 ................................... 744

Hacienda Luisita Incorporated v. Luisita Industrial


Park Corporation, G.R. No. 171101, July 5, 2011,
653 SCRA 154 .................................................. 148, 496, 520, 522
Hacienda Luisita, Incorporated v. Presidential Agrarian
Reform Council, G.R. No. 171101, November 22,
2011, 660 SCRA 525 ................................................ 530, 734
Hagad v. Gozo Dadole, 321 Phil. 604 (1995) ...................... 626, 775, 776
Halley v. Printwell, Inc., G.R. No. 157549, May 30, 2011,
649 SCRA 116 .......................................................................... 574
Hegerty v. Court of Appeals, 456 Phil. 542 (2003) ............................. 765

xli
TABLE OF CASES

Page

Heirs of Aurelio Reyes v. Garilao, G.R. No. 136466,


November 25, 2009, 605 SCRA 294 ....................................... 270
Heirs of Mamerto Manguiat v. Court of Appeals,
G.R. Nos. 150768 and 160176, August 20, 2008,
562 SCRA 422 ............................................................................ 61
Heirs of Maura So v. Obliosca, G.R. No. 147082, January
28, 2008, 542 SCRA 406 .......................................................... 583
Heirs of Wilson Gamboa v. Finance Secretary, G.R.
No. 176579, October 9, 2012, 682 SCRA 397 ................. ........ 126
Herrera v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 131499, November 17,
1989,318 SCRA 336 ................................................................. 203
Hidalgo v. Republic of the Philippines, G.R. No. 179793,
July 5, 2010, 623 SCRA 391 ............................................... 615
Hilado v. David, 84 Phil. 573 ......................................................... 556
Hilado v. Judge Amor A. Reyes, 496 Phil. 55 (2005) ..................... 796
Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U.S. 99 ...................................... 179
Holy See v. Rosario, 238 SCRA 524 ............................................. 51, 58
Honasan v. Panel of Investigating Prosecutors of the
Department of Justice, G.R. No. 159747, April 13,
2004, 427 SCRA 46 .................................................................. 770
Houston v. Hormes, 252 U.S. 569 ...................................................... 56

Ibrahim v. Commission on Elections, G.R.


No. 192289, January 8, 2013, 688
SCRA 129 ............................................... 604, 663, 681, 685, 707
Icdang v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 185960, January
25, 2012, 664 SCRA 253 ....................................
Ichong v. Hernandez, 101 Phil. 1155 ...........................
Imbong v. COMELEC, 35 SCRA 28 ...........................
In Re Almacen, 31 SCRA 562 ...................................... ...... 556
In re Appointment of Mateo A. Valenzuela and
Placido B. Vallarte, 298 SCRA 408 ................... ...... 486
In Re Cunanan, 94 Phil. 534 ..................... 289, 534, 556
In Re Dick, 38 Phil. 41 .............................. ; ................. 139, 145
In Re Edillon, 84 SCRA 554 ........................................ 551, 556
In Re Garcia, 2 SCRA 984 ............................................ . 99, 556
In Re Mateo A. Valenzuela and Placido B. Vallarte,
298 SCRA 408 ...................................................
00
ci cn
rH

In Re Patterson, 1 Phil. 93 ............................................


In Re: Saturnino V. Bermudez, G.R. No. 76180, October
24, 1986, 145 SCRA 160 ............................................. 828

xlii
TABLE OF CASES

Page
In Re Sotto, 82 Phil. 595 ....................................................................

1—4
co
OJ r>
In Re Torres, G.R. No. 122338, Dec.. 29, 1996 ................................
In Re: Exemption of the National Power Corporation
from Payment of Filing/Docket Fees, A.M. No.
05-10-20-SC, March 10, 2010, 615 SCRA 1 ..................... 76, 555
In Re: Raul M. Gonzales, A.M. No. 88-4-5433, April 15,
1988, 160 SCRA 771 ............................................................... 738
In the Matter of Clarification of Exemption from Pay-
ment of All Court and Sheriffs Fees, A.M. No.
12-2-03-0, March 13, 2012, 688 SCRA 1 ........................ 483, 555
In the Matter of the Petition for Disqualification of Tess
Dumpit-Michelena, G.R. Nos. 163619-20, November
17, 2005, 475 SCRA 290, 303 .................................................. 189
In the Matter of the Petition for the Writ of Amparo
and the Writ of Habeas Data in Favor of Francis
Saez v. Macapagal-Arroyo, G.R. No. 183533,
September 25, 2012, 681 SCRA 678 ................................ 377, 433
Infante v. Prov. Warden, 92 Phil. 310 ........................................ 446
Ingles v. Mutuc, 135 Phil. 177 (1968) ........................................ 624
Ingles v. Mutuc, 26 SCRA 171 ................................................... 409
Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Atienza, G.R. No.
175241, February 24, 2010, 613 SCRA 523 ............................. 505
Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Zamora,
338 SCRA 81 ............................................................ 430, 471, 515
Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Zamora, 392 Phil.
618, 634 (2000) ...................................................................................
<1 CH
C© CD
oo co

Inting v. Tanodbayan, 97 SCRA 494 ..................................................


e-i

Jacob v. Puno, 131 SCRA 144 ............................................................ 418


Jacct v. Dal, G.R. No. 179848, November 27, 2008, 572
SCRA 295 ......................................................................... 218, 802
Jalosjos v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 192474,
June 26, 2012, 674 SCRA 530 .................................................. 257
Jalosjos v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 192474,
October 9, 2012, 683 SCRA 1 ................................... 257, 659, 668
Jamero v. Melicor, G.R. No. 140929, May 26, 2005,
459 SCRA 113........................................................................... 554
Japzon v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 180088,
January 19, 2009, 576 SCRA 331 ..................................... 189, 218
Jardiel v. COMELEC, 124 SCRA 650 ........................................ 678, 788

xliii
TABLE OF CASES

Page
Jarque v. Desierto, A.C. No. 4509, 5 December 1995,
250 SCRA xi, xiv ......................................................... 738
Javellana v. Executive Secretary, 50 SCRA 33 ..................... 6, 146, 823
Javellana v. Tayo, 6 SCRA 1048 ........................................... 242
Javier v. Commission on Elections, 144 SCRA 194 .............. 499, 683
Javier v. Fly Ace Corporation, G.R. No. 192558,
February 15, 2012, 666 SCRA 382. ..........................................

...........................................229
Jimenez v. Cabangbang, 17 SCRA 714 ..............................................
JavierAngeles
Judge v. Reyes,v.170 SCRA G.R.
Gutierrez, 360 ...............
Nos. 189161 & 189173,
March 21, 2012, 668 SCRA 803 .............................................. 764
Jumamil v. Commission on Elections, G.R. Nos. 167989-
93, March 6, 2007, 517 SCRA 553 ........................................... 687
JUSMAG v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R.
No. 108813, 15 December 1994, 239 SCRA 224 ....................... 50
Justimbaste v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179413, November
28, 2008, 572 SCRA 736 .................................................. 655, 660

Kalaw v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 80218,


Minute Resolution dated November 5, 1987 ............................. 699
Kapunan v. Court of Appeals, G.R. Nos. 148213-17,
March 13, 2009, 581 SCRA 42 .........................
Kawanakoa v. Polybank, 205 U.S. 349 .......................
Kho v. Commission on Elections; G.R. No. 124033,
September 25, 1997, 279 SCRA 463 ................................ 605, 687
Kilosbayan v. Ermita, G.R. No. 177721, July 3, 2007,
526 SCRA 353 .................................................................. 379, 514
Kilosbayan v. Guingona, 235 SCRA 630 .................................... 513
Kilosbayan v. Morato, 240 SCRA 540 ........................................ 513
Kilusang Mayo Uno v. Director-General, National
Economic Development Authority, G.R. No.
167798, April 19, 2006, 487 SCRA 623 ................................... 270
Kulayan vs. Tan, G.R. No. 187298, July 3, 2012,
675 SCRA 482 .................................... ... ......... 119, 419, 432, 442
Kuroda v. Jalandoni, 42 O.G. 4282 ............................................... 96, 426
J

Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino v. Commission


on Elections, 468 Phil. 70 (2004) ...............................
Labo, Jr. v. Commission on Elections, 257 Phil. 1 (1989) ...........

xliv
TABLE OF CASES

Page
Labo, Jr. v. Commission on Elections, G.R. Nos. 105111
& 105384, July 3, 1992, 211 SCRA 297 .......................... 658, 665
Labo, Jr. vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 86564, August 1, 1989,
176 SCRA ................................................................................ 664
Lacson v. COMELEC, G.R. No. L-16261, Dec. 28, 1951 ................. 655
Lacson v. Executive Secretary, G.R. Nos. 165399 and
165475, May 30, 2011, 649 SCRA 142 ..............................................

..........................................................381
Lacson v. Roque, 91 Phil. 456 ............................................................
Lacson v.
Lacson v. Sec.
Romero, 84410
Perez, Phil. 74078,
Phil. ........................................................
93 (2001),
357 SCRA 756 ...........................................................................441
Lacson-Magallanes Co., Inc. v. Pano, 21 SCRA 895 ...................... 416
Lahm v. Mayor, A.C. No. 7430, February 15, 2012, 666
SCRA 1 .....................................................................................
Lamb v. Phipps, 22 Phil. 473 ......................................................
Lambino v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 174153,
October 25, 2006, 505 SCRA 160 .............................328, 809, 813
Land Bank of the Philippines v. Arceo, G.R. No. 158270,
July 21, 2008, 559 SCRA 85 .......................................... ....... 583
Land Bank of the Philippines v. Rivera, G.R. No. 182431,
November 17, 2010, 635 SCRA 285 .............................. ......... 76
Lanot v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 164858, November 16, 2006,
507 SCRA 114 ................................................................ ....... 680
Lansang v. Garcia, 42 SCRA 448 .............................................. 150, 436
Lantaco, Sr. v. Llamas, 195 Phil. 325, 334 (1981) ..................... ...... 796
Lapid v. Court of Appeals, 390 Phil. 236 (2000) ........................ ...... 770
Lastimosa v. Vasquez, 313 Phil. 358 (1995) .............................. ...... 776
Laurel v. Garcia, 187 SCRA 797 .......................... 382, 522
Laurel v. Misa, 76 Phil. 372, 378 (1946) ............... .................... .......554
Laurel v. Misa, 77 Phil. 856 ....................................................... ...43, 45
Lawyers Against Monopoly and Poverty v. Secretary
of Budget, G.R. No. 164987, April 24, 2012, 670
SCRA 373 ......................................................................... 155, 493
Lawyers League v. Aquino, G.R. No. 73748, May 22, 1986 .... ........ 41
Layos v. Fil-Estate Golf and Development, Inc., G.R. No.
150470, August 6, 2008, 561 SCRA 75 ............................ ...... 581
Layug v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 192984,
February 28, 2012, 667 SCRA 135 ................... 264, 682, 687, 698
Lazatin v. Desierto, G.R. No. 147097, 5 June 2009,
tO Ol
cn oo

588 SCRA 285 ..................................................................


►u to

Lazatin v. House Electoral Tribunal, 168 SCRA 391 .................


League of Cities of the Philippines v. COMELEC, G.R.
No. 176951, November 18, 2008, 571 SCRA 263 ............ 197, 249

xlv
TABLE OF CASES

Page
League of Cities of the Philippines v. COMELEC, G.R.
No. 176951, August 24, 2010, 628 SCRA 819............... .529
League of Cities of the Philippines v. COMELEC, G.R.
No. 176951, February 15, 2011, 643 SCRA 150 ............ .271
Leave Division v. Heusdens, A.M. No. P-11-2927,
December 13, 2011, 662 SCRA 126 .............................. .563
Ledesma v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 161629, July 29,
2005, 465 SCRA 437....................................................... .768
Legarda v. de Castro, P.E.T. Case No. 003, January 18,
2008, 542 SCRA 125...................................................... .345
Legaspi Towers 300 v. Muer, G.R. No. 170783, June 18,
2012, 673 SCRA 452........................................................
Leongson v. CA, 49 SCRA 212 .................................................
Liban v. Gordon, G.R. No. 175352, January 18, 2011,
639 SCRA 709 ................................................................ ......236
Liban v. Gordon, G.R. No. 175352, July 15, 2009,
593 SCRA 68 ................................................................... 235,
Liberal Party v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 191771, 6 612

<1 CD
tO O
May 2010, 620 SCRA 393 ...............................................

CD O1
Lidasan v. COMELEC, 21 SCRA 496 ......................................
Liga ng mga Barangay National v. City Mayor of Manila,
465 Phil. 529 (2004) ......................................................... 15
Lim v. Brownell, 107 Phil. 345 ................................................. 8
Lim v. Pelaez, House Electoral Tribunal Case No. 36 (1947) .. .64
Lim v. Zosa, 146 SCRA 366 .....................................................
Limbona v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 181097, June 25, 2008,
555 SCRA 391 .................................................................. 191, 659
Limbona v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 186006, October 16,
2009, 604 SCRA 240 ................................................................ 191
Limkaichong v. Comelec, G.R. No. 164978, October 13,
2005, 472 SCRA 587 ................................................................ 192
Limkaichong v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 178831-32,
April 1, 2009, 583 SCRA 1 ............................... 192, 257, 263, 505
Limkaichong v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 178831-32,
July 30, 2009, 594 SCRA 434............................................219, 569
Lladoc v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 14 SCRA 292 .....321
Lockheed Detective and Watchman Agency, Inc. v.
University of the Philippines, G.R. No.
185918, April 18, 2012, 670 SCRA 206 ............... 60, 68, 614, 720
Lokin v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 180443, June
22, 2010, 621 SCRA 385 ...........................................211, 312, 676
Lokin v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 193808, June
26, 2012, 674 SCRA 538 .......................... 211, 604, 681, 699, 707

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Lonzanida v. COMELEC, 311 SCRA 602 ...................... .348
Loomis v. Jackson, 6W, Va. 613 .................................... .819
Loong v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 93986,
December 22, 1992, 216 SCRA 760 ....................... .658
Lopez v. Civil Service Commission, 194 SCRA 269 ...... .402
Lopez v. De los Reyes, 55 Phil. 170 ................................ .301
Lopez v. Roxas, 17 SCRA 756 ........................................ .428
Loquias v. Office of the Ombudsman, G.R. No. 139396,
August 15, 2000, 338 SCRA 62.............................. .764
Lorenzo v. Lopez, A.M. No. 2006-02-SC, October 15,
2007, 536 SCRA 11 .............................................. .563
Lozada v. Arroyo, G.R. Nos. 184379-80, April 24, 2012,
670 SCRA 545 ................................................................. .376
Lozada v. COMELEC, 120 SCRA 337 ...................... .515
Luciano v. Mariano, 148-B Phil. 178 (1971) .............. .753
Luego v. Civil Service Commission, 143 SCRA 327 . .402
Luison v. Garcia, 101 Phil. 1218 ................................ .705
Lung Center of the Philippines v. Quezon City, 433
SCRA 119 .................................. ....................... .322
Luz Farms, Inc. v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform, 192
SCRA 51 (1990)........................................................................

io •
co
Lyons v. United States of America, 104 Phil. 593

Mabanag v. Lopez Vito, 78 Phil. 1 ..................................... 246, 820, 824


Macalintal v. COMELEC, G.R. 157013, July 10, 2003,
453 Phil. 586 (2003), 405 SCRA 614 ................................ 221, 290
Macalintal v. Presidential Electoral Tribunal, G.R. No.
191618, June 7, 2011, 651 SCRA 239 ...... 132, 256, 343, 479, 580
Macalintal v. Presidential Electoral Tribunal,
G.R. No. 191618, November 23, 2010,
635 SCRA 783 ................................... 132, 256, 340, 343, 344, 479
Macariola v. Asuncion, 114 SCRA 77 ................................................
Maceda v. Vasquez, 221 SCRA 464 (1993) ........................................
Macias v. Commission on Elections, 3 SCRA 1 .................................
Madarangv. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 112314,
.............................................752
March 28, 2001, 355 SCRA 525 ...............................................
Madriaga v. China Banking Corporation, G.R. No.
192377, July 25, 2012, 677 SCRA 560 ............................ 495, 501
Magallona v. Ermita, G.R. No. 187167, August 16, 2011,
655 SCRA 476 .......................................................... 24, 37, 81, 99
Magarang v. Jardin, Sr., 386 Phil. 273, 284 (2000) ............ 795

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Magdalo Para sa Pagbabago v. Commission on
Elections, G.R. No. 190793, June 19, 2012,
673 SCRA 651 ................................................. 455, 505, 692, 695
Maglakas v. National Housing Authority, G.R. No.
138823, September 17, 2008, 565 SCRA 379.......................... 113
Magno v. People, G.R. No. 171542, April 6, 2011,
647 SCRA 362 ......................................................................... 755
Mahawan v. People, G.R. No. 176609, December 18,
2008, 574 SCRA 737 .............................................................. 578
Malacora v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L-51042,
September 30, 1982, 117 SCRA 435 ....................................... 588
Maliksi v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 203302,
April 11, 2013, 693 SCRA 214 .................................................684
Mamba v. Lara, G.R. No. 165109, December 14, 2009,
608 SCRA 149 ..........................................................................510
Manalang-Demigillo v. Trade and Investment Develop-
ment Corporation of the Philippines, G.R. No.
168613, March 5, 2013, 692 SCRA 359 .......................... 412, 611
Manalo v. Calderon, G.R. No. 178920, October 15, 2007,
536 SCRA 290 .......................................................................... 437
Mangca v. COMELEC, 112 SCRA 270...........................
Manila Electric Co. v. Pasay Trans. Co., 57 Phil. 825 ..
Manila Electric Company v. Atilano, G.R. No. 166758,
June 27, 2012, 675 SCRA 112. ................................................. 579
Manila International Airport Authority v. City of Pasay,
G.R. No. 163072, April 2, 2009, 583 SCRA 234 .............. 323, 614
Manila International Airport Authority v. Court of
Appeals, G.R. No. 155650, July 20, 2006, 495
SCRA 591 ......................................................................... 612, 614
Manila Motors Co. v. Flores, 99 Phil. 738 .................................. 527
Manila Public School Teachers Association v. Laguio, 200
SCRA 323 ................................................................................. 634
Manubay v. Garilao G.R. No. 140717, April 16, 2009,
585 SCRA 134 .......................................................................... 411
Mapa v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 100295, April 26, 1994,
231 SCRA 783 ...................................... ........................... 272, 387
Maquiling v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 195649,
April 16, 2013 ...................................................193, 663, 669, 799
Marcelino v. Cruz, 121 SCRA 51 ...............................587
Marcoleta v. Borra, A.C. No. 7732, March 30, 2009,
582 SCRA 474 .................................................................. 653, 738
Marcoleta v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 181377, April 24,
2009, 586 SCRA 765....................................................... 606, 653

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Marcopper Mining Corporation v. Briones, No. L-77210,


September 19, 1988, 165 SCRA 464 ............................... 473
Marcos v. Chief of Staff, 89 Phil, 246 (1951)............................ 237, 544
Marcos v. COMELEC, 318 Phil. 329, 397 (1995) .................... 257
Marcos v. Manglapus, 177 SCRA 668 ...................................... 382
Mari v. Gonzales, G.R. No. 187728, September 12, 2011,
657 SCRA 414 .......................................................................... 539
Mariano v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 118577 March 7, 1995,
242 SCRA 211 .......................................................................... 203
Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort v. Dual, G.R. No.
180660, July 20, 2010, 625 SCRA 147 .................................... 112
Marohomsalic v. Cole, G.R. No. 169918, February 27,
2008, 547 SCRA 98 ............................................... 778
Martinez III v. House of Representatives Electoral
Tribunal, G.R. No. 189034, January 12, 2010,
610 SCRA 53 ............................................................................ 656
Matibag v. Benipayo, G.R. No. 149036, April 2, 2002,
429 SCRA 554 .................................................................. 401, 520
Matute v. Hernandez, 66 Phil. 68 .............................................. 714
Medina v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 176478,
February 4, 2008, 543 SCRA 684............................................. 770
Melchor v. Gironella, G.R. No. 151138, February 16,
2005, 451 SCRA 476 ................................................................ 769
Mendoza v. Court of First Instance, 65 SCRA 96 .............................. 574
Mendoza v. Quisumbing, 186 SCRA 108 ......................................... 628
Mercado v. Manzano, G.R. No. 135083, May 26, 1999,
367 Phil. 132 (1999) ......................................................... 801, 803
Mercury Drug Corporation v. National Labor Relations
Commission, G.R. No. 75662, September 15, 1989,
177 SCRA 580 ...................................................................... 112
Merritt v. Gov’t, of the Phil. Islands, 34 Phil. 311 .......................... 61, 78
Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company v. Reynado,
G.R. No. 164538, August 9, 2010, 627 SCRA 88 .................... 766
Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company v. Tobias, G.R.
No. 177780, January 25, 2012, 664 SCRA 165 ........................ 154
Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 ....................................................... 104
Miguel v. Honorable Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 172035,
July 4, 2012, 675 SCRA 560 .................................................... 753
Mijares v. Ranada, G.R. No. 139325, April 12, 2005,
455 SCRA 397 .............................................................................96
Mlnlsterlo v. City of Cebu, 40 SCRA 464 .............................................61
Miranda v. Abaya, G.R. No. 136351, July 28, 1999,
311 SCRA 617 ................................................................... 661, 666

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Mitra v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 191938, July 2, 2010,


622 SCRA 744 ................................................................ 191,216
Mitra v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 191938, October 19, 2010,
633 SCRA 580 ................................................................ 191, 216
Mizuaki Takenouchi v. Cristi, G.R. No. 82232, July 25,
1988 (Minute Resolution) ........................................................437
MMDA v. Concerned Residents of Manila Bay, G.R. Nos.
171947-48, February 15, 2011, 643 SCRA 90 ................ 127, 473
Mobil Phil. Exploration, Inc. v. Customs Arrastre Service,
18 SCRA 1120 ........................................................................... 74
Mocorro v. Ramirez, G.R. No. 178366, July 28, 2008,
560 SCRA 362 ................................................................. 583
Molen, Jr. v. Commission on Audit, 493 Phil. 874 (2005).......... 724
Mondana v. Silvosa, 97 Phil. 143 ............................................... 381, 410
Monsanto v. Factoran, 170 SCRA 190 ....................................... 448
Montemayor v. Bundalian, G.R. No. 149335, July 1,
2003, 405 SCRA 264 ....................................................... 779
Montenegro v. Castaneda, 91 Phil. 882 ...................................... 150, 436
Morrero v. Bocar, 66 Phil. 429.................................................... 254
Moya v. del Fierro, 69 Phil. 199 ................................................. 90
Mun. of Moncada v. Cajuigan, 21 Phil. 184 ............................... 79
Munder v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 194076,
October 19, 2011, 659 SCRA 256 .................................... 658, 676
Municipality of Malabang v. Benito, G.R. No. L-28113,
March 28, 1969, 27 SCRA 533 ................................................ 529
Municipality of San Fernando, La Union v. Firme,
195 SCRA 692 ........................................................................... 78
Mutuc v. Commission on Elections, 130 Phil. 663,
672 (1968) ................................................................................ 257
Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 .................................................. 381

Nacionalista Party v. Bautista, 85 Phil. 101 .........................................601


Nacionalista Party v. De Vera, 35 Phil. 126 .........................................596
Nadeco v. Tobias, 7 SCRA 692
.....................................................................................................................
................................................. 42
NASECO v. NLRC, G.R. No. L-69870, November 29,
1988, 250 Phil. 129 (1988), 168 SCRA 122 .............................. 616
National Airports Corp. v. Teodoro, 91 Phil. 203 ................................ 72
National Amnesty Commission v. Commission on Audit,
481 Phil. 279, 294 (2004) ........................................................... 393
National Electrification Administration v. Commission
on Audit, 427 Phil. 464, 481 (2002) ........................................... 717
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National Electrification Administration v. Morales, G.R.


No. 154200, July 24, 2007, 528 SCRA 79 ........... 60, 68, 610, 720
National Housing Authority v. City of Iloilo, G.R. No.
172267, August 20, 2008, 562 SCRA 237 ................. 324
National Housing Corporation v. Juco, 134 SCRA 172 ...... 609
National Service Corp. v. NLRC, 168 SCRA 122 ............... 609
Nava v. National Bureau of Investigation, Regional
Office No. XI, Davao City, G.R. No. 134509,
April 12, 2005, 455 SCRA 377 .................................. 767
Navarro v. Ermita, G.R. No. 180050, April 12, 2011,
648 SCRA 400 ........................................................... 202
Navarro v. Ermita, G.R. No. 180050, February 10, 2010,
612 SCRA 131 ........................................................... 202
Navia v. Pardico, G.R. No. 184467, June 19, 2012,
673 SCRA 618 ........................................................... 98
Nazareth v. Villar, G.R. No. 188635, January 29,
2013, 689 SCRA 385 ............................................... !304, 311, 312
Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of
Public Officers, G.R. No. 180643, March
25, 2008, 549 SCRA 77 ........................... 154, 198, 298, 369, 375
Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of
Public Officers, G.R. No. 180643, September
4, 2008, 564 SCRA 152 ........................... 197, 298, 304, 372, 457
New Frontier Mines v. NLRC, 129 SCRA 502 . 587
NHMFC v. Abayari, G.R. No. 166508, October 2,
2009, 602 SCRA 242 ......................................... 720
Nicolas v. Romulo, G.R. No. 175888, February 11,
2009, 578 SCRA 438 ......................................... 458, 557
Nicolas-Lewis v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 162759,
August 4, 2006, 497 SCRA 649 .......................... 221
Nicos Industrial Corp. v. Court of Appeals,
206 SCRA 127 .................................................. 571, 572
Nieves v. Blanco, G.R. No. 190422, June 19, 2012,
673 SCRA 638 .................................................... 640
Nitafan v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue,
152 SCRA 284 ................................................... 585
Noblejas v. Salas, 67 SCRA 47 ...................................
Noblejas v. Teehankee, 23 SCRA 405 ..........................

................................................................. 581
Noceda v. Arbizo-Directo, G.R. No. 178495, July 26, 526
2010. 625 SCRA 472..........................................
Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425 ......................

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O
Ocampo v. COMELEC, G.R. No. L-13158, Dec. 6, 1957 .......
Ocampo v. House of Representatives Electoral .672
Tribunal, G.R. No. 158466, June 15, 2004,
432 SCRA 144 .......................................................
Ocampo v. Sec. of Justice, L-7918, Jan. 18, 1955, .664
51 O.G. 147 .............................................................. 136, 523, 565
Occena v. COMELEC, 95 SCRA 755 ............................... 823
Odchigue-Bondoc v. Tan Tiong Bio, G.R. No.
186652, October 6, 2010, 632 SCRA 457 ................................ 579
Office of the Court Administrator v. Javellana,
481 Phil. 315 (2004)................................................................. 588
Office of the Court Administrator v. Judge Fuentes,
A.M. No. RTJ-13-2342, March 6, 2013, 692
SCRA 429 ................................................................................ 588
Office of the Court Administrator v. Judge Indar,
A.M. No. RTJ-10-2232, April 10, 2012, 669
SCRA 24 ......................................................................... 568, 730
Office of the Court Administrator v. Judge Usman,
A.M. No. SCC-08-12, October 19, 2011, 659
SCRA 411 ................................................................................. 795
Office of the Ombudsman v. Andutan, G.R. No.
164679, July 27, 2011, 654 SCRA 539 ..................................... 768
Office of the Ombudsman v. Apolonio, G.R. No.
165132, March 7, 2012, SCRA 583 .......................................... 768
Office of the Ombudsman v. Civil Service Commis-
sion, 451 SCRA 570.................................................................. 782
Office of the Ombudsman v. Cordova, G.R. No.
188650, October 6, 2010, 632 SCRA 465 ................................. 775
Office of the Ombudsman v. Court of Appeals, G.R.
No. 159395, May 7, 2008, 554 SCRA 75 .........................730, 778
Office of the Ombudsman v. Court of Appeals, G.R.
No. 167844, November 22, 2006, 507 SCRA 593 .................... 769
Office of the Ombudsman v. Court of Appeals, G.R.
No. 168079, July 17, 2007, 527 SCRA 798 .............................. 769
Office of the Ombudsman v. de Sahagun, G.R. No.
167982, August 13, 2008, 562 SCRA 122 ........................ 730, 769
Office of the Ombudsman v. Delijero, Jr., G.R. No.
172635, October 20, 2010, 634 SCRA 135 ............... 768, 771, 775
Office of the Ombudsman v. Evangelista, G.R. No.
177211, March 13, 2009, 581 SCRA 350 ................................. 776

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Office of the Ombudsman v. Galicia, G.R. No.


167711, October 10, 2008, 568 SCRA 327 ..............................771
Office of the Ombudsman v. Lucero, G.R. No.
168718, November 24, 2006, 508 SCRA 106 ......................... 769
Office of the Ombudsman v. Masing, G.R. No.
165416, January 22, 2008, 542 SCRA 253 ..................... 768, 771
Office of the Ombudsman v. Medrano, G.R. No.
177580, October 17, 2008, 569 SCRA 747 .............................. 771
Office of the Ombudsman v. Rodriguez,
G.R. No. 172700, July 23, 2010, 625
SCRA 299 ............................................... 753, 762, 768, 769, 774
Office of the Ombudsman v. Samaniego, G.R. No.
175573, October 5, 2010, 632 SCRA 140 ........................777, 779
Office of the Ombudsman v. Santiago, G.R. No.
161098, September 13, 2007, 533 SCRA 305 .................. 768, 769
Office of the Ombudsman v. Torres, G.R. No.
168309, January 29, 2008, 543 SCRA 46 ................................ 730
Office of the President v. Cataquiz, G.R. No.
183445, September 14, 2011, 657 SCRA 681 .................. 572
Olaguer v. Military Commission No. 34, 150 SCRA 144 .......... 427, 528
Ombudsman v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 172224,
January 26, 2011, 640 SCRA 544 ............................................ 777
Ombudsman v. Pelino, G.R. No. 179261, April 18,
2008, 552 SCRA 203 .............................................................. 776
Ombudsman v. Racho, G.R. No. 185685, January
31, 2011, 641 SCRA 148 ................................................. 760, 794
Ondoy v. Ignacio, 97 SCRA 252 ................................................ Ill
Ople v. Torres, G.R. No. 127685, July 23, 1998, 354
Phil. 948 (1998), 293 SCRA 141 ..................................... 271, 383
Oposav. Factoran, G.R. No. 101083, July 30, 1993,
224 SCRA 792 ......................................................... 36, 83, 127
Orap v. Sandiganbayan, 139 SCRA 252 ............................ 754, 769, 790
Orosa v. Roa, 527 Phil. 347, 353-354 (2006) .................... 418
Osmena v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 188818,
May 31, 2011, 649 SCRA 654 ................................................. 724
Osmena v. Orbos, G.R. No. 99886, March 31, 1993,
220 SCRA 703 ......................................................... 722, 727
Osmena v. Pendatun, 109 Phil. 863 .................................... 147, 230, 244
Oxales v. United Laboratories, Inc., G.R. No.
152991, July 21, 2008, 559 SCRA 26 ....................................... 112

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P.E. Domingo & Co. v. Zari, 159 SCRA 171 ............................ 552
Pacete v. Commission on Audit, 185 SCRA 1........................... 622, 719
Pacificador v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No.
178259, March 13, 2009, 581 SCRA 372 ....................... 686, 704
Pacoy v. Cajigal, G.R. No. 157472, September 28,
2007, 534 SCRA 338 ............................................................... 539
PACU v. Secretary of Education, 97 Phil. 806 .................................. 494
Pagano v. Nazarro, G.R. No. 149072, September 21,
2007, 533 SCRA 622 ............................................................... 506
PAGCOR v. Aumentado, G.R. No. 173634, July 22,
2010, 625 SCRA 241 ................................................................ 604
PAGCOR v. BIR, G.R. No. 172087, March 15, 2011,
645 SCRA 338 .......................................................................... 323
Paguia v. Office of the President G.R. No. 176278,
June 25, 2010, 621 SCRA 600 ............................................... ...
508
Palafox v. Province of Ilocos Norte, 102 Phil. 1186 ............................. 79
Palmares v. Commission on Elections, G.R. Nos.
86177-78, Minute Resolution dated August
31, 1989 .................................................................................... 699
Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila v. IAC, 140
SCRA 22 ................................................................................... 401
Pangasinan Transportation Co. vs. Public Service
Commission, No. 47065, June 26, 1940, 70
Phil. 221 .................................................................... 133, 134, 175
Pascual v. Sec. of Public Works & Communications,
110 Phil. 331 ........................................................................... ...
306
PCGG Chairman v. Jacobi, G.R. No. 155996, June 27, 2012,
675 SCRA 20 ........................................................................... 421
Pelaez vs. Auditor General, No. L-23825, December
24, 1965, 122 Phil. 965, 15 SCRA 569 .......................... 176, 182
Pelobello v. Palatino, 72 Phil. 441 .............................................. 448
Penera v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 181613, November
25, 2009, 605 SCRA 574 ........................................................ 702
People v. Albano, G.R. Nos. L-45376-77, July 26,
1988, 163 SCRA 511 ................................................................ 753
People v. Bello, G.R. Nos. 166948-59, August 29,
2012,679 SCRA 298 ................................................................. 752
People v. Benipayo, G.R. No. 154473, April 24,
2009,586 SCRA 420 ..................................................................738
People v. Bosi, G.R. No. 193665, June 25, 2012,
674 SCRA 411 .................................................................... 85, 105

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People v. Casido, 336 Phil. 344 (1997) ........................ 455
People v. Delgado, 189 SCRA 715............................... 709
People v. Fernandez, CA-G.R. No. L-1128 (1945) ...... 316
People v. Gutierrez, 39 SCRA 173 ............................... 549
People v. Jacinto, G.R. No. 182239, March 16, 2011,
645 SCRA 590 ....................................................
People v. Lagman, 38 O.G. 1676 ..............................................
People v. Mantalaba, G.R. No. 186227, July 20,
2011, 654 SCRA 188 ....................................................... 108, 273
People v. Monticalvo, G.R. No. 193507, January 30,
2013, 689 SCRA 715 ....................................................... 108, 273
People v. Munar, 53 SCRA 678 ................................................ .... 521
People v. Pacificador, 406 Phil. 774, 782 (2001) ....................... .... 791
People v. Patriarca, 395 Phil.690 (2000) ....................................
.... 455
People v. Perfecto, 43 Phil. 887 ................................................
People v. Pilotin, 65 SCRA 635 ................................................ .... 1, 46
People v. Pomar, 46 Phil. 440 .................................................... .... 550
People v. Ritter, 194 SCRA 690................................................. .... 805
People v. Rosenthal, 68 Phil. 328 ............................................... .... 105
People v. Salle, 250 SCRA 581 ..................................................
.... 179
People v. Sandiganbayan, 451 SCRA 413 ..................................
People v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 156394, .... 445
January 21, 2005, 449 SCRA 205 ..................................... .... 751
People v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 164185, July 23, .... 756
2008, 559 SCRA 449 ........................................................ .... 645
People v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 169004, Sep-
.... 751
tember 15, 2010, 630 SCRA 489 ......................................
People v. Sarcia, G.R. No. 169641, September 10, 108, 273
2009, 599 SCRA 20 ..........................................................
People v. Sesbreno, G.R. No. L-62449 July 16, 1984,
130 SCRA 465 .................................................................. ...... 563
People v. Vera, 65 Phil. 56.... 171, 173, 176, 180, 507, 521
(N

People v. Zosa, 38 O.G. 1676


PEPSICO, Inc. v. Lacanilao, 524 Phil. 147 (2006) .................
O') 00 o

CO CO OO

Peralta v. Auditor General, 148 Phil. 261 (1971) ....................


Peralta v. COMELEC, 82 SCRA 30 ......................................
Peralta v. Director of Prisons, 75 Phil. 285 ............................ 44, 45
Perez v. Commission on Elections, 375 Phil. 1106,
1115-1116 (1999) .......................................................... 257
Perfecto v. Meer, 85 Phil. 552 ................................................. 585
Perkins vs. Haywood, 31 N. E., 670, 672 ................................ 585
PERT/CPM Manpower Exponent Co., Inc. v. Vinuya, G.R.
No. 197528, September 5, 2012, 680 SCRA 284 .......... 273

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Petition for Leave to Resume Practice of Law, Benjamin


M. Dacanay, B.M. No. 1678, December 17, 2007,
540 SCRA 424............................................................ 556
Petitioner Organizations v. Executive Secretary,
G.R. Nos. 147036-37, April 10, 2012, 669
SCRA 49 .................................................... 88, 157, 473, 539, 725
Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association v.
Health Secretary, G.R.-No. 173034, October 9,
2007,535 SCRA 265 ................................................ 96
Phil. Bar Association v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 72915,
Dec. 20, 1985........................................................... 7, 148
Phil. National Bank v. Pabalan, 83 SCRA 595 .................. .....67
Phil. National Railways v. IAC, 217 SCRA 401 ............... .....71
Phil. Press Institute v. COMELEC, 244 SCRA 272 ......... ....674
Philcomsat Holdings Corporation v. Senate, G.R.
No. 180308, June 19, 2012, 673 SCRA 611 ..... 300
PHILCONSAv. Gimenez, 15 SCRA 479 ................... 227, 280, 356, 512
PHILCONSA v. Villareal, 52 SCRA 477 ................... 494
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation v.
Angara, 475 SCRA 41 ......................................... 622
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation v.
Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 93396, September
30, 1991, 202 SCRA 191 ..................................... 610
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation
vs. Rilloraza, G.R. No. 141141, June 25, 2001,
359 SCRA 525 ..................................................... 622
Philippine Banking Corporation v. Commissioner of
Internal Revenue, G.R. No. 170574, January
30, 2009, 577 SCRA 366 ..................................... 324
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Board of
Directors v. Lapid, G.R. No. 191940, April 12,
2011, 648 SCRA 546 ........................................... 637
Philippine Coconut Producers Federation,
Inc. v. Republic of the Philippines, G.R.
Nos. 177857-58, January 24, 2012, 663
SCRA 514 ......................................... '. ...... 532, 546, 721, 725, 755
Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, Inc. v.
Republic, G.R. Nos. 177857-58, September 17,
2009, 600 SCRA 102 ......................................... 132, 148
Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, Inc. v.
Republic, G.R. Nos. 177857-58, February 11,
2010, 612 SCRA 255......................................... 382

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Philippine Constitution Association v. Enriquez, G.R.


No. 113105, August 19, 1994, 235 SCRA 506 ........155, 311, 312
Philippine Export Processing Zone Authority v.
Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 189767, July
3, 2012, 675 SCRA 513 ........................................................... 364
Philippine Fisheries Development Authority v. Central
Board of Assessment Appeals, G.R. No. 178030,
December 15, 2010, 638 SCRA 644 ......................................... 323
Philippine Guardians Brotherhood, Inc. (PGBI) v.
Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 190529,
29 April 2010, 619 SCRA 585 .................................................. 582
Philippine International Air Terminals Co., Inc. v.
Takenaka Corporation, G.R. No. 180245, July
4, 2012, 675 SCRA 674 ............................................................ 503
Philippine International Trading Corporation v.
Commission on Audit. 461 Phil. 737 (2003) ............................ 724
Philippine Judges Association v. Prado, G.R. No.
105371 November 11, 1993, 227 SCRA 203 ................... 247, 286
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. v. NLRC,
247 Phil. 641(1988] ................................................................. 113
Philippine National Bank v. Palma, G.R. No.
157279, August 9, 2005, 466 SCRA 307 ......................... 520, 522
Philippine Rock Industries, Inc. v. Board of Liquidators,
259 Phil. 650, 655-656 (1989) ................................................... 72
Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement v. Virgilio
E. Pulgar, G.R. No. 169227, July 5, 2010, 623
SCRA 244 ................................................................................. 112
Philippine Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No.
169752, September 25, 2007, 534 SCRA 112 ..........................273
Philippine Veterans Bank v. Court of Appeals, G.R.
No. 132561, June 30, 2005, 462 SCRA 336 ............................. 520
Phillips Seafood [Philippines] Corporation v. Board
of Investments, G.R. No. 175787, February 4,
2009, 578 SCRA 113 ............................................................. 412
Pichay v. Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary
for Legal Affairs Investigative and Adjudica-
tion Division, G.R. No. 196425, July 24, 2012,
677 SCRA 408 ..................................................313, 385, 421, 462
Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 262 U.S. 390 ................... 104
Pimentel v. Aguirre, G.R. No. 132988, July 19,
2000, 336 SCRA 201 ................................................................. 493

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Page

Pimentel v. Ermita, G.R. No. 164978, October 13,


2005, 472 SCRA 587 ................................................272, 393, 504
Pimentel v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 158088,
July 16, 2008, 462 SCRA 622 .................................
................................................ 622
Pinero v. Hechanova, 18 SCRA 417 ................................. 826
PIRMAv. COMELEC, G.R. No. 129754, Sept. 23, 1997 ............
Planas v. Commission on Elections, 519 Phil. 506, 58
Planas v. Gil, 67 Phil. 62 ..............................................................
2
Planters Products Inc. v. Fertiphil Corporation,
G.R. No. 166006, March 14, 2008, 548
SCRA 485 ........................................................ 319, 516, 528, 546
Pleyto v. Philippine National Police Criminal
Investigation and Detection Group, G.R. No.
169982, November 23, 2007, 538 SCRA 534.......................... 776
Plint v. Stone Tracy Co., 220 U.S. 107 .............................................. 276
Pobre v. Defensor-Santiago, A.C. No. 7399, August
25, 2009, 597 SCRA 1 ............................................................. 230
Poindexter v. Greenhow, 114 U.S. 270 ............................................. 33
Pormento v. Estrada, G.R. No. 191988, August 31,
2010, 629 SCRA 530 ..................................................... 347, 496
Presbiterio v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 178884, June
<1

30, 2008, 556 SCRA 815 ...................................


Primicias v. Ocampo, 93 Phil. 451 ...............................
UI

Protacio v. Laya Mananghaya & Co., G.R. No.


O) Ul CH o
m co to co
<1

168654, March 25, 2009, 582 SCRA 417 ...........


O1

Prudente v. Genuino, G.R. No. L-5222, Nov. 6, 1951


Prudential Bank v. Castro, 158 SCRA 646 ................... ..... 577
Public Interest Center, Inc. v. Elma, G.R. No.
138965, June 30, 2006, 494 SCRA 53 ................ ..... 643
Public Interest Center, Inc. v. Elma, G.R. No.
138965, March 5, 2007, 517 SCRA 336 ............. 504, 644
Pundaodaya v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179313,
September 17, 2009, 600 SCRA 178 ..................
r-l (N •
OJ CO CO
H co m

Puyat v. De Guzman, 113 SCRA 33 .........


PVTAv. CIR, 65 SCRA 416 ..................... ...................

Quarto v. The Honorable Ombudsman Simeon


Marcelo, G.R. No. 109042, October 5, 2011,
658 SCRA 580 ...........................................................271, 387, 766

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Page

Querubin v. Regional Cluster Director, Legal and


Adjudication Office, COA Regional Office VI,
Pavia, Iloilo City, G.R. No. 159299, July 7,
2004, 433 SCRA 769 ................................................................ 724
Quezon City v. ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation,
G.R. No. 166408, October 6, 2008, 567 SCRA
...........................................................................................
Quiao v. Quiao, G.R. No. 176556, July 4, 2012,
675 SCRA 642 ................................................................. 103
Quimzon v. Ozaeta, 98 Phil. 705................................................ 644, 651
Quinto v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No.
189698, February 22, 2010, 613 SCRA 385 ............................ 632
Quintos-Deles v. Commission on Appointments,
177 SCRA 259 .................................................................... ..... 398
Quizon v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 177927, February
15, 2008, 545 SCRA 635 .......................................................... 659

Radaza v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 177135,


October 15, 2008, 569 SCRA 223 .....................................495, 501
Ramiscal v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 172476-99,
September 15, 2010, 630 SCRA 505 ........................................ 766
Ramos v. Ramos, 447 Phil. 114 (2003) ............................................... 583
Rapsing v. Ables, G.R. No. 171855, October 15,
2012, 684 SCRA 195.................................................................
Raro v. Sandiganbayan, 390 Phil. 917 (2000) .....................................
Rayo v. CFI of Bulacan, 110 SCRA 460 ...........
Rayo v. Metropolitan Bank, G.R. No. 165142,
December 10, 2007, 539 SCRA 571 ......................................... 522
Razon, Jr. v. Tagitis, G.R. No. 182498, December 3,
2009, 606 SCRA 598 .................................................................. 98
Re: COA Opinion on the Computation of the Ap-
praised Value of the Properties Purchased by
the retired Chief/Associate Justices of the Su-
preme Court, A.M. No. 11-7-10-SC, July 31,
2012, 678 SCRA 1 ............................................................ 158, 483
Re: Complaint against the Honorable Chief Justice
Renato C. Corona dated September 14, 2011
filed by Inter-Petal Recreational Corporation,
A.M. No. 12-6-10-SC, June 13, 2012, 672
SCRA 62 ................................................................................... 732
Re: Request of Jose M. Aleiandrino, 672 SCRA 27............................ 796

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Re: Petition for Recognition of the Exemption of the


Government Service Insurance System
(GSIS) for Payment of Legal Fees, A.M. No.
08-2-01-0, 11 February 2010, 612 SCRA 193 ........... 76, 483, 555
Re: Request for Copy of 2008 Statement of Assets,
Liabilities and Networth (SALN) and Per-
sonal Data Sheet or Curriculum Vitae of the
Justices of the Supreme Court and Officers
and Employees of the Judiciary, A.M. No. 09-
8-6-SC, June 13, 2012, 672 SCRA 27 .............................. 796, 798
Re: Request of Philippine Center for Investigative
Journalism for the 2008 SALNs and Personal
Data Sheets of Court of Appeals Justices,
A.M. No. 09-8-07-CA, June 13, 2012, 672
SCRA 27 .................................................................. 560, 798, 799
Re: Vehicular Accident involving SC Shuttle Bus No.
3 with Plate No. SEG-357 driven by Gerry B.
Moral, Driver Il-Casual, A.M. No. 2008-13-SC,
November 19, 2008, 571 SCRA 352 ........................................ 637
Re: Verified Complaint of Engr. Oscar L. Ongjoco,
A.M. OCA IPI No. 11-184-CA-J, Januaiy 31,
2012, 664 SCRA 465 ....................................................... 571, 578
Repol v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 161418,
April 28, 2004, 428 SCRA 321 ........................................ 605, 687
Republic of the Philippines v. Badjao, G.R. No.
160596, March 20, 2009, 582 SCRA 53 .................. 768, 769, 778
Republic v. Caguioa, G.R. No. 168584, October 15,
2007, 536 SCRA 193 .............................................................. 325
Republic v. City of Paranaque, G.R. No. 191109,
July 18, 2012, 677 SCRA 246 .......................................... 612, 615
Republic v. Cojuangco, G.R. No. 139930, June 26,
2012, 674 SCRA 492 ....................................................... 791, 792
Republic v. De la Cruz, 118 SCRA 18 ...................................... 553
Republic v. De la Rosa, G.R. Nos. 104654, 105715 &
105735, June 6, 1994, 232 SCRA 785 ...................................... 658
Republic v. Desierto, 416 Phil. 59, 77-78 (2001) ................................ 791
Republic v. Desierto, 438 Phil. 201, 212 (2002) ................................. 791
Republic v. Domingo, G.R. No. 175299, September
14, 2011, 657 SCRA 621 ...................................................... 61, 72
Republic v. Francisco, G.R. No. 163089, December
6, 2006, 510 SCRA 377 .................................................... 778
Republic v. Garcia, 76 SCRA 47 ................................................. 77
Republic v. Imperial, 96 Phil. 770 ............................................... 596, 597

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TABLE OF CASES

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e
Republic v. Investa Corporation, G.R. No. 135466,
May 7, 2008, 554 SCRA 29 ............................... .755
Republic v. National Labor Relations Commission,
263 SCRA 290 ...................................................
Republic v. Purisima, 78 SCRA 470 ...........................
Republic v. Sandiganbayan (First Div.), 525 Phil.
804 (2006) .......................................................... ...538
Republic v. Sandiganbayan, 182 SCRA 911 .............. .... 64
Republic v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 90478,
November 2, 1991, 204 SCRA 212 .................... .... 63
Republic v. Valencia, 141 SCRA 462 ......................... ...553
Republic v. Villasor, 54 SCRA 84 .............................. 66, 78
Resolution dated May 2, 1989, cited in Re: Request
for Copy of 2008 Statement of Assets, Liabili-
ties and Net Worth (SALN) and Personal
Data Sheet or Curriculum Vitae of the Jus-
tices of the Supreme Court and Officers of the
Judiciary, A.M. No. 09-8-6-SC, June 13, 2012,
672 SCRA 27............................................................... 798
Review Center Association of the Philippines v.
Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 180046, April
2, 2009, 583 SCRA 428 ....................................................270, 383
Reyes v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 125129,
March 29, 1999, 305 SCRA 512, 516 ....................................... 604
Reyes v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No.
207264, June 25, 2013.............................. 193, 257, 260, 682, 800
Reyes v. Lim, G.R. No. 134241, August 11, 2003,
408 SCRA 560 .......................................................................... 554
Reyna v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 167219,
February 8, 2011, 642 SCRA 210 .....................................724
Riel v. Wright, 49 Phil. 195 ........................................................ 153, 713
Robles v. HRET, 181 SCRA 780 ................................................254
Rodriguez v. Gella, 92 Phil. 603 .................................................165, 167
Rodriguez v. Macapagal Arroyo, G.R. No. 191805,
November 15, 2011, 660 SCRA 84 ...........................377, 378, 433
Romero v. Estrada, G.R. No. 174105, April 2, 2009,
583 SCRA 396 .................................................................. 299, 581
Romualdez v. Sandiganbayan, 479 Phil. 265, 294 (2004) ........... 791
Romulo v. Yniguez, 141 SCRA 263 ........................................... 149, 743
Roque v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 188456, September
10, 2009, 599 SCRA 69 ........................................................... 705
Rubrico v. Arroyo, G.R. No. 183871, February 18,
2010,613 SCRA 233 ..................................................................378

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Ruffy v. Chief of Staff, 75 Phil. 875 .................................... 44, 425, 542


Ruivivar v. Ombudsman, G.R. No. 165012, September
16, 2008, 565 SCRA 324 ..................................................278, 778
Ruiz v. Cabahug, 54 O.G. 351 ....................................................55
Ruiz v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 105324, March 11, 1993 ...........579

D
C
Sabio v. Gordon, G.R. No. 174340, October 17,
2006, 504 SCRA 704 ......................................................... 297, 299
Salalima v. Guingona, G.R. No. 117589-92, May 22, 1996,
257 SCRA 55 ............................................................................. 408
Salcedo II v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No.
135886, August 16, 1999, 312 SCRA 447 ................................. 655
Salengav. Court of Appeals, G.R. Nos. 174941,
February 1, 2012, 664 SCRA 635.............................................. 616
Sales v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 174668, September
12, 2007, 533 SCRA 173 ........................................................... 495
Salva v. Valle, G.R. No. 193773, April 2, 2013, 694
SCRA 422.................................................................................. 626
Salvador v. Serrano, A.M. No. P-06-2104 (Formerly
OCA I.P.I. No. 02-1484-P), January 31, 2006,
481 SCRA 55 ............................................................................. 473
Samson v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L-43182,
November 25, 1986, 145 SCRA 654 ......................................... 312
Samson v. Restrivera, G.R. No. 178454, March 28,
2011, 646 SCRA481.................................................. 76
San Miguel Corporation v. Sandiganbayan, 394 8
Phil. 608, 636-637 (2000)..........................................
San Miguel Corporation v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 76
104637-38, September 14, 2000, 340 SCRA 289 .... 6
Sana v. Career Executive Service Board, G.R. No.
192926, November 15, 2011, 660 SCRA 130 ........... 75
Sanchez v. COMELEC, 114 SCRA 454 ............................ 5
Sanchez v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 127545,
April 23, 2008, 552 SCRA 471 311, 717, 721
.............. 584
Sanchez v. Court of Appeals, 452 Phil. 665, 674 (2003)..
Sanchez v. Demetriou, G.R. Nos. 111771-77, November
9, 1993, 227 SCRA 627 .............................................
Sanders v. Veridiano, 162 SCRA 88 ...................................
Sangcopan v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 170210, March 673
12, 2008, 548 SCRA 148 ...........................................

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Sangguniang Barangay of Don Mariano Marcos v.


Martinez, G.R. No. 170626, March 3, 2008,
547 SCRA 416 ......................................................... 408
Sanidadv. COMELEC, 73 SCRA 333 ............................... 143, 512, 824
Sanlakas v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 159085,
February 3, 2004, 421 SCRA 656 .............................................387
Sanrio Company Limited v. Lim, G.R. No. 168662, February
19, 2008, 546 SCRA 303 ..........................................................765
Santiago v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 127325, March
19,1997, 270 SCRA 106 .......................................... 328, 813, 825
Santiago v. Republic, 87 SCRA 294 .................................. 63
Santos v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No.
155618, March 26, 2003, 399 SCRA 611 ................................. 688
Santos v. Rasalan, G.R. No. 155749, February 8,
2007,515 SCRA 97 ................................................................... 768
Santos v. Santos, 92 Phil. 281 ............................................................ 64
Sarmiento v. Mison, 156 SCRA 549................................................... 396
Schecter Poultry Corp. v. US, 295 SCRA 495 .................................... 175
Scott v. Inciong, 68 SCRA 473 ........................................................... 542
Sooty’s Dep’t. Store v. Micaller, 99 Phil. 762 ................................... 428
Sea-Land Service, Inc. v. Court of Appeals,
357 SCRA 441 .......................................................................... 547
Secretary of National Defense v. Manalo, G.R. No.
180906, October 7, 2008, 568 SCRA 1 ..................................... 551
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Interport
Resources Corporation, G.R. No. 135808,
October 6, 2008, 567 SCRA 354 ............................................... 521
Segovia v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 124067, March
27, 1998, 288 SCRA 328 .......................................................... 753
Serna v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 177597, July 16,
2008, 558 SCRA 700 ............................................................... 205
Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign
Activities v. Nixon, 498 F. 2d 725, 162 U. S. App.
D.C. 183 .................................................................................... 371
Senate v. Ermita, G.R. No. 169777, April 20, 2006,
488 SCRA 1 ............................................. 299, 303, 367, 371, 372
491, 493, 512, 514
Seneres v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 178678, April 16,
2009, 585 SCRA 557 ....................................................... 210, 631
Serrano v Ambassador Hotel, G R. No. 197003,
February 11, 2013, 690 SCRA 226 ........................................... 583
Serrano v. Gallant Maritime Services, Inc., G.R.
No. 167614, March 24, 2009, 582 SCRA 254..................... 37, 273

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Sesbreno v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 161390,
April 16, 2008, 551 SCRA 524 .............................
Severino v. Governor-General, 16 Phil. 366 ..................
Shell Philippines Exploration BV v. Jalos, G.R. No.
179918, September 8, 2010, 630 SCRA 399 ..........
Shepard v. Barren, 194 U.S. 553 ......................................
Shimizu Philippine Contractors, Inc. v. Magsalin, G.R.
No. 170026, June 20, 2012, 674 SCRA 65 .............. .............. 572
Singson v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 159355,
August 9, 2010, 627 SCRA 36 ................................ .............. 724
Smart Communications, Inc. v. City of Davao, G.R.
No. 155491, September 16, 2008, 565 SCRA 237.. .............. 324
Smith Bell & Co. (Phils.), Inc. v. Court of Appeals,
274 Phil. 472, 479 (1991), 197 SCRA 201 .............. .............. 576
Sobejana-Condon v. Commission on Elections, G.R.
No. 198742, August 10, 2012, 678 SCRA 267. 218, 688, 800
Social Justice Society v. Atienza, G.R. No. 156052,
February 13, 2008, 545 SCRA 92 .............................. ............... 173
Social Justice Society v. Dangerous Drugs Board,
G.R. No. 157870, November 3, 2008, 570
SCRA 410 ......................................................... 193, 676
Solid Homes, Inc. v. Laserna, G.R. No. 166051,
2008, 550 SCRA 613 .......................................... 579, 580
Sombong v. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No.
111876, January 31, 1996, 252 SCRA 663 ............................ CO
D— IO
Soriano III v. Lista, 399 SCRA 437 ............................
CO

Soriano v. Cabais, G.R. No. 157175, June 21, 2007,


525 SCRA 261 ............................................................ 778
Soriano v. Laguardia, G.R. No. 164785, April 29,
2009, 587 SCRA 79 .................................................................... 38
Spouses Balangauan v. Court of Appeals, Special
Nineteenth Division, Cebu City, G.R. No.
174350, August 13, 2008, 562 SCRA 184 ........................ 579, 781
Spouses Dacudao v. Secretary of Justice, G.R. No.
188056, January 8, 2013, 688 SCRA 109 ................................. 419
Spouses Fortaleza v. Sps. Lapitan, G.R. No. 178288,
August 15, 2012, 678 SCRA 469 ...............................................554
Spouses Francisco and Merced Rabat v. Philippine
National Bank, G.R. No. 158755, June 18,
2012, 673 SCRA 383 ................................................................ 473
Spouses Mirasol v. Court of Appeals, 403 Phil. 760 (2001) ............... 522

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Spouses Serfino v. Far East Bank and Trust Company,
Inc., G.R. No. 171845, October 10, 2012, 683
SCRA 380 ........ ’ ...................................................................... 558
Springer v. Gov’t, of the Phil. Islands, 277 U.S. 189 ................. 134, 527
SSS Employees Assn. v. Court of Appeals, 175 SCRA 686 .............. 634
Sta. Lucia Realty & Development, Inc. v. Municipality of
Cainta, G.R. No. 166838, June 15, 2011, 652 SCRA 44 .......... 473
Sta. Merna v. Ubay, A.M. No. 595-CFI, December
11, 1978, 87 SCRA 179 ......................................................... 473
Standard Chartered Bank v. Senate Committee on
Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, G.R.
No. 167173, December 27, 2007, 541 SCRA 456 ............ 299, 300
Sterling v. Constantin, 287 U.S. 378 .................................................. 56
Stronghold Insurance Company, Inc. v. Cuenca,
G.R. No. 173297, March 6, 2013, 692 SCRA 473 ................... 507
Suanes v. Disbursing Officer of the Senate, 81 Phil. 818 .................. 254
Summit Guaranty & Insurance Co. v. CA, 110 SCRA 241 ............... 521
Sumulong v. COMELEC, 73 Phil. 288, 294-295 (1941).................... 676
Sumulong v. Gonzales, 152 SCRA 272.............................................. 447
Sunga v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 125629, March 25,
1998, 288 SCRA 76.................................................................. 664
Suplico v. National Economic Development Authority,
G.R. No. 178830, July 14, 2008, 558 SCRA 329 ..................... 496
Syquia v. Almeda Lopez, 84 Phil. 312 ........................................... 49, 56
H
E

Tadlip v. Atty. Borres, Jr., 511 Phil. 56 (2005) .................................. 563


Taganas v. Emulsan, G.R. No. 146980, September
2, 2003, 410 SCRA 237 ............................................................ 581
Tagolino v. HRET and Lucy Torres, G.R. No.
202202, March 19, 2013, 693 SCRA 574 ................................ 661
Tagum Doctors Enterprises v. Apsay, G.R. No.
81188, August SCRA 471, 489 ................................................ 717
Talabon v. Warden, 44 O.G. 4326 ..................................................... 571
Talaga v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No.
196804, October 9, 2012, 683 SCRA 197 ................ 659, 661, 664
Talaga, Jr. v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 169888,
November 11, 2008, 570 SCRA 622, 632 ................................ 753
Tan v. Barrios, G.R. Nos. 85481-82, October 18,
1990, 190 SCRA 680........................................................ 528, 529
Tanada v. Angara, 338 Phil. 546, 574 (1997),
272 SCRA 18 ............................................. 81, 144, 471, 493, 539

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Tanada v. Cuenco, 100 Phil. 1101...................................... 142, 251, 824


Tanchanco v. Sandiganbayan (Second Division),
512 Phil. 590 (2005)................................................................. 271
Taruc v. Bishop De la Cruz, 493 Phil. 293 (2005) ............................. 117
Tawang Multi-Purpose Cooperative v. La Trinidad
Water District, G.R. No. 166471, March 22,
2011, 646 SCRA 21 ................................................................. 272
Taxpayers’ League of Cargon County v. McPherson,
54 P. 2d. 897, 901: 49 Wy. 26; 106 A.L.R. 767 ....................... 357
Tecson v. Commission on Elections, G.R. Nos.
161434, 161634, and 161824, March 3, 2004,
424 SCRA277 ...........................................................................

cn
Tejan v. Cusi, 57 SCRA 154 ...............................................................

w
Telecommunications and Broadcast Attorneys of
the Philippines v. COMELEC, 289 SCRA 337 ......................... 675
The Heirs of Jolly R. Bugarin v. Republic, G.R. No.
174431, August 6, 2012, 678 SCRA 209 .................................. 756
The Heritage Hotel Manila v. NUWHRAIN, G.R.
No. 178296, January 12, 2011-08-26, 639
SCRA 420 ................................................................................. 416
The Presidential Ad Hoc Fact-Finding Committee
on Behest Loans v. Desierto, G.R. No. 130140,
October 25, 1999, 317 SCRA 272 ............................................. 791
The Presidential Ad Hoc Fact-Finding Committee
on Behest Loans v. Desierto, G.R. No. 138142,
September 19, 2007, 533 SCRA 571 ................................763, 791
The Presidential Ad-Hoc Fact-Finding Committee
on Behest Loans v. Desierto, G.R. No. 145184,
March 14, 2008, 548 SCRA 295 ....................................... 782, 791
The Presidential Ad-Hoc Fact-Finding Committee
on Behest Loans v. Desierto, G.R. No. 136225,
April 23, 2008, 552 SCRA 513 ................................................. 791
The Presidential Ad-Hoc Fact-Finding Committee
on Behest Loans v. Tabasondra, G.R. No.
133756, July 4, 2008, 557 SCRA 31 ......................................... 791
The Province of North Cotabato v. The Government of
the Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel on
Ancestral Domain, G.R. No. 183591, October 14,
2008, 568 SCRA 402 ................ 18, 19, 37, 83, 102, 128, 387, 432
494, 502, 510, 511, 512, 515, 517, 519
Tichangco v. Enriquez, G.R. No. 150629, Juno 30,
2004, 433 SCRA 325 ........................................................ 578
Tijam v. Sibonghanoy, 33 SCRA 29 .......................................... 521, 545

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Tilendo v. Ombudsman, G.R. No. 165975, Septem-


ber 13, 2007, 533 SCRA 331 ................................... ..... 760, 762
Tileston v. Ullmann, 318 U.S. 446 ..................................... ..... 507
Tobias v. Abalos, 239 SCRA 106 ...................................... ..... 204, 280
Tolentino v. COMELEC, 41 SCRA 702 ............................ ..... 511, 822
Tolentino v. Sec. of Finance, 235 SCRA 630 ... 247, 276, 285, 286, 320
Topacio Nueno v. Angeles, 76 Phil. 12, 21-22 (1946) ....... .............. 234
Topacio v. Ong, G.R. No. 179895, December 18,
2008, 574 SCRA 817 ............................................... ..............508
Topacio v. Paredes, 23 Phil. 238 (1912).............................

CO •
CD
O
TO
Torio v. Fontanilla, 85 SCRA 599......................................

l>
Torres v. People, G.R. No. 175074, August 31, 2011,

LQ
.........................................................................

C
Toth v. Quarles, 350 U.S. 5 .............................................

(N

Q
Trade and Investment Development Corporation of
the Philippines v. Civil Service Commission,
G.R. No. 182249, March 5, 2013, 681 SCRA 27 .. 63
Trade and Investment Development Corporation of 9
the Philippines v. Manalang-Demigilio, G.R. No.
176343, September 18, 2012, 681 SCRA 27 .........
Trade and Investment Development Corporation of 61
the Philippines v. Manalang-Demigilio, G.R. 1
4^
No. 185571, March 5, 2013, 692 SCRA 359 ..........
4*- to
......................................... tO Hi
O

Trinidad v. Office
Tria v. Sto. Tomas,of276 thePhil.
Ombudsman,
923 (1991) G.R. No.
.........................
166038, December 4, 2007, 539 SCRA 415.... 78
Tudor v. Board of Education, 14 NJ 31 ..................... 1
Ty v. Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank, .85
511 Phil. 510 (2005) ..................................................
58
U 2

Ugdoracion v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179851,


April 18, 2008, 552 SCRA 231 .............. 658
U.S. v. Ang Tang Ho, 43 Phil. 1 ......................
U.S. v. Dorr, 2 Phil. 332 ..................................
U.S. v. Guinto, 182 SCRA 644 ........................ ...57, 66
U.S. v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974) .......................................... 367, 464
U.S. v. Norton, 91 U.S. 566 ............................. ...... 275
U S v Pons, 34 Phil. 729 ................................. ...... 245
U.S. v. Ruiz, 136 SCRA 487 ........................... ...... 64
Ugdoracion v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179851,
April 18, 2008, 552 SCRA 231 .............. ..... 658

lxvii
TABLE OF CASES

Page

United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Inc. v.


Bradford United Church of Christ, Inc., G.R.
No. 171905, June 20, 2012, 674 SCRA 92 ............................. 117
United Claimants Association of NEA v. National
Electrification Administration, G.R. No.
187107, January 31, 2012, 664 SCRA 483 .......................... 628
United Pepsi-Cola Supervisory Union (UPSU) v.
Laguesma, 351 Phil. 244, 260 (1998) ..................................... 780
United States vs. Barrias, No. 4349, September 24,
1908, 11 Phil. 327................................................................... 160
University of the Philippines v. Dizon, G.R. No.
171182, August 23, 2012, 679 SCRA 54 .........55, 69, 77, 79, 554,
572, 584, 614, 720, 722
Ursal v. Court of Tax Appeals, 101 Phil. 209 .....................................
...................................770
Uy v. Sandiganbayan, 407 Phil. 154 (2001)........................................
Ututalum v. COMELEC, 122 Phil. 880
Uy v. Sandiganbayan, G.R .No. 105965-70, March .............................................
20, 2001, 354 SCRA 651 .......................................................... 762
Uy v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 111544, July 6,
2004, 433 SCRA 424 ................................................................ 511

Valdez v. Ocumen, 106 Phil. 929, 933 (1960) .................................... 588


Valdez v. Torres, A.M. No. MTJ-11-1796, June 13,
2012, 672 SCRA 89 .................................................................. 588
Valencia v. Peralta, 8 SCRA 692 ........................................................ 393
Vargas v. Rilloraza, 80 Phil. 297 ........................................................ 469
Vasquez v. Hobilla-Alinio, G.R. Nos. 118813-14,
April 8, 1997, 271 SCRA 67 .....................................................768
Veloso v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 193677,
September 6, 2011, 656 SCRA 767 .. 120, 649, 722, 723, 724
Vera v. Avelino, 77 Phil. 191 .................... 147, 271, 701
Vera v. People, 7 Phil. 152 ......................... .......453
Vergara v. Ombudsman, G.R. No. 174567, March
12, 2009, 580 SCRA 693 ......................................................... 765
Versoza v. Carague, G.R. No. 157838, March 8,
2011, 644 SCRA 679 .............................. 604, 682, 718, 720, 724
Versoza v. Carague, G.R. No. 157838, February 7,
2012, 665 SCRA 124 ............................................................... 718

lxviii
TABLE OF CASES

Page

Veterans Federation Party v. Commission on


Elections, 396 Phil. 419, 424-425 (2000) ...................... 676
Vilando v. HRET, G.R. Nos. 192147 & 192149,
August 23, 2011, 656 SCRA 17 .................................... 192, 505
Vilas v. City of Manila, 229 U.S. 345 .................................... ........ 46
Villanueva v. People, G.R. No. 188630, February
23, 2011, 644 SCRA 358 .............................................. ..... 753
Villasenor v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 180700,

<1
co cn
f—1 co
March 4, 2008, 547 SCRA 658 ......................................
Villavicencio v. Lukban, 39 Phil. 778......................................


379,
Villena v. Secretary of the Interior, 67 Phil. 451 .....................
411
Vinzons-Chato v. Commission on Elections, 520 SCRA 166
...... 258
Vios v. Pantangco, G.R. No. 163103, February 6, 2009,
582
578 SCRA 129 .............................................................. .............
108
Virtuoso v. Municipal Judge, 82 SCRA 191 ............................
W

Western Mindanao Power Corporation v. Commissioner


of Internal Revenue, G.R. No. 181136, June 13,
2012, 672 SCRA 350 ........................................................ 324, 548
Wilmerding vs. Corbin Banking Co., 28 South, 640,
LO 00
H
co T-
641; 126 Ala., 268 .....................................................................
Wood’s Appeal, 79 Pa 59 ...................................................................

Yamane v. BA Lepanto Condominium Corporation,


474 SCRA 258 ........................................................................... 548
Yamashita v. Styer, 75 Phil. 563 ................................... 42
Yap v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 158562, 7
April 23, 2010, 619 SCRA 154 ............................
Yap v. Thenamaris Ship’s Management, G.R. No. 71
179532, May 30, 2011, 649 SCRA 369 ................ 8
CN
t-
co

Yick Wov. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356 .................................


Ynchausti v. Wright, 47 Phil. 886 .................................. .................. 712
Ynot v. IAC, 148 SCRA 659 ......................................... .... 175, 181, 545
Youngstown Tube and Sheet Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 ............ 381

bdx
TABLE OF CASES

Page

N
Zaldivar v. Gonzales, 160 SCRA 843 ..................... ..... 789
Zamboanga City Water District v. Buat, G.R. No.
104389, May 27, 1994, 232 SCRA 587 ......... ..... 610
Zandueta v. de la Costa, 66 Phil. 115 ....................... 523, 565

lxx
Chapter 1

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

Scope of the Study

POLITICAL LAW is that branch of public law which


deals with the organization and operations of the gov-
ernmental organs of the State and defines the relations
of the State with the inhabitants of its territory.1
In the present law curriculum prescribed by the Su-
preme Court, Political Law embraces Constitutional
Law I and II, Administrative Law, the Law of Public
Officers, Election Law and the Law on Municipal Corpo-
rations.
Constitutional Law I, which is the particular sub-
ject of this work, is a study of the structure and powers
of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. It
also deals with certain basic concepts of Political Law,
such as the nature of the State, the supremacy of the
Constitution, the separation of powers, and the rule of
the majority.

Necessity for the Study

The inclusion of Political Law as a required subject


in the law course is only one of the reasons for its study.

1
People v. Perfecto, 43 Phil. 887.

1
2 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Every citizen, regardless of calling, should under-


stand the mechanics and motivations of his government.
This must be so because “sovereignty resides in the peo-
ple and all government authority emanates from them. ”2
It is upon the active involvement in public affairs of
every Filipino that the success of the Republic of the
Philippines will depend.
The fundamental law provides that “all educational
institutions shall include the study of the Constitution
as part of the curricula.”3

Basis of the Study

The principal basis of the study of Constitutional


Law I is the present Constitution of the Philippines as
adopted on February 2, 1987. In addition, the student
should consider pertinent statutes, executive orders and
decrees, and judicial decisions, as well as current politi-
cal events in which the purposes of the law are applied
(or misapplied).
Particularly with regard to those of their provisions
that have been retained in toto or with modifications in
the new Constitution, the Constitutions of 1935 and
1973, which served as its working drafts, are an integral
part of this study.
So too is the Constitution of the United States,
along with relevant rulings of its Supreme Court, in
connection with the parts of that document, like the Bill
of Rights, that have been incorporated in the present
Constitution of the Philippines. The reason is that im-
ported provisions of law are, as a general rule, inter-

2
Constitution of 1987, Art. II,
3Sec. 1. Art. XIV, Sec. 3(1).
Ibid.,
GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS 3

preted in the light of their understanding in the country


of origin.

Background of the Study

The inhabitants of the Philippines originally con-


sisted of disparate tribes scattered throughout its more
than seven thousand islands. These tribes were gener-
ally free and were each governed by a system of laws
promulgated by the datu or a council of elders. Except
when they fell under the sway of a foreign power, like
the Madjapahit and Sri-Vishayan empires, these tribes
were bound mainly, if not only, by commercial ties.
The discovery of the Philippines by Magellan in
1521 brought the people of the territory under the com-
mon rule of Spain. This rule lasted for more than three
hundred years, during which the abuses of the govern-
ment and the friars gradually developed a sense of unity
among the natives. Rizal and the other propagandists
were later to ignite the spirit of nationalism that was to
fuel the Philippine Revolution.
Started by the fiery Bonifacio and won under the
able generalship of Emilio Aguinaldo, the Philippine
Revolution finally ended Spanish sovereignty in the
Philippines. On June 12, 1898, Philippine independence
was proclaimed; and on January 21, 1899, the First
Philippine Republic was established with Aguinaldo as
its President. The Malolos Constitution, under which
the new government was established, was the first de-
mocratic constitution ever to be promulgated in the
whole of Asia. Significantly, it established a parliamen-
tary system, but with the President and not the Prime
Minister as head of the government.
4 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

The first Republic of the Philippines was to be


short-lived for even as the Philippine State was being
erected, the United States was already planting the
seeds of another sovereignty in our country. The Filipi-
nos were deluded into believing that the Americans,
who were then at war with Spain, were their allies. But
it was soon revealed that the United States had its own
imperialistic designs on the Philippines.
Disregarding the declaration of independence by
the Filipinos, the erstwhile belligerents concluded the
Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898, which provided
for the cession of the Philippine Islands by Spain to the
United States. To the credit of the Filipinos, they re-
sisted the new threat to their freedom with undimin-
ished valor. However, the superior forces of the invader
easily put an end to the Philippine-American War, pav-
ing the way for the new colonization of our country.
The Americans first organized a military govern-
ment, but consolidation of executive, legislative and
judicial authority in the military governor provoked
protests from American libertarians concerned over the
non-observance of the doctrine of separation of powers.
As a result, steps were taken for the transition from
military to civilian rule.
The first of these steps was the creation of the
Schurman Commission, otherwise known as the First
Philippine Commission, to make a fact-finding survey of
the Philippine Islands and submit appropriate recom-
mendations to the U.S. Congress. This was substituted
later by the Taft Commission, also known as the Second
Philippine Commission, which took over all the legisla-
tive powers and some of the executive and judicial pow-
ers of the military governor. Thereafter, on July 4, 1901,
pursuant to the Spooner Amendment, civil government
GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS 5

was established in the Philippine Islands, with William


Howard Taft as the first governor.
By virtue of the Philippine Bill of 1902, the Philip-
pine Assembly was created in 1907 to sit with the Phil-
ippine Commission in a bicameral legislature. Sergio
Osmena was initially and successively elected Speaker
of the Philippine Assembly until its dissolution in 1916.
In that year was promulgated the Philippine Autonomy
Act, popularly known as the Jones Law, which estab-
lished inter alia a Philippine Legislature consisting of a
Senate and a House of Representatives. Manuel L. Que-
zon and Sergio Osmena were elected President and
Speaker, respectively.
The Jones Law continued until 1935, when it was
supplanted by the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which author-
ized the establishment of the Commonwealth of the
Philippines. Toward this end, a Constitutional Conven-
tion framed the Constitution of 1935, which was ratified
on May 14 of that year and led to the inauguration of
the Commonwealth Government on November 15, 1935.
Quezon was the first President, with Osmena as Vice-
President.
The Tydings-McDuffie Act promised independence
to the Filipinos if they could prove their capacity for
democratic government during a ten-year transition
period. As it turned out, they were to demonstrate this
competence not only in the councils of peace but also in
the barricades of World War II, and no less gallantly in
the Second Republic of the Philippines headed by Presi-
dent Jose P. Laurel during the Japanese occupation of
our country.
Accordingly, on July 4, 1946, the United States for-
mally withdrew it sovereignty over the Philippines.
President Manuel A. Roxas thereupon asserted the
6 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

freedom of the Filipino people and proclaimed the Re-


public of the Philippines.
The Republic of the Philippines was to pursue an
erratic course that was ultimately to transform it into a
near-anarchic system corrupted on the one hand by the
decadent “haves” and subverted on the other by the dis-
contented “have-nots.” Conditions continued to deterio-
rate until the pent-up resentments of the people erupted
in a number of mass demonstrations, some of them vio-
lent, and the so-called “parliament of the streets” organ-
ized particularly by the student groups.
It was at the height of this unrest that the Consti-
tutional Convention of 1971 was convoked and started
deliberations on the revision of the 1935 Constitution
and the fashioning of the Constitution of 1973.
On September 21, 1972, following an intensification
of the subversive movement by Communist-oriented
groups, President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Procla-
mation No. 1081 placing the entire Philippines under
martial law. Shortly thereafter, on November 30, 1972,
the draft of the 1973 Constitution was formally ap-
proved by the Constitutional Convention and, during a
series of meetings held on January 10-15, 1973, was
submitted to the Citizens Assemblies for ratification. On
January 17, 1973, President Marcos issued Proclama-
tion No. 1102, in which he announced that the Constitu-
tion of 1973 had been ratified by an overwhelming ma-
jority of the people and had thus become effective.
The issue of the validity of the 1973 Constitution
was later raised in what are known as the Ratification
Cases,4 which were dismissed by the Supreme Court.

4
Javellana v. Executive Secretary, 50 SCRA 33 (1973).
GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS 7

Subsequently, in the Habeas Corpus Cases,5 6 the Su-


preme Court unanimously upheld the proclamation of
martial law by the President of the Philippines.
On January 17, 1981, President Marcos issued
Proclamation No. 2045 lifting martial law. However, he
retained what he called his ‘‘standby legislative powers”
under several decrees he had promulgated earlier, prin-
cipally the National Security Code and the Public Order
Act.
In 1985, to seek a “fresh mandate” from the people,
President Marcos submitted a questionable resignation
that was to be effective on the tenth day following the
proclamation of the winners in the “snap” election to be
called by the legislature on the strength of such resigna-
tion. The election was challenged in the case of Philip-
pine Bar Association v. Commission on Elections5 on the
ground inter alia that the vacancy contemplated in Arti-
cle VII, Section 9, of the 1973 Constitution which would
justify the call of a special presidential election before
the expiration of President Marcos’s term in 1987 was
supposed to occur before and not after the said election.
Predictably, the then Supreme Court denied the petition
and sustained the resignation and the call.
The election was held on February 7, 1986, as
scheduled, and resulted, amid charges of wholesale ir-
regularities committed by the ruling party, in the proc-
lamation of Marcos and his running-mate, Arturo Tolen-
tino, as President-elect and Vice-President-elect of the
Philippines, respectively. This was followed by a mas-
sive outcry from the people who felt that the real win-
ners were the Opposition candidates.

5
Aquino v. Enrile, 59 SCRA 183 (1974).
6
G.R. No. 72915, Dec. 20, 1985, 140 SCRA
453.
8 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

On February 22, 1986, Defense Minister Juan


Ponce Enrile and General Fidel V. Ramos began, per-
haps unwittingly, what later came to be known as the
“people power” revolution that led to the ouster of
President Marcos and his replacement by President
Corazon C. Aquino, who, with Vice-President Salvador
H. Laurel, her running-mate, were inducted on Febru-
ary 25, 1986.
One of the first acts of the new President was the
promulgation of a provisional or “Freedom Constitution”
which was to be in force pending the adoption of a new
Constitution to be drafted by a Constitutional Commis-
sion, which she also created. This body approved the
draft of the new charter which was submitted to the
people at a plebiscite held on February 2, 1987, and was
ratified by a vote of 16,605,425 in favor and 4,949,901
against.
Pursuant to this Constitution, elections for the re-
vived Congress of the Philippines were held on May 11,
1988, and those for the local offices were scheduled later
that year. The rest of the government underwent reor-
ganization conformably to the changes prescribed in the
new fundamental law.
On May 11, 1992, general elections were held for
the President and Vice-President of the Philippines, 24
senators, all elective members of the House of Represen-
tatives and local officials. Fidel V. Ramos and Joseph
Estrada were elected President and Vice-President,
respectively.
In 1998, Joseph Estrada was elected President of
the Philippines but was impeached two years later and
forced out of office by a massive people power demon-
stration at EDSA on January 20, 2001. Vice-President
GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS 9

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo took the oath the same day as


his constitutional successor.
Estrada lost no time in challenging before the Su-
preme Court Arroyo’s right to succeed him, claiming
that he had neither resigned nor abandoned his office,
and that he left Malacanang only to appease the demon-
strators who clamored for his resignation. The Court
dismissed his petition, ruling that his public statements
made upon and the circumstances leading to his depar-
ture from Malacanang clearly showed that he had re-
signed. Accordingly, it considered his presidency as
“now in the past tense” and Arroyo’s ascendancy to the
Presidency as lawful.
Within months after Arroyo’s assumption into of-
fice, Estrada was arrested for plunder amidst the noisy
objections of thousands of his sympathizers who waged
still another people power protest. The attempt of said
protesters to storm Malacanang and the violence which
erupted in the process prompted Arroyo to declare a
state of rebellion. Notwithstanding said protests,
Estrada was eventually tried and convicted by the
Sandiganbayan, only to be later pardoned by Arroyo.
During her first term, Arroyo also faced but quickly
quelled the Oakwood Mutiny mounted by disgruntled
military officers on corruption issues.
She sought another term in 2004, reneging on an
earlier promise that she would not do so. She was pro-
claimed the winner of said election, notwithstanding
allegations of widespread cheating or electoral fraud.
These charges hounded her for most of her second term.
Street protests particularly escalated after the release of
the infamous Garci Tapes, which included her alleged
telephone conversations with a former COMELEC Com-
missioner, to whom she had purportedly given explicit
10 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

instructions to rig or fix the results of the 2004 presi-


dential elections in her favor. These tapes, as well as
charges of corruption, were invoked in at least three
impeachment complaints against her, all of which were
however quickly dismissed by the House of Representa-
tives, which was then composed largely of her political
allies.
In 2006, Arroyo was besieged by yet another
challenge from the military which she invoked as justi-
fication for declaring, this time, a state of emergency
under her Proclamation No. 1017, on the basis of which
several persons were arrested without warrants and
at least one newspaper establishment was raided. These
acts, as well as several substantial portions of said Proc-
lamation, were later nullified by the Supreme Court.
Prior to the expiration of her second term, which
was marred by constant and persistent charges of graft
and corruption as against her claims of economic pro-
gress, she ran for and won a seat in the House of Repre-
sentatives in 2010 and has since been re-elected to a
second term by her constituents in her home district in
Pampanga, despite the pendency of formal criminal
charges against her for, among other offenses, electoral
sabotage and plunder.
These cases were instituted shortly after the as-
sumption into office of her successor, Benigno Simeon C.
Aquino, Jr., only son of former President Corazon C.
Aquino, who was elected President in 2010 despite criti-
cisms as to his perceived lack of executive experience
and abilities and notwithstanding what many consid-
ered as his lackluster performance, first, as a Member of
the House of Representatives and, later, as a Senator of
the Republic. Indeed, it is widely believed that he was
elected to office not in acknowledgement of his qualities
GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS 11

as a public functionary but more as a rejection of the


Arroyo regime or, at least, as an affirmation of the con-
tinuing popularity of his mother, who passed away only
months before the 2010 elections.
Chapter 2

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES

THE CONSTITUTION OF 1987 is the fourth funda-


mental law to govern the Philippines since it became
independent on July 4, 1946.' The first was the Com-
monwealth Constitution, adopted in 1935, which con-
tinued by its provisions to be operative after the proc-
lamation of the Republic of the Philippines. The second
was the Constitution of 1973, which was enforced dur-
ing the Marcos regime following its dubious approval
and ratification at a time when the country was already
under martial law. On February 25, 1986, as a result of
the people power upheaval that deposed President Mar-
cos, the new President proclaimed a Freedom Constitu-
tion, to be effective pending the adoption of a permanent
Constitution aimed at correcting the shortcomings of the
previous constitutions and specifically eliminating all
the iniquitous vestiges of the past regime.
Toward this end, President Corazon C. Aquino, in
Proclamation No. 9, created a Constitutional Commis-
sion composed of fifty members appointed by her and
charged it to frame a new charter not later than Sep-
tember 2, 1986. All but one of those appointed accepted
and immediately undertook their mission under the
presidency of Justice Cecilia Munoz-Palma, formerly of
the Supreme Court. The members came from various

* The Constitution promulgated during the Japanese occupa-


tion is not included.

12
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES 13

sectors and represented diverse persuasions, which is


probably one reason why they could not meet their
deadline and were able to approve the final draft of
their handiwork only on October 15, 1986. By resolution
of the Commission, it was recommended to the Presi-
dent that the plebiscite on the proposed Constitution be
scheduled, not within sixty days as originally provided,
but within three months, to give the people more oppor-
tunity to study it. Accordingly, the plebiscite was sched-
uled and held on February 2, 1987.
The campaign for the ratification of the proposed
Constitution was led by President Aquino herself, whose
main argument was that it would restrict the powers of
the Presidency as provided for in the Freedom Constitu-
tion. Opposition to the draft, while spirited, was largely
disorganized and consequently ineffective. Many people,
while doubtful about some of its provisions and espe-
cially of its length, which made it seem like a codifica-
tion, nevertheless approved the proposed Constitution
in the end because they felt it would provide the stabil-
ity the country sorely needed at the time. When the
votes were tallied, it appeared that 76.29% of the elec-
torate had voted to ratify, with only 22.74% against.

Outstanding Features

The new Constitution consists of eighteen articles


and is excessively long compared to the Constitutions of
1935 and 1973, on which it was largely based. Many of
the original provisions of the 1935, particularly those
pertaining to the legislative and the executive depart-
ments, have been restored because of the revival of the
bicameral Congress of the Philippines and the strictly
presidential system. The independence of the judiciary
has been strengthened, with new provisions for ap-
14 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

pomtment thereto and an increase in its authority,


which now covers even political questions formerly be-
yond its jurisdiction. Additionally, many provisions of
the 1973 Constitution have been retained, like those on
the Constitutional Commissions and local governments.
The bill of rights of the Commonwealth and Marcos
Constitutions has been considerably improved in the
Constitution of 1987 and even bolstered with the crea-
tion elsewhere in the document of Commission on
Human Rights.
What has made the present Constitution exces-
sively long is the inclusion therein of provisions that
should have been embodied only in implementing stat-
utes to be enacted by the legislature pursuant to the
basic constitutional principles. The most notable flaw of
the new charter is its verbosity and consequent prolixity
that have dampened popular interest in what should be
the common concern of the whole nation. The sheer
length of the document has deterred people from reading
it, much less trying to understand its contents and moti-
vations. It would seem that every one of the members of
the Constitutional Commission wanted to put in his two
centavos worth and unfortunately succeeded, thereby
ballooning the Constitution to unseemly dimensions.
Thus, in some portions thereof, the new Constitu-
tion sounds like a political speech rather than a formal
document stating only basic precepts. It is full of plati-
tudes. This is true of the policies on social justice and
the national economy, which could have been worded
with less loquacity to give the legislature more leeway
in their implementation. It is believed that such policies
could have been expressed briefly without loss of sub-
stance if the framers had more expertise in the art of
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES 15

constitution-making and less personal vainglory, let


alone distrust of the legislature.
What is worse is the inclusion of certain topics that
certainly, by any criterion, have no place in a Constitu-
tion. Among these are sports, love, drugs, and even ad-
vertising; and there is also mention of “the rhythm and
harmony of nature.”1 But what is even worse than all
this is the tortuous language of some of its provisions,
like the following masterpiece of circumlocution in Arti-
cle XVI, Section 10:
“The State shall provide the policy environment for the
full development of Filipino capability and the emergence of
communication structures suitable to the needs and aspira-
tions of the nation and the balanced flow of information into,
out of, and across the country, in accordance with a policy that
respects the freedom of speech and of the press.”

Excuse me?
One wonders, given the long-windedness of the pre-
sent Constitution, if the people had really read and un-
derstood it when they voted to ratify it.
Even so, it should be remembered that, as its pro-
ponents repeatedly argued during the campaign for its
ratification, its real and main function was to replace
the Freedom Constitution, which was a revolutionary
constitution, and so pave the way for stability and nor-
mality under a regular Constitution duly approved by
the people. Now that that function has been more or less
achieved, we may take a second more critical look at the
Constitution of 1987, this time with a view to its
amendment or revision under its Article XVII, in a less
tense and more amiable atmosphere.

1
Constitution, Art. II, Sec. 16.
16 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

The Supremacy of the Constitution


The Constitution is the basic and paramount law to
which all other laws must conform and to which all per-
sons, including the highest officials of the land, must
defer. No act shall be valid, however noble its inten-
tions, if it conflicts with the Constitution. The Constitu-
tion must ever remain supreme. All must bow to the
mandate of this law. Expediency must not be allowed to
sap its strength nor greed for power debase its rectitude.
Right or wrong, the Constitution must be upheld as long
as it has not been changed by the sovereign people lest
its disregard result in the usurpation of the majesty of
law by the pretenders to illegitimate power.
Prospects of the Constitution
“The Constitution must be quintessential rather
than superficial, the root and not the blossom, the base
and framework only of the edifice that is yet to rise. It is
but the core of the dream that must take shape, not in a
twinkling by mandate of our delegates, but slowly ‘in
the crucible of Filipino minds and hearts,’ where it will
in time develop its sinews and gradually gather its
strength and finally achieve its substance. In fine, the
Constitution cannot, like the goddess Athena, rise full-
grown from the brow of the Constitutional Convention,
nor can it conjure by mere fiat an instant Utopia. It must
grow with the society it seeks to re-structure and march
apace with the progress of the race, drawing from the
vicissitudes of history the dynamism and vitality that will
keep it, far from becoming a petrified rule, a pulsing,
living law attuned to the heartbeat of the nation.”2

2
“A Quintessential Constitution,” by Isagani A. Cruz, San
Beda Law Journal, April 1972.
Chapter 3

THE CONCEPT OF THE STATE

Definition

“THE STATE is a community of persons, more or less


numerous, permanently occupying a fixed territory, and
possessed of an independent government organized for
political ends to which the great body of inhabitants
render habitual obedience.”1
The term nation^ is used interchangeably with
State, e.g., the United Nations or the family of nations,
which actually consists of states and not nations. This is
a mistake as the two concepts have different connota-
tions. Hackworth observes that “the term nation,
strictly speaking, as evidenced by its etymology (nasci,
to be born), indicates a relation of birth or origin and
implies a common race, usually characterized by com-
munity of language and customs.” The State is a legal
concept, while the nation is only a racial or ethnic con-
cept.2
Thus understood, a nation may comprise several
states; for example, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon,
Jordan, Algeria and Libya, among others, while each a
separate state, all belong to the Arab nation. On the
other hand, it is also possible for a single state to be
made up of more than one nation, as in the case of the

1
Garner, Introduction to Political Science, 41.
2
Digest of International Law (1943), p. 47; Cruz, International
Law, 20.

17
18 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

United States, which was a “melting pot” of many na-


tions that were eventually amalgamated into the
“American nation,” or of Malaysia, whose population
consists of Malays and Chinese, or of the United King-
dom, which is composed of England, Scotland, Wales,
and Northern Ireland. Indeed, a nation need not be a
state at all, as demonstrated by the Poles after the dis-
memberment of their country in 1795 and then again in
World War II or by the Jews before the creation of the
State of Israel in 1948.3
The State must also be distinguished from the gov-
ernment. The government is only an element of the
State. The State is the principal, the government its
agent. The State itself is an abstraction; it is the gov-
ernment that externalizes the State and articulates its
will.

Elements

The essential elements of a State are people, terri-


tory, government and sovereignty.
The so-called Montevideo Convention, cited by the
Supreme Court in The Province of North Cotabato v. The
Government of the Republic of the Philippines Peace
Panel on Ancestral Domain,4 specifies the accepted crite-
ria for the establishment of a State, namely, a perma-
nent population, a defined territory, a government, and a
capacity to enter into relations with other states.
These elements were among the factors considered
by the Supreme Court in declaring unconstitutional the
proposed Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral

3
Ibid., 21.
4
G.R. No. 183591, October 14, 2008, 568 SCRA
402.
THE CONCEPT OF THE STATE 19

Domain between the Government of the Republic of the


Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front,
which would have paved the way for the conversion of
the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE), sought to be
established under said proposed Agreement purportedly
as an “expanded version” of the Autonomous Region of
Muslim Mindanao, into a state.5
Thus, said proposed Agreement was to acknowl-
edge the “birthright of all Moros and all Indigenous
peoples of Mindanao to identify themselves and be ac-
cepted as ‘Bangsamoros.’ It defined ‘Bangsamoro people’
as the natives or original inhabitants of Mindanao and
its adjacent islands including Palawan and the Sulu
archipelago at the time of conquest or colonization, and
their descendants whether mixed or of full blood, includ-
ing their spouses.”
It further specified the “territory of the Bang-
samoro homeland,” described therein “as the land mass
as well as the maritime, terrestrial, fluvial and alluvial
domains, including the aerial domain and the atmos-
pheric space above it, embracing the Mindanao-Sulu-
Palawan geographic region.” Significantly, it indicated
that “the BJE shall have jurisdiction over all natural
resources within its ‘internal waters,’ defined as extend-
ing fifteen (15) kilometers from the coastline of the BJE
area; that the BJE shall also have ‘territorial waters,’
which shall stretch beyond the BJE internal waters up
to the baselines of the Republic of the Philippines (RP)
south east and south west of mainland Mindanao; and
that within these territorial waters, the BJE and the
‘Central Government’ (used interchangeably with RP)

5
See The Province of North Cotabato v. The Government of the
Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain, Ibid.
20 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

shall exercise joint jurisdiction, authority and manage-


ment over all natural resources. Notably, the jurisdic-
tion over the internal waters is not similarly described as
‘joint. It further provided for the sharing of minerals on
the territorial waters between the Central Government
and the BJE, in favor of the latter, through production
sharing and economic cooperation agreement.
Under the proposed Agreement, the “Bangsamoro
people are acknowledged as having the right to self-
governance, which right is said to be rooted on ancestral
territoriality exercised originally under the suzerain
authority of their sultanates and the Pat a Pangampong
ku Ranaw.”
Moreover, the proposed Agreement stated that “the
BJE is free to enter into any economic cooperation and
trade relations with foreign countries and shall have the
option to establish trade missions in those countries.”
These considerations led the Supreme Court to de-
scribe the relationship of the “Central Government” or
the Republic of the Philippines and the BJE under the
proposed Agreement as “associative, characterized by
shared authority and responsibility,” stressing that in
“international practice, the ‘associated state’ arrange-
ment has usually been used as a transitional device of
former colonies on their way to full independence.”
Thus—

“Back to the MOA-AD, it contains many provisions which


are consistent with the international legal concept of associa-
tion, specifically the following: the BJE’s capacity to enter into
economic and trade relations with foreign countries, the com-
mitment of the Central Government to ensure the BJE’s par-
ticipation in meetings and events in the ASEAN and the spe-
cialized UN agencies, and the continuing responsibility of the
Central Government over external defense. Moreover, the
THE CONCEPT OF THE STATE 21

BJE’s right to participate in Philippine official missions bear-


ing on negotiation of border agreements, environmental protec-
tion, and sharing of revenues pertaining to the bodies of water
adjacent to or between the islands forming part of the ances-
tral domain, resembles the right of the governments of FSM
and the Marshall Islands to be consulted by the U.S. govern-
ment on any foreign affairs matter affecting them.”

The Supreme Court went on to state that the BJE


“is not merely an expanded version of the ARMM, the
status of its relationship with the national government
being fundamentally different from that of the ARMM.
Indeed, BJE is a state in all but name as it meets the
criteria of a state laid down in the Montevideo Conven-
tion, namely, a permanent population, a defined terri-
tory, a government, and a capacity to enter into rela-
tions with other states.” The Court further stressed that
the proposed Agreement “cannot be reconciled with the
present Constitution and laws. Not only its specific pro-
visions but the very concept underlying them, namely,
the associative relationship envisioned between the
GRP and the BJE, are unconstitutional, for the concept
presupposes that the associated entity is a state and
implies that the same is on its way to independence.”
There are some writers who suggest two additional
elements, to wit, recognition and possession of a suffi-
cient degree of civilization. As these have not been gen-
erally accepted, we shall confine this study to the four
elements first mentioned.

(1) People

People refers simply to the inhabitants of the State.


While there is no legal requirement as to their
number, it is generally agreed that they must be nu-
merous enough to be self-sufficing and to defend them-
22 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

selves and small enough to be easily administered and


sustained. The populations of States range from the
over one billion of China to a few hundred thousand in
the case of the so-called mini-States like Qatar. Obvi-
ously, the people must come from both sexes to be able
to perpetuate themselves.
The people are more comprehensive and less cohe-
sive than the nation. Starting as an amorphous group of
individuals inhabiting the same territory, the people
may develop and share certain characteristics and in-
terests, such as a common language, a common religion,
and a common set of customs and traditions that will
unite them into the more closely-knit entity known as
the nation.
Malcolm defines a nation as “a people bound to-
gether by common attractions and repulsions into a
living organism possessed of a common pulse, a common
intelligence and inspiration, and destined apparently to
have a common history and a common fate.”6

(2) Territory

Territory is the fixed portion of the surface of the


earth inhabited by the people of the State.
As a practical requirement only, it must be neither
too big as to be difficult to administer and defend nor too
small as to be unable to provide for the needs of the
population. Legally, the territory can extend over a vast
expanse, such as those of Russia and China, or cover
only a small area, such as that of Abu Dhabi.
The components of territory are the land mass, oth-
erwise known as the terrestrial domain, the inland and

6
Government of the Philippine Islands, 11.
THE CONCEPT OF THE STATE 23

external waters, which make up the maritime and flu-


vial domain, and the air space above the land and wa-
ters, which is called the aerial domain.
Article I of the Constitution provides as follows:
“NATIONAL TERRITORY
“The national territory comprises the Philippine archi-
pelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and
all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty
or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, fluvial, and aerial
domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil,
the insular shelves, and other submarine areas. The waters
around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipel-
ago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form part of
the internal waters of the Philippines.”

The above provision is a substantial reproduction of


Article I of the 1973 Constitution with only a few minor
changes.
Departing from the method employed in the 1935
Constitution, which described the national territory by
reference to the pertinent treaties concluded by the
United States during its regime in this country, the
present rule now physically lists the components of our
territory and so de-emphasizes recollections of our colo-
nial past. The article has deleted reference to the terri-
tories we claim “by historic right or legal title,” but this
does not mean an outright or formal abandonment of
such claim, which was best left to a judicial body capa-
ble of passing judgment over the issue.”7
At any rate, it has been pointed out that “the defi-
nition of the baselines of the territorial sea of the Phil-
ippine Archipelago” as provided for in Section 2 of Re-
public Act No. 5446 “is without prejudice to the delinea-

7
Res. of the Constitutional Commission, July 10, 1986.
24 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

tion of the baselines of the territorial sea around the


territory of Sabah, situated in North Borneo, over which
the Republic of the Philippines has acquired dominion
and sovereignty.” It is to be noted that Sabah is main-
tained to be among the territories claimed bjj the Phil-
ippines “by historic right or legal title.”8
The second sentence is an affirmation of the archi-
pelago doctrine, under which we connect the outermost
points of our archipelago with straight baselines and
consider all the waters enclosed thereby as internal
waters. The entire archipelago is regarded as one inte-
grated unit instead of being fragmented into so many
thousand islands. As for our territorial seas, these are
now defined according to the Jamaica Convention on the
Law of the Sea, ratified in 1994, of which the Philip-
pines is a signatory.9
In addition, as pointed out by the Supreme Court in
Magallona v. Ermita,™ the Philippines is a signatory to
the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contigu-
ous Zone (otherwise referred to as UNCLOS I), which
codified, among^thers, “the sovereign right of States
parties over their ‘territorial sea,’ the breadth of which,
however, was left undetermined,” and which served as
basis for the passage in 1961 by Congress of Republic
Act No. 3046 “demarcating the maritime baselines of
the Philippines as an archipelagic State.” Said law “re-
mained unchanged for nearly five decades, save for leg-
islation passed in 1968 (Republic Act No. 5446 [RA
5446]) correcting typographical errors and reserving the
drawing of baselines around Sabah in North Borneo.”

" See Magallona v. Ermita, G.R. No. 187167, August 16, 2011,
655 SCRA 476.
9
Ratified on November 16, 1994.
G.R No. 187167, August 16, 2011, 655 SCRA 476.
THE CONCEPT OF THE STATE 25

In 1984, the Philippines ratified the United Na-


tions Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III),
which, among others, “prescribes the water-land ratio,
length, and contour of baselines of archipelagic States
like the Philippines.” Consistent with the Philippines’
obligations under said agreement, Congress amended
RA 3046 by enacting Republic Act No. 9522, which, it
was believed, would make RA 3046 “compliant” with the
provisions of UNCLOS III insofar as the determination
of the “water-land ratio, length, and contour of base-
lines” of our archipelago is concerned. Accordingly, “RA
9522 shortened one baseline, optimized the location of
some basepoints around the Philippine archipelago and
classified adjacent territories, namely, the Kalayaan
Island Group (KIG) and the Scarborough Shoal, as ‘re-
gimes of islands’ whose islands generate their own ap-
plicable maritime zones.”
The petitioners in Magallona challenged “the con-
stitutionality of RA 9522 on two principal grounds,
namely: (1) RA 9522 reduces Philippine maritime terri-
tory, and logically, the reach of the Philippine state’s
sovereign power, in violation of Article 1 of the 1987
Constitution, embodying the terms of the Treaty of
Paris and ancillary treaties, and (2) RA 9522 opens the
country’s waters landward of the baselines to maritime
passage by all vessels and aircrafts, undermining Phil-
ippine sovereignty and national security, contravening
the country’s nuclear-free policy, and damaging marine
resources, in violation of relevant constitutional provi-
sions."
The petitioners further contended that RA 9522
to

treatment of the KIG as ‘regime of islands’ not only re-


sults in the loss of a large maritime area but also preju-
dices the livelihood of subsistence fishermen. To but-
26 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

tress their argument of territorial diminution, petition-


ers facially attack RA 9522 for what it excluded and
included — its failure to reference either the Treaty of
Paris or Sabah and its use of UNCLOS Ill’s framework
of regime of islands to determine the maritime zones of
the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal.”
The Supreme Court rejected the petitioners’ claim
that RA 9522 had resulted in a reduction of the Philip -
pines’ maritime territory and “the reach of the Philip-
pine state’s sovereign power,” explaining as follows —

“UNCLOS III has nothing to do with the acquisition (or


loss) of territory. It is a multilateral treaty regulating, among
others, sea-use rights over maritime zones (i.e., the territorial
waters [12 nautical miles from the baselines], contiguous zone
[24 nautical miles from the baselines], exclusive economic zone
[200 nautical miles from the baselines]), and continental
shelves that UNCLOS III delimits. UNCLOS III was the cul-
mination of decades-long negotiations among United Nations
members to codify norms regulating the conduct of States in
the world’s oceans and submarine areas, recognizing coastal
and archipelagic States’ graduated authority over a limited
span of waters and submarine lands along their coasts,
“xxx.
“UNCLOS III and its ancillary baselines laws play no
role in the acquisition, enlargement or, as petitioners claim,
diminution of territory. Under traditional international law ty-
pology, States acquire (or conversely, lose) territory through
occupation, accretion, cession and prescription, not by execut-
ing multilateral treaties on the regulations of sea-use rights or
enacting statutes to comply with the treaty’s terms to delimit
maritime zones and continental shelves. Territorial claims to
land features are outside UNCLOS III, and are instead gov-
erned by the rules on general international law.”

As to the petitioners’ claims that “RA 9522 opens


the country’s waters landward of the baselines to mari-
time passage by all vessels and aircrafts, undermining
THE CONCEPT OF THE STATE 27

Philippine sovereignty and national security, contraven-


ing the country’s nuclear-free policy, and damaging ma-
rine resources, in violation of relevant constitutional
provisions,” and that said law “unconstitutionally ‘con-
verts’ internal waters into archipelagic waters, hence
subjecting these waters to the right of innocent and sea
lanes passage under UNCLOS III, including overflight,”
the Supreme Court had this to say —
“As their final argument against the validity of RA 9522,
petitioners contend that the law unconstitutionally ‘converts’
internal waters into archipelagic waters, hence subjecting
these waters to the right of innocent and sea lanes passage un-
der UNCLOS III, including overflight. Petitioners extrapolate
that these passage rights indubitably expose Philippine inter-
nal waters to nuclear and maritime pollution hazards, in viola-
tion of the Constitution.
“Whether referred to as Philippine ‘internal waters’ un-
der Article I of the Constitution or as ‘archipelagic waters’ un-
der UNCLOS III (Article 49 [1]), the Philippines exercises sov-
ereignty over the body of water lying landward of the base-
lines, including the air space over it and the submarine areas
underneath. [UNCLOS III, Article 49]

“Article 49
“Legal status of archipelagic waters, of the air space
over archipelagic waters and of their bed and subsoil
“1. The sovereignty of an archipelagic State ex-
tends to the waters enclosed by the archipelagic baselines
drawn in accordance with article 47, described as archi-
pelagic waters, regardless of their depth or distance from
the coast.
“2. This sovereignty extends to the air space over
the archipelagic waters, as well as to their bed and sub-
soil, and the resources contained therein.
“3. x x x x
“4. The regime of archipelagic sea lanes passage
established in this Part shall not in other respects affect
28 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

the status of the archipelagic waters, including the sea


lanes, or the exercise by the archipelagic State of its sov-
ereignty over such waters and their air space, bed and
subsoil, and the resources contained therein.
“The fact of sovereignty, however, does not preclude the
operation of municipal and international law norms subjecting
the territorial sea or archipelagic waters to necessary, if not
marginal, burdens in the interest of maintaining unimpeded,
expeditious international navigation, consistent with the in-
ternational law principle of freedom of navigation. Thus, do-
mestically, the political branches of the Philippine government,
in the competent discharge of their constitutional powers, may
pass legislation designating routes within the archipelagic wa-
ters to regulate innocent and sea lanes passage. Indeed, bills
drawing nautical highways for sea lanes passage are now
pending in Congress.
“In the absence of municipal legislation, international
law norms, now codified in UNCLOS III, operate to grant inno-
cent passage rights over the territorial sea or archipelagic wa-
ters, subject to the treaty’s limitations and conditions for their
exercise. Significantly, the right of innocent passage is a cus-
tomary international law, thus automatically incorporated in
the corpus of Philippine law. No modern State can validly in-
voke its sovereignty to absolutely forbid innocent passage that
is exercised in accordance with customary international law
without risking retaliatory measures from the international
community.
“The fact that for archipelagic States, their archipelagic
waters are subject to both the right of innocent passage and
sea lanes passage does not place them in lesser footing vis-a-vis
continental coastal States which are subject, in their territorial
sea, to the right of innocent passage and the right of transit
passage through international straits. The imposition of these
passage rights through archipelagic waters under UNCLOS III
was a concession by archipelagic States, in exchange for their
right to claim all the waters landward of their baselines, re-
gardless of their depth or distance from the coast, as archi-
pelagic watoro oubjcct to their territorial sovereignty. More im-
portantly, the recognition of archipelagic States’ archipelago
and the waters enclosed by their baselines as one cohesive en-
tity prevents the treatment of their islands as separate islands
THE CONCEPT OF THE STATE 29

under UNCLOS III. Separate islands generate their own mari-


time zones, placing the waters between islands separated by
more than 24 nautical miles beyond the States’ territorial sov-
ereignty, subjecting these waters to the rights of other States
under UNCLOS III.’*

The Supreme Court likewise rejected the petition-


ers’ arguments on “territorial diminution,” i.e., the loss
of our claims to territories under the Treaty of Paris or
Sabah as a result of RA 9522’s adherence to the UN-
CLOS Ill’s framework on the so-called “regime of is-
lands” with its inclusion of the Scarborough Shoal and
the KIG as parts of our “regime of islands.” Thus —
“Had Congress in RA 9522 enclosed the KIG and the
Scarborough Shoal as part of the Philippine archipelago, ad-
verse legal effects would have ensued. The Philippines would
have committed a breach of two provisions of UNCLOS III.
First, Article 47 (3) of UNCLOS III requires that ‘[t]he drawing
of such baselines shall not depart to any appreciable extent
from the general configuration of the archipelago.’ Second, Ar-
ticle 47 (2) of UNCLOS III requires that ‘the length of the base-
lines shall not exceed 100 nautical miles,’ save for three per
cent (3%) of the total number of baselines which can reach up
to 125 nautical miles.
“Although the Philippines has consistently claimed sov-
ereignty over the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal for several
decades, these outlying areas are located at an appreciable dis-
tance from the nearest shoreline of the Philippine archipelago,
such that any straight baseline loped around them from the
nearest basepoint will inevitably ‘depart to an appreciable ex-
tent from the general configuration of the archipelago.’ xxx.
“Hence, far from surrendering the Philippines’ claim over
the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal, Congress’ decision to clas-
sify the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal as ‘Regime [s] of Is-
lands’ under the Republic of the Philippines consistent, with
Article 121 of UNCLOS III manifests the Philippine State’s res-
ponsible observance of its pacta sunt servanda obligation under
UNCLOS III. Under Article 121 of UNCLOS III, any ‘naturally
formed area of land, surrounded by water, which is above wa-
30 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

ter at high tide,’ such as portions of the KIG, qualifies under


the category of‘regime of islands,’ whose islands generate their
own applicable maritime zones.”

The Supreme Court clarified that —


“Further, petitioners’ argument that the KIG now lies
outside Philippine territory because the baselines that RA 9522
draws do not enclose the KIG is negated by RA 9522 itself. Sec-
tion 2 of the law commits to text the Philippines’ continued
claim of sovereignty and jurisdiction over the KIG and the
Scarborough Shoal:

“SEC. 2. The baselines in the following areas over


which the Philippines likewise exercises sovereignty and
jurisdiction shall be determined as “Regime of Islands”
under the Republic of the Philippines consistent with Ar-
ticle 121 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of
the Sea (UNCLOS):
“a) The Kalayaan Island Group as constituted
under Presidential Decree No. 1596 and
“b) Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough
Shoal.”

The Court, refuting the petitioners’ claims that RA


9522 not only “results in the loss of a large maritime
area but also prejudices the livelihood of subsistence
fishermen,” went on to say that —
“In fact, the demarcation of the baselines enables the
Philippines to delimit its exclusive economic zone, reserving
solely to the Philippines the exploitation of all living and non-
living resources within such zone. Such a maritime delineation
binds the international community since the delineation is in
strict observance of UNCLOS III. If the maritime delineation is
contrary to UNCLOS III, the international community will of
course reject it and will refuse to be bound by it.
“UNCLOS III favors States with a long coastline like the
Philippines. UNCLOS III creates a sui generis maritime space
-— the exclusive economic zone — in waters previously part of
THE CONCEPT OF THE STATE 31

the high seas. UNCLOS III grants new rights to coastal States
to exclusively exploit the resources found within this zone up
to 200 nautical miles. UNCLOS III, however, preserves the
traditional freedom of navigation of other States that attached
to this zone beyond the territorial sea before UNCLOS III.”

Finally, the Supreme Court explained in Magallona


that “baselines laws such as RA 9522 are enacted by
UNCLOS III States parties to mark-out specific base-
points along their coasts from which baselines are
drawn, either straight or contoured, to serve as geo-
graphic starting points to measure the breadth of the
maritime zones and continental shelf. Article 48 of UN-
CLOS III on archipelagic States like ours could not be
any clearer:
‘“Article 48. Measurement of the breadth of the territo-
rial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone and
the continental shelf.—The breadth of the territorial sea, the
contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone and the continen-
tal shelf shall be measured from archipelagic baselines drawn
in accordance with article 47.’

“Thus, baselines laws are nothing but statutory


mechanisms for UNCLOS III States parties to delimit
with precision the extent of their maritime zones and
continental shelves. In turn, this gives notice to the rest
of the international community of the scope of the mari-
time space and submarine areas within which States
parties exercise treaty-based rights, namely, the exer-
cise of sovereignty over territorial waters (Article 2), the
jurisdiction to enforce customs, fiscal, immigration, and
sanitation laws in the contiguous zone (Article 33), and
the right to exploit the living and non-living resources in
the exclusive economic zone (Article 56) and continental
shelf (Article 77).
32 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

“Even under petitioners’ theory that the Philippine


territory embraces the islands and all the waters within
the rectangular area delimited in the Treaty of Paris,
the baselines of the Philippines would still have to be
drawn in accordance with RA 9522 because this is the
only way to draw the baselines in conformity with UN-
CLOS III. The baselines cannot be drawn from the
boundaries or other portions of the rectangular area
delineated in the Treaty of Paris, but from the ‘outer-
most islands and drying reefs of the archipelago.’”
The Philippines, like most States now, includes in
its territory the insular shelves which, strictly speaking,
are under the jurisdiction only, and not the sovereignty,
of the coastal state.
The definition in Article I now covers the following
territories:
1. Those ceded to the United States by virtue of
the Treaty of Paris of December 10, 1898.
2. Those defined in the treaty concluded between
the United States and Spain on November 7, 1900,
which were not defined in the Treaty of Paris, specifi-
cally the islands of Cagayan, Sulu and Sibuto.
3. Those defined in the treaty concluded on Janu-
ary 2, 1930, between the United States and Great Brit-
ain, specifically the Turtle and Mangsee islands.
4. The island of Batanes, which was covered un-
der a general statement in the 1935 Constitution.
5. Those contemplated in the phrase “belonging to
the Philippines by historic right or legal title” in the
1973 Constitution."

Res. of the Constitutional Commission No. 21, July 1, 1986.


THE CONCEPT OF THE STATE 33

(3) Government

Government is the agency or instrumentality


through which the will of the State is formulated, ex-
pressed and realized.12
From the viewpoint of international law, no par-
ticular form of government is prescribed, provided only
that the government is able to represent the State in its
dealings with other States. Our Constitution, however,
requires our government to be democratic and republi-
can.
It has been said that “the State is an ideal person,
invisible, intangible, immutable and existing only in
contemplation of law; the government is an agent and,
within the sphere of its agency, it is a perfect represen-
tative, but outside of that it is a lawless usurpation.”13
The mandate of the government from the State is to
promote the welfare of the people. Accordingly, what-
ever good is done by the government is attributed to the
State but every harm inflicted on the people is imputed
not to the State but to the government alone. Such in-
jury may justify the replacement of the government by
revolution, theoretically at the behest of the State, in a
development known as direct State action.14

A. Functions
The government performs two kinds of functions, to
wit, the constituent and the ministrant.

12
Poindexter v. Greenhow, 114 U.S. 270.
Ibid.
14
Sinco, Phil. Political Law, 3rd ed., 6-7, op.
cit.
34 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Constituent functions constitute the very bonds of


society and are therefore compulsory. Among the con-
stituent functions are the following:
(1) The keeping of order and providing for the
protection of per ons and property from violence
and robbery;
(2) The fixing of the legal relations between
husband and wife and between parents and chil-
dren;
(3) The regulation of the holding, transmis-
sion and interchange of property, and the determi-
nation of its liabilities for debt or for crime;
(4) The determination of contractual rights
between individuals;
(5) The definition and punishment of crimes;
(6) The administration of justice in civil
cases;
(7) The administration of political duties,
privileges and relations of citizens; and
(8) The dealings of the State with foreign
powers; the preservation of the State from external
danger or encroachment and the advancement of
its international interests.15

Ministrant functions are those undertaken to ad-


vance the general interests of society, such as public
works, public charity, and regulation of trade and indus-
try. These functions are merely optional. Significantly,
though, it is the performance of ministrant functions
that distinguishes tho paternalistic government from
the merely individualistic government, which is con-

15
Malcolm, Gov’t, of the Phil. Is., p. 19.
THE CONCEPT OF THE STATE 35

cerned only with the basic function of maintaining peace


and order.
To our Supreme Court, however, the distinction be-
tween constituent and ministrant functions is not rele-
vant in our jurisdiction. In PVTA v. CIR16 17 it reiterated
the ruling in ACCFA v. Federation of Labor Unions11
that such distinction has been blurred because of the
repudiation of the laissez faire policy in the Constitu-
tion.

“The irrelevance of such a distinction considering the


heeds of the times was clearly pointed out by the present Chief
Justice, who took note, speaking of the reconstituted Agricul-
tural Credit Administration, that functions of that sort ‘may
not be strictly what President Wilson described as ‘constituent’
(as distinguished from ‘ministrant’), such as those relating to
the maintenance of peace and the prevention of crime, those
regulating property and property rights, those relating to the
administration of justice and the determination of political du-
ties of citizens, and those relating to national defense and for-
eign relations. Under this traditional classification, such con-
stituent functions are exercised by the State as attributes of
sovereignty, and not merely to promote the welfare, progress
and prosperity of the people—these latter functions being min-
istrant, the exercise of which is optional on the part of the gov-
ernment.’ Nonetheless, as he explained so persuasively: The
growing complexities of modern society, however, have ren-
dered this traditional classification of the functions of gov-
ernment quite unrealistic not to say obsolete. The areas which
used to be left to private enterprise and initiative and which
the government was called upon to enter optionally and only
because it was better equipped to administer for the public
welfare than is any private individual or group of individuals
continue to lose their well-defined boundaries and to be ab-
sorbed within activities that the government must undertake
in its sovereign capacity if it is to meet the increasing social
challenges of the times. Here as almost everywhere else, the

16
65
SCRA
17
30
416.
SCRA
649.
36 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

tendency is undoubtedly towards a greater socialization of eco-


nomic forces. Here, of course, this development was envisioned,
indeed adopted as a national policy by the Constitution itself in
its declaration of principle concerning the promotion of social
justice.”

Thus, it is now obligatory on the State itself to pro-


mote social justice,18 to provide adequate social services
to promote a rising standard of living,19 to afford protec-
tion to labor,20 to formulate and implement urban and
agrarian reform programs,21 and to adopt other meas-
ures intended to ensure the dignity, welfare and secu-
rity of its citizens. It is also required to establish and
maintain a complete, adequate and fully integrated
system of education,22 to offer free elementary and sec-
ondary public education,23 to promote scientific research
and invention,24 and to patronize arts and letters and
develop Filipino culture for national identity.25 * These
functions, while traditionally regarded as merely minis-
trant and optional, have been made compulsory by the
Constitution.
This notwithstanding, the general provisions of Ar-
ticles II (Declaration of Principles and State Policies,
particularly its provisions on social justice), except Sec-
tions 15 (on the people’s right to health), 16 (on the peo-
ple’s right to a balanced and healthful ecology)™ and 28

18
Constitution, Art. II, Sec. 10.
19
Ibid., Art. II, Sec. 9.
20
Id., Art. XIII, Sec. 3.
21
Id., Art. XIII, Secs. 4-9.
22
Id., Art. XIV, Sec. 2(1).
29
Id., Art. XIV, Sec. 2(2).
”'ld., Art. XIV, Sec. 10.
25
Id., Art. XTV, Sec. 15.
28
Oposa v. Factoran, G.R. No. 101083, 30 July 1993, 224 SCRA
792.
THE CONCEPT OF THE STATE 37

(on the policy of full public disclosure),27 and XIII (on


Social Justice and Human Rights)28 of the Constitution,
are not self-executing provisions of the Constitution.29
They have been invariably considered as “not sources of
enforceable rights”30 and serve merely as “guides in for-
mulating and interpreting implementing legislation.”31

B. Doctrine of Parens Patriae

One of the important tasks of the government is to


act for the State as parens patriae, or guardian of the
rights of the people. In the case of Government of the
Philippine Islands v. Monte de Piedad,32 contributions
were collected during the Spanish regime for the relief
of the victims of an earthquake but part of the money
was never distributed and instead deposited with the
defendant bank. In an action for its recovery filed later
by the government, the defendant questioned the com-
petence of the plaintiff, contending that the suit could
be instituted only by the intended beneficiaries them-
selves or by their heirs. The Supreme Court rejected
this view and upheld the right of the government to file
the case for the State as parens patriae in representa-
tion of the legitimate claimants.

27
The Province of North Cotabato v. The Government of the
Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain, GR
No. 183591, October 14, 2008, 568 SCRA 402.
28
Serrano v. Gallant Maritime Services, Inc., G.R. No. 167614,
March 24, 2009, 582 SCRA 254.
29
Bases Conversion and Development Authority v. COA, G.R.
No. 178160, February 26, 2009, 580 SCRA 295.
30
Bureau of Fisheries v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No.
169815, August 13, 2008, 562 SCRA 134.
■” Magallona v. Ermita, G.R No. 187167, July 16, 2011, 655
SCRA 476.
32
35 Phil. 728.
38 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

In Cabanas v. Pilapil,^ the government acting for


the State as parens patriae chose the mother of an ille-
gitimate child as against his uncle to be the trustee of
the insurance proceeds left him by his father, who had
expressly designated the uncle. The Supreme Court
said:
“The appealed decision is supported by another cogent
consideration. It is buttressed by its adherence to the concept
that the judiciary, as an agency of the State acting as parens
patriae, is called upon whenever a pending suit or litigation af-
fects one who is a minor to accord priority to his best interest.
It may happen, as it did occur here, that family relations may
press their respective claims. It would be more in consonance
not only with the natural order of things but the tradition of
the country for a parent to be preferred. It could have been dif-
ferent if the conflict were between father and mother. Such is
not the case at all. It is a mother asserting priority. Certainly
the judiciary as the instrumentality of the State in its role of
parens patriae cannot remain insensible to the validity of her
plea. In a recent case, there is this quotation from an opinion of
the United States Supreme Court: “This prerogative of parens
patriae is inherent in the supreme power of every State,
whether that power is lodged in a royal person or in the legis-
lature, and has no affinity to those arbitrary powers which are
sometimes exerted by irresponsible monarchs to the great det-
riment of the people and the destruction of their liberties.’
What is more, there is this constitutional provision vitalizing
this concept. It reads: ‘The State shall strengthen the family as
a basic social institution.’ If, as the Constitution so wisely dic-
tates, it is the family as a unit that has to be strengthened, it
does not admit of doubt that even if a stronger case were pre-
sented for the uncle, still deference to a constitutional mandate
would have led the lower court to decide as it did.”

In Soriano v. Laguardia™ the petitioner questioned


the lawfulness of the suspension of his religious televi- * *

n
58 SCRA 94.
” G.R. No. 164785, April 29, 2009, 587
SCRA 79.
THE CONCEPT OF THE STATE 39

sion program by the Movie and Television Review and


Classification Board. He invoked, among other grounds,
his freedoms of speech and religion, claiming that said
suspension constitute^ censorship. The Supreme Court,
after finding that the petitioner had uttered expletives
in the course of said program, which was regularly aired
during prime time, or at a time when children could
actually view the same, rejected his contentions, stat-
ing—
“As the Court has been impelled to recognize exceptions
to the rule against censorship in the past, this particular case
constitutes yet another exception, another instance of unpro-
tected speech, created by the necessity of protecting the wel-
fare of our children. As unprotected speech, petitioner’s utter-
ances can be subjected to restraint or regulation, x x x.
“Petitioner’s offensive and obscene language uttered in a
television broadcast, without doubt, was easily accessible to
the children. His statements could have exposed children to a
language that is unacceptable in everyday use. As such, the
welfare of children and the State’s mandate to protect and care
for them, as parens patriae, constitute a substantial and com-
pelling government interest in regulating petitioner’s utter-
ances in TV broadcast as provided in PD 1986.”

In De la Cruz v. Gracia,35 the Supreme Court al-


lowed the registration of an illegitimate child using the
surname of his deceased father, declaring that it is “the
policy of the Family Code to liberalize the rule on the
investigation of the paternity and filiation of children,
especially of illegitimate children x x x. The State as
parens patriae affords special protection to children
from abuse, exploitation and other conditions prejudicial
to their development.”

35
G.R. No. 177728, July 31, 2009, 594 SCRA 648.
40 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

C. De Jure and De Facto Governments

Regardless of their form, governments are either de


jure or de facto.
A de jure government has rightful title but no
power or control, either because this has been with-
drawn from it or because it has not yet actually entered
into the exercise thereof. A de facto government, on the
other hand, is a government of fact, that is, it actually
exercises power or control but without legal title.
The three kinds of de facto government are as fol-
lows:
(1) The government that gets possession and con-
trol of, or usurps, by force or by the voice of the majority,
the rightful legal government and maintains itself
against the will of the latter, such as the government of
England under the Commonwealth, first by Parliament
and later by Cromwell as Protector.
(2) That established as an independent govern-
ment by the inhabitants of a country who rise in insur-
rection against the parent state, such as the government
of the Southern Confederacy in revolt against the Union
during the war of secession in the United States.
(3) That which is established and maintained by
military forces who invade and occupy a territory of the
enemy in the course of war, and which is denominated
as a government of paramount force, such as the cases
of Castine in Maine, which was reduced to a British
possession in the war of 1812, and of Tampico, Mexico,
occupied during the war with Mexico by the troops of
the United States.36

Co Kim Chan v. Valdez Tan Keh, 75 Phil. 113.


THE CONCEPT OF THE STATE 41

It has been held in a number of cases that the Sec-


ond Republic of the Philippines was a de facto govern-
ment of paramount force, having been established by
the Japanese belligerent during the occupation of the
Philippines in World War II. The characteristics of this
kind of de facto government are:
“(1) Its existence is maintained by active military
power within the territories, and against the rightful
authority of an established and lawful government.
“(2) During its existence, it must necessarily be
obeyed in civil matters by private citizens who, by acts
of obedience rendered in submission to such force, do
not become responsible, as wrongdoers, for those acts,
though not warranted by the laws of the rightful gov-
ernment. Actual governments of this sort are estab-
lished over districts differing greatly in extent and con-
ditions. They are usually administered by military au-
thority, supported more or less directly by military
force.”37 38
By contrast, the Supreme Court unanimously held
in Lawyers League for a Better Philippines v. Corazon C.
Aquino33 that “the people have made the judgment; they
have accepted the government of President Corazon C.
Aquino which is in effective control of the entire country
so that it is not merely a de facto government but in fact
and law a de jure government. Moreover, the community
of nations has recognized the legitimacy of the present
government.”

” Ibid.
38
G.R. No. 73748, May 22,
1986.
42 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

D. Government of the Philippines

The Government of the Philippines is defined as


“the corporate governmental entity through which the
functions of government are exercised throughout the
Philippines, including, save as the contrary appears
from the context, the various arms through which politi-
cal authority is made effective in the Philippines,
whether pertaining to the autonomous regions, the pro-
vincial, city, municipal or barangay subdivisions or
other form of local government.”39
Under this definition, a government-owned or con-
trolled corporation engaged in proprietary functions
cannot be considered part of the Government for pur-
poses of exemption from the application of the statute of
limitations.40 But even such private instrumentalities of
the Government may be considered embraced in the
Civil Service as provided for under Article IX-B, Section
2(1) of the Constitution.
A Government Agency refers to any of the various
units of the Government of the Republic of the Philip-
pines, including a department, bureau, office, instru-
mentality or GOCC, or a local government or a distinct
unit therein.41

E. Administration

Finally, government must be distinguished from


administration, which is the group of persons in whose
hands the reins of government are for the time being.42

:ls
Adm. Code of 1987, Sec. 2(1).
Nadeco v. Tobias, 7 SCRA 692.
11
Republic Act No. 10149, Section
J2
U.S. v. Dorr, 2 Phil. 332.
3(k).
THE CONCEPT OF THE STATE 43

The administration runs the government, as a machin-


ist operates his machine. Thus, we speak of the Aquino
administration as directing the affairs of the Govern-
ment of the Philippines for a given time, after which
another administration may be called upon by the peo-
ple to take over. Administration is transitional whereas
the government is permanent.

(4) Sovereignty

Sovereignty is the supreme and uncontrollable


power inherent in a State by which that State is gov-
erned.43
There are two kinds of sovereignty, to wit, legal and
political. Legal sovereignty is the authority which has
the power to issue final commands whereas political
sovereignty is the power behind the legal sovereign, or
the sum of the influences that operate upon it. In our
country, the Congress is the legal sovereign, while the
different sectors that mold public opinion make up the
political sovereign.
Sovereignty may also be internal or external. Inter-
nal sovereignty refers to the power of the State to con-
trol its domestic affairs. External sovereignty, which is
the power of the State to direct its relations with other
States, is also known as independence.
Sovereignty is permanent, exclusive, comprehen-
sive, absolute, indivisible, inalienable and imprescripti-
ble.44
By virtue of these characteristics, sovereignty is not
deemed suspended although acts of sovereignty cannot

43
Garner, Political Science and Government, 238,
170.
44
Laurel v. Misa, 77 Phil. 856.
44 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

be exercised by the legitimate authority. Thus, sover-


eignty over the Philippines remained with the United
States during the Japanese occupation of our country
although the Americans could not exercise any control
over the occupied territory at the time.45 What the bel-
ligerent occupant took over was only the exercise of acts
of sovereignty.
There being no change of sovereignty during a bel-
ligerent occupation, the political laws of the occupied
territory are merely suspended, subject to revival under
the jus postliminium upon the end of the occupation.
But the non-political laws are deemed continued unless
changed by the belligerent occupant since they are in-
tended to govern the relations of individuals as among
themselves and are not generally affected by changes in
regimes or rulers.46
It has been held that the Constitution of the Com-
monwealth, being a political law, was not effective in
the Philippines during the Japanese occupation.47 But
non-political laws like the Civil Code and the Insurance
Act remained in force during that period except only
where they were amended or superseded by affirmative
act of the belligerent occupant.
However, the rule suspending political laws affects
only the civilian inhabitants of the occupied territory
and is not intended to bind the enemies in arms. Thus,
in Ruffy v. Chief of Staff,48 members of the armed forces
continued to be covered by the National Defense Act, the
Articles of War and other laws relating to the armed
forces even during the Japanese occupation.

<c
Co Kim Chan v. Valdez, supra.
16
Peralta v. Director of Prisons, 75 Phil. 285.
17
Alcantara v. Director of Prisons, 75 Phil.
749.
"* 75 Phil. 875.
THE CONCEPT OF THE STATE 45

Furthermore, the rule does not apply to the law on


treason although decidedly political in character. As
Justice Felicisimo Feria put it in Laurel v. Misa:49
i.
“Since the preservation of the allegiance of the obligation
of fidelity and obedience of a citizen or subject to his govern-
ment or sovereign does not demand from him a positive action
but only passive attitude or forbearance from adhering to the
enemy by giving the latter aid and comfort, the occupant has
no power, as a corollary of the preceding consideration, to re-
peal or suspend the operation of the law of treason, essential
for the preservation of the allegiance owed by the inhabitants
to their legitimate government, or compel them to adhere and
give aid and comfort to him; because it is evident that such ac-
tion is not demanded by the exigencies of the military service
or not necessary for the control of the inhabitants and the
safety and protection of his army, and because it is tantamount
to practically transferring temporarily to the occupant their al-
legiance to the titular government or sovereignty.”

As for judicial decisions, the same are valid during


the occupation and even beyond except those of a politi-
cal complexion, which are automatically annulled upon
the restoration of the legitimate authority. Thus, a per-
son convicted of treason against the Japanese Imperial
Forces was, after the occupation, entitled to be released
on the ground that the sentence imposed on him for his
political offense had ceased to be valid.60 But if the con-
viction was for a non-political offense like, say, defama-
tion, the sentence would not be affected by the termina-
tion of the occupation.
Where there is a change of sovereignty, the political
laws of the former sovereign are not merely suspended
but abrogated. As they regulate the relations between
the ruler and the ruled, these laws fall to the ground

Supra.
Peralta v. Director of Prisons,
supra.
46 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

ipso facto unless they are retained or re-enacted by posi-


tive act of the new sovereign. Non-political laws, by con-
trast, continue in operation, for the reason also that
they regulate private relations only, unless they are
changed by the new sovereign or are contrary to its in-
stitutions.
In People v. Perfectof ' the accused had written an
editorial against the Philippine Senate and was prose-
cuted under a provision of the Spanish Penal Code pun-
ishing insults to Ministers of the Crown. The Supreme
Court acquitted him, holding that that particular article
of the said Code had been automatically abrogated, be-
ing political in nature, upon the advent of American
sovereignty.
In Macariola v. Asuncion,51 52 it was held that Article
14 of the Code of Commerce prohibiting judges from
engaging in commerce was political in nature and so
was automatically abrogated with the end of Spanish
rule in the country.
Conversely, it was held in Vilas v. City of Manila,53
that a debt contracted by the defendant during the
Spanish regime was enforceable against it even after
the change to American sovereignty inasmuch as the
obligation was assumed by the city in its private or pro-
prietary character. As the U.S. Supreme Court put it:
“That there is a total abrogation of the former political
relations of the inhabitants of the ceded region is obvious. That
all laws therefore in force which are in conflict with the politi-
cal character, constitution or institutions of the substituted
sovereign lose force, is also plain. But it is equally settled in
the same public law that the great body of municipal law

51
Supra.
52
114 SCRA 77
“ 229 U.S. 345.
(1982).
THE CONCEPT OF THE STATE 47

which regulates private and domestic rights continues in force


until abrogated or changed by the new ruler.”

Act of State
I

An act of State is an act done by the sovereign


power of a country, or by its delegate, within the limits
of the power vested in him. An act of State cannot be
questioned or made the subject of legal proceedings in a
court of law.54
With particular reference to Political Law, an act of
State is an act done by the political departments of the
government and not subject to judicial review. An illus-
tration is the decision of the President, in the exercise of
his diplomatic power, to extend recognition to a newly-
established foreign State or government. 51

51
Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th ed., 44.
Chapter 4

THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY

THE CONSTITUTION declares, rather superfluously,


that “the State may not be sued without its consent.”1
This provision is merely a recognition of the sovereign
character of the State and an express affirmation of the
unwritten rule insulating it from the jurisdiction of the
courts of justice.

Basis

It is obvious that indiscriminate suits against the


State will result in the impairment of its dignity, be-
sides being a challenge to its supposed infallibility. To
Justice Holmes, however, the doctrine of non-suability is
based not on “any formal conception or obsolete theory
but on the logical and practical ground that there can be
no legal right against the authority which makes the
law on which the right depends.”2 Another justification
is the practical consideration that the demands and
inconveniences of litigation will divert the time and
resources of the State from the more pressing matters
demanding its attention, to the prejudice of the public
welfare.

' Art. XVI, Sec. 3.


2
Kawanakoa v. Polybank, 205 U.S.
349.

48
THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY 49

The doctrine is also available to foreign States inso-


far as they are sought to be sued in the courts of the
local State.3 The added basis in this case is the principle
of the sovereign equality of States, under which one
State cannot assert jurisdiction over another in violation
of the maxim par in parem non habet imperium. To do
so would “unduly vex the peace of nations.”4
This does not mean though that the foreign state
would at all times be immune from all suits filed
against it before courts of a host or local state. Accord-
ingly, it has been ruled that such foreign states may be
sued in the host state if engaged regularly therein in a
business or trade or, even if not so engaged, on the basis
of its contracts in the host state which may be consid-
ered as purely commercial, private and proprietary acts,
but not with respect to its contracts entered into by it as
governmental or sovereign acts. Thus —
“The doctrine of state immunity from suit has undergone
further metamorphosis. The view evolved that the existence of
a contract does not, per se, mean that sovereign states may, at
all times, be sued in local courts. The complexity of relation-
ships between sovereign states, brought about by their increas-
ing commercial activities, mothered a more restrictive applica-
tion of the doctrine, xxx As it stands now, the application of the
doctrine of immunity from suit has been restricted to sovereign
or governmental activities (jure imperii). The mantle of state
immunity cannot be extended to commercial, private and pro-
prietary acts (jure gestionis).
“Since the Philippines adheres to the restrictive theory, it
is crucial to ascertain the legal nature of the act involved —
whether the entity claiming immunity performs governmental,
as opposed to proprietary, functions. As held in United States
of America v. Ruiz [221 Phil. 179 (1985)] —

Syquia v. Almeda Lopez, 84 Phil. 312.


4
De Haber v. Queen of Portugal, 17 Q.B.
171.
50 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

“’The restrictive application of State immunity is


proper only when the proceedings arise out of commercial
transactions of the foreign sovereign, its commercial ac-
tivities or economic affairs. Stated differently, a State
may be said to have descended to the level of an individ-
ual and can thus be deemed to have tacitly given its con-
sent to be sued only when it enters into business con-
tracts. It does not apply where the contract relates to the
exercise of its sovereign functions.’ ”5

In other words, the fact that a foreign state enters


into a contract with a private party in the host state
would not necessarily result in the waiver of its sover-
eign immunity. The character of said contract would
still need to be determined, such that said foreign state
may be sued if its contract were commercial in nature.
Thus—

“Moreover, the mere entering into a contract by a foreign


state with a private party cannot be the ultimate test. Such an
act can only be the start of the inquiry. The logical question is
whether the foreign state is engaged in the activity in the
regular course of business. If the foreign state is not engaged
regularly in a business or trade, the particular act or transac-
tion must then be tested by its nature. If the act is in pursuit of
a sovereign activity, or an incident thereof, then it is an act
jure imperii, especially when it is not undertaken for gain or
profit.
“There are two conflicting concepts of sovereign immu-
nity, each widely held and firmly established. According to the
classical or absolute theory, a sovereign cannot, without its
consent, be made a respondent in the courts of another sover-
eign. According to the newer or restrictive theory, the immu-
nity of the sovereign is recognized only with regard to public
acts or acts jure imperii of a state, but not with regard to pri-

5
JUSMAG v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No.
108813, 15 December 1994, 239 SCRA 224, cited in China National
Machinery & Equipment Corporation v. Sta. Maria, G.R. No.
185572, February 7, 2012, 665 SCRA 189.
THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY 51

vate acts or acts jure gestionis, xxx The restrictive theory came
about because of the entry of sovereign states into purely
commercial activities remotely connected with the discharge of
governmental functions.”6

As will be discussed later, in the context of the ap-


plicability of the principle of state immunity to a State
in relation to claims filed against it by its citizens or
inhabitants or in connection with the actions of its gov-
ernment within its territory, not all acts jure imperii
may exempt a State from suit, as in the case of its exer-
cise of its power of eminent domain, when done without
payment of just compensation.7
Moreover, it has likewise been ruled that not any
agency of a foreign state may properly invoke the lat-
ter’s sovereign immunity to ward off suits against it. In
German Agency for Technical Cooperation v. Court of
Appeals, the petitioner moved to dismiss a complaint for
illegal dismissal filed against it before the National
Labor Relations Commission, contending that the Labor
Arbiter had no jurisdiction over it, as it was “the im-
plementing agency of the Government of the Federal
Republic of Germany” and “its acts were undertaken in
the discharge of the governmental functions and sover-
eign acts of the Government of the Federal Republic of
Germany.” The Supreme Court rejected these conten-
tions stating that the petitioner did not present ade-
quate evidence to establish that it enjoys the immunity
from suit generally accorded to its parent country, the
6
Holy See v. Rosario, G.R. No. 101949, 1 December 1994, 238
SCRA 524, 535, cited in China National Machinery & Equipment
Corporation v. Sta. Maria, G.R. No. 185572, February 7, 2012, 665
SCRA 189.
7
See De los Santos v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 223 SCRA
1, cited in Air Transportation Office v. Ramos, G.R. No. 185685,
February 23, 2011, 644 SCRA 36.
52 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Federal Republic of Germany, adding that, “assuming


that characterization is correct, it does not automati-
cally invest GTZ with the ability to invoke State immu-
nity from suit.”8
In China National Machinery & Equipment Corpo-
ration v. Sta. Maria,9 the petitioner, designated by the
Republic of China as its prime contractor for the North-
rail Project of the Republic of the Philippines, as certi-
fied by its Chinese Ambassador, claimed sovereign im-
munity in connection with a suit against it based on its
Memorandum of Understanding with the North Luzon
Railways Corporation. The Supreme Court rejected its
claim stating as follows —

“Applying the foregoing ruling [Deutsche Gesellschaft Pur


Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) v. CA, G.R. No. 152318, 16
April 2009, 585 SCRA 150] to the case at bar, it is readily ap-
parent that CNMEG cannot claim immunity from suit, even if
it contends that it performs governmental functions. Its desig-
nation as the Primary Contractor does not automatically grant
it immunity, just as the term ‘implementing agency’ has no
precise definition for purposes of ascertaining whether GTZ
was immune from suit. Although CNMEG claims to be a gov-
ernment-owned corporation, it failed to adduce evidence that it
has not consented to be sued under Chinese law. Thus, follow-
ing this Court’s ruling in Deutsche Gesellschaft, in the absence
of evidence to the contrary, CNMEG is to be presumed to be a
government-owned and -controlled corporation without an
original charter. As a result, it has the capacity to sue and be
sued under Section 36 of the Corporation Code.”

” Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Technische Zusammenarbeit


(GTZ) v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 152318, April 16, 2009, 585
SCRA 150.
9
G.R. No. 185572, February 7, 2012, 665 SCRA 189.
THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY 53

The Court, addressing the factual circumstances


invoked by the petitioner in support of its claim of sov-
ereign immunity, added —
i
“Clearly, it was CNMEG that initiated the undertaking,
and not the Chinese government. The Feasibility Study was
conducted not because of any diplomatic gratuity from or exer-
cise of sovereign functions by the Chinese government, but was
plainly a business strategy employed by CNMEG with a view
to securing this commercial enterprise, xxx. The use of the
term ‘state corporation’ to refer to CNMEG was only descrip-
tive of its nature as a government-owned and/or -controlled
corporation, and its assignment as the Primary Contractor did
not imply that it was acting on behalf of China in the perform-
ance of the latter’s sovereign functions, xxx. Thus, despite peti-
tioner’s claim that the EXIM Bank extended financial assistance
to Northrail because the bank was mandated by the Chinese
government, and not because of any motivation to do business in
the Philippines, it is clear from the foregoing provisions that the
Northrail Project was a purely commercial transaction. Admit-
tedly, the Loan Agreement was entered into between EXIM
Bank and the Philippine government, while the Contract
Agreement was between Northrail and CNMEG. Although the
Contract Agreement is silent on the classification of the legal na-
ture of the transaction, the foregoing provisions of the Loan
Agreement, which is an inextricable part of the entire undertak-
ing, nonetheless reveal the intention of the parties to the North-
rail Project to classify the whole venture as commercial or pro-
prietary in character. Thus, piecing together the content and
tenor of the Contract Agreement, the Memorandum of Under-
standing dated 14 September 2002, Amb. Wang’s letter dated 1
October 2003, and the Loan Agreement would reveal the desire
of CNMEG to construct the Luzon Railways in pursuit of a
purely commercial activity performed in the ordinary course of
its business. Even assuming arguendo that CNMEG performs
governmental functions, such claim does not automatically vest
it with immunity. This view finds support in Malong v. Philip-
pine National Railways, in which this Court held that
‘(i)mmunity from suit is determined by the character of the ob-
jects for which the entity was organized.’ [222 Phil 381, 384
(1985)]”
54 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Application

Actions are rarely instituted directly against the


Republic of the Philippines, presumably because such a
step will provoke resort to the doctrine of State immu-
nity and possible dismissal of the complaint for lack of
jurisdiction. The usual practice is to file such claims not
against the State itself but, so as to avoid the appear-
ance of its involvement, against the officer of the gov-
ernment who is supposed to discharge the responsibility
or grant the redress demanded. It is important then to
determine if the State is the real party in interest, that
is, that the claim if proved will be a direct liability of the
State and not merely of the officer impleaded. If this is
shown, the action can be dismissed as a suit against the
State unless its immunity had been previously waived.
To illustrate, it was held in one case10 that a claim
for damages for injuries sustained by the plaintiff while
undergoing military training as required by law was
actually a suit against the State since it would need the
appropriation of public funds to satisfy the judgment if
the claim were allowed. Although filed against the chief
of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in his
official capacity, it was dismissed because the State had
not waived its immunity.
In Sanders v. Veridiano,11 where two American em-
ployees of the Subic Naval Base sued its commanding
general and the director of special services for damages
for allegedly defamatory remarks made by the defen-
dants, the Supreme Court held:

Garcia v. Chief of Staff, 16 SCRA


120.SCRA 88.
" 162
THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY 55

“Petitioners were being sued as officers of the United


States Government. As they have acted on behalf of that gov-
ernment, and within the scope of their authority, it is that
government, and not the petitioners personally, that is respon-
sible for their acts. Assuming that the trial can proceed and it
is proved that claimants have a right to the payment of dam-
ages, such award will have to be satisfied not by the petition-
ers in their personal capacity but by the United States Gov-
ernment as their principal. This will require that government
to perform an affirmative act to satisfy the judgment, viz., the
appropriation of the necessary amount to cover the damages
awarded, thus making the action a suit against that govern-
ment without its consent.”

In University of the Philippines v. Dizon ,12 the Su-


preme Court stated that an award against the peti-
tioner for moral and actual damages (including attor-
ney’s fees) would require an appropriation by Congress
considering that “such monetary liabilities were not
covered by the ‘appropriations earmarked for said pro-
ject,”’ which was the subject of the suit and the conse-
quent award.
By contrast, the Supreme Court held as not against
the State an action instituted against the Secretary of
National Defense, also in his official capacity, for pay-
ment of an architect’s professional fees for which an
appropriation had already been made by the govern-
ment.13 The reason was that as far as the State itself
was concerned, it had already discharged its obligation;
clearly, what the complainant wanted only was the
actual payment of the amount already set aside, which
payment was now the sole responsibility of the defen-
dant. The action was therefore properly filed against

12
G.R. No. 171182, August 23, 2012, 679
SCRA
bl
Ruiz 54.
v. Cabahug, 54 O.G. 351.
56 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

him only and not against the State and no waiver of its
immunity was necessary.
There are many instances, in fact, when a public
officer may be sued in his official capacity without the
necessity of first obtaining the consent of the State to be
sued. Thus, a public officer may be impleaded to require
him to do a duty required by law, or to restrain him
from doing an act alleged to be unconstitutional or ille-
gal, or to recover from him taxes unlawfully assessed or
collected.14 It has also been held that where an action is
filed against a public officer for recovery only of title or
possession of property claimed to be held by him in his
official capacity, the said action is not a suit against the
State for which prior waiver of immunity is required.
But it is different where there is in addition a claim for
recovery of damages, such as accrued rentals, inasmuch
as its allowance would require the government to ap-
propriate the necessary amount for the satisfaction of
the judgment.15
In sum, the test is whether, assuming the decision
is rendered against the public officer impleaded, en-
forcement thereof will require an affirmative act from
the State, such as the appropriation of the needed
amount to satisfy the judgment. If it does, the suit is
one against the State and its inclusion as party defen-
dant is necessary. If, on the other hand, the officer im-
pleaded may by himself alone comply with the decision
of the court without the necessity of involving the State,
then the suit can prosper against him and will not be
considered a claim against the State.

H
Houston v. Hormes, 252 U.S. 569; Sterling v. Constantin, 287
U.S. 378.
15
Syquia v. Almeda Lopez, supra.
THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY 57

It is understood, of course, that where a public offi-


cer acts without or in excess of jurisdiction, any injury
caused by him is his own personal liability and cannot
be imputed to the State. Thus, in Festejo v. Fernando,16 17
the Director of Public Works took over without authority
property belonging to the plaintiff and constructed
thereon a public irrigation canal. The Supreme Court
held that the action for the recovery of the land or its
value was properly filed against the defendant in his
personal capacity and was therefore not covered by the
doctrine of State immunity.
In U.S.A. v. Guinto,11 the Supreme Court declared:
“The other petitioners in the cases before us all aver they
have acted in the discharge of their official functions as officers
or agents of the United States. However, this is a matter of
evidence. The charges against them may not be summarily
dismissed on their mere assertion that their acts are imputable
to the United States of America, which has not given its con-
sent to be sued. In fact, the defendants are sought to be held
answerable for personal torts in which the United States itself
is not involved. If found liable, they and they alone must sat-
isfy the judgment.
xxx
“But even as we are certain that the individual petition-
ers in G.R. No. 80018 were acting in the discharge of their offi-
cial functions, we hesitate to make the same conclusion in G.R.
No. 80258. The contradictory factual allegations in this case
deserve in our view a closer study of what actually happened
to the plaintiffs. The record is too meager to indicate if the de-
fendants were really discharging their official duties or had ac-
tually exceeded their authority when the incident in question
occurred. Lacking this information, the Court cannot directly
decide this case. The needed inquiry must first be made by the
lower court oo it may aoBoes and resolve tho conflicting claims

,G
50 O.G.
1556.
17
182
SCRA 644.
58 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

of the parties on the basis of the evidence that has yet to be


presented at the trial. Only after it shall have determined in
what capacity the petitioners were acting at the time of the in-
cident in question will this Court determine, if still necessary,
if the doctrine of state immunity is applicable.”

In the case of The Holy See v. Rosario,18 the Su-


preme Court dismissed a civil complaint against the
petitioner after the Department of Foreign Affairs had
“officially certified that the Embassy of the Holy See is a
duly accredited diplomatic mission to the Republic of
the Philippines exempt from local jurisdiction and enti-
tled to all the rights, privileges and immunities of a
diplomatic mission or embassy in this country.” It was
further affirmed that “the determination of the execu-
tive arm of the government that a state or instrumental-
ity is entitled to sovereign or diplomatic immunity is a
political question that is conclusive upon the courts.
Where the plea of immunity is recognized and affirmed
by the executive branch, it is the duty of the courts to
accept this claim so as not to embarrass the executive
arm of the government in conducting the country’s for-
eign relations.”
Thus, in German Agency for Technical Cooperation
v. Court of Appeals,19 the Supreme Court explained that
an endorsement by the Office of the Solicitor General on
the petitioner’s claim of state immunity, manifested in
its Comment filed in connection with said proceedings,
“does not inspire the same degree of confidence as a
certification from the DFA would have elicited.”
The Supreme Court, in further affirmation of this
principle, rejected in China National Machinery &

'"238 SCRA 524.


19
Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ)
v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 152318, April 16, 2009, 585 SCRA 150.
THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY 59

Equipment Corporation v. Sta. Maria,20 the “executive


endorsements” (of the Certification executed by the Eco-
nomic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of the Peo-
ple’s Republic of China on the purported sovereign im-
munity of the petitioner) made by the Office of the So-
licitor General and of the Office of the Government Cor-
porate Counsel, clarifying that it is only the Department
of Foreign Affairs which has the authority to make a
determination of immunity from suit, although, in said
case, the Court declared that it would not be “precluded
from making an inquiry into the intrinsic correctness of
such certification.”

Waiver of Immunity

Although the doctrine of State immunity is some-


times called “the royal prerogative of dishonesty,” it
must be observed in fairness that the State does not
often avail itself of this rule to take undue advantage of
parties that may have legitimate claims against it. The
principle fortunately has a built-in qualification: the
State may, if it so desires, divest itself of its sovereign
immunity and thereby voluntarily open itself to suit. In
fine, the State may be sued if it gives its consent.
It is gratifying that the exception appears now to
be the general policy, with the result that the filing of
suits against the State has become less difficult than
before.

Forms of Consent

The consent of the State to be sued may be given


expressly or impliedly. Express consent may be maiii-

20
G.R. No. 185572, February 7, 2012, 665 SCRA 189.
60 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

fested either through a general law or a special law.


Implied consent is given when the State itself com-
mences litigation or when it enters into a contract.
The general law providing for the standing consent
of the State to be sued is Act No. 3083, declaring that
“the Government of the Philippine Islands hereby con-
sents and submits to be sued upon any moneyed claim
involving liability arising from contract, express or im-
plied, which could serve as a basis of civil action be-
tween private parties.”
Under C.A. No. 327 as amended by P.D. No. 1445,
a claim against the government must first be filed with
the Commission on Audit, which must act upon it
within sixty days. Rejection of the claim will authorize
the claimant to elevate the matter to the Supreme
Court on certiorari and in effect sue the State with its
consent.21
Indeed, it has been ruled that writs of execution is-
sued by regular courts of justice in connection with
money claims filed against the government may not be
implemented without the same first being referred to
the Commission on Audit.22
An example of the second kind of express consent is
the special law enacted by the Philippine Legislature
authorizing an individual to sue the Philippine Govern-

21
P.D. No. 1445, Secs. 49-50.
u
Lockheed Detective and Watchman Agency, Inc. v. Univer-
sity of the Philippines, G.R. No. 185918, April 18, 2012, 670 SCRA
206, citing National Electrification Administration v. Morales, G.R.
No. 154200, July 24, 2007, 528 SCRA 79, 90-91; see also Agra v.
Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 167807, December 6, 2011, 661
SCRA 563.
THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY 61

ment for injuries he had sustained when his motorcycle


collided with a government ambulance.23 24 25
The express consent of the State to be sued must be
embodied in a duly enacted statute and may not be
given by a mere counsel of the government, as held in
Republic v. Purisima.2* In this case, the waiver made by
the lawyer for the Rice and Corn Administration, an
agency of the government, was held by the Supreme
Court as not binding upon the State. Incidentally, under
Rule 14, Section 13 of the 1997 Rules of Procedure,
where the defendant is the Republic of the Philippines,
service of summons must be made on the Solicitor Gen-
eral.26 27
Worthy of note in this connection is the case of
Amigable v. Cuenca,26 where the question raised was the
right of the plaintiff to sue the government for recovery
of the value of her property which had been converted
into public streets without payment to her of just com-
pensation. Although it was shown that she had not pre-
viously filed her claim with the Auditor General as
normally required, the Supreme Court decided in her
favor, reiterating the following pronouncement in the
earlier case oiMinisterio v. City of Cebu'21

a
Merritt v. Government of the Phil. Is., 34 Phil. 311.
24
78 SCRA 470.
25
Heirs of Mamerto Manguiat v. Court of Appeals, G.R. Nos.
150768 and 160176, August 20, 2008, 562 SCRA 422, cited in Repub-
lic of the Philippines v. Domingo, G.R. No. 175299, September 14,
2011, 657 SCRA 621.
25
43 SCRA 360, See also De los Santos v. Intermediate Appel-
late Court, G.R. 71998-99, June 2, 1993, 223 SCRA 1.
27
40 SCRA 464, see also Republic v. Sandiganbayan, 204 SCRA
212, De los Santos v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 223 SCRA 1.
62 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

“... If the constitutional mandate that the owner be com-


pensated for property taken for public use were to be re-
spected, as it should, then a suit of this character should not be
summarily dismissed. The doctrine of governmental immunity
from suit cannot serve as an instrument for perpetrating an in-
justice on a citizen. Had the government followed the pro-
cedure indicated by the governing law at the time, a complaint
would have been filed by it, and only upon payment of the
compensation fixed by the judgment, or after tender to the
party entitled to such payment of the amount fixed, may it
‘have the right to enter in and upon the land so condemned, to
appropriate the same to the public use defined in the judg-
ment.’ If there were an observance of procedural regularity, pe-
titioners would not be in the said plaint they are now. It is un-
thinkable then that precisely because there was a failure to
abide by what the law requires, the government would stand to
benefit. It is just as important, if not more so, that there be fi-
delity to legal norms on the part of officialdom if the rule of law
were to be maintained. It is not too much to say that when the
government takes any property for public use, which is condi-
tioned upon the payment of just compensation, to be judicially
ascertained, it makes manifest that it submits to the ju-
risdiction of a court. There is no thought then that the doctrine
of immunity from suit could still be appropriately invoked.”

Similarly, in De los Santos v. Intermediate Appel-


late Court,28 the Supreme Court reversed the trial
court’s dismissal on the ground of state immunity of a
complaint for damages filed by the plaintiff on whose
property was constructed by the Government, through
the provincial engineer of Rizal, an artificial creek with-
out his knowledge or consent, declaring that “the doc-
trine of sovereign immunity was not an instrument for
perpetrating any injustice on a citizen.”
In exercising the right of eminent domain, the
State exercises its jus imperii, as distinguished from its
proprietary rights, or jus gestionis-, yet, even in that

28
223 SCRA 1.
THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY 63

area, where private property is to be taken in expropria-


tion without just compensation being paid, the defense
of immunity from suit cannot be set up by the State
against an action for payment by the owners.29 30
As stressed by the Supreme Court in Republic v.
Sandiganbayan,33 “the doctrine of sovereign immunity
cannot be successfully invoked to defeat a valid claim
for compensation arising from the taking without just
compensation and without the proper expropriation
proceedings being first resorted to of the plaintiffs’ prop-
erty.”
In Santiago v. Republic,31 the plaintiff sued the gov-
ernment for revocation of a donation on the ground of
failure of the defendant to comply with the stipulated
conditions. The defendant moved to dismiss for lack of
its consent to be sued. The Supreme Court denied the
motion, holding that the suit could prosper because it
did not involve a money claim against the State. As
what the plaintiff was seeking was the return only of
the properties donated, he did not even need to file his
claim first with the Commission on Audit under the
provisions of C.A. No. 327.
Manifestly based on equitable grounds is the rule
that when the State itself files a complaint, the defen-
dant is entitled to file a counterclaim against it. A case
in point is Froilan v. Pan Oriental Shipping Co.,32 where
it was held that the government impliedly allowed itself
to be sued when it filed a complaint in intervention for

29
See Air Transportation Office v. Ramos, G.R. No. 185685,
February 23, 2011, 644 SCRA 36, citing De los Santos v. Intermedi-
ate Appellate Court, supra.
30
G.R. No. 90478, Nov. 2, 1991, 204 SCRA 212, 231.
87 SCRA 294.
32
G.R. No. L-6060, Sept. 30, 1950.
64 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

the purpose of asserting a claim for affirmative relief


against the plaintiff, to wit, recovery of a vessel.
But a similar conclusion was not reached in Lim v.
Brownell,33 where the Philippine Government, as suc-
cessor in interest of the United States to the properties
being claimed from the latter, filed a complaint in inter-
vention to join the defendant in invoking the doctrine of
State immunity to secure the dismissal of the action. As
the Philippine Government was not asking for any af-
firmative relief from the plaintiff but had intervened
only for the purpose of resisting his claim, the Supreme
Court held that no implied waiver of immunity could be
assumed.
This ruling was reiterated in the case of Republic v.
Sandiganbayan.34 35
Such an assumption is justified, however, when the
government enters into a contract, for the State is then
deemed to have divested itself of the mantle of sovereign
immunity and descended to the level of the ordinary
individual. Having done so, it becomes subject to judicial
action and processes.
While the suggestion in Santos v. Santos,36 37 and Ly-
ons v. United States of America36 was that immunity
would be lost regardless of the nature of the contract, it
was held in the case of United States of America v.
Ruiz31 that suability would follow only if the contract is
entered into by the government in its proprietary capac-

33
107
SCRA
:M
182 345.
35
SCRA92 Phil.
911.
3,<
281.104 Phil.
37
593.136
SCRA 487.
THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY 65

ity. Governmental contracts do not result in implied


waiver of the immunity of the State from suit.
The private respondent in this case had claimed
that the United Stated, through its Engineering Com-
mand in the U.S. Navy, had entered into a contract with
it for the repair of wharves in Subic Bay and should
therefore be required to comply with the agreement or
pay damages. The United States moved to dismiss, in-
voking its non-suability, but the claim was denied by
the lower court on the basis of the Lyons Case. In this
petition for certiorari, the Supreme Court sustained the
immunity of the petitioner from suit, declaring through
Justice Vicente Abad Santos:
“The traditional rule of State immunity exempts a State
from being sued in the courts of another State without its con-
sent or waiver. This rule is a necessary consequence of the
principles of independence and equality of States. However,
the rules of International Law are not petrified; they are con-
stantly developing and evolving. And because the activities of
States have multiplied, it has been necessary to distinguish
them between sovereign and governmental acts (Jure imperii)
and private, commercial and proprietary acts (Jure gestionis).
The result is that State immunity now extends only to acts jure
imperii. The restrictive application of State immunity is now
the rule in the United States, the United Kingdom and other
States in Western Europe.

“The restrictive application of State immunity is proper


only when the proceedings arise out of commercial transactions
of the foreign sovereign, its commercial activities or economic
affairs. Stated differently, a State may be said to have de-
scended to the level of an individual and can thus be deemed to
have tacitly given its consent to be sued only when it enters
into business contracts. It does not apply where the contract
relates to the exercise of its sovereign functions. In this case
the projects are an integral part of the naval base which is de-
voted to the defense of both the United States and the Philip-
66 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

pines, indisputably a function of the government of the highest


order; they are not utilized for nor dedicated to commercial or
business purposes.”

On the other hand, it was held in. the Guinto Case™


that the operation by the United States government of
restaurants in Camp John Hay in Baguio City and of
barbershops in Clark Air Base, these establishments
being open to the public for a fee, were proprietary in
nature and so not covered by the doctrine of state im-
munity.
An agreement to submit any dispute to arbitration
may be construed as an implicit waiver of immunity
from suit.39
Finally, it should also be observed that when the
State gives its consent to be sued, it does not thereby
also consent to the execution of the judgment against it.
The rule, as reiterated in the case of Republic of the
Philippines v. Villasor,40 is that such execution will re-
quire another waiver, lacking which the decision cannot
be enforced against the State. The judge in this case had
issued a writ of execution against the funds of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines to satisfy a judgment
rendered against the Philippine Government. The Su-
preme Court declared the writ unlawful and made the
following remarks:

“This fundamental postulate underlying the 1935 Con-


stitution is now made explicit in the revised charter. It is
therein expressly provided: The State may not be sued without
its consent. A corollary, both dictated by logic and sound sense

d
“ Supra.
33
China National Machinery & Equipment Corporation v. Sta.
Maria, G.R. No. 185572, February 7, 2012, 665 SCRA 189.
*" 54 SCRA 84.
THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY 67

from such a basic concept, is that public funds cannot be the


object of garnishment proceedings even if the consent to be
sued had been previously granted and the state liability ad-
judged. Thus, in the recent case of Commissioner of Public
Highways v. San Diego, such a well-settled doctrine was re-
stated in the opinion of Justice Teehankee: The universal rule
that where the State gives its consent to be sued by private
parties either by general or special law, it may limit claimant’s
action ‘only up to the completion of proceedings anterior to the
stage of execution’ and that the power of courts ends when the
judgment is rendered, since government funds and properties
may not be seized under writs of execution or garnishment to
satisfy such judgments, is based on obvious considerations of
public policy. Disbursements of public funds must be covered
by the corresponding appropriation as required by law. The
functions and public services rendered by the State cannot be
allowed to be paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion of public
funds from their legitimate and specific objects, as appropri-
ated by law.”

But the foregoing doctrine was not applied in Phil-


ippine National Bank v. Pabalan,il where a writ of exe-
cution was issued against the Philippine Virginia To-
bacco Administration, pursuant to which its funds on
deposit with the petitioner were garnished. On the con-
tention that such funds were public in character and
therefore could not be garnished, the Supreme Court
declared:

“This is not the first time petitioner raised that issue. It


did so before in Philippine National Bank v. Court of Indus-
trial Relations, decided only last January. It did not meet with
success, this Court ruling in accordance with the two previous
cases of National Shipyard and Steel Corporation and Manila
Hotel Company, that funds of public corporations which can
sue and be sued were not exempt from garnishment. As res-
pondent Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration is like-

" 83 SCRA 595.


68 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

wise a public corporation possessed of the same attributes,

Q
C
similar outcome is indicated. The petition must be dismissed.
Petitioner Philippine National Bank would invoke the
doctrine of non-suability. It is to be admitted that under the
present Constitution, what was formerly implicit as a funda-
mental doctrine in constitutional law has been set forth in ex-
press terms. If the funds appertained to one of the regular de-
partments or offices in the government, then, certainly, such a
provision would be a bar to garnishment. Such is not the case
here. Garnishment would lie.”

The issue in National Electrification Administra-


tion v. Morales'"2 was the propriety of the order of gar-
nishment issued by a court against the funds of the
petitioner in connection with a money claim awarded in
favor of the plaintiff, in the light of the constitutional
authority of the Commission on Audit to review money
claims against the government. The Supreme Court
declared that the “the COA had exclusive jurisdiction
to decide on the allowance or disallowance of money
claims arising from the implementation of Republic Act
No. 6758” and found the trial court to have “acted pru-
dently in halting implementation of the writ of execu-
tion to allow the parties recourse to the processes of the
COA,” stating that “it is not for this Court to preempt
the action of the COA on the post-audit to be conducted
by it.”
A similar ruling was made in Lockheed Detective
and Watchman Agency, Inc. v. University of the Philip-
pines where the Supreme Court declared —

M
G.R. No. 154200, July 24, 2007, 528 SCRA 79, 81, cited in
Agra v. Commission on Audit, G. R. No. 167807, December 6, 2011,
661 SCRA 563.
13
G.R. No. 185918, April 18, 2012, 670 SCRA 206.
THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY 69

“Like NEA, UP is a juridical personality separate and


distinct from the government and has the capacity to sue and
be sued. Thus, also like NEA, it cannot evade execution, and
its funds may be subject to garnishment or levy. However, be-
fore execution may be had, a claim for payment of the judg-
ment award must first be filed with the COA. Under Com-
monwealth Act No. 327, as amended by Section 26 of P.D. No.
1445, it is the COA which has primary jurisdiction to examine,
audit and settle ‘all debts and claims of any sort’ due from or
owing the Government or any of its subdivisions, agencies and
instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled
corporations and their subsidiaries. With respect to money
claims arising from the implementation of Republic Act No.
6758, their allowance or disallowance is for COA to decide, sub-
ject only to the remedy of appeal by petition for certiorari to
this Court.”

In University of the Philippines v. Dizon,44 the Su-


preme Court, in emphasizing the fundamental rule that
government properties are not subject to levy and exe-
cution, made the following clarifications —
“However, notwithstanding the rule that government
properties are not subject to levy and execution unless other-
wise provided for by statute (Republic v. Palacio, 23 SCRA 899
1968; Commissioner of Public Highways v. San Diego, supra)
or municipal ordinance (Municipality of Makati v. Court of Ap-
peals, 190 SCRA 206 1990), the Court has, in various in-
stances, distinguished between government funds and proper-
ties for public use and those not held for public use. Thus, in
Viuda de Tan Toco u. Municipal Council of Iloilo (49 Phil 52
1926), the Court ruled that ‘where property of a municipal or
other public corporation is sought to be subjected to execution
to satisfy judgments recovered against such corporation, the
question as to whether such property is leviable or not is to be
determined by the usage and purposes for which it is held.’ The
following can be culled from Viuda de Tan Toco v. Municipal
Council of Iloilo'.

44
G.R. No. 171182, August 23, 2012, 679 SCRA 54.
70 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

“1. Properties held for public uses — and generally


everything held for governmental purposes - are not sub-
ject to levy and sale under execution against such corpo-
ration. The same rule applies to funds in the hands of a
public officer and taxes due to a municipal corporation.
“2. Where a municipal corporation owns in its
proprietary capacity, as distinguished from its public or
government capacity, property not used or used for a
public purpose but for quasi-private purposes, it is the
general rule that such property may be seized and sold
under execution against the corporation.
“3. Property held for public purposes is not subject
to execution merely because it is temporarily used for
private purposes. If the public use is wholly abandoned,
such property becomes subject to execution.”

Suits Against Government Agencies

Where suit is filed not against the government it-


self or its officials but against one of its entities, it must
be ascertained whether or not the State, as the principal
that may ultimately be held liable, has given its consent
to be sued. This ascertainment will depend in the first
instance on whether the government agency impleaded
is incorporated or unincorporated.
An incorporated agency has a charter of its own
that invests it with a separate juridical personality, like
the Social Security System, the University of the Philip-
pines, and the City of Manila. By contrast, the unincor-
porated agency is so called because it has no separate
juridical personality but is merged in the general ma-
chinery of the government, like the Department of Jus-
tice, the Bureau of Mines and the Government Printing
Office.
THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY 71

If the agency is incorporated, the test of its suabil-


ity is found in its charter. The simple rule is that it is
suable if its charter says so, and this is true regardless
of the functions it is performing. Municipal corporations,
for example, like provinces and cities, are agencies of
the State when they are engaged in governmental func-
tions and therefore should enjoy the sovereign immunity
from suit. Nevertheless, they are subject to suit even in
the performance of such functions because their charter
provides that they can sue and be sued.
In Bermoy v. Philippine Normal College,* 46 47 48 suit was
filed by the personnel of the defendant corporation for
recovery of salary differentials and overtime pay. The
defendant moved to dismiss, contending that the action
was against the State inasmuch as the college was a
public agency engaged in a governmental function, to
wit, the education of the youth. The Supreme Court did
not consider this argument decisive. The important
thing was that the charter of the college provided that it
could sue and be sued, which meant that, even assum-
ing that the function involved was public, the State had
thereby waived its immunity. A similar ruling was made
in Arcega v. Court of Appeals,46 involving the Central
Bank, Rayo v. CFI of Bulacan41 involving the National
Power Corporation, and Philippine National Railways v.
Intermediate Appellate Court.46
This test is obviously not available in the case of
the unincorporated agency as there would be no charter
to consult. Since it has no separate juridical personality,
any suit filed against it is necessarily an action against

G.R. No. L-8670, May 18,


46 1956.
66 SCRA 229.
47
110 SCRA 460.
48
217 SCRA 401.
72 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

the Philippine Government of which it is a part.49 This


being so, it is necessary to determine the nature of the
functions in which the agency is engaged, so as to hold it
suable if they are proprietary and not suable if they are
governmental. The test in every case is the nature of the
primary functions being discharged.
In National Airports Corporation v. Teodoro,50 51 the
issue was whether the Civil Aeronautics Administra-
tion, an unincorporated agency of the government un-
dertaking the operation of airports and authorized to
charge fees for the use of its facilities, should be re-
garded as engaged in private functions and therefore
subject to suit. The Supreme Court said that it was,
describing its business as “an enterprise which, far from
being the exclusive prerogative of the State, may, more
often than the construction of public roads, be under-
taken by private concerns.”
This ruling was affirmed in Air Transportation Of-
fice v. Ramos f1 where the Supreme Court held that the
petitioner was “an agency of the Government not per-
forming a purely governmental or sovereign function, but
was instead involved in the management and mainte-
nance of the Loakan Airport, an activity that was not
the exclusive prerogative of the State in its sovereign
capacity.”
The non-suability of the State is available to the
agency even if it is shown that it is engaged not only in

49
Philippine Rock Industries, Inc. v. Board of Liquidators, 259
Phil. 650, 655-656 (1989); see also Farolan, Jr. v. Court of Tax Ap-
peals, G.R. No. 42204, January 21, 1993, 217 SCRA 298, 306 and
Republic of tho Philippines v. Domingo, G.R. No. 175299, September
14, 2011, 657 SCRA 621.
50
91 Phil. 203.
51
G.R. No. 185685, February 23, 2011, 644 SCRA 36.
THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY 73

governmental functions but also, as a sideline, or inci-


dentally, in proprietary enterprises. This doctrine was
first announced in Bureau of Printing v. Bureau of
Printing Employees Association,52 where the Supreme
Court stated as follows:
“The Bureau of Printing is an office of the Government
created by the Administrative Code of 1916 (Act No. 2657). As
such instrumentality of the Government, it operates under the
direct supervision of the Executive Secretary, Office of the
President, and is ‘charged with the execution of all printing
and binding, including work incidental to those processes, re-
quired by the National Government and such other work of the
same character as said Bureau may, by law or by order of the
(Secretary of Finance) Executive Secretary, be authorized to
undertake. . (Sec. 1644, Rev. Adm. Code.) It has no corporate
existence, and its appropriations are provided for in the Gen-
eral Appropriations Act. Designed to meet the printing needs
of the Government, it is primarily a service bureau and, obvi-
ously, not engaged in business or occupation for pecuniary
profit.
3c

“. . . Clearly, while the Bureau of Printing is allowed to


undertake private binding jobs, it cannot be pretended that it
is thereby an industrial or business concern. The additional
work it executes for private parties is merely incidental to its
function, and although such work may be deemed proprietary
in character, there is no showing that the employees perform-
ing said proprietary function are separate and distinct from
those employed in its general governmental functions. * * *
“Indeed, as an office of the Government, without any cor-
porate or juridical personality, the Bureau of Printing cannot
be sued. (Sec. 1, Rule 3, Rules of Court.) Any suit, action or
proceeding against it, if it were to produce any effect, would ac-
tually be a suit, action or proceeding against the government
itself, and the rule is settled that the Government cannot be
sued without its consent, much less over its objection. (Soo
Metran vs. Paredes, 45 Off. Gaz. 2835; Angat River Irrigation

52
1 SCRA 340.
74 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

System, et al. v. Angat River Workers Union, et al«, G.R. No.


L-10943-44, Dec. 28, 1957.)”

In Mobil Philippines Exploration, Inc. v. Customs


Arrastre Service,53 it was argued by the plaintiff that by
authorizing the Bureau of Customs to engage in arrastre
service, the law had thereby allowed it to be sued inas-
much as the nature of this particular function was pro-
prietary. The Supreme Court rejected this contention
and held as follows:
“The Bureau of Customs, to repeat, is part of the De-
partment of Finance (Sec. 81, Rev. Adm. Code), with no per-
sonality of its own apart from that of the national government.
Its primary function is governmental, that of assessing and col-
lecting lawful revenues from imported articles and all other
tariff and customs duties, fees, charges, fines and penalties
(Sec. 602, R.A. 1937). To this function, arrastre service is a
necessary incident. For practical reasons, said revenues and
customs duties cannot be assessed and collected by simply re-
ceiving the importer’s or ship agent’s or consignee’s declaration
of merchandise being imported and imposing the duty provided
in the Tariff Law. Customs authorities and officers must see to
it that the declaration tallies with the merchandise actually
landed. And this checking up requires that the landed mer-
chandise be hauled from the ship’s side to a suitable place in
the customs premises to enable said customs officers to make
it, that is, it requires arrastre operations.
“Clearly, therefore, although said arrastre function may
be deemed proprietary, it is a necessary incident of the pri-
mary and governmental function of the Bureau of Customs, so
that engaging in the same does not necessarily render said Bu-
reau liable to suit. For otherwise, it could not perform its gov-
ernmental function without necessarily exposing itself to suit.
Sovereign immunity, granted as to the end, should not be de-
nied as to the necessary means to that end.”

5:1
18 SCRA 1120.
THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY 75

The non-suability of the Bureau of Customs was af-


firmed in the case oiFarolan v. Court of Tax Appeals.54 55
In Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. v. Jalosf'1 the
petitioner invoked the doctrine of state immunity in
asking for the dismissal of a complaint against it, claim-
ing that it should be considered an agent of the Republic
of the Philippines by reason of its appointment by the
latter as the exclusive party to conduct petroleum op-
erations in a certain area, and that said operations were
under the full control and supervision of the State. The
Supreme Court rejected this contention, stating that
these facts do not mean that it had become the State’s
“‘agent’ within the meaning of the law.” The Court con-
sidered the petitioner to be but “a service contractor for
the exploration and development of one of the country’s
natural gas reserves.”

Exemption from Legal Requirements

When the State litigates, either directly or through


its authorized officers, it is not required to put up a
bond for damages, or an appeal bond, since it can be
assumed that it is always solvent.56 57
In Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation v. Pacanaf1
the Supreme Court clarified that this exemption does
not, as a general rule, apply to government-owned or
controlled corporations because they have legal person-
alities distinct from their shareholders. Thus, “while a
GOCC’s majority stockholder, the State, will always be
presumed solvent, the presumption does not necessarily

54
217 SCRA 298.
55
G.R. No. 179918, September 8, 2010, 630 SCRA
5,1
399.Araneta v. Catmaitan, 101 Phil. 323.
57
G.R. No. 171673, May 30, 2011, 649 SCRA 196.
76 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

extend to the GOCC itself. However, when a GOCC be-


comes a ‘government machinery to carry out a declared
government policy,’ it becomes similarly situated as its
majority stockholder as there is the assurance that the
government will necessarily fund its primary functions.
Thus, a GOCC that is sued in relation to its governmen-
tal functions may be, under appropriate circumstances,
exempted from the payment of appeal fees. In the case at
bar, BBC was organized as a private corporation, se-
questered in the 1980’s and the ownership of which was
subsequently transferred to the government in a com-
promise agreement. It is therefore crystal clear that
BBC’s function is purely commercial or proprietary and
not governmental. As such, BBC cannot be deemed enti-
tled to an exemption from the posting of an appeal
bond.”
Neither can the State generally be asked to pay the
legal fees prescribed in the Rules of Court or the costs of
the suit.58 It has been ruled, however, that the National
Power Corporation59 and the Government Service In-
surance System60 are not exempt from paying filing fees.
On the other hand, the Land Bank of the Philippines, in
the performance of its governmental functions in agra-
rian reform proceedings, has been considered exempt
from the payment of costs of the suit, as provided for in
Section 1 of Rule 142 of the Rules of Court.61 Interest is

5
“ Rules 141 and 142.
59
In Re: Exemption of the National Power Corporation from
Payment of Filing/Docket Fees, A.M. NO. 05-10-20-SC, March 10,
2010, 615 SCRA 1.
Re: Petition for Recognition of the Exemption of the
Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) fur Payment of Legal
Fees, A.M. No. 08-2-01-0, February 11, 2010, 612 SCRA 193.
Land Bank of the Philippines v. Rivera, G.R. No. 182431,
November 17, 2010, 635 SCRA 285.
THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY 77

also not chargeable against it except when it has ex-


pressly stipulated to pay it or when interest is allowed
by an act of the legislature or in eminent domain cases
where damages sustained by the owner take the form of
interest at the legal rate.62 It has also been held that
statutes of limitation do not run against the State
unless the contrary is expressly provided by law, al-
though this rule is not observed where the State is en-
gaged in private business.63 64 65
In Republic v. Garcia,84 it was held that the govern-
ment could not be assessed one-half of the fees paid to
the commissioner who determined the just compensa-
tion for the property under expropriation.

Suability vs. Liability


The mere fact that the State is suable does not mean
that it is liable; or to put it another way, waiver of immu-
nity by the State does not mean concession of its liability.
As already explained, suability is the result of the express
or implied consent of the State to be sued. Liability, on the
other hand, is determined after hearing on the basis of the
relevant laws and the established facts. When, therefore,
the State allows itself to be sued, all it does in effect is to
give the other party an opportunity to prove, if it can, that
the State is liable. The State, in many cases, may be su-
able but not liable.
Indeed, in University of the Philippines v. Dizon,66
the Supreme Court, citing Municipality of San Fer-

62
Arasola v. Trinidad, 40 Phil. 252.
63
Gov’t, of the Phil. Islands v. Monte de Piedad,
64
supra.
76 SCRA 47.
65
G.R. No. 171182, August 23, 2012, 679 SCRA 54.
78 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

nando, La Union v. Firme, stressed that “marked

S
3
distinction exists between suability of the State and its
liability.” Thus —

A distinction should first be made between suability and


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

Thus, in Merritt v. Government of the Philippine Is-


lands,67 the plaintiff was allowed to sue by virtue of a
special law but was unable to hold the defendant liable
when it was shown at the trial that the injuries sus-
tained by him were caused by a regular driver of the
government. The law applied was what is now Article
2180 of the Civil Code, which provides that the State
shall be responsible for torts only when it acts through a
special agent and not when the damage has been caused
by the official or employee to whom the task done prop-
erly pertains.
It has already been remarked that municipal corpo-
rations are suable because their charters grant them the
competence to sue and be sued. Nevertheless, they are
generally not liable for torts committed by them in the
discharge of governmental functions and can be held
answerable only if it can be shown that they were acting
in a proprietary capacity. In permitting such entities to

“ 195 SCRA 692; see also Republic v. Villasor, 54 SCRA


83.
67
Supra.
THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY 79

be sued, the State merely gives the claimant the right to


show that the defendant was not acting in its govern-
mental capacity when the injury was committed or that
the case comes under the exceptions recognized by law.
Failing this, the claimant cannot recover.
In one case,68 for example, a claim for recovery of
damages against a provincial government failed when it
was shown that the injury complained of occurred in con-
nection with the repair of streets then being undertaken
by the defendant through its regular agents. This was
clearly a governmental function. By contrast, a municipal-
ity was held liable in another case for forcibly and illegally
ejecting a lessee from certain fishponds belonging to the
former in its proprietary capacity.69 In the case of Torio v.
Fontanilla,70 the Supreme Court held a municipality liable
for a tort committed in connection with the celebration of
a town fiesta, which was considered a proprietary func-
tion.
In University of the Philippines v. Dizon,71 the Su-
preme Court, citing the earlier case of Republic v. Na-
tional Labor Relations Commission,72 explained that the
“funds of the UP are government funds that are public
in character. They include the income accruing from the
use of real property ceded to the UP that may be spent
only for the attainment of its institutional objectives.
Hence, the funds subject of this action could not be
validly made the subject of the RTC’s writ of execution
or garnishment. The adverse judgment rendered against
the UP in a suit to which it had impliedly consented was
68
Palafox v. Province of Ilocos Norte, G.R. No. L-10659, Jan.
31, 1958.
69
Mun. of Moncada v. Cajuigan, 21 Phil. 184.
70
85 SCRA 599.
71
G.R. No. 171182, August 23, 2012, 679 SCRA 54.
72
263 SCRA 290.
80 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

not immediately enforceable by execution against the


UP, because suability of the State did not necessarily
mean its liability.”
In contrast, the Supreme Court ruled in GSIS v.
Group Management Corporation,11 that the “GSIS
should not be allowed to hide behind such immunity
especially since its obligation arose from its own wrong-
ful action in a business transaction. In this case, the
monetary judgments against GSIS arose from its failure
to comply with its private and contractual obligation to
GMC. As such, GSIS cannot claim immunity from the
enforcement of the final and executory judgment against
it.”

7:
' G.R. No. 167000, June 8, 2011, 651 SCRA 279.
Chapter 5

FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE


POLICIES

ARTICLE II of the Constitution is entitled “Declaration


of Principles and State Policies.” This article is intended
to lay down the rules underlying our system of govern-
ment and must therefore be adhered to in the conduct of
public affairs and the resolution of public issues. The
present article is an enlargement and, in some sections,
a modification of the original provisions found also in
Article II of the 1973 Constitution. The purpose is to
emphasize and articulate more unequivocally the objec-
tives and limitations of governmental action in pursuit
of the general goals announced in the Preamble. There
may have been some “overkill” though, as the number of
sections has increased from only ten in the 1973 Consti-
tution to twenty eight in the present charter, many of
which appear to be but meaningless platitudes on sub-
jects considered significant, perhaps, only by those who
insisted on their inclusion.
The foregoing notwithstanding, or despite the per-
ceived or seeming importance of many of the principles
and policies announced in Article II, and as previously
observed, the Supreme Court has made it clear that
most of its provisions are to be considered as “mere leg-
islative guides, which absent enabling legislation, do not
embody enforceable constitutional rights.”1 Thus, to

1
Magallona v. Ermita, G.R No. 1871G7, July 1G, 2011, 6B5
SCRA 476; see also Tanada v. Angara, 272 SCRA 18.

81
82 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

reiterate, Sections 5 (on the maintenance of peace and


order) and 18 (labor as a primary social economic force)
have been declared by the Court as not self-executing
provisions.2 “The social justice provisions of the Consti-
tution are not self-executing principles ready for en-
forcement through the courts. They are merely state-
ments of principles and policies. To give them effect,
legislative enactment is required.”3
Independently of the aforecited pronouncements of
the Supreme Court, Section 4 of Article II expressly
provides that citizens may be required to render per-
sonal military or civil service “under conditions provided
by law.” While there appears to be a clear policy against
political dynasties in Section 26, which guarantees
equal access to opportunities for public service, the defi-
nition of “political dynasties” has been left to Congress,
which, to date, or more than two decades after the pre-
sent Constitution became effective, has been unable, or
unwilling, to implement this clear constitutional policy.
On the other hand, the Court has acknowledged
that the people’s right to a balanced and healthful ecol-
ogy, rather dramatically expressed in Section 16, and
their concomitant right to health, provided for in Section
15, “need not even be written in the Constitution for
they are assumed to exist from the inception of human-
kind.” The Supreme Court explained that if “they are
now explicitly mentioned in the fundamental charter, it
is because of the well-founded fear of its framers that
unless the rights to a balanced and healthful ecology
and to health are mandated as state policies by the Con-

2
Bases Conversion and Development Authority v. COA, G.R.
No. 178160, February 26, 2009, 580 SCRA 295.
J
Bureau of Fisheries v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No.
169815, August 13, 2008, 562 SCRA 134.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 83

stitution itself, thereby highlighting their continuing


importance and imposing upon the state a solemn obli-
gation to preserve the first and protect and advance the
second, the day would not be too far when all else would
be lost not only for the present generation, but also for
those to come — generations which stand to inherit
nothing but parched earth incapable of sustaining life.”4
Section 28 (on the policy of public disclosure'} has
likewise been similarly treated by the Supreme Court,
which has stated that its effectivity “need not await the
passing of a statute. As Congress cannot revoke this
principle, it is merely directed to provide for ‘reasonable
safeguards.’” According to the Court, the government
cannot “point to the absence of an implementing legisla-
tion as an excuse in not effecting such policy.”5

Preamble

The Preamble to the Constitution reads as follows:


“We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of
Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society and
establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspi-
rations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our
patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the bless-
ings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and
a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality and peace, do
ordain and promulgate this Constitution.”

Unlike in the 1935 Constitution, the above Pream-


ble is couched not in the third person but in the first. It

4
Oposa v. Factoran, G.R. No. 101083, 30 July 1993, 224 SCRA
792.
5
The Province of North Cotabato v. The Government of the
Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain, G.R.
No. 183591, October 14, 2008, 568 SCRA 402.
84 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

was felt that the use of the more intimate first person
would deepen the sense of involvement and participa-
tion of the individual citizens in the ordaining and
promulgation of the Constitution, which is supposed to
be their common handiwork. This impression was not
adequately conveyed by the 1935 Constitution, where
“the Filipino people” were viewed by many as a remote,
impersonal and abstract legal entity to which they did
not belong.
The Preamble is not considered a source of substan-
tive right since its purpose is only to introduce, i.e., “to
walk before,” the Constitution. However, its function is
not merely rhetorical as, in the first place, the Preamble
serves to indicate the authors of the Constitution, to wit,
“we, the sovereign Filipino people.” In addition, it also
enumerates the primary aims and expresses the aspira-
tions of the framers in drafting the Constitution and is
also useful as an aid in the construction and interpreta-
tion of the text of the Constitution. This can better be
understood when studied in the light of the purposes
enunciated in the Preamble.
It is significant that the present Preamble now
makes reference to an “Almighty God” as opposed to the
phrase “Divine Providence” found in the 1935 and 1973
Charters. In this connection, it must be stressed that
the existence of a “Divine Being” or, much less, an “Al-
mighty God,” is not necessarily inherent in a religion.6
This important change is believed to be indicative
of the Filipino people’s ever-increasing adherence to, if
not obsession with, the notion of a Creator as an inte-
gral component of their respective religions, to the con-
ceivable dismay of non-believers. Indeed, the Supreme

b
Cruz, Constitutional Law, 2003 edition, page 177.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 85

Court has described our nation as “Christian,”7 perhaps,


in affirmation of the reality that the vast majority of the
Filipino people believe in an “Almighty God.” It has
even “hailed” the Philippines as “the bastion of Christi-
anity in Asia,” which “boasts of 86.8 million Filipinos or
93 percent of a total population of 93.3 million — adher-
ing to the teachings of Jesus Christ.”8
Certain sectors find this change to be inconsistent
with the policy of separation of church and state, which
is characterized as inviolable in Article II, 9 and the es-
tablishment clause,10 found in the Bill of Rights, which
has been interpreted to restrain the government from
composing prayers for public school children,11 or from
requiring them to read verses from the Bible,12 or even
from allowing public school teachers to distribute copies
of Bibles during class hours.13 In addition, there are
those who maintain that the presence of the phrase
“Almighty God” in the Preamble somehow lessens the
significance of the provisions of Article VI, Section 29 (2)
of the Constitution, which prohibits appropriations for
sectarian purposes.14 15
On the other hand, the Constitution grants tax ex-
emptions to religious institutions,16 and allows optional
religious instruction in our public schools16 and even full

7
People v. Bosi, G.R. No. 193665, June 25, 2012, 674 SCRA
411.
" Garcia v. Drilon, G.R. No. 179267, June 25, 2013.
9
Constitution, Article II, Section 6.
10
Ibid., Article III, Section 5.
" Everson v. Board of Education, 330 US 1.
12
District of Abington Township v. Schempp, 374 US 203,
1,f
Tudor v. Board of Education, 14 NJ 31.
14
See Aglipay v. Ruiz, 64 Phil. 201.
15
Constitution, Articles VI, Section 28 (3).
,B
Ibid., Article XIV, Section 3 (3).
86 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

foreign ownership of religious schools.17 * Moreover, Arti-


cle XV, Section 3 [1] of the Constitution provides that the
“State shall defend the right of spouses to found a fam-
ily in accordance with their religious convictions and the
demands of responsible parenthood.” In our country, it
is commonplace to witness prayers preceding or mark-
ing government activities, including cabinet meetings,
legislative sessions and even court proceedings, al-
though there are those who consider these to be offen-
sive to religious freedom, which includes the freedom
not to believe.
It is significant that, in Estrada v. Escritor,i!i the
Supreme Court, in providing for the dismissal of charges
of immorality against the respondent based on her hav-
ing cohabited with a person other than her husband
upon finding that said arrangement was sanctioned
under her religion, invoked, among other principles, the
so-called benevolent neutrality approach, which “gives
room for accommodation of religious exercises as re-
quired by the Free Exercise Clause” and “for accommo-
dation of morality based on religion, provided it does not
offend compelling state interests,” declaring that her
“conjugal arrangement cannot be penalized as she has
made out a case for exemption from the law based on
her fundamental right to freedom of religion.”
Finally, it must be mentioned that this Preamble
now features the word “love” which many believe may
be appropriate for romantic novels, but should have no
place in a Constitution, which is a formal embodiment of
rules for the exercise of sovereignty. At any rate, “love”
has, among other grounds, been invoked by our Su-
preme Court in dispensing justice, Thus —

17
Ibid,., Article XIV, Section 4 (2).
A.M. No. P-02-1651, June 22, 2006, 492
SCRA 1.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 87

“With the finding that there is no substantial evidence of


the imputed immoral acts, it follows that the alleged violation
of the Code of Ethics governing school teachers would have no
basis. Private respondent utterly failed to show that petitioner
took advantage of her, position to court her student. If the two
eventually fell in love, despite the disparity in their ages and
academic levels, this only lends substance to the truism that
the heart has reasons of its own which reason does not know.
But, definitely, yielding to this gentle and universal emotion is
not to be so casually equated with immorality. The deviation of
the circumstances of their marriage from the usual societal
pattern cannot be considered as a defiance of contemporary so-
cial mores.”19 *

The new Preamble is rather wordy and suggests at


the outset what one might expect in the text of the Con-
stitution in terms of style and content. Even now we
must prepare against a very “talkative” Constitution.

Republicanism
Section 1 of Article II provides: “The Philippines is
a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides
in the people and all government authority emanates
from them.”
It is to be noted that the Constitution now describes
the Philippines as not only a republican but also a de-
mocratic State. Democracy is essentially government by
the people.
In this connection, the Supreme Court has re-
marked that “the 1987 Constitution accords to the citi-
zens a greater participation in the affairs of govern-
ment. Indeed, it provides for people’s initiative, the right
to information on matters of public concern (including
the right to know the state of health of their President),

19
Chua-Qua v. Clave, G.R. No. 49549, August 30, 1990, 189
SCRA 117.
88 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

as well as the right to file cases questioning the factual


bases for the suspension of the privilege of writ of ha-
beas corpus or declaration of martial law. These provi-
sions enlarge the people’s right in the political as well as
the judicial field. It grants them the right to interfere in
the affairs of government and challenge any act tending
to prejudice their interest.”20
Accordingly, the people can now directly propose
and enact laws or approve or reject any act or law or
part thereof passed by the Congress or local legislative
body,21 and even directly propose amendments to the
Constitution on initiative.22
The Constitution further encourages non-govern-
mental, community based, or sectoral organizations
that promote the welfare of the nation,23 and provides
that no law shall be passed abridging the right of the
people, including those employed in the public and pri-
vate sectors, to form unions, associations and societies
for purposes not contrary to law.24 The role of independ-
ent people’s organizations shall be respected,25 and the
right of the people and their organizations to effective
and reasonable participation at all levels of social, po-
litical and economic decision-making shall not be
abridged. The State shall, by law, facilitate the estab-
lishment of adequate consultation mechanisms.26 Re-
gional development councils or other similar bodies
composed of local government officials, regional heads of

20
Petitioner Organizations v. Executive Secretary, G.R. Nos.
147036-37, April 10, 2012, 669 SCRA 49.
2
' Constitution, Article VI, Section 32.
22
Ibid,., Article XVII, Section 2.
23
Id., Articlo II, Section 23.
21
Id., Article III, Section 8.
25
Id., Article XIII, Section 15.
2,1
Id., Article XIII, Section 16.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 89

departments and other government offices, and repre-


sentatives from non-governmental organizations within
the regions for purposes of administrative decentraliza-
tion to strengthen the. autonomy of the units therein
and to accelerate the economic and social growth and
development of the units in the region shall be provided
for by the President.27 The organic act for each autono-
mous region shall be enacted with the assistance and
participation of a regional consultative commission
composed of representatives appointed by the President
from a list of nominees from multisectoral bodies.28 The
independent economic and planning agency headed by
the President shall consult with the appropriate public
agencies, various private sectors, and local government
units, for purposes of recommending to Congress, and
implementing continuing integrated and coordinated
programs and policies for national development.29 The
Congress may create a consultative body to advise the
President on policies affecting indigenous cultural com-
munities, the majority of the members of which shall
come from the communities.30 Moreover, sectoral repre-
sentation is provided for in the House of Representa-
tives and in local legislative bodies, under paragraphs
(1) and (2) of Section 5 of Article VI and Section 9 of
Article X, respectively, of the Constitution.
This reproduction of the original principle in the
1935 Constitution establishes the democratic and repre-
sentative nature of our government and proclaims our
hostility to autocratic or totalitarian regimes. Thus, the
people are declared supreme. It is affirmed that every

27
Id., Article X, Section
14.
28
Id., Article X, Section
29
18. Id., Article XII, Section
:i0
9. Id., Article XVI,
Section 12.
90 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

citizen is an individual repository of sovereignty. As


Justice Laurel put it, “an enfranchised citizen is a parti-
cle of popular sovereignty and is the ultimate source of
established authority.”31 The citizenry and not official-
dom is recognized as the origin, and therefore also the
restriction, of all government authority.
A republic is a representative government, a gov-
ernment run by and for the people. It is not a pure de-
mocracy where the people govern themselves directly.
The essence of republicanism is representation and
renovation, the selection by the citizenry of a corps of
public functionaries who derive their mandate from the
people and act on their behalf, serving for a limited pe-
riod only, after which they are replaced or retained at
the option of their principal. Obviously, a republican
government is a responsible government whose officials
hold and discharge their position as a public trust and
shall, according to the Constitution, “at all times be ac-
countable to the people’’22 they are sworn to serve. The
purpose of a republican government, it is almost need-
less to state, is the promotion of the common welfare
according to the will of the people themselves.
This will is usually determined by the rule of the
majority, that is, the greater number of the people. Un-
der the Constitution, for example, the Senate President
and the Speaker are elected by majority vote of all the
members of their respective Houses,33 meaning more
than one-half of the total membership.
On the other hand, in the election of the members
themselves, the winners are those who receive the high-
est number of votes in their respective constituencies, or * 11

1
1

M
11
Ibid., Art. VI, Sec. 16(1).
o
y
a
v
.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 91

a mere plurality, which may not necessarily be a major-


ity of the total votes cast. It is thus possible at times for
the smaller number to prevail over the majority, as in a
three-cornered election where the winner gets 40,000
votes as against 60,000 votes cast more or less equally
for the other two candidates. This may also occur in,
say, the suspension or expulsion of a member of the
Congress, which requires the concurrence of two-thirds
of the members of the House to which he belongs.34 35 36 In
the Sandiganbayan, the dissent of one member will pre-
vent a decision of the other two members of the division
as a unanimous vote is required for such decision. The
lone individual is in fact majority of one when pro-
tected by the bill of rights 35
All this is justified because the law so provides and
ours is “a government of laws and not of men.” The as-
cendancy of the law is axiomatic in a republic and must
be recognized by every public official no matter how
exalted. No person is above the law; all must bow to its
majesty. Every official act must be based upon and con-
form to the authority of a valid law, lacking which the
act must be rejected.
Indeed, nobility of intention is insufficient to vali-
date an unauthorized act, as illustrated in the cele-
brated case of Villavicencio v. Lukban,™ where it was
conceded that the mayor of Manila had been motivated
by his desire to protect the morals and health of the
people when he “deported” one hundred seventy prosti-
tutes from Manila to Davao. The Supreme Court had
nevertheless no choice except to condemn his act, there
being no showing that it had been authorized by any

M
Id., Art. VI, Sec.
16(2).
35
P.D. No. 1606.
36
39 Phil. 778.
92 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

law or even an ordinance. The decision cited the land-


mark case of Yick Wo v. Hopkins,31 where the rationale
of this principle was explained in the following eloquent
language:
“When we consider the nature and the theory of our ins-
titutions of government, the principles upon which they are
supposed to rest, and review the history of their development,
we are constrained to conclude that they do not mean to leave
room for the play and action of purely personal and arbitrary
power. Sovereignty itself is, of course, not subject to law, for it
is the author and source of law; but in our system, while sov-
ereign powers are delegated to the agencies of government,
sovereignty itself remains with the people, by whom and for
whom all government exists and acts. And the law is the defi-
nition and limitation of power. It is, indeed, quite true that
there must always be lodged somewhere, and in some person
or body, the authority of final decision; and, in many cases of
mere administration, the responsibility is purely political, no
appeal lying except to the ultimate tribunal of the public
judgment, exercised either in the pressure of opinion or by
means of the suffrage. But the fundamental rights of life, lib-
erty, and the pursuit of happiness, considered as individual
possessions, are secured by those maxims of constitutional law
which are the monuments showing the victorious progress of
the race in securing to men the blessings of civilization under
the reign of just and equal laws, so that, in the famous lan-
guage of the Massachusetts Bill of Rights, the government of
the commonwealth ‘may be a government of laws and not of
men.’ For the very idea that one man may be compelled to hold
his life, or the means of living, or any material rights essential
to the enjoyment of life, at the mere will of another, seems to
be intolerable in any country where freedom prevails, as being
the essence of slavery itself.”

The Defense of the State

Section 4 provides: “The prime duty of the Govern-


ment is to serve and protect the people. The Government

37
118 U.S. 356.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 93

may call upon the people to defend the State and, in the
fulfillment thereof, all citizens may be required, under
conditions provided by law, to render personal military
or civil service.” i
This provision is based upon the inherent right of
every State to existence and self-preservation. By virtue
of this right, a State may take up all necessary action,
including the use of armed force, to repel any threat to
its security.
To this end, it is provided in Article XVI, Section 4,
of the Constitution that the armed forces of the Philip-
pines shall “be composed of a citizen armed force which
shall undergo military training and serve, as may be
provided by law.” The pertinent law is C.A. No. 1, oth-
erwise known as the National Defense Act.
In People v. Lagman and People v. Zosa,38 the ac-
cused were charged with and convicted of refusal to
register for military training as required by the above-
mentioned statute. On appeal, Zosa argued that he was
fatherless and had a mother and eight brothers to sup-
port, while Lagman alleged that he had a father to sup-
port, had no military leanings, and did not wish to kill
or be killed; and both claimed that the statute was un-
constitutional. The Supreme Court affirmed their con-
viction, holding that the law in question was based on
the aforecited constitutional principle.
“The National Defense Law, in so far as it established
compulsory military service, does not go against this constitu-
tional provision but is, on the contrary, in faithful compliance
therewith. The duty of the Government to defend the State
cannot be performed except through an army. To leave the or-
ganization of an army to the will of the citizens would be to

38 O.G. 1676.
94 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

make this duty of the Government excusable should there be


no sufficient men who volunteer to enlist therein.
“In the United States, the courts have held in a series of
decisions that the compulsory military service adopted by rea-
son of the civil war and the world war does not violate the
Constitution, because the power to establish it is derived from
that granted to Congress to declare war and to organize and
maintain an army. This is so because the right of the Govern-
ment to require compulsory military service is a consequence
of its duty to defend the State and is reciprocal with its duty to
defend the life, liberty, and property of the citizen. In the case
of Jacobson vs. Massachusetts (197 U.S. 11; 25 Sup. Ct. Rep.
385), it was said that, without violating the Constitution, a
person may be compelled by force, if need be, against his will,
against his pecuniary interests, and even against his religious
or political convictions, to take his place in the ranks of the
army of his country and risk the chance of being shot down in
its defense. In the case of United States vs. Olson (253 Fed.,
233), it was also said that this is not deprivation of property
without due process of law, because, in its just sense, there is
no right of property to an office or employment. The circum-
stance that these decisions refer to laws enacted by reason of
the actual existence of war does not make our case any differ-
ent, inasmuch as, in the last analysis, what justifies compul-
sory military service is the defense of the State, whether actual
or whether in preparation to make it more effective, in case of
need.”

It is noteworthy that the duty to defend the State


is imposed upon all citizens, including women, and that
the military or civil service that may be required of
them by law must be personal. This precludes the hiring
by the rich of “mercenaries” or professional soldiers
to take their place in the defense of the State. As for
those who may have sincere conscientious or religious
scruples about the taking of human life, or have no mili-
tary inclinations or aptitudes, accommodation can
probably be made by assigning them to non-combat or
civil duties.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 95

Peace and Order

Section 5 provides rather pompously:


“Sec. 5. The maintenance of peace and order, the pro-
tection of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the
general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the peo-
ple of the blessings of democracy.”

This was probably inspired by the American Decla-


ration of Independence or some high school commence-
ment address. In any case, it speaks for itself —
needlessly, it would seem — as these are implicit in a
welfare state, which is what we are repeatedly told the
Constitution is establishing.

The Incorporation Clause

Section 2 provides: “The Philippines renounces war


as an instrument of national policy, adopts the generally
accepted principles of international law as part of the
law of the land, and adheres to the policy of peace, equal-
ity, justice, freedom, cooperation and amity with all na-
tions.”
Every State is, by reason of its membership in the
family of nations, bound by the generally accepted prin-
ciples of international law, which are considered to be
automatically part of its own laws. This is known as the
doctrine of incorporation. By virtue thereof, and par-
ticularly since it is expressly affirmed in our Constitu-
tion, our Supreme Court has applied the rules of inter-
national law in the decision of a number of cases not-
withstanding that such rules had not been previously
converted to statutory enactments.
96 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

In Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association v.


Health Secretary,39 the Supreme Court clarified that
“under the 1987 Constitution, international law can
become part of the sphere of domestic law either by
transformation or incorporation. The transformation
method requires that an international law be trans-
formed into domestic law through a constitutional
S
3

mechanism such as local legislation. The incorporation


method applies when, by mere constitutional declara-
tion, international law is deemed to have the force of
domestic law. Treaties become part of the law of the
land through transformation pursuant to Article VII,
Section 21 of the Constitution which provides that ‘[n]o
treaty or international agreement shall be valid and
effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all
the members of the Senate/ Thus, treaties or conven-
tional international law must go through a process pre-
scribed by the Constitution for it to be transformed into
municipal law that can be applied to domestic conflicts.”
In the same case, the Court, citing the earlier case
of Mijares v. Ranadaf0 explained that “generally ac-
cepted principles of international law, by virtue of the
incorporation clause of the Constitution, form part of
the laws of the land even if they do not derive from
treaty obligations,” specifying as examples “renuncia-
tion of war as an instrument of national policy, the prin-
ciple of sovereign immunity, a person’s right to life, lib-
erty and due process, and pacta sunt servanda, among
others.”
An example is Kuroda v. Jalandonif1 where the pe-
titioner challenged the jurisdiction of the military com- * 41

19
G.R. No. 173034, October 9, 2007, 535 SCRA
265.
41 G.R. No. 139325, April 12, 2005, 455 SCRA
42 O.G. 4282.
397.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 97

mission trying him, contending that the Philippines was


not covered by the Hague Convention under which he
was being prosecuted, since the Philippines was not a
signatory to this agreement. The Supreme Court re-,
jected this argument, holding that we were bound by
that convention because it embodied generally accepted
principles of international law binding upon all States.
Among the grounds invoked by the Supreme Court
in Agustin v. Edu?2 which was a challenge against the
constitutionality of a Letter of Instruction requiring
early warning devices for all motor vehicles, was our
adherence to general accepted principles of interna-
tional law. Thus —
“The conclusion reached by this Court that this petition
must be dismissed is reinforced by this consideration. The peti-
tion itself quoted these two whereas clauses of the assailed
Letter of Instruction: ‘[Whereas], the hazards posed by such
obstructions to traffic have been recognized by international
bodies concerned with traffic safety, the 1968 Vienna Conven-
tion on Road Signs and Signals and the United Nations Or-
ganization (U.N.); [Whereas], the said Vienna Convention,
which was ratified by the Philippine Government under P.D.
No. 207, recommended the enactment of local legislation for
the installation of road safety signs and devices; * * *’ It cannot
be disputed then that this Declaration of Principle found in the
Constitution possesses relevance: ‘The Philippines * * * adopts
the generally accepted principles of international law as part of
the law of the land * * The 1968 Vienna Convention on Road
Signs and Signals is impressed with such a character. It is not
for this country to repudiate a commitment to which it had
pledged its word. The concept of pacta sunt servanda stands in
the way of such an attitude, which is, moreover, at war with
the principle of international morality.”

Indeed, generally accepted principles of interna-


tional law can be relied upon even for purposes of inter-

Agustin v. Edu, 88 SCRA 195 (1979).


98 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

preting municipal legislation or issuances, as when the


Supreme Court applied and adopted the International
Convention for the Protection of All Persons from En-
forced Disappearance for purposes of defining the con-
cept of enforced disappearances,43 as used in the Amparo
rule.44
Where there appears to be a conflict between inter-
national law and municipal law, efforts should first be
exerted to harmonize them, so as to give effect to both.
For this purpose, it should be presumed that municipal
law was enacted with proper regard for the generally
accepted rules of international law. Thus, in Co Kim
Chan v. Valdez Tan Keh,"1 it was argued that the Mac-
Arthur Proclamation of October 23, 1944, invalidating
“all laws, regulations and processes” of the Occupation
government, applied also to judicial decisions. The Su-
preme Court did not agree and declared as follows:
Taking into consideration the fact that, according to a
well-known principle of international law, all judgments and
judicial proceedings which are not of a political complexion of
the de facto government during the Japanese military occupa-
tion remained so after the occupied territory had come again
into the power of the titular sovereign, it should be presumed
that it was not and could not have been the intention of Gen-
eral MacArthur, in using the phrase ‘processes of any other
government’ in said proclamation, to refer to judicial processes,
in violation of said principle of international law.”

Suppose, however, that the conflict is irreconcilable


and a choice must be made between these two compo-

" Razon, Jr. v. Tagitis, G.R. No. 182498, December 3, 2009, 606
SCRA 598, cited in Navia v. Pardico, G.R. No. 184467, June 19,
2012,673 SCRA 618.
•" A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC (October 24, 2007) or The Rule on the
Writ of Amparo.
4
’’ Supra.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 99

nents of the law of the land, how is the problem re-


solved?
This question was raised in Ichong v. Hernandez,^
where the petitioner asked for the invalidation of the
Retail Trade Nationalization Act on the ground, among
others, that it contravened several treaties concluded by
us which, under the rule of pacta sunt servanda, a gen-
erally accepted principle of international law should be
observed by us in good faith. The Supreme Court said it
saw no conflict. However, even assuming that there was,
it was the statute that should be upheld because it rep-
resented an exercise of the police power which, being
inherent, could not be bargained away or surrendered
through the medium of a treaty.
Municipal law was also upheld as against interna-
tional law in Gonzales v. Hechanova,4" on the basis of
the doctrine of separation of powers, and in In re Gar-
cia,under the rule-making powers of the Supreme
Court.
It will be recalled that among the issues raised by
the petitioners in Magallona v. Ermita™ was the neces-
sity for the passage of RA 9522, which provided for new
baselines for our archipelago, considering the permis-
sive text of UNCLOS III, on which said law was based.
The Supreme Court found this contention of the peti-
tioners as “plausible” but just the same ruled in favor of
the law, stressing that it would actually be more benefi-
cial for the Philippines to have “internationally accepted
baselines” or baselines compliant with the provisions of
UNCLOS III. Thus —

48
101 Phil. 1155.
17
9 SCRA 230 (1963).
48
2 SCRA 984 (1961).
49
G.R. No. 187167, August 16, 2011, 655 SCRA
476.
100 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Nevertheless, the prerogative of choosing this option be-


longs to Congress, not to this Court. Moreover, the luxury of
choosing this option comes at a very steep price. Absent an
UNCLOS III compliant baselines law, an archipelagic State
like the Philippines will find itself devoid of internationally ac-
ceptable baselines from where the breadth of its maritime
zones and continental shelf is measured. This is a recipe for a
two-fronted disaster: first, it sends an open invitation to the
seafaring powers to freely enter and exploit the resources in
the waters and submarine areas around our archipelago; and
second, it weakens the country’s case in any international dis-
pute over Philippine maritime space. These are consequences
Congress wisely avoided. The enactment of UNCLOS III com-
pliant baselines law for the Philippine archipelago and adja-
cent areas, as embodied in RA 9522, allows an internationally-
recognized delimitation of the breadth of the Philippines’ mari-
time zones and continental shelf. RA 9522 is therefore a most
vital step on the part of the Philippines in safeguarding its
maritime zones, consistent with the Constitution and our na-
tional interest.”

In Baycm Muna v. Romulo,60 the Supreme Court


clarified that a stipulation in a treaty or executive
agreement providing for a State with the option to waive
its criminal jurisdiction over foreigners who commit
crimes within its territory is not to be considered as an
abdication of its sovereignty.
“Almost every time state enters into an international
o
C

agreement, it voluntarily sheds off part of its sovereignty, xxx.


On the rationale that the Philippines has adopted the gener-
ally accepted principles of international law as part of the law
of the land, a portion of sovereignty may be waived without
violating the Constitution. Such waiver does not amount to an
unconstitutional diminution or deprivation of jurisdiction of
Philippine courts.”

“ G.R. No. 159618, February 1, 2011, 641 SCRA 17.


FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 101

It is interesting to note that, in the same case, the


Supreme Court, in distinguishing between treaties and
executive agreements, stated that “a treaty has greater
‘dignity’ than an executive agreement, because its con-
stitutional efficacy is beyond doubt, a treaty having
behind it the authority of the President, the Senate, and
the people; a ratified treaty, unlike an executive agree-
ment, takes precedence over any prior statutory enact-
ment.”51
The renunciation of war as an instrument of na-
tional policy is itself a generally accepted principle now
categorically expressed in the United Nations Charter.
The view that the war here eschewed is an offensive and
not a defensive war finds support in the reworded provi-
sion of Article VI, Section 23(1), which empowers the
Congress to declare not war but “the existence of a state
of war” presumably commenced or provoked by the en-
emy State.
The last clause of Section 2 is an addition to the
original provision in the 1935 Constitution and is a
mere stylistic embellishment of our commitment to the
law of nations.
Section 2 must be read with another section in this
Article, which provides as follows:
“Sec. 7. The State shall pursue an independent foreign
policy. In its relations with other states, the paramount con-
sideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial integrity,
national interest, and the right to self-determination.”

and with Section 8, declaring that:

51
Ibid.
102 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

“Sec. 8. The Philippines, consistent with the national


interest, adopts and pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear
weapons in its territory.”

The authors believe that the inclusion of these pro-


visions only serves to underline our fear of foreign
domination and achieves not much more, considering
that the first provision goes without saying, and the
second is so ambiguously worded that it could be inter-
preted any which way.
At any rate, in The Province of North Cotabato v.
The Government of the Republic of the Philippines Peace
Panel on Ancestral Domain,52 the Supreme Court, citing
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights, remarked that the “right to self-
determination” pertains to the right of States to “freely
determine their political status and freely pursue their
economic, social, and cultural development.” It there-
after stressed that “internal self-determination” refers
to “a people’s pursuit of its political, economic, social
and cultural development within the framework of an
existing state,” while “external self-determination” pro-
vides for “the establishment of a sovereign and inde-
pendent State, the free association or integration with
an independent State or the emergence into any other
political status freely determined by a people.”53

Rearing of the Youth

There are two sections in Article II dealing with the


proper rearing of the youth.

52
G.R. No. 183591, October 14, 2008, 568 SCRA
402.
53
Ibid., citing Reference Re Secession of Quebec.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 103

The first is Section 12, which reads: “The State rec-


ognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and
strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social insti-
tution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother, and
the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and
primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the
youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral
character shall receive the aid and support of the Gov-
ernment.”
Kindred ties are especially close in the Philippines,
making the family a fundamental and important factor
in the enhancement of the nation. The theory is that the
better the home, the better the nation; and also that the
strength of the family lies in the correct upbringing of
its children. Proper recognition is therefore given to the
complementary roles of the parents and the government
in the rearing of the youth for the principal purposes
mentioned, to wit, civic efficiency and the development
of moral character.
Accordingly, it has been observed that the “family
is the basic and the most important institution of soci-
ety. It is in the family where children are born and
molded either to become useful citizens of the country or
troublemakers in the community.”54
Significantly, the new provision declares that the
State “shall equally protect the life of the mother and the
life of the unborn from conception,” which seems to sug-
gest a policy against abortion. This, however, must be
equated with the equal protection due the mother. It
should also be observed that in recognizing the sanctity
of the family life, the provision is not closing the door on 64

64
Quiao v. Quiao, G.R. No 176556, July 4, 2012, 675 SCRA
642.
104 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

divorce, which is left for the legislature to allow in its


discretion.55
In Continental Steel Manufacturing Corporation v.
Montano,66 the Supreme Court declared that “an unborn
child can be considered a dependent. The term child can
be understood to include the unborn fetus in the
mother’s womb.”
The State cannot unreasonably interfere with the
exercise by parents of their natural right and duty to
rear their children, but it may regulate the same under
the police power.
This power is exercised most effectively, at least
during the child’s formative years, through the school.
As schools are under its supervision and regulation, the
State is in a position to assist the parent in the proper
upbringing of the child through the enforcement of edu-
cational policies looking to the attainment of the above-
stated objectives.
As announced in Meyer v. Nebraska,61 it is incom-
petent for the government to prohibit the teaching of the
German language to students between certain age levels
since there is nothing inherently harmful in the lan-
guage that will impair the upbringing of the child; and
in fact such a subject could improve his academic back-
ground. In Pierce v. Society of Sisters,66 a law prohibiting
the establishment of private schools and in effect confin -
ing the education of the youth to public institutions of
learning was likewise annulled because it would stan-

r,r
Res. of the Constitutional Commission,
Sept. 18, 1986.
“ G.R. No. 182836, October 13, 2009, 603
SCRA 621.
17
Supra.
“ 262 U.S. 390.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 105

dardize the thinking of the children, who, according to


the court, were not “mere creatures of the State.”
On the other hand, there is nothing that inhibits
the government from prescribing or prohibiting certain
courses in the various school curricula intended to im-
prove the education of the students. The legislature now
requires the teaching of the novels of Rizal for the pur-
pose of inculcating in the pupils the virtues and ideals of
our national hero, and may prohibit certain subjects
that are pernicious per se, such as, say, the techniques
of picking pockets.
In People v. Ritter,59 an alien who had enticed Fili-
pino children with money and then sexually abused
them was expelled from the country, conformably to the
commitment of the State “to defend the right of children
to assistance and special protection from all forms of
neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation, and other conditions
prejudicial to their development.”
Accordingly, our Supreme Court has consistently
deplored the commission of incestuous rape, declaring
that “our moral fiber must have truly deteriorated with
fathers raping their own children. For a Christian na-
tion like ours, such bestial act should never be tolerated.
Some would argue that for the sake of the family the
child must forgive her father-tormentor. But in the eyes
of the law, a crime is a crime and justice dictates that
fathers who rape their children deserve no place in our
society.”60
It will be recalled that in the Cabanas Case,61 the
conflicting claims of a mother and an uncle of a child to
59
194 SCRA 690 (1991).
80
People v. Bosi, G.R. No. 193665, June 25, 2012, 674 SCRA
411.
61
268 U.S. 510.
106 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

be his trustee were resolved in favor of the former on


the strength inter alia of the above constitutional provi-
sion.
The second principle is Section 13, providing that
“the State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-
building, and shall promote and protect their physical,
moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being. It
shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism
and encourage their involvement in public and civic af-
fairs.”
This provision was a reaction to the upsurge of
youth activism that marked the days prior to the adop-
tion of the 1973 Constitution and evidently influenced
the thinking of its framers. After a long period of conde-
scension toward them, their elders finally realized the
responsibility, maturity and competence of the youth in
the discussion and solution of public issues and conse-
quently began to accord greater recognition to them as a
vital force in nation-building.
Accordingly, it is now sought to promote not only
the civic efficiency and moral character of our young
citizens but also their physical, moral, spiritual, intel-
lectual and social well-being so that they will be fully
prepared when they assume their responsibility of lead-
ership in the direction of our country’s destiny.
Toward this end, Article XIV, Section 1, requires
the State “to protect and promote the right of all citizens
to quality education at all levels” and to “take all appro-
priate steps to make such education accessible to all,”
besides providing free public elementary and also sec-
ondary education. The out-of-school youth must be given
citizenship and vocational training, and scholarships
shall be created and maintained for deserving students.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 107

Even optional religious instruction has been expanded


under the new Constitution as an added measure for the
improvement of the morals of the youth.
In Department of Education v. San Diego,62, the is-
sue was the validity of a rule laid down by the petitioner
prohibiting any student from taking the National Medi-
cal Admission Test (NMAT) if he had earlier failed it
three successive times. In sustaining the rule, the Su-
preme Court observed in part:
“The Court feels that it is not enough to simply invoke
the right to quality education as a guaranty of the Constitu-
tion: one must show that he is entitled to it because of his
preparation and promise. The private respondent has failed
the NMAT five times. While his persistence is noteworthy, to
say the least, it is certainly misplaced, like a hopeless love.
“No depreciation is intended or made against the private
respondent. It is stressed that a person who does not qualify in
the NMAT is not an absolute incompetent unfit for any work or
occupation. The only inference is that he is probably better, not
for the medical profession, but for another calling that has not
excited his interest.
“In the former, he may be a bungler or at least lackluster;
in the latter, he is more likely to succeed and may even be out-
standing. It is for the appropriate calling that he is entitled to
quality education for the full harnessing of his potentials and
the sharpening of his latent talents towards what may even be
a brilliant future.
“We cannot have a society of square pegs in round holes,
of dentists who should never have left the farm and engineers
who should have studied banking and teachers who could be
better as merchants.
“It is time indeed that the State took decisive steps to
regulate and enrich our system of education by directing the
student to the course for which he is best suited as determined
by initial tests and evaluations. Otherwise, we may be

62
180 SCRA 533 (1989).
108 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

‘swamped with incompetence,’ in the words of Justice Holmes,


not because we are lacking in intelligence but because we are a
nation of misfits.”

It is significant that, under Section 5(2) of Article


XIV of the Constitution, “every citizen has a right to
select a profession or course of study, subject to fair,
reasonable, and equitable admission and academic re-
quirements.”
In Virtuoso v. Municipal Judge,53 a 17-year old ac-
cused of robbery was required to post bail in the amount
of P16,000.00. Holding that he was a minor entitled to
the benefits of the Child and Youth Welfare Code, which
was an implementation of Article II, Section 12, the
Supreme Court released him on the recognizance of his
parents and counsel.
In Atizado v. People™ the Supreme Court affirmed
the retroactive application of a law, Republic Act No.
9344, in favor of minors or “children in conflict with the
law,” declaring that said law “aims to promote the wel-
fare of minor offenders through programs and services,
such as delinquency prevention, intervention, diversion,
rehabilitation and re-integration, geared towards their
development.” In People v. Jacinto,65 the Court further
ruled that “the promotion of the welfare of a child in
conflict with the law should extend even to one who has
exceeded the age limit of twenty-one (21) years, so long

6:1
82 SCRA 191 (1978).
04
G.R. No. 173822, October 13, 2010, 633 SCRA 105; see also
People v. Sarcia, G.R. No. 169641, September 10, 2009, 599 SCRA
20.
1,5
G.R. No. 182239, March 16, 2011, 645 SCRA 590; see also
People v. Mantalaba, G.R. No. 186227, July 20, 2011, 654 SCRA 188;
People v. Monticalvo, G.R. No. 193507, January 30, 2013, 689 SCRA
715.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 109

as he/she committed the crime when he/she was still a


child,” declaring that the “appellant may be confined in
an agricultural camp or any other training facility in
accordance with Sec. 51 of Republic Act No. 9344.”
Moreover, Republic Act No. 9262 has been enacted
to protect women and children from violence and threats
to their personal safety and security.
It is not amiss to remark in this connection that
most of our more prominent leaders in the past were
young men whose youth belied their competence and
responsibility in the discharge of the significant tasks
that history assigned to them during the more crucial
periods of our national existence. Among them were
Rizal, who died at thirty-five; Bonifacio, who was thirty-
three when the Revolution broke out; Aguinaldo, who
became the first President of the Philippines when he
was only thirty; Sergio Osmena, who was twenty-nine
when he was chosen Speaker of the Philippine Assem-
bly; and Wenceslao Q. Vinzons, whose brilliant if brief
public career began when he was elected to the Consti-
tutional Convention of 1934 at the age of twenty-five.

Women

Article II, Section 14, provides that “the State shall


recognize the role of women in nation-building and shall
ensure the fundamental equality before the law of
women and men.” The reverse order follows the polite
phraseology of “ladies and gentlemen” and “ladies first”
and does not suggest a social upheaval, much less an
overturning of the tradition conferring upon the man
the position of head of the family, administrator of the
conjugal funds and other similar capacities. This provi-
sion will need implementation by the legislature, which,
110 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

in all certainty, will continue to be dominated by male


members.
Accordingly, Republic Act No. 9262 has been en-
acted to protect women and their children from violence
and threats to their personal safety and security.66 This
law has been upheld by the Supreme Court as against a
challenge as to its constitutionality on the ground of its
purported violation of the equal protection clause, as it
applies only to women, and not to men. The Court cited
“the unequal power relationship between women and
men” and “the fact that women are more likely than
men to be victims of violence,” not to mention “the wide-
spread gender bias and prejudice against women” as
basic distinctions between women and men which jus-
tify the “classification under the law.”67 It is significant
though there does not appear to be a specific law which
provides for similar protection to men, who, under Sec-
tion 14, should likewise be entitled to “fundamental
equality before the law.”
Article XIII contains another provision on women,
in case the male chauvinist reader is interested.
Social Justice
One of the most serious problems of the nation is
the acute imbalance between the rich and the poor and
the resultant divisiveness and hostility between them.
This polarization has created an explosive situation
that, unless corrected in time, may lead to violent
d
c

social upheaval.

See Ang v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 182835, April 20, 2010,
618 SCRA 592 and Dabalos v. Regional Trial Court, G.R. No.
193960, January 7, 2013, 688 SCRA 64.
1,7
Garcia v. Drilon, G.R. No. 179267, June 25, 2013.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 111

The plight of the millions of our impoverished


masses is best told in the story of the ditch-digger, who
was asked why he was digging ditches. His reply: “I dig
the ditch to earn the money to buy the food to give me
strength to dig the ditch.”
To him and countless other Filipinos, life is but an
unending cycle of drudgery and toil, a ceaseless struggle
for survival for the elemental right to just exist instead
of truly living. Want is a constant companion. Oppres-
sion is always close by. As for those interests intended
to enhance the joy of living, these are total strangers.
One cannot enjoy the sunset when he must worry about
the oil to light the lamp when the darkness closes in.
To alleviate the plight of these forgotten men, to
give those with less privileges in life more privileges in
law, in the words of President Ramon Magsaysay, our
government has assiduously, if not always successfully,
pursued the policy of social justice enshrined in both the
old and the new Constitutions.
Accordingly, it was held in one case68 that:

“As between a laborer, usually poor and unlettered, and


the employer, who has resources to secure able legal advice,
the law has reason to demand from the latter stricter compli-
ance (with the Workmen’s Compensation Act). Social justice in
this case is not equality but protection.”

The foregoing observations notwithstanding, the


Supreme Court has made it clear that “laws which have
for their object the preservation and maintenance of
social justice are not only meant to favor the poor and
the underprivileged. They apply with equal force to
those who, notwithstanding their more comfortable po-

68
Ondoy v. Ignacio, 97 SCRA 611 (1980).
112 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

sition in life, are equally deserving of protection from


the courts. Social justice is not a license to trample on
the rights of the rich in the guise of defending the poor,
where no act of injustice or abuse is being committed
against them.”69
Accordingly, it has been ruled that “the law, in pro-
tecting the rights of the laborers, authorizes neither
oppression nor self-destruction of the employer.”70 In-
deed, the Supreme Court has declared, rather emphati-
cally, that “while the Constitution is committed to the
policy of social justice and the protection of the working
class, it should not be supposed that every labor dispute
will be automatically decided in favor of labor. Man-
agement also has its rights which are entitled to respect
and enforcement in the interest of simple fair play. Out
of its concern for the less privileged in life, the Court
has inclined, more often than not, toward the worker
and upheld his cause in his conflicts with the employer.
Such favoritism, however, has not blinded the Court to
the rule that justice is in every case for the deserving, to
be dispensed in the light of the established facts and the
applicable law and doctrine.”71

69
Adriano v. Tanco, G.R. No. 168164, July 5, 2010, 623 SCRA
218.
70
Mercury Drug Corporation v. National Labor Relations
Commission, G.R. No. 75662, September 15, 1989, 177 SCRA 580,
587; Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort v. Dual, G.R. No. 180660,
July 20, 2010, 625 SCRA 147; Oxales v. United Laboratories, Inc.,
G.R. No. 152991, July 21, 2008, 559 SCRA 26.
71
Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) v. Vir-
gilio E. Pulgar, G.R. No. 169227, July 5, 2010, 623 SCRA 244, 257,
cited in Javier v. Fly Ace Corporation, G.R. No. 192558, February 15,
2012,666 SCRA 382.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 113

In one case, the petitioner invoked social justice as


a ground for rejecting the respondent’s efforts to relo-
cate her. The Supreme Court said —
“For sure, the NHA’s order of relocating petitioner to her
assigned lot and demolishing her property on account of her re-
fusal to vacate was consistent with the law’s fundamental ob-
jective of promoting social justice in the manner that will inure
to the common good, xxx It is also worth noting that peti-
tioner’s continued refusal to leave the subject property has
hindered the development of the entire area. Indeed, petitioner
cannot invoke the social justice clause at the expense of the
common welfare.”’2

In Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. v. NLRC™


the Supreme Court likewise emphasized that —
“The policy of social justice is not intended to counte-
nance wrongdoing simply because it is committed by the un-
derprivileged. At best it may mitigate the penalty but it cer-
tainly will not condone the offense. Compassion for the poor is
an imperative of every humane society but only when the re-
cipient is not a rascal claiming an undeserved privilege. Social
justice cannot be permitted to be [the] refuge of scoundrels any
more than can equity be an impediment to the punishment of
the guilty. Those who invoke social justice may do so only if
their hands are clean and their motives blameless and not sim-
ply because they happen to be poor. This great policy of our
Constitution is not meant for the protection of those who have
proved they are not worthy of it, like the workers who have
tainted the cause of labor with the blemishes of their own
character.”

72
Maglakas v. National Housing Authority, G.R. No. 138823,
September 17, 2008, 565 SCRA 379.
73
247 Phil. 641 (1988], cited in Duque v. Veloso, G.R. No.
196201, June 19, 2012, 673 SCRA 676.
114 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

The classic definition of social justice is found in


Calalang v. Williams,74 where Justice Laurel declared as
follows:
“Social justice is ‘neither communism, nor despotism, nor
atomism, nor anarchy,’ but the humanization of laws and the
equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that
justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at
least be approximated. Social justice means the promotion of
the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the Government
of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the
component elements of society, through the maintenance of a
proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of
the members of the community, constitutionally, through the
adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitu-
tionally, through the exercise of powers underlying the exis-
tence of all governments on the time-honored principle of solus
populi est supremo lex.”

The new provisions on social justice in Article II are


the following:
“Sec. 9. The State shall promote a just and dynamic so-
cial order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of
the nation and free the people from poverty through policies
that provide adequate social services, promote full employ-
ment, a rising standard of living, and an improved quality of
life for all.”
“Sec. 10. The State shall promote social justice in all
phases of national development.”
“Sec. 11. The State values the dignity of every human
person and guarantees full respect for human rights.”
“Sec. 18. The State affirms labor as a primary social
economic force. It shall protect the rights of workers and pro-
mote their welfare.”
“Sec. 21. The State shall promote comprehensive rural
development and agrarian reform.”

74
70 Phil. 726.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 115

Apparently not satisfied with the above provisions,


the framers have also provided for a new and separate
Article XIII on Social Justice and Human Rights, with
subtopics on Labor, Agrarian and Natural Resources Re-
form, Urban Land Reform and Housing, Health,
Women, People’s Organizations, and Human Rights.
In sustaining the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Law, the Supreme Court concluded its opinion in Asso-
ciation of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v.
Secretary of Agrarian Reform15 in the following words:
“By the decision we reach today, all major legal obstacles
to the comprehensive agrarian reform program are removed, to
clear the way for the true freedom of the farmer. We may now
glimpse the day when he will be released not only from want
but also from the exploitation and disdain of the past and from
his own feelings of inadequacy and helplessness. At last, his
servitude will be ended forever. At last, the farm on which he
toils will be his farm. It will be his portion of Mother Earth
that will give him not only the staff of life but also the joy of
living. And where once it bred for him only deep despair, now
can he see in it the fruition of his hopes for a more fulfilling fu-
ture. Now at last can he banish from his small plot of earth his
insecurities and dark resentments and ‘rebuild in it the music
and the dream.’”

Separation of Church and State

Section 6 reiterates that “the separation of Church


and State shall be inviolable.” This is a reproduction of
Article XV, Section 15, of the 1973 Constitution.
The separation of Church and State was originally,
and quite adequately, expressed in the bill of rights pro-
viding that “no law shall be made respecting an estab-
lishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise

75
175 SCRA 343 (1989).
116 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

thereof.’ It is now rendered more emphatic by the said


Section 6, which says that the separation shall be “in-
violable.”
The rationale of the rule is summed up in the fa-
miliar saying, “strong fences make good neighbors.” The
idea is to delineate the boundaries between the two
institutions and thus avoid encroachments by one
against the other because of a misunderstanding of the
limits of their respective exclusive jurisdictions. The
demarcation line calls on the entities to “render there-
fore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto
God the things that are God’s.”
The doctrine cuts both ways. It is not only the State
that is prohibited from interfering in purely ecclesiasti-
cal affairs; the Church is likewise barred from meddling
in purely secular matters. And the reason is plain. A
union of Church and State, as aptly remarked, “tends to
destroy government and to degrade religion.” It is also
likely to result in a conspiracy, well nigh irresistible
because of its composite strength, against the individ-
ual’s right to worship.
Accordingly, it has been ruled that “the amend-
ments of the constitution, restatement of articles of re-
ligion and abandonment of faith or abjuration, having to
do with faith, practice, doctrine, form of worship, eccle-
siastical law, custom and rule of a church and having
reference to the power of excluding from the church
those allegedly unworthy of membership, are unques-
tionably ecclesiastical matters which are outside the
province of the civil courts.” Indeed, it has been held
that the courts “must respect and cannot review” mat-
ters that “may have religious color and are therefor
fl)
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 117

ecclesiastical affairs,” including a church’s disconnection


of its ties with another entity.76
The wall of separation between Church and State is
not a wall of hostility. The State in fact recognizes the
beneficent influence of religion in the enrichment of the
nation’s life. “In so far as it instills into the mind the
purest principles of morality,” so said Justice Laurel,
“the influence of religion is deeply felt and highly appre-
ciated” by the State. Thus —
“When the Filipino people, in the preamble of their Con-
stitution, implored the aid of Divine Providence, in order to es-
tablish a government that shall embody their ideals, conserve
and develop the patrimony of the nation, promote the general
welfare, and secure to themselves and their posterity the bless-
ings of independence under a regime of justice, liberty and de-
mocracy,’ they thereby manifested their intense religious na-
ture and placed unfaltering reliance upon Him who guides the
destinies of men and nations. The elevating influence of relig-
ion in human society is recognized here as elsewhere. In fact,
certain general concessions are indiscriminately accorded to re-
ligious sects and denominations. Our Constitution and laws
exempt from taxation properties devoted exclusively to reli-
gious purposes. Sectarian aid is not prohibited when a priest,
preacher, minister or other religious teacher or dignitary as
such is assigned to the armed forces or to any penal institution,
orphanage or leprosarium. Optional religious instruction in the
public schools is by constitutional mandate allowed. Thursday
and Friday of Holy Week, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day,
and Sundays are made legal holidays because of the secular
idea that their observance is conducive to beneficial moral re-
sults. The law allows divorce but punishes polygamy and big-
amy; and certain crimes against religious worship are consid-
ered crimes against the fundamental laws of the state.”77

7B
United Church of Christ In the Philippines, Inc. v. Bradford
United Church of Christ, Inc., G.R. No. 171905, June 20, 2012, 674
SCRA 92, citing Fonacier v. Court of Appeals, 96 Phil. 417 (1955);
Taruc v. Bishop De la Cruz, 493 Phil. 293 (2005).
77
Aglipay v. Ruiz, 64 Phil. 201.
118 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Supremacy of Civilian Authority

Section 3 provides: “Civilian authority is, at all


times, supreme over the military. The Armed Forces of
the Philippines is the protector of the people and the
State. Its goal is to secure the sovereignty of the State
and the integrity of the national territory.”
Although this is implicit in a republican system of
government, it was felt advisable to expressly affirm
this principle in order to allay all fears of a military
take-over of our civilian government. The military es-
tablishment is the physically strongest single institution
in our country and has the capacity and might to wrest
power from the constituted authorities. To avoid this, it
is also fittingly declared in Article VII, Section 18, of our
Constitution that the President, who is a civilian offi-
cial, shall be the commander-in-chief of all the armed
forces of the Philippines.
Thus, “while the President is still a civilian, Article
II, Section 3 of the Constitution mandates that civilian
authority is, at all times, supreme over the military,
making the civilian president the nation’s supreme mili-
tary leader. The net effect of Article II, Section 3, when
read with Article VII, Section 18, is that a civilian
President is the ceremonial, legal and administrative
head of the armed forces. The Constitution does not
require that the President must be possessed of military
training and talents, but as Commander-in-Chief, he
has the power to direct military operations and to de-
termine military strategy. Normally, he would be ex-
pected to delegate the actual command of the armed
forces to military experts; but the ultimate power is his.
As Commander-in-Chief, he is authorized to direct the
movements of the naval and military forces placed by
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES H9

law at his command, and to employ them in the manner


he may deem most effectual.”78
This military power of the President has been in-
terpreted to include the power to prevent, as Com-
mander-in-Chief, military personnel from testifying in
legislative inquiries,79 and to confirm, mitigate and re-
mit sentences of erring military personnel.80

Local Autonomy

The policy of local autonomy, which was not specifi-


cally mentioned in the 1935 Constitution but was digni-
fied into a constitutional principle by the 1973 charter is
affirmed in Section 25, which provides: “The State shall
ensure the autonomy of local governments.”
This principle is fleshed out in Article X, entitled
“Local Government” and the Local Government Code.
The strengthening of local governments is based
upon the Jeffersonian view that “municipal corporations
are the small republics from which the great one derives
its strength.” The belief is shared in this country that
vitalization of the local government unit will enable its
inhabitants to develop their resources and thereby con-
tribute to the progress of the whole nation. More impor-
tantly, they will acquire a deepened sense of involve-
ment that will encourage them to participate more ac-
tively in the direction of public affairs as members of the
body politic.

78
Kulayan vs. Tan, G.R. No. 187298, July 3, 2012, 675 SCRA
482.
79
Gudani v. Senga, G.R. No. 170165, August 15, 2006, 498
SCRA 671.
80
Garcia v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 198554, July 30,
2012, 677 SCRA 750.
120 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

It should be emphasized though that the autonomy


granted to local governments is not to be understood as
independence.81

Economy

The various policies on the economy, which is also


the subject of Article XII, are the following:
“Sec. 19. The State shall develop a self-reliant and in-
dependent national economy effectively controlled by Filipi-
nos.”
“Sec. 20. The State recognizes the indispensable role of
the private sector encourages private enterprise, and provides
incentives to needed investments.”
“Sec. 21. The State shall promote comprehensive rural
development and agrarian reform.”

The above provisions only serve to demonstrate the


strange desire of the framers to clutter the Constitution,
which should be limited only to general statements
couched in concise and clear language, with detailed
rules better embodied in implementing statutes instead
of being petrified into constitutional policies.
At any rate, included as state policies in Article II
are Section 19, which provides that the State shall de-
velop a self-reliant and independent national economy
effectively controlled by Filipinos, and Section 20, where
the State recognizes the indispensable role of the pri-
vate sector, encourages private investments, and pro-
vides incentives for needed investments. These provi-
sions are to be read in consonance with specific provi-
i

Datu Michael Abas Kida v. Senate of the Philippines, G.R. No.


196271, October 18, 2011, 659 SCRA 270; see also Veloso v. Commis-
sion on Audit, G.R. No. 193677, September 6, 2011, 656 SCRA 767.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 121

sions of Article XII of the Constitution, namely, Section


10, which basically gives to Congress the discretion to
reserve to Filipinos certain areas of investments; Sec-
tion 11, which reserves^franchises for public utilities to
citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associa-
tions organized under the laws of the Philippines, at
least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such
citizens; Section 12, which calls upon the State to pro-
mote the preferential use of Filipino labor, domestic
materials and locally produced goods, and adopt meas-
ures that help them make competitive; and Section 13,
under which the State shall pursue a trade policy that
serves the general welfare and utilizes all forms and
arrangements of exchange on the basis of equality and
reciprocity. All of these provisions are founded on the
need to “conserve and develop our patrimony,” as speci-
fied in the Preamble.
In Espina v. Zamora,82 the petitioners challenged
the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 8762, otherwise
known as the Retail Trade Liberalization Act of 2000,
which allowed foreigners to engage in retail trade in our
country. The petitioners contended that its basic provi-
sions violated the aforecited constitutional policies. The
Supreme Court rejected the challenge, declaring, as
follows —
“But, as the Court explained in Tanada v. Angara, the
provisions of Article II of the 1987 Constitution, the declara-
tions of principles and state policies, are not self-executing.
Legislative failure to pursue such policies cannot give rise to a
cause of action in the courts.
“The Court further explained in Tanada that Article XII
of the 1987 Constitution lays down the ideals of economic na-
tionalism: (1) by expressing preference in favor of qualified

82
G.R. No. 143855, September 21, 2010, 631 SCRA
17.
122 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Filipinos in the grant of rights, privileges and concessions cov-


ering the national economy and patrimony and in the use of
Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally-produced goods;
(2) by mandating the State to adopt measures that help make
them competitive; and (3) by requiring the State to develop a
self-reliant and independent national economy effectively con-
trolled by Filipinos.
“In other words, while Section 19, Article II of the 1987
Constitution requires the development of a self-reliant and in-
dependent national economy effectively controlled by Filipino
entrepreneurs, it does not impose a policy of Filipino monopoly
of the economic environment. The objective is simply to pro-
hibit foreign powers or interests from maneuvering our eco-
nomic policies and ensure that Filipinos are given preference
in all areas of development.
“Indeed, the 1987 Constitution takes into account the re-
alities of the outside world as it requires the pursuit of a trade
policy that serves the general welfare and utilizes all forms
and arrangements of exchange on the basis of equality and re-
ciprocity; and speaks of industries which are competitive in
both domestic and foreign markets as well as of the protection
of Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and
trade practices. Thus, while the Constitution mandates a bias
in favor of Filipino goods, services, labor and enterprises, it
also recognizes the need for business exchange with the rest of
the world on the bases of equality and reciprocity and limits
protection of Filipino enterprises only against foreign competi-
tion and trade practices that are unfair.”

The Court added —


“More importantly, Section 10, Article XII of the 1987
Constitution gives Congress the discretion to reserve to Filipi-
nos certain areas of investments upon the recommendation of
the NEDA and when the national interest requires. Thus,
Congress can determine what policy to pass and when to pass
it depending on the economic exigencies. It can enact laws al-
lowing the entry of foreigners into certain industries not re-
served by the Constitution to Filipino citizens. In this case,
Congress has decided to open certain areas of the retail trade
business to foreign investments instead of reserving them ex-
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 123

clusively to Filipino citizens. The NED A has not opposed such


policy.
“Here, to the extent that R.A. 8762, the Retail Trade Lib-
eralization Act, lessens the restraint on the foreigners’ right to
property or to engage in an ordinarily lawful business, it can-
not be said that the law amounts to a denial of the Filipinos’
right to property and to due process of law. Filipinos continue
to have the right to engage in the kinds of retail business to
which the law in question has permitted the entry of foreign
investors.
“Certainly, it is not within the province of the Court to
inquire into the wisdom of R.A. 8762 save when it blatantly
violates the Constitution. But as the Court has said, there is no
showing that the law has contravened any constitutional man-
date. The Court is not convinced that the implementation of
R.A. 8762 would eventually lead to alien control of the retail
trade business. Petitioners have not mustered any concrete
and strong argument to support its thesis. The law itself has
provided strict safeguards on foreign participation in that
business. Thus —
“First, aliens can only engage in retail trade business
subject to the categories above-enumerated; Second, only na-
tionals from, or juridical entities formed or incorporated in
countries which allow the entry of Filipino retailers shall be al-
lowed to engage in retail trade business; and Third, qualified
foreign retailers shall not be allowed to engage in certain re-
tailing activities outside their accredited stores through the
use of mobile or rolling stores or carts, the use of sales repre-
sentatives, door-to-door selling, restaurants and sari-sari
stores and such other similar retailing activities.
“In sum, petitioners have not shown how the retail trade
liberalization has prejudiced and can prejudice the local small
and medium enterprises since its implementation about a dec-
ade ago.”

In seeming contrast, the Supreme Court, in Gam-


boa v. Finance Secretary,33 in interpreting Section 11 of
Article Xll, which reserves franchises for public utilities

” G.R. No. 176579, June 28, 2011, 652 SCRA 690.


124 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or asso-


ciations organized under the laws of the Philippines, at
least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such
citizens, clarified that the term “capital,” as used in said
provision, refers to shares of stock “entitled to vote.”
Thus —

“The term ‘capital’ in Section 11, Article XII of the Con-


stitution refers only to shares of stock entitled to vote in the
election of directors, and thus in the present case only to com-
mon shares, and not to the total outstanding capital stock
comprising both common and non-voting preferred shares.
Considering that common shares have voting rights which
translate to control, as opposed to preferred shares which usu-
ally have no voting rights, the term ‘capital’ in Section 11, Ar-
ticle XII of the Constitution refers only to common shares.
However, if the preferred shares aiso have the right to vote in
the election of directors, then the term ‘capital’ shall include
such preferred shares because the right to participate in the
control or management of the corporation is exercised through
the right to vote in the election of directors. In short, the term
‘capital’ in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refers
only to shares of stock that can vote in the election of directors.
Mere legal title is insufficient to meet the 60 percent Filipino-
owned ‘capital’ required in the Constitution. Full beneficial
ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock, cou-
pled with 60 percent of the voting rights, is required. The legal
and beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capi-
tal stock must rest in the hands of Filipino nationals in accor-
dance with the constitutional mandate. Otherwise, the corpo-
ration is ‘considered as non-Philippine nationalfs].’ To construe
broadly the term ‘capital’ as the total outstanding capital stock,
including both common and non-voting preferred shares,
grossly contravenes the intent and letter of the Constitution
that the ‘State shall develop a self-reliant and independent na-
tional economy effectively controlled by Filipinos.’ A broad defi-
nition unjustifiably disregards who owns the all-important vot-
ing stock, which necessarily equates to control of the public
utility."
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 125

This patriotic stance of the Supreme Court was fur-


ther emphasized when it later declared —
“Since the constitutional requirement of at least 60 per-
cent Filipino ownership applies not only to voting control of the
corporation but also to the beneficial ownership of the corpora-
tion, it is therefore imperative that such requirement apply
uniformly and across the board to all classes of shares, regard-
less of nomenclature and category, comprising the capital of a
corporation. Under the Corporation Code, capital stock consists
of all classes of shares issued to stockholders, that is, common
shares as well as preferred shares, which may have different
rights, privileges or restrictions as stated in the articles of in-
corporation.
“The Constitution expressly declares as State policy the
development of an economy ‘effectively controlled’ by Filipinos.
Consistent with such State policy, the Constitution explicitly
reserves the ownership and operation of public utilities to Phil-
ippine nationals, who are defined in the Foreign Investments
Act of 1991 as Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations
at least 60 percent of whose capital with voting rights belongs
to Filipinos. The FIA’s implementing rules explain that ‘[f]or
stocks to be deemed owned and held by Philippine citizens or
Philippine nationals, mere legal title is not enough to meet the
required Filipino equity. Full beneficial ownership of the
stocks, coupled with appropriate voting rights is essential.’ In
effect, the FIA clarifies, reiterates and confirms the interpreta-
tion that the term ‘capital’ in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987
Constitution refers to shares with voting rights, as well as with
full beneficial ownership. This is precisely because the right to
vote in the election of directors, coupled with full beneficial
ownership of stocks, translates to effective control of a corpora-
tion.
“Any other construction of the term ‘capital’ in Section
11, Article XII of the Constitution contravenes the letter and
intent of the Constitution. Any other meaning of the term
‘capital’ openly invites alien domination of economic activities
reserved exclusively to Philippine nationals. Therefore, re-
spondents’ interpretation will ultimately result in handing
over effective control of our national economy to foreigners in
126 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

patent violation of the Constitution, making Filipinos second-


class citizens in their own country.
“Filipinos have only to remind themselves of how this
country was exploited under the Parity Amendment, which
gave Americans the same rights as Filipinos in the exploitation
of natural resources, and in the ownership and control of public
utilities, in the Philippines. To do this, the 1935 Constitution,
which contained the same 60 percent Filipino ownership and
control requirement as the present 1987 Constitution, had to
be amended to give Americans parity rights with Filipinos.
There was bitter opposition to the Parity Amendment and
many Filipinos eagerly awaited its expiration. In late 1968,
PLDT was one of the American-controlled public utilities that
became Filipino-controlled when the controlling American
stockholders divested in anticipation of the expiration of the
Parity Amendment on 3 July 1974. No economic suicide hap-
pened when control of public utilities and mining corporations
passed to Filipinos’ hands upon expiration of the Parity
Amendment.
“The 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions have the same
60 percent Filipino ownership and control requirement for pub-
lic utilities like PLDT. Any deviation from this requirement
necessitates an amendment to the Constitution as exemplified
by the Parity Amendment. This Court has no power to amend
the Constitution for its power and duty is only to faithfully ap-
ply and interpret the Constitution.”84

Miscellaneous

In addition to the above-discussed provisions, Arti-


cle II contains the following rules on miscellaneous sub-
jects, presumably incorporated in the fundamental law
only to accommodate their particular authors and grat-
ify their desire for expression and perpetuation of their
ideas, even if anonymously, at the expense of the quality
and nature of the Constitution:

84
Heirs of Wilson Gamboa v. Finance Secretary, G.R. No.
176579, October 9, 2012, 682 SCRA 397.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 127

“Sec. 15. The State shall protect and promote the right
to health of the people and instill health consciousness among
them.”
“Sec. 16. The State shall protect and advance the right
of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with
the rhythm and harmony of nature.”
“Sec. 17. The State shall give priority to education, sci-
ence and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patri-
otism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote
total human liberation and development.”
“Sec. 22. The State recognizes and promotes the rights
of indigenous cultural communities within the framework of
national unity and development.”
“Sec. 23. The State shall encourage non-governmental,
community-based, or sectoral organizations that promote the
welfare of the nation.”
“Sec. 24. The State recognizes the vital role of commu-
nication and information in nation-building.”
“Sec. 26. The State shall guarantee equal access to op-
portunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties
as may be defined by law.”
“Sec. 27. The State shall maintain honesty and integ-
rity in the public service and take positive and effective meas-
ures against graft and corruption.”
“Sec. 28. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by
law, the State adopts and implements a policy of full public
disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.”

Sections 15 (on the people’s right to health) and 16


(on their right to a balanced and healthful ecology) have,
as earlier noted, been acknowledged by the Supreme
Court as special provisions which “need not even be
written in the Constitution for they are assumed to exist
from the inception of humankind.”85

sr>
Oposa v. Factoran, G.R. No. 101083, July 30, 1993, 224
SCRA 792; see also MMDA v. Concerned Residents of Manila Bay,
G.R. Nos. 171947-48, February 15, 2011, 643 SCRA 90.
128 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Section 28 has likewise been affirmed by the Su-


preme Court as a self-executing provision, noting that
“the policy of full public disclosure xxx complements the
right of access to information on matters of public con-
cern found in the Bill of Rights. The right to information
guarantees the right of the people to demand informa-
tion, while Section 28 recognizes the duty of officialdom
to give information even if nobody demands.” Indeed,
the policy of public disclosure under Section 28 is “in-
tended as a ‘splendid symmetry’ to the right to informa-
tion under the Bill of Rights.” In this connection, it is
significant that Section 21 of Article XII provides,
among others, that “information on foreign loans ob-
tained or guaranteed by the Government shall be made
available to the public.”™
Section 22, on the promotion of rights of indigenous
cultural communities within the framework of national
unity and development, was among the subjects of The
Province of North Cotabato v. The Government of the
Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral
Domain.86 87 In said case, the Supreme Court, in annulling
the Agreement which would have established and
vested in the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity the status of
an “associated state” (or “at any rate, a status closely
approximating it”) by reason of, among others, the pro-
visions thereof conferring upon it the authority or “ca-
pacity to enter into economic and trade relations with
foreign countries,” stressed that an “associative ar-
rangement does not uphold national unity. While there
may be a semblance of unity because of the associative
86
The Province of North Cotabato v. The Government of the
Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain, G.R.
No. 183591, October 14, 2008, 568 SCRA 402; see also Bantav Re-
public Act v. COMELEC G.R. No. 177314 May 4, 2007, 523 SCRA 1.
87
Ibid.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES 129

ties between the BJE and the national government, the


act of placing a portion of Philippine territory in a status
which, in international practice, has generally been a
preparation for independence, is certainly not conducive
to national unity.” The Court clarified that “indigenous
peoples situated within states do not have a general
right to independence or secession from those states
under international law, but they do have rights
amounting to what was discussed above as the right to
internal self-determination.”
It is to be noted that Section 12 of Article XVI of the
Constitution provides that Congress may create a consul-
tative body to advise the President on policies affecting
indigenous cultural communities, the majority of the
members of which shall come from such communities.
As previously noted, Section 23 appears to be an af-
firmation of the ever-growing importance of non-
governmental organizations in our democracy.
In ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation v. Phil.
Multi-Media Inc.,™ the Supreme Court remarked that
the “must-carry rule” imposed by the National Tele-
communications Commission and the legislative fran-
chises granted in favor of the parties in said case “are in
consonance with state policies enshrined in the Consti-
tution,” including Sections 17 (on the promotion of sci-
ence and technology) and 24 (on the vital role of commu-
nication in nation-building). It would therefore appear
that our Supreme Court has somehow found some use
for these provisions.
Section 17 speaks of promoting “total human lib-
eration and development,” whatever this may mean.

™ G.R. Nos. 175769-70, January 19, 2009, 576 SCRA 262.


130 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Finally, Sections 26 (on equal access to public ser-


vice and political dynasties) and 27 (on honesty and in-
tegrity in the public service and on measures against
graft and corruption) are to be read in relation to Article
XI, on Accountability of Public Officers, which provides,
as an opening declaration, that “public office is a public
trust” and that “public officers and employees must at a.ll
times be accountable to the people, serve them with ut-
most responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act
with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.”
Chapter 6

SEPARATION OF POWERS

THE DOCTRINE OF SEPARATION of powers was


modified under the 1973 Constitution with the estab-
lishment of a semi-parliamentary government that
made the legislature subordinate in many respects to
the President, who was even vested with the ultimate
power of dissolving it. Under the new Constitution, the
traditional concept of the doctrine has been restored,
but with several significant modifications.
The three major departments of the government
have been maintained, and so have the three constitu-
tional commissions established earlier under the past
charters. Other independent bodies have been created.
By and large, the separation of the principal powers has
been preserved. The judiciary, regarded as the weakest
of the three branches, has been considerably strength-
ened with the conferment on it of additional and impor-
tant powers. In the case of the political departments,
one will observe a lessening of the powers of the execu-
tive and a corresponding increase in the authority of the
legislature, inspired presumably by our experiences
under the Marcos authoritarianism.
Worthy of special interest is the revival of the Com-
mission on Appointments as a check upon the appoint-
ing power in general and the creation of the Judicial
and Bar Council to ensure better selection of the mem-
bers of the judiciary. The Electoral Tribunals have also
been restored (but with a modified membership) to act

131
132 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

once again as “sole judge” of all contests relating to the


election, returns and qualifications of the members of
their respective Houses. This function was taken from
them (even as they were abolished) and transferred to
the Commission on Elections by the 1973 Constitution.
“The cardinal postulate explains that the three
branches must discharge their respective functions
within the limits of authority conferred by the Constitu-
tion. Under the principle of separation of powers, nei-
ther Congress, the President, nor the Judiciary may
encroach on fields allocated to the other branches of
government.”1
It is significant that the Supreme Court has charac-
terized the resolution of by the Electoral Tribunals of
electoral contests as “essentially an exercise of judicial
power,” although “subject to judicial review — via a
petition for certiorari filed by the proper party — if
there is a showing that the decision was rendered with
grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack or excess of
jurisdiction.”2
The doctrine is observed in our country not only be-
cause it is regarded as a characteristic of republicanism
but also for the reason that the major powers of govern-
ment are actually distributed by the Constitution among
the several departments and the Constitutional Com-
missions. Additionally, Article VI, Section 13, provides
that no member of the Congress may hold any other
office or employment in the government during his term
without forfeiting his seat.

1
Philippine Coconut Producers federation, Inc. v. Republic,
G.R. Nos. 177857-58, September 17, 2009, 600 SCRA 102.
2
Macalintal v. Presidential Electoral Tribunal, G.R. No. 191618,
November 23, 2010, 635 SCRA 783, and June 7, 2011, 651 SCRA 239.
SEPARATION OF POWERS 133

Purposes

The doctrine of separation of powers is intended to


prevent a concentration of authority in one person or
group of persons that might lead to an irreversible error
or abuse in its exercise to the detriment of our republi-
can institutions. More specifically, according to Justice
Laurel, the doctrine is intended to secure action, to fore-
stall over-action, to prevent despotism and to obtain
efficiency.3
The principle of separation of powers ordains that
each of the three great branches of government has ex-
clusive cognizance of and is supreme in matters falling
within its own constitutionally allocated sphere.4
To achieve these purposes, the legislature is gener-
ally limited to the enactment of laws and may not en-
force or apply them; the executive to the enforcement of
laws and may not enact or apply them; and the judiciary
to the application of laws and may not enact or enforce
them.5
Indeed, it has been ruled that “courts cannot limit
the application or coverage of a law, nor can it impose
conditions not provided therein.” “To do so,” according to
the Supreme Court, “constitutes judicial legislation.”6

J
Pangasinan Transportation Co. v. PSC, 40 O.G., 8th Supp. 67.
4
Angara v. Electoral Commission, 63 Phil. 139, 156 (1936),
cited in Bureau of Customs Employees Association v. Teves, G.R. No.
181704, December 6, 2011, 661 SCRA 589.
5
See Bengzon v. Drilon, G.R. No. 103524, April 15, 1992, 208
SCRA 133.
6
Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation v. Commissioner of
Internal Revenue, G.R. No. 173425, September 4, 2012, 679 SCRA
566.
134 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

However, the need for the above-mentioned objec-


tives does not call for the “doctrinaire application” of
this theory or its observance “with pedantic rigor,” in
the words of Justice Frankfurter.7 While it is desirable
that there be a certain degree of independence among
the several constitutional agencies, it is not in the public
interest for them to deal with each other at arms’ length
or with a hostile jealousy of their respective rights as
this might result in frustration of the common objectives
of the government. To cite Justice Laurel again, the
keynote of conduct of the various agencies of the gov-
ernment under the doctrine of separation of powers, as
properly understood, is not independence but interde-
pendence. 8 The letter of the Constitution wisely declared
a separation,” so observed President Franklin D. Roose-
velt, “but the impulse of common purpose declares a
union.”

Blending of Powers

There are instances under the Constitution when


powers are not confined exclusively within one depart-
ment but are in fact assigned to or shared by several
departments. As a result of this “blending of powers,” as
it is called, there is some difficulty in classifying some of
them as definitely legislative, executive or judicial. Jus-
tice Holmes put it vividly when he remarked that “the
great ordinances of the Constitution do not establish
and divide fields of black and white. Even the more spe-
cific of them are found to terminate in a penumbra
shading gradually from one extreme to another.”9 The

7
Connally v. Scudder, 160 N.E. 655.
“ Pangasinan Transportation Co. vs. PSC,
9
Springer v. P.I., 277 U.S. 189.
supra.
SEPARATION OF POWERS 135

powers of government may not at all times be contained


with mathematical precision in water-tight compart-
ments because of their ambiguous nature, e.g., the
power of appointment, which can rightfully be exercised
by each department over its own administrative person-
nel. But more importantly, it is often necessary for cer-
tain powers to be reposed in more than one department,
so that they may better collaborate with and, in the
process, check each other for the public good.
An illustration of such coordination is the enact-
ment of the general appropriations law, which begins
with the preparation by the President of the budget,
which becomes the basis of the bill adopted by the Con-
gress and subsequently submitted by it to the President,
who may then approve it.10 Another is the grant of am-
nesty by the President which requires the concurrence
of a majority of all the members of the Congress.11 To
take a third example, the Commission on Elections does
not alone deputize law-enforcement agencies and in-
strumentalities of the government for the purpose of
ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible
elections but does so with the consent of the President.12

Checks and Balances

VThat makes the doctrine of separation of powers


especially workable is the corollary system of checks
and balances, by means of which one department is
allowed to resist encroachments upon its prerogatives
or to rectify mistakes or excesses committed by the
other departments. The exercise of this authority is not

10
Constitution, Art. VI, Secs. 25, 27.
" Ibid., Art. VI, Sec. 19.
12
Id., Art. IX-C, Sec. 2(4).
136 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

itself an arrogation inasmuch as it is the Constitution


itself that provides for this system of counteraction. The
theory is that the ends of the government are better
achieved through the exercise by its agencies of only the
powers assigned to them, subject to reversal in proper
cases by those constitutionally authorized.
There are abundant illustrations of this system in
the Constitution. Thus, the lawmaking power of the
Congress is checked by the President through his veto
power, which in turn may be overridden by the legisla-
ture.13 The Congress may refuse to give its concurrence
to an amnesty proclaimed by the President14 and the
Senate to a treaty he has concluded.15 The President
may nullify a conviction in a criminal case by pardoning
the offender.16 The Congress may limit the jurisdiction
of the Supreme Court and that of inferior courts17 and
even abolish the latter tribunals.18 As for the judiciary in
general, it has the power to declare invalid an act done
by the Congress, the President and his subordinates, or
the Constitutional Commissions.19

The Role of the Judiciary

While it is the judiciary which sees to it that the


constitutional distribution of powers among the several
departments of the government is respected and ob-
served, this does not mean that it is superior to the

13
Id., Art. VI, Sec. 27.
" Id., Art. VII, Sec. 19.
Id., Art. VII, Sec. 21.
16
Id., Art. VIII, Sec. 19.
17
Id., Art. VIII, Sec. 1.
Id., Art. VIII, Secs. 1, 2; Ocampo v. Sec. of Justice, L-7918,
prom. Jan. 18, 1955, 51 O.G. 147; De la Liana v. Alba, infra.
'"Id., Art, VIII, Sec. 4.
SEPARATION OF POWERS 137

other departments. The correct view is that when the


Supreme Court mediates to allocate constitutional
boundaries or invalidates the acts of a coordinate body,
what it is upholding is mot its own supremacy but the
supremacy of the Constitution.20
In the determination of whether a given power has
been validly exercised by a particular department, the
test applied is not necessarily or always the nature of
the power. The first criterion—and the safest—is
whether or not the power in question, regardless of its
nature, has been constitutionally conferred upon the
department claiming its exercise. The grant being as-
certained, the exercise of the power is sustained.
The conferment of power is usually done expressly,
as in the vesture of the legislative power in the Con-
gress,21 the executive power in the President22 and the
judicial power in the Supreme Court and such lower
courts as may be established by law.23 As may be readily
noticed, there is no problem as to the validity of the
discharge of these powers because they naturally per-
tain to the agencies in which they have been reposed.
But this is not always the case. To illustrate, the
power to impeach, which is essentially executive, and
the power to try and decide impeachment cases, which
is essentially judicial, are expressly lodged in the Con-
gress,24 as so too is the power of investigation,25 which is
more executive or judicial than legislative. These powers

20
Angara v. Electoral Commission, 63 Phil.
139.
21
Constitution, Art. VI, See. 1.
22
Ibid.., Art. VII, Sec. 1.
22
Id., Art. VIII, Sec. 1.
21
Id., Art. XI, Sec. 3.
25
Id., Art. VI, Sec. 21.
138 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

are nevertheless validly exercised by the legislature


because the Constitution so provides. By the same token,
the Supreme Court can exercise the executive power of
removal over judges of inferior courts26 although they
have been appointed by the President.27 The President
may be authorized by the Congress to exercise tariff
powers28 and emergency powers,29 both of them legislative
in nature, because the Constitution permits it.
Even in the absence of an express conferment, the
exercise of a given power may be justified under the
doctrine of implication, which is based on the theory
that the grant of an express power carries with it all
other powers that may be reasonably inferred from it.
In Angara v. Electoral Commission,30 for example, cer-
tain rules of procedure promulgated by the respondent
were challenged on the ground that they had not been
expressly authorized by the 1935 Constitution. The
Supreme Court nevertheless upheld them, declaring
that they were necessary to the proper exercise of the
express power granted to the body to hear and decide
election contests involving members of the legislature.
Another illustration is the power to punish con-
tempt which, although essentially judicial, can unques-
tionably be exercised by the legislature,31 more so now
under the present Constitution, which vests upon it the
express power to conduct investigations in aid of legis-
lation.32 Such investigations, needless to say, could

2
" Id., Art. VIII, Sec. 11.
27
Id., Art. VIII, Sec. 9.
28
Id., Art. VI, Sec. 28(2).
23
Id., Art. VI, Sec. 23(2).
Supra.
11
Arnault v. Nazareno, 87
Phil. 29.
Constitution, Art. VI, Sec.
21.
SEPARATION OF POWERS 139

hardly be effective if the Congress did not possess the


implied authority to punish witnesses for contumacy.
Mention must also be made of those powers which
although not specifically granted by the Constitution
either expressly or by implication may be justified as
inherent or incidental. Thus, the President, as head of
the government, may independently of constitutional or
statutory authority deport undesirable aliens as an “act
of State,”33 even as the Congress can punish any person
who impugns its integrity without proof.34 The courts,
for their part, may claim the contempt power inherent
in the judiciary.35

Justiciable and Political Questions

Assuming then that the proper repository of the


power in question has been ascertained on the basis of a
valid constitutional grant, is the power of the judiciary to
review official action terminated? Not necessarily, because
it could be that the act in question had not been per-
formed in accordance with the rules laid down by the Con-
stitution.
If, say, there is no compliance with a voting re-
quirement prescribed by the fundamental law, as where
a statute granting a tax exemption is enacted by less
than a majority of all the members of the Congress,36 or
when an appointee of the President does not possess the
prescribed qualifications, the courts will have jurisdic-
tion to intervene. The questions involved here are justi-
ciable. The judiciary in such cases would not be en-

33
In re Dick, 38 Phil. 41.
34
In re Sotto, 82 Phil. 595.
35
Ibid.
13
Constitution, Art. VI, Sec. 28(1).
140 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

croaching upon the exclusive functions of another de-


partment as it is the particular role of the courts to en-
sure proper observance of the norms of action prescribed
by the Constitution.
According to Justice Makasiar in Casibang v.
Aquino:31

“A purely justiciable question implies a given right, le-


gally demandable and enforceable, an act or omission violative
of such right, and a remedy granted and sanctioned by law, for
said breach of right.”

But where the matter falls under the discretion of


another department or especially the people themselves,
the decision reached is in the category of a political
question and consequently may not be the subject of
judicial review. Accordingly, considerations affecting the
wisdom, efficacy or practicability of a law should come
under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress. So too
is the interpretation of certain provisions of the Consti-
tution, such as the phrase “other high crimes” as a
ground for impeachment. Even if the Supreme Court
itself might have a contrary persuasion, it would not be
competent for it to insist on its own thinking and substi-
tute it for the decision of the legislature.
It would appear that this would not be the case
though with respect to the definition of “betrayal of
public trust,” which is among the grounds for impeach-
ment, when invoked by the President in removing a
non-impeachable officer, a Deputy Ombudsman, pursu-
ant to a statute conferring upon him such power, and
listing said ground as among the reasons for his exer-

92 SCRA 642 (1979).


SEPARATION OF POWERS 141

cise of the same. In Gonzales v. Office of the President,^


the Supreme Court, in nullifying the removal by the
President of a Deputy Ombudsman, relied on the delib-
erations of the 1986 Constitutional Commission on the
constitutional grounds for impeachment in defining
“betrayal of public trust” and explained —

“The Constitutional Commission eventually found it rea-


sonably acceptable for the phrase betrayal of public trust to re-
fer to ‘acts which are just short of being criminal but constitute
gross faithlessness against public trust, tyrannical abuse of
power, inexcusable negligence of duty, favoritism, and gross
exercise of discretionary powers.’ In other words, acts that
should constitute betrayal of public trust as to warrant re-
moval from office may be less than criminal but must be at-
tended by bad faith and of such gravity and seriousness as the
other grounds for impeachment.
“A Deputy Ombudsman and a Special Prosecutor are not
impeachable officers. However, by providing for their removal
from office on the same grounds as removal by impeachment,
the legislature could not have intended to redefine constitu-
tional standards of culpable violation of the Constitution, trea-
son, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, as well as
betrayal of public trust, and apply them less stringently.
Hence, where betrayal of public trust, for purposes of im-
peachment, was not intended to cover all kinds of official
wrongdoing and plain errors of judgment, this should remain
true even for purposes of removing a Deputy Ombudsman and
Special Prosecutor from office. Hence, the fact that the grounds
for impeachment have been made statutory grounds for the
removal by the President of a Deputy Ombudsman and Special
Prosecutor cannot diminish the seriousness of their nature nor
the acuity of their scope. Betrayal of public trust could not
suddenly ‘overreach’ to cover acts that are not vicious or ma-
levolent on the same level as the other grounds for impeach-
ment.”

3S
G.R. No. 196231, September 4, 2012, 679 SCRA 614.
142 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

At any rate, the distinction between justiciable and


political questions can perhaps best be illustrated by
the suspension or expulsion of a member of the Con-
gress, which must be based upon the ground of “disor-
derly behavior” and concurred in by at least two-thirds
of all his colleagues.39 The determination of what consti-
tutes disorderly behavior is a political question and
therefore not cognizable by the courts; but the discipli-
nary measure may nonetheless be disauthorized if it
was supported by less than the required vote. The latter
issue, dealing as it does with a procedural rule the in-
terpretation of which calls only for a mathematical com-
putation, is a justiciable question.
The case of Tanada v. Cuencow involved the provi-
sion in the 1935 Constitution that the Electoral Tribu-
nal should be composed, together with three members of
the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Jus-
tice, of six other members to be chosen by each House,
“three upon the nomination of the party having the
largest number of votes and three upon the nomination
of the party having the second largest number of votes
therein.” Inasmuch as the Senate included at the time
only one minority member, who nominated only himself,
the majority party named two other members from its
ranks to complete the nine-man composition. The lone
oppositionist questioned this procedure, but the respon-
dents moved to dismiss on the ground that the question
raised was political. The Court assumed jurisdiction,
however, and, in holding that the question was justicia-
ble, made the following illuminating remarks:

' ’ Constitution, Art. VI, Sec.


,1

16(3).
100 Phil. 1101.
SEPARATION OF POWERS 143

“The term ‘political question’ connotes what it means in


ordinary parlance, namely, a question of policy. It refers to
‘those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be de-
cided by the people in their sovereign capacity; or in regard to
which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the
legislative or executive branch of the government.’ It is con-
cerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of
a particular measure.”

In Sanidad v. Commission on Elections,41 it was


held:
“Political questions are neatly associated with the wis-
dom, not the legality of a particular act. Where the vortex of
the controversy refers to the legality or validity of the con-
tested act, that matter is definitely justiciable or non-political.
What is in the heels of the Court is not the wisdom of the act of
the incumbent President in proposing amendments to the Con-
stitution, but his constitutional authority to perform such act
or to assume the power of a constituent assembly. Whether the
amending process confers on the President that power to pro-
pose amendments is therefore a downright justiciable question.
Should the contrary be found, the actuation of the President
would merely be a brutum fidmen. If the Constitution provides
how it may be amended, the judiciary as the interpreter of that
Constitution, can declare whether the procedure followed or
the authority assumed was valid or not.
‘We cannot accept the view of the Solicitor General, in
pursuing his theory of non-justiciability, that the question of
the President’s authority to propose amendments and the regu-
larity of the procedure adopted for submission of proposals to
the people ultimately lie in the judgment of the latter. A clear
Descartes fallacy or vicious circle. Is it not that the people
themselves, by their sovereign act, provided for the authority
and procedure for the amending process when they ratified the
present Constitution in 1973? Whether, therefore, that consti-
tutional provision has been followed or not is indisputably a
proper subject of inquiry, not by the people themselves of
course—who exercise no power of judicial review, but by the

41
73 SCRA 333 (1976).
144 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Supreme Court in whom the people themselves vested that


power, a power which includes the competence to determine
whether the constitutional norms for amendments have been
observed or not. And, this inquiry must be done a priori not a
posteriori, i.e., before the submission to and ratification by the
people.”

The above views were affirmed in Daza v. Sing-


son,42 involving the composition of the Commission on
Appointments.
An elaboration on the distinction between the justi-
ficiable and political questions was further made in
Tafiada v. Angara,43 where the Supreme Court declared:
“We should stress that in deciding to take jurisdiction
over this petition, this Court will not review the wisdom of the
President and the Senate in enlisting the country into the
WTO, or pass upon the merits of trade liberalization as a policy
espoused by the said international body. Neither will it rule on
the propriety of the government’s economic policy of reduc-
ing/removing tariffs, taxes, subsidies, quantitative restrictions
and other import/trade barriers. Rather, it will only exercise its
constitutional duty ‘to determine whether or not there had
been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction’ on the part of the Senate in ratifying the WTO
Agreement and its three annexes.”

Application of the Doctrine

In accordance with the foregoing principles, it was


held that writ of mandamus could not be issued
against the chief executive to compel him, in Abueva v.
Wood,44 to produce certain vouchers relative to the ex-
penses of an official mission, and, in Severino v. Gover-

42
180 SCRA 496 (1989).
w
' G.R. No. 118295, May 2, 1997, 272
44
SCRA
45 Phil.
18.612.
SEPARATION OF POWERS 145

nor-General,45 * * to call a special election though this duty


was imposed on him by law in mandatory language. The
Court held in both cases that the powers involved were
discretionary in the executive and therefore not subject
to judicial compulsion. A similar conclusion was reached
in In re Dick,*9 where the Supreme Court interpreted
also as discretionary the power of the Governor-General
to ascertain the necessity for the expulsion of an alien
for the protection of the national interest.
Indeed, in the earlier case of In Re Patterson,41 the
Court announced that the Governor-General could act
“without interference on the part of the judicial power”
according to the doctrine of separation of powers, stating
that “the greater part of modern laws, notwithstanding
these objections, have sanctioned the maxim that the
expulsion of foreigners is a political measure and that
the executive power may expel without appeal any per-
son whose presence tends to disturb the public peace.
The privilege of the foreigners to enter the territory of a
State for the purpose of traveling through or remaining
therein being recognized on principle, we must also rec-
ognize the right of the State under exceptional circum-
stances to limit this privilege upon the ground of public
policy, and in all cases preserve the obligations of the
foreigner to subject himself to the provisions of the local
law concerning his entry into and his presence in the
territory of each State.”
“Under these circumstances, the Government exercising
in a sovereign and efficacious manner this attribute of execu-
tive power, has authorized an administrative officer to prevent
the entrance into the country of persons from abroad whom he

16
Phil.
Supra
.1366.
Phil.
93.
146 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

has reasonable grounds to believe guilty of having aided, abet-


ted, or instigated insurrection, or whom he suspects of coming
to the Philippines with that purpose. The power conferred in
these terms upon this executive officer is discretional. Hence,
his act is presumed to be based upon reasonable grounds for
believing certain persons guilty of the acts or of an intention to
commit the acts defined by the law.”

This ruling was affirmed In Forbes v. Chuoco


Tiacof5 where the Court likewise dismissed an action
for damages against the Governor General for deporting
certain undesirable aliens. Thus —
“No one can be held legally responsible in damages for
doing in a legal manner what he had authority, under the law,
to do. Therefore, if the Governor General had authority, under
the law to deport or expel the defendants, and the circum-
stances justifying the deportation and the method of carrying it
out are left to him, then he cannot be held liable in damages
for the exercise of his power. Moreover, if the courts are with-
out authority to interfere in any manner, for the purpose of
controlling or interfering with the exercise of the political pow-
ers vested in the chief executive authority of the government,
then it must follow that the courts cannot intervene for the
purpose of declaring that he is liable in damages for the exer-
cise of this authority.”

In the famous case of Aytona v. Castillo,48 49 where


the conflict between the outgoing and incoming Presi-
dents of the Philippines involved the exercise of the
appointing power, the Supreme Court refused to as-
sume jurisdiction, again upon the ground of separation
of powers. And in the Ratification Cases,50 several jus-
tices of the Supreme Court expressed the view that they
were concluded by the ascertainment made by the

48
16 Phil. 534.
""4SCRA 1 (1962).
Javellana v. Executive Secretary, 50 SCRA 33 (1973).
SEPARATION OF POWERS 147

President of the Philippines, in the exercise of his politi-


cal prerogatives, that the people had acquiesced in or
accepted the 1973 Constitution. In De la Liana v. Com-
mission on Elections,51 the Supreme Court refused to
restrain the holding of a referendum, ruling that the
calling thereof lay in the exclusive discretion of Presi-
dent Marcos.
In Custodio v. Senate President,52 where a taxpayer
challenged the validity of a provision in the general
appropriations law that compensated the members of
the Congress for services supposedly rendered by them
during the Japanese Occupation, it was held that the
question submitted was political, affecting as it did the
wisdom or propriety of the law. Hence, the only remedy
available to the petitioner was a resort not to the courts
but to the bar of public opinion. When the Senate in
Alejandrino v. Quezon53 and the House of Representa-
tives in Osmena v. Pendatun5* suspended a member for
disorderly behavior, the Supreme Court refused to inter-
fere even if in the former case it declared that the sus-
pension was illegal “because the seat remains filled but
the occupant is silenced.”
In Vera v. Avelino,55 three senators-elect who had
been prevented from taking their oaths of office by reso-
lution of the Senate went to the Supreme Court and
alleged that only the Electoral Tribunal had jurisdiction
over contests relating to their election, returns and
qualifications. Again, the Supreme Court refused to
intervene, holding that the case was not a “contest,” and

r
” 82 SCRA 30
“(1978).
42 O.G. 1243.
53
46 Phil. 83.
54
109 Phil. 863.
55
77 Phil. 192.
148 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

affirmed the inherent right of the legislature to deter-


mine who shall be admitted to its membership. In Ar-
nault v. Balagtas,56 the question raised by the petitioner
was the legality of his detention by order of the Senate
for his refusal to answer questions put to him by one of
its investigating committees. The Supreme Court re-
fused to order his release and deferred to the discretion-
ary authority of the legislative body to punish contuma-
cious witnesses for contempt.
It has further been ruled that the “wisdom of Con-
gress in allowing an SDP [Stock Distribution Plan]
through a corporation as an alternative mode of imple-
menting agrarian reform is not for judicial determina-
tion.”57
In Philippine Coconut Producers Federation v. Re-
public,58 the Supreme Court explained that “the decision
on whether to proceed with the conversion or defer ac-
tion thereon until final adjudication of the issue of own-
ership over the sequestered shares properly pertains to
the executive branch, represented by the PCGG.” The
Court added that “corollary to the principle of separa-
tion of powers is the doctrine of primary jurisdiction
that the courts will defer to the decisions of the adminis-
trative offices and agencies by reason of their expertise
and experience in the matters assigned to them.”
In the case of Philippine Bar Association v. Com-
mission on Elections,59 the calling of the “snap” presiden-
tial elections on February 7, 1986, by the Batasang

r
'“ 97 Phil. 358.
57
Hacienda Luisita Incorporated v. Luisita Industrial Park
Corporation, G.R. No. 171101, July 5, 2011, 653 SCRA 154.
r,
“ G.R. Nos. 177857-58, September 17, 2009, 600 SCRA 102.
59
G.R. No. 72915, Dec. 20, 1985, 140 SCRA 453.
SEPARATION OF POWERS 149

Pambansa was held by the Supreme Court to be a poli-


tical question resoluble only by the sovereign electorate.
In De Castro v. Committee on Justice,60 the Su-
preme Court was asked'-to reverse a decision of the res-
pondent dismissing impeachment charges against
President Marcos after deliberating thereon for only six
hours and to compel the said committee to give due
course to such charges. The petition for certiorari and
mandamus was dismissed, on the ground inter alia that
the issues raised were political in nature and could be
resolved only by the legislators themselves in the exer-
cise of their discretion. The Court ruled that the dis-
missal of the charges was “within the ambit of the pow-
ers vested exclusively in the Batasan by express provi-
sion of Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution and it is
not within the competence of this Court to inquire
whether in the exercise of said powers the Batasan
acted wisely.” Later, when in Romulo v. Yniguez,61 the
petitioners asked for the recall of the impeachment reso-
lution so it could be considered directly by the Batasang
Pambansa, the Court, citing its ruling in the antecedent
case, dismissed the petition on the ground of separation
of powers, in addition to other reasons to be discussed in
detail in Chapter 17.
It must be noted that the Constitution now re-
quires the proper Committee of the House of Represen-
tatives to submit its report on an impeachment com-
plaint, together with its corresponding resolution, to the
House within sixty days from its referral to the same,
and said resolution shall be calendared for considera-
tion by the House within ten session days from its re-

“ G.R. No. 71688, Sept. 10,


1985.
Gl
Infra.
150 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

ceipt thereof.62 A vote of at least one-third of all the


Members of the House shall be necessary either to af-
firm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Im-
peachment, or override its contrary resolution.63
Of particular interest is Avelino v. Cuenco,6* where
the incumbent Senate President was deposed and re-
placed; whereupon he questioned his successor’s title,
arguing that the latter had been elected without a quo-
rum. The petition was at first dismissed on the ground
that the selection of the presiding officer of the Senate
was an internal matter that could not be reviewed by
the judiciary. On the motion for reconsideration, how-
ever, the Supreme Court decided that it could assume
jurisdiction “in the light of subsequent events which
justified its intervention” and, among other reasons,
because there was a quorum.
A more telling illustration of the vacillation of the
Supreme Court on the nature of the political question is
found in its erratic rulings on the nature of the Presi-
dent’s power to determine the existence of the grounds
specified in the Constitution for the suspension of the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. First, in the early
cases of Barcelon v. Baker65 and Montenegro v.
Castaneda66 it was held that this power was discretion-
ary and therefore not justiciable, on the justification of
the superior competence of the commander-in-chief to
assess the peace and order condition of the country.
Subsequently, this doctrine was reversed in Lansang v.

“ Article XI, Section


3 (2).
“ Ibid., Section 3 (3).
84
83 Phil. 17.
"s 5 Phil. 87.
“ 91 Phil. 882.
SEPARATION OF POWERS 151

Garcia,61 where the Supreme Court asserted the right to


inquire into the factual basis of the suspension and to
annul the same if it appeared from its own investiga-
tions that the grounds jnvoked by the President were
not actually existing. In a complete about-face, however,
this decision was itself later abandoned in Garcia-
Padilla v. Enrile,66 where the original rule announced in
the Barcelon and Montenegro Cases was reinstated to
make the questioned power once again discretionary in
the President. It is no longer so, however, under Article
VII, Section 18, of the present Constitution, to be dis-
cussed in Chapter 11.
It was also held in Noblejas v. Teehankee67 * 69 that the
administrative investigation of an executive official
should be undertaken by the President of the Philip-
pines and not the Supreme Court even if it was provided
by law that such official had the rank and privileges of a
judge of the court of first instance. Neither may the
Supreme Court be compelled by law to act as a mere
board of arbitrators, an essentially executive body, par-
ticularly because whatever decisions it might make in
the discharge of its administrative functions would ul-
timately have to be reviewed by the same members in
the exercise of their judicial powers.70 Section 12 of Arti-
cle VIII of the Constitution provides that the “Members
of the Supreme Court and of other courts established by
law shall not be designated to any agency performing
quasi-judicial or administrative functions.”
Conversely, powers that belong to the judiciary
may not be assumed by other departments, as when, in

67
42 SCRA 448 (1971).
“ 121 SCRA 472 (1983).
69
23 SCRA 405 (1968).
79
Manila Electric Co. v. Pasay Trans. Co., 57 Phil. 825.
152 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

the case oiEndencia v. David,11 * the legislature provided


by law that the imposition of income taxes upon the
salaries of judges should not be interpreted as an un-
constitutional diminution of their salary. The Supreme
Court ruled that the interpretation of the provision in
question was the exclusive function of the judiciary.

Political Questions Under the New Constitution


It is noteworthy that under the new Constitution
the scope of the political question appears to have been
considerably constricted because of the new definition of
judicial power, which now “includes the duty... to deter-
mine whether or not there has been a- grave abuse of dis-
cretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the
part of any branch or instrumentality of the Govern-
ment.”12, The language suggests quite clearly that this
duty (and power) is available even against the executive
and legislative departments, including the President
and the Congress, in the exercise of their discretionary
powers.
Accordingly, in Estrada v. Desierto,13 the Supreme
Court stressed —
“To a great degree, the 1987 Constitution has narrowed
the reach of the political question doctrine when it expanded
the power of judicial review of this court not only to settle ac-
tual controversies involving rights which are legally demand-
able and enforceable but also to determine whether or not
there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instru-

71
G.R. No. L-6455, August 31, 1953.
72
Constitution, Art. VIII, Sec. 1.
73
G.R. No. 146710-15, March 2, 2001, 406 Phil. 1 (2001), 356
SCRA 108, cited in Commission on Elections v. Cruz, G.R. No.
186616, November 20, 2009, 605 SCRA 167.
SEPARATION OF POWERS 153

mentality of government. Heretofore, the judiciary has focused


on the ‘thou shalt not's’ of the Constitution directed against the
exercise of its jurisdiction. With the new provision, however,
courts are given a greater prerogative to determine what it can
do to prevent grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumen-
tality of government. Clearly, the new provision did not just
grant the Court power of doing nothing. In sync and symmetry
with this intent are other provisions of the 1987 Constitution
trimming the so called political thicket.”

In Article VII, Section 18, it is expressly provided


that “the Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate
proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the
factual basis of the proclamation of martial law or the
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
or the extension thereof.” There is no doubt of the au-
thority of the Supreme Court in this specific case. The
question is, in the absence of similar specific authoriza-
tion in other cases, to what extent may the exercise of
discretion by the political departments be reviewed and
if warranted reversed by the courts?
If, say, a notorious criminal is extended an absolute
pardon, or the Congress of the Philippines enacts a law
which is obviously impractical or unwise, may these acts
of the political departments be annulled by the Supreme
Court on the ground that they were committed with
grave abuse of discretion? For example, may the Su-
preme Court now reverse the doctrine in the case of Riel
v. Wright,14 where it inhibited itself from ruling on the
claimed excessive number of employees hired by the
Philippine Legislature after the adjournment of the
session, holding that this was an internal matter under
the exclusive jurisdiction of the legislators?

49 Phil. 194.
154 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

In the session of the Constitutional Commission on


July 19, 1986, it was agreed that the above provision
would not do away entirely with the political question
doctrine. It is not clear, however, what discretionary
acts are subject to judicial review, outside of those spe-
cifically mentioned in the Constitution, and what acts
remain prerogatives of the political departments that,
even with the said enlargement of judicial power, cannot
be examined by the courts of justice.
In any event, it has been ruled that —
“Under the doctrine of separation of powers, the courts
have no right to directly decide matters over which full discre-
tionary authority has been delegated to the Executive Branch
of the Government, or to substitute their own judgments for
that of the Executive Branch, represented in this case by the
Department of Justice. The settled policy is that the courts will
not interfere with the executive determination of probable
cause for the purpose of filing an information, in the absence of
grave abuse of discretion. That abuse of discretion must be so
patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty
or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law or to act
at all in contemplation of law, such as where the power is exer-
cised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion
or hostility. For instance, in Balanganan v. Court of Appeals,
Special Nineteenth Division, Cebu City, the Court ruled that
the Secretary of Justice exceeded his jurisdiction when he re-
quired ‘hard facts and solid evidence’ in order to hold the de-
fendant liable for criminal prosecution when such requirement
should have been left to the court after the conduct of a trial.”75 76

In Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of


Public Officers™ the Supreme Court found the Senate to
have gravely abused its discretion in citing the peti-
tioner for contempt for his refusal to answer questions

75
Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company v. Tobias, G.R. No.
177780, January 25, 2012, 664 SCRA 165.
76
G.R. No. 180643, March 25, 2008, 549 SCRA 77.
SEPARATION OF POWERS 155

propounded to him in the course of a legislative inquiry.


The Court declared that “there being a legitimate claim
of executive privilege, the issuance of the contempt or-
der suffers from constitutional infirmity.”
On the other hand, in Lawyers Against Monopoly
and Poverty v. Secretary of Budget and Management,77
the Supreme Court rejected a challenge against the
constitutionality of the Priority Development Assistance
Fund (PDAF) as provided for in Republic Act 9206 or
the General Appropriations Act for 2004. Finding that
the proper procedure appeared to have been followed in
the promulgation of said law and noting that the peti-
tioners had not adequately established that said law
constituted an “encroachment on executive power” by
enabling legislators to propose and choose the projects
for which said fund is to be used, the Court held —
“To justify the nullification of the law or its implementa-
tion, there must be a clear and unequivocal, not a doubtful,
breach of the Constitution. In case of doubt in the sufficiency of
proof establishing unconstitutionality, the Court must sustain
legislation because ‘to invalidate [a law] based on x x x baseless
supposition is an affront to the wisdom not only of the legisla-
ture that passed it but also of the executive which approved it.’
This presumption of constitutionality can be overcome only by
the clearest showing that there was indeed an infraction of the
Constitution, and only when such a conclusion is reached by
the required majority may the Court pronounce, in the dis-
charge of the duty it cannot escape, that the challenged act
must be struck down.
“The petition is miserably wanting in this regard. LAMP
would have the Court declare the unconstitutionality of the
PDAF’s enforcement based on the absence of express provision
in the GAA allocating PDAF funds to the Members of Congress

77
G.R. No. 164987, April 24, 2012, 670 SCRA 373; see also
PHILCONSA v. Enriquez, G.R. No. 113888, August 19, 1994, 235
SCRA 506.
156 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

and the latter’s encroachment on executive power in proposing


and selecting projects to be funded by PDAF. Regrettably,
these allegations lack substantiation. No convincing proof was
presented showing that, indeed, there were direct releases of
funds to the Members of Congress, who actually spend them
according to their sole discretion. Not even a documentation of
the disbursement of funds by the DBM in favor of the Members
of Congress was presented by the petitioner to convince the
Court to probe into the truth of their claims. Devoid of any per-
tinent evidentiary support that illegal misuse of PDAF in the
form of kickbacks has become a common exercise of unscrupu-
lous Members of Congress, the Court cannot indulge the peti-
tioner’s request for rejection of a law which is outwardly legal
and capable of lawful enforcement. In a case like this, the
Court’s hands are tied in deference to the presumption of con-
stitutionality lest the Court commits unpardonable judicial leg-
islation. The Court is not endowed with the power of clairvoy-
ance to divine from scanty allegations in pleadings where jus-
tice and truth lie. Again, newspaper or electronic reports show-
ing the appalling effects of PDAF cannot be appreciated by the
Court, not because of any issue as to their truth, accuracy, or
impartiality, but for the simple reason that facts must be es-
tablished in accordance with the rules of evidence.
“Hence, absent a clear showing that an offense to the
principle of separation of powers was committed, much less
tolerated by both the Legislative and Executive, the Court is
constrained to hold that a lawful and regular government
budgeting and appropriation process ensued during the enact-
ment and all throughout the implementation' of the GAA of
2004.”

This ruling has been abandoned by the Supreme


Court in Belgica v. Executive Secretary, where it nulli-
fied a similar PDAF Article in the 2013 General Appro-
priations Act, stating, among other reasons, that “the
2013 PDAF Article as well as all other provisions of law
which similarly allow legislators to wield any form of
post-enactment authority in the implementation or en-
forcement of the budget, unrelated to congressional
oversight, as violative of the separation of powers prin-
SEPARATION OF POWERS 157

ciple and thus unconstitutional.” The Court also de-


clared that said 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 individu-
ally exercise the power of appropriation which — as
settled in Philconsa — is lodged in Congress.”78
Among the issues raised by the private respondent
in Petitioner Organizations v. Executive Secretary™ was
the assumption by the Supreme Court of jurisdiction
over the petitions questioning the constitutionality of
certain Executive Orders issued by the President con-
sidering that there were no “ongoing proceedings” before
any board or tribunal which would have warranted its
exercise its power of judicial review under Rule 65 of the
Rules of Court. The Court upheld its jurisdiction, ex-
plaining as follows —
“UCPB questions the propriety of the present petitions
for certiorari and mandamus under Rule 65 on the ground that
there are no ongoing proceedings in any tribunal or board or
before a government official exercising judicial, quasi-judicial,
or ministerial functions. UCPB insists that the Court exercises
appellate jurisdiction with respect to issues of constitutionality
or validity of laws and presidential orders.
“But, as the Court previously held, where there are seri-
ous allegations that a law has infringed the Constitution, it be-
comes not only the right but the duty of the Court to look into
such allegations and, when warranted, uphold the supremacy
of the Constitution. Moreover, where the issues raised are of
paramount importance to the public, as in this case, the Court
has the discretion to brush aside technicalities of procedure.”

78
Belgica v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 208566, November
19, 2013.
™ G.R. Nos. 147036-37, April 10, 2012, 669 SCRA 49.
158 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Incidentally, in Galicto v. Aquino,80 the Court de-


clared that the issuance of an Executive Order is “not a
judicial, quasi-judicial or a mandatory act.” Accordingly,
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court may not be availed of by
any party to question its constitutionality. The proper
recourse, according to the Court, would be a petition for
declaratory relief under Rule 63 of the Rules of Court,
which should be filed with the Regional Trial Court.
It is significant that in Atong' Paglaum, Inc. v.
Commission on Elections,81 the Supreme Court, in the
course of its review of a resolution of the Commission on
Elections providing for the disqualification of certain
parties, made the following similar pronouncement —
“This Court is sworn to uphold the 1987 Constitution,
apply its provisions faithfully, and desist from engaging in
socio-economic or political experimentations contrary to what
the Constitution has ordained. Judicial power does not include
the power to re-write the Constitution. Thus, the present peti-
tions should be remanded to the COMELEC not because the
COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in disqualify-
ing petitioners, but because petitioners may now possibly qual-
ify to participate in the coming 13 May 2013 party-list elec-
tions under the new parameters prescribed by this Court.”

In Re: COA Opinion on the Computation of the Ap-


praised Value of the Properties Purchased by the Retired
Chief I Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, the Su-
preme Court defended or “confirmed” its authority to
determine or fix the appraised value of the properties
purchased by the retired members of said Court, as
against the findings of the Commission on Audit on the

““ G.R. No. 103078, February 28, 2012, 067 SCRA 150, citing
Liga ng mga Barangay National v. City Mayor of Manila, 465 Phil.
529 (2004).
G.R. No. 203766, April 2, 2013, 694 SCRA 477.
SEPARATION OF POWERS 159

same, on the strength of the principle of separation of


powers, stressing its judicial independence and fiscal
autonomy, and citing its “unique circumstances,” declar-
ing that the “judicial branch, as a whole, should work in
the discharge of its constitutional functions free of re-
straints and influence from the other branches, save
only for those imposed by the Constitution itself.”82

A.M. No. 11-7-10-SC, July 31, 2012, 678 SCRA 1.


Chapter 7

DELEGATION OF POWERS

COROLLARY TO THE DOCTRINE of separation of


powers is the principle of non-delegation of powers. The
rule is potestas delegata non delegari potest — what has
been delegated cannot be delegated. It is based upon the
ethical principle that such delegated power constitutes
not only a right but a duty to be performed, by the dele-
gate through the instrumentality of his own judgment
and not through the intervening mind of another.1 A
further delegation of such power, unless permitted by
the sovereign power, would constitute a negation of this
duty in violation of the trust reposed in the delegate
mandated to discharge it directly.
The principle of non-delegation of powers is appli-
cable to all the three major powers of the government
but is especially important in the case of the legislative
power because of the many instances when its delega-
tion is permitted. The occasions are rare when executive
or judicial powers are exercised outside the departments
to which they legally pertain. In the case of the legisla-
tive power, however, such instances, have become more
and more frequent, if not necessary. This has led to the

1
United States vs. Barrias, No. 4349, September 24, 1908, 11
Phil. 327, 330, cited in Abakada Guro Party List v. Ermita, G.R. Nos.
168056, 168207, 168461, 168463 & 168730, September 1, 2005, 469
SCRA 1, 115-116 and Bureau of Customs Employees Association v.
Teves, G.R. No. 181704, December 6, 2011, 661 SCRA 589.

160
DELEGATION OF POWERS 161

observation that the delegation of legislative power has


become the rule and its non-delegation the exception.
The reason is the increasing complexity of the task
of government and the '■growing inability of the legisla-
ture to cope directly with the many problems demanding
its attention. The growth of society has ramified its ac-
tivities and created peculiar and sophisticated problems
that the legislature cannot be expected reasonably to
comprehend. Specialization even in legislation has be-
come necessary. To many of the problems attendant
upon present-day undertakings, the legislature may not
have the competence, let alone the interest and the
time, to provide the required direct and efficacious, not
to say specific, solutions.
One such problem, to take an example, is the regu-
lation of common carriers. This task requires the deter-
mination of such intricate matters as the routes to be
serviced by such carriers, the number of them to be al-
lowed in each route, the conveniences they should offer
the passengers, the fare they may charge, the type of
vehicles they should use, and other myriad details that
the legislature may not have the time, expertise and
interest to prescribe.
Given these shortcomings, the Congress may then
create an administrative body like the Land Transpor-
tation Franchising and Regulatory Board and empower
it to promulgate the needed rules and regulations, sub-
ject only to certain statutory limitations or broad poli-
cies pre-determined by the legislature itself.
Such a device as applied to a hundred other similar
cases can relieve the Congress of many problems that
are better left to be solved by more capable entities and
at the same time enable it to tackle the more serious
162 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

difficulties of the country requiring its direct and imme-


diate attention.

Permissible Delegation

Delegation of legislative powers is permitted in the


following cases:
(1) Delegation of tariff,powers to the President.
(2) Delegation of emergency powers to the Presi-
dent.
(3) Delegation to the people at large.
(4) Delegation to local governments.
(5) Delegation to administrative bodies.
(1) Tariff Powers
“Sec. 28(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, im-
port and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues, and other
duties or imposts, within the framework of the national devel-
opment program of the Government.”2

The President is granted stand-by or flexible tariff


powers in the Tariff and Customs Code conformably to
the above provision. The reason for this delegation is the
necessity, not to say expediency, of giving the chief ex-
ecutive the authority to act immediately on certain mat-
ters affecting the national economy lest delay result in
hardship to the people. It is recognized that the legisla-
tive process is much too cumbersome for the speedy
solution of some economic problems, especially those
relating to foreign trade.

' Constitution, Art. VI.


DELEGATION OF POWERS 163

In AKBAYAN v. Aquino,3 the Supreme Court clari-


fied that the subject of this constitutional provision “is
not the power to negotiate treaties and international
agreements, but the powder to fix tariff rates, import and
export quotas, and other taxes,” and, accordingly, should
not be considered as a source of the power of the Presi-
dent to negotiate international trade agreements.

(2) Emergency Powers

“Sec. 23(2). In times of war or other national emer-


gency, the Congress may by law authorize the President, for a
limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may pre-
scribe, to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a
declared national policy. Unless sooner withdrawn by resolu-
tion of the Congress, such powers shall cease upon its next ad-
journment.”4

In times of war or other national emergency, it is


not likely that a quorum can be convened in the Con-
gress to enable it to do business. Assuming such quo-
rum, there is still the divisiveness and delay inherent in
the lawmaking process that may hamper effective solu-
tion of the problems caused by the emergency. Such
problems, needless to say, must be solved within the
shortest possible time to prevent them from aggravating
the difficulties of the nation.
To this end, the Congress may authorize the Presi-
dent to exercise emergency powers. This authority may
then be discharged by him with more dispatch and deci-
siveness than can be expected from the Congress itself
dealing with the crisis.

■’ G.R. No. 170516, July 16, 2008, 558


4SCRA 468.
Constitution, Article VI.
164 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

When emergency powers are delegated to the Presi-


dent, he becomes in effect a constitutional dictator. But
in strict legal theory, there is no total abdication of leg-
islative authority in his favor. The conferment itself is
supposed to be subject to certain restrictions and re-
quirements intended to make him only an agent rather
than a replacement of the legislature.
The conditions for the vesture of emergency powers
in the President are the following:
(1) There must be war or other national emer-
gency.
(2) The delegation must be for limited period
only.
(3) The delegation must be subject to such restric-
tions as the Congress may prescribe.
(4) The emergency powers must be exercised to
carry out a national policy declared by the Congress.
There cannot be any delegation of emergency pow-
ers in the absence of an emergency. Furthermore, the
emergency powers are self-liquidating unless sooner
withdrawn, in the sense that they will automatically
cease upon the end of the emergency that justified their
delegation. Thus, C.A. No. 671, which conferred emer-
gency powers on the President following the outbreak of
the Pacific War in 1941, authorized their exercise only
“during the existence of the emergency.”
“Other national emergency” may include rebellion,
economic crisis, pestilence or epidemic, typhoon, flood,
or other similar catastrophe of nation-wide proportions
or effect.
Conferment of emergency powers on the President
is not mandatory on the Congress. In the face of the
DELEGATION OF POWERS 165

worst crisis, the Congress may choose to hold on to its


legislative powers and validly refuse to delegate it; or,
should it decide to do so, limit its duration and termi-
nate it even before the end of the emergency. The emer-
gency does not automatically confer emergency powers
on the President. According to Chief Justice Paras,
“emergency itself cannot and should not create power.”5
By the same token, the mere continuance of the emer-
gency does not necessarily continue the President’s
emergency powers if they have been granted to him for
a shorter period.
In every case, to prevent the delegation from being
a total surrender of legislative authority, it must be
subject to the restrictions to be prescribed by the Con-
gress. The specific requirement of the Constitution is
that the President may be authorized to exercise powers
“necessary and proper” only for the purpose of carrying
out a national policy declared not by him but by the
Congress. Any act of the President that is not in keeping
with this national policy can be challenged as beyond
the scope of his delegated authority.
In the first Emergency Powers Cases,6 the petition-
ers questioned the exercise by President Quirino of
emergency powers previously vested in President Que-
zon and successively exercised by Presidents Osmena
and Roxas. At stake was the validity of certain executive
orders promulgated by President Quirino providing
specifically for the appropriation of public funds in the
operation of the national government and the conduct of
the 1949 elections, the control of exports, and the regu-
lation of the rentals of residential lots and buildings. In

“ Second Emergency Powers Cases, Rodriguez v. Gella, 92 Phil.


603.
6
Araneta v. Dinglasan, 84 Phil. 368.
166 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

declaring such executive orders invalid, the Supreme


Court, through Justice Tuason, declared inter alia:
“Commonwealth Act No. 671 does not in terms fix the
duration of its effectiveness. The intention of the Act has to be
sought for in its nature, the object to be accomplished, the pur-
pose to be subserved, and its relation to the Constitution. The
consequences of the various constructions offered will also be
resorted to as additional aid to interpretation. We test a rule
by its results.
“Article VI of the Constitution provides that any law
passed by virtue thereof should be for a ‘limited period.’ ‘Lim-
ited’ has been defined to mean ‘restricted in duration, extent or
scope.’ (Encyclopedia Law Dictionary, 3rd ed., 669; Black’s Law
Dictionary, 3rd ed., 1120). The words ‘limited period’ as used in
the Constitution are beyond question intended to mean restric-
tive in duration. Emergency, in order to justify the delegation
of emergency powers, ‘must be temporary or it cannot be said
to be an emergency.’ (First Trust Joint Stock Land Bank of
Chicago v. Adolph P. Arp, et al., 120 A.L.R., 937, 938.)
“It is to be presumed that Commonwealth Act No. 671
was approved with this limitation in view. The opposite theory
would make the law repugnant to the Constitution, and is con-
trary to the principle that the Legislature is deemed to have
full knowledge of the constitutional scope of its powers. The as-
sertion that new legislation is needed to repeal the act would
not be in harmony with the Constitution either. If a new and
different law were necessary to terminate the delegation, the
period for the delegation, it has been correctly pointed out,
would be unlimited, indefinite, negative and uncertain; ‘that
which was intended to meet a temporary emergency may be-
come permanent law.’ (Peck v. Fink, 2 Fed. [2d], 912); for Con-
gress might not enact the repeal, and even if it would, the re-
peal might not meet with the approval of the President, and
the Congress might not be able to override the veto. Further-
more, this would create the anomaly that, while Congress
might delegate its powers by simple majority, it might not be
able to recall thorn except by a two-thirds vote. In other words,
it would be easier for Congress to delegate its powers than to
take them back. This is not right and is not, and ought not to
be, the law.
DELEGATION OF POWERS 167

“It is our considered opinion, and we so hold, that Com-


monwealth Act No. 671 became inoperative when Congress
met in regular session on May 25, 1948, and that Executive
Orders Nos. 62, 192, 225 and 226 were issued without author-
ity of law. In setting the first regular session of Congress in-
stead of the first special session which preceded it as the point
of expiration of the Act, we think we are giving effect to the
purpose and intention of the National Assembly. In a special
session, the Congress may ‘consider general legislation or only
such subjects as he (President) may designate.’ (Section 9, Ar-
ticle VI of the Constitution) In a regular session, the power of
the Congress to legislate is not circumscribed except by the
limitations imposed by the organic law.”

Despite this decision, President Quirino continued


exercising emergency powers, promulgating two execu-
tive orders appropriating public funds for public works
and the relief of typhoon victims. These acts were chal-
lenged in the second Emergency Powers Cases,1 where
the additional circumstance appeared that the Congress
had passed House Bill No. 727 repealing all Emergency
Powers Acts except that this measure had been vetoed
by the President. On this point, the Supreme Court,
through Chief Justice Paras, made the following pro-
nouncement:
“As the Act was expressly in pursuance of the constitu-
tional provision, it has to be assumed that the National As-
sembly intended it to be only for a limited period. If it be con-
tended that the Act has not yet been duly repealed, and such
step is necessary to a cessation of the emergency powers dele-
gated to the President, the result would be obvious unconstitu-
tionality, since it may never be repealed by the Congress, or if
the latter ever attempts to do so, the President may wield his
veto. This eventuality had in fact taken place when the Presi-
dent disapproved House Bill No. 727, repealing all Emergency
Powers Acts. The situation will make the Congress and the
President or either the principal authority to determine the in-

7
Supra.
168 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

definite duration of the delegation of legislative powers-in pal-


pable repugnance to the constitutional provision that any
grant thereunder must be for a limited period, necessarily to be
fixed in the law itself and not dependent upon the arbitrary or
elastic will of either the Congress or the President.
“Although House Bill No. 727 had been vetoed by the
President and did not thereby become a regular statute, it may
at least be considered as a concurrent resolution of the Con-
gress formally declaring the termination of the emergency
powers. To contend that the Bill needed presidential acquies-
cence to produce effect would lead to the anomalous, if not ab-
surd, situation that, ‘while Congress might delegate its powers
by a simple majority, it might not be able to recall them except
by two-thirds vote. In other words, it would be easier for Con-
gress to delegate its powers than to take them back. This is not
right and is not, and ought not, to be the law.’ ”

Apparently taking its cue from this ruling, the 1973


Constitution provided that the delegation of emergency
powers to the President could be withdrawn by resolu-
tion. That part of the rule is understandable. But what
is rather mystifying is why it was also provided that
unless such emergency powers were sooner withdrawn
by resolution, they would continue until the next ad-
journment of the legislature. What is more perplexing is
why the Constitutional Commission perpetuated the
error in the new charter.
The next adjournment obviously refers to the ses-
sion called after the adjournment of the first session
when the emergency powers were delegated. Hence,
unless the delegation is sooner withdrawn, legislative
power can be exercised concurrently by the President
and the Congress during the second session and until its
adjournment. This would run counter to the ruling in
the first Emergency Powers Cases that the emergency
powers were terminated automatically the moment the
Congress was able to reconvene in regular session and
DELEGATION OF POWERS 169

resume its legislative powers. It would also permit


rather than prevent the anomalous situation envisioned
by Justice Tuason thus:
“More anomalous than the exercise of legislative func-
tions by the Executive when Congress is in the unobstructed
exercise of its authority is the fact that there would be two leg-
islative bodies operating over the same field, legislating con-
currently and simultaneously, mutually nullifying each other’s
actions. Even if the emergency powers of the President, as
suggested, be suspended while Congress was in session and be
renewed after each adjournment, the anomaly would not be
eliminated. Congress by a two-thirds vote could repeal execu-
tive orders promulgated by the President during congressional
recess, and the President in turn could treat in the same man-
ner, between sessions of Congress, laws enacted by the latter.
This is not a fantastic apprehension; in two instances, it mate-
rialized. In entire good faith, and inspired only by the best in-
terests of the country as they saw them, a former President
promulgated an executive order regulating house rentals after
he bad vetoed a bill on the subject enacted by Congress, and
the present Chief Executive issued an executive order on ex-
port control after Congress had refused to approve the meas-
ure.”

Section 17 of Article XII of the Constitution pro-


vides —

“In times of national emergency, when the public interest


so requires, the State may, during the emergency and under
reasonable terms prescribed by it, temporarily take over or di-
rect the operation of any privately owned public utility or busi-
ness affected with public interest.”

In David v. Arroyo,8 the Supreme Court declared


that, while the President alone can declare a state of
national emergency, lie may not invoke this pro vision Lo
authorize him during the emergency “to temporarily

" G.R. No. 171396, May 3, 2006, 489 SCRA 161.


170 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

take over or direct the operation of any privately owned


public utility or business affected with public interest
without authority from Congress.” It stressed that
“without legislation, he has no power to take over pri-
vately-owned public utility or business affected with
public interest. In short, the President has no absolute
authority to exercise all the powers of the State under
Section 17, Article XII in the absence of an emergency
powers act passed by Congress.”
However, in the later case of Divinagracia v. Con-
solidated Broadcasting System, Inc.,9 the Court, citing
several laws, acknowledged that the President has been
authorized “to exercise considerable infringements on
the right of the franchisees to operate their enterprises,”
citing as a “corollary constitutional justification” there-
for the provisions of Section 17, Article XII of the Con-
stitution. Among the laws referred to by the Court in
said case is Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7477, which
provides “(a) special right is hereby reserved to the
President of the Philippines, in times of rebellion, public
peril, calamity, emergency, disaster or disturbance of
peace and order, to temporarily take over and operate
the stations of the grantee, temporarily suspend the
operation of any stations in the interest of public safety,
security and public welfare, or authorize the temporary
use and operation thereof by any agency of the Govern-
ment, upon due compensation to the grantee, for the use
of said stations during the period when they shall be so
operated.”

0
G.R. No. 162272, April 7, 2009, 584 SCRA 213.
DELEGATION OF POWERS 171

(3) Delegation to the People


According to Cooley, “the prevailing doctrine in the
courts appears to be, that, except in those cases where,
by the Constitution, the people have expressly reserved
to themselves a power of decision, the function of legis-
lation cannot be exercised by them, even to the extent of
accepting or rejecting a law which has been framed for
their consideration. The people have voluntarily surren-
dered that power when they adopted the Constitution.
The government of the state is democratic, but it is a
representative democracy, and in passing general laws
the people act only through their representatives in the
legislature. Such reference of the law to the people at
large for acceptance or rejection is plain surrender of the
law-making power.”10
But in People v. Vera,11 our Supreme Court ob-
served that “courts have also sustained the delegation of
legislative power to the people at large,” although it was
quick to add that “some authorities maintain that this
may not be done.”
A referendum is traditionally defined as a method
of submitting an important legislative measure to a
direct vote of the whole people.12 It differs from the
plebiscite in that the questions submitted in the latter
are intended to work more permanent changes in the
political structure, like a proposal to amend the Consti-
tution. According to Strong, “the term plebiscite means
literally decree of the people. The plebiscite is a device
to obtain a direct popular vote on a matter of political

10
Constitutional Limitations, 8th ed. 238-
“242.
65 Phil. 56.
12
Black, 1146.
172 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

importance, but chiefly in order to create some more or


less permanent political condition.”13
In our jurisdiction, these terms are defined in Re-
public Act 6735, which implements Section 32 of Article
VI, on initiatives on national and local legislation, and
Section 2 of Article XVII, on initiatives on the Constitu-
tion. Under said law, a referendum is “the power of the
electorate to approve or reject a legislation through an
election called for the purpose,”14 15 while a plebiscite is
“the electoral process by which an initiative on the Con-
stitution is approved or rejected by the people.”16

(4) Delegation to Local Governments

Another accepted exception to the rule against


delegation of legislative powers is delegation to local
governments. This traditional exception is based on the
recognition that local legislatures are more knowledge-
able than the national lawmaking body on matters of
purely local concern and are therefore in a better posi-
tion to enact the necessary and appropriate legislation
thereon.
“It is a cardinal principle of our system of govern-
ment that local affairs shall be managed by local au-
thorities, and general affairs by the central authority;
and hence, while the rule is also fundamental that the
power to make laws cannot be delegated, the creation of
municipalities exercising local self-government has
never been held to trench upon that rule. Such legisla-
tion is not regarded as a transfer of general legislative
power, but rather as the grant of the authority to pre-

Strong, Modern Political Constitutions,


1
'’276.
Section 3 (c).
15
Section 3 (e).
DELEGATION OF POWERS 173

scribe local regulations, according to immemorial prac-


tice, subject, of course, to the interposition of the supe-
rior in cases of necessity.”16
Accordingly, the power of eminent domain and, un-
der the general welfare clause, the police power have
been expressly delegated by the legislature to the local
lawmaking bodies.17 The power of taxation is, however,
derived by them directly from the Constitution, subject
only to limitations that may be imposed by the Con-
gress.18

(5) Delegation to Administrative Bodies

The reasons given earlier for the delegation of legis-


lative powers in general are particularly applicable to
administrative bodies. With the proliferation of special-
ized activities and their attendant peculiar problems,
the national legislature has found it more and more
necessary to entrust to administrative agencies the
“power of subordinate legislation,” as it is called. Thus —
“In the case of People vs. Rosenthal and Osmena, G.R.
Nos. 46076 and 46077, promulgated June 12, 1939, and in
Pangasinan Transportation vs. The Public Service Commis-
sion, G.R. No. 47065, promulgated June 26, 1940, this Court
had occasion to observe that the principle of separation of pow-
ers has been made to adapt itself to the complexities of modern
governments, giving rise to the adoption, within certain limits,
of the principle of ‘subordinate legislation,’ not only in the
United States and England but in practically all modem gov-
ernments. Accordingly, with the growing complexity of modern

16
People v. Vera, supra.
17
See Francla v. Municipality of Meycauayan, G.R. No. 170432,
March 24, 2008, 549 SCRA 53; Social Justice Society v. Atienza, G.R.
No. 156052, February 13, 2008, 545 SCRA 92.
18
Constitution, Art. X, Sec. 5; City of Iriga v. Camarines Sur
III Electric Cooperative, G.R. No. 192945, September 5, 2012.
174 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

life, the multiplication of the subjects of governmental regula-


tions, and the increased difficulty of administering the laws,
the rigidity of the theory of separation of governmental powers
has, to a large extent, been relaxed by permitting, the delega-
tion of greater powers by the legislative and vesting a larger
amount of discretion in administrative and executive officials,
not only in the execution of the laws, but also in the promulga-
tion of certain rules and regulations calculated to promote pub-
lic interest.”19

Indeed, according to the Supreme Court, “given the


volume and variety of interactions in today’s society, it
is doubtful if the legislature can promulgate laws that
will deal adequately with and respond promptly to the
minutiae of everyday life. Hence, the need to delegate to
administrative bodies — the principal agencies tasked
to execute laws in their specialized fields — the author-
lty to promulgate rules and regulations to implement
given statute and effectuate its policies.”20
With this power, administrative bodies may imple-
ment the broad policies laid down in a statute by “filling
in” the details which the Congress may not have the op-
portunity or competence to provide. This is effected by
their promulgation of what are known as supplementary
regulations, such as the implementing rules issued by
the Department of Labor on the Labor Code. These
regulations have the force and effect of law.
Administrative agencies may also issue contingent
regulations pursuant to a delegation of authority to de-
termine some fact or state of things upon which the en-
forcement of a law depends. In other words, they are al-
lowed to ascertain the existence of particular contingen-
cies and on the basis thereof enforce or suspend the

'9 Calalang v. Williams, 70 Phil. 726.


20
Gerochi v. Department of Energy, G.R. No. 159796, July 17,
2007, 527 SCRA 696.
DELEGATION OF POWERS 175

operation of a law. Such contingent regulations also


have the force and effect of law.
A case in point is Cruz v. Youngberg.21 The law in-
volved here prohibited the entry into the country of for-
eign cattle, which had been determined by the Philip-
pine Legislature as the cause of a rinderpest epidemic
that had killed many of the local livestock. The same
law, however, authorized the Governor-General to lift
the prohibition, with the consent of the presiding offi-
cers of the lawmaking body, if he should ascertain after
a fact-finding investigation that there was no longer any
threat of contagion from imported cattle.
For an administrative regulation to be valid, its
promulgation must be authorized by the legislature, it
must be within the scope of the authority given by the
legislature, it must be promulgated in accordance with
the prescribed procedure, and it must be reasonable.22

Tests of Delegation

Assuming that the delegation of legislative power


comes under any of the permissible exceptions, there is
still the question of whether or not the delegation has
been validly made. To be valid, the delegation itself
must be circumscribed by legislative restrictions, not a
“roving commission” that will give the delegate unlim-
ited legislative authority. It must not be a delegation
“running riot” and “not canalized within banks that
keep it from overflowing.”23 Otherwise, the delegation is

21
56 Phil. 234.
22
See Executive Secretary v. Southwing Heavy Industries, G.R.
No. 164171, March 1, 2006, 482 SCRA 673, and Cruz, Philippine
Administrative Law, 2007 edition, pages 50-81.
23
Schecter Poultry Corp. v. US, 295 US 495, Concurring Opin-
ion of Mr. Justice Cardozo; Ynot v. IAC, 148 SCRA 669.
176 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

in legal effect an abdication of legislative authority, a


total surrender by the legislature of its prerogatives in
favor of the delegate.
According to our Supreme Court, the true distinc-
tion is between the delegation of power to make the law,
which necessarily involves discretion as to what the law
shall be, and conferring authority or discretion as to its
execution, to be exercised under and in pursuance of the
law. The first cannot be done; to the latter no valid ob-
jection can be made.”24
Thus, the Supreme Court has declared that “all
that is required for the valid exercise of this power of
subordinate legislation is that the regulation be ger-
mane to the objects and purposes of the law and that
the regulation be not in contradiction to, but in confor-
mity with, the standards prescribed by the law. These
requirements are denominated as the completeness test
and the sufficient standard test.

(1) The Completeness Test

Ideally, the law must be complete in all its essen-


tial terms and conditions when it leaves the legislature
so that there will be nothing left for the delegate to do
when it reaches him except enforce it. A law is complete
when it sets forth therein the policy to be executed, car-
ried out or implemented by the delegate.

24
People v. Vera, supra.
'a Gerochi v. Department of Energy, G.R. No. 159796, July i 7>
2007, 527 SCRA 696.
2B
Pelaez vs. Auditor General, No. L-23825, December 24, 1965,
122 Phil. 965, 974 citing Calalang vs. Williams, No. 47800, December
2, 1940, 70 Phil. 726; Pangasinan Transp. Co. vs. Public Service
Commission, No. 47065, June 26, 1940, 70 Phil. 221, Cruz vs.
Youngberg, No. 34674, October 26, 1931, 56 Phil. 234, Alegre vs.
DELEGATION OF POWERS 177

If there are gaps in the law that will prevent its en-
forcement unless they are first filled, the delegate will
then have been given the opportunity to step into the
shoes of the legislature and to exercise a discretion es-
sentially legislative in order to repair the omissions.
This is invalid delegation.
Thus, in United States v. Ang Tang Ho,™ a law au-
thorized the Governor-General “whenever, for any
cause, conditions arise resulting in extraordinary rise in
the price of palay, rice or corn, to issue and promulgate,
with the consent of the Council of State, temporary
rules and emergency measures for carrying out the pur-
poses of this Act.” Pursuant to this authorization, he
issued regulations fixing ceiling prices for the said cere-
als. The appellant, who was being prosecuted for selling
above the said ceiling prices, challenged the law on the
ground that it constituted an invalid delegation of legis-
lative power for failure to conform to the completeness
test. The Supreme Court sustained his .contention, de-
claring as follows:
“By its very terms, the promulgation of temporary rules
and emergency measures is left to the discretion of the Gover-
nor-General. The Legislature does not undertake to specify or
define under what conditions or for what reasons the Gover-
nor-General shall issue the proclamation, but says that it may
be issued for any cause and leaves the question of what is any
cause to the discretion of the Governor-General. The Legisla-
ture does not also define what is an extraordinary increase in
the price of palay, rice, or other cereal. That is also left to the
discretion of the Governor-General. The law does not specify or
define what such temporary and emergency measures shall * * *

Collector of Customs, No. 30783, August 27, 1929, 53 Phil. 394 et


seq., cited in Abakada Guro Party List v. Ermita, G.R. Nos. 168056,
168207, 168461, 168463 & 168730, September 1, 2005, 469 SCRA 1,
115-116.
27
43 Phil. 1.
178 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

remain in force and effect, or when they shall take effect. All of
these are left to the sole judgment and discretion of the Gover-
nor-General. The law is thus incomplete as a legislation.”

(2) The Sufficient Standard Test

A delegation of legislative power should likewise be


made subject to a sufficient standard. A sufficient stan-
dard is intended to map out the boundaries of the dele-
gate’s authority by defining the legislative policy and
indicating the circumstances under which it is to be
pursued and effected. The purpose of the sufficient
standard is to prevent a total transference of legislative
power from the lawmaking body to the delegate, “who is
not allowed to step into the shoes of the legislature and
exercise a power essentially legislative.”28
According to the Supreme Court, a sufficient stan-
dard is one which defines legislative policy, marks its
limits, maps out its boundaries and specifies the public
agency to apply it. It indicates the circumstances under
which the legislative command is to be effected.29 More-
over, a law “lays down a sufficient standard when it
provides adequate guidelines or limitations in the law to
map out the boundaries of the delegate’s authority and
prevent the delegation from running riot. To be suffi-
cient, the standard must specify the limits of the dele-
gate’s authority, announce the legislative policy and
identify the conditions under which it is to be imple-
mented.”80

“ Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. vs. POEA, No. L-76633, October


18, 1988, 166 SCRA 533, 543-544.
29
Edu vs. Ericta, No. L-32096, October 24, 1970, 35 SCRA 481,
497.
Abakada Guro Party List v. Ermita, G.R. Nos. 168056,
168207, 168461, 168463 & 168730, September 1, 2005, 469 SCRA 1,
DELEGATION OF POWERS 179

The sufficient standard is usually indicated in the


law delegating legislative power. To illustrate, the Blue
Sky Law required the National Treasurer to cancel cer-
tificates for the sale tof speculative securities whenever
necessary in the “public interest.”* 31 The Supreme Court
has considered the “optimization of the revenue-
generation capability and collection of the Bureau of
Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs” as being
“infused with public interest.”32 Under R.A. No. 51, the
President of the Philippines was authorized to reorgan-
ize government-owned or controlled corporations for the
purpose of promoting “simplicity, economy and effi-
ciency” in their operations.33 C.A. No. 548 empowered
the Director of Public Works to promulgate traffic rules
in the light of the “public welfare.”34 Other accepted
standards are “justice and equity,” “the sense and ex-
perience of men,” and “national security.”
But even if the law itself does not expressly pin-
point the standard, the courts will bend over backward
to locate the same elsewhere in order to spare the stat-
ute, if it can, from constitutional infirmity. Thus, in
Hirabayashi v. United States,35 the petitioner challenged
a regulation establishing curfew hours for Niseis, or
American citizens of Japanese ancestry, during World
War II. One of his claims was that the rule was based on
invalidly delegated legislative power, there being no
sufficient standard mentioned in the pertinent law to
limit the delegate’s discretion. The U.S. Supreme Court

115-116, cited in Bureau of Customs Employees Association v. Teves,


G.R. No. 181704, December 6, 2011, 661 SCRA 589.
31
People v. Rosenthal, 68 Phil. 328.
32
Abakada Guro Party List v. Ermita, Ibid.
33
Cervantes v. Auditor General, 91 Phil. 359.
34
Calalang v. Williams, supra.
35
320 U.S. 99.
180 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

held that there was a sufficient standard, to wit, the


national security, and declared as follows:
“It is true that the Act does not in terms establish a par-
ticular standard to which orders of the military commander are
to conform, or require findings to be made as a prerequisite to
any order. But the Executive Order, the Proclamations and the
statute are not to be read in isolation from each other. They
were parts of a single program and must be judged as such.
The Act of March 21, 1942 was an adoption by Congress of the
Executive Order and of the Proclamations. The Proclamations
themselves followed a standard authorized by the Executive
Order-the necessity of protecting military resources in the des-
ignated areas against espionage and sabotage.”

In De la Liana v. Alba,™ Chief Justice Fernando


said:
“Petitioners would characterize as an undue delegation of
legislative power to the President the grant of authority to fix
the compensation and the allowances of the Justices and
judges thereafter appointed. A more careful reading of the
challenged Batas Pambansa Big. 129 ought to have cautioned
them against raising such an issue. The language of the stat-
ute is quite clear. The questioned provision reads as follows:
Intermediate Appellate Justices, Regional Trial Judges, Met-
ropolitan Trial Judges, Municipal Trial Judges, and Municipal
Circuit Trial Judges shall receive such compensation and al-
lowances as may be authorized by the President along the
guidelines set forth in Letter of Implementation No. 93 pursu-
ant to Presidential Decree No. 985, as amended by Presidential
Decree No. 1597. (Chapter IV, Sec. 41 of BP Big. 129). The ex-
istence of a standard is thus clear.”

But it was different in People v. Vera/7 where our


Supreme Court found the old Probation Act unconstitu-
tional. Besides being violative of the equal protection * 37

38
112 SCRA
294.
37
Supra.
DELEGATION OF POWERS 181

clause, the law was held to be an invalid delegation of


legislative power for lack of a sufficient standard.
“The Probation Act was not to be effective immediately.
Its effectivity was made to depend upon an act to be done by
the provincial boards of the provinces, that of appropriating
funds for the salary of a probation officer. If the provincial
board makes the appropriation, the Probation Act is applicable
in that province; if it does not make the appropriation, the law
is not applicable therein. For purposes of the Probation Act,
the provincial boards may thus be regarded as administrative
bodies endowed with power to determine when the Act shall
take effect in their respective provinces. However, the law does
not lay down any rule or standard to guide the provincial
boards in the exercise of their discretionary power. What is
granted to them is a roving commission which enables the pro-
vincial boards to exercise arbitrary discretion. The applicability
and application of the Probation Act are entirely placed in the
hands of the provincial boards with no standard or rule to
guide them. This is a virtual surrender of legislative power to
them.”

In Ynot v. Intermediate Appellate Court,33 the Court


noted:
“We also mark, on top of all this, the questionable man-
ner of the disposition of the confiscated property as prescribed
in the questioned executive order. It is there authorized that
the seized property shall “be distributed to charitable institu-
tions and other similar institutions as the Chairman of the Na-
tional Meat Inspection Commission may see fit, in the case of
carabeef, and to deserving farmers through dispersal as the
Director of Animal Industry may see fit, in the case of cara-
baos.’ The phrase may see fit is an extremely generous and
dangerous condition, if condition it is. It is laden with perilous
opportunities for partiality and abuse, and even corruption.
One searches in vain for the usual standard and the reason-
able guidelines, or belter still, the limitations llial the said offi-
cers must observe when they make their distribution. There is

148 SCRA 659.


182 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

none. Their options are apparently boundless. Who shall be the


fortunate beneficiaries of their generosity and by what criteria
shall they be chosen? Only the officers named can supply the
answer, they and they alone may choose the grantee as they
see fit, and in their own exclusive discretion. Definitely, there
is here a ‘roving commission,’ a wide and sweeping authority
that is not ‘canalized within banks that keep it from overflow-
ing,’ in short, a clearly profligate and therefore invalid delega-
tion of legislative powers.”

The Pelaez Case

The case of Emmanuel Pelaez v. Auditor General39


is worthy of special attention because of its discussion of
the tests of a valid delegation of legislative power. At
issue here was the validity of Sec. 68 of the Revised
Administrative Code empowering the President of the
Philippines to create, merge, divide, abolish or other-
wise alter the boundaries of municipal corporations.
Pelaez contended inter alia that it was an invalid dele-
gation of legislative power. The Government argued
that it was not, invoking the earlier case of Cardona v.
Binangonan,i0 where the power of the Governor-General
to transfer tex-ritory from one municipality to another
was sustained. The Supreme Court upheld Pelaez. Sig-
nificantly, it ruled that the completeness test and the
sufficient standard test, which had theretofore been
applied alternatively, must be applied together or con-
currently. Justice Roberto Conception, speaking for the
Court, declared:
“Although Congress may delegate to another branch of
the Government the power to fill details in the execution, en-
forcement or administration of a law, it is essential, to forestall
a violation of the principle of separation of powers, that oaid * 40

15
40SCRA
36 Phil.
569.
547.
DELEGATION OF POWERS 183

law: (a) be complete in itself—it must set forth therein the pol-
icy to be executed, carried out or implemented by the dele-
gate—and (b) to fix a standard—the limits of which are suffi-
ciently determinate or determinable—to which the delegate
must conform in the performance of his functions. Indeed,
without a statutory declaration of policy, which is the essence
of every law, and, without the aforementioned standard, there
would be no means to determine, with reasonable certainty,
whether the delegate has acted within or beyond the scope of
his authority. Hence, he could thereby arrogate upon himself
the power, not only to make the law, but, also—and this is
worse—to unmake it, by adopting measures inconsistent with
the end sought to be attained by the Act of Congress, thus nul-
lifying the principle of separation of powers and the system of
checks and balances, and, consequently, undermining the very
foundation of our Republican system.
“Section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code does not
meet these well settled requirements for a valid delegation of
the power to fix the details in the enforcement of a law. It does
not enunciate any policy to be carried out or implemented by
the President. Neither does it give a standard sufficiently pre-
cise to avoid the evil effects above referred to.”

Accordingly, in Bureau of Customs Employees Asso-


ciation v. Teves,41 the Supreme Court similarly ruled
that “two tests determine the validity of delegation of
legislative power: (1) the completeness test and (2) the
sufficient standard test,” in finding that both tests “were
fully satisfied by R.A. No. 9335, as evident from the
aforementioned Sections 2, 4 and 7 thereof. Moreover,
Section 5 of R.A. No. 9335 also provides for the incen-
tives due to District Collection Offices. While it is ap-
parent that the last paragraph of Section 5 provides
that ‘[t]he allocation, distribution and release of the dis-
trict reward shall likewise be prescribed by the rules and
regulations of the Revenue Performance and Evaluation
Board,’ Section 7 (a) of R.A. No. 9335 clearly mandates

41
G.R. No. 181704, December 6, 2011, 661 SCRA 589.
184 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

and sets the parameters for the Board by providing that


such rules and guidelines for the allocation, distribution
and release of the fund shall be in accordance with Sec-
tions 4 and 5 of R.A. No. 9335. In sum, the Court finds
that R.A. No. 9335, read and appreciated in its entirety,
is complete in all its essential terms and conditions, and
that it contains sufficient standards as to negate
BOCEA’s supposition of undue delegation of legislative
power to the Board.”
Chapter 8

THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

THE NEW CONSTITUTION has revived the Congress


of the Philippines, which was replaced during the Mar-
cos regime with the Batasang Pambansa. The name of
that legislature is tainted and disgraced, which is
probably one reason why it was not retained to desig-
nate the new legislature. The old Congress under the
Commonwealth Constitution, for all its rather question-
able record, was never a rubber-stamp of the President,
at least not in the servile way the Batasang Pambansa
was to Marcos. The adoption of the former name of the
lawmaking body will resurrect memories of freer days
when the Congress was a peer of the other two depart-
ments and in some respects even more powerful than
either of them.
The new Congress represents a return to bica-
meralism after our recent experiment with unicameral-
ism, which was established by the 1973 Constitution
and, in fact, also initially provided for in the 1935 Con-
stitution before it was amended in 1940. The Malolos
Congress was also unicameral, and so too was the Taft
Commission during the early years of the American
regime. The Philippine Bill of 1902, however, provided
for a legislature consisting of a Philippine Assembly and
the Philippine Commission, which under the Jones Law
were replaced by the House of Representatives and the
Senate, respectively. The Philippine Legislature, as it
was called, was the pattern of the Congress of the Pliil-

185
186 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

ippines that was organized under the 1940 constitu-


tional amendments.
Under the present rules, the Congress of the Philip-
pines also consists of a Senate and a House of Represen-
tatives although many important modifications have
been introduced. One of these, as Section 1 of Article VI
readily indicates, is that the legislative power is now not
exclusively vested in the Congress, in view of the reser-
vation made regarding initiative and referendum.
The said Section 1 provides:
“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.”

The Congress also discharges powers of a non-


legislative nature, among them the canvass of the presi-
dential elections,1 the declaration of the existence of a
state of war,2 the confirmation of amnesties,3 and
(through the Commission on Appointments) presidential
appointments,4 5 the amendment or revision of the Consti-
tution,6 and impeachment.6

The Senate
(1) Composition

Section 2 states that “the Senate shall be composed


of twenty-four Senators who shall be elected at large by

' Constitution, Art. VII,


2Sec. 4. Art. VI, Sec. 23(2).
Ibid.,
3
Id., Art. VI, Sec. 19.
1
Id., Art. VII, Sec. 16.
5
Id., Art. XVII.
6
Id., Art. XI.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 187

the qualified voters of the Philippines, as may be pro-


vided by law.”
By providing for a membership elected at large by
the entire electorate, (this rule intends to make the Se-
nate a training ground for national leaders and possibly
a springboard to the Presidency. The feeling is that the
senator, having a national rather than only a district
constituency, will have a broader outlook of the prob-
lems of the country instead of being restricted by paro-
chial viewpoints and narrow interests. With such a per-
spective, the Senate is likely to be more circumspect and
broad-minded than the House of Representatives.

(2) Qualifications

The qualifications for membership in the Senate


are laid down in Section 3 as follows:
“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 regis-
tered voter, and a resident of the Philippines for not less than
two years immediately preceding the day of the election.”

According to Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitu-


tion, “natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of
the Philippines from birtf without having to perform
any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship.
Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance
with paragraph (3), Section 1 hereof shall be deemed
natural-born citizens.”
The age qualification is fixed at 35 and must be
possessed on the day oft.be elections, that is, when the
polls are opened and the votes are cast, and not on the
day of the proclamation of the winners by the board of
canvassers. This nullifies the ruling in the case of
188 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Espinosa v. Aquino,1 which upheld the late Senator Be-


nigno Aquino, Jr., who was less than the required age
on the day of the election but celebrated his thirty-fifth
birth anniversary before his proclamation as one of the
winners.
The literacy requirement is now specifically pre-
scribed because it is not deemed embraced in the suf-
frage qualification under the present Constitution.
Residence is defined as the place where one habitu-
ally resides and to which, when he is absent, he has the
intention of returning.* 8 A person cannot have two resi-
dences at the same time; acquisition of a new residence
results in forfeiture of the old. However, an intention to
abandon his old residence cannot legally be inferred
from his act in establishing a home elsewhere or other-
wise conducting his activities therein, in the absence of
a clear showing that he has decided to adopt a new resi-
dence. Thus, a legislator who built a house and estab-
lished a law practice in Manila but occasionally visited
his relatives and his properties in his home province
was deemed not to have forfeited his legal residence in
the latter place.9
It has accordingly been held that “the term ‘resi-
dence’ is to be understood not in its common acceptation
as referring to ‘dwelling’ or ‘habitation,’ but rather to
‘domicile’ or legal residence, that is, ‘the place where a
party actually or constructively has his permanent
home, where he, no matter where he may be found at
any given time, eventually intends to return and re-

' Electoral Case No. 9, Senate Electoral Tribunal.


8
Lim v. Pelaez, Electoral Case No. 36 House Electoral Tribu-
nal. See also Brillante v. Reyes, infra.
9
Ibid.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 189

main (animus manendi).’”10 Domicile, according to the


Supreme Court, denotes a fixed permanent residence to
which, whenever absent for business, pleasure, or some
other reasons, one intends to return. It is a question of
intention and circumstances. In the consideration of
circumstances, three rules must be borne in mind,
namely: (1) that a man must have a residence or domi-
cile somewhere; (2) when once established it remains
until a new one is acquired; and (3) a man can have but
one residence or domicile at a time. If one wishes to
successfully effect a change of domicile, he must demon-
strate an actual removal or an actual change of domi-
cile, a bona fide intention of abandoning the former
place of residence and establishing a new one, and defi-
nite acts which correspond with the purpose.11 Without
clear and positive proof of the concurrence of these three
requirements, the domicile of origin continues.12
Applying the foregoing criteria, the Supreme Court
disqualified, on the ground of failure to comply with the
residence requirement, a candidate who sought to es-
tablish his residence with his voter registration records,
a marriage certificate, water bills and a deed of sale
covering property in the place where he sought to be
elected. In rejecting his evidence on his alleged resi-
dence, the Supreme Court noted —
“The above pieces of documentary evidence, however, fail
to convince us that Noble successfully effected a change of

10
Japzon v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 180088, Janu-
ary 19, 2009, 576 SCRA 331.
" Domino v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 134015, July
19, 1999, 310 SCRA 546, 369 Phil. 798, 818 (1999).
12
In the Matter of the Petition for Disqualification of Tess
Dumpit-Michelena, G.R. Nos. 163619-20, November 17, 2005, 475
SCRA 290, 303.
190 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

domicile. As correctly ruled by the COMELEC Second Division,


private respondent’s claim that he is a registered voter and has
actually voted in the past 3 elections in Kinoguitan, Misamis
Oriental do not sufficiently establish that he has actually
elected residency in the said municipality. Indeed, while we
have ruled in the past that voting gives rise to a strong pre-
sumption of residence, it is not conclusive evidence thereof.
Thus, in Perez v. Commission on Elections, we held that a per-
son’s registration as voter in one district is not proof that he is
not domiciled in another district. The registration of a voter in
a place other than his residence of origin is not sufficient to
consider him to have abandoned or lost his residence.
“To establish a new domicile of choice, personal presence
in the place must be coupled with conduct indicative of that in-
tention. It requires not only such bodily presence in that place
but also a declared and probable intent to make it one’s fixed
and permanent place of abode.
“In this case, Noble’s marriage to Bernadith Go does not
establish his actual physical presence in Kinoguitan, Misamis
Oriental. Neither does it prove an intention to make it his
permanent place of residence. We are also not persuaded by his
alleged payment of water bills in the absence of evidence show-
ing to which specific properties they pertain. And while Noble
presented a Deed of Sale for real property, the veracity of this
document is belied by his own admission that he does not own
property in Kinoguitan, Misamis Oriental.
“On the contrary, we find that Noble has not abandoned
his original domicile as shown by the following: a) Certification
dated April 12, 2007 of the Barangay Kagawad of Barangay
Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City stating that Noble is a resident
of the barangay; b) Affidavit of the Barangay Kagawad of
Esperanza, Kinoguitan, Misamis Oriental dated April 14, 2007,
attesting that Noble has not resided in Barangay Esperanza in
Kinoguitan; c) photos and official receipts showing that Noble
and his wife maintain their residence and businesses in La-
pasan; d) tax declarations of real properties in Cagayan de Oro
City under the name of Noble; and e) the ‘Household Record of
Barangay Inhabitants’ of Mayor Narciso Go, which did not in-
clude Noble or his wife, Bernadith Go, which disproves Noble’s
claim that he resides with his father-in-law.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 191

“From the foregoing, we find that Noble’s alleged change


of domicile was effected solely for the purpose of qualifying as a
candidate in the 2007 elections. This we cannot allow. In To-
rayno, Sr. v. Commission on Elections, we held that the one-
year residency requirement is aimed at excluding outsiders
‘from taking advantage of favorable circumstances existing in
that community for electoral gain.’ Establishing residence in a
community merely to meet an election law requirement defeats
the purpose of representation: to elect through the assent of
voters those most cognizant and sensitive to the needs of the
community. Thus, we find Noble disqualified from running as
municipal mayor of Kinoguitan, Misamis Oriental in the 2007
elections.”13

In Limbona v. COMELEC,14 the Court likewise de-


clared that a candidate is presumed to have changed her
domicile upon her marriage, or by operation of law, con-
sistent with the provisions of Articles 68 and 69 of the
Family Code to the effect that spouses shall have a sin-
gle family domicile, unless one of them maintains a
separate residence.
Residence is in any part of the Philippines, like in
the case of the party-list representative member of the
House of Representatives, and unlike in the case of the
district representative member of the House of Repre-
sentatives, who must reside in the district where he is
running.
In Mitra v. COMELEC,15 the Supreme Court ex-
plained the underlying reasons behind the residence
qualification in this manner —

13
Pundaodaya v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179313, September 17,
2009, 600 SCRA 178.
G.R. No. 181097, June 25, 2008, 555 SCRA 391; ooo also
Limbona v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 186006, October 16, 2009, 604
SCRA 240.
15
G.R. No. 191938, July 2, 2010, 622 SCRA 744; October
19, 2010, 633 SCRA 580.
192 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

“The minimum requirement under our Constitution and


election laws for the candidates’ residency in the political unit
they seek to represent has xxx a very specific purpose: to pre-
vent ‘stranger[s] or newcomerls] unacquainted with the condi-
tions and needs of a community’ from seeking elective offices in
that community, xxx (Officials of districts or localities should
not only be acquainted with the metes and bounds of their con-
stituencies; more importantly, they should know their con-
stituencies and the unique circumstances of their constituents
— their needs, difficulties, aspirations, potentials for growth
and development, and all matters vital to their common wel-
fare. Familiarity, or the opportunity to be familiar, with these
circumstances can only come with residency in the constitu-
ency to be represented. The purpose of the residency require-
ment is ‘best met by individuals who have either had actual
residence in the area for a given period or who have been
domiciled in the same area either by origin or by choice.’ At the
same time, the constituents themselves can best know and
evaluate the candidates’ qualifications and fitness for office if
these candidates have lived among them.”

The qualifications prescribed in this section are


continuing requirements, that is, they must be pos-
sessed for the entire duration of the member’s incum-
bency.
Thus, Senators and Members of the House of Rep-
resentatives must be natural-born citizens not only at the
time of their election but during their entire tenure.16
Accordingly, if a legislator should, say, be naturalized in
a foreign country during his term, he shall cease to be
entitled to his seat. * 17

16
See Limkaichong v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 178831-32, April
1, 2009, 583 SCRA 1; see also Limkaichong v. COMELEC, G.R. No.
164978, G.R. No. 164978, October 13, 2005, 472 SCRA 587; Vilando
v. HRET, G.R. Nos. 192147 & 192149, August 23, 2011, 656 SCRA
17.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 193

In Maquiling v. Commission on Elections,17 the Su-


preme Court declared that a candidate who takes his
Oath of Allegiance to the Republic and executes an Affi-
davit of Renunciation of his American citizenship under
the provisions of the Republic Act No. 9225, but thereaf-
ter continues using his American passport, is to be con-
sidered as having recanted his oath of renunciation of
his foreign citizenship and shall therefore be ineligible
to run for elective office as he thereby reverts to his
status as a dual citizen.
They are also exclusive under the principle of ex-
pressio unius est exclusio alterius, with the result that it
is not competent for Congress to provide by mere legis-
lation for additional qualifications no matter how rele-
vant they may be. For example, a statutory requirement
of a college degree as an added qualification for mem-
bership in the Congress would be unconstitutional.
Accordingly, Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165, which required
all candidates for public office, whether appointed or
elected, both in the national or local government, to
undergo a mandatory drug test, was, upon petition of a
Senator, declared unconstitutional by the Supreme
Court in Social Justice Society v. Dangerous Drugs
Board,13 as follows —
“Accordingly, Sec. 36 (g) of RA 9165 should be, as it is
hereby declared as, unconstitutional. It is basic that if a law or
an administrative rule violates any norm of the Constitution,
that issuance is null and void and has no effect. The Constitu-
tion is the basic law to which all laws must conform; no act
shall be valid if it conflicts with the Constitution. In the dis-
charge of their defined functions, the three departments of 17 18

17
G.R. No. 195649, April 16, 2013; see also Reyes v. Commis-
sion on Elections, G.R. No. 207264, June 25, 2013.
18
G.R. No. 157870, November 3, 2008, 570 SCRA 410.
194 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

government have no choice but to yield obedience to the com-


mands of the Constitution. Whatever limits it imposes must be
observed.
“Congress’ inherent legislative powers, broad as they
may be, are subject to certain limitations. As early as 1927, in
Government v. Springer, the Court has defined, in the abstract,
the limits on legislative power in the following wise:
‘“Someone has said that the powers of the legisla-
tive department of the Government, like the boundaries
of the ocean, are unlimited. In constitutional govern-
ments, however, as well as governments acting under
delegated authority, the powers of each of the depart-
ments xxx are limited and confined within the four
walls of the constitution or the charter, and each de-
partment can only exercise such powers as are necessar-
ily implied from the given powers. The Constitution is
the shore of legislative authority against which the
waves of legislative enactment may dash, but over which
it cannot leap.’
“Thus, legislative power remains limited in the sense
that it is subject to substantive and constitutional limitations
which circumscribe both the exercise of the power itself and
the allowable subjects of legislation. The substantive constitu-
tional limitations are chiefly found in the Bill of Rights and
other provisions, such as Sec. 3, Art. VI of the Constitution
prescribing the qualifications of candidates for senators.
“In the same vein, the COMELEC cannot, in the guise of
enforcing and administering election laws or promulgating
rules and regulations to implement Sec. 36(g), validly impose
qualifications on candidates for senator in addition to what the
Constitution prescribes. If Congress cannot require a candidate
for senator to meet such additional qualification, the COME-
LEC, to be sure, is also without such power. The right of a citi-
zen in the democratic process of election should not be defeated
by unwarranted impositions of requirement not otherwise
specified in the Constitution.
“Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165, as sought to be implemented by
the aseailod COMELEC resolution, effectively enlarges the
qualification requirements enumerated in Sec. 3, Art. VI cf the
Constitution. As couched, said Sec. 36(g) unmistakably re-
quires a candidate for senator to be certified illegal-drug clean,
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 195

obviously as a pre-condition to the validity of a certificate of


candidacy for senator or, with like effect, a condition sine qua
non to be voted upon and, if proper, be proclaimed as senator-
elect. The COMELEC resolution completes the chain with the
proviso that ‘[n]o person elected to any public office shall enter
upon the duties of his office until he has undergone mandatory
drug test.’ Viewed, therefore, in its proper context, Sec. 36(g) of
RA 9165 and the implementing COMELEC Resolution add an-
other qualification layer to what the 1987 Constitution, at the
minimum, requires for membership in the Senate. Whether or
not the drug-free bar set up under the challenged provision is
to be hurdled before or after election is really of no moment, as
getting elected would be of little value if one cannot assume of-
fice for non-compliance with the drug-testing requirement.
“It may of course be argued, in defense of the validity of
Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165, that the provision does not expressly
state that non-compliance with the drug test imposition is a
disqualifying factor or would work to nullify a certificate of
candidacy. This argument may be accorded plausibility if the
drug test requirement is optional. But the particular section of
the law, without exception, made drug-testing on those covered
mandatory, necessarily suggesting that the obstinate ones
shall have to suffer the adverse consequences for not adhering
to the statutory command. And since the provision deals with
candidates for public office, it stands to reason that the adverse
consequence adverted to can only refer to and revolve around
the election and the assumption of public office of the candi-
dates. Any other construal would reduce the mandatory nature
of Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 into a pure jargon without meaning
and effect whatsoever.
“While it is anti-climactic to state it at this juncture,
COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 is no longer enforceable, for by
its terms, it was intended to cover only the May 10, 2004 syn-
chronized elections and the candidates running in that elec-
toral event. Nonetheless, to obviate repetition, the Court deems
it appropriate to review and rule, as it hereby rules, on its va-
lidity as an implementing issuance.
“It ought to be made abundantly clear, however, that tho
unconstitutionality of Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 is rooted on its
having infringed the constitutional provision defining the
qualification or eligibility requirements for one aspiring to run
for and serve as senator.”
196 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Of course, this ruling would be applicable even to


Members of the House of Representatives and other
elective and appointive constitutional officers.

(3) Term.

The term of the members of the Senate is governed


by the following provisions in Articles VI and XVIII,
respectively:
“Sec. 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 elec-
tion.”
“Sec. 2. The Senators, Members of the House of Repre-
sentatives, and the local officials first elected under this Con-
stitution shall serve until noon of June 30, 1992.
“Of the senators elected in the election in 1992, the first
twelve obtaining the highest number of votes shall serve for six
years and the remaining twelve for three years.”

The twenty-four senators first elected under this


Constitution on the second Monday of May 1987 served
a term of only five years ending on June 30, 1992. Of the
twenty-four senators elected in 1992, the first twelve
obtaining the highest number of votes served the full
term of six years expiring in 1998, and the last twelve
served a term of only three years ending in 1995. The
twelve senators elected in 1995 served the full term of
six years. Those elected in 1998 also served the full term
of six years as so too those elected in 2001. In other
words, beginning 1995, twelve senators were elected
every three years, to serve the full term of six years, so
that unlike the House of Representatives, the Senate
shall not at any time be completely dissolved. One-half
of the membership is retained as the other half is re-
placed or reelected every three years.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 197

It is for this reason that the Senate has been de-


scribed as a “continuing” institution, “as it is not dis-
solved as an entity with each national election or change
in the composition of its members. However, in the con-
duct of its day-to-day business, the Senate of each Con-
gress acts separately and independently of the Senate of
the Congress before it. Accordingly, all pending matters
and proceedings, i.e., unpassed bills and even legislative
investigations, of the Senate of a particular Congress
are considered terminated upon the expiration of that
Congress and it is merely optional on the Senate of the
succeeding Congress to take up such unfinished mat-
ters, not in the same status, but as if presented for the
first time.”19
This is consistent with the general characterization
of Congress as “not a continuing body,” particularly with
respect to the passage of bills. Accordingly, in League of
Cities of the Philippines v. COMELECf0 it was ruled
that the “unapproved cityhood bills filed during the 11th
Congress became mere scraps of paper upon the ad-
journment of the 11th Congress. All the hearings and
deliberations conducted during the 11th Congress on
unapproved bills also became worthless upon the ad-
journment of the 11th Congress.” Said deliberations on
unapproved bills do not even “qualify as extrinsic aids in
construing laws passed by subsequent Congresses.”
It should be noted though that it has been ruled
that the Senate’s power to punish for contempt in the
exercise of its power to conduct inquiries in aid of legis- * 20

” Garcillano v. House of Representatives, G.R. No. 170338, De-


cember 23, 2008, 575 SCRA 170; Neri v. Senate Committee on Ac-
countability of Public Officers, G.R. No. 180643, September 4, 2008,
564 SCRA 152.
20
G.R. No. 176951, November 18, 2008, 571 SCRA 263.
198 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW-

lation does not cease to exist upon the periodical disso-


lution of the Congress or of the House of Representa-
tives, because the Senate is, for said purpose or in con-
nection with said power, to be considered a “continuing
body.” According to the Supreme Court in Arnault v.
Nazareno?11 that “power subsists as long as the Senate,
which is a continuing body, persists in performing the
particular legislative function involved. To hold that it
may punish the witness for contempt only during the
session in which investigation was begun, would be to
recognize the right of the Senate to perform its function
but at the same time to deny to it an essential and ap-
propriate means for its performance. Aside from this, if
we should hold that the power to punish for contempt
terminates upon the adjournment of the session, the
Senate would have to resume the investigation at the
next and succeeding sessions and repeat the contempt
proceedings against the witness until the investigation
is completed — an absurd, unnecessary, and vexatious
procedure, which should be avoided.”
It is significant that in Garcillano v. House of Rep-
resentatives,^ the Supreme Court, citing the separate
opinion of Mr. Justice Carpio in Neri v. Senate Commit-
tee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investiga-
tions?3 stressed that “the present Senate under the 1987
Constitution is no longer a continuing legislative body.
The present Senate has twenty-four members, twelve of
whom are elected every three years for a term of six
years each. Thus, the term of twelve Senators expires
every three years, leaving less than a majority of Sena-
tors to continue into the next Congress. The 1987 Con-

87 Phil. 29.
575 SCRA 170
(2008).
549 SCRA 77
(2008).
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 199

stitution, like the 1935 Constitution, requires a majority


of Senators to ‘constitute a quorum to do business.’ Ap-
plying the same reasoning in Arnault v. Nazareno, the
Senate under the 198,7 Constitution is not a continuing
body because less than majority of the Senators con-
tinue into the next Congress. The consequence is that
the Rules of Procedure must be republished by the Sen-
ate after every expiry of the term of twelve Senators.”
The continuity of the life of the Senate is intended
to encourage the maintenance of Senate policies as well
as guarantee that there will be experienced members
who can help and train newcomers in the discharge of
their duties.
It should be noted, however, that as desirable as
experience may be, the Constitution specifically pro-
vides in Article VI, Section 4, that:

“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 continu-
ity of his service for the full term for which he was elected.”

The Constitution seems to be wary of elective offi-


cials who stay too long in office, probably because they
may entrench themselves in power to the exclusion of
other aspirants for their office and perhaps also create
or maintain the political dynasties discouraged and
eschewed in Article II as a matter of state policy. The
senator can serve no more than twelve consecutive
years, after which he must seek greener pastures (per-
haps in the Presidency) or just lie down to pasture.
The term of the members of the Congress of the
Philippines under the old Constitution began on the
thirtieth day of December next following their election
in November. Inasmuch as the election date has been
200 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

moved to May, it has become necessary also to change


the date for the commencement of the term of the mem-
bers of the Congress.
It is curious, though, that it has been set on the
thirtieth day of June, considering that this is the end of
the month and, unlike Rizal Day, does not have any
historical significance. Furthermore, there does not
seem to be any reason for making the term start at ex-
actly noon, as in the case of the President of the Philip-
pines. His term commences at noon because of the
ceremonies held in connection with his formal inaugura-
tion, but the legislators do not have to wait that long to
begin their own term.
Perhaps it might have been better to provide that
the term of office of the members of the Congress shall
commence on the first day of July, and without waiting
for high noon. This may yet be done now by ordinary
legislation.

The House of Representatives


(1) Composition

A new composition is prescribed for the House of


Representatives consisting of two kinds of members, to
wit, the district representative and the party-list repre-
sentative. The former is elected directly and personally,
from the territorial unit he is seeking to represent. The
latter, on the other hand, is chosen indirectly, through
the party he represents, which is the one voted for by
the electorate. The party-list system is an innovation of
the 1987 Constitution and its wisdom and efficacy are
still both doubted and challenged to this day.
The pertinent provisions are the following:
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 201

“SEC. 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 legis-
lative 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, re-
gional and sectoral parties or organizations.
“(2) The party-list representatives shall constitute
twenty per centum of the total membership of the House of
Representatives. For three consecutive terms after the ratifica-
tion 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, in-
digenous cultural communities, women, youth and such other
sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector.
“(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.
“(4) Within three years following the return of every
census, the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legisla-
tive districts based on the standards provided in this section.”

(A) The District Representatives


Two hundred members were originally provided for
in the House of Representatives to be directly elected
from the various legislative districts created by the Or-
dinance appended to the 1987 Constitution. The terri-
tory was divided into thirteen regions, in turn compris-
ing two hundred districts apportioned among the prov-
inces, cities and Metropolitan Manila in accordance with
the number of their respective inhabitants and on the
basis of a uniform and progressive ratio.
This initial apportionment shall be subject to ad-
justment by the Congress within three years after the
return of every enumeration to make the representation
202 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

of the entire nation as equitable as possible. When mak-


ing such reapportionment, the legislature shall see to it
that each city with a population of at least two hundred
fifty thousand, and every province, shall have at least
one representative.
The new Constitution reiterates the guaranty
against gerrymandering, which is the arrangement of
districts in such a way as to favor the election of pre-
ferred candidates (usually re-electionists) through the
inclusion therein only of those areas where they expect
to win, regardless of the resultant shape of such dis-
tricts. It has been described as “an apportionment of
representative districts so contrived as to give an unfair
advantage to the party in power.”24 25 26 Compact means
solid; contiguous, in physical contact; and adjacent, close
by or near.
In Aldaba v. COMELEC^ the Supreme Court nul-
lified a law which created a legislative district for
Malolos City, “carving the city from the former First
Legislative, (leaving) the town of Bulacan isolated from
the rest of the geographic mass of that district.” This,
according to the Supreme Court, “contravenes the re-
quirement in Section 5(3), Article VI that each legisla-
tive district shall ‘comprise, as far as practicable, con-
tiguous, compact, and adjacent territory”’
In Navarro v. Ermita™ the Supreme Court, in up-
holding the constitutionality of an exception specified in
the provisions of Article 9(2) of the Rules and Regula-
tions Implementing the Local Government Code of 1991,
ruled that a proposed province composed of one or more

“ Navarro v. Ermita, G.R. No. 180050, February 10, 2010, 612


SCRA 131.
25
G.R. No. 188078, January 25, 2010, 611 SCRA 137.
26
G.R. No. 180050, April 12, 2011, 648 SCRA 400.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 203

islands need not comply with the 2,000 square meter


contiguous territory requirement under the Local Gov-
ernment Code.
Macias v. Commission on Elections21 is the author-
ity for the view that the validity of a legislative appor-
tionment measure is a justiciable question, involving as
it does certain requirements the interpretation of which
does not call for the exercise of legislative discretion.
The Supreme Court in fact annulled the challenged law
in that case when it was shown that the apportionment
was not based on the number of the inhabitants in the
various representative districts. The Supreme Court
noted that some big provinces were given less represen-
tatives than certain relatively smaller ones, e.g., Cebu
got seven while Rizal with a bigger population then got
only four.
In Hererra v. COMELEC,2i the Supreme Court
clarified that the basis for “districting is the number of
inhabitants” of a province or a city, and not the number
of its registered voters.
It should be noted that the 250,000 minimum popu-
lation requirement for the establishment of legislative
districts under Section 5 (3) applies only to cities,27 28 29 and
not to provinces,30 although the Local Government Code
provides for a minimum population of 250,000 as an
alternative requirement for the establishment of a prov-

27
3 SCRA 1.
28
G.R. No. 131499, November 17, 1999, 318 SCRA 336.
29
Mariano v. COMET.EC, G.R. No 118577 March 7, 1995, 242
SCRA 211.
30
Aquino v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 189793, April 7, 2010, 617
SCRA 623.
11
Section 461.
204 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Indeed, it has been ruled that this population re-


quirement does not apply even to the creation of addi-
tional legislative districts for cities32 or for provinces.33 * * In
other words, it is not necessary for either a city or a
province to have an additional population of 250,000 to
establish an additional legislative district. As cited by
the Supreme Court in Mariano v. COMELEC™ Section
3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution pro-
vides that “any province that may hereafter be created,
or any city whose population may hereafter increase to
more than two hundred fifty thousand shall be entitled
in the immediately following election to at least one
Member or such number of Members as it may be enti-
tled to on the basis of the number of its inhabitants and
according to the standards set forth in paragraph (3),
section 5 of Article VI of the Constitution.”
In Tobias v. Abalos,36 the Supreme Court declared
that the conversion of Mandaluyong into a highly urban-
ized city automatically resulted in its establishment as a
legislative district. It should be noted that a plebiscite
was necessary for the validity of said conversion, consis-
tent with the provisions of Section 10 of Article X of the
Constitution. However, there would be no need for such
a plebiscite where no new territory or no change in an
existing territory is made under a law, and only a reap-
portionment or the creation of an additional legislative
district is done.36

:r2
Mariano v. COMELEC, Ibid.
Aquino v. COMELEC, Ibid.
M
Id.
36
239 SCRA 106.
Tobias v. Abalos, Ibid.; Bagabuyo v. COMELEC, G.R. No.
176970, December 8, 2008, 573 SCRA 290.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 205

In Aldaba v. COMELEC, law creating a legisla-

d
c
tive district was annulled after a finding that it was
based on mere demographic projections.
It must be pointed out as well that a law, the Mus-
lim Mindanao Autonomy Act, authorizing the govern-
ment of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao to
create provinces and cities has been considered as un-
constitutional because the power to create them inher-
ently involves the power to create legislative districts,
which only Congress possesses. It may, however, be
authorized by law to create municipalities and baran-
gays.37 38

(B) The Party-list Representatives

The House of Representatives is composed not only


of the regular district representatives but also of the
party-list representatives as provided for in the 1987
Constitution. The party-list representatives shall consti-
tute 20% of the total membership of the body, including
such representatives.
The rules for the selection of the party-list repre-
sentatives are embodied in R.A. No. 7941, which was
enforced for the first time in the elections held in 1998.
Section 2 of this law provides, among others, for the
promotion of “proportional representation in the election
of representatives to the House of Representatives
through a party-list system of registered national, re-
gional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions
thereof, which will enable Filipino citizens belonging to
the marginalized and underrepresented sectors, organi-

37
G.R No. 188078, January 25, 2010, 611 SCRA 137.
38
Sema v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 177597, July 16, 2008, 558
SCRA 700.
206 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

zations and parties, and who lack well-defined political


constituencies but who could contribute to the formula-
tion and enactment of appropriate legislation that will
benefit the nation as a whole, to become members of the
House of Representatives.”
In Along Paglaum, Inc. v. Commission on Elec-
tions,39 the Supreme Court, in setting the parameters for
participation in party-list elections, clarified that, con-
sistent with the provisions of Section 5 (1), the party-list
system provides for three different groups, namely, the
national parties or organizations, the regional parties or
organizations, and the sectoral parties or organizations.
Thus —

“1. Three different groups may participate in the party-


list system: (1) national parties or organizations, (2) regional
parties or organizations, and (3) sectoral parties or organiza-
tions.
“2. National parties or organizations and regional par-
ties or organizations do not need to organize along sectoral
lines and do not need to represent any ‘marginalized and un-
derrepresented’ sector.
“3. Political parties can participate in party-list elec-
tions provided they register under the party-list system and do
not field candidates in legislative district elections. A political
party, whether major or not, that fields candidates in legisla-
tive district elections can participate in party-list elections only
through its sectoral wing that can separately register under
the party-list system. The sectoral wing is by itself an inde-
pendent sectoral party, and is linked to a political party
through a coalition.
“4. Sectoral parties or organizations may either be ‘mar-
ginalized and underrepresented’ or lacking in ‘well-defined po-
litical constituencies.’ It is enough that their principal advo-
cacy pertains to the special interest and concerns of their sec-
tor. ‘The sectors that are ‘marginalized and underrepresented’

” G.R. No. 203766, April 2, 2013, 694 SCRA 477.


:l
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 207

include labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cul-


tural communities, handicapped, veterans, and overseas work-
ers. The sectors that lack ‘well-defined political constituencies’
include professionals, the elderly, women, and the youth.
“5. A majority of the members of sectoral parties or or-
ganizations that represent the ‘marginalized and underrepre-
sented’ must belong to the ‘marginalized and underrepre-
sented’ sector they represent. Similarly, a majority of the
members of sectoral parties or organizations that lack ‘well-
defined political constituencies’ must belong to the sector they
represent. The nominees of sectoral parties or organizations
that represent the ‘marginalized and underrepresented,’ or
that represent those who lack ‘well-defined political constitu-
encies,’ either must belong to their respective sectors, or must
have a track record of advocacy for their respective sectors.
The nominees of national and regional parties or organizations
must be bona-fide members of such parties or organizations.
“6. National, regional, and sectoral parties or organiza-
tions shall not be disqualified if some of their nominees are
disqualified, provided that they have at least one nominee who
remains qualified.”

In said case, the Court stressed that “the party-list


system is intended to democratize political power by
giving political parties that cannot win in legislative
district elections a chance to win seats in the House of
Representatives.” It explained that it is “not synony-
mous with that of the sectoral representation.”
The law provides that not later than 90 days before
election day, any political party, organization or coali-
tion may file a verified petition through its president or
secretary for its participation in the party-list system,
attaching a copy of its constitution, by laws, platform,
and list of officers, and such other relevant information
as may be required by the Commission on Elections.
The petition shall be published in at least 2 news-
papers of general circulation and, after due notice and
hearing, be resolved within 15 days and in no case later
208 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

than 60 days before the election. Among those disquali-


fied are religious sects; those which advocate violence or
unlawful means to seek their goal; foreign parties; par-
ties which receive support from any foreign government
or foreign political party; those which violate or fail to
comply with laws, rules or regulations relating to elec-
tion laws; those which declare untruthful statements in
their petitions; those which have ceased to exist for at
least one year; and those who failed to participate in the
last two preceding elections. The other ground specified
in Section 6, to wit, “failure to obtain at least two per-
centum (2%) of the votes cast under the party-list sys-
tem in the two (2) preceding elections for the constitu-
ency in which it has registered,” has been declared un-
constitutional by the Supreme Court.40
The sectors shall include labor, peasant, fisher-folk,
urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly,
handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas work-
ers, and professionals. According to the Supreme Court,
this enumeration of marginalized and under-represented
sectors in Section 5 is not exclusive. “The crucial ele-
ment is not whether a sector is specifically enumerated,
but whether a particular organization complies with the
requirements of the Constitution and RA 7941.”41 As
previously noted, “sectoral parties or organizations may
either be ‘marginalized and underrepresented’ or lack-
ing in ‘well-defined political constituencies.’ It is enough
that their principal advocacy pertains to the special
interests and concerns of their sector. The sectors that
are ‘marginalized and underrepresented’ include labor,

BANAT v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179271, July 8, 2009, 592


SCRA 294.
41
Ang LADLAD LGBT Party v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 190582,
April 8, 2010, 618 SCRA 32.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 209

peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural


communities, handicapped, veterans, and overseas
workers. The sectors that lack ‘well-defined political
constituencies’ include professionals, the elderly,
women, and the youth.”42
Upon registration, the political group shall submit
to the COMELEC not later than 45 days before the elec-
tion at least 5 names from which its representatives
may be chosen in case it obtains the required number of
votes. Under the law, the names of the party-list nomi-
nees shall not be shown on the certified list of partici-
pants in the party-list system to be distributed by the
COMELEC among all the precincts. It has been ruled
though that it is the COMELEC’s constitutional duty to
disclose and release the names of the nominees of the
party-list groups.43
Only persons who have given their consent in writ-
ing may be named as party-list candidates, and in one
list only. Persons who lost in the immediately preceding
election are ineligible. It should be stressed in this re-
gard that, as previously noted, “a party-list nominee
must be a bona fide member of the party or organization
which he or she seeks to represent. In the case of sec-
toral parties, to be a bona fide party-list nominee, one
must either belong to the sector represented, or have a
track record of advocacy for such sector.”44 Section 9 of
RA 7941 provides that a nominee of the youth sector

42
Atong Paglaum, Inc. v. Commission on Elections, Id.
43
Bantay Republic Act v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 177271, May 4,
2007, 523 SCRA 1.
44
Atong Paglaum, Inc. v. Commission on Elections, supra.
210 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

must at least be twenty-five but not more than thirty


years of age on the day of the election.45 * *
In Alauya v. Limbona,^ the Supreme Court de-
clared as ineligible, and punished, a judge who filed his
certificate of candidacy as a party-list representative
without first resigning, stating that he “violated not
only the law, but the constitutional mandate that ‘no
officer or employee in the civil service shall engage di-
rectly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan
political campaign.’”
In Seneres v. COMELEC,'’1 the Court clarified that
the “submission of a nomination list by the President of
a party, who is concurrently LRTA Administrator, with-
out doing more, is not electioneering or partisan politi-
cal activity. Any authorized person may submit a nomi-
nation list. Even a President, whose term had expired,
may validly do so, if previously authorized, on the basis
of the hold-over doctrine.”
Under Section 8 of the law, no change of names or
alteration of the order of nominees shall be allowed af-
ter the same shall have been submitted to the COME-
LEC except in cases where the nominee dies, or with-
draws in writing his nomination, or becomes incapaci-
tated, in which case the name of the substitute nominee
shall be placed last in the list. Incumbent sectoral re-
presentatives in the House of Representatives who are
nominated in the party-list system shall not be consid-
ered resigned.

45
See Amores v. HRET, G.R. No. 189600, June 29, 2010, 622
3CRA 593.
A.M. No. SCC-98-4, March 22, 2011, 646 SCRA 1.
n
G.R. No. 178678, April 16, 2009, 585 SCRA 557.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 211

In Lokin v. COMELEC™ the Supreme Court an-


nulled an additional ground allowed by the COMELEC
for the substitution by a registered party of its nomi-
nees, per Section 13 pf its Resolution No. 7804, to wit,
when the “nomination is withdrawn by the party.” It
stressed that Section 8 of RA 7941 “enumerates only
three instances in which the party-list organization can
substitute another person in place of the nominee whose
name has been submitted to the COMELEC.” The Court
considered said additional ground as ultra vires stating
that the implementing rules and regulations of the
COMELEC “should not override, supplant, or modify
the law. It is basic that the IRRs should remain consis-
tent with the law they intend to carry out.”
At any rate, it is established that the COMELEC
has jurisdiction over cases pertaining to party leader-
ship and the nomination of party-list representatives.48 49
Every voter shall be entitled to 2 votes: the first for
the candidate for member of the House of Representa-
tives in his legislative district and the second for the
party, organization or coalition he wants represented in
the House of Representatives.
The participants in the party-list system shall be
ranked according to the number of votes they received,
with those getting at least 2% of the total votes cast for
the system being entitled to one seat each. None of them
shall have more than 3 seats each.
The COMELEC shall tally all the votes for the par-
ticipants, rank them according to the number of votes
received, and allocate party list representatives propor-

48
G.R. No. 180443, June 22, 2010, 621 SCRA 385.
49
Lokin v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 193808, June 26,
2012, 674 SCRA 538.
212 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

tionately according to the percentage of votes obtained


by each of them as against the total nation-wide votes
cast for the party-list system.
The party-list representatives shall be proclaimed
by the COMELEC according to their ranking in the list
of names submitted to it by the party, organization or
coalition that has been determined, on the basis of the
votes it has garnered, to be entitled to representation in
the Lower House.
In BANAT v. COMELEC,50 the Supreme Court
clarified that “for every four district representatives, the
1987 Constitution mandates that there shall be one
party-list representative. There is no need for legislation
to create an additional party-list seat whenever four
additional legislative districts are created by
law. Section 5(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution
automatically creates such additional party-list seat.” It
added that the “filling-up of all available party-list seats
is not mandatory,” and that the four parameters in a
Philippine-style party-list election system are as follows

“1. Twenty percent of the total number of the member-


ship of the House of Representatives is the maximum number
of seats available to party-list organizations, such that there is
automatically one party-list seat for every four existing legisla-
tive districts.
“2. Garnering two percent of the total votes cast in the
party-list elections guarantees a party-list organization one
seat. The guaranteed seats shall be distributed in a first round
of seat allocation to parties receiving at least two percent of the
total party-list votes.

50
BANAT v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179271, July 8, 2009, 592
SCRA 294.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 213

“3. The additional seats, that is, the remaining seats af-
ter allocation of the guaranteed seats, shall be distributed to
the party-list organizations including those that received less
than two percent of the total votes. The continued operation of
the two percent threshold as it applies to the allocation of the
additional seats is now unconstitutional because this threshold
mathematically and physically prevents the filling up of the
available party-list seats. The additional seats shall be distrib-
uted to the parties in a second round of seat allocation accord-
ing to the two-step procedure laid down in the Decision of 21
April 2009 as clarified in this Resolution.
“4. The three-seat cap is constitutional. The three-seat
cap is intended by the Legislature to prevent any party from
dominating the party-list system. There is no violation of the
Constitution because the 1987 Constitution does not require
absolute proportionality for the party-list system. The well-
settled rule is that courts will not question the wisdom of the
Legislature as long as it is not violative of the Constitution.”

As explained by the Supreme Court in its first


BANAT ruling, the so-called two step procedure for the
determination of the entitlement of the parties to addi-
tional seats initially entails the computation of the per-
centage of votes garnered by each party-list candidate
by dividing the number of votes garnered by each party
by the total number of votes cast for party-list candi-
dates. There are thereafter two steps in the second
round of seat allocation — First, the percentage is mul-
tiplied by the remaining available seats, which is the
difference between the maximum seats reserved under
the Party-List System and the guaranteed seats of the
two-percenters. The whole integer of the product of the
percentage and of the remaining available seats corre-
sponds to a party’s share in the remaining available
seats. Second, one party-list seat is assigned to each of
214 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

the parties next in rank until all available seats are


completely distributed.61
The party-list representatives shall have the same
rights and be subject to the same inhibitions and dis-
qualifications as the district representatives. The sole
exception is that, unlike the latter, under Section 15 of
the law, “any elected party-list representative who
changes his political party or sectoral affiliation during
his term of office shall forfeit his seat: provided, that if
he changes his political party or sectoral affiliation
within six (6) months before an election, he shall not be
eligible for nomination as party-list representative un-
der his new party or organization.” The Supreme Court
has interpreted this provision to cover “changes in both
political party and sectoral affiliation,” stressing that
“the latter may occur within the same party since multi-
sectoral party-list organizations are qualified to partici-
pate in the Philippine party-list system. Hence, a nomi-
nee who changes his sectoral affiliation within the same
party will only be eligible for nomination under the new
sectoral affiliation if the change has been effected at
least six months before the elections.”51 52
In Abayon v. HRET,W the Supreme Court ex-
plained —
“There are two kinds of congressmen — those elected
from legislative districts and those elected through the party-
list system. Once elected, the party-list representative has the

51
BANAT v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179271, April 21, 2009, 586
SCRA 210.
52
Amores v. HRET, G.R. No. 189600, June 29, 2010, 622 SCRA
593.
“ G.R. No. 189466, February 11, 2010, 612 SCRA 375, citing
Bello v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 191998, December 7, 2010, 637 SCRA
59.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 215

same rights, privileges and duties as the district representa-


tive. It is the party-list representatives who are ‘elected’ into
office, not their parties or organizations. Once elected, both the
district representatives and the party-list representatives are
treated in like manner. They have the same deliberative
rights, salaries, and emoluments. They can participate in the
making of laws that will directly benefit their legislative dis-
tricts or sectors. They are also subject to the same term limita-
tion of three years for a maximum of three consecutive terms.
The consistent judicial holding is that the HRET has jurisdic-
tion to pass upon the qualifications of party-list nominees after
their proclamation and assumption of office; they are, for all
intents and purposes, ‘elected members’ of the House of Repre-
sentatives although the entity directly voted upon was their
party.”

(2) Qualifications

Where applicable, the same observations earlier


made regarding the qualifications of the Senators are
repeated for the following qualifications of the members
of the House of Representatives:
“SEC. 6. No person shall be a Member of the House of
Representatives unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Phil-
ippines 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, resident thereof for a period of not less than
one year immediately preceding the day of the election.”

In addition, the party-list representative must be a


bona fide member of the party he seeks to represent at
least ninety days before election day. As previously
noted, to be a bona fide nominee of a sectoral party, one
must either “belong to the sector represented, or have a
track record of advocacy for such sector.”54 The youth

Atong Paglaum, Inc. v. Commission on Elections, supra.


216 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

representative must not be more than thirty years old


but may continue beyond that age until the end of his
term.55
The age qualification is lower, which might explain
the relative impulsiveness of the House of Representa-
tives. Residence, as a qualification for the district repre-
sentatives, must be in the district, not in the province
comprising the district, and is only for one year immedi-
ately before the election, unlike in the case of the Sen-
ate, where it must be for two years before the election,
and anywhere in the Philippines. As previously ob-
served, the purpose of the residence requirement is to
ensure familiarity with the conditions and problems of
the constituency sought to be represented and the con-
sequent efficiency and concern in the discharge of legis-
lative duties on its behalf.56
Section 9 of RA 7941 requires a part-list represen-
tative to be a resident of the Philippines, and not any
particular district, for a period of not less than one year
immediately preceding the day of the election.57 58
In Brillante v. Reyes53 where the protestee’s resi-
dence was challenged, the House Electoral Tribunal
dismissed the quo warranto petition and declared:
“It has been sufficiently shown that Protestee has estab-
lished her residence in Makati for several years before the elec-
tions of May 11, 1987. The fact that she registered as a voter in
Manila for the purpose of the plebiscite of February 2, 1987
could not be taken as indicating an abandonment of her

55
See Amores v. HRET, supra.
56
See Mitra v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 191938, July 2, 2010, 622
SCRA 744; and October 19, 2010, 633 SURA 580.
’’ See Amores v. HRET, G.R. No. 189600, June 29, 2010, 622
SCRA 593.
58
House Electoral Tribunal Case No. 31 (1988).
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 217

Makati residence and a transfer to a new residence in Manila,


with intention to reside in the latter place permanently, par-
ticularly in the light of the fact that she continued to maintain
her house, conduct her business, and perform her religious and
civil obligations in Makati. Granting that she may have moved
to Manila to vote in the plebiscite, such move, at best, was only
temporary, she having retained the animus revertendi, the de-
sire to return to her Makati residence.”

Under the provisions of Republic Act No. 9225, oth-


erwise known as the Citizenship Retention and Re-
acquisition Act of 2003, natural-born Filipino citizens
who have been, or intend to be, naturalized in a foreign
country, shall, upon taking the oath of allegiance pre-
scribed in Section 3 thereof, be deemed to have re-
acquired, or shall retain, their Philippine citizenship.59
They shall thereafter be “deemed not to have lost their
Philippine citizenship under the conditions of this Act.”60
The unmarried child, whether legitimate, illegitimate or
adopted, below eighteen years of age, of those who re-
acquire Philippine citizenship upon effectivity of this
Act shall likewise be deemed citizens of the Philip-
pines.61
Those who retain or re-acquire Philippine citizen-
ship under this Act shall enjoy full civil and political
rights and be subject to all attendant liabilities and
responsibilities under existing laws of the Philippine
and subject to certain conditions. Accordingly, those
intending to exercise their right of suffrage must meet
the requirements under Section 1, Article V of the Con-
stitution, Republic Act No. 9189, otherwise known as
The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 and other
existing laws. On the other hand, those seeking elective

59


Sectio
n 3.
61
Sectio
n 2.
Sectio
n 4.
218 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

public office in the Philippines shall meet the qualifica-


tions for holding such public office as required by the
Constitution and existing laws and, at the time of the
filing of the certificate of candidacy, make a personal
and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizen-
ship before any public officer authorized to administer
an oath. It must be noted that, upon taking said second
oath, the citizen ceases to be a dual citizen.62 Among
such qualifications would be compliance with the resi-
dence requirement for said elective office.63 Similarly,
those appointed to any public office shall subscribe and
swear to an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the
Philippines and its duly constituted authorities prior to
their assumption of office, provided, that they renounce
their oath of allegiance to the country where they took
that oath. The right to vote or be elected or appointed to
any public office in the Philippines cannot be exercised
by, or extended to, those who are candidates for or are
occupying any public office in the country of which they
are naturalized citizens, and/or those who are in active
service as commissioned or non-commissioned officers in
the armed forces of the country of which they are natu-
ralized citizens. Those intending to practice their pro-
fession in the Philippines shall apply with the proper
authority for a license or permit to engage in such prac-
tice.64
Accordingly, a natural-born citizen who either re-
tains or re-acquires his aforesaid citizenship upon tak-
ing the second oath of allegiance where he, this time,

,a
See Jacot v. Dal, G.R. No. 179848, November 27, 2008, 572
SCRA 295; see Sobejana-Condon v. Commission on Elections, G.R.
No. 198742, August 10, 2012, 678 SCRA 267.
w
Japzon v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 180088, January 19, 2009,
576 SCRA 331.
M
Section 5.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 219

makes a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all


foreign citizenship before any public officer authorized to
administer an oath shall be qualified for election, or
appointment, to any constitutional office.
It bears both reiteration and emphasis that Mem-
bers of the House of Representatives must be natural-
born citizens not only at the time of their election but
during their entire tenure. Being a continuing require-
ment, one who assails a member’s citizenship or lack of
it may still question the same at any time, notwith-
standing the prescriptive period set by the House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal for the filing of elec-
toral protests, which would not “apply to disqualification
based on citizenship, because qualifications for public
office are continuing requirements and must be pos-
sessed not only at the time of appointment or election or
assumption of office but during the officer’s entire ten-
ure. Once any of the required qualifications is lost, his
title may be seasonably challenged. Accordingly, the
1987 Constitution requires that Members of the House
of Representatives must be natural-born citizens not
only at the time of their election but during their entire
tenure. Being a continuing requirement, one who assails
a member's citizenship or lack of it may still question
the same at any time, the ten-day prescriptive period
notwithstanding.”65 The Supreme Court clarified though
that, in assailing one’s citizenship, or the source thereof,
proper proceedings should be filed in accordance with
Section 18 of Commonwealth Act No. 473. “Clearly, un-
der law and jurisprudence, it is the State, through its
representatives designated by statute, that may ques-
tion the illegally or invalidly procured certificate of

6r
' Limkaichong v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 178831-32, July 30,
2009, 594 SCRA 434.
220 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

naturalization in the appropriate denaturalization pro-


ceedings. It is plainly not a matter that may be raised
by private persons in an election case involving the
naturalized citizen’s descendant.”66
Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the
Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law, who are
at least eighteen years of age, and who shall have re-
sided in the Philippines for at least one year and in the
place wherein they propose to vote for at least six
months immediately preceding the election. No literacy,
property, or other substantive requirement shall be
imposed on the exercise of suffrage.67 Under Section 118
of the Omnibus Election Code, the following shall be
disqualified from voting — any person who has been
sentenced by final judgment to suffer imprisonment for
not less than one year, such disability not having been
removed by plenary pardon or granted amnesty: pro-
vided, however, that any person disqualified to vote
under this paragraph shall automatically reacquire the
right to vote upon expiration of five years after service
of sentence; any person who has been adjudged by final
judgment by competent court or tribunal of having
committed any crime involving disloyalty to the duly
constituted government such as rebellion, sedition, vio-
lation of the anti-subversion and firearms laws, or any
crime against national security, unless restored to his
full civil and political rights in accordance with law:
provided, that he shall regain his right to vote auto-
matically upon expiration of five years after service of
sentence; and insane or incompetent persons as de-
clared by competent authority. Significantly, Section 2
of said Article V states, among others, that the Congress

“ Ibid.
’ Constitution, Article 5,
< 7

Section 1.
■ THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 221

shall provide a system for securing the secrecy and


sanctity of the ballot as well as a system for absentee
voting by qualified Filipinos abroad.™
In Nicolas-Lewis', v. COMELEC™ where the afore-
cited constitutional provisions were interpreted, the
Supreme Court, in a 13-0 vote, upheld the right to be
registered as a voter of a dual citizen who was then con-
cededly a non-resident of the Philippines. Citing its
earlier ruling in Macalintal v. COMELEC,™ where it
upheld the right of non-resident Filipinos to vote under
the provisions of the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of
2003, the Court declared that “there is no provision in
the dual citizenship law — R.A. 9225 — requiring
‘duals’ to actually establish residence and physically
stay in the Philippines first before they can exercise
their right to vote. On the contrary, R.A. 9225, in im-
plicit acknowledgment that ‘duals’ are most likely non-
residents, grants under its Section 5(1) the same right of
suffrage as that granted an absentee voter under R.A.
9189. It cannot be overemphasized that R.A. 9189 aims,
in essence, to enfranchise as much as possible all over-
seas Filipinos who, save for the residency requirements
exacted of an ordinary voter under ordinary conditions,
are qualified to vote.” In arriving at this conclusion, the
Court relied on its earlier statement in Macalintal
where it pronounced that “Section 2 of Article V of the
Constitution is an exception to the residency require-
ment found in Section 1 of the same Article.”
It must be noted, however, that said Section 2 pro-
vides for a system of absentee voting only for qualified
Filipinos abroad. It appears clear that only those Filipi-

68
Ibid., Section 5 (2).
G.R. No. 162759, August 4, 2006, 497 SCRA 649.
70
G.R. No. 157013, July 10, 2003, 453 Phil. 586, 405 SCRA 614.
222 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

nos who meet the requirements under Section 1, which


include the residence qualification, can be considered as
among those qualified.

(3) Term

The term of the members of the House of Represen-


tatives under the Commonwealth Constitution was four
years and that of the member of the Batasang Pam-
bansa under the 1973 charter was six years. In the new
House of Representatives, the term of the members is
fixed as follows:
“Sec. 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.”

One purpose in reducing the term to three years is


to synchronize elections, which in the case of the Senate
are held at three-year intervals (to elect one-half of the
body) and in the case of the President and Vice-
President every six years. The term of the local officials
is also three years. It must be recalled, however, that
the first officials elected under the 1987 Constitution
served until noon of the thirtieth day of June 1992.71
Like the senator, the member of the House of Rep-
resentatives may not be re-elected any number of times.
Whereas the former can serve for no more than twelve
consecutive years, the latter is limited to three terms

Constitution, Art. XVIII, Sec. 2.


THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 223

only, or a total of nine consecutive years. The reason for


the difference is not explained. Considering that the
members of the House of Representatives are generally
younger than the members of the Senate, one would
imagine that the former should be allowed to stay
longer in office or at least as long as the latter.
The Supreme Court has summarized in Abundo v.
COMELEC72 the rules in connection with the consecu-
tiveness of terms and involuntary interruptions thereof
in connection with the application of the rules on term
limits for elective officers both under the Constitution
and pertinent laws. Thus —
“1. When a permanent vacancy occurs in an elective po-
sition and the official merely assumed the position pursuant to
the rules on succession under the LGC, then his service for the
unexpired portion of the term of the replaced official cannot be
treated as one full term as contemplated under the subject con-
stitutional and statutory provision that service cannot be
counted in the application of any term limit {Borja, Jr. v.
Commission on Elections and Jose T. Capco, Jr. [G.R. No.
133495, September 3, 1998, 295 SCRA 157 (1998)]). If the offi-
cial runs again for the same position he held prior to his as-
sumption of the higher office, then his succession to said posi-
tion is by operation of law and is considered an involuntary
severance or interruption (Montebon v. Commission on Elec-
tions [G.R. No. 180444, April 8, 2008, 551 SCRA 50 (2008)).
“2. An elective official, who has served for three con-
secutive terms and who did not seek the elective position for
what could be his fourth term, but later won in a recall elec-
tion, had an interruption in the continuity of the official’s ser-
vice. For, he had become in the interim, i.e., from the end of the
3rd term up to the recall election, a private citizen (Adormeo v.
Commission on Elections [G.R. No. 147927, February 4, 2002,
376 SCRA 90 (2002)] and Socrates v. Commission on Elections
[G.R. No 154512, November 12, 2002, 391 SCRA 457]).

72
G.R. No. 201716, January 8, 2013, 688 SCRA 149.
224 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

3. The abolition of an elective local office due to the


conversion of a municipality to a city does not, by itself, work
to interrupt the incumbent official’s continuity of seivice
{Latasa v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 154829, Decem-
ber 10, 2003, 417 SCRA 601 [2003]).
“4. Preventive suspension is not a term-interrupting
event as the elective officer’s continued stay and entitlement to
the office remain unaffected during the period of suspension,
although he is barred from exercising the functions of his office
during this period {Aldovino, Jr. v. COMELEC, G.R. No.
184836, December 23, 2009, 609 SCRA 234).
“5. When candidate is proclaimed as winner for an
o
t

elective position and assumes office, his term is interrupted


when he loses in an election protest and is ousted from office,
thus disenabling him from serving what would otherwise be
the unexpired portion of his term of office had the protest been
dismissed {Lonzanida v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No.
135150, July 28, 1999, 311 SCRA 602 (1999) and Dizon v.
Commission on Elections [G.R. No. 182088, January 30, 2009,
577 SCRA 589 [2009]). The break or interruption need not be
for a full term of three years or for the major part of the 3-year
term; an interruption for any length of time, provided the
cause is involuntary, is sufficient to break the continuity of
service {Socrates v. Commission on Elections [G.R. No. 154512,
November 12, 2002, 391 SCRA 457], citing Lonzanida v. Com-
mission on Elections, G.R. No. 135150, July 28, 1999, 311
SCRA 602 [1999]).
“6. When an official is defeated in an election protest
and said decision becomes final after said official had served
the full term for said office, then his loss in the election contest
does not constitute an interruption since he has managed to
serve the term from start to finish. His full service, despite the
defeat, should be counted in the application of term limits be-
cause the nullification of his proclamation came after the expi-
ration of the term {Ong v. Alegre, G.R. Nos. 163295 & 163354,
January 23, 2006, 479 SCRA 473 (2006) and Rivera III v.
Commission on Elections [G.R. Nos. 167591 & 170577, May 9,
2007, 523 SCRA 41 [2007]).”
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 225

Election

As previously remarked, elections for the Congress


of the Philippines were held on the second Monday of
May, 1987. The next elections, conformably to the Tran-
sitory Provisions, were held in 1992, for all the members
of the Congress, followed by another election three years
later in 1995, for the entire membership of the House of
Representatives and twelve members of the Senate.
Every three years thereafter, all the members of the
House of Representatives and one-half of the Senate
were up for election, or re-election if still allowed.
Under the 1973 Constitution, vacancies in the Ba-
tasang Pambansa were supposed to be filled by special
election called by the Commission on Elections. That
rule has been replaced by the following provision, which
is reproduced from the Commonwealth Constitution:
“Sec. 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.”

Such special election shall however not be neces-


sary if the vacancy pertained to a seat occupied by a
party-list representative, in which case, the same would
be filled by the next representative from the list of
nominees in the order submitted to the Commission on
Elections by the same party, organization, or coalition,
who shall serve for the unexpired term. If the list is
exhausted, the party, organization or coalition shall
submit additional nominees.73

Republic Act No. 7941, Section 16.


226 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Salaries

Following are the pertinent provisions in Article VI


on the salaries of the members of the Congress:
“Sec. 10. The salaries of Senators and Members of the
House of Representatives shall be determined by law. No in-
crease in said compensation shall take effect until after the ex-
piration of the full term of all the Members of the Senate and
the House of Representatives approving such increase.”
“Sec. 20. The records and books of accounts of the Con-
gress shall be preserved and be open to the public in accor-
dance with law, and such books shall be audited by the Com-
mission on Audit which shall publish annually an itemized list
of amounts paid to and expenses incurred for each Member.”

It will be noted from the above provisions that


there is no prohibition against the receipt of allowances
by the members of the Congress, unlike the correspond-
ing provision in the Commonwealth Constitution to the
effect that the salary of the members of Congress should
include “per diems and other emoluments and allow-
ances.” The deletion of this rule in the present provision
is an implied permission for the Congress to vote allow-
ances in favor of its members.
Nevertheless, the second section seeks to avoid the
recurrence of the abuses committed by the members of
the old Congress in allotting themselves fabulous allow-
ances the amounts of which they refused to divulge to
the people. Conformably to the constitutional right to
information on matters of public concern,74 the books of
accounts of the Congress shall be open to public inspec-
tion and must also be audited by the Commission on
Audit. Furthermore, each legislator’s itemized expendi-

71
Constitution, Art. Ill, Sec. 7.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 227

tures, including allowances, shall be published annually


for the information of the people.
Reduction of the salaries of the members of the
Congress is not prohibited by the Constitution. If any
increase is to be made, the same cannot be effective
during the term of the members of the Congress, includ-
ing the Senators, who have approved such increase.
In Philippine Constitution Association v. Gimenez™
the petitioner questioned the constitutionality of Repub-
lic Act No. 3836 “insofar as the same allows retirement
gratuity and commutation of vacation and sick leave to
Senators and Representatives, and to the elective offi-
cials of both houses (of Congress).” It is significant that
the law provided that the retirement benefits would be
immediately available upon its approval. It claimed that
its provision on retirement gratuity was “an attempt to
circumvent the Constitutional ban on increase of sala-
ries of the members of Congress during their term of
office, contrary to the provisions of Article VI, Section 14
of the (1935) Constitution.” The Court sustained the
petition and declared the law unconstitutional. It noted
that the retirement benefits were “immediately avail-
able thereunder, without awaiting the expiration of the
full term of all the Members of the Senate and the
House of Representatives approving such increase. Such
provision clearly runs counter to the prohibition in Arti-
cle VI, Section 14 of the Constitution.”

Parliamentary Immunities
“Sec. 11. A Senator or Member of the House of Repre-
sentatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than
six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the

75
G.R. No. L-23326, December 18, 1965, 15 SCRA 479.
228 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Congress is in session. No Member shall be questioned nor he


held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the
Congress or in any committee thereof.”

The rule provides for two kinds of immunities, to


wit: immunity from arrest and the privilege of speech
and debate. The first is intended to ensure representa-
tion of the constituents of the member of the Congress
by preventing attempts to keep him from attending its
sessions. The second enables the legislator to express
views bearing upon the public interest without fear of
accountability outside the halls of the legislature for his
inability to support his statements with the usual evi-
dence required in the court of justice. In other words, he
is given more leeway than the ordinary citizen in the
ventilation of matters that ought to be divulged for the
public good.

(1) Privilege from Arrest

The provision of the Commonwealth Constitution


on the parliamentary immunity from arrest excepted all
criminal offenses regardless of degree, with the result
that the legislator could claim the same only against
civil arrests. For any criminal offense, he was subject to
arrest at any time, even during the sessions. Under the
1987 Constitution, the scope of this immunity has been
expanded to cover not only civil arrests but also arrests
for criminal offenses punishable by not more than six
years imprisonment. Accordingly, the immunity may
not be invoked if the crime is murder but is available in
case of, say, slight physical injuries.
The immunity now applies only while the Congress
is in session. “Session” as here used does not refer to the
day-to-day meetings of the legislature but to the entire
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 229

period from its initial convening until its final adjourn-


ment.

(2) Privilege of Speech and Debate

There are two requirements that must concur in or-


der that the privilege of speech and debate can be
availed of by the member of the Congress. The first is
that the remarks must be made while the legislature or
the legislative committee is functioning, that is, in ses-
sion; and the second is that they must be made in con-
nection with the discharge of official duties. These con-
ditions were first laid down in the leading case of Coffin
v. Coffin,™ where the privilege was denied a legislator
who uttered slanderous remarks in the course of a pri-
vate conversation with a constituent during a lull in the
session,
Applying the rule announced in that case, our own
Supreme Court declared in Jimenez v. Cabangbang76 77
that the privilege could not be invoked by a legislator
who had allegedly maligned the plaintiff in an open
letter to the President of the Philippines coursed
through and published in the newspapers. The finding
was that he had written the letter at a time when the
Congress was in recess and in his private capacity only.
It is important to note that this privilege is not ab-
solute although it is usually so called. 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.”

76
4 Mass.
1.17
77

SCRA
876.
230 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Thus, in the case of Osmena v. Pendatun,™ the


President of the Philippines himself who had been vili-
fied by the petitioner could not file any civil or criminal
action against him because of this immunity. Nonethe-
less, the majority of the members of the House of Repre-
sentatives in which the questioned speech was delivered
were not precluded from demonstrating their loyalty to
the chief executive by declaring Osmena guilty of disor-
derly behavior and suspending him in the exercise of
their disciplinary power under what is now Article VI,
Section 16(3), of the Constitution.
In Pobre v. Defensor-Santiago,19 contempt and dis-
barment proceedings were instituted before the Su-
preme Court against a senator who, among other unflat-
tering, if not insulting, remarks, referred to both the
Chief Justice and the Supreme Court in the course of a
privilege speech as “idiots.” The senator justified her
remarks, claiming they were “covered by the constitu-
tional provision on parliamentary immunity, being part
of a speech she delivered in the discharge of her duty as
member of Congress or its committee. The purpose of
her speech, according to her, was to bring out in the
open controversial anomalies in governance with a view
to future remedial legislation. She averred that she
wanted to expose what she believed ‘to be an unjust act
of the Judicial Bar Council [JBC],’ which, after sending
out public invitations for nomination to the soon to-be
vacated position of Chief Justice, would eventually in-
form applicants that only incumbent justices of the Su-
preme Court would qualify for nomination. She felt that
the JBC should have at least given an advanced [sic]
advisory that non-sitting members of the Court, like

78
L-17144, Oct. 28,1960.
79
A.C. No. 7399, August 25, 2009, 597 SCRA 1.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 231

her, would not be considered for the position of Chief


Justice.” The Court boldly chided but nevertheless
meekly exonerated her. It declared that “basic constitu-
tional consideration ^dictates this kind of disposition.”
Thus —
“The Court wishes to express its deep concern about the
language Senator Santiago, a member of the Bar, used in her
speech and its effect on the administration of justice. To the
Court, the lady senator has undoubtedly crossed the limits of
decency and good professional conduct. It is at once apparent
that her statements in question were intemperate and highly
improper in substance. To reiterate, she was quoted as stating
that she wanted ‘to spit on the face of Chief Justice Artemio
Panganiban and his cohorts in the Supreme Court,’ and calling
the Court a ‘Supreme Court of idiots.’ xxx.
“A careful re-reading of her utterances would readily
show that her statements were expressions of personal anger
and frustration at not being considered for the post of Chief
Justice. In a sense, therefore, her remarks were outside the
pale of her official parliamentary functions. Even parliamen-
tary immunity must not be allowed to be used as a vehicle to
ridicule, demean, and destroy the reputation of the Court and
its magistrates, nor as armor for personal wrath and disgust.
Authorities are agreed that parliamentary immunity is not an
individual privilege accorded the individual members of the
Parliament or Congress for their personal benefit, but rather a
privilege for the benefit of the people and the institution that
represents them.
“To be sure, Senator Santiago could have given vent to
her anger without indulging in insulting rhetoric and offensive
personalities, xxx.
“The Court is not hesitant to impose some form of disci-
plinary sanctions on Senator/Atty. Santiago for what otherwise
would have constituted an act of utter disrespect on her part
towards the Court and its members. The factual and legal cir-
cumstances of this case, however, deter the Court from doing
so, even without any sign of remorse from her. Basic constitu-
tional consideration dictates this kind of disposition.
232 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

“We, however, would be remiss in our duty if we let the


Senator’s offensive and disrespectful language that definitely
tended to denigrate the institution pass by. It is imperative on
our part to re-instill in Senator/Atty. Santiago her duty to res-
pect courts of justice, especially this Tribunal, and remind her
anew that the parliamentary non-accountability thus granted
to members of Congress is not to protect them against prosecu-
tions for their own benefit, but to enable them, as the people’s
representatives, to perform the functions of their office without
fear of being made responsible before the courts or other fo-
rums outside the congressional hall. It is intended to protect
members of Congress against government pressure and in-
timidation aimed at influencing the decision-making preroga-
tives of Congress and its members.
“The Rules of the Senate itself contains a provision on
Unparliamentary Acts and Language that enjoins a Senator
from using, under any circumstance, ‘offensive or improper
language against another Senator or against any public insti-
tution.’ But as to Senator Santiago’s unparliamentary remarks,
the Senate President had not apparently called her to order, let
alone referred the matter to the Senate Ethics Committee for
appropriate disciplinary action, as the Rules dictates under
such circumstance. The lady senator clearly violated the rules
of her own chamber. It is unfortunate that her peers bent
backwards and avoided imposing their own rules on her.
“Finally, the lady senator questions Pobre’s motives in
filing his complaint, stating that disciplinary proceedings must
be undertaken solely for the public welfare. We cannot agree
with her more. We cannot overstress that the senator’s use of
intemperate language to demean and denigrate the highest
court of the land is a clear violation of the duty of respect law-
yers owe to the courts.
“Finally, the Senator asserts that complainant Pobre has
failed to prove that she in fact made the statements in ques-
tion. Suffice it to say in this regard that, although she has not
categorically denied making such statements, she has un-
equivocally said making them as part of her privilege speech.
Her implied admission is good enough for the Court.”
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 233

Conflict of Interest

The following is a new provision intended to ensure


the probity and objectiyity of the members of Congress:
“Sec. 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.”

There are some persons who may be tempted to run


for Congress not because of a desire to serve the people
but precisely for the protection or even enhancement of
their own interests. By requiring them to make known
at the outset their financial and business connections or
investments, it is hoped that their potential for self-
aggrandizement will be reduced and they will be pre-
vented from using their official positions for ulterior
purposes. In some countries, businessmen are required
to unload their stockholdings as these might affect their
official acts or at least lead to suspicion of chicanery or
impropriety in the discharge of their duties in the gov-
ernment.

Incompatible and Forbidden Offices


“Sec. 13. No Senator or Member of the House of Repre-
sentatives may hold any other office or employment in the
Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality
thereof, including government-owned or controlled corpora-
tions or their subsidiaries, during his term without forfeiting
his seat. Neither shall he be appointed to any office which may
have been crealed or the emoluments thereof increased during
the term for which he was elected.”
234 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

The first part of this section refers to what are


known as incompatible offices, which may not be held by
the legislator during his tenure in the Congress. The
purpose is to prevent him from owing loyalty to another
branch of the government, to the detriment of the inde-
pendence of the legislature and the doctrine of separa-
tion of powers.
The prohibition against the holding of an incom-
patible office is not absolute; what is not allowed is the
simultaneous holding of that office and the seat in the
Congress. Any legislator may hold another office or em-
ployment in the government provided he forfeits, as a
result, his position in the Congress.
Forfeiture of the legislator’s seat, or cessation of his
tenure, shall be automatic upon the holding of the in-
compatible office. Thus, a congressman who was elected
provincial governor was deemed to have automatically
forfeited his seat in the House of Representatives when
he took his oath for the provincial office.80 No resolution
was necessary to declare his legislative post vacant.
Incidentally, term means the time during which the
officer may claim to hold the office as of right, and fixes
the interval after which the several incumbents shall
succeed one another, while tenure represents the period
during which the incumbent actually holds the office.81 82
In Adaza v. Pacanaf2 the petitioner and the respon-
dent were elected governor and vice-governor, respec-
tively, of Misamis Oriental. Both subsequently ran for
the Batasang Pambansa, but only the petitioner won.

"" Case of Rep. Antonio V. Raquiza.


81
Topacio Nueno v. Angeles, 76 Phil. 12, 21-22 (1946); Fetalino
v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 191890, December 4, 2012, 686
SCRA 813.
82
135 SCRA 431.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 235

Adaza then qualified as member of the lawmaking body,


whereupon Pacana assumed the governorship as statu-
tory successor. Adaza challenged Pacana’s takeover,
contending that undep the parliamentary system a legis-
lator could concurrently serve as governor; hence, there
was no vacancy in the governorship that Pacana could
fill. Through Justice Escolin, the Court unanimously
rejected this argument and held that Adaza automati-
cally forfeited the governorship the moment he took his
oath as a member of the Batasang Pambansa.
But not every other office or employment is to be
regarded as incompatible with the legislative position.
For example, membership in the Electoral Tribunals is
permitted by the Constitution itself. Moreover, if it can
be shown that the second office is an extension of the
legislative position in aid of legislative duties, the
holding thereof will result in the loss of the legisla-
tor s seat in the Congress.
Accordingly, the chairmen of the Senate and House
committees on education retain their seats in Congress
while sitting concurrently as ex officio members in the
U.P. Board of Regents. Legislators who serve as treaty
negotiators under the President of the Philippines con-
tinue to sit in the Congress, where they can better work
for the approval of the treaty and the passage of the
needed implementing legislation.
In Liban v. Gordon,83 the Supreme Court declared
that the office of the Chairman of the Philippine Na-
tional Red Cross [PNRC], despite its having been cre-
ated by a special law, is not to be considered a govern-
ment office or an office in a government-owned or con-
trolled corporation for purposes of the prohibition under

83
G.R. No. 175352, July 15, 2009, 593 SCRA 68.
236 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Section 13. The Court added though that the PNRC


ought not to have been established as a private corpora-
tion by a special law, and should actually register with
the Securities and Exchange Commission in order to
become a private corporation.84
But even if the member of the Congress is willing
to forfeit his seat therein, he may not be appointed to
any office in the government that has been created or
the emoluments thereof have been increased during his
term. Such a position is a forbidden office.
The purpose is to prevent trafficking in public of-
fice. Were the rule otherwise, certain legislators, espe-
cially those not sure of re-election, might be able to work
for the creation or improvement of lucrative positions
and, in combination with the President, arrange for
their appointment thereto in order to provide for their
future security at the expense of the public service.
Notably, this provision does not apply to elective of-
fices, which are filled by the voters themselves.
The appointment of the member of the Congress to
the forbidden office is not allowed only during the term
for which he was elected, when such office was created
or its emoluments were increased. After such term, and
even if the legislator is re-elected, the disqualification
no longer applies and he may therefore be appointed to
the office.

Inhibitions and Disqualifications

The rules embodied in the Commonwealth and


1973 Constitutions on parliamentary inhibitions and

" Ibid’, see also Liban v. Gordon, G.R. No. 175352, January 18,
2011, 639 SCRA 709, citing Feliciano v. Commission on Audit, 464
Phil. 439, in relation to Section 16, Article XII of the Constitution.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 237

disqualifications have been much simplified with the


following rewritten provision in the new charter.
“Sec. 14. No Senator or Member of the House of Repre-
sentatives may personally appear as counsel before any court
of justice or before the Electoral Tribunals, or quasi-judicial
and other administrative bodies. Neither shall he, directly or
indirectly, be interested financially in any contract with, or in
any franchise or special privilege granted by the Government,
or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, in-
cluding 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 pecuni-
ary benefit or where he may be called upon to act on account of
his office.”

Appearance of the legislator is now barred before


all courts of justice, regardless of rank, composition, or
jurisdiction. The disqualification also applies to the re-
vived Electoral Tribunals and to all administrative bod-
ies, like the Securities and Exchange Commission and
the National Labor Relations Commission. Courts mar-
tial and military tribunals, being administrative agen-
cies, are included.
It must be noted though that the General Court
Martial has been characterized by the Supreme Court
as “a court within the strictest sense of the word and
acts as a criminal court.”85 Accordingly, court-martial
case is a criminal case and the General Court Martial is
a ‘court’ akin to any other courts.”86
The purpose of the disqualification is to prevent the
legislator from exerting undue influence, deliberately or

85
Garcia v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 198554, July 30,
2012, 677 SCRA 750.
86
Marcos v. Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines, 89
Phil, 246 (1951).
238 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

not, upon the body where he is appearing. The pressure


may not be intended; normally, the appearance is
enough, considering the powers available to the legisla-
tor which he can exercise to reward or punish a judge
deciding his case or, in the case of the Electoral Tribu-
nals, his close association with its members. This is the
reason why the prohibited appearance must be personal.
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 other member of
his law office.
In Puyat v. De Guzman,31 a legislator entered his
appearance as counsel for one of the parties to an intra-
corporate dispute before the Securities and Exchange
Commission. He desisted when his representation was
challenged under the above-mentioned section. Thereaf-
ter, he purchased two hundred pesos worth of stocks in
the corporation from the faction he was representing
and sought to intervene in the said dispute, this time as
a stockholder. The Supreme Court did not allow him to
do so as his evident purpose was to circumvent the con-
stitutional prohibition. Justice Ameurfina M. Herrera
declared:
‘‘Under those facts and circumstances, we are con-
strained to hold that there has been an indirect ‘appearance as
counsel before x x x an administrative body’ and, in our opin-
ion, that is a circumvention of the Constitutional prohibition.
The ‘intervention’ was an afterthought to enable him to appear
actively in the proceeding in some other capacity. To believe
the avowed purpose, that is, to enable him eventually to vote
and to be elected as Director in the event of an unfavorable
outcome of the SEC Caco, would be pure naivete. He would
still appear as counsel indirectly.”

113 SCRA 33.


THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 239

Legislators are prohibited from being financially


interested in any contract with the government or any
subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, includ-
ing government-owped or controlled corporations, or in
any franchise or special privilege granted by any of
these during their term of office, because of the influ-
ence they can easily exercise in obtaining these conces-
sions. The idea is to prevent abuses from being commit-
ted by the members of the Congress to the prejudice of
the public welfare and particularly of legitimate con-
tractors with the government who otherwise might be
placed at a disadvantageous position vis-a-vis the legis-
lator.
It should be noted, though, that not every transac-
tion with the government is barred by this provision.
The contracts referred to here are those involving “fi-
nancial interest,” that is, contracts from which the legis-
lator expects to derive some profit at the expense of the
government. An illustration is a contract for public
works or the sale of office equipment or supplies to the
government. By contrast, it cannot be said that the leg-
islator will profit financially from a contract of carriage
with a government airline since it is the carrier that will
benefit from the passenger’s fare.
The last sentence restores an inhibition originally
imposed by the 1935 Constitution. Although this provi-
sion has never been judicially interpreted, it may be
surmised that the rule shall apply to the case, say, of a
congressman expediting the collection of a civil servant’s
retirement check for a stipulated fee.

Sessions

The new rule on the legislative sessions is as fol-


lows:
240 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

“Sec. 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 ses-
sion 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.”

The above provision is not really new, being a re-


vival with slight modifications of the original rule
adopted by the 1973 Constitution but never actually
applied. It was later amended to enable the legislators
to meet for such number of days as they might deter-
mine. Earlier, the Commonwealth Constitution provided
for a maximum duration of one hundred days for the
regular session and thirty days for the special session,
exclusive of Sundays.
While the emphasis now is on legislative industry
rather than indolence, a mandatory recess is prescribed
for the thirty-day period before the opening of the next
regular session, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal
holidays. This is the minimum period of recess and may
be lengthened by the Congress in its discretion. It may,
however, be called in special session at any time by the
President.
The President’s call is not necessary in some in-
stances, as when the Congress meets to canvass the
presidential elections,88 or to call a special election when
both the Presidency and the Vice-Presidency are va-
cated,89 or when it decides to exercise the power of im-
peachment,90 particularly where the respondent is the
President himself.

Constitution, Art. VII,


m Sec. 4.Art. VII, Sec. 10.
Ibid.,
” Id., Art. XI.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 241

It is to be recalled that, in Araneta v. Dinglasan,


the Supreme Court distinguished between the regular
and special sessions of Congress. Thus, in a special ses-
sion, the Congress rqay consider “general legislation or
only such subjects as the President may designate.” In a
regular session, “the power of the Congress is not cir-
cumscribed except by limitations imposed by organic
law.”91

Officers
“Sec. 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.”

The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the


House of Representatives do not have a fixed term and
may be replaced at any time at the pleasure of a major-
ity of all the members of their respective chambers. The
legislative heads in the presidential system are highly
political officers whose continued incumbency will de-
pend upon the partisan alignments of their colleagues.
Other officers usually chosen are the Senate Presi-
dent pro tempore, the Speaker pro tempore, the majority
and minority floor leaders, the chairmen of the various
standing and special committees, and the secretary and
the sergeant-at-arms, the last two being non-members
of the legislature.

Quorum
“A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do
business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day

91
84 Phil. 368.
242 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

and may compel the attendance of absent Members in such


manner, and under such penalties, as such House may pro-
vide.”92

A quorum is defined as any number sufficient to


transact business,93 which may be less than the majority
of the membership. In our Constitution, it is required
that the quorum be a majority of each House.
In Avelino v. Cuenco, Ji the petitioner, who was then
Senate President, motu proprio adjourned a session of
the Senate and walked out with his followers, leaving
twelve other members who continued meeting and re-
placed him with the respondent as Acting President.
Avelino thereupon filed quo warranto proceedings
against Cuenco, contending that the latter had not been
validly elected because twelve members did not consti-
tute a majority and, hence, a quorum of the 24-member-
Senate. The Supreme Court at first dismissed the peti-
tion on the ground that it involved a political question.
On the motion for reconsideration, however, it assumed
jurisdiction and ruled inter alia that the twelve mem-
bers were sufficient to constitute a quorum, being a
majority of twenty-three, not twenty-four. The reason
was that one senator was then in the United States and
therefore outside the coercive jurisdiction of the smaller
number of members who could “adjourn from day to day
and compel the attendance of absent members in such
manner and under such penalties” as the Senate might
provide.
In Datu Michael Abas Kida v. Senate of the Philip-
pines*' the Supreme Court nullified a law requiring

M
Id., Art. VI, Sec. 16(2).
ai
Javellana v. Tayo, 6 SCRA 1048.
!M
Supra.
“ G.R. No. 196271, October 18, 2011, 659 SCRA
270.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 243

what it referred to as a “supermajority vote” of two-


thirds of all the Members of Congress for purposes of
amending or repealing the same, stating that said pro-
vision gave said law “the character of an irrepealable
law by requiring more than what the Constitution de-
mands.” Thus —
“Even assuming that RA No. 9333 and RA No. 10153 did
in fact amend RA No. 9054, the supermajority (2/3) voting re-
quirement required under Section 1, Article XVII of RA No.
9054 has to be struck down for giving RA No. 9054 the charac-
ter of an irrepealable law by requiring more than what the
Constitution demands. Section 16(2), Article VI of the Consti-
tution provides that a ‘majority of each House shall constitute
a quorum to do business.’ In other words, as long as majority of
the members of the House of Representatives or the Senate Eire
present, these bodies have the quorum needed to conduct busi-
ness and hold session. Within a quorum, a vote of majority is
generally sufficient to enact laws or approve acts. Thus, while
a supermajority is not a total ban against a repeal, it is a limi-
tation in excess of what the Constitution requires on the pas-
sage of bills and is constitutionally obnoxious because it sig-
nificantly constricts the future legislators’ room for action and
flexibility.”

Discipline of Members

Article VI, Section 16(3) states:


“(3) Each House may determine the rules of its pro-
ceedings, 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.”

Rules of proceedings are needed for the orderly con-


duct of the sessions of the Congress. Unless such rules
violate fundamental or individual rights, they are
within the exclusive discretion of each House to formu-
late and interpret and may not be judicially reversed.
244 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Without the above provision, the authority to disci-


pline its members can still be exercised by each House
as an inherent power, with the concurrence of only a
majority vote, conformably to the general rule on the
will of the majority. With this provision, the disciplinary
power is not so much expressly conferred as limited
because of the specific conditions laid down for its
proper exercise.
Thus, the courts may annul any expulsion or sus-
pension of a member that is not concurred in by at least
two-thirds of the entire body or any suspension meted
out by the legislature, even with the required two-thirds
vote, as to any period in excess of the sixty-day maxi-
mum duration. These are procedural matters and there-
fore justiciable.
But the interpretation of the phrase “disorderly be-
havior” is the prerogative of the Congress and cannot as
a rule be judicially reviewed. The matter comes in the
category of a political question. Accordingly, the Su-
preme Court did not interfere when the legislature de-
clared that the physical assault by one member against
another,96 or the delivery of a derogatory speech which
the member was unable to substantiate,97 constituted
“disorderly behavior” and justified the adoption of disci-
plinary measures.
Other disciplinary measures besides expulsion and
suspension are deletion of unparliamentary remarks
from the record, fine, imprisonment and censure, some-
times called “soft impeachment.”

96
Alejandrino v. Quezon,
supra.
97
Osmena v. Pendatun,
supra.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 245

Journals
“(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.”

Journals are a record of what is done and past in a


legislative assembly. They are useful not only for au-
thenticating the proceedings but also for the interpreta-
tion of laws through a study of the debates held thereon
and for informing the people of the official conduct of
their respective legislators.
It is for these purposes that the Constitution re-
quires that the journals be published from time to time
excepting such parts as may affect the national security,
which ought not to be divulged to the public in general.
The publication of the journals is in line with the right
to information on matters of public concern as guaran-
teed in Article III, Section 7 of the Constitution.
In U.S. v. Pons,™ the Supreme Court refused to go
beyond the recitals in the legislative journals, which it
held to be conclusive on the courts. “To inquire into the
veracity of the journals of the Philippine Legislature,” it
ruled, “when they are, as we have said, clear and ex-
plicit, would be to violate both the letter and spirit of
the organic laws by which the Philippine Government
was brought into existence, to invade a coordinate and
independent department of the Government, and to
interfere with the legitimate powers and functions of the
Legislature.”

98
34 Phil. 729; Arroyo v. De Venecia, 277 SCRA 268.
246 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

But except only where the matters are required to


be entered in the journals, like the yeas and nays on the
final reading of a bill or on any question at the request
of one-fifth of the members present, the contents of the
enrolled bill shall prevail over those of the journal in
case of conflict. This rule was first laid down in the case
of Mabanag v. Lopez Vito," where the Supreme Court
held that it was bound under the doctrine of separation
of powers by the contents of a duly authenticated resolu-
tion of the legislature.
An enrolled bill has been defined as one “which has
been duly introduced, finally passed by both houses,
signed by the proper officers of each, approved by the
governor (or president) and filed by the secretary of
state.”100
In the case of Casco Philippine Chemical Co. v. Gi-
menez,101 petitioners claimed that the phrase “urea for-
maldehyde” as used in a statute should be read as “urea
and formaldehyde,” to rectify an alleged error in the
printing of the enrolled bill. The Supreme Court, in
dismissing this claim, declared:
“Hence, ‘urea formaldehyde’ is clearly a finished product
which is patently distinct and different from ‘urea’ and ‘for-
maldehyde’ as separate articles used in the manufacture of the
synthetic resin known as ‘urea formaldehyde.’ Petitioner con-
tends, however, that the bill approved in Congress contained
the copulative conjunction ‘and’ between the term ‘urea’ and
‘formaldehyde,’ and that the members of Congress intended to
exempt ‘urea’ and ‘formaldehyde’ separately as essential ele-
ments in the manufacture of the synthetic resin glue called
‘urea formaldehyde,’ not the latter as a finished product, citing
in support of this view the statements made on the floor of the

83
78 Phil. 1.
" Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th rev. ed.
101
624.7 SCRA 374.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 247

Senate, during the consideration of the bill before said House,


by members thereof. But, said individual statements do not
necessarily reflect the view of the Senate. Much less do they
indicate the intent of the House of Representatives (see Song
Kiat Chocolate Factory vs. Central Bank, 54 Off. Gaz. 615;
Mayor Motors, Inc. vs. Acting Commissioner of Internal Reve-
nue, L-15000 [March 29, 1961]; Manila Jockey Club, Inc. vs.
Games and Amusement Board, L-12727 [February 19, I960}).
Furthermore, it is well settled that the enrolled bill—which
uses the term ‘urea formaldehyde’ instead of ‘urea and formal-
dehyde’—is conclusive upon the courts as regards the tenor of
the measure passed by Congress and approved by the Presi-
dent (Primicias vs. Paredes, 61 Phil. 118, 120; Mabanag vs.
Lopez Vito, 78 Phil. 1; Macias vs. Comm, on Elections, L-
18684, Sept. 14, 1961). If there has been any mistake in the
printing of the bill before it was certified by the officers of Con-
gress and approved by the Executive—on which we cannot
speculate without jeopardizing the principle of separation of
powers and undermining one of the cornerstones of our demo-
cratic system—the remedy is by amendment or curative legis-
lation, not by judicial decree.”

In the VAT Case,102 the Supreme Court emphasized


that “our cases manifest firm adherence to the rule that
an enrolled copy of a bill is conclusive not only of its
provisions but also its due enactment. Not even claims
that a proposed constitutional amendment was invalid
because the requisite votes for its approval had not been
obtained or that certain provisions of a statute had been
‘smuggled’ in the printing of the bill have moved or per-
suaded us to look behind the proceedings of a co-equal
branch of the government.”
Earlier, in Philippine Judges Association v. Prado,103
the Supreme Court had—

102
Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, 235 SCRA
630.
,ra
227 SCRA 703.
248 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

. decline(d) to look into the petitioners’ charges that


an amendment was made upon the last reading of the bill that
eventually became R.A. No. 7354 and that copies thereof in its
final form were not distributed among the members of each
House. Both the enrolled bill and the legislative journals cer-
tify that the measure was duly enacted, i.e., in accordance with
Article VI, Sec. 26(2) of the Constitution. We are bound by such
official assurances from a coordinate department of the gov-
ernment, to which we owe, at the very least, a becoming cour-
tesy.”

Of particular interest is the case of Astorga v.


Villegas,104 where an enrolled bill was discovered to have
included, in lieu of the changes approved in the Senate,
certain other proposals that had in fact been rejected.
When this anomaly was discovered, the Senate Presi-
dent withdrew his signature from the enrolled bill and
the President of the Philippines did likewise. In this
action to enforce the measure as originally approved,
the petitioner argued that, assuming there was a con-
flict between the recitals in the journals and the version
of the measure as embodied in the enrolled bill, the con-
flict should be resolved in favor of the enrolled bill.
However, the Supreme Court did not sustain this con-
tention, holding that it had the authority in this case to
verify the real content of the approved bill as reported in
the journal. The reason was that there was actually no
enrolled bill to speak of in view of the withdrawal of the
signatures of the President of the Philippines and the
Senate President.
The journal is only a resume or the minutes of what
transpired during a legislative session. The record is the
word-for-word transcript of the proceedings taken dur-
ing the session.

56 SCRA 714.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 249

It is to be noted that, in League of Cities of the Phil-


ippines v. COMELEC,V<5 the Supreme Court observed
that the hearings and deliberations during a previous
Congress cannot be qsed to interpret bills enacted into
law in the next or subsequent Congresses.
At any rate, at the request of one-fifth of the Mem-
bers present, the yeas and nays on any question shall be
entered in the Journal.105 106 The Constitution likewise re-
quires the recording in the Journal of the votes with
respect to the consideration of bills on third reading,107
the recording of the objections of the President when he
vetoes a bill as well as the votes cast by the Members of
each House in their reconsideration of a bill vetoed by
the President,108 and the vote of each Member of the
House of Representatives regarding the Articles of Im-
peachment proposed by its Committee which hears an
impeachment complaint.109

Adjournment
“(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.”

The above rule appeared in the Commonwealth


Constitution but was deleted from the 1973 charter
because the legislature established thereunder was uni-
cameral. It is now revived with the restoration of bicam-
eralism, which envisions collaboration and coordination
between the two chambers of the Congress.
105
G.R. No. 176951, Novcmbor 18, 2008, 571 SCRA
263.
106
Constitution, Article VI, Section 16(4).
107
Ibid., Article VI, Section 26 (2).
10R
Id., Article VI, Section 27 (1).
109
Id., Article XI, Section 3 (3).
250 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

As there is need for constant contact and consulta-


tion between the two bodies, it is necessary that there
be prior agreement before either of them decides to ad-
journ for more than three days. For the same reason,
one House should not adjourn to a place other than
where both chambers are sitting, without the consent of
the other. In this connection, “place” as here used refers
not to the building but to the political unit where the
two Houses may be sitting.110 Hence, if both Houses are
sitting in the same building in the City of Manila, either
of them may sit in another building in the same city
without getting the consent of the other.

The Electoral Tribunals

The 1973 Constitution made the Commission on


Elections the sole judge of all contests involving the
election, returns and qualifications of all members of the
legislature, but now decision of such cases is entrusted
once again to the Electoral Tribunals, which have been
restored by the following provision.
“Sec. 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 quali-
fications 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.”

"" Jefferson’s Manual.


THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 251

The original provision in the Commonwealth Con-


stitution entitled only the parties having the largest and
second largest number of votes in the chamber to nomi-
nate three members pach to the legislative seats. Now
such seats are apportioned among all the parties repre-
sented in each chamber, including the party-list mem-
bers. Thus, if there are three parties represented in the
Senate with thirteen, seven and four members, respec-
tively, the first shall have three of the legislative seats,
the second two and the third one.
The change introduced by the 1987 Constitution fa-
vors the multi-party system as against the two-party
system which the original rule sought to institutional-
ize.
The case of Tanada v. Cuenco111 held that the right
to nominate to the legislative seats in the Electoral Tri-
bunals belonged to the majority and minority parties in
the chamber, not to the chamber itself or to the majority
party therein if the minority did not make its own
nomination. Presumably, the parties entitled to repre-
sentation in the Electoral Tribunals now are also enti-
tled to nominate their own representatives although the
above provision does not expressly say so. At any rate,
in the event that they should fail or refuse to do so,
would the body itself have the right to fill the vacancies
with representatives from such party? And in case the
representative chosen fails or refuses to assume his
seat, may the chamber then choose a member from an-
other party to fill the vacancy? The records of the Con-
stitutional Commission do not suggest any answer to
these questions.

ill
Supra.
252 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

In Abbas v. Senate Electoral Tribunal,112 the peti-


tioners, who were protestants in a contest before the
respondent body, sought the disqualification of all the
legislative members thereof on the ground that they
were among the protestees in the said contest, along
with the other majority members of the Senate. (The
original opposition member, Senator Estrada, later
joined the majority and was replaced by Senator Enrile,
who voluntarily inhibited himself.) In dismissing the
petition, the Supreme Court said through Justice Gan-
cayco:
“It seems quite clear to us that in thus providing for a
Tribunal to be staffed by both Justices of the Supreme Court
and member of the Senate, the Constitution intended that both
those ‘judicial’ and legislative’ components commonly share
the duty and authority of deciding all contests relating to the
election, returns and qualifications of Senators. The re-
spondent Tribunal correctly stated one part of this proposition
when it held that said provision ‘is a clear expression of an in-
tent that all (such) contests *** shall be resolved by a panel or
body in which their (the Senators’) peers in that Chamber are
represented.’ The other part, of course, is that the constitu-
tional provision just as clearly mandates the participation in
the same process of decision of a representative or representa-
tives of the Supreme Court.
“Said intent is even more clearly signaled by the fact that
the proportion of Senators to Justices in the prescribed mem-
bership of the Senate Electoral Tribunal is 2 to 1-an unmis-
takable indication that the legislative component’ cannot be
totally excluded from participation in the resolution of senato-
rial election contests, without doing violence to the spirit and
intent of the Constitution.
“Where, as here, a situation is created which precludes
the substitution of any Senator sitting in the Tribunal by any
of his other colleagues in the Senate without inviting the same
objectives to the substitute’s competence, the proposed mass

] 12
166 SCRA 651.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 253

disqualification, if sanctioned and ordered, would leave the


Tribunal no alternative but to abandon a duty that no other
court or body can perform, but which it cannot lawfully dis-
charge if shorn of the participation of its entire membership of
Senators.
“To our mind, this is the overriding consideration-that
the Tribunal be not prevented from discharging a duty which it
alone has the power to perform, the performance of which is in
the highest interest as evidenced by its being expressly im-
posed by no less than the fundamental law.
“It is aptly noted in the first of the questioned Resolu-
tions that the framers of the Constitution could not have been
unaware of the possibility of an election contest that would in-
volve all 24 Senators-elect, six of whom would inevitably have
to sit in judgment thereon. Indeed, such possibility would sur-
face again in the wake of the 1992 elections when once more,
but for the last time, all 24 seats in the Senate will be at stake.
Yet the Constitution provides no scheme or mode for settling
such unusual situations or for the substitution of Senators des-
ignated to the Tribunal whose disqualification may be sought.
Litigants in such situations must simply place their trust and
hopes of vindication in the fairness and sense of justice of the
Members of the Tribunal, Justices and Senators, singly and
collectively.”

Although the Electoral Tribunals are predomi-


nantly legislative in membership and the provision cre-
ating them is found in Article VI on the Legislative De-
partment, it is not correct to say that they are mere
adjuncts of the Congress of the Philippines. In fact, in
the discharge of their constitutional duties, they are
independent of the legislature, and also of the other
departments for that matter.
Thus, in the early case of Angara v. Electoral Com-
mission,113 it was held that the respondent body (prede-
cessor of the Electoral Tribunals) had the exclusive right
to prescribe its own rules of procedure, as against those

113
Supra.
254 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

earlier adopted by the legislature itself, in connection


with the election contests under its jurisdiction. This
ruling was affirmed by the Supreme Court in Lazatin v.
House Electoral Tribunal.11*
In Suanes vs. Disbursing Officer of the Senate,w the
Supreme Court further bolstered the independence of
these bodies by holding that “the employees of the Elec-
toral Tribunals are its own, and not of the Senate nor
the House of Representatives nor of any other entity,
and it stands to reason that the appointment, the su-
pervision, and the control over the said employees are
wholly within the Tribunal itself.”
The decisions rendered by the Electoral Tribunals
in the contests mentioned in this section, of which they
are the sole judge, are not appealable to the Supreme
Court except in cases where there is a clear showing of a
grave abuse of discretion.116
Any accusation of grave abuse of discretion on the
part of the HRET must be established by a clear show-
ing of arbitrariness and improvidence.117 The circum-
stance that none of the three Supreme Court Justices
took part in its Decision cannot be taken as proof of
grave abuse of discretion.118
The independence of the Electoral Tribunals as the
sole judge of all election contests involving the members

"1 168 SCRA 391.


1,5
L-2480, Oct. 26, 1948.
Morrero v. Bocar, 66 Phil. 429; Aznar v. HRET, G.R. No.
65000, Jan. 9, 1990.
"7 Duenas v. HRET, G.R. No. 185401, July 21, 2009, 593 SCRA
316, citing Robles v. HRET, 181 SCRA 780.
Duenas v. HRET, G.R. No. 191550, May 4, 2010, 620 SCRA
78.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 255

of Congress was affirmed in Robles v. House of Repre-


sentatives Electoral Tribunal.™9
A different question was raised in Bondoc v.
Pineda,120 to wit, whether the House of Representatives
could, at the request of the dominant political party
therein, change its representative in the House of Rep-
resentatives Electoral Tribunal, presumably “to thwart
the promulgation of a decision freely reached by the
Tribunal.”
While acknowledging the independence of the Tri-
bunal as the “sole judge” of election contests involving
the members of the House of Representatives, the Su-
preme Court assumed jurisdiction, precisely to protect
that independence. The decision penned by Justice
Carolina Grino-Aquino declared:
“The independence of the House Electoral Tribunal so
zealously guarded by the framers of our Constitution, would,
however, be a myth and its proceedings a farce if the House of
Representatives, or the majority party therein, may shuffle
and manipulate the political (as distinguished from the judi-
cial) component of the Electoral Tribunal, to serve the interests
of the party in power.
The resolution of the House of Representatives removing
Congressman Camasura from the House Electoral Tribunal for
disloyalty to the LDP, because he cast his vote in favor of the
Nacionalista Party’s candidate, Bondoc, is a clear impairment
of the constitutional prerogative of the House Electoral Tribu-
nal to be the sole judge of the election contest between Pineda
and Bondoc.
“To sanction such interference by the House of Repre-
sentatives in the work of the House Electoral Tribunal would
reduce the Tribunal to a mere tool for the aggrandizement of
the party in power (LDP) which the three justices of the Su-
preme Court and the lone NP member would be powerless to

181 SCRA 780.


201 SCRA 792.
256 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

stop. A minority party candidate may as well abandon all hope


at the threshold of the Tribunal.
“As judges, the members of the Tribunal must be non-
partisan. They must discharge their functions with complete
detachment, impartiality, and independence—even independ-
ence from the political party to which they belong. Hence, ‘dis-
loyalty to party’ and ‘breach of party discipline’ are not valid
grounds for the expulsion of a member of the Tribunal. In ex-
pelling Congressman Camasura from the HRET for having
cast a ‘conscience vote’ in favor of Bondoc, based strictly on the
result of the examination and appreciation of the ballots and
the recount of the votes by the Tribunal, the House of Repre-
sentatives committed a grave abuse of discretion, an injustice,
and a violation of the Constitution. Its resolution of expulsion
against Congressman Camasura is, therefore, null and void.”

It is significant that the Supreme Court has charac-


terized the resolution of electoral contests as “essen-
tially an exercise of judicial power” and that, although
“not courts of law,” both the House of Representatives
Electoral Tribunal and the Senate Electoral Tribunal,
and the Commission on Elections, are all, “nonetheless,
empowered to resolve election contests which involve, in
essence, an exercise of judicial power, because of the
explicit constitutional empowerment found in Section
2(2), Article IX-C (for the COMELEC) and Section 17,
Article VI (for the Senate and House Electoral Tribu-
nals) of the Constitution.” The Court stressed, however,
that “when the COMELEC, the HRET, and the SET
decide election contests, their decisions are still subject
to judicial review — via a petition for certiorari filed by
the proper party — if there is a showing that the deci-
sion was rendered with grave abuse of discretion tanta-
mount to lack or excess of jurisdiction.”121

121
Macalintal v. Presidential Electoral Tribunal, G.R. No.
191618, November 23, 2010, 635 SCRA 783, and June 7, 2011, 651
SCRA 239.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 257

Apparently consistent with the provisions of Sec-


tion 17 which states that the Electoral Tribunals shall
be the sole judges of all contests relating to the election,
returns and qualifications of their respective “Mem-
bers,” the Supreme Court has ruled in several cases that
the jurisdiction of an Electoral Tribunal begins once a
winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath,
and assumed office, for it is only after the occurrence of
these events that a candidate can be considered as ei-
ther a Member of the House of Representatives or a
Senator.122 The practical application of these rulings, at
least insofar as the House of Representatives Electoral
Tribunal (HRET) is concerned, has been that it com-
mences to exercise such jurisdiction, to the exclusion of
the Commission on Elections, which has initial jurisdic-
tion over said matters (pursuant to its general authority
to enforce and administer all election laws and decide
all questions affecting elections),123 upon the proclama-
tion of the winning candidate.124

122
Limkaichong v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 178831-32, April 1,
2009, 583 SCRA 1; Perez v. Commission on Elections, 375 Phil. 1106,
1115-1116 (1999); Marcos v. COMELEC, 318 Phil. 329, 397 (1995);
Vinzons-Chato v. Commission on Elections, 520 SCRA 166, 179;
Aggabao v. COMELEC, 449 SCRA 400, 404-405; Guerrero v.
COMELEC, 391 Phil. 344, 352 (2000); Gonzales v. COMELEC, 644
SCRA 761, 798-799; Reyes v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 207264, June 25,
2013.
123
Constitution, Article IX-B, Sections 2(1) and 2(3); Jalosjos v.
Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 192474, June 26, 2012, 674 SCRA
530.
'24 Jalosjos v. Commission on Elections, supra, see also Jalosjos
v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 192474, October 9, 2012, 683
SCRA 1; see also Mutuc v. Commission on Elections, 130 Phil. 663,
672 (1968), where the Supreme Court made a general statement to
the effect that “after proclamation, the usual remedy of any party
aggrieved in an election is to be found in an election protest.”
258 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

For instance, in Jalosjos v. COMELEC,™ the Su-


preme Court annulled a Resolution issued by the Com-
mission on Elections En Banc on June 3, 2010 providing
for the petitioner’s disqualification on the ground that
he had already been proclaimed on May 13, 2012. Citing
the earlier cases ofPlanas v. Commission on Elections,* 126 *
Vinzons-Chato v. Commission on Elections,™ and Perez
v. Commission on Elections,128 the Court stressed in this
case that “the proclamation of a congressional candidate
following the election divests COMELEC of jurisdiction
over disputes relating to the election, returns, and quali-
fications of the proclaimed Representative in favor of
the HRET.” The Court did not specify in its Decision in
this case when the petitioner was supposed to have
taken his oath of office and actually assumed office.
In Planas, the Court declared that “the general rule
is that the proclamation of a congressional candidate
divests COMELEC of jurisdiction in favor of the HRET.”
However, it must be noted that, in said case, the Su-
preme Court nullified a Resolution (dated March 11,
2005) of the Commission on Elections En Banc issued
almost a year after the winning candidate’s proclama-
tion on May 17, 2004. By then, it was clear that the
latter had already assumed office as a Member of the
House of Representatives. The COMELEC had therefore
evidently lost its jurisdiction over the petition to declare
the private respondent’s substitution as invalid when it
issued its subject Resolution on March 11, 2005.
In Vinzons-Chato, the Court likewise pronounced
that “where the candidate has already been proclaimed

'35 Ibid.
126
519 Phil. 506, 512 (2006).
'27 520 SCRA 166, 178.
128
375 Phil. 1106, 1115-1116
(1999).
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 259

winner in the congressional elections, the remedy of the


petitioner is to file an electoral protest with the HRET.”
In said case, the winning candidate was proclaimed on
May 14, 2004. While^the COMELEC ordered on July 2,
2004 the suspension of the effects of the proclamation of
the private respondent, it, however, lifted the same on
July 23, 2004 “on the ground that respondent Unico’s
proclamation and taking of oath of office had not only
divested the Commission of any jurisdiction to pass
upon his election, returns, and qualifications, but also
automatically conferred jurisdiction to another electoral
tribunal.” It is significant that Congress convened that
year on July 26, 2004, or three days after the COME-
LEC declared it had lost jurisdiction over the case in
favor of the HRET, although the term of the proclaimed
winning candidate, or the private respondent, com-
menced at noon of June 30, 2004.
In Perez, the private respondent was proclaimed on
May 16, 1998, and took his oath of office the next day.
The Supreme Court dismissed this petition filed before
it on June 16, 1998, stating that, at the time of the filing
of the same, the private respondent was already a
Member of the House of Representatives. Accordingly,
the Court ruled that it no longer had jurisdiction over
this particular electoral contest. It is significant that the
term of Members of the House of Representatives com-
mences at “noon on the thirtieth day of June next fol-
lowing their election.”129 Thus, the oath taken by the
private respondent in this case on May 17, 1998 could
not have served to install him into office, considering
that, at that point, his predecessor’s term had not yet

129
Constitution, Article VI, Section 7; see Dimaporo v. COME-
LEC, 544 SCRA 381.
260 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

expired. Accordingly, the private respondent could not


have validly assumed office then, or on May 17,1998.
Perhaps, in an effort to address the confusion gen-
erated by, or to reconcile, its apparently conflicting rul-
ings in the aforecited cases, the Supreme Court, in the
controversial, if not disturbing, case of Reyes v. Commis-
sion on Elections130 clarified, or reiterated, that “the ju-
risdiction of the HRET begins only after the candidate is
considered a Member of the House of Representatives.”
Of course, it cannot acquire jurisdiction over said candi-
date “unless a petition is duly filed with said Tribunal.”
According to the Court, to be considered a “Member” of
the House of Representatives, “there must be a concur-
rence of the following requisites: (a) a valid proclama-
tion, (b) a proper oath, and (c) assumption of office.” It
stressed that a “proper oath” would be one taken before
the Speaker of the House of Representatives “in open
session,” consistent with the provisions of Section 6 of
Rule II (Membership) of the Rules of the House of Rep-
resentatives.
In other words, it would seem that a “proper oath”
can only be taken by a new Member of the House of
Representatives only once it convenes, which would be
on the fourth Monday of July,131 as only then may Con-
gress meet in “open session,” unless a special session is
held in the meantime. Curiously, this Reyes decision did
not address the matters of when the “proper oath” can
be taken by a proclaimed candidate, and when he is to
be considered as having “assumed office.” Considering
that, as previously observed, the term of office of Mem-
bers of the House of Representatives commences only at

G.R. No. 207264, June 25, 2013 (see also Resolution on Mo-
tion for Reconsideration, October 23, 2013).
' " Constitution, Article VI, Section 15.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 261

noon of the thirtieth day of June next following their


election, it would seem that said oath and assumption of
office clearly cannot be done prior to said date, as the
terms of the their predecessors would, before said time
and date, have not yet expired. Moreover, another ques-
tion arises — how can the House of Representatives
properly convene and validly hold an “open session”
when it would be only during said “open session” that
they all can validly take their “proper oaths?” Needless
to state, the presence of a quorum would be required for
a valid “open session” to be convened or held.132 Stated
otherwise, how can the newly-elected “Members” of the
House of Representatives constitute themselves into a
quorum when, upon the convening of Congress, they
would yet need to take their oaths of office, and it would
be only after they shall have properly established a quo-
rum can a valid “open session” be called for purposes of
enabling them to properly take their oaths as new
“Members” of the House of Representatives?
Moreover, as stressed by Justice Brion in his Dis-
senting Opinion in said case, the “majority’s jurispru-
dential ruling is contrary to the HRET’s rules, effec-
tively allows the filing of any election protest or a peti-
tion for quo warranto only after the assumption to office
by the candidate on June 30 at the earliest” and “would
affect all future proclamations since they cannot be ear-
lier than 15 days counted from the June 30 constitu-
tional cut-off for the assumption to office of newly-
elected officials.” He added —
“I submit on this point that the proclamation, of the
winning candidate is the operative fact that triggers the ju-
risdiction of the HRET over election contests relating to the
winning candidate’s election, returns, and qualifications. In

132
Ibid., Article VI, Section 16 (2).
262 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

other words, the proclamation of a winning candidate divests


the COMELEC of its jurisdiction over matters pending before
it at the time of the proclamation and the party questioning
the qualifications of the winning candidate should now present
his or her case in a proper proceeding (i.e. quo warranto) before
the HRET who, by constitutional mandate, has the sole juris-
diction to hear and decide cases involving the election, returns
and qualifications of members of the House of Representa-
tives.”

Indeed, it would seem that to strictly adhere to the


rules specified in the Reyes case would necessarily entail
the revision by the HRET of its rules prescribing the
deadlines for the filing of election protests and petitions
for quo warranto before it. This may be viewed as an
unnecessary consequence which would undermine its
independence. At present, said rules require the filing of
such election protests133 and petitions for quo warranto™
within fifteen days from the proclamation of the win-
ning candidates. Said fifteen days would well expire
before “noon of the thirtieth day of June next following
their election.” Perhaps, this issue can be resolved with
a reconsideration of the interpretation assigned to the
word “Member” as used in Section 17. It may be neces-
sary to understand the same as referring simply to the
nature of the officer over whom the HRET may exercise
its jurisdiction, and not to the status of the proclaimed
candidate. On this basis, the HRET can be said to pos-
sess jurisdiction over candidates for the House of Repre-
sentatives who have been proclaimed as winners upon
their proclamation, without need for them to first take
their oaths and actually assume office.

IU
The 2011 Rules of the House of Representatives Electoral
Tribunal, Section 16.
Ibid., Section 17.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 263

It is worth noting that, in BANAT v. COMELEC 133


the Court declared that the jurisdiction of the Electoral
Tribunals can be invoked only after the winning candi-
dates have been proclaimed.
At any rate, as previously observed, in Lim-
kaichong v. COMELEC 133 the Supreme Court ruled that
the HRET would have jurisdiction over a petition for
disqualification based on citizenship filed against a
Member of the House of Representatives, as said quali-
fication is a continuing requirement and may be taken
cognizance of by the HRET even if filed beyond the pre-
scribed prescriptive period for the institution of the
same. However, according to the Supreme Court, “it is
the State, through its representatives designated by
statute that may question the illegally or invalidly pro-
cured certificate of naturalization in the appropriate
denaturalization proceedings. It is plainly not a matter
that may be raised by private persons in an election
case involving the naturalized citizen’s descendant.” In
Vilando v. HRET,131 the Supreme Court remarked that
“such power of the HRET, no matter how complete and
exclusive, does not carry with it the authority to delve
into the legality of the judgment of naturalization in the
pursuit of disqualifying Limkaichong. To rule otherwise
would operate as a collateral attack on the citizenship of
the father which, as already stated, is not permissible.”
The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal
would obviously not have jurisdiction over the qualifica-
tions of candidates who have not been proclaimed as
winners, including nominees of winning parties in
party-list elections who have not qualified to represent

G.R. No. 177508, August 7,


2009, 595 SCRA 477.
1315
G.R. Nos. 178831-32, April 1,
2009, 583 SCRA 1.
137
656 SCRA 17 (2011).
264 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

the same m view of the maximum number of represen-


tatives assigned for each of the parties. Neither would it
have jurisdiction over the parties themselves. It would
only be the Commission on Elections which may enter-
tain petitions for the disqualification of said national,
regional or sectoral parties, organizations or coalitions
or for the cancellation of their registration.138

The Commission on Appointments

Also revived in the 1987 Constitution, to limit once


again the President’s appointing power, is the Commis-
sion on Appointments under the following provision:

Sec. 18. There shall be Commission on Appoint-


5
3

ments 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 pro-
portional representation from the political parties and parties
or organizations registered under the party-list system repre-
sented 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.”

This is substantial reproduction of the corres-


ponding section in the Commonwealth Constitution and
reiterates the system of proportional representation of
the parties sitting in the Senate and the House of Rep-
resentatives. The additional rule is the requirement
that all appointments submitted to the Commission
must be acted upon within thirty session days from
their submission. Ad interim appointments not acted
upon at the time of the adjournment of the Congress,
IJ
" Layug v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 192984, Febru-
ary 28, 2012, 667 SCRA 135.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 265

even if the thirty-day period has not yet expired, are


deemed by-passed under Article VII, Section 16.
In Daza v. Singson,139 the petitioner questioned his
replacement in the ^Commission on Appointments, in-
sisting that his designation thereto as a representative
of the Liberal Party was permanent and could not be
withdrawn. For his part, the respondent contended that
he could be validly named in the petitioner’s place in
view of the political realignment in the House of Repre-
sentatives following the organization of the Laban ng
Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), to which he belonged.
Both invoked the earlier case of Cunanan v. Tan,ur>
where the Supreme Court had held that the political
affiliations in the two Houses of Congress should be
reflected in their respective representations in the Com-
mission on Appointments. The petitioner claimed that
the formation of the LDP was a merely temporary de-
velopment whereas the respondent maintained that it
had permanently altered the political composition of the
House of Representatives.
Ruling in favor of the respondent, the Supreme
Court declared inter alia:
“The petitioner, to repeat, bases his argument heavily on
the non-registration of the LDP which, he claims, has not pro-
vided the permanent political realignment to justify the ques-
tioned reorganization. As he insists:
“(c) Assuming that the so-called new coalesced
majority is actually the LDP itself, then the proposed re-
organization is likewise illegal and ineffectual, because
the LDP, not being a duly registered political party, is
not entitled to the ‘rights and privileges granted by law
to political parties’ (Sec. 160, BP No. 881), and therefore
cannot legally claim the right to be considered in deter-

1
3
9

S
u
p
r
266 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

mining the required proportional representation of politi-


cal parties in the House of Representatives.
xxx
“xxx the clear constitutional intent behind Section
18, Article VI, of the 1987 Constitution, is to give the right
of representation in the Commission on Appointments
only to political parties who are duly registered with the
Comelec.
“On November 23, 1989, however, that argument boo-
meranged against the petitioner. On that date, the Commis-
sion on Elections in an en banc resolution affirmed the resolu-
tion of its First Division dated August 28, 1989, granting the
petition of the LDP for registration as a political party. This
has taken the wind out of the sails of the petitioner, so to
speak, and he must now limp to shore as best he can.
“The petitioner’s contention that, even if registered, the
party must still pass the test of time to prove its permanence is
not acceptable. Under this theory, a registered party obtaining
the majority of the seats in the House of Representatives (or
the Senate) would still not be entitled to representation in the
Commission on Appointments as long as it was organized only
recently and has not yet ‘aged.’ The Liberal Party itself would
fall in such a category. That party was created in December
1945 by a faction of the Nacionalista Party that seceded there-
from to support Manuel A. Roxas’s bid for the Presidency of the
Philippines in the election held on April 23, 1946. The Liberal
Party won. At that time it was only four months old. Yet no
question was raised as to its right to be represented in the
Commission on Appointments and in the Electoral Tribunals
by virtue of its status as the majority party in both chambers of
the Congress.
“The LDP has been in existence for more than one year
now. It now has 157 members in the House of Representatives
and 6 members in the Senate. Its titular head is no less than
the President of the Philippines and its president is Senator
Neptali A. Gonzales, who took over recently from Speaker Ra-
mon V. Mitra. It is true that there have been, and there still
are, some internal disagreements among its members, but
these are to be expected in any political organization, espe-
cially if it is democratic in structure. In fact, even the mono-
lithic Communist Party in a number of socialist states has un-
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 267

dergone similar dissension, and even upheavals. But it surely


cannot be considered still temporary because of such discord.
“If the petitioner’s argument were to be pursued, the 157
members of the LDP in the House of Representatives would
have to be denied Representation in the Commission on Ap-
pointments and, for that matter, also the Electoral Tribunal.
By the same token, the KBL, which the petitioner says is now
‘history only,’ should also be written off. The independents also
cannot be represented because they belong to no political
party. That would virtually leave the Liberal Party only—with
all of its seventeen members—to claim all the twelve seats of
the House of Representatives in the Commission on Appoint-
ments and the six legislative seats in the House Electoral Tri-
bunal.”

Organization
The following provision is also reproduced from the
Commonwealth Constitution:
“Sec. 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.”

This provision is based on the need to enable the


President to exercise his appointing power with dispatch
in coordination with the Commission on Appointments.
The rule that the Commission on Appointments can
meet only during the sessions of the Congress is the rea-
son why ad interim appointments are permitted under
the Constitution. These appointments are made during
the recess, subject to consideration later by the Com-
mission, for confirmation or rejection. Ad interim ap-
pointments shall be effective only until disapproval by
268 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

the Commission on Appointments or until the next ad-


journment of the Congress, referring to the adjournment
of the regular or special session141 immediately following
the recess when said appointments were made.142
But where the Congress 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 appoint-
ment can be made by the President in the meantime. In
the case of the Electoral Tribunals, the need for their
early organization is obvious, considering the rash of
election contests already waiting to be filed after, and
even before, the proclamation of the winners. This is
also the reason why, unlike the Commission on Ap-
pointments, the Electoral Tribunals are supposed to
continue functioning even during the recess.

Guevara v. Inocentes, G.R. No. L-25577, March 15, 1966, 18


SCRA 379.
142
Constitution, Article VII, Section 16.
Chapter 9

POWERS OF THE CONGRESS

THE POWERS of the Congress may be classified gener-


ally into legislative and non-legislative. The legislative
power includes the specific powers of appropriation,
taxation, and expropriation. The non-legislative powers,
as previously mentioned, include the power to canvass
the presidential elections, to declare the existence of a
state of war, to give concurrence to treaties and amnes-
ties, to propose constitutional amendments, and to im-
peach.
These powers are expressly conferred by the Con-
stitution. From such express powers may be derived
some implied powers, such as the power to punish con-
tempt in legislative investigations. The Congress also
possesses inherent powers, such as the determination of
its rules of proceedings and the discipline of its mem-
bers.
Legislative Power in General
Legislative power is the power of lawmaking, the
framing and enactment of laws. This is effected through
the adoption of a bill, or a proposed or projected law,
which, once approved, becomes a statute. A statute is
“the written will of the legislature, solemnly expressed
according to the forms necessary to constitute it the law
of the state.”1

1
Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th ed., p. 1581.

269
270 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

The Supreme Court observed in Association of


Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Secretary
of Agrarian Reform2 that “during the past dictatorship,
every presidential issuance, by whatever name it was
called, had the force and effect of law.” It has since been
clarified that legislative power is “peculiarly within the
province of the Legislature. Neither Martial Law nor a
state of emergency” can justify the President’s “exercise
of legislative power by issuing decrees.”3
The power to make laws includes the power to alter
and repeal them.4 5 In Gonzales v. Hechanovaf President
Macapagal entered into two executive agreements for
the importation of rice without complying with a statu-
tory requirement for the prior obtention from the Na-
tional Economic Council of a certification of a shortage
of the cereal. On the question of which should prevail as
between the executive agreements and the statutes, the
Supreme Court decided in favor of the latter, holding
inter alia as follows:
“Under the Constitution, the main function of the Execu-
tive is to enforce laws enacted by Congress. The former may
not interfere in the performance of the legislative powers of the
latter except in the exercise of the veto power. He may not de-
feat legislative enactments by indirectly repealing the same
through an executive agreement providing for the performance
of the very act prohibited by such laws.”

2
175 SCRA 343, cited in Heirs of Aurelio Reyes v. Garilao, G.R.
No. 136466, November 25, 2009, 605 SCRA 294.
J
David v. Arroyo, G.R. No. 171396, May 3, 2006, 489 SCRA
161.
4
Review Center Association of the Philippines v. Ermita, G.R.
No. 180046, April 2, 2009, 583 SCRA 428, 450, citing Kilusang Mayo
Uno v. Director-General, National Economic Development Authority,
G.R. No. 167798, April 19, 2006, 487 SCRA 623.
5
9 SCRA 230.
POWERS OF THE CONGRESS 271

In Datu Michael Abas Kida v. Senate of the Philip-


pinesf the Supreme Court clarified that subsequent
laws that do not change or revise any provision in an
earlier law, and whjch merely fill in gaps or supplement
said earlier law, cannot be considered as amendments of
the latter.
In League of Cities of the Philippines v. COMELECf
the Supreme Court stressed that “the legislative body
possesses plenary powers for all purposes of civil gov-
ernment. Any power, deemed to be legislative by usage
and tradition, is necessarily possessed by Congress,
unless the Constitution has lodged it elsewhere. In fine,
except as limited by the Constitution, either expressly
or impliedly, legislative power embraces all subjects,
and extends to matters of general concern or common
interest.”
Accordingly, it has been ruled that the power to
grant immunity from prosecution has been acknowl-
edged as essentially a legislative prerogative. “The ex-
clusive power of Congress to define crimes and their
nature and to provide for their punishment concomi-
tantly carries the power to immunize certain persons
from prosecution to facilitate the attainment of state
interests, among them, the solution and prosecution of
crimes with high political, social and economic impact.
In the exercise of this power, Congress possesses broad
discretion and can lay down the conditions and the ex-
tent of the immunity to be granted.”6 7 8

6
G.R. No. 196271, October 18, 2011, 659 SCRA 270.
7
G.R. No. 176951, February 15, 2011, 643 SCRA 150; see also
Ople v. Torres, 354 Phil. 948 (1998); Vera v. Avelino, 77 Phil. 192,
212 (1946).
8
Tanchanco v. Sandiganbayan (Second Division), 512 Phil. 590
(2005), cited in Quarto v. The Honorable Ombudsman Simeon
Marcelo, G.R. No. 169042, October 5, 2011, 658 SCRA 580, citing
272 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

Of course, Congress is limited in its exercise of its


legislative power by the Constitution. For instance, it
cannot provide for the holdover of elective officers if the
same would go beyond their terms, as fixed in the Con-
stitution.9 Neither can it “also create a new term and
effectively appoint the occupant of the position for the
new term. This is effectively an act of appointment by
Congress and an unconstitutional intrusion into the
constitutional appointment power of the President.”10 It
likewise cannot grant legislative franchises for the op-
eration of public utilities which shall be exclusive in
character and which shall not be subject to amendment,
alteration or repeal when the common good so requires.11
In Datu Michael Abas Kida, Congress provided that
a law it had passed may be re-amended or revised by
the Congress of the Philippines upon a vote of two-
thirds (2/3) of the Members of the House of Representa-
tives and of the Senate voting separately. The Supreme
Court nullified this provision stating that Congress
cannot pass irrepealable laws. It stressed that “where
the legislature, by its own act, attempts to limit its
power to amend or repeal laws, the Court has the duty
to strike down such act for interfering with the plenary
powers of Congress.”12

Mapa, Jr. v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 100295, April 26, 1994, 231
SCRA 783.
9
Datu Michael Abas Kida v. Senate of the Philippines, supra.
10
Pimentel v. Ermita, G.R. No. 164978, October 13, 2005, 472
SCRA 587, cited in Datu Michael Abas Kida v. Senate of the Philip-
pines, supra.
" Constitution, Article XII, Section 11; see Tawang Multi-
Purpose Cooperative v. La Trinidad Water District, G.R. No. 166471,
March 22, 2011, 646 SCRA 21.
12
Duarte v. Dade, 32 Phil. 36, 49 (1915), cited in Datu Michael
Abas Kida v. Senate of the Philippines, supra.
POWERS OF THE CONGRESS 273

Laws in general have no retroactive effect, unless


the contrary is provided. Statutes can be given retroac-
tive effect when the law itself so expressly provides; in
case of remedial statutes; in case of curative statutes; in
case of laws interpreting others; and in case of laws
creating new rights.13 14 In PERT/CPM Manpower Exponent
Co., Inc. v. Vinuya,u the Supreme Court explained —
“Laws shall have no retroactive effect, unless the con-
trary is provided. By its very nature, the amendment intro-
duced by R.A. 10022 — restoring a provision of R.A. 8042 de-
clared unconstitutional — cannot be given retroactive effect,
not only because there is no express declaration of retroactivity
in the law, but because retroactive application will result in an
impairment of a right that had accrued to the respondents by
virtue of the Serrano ruling — entitlement to their salaries for
the unexpired portion of their employment contracts. All sta-
tutes are to be construed as having only a prospective applica-
tion, unless the purpose and intention of the legislature to give
them a retrospective effect are expressly declared or are neces-
sarily implied from the language used. We thus see no reason
to nullify the application of the Serrano ruling in the present
case.”

As previously noted, the Supreme Court affirmed in


Atizado v. People15 the retroactive application of Repub-

13
Philippine Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v.
Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 169752, September 25, 2007, 534
SCRA 112.
14
G.R. No. 197528, September 5, 2012, 680 SCRA 284, citing
Serrano v. Gallant Maritime Services, Inc., G.R. No. 167614, March
24, 2009, 582 SCRA 254 and Yap v. Thenamaris Ship’s Management,
G.R. No. 179532, May 30, 2011, 649 SCRA 369.
” G.R. No. 173822, October 13, 2010, 633 SCRA 105; see People
v. Sarcia, G.R. No. 169641, 10 September 2009, 599 SCRA 20; see
also People v. Mantalaba, G.R. No. 186227, July 20, 2011, 654 SCRA
188; People v. Monticalvo, G.R. No. 193507, January 30, 2013, 689
SCRA 715.
274 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

lie Act No. 9344, which favors “children in conflict with


the law.”

Procedure
The procedure in the approval of bills is briefly as
follows:
A bill is introduced by any member of the House of
Representatives or the Senate except for some measures
that must originate only in the former chamber.
The first reading involves only a reading of the
number and title of the measure and its referral by the
Senate President or the Speaker to the proper commit-
tee for study.
The bill may be “killed” in the committee or it may
be recommended for approval, with or without amend-
ments, sometimes after public hearings are first held
thereon. If there are other bills of the same nature or
purpose, they may all be consolidated into one bill under
common authorship or as a committee bill.
Once reported out, the bill shall be calendared for
second reading. It is at this stage that the bill is read in
its entirety, scrutinized, debated upon and amended
when desired. The second reading is the most important
stage in the passage of a bill.
The bill as approved on second reading is printed in
its final form and copies thereof are distributed at least
three days before the third reading. On third reading,
the members merely register their votes and explain
them if they are allowed by the rules. No further debate
is allowed.
Once the bill passes third reading, it is sent to the
other chamber, where it will also undergo the three
readings. If there are differences between the versions
POWERS OF THE CONGRESS 275

approved by the two chambers, a conference committee


representing both Houses will draft a compromise
measure that, if ratified by the Senate and the House of
Representatives, will then be submitted to the President
for his consideration.
The bill is enrolled when printed as finally ap-
proved by the Congress, thereafter authenticated with
the signatures of the Senate President, the Speaker,
and the Secretaries of their respective chambers, and
approved by the President.16

Origin of Bills

The restoration of bicameralism has also revived


the following provision appearing in the 1935 Constitu-
tion:
“Sec. 24. All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills
authorizing increase of the public debt, bills of local applica-
tion, and private bills shall originate exclusively in the House
of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with
amendments.”

An appropriation bill is one the primary and spe-


cific purpose of which is to authorize the release of funds
from the public treasury.17
A revenue bill is one that levies taxes and raises
funds for the government,18 while a tariff bill specifies
the rates or duties to be imposed on imported articles.19

16
Cited in Abakada Guro Party List v. Purisima, G.R. No.
166715, August 14, 2008, 562 SCRA 251.
17
Bengzon v. Secretary of Justice, 299 U.S. 410.
U.S. v. Norton, 91 U.S. 566.
19
Black 4th rev. ed. 1628.
276 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

A bill increasing the public debt is illustrated by


one floating bonds for public subscription redeemable
after a certain period.
A bill of local application is one involving purely lo-
cal or municipal matters, like a charter of a city.
Private bills are illustrated by a bill granting hon-
orary citizenship to a distinguished foreigner.
The above-mentioned bills are supposed to be ini-
tiated by the House of Representatives because it is
more numerous in membership and therefore also more
representative of the people. Moreover, its members are
presumed to be more familiar with the needs of the
country in regard to the enactment of the legislation
involved.
The Senate is, however, allowed much leeway in
the exercise of its power to propose or concur with
amendments to the bills initiated by the House of Rep-
resentatives. Thus, in one case, a bill introduced in the
U.S. House of Representatives was changed by the Sen-
ate to make a proposed inheritance tax a corporation
tax.20 It is also accepted practice for the Senate to intro-
duce what is known as an amendment by substitution,
which may entirely replace the bill initiated in the
House of Representatives.
This was what happened in Tolentino v. Secretary
of Finance,21 where the Expanded VAT Law was ques-
tioned on the ground, among others, that the revenue
measure did not originate exclusively in the House of
Representatives as it was the result of the consolidation
of two versions introduced separately in the two cham-
bers of Congress. By a 9-6 vote, the Supreme Court re-

2
“ Plint v. Stone Tracy Co., 220 U.S.
107.
21
235 SCRA 630.
POWERS OF THE CONGRESS 277

jected the challenge, holding that such consolidation


was consistent with the power of the Senate to propose
or concur with amendments to the version originated in
the House of Representatives. What the Constitution
simply means, according to the majority, is that the
initiative must come from the House of Representatives.

Prohibited Measures

There are certain measures that may not be passed


by the Congress owing to the nature of our government,
such as those impairing the doctrine of separation of
powers or providing for the appointment of elective offi-
cers. There are also specific prohibitions in the Bill of
Rights against the enactment of ex post facto laws, bills
of attainder, or laws impairing the obligation of con-
tracts. Of this nature is the following provision, also in
Article VI, which was contained in the Bill of Rights of
the 1973 Constitution:
“Sec. 31. No law granting a title of royalty or nobility
shall be enacted.”

The purpose of this provision is to preserve the re-


publican and democratic nature of our society by prohib-
iting the creation of privileged classes with special per-
quisites not available to the rest of the citizenry. The
stratification of our society will result in the violation of
Article II, Section 1, proclaiming that sovereignty re-
sides in the people as a whole without distinction as to
birth or lineage, unlike in monarchial regimes.
Another prohibition, this time more appropriate for
inclusion under the Judicial Department, is the follow-
ing section, also in Article VI:
278 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

“Sec. 30. No law shall be passed increasing the appel-


late jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as provided in this Con-
stitution without its advice and concurrence.”

The purpose is to prevent further additions to the


present tremendous case load of the Supreme Court
which includes the backlog of the past two decades. In
meritorious cases, however, such legislation may be
enacted provided the Supreme Court itself is consulted
and gives its concurrence.
Accordingly, in Fabian v. Desierto™ the Supreme
Court nullified “Section 27 of RA 6770 and Section 7,
Rule III of A.O. No. 7 and any other provision of law
implementing the aforesaid Act and insofar as they pro-
vide for appeals in administrative disciplinary cases
from the Office of the Ombudsman to the Supreme
Court.” According to the Court, “such provision was
violative of Section 30, Article VI of the Constitution as
it expanded our appellate jurisdiction without our ad-
vice and concurrence; and that it was also inconsistent
with Section 1, Rule 45 of the Rules of Court which pro-
vides that a petition for review on certiorari shall apply
only to a review of judgments or final orders of the
Court of Appeals, the Sandiganbayan, the Court of Tax
Appeals, the Regional Trial Court, or other courts au-
thorized by law.”

Title of Bills
“Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only
one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof.”2,1

22
G.R. No. 129742, September 16, 1998, 295 SCRA 470; see
also Ruivivar v. Ombudsman, G.R. No. 165012, September 16, 2008,
565 SCRA 324.
23
Constitution, Art. VI, Sec. 26(1).
POWERS OF THE CONGRESS 279

The purposes of this rule are:


(1) To prevent hodgepodge or log-rolling legisla-
tion. This is defined as “any act containing several sub-
jects dealing with Unrelated matters representing di-
verse interests, the main object of such combination
being to unite the members of the legislature who favor
any one of the subjects in support of the whole act.”
(2) To prevent surprise or fraud upon the legisla-
ture.
(3) To fairly apprise the people, through such pub-
lications of its proceedings as are usually made, of the
subjects of legislation that are being considered in order
that they may have the opportunity of being heard there-
on, by petition or otherwise, if they should so desire.24
Thus, in Lidasan v. Commission on Elections,25 the
challenged law was entitled “An Act Creating the Mu-
nicipality of Dianaton in the Province of Lanao del Sur”
when in fact the said municipality comprised not only
barrios in Lanao del Sur but also two municipalities to
be dismembered in the adjacent province of Cotabato.
Interestingly, even the congressman from Cotabato
voted in favor, only to discover later the prejudice to his
own province. In holding the law unconstitutional, the
Supreme Court, observed:
“The baneful effect of the defective title here presented is
not so difficult to perceive. Such title did not inform the mem-
bers of Congress as to the full impact of the law; it did not ap-
prise the people in the towns of Buldon and Parang in Cota-
bato and in the province of Cotabato itself that part of their
territory was being taken away from their towns and province
and added to the adjacent Province of Lanao del Sur; it kept

24
Cooley, Constitutional Limitations,
172.
25
21 SCRA 496.
280 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

the public in the dark as to what towns and provinces were ac-
tually affected by the bill. These are the pressures which heav-
ily weigh against the constitutionality of Republic Act 4790.”

In PHILCONSA v. Gimenez,™ the Supreme Court


also annulled a law innocently entitled “An Act Amend-
ing Subsection (c), Section Twelve, of Commonwealth
Act Numbered Thirty Hundred Ninety Six,” which was
revealed upon closer examination to be a clandestine at-
tempt of the Congress to grant special retirement privi-
leges to its members.
But the title need not be a complete catalogue of a
bill. It is permitted, for example, to entitle a law “An Act
to Ordain and Institute the Civil Code of the Philip-
pines,” since the word “code” is sufficient to place the
legislature and the people on their guard as to the num-
ber of varied if related subjects the measure embraces.
In Tobias v. Abalos,26 27 a law entitled “An Act Con-
verting the Municipality of Mandaluyong into a Highly
Urbanized City of Mandaluyong” was challenged on the
ground inter alia that it also provided for its conversion
into a separate legislative district. The Supreme Court
said this was a consequence of Article VI, Sec. 5(3) re-
quiring each city with a population of 250,000 or more to
have at least one representative. The Court reiterated its
earlier pronouncement that the rule should be given “a
practical rather than a technical construction” and said
it should suffice if “the title expresses the general sub-
ject and all the provisions are germane to that general
subject.”

26
15 SCRA 479(1965).
27
G.R. No. 114783, Dec. 8,
1994.
POWERS OF THE CONGRESS 281

In BANAT v. COMELEC,™ the Supreme Court re-


marked that the “requirement is satisfied if the title is
comprehensive enough to include subjects related to the
general purpose which the statute seeks to achieve. The
title of a law does not 'have to be an index of its contents
and will suffice if the matters embodied in the text are
relevant to each other and may be inferred from the
title. Moreover, a title which declares a statute to be an
act to amend a specified code is sufficient and the pre-
cise nature of the amendatory act need not be further
stated.” Accordingly, the provisions of the subject law
assailed in said case, RA 9369, which spoke of “poll
automation” but contained “substantial provisions deal-
ing with the manual canvassing of election returns,”
particularly, Sections 34 (on official watchers), 37 (on
Congress and the Commission on Elections acting as
National Boards of Canvassers), 38 (on pre-proclamation
cases) and 43 (on election offenses) thereof, were all con-
sidered by the Court as “germane to the subject matter
of RA 9369 which is to amend RA 7166 and BP 881,
among others.”
The constitutionality of Republic Act No. 9164 enti-
tled “An Act Providing for Synchronized Barangay and
Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, amending Republic
Act No. 7160, as amended, otherwise known as the Lo-
cal Government Code of 1991” was challenged on the
ground that, while its title announced that it pertained
to the synchronization of the elections for barangay and
Sangguniang Kabataan officials, it likewise provided for
term limits for said officers. The Supreme Court, in re-
jecting the challenge, stated —

“ G.R. No. 177508, August 7, 2009, 595 SCRA 477.


282 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

“First, the title of RA No. 9164, ‘An Act Providing for


Synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataang Elec-
tions, amending Republic Act No. 7160, as amended, otherwise
known as the Local Government Code of 1991,’ states the law’s
general subject matter — the amendment of the LGC to syn-
chronize the barangay and SK elections and for other pur-
poses. To achieve synchronization of the barangay and SK elec-
tions, the reconciliation of the varying lengths of the terms of
office of barangay officials and SK officials is necessary. Sec-
ond, the congressional debates show that the legislators and
the public they represent were fully informed of the purposes,
nature and scope of the law’s provisions. Finally, to require the
inclusion of term limitation in the title of RA No. 9164 is to
make the title an index of all the subject matters dealt with by
law; this is not what the constitutional requirement contem-
plates.”29

In Giron v. Commission on Elections,30 the Supreme


Court likewise dismissed a petition assailing the consti-
tutionality of Section 12 (on the treatment of votes cast
for substituted candidates after the printing of the offi-
cial ballots) and Section 14 (which repeals Section 67 of
the Omnibus Election Code on the ipso facto resignation
of incumbents upon their filing of their certificates of
candidacy for offices other than that which they are
currently holding in a permanent capacity) of Republic
Act No. 9006, otherwise known as the Fair Election Act.
In rejecting the challenge on the ground that said provi-
sions violated the constitutional requirement that
“every bill shall embrace only one subject which shall be
expressed in the title thereof,” the Supreme Court, cit-
ing the earlier case of Farinas v. Executive Secretary,31
ruled that “the title and the objectives of R.A. 9006 are
comprehensive enough to include subjects other than
29
COMELEC v. Cruz, G.R. No. 186616, November 20, 2009,
605 SCRA 167.
30
G.R. No. 188179, January 22, 2013, 689 SCRA 97.
31
417 SCRA 503 (2005).
POWERS OF THE CONGRESS 283

the lifting of the ban on the use of media for election


propaganda.” Accordingly, the Court held that “the as-
sailed Section 12 (Substitution of Candidates) and Sec-
tion 14 (Repealing Clause) are indeed germane to the
subject expressed in the title of R.A. 9006: An Act to
Enhance the Holding of Free, Orderly, Honest, Peaceful
and Credible Elections through Fair Election Practices.
The title was worded broadly enough to include the
measures embodied in the assailed sections.”
In any case, a title must not be “so uncertain that
the average person reading it would not be informed of
the purpose of the enactment or put on inquiry as to its
contents, or which is misleading, either in referring to or
indicating one subject where another or different one is
really embraced in the act, or in omitting any expression
or indication of the real subject or scope of the act.”32

Formalities

Another limitation in Article VI is found in Section


26(2), which provides:
“(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.”

As it was not required in the 1935 Constitution


that the bill should undergo the three readings on sepa-
rate days, the Congress did not consider it unlawful to

32
82 CJS 365.
284 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

approve a notable number of bills on first, second and


third readings during one session day only. The result
in many cases was half-baked legislation, besides occa-
sional deception of the legislators themselves and the
public in general, who were unable to devote the needed
time and study to the railroaded measures.
The old Constitution also did not specify any reason
for the issuance of the certificate of urgency that dis-
pensed with the requirement for the distribution of final
copies of a bill at least three days before its third read-
ing. In consequence, many bills which were neither im-
portant nor urgent were nonetheless passed by the Con-
gress without compliance with this requirement because
of the facility with which their authors could secure
certificates of urgency from the Office of the President.
This practice is sought to be avoided now by the
specific rule that the certificate of urgency can be issued
only for the purpose of meeting a public calamity or
emergency. In the absence of such justification, bills
must comply with the said requirements prior to their
final reading. The determination by the President as to
the existence of a “public calamity” or “emergency” con-
stitutes essentially a political question.33
The Constitution, however, additionally provides
that the bill calling for a special election “after the va-
cancy in the offices of the President and Vice-President”
shall be deemed certified.34

33
Datu Michael Abas Kida v. Senate of the Philippines, G.R.
No. 196271, October 18, 2011, 659 SCRA 270.
:M
Article VII, Section 10.
POWERS OF THE CONGRESS 285

According to the VAT Case,33 the exception applies


to both the requirements of three readings on separate
days and the distribution of final copies of the bill before
its passage. As for the sufficiency of the ground for the
presidential certification, to wit, the “growing budget
deficit,” which the petitioners claimed did not partake of
a “public calamity or emergency,” the Court made the
following feeble justification:
“The sufficiency of the factual basis of the suspension of
the writ of habeas corpus or declaration of martial law Art.
VII, Sec. 18, or the existence of a national emergency justifying
the delegation of extraordinary powers to the President under
Art. VI, Sec. 23(2) is subject to judicial review because basic
rights of individuals may be of hazard. But the factual basis of
presidential certification of bills, which involves doing away
with procedural requirements designed to insure that bills are
duly considered by members of Congress, certainly should
elicit a different standard of review.”

The third reading itself is limited to the casting of


the members’ votes, usually after a brief explanation
thereof, if allowed by the rules, without further debate
on the measure. The yeas and nays are entered in the
journals as a permanent record of how each member
voted on particular issues, for the information especially
of their constituents.
Although not provided for in the Constitution, Con-
gress has established the so-called Conference Commit-
tee, composed of representatives from the Senate and
the House of Representatives, which is a “mechanism
for compromising differences” between their respective
versions of a bill or joint resolution. It has been ruled *

35
Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, G.R. No. 115455, 235
SCRA 630; Datu Michael Abas Kida v. Senate of the Philippines,
supra.
286 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

that “it is within the power of a conference committee to


include in its report an entirely new provision that is
not found either in the House bill or in the Senate bill.”36
Moreover —
“If the committee can propose an amendment consisting
of one or two provisions, there is no reason why it cannot pro-
pose several provisions, collectively considered as an ‘amend-
ment in the nature of a substitute,’ so long as such amendment
is germane to the subject of the bills before the committee. Af-
ter all, its report was not final but needed the approval of both
houses of Congress to become valid as an act of the legislative
department. The charge that in this case the Conference
Committee acted as a third legislative chamber is thus without
any basis.”37

It bears emphasis that whatever changes may be


agreed upon by the Conference Committee need not
undergo another “three readings” in the Senate and the
House of Representatives.
“Art. VI, § 26(2) must, therefore, be construed as refer-
ring only to bills introduced for the first time in either house of
Congress, not to the conference committee report. For if the
purpose of requiring three readings is to give members of Con-
gress time to study bills, it cannot be gainsaid that H. No.
11197 was passed in the House after three readings; that in
the Senate it was considered on first reading and then referred
to a committee of that body; that although the Senate commit-
tee did not report out the House bill, it submitted a version (S.
No. 1630) which it had prepared by ‘taking into consideration’
the House bill; that for its part the Conference Committee con-
solidated the two bills and prepared a compromise version;
that the Conference Committee Report was thereafter ap-
proved by the House and the Senate, presumably after appro-
priate study by their members. We cannot say that, as a mat-
ter of fact, the members of Congress were not fully informed of

36
Philippine Judges Association v. Prado, G.R. No. 105371, No-
vember 11, 1993, 227 SCRA 203.
17
Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, supra.
POWERS OF THE CONGRESS 287

the provisions of the bill. The allegation that the Conference


Committee usurped the legislative power of Congress is, in our
view, without warrant in fact and in law.”38

Approval of Bills <,


The rules on the approval of bills are found in Arti-
cle VI, Section 27, providing as follows:
“SEC. 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 on its
Journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsidera-
tion, 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 par-
ticular item or items in an appropriation, revenue, or tariff bill,
but the veto shall not affect the item or items which he does
not object.”

The above section provides for three methods by


which a bill may become a law, to wit:
(1) When the President signs it;
(2) When the President vetoes it but the veto is
overridden by two-thirds vote of all the members of each
House; and /

Ibid.
‘J u a
288 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

(3) When the President does not act upon the


measure within thirty days after it shall have been pre-
sented to him.
By actually signing a bill presented to him, the
President identifies himself with it and indicates his
approval of its purposes and provisions.
The President may disapprove or veto a measure
upon any ground sufficient for him, as where he consi-
ders it unconstitutional or merely inefficacious or un-
wise. In every case, he should, in returning the measure
to the House of origin, indicate his objections thereto in
what is known as a “veto message” so that the same can
be studied by the members for possible overriding of his
veto. Two-thirds of each House will be sufficient to in-
validate the veto and convert the bill into law over the
President’s objections. On the other hand, the Congress
may agree with the President’s objections and decide to
revise the measure as he suggests.
Is partial veto allowed under the Constitution? The
general rule is that the President must approve entirely
or disapprove in toto. The exception applies to appro-
priation, revenue and tariff bills, any particular item or
items of which may be disapproved without affecting the
item or items to which he does not object.
In Bolinao Electronics Corporation v. Valencia,
public works bill contained an item appropriating a
certain sum for assistance to television stations, subject
to the condition that the amount would not be available
in places where there were commercial television sta-
tions in operation. President Macapagal approved the
appropriation but vetoed the condition. When his act
was subsequently challenged in the Supreme Court, it

“ 11 SCRA 486.
POWERS OF THE CONGRESS 28£

was held that the veto was ineffectual and that the ap-
proval of the item carried with it the approval of the
condition attached to it.
The last method is commonly mistaken to be some
kind of sanction for the indolence of the chief executive
but the fact is that it has a more practical purpose. This
method is employed whenever the President, while not
convinced of the necessity or validity of the measure
under consideration, is nonetheless unwilling to disap-
prove it. His reason may be fear of antagonizing certain
elements interested in its passage or his belief that the
final judgment on its constitutionality rests not with
him but with the judiciary.
An illustration of a bill approved through executive
inaction is the Bar Flunkers Bill, which President Quir-
ino refused to sign although he allowed it to lapse into
law. The Supreme Court subsequently declared it partly
unconstitutional.40
It should be noted that the thirty-day period during
which the bill is supposed to be considered by the Presi-
dent is now counted from the date of its receipt by him.
This is a definite improvement upon the old rule, which
counted the period from the date of adjournment of the
Congress regardless of the date of the actual submission
of the measure to the President of the Philippines.
It has been ruled that “the requirement that the
implementing rules of a law be subjected to approval by
Congress as a condition for their effectivity violates the
cardinal constitutional principles of bicameralism and
the so-called rule on presentment” Thus, “every bill
passed by Congress must be presented to the President
for approval or veto. In the absence of presentment to

In re Cunanan, infra.
290 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

the President, no bill passed by Congress can become a


law. In this sense, law-making under the Constitution is
a joint act of the Legislature and of the Executive. As-
suming that legislative veto is a valid legislative act
with the force of law, it cannot take effect without such
presentment even if approved by both chambers of Con-
gress.” Accordingly, “from the moment the law becomes
effective, any provision of law that empowers Congress
or any of its members to play any role in the implemen-
tation or enforcement of the law violates the principle of
separation of powers and is thus unconstitutional. Un-
der this principle, a provision that requires Congress or
its members to approve the implementing rules of a law
after it has already taken effect shall be unconstitu-
tional, as is a provision that allows Congress or its
members to overturn any directive or ruling made by
the members of the executive branch charged with the
implementation of the law.”41
Such authority would be considered a legislative
veto which would be violative of the principle of separa-
tion of powers, not to mention the aforecited rule on
presentment. Thus, in Ahakada Guro Party List v. Puri-
sima,Vi the Supreme Court, citing the earlier case of
Macalintal v. COMELEC,™ made the following pro-
nouncements —
“The scholarly discourse of Mr. Justice (now Chief Jus-
tice) Puno on the concept of congressional oversight in Mac-
alintal v. Commission on Elections is illuminating: * 42

■" Abakada Guro Party List v. Purisima, G.R. No. 166715, Au-
gust 14, 2008, 562 SCRA 251.
42
Ibid.
Macalintal v. COMELEC, G.R. 157013, July 10, 2003, 453
Phil. 586 (2003), 405 SCRA 614.
POWERS OF THE CONGRESS 291

“‘Concept and bases of congressional oversight


‘“Broadly defined, the power of oversight
embraces all activities undertaken by Con-
gress to enhance its understanding of and in-
fluence ovefr the implementation of legislation
it has enacted. Clearly, oversight concerns
post-enactment measures undertaken by Con-
gress: (a) to monitor bureaucratic compliance
with program objectives, (b) to determine
whether agencies are properly administered,
(c) to eliminate executive waste and dishon-
esty, (d) to prevent executive usurpation of
legislative authority, and (e) to assess execu-
tive conformity with the congressional per-
ception of public interest.
‘“The power of oversight has been held to be
intrinsic in the grant of legislative power itself and
integral to the checks and balances inherent in a
democratic system of government, x x x x x x
xxx
“‘Over the years, Congress has invoked its
oversight power with increased frequency to check
the perceived ‘exponential accumulation of power’
by the executive branch. By the beginning of the
20th century, Congress has delegated an enormous
amount of legislative authority to the executive
branch and the administrative agencies. Congress,
thus, uses its oversight power to make sure that
the administrative agencies perform their functions
within the authority delegated to them, xxx xxx
xxx

‘“Categories of congressional oversight functions


“‘The acts done by Congress purportedly in
the exercise of its oversight powers may be divided
into three categories, namely: scrutiny, investiga-
tion and supervision.
“‘a. Scrutiny
“‘Congressional scrutiny implies a lesser in-
tensity and continuity of attention to administra-
292 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

tive operations. Its primary purpose is to determine


economy and efficiency of the operation of govern-
ment activities. In the exercise of legislative scru-
tiny, Congress may request information and report
from the other branches of government. It can give
recommendations or pass resolutions for considera-
tion of the agency involved.
“xxx xxx xxx
“‘b. Congressional investigation
‘“While congressional scrutiny is regarded as
a passive process of looking at the facts that are
readily available, congressional investigation in-
volves a more intense digging of facts. The power of
Congress to conduct investigation is recognized by
the 1987 Constitution under section 21, Article VI,
xxx xxx xxx.
‘“c. Legislative supervision
‘“The third and most encompassing form by
which Congress exercises its oversight power is
thru legislative supervision. ‘Supervision* connotes
a continuing and informed awareness on the part of
a congressional committee regarding executive op-
erations in a given administrative area. While both
congressional scrutiny and investigation involve
inquiry into past executive branch actions in order
to influence future executive branch performance,
congressional supervision allows Congress to scru-
tinize the exercise of delegated law-making author-
ity, and permits Congress to retain part of that
delegated authority.
“‘Congress exercises supervision over the ex-
ecutive agencies through its veto power. It typically
utilizes veto provisions when granting the President
or an executive agency the power to promulgate
regulations with the force of law. These provisions
require the President or an agency to present the
proposed regulations to Congress, which retains a
‘right’ to approve or disapprove any regulation be-
fore it takes effect. Such legislative veto provisions
usually provide that a proposed regulation will be-
POWERS OF THE CONGRESS 293

come a law after the expiration of a certain period


of time, only if Congress does not affirmatively dis-
approve of the regulation in the meantime. Less
frequently, the statute provides that a proposed
regulation vwill become law if Congress affirma-
tively approves it.
“‘Supporters of legislative veto stress that it is
necessary
nwcoocuj to maintain
uvr lUCUllLCUXl the
UiiC UCLLCU1LC U1 balance
JJUVVC1 UC of power be- K .

tween the legislative and the executive branches of —***■


government as it offers lawmakers a way to dele- flj*
gate vast power to the executive branch or to inde-
pendent agencies while retaining the option to can- 0
cel particular exercise of such power without hav-
ing to pass new legislation or to repeal existing Jaw.
They contend that this arrangement promotes de-
mocratic accountability as it provides legislative
check on the activities of unelected administrative
agencies. One proponent thus explains:
“‘It is too late to debate the merits of this
delegation policy: the policy is too deeply embedded
in our law and practice. It suffices to say that the
complexities of modern government have often led
Congress—whether by actual or perceived neces-
sity—to legislate by declaring broad policy goals
and general statutory standards, leaving the choice
of policy options to the discretion of an executive of-
ficer. Congress articulates legislative aims, but
leaves their implementation to the judgment of
parties who may or may not have participated in or
agreed with the development of those aims. Conse-
quently, absent safeguards, in many instances the
reverse of our constitutional scheme could be ef-
fected: Congress proposes, the Executive disposes.
One safeguard, of course, is the legislative power to
enact new legislation or to change existing law. But
without some means of overseeing post enactment
activities of the executive branch, Congress would
be unable to determine whether its policies have
been implemented in accordance with legislative
intent and thus whether legislative intervention is
appropriate.
294 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

“‘Its opponents, however, criticize the legisla-


tive veto as undue encroachment upon the ex-
ecutive prerogatives. They urge that any post-
enactment measures undertaken by the legis-
lative branch should be limited to scrutiny
and investigation; any measure beyond that
would undermine the separation of powers
guaranteed by the Constitution. They contend
that legislative veto constitutes an impermissible
evasion of the President’s veto authority and intru-
sion into the powers vested in the executive or judi-
cial branches of government. Proponents counter
that legislative veto enhances separation of powers
as it prevents the executive branch and independ-
ent agencies from accumulating too much power.
They submit that reporting requirements and con-
gressional committee investigations allow Congress
to scrutinize only the exercise of delegated law-
making authority. They do not allow Congress to
review executive proposals before they take effect
and they do not afford the opportunity for ongoing
and binding expressions of congressional intent. In
contrast, legislative veto permits Congress to par-
ticipate prospectively in the approval or disap-
proval of ‘subordinate law’ or those enacted by the
executive branch pursuant to a delegation of au-
thority by Congress. They further argue that legis-
lative veto ‘is a necessary response by Congress to
the accretion of policy control by forces outside its
chambers.’ In an era of delegated authority, they
point out that legislative veto ‘is the most efficient
means Congress has yet devised to retain control
over the evolution and implementation of its policy
as declared by statute.’ xxx xxx xxx.’
“In Macalintal, given the concept and configuration of
the power of congressional oversight and considering the na-
ture and powers of a constitutional body like the Commission
on Elections, the Court struck down the provision in RA 9189
(The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003) creating a Joint
Congressional Committee. The committee was tasked not only
to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the said law but
also to review, revise, amend and approve the IRR prornul-
POWERS OF THE CONGRESS 295

gated by the Commission on Elections. The Court held that


these functions infringed on the constitutional independence of
the Commission on Elections.
“With this backdrop, it is clear that congressional over-
sight is not unconstitutional per se, meaning, it neither neces-
sarily constitutes an encroachment on the executive power to
implement laws nor undermines the constitutional separation
of powers. Rather, it is integral to the checks and balances in-
herent in a democratic system of government. It may in fact
even enhance the separation of powers as it prevents the over-
accumulation of power in the executive branch.
“However, to forestall the danger of congressional en-
croachment “beyond the legislative sphere,’ the Constitution
imposes two basic and related constraints on Congress. It may
not vest itself, any of its committees or its members with either
executive or judicial power. And, when it exercises its legisla-
tive power, it must follow the ‘single, finely wrought and ex-
haustively considered, procedures’ specified under the Consti-
tution, including the procedure for enactment of laws and pre-
sentment.
“Thus, any post-enactment congressional measure such as
this should be limited to scrutiny and investigation. In particu-
lar, congressional oversight must be confined to the following:
“(1) scrutiny based primarily on Congress’ power
of appropriation and the budget hearings conducted in
connection with it, its power to ask heads of departments
to appear before and be heard by either of its Houses on
any matter pertaining to their departments and its
power of confirmation and
“(2) investigation and monitoring of the imple-
mentation of laws pursuant to the power of Congress to
conduct inquiries in aid of legislation.
“Any action or step beyond that will undermine the sepa-
ration of powers guaranteed by the Constitution. Legislative
vetoes fall in this class.
“Legislative veto is a statutory provision requiring the
President or an administrative agency to present the proposed
implementing rules and regulations of a law to Congress
which, by itself or through a committee formed by it, retains a
‘right’ or ‘power’ to approve or disapprove such regulations be-
296 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

fore they take effect. As such, a legislative veto in the form of a


congressional oversight committee is in the form of an inward-
turning delegation designed to attach a congressional leash
(other than through scrutiny and investigation) to an agency to
which Congress has by law initially delegated broad powers. It
radically changes the design or structure of the Constitution’s
diagram of power as it entrusts to Congress a direct role in en-
forcing, applying or implementing its own laws.
“Congress has two options when enacting legislation to
define national policy within the broad horizons of its legisla-
tive competence. It can itself formulate the details or it can as-
sign to the executive branch the responsibility for making nec-
essary managerial decisions in conformity with those stan-
dards. In the latter case, the law must be complete in all its es-
sential terms and conditions when it leaves the hands of the
legislature. Thus, what is left for the executive branch or the
concerned administrative agency when it formulates rules and
regulations implementing the law is to fill up details (supple-
mentary rule-making) or ascertain facts necessary to bring the
law into actual operation (contingent rule-making).
“Administrative regulations enacted by administrative
agencies to implement and interpret the law which they are
entrusted to enforce have the force of law and are entitled to
respect. Such rules and regulations partake of the nature of a
statute and are just as binding as if they have been written in
the statute itself. As such, they have the force and effect of law
and enjoy the presumption of constitutionality and legality un-
til they are set aside with finality in an appropriate case by a
competent court. Congress, in the guise of assuming the role of
an overseer, may not pass upon their legality by subjecting
them to its stamp of approval without disturbing the calculated
balance of powers established by the Constitution. In exercis-
ing discretion to approve or disapprove the IRR based on a de-
termination of whether or not they conformed with the provi-
sions of RA 9335, Congress arrogated judicial power unto itself,
a power exclusively vested in this Court by the Constitution.”

Legislative Inquiries
“Sec. 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
@ fuA^'ihn
POWERS OF 297

procedure. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by


such inquiries shall be respected:”

This “power of inquiry” is granted not only to the


Senate and the House of Representatives, but also to
any of their respective committees.44 45
It has already been remarked that the power of leg-
islative investigation may be implied from the express
power of legislation and does not itself have to be ex-
pressly granted. If the above rule has been incorporated
in the Constitution, it was not so much to authorize as
in fact to limit the conduct of legislative inquiries.
The reason is that in the past this power was much
abused by some legislators who used it for illegitimate
ends or to browbeat or intimidate witnesses, usually for
grandstanding purposes only. There were also times
when the subject of the inquiry was purely private in
nature and therefore outside the scope of the powers of
the Congress.
To correct these excesses, it is now provided that
the legislative inquiry must be in aid of legislation,
whether it be under consideration already or still to be
drafted. Moreover, the rights of persons appearing in or
affected by such inquiries are likewise required to be
respected. Furthermore, the conduct of the investigation
must be strictly in conformity with the rules of proce-
dure that must have been published in advance for the
information and protection of the witnesses.
In Garcillano v. House of Representatives,46 the Su-
preme Court stressed that the “Senate cannot be al-
lowed to continue with the conduct of the questioned

44
Sabio v. Gordon, G.R. No. 174340, October 17, 2006, 504
SCRA 704.
45
G.R. No. 170338, December 23, 2008, 575 SCRA 170.
298 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

legislative inquiry without duly published rules of pro-


cedure, in clear derogation of the constitutional re-
quirement.” In said case, the petitioners claimed that
there was no need to publish anew the Senate’s Rules of
Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation,
considering that they had been published in newspapers
of general circulation only in 1995 and in 2006, although
it was conceded that said Rules had not been published
for purposes of the 14th Congress, which commenced on
June 30, 2007. Citing Neri v. Senate Committee on Ac-
countability of Public Officers and Investigations,46 the
Court clarified that it is “incumbent upon the Senate to
publish the rules for its legislative inquiries in each
Congress or otherwise make the published rules clearly
state that the same shall be effective in subsequent
Congresses or until they are amended or repealed to
sufficiently put public on notice.” The Court likewise
explained that publication of said Rules through the
internet cannot be considered as compliance with this
constitutional requirement. In any event, the legislature
has been acknowledged to possess “virtually unre-
stricted authority to determine its own rules” and would
be “at liberty to alter or modify these rules at any time
it may see fit, subject only to the imperatives of quorum,
voting and publication.”47
In addition to these limitations, the Supreme Court
has acknowledged that other prerogatives, principles
and rights may validly be invoked against this power of
Congress. These would include the President’s executive
privilege, but “only in relation to certain types of infor-
46
G.R. No. 180643, March 25, 2008, 549 SCRA 77; see also Neri
v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers, G.R. No.
180643, September 4, 2008, 564 SCRA 152.
47
De la Paz v. Senate, G.R. No. 184849, February 13, 2009, 579
SCRA 521.
POWERS OF THE CONGRESS 299

mation of a sensitive character” and which would not


serve to automatically exempt executive officials from
the duty to disclose information by the mere fact of their
being executive officials,48 the “fiscal autonomy and con-
stitutional independence of the Judiciary,”49 the sub
judice rule, “which restricts comments and disclosures
pertaining to judicial proceedings to avoid prejudging
the issue, influencing the court, or obstructing the ad-
ministration of justice,”50 the right to privacy,51 which,
however, may not be properly invoked if the subject of
the legislative inquiry pertains to the witness’ discharge
of his official functions, and the right to self-
incrimination.52 In Gudani v. Senga,53 the Court de-
clared that the President, as Commander-in-Chief, may
validly prohibit a general from appearing in a legislative
inquiry, although the legislature would not be “pre-
cluded from seeking judicial relief to compel his atten-
dance.”
In Bengzon v. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee,54 the
petitioners sought to restrain the respondent from in-
vestigating their participation in the alleged misuse of

48
Senate v. Ermita, G.R. No. 169777, April 20, 2006, 488 SCRA
1; AKBAYAN v. Aquino, G.R. No. 170516, July 16, 2008, 558 SCRA
468; Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers,
G.R. No. 180643, September 4, 2008, 564 SCRA 152; Chavez v. Pub-
lic Estates Authority, 433 Phil. 506, 534 (2002), 384 SCRA 152.
49
Senate v. Ermita, supra.
50
Romero v. Estrada, G.R. No. 174105, April 2, 2009, 583
SCRA 396.
51
Sabio v. Gordon, G.R. No. 174340, October 17, 2006, 504
SCRA 704.
92
Standard Chartered Bank v. Senate Committee on Banks,
Financial Institutions and Currencies, G.R. No. 167173, December
27, 2007, 541 SCRA 456.
53
G.R. No. 170165, August 15, 2006, 498 SCRA 671.
54
203 SCRA 767.
300 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

government funds and the illicit acquisition of proper-


ties being claimed by the PCGG for the Republic of the
Philippines. The Supreme Court granted the petition,
holding inter alia that “the petitioners are presently
impleaded as defendants in a case before the Sandigan-
bayan, which involves issues intimately related to the
subject of contemplated inquiry before the respondent
Committee,” and that no legislation was apparently
being contemplated in connection with the said investi-
gation.
The decision failed to consider that the proceeding
before the Sandiganbayan was not criminal in nature
and that the purpose of the legislative investigation was
to ascertain the disposition of funds and properties
claimed to be public in nature. Its findings on this mat-
ter could be the subject of legislation although it may
not have been expressly stated that such was the pur-
pose of the inquiry. As observed by the Court in the
earlier (and more logical) case of Arnault v. Nazareno,65
“we are bound to presume that the action of the legisla-
tive body was with a legitimate object if it was capable
of being so construed, and we have no right to assume
that the contrary was intended.”
At any rate, it has since been clarified that the sub-
ject of a legislative inquiry is a political question55 56 and
the mere filing of a criminal or an administrative com-
plaint before a court or a quasi-judicial body should not
automatically bar the conduct of legislative investiga-
tion.57
55
87 Phil. 29.
56
De la Paz v. Senate, G.R. No. 184849, February 13, 2009, 579
SCRA 521; Philcomsat Holdings Corporation v. Senate, G.R. No.
180308, June 19, 2012, 673 SCRA 611.
57
Standard Chartered Bank v. Senate Committee on Banks,
Financial Institutions and Currencies, supra.
POWERS OF THE CONGRESS 301

Failure or refusal to attend a legitimate legislative


investigation or contumacy of the witness may be pun-
ished as legislative contempt. The punishment that may
be meted out includes imprisonment. Thus, in the fa-
mous case of Arnault v. Nazar eno™ the petitioner was
ordered incarcerated by the Senate until such time as he
decided to answer certain relevant questions put to him
in connection with the investigation of a government
transaction.
It was also held in this case that the questions that
may be raised in a legislative investigation do not neces-
sarily have to be relevant to any pending legislation,
provided only that they are relevant to the subject mat-
ter of the investigation being conducted. Such investiga-
tion may result in the submission of proposed legislation
based upon the findings of the investigating committee.
How long may a private individual be imprisoned
by the legislature for contempt? The old rule announced
in Lopez v. De los Reyes69 was that the punishment could
last only for the duration of the session when the con-
tempt was committed. In the Arnault Case, however, the
Supreme Court held that the offender could be impris-
oned indefinitely by the Senate, it being a continuing
body, provided that the punishment did not become so
long as to violate due process. As for the House of Rep-
resentatives, the same decision declared that the im-
prisonment could last not only during the session when
the offense was committed but until the final adjourn-
ment of the body. This rule is presumably still valid and
may be applied, unless changed, to the present Con-
gress. 58 59

58
Ibid.
59
55
Phil.
170.
304 PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW

other hand, Section 22 pertains to the power to conduct


a question hour, the objective of which is to obtain in-
formation in pursuit of Congress’ oversight function.
Simply stated, while both powers allow Congress or any
of its committees to conduct inquiry, their objectives are
different.”61

The Power of Appropriation

Article VI, Section 29(1), of the Constitution provides


that “no money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in
pursuance of an appropriation made by law/’
In Nazareth v. Villarf2 funds were released by the
Department of Science and Technology to cover the
benefits for its personnel provided for under a law des-
pite the absence of a specific appropriation for the same
in the existing General Appropriations Act (GAA), and
notwithstanding an express provision in said law requir-
ing said funds to be covered by the GAA. Upon its re-
ceipt from the Commission on Audit of a Notice of Disal-
lowance covering said released funds, the petitioner
obtained authority from the Office of the President to
use said agency’s savings to cover said benefits, and,
upon the granting of said authority, invoked the same
for purposes of requesting the Commission on Audit to
lift the notice of disallowance. In resolving the issues
pertinent to said disallowance, the Supreme Court de-
clared —
“As we see it, the COA correctly ruled on the matter at
hand. Article VI Section 29 (1) of the 1987 Constitution firmly * 62

1,1
Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Offi-
cers, G.R. No. 180643, March 25, 2008, 564 SCRA 152.
62
Nazareth v. Villar, G.R. No. 188635, January 29, 2013, 689
SCRA 385.
POWERS OF THE CONGRESS 305