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Demetria vs Alba

L-71977, February 27, 1987

This is a petition for prohibition with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction is the
constitutionality of the first paragraph of Sec 14 of PD 1177 which is known as
"Budget Reform Degree of 1977". They contend that the provisions are the
1. Sec 44 of the budget reform decree of 1977 infringes upon the fundamental by
authorizing the illegal transfer of public money
2. The PD fails to specify the objectives and purposes for which the proposed
transfer of funds are to be made
3. Allows the president to override safeguards of the constitution
4. Undue Delegation of Legislative powers to the executive
The case brought down explains on the power of judicial review of the Supreme
The Supreme Court said in this case - "Where the legislature or the executive
branch is acting within the limits of its authority, the judiciary cannot and ought
not to interfere with the former. But where the legislature or the executive acts
beyond the scope of the constitutional powers, it becomes the duty of the judiciary
to declare what the other branches of the government had assumed to do, as void.
This is the essence of judicial power conferred by the Constitution.
On the validity of Sec 44 of PD 1177 - The PD unduly over-extends the privilege
granted under Sec 16 [5]. It empowers the President to indiscriminately transfer
funds from one department or agency of the Executive Department after its
enactment, without regard as to whether or not the funds to be transferred are
actually savings in the item from which the same are to be taken, or whether or
not the transfer is for the purpose of augmenting the item to which said transfer is
to be made. It does not only completely disregard the standards set in the
fundamental law, thereby amounting to an undue delegation of legislation powers,
but likewise goes beyond the tenor thereof. Such constitutional infirmities render
the provision in question void.