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A.M. No.

133-J, May 31, 1982, 114 SCRA 77 FACTS: On June 8, 1963, a decision was rendered by respondent Judge Asuncion in Civil Case 3010 which became final for lack of an appeal. One of the parties in that case was Macariola. On October 16, 1963, a project of partition was submitted to Judge Asuncion which he approved in an Order dated October 23, 1963, later amended on November 11, 1963. Lot 1184-E, which is one of the lots involved in the partition, was sold on July 31, 1964 to Dr. Arcadio Galapon. On March 6, 1965, Dr. Arcadio Galapon and his wife Sold a portion of the said lot to Judge Asuncion and his wife, Victoria S. Asuncion. In a verified complaint dated August 6, 1968 Bernardita R. Macariola charged respondent Judge Elias B. Asuncion of the Court of FirstInstance of Leyte with "acts unbecoming a judge." The complainant alleged that that respondent Judge Asuncion violated Article 1491, paragraph 5, of the New Civil Code in acquiring by purchase aportion of Lot No. 1184-E which was one of those properties involved in Civil Case No. 3010 decided by him. ISSUE: Whether or not Judge Asuncion violated the said provision. HELD: The Court finds that there is no merit in the contention of complainant Bernardita R. Macariola. The prohibition in the aforesaid Article applies only to the sale or assignment of the property which is the subject of litigation to the persons disqualified therein. For the prohibition to operate, the sale or assignment of the property must take place during the pendency of the litigation involving the property. When the respondent Judge purchased on March 6, 1965 a portion of Lot 1184-E, the decision in Civil Case No. 3010 which he rendered on June 8, 1963 was already final because none of the parties therein filed an appeal within the reglementary period; hence, the lot in question was no longer subject of the litigation. Moreover, at the time of the sale on March 6, 1965, respondent's order dated October 23, 1963 and the amended order dated November 11, 1963 approving the October 16, 1963 project of partition made pursuant to the June 8, 1963 decision, had long become final for there was no appeal from said orders. Furthermore, respondent Judge did not buy the lot in question on March 6, 1965 directly from the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 3010 but from Dr. Arcadio Galapon. Therefore, the respondent Associate Justice of the Court of Appealsis hereby reminded to be more discreet in his private and business activities.

Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS Digested Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS GR 122156, 3 February 1997 WHETHER OR NOT THE COSNTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS ARE SELF-EXECUTING FACTS: The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), pursuant to the privatization program of the Philippine Government under Proclamation 50 dated 8 December 1986, decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51% of the issued and outstanding shares of the Manila Hotel (MHC). In a close bidding held on 18 September 1995 only two bidders participated: Manila Prince Hotel Corporation, a Filipino corporation, which offered to buy 51% of the MHC or 15,300,000 shares at P41.58 per share, and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian firm, with ITT-Sheraton as its hotel operator, which bid for the same number of shares at P44.00 per share, or P2.42 more than the bid of petitioner. Pending the declaration of Renong Berhard as the winning bidder/strategic partner and the execution of the necessary contracts, the Manila Prince Hotel matched the bid price of P44.00 per share tendered by Renong Berhad in a letter to GSIS dated 28 September 1995. Manila Prince Hotel sent a managers check to the GSIS in a subsequent letter, but which GSIS refused to accept. On 17 October 1995, perhaps apprehensive that GSIS has disregarded the tender of the matching bid and that the sale of 51% of the MHC may be hastened by GSIS and consummated with Renong Berhad, Manila Prince Hotel came to the Court on prohibition and mandamus. ISSUE: Whether or not the provisions of the Constitution, particularly Article XII Section 10, are selfexecuting. RULING: A provision which lays down a general principle, such as those found in Article II of the 1987 Constitution, is usually not self-executing. But a provision which is complete in itself and becomes operative without the aid of supplementary or enabling legislation, or that which supplies sufficient rule by means of which the right it grants may be enjoyed or protected, is self-executing. Thus a constitutional provision is self-executing if the nature and extent of the right conferred and the liability imposed are fixed by the constitution itself, so that they can be determined by an examination and construction of its terms, and there is no language indicating that the subject is referred to the legislature for action. In self-executing constitutional provisions, the legislature may still enact legislation to facilitate the exercise of powers directly granted by the constitution, further the operation of such a provision, prescribe a practice to be used for its

enforcement, provide a convenient remedy for the protection of the rights secured or the determination thereof, or place reasonable safeguards around the exercise of the right. The mere fact that legislation may supplement and add to or prescribe a penalty for the violation of a self-executing constitutional provision does not render such a provision ineffective in the absence of such legislation. The omission from a constitution of any express provision for a remedy for enforcing a right or liability is not necessarily an indication that it was not intended to be self-executing. The rule is that a self-executing provision of the constitution does not necessarily exhaust legislative power on the subject, but any legislation must be in harmony with the constitution, further the exercise of constitutional right and make it more available. Subsequent legislation however does not necessarily mean that the subject constitutional provision is not, by itself, fully enforceable. As against constitutions of the past, modern constitutions have been generally drafted upon a different principle and have often become in effect extensive codes of laws intended to operate directly upon the people in a manner similar to that of statutory enactments, and the function of constitutional conventions has evolved into one more like that of a legislative body. Hence, unless it is expressly provided that a legislative act is necessary to enforce a constitutional mandate, the presumption now is that all provisions of the constitution are self-executing. If the constitutional provisions are treated as requiring legislation instead of self-executing, the legislature would have the power to ignore and practically nullify the mandate of the fundamental law. In fine, Section 10, second paragraph, Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory, positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its enforcement. From its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation. Resolution Cunanan, et. al 18March1954 FACTS OF THE CASE: In the manner of the petitions for Admission to the Bar of unsuccessful candidates of 1946 to 1953; Albino Cunanan et. al petitioners. In recent years few controversial issues have aroused so much public interest and concern as R.A. 972 popularly known as the Bar Flunkers Act of 1953. Generally a candidate is deemed passed if he obtains a general ave of 75% in all subjects w/o falling below 50% in any subject, although for the past few exams the passing grades were changed depending on the strictness of the correcting of the bar examinations (1946- 72%, 1947- 69%, 1948- 70% 1949-74%, 1950-1953 75%). Believing themselves to be fully qualified to practice law as those reconsidered and passed by the S.C., and feeling that they have been discriminated against, unsuccessful candidates who obtained averages of a few percentages lower than those admitted to the bar went to congress for, and secured in 1951 Senate Bill no. 12, but was vetoed by the president after he was given advise adverse to it. Not overriding the veto,

the senate then approved senate bill no. 372 embodying substantially the provisions of the vetoed bill. The bill then became law on June 21, 1953 Republic Act 972 has for its object, according to its author, to admit to the Bar those candidates who suffered from insufficiency of reading materials and inadequate preparations. By and large, the law is contrary to public interest since it qualifies 1,094 law graduates who had inadequate preparation for the practice of law profession, as evidenced by their failure in the exams. ISSUES OF THE CASE: Due to the far reaching effects that this law would have on the legal profession and the administration of justice, the S.C. would seek to know if it is CONSTITUTIONAL. An adequate legal preparation is one of the vital requisites for the practice of the law that should be developed constantly and maintained firmly. The Judicial system from which ours has been derived, the act of admitting, suspending, disbarring, and reinstating attorneys at law in the practice of the profession is concededly judicial. The Constitution, has not conferred on Congress and the S.C. equal responsibilities concerning the admission to the practice of law. The primary power and responsibility which the constitution recognizes continue to reside in this court. Its retroactivity is invalid in such a way, that what the law seeks to cure are not the rules set in place by the S.C. but the lack of will or the defect in judgment of the court, and this power is not included in the power granted by the Const. to Congress, it lies exclusively w/in the judiciary. Reasons for Unconstitutionality: 1. There was a manifest encroachment on the constitutional responsibility of the Supreme Court. 2. It is in effect a judgment revoking the resolution of the court, and only the S.C. may revise or alter them, in attempting to do so R.A. 972 violated the Constitution. 3. That congress has exceeded its power to repeal, alter, and supplement the rules on admission to the bar (since the rules made by congress must elevate the profession, and those rules promulgated are considered the bare minimum.) 4. It is a class legislation 5. Art. 2 of R.A. 972 is not embraced in the title of the law, contrary to what the constitution enjoins, and being inseparable from the provisions of art. 1, the entire law is void. HELD: Under the authority of the court: 1. That the portion of art. 1 of R.A. 972 referring to the examinations of 1946 to 1952 and all of art. 2 of the said law are unconstitutional and therefore void and w/o force and effect.

2. The part of ART 1 that refers to the examinations subsequent to the approval of the law (1953- 1955) is valid and shall continue in force. (those petitions by the candidates who failed the bar from 1946 to 1952 are denied, and all the candidates who in the examination of 1953 obtained a GEN Ave. of 71.5% w/o getting a grade of below 50% in any subject are considered as having passed whether they have filed petitions for admissions or not.) Political Law Sufficient Standard Test and Completeness Test Pelaez v. Auditor General From Sept 04 to Oct 29, 1964, the President (Marcos) issued executive orders creating 33 municipalities this is purportedly in pursuant to Sec 68 of the Revised Administrative Code which provides that the President of the Philippines may by executive order define the boundary, or boundaries, of any province, sub-province, municipality, [township] municipal district or other political subdivision, and increase or diminish the territory comprised therein, may divide any province into one or more subprovincesThe VP Emmanuel Pelaez and a taxpayer filed a special civil action to prohibit the auditor general from disbursing funds to be appropriated for the said municipalities. Pelaez claims that the EOs are unconstitutional. He said that Sec 68 of the RAC has been impliedly repealed by Sec 3 of RA 2370 which provides that barrios may not be created or their boundaries altered nor their names changed except by Act of Congress or of the corresponding provincial board upon petition of a majority of the voters in the areas affected and the recommendation of the council of the municipality or municipalities in which the proposed barrio is situated. Pelaez argues, accordingly: If the President, under this new law, cannot even create a barrio, can he create a municipality which is composed of several barrios, since barrios are units of municipalities? The Auditor General countered that only barrios are barred from being created by the President. Municipalities are exempt from the bar and that t a municipality can be created without creating barrios. Existing barrios can just be placed into the new municipality. This theory overlooks, however, the main import of Pelaez argument, which is that the statutory denial of the presidential authority to create a new barrio implies a negation of the bigger power to create municipalities, each of which consists of several barrios. ISSUE: Whether or not Congress has delegated the power to create barrios to the President by virtue of Sec 68 of the RAC. HELD: Although Congress may delegate to another branch of the government the power to fill in the details in the execution, enforcement or administration of a law, it is essential, to forestall a violation of the principle of separation of powers, that said law: (a) be complete in itself it must set forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out or implemented by the delegate and (b) fix a standard the limits of which are sufficiently determinate or determinable to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions. Indeed, without a statutory declaration of policy, the delegate would, in effect, make or formulate such policy, which is the essence of every law; and, without the aforementioned standard, there would be no means to determine, with reasonable certainty, whether the delegate has acted within or beyond the scope of his authority.

In the case at bar, the power to create municipalities is eminently legislative in character not administrative. OSMENA VS ORBOS FACTS October 10, 1984, President Ferdinand Marcos issued P.D. 1956 creating a Special Account in the General Fund, designated as the Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF). The OPSF wasdesigned to reimburse oil companies for cost increases in crude oil and importedpetroleum products resulting from exchange rate adjustments and from increases in the world market prices of crude oil. Subsequently, the OPSF was reclassified into a trust liability account, in virtue of E.O. 1024,. Now, the petition alleges that the status of the OPSF as of March 31, 1991 showed a Terminal Fund Balance deficit of some P12.877billion; 8 that to abate the worsening deficit, the Energy Regulatory Board . . issued anapproving the increase in pump prices of petroleum products, and a t the rate of recoupment, the OPSF deficit should have been fully covered in a span of six (6) months,but this notwithstanding, the respondents are poised to accept, process and pay claims not authorized under P.D. 1956." 9 ISSUE Whether or not the powers granted to the ERB under PD 1956 partake of the nature of thetaxation power of the state such that the creation of the trust fund violates Section 29(3),Article VI of the Constitution RULING It seems clear that while the funds collected may be referred to as taxes, they are exacted inthe exercise of the police power of the State. Moreover, that the OPSF is a special fund isplain from the special treatment given it by E.O. 137. It is segregated from the general fund;and while it is placed in what the l aw refers to as a trust liability account, the fund nonetheless remains subject to the scrutiny and review of the COA. The Court is satisfied that these measures comply with the constitutional description of a special fund. Indeed, the practice is without precedent

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 96754 June 22, 1995 CONGRESSMAN JAMES L. CHIONGBIAN (Third District, South Cotobato) ADELBERT W. ANTONINO (First District, SouthCotobato), WILFREDO G. CAINGLET (Third District, Zamboanga del Norte), HILARION RAMIRO, JR. (Second Division,Misamis Occidental), ERNESTO S. AMATONG (Second District, Zamboanga del Norte), ALVIN G. DANS (Lone District,Basilan), ABDULLAH M. DIMAPORO

(Second District, Lanao del Norte), and CONGRESSWOMAN MARIA CLARA A.LOBREGAT (Lone District, Zamboanga City) petitioners,vs. HON. OSCAR M. ORBOS, Executive Secretary; COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN SEC. FIDEL V. RAMOS, CABINET OFFICERS FORREGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR REGIONS X AND XII, CHAIRMAN OF THE REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL FORREGION X, CHAIRMAN JESUS V. AYALA, CABINET OFFICERS FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR REGIONS XI and XII,DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY SECRETARIAT,PRESIDENTIAL MANAGEMENT STAFF, HON. GUILLERMO CARAGUE, Secretary of the DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET andMANAGEMENT; and HON. ROSALINA S. CAJUCUM, OIC National Treasurer, respondents. IMMANUEL JALDON, petitioner,vs. HON. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OSCAR M. ORBOS, HON. FIDEL RAMOS, HON. SECRETARY LUIS SANTOS, AND HON.NATIONAL TREASURER ROSALINA CAJUCOM, respondents. MENDOZA, J.: These suits challenge the validity of a provision of the Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (R.A.No. 6734), authorizing the President of the Philippines to "merge" by administrative determination the regions remainingafter the establishment of the Autonomous Region, and the Executive Order issued by the President pursuant to suchauthority, "Providing for the Reorganization of Administrative Regions in Mindanao." A temporary restraining orderprayed for by the petitioners was issued by this Court on January 29, 1991, enjoining the respondents from enforcing theExecutive Order and statute in question.The facts are as follows:Pursuant to Art. X, 18 of the 1987 Constitution, Congress passed R.A. No. 6734, the Organic Act for the AutonomousRegion in Muslim Mindanao, calling for a plebiscite to be held in the provinces of Basilan, Cotobato, Davao del Sur, Lanaodel Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Palawan, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte,and Zamboanga del Sur, and the cities of Cotabato, Dapitan, Dipolog, General Santos, Iligan, Marawi, Pagadian, PuertoPrincesa and Zamboanga. In the ensuing plebiscite held on November 16, 1989, four provinces voted in favor of creatingan autonomous region. These are the provinces of Lanao del Sur,

Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. In accordance withthe constitutional provision, these provinces became the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.On the other hand, with respect to provinces and cities not voting in favor of the Autonomous Region, Art. XIX, 13 of R.A. No. 6734 provides,That only the provinces and cities voting favorably in such plebiscites shall be included in theAutonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The provinces and cities which in the plebiscite do not votefor inclusion in the Autonomous Region shall remain in the existing administrative regions. Provided,however , that the President may, by administrative determination, merge the existing regions.Pursuant to the authority granted by this provision, then President Corazon C. Aquino issued on October 12, 1990Executive Order No. 429, "providing for the Reorganization of the Administrative Regions in Region X, will become part of Region IX.(2) Oroquieta City, Tangub City and Ozamiz City, at present parts of Region X will become parts of Region IX IN RE: VICENTE CHING Bar Matter No. 914, October 1, 1999 FACTS: Vicente D. Ching, the legitimate son of the spouses Tat Ching, a Chinese citizen, and Prescila A. Dulay, a Filipino, was born in Francia West, Tubao, La Union on 11 April 1964. Since his birth, Ching has resided in the Philippines. After having completed a Bachelor of Laws course at the St. Louis University in Baguio City, Ching filed an application to take the 1998 Bar Examinations. In a Resolution of this Court, he was allowed to take the Bar Examinations, subject to the condition that he must submit to the Court proof of his Philippine citizenship. On November 1998, he submitted the important documents in compliance with the said resolution. During the 1998 Bar Examinations, Ching was one of the successfulexaminees but he was not allowed to take the oath because of his questionable citizenship status. Pursuant to the resolution of this Court, he was required to submit further proof of his citizenship. In the same resolution, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) was required to file a comment on Ching's petition for admission to the bar and on the documents evidencing his Philippine citizenship. In their comment, the OSG points out that Ching has not formally elected Philippine citizenship and, if ever he does, it would already be beyond the "reasonable time" allowed by present jurisprudence.

Ching then filed a Manifestation, attaching therewith his Affidavit of Election of Philippine Citizenship and his Oath of Allegiance, both dated 15 July 1999. ISSUE: Whether or not he has elected Philippine citizenship within a "reasonable time." HELD: The Court holds that Ching failed to validly elect Philippinecitizenship. The span of fourteen (14) years that lapsed from the time he reached the age of majority until he finally expressed his intention to elect Philippine citizenship is clearly way beyond the contemplation of the requirement of electing "upon reaching the age of majority." Moreover, Ching has offered no reason why he delayed his election of Philippine citizenship. The prescribed procedure in electing Philippine citizenship is certainly not a tedious and painstaking process. All that is required of the elector is to execute an affidavit of election of Philippine citizenship and, thereafter, file the same with the nearest civil registry. Ching's unreasonable and unexplained delay in making his election cannot be simply glossed over. Philippine citizenship can never be treated like a commodity that can be claimed when needed and suppressed when convenient. One who is privileged to elect Philippine citizenship has only an inchoate right to such citizenship. As such, he should avail of the right with fervor, enthusiasm and promptitude. Sadly, in this case, Ching slept on his opportunity to elect Philippine citizenship and, as a result this golden privilege slipped away from his grasp. Therefore, the Court Resolves to DENY Vicente D. Ching's application for admission to the Philippine Bar. RA 7941 the Party list Act (1995) BANAT V. COMELEC , G.R. No. 179271, April 21, 2009 Facts: Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT)filed before the National Board of Canvassers(NBC) a petition to proclaim the fullnumber of party list representatives provided by the Constitution. However, the recommendation of the head of the legal group of COMELECs national board of canvassers to declare the petition moot and academic was approved by theCOMELEC en banc. BANAT filed for petition for certiorari and mandamus assailing the resolution of COMELEC to their petition to proclaim the full number of party listrepresentatives provided by the Constitution.

The COMELEC, sitting as the NBC, promulgated a resolution proclaimingthirteen (13) parties as winners in the party-list elections in May 2007. TheCOMELEC announced that, upon completion of the canvass of the party-listresults, it would determine the total number of seats of each winning party,organization, or coalition in accordance with Veterans Federation Party v.COMELEC formula. Bayan Muna, Abono, and Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action,Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms (A Teacher) asked theCOMELEC, acting as NBC, to reconsider its decision to usethe Veterans formula. COMELEC denied the consideration. Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher filed for certiorari with mandamus andprohibition assailing the resolution of the COMELEC in its decision to use theVeterans formula. ISSUES: Whether or not the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives in Section5(2), Article VI of the Constitution mandatory or merely a ceiling Whether or not the three-seat limit in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 is constitutional Whether or not the two percent threshold prescribed in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 toqualify for one seat is constitutional How shall the party-list representatives be allocated? Does the Constitution prohibit the major political parties from participating in theparty-list elections? If not, can the major political parties be barred from participatingin the party-list elections? RULING: The 20% allocation of party-list representatives is merely a ceiling; party-listrepresentatives cannot be more than 20% of the members of the House of Representatives. Socrates vs COMELEC, 391 SCRA 457; G.R. No. 154512, November 12, 2002 (Local Government, Recall Election: Exception to the 3 term limit) Facts: COMELEC gave due course to the Recall Resolution against Mayor Socrates of the City of Puerto Princesa, and scheduled the recall election on September 7, 2002.

On August 23, 2002, Hagedorn filed his COC for mayor in the recall election. Different petitioners filed their respective petitions, which were consolidated seeking the disqualification of Hagedorn to run for the recall election and the cancellation of his COC on the ground that the latter is disqualified from running for a fourth consecutive term, having been elected and having served as mayor of the city for three (3) consecutive full terms in 1992, 1995 and 1998 immediately prior to the instant recall election for the same post. COMELECs First Division dismissed in a resolution the petitioner for lack of merit. And COMELEC declared Hagedorn qualified to run in the recall election. Issue: WON one who has been elected and served for 3 consecutive full terms is qualified to run for mayor in the recall election. Held: Yes. The three-term limit rule for elective local officials is found in Section 8, Article X of the Constitution, which states: Section 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be determined by law, shall be three years and no such official 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. This three-term limit rule is reiterated in Section 43 (b) of RA No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code, which provides: Section 43. Term of Office. (a) x x x (b) No local elective official shall serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms in the same position. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of service for the full term for which the elective official was elected. The first part provides that an elective local official cannot serve for more than three consecutive terms. The clear intent is that only consecutive terms count in determining the three-term limit rule. The second part states that voluntary renunciation of office for any length of time does not interrupt the continuity of service. The clear intent is that involuntary severance from office for any length of time interrupts continuity of service and prevents the service before and after the interruption from being joined together to form a continuous service or consecutive terms. After three consecutive terms, an elective local official cannot seek immediate re-election for a fourth term. The prohibited election refers to the next regular election for the same office following the end of the third consecutive term. Any subsequent election, like a recall election, is no longer covered by the prohibition for two reasons. First, a subsequent election like a recall election is no longer an immediate reelection after three consecutive terms. Second, the intervening period constitutes an involuntary interruption in the continuity of service. Based from the deliberations of a Constitutional Commission, what the Constitution prohibits is an immediate re-election for a fourth term following three consecutive terms. The Constitution, however, does not prohibit a subsequent re-election for a fourth term as long as the re-election is not immediately


after the end of the third consecutive term. A recall election mid-way in the term following the third consecutive term is a subsequent election but not an immediate re-election after the third term. Neither does the Constitution prohibit one barred from seeking immediate re-election to run in any other subsequent election involving the same term of office. What the Constitution prohibits is a consecutive fourth term. In the case of Hagedorn, his candidacy in the recall election on September 24, 2002 is not an immediate re-election after his third consecutive term which ended on June 30, 2001. The immediate re-election that the Constitution barred Hagedorn from seeking referred to the regular elections in 2001. People vs. Jalosjos G.R. No. 132875-76, February 3, 2000 Facts: The accused-appellant, Romeo Jalosjos, is a full-fledged member of Congress who is confined at the national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape and acts of lasciviousness is pending appeal. The accused-appellant filed a motion asking that he be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman, includingattendance at legislative sessions and committee meetings despite his having been convicted in the first instance of a non-bailable offense on the basis of popular sovereignty and the need for hisconstituents to be represented. Issue: Whether or not accused-appellant should be allowed to discharge mandate as member of House of Representatives Held: Election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. However, inspite of its importance, the privileges and rights arising from having been elected may be enlarged or restricted by law. The immunity from arrest or detention of Senators and members of the House of Representatives arises from a provision of the Constitution. The privilege has always been granted in a restrictive sense. Theprovision granting an exemption as a special privilege cannot be extended beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms. It may not be extended by intendment, implication or equitable considerations. The accused-appellant has not given any reason why he should be exempted from the operation of Sec. 11, Art. VI of the Constitution. The members of Congress cannot compel absent members to attend sessions if the reason for the absence is a legitimate one. The confinement of a Congressman charged with a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than six years is not merely authorized by law, it has constitutional foundations. To allow accused-appellant to attend congressional sessions and committee meetings for 5 days or more in a week will virtually make him a free man with all the privileges appurtenant to his position. Such an aberrant situation not only elevates accused-appellants status to that of a special class, it also would be a mockery of the purposes of the correction system.


G.R. No. 134577, November 18, 1998 FACTS: During the first regular session of the eleventh Congress Sen. Marcelo B. Fernan was declared the duly elected President of the Senate. The following were likewise elected: Senator Ople as president pro tempore, and Sen. Franklin M. Drilon as majority leader. Senator Tatad thereafter manifested that, with the agreement of Senator Santiago, allegedly the only other member of the minority, he was assuming the position of minority leader. He explained that those who had voted for Senator Fernan comprised the "majority," while only those who had voted for him, the losing nominee, belonged to the "minority." During the discussion on who should constitute the Senate "minority," Sen. Juan M. Flavier manifested that the senators belonging to the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP Party numbering seven (7) and, thus, also aminority had chosen Senator Guingona as the minority leader. No consensus on the matter was arrived at. The following session day, the debate on the question continued, with Senators Santiago and Tatad delivering privilege speeches. On the third session day, the Senate met in caucus, but still failed to resolve the issue.

On July 30, 1998, the majority leader informed the body chat he was in receipt of a letter signed by the seven Lakas-NUCD-UMDP senators, stating that they had elected Senator Guingona as theminority leader. By virtue thereof, the Senate President formally recognized Senator Guingona as the minority leader of the Senate. The following day, Senators Santiago and Tatad filed before this Court the subject petition for quo warranto, alleging in the main that Senator Guingona had been usurping, unlawfully holding and exercising the position of Senate minority leader, a position that, according to them, rightfully belonged to Senator Tatad. ISSUES: 1. Does the Court have jurisdiction over the petition? 2. Was there an actual violation of the Constitution?

3. Was Respondent Guingona usurping, unlawfully holding and exercising the position of Senate minority leader 4. Did Respondent Fernan act with grave abuse of discretion in recognizing Respondent Guingona as theminority leader? HELD: FIRST ISSUE The Court initially declined to resolve the question of who was the rightful Senate President, since it was deemed a political controversy falling exclusively within the domain of the Senate. Upon a motion for reconsideration, however, the Court ultimately assumedjurisdiction (1) "in the light of subsequent events which justify its intervention;" and (2) because the resolution of the issue hinged on the interpretation of the constitutional provision on the presence of a quorum to hold a session and therein elect a Senate President(read Avelino vs. Cuenco about the scope of the Court's power of judicial review). The Court ruled that the validity of the selection of members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal by the senators was not a political question. The choice of these members did not depend on the Senate's "full discretionary authority," but was subject to mandatory constitutional limitations. Thus, the Court held that not only was it clearly within its jurisdiction to pass upon the validity of the selection proceedings, but it was also its duty to consider and determine the issue. SECOND ISSUE There was no violation. The Court finds that the interpretation proposed by petitioners finds no clear support from the Constitution, the laws, the Rules of the Senate or even from practices of the Upper House. The Constitution mandates that the President of the Senate must be elected by a number constituting more than one half of all the members thereof, it however does not provide that the members who will not vote for him shall ipso facto constitute the "minority," who could thereby elect the minority leader. Verily, no law or regulation states that the defeated candidate shall automatically become the minority leader. While the Constitution is explicit on the manner of electing a Senate President and a House Speaker, it is, however, dead silent on the manner of selecting the other officers in both chambers of Congress. All that the Charter says is that "[e]ach House shall choose such other officers as it may deem necessary." The method of choosing who will be such other officers is merely a derivative of the exercise of the prerogative conferred by the aforequoted constitutional provision. Therefore, such method must be prescribed by the Senate itself, not by this Court.


THIRD ISSUE Usurpation generally refers to unauthorized arbitrary assumption and exercise of power by one without color of title or who is not entitled by law thereto. A quo warranto proceeding is the proper legal remedy to determine the right or title to the contested public office and to oust the holder from its enjoyment. The action may be brought by the solicitor general or a public prosecutor or any person claiming to be entitled to the public office or position usurped or unlawfully held or exercise by another. In order for a quo warranto proceeding to be successful, the person suing must show that he or she has a clearright to the contested office or to use or exercise the functions of the office allegedly usurped or unlawfully held by the respondent. In this case, petitioners present not sufficient proof of a clear and indubitable franchise to the office of the Senate minority leader. Furthermore, no grave abuse of discretion has been shown to characterize any of his specific acts as minority leader. FOURTH ISSUE Grave abuse of discretion - such capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. The abuse of discretion must be patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in contemplation of law as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and hostility. By the above standard, we hold that Respondent Fernan did not gravely abuse his discretion as Senate President in recognizing Respondent Guingona as the minority leader. To recall, the latter belongs to one of the minority parties in the Senate, the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP. By unanimous resolution of the members of this party that he be the minority leader, he was recognized as such by the Senate President. Such formal recognition by Respondent Fernan came only after at least two Senate sessions and a caucus, wherein both sides were liberally allowed to articulate their standpoints. Therefore, the Senate President cannot be accused of "capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment" or of "an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion or hostility." Where no provision of theConstitution, the laws or even the rules of the Senate has been clearly shown to have been violated, disregarded or overlooked, grave abuse of discretion cannot be imputed to Senate officials for acts done within their competence and authority. Arroyo v. De VeneciaFacts:


An amendment to the National Internal Revenue Code was introduced to the House of Representatives involving taxations on the manufacture and sale of beer and cigarettes. This waslater passed accordingly and brought to the House of Senate. Upon the interpellation on thesecond reading, herein petitioner moved for adjournment for lack of quorum which isconstitutionally needed to conduct business. Petitioners motion was defeated and wasrailroaded. The bill was then signed into law by President Fidel Ramos. Issue: Whether or not the law was passed on violation on the constitutional mandate. Held: There is no rule of the House concerned that quorum shall be determined by viva voce or nominal voting. The Constitution does not require that the yeas and nays of the Members betaken every time a House has to vote, except only on the following instances upon the last andthe third readings of the bill, at the request of 1/5 of the Members present and in repassing a billover the veto of the President. Second, there is obviousness on the part of the petitioner to delaythe business of the House, thus eliminating the alleged skullduggery on part of the accused.Third, the enrolled bill doctrine states that enrolled bills are in itself conclusive thus legally binding provided it is in harmony with the constitution. Lastly, the court upheld principle of separation of powers, which herein, is applicable for the legislative branch for it has exercised its power without grave abuse of discretion resulting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. CASCO Philippines vs Gimenez Political Law Journal Conclusiveness of the Enrolled Bill Casco Philippine Chemical Co., Inc. was engaged in the production of synthetic resin glues used primarily in the production of plywood. The main components of the said glue are urea and formaldehyde which are both being imported abroad. Pursuant to RA 2609 (Foreign Exchange Margin Fee Law), the Central Bank of the Philippines issued on July 1, 1959, its Circular No. 95, fixing a uniform margin fee of 25% on foreign exchange transactions. To supplement the circular, the Bank later promulgated a memorandum establishing the procedure for applications for exemption from the payment of said fee, as provided in same law. In compliance, Casco paid the fees but later moved for reimbursement as Casco maintained that urea and formaldehyde are exempted from such fees. The CBP issued the vouchers for refund (pursuant to Resolution 1529 of the CBP) but the banks auditor refused to honor the vouchers since he maintained that this is in contrast to the provision of Sec 2, par 18 of RA 2609 which provides: The margin established by the Monetary Board pursuant to the provision of section one hereof shall not be imposed upon the sale of foreign exchange for the importation of the following: xxx



XVIII. Urea formaldehyde for the manufacture of plywood and hardboard when imported by and for the exclusive use of end-users. The Auditor General, Gimenez, affirmed the ruling of CBPs auditor. Casco maintains that the term urea formaldehyde appearing in this provision should be construed as urea and formaldehyde He further contends that the bill approved in Congress contained the copulative conjunction and between the terms urea and, formaldehyde, and that the members of Congress intended to exempt urea and formaldehyde separately as essential elements in the manufacture of the synthetic resin glue called urea formaldehyde, not the latter a finished product, citing in support of this view the statements made on the floor of the Senate, during the consideration of the bill before said House, by members thereof. ISSUE: Whether or not the term urea formaldehyde should be construed as urea and formaldehyde. HELD: Urea formaldehyde is not a chemical solution. It is the synthetic resin formed as a condensation product from definite proportions of urea and formaldehyde under certain conditions relating to temperature, acidity, and time of reaction. This produce when applied in water solution and extended with inexpensive fillers constitutes a fairly low cost adhesive for use in the manufacture of plywood. Urea formaldehyde is clearly a finished product, which is patently distinct and different from urea and formaldehyde, as separate articles used in the manufacture of the synthetic resin known as urea formaldehyde The opinions of any member of Congress does not represent the ent irety of the Congress itself. What is printed in the enrolled bill would be conclusive upon the courts. It is well settled that the enrolled bill which uses the term urea formaldehyde instead of urea and formaldehyde is conclusive upon the courts as regards the tenor of the measure passed by Congress and approved by the President. If there has been any mistake in the printing of the bill before it was certified by the officers of Congress and approved by the Executive on which the SC cannot speculate, without jeopardizing the principle of separation of powers and undermining one of the cornerstones of our democratic system the remedy is by amendment or curative legislation, not by judicial decree. G.R. No. L-23475 April 30, 1974HERMINIO A. ASTORGA, in his capacity as Vice-Mayor of Manila, petitioner,v.ANTONIO J. VILLEGAS, in his capacity as Mayor of Manila, et. al. respondents. FACTS: House Bill No. 9266, defining the powers, rights and duties of the Vice Mayor of Manila was filed in the House of Representatives and then sent to the Senate for reading. Senator Roxas and Senator Tolentino introduced amendment, but it wasSen. Tolentinos introduced amendments that were approved in toto by the Senate. Secretary of the Senate sent a letter to theHouse of Representatives that the House Bill had been passed by the Senate with amendments. And mistakenly attached thecertification of the amendments recommended by Senator Roxas, and not of Senator Tolentinos thereafter, the House of Representatives signified their approval. The printed copies were then certified and attested to by the Secretary of the House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Secretary of the Senate and the Senate President. The HouseBill 9266 were then signed by the President of the Philippines. The bill thereupon became Republic Act no. 4065.It

was later made public by Senator Tolentino that the enrolled copy of House Bill 9266 signed into law by the President was awrong version of the bill. that he considered his signature on the enrolled bill as invalid and of no effect. In view of the circumstances, ThePresident of the Philippines officially withdrawing his signature on House Bill No. 9266.Mayor of Manila, Antonio Villegas, issued circulars to disregard the provisions of Republic Act 4065. Vice-Mayor, Herminio A. Astorga, filed a petitionwith this Court a mandamus, Injunction and/or Prohibition with Preliminary Mandatory and Prohibitory Injunction" to compel respondents Mayor of Manila.Petitioner agrees that the attestation in the bill is not mandatory and would not affect the validity of the statute. Hence, it is pointed out, Republic Act No. 4065 would remain valid and binding. Respondents' position is that the so-called Republic Act 4065 never became law since it was not the billactually passed by the Senate, and that the entries in the journal of that body and not the enrolled bill itself should be decisive in the resolution of theissue. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not RA 4065 remains valid.2. Whether or not the entries in the journal should be consulted.RULINGS:1.) No, R.A. 4065 is declared not to have been duly enacted and therefore did not become law. The lawmaking process in Congress ends when the bill is approved by both Houses and the certification does not add to thevalidity of the bill or cure any defect already present upon its passage. In other words it is the approval by Congress and notthe signatures of the presiding officers that is essential . Because the attestation of the presiding officers of Congress is notconclusive proof of a bills due enactment. The Supreme Court recognized the withdrawal of the President and the Senate Presidents' signatures from RA 4065 or House Bill 9266,therefore it did not become a law. Senate President declared that his signature on the bill to be invalid and issued a subsequentclarification that the invalidation of his signature meant that the bill he had signed had never been approved by the Senate. Thisdeclaration should be accorded greater respect than the attestation that it invalidated. Certification that was made by the presidingofficer is merely a mode of authentication. The essential thing is the approval of congress and not the signature of the presidingofficers. Function of attestation is not approval because a bill is considered approved after it has passed both houses. Constitutiondoes not even provide that the presiding officer should sign the bill before it is submitted to the President2.) Yes, What evidence is there to determine whether or not the bill had been duly enacted? In such a case the entries in the journal should be consulted. The journal of the proceedings of each House of Congress is no ordinary record. The Constitution requires it. While it is truethat the journal is not authenticated and is subject to the risks of misprinting and other errors, the point is irrelevant in this case. This Court is merely asked to inquire whether the text of House Bill No. 9266 signed by the President was the same text passed byboth Houses of Congress. Under the specific facts and circumstances of this case, this Court can resort to the Senate journal for thepurpose. The journal discloses that substantial and lengthy amendments were introduced on the floor and approved by the Senate butwere not incorporated in the printed text sent to the President and signed by him

Morales vs Subido Morales has served as captain in the police department of a city for at least three years but does not possess a bachelors degree, is qualified for appointment as chief of police. Mo rales was the chief of detective bureau of the Manila Police Department and holds the rank of lieutenant colonel. He began his career in 1934 as patrolman and gradually rose to his present position. Upon the resignation of the former Chief , Morales was designated acting chief of police of Manila and, at the same time, given a provisional appointment to the same position by the mayor of Manila. Subido approved the designation of the petitioner but rejected his appointment for failure to meet the minimum e ducational and civil service eligibility requirements for the said position. Instead, the respondent certified other persons as qualified for the post. Subido invoked Section 10 of the Police Act of 1966, which Section reads: Minimum qualification for appointment as Chief of Police Agency. No person may be appointed chief of a city police agency unless he holds a bachelors degree from a recognized institution of learning and has served either in the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the National Bureau of Investigation, or has served as chief of police with exemplary record, or has served in the police department of any city with rank of captain or its equivalent therein for at least three years; or any high school graduate who has served as officer in the Armed Forces for at least eight years with the rank of captain and/or higher. Nowhere in the above provision is it provided that a person who has served the police department of a city can be qualified for said office. Morales however argued that when the said act was being deliberated upon, the approved version was actually the following: No person may be appointed chief of a city police agency unless he holds a bachelors degree and has served either in the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the National Bureau of Investigation or police department of any city and has held the rank of captain or its equivalent therein for at least three years or any high school graduate who has served the police department of a city or who has served as officer of the Armed Forces for at least 8 years with the rank of captain and/or higher. Morales argued that the above version was the one which was actually approved by Congress but when the bill emerged from the conference committee the only change made in the provision was the insertion of the phrase or has served as chief of police with exemplary record. Morales went on to support his case by producing copies of certified photostatic copy of a memorandum which according to him was signed by an employee in the Senate bill division, and can be found attached to the page proofs of the then bill being deliberated upon. ISSUE: Whether or not the SC must look upon the history of the bill, thereby inquiring upon the journals, to look searchingly into the matter. HELD: The enrolled Act in the office of the legislative secretary of the President of the Philippines shows that Section 10 is exactly as it is in the statute as officially published in slip form by the Bureau of Printing. The SC cannot go behind the enrolled Act to discover what really happened. The respect due to the other branches of the Government demands that the SC act upon the faith and credit of what the officers of the said branches attest to as the official acts of their respective departments. Otherwise the SC would be cast

in the unenviable and unwanted role of a sleuth trying to determine what actually did happen in the labyrinth of lawmaking, with consequent impairment of the integrity of the legislative process. The SC is not of course to be understood as holding that in all cases the journals must yield to the enrolled bill. To be sure there are certain matters which the Constitution expressly requires must be entered on the journal of each house. To what extent the validity of a legislative act may be affected by a failure to have such matters entered on the journal, is a question which the SC can decide upon but is not currently being confronted in the case at bar hence the SC does not now decide. All the SC holds is that with respect to matters not expressly required to be entered on the journal, the enrolled bill prevails in the event of any discrepancy. Pimentel, et al. vs. House of Representives Electoral Tribunal GR 141489 29 November 2002; also Pimentel, et al. v. Commission on Appointments [GR 141490] En Banc, Carpio (J): 11 concur, 2 took no part, 1 on leave Facts: On 3 March 1995, the Party-List System Act took effect. On 11 May 1998, in accordance with the Party-List System Act, national elections were held which included, for the first time, the election through popular vote of party-list groups and organizations whose nominees would become members of the House. Proclaimed winners were 14 party-list representatives from 13 organizations, including Melvyn D. Eballe, Leonardo Q. Montemayor, Cresente C. Paez, Loretta Ann P. Rosales and Patricia M. Sarenas from party-list groups Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives[5] (APEC), Alyansang Bayanihan ng mga Magsasaka, Manggagawang Bukid at Mangingisda (ABA), NATCO Network Party (COOP-NATCCO), Akbayan! Citizens Action Party (AKBAYAN), and Abanse! Pinay (ABANSE). Due to the votes it garnered, APEC was able to send 2 representatives to the House, while the 12 other party-list groups had one representative each. Also elected were district representatives belonging to various political parties. Subsequently, the House constituted its HRET and CA contingent by electing its representatives to these two constitutional bodies. In practice, the procedure involves the nomination by the political parties of House members who are to occupy seats in the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) and the Commission on Appointments (CA). From available records, it does not appear that after the 11 May 1998 elections the party-list groups in the House nominated any of their representatives to the HRET or the CA. As of the date of filing of the present petitions for prohibition and mandamus with prayer for writ of preliminary injunction, the House contingents to the HRET and the CA were composed solely of district representatives belonging to the different political parties. On 18 January 2000, Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. wrote two letters

addressed to then Senate President Blas F. Ople, as Chairman of the CA, and to Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Jose A. R. Melo (now retired), as Chairman of the HRET. The letters requested Senate President Ople and Justice Melo to cause the restructuring of the CA and the HRET, respectively, to include party-list representatives to conform to Sections 17 and 18, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. In its meeting of 20 January 2000, the HRET resolved to direct the Secretary of the Tribunal to refer Senator Pimentels letter to the Secretary-General of the House of Representatives. On the same day, HRET Secretary Daisy B. Panga-Vega, in an Indorsement of even date, referred the letter to House of Representatives Secretary General Roberto P. Nazareno. On 2 February 2000, Eballe, et al. filed with this Court their Petitions for Prohibition, Mandamus and Preliminary Injunction (with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order) against the HRET, its Chairman and Members, and against the CA, its Chairman and Members. They contend that, under the Constitution and the Party-List System Act, party-list representatives should have 1.2 or at least 1 seat in the HRET, and 2.4 seats in the CA. They charge that the HRET, CA, et al. committed grave abuse of discretion in refusing to act positively on the letter of Senator Pimentel. In its Resolution of 8 February 2000, the Court en banc directed the consolidation of GR 141490 with GR 141489. On 11 February 2000, Eballe et al. filed in both cases a motion to amend their petitions to implead then Speaker Manuel B. Villar, Jr. as an additional respondent, in his capacity as Speaker of the House and as one of the members of the CA. The Court granted both motions and admitted the amended petitions. Senator Pimentel filed the present petitions on the strength of his oath to protect, defend and uphold the Constitution and in his capacity as taxpayer and as a member of the CA. He was joined by 5 party-list representatives from APEC, ABA, ABANSE, AKBAYAN and COOP-NATCCO as copetitioners. Issue: [1] Whether the present composition of the House Electoral Tribunal violates the constitutional requirement of proportional representation because there are no party-list representatives in the hret. [2]: Whether the refusal of the HRET and the CA to reconstitute themselves to include party-list representatives constitutes grave abuse of discretion. Held: [1] NO. The Constitution expressly grants to the House of Representatives the prerogative, within constitutionally defined limits, to choose from among its district and party-list representatives those who may occupy the seats allotted to the House in the HRET and the CA. Section 18, Article VI of the Constitution explicitly confers on the Senate and on the House the authority to elect among their members those who would fill the 12 seats for Senators and 12 seats for House members in the Commission on Appointments. Under Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution, each chamber of Congress exercises the

power to choose, within constitutionally defined limits, who among their members would occupy the allotted 6 seats of each chambers respective electoral tribunal. These constitutional provisions are reiterated in Rules 3 and 4 (a) of the 1998 Rules of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal. The discretion of the House to choose its members to the HRET and the CA is not absolute, being subject to the mandatory constitutional rule on proportional representation.[26] However, under the doctrine of separation of powers, the Court may not interfere with the exercise by the House of this constitutionally mandated duty, absent a clear violation of the Constitution or grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.[27] Otherwise, the doctrine of separation of powers calls for each branch of government to be left alone to discharge its duties as it sees fit.[28] Neither can the Court speculate on what action the House may take if party-list representatives are duly nominated for membership in the HRET and the CA. The petitions are bereft of any allegation that respondents prevented the party-list groups in the House from participating in the election of members of the HRET and the CA. Neither does it appear that after the 11 May 1998 elections, the House barred the party-list representatives from seeking membership in the HRET or the CA. Rather, it appears from the available facts that the party-list groups in the House at that time simply refrained from participating in the election process. The party-list representatives did not designate their nominees even up to the time they filed the petitions, with the predictable result that the House did not consider any party-list representative for election to the HRET or the CA. As the primary recourse of the party-list representatives lies with the House of Representatives, the Court cannot resolve the issues presented by petitioners at this time. [2]: There is no grave abuse in the action or lack of action by the HRET and the CA in response to the letters of Senator Pimentel. Under Sections 17 and 18 of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and their internal rules, the HRET and the CA are bereft of any power to reconstitute themselves. Raul Daza vs Luis Singson The Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) was reorganized resulting to a political realignment in the lower house. LDP also changed its representation in the Commission on Appointments. They withdrew the seat occupied by Daza (LDP member) and gave it to the new LDP member. Thereafter the chamber elected a new set of representatives in the CoA which consisted of the original members except Daza who was replaced by Singson. Daza questioned such replacement. ISSUE: Whether or not a change resulting from a political realignment validly changes the composition of the Commission on Appointments. HELD: As provided in the constitution, there should be a Commission on Appoin tments consisting of twelve Senators and twelve members of the House of Representatives elected by each House respectively on the basis of proportional representation of the political parties therein, this necessarily connotes the authority of each house of Congress to see to it that the requirement is duly complied with. Therefore, it may take appropriate measures, not only upon the initial organization of the Commission but also subsequently thereto NOT the court.


Teofisto Guingona vs Neptali Gonzales HRETs Composition Rounding Off After the May 11, 1992 elections, the senate was composed of 15 LDP senators, 5 NPC senators, 3 LAKAS-NUCD senators, and 1 LP-PDP-LABAN senator. To suffice the requirement that each house must have 12 representatives in the CoA, the parties agreed to use the traditional formula: (No. of Senators of a political party) x 12 seats) Total No. of Senators elected. The results of such a formula would produce 7.5 members for LDP, 2.5 members for NPC, 1.5 members for LAKAS-NUCD, and 0.5 member for LP-PDPLABAN. Romulo, as the majority floor leader, nominated 8 senators from their party because he rounded off 7.5 to 8 and that Taada from LP-PDP-LABAN should represent the same party to the CoA. This is also pursuant to the proposition compromise by Sen Tolentino who proposed that the elected members of the CoA should consist of eight LDP, one LP-PDP-LABAN, two NPC and one LAKAS-NUCD. Guingona, a member of LAKAS-NUCD, opposed the said compromise. He alleged that the compromise is against proportional representation. ISSUE: Whether or not rounding off is allowed in determining a partys representation in the CoA. HELD: It is a fact accepted by all such parties that each of them is entitled to a fractional membership on the basis of the rule on proportional representation of each of the political parties. A literal interpretation of Section 18 of Article VI of the Constitution leads to no other manner of application. The problem is what to do with the fraction of .5 or 1/2 to which each of the parties is entitled. The LDP majority in the Senate converted a fractional half membership into a whole membership of one senator by adding one half or .5 to 7.5 to be able to elect Romulo. In so doing one other partys fractional membership was c orrespondingly reduced leaving the latters representation in the Commission on Appointments to less than their proportional representation in the Senate. This is clearly a violation of Section 18 because it is no longer in compliance with its mandate that membership in the Commission be based on the proportional representation of the political parties. The election of Senator Romulo gave more representation to the LDP and reduced the representation of one political party either the LAKAS NUCD or the NPC. A party should have at least 1 seat for every 2 duly elected senators-members in the CoA. Where there are more than 2 parties in Senate, a party which has only one member senator cannot constitutionally claim a seat. In order to resolve such, the parties may coalesce with each other in order to come up with proportional representation especially since one party may have affiliations with the other party.


FRANKLIN M. DRILON, et al. v. HON. JOSE DE VENECIA, et al 594 SCRA 743 (2009), EN BANC (Carpio Morales, J.) Issues involving the deprivation of a seat in the Commission on Appointments should be lodged before the respective Houses of Congress and not with the Supreme Court. FACTS: The Senate and the House of Representatives elected their respective contingents to the Commission on Appointments (CA). In the second week of August 2007, Franklin Drilon et al. went to respondent then Speaker Jose de Venecia to ask for one seat for the Liberal Party in the CA. However, no report or recommendation was proffered by the Legal Department, drawing Representative Taada to request a report or recommendation on the matter within three days. Hence spawned the filing by Drilon (in representation of the Liberal Party), et al., alleging that the liberal party with at least twenty (20) members who signed herein, is constitutionally entitled to one (1) seat in the CA. Meantime, Senator Ma. Ana Consuelo A.S. Madrigal of PDP-Laban wrote a letter claiming that the Senate contingent in the CA violated the constitutional requirement of proportional representation. The Senator avers that political parties PMP and KAMPI were given more seats than they were entitled to in the CA and the political party PRP and other Independents cannot be represented in the CA. The CA, speaking through its Ex-Officio Chairman Manny Villar, advised Senator Madrigal that CA has neither the power nor the discretion to reject a member who is elected by either House, and that any complaints about the election of a member or members should be addressed to the body that elected them. Villar further explained that instructions have been given to transmit the original copies of Senator Madrigals letters to the Senate Secretary for their immediate inclusion in the Order of Business of the Session of the Senate. Madrigal, not satisfied with the CAs action, filed a petition with the Supreme Court for prohibition and mandamus with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order/ writ of preliminary injunction against Senator Villar as Senate President and Ex-Officio Chairman of the CA. The Court consolidated the petitions filed by Drilon et al. and Madrigal et al. ISSUES: Whether or not the petition before the Supreme Court is proper HELD: The first petition, G.R. No. 180055, has thus indeed been rendered moot with the designation of a Liberal Party member of the House contingent to the CA, hence, as prayed for, the petition is withdrawn.


As for the second petition, G.R. No. 183055, it fails. Senator Madrigal failed to show that she sustained direct injury as a result of the act complained of. Her petition does not in fact allege that she or her political party PDP-Laban was deprived of a seat in the CA, or that she or PDP-Laban possesses personal and substantial interest to confer on her/it locus standi. Senator Madrigals primary recourse rests with the respective Houses of Congress and not with this Court. The doctrine of primary jurisdiction dictates that prior recourse to the House is necessary before she may bring her petition to court. Senator Villars invocation of said doctrine is thus well-taken. Aquilino Pimentel vs Executive Secretary Ermita Political Law Ad Interim Appointments While Congress was in session, GMA appointed Arthur Yap et al as secretaries of their respective departments. They were appointed in acting capacities only. Pimentel together w/ 7 other senators filed a complaint against the appointment of Yap et al. During pendency, Congress adjourned and GMA re-issued ad interim appointments re-appointing those previously appointed in acting capacity. Pimentel argues that GMA should not have appointed Yap et al as acting secretaries because in case of a vacancy in the Office of a Secretary, it is only an Undersecretary who can be designated as Acting Secretary. Pimentel further asserts that while Congress is in session, there can be no appointments, whether regular or acting, to a vacant position of an office needing confirmation by the CoA, without first having obtained its consent; GMA cannot issue appointments in an acting capacity to department secretaries while Congress is in session because the law does not give the President such power. ISSUE: Whether or not the appointments made by ex PGMA is valid. HELD: Ermita, in behalf of the other respondents, argued that GMA is allowed under Sec. 16, Art 7 of the Constitution to make such appointments. Pursuant to the Constitution, the President shall have the power to make appointments during the recess of the Congress, whether voluntary or compulsory, but such appointments shall be effective only until disapproval by the CoA or until the next adjournment of the Congress. Ermita also pointed out EO 292 which allows such an appointment with the exception that such temporary designation shall not exceed one year. Sec 17, Chap 5, Title I, Book III of EO 292 states that [t]he President may temporarily designate an officer already in the government service or any other competent person to perform the functions of an office in the executive branch. Thus, the President may even appoint in an acting capacity a person not yet in the government service, as long as the President deems that person competent. Also, Congress, through a law, cannot impose on the President the obligation to appoint automatically the undersecretary as her temporary alter ego. An alter ego, whether temporary or permanent, holds a position of great trust and confidence. Congress, in the guise of prescribing qualifications to an office, cannot impose on the President who her alter ego should be. What Bernas Says


Ad-interim appointments must be distinguished from appointments in an acting capacity. Both of them are effective upon acceptance. But ad-interim appointments are extended only during a recess of Congress, whereas acting appointments may be extended any time there is a vacancy. Moreover ad-interim appointments are submitted to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation or rejection; acting appointments are not submitted to the Commission on Appointments. Acting appointments are a way of temporarily filling important offices but, if abused, they can also be a way of circumventing the need for confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. ** The SC finds no abuse in what GMA did. The absence of abuse is readily a pparent from GMAs issuance of ad interim appointments to respondents immediately upon the recess of Congress, way before the lapse of one year. Armault vs. Nazareno, 87 Phil. 29 (1950) 1.WON the Senate has the power to punish Arnault for contempt for refusing to reveal the name of the person towhom he gave the P440,000.2.WON the Senate lacks authority to commit him for contempt for a term beyond its period of legislative session,which ended on May 18, 1950.3.WON the privilege against self incrimination protects the petitioner from being questioned.HELD:1. YES.Once an inquiry is admitted or established to be within the jurisdiction of a legislative body to make, the investigating committee has the power to require a witness to answer any question pertinent to that inquiry, subject of course to hisconstitutional right against self-incrimination.The inquiry, to be within the jurisdiction of the legislative body to make, must be material or necessary to the exercise of a power in it vested by the Constitution, such as to legislate, or to expel a Member; and everyquestion which the investigator is empowered to coerce a witness to answer must be material or pertinent to the subject of the inquiry or investigation.The materiality of the question must be determined by i ts direct relation to the subject of the inquiry and not by itsindirect relation to any proposed or possible legislation. The reason is, that the necessity or lack of necessity for legislativeaction and the form and character of the action itself are determined by the sum total of the information to be gathered as aresult of the investigation, and not by a fraction of such information elicited from a single question.2. NOSenate is a continuing body and which does not cease to exist upon the periodical dissolution of the Congress or of the House of Representatives. There is no limit as to time to the Senate's power to punish for contempt in cases where that power may constitutionally be exerted as in the present case.Senate will not be disposed to exert the power beyond its proper bounds, i.e. abuse their power and keep the witness in


prison for life. If proper limitations are disregarded, Court isalways open to those whose rights might thus be transgressed.3. NOCourt is satisfied that those answers of the witness to the important question, which is the name of that person to whom witness gave the P440,000, were obviously false. His insistent claim before the bar of the Senate that if he should reveal thename he would incriminate himself, necessarily implied that he knew the name. Moreover, it is unbelievable that he gaveP440,000 to a person to him unknown. "Testimony which is obviously false or evasive is equivalent to a refusal to testifyand is punishable as contempt, assuming that a refusal to testify would be so punishable. VIRGILIO O. GARCILLANO vs. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEES ON PUBLIC INFORMATION, PUBLIC ORDER AND SAFETY, NATIONAL DEFENSE AND SECURITY, INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY, and SUFFRAGE AND ELECTORAL REFORMS G.R. No. 170338 December 23, 2008 VIRGILIO O. GARCILLANO, petitioner, vs. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEES ON PUBLIC INFORMATION, PUBLIC ORDER AND SAFETY, NATIONAL DEFENSE AND SECURITY, INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY, and SUFFRAGE AND ELECTORAL REFORMS, respondents. x----------------------x G.R. No. 179275 December 23, 2008 SANTIAGO JAVIER RANADA and OSWALDO D. AGCAOILI, petitioners, vs. THE SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE SENATE PRESIDENT THE HONORABLE MANUEL VILLAR, respondents. x----------------------x MAJ. LINDSAY REX SAGGE, petitioner-in-intervention x----------------------x AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, JR., BENIGNO NOYNOY C. AQUINO, RODOLFO G. BIAZON, PANFILO M. LACSON, LOREN B. LEGARDA, M.A. JAMBY A.S. MADRIGAL, and ANTONIO F. TRILLANES, respondents-intervenors Facts: During the hype of Arroyo administration, a new controversy arises. During the 2007 election the conversation of President Arroyo and the herein petitioner Virgilio Garciliano, COMELEC regional director, regarding the desire of the president to have a favourable outcome in terms of his senatoriables. Such conversation was recorded and was played during the house of representative investigation. Because of

such turn of events, a petition was filed before the court praying that such playing of the illegally seized communication was in violation of RA 4200 or the anti-wire tapping law. Also such petition for injunction prays that the Senate committee be prevented from further conducting such investigation for the basic reason that there was no proper publication of the senate rules, empowering them to make such investigation of the unlawfully seized documents. Issue: Whether or not there was proper publication of the rules as to empower the senate to further proceed with their investigation? Held: No, the Supreme Court mentioned the following: The Senate cannot be allowed to continue with the conduct of the questioned legislative inquiry without duly published rules of procedure, in clear derogation of the constitutional requirement. Section 21, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides that "the Senate or the House of Representatives, or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure." The requisite of publication of the rules is intended to satisfy the basic requirements of due process.Publication is indeed imperative, for it will be the height of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of a law or rule of which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a constructive one.What constitutes publication is set forth in Article 2 of the Civil Code, which provides that "laws shall take effect after 15 days following the completion of their publication either in the Official Gazette, or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines." Respondents justify their non-observance of the constitutionally mandated publication by arguing that the rules have never been amended since 1995 and, despite that, they are published in booklet form available to anyone for free, and accessible to the public at the Senates internet web page. The Court does not agree. The absence of any amendment to the rules cannot justify the Senates defiance of the clear and unambiguous language of Section 21, Article VI of the Constitution. The organic law instructs, without more, that the Senate or its committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation only in accordance with duly published rules of procedure, and does not make any distinction whether or not these rules have undergone amendments or revision. The constitutional mandate to publish the said rules prevails over any custom, practice or tradition followed by the Senate. The invocation by the respondents of the provisions of R.A. No. 8792,otherwise known as the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, to support their claim of valid publication through the internet is all the more incorrect. R.A. 8792 considers an electronic data message or an electronic document as the functional equivalent of a written document only for evidentiary purposes.In other words, the law merely recognizes the admissibility in evidence (for their being the original) of electronic data messages and/or electronic

documents.It does not make the internet a medium for publishing laws, rules and regulations. Given this discussion, the respondent Senate Committees, therefore, could not, in violation of the Constitution, use its unpublished rules in the legislative inquiry subject of these consolidated cases. The conduct of inquiries in aid of legislation by the Senate has to be deferred until it shall have caused the publication of the rules, because it can do so only "in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure." Indeed the inquiry to be conducted by the senate in aid of legislation cannot proceed for the reason that the rules that they will observe was not properly published as provided by the Fundamental Law of the land. Such inquiry if allowed without observance of the required publication will put a persons life, liberty and property at stake without due process of law. Also, the further assertion of the senate that they already published such rules through their web page, in observance of the RA 8792 or the Electronic Commerce Act was only viewed by the court as matter of evidence and still does not conforme with what the constitution propounded. In this regard the high court granted the petition for injunction preventing the senate to conduct such inquiry in aid of legislation. De La Paz vs The Senate Committee Inquiry in Aid of Legislation Jurisdiction and Publication In October 2008, Gen. De La Paz, a senior officer of the PNP, headed a delegation of 8 to attend an Interpol GA. De La Paz brought with him his wife and 3 days after the scheduled GA, de la Paz is also scheduled to retire. After the GA, De La Paz was apprehended in the departure area for he was carrying with him 105,000.00 (P6,930,000.00). He was also carrying with him 45,000.00 (P2,970,000.00). He failed to declare in writing that he is carrying such an amount and this is in violation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. De La Paz and his group was later released but the s were confiscated by the Russians. Upon arrival to the Philippines, De La Paz was issued a subpoena by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for the investigation it was to conduct involving the Moscow incident. De La Paz averred that the said committee does not have jurisdiction of the case. De La Paz argued that the Committee is devoid of any jurisdiction to investigate the Moscow incident as the matter does not involve state to state relations as provided in paragraph 12, Section 13, Rule 10 of the Senate Rules of Procedure (Senate Rules). They further claim that respondent Committee violated the same Senate Rules when it issued the warrant of arrest without the required signatures of the majority of the members of respondent Committee. They likewise assail the very same Senate Rules because the same were not published as required by the Constitution, and thus, cannot be used as the basis of any investigation involving them relative to the Moscow incident. ISSUE: Whether or not the said Committee has jurisdiction over the matter.


HELD: The SC ruled against De La Paz. Section 16(3), Article VI of the Philippine Constitution states:Each House shall determine the rules of its proceedings. This provision has been traditionally construed as a grant of full discretionary authority to the Houses of Congress in the formulation, adoption and promulgation of its own rules. The challenge to the jurisdiction of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, raised by petitioner in the case at bench, in effect, asks this Court to inquire into a matter that is within the full discretion of the Senate. The issue partakes of the nature of a political question. Also, the signatures were properly obtained as evidenced by the approval of the Senate president and it is shown that the gathering of the signatures is in accordance with the Rules. It is also shown that the Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation were also published in two newspapers of general circulation. Senate of the Philippines vs Executive Secretary Ermita Question Hour EO 464 In 2005, scandals involving anomalous transactions about the North Rail Project as well as the Garci tapes surfaced. This prompted the Senate to conduct a public hearing to investigate the said anomalies particularly the alleged overpricing in the NRP. The investigating Senate committee issued invitations to certain department heads and military officials to speak before the committee as resource persons. Ermita submitted that he and some of the department heads cannot attend the said hearing due to pressing matters that need immediate attention. AFP Chief of Staff Senga likewise sent a similar letter. Drilon, the senate president, excepted the said requests for they were sent belatedly and arrangements were already made and scheduled. Subsequently, GMA issued EO 464 which took effect immediately. EO 464 basically prohibited Department heads, Senior officials of executive departments who in the judgment of the department heads are covered by the executive privilege; Generals and flag officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and such other officers who in the judgment of the Chief of Staff are covered by the executive privilege; Philippine National Police (PNP) officers with rank of chief superintendent or higher and such other officers who in the judgment of the Chief of the PNP are covered by the executive privilege; Senior national security officials who in the judgment of the National Security Adviser are covered by the executive privilege; and Such other officers as may be determined by the President, from appearing in such hearings conducted by Congress without first securing the presidents app roval. The department heads and the military officers who were invited by the Senate committee then invoked EO 464 to except themselves. Despite EO 464, the scheduled hearing proceeded with only 2 military personnel attending. For defying President Arroyos order barring military personnel from testifying before legislative inquiries without her approval, Brig. Gen. Gudani and Col. Balutan were relieved from their military posts and were made to face court martial proceedings. EO 464s constitutionality was assailed for it is alleged that it infringes on the rights and duties of Congress to conduct investigation in aid of legislation and conduct oversight functions in the implementation of laws. ISSUE: Whether or not EO 464 is constitutional. HELD: The SC ruled that EO 464 is constitutional in part. To determine the validity of the provisions of EO 464, the SC sought to distinguish Section 21 from Section 22 of Art 6 of the 1987 Constitution. The

Congress power of inquiry is expressly recognized in Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution. Although there is no provision in the Constitution expressly investing either House of Congress with power to make investigations and exact testimony to the end that it may exercise its legislative functions advisedly and effectively, such power is so far incidental to the legislative function as to be implied. In other words, the power of inquiry with process to enforce it is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function. A legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of information respecting the conditions which the legislation is intended to affect or change; and where the legislative body does not itself possess the requisite information which is not infrequently true recourse must be had to others who do possess it. Section 22 on the other hand provides for the Question Hour. The Question Hour is closely related with the legislative power, and it is precisely as a complement to or a supplement of the Legislative Inquiry. The appearance of the members of Cabinet would be very, very essential not only in the application of check and balance but also, in effect, in aid of legislation. Section 22 refers only to Question Hour, whereas, Section 21 would refer specifically to inquiries in aid of legislation, under which anybody for that matter, may be summoned and if he refuses, he can be held in contempt of the House. A distinction was thus made between inquiries in aid of legislation and the question hour. While attendance was meant to be discretionary in the question hour, it was compulsory in inquiries in aid of legislation. Sections 21 and 22, therefore, while closely related and complementary to each other, should not be considered as pertaining to the same power of Congress. One specifically relates to the power to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation, the aim of which is to elicit information that may be used for legislation, while the other pertains to the power to conduct a question hour, the objective of which is to obtain information in pursuit of Congress oversight function. Ultimately, the power of Congress to compel the appearance of executive officials under Section 21 and the lack of it under Section 22 find their basis in the principle of separation of powers. While the executive branch is a co-equal branch of the legislature, it cannot frustrate the power of Congress to legislate by refusing to comply with its demands for information. When Congress exercises its power of inquiry, the only way for department heads to exempt themselves therefrom is by a valid claim of privilege. They are not exempt by the mere fact that they are department heads. Only one executive official may be exempted from this power the President on whom executive power is vested, hence, beyond the reach of Congress except through the power of impeachment. It is based on her being the highest official of the executive branch, and the due respect accorded to a co-equal branch of government which is sanctioned by a long-standing custom. The requirement then to secure presidential consent under Section 1, limited as it is only to appearances in the question hour, is valid on its face. For under Section 22, Article VI of the Constitution, the appearance of department heads in the question hour is discretionary on their part. Section 1 cannot, however, be applied to appearances of department heads in inquiries in aid of legislation. Congress is not bound in such instances to respect the refusal of the department head to appear in such inquiry, unless a valid claim of privilege is subsequently made, either by the President herself or by the Executive Secretary. When Congress merely seeks to be informed on how department heads are implementing the statutes which it has issued, its right to such information is not as imperative as that of the President to whom, as

Chief Executive, such department heads must give a report of their performance as a matter of duty. In such instances, Section 22, in keeping with the separation of powers, states that Congress may only request their appearance. Nonetheless, when the inquiry in which Congress requires their appearance is in aid of legislation under Section 21, the appearance is mandatory for the same reasons stated in Arnault.

NERI VS. SENATE COMMITTEE ROMULO L. NERI, petitioner vs. SENATE COMMITTEE ON ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS AND INVESTIGATIONS, SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRADE AND COMMERCE, AND SENATE COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL DEFENSE AND SECURITY G.R. No. 180643, March 25, 2008 FACTS: On April 21, 2007, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) entered into a contract with Zhong Xing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) for the supply of equipment and services for the National Broadband Network (NBN) Project in the amount of U.S. $ 329,481,290 (approximately P16 Billion Pesos). The Project was to be financed by the Peoples Republic of China. The Senate passed various resolutions relative to the NBN deal. In the September 18, 2007 hearing Jose de Venecia III testified that several high executive officials and power brokers were using their influence to push the approval of the NBN Project by the NEDA. Neri, the head of NEDA, was then invited to testify before the Senate Blue Ribbon. He appeared in one hearing wherein he was interrogated for 11 hrs and during which he admitted that Abalos of COMELEC tried to bribe him with P200M in exchange for his approval of the NBN project. He further narrated that he informed President Arroyo about the bribery attempt and that she instructed him not to accept the bribe. However, when probed further on what they discussed about the NBN Project, petitioner refused to answer, invoking executive privilege. In particular, he refused to answer the questions on: (a) whether or not President Arroyo followed up the NBN Project, (b) whether or not she directed him to prioritize it, and (c) whether or not she directed him to approve. He later refused to attend the other hearings and Ermita sent a letter to the senate averring that the communications between GMA and Neri are privileged and that the jurisprudence laid down in Senate vs Ermita be applied. He was cited in contempt of respondent committees and an order for his arrest and detention until such time that he would appear and give his testimony. ISSUE: Are the communications elicited by the subject three (3) questions covered by executive privilege? HELD: The communications are covered by executive privilege

The revocation of EO 464 (advised executive officials and employees to follow and abide by the Constitution, existing laws and jurisprudence, including, among others, the case of Senate v. Ermita when they are invited to legislative inquiries in aid of legislation.), does not in any way diminish the concept of executive privilege. This is because this concept has Constitutional underpinnings. The claim of executive privilege is highly recognized in cases where the subject of inquiry relates to a power textually committed by the Constitution to the President, such as the area of military and foreign relations. Under our Constitution, the President is the repository of the commander-in-chief, appointing, pardoning, and diplomatic powers. Consistent with the doctrine of separation of powers, the information relating to these powers may enjoy greater confidentiality than others. Several jurisprudence cited provide the elements of presidential communications privilege: 1) The protected communication must relate to a quintessential and non -delegable presidential power. 2) The communication must be authored or solicited and received by a close advisor of the President or the President himself. The judicial test is that an advisor must be in operational proximity with the President. 3) The presidential communications privilege remains a qualified privilege that may be overcome by a showing of adequate need, such that the information sought likely contains important evidence and by the unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority. In the case at bar, Executive Secretary Ermita premised his claim of executive privilege on the ground that the communications elicited by the three (3) questions fall under conversation and correspondence between the President and public officials necessary in her exe cutive and policy decision-making process and, that the information sought to be disclosed might impair our diplomatic as well as economic relations with the Peoples Republic of China. Simply put, the bases are presidential communications privilege and executive privilege on matters relating to diplomacy or foreign relations. Using the above elements, we are convinced that, indeed, the communications elicited by the three (3) questions are covered by the presidential communications privilege. First, the communications relate to a quintessential and non-delegable power of the President, i.e. the power to enter into an executive agreement with other countries. This authority of the President to enter into executive agreements without the concurrence of the Legislature has traditionally been recognized in Philippine jurisprudence. Second, the communications are received by a close advisor of the President. Under the operational proximity test, petitioner can be considered a close advisor, being a member of President Arroyos cabinet. And third, there is no adequate showing of a compelling need that would justify the limitation of the privilege and of the unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority. Respondent Committees further contend that the grant of petitioners claim of executive privilege violates the constitutional provisions on the right of the people to information on matters of public concern.50 We might have agreed with such contention if petitioner did not appear before them at all. But petitioner made himself available to them during the September 26 hearing, where he was questioned for eleven (11)

hours. Not only that, he expressly manifested his willingness to answer more questions from the Senators, with the exception only of those covered by his claim of executive privilege. The right to public information, like any other right, is subject to limitation. Section 7 of Article III provides: The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.

SABIO V. GORDON Case Digest GR No. 174340, Oct. 17, 2006 Facts: On February 20, 2006, Senator Santiago introduced Senate Res. No. 455 directing an inquiry in aid of legislation on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippines Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC), Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT), and PHILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in their operations by their respective Board of Directors. Pursuant to this, on May 8, 2006, Senator Gordon, wrote Chairman Sabio of the PCGG inviting him to be one of the resource persons in the public meeting jointly conducted by the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee on Public Services. Chairman Sabio declined the invitation because of prior commitment. At the same time, he invoked Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 No member or staff of the Commission shall be required to testify or produce evidence in any judici al, legislative or administrative proceeding concerning matters within its official cognizance. Apparently, the purpose is to ensure PCGGs unhampered performance of its task. Gordons Subpoenae Ad Testificandum was repeatedly ignored by Sabio hence he threatened Sabio to be cited with contempt. Issue: Whether or not Section 4 (b) of E.O. No. 1 be invoked by Chairman Sabio to justify non-appearance on legislative Ruling: No. Section 4 (b) of E.O. No. 1 is declared repealed by the 1987 Const itution. The Congress power of inquiry, being broad, encompasses everything that concerns the administration of existing laws as well as proposed or possibly needed statutes. It even extends to government agencies created by Congress and officers whose positions are within the power of Congress to regulate or even abolish. Note that Article VI, Section 21 of the Constitution grants the power of inquiry not only to the Senate and the House of Representatives, but also to any of their respective committees. investigations?