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NPC v.

Pinatubo Commercial
Napocor questions the decision rendered bt RTC of Mandaluyong City Branch 213 declaring
items 3 and 3.1 of NPC Circular No. 99-75 unconstitutional, which allows only partnership or
corporations that directly use aluminum as the raw material to participate in the bidding
disposal of ACSR wires for being violative of substantial due process, EPC, and restraining
competitive free trade and commerce.
NPC Circular No. 99-75 set the guidelines in the disposal of ACSRS to maintain good
housekeeping in NPC installations and to generate additional income for NPC.
In April 2003, NPC invited bidders for public sale of its scrap ACSR. Pinatubo submitted a
pre-qualification form but was denied, and asked for reconsideration and again was denied.
Pinatubo then filed a petition in RTC for the annulment of NPC Circular No. 9975, with a
prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order & or writ of preliminary injunction.
RTC upheld Pinatubos position:
Substantive due process: circular had not been published
EPC: favored manufacturers and processors of aluminum scrap
Free trade and commerce: it only allowed a certain sector to participate in the bidding
NPC insists that there was no need to publish the circular since it was not of general
application and was addressed only to particular persons or class of persons, namely the
disposal committees, head of offices, regional and all other officials involved in the
disposition of ACSRs. It also contends that there was a substantial distinction between
manufacturers and traders of aluminum scrap.
Issue: Whether NPC Circular No. 99-75 must be published
NPC Circular No, 99-75 was merely an internal rule or regulation. It did not affect the rights
of the public or any other persons not involved in the bidding process. It was merely a
directive issued by the NPC President to his subordinates to regulate the proper and
efficient disposal of scrap ACSRs to qualified bidders.
The decision of the Regional Trial Court of Mandaluyong City, Branch 213 dated June 30,
2006 and resolution dated November 20, 2006 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Civil Case
No.MC-03-2179 for the annulment of NPC Circular No. 99-75 is hereby DISMISSED.

Pimentel V. Senate Committee of the Whole

Facts: Before the Court is a petition for prohibition with prayer for issuance of a writ of
preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order filed bySenators Aquilino Q.
Pimentel, Jr. (Senator Pimentel), ManuelB. Villar (Senator Villar), Joker P. Arroyo, Francis

N. Pangilinan, Pia S. Cayetano, and Alan Peter S. Cayetano (petitioners).

Petitioners seek to prompt the Senate Committee of the Whole (respondent) from
conducting further hearings on the complaint filed by Senator Maria Ana Consuelo A.S.
Madrigal (Senator Madrigal) against Senator Villar pursuant to Senate Resolution No.
706 (P.S. Resolution 706) on the alleged double insertion of P200 million for the C-5
Road Extension Project in the 2008 General Appropriations Act.
Petitioners proposed 11 amendments to the Rules of the Ethics Committee that would
constitute the Rules of the Senate Committee of the Whole, out of which three
amendments were adopted. On 14 May 2009, Senator Pimentel raised as an issue the
need to publish the proposed amended Rules of the Senate Committee of the Whole.
Issue: Whether or not publication of the Rules of the Senate Committee of the Whole is
required for their effectivity
Held: The language of Section 21, Article VI of the Constitution requiring that the inquiry
be conducted in accordance with the duly published rules of procedure is
categorical. It is incumbent upon the Senate to publish the rules of its legislative
inquiries in each Congress or otherwise make the published rules clearly state that the
same shall be effective in the subsequent Congresses or until they are amended or
repealed to sufficiently put public on notice.
The Constitution does not require publication of the internal rules of the House or
Senate. Since rules of the House or the Senate that affect only their members are
internal to the House or Senate, such rules need not be published, unless such rules
expressly provide for their publication before the rules can take effect.
In this case, the proceedings before the Senate Committee of the Whole affect only
members of the Senate since the proceedings involve the Senates exercise of its
disciplinary power over one of its members. Clearly, the Rules of the Senate Committee
of the Whole are internal to the Senate. However, Section 81, Rule 15 of the Rules of the
Senate Committee of the Whole provides that the Rules must be published before the
Rules can take effect. Thus, even if publication is not required under the Constitution,
publication of the Rules of the Senate Committee of the Whole is required because the
Rules expressly mandate their publication. Respondent cannot dispense with the
publication requirement just because the Rules of the Ethics Committee had already
been published in the Official Gazette. To comply with due process requirements, the
Senate must follow its own internal rules if the rights of its own members are affected.


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.
Are the communications elicited by the subject three (3) questions covered by executive
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
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 executive 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.