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LIST OF CASES Most Rev. Pedro D. Arigo, et.al. v. Scott H. Swift, et.al.
(G.R. No. 206510)
 Tubbataha was declared a National Marine Park by
1. PROVINCE OF NORTH COTABATO V. GOV’T OF virtue of Proclamation No. 306 issued by President
PHIL. PEACE PANEL (X) Corazon C. Aquino on 11 August 1988.
2. MAGALLONA V. ERMITA (X)  In 1993, Tubbataha was inscribed by the United
3. UP V. DIZON (X) Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural
4. ARIGO V. SWIFT Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site.
5. DEUTSCHE BANK AG MANILA BRANCH vs.CIR It was recognized as one of the Philippines’ oldest
7. IMBONG V. OCHOA  On 6 April 2010, Congress passed R.A. No. 10067
8. GARCIA V. DRILON (RA 10067), otherwise known as the “Tubbataha
9. REPUBLIC V. ALBIOS Reefs Natural Park (TRNP) Act of 2009”, to ensure
10. INTERNATIONAL SERVICE V. GREENPEACE protection and conservation of the Tubbataha Reefs
11. BELGICA V. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY into perpetuity for the enjoyment of present and
12. MENDOZA V. PEOPLE future generations.
13. SEMA V. COMELEC  Under the “no take” policy, entry into the waters of
14. NPC DAMA V. NPC the TRNP is strictly regulated and many human
activities are prohibited, penalized or fined,
LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT including fishing, gathering, destroying and
disturbing the resources within the TRNP.
DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE AND QUESTIONS OF  In December 2012, the US Embassy in the
APPORTIONMENT Philippines requested diplomatic clearance for the
1. AQUINO III V.COMELEC USS Guardian (the ship) “to enter and exit the
2. ALDABA V. COMELEC territorial waters of the Philippines and to arrive at
3. NAVARRO V. ERMITA the port of Subic Bay for the purpose of routine ship
4. NAVAL V. COMELEC replenishment, maintenance, and crew liberty.”
5. REYES V. COMELEC  On 6 January 2013, the ship left Sasebo, Japan for
Subic Bay, arriving on 13 January 2013. Two days
PARTY LIST SYSTEM later, it departed Subic Bay for its next port of call in
1. BANAT V. COMELEC Makassar, Indonesia.
2. ATONG PAGLAUM V. COMELEC  On 17 January 2013, while transiting the Sulu Sea,
3. SENIOR CITIZENS V. COMELEC the ship ran aground on the northwest side of South
4. LICO V. COMELEC (X) Shoal of the Tubbataha Reefs. No one was injured
5. ABANG LINGKOD PARTYLIST V. COMELEC in the incident and there have been no reports of
6. ABAYON V. HRET leaking fuel or oil.

On 20 January 2013, US 7 Fleet Commander,
Vice Admiral Scott Swift expressed regret for the
incident in a press statement.
 On 4 February 2013, US Ambassador to the
Philippine Harry Thomas, Jr. met with Department
of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario
regarding the compensation for damage to the reef
caused by the ship.
 By 30 March 2013, the US Navy-led salvage team
1. PORMENTO V. ESTRADA had finished removing the last piece of the
2. ATTY. ROMULO B. MACALINTAL, v. PET grounded ship from the coral reef.
 On 17 April 2013, petitioners Arigo, et.al. on their
RULES ON SUCCESSION behalf and in representation of their respective
1. FUNA V. ERMITA sector/organization and others, including minors or
2. FUNA V. AGRA generations yet unborn filed a petition for the
3. DE CASTRO V. JBC issuance of a Writ of Kalikasan with prayer for the
4. VELICARIA-GARAFIL V. OFFICE OF THE issuance of a Temporary Environmental Protection
PRESIDENT Order (TEPO) under the Rules of Procedure for
5. RESIDENT MARINE MAMMALS V. REYES (X) Environmental Cases. Their contentions are:
6. ALMARIO V. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY - The grounding, salvaging and post-salvaging
7. MONSANTO V. FACTORAN, JR., operations of the ship cause and continue to
8. ALICIA RISOS-VIDAL V. COMELEC cause environmental damage of such magnitude
9. KULAYAN V. GOV. TAN as to affect the provinces of Palawan, Antiques,
10. AMPATUAN V.HON. RONALDO PUNO Aklan, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental,
Negros Oriental, Zamboaga del Norte, Basilan,
Sulu and Taw-Tawi which events violate their
constitutional rights to a balanced and healthful
- There should be a directive from the Supreme
Court for the institution of civil, administrative and

criminal suits for acts committed in violation of area in violation of RA 10067 and caused damage to the
environmental laws and regulations in connection TRNP reef system, brings the matter within the ambit of
with the grounding incident Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of
- US respondents committed the following the Sea (UNCLOS).
violations under RA 10067: unauthorized entry;
non-payment of conservation fees; obstruction of While historically, warships enjoy sovereign
law enforcement officer; damages to the reef; and immunity from suit as extensions of their flag State, Art. 31
destroying and disturbing resources of UNCLOS creates an exception to this rule in cases
- The VFA provides for a waiver of immunity where they fail to comply with the rules and regulations of
from suit the coastal State regarding passage through the latter’s
 The respondents consist of the following: Scott internal waters and the territorial sea.
Swift in his capacity as Commander of the US 7
Fleet; Mark Rice as the Commanding Officer of the Although the US to date has not ratified the
ship; President Benigno Aquino III as the UNCLOS, as a matter of long-standing policy, the US
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the considers itself bound by customary international rules on
Philippines; Hon. Albert del Rosario as the DFA the “traditional uses of the oceans” as codified in UNCLOS.
Secretary; Hon. Paquito Ochoa as the Executive
Secretary; Hon. Ramon Paje as the DENR The Court concurs with Justice Carpio’s view that
Secretary; Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano as the non-membership in the UNCLOS does not mean that the
Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command; Admiral US will disregard the rights of the Philippines as a Coastal
Rodolfo Isorena as Commandant of the Philippine State over its internal waters and territorial sea. The Court
Coast Guard, Commodore Enrico Efren Evangelista thus expects the US to bear “international responsibility
as the Philippine Coast Guard Palawan, Major Gen. under Art. 31 of UNCLOS in connection with the USS
Virgilio Domingo as Commandant of the AFP and Guardian grounding which adversely affected the
Lt. Gen. Terry Robling as Co-Director of the US Tubbataha reefs.
Marine Corps. Forces. The Philippine respondents
contend that: 2. No. The waiver of State immunity under the VFA pertains
- The grounds relied upon by petitioners for the only to criminal jurisdiction and not to special civil actions
issuance of TEPO or writ of Kalikasan have such as the present petition for issuance of a writ of
become fait accompli as the salvage operations Kalikasan.
on the ship were already completed
- The petition is defective in form and in substance In fact, it can be inferred from Section 17, Rule 7
- The petition improperly raises issues involving of the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases that a
VFA between Philippines and USA criminal case against a person charged with a violation of
- The determination of the extent of responsibility of an environmental law is to be filed separately:
the US Government regarding the damage to the
Tubbataha Reefs rests exclusively with the “SEC. 17. Institution of separate actions.
executive branch – The filing of a petition for the issuance
ISSUES of the writ of kalikasan shall not preclude
the filing of separate civil, criminal or
1. WON the Court has jurisdiction over the US administrative actions.”
2. WON the waiver of immunity provisions of the VFA A ruling on the application or non-application of
applies criminal jurisdiction provisions of the VFA to US personnel
3. WON the petition has become moot who may be found responsible for the grounding of the
4. WON the Court can determine the extent of USS Guardian, would be premature and beyond the
responsibility of the US Government province of a petition for a writ of Kalikasan. The Court
found it unnecessary to determine whether such waiver of
RULING State immunity is indeed absolute.

1. None. The US respondents were sued in their official In the same vein, the Court cannot grant damages
capacity as commanding officers of the US Navy who had which have resulted from the violation of environmental
control and supervision over the USS Guardian and its laws. Section 15, Rule 7 of the Rules of Procedure for
crew. The alleged act or omission resulting in the Environmental Cases enumerates the reliefs which may be
unfortunate grounding of the USS Guardian on the TRNP granted in a petition for issuance of a writ of Kalikasan, to
was committed while they were performing official military wit:
duties. Considering that the satisfaction of a judgment Section 15. Judgment. - Within sixty (60)
against said officials will require remedial actions and days from the time the petition is submitted
appropriation of funds by the US government, the suit is for decision, the court shall render
deemed to be one against the US itself. The principle of judgment granting or denying the privilege
State immunity therefore bars the exercise of jurisdiction by of the writ of kalikasan.
the Court over the persons of respondents Swift, Rice and
Robling. The reliefs that may be granted under the
writ are the following:
It is worthy to note that during the deliberations,
Justice Antonio Carpio took the position that the conduct of (a) Directing respondent to permanently
the US in this case, when its warship entered a restricted cease and desist from committing acts or


neglecting the performance of a duty in remitted to Deutsche Bank Germany (DB Germany)
violation of environmental laws resulting in for 2002 and prior taxable years.
environmental destruction or damage;  Believing that it made an overpayment of the BPRT,
(b) Directing the respondent public petitioner filed with the BIR Large Taxpayers
official, government agency, private Assessment and Investigation Division on 4
person or entity to protect, preserve, October 2005 an administrative claim for refund or
rehabilitate or restore the environment; issuance of its tax credit certificate in the total
(c) Directing the respondent public amount of PHP 22,562,851.17. On the same date,
official, government agency, private petitioner requested from the International Tax
person or entity to monitor strict Affairs Division (ITAD) a confirmation of its
compliance with the decision and entitlement to the preferential tax rate of 10% under
orders of the court; the RP-Germany Tax Treaty.
(d) Directing the respondent public
official, government agency, or private CTA DIVISION
person or entity to make periodic
 However, the claim of petitioner for a refund was
reports on the execution of the final
denied on the ground that the application for a tax
judgment; and
treaty relief was not filed with ITAD prior to the
(e) Such other reliefs which relate to
payment by the former of its BPRT and actual
the right of the people to a balanced
remittance of its branch profits to DB Germany, or
and healthful ecology or to the
prior to its availment of the preferential rate of ten
protection, preservation, rehabilitation
percent (10%) under the RP-Germany Tax Treaty
or restoration of the environment,
provision. The court a quo held that petitioner
except the award of damages to
violated the fifteen (15) day period mandated under
individual petitioners. (Emphasis
Section III paragraph (2) of Revenue Memorandum
Order (RMO) No. 1-2000.
 Further, the CTA Second Division relied on Mirant
3. Yes, in the sense that the salvage operation sought to be
v. CIR where the CTA En Banc ruled that before the
enjoined or restrained had already been accomplished.
benefits of the tax treaty may be extended to a
However, insofar as the directives to Philippine
foreign corporation wishing to avail itself thereof, the
respondents to protect and rehabilitate the coral reef
latter should first invoke the provisions of the tax
structure and marine habitat adversely affected by the
treaty and prove that they indeed apply to the
grounding incident are concerned, petitioners are entitled
to these reliefs notwithstanding the completion of the
removal of the USS Guardian from the coral reef.
The Court is mindful of the fact that the US and  The CTA En Banc affirmed the CTA Second
Philippine governments both expressed readiness to Division’s Decision dated 29 August 2008 and
negotiate and discuss the matter of compensation for the Resolution dated 14 January 2009. Citing Mirant,
damage caused by the USS Guardian. After all, exploring the CTA En Banc held that a ruling from the ITAD of
avenues for settlement of environmental cases is not the BIR must be secured prior to the availment of a
proscribed by the Rules of Procedure for Environmental preferential tax rate under a tax treaty.
ISSUE: This Court is now confronted with the issue of
4. No. The Court deferred to the Executive Branch the matter whether the failure to strictly comply with RMO No. 1-
of compensation and rehabilitation measures through 2000 will deprive persons or corporations of the benefit
diplomatic channels. Resolution of these issues impinges of a tax treaty.
on our relations with another State in the context of
common security interests under the VFA.
Tax Treaty vs. RMO No. 1-2000
It is settled that the conduct of the foreign  Our Constitution provides for adherence to the
relations of our government is committed by the general principles of international law as part of the
Constitution to the executive and legislative – “the political” law of the land. The time-honored international
departments of the government, and the propriety of what principle of pacta sunt servanda demands the
may be done in the exercise of this political power is not performance in good faith of treaty obligations on
subject to judicial inquiry or decision. the part of the states that enter into the agreement.
 Tax treaties are entered into "to reconcile the
G.R. No. 188550 August 19, 2013 national fiscal legislations of the contracting parties
DEUTSCHE BANK AG MANILA BRANCH, PETITIONER, and, in turn, help the taxpayer avoid simultaneous
vs.COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL taxations in two different jurisdictions."-- "tax
REVENUE, RESPONDENT. conventions are drafted with a view towards the
elimination of international juridical double taxation,
which is defined as the imposition of comparable

In accordance with Section 28(A)(5) of the NIRC of taxes in two or more states on the same taxpayer in
1997, petitioner withheld and remitted to respondent respect of the same subject matter and for identical
on 21 October 2003 the amount of PHP periods. The apparent rationale for doing away with
67,688,553.51, which represented the fifteen double taxation is to encourage the free flow of
percent (15%) branch profit remittance tax (BPRT) goods and services and the movement of capital,
on its regular banking unit (RBU) net income technology and persons between countries,

conditions deemed vital in creating robust and COMELEC cited certain biblical and quranic
dynamic economies. Foreign investments will only passages in their decision. It also stated that since
thrive in a fairly predictable and reasonable their ways are immoral and contrary to public policy,
international investment climate and the protection they are considered nuissance. In fact, their acts
against double taxation is crucial in creating such a are even punishable under the Revised Penal Code
climate." in its Article 201.
 "A state that has contracted valid international  A motion for reconsideration being denied,
obligations is bound to make in its legislations those Petitioner filed this instant Petition on Certiorari
modifications that may be necessary to ensure the under Rule 65 of the ROC.
fulfillment of the obligations undertaken." Thus, Ang Ladlad argued that the denial of accreditation,
laws and issuances must ensure that the reliefs insofar as it justified the exclusion by using religious
granted under tax treaties are accorded to the dogma, violated the constitutional guarantees
parties entitled thereto. The BIR must not impose against the establishment of religion. Petitioner also
additional requirements that would negate the claimed that the Assailed Resolutions contravened
availment of the reliefs provided for under its constitutional rights to privacy, freedom of
international agreements. More so, when the speech and assembly, and equal protection of laws,
RP-Germany Tax Treaty does not provide for as well as constituted violations of the Philippines’
any pre-requisite for the availment of the international obligations against discrimination
benefits under said agreement. based on sexual orientation.
 There is nothing in RMO No. 1-2000 which would  In its Comment, the COMELEC reiterated that
indicate a deprivation of entitlement to a tax treaty petitioner does not have a concrete and genuine
relief for failure to comply with the 15-day period. national political agenda to benefit the nation and
 We cannot totally deprive those who are entitled to that the petition was validly dismissed on moral
the benefit of a treaty for failure to strictly comply grounds. It also argued for the first time that the
with an administrative issuance requiring prior LGBT sector is not among the sectors enumerated
application for tax treaty relief. by the Constitution and RA 7941, and that petitioner
made untruthful statements in its petition when it
Prior Application vs. Claim for Refund alleged its national existence contrary to actual
verification reports by COMELEC’s field personnel.
 The underlying principle of prior application with the
BIR becomes moot in refund cases, such as the
WON Respondent violated the Non-establishment clause of
present case, where the very basis of the claim is
the Constitution;
erroneous or there is excessive payment arising
WON Respondent erred in denying Petitioners application on
from non-availment of a tax treaty relief at the first
moral and legal grounds.
instance. In this case, petitioner should not be
faulted for not complying with RMO No. 1-2000 prior
to the transaction. It could not have applied for a tax
treaty relief within the period prescribed, or 15 days  Respondent mistakenly opines that our ruling in
prior to the payment of its BPRT, precisely because Ang Bagong Bayani stands for the proposition that
it erroneously paid the BPRT not on the basis of the only those sectors specifically enumerated in the
preferential tax rate under the RP-Germany Tax law or related to said sectors (labor, peasant,
Treaty, but on the regular rate as prescribed by the fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural
NIRC. Hence, the prior application requirement communities, elderly, handicapped, women, youth,
becomes illogical. Therefore, the fact that petitioner veterans, overseas workers, and professionals)
invoked the provisions of the RP-Germany Tax may be registered under the party-list system. As
Treaty when it requested for a confirmation from the we explicitly ruled in Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW
ITAD before filing an administrative claim for a Labor Party v. Commission on Elections, “the
refund should be deemed substantial compliance enumeration of marginalized and under-represented
with RMO No. 1-2000. sectors is not exclusive”. The crucial element is not
whether a sector is specifically enumerated, but
Petitioner is entitled to a refund whether a particular organization complies with the
requirements of the Constitution and RA 7941.
 Likewise, both the administrative and the judicial
actions were filed within the two-year prescriptive  Our Constitution provides in Article III, Section 5
period pursuant to Section 229 of the NIRC.
24 that “[n]o law shall be made respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
 Clearly, there is no reason to deprive petitioner of
exercise thereof.” At bottom, what our non-
the benefit of a preferential tax rate of 10% BPRT in
establishment clause calls for is “government
accordance with the RP-Germany Tax Treaty.
neutrality in religious matters.” Clearly,
“governmental reliance on religious justification is
G.R. No. 190582 April 8, 2010
inconsistent with this policy of neutrality.” We thus
find that it was grave violation of the non-
establishment clause for the COMELEC to utilize
the Bible and the Koran to justify the exclusion of
 Petitioner is a national organization which
Ang Ladlad. Be it noted that government action
represents the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and trans-
must have a secular purpose.
genders. It filed a petition for accreditation as a
 Respondent has failed to explain what societal ills
party-list organization to public respondent.
are sought to be prevented, or why special
However, due to moral grounds, the latter denied
protection is required for the youth. Neither has the
the said petition. To buttress their denial,

COMELEC condescended to justify its position that becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the judiciary
petitioner’s admission into the party-list system to settle the dispute. “Jurisprudence is replete with the rule
would be so harmful as to irreparably damage the that the power of judicial review is limited by four exacting
moral fabric of society.
requisites, viz : (a) there must be an actual case or
 We also find the COMELEC’s reference to
controversy; (b) the petitioners must possess locus standi;
purported violations of our penal and civil laws
flimsy, at best; disingenuous, at worst. Article 694 of (c) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the
the Civil Code defines a nuisance as “any act, earliest opportunity; and (d) the issue of constitutionality
omission, establishment, condition of property, or must be the lis mota of the case.
anything else which shocks, defies, or disregards
decency or morality,” the remedies for which are a 2. Actual Case or Controversy
prosecution under the Revised Penal Code or any
Even a singular violation of the Constitution and/or
local ordinance, a civil action, or abatement without
judicial proceedings. A violation of Article 201 of the the law is enough to awaken judicial duty.In this case, the
Revised Penal Code, on the other hand, requires Court is of the view that an actual case or controversy exists
proof beyond reasonable doubt to support a and that the same is ripe for judicial determination.
criminal conviction. It hardly needs to be Considering that the RH Law and its implementing rules
emphasized that mere allegation of violation of laws have already taken effect and that budgetary measures to
is not proof, and a mere blanket invocation of public carry out the law have already been passed, it is evident that
morals cannot replace the institution of civil or
the subject petitions present a justiciable controversy.
criminal proceedings and a judicial determination of
liability or culpability.
 As such, we hold that moral disapproval, without 3. Facial Challenge
more, is not a sufficient governmental interest to The Court is not persuaded. In United States (US)
justify exclusion of homosexuals from participation constitutional law, a facial challenge, also known as a First
in the party-list system. The denial of Ang Ladlad’s Amendment Challenge, is one that is launched to assail the
registration on purely moral grounds amounts more validity of statutes concerning not only protected speech, but
to a statement of dislike and disapproval of
also all other rights in the First Amendment. These include
homosexuals, rather than a tool to further any
substantial public interest. religious freedom, freedom of the press, and the right of the
people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the
Ang Ladlad LGBT Party’s application for registration should Government for a redress of grievances. After all, the
be granted. fundamental right to religious freedom, freedom of the press
 Comelec’s citation of the Bible and the Koran in and peaceful assembly are but component rights of the right
denying petitioner’s application was a violation of to one’s freedom of expression, as they are modes which
the non-establishment clause laid down in Article 3
one’s thoughts are externalized. In this jurisdiction, the
section 5 of the Constitution. The proscription by
law relative to acts against morality must be for a application of doctrines originating from the U.S. has been
secular purpose (that is, the conduct prohibited or generally maintained, albeit with some modifications. While
sought to be repressed is “detrimental or dangerous this Court has withheld the application of facial challenges to
to those conditions upon which depend the strictly penal statues, it has expanded its scope to cover
existence and progress of human society"), rather statutes not only regulating free speech, but also those
than out of religious conformity. The Comelec failed involving religious freedom, and other fundamental rights.
to substantiate their allegation that allowing
Verily, the framers of Our Constitution envisioned a proactive
registration to Ladlad would be detrimental to
society. Judiciary, ever vigilant with its duty to maintain the
 The LGBT community is not exempted from the supremacy of the Constitution.
exercise of its constitutionally vested rights on the
basis of their sexual orientation. Laws of general 4. Locus Standi
application should apply with equal force to LGBTs, The transcendental importance of the issues
and they deserve to participate in the party-list involved in this case warrants that we set aside the technical
system on the same basis as other marginalized
defects and take primary jurisdiction over the petition at bar.
and under-represented sectors. Discrimination
based on sexual orientation is not tolerated ---not by One cannot deny that the issues raised herein have
our own laws nor by any international laws to which potentially pervasive influence on the social and moral well
we adhere. being of this nation, specially the youth; hence, their proper
and just determination is an imperative need. Considering
Imbong v Ochoa, et al. (G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, that it is the right to life of the mother and the unborn which is
204957, 205003, 205138, 204988, 205043, 205478, 205491,
primarily at issue, the Court need not wait for a life to be
205720, 206355, 207111, 207172, 207563)
taken away before taking action.
PROCEDURAL: Whether the Court may exercise its power
of judicial review over the controversy. 5. Declaratory Relief
1. Power of Judicial Review Where the case has far-reaching implications and
The petition no doubt raises a justiciable prays for injunctive reliefs, the Court may consider them as
controversy. Where an action of the legislative branch is petitions for prohibition under Rule 65.
seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution, it

6. One Subject/One Title Rule Legislature from passing a measure prevent

The RH Law does not violate the one subject/one abortion. The Court cannot interpret this otherwise. The RH
bill rule. It is well-settled that the “one title-one subject” rule Law is in line with this intent and actually prohibits
abortion. By using the word “or” in defining abortifacient
does not require the Congress to employ in the title of the
(Section 4(a)), the RH Law prohibits not only drugs or
enactment language of such precision as to mirror, fully devices that prevent implantation but also those that induce
index or catalogue all the contents and the minute details abortion and induce the destruction of a fetus inside the
therein. The rule is sufficiently complied with if the title is mother’s womb. The RH Law recognizes that the fertilized
comprehensive enough as to include the general object ovum already has life and that the State has a bounded duty
which the statute seeks to effect, and where, as here, the to protect it.
persons interested are informed of the nature, scope and
However, the authors of the IRR gravely abused
consequences of the proposed law and its operation.
their office when they redefined the meaning of abortifacient
Moreover, this Court has invariably adopted a liberal rather by using the term “primarily”. Recognizing as abortifacients
than technical construction of the rule “so as not to cripple or only those that “primarily induce abortion or the destruction
impede legislation.” In this case, a textual analysis of the of a fetus inside the mother’s womb or the prevention of the
various provisions of the law shows that both “reproductive fertilized ovum to reach and be implanted in the mother’s
health” and “responsible parenthood” are interrelated and womb” (Sec. 3.01(a) of the IRR) would pave the way for the
germane to the overriding objective to control the population approval of contraceptives that may harm or destroy the life
of the unborn from conception/fertilization. This violates
Section 12, Article II of the Constitution. For the same
reason, the definition of contraceptives under the IRR (Sec
* SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES: 3.01(j)), which also uses the term “primarily”, must be struck
A. On the constitutionality of RA 10354/Reproductive down.
Health (RH) Law
The RH Law violates the right to life of the unborn. The RH Law violates the right to health and the right
According to the petitioners, notwithstanding its declared to protection against hazardous products. The petitioners
policy against abortion, the implementation of the RH Law posit that the RH Law provides universal access to
would authorize the purchase of hormonal contraceptives, contraceptives which are hazardous to one's health, as it
intra-uterine devices and injectables which are abortives, in causes cancer and other health problems.
violation of Section 12, Article II of the Constitution which
guarantees protection of both the life of the mother and the 2. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health
life of the unborn from conception (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the right to
1. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health NO. Petitioners claim that the right to health is
(RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the right to life: violated by the RH Law because it requires the inclusion of
NO. Majority of the Members of the Court believe hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables
that the question of when life begins is a scientific and and other safe, legal, non-abortifacient and effective family
medical issue that should not be decided, at this stage, planning products and supplies in the National Drug
without proper hearing and evidence. However, they agreed Formulary and in the regular purchase of essential medicines
that individual Members could express their own views on and supplies of all national hospitals (Section 9 of the RH
this matter. Law). They cite risks of getting diseases gained by using e.g.
Ponente’s view (Justice Mendoza): Article II, Section 12 of oral contraceptive pills.
the Constitution states: “The State recognizes the sanctity of
family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a Some petitioners do not question contraception and
basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect contraceptives per se. Rather, they pray that the status quo
the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from under RA 4729 and 5921 be maintained. These laws prohibit
conception. the sale and distribution of contraceptives without the
prescription of a duly-licensed physician.
In its plain and ordinary meaning (a canon in
statutory construction), the traditional meaning of The RH Law does not intend to do away with RA
“conception” according to reputable dictionaries cited by 4729 (1966). With RA 4729 in place, the Court believes
the ponente is that life begins at fertilization. Medical sources adequate safeguards exist to ensure that only safe
also support the view that conception begins at fertilization. contraceptives are made available to the public. In
fulfilling its mandate under Sec. 10 of the RH Law, the DOH
The framers of the Constitution also intended for must keep in mind the provisions of RA 4729:
(a) “conception” to refer to the moment of “fertilization” and the contraceptives it will procure shall be from a duly
(b) the protection of the unborn child upon fertilization. In licensed drug store or pharmaceutical company and that
addition, they did not intend to ban all contraceptives for the actual distribution of these contraceptive drugs and
being unconstitutional; only those that kill or destroy the devices will be done following a prescription of a
fertilized ovum would be prohibited. Contraceptives that qualified medical practitioner.
actually prevent the union of the male sperm and female
ovum, and those that similarly take action before fertilization The provision in Section 9 covering the inclusion of
should be deemed non-abortive, and thus constitutionally hormonal contraceptives, intra-uterine devices, injectables,
permissible. and other safe, legal, non-abortifacient and effective family
planning products and supplies by the National Drug
The intent of the framers of the Constitution for Formulary in the EDL is not mandatory. There must first be a
protecting the life of the unborn child was to prevent the

determination by the FDA that they are in fact safe, legal, Excluding public health officers from being conscientious
non-abortifacient and effective family planning products and objectors (under Sec. 5.24 of the IRR) also violates the equal
supplies. There can be no predetermination by Congress protection clause. There is no perceptible distinction between
that the gamut of contraceptives are "safe, legal, non- public health officers and their private counterparts. In
abortifacient and effective" without the proper scientific addition, the freedom to believe is intrinsic in every individual
examination. and the protection of this freedom remains even if he/she is
employed in the government.
The RH Law violates the right to religious freedom.
The petitioners contend that the RH Law violates the Using the compelling state interest test, there is no
compelling state interest to limit the free exercise of
constitutional guarantee respecting religion as it authorizes
conscientious objectors. There is no immediate danger to
the use of public funds for the procurement of the life or health of an individual in the perceived scenario
contraceptives. For the petitioners, the use of public funds for of the above-quoted provisions. In addition, the limits do not
purposes that are believed to be contrary to their beliefs is pertain to life-threatening cases.
included in the constitutional mandate ensuring religious The respondents also failed to show that these
freedom. provisions are least intrusive means to achieve a
The Court cannot determine whether or not the use legitimate state objective. The Legislature has already taken
of contraceptives or participation in support of modern RH other secular steps to ensure that the right to health is
measures (a) is moral from a religious standpoint; or, (b) protected, such as RA 4729, RA 6365 (The Population Act of
right or wrong according to one’s dogma or belief. However, the Philippines) and RA 9710 (The Magna Carta of Women).
the Court has the authority to determine whether or not the
RH Law contravenes the Constitutional guarantee of c.) WON the RH Law violates the guarantee of religious
religious freedom. freedom by requiring would-be spouses, as a condition
for the issuance of a marriage license, to attend a
a.) WON the RH Law violates the guarantee of religious seminar on parenthood, family planning, breastfeeding
freedom since it mandates the State-sponsored and infant nutrition
procurement of contraceptives, which contravene the NO. Section 15 of the RH Law, which
religious beliefs of e.g. the petitioners requires would-be spouses to attend a seminar on
NO. The State may pursue its legitimate secular parenthood, family planning, breastfeeding and infant
objectives without being dictated upon the policies of any nutrition as a condition for the issuance of a marriage
one religion. To allow religious sects to dictate policy or license, is a reasonable exercise of police power by the
restrict other groups would violate Article III, Section 5 of the government. The law does not even mandate the type of
Constitution or the Establishment Clause. This would family planning methods to be included in the seminar.
cause the State to adhere to a particular religion, and thus, Those who attend the seminar are free to accept or reject
establishes a state religion. Thus, the State can enhance its information they receive and they retain the freedom to
population control program through the RH Law even if the decide on matters of family life without the intervention of the
promotion of contraceptive use is contrary to the religious State.
beliefs of e.g. the petitioners.
4. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health
b.) WON the RH Law violates the guarantee of religious (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the right to
freedom by compelling medical health practitioners, privacy (marital privacy and autonomy)
hospitals, and health care providers, under pain of YES. The above provision refers to reproductive
penalty, to refer patients to other institutions despite health procedures like tubal litigation and vasectomy which,
their conscientious objections by their very nature, should require mutual consent and
YES. Sections 7, 23, and 24 of the RH Law decision between the husband and the wife as they affect
obliges a hospital or medical practitioner to immediately refer issues intimately related to the founding of a family. Section
a person seeking health care and services under the law to 3, Art. XV of the Constitution espouses that the State shall
another accessible healthcare provider despite their defend the "right of the spouses to found a family." One
conscientious objections based on religious or ethical person cannot found a family. The right, therefore, is shared
beliefs. These provisions violate the religious belief and by both spouses. In the same Section 3, their right "to
conviction of a conscientious objector. They are participate in the planning and implementation of policies
contrary to Section 29(2), Article VI of the Constitution or and programs that affect them " is equally recognized.
the Free Exercise Clause, whose basis is the respect for The RH Law cannot be allowed to infringe upon this
the inviolability of the human conscience. mutual decision-making. By giving absolute authority to the
The provisions in the RH Law compelling non- spouse who would undergo a procedure, and barring the
maternity specialty hospitals and hospitals owned and other spouse from participating in the decision would drive a
operated by a religious group and health care service wedge between the husband and wife, possibly result in
providers to refer patients to other providers and penalizing bitter animosity, and endanger the marriage and the family,
them if they fail to do so (Sections 7 and 23(a)(3)) as well all for the sake of reducing the population. This would be a
as compelling them to disseminate information and perform marked departure from the policy of the State to protect
RH procedures under pain of penalty (Sections 23(a)(1) and marriage as an inviolable social institution.
(a)(2) in relation to Section 24) also violate (and inhibit) the The exclusion of parental consent in cases where a
freedom of religion. While penalties may be imposed by law minor undergoing a procedure is already a parent or has had
to ensure compliance to it, a constitutionally-protected a miscarriage (Section 7 of the RH Law) is also anti-family
right must prevail over the effective implementation of and violates Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution, which
the law. states: “The natural and primary right and duty of parents in
the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the


development of moral character shall receive the support of protection clause -The petitioners also claim that the RH
the Government.” In addition, the portion of Section 23(a)(ii) Law violates the equal protection clause under the
which reads “in the case of minors, the written consent of Constitution as it discriminates against the poor because it
parents or legal guardian or, in their absence, persons makes them the primary target of the government program
exercising parental authority or next-of-kin shall be required that promotes contraceptive use
only in elective surgical procedures” is invalid as it denies the NO. To provide that the poor are to be given
right of parental authority in cases where what is involved is priority in the government’s RH program is not a
“non-surgical procedures.” violation of the equal protection clause. In fact, it is
pursuant to Section 11, Article XIII of the Constitution, which
5. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health states that the State shall prioritize the needs of the
(RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the freedom of underprivileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women, and
expression and academic freedom children and that it shall endeavor to provide medical
NO. The Court declined to rule on the care to paupers.
constitutionality of Section 14 of the RH Law, which The RH Law does not only seek to target the poor
mandates the State to provide Age-and Development- to reduce their number, since Section 7 of the RH Law
Appropriate Reproductive Health Education. Although prioritizes poor and marginalized couples who are suffering
educators might raise their objection to their participation in from fertility issues and desire to have children. In addition,
the RH education program, the Court reserves its judgment the RH Law does not prescribe the number of children a
should an actual case be filed before it. couple may have and does not impose conditions upon
Any attack on its constitutionality is premature couples who intend to have children. The RH Law only seeks
because the Department of Education has not yet formulated to provide priority to the poor.
a curriculum on age-appropriate reproductive health The exclusion of private educational institutions
education. from the mandatory RH education program under Section 14
Section 12, Article II of the Constitution places more is valid. There is a need to recognize the academic freedom
importance on the role of parents in the development of their of private educational institutions especially with respect to
children with the use of the term “primary”. The right of religious instruction and to consider their sensitivity towards
parents in upbringing their youth is superior to that of the the teaching of reproductive health education.
The provisions of Section 14 of the RH Law and 8. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health
corresponding provisions of the IRR supplement (rather than (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the prohibition
supplant) the right and duties of the parents in the moral against involuntary servitude
development of their children. NO. The requirement under Sec. 17 of the RH Law
By incorporating parent-teacher-community associations, for private and non-government health care service providers
school officials, and other interest groups in developing the to render 48 hours of pro bono RH services does not
mandatory RH program, it could very well be said that the amount to involuntary servitude, for two reasons. First, the
program will be in line with the religious beliefs of the practice of medicine is undeniably imbued with public interest
petitioners. that it is both the power and a duty of the State to control and
regulate it in order to protect and promote the public welfare.
6. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health Second, Section 17 only encourages private and non-
(RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the due government RH service providers to render pro bono service.
process clause -The petitioners contend that the RH Law Besides the PhilHealth accreditation, no penalty is imposed
suffers from vagueness and, thus violates the due process should they do otherwise.
clause of the Constitution. However, conscientious objectors are exempt from Sec. 17
NO. The RH Law does not violate the due as long as their religious beliefs do not allow them to render
process clause of the Constitution as the definitions of RH service, pro bono or otherwise (See Part 3b of this
several terms as observed by the petitioners are not digest.)
The definition of “private health care service provider” must B. WON the delegation of authority to the Food and Drug
be seen in relation to Section 4(n) of the RH Law which Administration (FDA) to determine WON a supply or
defines a “public health service provider”. The “private health product is to be included in the Essential Drugs List is
care institution” cited under Section 7 should be seen as valid
synonymous to “private health care service provider.” YES. The delegation by Congress to the FDA of the
The terms “service” and “methods” are also broad power to determine whether or not a supply or product is to
enough to include providing of information and rendering of be included in the Essential Drugs List is valid, as the FDA
medical procedures. Thus, hospitals operated by religious not only has the power but also the competency to evaluate,
groups are exempted from rendering RH service and modern register and cover health services and methods (under RA
family planning methods (as provided for by Section 7 of the 3720 as amended by RA 9711 or the FDA Act of 2009).
RH Law) as well as from giving RH information and
procedures. C. WON the RH Law infringes upon the powers devolved
The RH Law also defines “incorrect information”. to Local Governments and the Autonomous Region in
Used together in relation to Section 23 (a)(1), the terms Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
“incorrect” and “knowingly” connote a sense of malice and ill NO. a reading of the RH Law clearly shows that
motive to mislead or misrepresent the public as to the nature whether it pertains to the establishment of health care
271 272
and effect of programs and services on reproductive health. facilities, the hiring of skilled health professionals, or the
training of barangay health workers, it will be the national
7. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health government that will provide for the funding of its
(RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the equal implementation. Local autonomy is not absolute. The


national government still has the say when it comes to trial court issued a modified TPO and extended the
national priority programs which the local government is same when petitioner failed to comment on why the
called upon to implement like the RH Law. TPO should not be modified. After the given time
allowance to answer, the petitioner no longer
Moreover, from the use of the word "endeavor," the submitted the required comment as it would be an
LG Us are merely encouraged to provide these services. “axercise in futility.”
There is nothing in the wording of the law which can be  Petitioner filed before the CA a petition for
construed as making the availability of these services prohibition with prayer for injunction and TRO on,
mandatory for the LGUs. For said reason, it cannot be said questioning the constitutionality of the RA 9262 for
that the RH Law amounts to an undue encroachment by the violating the due process and equal protection
national government upon the autonomy enjoyed by the local clauses, and the validity of the modified TPO for
governments. being “an unwanted product of an invalid law.”
 The CA issued a TRO on the enforcement of the
Article III, Sections 6, 10, and 11 of RA 9054 or the TPO but however, denied the petition for failure to
Organic Act of the ARMM --These provisions relied upon by raise the issue of constitutionality in his pleadings
the petitioners simply delineate the powers that may be before the trial court and the petition for prohibition
exercised by the regional government, which can, in no to annul protection orders issued by the trial court
manner, be characterized as an abdication by the State of its constituted collateral attack on said law.
power to enact legislation that would benefit the general  Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but was
welfare. After all, despite the veritable autonomy granted the denied. Thus, this petition is filed.
ARMM, the Constitution and the supporting jurisprudence, as  Q: WON the CA erred in dismissing the petition on
they now stand, reject the notion of imperium et imperio in the theory that the issue of constitutionality was not
the relationship between the national and the regional raised at the earliest opportunity and that the
governments. Except for the express and implied petition constitutes a collateral attack on the validity
limitations imposed on it by the Constitution, Congress of the law.
cannot be restricted to exercise its inherent and plenary - Petitioner contends that the RTC has limited
power to legislate on all subjects which extends to all matters authority and jurisdiction, inadequate to tackle
of general concern or common interest. the complex issue of constitutionality. Inspite of
its designation as a family court, the RTC of
JESUS C. GARCIA vs.THE HONORABLE RAY ALAN T. Bacolod City remains possessed of authority as
DRILON a court of general original jurisdiction to pass
G.R. No. 179267, June 25, 2013 upon all kinds of cases whether civil, criminal,
 R.A. 9262 is a landmark legislation that defines and special proceedings, land registration,
criminalizes acts of violence against women and guardianship, naturalization, admiralty or
their children (VAWC) perpetrated by women's 44
insolvency. It is settled that RTCs have
intimate partners, i.e, husband; former husband; or jurisdiction to resolve the constitutionality of a
any person who has or had a sexual or dating 45
statute, "this authority being embraced in the
relationship, or with whom the woman has a general definition of the judicial power to
common child. The law provides for protection determine what are the valid and binding laws
orders from the barangay and the courts to prevent by the criterion of their conformity to the
the commission of further acts of VAWC; and 46
fundamental law." The Constitution vests the
outlines the duties and responsibilities of barangay power of judicial review or the power to declare
officials, law enforcers, prosecutors and court the constitutionality or validity of a law, treaty,
personnel, social workers, health care providers, international or executive agreement,
and other local government officials in responding presidential decree, order, instruction,
to complaints of VAWC or requests for assistance. ordinance, or regulation not only in this Court,
 A husband is now before the Court assailing the but in all RTCs. The question of
constitutionality of R.A. 9262 as being violative of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest
the equal protection and due process clauses, and possible time so that if not raised in the
an undue delegation of judicial power to barangay pleadings, it may not be raised in the trial and if
officials. not raised in the trial court, it may not be
 Private respondent Rosalie filed a petition before considered in appeal.
the RTC of Bacolod City a Temporary Protection  WON the CA committed serious error in failing to
Order against her husband, Jesus, pursuant to R.A. conclude that RA 9262 is discriminatory, unjust and
9262, entitled “An Act Defining Violence Against violative of the equal protection clause.
Women and Their Children, Providing for Protective - R.A. 9262 does not violate the guaranty of
Measures for Victims, Prescribing Penalties equal protection of the laws.
Therefor, and for Other Purposes.” She claimed to - Equal protection simply requires that all
be a victim of physical, emotional, psychological persons or things similarly situated should be
and economic violence, being threatened of treated alike, both as to rights conferred and
deprivation of custody of her children and of responsibilities imposed.
financial support and also a victim of marital - R.A. 9262 rests on substantial distinctions.
infidelity on the part of petitioner. - The unequal power relationship between
 The TPO was granted but the petitioner failed to women and men; the fact that women are more
faithfully comply with the conditions set forth by the likely than men to be victims of violence; and
said TPO, private-respondent filed another the widespread gender bias and prejudice
application for the issuance of a TPO ex parte. The against women all make for real differences


justifying the classification under the law. As  Summons was served on Fringer but he did not file
Justice McIntyre succinctly states, "the his answer.
accommodation of differences ... is the  At the pre-trial, only Albios, her counsel and the
essence of true equality. prosecutor appeared. Fringer did not attend the
 WON the CA committed grave mistake in not hearing despite being duly notified of the schedule.
finding that RA 9262 runs counter to the due After the pre-trial, hearing on the merits ensued.
process clause of the Constitution  In its April 25, 2008 Decision, the RTC declared the
- RA 9262 is not violative of the due process marriage void ab initio-petitioner shall cease using
clause of the Constitution. The essence of due the surname of respondent as she never acquired
process is in the reasonable opportunity to be any right over it and so as to avoid a misimpression
heard and submit any evidence one may have that she remains the wife of respondent.
in support of one’s defense. The grant of the  The RTC was of the view that the parties married
TPO exparte cannot be impugned as violative each other for convenience only. Giving credence to
of the right to due process. the testimony of Albios, it stated that she contracted
 WON the CA erred in not finding that the law does Fringer to enter into a marriage to enable her to
violence to the policy of the state to protect the acquire American citizenship; that in consideration
family as a basic social institution thereof, she agreed to pay him the sum of
- The non-referral of a VAWC case to a mediator $2,000.00; that after the ceremony, the parties went
is justified. Petitioner’s contention that by not their separate ways; that Fringer returned to the
allowing mediation, the law violated the policy United States and never again communicated with
of the State to protect and strengthen the family her; and that, in turn, she did not pay him the
as a basic autonomous social institution cannot $2,000.00 because he never processed her petition
be sustained. In a memorandum of the Court, it for citizenship. The RTC, thus, ruled that when
ruled that the court shall not refer the case or marriage was entered into for a purpose other than
any issue thereof to a mediator. This is so the establishment of a conjugal and family life, such
because violence is not a subject for was a farce and should not be recognized from its
compromise. inception.
 WON the CA seriously erredin declaring RA 9262  Not in conformity, the OSG filed an appeal before
as invalid and unconstitutional because it allows an the CA.
undue delegation of judicial power to Brgy. Officials.  In its assailed decision, dated September 29, 2011,
- There is no undue delegation of judicial power the CA affirmed the RTC ruling which found that the
to Barangay officials. Judicial power includes essential requisite of consent was lacking.
the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual
controversies involving rights which are legally
The resolution of this case hinges on this sole question of
demandable and enforceable and to determine
law: Is a marriage, contracted for the sole purpose of
whether or not there has been a grave abuse of
acquiring American citizenship in consideration of $2,000.00,
discretion amounting to lack or excess of
void ab initio on the ground of lack of consent?-NO
jurisdiction on any part of any branch of the
Government while executive power is the
power to enforce and administer the laws. The  Marriage Fraud in Immigration
preliminary investigation conducted by the  Respondent’s marriage not void
prosecutor is an executive, not a judicial,
function. The same holds true with the  Consent was not lacking between Albios and
issuance of BPO. Assistance by Brgy. Officials Fringer. In fact, there was real consent because it
and other law enforcement agencies is was not vitiated nor rendered defective by any vice
consistent with their duty executive function. of consent. Their consent was also conscious and
The petition for review on certiorari is denied for lack of merit. intelligent as they understood the nature and the
beneficial and inconvenient consequences of their
marriage, as nothing impaired their ability to do so.
G.R. No. 198780 October 16, 2013
That their consent was freely given is best
evidenced by their conscious purpose of acquiring
vs.LIBERTY D. ALBIOS, Respondent.
American citizenship through marriage. Such plainly
demonstrates that they willingly and deliberately
 On October 22, 2004, Fringer, an American citizen, contracted the marriage. There was a clear
and Albios were married before Judge Ofelia I. Calo intention to enter into a real and valid marriage so
of the Metropolitan Trial Court Mandaluyong City as as to fully comply with the requirements of an
evidenced by a Certificate of Marriage with Register application for citizenship. There was a full and
No. 2004-1588. complete understanding of the legal tie that would
 On December 6, 2006, Albios filed with the RTC a be created between them, since it was that precise
petition for declaration of nullity. She alleged that legal tie which was necessary to accomplish their
immediately after their marriage, they separated goal.
and never lived as husband and wife because they  In ruling that Albios’ marriage was void for lack of
never really had any intention of entering into a consent, the CA characterized such as akin to a
married state or complying with any of their marriage by way of jest. A marriage in jest is a
essential marital obligations. She described their pretended marriage, legal in form but entered into
marriage as one made in jest and, therefore, null as a joke, with no real intention of entering into the
and void ab initio actual marriage status, and with a clear

understanding that the parties would not be bound. multilateral treaty recognizing the great potential of
The ceremony is not followed by any conduct modern biotechnology for human well-being if
indicating a purpose to enter into such a developed and used with adequate safety
relation. It is a pretended marriage not intended to measures for the environment and human health.
be real and with no intention to create any legal ties  In January 2000, an agreement was reached on the
whatsoever, hence, the absence of any genuine Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (Cartagena
consent. Marriages in jest are void ab initio, not for Protocol), a supplement to the CBD, which aims to
vitiated, defective, or unintelligent consent, but for a ensure an adequate level of safe transfer, handling
complete absence of consent. There is no genuine and use of living modified organisms resulting from
consent because the parties have absolutely no modern biotechnology. The Philippines signed the
intention of being bound in any way or for any same on May 24 of the same year.
purpose.  In April 2002, the Department of Agriculture (DA)
 The respondent’s marriage is not at all analogous to issued DA Administrative Order No. 08 which
a marriage in jest. There was, thus, an apparent provides rules and regulations for the importation
intention to enter into the actual marriage status and and release into the environment of plants and plant
to create a legal tie, albeit for a limited purpose. products derived from the use of modern
Genuine consent was, therefore, clearly present. biotechnology.
 The avowed purpose of marriage under Article 1 of  On 17 March 2006, EO No. 514 (EO 514) entitled,
the Family Code is for the couple to establish a “Establishing the National Biosafety Framework
conjugal and family life. The possibility that the (NBF), Prescribing Guidelines for its
parties in a marriage might have no real intention to Implementation, and Strengthening the NCBP” was
establish a life together is, however, insufficient to issued. It expressly provides that DAO 2002-08,
nullify a marriage freely entered into in accordance NCBP Guidelines on the Contained Use of GMOs,
with lawTherefore, so long as all the essential and except for provisions on potentially harmful exotic
formal requisites prescribed by law are present, and species which were repealed, and all issuances of
it is not void or voidable under the grounds provided the Bureau of Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) on
by law, it shall be declared valid. products of modern biotechnology, shall continue to
 Although the Court views with disdain the be in force and effect unless amended by the
respondent’s attempt to utilize marriage for issuing departments or agencies.
dishonest purposes, It cannot declare the marriage
void. Hence, though the respondent’s marriage may FACTS
be considered a sham or fraudulent for the
purposes of immigration, it is not void ab initio and  On 24 September 2010, a Memorandum of
continues to be valid and subsisting. Undertaking was executed between International
 No less than our Constitution declares that Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech
marriage, as an in violable social institution, is the Applications, Inc. (ISAAA), University of the
foundation of the family and shall be protected by Philippines Los Baños Foundation, Inc. (UPLBFI)
the State. It must, therefore, be safeguarded from and UP Mindanao Foundation, Inc. (UPMFI), in
the whims and caprices of the contracting parties. pursuance of a collaborative research and
This Court cannot leave the impression that development project on eggplants that are resistant
marriage may easily be entered into when it suits to the fruit and shoot borer. Other partner agencies
the needs of the parties, and just as easily nullified involved were UPLB through its Institute of Plant
when no longer needed. Breeding, Maharastra Hybrid Seed Company
(MAHYCO) of India, Cornell University and the
International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II
Applications, Inc., et.al. v. Greenpeace Southeast Asia (ABSPII) of USAID.
(Philippines), et.al. (G.R. Nos. 209271, 209276, 209301  The UPLB Field Trial Proposal states that the pest-
and 209430) 8 December 2015 resistant crop subject of the field trial was described
as a “bio-engineered eggplant.” The crystal toxin
 In 1990, President Corazon Aquino signed genes from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis
Executive Order (EO) No. 430 creating the National (Bt) were incorporated into the eggplant genome to
Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines (NCBP) produce the protein CrylAc which is toxic to target
which was tasked to identify and evaluate potential insect pests. The latter is said to be highly specific
hazards involved in initiating genetic engineering to lepidopteran larvae such as fruit and shoot borer
experiments and introducing new species and (FSB), the most destructive insect pest of eggplant.
genetically engineered organisms and recommend  NCBP issued a Certificate of Completion of
measures to minimize risks. Contained Experiment which was conducted from
 In 1991, NCBP formulated the Philippine Biosafety 2007 to 3 March 2009 stating that during the
Guidelines which governs the regulation of the conduct of experiment, all the biosafety measures
importation or introduction, movement and field have been complied with and no untoward incident
release of potentially hazardous biological materials has occurred.
in the Philippines. The same was followed by the  On 16 March 2010 and 28 June 2010, the Bureau
Guidelines on Planned Release of Genetically of Plant Industry (BPI) issued biosafety permits to
Manipulated Organisms (GMOs) and Potentially UPLB.
Harmful Exotic Species (PHES).  Field testing commenced on various dates in the
 On 29 December 1993, the Convention on following approved trial sites: Kabacan, North
Biological Diversity (CBD) came into force. This is a

Cotabato; Sta. Maria, Pangasinan; Pili, Camarines  On 2 May 2012, the SC issued the writ of kalikasan
Sur; Bago Oshiro, Davao City; and Bay, Laguna. against ISAAA, EMB, BPI, FPA and UPLB, ordering
 On 26 April 2012, Greenpeace, MASIPAG and them to file a verified return.
individual respondents (Greenpeace, et.al.) filed a  The contentions of the respondents are as follows:
petition for writ of kalikasan and writ of continuing - All environmental laws were complied with,
mandamus with prayer for the issuance of including public consultations in the
Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) affected communities
alleging that the Bt talong field trials violate their - The Bt talong project is not covered by the
constitutional right to health and a balanced ecology Philippine Environmental Impact
considering that: Statement Law
- The required Environmental Compliance - There is a plethora of scientific works and
Certificate (ECC) under PD 1151 was not literature, peer-reviewed, on the safety of
secured prior to the project implementation Bt talong for human consumption
- There is no independent, peer-reviewed - Allegations regarding the safety of Bt
study on the safety of Bt talong for human talong are irrelevant in the field trial stage
consumption and the environment as none of the eggplants will be consumed
- There was a study conducted showing by humans or animals
adverse effects on rats who were fed Bt - There is a non-observance of the rule on
corn, local scientists likewise attested to hierarchy of courts
the harmful effects of GMOs to human and - Greenpeace, et.al. have no legal standing
animal health as they do not stand to suffer any direct
- Bt crops can be directly toxic to non-target injury as a result of the Bt talong field tests
species - The precautionary principle does not apply
- There is a failure to comply with the since the field testing is only a part of a
required public consultation under continuing study to ensure that the field
Sections 26 and 27 of the Local trials have no significant and negative
Government Code impact on the environment
- The case calls for the application of the  SC, in a Resolution dated 10 July 2012, referred the
precautionary principle, it being a classic case to the Court of Appeals.
environmental case where scientific  On 12 September 2012, the parties submitted the
evidence as to the health, environmental following procedural issues before the CA: (1)
and socio-economic safety is insufficient or whether Greenpeace, et.al. has legal standing to file
uncertain and preliminary scientific the petition for writ of kalikasan; (2) whether the
evaluation indicates reasonable grounds petition has been rendered moot and academic by
for concern that there are potentially the alleged termination of the Bt talong field testing;
dangerous effects on human health and and (3) whether the case presented a justiciable
the environment controversy
 The following reliefs are prayed for by Greenpeace,  CA, in a Resolution dated 12 October 2012,
et.al., to wit: resolved that: (1) the Greenpeace, et.al. possess
- Issuance of a TEPO enjoining BPI and legal standing; (2) the case is not yet moot since it
Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) of is capable of repetition yet evading review; and (3)
the Department of Agriculture (DA) from the alleged non-compliance with environmental and
processing for field testing and registering local government laws present justiciable
as herbicidal product Bt talong in the controversies for resolution by the court.
Philippines, stopping all pending field  On 17 May 2013, CA rendered a decision in favor of
testing, and ordering the uprooting of the Greenpeace, et.al. finding that the precautionary
planted Bt talong; and principle set forth in Section 1, Rule 20 of the Rules
- Issuance of a writ of continuing mandamus of Procedure for Environmental Cases (the Rules)
commanding the ISAAAI, et.al.: (1) to finds relevance in the case.
submit to an environmental impact  CA rejected the Motions for Reconsideration filed by
statement system under the Environmental ISAAA, EMB/BPI/FPA, UPLB and UPLBFI rejecting
Management Bureau of the Department of the argument that CA violated UPLB’s right to
Environment and Natural Resources academic freedom. The writ stops the field trials of
(DENR-EMB); (2) to submit an Bt talong as a procedure, it does not stop Bt talong
independent, comprehensive, and rigid risk research. Thus, there is no assault on academic
assessment, field tests report, and freedom.
regulatory compliance reports; (3) to  CA further justified its ruling by expounding on the
submit all issued certifications on public theory that introducing a genetically modified plant
information, public consultation, public into our ecosystem is an “ecologically imbalancing
participation and consent from the LGUs act.”
affected by the field testing; (4) to submit  Before the SC is a consolidated petition of ISAAAI,
an acceptable draft of an amendment of EMB/BPI/FPA, UPLB and UPLBFI to reverse the
the NBF and DAO 2002-08; and (5) for BPI CA decision permanently enjoining the conduct of
of DA to conduct balanced nationwide field trials for Genetically Modified eggplants.
public information on the nature of Bt
talong and Bt talong field trial, and a
survey of its social acceptability.


ISSUES adoption and implementation of all biosafety policies,

1. WON Greenpeace, et.al. has a legal standing -yes measures and guidelines and in making biosafety
2. WON the case is moot and academic -no decisions concerning the research, development,
3. WON there is a violation of the doctrines of primary handling and use, transboundary movement, release
jurisdiction and exhaustion of administrative into the environment and management of regulated
remedies -no articles.
4. WON there is neglect or unlawful omission
committed by the public respondents in the The NBF requires the use of precaution, as
processing and evaluation of the applications for Bt provided in Section 2.6 which reads:
talong field testing -yes
5. WON the Precautionary Principle applies -yes 2.6. Using Precaution. – In
accordance with Principle 15 of the
RULING Rio Declaration of 1992 and the
relevant provisions of the Cartagena
1. Yes. The liberalized rule on standing is now enshrined in Protocol on Biosafety, in particular
the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases which Article 1, 10 (par. 6) and 11 (par. 8),
allows the filing of a citizen suit in environmental cases. the precautionary approach shall
The provision on citizen suits in the Rules “collapses the guide biosafety decisions. The
tradional rule on personal and direct interest, on the principles and elements of this
principle that humans are stewards of nature,” and aims approach are hereby implemented
to “further encourage the protection of the environment.” through the decision-making system in
There is therefore no dispute on the standing of the NBF.
respondents to file before this Court their petition for writ
of kalikasan and writ of continuing mandamus. It likewise contains general principles and minimum
2. Courts will decide cases, otherwise moot and academic guidelines that the concerned agencies are expected to
if: first, there is a grave violation of the follow and which their respective rules and regulations
Constitution; second, the exceptional character of the must conform with. In cases of conflict in applying the
situation and the paramount public interest is principles, the principle of protecting the public interest
involved; third, when the constitutional issue raised and welfare shall always prevail, and no provision of the
requires formulation of controlling principles to guide the NBF shall be construed as to limit the legal authority and
bench, the bar and the public; and fourth, the case is mandate of heads of departments and agencies to
capable of repetition yet evading review. We find that consider the national interest and public welfare in
the presence of the second and fourth exceptions making biosafety decisions.
justified the CA in not dismissing the case despite the
termination of Bt talong field trials. Notably, Section 7 of NBF mandates a more
transparent, meaningful and participatory public
While it may be that the project proponents of Bt consultation on the conduct of field trials beyond the
talong have terminated the subject field trials, it is not posting and publication of notices and information
certain if they have actually completed the field trial sheets, consultations with some residents and
stage for the purpose of data gathering. At any rate, it is government officials, and submission of written
on record that the proponents expect to proceed to the comments, provided in DAO 2002-08.
next phase of the project, the preparation for commercial
propagation of the Bt eggplants. Biosafety permits will The Supreme Court found that ISAAAI, et.al. simply
still be issued by the BPI for Bt talong or other GM adhered to the procedures laid down by DAO 2002-08
crops. Hence, not only does this case fall under the and no real effort was made to operationalize the
"capable of repetition yet evading review" exception to principles of NBF in the conduct of field testing of Bt
the mootness principle, the human and environmental talong. Said failure means that the DA lacks
health hazards posed by the introduction of a genetically mechanisms to mandate applicants to comply with
modified plant, a very popular staple vegetable among international biosafety protocols. For these reasons, the
Filipinos, is an issue of paramount public interest. DAO 2002-08 should be declared invalid.
3. No. the provisions of DAO 08-2002 do not provide a
speedy, or adequate remedy for the respondents "to Parenthetically, during the hearing at the CA, Atty.
determine the questions of unique national and local Segui of the EMB was evasive in answering the
importance raised here that pertain to laws and rules for questions on whether his office undertook the necessary
environmental protection, thus [they were] justified in evaluation on the possible environmental impact of Bt
coming to this Court." We take judicial notice of the talong field trials and the release of GMOs into the
fact that genetically modified food is an intensely environment in general. While he initially cited lack of
debated global issue, and despite the entry of GMO budget and competence as reasons for their inaction, he
crops (Bt corn) into the Philippines in the last decade, it later said that an amendment of the law should be made
is only now that such controversy involving alleged since projects involving GMOS are not covered by
damage or threat to human health and the environment Proclamation No. 2146, entitled “Proclaiming Certain
from GMOs has reached the courts. Areas and Types of Projects as Environmentally Critical
and Within the Scope of the Environmental Impact
4. Yes. It must be stressed that DAO 2002-08 and related Statement System Established Under Presidential
DA order are not the only legal bases for regulating field Decree No. 1586”.
trials of GM plants and plant products. EO 514 clearly
provides that the NBF applies to the development,


The Supreme Court took the above as an indication There exists a preponderance of evidence that the
of the DENR-EMB’s lack of serious attention to their release of the GMOs into the environment threatens to
mandate under EO 514 to ensure that environmental damage our ecosystems and not just the field trial sites,
assessments are done and impacts identified in and eventually the health of our people once the Bt
biosafety decisions. eggplants are consumed as food.

Section 6 of EO 514 likewise directed the DOST, Adopting the precautionary approach, the Supreme
DENR, DA and DOH to ensure the allocation of funds Court ruled that the principles of the NBF need to be
for the implementation of the NBF as it was intended to operationalized first by the coordinated actions of the
be a multi-disciplinary effort involving the different concerned departments and agencies before allowing
government departments and agencies. the release into the environment of genetically modified
The petitioners government agencies clearly failed
to fulfil their mandates in the implementation of the NBF. Further, the precautionary approach entailed inputs
from stakeholders, including marginalized famers, not
5. Yes. The precautionary principle originated in Germany just the scientific community. This proceeds from the
in the 1960s, expressing the normative idea that realization that acceptance of uncertainty is not only a
governments are obliged to “foresee and forestall” harm scientific issue, but is related to public policy and
to the environment. The Rules incorporated the principle involves an ethical dimension.
in Part V, Rule 20, which states:
SEC.1. Applicability. – When there is DISPOSITIVE PORTION
a lack of full scientific certainty in
establishing a causal link between 1. The conduct of Bt talong field testing is
human activity and environmental permanently enjoined.
effect, the court shall apply the 2. DAO 2002-08 is declared null and void.
precautionary principle in resolving the 3. Any application for contained use, field testing,
case before it. propagation and commercialization, and
importation of GMOs is temporarily enjoined
The constitutional right of the people until a new administrative order is promulgated
to a balanced and healthful ecology in accordance with law.
shall be given the benefit of the doubt.
Belgica v. Executive Secretary
SEC 2. Standards for application. – In
applying the precautionary principle,
the following factors, among others,  The NBI Investigation was spawned by sworn
may be considered: (1) threats to affidavits of six (6) whistle-blowers who declared
human life or health; (2) inequity to that JLN Corporation (Janet Lim Napoles) had
present or future generations; or (3) swindled billions of pesos from the public coffers for
prejudice to the environment without "ghost projects" using dummy NGOs. Thus,
legal consideration of the Criminal complaints were filed before the Office of
environmental rights of those affected. the Ombudsman, charging five (5) lawmakers for
Plunder, and three (3) other lawmakers for
When the features of uncertainty, possibility of Malversation, Direct Bribery, and Violation of the
irreversible harm, and possibility of serious harm Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Also
coincide, the case for the precautionary principle is recommended to be charged in the complaints are
strongest. The Supreme Court found all three (3) some of the lawmakers’ chiefs -of-staff or
conditions present. representatives, the heads and other officials of
three (3) implementing agencies, and the several
While the goal of increasing crop yields to raise presidents of the NGOs set up by Napoles.
farm incomes is laudable, independent scientific studies  Whistle-blowers alleged that" at least P900 Million
revealed uncertainties due to unfulfilled economic from royalties in the operation of the Malampaya
benefits from Bt crops and plants, adverse effects on the gas project off Palawan province intended for
environment associated with the use of GE technology agrarian reform beneficiaries has gone into a
in agriculture, and serious health hazards from dummy NGO. Several petitions were lodged before
consumption of GM foods. For a biodiversity-rich country the Court similarly seeking that the "Pork Barrel
like the Philippines, the natural and unforeseen System" be declared unconstitutional
consequences of contamination and genetic pollution  G.R. No. 208493 – SJS filed a Petition for
would be disastrous and irreversible. Prohibition seeking that the "Pork Barrel System" be
declared unconstitutional, and a writ of prohibition
Alongside the aforesaid uncertainties, the non- be issued permanently
implementation of the NBF in the crucial stages of risk  G.R. No. 208566 - Belgica, et al filed an Urgent
assessment and public consultation, including the Petition For Certiorari and Prohibition With Prayer
determination of the applicability of the EIS requirements For The Immediate Issuance of Temporary
to the GMO field testing, are compelling reasons for the Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary
application of the precautionary principle. Injunction seeking that the annual "Pork Barrel
System," presently embodied in the provisions of
the GAA of 2013 which provided for the 2013
PDAF, and the Executive‘s lump-sum, discretionary

funds, such as the Malampaya Funds and the release of fund, only fifty percent (50%) of the
Presidential Social Fund, be declared foregoing amounts may be released in the first
unconstitutional and null and void for being acts semester and the remaining fifty percent (50%) may
constituting grave abuse of discretion. Also, they be released in the second semester.
pray that the Court issue a TRO against  4. Realignment of Funds. Realignment under this
respondents Fund may only be allowed once. The Secretaries of
 UDK-14951 – A Petition filed seeking that the PDAF Agriculture, Education, Energy, Interior and Local
be declared unconstitutional, and a cease and Government, Labor and Employment, Public Works
desist order be issued restraining President and Highways, Social Welfare and Development
Benigno Simeon S. Aquino III (President Aquino) and Trade and Industry are also authorized to
and Secretary Abad from releasing such funds to approve realignment from one project/scope to
Members of Congress another within the allotment received from this
Fund, subject to the following: (i) for infrastructure
 In the Philippines, the “pork barrel” (a term of projects, realignment is within the same
American-English origin) has been commonly implementing unit and same project category as the
referred to as lump-sum, discretionary funds of original project; (ii) allotment released has not yet
Members of the Legislature (“Congressional Pork been obligated for the original project/scope of
Barrel”). However, it has also come to refer to work; and (iii) request is with the concurrence of the
certain funds to the Executive. The “Congressional legislator concerned. The DBM must be informed in
Pork Barrel” can be traced from Act 3044 (Public writing of any realignment within five (5) calendar
Works Act of 1922), the Support for Local days from approval thereof: PROVIDED, That any
Development Projects during the Marcos period, the realignment under this Fund shall be limited within
Mindanao Development Fund and Visayas the same classification of soft or hard
Development Fund and later the Countrywide programs/projects listed under Special Provision 1
Development Fund (CDF) under the Corazon hereof: PROVIDED, FURTHER, That in case of
Aquino presidency, and the Priority Development realignments, modifications and revisions of
Assistance Fund (PDAF) under the Joseph Estrada projects to be implemented by LGUs, the LGU
administration, as continued by the Gloria- concerned shall certify that the cash has not yet
Macapagal Arroyo and the present Benigno Aquino been disbursed and the funds have been deposited
III administrations. back to the BTr.
SPECIAL PROVISIONS OF THE 2013 PDAF ARTICLE Any realignment, modification and revision of the
 2. Project Identification. Identification of projects project identification shall be submitted to the
and/or designation of beneficiaries shall conform to House Committee on Appropriations and the
the priority list, standard or design prepared by each Senate Committee on Finance, for favorable
implementing agency: PROVIDED, That preference endorsement to the DBM or the implementing
shall be given to projects located in the 4th to 6th agency, as the case may be.
class municipalities or indigents identified under the  5. Release of Funds. All request for release of funds
MHTS-PR by the DSWD. For this purpose, the shall be supported by the documents prescribed
implementing agency shall submit to Congress said under Special Provision No. 1 and favorably
priority list, standard or design within ninety (90) endorsed by the House Committee on
days from effectivity of this Act. Appropriations and the Senate Committee on
All programs/projects, except for assistance to Finance, as the case may be. Funds shall be
indigent patients and scholarships, identified by a released to the implementing agencies subject to
member of the House of Representatives outside of the conditions under Special Provision No. 1 and
his/her legislative district shall have the written the limits prescribed under Special Provision No. 3.
concurrence of the member of the House of PRESIDENTIAL PORK BARREL
Representatives of the recipient or beneficiary  The “Presidential Pork Barrel” questioned by the
legislative district, endorsed by the Speaker of the petitioners include the Malampaya Fund and the
House of Representatives. Presidential Social Fund. The Malampaya Fund
 3. Legislator’s Allocation. The Total amount of was created as a special fund under Section 8,
projects to be identified by legislators shall be as Presidential Decree (PD) 910 by then-
follows: President Ferdinand Marcos to help intensify,
For Congressional District or Party-List strengthen, and consolidate government efforts
Representative: Thirty Million Pesos (P30,000,000) relating to the exploration, exploitation, and
for soft programs and projects listed under Item A development of indigenous energy resources vital
and Forty Million Pesos (P40,000,000) for to economic growth. The Presidential Social Fund
infrastructure projects listed under Item B, the was created under Section 12, Title IV, PD 1869
purposes of which are in the project menu of (1983) or the Charter of the Philippine Amusement
Special Provision No. 1; and and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), as amended
For Senators: One Hundred Million Pesos by PD 1993 issued in 1985. The Presidential Social
(P100,000,000) for soft programs and projects listed Fund has been described as a special funding
under Item A and One Hundred Million Pesos facility managed and administered by the
(P100,000,000) for infrastructure projects listed Presidential Management Staff through which the
under Item B, the purposes of which are in the President provides direct assistance to priority
project menu of Special Provision No. 1. programs and projects not funded under the regular
Subject to the approved fiscal program for the year budget. It is sourced from the share of the
and applicable Special Provisions on the use and


government in the aggregate gross earnings of for adjudication since the challenged funds and the
PAGCOR. provisions allowing for their utilization – such as the 2013
GAA for the PDAF, PD 910 for the Malampaya Funds and
PD 1869, as amended by PD 1993, for the Presidential
* ISSUES: Social Fund – are currently existing and operational;
A. Procedural Issues hence, there exists an immediate or threatened injury to
1.) WON the issues raised in the consolidated petitions petitioners as a result of the unconstitutional use of these
involve an actual and justiciable controversy public funds.
2.) WON the issues raised in the consolidated petitions As for the PDAF, the Court dispelled the notion that
are matters of policy subject to judicial review the issues related thereto had been rendered moot and
3.) WON petitioners have legal standing to sue academic by the reforms undertaken by respondents. A
4.) WON the 1994 Decision of the Supreme Court (the case becomes moot when there is no more actual
Court) on Philippine Constitution Association v. controversy between the parties or no useful purpose
Enriquez (Philconsa) and the 2012 Decision of the can be served in passing upon the
Court on Lawyers Against Monopoly and Poverty merits. The respondents’ proposed line-item budgeting
v. Secretary of Budget and Management (LAMP) scheme would not terminate the controversy nor diminish
bar the re-litigation of the issue of constitutionality of the useful purpose for its resolution since said reform is
the “pork barrel system” under the principles of res geared towards the 2014 budget, and not the 2013
judicata and stare decisis PDAF Article which, being a distinct subject
matter, remains legally effective and existing. Neither will
B. Substantive Issues on the “Congressional Pork the President’s declaration that he had already “abolished
Barrel” the PDAF” render the issues on PDAF moot precisely
WON the 2013 PDAF Article and all other Congressional because the Executive branch of government has no
Pork Barrel Laws similar to it are unconstitutional considering constitutional authority to nullify or annul its legal
that they violate the principles of/constitutional provisions existence.
on… Even on the assumption of mootness,
1.) …separation of powers nevertheless, jurisprudence dictates that “the ‘moot and
2.) …non-delegability of legislative power academic’ principle is not a magical formula that can
3.) …checks and balances automatically dissuade the Court in resolving a case.” The
4.) …accountability Court will decide cases, otherwise moot, if:
5.) …political dynasties i.) There is a grave violation of the
6.) …local autonomy Constitution: This is clear from the fundamental posture of
petitioners – they essentially allege grave violations of
C. Substantive Issues on the “Presidential Pork Barrel” the Constitution with respect to the principles of
WON the phrases: separation of powers, non-delegability of legislative
a. “and for such other purposes as may be hereafter power, checks and balances, accountability and local
directed by the President” under Section 8 of PD autonomy.
910 relating to the Malampaya Funds, and ii.) The exceptional character of the situation
b. “to finance the priority infrastructure development and the paramount public interest is involved: This is
projects and to finance the restoration of damaged also apparent from the nature of the interests involved –
or destroyed facilities due to calamities, as may be the constitutionality of the very system within which
directed and authorized by the Office of the significant amounts of public funds have been and
President of the Philippines” under Section 12 of PD continue to be utilized and expended undoubtedly
1869, as amended by PD 1993, relating to the presents a situation of exceptional character as well as a
Presidential Social Fund, matter of paramount public interest. The present petitions, in
are unconstitutional insofar as they constitute undue fact, have been lodged at a time when the system’s flaws
delegations of legislative power have never before been magnified. To the Court’s
mind, the coalescence of the CoA Report, the
RULING: accounts of numerous whistle-blowers, and
A. Procedural Issues the government’s own recognition that reforms are
needed “to address the reported abuses of the
No question involving the constitutionality or validity PDAF” demonstrates a prima facie pattern of abuse which
of a law or governmental act may be heard and decided by only underscores the importance of the matter.
the Court unless there is compliance with It is also by this finding that the Court finds
the legal requisites for judicial inquiry, namely: (a) there petitioners’ claims as not merely theorized, speculative or
must be an actual case or controversy calling for the hypothetical. Of note is the weight accorded by the Court
exercise of judicial power; (b) the person challenging the act to the findings made by the CoA which is the constitutionally-
must have the standing to question the validity of the mandated audit arm of the government. if only for the
subject act or issuance; (c) the question of constitutionality purpose of validating the existence of an actual and
must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and (d) the issue justiciable controversy in these cases, the Court deems
of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case. the findings under the CoA Report to be sufficient.
iii.) The case is capable of repetition yet evading
1.) YES. There exists an actual and justiciable review. This is called for by the recognition that the
controversy in these cases. The preparation and passage of the national budget is,
requirement of contrariety of legal rights is clearly satisfied by constitutional imprimatur, an affair of annual
by the antagonistic positions of the parties on the occurrence. The myriad of issues underlying the manner in
constitutionality of the “Pork Barrel System.” Also, the which certain public funds are spent, if not resolved at this
questions in these consolidated cases are ripe

most opportune time, are capable of repetition and hence, present cases call for a more holistic examination of (a)
must not evade judicial review. the inter-relation between the CDF and PDAF Articles with
each other, formative as they are of the entire “Pork Barrel
2.) YES. The intrinsic constitutionality of the “Pork System” as well as (b) the intra-relation of post-enactment
Barrel System” is not an issue dependent upon the measures contained within a particular CDF or PDAF Article,
wisdom of the political branches of government but including not only those related to the area of
rather a legal one which the Constitution itself has project identification but also to the areas of fund release and
commanded the Court to act upon. Scrutinizing the realignment. The complexity of the issues and the broader
contours of the system along constitutional lines is a task legal analyses herein warranted may be, therefore,
that the political branches of government are incapable of considered as a powerful countervailing reason against
rendering precisely because it is an exercise of judicial a wholesale application of the stare decisis principle.
power. More importantly, the present Constitution has not In addition, the Court observes that
only vested the Judiciary the right to exercise judicial power the Philconsa ruling was actually riddled with inherent
but essentially makes it a duty to proceed therewith (Section constitutional inconsistencies which
1, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution). similarly countervail against a full resort to stare
decisis. Since the Court now benefits from hindsight and
3. YES. Petitioners have sufficient locus standi to file the current findings (such as the CoA Report), it must partially
instant cases. Petitioners have come before the Court in their abandon its previous ruling in Philconsa insofar as
respective capacities as citizen-taxpayers and accordingly, it validated the post-enactment identification authority of
assert that they “dutifully contribute to the coffers of the Members of Congress on the guise that the same was
National Treasury.” As taxpayers, they possess the merely recommendatory.
requisite standing to question the validity of the existing Again, since LAMP was dismissed on a procedural
“Pork Barrel System” under which the taxes they pay technicality and, hence, has not set any controlling doctrine
have been and continue to be utilized. They are bound to susceptible of current application to the substantive issues in
suffer from the unconstitutional usage of public funds, if the these cases, stare decisis would not apply.
Court so rules. Invariably, taxpayers have been allowed to
sue where there is a claim that public funds are illegally B. Substantive Issues on the “Congressional Pork
disbursed or that public money is being deflected to any Barrel”
improper purpose, or that public funds are wasted through 1.) YES. At its core, legislators have been consistently
the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law, as in accorded post-enactment authority to identify the
these cases. projects they desire to be funded through various
Moreover, as citizens, petitioners have equally Congressional Pork Barrel allocations. Under the 2013 PDAF
fulfilled the standing requirement given that the issues they Article, the statutory authority of legislators to identify
have raised may be classified as matters “of projects post-GAA may be construed from Special Provisions
transcendental importance, of overreaching significance 1 to 3 and the second paragraph of Special Provision 4.
to society, or of paramount public interest.” The CoA Legislators have also been accorded post-enactment
Chairperson’s statement during the Oral Arguments that the authority in the areas of fund release (Special Provision 5
present controversy involves “not [merely] a systems failure” under the 2013 PDAF Article) and realignment (Special
but a “complete breakdown of controls” amplifies the Provision 4, paragraphs 1 and 2 under the 2013 PDAF
seriousness of the issues involved. Indeed, of greater import Article).
than the damage caused by the illegal expenditure of public
funds is the mortal wound inflicted upon the fundamental law Thus, legislators have been, in one form or
by the enforcement of an invalid statute. another, authorized to participate in “the various
operational aspects of budgeting,” including “the
4.) NO. On the one hand, res judicata states that a evaluation of work and financial plans for individual activities”
judgment on the merits in a previous case rendered by a and the “regulation and release of funds”, in violation of the
court of competent jurisdiction would bind a subsequent case separation of powers principle. That the said authority is
if, between the first and second actions, there exists treated as merely recommendatory in nature does not alter
an identity of parties, of subject matter, and of causes of its unconstitutional tenor since the prohibition covers any role
action. This required identity is not attendant hereto in the implementation or enforcement of the law. Towards
since Philconsa and LAMP involved constitutional challenges this end, the Court must therefore abandon its ruling
against the 1994 CDF Article and 2004 PDAF Article in Philconsa. The Court also points out that respondents
respectively. However, the cases at bar call for a broader have failed to substantiate their position that the identification
constitutional scrutiny of the entire “Pork Barrel System”. authority of legislators is only of recommendatory import.
Also, the ruling in LAMP is essentially a dismissal based on a In addition to declaring the 2013 PDAF Article as
procedural technicality – and, thus, hardly a judgment on the well as all other provisions of law which similarly
merits. Thus, res judicata cannot apply. allow legislators to wield any form of post-enactment
On the other hand, the doctrine of stare decisis is authority in the implementation or enforcement of the budget,
a bar to any attempt to re-litigate where the Court also declared that informal practices, through
the same questions relating to the same event have been which legislators have effectively intruded into the
put forward by the parties similarly situated as in a previous proper phases of budget execution, must be deemed as
case litigated and decided by a competent court. Absent acts of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
any powerful countervailing considerations, like cases excess of jurisdiction and, hence, accorded the
ought to be decided alike. Philconsa was a limited same unconstitutional treatment.
response to a separation of powers problem, specifically on
the propriety of conferring post-enactment identification 2.) YES. The 2013 PDAF Article violates the principle of
authority to Members of Congress. On the contrary, the non-delegability since legislators are effectively allowed


to individually exercise the power 4.) YES. To a certain extent, the conduct of oversight
of appropriation, which, as settled in Philconsa, is lodged would be tainted as said legislators, who are vested with
in Congress. The power to appropriate must be exercised post-enactment authority, would, in effect, be checking
only through legislation, pursuant to Section 29(1), Article VI on activities in which they themselves participate. Also,
of the 1987 Constitution which states: “No money shall be this very same concept of post-enactment authorization runs
paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of afoul of Section 14, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which
an appropriation made by law.” The power of provides that: “…[A Senator or Member of the House of
appropriation, as held by the Court in Bengzon v. Secretary Representatives] shall not intervene in any matter before any
of Justice and Insular Auditor, involves (a) setting apart by office of the Government for his pecuniary benefit or where
law a certain sum from the public revenue for (b) he may be called upon to act on account of his office.”
a specified purpose. Under the 2013 PDAF Article, Allowing legislators to intervene in the various phases
individual legislators are given a personal lump-sum of project implementation renders them susceptible to taking
fund from which they are able to dictate (a) how undue advantage of their own office.
much from such fund would go to (b) a specific project
or beneficiary that they themselves also determine. 5.) NO. Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Constitution
Since these two acts comprise the exercise of the power is considered as not self-executing due to the qualifying
of appropriation as described in Bengzon, and given that phrase “as may be defined by law.” In this respect, said
the 2013 PDAF Article authorizes individual legislators provision does not, by and of itself, provide a judicially
to perform the same, undoubtedly, said legislators have enforceable constitutional right but merely specifies
been conferred the power to legislate which the a guideline for legislative or executive action. Therefore,
Constitution does not, however, allow. since there appears to be no standing law which crystallizes
the policy on political dynasties for enforcement, the Court
3.) YES. Under the 2013 PDAF Article, the amount of must defer from ruling on this issue.
P24.79 Billion only appears as a collective allocation
limit since the said amount would be further divided among 6.) YES. The Court, however, finds an inherent defect in the
individual legislators who would then receive personal lump- system which actually belies the avowed intention of “making
sum allocations and could, after the GAA is equal the unequal” (Philconsa, 1994). The gauge of PDAF
passed, effectively appropriate PDAF funds based on their and CDF allocation/division is based solely on the fact
own discretion. As these intermediate appropriations are of office, without taking into account the specific
made by legislators only after the GAA interests and peculiarities of the district the legislator
is passed and hence, outside of the law, it means that the represents. As a result, a district representative of a highly-
actual items of PDAF appropriation would not have been urbanized metropolis gets the same amount of funding as a
written into the General Appropriations Bill and thus district representative of a far-flung rural province which
effectuated without veto consideration. This kind of lump- would be relatively “underdeveloped” compared to the
sum/post-enactment legislative identification former. To add, what rouses graver scrutiny is that
budgeting system fosters the creation of a “budget within a even Senators and Party-List Representatives – and in some
budget” which subverts the prescribed procedure of years, even the Vice-President – who do not represent any
presentment and consequently impairs the President’s locality, receive funding from the Congressional Pork Barrel
power of item veto. As petitioners aptly point out, the as well.
President is forced to decide between (a) accepting The Court also observes that this concept of
the entire P24. 79 Billion PDAF allocation without knowing legislator control underlying the CDF and PDAF conflicts with
the specific projects of the legislators, which may or may not the functions of the various Local Development Councils
be consistent with his national agenda and (b) rejecting the (LDCs) which are already legally mandated to “assist the
whole PDAF to the detriment of all other legislators with corresponding sanggunian in setting the direction of
legitimate projects. economic and social development, and coordinating
Even without its post-enactment legislative development efforts within its territorial jurisdiction.”
identification feature, the 2013 PDAF Article would remain Considering that LDCs are instrumentalities whose functions
constitutionally flawed since the lump-sum amount of are essentially geared towards managing local affairs, their
P24.79 Billion would be treated as a mere funding programs, policies and resolutions should not be overridden
source allotted for multiple purposes of spending (i.e. nor duplicated by individual legislators, who are national
scholarships, medical missions, assistance to indigents, officers that have no law-making authority except only when
preservation of historical materials, construction of roads, acting as a body.
flood control, etc). This setup connotes that
the appropriation law leaves the actual amounts C. Substantive Issues on the “Presidential Pork Barrel”
and purposes of the appropriation for further YES. Regarding the Malampaya Fund: The phrase “and for
determination and, therefore, does not readily indicate a such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by
discernible item which may be subject to the President’s the President” under Section 8 of PD 910 constitutes an
power of item veto. undue delegation of legislative power insofar as it does not
The same lump-sum budgeting scheme has, as the lay down a sufficient standard to adequately determine
CoA Chairperson relays, “limit[ed] state auditors from the limits of the President’s authority with respect to the
obtaining relevant data and information that would aid in purpose for which the Malampaya Funds may be
more stringently auditing the utilization of said Funds.” used. As it reads, the said phrase gives the President wide
Accordingly, she recommends the adoption of a “line by line latitude to use the Malampaya Funds for any other purpose
budget or amount per proposed program, activity or project, he may direct and, in effect, allows him to unilaterally
and per implementing agency.” appropriate public funds beyond the purview of the law.
That the subject phrase may be confined only to
“energy resource development and exploitation


programs and projects of the government” under the Separation of Powers: Mendoza vs People G.R. No.
principle of ejusdem generis, meaning that the general 183891 October 19, 2011
word or phrase is to be construed to include – or be Facts:
restricted to – things akin to, resembling, or of the same kind Romarico Mendoza (petitioner) is a company boss/employer
or class as those specifically mentioned, is belied by three convicted for violating a special law known as the Social
(3) reasons: first, the phrase “energy resource development Security Condonation Law of 2009 for non-remittance of the
and exploitation programs and projects of the Social Security Service (SSS) contributions to his
government” states a singular and general class and employees. The offense is criminal in nature. Nevertheless,
hence, cannot be treated as a statutory reference of specific Mendoza admitted his fault, as he said, he acted in good
things from which the general phrase “for such other faith. But still, the Court has to render judgment and apply
purposes” may be limited; second, the said phrase also the proper penalty how harsh it may be dura lex sed lex).
exhausts the class it represents, namely energy
development programs of the government; and, third, the The Court sentenced Mendoza to an indeterminate prison
Executive department has used the Malampaya Funds term. Considering the circumstances, the court the Court
for non-energy related purposes under the subject transmitted the case to the Chief Executive, through the
phrase, thereby contradicting respondents’ own position that Department of Justice, and RECOMMENDS the grant of
it is limited only to “energy resource development and executive clemency to the petitioner.
exploitation programs and projects of the government.” Issue: Without violating the separation of powers, can the
However, the rest of Section 8, insofar as it allows Supreme Court recommend to the President, the grant of
for the use of the Malampaya Funds “to finance energy executive clemency to a convict?
resource development and exploitation programs and Ruling: YES
projects of the government,” remains legally effective and
subsisting. Referral to the Chief Executive for possible exercise of
executive clemency
We realize that with the affirmation of the petitioners
Regarding the Presidential Social Fund: Section 12 of PD conviction for violation of RA No. 8282, he stands to suffer
1869, as amended by PD 1993, indicates that the imprisonment for four (4) years and two (2) months of prision
Presidential Social Fund may be used “to [first,] finance the correccional, as minimum, to twenty (20) years of reclusion
priority infrastructure development projects and [second,] to temporal, as maximum, notwithstanding the payment of his
finance the restoration of damaged or destroyed facilities due delinquent contribution.
to calamities, as may be directed and authorized by the
Office of the President of the Philippines.” [12]
Under Article 5 of the Revised Penal Code, the courts are
The second indicated purpose adequately curtails bound to apply the law as it is and impose the proper
the authority of the President to spend the Presidential penalty, no matter how harsh it might be. The same
Social Fund only for restoration purposes which arise from provision, however, gives the Court the discretion to
calamities. The first indicated purpose, however, gives recommend to the President actions it deems appropriate but
him carte blanche authority to use the same fund for any are beyond its power when it considers the penalty imposed
infrastructure project he may so determine as a as excessive. Although the petitioner was convicted under a
“priority“. Verily, the law does not supply a definition of special penal law, the Court is not precluded from giving the
“priority infrastructure development projects” and Revised Penal Code suppletory application in light of Article
hence, leaves the President without any guideline to 10
construe the same. To note, the delimitation of a project as
one of “infrastructure” is too broad of
a classification since the said term could pertain to any kind Delegation of Powers
of facility. Thus, the phrase “to finance the priority
infrastructure development projects” must be stricken G.R. No. 177597 July 16, 2008
down as unconstitutional since – similar to Section 8 of PD BAI SANDRA S. A. SEMA, Petitioner,
910 – it lies independently unfettered by any sufficient vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and DIDAGEN P.
standard of the delegating law. As they are severable, all DILANGALEN, Respondents.
other provisions of Section 12 of PD 1869, as amended by x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x
PD 1993, remains legally effective and subsisting. G.R. No. 178628

The Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution

apportioned two legislative districts for the Province of
Maguindanao. The first legislative district consists of
Cotabato City and eight municipalities. Maguindanao forms
part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
(ARMM), created under its Organic Act, Republic Act No.
6734 (RA 6734), as amended by Republic Act No. 9054 (RA
9054). Although under the Ordinance, Cotabato City forms
part of Maguindanao’s first legislative district, it is not part of
the ARMM but of Region XII, having voted against its
inclusion in the ARMM in the plebiscite held in November


On 28 August 2006, the ARMM’s legislature, the ARMM Maguindanao’s first legislative district despite the
Regional Assembly, exercising its power to create provinces COMELEC’s earlier directive in Resolution No. 7845
under Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, enacted Muslim designating Cotabato City as the lone component of
Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 201 (MMA Act 201) creating Maguindanao’s reapportioned first legislative district. Sema
the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan composed of the eight further claimed that in issuing Resolution No. 7902, the
municipalities in the first district of Maguindanao. MMA Act COMELEC usurped Congress’ power to create or
201 provides: Section 1. The Municipalities of Barira, Buldon, reapportion legislative districts.
Datu Odin Sinsuat, Kabuntalan, Matanog, Parang, Sultan
Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, and Upi are hereby separated from (1) whether Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, delegating
the Province of Maguindanao and constituted into a distinct to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create
and independent province, which is hereby created, to be provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays, is
known as the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan.. constitutional; and --VOID

Except as may be provided by national law, the existing (2) if in the affirmative, whether a province created by
legislative district, which includes Cotabato as a part thereof, the ARMM Regional Assembly under MMA Act 201
shall remain. pursuant to Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054 is entitled
to one representative in the House of Representatives
Later, three new municipalities were carved out of the without need of a national law creating a legislative
original nine municipalities constituting Shariff Kabunsuan, district for such province. –NO.
bringing its total number of municipalities to 11. Thus, what
was left of Maguindanao were the municipalities constituting Whether the ARMM Regional Assembly can Create the
its second legislative district. Cotabato City, although part of Province of Shariff Kabunsuan
Maguindanao’s first legislative district, is not part of the  The creation of local government units is governed
Province of Maguindanao. by Section 10, Article X of the Constitution, which
provides: Sec. 10. No province, city, municipality, or
The voters of Maguindanao ratified Shariff Kabunsuan’s barangay may be created, divided, merged,
creation in a plebiscite held on 29 October 2006. abolished or its boundary substantially altered
except in accordance with the criteria established in
On 6 February 2007, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the local government code and subject to approval
Cotabato City passed Resolution No. 3999 requesting the by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the
COMELEC to "clarify the status of Cotabato City in view of political units directly affected.
the conversion of the First District of Maguindanao into a  Thus, the creation of any of the four local
regular province" under MMA Act 201. government units – province, city, municipality or
barangay – must comply with three conditions. First,
the creation of a local government unit must follow
In answer to Cotabato City’s query, the COMELEC issued the criteria fixed in the Local Government Code.
Resolution No. 07-0407 on 6 March 2007 "maintaining the Second, such creation must not conflict with any
status quo with Cotabato City as part of Shariff Kabunsuan in provision of the Constitution. Third, there must be a
the First Legislative District of Maguindanao." Resolution No. plebiscite in the political units affected.
07-0407, which adopted the recommendation of the
 Congress can delegate to local legislative bodies
COMELEC’s Law Department under a Memorandum dated
7 the power to create local government units, subject
27 February 2007, provides in pertinent parts:
to reasonable standards and provided no conflict
arises with any provision of the Constitution. In fact,
However, in preparation for the 14 May 2007 elections, the Congress has delegated to provincial boards, and
COMELEC promulgated on 29 March 2007 Resolution No. city and municipal councils, the power to create
7845 stating that Maguindanao’s first legislative district is 25
barangays within their jurisdiction, subject to
composed only of Cotabato City because of the enactment of compliance with the criteria established in the Local
MMA Act 201. Government Code, and the plebiscite requirement
in Section 10, Article X of the Constitution.
On 10 May 2007, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. However, under the Local Government Code, "only
7902, subject of these petitions, amending Resolution No. x x x an Act of Congress" can create provinces,
07-0407 by renaming the legislative district in question as cities or municipalities. 1avvphi1
"Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City (formerly  There is no provision in the Constitution that
First District of Maguindanao with Cotabato City)." conflicts with the delegation to regional legislative
bodies of the power to create municipalities and
barangays, provided Section 10, Article X of the
In G.R. No. 177597, Sema, who was a candidate in the 14
Constitution is followed. However, the creation of
May 2007 elections for Representative of "Shariff Kabunsuan
provinces and cities is another matter. Section 5
with Cotabato City," prayed for the nullification of COMELEC
(3), Article VI of the Constitution provides, "Each
Resolution No. 7902 and the exclusion from canvassing of
city with a population of at least two hundred fifty
the votes cast in Cotabato City for that office. Sema
thousand, or each province, shall have at least one
contended that Shariff Kabunsuan is entitled to one
representative" in the House of Representatives.
representative in Congress under Section 5 (3), Article VI of
10 Similarly, Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to
the Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended
the Constitution provides, "Any province that may
to the Constitution. Thus, Sema asserted that the COMELEC
hereafter be created, or any city whose population
acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction in issuing
may hereafter increase to more than two hundred
Resolution No. 7902 which maintained the status quo in

fifty thousand shall be entitled in the immediately cities necessarily includes the creation of legislative
following election to at least one Member x x x." districts, a power only Congress can exercise under
 For Congress to delegate validly the power to Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution and Section
create a province or city, it must also validly 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution.
delegate at the same time the power to create a The ARMM Regional Assembly cannot create a
legislative district. The threshold issue then is, province without a legislative district because the
can Congress validly delegate to the ARMM Constitution mandates that every province shall
Regional Assembly the power to create have a legislative district. Moreover, the ARMM
legislative districts for the House of Regional Assembly cannot enact a law creating a
Representatives? The answer is in the negative. national office like the office of a district
representative of Congress because the legislative
Legislative Districts are Created or Reapportioned only powers of the ARMM Regional Assembly operate
by an Act of Congress only within its territorial jurisdiction as provided in
Section 20, Article X of the Constitution. Thus, we
 Under the present Constitution, as well as in
28 rule that MMA Act 201, enacted by the ARMM
past Constitutions, the power to increase the
Regional Assembly and creating the Province of
allowable membership in the House of
Shariff Kabunsuan, is void.
Representatives, and to reapportion legislative
districts, is vested exclusively in Congress. Section
5, Article VI of the Constitution provides: SECTION Resolution No. 7902 Complies with the Constitution
5. (1) The House of Representatives shall be Consequently, we hold that COMELEC Resolution No. 7902,
composed of not more than two hundred and preserving the geographic and legislative district of the First
fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, .. District of Maguindanao with Cotabato City, is valid as it
 Section 5 (1), Article VI of the Constitution vests in merely complies with Section 5 of Article VI and Section 20
Congress the power to increase, through a law, the of Article X of the Constitution, as well as Section 1 of the
allowable membership in the House of Ordinance appended to the Constitution.
Representatives. Section 5 (4) empowers Congress
to reapportion legislative districts. The power to G.R. No. 156208 September 26, 2006
reapportion legislative districts necessarily includes NPC DRIVERS AND MECHANICS ASSOCIATION, (NPC
the power to create legislative districts out of DAMA), represented by Its President ROGER S. SAN
existing ones. Congress exercises these powers JUAN, SR., NPC EMPLOYEES & WORKERS UNION
through a law that Congress itself enacts, and not (NEWU) – … petitioners,
through a law that regional or local legislative vs. THE NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION (NPC),
bodies enact. The allowable membership of the NATIONAL POWER BOARD OF DIRECTORS
House of Representatives can be increased, and (NPB)…. respondents.
new legislative districts of Congress can be created,
only through a national law passed by Congress.
 Under said Resolution, all NPC personnel shall be
 Only Congress can enact such a law. It would be
legally terminated on 31 January 2003, and shall be
anomalous for regional or local legislative bodies to
entitled to separation benefits. On the same day,
create or reapportion legislative districts for a
the NPB approved NPB Resolution No. 2002-125,
national legislature like Congress. An inferior
whereby a Transition Team was constituted to
legislative body, created by a superior legislative
manage and implement the NPC's Separation
body, cannot change the membership of the
superior legislative body.
 In assailing the validity of NPB Resolutions No.
 Nothing in Section 20, Article X of the
2002-124 and No. 2002-125, petitioners maintain
Constitution authorizes autonomous regions,
that said Resolutions were not passed and issued
expressly or impliedly, to create or reapportion
by a majority of the members of the duly constituted
legislative districts for Congress.
Board of Directors since only three of its members,
 On the other hand, Section 3, Article IV of RA 9054 6
as provided under Section 48 of the EPIRA Law,
amending the ARMM Organic Act, provides, "The
were present, namely: DOE Secretary Vincent S.
Regional Assembly may exercise legislative
Perez, Jr.; Department of Budget and Management
power x x x except on the following matters: x x
Secretary Emilia T. Boncodin; and NPC OIC-
x (k) National elections. x x x." Since the ARMM
President Rolando S. Quilala. According to
Regional Assembly has no legislative power to
petitioners, the other four members who were
enact laws relating to national elections, it cannot
present at the meeting and signed the Resolutions
create a legislative district whose representative is
were not the secretaries of their respective
elected in national elections. Whenever Congress
departments but were merely representatives or
enacts a law creating a legislative district, the first
designated alternates of the officials who were
representative is always elected in the "next
30 named under the EPIRA Law to sit as members of
national elections" from the effectivity of the law.
the NPB. Petitioners claim that the acts of these
 In summary, we rule that Section 19, Article VI of representatives are violative of the well-settled
RA 9054, insofar as it grants to the ARMM Regional principle that "delegated power cannot be further
Assembly the power to create provinces and cities, delegated." Thus, petitioners conclude that the
is void for being contrary to Section 5 of Article VI questioned Resolutions have been illegally issued
and Section 20 of Article X of the Constitution, as as it were not issued by a duly constituted board
well as Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the since no quorum existed because only three of the
Constitution. Only Congress can create provinces nine members, as provided under Section 48 of the
and cities because the creation of provinces and

EPIRA Law, were present and qualified to sit and Reapportioning the Composition of the First (1st) and
vote. Second (2nd) Legislative Districts in the Province of
 It is petitioners' submission that even Camarines Sur and Thereby Creating a New Legislative
assuming arguendo that there was no undue District From Such Reapportionment." Petitioners
delegation of power to the four representatives who consequently pray that the respondent Commission on
signed the assailed Resolutions, said Resolutions Elections be restrained from making any issuances and from
cannot still be given legal effect because the same taking any steps relative to the implementation of Republic
did not comply with the mandatory requirement of Act No. 9716.
endorsement by the Joint Congressional Power
Commission and approval of the President of the In substance, the said law created an additional legislative
Philippines, as provided under Section 47 of the district for the Province of Camarines Sur by reconfiguring
EPIRA Law which the existing first and second legislative districts of the
 pivotal issue to be resolved in this Petition for province.
Injunction is whether or not NPB Resolutions No.
2002-124 and No. 2002-125 were properly enacted.
Prior to Republic Act No. 9716, the Province of Camarines
 We agree with petitioners. The department
Sur was estimated to have a population of
secretaries cannot delegate their duties as 2
1,693,821, distributed among four (4) legislative districts in
members of the NPB, much less their power to vote
this wise:
and approve board resolutions, because it is their
personal judgment that must be exercised in the
fulfillment of such responsibility. District Municipalities/Cities Population
 There is no question that the enactment of the 1st District Del Gallego Libmanan 417,304
assailed Resolutions involves the exercise of Ragay Minalabac
discretion and not merely a ministerial act that could Lupi Pamplona
be validly performed by a delegate Sipocot Pasacao
 In the case at bar, it is not difficult to comprehend Cabusao San Fernando
that in approving NPB Resolutions No. 2002-124 2nd District Gainza Canaman 474,899
and No. 2002-125, it is the representatives of the Milaor Camaligan
secretaries of the different executive departments Naga Magarao
and not the secretaries themselves who exercised Pili Bombon
judgment in passing the assailed Resolution, as Ocampo Calabanga
shown by the fact that it is the signatures of the 3rd District Caramoan Sangay 372,548
respective representatives that are affixed to the Garchitorena San Jose
questioned Resolutions. This, to our mind, violates Goa Tigaon
the duty imposed upon the specifically enumerated Lagonoy Tinamba
department heads to employ their own sound Presentacion Siruma
discretion in exercising the corporate powers of the 4th District Iriga Buhi 429,070
NPC. Evidently, the votes cast by these mere Baao Bula
representatives in favor of the adoption of the said Balatan Nabua
Resolutions must not be considered in determining Bato
whether or not the necessary number of votes was
garnered in order that the assailed Resolutions may Following the enactment of Republic Act No. 9716, the first
be validly enacted. Hence, there being only three and second districts of Camarines Sur were reconfigured in
valid votes cast out of the nine board members, order to create an additional legislative district for the
namely those of DOE Secretary Vincent S. Perez, province. Hence, the first district municipalities of Libmanan,
Jr.; Department of Budget and Management Minalabac, Pamplona, Pasacao, and San Fernando were
Secretary Emilia T. Boncodin; and NPC OIC- combined with the second district municipalities of Milaor and
President Rolando S. Quilala, NPB Resolutions No. Gainza to form a new second legislative district. The
2002-124 and No. 2002-125 are void and are of no 3
following table illustrates the reapportionment made by
legal effect. Republic Act No. 9716:

G.R. No. 189793 April 7, 2010

District Municipalities/Cities Populati
1st District Del Gallego 176,383
ELECTIONS represented by its Chairman JOSE A.R.
MELO and its Commissioners, RENE V. SARMIENTO,
2nd District Libmanan San 276,777
Minalabac Fernando
This case comes before this Court by way of a Petition for Pamplona Gainza
Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Pasacao Milaor
Court. In this original action, petitioners Senator Benigno 3rd District Naga Camaligan 439,043
Simeon C. Aquino III and Mayor Jesse Robredo, as public (formerly 2nd Pili Magarao
officers, taxpayers and citizens, seek the nullification as District) Ocampo Bombon
unconstitutional of Republic Act No. 9716, entitled "An Act Canaman Calabanga


4th District Caramoan Sangay 372,548 at least a legislative district. Thus, Section 461 of
(formerly 3rd Garchitorena San Jose the Local Government Code states:
District) Goa Tigaon  Requisites for Creation. – (a) A province may be
Lagonoy Tinamba created if it has an average annual income, as
Presentacion Siruma certified by the Department of Finance, of not less
5th District Iriga Buhi 429,070 than Twenty million pesos (P20,000,000.00) based
(formerly 4th Baao Bula on 1991 constant prices and either of the following
District) Balatan Nabua requisites:
Bato o a contiguous territory of at least two
thousand (2,000) square kilometers, as
certified by the Lands Management
 Concerning the stand of the oppositors of the
Bureau; or
bill that a population of at least 250,000 is
o a population of not less than two hundred
required by the Constitution for such new
4 fifty thousand (250,000) inhabitants as
certified by the National Statistics Office.
 Petitioners contend that the reapportionment
 Notably, the requirement of population is not an
introduced by Republic Act No. 9716, runs afoul of
indispensable requirement, but is merely
the explicit constitutional standard that requires a
an alternative addition to the indispensable income
minimum population of two hundred fifty thousand
(250,000) for the creation of a legislative

5 From its journal, we can see that the
district. The petitioners claim that the
Constitutional Commission originally divided the
reconfiguration by Republic Act No. 9716 of the first
entire country into two hundred (200) districts,
and second districts of Camarines Sur is
which corresponded to the original number of
unconstitutional, because the proposed first district
district representatives. The 200 seats were
will end up with a population of less than 250,000 or
distributed by the Constitutional Commission in this
only 176,383.
manner: first, one (1) seat each was given to the
 On the other hand, the respondents, through the
seventy-three (73) provinces and the ten (10) cities
Office of the Solicitor General, seek the dismissal of 30
with a population of at least 250,000; second, the
the present petition based on procedural and
remaining seats were then redistributed among the
substantive grounds.
provinces, cities and the Metropolitan Area "in
 On substantive matters, the respondents call
accordance with the number of their inhabitants on
attention to an apparent distinction between cities
the basis of a uniform and progressive
and provinces drawn by Section 5(3), Article VI of 31
ratio." Commissioner Davide, who later became a
the 1987 Constitution. The respondents concede
Member and then Chief Justice of the Court,
the existence of a 250,000 population condition, but 32
explained this in his sponsorship remark for the
argue that a plain and simple reading of the
Ordinance to be appended to the 1987 Constitution:
questioned provision will show that the same has no
 Neither in the text nor in the essence of Section 5,
application with respect to the creation of legislative
13 Article VI of the Constitution can, the petition find
districts in provinces. Rather, the 250,000
support. And the formulation of the Ordinance in the
minimum population is only a requirement for the
implementation of the provision, nay, even the
creation of a legislative district in a city.
Ordinance itself, refutes the contention that a
population of 250,000 is a constitutional sine qua
We go directly to the determination of whether or not a non for the formation of an additional legislative
population of 250,000 is an indispensable constitutional district in a province, whose population growth has
requirement for the creation of a new legislative district increased beyond the 1986 numbers.
in a province. We deny the petition.
Translated in the terms of the present case:
 The second sentence of Section 5(3), Article VI of 1. The Province of Camarines Sur, with an
the Constitution, succinctly provides: "Each city with estimated population of 1,693,821 in 2007 is ─
a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, based on the formula and constant number of
or each province, shall have at least one 250,000 used by the Constitutional Commission in
representative." nationally apportioning legislative districts among
 The provision draws a plain and clear distinction provinces and cities ─ entitled to two (2) districts in
between the entitlement of a city to a district on one addition to the four (4) that it was given in the 1986
hand, and the entitlement of a province to a district apportionment. Significantly, petitioner Aquino
on the other. For while a province is entitled to at concedes this point. In other words, Section 5 of
least a representative, with nothing mentioned Article VI as clearly written allows and does not
about population, a city must first meet a population prohibit an additional district for the Province of
minimum of 250,000 in order to be similarly entitled. Camarines Sur, such as that provided for in
 Plainly read, Section 5(3) of the Constitution Republic Act No. 9786;
requires a 250,000 minimum population only for a
city to be entitled to a representative, but not so for  To be clear about our judgment, we do not say that
a province. in the reapportionment of the first and second
 Apropos for discussion is the provision of the Local legislative districts of Camarines Sur, the number of
Government Code on the creation of a province inhabitants in the resulting additional district should
which, by virtue of and upon creation, is entitled to not be considered. Our ruling is that population is


not the only factor but is just one of several “Malolos, Bulacan as of May 1, 2000 is 175,291.” The
other factors in the composition of the Certification further states that it was “issued upon the
additional district. Such settlement is in accord request of Mayor Danilo A. Domingo of the City of Malolos in
with both the text of the Constitution and the connection with the proposed creation of Malolos City as a
spirit of the letter, so very clearly given form in lone congressional district of the Province of Bulacan.”
the Constitutional debates on the exact issue
presented by this petition.1avvphi1 First, certifications on demographic projections can be issued
 WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED. only if such projections are declared official by the National
Republic Act No. 9716 entitled "An Act Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB). Second, certifications
Reapportioning the Composition of the First (1st) based on demographic projections can be issued only by the
and Second (2nd) Legislative Districts in the NSO Administrator or his designated certifying officer. Third,
Province of Camarines Sur and Thereby Creating a intercensal population projections must be as of the middle
New Legislative District From Such of every year.
Reapportionment" is a VALID LAW.
Moreover, the Certification states that “the total population of
VICTORINO B. ALDABA, CARLO JOLETTE S. FAJARDO, Malolos, Bulacan as of May 1, 2000 is 175,291.” The
JULIO G. MORADA, and MINERVA ALDABA Certification also states that the population growth rate of
MORADA, Petitioners, Malolos is 3.78% per year between 1995 and 2000. Based
vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, Respondent. on a growth rate of 3.78% per year, the population of
JANUARY 25,2010 Malolos of 175,291 in 2000 will grow to only 241,550 in
Facts: This case is an original action for Prohibition to
declareunconstitutional, R.A. 9591 which creates a Any population projection forming the basis for the creation
legislative district for the City of Malolos, Bulacan. Allegedly, of a legislative district must be based on an official and
the R.A. violates the minimum population requirement for the credible source. That is why the OSG cited Executive Order
creation of a legislative district in a city. Before the May 1, No. 135, otherwise the population projection would be
2009, the province of Bulacan was represented in Congress unreliable or speculative.
through 4 legislative districts. Before the passage of the Act
G.R No. 188078 March 15, 2010
through House Bill 3162 (later converted to House Bill 3693)
and Senate Bill 1986, Malolos City had a population of 223,  THIS IS MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
069 in 2007.  The COMELEC grounds its motion on the singular
reason, already considered and rejected in the
House Bill 3693 cites the undated Certification, as requested Decision, that Congress’ reliance on the
to be issued to Mayor Domingo (then Mayor of Malolos), by Certification of Alberto N. Miranda (Miranda),
Region III Director Miranda of NSO that the population of Region III Director, National Statistics Office (NSO),
Malolos will be as projected, 254,030 by the year 2010. projecting Malolos City’s population in 2010, is non-
justiciable. The COMELEC also calls attention to
Petitioners contended that R.A. 9591 is unconstitutional for the other sources of Malolos City’s population
failing to meet the minimum population threshold of 250,000 indicators as of 2007 (2007 Census of Population –
for a city to meritrepresentative in Congress. PMS 3 – Progress Enumeration Report ) and as of
2008 (Certification of the City of Malolos’ Water
Issue: Whether or not R.A. 9591, “Án act creating a District, dated 31 July 2008, and Certification of the
legislative district for the City of Malolos, Bulacan” is Liga ng Barangay, dated 22 August 2008 ) which
unconstitutional as petitioned. And whether the City of Congress allegedly used in enacting Republic Act
Malolos has at least 250,000 actual or projected. No. 9591 (RA 9591). The COMELEC extends its
Issue: non-justiciability argument to these materials.
RA 9591 is unconstitutional for failing to meet the minimum  compliance with a specific constitutional limitation
population threshold of 250,000 for a city to merit under Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987
representation in Congress as provided under Section 5(3), Constitution that only cities with at least 250,000
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the constituents are entitled to representation in
Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution. Congress. To fulfill this obligation, the Court, of
necessity, must inquire into the authoritativeness
Held: and reliability of the population indicators Congress
We grant the petition and declare RA 9591 unconstitutional used to comply with the constitutional limitation.
for being violative of Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987  The constitutionality of a legislative apportionment
Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the act is a judicial question, and not one which the
1987 Constitution court cannot consider on the ground that it is a
political question.
YES. The 1987 Constitution requires that for a city to have a  Second. Under Executive Order No. 135 (EO 135),
legislative district, the city must have “a population of at least the population indicators Congress used to
two hundred fifty thousand.” measure Malolos City’s compliance with the
constitutional limitation are unreliable and non-
House Bill No. 3693 cites the undated Certification of authoritative. On Miranda’s Certification, (that the
Regional Director Alberto N. Miranda of Region III of the "projected population of the [City] of Malolos will be
National Statistics Office (NSO) as authority that the 254,030 by the year 2010 using the population
population of the City of Malolos “will be 254,030 by the year growth rate of 3.78[%] between 1995 and 2000"),
2010.” The Certification states that the population of this fell short of EO 135’s requirements that (a) for

intercensal years, the certification should be based figures, the COMELEC unwittingly highlighted the
on a set of demographic projections and danger of relying on non-NSO authorized
estimates declared official by the National Statistical certifications.
and Coordination Board (NSCB); (b) certifications  Third. Malolos City is entitled to representation in
on intercensal population estimates will be as of the Congress only if, before the 10 May 2010 elections,
middle of every year; and (c) certifications based on it breaches the 250,000 population mark following
projections or estimates must be issued by the NSO the mandate in Section 3 of the Ordinance
Administrator or his designated certifying officer. appended to the 1987 Constitution that "any city
Further, using Miranda’s own growth rate whose population may hereafter increase to more
assumption of 3.78%, Malolos City’s population as than two hundred fifty thousand shall be entitled in
of 1 August 2010 will only be 249,333, below the the immediately following election to at least one
constitutional threshold of 250,000 (using as base Member." COMELEC neither alleged nor proved
Malolos City’s population as of 1 August 2007 which that Malolos City is in compliance with Section 3 of
is 223,069). That Miranda issued his Certification the Ordinance.
"by authority of the NSO administrator" does not  Fourth. Aside from failing to comply with Section
make the document reliable as it neither makes 5(3), Article VI of the Constitution on the population
Miranda the NSO Administrator’s designated requirement, the creation by RA 9591 of a
certifying officer nor cures the Certification of its legislative district for Malolos City, carving the city
fatal defects for failing to use demographic from the former First Legislative District, leaves the
projections and estimates declared official by the town of Bulacan isolated from the rest of the
NSCB or make the projection as of the middle of geographic mass of that district. This contravenes
2010.1avvphi1 the requirement in Section 5(3), Article VI that each
 Nor are the 2007 Census of Population – PMS 3 – legislative district shall "comprise, as far as
Progress Enumeration Report, the Certification of practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent
the City of Malolos’ Water District, dated 31 July territory." It is no argument to say, as the OSG
2008 and the Certification of the Liga ng Barangay, does, that it was impracticable for Congress to
dated 22 August 2008, reliable because none of create a district with contiguous, compact, and
them qualifies as authoritative population indicator adjacent territory because Malolos city lies at the
under EO 135. The 2007 Census of Population – center of the First Legislative District. The
PMS 3 – Progress Enumeration Report merely geographic lay-out of the First Legislative District is
contains preliminary data on the population census not an insuperable condition making compliance
of Bulacan which were subsequently adjusted to with Section 5(3) impracticable. To adhere to the
reflect actual population as indicated in the 2007 constitutional mandate, and thus maintain fidelity to
Census results (showing Malolos City’s population its purpose of ensuring efficient representation, the
at 223,069). The COMELEC, through the Office of practicable alternative for Congress was to include
the Solicitor General (OSG), adopts Malolos City’s the municipality of Bulacan in Malolos City’s
claim that the 2007 census for Malolos City was legislative district. Although unorthodox, the
"sloped to make it appear that come Year 2010, the resulting contiguous and compact district fulfills the
population count for Malolos would still fall short of constitutional requirements of geographic unity and
the constitutional requirement." This unbecoming population floor, ensuring efficient representation of
attack by the government’s chief counsel on the the minimum mass of constituents.
integrity of the processes of the government’s
census authority has no place in our judicial system. G.R. No. 180050 April 12, 2011
The OSG ought to know that absent convincing RODOLFO G. NAVARRO, VICTOR F. BERNAL, and RENE
proof of so-called data "sloping," the NSO enjoys O. MEDINA, Petitioners,
the presumption of the regularity in the performance vs. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA,
of its functions. representing the President of the Philippines; Senate of
 The Certification of the City of Malolos’ Water the Philippines, represented by the SENATE
District fares no better. EO 135 excludes from its PRESIDENT…,Respondents,
ambit certifications from a public utility gathered CONGRESSMAN FRANCISCO T. MATUGAS, HON. SOL
incidentally in the course of pursuing its business. T. MATUGAS, HON. ARTURO CARLOS A. EGAY, JR.,
To elevate the water district’s so-called population HON. SIMEON VICENTE G. CASTRENCE…, Intervenors.
census to the level of credibility NSO certifications
enjoy is to render useless the existence of NSO.
 Similarly, the Certification of the Liga ng Barangay  On October 2, 2006, the President of the Republic
is not authoritative because much like the Malolos approved into law Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9355 (An
City Water District, the Liga ng Barangay is not Act Creating the Province of Dinagat Islands). On
authorized to conduct population census, much less December 3, 2006, the Commission on Elections
during off-census years. The non-NSO entities EO (COMELEC) conducted the mandatory plebiscite for
135 authorizes to conduct population census are the ratification of the creation of the province under
local government units (that is, province, city, the Local Government Code (LGC). The plebiscite
municipality or barangay) subject to the prior yielded 69,943 affirmative votes and 63,502
approval of the NSCB and under the technical negative votes. With the approval of the people
supervision of the NSO from planning to data from both the mother province of Surigao del Norte
9 and the Province of Dinagat Islands (Dinagat), the
 By presenting these alternative population President appointed the interim set of provincial
indicators with their widely divergent population officials who took their oath of office on January 26,
2007. Later, during the May 14, 2007 synchronized

elections, the Dinagatnons elected their new set of  They further alleged that, because they are the duly
provincial officials who assumed office on July 1, elected officials of Surigao del Norte whose
2007. positions will be affected by the nullification of the
election results in the event that the May 12, 2010
Petitioners Rodolfo G. Navarro, Victor F. Bernal and Rene O. Resolution is not reversed, they have a legal
Medina, former political leaders of Surigao del Norte, , as interest in the instant case and would be directly
taxpayers and residents of the Province of Surigao del Norte, affected by the declaration of nullity of R.A. No.
filed another petition for certiorari seeking to nullify R.A. No. 9355. Simply put, movants-intervenors’ election to
9355 for being unconstitutional. They alleged that the their respective offices would necessarily be
creation of Dinagat as a new province, if uncorrected, would annulled since Dinagat Islands will revert to its
perpetuate an illegal act of Congress, and would unjustly previous status as part of the First Legislative
deprive the people of Surigao del Norte of a large chunk of District of Surigao del Norte and a special election
the provincial territory, Internal Revenue Allocation (IRA), will have to be conducted for governor, vice
and rich resources from the area. They pointed out that when governor, and House of Representatives member
the law was passed, Dinagat had a land area of 802.12 and Sangguniang Panlalawigan member for the
square kilometers only and a population of only 106,951, First Legislative District of Surigao del Norte.
failing to comply with Section 10, Article X of the Constitution
and of Section 461 of the LGC, on both counts, viz.— To be sure, it is actually COMELEC Resolution No. 8790 that
set this controversy into motion anew. To reiterate, the
Section 10. No province, city, municipality, or barangay may pertinent portion of the Resolution reads:
be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary
substantially altered, except in accordance with the criteria c. If the Decision becomes final and executory after the
established in the local government code and subject to the election, the Province of Dinagat Islands will revert to its
approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the previous status as part of the First Legislative District of
political units directly affected. Surigao del Norte. The result of the election will have to be
LGC, Title IV, Chapter I nullified for the same reasons given in Item "b" above. A
Section 461. Requisites for Creation. – (a) A province may special election for Governor, Vice Governor, Member,
be created if it has an average annual income, as certified by House of Representatives, First Legislative District of
the Department of Finance, of not less than Twenty million Surigao del Norte, and Members, Sangguniang
pesos (₱20,000,000.00) based on 1991 constant prices and Panlalawigan, First District, Surigao del Norte (with Dinagat
either of the following requisites: Islands) will have to be conducted. (Emphasis supplied.)
(i) a continuous territory of at least two thousand
(2,000) square kilometers, as certified by the Lands
 Indeed, COMELEC Resolution No. 8790 spawned
Management Bureau; or
the peculiar circumstance of proper party interest
(ii) a population of not less than two hundred fifty
for movants-intervenors only with the specter of the
thousand (250,000) inhabitants as certified by the
decision in the main case becoming final and
National Statistics Office:
executory. More importantly, if the intervention be
Provided, That, the creation thereof shall not reduce
not entertained, the movants-intervenors would be
the land area, population, and income of the original
left with no other remedy as regards to the
unit or units at the time of said creation to less than
impending nullification of their election to their
the minimum requirements prescribed herein.
respective positions. Thus, to the Court’s mind,
(b) The territory need not be contiguous if it
there is an imperative to grant the Urgent Motion to
comprises two (2) or more islands or is separated
Recall Entry of Judgment by movants-intervenors.
by a chartered city or cities which do not contribute
 Without doubt, the primordial criterion in the
to the income of the province.
creation of local government units, particularly of a
(c) The average annual income shall include the
province, is economic viability. This is the clear
income accruing to the general fund, exclusive of
intent of the framers of the LGC.
special funds, trust funds, transfers, and non-
recurring income. (Emphasis supplied.)  The creation of a new province shall not reduce the
land area, population, and income of the original
LGU or LGUs at the time of said creation to less
 On February 10, 2010, the Court rendered its than the prescribed minimum requirements. All
9 10
Decision granting the petition. The Decision expenses incidental to the creation shall be borne
declared R.A. No. 9355 unconstitutional for failure by the petitioners. (Emphasis supplied.)
to comply with the requirements on population and  But it must be pointed out that when the local
land area in the creation of a province under the government unit to be created consists of one (1) or
LGC. Consequently, it declared the proclamation of more islands, it is exempt from the land area
Dinagat and the election of its officials as null and requirement as expressly provided in Section 442
void. The Decision likewise declared as null and and Section 450 of the LGC if the local government
void the provision on Article 9(2) of the Rules and unit to be created is a municipality or a component
Regulations Implementing the LGC (LGC-IRR), city, respectively. This exemption is absent in the
stating that, "[t]he land area requirement shall not enumeration of the requisites for the creation of a
apply where the proposed province is composed of province under Section 461 of the LGC, although it
one (1) or more islands" for being beyond the ambit is expressly stated under Article 9(2) of the LGC-
of Article 461 of the LGC, inasmuch as such IRR.
exemption is not expressly provided in the law.  Such acts of both Chambers of Congress
definitively show the clear legislative intent to

incorporate into the LGC that exemption from the District Before the After the Enactment
land area requirement, with respect to the creation Enactment of of
of a province when it consists of one or more R.A. No. 9716 R.A. No. 9716
islands, as expressly provided only in the LGC-IRR. 1st Libmanan, Del Gallego, Ragay,
Thereby, and by necessity, the LGC was amended Minalabac, Lupi,
by way of the enactment of R.A. No. 9355. Pamplona, Pasacao, Sipocot, Cabusao
 What is more, the land area, while considered as an San
indicator of viability of a local government unit, is Fernando, Del
not conclusive in showing that Dinagat cannot Gallego,
become a province, taking into account its average Ragay, Lupi, Sipocot,
annual income of ₱82,696,433.23 at the time of its Cabusao
creation, as certified by the Bureau of Local 2nd Naga City, Pili, Libmanan, Minalabac,
Government Finance, which is four times more than Ocampo, Pamplona, Pasacao,
the minimum requirement of ₱20,000,000.00 for the Camaligan, San
creation of a province. The delivery of basic Canaman, Fernando, Gainza,
services to its constituents has been proven Magarao, Bombon, Milaor
possible and sustainable. Rather than looking at the Calabanga, Gainza,
results of the plebiscite and the May 10, 2010 Milaor
elections as mere fait accompli circumstances 3rd Caramoan, Naga City, Pili,
which cannot operate in favor of Dinagat’s Garchitorena, Ocampo,
existence as a province, they must be seen from Goa, Lagonoy, Camaligan,
the perspective that Dinagat is ready and capable of Presentacion, Canaman,
becoming a province. This Court should not be Sangay, San Jose, Magarao, Bombon,
instrumental in stunting such capacity. Tigaon, Calabanga
 The provision in Article 9(2) of the Rules and Tinambac, Siruma
Regulations Implementing the Local Government 4th Iriga City, Baao, Caramoan,
Code of 1991 stating, "The land area requirement Balatan, Garchitorena,
shall not apply where the proposed province is Bato, Buhi, Bula, Goa, Lagonoy,
composed of one (1) or more islands," is Nabua Presentacion, Sangay,
declared VALID. Accordingly, Republic Act No. San
9355 (An Act Creating the Province of Dinagat Jose, Tigaon,
Islands) is declared as VALID and Tinambac,
CONSTITUTIONAL, and the proclamation of the Siruma
Province of Dinagat Islands and the election of 5th Iriga City, Baao,
the officials thereof are declared VALID Balatan, Bato, Buhi,
Bula, Nabua
G.R. No. 207851 July 8, 2014
ANGEL G. NAVAL, Petitioner,  Notably, 8 out of 10 towns were taken from the old
vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and NELSON B. Second District to form the present Third District.
JULIA, Respondents. The present Second District is composed of the two
 A politician thinks of the next election – a statesman remaining towns, Gainza and Milaor, merged with
of the next generation. - James Freeman Clarke, five towns from the old First District.
American preacher and author  In the 2010 elections, Naval once again won as
 A provincial board member cannot be elected and among the members of the Sanggunian, Third
serve for more than three consecutive terms. But District. He served until 2013.
then, the Court is now called upon to resolve the  In the 2013 elections, Naval ran anewand was re-
following questions. First.What are the elected as Member of the Sanggunian, Third
consequences to the provincial board member’s District.
eligibility to run for the same elective position if the  Julia was likewise a SanggunianMember candidate
legislative district, which brought him or her to office from the Third District in the 2013 elections. On
to serve the first two consecutive terms, be October 29, 2012, he invoked Section 78 of the
reapportioned in such a way that 8 out of its 10 Omnibus Election Code (OEC) and filed beforethe
town constituencies are carved out and renamed as COMELEC a Verified Petition to Deny Due Course
another district? Second. Is the provincial board 11
or to Cancel the Certificate of Candidacy of Naval.
member’s election to the same position for the third Julia posited that Naval had fully served the entire
and fourth time, but now in representation ofthe Province of Camarines Sur for three consecutive
renamed district, a violation of the three-term limit terms as a member of the Sanggunian, irrespective
rule? of the district he had been elected from. The three-
 From 2004 to 2007 and 2007 to 2010, Naval had term limit rule’s application is more with reference to
been elected and had served as a member of the the same local elective post, and not necessarily in
Sanggunian, Second District, Province of connection with an identical territorial jurisdiction.
Camarines Sur. Allowing Naval to run as a Sanggunianmember for
 On October 12, 2009, the President approved the fourth time is violative of the inflexible three-
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9716, which reapportioned term limit rule enshrined in the Constitution and the
the legislative districts in Camarines Sur in the 12
LGC, which must be strictly construed.
following manner:


I. IN FINDING THAT NAVAL HAD ALREADY SERVED FOR that the one-term gap or rest after three consecutive
THREE CONSECUTIVE TERMS IN THE SAME elections is a result of a compromise among the
GOVERNMENT POST; members of the Constitutional Commission, no
II. IN IGNORING THE FACT THAT SANGGUNIAN cavalier exemptions or exceptions to its application
MEMBERS ARE ELECTED BY LEGISLATIVE is to be allowed. Aldovino affirms this interpretation.
DISTRICTS; and Further, sustaining Naval’s arguments would
III. WHEN IT RULED THAT THE PROHIBITION practically allow him to hold the same office for 15
CONTEMPLATED BY SECTION 8, ARTICLE X OF THE years. These are the circumstances the Constitution
1987 CONSTITUTION AND SECTION 43(B) OF THE LGC explicitly intends to avert.
the petition is DENIED. The Resolutions dated
 The Court denies the petition. March 5, 2013 and June 5, 2013 of the Commission
 In Latasa v. COMELEC on Elections in SPA No. 13-166 (DC) are
o The Court took into account the following AFFIRMED.
circumstances: (1) That the territorial
jurisdiction of [the] city was the same as BAGABUYO v. COMELEC
that of the municipality; (2) That the 573 SCRA 290 – Political Law – Local Government –
inhabitants were the same group of voters Reapportionment -Municipal Corporation – Plebiscite
who elected the municipal mayor for three Cagayan de Oro used to have only one legislative district.
(3) consecutive terms; and (3) That the But in 2006, CdO Congressman Constantino Jaraula
inhabitants were the same group of voters sponsored a bill to have two legislative districts in CdO
[over] whom he held power and authority instead. The law was passed (RA 9371) hence two
as their chief executive for nine years. legislative districts were created. Rogelio Bagabuyo assailed
 The Philippines is a democratic and republican the validity of the said law and he went immediately to the
State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all Supreme Court to enjoin the COMELEC from enforcing the
government authority emanates from them. law in the upcoming elections. Bagabuyo was contending
 The verb createmeans to "make or produce that the 2 district was created without a plebiscite which he
47 averred was required by the Constitution.
something new." On the other hand, the verb
rename means to "give a new name to someone or
48 ISSUE: Whether or not a plebiscite was required in the case
something." A complete reading of R.A. No. 9716
yields no logical conclusion other than that the at bar.
lawmakers intended the old Second District to be HELD: No, a plebiscite is not required in the case at bar. RA
merely renamed as the current Third District. 9371 merely increased the representation of Cagayan de
 It likewise bears noting that the actual difference in Oro City in the House of Representatives and Sangguniang
the population of the old Second District from that of Panglungsod pursuant to Section 5, Article VI of the 1987
the current Third District amounts to less than 10% Constitution; the criteria established under Section 10, Article
of the population of the latter. This numerical fact X of the 1987 Constitution only apply when there is a
renders the new Third District as essentially, creation, division, merger, abolition or substantial alteration
although not literally, the same as the old Second of boundaries of a province, city, municipality, or barangay;
District. Hence, while Naval is correct in his in this case, no such creation, division, merger, abolition or
argument that Sanggunian members are elected by alteration of boundaries of a local government unit took
district, it does not alter the fact that the district place; and R.A. No. 9371 did not bring about any change in
which elected him for the third and fourth time is the Cagayan de Oro’s territory, population and income
same one which brought him to office in 2004 and classification; hence, no plebiscite is required. What
2007. happened here was a reapportionment of a single legislative
 The application upon Naval of the three-term limit district into two legislative districts. Reapportionment is
rule does not undermine the constitutional the realignment or change in legislative districts brought
requirement to achieve equality of representation about by changes in population and mandated by the
among districts. constitutional requirement of equality of representation.
 The rationale behind reapportionment is the
constitutional requirement to achieve equality of Before, Cagayan de Oro had only one congressman and 12
representation among the districts. It is with this city council members citywide for its population of
mindset that the Court should consider Naval’s approximately 500,000. By having two legislative districts,
argument anent having a new set of constituents each of them with one congressman, Cagayan de Oro now
electing him into office in 2010 and 2013. effectively has two congressmen, each one representing
 Naval’s ineligibility to run, by reason of violation of 250,000 of the city’s population. This easily means better
the three-term limit rule, does not undermine the access to their congressman since each one now services
right to equal representation of any of the districts in only 250,000 constituents as against the 500,000.
Camarines Sur. With or without him, the renamed
Third District, which he labels as a new set of
constituents, would still be represented, albeit by ON ELECTIONS AND JOSEPH SOCORRO B.
another eligible person. TAN, Respondents.
G.R. No. 207264, June 25, 2013
 In sum, the Court finds no compelling reason to
Facts: The petitioners assail through a Petition for Certiorari
grant the reliefs prayed for by Naval. For the Court
with prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and/or
to declare otherwise would be to create a
Preliminary Injunction resolution of the Commission on
dangerous precedent unintended by the drafters of
Election ordering the cancellation of the Certificate of
our Constitution and of R.A. No. 9716. Considering

Candidacy of petitioner for the position of the Representative exist. For an act to be struck down as having been done
of the lone district of Marinduque. with grave abuse of discretion, the abuse of discretion
On October 31. 2012, Joseph Socorro Tan filed with the must be patent and gross.
Comelec an Amended Petition to Deny Due Course or to Here, this Court finds that petitioner failed to adequately and
Cancel the Certificate of Candidacy of Regina Ongsiako substantially show that grave abuse of discretion exists.
Reyes, the petitioner, on the ground that it contained ISSUE2: Whether COMELEC committed a violation of
material representations. specifically: petitioner’s right to due process of law.
1. That she is single when she is married. There was no denial of due process in the case as Reyes
2. That she is a resident of Marinduque when allegedly
was given every opportunity to argue her case before the
she is a resident o Batangas and Quezon City.
3. That her date of birth is 3 July 1964 when other COMELEC. From the time the latter rendered its
documents show that her birthdate is either 8 July resolution, Reyes had a period of five (5) months to adduce
1959 or 3 July 1960; evidence. Unfortunately, she did not avail herself of the
4. That she is a permanent resident or an immigrant in opportunity given her. Due process does not necessarily
the US; and mean or require a hearing, but simply an opportunity or right
5. That she is a Filipino citizen when she is, in fact, an to be heard. Deprivation of due process cannot be
American citizen.
successfully invoked where a party was given the chance to
During the course of the proceedings, COMELEC found
newly evidence indicating that Reyes is an American citizen be heard on his motion for reconsideration.
and a holder of a U.S. passport, as well as using a U.S.
Passport in her various travels abroad. On March 27, 2013,
the COMELEC cancelled the certificate of candidacy of the
petitioner. She filed an MR on April 8, 2013. On May 14,
2013, COMELEC en banc denied her MR. BANAT v. COMELEC
586 SCRA 210 – Political Law – Constitutional Law –
However, on May 18, 2013, she was proclaimed winner of Legislative Department – Party List System; Proportional
the May 13, 2013 Elections. On June 5, 2013, COMELEC Representation; Proper Computation
declared the May 14, 2013 Resolution final and Executory. Statutory Construction – Rule in Interpreting the Constitution
On the same day, petitioner took her oath of office before – Intent of the Framers vs Intent of the People
Feliciano Belmonte, the Speaker of the House of
Representatives. She has yet to assume office at that time, NOTE: This case is consolidated with BAYAN Muna vs
as her term officially starts at noon of June 30, COMELEC (G.R. No. 179295).
2013.According to petitioner, the COMELEC was ousted of In July and August 2007, the COMELEC, sitting as the
its jurisdiction when she was duly proclaimed because National Board of Canvassers, made a partial proclamation
pursuant to Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, of the winners in the party-list elections which was held in
the HRET has the exclusive jurisdiction to be the “sole judge May 2007.
of all contests relating to the election, returns and
qualifications” of the Members of the House of In proclaiming the winners and apportioning their seats, the
Representatives. COMELEC considered the following rules:
1. In the lower house, 80% shall comprise the seats for
Issue1: Whether or not COMELEC has jurisdiction over the legislative districts, while the remaining 20% shall come from
petitioner who is proclaimed as winner and who has already party-list representatives (Sec. 5, Article VI, 1987
taken her oath of office for the position of member of the Constitution);
House of Representative of Marinduque.
2. Pursuant to Sec. 11b of R.A. 7941 or the Party-List
System Act, a party-list which garners at least 2% of the total
Held: Yes, COMELEC retains jurisdiction because the votes cast in the party-list elections shall be entitled to one
jurisdiction of the HRET begins only after the candidate is seat;
considered a Member of the House of Representatives, as
stated in Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. For 3. If a party-list garners at least 4%, then it is entitled to 2
one to be considered a Member of the House of seats; if it garners at least 6%, then it is entitled to 3 seats –
Representatives, there must be a concurrence of these this is pursuant to the 2-4-6 rule or the Panganiban
requisites: (1) valid proclamation; (2) proper oath, and (3) Formulafrom the case of Veterans Federation Party vs
assumption of office. COMELEC.
4. In no way shall a party be given more than three seats
Thus the petitioner cannot be considered a member of the even if if garners more than 6% of the votes cast for the
HR yet as she has not assumed office yet. Also, the 2 party-list election (3 seat cap rule, same case).
requirement was not validly complied with as a valid oath
must be made (1) before the Speaker of the House of The Barangay Association for National Advancement and
Representatives, and (2) in open session. Here, although Transparency (BANAT), a party-list candidate, questioned
she made the oath before Speaker Belmonte, there is no the proclamation as well as the formula being used. BANAT
indication that it was made during plenary or in open session averred that the 2% threshold is invalid; Sec. 11 of RA 7941
and, thus, it remains unclear whether the required oath of is void because its provision that a party-list, to qualify for a
office was indeed complied. congressional seat, must garner at least 2% of the votes cast
in the party-list election, is not supported by the Constitution.
Further, the 2% rule creates a mathematical impossibility to
Furthermore, petition for certiorari will prosper only if meet the 20% party-list seat prescribed by the Constitution.
grave abuse of discretion is alleged and proved to

BANAT also questions if the 20% rule is a mere ceiling or is votes. Only 50 parties get a seat despite the availability of 55
it mandatory. If it is mandatory, then with the 2% qualifying seats. Because of the operation of the two percent threshold,
vote, there would be instances when it would be impossible this situation will repeat itself even if we increase the
to fill the prescribed 20% share of party-lists in the lower available party-list seats to 60 seats and even if we increase
house. BANAT also proposes a new computation (which the votes cast to 100 million. Thus, even if the maximum
shall be discussed in the “HELD” portion of this digest). number of parties get two percent of the votes for every
party, it is always impossible for the number of occupied
On the other hand, BAYAN MUNA, another party-list party-list seats to exceed 50 seats as long as the two percent
candidate, questions the validity of the 3 seat rule (Section threshold is present.
11a of RA 7941). It also raised the issue of whether or not
major political parties are allowed to participate in the party- It is therefore clear that the two percent threshold presents
list elections or is the said elections limited to sectoral an unwarranted obstacle to the full implementation of Section
parties. 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution and prevents the
attainment of “the broadest possible representation of party,
sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives.”
I. How is the 80-20 rule observed in apportioning the seats in
the lower house? IV. Instead, the 2% rule should mean that if a party-list
II. Whether or not the 20% allocation for party-list garners 2% of the votes cast, then it is guaranteed a seat,
representatives mandatory or a mere ceiling. and not “qualified”. This allows those party-lists garnering
III. Whether or not the 2% threshold to qualify for a seat less than 2% to also get a seat.
IV. How are party-list seats allocated? But how? The Supreme Court laid down the following rules:
V. Whether or not major political parties are allowed to 1. The parties, organizations, and coalitions shall be ranked
participate in the party-list elections. from the highest to the lowest based on the number of votes
VI. Whether or not the 3 seat cap rule (3 Seat Limit Rule) is they garnered during the elections.
HELD: 2. The parties, organizations, and coalitions receiving at least
two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list
I. The 80-20 rule is observed in the following manner: for system shall be entitled to one guaranteed seat each.
every 5 seats allotted for legislative districts, there shall be
one seat allotted for a party-list representative. Originally, the 3. Those garnering sufficient number of votes, according to
1987 Constitution provides that there shall be not more the ranking in paragraph 1, shall be entitled to additional
than 250 members of the lower house. Using the 80-20 rule, seats in proportion to their total number of votes until all the
200 of that will be from legislative districts, and 50 would be additional seats are allocated.
from party-list representatives. However, the Constitution 4. Each party, organization, or coalition shall be entitled to
also allowed Congress to fix the number of the membership not more than three (3) seats.
of the lower house as in fact, it can create additional
legislative districts as it may deem appropriate. As can be In computing the additional seats, the guaranteed seats shall
seen in the May 2007 elections, there were 220 district no longer be included because they have already been
representatives, hence applying the 80-20 rule or the 5:1 allocated, at one seat each, to every two-percenter. Thus,
ratio, there should be 55 seats allotted for party-list the remaining available seats for allocation as “additional
representatives. seats” are the maximum seats reserved under the Party List
System less the guaranteed seats. Fractional seats are
How did the Supreme Court arrive at 55? This is the formula: disregarded in the absence of a provision in R.A. No. 7941
(Current Number of Legislative DistrictRepresentatives ÷ allowing for a rounding off of fractional seats.
0.80) x (0.20) = Number of Seats Available to Party-List In short, there shall be two rounds in determining the
Representatives allocation of the seats. In the first round, all party-lists which
Hence, garnered at least 2% of the votes cast (called the two-
percenters) are given their one seat each. The total number
(220 ÷ 0.80) x (0.20) = 55 of seats given to these two-percenters are then deducted
II. The 20% allocation for party-list representatives is merely from the total available seats for party-lists. In this case, 17
a ceiling – meaning, the number of party-list representatives party-lists were able to garner 2% each. There are a total 55
shall not exceed 20% of the total number of the members of seats available for party-lists hence, 55 minus 17 = 38
the lower house. However, it is not mandatory that the 20% remaining seats. (Please refer to the full text of the case for
the tabulation).
shall be filled.
III. No. Section 11b of RA 7941 is unconstitutional. There is The number of remaining seats, in this case 38, shall be
no constitutional basis to allow that only party-lists which used in the second round, particularly, in determining, first,
garnered 2% of the votes cast are qualified for a seat and the additional seats for the two-percenters, and second, in
those which garnered less than 2% are disqualified. Further, determining seats for the party-lists that did not garner at
the 2% threshold creates a mathematical impossibility to least 2% of the votes cast, and in the process filling up the
attain the ideal 80-20 apportionment. The Supreme Court 20% allocation for party-list representatives.
explained: How is this done?
To illustrate: There are 55 available party-list seats. Suppose Get the total percentage of votes garnered by the party and
there are 50 million votes cast for the 100 participants in the multiply it against the remaining number of seats. The
party list elections. A party that has two percent of the votes product, which shall not be rounded off, will be the additional
cast, or one million votes, gets a guaranteed seat. Let us
further assume that the first 50 parties all get one million

number of seats allotted for the party list – but the 3 seat limit Petitioners argued that the COMELEC committed grave
rule shall still be observed. abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
Example: jurisdiction in disqualifying petitioners from participating in
the 13 May 2013 party-list elections, either by denial of their
In this case, the BUHAY party-list garnered the highest total
new petitions for registration under the party-list system, or
vote of 1,169,234 which is 7.33% of the total votes cast for
the party-list elections (15,950,900). by cancellation of their existing registration and accreditation
as party-list organizations; andsecond, whether the criteria
Applying the formula above: (Percentage of vote garnered) x for participating in the party-list system laid down inAng
(remaining seats) = number of additional seat
Bagong Bayani and Barangay Association for National
Hence, 7.33% x 38 = 2.79 Advancement and Transparency v. Commission on
Rounding off to the next higher number is not allowed so Elections(BANAT) should be applied by the COMELEC in
2.79 remains 2. BUHAY is a two-percenter which means it the coming 13 May 2013 party-list elections.
has a guaranteed one seat PLUS additional 2 seats or a total ISSUE: Whether or not the COMELEC committed grave
of 3 seats. Now if it so happens that BUHAY got 20% of the abuse of discretion in disqualifying the said party-lists.
votes cast, it will still get 3 seats because the 3 seat limit rule
prohibits it from having more than 3 seats. HELD: No. The COMELEC merely followed the guidelines
set in the cases of Ang Bagong Bayaniand BANAT.
Now after all the tw0-percenters were given their guaranteed However, the Supreme Court remanded the cases back to
and additional seats, and there are still unoccupied seats, the COMELEC as the Supreme Court now provides for new
those seats shall be distributed to the remaining party-lists guidelines which abandoned some principles established in
and those higher in rank in the voting shall be prioritized until the two aforestated cases. The new guidelines are as
all the seats are occupied. follows:
V. No. By a vote of 8-7, the Supreme Court continued to
disallow major political parties (the likes of UNIDO, LABAN, I. Parameters. In qualifying party-lists, the COMELEC must
etc) from participating in the party-list elections. use the following parameters:
1. Three different groups may participate in the party-
Although the ponencia (Justice Carpio) did point out that list system: (1) national parties or organizations,
there is no prohibition either from the Constitution or from RA (2) regional parties or organizations, and
7941 against major political parties from participating in the (3) sectoral parties or organizations.
party-list elections as the word “party” was not qualified and 2. National parties or organizations and regional
that even the framers of the Constitution in their deliberations parties or organizations do not need to organize
deliberately allowed major political parties to participate in along sectoral lines and do not need to represent
the party-list elections provided that they establish a any “marginalized and underrepresented” sector.
sectoral wing which represents the marginalized (indirect 3. Political parties can participate in party-list elections
participation), Justice Puno, in his separate opinion, provided they register under the party-list system
concurred by 7 other justices, explained that the will of the and do not field candidates in legislative district
people defeats the will of the framers of the Constitution elections. A political party, whether major or not,
precisely because it is the people who ultimately ratified the that fields candidates in legislative district elections
Constitution – and the will of the people is that only the can participate in party-list elections only through its
marginalized sections of the country shall participate in the sectoral wing that can separately register under the
party-list elections. Hence, major political parties cannot party-list system. The sectoral wing is by itself an
participate in the party-list elections, directly or indirectly. independent sectoral party, and is linked to a
VI. Yes, the 3 seat limit rule is valid. This is one way to political party through a coalition.
ensure that no one party shall dominate the party-list system. 4. Sectoral parties or organizations may either be
“marginalized and underrepresented” or lacking in
ATONG PAGLAUM v. COMELEC “well-defined political constituencies.” It is enough
that their principal advocacy pertains to the special
694 SCRA 477 – Political Law – Constitutional Law – interest and concerns of their sector. The sectors
Legislative Department – Party-List System
that are “marginalized and underrepresented”
52 party-list groups and organizations filed separate petitions include labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor,
totaling 54 with the Supreme Court (SC) in an effort to indigenous cultural communities, handicapped,
veterans, and overseas workers. The sectors that
reverse various resolutions by the Commission on Elections
lack “well-defined political constituencies” include
(Comelec) disqualifying them from the May 2013 party-list professionals, the elderly, women, and the youth.
race. The Comelec, in its assailed resolutions issued in 5. A majority of the members of sectoral parties or
October, November and December of 2012, ruled, among organizations that represent the “marginalized and
others, that these party-list groups and organizations failed to underrepresented” must belong to the “marginalized
represent a marginalized and underrepresented sector, their and underrepresented” sector they represent.
nominees do not come from a marginalized and Similarly, a majority of the members of sectoral
parties or organizations that lack “well-defined
underrepresented sector, and/or some of the organizations
political constituencies” must belong to the sector
or groups are not truly representative of the sector they they represent. The nominees of sectoral parties or
intend to represent in Congress. organizations that represent the “marginalized and
underrepresented,” or that represent those who lack
“well-defined political constituencies,” either must
belong to their respective sectors, or must have a

track record of advocacy for their respective Senior Citizens v. COMELEC

sectors. The nominees of national and regional
parties or organizations must be bona-fide The present petitions were filed by the two rival factions
members of such parties or organizations.
within the same party-list organization, the Coalition of
6. National, regional, and sectoral parties or
organizations shall not be disqualified if some of Associations of Senior Citizens in the Phil., Inc. (SENIOR
their nominees are disqualified, provided that they CITIZENS). One group is headed by Rep.Arquiza (Arquiza
have at least one nominee who remains qualified. group) and the other by Francisco Datol (Datol group).
II. In the BANAT case, major political parties are disallowed, SENIOR CITIZENS was allocated one seat in Congress.
as has always been the practice, from participating in the Rep. Arquiza, then the organizations first nominee, served as
party-list elections. But, since there’s really no constitutional a member of the House of Representatives.
prohibition nor a statutory prohibition, major political parties
can now participate in the party-list system provided that
they do so through their bona fide sectoral wing (see The nominees of SENIOR CITIZENS signed an agreement,
parameter 3 above). entitled Irrevocable Covenant, which contains the list of their
candidates and terms on sharing of their powers. It contained
Allowing major political parties to participate, an agreement on who among the candidates will serve the
albeit indirectly, in the party-list elections will encourage them terms according to the power sharing agreement.
to work assiduously in extending their constituencies to the
“marginalized and underrepresented” and to those who “lack
After the conduct of the May 10, 2010 elections, SENIOR
well-defined political constituencies.”
CITIZENS ranked second among all the party-list candidates
Ultimately, the Supreme Court gave weight to the and was allocated two seats in the House of
deliberations of the Constitutional Commission when they Representatives. The first seat was occupied by its first
were drafting the party-list system provision of the nominee, Rep. Arquiza, while the second was given to its
Constitution. The Commissioners deliberated that it was their second nominee, David L. Kho (Rep. Kho).
intention to include all parties into the party-list elections in
order to develop a political system which is pluralistic and
multiparty. (In the BANAT case, Justice Puno emphasized On December 14, 2011, Rep. Arquiza informed the office of
that the will of the people should defeat the intent of the COMELEC the second nominee of SENIOR CITIZENS, Rep.
framers; and that the intent of the people, in ratifying the Kho, had tendered his resignation. By virtue of such
1987 Constitution, is that the party-list system should be resignation and as provided under their agreement, Rep.
reserved for the marginalized sectors.) Arquiza stated that its fourth nominee shall assume position
since their third nominee, Datol, has been previously
III. The Supreme Court also emphasized that the party-list
expelled in their party. However, the board of the party list,
system is NOT RESERVED for the “marginalized and
underrepresented” or for parties who lack “well-defined headed by Rep. Arquiza, recalled the previous acceptance of
political constituencies”. It is also for national or regional the resignation of Rep. Kho.
parties. It is also for small ideology-based and cause-
oriented parties who lack “well-defined political The COMELEC en Banc issued a resolution that the list
constituencies”. The common denominator however is that submitted to them is deemed to be permanent as the law
all of them cannot, they do not have the machinery – unlike deprives the party the right to change their nominees. Thus,
major political parties, to field or sponsor candidates in the
even if the expulsion of Datol in the petitioner party-list were
legislative districts but they can acquire the needed votes in
a national election system like the party-list system of true, the list and order of nominees of the Senior Citizens
elections. party-list remains the same in so far as the COMELEC and
If the party-list system is only reserved for the law are concerned as it does not fall under one of the
marginalized representation, then the system itself unduly three grounds mentioned in law for the changing of
excludes other cause-oriented groups from running for a seat nominees. And that the resignation of Kho, pursuant to the
in the lower house.
party nominees term-sharing agreement, cannot be
As explained by the Supreme Court, party-list recognized and be given effect so as to create a vacancy in
representation should not be understood to include the list and change the order of the nominees.
only labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous
cultural communities, handicapped, veterans, overseas December 11, 2012, SC initially granted status quo ante
workers, and other sectors that by their nature orders of Senior Citizens and directed COMELEC to include
are economically at the margins of society. It should be the name of Senior Citizens in the printing of offcial ballots
noted that Section 5 of Republic Act 7941 includes, among
for the May 2013 elections. SC later ruled that the
others, in its provision for sectoral representation groups of
professionals, which are not per se economically cancellation of registration was in order. Thus, this petition.
marginalized but are still qualified as “marginalized,
underrepresented, and do not have well-defined political ISSUES: Whether or not the right to due process of Senior
constituencies” as they are ideologically marginalized. Citizens was violated

It is true that during the April 18, 2012 hearing, the rival
groups of SENIOR CITIZENS admitted to the existence of
the term-sharing agreement. Contrary to the claim of

COMELEC, however, said hearing was conducted for COMELEC says that it is not enough that the party-list
purposes of discussing the petition of the Arquiza Group in organization claim representation of the marginalized and
E.M. No. 12-040. To recall, said petition asked for the underrepresented because representation is easy to claim.
Records shows that Abang Lingkod failed to stablish its track
confirmation of the replacement of Rep. Kho, who had
record which is important to prove that the party-list
tendered his resignation effective on December 31, 2011. continuously represents the marginalized.
Abang Lingkod merely offered pictures of some alleged
E.M. No. 12-040 was not a proceeding regarding the activities they conducted after the 2010 elections. These
qualifications of SENIOR CITIZENS as a party-list group and pictures appears to be edited. Under The Party-List System
the issue of whether the term-sharing agreement may be a Act, a group’s registration may be cancelled for declaring
ground for disqualification was neither raised nor resolved in unlawful statements in its petition. Photoshopping images to
establish a fact that did not occur is tantamount to declaring
that case. Chairman Brillantess remonstration was not
unlawful statements. It is on this ground that the Commission
sufficient as to constitute a fair warning that the term-sharing cancels ABANG LINGKOD’s registration.
agreement would be considered as a ground for the Abang Lingkod filed a motion for reconsideration but it
cancellation of SENIOR CITIZENS registration and was denied by COMELEC, thus this current Petition for
accreditation. certiorari.
 the Court finds that the COMELEC gravely abused
The term-sharing agreement among the nominees of its discretion in cancelling the registration of
SENIOR CITIZENS, was not implemented. This fact was ABANG LINGKOD
manifested by the Arquiza Group even during the April 18,  The flaw in the COMELEC's disposition lies in the
2012 hearing conducted by the COMELEC En Banc in E.M. fact that it insists on requiring party-list groups to
No. 12-040 wherein the Arquiza Group manifested that it was present evidence showing that they have a track
record in representing the marginalized and
withdrawing its petition for confirmation and approval of Rep. underrepresented.
Kho’s replacement. Thereafter, in its Resolution dated June  In this light, the Court finds it appropriate to lay
27, 2012 in E.M. No. 12-040, the COMELEC En Banc itself down the following guidelines, culled from the law
refused to recognize the term-sharing agreement and the and the Constitution, to assist the Comelec in its
tender of resignation of Rep. Kho. The COMELEC even work.
declared that no vacancy was created despite the execution  First, the political party, sector, organization or
of the said agreement. Subsequently, there was also no coalition must represent the marginalized and
underrepresented groups identified in Secdon 5 of
indication that the nominees of SENIOR CITIZENS still tried
RA 7941. In other words, it must show -- through its
to implement, much less succeeded in implementing, the constitution, articles of incorporation, bylaws,
term-sharing agreement. Before this Court, the Arquiza history, platform of government and track record --
Group and the Datol Group insist on this fact of non- that it represents and seeks to uplift marginalized
implementation of the agreement. Thus, for all intents and and underrepresented sectors. Verily, majority of its
purposes, Rep. Kho continued to hold his seat and served membership should belong to the marginalized and
his term as a member of the House of Representatives, in underrepresented. And it must demonstrate that in
a conflict of interests, it has chosen or is likely to
accordance with COMELEC Resolution No. 9366 and the choose the interest of such sectors. (Emphasis
COMELEC En Banc ruling in E.M. No. 12-040. Curiously, the ours)
COMELEC is silent on this point.  Track record is not the same as the submission or
presentation of "constitution, by-laws, platform of
Indubitably, if the term-sharing agreement was not actually government, list of officers, coalition agreement,
implemented by the parties thereto, it appears that SENIOR and other relevant information as may be required
CITIZENS, as a party-list organization, had been unfairly and by the COMELEC," which are but mere pieces of
documentary evidence intended to establish that
arbitrarily penalized by the COMELEC En Banc. Verily, how
the group exists and is a going concern. The said
can there be disobedience on the part of SENIOR CITIZENS documentary evidence presents an abstract of the
when its nominees, in fact, desisted from carrying out their ideals that national, regional, and sectoral parties or
agreement? Hence, there was no violation of an election law, organizations seek to achieve.
rule, or regulation to speak of. Clearly then, the  If at all, evidence showing a track record in
disqualification of SENIOR CITIZENS and the cancellation of representing the marginalized and
its registration and accreditation have no legal leg to stand underrepresented sectors is only required from
nominees of sectoral parties or organizations
on. that represent the marginalized and
underrepresented who do not factually belong
*** LICO V. COMELEC (MISSING) to the sector represented by their party or
G.R. No. 206952, October 22, 2013  In the case of sectoral organizations, although they
Abang Lingkod Party-list vs COMELEC are still required to represent the marginalized and
underrepresented, they are likewise not required to
Facts: show a track record since there would be no reason
This is a petition for certiorari filed by Abang Lingkod for them to feign representation of the marginalized
challenging the May 2013 resolution issued by COMELEC and underrepresented as they can just register as a
cancelling the Abang Lingkod's party-list registration. national or regional party or organization. Thus, the

Court, in Atong Paglaum stated that, for purposes of the party-list group satisfied the qualifications of the
registration under the party-list system, it is enough law that is material to consider. The disqualification
that the principal advocacy of sectoral organizations of the nominees must simply be regarded as failure
pertains to the sector/s they represent. to qualify for an office or position. It should not, in
 There is thus no basis in law and established any way, blemish the qualifications of the party-list
jurisprudence to insist that groups seeking group itself with defect. The party-list group must be
registration under the party-list system still comply treated as separate and distinct from its nominees
with the track record requirement. Indeed, nowhere such that qualifications of the latter must not be
in R.A. No. 7941 is it mandated that groups seeking considered part and parcel of the qualifications of
registration thereunder must submit evidence to the former.
show their track record as a group.  In sum, that ABANG LINGKOD's registration must
 Nevertheless, considering that track record is no be cancelled due to its misrepresentation is a
longer a requirement, a group’s misrepresentation conclusion derived from a simplistic reading of the
as to its track record cannot be used as a ground to provisions of R.A. No. 7941 and the import of the
deny or cancel its registration -it is no longer Court's disposition in tong Paglaum. Not every
material to its qualification under the party-list misrepresentation committed by national, regional,
system. In this case, ABANG LINGKOD s and sectoral groups or organizations would merit
submission of digitally altered photographs cannot the denial or cancellation of their registration under
be considered material to its qualification as a party- the party-list system. The misrepresentation must
list group. relate to their qualification as a party-list group. In
 Assuming arguendo that the nominees of ABANG this regard, the COMELEC gravely abused its
LINGKOD, as opined by the COMELEC, indeed do discretion when it insisted on requiring ABANG
not have track records showing their participation in LINGKOD to prove its track record notwithstanding
activities aimed at improving the conditions of the that a group s track record is no longer required
sector that the group represents, the same would pursuant to the Court s pronouncement in Atong
not affect the registration of ABANG LINGKOD as a Paglaum
party-list group.  Likewise, upholding the cancellation of ABANG
 To stress, in Atong Paglaum the Court pointed out LINGKOD s registration, notwithstanding that it was
that [t]he nominees of sectoral parties or able to obtain sufficient number of votes for a
organizations that represent the 'marginalized and legislative seat, would serve no purpose other than
underrepresented,' or that represent those who lack to subvert the will of the electorate who voted to
'well-defined political constituencies,' either must give ABANG LINGKOD the privilege to represent
belong to their respective sectors or must have a them in the House of Representatives.
track record o advocacy for their respective sectors.  WHEREFORE in light of the foregoing disquisitions,
Stated otherwise, the nominee of a party-list groups the instant petition is hereby GRANTED.
may either be: first one who actually belongs to the
sector which the party-list group represents, in ABAYON V. HRET (2010)
which case the track record requirement does not
apply; or second one who does not actually belong FACTS:
to the sector which the party-list group represents In G.R. 189466, petitioner Daryl Grace J. Abayon is the first
but has a track record showing the nominee's active nominee of the Aangat Tayo party-list organization that won
participation in activities aimed at uplifting the cause a seat in the House of Representatives during the 2007
of the sector which the group represents." elections. Respondents filed a petition for quo warranto with
 In the case under consideration, three of the five respondent HRET against petitioner Abayon. They claimed
nominees of ABANG LINGKOD are farmers and, that Aangat Tayo was not eligible for a party-list seat in the
thus, are not required to present a track record House of Representatives, since it did not represent the
showing their active participation in activities aimed marginalized and underrepresented sectors since she did not
to promote the sector which ABANG LINGKOD belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors,
represents, i.e. peasant farmers and fisherfolk. That she being the wife of an incumbent congressional district
two of ABANG LINGKOD's nominees do not representative
actually belong to the sector it represents is  It was Aangat Tayo that was taking a seat in the
immaterial and would not result in the cancellation House of Representatives, and not Abayon who
of ABANG LINGKOD's registration as a party-list was just its nominee. All questions involving her
group. This is clear from the sixth parameter laid eligibility as first nominee, said Abayon, were
down by the Court in tong Paglaum which states internal concerns of Aangat Tayo.
that "national, regional and sectoral organizations
shall not be disqualified if some of their nominees In G.R. 189506, petitioner Jovito S. Palparan, Jr. is the
are disqualified, provided that they have at least first nominee of the Bantay party-list group that won a
one nominee who remains qualified." At the very seat in the 2007 elections for the members of the House
least, ABANG LINGKOD has three (3) qualified of Representatives. Lesaca and the others alleged that
nominees, being farmers by occupation. Palparan was ineligible to sit in the House of
 Indeed, the disqualification of one or some of the Representatives as party-list nominee because he did
nominees of a party-list group should not not belong to the marginalized and underrepresented
automatically result in the disqualification of the sectors that Bantay represented, namely, the victims of
group.1avvphi1 Otherwise it would accord the communist rebels, Civilian Armed Forces Geographical
nominees the same significance, which the law Units (CAFGUs), former rebels, and security guards.
holds for the party-list groups; it is still the fact that


 Petitioner Palparan countered that the HRET had “having forfeited his seat in the Senate.” The
no jurisdiction over his person since it was actually petitioners were officers of the Board of Directors of
the party-list Bantay, not he, that was elected to and the Quezon City Red Cross Chapter, while
assumed membership in the House of respondent is Chairman of the Philippine National
Representatives. Palparan claimed that he was just Red Cross (PNRC) Board of Governors.
Bantay’s nominee. Consequently, any question  During Gordon’s incumbency as a member of the
involving his eligibility as first nominee was an Senate of the Philippines, he was elected Chairman
internal concern of Bantay. Such question must be of the PNRC during the February 23, 2006 meeting
brought, he said, before that party-list group, not of the PNRC Board of Governors, in which the
before the HRET. petitioners alleged that by accepting the
responsibility, Gordon deemed ceased tobe a
ISSUE: Whether or not respondent HRET has member of the Senate as provided in Sec. 13,
jurisdiction over the question of qualifications of Article VI of the Constitution:
petitioners Abayon and Palparan.  Sec. 13. No Senator or Member of the House of
Representatives may hold any other office
HELD: YES Although it is the party-list organization that is oremployment in the Government, or any
voted for in the elections, it is not the organization that sits as subdivision, agency, or instrumentality
and becomes a member of the House of Representatives. thereof,including government-owned or controlled
Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution, identifies who the corporations or their subsidiaries, during his
“members” of that House are: termwithout forfe iting his seat….
 Respondent contested that the petitioners’ citation
 Sec. 5. (1). The House of Representatives shall be of a constitutional provision had no basis, since
composed of not more than two hundred and PNRC is not a government-owned or controlled
fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who corporation. Thus, prohibition under Sec.13, Art. VI
shall be elected from legislative of the Constitution did not apply to his case.
districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, Furthermore, service rendered in PNRC is a
and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance volunteer service to which is neither an office nor an
with the number of their respective inhabitants, and employment
on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and
those who, as provided by law, shall be elected ISSUE: By accepting the PNRC Chair, did Gordon forfeit his
through a partylist system of registered national, Senate Seat? NO
regional, and sectoral parties or organizations.  the sui generis status of the PNRC is now
(Underscoring supplied) sufficiently established.1âwphi1 Although it is
neither a subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of

Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution provides the government, nor a government-owned or -
that the HRET shall be the sole judge of all contests controlled corporation or a subsidiary thereof, as
relating to, among other things, the qualifications of succinctly explained in the Decision of July 15,
the members of the House of Representatives. 2009, so much so that respondent, under the
Since, as pointed out above, party-list nominees are Decision, was correctly allowed to hold his position
“elected members” of the House of as Chairman thereof concurrently while he served
Representatives no less than the district as a Senator, such a conclusion does not ipso facto
representatives are, the HRET has jurisdiction to imply that the PNRC is a "private corporation" within
hear and pass upon their qualifications. By analogy the contemplation of the provision of the
with the cases of district representatives, once the Constitution, that must be organized under the
party or organization of the party-list nominee has Corporation Code. As correctly mentioned by
been proclaimed and the nominee has taken his Justice Roberto A. Abad, the sui generis character
oath and assumed office as member of the House of PNRC requires us to approach controversies
of Representatives, the COMELEC’s jurisdiction involving the PNRC on a case-to-case basis.
over election contests relating to his qualifications  In sum, the PNRC enjoys a special status as an
ends and the HRET’s own jurisdiction begins. important ally and auxiliary of the government in the
humanitarian field in accordance with its
 The Court holds that respondent HRET did not commitments under international law.
gravely abuse its discretion when it dismissed the  WHEREFORE, we declare that the office of the
petitions for quo warranto against Aangat Tayo Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross is
party-list and Bantay party-list but upheld its not a government office or an office in a
jurisdiction over the question of the qualifications of government-owned or controlled corporation for
petitioners Abayon and Palparan. purposes of the prohibition in Section 13, Article VI
of the 1987 Constitution.
G. R. No. 175352 January 18, 2011
SALVADOR M. VIARI, Petitioners, SANTIAGO A.C. No. 7399 August 25, 2009
vs. RICHARD J. GORDON, Respondent. In his sworn letter/complaint dated December 22, 2006, with
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RED CROSS, Intervenor. enclosures, Antero J. Pobre invites the Courts attention to
the following excerpts of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiagos
FACTS: speech delivered on the Senate floor:
 Dante V. Liban, together with other petitioners, x x x I am not angry. I am irate. I am
petitioned in Court to declare Richard J. Gordon as foaming in the mouth. I am homicidal. I am


suicidal. I am humiliated, debased, head of NEDA, was then invited to testify before the
degraded. And I am not only that, I feel like Senate Blue Ribbon. He disclosed that the
throwing up to be living my middle years in COMELEC Chairman Abalos offered him P200M in
a country of this nature. I am nauseated. I exchange for his approval of the NBN Project, that
spit on the face of Chief Justice Artemio he informed PGMA about the bribery and that she
Panganiban and his cohorts in the instructed him not to accept the bribe. However,
Supreme Court, I am no longer interested when probed further on what they discussed about
in the position [of Chief Justice] if I was to the NBN Project, he refused to answer, invoking
be surrounded by idiots. I would rather be “executive privilege”. In particular, he refused to
in another environment but not in the answer the questions on (a) whether or not
Supreme Court of idiots x x x. President Arroyo followed up the NBN
To Pobre, the foregoing statements reflected a total Project, (b) whether or not she directed him to
disrespect on the part of the speaker towards then Chief prioritize it, and (c) whether or not she directed him
Justice Artemio Panganiban and the other members of the to approve. As a result, the Senate cited him for
Court and constituted direct contempt of court. Accordingly, contempt.
Pobre asks that disbarment proceedings or other disciplinary  Respondent Committees persisted in knowing
actions be taken against the lady senator. petitioner’s answers to these three questions by
 Article VI, Section 11 of the Constitution, requiring him to appear and testify once more on
which provides: A Senator or Member of November 20, 2007. On November 15, 2007,
the House of Representative shall, in all Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita wrote to
offenses punishable by not more than six respondent Committees and requested them to
years imprisonment, be privileged from dispense with petitioner’s testimony on the ground
arrest while the Congress is in session. No of executive privilege.
member shall be questioned nor be held  The senate thereafter issued a show cause order,
liable in any other place for any speech or unsatisfied with the reply, therefore, issued an
debate in the Congress or in any Order citing Neri in contempt and ordering his arrest
committee thereof. and detention at the Office of the Senate Sergeant-
 Any claim of an unworthy purpose or of the at-Arms until such time that he would appear and
falsity and mala fides of the statement give his testimony.
uttered by the member of the Congress  On the same date, petitioner moved for the
does not destroy the privilege. The reconsideration of the above Order. Denied. Petition
disciplinary authority of the assemblyand for certiorari and Supplemental Petition for
the voters, not the courts, can properly Certiorari (with Urgent Application for
discourage or correct such abuses TRO/Preliminary Injunction) granted by the SC
committed in the name of parliamentary court.
 Her privilege speech is not actionable CORE ISSUES:
criminally or in a disciplinary proceeding I. whether or not there is a recognized presumptive
under the Rules of Court. presidential communications privilege in our legal
 The Rules of the Senate itself contains a system;
provision on Unparliamentary Acts and II. whether or not there is factual or legal basis to hold
Language that enjoins a Senator from that the communications elicited by the three (3)
using, under any circumstance, offensive questions are covered by executive privilege;
or improper language against another III. whether or not respondent Committees have shown
Senator or against any public institution. that the communications elicited by the three (3)
The Senate President had not apparently questions are critical to the exercise of their
called her to order, let alone referred the functions; and
matter to the Senate Ethics Committee for IV. whether or not respondent Committees committed
appropriate disciplinary action, as the grave abuse of discretion in issuing the contempt
Rules dictates under such circumstance. order.
The lady senator clearly violated the rules
of her own chamber. It is unfortunate that HELD:
her peers bent backwards and avoided I. There Is a Recognized Presumptive Presidential
imposing their own rules on her. Communications Privilege
 Respondent Committees argue as if this were the
G.R. No. 180643 September 4, 2008 first time the presumption in favor of the presidential
ROMULO L. NERI, petitioner, communications privilege is mentioned and adopted
vs. SENATE COMMITTEE ON ACCOUNTABILITY OF in our legal system. That is far from the truth. There,
PUBLIC OFFICERS AND INVESTIGATIONS, SENATE the Court enumerated the cases in which the claim
COMMITTEE ON TRADE AND COMMERCE, AND of executive privilege was recognized, among them
SECURITY, respondents. v. PEA.The Court articulated in these cases that,
“”the right to information does not extend to matters
FACTS: recognized as ‘privileged information’ under the
 The Senate issued various Senate Resolutions separation of powers, by which the Court meant
directing SBRC, among others, to conduct an Presidential conversations, correspondences, and
investigation regarding the NBN-ZTE deal. Neri, the discussions in closed-door Cabinet meetings.”


 In this case, it was the President herself, through  Second, respondent Committees also seek
Executive Secretary Ermita, who invoked executive reconsideration of the application of the “doctrine of
privilege on a specific matter involving an executive operational proximity” for the reason that “it maybe
agreement between the Philippines and China, misconstrued to expand the scope of the
which was the subject of the three (3) questions presidential communications privilege to
propounded to petitioner Neri in the course of the communications between those who are
Senate Committees’ investigation. ‘operationally proximate’ to the President but who
 A President and those who assist him must be free may have “no direct communications with her.”
to explore alternatives in the process of shaping  It must be stressed that the doctrine of “operational
policies and making decisions and to do so in a way proximity” was laid down in In re: Sealed Case
many would be unwilling to express except precisely to limit the scope of the presidential
privately. These are the considerations justifying a communications privilege. In the case at bar, the
presumptive privilege for Presidential danger of expanding the privilege “to a large swath
communications. The privilege is fundamental to the of the executive branch” (a fear apparently
operation of government and inextricably rooted in entertained by respondents) is absent because the
the separation of powers under the Constitution official involved here is a member of the Cabinet,
 Thus, if what is involved is the presumptive privilege thus, properly within the term “advisor” of the
of presidential communications when invoked by President; in fact, her alter ego and a member of
the President on a matter clearly within the domain her official family. This goes to show that the
of the Executive, the said presumption dictates that operational proximity test used in the Decision is not
the same be recognized and be given preference or considered conclusive in every case. In determining
priority, in the absence of proof of a compelling or which test to use, the main consideration is to limit
critical need for disclosure by the one assailing such the availability of executive privilege only to officials
presumption. Any construction to the contrary will who stand proximate to the President, not only by
render meaningless the presumption accorded by reason of their function, but also by reason of their
settled jurisprudence in favor of executive privilege. positions in the Executive’s organizational structure.
In fact, Senate v. Ermita reiterates jurisprudence Thus, respondent Committees’ fear that the scope
citing "the considerations justifying a presumptive of the privilege would be unnecessarily expanded
privilege for Presidential communications." with the use of the operational proximity test is
II. There Are Factual and Legal Bases to Hold that the
Communications Elicited by the Three (3) Questions Are C. The President’s claim of executive privilege is not merely
Covered by Executive Privilege based on a generalized interest; and in balancing
respondent Committees’ and the President’s clashing
A. The power to enter into an executive agreement is a interests, the Court did not disregard the 1987 Constitutional
“quintessential and non-delegable presidential power.” provisions on government transparency, accountability and
disclosure of information.
 First, respondent Committees contend that the
power to secure a foreign loan does not relate to a  The Letter dated November 15, 2007 of Executive
“quintessential and non-delegable presidential Secretary Ermita specified presidential
power,” because the Constitution does not vest it in communications privilege in relation to diplomatic
the President alone, but also in the Monetary Board and economic relations with another sovereign
which is required to give its prior concurrence and nation as the bases for the claim. Even in Senate v.
to report to Congress. Ermita, it was held that Congress must not require
 This argument is unpersuasive. the Executive to state the reasons for the claim with
 The fact that a power is subject to the concurrence such particularity as to compel disclosure of the
of another entity does not make such power less information which the privilege is meant to protect.
executive. The power to enter into an executive This is a matter of respect for a coordinate and co-
agreement is in essence an executive power. This equal department.
authority of the President to enter into executive  It is easy to discern the danger that goes with the
agreements without the concurrence of the disclosure of the President’s communication with
Legislature has traditionally been recognized in her advisor. The NBN Project involves a foreign
Philippine jurisprudence. Now, the fact that the country as a party to the agreement. It was actually
President has to secure the prior concurrence of the a product of the meeting of minds between officials
Monetary Board, which shall submit to Congress a of the Philippines and China. Whatever the
complete report of its decision before contracting or President says about the agreement - particularly
guaranteeing foreign loans, does not diminish the while official negotiations are ongoing - are matters
executive nature of the power. In the same way that which China will surely view with particular interest.
certain legislative acts require action from the There is danger in such kind of exposure. It could
President for their validity does not render such acts adversely affect our diplomatic as well as economic
less legislative in nature. relations with the People’s Republic of China.
 This Court did not rule that the Senate has no
B. The “doctrine of operational proximity” was laid down power to investigate the NBN Project in aid of
precisely to limit the scope of the presidential legislation. There is nothing in the assailed Decision
communications privilege but, in any case, it is not that prohibits respondent Committees from inquiring
conclusive. into the NBN Project. They could continue the
investigation and even call petitioner Neri to testify


again. He himself has repeatedly expressed his  In the assailed Decision, we said that there is a
willingness to do so. Our Decision merely excludes cloud of doubt as to the validity of the contempt
from the scope of respondents’ investigation the order because during the deliberation of the three
three (3) questions that elicit answers covered by (3) respondent Committees, only seven (7)
executive privilege and rules that petitioner cannot Senators were present. This number could hardly
be compelled to appear before respondents to fulfill the majority requirement needed by
answer the said questions. We have discussed the respondent Committee on Accountability of Public
reasons why these answers are covered by Officers and Investigations which has a
executive privilege. That there is a recognized membership of seventeen (17) Senators and
public interest in the confidentiality of such respondent Committee on National Defense and
information is a recognized principle in other Security which has a membership of eighteen (18)
democratic States. To put it simply, the right to Senators. With respect to respondent Committee on
information is not an absolute right. Trade and Commerce which has a membership of
nine (9) Senators, only three (3) members were
III. Respondent Committees Failed to Show That the present.
Communications Elicited by the Three Questions Are
Critical to the Exercise of their Functions
 The jurisprudential test laid down by this Court in
past decisions on executive privilege is that the
presumption of privilege can only be overturned by Araullo vs Aquino GR 209287 July 1, 2014
a showing of compelling need for disclosure of the Political Law – Constitutional Law – Separation of Powers –
information covered by executive privilege. Fund Realignment – Constitutionality of the Disbursement
 In the Motion for Reconsideration, respondent Acceleration Program -Power of the Purse – Executive
Committees argue that the information elicited by Impoundment
the three (3) questions are necessary in the  When President Benigno Aquino III took office, his
discharge of their legislative functions, among them, administration noticed the sluggish growth of the
(a) to consider the three (3) pending Senate Bills, economy. The World Bank advised that the
and (b) to curb graft and corruption. economy needed a stimulus plan. Budget Secretary
 We remain unpersuaded by respondents’ Florencio “Butch” Abad then came up with a
assertions. The burden to show this is on the program called the Disbursement Acceleration
respondent Committees, since they seek to intrude Program (DAP).
into the sphere of competence of the President in  The DAP was seen as a remedy to speed up the
order to gather information which, according to said funding of government projects. DAP enables the
respondents, would “aid” them in crafting legislation. Executive to realign funds from slow moving
Clearly, the need for hard facts in crafting legislation projects to priority projects instead of waiting for
cannot be equated with the compelling or next year’s appropriation. So what happens under
demonstratively critical and specific need for facts the DAP was that if a certain government project is
which is so essential to the judicial power to being undertaken slowly by a certain executive
adjudicate actual controversies. agency, the funds allotted therefor will be withdrawn
by the Executive. Once withdrawn, these funds are
IV. Respondent Committees Committed Grave Abuse of declared as “savings” by the Executive and said
Discretion in Issuing the Contempt Order funds will then be reallotted to other priority
projects. The DAP program did work
 Respondent Committees contend that their Rules of to stimulate the economy as economic growth was
Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation in fact reported and portion of such growth was
(the “Rules”) are beyond the reach of this Court. attributed to the DAP (as noted by the Supreme
While it is true that this Court must refrain from Court).
reviewing the internal processes of Congress, as a  Other sources of the DAP include the
co-equal branch of government, however, when a unprogrammed funds from the General
constitutional requirement exists, the Court has the Appropriations Act (GAA). Unprogrammed funds
duty to look into Congress’ compliance therewith. are standby appropriations made by Congress in
We cannot turn a blind eye to possible violations of the GAA.
the Constitution simply out of courtesy.  Meanwhile, in September 2013, Senator Jinggoy
 In the present case, the Court’s exercise of its Estrada made an exposé claiming that he, and
power of judicial review is warranted because there other Senators, received Php50M from the
appears to be a clear abuse of the power of President as an incentive for voting in favor of the
contempt on the part of respondent Committees. impeachment of then Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Section 18 of the Rules provides that: Secretary Abad claimed that the money was taken
o "The Committee, by a vote of majority of from the DAP but was disbursed upon the request
all its members, may punish for contempt of the Senators.
any witness before it who disobey any  This apparently opened a can of worms as it turns
order of the Committee or refuses to be out that the DAP does not only realign funds within
sworn or to testify or to answer proper the Executive. It turns out that some non-Executive
questions by the Committee or any of its projects were also funded; to name a few: Php1.5B
members." (Emphasis supplied) for the CPLA (Cordillera People’s Liberation Army),
Php1.8B for the MNLF (Moro National Liberation

Front), P700M for the Quezon Province, P50- GAA for the Executive were being transferred
P100M for certain Senators each, P10B for to the Legislative and other non-Executive
Relocation Projects, etc. agencies.
 This prompted Maria Carolina Araullo, Chairperson Further, transfers “within their respective
of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, and several offices” also contemplate realignment of funds
other concerned citizens to file various petitions with to an existing project in the GAA. Under the
the Supreme Court questioning the validity of the DAP, even though some projects were within
DAP. Among their contentions was: the Executive, these projects are non-existent
 DAP is unconstitutional because it violates the insofar as the GAA is concerned because no
constitutional rule which provides that “no money funds were appropriated to them in the GAA.
shall be paid out of the Treasury except in Although some of these projects may be
pursuance of an appropriation made by law.” legitimate, they are still non-existent under the
 Secretary Abad argued that the DAP is based on GAA because they were not provided for by the
certain laws particularly the GAA (savings and GAA. As such, transfer to such projects is
augmentation provisions thereof), Sec. 25(5), Art. VI unconstitutional and is without legal basis.
of the Constitution (power of the President to
augment), Secs. 38 and 49 of Executive Order 292 On the issue of what are “savings”
(power of the President to suspend expenditures These DAP transfers are not “savings” contrary
and authority to use savings, respectively). to what was being declared by the Executive.
Issues: Under the definition of “savings” in the GAA,
I. Whether or not the DAP violates the principle savings only occur, among other instances,
“no money shall be paid out of the Treasury when there is an excess in the funding of a
except in pursuance of an appropriation made certain project once it is completed,
by law” (Sec. 29(1), Art. VI, Constitution). finally discontinued, or finally abandoned. The
II. Whether or not the DAP realignments can be GAA does not refer to “savings” as funds
considered as impoundments by the executive. withdrawn from a slow moving project. Thus,
III. Whether or not the DAP realignments/transfers since the statutory definition of savings was not
are constitutional. complied with under the DAP, there is no basis
IV. Whether or not the sourcing of unprogrammed at all for the transfers. Further, savings should
funds to the DAP is constitutional. only be declared at the end of the fiscal year.
V. Whether or not the Doctrine of Operative Fact But under the DAP, funds are already being
is applicable. withdrawn from certain projects in the middle of
HELD: the year and then being declared as “savings”
I. No, the DAP did not violate Section 29(1), Art. by the Executive particularly by the DBM.
VI of the Constitution. DAP was merely a IV. No. Unprogrammed funds from the GAA
program by the Executive and is not a fund nor cannot be used as money source for the DAP
is it an appropriation. It is a program for because under the law, such funds may only
prioritizing government spending. As such, it be used if there is a certification from the
did not violate the Constitutional provision cited National Treasurer to the effect that the
in Section 29(1), Art. VI of the Constitution. In revenue collections have exceeded the
DAP no additional funds were withdrawn from revenue targets. In this case, no such
the Treasury otherwise, an appropriation made certification was secured before
by law would have been required. Funds, which unprogrammed funds were used.
were already appropriated for by the GAA, V. Yes. The Doctrine of Operative Fact, which
were merely being realigned via the DAP. recognizes the legal effects of an act prior to it
II. No, there is no executive impoundment in the being declared as unconstitutional by the
DAP. Impoundment of funds refers to the Supreme Court, is applicable. The DAP has
President’s power to refuse to spend definitely helped stimulate the economy. It has
appropriations or to retain or deduct funded numerous projects. If the Executive is
appropriations for whatever reason. ordered to reverse all actions under the DAP,
Impoundment is actually prohibited by the GAA then it may cause more harm than good. The
unless there will be an unmanageable national DAP effects can no longer be undone. The
government budget deficit (which did not beneficiaries of the DAP cannot be asked to
happen). Nevertheless, there’s no return what they received especially so that
impoundment in the case at bar because they relied on the validity of the DAP. However,
what’s involved in the DAP was the transfer of the Doctrine of Operative Fact may not be
funds. applicable to the authors, implementers, and
III. No, the transfers made through the DAP were proponents of the DAP if it is so found in the
unconstitutional. It is true that the President appropriate tribunals (civil, criminal, or
(and even the heads of the other branches of administrative) that they have not acted in good
the government) are allowed by the faith.
Constitution to make realignment of funds,
however, such transfer or realignment should ABAKADA Guro Party List v Purisima
only be made “within their respective offices”. G.R. No. 166715, August 14, 2008
Thus, no cross-border transfers/augmentations FACTS:
may be allowed. But under the DAP, this was 1. This petition for prohibition seeks to prevent
violated because funds appropriated by the respondents from implementing and enforcing


Republic Act (RA) 9335 (Attrition Act of 2005). And, when it exercises its legislative power, it must
RA 9335 was enacted to optimize the revenue- follow the "single, finely wrought and exhaustively
generation capability and collection of the Bureau of considered, procedures" specified under the
Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs Constitution including the procedure for enactment
(BOC). The law intends to encourage BIR and BOC of laws and presentment.
officials and employees to exceed their revenue  Thus, any post-enactment congressional measure
targets by providing a system of rewards and such as this should be limited to scrutiny and
sanctions through the creation of a Rewards and investigation. In particular, congressional oversight
Incentives Fund (Fund) and a Revenue must be confined to the following:
Performance Evaluation Board (Board). It covers all (1) scrutiny based primarily on Congress' power of
officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC appropriation and the budget hearings conducted in
with at least six months of service, regardless of connection with it, its power to ask heads of
employment status departments to appear before and be heard by
either of its Houses on any matter pertaining to their
2. Petitioners, invoking their right as taxpayers filed departments and its power of confirmation and
this petition challenging the constitutionality of RA
9335, a tax reform legislation. They contend that, (2) investigation and monitoring of the implementation
by establishing a system of rewards and of laws pursuant to the power of Congress to
incentives, the law "transform[s] the officials conduct inquiries in aid of legislation.
and employees of the BIR and the BOC into 
mercenaries and bounty hunters" as they will Any action or step beyond that will undermine
do their best only in consideration of such the separation of powers guaranteed by the
rewards. Petitioners also assail the creation of Constitution. Legislative vetoes fall in this class.
a congressional oversight committee on the  Legislative veto is a statutory provision requiring the
ground that it violates the doctrine of separation President or an administrative agency to present
of powers, for it permits legislative participation in the proposed implementing rules and regulations of
the implementation and enforcement of the law. a law to Congress which, by itself or through a
committee formed by it, retains a "right" or "power"
ISSUE: WON the joint congressional committee is valid and to approve or disapprove such regulations before
constitutional they take effect. As such, a legislative veto in the
form of a congressional oversight committee is in
HELD: No. It is unconstitutional. the form of an inward-turning delegation designed
to attach a congressional leash (other than through
 In the case of Macalintal, in the discussion of J. scrutiny and investigation) to an agency to which
Puno, the power of oversight embraces all Congress has by law initially delegated broad
activities undertaken by Congress to enhance powers. It radically changes the design or structure
its understanding of and influence over the of the Constitution's diagram of power as it entrusts
implementation of legislation it has enacted. to Congress a direct role in enforcing, applying or
Clearly, oversight concerns post-enactment implementing its own laws.
measures undertaken by Congress: (a) to  Administrative regulations enacted by administrative
monitor bureaucratic compliance with program agencies to implement and interpret the law which
objectives, (b) to determine whether agencies they are entrusted to enforce have the force of law
are properly administered, (c) to eliminate 49
and are entitled to respect. Such rules and
executive waste and dishonesty, (d) to prevent 50
regulations partake of the nature of a statute and
executive usurpation of legislative authority, are just as binding as if they have been written in
and (d) to assess executive conformity with the the statute itself. As such, they have the force and
congressional perception of public interest. The effect of law and enjoy the presumption of
power of oversight has been held to be intrinsic in constitutionality and legality until they are set aside
the grant of legislative power itself and integral to with finality in an appropriate case by a competent
the checks and balances inherent in a democratic 51
court. Congress, in the guise of assuming the role
system of government of an overseer, may not pass upon their legality by
 With this backdrop, it is clear that congressional subjecting them to its stamp of approval without
oversight is not unconstitutional per se, meaning, it disturbing the calculated balance of powers
neither necessarily constitutes an encroachment on established by the Constitution. In exercising
the executive power to implement laws nor discretion to approve or disapprove the IRR based
undermines the constitutional separation of powers. on a determination of whether or not they
Rather, it is integral to the checks and balances conformed with the provisions of RA 9335,
inherent in a democratic system of government. It Congress arrogated judicial power unto itself, a
may in fact even enhance the separation of powers power exclusively vested in this Court by the
as it prevents the over-accumulation of power in the Constitution.
executive branch.
 However, to forestall the danger of
congressional encroachment "beyond the
legislative sphere," the Constitution imposes
two basic and related constraints on Congress.
It may not vest itself, any of its committees or its
members with either executive or judicial power.


EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT he chafes at the creation of a purportedly separate

tribunal complemented by a budget allocation, a
Pormento v. Estrada seal, a set of personnel and confidential employees,
G.R. No. 191988 August 31, 2010 to effect the constitutional mandate.
 Petitioner reiterates that the constitution of the PET,
 What is the proper interpretation of the following with the designation of the Members of the Court as
provision of Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution: Chairman and Members thereof, contravenes
[t]he President shall not be eligible for any Section 12, Article VIII of the Constitution, which
reelection? prohibits the designation of Members of the
 The petition asks whether private respondent Supreme Court and of other courts established by
Joseph Ejercito Estrada is covered by the ban on law to any agency performing quasi-judicial or
the President from any reelection. Private administrative functions.
respondent was elected President of the Republic
of the Philippines in the general elections held on WON the constitution of the PET, composed of the
May 11, 1998. He sought the presidency again in Members of this Court, is unconstitutional, and violates
the general elections held on May 10, 2010. Section 4, Article VII and Section 12, Article VIII of the
Petitioner Atty. Evillo C. Pormento opposed private Constitution?
respondents candidacy and filed a petition for
disqualification. However, his petition was denied by WHETHER x x x PETITIONER HAS LOCUS STANDI TO
 Petitioner filed the instant petition for certiorari on Petitioner appeared before as counsel of former
May 7, 2010. However, under the ROC, the filing of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Macapagal-Arroyo) in
such petition would not stay the execution of the the election protest filed by 2004 presidential candidate
judgment, final order or resolution of the COMELEC Fernando Poe, Jr. before the Presidential Electoral
that is sought to be reviewed. Besides, petitioner Tribunal, because judicial inquiry, requires that the
did not even pray for the issuance of a temporary constitutional question be raised at the earliest possible
restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction. opportunity. Such appearance as counsel before the
Hence, private respondent was able to participate Tribunal, to our mind, would have been the first opportunity
as a candidate for the position of President in the to challenge the constitutionality of the Tribunals constitution.
May 10, 2010 elections where he garnered the Petitioner is unmistakably estopped from assailing the
second highest number of votes. jurisdiction of the PET before which tribunal he had
 Private respondent was not elected President the ubiquitously appeared and had acknowledged its jurisdiction
second time he ran. Since the issue on the proper in 2004. His failure to raise a seasonable constitutional
interpretation of the phrase any reelection will be challenge at that time, coupled with his unconditional
premised on a person’s second (whether immediate acceptance of the Tribunals authority over the case he was
or not) election as President, there is no case or defending, translates to the clear absence of an
controversy to be resolved in this case. No live indispensable requisite for the proper invocation of this
conflict of legal rights exists. There is in this case no Courts power of judicial review. Even on this score alone, the
definite, concrete, real or substantial controversy petition ought to be dismissed outright.
that touches on the legal relations of parties having
adverse legal interests…When a case is moot, it  We reiterate that the establishment of the PET
becomes non-justiciable. simply constitutionalized what was statutory
 Assuming an actual case or controversy existed before the 1987 Constitution. The experiential
prior to the proclamation of a President who has context of the PET in our country cannot be denied.
been duly elected in the May 10, 2010 elections, the  (trace the historical antecedents of the PET)
same is no longer true today. Following the results o Article VII, Section 4, paragraph 7 of the
of that elections, private respondent was not elected 1987 Constitution is an innovation.
President for the second time. Thus, any discussion o To fill the void in the 1935 Constitution, the
of his reelection will simply be hypothetical and National Assembly enacted R.A. No. 1793,
speculative. It will serve no useful or practical establishing an independent PET to try,
purpose. PETITION DENIED. hear, and decide protests contesting the
election of President and Vice-President.
G.R. No. 191618: November 23, 2010 o R.A. No. 1793 was implicitly repealed and
ATTY. ROMULO B. MACALINTAL, v. PET superseded by the 1973 Constitution
which replaced the bicameral legislature
 an undesignated petition filed by Atty. Romulo B. under the 1935 Constitution with the
Macalintal (Atty. Macalintal), that questions the unicameral body of a parliamentary
constitution of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal government.
(PET) as an illegal and unauthorized progeny of o These changes prompted the National
Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution: Assembly to revive the PET by enacting,
o The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall on December 3, 1985, Batas Pambansa
be the sole judge of all contests relating to Bilang (B.P. Blg.) 884, entitled An Act
the election, returns, and qualifications of Constituting an Independent Presidential
the President or Vice-President, and may Electoral Tribunal to Try, Hear and Decide
promulgate its rules for the purpose. Election Contests in the Office of the
 While petitioner concedes that the Supreme Court President and Vice-President of the
is authorized to promulgate its rules for the purpose,

Philippines, Appropriating Funds Therefor enforceable, and to determine whether or not there
and For Other Purposes. has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to
o With R.A. No. 1793 as framework, the lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any
1986 Constitutional Commission branch or instrumentality of the Government.The
transformed the then statutory PET into a power was expanded, but it remained absolute.
constitutional institution, albeit without its  The set up embodied in the Constitution and
traditional nomenclature: FR. BERNAS. x x statutes characterize the resolution of electoral
x.x x x. So it became necessary to create a contests as essentially an exercise of judicial
Presidential Electoral Tribunal. What we power.
have done is to constitutionalize what was  We have previously declared that the PET is not
statutory but it is not an infringement on simply an agency to which Members of the Court
the separation of powers because the were designated. Once again, the PET, as intended
power being given to the Supreme Court is by the framers of the Constitution, is to be an
a judicial power. institution independent, but not separate, from the
judicial department, i.e., the Supreme Court.
 It was made in response to the concern aired by
delegate Jose E. Suarez that the additional duty G.R. No. 184740 February 11, 2010
may prove too burdensome for the Supreme Court. DENNIS A. B. FUNA, Petitioner,
This explicit grant of independence and of the vs.EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO R. ERMITA,
plenary powers needed to discharge this burden Office of the President, SEC. LEANDRO R. MENDOZA, in
justifies the budget allocation of the PET. his official capacity as Secretary of the Department of
 The conferment of additional jurisdiction to the Transportation and Communications, USEC. MARIA
Supreme Court, with the duty characterized as an ELENA H. BAUTISTA, in her official capacities as
awesome task, includes the means necessary to Undersecretary of the Department of Transportation and
carry it into effect under the doctrine of necessary Communications and as Officer-in-Charge of the
implication. Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Respondents.
 A plain reading of Article VII, Section 4, paragraph
7, readily reveals a grant of authority to the  On October 4, 2006, PGMA appointed respondent
Supreme Court sitting en banc. In the same vein, Maria Elena H. Bautista as Undersecretary of
although the method by which the Supreme Court DOTC. Bautista was designated as Undersecretary
exercises this authority is not specified in the for Maritime Transport of the department under
provision, the grant of power does not contain any Special Order No. 2006-171 dated October 23,
limitation on the Supreme Courts exercise thereof. 2006.
The Supreme Courts method of deciding  On September 1, 2008, following the resignation of
presidential and vice-presidential election contests, then MARINA Administrator Suazo, Jr., Bautista
through the PET, is actually a derivative of the was designated as Officer-in-Charge, Office of the
exercise of the prerogative conferred by the Administrator, MARINA, in concurrent capacity as
aforequoted constitutional provision. Thus, the DOTC Undersecretary.
subsequent directive in the provision for the  Dennis A. B. Funa in his capacity as taxpayer,
Supreme Court to promulgate its rules for the concerned citizen and lawyer, filed the instant
purpose. petition challenging the constitutionality of Bautista’s
 The conferment of full authority to the Supreme appointment/designation, which is proscribed by the
Court, as a PET, is equivalent to the full authority prohibition on the President, Vice-President, the
conferred upon the electoral tribunals of the Senate Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies and
and the House of Representatives, i.e., the Senate assistants to hold any other office or employment.
Electoral Tribunal (SET) and the House of  On January 5, 2009, during the pendency of this
Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET), which petition, Bautista was appointed Administrator of the
we have affirmed on numerous occasions. MARINA vice Vicente T. Suazo, Jr. and she
 The discussions point to the inevitable conclusion assumed her duties and responsibilities as such on
that the different electoral tribunals, with the February 2, 2009.
Supreme Court functioning as the PET, are
constitutional bodies, independent of the three Whether or not the designation of respondent Bautista as
departments of government Executive, Legislative, OIC of MARINA, concurrent with the position of DOTC
and Judiciary but not separate therefrom. Undersecretary for Maritime Transport to which she had
 The PET is not a separate and distinct entity from been appointed, violated the constitutional proscription
the Supreme Court, albeit it has functions peculiar against dual or multiple offices for Cabinet Members and
only to the Tribunal. The adoption of a separate their deputies and assistants. -yes
seal, as well as the change in the nomenclature of  The other objection raised by the respondent is that
the Chief Justice and the Associate Justices into the resolution of this case had been overtaken by
Chairman and Members of the Tribunal, events considering the effectivity of respondent
respectively, was designed simply to highlight the Bautista’s appointment as MARINA Administrator
singularity and exclusivity of the Tribunals functions effective February 2, 2009 and her relinquishment
as a special electoral court. of her former position as DOTC Undersecretary for
 With the advent of the 1987 Constitution, judicial Maritime Transport.
power was expanded to include the duty of the o In the present case, the mootness of the
courts of justice to settle actual controversies petition does not bar its resolution. The
involving rights which are legally demandable and question of the constitutionality of the

President’s appointment or designation of G.R. No. 191644 February 19, 2013

a Department Undersecretary as officer-in- DENNIS A.B. FUNA, Petitioner,
charge of an attached agency will arise in vs.ACTING SECRETARY OF JUSTICE ALBERTO C.
SC: Undersecretary Bautistas designation as MARINA SOLICITOR GENERAL, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
OIC falls under the stricter prohibition under Section 13, LEANDRO R. MENDOZA, OFFICE OF THE
Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. PRESIDENT, Respondents.
o Resolution of the present controversy o The petitioner alleges that on March 1, 2010, PGMA
hinges on the correct application of appointed Agra as the Acting Secretary of Justice;
Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 that on March 5, 2010, President Arroyo designated
Constitution, which provides: Sec. 13. The Agra as the Acting Solicitor General in a concurrent
President, Vice-President, the Members of capacity;
the Cabinet, and their deputies or o that on April 7, 2010, the petitioner, in his capacity
assistants shall not, unless otherwise as a taxpayer, a concerned citizen and a lawyer,
provided in this Constitution, hold any commenced this suit to challenge the
other office or employment during their constitutionality of Agra’s concurrent appointments
tenure. They shall not, during said tenure, or designations, claiming it to be prohibited under
directly or indirectly practice any other Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution;
profession, participate in any business, or o that during the pendency of the suit, President
be financially interested in any contract Aquino III appointed Atty. Cadiz as the Solicitor
with, or in any franchise, or special General; and that Cadiz assumed as the Solicitor
privilege granted by the Government or General and commenced his duties as such on
any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality August 5, 2010.
thereof, including government-owned or
controlled corporations or their Did the designation of Agra as the Acting Secretary of
subsidiaries. They shall strictly avoid Justice, concurrently with his position of Acting Solicitor
conflict of interest in the conduct of their General, violate the constitutional prohibition against dual or
office. multiple offices for the Members of the Cabinet and their
o On the other hand, Section 7, paragraph deputies and assistants? Yes. It was unconstitutional and
(2), Article IX-B reads: Sec. 7. x x x Unless void for being in violation of the constitutional prohibition
otherwise allowed by law or the primary under Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution.
functions of his position, no appointive
official shall hold any other office or o Section 7, Article IX-B is meant to lay down the
employment in the Government or any general rule applicable to all elective and
subdivision, agency or instrumentality appointive public officials and employees, while
thereof, including government-owned or Section 13, Article VII is meant to be the
controlled corporations or their exception applicable only to the President, the
subsidiaries. Vice-President, Members of the Cabinet, their
 Respondent Bautista being then the appointed deputies and assistants.
Undersecretary of DOTC, she was thus covered by the o The phrase "unless otherwise provided in this
stricter prohibition under Section 13, Article VII and Constitution" must be given a literal
consequently she cannot invoke the exception provided interpretation to refer only to those particular
in Section 7, paragraph 2, Article IX-B where holding instances cited in the Constitution itself, to wit:
another office is allowed by law or the primary functions the Vice-President being appointed as a member of
of the position. Neither was she designated OIC of the Cabinet under Section 3, par. (2), Article VII; or
MARINA in an ex-officio capacity, which is the exception acting as President in those instances provided
recognized in Civil Liberties Union. under Section 7, pars. (2) and (3), Article VII;
 The Court similarly finds respondents’ theory that being and, the Secretary of Justice being ex-
just a "designation," and temporary at that, respondent officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council
Bautista was never really "appointed" as OIC by virtue of Section 8 (1), Article VIII.
Administrator of MARINA, untenable. o Agra could not validly hold any other office or
 It must be stressed though that while the designation employment during his tenure as the Acting Solicitor
was in the nature of an acting and temporary capacity, General, because the Constitution has not
the words "hold the office" were employed. Such otherwise so provided.
holding of office pertains to both appointment and o It was of no moment that Agra’s designation was in
designation because the appointee or designate an acting or temporary capacity. To construe
performs the duties and functions of the office. To "hold" differently is to "open the veritable floodgates of
an office means to "possess or occupy" the same, or "to circumvention of an important constitutional
be in possession and administration," which implies disqualification of officials in the Executive
nothing less than the actual discharge of the functions Department and of limitations on the President’s
and duties of the office power of appointment in the guise of temporary
 The disqualification laid down in Section 13, Article VII is designations of Cabinet Members, undersecretaries
aimed at preventing the concentration of powers in the and assistant secretaries as officers-in-charge of
Executive Department officials, specifically the government agencies, instrumentalities, or
President, Vice-President, Members of the Cabinet and government-owned or controlled corporations."
their deputies and assistants.


o According to Public Interest Center, Inc. v. o In order to be clear, therefore, the Court holds that
Elma, the only two exceptions against the all official actions of Agra as a de facto Acting
holding of multiple offices are: (1) those provided Secretary of Justice, were presumed valid, binding
for under the Constitution, such as Section 3, Article and effective as if he was the officer legally
VII, authorizing the Vice President to become a appointed and qualified for the office.
member of the Cabinet; and (2) posts occupied by
Executive officials specified in Section 13, Article VII DE CASTRO v. JBC | March 17, 2010 | Bersamin
without additional compensation in ex Petitioner: Arturo M. De Castro, Jaime N. Soriano,
officio capacities as provided by law and as Philippine Constitution Association (PHILCONSA)
required by the primary functions of the officials’ Respondents: Judicial and Bar Council and PGMA
o It is equally remarkable, therefore, that Agra’s 1
Article VII, Sec. 15 of the Constitution prohibiting the
designation as the Acting Secretary of Justice was President to make appointments two months before the
not in an ex officio capacity, by which he would next Presidential election is not applicable to the
have been validly authorized to concurrently hold 2
Judiciary. Article VIII, Sec. 4 (1) which provides that any
the two positions due to the holding of one office vacancy shall be filled within 90 days from the
being the consequence of holding the other occurrence thereof is mandatory.
o x x x. The term ex officio means "from office; by FACTS
virtue of office." It refers to an "authority derived ● The forthcoming retirement of Chief Justice Puno
from official character merely, not expressly on May 17, 2010 (7 days after the Presidential
conferred upon the individual character, but rather election led Congressman Matias V. Defensor (an
annexed to the official position." Ex officio likewise ex-officio member of the JBC) to address a letter to
denotes an "act done in an official character, or as a the JBC requesting that the process for nominations
consequence of office, and without any other be commenced immediately.
appointment or authority other than that conferred ● The JBC in its meeting en banc passed a resolution
by the office." An ex officio member of a board is that they unanimously agree to start the process of
one who is a member by virtue of his title to a filling up the position of Chief Justice Reynato Puno.
certain office, and without further warrant or As a result the JBC opened the position of Chief
appointment. x x x. Justice for application or recommendation and
o Indeed, the powers and functions of the OSG are published its announcement for that purpose.
neither required by the primary functions nor ● Conformably with its existing practice, the JBC
included by the powers of the DOJ, and vice versa. “automatically considered” the 5 most senior of the
The OSG, while attached to the DOJ, is not a Associate Justices of the Court: Antonio Carpio,
constituent unit of the latter, as, in fact, Renato Corona, Conchita Carpio Morales,
the Administrative Code of 1987 decrees that the Presbiterio J. Velasco, Jr, and Eduardo Nachura (
OSG is independent and autonomous. With the The last two declined their nominations). Other
enactment of Republic Act No. 9417, the Solicitor candidates either applied or were nominated
General is now vested with a cabinet rank, and has o Candidates who accepted their nomination
the same qualifications for appointment, rank, w/o conditions: Renato Corona (SC),
prerogatives, salaries, allowances, benefits and Teresita Leonardo-De Castro (SC), Arturo
privileges as those of the Presiding Justice of the Brion(SC), Edilberto Sandoval
Court of Appeals. (Sandiganbayan)
o The persons cited in the constitutional provision are o Candidates who accepted their nomination
the "Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and w/ condition: Antonio Carpio (SC),
assistants." These terms must be given their Conchita Carpio Morales (SC)
common and general acceptation as referring to o Declining their nominations: Atty. Henry
the heads of the executive departments, their Villarica, Atty. Gregorio Batiller
undersecretaries and assistant ● In its meeting of Feb 8, the JBC resolved to proceed
secretaries. Public officials given the rank to the next step of announcing the names of the ff
equivalent to a Secretary, Undersecretary, or candidate to invite the public to file their sworn
Assistant Secretary are not covered by the complaint, written report or opposition if any:
prohibition, nor is the Solicitor General affected Carpio, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Leonardo-De
thereby. Castro, Brion, Sandoval
o It must be emphasized, however, that despite the
non-applicability of Section 13, Article VII of the
1987 Constitution to respondent Elma, he remains 1
covered by the general prohibition under Section 7, Art. VII, Sec 15 – Two months immediately before the next presidential
Article IX-B and his appointments must still comply elections and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting President
with the standard of compatibility of officers laid shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments to
down therein; failing which, his appointments are executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public
hereby pronounced in violation of the Constitution. service or endanger public safety.
o Accordingly, he was not to be considered as a de
jure officer for the entire period of his tenure as the 2
Art. VIII, Sec 4 (1) – The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief
Acting Secretary of Justice. That notwithstanding,
Agra was a de facto officer during his tenure as Justice and fourteen Associate Justices. It may sit en banc or in its
Acting Secretary of Justice. discretion, in division of three, five, or seven Members. Any vacancy shall
be filled within ninety days from the occurrence thereof.


● Although the JBC has already begun the process defeated by a mere judicial interpretation in
for the filling of the position of Chief Justice Puno in Valenzuela.
accordance with its rules, the JBC is not yet 2. Art. VII Sec. 15 also does NOT apply to other
decided on when to submit to the President the list appointments in the judiciary.
of nominees for the position due to the controversy a. One of the reasons for the adoption of this
(whether this was covered by the Constitutional Section 15 Art VII was to eliminate midnight
prohibition prohibiting the President to make appointments from being made by an outgoing
appointments two before the next Presidential Chief Executive. (As enunciated in the Aytona
elections) case)
NOTE: Valenzuela Case b. The framers did not need to extend the
● In this case, the Court held that prohibitions found in prohibition to appointments in the Judiciary,
Art VII Section 15 covered even judicial because their establishment of the JBC and
appointments. their subjecting the nomination and screening
● Petitioners say that this case is valid precedent and of candidates for judicial positions to the
must be applied in the instant case unhurried and deliberate prior process of
the JBC ensured that there would no longer
ISSUE: WON the prohibition under Section 15, Article VII be midnight appointments to the Judiciary.
apply to appointments to fill a vacancy in the SC and other c. Even candidates for judicial positions at any
appointments to the judiciary (NO) level backed by people influential with the
President could not always be assured of being
● Two provisions are seemingly in conflict recommended for the consideration of the
Art. VII, Sec 15 – Two months immediately before President, because they first had to undergo
the next presidential elections and up to the end of the vetting of the JBC and pass muster there.
his term, a President or Acting President shall not d. Indeed, the creation of the JBC was precisely
make appointments, except temporary intended to de-politicize the Judiciary by doing
appointments to executive positions when away with the intervention of the Commission
continued vacancies therein will prejudice public on Appointments.
service or endanger public safety. 3. As was confirmed by Associate Justice Regalado,
Art. VIII, Sec 4 (1) – The Supreme Court shall be the election ban had no application to appointments
composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen Associate to the Court of Appeals on the basis of the
Justices. It may sit en banc or in its discretion, in Constitutional Commission’s records
division of three, five, or seven Members. Any 4. Three sections in Article VII concern the appointing
vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from the powers of the President (sections 14, 15 and 16).
occurrence thereof Section 14 and 16 refer only to appointments
within the Executive Department. HENCE
❖ The Court held that the President can appoint the Section 15 must also apply only to the
successor of Chief Justice Puno upon his Executive Department.
retirement on the ground that the prohibition a. This conclusion is consistent with the rule that
against Presidential appointments under Art. every part of the statue must be interpreted
VII, Sec. 15 does not extend to appointments in with reference to the context
the judiciary. b. It is absurd to assume that the framers
deliberately situated Section 15 between
1. Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition Section 14 and Section 16, if they intended
contained in Art VII, Sec 15, to the appointment of Section 15 to cover all kinds of presidential
SC Members, they could have explicitly done so. appointments.
a. They would have easily and surely written the o If that was their intention in respect of
prohibition made explicit in Art VII Section 15 appointments to the Judiciary, the framers, if
as being equally applicable to the appointment only to be clear, would have easily and
of SC Members in Article VIII itself surely inserted a similar prohibition in Article
b. The exchanges during the deliberations of the VIII, most likely within Section 4 (1) thereof.
Constitutional Commission show that the filling 5. If section 15 extends to appointments to the
of a vacancy in the SC within the 90-day period judiciary, it would undermine the intent of the
was a true mandate of the President Constitution of ensuing the independence of the
o The usage of the word “shall” imposes on judicial department from the executive and
the President the imperative duty to make an legislative
appointment within 90 days from the 6. If the regular presidential elections are held on May
occurrence of the vacancy. The failure by the 8, the period of the prohibition is 115 days. If such
President to so will be a clear disobedience elections are held on May 14, the period of the
to the Constitution. prohibition is 109 days. Either period of the
c. Valenzuela Case (REVERSED!!!!) prohibition is longer than the full mandatory 90-
o Reversed as it does not firmly rest on the day period.
deliberations of the Constitutional a. The result is that there are at least 19
Commissions occasions (i.e., the difference between the
o The 90-day limitation fixed in Art VIII Sec shortest possible period of the ban of 109 days
4(1) establishes the definite mandate for the and the 90-day mandatory period for
President as appointing power and cannot be appointments) in which the outgoing President
would be in no position to comply with the


constitutional duty to fill up a vacancy in the 4.) For mandamus to lie against the JBC, therefore,
Supreme Court. It is safe to assume that the there should be an unexplained delay on its part
framers of the Constitution could not have in recommending nominees to the Judiciary, that
intended such an absurdity. is, in submitting the list to the President.

ISSUE: WON the Judiciary Act of 1948 can still address the G.R. No. 203372 June 16, 2015
situation of having the next President appoint the successor ATTY. CHELOY E. VELICARIA-GARAFIL, Petitioner,
Section 12. Vacancy in Office of Chief Justice. — GENERAL JOSE ANSELMO I. CADIZ, Respondents.
In case of a vacancy in the office of Chief Justice of x-----------------------x
the Supreme Court or of his inability to perform the
duties and powers of his office, they shall devolve  The present consolidated cases involve four
upon the Associate Justice who is first in petitions: G.R. No. 203372 with Atty. Cheloy E.
precedence, until such disability is removed, or Velicaria-Garafil (Atty. Velicaria-Garafil), who was
another Chief Justice is appointed and duly appointed State Solicitor II at the Office of the
qualified. This provision shall apply to every Solicitor General (OSG), as petitioner; G.R. No.
Associate Justice who succeeds to the office of 206290 with Atty. Dindo G. Venturanza (Atty.
Chief Justice. Venturanza), who was appointed Prosecutor IV
1. To rely on Sec12 f the Judiciary Act is to forestall (City Prosecutor) of Quezon City, as petitioner; G.R.
the imperative need to appoint the next Chief No. 209138 with Irma A. Villanueva (Villanueva),
Justice the soonest. who was appointed Administrator for Visayas of the
a. Appointment by the President of the Chief Board of Administrators of the Cooperative
Justice is never in an acting capacity. The Development Authority (CDA), and Francisca B.
framers intended the position to be permanent Rosquita (Rosquita), who was appointed
and not temporary. Commissioner of the National Commission of
b. Sec 12 only responds to a rare situation in Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), as petitioners; and
which the new Chief Justice is not yet G.R. No. 212030 with Atty. Eddie U. Tamondong
appointed, or in which the incumbent Chief (Atty. Tamondong), who was appointed member of
Justice is unable to perform the duties and the Board of Directors of the Subic Bay Metropolitan
powers of the office. It ought to be Authority (SBMA), as petitioner. All petitions
remembered, however, that it was enacted question the constitutionality of Executive Order No.
because the Chief Justice appointed under the 2 (EO 2) for being inconsistent with Section 15,
1935 Constitution was subject to the Article VII of the 1987 Constitution.
confirmation of the Commission on  Prior to the conduct of the May 2010 elections, then
Appointments, and the confirmation process President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (President
might take longer than expected Macapagal-Arroyo) issued more than 800
c. The lack of any appointed occupant of the appointments to various positions in several
office of Chief Justice harms the independence government offices.
of the Judiciary, because the Chief Justice is  The ban on midnight appointments in Section 15,
the head of the entire Judiciary. With the entire Article VII of the 1987 Constitution reads:
Supreme Court being the Presidential Electoral  Two months immediately before the next
Tribunal, the Chief Justice is the Chairman of presidential elections and up to the end of his term,
the Tribunal. a President or Acting President shall not make
appointments, except temporary appointments to
ISSUE: WON a writ of mandamus lie against the JBC (NO) executive positions when continued vacancies
therein will prejudice public service or endanger
1.) Section 8(5) and Section 9, Article VIII mandate the public safety.
JBC to submit a list of at least three nominees to  Thus, for purposes of the 2010 elections, 10 March
the President for every vacancy in the Judiciary. 2010 was the cutoff date for valid appointments and
HOWEVER, Sec 4 (1) and Sec (9) of Art VIII the next day, 11 March 2010, was the start of the
mandate the President to fill the vacancy in the ban on midnight appointments. Section 15, Article
Supreme Court within 90 days from the occurrence VII of the 1987 Constitution recognizes as an
of the vacancy, and within 90 days from the exception to the ban on midnight appointments only
submission of the list, in the case of the lower "temporary appointments to executive positions
courts. when continued vacancies therein will prejudice
2.) The 90-day period is directed at the President, not public service or endanger public safety."
at the JBC. Thus, the JBC should start the  None of the petitioners claim that their
process of selecting the candidates to fill the appointments fall under this exception.
vacancy in the Supreme Court before the  On 30 June 2010, President Benigno S. Aquino III
occurrence of the vacancy (President Aquino) took his oath of office as
3.) MINISTERIAL - The duty of the JBC to submit a list
President of the Republic of the Philippines. On 30
of nominees before the start of the President’s
July 2010, President Aquino issued EO 2 recalling,
mandatory 90-day period to appoint withdrawing, and revoking appointments issued by
DISCRETIONARY - selection of the candidates President Macapagal-Arroyo which violated the
whose names will be in the list to be submitted to constitutional ban on midnight appointments.
the President


(1) whether petitioners' appointments violate Section 15, They submitted this recommendation to the President.
Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, --yes. All of petitioners' According to respondents, the aforementioned letter was
appointments are midnight appointments and are referred by the Office of the President to the Committee on
(2) whether EO 2 is constitutional. – is constitutional Honors. Meanwhile, the Office of the President allegedly
received nominations from various sectors, cultural groups
 This ponencia and the dissent both agree that the and individuals strongly endorsing private respondents.
facts in all these cases show that "none of the
petitioners have shown that their appointment Acting on this recommendation, a series of Proclamations
papers (and transmittal letters) have been issued were issued declaring Lazaro Francisco, Federico Aguilar-
(and released) before the ban." The dates of Alcuaz and private respondents, Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas,
receipt by the MRO, which in these cases are the Masa and Moreno, respectively, as National Artists.
only reliable evidence of actual transmittal of the
appointment papers by President Macapagal- Hence, the petition. All of the petitioners claim that former
Arroyo, are dates clearly falling during the President Macapagal-Arroyo gravely abused her discretion in
appointment ban. Thus, this ponencia and the disregarding the results of the rigorous screening and
dissent both agree that all the appointments in selection process for the Order of National Artists and in
these cases are midnight appointments in violation substituting her own choice for those of the Deliberation
of Section 15, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. Panels.
 Any valid appointment, including one made under
ISSUE: Whether or not the act of the President amounted to
the exception provided in Section 15, Article VII of
grave abuse of discretion with regards to the violation of the
the 1987 Constitution, must consist of the President
right to equal protection
signing an appointee's appointment paper to a
vacant office, the official transmittal of the  In view of the various stages of deliberation in the
appointment paper (preferably through the MRO), selection process and as a consequence of his/her
receipt of the appointment paper by the appointee, duty to faithfully enforce the relevant laws, the
and acceptance of the appointment by the discretion of the President in the matter of the Order
appointee evidenced by his or her oath of office or of National Artists is confined to the names
his or her assumption to office. submitted to him/her by the NCCA and the CCP
Boards. This means that the President could not
 During the deliberations for the 1987 Constitution,
have considered conferment of the Order of
then Constitutional Commissioner Hilario G. Davide,
National Artists on any person not considered and
Jr. referred to this Court's ruling in Aytona and
recommended by the NCCA and the CCP Boards.
stated that his proposal seeks to prevent a
That is the proper import of the provision of
President, whose term is about to end, from
Executive Order No. 435, s. 2005, that the NCCA
preempting his successor by appointing his own
and the CCP "shall advise the President on the
people to sensitive positions.
conferment of the Order of National Artists."
 The following elements should always concur in the
Applying this to the instant case, the former
making of a valid (which should be understood as
President could not have properly considered
both complete and effective) appointment: (1)
respondents Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, Mañosa
authority to appoint and evidence of the exercise of
and Moreno, as their names were not
the authority; (2) transmittal of the appointment
recommended by the NCCA and the CCP Boards.
paper and evidence of the transmittal; (3) a vacant
Otherwise, not only will the stringent selection and
position at the time of appointment; and (4) receipt
meticulous screening process be rendered futile,
of the appointment paper and acceptance of the
the respective mandates of the NCCA and the CCP
appointment by the appointee who possesses all
Board of Trustees under relevant laws to administer
the qualifications and none of the disqualifications.
the conferment of Order of National Artists, draft the
 Petitioners have failed to show compliance with all rules and regulations to guide its deliberations,
four elements of a valid appointment. They cannot formulate and implement policies and plans, and
prove with certainty that their appointment papers undertake any and all necessary measures in that
were transmitted before the appointment ban took regard will also become meaningless.
effect. On the other hand, petitioners admit that they
 There is grave abuse of discretion when an act is
took their oaths of office during the appointment
(1) done contrary to the Constitution, the law or
jurisprudence or (2) executed whimsically,
capriciously or arbitrarily, out of malice, ill will or
***RESIDENT MARINE MAMMALS v. REYES (missing) personal bias.
 There was a violation of the equal protection clause
ALMARIO v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY of the Constitution when the former President
G.R. No. 189028 July 16, 2013 (701 SCRA 269) gave preferential treatment to respondents Guidote-
Alvarez, Caparas, Mañosa and Moreno.1âwp The
FACTS: The National Artists Awards Committee. and the manifest disregard of the rules, guidelines and
NCCA decided to team up and jointly administer the National processes of the NCCA and the CCP was an
Artists Award. There were three deliberations for determining arbitrary act that unduly favored respondents
the nominees and on the final deliberation, a final list of four Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, Mañosa and Moreno.
names was agreed upon namely: Manuel Conde, Ramon The conferment of the Order of National Artists on
Santos, Lazaro Francisco and Federico Aguilar-Alcuaz. said respondents was therefore made with grave
abuse of discretion and should be set aside.


 The Court simply declares that, as the former punishment prescribed by the Revised Penal Code
President committed grave abuse of discretion in for estafa thru falsification of public documents. It is
issuing Proclamation Nos. 1826 to 1829 dated July clear from the authorities referred to that when her
6, 2009, the said proclamations are invalid. guilt and punishment were expunged by her pardon,
However, nothing in this Decision should be read as this particular disability was likewise removed.
a disqualification on the part of respondents Henceforth, petitioner may apply for reappointment
Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, Mañosa and Moreno to to the office which was forfeited by reason of her
be considered for the honor of National Artist in the conviction. And in considering her qualifications and
future, subject to compliance with the laws, rules suitability for the public post, the facts constituting
and regulations governing said award. her offense must be and should be evaluated and
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED in taken into account to determine ultimately whether
PART. Proclamation Nos. 1826 to 1829 dated July she can once again be entrusted with public funds.
6, 2009 proclaiming respondents Cecile Guidote- Stated differently, the pardon granted to petitioner
Alvarez, Carlo Magno Jose Caparas, Francisco has resulted in removing her disqualification from
Mañosa, and Jose Moreno, respectively, as holding public employment but it cannot go beyond
National Artists are declared INVALID that. To regain her former post as assistant city
treasurer, she must re-apply and undergo the usual
G.R. No. 78239 February 9, 1989 procedure required for a new appointment.
SALVACION A. MONSANTO, petitioner, vs. FULGENCIO 3. May petitioner be exempt from the payment of the
S. FACTORAN, JR., respondent. civil indemnity imposed upon her by the sentence?
No. Petitioner has sought exemption from the
The principal question raised in this petition for review is payment of the civil indemnity imposed upon her by
whether or not a public officer, who has been granted an the sentence. The Court cannot oblige her. Civil
absolute pardon by the Chief Executive, is entitled to liability arising from crime is governed by the
reinstatement to her former position without need of a new Revised Penal Code. It subsists notwithstanding
appointment. service of sentence, or for any reason the sentence
 Sandiganbayan convicted petitioner Salvacion A. is not served by pardon, amnesty or commutation of
Monsanto (then assistant treasurer of Calbayog sentence. Petitioner's civil liability may only be
City) and three other accused, of the complex crime extinguished by the same causes recognized in the
of estafa thru falsification of public documents. SC Civil Code, namely: payment, loss of the thing due,
affirmed the decision remission of the debt, merger of the rights of
 She then filed a MR but while said motion was creditor and debtor, compensation and novation.
pending, she was extended on December 17, 1984
by then President Marcos absolute pardon which G.R. No. 206666 January 21, 2015
she accepted on December 21, 1984. ATTY. ALICIA RISOS-VIDAL, Petitioner,
 By reason of said pardon, petitioner wrote the ALFREDO S. LIM Petitioner-Intervenor,
Calbayog City treasurer requesting that she be vs. COMELEC and JOSEPH EJERCITO
restored to her former post as assistant city ESTRADA, Respondents.
treasurer since the same was still vacant.  Petitioner Risos-Vidal filed a Petition for
 Petitioner's basic theory is that the general rules on Disqualification against Estrada before the Comelec
pardon cannot apply to her case by reason of the stating that Estrada is disqualified to run for public
fact that she was extended executive clemency office because of his conviction for plunder
while her conviction was still pending appeal in this sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion
Court. There having been no final judgment of perpetua with perpetual absolute disqualification.
conviction, her employment therefore as assistant Petitioner relied on Section 40 of the Local
city treasurer could not be said to have been Government Code (LGC), in relation to Section 12
terminated or forfeited. In other words, without that of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC).
final judgment of conviction, the accessory penalty  The Comelec dismissed the petition for
of forfeiture of office did not attach and the status of disqualification holding that President Estrada’s
her employment remained "suspended." More right to seek public office has been effectively
importantly, when pardon was issued before the restored by the pardon vested upon him by former
final verdict of guilt, it was an acquittal because President Gloria M. Arroyo.
there was no offense to speak of. In effect, the  Estrada won the mayoralty race in May 13, 2013
President has declared her not guilty of the crime elections. Alfredo Lim, who garnered the second
charged and has accordingly dismissed the same. highest votes, intervened and sought to disqualify
Estrada for the same ground as the contention of
1. Is Monsanto entitled to backpay? NO. A pardon Risos-Vidal and praying that he be proclaimed as
looks to the future. It is not retrospective. It Mayor of Manila.
makes no amends for the past. This would explain ISSUE: WON former President Joseph Estrada may run for
why petitioner, though pardoned, cannot be entitled public office despite having been convicted of the crime of
to receive backpay for lost earnings and benefits. plunder which carried an accessory penalty of perpetual
2. Is a public officer, who has been granted an disqualification to hold public office?
absolute pardon by the Chief Executive, entitled to
reinstatement to her former position without need of
a new appointment? No. For petitioner Monsanto, HELD:
this is the bottom line: the absolute disqualification  Yes. Estrada was granted an absolute pardon that
or ineligibility from public office forms part of the fully restored all his civil and political rights, which


naturally includes the right to seek public elective G.R. No. 187298 July 03, 2012
office, the focal point of this controversy. The JAMAR M. KULAYAN, TEMOGEN S. TULAWIE, HJI. MOH.
wording of the pardon extended to former President YUSOP ISMI, JULHAJAN AWADI, and SPO1 SATTAL H.
JADJULI, Petitioners,
Estrada is complete, unambiguous, and unqualified.
vs.GOV. ABDUSAKUR M. TAN, in his capacity as
It is likewise unfettered by Articles 36 and 41 of the Governor of Sulu; GEN. JUANCHO SABAN, COL.
Revised Penal Code. The only reasonable, EUGENIO CLEMEN PN, P/SUPT. JULASIRIM KASIM and
objective, and constitutional interpretation of the P/SUPT. BIENVENIDO G. LATAG, in their capacity as
language of the pardon is that the same in fact officers of the Phil. Marines and Phil. National Police,
conforms to Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal respectively, Respondents.
The calling-out powers contemplated under the
 The pardon itself does not explicitly impose a Constitution is exclusive to the President. An exercise
condition or limitation, considering the unqualified by another official, even if he is the local chief executive,
use of the term “civil and political rights”as being is ultra vires, and may not be justified by the invocation
restored. Jurisprudence educates that a preamble is of Section 465 of the Local Government Code.
not an essential part of an act as it is an
introductory or preparatory clause that explains the  Three members from the International Committee of
reasons for the enactment, usually introduced by the Red Cross (ICRC) were kidnapped in the
vicinity of the Provincial Capitol in Patikul, Sulu.
the word “whereas.” Whereas clauses do not form
Andres Notter, Eugenio Vagni, and Marie Jean
part of a statute because, strictly speaking, they are Lacaba, were purportedly inspecting a water
not part of the operative language of the statute. In sanitation project for the Sulu Provincial Jail when
this case, the whereas clause at issue is not an they were seized by three armed men who were
integral part of the decree of the pardon, and later confirmed to be members of the Abu Sayyaf
therefore, does not by itself alone operate to make Group (ASG). A Local Crisis Committee, later
renamed Sulu Crisis Management Committee
the pardon conditional or to make its effectivity
(Committee) was then formed to investigate the
contingent upon the fulfilment of the aforementioned kidnapping incident. The Committee convened
commitment nor to limit the scope of the pardon. under the leadership of respondent Abdusakur
 The proper interpretation of Articles 36 and 41 Mahail Tan, the Provincial Governor of Sulu.
of the Revised Penal Code. A close scrutiny of the  Governor Tan issued Proclamation No. 1, Series of
text of the pardon extended to former President 2009, declaring a state of emergency in the
Estrada shows that both the principal penalty province of Sulu. The Proclamation cited the
kidnapping incident as a ground for the said
of reclusion perpetua and its accessory penalties
declaration, describing it as a terrorist act pursuant
are included in the pardon. The sentence which to the Human Security Act (R.A. 9372). It also
states that “(h)e is hereby restored to his civil and invoked Section 465 of the Local Government Code
political rights,” expressly remitted the accessory of 1991 (R.A. 7160), which bestows on the
penalties that attached to the principal penalty Provincial Governor the power to carry out
of reclusion perpetua. Hence, even if we apply emergency measures during man-made and natural
Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal Code, it is disasters and calamities, and to call upon the
appropriate national law enforcement agencies to
indubitable from the text of the pardon that the
suppress disorder and lawless violence. In the
accessory penalties of civil interdiction and Proclamation, Tan called upon the PNP and the
perpetual absolute disqualification were expressly Civilian Emergency Force (CEF) to set up
remitted together with the principal penalty checkpoints and chokepoints, conduct general
of reclusion perpetua. search and seizures including arrests, and other
 The disqualification of former President Estrada actions necessary to ensure public safety.
 Petitioners, Jamar Kulayan, et al. claimed that
under Section 40 of the LGC in relation to
Proclamation No. 1-09 was issued ultra vires, and
Section 12 of the OEC was removed by his thus null and void, for violating Sections 1 and 18,
acceptance of the absolute pardon granted to Article VII of the Constitution, which grants the
him While it may be apparent that the proscription President sole authority to exercise emergency
in Section 40(a) of the LGC is worded in absolute powers and calling-out powers as the chief
terms, Section 12 of the OEC provides a legal executive of the Republic and commander-in-chief
escape from the prohibition – a plenary pardon or of the armed forces
amnesty. In other words, the latter provision allows
ISSUE: WON a governor can exercise the calling-out
any person who has been granted plenary pardon powers of a President? NO.
or amnesty after conviction by final judgment of an Only the President is vested with calling-out powers, as the
offense involving moral turpitude, inter alia, to run commander-in-chief of the Republic
for and hold any public office, whether local or  One executive, one commander-in-chief
national position. o The first section of Article VII of the
Constitution, dealing with the Executive
Department, begins with the enunciation of
the principle that "The executive power


shall be vested in a President of the First, the Armed Forces of the Philippines does not
Philippines." This means that the President fall under the category of a "national law
of the Philippines is the Executive of the enforcement agency," to which the National Police
Government of the Philippines, and no Commission (NAPOLCOM) and its departments
other. Corollarily, it is only the President, belong.
as Executive, who is authorized to  Its mandate is to uphold the sovereignty of the
exercise emergency powers as provided Philippines, support the Constitution, and defend
under Section 23, Article VI, of the the Republic against all enemies, foreign and
Constitution, as well as what became domestic. Its aim is also to secure the integrity of
known as the calling-out powers under the national territory.
Section 7, Article VII thereof.  Second, there was no evidence or even an
 ii. The exceptional character of Commander-in- allegation on record that the local police forces were
Chief powers dictate that they are exercised by one inadequate to cope with the situation or apprehend
president the violators. If they were inadequate, the recourse
o it is clear that the framers never intended of the provincial governor was to ask the assistance
for local chief executives to exercise of the Secretary of Interior and Local Government,
unbridled control over the police in or such other authorized officials, for the assistance
emergency situations. This is without of national law enforcement agencies.
prejudice to their authority over police units  The Local Government Code does not involve the
in their jurisdiction as provided by law, and diminution of central powers inherently vested in the
their prerogative to seek assistance from National Government, especially not the
the police in day to day situations, as prerogatives solely granted by the Constitution to
contemplated by the Constitutional the President in matters of security and defense.
Commission. But as a civilian agency of Provincial governor is not authorized to convene CEF
the government, the police, through the  Pursuant to the national policy to establish one
NAPOLCOM, properly comes within, and police force, the organization of private citizen
is subject to, the exercise by the President armies is proscribed.
of the power of executive control.  The defense and security of the regions shall be the
 The provincial governor does not possess the same responsibility of the National Government."
calling-out powers as the President  the Constitution does not authorize the organization
o Given the foregoing, respondent provincial of private armed groups similar to the CEF
governor is not endowed with the power to convened by the respondent Governor.
call upon the armed forces at his own
bidding. In issuing the assailed
proclamation, Governor Tan exceeded his G.R. No. 190259 June 7, 2011
authority when he declared a state of DATU ZALDY UY AMPATUAN, ANSARUDDIN ADIONG,
emergency and called upon the Armed REGIE SAHALI-GENERALE Petitioners,
Forces, the police, and his own Civilian vs.HON. RONALDO PUNO, in his capacity as Secretary
Emergency Force. The calling-out powers of the Department of Interior and Local Government and
contemplated under the Constitution is alter-ego of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and
exclusive to the President. An exercise by anyone acting in his stead and on behalf of the
another official, even if he is the local chief President of the Philippines, ARMED FORCES OF THE
executive, is ultra vires, and may not be PHILIPPINES (AFP), or any of their units operating in the
justified by the invocation of Section 465 of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and
the Local Government Code, as will be PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE, or any of their units
discussed subsequently. operating in ARMM, Respondents.
Section 465 of the Local Government Code cannot be
invoked to justify the powers enumerated under  On November 24, 2009, the day after the gruesome
Proclamation 1-09 massacre of 57 men and women, including some
 But a closer look at the said proclamation shows news reporters, then PGMA issued Proclamation
that there is no provision in the Local Government 1946, placing the Provinces of Maguindanao and
Code nor in any law on which the broad and Sultan Kudarat and the City of Cotabato under a
unwarranted powers granted to the Governor may state of emergency. She directed the AFP and the
be based. PNP to undertake such measures as may be
 Respondents cannot rely on paragraph 1, allowed by the Constitution and by law to prevent
subparagraph (vii) of Article 465 above, as the said and suppress all incidents of lawless violence in the
provision expressly refers to calamities and named places.
disasters, whether man-made or natural. The  Three days later or on November 27, President
governor, as local chief executive of the province, is Arroyo also issued AO 273 transferring supervision
certainly empowered to enact and implement of the ARMM from the Office of the President to the
emergency measures during these occurrences. DILG. But, due to issues raised over the
But the kidnapping incident in the case at bar terminology used in AO 273, the President issued
cannot be considered as a calamity or a disaster. AO 273-A amending the former, by delegating
Respondents cannot find any legal mooring under instead of transferring supervision of the ARMM
this provision to justify their actions. to the DILG.
 Paragraph 2, subparagraph (vi) of the same  ARMM officials, filed this petition for prohibition
provision is equally inapplicable for two reasons. under Rule 65. They alleged that the proclamation

and the orders empowered the DILG Secretary to congressional authority to exercise the
take over ARMMs operations and seize the regional same.
governments powers, in violation of the principle of  Three. The Presidents call on the armed forces to
local autonomy. The President gave the DILG prevent or suppress lawless violence springs from
Secretary the power to exercise, not merely the power vested in her under Section 18, Article VII
administrative supervision, but control over the of the Constitution, which provides. SECTION 18.
ARMM since the latter could suspend ARMM The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of
officials and replace them. They claimed that the all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it
President had no factual basis for declaring a state becomes necessary, he may call out such armed
of emergency, especially in the Province of Sultan forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence,
Kudarat and the City of Cotabato, where no critical invasion or rebellion. x x x
violent incidents occurred. The deployment of o Progress reports also indicated that there
troops and the taking over of the ARMM constitutes was movement in these places of both
an invalid exercise of the Presidents emergency high-powered firearms and armed men
powers. Petitioners asked that Proclamation 1946 sympathetic to the two clans (Ampatuan
as well as AOs 273 and 273-A be declared vs. Mangudadatu). Thus, to pacify the
unconstitutional and that respondents DILG peoples fears and stabilize the situation,
Secretary, the AFP, and the PNP be enjoined from the President had to take preventive
implementing them. action. She called out the armed forces to
control the proliferation of loose firearms
1. Whether or not Proclamation 1946 and AOs 273 and dismantle the armed groups that
and 273-A violate the principle of local autonomy under continuously threatened the peace and
Section 16, Article X of the Constitution, and Section 1, security in the affected places.
Article V of the Expanded ARMM Organic Act; o Since petitioners are not able to
2. Whether or not President Arroyo invalidly demonstrate that the proclamation of state
exercised emergency powers when she called out the AFP of emergency in the subject places and the
and the PNP to prevent and suppress all incidents of lawless calling out of the armed forces to prevent
violence in Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, and Cotabato or suppress lawless violence there have
City; and clearly no factual bases, the Court must
3. Whether or not the President had factual bases respect the President’s actions.
for her actions.

We dismiss the petition.

 One. Violation of the principle of local autonomy
o The DILG Secretary did not take over
control of the powers of the ARMM. After
law enforcement agents took respondent
Governor of ARMM into custody for
alleged complicity in the Maguindanao
massacre, the ARMM Vice-Governor,
petitioner Ansaruddin Adiong, assumed
the vacated post pursuant to the rule on
succession found in Article VII, Section 12,
of RA 9054. In turn, Acting Governor
Adiong named the then Speaker of the
ARMM Regional Assembly, petitioner
Sahali-Generale, Acting ARMM Vice-
Governor. In short, the DILG Secretary did
not take over the administration or
operations of the ARMM.
 Two. Petitioners contend that the President
unlawfully exercised emergency powers when she
ordered the deployment of AFP and PNP personnel
in the places mentioned in the proclamation. But
such deployment is not by itself an exercise of
emergency powers as understood under Section 23
(2), Article VI of the Constitution.
o The President did not proclaim a national
emergency, only a state of emergency in
the three places mentioned. And she did
not act pursuant to any law enacted by
Congress that authorized her to exercise
extraordinary powers. The calling out of
the armed forces to prevent or suppress
lawless violence in such places is a power
that the Constitution directly vests in the
President. She did not need a