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I. Lambino vs.

COMELEC ISSUES:

G.R. No. 174153 October 25, 2006 1. Whether the Lambino Group’s initiative petition complies with
Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution on amendments to the
FACTS: Constitution through a people’s initiative;
On 25 August 2006, Lambino et al filed a petition with the COMELEC 2. Whether this Court should revisit its ruling in Santiago declaring
to hold a plebiscite that will ratify their initiative petition to change RA 6735 “incomplete, inadequate or wanting in essential terms and
the 1987 Constitution under Section 5(b) and (c)2 and Section 73 of
conditions” to implement the initiative clause on proposals to
Republic Act No. 6735 or the Initiative and Referendum Act. amend the Constitution; and
The Lambino Group alleged that their petition had the support of HELD:
6,327,952 individuals constituting at least twelve per centum (12%)
of all registered voters, with each legislative district represented by 1. The Initiative Petition Does Not Comply with Section 2,
at least three per centum (3%) of its registered voters. The Lambino Article XVII of the Constitution on Direct Proposal by the People
Group also claimed that COMELEC election registrars had verified
the signatures of the 6.3 million individuals. Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution is the governing
constitutional provision that allows a people’s initiative to propose
The Lambino Group’s initiative petition changes the 1987 amendments to the Constitution. This section states:
Constitution by modifying Sections 1-7 of Article VI (Legislative
Department)4 and Sections 1-4 of Article VII (Executive Department) Sec. 2. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly
and by adding Article XVIII entitled “Transitory Provisions.” These proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at
proposed changes will shift the present Bicameral-Presidential least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters of
system to a Unicameral-Parliamentary form of government. which every legislative district must be represented by at least three
per centum of the registered voters therein. x x x x (Emphasis
On 30 August 2006, the Lambino Group filed an Amended Petition supplied)
with the COMELEC indicating modifications in the proposed Article
XVIII (Transitory Provisions) of their initiative. The framers of the Constitution intended that the “draft of the
proposed constitutional amendment” should be “ready and shown”
The COMELEC denied the petition citing Santiago v. COMELEC to the people “before” they sign such proposal. The framers plainly
declaring RA 6735 inadequate to implement the initiative clause on stated that “before they sign there is already a draft shown to
proposals to amend the Constitution. them.” The framers also “envisioned” that the people should sign

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on the proposal itself because the proponents must “prepare that 2. A Revisit of Santiago v. COMELEC is Not Necessary
proposal and pass it around for signature.”
The present petition warrants dismissal for failure to comply with
The essence of amendments “directly proposed by the people the basic requirements of Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution
through initiative upon a petition” is that the entire proposal on its on the conduct and scope of a people’s initiative to amend the
face is a petition by the people. This means two essential elements Constitution. There is no need to revisit this Court’s ruling in
must be present. First, the people must author and thus sign the Santiago declaring RA 6735 “incomplete, inadequate or wanting in
entire proposal. No agent or representative can sign on their essential terms and conditions” to cover the system of initiative to
behalf. Second, as an initiative upon a petition, the proposal must amend the Constitution. An affirmation or reversal of Santiago will
be embodied in a petition. not change the outcome of the present petition. Thus, this Court
must decline to revisit Santiago which effectively ruled that RA 6735
These essential elements are present only if the full text of the does not comply with the requirements of the Constitution to
proposed amendments is first shown to the people who express
implement the initiative clause on amendments to the Constitution.
their assent by signing such complete proposal in a petition. Thus,
an amendment is “directly proposed by the people through
initiative upon a petition” only if the people sign on a petition that
contains the full text of the proposed amendments.

There is no presumption that the proponents observed the


constitutional requirements in gathering the signatures. The
proponents bear the burden of proving that they complied with
the constitutional requirements in gathering the signatures – that
the petition contained, or incorporated by attachment, the full
text of the proposed amendments.

The Lambino Group did not attach to their present petition with this
Court a copy of the paper that the people signed as their initiative
petition. The Lambino Group submitted to this Court a copy of a
signature sheet after the oral arguments of 26 September 2006
when they filed their Memorandum on 11 October 2006.

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DIGEST WITH NOTES RULING:

LAMBINO vs. COMELEC Initiative petition does not comply with Sec. 2, Art. XVII on direct
proposal by peopleSec. 2, Art. XVII...is the governing provision that
G.R. No. 174153, Oct. 25, 2006(CARPIO, J.) allows a people’s initiative to proposeamendments to the
• Requirements for Initiative Petition Constitution. While this provision does not expressly state that
thepetition must set forth the full text of the proposed
• Constitutional Amendment vs. Constitutional Revision amendments, the deliberations of theframers of our Constitution
clearly show that: (a) the framers intended to adopt
• Tests to determine whether amendment or revision
relevantAmerican jurisprudence on people’s initiative; and (b)
FACTS: in particular, the people must first seethe full text of the proposed
amendments before they sign, and that the people must sign ona
The Lambino Group commenced gathering signatures for an petition containing such full text. The essence of amendments
initiative petition to changethe 1987 Constitution and then filed “directly proposed by the people through initiative upon apetition”
a petition with COMELEC to hold a plebiscite forratification under is that the entire proposal on its face is a petition by the people.
Sec. 5(b) and (c) and Sec. 7 of RA 6735. The proposed changes under This means twoessential elements must be present.2 elements
thepetition will shift the present Bicameral-Presidential system to a of initiative1.First, the people must author and thus sign the entire
Unicameral-Parliamentaryform of government. COMELEC did not proposal. No agent orrepresentative can sign on their behalf.
give it due course for lack of an enabling lawgoverning initiative
petitions to amend the Constitution, pursuant to Santiago 2.
v. Comelecruling.
Second, as an initiative upon a petition, the proposal must be
ISSUES: embodied in a petition. These essential elements are present only if
the full text of the proposed amendments isfirst shown to the
• Whether or not the proposed changes constitute an amendment people who express their assent by signing such complete proposal
or revision in a petition. The full text of the proposed amendments may be
either written on the face of thepetition, or attached to it. If so
• Whether or not the initiative petition is sufficient compliance
attached, the petition must stated the fact of suchattachment. This
withthe constitutional requirement on direct proposal by the
is an assurance that everyone of the several millions of signatories
people
to thepetition had seen the full textof the proposed amendments
before – not after – signing.Moreover, “an initiative signer must be

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informed at the time of signing of the nature andeffect of that Section 2 of Article XVII, referring to thethird mode, applies only to
which is proposed” and failure to do so is “deceptive and “amendments to this Constitution.” This distinction wasintentional
misleading” whichrenders the initiative void.In the case of the as shown by the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission.
Lambino Group’s petition, there’s not a single word, phrase, or Apeople’sinitiative to change the Constitution applies only to an
sentence of text of the proposedchanges in the signature sheet. amendment of theConstitution and not to its revision. In contrast,
Neither does the signature sheet statethat the text of the proposed Congress or a constitutional convention canpropose both
changes is attached to it. The signature sheet merely asks aquestion amendments and revisions to the Constitution.Does the Lambino
whether the people approve a shift from the Bicameral-Presidential Group’s initiative constitute a revision of the Constitution? Yes. By
to theUnicameral- Parliamentary system of government. any legal test and under any jurisdiction, a shift from a Bicameral-
The signature sheet does not show to thepeople the draft of Presidential to aUnicameral-Parliamentary system, involving the
the proposed changes before they are asked to sign the signature abolition of the Office of the President andthe abolition of one
sheet. This omission is fatal.An initiative that gathers signatures chamber of Congress, is beyond doubt a revision, not a
from the people without first showing to the peoplethe full text mereamendment.
of the proposed amendments is most likely a deception, and can
operate as agigantic fraud on the people. That’s why the Amendment vs. RevisionCourts have long recognized the distinction
Constitutionrequires that an initiative must be“directly proposed by between an amendment and a revision of aconstitution. Revision
the people x x x in a petition” - meaning that the people must sign broadly implies a change that alters a basic principle in
theconstitution, like altering the principle of separation of powers
ona petition that contains the full text of the proposed
amendments. On so vital an issue asamending the nation’s or the system of checks-and-balances. There is also revision if the
fundamental law, the writing of the text of change alters the substantial entirety of theconstitution, as when
the proposedamendments cannot be hidden from the people under the change affects substantial provisions of the constitution. On
a general or special power of attorney to unnamed, faceless, and theother hand, amendment broadly refers to a change that adds,
unelected individuals. The initiative violates Section 2, Article XVII reduces, or deletes withoutaltering the basic principle involved.
Revision generally affects several provisions of theconstitution,
of the Constitution disallowing revision throughinitiativesArticle XVII
of the Constitution speaks of three modes of amending the while amendment generally affects only the specific provision
Constitution. The firstmode is through Congress upon three-fourths being amended.Where the proposed change applies only to a
specific provision of the Constitution withoutaffecting any other
vote of all its Members. The second mode isthrough a constitutional
convention. The third mode is through a people’s initiative.Section 1 section or article, the change may generally be considered
of Article XVII, referring to the first and second modes, applies to anamendment and not a revision. For example, a change reducing
“any amendmentto, or revision of, this Constitution.” In contrast, the voting age from 18years to 15 years is an amendment and not a

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revision. Similarly, a change reducing Filipinoownership of mass determine whether amendment or revisionIn California where the
media companies from 100% to 60% is an amendment and not initiative clause allows amendments but not revisions to
arevision. Also, a change requiring a college degree as an additional theconstitution just like in our Constitution, courts have developed
qualification for electionto the Presidency is an amendment and not a two-part test: thequantitative test and the qualitative test.
a revision. The changes in these examples do not entail any The quantitative test asks whether the proposedchange is so
modification of sections or articles of theConstitution other than the extensive in its provisions as to change directly the substantial
specific provision being amended. These changes do not alsoaffect entirety of the
the structure of government or the system of checks-and-balances
among or withinthe three branches.However, there can be no fixed
rule on whether a change is an amendment or a revision. Achange
in a single word of one sentence of the Constitution may be
a revision and not anamendment. For example, the substitution
of the word “republican” with “monarchic” or“theocratic” in Section
1, Article II of the Constitution radically overhauls the entire
structureof government and the fundamental ideological basis of
the Constitution. Thus, each specificchange will have to be
examined case-by-case, depending on how it affects other
provisions,as well as how it affects the structure ofgovernment, the
carefully crafted system of checks-and-balances, and the underlying
ideological basis of the existing Constitution.Since a revision of a
constitution affects basic principles, or several provisions of
aconstitution, a deliberative body with recorded proceedings is
best suited to undertake arevision. A revision requires harmonizing
not only several provisions, but also the alteredprinciples with those
that remain unaltered. Thus, constitutions normally
authorizedeliberative bodies like constituent assemblies
or constitutional conventions to undertakerevisions. On the other
hand, constitutions allow people’s initiatives, which do not have
fixedand identifiable deliberative bodies or recorded proceedings,
to undertake only amendmentsand not revisions. Tests to

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II. Marbury vs. Madison appointment process. (2) The Court also held that, upon
appointment, the officers have acquired rights to their positions
Facts of the case under the law. If those rights are denied, then they may seek
In the last days of President John Adams’ presidency, he nominated redress in the courts. (3) Marbury and others sought an original
a number of people to serve as justices of the peace for the District action for their commissions in the Supreme Court. But the
of Columbia. The Senate confirmed the nominations, and the congressional act conferring that authority conflicts with Article III
commissions were prepared. President Adams’ Secretary of State, Section 2 of the Constitution. The judicial power in the United
John Marshall, did not deliver all of the commissions before States extends to all cases under the Constitution and the Supreme
President Thomas Jefferson took office. President Jefferson then Court is bound to decide cases according to the Constitution rather
ordered his Secretary of State, James Madison, not to deliver the than the law when the two conflict. So if a law is found to be in
commissions. The plaintiffs, men whose commissions were not conflict with the Constitution, then the law is invalid. In this case,
delivered, sued Madison in the Supreme Court and argued that, in Section 13 of the Judiciary Act ran counter to the Constitution and is
refusing to deliver the commissions, the Secretary of State was therefore void. Thus, lacking authority, the Supreme Court canceled
neglecting his Constitutional duty. Marbury's claim.

Question

(1) Do the plaintiffs have a right to receive their commissions?

(2) Can they sue for their commissions in court?

(3) Does the Supreme Court have the authority to order the delivery
of their commissions?

Yes, yes, no. Chief Justice John Marshall delivered the unanimous
opinion. (1) The Supreme Court held that the Constitution grants
the president the power to appoint and commission officers of the
United States. Because the only evidence of the appointment is the
commission, the two actions are tied together. Without the
commission, the appointment is not complete, and so the
president’s signature on the commission is the final step in the

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SYLLABUS When the heads of the departments of the Government are the
political or confidential officers of the Executive, merely to execute
Syllabus the will of the President, or rather to act in cases in which the
The clerks of the Department of State of the United States may be Executive possesses a constitutional or legal discretion, nothing can
called upon to give evidence of transactions in the Department be more perfectly clear than that their acts are only politically
which are not of a confidential character. examinable. But where a specific duty is assigned by law, and
individual rights depend upon the performance of that duty, it
The Secretary of State cannot be called upon as a witness to state seems equally clear that the individual who considers himself
transactions of a confidential nature which may have occurred in his injured has a right to resort to the laws of his country for a remedy.
Department. But he may be called upon to give testimony of
circumstances which were not of that character. The President of the United States, by signing the commission,
appointed Mr. Marbury a justice of the peace for the County of
Clerks in the Department of State were directed to be sworn, Washington, in the District of Columbia, and the seal of the United
subject to objections to questions upon confidential matters. States, affixed thereto by the Secretary of State, is conclusive
testimony of the verity of the signature, and of the completion of
Some point of time must be taken when the power of the Executive
the appointment; and the appointment conferred on him a legal
over an officer, not removable at his will, must cease. That point of
right to the office for the space of five years. Having this legal right
time must be when the constitutional power of appointment has
to the office, he has a consequent right to the commission, a refusal
been exercised. And the power has been exercised when the last act
to deliver which is a plain violation of that right for which the laws
required from the person possessing the power has been
of the country afford him a remedy.
performed. This last act is the signature of the commission.
To render a mandamus a proper remedy, the officer to whom it is
If the act of livery be necessary to give validity to the commission of
directed must be one to whom, on legal principles, such writ must
an officer, it has been delivered when executed, and given to the
be directed, and the person applying for it must be without any
Secretary of State for the purpose of being sealed, recorded, and
other specific remedy.
transmitted to the party.
Where a commission to a public officer has been made out, signed,
In cases of commissions to public officers, the law orders the
and sealed, and is withheld from the person entitled to it, an action
Secretary of State to record them. When, therefore, they are signed
of detinue for the commission against the Secretary of State who
and sealed, the order for their being recorded is given, and,
refuses to deliver it is not the proper remedy, as the judgment in
whether inserted inserted into the book or not, they are recorded.
detinue is for the thing itself, or its value. The value of a public

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office, not to be sold, is incapable of being ascertained. It is a plain delivered to them respectively their several commissions as justices
case for a mandamus, either to deliver the commission or a copy of of the peace in the District of Columbia. This motion was supported
it from the record. by affidavits of the following facts: that notice of this motion had
been given to Mr. Madison; that Mr. Adams, the late President of
To enable the Court to issue a mandamus to compel the delivery of the United States, nominated the applicants to the Senate for their
the commission of a public office by the Secretary of State, it must advice and consent to be appointed justices of the peace of the
be shown that it is an exercise of appellate jurisdiction, or that it be District of Columbia; that the Senate advised and consented to the
necessary to enable them to exercise appellate jurisdiction.
appointments; that commissions in due form were signed by the
It is the essential criterion of appellate jurisdiction that it revises said President appointing them justices, &c., and that the seal of the
and corrects the proceedings in a cause already instituted, and does United States was in due form affixed to the said commissions by
not create the cause. the Secretary of State; that the applicants have requested Mr.
Madison to deliver them their said commissions, who has not
The authority given to the Supreme Court by the act establishing complied with that request; and that their said commissions are
the judicial system of the United States to issue writs of mandamus withheld from them; that the applicants have made application to
to public officers appears not to be warranted by the Constitution. Mr. Madison as Secretary of State of the United States at his office,
for information whether the commissions were signed and sealed as
It is emphatically the duty of the Judicial Department to say what
aforesaid; that explicit and satisfactory information has not been
the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases must, of
given in answer to that inquiry, either by the Secretary of State or
necessity, expound and interpret the rule. If two laws conflict with
any officer in the Department of State; that application has been
each other, the Court must decide on the operation of each.
made to the secretary of the Senate for a certificate of the
If courts are to regard the Constitution, and the Constitution is nomination of the applicants, and of the advice and consent of the
superior to any ordinary act of the legislature, the Constitution, and Senate, who has declined giving such a certificate; whereupon a rule
not such ordinary act, must govern the case to which they both was made to show cause on the fourth day of this term. This rule
apply. having been duly served,[p139]

At the December Term, 1801, William Marbury, Dennis Ramsay, Mr. Jacob Wagner and Mr. Daniel Brent, who had been summoned
Robert Townsend Hooe, and William Harper, by their to attend the court, and were required to give evidence, objected to
counsel,[p138] severally moved the court for a rule to James be sworn, alleging that they were clerks in the Department of State,
Madison, Secretary of State of the United States, to show cause why and not bound to disclose any facts relating to the business or
a mandamus should not issue commanding him to cause to be transactions of the office.

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The court ordered the witnesses to be sworn, and their answers
taken in writing, but informed them that, when the questions were
asked, they might state their objections to answering each
particular question, if they had any.

Mr. Lincoln, who had been the acting Secretary of State, when the
circumstances stated in the affidavits occurred, was called upon to
give testimony. He objected to answering. The questions were put
in writing.

The court said there was nothing confidential required to be


disclosed. If there had been, he was not obliged to answer it, and if
he thought anything was communicated to him confidentially, he
was not bound to disclose, nor was he obliged to state anything
which would criminate himself.

The questions argued by the counsel for the relators were, 1.


Whether the Supreme Court can award the writ of mandamus in
any case. 2. Whether it will lie to a Secretary of State, in any case
whatever. 3. Whether, in the present case, the Court may award a
mandamus to James Madison, Secretary of State.

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III. Angara vs. Electoral Commission RESOLUCION CONFIRMANDO LAS ACTAS DE AQUELLOS DIPUTADOS
CONTRA QUIENES NO SE HA PRESENTADO PROTESTA.
This is an original action instituted in this court by the petitioner,
Jose A. Angara, for the issuance of a writ of prohibition to restrain Se resuelve: Que las actas de eleccion de los Diputados contra
and prohibit the Electoral Commission, one of the respondents, quienes no se hubiere presentado debidamente una protesta antes
from taking further cognizance of the protest filed by Pedro Ynsua, de la adopcion de la presente resolucion sean, como por la
another respondent, against the election of said petitioner as presente, son aprobadas y confirmadas.
member of the National Assembly for the first assembly district of
the Province of Tayabas. Adoptada, 3 de diciembre, 1935.

The facts of this case as they appear in the petition and as admitted (5) That on December 8, 1935, the herein respondent Pedro Ynsua
by the respondents are as follows: filed before the Electoral Commission a "Motion of Protest" against
the election of the herein petitioner, Jose A. Angara, being the only
(1) That in the elections of September 17, 1935, the petitioner, Jose protest filed after the passage of Resolutions No. 8 aforequoted,
A. Angara, and the respondents, Pedro Ynsua, Miguel Castillo and and praying, among other-things, that said respondent be declared
Dionisio Mayor, were candidates voted for the position of member elected member of the National Assembly for the first district of
of the National Assembly for the first district of the Province of Tayabas, or that the election of said position be nullified;
Tayabas;
(6) That on December 9, 1935, the Electoral Commission adopted a
(2) That on October 7, 1935, the provincial board of canvassers, resolution, paragraph 6 of which provides:
proclaimed the petitioner as member-elect of the National
Assembly for the said district, for having received the most number 6. La Comision no considerara ninguna protesta que no se haya
of votes; presentado en o antes de este dia.

(3) That on November 15, 1935, the petitioner took his oath of (7) That on December 20, 1935, the herein petitioner, Jose A.
office; Angara, one of the respondents in the aforesaid protest, filed before
the Electoral Commission a "Motion to Dismiss the Protest", alleging
(4) That on December 3, 1935, the National Assembly in session (a) that Resolution No. 8 of Dismiss the Protest", alleging (a) that
assembled, passed the following resolution: Resolution No. 8 of the National Assembly was adopted in the
legitimate exercise of its constitutional prerogative to prescribe the
[No. 8] period during which protests against the election of its members
should be presented; (b) that the aforesaid resolution has for its

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object, and is the accepted formula for, the limitation of said period; solely to deciding the merits of controversies submitted to them for
and (c) that the protest in question was filed out of the prescribed decision and to matters involving their internal organization, the
period; Electoral Commission can regulate its proceedings only if the
National Assembly has not availed of its primary power to so
(8) That on December 27, 1935, the herein respondent, Pedro regulate such proceedings;
Ynsua, filed an "Answer to the Motion of Dismissal" alleging that
there is no legal or constitutional provision barring the presentation (d) That Resolution No. 8 of the National Assembly is, therefore,
of a protest against the election of a member of the National valid and should be respected and obeyed;
Assembly after confirmation;
(e) That under paragraph 13 of section 1 of the ordinance appended
(9) That on December 31, 1935, the herein petitioner, Jose A. to the Constitution and paragraph 6 of article 7 of the Tydings-
Angara, filed a "Reply" to the aforesaid "Answer to the Motion of McDuffie Law (No. 127 of the 73rd Congress of the United States) as
Dismissal"; well as under section 1 and 3 (should be sections 1 and 2) of article
VIII of the Constitution, this Supreme Court has jurisdiction to pass
(10) That the case being submitted for decision, the Electoral upon the fundamental question herein raised because it involves an
Commission promulgated a resolution on January 23, 1936, denying interpretation of the Constitution of the Philippines.
herein petitioner's "Motion to Dismiss the Protest."
On February 25, 1936, the Solicitor-General appeared and filed an
The application of the petitioner sets forth the following grounds for answer in behalf of the respondent Electoral Commission
the issuance of the writ prayed for: interposing the following special defenses:
(a) That the Constitution confers exclusive jurisdiction upon the (a) That the Electoral Commission has been created by the
electoral Commission solely as regards the merits of contested Constitution as an instrumentality of the Legislative Department
elections to the National Assembly; invested with the jurisdiction to decide "all contests relating to the
(b) That the Constitution excludes from said jurisdiction the power election, returns, and qualifications of the members of the National
to regulate the proceedings of said election contests, which power Assembly"; that in adopting its resolution of December 9, 1935,
has been reserved to the Legislative Department of the Government fixing this date as the last day for the presentation of protests
or the National Assembly; against the election of any member of the National Assembly, it
acted within its jurisdiction and in the legitimate exercise of the
(c) That like the Supreme Court and other courts created in implied powers granted it by the Constitution to adopt the rules and
pursuance of the Constitution, whose exclusive jurisdiction relates regulations essential to carry out the power and functions conferred

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upon the same by the fundamental law; that in adopting its 1935, as the last day for the filing of protests against the election of
resolution of January 23, 1936, overruling the motion of the members of the National Assembly, the Electoral Commission was
petitioner to dismiss the election protest in question, and declaring exercising a power impliedly conferred upon it by the Constitution,
itself with jurisdiction to take cognizance of said protest, it acted in by reason of its quasi-judicial attributes;
the legitimate exercise of its quasi-judicial functions a an
instrumentality of the Legislative Department of the (b) That said respondent presented his motion of protest before the
Commonwealth Government, and hence said act is beyond the Electoral Commission on December 9, 1935, the last day fixed by
paragraph 6 of the rules of the said Electoral Commission;
judicial cognizance or control of the Supreme Court;

(b) That the resolution of the National Assembly of December 3, (c) That therefore the Electoral Commission acquired jurisdiction
1935, confirming the election of the members of the National over the protest filed by said respondent and over the parties
Assembly against whom no protest had thus far been filed, could thereto, and the resolution of the Electoral Commission of January
23, 1936, denying petitioner's motion to dismiss said protest was an
not and did not deprive the electoral Commission of its jurisdiction
to take cognizance of election protests filed within the time that act within the jurisdiction of the said commission, and is not
might be set by its own rules: reviewable by means of a writ of prohibition;

(c) That the Electoral Commission is a body invested with quasi- (d) That neither the law nor the Constitution requires confirmation
judicial functions, created by the Constitution as an instrumentality by the National Assembly of the election of its members, and that
of the Legislative Department, and is not an "inferior tribunal, or such confirmation does not operate to limit the period within which
corporation, or board, or person" within the purview of section 226 protests should be filed as to deprive the Electoral Commission of
and 516 of the Code of Civil Procedure, against which prohibition jurisdiction over protest filed subsequent thereto;
would lie. (e) That the Electoral Commission is an independent entity created
The respondent Pedro Ynsua, in his turn, appeared and filed an by the Constitution, endowed with quasi-judicial functions, whose
answer in his own behalf on March 2, 1936, setting forth the decision are final and unappealable;
following as his special defense: ( f ) That the electoral Commission, as a constitutional creation, is
(a) That at the time of the approval of the rules of the Electoral not an inferior tribunal, corporation, board or person, within the
terms of sections 226 and 516 of the Code of Civil Procedure; and
Commission on December 9, 1935, there was no existing law fixing
the period within which protests against the election of members of that neither under the provisions of sections 1 and 2 of article II
the National Assembly should be filed; that in fixing December 9, (should be article VIII) of the Constitution and paragraph 13 of
section 1 of the Ordinance appended thereto could it be subject in

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the exercise of its quasi-judicial functions to a writ of prohibition our sense of duty to overlook the broader aspect of the question
from the Supreme Court; and leave it undecided. Neither would we be doing justice to the
industry and vehemence of counsel were we not to pass upon the
(g) That paragraph 6 of article 7 of the Tydings-McDuffie Law (No. question of jurisdiction squarely presented to our consideration.
127 of the 73rd Congress of the united States) has no application to
the case at bar. The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in our system
of government. It obtains not through express provision but by
The case was argued before us on March 13, 1936. Before it was actual division in our Constitution. Each department of the
submitted for decision, the petitioner prayed for the issuance of a government has exclusive cognizance of matters within its
preliminary writ of injunction against the respondent Electoral jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own sphere. But it does not
Commission which petition was denied "without passing upon the follow from the fact that the three powers are to be kept separate
merits of the case" by resolution of this court of March 21, 1936. and distinct that the Constitution intended them to be absolutely
There was no appearance for the other respondents. unrestrained and independent of each other. The Constitution has
provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure
The issues to be decided in the case at bar may be reduced to the coordination in the workings of the various departments of the
following two principal propositions: government. For example, the Chief Executive under our
Constitution is so far made a check on the legislative power that this
1. Has the Supreme Court jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission
assent is required in the enactment of laws. This, however, is
and the subject matter of the controversy upon the foregoing
subject to the further check that a bill may become a law
related facts, and in the affirmative,
notwithstanding the refusal of the President to approve it, by a vote
2. Has the said Electoral Commission acted without or in excess of of two-thirds or three-fourths, as the case may be, of the National
its jurisdiction in assuming to the cognizance of the protest filed the Assembly. The President has also the right to convene the Assembly
election of the herein petitioner notwithstanding the previous in special session whenever he chooses. On the other hand, the
confirmation of such election by resolution of the National National Assembly operates as a check on the Executive in the sense
Assembly? that its consent through its Commission on Appointments is
necessary in the appointments of certain officers; and the
We could perhaps dispose of this case by passing directly upon the concurrence of a majority of all its members is essential to the
merits of the controversy. However, the question of jurisdiction conclusion of treaties. Furthermore, in its power to determine what
having been presented, we do not feel justified in evading the issue. courts other than the Supreme Court shall be established, to define
Being a case primæ impressionis, it would hardly be consistent with their jurisdiction and to appropriate funds for their support, the

13 | P a g e
National Assembly controls the judicial department to a certain Constitution had not provided for a mechanism by which to direct
extent. The Assembly also exercises the judicial power of trying the course of government along constitutional channels, for then
impeachments. And the judiciary in turn, with the Supreme Court as the distribution of powers would be mere verbiage, the bill of rights
the final arbiter, effectively checks the other departments in the mere expressions of sentiment, and the principles of good
exercise of its power to determine the law, and hence to declare government mere political apothegms. Certainly, the limitation and
executive and legislative acts void if violative of the Constitution. restrictions embodied in our Constitution are real as they should be
in any living constitution. In the United States where no express
But in the main, the Constitution has blocked out with deft strokes
constitutional grant is found in their constitution, the possession of
and in bold lines, allotment of power to the executive, the this moderating power of the courts, not to speak of its historical
legislative and the judicial departments of the government. The origin and development there, has been set at rest by popular
overlapping and interlacing of functions and duties between the acquiescence for a period of more than one and a half centuries. In
several departments, however, sometimes makes it hard to say just
our case, this moderating power is granted, if not expressly, by clear
where the one leaves off and the other begins. In times of social implication from section 2 of article VIII of our constitution.
disquietude or political excitement, the great landmarks of the
Constitution are apt to be forgotten or marred, if not entirely The Constitution is a definition of the powers of government. Who
obliterated. In cases of conflict, the judicial department is the only is to determine the nature, scope and extent of such powers? The
constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the Constitution itself has provided for the instrumentality of the
proper allocation of powers between the several departments and judiciary as the rational way. And when the judiciary mediates to
among the integral or constituent units thereof. allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority
over the other departments; it does not in reality nullify or
As any human production, our Constitution is of course lacking invalidate an act of the legislature, but only asserts the solemn and
perfection and perfectibility, but as much as it was within the power sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine
of our people, acting through their delegates to so provide, that
conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to
instrument which is the expression of their sovereignty however establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which
limited, has established a republican government intended to that instrument secures and guarantees to them. This is in truth all
operate and function as a harmonious whole, under a system of that is involved in what is termed "judicial supremacy" which
checks and balances, and subject to specific limitations and properly is the power of judicial review under the Constitution. Even
restrictions provided in the said instrument. The Constitution sets then, this power of judicial review is limited to actual cases and
forth in no uncertain language the restrictions and limitations upon controversies to be exercised after full opportunity of argument by
governmental powers and agencies. If these restrictions and the parties, and limited further to the constitutional question raised
limitations are transcended it would be inconceivable if the

14 | P a g e
or the very lis mota presented. Any attempt at abstraction could Assembly as aforesaid. If, as contended by the petitioner, the
only lead to dialectics and barren legal questions and to sterile resolution of the National Assembly has the effect of cutting off the
conclusions unrelated to actualities. Narrowed as its function is in power of the Electoral Commission to entertain protests against the
this manner, the judiciary does not pass upon questions of wisdom, election, returns and qualifications of members of the National
justice or expediency of legislation. More than that, courts accord Assembly, submitted after December 3, 1935, then the resolution of
the presumption of constitutionality to legislative enactments, not the Electoral Commission of December 9, 1935, is mere surplusage
only because the legislature is presumed to abide by the and had no effect. But, if, as contended by the respondents, the
Constitution but also because the judiciary in the determination of Electoral Commission has the sole power of regulating its
actual cases and controversies must reflect the wisdom and justice proceedings to the exclusion of the National Assembly, then the
of the people as expressed through their representatives in the resolution of December 9, 1935, by which the Electoral Commission
executive and legislative departments of the governments of the fixed said date as the last day for filing protests against the election,
government. returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly,
should be upheld.
But much as we might postulate on the internal checks of power
provided in our Constitution, it ought not the less to be Here is then presented an actual controversy involving as it does a
remembered that, in the language of James Madison, the system conflict of a grave constitutional nature between the National
itself is not "the chief palladium of constitutional liberty . . . the Assembly on the one hand, and the Electoral Commission on the
people who are authors of this blessing must also be its guardians . . other. From the very nature of the republican government
. their eyes must be ever ready to mark, their voice to pronounce . . established in our country in the light of American experience and
. aggression on the authority of their constitution." In the Last and of our own, upon the judicial department is thrown the solemn and
ultimate analysis, then, must the success of our government in the inescapable obligation of interpreting the Constitution and defining
unfolding years to come be tested in the crucible of Filipino minds constitutional boundaries. The Electoral Commission, as we shall
and hearts than in consultation rooms and court chambers. have occasion to refer hereafter, is a constitutional organ, created
for a specific purpose, namely to determine all contests relating to
In the case at bar, the national Assembly has by resolution (No. 8) of the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the
December 3, 1935, confirmed the election of the herein petitioner National Assembly. Although the Electoral Commission may not be
to the said body. On the other hand, the Electoral Commission has interfered with, when and while acting within the limits of its
by resolution adopted on December 9, 1935, fixed said date as the authority, it does not follow that it is beyond the reach of the
last day for the filing of protests against the election, returns and constitutional mechanism adopted by the people and that it is not
qualifications of members of the National Assembly, subject to constitutional restrictions. The Electoral Commission is
notwithstanding the previous confirmation made by the National

15 | P a g e
not a separate department of the government, and even if it were, run prove destructive of the entire framework? To ask these
conflicting claims of authority under the fundamental law between questions is to answer them. Natura vacuum abhorret, so must we
department powers and agencies of the government are necessarily avoid exhaustion in our constitutional system. Upon principle,
determined by the judiciary in justifiable and appropriate cases. reason and authority, we are clearly of the opinion that upon the
Discarding the English type and other European types of admitted facts of the present case, this court has jurisdiction over
constitutional government, the framers of our constitution adopted the Electoral Commission and the subject mater of the present
the American type where the written constitution is interpreted and controversy for the purpose of determining the character, scope
given effect by the judicial department. In some countries which and extent of the constitutional grant to the Electoral Commission
have declined to follow the American example, provisions have as "the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and
been inserted in their constitutions prohibiting the courts from qualifications of the members of the National Assembly."
exercising the power to interpret the fundamental law. This is taken
Having disposed of the question of jurisdiction, we shall now
as a recognition of what otherwise would be the rule that in the
absence of direct prohibition courts are bound to assume what is proceed to pass upon the second proposition and determine
logically their function. For instance, the Constitution of Poland of whether the Electoral Commission has acted without or in excess of
1921, expressly provides that courts shall have no power to its jurisdiction in adopting its resolution of December 9, 1935, and in
examine the validity of statutes (art. 81, chap. IV). The former assuming to take cognizance of the protest filed against the election
Austrian Constitution contained a similar declaration. In countries of the herein petitioner notwithstanding the previous confirmation
thereof by the National Assembly on December 3, 1935. As able
whose constitutions are silent in this respect, courts have assumed
this power. This is true in Norway, Greece, Australia and South counsel for the petitioner has pointed out, the issue hinges on the
Africa. Whereas, in Czechoslovakia (arts. 2 and 3, Preliminary Law to interpretation of section 4 of Article VI of the Constitution which
constitutional Charter of the Czechoslovak Republic, February 29, provides:
1920) and Spain (arts. 121-123, Title IX, Constitutional of the "SEC. 4. There shall be an Electoral Commission composed of three
Republic of 1931) especial constitutional courts are established to Justice of the Supreme Court designated by the Chief Justice, and of
pass upon the validity of ordinary laws. In our case, the nature of six Members chosen by the National Assembly, three of whom shall
the present controversy shows the necessity of a final constitutional be nominated by the party having the largest number of votes, and
arbiter to determine the conflict of authority between two agencies three by the party having the second largest number of votes
created by the Constitution. Were we to decline to take cognizance therein. The senior Justice in the Commission shall be its Chairman.
of the controversy, who will determine the conflict? And if the The Electoral Commission shall be the sole judge of all contests
conflict were left undecided and undetermined, would not a void be relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the members
thus created in our constitutional system which may be in the long of the National Assembly." It is imperative, therefore, that we delve

16 | P a g e
into the origin and history of this constitutional provision and required, as well as to initiate impeachment proceedings against
inquire into the intention of its framers and the people who specified executive and judicial officer. For the purpose of hearing
adopted it so that we may properly appreciate its full meaning, legislative protests, the tribunal was to be composed of three
import and significance. justices designated by the Supreme Court and six members of the
house of the legislature to which the contest corresponds, three
The original provision regarding this subject in the Act of Congress members to be designed by the majority party and three by the
of July 1, 1902 (sec. 7, par. 5) laying down the rule that "the minority, to be presided over by the Senior Justice unless the Chief
assembly shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and
Justice is also a member in which case the latter shall preside. The
qualifications of its members", was taken from clause 1 of section 5, foregoing proposal was submitted by the Committee on
Article I of the Constitution of the United States providing that Constitutional Guarantees to the Convention on September 15,
"Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns, and 1934, with slight modifications consisting in the reduction of the
Qualifications of its own Members, . . . ." The Act of Congress of
legislative representation to four members, that is, two senators to
August 29, 1916 (sec. 18, par. 1) modified this provision by the be designated one each from the two major parties in the Senate
insertion of the word "sole" as follows: "That the Senate and House and two representatives to be designated one each from the two
of Representatives, respectively, shall be the sole judges of the major parties in the House of Representatives, and in awarding
elections, returns, and qualifications of their elective members . . ." representation to the executive department in the persons of two
apparently in order to emphasize the exclusive the Legislative over representatives to be designated by the President.
the particular case s therein specified. This court has had occasion
to characterize this grant of power to the Philippine Senate and Meanwhile, the Committee on Legislative Power was also preparing
House of Representatives, respectively, as "full, clear and complete" its report. As submitted to the Convention on September 24, 1934
(Veloso vs. Boards of Canvassers of Leyte and Samar [1919], 39 Phil., subsection 5, section 5, of the proposed Article on the Legislative
886, 888.) Department, reads as follows:

The first step towards the creation of an independent tribunal for The elections, returns and qualifications of the members of either
the purpose of deciding contested elections to the legislature was house and all cases contesting the election of any of their members
taken by the sub-committee of five appointed by the Committee on shall be judged by an Electoral Commission, constituted, as to each
Constitutional Guarantees of the Constitutional Convention, which House, by three members elected by the members of the party
sub-committee submitted a report on August 30, 1934, having the largest number of votes therein, three elected by the
recommending the creation of a Tribunal of Constitutional Security members of the party having the second largest number of votes,
empowered to hear legislature but also against the election of and as to its Chairman, one Justice of the Supreme Court designated
executive officers for whose election the vote of the whole nation is by the Chief Justice.

17 | P a g e
The idea of creating a Tribunal of Constitutional Security with xxx xxx xxx
comprehensive jurisdiction as proposed by the Committee on
Constitutional Guarantees which was probably inspired by the Mr. VENTURA. Mr. President, we have a doubt here as to the scope
Spanish plan (art. 121, Constitution of the Spanish Republic of of the meaning of the first four lines, paragraph 6, page 11 of the
1931), was soon abandoned in favor of the proposition of the draft, reading: "The elections, returns and qualifications of the
Committee on Legislative Power to create a similar body with Members of the National Assembly and all cases contesting the
reduced powers and with specific and limited jurisdiction, to be election of any of its Members shall be judged by an Electoral
Commission, . . ." I should like to ask from the gentleman from Capiz
designated as a Electoral Commission. The Sponsorship Committee
modified the proposal of the Committee on Legislative Power with whether the election and qualification of the member whose
respect to the composition of the Electoral Commission and made elections is not contested shall also be judged by the Electoral
further changes in phraseology to suit the project of adopting a Commission.
unicameral instead of a bicameral legislature. The draft as finally Mr. ROXAS. If there is no question about the election of the
submitted to the Convention on October 26, 1934, reads as follows: members, there is nothing to be judged; that is why the word
(6) The elections, returns and qualifications of the Members of the "judge" is used to indicate a controversy. If there is no question
National Assembly and all cases contesting the election of any of its about the election of a member, there is nothing to be submitted to
the Electoral Commission and there is nothing to be determined.
Members shall be judged by an Electoral Commission, composed of
three members elected by the party having the largest number of Mr. VENTURA. But does that carry the idea also that the Electoral
votes in the National Assembly, three elected by the members of Commission shall confirm also the election of those whose election
the party having the second largest number of votes, and three is not contested?
justices of the Supreme Court designated by the Chief Justice, the
Commission to be presided over by one of said justices. Mr. ROXAS. There is no need of confirmation. As the gentleman
knows, the action of the House of Representatives confirming the
During the discussion of the amendment introduced by Delegates election of its members is just a matter of the rules of the assembly.
Labrador, Abordo, and others, proposing to strike out the whole It is not constitutional. It is not necessary. After a man files his
subsection of the foregoing draft and inserting in lieu thereof the credentials that he has been elected, that is sufficient, unless his
following: "The National Assembly shall be the soled and exclusive election is contested.
judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of the Members",
the following illuminating remarks were made on the floor of the Mr. VENTURA. But I do not believe that that is sufficient, as we have
Convention in its session of December 4, 1934, as to the scope of observed that for purposes of the auditor, in the matter of election
the said draft:

18 | P a g e
of a member to a legislative body, because he will not authorize his from Capiz. This paragraph 6 on page 11 of the draft cites cases
pay. contesting the election as separate from the first part of the
sections which refers to elections, returns and qualifications.
Mr. ROXAS. Well, what is the case with regards to the municipal
president who is elected? What happens with regards to the Mr. ROXAS. That is merely for the sake of clarity. In fact the cases of
councilors of a municipality? Does anybody confirm their election? contested elections are already included in the phrase "the elections,
The municipal council does this: it makes a canvass and proclaims — returns and qualifications." This phrase "and contested elections"
in this case the municipal council proclaims who has been elected, was inserted merely for the sake of clarity.
and it ends there, unless there is a contest. It is the same case; there
is no need on the part of the Electoral Commission unless there is a Mr. CINCO. Under this paragraph, may not the Electoral
contest. The first clause refers to the case referred to by the Commission, at its own instance, refuse to confirm the elections of
gentleman from Cavite where one person tries to be elected in the members."
place of another who was declared elected. From example, in a case Mr. ROXAS. I do not think so, unless there is a protest.
when the residence of the man who has been elected is in question,
or in case the citizenship of the man who has been elected is in Mr. LABRADOR. Mr. President, will the gentleman yield?
question.
THE PRESIDENT. The gentleman may yield, if he so desires.
However, if the assembly desires to annul the power of the
Mr. ROXAS. Willingly.
commission, it may do so by certain maneuvers upon its first
meeting when the returns are submitted to the assembly. The Mr. LABRADOR. Does not the gentleman from Capiz believe that
purpose is to give to the Electoral Commission all the powers unless this power is granted to the assembly, the assembly on its
exercised by the assembly referring to the elections, returns and own motion does not have the right to contest the election and
qualifications of the members. When there is no contest, there is qualification of its members?
nothing to be judged.
Mr. ROXAS. I have no doubt but that the gentleman is right. If this
Mr. VENTURA. Then it should be eliminated. draft is retained as it is, even if two-thirds of the assembly believe
that a member has not the qualifications provided by law, they
Mr. ROXAS. But that is a different matter, I think Mr. Delegate.
cannot remove him for that reason.
Mr. CINCO. Mr. President, I have a similar question as that
Mr. LABRADOR. So that the right to remove shall only be retained
propounded by the gentleman from Ilocos Norte when I arose a
by the Electoral Commission.
while ago. However I want to ask more questions from the delegate

19 | P a g e
Mr. ROXAS. By the assembly for misconduct. amended, Delegate Roxas speaking for the Sponsorship Committee
said:
Mr. LABRADOR. I mean with respect to the qualifications of the
members. xxx xxx xxx

Mr. ROXAS. Yes, by the Electoral Commission. Sr. ROXAS. La diferencia, señor Presidente, consiste solamente en
obviar la objecion apuntada por varios Delegados al efecto de que la
Mr. LABRADOR. So that under this draft, no member of the primera clausula del draft que dice: "The elections, returns and
assembly has the right to question the eligibility of its members?
qualifications of the members of the National Assembly" parece que
Mr. ROXAS. Before a member can question the eligibility, he must da a la Comision Electoral la facultad de determinar tambien la
go to the Electoral Commission and make the question before the eleccion de los miembros que no ha sido protestados y para obviar
Electoral Commission. esa dificultad, creemos que la enmienda tien razon en ese sentido,
si enmendamos el draft, de tal modo que se lea como sigue: "All
Mr. LABRADOR. So that the Electoral Commission shall decide cases contesting the election", de modo que los jueces de la
whether the election is contested or not contested. Comision Electoral se limitaran solamente a los casos en que haya
habido protesta contra las actas." Before the amendment of
Mr. ROXAS. Yes, sir: that is the purpose.
Delegate Labrador was voted upon the following interpellation also
Mr. PELAYO. Mr. President, I would like to be informed if the took place:
Electoral Commission has power and authority to pass upon the
El Sr. CONEJERO. Antes de votarse la enmienda, quisiera
qualifications of the members of the National Assembly even
though that question has not been raised. El Sr. PRESIDENTE. ¿Que dice el Comite?

Mr. ROXAS. I have just said that they have no power, because they El Sr. ROXAS. Con mucho gusto.
can only judge.
El Sr. CONEJERO. Tal como esta el draft, dando tres miembros a la
In the same session, the first clause of the aforesaid draft reading mayoria, y otros tres a la minoria y tres a la Corte Suprema, ¿no
"The election, returns and qualifications of the members of the cree Su Señoria que esto equivale practicamente a dejar el asunto a
National Assembly and" was eliminated by the Sponsorship los miembros del Tribunal Supremo?
Committee in response to an amendment introduced by Delegates
Francisco, Ventura, Vinzons, Rafols, Lim, Mumar and others. In El Sr. ROXAS. Si y no. Creemos que si el tribunal o la Commission
explaining the difference between the original draft and the draft as esta constituido en esa forma, tanto los miembros de la mayoria

20 | P a g e
como los de la minoria asi como los miembros de la Corte Suprema Electoral Commission, composed of three members elected by the
consideraran la cuestion sobre la base de sus meritos, sabiendo que party having the largest number of votes in the National Assembly,
el partidismo no es suficiente para dar el triunfo. three elected by the members of the party having the second
largest number of votes, and three justices of the Supreme Court
El Sr. CONEJERO. ¿Cree Su Señoria que en un caso como ese, designated by the Chief Justice, the Commission to be presided over
podriamos hacer que tanto los de la mayoria como los de la minoria by one of said justices.
prescindieran del partidismo?
The Style Committee to which the draft was submitted revised it as
El Sr. ROXAS. Creo que si, porque el partidismo no les daria el follows:
triunfo.
SEC. 4. There shall be an Electoral Commission composed of three
xxx xxx xxx Justices of the Supreme Court designated by the Chief Justice, and
The amendment introduced by Delegates Labrador, Abordo and of six Members chosen by the National Assembly, three of whom
others seeking to restore the power to decide contests relating to shall be nominated by the party having the largest number of votes,
the election, returns and qualifications of members of the National and three by the party having the second largest number of votes
Assembly to the National Assembly itself, was defeated by a vote of therein. The senior Justice in the Commission shall be its chairman.
ninety-eight (98) against fifty-six (56). The Electoral Commission shall be the sole judge of the election,
returns, and qualifications of the Members of the National
In the same session of December 4, 1934, Delegate Cruz (C.) sought Assembly.
to amend the draft by reducing the representation of the minority
party and the Supreme Court in the Electoral Commission to two When the foregoing draft was submitted for approval on February
members each, so as to accord more representation to the majority 8, 1935, the Style Committee, through President Recto, to
party. The Convention rejected this amendment by a vote of effectuate the original intention of the Convention, agreed to insert
seventy-six (76) against forty-six (46), thus maintaining the non- the phrase "All contests relating to" between the phrase "judge of"
partisan character of the commission. and the words "the elections", which was accordingly accepted by
the Convention.
As approved on January 31, 1935, the draft was made to read as
follows: The transfer of the power of determining the election, returns and
qualifications of the members of the legislature long lodged in the
(6) All cases contesting the elections, returns and qualifications of legislative body, to an independent, impartial and non-partisan
the Members of the National Assembly shall be judged by an

21 | P a g e
tribunal, is by no means a mere experiment in the science of quorum of the members named was required to be present, but all
government. the members of the house were at liberty to attend the committee
and vote if they pleased.
Cushing, in his Law and Practice of Legislative Assemblies (ninth
edition, chapter VI, pages 57, 58), gives a vivid account of the 154. With the growth of political parties in parliament questions
"scandalously notorious" canvassing of votes by political parties in relating to the right of membership gradually assumed a political
the disposition of contests by the House of Commons in the character; so that for many years previous to the year 1770,
following passages which are partly quoted by the petitioner in his controverted elections had been tried and determined by the house
printed memorandum of March 14, 1936: of commons, as mere party questions, upon which the strength of
contending factions might be tested. Thus, for Example, in 1741, Sir
153. From the time when the commons established their right to be Robert Walpole, after repeated attacks upon his government,
the exclusive judges of the elections, returns, and qualifications of resigned his office in consequence of an adverse vote upon the
their members, until the year 1770, two modes of proceeding
Chippenham election. Mr. Hatsell remarks, of the trial of election
prevailed, in the determination of controverted elections, and rights cases, as conducted under this system, that "Every principle of
of membership. One of the standing committees appointed at the decency and justice were notoriously and openly prostituted, from
commencement of each session, was denominated the committee whence the younger part of the house were insensibly, but too
of privileges and elections, whose functions was to hear and
successfully, induced to adopt the same licentious conduct in more
investigate all questions of this description which might be referred serious matters, and in questions of higher importance to the public
to them, and to report their proceedings, with their opinion welfare." Mr. George Grenville, a distinguished member of the
thereupon, to the house, from time to time. When an election house of commons, undertook to propose a remedy for the evil,
petition was referred to this committee they heard the parties and and, on the 7th of March, 1770, obtained the unanimous leave of
their witnesses and other evidence, and made a report of all the the house to bring in a bill, "to regulate the trial of controverted
evidence, together with their opinion thereupon, in the form of
elections, or returns of members to serve in parliament." In his
resolutions, which were considered and agreed or disagreed to by speech to explain his plan, on the motion for leave, Mr. Grenville
the house. The other mode of proceeding was by a hearing at the alluded to the existing practice in the following terms: "Instead of
bar of the house itself. When this court was adopted, the case was trusting to the merits of their respective causes, the principal
heard and decided by the house, in substantially the same manner dependence of both parties is their private interest among us; and it
as by a committee. The committee of privileges and elections is scandalously notorious that we are as earnestly canvassed to
although a select committee. The committee of privileges and attend in favor of the opposite sides, as if we were wholly self-
elections although a select committee was usually what is called an elective, and not bound to act by the principles of justice, but by the
open one; that is to say, in order to constitute the committee, a

22 | P a g e
discretionary impulse of our own inclinations; nay, it is well known, selected from a rota in accordance with rules of court made for the
that in every contested election, many members of this house, who purpose. Having proved successful, the practice has become
are ultimately to judge in a kind of judicial capacity between the imbedded in English jurisprudence (Parliamentary Elections Act,
competitors, enlist themselves as parties in the contention, and 1868 [31 & 32 Vict. c. 125] as amended by Parliamentary Elections
take upon themselves the partial management of the very business, and Corrupt Practices Act. 1879 [42 & 43 Vict. c. 75], s. 2; Corrupt
upon which they should determine with the strictest impartiality." and Illegal Practices Preventions Act, 1883 [46 & 47 Vict. c. 51;, s.
70; Expiring Laws Continuance Act, 1911 [1 & 2 Geo. 5, c. 22]; Laws
155. It was to put an end to the practices thus described, that Mr.
of England, vol. XII, p. 408, vol. XXI, p. 787). In the Dominion of
Grenville brought in a bill which met with the approbation of both Canada, election contests which were originally heard by the
houses, and received the royal assent on the 12th of April, 1770. Committee of the House of Commons, are since 1922 tried in the
This was the celebrated law since known by the name of the courts. Likewise, in the Commonwealth of Australia, election
Grenville Act; of which Mr. Hatsell declares, that it "was one of the
contests which were originally determined by each house, are since
nobles works, for the honor of the house of commons, and the 1922 tried in the High Court. In Hungary, the organic law provides
security of the constitution, that was ever devised by any minister that all protests against the election of members of the Upper
or statesman." It is probable, that the magnitude of the evil, or the House of the Diet are to be resolved by the Supreme Administrative
apparent success of the remedy, may have led many of the Court (Law 22 of 1916, chap. 2, art. 37, par. 6). The Constitution of
contemporaries of the measure to the information of a judgement, Poland of March 17, 1921 (art. 19) and the Constitution of the Free
which was not acquiesced in by some of the leading statesmen of
City of Danzig of May 13, 1922 (art. 10) vest the authority to decide
the day, and has not been entirely confirmed by subsequent contested elections to the Diet or National Assembly in the
experience. The bill was objected to by Lord North, Mr. De Grey, Supreme Court. For the purpose of deciding legislative contests, the
afterwards chief justice of the common pleas, Mr. Ellis, Mr. Dyson, Constitution of the German Reich of July 1, 1919 (art. 31), the
who had been clerk of the house, and Mr. Charles James Fox, chiefly Constitution of the Czechoslovak Republic of February 29, 1920 (art.
on the ground, that the introduction of the new system was an 19) and the Constitution of the Grecian Republic of June 2, 1927
essential alteration of the constitution of parliament, and a total
(art. 43), all provide for an Electoral Commission.
abrogation of one of the most important rights and jurisdictions of
the house of commons. The creation of an Electoral Commission whose membership is
recruited both from the legislature and the judiciary is by no means
As early as 1868, the House of Commons in England solved the unknown in the United States. In the presidential elections of 1876
problem of insuring the non-partisan settlement of the there was a dispute as to the number of electoral votes received by
controverted elections of its members by abdicating its prerogative each of the two opposing candidates. As the Constitution made no
to two judges of the King's Bench of the High Court of Justice

23 | P a g e
adequate provision for such a contingency, Congress passed a law stated, was approved by that body by a vote of 98 against 58. All
on January 29, 1877 (United States Statutes at Large, vol. 19, chap. that can be said now is that, upon the approval of the constitutional
37, pp. 227-229), creating a special Electoral Commission composed the creation of the Electoral Commission is the expression of the
of five members elected by the Senate, five members elected by the wisdom and "ultimate justice of the people". (Abraham Lincoln, First
House of Representatives, and five justices of the Supreme Court, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861.)
the fifth justice to be selected by the four designated in the Act. The
decision of the commission was to be binding unless rejected by the From the deliberations of our Constitutional Convention it is evident
that the purpose was to transfer in its totality all the powers
two houses voting separately. Although there is not much of a
moral lesson to be derived from the experience of America in this previously exercised by the legislature in matters pertaining to
regard, judging from the observations of Justice Field, who was a contested elections of its members, to an independent and
member of that body on the part of the Supreme Court impartial tribunal. It was not so much the knowledge and
appreciation of contemporary constitutional precedents, however,
(Countryman, the Supreme Court of the United States and its
Appellate Power under the Constitution [Albany, 1913] — as the long-felt need of determining legislative contests devoid of
Relentless Partisanship of Electoral Commission, p. 25 et seq.), the partisan considerations which prompted the people, acting through
experiment has at least abiding historical interest. their delegates to the Convention, to provide for this body known as
the Electoral Commission. With this end in view, a composite body
The members of the Constitutional Convention who framed our in which both the majority and minority parties are equally
fundamental law were in their majority men mature in years and represented to off-set partisan influence in its deliberations was
experience. To be sure, many of them were familiar with the history created, and further endowed with judicial temper by including in
and political development of other countries of the world. When , its membership three justices of the Supreme Court.
therefore, they deemed it wise to create an Electoral Commission as
a constitutional organ and invested it with the exclusive function of The Electoral Commission is a constitutional creation, invested with
the necessary authority in the performance and execution of the
passing upon and determining the election, returns and
qualifications of the members of the National Assembly, they must limited and specific function assigned to it by the Constitution.
have done so not only in the light of their own experience but also Although it is not a power in our tripartite scheme of government, it
having in view the experience of other enlightened peoples of the is, to all intents and purposes, when acting within the limits of its
world. The creation of the Electoral Commission was designed to authority, an independent organ. It is, to be sure, closer to the
remedy certain evils of which the framers of our Constitution were legislative department than to any other. The location of the
cognizant. Notwithstanding the vigorous opposition of some provision (section 4) creating the Electoral Commission under
members of the Convention to its creation, the plan, as hereinabove Article VI entitled "Legislative Department" of our Constitution is
very indicative. Its compositions is also significant in that it is

24 | P a g e
constituted by a majority of members of the legislature. But it is a Constitution. The power to regulate on the part of the National
body separate from and independent of the legislature. Assembly in procedural matters will inevitably lead to the ultimate
control by the Assembly of the entire proceedings of the Electoral
The grant of power to the Electoral Commission to judge all contests Commission, and, by indirection, to the entire abrogation of the
relating to the election, returns and qualifications of members of constitutional grant. It is obvious that this result should not be
the National Assembly, is intended to be as complete and permitted.
unimpaired as if it had remained originally in the legislature. The
express lodging of that power in the Electoral Commission is an We are not insensible to the impassioned argument or the learned
implied denial of the exercise of that power by the National counsel for the petitioner regarding the importance and necessity of
Assembly. And this is as effective a restriction upon the legislative respecting the dignity and independence of the national Assembly
power as an express prohibition in the Constitution (Ex parte Lewis, as a coordinate department of the government and of according
45 Tex. Crim. Rep., 1; State vs.Whisman, 36 S.D., 260; L.R.A., 1917B, validity to its acts, to avoid what he characterized would be
1). If we concede the power claimed in behalf of the National practically an unlimited power of the commission in the admission
Assembly that said body may regulate the proceedings of the of protests against members of the National Assembly. But as we
Electoral Commission and cut off the power of the commission to have pointed out hereinabove, the creation of the Electoral
lay down the period within which protests should be filed, the grant Commission carried with it ex necesitate rei the power regulative in
of power to the commission would be ineffective. The Electoral character to limit the time with which protests intrusted to its
Commission in such case would be invested with the power to cognizance should be filed. It is a settled rule of construction that
determine contested cases involving the election, returns and where a general power is conferred or duty enjoined, every
qualifications of the members of the National Assembly but subject particular power necessary for the exercise of the one or the
at all times to the regulative power of the National Assembly. Not performance of the other is also conferred (Cooley, Constitutional
only would the purpose of the framers of our Constitution of totally Limitations, eight ed., vol. I, pp. 138, 139). In the absence of any
transferring this authority from the legislative body be frustrated, further constitutional provision relating to the procedure to be
but a dual authority would be created with the resultant inevitable followed in filing protests before the Electoral Commission,
clash of powers from time to time. A sad spectacle would then be therefore, the incidental power to promulgate such rules necessary
presented of the Electoral Commission retaining the bare authority for the proper exercise of its exclusive power to judge all contests
of taking cognizance of cases referred to, but in reality without the relating to the election, returns and qualifications of members of
necessary means to render that authority effective whenever and the National Assembly, must be deemed by necessary implication to
whenever the National Assembly has chosen to act, a situation have been lodged also in the Electoral Commission.
worse than that intended to be remedied by the framers of our

25 | P a g e
It is, indeed, possible that, as suggested by counsel for the But independently of the legal and constitutional aspects of the
petitioner, the Electoral Commission may abuse its regulative present case, there are considerations of equitable character that
authority by admitting protests beyond any reasonable time, to the should not be overlooked in the appreciation of the intrinsic merits
disturbance of the tranquillity and peace of mind of the members of of the controversy. The Commonwealth Government was
the National Assembly. But the possibility of abuse is not argument inaugurated on November 15, 1935, on which date the Constitution,
against the concession of the power as there is no power that is not except as to the provisions mentioned in section 6 of Article XV
susceptible of abuse. In the second place, if any mistake has been thereof, went into effect. The new National Assembly convened on
committed in the creation of an Electoral Commission and in November 25th of that year, and the resolution confirming the
investing it with exclusive jurisdiction in all cases relating to the election of the petitioner, Jose A. Angara was approved by that
election, returns, and qualifications of members of the National body on December 3, 1935. The protest by the herein respondent
Assembly, the remedy is political, not judicial, and must be sought Pedro Ynsua against the election of the petitioner was filed on
through the ordinary processes of democracy. All the possible December 9 of the same year. The pleadings do not show when the
abuses of the government are not intended to be corrected by the Electoral Commission was formally organized but it does appear
judiciary. We believe, however, that the people in creating the that on December 9, 1935, the Electoral Commission met for the
Electoral Commission reposed as much confidence in this body in first time and approved a resolution fixing said date as the last day
the exclusive determination of the specified cases assigned to it, as for the filing of election protest. When, therefore, the National
they have given to the Supreme Court in the proper cases entrusted Assembly passed its resolution of December 3, 1935, confirming the
to it for decision. All the agencies of the government were designed election of the petitioner to the National Assembly, the Electoral
by the Constitution to achieve specific purposes, and each Commission had not yet met; neither does it appear that said body
constitutional organ working within its own particular sphere of had actually been organized. As a mater of fact, according to
discretionary action must be deemed to be animated with the same certified copies of official records on file in the archives division of
zeal and honesty in accomplishing the great ends for which they the National Assembly attached to the record of this case upon the
were created by the sovereign will. That the actuations of these petition of the petitioner, the three justices of the Supreme Court
constitutional agencies might leave much to be desired in given the six members of the National Assembly constituting the Electoral
instances, is inherent in the perfection of human institutions. In the Commission were respectively designated only on December 4 and
third place, from the fact that the Electoral Commission may not be 6, 1935. If Resolution No. 8 of the National Assembly confirming
interfered with in the exercise of its legitimate power, it does not non-protested elections of members of the National Assembly had
follow that its acts, however illegal or unconstitutional, may not be the effect of limiting or tolling the time for the presentation of
challenge in appropriate cases over which the courts may exercise protests, the result would be that the National Assembly — on the
jurisdiction. hypothesis that it still retained the incidental power of regulation in

26 | P a g e
such cases — had already barred the presentation of protests said body (No. 1, par. 1, Rules of the National Assembly, adopted
before the Electoral Commission had had time to organize itself and December 6, 1935).
deliberate on the mode and method to be followed in a matter
entrusted to its exclusive jurisdiction by the Constitution. This result Under the practice prevailing both in the English House of Commons
was not and could not have been contemplated, and should be and in the Congress of the United States, confirmation is neither
avoided. necessary in order to entitle a member-elect to take his seat. The
return of the proper election officers is sufficient, and the member-
From another angle, Resolution No. 8 of the National Assembly elect presenting such return begins to enjoy the privileges of a
confirming the election of members against whom no protests had member from the time that he takes his oath of office (Laws of
been filed at the time of its passage on December 3, 1935, can not England, vol. 12, pp. 331. 332; vol. 21, pp. 694, 695; U. S. C. A., Title
be construed as a limitation upon the time for the initiation of 2, secs. 21, 25, 26). Confirmation is in order only in cases of
election contests. While there might have been good reason for the contested elections where the decision is adverse to the claims of
legislative practice of confirmation of the election of members of the protestant. In England, the judges' decision or report in
the legislature at the time when the power to decide election controverted elections is certified to the Speaker of the House of
contests was still lodged in the legislature, confirmation alone by Commons, and the House, upon being informed of such certificate
the legislature cannot be construed as depriving the Electoral or report by the Speaker, is required to enter the same upon the
Commission of the authority incidental to its constitutional power Journals, and to give such directions for confirming or altering the
to be "the sole judge of all contest relating to the election, returns, return, or for the issue of a writ for a new election, or for carrying
and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly", to fix into execution the determination as circumstances may require (31
the time for the filing of said election protests. Confirmation by the & 32 Vict., c. 125, sec. 13). In the United States, it is believed, the
National Assembly of the returns of its members against whose order or decision of the particular house itself is generally regarded
election no protests have been filed is, to all legal purposes, as sufficient, without any actual alternation or amendment of the
unnecessary. As contended by the Electoral Commission in its return (Cushing, Law and Practice of Legislative Assemblies, 9th ed.,
resolution of January 23, 1936, overruling the motion of the herein sec. 166).
petitioner to dismiss the protest filed by the respondent Pedro
Ynsua, confirmation of the election of any member is not required Under the practice prevailing when the Jones Law was still in force,
by the Constitution before he can discharge his duties as such each house of the Philippine Legislature fixed the time when
member. As a matter of fact, certification by the proper provincial protests against the election of any of its members should be filed.
board of canvassers is sufficient to entitle a member-elect to a seat This was expressly authorized by section 18 of the Jones Law making
in the national Assembly and to render him eligible to any office in each house the sole judge of the election, return and qualifications
of its members, as well as by a law (sec. 478, Act No. 3387)

27 | P a g e
empowering each house to respectively prescribe by resolution the (a) That the government established by the Constitution follows
time and manner of filing contest in the election of member of said fundamentally the theory of separation of power into the
bodies. As a matter of formality, after the time fixed by its rules for legislative, the executive and the judicial.
the filing of protests had already expired, each house passed a
resolution confirming or approving the returns of such members (b) That the system of checks and balances and the overlapping of
against whose election no protests had been filed within the functions and duties often makes difficult the delimitation of the
prescribed time. This was interpreted as cutting off the filing of powers granted.
further protests against the election of those members not (c) That in cases of conflict between the several departments and
theretofore contested (Amistad vs. Claravall [Isabela], Second among the agencies thereof, the judiciary, with the Supreme Court
Philippine Legislature, Record — First Period, p. 89; as the final arbiter, is the only constitutional mechanism devised
Urguello vs. Rama [Third District, Cebu], Sixth Philippine Legislature; finally to resolve the conflict and allocate constitutional boundaries.
Fetalvero vs. Festin [Romblon], Sixth Philippine Legislature, Record
— First Period, pp. 637-640; Kintanar vs. Aldanese [Fourth District, (d) That judicial supremacy is but the power of judicial review in
Cebu], Sixth Philippine Legislature, Record — First Period, pp. 1121, actual and appropriate cases and controversies, and is the power
1122; Aguilar vs. Corpus [Masbate], Eighth Philippine Legislature, and duty to see that no one branch or agency of the government
Record — First Period, vol. III, No. 56, pp. 892, 893). The transcends the Constitution, which is the source of all authority.
Constitution has repealed section 18 of the Jones Law. Act No. 3387,
(e) That the Electoral Commission is an independent constitutional
section 478, must be deemed to have been impliedly abrogated
creation with specific powers and functions to execute and perform,
also, for the reason that with the power to determine all contest
closer for purposes of classification to the legislative than to any of
relating to the election, returns and qualifications of members of
the other two departments of the governments.
the National Assembly, is inseparably linked the authority to
prescribe regulations for the exercise of that power. There was thus (f ) That the Electoral Commission is the sole judge of all contests
no law nor constitutional provisions which authorized the National relating to the election, returns and qualifications of members of
Assembly to fix, as it is alleged to have fixed on December 3, 1935, the National Assembly.
the time for the filing of contests against the election of its
members. And what the National Assembly could not do directly, it (g) That under the organic law prevailing before the present
could not do by indirection through the medium of confirmation. Constitution went into effect, each house of the legislature was
respectively the sole judge of the elections, returns, and
Summarizing, we conclude: qualifications of their elective members.

28 | P a g e
(h) That the present Constitution has transferred all the powers discharge the duties and enjoy the privileges of a member of the
previously exercised by the legislature with respect to contests National Assembly.
relating to the elections, returns and qualifications of its members,
to the Electoral Commission. (m) That confirmation by the National Assembly of the election of
any member against whom no protest had been filed prior to said
(i) That such transfer of power from the legislature to the Electoral confirmation, does not and cannot deprive the Electoral
Commission was full, clear and complete, and carried with it ex Commission of its incidental power to prescribe the time within
necesitate rei the implied power inter alia to prescribe the rules and which protests against the election of any member of the National
regulations as to the time and manner of filing protests. Assembly should be filed.

( j) That the avowed purpose in creating the Electoral Commission We hold, therefore, that the Electoral Commission was acting within
was to have an independent constitutional organ pass upon all the legitimate exercise of its constitutional prerogative in assuming
contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of to take cognizance of the protest filed by the respondent Pedro
members of the National Assembly, devoid of partisan influence or Ynsua against the election of the herein petitioner Jose A. Angara,
consideration, which object would be frustrated if the National and that the resolution of the National Assembly of December 3,
Assembly were to retain the power to prescribe rules and 1935 can not in any manner toll the time for filing protests against
regulations regarding the manner of conducting said contests. the elections, returns and qualifications of members of the National
Assembly, nor prevent the filing of a protest within such time as the
(k) That section 4 of article VI of the Constitution repealed not only rules of the Electoral Commission might prescribe.
section 18 of the Jones Law making each house of the Philippine
Legislature respectively the sole judge of the elections, returns and In view of the conclusion reached by us relative to the character of
qualifications of its elective members, but also section 478 of Act the Electoral Commission as a constitutional creation and as to the
No. 3387 empowering each house to prescribe by resolution the scope and extent of its authority under the facts of the present
time and manner of filing contests against the election of its controversy, we deem it unnecessary to determine whether the
members, the time and manner of notifying the adverse party, and Electoral Commission is an inferior tribunal, corporation, board or
bond or bonds, to be required, if any, and to fix the costs and person within the purview of sections 226 and 516 of the Code of
expenses of contest. Civil Procedure.

(l) That confirmation by the National Assembly of the election is The petition for a writ of prohibition against the Electoral
contested or not, is not essential before such member-elect may Commission is hereby denied, with costs against the petitioner. So
ordered.

29 | P a g e
Avanceña, C. J., Diaz, Concepcion, and Horrilleno, JJ., concur. The Constitution of the United States contains a provision similar to
the that found in Article VI, section 4, of the Constitution of the
Philippines. Article I, section 5, of the Constitution of the United
States provides that each house of the Congress shall be the judge
Separate Opinions of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members.
Notwithstanding this provision, the Congress has assumed the
ABAD SANTOS, J., concurring: power to regulate the time in which notice of a contested election
may be given. Thus section 201, Title 2, of the United States Code
I concur in the result and in most of the views so ably expressed in
Annotated prescribes:
the preceding opinion. I am, however, constrained to withhold my
assent to certain conclusions therein advanced. Whenever any person intends to contest an election of any Member
of the House of Representatives of the United States, he shall,
The power vested in the Electoral Commission by the Constitution
within thirty days after the result of such election shall have been
of judging of all contests relating to the election, returns, and
determined by the officer or board of canvassers authorized by law
qualifications of the members of the National Assembly, is judicial in
to determine the same, give notice, in writing, to the Member
nature. (Thomas vs. Loney, 134 U.S., 372; 33 Law. ed., 949, 951.) On
whose seat he designs to contest, of his intention to contest the
the other hand, the power to regulate the time in which notice of a
same, and, in such notice, shall specify particularly the grounds
contested election may be given, is legislative in character.
upon which he relies in the contest. (R. S., par. 105.)
(M'Elmoyle vs. Cohen, 13 Pet., 312; 10 Law. ed., 177; Missouri vs.
Illinois, 200 U. S. 496; 50 Law. ed., 572.) The Philippine Autonomy Act, otherwise known as the Jones Law,
also contained a provision to the effect that the Senate and House
It has been correctly stated that the government established by the
of Representatives, respectively, shall be the sole judges of the
Constitution follows fundamentally the theory of the separation of
elections, returns, and qualifications of their elective members.
powers into legislative, executive, and judicial. Legislative power is
Notwithstanding this provision, the Philippine Legislature passed
vested in the National Assembly. (Article VI, sec. 1.) In the absence
the Election Law, section 478 of which reads as follows:
of any clear constitutional provision to the contrary, the power to
regulate the time in which notice of a contested election may be The Senate and the House of Representatives shall by resolution
given, must be deemed to be included in the grant of legislative respectively prescribe the time and manner of filing contest in the
power to the National Assembly. election of members of said bodies, the time and manner of
notifying the adverse party, and bond or bonds, to be required, if

30 | P a g e
any, and shall fix the costs and expenses of contest which may be applicable, to refer to the government and corresponding officials
paid from their respective funds. under the Constitution. It would seem to be consistent not only
with the spirit but the letter of the Constitution to hold that section
The purpose sought to be attained by the creation of the Electoral 478 of the Election Law remains operative and should now be
Commission was not to erect a body that would be above the law, construed to refer to the Electoral Commission, which, in so far as
but to raise legislative elections contests from the category of the power to judge election contests is concerned, corresponds to
political to that of justiciable questions. The purpose was not to either the Senate or the House of Representative under the former
place the commission beyond the reach of the law, but to insure the
regime. It is important to observe in this connection that said
determination of such contests with the due process of law. section 478 of the Election Law vested the power to regulate the
Section 478 of the Election Law was in force at the time of the time and manner in which notice of a contested election may be
adoption of the Constitution, Article XV, section 2, of which provides given, not in the Philippine Legislature but in the Senate and House
that — of Representatives singly. In other words, the authority to prescribe
the time and manner of filing contests in the elections of members
All laws of the Philippine Islands shall continue in force until the of the Philippine Legislature was by statute lodged separately in the
inauguration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines; thereafter, bodies clothed with power to decide such contests. Construing
such laws shall remain operative, unless inconsistent with this section 478 of the Election Law to refer to the National Assembly, as
Constitution, until amended, altered, modified, or repealed by the required by Article XV, section 2, of the Constitution, it seems
National Assembly, and all references in such laws to the reasonable to conclude that the authority to prescribe the time and
Government or officials of the Philippine Islands shall be construed, manner of filing contests in the election of members of the National
in so far as applicable, to refer to the Government and Assembly is vested in the Electoral Commission, which is now the
corresponding officials under this Constitution. body clothed with power to decide such contests.

The manifest purpose of this constitutional provision was to insure In the light of what has been said, the resolution of the National
the orderly processes of government, and to prevent any hiatus in Assembly of December 3, 1935, could not have the effect of barring
its operations after the inauguration of the Commonwealth of the the right of the respondent Pedro Ynsua to contest the election of
Philippines. It was thus provided that all laws of the Philippine the petitioner. By the same token, the Electoral Commission was
Islands shall remain operative even after the inauguration of the authorized by law to adopt its resolution of December 9, 1935,
Commonwealth of the Philippines, unless inconsistent with the which fixed the time with in which written contests must be filed
Constitution, and that all references in such laws to the government with the commission.
or officials of the Philippine Islands shall be construed, in so far as

31 | P a g e
Having been filed within the time fixed by its resolutions, the
Electoral Commission has jurisdiction to hear and determine the
contest filed by the respondent Pedro Ynsua against the petitioner
Jose A. Angara.

32 | P a g e
IV. Francisco vs. House of Representatives protection of the public interest lie in adherence to, not departure
from, the Constitution.
CARPIO MORALES, J.:
In passing over the complex issues arising from the controversy, this
There can be no constitutional crisis arising from a conflict, no Court is ever mindful of the essential truth that the inviolate
matter how passionate and seemingly irreconcilable it may appear doctrine of separation of powers among the legislative, executive or
to be, over the determination by the independent branches of judicial branches of government by no means prescribes for
government of the nature, scope and extent of their respective absolute autonomy in the discharge by each of that part of the
constitutional powers where the Constitution itself provides for the governmental power assigned to it by the sovereign people.
means and bases for its resolution.
At the same time, the corollary doctrine of checks and balances
Our nation's history is replete with vivid illustrations of the often which has been carefully calibrated by the Constitution to temper
frictional, at times turbulent, dynamics of the relationship among the official acts of each of these three branches must be given effect
these co-equal branches. This Court is confronted with one such without destroying their indispensable co-equality.
today involving the legislature and the judiciary which has drawn
legal luminaries to chart antipodal courses and not a few of our Taken together, these two fundamental doctrines of republican
countrymen to vent cacophonous sentiments thereon. government, intended as they are to insure that governmental
power is wielded only for the good of the people, mandate a
There may indeed be some legitimacy to the characterization that relationship of interdependence and coordination among these
the present controversy subject of the instant petitions – whether branches where the delicate functions of enacting, interpreting and
the filing of the second impeachment complaint against Chief
enforcing laws are harmonized to achieve a unity of governance,
Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. with the House of Representatives falls guided only by what is in the greater interest and well-being of the
within the one year bar provided in the Constitution, and whether people. Verily, salus populi est suprema lex.
the resolution thereof is a political question – has resulted in a
political crisis. Perhaps even more truth to the view that it was Article XI of our present 1987 Constitution provides:
brought upon by a political crisis of conscience.
ARTICLE XI
In any event, it is with the absolute certainty that our Constitution is
sufficient to address all the issues which this controversy spawns Accountability of Public Officers
that this Court unequivocally pronounces, at the first instance, that SECTION 1. Public office is a public trust. Public officers and
the feared resort to extra-constitutional methods of resolving it is employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve
neither necessary nor legally permissible. Both its resolution and

33 | P a g e
them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and trial by the
act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives. Senate shall forthwith proceed.

SECTION 2. The President, the Vice-President, the Members of the (5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the
Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, same official more than once within a period of one year.
and the Ombudsman may be removed from office, on impeachment
for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, (6) The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases
treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of impeachment. When sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall
of public trust. All other public officers and employees may be be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the Philippines is
removed from office as provided by law, but not by impeachment. on trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside, but
shall not vote. No person shall be convicted without the
SECTION 3. (1) The House of Representatives shall have concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate.
the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment.
(7) Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than
(2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under the
Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a Republic of the Philippines, but the party convicted shall
resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof, which shall be nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution, trial, and
included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and punishment according to law.
referred to the proper Committee within three session days
thereafter. The Committee, after hearing, and by a majority vote of (8) The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to
effectively carry out the purpose of this section. (Emphasis and
all its Members, shall submit its report to the House within sixty
session days from such referral, together with the corresponding underscoring supplied)
resolution. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by Following the above-quoted Section 8 of Article XI of the
the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. Constitution, the 12th Congress of the House of Representatives
adopted and approved the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment
(3) A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall
be necessary either to affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles Proceedings (House Impeachment Rules) on November 28, 2001,
of Impeachment of the Committee, or override its contrary superseding the previous House Impeachment Rules1 approved by
the 11th Congress. The relevant distinctions between these two
resolution. The vote of each Member shall be recorded.
Congresses' House Impeachment Rules are shown in the following
(4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is tabulation:
filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House, the

34 | P a g e
11TH CONGRESS RULES 12TH CONGRESS NEW RULES substance.

In cases where a verified complaint


RULE II RULE V or a resolution of impeachment is
INITIATING IMPEACHMENT BAR AGAINST INITIATION OF filed or endorsed, as the case may
IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS be, by at least one-third (1/3) of the
Section 2. Mode of Initiating Members of the
AGAINST THE SAME OFFICIAL
Impeachment. – Impeachment shall House, impeachment proceedings
be initiated only by a verified Section 16. – Impeachment are deemed initiated at the time of
complaint for impeachment filed by Proceedings Deemed Initiated. – In the filing of such verified complaint
any Member of the House of cases where a Member of the House or resolution of impeachment with
Representatives or by any citizen files a verified complaint of the Secretary General.
upon a resolution of endorsement by impeachment or a citizen files a
any Member thereof or by a verified verified complaint that is endorsed
complaint or resolution of by a Member of the House through
impeachment filed by at least one- a resolution of endorsement againstRULE V Section 17. Bar Against Initiation Of
third (1/3) of all the Members of the an impeachable officer, Impeachment Proceedings. –
BAR AGAINST IMPEACHMENT
House. impeachment proceedings against Within a period of one (1) year from
such official are deemed initiated onSection 14. Scope of Bar. – No the date impeachment proceedings
the day the Committee on Justice impeachment proceedings shall be are deemed initiated as provided in
finds that the verified complaint initiated against the same official Section 16 hereof, no impeachment
and/or resolution against such more than once within the period of proceedings, as such, can be
official, as the case may be, is one (1) year. initiated against the same official.
sufficient in substance, or on the (Italics in the original; emphasis and
date the House votes to overturn or underscoring supplied)
affirm the finding of the said
Committee that the verifiedOn July 22, 2002, the House of Representatives adopted a
2
complaint and/or resolution,Resolution,
as the sponsored by Representative Felix William D.
case may be, is not sufficientFuentebella,
in which directed the Committee on Justice "to conduct
an investigation, in aid of legislation, on the manner of

35 | P a g e
disbursements and expenditures by the Chief Justice of the Four months and three weeks since the filing on June 2, 2003 of the
Supreme Court of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF)."3 first complaint or on October 23, 2003, a day after the House
Committee on Justice voted to dismiss it, the second impeachment
On June 2, 2003, former President Joseph E. Estrada filed an complaint11 was filed with the Secretary General of the House12 by
impeachment complaint4 (first impeachment complaint) against Representatives Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. (First District, Tarlac) and
Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. and seven Associate Justices5 of Felix William B. Fuentebella (Third District, Camarines Sur) against
this Court for "culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of the Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., founded on the alleged results of
public trust and other high crimes."6 The complaint was endorsed by
the legislative inquiry initiated by above-mentioned House
Representatives Rolex T. Suplico, Ronaldo B. Zamora and Didagen Resolution. This second impeachment complaint was accompanied
Piang Dilangalen,7 and was referred to the House Committee on by a "Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment" signed by at least
Justice on August 5, 20038 in accordance with Section 3(2) of Article one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House of
XI of the Constitution which reads:
Representatives.13
Section 3(2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by Thus arose the instant petitions against the House of
any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon Representatives, et. al., most of which petitions contend that the
a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof, which shall be filing of the second impeachment complaint is unconstitutional as it
included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and
violates the provision of Section 5 of Article XI of the Constitution
referred to the proper Committee within three session days that "[n]o impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the
thereafter. The Committee, after hearing, and by a majority vote of same official more than once within a period of one year."
all its Members, shall submit its report to the House within sixty
session days from such referral, together with the corresponding In G.R. No. 160261, petitioner Atty. Ernesto B. Francisco, Jr., alleging
resolution. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by that he has a duty as a member of the Integrated Bar of the
the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. Philippines to use all available legal remedies to stop an
unconstitutional impeachment, that the issues raised in his petition
The House Committee on Justice ruled on October 13, 2003 that the for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus are of transcendental
first impeachment complaint was "sufficient in form,"9 but voted to importance, and that he "himself was a victim of the capricious and
dismiss the same on October 22, 2003 for being insufficient in arbitrary changes in the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment
substance.10 To date, the Committee Report to this effect has not Proceedings introduced by the 12th Congress,"14 posits that his right
yet been sent to the House in plenary in accordance with the said to bring an impeachment complaint against then Ombudsman
Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution. Aniano Desierto had been violated due to the capricious and
arbitrary changes in the House Impeachment Rules adopted and

36 | P a g e
approved on November 28, 2001 by the House of Representatives prohibition enjoining Congress from conducting further proceedings
and prays that (1) Rule V, Sections 16 and 17 and Rule III, Sections 5, on said second impeachment complaint.
6, 7, 8, and 9 thereof be declared unconstitutional; (2) this Court
issue a writ of mandamus directing respondents House of In G.R. No. 160277, petitioner Francisco I. Chavez, alleging that this
Representatives et. al. to comply with Article IX, Section 3 (2), (3) Court has recognized that he has locus standi to bring petitions of
and (5) of the Constitution, to return the second impeachment this nature in the cases of Chavez v. PCGG15 and Chavez v. PEA-
complaint and/or strike it off the records of the House of Amari Coastal Bay Development Corporation,16 prays in his petition
for Injunction that the second impeachment complaint be declared
Representatives, and to promulgate rules which are consistent with
the Constitution; and (3) this Court permanently enjoin respondent unconstitutional.
House of Representatives from proceeding with the second In G.R. No. 160292, petitioners Atty. Harry L. Roque, et. al., as
impeachment complaint. taxpayers and members of the legal profession, pray in their
petition for Prohibition for an order prohibiting respondent House
In G.R. No. 160262, petitioners Sedfrey M. Candelaria, et. al., as
citizens and taxpayers, alleging that the issues of the case are of of Representatives from drafting, adopting, approving and
transcendental importance, pray, in their petition for transmitting to the Senate the second impeachment complaint, and
Certiorari/Prohibition, the issuance of a writ "perpetually" respondents De Venecia and Nazareno from transmitting the
Articles of Impeachment to the Senate.
prohibiting respondent House of Representatives from filing any
Articles of Impeachment against the Chief Justice with the Senate; In G.R. No. 160295, petitioners Representatives Salacnib F. Baterina
and for the issuance of a writ "perpetually" prohibiting respondents and Deputy Speaker Raul M. Gonzalez, alleging that, as members of
Senate and Senate President Franklin Drilon from accepting any the House of Representatives, they have a legal interest in ensuring
Articles of Impeachment against the Chief Justice or, in the event that only constitutional impeachment proceedings are initiated,
that the Senate has accepted the same, from proceeding with the pray in their petition for Certiorari/Prohibition that the second
impeachment trial. impeachment complaint and any act proceeding therefrom be
In G.R. No. 160263, petitioners Arturo M. de Castro and Soledad declared null and void.
Cagampang, as citizens, taxpayers, lawyers and members of the In G.R. No. 160310, petitioners Leonilo R. Alfonso et al., claiming
Integrated Bar of the Philippines, alleging that their petition for that they have a right to be protected against all forms of senseless
Prohibition involves public interest as it involves the use of public spending of taxpayers' money and that they have an obligation to
funds necessary to conduct the impeachment trial on the second protect the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice, and the integrity of
impeachment complaint, pray for the issuance of a writ of the Judiciary, allege in their petition for Certiorari and Prohibition

37 | P a g e
that it is instituted as "a class suit" and pray that (1) the House Sections 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 of Rule III of the House Impeachment Rules be
Resolution endorsing the second impeachment complaint as well as declared unconstitutional and that the House of Representatives be
all issuances emanating therefrom be declared null and void; and (2) permanently enjoined from proceeding with the second
this Court enjoin the Senate and the Senate President from taking impeachment complaint.
cognizance of, hearing, trying and deciding the second
impeachment complaint, and issue a writ of prohibition In G.R. No. 160360, petitioner-taxpayer Atty. Claro Flores prays in
commanding the Senate, its prosecutors and agents to desist from his petition for Certiorari and Prohibition that the House
Impeachment Rules be declared unconstitutional.
conducting any proceedings or to act on the impeachment
complaint. In G.R. No. 160365, petitioners U.P. Law Alumni Cebu Foundation
In G.R. No. 160318, petitioner Public Interest Center, Inc., whose Inc., et. al., in their petition for Prohibition and Injunction which
members are citizens and taxpayers, and its co-petitioner Crispin T. they claim is a class suit filed in behalf of all citizens, citing Oposa v.
Factoran17 which was filed in behalf of succeeding generations of
Reyes, a citizen, taxpayer and a member of the Philippine Bar, both
allege in their petition, which does not state what its nature is, that Filipinos, pray for the issuance of a writ prohibiting respondents
the filing of the second impeachment complaint involves paramount House of Representatives and the Senate from conducting further
public interest and pray that Sections 16 and 17 of the House proceedings on the second impeachment complaint and that this
Court declare as unconstitutional the second impeachment
Impeachment Rules and the second impeachment
complaint/Articles of Impeachment be declared null and void. complaint and the acts of respondent House of Representatives in
interfering with the fiscal matters of the Judiciary.
In G.R. No. 160342, petitioner Atty. Fernando P. R. Perito, as a
citizen and a member of the Philippine Bar Association and of the In G.R. No. 160370, petitioner-taxpayer Father Ranhilio Callangan
Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and petitioner Engr. Maximo N. Aquino, alleging that the issues in his petition for Prohibition are of
Menez, Jr., as a taxpayer, pray in their petition for the issuance of a national and transcendental significance and that as an official of
Temporary Restraining Order and Permanent Injunction to enjoin the Philippine Judicial Academy, he has a direct and substantial
the House of Representatives from proceeding with the second interest in the unhampered operation of the Supreme Court and its
impeachment complaint. officials in discharging their duties in accordance with the
Constitution, prays for the issuance of a writ prohibiting the House
In G.R. No. 160343, petitioner Integrated Bar of the Philippines, of Representatives from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment
alleging that it is mandated by the Code of Professional to the Senate and the Senate from receiving the same or giving the
Responsibility to uphold the Constitution, prays in its petition for impeachment complaint due course.
Certiorari and Prohibition that Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V and

38 | P a g e
In G.R. No. 160376, petitioner Nilo A. Malanyaon, as a taxpayer, complaint and all proceedings arising therefrom be declared null
alleges in his petition for Prohibition that respondents Fuentebella and void; (2) respondent House of Representatives be prohibited
and Teodoro at the time they filed the second impeachment from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate; and
complaint, were "absolutely without any legal power to do so, as (3) respondent Senate be prohibited from accepting the Articles of
they acted without jurisdiction as far as the Articles of Impeachment Impeachment and from conducting any proceedings thereon.
assail the alleged abuse of powers of the Chief Justice to disburse
the (JDF)." In G.R. No. 160405, petitioners Democrit C. Barcenas et. al., as
citizens and taxpayers, pray in their petition for
In G.R. No. 160392, petitioners Attorneys Venicio S. Flores and Certiorari/Prohibition that (1) the second impeachment complaint
Hector L. Hofileña, alleging that as professors of law they have an as well as the resolution of endorsement and impeachment by the
abiding interest in the subject matter of their petition for Certiorari respondent House of Representatives be declared null and void and
and Prohibition as it pertains to a constitutional issue "which they (2) respondents Senate and Senate President Franklin Drilon be
are trying to inculcate in the minds of their students," pray that the prohibited from accepting any Articles of Impeachment against the
House of Representatives be enjoined from endorsing and the Chief Justice or, in the event that they have accepted the same, that
Senate from trying the Articles of Impeachment and that the second they be prohibited from proceeding with the impeachment trial.
impeachment complaint be declared null and void.
Petitions bearing docket numbers G.R. Nos. 160261, 160262 and
In G.R. No. 160397, petitioner Atty. Dioscoro Vallejos, Jr., without 160263, the first three of the eighteen which were filed before this
alleging his locus standi, but alleging that the second impeachment Court,18 prayed for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order
complaint is founded on the issue of whether or not the Judicial and/or preliminary injunction to prevent the House of
Development Fund (JDF) was spent in accordance with law and that Representatives from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment
the House of Representatives does not have exclusive jurisdiction in arising from the second impeachment complaint to the Senate.
the examination and audit thereof, prays in his petition "To Declare Petition bearing docket number G.R. No. 160261 likewise prayed for
Complaint Null and Void for Lack of Cause of Action and the declaration of the November 28, 2001 House Impeachment
Jurisdiction" that the second impeachment complaint be declared Rules as null and void for being unconstitutional.
null and void.
Petitions bearing docket numbers G.R. Nos. 160277, 160292 and
In G.R. No. 160403, petitioner Philippine Bar Association, alleging 160295, which were filed on October 28, 2003, sought similar relief.
that the issues raised in the filing of the second impeachment In addition, petition bearing docket number G.R. No. 160292 alleged
complaint involve matters of transcendental importance, prays in its that House Resolution No. 260 (calling for a legislative inquiry into
petition for Certiorari/Prohibition that (1) the second impeachment the administration by the Chief Justice of the JDF) infringes on the

39 | P a g e
constitutional doctrine of separation of powers and is a direct Also on October 28, 2003, when respondent House of
violation of the constitutional principle of fiscal autonomy of the Representatives through Speaker Jose C. De Venecia, Jr. and/or its
judiciary. co-respondents, by way of special appearance, submitted a
Manifestation asserting that this Court has no jurisdiction to hear,
On October 28, 2003, during the plenary session of the House of much less prohibit or enjoin the House of Representatives, which is
Representatives, a motion was put forth that the second an independent and co-equal branch of government under the
impeachment complaint be formally transmitted to the Senate, but Constitution, from the performance of its constitutionally mandated
it was not carried because the House of Representatives adjourned
duty to initiate impeachment cases. On even date, Senator Aquilino
for lack of quorum,19 and as reflected above, to date, the Articles of Q. Pimentel, Jr., in his own behalf, filed a Motion to Intervene (Ex
Impeachment have yet to be forwarded to the Senate. Abudante Cautela)21 and Comment, praying that "the consolidated
Before acting on the petitions with prayers for temporary petitions be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction of the Court over the
restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction which were issues affecting the impeachment proceedings and that the sole
filed on or before October 28, 2003, Justices Puno and Vitug offered power, authority and jurisdiction of the Senate as the impeachment
to recuse themselves, but the Court rejected their offer. Justice court to try and decide impeachment cases, including the one
Panganiban inhibited himself, but the Court directed him to where the Chief Justice is the respondent, be recognized and upheld
participate. pursuant to the provisions of Article XI of the Constitution."22

Without necessarily giving the petitions due course, this Court in its Acting on the other petitions which were subsequently filed, this
Resolution of October 28, 2003, resolved to (a) consolidate the Court resolved to (a) consolidate them with the earlier consolidated
petitions; (b) require respondent House of Representatives and the petitions; (b) require respondents to file their comment not later
Senate, as well as the Solicitor General, to comment on the than 4:30 p.m. of November 3, 2003; and (c) include them for oral
petitions not later than 4:30 p.m. of November 3, 2003; (c) set the arguments on November 5, 2003.
petitions for oral arguments on November 5, 2003, at 10:00 a.m.; On October 29, 2003, the Senate of the Philippines, through Senate
and (d) appointed distinguished legal experts as amici curiae.20 In President Franklin M. Drilon, filed a Manifestation stating that
addition, this Court called on petitioners and respondents to insofar as it is concerned, the petitions are plainly premature and
maintain the status quo, enjoining all the parties and others acting have no basis in law or in fact, adding that as of the time of the filing
for and in their behalf to refrain from committing acts that would of the petitions, no justiciable issue was presented before it since
render the petitions moot. (1) its constitutional duty to constitute itself as an impeachment
court commences only upon its receipt of the Articles of
Impeachment, which it had not, and (2) the principal issues raised

40 | P a g e
by the petitions pertain exclusively to the proceedings in the House Whether the certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may be
of Representatives. invoked; who can invoke it; on what issues and at what time; and
whether it should be exercised by this Court at this time.
On October 30, 2003, Atty. Jaime Soriano filed a "Petition for Leave
to Intervene" in G.R. Nos. 160261, 160262, 160263, 160277, In discussing these issues, the following may be taken up:
160292, and 160295, questioning the status quo Resolution issued
by this Court on October 28, 2003 on the ground that it would a) locus standi of petitioners;
unnecessarily put Congress and this Court in a "constitutional b) ripeness(prematurity; mootness);
deadlock" and praying for the dismissal of all the petitions as the
matter in question is not yet ripe for judicial determination. c) political question/justiciability;

On November 3, 2003, Attorneys Romulo B. Macalintal and Pete d) House's "exclusive" power to initiate all cases of impeachment;
Quirino Quadra filed in G.R. No. 160262 a "Motion for Leave of
e) Senate's "sole" power to try and decide all cases of
Court to Intervene and to Admit the Herein Incorporated Petition in
impeachment;
Intervention."
f) constitutionality of the House Rules on Impeachment vis-a-
On November 4, 2003, Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng
vis Section 3(5) of Article XI of the Constitution; and
mga Manggagawang Pilipino, Inc. filed a Motion for Intervention in
G.R. No. 160261. On November 5, 2003, World War II Veterans g) judicial restraint (Italics in the original)
Legionnaires of the Philippines, Inc. also filed a "Petition-in-
Intervention with Leave to Intervene" in G.R. Nos. 160261, 160262, In resolving the intricate conflux of preliminary and substantive
160263, 160277, 160292, 160295, and 160310. issues arising from the instant petitions as well as the myriad
arguments and opinions presented for and against the grant of the
The motions for intervention were granted and both Senator reliefs prayed for, this Court has sifted and determined them to be
Pimentel's Comment and Attorneys Macalintal and Quadra's as follows: (1) the threshold and novel issue of whether or not the
Petition in Intervention were admitted. power of judicial review extends to those arising from impeachment
proceedings; (2) whether or not the essential pre-requisites for the
On November 5-6, 2003, this Court heard the views of the amici
exercise of the power of judicial review have been fulfilled; and (3)
curiae and the arguments of petitioners, intervenors Senator
the substantive issues yet remaining. These matters shall now be
Pimentel and Attorney Makalintal, and Solicitor General Alfredo
discussed in seriatim.
Benipayo on the principal issues outlined in an Advisory issued by
this Court on November 3, 2003, to wit:

41 | P a g e
Judicial Review several departments and among the integral or constituent units
thereof.
As reflected above, petitioners plead for this Court to exercise the
power of judicial review to determine the validity of the second As any human production, our Constitution is of course lacking
impeachment complaint. perfection and perfectibility, but as much as it was within the power
of our people, acting through their delegates to so provide, that
This Court's power of judicial review is conferred on the judicial instrument which is the expression of their sovereignty however
branch of the government in Section 1, Article VIII of our present limited, has established a republican government intended to
1987 Constitution: operate and function as a harmonious whole, under a system of
SECTION 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court checks and balances, and subject to specific limitations and
and in such lower courts as may be established by law. restrictions provided in the said instrument. The Constitution sets
forth in no uncertain language the restrictions and limitations
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle upon governmental powers and agencies. If these restrictions and
actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable limitations are transcended it would be inconceivable if the
and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been Constitution had not provided for a mechanism by which to direct
a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of the course of government along constitutional channels,for then
jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the the distribution of powers would be mere verbiage, the bill of rights
government. (Emphasis supplied) mere expressions of sentiment, and the principles of good
government mere political apothegms. Certainly, the limitations and
Such power of judicial review was early on exhaustively expounded
restrictions embodied in our Constitution are real as they should be
upon by Justice Jose P. Laurel in the definitive 1936 case of Angara
in any living constitution. In the United States where no express
v. Electoral Commission23 after the effectivity of the 1935
constitutional grant is found in their constitution, the possession of
Constitution whose provisions, unlike the present Constitution, did
this moderating power of the courts, not to speak of its historical
not contain the present provision in Article VIII, Section 1, par. 2 on
origin and development there, has been set at rest by popular
what judicial power includes. Thus, Justice Laurel discoursed:
acquiescence for a period of more than one and a half centuries. In
x x x In times of social disquietude or political excitement, the great our case, this moderating power is granted, if not expressly, by
landmarks of the Constitution are apt to be forgotten or marred, if clear implication from section 2 of article VIII of our Constitution.
not entirely obliterated. In cases of conflict, the judicial
The Constitution is a definition of the powers of government. Who
department is the only constitutional organ which can be called
is to determine the nature, scope and extent of such powers? The
upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the
Constitution itself has provided for the instrumentality of the

42 | P a g e
judiciary as the rational way. And when the judiciary mediates to along constitutional channels" is inherent in all courts25 as a
allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any necessary consequence of the judicial power itself, which is "the
superiority over the other departments; it does not in reality nullify power of the court to settle actual controversies involving rights
or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only asserts the solemn which are legally demandable and enforceable."26
and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to
determine conflicting claims of authority under the Thus, even in the United States where the power of judicial review
Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual is not explicitly conferred upon the courts by its Constitution, such
power has "been set at rest by popular acquiescence for a period of
controversy the rights which that instrument secures and
guarantees to them. This is in truth all that is involved in what is more than one and a half centuries." To be sure, it was in the 1803
termed "judicial supremacy" which properly is the power of judicial leading case of Marbury v. Madison27 that the power of judicial
review under the Constitution. Even then, this power of judicial review was first articulated by Chief Justice Marshall, to wit:
review is limited to actual cases and controversies to be exercised It is also not entirely unworthy of observation, that in declaring
after full opportunity of argument by the parties, and limited what shall be the supreme law of the land, the constitution itself is
further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis first mentioned; and not the laws of the United States generally, but
mota presented. Any attempt at abstraction could only lead to those only which shall be made in pursuance of the constitution,
dialectics and barren legal questions and to sterile conclusions have that rank.
unrelated to actualities. Narrowed as its function is in this manner,
the judiciary does not pass upon questions of wisdom, justice or Thus, the particular phraseology of the constitution of the United
expediency of legislation. More than that, courts accord the States confirms and strengthens the principle, supposed to be
presumption of constitutionality to legislative enactments, not only essential to all written constitutions, that a law repugnant to the
because the legislature is presumed to abide by the Constitution but constitution is void; and that courts, as well as other departments,
also because the judiciary in the determination of actual cases and are bound by that instrument.28(Italics in the original; emphasis
controversies must reflect the wisdom and justice of the people as supplied)
expressed through their representatives in the executive and
In our own jurisdiction, as early as 1902, decades before its express
legislative departments of the government.24 (Italics in the original;
grant in the 1935 Constitution, the power of judicial review was
emphasis and underscoring supplied)
exercised by our courts to invalidate constitutionally infirm
As pointed out by Justice Laurel, this "moderating power" to acts.29 And as pointed out by noted political law professor and
"determine the proper allocation of powers" of the different former Supreme Court Justice Vicente V. Mendoza,30 the executive
branches of government and "to direct the course of government and legislative branches of our government in fact effectively

43 | P a g e
acknowledged this power of judicial review in Article 7 of the Civil Court as the final arbiter, effectively checks the other departments
Code, to wit: in the exercise of its power to determine the law, and hence to
declare executive and legislative acts void if violative of the
Article 7. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones, and their Constitution.32 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
violation or non-observance shall not be excused by disuse, or
custom or practice to the contrary. In the scholarly estimation of former Supreme Court Justice
Florentino Feliciano, "x x x judicial review is essential for the
When the courts declare a law to be inconsistent with the maintenance and enforcement of the separation of powers and the
Constitution, the former shall be void and the latter shall govern. balancing of powers among the three great departments of
Administrative or executive acts, orders and regulations shall be government through the definition and maintenance of the
valid only when they are not contrary to the laws or the boundaries of authority and control between them."33 To him,
Constitution. (Emphasis supplied) "[j]udicial review is the chief, indeed the only, medium of
participation – or instrument of intervention – of the judiciary in
As indicated in Angara v. Electoral Commission,31 judicial review is that balancing operation."34
indeed an integral component of the delicate system of checks and
balances which, together with the corollary principle of separation To ensure the potency of the power of judicial review to curb grave
of powers, forms the bedrock of our republican form of government abuse of discretion by "any branch or instrumentalities of
and insures that its vast powers are utilized only for the benefit of government," the afore-quoted Section 1, Article VIII of the
the people for which it serves. Constitution engraves, for the first time into its history, into block
letter law the so-called "expanded certiorari jurisdiction" of this
The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in our system Court, the nature of and rationale for which are mirrored in the
of government. It obtains not through express provision but by following excerpt from the sponsorship speech of its proponent,
actual division in our Constitution. Each department of the former Chief Justice Constitutional Commissioner Roberto
government has exclusive cognizance of matters within its Concepcion:
jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own sphere. But it does not
follow from the fact that the three powers are to be kept separate xxx
and distinct that the Constitution intended them to be absolutely The first section starts with a sentence copied from former
unrestrained and independent of each other. The Constitution has
Constitutions. It says:
provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure
coordination in the workings of the various departments of the The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such
government. x x x And the judiciary in turn, with the Supreme lower courts as may be established by law.

44 | P a g e
I suppose nobody can question it. Briefly stated, courts of justice determine the limits of power of
the agencies and offices of the government as well as those of its
The next provision is new in our constitutional law. I will read it first officers. In other words, the judiciary is the final arbiter on the
and explain. question whether or not a branch of government or any of its
Judicial power includes the duty of courts of justice to settle actual officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction,
controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion
enforceable and to determine whether or not there has been a amounting to excess of jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction. This is
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction not only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters
on the part or instrumentality of the government. of this nature.

Fellow Members of this Commission, this is actually a product of This is the background of paragraph 2 of Section 1, which means
our experience during martial law. As a matter of fact, it has some that the courts cannot hereafter evade the duty to settle matters
antecedents in the past, but the role of the judiciary during the of this nature, by claiming that such matters constitute a political
deposed regime was marred considerably by the circumstance question.35 (Italics in the original; emphasis and underscoring
that in a number of cases against the government, which then had supplied)
no legal defense at all, the solicitor general set up the defense of To determine the merits of the issues raised in the instant petitions,
political questions and got away with it. As a consequence, certain this Court must necessarily turn to the Constitution itself which
principles concerning particularly the writ of habeas corpus, that is, employs the well-settled principles of constitutional construction.
the authority of courts to order the release of political detainees,
and other matters related to the operation and effect of martial law First, verba legis, that is, wherever possible, the words used in the
failed because the government set up the defense of political Constitution must be given their ordinary meaning except where
question. And the Supreme Court said: "Well, since it is political, we technical terms are employed. Thus, in J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. v.
have no authority to pass upon it." The Committee on the Judiciary Land Tenure Administration,36 this Court, speaking through Chief
feels that this was not a proper solution of the questions involved. Justice Enrique Fernando, declared:
It did not merely request an encroachment upon the rights of the
people, but it, in effect, encouraged further violations thereof We look to the language of the document itself in our search for
during the martial law regime. x x x its meaning. We do not of course stop there, but that is where we
begin. It is to be assumed that the words in which constitutional
xxx provisions are couched express the objective sought to be
attained. They are to be given their ordinary meaning except

45 | P a g e
where technical terms are employed in which case the significance As it did in Nitafan v. Commissioner on Internal Revenue40 where,
thus attached to them prevails. As the Constitution is not primarily speaking through Madame Justice Amuerfina A. Melencio-Herrera,
a lawyer's document, it being essential for the rule of law to obtain it declared:
that it should ever be present in the people's consciousness, its
language as much as possible should be understood in the sense x x x The ascertainment of that intent is but in keeping with the
they have in common use. What it says according to the text of the fundamental principle of constitutional construction that the
provision to be construed compels acceptance and negates the intent of the framers of the organic law and of the people
adopting it should be given effect. The primary task in
power of the courts to alter it, based on the postulate that the
framers and the people mean what they say. Thus these are the constitutional construction is to ascertain and thereafter assure the
cases where the need for construction is reduced to a realization of the purpose of the framers and of the people in the
minimum.37 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) adoption of the Constitution. It may also be safely assumed
that the people in ratifying the Constitution were guided mainly by
Second, where there is ambiguity, ratio legis est anima. The words the explanation offered by the framers.41 (Emphasis and
of the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with the underscoring supplied)
intent of its framers. And so did this Court apply this principle in Civil
Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary38 in this wise: Finally, ut magis valeat quam pereat. The Constitution is to be
interpreted as a whole. Thus, in Chiongbian v. De Leon,42 this Court,
A foolproof yardstick in constitutional construction is the intention through Chief Justice Manuel Moran declared:
underlying the provision under consideration. Thus, it has been held
that the Court in construing a Constitution should bear in mind the x x x [T]he members of the Constitutional Convention could not
object sought to be accomplished by its adoption, and the evils, if have dedicated a provision of our Constitution merely for the
any, sought to be prevented or remedied. A doubtful provision will benefit of one person without considering that it could also affect
be examined in the light of the history of the times, and the others.When they adopted subsection 2, they permitted, if not
condition and circumstances under which the Constitution was willed, that said provision should function to the full extent of its
framed. The object is to ascertain the reason which induced the substance and its terms, not by itself alone, but in conjunction
framers of the Constitution to enact the particular provision and with all other provisions of that great document.43 (Emphasis and
the purpose sought to be accomplished thereby, in order to underscoring supplied)
construe the whole as to make the words consonant to that Likewise, still in Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary,44 this
reason and calculated to effect that purpose.39 (Emphasis and Court affirmed that:
underscoring supplied)

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It is a well-established rule in constitutional construction that no constitution from what appears upon its face." The proper
one provision of the Constitution is to be separated from all the interpretation therefore depends more on how it was understood
others, to be considered alone, but that all the provisions bearing by the people adopting it than in the framers's understanding
upon a particular subject are to be brought into view and to be so thereof.46 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
interpreted as to effectuate the great purposes of the instrument.
Sections bearing on a particular subject should be considered and It is in the context of the foregoing backdrop of constitutional
interpreted together as to effectuate the whole purpose of the refinement and jurisprudential application of the power of judicial
review that respondents Speaker De Venecia, et. al. and intervenor
Constitution and one section is not to be allowed to defeat
another, if by any reasonable construction, the two can be made Senator Pimentel raise the novel argument that the Constitution has
to stand together. excluded impeachment proceedings from the coverage of judicial
review.
In other words, the court must harmonize them, if practicable, and
Briefly stated, it is the position of respondents Speaker De
must lean in favor of a construction which will render every word
operative, rather than one which may make the words idle and Venecia et. al. that impeachment is a political action which cannot
nugatory.45 (Emphasis supplied) assume a judicial character. Hence, any question, issue or incident
arising at any stage of the impeachment proceeding is beyond the
If, however, the plain meaning of the word is not found to be clear, reach of judicial review.47
resort to other aids is available. In still the same case of Civil
Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary, this Court expounded: For his part, intervenor Senator Pimentel contends that the Senate's
"sole power to try" impeachment cases48 (1) entirely excludes the
While it is permissible in this jurisdiction to consult the debates and application of judicial review over it; and (2) necessarily includes the
proceedings of the constitutional convention in order to arrive at Senate's power to determine constitutional questions relative to
the reason and purpose of the resulting Constitution, resort thereto impeachment proceedings.49
may be had only when other guides fail as said proceedings are
powerless to vary the terms of the Constitution when the meaning In furthering their arguments on the proposition that impeachment
is clear. Debates in the constitutional convention "are of value as proceedings are outside the scope of judicial review, respondents
showing the views of the individual members, and as indicating the Speaker De Venecia, et. al. and intervenor Senator Pimentel rely
reasons for their votes, but they give us no light as to the views of heavily on American authorities, principally the majority opinion in
the large majority who did not talk, much less of the mass of our the case of Nixon v. United States.50 Thus, they contend that the
fellow citizens whose votes at the polls gave that instrument the exercise of judicial review over impeachment proceedings is
force of fundamental law. We think it safer to construe the inappropriate since it runs counter to the framers' decision to

47 | P a g e
allocate to different fora the powers to try impeachments and to try have long since diverged. In the colorful words of Father Bernas,
crimes; it disturbs the system of checks and balances, under which "[w]e have cut the umbilical cord."
impeachment is the only legislative check on the judiciary; and it
would create a lack of finality and difficulty in fashioning The major difference between the judicial power of the Philippine
relief.51 Respondents likewise point to deliberations on the US Supreme Court and that of the U.S. Supreme Court is that while the
Constitution to show the intent to isolate judicial power of review in power of judicial review is only impliedly granted to the U.S.
cases of impeachment. Supreme Court and is discretionary in nature, that granted to the
Philippine Supreme Court and lower courts, as expressly provided
Respondents' and intervenors' reliance upon American for in the Constitution, is not just a power but also a duty, and it
jurisprudence, the American Constitution and American was given an expanded definition to include the power to correct
authorities cannot be credited to support the proposition that the any grave abuse of discretion on the part of any government branch
Senate's "sole power to try and decide impeachment cases," as or instrumentality.
provided for under Art. XI, Sec. 3(6) of the Constitution, is a textually
demonstrable constitutional commitment of all issues pertaining to There are also glaring distinctions between the U.S. Constitution
impeachment to the legislature, to the total exclusion of the power and the Philippine Constitution with respect to the power of the
of judicial review to check and restrain any grave abuse of the House of Representatives over impeachment proceedings. While
the U.S. Constitution bestows sole power of impeachment to the
impeachment process. Nor can it reasonably support the
interpretation that it necessarily confers upon the Senate the House of Representatives without limitation,54 our Constitution,
inherently judicial power to determine constitutional questions though vesting in the House of Representatives the exclusive power
incident to impeachment proceedings. to initiate impeachment cases,55 provides for several limitations to
the exercise of such power as embodied in Section 3(2), (3), (4) and
Said American jurisprudence and authorities, much less the (5), Article XI thereof. These limitations include the manner of filing,
American Constitution, are of dubious application for these are no required vote to impeach, and the one year bar on the
longer controlling within our jurisdiction and have only limited impeachment of one and the same official.
persuasive merit insofar as Philippine constitutional law is
concerned. As held in the case of Garcia vs. COMELEC,52 "[i]n Respondents are also of the view that judicial review of
resolving constitutional disputes, [this Court] should not be beguiled impeachments undermines their finality and may also lead to
by foreign jurisprudence some of which are hardly applicable conflicts between Congress and the judiciary. Thus, they call upon
because they have been dictated by different constitutional settings this Court to exercise judicial statesmanship on the principle that
and needs."53 Indeed, although the Philippine Constitution can trace "whenever possible, the Court should defer to the judgment of the
its origins to that of the United States, their paths of development

48 | P a g e
people expressed legislatively, recognizing full well the perils of Court declared null and void a resolution of the House of
judicial willfulness and pride."56 Representatives withdrawing the nomination, and rescinding the
election, of a congressman as a member of the House Electoral
But did not the people also express their will when they instituted Tribunal for being violative of Section 17, Article VI of the
the above-mentioned safeguards in the Constitution? This shows Constitution. In Coseteng v. Mitra,63 it held that the resolution of
that the Constitution did not intend to leave the matter of whether the House representation in the Commission on
impeachment to the sole discretion of Congress. Instead, it provided Appointments was based on proportional representation of the
for certain well-defined limits, or in the language of Baker v.
political parties as provided in Section 18, Article VI of the
Carr,57"judicially discoverable standards" for determining the Constitution is subject to judicial review. In Daza v. Singson,64 it held
validity of the exercise of such discretion, through the power of that the act of the House of Representatives in removing the
judicial review. petitioner from the Commission on Appointments is subject to
The cases of Romulo v. Yniguez58 and Alejandrino v. Quezon,59 cited judicial review. In Tanada v. Cuenco,65 it held that although under
by respondents in support of the argument that the impeachment the Constitution, the legislative power is vested exclusively in
power is beyond the scope of judicial review, are not in point. These Congress, this does not detract from the power of the courts to pass
cases concern the denial of petitions for writs of mandamus to upon the constitutionality of acts of Congress. In Angara v. Electoral
compel the legislature to perform non-ministerial acts, and do not Commission,66 it ruled that confirmation by the National Assembly
concern the exercise of the power of judicial review. of the election of any member, irrespective of whether his election
is contested, is not essential before such member-elect may
There is indeed a plethora of cases in which this Court exercised the discharge the duties and enjoy the privileges of a member of the
power of judicial review over congressional action. Thus, in Santiago National Assembly.
v. Guingona, Jr.,60 this Court ruled that it is well within the power
and jurisdiction of the Court to inquire whether the Senate or its Finally, there exists no constitutional basis for the contention that
officials committed a violation of the Constitution or grave abuse of the exercise of judicial review over impeachment proceedings
discretion in the exercise of their functions and prerogatives. would upset the system of checks and balances. Verily, the
In Tanada v. Angara,61 in seeking to nullify an act of the Philippine Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole and "one section is not
Senate on the ground that it contravened the Constitution, it held to be allowed to defeat another."67 Both are integral components of
that the petition raises a justiciable controversy and that when an the calibrated system of independence and interdependence that
action of the legislative branch is seriously alleged to have infringed insures that no branch of government act beyond the powers
the Constitution, it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty assigned to it by the Constitution.
of the judiciary to settle the dispute. In Bondoc v. Pineda,62 this
Essential Requisites for Judicial Review

49 | P a g e
As clearly stated in Angara v. Electoral Commission, the courts' will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is
power of judicial review, like almost all powers conferred by the being challenged. The gist of the question of standing is whether a
Constitution, is subject to several limitations, namely: (1) an actual party alleges such personal stake in the outcome of the controversy
case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the
person challenging the act must have "standing" to challenge; he presentation of issues upon which the court depends for
must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that illumination of difficult constitutional questions.69
he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its
Intervenor Soriano, in praying for the dismissal of the petitions,
enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at
the earliest possible opportunity; and (4) the issue of contends that petitioners do not have standing since only the Chief
constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case. Justice has sustained and will sustain direct personal injury. Amicus
curiae former Justice Minister and Solicitor General Estelito
x x x Even then, this power of judicial review is limited to actual Mendoza similarly contends.
cases and controversies to be exercised after full opportunity of
argument by the parties, and limited further to the constitutional Upon the other hand, the Solicitor General asserts that petitioners
question raised or the very lis mota presented. Any attempt at have standing since this Court had, in the past, accorded standing to
abstraction could only lead to dialectics and barren legal questions taxpayers, voters, concerned citizens, legislators in cases involving
paramount public interest70 and transcendental importance,71 and
and to sterile conclusions unrelated to actualities. Narrowed as its
function is in this manner, the judiciary does not pass upon that procedural matters are subordinate to the need to determine
questions of wisdom, justice or expediency of legislation. More than whether or not the other branches of the government have kept
that, courts accord the presumption of constitutionality to themselves within the limits of the Constitution and the laws and
legislative enactments, not only because the legislature is presumed that they have not abused the discretion given to them.72 Amicus
to abide by the Constitution but also because the judiciary in the curiae Dean Raul Pangalangan of the U.P. College of Law is of the
same opinion, citing transcendental importance and the well-
determination of actual cases and controversies must reflect the
wisdom and justice of the people as expressed through their entrenched rule exception that, when the real party in interest is
representatives in the executive and legislative departments of the unable to vindicate his rights by seeking the same remedies, as in
government.68 (Italics in the original) the case of the Chief Justice who, for ethical reasons, cannot himself
invoke the jurisdiction of this Court, the courts will grant petitioners
Standing standing.

Locus standi or legal standing or has been defined as a personal and There is, however, a difference between the rule on real-party-in-
substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or interest and the rule on standing, for the former is a concept of civil

50 | P a g e
procedure73 while the latter has constitutional underpinnings.74 In judgment, or the 'party entitled to the avails of the
view of the arguments set forth regarding standing, it behooves the suit.'"76 (Citations omitted)
Court to reiterate the ruling in Kilosbayan, Inc. v. Morato75 to clarify
what is meant by locus standi and to distinguish it from real party- While rights personal to the Chief Justice may have been injured by
in-interest. the alleged unconstitutional acts of the House of Representatives,
none of the petitioners before us asserts a violation of the personal
The difference between the rule on standing and real party in rights of the Chief Justice. On the contrary, they invariably invoke
interest has been noted by authorities thus: "It is important to note the vindication of their own rights – as taxpayers; members of
. . . that standing because of its constitutional and public policy Congress; citizens, individually or in a class suit; and members of the
underpinnings, is very different from questions relating to whether bar and of the legal profession – which were supposedly violated by
a particular plaintiff is the real party in interest or has capacity to the alleged unconstitutional acts of the House of Representatives.
sue. Although all three requirements are directed towards ensuring
In a long line of cases, however, concerned citizens, taxpayers and
that only certain parties can maintain an action, standing
restrictions require a partial consideration of the merits, as well as legislators when specific requirements have been met have been
broader policy concerns relating to the proper role of the judiciary given standing by this Court.
in certain areas. When suing as a citizen, the interest of the petitioner assailing the
Standing is a special concern in constitutional law because in some constitutionality of a statute must be direct and personal. He must
cases suits are brought not by parties who have been personally be able to show, not only that the law or any government act is
injured by the operation of a law or by official action taken, but by invalid, but also that he sustained or is in imminent danger of
concerned citizens, taxpayers or voters who actually sue in the sustaining some direct injury as a result of its enforcement, and not
public interest. Hence the question in standing is whether such merely that he suffers thereby in some indefinite way. It must
parties have "alleged such a personal stake in the outcome of the appear that the person complaining has been or is about to be
controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens denied some right or privilege to which he is lawfully entitled or that
the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends he is about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by reason
for illumination of difficult constitutional questions." of the statute or act complained of.77 In fine, when the proceeding
involves the assertion of a public right,78 the mere fact that he is a
xxx citizen satisfies the requirement of personal interest.

On the other hand, the question as to "real party in interest" is In the case of a taxpayer, he is allowed to sue where there is a claim
whether he is "the party who would be benefited or injured by the that public funds are illegally disbursed, or that public money is

51 | P a g e
being deflected to any improper purpose, or that there is a wastage shows that it has advanced constitutional issues which deserve the
of public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or attention of this Court in view of their seriousness, novelty and
unconstitutional law.79 Before he can invoke the power of judicial weight as precedents.86 It, therefore, behooves this Court to relax
review, however, he must specifically prove that he has sufficient the rules on standing and to resolve the issues presented by it.
interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by
taxation and that he would sustain a direct injury as a result of the In the same vein, when dealing with class suits filed in behalf of all
enforcement of the questioned statute or contract. It is not citizens, persons intervening must be sufficiently numerous to fully
protect the interests of all concerned87 to enable the court to deal
sufficient that he has merely a general interest common to all
members of the public.80 properly with all interests involved in the suit,88 for a judgment in a
class suit, whether favorable or unfavorable to the class, is, under
At all events, courts are vested with discretion as to whether or not the res judicata principle, binding on all members of the class
a taxpayer's suit should be entertained.81 This Court opts to grant whether or not they were before the court.89 Where it clearly
standing to most of the petitioners, given their allegation that any appears that not all interests can be sufficiently represented as
impending transmittal to the Senate of the Articles of Impeachment shown by the divergent issues raised in the numerous petitions
and the ensuing trial of the Chief Justice will necessarily involve the before this Court, G.R. No. 160365 as a class suit ought to fail. Since
expenditure of public funds. petitioners additionallyallege standing as citizens and taxpayers,
however, their petition will stand.
As for a legislator, he is allowed to sue to question the validity of
any official action which he claims infringes his prerogatives as a The Philippine Bar Association, in G.R. No. 160403, invokes the sole
legislator.82 Indeed, a member of the House of Representatives has ground of transcendental importance, while Atty. Dioscoro U.
standing to maintain inviolate the prerogatives, powers and Vallejos, in G.R. No. 160397, is mum on his standing.
privileges vested by the Constitution in his office.83
There being no doctrinal definition of transcendental importance,
While an association has legal personality to represent its the following instructive determinants formulated by former
members,84 especially when it is composed of substantial taxpayers Supreme Court Justice Florentino P. Feliciano are instructive: (1) the
and the outcome will affect their vital interests,85 the mere character of the funds or other assets involved in the case; (2) the
invocation by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines or any member of presence of a clear case of disregard of a constitutional or statutory
the legal profession of the duty to preserve the rule of law and prohibition by the public respondent agency or instrumentality of
nothing more, although undoubtedly true, does not suffice to clothe the government; and (3) the lack of any other party with a more
it with standing. Its interest is too general. It is shared by other direct and specific interest in raising the questions being
groups and the whole citizenry. However, a reading of the petitions

52 | P a g e
raised.90 Applying these determinants, this Court is satisfied that the Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang
issues raised herein are indeed of transcendental importance. Pilipino, Inc., et. al. sought to join petitioner Francisco in G.R. No.
160261. Invoking their right as citizens to intervene, alleging that
In not a few cases, this Court has in fact adopted a liberal attitude "they will suffer if this insidious scheme of the minority members of
on the locus standi of a petitioner where the petitioner is able to the House of Representatives is successful," this Court found the
craft an issue of transcendental significance to the people, as when requisites for intervention had been complied with.
the issues raised are of paramount importance to the public.91 Such
liberality does not, however, mean that the requirement that a Alleging that the issues raised in the petitions in G.R. Nos. 160261,
party should have an interest in the matter is totally eliminated. A 160262, 160263, 160277, 160292, 160295, and 160310 were of
party must, at the very least, still plead the existence of such transcendental importance, World War II Veterans Legionnaires of
interest, it not being one of which courts can take judicial notice. In the Philippines, Inc. filed a "Petition-in-Intervention with Leave to
petitioner Vallejos' case, he failed to allege any interest in the case. Intervene" to raise the additional issue of whether or not the
He does not thus have standing. second impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice is valid and
based on any of the grounds prescribed by the Constitution.
With respect to the motions for intervention, Rule 19, Section 2 of
the Rules of Court requires an intervenor to possess a legal interest Finding that Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga
in the matter in litigation, or in the success of either of the parties, Manggagawang Pilipino, Inc., et al. and World War II Veterans
or an interest against both, or is so situated as to be adversely Legionnaires of the Philippines, Inc. possess a legal interest in the
affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the matter in litigation the respective motions to intervene were hereby
custody of the court or of an officer thereof. While intervention is granted.
not a matter of right, it may be permitted by the courts when the
applicant shows facts which satisfy the requirements of the law Senator Aquilino Pimentel, on the other hand, sought to intervene
authorizing intervention.92 for the limited purpose of making of record and arguing a point of
view that differs with Senate President Drilon's. He alleges that
In Intervenors Attorneys Romulo Macalintal and Pete Quirino submitting to this Court's jurisdiction as the Senate President does
Quadra's case, they seek to join petitioners Candelaria, et. al. in G.R. will undermine the independence of the Senate which will sit as an
No. 160262. Since, save for one additional issue, they raise the same impeachment court once the Articles of Impeachment are
issues and the same standing, and no objection on the part of transmitted to it from the House of Representatives. Clearly,
petitioners Candelaria, et. al. has been interposed, this Court as Senator Pimentel possesses a legal interest in the matter in
earlier stated, granted the Motion for Leave of Court to Intervene litigation, he being a member of Congress against which the herein
and Petition-in-Intervention. petitions are directed. For this reason, and to fully ventilate all

53 | P a g e
substantial issues relating to the matter at hand, his Motion to was done, if and when the latter is challenged in an appropriate
Intervene was granted and he was, as earlier stated, allowed to legal proceeding.
argue.
The instant petitions raise in the main the issue of the validity of the
Lastly, as to Jaime N. Soriano's motion to intervene, the same must filing of the second impeachment complaint against the Chief
be denied for, while he asserts an interest as a taxpayer, he failed to Justice in accordance with the House Impeachment Rules adopted
meet the standing requirement for bringing taxpayer's suits as set by the 12th Congress, the constitutionality of which is questioned.
forth in Dumlao v. Comelec,93 to wit: The questioned acts having been carried out, i.e., the second
impeachment complaint had been filed with the House of
x x x While, concededly, the elections to be held involve the Representatives and the 2001 Rules have already been already
expenditure of public moneys, nowhere in their Petition do said promulgated and enforced, the prerequisite that the alleged
petitioners allege that their tax money is "being extracted and spent unconstitutional act should be accomplished and performed before
in violation of specific constitutional protection against abuses of
suit, as Tan v. Macapagal holds, has been complied with.
legislative power," or that there is a misapplication of such funds by
respondent COMELEC, or that public money is being deflected to Related to the issue of ripeness is the question of whether the
any improper purpose. Neither do petitioners seek to restrain instant petitions are premature. Amicus curiae former Senate
respondent from wasting public funds through the enforcement of President Jovito R. Salonga opines that there may be no urgent
an invalid or unconstitutional law.94 (Citations omitted) need for this Court to render a decision at this time, it being the
final arbiter on questions of constitutionality anyway. He thus
In praying for the dismissal of the petitions, Soriano failed even to recommends that all remedies in the House and Senate should first
allege that the act of petitioners will result in illegal disbursement of be exhausted.
public funds or in public money being deflected to any improper
purpose. Additionally, his mere interest as a member of the Bar Taking a similar stand is Dean Raul Pangalangan of the U.P. College
does not suffice to clothe him with standing. of Law who suggests to this Court to take judicial notice of on-going
attempts to encourage signatories to the second impeachment
Ripeness and Prematurity complaint to withdraw their signatures and opines that the House
In Tan v. Macapagal,95 this Court, through Chief Justice Fernando, Impeachment Rules provide for an opportunity for members to
held that for a case to be considered ripe for adjudication, "it is a raise constitutional questions themselves when the Articles of
prerequisite that something had by then been accomplished or Impeachment are presented on a motion to transmit to the same to
performed by either branch before a court may come into the the Senate. The dean maintains that even assuming that the Articles
picture."96 Only then may the courts pass on the validity of what

54 | P a g e
are transmitted to the Senate, the Chief Justice can raise the issue executive branch of the Government." It is concerned with issues
of their constitutional infirmity by way of a motion to dismiss. dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a particular
measure.99(Italics in the original)
The dean's position does not persuade. First, the withdrawal by the
Representatives of their signatures would not, by itself, cure the Prior to the 1973 Constitution, without consistency and seemingly
House Impeachment Rules of their constitutional infirmity. Neither without any rhyme or reason, this Court vacillated on its stance of
would such a withdrawal, by itself, obliterate the questioned second taking cognizance of cases which involved political questions. In
impeachment complaint since it would only place it under the ambit some cases, this Court hid behind the cover of the political question
of Sections 3(2) and (3) of Article XI of the Constitution97 and, doctrine and refused to exercise its power of judicial review.100 In
therefore, petitioners would continue to suffer their injuries. other cases, however, despite the seeming political nature of the
therein issues involved, this Court assumed jurisdiction whenever it
Second and most importantly, the futility of seeking remedies from found constitutionally imposed limits on powers or functions
either or both Houses of Congress before coming to this Court is
conferred upon political bodies.101 Even in the landmark 1988 case
shown by the fact that, as previously discussed, neither the House of Javellana v. Executive Secretary102 which raised the issue of
of Representatives nor the Senate is clothed with the power to rule whether the 1973 Constitution was ratified, hence, in force, this
with definitiveness on the issue of constitutionality, whether Court shunted the political question doctrine and took cognizance
concerning impeachment proceedings or otherwise, as said power
thereof. Ratification by the people of a Constitution is a political
is exclusively vested in the judiciary by the earlier quoted Section I, question, it being a question decided by the people in their
Article VIII of the Constitution. Remedy cannot be sought from a sovereign capacity.
body which is bereft of power to grant it.
The frequency with which this Court invoked the political question
Justiciability doctrine to refuse to take jurisdiction over certain cases during the
In the leading case of Tanada v. Cuenco,98 Chief Justice Roberto Marcos regime motivated Chief Justice Concepcion, when he
Concepcion defined the term "political question," viz: became a Constitutional Commissioner, to clarify this Court's power
of judicial review and its application on issues involving political
[T]he term "political question" connotes, in legal parlance, what it questions, viz:
means in ordinary parlance, namely, a question of policy. In other
words, in the language of Corpus Juris Secundum, it refers to "those MR. CONCEPCION. Thank you, Mr. Presiding Officer.
questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the I will speak on the judiciary. Practically, everybody has made, I
people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full suppose, the usual comment that the judiciary is the weakest
discretionary authority has been delegated to the Legislature or

55 | P a g e
among the three major branches of the service. Since the legislature political questions and got away with it. As a consequence, certain
holds the purse and the executive the sword, the judiciary has principles concerning particularly the writ of habeas corpus, that
nothing with which to enforce its decisions or commands except the is, the authority of courts to order the release of political
power of reason and appeal to conscience which, after all, reflects detainees, and other matters related to the operation and effect
the will of God, and is the most powerful of all other powers of martial law failed because the government set up the defense
without exception. x x x And so, with the body's indulgence, I will of political question. And the Supreme Court said: "Well, since it is
proceed to read the provisions drafted by the Committee on the political, we have no authority to pass upon it." The Committee on
Judiciary. the Judiciary feels that this was not a proper solution of the
questions involved. It did not merely request an encroachment
The first section starts with a sentence copied from former upon the rights of the people, but it, in effect, encouraged further
Constitutions. It says: violations thereof during the martial law regime. I am sure the
The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such members of the Bar are familiar with this situation. But for the
lower courts as may be established by law. benefit of the Members of the Commission who are not lawyers,
allow me to explain. I will start with a decision of the Supreme Court
I suppose nobody can question it. in 1973 on the case of Javellana vs. the Secretary of Justice, if I am
not mistaken. Martial law was announced on September 22,
The next provision is new in our constitutional law. I will read it first
although the proclamation was dated September 21. The obvious
and explain.
reason for the delay in its publication was that the administration
Judicial power includes the duty of courts of justice to settle actual had apprehended and detained prominent newsmen on September
controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and 21. So that when martial law was announced on September 22, the
enforceable and to determine whether or not there has been a media hardly published anything about it. In fact, the media could
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction not publish any story not only because our main writers were
on the part or instrumentality of the government. already incarcerated, but also because those who succeeded them
in their jobs were under mortal threat of being the object of wrath
Fellow Members of this Commission, this is actually a product of our of the ruling party. The 1971 Constitutional Convention had begun
experience during martial law. As a matter of fact, it has some on June 1, 1971 and by September 21 or 22 had not finished the
antecedents in the past, but the role of the judiciary during the Constitution; it had barely agreed in the fundamentals of the
deposed regime was marred considerably by the circumstance Constitution. I forgot to say that upon the proclamation of martial
that in a number of cases against the government, which then had law, some delegates to that 1971 Constitutional Convention, dozens
no legal defense at all, the solicitor general set up the defense of of them, were picked up. One of them was our very own colleague,

56 | P a g e
Commissioner Calderon. So, the unfinished draft of the Constitution Constitution was already in force because the overwhelming
was taken over by representatives of Malacañang. In 17 days, they majority of the votes cast in the referendum favored the
finished what the delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention Constitution. Immediately after the departure of the Minister of
had been unable to accomplish for about 14 months. The draft of Justice, I proceeded to the session room where the case was being
the 1973 Constitution was presented to the President around heard. I then informed the Court and the parties the presidential
December 1, 1972, whereupon the President issued a decree calling proclamation declaring that the 1973 Constitution had been ratified
a plebiscite which suspended the operation of some provisions in by the people and is now in force.
the martial law decree which prohibited discussions, much less
public discussions of certain matters of public concern. The purpose A number of other cases were filed to declare the presidential
was presumably to allow a free discussion on the draft of the proclamation null and void. The main defense put up by the
Constitution on which a plebiscite was to be held sometime in government was that the issue was a political question and that the
court had no jurisdiction to entertain the case.
January 1973. If I may use a word famous by our colleague,
Commissioner Ople, during the interregnum, however, the draft of xxx
the Constitution was analyzed and criticized with such a telling
effect that Malacañang felt the danger of its approval. So, the The government said that in a referendum held from January 10 to
President suspended indefinitely the holding of the plebiscite and January 15, the vast majority ratified the draft of the Constitution.
announced that he would consult the people in a referendum to be Note that all members of the Supreme Court were residents of
held from January 10 to January 15. But the questions to be Manila, but none of them had been notified of any referendum in
submitted in the referendum were not announced until the eve of their respective places of residence, much less did they participate
its scheduled beginning, under the supposed supervision not of the in the alleged referendum. None of them saw any referendum
Commission on Elections, but of what was then designated as proceeding.
"citizens assemblies or barangays." Thus the barangays came into
In the Philippines, even local gossips spread like wild fire. So, a
existence. The questions to be propounded were released with
majority of the members of the Court felt that there had been no
proposed answers thereto, suggesting that it was unnecessary to
referendum.
hold a plebiscite because the answers given in the referendum
should be regarded as the votes cast in the plebiscite. Thereupon, a Second, a referendum cannot substitute for a plebiscite. There is a
motion was filed with the Supreme Court praying that the holding of big difference between a referendum and a plebiscite. But another
the referendum be suspended. When the motion was being heard group of justices upheld the defense that the issue was a political
before the Supreme Court, the Minister of Justice delivered to the question. Whereupon, they dismissed the case. This is not the only
Court a proclamation of the President declaring that the new

57 | P a g e
major case in which the plea of "political question" was set up. The courts, therefore, cannot entertain, much less decide,
There have been a number of other cases in the past. hypothetical questions. In a presidential system of government,
the Supreme Court has, also another important function. The
x x x The defense of the political question was rejected because powers of government are generally considered divided into three
the issue was clearly justiciable. branches: the Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary. Each
xxx one is supreme within its own sphere and independent of the
others. Because of that supremacy power to determine whether a
x x x When your Committee on the Judiciary began to perform its given law is valid or not is vested in courts of justice.
functions, it faced the following questions: What is judicial power?
What is a political question? Briefly stated, courts of justice determine the limits of power of
the agencies and offices of the government as well as those of its
The Supreme Court, like all other courts, has one main function: to officers. In other words, the judiciary is the final arbiter on the
settle actual controversies involving conflicts of rights which are question whether or not a branch of government or any of its
demandable and enforceable. There are rights which are officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction,
guaranteed by law but cannot be enforced by a judiciary party. In a or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion
decided case, a husband complained that his wife was unwilling to amounting to excess of jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction. This is
perform her duties as a wife. The Court said: "We can tell your wife not only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters
what her duties as such are and that she is bound to comply with of this nature.
them, but we cannot force her physically to discharge her main
marital duty to her husband. There are some rights guaranteed by This is the background of paragraph 2 of Section 1, which means
law, but they are so personal that to enforce them by actual that the courts cannot hereafter evade the duty to settle matters
compulsion would be highly derogatory to human dignity." of this nature, by claiming that such matters constitute a political
question.
This is why the first part of the second paragraph of Section I
provides that: I have made these extended remarks to the end that the
Commissioners may have an initial food for thought on the subject
Judicial power includes the duty of courts to settle actual of the judiciary.103 (Italics in the original; emphasis supplied)
controversies involving rights which are legally demandable or
enforceable . . . During the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, Chief
Justice Concepcion further clarified the concept of judicial power,
thus:

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MR. NOLLEDO. The Gentleman used the term "judicial power" but MR. CONCEPCION. No, because whenever there is an abuse of
judicial power is not vested in the Supreme Court alone but also in discretion, amounting to a lack of jurisdiction. . .
other lower courts as may be created by law.
FR. BERNAS. So, I am satisfied with the answer that it is not
MR. CONCEPCION. Yes. intended to do away with the political question doctrine.

MR. NOLLEDO. And so, is this only an example? MR. CONCEPCION. No, certainly not.

MR. CONCEPCION. No, I know this is not. The Gentleman seems to When this provision was originally drafted, it sought to define
identify political questions with jurisdictional questions. But there what is judicial power. But the Gentleman will notice it says,
is a difference. "judicial power includes" and the reason being that the definition
that we might make may not cover all possible areas.
MR. NOLLEDO. Because of the expression "judicial power"?
FR. BERNAS. So, this is not an attempt to solve the problems
MR. CONCEPCION. No. Judicial power, as I said, refers to ordinary arising from the political question doctrine.
cases but where there is a question as to whether the government
had authority or had abused its authority to the extent of lacking MR. CONCEPCION. It definitely does not eliminate the fact that
jurisdiction or excess of jurisdiction, that is not a political question. truly political questions are beyond the pale of judicial
Therefore, the court has the duty to decide. power.104 (Emphasis supplied)

xxx From the foregoing record of the proceedings of the 1986


Constitutional Commission, it is clear that judicial power is not only
FR. BERNAS. Ultimately, therefore, it will always have to be decided a power; it is also a duty, a duty which cannot be abdicated by the
by the Supreme Court according to the new numerical need for
mere specter of this creature called the political question doctrine.
votes. Chief Justice Concepcion hastened to clarify, however, that Section
On another point, is it the intention of Section 1 to do away with 1, Article VIII was not intended to do away with "truly political
the political question doctrine? questions." From this clarification it is gathered that there are two
species of political questions: (1) "truly political questions" and (2)
MR. CONCEPCION. No. those which "are not truly political questions."

FR. BERNAS. It is not. Truly political questions are thus beyond judicial review, the reason
for respect of the doctrine of separation of powers to be

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maintained. On the other hand, by virtue of Section 1, Article VIII of In the case now before us, the jurisdictional objection becomes
the Constitution, courts can review questions which are not truly even less tenable and decisive. The reason is that, even if we were
political in nature. to assume that the issue presented before us was political in nature,
we would still not be precluded from resolving it under
As pointed out by amicus curiae former dean Pacifico Agabin of the the expanded jurisdiction conferred upon us that now covers, in
UP College of Law, this Court has in fact in a number of cases taken proper cases, even the political question.110 x x x (Emphasis and
jurisdiction over questions which are not truly political following the underscoring supplied.)
effectivity of the present Constitution.
Section 1, Article VIII, of the Court does not define what are
In Marcos v. Manglapus,105 this Court, speaking through Madame justiciable political questions and non-justiciable political questions,
Justice Irene Cortes, held: however. Identification of these two species of political questions
The present Constitution limits resort to the political question may be problematic. There has been no clear standard. The
doctrine and broadens the scope of judicial inquiry into areas which American case of Baker v. Carr111 attempts to provide some:
the Court, under previous constitutions, would have normally left to x x x Prominent on the surface of any case held to involve a political
the political departments to decide.106 x x x question is found a textually demonstrable constitutional
In Bengzon v. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee,107 through Justice commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department; or
Teodoro Padilla, this Court declared: a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for
resolving it; or the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy
The "allocation of constitutional boundaries" is a task that this Court determination of a kind clearly for non-judicial discretion; or
must perform under the Constitution. Moreover, as held in a recent the impossibility of a court's undertaking independent resolution
case, "(t)he political question doctrine neither interposes an without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of
obstacle to judicial determination of the rival claims. The government; or an unusual need for questioning adherence to a
jurisdiction to delimit constitutional boundaries has been given to political decision already made; or the potentiality of
this Court. It cannot abdicate that obligation mandated by the embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various
1987 Constitution, although said provision by no means does away departments on one question.112(Underscoring supplied)
with the applicability of the principle in appropriate
cases."108 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Of these standards, the more reliable have been the first three: (1) a
textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a
And in Daza v. Singson,109 speaking through Justice Isagani Cruz, this coordinate political department; (2) the lack of judicially
Court ruled: discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it; and (3) the

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impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a infringement of the constitutionally mandated fiscal autonomy of
kind clearly for non-judicial discretion. These standards are not the judiciary.
separate and distinct concepts but are interrelated to each in that
the presence of one strengthens the conclusion that the others are IV. Whether Sections 15 and 16 of Rule V of the Rules on
also present. Impeachment adopted by the 12th Congress are unconstitutional
for violating the provisions of Section 3, Article XI of the
The problem in applying the foregoing standards is that the Constitution.
American concept of judicial review is radically different from our
current concept, for Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution V. Whether the second impeachment complaint is barred under
provides our courts with far less discretion in determining whether Section 3(5) of Article XI of the Constitution.
they should pass upon a constitutional issue. The first issue goes into the merits of the second impeachment
In our jurisdiction, the determination of a truly political question complaint over which this Court has no jurisdiction. More
from a non-justiciable political question lies in the answer to the importantly, any discussion of this issue would require this Court to
question of whether there are constitutionally imposed limits on make a determination of what constitutes an impeachable offense.
powers or functions conferred upon political bodies. If there are, Such a determination is a purely political question which the
then our courts are duty-bound to examine whether the branch or Constitution has left to the sound discretion of the legislation. Such
instrumentality of the government properly acted within such an intent is clear from the deliberations of the Constitutional
limits. This Court shall thus now apply this standard to the present Commission.113
controversy. Although Section 2 of Article XI of the Constitution enumerates six
These petitions raise five substantial issues: grounds for impeachment, two of these, namely, other high crimes
and betrayal of public trust, elude a precise definition. In fact, an
I. Whether the offenses alleged in the Second impeachment examination of the records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission
complaint constitute valid impeachable offenses under the shows that the framers could find no better way to approximate the
Constitution. boundaries of betrayal of public trust and other high crimes than by
alluding to both positive and negative examples of both, without
II. Whether the second impeachment complaint was filed in arriving at their clear cut definition or even a standard
accordance with Section 3(4), Article XI of the Constitution.
therefor.114 Clearly, the issue calls upon this court to decide a non-
III. Whether the legislative inquiry by the House Committee on justiciable political question which is beyond the scope of its judicial
Justice into the Judicial Development Fund is an unconstitutional power under Section 1, Article VIII.

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Lis Mota Succinctly put, courts will not touch the issue of constitutionality
unless it is truly unavoidable and is the very lis mota or crux of the
It is a well-settled maxim of adjudication that an issue assailing the controversy.
constitutionality of a governmental act should be avoided whenever
possible. Thus, in the case of Sotto v. Commission on As noted earlier, the instant consolidated petitions, while all seeking
Elections,115 this Court held: the invalidity of the second impeachment complaint, collectively
raise several constitutional issues upon which the outcome of this
x x x It is a well-established rule that a court should not pass upon a controversy could possibly be made to rest. In determining whether
constitutional question and decide a law to be unconstitutional or one, some or all of the remaining substantial issues should be
invalid, unless such question is raised by the parties and that when passed upon, this Court is guided by the related cannon of
it is raised, if the record also presents some other ground upon adjudication that "the court should not form a rule of constitutional
which the court may rest its judgment, that course will be adopted law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is
and the constitutional question will be left for consideration until
applied."119
a case arises in which a decision upon such question will be
unavoidable.116 [Emphasis and underscoring supplied] In G.R. No. 160310, petitioners Leonilo R. Alfonso, et al. argue that,
among other reasons, the second impeachment complaint is invalid
The same principle was applied in Luz Farms v. Secretary of Agrarian since it directly resulted from a Resolution120 calling for a legislative
Reform,117 where this Court invalidated Sections 13 and 32 of inquiry into the JDF, which Resolution and legislative inquiry
Republic Act No. 6657 for being confiscatory and violative of due petitioners claim to likewise be unconstitutional for being: (a) a
process, to wit: violation of the rules and jurisprudence on investigations in aid of
It has been established that this Court will assume jurisdiction over legislation; (b) an open breach of the doctrine of separation of
a constitutional question only if it is shown that the essential powers; (c) a violation of the constitutionally mandated fiscal
requisites of a judicial inquiry into such a question are first autonomy of the judiciary; and (d) an assault on the independence
satisfied. Thus, there must be an actual case or controversy of the judiciary.121
involving a conflict of legal rights susceptible of judicial Without going into the merits of petitioners Alfonso, et. al.'s claims,
determination, the constitutional question must have been it is the studied opinion of this Court that the issue of the
opportunely raised by the proper party, and the resolution of the constitutionality of the said Resolution and resulting legislative
question is unavoidably necessary to the decision of the case inquiry is too far removed from the issue of the validity of the
itself.118 [Emphasis supplied] second impeachment complaint. Moreover, the resolution of said
issue would, in the Court's opinion, require it to form a rule of

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constitutional law touching on the separate and distinct matter of In G.R. No. 160262, intervenors Romulo B. Macalintal and Pete
legislative inquiries in general, which would thus be broader than is Quirino Quadra, while joining the original petition of petitioners
required by the facts of these consolidated cases. This opinion is Candelaria, et. al., introduce the new argument that since the
further strengthened by the fact that said petitioners have raised second impeachment complaint was verified and filed only by
other grounds in support of their petition which would not be Representatives Gilberto Teodoro, Jr. and Felix William Fuentebella,
adversely affected by the Court's ruling. the same does not fall under the provisions of Section 3 (4), Article
XI of the Constitution which reads:
En passant, this Court notes that a standard for the conduct of
legislative inquiries has already been enunciated by this Court Section 3(4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of
in Bengzon, Jr. v. Senate Blue Ribbon Commttee,122 viz: impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the
House, the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and
The 1987 Constitution expressly recognizes the power of both trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed.
houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation. Thus,
Section 21, Article VI thereof provides: They assert that while at least 81 members of the House of
Representatives signed a Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment,
The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective the same did not satisfy the requisites for the application of the
committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance afore-mentioned section in that the "verified complaint or
with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of persons resolution of impeachment" was not filed "by at least one-third of
appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. all the Members of the House." With the exception of
The power of both houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of Representatives Teodoro and Fuentebella, the signatories to said
legislation is not, therefore absolute or unlimited. Its exercise is Resolution are alleged to have verified the same merely as a
circumscribed by the afore-quoted provision of the Constitution. "Resolution of Endorsement." Intervenors point to the
Thus, as provided therein, the investigation must be "in aid of "Verification" of the Resolution of Endorsement which states that:
legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure" "We are the proponents/sponsors of the Resolution of
and that "the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such Endorsement of the abovementioned Complaint of Representatives
inquiries shall be respected." It follows then that the right rights of Gilberto Teodoro and Felix William B. Fuentebella x x x"124
persons under the Bill of Rights must be respected, including the
right to due process and the right not be compelled to testify Intervenors Macalintal and Quadra further claim that what the
against one's self.123 Constitution requires in order for said second impeachment
complaint to automatically become the Articles of Impeachment

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and for trial in the Senate to begin "forthwith," is that While the foregoing issue, as argued by intervenors Macalintal and
the verified complaint be "filed," not merely endorsed, by at least Quadra, does indeed limit the scope of the constitutional issues to
one-third of the Members of the House of Representatives. Not the provisions on impeachment, more compelling considerations
having complied with this requirement, they concede that the militate against its adoption as the lis mota or crux of the present
second impeachment complaint should have been calendared and controversy. Chief among this is the fact that only Attorneys
referred to the House Committee on Justice under Section 3(2), Macalintal and Quadra, intervenors in G.R. No. 160262, have raised
Article XI of the Constitution, viz: this issue as a ground for invalidating the second impeachment
complaint. Thus, to adopt this additional ground as the basis for
Section 3(2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by deciding the instant consolidated petitions would not only render
any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon for naught the efforts of the original petitioners in G.R. No. 160262,
a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof, which shall be but the efforts presented by the other petitioners as well.
included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and
referred to the proper Committee within three session days Again, the decision to discard the resolution of this issue as
thereafter. The Committee, after hearing, and by a majority vote of unnecessary for the determination of the instant cases is made
all its Members, shall submit its report to the House within sixty easier by the fact that said intervenors Macalintal and Quadra have
session days from such referral, together with the corresponding joined in the petition of Candelaria, et. al., adopting the latter's
resolution. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by arguments and issues as their own. Consequently, they are not
the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. unduly prejudiced by this Court's decision.

Intervenors' foregoing position is echoed by Justice Maambong who In sum, this Court holds that the two remaining issues, inextricably
opined that for Section 3 (4), Article XI of the Constitution to apply, linked as they are, constitute the very lis mota of the instant
there should be 76 or more representatives who signed and controversy: (1) whether Sections 15 and 16 of Rule V of the House
verified the second impeachment complaint as complainants, Impeachment Rules adopted by the 12th Congress are
signed and verified the signatories to a resolution of impeachment. unconstitutional for violating the provisions of Section 3, Article XI
Justice Maambong likewise asserted that the Resolution of of the Constitution; and (2) whether, as a result thereof, the second
Endorsement/Impeachment signed by at least one-third of the impeachment complaint is barred under Section 3(5) of Article XI of
members of the House of Representatives as endorsers is not the the Constitution.
resolution of impeachment contemplated by the Constitution, such
resolution of endorsement being necessary only from at least one Judicial Restraint
Member whenever a citizen files a verified impeachment complaint.

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Senator Pimentel urges this Court to exercise judicial restraint on controversy before it, it has acted upon the matter "not with
the ground that the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, has officiousness but in the discharge of an unavoidable duty and, as
the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. Again, always, with detachment and fairness."129 After all, "by [his]
this Court reiterates that the power of judicial review includes the appointment to the office, the public has laid on [a member of the
power of review over justiciable issues in impeachment judiciary] their confidence that [he] is mentally and morally fit to
proceedings. pass upon the merits of their varied contentions. For this reason,
they expect [him] to be fearless in [his] pursuit to render justice, to
On the other hand, respondents Speaker De Venecia et. al. argue
be unafraid to displease any person, interest or power and to be
that "[t]here is a moral compulsion for the Court to not assume equipped with a moral fiber strong enough to resist the temptations
jurisdiction over the impeachment because all the Members thereof lurking in [his] office."130
are subject to impeachment."125But this argument is very much like
saying the Legislature has a moral compulsion not to pass laws with The duty to exercise the power of adjudication regardless of interest
penalty clauses because Members of the House of Representatives had already been settled in the case of Abbas v. Senate Electoral
are subject to them. Tribunal.131 In that case, the petitioners filed with the respondent
Senate Electoral Tribunal a Motion for Disqualification or Inhibition
The exercise of judicial restraint over justiciable issues is not an of the Senators-Members thereof from the hearing and resolution
option before this Court. Adjudication may not be declined, because
of SET Case No. 002-87 on the ground that all of them were
this Court is not legally disqualified. Nor can jurisdiction be interested parties to said case as respondents therein. This would
renounced as there is no other tribunal to which the controversy have reduced the Tribunal's membership to only its three Justices-
may be referred."126 Otherwise, this Court would be shirking from Members whose disqualification was not sought, leaving them to
its duty vested under Art. VIII, Sec. 1(2) of the Constitution. More decide the matter. This Court held:
than being clothed with authority thus, this Court is duty-bound to
take cognizance of the instant petitions.127 In the august words Where, as here, a situation is created which precludes the
of amicus curiae Father Bernas, "jurisdiction is not just a power; it is substitution of any Senator sitting in the Tribunal by any of his other
a solemn duty which may not be renounced. To renounce it, even if colleagues in the Senate without inviting the same objections to the
it is vexatious, would be a dereliction of duty." substitute's competence, the proposed mass disqualification, if
sanctioned and ordered, would leave the Tribunal no alternative but
Even in cases where it is an interested party, the Court under our to abandon a duty that no other court or body can perform, but
system of government cannot inhibit itself and must rule upon the which it cannot lawfully discharge if shorn of the participation of its
challenge because no other office has the authority to do so.128 On entire membership of Senators.
the occasion that this Court had been an interested party to the

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To our mind, this is the overriding consideration — that the Tribunal confer on the three Justices-Members alone the power of valid
be not prevented from discharging a duty which it alone has the adjudication of a senatorial election contest.
power to perform, the performance of which is in the highest public
interest as evidenced by its being expressly imposed by no less than More recently in the case of Estrada v. Desierto,132 it was held that:
the fundamental law. Moreover, to disqualify any of the members of the Court,
It is aptly noted in the first of the questioned Resolutions that the particularly a majority of them, is nothing short of pro
framers of the Constitution could not have been unaware of the tanto depriving the Court itself of its jurisdiction as established by
possibility of an election contest that would involve all Senators— the fundamental law. Disqualification of a judge is a deprivation of
elect, six of whom would inevitably have to sit in judgment thereon. his judicial power. And if that judge is the one designated by the
Indeed, such possibility might surface again in the wake of the 1992 Constitution to exercise the jurisdiction of his court, as is the case
elections when once more, but for the last time, all 24 seats in the with the Justices of this Court, the deprivation of his or their judicial
power is equivalent to the deprivation of the judicial power of the
Senate will be at stake. Yet the Constitution provides no scheme or
mode for settling such unusual situations or for the substitution of court itself. It affects the very heart of judicial independence. The
Senators designated to the Tribunal whose disqualification may be proposed mass disqualification, if sanctioned and ordered, would
sought. Litigants in such situations must simply place their trust and leave the Court no alternative but to abandon a duty which it
cannot lawfully discharge if shorn of the participation of its entire
hopes of vindication in the fairness and sense of justice of the
Members of the Tribunal. Justices and Senators, singly and membership of Justices.133 (Italics in the original)
collectively. Besides, there are specific safeguards already laid down by the
Let us not be misunderstood as saying that no Senator-Member of Court when it exercises its power of judicial review.
the Senate Electoral Tribunal may inhibit or disqualify himself from In Demetria v. Alba,134 this Court, through Justice Marcelo Fernan
sitting in judgment on any case before said Tribunal. cited the "seven pillars" of limitations of the power of judicial
Every Member of the Tribunal may, as his conscience dictates, review, enunciated by US Supreme Court Justice Brandeis
refrain from participating in the resolution of a case where he in Ashwander v. TVA135 as follows:
sincerely feels that his personal interests or biases would stand in
the way of an objective and impartial judgment. What we are 1. The Court will not pass upon the constitutionality of legislation in
merely saying is that in the light of the Constitution, the Senate a friendly, non-adversary proceeding, declining because to decide
Electoral Tribunal cannot legally function as such, absent its entire such questions 'is legitimate only in the last resort, and as a
membership of Senators and that no amendment of its Rules can necessity in the determination of real, earnest and vital controversy
between individuals. It never was the thought that, by means of a

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friendly suit, a party beaten in the legislature could transfer to the In Massachusetts v. Mellon, the challenge of the federal Maternity
courts an inquiry as to the constitutionality of the legislative act.' Act was not entertained although made by the Commonwealth on
behalf of all its citizens.
2. The Court will not 'anticipate a question of constitutional law in
advance of the necessity of deciding it.' . . . 'It is not the habit of the 6. The Court will not pass upon the constitutionality of a statute at
Court to decide questions of a constitutional nature unless the instance of one who has availed himself of its benefits.
absolutely necessary to a decision of the case.'
7. When the validity of an act of the Congress is drawn in question,
3. The Court will not 'formulate a rule of constitutional law broader and even if a serious doubt of constitutionality is raised, it is a
than is required by the precise facts to which it is to be applied.' cardinal principle that this Court will first ascertain whether a
construction of the statute is fairly possible by which the question
4. The Court will not pass upon a constitutional question although may be avoided (citations omitted).
properly presented by the record, if there is also present some
other ground upon which the case may be disposed of. This rule has The foregoing "pillars" of limitation of judicial review, summarized
found most varied application. Thus, if a case can be decided on in Ashwander v. TVA from different decisions of the United States
either of two grounds, one involving a constitutional question, the Supreme Court, can be encapsulated into the following categories:
other a question of statutory construction or general law, the Court
will decide only the latter. Appeals from the highest court of a state 1. that there be absolute necessity of deciding a case
challenging its decision of a question under the Federal Constitution 2. that rules of constitutional law shall be formulated only as
are frequently dismissed because the judgment can be sustained on required by the facts of the case
an independent state ground.
3. that judgment may not be sustained on some other ground
5. The Court will not pass upon the validity of a statute upon
complaint of one who fails to show that he is injured by its 4. that there be actual injury sustained by the party by reason of the
operation. Among the many applications of this rule, none is more operation of the statute
striking than the denial of the right of challenge to one who lacks a
5. that the parties are not in estoppel
personal or property right. Thus, the challenge by a public official
interested only in the performance of his official duty will not be 6. that the Court upholds the presumption of constitutionality.
entertained . . . In Fairchild v. Hughes, the Court affirmed the
dismissal of a suit brought by a citizen who sought to have the As stated previously, parallel guidelines have been adopted by this
Nineteenth Amendment declared unconstitutional. Court in the exercise of judicial review:

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1. actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial Justices cannot abandon their constitutional duties just because
power their action may start, if not precipitate, a crisis.

2. the person challenging the act must have "standing" to challenge; Justice Feliciano warned against the dangers when this Court
he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such refuses to act.
that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its
enforcement x x x Frequently, the fight over a controversial legislative or
executive act is not regarded as settled until the Supreme Court has
3. the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest passed upon the constitutionality of the act involved, the judgment
possible opportunity has not only juridical effects but also political consequences. Those
political consequences may follow even where the Court fails to
4. the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the grant the petitioner's prayer to nullify an act for lack of the
case.136 necessary number of votes. Frequently, failure to act explicitly, one
Respondents Speaker de Venecia, et. al. raise another argument for way or the other, itself constitutes a decision for the respondent
judicial restraint the possibility that "judicial review of and validation, or at least quasi-validation, follows." 138
impeachments might also lead to embarrassing conflicts between Thus, in Javellana v. Executive Secretary139 where this Court was
the Congress and the [J]udiciary." They stress the need to avoid the split and "in the end there were not enough votes either to grant
appearance of impropriety or conflicts of interest in judicial the petitions, or to sustain respondent's claims,"140 the pre-existing
hearings, and the scenario that it would be confusing and constitutional order was disrupted which paved the way for the
humiliating and risk serious political instability at home and abroad
establishment of the martial law regime.
if the judiciary countermanded the vote of Congress to remove an
impeachable official.137 Intervenor Soriano echoes this argument by Such an argument by respondents and intervenor also presumes
alleging that failure of this Court to enforce its Resolution against that the coordinate branches of the government would behave in a
Congress would result in the diminution of its judicial authority and lawless manner and not do their duty under the law to uphold the
erode public confidence and faith in the judiciary. Constitution and obey the laws of the land. Yet there is no reason to
believe that any of the branches of government will behave in a
Such an argument, however, is specious, to say the least. As precipitate manner and risk social upheaval, violence, chaos and
correctly stated by the Solicitor General, the possibility of the
anarchy by encouraging disrespect for the fundamental law of the
occurrence of a constitutional crisis is not a reason for this Court to land.
refrain from upholding the Constitution in all impeachment cases.

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Substituting the word public officers for judges, this Court is well members of the House. Respondent House of Representatives
guided by the doctrine in People v. Veneracion, to wit:141 concludes that the one year bar prohibiting the initiation of
impeachment proceedings against the same officials could not have
Obedience to the rule of law forms the bedrock of our system of been violated as the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice
justice. If [public officers], under the guise of religious or political Davide and seven Associate Justices had not been initiated as the
beliefs were allowed to roam unrestricted beyond boundaries House of Representatives, acting as the collective body, has yet to
within which they are required by law to exercise the duties of their act on it.
office, then law becomes meaningless. A government of laws, not of
men excludes the exercise of broad discretionary powers by those The resolution of this issue thus hinges on the interpretation of the
acting under its authority. Under this system, [public officers] are term "initiate." Resort to statutory construction is, therefore, in
guided by the Rule of Law, and ought "to protect and enforce it order.
without fear or favor," resist encroachments by governments,
That the sponsor of the provision of Section 3(5) of the Constitution,
political parties, or even the interference of their own personal
beliefs.142 Commissioner Florenz Regalado, who eventually became an
Associate Justice of this Court, agreed on the meaning of "initiate"
Constitutionality of the Rules of Procedure as "to file," as proffered and explained by Constitutional
for Impeachment Proceedings Commissioner Maambong during the Constitutional Commission
adopted by the 12th Congress proceedings, which he (Commissioner Regalado) as amicus
curiae affirmed during the oral arguments on the instant petitions
Respondent House of Representatives, through Speaker De Venecia, held on November 5, 2003 at which he added that the act of
argues that Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the House Impeachment "initiating" included the act of taking initial action on the complaint,
Rules do not violate Section 3 (5) of Article XI of our present dissipates any doubt that indeed the word "initiate" as it twice
Constitution, contending that the term "initiate" does not mean "to appears in Article XI (3) and (5) of the Constitution means to file the
file;" that Section 3 (1) is clear in that it is the House of complaint and take initial action on it.
Representatives, as a collective body, which has the exclusive power
to initiate all cases of impeachment; that initiate could not possibly "Initiate" of course is understood by ordinary men to mean, as
mean "to file" because filing can, as Section 3 (2), Article XI of the dictionaries do, to begin, to commence, or set going. As Webster's
Constitution provides, only be accomplished in 3 ways, to wit: (1) by Third New International Dictionary of the English Language
a verified complaint for impeachment by any member of the House concisely puts it, it means "to perform or facilitate the first action,"
of Representatives; or (2) by any citizen upon a resolution of which jibes with Justice Regalado's position, and that of Father
endorsement by any member; or (3) by at least 1/3 of all the

69 | P a g e
Bernas, who elucidated during the oral arguments of the instant which have been furnished the Members of this body. This is borne
petitions on November 5, 2003 in this wise: out of my experience as a member of the Committee on Justice,
Human Rights and Good Government which took charge of the last
Briefly then, an impeachment proceeding is not a single act. It is a impeachment resolution filed before the First Batasang
comlexus of acts consisting of a beginning, a middle and an end. The Pambansa. For the information of the Committee, the resolution
end is the transmittal of the articles of impeachment to the Senate. covers several steps in the impeachment proceedings starting with
The middle consists of those deliberative moments leading to the initiation, action of the Speaker committee action, calendaring of
formulation of the articles of impeachment. The beginning or the
report, voting on the report, transmittal referral to the Senate,
initiation is the filing of the complaint and its referral to the trial and judgment by the Senate.
Committee on Justice.
xxx
Finally, it should be noted that the House Rule relied upon by
Representatives Cojuangco and Fuentebella says that impeachment MR. MAAMBONG. Mr. Presiding Officer, I am not moving for a
is "deemed initiated" when the Justice Committee votes in favor of reconsideration of the approval of the amendment submitted by
impeachment or when the House reverses a contrary vote of the Commissioner Regalado, but I will just make of record my thinking
Committee. Note that the Rule does not say "impeachment that we do not really initiate the filing of the Articles of
proceedings" are initiated but rather are "deemed initiated." The Impeachment on the floor. The procedure, as I have pointed out
language is recognition that initiation happened earlier, but by legal earlier, was that the initiation starts with the filing of the
fiction there is an attempt to postpone it to a time after actual complaint. And what is actually done on the floor is that the
initiation. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) committee resolution containing the Articles of Impeachment is
the one approved by the body.
As stated earlier, one of the means of interpreting the Constitution
is looking into the intent of the law. Fortunately, the intent of the As the phraseology now runs, which may be corrected by the
framers of the 1987 Constitution can be pried from its records: Committee on Style, it appears that the initiation starts on the floor.
If we only have time, I could cite examples in the case of the
MR. MAAMBONG. With reference to Section 3, regarding the impeachment proceedings of President Richard Nixon wherein the
procedure and the substantive provisions on impeachment, I Committee on the Judiciary submitted the recommendation, the
understand there have been many proposals and, I think, these resolution, and the Articles of Impeachment to the body, and it was
would need some time for Committee action. the body who approved the resolution. It is not the body which
However, I would just like to indicate that I submitted to the initiates it. It only approves or disapproves the resolution. So, on
Committee a resolution on impeachment proceedings, copies of that score, probably the Committee on Style could help in

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rearranging these words because we have to be very technical the Articles of Impeachment. As a matter of fact, the words "Articles
about this. I have been bringing with me The Rules of the House of of Impeachment" are mentioned on line 25 in the case of the direct
Representatives of the U.S. Congress. The Senate Rules are with me. filing of a verified compliant of one-third of all the Members of the
The proceedings on the case of Richard Nixon are with me. I have House. I will mention again, Madam President, that my amendment
submitted my proposal, but the Committee has already decided. will not vary the substance in any way. It is only in keeping with the
Nevertheless, I just want to indicate this on record. uniform procedure of the House of Representatives of the United
States Congress. Thank you, Madam President.143 (Italics in the
xxx
original; emphasis and udnerscoring supplied)
MR. MAAMBONG. I would just like to move for a reconsideration of This amendment proposed by Commissioner Maambong was
the approval of Section 3 (3). My reconsideration will not at all clarified and accepted by the Committee on the Accountability of
affect the substance, but it is only in keeping with the exact Public Officers.144
formulation of the Rules of the House of Representatives of the
United States regarding impeachment. It is thus clear that the framers intended "initiation" to start with
the filing of the complaint. In his amicus curiae brief, Commissioner
I am proposing, Madam President, without doing damage to any of Maambong explained that "the obvious reason in deleting the
this provision, that on page 2, Section 3 (3), from lines 17 to 18, we phrase "to initiate impeachment proceedings" as contained in the
delete the words which read: "to initiate impeachment text of the provision of Section 3 (3) was to settle and make it
proceedings" and the comma (,) and insert on line 19 after the word understood once and for all that the initiation of impeachment
"resolution" the phrase WITH THE ARTICLES, and then capitalize the proceedings starts with the filing of the complaint, and the vote of
letter "i" in "impeachment" and replace the word "by" with OF, so one-third of the House in a resolution of impeachment does not
that the whole section will now read: "A vote of at least one-third of initiate the impeachment proceedings which was already initiated
all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a by the filing of a verified complaint under Section 3, paragraph (2),
resolution WITH THE ARTICLES of Impeachment OF the Committee Article XI of the Constitution."145
or to override its contrary resolution. The vote of each Member
shall be recorded." Amicus curiae Constitutional Commissioner Regalado is of the same
view as is Father Bernas, who was also a member of the 1986
I already mentioned earlier yesterday that the initiation, as far as Constitutional Commission, that the word "initiate" as used in
the House of Representatives of the United States is Article XI, Section 3(5) means to file, both adding, however, that the
concerned, really starts from the filing of the verified filing must be accompanied by an action to set the complaint
complaint and every resolution to impeach always carries with it moving.

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During the oral arguments before this Court, Father Bernas clarified consists of several steps: (1) there is the filing of a verified complaint
that the word "initiate," appearing in the constitutional provision on either by a Member of the House of Representatives or by a private
impeachment, viz: citizen endorsed by a Member of the House of the Representatives;
(2) there is the processing of this complaint by the proper
Section 3 (1) The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive Committee which may either reject the complaint or uphold it; (3)
power to initiate all cases of impeachment. whether the resolution of the Committee rejects or upholds the
xxx complaint, the resolution must be forwarded to the House for
further processing; and (4) there is the processing of the same
(5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same complaint by the House of Representatives which either affirms a
official more than once within a period of one year, (Emphasis favorable resolution of the Committee or overrides a contrary
supplied) resolution by a vote of one-third of all the members. If at least one
third of all the Members upholds the complaint, Articles of
refers to two objects, "impeachment case" and "impeachment
Impeachment are prepared and transmitted to the Senate. It is at
proceeding."
this point that the House "initiates an impeachment case." It is at
Father Bernas explains that in these two provisions, the common this point that an impeachable public official is successfully
verb is "to initiate." The object in the first sentence is impeached. That is, he or she is successfully charged with an
"impeachment case." The object in the second sentence is impeachment "case" before the Senate as impeachment court.
"impeachment proceeding." Following the principle of reddendo
Father Bernas further explains: The "impeachment proceeding" is
singuala sinuilis, the term "cases" must be distinguished from the
not initiated when the complaint is transmitted to the Senate for
term "proceedings." An impeachment case is the legal controversy
trial because that is the end of the House proceeding and the
that must be decided by the Senate. Above-quoted first provision
beginning of another proceeding, namely the trial. Neither is the
provides that the House, by a vote of one-third of all its members,
"impeachment proceeding" initiated when the House deliberates on
can bring a case to the Senate. It is in that sense that the House has
the resolution passed on to it by the Committee, because
"exclusive power" to initiate all cases of impeachment. No other
something prior to that has already been done. The action of the
body can do it. However, before a decision is made to initiate a case
House is already a further step in the proceeding, not its initiation
in the Senate, a "proceeding" must be followed to arrive at a
or beginning. Rather, the proceeding is initiated or begins, when a
conclusion. A proceeding must be "initiated." To initiate, which
verified complaint is filed and referred to the Committee on Justice
comes from the Latin word initium, means to begin. On the other
for action. This is the initiating step which triggers the series of steps
hand, proceeding is a progressive noun. It has a beginning, a middle,
that follow.
and an end. It takes place not in the Senate but in the House and

72 | P a g e
The framers of the Constitution also understood initiation in its From the records of the Constitutional Commission, to the amicus
ordinary meaning. Thus when a proposal reached the floor curiae briefs of two former Constitutional Commissioners, it is
proposing that "A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of without a doubt that the term "to initiate" refers to the filing of the
the House shall be necessary… to initiate impeachment impeachment complaint coupled with Congress' taking initial action
proceedings," this was met by a proposal to delete the line on the of said complaint.
ground that the vote of the House does not initiate impeachment
proceeding but rather the filing of a complaint does.146 Thus the line Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing
and referral or endorsement of the impeachment complaint to the
was deleted and is not found in the present Constitution.
House Committee on Justice or, by the filing by at least one-third of
Father Bernas concludes that when Section 3 (5) says, "No the members of the House of Representatives with the Secretary
impeachment proceeding shall be initiated against the same official General of the House, the meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI
more than once within a period of one year," it means that no becomes clear. Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated,
second verified complaint may be accepted and referred to the another impeachment complaint may not be filed against the same
Committee on Justice for action. By his explanation, this official within a one year period.
interpretation is founded on the common understanding of the
meaning of "to initiate" which means to begin. He reminds that the Under Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the House Impeachment
Rules, impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated (1) if there is
Constitution is ratified by the people, both ordinary and
sophisticated, as they understand it; and that ordinary people read a finding by the House Committee on Justice that the verified
ordinary meaning into ordinary words and not abstruse meaning, complaint and/or resolution is sufficient in substance, or (2) once
they ratify words as they understand it and not as sophisticated the House itself affirms or overturns the finding of the Committee
lawyers confuse it. on Justice that the verified complaint and/or resolution is not
sufficient in substance or (3) by the filing or endorsement before
To the argument that only the House of Representatives as a body the Secretary-General of the House of Representatives of a verified
can initiate impeachment proceedings because Section 3 (1) says complaint or a resolution of impeachment by at least 1/3 of the
"The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to members of the House. These rules clearly contravene Section 3 (5)
initiate all cases of impeachment," This is a misreading of said of Article XI since the rules give the term "initiate" a meaning
provision and is contrary to the principle of reddendo singula different meaning from filing and referral.
singulis by equating "impeachment cases" with "impeachment
proceeding." In his amicus curiae brief, Justice Hugo Gutierrez posits that this
Court could not use contemporaneous construction as an aid in the
interpretation of Sec.3 (5) of Article XI, citing Vera v.

73 | P a g e
Avelino147 wherein this Court stated that "their personal opinions the purpose of this section." Hence, these rules cannot contravene
(referring to Justices who were delegates to the Constitution the very purpose of the Constitution which said rules were intended
Convention) on the matter at issue expressed during this Court's our to effectively carry out. Moreover, Section 3 of Article XI clearly
deliberations stand on a different footing from the properly provides for other specific limitations on its power to make
recorded utterances of debates and proceedings." Further citing rules, viz:
said case, he states that this Court likened the former members of
the Constitutional Convention to actors who are so absorbed in Section 3. (1) x x x
their emotional roles that intelligent spectators may know more (2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any
about the real meaning because of the latter's balanced Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a
perspectives and disinterestedness.148 resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof, which shall be
Justice Gutierrez's statements have no application in the present included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and
referred to the proper Committee within three session days
petitions. There are at present only two members of this Court who
participated in the 1986 Constitutional Commission – Chief Justice thereafter. The Committee, after hearing, and by a majority vote of
Davide and Justice Adolf Azcuna. Chief Justice Davide has not taken all its Members, shall submit its report to the House within sixty
part in these proceedings for obvious reasons. Moreover, this Court session days from such referral, together with the corresponding
resolution. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by
has not simply relied on the personal opinions now given by
members of the Constitutional Commission, but has examined the the House within ten session days from receipt thereof.
records of the deliberations and proceedings thereof. (3) A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall
Respondent House of Representatives counters that under Section 3 be necessary to either affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles
(8) of Article XI, it is clear and unequivocal that it and only it has the of Impeachment of the Committee, or override its contrary
power to make and interpret its rules governing impeachment. Its resolution. The vote of each Member shall be recorded.
argument is premised on the assumption that Congress (4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is
has absolute power to promulgate its rules. This assumption, filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House, the
however, is misplaced. same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and trial by the
Section 3 (8) of Article XI provides that "The Congress shall Senate shall forthwith proceed.
promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the (5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same
purpose of this section." Clearly, its power to promulgate its rules official more than once within a period of one year.
on impeachment is limited by the phrase "to effectively carry out

74 | P a g e
It is basic that all rules must not contravene the Constitution which the principle of separation of power if we assume jurisdiction over
is the fundamental law. If as alleged Congress had absolute rule he case at bar. Even in the United States, the principle of separation
making power, then it would by necessary implication have the of power is no longer an impregnable impediment against the
power to alter or amend the meaning of the Constitution without interposition of judicial power on cases involving breach of rules of
need of referendum. procedure by legislators.

In Osmeña v. Pendatun,149 this Court held that it is within the Rightly, the ponencia uses the 1891 case of US v Ballin (144 US 1) as
province of either House of Congress to interpret its rules and that it a window to view the issues before the Court. It is in Ballin where
was the best judge of what constituted "disorderly behavior" of its the US Supreme Court first defined the boundaries of the power of
members. However, in Paceta v. Secretary of the Commission on the judiciary to review congressional rules. It held:
Appointments,150 Justice (later Chief Justice) Enrique Fernando,
speaking for this Court and quoting Justice Brandeis in United States "x x x
v. Smith,151 declared that where the construction to be given to "The Constitution, in the same section, provides, that each house
a rule affects persons other than members of the Legislature, the may determine the rules of its proceedings." It appears that in
question becomes judicial in nature. In Arroyo v. De pursuance of this authority the House had, prior to that day, passed
Venecia,152 quoting United States v. Ballin, Joseph & Co.,153 Justice this as one of its rules:
Vicente Mendoza, speaking for this Court, held that while the
Constitution empowers each house to determine its rules of Rule XV
proceedings, it may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints
3. On the demand of any member, or at the suggestion of the
or violate fundamental rights, and further that there should be a
Speaker, the names of members sufficient to make a quorum in the
reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceeding
hall of the House who do not vote shall be noted by the clerk and
established by the rule and the result which is sought to be
recorded in the journal, and reported to the Speaker with the
attained. It is only within these limitations that all matters of
names of the members voting, and be counted and announced in
method are open to the determination of the Legislature. In the
determining the presence of a quorum to do business. (House
same case of Arroyo v. De Venecia, Justice Reynato S. Puno, in his
Journal, 230, Feb. 14, 1890)
Concurring and Dissenting Opinion, was even more emphatic as he
stressed that in the Philippine setting there is even more reason for The action taken was in direct compliance with this rule. The
courts to inquire into the validity of the Rules of Congress, viz: question, therefore, is as to the validity of this rule, and not what
methods the Speaker may of his own motion resort to for
With due respect, I do not agree that the issues posed by the
determining the presence of a quorum, nor what matters the
petitioner are non-justiciable. Nor do I agree that we will trivialize

75 | P a g e
Speaker or clerk may of their own volition place upon the journal. In the Philippine setting, there is a more compelling reason for
Neither do the advantages or disadvantages, the wisdom or folly, of courts to categorically reject the political question defense when
such a rule present any matters for judicial consideration. With the its interposition will cover up abuse of power. For section 1, Article
courts the question is only one of power. The Constitution VIII of our Constitution was intentionally cobbled to empower
empowers each house to determine its rules of proceedings. It may courts "x x x to determine whether or not there has been a grave
not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on
fundamental rights, and there should be a reasonable relation the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government." This
between the mode or method of proceedings established by the power is new and was not granted to our courts in the 1935 and
rule and the result which is sought to be attained. But within these 1972 Constitutions. It was not also xeroxed from the US
limitations all matters of method are open to the determination of Constitution or any foreign state constitution. The CONCOM
the House, and it is no impeachment of the rule to say that some granted this enormous power to our courts in view of our
other way would be better, more accurate, or even more just. It is experience under martial law where abusive exercises of state
no objection to the validity of a rule that a different one has been power were shielded from judicial scrutiny by the misuse of the
prescribed and in force for a length of time. The power to make political question doctrine. Led by the eminent former Chief Justice
rules is not one which once exercised is exhausted. It is a continuous Roberto Concepcion, the CONCOM expanded and sharpened the
power, always subject to be exercised by the House, and within the checking powers of the judiciary vis-à-vis the Executive and the
limitations suggested, absolute and beyond the challenge of any Legislative departments of government.155
other body or tribunal."
xxx
Ballin, clearly confirmed the jurisdiction of courts to pass upon the
validity of congressional rules, i.e, whether they are The Constitution cannot be any clearer. What it granted to this
constitutional. Rule XV was examined by the Court and it was found Court is not a mere power which it can decline to exercise.
Precisely to deter this disinclination, the Constitution imposed it as
to satisfy the test: (1) that it did not ignore any constitutional
restraint; (2) it did not violate any fundamental right; and (3) its a duty of this Court to strike down any act of a branch or
method had a reasonable relationship with the result sought to be instrumentality of government or any of its officials done with
attained. By examining Rule XV, the Court did not allow its grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction to be defeated by the mere invocation of the principle jurisdiction. Rightly or wrongly, the Constitution has elongated the
of separation of powers.154 checking powers of this Court against the other branches of
government despite their more democratic character, the President
xxx and the legislators being elected by the people.156

76 | P a g e
xxx as the last bulwark against government abuses if we refuse to
exercise this new power or if we wield it with timidity. To be sure,
The provision defining judicial power as including the 'duty of the it is this exceeding timidity to unsheathe the judicial sword that
courts of justice. . . to determine whether or not there has been a has increasingly emboldened other branches of government to
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction denigrate, if not defy, orders of our courts. In Tolentino, I endorsed
on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government' the view of former Senator Salonga that this novel provision
constitutes the capstone of the efforts of the Constitutional stretching the latitude of judicial power is distinctly Filipino and its
Commission to upgrade the powers of this court vis-à-vis the other
interpretation should not be depreciated by undue reliance on
branches of government. This provision was dictated by our inapplicable foreign jurisprudence. In resolving the case at bar, the
experience under martial law which taught us that a stronger and lessons of our own history should provide us the light and not the
more independent judiciary is needed to abort abuses in experience of foreigners.157 (Italics in the original emphasis and
government. x x x
underscoring supplied)
xxx Thus, the ruling in Osmena v. Pendatun is not applicable to the
In sum, I submit that in imposing to this Court the duty to annul acts instant petitions. Here, the third parties alleging the violation of
of government committed with grave abuse of discretion, the new private rights and the Constitution are involved.
Constitution transformed this Court from passivity to activism. This Neither may respondent House of Representatives' rely on Nixon v.
transformation, dictated by our distinct experience as nation, is not US158 as basis for arguing that this Court may not decide on the
merely evolutionary but revolutionary.Under the 1935 and the 1973 constitutionality of Sections 16 and 17 of the House Impeachment
Constitutions, this Court approached constitutional violations by Rules. As already observed, the U.S. Federal Constitution simply
initially determining what it cannot do; under the 1987 provides that "the House of Representatives shall have the sole
Constitution, there is a shift in stress – this Court is mandated to power of impeachment." It adds nothing more. It gives no clue
approach constitutional violations not by finding out what it whatsoever as to how this "sole power" is to be exercised. No
should not do but what it must do. The Court must discharge this limitation whatsoever is given. Thus, the US Supreme Court
solemn duty by not resuscitating a past that petrifies the present. concluded that there was a textually demonstrable constitutional
I urge my brethren in the Court to give due and serious commitment of a constitutional power to the House of
consideration to this new constitutional provision as the case at bar Representatives. This reasoning does not hold with regard to
once more calls us to define the parameters of our power to review impeachment power of the Philippine House of Representatives
violations of the rules of the House. We will not be true to our trust since our Constitution, as earlier enumerated, furnishes several

77 | P a g e
provisions articulating how that "exclusive power" is to be Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. and Felix William Fuentebella against the
exercised. Chief Justice on October 23, 2003 violates the constitutional
prohibition against the initiation of impeachment proceedings
The provisions of Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the House against the same impeachable officer within a one-year period.
Impeachment Rules which state that impeachment proceedings are
deemed initiated (1) if there is a finding by the House Committee on Conclusion
Justice that the verified complaint and/or resolution is sufficient in
substance, or (2) once the House itself affirms or overturns the If there is anything constant about this country, it is that there is
finding of the Committee on Justice that the verified complaint always a phenomenon that takes the center stage of our individual
and/or resolution is not sufficient in substance or (3) by the filing or and collective consciousness as a people with our characteristic flair
endorsement before the Secretary-General of the House of for human drama, conflict or tragedy. Of course this is not to
Representatives of a verified complaint or a resolution of demean the seriousness of the controversy over the Davide
impeachment. For many of us, the past two weeks have proven to
impeachment by at least 1/3 of the members of the House thus
clearly contravene Section 3 (5) of Article XI as they give the term be an exasperating, mentally and emotionally exhausting
"initiate" a meaning different from "filing." experience. Both sides have fought bitterly a dialectical struggle to
articulate what they respectively believe to be the correct position
Validity of the Second Impeachment Complaint or view on the issues involved. Passions had ran high as
demonstrators, whether for or against the impeachment of the
Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing Chief Justice, took to the streets armed with their familiar slogans
of the impeachment complaint and referral to the House and chants to air their voice on the matter. Various sectors of
Committee on Justice, the initial action taken thereon, the meaning society - from the business, retired military, to the academe and
of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. Once an impeachment denominations of faith – offered suggestions for a return to a state
complaint has been initiated in the foregoing manner, another may of normalcy in the official relations of the governmental branches
not be filed against the same official within a one year period affected to obviate any perceived resulting instability upon areas of
following Article XI, Section 3(5) of the Constitution. national life.
In fine, considering that the first impeachment complaint, was filed Through all these and as early as the time when the Articles of
by former President Estrada against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Impeachment had been constituted, this Court was specifically
Jr., along with seven associate justices of this Court, on June 2, 2003 asked, told, urged and argued to take no action of any kind and
and referred to the House Committee on Justice on August 5, 2003, form with respect to the prosecution by the House of
the second impeachment complaint filed by Representatives Representatives of the impeachment complaint against the subject

78 | P a g e
respondent public official. When the present petitions were Beyond this, it did not go about assuming jurisdiction where it had
knocking so to speak at the doorsteps of this Court, the same none, nor indiscriminately turn justiciable issues out of decidedly
clamor for non-interference was made through what are now the political questions. Because it is not at all the business of this Court
arguments of "lack of jurisdiction," "non-justiciability," and "judicial to assert judicial dominance over the other two great branches of
self-restraint" aimed at halting the Court from any move that may the government. Rather, the raison d'etre of the judiciary is to
have a bearing on the impeachment proceedings. complement the discharge by the executive and legislative of their
own powers to bring about ultimately the beneficent effects of
This Court did not heed the call to adopt a hands-off stance as far as
having founded and ordered our society upon the rule of law.
the question of the constitutionality of initiating the impeachment
complaint against Chief Justice Davide is concerned. To reiterate It is suggested that by our taking cognizance of the issue of
what has been already explained, the Court found the existence in constitutionality of the impeachment proceedings against the Chief
full of all the requisite conditions for its exercise of its Justice, the members of this Court have actually closed ranks to
constitutionally vested power and duty of judicial review over an protect a brethren. That the members' interests in ruling on said
issue whose resolution precisely called for the construction or issue is as much at stake as is that of the Chief Justice. Nothing
interpretation of a provision of the fundamental law of the land. could be farther from the truth.
What lies in here is an issue of a genuine constitutional material
The institution that is the Supreme Court together with all other
which only this Court can properly and competently address and
adjudicate in accordance with the clear-cut allocation of powers courts has long held and been entrusted with the judicial power to
under our system of government. Face-to-face thus with a matter or resolve conflicting legal rights regardless of the personalities
problem that squarely falls under the Court's jurisdiction, no other involved in the suits or actions. This Court has dispensed justice
course of action can be had but for it to pass upon that problem over the course of time, unaffected by whomsoever stood to
head on. benefit or suffer therefrom, unfraid by whatever imputations or
speculations could be made to it, so long as it rendered judgment
The claim, therefore, that this Court by judicially entangling itself according to the law and the facts. Why can it not now be trusted to
with the process of impeachment has effectively set up a regime of wield judicial power in these petitions just because it is the highest
judicial supremacy, is patently without basis in fact and in law. ranking magistrate who is involved when it is an incontrovertible
fact that the fundamental issue is not him but the validity of a
This Court in the present petitions subjected to judicial scrutiny and government branch's official act as tested by the limits set by the
resolved on the merits only the main issue of whether the Constitution? Of course, there are rules on the inhibition of any
impeachment proceedings initiated against the Chief Justice member of the judiciary from taking part in a case in specified
transgressed the constitutionally imposed one-year time bar rule.
instances. But to disqualify this entire institution now from the suit

79 | P a g e
at bar is to regard the Supreme Court as likely incapable of Representatives on November 28, 2001 are unconstitutional.
impartiality when one of its members is a party to a case, which is Consequently, the second impeachment complaint against Chief
simply a non sequitur. Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. which was filed by Representatives
Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. and Felix William B. Fuentebella with the
No one is above the law or the Constitution. This is a basic precept Office of the Secretary General of the House of Representatives on
in any legal system which recognizes equality of all men before the October 23, 2003 is barred under paragraph 5, section 3 of Article XI
law as essential to the law's moral authority and that of its agents to of the Constitution.
secure respect for and obedience to its commands. Perhaps, there
is no other government branch or instrumentality that is most SO ORDERED.
zealous in protecting that principle of legal equality other than the
Supreme Court which has discerned its real meaning and
ramifications through its application to numerous cases especially of
the high-profile kind in the annals of jurisprudence. The Chief
Justice is not above the law and neither is any other member of this
Court. But just because he is the Chief Justice does not imply that he
gets to have less in law than anybody else. The law is solicitous of
every individual's rights irrespective of his station in life.

The Filipino nation and its democratic institutions have no doubt


been put to test once again by this impeachment case against Chief
Justice Hilario Davide. Accordingly, this Court has resorted to no
other than the Constitution in search for a solution to what many
feared would ripen to a crisis in government. But though it is indeed
immensely a blessing for this Court to have found answers in our
bedrock of legal principles, it is equally important that it went
through this crucible of a democratic process, if only to discover
that it can resolve differences without the use of force and
aggression upon each other.

WHEREFORE, Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the Rules of Procedure


in Impeachment Proceedings which were approved by the House of

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V. Mariano vs COMELEC general reapportionment law to be passed by Congress within three
(3) years following the return of every census;
At bench are two (2) petitions assailing certain provisions of
Republic Act No. 7854 as unconstitutional. R.A. No. 7854 as (b) the increase in legislative district was not expressed in the title
unconstitutional. R.A. No. 7854 is entitled, "An Act Converting the of the bill; and
Municipality of Makati Into a Highly Urbanized City to be known as
the City of Makati."1 (c) the addition of another legislative district in Makati is not in
accord with Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Constitution for as of the
G.R. No. 118577 involves a petition for prohibition and declaratory latest survey (1990 census), the population of Makati stands at only
relief. It was filed by petitioners Juanito Mariano, Jr., Ligaya S. 450,000.
Bautista, Teresita Tibay, Camilo Santos, Frankie Cruz, Ricardo
Pascual, Teresita Abang, Valentina Pitalvero, Rufino Caldoza, G.R. No. 118627 was filed by the petitioner John H. Osmeña as
Florante Alba, and Perfecto Alba. Of the petitioners, only Mariano, senator, taxpayer, and concerned citizen. Petitioner assails section
Jr., is a resident of Makati. The others are residents of Ibayo Ususan, 52 of R.A. No. 7854 as unconstitutional on the same grounds as
Taguig, Metro Manila. Suing as taxpayers, they assail as aforestated.
unconstitutional sections 2, 51, and 52 of R.A. No. 7854 on the We find no merit in the petitions.
following grounds:
I Section 2, Article I of R.A. No. 7854 delineated the land areas of
1. Section 2 of R.A. No. 7854 did not properly identify the land area the proposed city of Makati, thus:
or territorial jurisdiction of Makati by metes and bounds, with
technical descriptions, in violation of Section 10, Article X of the Sec. 2. The City of Makati. — The Municipality of Makati shall be
Constitution, in relation to Sections 7 and 450 of the Local converted into a highly urbanized city to be known as the City of
Government Code; Makati, hereinafter referred to as the City, which shall comprise the
present territory of the Municipality of Makati in Metropolitan
2. Section 51 of R.A. No. 7854 attempts to alter or restart the "three Manila Area over which it has jurisdiction bounded on the northeast
consecutive term" limit for local elective officials, in violation of by Pasig River and beyond by the City of Mandaluyong and the
Section 8, Article X and Section 7, Article VI of the Constitution. Municipality of Pasig; on the southeast by the municipalities of
3. Section 52 of R.A. No. 7854 is unconstitutional for: Pateros and Taguig; on the southwest by the City of Pasay and the
Municipality of Taguig; and, on the northwest, by the City of Manila.
(a) it increased the legislative district of Makati only by special law
(the Charter in violation of the constitutional provision requiring a

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The foregoing provision shall be without prejudice to the resolution multiply the established land area of Makati. In language that
by the appropriate agency or forum of existing boundary disputes or cannot be any clearer, section 2 stated that, the city's land area
cases involving questions of territorial jurisdiction between the City "shall comprise the present territory of the municipality."
of Makati and the adjoining local government units. (Emphasis
supplied) The deliberations of Congress will reveal that there is a legitimate
reason why the land area of the proposed City of Makati was not
In G.R. No. 118577, petitioners claim that this delineation violates defined by metes and bounds, with technical descriptions. At the
sections 7 and 450 of the Local Government Code which require time of the consideration of R.A. No. 7854, the territorial dispute
that the area of a local government unit should be made by metes between the municipalities of Makati and Taguig over Fort Bonifacio
and bounds with technical descriptions.2 was under court litigation. Out of a becoming sense of respect to
co-equal department of government, legislators felt that the dispute
The importance of drawing with precise strokes the territorial should be left to the courts to decide. They did not want to
boundaries of a local unit of government cannot be
foreclose the dispute by making a legislative finding of fact which
overemphasized. The boundaries must be clear for they define the could decide the issue. This would have ensued if they defined the
limits of the territorial jurisdiction of a local government unit. It can land area of the proposed city by its exact metes and bounds, with
legitimately exercise powers of government only within the limits, technical descriptions.3 We take judicial notice of the fact that
its acts are ultra vires. Needless to state, any uncertainty in the
Congress has also refrained from using the metes and bounds
boundaries of local government units will sow costly conflicts in the description of land areas of other local government units with
exercise of governmental powers which ultimately will prejudice the unsettled boundary disputes.4
people's welfare. This is the evil sought to avoided by the Local
Government Code in requiring that the land area of a local We hold that the existence of a boundary dispute does not per
government unit must be spelled out in metes and bounds, with se present an insurmountable difficulty which will prevent Congress
technical descriptions. from defining with reasonable certitude the territorial jurisdiction of
a local government unit. In the cases at bench, Congress maintained
Given the facts of the cases at bench, we cannot perceive how this the existing boundaries of the proposed City of Makati but as an act
evil can be brought about by the description made in section 2 of of fairness, made them subject to the ultimate resolution by the
R.A. No. 7854, Petitioners have not demonstrated that the courts. Considering these peculiar circumstances, we are not
delineation of the land area of the proposed City of Makati will prepared to hold that section 2 of R.A. No. 7854 is unconstitutional.
cause confusion as to its boundaries. We note that said delineation We sustain the submission of the Solicitor General in this
did not change even by an inch the land area previously covered by regard, viz.:
Makati as a municipality. Section 2 did not add, subtract, divide, or

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Going now to Sections 7 and 450 of the Local Government Code, it to do so would depart from the true intent of the legislature or
is beyond cavil that the requirement stated therein, viz.: "the would otherwise yield conclusions inconsistent with the general
territorial jurisdiction of newly created or converted cities should be purpose of the act. (Torres v. Limjap, 56 Phil., 141; Tañada v.
described by meted and bounds, with technical descriptions" — was Cuenco, 103 Phil. 1051; Hidalgo v. Hidalgo, 33 SCRA 1105).
made in order to provide a means by which the area of said cities Legislation is an active instrument of government, which, for
may be reasonably ascertained. In other words, the requirement on purposes of interpretation, means that laws have ends to achieve,
metes and bounds was meant merely as tool in the establishment of and statutes should be so construed as not to defeat but to carry
local government units. It is not an end in itself. Ergo, so long as the out such ends and purposes (Bocolbo v. Estanislao, 72 SCRA 520).
territorial jurisdiction of a city may be reasonably ascertained, i.e., The same rule must indubitably apply to the case at bar.
by referring to common boundaries with neighboring municipalities,
as in this case, then, it may be concluded that the legislative intent II Petitioners in G.R. No. 118577 also assail the constitutionality of
section 51, Article X of R.A. No. 7854. Section 51 states:
behind the law has been sufficiently served.

Certainly, Congress did not intends that laws creating new cities Sec. 51. Officials of the City of Makati. — The represent elective
must contain therein detailed technical descriptions similar to those officials of the Municipality of Makati shall continue as the officials
appearing in Torrens titles, as petitioners seem to imply. To require of the City of Makati and shall exercise their powers and functions
until such time that a new election is held and the duly elected
such description in the law as a condition sine qua non for its
validity would be to defeat the very purpose which the Local officials shall have already qualified and assume their
Government Code to seeks to serve. The manifest intent of the offices: Provided, The new city will acquire a new corporate
Code is to empower local government units and to give them their existence. The appointive officials and employees of the City shall
rightful due. It seeks to make local governments more responsive to likewise continues exercising their functions and duties and they
the needs of their constituents while at the same time serving as a shall be automatically absorbed by the city government of the City
of Makati.
vital cog in national development. To invalidate R.A. No. 7854 on
the mere ground that no cadastral type of description was used in They contend that this section collides with section 8, Article X and
the law would serve the letter but defeat the spirit of the Code. It section 7, Article VI of the Constitution which provide:
then becomes a case of the master serving the slave, instead of the
other way around. This could not be the intendment of the law. Sec. 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay
officials, which shall be determined by law, shall be three years
Too well settled is the rule that laws must be enforced when and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive
ascertained, although it may not be consistent with the strict letter terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time
of the statute. Courts will not follow the letter of the statute when

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shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his petitioners conclude that said section 51 has been conveniently
service for the full term for which he was elected. crafted to suit the political ambitions of respondent Mayor Binay.

xxx xxx xxx We cannot entertain this challenge to the constitutionality of


section 51. The requirements before a litigant can challenge the
Sec. 7. The Members of the House of Representatives shall be constitutionality of a law are well delineated. They are: 1) there
elected for a term of three years which shall begin, unless otherwise must be an actual case or controversy; (2) the question of
provided by law, at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following constitutionality must be raised by the proper party; (3) the
their election. constitutional question must be raised at the earliest possible
No Member of the House of Representatives shall serve for more opportunity; and (4) the decision on the constitutional question
than three consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office must be necessary to the determination of the case itself.5
for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in Petitioners have far from complied with these requirements. The
the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was petition is premised on the occurrence of many contingent
elected. events, i.e., that Mayor Binay will run again in this coming mayoralty
Petitioners stress that under these provisions, elective local officials, elections; that he would be re-elected in said elections; and that he
including Members of the House of Representative, have a term of would seek re-election for the same position in the 1998 elections.
three (3) years and are prohibited from serving for more than Considering that these contingencies may or may not happen,
three (3) consecutive terms. They argue that by providing that the petitioners merely pose a hypothetical issue which has yet to ripen
new city shall acquire a new corporate existence, section 51 of R.A. to an actual case or controversy. Petitioners who are residents of
No. 7854 restarts the term of the present municipal elective officials Taguig (except Mariano) are not also the proper parties to raise this
of Makati and disregards the terms previously served by them. In abstract issue. Worse, they hoist this futuristic issue in a petition for
particular, petitioners point that section 51 favors the incumbent declaratory relief over which this Court has no jurisdiction.
Makati Mayor, respondent Jejomar Binay, who has already served III Finally, petitioners in the two (2) cases at bench assail the
for two (2) consecutive terms. They further argue that should Mayor constitutionality of section 52, Article X of R.A. No. 7854. Section 52
Binay decide to run and eventually win as city mayor in the coming of the Charter provides:
elections, he can still run for the same position in 1998 and seek
another three-year consecutive term since his previous three-year Sec. 52. Legislative Districts. — Upon its conversion into a highly-
consecutive term as municipal mayor would not be counted. Thus, urbanized city, Makati shall thereafter have at least two (2)
legislative districts that shall initially correspond to the two (2)

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existing districts created under Section 3(a) of Republic Act. No. admit of any kind of subtraction. It is indivisible. It must be forever
7166 as implemented by the Commission on Elections to commence whole or it is not sovereignty.
at the next national elections to be held after the effectivity of this
Act. Henceforth, barangays Magallanes, Dasmariñas and Forbes Petitioners cannot insist that the addition of another legislative
shall be with the first district, in lieu of Barangay Guadalupe-Viejo district in Makati is not in accord with section 5(3), Article VI 12 of
which shall form part of the second district. (emphasis supplied) the Constitution for as of the latest survey (1990 census), the
population of Makati stands at only four hundred fifty thousand
They contend. that the addition of another legislative district in (450,000). 13 Said section provides, inter alia, that a city with a
Makati is unconstitutional for: (1) reapportionment6cannot made by population of at least two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) shall
a special law, (2) the addition of a legislative district is not expressed have at least one representative. Even granting that the population
in the title of the bill7 and (3) Makati's population, as per the 1990 of Makati as of the 1990 census stood at four hundred fifty
census, stands at only four hundred fifty thousand (450,000). thousand (450,000), its legislative district may still be increased
since it has met the minimum population requirement of two
These issues have been laid to rest in the recent case of Tobias hundred fifty thousand (250,000). In fact, section 3 of the Ordinance
v. Abalos.8 In said case, we ruled that reapportionment of legislative appended to the Constitution provides that a city whose population
districts may be made through a special law, such as in the charter has increased to more than two hundred fifty thousand
of a new city. The Constitution9 clearly provides that Congress shall
(250,000) shall be entitled to at least one congressional
be composed of not more than two hundred fifty (250) representative. 14
members, unless otherwise fixed by law. As thus worded, the
Constitution did not preclude Congress from increasing its Finally, we do not find merit in petitioners' contention that the
membership by passing a law, other than a general creation of an additional legislative district in Makati should have
reapportionment of the law. This is its exactly what was done by been expressly stated in the title of the bill. In the same case
Congress in enacting R.A. No. 7854 and providing for an increase in of Tobias v. Abalos, op cit., we reiterated the policy of the Court
Makati's legislative district. Moreover, to hold that reapportionment favoring a liberal construction of the "one title-one subject" rule so
can only be made through a general apportionment law, with a as not to impede legislation. To be sure, with Constitution does not
review of all the legislative districts allotted to each local command that the title of a law should exactly mirror, fully index, or
government unit nationwide, would create an inequitable situation completely catalogue all its details. Hence, we ruled that "it should
where a new city or province created by Congress will be denied be sufficient compliance if the title expresses the general subject
legislative representation for an indeterminate period of and all the provisions are germane to such general subject."
time. 10 The intolerable situations will deprive the people of a new WHEREFORE, the petitions are hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit
city or province a particle of their sovereignty. 11 Sovereignty cannot No costs. SO ORDERED.

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VI. Montesclaros vs COMELEC Thus, petitioners pray for the issuance of a temporary restraining
order or preliminary injunction -
DECISION
a) To prevent, annul or declare unconstitutional any law, decree,
CARPIO, J.: Comelec resolution/directive and other respondents issuances,
The Case orders and actions and the like in postponing the May 6, 2002 SK
elections.
Before us is a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with
prayer for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction. b) To command the respondents to continue the May 6, 2002 SK
The petition seeks to prevent the postponement of elections set by the present law and in accordance with Comelec
the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK for brevity) elections originally Resolutions No. 4713 and 4714 and to expedite the funding of the
scheduled last May 6, 2002. The petition also seeks to prevent the SK elections.
reduction of the age requirement for membership in the SK. c) In the alternative, if the SK elections will be postponed for
Petitioners, who are all 20 years old, filed this petition as a whatever reason, there must be a definite date for said elections,
taxpayers and class suit, on their own behalf and on behalf of other for example, July 15, 2002, and the present SK membership, except
youths similarly situated. Petitioners claim that they are in danger of those incumbent SK officers who were elected on May 6, 1996, shall
being disqualified to vote and be voted for in the SK elections be allowed to run for any SK elective position even if they are more
should the SK elections on May 6, 2002 be postponed to a later than 21 years old.
date. Under the Local Government Code of 1991 (R.A. No. 7160), d) To direct the incumbent SK officers who are presently
membership in the SK is limited to youths at least 15 but not more representing the SK in every sanggunian and the NYC to vacate their
than 21 years old. post after the barangay elections.[2]
Petitioners allege that public respondents connived, confederated The Facts
and conspired to postpone the May 6, 2002 SK elections and to
lower the membership age in the SK to at least 15 but less than 18 The SK is a youth organization originally established by Presidential
years of age. Petitioners assail the alleged conspiracy because Decree No. 684 as the Kabataang Barangay (KB for brevity). The KB
youths at least 18 but not more than 21 years old will be summarily was composed of all barangay residents who were less than 18
and unduly dismembered, unfairly discriminated, unnecessarily years old, without specifying the minimum age. The KB was
disenfranchised, unjustly disassociated and obnoxiously disqualified organized to provide its members with the opportunity to express
from the SK organization.[1] their views and opinions on issues of transcendental importance.[3]

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The Local Government Code of 1991 renamed the KB to SK and Comelec Chairman intimated that it was operationally very difficult
limited SK membership to those youths at least 15 but not more to hold both elections simultaneously in May 2002. Instead, the
than 21 years of age.[4] The SK remains as a youth organization in Comelec Chairman expressed support for the bill of Senator Franklin
every barangay tasked to initiate programs to enhance the Drilon that proposed to hold the Barangay elections in May 2002
social, political, economic, cultural, intellectual, moral, spiritual, and and postpone the SK elections to November 2002.
physical development of the youth.[5] The SK in every barangay is
composed of a chairperson and seven members, all elected by Ten days lapsed without the Comelec responding to the letter of
Montesclaros. Subsequently, petitioners received a copy of
the Katipunan ng Kabataan. The Katipunan ng Kabataan in every
barangay is composed of all citizens actually residing in the Comelec En Banc Resolution No. 4763[11] dated February 5, 2002
barangay for at least six months and who meet the membership age recommending to Congress the postponement of the SK elections to
requirement. November 2002 but holding the Barangay elections in May 2002 as
scheduled.[12]
The first SK elections took place on December 4, 1992. RA No. 7808
reset the SK elections to the first Monday of May of 1996 and every On March 6, 2002, the Senate and the House of Representatives
three years thereafter. RA No. 7808 mandated the Comelec to passed their respective bills postponing the SK elections. On March
supervise the conduct of the SK elections under rules the Comelec 11, 2002, the Bicameral Conference Committee (Bicameral
Committee for brevity) of the Senate and the House came out with
shall promulgate. Accordingly, the Comelec on December 4, 2001
issued Resolution Nos. 4713[6] and 4714[7] to govern the SK elections a Report[13] recommending approval of the reconciled bill
on May 6, 2002. consolidating Senate Bill No. 2050[14] and House Bill No. 4456.[15] The
Bicameral Committees consolidated bill reset the SK and Barangay
On February 18, 2002, petitioner Antoniette V.C. Montesclaros elections to July 15, 2002 and lowered the membership age in the
(Montesclaros for brevity) sent a letter[8] to the Comelec, SK to at least 15 but not more than 18 years of age.
demanding that the SK elections be held as scheduled on May 6,
2002. Montesclaros also urged the Comelec to respond to her letter On March 11, 2002, petitioners filed the instant petition.
within 10 days upon receipt of the letter, otherwise, she will seek On March 11, 2002, the Senate approved the Bicameral Committees
judicial relief. consolidated bill and on March 13, 2002, the House of
On February 20, 2002, Alfredo L. Benipayo (Chairman Benipayo for Representatives approved the same. The President signed the
brevity), then Comelec Chairman, wrote identical letters to the approved bill into law on March 19, 2002.
Speaker of the House[9] and the Senate President[10] about the status The Issues
of pending bills on the SK and Barangay elections. In his letters, the

87 | P a g e
Petitioners[16] raise the following grounds in support of their IV.
petition:
THE INCUMBENT SK OFFICERS WANTED TO PERPETUALLY SIT ON
I. THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICES CONTRARY TO THE ENVISION (SIC) OF
THE CREATION OF THE SK ORGANIZATION, HENCE, IN VIOLATION OF
RESPONDENTS ACTED WHIMSICALLY, ILLEGALLY AND LAW AND CONSTITUTION.[18]
UNCONSTITUTIONALLY THUS CONSTITUTED (SIC) WITH GRAVE
ABUSE OF DISCRETION, AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF The Courts Ruling
JURISDICTION WHEN THEY INTENDED TO POSTPONE THE SK
ELECTIONS. The petition is bereft of merit.

II. At the outset, the Court takes judicial notice of the following events
that have transpired since petitioners filed this petition:
RESPONDENTS ACTED WHIMSICALLY, ILLEGALLY AND
UNCONSTITUTIONALLY THUS CONSTITUTED (SIC) WITH GRAVE 1. The May 6, 2002 SK elections and May 13, 2002 Barangay
elections were not held as scheduled.
ABUSE OF DISCRETION, AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF
JURISDICTION WHEN THEY INTENDED TO DISCRIMINATE, 2. Congress enacted RA No. 9164[19] which provides that voters and
DISENFRANCHISE, SINGLE OUT AND DISMEMBER THE SK MEMBERS candidates for the SK elections must be at least 15 but less than 18
WHO ARE 18 BUT NOT LESS[17] (SIC) THAN 21 YEARS OLD years of age on the day of the election.[20] RA No. 9164 also provides
COMPOSED OF ABOUT 7 MILLION YOUTH. that there shall be a synchronized SK and Barangay elections on July
III. 15, 2002.

3. The Comelec promulgated Resolution No. 4846, the rules and


RESPONDENTS ACTED WHIMSICALLY, ILLEGALLY AND
UNCONSTITUTIONALLY THUS CONSTITUTED (SIC) WITH GRAVE regulations for the conduct of the July 15, 2002 synchronized SK and
ABUSE OF DISCRETION, AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF Barangay elections.
JURISDICTION WHEN THEY WILLFULLY FAILED TO FUND THE SK Petitioners, who all claim to be 20 years old, argue that the
ELECTION PURPORTEDLY TO POSTPONE THE SAME IN ORDER TO postponement of the May 6, 2002 SK elections disenfranchises
IMPLEMENT THEIR ILLEGAL SCHEME AND MACHINATION IN SPITE them, preventing them from voting and being voted for in the SK
OF THE FACT THAT THERE ARE AVAILABLE FUNDS FOR THE elections. Petitioners theory is that if the SK elections were
PURPOSE. postponed to a date later than May 6, 2002, the postponement
would disqualify from SK membership youths who will turn 21 years

88 | P a g e
old between May 6, 2002 and the date of the new SK the date of the SK elections, there is therefore no actual controversy
elections. Petitioners claim that a reduction in the SK membership requiring judicial intervention.
age to 15 but less than 18 years of age from the then membership
age of 15 but not more than 21 years of age would disqualify about Petitioners prayer to prevent Congress from enacting into law a
seven million youths. The public respondents failure to hold the proposed bill lowering the membership age in the SK does not
elections on May 6, 2002 would prejudice petitioners and other present an actual justiciable controversy. A proposed bill is not
youths similarly situated. subject to judicial review because it is not a law. A proposed bill
creates no right and imposes no duty legally enforceable by the
Thus, petitioners instituted this petition to: (1) compel public Court. A proposed bill, having no legal effect, violates no
respondents to hold the SK elections on May 6, 2002 and should it constitutional right or duty. The Court has no power to declare a
be postponed, the SK elections should be held not later than July 15, proposed bill constitutional or unconstitutional because that would
2002; (2) prevent public respondents from passing laws and issuing be in the nature of rendering an advisory opinion on a proposed act
resolutions and orders that would lower the membership age in the of Congress. The power of judicial review cannot be
SK; and (3) compel public respondents to allow petitioners and exercised in vacuo.[22] The second paragraph of Section 1, Article VIII
those who have turned more than 21 years old on May 6, 2002 to of the Constitution states
participate in any re-scheduled SK elections.
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to
The Courts power of judicial review may be exercised in settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally
constitutional cases only if all the following requisites are complied demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not
with, namely: (1) the existence of an actual and appropriate case or there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
controversy; (2) a personal and substantial interest of the party excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of
raising the constitutional question; (3) the exercise of judicial review the Government. (Emphasis supplied)
is pleaded at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional
question is the lis mota of the case.[21] Thus, there can be no justiciable controversy involving the
constitutionality of a proposed bill. The Court can exercise its power
In the instant case, there is no actual controversy requiring the of judicial review only after a law is enacted, not before.
exercise of the power of judicial review. While seeking to prevent a
postponement of the May 6, 2002 SK elections, petitioners are Under the separation of powers, the Court cannot restrain Congress
nevertheless amenable to a resetting of the SK elections to any date from passing any law, or from setting into motion the legislative mill
not later than July 15, 2002. RA No. 9164 has reset the SK elections according to its internal rules. Thus, the following acts of Congress
to July 15, 2002, a date acceptable to petitioners. With respect to in the exercise of its legislative powers are not subject to judicial

89 | P a g e
restraint: the filing of bills by members of Congress, the approval of The Court cannot also direct the Comelec to allow over-aged voters
bills by each chamber of Congress, the reconciliation by the to vote or be voted for in an election that is limited under RA No.
Bicameral Committee of approved bills, and the eventual approval 9164 to youths at least 15 but less than 18 years old. A law is
into law of the reconciled bills by each chamber of Congress. Absent needed to allow all those who have turned more than 21 years old
a clear violation of specific constitutional limitations or of on or after May 6, 2002 to participate in the July 15, 2002 SK
constitutional rights of private parties, the Court cannot exercise its elections. Youths from 18 to 21 years old as of May 6, 2002 are also
power of judicial review over the internal processes or procedures no longer SK members, and cannot participate in the July 15, 2002
of Congress.[23] SK elections. Congress will have to decide whether to enact an
amendatory law. Petitioners remedy is legislation, not judicial
The Court has also no power to dictate to Congress the object or intervention.
subject of bills that Congress should enact into law. The judicial
power to review the constitutionality of laws does not include the Petitioners have no personal and substantial interest in maintaining
power to prescribe to Congress what laws to enact.The Court has no this suit. A party must show that he has been, or is about to be
power to compel Congress by mandamus to enact a law allowing denied some personal right or privilege to which he is lawfully
petitioners, regardless of their age, to vote and be voted for in the entitled.[25] A party must also show that he has a real interest in the
July 15, 2002 SK elections. To do so would destroy the delicate suit. By real interest is meant a present substantial interest, as
system of checks and balances finely crafted by the Constitution for distinguished from a mere expectancy or future, contingent,
the three co-equal, coordinate and independent branches of subordinate, or inconsequential interest.[26]
government.
In the instant case, petitioners seek to enforce a right originally
Under RA No. 9164, Congress merely restored the age requirement conferred by law on those who were at least 15 but not more than
in PD No. 684, the original charter of the SK, which fixed the 21 years old. Now, with the passage of RA No. 9164, this right is
maximum age for membership in the SK to youths less than 18 years limited to those who on the date of the SK elections are at least 15
old. Petitioners do not have a vested right to the permanence of the but less than 18 years old. The new law restricts membership in the
age requirement under Section 424 of the Local Government Code SK to this specific age group. Not falling within this classification,
of 1991. Every law passed by Congress is always subject to petitioners have ceased to be members of the SK and are no longer
amendment or repeal by Congress. The Court cannot restrain qualified to participate in the July 15, 2002 SK elections. Plainly,
Congress from amending or repealing laws, for the power to make petitioners no longer have a personal and substantial interest in the
laws includes the power to change the laws.[24] SK elections.

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This petition does not raise any constitutional issue. At the time amendment in the law cannot complain of being deprived of a
petitioners filed this petition, RA No. 9164, which reset the SK proprietary right to SK membership. Only those who qualify as SK
elections and reduced the age requirement for SK membership, was members can contest, based on a statutory right, any act
not yet enacted into law. After the passage of RA No. 9164, disqualifying them from SK membership or from voting in the SK
petitioners failed to assail any provision in RA No. 9164 that could elections. SK membership is not a property right protected by the
be unconstitutional. To grant petitioners prayer to be allowed to Constitution because it is a mere statutory right conferred by
vote and be voted for in the July 15, 2002 SK elections necessitates law. Congress may amend at any time the law to change or even
assailing the constitutionality of RA No. 9164.This, petitioners have withdraw the statutory right.
not done. The Court will not strike down a law unless its
constitutionality is properly raised in an appropriate action and A public office is not a property right. As the Constitution expressly
adequately argued.[27] states, a [P]ublic office is a public trust.[33] No one has a vested right
to any public office, much less a vested right to an expectancy of
The only semblance of a constitutional issue, albeit erroneous, that holding a public office. In Cornejo v. Gabriel,[34] decided in 1920, the
petitioners raise is their claim that SK membership is a property Court already ruled:
right within the meaning of the Constitution.[28] Since certain public
offices are reserved for SK officers, petitioners also claim a Again, for this petition to come under the due process of law
prohibition, it would be necessary to consider an office a
constitutionally protected opportunity to occupy these public
offices. In petitioners own words, they and others similarly situated property. It is, however, well settled x x x that a public office is not
stand to lose their opportunity to work in the government positions property within the sense of the constitutional guaranties of due
reserved for SK members or officers.[29]Under the Local Government process of law, but is a public trust or agency. x x x The basic idea of
Code of 1991, the president of the federation of SK organizations in the government x x x is that of a popular representative
a municipality, city or province is an ex-officio member of the government, the officers being mere agents and not rulers of the
people, one where no one man or set of men has a proprietary or
municipal council, city council or provincial board,
respectively.[30] The chairperson of the SK in the barangay is an ex- contractual right to an office, but where every officer accepts office
officio member of the Sangguniang Barangay.[31] The president of pursuant to the provisions of the law and holds the office as a trust
the national federation of SK organizations is an ex-officio member for the people he represents. (Emphasis supplied)
of the National Youth Commission, with rank of a Department Petitioners, who apparently desire to hold public office, should
Assistant Secretary.[32] realize from the very start that no one has a proprietary right to
Congress exercises the power to prescribe the qualifications for SK public office. While the law makes an SK officer an ex-
officio member of a local government legislative council, the law
membership. One who is no longer qualified because of an

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does not confer on petitioners a proprietary right or even a petitioners contradict their allegation of illegality. The evidence
proprietary expectancy to sit in local legislative councils. The consist of the following: (1) Comelec en banc Resolution No. 4763
constitutional principle of a public office as a public trust precludes dated February 5, 2002 that recommended the postponement of
any proprietary claim to public office. Even the State policy directing the SK elections to 2003; (2) the letter of then Comelec Chairman
equal access to opportunities for public service[35] cannot bestow on Benipayo addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives
petitioners a proprietary right to SK membership or a proprietary and the President of the Senate; and (3) the Conference Committee
expectancy to ex-officio public offices. Report consolidating Senate Bill No. 2050 and House Bill No. 4456.

Moreover, while the State policy is to encourage the youths The Comelec exercised its power and duty to enforce and
involvement in public affairs,[36] this policy refers to those who administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an
belong to the class of people defined as the youth. Congress has the election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum and recall[37] and to
power to define who are the youth qualified to join the SK, which recommend to Congress effective measures to minimize election
itself is a creation of Congress. Those who do not qualify because spending.[38] The Comelecs acts enjoy the presumption of regularity
they are past the age group defined as the youth cannot insist on in the performance of official duties.[39] These acts cannot constitute
being part of the youth. In government service, once an employee proof, as claimed by petitioners, that there exists a connivance and
reaches mandatory retirement age, he cannot invoke any property conspiracy (among) respondents in contravention of the present
right to cling to his office. In the same manner, since petitioners are law. As the Court held in Pangkat Laguna v. Comelec,[40] the
now past the maximum age for membership in the SK, they cannot Comelec, as the government agency tasked with the enforcement
invoke any property right to cling to their SK membership. and administration of elections laws, is entitled to the presumption
of regularity of official acts with respect to the elections.
The petition must also fail because no grave abuse of discretion
attended the postponement of the SK elections. RA No. 9164 is now The 1987 Constitution imposes upon the Comelec the duty of
the law that prescribes the qualifications of candidates and voters enforcing and administering all laws and regulations relative to the
for the SK elections. This law also fixes the date of the SK conduct of elections. Petitioners failed to prove that the Comelec
elections. Petitioners are not even assailing the constitutionality of committed grave abuse of discretion in recommending to Congress
RA No. 9164. RA No. 9164 enjoys the presumption of the postponement of the May 6, 2002 SK elections. The evidence
constitutionality and will apply to the July 15, 2002 SK elections. cited by petitioners even establish that the Comelec has
demonstrated an earnest effort to address the practical problems in
Petitioners have not shown that the Comelec acted illegally or with holding the SK elections on May 6, 2002. The presumption remains
grave abuse of discretion in recommending to Congress the that the decision of the Comelec to recommend to Congress the
postponement of the SK elections. The very evidence relied upon by

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postponement of the elections was made in good faith in the
regular course of its official duties.

Grave abuse of discretion is such capricious and whimsical exercise


of judgment that is patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a
positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by
law.[41] Public respondents having acted strictly pursuant to their
constitutional powers and duties, we find no grave abuse of
discretion in their assailed acts.

Petitioners contend that the postponement of the SK elections


would allow the incumbent SK officers to perpetuate themselves in
power, depriving other youths of the opportunity to serve in
elective SK positions. This argument deserves scant
consideration. While RA No. 9164 contains a hold-over provision,
incumbent SK officials can remain in office only until their
successors have been elected or qualified. On July 15, 2002, when
the SK elections are held, the hold-over period expires and all
incumbent SK officials automatically cease to hold their SK offices
and their ex-officio public offices.

In sum, petitioners have no personal and substantial interest in


maintaining this suit. This petition presents no actual justiciable
controversy. Petitioners do not cite any provision of law that is
alleged to be unconstitutional. Lastly, we find no grave abuse of
discretion on the part of public respondents.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for utter lack of merit.

SO ORDERED.

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VII. Estrada vs. SB degree of certainty for the statuteto be upheld, not absolute
precision or mathematical exactitude.On the
ESTRADA v SANDIGANBAYANG.R. No. 148560, November 19, other hand, overbreadth doctrine decrees
2001Facts:Petitioner Joseph Estrada prosecuted An Act Defining and that governmental purpose may not
Penalizing the Crime of Plunder,wishes to impress upon the Court beachieved by means which sweep unnecessarily broadly and there
that the assailed law is so defectively fashioned that itcrosses that by invade the area of protected freedoms.Doctrine of strict scrutiny
thin but distinct line which divides the valid from the holds that a facial challenge is allowed to be made to vague
constitutionally infirm. Hiscontentions are mainly based on the
statuteand to one which is overbroad because of possible chilling
effects of the said law that it suffers from the vice of vagueness; it effect upon protected speech.Furthermore, in the area of criminal
dispenses with the "reasonable doubt" standard in criminal law, the law cannot take chances as in the area of freespeech. A
prosecutions; and itabolishes the element of mens rea in crimes facial challenge to legislative acts is the most difficult challenge to
already punishable under The Revised Penal Codesaying that it
mount successfullysince the challenger must establish that no set of
violates the fundamental rights of the accused.The focal point of circumstances exists.Doctrines mentioned are analytical tools
the case is the alleged “vagueness” of the law in the developed for facial challenge of a statute in freespeech cases. With
terms it uses.Particularly, this terms are: combination, series and respect to such statue, the established rule is that one to who
unwarranted. Because of this, the petitioner uses the facial application of a statute is constitutional will not be heard to attack
challenge on the validity of the mentioned law.Issue:Whether or not the statute on the ground that impliedly itmight also be taken as
the petitioner possesses the locus standi to attack the validity of the
applying to other persons or other situations in which its
law usingthe facial challenge. Ruling:On how the law uses the terms applicationmight be unconstitutional. On its face invalidation
combination and series does not constitute vagueness. of statues results in striking them downentirely on the ground that
Thepetitioner’s contention that it would not give a fair warning and they might be applied to parties not before the Court whose
sufficient notice of what the activitiesare constitutionally protected. It is evident that the
lawseeks to penalize cannot be plausibly argued. Void-for- purported ambiguity of the Plunder Law ismore imagined than
vagueness doctrine is manifestlymisplaced under the petitioner’s rel
real.The crime of plunder as a malum in se is deemed to have been
iance since ordinary intelligence can understand whatconduct is resolve in the Congress’decision to include it among the heinous
prohibited by the statute. It can only be invoked against that specie crime punishable by reclusion perpetua to death.Supreme Court
of legislation thatis utterly vague on its face, wherein clarification by
holds the plunder law constitutional and petition is dismissed for
a saving clause or construction cannot beinvoked. Said doctrine may lacking merit.
not invoked in this case since the statute is clear and free
fromambiguity. Vagueness doctrine merely requires a reasonable

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VIII. Gonzales III vs. Office of the President "by any evidence at all to warrant the indictment of respondents of
the offenses charged." Similarly, the Internal Affairs Service of the
These two petitions have been because they raise a common thread PNP issued a Resolution recommending the dismissal without
of issues relating to the President's exercise of the power to remove prejudice of the administrative case against the same police
from office herein petitioners who claim the protective cloak of officers, for failure of the complainant to appear in three (3)
independence of the constitutionally-created office to which they consecutive hearings despite due notice. However, upon the
belong - the Office of the Ombudsman. recommendation of petitioner Gonzales III, a Decision finding P/S
Insp. Rolando Mendoza and his fellow police officers guilty of Grave
Misconduct was approved by the Ombudsman.Mendoza and his
The cases, G.R. No. 196231 and G.R. No. 196232 primarily seeks to colleagues filed for a motion for reconsideration which was
declare as unconstitutional Section 8(2) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. forwarded to Ombudsman Gutierrez for final approval, in whose
6770, otherwise known as the Ombudsman Act of 1989, which office it remained pending for final review and action when P/S
gives the President the power to dismiss a Deputy Ombudsman of Insp. Mendoza hijacked a bus-load of foreign tourists on that fateful
the Office of the Ombudsman. day of August 23, 2010 in a desperate attempt to have himself
reinstated in the police service.
FACTS: G.R. No. 196231: A formal charge for Grave Misconduct
(robbery, grave threats, robbery extortion and physical injuries) was In the aftermath of the hostage-taking incident, which ended in the
filed before PNP-NCR against Manila Police District Senior Inspector tragic murder of eight HongKong Chinese nationals, the injury of
(P/S Insp.) Rolando Mendoza and four others.Private complainant, seven others and the death of P/S Insp. Rolando Mendoza, a public
Christian M. Kalaw, before the Office of the City Prosecutor, filed a outcry against the blundering of government officials prompted the
similar charge. While said cases were still pending, the Office of the creation of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC).
Regional Director of the National Police Commission (NPC) turned It was tasked to determine accountability for the incident through
over, upon the request of petitioner Gonzales III, all relevant the conduct of public hearings and executive sessions. The IIRC
documents and evidence in relation to said case to the Office of the found Deputy Ombudsman Gonzales committed serious and
Deputy Ombudsman for appropriate administrative adjudication. inexcusable negligence and gross violation of their own rules of
Subsequently a case for Grave Misconduct was lodged against P/S procedure by allowing Mendoza's motion for reconsideration to
Insp. Rolando Mendoza and his fellow police officers in the Office of languish for more than nine (9) months without any justification,
the Ombudsman.Meanwhile, the case filed before the Office of the in violation of the Ombudsman prescribed rules to resolve motions
city Prosecutor was dismissed upon a finding that the material for reconsideration in administrative disciplinary cases within five
allegations made by the complainant had not been substantiated (5) days from submission. The inaction is gross, considering there is

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no opposition thereto. The prolonged inaction precipitated the Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and grounds for removal from
desperate resort to hostage-taking. Petitioner was dismissed from office under the Ombudsman Act.Hence the petition.
service. Hence the petition.
ISSUE: Whether the Office of the President has jurisdiction to
G.R. No. 196232:Acting Deputy Special Prosecutor of the Office of exercise administrative disciplinary power over a Deputy
the Ombudsman charged Major General Carlos F. Garcia, his wife Ombudsman and a Special Prosecutor who belong to the
Clarita D. Garcia, their sons Ian Carl Garcia, Juan Paulo Garcia and constitutionally-created Office of the Ombudsman.
Timothy Mark Garcia and several unknown persons with Plunder
and Money Laundering before the Sandiganbayan. The
Sandiganbayan denied Major General Garcia's urgent petition for HELD: YES. The Ombudsman's administrative
disciplinary power
bail holding that strong prosecution evidence militated against the
over a Deputy
Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor is not
grant of bail. However, the government, represented by petitioner,
exclusive. While the Ombudsman's authority to discipline
Special Prosecutor Barreras-Sulit and sought the Sandiganbayan's
administratively is extensive and covers all government officials,
approval of a Plea Bargaining Agreement ("PLEBARA") entered into
whether appointive or elective, with the exception only of those
with the accused. The Sandiganbayan issued a Resolution finding
officials removable by impeachment such authority is by no means
the change of plea warranted and the PLEBARA compliant with
exclusive. Petitioners cannot insist that they should be solely and
jurisprudential guidelines.
directly subject to the disciplinary authority of the Ombudsman.
Outraged by the backroom deal that could allow Major General For, while Section 21 of R.A. 6770 declares the Ombudsman's
Garcia to get off the hook with nothing but a slap on the hand disciplinary authority over all government officials, Section 8(2), on
notwithstanding the prosecution's apparently strong evidence of the other hand, grants the President express power of removal over
his culpability for serious public offenses, the House of a Deputy Ombudsman and a Special Prosecutor. A harmonious
Representatives' Committee on Justice conducted public hearings construction of these two apparently conflicting provisions in R.A.
on the PLEBARA. At the conclusion of these public hearings, the No. 6770 leads to the inevitable conclusion that Congress had
Committee on Justice passed and adopted Committee Resolution intended the Ombudsman and the President to exercise concurrent
No. 3, recommending to the President the dismissal of petitioner disciplinary jurisdiction over petitioners as Deputy Ombudsman and
Barreras-Sulit from the service and the filing of appropriate Special Prosecutor, respectively.Indubitably, the manifest intent of
charges against her Deputies and Assistants before the Congress in enacting both provisions - Section 8(2) and Section 21 -
appropriate government office for having committed acts and/or in the same Organic Act was to provide for an external authority,
omissions tantamount to culpable violations of the Constitution through the person of the President, that would exercise the power
and betrayal of public trust, which are violations under the Anti- of administrative discipline over the Deputy Ombudsman and

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Special Prosecutor without in the least diminishing the the Deputy Ombudsman for the MOLEO as a military watchdog
constitutional and plenary authority of the Ombudsman over all looking into abuses and irregularities that affect the general morale
government officials and employees. Such legislative design is and professionalism in the military is certainly of primordial
simply a measure of "check and balance" intended to address the importance in relation to the President's own role asCommander-in-
lawmakers' real and valid concern that the Ombudsman and his Chief of the Armed Forces. It would not be incongruous for
Deputy may try to protect one another from administrative Congress, therefore, to grant the President concurrent disciplinary
liabilities. authority over the Deputy Ombudsman for the military and other
law enforcement offices.
By granting express statutory
power to the President to remove
a
Deputy Ombudsman and a
Special Prosecutor, Congress
merely Granting the President the Power
to Remove a Deputy
filled an obvious gap in
the law. While the removal of the Ombudsman
does not Diminish the
Independence of the Office
Ombudsman himself is also expressly provided for in the of the
Ombudsman. he claim that Section 8(2) of R.A. No. 6770
Constitution, which is by impeachment under Section 2 of the same granting the President the power to remove a Deputy Ombudsman
Article, there is, however, no constitutional provision similarly from office totally frustrates, if not resultantly negates the
dealing with the removal from office of a Deputy Ombudsman, or a independence of the Office of the Ombudsman is tenuous. The
Special Prosecutor, for that matter. By enacting Section 8(2) of R.A. independence which the Office of the Ombudsman is vested with
6770, Congress simply filled a gap in the law without running afoul was intended to free it from political considerations in pursuing its
of any provision in the Constitution or existing statutes. In fact, the constitutional mandate to be a protector of the people. What the
Constitution itself, under Section 2, authorizes Congress to provide Constitution secures for the Office of the Ombudsman is,
for the removal of all other public officers, including the Deputy essentially, political independence. This means nothing more than
Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor, who are not subject to that "the terms of office, the salary, the appointments and discipline
impeachment. of all persons under the office" are "reasonably insulated from the
whims of politicians."
The Power of the President to
Remove a Deputy
Ombudsman
and a Special Prosecutor is
Implied from his Power Petitioner Gonzales may not be
removed from office where
to
Appoint.In giving the President the power to remove a Deputy the
questioned acts, falling short of
constitutional standards, do
Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor, Congress simply laid down in not
constitute betrayal of public trust.Petitioner's act of directing
express terms an authority that is already implied from the the PNP-IAS to endorse P/S Insp. Mendoza's case to the
President's constitutional authority to appoint the aforesaid officials Ombudsman without citing any reason therefor cannot, by itself, be
in the Office of the Ombudsman.The integrity and effectiveness of considered a manifestation of his undue interest in the case that

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would amount to wrongful or unlawful conduct. After all, taking from office as provided
for under the Constitution and
cognizance of cases upon the request of concerned agencies or the
Ombudsman Act.
private parties is part and parcel of the constitutional mandate of
the Office of the Ombudsman to be the "champion of the people." WHEREFORE, in G.R. No. 196231, the decision of the Office of the
The factual circumstances that the case was turned over to the President in OP Case No. 10-J-460 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.
Office of the Ombudsman upon petitioner's request; that Petitioner Emilio A. Gonzales III is ordered REINSTATED with
administrative liability was pronounced against P/S Insp. Mendoza payment of backwages corresponding to the period of suspension
even without the private complainant verifying the truth of his effective immediately, even as the Office of the Ombudsman is
statements; that the decision was immediately implemented; or directed to proceed with the investigation in connection with the
that the motion for reconsideration thereof remained pending for above case against petitioner. In G.R. No. 196232, WeAFFIRM the
more than nine months cannot be simply taken as evidence of continuation of OP-DC Case No. 11-B-003 against Special Prosecutor
petitioner's undue interest in the case considering the lack of Wendell Barreras-Sulit for alleged acts and omissions tantamount to
evidence of any personal grudge, social ties or business affiliation culpable violation of the Constitution and a betrayal of public trust,
with any of the parties to the case that could have impelled him to in accordance with Section 8(2) of the Ombudsman Act of 1989.
act as he did. There was likewise no evidence at all of any bribery
The challenge to the constitutionality of Section 8(2) of the
that took place, or of any corrupt intention or questionable
Ombudsman Act is hereby DENIED.
motivation.The OP's pronouncement of administrative
accountability against petitioner and the imposition upon him of the
corresponding penalty of dismissal must be reversed and set aside,
as the findings of neglect of duty or misconduct in office do not
amount to a betrayal of public trust. Hence, the President, while he
may be vested with authority, cannot order the removal of
petitioner as Deputy Ombudsman, there being no intentional
wrongdoing of the grave and serious kind amounting to a betrayal
of public trust.

The Office of the President is vested
with statutory authority to


proceed
administratively against petitioner
Barreras-Sulit to
determine the
existence of any of the grounds for
her removal

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IX. Gonzales vs Narvasa personal injury attributable to the creation of the PCCR. If at all, it is
only Congress, not petitioner, which can claim any “injury” in this
FACTS: case since, according to petitioner, the President has encroached
upon the legislature’s powers to create a public office and to
Petitioner Ramon A. Gonzales, in his capacity as a citizen and propose amendments to the Charter by forming the PCCR.
taxpayer, filed a petition for prohibition and mandamus filed on Petitioner has sustained no direct, or even any indirect, injury.
December 9, 1999, assailing the constitutionality of the creation of
the Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform (PCCR) and
Neither does he claim that his rights or privileges have been or are
of the positions of presidential consultants, advisers and assistants. in danger of being violated, nor that he shall be subjected to any
The Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform (PCCR) was penalties or burdens as a result of the PCCR’s activities. Clearly,
created by President Estrada on November 26, 1998 by virtue of petitioner has failed to establish his locus standi so as to enable him
Executive Order No. 43 (E.O. No. 43) in order “to study and
to seek judicial redress as a citizen.
recommend proposed amendments and/or revisions to the 1987
Constitution, and the manner of implementing the same.” Furthermore, a taxpayer is deemed to have the standing to raise a
Petitioner disputes the constitutionality of the PCCR based on the constitutional issue when it is established that public funds have
grounds that it is a public office which only the legislature can been disbursed in alleged contravention of the law or the
create by way of a law. Constitution. It is readily apparent that there is no exercise by
ISSUE: Congress of its taxing or spending power. The PCCR was created by
the President by virtue of E.O. No. 43, as amended by E.O. No. 70.
Whether or not the petitioner has a legal standing to assail the Under section 7 of E.O. No. 43, the amount of P3 million is
constitutionality of Executive Order No. 43 “appropriated” for its operational expenses “to be sourced from the
funds of the Office of the President.” Being that case, petitioner
HELD: must show that he is a real party in interest - that he will stand to be
benefited or injured by the judgment or that he will be entitled to
The Court dismissed the petition. A citizen acquires standing only if the avails of the suit. Nowhere in his pleadings does petitioner
he can establish that he has suffered some actual or threatened presume to make such a representation.
injury as a result of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government;
the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action; and the injury
is likely to be redressed by a favorable action. Petitioner has not
shown that he has sustained or is in danger of sustaining any

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X. Lacson vs. Perez Whether or not there is a valid warrantless arrest against the
petitioners.
FACTS:
HELD:
On May 1, 2001, President Macapagal-Arroyo, faced by an armed
mob assaulting andattempting to break into Malacañang, issued No. In quelling or suppressing the rebellion, the authorities may
Proclamation No. 38 declaring that there was a state of rebellion in only resort to warrantlessarrests of persons suspected of rebellion,
NCR. She also issued General Order No. 1 directing the AFP and the as provided under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, if the
PNP to suppress therebellion. Warrantless arrests of several circumstances so warrant. The warrantless arrest feared by
alleged leaders and promoters of the "rebellion" petitioners is, thus, not based on thedeclaration of a "state of
followed. Aggrieved, 4 related petitions were filed before the Court. rebellion." Petitioners' contention that they are under imminent
The case at bar is for prohibition,injunction, danger of being arrested without warrant do not justify their resort
to the extraordinary remediesof
mandamus
mandamus
, and
and prohibition, since an individual subjected to warrantless arrest
habeas corpus is not withoutadequate remedies in the ordinary course of law. The
(with an urgent application for the issuance of temporaryrestraining prayer for prohibition and
order and/or writ of preliminary injunction). Petitioners assail the mandamus
declaration of a state of rebellion by PGMA and the warrantless
arrests allegedly effected by virtue thereof, as having no basisboth is improperat this time. As regards petitioners' prayer that the hold
in fact and in law.On May 6, 2001, PGMA ordered the lifting of the departure orders issued against them be declarednull and void
declaration of a "state of rebellion" in MetroManila. Accordingly,
the instant petitions have been rendered moot and academic. As to ab initio
petitioners'claim that the proclamation of a "state of rebellion" is , it is to be noted that petitioners are not directly assailing the
being used by the authorities to justifywarrantless arrests, the validity of thesubject hold departure orders in their petition. They
Secretary of Justice denies that it has issued a particular order to are not even expressing intention to leave thecountry in the near
arrest specificpersons in connection with the "rebellion." future. The prayer to set aside the same must be made in proper
proceedingsinitiated for that purpose. Anent petitioners' allegations
ISSUE:

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ex abundante ad cautelam

in support of their application for theissuance of a writ of

habeas corpus

, it is manifest that the writ is not called for since its purpose is
torelieve petitioners from unlawful restraint, a matter which
remains speculative up to this very day. Petition is DISMISSED.
However, respondents, consistent and congruent with their
undertakingearlier adverted to, together with their agents,
representatives, and all persons acting for and in theirbehalf, are
hereby enjoined from arresting petitioners therein without the
required judicial warrant forall acts committed in relation to or in
connection with the May 1, 2001 siege of Malacañang.

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XI. Defunis vs Odegaard interest would be sufficient to create an actual case or controversy,
and the case was rendered moot because DeFunis was going to
Brief Fact Summary. Marco DeFunis, Jr. applied for admission as a graduate from the law school regardless of the Court’s ruling. Thus,
first-year student at the University of Washington Law School, a the case was rendered moot. “[T]he controversy between the
state-operated institution. When he was denied admission, he parties has thus clearly ceased to be definite and concrete.”
brought suit in a Washington trial court claiming that the
admissions committee procedures were racially discriminatory. Dissent. There were numerous potential litigants who would be
affected by a decision on the legal issues presented. Further, 26
Synopsis of Rule of Law. In federal cases before the Supreme Court, amici curiae briefs were filed by parties in this case. The public
there must be an actual case and controversy which exists at the interest would be best served by reviewing these issues now, as
stages of appellate or certiorari review, and not simply at the date they would inevitably find their way back into the federal court
the action is initiated.
system. There was a stronger interest in litigating these issues
Facts. Marco DeFunis, Jr. sued the University of Washington Law immediately to avoid repetitious litigation that would inevitably
School, a state operated university. DeFunis argued that the occur due to the high public interest in this issue.
University’s admissions policies and criteria were racially Discussion. A case is considered “moot” if a justiciable controversy
discriminatory. However, DeFunis was allowed to attend the law
existed when a case was filed, but circumstances after filing indicate
school during the case and was in his third year when the case was the litigant no longer has a stake in the controversy. In such a
heard by the Court. Further, the University has agreed to let him situation, the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction is not invoked, and the
graduate upon completion of his last year. Court will not even hear the other issues presented.

Issue. Does an actual controversy exist between the parties, capable


of redress by the United States Supreme Court (Supreme Court)?

Held. The Court ordered the parties to address the issue of


mootness before they proceeded to any other claims in the petition.
The Court reasoned that “federal courts are without power to
decide questions that cannot affect the rights of litigants in the
cases before them.” This requirement stems from Article III of the
Constitution, under which the exercise of judicial power depends
upon the existence of a case or controversy. No amount of public

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XII. CHECK PDF respondent LTFRB rendered a decision granting the fare rate
increase in accordance with aspecified schedule of fares on a
XIII. KMU Labor Center vs Garcia straight computation method
FACTS:

DOTC Sec. issued Department Order No. 92-587 defining the policy
public utilities – privately owned and operated businesses whose framework on theregulation of transport services. It provides inter
service are essential alia that “Passenger fares shall also
tothe general public; enterprises which specially cater to the needs bederegulated, except for the lowest class of passenger service (nor
of the public andconducive to their comfort and convenience mally third classpassenger transport) for which the government will
fix indicative or reference fares.Operators of particular services may
fix their own fares within a range 15% above andbelow the
indicative or reference rate.”
DOTC Sec. issued Memorandum Circular No. 90-395 to then LTFRB
Chairman allowingprovincial bus operators to charge passengers
rates within a range of 15% above and 15%below the LTFRB official
rate for a period of 1 year LTFRB issued Memorandum Circular No. 92-
009 promulgating the guidelines for theimplementation of DOTC
Department Order No. 92-587, which provides, among
others,that:“The issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience is
PBOAP – pursuant to Memo. Cir. it filed an application for fare rate
determined by public need. Thepresumption of public need for a
increase. An across-the-board increase
service shall be deemed in favor of the applicant, whileburden of
of eight and a half centavos (P0.085) per
proving that there is no need for the proposed service shall be the
kilometer for all types of provincial buses with a minimum-
oppositor’s.”“The existing authorized fare range system of plus or
maximum fare range of fifteen (15%) percent over andbelow the
minus 15 per cent for provincialbuses and jeepneys shall be
proposed basic per kilometer fare rate, with the said minimum-
widened to 20% and -25% limit in 1994 with the authorizedfare to
maximum farerange applying only to ordinary, first class and
be replaced by an indicative or reference rate as the basis for the
premium class buses and a fifty-centavo(P0.50) minimum per
expanded farerange”
kilometer fare for aircon buses, was sought

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PBOAP - availing itself of the deregulation policy of the Section 16(c) of the Public Service Act, as amended, reads:Sec. 16.
DOTC allowing provincial busoperators to collect plus 20% and Proceedings of the Commission, upon notice and hearing. — The
minus 25% of the prescribed fare without first havingfiled a petition Commission shallhave power, upon proper notice and hearing
in accordance with the rules and provisions of this Act, subject to
for the purpose and without the benefit of a public hearing,
the limitations and exceptions mentioned and saving provisions to
announced afare increase of twenty (20%) percent of the existing thecontrary:xxx xxx
fares xxx( c ) T o f i x a n d d e t e r m i n e i n d i v i d u a l o r j o i n t r a t e s
, t o l l s , c h a r g e s , c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s , o r schedules thereof, as
well as commutation, mileage kilometrage, and other special
rateswhich shall be imposed, observed, and followed thereafter by
KMU filed a petition before the LTFRB opposing the upward
any public service: Provided, That the Commission may, in its
adjustment of bus fares. discretion, approve rates proposed by public
servicesprovisionally and without necessity of any hearing; but it
ISSUE:
shall call a hearing thereon
withint h i r t y d a y s t h e r e a f t e r , u p o n p u b l i c a t i o n a n d n
WON the above memoranda, circulars and/or orders of the DOTC
o t i c e t o t h e c o n c e r n s o p e r a t i n g i n t h e territory
and the LTFRBwhich, among others, (a) authorize provincial bus and affected: Provided, further, That in case the
jeepney operators to increase ordecrease the prescribed public service equipment of anoperator is used principally or
transportation fares without application therefor with the LTFRB secondarily for the promotion of a private business, the netprofits
andwithout hearing and approval thereof by said agency is in of said private business shall be considered in relation
violation of Sec. 16(c) of CA with the public service of such operator for the purpose
146,and in derogation of LTFRB’s duty to fix and determine of fixing the rates.
just and reasonable fares bydelegating that function to bus
LTFRB is authorized under EO 202, s. 1987 to
operators, and (b) establish a presumption of public need infavor of d e t e r m i n e , p r e s c r i b e , a p p r o v e a n d periodically
applicants for certificates of public convenience and place on the review and adjust, reasonable fares, rates and other related
oppositor theburden of proving that there is no need for charges, relativeto the operation of public land transportation
the proposed service, in patent violation not onlyof Sec. 16(c) of CA services provided by motorized vehicles
146, as amended, but also of Sec. 20(a) of the same Act mandating
LTFRB – not authorized to delegate that power to a common carrier,
thatfares should be “just and reasonable”
a transport operator,or other public service
HELD:
Yes. authority given by the LTFRB to the provincial bus operators to set a
fare range over andabove the authorized existing fare, is

104 | P a g e
illegal and invalid as it is tantamount to an unduedelegation manner. On thecontrary, the policy guideline states that
of legislative authority the presumption of public need for a publicservice shall be
deemed in favor of the applicant.
rate should not be confiscatory as would place an
operator in a situation where he willcontinue to operate
at a loss; rate should enable public utilities to generate
revenuessufficient to cover operational costs and provide
reasonable return on the investments

CPC - authorization granted by the LTFRB for the operation of land


transportation servicesfor public use as required by law. Pursuant to
Section 16(a) of the Public Service Act, asamended, the following
requirements must be met before a CPC may be granted, to wit:
(i)the applicant must be a citizen of the
Philippines, or a corporation or co-
partnership,a s s o c i a t i o n o r j o i n t -
stock company constituted and organized under th
e l a w s o f t h e Philippines, at least 60 per centum of its stock or
paid-up capital must belong entirely tocitizens of the Philippines;
(ii) the applicant must be financially capable of undertaking
theproposed service and meeting the responsibilities
incident to its operation; and (iii)
thea p p l i c a n t m u s t p r o v e t h a t t h e o p e r a t i o n o f
t h e p u b l i c s e r v i c e p r o p o s e d a n d t h e authorizati
on to do business will promote the public interest
in a proper and suitablemanner; there must be proper notice
and hearing before the PSC can exercise its power toissue a CPC

LTFRB Memorandum Circular No. 92-009, Part IV is


incompatible and inconsistent withSection 16(c)(iii) of the
Public Service Act which requires that before a CPC will be
issued,the applicant must prove by proper notice and
hearing that the operation of the publicservice proposed
will promote public interest in a proper and suitable

105 | P a g e
XIV. IBP vs Zamora and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
FACTS: on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.
Invoking his powers as Commander-in-Chief under Sec 18, Art. VII of When questions of constitutional significance are raised, the Court
the Constitution, President Estrada, in verbal directive, directed the can exercise its power of judicial review only if the following
AFP Chief of Staff and PNP Chief to coordinate with each other for requisites are complied with, namely: (1) the existence of an actual
the proper deployment and campaign for a temporary period only. and appropriate case; (2) a personal and substantial interest of the
The IBP questioned the validity of the deployment and utilization of party raising the constitutional question; (3) the exercise of judicial
the Marines to assist the PNP in law enforcement. review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the
constitutional question is the lis mota of the case.

ISSUE:

1. WoN the President's factual determination of the necessity of 2. The deployment of the Marines does not constitute a breach of
calling the armed forces is subject to judicial review. the civilian supremacy clause. The calling of the Marines in this case
constitutes permissible use of military assets for civilian law
2. WoN the calling of AFP to assist the PNP in joint visibility patrols enforcement. The participation of the Marines in the conduct of
violate the constitutional provisions on civilian supremacy over the joint visibility patrols is appropriately circumscribed. It is their
military. responsibility to direct and manage the deployment of the Marines.
It is, likewise, their duty to provide the necessary equipment to the
Marines and render logistical support to these soldiers. In view of
RULING: the foregoing, it cannot be properly argued that military authority is
supreme over civilian authority. Moreover, the deployment of the
1. The power of judicial review is set forth in Section 1, Article VIII of Marines to assist the PNP does not unmake the civilian character of
the Constitution, to wit: the police force. Neither does it amount to an “insidious incursion”
of the military in the task of law enforcement in violation of Section
Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court
5(4), Article XVI of the Constitution.
and in such lower courts as may be established by law.

Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle


actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable

106 | P a g e
XV. Tañada vs. Tuvera injustive to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the
transgression of a law which he had no notice whatsoever, not even
FACTS: a constructive one.

Invoking the right of the people to be informed on matters of public The very first clause of Section 1 of CA 638 reads: there shall be
concern as well as the principle that laws to be valid and published in the Official Gazette…. The word “shall” therein imposes
enforceable must be published in the Official Gazette, petitioners upon respondent officials an imperative duty. That duty must be
filed for writ of mandamus to compel respondent public officials to
enforced if the constitutional right of the people to be informed on
publish and/or cause to publish various presidential decrees, letters matter of public concern is to be given substance and validity.
of instructions, general orders, proclamations, executive orders,
letters of implementations and administrative orders. The publication of presidential issuances of public nature or of
general applicability is a requirement of due process. It is a rule of
The Solicitor General, representing the respondents, moved for the law that before a person may be bound by law, he must first be
dismissal of the case, contending that petitioners have no legal officially and specifically informed of its contents. The Court
personality to bring the instant petition. declared that presidential issuances of general application which
have not been published have no force and effect.
ISSUE:

Whether or not publication in the Official Gazette is required before


any law or statute becomes valid and enforceable. TAÑADA VS. TUVERA

HELD: 146 SCRA 446 (December 29, 1986)

Art. 2 of the Civil Code does not preclude the requirement of


FACTS:
publication in the Official Gazette, even if the law itself provides for
the date of its effectivity. The clear object of this provision is to give This is a motion for reconsideration of the decision promulgated on
the general public adequate notice of the various laws which are to
April 24, 1985. Respondent argued that while publication was
regulate their actions and conduct as citizens. Without such notice necessary as a rule, it was not so when it was “otherwise” as when
and publication, there would be no basis for the application of the the decrees themselves declared that they were to become
maxim ignoratia legis nominem excusat. It would be the height of effective immediately upon their approval.

107 | P a g e
Publication must be in full or it is no publication at all, since its
ISSUES: purpose is to inform the public of the content of the law.

1. Whether or not a distinction be made between laws of general Article 2 of the Civil Code provides that publication of laws must be
applicability and laws which are not as to their publication; made in the Official Gazette, and not elsewhere, as a requirement
2. Whether or not a publication shall be made in publications of for their effectivity. The Supreme Court is not called upon to rule
general circulation. upon the wisdom of a law or to repeal or modify it if it finds it
impractical.
HELD:
The publication must be made forthwith, or at least as soon as
The clause “unless it is otherwise provided” refers to the date of possible.
effectivity and not to the requirement of publication itself, which
cannot in any event be omitted. This clause does not mean that the J. Cruz:
legislature may make the law effective immediately upon approval,
or in any other date, without its previous publication. Laws must come out in the open in the clear light of the sun instead
of skulking in the shadows with their dark, deep secrets. Mysterious
“Laws” should refer to all laws and not only to those of general pronouncements and rumored rules cannot be recognized as
application, for strictly speaking, all laws relate to the people in binding unless their existence and contents are confirmed by a valid
general albeit there are some that do not apply to them directly. A publication intended to make full disclosure and give proper notice
law without any bearing on the public would be invalid as an to the people. The furtive law is like a scabbarded saber that cannot
intrusion of privacy or as class legislation or as an ultra vires act of faint, parry or cut unless the naked blade is drawn.
the legislature. To be valid, the law must invariably affect the public
interest eve if it might be directly applicable only to one individual,
or some of the people only, and not to the public as a whole.

All statutes, including those of local application and private laws,


shall be published as a condition for their effectivity, which shall
begin 15 days after publication unless a different effectivity date is
fixed by the legislature.

108 | P a g e
XV. Ople vs Torres ISSUE:

FACTS:

Whether the issuance of A.O. No. 308 is an unconstitutional


usurpation of the power of Congress to legislate.
Administrative Order No. 308, entitled "Adoption of a National
Computerized Identification Reference System," was issued by
President Fidel Ramos On December 12, 1996.
RULING:

Senator Blas F. Ople filed a petition seeking to invalidate A.O. No.


308 on several grounds. One of them is that: The establishment of Legislative power is the authority to make laws, and to alter and
a National Computerized Identification Reference System requires a repeal them. The Constitution has vested this power in the
legislative act. The issuance of A.O. No. 308 by the President is an Congress. The grant of legislative power to Congress is broad,
unconstitutional usurpation of the legislative powers of congress. general, and comprehensive. Any power deemed to be legislative
Petitioner claims that A.O. No. 308 is not a mere administrative by usage and tradition, is necessarily possessed by Congress, unless
order but a law and hence, beyond the power of the President to the Constitution has lodged it elsewhere.
issue. He alleges that A.O. No. 308 establishes a system of
identification that is all-encompassing in scope, affects the life and
liberty of every Filipino citizen and foreign resident, and more The executive power, on the other hand, is vested in the President.
particularly, violates their right to privacy. It is generally defined as the power to enforce and administer the
laws. It is the power of carrying the laws into practical operation
and enforcing their due observance. As head of the Executive
On this point, respondents counter-argue that: A.O. No. 308 was Department, the President is the Chief Executive. He represents the
issued within the executive and administrative powers of the government as a whole and sees to it that all laws are enforced by
president without encroaching on the legislative powers of the officials and employees of his department. He has control over
congress. the executive department, bureaus and offices. Corollary to the
power of control, the President also has the duty of supervising the
enforcement of laws for the maintenance of general peace and
public order. Thus, he is granted administrative power over bureaus

109 | P a g e
and offices under his control to enable him to discharge his duties An administrative order is an ordinance issued by the President
effectively. which relates to specific aspects in the administrative operation of
government. It must be in harmony with the law and should be for
the sole purpose of implementing the law and carrying out the
Administrative power is concerned with the work of applying legislative policy. The Court rejects the argument that A.O. No. 308
policies and enforcing orders as determined by proper implements the legislative policy of the Administrative Code of
governmental organs. It enables the President to fix a uniform 1987. The Code is a general law and incorporates in a unified
standard of administrative efficiency and check the official conduct document the major structural, functional and procedural principles
of his agents. To this end, he can issue administrative orders, rules of governance and embodies changes in administrative structure
and regulations. and procedures designed to serve the people.

From these precepts, the Court holds that A.O. No. 308 involves a It cannot be simplistically argued that A.O. No. 308 merely
subject that is not appropriate to be covered by an administrative implements the Administrative Code of 1987. It establishes for the
order. first time a National Computerized Identification Reference System.
Such a System requires a delicate adjustment of various contending
state policies — the primacy of national security, the extent of
privacy interest against dossier-gathering by government, the
choice of policies, etc. As said administrative order redefines the
parameters of some basic rights of our citizenry vis-a-vis the State
as well as the line that separates the administrative power of the
The Administrative Code of 1987 provides: President to make rules and the legislative power of Congress, it
ought to be evident that it deals with a subject that should be
Sec. 3. Administrative Orders. — Acts of the President which relate
covered by law.
to particular aspects of governmental operation in pursuance of his
duties as administrative head shall be promulgated in administrative
orders.
Petition is granted and A.O. No. 308 is declared null and void for
being unconstitutional.

110 | P a g e
XVI. Information Technology Foundation vs COMELEC Automated Election System; namely, Phase I — Voter
Registration and Validation System; Phase II — Automated
International Technology Foundation of the Philippines v. Counting and Canvassing System; and Phase III — Electronic
COMELEC Transmission.
Ponente: Panganiban, J.
• January 24, 2003: President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued
Facts: Executive Order No. 172, which allocated the sum of P2.5
billion to fund the AES for the May 10, 2004 elections. Upon
• June 7, 1995: Congress passed R.A. 8046, authorizing the request of COMELEC, she authorized the release of an
COMELEC to conduct a nationwide demonstration of a additional P500 million.
computerized election system and allowed the poll body to
test the system in the March 1996 elections in the ARMM. • January 28, 2003: the Commission issued an "Invitation to
Apply for Eligibility and to Bid”
• December 22, 1997: Congress enacted R.A. 8436
authorizing COMELEC to use an automated election system • February 17, 2003: the COMELEC released the RFP to
(AES) for the process of voting, counting votes and procure the election automation schemes.
canvassing/consolidating the results of the national and
• February 18, 2003: The Bids and Awards Committee
local elections. It also mandated the acquisition of
convened a pre-bid conference and gave prospective
automated counting mechanisms (ACMs), computer
bidders until March 10, 2003 to submit their bids.
equipment, devices and materials.
• Out of the 57 bidders, BAC found MPC and the Total
• During the May 11, 1998 elections, COMELEC decided not
Information Management Corporation (TIMC) eligible. After
to pursue a national implementation and instead limited
being referred to the BAC’s Technical Working Group and
implementation of the AES to the ARMM. However, due to
the DOST, it was found that both of them obtained failed
the failure of the machines to read some of the automated
marks in the technical evaluation.
ballots correctly, the poll body later ordered a manual count
for the entire province of Sulu. • April 15, 2003: COMELEC promulgated Resolution no. 6074
awarding project to MPC. The Commission publicized this
• October 29, 2002: COMELEC adopted in its Resolution 02-
resolution and the award of the project to MPC on May 16,
0170 a modernization program for the 2004 elections. It
2003.
resolved to conduct biddings for the three (3) phases of its

111 | P a g e
• May 29, 2003: five individuals and entities (including the through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional
herein Petitioners Information Technology Foundation of law.” In the case, the petitioners, suing as taxpayers, assert
the Philippines, represented by its president, Alfredo M. a material interest in seeing to it that public funds are
Torres; and Ma. Corazon Akol) wrote a letter to COMELEC properly and lawfully used. In the petition, they claim that
Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. They protested the award of the bidding was defective, the winning bidder not a
the Contract to Respondent MPC "due to glaring qualified entity, and the award of the contract contrary to
irregularities in the manner in which the bidding process law and regulation. Accordingly, they seek to restrain
had been conducted." Citing therein the noncompliance respondents from implementing the contract and from
with eligibility as well as technical and procedural making any unwarranted expenditure of public funds.
requirements (many of which have been discussed at length
in the Petition), they sought a re-bidding.
2. No, the petition is not premature. The respondents claim
Issues:
that the petitioners acted prematurely, given the fact that
1. WON the petitioners have locus standi. they had not first utilized the protest mechanism available
to them under RA 9184, otherwise known as the
2. WON the instant petition is premature. Government Procurement Reform Act. The court disagreed
3. WON the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in with this assertion. The letter addressed to Chairman
the bidding process and the awarding of the contract to Benjamin Abalos Sr. dated May 29, 2003 28 serves to
MPC. eliminate the prematurity issue as it was an actual written
protest against the decision of the poll body to award the
Held/Ratio: Contract. The letter was signed by/for, inter alia, two of
herein petitioners: the Information Technology Foundation
1. Yes, petitioners have standing.According to the court, the
of the Philippines, represented by its president, Alfredo M.
matter at hand is “a matter of public concern and imbued
Torres; and Ma. Corazon Akol. Such letter-protest is
with public interest” and possesses “transcendental
sufficient compliance with the requirement to exhaust
importance.” Moreover, the court has held that taxpayers
administrative remedies particularly because it hews closely
are allowed to sue when there is a claim of “illegal
to the procedure outlined in Section 55 of RA 9184. Even
disbursement of public funds,” or if public money is being
without the letter of protest, the Court still holds that the
“deflected to any improper purpose”; or whenpetitioners
petitioners need not exhaust administrative remedies, citing
seek to restrain respondent from “wasting public funds
Paat v. Court of Appeals. The case enumerates the instances

112 | P a g e
when the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies According to the court, the issue falls within the exception within
may be disregarded, as follows: nos. 7, 10 and 11.

"(1) when there is a violation of due process,

(2) when the issue involved is purely a legal question, 3. Yes, there was a grave abuse of discretion on the part of
the COMELEC.
(3) when the administrative action is patently illegal amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction, • Bidding:

(4) when there is estoppel on the part of the administrative a. The Certifications from DOST fail to divulge in what
agency concerned, manner and by what standards or criteria the
condition, performance and/or readiness of the
(5) when there is irreparable injury,
machines were re-evaluated and re-appraised and
(6) when the respondent is a department secretary whose acts thereafter given the passing mark.
as an alter ego of the President bears the implied and assumed
b. The Automated Counting and Canvassing Project
approval of the latter,
involves not only the manufacturing of the ACM
(7) when to require exhaustion of administrative remedies hardware but also the development of three (3)
would be unreasonable, types of software, which are intended for use in the
following:
(8) when it would amount to a nullification of a claim,
1. Evaluation of Technical Bids
(9) when the subject matter is a private land in land case
proceedings, 2. Testing and Acceptance Procedures

(10) when the rule does not provide a plain, speedy and 3. Election Day Use."
adequate remedy, and
c. In short, the COMELEC evaluated the bids and made
(11) when there are circumstances indicating the urgency of the decision to award the Contract to the "winning"
judicial intervention." bidder partly on the basis of the operation of the
ACMs running a ”base" software. That software
was therefore nothing but a sample or "demo"

113 | P a g e
software, which would not be the actual one that b. The Eligibility Envelope was to contain legal
would be used on Election Day. documents such as articles of incorporation,
business registrations, licenses and permits,
d. The COMELEC violated the public policy on public mayor's permit, VAT certification, and so
biddings by (1) allowing MPC/MPEI to participate forth; technical documents containing
in the bidding even though it was not qualified to documentary evidence to establish the
do so and (2) by eventually awarding the contract track record of the bidder and its technical
to MPC/MPEI. The further desecrated the law on
and production capabilities to perform the
public bidding by allowing the winning bidder to contract; and financial documents,
change and alter the subject of the contract including audited financial statements for
(software), in effect allowing a substantive the last three years, to establish the
amendment without public bidding.
bidder's financial capacity.
e. According to the Court, the “whole point in going c. However, there is no sign whatsoever of
through the public bidding exercise was completely any joint venture agreement, consortium
lost. The very rationale was totally subverted by the agreement, memorandum of agreement,
commission.”
or business plan executed among the
• Awarding: members of the purported consortium. So,
it necessarily follows that, during the
a. The public bidding system designed by bidding process, COMELEC had no basis at
COMELEC under its RFP (Request for all for determining that the alleged
Proposal for the Automation of the 2004 consortium really existed and was eligible
Election) mandated the use of a two- and qualified; and that the arrangements
envelope, two-stage system. A bidder's first among the members were satisfactory and
envelope (Eligibility Envelope) was meant to sufficient to ensure compliance with the
establish its eligibility to bid and its contract.
qualifications and capacity to perform the
contract if its bid was accepted, while the Ruling: The Petition is GRANTED. The Court hereby declares NULL
second envelope would be the Bid Envelope and VOID Comelec Resolution No. 6074
itself.

114 | P a g e
XVII. Kilosbayan vs Guingona of planters, and non-profit civic organizations to initiate and
prosecute actions to question the validity or constitutionality of
Facts: laws, acts, decisions, or rulings of various government agencies or
This is a special civil action for prohibition and injunction, with a instrumentalities.
prayer for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction
which seeks to prohibit and restrain the implementation of the As to the substantive issue, the Court agrees with the petitioners
Contract of Lease executed by the PCSO and the Philippine Gaming whether the contract in question is one of lease or whether the
Management Corporation in connection with the on-line lottery PGMC is merely an independent contractor should not be decided
system, also know as lotto. on the basis of the title or designation of the contract but by the
intent of the parties, which may be gathered from the provisions of
Petitioners strongly opposed the setting up of the on-line lottery the contract itself. Animus homini est anima scripti. The intention of
system on the basis of serious moral and ethical considerations. It the party is the soul of the instrument.
submitted that said contract of lease violated Section 1 of R. A. No.
1169, as amended by B. P. Blg. 42. Therefore the instant petition is granted and the challenged
Contract of Lease is hereby declared contrary to law and invalid.
Respondents contended, among others, that, the contract does not
violate the Foreign Investment Act of 1991; that the issues of
wisdom, morality and propriety of acts of the executive department
are beyond the ambit of judicial reviews; and that the petitioners
have no standing to maintain the instant suit.

ISSUES:
1. Whether or not petitioners have the legal standing to file the
instant petition.
2. Whether or not the contract of lease is legal and valid.

RULING: As to the preliminary issue, the Court resolved to set aside


the procedural technicality in view of the importance of the issues
raised. The Court adopted the liberal policy on locus standi to allow
the ordinary taxpayers, members of Congress, and even association

115 | P a g e
XVIII. Mirasol vs CA the National Government.On August 9, 1979, the Mirasols filed a
suit for accounting, specific performance, and damages against PNB.
Facts:
Issues:
The Mirasols are sugarland owners and planters.Philippine National
Bank (PNB) financed the Mirasols' sugar production venture FROM (1) Whether or not the Trial Court has jurisdiction to declare a
1973-1975 under a crop loan financingscheme. The Mirasols signed statuteunconstitutional without notice to the Solicitor General
Credit Agreements, a Chattel Mortgageon Standing Crops, and where the parties have agreed to submit such issue for
a Real Estate Mortgage in favor of PNB. TheChattel Mortgage the resolution of the
empowered PNB to negotiate and sell the latter'ssugar and to apply TrialCourt.(2) Whether PD 579 and subsequent issuances thereof ar
the proceeds to the payment of their obligations toit.President eunconstitutional.(3) Whether or not said PD is subject to judicial re
Marcos issued PD 579 in November, 1974 authorizingPhilippine view.
Exchange Co., Inc. (PHILEX) to purchase sugar allocatedfor export
and authorized PNB to finance PHILEX's purchases. Thedecree Held:
directed that whatever profit PHILEX might realize was to It is settled that Regional Trial Courts have the
beremitted to the government. Believing that the proceeds were authorityand jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of a statut
morethan enough to pay their obligations, petitioners asked PNB for e, presidential decree, or executive order. The Constitution vests th
anaccounting of the proceeds which it ignored. Petitioners e power of judicial review or the power to declare a law, treaty,inter
continued toavail of other loans from PNB and to make unfunded national or executive agreement, presidential decree, order,instruct
withdrawalsfrom their accounts with said bank. PNB asked ion, ordinance, or regulation not only in this Court, but in
petitioners to settletheir due and demandable accounts. As a result, allRegional Trial Courts.The purpose of the mandatory notice in Rule
petitioners, conveyedto PNB real properties by way of dacion en 64, Section 3 is toenable the Solicitor General to decide whether or
pago still leaving anunpaid amount. PNB proceeded not his interventionin the action assailing the validity of a law or
to extrajudicially foreclose treaty is necessary.
themortgaged properties. PNB still had a deficiency claim.Petitioner Todeny the Solicitor General such notice would be tantamount tode
s continued to ask PNB to account for the proceeds,insisting that priving him of his day in court. We must stress that, contrary
said proceeds, if properly liquidated, could offset their outstanding to petitioners' stand, the mandatory notice requirement is not
obligations. PNB remained adamant in its stance thatunder P.D. No. limited toactions involving declaratory relief and similar remedies.
579, there was nothing to account since under saidlaw, all earnings The ruleitself provides that such notice is required in "any action"
from the export sales of sugar pertained to and not justactions involving declaratory relief. Where there is no

116 | P a g e
ambiguity inthe words used in the rule, there is no room for
construction. 15 In allactions assailing the validity of a statute,
treaty, presidential decree,order, or proclamation, notice to the
Solicitor General is mandatory.Petitioners contend that P.D. No. 579
and its implementing issuancesare void for violating the due process
clause and the prohibitionagainst the
taking of private property without just
compensation.Petitioners now ask this Court to exercise its
power of judicialreview.Jurisprudence has laid down the following
requisites for the exerciseof this power: First, there must be before
the Court an actual casecalling for the exercise of judicial review.
Second,
the question before the Court must be ripe for adjudication. Third, t
he personchallenging the validity of the act must have standing to
challenge.Fourth, the question of constitutionality must have been
raised at theearliest opportunity, and lastly, the issue of
constitutionality must bethe very lis mota of the case.

117 | P a g e
XIX. Salonga vs Cruz Pano establish a prima facie case against the petitioner. We grant
the petition.The respondents call for adherence to the consistent
FACTS:The petitioner invokes the constitutionally protected right to rule that the denial of a motion to quash or todismiss, being
life and liberty guaranteed by the dueprocess clause, alleging that interlocutory in character, cannot be questioned by certiorari; that
no prima facie case has been established to warrant the filing since the question of dismissal will again be considered by the court
of aninformation for subversion against him. Petitioner asks this when it decides the case, the movant has a plain, speedyand
Court to prohibit and prevent therespondents from using the iron adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law; and that public
arm of the law to harass, oppress, and persecute him, a member of
interest dictates that criminalprosecutions should not be
thedemocratic opposition in the Philippines.Jovito Salonga was enjoined.The SC held that infinitely more important than
charged with the violation of the Revised Anti-Subversion Act after conventional adherence to general rules of criminalprocedure is
he wasimplicated, along with other 39 accused, by Victor Lovely in respect for the citizen's right to be free not only from arbitrary
the series of bombings in Metro Manila. Hewas tagged by Lovely in
arrest and punishment butalso from unwarranted and vexatious
his testimony as the leader of subversive organizations for two prosecution. The integrity of a democratic society is corrupted if
reasons (1)because his house was used as a contact point; and (2) aperson is carelessly included in the trial of around forty persons
because of his remarks during the party of RaulDaza in Los Angeles. when on the very face of the record noevidence linking him to the
He allegedly opined about the likelihood of a violent struggle in the alleged conspiracy exists.
Philippinesif reforms are not instituted immediately by then
President Marcos.When arrested, he was not informed of the
nature of the charges against him. Neither was counselallowed to
talk to him until this Court intervened through the issuance of an
order directing that hislawyers be permitted to visit him. Only
after four months of detention was the petitioner informed forthe
first time of the nature of the charges against him. After
the preliminary investigation, the petitionermoved to dismiss the
complaint but the same was denied. Subsequently, the respondent
judge issued aresolution ordering the filing of an information after
finding that a prima facie case had been establishedagainst the forty
persons accused.Hence, this petition questioning the resolution of
the judge.HELD:After a painstaking review of the records, this Court
finds the evidence offered by the prosecutionutterly insufficient to

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XX. Serrano de Agbayani vs PNB The now prevailing principle is that the existence of a statute or
executive order prior to its being adjudged void is an operative fact
FACTS: Plaintiff obtained a loan from PNB dated July 19, 1939, to which legal consequences are attached. Precisely because of the
maturing on July 19, 1944, secured by real estate mortgage. On July judicial recognition that moratorium was a valid governmental
13 1959 or 15 years after maturity of the loan, defendant instituted response to the plight of the debtors who were war sufferers, this
extra-judicial foreclosure proceedings for the recovery of the Court has made clear its view in a series of cases impressive in their
balance of the loan remaining unpaid. Plaintiff countered with his number and unanimity that during the eight-year period that
suit against both alleging that the mortgage sought to be foreclosed
Executive Order No. 32 and Republic Act No. 342 were in force,
had long prescribed, fifteen years having elapsed from the date of prescription did not run.
maturity. PNB on the other hand claims that the defense of
prescription would not be available if the period from March 10, The error of the lower court in sustaining plaintiff’s suit is thus
1945, when Executive Order No. 32 1 was issued, to July 26, 1948, manifest. From July 19, 1944, when her loan matured, to July 13,
when the subsequent legislative act 2 extending the period of 1959, when extra-judicial foreclosure proceedings were started by
moratorium was declared invalid, were to be deducted from the appellant Bank, the time consumed is six days short of fifteen years.
computation of the time during which the bank took no legal steps The prescriptive period was tolled however, from March 10, 1945,
for the recovery of the loan. The lower court did not find such the effectivity of Executive Order No. 32, to May 18, 1953, when the
contention persuasive and decided the suit in favor of plaintiff. decision of Rutter v. Esteban was promulgated, covering eight years,
two months and eight days. Obviously then, when resort was had
ISSUE: W/N the period of the effectivity of EO 32 and the Act extra-judicially to the foreclosure of the mortgage obligation, there
extending the Moratorium Law before the same were declared was time to spare before prescription could be availed of as a
invalid tolled the period of prescription (Effect of the declaration of defense.
Unconstitutionality of a law)

HELD: YES. In the language of an American Supreme Court decision:


“The actual existence of a statute, prior to such a determination [of
unconstitutionality], is an operative fact and may have
consequences which cannot justly be ignored. The past cannot
always be erased by a new judicial declaration. The effect of the
subsequent ruling as to invalidity may have to be considered in
various aspects, with respect to particular relations, individual and
corporate, and particular conduct, private and official.” 4

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XXI. Salazar vs Achacoso thereby making prohibition too late, we consider the petition as one
for certiorari in view of the grave public interest involved.
FACTS: This concerns the validity of the power of the Secretary of
Labor to issue warrants of arrest and seizure under Article 38 of the ISSUE: May the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (or
Labor Code, prohibiting illegal recruitment. the Secretary of Labor) validly issue warrants of search and seizure
(or arrest) under Article 38 of the Labor Code?
On October 21, 1987, Rosalie Tesoro filed with the POEA a
complaint against petitioner. Having ascertained that the petitioner HELD: PETITION GRANTED. it is only a judge who may issue warrants
had no license to operate a recruitment agency, public respondent of search and arrest. Neither may it be done by a mere prosecuting
Administrator Tomas D. Achacoso issued his challenged CLOSURE body.
AND SEIZURE ORDER.
We reiterate that the Secretary of Labor, not being a judge, may no
The POEA brought a team to the premises of Salazar to implement longer issue search or arrest warrants. Hence, the authorities must
the order. There it was found that petitioner was operating go through the judicial process. To that extent, we declare Article
Hannalie Dance Studio. Before entering the place, the team served 38, paragraph (c), of the Labor Code, unconstitutional and of no
said Closure and Seizure order on a certain Mrs. Flora Salazar who force and effect.
voluntarily allowed them entry into the premises. Mrs. Flora Salazar
informed the team that Hannalie Dance Studio was accredited with Moreover, the search and seizure order in question, assuming, ex
Moreman Development (Phil.). However, when required to show gratia argumenti, that it was validly issued, is clearly in the nature of
credentials, she was unable to produce any. Inside the studio, the a general warrant. We have held that a warrant must identify clearly
the things to be seized, otherwise, it is null and voidFor the
team chanced upon twelve talent performers — practicing a dance
number and saw about twenty more waiting outside, The team guidance of the bench and the bar, we reaffirm the following
confiscated assorted costumes which were duly receipted for by principles:
Mrs. Asuncion Maguelan and witnessed by Mrs. Flora Salazar. 1. Under Article III, Section 2, of the l987 Constitution, it is
only judges, and no other, who may issue warrants of arrest
A few days after, petitioner filed a letter with the POEA demanding
the return of the confiscated properties. They alleged lack of and search:
hearing and due process, and that since the house the POEA raided 2. The exception is in cases of deportation of illegal and
was a private residence, it was robbery. undesirable aliens, whom the President or the
On February 2, 1988, the petitioner filed this suit for prohibition. Commissioner of Immigration may order arrested, following
Although the acts sought to be barred are already fait accompli, a final order of deportation, for the purpose of deportation.

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