Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 158

CASE DIGEST

Balaba, John Dexter


Beraquit, Bernie
Cosalan, Elijah Roland
Lanto, Billy
Montes, Rhandy
De Castillo, Charleine
Jimenez, Lea Lyn
Madon-an, Julyn
Silverio, Jacquelyn
Sta. Cruz, Monalie

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I (6:30 – 7:30 MTTh)

We envision Saint Louis University as an


excellent, missionary, and transformative
educational institution zealous in the
formation of human resources who are
imbued with the Christian spirit and who are
competent, creative, and socially involved.

SCHOOL OF LAW
SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY
PHILIPPINES

Atty. Jose Adrian Bonifacio


December 2017
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Case Page No.

ABAKADA GURO PARTYLIST VS. ERMITA


G.R. No. 168056; September 1, 2005 1

DAVID VS. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO


G.R. No. 171396; May 3, 2006 2-3

PHILIPPINE BAR ASSOCIATION VS. COMELEC


140 SCRA 455; January 7, 1986 4

MUNICIPALITY OF SAN NARCISO, ET. AL., VS. MENDEZ, SR.


239 SCRA 11; December 6, 1994 5

GEROCHI VS. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY


527 S 696; July 17, 2007 6-7

FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ VS. HON. ALBERTO G. ROMULO


G.R. No. 157036; June 9, 2004 8-9

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. DACUYCUY, ET. AL.


G.R. No. L-45127; May 5, 1989 10

BUREAU OF CUSTOMS EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION VS. TEVES


661 SCRA 589; December 6, 2011 11-12

ALDABA VS. COMELEC


G.R. No. 188078; January 25, 2010 13-14

ATONG PAGLAUM, INC., ET. AL. VS. COMELEC


G.R. No. 203766; April 2, 2013 15-16

LICO VS. COMELEC


G.R. NO. 205505; September 29, 2015 17

AQUINO VS. COMELEC


G.R. No. 189793; April 7, 2010 18-19

ii
Case Page No.

ALDABA VS. COMELEC


G.R No. 188078; January 25, 2010 20-21

NAVARRO VS. ERMITA


G.R. No. 180050; February 10, 2000 22-23

JALOSJOS VS COMELEC
G.R. No. 191970; April 24, 2012 24-25

ABRAHAM KAHLIL B. MITRA VS. COMMISION ON ELECTIONS


G.R. No. 191938; July 2, 2010 26-27

SILVERIO R. TAGOLINO VS. HRET – LUCY TORRES GOMEZ


G.R. No. 202202; March 19, 2013 28-29

ABUNDO VS. COMELEC


G.R. No. 201716; January 8, 2013 30-31

PHILCONSA VS. GIMENEZ


G.R. No. L-23326; December 18, 1965 32-33

ANTERO J. POBRE VS. SEN. MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO


A.C. No. 7399; August 25, 2009 34-35

LIBAN VS. GORDON


593 S 68; January 18, 2011 36

GARCIA VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY


G.R. No. 198554; July 30, 2012 37-38

PAREDES VS. SANDIGANBAYAN


G.R No. 118364; August 10, 1995 39

TOLENTINO VS. SECRETARY OF FINANCE


235 SCRA 630; August 25, 1994 40

BRILLANTES VS. COMELEC


41-43
432 S 269; June 15, 2004

iii
Case Page No.

FRANKLIN M. DRILON VS. HON. JOSE DE VENECIA JR.


G.R. No. 180055; July 31, 2009 44-45

JOKER P. ARROYO, ET. AL. VS. JOSE DE VENECIA, ET. AL.


G.R. No. 127255; August 14, 1997 46-47

PEOPLE VS. SITON


600 SCRA 476; September 18, 2009 48-49

SABIO VS. GORDON


G.R. No. 174340; October 17, 2006 50-51

SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY


495 SCRA 170; April 20, 2006 52-53

GUDANI VS. SENGA


4985 SCRA 671 and 498 SCRA 671; August 15, 2006 54

NERI VS. SENATE


564 SCRA 152; September 4, 2008 55

BELGICA ET. AL., VS. HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY


OCHOA, ET. AL.
56-59
G.R No. 208493; November 19, 2013

ARAULLO, ET. AL. VS. AQUINO, ET.AL.


G.R. No. 209287; July 1, 2014 60

TAN VS. DEL ROSARIO


237 S 324; October 3, 1994 61

PLANTERS PRODUCTS VS. FERTIPHIL CORPORATION


G.R. No. 166006; March 14, 2008 62-63

MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO v. FIDEL VALDEZ RAMOS


253 SCRA 559; February 13, 1996 64

iv
Case Page No.

CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION VS. EXECUTIVE SEC


194 SCRA 317; February 22, 1991 65-66

SENATE VS. ERMITA


G.R. No. 169777; April 20, 2006 67-68

JOSEPH E. ESTRADA VS. ANIANO DESIERTO


G.R. Nos. 146710-15; March 2, 2001 69-70

BANDA VS. ERMITA


618 S 488; April 20, 2010 71

IN RE APPOINTMENT OF HON. M VALENZUELA


AM No. 98-5-01; November 9, 1998 72

DRILON VS. LIM


235 SCRA 135; August 4, 1994 73-74

BIRAOGO VS. THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION OF 2010


637 SCRA 78; December 7, 2010 75

KULAYAN VS. GOV. ABDUSAKAR TAN


675 S 482; July 3, 2012 76-77

EUGENE GONZALES, ET. AL. VS. NARCISO ABAYA, ET. AL.


G.R. No. 164007; August 10, 2006 78-79

SANLAKAS, ET. AL. VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, ET. AL.


G.R. No. 159085; February 3, 2004 80-81

DAVID VS. ARROYO


G.R. No. 171396; May 3, 2006 82-83

LAGMAN VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY MEDIALDEA


G.R. No. 231658; July 7, 2017 84-85

INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES (IBP) VS. ZAMORA


86-87
G.R. No. 141284; August 15, 2000

v
Case Page No.

LACSON VS. PEREZ


G.R. 147780; May 10, 2001 88

GONZALES VS. NARVASA


G.R. No. 140835; 14 August 2000 89-90

MARCOS VS. MANGLAPUS


177 SCRA 668; September 15, 1989 91

BORJA VS. COMELEC


295 SCRA 157; September 3, 1998 92

PETITIONER ORGANIZATIONS VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY


669 SCRA 49; April 10, 2012 93-95

CHAVEZ VS. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL


G.R. No. 202242; July 17, 2012 96-97

CESAR BENGZON, ET. AL. VS. DRILON, ET. AL.


G.R. No. 103524; April 15, 1992 98-99

IN RE APPOINTMENT OF MATEO VALENZUELA


298 SCRA 408; November 9, 1998 100-101

APEX MINING CO., INC. VS. SOUTHEAST MINDANAO GOLD


MINING CORP.
102-103
G.R. Nos. 152613 & 152628; November 20, 2009

TAN VS. BARRIOS


G.R. No. 85481-82; October 18, 1990 104-105

GAYO VS. VERCELES


452 SCRA 504; February 28, 2005 106

IN THE MATTER OF THE INQUIRY INTO THE 1989 ELECTIONS


A. M. No. 491; October 6, 1989 107-110

vi
Case Page No.

FUENTES VS. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN- MINDANAO


368 SCRA 36; October 23, 2001 111-112

PEOPLE VS. GACOTT


246 SCRA 52; July 13, 1995 113

CITY GOVERNMENT OF TAGAYTAY VS. GUERRERO


600 SCRA 33; September 17, 2009 114-115

JOCELYN SY LIMKAICHONG VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS


G.R. Nos. 178831-32; April 1, 2009 116-117

MALACORA AND MARABULAS VS. COURT OF APPEALS, ET. AL.


G.R. No. L-51042; September 30, 1982 118-119

BRILLANTES VS. YORAC


192 SCRA 358; December 18, 1990 120-121

FUNA VS. THE CHAIRMAN, COA


G.R. No. 192791; April 24, 2012 122-123

PAGCOR VS. COURT OF APPEALS


202 SCRA 191,194; July 14, 1997 124-125

CASINO LABOR ASSOCIATION VS. CA


554 S 323; June 12, 2008 126

GERONIMO V. RAMOS 127-129


135 SCRA 435; September 26, 1981

BANAT PARTY LIST VS. COMELEC 130


595 SCRA 477; April 21, 2009
DELA LLANA VS. THE CHAIRPERSON, COA
131
665 SCRA 176; February 7, 2012
YAP VS. COA
619 SCRA 154; April 23, 2010 132-133

vii
Case Page No.

PACETE VS. ACTING CHAIRMAN OF THE COA


G.R. No. L-39456; May 7, 1990 134-135

ANIANO A. ALBON VS. BAYANI F. FERNANDO, ET. AL.


G.R. No. 148357; June 30, 2006 136-137

CORONA VS. SENATE OF THE PHIL.


676 SCRA 563; July 17, 2012 138-139

ACOP VS. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN


G.R. No. 120422; September 27, 1995 140-141

LASTIMOSA VS. VASQUEZ


243 SCRA 497; April 6, 1995 142-143

UNIVERSITY OF SAN AGUSTIN. INC. VS. CA


230 S 761; March 7, 1994 144

ATENEO DE MANILA UNIVERSITY VS. HON. JUDGE CAPULONG


G.R. 99327; May 27, 1993 145-146

UNIVERSITY OF SAN CARLOS VS. COURT OF APPEALS


166 SCRA 570; October 18, 1988 147-148

UP BOARD OF REGENTS VS CA AND CELINE


G.R. No. 134625; August 31, 1999 149-150

viii
Tariff Powers

ABAKADA GURO PARTYLIST VS. ERMITA


G.R. No. 168056; September 1, 2005

Facts:
Republic Act No. 9337 was enacted for the following purposes: mounting budget deficit, revenue
generation, inadequate fiscal allocation for education, increased emoluments for health workers,
and wider coverage for full value-added tax benefits. Prior to its effectivity, petitioners assailed
the constitutionality of sections 4, 5, and 6 of R.A. No. 9337 amending sections 106, 107, and 10
of the National Internal Revenue Code. The assailed provisions authorize the President to raise the
Value Added Tax r (VAT) rate to 12 % which will be effective on January 1, 2006. The President
only needs the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance to raise the VAT.

Moreover, Petitioners claim that some of the proposed amendments in the NIRC did not originate
from the House of Representative which is in violation of Article VI, Section 24 of the 1987
Constitution.

Issue:
Whether or not the R.A. No. 9337 is unconstitutional.

Held:
It is constitutional pursuant to Article VI, Section 24 of the 1987 Constitution states that “all
appropriation, revenue, or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of the public debt, bills of local
application, and private bills, shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives, but the
Senate may propose or concur with amendments.” The Court ruled in the Tolentino case that it is
not the law which should originate from the House of the Representative, rather it is only the bill.
Since the Senate is part of the bicameral system, then it is expected that the bill which originated
from the House of Representatives will encounter some amendments which may change the
original bill but it does not necessarily mean that Section 24 of Article VI is violated. In fact, to
not allow the Senate to concur or propose amendments would violate the said constitutional
provision. The Constitution simply means that the bills mentioned in Section 24 of Article VI must
originate from the House of Representatives because they are from the districts and they are more
sensitive to the local needs and problems of their constituent.

1
Permissible Delegation: Emergency Powers

DAVID VS. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO


G.R. No. 171396; May 3, 2006

Facts:
February 24, 2006, P.P. No. 1017 was issued by President Arroyo, declaring a state of emergency
by invoking Section 18, Article 7 of the Philippine Constitution which states that: "The President,
whenever it becomes necessary, may call out (the) armed forces to prevent or suppress rebellion."
On the same day, PGMA issued G.O. No. 5 implementing PP1017, directing the members of the
AFP and PNP "to immediately carry out the necessary and appropriate actions and measures to
suppress and prevent acts of terrorism and lawless violence."

According to petitioner Kilusang Mayo Uno, the police cited P.P. 1017 as the ground for the
dispersal of their assemblies. During the dispersal of the rallyists along EDSA, police arrested
(without warrant) petitioner Randolf S. David, a professor at the University of the Philippines and
newspaper columnist. Also arrested was his companion, Ronald Llamas, president of party-list
Akbayan.

David, et al. assailed P.P. 1017 on the grounds that (1) it encroaches on the emergency powers of
Congress; (2) it is a subterfuge to avoid the constitutional requirements for the imposition of
martial law; and (3) it violates the constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press, of speech and
of assembly. They alleged “direct injury” resulting from “illegal arrest” and “unlawful search”
committed by police operatives pursuant to PP 1017. On March 3, 2006, President Arroyo issued
P.P. 1021 declaring that the state of national emergency has ceased to exist. In respondents
Consolidated Comment, the Solicitor General countered that the petitions should be dismissed for
being moot.

Issue:
Whether or not the issuance of P.P. 1021 renders the petitions moot and academic.

Held:
The Solicitor's contention lacks merit. An actual case or controversy involves a conflict of legal
right, an opposite legal claims susceptible of judicial resolution. It is definite and concrete,
touching the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interest; a real and substantial
controversy admitting of specific relief. A moot and academic case is one that ceases to present a
justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events, so that a declaration thereon would be of
no practical use or value.

2
Generally, courts decline jurisdiction over such case or dismiss it on ground of mootness.
However, the Court holds that President Arroyo's issuance of PP 1021 did not render the present
petitions moot and academic. During the eight (8) days that PP 1017 was operative, the police
officers, according to petitioners, committed illegal acts in implementing it. Are PP 1017 and G.O.
No. 5 constitutional or valid? Do they justify these alleged illegal acts? These are the vital issues
that must be resolved in the present petitions. It must be stressed that an unconstitutional act is not
a law, it confers no rights, it imposes no duties, it affords no protection; it is in legal contemplation,
inoperative.

The "moot and academic" principle is not a magical formula that can automatically dissuade the
courts in resolving a case. Courts will decide cases, otherwise moot and academic, if: first, there
is a grave violation of the Constitution; second, the exceptional character of the situation and the
paramount public interest is involved; third, when constitutional issue raised requires formulation
of controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public; and fourth, the case is capable
of repetition yet evading review.

All the foregoing exceptions are present here and justify this Court's assumption of jurisdiction
over the instant petitions. Petitioners alleged that the issuance of PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5 violates
the Constitution. There is no question that the issues being raised affect the public's interest,
involving as they do the people's basic rights to freedom of expression, of assembly and of the
press. Moreover, the Court has the duty to formulate guiding and controlling constitutional
precepts, doctrines or rules.

It has the symbolic function of educating the bench and the bar, and in the present petitions, the
military and the police, on the extent of the protection given by constitutional guarantees. And
lastly, respondents contested actions are capable of repetition. Certainly, the petitions are subject
to judicial review.

Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban's Separate Opinion in Sanlakas v. Executive Secretary states
that "an otherwise 'moot' case may still be decided provided the party raising it in a proper case
has been and/or continues to be prejudiced or damaged as a direct result of its issuance". The
present case falls right within this exception to the mootness rule pointed out by the Chief Justice.

3
Delegation to People

PHILIPPINE BAR ASSOCIATION VS. COMELEC


140 SCRA 455; January 7, 1986

Facts:
A number of petitions assailing the validity of B.P Blg. 883 calling for a special election for a
President and Vice-president on February 7, 1986. Marcos gave a conditional resignation where
he shall vacate the position only when a winner has been proclaimed and qualified by taking his
oath 10 days after the proclamation. Petitioners question the validity of Marcos’ resignation as it
did not create the vacancy needed for a special election to be held and pray for prohibition to acts
in relation to B.P. Blg. 883.

Issue:
Whether or not the B.P Blg. 883 is unconstitutional.

Held:
No. The Court failed to have 10 votes to declare B.P. Blg. 883 unconstitutional. Whereas the
original issue on B.P Blg. 883’s constitutionality, the issue has now transformed into a political
question where only the sovereign people can decide in a fair, clean and honest election. As such,
the Court dismissed the petitions and denied their prayers of prohibition.

4
Delegation to Local Governments

MUNICIPALITY OF SAN NARCISO, ET. AL., VS. MENDEZ, SR.


239 SCRA 11; December 6, 1994

Facts:
On August 20, 1959, then President Carlos P. Garcia issued Executive Order No. (EO) 353 creating
the municipal district of San Andres, Quezon Province, by segregating from the municipality of
San Narciso of the same province, the barrios of San Andres, Mangero, Alibijaban, Pansoy,
Camflora and Tala along with their respective sitios.

On October 5, 1965, the succeeding President Diosdado Macapagal issued EO 174, officially
recognizing the municipal district of San Andreas as a fifth class municipality beginning
July 1, 1963 by operation of Section 2 of Republic Act No. 1515. Due to this, the Municipality of
Narciso filed a petition for quo warranto with the trial court, seeking for the declaration of nullity
of EO 353 on the ground that the issuance of such order was a clear usurpation of the inherent
powers of the legislature and in violation of the constitutional principle of separation of powers.
The respondents prayed for the dismissal of the petition on the grounds that the petitioners were
deemed estopped from questioning the creation of the new municipality; that because the
Municipality of San Andres had been in existence since 1959, its corporate personality could no
longer be assailed; and that the petitioner municipality was not the proper party to bring the action.
The trial court dismissed the petition for lack of cause of action on what it felt was a matter that
belonged to the State. Hence, the petitioners filed a petition for review on certiorari.

Issue:
Whether or not the granting of EO 353 was constitutional.

Held:
It is not for being the result of an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power. Hence, the
Municipality of San Andres should had been deemed as a de facto municipal corporation.
However, because of the petitioners only raising the question on constitutionality 30 years from
its enactment, the Municipal District, and later the Municipality of San Andres, began and
continued to exercise the powers and authority of a duly created local government unit. The Court
held that the quo warranto proceeding assailing the lawful authority of a political subdivision was
not timely raised. As a result, the Court held that all doubts on the de jure standing on the
municipality must be dispelled. It is true that the power to create political subdivision lies with the
legislature. However, such error had been cured by Section 442(d) of the Local Government Code,
which gave “validity to acts done that would have been invalid under existing laws, as if existing
laws have been complied with.” The petition was, therefore, denied by the Supreme Court.

5
Delegation to Administrative Bodies

GEROCHI VS. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY


527 S 696; July 17, 2007

Facts:
Congress enacted the EPIRA and respondent National Power Corporation-Strategic Power
Utilities Group filed with respondent Energy Regulatory Commission a petition for the availment
from the Universal Charge of its share for Missionary Electrification. Then NPC filed another
petition with ERC praying that the proposed share from the Universal Charge for the
Environmental charge of P0.0025 per kilowatt-hour , or a total of P119,488,847.59, be approved
for withdrawal from the Special Trust Fund (STF) managed by
respondent Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Group (PSALM) for the
rehabilitation and management of watershed areas.

The ERC issued an Order provisionally approving the computed amount of P0.0168/kWh as the
share of the NPC-SPUG from the Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification and authorizing
the National Transmission Corporation and Distribution Utilities to collect the same from its end-
users on a monthly basis. However they also modified their order afterwards. Then NPC filed a
Motion for Reconsideration asking the ERC to set aside its decision.

ERC decided to authorize NPC to draw up to P70, 000,000.00 from PSALM for its 2003
Watershed Rehabilitation Budget subject to the availability of funds for the Environmental Fund
component of the Universal Charge. Respondent Panay Electric Company, Inc.
charged petitioner Romeo P. Gerochi and all other end-users with the Universal Charge as reflected
in their respective electric bills.

Issue:
Whether or not there is undue delegation of legislative power to tax on the part of the ERC.

Held:
The Supreme Court held that there is no undue delegation of legislative power to the ERC because
EPIRA in relation to Sec. 34 is complete in all its essential terms and conditions and that it contains
sufficient standards. Moreover the ERC does not enjoy wide latitude of discretion in the
determination of the Universal Charge. Also provisions of the EPIRA like others are to ensure the
total electrification of the country and the quality, reliability, security and affordability of the
supply of electric power and watershed rehabilitation and management meet the requirements for
valid delegation, as they provide the limitations on the ERCs power to formulate the IRR and these
are sufficient standards.

6
Also petitioners failed to pursue in their Memorandum the contention in the Complaint that the
imposition of the Universal Charge on all end-users is oppressive and confiscatory, and amounts
to taxation without representation. Hence, such contention is deemed waived or abandoned.

The court said of EPIRA that one of the landmark pieces of legislation enacted by Congress in
recent years is the EPIRA. It established a new policy, legal structure and regulatory framework
for the electric power industry. The new thrust is to tap private capital for the expansion and
improvement of the industry as the large government debt and the highly capital-intensive
character of the industry itself have long been acknowledged as the critical constraints to the
program. To attract private investment, largely foreign, the jaded structure of the industry had to
be addressed. While the generation and transmission sectors were centralized and monopolistic,
the distribution side was fragmented with over 130 utilities, mostly small and uneconomic. The
pervasive flaws have caused a low utilization of existing generation capacity; extremely high and
uncompetitive power rates; poor quality of service to consumers; dismal to forgettable
performance of the government power sector; high system losses; and an inability to develop a
clear strategy for overcoming these shortcomings. Thus, the EPIRA provides a framework for the
restructuring of the industry, including the privatization of the assets of the National Power
Corporation, the transition to a competitive structure, and the delineation of the roles of various
government agencies and the private entities. The law ordains the division of the industry into four
distinct sectors, namely: generation, transmission, distribution and supply.

7
Delegation to Administrative Bodies

FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ VS. HON. ALBERTO G. ROMULO


G.R. No. 157036; June 9, 2004

Facts:
In January 2003, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo delivered a speech before the members of
the PNP stressing the need for a nationwide gun ban in all public places to avert the rising crime
incidents. She directed the then PNP Chief, respondent Ebdane, to suspend the issuance of Permits
to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFOR). Acting on President Arroyo’s directive,
respondent Ebdane issued the assailed Guidelines.

Petitioner Francisco I. Chavez, a licensed gun owner to whom a PTCFOR has been issued,
requested the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to reconsider the
implementation of the assailed Guidelines. However, his request was denied. Thus, he filed the
present petition impleading public respondents Ebdane, as Chief of PNP; Alberto G. Romulo, as
Executive Secretary; and Gerry L. Barias, as Chief of the PNP-Firearms and Explosives
Division. Thus, he anchored his petition on different grounds.

Issue:
Whether or not the issuance of the assailed Guidelines of carrying firearms outside the residence
is a valid exercise of police power.

Held:
The Court laid down the test to determine the validity of a police measure, thus: (1) The interests
of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, require the exercise of the
police power; and (2) The means employed are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of
the purpose and not unduly oppressive upon individuals.

The assailed Guidelines’ basis for its issuance was the need for peace and order in the society.The
proliferation of crimes, particularly those committed by the New Peoples Army (NPA), which
tends to disturb the peace of the community, President Arroyo deemed it best to impose a
nationwide gun ban.

In the instant case, the assailed Guidelines do not entirely prohibit possession of firearms. What
they proscribe is merely the carrying of firearms outside of residence. However, those who wish
to carry their firearms outside of their residences may re-apply for a new PTCFOR. Thus, the Court
believed that it is a reasonable regulation. If the carrying of firearms is regulated, necessarily, crime
incidents will be curtailed. Criminals carry their weapon to hunt for their victims; they do not wait
in the comfort of their homes. With the revocation of all PTCFOR, it would be difficult for

8
criminals to roam around with their guns. On the other hand, it would be easier for the PNP to
apprehend them.

Laws regulating the acquisition or possession of guns have frequently been upheld as reasonable
exercise of the police power. With the promotion of public peace as its objective and the revocation
of all PTCFOR as the means, the Court convinced that the issuance of the assailed Guidelines
constitutes a reasonable exercise of police power.

9
Test of Delegation

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. DACUYCUY, ET. AL.


G.R. No. L-45127; May 5, 1989

Facts:
On April 4, 1975, Celestino S. Matondo, Segundino A. Caval, and Cirilio M. Zanoria, public
school officials from Leyte were charged before the Municipal Court of Hindang, Leyte for
violating Republic Act No. 4670 (Magna Carta for Public School Teachers). At the arraignment,
the accused therein, pleaded not guilty to the charge. On October 26, 1975, the respondents filed
a petitions for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction before the former Court of
First Instance of Leyte, Branch VIII alleging Municipal Court of Hindang had no jurisdiction over
the offense charged. Subsequently, alleged the additional ground that the facts charged do not
constitute an offense since the penal provision, which is Section 32 of said law, is unconstitutional
for the following reasons: (1) It imposes a cruel and unusual punishment, the term of imprisonment
being unfixed and may run to reclusion perpetua; and (2) It also constitutes an undue delegation
of legislative power, the duration of the penalty of imprisonment being solely left to the discretion
of the court as if the latter were the legislative department of the Government. On March 15, 1976,
the petitioner filed an opposition to the admission of the said amended petitions but Judge
Dacuycuy denied the same in his resolution of April 20, 1976. On September 8, 1976, Judge
Dacuycuy rendered decision holding in substance that Republic Act No. 4670 is valid and
constitutional but cases for its violation fall outside of the jurisdiction of municipal and city courts,
and remanding the case to the former Municipal Court of Hindang, Leyte only for preliminary
investigation.

Issue:
Whether or not the municipal and city courts have jurisdiction over violations of Republic Act
No. 4670.

Held:
The municipal and city courts have jurisdiction over the case. It has been the consistent rule that
the criminal jurisdiction of the court is determined by the statute in force at the time of the
commencement of the action. When the complaint against respondents was filed in 1975, the
pertinent law then in force was Republic Act No. 296, as amended by Republic Act No. 3828,
under which crimes punishable by a fine of not more than P 3,000.00 fall under the original
jurisdiction of the former municipal courts. Consequently, Criminal Case No. 555 against herein
private respondents falls within the original jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court of Hindang,
Leyte.

10
Tests of Delegation

BUREAU OF CUSTOMS EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION VS. TEVES


661 SCRA 589; December 6, 2011

Facts:
On January 25, 2005, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law R.A. No. 9335,
otherwise known as the Attrition Act of 2005, which took effect on February 11, 2005.

In Abakada Guro Party List v. Purisima, it was said that R.A. No. 9335 was enacted to optimize
the revenue-generation capability and collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the
Bureau of Customs (BOC). The law intends to encourage BIR and BOC officials and employees
to exceed their revenue targets by providing a system of rewards and sanctions through the creation
of a Rewards and Incentives Fund (Fund) and a Revenue Performance Evaluation Board (Board).
It covers all officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC with at least six months of service,
regardless of employment status. Any incentive or reward is taken from the fund and allocated to
the BIR and the BOC in proportion to their contribution in the excess collection of the targeted
amount of tax revenue.

The Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), National
Economic Development Authority (NEDA), BIR, BOC and the Civil Service Commission (CSC)
were tasked to promulgate and issue the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of R.A. No.
9335 which was approved by the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee and became effective
fifteen days after its publication.

Contending that the enactment and implementation of R.A. No. 9335 are tainted with
constitutional infirmities in violation of the fundamental rights of its members, Bureau of Customs
Employees Association (BOCEA), an association of rank-and-file employees of the BOC, duly
registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the CSC, and represented
by its National President, Mr. Romulo A. Pagulayan, directly filed a petition under Rule 65 of the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure before the Supreme Court against Margarito B. Teves, in his
capacity as Secretary of the DOF, Commissioner Napoleon L. Morales in his capacity as BOC
Commissioner, and Lilian B. Hefti, in her capacity as Commissioner of the BIR.

BOCEA argued, among others, that its members and other BOC employees are in great danger of
losing their jobs should they fail to meet the required quota provided under the law, in clear
violation of their constitutional right to security of tenure, and at their and their respective families'
prejudice.

11
Issue:
Whether or not R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR are unconstitutional as they constitute undue delegation
of legislative powers to the Board in violation of the principle of separation of powers enshrined
in the Constitution.

Held:
No, there can be a valid delegation of legislative power to various specialized administrative
agencies. Necessarily embedded in the principle of separation of powers is the principle of non-
delegation of powers, as expressed in the Latin maxim potestas delegata non delegari potest,
which means "what has been delegated, cannot be delegated." However, this principle of non-
delegation of powers admits of numerous exceptions, one of which is the delegation of legislative
power to various specialized administrative agencies like the Board in this case.

The rationale for the exception was clearly explained in our ruling in Gerochi v. Department of
Energy, to wit:
x x x. Hence, the need to delegate to administrative bodies -- the principal agencies
tasked to execute laws in their specialized fields -- the authority to promulgate rules
and regulations to implement a given statute and effectuate its policies. All that is
required for the valid exercise of this power of subordinate legislation is that the
regulation be germane to the objects and purposes of the law (completeness test)
and that the regulation be not in contradiction to, but in conformity with, the
standards prescribed by the law (sufficient standard test).

Section 2 of R.A. No. 9335 adequately states the policy and standards to guide the President in
fixing revenue targets and the implementing agencies in carrying out the provisions of the law.

On the other hand, Section 7 specifies the limits of the Board's authority and identifies the
conditions under which officials and employees whose revenue collection falls short of the target
by at least 7.5% may be removed from the service.

The Court could not but deduce that the completeness test and the sufficient standard test were
fully satisfied by R.A. No. 9335, as evident from Sections 2 and 7 thereof. In sum, the Court finds
that R.A. No. 9335, read and appreciated in its entirety, is complete in all its essential terms and
conditions, and that it contains sufficient standards as to negate BOCEA's supposition of undue
delegation of legislative power to the Board.

12
Apportionment of Legislative Districts

ALDABA VS. COMELEC


G.R. No. 188078; January 25, 2010

Facts:
The City of Malolos and the Municipalities of Hagonoy, Calumpit, Pulilan, Bulacan, and
Paombong comprise the current first district of the province of Bulacan. In 2007 the population of
Malolos City was 223,069. The NSO projected that, using the established population growth rate
of 3.78 percent between 1995 and 2000, its population in 2010 will be 254,030.

On May 1, 2009 Congress enacted Republic Act (R.A.) 9591, to amend Section 57 of R.A. 8754,
the charter of the City of Malolos, making the city a separate district from the existing first
legislative district of Bulacan.

On June 16, 2009 petitioners Victorino Aldaba, Carlo Jolette S. Fajardo, Julio G. Morada, and
Minerva Aldaba Morada, all claiming to be taxpayers from Malolos City, filed the present action,
assailing the constitutionality of R.A. 9591. They point out that (a) the law failed to comply with
the requirement of Section 5(4), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution that a city must have a
population of at least 250,000; (b) that the creation of a separate district amounts to a conversion
and requires the conduct of a plebiscite; and (c) that the law violates Section 5(3), Article VI which
provides that each district shall comprise as far as practicable, contiguous, compact and adjacent
territory.

Issue:
Whether or not RA 9591 is unconstitutional for being violative of Section 5(3), Article VI of the
1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution.

Held:
The Court granted the petition and declared RA 9591 unconstitutional for being violative of
Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the
1987 Constitution.

The Certification of Regional Director Miranda, which is based on demographic projections, is


without legal effect because Regional Director Miranda has no basis and no authority to issue the
Certification. The Certification is also void on its face because based on its own growth rate
assumption, the population of Malolos will be less than 250,000 in the year 2010.

Moreover, the Certification states that "the total population of Malolos, Bulacan as of May 1, 2000
is 175,291." The Certification also states that the population growth rate of Malolos is 3.78% per

13
year between 1995 and 2000. Based on a growth rate of 3.78% per year, the population of Malolos
of 175,291 in 2000 will grow to only 241,550 in 2010.

Clearly, there is no official record that the population of the City of Malolos will be at least
250,000, actual or projected, prior to the 10 May 2010 elections, the immediately following
election after the supposed attainment of such population. Thus, the City of Malolos is not qualified
to have a legislative district of its own under Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and
Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution.

On the Office of the Solicitor General’s contention that Congress’ choice of means to comply with
the population requirement in the creation of a legislative district is non-justiciable, suffice it to
say that questions calling for judicial determination of compliance with constitutional standards
by other branches of the government are fundamentally justiciable. The resolution of such
questions falls within the checking function of this Court under the 1987 Constitution to determine
whether there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on
the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.

14
The Party-List Representatives

ATONG PAGLAUM, INC., ET. AL. VS. COMELEC


G.R. No. 203766; April 2, 2013

Facts:
Pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 7941 (R.A. No. 7941) and COMELEC Resolution
Nos. 9366 and 9531, approximately 280 groups and organizations registered and manifested their
desire to participate in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections. In a Resolution dated 5 December
2012, the COMELEC En Banc affirmed the COMELEC Second Division’s resolution to grant
Partido ng Bayan ng Bida’s (PBB) registration and accreditation as a political party in the National
Capital Region. However, PBB was denied participation in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections
because PBB does not represent any “marginalized and underrepresented” sector; PBB failed to
apply for registration as a party-list group; and PBB failed to establish its track record as an
organization that seeks to uplift the lives of the “marginalized and underrepresented.”

Petitioners argued that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction in disqualifying petitioners from participating in the 13 May 2013 party-list
elections, either by denial of their new petitions for registration under the party-list system, or by
cancellation of their existing registration and accreditation as party-list organizations; and second,
whether the criteria for participating in the party-list system laid down in Ang Bagong Bayani and
Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency v. Commission on Elections
(BANAT) should be applied by the COMELEC in the coming 13 May 2013 party-list elections.

Status quo ante orders were issued in all 54 petitions which restored the status quo prior to the
disqualification of petitioners. However, only 39 of the 52 petitioners or only 41 petitions were
able to secure a mandatory injunction, directing the Comelec to include their names in the printing
of official ballots.

Issue:
Whether or not the criteria for participating in the party-list system laid down in Ang Bagong
Bayani and Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency v. Commission on
Elections (BANAT) should be applied by the COMELEC in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections.

Held:
No. The Supreme Court now provides for new guidelines which abandoned some principles
established in the two aforestated cases.

The COMELEC excluded from participating in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections those that did
not satisfy these two criteria: (1) all national, regional, and sectoral groups or organizations must

15
represent the “marginalized and underrepresented” sectors, and (2) all nominees must belong to
the “marginalized and underrepresented” sector they represent. Petitioners may have been
disqualified by the COMELEC because as political or regional parties they are not organized along
sectoral lines and do not represent the “marginalized and underrepresented.”

In determining who may participate in the coming 13 May 2013 and subsequent party-list
elections, the COMELEC shall adhere to the following parameters:

1. Three different groups may participate in the party-list system: (1) national parties or
organizations, (2) regional parties or organizations, and (3) sectoral parties or organizations.

2. National parties or organizations and regional parties or organizations do not need to organize
along sectoral lines and do not need to represent any "marginalized and underrepresented" sector.

3. Political parties can participate in party-list elections provided they register under the party-list
system and do not field candidates in legislative district elections. A political party, whether major
or not, that fields candidates in legislative district elections can participate in party-list elections
only through its sectoral wing that can separately register under the party-list system. The sectoral
wing is by itself an independent sectoral party, and is linked to a political party through a coalition.

4. Sectoral parties or organizations may either be "marginalized and underrepresented" or lacking


in "well-defined political constituencies." It is enough that their principal advocacy pertains to the
special interest and concerns of their sector. The sectors that are "marginalized and
underrepresented" include labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities,
handicapped, veterans, and overseas workers. The sectors that lack "well-defined political
constituencies" include professionals, the elderly, women, and the youth.

5. A majority of the members of sectoral parties or organizations that represent the "marginalized
and underrepresented" must belong to the "marginalized and underrepresented" sector they
represent. Similarly, a majority of the members of sectoral parties or organizations that lack "well-
defined political constituencies" must belong to the sector they represent. The nominees of sectoral
parties or organizations that represent the "marginalized and underrepresented," or that represent
those who lack "well-defined political constituencies," either must belong to their respective
sectors, or must have a track record of advocacy for their respective sectors. The nominees of
national and regional parties or organizations must be bona-fide members of such parties or
organizations.

6. National, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations shall not be disqualified if some of their
nominees are disqualified, provided that they have at least one nominee who remains qualified.

16
The Party-list Representatives

LICO VS. COMELEC


G.R. NO. 205505; September 29, 2015

Facts:
Ating Koop, a multi-sectoral partylist organization, won the 2010 election and eventually earned
a seat in the House of Representatives. Atty. Lico represented the said organization since he was
the first in the list of nominees submitted before the COMELEC. The Ating Koop had an
agreement that Atty. Lico would only serve the first year and the succeeding years will be for the
other nominees. Several meetings took place in the organization so as to amend their by-laws.

After almost a year since the he had assumed office, Atty. Lico was expelled from the organization
for disloyalty. According to the Committee Atty. Lico refused to honor the term-sharing agreement
which is against their Constitution and by-laws thus he got expelled from the group. Moreover,
there were also allegations of malversation and graft and corruption. The Comelec uphold the
expulsion of Atty. Lico.

Issue:
Whether or not the COMELEC has a jurisdiction over the expulsion of Lico as member of the
House of Representatives on the ground that he is no longer a bona fide member of Ating Koop.

Held:
No. The COMELEC has no jurisdiction since Atty. Lico’s expulsion from Ating Koop is an issue
that falls within the jurisdiction of the HRET for it affects his qualification as partylist
representative. This rule is pursuant to Section 17 of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which
vest to HRET an exclusive jurisdiction on any matter concerning the validity of the title of the
proclaimed winner. Since Atty. Lico’s organization was proclaimed winner, and eventually he was
declared as the representative of that group, took an oath, and later on held an office, then his case
must be under the jurisdiction of the HRET and not the COMELEC.

17
Apportionment of Legislative Districts

AQUINO VS. COMELEC


G.R. No. 189793; April 7, 2010

Facts:
Petitioners Senator Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III and Mayor Jesse Robredo seek the nullification
of Republic Act No. 9716, entitled “An Act Reapportioning the Composition of the First and
Second Legislative Districts in the Province of Camarines Sur and thereby Creating a New
Legislative District From Such Reapportionment.” Republic Act No. 9716 was signed into law by
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on 12 October 2009. It took effect on 31 October 2009 creating
an additional legislative district for the Province of Camarines Sur by reconfiguring the existing
first and second legislative districts of the province.

The Province of Camarines Sur was estimated to have a population of 1,693,821,2 distributed
among four (4) legislative districts. Following the enactment of Republic Act No. 9716, the first
and second districts of Camarines Sur were reconfigured in order to create an additional legislative
district for the province.

Hence, the first district municipalities of Libmanan, Minalabac, Pamplona, Pasacao, and San
Fernando were combined with the second district municipalities of Milaor and Gainza to form a
new second legislative district. Petitioners contend that the reapportionment introduced by
Republic Act No. 9716, runs afoul of the explicit constitutional standard that requires a minimum
population of two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) for the creation of a legislative district.
Petitioners rely on Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution as basis for the cited 250,000
minimum population standard.

The provision reads: “Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous,
compact, and adjacent territory. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand,
or each province, shall have at least one representative”. The petitioners claim that the
reconfiguration by Republic Act No. 9716 of the first and second districts of Camarines Sur is
unconstitutional, because the proposed first district will end up with a population of less than
250,000 or only 176,383.

Issue:
Whether or not the constitutional requirement of 250,000 population should be strictly followed
in creating a new legislative district in the province of Camarines Sur.

18
Held:
No. There is no specific provision in the Constitution that fixes a 250,000 minimum population
that must compose a legislative district. As already mentioned, the petitioners rely on the second
sentence of Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, coupled with what they perceive to
be the intent of the framers of the Constitution to adopt a minimum population of 250,000 for each
legislative district. The second sentence of Section 5(3), Article VI of the Constitution, succinctly
provides: "Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province,
shall have at least one representative."

The provision draws a plain and clear distinction between the entitlement of a city to a district on
one hand, and the entitlement of a province to a district on the other. For while a province is entitled
to at least a representative, with nothing mentioned about population, a city must first meet a
population minimum of 250,000 in order to be similarly entitled. The use by the subject provision
of a comma to separate the phrase "each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty
thousand" from the phrase "or each province" point to no other conclusion than that the 250,000
minimum population is only required for a city, but not for a province.

It is not meant that in the reapportionment of the first and second legislative districts of Camarines
Sur, the number of inhabitants in the resulting additional district should not be considered.
Population is not the only factor but is just one of several other factors in the composition of the
additional district. Such settlement is in accord with both the text of the Constitution and the spirit
of the letter, so very clearly given form in the Constitutional debates on the exact issue presented
by this petition.

19
Apportionment of Legislative Districts

ALDABA VS. COMELEC


G.R No. 188078; January 25, 2010

Facts:
Before 1 May 2009, the province of Bulacan was represented in Congress through four legislative
districts. The First Legislative District comprised of the city of Malolos and the municipalities of
Hagonoy, Calumpit, Pulilan, Bulacan, and Paombong. On 1 May 2009, RA 9591 lapsed into law,
amending Malolos City Charter, by creating a separate legislative district for the city. At the time
the legislative bills for RA 9591 were filed in Congress in 2007, namely, House Bill No. 3162
(later converted to House Bill No. 3693) and Senate Bill No. 1986, the population of Malolos City
was 223,069. The population of Malolos City on 1 May 2009 is a contested fact but there is no
dispute that House Bill No. 3693 relied on an undated certification issued by a Regional Director
of the National Statistics Office (NSO) that the projected population of the Municipality of
Malolos will be 254,030 by the year 2010 using the population growth rate of 3.78 between 1995
to 2000.

Petitioners, taxpayers, registered voters and residents of Malolos City, filed this petition
contending that RA 9591 is unconstitutional for failing to meet the minimum population threshold
of 250,000 for a city to merit representation in Congress as provided under Section 5(3), Article
VI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution.

In its Comment to the petition, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) contended that Congress
use of projected population is non-justiciable as it involves a determination on the wisdom of the
standard adopted by the legislature to determine compliance with a constitutional requirement.

Issue:
Whether or not R.A. 9591, “An act creating a legislative district for the City of Malolos, Bulacan,”
is unconstitutional as petitioned.

Held:
Yes. It was declared by the Supreme Court that the R.A. 9591 is unconstitutional for being
violative of Section 5 (3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance
appended to the 1987 Constitution on the grounds that, as required by the 1987 Constitution, a city
must have at least 250,000 population. In relation with this, Regional Director Miranda issued a
Certification which is based on the demographic projections, was declared without legal effect
because the Regional Director has no basis and no authority to issue the Certification based on the
following statements supported by Section 6 of E.O. 135 as signed by President Fidel V. Ramos.

20
The certification on demographic projection can be issued only if such are declared official by the
National Statistics Coordination Board. In this case, it was not stated whether the document have
been declared official by the NSCB.

The certification can be issued only by the NSO Administrator or his designated certifying officer,
in which case, the Regional Director of Central Luzon NSO is unauthorized.

The population projection must be as of the middle of the year, which in this case, the Certification
issued by Director Miranda was undated.

It was also computed that the correct figures using the growth rate, even if compounded, the
Malolos population of 223,069 as of August 1, 2007 will grow to only 249,333 as of
August 1, 2010. It was emphasized that the 1935 Constitution, that this Court ruled that the aim of
legislative reappointment is to equalize the population and voting power among districts.

21
Apportionment of Legislative Districts

NAVARRO VS. ERMITA


G.R. No. 180050; February 10, 2000

Facts:
The mother province of Surigao del Norte, created and established under Republic Act No. (RA)
2786, is composed of the main islands: (1) the Mainland and Surigao City; (2) Siargao Island and
Bucas Grande; and (3) Dinagat Island, which is composed of municipalities Basilisa, Cagdianao,
Dinagat, Libjo, Loreto, San Jose, and Tubajon. Under Section 461 of the Local Government Code
(LGC), a province may be created if it has an average annual income of not less than Php 20
million, and a population of not less than 250,000 inhabitants residing in a territory of at least
2,000 square kilometers. It need not be contiguous if it comprises two or more islands or is
separated by a chartered city or cities, which do not contribute to the income of the province. In
July 2003, the Provincial Government of Surigao del Norte conducted a special census in the
Dinagat Islands to determine its actual population in support of the bill creating the Province of
Dinagat Islands, wherein it yielded a population count of 371,576 inhabitants. As a result, then
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo enacted RA 9355 which created the province of Dinagat
Islands. It was ratified and approved by the majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite. Due to this,
the petitioners prayed that RA 9355 be declared void on the ground that it failed to comply with
either the population or land area requirement prescribed by the LGC.

Issues:
(1) Whether or not the creation of Dinagat as a new province is an act of gerrymandering.
(2) Whether or not RA 9355 was valid.

Held:
(1) It is not. “Gerrymandering” was defined by Fr. Bernas as the formation of one legislative
district out of separate territories for the purpose of favoring a candidate or a party, which
is prohibited by our Constitution since it mandates that each legislative district should
comprise, as far as practicable, a contiguous, compact and adjacent territory. As stated by
the Solicitor General, the Province of Dinagat Islands consists of one island and about 47
islets closely situated together, without the inclusion of separate territories. The Court held
that the allegation that the province was created to favor Congresswoman Ecleo-
Villaroman was unsubsiated.

(2) It was not since it failed to comply with either the territorial or the population requirement
provided by the LGC. When the Dinagat Islands was proclaimed a new province on
December 2006, it only had an official population of only 109,951 based on the National
Statistics Office (NSO) 2000 Census of Population. As regards to the territorial area, the

22
said province only had an approximate land area of 802.12 sq. km. For failure to comply
with the requirements, RA 9355 was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

23
Qualifications

JALOSJOS VS COMELEC
G.R. No. 191970; April 24, 2012

Facts:
Rommel Jalosjos was born in Quezon City on October 26, 1973. He migrated to Australia in 1981
when he was eight years old and there acquired Australian citizenship. At age 35, he returned to
the Philippines and lived with his brother, Romeo, Jr., in Barangay Veterans Village, Ipil,
Zamboanga Sibugay. Four days upon his return, he took an oath of allegiance to the Republic of
the Philippines and was issued a Certificate of Reacquisition of Philippine Citizenship by the
Bureau of Immigration. On September 1, 2009 he renounced his Australian citizenship, executing
a sworn renunciation of the same in compliance with Republic Act (R.A.) 9225.Jalosjos acquired
a residential property in the same village where he lived and a fishpond in San Isidro, Naga,
Zamboanga Sibugay. He applied for registration as a voter in the Municipality of Ipil but
respondent Dan Erasmo, Sr., the Barangay Captain of Barangay Veterans Village, opposed the
same. Acting on the application, the Election Registration Board approved it and included Jalosjos
name in the Commission on Elections voters list.

On November 28, 2009 Jalosjos filed his Certificate of Candidacy for Governor of Zamboanga
Sibugay Province for the May 10, 2010 elections. Erasmo promptly filed a petition to deny due
course or to cancel Jalosjos COC on the ground that he failed to comply with the requirements of
R.A. 9225 and the one-year residency requirement of the Local Government Code.

The Second Division of the COMELEC ruled that Jalosjos failed to prove the residency
requirement for a gubernatorial candidate. He failed to present ample proof of a bona fide intention
to establish his domicile in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. While the court is acting on Jalosjos prayer
for the issuance of a temporary restraining order, Jolosjos won the election and was proclaimed
winner of the 2010 gubernatorial race in the Province of Zamboanga Sibugay.

Issue:
Whether or not Jalosjos failed to present ample proof of a bona fide intention to establish his
domicile in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Held:
The Local Government Code requires a candidate seeking the position of provincial governor to
be a resident of the province for at least one year before the election. For purposes of the election
laws, the requirement of residence is synonymous with domicile, meaning that a person must not
only intend to reside in a particular place but must also have personal presence in such place
coupled with conduct indicative of such intention.

24
The court ruled that Jalosjos established his domicile in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay because when
he left Quezon City which is his domicile of origin, he effectively changed his domicile from
Quezon City to Australia when he migrated there at the age of eight, acquired Australian
citizenship, and lived in that country for 26 years. Australia became his domicile by operation of
law and by choice. When he came to the Philippines he lived with his brother in Zamboanga
Sibugay, it is evident that Jalosjos did so with intent to change his domicile for good. He
left Australia, gave up his Australian citizenship, and renounced his allegiance to that country. In
addition, he reacquired his old citizenship by taking an oath of allegiance to the Republic of
the Philippines, resulting in his being issued a Certificate of Reacquisition of Philippine
Citizenship by the Bureau of Immigration. By his acts, Jalosjos forfeited his legal right to live
in Australia, clearly proving that he gave up his domicile there. And he has since lived nowhere
else except in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. The Court also held that a candidate is not required to
have a house in a community to establish his residence or domicile in a particular place. It is
sufficient that he should live there even if it be in a rented house or in the house of a friend or
relative. To insist that the candidate own the house where he lives would make property a
qualification for public office. What matters is that Jalosjos has proved two things: actual physical
presence in Ipil and an intention of making it his domicile.

25
Qualifications

ABRAHAM KAHLIL B. MITRA VS. COMMISION ON ELECTIONS


G.R. No. 191938; July 2, 2010

Facts:
The respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) canceled the certificate of candidacy
(COC) of petitioner Abraham Kahlil B. Mitra for allegedly misrepresenting that he is a resident of
the Municipality of Aborlan, Province of Palawan where he ran for the position of Governor. Mitra
came to this Court to seek the reversal of the cancellation. When his COC for the position of
Governor of Palawan was declared cancelled, Mitra was the incumbent Representative of the
Second District of Palawan. This district then included, among other territories,
the Municipality of Aborlan and Puerto Princesa City. He was elected Representative as a
domiciliary of Puerto Princesa City, and represented the legislative district for three (3) terms
immediately before the elections of 2010.

On March 26, 2007, Puerto Princesa City was reclassified as a highly urbanized city and thus
ceased to be a component city of the Province of Palawan. The direct legal consequence of this
new status was the ineligibility of Puerto Princesa City residents from voting for candidates for
elective provincial officials.

On March 20, 2009, with the intention of running for the position of Governor, Mitra applied for
the transfer of his Voters Registration Record from Brgy. Sta. Monica, Puerto Princesa City, to
Sition Maligaya, Brgy. Isaub, Municipality of Aborlan, Province of Palawan. He subsequently
filed his COC for the position of Governor of Palawan as a resident of Aborlan.

Respondents Antonio V. Gonzales and Orlando R. Balbon, Jr. (the respondents) filed a petition to
deny due course or to cancel Mitras COC. They essentially argued that Mitra remains a resident
of Puerto Princesa City who has not yet established residence in Aborlan, and is therefore not
qualified to run for Governor of Palawan. Mitra insisted in his Answer that he has successfully
abandoned Puerto Princesa City as his domicile of origin, and has established a new domicile in
Aborlan since 2008.

Issue:
Whether or not Abraham Kahlil B. Mitra sufficiently established his domicile of origin at Puerto
Princesa City, Palawan as a residency requirement of an elective provincial office.

Held:
From the start, Mitra never hid his intention to transfer his residence from Puerto Princesa City to
Aborlan to comply with the residence requirement of a candidate for an elective provincial

26
office. Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code, does not abhor
this intended transfer of residence, as its Section 39 merely requires an elective local official to be
a resident of the local government unit where he intends to run for at least one (1) year immediately
preceding the day of the election. In other words, the law itself recognizes implicitly that there can
be a change of domicile or residence, but imposes only the condition that residence at the new
place should at least be for a year. As a continuing requirement or qualification, the elected official
must remain a resident there for the rest of his term.

Mitra’s domicile of origin is undisputedly Puerto Princesa City. For him to qualify as Governor in
light of the relatively recent change of status of Puerto Princesa City from a component city to a
highly urbanized city whose residents can no longer vote for provincial officials he had to abandon
his domicile of origin and acquire a new one within the local government unit where he intended
to run; this would be his domicile of choice.

The Court reasonably conclude from all these that Mitra is not oblivious to the needs, difficulties,
aspirations, potential for growth and development, and all matters vital to the common welfare of
the constituency he intends to serve. Mitra who is no stranger to Palawan has merely been
compelled after serving three terms as representative of the congressional district that
includes Puerto Princesa City and Aborlan by legal developments to transfer his residence to
Aborlan to qualify as a Province of Palawan voter. To put it differently, were it not for the
reclassification of Puerto Princesa City from a component city to a highly urbanized city, Mitra
would not have encountered any legal obstacle to his intended gubernatorial bid based on his
knowledge of and sensitivity to the needs of the Palawan electorate. Thus, the people
of Palawan have spoken in an election where residency qualification had been squarely raised and
their voice has erased any doubt about their verdict on Mitra’s qualifications.

27
Qualifications

SILVERIO R. TAGOLINO VS. HRET – LUCY TORRES GOMEZ


G.R. No. 202202; March 19, 2013

Facts:
On November 30, 2009, Richard Gomez (Richard) filed his certificate of candidacy (CoC) with
the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), seeking congressional office as Representative for the
Fourth Legislative District of Leyte under the ticket of the Liberal Party. Subsequently, on
December 6, 2009, one of the opposing candidates, Buenaventura Juntilla (Juntilla), filed a
Verified Petition, alleging that Richard, who was actually a resident of College Street, East
Greenhills, San Juan City, Metro Manila, misrepresented in his CoC that he resided in 910 Carlota
Hills, Can-adieng, Ormoc City. In this regard, Juntilla asserted that Richard failed to meet the one
(1) year residency requirement under Section 6, Article VI of the 1987 Philippine Constitution
(Constitution) and thus should be declared disqualified/ineligible to run for the said office. In
addition, Juntilla prayed that Richard’s CoC be denied due course and/or cancelled. On February
17, 2010, the COMELEC First Division rendered a Resolution granting Juntilla’s petition without
any qualification. Thereafter, in a Manifestation, Richard accepted the resolution with finality "in
order to enable his substitute to facilitate the filing of the necessary documents for substitution. On
May 5, 2010, Lucy Marie Torres-Gomez (private respondent) filed her CoC together with a
Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance from the Liberal Party endorsing her as the party’s
official substitute candidate vice her husband, Richard, for the same congressional post. The
COMELEC En Banc approved the recommendation of the substitution. Hence, the petition.

Issue:
Whether or not respondent is ineligible for the position of Representative of the Fourth District of
Leyte for lack of residency requirement.

Held:
In this case, it is undisputed that Richard was disqualified to run in the May 10, 2010 elections due
to his failure to comply with the one year residency requirement. It should be stressed that the clear
and unequivocal basis for Richard’s "disqualification" is his failure to comply with the residency
requirement under Section 6, Article VI of the Constitution which is a ground for the denial of due
course to and/or cancellation a CoC under Section 78 of the OEC, misrepresentation contemplated
under a Section 78 petition refers to statements affecting one’s qualifications for elective office
such as age, residence and citizenship or non-possession of natural-born Filipino status.

Owing to the lack of proper substitution in its case, private respondent was therefore not a bona
fide candidate for the position of Representative for the Fourth District of Leyte when she ran for
office, which means that she could not have been elected. Considering this pronouncement, there

28
exists no cogent reason to further dwell on the other issues respecting private respondent’s own
qualification to office.

29
The Legislative Department: Terms of Office

ABUNDO VS. COMELEC


G.R. No. 201716; January 8, 2013

Facts:
For four successive regular elections, namely, the 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010 national and local
elections, Abelardo Abundo, Sr. (Abundo) vied for the position of municipal mayor of Viga,
Catanduanes. In both the 2001 and 2007 runs, he emerged and was proclaimed as the winning
mayoralty candidate and accordingly served the corresponding terms as mayor. In the 2004
electoral derby, however, the Viga municipal board of canvassers initially proclaimed as winner
one Jose Torres (Torres), who, in due time, performed the functions of the office of mayor. Abundo
protested Torres’ election and proclamation in which Abundo was eventually declared the winner
of the 2004 mayoralty electoral contest, paving the way for his assumption of office for a period
of a little over one year and one month.

Abundo and Torres again opposed each other on May 10, 2010. When Abundo filed his certificate
of candidacy, Torres lost no time in seeking the former’s disqualification to run predicated on the
three-consecutive term limit rule. The COMELEC issued a Resolution finding for Abundo who
was accordingly proclaimed 2010 mayor-elect of Viga, Catanduanes.

Meanwhile, Ernesto R. Vega (Vega) commenced a quo warranto action before the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) to unseat Abundo on essentially the same grounds Torres raised in his petition. The
RTC found Abundo to have already served three consecutive mayoralty terms, to wit, 2001-2004,
2004-2007 and 2007-2010, and, hence, disqualified for another.

Abundo appealed to the COMELEC which affirmed the RTC and held that service of the unexpired
portion of a term by a protestant who is declared winner in an election protest is considered as
service for one full term within the contemplation of the three-term limit rule.

Issue:
Whether or not Abundo is deemed to have served three consecutive terms despite the fact that he
only served the remaining one year and one month of the second term as a result of an election
protest.

Held:
No, there was actual involuntary interruption in the term of Abundo. The consecutiveness of what
otherwise would have been Abundo’s three successive, continuous mayorship was effectively
broken during the 2004-2007 term when he was initially deprived of title to, and was veritably

30
disallowed to serve and occupy, an office to which he, after due proceedings, was eventually
declared to have been the rightful choice of the electorate.

The three-term limit rule for elective local officials, a disqualification rule, is found in Section 8,
Article X of the 1987 Constitution and is reiterated in Sec. 43(b) of R.A. No. 7160, or the Local
Government Code (LGC) of 1991. To constitute a disqualification to run for an elective local office
pursuant to the constitutional and statutory provisions, the following requisites must concur:
a) that the official concerned has been elected for three consecutive terms in the same local
government post; and
b) that he has fully served three consecutive terms.

The facts of the case clearly point to an involuntary interruption during the July 2004-June 2007
term.

During the period of one year and ten months, Abundo cannot plausibly claim, even if he wanted
to, that he could hold office of the mayor as a matter of right. Neither can he assert title to the same
nor serve the functions of the said elective office. The reason is simple: during that period, title to
hold such office and the corresponding right to assume the functions thereof still belonged to his
opponent, as proclaimed election winner.

Needless to stress, the almost two-year period during which Abundo’s opponent actually served
as Mayor is and ought to be considered an involuntary interruption of Abundo’s continuity of
service. An involuntary interrupted term, cannot, in the context of the disqualification rule, be
considered as one term for purposes of counting the three-term threshold.

31
Salaries

PHILCONSA VS. GIMENEZ


G.R. No. L-23326; December 18, 1965

Facts:
The Philippine Constitution Association, Inc (PHILCONSA) besets the validity of RA 3836
insofar as the same allows retirement gratuity and commutation of vacation and sick leave to
Senators and Representatives, and to the elective officials of both Houses of the Congress. The
provision on retirement gratuity is an attempt to circumvent the Constitutional ban on increase of
salaries of the members of Congress during their term of office, contrary to the provisions of
Article VI, Section 14 of the Constitution.

It allows members and officers of Congress to retire after 12 years of service and gives them a
gratuity equivalent to one year salary for every four years of service, which is not refundable in
case of reinstatement or reelection of the retiree, while all other officers and employees of the
government can retire only after at least 20 years of service and are given a gratuity which is only
equivalent to one month salary for every year of service, which, in any case, cannot exceed 24
months. The provision on vacation and sick leave, commutable at the highest rate received, insofar
as members of Congress are concerned, is another attempt of the legislator to further increase their
compensation in violation of the Constitution.

The Solicitor General counter-argued alleging that the grant of retirement or pension benefits under
Republic Act No. 3836 to the officers objected to by the petitioner does not constitute forbidden
compensation within the meaning of Section 14 of Article VI of the Philippine Constitution.

Issue:
Whether or not Republic Act 3836 violates Section 14, Article VI, of the Constitution.

Held:
Yes. When the Constitutional Convention first determined the compensation for the Members of
Congress, the amount fixed by it was only P5,000.00 per annum. Under the original constitutional
provision regarding the power of the National Assembly to increase the salaries of its members,
no increase would take effect until after the expiration of the full term of the members of the
Assembly elected subsequent to the approval of such increase.

The Constitutional provision in the aforementioned Section 14, Article VI, includes in the term
compensation “other emoluments”. This is the pivotal point on this fundamental question as to
whether the retirement benefit as provided for in Republic Act 3836 fall within the purview of the
term other emoluments, whereas, emolument is defined as the profit arising from office or

32
employment; that which is received as compensation for services or which is annexed to the
possession of an office, as salary, fees and perquisites.

It is evident that retirement benefit is a form or another species of emolument, because it is a part
of compensation for services of one possessing any office.

Republic Act 3836 provides for an increase in the emoluments of Senators and Members of the
House of Representatives, to take effect upon the approval of said Act, which was on June 22,
1963. Retirement benefits were immediately available thereunder, without awaiting the expiration
of the full term of all the Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives approving such
increase. Such provision clearly runs counter to the prohibition in Article VI, Section 14 of the
Constitution. RA 3836 is therefore unconstitutional.

33
Parliamentary Immunities

ANTERO J. POBRE VS. SEN. MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO


A.C. No. 7399; August 25, 2009

Facts:
The Judicial Bar Council sent public invitations for nominations to the soon-to-be vacated position
of Chief Justice. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago applied for the position. However, the Judicial
and Bar Council (JBC) then informed the applicants that only incumbent justices of the Supreme
Court could qualify for the position. For not being qualified, Sen. Miriam delivered this speech on
the Senate Floor.

In a sworn letter complaint dated December 22, 2006, a certain Antero J. Pobre asked the Supreme
Court to undertake disbarment proceedings or other disciplinary action against Senator Santiago
on the ground that her statements reflected a total disrespect on the part of the speaker towards
then Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban and the other members of the Court and constituted direct
contempt of court.

In her comment, Senator Santiago, through counsel, did not deny making the statements. However,
she explained that those statements were covered by the constitutional provision on parliamentary
immunity, being part of a speech she delivered in the discharge of her duty as member of Congress.
The purpose of her speech, according to her, was to bring out in the open controversial anomalies
in governance with a view to future remedial legislation.

Issue:
Whether or not Miriam DefensorSantiago can be charged for her comments on the Judiciary.

Held:
No. The plea of Senator Santiago for the dismissal of the complaint for disbarment or disciplinary
action is well taken. Indeed, her privilege speech is not actionable criminally or in a disciplinary
proceeding under the Rules of Court.

The immunity Senator Santiago claims is rooted primarily on the provision of Article VI,
Section 11 of the Constitution, which provides: A Senator or Member of the House of
Representative shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be
privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session. No member shall be questioned nor be held
liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the Congress or in any committee thereof.

This legislative privilege is founded upon long experience and arises as a means of perpetuating
inviolate the functioning process of the legislative department. Without parliamentary immunity,

34
parliament, or its equivalent, would degenerate into a polite and ineffective debating forum.
Legislators are immune from deterrents to the uninhibited discharge of their legislative duties, not
for their private indulgence, but for the public good. The privilege would be of little value if they
could be subjected to the cost and inconvenience and distractions of a trial upon a conclusion of
the pleader, or to the hazard of a judgment against them based upon a judge’s speculation as to the
motives.

The parliamentary non-accountability thus granted to members of Congress is not to protect them
against prosecutions for their own benefit, but to enable them, as the people's representatives, to
perform the functions of their office without fear of being made responsible before the courts or
other forums outside the Congressional hall.

35
Incompatible and Forbidden Offices

LIBAN VS. GORDON


593 S 68; January 18, 2011

Facts:
While serving as the Senator of the Senate of the Philippines, Richard J Gordon simultaneously
served as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC).
Petitioners then alleged that by accepting the chairmanship of the PNRC, Gordon waived his seat
as a senator pursuant to Section 13, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which prohibits a member
of Congress to hold other government positon during his term. Petitioners averred that PNRC is a
GOCC, thus the chairmanship of Senator Gordon to this government office is in violation of the
said provision.

During the trial, the Court ruled that the PNRC is not a government office and that Senator Gordon
did not violate the constitutional provision.

Issue:
Whether or not the PNRC is a government office.

Held:
No, the PNRC is not a government office. The Court ruled that the PNRC partakes a sui generis
character, meaning it is class of its own. If this is the case, then it should be dealt with by our laws
in a case to case basis. Neither can it be classified as a government office nor a private corporation.
Also, the Court upheld that PNRC enjoys a special status as an important ally and auxiliary of the
government in in the humanitarian field in accordance with its commitment under international
law. With this kind of logic, it can be deduced then that Senator Gordon did not violate the
Constitutional mandate which prohibits any member of Philippine Congress to hold a position to
another government office.

36
Inhibitions and Qualifications

GARCIA VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY


G.R. No. 198554; July 30, 2012

Facts:

Garcia, tried by the Special General Court Martial NR 2, was charged with and convicted of
violation of the 96th Article of War (Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and Gentleman) and
violation of the 97th Article of War (Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Military Discipline)
for failing to disclose all his assets in his Sworn Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net worth
for the year 2003 as required by RA 3019, as amended in relation to RA 6713.

Garcia, among others, argued that the confirmation issued by the OP directing his two-year
detention in a penitentiary had already been fully served following his preventive confinement
subject to Article 29 of the RPC (Revised Penal Code). He was released on December 16, 2010
after a preventive confinement for six years and two months. He was initially confined at his
quarters at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo before he was transferred to the Intelligence Service
of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) Detention Center, and latter to the Camp Crame
Custodial Detention Center.

Hence, on September 16, 2011, or a week after the OP confirmed the sentence of the court martial
against him, Garcia was arrested and detained and continues to be detained, for 2 years, at the
maximum security compound of the National Penitentiary in Muntinlupa. The OP stated that Art
29 of the RPC is not applicable in Military Courts for it is separate and distinct from ordinary
courts.

Hence, this petition.

Issue:

(1) Whether or not Article 29 of the RPC is applicable in Military Courts; and
(2) Whether or not the application of Article 29 of the RPC in the Articles of War is in accordance
with the Equal Protection Clause of the 1987 Constitution

Ruling:

(1) The Court ruled that applying the provisions of Article 29 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC)
(Period of preventive imprisonment deducted from time of imprisonment), the time within which

37
the petitioner was under preventive confinement should be credited to the sentence confirmed by
the Office of the President, subject to the conditions set forth by the same law.

The Court held that “the General Court Martial is a court within the strictest sense of the word and
acts as a criminal court.” As such, certain provisions of the RPC, insofar as those that are not
provided in the Articles of War and the Manual for Courts-Martial, can be supplementary.
“[A]bsent any provision as to the application of a criminal concept in the implementation and
execution of the General Court Martial’s decision, the provisions of the Revised Penal Code,
specifically Article 29 should be applied. In fact, the deduction of petitioner’s (Garcia) period of
confinement to his sentence has been recommended in the Staff Judge Advocate Review.”

(2) The Court further held that the application of Article 29 of the RPC in the Articles of War is in
accordance with the Equal Protection Clause of the 1987 Constitution. “The concept of equal
justice under the law requires the state to govern impartially, and it may not draw distinctions
between individuals solely on differences that are irrelevant to a legitimate governmental
objective.

It, however, does not require the universal application of the laws to all persons or things without
distinction. What it simply requires is equality among equals as determined according to a valid
classification. Indeed, the equal protection clause permits classification,” held the Court.

38
Discipline of Members

PAREDES VS. SANDIGANBAYAN


G.R No. 118364; August 10, 1995

Facts:
In January 1990, Teofilo Gelacio, the then vice mayor of San Francisco, Agusan del Sur filed a
case against Ceferino Paredes, Jr. (who was then the governor of the same province), Atty.
Generoso Sansaet (counsel of Paredes), and Mansueto Honrada (a clerk of court). The three
allegedly conspired to falsify a copy of a Notice of Arraignment and of the Transcript of
Stenographic Notes. Gelacio claimed that, in fact, no arraignment notice had ever been issued
against him in a criminal proceeding against him. Gelacio was able to produce a certification from
the judge handling the case himself that the criminal case against him never reached the
arraignment stage because the prosecution was dismissed. Atty. Sansaet on his part maintained
that there was indeed a Notice of Arraignment but he later retracted his testimonies. Paredes
claimed that Sansaet only changed his side because of political realignment. Subsequently, the
Office of the Ombudsman recommended that Paredes et al be charged with Falsification of Public
Documents. Paredes appealed but was eventually denied by the Sandiganbayan.

Issue:
Whether or not Paredes, now a member of Congress, may be suspended by order of the
Sandiganbayan.

Held:
Yes. The Supreme Court affirmed the order of suspension of Congressman Paredes by the
Sandiganbayan, despite his protestations on the encroachment by the court on the prerogatives of
congress. The SC ruled: “Petitioner’s invocation of Section 16 (3), Article VI of the Constitution
– which deals with the power of each House of Congress inter alia to ‘punish its Members for
disorderly behavior,’ and ‘suspend or expel a Member’ by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members
subject to the qualification that the penalty of suspension, when imposed, should not exceed sixty
days – is unavailing, as it appears to be quite distinct from the suspension spoken of in Section 13
of RA 3019, which is not a penalty but a preliminary, preventive measure, prescinding from the
fact that the latter is not being imposed on petitioner for misbehavior as a Member of the House
of Representatives.”

39
Journals

TOLENTINO VS. SECRETARY OF FINANCE


235 SCRA 630; August 25, 1994

Facts:
The value-added tax (VAT) is levied on the sale, barter or exchange of goods and properties as
well as on the sale or exchange of services. It is equivalent to 10% of the gross selling price or
gross value in money of goods or properties sold, bartered or exchanged or of the gross receipts
from the sale or exchange of services. Republic Act No. (RA) 7716 seeks to widen the tax base of
the existing VAT system and enhance its administration by amending the National Internal
Revenue Code.
Because of this, a petition was raised questioning the constitutionality of RA 7716 on multiple
grounds. First, for it being a proposal to amend the existing revenue bill, the petitioners argued
that such bill should had originated exclusively in the lower house pursuant to Article VI, Section
24 of the Constitution. Second, they also contend that that the Senate did not pass such statute it
the second and third reading. And third, the petitioners claimed that an amendment was made upon
the last reading of the bill, just to name a few.

Issue:
Whether or not the legislative journal should prevail over the enrolled bill in determining whether
or not RA 7716 is valid.

Held:
It would depend. It is settled that in case of conflict between the enrolled bill and the legislative
journals, it is the former that should prevail except only as to matters that the Constitution requires
to be entered in the journals. As regards to the prayer of the petitioner for the Courts to see if
amendments were made in the third reading, Justice Padilla in his Separate Opinion, said that the
Court must refuse to grant such prayer since both the enrolled bill and the legislative journals
certify that the measure was duly enacted in accordance with the Constitution. They are bound by
such official assurances from a coordinate department of the government, to which they owe, at
the very least, a becoming courtesy.

40
Electoral Tribunals

BRILLANTES VS. COMELEC


432 S 269; June 15, 2004

Facts:
On December 22, 1997, Congress enacted Republic Act No. 8436 authorizing the COMELEC to
use an automated election system for the process of voting, counting of votes and
canvassing/consolidating the results of the national and local elections. It also mandated the
COMELEC to acquire automated counting machines, computer equipment, devices and materials;
and to adopt new electoral forms and printing materials. The COMELEC initially intended to
implement the automation during the May 11, 1998 presidential elections, particularly in the
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao .The failure of the machines to read correctly some
automated ballots, however, deferred its implementation.

In the May 2001 elections, the counting and canvassing of votes for both national and local
positions were also done manually, as no additional ACMs had been acquired for that electoral
exercise because of time constraints.

On February 10, 200 President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order No.
175, authorizing the release of a supplemental P500 million budget for the AES project of the
COMELEC. The said issuance, likewise, instructed the Department of Budget and Management
to ensure that the aforementioned additional amount be used exclusively for the AES prescribed
under Rep. Act No. 8436, particularly the process of voting, counting of votes and
canvassing/consolidation of results of the national and local elections.

The COMELEC awarded the contract for Phase II of the AES to Mega Pacific Consortium and
correspondingly entered into a contract with the latter to implement the project. On the same day,
the COMELEC entered into a separate contract with Philippine Multi-Media System,
Inc.denominated electronic transmission, consolidation & dissemination of election results project
contract. The contract pertains to Phase III of the respondent COMELECs AES modernization
program. It was predicated on a previous bid award of the contract, for the lease of 1,900 units of
satellite-based Very Small Aperture Terminals) each unit consisting of an indoor and outdoor
equipment, to PMSI for possessing the legal, financial and technical expertise necessary to meet
the projects objectives. The COMELEC bound and obliged itself to pay PMSI the sum
of P298,375,808.90 as rentals for the leased equipment and for its services.

The Information Technology Foundation of the Philippines filed a petition for certiorari and
prohibition in this Court for the nullification of approving the contract for Phase II of AES to Mega

41
Pacific Consortium, while the case was pending the COMELEC paid the contract fee to the PMSI
in trenches.

This Court promulgated its Decision nullifying COMELEC resolution in awarding the contract for
Phase II of the AES to Mega Pacific Consortium. Also voided was the subsequent contract entered
into by the respondent COMELEC with Mega Pacific Consortium for the purchase of
computerized voting/counting machines for the purpose of implementing the second phase of the
modernization program. Phase II of the AES was, therefore, scrapped based on the said Decision
of the Court and the COMELEC had to maintain the old manual voting and counting system for
the May 10, 2004 elections.

The COMELEC barely two weeks before the national and local elections, approved the assailed
resolution declaring that it adopts the policy that the precinct election results of each city and
municipality shall be immediately transmitted electronically in advance to the COMELEC,
Manila. For the purpose, respondent COMELEC established a National Consolidation Center
,Electronic Transmission Centers for every city and municipality, and a special ETC at the
COMELEC, Manila, for the Overseas Absentee Voting. The assailed resolution further provides
that written notices of the date, time and place of the electronic transmission of advanced precinct
results shall be given not later than May 5, 2004 to candidates running for local positions, and not
later than May 7, 2004 to candidates running for national positions, as well as to political parties
fielding candidates, and parties, organizations/coalitions participating under the party-list system.

In keeping with the unofficial character of the electronically transmitted precinct results, the
assailed resolution expressly provides that no print-outs shall be released at the ETC and at the
NCC. Instead, consolidated and per-precinct results shall be made available via the Internet, text
messaging, and electronic billboards in designated locations. Interested parties may print the result
published in the COMELEC web site.

Issue:
Whether or not COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction in issuing Resolution No. 6712.

Held:
The Court rules in the affirmative because the assailed resolution of COMELEC usurps, under the
guise of an unofficial tabulation of election results based on a copy of the election returns, the sole
and exclusive authority of Congress to canvass the votes for the election of President and Vice-
President. Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution. Also the assailed COMELEC resolution
contravenes the constitutional provision that no money shall be paid out of the treasury except in
pursuance of an appropriation made by law. The resolution disregards existing laws which
authorize solely the duly-accredited citizen’s arm to conduct the unofficial counting of votes. The

42
accredited citizen’s arm is NAMFREL which is exclusively authorized to use a copy of the election
returns in the conduct of an unofficial counting of the votes, whether for the national or the local
elections. No other entity, including the respondent COMELEC itself, is authorized to use a copy
of the election returns for purposes of conducting an unofficial count. In addition, the second or
third copy of the election returns, while required to be delivered to the COMELEC under the
aforementioned laws, are not intended for undertaking an unofficial count. The aforesaid
COMELEC copies are archived and unsealed only when needed by the respondent COMELEC to
verify election results in connection with resolving election disputes that may be
imminent. However, in contravention of the law, the assailed Resolution authorizes the so-called
Reception Officers, to open the second or third copy intended for the respondent COMELEC as
basis for the encoding and transmission of advanced unofficial precinct results. This not only
violates the exclusive prerogative of NAMFREL to conduct an unofficial count, but also taints the
integrity of the envelopes containing the election returns, as well as the returns themselves, by
creating a gap in its chain of custody from the Board of Election Inspectors to the COMELEC.

The assailed resolution has no constitutional and statutory basis. That respondent COMELEC is
the sole body tasked to enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of
an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum and recall and to ensure free, orderly, honest, peaceful
and credible elections is beyond cavil. That it possesses the power to promulgate rules and
regulations in the performance of its constitutional duties is, likewise, undisputed. However, the
duties of the COMELEC under the Constitution and other election laws are carried out in
its official capacity. There is no constitutional and statutory basis for the respondent COMELEC
to undertake a separate and an unofficial tabulation of results, whether manually or
electronically. Indeed, by conducting such unofficial tabulation of the results of the election, the
COMELEC descends to the level of a private organization, spending public funds for the
purpose. Besides, it is absurd for the COMELEC to conduct two kinds of electoral counts a slow
but official count, and an alleged quicker but unofficial count, the results of each may substantially
differ.

43
Commission on Appointments

FRANKLIN M. DRILON VS. HON. JOSE DE VENECIA JR.


G.R. No. 180055; July 31, 2009

Facts:
In the second week of August 2007, petitioners in the first petition, G.R. No. 180055, went to
respondent then Speaker Jose de Venecia to ask for one seat for the Liberal Party in the
CA. Speaker Jose de Venecia merely said that he would study their demand. During the session of
the House of Representatives on September 3, 2007, petitioner in the first petition, Representative
Taada, requested from the House of Representatives leadership one seat in the CA for the Liberal
Party. To his request, Representative Neptali Gonzales II begged the indulgence of the Liberal
Party to allow the Legal Department to make a study on the matter.

In a separate move, Representative Taada, by letter of September 10, 2007, requested the Secretary
General of the House of Representatives the reconstitution of the House contingent in the CA to
include one seat for the Liberal Party in compliance with the provision of Section 18, Article VI
of the Constitution. Representative Taada also brought the matter to the attention of then Speaker
De Venecia, reiterating the position that since there were at least 20 members of the Liberal Party
in the 14th Congress, the party should be represented in the CA. As of October 15, 2007, however,
no report or recommendation was proffered by the Legal Department, drawing Representative
Taada to request a report or recommendation on the matter within three days.

In reply, Atty. Grace Andres of the Legal Affairs Bureau of the House of Representatives informed
Representative Taada that the department was constrained to withhold the release of its legal
opinion because the handling lawyer was directed to secure documents necessary to establish some
of the members party affiliations.

Issue:
Whether or not the power to elect members to the Commission on Appointments belongs to each
house of Congress pursuant to the Constitution. As such, the petition is not directed at the
respondents.

Held:
Senator Madrigal failed to show that she sustained direct injury as a result of the act complained
of. Her petition does not in fact allege that she or her political party PDP-Laban was deprived of a
seat in the CA, or that she or PDP-Laban possesses personal and substantial interest to confer on
her/it locus standi.

44
Senator Madrigal’s primary recourse rests with the respective Houses of Congress and not with this
Court. The doctrine of primary jurisdiction dictates that prior recourse to the House is necessary
before she may bring her petition to court. Senator Villar’s invocation of said doctrine is thus well-
taken, as is the following observation of Speaker Nograles.

It bears noting that Senator Villar had already transmitted original copies of Senator Madrigal’s
letters to the Senate Secretary for inclusion in the Order of Business of the Session of the Senate to
address her concerns. Senator Madrigals filing of the second petition is thus premature.

Senator Madrigal’s suggestion that Senators Pilar Juliana Cayetano and Richard Gordon be
considered independent senators such that the latter should not be allowed to be a member of the
CA, and that Senator Alan Peter Cayetano be considered a member of the NP such that he may sit
in the CA as his inclusion in NP will entitle his party to one seat involves a determination of party
affiliations, a question of fact which the Court does not resolve.

45
The Legislative Department: Organization

JOKER P. ARROYO, ET. AL. VS. JOSE DE VENECIA, ET. AL.


G.R. No. 127255; August 14, 1997

Facts:
A petition was filed challenging the validity of RA 8240, which amends certain provisions of the
National Internal Revenue Code. Petitioners, who are members of the House of Representatives,
charged that there is violation of the rules of the House which petitioners claim are constitutionally-
mandated so that their violation is tantamount to a violation of the Constitution. The law originated
in the House of Representatives as H. No. 7198. This bill was approved on third reading on
September 12, 1996 and transmitted on September 16, 1996 to the Senate which approved it with
certain amendments on third reading on November 17, 1996. A bicameral conference committee
was formed to reconcile the disagreeing provisions of the House and Senate versions of the bill.
The bicameral conference committee submitted its report to the House.

During the interpellations, Rep. Arroyo made an interruption and moved to adjourn for lack of
quorum. But after a roll call, the Chair declared the presence of a quorum. The interpellation then
proceeded. After Rep. Arroyo’s interpellation of the sponsor of the committee report, Majority
Leader Albano moved for the approval and ratification of the conference committee report. The
Chair called out for objections to the motion. Rep. Arroyo subsequently objected to the Majority
Leader’s motion, the approval of the conference committee report had by then already been
declared by the Chair. On the same day, the bill was signed by the Speaker of the House of
Representatives and the President of the Senate and certified by the respective secretaries of both
Houses of Congress as having been finally passed by the House of Representatives and by the
Senate on November 21, 1996. The enrolled bill was signed into law by President Fidel V. Ramos
on November 22, 1996.

Issue:
Whether or not RA 8240 is null and void because it was passed in violation of the rules of the
House.

Held:
Rules are hardly permanent in character. The prevailing view is that they are subject to revocation,
modification or waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them as they are primarily procedural.
Courts ordinarily have no concern with their observance. They may be waived or disregarded by
the legislative body. Consequently, mere failure to conform to them does not have the effect of
nullifying the act taken if the requisite number of members have agreed to a particular measure.
The above principle is subject, however, to this qualification. Where the construction to be given
to a rule affects persons other than members of the legislative body the question presented is

46
necessarily judicial in character. Even its validity is open to question in a case where private rights
are involved. In this case no rights of private individuals are involved but only those of a member
who, instead of seeking redress in the House, chose to transfer the dispute to this Court. We have
no more power to look into the internal proceedings of a House than members of that House have
to look over our shoulders, as long as no violation of constitutional provisions is shown.

47
Powers of the Congress: Law-Making

PEOPLE VS. SITON


600 SCRA 476; September 18, 2009

Facts:
On or about November 14, 2003, in the City of Davao, Evangeline Siton and Krystel Kate
Sagarano (the accused) wandered and loitered around San Pedro and Legaspi Streets without any
visible means to support themselves nor any lawful and justifiable purpose.

Instead of submitting their counter-affidavits, the accused filed separate Motions to Quash on the
ground that Article 202(2) is unconstitutional for being vague and overbroad. The municipal trial
court denied the motion and also declared that the law on vagrancy was enacted pursuant to the
State's police power and justified by the Latin maxim "salus populi est suprem(a) lex," which calls
for the subordination of individual benefit to the interest of the greater number.

The municipal trial court also noted that in the affidavit of the arresting police officer, SPO1 Jay
Plaza, it was stated that there was a prior surveillance conducted on the two accused in an area
reported to be frequented by vagrants and prostitutes who solicited sexual favors. Hence, the
prosecution should be given the opportunity to prove the crime, and the defense to rebut the
evidence.

The accused filed an original petition for certiorari and prohibition with the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) which declared Article 202(2) of the Revised Penal Code opining that the law is vague and
it violated the equal protection clause.

Issue:
Whether or not Article 202(2) of the Revised Penal Code is unconstitutional.

Held:
No, it is constitutional. The power to define crimes and prescribe their corresponding penalties is
legislative in nature and inherent in the sovereign power of the state to maintain social order as an
aspect of police power. In the instant case, the assailed provision is Article 202(2) of the Revised
Penal Code, which defines a vagrant as any person found loitering about public or semi-public
buildings or places, or tramping or wandering about the country or the streets without visible means
of support.

The Court agrees with the position of the State that first and foremost, Article 202(2) should be
presumed valid and constitutional. When confronted with a constitutional question, it is elementary
that every court must approach it with grave care and considerable caution bearing in mind that

48
every statute is presumed valid and every reasonable doubt should be resolved in favor of its
constitutionality. The policy of the courts is to avoid ruling on constitutional questions and to
presume that the acts of the political departments are valid in the absence of a clear and
unmistakable showing to the contrary. To doubt is to sustain, this presumption is based on the
doctrine of separation of powers which enjoins upon each department a becoming respect for the
acts of the other departments. The theory is that as the joint act of Congress and the President of
the Philippines, a law has been carefully studied, crafted and determined to be in accordance with
the fundamental law before it was finally enacted.

49
Legislative Inquiries

SABIO VS. GORDON


G.R. No. 174340; October 17, 2006

Facts:
On February 20, 2006, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago introduced Senate Res. No. 455
directing an inquiry in aid of legislation on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippines
Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC), Philippine Communications Satellite
Corporation (PHILCOMSAT), and PHILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation (PHC) due to the
alleged improprieties in their operations by their respective Board of Directors.

On May 8, 2006, Senator Richard Gordon, wrote Chairman Camilo Sabio of the PCGG inviting
him to be one of the resource persons in the public meeting jointly conducted by the Committee
on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee on Public Services.

Chairman Sabio declined the invitation because of prior commitment. At the same time, he
invoked Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 which states that “No member or staff of the Commission shall
be required to testify or produce evidence in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding
concerning matters within its official cognizance.” Apparently, the purpose is to ensure PCGG’s
unhampered performance of its task. Gordon’s Subpoenae Ad Testificandum was repeatedly
ignored by Sabio, hence he threatened Sabio to be cited with contempt.

Issue:
Whether or not Section 4(b) of E.O. No.1 limits power of legislative inquiry by exempting all
PCGG members or staff from testifying in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding.

Held:
No. Article VI, Section 21 of the 1987 Constitution grants the power of inquiry not only to the
Senate and the House of Representatives, but also to any of their respective committees. Clearly,
there is a direct conferral of investigatory power to the committees and it means that the mechanism
which the Houses can take in order to effectively perform its investigative functions are also
available to the committees.

It can be said that the Congress’ power of inquiry has gained more solid existence and expansive
construal. The Court’s high regard to such power is rendered more evident in Senate
v. Ermita, where it categorically ruled that the power of inquiry is broad enough to cover officials
of the executive branch. Verily, the Court reinforced the doctrine in Arnault that the operation of
government, being a legitimate subject for legislation, is a proper subject for investigation and that
the power of inquiry is co-extensive with the power to legislate.

50
Considering these jurisprudential instructions, Section 4(b) is directly repugnant with Article VI,
Section 21. Section 4(b) exempts the PCGG members and staff from the Congress’ power of
inquiry. This cannot be countenanced. Nowhere in the Constitution is any provision granting such
exemption. The Congress’ power of inquiry, being broad, encompasses everything that concerns
the administration of existing laws as well as proposed or possibly needed statutes. It even
extends to government agencies created by Congress and officers whose positions are within the
power of Congress to regulate or even abolish, whereas, PCGG belongs to this class.

A statute may be declared unconstitutional because it is not within the legislative power to enact;
or it creates or establishes methods or forms that infringe constitutional principles; or its purpose
or effect violates the Constitution or its basic principles. Moreover, Sec. 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 has
been repealed by the Constitution because it is inconsistent with the constitutional provisions on
the Congress’ power of inquiry (Art. VI, Sec. 21), the principle of public accountability (Art. XI,
Sec. 1), the policy of full disclosure (Art. II, Sec. 28), and the right of access to public information
(Art. III, Sec. 7). Certainly, a mere provision of law cannot pose a limitation to the broad power of
Congress, in the absence of any constitutional basis.

51
Legislative Inquiries

SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ERMITA


495 SCRA 170; April 20, 2006

Facts:
In the exercise of its legislative power, the Senate of the Philippines, through its various Senate
Committees, conducts inquiries or investigations in aid of legislation which call for, inter alia, the
attendance of officials and employees of the executive department, bureaus, and offices including
those employed in Government Owned and Controlled Corporations, the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP). On September 21 to 23, 2005, the
Committee of the Senate as a whole issued invitations to various officials of the Executive
Department for them to appear on September 29, 2005 as resource speakers in a public hearing on
the railway project of the North Luzon Railways Corporation with the China National Machinery
and Equipment Group (hereinafter North Rail Project). The public hearing was sparked by a
privilege speech of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile urging the Senate to investigate the alleged
overpricing and other unlawful provisions of the contract covering the North Rail Project.

Senator Franklin Drilon, the Senate President, excepted the said requests for they were sent
belatedly and arrangements were already made and scheduled. Subsequently, then President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo issued Executive Order 464 which took effect immediately. Executive Order
464 basically prohibited Department heads, Senior officials of executive departments who in the
judgment of the department heads are covered by the executive privilege. The department heads
and the military officers who were invited by the Senate committee then invoked Executive Order
464 to except themselves. Despite Executive Order 464, the scheduled hearing proceeded with
only 2 military personnel attending. For defying President Arroyo’s order barring military
personnel from testifying before legislative inquiries without her approval, Brig. Gen. Gudani and
Col. Balutan were relieved from their military posts and were made to face court martial
proceedings.

Executive Order 464’s constitutionality was assailed for it is alleged that it infringes on the rights
and duties of Congress to conduct investigation in aid of legislation and conduct oversight
functions in the implementation of laws.

Issue:
Whether or not Section 3 of E.O. 464, which requires all the public officials, enumerated in
Section 2 (b) to secure the consent of the President prior to appearing before either House of
Congress, is valid and constitutional.

52
Held:
No. The enumeration in Section 2 (b) of Executive Order. 464 is broad and is covered by the
executive privilege. The doctrine of executive privilege is premised on the fact that certain
information must, as a matter of necessity, be kept confidential in pursuit of the public interest.
The privilege being, by definition, an exemption from the obligation to disclose information, in
this case to Congress, the necessity must be of such high degree as to outweigh the public interest
in enforcing that obligation in a particular case.
Congress undoubtedly has a right to information from the executive branch whenever it is sought
in aid of legislation. If the executive branch withholds such information on the ground that it is
privileged, it must so assert it and state the reason therefor and why it must be respected.
The infirm provisions of Executive Order 464, however, allow the executive branch to evade
congressional requests for information without need of clearly asserting a right to do so and/or
proffering its reasons therefor. By the mere expedient of invoking said provisions, the power of
Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is frustrated.

Question Hour is closely related with the legislative power, and it is precisely as a complement to
or a supplement of the Legislative Inquiry. The appearance of the members of Cabinet would be
very, very essential not only in the application of check and balance but also, in effect, in aid of
legislation. Section 22 refers only to Question Hour, whereas, Section 21 would refer specifically
to inquiries in aid of legislation, under which anybody for that matter, may be summoned and if
he refuses, he can be held in contempt of the House. A distinction was thus made between inquiries
in aid of legislation and the question hour. While attendance was meant to be discretionary in the
question hour, it was compulsory in inquiries in aid of legislation.

53
Legislative Inquiries

GUDANI VS. SENGA


4985 SCRA 671 and 498 SCRA 671; August 15, 2006

Facts:
Senator Biazon summoned several senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines including
Gen. Gudani, Col. Balutan and Gen. Senga. Gen. Gudani and Col. Balutan then secured the
necessary documents so as to appear before the Senate. However, Gen. Senga refused the invitation
of Senator Biazon due to his prior commitment to be held in Brunei. The hearing was postponed
due to the absence of Gen. Senga. Subsequently, Gen. Senga sent Senator Biazon a letter informing
the latter that the President did not grant any AFP officer to attend such meeting. Despite the
directive of the AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Senga, Gen. Gudani and Col. Balutan appeared and
testified before the Senate Committee for the hearing concerning the “Hello Garci” controversy
associated to Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. This prompted Gen. Senga to issue a statement that
they appeared before the Senate without approval of the President and in violating the chain of
command for not obeying their superior. The two then were relieved from their service and
subjected to Court Martial for violating Articles 65 and 97 of the Articles of War.

Issue:
Whether or not the President, through the Chief of Staff, may prevent a member of the AFP from
testifying before a legislative inquiry.

Held:
Yes, pursuant to the presidential authority of the president as the commander-in-chief. The Court
ruled that the President could require military officers to seek approval before appearing before
the Congress is based foremost on the notion that a contrary rule unduly diminishes the
prerogatives of the President as commander-in-chief. Moreover, while it is true that the Congress
has a significant control over the armed forces as to budget and approval of higher-rank
promotions, but it still the President who was granted by the Constitution as the commander-in-
chief. Also, the exigencies of military discipline and the chain of command mandate that the
President’s ability to control the individual members of the armed forces be accorded the utmost
respect. Thus in case dilemma as who to obey, then the military officer has to obey the President.

54
Legislative Inquiries

NERI VS. SENATE


564 SCRA 152; September 4, 2008

Facts:
On September 26, 2007, Neri appeared before the respondent committees and testified for about
11 hours on the matters concerning the National Broadband Project, a project awarder to a Chinese
company ZTE. The Petitioner therein disclosed that when he was offered by Abalos a bribe of 200
million pesos to approve the project, he informed PGMA of the attempt and she instructed him not
to accept the bribe. However, when he was probed further on PGMA’s and petitioner’s discussions
relating to the NBN Project, petitioner refused to answer, invoking executive privilege.

The questions that he refused to answer were: whether or not PGMA followed up the
NBN Project; whether or not PGMA directed him to prioritize it; whether or not PGMA directed
him to approve it. Hence, Subpoena Ad Testificandum to the petitioner was issued. The petitioner
did not appear before the respondent committees upon orders of the President invoking exec
privilege. He explained that the questions asked of him are covered by exec privilege. He was cited
in contempt of respondent committees and an order for his arrest and detention until such time that
he would appear and give his testimony.

Issue:
Whether or not respondent committee committed a violation against Sec. 21 or Article VI in the
Constitution.

Held:
Respondents violated Sec. 21, Art. VI of the Philippine Constitution, requiring that the inquiry be
in accordance with the “duly published rules of procedure.” This requires the Senate of every
Congress to publish its rules of procedure governing inquiries in aid of legislation because every
Senate is distinct from the one before it or after it.

Not having published its Rules of Procedure, the subject hearings in aid of legislation conducted
by the 14th Senate are therefore procedurally infirm. The language of Sec. 21 Art. 6 of the
Constitution requiring that the inquiry be conducted in accordance with the duly published rules
of procedure is categorical. It should likewise be stressed that not all orders issued or proceedings
conducted pursuant to the subject Rules are null and void. Only those that result in violation of the
rights of witnesses should be considered null and void, considering that the rationale for the
publication is to protect the rights of witnesses as expresses in Sec.21 Art. 6 of the Constitution.

55
The Power of Appropriation

BELGICA ET. AL., VS. HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OCHOA, ET. AL.
G.R No. 208493; November 19, 2013

Facts:
This case is consolidated with G.R. No. 208493 and G.R. No. 209251.

The so-called pork barrel system has been around in the Philippines since about 1922. Pork Barrel
is commonly known as the lump-sum, discretionary funds of the members of the Congress. It
underwent several legal designations from “Congressional Pork Barrel” to the latest “Priority
Development Assistance Fund” or PDAF. The allocation for the pork barrel is integrated in the
annual General Appropriations Act (GAA).

Since 2011, the allocation of the PDAF has been done in the following manner:
a. P70 million: for each member of the lower house; broken down to – P40 million for
“hard projects” (infrastructure projects like roads, buildings, schools, etc.), and P30
million for “soft projects” (scholarship grants, medical assistance, livelihood programs,
IT development, etc.);
b. P200 million: for each senator; broken down to – P100 million for hard projects, P100
million for soft projects;
c. P200 million: for the Vice-President; broken down to – P100 million for hard projects,
P100 million for soft projects.

The PDAF articles in the GAA do provide for realignment of funds whereby certain cabinet
members may request for the realignment of funds into their department provided that the request
for realignment is approved or concurred by the legislator concerned.

The president does have his own source of fund albeit not included in the GAA. The so-called
presidential pork barrel comes from two sources: (a) the Malampaya Funds, from the Malampaya
Gas Project – this has been around since 1976, and (b) the Presidential Social Fund which is
derived from the earnings of PAGCOR – this has been around since about 1983.

Ever since, the pork barrel system has been besieged by allegations of corruption. In July 2013,
six whistle blowers, headed by Benhur Luy, exposed that for the last decade, the corruption in the
pork barrel system had been facilitated by Janet Lim Napoles. Napoles had been helping
lawmakers in funneling their pork barrel funds into about 20 bogus NGO’s (non-government
organizations) which would make it appear that government funds are being used in legit existing
projects but are in fact going to “ghost” projects. An audit was then conducted by the Commission
on Audit and the results thereof concurred with the exposes of Luy et al.

56
Motivated by the foregoing, Greco Belgica and several others, filed various petitions before the
Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the pork barrel system.

Issues:
I. Whether or not the congressional pork barrel system is constitutional.
II. Whether or not presidential pork barrel system is constitutional.

Held:
I. No, the congressional pork barrel system is unconstitutional. It is unconstitutional because it
violates the following principles:

a. Separation of Powers
As a rule, the budgeting power lies in Congress. It regulates the release of funds (power
of the purse). The executive, on the other hand, implements the laws – this includes the GAA
to which the PDAF is a part of. Only the executive may implement the law but under the pork
barrel system, what’s happening was that, after the GAA, itself a law, was enacted, the
legislators themselves dictate as to which projects their PDAF funds should be allocated to – a
clear act of implementing the law they enacted – a violation of the principle of separation of
powers. (Note in the older case of PHILCONSA vs Enriquez, it was ruled that pork barrel, then
called as CDF or the Countrywide Development Fund, was constitutional insofar as the
legislators only recommend where their pork barrel funds go).

This is also highlighted by the fact that in realigning the PDAF, the executive will still have to
get the concurrence of the legislator concerned.

b. Non-delegability of Legislative Power


As a rule, the Constitution vests legislative power in Congress alone. (The Constitution does
grant the people legislative power but only insofar as the processes of referendum and initiative
are concerned). That being, legislative power cannot be delegated by Congress for it cannot
delegate further that which was delegated to it by the Constitution.

Exceptions to the rule are:


(i) delegated legislative power to local government units but this shall involve purely local
matters;
(ii) authority of the President to, by law, exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a
declared national policy in times of war or other national emergency, or fix within specified
limits, and subject to such limitations and restrictions as Congress may impose, tariff rates,
import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues, and other duties or imposts within
the framework of the national development program of the Government.

57
In this case, the PDAF articles which allow the individual legislator to identify the projects to
which his PDAF money should go to is a violation of the rule on non-delegability of legislative
power. The power to appropriate funds is solely lodged in Congress (in the two houses
comprising it) collectively and not lodged in the individual members. Further, nowhere in the
exceptions does it state that the Congress can delegate the power to the individual member of
Congress.

c. Principle of Checks and Balances


One feature in the principle of checks and balances is the power of the president to veto items
in the GAA which he may deem to be inappropriate. But this power is already being
undermined because of the fact that once the GAA is approved, the legislator can now identify
the project to which he will appropriate his PDAF. Under such system, how can the president
veto the appropriation made by the legislator if the appropriation is made after the approval of
the GAA – again, “Congress cannot choose a mode of budgeting which effectively renders the
constitutionally-given power of the President useless.”

d. Local Autonomy
As a rule, the local governments have the power to manage their local affairs. Through their
Local Development Councils (LDCs), the LGUs can develop their own programs and policies
concerning their localities. But with the PDAF, particularly on the part of the members of the
House of Representatives, what’s happening is that a congressman can either bypass or
duplicate a project by the LDC and later on claim it as his own. This is an instance where the
national government (note, a congressman is a national officer) meddles with the affairs of the
local government – and this is contrary to the State policy embodied in the Constitution on
local autonomy. It’s good if that’s all that is happening under the pork barrel system but worse,
the PDAF becomes more of a personal fund on the part of legislators.

II. Yes, the presidential pork barrel is valid.

The main issue raised by Belgica et. al. against the presidential pork barrel is that it is
unconstitutional because it violates Section 29 (1), Article VI of the Constitution which provides:
No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law.
Belgica et al emphasized that the presidential pork comes from the earnings of the Malampaya and
PAGCOR and not from any appropriation from a particular legislation.

The Supreme Court disagrees as it ruled that PD 910, which created the Malampaya Fund, as well
as PD 1869 (as amended by PD 1993), which amended PAGCOR’s charter, provided for the
appropriation, to wit:

58
(i) PD 910: Section 8 thereof provides that all fees, among others, collected from certain
energy-related ventures shall form part of a special fund (the Malampaya Fund) which shall
be used to further finance energy resource development and for other purposes which the
President may direct;
(ii) PD 1869, as amended: Section 12 thereof provides that a part of PAGCOR’s earnings shall
be allocated to a General Fund (the Presidential Social Fund) which shall be used in
government infrastructure projects.

These are sufficient laws which met the requirement of Section 29, Article VI of the Constitution.
The appropriation contemplated therein does not have to be a particular appropriation as it can be
a general appropriation as in the case of PD 910 and PD 1869.

59
The Power of Appropriation

ARAULLO, ET. AL. VS. AQUINO, ET.AL.


G.R. No. 209287; July 1, 2014

Facts:
During the tenure of then President Benigno Aquino III, the Disbursement Acceleration Program
(DAP) was introduced by then Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad to speed up the funding
of government projects. Such program would allow the Executive Branch to have the discretion
of realigning of funds for the so-called priority projects, without the need of an appropriation law.
The source of such funds would be the public funds as well, wherein as to how it would be spent
would be within the discretion of the President. Other sources would be the unprogrammed funds
made by the Congress when they enact a General Appropriations Act (GAA).

In September 2013, Senator Jinggoy Estrada confessed that he and other senators received an
amount of Php 50 Million coming from the President in order to have then Chief Justice Renato
Corona impeached. The funds used for the bribery allegedly came from the DAP. From here on,
it turned out that the DAP was not just used for priority projects, but also to non-executive projects
such as the funding of the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army and the Moro National Liberation
Front just to name a few. Due to this, several petitioners went to the Supreme Court to question
the constitutionality of DAP since it violated certain provisions of the Constitution such as Sec.
29(1), Article VI of the Constitution which provides that no money shall be paid out of the Treasury
except in pursuance of an appropriation law.

Issue:
Whether or not the DAP violates the Constitution in so far as there should be an appropriation law
before public funds are to be disposed.

Held:
The Supreme Court that it did not violate the Constitution. The Court held that the DAP is not
covered by an appropriation law, it being just a mere program. An appropriation law is necessary
if the funds used would be coming from the Treasury. However, as stated earlier, the funds that
are being used by the DAP had already been appropriated through the GAA, by virtue of the
unprogrammed funds which are standby appropriations made by Congress. According to the
Supreme Court, the Executive was merely realigning the already appropriated funds which is not
prohibited by law, subject to certain conditions.

60
The Power of Taxation

TAN VS. DEL ROSARIO


237 S 324; October 3, 1994
Facts:
These two consolidated special civil actions for prohibition challenge the constitutionality of
Republic Act No. 7496, also commonly known as the Simplified Net Income Taxation Scheme,
amending certain provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code and, in the validity of Section
6, Revenue Regulations No. 2-93, promulgated by public respondents pursuant to said law.

Petitioners claim to be taxpayers adversely affected by the continued implementation of the


amendatory legislation. They also claimed that the enactment of Republic Act No. 7496 violates
the Article VI, Section 26(1), Article VI, Section 28(1) and Article III, Section 1 of the 1987
Constitution. Petitioners also assailed Section 6 of Revenue Regulations No. 2-93 that public
respondents have exceeded their rule-making authority in applying SNIT to general professional
partnerships.

Issue:
Whether or not Republic Act No. 7496 violates Article VI, Section 26(1), Article VI, Section 28(1)
and Article III, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution.

Held:
The SC held that Republic Act No. 7496 does not violate any provision in the constitution because
the said law is not arbitrary; it is germane to the purpose of the law and; applies to all things of
equal conditions and of same class. It is neither violative of equal protection clause due to the
existence of substantial difference between one who practice his profession alone and one who is
engaged to proprietorship. Further, the SC said that RA 7496 is just an amendatory provision of
the code of taxpayers where it classifies taxpayers in to four main groups: Individuals,
Corporations, Estate under Judicial Settlement and Irrevocable Trust. The court would have
appreciated the contention of the petitioner if RA 7496 was an independent law. But since it is
attached to a law that has already classified taxpayers, there is no violation of equal protection
clause. Aside from that uniformity of taxation merely require that all subjects or objects of taxation
similarly situated are to be treated alike both privileges and liabilities. Uniformity, does not offend
classification as long as it rest on substantial distinctions, it is germane to the purpose of the law.
It is not limited to existing only and must apply equally to all members of the same class. The
legislative intent is to increasingly shift the income tax system towards the scheduled approach in
taxation of individual taxpayers and maintain the present global treatment on taxable corporations.
This classification is neither arbitrary nor inappropriate.

61
The Power of Taxation

PLANTERS PRODUCTS VS. FERTIPHIL CORPORATION


G.R. No. 166006; March 14, 2008

Facts:
President Ferdinand Marcos, exercising his legislative powers, issued LOI No. 1465 which
provided, among others, for the imposition of a capital recovery component (CRC) on the domestic
sale of all grades of fertilizers which resulted in having Fertiphil paying P 10/bag sold to the
Fertilizer and Perticide Authority (FPA).

FPA remits its collection to Far East Bank and Trust Company who applies to the payment of
corporate debts of Planters Products Inc. (PPI). After the Edsa Revolution, FPA voluntarily
stopped the imposition of the P10 levy. Upon return of democracy, Fertiphil demanded a refund
but PPI refused. Fertiphil filed a complaint for collection and damages against FPA and PPI with
the RTC on the ground that LOI No. 1465 is unjust, unreaonable oppressive, invalid and unlawful
resulting to denial of due process of law.

FPA answered that it is a valid exercise of the police power of the state in ensuring the stability of
the fertilizing industry in the country and that Fertiphil did NOT sustain damages since the burden
imposed fell on the ultimate consumers. RTC and CA favored Fertiphil holding that it is an
exercise of the power of taxation ad is as such because it is NOT for public purpose as PPI is a
private corporation.

Issue:
Whether or not LOI No. 1465 issued by President Ferdinand Marcos is an invalid exercise of the
power of taxation rather than the police power.

Held:
As a seller, it bore the ultimate burden of paying the levy which made its products more expensive
and harm its business. It is also of paramount public importance since it involves the
constitutionality of a tax law and use of taxes for public purpose.

Police power and the power of taxation are inherent powers of the state but distinct and have
different tests for validity. Police power is the power of the state to enact the legislation that may
interfere with personal liberty on property in order to promote general welfare. While, the power
of taxation is the power to levy taxes as to be used for public purpose. The main purpose of police
power is the regulation of a behavior or conduct, while taxation is revenue generation. The lawful
subjects and lawful means tests are used to determine the validity of a law enacted under the police
power. The power of taxation, on the other hand, is circumscribed by inherent and constitutional

62
limitations.

In the case, it is for purpose of revenue. But it is a robbery for the State to tax the citizen and use
the funds generation for a private purpose. Public purpose does not only pertain to those purpose
which are traditionally viewed as essentially governmental function such as building roads and
delivery of basic services, but also includes those purposes designed to promote social justice.
Thus, public money may now be used for the relocation of illegal settlers, low-cost housing and
urban or agrarian reform.

63
Qualifications, Election and Term

MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO v. FIDEL VALDEZ RAMOS


253 SCRA 559; February 13, 1996

Facts:
The Miriam Defensor Santiago lost in the May 1992 Election. In her Motion of 16 August 1995,
reiterated in her Comment of 29 August 1995, Defensor-Santiago prayed that the revision in the
remaining precincts of the pilot areas be dispensed with and the revision process in the pilot areas
be deemed computed. She asserts that an election contest involves not only an adjudication and
settlement of the private interests of the rival candidates, but more importantly, the paramount
need to dispel, once and for all, the uncertainty that beclouds the true choice of the electorate.
Hence, it is imbued with public interest and should be pursued to its final conclusion to determine
the bona fide winner. She further asserts that an election case may be rendered moot only if the
term of the contested office has expired. For his part, the Protestee submits that there is strong
legal basis for this Tribunal to rule that the Protestant is deemed to have abandoned the instant
protest. He submits, however, that public interest requires that this protest be resolved on the merits
considering that: (a) it involves a matter of paramount and grave public interest; and (b) it was
filed merely to keep Protestant Santiago in the limelight in preparation for her Senatorial campaign.
He likewise claims that a resolution on the merits would confirm his victory.

Issue:
Whether or not an elected public official may even be held criminally liable should he refuse to
discharge an elective office.

Held:
In this jurisdiction, an elected public official may even be held criminally liable should he refuse
to discharge an elective office. The term of office of the Senators elected in the 8 May 1995 election
is six years, the first three of which coincides with the last three years of the term of the President
elected in the 11 May 1992 synchronized elections. The latter would be Protestant Santiago's term
if she would succeed in proving in the instant protest that she was the true winner in the 1992
elections. In assuming the office of Senator then, the Protestant has effectively abandoned or
withdrawn this protest, or at the very least, in the language of Moraleja, abandoned her
"determination to protect and pursue the public interest involved in the matter of who is the real
choice of the electorate." Such abandonment or withdrawal operates to render moot the instant
protest. Moreover, the dismissal of this protest would serve public interest as it would dissipate
the aura of uncertainty as to the results of the 1992 presidential election, thereby enhancing the all
too crucial political stability of the nation during this period of national recovery. In sum, if an
election protest may be dismissed on technical grounds, then it must be, for a decidedly stronger
reason, if it has become moot due to its abandonment by the Protestant.

64
Executive Department: Pre-Requisites and Inhibitions

CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION VS. EXECUTIVE SEC


194 SCRA 317; February 22, 1991

Facts:
The Civil Liberties Union, Anti-Graft League of the Philippines and Crispin T. Reyes (the
petitioners) maintain that Executive Order No. 284, which allows members of the Cabinet, their
undersecretaries and assistant secretaries to hold other government offices or positions in addition
to their primary positions, runs counter to Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution which
prohibits the President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies or
assistants to hold any other office/employment, practice any other profession, or be financially
interested in any contract with the Government during their tenure.

The constitutionality of Executive Order No. 284 is being challenged by petitioners on the
principal submission that it adds exceptions to Section 13, Article VII other than those provided
in the Constitution. According to petitioners, by virtue of the phrase "unless otherwise provided in
this Constitution” in the said provision, the only exceptions against holding any other office or
employment in Government are those provided in the Constitution, namely: (1) The Vice-
President may be appointed as a Member of the Cabinet under Section 3, par. (2), Article VII
thereof; and (2) the Secretary of Justice is an ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council by
virtue of Section 8 (1), Article VIII.

Public respondents, on the other hand, maintain that the phrase "unless otherwise provided in the
Constitution" in Section 13 of Article VII makes reference to Section 7, par. (2), Article IX-B
which states:
Unless otherwise allowed by law or by the primary functions of his position, no
appointive official shall hold any other office or employment the Government or
any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned
or controlled corporation or their subsidiaries.

Issue:
Whether or not the prohibition in Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution insofar as
Cabinet members, their deputies or assistants are concerned admit of the broad exceptions made
for appointive officials in general under Section 7, par. (2), Article IX-B.

Held:
No, the intent of the framers of the Constitution was to impose a stricter prohibition on the
President and his official family in so far as holding other offices or employment in the government
or elsewhere is concerned.

65
During the deliberations of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, Commissioner Foz commented,
"We actually have to be stricter with the President and the members of the Cabinet because they
exercise more powers and, therefore, more checks and restraints on them are called for because
there is more possibility of abuse in their case."

Thus, while all other appointive officials in the civil service are allowed to hold other office or
employment in the government during their tenure when such is allowed by law or by the primary
functions of their positions, members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants may do so only
when expressly authorized by the Constitution itself. In other words, Section 7, Article IX-B is
meant to lay down the general rule applicable to all elective and appointive public officials and
employees, while Section 13, Article VII is meant to be the exception applicable only to the
President, the Vice-President, Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants.

This being the case, the qualifying phrase "unless otherwise provided in this Constitution" in
Section 13, Article VII cannot possibly refer to the broad exceptions provided under Section 7,
Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution.

Since the evident purpose of the framers of the 1987 Constitution is to impose a stricter prohibition
on the President, Vice-President, members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants with respect
to holding multiple offices or employment in the government during their tenure, the exception to
this prohibition must be read with equal severity.

Thus, Executive Order No. 284 is declared null and void.

66
Executive Privilege

SENATE VS. ERMITA


G.R. No. 169777; April 20, 2006

Facts:
This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition proffer that the President has abused power by
issuing E.O. 464 “Ensuring Observance of the Principles of Separation of Powers, Adherence to
the Rule on Executive Privilege and Respect for the Rights of Public Officials Appearing in
Legislative Inquiries in Aid of Legislation Under the Constitution, and for Other Purposes”.
Petitioners prayed for its declaration as null and void for being unconstitutional.

In the exercise of its legislative power, the Senate of the Philippines, through its various Senate
Committees, conducts inquiries or investigations in aid of legislation which call for, inter alia, the
attendance of officials and employees of the executive department, bureaus, and offices including
those employed in Government Owned and Controlled Corporations, the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The Committee of the Senate issued invitations to various officials of the Executive Department
for them to appear as resource speakers in a public hearing on the railway project, others on the
issues of massive election fraud in the Philippine elections, wiretapping, and the role of military
in the so-called Gloriagate Scandal.

Said officials were not able to attend due to lack of consent from the President as provided by E.O.
464, Section 3 which requires all the public officials enumerated in Section 2(b) to secure the
consent of the President prior to appearing before either house of Congress.

Issue:
Whether or not Section 3 of E.O. 464 which requires all the public officials, enumerated in Section
2(b) to secure the consent of the President prior to appearing before either house of Congress, valid
and constitutional.

Held:
No. The enumeration in Section 2 (b) of E.O. 464 is broad and is covered by the executive
privilege. The doctrine of executive privilege is premised on the fact that certain information must,
as a matter of necessity, be kept confidential in pursuit of the public interest. The privilege being,
by definition, an exemption from the obligation to disclose information, in this case to Congress,
the necessity must be of such high degree as to outweigh the public interest in enforcing that
obligation in a particular case.

67
Congress undoubtedly has a right to information from the executive branch whenever it is sought
in aid of legislation. If the executive branch withholds such information on the ground that it is
privileged, it must so assert it and state the reason therefor and why it must be respected.

The infirm provisions of E.O. 464, however, allow the executive branch to evade congressional
requests for information without need of clearly asserting a right to do so and/or proffering its
reasons therefor. By the mere expedient of invoking said provisions, the power of Congress to
conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is frustrated.

68
Presidential Immunity

JOSEPH E. ESTRADA VS. ANIANO DESIERTO


G.R. Nos. 146710-15; March 2, 2001

Facts:
It began in October 2000 when allegations of wrong doings involving bribe-taking, illegal
gambling, and other forms of corruption were made against then President Joseph Ejercito Estrada
before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. On November 13, 2000, Estrada was impeached by
the House of Representative and, on December 7, impeachment proceedings were begun in the
Senate during which more serious allegations of graft and corruption against President Estrada
were made and were only stopped on January 16, 2001 when 11 senators, sympathetic to the
President, succeeded in suppressing damaging evidence against President Estrada. As a result, the
impeachment trial was thrown into an uproar as the entire prosecution panel walked out and Senate
President Pimentel resigned after casting his vote against President Estrada.

On January 19, Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
also withdrew their support for President Estrada and joined the crowd at EDSA Shrine. President
Estrada called for a snap presidential election to be held concurrently with congressional and local
elections on May 14, 2001. He added that he will not run in this election. On January 20, Supreme
Court declared that the seat of presidency was vacant, saying that President Estrada “constructively
resigned his post”. At noon, Vice President Arroyo took her oath of office in the presence of the
crowd at EDSA as the 14th President. Estrada and his family later left Malacañang Palace.
President Estrada, after his fall, filed petition for prohibition with prayer for Writ of Preliminary
Injunction. It sought to enjoin the respondent Ombudsman from conducting any further
proceedings in cases filed against him not until his term as president ends. He also prayed for
judgment confirming President Estrada to be the lawful and incumbent President of the Republic
of the Philippines temporarily unable to discharge the duties of his office.

Issue:
Whether or not the President enjoys immunity from suit.

Held:
No. The cases filed against Estrada are criminal in character. They involve plunder, bribery and
graft and corruption. By no stretch of the imagination can these crimes, especially plunder which
carries the death penalty, be covered by the alleged mantle of immunity of a non-sitting president.
He cannot cite any decision of this Court licensing the President to commit criminal acts and
wrapping him with post-tenure immunity from liability. The rule is that unlawful acts of public
officials are not acts of the State and the officer who acts illegally is not acting as such but stands
in the same footing as any trespasser.

69
This is in accord with our ruling in In re: Saturnino Bermudez that incumbent Presidents are
immune from suit or from being brought to court during the period of their incumbency and
tenure but not beyond. Considering the peculiar circumstance that the impeachment process
against the petitioner has been aborted and thereafter he lost the presidency, petitioner Estrada
cannot demand as a condition sine qua non to his criminal prosecution before the Ombudsman that
he be convicted in the impeachment proceedings. His reliance in the case of Lecaroz vs.
Sandiganbayan and related cases are inapropos for they have a different factual milieu.

The Court now comes to the scope of immunity that can be claimed by petitioner as a non-sitting
President. The cases filed against petitioner Estrada are criminal in character. They involve
plunder, bribery and graft and corruption. By no stretch of the imagination can these crimes,
especially plunder which carries the death penalty, be covered by the allege mantle of immunity
of a non-sitting president. Petitioner cannot cite any decision of this Court licensing the President
to commit criminal acts and wrapping him with post-tenure immunity from liability. It will be
anomalous to hold that immunity is an inoculation from liability for unlawful acts and
omissions. The rule is that unlawful acts of public officials are not acts of the State and the officer
who acts illegally is not acting as such but stands in the same footing as any other trespasser.

70
The Appointing Power and Removal Power

BANDA VS. ERMITA


618 S 488; April 20, 2010

Facts:
National Printing Office (NPO) was instituted during the Presidency of Corazon Aquino through
Executive Order No. 285 and it was attached to the Philippine Information Agency. It mandated
that NPO shall have an exclusive printing jurisdiction on the public documents, forms, ballot etc.
however, on October 25, 2004, President Arroyo issued an Executive Order No. 378 which
amended Section 6 of E.O. No. 285 which talks about the exclusive jurisdiction of NPO over the
printing services requirements of government agencies and instrumentalities. According to the
E.O. No. 378, government agencies and instrumentalities may tap the private sector for printing
services provided that it will be of superior quality at a lower price. This executive order prompted
the employees of NPO to question the constitutionality of E.O. No. 378. They raise the following:
it is beyond the executive powers of Pres. Arroyo to amend or repeal E.O. No. 285 issued by
former Pres. Arroyo when the latter still exercised legislative powers; and E.O. No. 378 violates
petitioners’ security of tenure, because it paves the way for the gradual abolition of the NPO.

Issue:
Whether or not Executive Order No. 378 is constitutional.

Held:
Yes, it is constitutional. Section 17, Art. VII of the 1987 Constitution states that the president shall
have control of all executive departments, bureaus and offices. It is clear that the issuance of E.O.
No. 378 is an exercise of this power since the Philippine Information Agency, where the NPO
belongs, is one of the department under the executive branch. Moreover, the Administrative Code
also supports this granting the president an authority to reorganize the Office of the President in
order to achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency.

71
The Supreme Court

IN RE APPOINTMENT OF HON. M VALENZUELA


AM No. 98-5-01; November 9, 1998

Facts:
Referred to the Court en banc are the appointments signed by the President dated March 30, 1998
of Hon. Mateo Valenzuela and Hon. Placido Vallarta as judges of the RTC of Bago City and
Cabanatuan City, respectively. These appointments appear prima facie, at least, to be expressly
prohibited by Sec. 15, Art. VII of the Constitution. The said constitutional provision prohibits the
President from making any appointments two months immediately before the next presidential
elections and up to the end of his term, except temporary appointments to executive positions when
continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety.

Issue:
Whether or not, during the period of the ban on appointments imposed by Sec. 15, Art. VII of the
Constitution, the President is nonetheless required to fill vacancies in the judiciary, in view of
Secs. 4 (1) and 9 of Art. VIII.

Held:
During the period stated in Sec. 15, Art. VII of the Constitution “two months immediately before
the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term” the President is neither required to
make appointments to the courts nor allowed to do so; and that Secs. 4(1) and 9 of Art. VIII simply
mean that the President is required to fill vacancies in the courts within the time frames provided
therein unless prohibited by Sec. 15 of Art. VII. This prohibition on appointments comes into effect
once every 6 years.

The appointments of Valenzuela and Vallarta were unquestionably made during the period of the
ban. They come within the operation of the prohibition relating to appointments. While the filling
of vacancies in the judiciary is undoubtedly in the public interest, there is no showing in this case
of any compelling reason to justify the making of the appointments during the period of the ban

72
The Control Power

DRILON VS. LIM


235 SCRA 135; August 4, 1994

Facts:
Pursuant to Section 187 of the Local Government Code, the Secretary of Justice had, on appeal to
him of four oil companies and a taxpayer, declared Ordinance No. 7794, otherwise known as the
Manila Revenue Code, null and void for non-compliance with the prescribed procedure in the
enactment of tax ordinances and for containing certain provisions contrary to law and public
policy. In a petition for certiorari filed by the City of Manila, the RTC declared Section 187 of the
Local Government Code as unconstitutional because of its vesture in the Secretary of Justice of
the power of control over local governments in violation of the policy of local autonomy mandated
in the Constitution and of the specific provision therein conferring on the President of the
Philippines only the power of supervision over local governments. In this case, Judge Rodolfo C.
Palattao declared Section 187 unconstitutional insofar as it empowered the Secretary of Justice to
review tax ordinances. He cited the familiar distinction between control and supervision, the first
being "the power of an officer to alter or modify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done
in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for the latter," while
the second is "the power of a superior officer to see to it that lower officers perform their functions
in accordance with law.”

Issue:
Whether or not Section 187 of the Local Government Code is constitutional and whether or not
the Secretary of Justice can exercise control, rather than supervision, over the local government.

Held:
Yes. Section 187 authorizes the Secretary of Justice to review only the constitutionality or legality
of the tax ordinance and, if warranted, to revoke it on either or both of these grounds. When he
alters or modifies or sets aside a tax ordinance, he is not also permitted to substitute his own
judgment for the judgment of the local government that enacted the measure. Secretary Drilon did
set aside the Manila Revenue Code, but he did not replace it with his own version of what the Code
should be. What he found only was that it was illegal. All he did in reviewing the said measure
was determine if the petitioners were performing their functions in accordance with law, that is,
with the prescribed procedure for the enactment of tax ordinances and the grant of powers to the
city government under the Local Government Code.

73
As the court sees it, that was an act not of control but of mere supervision. Secretary Drilon set
aside the Manila Revenue Code only on two grounds, to wit, the inclusion therein of certain ultra
vires provisions and non-compliance with the prescribed procedure in its enactment. These
grounds affected the legality, not the wisdom or reasonableness, of the tax measure.

As regards the issue of non-compliance with the prescribed procedure in the enactment of the
Manila Revenue Code, the Court has carefully examined every one of the exhibits and agree with
the trial court that the procedural requirements have indeed been observed. Notices of the public
hearings were sent to interested parties. The minutes of the hearings are found in the exhibits and
such show that the proposed ordinances were published.

74
The “Take-Care” Clause Power

BIRAOGO VS. THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION OF 2010


637 SCRA 78; December 7, 2010

Facts:
On July 30, 2010, then President Benigno Simeon Aquino III signed Executive Order No. (EO) 1
which established the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 (Truth Commission) for purposes of
complying with his platform against graft and corruption which he laid out when he was still a
presidential candidate. The task of such Commission was to investigate reports of graft and
corruption committed by third-level public officers and employees, their co-principals,
accomplices and accessories during the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and thereafter
to submit its finding and recommendations to the President, Congress and the Ombudsman.

Due to this, a petition was filed in Court seeking to have EO No. 1 declared unconstitutional on
the ground that the issuance of such violated that the doctrine of separation of powers as the power
to create a public office lies with the Legislative branch.

Issue:
Whether or not the President had the power to create the Truth Commission.

Held:
He has. The President is vested by the constitution with the power to create a fact-finding body,
such as the Truth Commission in this case. The creation of the said commission is justified by
Section 17, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution which imposes upon the President the duty to
ensure that laws are faithfully executed. Also, the Court held that the Truth could be deemed as an
ad hoc investigating committee, wherein the creation of such is also within the powers of the
President. Ad hoc investigating bodies is not a new concept in our governmental structure since
those had been made in the past years, such as the Melo Commission and the Zenarosa
Commission just to name a few. In addition, the funds that would be used by this commission
would be coming from the Office of the President, and not from the Public Treasury.

75
The Military Power

KULAYAN VS. GOV. ABDUSAKAR TAN


675 S 482; July 3, 2012

Facts:
On 15 January 2009, three members from the International Committee of the Red Cross were
kidnapped in the vicinity of the Provincial Capitol in Patikul, Sulu. Andres Notter, a Swiss national
and head of the ICRC in Zamboanga City, Eugenio Vagni, an Italian national and ICRC delegate,
and Marie Jean Lacaba, a Filipino engineer, were purportedly inspecting a water and sanitation
project for the Sulu Provincial Jail when inspecting a water and sanitation project for the Sulu
Provincial Jail when they were seized by three armed men who were later confirmed to be members
of the Abu Sayyaf Group .The leader of the alleged kidnappers was identified as Raden Abu, a
former guard at the Sulu Provincial Jail. News reports linked Abu to Albader Parad, one of the
known leaders of the Abu Sayyaf.

On 21 January 2009, a task force was created by the ICRC and the Philippine National Police,
which then organized a parallel local group known as the Local Crisis Committee. The local group,
later renamed Sulu Crisis Management Committee convened under the leadership of respondent
Abdusakur Mahail Tan, the Provincial Governor of Sulu. Its armed forces component was headed
by respondents General Juancho Saban, and his deputy, Colonel Eugenio Clemen. The PNP
component was headed by respondent Police Superintendent Bienvenido G. Latag, the Police
Deputy Director for Operations of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

On 31 March 2009, Governor Tan issued Proclamation No. 1, Series of 2009 Proclamation 1-09,
declaring a state of emergency in the province of Sulu. It cited the kidnapping incident as a ground
for the said declaration, describing it as a terrorist act pursuant to the Human Security Act R.A.
9372. It also invoked Section 465 of the Local Government Code of 1991 R.A. 7160, which
bestows on the Provincial Governor the power to carry out emergency measures during man-made
and natural disasters and calamities, and to call upon the appropriate national law enforcement
agencies to suppress disorder and lawless violence.

In the same Proclamation, respondent Tan called upon the PNP and the CEF to set up checkpoints
and chokepoints, conduct general search and seizures including arrests, and other actions necessary
to ensure public safety.

On 4 April 2009, the office of Governor Tan distributed to civic organizations, copies of the
Guidelines for the Implementation of Proclamation No. 1, Series of 2009 declaring a State of
Emergency in the Province of Sulu. These Guidelines suspended all Permits to Carry Firearms
Outside of Residence issued by the Chief of the PNP, and allowed civilians to seek exemption

76
from the gun ban only by applying to the Office of the Governor and obtaining the appropriate
identification cards. The said guidelines also allowed general searches and seizures in designated
checkpoints and chokepoints.

On 16 April 2009, Jamar M. Kulayan, Temogen S. Tulawie, Hadji Mohammad Yusop Ismi,
Ahajan Awadi, and SPO1 Sattal H. Jadjuli, residents of Patikul, Sulu, filed the present Petition for
Certiorari and Prohibition, claiming that Proclamation 1-09 was issued with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, as it threatened fundamental freedoms
guaranteed under Article III of the 1987 Constitution.

Issue:
Whether or not Proclamation 1-09 was issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction, as it threatened fundamental freedoms guaranteed under Article III of the
1987 Constitution.

Held:
The Supreme Court held in affirmative because only the President is vested with calling-out
powers, as the commander-in-chief of the Republic. It has already been established that there is
one repository of executive powers, and that is the President of the Republic. This means that when
Section 1, Article VII of the Constitution speaks of executive power, it is granted to the President
and no one else. It is only the President, as Executive, who is authorized to exercise emergency
powers as provided under Section 23, Article VI, of the Constitution, as well as what became
known as the calling-out powers under Section 7, Article VII thereof.

Respondent provincial governor is not endowed with the power to call upon the armed forces at
his own bidding. In issuing the assailed proclamation, Governor Tan exceeded his authority when
he declared a state of emergency and called upon the Armed Forces, the police, and his own
Civilian Emergency Force. The calling-out powers contemplated under the Constitution is
exclusive to the President. An exercise by another official, even if he is the local chief executive,
is ultra vires, and may not be justified by the invocation of Section 465 of the Local Government
Code, as will be discussed subsequently. That in all situations involving threats to security, such
as lawless violence, invasion or rebellion, even in localized areas, it is still the President who
possesses the sole authority to exercise calling-out powers. As reflected in the Journal of the
Constitutional Commission.

77
The Military Power

EUGENE GONZALES, ET. AL. VS. NARCISO ABAYA, ET. AL.


G.R. No. 164007; August 10, 2006

Facts:
In relation to the celebrated Oakwood mutiny where a total of 321 soldiers including petitioners
herein declared their withdrawal of support to the Commander-in-chief, President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo declared a state of rebellion and ordered the arrest of the said soldiers. In order
to avoid a bloody confrontation, the government sent negotiators to dialogue with the soldiers.
After several hours of negotiation, the government panel succeeded in convincing them to lay
down their arms and defuse the explosives placed around the premises of the Oakwood
Apartments. Eventually, they returned to their barracks.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) investigated the incident and recommended that the
military personnel involved be charged with coup d'etat defined and penalized under Article 134-
A of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. The Chief State Prosecutor of the Department of Justice
(DOJ) recommended the filing of the corresponding Information against them. Meanwhile,
pursuant to Article 70 of the Articles of War, respondent General Narciso Abaya, then AFP Chief
of Staff, ordered the arrest and detention of the soldiers involved in the Oakwood incident and
directed the AFP to conduct its own separate investigation.

On August 5, 2003, the DOJ filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Makati City an Information
for coup d'etat against those soldiers. Subsequently, this case was consolidated involving the other
accused, pending before Branch 148 of the RTC, Makati City. On August 13, 2003, the RTC
directed the DOJ to conduct a reinvestigation of Criminal Case No. 03-2784. On the same date,
respondent Chief of Staff issued Letter Order No. 625 creating a Pre-Trial Investigation Panel
tasked to determine the propriety of filing with the military tribunal charges for violations of
Commonwealth Act No. 408, 4 (otherwise known as "The Articles of War"), as amended, against
the same military personnel.

Of the original 321 accused in Criminal Case No. 03-2784, only 243 (including petitioners herein)
filed with the RTC, Branch 148 an Omnibus Motion praying that the said trial court assume
jurisdiction over all the charges filed with the military tribunal. They invoked Republic Act (R.A.)
No. 7055. Subsequently, the Pre-Trial Investigation Panel submitted its Final Pre-Trial
Investigation Report to the JAGO, recommending that, following the "doctrine of absorption,"
those charged with coup d'etat before the RTC should not be charged before the military tribunal
for violation of the Articles of War.

78
Issue:
Whether or not the court martial may assume jurisdiction over those who have been criminally
charged of coup d’état before the regular courts.

Held:
Yes. Article 96 of the Articles of War is service-connected. This is expressly provided in Section
1, par. (2) of R.A. No. 7055. It bears stressing that the charge against the petitioners concerns the
alleged violation of their solemn oath as officers to defend the Constitution and the duly-
constituted authorities. Such violation allegedly caused dishonor and disrespect to the military
profession. In short, the charge has a bearing on their professional conduct or behavior as military
officers. Equally indicative of the "service-connected" nature of the offense is the penalty
prescribed for the same dismissal from the service imposable only by the military court. Such
penalty is purely disciplinary in character, evidently intended to cleanse the military profession of
misfits and to preserve the stringent standard of military discipline.

Hence, there is no merit in petitioners argument that they can no longer be charged before the court
martial for violation of Article 96 of the Articles of War because the same has been declared by
the RTC in its Order of February 11, 2004 as "not service-connected, but rather absorbed and in
furtherance of the alleged crime of coup d'etat," hence, triable by said court (RTC). The RTC, in
making such declaration, practically amended the law which expressly vests in the court martial
the jurisdiction over "service-connected crimes or offenses." What the law has conferred the court
should not take away. It is only the Constitution or the law that bestows jurisdiction on the court,
tribunal, body or officer over the subject matter or nature of an action which can do so. And it is
only through a constitutional amendment or legislative enactment that such act can be done. The
first and fundamental duty of the courts is merely to apply the law "as they find it, not as they like
it to be. Evidently, such declaration by the RTC constitutes grave abuse of discretion tantamount
to lack or excess of jurisdiction and is, therefore, void.

79
The Military Power

SANLAKAS, ET. AL. VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, ET. AL.


G.R. No. 159085; February 3, 2004

Facts:
During the wee hours of July 27, 2003, some three-hundred junior officers and enlisted men of the
AFP, acting upon instigation, command and direction of known and unknown leaders have seized
the Oakwood Building in Makati. Publicly, they complained of the corruption in the AFP and
declared their withdrawal of support for the government, demanding the resignation of the
President, Secretary of Defense and the PNP Chief. In the wake of the Oakwood occupation, the
President issued later in the day Proclamation No. 427 and General Order No. 4, both declaring a
state of rebellion and calling out the Armed Forces to suppress the rebellion. Sanlakas and Partido
ng Manggagawa (PM), contend that Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution does not require
the declaration of a state of rebellion to call out the armed forces. They further submit that, because
of the cessation of the Oakwood occupation, there exists no sufficient factual basis for the
proclamation by the President of a state of rebellion for an indefinite period. Petitioners also submit
that the proclamation is a circumvention of the report requirement under the same Section 18,
Article VII, commanding the President to submit a report to Congress within 48 hours from the
proclamation of martial law. Finally, they contend that the presidential issuances cannot be
construed as an exercise of emergency powers as Congress has not delegated any such power to
the President. The Solicitor General argues that the petitions have been rendered moot by the lifting
of the declaration. In addition, the Solicitor General questions the standing of the petitioners to
bring suit. Hence the petition.

Issue:
Whether or not Proclamation No. 427 and General Order No. 4 are constitutional.

Held:
The issuance of Proclamation No. 427 and General Order No. 4, we clarify that, as the dissenters
in Lacson correctly pointed out, the mere declaration of a state of rebellion cannot diminish or
violate constitutionally protected rights. Indeed, if a state of martial law does not suspend the
operation of the Constitution or automatically suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus,
then it is with more reason that a simple declaration of a state of rebellion could not bring about
these conditions. At any rate, the presidential issuances themselves call for the suppression of the
rebellion with due regard to constitutional rights. It is not disputed that the President has full
discretionary power to call out the armed forces and to determine the necessity for the exercise of
such power. While the Court may examine whether the power was exercised within constitutional
limits or in a manner constituting grave abuse of discretion, none of the petitioners here have, by
way of proof, supported their assertion that the President acted without factual basis.

80
The argument that the declaration of a state of rebellion amounts to a declaration of martial law
and, therefore, is a circumvention of the report requirement, is a leap of logic. There is no
indication that military tribunals have replaced civil courts in the theater of war or that military
authorities have taken over the functions of civil government. There is no allegation of curtailment
of civil or political rights. There is no indication that the President has exercised judicial and
legislative powers. In short, there is no illustration that the President has attempted to exercise or
has exercised martial law powers.

81
Powers of the President: The Military Power

DAVID VS. ARROYO


G.R. No. 171396; May 3, 2006

Facts:
On February 24, 2006, President Arroyo issued Presidential Proclamation No. 1017
(P.P. 1017) declaring a state of national emergency brought about by the political oppositions
which have conspired with authoritarians of the extreme Left, represented by the NDF-CPP-NPA,
and the extreme Right, represented by military adventurists, who are now in a tactical alliance and
engaged in a concerted and systematic conspiracy to unseat or assassinate President Arroyo.

On the same day, the President issued General Order No. 5 (G.O. No. 5) implementing P.P. 1017
directing the Chief of Staff of the AFP and the Chief of the PNP, as well as the officers and men
of the AFP and PNP, to immediately carry out the necessary and appropriate actions and measures
to suppress and prevent acts of terrorism and lawless violence.

On March 3, 2006, exactly one week after the declaration of a state of national emergency and
after seven petitions had been filed, the President lifted P.P. 1017, declaring that the state of
national emergency has ceased to exist.

The seven petitions assailed P.P. 1017 on the grounds that (1) it encroaches on the emergency
powers of Congress; (2) it is a subterfuge to avoid the constitutional requirements for the
imposition of martial law; and (3) it violates the constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press,
of speech and of assembly. They alleged that President Arroyo “gravely abused her discretion in
calling out the armed forces without clear and verifiable factual basis of the possibility of lawless
violence and a showing that there is necessity to do so.”

The Solicitor General argued that the intent of the Constitution is to give full discretionary powers
to the President in determining the necessity of calling out the armed forces. He emphasized that
none of the petitioners has shown that P.P. 1017 was without factual bases.

Issue:
Whether or not P.P. 1017 and G.O. No. 5 is constitutional insofar as it constitutes a call by the
President for the AFP to prevent or suppress lawless violence.

Held:
Yes, this pertains to the President’s calling-out power. In Sanlakas v. Executive Secretary, the
Court held that Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution grants the President, as Commander-in-
Chief, a “sequence” of graduated powers. From the most to the least benign, these are: the calling-

82
out power, the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, and the power to
declare Martial Law. Citing Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Zamora, the Court ruled that the
only criterion for the exercise of the calling-out power is that “whenever it becomes necessary,”
the President may call the armed forces “to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or
rebellion.” Considering the circumstances then prevailing, President Arroyo found it necessary to
issue P.P. 1017.

The Court finds and so holds that PP 1017 is constitutional insofar as it constitutes a call by the
President for the AFP to prevent or suppress lawless violence. The proclamation is sustained by
Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution and jurisprudence.

In the same vein, the Court finds G.O. No. 5 valid. It is an Order issued by the President “acting
as Commander-in-Chief” addressed to subalterns in the AFP to carry out the provisions of
P.P. 1017. Significantly, it also provides a valid standard that the military and the police should
take only the “necessary and appropriate actions and measures to suppress and prevent acts of
lawless violence.”

83
The Military Power

LAGMAN VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY MEDIALDEA


G.R. No. 231658; July 7, 2017

Facts:
Effective May 23, 2017, and for a period not exceeding 60 days, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
issued Proclamation No. 216 declaring a state of martial law and suspending the privilege of the
writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao.

Within the timeline set by Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution, the President submitted to
Congress on May 25, 2017, a written Report on the factual basis of Proclamation No. 216. The
Report pointed out that for decades, Mindanao has been plagued with rebellion and lawless
violence which only escalated and worsened with the passing of time. The Report also highlighted
the strategic location of Marawi City and the crucial and significant role it plays in Mindanao, and
the Philippines as a whole. In addition, the Report pointed out the possible tragic repercussions
once Marawi City falls under the control of the lawless groups.

After the submission of the Report and the briefings, the Senate issued a resolution expressing full
support to the martial law proclamation and finding Proclamation No. 216 to be satisfactory,
constitutional and in accordance with the law. In the same Resolution, the Senate declared that it
found no compelling reason to revoke the same. The House of Representatives likewise issued a
resolution expressing its full support to the President, as it finds no reason to revoke Proclamation
No. 216.

Invoking the third paragraph of Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution, various citizens filed
several petitions, essentially invoking the Court’s specific and special jurisdiction to review the
sufficiency of the factual basis of Proclamation No. 216; and seeking to nullify Proclamation No.
216 for being unconstitutional because it lacks sufficient factual basis.

Issue:
Whether or not there were sufficient factual basis for the proclamation of martial law or the
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

Held:
Yes. The President deduced from the facts available to him that there was an armed public uprising,
the culpable purpose of which was to remove from the allegiance to the Philippine Government a
portion of its territory and to deprive the Chief Executive of any of his powers and prerogative,
leading the President to believe that there was probable cause that the crime of rebellion was and
is being committed and that public safety requires the imposition of martial law and suspension of

84
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

Section 18, Article VII itself sets the parameters for determining the sufficiency of the factual basis
for the declaration of martial law and/or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus, "namely (1) actual invasion or rebellion, and (2) public safety requires the exercise of such
power."

Without the concurrence of the two conditions, the President's declaration of martial law and/or
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus must be struck down. 
 A review of the
aforesaid facts similarly leads the Court to conclude that the President, in issuing Proclamation
No. 216, had sufficient factual ' bases tending to show that actual rebellion exists. The President's
conclusion, that there was an armed public uprising, the culpable purpose of which was the
removal from the allegiance of the Philippine Government a portion of its territory and the
deprivation of the President from performing his powers and prerogatives, was reached after a
tactical consideration of the facts. In fine, the President satisfactorily discharged his burden of
proof.

85
The Military Power

INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES (IBP) VS. ZAMORA


G.R. No. 141284; August 15, 2000

Facts:
In view of the alarming increase in violent crimes in Metro Manila, like robberies, kidnappings
and carnappings, the President, in a verbal directive, ordered the PNP and the Marines to conduct
joint visibility patrols for the purpose of crime prevention and suppression. The Secretary of
National Defense, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (the AFP), the Chief
of the PNP and the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government were tasked to execute and
implement the said order.

In compliance with the presidential mandate, the PNP Chief, through Police Chief Superintendent
Edgar B. Aglipay, formulated Letter of Instruction 02/2000 (the LOI) which detailed the manner
by which the joint visibility patrols, called Task Force Tulungan,would be conducted. Task
Force Tulungan was placed under the leadership of the Police Chief of Metro Manila.

Subsequently, the President confirmed his previous directive on the deployment of the Marines in
a Memorandum, addressed to the Chief of Staff of the AFP and the PNP Chief. In the
Memorandum, the President expressed his desire to improve the peace and order situation in Metro
Manila through a more effective crime prevention program including increased police patrols. The
President further stated that to heighten police visibility in the metropolis, augmentation from the
AFP is necessary.

Invoking his powers as Commander-in-Chief under Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution,
the President directed the AFP Chief of Staff and PNP Chief to coordinate with each other for the
proper deployment and utilization of the Marines to assist the PNP in preventing or suppressing
criminal or lawless violence. Finally, the President declared that the services of the Marines in the
anti-crime campaign are merely temporary in nature and for a reasonable period only, until such
time when the situation shall have improved. The IBP questioned the validity of the deployment
and utilization of the Marines to assist the PNP in law enforcement.

Issue:
Whether or not the calling of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to assist the Philippine
National Police (PNP) in joint visibility patrols violate the constitutional provisions on civilian
supremacy over the military.

86
Held:
No. The President did not violate the constitutional provisions on civilian supremacy over the
military in calling out the Marines. As framed by the parties, the underlying issues are the scope
of presidential powers and limits, and the extent of judicial review. But, while this Court gives
considerable weight to the parties formulation of the issues, the resolution of the controversy may
warrant a creative approach that goes beyond the narrow confines of the issues raised. For one, the
realities on the ground do not show that there exists a state of warfare, widespread civil unrest or
anarchy. Secondly, the full brunt of the military is not brought upon the citizenry, a point discussed
in the latter part of this decision.

In the words of the late Justice Irene Cortes in Marcos v. Manglapus: More particularly, this case
calls for the exercise of the President’s powers as protector of the peace. The power of the President
to keep the peace is not limited merely to exercising the commander-in-chief powers in times of
emergency or to leading the State against external and internal threats to its existence. The
President is not only clothed with extraordinary powers in times of emergency, but is also tasked
with attending to the day-to-day problems of maintaining peace and order and ensuring domestic
tranquility in times when no foreign foe appears on the horizon. Wide discretion, within the bounds
of law, in fulfilling presidential duties in times of peace is not in any way diminished by the relative
want of an emergency specified in the commander-in-chief provision.

For in making the President commander-in-chief the enumeration of powers that follow cannot be
said to exclude the Presidents exercising as Commander-in-Chief powers short of the calling of
the armed forces, or suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or declaring martial law,
in order to keep the peace, and maintain public order and security.

87
Military Power

LACSON VS. PEREZ


G.R. 147780; May 10, 2001

Facts:
On May 1, 2001, President Arroyo issued Proclamation No. 38 which declared the National Capital
Region (NCR) under the Sate of Rebellion. This was a response to armed angry and violent mob
who were trying to break into Malacanang Palace. Subsequently, she also issued General Order
No. 1 which directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to suppress the said rebellion in the
NCR. This resulted to the warrantless arrest of alleged promoters and leaders of rebellion. Due to
the declaration and warrantless arrests, four petitions were passed to the Supreme Court assailing
acts of the President. Later on May 6, 2001, President Arroyo lifted the declaration of State of
Rebellion.

Issue:
Whether or not Proclamation No. 38 is a valid act of the president.

Ruling:
Yes, it is valid. Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution states that “the President shall be the
Commander-in-Chief of all the armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes
necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or
rebellion.” In the exercise of the power mentioned in the constitutional provision, the president
may exercise the power to call and on-the-spot decisions may be imperatively necessary so as to
respond to the given situation like in the present case so as to avoid great loss of human lives and
mass destruction of property.

88
The Budgetary Power

GONZALES VS. NARVASA


G.R. No. 140835; 14 August 2000

Facts:
Petitioner Ramon A. Gonzales, in his capacity as a citizen and taxpayer, filed a petition for
prohibition and mandamus filed on December 9, 1999, assailing the constitutionality of the
creation of the Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform (PCCR) and of the positions of
presidential consultants, advisers and assistants.

The Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform (PCCR) was created by President Estrada
on November 26, 1998 by virtue of Executive Order No. 43 in order “to study and recommend
proposed amendments and/or revisions to the 1987 Constitution, and the manner of implementing
the same.”

Petitioner disputes the constitutionality of the PCCR based on the grounds that it is a public office
which only the legislature can create by way of a law.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner has a legal standing to assail the constitutionality of Executive Order
No. 43.

Held:
The Court dismissed the petition. A citizen acquires standing only if he can establish that he has
suffered some actual or threatened 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 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 case since,
according to petitioner, the President has encroached upon the legislature’s powers to create a
public office and to propose amendments to the Charter by forming the PCCR. Petitioner has
sustained no direct, or even any indirect, injury. Neither does he claim that his rights or privileges
have been or are in danger of being violated, nor that he shall be subjected to any penalties or
burdens as a result of the PCCR’s activities.

Clearly, petitioner has failed to establish his locus standi so as to enable him to seek judicial redress
as a citizen. Furthermore, a taxpayer is deemed to have the standing to raise a constitutional issue

89
when it is established that public funds have been disbursed in alleged contravention of the law or
the Constitution. It is readily apparent that there is no exercise by 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.
Under section 7 of E.O. No. 43, the amount of P3 million is “appropriated” for its operational
expenses “to be sourced from the funds of the Office of the President.” Being that case, petitioner
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 avails of the suit. Nowhere in his pleadings does
petitioner presume to make such a representation.

90
Other Powers

MARCOS VS. MANGLAPUS


177 SCRA 668; September 15, 1989

Facts:
In February 1986, Ferdinand E. Marcos was deposed from presidency via people power and forced
into exile in Hawaii. Nearly three years after, in his deathbed seeks return to the Philippines to
die.Thus, this petition for mandamus and prohibition asks the Court to order the respondent to
issue travel documents to Mr. Marcos and the immediate members of his family and to enjoin the
the implementation of President Aquino’s decision to bar their return to the Philippines.Petitioners
contend that the right of the Marcoses to return to the Philippines is guaranteed under the Bill of
Rights. That the President is without power to impair the liberty of abode of the Marcoses because
only the court may do so “within the limits prescribed by law.” The President has enumerated
powers and what is not enumerated is impliedly denied to her.

Issue:
Whether or not the President acted arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
or excess of jurisdiction upon determining that the Marcoses’ return poses a serious threat to
national interest and welfare and decided to bar their return.

Held:
The executive power of the President under the Constitution is more than the sum of specific
powers enumerated under the Constitution. In balancing the general welfare and the common good
against the exercise of rights of certain individuals, the power involved is the President’s residual
power to protect the general welfare of the people. Presidential power is a wide discretion, within
the bounds of laws and extraordinary in times of emergency.

The President did not act arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion in determining that the return
of former President Marcos and his family poses a serious threat to national interest and welfare.
There exist factual bases in the President’s decision in the pleadings, oral arguments and facts filed
by the parties during the briefing in chambers by the Chief of Staff of the Armed of the Philppines
and National Security Adviser. That the President has the power under the Constitution to bar the
Macrose’s from returning has been recognized by the members of the Legislature. Through a
Resolution proposed in the House of Representative, signed by 103 members urging the President
to allow Mr. Marcos to return to the Philippines –an act of true national reconciliation. The
Resolution does not question the President’s power but was an appeal to allow a man to come
home and to die in his country. Such request submit to the exercise of a broader discretion on the
part of the President to determine whether it must be granted or not.

91
The Vice President

BORJA VS. COMELEC


295 SCRA 157; September 3, 1998

Facts:
Private respondent Jose T. Capco, Jr. was elected vice-mayor of Pateros on January 18, 1998 for
a term ending June 30, 1992. On September 2, 1989, be became mayor upon the death of the
incumbent, Cesar Borja. On May 11, 1992, he ran and was elected mayor for a term of three years,
wherein after his term, he got reelected for the same position in the May 1995 elections. After this
term, he filed a certificate of candidacy for the same position relative to the May 1998 elections,
but was opposed by petitioner Benjamin Borja Jr., also a candidate for mayor, on the ground that
he had already served as mayor for three consecutive terms. Initially, the Commission on Elections
(COMELEC) held in favor of the petitioner, but reversed it when it was appealed on the ground
that Capco’s first years as a mayor by way of succession could not be deemed as one term. The
elections commenced, and Capco emerged as the winner over Borja.

Issue:
Whether or not the contention of the petitioner that private respondent Capco should not be eligible
to run pursuant to Article VII, 4 of the Constitution, by analogy.

Held:
The provision cited by the petitioner provides that ‘no person who succeeded as President and has
served as such for more than four years shall be qualified for election to the same office at any
time. According to the petitioner, by analogy, such provision is applicable to vice-mayors. The
Court disagrees. The reason why such provision is included is because the Vice-President is elected
primarily to succeed the President in the event of the latter’s death, permanent disability, removal
or resignation. In running for Vice-President, he may thus be said to also seek the Presidency.

As compared to a vice-mayor, he is vested by the Local Government Code the power to preside
sessions of the sanggunian and to appoint all officials and employees of such local assembly. He
has distinct powers and functions as compared to the mayor.

Considering all of these, the Court held that the cited provision by the petitioner is not applicable
in this case.

92
Judicial Power

PETITIONER ORGANIZATIONS VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY


669 SCRA 49; April 10, 2012

Facts:
On June 19, 1971 Congress enacted Republic Act 6260 that established a Coconut Investment
Fund for the development of the coconut industry through capital financing. Coconut farmers were
to capitalize and administer the Fund through the Coconut Investment Company to advance the
coconut farmers interests. For this purpose, the law imposed a levy of P0.55 on the coconut
farmer’s first domestic sale of every 100 kilograms of copra. About a year following his
proclamation of martial law in the country President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Presidential
Decree 276 which established a Coconut Consumers Stabilization Fund to address the crisis at that
time in the domestic market for coconut-based consumer goods. The CCS Fund was to be built up
through the imposition of a P15.00-levy for every first sale of 100 kilograms of copra. The levy
was to cease after a year or earlier provided the crisis was over. A year later President Marcos
issued P.D. 582, creating a permanent fund called the Coconut Industry Development Fund to
channel for the ultimate direct benefit of coconut farmers part of the levies that they were already
paying.

On July 14, 1976 President Marcos enacted P.D. 961, the Coconut Industry Code, which
consolidated and codified existing laws relating to the coconut industry. The Code provided that
surpluses from the CCS Fund and the CID Fund collections, not used for replanting and other
authorized purposes, were to be invested by acquiring shares of stock of corporations, including
the San Miguel Corporation , engaged in undertakings related to the coconut and palm oil
industries.

In November 2000, then President Joseph Estrada issued Executive Order 312, establishing a Sagip
Niyugan Program which sought to provide immediate income supplement to coconut farmers and
encourage the creation of a sustainable local market demand for coconut oil and other coconut
products. The Executive Order sought to establish a P1-billion fund by disposing of assets acquired
using coco-levy funds or assets of entities supported by those funds. A committee was created to
manage the fund under this program. A majority vote of its members could engage the services of
a reputable auditing firm to conduct periodic audits. At about the same time, President Estrada
issued E.O. 313, which created an irrevocable trust fund known as the Coconut Trust Fund. This
aimed to provide financial assistance to coconut farmers, to the coconut industry, and to other agri-
related programs. To implement its mandate, E.O. 313 directed the Presidential Commission on
Good Government, the Office of the Solicitor General, and other government agencies to exclude
the 27% CIIF SMC shares.

93
On January 26, 2001former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered the suspension of E.O.s
312 and 313. This notwithstanding, on March 1, 2001 petitioner organizations and individuals
brought the present action to declare E.O.s 312 and 313 as well as Article III, Section 5 of P.D.
1468 unconstitutional. On April 24, 2001 the other sets of petitioner organizations and individuals
instituted to nullify Section 2 of P.D. 755 and Article III, Section 5 of P.D.s 961 and 1468 also for
being unconstitutional.

Issue:
Whether or not Section 2 of P.D. 755, Article III, Section 5 of P.D.s 961 and 1468, E.O. 312, and
E.O. 313 are unconstitutional.

Held:
It held as unconstitutional Section 2 of P.D. 755 for effectively authorizing the PCA to utilize
portions of the CCS Fund to pay the financial commitment of the farmers to acquire UCPB and to
deposit portions of the CCS Fund levies with UCPB interest free. And as there also provided CID
Fund and like levies that PCA is authorized to collect shall be considered as non-special or
fiduciary funds to be transferred to the general fund of the Government, meaning they shall be
deemed private funds. Since after five years P.D. 961 declared the coco-levy funds private
property of the farmers. P.D. 1468 reiterated this declaration in 1978. But neither presidential
decree actually turned over possession or control of the funds to the farmers in their private
capacity. The government continued to wield undiminished authority over the management and
disposition of those funds. In any event, such declaration is void.

Section 2 of P.D. 755, Article III, Section 5 of P.D. 961, and Article III, Section 5 of P.D.
1468 completely ignore the fact that coco-levy funds are public funds raised through taxation. And
since taxes could be exacted only for a public purpose, they cannot be declared private properties
of individuals although such individuals fall within a distinct group of persons. The assailed
provisions, which removed the coco-levy funds from the general funds of the government and
declared them private properties of coconut farmers, do not appear to have a color of social justice
for their purpose. The levy on copra that farmers produce appears, in the first place, to be a business
tax judging by its tax base. The concept of farmers-businessmen is incompatible with the idea that
coconut farmers are victims of social injustice and so should be beneficiaries of the taxes raised
from their earnings.

The provisions of P.D.s 755, 961 and 1468 as well as those of E.O.s 312 and 313 that remove such
funds and the assets acquired through them from the jurisdiction of the COA violate Article IX-D,
Section 2(1) of the 1987 Constitution. Section 2(1) vests in the COA the power and authority to
examine uses of government money and property. The cited P.D.s and E.O.s also contravene
Section 2 of P.D. 898 Providing for the Restructuring of the Commission on Audit, which has the
force of a statute. And there is no legitimate reason why such funds should be shielded from COA

94
review and audit. The PCA, which implements the coco-levy laws and collects the coco-levy
funds, is a government-owned and controlled corporation subject to COA review and audit. The
E.O.s also transgress P.D. 1445, Section 84(2), the first part by the previously mentioned sections
of E.O. 313 and the second part by Section 4 of E.O. 312 and Sections 6 and 7 of E.O. 313. E.O.
313 vests the power to administer, manage, and supervise the operations and disbursements of the
Trust Fund it established capitalized with SMC shares bought out of coco-levy funds in a Coconut
Trust Fund Committee.

95
The Judicial and Bar Council

CHAVEZ VS. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL


G.R. No. 202242; July 17, 2012

Facts:
In 1994, instead of having only 7 members, an eighth member was added to the JBC as two
representatives from Congress began sitting in the JBC – one from the House of Representatives
and one from the Senate, with each having one-half (1/2) of a vote. Then, the JBC En Banc, in
separate meetings held in 2000 and 2001, decided to allow the representatives from the Senate and
the House of Representatives one full vote each. Senator Francis Joseph G. Escudero and
Congressman Niel C. Tupas, Jr. (respondents) simultaneously sit in the JBC as representatives of
the legislature. It is this practice that petitioner has questioned in this petition.

Respondents argued that the crux of the controversy is the phrase “a representative of Congress.”
It is their theory that the two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives, are permanent
and mandatory components of “Congress,” such that the absence of either divests the term of its
substantive meaning as expressed under the Constitution. Bicameralism, as the system of choice
by the Framers, requires that both houses exercise their respective powers in the performance of
its mandated duty which is to legislate. Thus, when Section 8(1), Article VIII of the Constitution
speaks of “a representative from Congress,” it should mean one representative each from both
Houses which comprise the entire Congress.

Issue:
Whether or not the JBC’s practice of having members from the Senate and the House of
Representatives making 8 instead of 7 sitting members unconstitutional.

Held:
Applying the foregoing principle to this case, it becomes apparent that the word “Congress” used
in Article VIII, Section 8, par. (1) of the Constitution is used in its generic sense. No particular
allusion whatsoever is made on whether the Senate or the House of Representatives is being
referred to, but that, in either case, only a singular representative may be allowed to sit in the JBC.

It is worthy to note that the seven-member composition of the JBC serves a practical purpose, that
is, to provide a solution should there be a stalemate in voting. This underlying reason leads the
Court to conclude that a single vote may not be divided into half, between two representatives of
Congress, or among any of the sitting members of the JBC for that matter. This unsanctioned
practice can possibly cause disorder and eventually muddle the JBC’s voting process, especially
in the event a tie is reached. The aforesaid purpose would then be rendered illusory, defeating the
precise mechanism which the Constitution itself created. While it would be unreasonable to expect

96
that the Framers provide for every possible scenario, it is sensible to presume that they knew that
an odd composition is the best means to break a voting deadlock.

The respondents insist that owing to the bicameral nature of Congress, the word “Congress” in
Section 8(1), Article VIII of the Constitution should be read as including both the Senate and the
House of Representatives. They theorize that it was so worded because at the time the said
provision was being drafted, the Framers initially intended a unicameral form of Congress. Then,
when the Constitutional Commission eventually adopted a bicameral form of Congress, the
Framers, through oversight, failed to amend Article VIII, Section 8 of the Constitution.

97
Fiscal Autonomy

CESAR BENGZON, ET. AL. VS. HON. FRANKLIN N. DRILON, ET. AL.
G.R. No. 103524; April 15, 1992

Facts:
The petitioners are retired Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals who are currently
receiving monthly pensions under Republic Act No. 910 as amended by Republic Act No. 1797.
They filed the instant petition on their own behalf and in representation of all other retired Justices
of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals similarly situated. Two months later, however,
President Marcos issued Presidential Decree 644 on January 25, 1975 repealing Section 3-A of
Republic Act No. 1797 and Republic Act No. 3595 (amending Republic Act No. 1568 and
Presidential Decree No. 578) which authorized the adjustment of the pension of the retired Justices
of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Chairman and members of the Constitutional
Commissions and the officers and enlisted members of the Armed Forces to the prevailing rates
of salaries. A later decree Presidential Decree 1909 was also issued providing for the automatic
readjustment of the pensions of members of the Armed Forces who have retired prior to September
10, 1979. RA 1797 was restored through HB 16297 in 1990. When her advisers gave the wrong
information that the questioned provisions in 1992 GAA were an attempt to overcome her earlier
veto in 1990, President Aquino issued the veto now challenged in this petition. It turns out that PD
644 which repealed RA 1797 never became a valid law absent its publication, thus there was no
law. It follows that RA 1797 was still in effect and HB 16297 was superfluous because it tried to
restore benefits which were never taken away validly. The veto of HB 16297 did not also produce
any effect.

Issue:
Whether or not Republic Act No. 1797 trenches upon the constitutional grant of fiscal autonomy
to the Judiciary.

Held:
Sec. 3, Art. VIII mandates that: The Judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Appropriations for the
Judiciary may not be reduced by the legislature below the amount appropriated for the previous
year and, after approval, shall be automatically and regularly released. The Court cannot overstress
the importance of and the need for an independent judiciary. The Court has on various past
occasions explained the significance of judicial independence. As envisioned in the Constitution,
the fiscal autonomy enjoyed by the Judiciary, the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on
Audit, the Commission on Elections, and the Office of the Ombudsman contemplates a guarantee
on full flexibility to allocate and utilize their resources with the wisdom and dispatch that their
needs require. It recognizes the power and authority to levy, assess and collect fees, fix rates of
compensation not exceeding the highest rates authorized by law for compensation and pay plans

98
of the government and allocate and disburse such sums as may be provided by law or prescribed
by them in the course of the discharge of their functions. Fiscal autonomy means freedom from
outside control. In the case at bar, the veto of these specific provisions in the General
Appropriations Act is tantamount to dictating to the Judiciary how its funds should be utilized,
which is clearly repugnant to fiscal autonomy. The freedom of the Chief Justice to make
adjustments in the utilization of the funds appropriated for the expenditures of the judiciary,
including the use of any savings from any particular item to cover deficits or shortages in other
items of the Judiciary is withheld. Pursuant to the Constitutional mandate, the Judiciary must enjoy
freedom in the disposition of the funds allocated to it in the appropriations law. It knows its
priorities just as it is aware of the fiscal restraints. The Chief Justice must be given a free hand on
how to augment appropriations where augmentation is needed.

99
Judicial Departments: The Supreme Court

IN RE APPOINTMENT OF MATEO VALENZUELA


298 SCRA 408; November 9, 1998

Facts:
Appointments were signed by the President on March 30, 1998 involving Hon. Mateo A.
Valenzuela and Hon. Placido B. Vallarta as Judges of the Regional Trial Court. Attention was
drawn to Section 15, Article VII of the Constitution reading as follows:
SEC 15. Two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to
the end of his term, a President or Acting President shall not make appointments,
except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies
therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety.

On the other hand, appointments to fill vacancies in the Supreme Court during the period
mentioned in the provision just quoted could seemingly be justified by another provision of the
same Constitution. Section 4 (1) of Article VIII which states:
SEC 4. (1) The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen
Associate Justices. x x x. Any vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from the
occurrence thereof.

Also pertinent although not specifically discussed is Section 9 of the same Article VIII which
provides that for the lower courts, the President shall issue the appointments - from a list of at least
three nominees prepared by the Council for every vacancy - within ninety days from the
submission of the list.

The President expressed the view that the election-ban provision (Article VII, Sec. 15) applies
only to executive appointments or appointments in the executive branch of government, the whole
article being entitled “EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT.” He also observed that further proof of his
theory is the fact that appointments to the judiciary have special, specific provisions applicable to
them (citing Article VIII, Sec. 4 [1] and Article VIII, Section 9).

On May 8, 1998, a meeting was held and was closed with a resolution that the constitutional
provisions in question be referred to the Supreme Court En Banc for appropriate action.

Issue:
Whether or not Article VII, Sec. 15 of the Constitution applies only to executive appointments.

100
Held:
No. The Court’s view is that during the period stated in Section 15, Article VII of the Constitution,
the President is neither required to make appointments to the courts nor allowed to do so; and that
Sections 4(1) and 9 of Article VIII simply mean that the President is required to fill vacancies in
the courts within the time frames provided therein unless prohibited by Section 15 of Article VII.

The appointments of Messrs. Valenzuela and Vallarta on March 30, 1998 (transmitted to the Office
of the Chief Justice on May 14, 1998) were unquestionably made during the period of the ban.
Consequently, they come within the operation of the prohibition relating to appointments which
are considered to be for the purpose of buying votes or influencing the election. While the filling
of vacancies in the judiciary is undoubtedly in the public interest, there is no showing in the case
of any compelling reason to justify the making of the appointments during the period of the ban.
There is a strong public policy for the prohibition against appointments made within the period of
the ban.

101
The Judicial Inquiry

APEX MINING CO., INC. VS. SOUTHEAST MINDANAO GOLD MINING CORP.
G.R. Nos. 152613 & 152628; November 20, 2009

Facts:
The case involves the “Diwalwal Gold Rush Area” (Diwalwal), a rich tract of mineral land located
inside the Agusan-Davao-Surigao Forest Reserve in Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental. Since
the early 1980s, Diwalwal has been stormed by conflicts brought about by numerous mining claims
over it.

On March 10, 1986, Marcopper Mining Corporation (MMC) was granted an Exploration Permit
(EP 133) by the Bureau of Mines and Geo-Sciences (BMG). A long battle ensued between Apex
and MMC with the latter seeking the cancellation of the mining claims of Apex on the ground that
such mining claims were within a forest reservation (Agusan-Davao-Surigao Forest Reserve) and
thus the acquisition on mining rights should have been through an application for a permit to
prospect with the BFD and not through registration of a DOL with the BMG. When it reached the
SC in 1991, the Court ruled against Apex holding that the area is a forest reserve and thus it should
have applied for a permit to prospect with the BFD.

On February 16 1994, MMC assigned all its rights to EP 133 to Southeast Mindanao Gold Mining
Corporation (SEM), a domestic corporation which is alleged to be a 100%-owned subsidiary of
MMC. Subsequently, BMG registered SEM’s Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA)
application and the Deed of Assignment. Several oppositions were filed. The Panel of Arbitrators
created by the DENR upheld the validity of EP 133.

During the pendency of the case, DENR AO No. 2002-18 was issued declaring an emergency
situation in the Diwalwal Gold Rush Area and ordering the stoppage of all mining operations
therein.

Issue:
Whether or not the issue of the constitutionality of proclamation is raised belatedly.

Held:
It is well-settled that when questions of constitutionality are raised, the court can exercise its power
of judicial review only if the following requisites are present: (1) an actual and appropriate case
exists; (2) there is a personal and substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional question;
(3) the exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional
question is the lis mota of the case.

102
Taking into consideration the foregoing requisites of judicial review, it is readily clear that the
third requisite is absent. The general rule is that the question of constitutionality must be raised at
the earliest opportunity, so that if it is not raised in the pleadings, ordinarily it may not be raised at
the trial; and if not raised in the trial court, it will not be considered on appeal.

In the instant case, it must be pointed out that in the Reply to Respondent SEMs Consolidated
Comment filed on 20 May 2003, MAB mentioned Proclamation No. 297, which was issued on 25
November 2002. This proclamation, according to the MAB, has rendered SEMs claim over the
contested area moot, as the President has already declared the same as a mineral reservation and
as an environmentally critical area. SEM did not put to issue the validity of said proclamation in
any of its pleadings despite numerous opportunities to question the same. It was only after the
assailed Decision was promulgated -- i.e., in SEMs Motion for Reconsideration of the questioned
Decision filed on 13 July 2006 and its Motion for Referral of the Case to the Court En Banc and
for Oral Arguments filed on 22 August 2006 -- that it assailed the validity of said proclamation.

Certainly, posing the question on the constitutionality of Proclamation No. 297 for the first time
in its Motion for Reconsideration is, indeed, too late.

The Court rendered the Decision to merely recognize that the questioned proclamation came from
a co-equal branch of government, which entitled it to a strong presumption of constitutionality.
The presumption of its constitutionality stands inasmuch as the parties in the instant cases did not
question its validity, much less present any evidence to prove that the same is
unconstitutional. This is in line with the precept that administrative issuances have the force and
effect of law and that they benefit from the same presumption of validity and constitutionality
enjoyed by statutes.

103
Effects of a Declaration of Unconstitutionality

TAN VS. BARRIOS


G.R. No. 85481-82; October 18, 1990

Facts:
On April 17, 1975, the three petitioners, with twelve (12) others, were arrested and charged in
Criminal Case No. MC-1-67 entitled, "People of the Philippines vs. Luis Tan alias Tata alias Go
Bon Hoc, et al." before the Military Commission No. 1. Because the case was a "cause celebre" in
Cagayan de Oro City, President Marcos, pursuant to the recommendation of Defense Secretary
Juan Ponce Enrile, withdrew his earlier order (issued in response to the requests of the defendants'
lawyers) to transfer the case to the civil courts. Hence, the case was retained in the military court.
All the accused were detained without bail in the P.C. Stockade in Camp Crame.

Proclamation No. 2045 ended martial rule and abolished the military tribunals and
commissions.On May 22, 1987, this Court promulgated a decision in Olaguer vs. Military
Commission No. 34, et al.vacating the sentence rendered on December 4, 1984 by Military
Commission No. 34 against Olaguer, et al. and declaring that military commissions and tribunals
have no jurisdiction, even during the period of martial law, over civilians charged with criminal
offenses properly cognizable by civil courts, as long as those courts are open and functioning as
they did during the period of martial law. Conformably with the ruling in Olaguer, this Court
in Cruz vs. Enrile , nullified the proceedings leading to the conviction of non-political detainees
who should have been brought before the courts of justice as their offenses were totally unrelated
to the insurgency sought to be controlled by martial rule.

Secretary of Justice Sedfrey Ordoñez issued Department Order No. 226 designating State
Prosecutor Hernani Barrios "to collaborate with the City Fiscal of Cagayan de Oro City in the
investigation/reinvestigation of Criminal Case No. MC-1-67 and, if the evidence warrants, to
prosecute the case in the court of competent jurisdiction". On November 15, 1988, State Prosecutor
Barrios was designated Acting City Fiscal of Cagayan de Oro City in hell of the regular fiscal who
inhibited himself

Issue:
Whether or not the effect in declaring General Order No. 8 authorizing the AFP Chief of Staff to
create military tribunals "to try and decide cases of military personnel and such other cases as may
be referred to them be applied and recognized by the court.

Held:
Yes. The doctrine of "operative facts" applies to the proceedings against the petitioners and their
co-accused before Military Commission No. 1. The principle of absolute invalidity of the

104
jurisdiction of the military courts over civilians should not be allowed to obliterate the "operative
facts" that in the particular case of the petitioners, the proceedings were fair, that there were no
serious violations of their constitutional right to due process, and that the jurisdiction of the military
commission that heard and decided the charges against them during the period of martial law, had
been affirmed by this Court years before the Olaguer case arose and came before us.

Because of these established operative facts, the refiling of the information against the petitioners
would place them in double jeopardy, in hard fact if not in constitutional logic.

The doctrine of double jeopardy protects the accused from harassment by the strong arm of the
State: The constitutional mandate is (thus) a rule of finality. A single prosecution for any offense
is all the law allows. It protects an accused from harassment, enables him to treat what had
transpired as a closed chapter in his life, either to exult in his freedom or to be resigned to whatever
penalty is imposed, and is a bar to unnecessary litigation, in itself time-consuming and expense-
producing for the state as well. It has been referred to as 'res judicata in prison grey.' The ordeal of
a criminal prosecution is inflicted only once, not whenever it pleases the state to do so.

Furthermore, depriving the petitioners of the protection of the judgment of acquittal rendered by
the military commission in their particular case by retroactively divesting the military commission
of the jurisdiction it had exercised over them would amount to an ex post facto law or ruling, again,
in sharp reality if not in strict constitutional theory.

105
Effect of Declaration of Unconstitutionality

GAYO VS. VERCELES


452 SCRA 504; February 28, 2005

Facts:
Respondent ran in May 11, 1998 election and was elected Mayor of Tubao, La Union. After her
term she Ran once more in May 2011 election and was re-elected in the same position. It was in
this election that her co-candidate in the mayoral post filed a petition for quo warranto praying for
the disqualification of the respondent on the ground that the respondent did not meet the residency
requirement prescribed by law. Accordingly, the respondent, together with her family, migrated to
the United States of America in 1977. Her husband was granted American Citizenship but she
opted to retain his Filipino citizenship. In 1993, she returned in the Philippines for good. In 1993
to 1997 she would travel to the U.S.A to visit her children. On November 5, 1997, she abandoned
her status as lawful permanent resident of the USA, then On January 28, 1998, she surrendered her
alien registration receipt card before the immigration and Naturalization Service of the American
Embassy in Manila. Subsequently, she ran in May 11, 1998 election and won. Petitioner contends
that respondent is disqualified in view of Section 40 (f) of the Local Government Code which bars
Filipinos who have acquired permanent residents in foreign country from running for any elective
local position.

Issue:
Whether or not the LGC of 1991 impliedly repealed Sec. 68 of the Omnibus Election Code.

Held:
No. the court ruled that Sec. 68 of the Omnibus Election Code was not repealed by the LGC of
1991. According to the Court, the repealing clause of the LGC does not mention any repeal of any
provision from the Omnibus Election code. The legislature is presumed to know the existing laws,
to the effect that when it intends to repeal a law, the legislature does it expressly. In addition, there
is no inconsistency between the two laws. Both laws mandate that permanent residents or
immigrants to a foreign country are disqualified from running for any elective local position. The
only difference is that Sec. 68 of the Omnibus Election Code gives an exception to the
disqualification which is waiving his status as a permanent or resident or immigrant of a foreign
country in accordance with the residence requirement provided for in the election laws. In addition,
the two provision are in pari materia for they relate to one subject. According to the Court, statutes
in pari materia, although in apparent conflict, are so far as reasonably possible construed to be in
harmony with each other.

106
Powers

IN THE MATTER OF THE INQUIRY INTO THE 1989 ELECTIONS OF THE


INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES
A. M. No. 491; October 6, 1989

Facts:
In the election of the national officers of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines held on June 3, 1989
at the Philippine International Convention Center, the newlyelected officers were set to take their
oath of office on July 4,1989 before the Supreme Court en banc. However, disturbed by the
widespread reports received by some members of the Court from lawyers who had witnessed or
participated in the proceedings and the adverse comments published in the columns of some
newspapers about the intensive electioneering and overspending by the candidates, led by the main
protagonists for the office of president of the association, namely, Attorneys Nereo Paculdo,
Ramon Nisce, and Violeta C. Drilon, the alleged use of government planes, and the officious
intervention of certain public officials to influence the voting, all of which were done in violation
of the IBP By-Laws which prohibit such activities, the Supreme Court en banc, exercising its
power of supervision over the Integrated Bar, resolved to suspend the oath-taking of the IBP
officers-elect and to inquire into the veracity of the reports. Media reports done by Mr.Jurado, Mr.
Mauricio and Mr. Locsin in the newspapers opened the avenue for investigation on the anomalies
in the IBP Elections.

The following violations are, Prohibited campaigning and solicitation of votes by the candidates
for president, executive vice-president, the officers or candidates for the House of Delegates and
Board of Governors, Use of PNB plane in the campaign, Giving free transportation to out-of-town
delegates and alternates, Formation of tickets and single slates, Giving free hotel accommodations,
food, drinks, and entertainment to delegates, Campaigning by labor officials for Atty. Violeta
Drilon, Paying the dues or other indebtedness of any member (Sec. 14[e], IBP BY-Laws),
Distribution of materials other than bio-data of not more than one page of legal size sheet of paper
(Sec. 14[a], IBP By-Laws), Causing distribution of such statement to be done by persons other
than those authorized by the officer presiding at the election (Sec. 14[b], IBP By-Laws) and
Inducing or influencing a member to withhold his vote, or to vote for or against a candidate (Sec.
14[e], IBP BY-Laws).

The prohibited acts are against the IBP By-Laws more specifically Article I, Section 4 of the IBP
By-Laws emphasizes the "strictly non-political" character of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines,
Sec. 14. Prohibited acts and practices relative to elections and Section 12[d] of the ByLaws
prescribes sanctions for violations of the above rules: Any violation of the rules governing
elections or commission of any of the prohibited acts and practices defined in Section 14
[Prohibited Acts and Practices Relative to Elections) of the By-laws of the Integrated Bar shall be

107
a ground for the disqualification of a candidate or his removal from office if elected, without
prejudice to the imposition of sanctions upon any erring member pursuant to the By-laws of the
Integrated Bar.

Issue:
Whether or not the principal candidates for the national positions in the Integrated Bar conducted
their campaign preparatory to the elections on June 3, 1989 violated Section 14 of the IBP By-
Laws and made a travesty of the idea of a "strictly non-political" Integrated Bar enshrined in
Section 4 of the By-Laws.

Held:
It has been mentioned with no little insistence that the provision in the 1987 Constitution [See. 8,
Art. VIII] providing for a Judicial and Bar Council composed of seven [7] members among whom
is "a representative of the Integrated Bar," tasked to participate in the selection of nominees for
appointment to vacant positions in the judiciary, may be the reason why the position of IBP
president has attracted so much interest among the lawyers. The much coveted "power"
erroneously perceived to be inherent in that office might have caused the corruption of the IBP
elections. The decision are:

1. The IBP elections held on June3,1989 should be as they are hereby annulled.

2. The provisions of the IBP By-Laws for the direct election by the House of Delegates [approved
by this Court in its Resolution of July 9, 1985 in Bar Matter No. 287] of the following national
officers: [a] the officers of the House of Delegates; [b] the IBP president; and [c] the executive
vice-president, be repealed, this Court being empowered to amend, modify or repeal the By-Laws
of the IBP under Section 77, Art. XI of said By-Laws.

3. The former system of having the IBP President and Executive Vice-President elected by the
Board of Governors [composed of the governors of the nine (9) IBP regions] from among
themselves [as provided in Sec. 47, Art. VII, Original IBP By-Laws] should be restored. The right
of automatic succession by the Executive Vice-President to the presidency upon the expiration of
their two-year term [which was abolished by this Court's Resolution dated July 9,1985 in Bar
Matter No. 287] should be as it is hereby restored.

4. At the end of the President's two-year term, the Executive Vice-President shall automatically
succeed to the office of President. The incoming Board of Governors shall then elect an Executive
Vice-President from among themselves. The position of Executive Vice-President shall be rotated
among the nine [9] IBP regions. One who has served as president may not run for election as
Executive Vice-President in a succeeding election until after the rotation of the presidency among
the nine [9] regions shall have been completed; whereupon, the rotation shall begin anew.

108
5. Section 47 of Article VII is hereby amended to read as follows: Section 47. National Officers. -
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines shall have a President and Executive Vice-President to be
chosen by the Board of Governors from among nine [9] regional governors, as much as practicable,
on a rotation basis. The governors shall be ex oficio Vice-President for their respective regions.
There shall also be a Secretary and Treasurer of the Board of Governors to be appointed by the
President with the consent of the Board.

6. Section 33[b], Art. V, IBP By-Laws, is hereby amended as follows: [b] The President and
Executive Vice-President of the IBP shall be the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, respectively, of
the House of Delegates. The Secretary, Treasurer, and Sergeant-at-Arms shall be appointed by the
President with the consent of the House of Delegates.'

7. Section 33[g] of Article V providing for the positions of Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary,
Treasurer and Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Delegates, is hereby repealed.

8. Section 37, Article VI is hereby amended to read as follows: Section 37. Composition of the
Board. - The Integrated Bar of the Philippines shall be governed by a Board of Governors
consisting of nine [9] Governors from the nine [9] regions as delineated in Section 3 of the
Integration Rule, on the representation basis of one [1] Governor for each region to be elected by
the members of the House of Delegates from that region only. The position of Governor should be
rotated among the different Chapters in the region.

9. Section 39, Article V, is hereby amended as follows: Section 39. Nomination and election of
the Governors at least one [1] month before the national convention. - The delegates from each
region shall elect the Governor for their region, the choice of which shall as much as possible be
rotated among the chapters in the region.

10. Section33 [a], Article V, is hereby amended by adding the following provision as part of the
first paragraph: No convention of the House of Delegates nor of the general membership shall be
held prior to any election in an election year.

11. Section 39 [a], [b], [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], and [7] of Article VI should be, as they are hereby,
deleted. All other provisions of the By-Laws, including its amendment by the Resolution en banc
of this Court of July 9, 1985 [Bar Matter No. 287] that are inconsistent herewith are hereby
repealed or modified.

12. Special elections for the Board of Governors shall be held in the nine [9] IBP regions within
three [3] months, after the promulgation of the Court's Resolution in this case. Within thirty [30]
days thereafter, the Board of Governors shall meet at the IBP Central Office in Manila to elect

109
from among themselves, the IBP National President and Executive Vice-President. In these special
elections, the candidates in the election of the national officers held on June 3,1989, particularly
identified in Sub-Head 3 of this Resolution entitled "Formation of Tickets and Single Slates", as
well as those identified in this Resolution as connected with any of the irregularities attendant upon
that election, are ineligible and may not present themselves as candidates for any position.

13. Pending such special elections, a caretaker Board shall be appointed by the Court to
administer the affairs of the IBP. The Court makes clear that the dispositions here made are
without prejudice to its adoption in due time of such further and other measures as are warranted
in the premises.

110
Administrative Supervision of Courts

FUENTES VS. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN- MINDANAO


368 SCRA 36; October 23, 2001

Facts:
Pursuant to the government’s plan to construct its first fly-over in Davao City, the Republic of the
Philippines filed an expropriation case against the owners of the properties affected by the project.
The expropriation case was presided by Judge Renato A. Fuentes. The government won the
expropriation case. DPWH still owed the defendants-lot owners. The lower court granted Tessie
Amadeo’s motion for the issuance of a writ of execution against the DPWH to satisfy her unpaid
claim. On May 3, 1994, respondent Sheriff Paralisan issued a Notice of Levy, addressed to the
Regional Director of the DPWH, Davao City, describing the properties subject of the levy as ‘All
scrap iron/junks found in the premises of the Department of Public Works and Highways depot at
Panacan, Davao City. The auction sale pushed through and Alex Bacquial emerged as the highest
bidder. Meanwhile, Alex Bacquial, together with respondent Sheriff Paralisan, attempted to
withdraw the auctioned properties on May 19, 1994. They were, however, prevented from doing
so by the custodian of the subject DPWH properties, a certain Engr. Ramon Alejo, who claimed
that his office was totally unaware of the auction sale, and informed the sheriff that many of the
properties within the holding area of the depot were still serviceable and were due for repair and
rehabilitation.

On the basis of letters from Congressman Manuel M. Garcia of the Second District of Davao City
and Engineer Ramon A. Alejo, the Court Administrator, Supreme Court directed Judge Renato A.
Fuentes and Sheriff Norberto Paralisan to comment on the report recommending the filing of an
administrative case against the sheriff and other persons responsible for the anomalous
implementation of the writ of execution. The Department of Public Works and Highways, through
the Solicitor General, filed an administrative complaint against Sheriff Norberto Paralisan for
conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
The Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao recommended that Judge Renato A. Fuentes be charged
before the Sandiganbayan with violation of Republic Act No. 3019, Section 3 (e) and likewise be
administratively charged before the Supreme Court with acts unbecoming of a judge.

Issue:
Whether the Ombudsman may conduct an investigation of acts of a judge in the exercise of his
official functions alleged to be in violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, in the
absence of an administrative charge for the same acts before the Supreme Court.

111
Held:
No. Republic Act No. 6770, otherwise known as the Ombudsman Act of 1989, provides:
Sec. 15. Powers, Functions and Duties. - The Office of the Ombudsman shall have
the following powers, functions and duties: (1) Investigate and prosecute on its own
or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or
employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust,
improper or inefficient. It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the
Sandiganbayan and, in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, it may take over, at
any stage, from any investigatory agency of Government, the investigation of such
cases.

Thus, the Ombudsman may not initiate or investigate a criminal or administrative complaint before
his office against petitioner judge, pursuant to his power to investigate public officers. The
Ombudsman must indorse the case to the Supreme Court, for appropriate action.

Article VIII, Section 6 of the Constitution exclusively vests in the Supreme Court administrative
supervision over all courts and court personnel, from the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals
to the lowest municipal trial court clerk.

Hence, it is the Supreme Court that is tasked to oversee the judges and court personnel and take
the proper administrative action against them if they commit any violation of the laws of the land.
No other branch of government may intrude into this power, without running afoul of the
independence of the judiciary and the doctrine of separation of powers.

Petitioner’s questioned order directing the attachment of government property and issuing a writ
of execution were done in relation to his office, well within his official functions. The order may
be erroneous or void for lack or excess of jurisdiction. However, whether or not such order of
execution was valid under the given circumstances, must be inquired into in the course of the
judicial action only by the Supreme Court that is tasked to supervise the courts. “No other entity
or official of the Government, not the prosecution or investigation service of any other branch, not
any functionary thereof, has competence to review a judicial order or decision--whether final and
executory or not--and pronounce it erroneous so as to lay the basis for a criminal or administrative
complaint for rendering an unjust judgment or order.

112
Tenure of Judges
PEOPLE VS. GACOTT
246 SCRA 52; July 13, 1995

Facts:
A complaint for violation of Commonwealth Act No. (CA) 108, or the Anti-Dummy Law was
filed against respondents Arne Strom and Grace Reyes. The latter filed a motion to dismiss the
case filed on the ground that the power to prosecute such crimes is vested upon the Anti-Dummy
Board pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 1130, and not to the City Prosecutor of Puerto Princesa.
The City Prosecutor, however, argued that RA 1130 had already been abolished by the issuance
of the Letter or Implementation No. (LOI) 2, series of 1972. Despite this, the respondent Judge
Gacott granted the motion arguing that LOI No. 2 was not the law contemplated under Article 7
of the New Civil Code. Hence, the respondent judge contends that the City Prosecutor had no
authority to file and prosecute the case. However, the Second Division of the Supreme Court that
the respondent judge gravely abused his discretion as he did not even bothered to read LOI No. 2.

Issue:
Whether or not the case involving the respondent judge was validly raffled to the Second Division
of the Supreme Court.

Held:
It was. The case was validly and solemnly raffled to Justice Bidin who was then with the Third
Division of the Court. Justine Bidin was, however, transferred to the Second Division where he
served as working chairman until his retirement on April 7, 1995. In accordance with the Rules
of Court, the case would remain with him as the original ponente. No rule in the Court provides
that parties should be informed that a case had been transferred to another division. To do so
would easily reveal the identity of the ponente which is precisely what some litigants used to,
and still, watch for and speculate upon.

113
Consultations of the Court

CITY GOVERNMENT OF TAGAYTAY VS. GUERRERO


600 SCRA 33; September 17, 2009

Facts:
Tagaytay-Taal Tourist Development Corporation is the registered owner of two parcels of land
covered by Transfer Certificate of Title Nos. T-9816 and T-9817of the Registry of Deeds
of Tagaytay City. TTTDC incurred real estate tax liabilities on the said properties for the tax years
1976 to 1983.

On November 28, 1983, for failure of TTTDC to settle its delinquent real estate tax obligations,
the City Government of Tagaytay offered the properties for sale at public auction. Being the only
bidder, a certificate of sale was executed in favor of the City of Tagaytay and was correspondingly
inscribed on the titles of the properties on November 20, 1984. On July 14, 1989, the City
of Tagaytay filed an unnumbered petition for entry of new certificates of title in its favor before
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cavite, Branch XVIII, Tagaytay City.

In granting the petition for entry of new certificates of title in favor of the City of Tagaytay, the
trial court ratiocinated that whatever rights TTTDC had over the properties had been lost by laches
for its failure to question the validity of the auction sale. It also ruled that, as of April 30, 1989, the
unpaid real estate tax obligations of TTTDC to the City of Tagaytay amounted to P3,307,799.00.
TTTDCs failure to exercise its right of redemption by way of paying its delinquent real estate taxes
and charges called for the application of Section 75 of Presidential Decree No. 1529, otherwise
known as the Property Registration Decree. TTTDC appealed to the CA.

On June 29, 1990, Atty. Donato T. Faylona, acting as agent of Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera and
Emilina Melencio-Fernando purchased the subject properties pursuant to Section 81 in relation to
Section 78] of P.D. No. 464. Meanwhile, on July 21, 1991, during the pendency of the case
TTTDC filed a petition for nullification of the public auction involving the disputed properties on
the ground that the properties were not within the jurisdiction of the City of Tagaytay and, thus,
beyond its taxing authority. Despite the fact that the Melencios had already purchased the subject
properties, they were not impleaded thus they filed a Motion to Intervene; the RTC issued an
Order denying the motion. The Melencios did not further pursue their cause. This was allegedly
due to the assurances of the City of Tagaytay that it would file a motion for reconsideration and
an appeal if the motion for reconsideration was denied. However, the City of Tagaytay filed a
defective motion for reconsideration which was denied by the RTC and the City of Tagaytay did
not file an appeal from the decision of the trial court.

114
During the pendency of the proceedings the RTC rendered a Decision wherein the trial court
directed the annulment of the public sale of the contested properties. The City of Tagaytay filed a
motion for reconsideration of the RTC decision but for failure to comply with the procedural
requirements of a litigious motion, the trial court denied the same. Then the RTC Decision became
final and executory. The Melencios filed before the CA a petition for annulment of judgment of
the RTC .City of Tagaytay also filed before the CA a petition for annulment of judgment of the
RTC. The CA rendered a Decision dismissing the consolidated petitions for annulment of
judgment of the RTC Decision. Both the City of Tagaytay and the Melencios filed their respective
motions for reconsideration. However, both motions were denied.

Issue:
Whether or not the City of Tagaytay committed extrinsic fraud against the Melencios.

Held:
There is intrinsic fraud where the fraudulent acts pertain to an issue involved in the original action,
or where the acts constituting the fraud were or could have been litigated therein. Extrinsic fraud
refers to any fraudulent act of the prevailing party in the litigation which is committed outside of
the trial of the case, whereby the unsuccessful party has been prevented from exhibiting fully his
case, by fraud or deception practiced on him by his opponent. The fraud or deceit cannot be of the
losing party's own doing, nor must such party contribute to it. The extrinsic fraud must be
employed against it by the adverse party, who, because of some trick, artifice, or device, naturally
prevails in the suit. It affects not the judgment itself but the manner in which the said judgment is
obtained. Extrinsic fraud is also present where the unsuccessful party has been prevented by his
opponent from exhibiting fully his case by keeping the former away from court or giving him a
false promise of a compromise; or where the defendant never had knowledge of the suit, having
been kept in ignorance by the acts of the plaintiff; or where an attorney fraudulently or without
authority assumed to represent a party and connived at his defeat; or where the attorney regularly
employed corruptly sold out his client's interest to the other side. The overriding consideration is
that the fraudulent scheme of the prevailing litigant prevented a party from having his day in court.
The court finds that the action or inaction of the City of Tagaytay does not amount to extrinsic
fraud. The City of Tagaytay is not the prevailing party in the assailed decision. Moreover, the
Melencios were not totally without fault in protecting their interest. They were aware of the
pendency of Civil Case as shown by their filing of a motion to intervene in the case. When their
motion was denied by the trial court, they no longer pursued their cause. The alleged assurances
and representations of certain officials of the City of Tagaytay that they would file the necessary
motion for reconsideration or appeal in case of an unfavorable decision in Civil Case was not an
impediment to the Melencios protecting their rights over the disputed properties. There is no
allegation that the City of Tagaytay prevented them from, or induced them against, acting on their
own. Its failure to implead the Melencios did not prevent the latter from having their day in court,
which is the essence of extrinsic fraud.

115
Consultations of the Court

JOCELYN SY LIMKAICHONG VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS


G.R. Nos. 178831-32; April 1, 2009

Facts:
Jocelyn Limkaichong ran as a representative in the 1st District of Negros Oriental. Olivia Paras,
her rival, and some other concerned citizens filed disqualification cases against Limkaichong.
Limkaichong is allegedly not a natural born citizen of the Philippines because when she was born
her father was still a Chinese and that her mom, though Filipino, lost her citizenship by virtue of
her marriage to Limkaichong’s dad. During the pendency of the case against Limkaichong before
the (Commission on Elections) COMELEC. Election day came and votes were cast. Results came
in and Limkaichong won over her rival Paras. COMELEC after due hearing declared Limkaichong
as disqualified. About 2 days after the counting of votes, COMELEC declared Limkaichong as a
disqualified candidate.

On the following days however, notwithstanding their proclamation disqualifying Limkaichong,


the COMELEC issued a proclamation announcing Limkaichong as the winner of the recently
conducted elections. This is in compliance with Resolution No. 8062 adopting the policy-
guidelines of not suspending the proclamation of winning candidates with pending disqualification
cases which shall be without prejudice to the continuation of the hearing and resolution of the
involved cases. Paras countered the proclamation and she filed a petition before the COMELEC.
Limkaichong asailed Paras’ petition arguing that since she is now the proclaimed winner, the
COMELEC can no longer exercise jurisdiction over the matter. It should be the HRET which
should exercise jurisdiction from then on. COMELEC agreed with Limkaichong.

Issue:
Whether or not the COMELEC Second Division’s Motion for Leave to Intervene and to Suspend
the Proclamation of Jocelyn Sy Limkaichong as Winning Candidate of the First District of Negros
Oriental is valid.

Held:
The documents presented by petitioners showed that the OSG was not furnished copies of two
material orders of the trial court in the said proceedings. One was the July 9, 1957 Order granting
his petition for naturalization and the other was the September 21, 1959 Order declaring Julio Ong
Sy as a Filipino citizen.

Moreover, from a perusal of the same page 171 of the OSG logbook, we have determined that the
OSG did not receive a notice for the hearing conducted by the trial court on July 9, 1959, prior to
its issuance of the September 12, 1959Order declaring Julio Ong Sy as a Filipino citizen. Another

116
glaring defect in the said proceedings was the fact that Julio Ong Sy took his Oath of Allegiance
on October 21, 1959, which was exactly thirty (30) days after his declaration as a naturalized
Filipino.

She would have been correct had all the necessary parties to the case been informed of the
same. The OSG, being the counsel for the government, has to participate in all the proceedings so
that it could be bound by what has transpired therein. Lacking the participation of this
indispensable party to the same, the proceedings are null and void and, hence, no rights could arise
therefrom. From all the foregoing, therefore, it could be seen that Julio Ong Sy did not acquire
Filipino citizenship through the naturalization proceedings in Special Case No. 1043. Thus, he was
only able to transmit to his offspring, Chinese citizenship.

Respondent Jocelyn Sy-Limkaichong being the daughter of Julio Ong Sy, and having been born
on November 9, 1959, under the 1935 Philippine Constitution, is a Chinese national, and
is disqualified to run as First District Representative of Negros Oriental.

117
Periods of Decision

MALACORA AND MARABULAS VS. COURT OF APPEALS, ET. AL.


G.R. No. L-51042; September 30, 1982

Facts:
On April 14, 1971, the respondent court rendered a decision in CAR Case No. 6, entitled "Dionisio
Malacora and Lucia Marabulas vs. Rodrigo Libarnes and Consuelo Libarnes". After the decision
became final and the case had been returned to the respondent court, plaintiffs, private respondents
herein, filed a motion for execution. On October 30, 1974, the respondent Provincial Sheriff of
Agusan del Norte enforced the writ of execution by levying upon the property of petitioners. On
May 12, 1976, private respondents filed a motion for issuance of a writ of possession, which
motion was opposed by petitioners on the ground 'that the writ of execution did not conform to the
judgment of the trial court. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the above order, and
after due hearing, the respondent court modified the said order. Thereafter, petitioners filed the
instant petition.

Issue:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in declaring the writ of execution, the sheriff's certificate
of sale and the sheriff's final deed of sale.

Held:
The variance between the writ of execution and the final judgment of the court of Appeals sought
to be enforced is at once noticeable. Under the provision of Article X, Section 11 of the 1973
Constitution which provides for a period of eighteen (18) months within which an appealed case
should be decided by this Court, the appealed decision may also be deemed affirmed, this case
having been submitted for decision on October 8, 1980. The Court was in session en banc, the
question of why the aforementioned provision has not been implemented despite the lapse of so
long a period as more than six (6) years, at the time, from the effectivity of the New Constitution.
The answer given was that the constitutional provision referred to is merely directory, not
mandatory, and furthermore, the court was not then in its full strength of fifteen (15) members.

The provision of Article X, Section 11 of the Constitution, is mandatory and should have been
complied with immediately after the effectivity of the New Constitution. This has always been the
position, basically, on the legal principle that all provisions of the Constitution which direct
specific acts to be done, or prohibit certain acts to be done, should be construed as mandatory. To
construe them as merely directory would be to thwart the intention of the Constitution which, its
command being of the highest order should, under no circumstance, be permitted if they are the
'great ordinances' as Justice Holmes had caned the provisions of the Constitution. From the plain
language of the provision, the Constitution could not have intended anything but full and

118
immediate compliance therewith. The manifest purpose of the provision is to avoid delay in the
disposition of cases, which always is a cause of injustice, under the familiar aphorism that "justice
delayed is justice denied." It would, at the same time, ease up the clogged dockets of the courts,
which had long presented a problem that defies solution, despite the striving of this Court in
constant quest of one.

119
The Constitutional Commissions

BRILLANTES VS. YORAC


192 SCRA 358; December 18, 1990

Facts:
The Sixto Brillantes is challenging the designation of Associate Commissioner Haydee B. Yorac
as Acting Chairman of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).

The power of the President to make the designation is challenged in view of the status of the
COMELEC as an independent constitutional body and the specific provision of Article IX-C,
Section 1(2) of the Constitution that “In no case shall any Member of the Commission on Elections
be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.”

Brillantes contends that the choice of the Acting Chairman of the COMELEC is an internal matter
that should be resolved by the members themselves and that the intrusion of the President violates
their independence. He cites the practice in the Court, where the senior Associate Justice serves as
Acting Chief Justice in the absence of the Chief Justice, no designation from the President is
necessary.

The Solicitor General argues that no such designation is necessary in the case of the Supreme Court
because the temporary succession cited is provided for in Section 12 of the Judiciary Act of 1948.
A similar rule is found in Section 5 of BP 129 for the Court of Appeals. There is no such
arrangement, however, in the case of the COMELEC. The designation made by the President
should therefore be sustained for reasons of “administrative expediency,” to prevent disruption of
the functions of the COMELEC.

Issue:
Whether or not the action of the President to designate Yorac as Acting Chairman of the
COMELEC is valid.

Held:
No. Article IX-A, Section 1, of the Constitution expressly describes all the Constitutional
Commissions as “independent.” Although essentially executive in nature, they are not under the
control of the President in the discharge of their respective functions. Each of these Commissions
conducts its own proceedings under the applicable laws and its own rules and in the exercise of its
own discretion. Its decisions, orders and rulings are subject only to review on Certiorari by the
Court as provided by the Constitution in Article IX-A, Section 7.

120
In the choice of the Acting Chairman, the members of the COMELEC would most likely have
been guided by the seniority rule as they themselves would have appreciated it. In any event, that
choice and the basis thereof were for them and not the President to make.

The Constitution provides for many safeguards to the independence of the COMELEC, foremost
among which is the security of tenure of its members. That guaranty is not available to the Yorac
as Acting Chairman of the COMELEC by designation of the President.

121
The Constitutional Commissions

FUNA VS. THE CHAIRMAN, COA


G.R. No. 192791; April 24, 2012

Facts:
This is a petition for Certiorari and Prohibition filed by Dennis A. B. Funa challenging the
constitutionality of the appointment of Reynaldo A. Villar as Chairman of the Commission on
Audit. On February 15, 2001, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo appointed Guillermo N.
Carague as Chairman of the Commission on Audit (COA) for a term of seven years, pursuant to
the 1987 Constitution. Carague’s term of office started on February 2, 2001 to end on February 2,
2008.

Meanwhile, on February 7, 2004, President Macapagal Arroyo appointed Reynaldo A. Villar as


the third member of the COA for a term of seven (7) years starting February 2, 2004 until February
2, 2011. Following Carague’s retirement on February 2, 2008 and during the fourth year of Villar
as COA Commissioner, Villar was appointed as COA Chairman on April 18, 2008.

He was to serve as Chairman of COA, as expressly indicated in the appointment papers, until the
expiration of the original term of his office as COA Commissioner or on February 2, 2011. Villar
insists that his appointment as COA Chairman accorded him a fresh term of seven (7) years which
is yet to lapse. His term of office as chairman is up to February 2, 2015 or 7 years reckoned from
February 2, 2008 when he was appointed to that position.

Issue:
Whether or not the assailed appointment of respondent Villar as COA Chairman is
unconstitutional.

Held:
Yes. The appointment of Villar as the Commissioner on Audit Chairman is unconstitutional
because according to Sec. 1 (2), Art. IX(d) of the Constitution, “The Chairman and Commissioners
[on Audit] shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on
Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, the
Chairman shall hold office for seven years, one commissioner for five years, and the other
commissioner for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only
for the unexpired portion of the term of the predecessor, in no case shall any member be appointed
or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.

The appointment of Villar, from Commissioner to Chairman, was not a reappointment.


Jurisprudence tells us that the word “reappointment” means a second appointment to one and the

122
same office. Necessarily, a movement to a different position within the commission (from
Commissioner to Chairman) would constitute an appointment, or a second appointment, to be
precise, but not reappointment.

However, the vacancy in the position of COA chairman when Carague stepped down in February
2, 2008 resulted from the expiration of his 7-year term. Therefore, there is no unexpired portion of
the Carague’s term. Thus, the next appointed COA chairman should serve a 7-year term. However,
in this case, Villar has already served four years as commissioner, serving as COA chairman for
full 7-year term as COA chairman would unduly extend his term beyond the 7 years fixed by the
constitution. Where the Constitution or, for that matter, a statute, has fixed the term of office of a
public official, the appointing authority is without authority to specify in the appointment a term
shorter or longer than what the law provides—if the vacancy calls for a full 7-year appointment,
the President is without discretion to extend a promotional appointment for more or for less than
seven years. The explicit command of the Constitution is that the “Chairman and the
Commissioners shall be appointed by the President for a term of seven years and appointment to
any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term of the predecessor.

123
The Civil Service Commission

PAGCOR VS. COURT OF APPEALS


202 SCRA 191,194; July 14, 1997

Facts:
Pursuant to a "Contract to Operate" entered into on December 17, 1985 whereby herein petitioner
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) granted private respondent
Philippine Casino Operators Corporation (PCOC) sole and exclusive right to manage gambling
casinos in the entire Philippines, PCOC operated casinos in Manila, Cebu and Laoag, Ilocos Norte.
PAGCOR then caused the transportation of gaming and office equipment and paraphernalia used
in the Laoag casino to its Metro Manila offices for safekeeping. On June 12, 1986 while the trucks
containing said equipment were enroute to PAGCOR's offices, private respondent Eduardo
Marcelo (Marcelo) intercepted said trucks and ordered the drivers to bring the cargoes to his
compound at Governor Pascual Avenue, Malabon.

After PAGCOR rested its case, a demurrer to evidence was filed grounded on (1) the RTC's non-
jurisdiction over the case inasmuch as the subject properties were brought under sequestration, and
(2) PAGCOR's failure to sufficiently prove its ownership over the properties, PAGCOR filed its
opposition to the demurrer. PAGCOR filed a motion for reconsideration thereof, alleging that the
sequestration of PCOC's assets did not include the gaming and office equipment PAGCOR claims
to own. PCOC and Marcelo likewise filed a motion for reconsideration, praying that PAGCOR be
directed to return to them all the items seized under the writ of replevin.

Judge Logarta, in an order (the second assailed order), denied PAGCOR's motion for
reconsideration, but granted that of PCOC and Marcelo. PAGCOR thereafter filed another motion
for reconsideration on November 7, 1991, arguing that the RTC has already acquired and
acknowledged jurisdiction. This was likewise denied in an order dated March 4, 1992 (the third
assailed order). PAGCOR sought the nullification of the Regional Trial Court (RTC's) May 6,
1991, October 15, 1991 and March 4, 1992 orders before public respondent Court of Appeals (CA)
via petition for certiorari and prohibition, claiming that grave abuse of discretion attended their
issuance. The CA, however, in its now-assailed Decision of January 29, 1993, denied due course
to PAGCOR's petition. Hence, this petition.

Issue:
Whether or not the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation has the jurisdiction to decide
upon the question of ownership of the subject gaming and office equipment.

124
Held:
Yes. The Court disagree with the Regional Trial Court and the Court of Appeals on the issue of
jurisdiction. While there can be no dispute that PCOC was sequestered, the fact of sequestration
alone did not automatically oust the RTC of jurisdiction to decide upon the question of ownership
of the subject gaming and office equipment. The PCGG must be a party to the suit in order that
the Sandiganbayan's exclusive jurisdiction may be correctly invoked. This is deducible from no
less than E.O. No. 14, the "Peña" and "Nepomuceno" cases relied upon by both subordinate courts.
Note that in Section 2 of E.O. No. 14 which provides:”Sec. 2. The Presidential Commission on
Good Government shall file all such cases, whether civil or criminal, with the Sandiganbayan,
which shall have exclusive and original jurisdiction thereof.”

On the question of ownership over the subject properties, the more prudent action is to remand the
case to the RTC for its resolution in order that private respondents PCOC and Marcelo may be
given the opportunity to present evidence which, by having opted to file a demurrer that was
subsequently granted, they were not able to do so. While this recourse seems to run counter to
Section 1, Rule 35 of the Rules of Court which reads:
Sec. 1. Effect of judgment on demurrer to evidence. — After the plaintiff has
completed the presentation of his evidence, the defendant without waiving his right
to offer evidence in the event the motion is not granted, may move for a dismissal
on the ground that upon the facts and the law the plaintiff has shown no right to
relief. However, if the motion is granted and the order of dismissal is reversed on
appeal, the movant loses his right to present evidence in his behalf.

The situation obtaining here makes this provision uncontrolling. The ground contemplated by the
rule pertains to the merits of the case. The demurrer and the RTC's dismissal of PAGCOR's
complaint, however, principally focused on the RTC's lack of jurisdiction. This is evident from the
RTC's repeated citation of the "Peña" case which proclaims the exclusive jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan.

125
The Civil Service Commission

CASINO LABOR ASSOCIATION VS. CA


554 S 323; June 12, 2008

Facts:
Petitioner filed consolidated cases before the Arbitration Branch of the National Labor Relations
Commission (NLRC). However, the Labor Arbiter dismissed the consolidated cases for lack of
jurisdiction over the respondents. On appeal before the NLRC, the separate appeals were once
again dismissed. Petitioner then filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals (CA) but
then it was also dismissed. They filed a petition before the SC, followed by a motion but both were
dismissed for failure to show grave abuse on the part of the NLRC. The resolution of the SC stated
that “any petitions brought against private companies will have to be brought before the
appropriate agency or office of the Department of Labor and employment.” As a result, they filed
a motion before the NLRC to forward the consolidated cases to the Arbitration branch, it was
granted. Respondents PCOC and PSSC filed a motion for reconsideration which was eventually
granted. Subsequently, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari before the SC asserting that NLRC
committed a grave abuse of discretion in ignoring the mandate of G.R. No. 85922 which says that
the case should be filed before the NLRC. The SC then referred the case to the CA but it was
denied by the latter, hence this instant petition for certiorari before the SC.

Issue:
Whether or not the NLRC has jurisdiction over employee-employer problems in the PAGCOR,
PCOC, and PSSC.

Held:
No, the NLRC has no jurisdiction on the subject matter. The Civil Service Commission has
jurisdiction over the employee-employer problems in the PAGCOR, PCOC, and PSSC since the
respondent corporations were created under the original charter. Article IX B, Section 2 (1) states
that the civil service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, including government-
owned or controlled corporations with original charters.

126
The Commission on Elections

GERONIMO V. RAMOS
135 SCRA 435; September 26, 1981

Facts:

This petition for certiorari and mandamus seeks to set aside the resolution of the respondent
Commission on Elections dated January 19, 1980 disqualifying the herein petitioner, Meliton C.
Geronimo, from running for mayor of Baras, Rizal, in the January 30, 1980 local elections, and
denying due course to his certificate of candidacy.

Petitioner Meliton C. Geronimo, a retired lieutenant colonel of the Philippine Air Force, was a
candidate for mayor under the banner of the Nacionalista Party.

Private respondent Julian C. Pendre was the secretary of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan KBL)
chapter in Baras, Rizal, and an official candidate of the KBL as member of the Sangguniang
Bayan of said municipality.

On February 5, 1980, private respondent and the other KBL candidates filed a formal petition
with the COMELEC for the suspension of the proclamation of the winning candidates and for
the recounting of the ballots in voting centers Nos. 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 15-B and 16 on account of
serious irregularities discovered in seven (7) out of the nineteen (19) election returns of the
aforementioned voting centers. On February 12, 1980, the COMELEC resolved to defer action
on the aforesaid petition of private respondent on the ground that the same was premature and
that it should be consolidated with the appeal from the ruling of the Municipal Board of
canvassers after the termination of the canvass of election returns.

On February 18, 1980, the Municipal Board of Canvassers issued a resolution denying the
protest of private respondent and the other KBL candidates against the aforesaid seven (7)
election returns. Subsequently, on February 22, 1980, private respondent appealed from the
resolution of the Municipal Board of Canvassers to the COMELEC. Private respondent alleged
however, that he has not received any resolution of the COMELEC on said appeal.

It appears also from the records that on February 19, 1980, petitioner filed a motion dated
February 18, 1980 asking this Court to issue an order to the COMELEC to proclaim him as the
mayor-elect of Baras, Rizal, and to set the case for hearing. On February 29, 1980, private
respondent filed an answer dated February 28, 1980 to petitioner's motion. This Court, in its
resolution of February 28, 1980, required the respondents to comment on the petitioner's motion
asking this Court to issue an order to the COMELEC to proclaim the petitioner as the mayor-
elect of Baras, Rizal. Pursuant thereto, herein private respondent and respondent COMELEC
filed their comments respectively on March 7, 1980 and March 10, 1980.

Issue:

Whether or not the respondent Commission on Elections has acted with grave abuse of discretion

127
in disqualifying petitioner Meliton C. Geronimo from running for the office of mayor of Baras,
Rizal, and in refusing to give due course to his certificate of candidacy for the said position.

Held:

The matter of disqualification of petitioner Meliton C. Geronimo is based on Section 10, Article
XIIC of the 1973 Constitution, declaring that: No elective public officer may change his political
party affiliation during his term of office, and no candidate for any elective public office may
change his political party affiliation within six months immediately preceding or following an
election (Emphasis supplied) and Batas Pambansa Blg. 52, adopting the aforesaid constitutional
prohibition on political turncoatism as one of the special disqualification of local candidates
running for elective positions by providing that:

Sec. 4. Special Disqualification In addition to violation of Section 10 of Article XIIC


of the Constitution and disqualifications mentioned in existing laws, which are hereby
declared as disqualifications for any of the elective officials enumerated in Section 1
hereof …

xxx xxx xxx

Sec. 7. ... The Commission on Elections shall motu propio, or upon sworn petition of
any vote political party or candidate, after due notice and hearing, refuse to give due
course to a certificate of candidacy if it is shown that the person filing the same does not
possess all the necessary qualifications for the office concerned or is disqualified from
running for said office as provided by law (Emphasis supplied)

as well as Presidential Decree No. 1661, as amended, implementing the aforecited constitutional
provision and providing that: chanrobles virtual law library

Section 1. Guest Candidate.- It shall be unlawful for any registered


or accredited political party to nominate and or support as its official
candidate any person belonging to another accredited or registered party
when he has affiliated with the nominating party at least six (6) months
before the election ..

Section 2. Sanction the Commission on Elections shall not give due


course to a certificate of candidacy filed by a guest candidate or to the
nomination of a political party of a ticket which includes a guest
candidate.

Petitioner contends that KBL is not a political party, so that he could not have affiliated with the
KBL as a political party, and he could not have changed party affiliation from the KBL to NP;
consequently, he is not guilty of violating the constitutional and statutory prohibitions on
turncoatism and he should not be disqualified from running for the office of mayor of Baras,
Rizal.
The contention is without merit. Petitioner, in arguing that KBL is not a political party but a

128
mere political movement or an umbrella organization, relied on the case of Laban vs.
COMELEC (82 SCRA 196 [19781) where this Court held that KBL is not a political party.
However, political developments subsequent to the LABAN case showed that KBL was
transformed from a mere temporary alliance into a more or less stable political organization. It
bears noting, as it is significant, that in the Interim Batasang Pambansa, majority of the
assemblymen are Identified and Identify themselves with pride as KBL members, sporting T-
shirts, hats, pins labelled KBL, while the few opposition diehards Identify themselves as
members of the NP or Pusyon Bisaya. Thereafter, until December, 1979, the majority members
kept referring to themselves as KBL members. Likewise, the KBL members held caucuses and
meetings, to discuss vital issues. The actuations of these organizers and leading members
established the de facto organization of the KBL since April, 1978. And the acts performed by
the KBL leaders, not the formality of registration as a party, should determine the
commencement of party existence. In like manner, in cases involving illegal associations, the
nature and true character of an organization are oftentimes determined by the speeches and
activities of its leaders and members rather than by its constitution and bylaws (People vs.
Ramos, CA-G.R. No. 5318, December 28, 1940, 40 O.G. 2305 [Sept. 13, 1941]).

129
The Commission on Elections

BANAT PARTY LIST VS. COMELEC


595 SCRA 477; April 21, 2009

Facts:
On 27 June 2002, BANAT filed a Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List
Representatives Provided by the Constitution, docketed as NBC No. 07-041 (PL) before the NBC.
BANAT filed its petition because "the Chairman and the Members of the COMELEC have
recently been quoted in the national papers that the COMELEC is duty bound to and shall
implement the Veterans ruling, that is, would apply the Panganiban formula in allocating party-
list seats." BANAT filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus assailing the ruling in NBC
Resolution No. 07-88. BANAT did not file a motion for reconsideration of NBC Resolution No.
07-88. On 9 July 2007, Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher asked the COMELEC, acting as NBC,
to reconsider its decision to use the Veterans formula as stated in its NBC Resolution No. 07-60
because the Veterans formula is violative of the Constitution and of Republic Act No. 7941 (R.A.
No. 7941). On the same day, the COMELEC denied reconsideration during the proceedings of the
NBC.

Issue:
Whether or not the 20% allocation for party-list representatives provided in Article 6 Section 5 (2)
of the Constitution mandatory.

Held:
Petition has partial merit. The party-list election has four inviolable parameters stated in Veterans.
First, the twenty percent allocation the combined number of all party-list congressmen shall not
exceed twenty percent of the total membership of the House of Representatives, including those
elected under the party list; Second, the two percent threshold only those parties garnering a
minimum of two percent of the total valid votes cast for the party-list system are qualified to have
a seat in the House of Representatives; Third, the three-seat limit each qualified party, regardless
of the number of votes it actually obtained, is entitled to a maximum of three seats; that is, one
qualifying and two additional seats; Fourth, proportional representation the additional seats which
a qualified party is entitled to shall be computed in proportion to their total number of votes.

130
The Commission on Audit

DELA LLANA VS. THE CHAIRPERSON, COA


665 SCRA 176; February 7, 2012

Facts:
On October 26, 1982, the Commission on Audit (COA) issued Circular No. 82-195, lifting the
system of pre-audit of government financial transactions, albeit with certain exceptions. On March
31, 1986, the COA issued Circular No. 86-256, which reinstated the pre-audit of selected
government transactions, to address the grave irregularities and anomalies in the government’s
financial transactions that were uncovered due to the February 1986 revolution. When the COA
saw that government operations had been stabilized, COA issued Circular No. 89-229, which again
lifted the pre-audit of government transactions of national government agencies (NGAs) and
government-owned or –controlled corporations (GOCCs). On May 3, 2006, petitioner dela Llana
wrote to the COA regarding the recommendation of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and
Food that the Department of Agriculture set up an internal pre-audit service. COA, however,
informed the petitioner of the prior issuance of Circular No. 89-229, which says that pre-audit had
been lifted. Hence, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with the Court alleging that the pre-
audit is a constitutional mandate enshrined in Section 2 of Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution,
and could not be lifted by a mere circular.

Issue:
Whether or not COA is required to conduct a pre-audit of all government transactions and for all
government agencies.

Held:
They are not. Pre-audit is an examination of financial transactions before their consumption or
payment. Under Section 2 of Article IX-D of the Constitution, nothing requires that COA should
conduct a pre-audit for all government transactions. The only clear reference to a pre-audit
requirement is found in Section 2, paragraph 1 of the same article which provides that a post-audit
is mandated for certain government or private entities with state subsidy or equity and only when
the internal control system of an audited entity is inadequate. Only in some situations may the
COA adopt measures, including a temporary or special pre-audit, to correct deficiencies.

131
The Commission on Audit

YAP VS. COA


619 SCRA 154; April 23, 2010

Facts:
Ramon R. Yap is holder of a regular position of Department Manager of the National Development
Company, a government-owned and controlled corporation with original charter. He was
appointed by the Board of Directors, Manila Gas Corporation, a subsidiary of NDC as Vice-
President for Finance effective June 14, 1991 while remaining as a regular employee of NDC. The
additional employment entitled him to honoraria equivalent to fifty percent of his basic salary at
NDC and various allowances attached to the office. In the course of the regular audit, the Corporate
Auditor, MGC issued notices of disallowances against Mr. Ramon R. Yap which were predicated
on the ground that appellants appointment to MGC in addition to his regular position as
Department Manager III of NDC and the subsequent receipt of the questioned allowances and
reimbursements from the former directly contravened the proscription contained in Section 7 (2)
and Section 8, Article IX-b of the Constitution.

Mr. Yap appealed the Auditors disallowances primarily contending that the questioned benefits
were all approved by the MGC Board of Directors. Petitioners appeal was denied by the CAO II,
which affirmed the MGC Corporate Auditors findings that the allowances and reimbursements at
issue were given in violation of Sections 7(2) and 8, Article IX-b of the 1987 Constitution.

Issue:
Whether COA abandoned the ground of double compensation as a basis for the questioned
disallowances and affirmed the same on the new ground that the allowances did not meet the test
of public purpose requirement.

Held:
The 1987 Constitution has made the COA the guardian of public funds, vesting it with broad
powers over all accounts pertaining to government revenue and expenditures and the uses of public
funds and property including the exclusive authority to define the scope of its audit and
examination, establish the techniques and methods for such review, and promulgate accounting
and auditing rules and regulations.

The Court ruled that COA is not required to limit its review only to the grounds relied upon by a
government agencies auditor with respect to disallowing certain disbursements of public funds. In
consonance with its general audit power, respondent COA is not merely legally permitted, but is
also duty-bound to make its own assessment of the merits of the disallowed disbursement and not
simply restrict itself to reviewing the validity of the ground relied upon by the auditor of the

132
government agency concerned. To hold otherwise would render COAs vital constitutional power
unduly limited and thereby useless and ineffective.

133
The Commission on Audit

PACETE VS. ACTING CHAIRMAN OF THE COA


G.R. No. L-39456; May 7, 1990

Facts:
Acting Mayor Erlindo Grafilo suspended petitioner Elias V. Pacete as City Attorney for a period
of ten (10) days effective July 11, 1972. Finally, on July 20, 1972, notice was served on petitioner
that he had been removed as the City Attorney of General Santos City on the ground of loss of
confidence. Ostensibly, the Acting Mayor's loss of confidence in petitioner was the result of the
legal opinion of the latter impugning the authority of Acting Mayor Grafilo to act as such and
upholding the authority of Mayor Acharon to discharge the functions of the Office of the Mayor
even while the latter was in prison.

On October 15, 1974, petitioner filed the present petition with essentially the following prayers:
(1) payment of backwages from the time petitioner was suspended on July 11, 1972 until the final
termination of his case; and (2) payment by respondent City Auditor Miguel Penalosa, Jr. of
damages for his refusal to pass in audit petitioner's claim for backwages. After the filing by the
parties of their respective pleadings, the Court, through its Second Division, resolved on June 30,
1975, to consider the case submitted for decision. Unfortunately, no action was taken thereon until
after the organization of the Court upon the ratification of the 1987 Constitution.

On February 8, 1988, the Court, noting the considerable length of time during which the case has
been pending and to determine whether supervening events have rendered the case moot and
academic required the parties to move in the premises. The respondents City Auditor and City
Treasurer of General Santos City filed a manifestation claiming that the case has been moot and
academic because petitioner has been appointed Hearing Officer IV of the National Police
Commission on February 25, 1976. On the other hand, the Solicitor General filed a manifestation
stating that: (1) there is no showing that the parties have lost interest in the case; and (2) there is
no supervening event which would render the case moot and academic. Likewise, petitioner filed
a manifestation underscoring his interest in pursuing the case and reiterating his claims for
backwages and damages.

Issue:
Whether or not the opinion of respondent Assistant Executive Secretary contending that the
decision of the Auditor General cannot be reviewed by the Office of the President without violating
the principles of separation of powers and non-delegation of powers is valid.

134
Held:
The Office of the President did not review the ruling of the Auditor General. Instead, what
transpired was the referral of petitioner's case by the Auditor General to the Office of the President
for opinion, on the basis of which the respondent Acting Chairman of the Commission on Audit,
who as noted earlier took over the functions of the Auditor General, rendered a decision
disallowing petitioner's claim. In other words, the respondent Acting Chairman of the Commission
on Audit did issue a separate decision rejecting petitioner's money claim. It cannot, therefore be
claimed that the Commission on Audit (formerly the Auditor General) abdicated in favor of the
Office of the President its authority over cases involving the settlement of accounts or money
claims against the government.

It is to be understood of course that officials and employees holding primarily confidential


positions continue only for so long as confidence in them endures. The termination of their official
relation can be justified on the ground of loss of confidence because in that case their cessation
from office involved no removal but merely the expiration of the term of office two different causes
for the termination of official relations recognized in the law of Public Officers.

The Court, after a careful consideration of the instant case, finds no cogent reason to depart from
the ruling of the aforecited cases that the position of Legal Counsel or City Attorney is confidential
in nature, for which loss of confidence is a valid ground for termination. Hence, the Court must
rule that petitioner is not entitled to the backwages claimed. Moreover, having determined the
legality of petitioner's termination from service as City Attorney, the Court must likewise hold that
respondent City Auditor Miguel Peñalosa Jr. cannot be held liable for damages since his refusal to
pass in audit petitioner's claim for backwages was pursuant to a lawful order made by the
respondent Acting Commissioner on Audit.

135
The Commission on Audit

ANIANO A. ALBON VS. BAYANI F. FERNANDO, ET. AL.


G.R. No. 148357; June 30, 2006

Facts:
In May 1999, the City of Marikina undertook a public works project to widen, clear and repair the
existing sidewalks of Marikina Greenheights Subdivision. It was undertaken by the city
government pursuant to Ordinance No. 59, s. 1993. On June 14, 1999, Aniano A. Albon filed with
the Regional Trial Court of Marikina, Branch 73, a taxpayer’s suit for certiorari, prohibition and
injunction with damages against respondents. Petitioner claimed that it was unconstitutional and
unlawful for respondents to use government equipment and property, and to disburse public funds,
of the City of Marikina for the grading, widening, clearing, repair and maintenance of the existing
sidewalks of Marikina Greenheights Subdivision. He alleged that the sidewalks were private
property. On June 22, 1999, the trial court denied petitioner’s application for a temporary
restraining order (TRO) and writ of preliminary injunction. Petitioner sought a reconsideration of
the trial court’s decision but it was denied. On December 22, 2000, the Court of Appeals sustained
the ruling of the trial court and held that Ordinance No. 59, s. 1993, was a valid enactment. The
sidewalks of Marikina Greenheights Subdivision were public in nature and ownership thereof
belonged to the City of Marikina or the Republic of the Philippines following the 1991 White
Plains Association decision. Thus, the improvement and widening of the sidewalks pursuant to
Ordinance No. 59, s. 1993 was well within the LGU’s powers. Hence the petition.

Issue:
Whether or not the Ordinance No. 59, s. 1993 is valid.

Held:
Like all LGUs, the City of Marikina is empowered to enact ordinances for the purposes set forth
in the Local Government Code (RA 7160). It is expressly vested with police powers delegated to
LGUs under the general welfare clause of RA 7160. With this power, LGUs may prescribe
reasonable regulations to protect the lives, health, and property of their constituents and maintain
peace and order within their respective territorial jurisdictions. Thus, the trial and appellate courts
were correct in upholding the validity of Ordinance No. 59, s. 1993. It was enacted in the exercise
of the City of Marikina’s police powers to regulate the use of sidewalks. However, both the trial
and appellate courts erred when they invoked our 1991 decision in White Plains Association and
automatically applied it in this case. Section 335 of RA 7160 is clear and specific that no public
money or property shall be appropriated or applied for private purposes. This is in consonance
with the fundamental principle in local fiscal administration that local government funds and
monies shall be spent solely for public purposes. The use of LGU funds for the widening and
improvement of privately-owned sidewalks is unlawful as it directly contravenes Section 335 of

136
RA 7160. This conclusion finds further support from the language of Section 17 of RA 7160 which
mandates LGUs to efficiently and effectively provide basic services and facilities. The law speaks
of infrastructure facilities intended primarily to service the needs of the residents of the LGU and
which are funded out of municipal funds.

137
Impeachment

CORONA VS. SENATE OF THE PHIL.


676 SCRA 563; July 17, 2012

Facts:
On December 12, 2011, a caucus was held by the majority bloc of the House of Representatives
(HOR) during which a verified complaint for impeachment against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona
was submitted by the leadership of the Committee on Justice. After a brief presentation, on the
same day, the complaint was voted in session and 188 Members signed and endorsed it, way above
the one-third vote required by the Constitution.

On December 13, 2011, the complaint was transmitted to the Senate which convened as an
impeachment court the following day.

On December 15, 2011, Chief Justice Corona received a copy of the complaint charging him with
culpable violation of the Constitution. He was being charged for betrayal of public trust and for
graft and corruption.

On December 26, 2011, Chief Justice Corona filed his Answer assailing the “blitzkrieg” fashion
by which the impeachment complaint was signed by the Members of the HOR and immediately
transmitted to the Senate.

On February 8, 2012, the present petition was filed arguing that the Impeachment Court committed
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

The HOR assert that the Impeachment Court did not commit any grave abuse of discretion; it has,
in fact, been conducting the proceedings judiciously.

Issue:
Whether or not the certiorari jurisdiction of the Court may be invoked to assail matters or incidents
arising from impeachment proceedings.

Held:
The Court dismissed the case for being moot and academic. The impeachment trial had been
concluded with the conviction of Chief Justice Corona by more than the required majority vote of
the Senator-Judges.

Impeachment refers to the power of Congress to remove a public official for serious crimes or
misconduct as provided in the Constitution. Chief Justice Corona was impeached through the mode

138
provided under Art. XI, par. 4, Sec. 3, in a manner that he claims was accomplished with undue
haste and under a complaint which is defective for lack of probable cause.

The Senate argues that unless there is a clear transgression of these constitutional limitations, the
Court may not exercise its power of expanded judicial review over the actions of Senator-Judges
during the proceedings. By the nature of the functions they discharge when sitting as an
Impeachment Court, Senator-Judges are clearly entitled to propound questions on the witnesses,
prosecutors and counsel during the trial. But whether the Senate Impeachment Rules were
followed or not, is a political question that is not within this Court’s power of expanded judicial
review.

139
Impeachment

ACOP VS. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN


G.R. No. 120422; September 27, 1995

Facts:
On May 18, 1995, eleven suspected members of the notorious robbery gang, "Kuratong Baleleng,"
were killed in an alleged shootout with composite teams of the National Capital Regional
Command (NCRC), Traffic Management Command (TMC), Presidential Anti-Crime Commission
(PACC), Central Police District Command (CPDC) and Criminal Investigation Command (CIC).

SPO2 Eduardo de los Reyes of the Central Intelligence Command (CIC) then made an expose',
stating that there was no shootout and that the "Kuratong Baleleng" members were victims of
summary execution.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) received the complaint of the relatives of the slain
suspected gang members, accusing the PACC, NCRC, TMC, CIC and CPDC of murder. Acting
Ombudsman Villa directed public respondent Deputy Ombudsman Casaclang to create a panel to
monitor the investigations being conducted by the Commission on Human Rights, the Senate
Committee on Justice and Human Rights, and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Director for
Investigation regarding the alleged shootout.

The panel recommended that a preliminary investigation be conducted against petitioners and all
the participating personnel listed in the After Operations Report of the PNP. Casaclang then issued
the order directing petitioner[s] and nine others to submit their counter-affidavits and controverting
evidence within ten days from receipt thereof, which the petitioners failed to comply.

The petitioners instead filed a motion with Casaclang to suspend the preliminary investigation
against them pending resolution of the petition for certiorari filed with the Supreme
Court. Casaclang granted the motion, only to be reversed by Villa. Villa then took over "the direct
supervision and control of the preliminary investigation". The petitioners challenged the take-over,
asserting that neither the Ombudsman nor his Deputy may conduct preliminary investigation.

Issue:
Whether or not public respondent Deputy Ombudsman for Military Manuel Casaclang committed
grave abuse of discretion when he set the case for preliminary investigation and required the
petitioners to submit their counter-affidavits before any preliminary evaluation of the complaint as
required by Section 2, Rule II of Administrative Order No. 07 of the Office of the Ombudsman.

140
Held:
The Court does not share the petitioners' view that Casaclang set the case for preliminary
investigation and required the petitioners to file their counter-affidavits without the conduct of a
preliminary evaluation of the complaint as required by the Rules of the Office of
the Ombudsman. In this case, no evidence to that effect was adduced. On the contrary, the Panel
of Investigators submitted its evaluation report on 8 June 1995, and it was only on 14 June 1995
that respondent Casaclang issued the questioned order. Section 2, Rule II of Administrative Order
No. 07 of the Office of the Ombudsman (Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman), on
the process and nature of the evaluation required, reads as follows: SEC. 2. Evaluation. Upon
evaluating the complaint, the investigating officer shall recommend whether it may be
(a)dismissed outright for want of palpable merit; (b) referred to respondent for comment;
(c)indorsed to the proper government office or agency which has jurisdiction over the case;
(d)forward to the appropriate office or official for fact-finding investigation; (e)referred for
administrative adjudication; or (f) subjected to a preliminary investigation.

Moreover, the evaluation required is merely preliminary in nature and scope, not a detailed inquiry.
Likewise, the conduct of such evaluation involves the exercise of discretion which has not been
shown to be abused in the instant case.

141
Accountability of Public Officers

LASTIMOSA VS. VASQUEZ


243 SCRA 497; April 6, 1995

Facts:
On February 18, 1993 Jessica Villacarlos Dayon, public health nurse of Santa Fe, Cebu, filed a
criminal complaint for frustrated rape and an administrative complaint for immoral acts, abuse of
authority and grave misconduct against the Municipal Mayor of Santa Fe, Rogelio Ilustrisimo.
Initially, the deputy ombudsman found no prima facie evidence. After review, Ombudsman
Vasquez reversed and directed that the mayor be charged with a criminal case in the Regional Trial
Court (RTC).

The case was referred to provincial prosecutor Gloria Lastimosa. She conducted her own
preliminary investigation and found that only acts of lasciviousness had been committed. She filed
a case for acts of lasciviousness. As no case for attempted rape had been filed by the Prosecutor's
Office, Deputy Ombudsman Arturo Mojica ordered on July 27, 1994 Provincial Prosecutor
Oliveros Kintanar and petitioner Gloria Lastimosa to show cause why they should not be punished
for contempt for "refusing and failing to obey the lawful directives" of the Office of the
Ombudsman.Petitioner contends, the Office of the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over the case
against the mayor because the crime involved (rape) was not committed in relation to a public
office.

In the administrative case (OMB-VIS-(ADM)-94-0189) respondent Deputy Ombudsman for


Visayas Mojica issued an order on August 15, 1994, placing petitioner Gloria G. Lastimosa and
Provincial Prosecutor Oliveros E. Kintanar under preventive suspension for a period of six (6)
months, pursuant to Rule III, §9 of the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman
(Administrative Order No. 7), in relation to §24 of R.A. No. 6770.

The order was approved by Ombudsman Conrado M. Vasquez on August 16, 1994 and 1994
Acting Secretary of Justice Ramon J. Liwag designated Eduardo Concepcion of Region VII as
Acting Provincial Prosecutor of Cebu.On the other hand, the Graft Investigation Officer II,
Edgardo G. Canton, issued orders in the two cases, directing petitioner and Provincial Prosecutor
Kintanar to submit their counter affidavits and controverting evidence.

Issue:
Whether or not the Office of the Ombudsman has the power to call on the Provincial Prosecutor
to assist it in the prosecution of the case for attempted rape against Mayor Ilustrisimo.

142
Held:
Yes. The office of the Ombudsman has the power to "investigate and prosecute on its own or on
complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency,
when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient." This power has
been held to include the investigation and prosecution of any crime committed by a public official
regardless of whether the acts or omissions complained of are related to, or connected with, or
arise from, the performance of his official duty. It does not matter that the Office of the Provincial
Prosecutor had already conducted the preliminary investigation and all that remained to be done
was for the Office of the Ombudsman.

In the existence of his power, the Ombudsman is authorized to call on prosecutors for assistance.
§31 of the Ombudsman Act of 1989 (R.A. No. 6770) provides:
Designation of Investigators and Prosecutors. — The Ombudsman may utilize the
personnel of his office and/or designate of deputize any fiscal, state prosecutor or
lawyer in the government service to act as special investigator or prosecutor to
assist in the investigation and prosecution of certain cases. Those designated or
deputized to assist him as herein provided shall be under his supervision and
control. (Emphasis added)

It was on the basis of this provision that Ombudsman Conrado Vasquez and Deputy Ombudsman
Arturo C. Mojica ordered the Provincial Prosecutor of Cebu to file an information for attempted
rape against Mayor Rogelio Ilustrismo. It does not matter that the Office of the Provincial
Prosecutor had already conducted the preliminary investigation and all that remained to be done
was for the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor to file the corresponding case in court.

Even if the preliminary investigation had been given over to the Provincial Prosecutor to conduct,
his determination of the nature of the offense to be charged would still be subject to the approval
of the Office of the Ombudsman. This is because under §31 of the Ombudsman's Act, when a
prosecutor is deputized, he comes under the "supervision and control" of the Ombudsman which
means that he is subject to the power of the Ombudsman to direct, review, approve, reverse or
modify his (prosecutor's) decision. Petitioner cannot legally act on her own and refuse to prepare
and file the information as directed by the Ombudsman.

143
Academic Freedom

UNIVERSITY OF SAN AGUSTIN. INC. VS. CA


230 S 761; March 7, 1994

Facts:
Private respondents were nursing students of the University of San Agustin (USA), herein
petitioner. Private respondents were refused for re-admission for not meeting the minimum grade
of 80%. The latter alleged that the continuous refusal of the petitioner to re-admit them prejudiced
their right to freely choose their field of study and finish a college degree especially that no school
would want to accommodate them since they have different curriculum and due to residency
requirement as well. Thus they filed a petition for mandamus with a prayer for re-admission. As a
defense, the petitioner contended that USA is a private educational institution that enjoys the right
to academic freedom. The RTC dismissed the petition. On appeal, the CA reversed the decision of
the RTC, hence this petition.

Issue:
Whether or not the CA erred in ordering the petitioner to re-admit private respondents.

Held:
Yes, the CA erred in their decision. All institutions of higher learning enjoy academic freedom
pursuant to Article XIV, Section 5(2) of the 1987 Constitution. It is clear that the petitioner falls
under this category thus enjoy as well this academic freedom granted by the Constitution.
Academic freedom is defined as “the freedom of the school or college to decide for itself, its aims
and objectives , and how best to attain them—free from outside coercion or interference save
possibly when the overriding public welfare calls for some restraint.” The petitioner has a
regulation which says “to produce graduates of proven competence and aptitude in in a demanding
profession, for which it is responsible to society-at-large, not only nationally but internationally,
considering the good fame and refutation of Filipino nurses abroad”, and from this they deem that
one of the ways to achieve this is by not getting a grade of less than 80 %. This is their discretion
on how to attain that regulation, thus they are but right in dismissing the private respondents.

144
Academic Freedom

ATENEO DE MANILA UNIVERSITY VS. HON. JUDGE IGNACIO CAPULONG


G.R. 99327; May 27, 1993

Facts:
Aguila Legis, a fraternity in Ateneo Law School, held its initiation rites upon neophytes.As a result
thereof, one neophyte named Leonardo "Lennie" H. Villa, a first year law student,died of serious
physical injuries. Another freshman student by the name of Bienvenido Marquez was also
hospitalized for acute renal failure occasioned by the serious physical injuries inflicted upon him
on the same occasion. Dean del Castillo created an investigating committee which was tasked to
investigate and submit a report regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of Lennie Villa.
The respondent students were asked to submit their written statements but failed to do so. In the
meantime, they were placed in preventive suspension.

The investigating committee, after receiving the written statements and hearing the testimonies of
several witness, found a prima facie case against respondent students for violation of Rule 3 of the
Law School Catalogue entitled "Discipline." Respondent students were then required to file their
written answers to the formal charge. Petitioner Dean created a Disciplinary Board to hear the
charges against respondent students. The Board found respondent students guilty of violating Rule
No. 3 of the Ateneo Law School Rules on Discipline which prohibits participation in hazing
activities. However, in view of the lack of unanimity among the members of the Board on the
penalty of dismissal, the Board left the imposition of the penalty to theUniversity Administration.
Accordingly, Fr. Bernas imposed the penalty of dismissal on all respondent students. Respondent
students filed with RTC Makati a temporary restraining order(TRO) since they are currently
enrolled.

Judge Capulong, upon student’s appeal, ordered Ateneo to reverse its decision and reinstate the
said students.

Issue:
Whether or not a school is within its rights in expelling students from its academic community
pursuant to its disciplinary rules and moral standards.

Held:
Yes. As corporate entities, educational institutions of higher learning are inherently endowed with
the right to establish their policies, academic and otherwise, unhampered by external controls or
pressure. The Supreme Court consistently upheld the salutary proposition that admission to an
institution of higher learning is discretionary upon a school, the same being a privilege on the part
of the student rather than a right. While under the education Act of 1982, students have a right "to

145
freely choose their field of study, subject to existing curricula and to continue their course therein
up to graduation," such right is subject, as all rights are, to the established academic and
disciplinary standards laid down by the academic institution.

146
Academic Freedom

UNIVERSITY OF SAN CARLOS VS. COURT OF APPEALS


166 SCRA 570; October 18, 1988

Facts:
Private respondent enrolled in the College of Architecture, University of San Carlos (USC), during
the first semester of school year 1978-79. At t the end of second semester of that school year, she
obtained a grade of "I.C." (incomplete) in Architecture 121, and grades of "5's" (failures) in
Architecture 122 and Architecture 123.

The following school year, 1979-1980, she shifted to the College of Commerce of the USC. Some
of the units she had completed when she was still an architecture student were then carried over
and credited in her new course. As a commerce student, she obtained good grades. However, she
was aware of her earlier failing grades in the College of Architecture and that the same would be
taken into consideration in the evaluation of her overall academic performance to determine if she
could graduate with honors.

So, on December 10, 1981 she wrote the Council of Deans of the USC, requesting that her grades
of "5's" in Architecture 121 and Architecture 122 be disregarded in the computation of her grade
average. She wrote a similar letter to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (MECS), in
Region VII on January 5, 1982 and this letter was referred to the President of the USC for comment
and return to the MECS.

In the 3rd Indorsement dated February 4, 1982, the President of the USC informed the MECS that
the university policy was that any failing grade obtained by a student in any course would
disqualify the student for honors; that to deviate from that policy would mean injustice to students
similarly situated before who were not allowed to graduate with honors; that the bad grades given
to her were justified and could not be deleted or removed because her subjects were not "dropped"
as required; that she had two failures and one incomplete grade which became a failure upon her
inaction to attend to the incomplete grade within one year; and that while her three failures did not
affect her graduation from the College of Commerce, they nonetheless caused her disqualification
from graduating with honors. She was furnished a copy of said indorsement but she did not ask
for a reconsideration.

Issue:
Whether or not the University of San Carlos committed a grave abuse of discretion in denying the
honors sought by private respondent under the circumstances.

147
Held:
No. Private respondent should know and is presumed to know those University policies and is
bound to comply therewith. It is precisely because she knew of these rules that she exerted all
efforts to have her final grades of "5's" in Architecture 122 and Architecture 123 be disregarded in
the computation of honors. When her request was denied by the university, she did not ask for a
reconsideration thereof. Instead in the middle part of March 1982 when the USC President was
out of town, she wrote another letter to the USC registrar asking that her falling grades be changed
as above related. The matter was referred to the MECS and the request was approved on March
22, 1982.

The change of grades of private respondent is thus open to question. Obviously, private respondent
employed undue and improper pressure on the MECS authorities to approve the change of her
grades to remove all obstacle to her graduation with honors. Petitioners' claim that the change of
grades of the private respondent was attended with fraud is not entirely misplaced.

Petitioners cannot be faulted for refusing to vest the honors demanded of them by the private
respondent. One failure would have been sufficient to disqualify her but she had one incomplete
and two failures. Her only chance was to reverse her failing grades. This she accomplished thru
the back door.

Nevertheless, even if she succeeded in removing her failing grades, it was still within the sound
discretion of the petitioners to determine whether private respondent was entitled to graduate with
honors. The Court finds that petitioners did not commit a grave abuse of discretion in denying the
honors sought by private respondent under the circumstances. Indeed, the aforesaid change of
grades did not automatically entitle her to the award of honors.

148
Academic Freedom

UP BOARD OF REGENTS VS CA AND CELINE


G.R. No. 134625; August 31, 1999

Facts:
Private respondent Arokiaswamy William Margaret Celine, a citizen of India and holder of a
Philippine visitor’s visa, enrolled in the doctoral program in Anthropology of the University of the
Philippines (UP) College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP) in Diliman, Quezon City. On
December 22, 1992, Dr. Rolda, the chairperson of the UP Department of Anthropology certified
that private respondent is ready for the oral defense of her dissertation. However, Dr. Medina, a
member of the dissertation panel, found that certain portions in private respondent’s dissertation
had no proper acknowledgement. In spite of that, she was allowed to defend her dissertation
wherein she received a passing mark with the condition that the private respondent must revise the
dissertations, especially the part that had no proper acknowledgment. Despite this remark, the
private respondent went on and submitted her dissertation to the CSSP without the approvals of
Dr. Teodoro and Dr. Medina. Due to this irregularity, Dean Paz of CSSP wrote to the Vice
Chancellor for Academic Affairs of UP, requesting to have the name of private respondent revoked
from the official list of graduates. The letter, however, did not reach the Board of Regents on time,
which resulted to the private respondent graduating with the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and
Anthropology. Following this, the petitioners conducted series of investigations involving the
charges of plagiarism against her which resulted to the withdrawal of her PH.D. degree.

Aggrieved, a petition for mandamus was filed by the private respondent, wherein the Court of
Appeals found merit in the petition and ordered the petitioners to restore the private respondent’s
degree of PH.D. in Anthropology.

Issue:
Whether or not the UP Board of Regents has the power to withdraw what it has granted without
violating a student’s rights.

Held:
Yes. Section 5 (2), Article XIV of the Constitution provides that academic freedom shall be
enjoyed in all institutions of higher learning. Academic freedom is the freedom granted to
institutions of higher learning which has the authority to decide who can study in it, and the power
to determine on whom it can confer the honor and distinction of being its graduates. Where it is
shown that the conferment of an honor or distinction was obtained through fraud, a university has
the right to revoke or withdraw the honor or distinction it has thus conferred, regardless if a student
had already graduated. The UP Board of Regents, being the highest governing body of UP, has the
power to confer degrees upon the recommendation of the University Council, and to withdraw

149
what it has granted had it been founded on error or fraud. The Board of Regents determined after
due investigation conducted that private respondent did commit no less than ninety instances of
intellectual dishonesty in her dissertation. Due to this, the Board of Regents decided to withdraw
the doctorate degree vested upon her. Such decision rendered by the Board of Regents is within
their jurisdiction.

150

Оценить