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Gonzales v.

COMELEC

Facts:

FIRST CASE-
Original action for prohibition w/ preliminary injunction
Petitioner prays for judgement:
1. Restraining the ff;
a. COMELEC from enforcing RA 4913 or from implementing any act that will result in the holding of the
plebiscite for the ratification of the constitutional amendments proposed in joint resolutions nos 1 and 3
of the house of congress in PH
b. The director of printing from printing ballots, pursuant to said act and resolution
c. Auditor general from passing in audit any disbursement form appropriation of funds made in the said
act
2. Declaring the act unconsti.

 1967- Senate and HR passed the following resolutions-


1. RBH 1 (res. Of both houses)
a. Proposing that Sec 5 Article VI of the CONSTI be amended so as to increase the membership
of the HR from a maximum of 120 to 180
 To be apportioned among the several provinces as nearly as may be
according to the number of their respective inhabitants, although each
province shall have at least 1 member
2. RBH 2 calling a convention to propose amendments to said Constitution
a. The convention to be composed of 2 elective delegates from each representative district
 To be elected in the general selections to be held on the 2nd Tuesday of Nov.
1971
3. RBH 3
a. Proposing that section16, art. 6 of the Consti, be amended so as to authorize Senators and
members of the HR to become delegates to the aforementioned Constitutional convention,
without forfeiting their respective seats in Congress.

 Subsequently, Congress passed a bill, which, upon approval by the President, on June 17, 1967, became R.A. No.
4913, providing that the amendments to the Constitution proposed in the aforementioned Resolutions No. 1
and 3 be submitted, for approval by the people, at the general elections which shall be held on Nov. 14, 1967.
 When the petition was being heard, PHILCONSA- were allowed to argue as AMICI CURIAE.
 Philconsa was represented by Atty. Juan T. David

 Petition 1- Ramon A. Gonzales, is the petitioner is a Filipino Citizen, taxpayer and a voter.
o He claims to have instituted the case as a class unit, for and behalf of all citizens, taxpayers and voters
and similarly situated.
 Petition 2- PHILCONSA, petitioner is admittedly a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the
Philippines, and a civic, non-profit non-partisan organization the objective of which is to uphold the rule of law
in the Philippines and to defend its Constitution against erosions or on slaughts from whatever source.
o But in this case, the Solicitor General claims that the SC does not have the Jurisdiction over the SM of
PHILCONSA’s petition, unlike with the first case

JURISDICTION

 The judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper
allocation of powers between the several departments and among the integral or constituent units thereof
 Indeed, the power to amend the Constitution or to propose amendments thereto is not included in the general
grant of legislative powers to Congress.10 It is part of the inherent powers of the people — as the repository of
sovereignty in a republican state
 The Congress may PROPOSE AMENDMENTS to the Constitution merely because the same explicitly grants such
power
o Hence, when exercising the same, it is said that the Senators and members of HR act, not as members of
the Congress but as component elements of a constituent assembly.
o When acting as such, the authority is derived from the Consti
o But the PEOPLE, when performing the same function, their authority does not emanate from the Consti.
 The people is the source of all the powers of the government

THE MERITS
Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution, as amended, reads:
The Congress in joint session assembled by a vote of three-fourths of all the Members of the Senate and of
the House of Representatives voting separately, may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a
convention for that purpose. Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a
majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their
ratification.

How amendments may be proposed:


1. Proposed by the Congress
2. Or by Convention called by the Congress for that purpose

 Either case the vote of 3/4 of ALL the members of the senate and HR voting separately is NECESSARY
 And the amendments shall be valid when approved by a MAJORITY of the votes cast at an ELECTION at
which the amendments are submitted to the people for Ratification

The petitioners claim that although RBH 1 and 3 were approved by 3/4 votes of all the members of the Senate
and HR voting separately, the RBHs are still null and void due to the following grounds:
1. The congressmen who approved the proposed amendments and the resolution calling the convention
are DE FACTO CONGRESSMEN
2. That the Congress cannot propose amendments and call a convention at the same time
3. That the election for ratification must be a SPECIAL one and not a general election (gen election on
November)
4. That there are conditions that must be complied- reasonable opportunity for the people