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Approval of Bills

Article 6, Section 27, 1987


Constitution
Article 6, Section 27, 1987
Constitution
This provides for THREE METHODS by which a bill
may become a law:
1. When the PRESIDENT SIGNS it
2. When the PRESIDENT VETOES it but the veto is
OVERRIDDEN by TWO-THIRDS of all the members
of EACH HOUSE;
3. When the PRESIDENT DOES NOT ACT upon the
measure WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS from the time
it had been presented to him.
When the
PRESIDENT SIGNS it

By actually signing the


bill presented to him,
the he identifies himself
with it and indicates his
approval of its purposes
and provisions.
Presidential Veto: OVERRIDDEN
by TWO-THIRDS of all the
members of EACH HOUSE

The president may disapprove/veto


a measure upon any ground
sufficient for him, such that he
finds the bill unconstitutional or
redundant or merely inefficacious.
In returning the measure to the
house of origin, he must indicate his
objections aka “veto message” so it
can be studied by those who
possibly overrides such veto.
2/3 of each house will be
sufficient to invalidate the
veto and convert the bill
into a law over the
President’s objection. The
congress may agree with the
objections and revise it
accordingly as he suggests.
GR: must be entire
Exception:
1.Appropriation, revenue and
tariff bills
2.Any particular item/s which
may be disapproved without
affecting the item or items to
which he does not object
Bolinao Electronics Corp v. Valen
• This is a public works bill containing an item appropriating a
certain sum for assistance to television stations, subject to
the condition that the amount would not be available in
places where there were commercial television stations in
operation.
• President Macapagal approved appropriation but not the
condition.
• SC held that the veto was ineffectual and that the approval
of the item carried with it the approval of the condition
attached to it.
“The President may not legally veto a condition
attached to an appropriation or item in the
appropriation bill without at the same time vetoing
the particular item or items to which it relates.”
“If the veto of a condition attached to an item of an
appropriation bill is unconstitutional, the same
produces no effect whatsoever and the condition
imposed by the appropriation bill remains.”

(Bolinao Electronics Corp. v. Valencia, G.R. No. L-20740, [June 30, 1964],
120 PHIL 469-478)
Presidential Inaction
The president is normally not convinced
of necessity or validity of the measure
under the consideration but is
nevertheless unwilling to disapprove it.
The 30 day period must be counted
from the date of his receipt of such bill.
Bengzon vs. Drilon

Petitioners are retired justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals
who are currently receiving pensions under RA 910 as amended by RA
1797.
President Marcos issued a decree repealing section 3-A of RA 1797 which
authorized the adjustment of the pension of retired justices and officers
and enlisted members of the AFP.
PD 1638 was eventually issued by Marcos which provided for the
automatic readjustment of the pension of officers and enlisted men was
restored, while that of the retired justices was not.
RA 1797 was restored through HB 16297 in 1990.
When Aquino’s 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.
The veto of HB 16297 did not also produce any effect.
The OSG is correct when it states that the Executive
must veto a bill in its entirety or not at all. He or she
cannot act like an editor crossing out specific lines,
provisions, or paragraphs in a bill that he or she dislikes.
In the exercise of the veto power, it is generally all or
nothing. However, when it comes to appropriation,
revenue or tariff bills, the Administration needs the
money to run the machinery of government and it can
not veto the entire bill even if it may contain
objectionable features. The President is, therefore,
compelled to approve into law the entire bill,
including its undesirable parts. It is for this reason that
the Constitution has wisely provided the "item veto
powers" to avoid inexpedient riders being attached to an
indispensable appropriation or revenue measure.
The Constitution provides that only a particular
item or items may be vetoed. The power to
disapprove any item or items in an appropriate bill
does not grant the authority to veto a part of an
item and to approve the remaining portion of the
same item.
“item” and “provision”
distinguished:

"The terms item and provision in budgetary legislations


and practice are concededly different. An item in a bill
refers to the particulars, the details, the distinct and
severable parts . . . of the bill. It is an indivisible sum of
money dedicated to a stated purpose. The United States
Supreme Court, in the case of Bengzon v. Secretary of
declared 'that an 'item' of an appropriation bill obviously
means an item which in itself is a specific appropriation
of money, not some general provision of law, which
happens to be put into an appropriation bill.'"
Effectivity of Laws
Article 2 of the Civil
code
Article 2 of the Civil code

Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days


following the completion of their publication in the
Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided.
(Effectivity of ordinary laws)
This Code shall take effect one year after such
publication. (Effectivity of the Civil Code itself)
A law must first be published before it shall take
effect in order to familiarize the people with the
law.
Art. 3. Ignorance of the law excuses no one from
compliance therewith.
The subsequent provision as enumerated above could
not be invoked in the absence of publication as
without this, the people could not be presumed to
know the law.
Thus, Publication is indispensable before a law
takes effect.
Fifteen Days; Otherwise Provided

The law shall take effect 15 days after publication.


If it is otherwise provided, it may be earlier or later
than 15 days provided that it had been published.

“take effect upon approval” “shall take effect


immediately/immediately upon approval” –
publication must be taken into consideration.
Newspaper or
Official Gazette?

EO no. 200 of president Aquino


provided for that publication may also
be made in a newspaper of general
circulation as this could better
perform the function of
communicating the laws.
Tanada vs. Tuvera

The publication of a number of Presidential decrees,


Letters of instruction, General orders, Proclamations,
Executive orders, Letters of implementation and
Administrative orders is being sought

Respondents contend that publication is not required


where the effectivity is already provided for The
point stressed is anchored on Article 2 of the Civil
Code
The respondent’s argument was logically correct. This
however cannot preclude the requirement of publication.
Referring to Section 1 of Commonwealth Act 638
"Section 1. There shall be published in the official Gazette
[1] all important legislative acts and resolutions of a
public nature of the Congress of the Philippines;
[2] all executive and administrative orders and
proclamations, except such as have no general
applicability;
[3] decisions or abstracts of decisions of the Supreme
Court and the Court of Appeals as may be deemed by
said courts of sufficient importance to be so published;
[4] such documents or classes of documents as may be
required so to be published by law; and
[5] such documents or classes of documents as the
President of the Philippines shall determine from time to
time to have general applicability and legal effect, or
which he may authorize so to be published. . . ."
Power of Legislative
Investigation
Article 6 Section 21, 1987 Constitution
SECTION 21. The Senate or the House of
Representatives or any of its respective
committees may conduct inquiries in aid of
legislation in accordance with its duly published
rules of procedure. The rights of persons
appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be
respected.
The power of legislative inquiry/investigation
is already implied from the power of
legislation and need not be expressly provided.

This provision therefore does not authorize such,


it rather limits the implied authority as in the
past, such authority had been used
inappropriately.
Camilo L. Sabio, Miguel vs. Gordon

Former president corazon C. Aquino installed her


regime by issuing executive order (E.O.) No. 1,
creating the presidential commission on good
government (PCGG).
Section 4 (b) of E.O. No. 1 provides 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. "
Fast forward to 2006…

On February 20, 2006, Senator Miriam Defensor


Santiago introduced Philippine Senate Resolution No.
455 "directing an inquiry in aid of legislation on the
anomalous losses incurred by the POTC, PHILCOMSAT,
and PHILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation due to the
alleged improprieties in their operations by their
respective Board of Directors.”
Several times under the authority of Senator Richard
J. Gordon, Chairman Camilo L. Sabio of the PCGG,
was invited 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. The purpose of
the public meeting was to deliberate on Senate Res.
No. 455. Chairman Sabio declined such invitations.

This prompted Senator Gordon to issue an Order


requiring Chairman Sabio and the others to show
cause why they should not be cited in contempt of
the Senate.
Chairman Sabio declined the invitations because of
prior commitment. At the same time, he invoked
Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 saying that this
constitutes a limitation on the power of legislative
inquiry. His letter of explanation also included that
the pending cases in question are already pending
before regular courts.

Unconvinced, the Committee on Government


Corporations and Public Enterprises and the
Committee on Public Services issued an Order
directing the arrest of Chairman Sabio and his
Commissioners for contempt of the Senate. After
arrest, Sabio filed with this Court a petition for
habeas corpus against those committees.
Can the senate be barred from
investigating the said case???

Is Section 4 (b) of E.O. No. 1


unconstitutional therefore???
The SC said…
…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."
Considering these jurisprudential instructions, we
find Section 4(b) 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.“ PCGG belongs
to this class.
Furthermore, Section 4(b) is also inconsistent with
Article XI, Section 1 of the Constitution stating
that:
"Public office is a public trust. Public officers
and employees must at all times be accountable to
the people, serve them with utmost responsibility,
integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism
and justice, and lead modest lives."

If such officers are exempted


from being compelled to
testify or present evidence,
how can we trust them?
Furthermore…
Section 4(b) also runs counter to the following constitutional
provisions ensuring the people's access to information:
Article II, Section 28
Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the State
adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all
its transactions involving public interest.
Article III, Section 7
The right of the people to information on matters of public
concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and
to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts,
transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research
data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded
the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by
law.
Philcomsat Holdings Corporation vs.
Senate of The Republic Of
The Philippines

Petitioner PHILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation (PHC),


meanwhile, is a private corporation collects the
money market interest income of PHILCOMSAT.
For several years, the government was able to collect
cash dividends from Philippine Overseas
Telecommunications Corporation (POTC) until such
time that it was only incurring losses due to the
enormous OPEX.
In view of these losses, Sen Miriam introduced
Proposed Senate Resolution (PSR) No. 455 directing
the conduct of an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on
the anomalous losses and the mismanagement
committed by their respective board of directors
which was referred to respondent Committee on
Government Corporations and Public Enterprises,
which conducted eleven (11) public hearings on
various dates. Petitioners Locsin and Andal were
invited to attend these hearings as "resource
persons."
Respondents Senate Committees submitted the
assailed Committee Report No. 312, where it noted
the need to examine the role of the PCGG in the
management of POTC, PHILCOMSAT and PHC. After
due proceedings, the respondents found
overwhelming mismanagement by the PCGG and
its nominees over POTC, PHILCOMSAT and PHC,
and that PCGG was negligent in performing its
mandate to preserve the government's interests in
the said corporations. Petitioners filed the instant
petition before the court, questioning, in particular,
the haste with which the respondent senate
approved the challenged committee report no. 312.
SC Ruling:

We uphold the decision in Sabio v. Gordon (previous


case mentioned) which cited Article VI, Section 21 of
the Constitution, as follows:
"The Senate or the House of Representatives or any
of its respective committees may conduct inquiries
in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly
published rules of procedure. The rights of persons
appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be
respected."
On this score, the respondents Senate Committees
cannot be said to have acted with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or in excess of
jurisdiction when it submitted Committee Resolution
No. 312, given its constitutional mandate to
conduct legislative inquiries.
That is all, Thank
you!!! 

By: NM Descallar