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AQUINO vs. COMELEC, 248 SCRA 400 Facts: On 20 March 1995, Agapito A.

Aquino filed his Certificate of Candidacy for the position of Representative for the new Second Legislative District of Makati City. In his certificate of candidacy, Aquino stated that he was a resident of the aforementioned district for 10 months. Faced with a petition for disqualification, he amended the entry on his residency in his certificate of candidacy to 1 year and 13 days. The Commission on Elections dismissed the petition on 6 May and allowed Aquino to run in the election of 8 May. Aquino won. Acting on a motion for reconsideration of the above dismissal, the Commission on Election later issued an order suspending the proclamation of Aquino until the Commission resolved the issue. On 2 June, the Commission on Elections found Aquino ineligible and disqualified for the elective office for lack of constitutional qualification of residence. Held: The place where a party actually or constructively has his permanent home, where he, no matter where he may be found at any given time, eventually intends to return and remain, i.e., his domicile, is that to which the Constitution refers when it speaks of residence for the purposes of election law. The purpose is to exclude strangers or newcomers unfamiliar with the conditions and needs of the community from taking advantage of favourable circumstances existing in that community for electoral gain. Aquino s certificate of candidacy in a previous (1992) election indicates that he was a resident and a registered voter of San Jose, Concepcion, Tarlac for more than 52 years prior to that election. Aquino s connection to the Second District of Makati City is an alleged lease agreement of a condominium unit in the area. The intention not to establish a permanent home in Makati City is evident in his leasing a condominium unit instead of buying one. The short length of time he claims to be a resident of Makati (and the fact of his stated domicile in Tarlac and his claims of other residences in Metro Manila) indicate that his sole purpose in transferring his physical residence is not to acquire a new, residence or domicile but only to qualify as a candidate for Representative of the Second District of Makati City. Aquino was thus rightfully disqualified by the Commission on Elections. ARNOLD V. GUERRERO, petitioner, vs. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS et al. July 20, 2000 Facts: Guillermo C. Ruiz filed to disqualify Rodolfo C. Farias who ran as a candidate for the elective office of Congressman in the first district of Ilocos Norte during the May 11, 1998 elections. Ruiz alleged that Farias has been campaigning for Congressman polls despite his failure to file Certificate of Candidacy which he said is a violation of the Omnibus Election Code. On May 8, 1998, Farias filed his Certificate of Candidacy with the COMELEC, substituting candidate Chevylle V. Farias who withdrew on April 3, 1998. On May 9, 1998, Ruiz filed an "Urgent Ex-Parte Motion To Resolve Petition"

with the COMELEC, attaching thereto a copy of the Certificate of Candidacy of Farias. But the Commission dismissed the petition stating that "there is none in the records to consider respondent (Ruiz) an official candidate to speak of without the filing of said certificate. Hence, there is no certificate of candidacy to be cancelled, consequently, no candidate to be disqualified. Farias later won in the elections. On May 16, 1998, Ruiz filed a motion for reconsideration, contending that Farias could not validly substitute for Chevylle V. Farias, since the latter was not the official candidate of theLakas ng Makabayan Masang Pilipino (LAMMP), but was an independent candidate. Another person cannot substitute for an independent candidate. Thus, Farias certificate of candidacy claiming to be the official candidate of LAMMP in lieu of Chevylle V. Farias was fatally defective, according to Ruiz. On June 10, 1998, Guerrer filed his "Petition-In-Intervention" in COMELEC. Petitioner averred that he was the official candidate of the Liberal Party (LP) in said elections for Congressman, and stood to be adversely affected by Case No. SPA 98-227. Guerrero contended that Farias, having failed to file his Certificate of Candidacy on or before the last day therefor, being midnight of March 27, 1998, Farias illegally resorted to the remedy of substitution provided for under Section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code and thus, Farias disqualification was in order. Guerrero then asked that the position of Representative of the first district of Ilocos Norte be declared vacant and special elections called for, but disallowing the candidacy of Farias. On January 6, 1999, the COMELEC En Banc dismissed Ruiz s motion for reconsideration and Guerrero s petition-inintervention in Case No. SPA 98-227 Held: In the present case, we find no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COMELEC when it held that its jurisdiction over Case No. SPA 98-277 had ceased with the assumption of office of respondent Farias as Representative for the first district of Ilocos Norte. While the COMELEC is vested with the power to declare valid or invalid a certificate of candidacy, its refusal to exercise that power following the proclamation and assumption of the position by Farias is a recognition of the jurisdictional boundaries separating the COMELEC and the Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives (HRET). Under Article VI, Section 17 of the Constitution, the HRET has sole and exclusive jurisdiction over all contests relative to the election, returns, and qualifications of members of the House of Representatives. Thus, once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office as a member of the House of Representatives, COMELEC s jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election, returns, and qualifications ends, and the HRET s own jurisdiction begins.Thus, the COMELEC s decision to discontinue exercising jurisdiction over the case is justifiable, in deference to the HRET s own jurisdiction and functions. The reason for this ruling is self-evident, for it avoids duplicity of proceedings and

a clash of jurisdiction between constitutional bodies, with due regard to the people s mandate. Whether respondent Farias validly substituted Chevylle V. Farias and whether respondent became a legitimate candidate, in our view, must likewise be addressed to the sound judgment of the Electoral Tribunal. Only thus can we demonstrate fealty to the Constitutional provision that the Electoral Tribunal of each House of Congress shall be the "sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective members". WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. Costs against petitioner. TEODORO Q. PEA, vs. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL, G.R. No. 123037. March 21, 1997 Facts: Petitioner questioned the election of the private respondent Alfredo E. Abueg, Jr. as Member of the House of Representatives representing the Second District of the province of Palawan. Petitioner and the private respondent were contenders for the said Congressional Office in the May 8, 1995 elections. On May 12, 1995, upon canvassing the votes cast, the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Palawan proclaimed the private respondent as the winner. On May 22, 1995, the instant petition was filed with the HRET averred that the elections encountered some irregularities and other fraudulent acts that resulted to the winning of Abueg. In its Resolution of October 12, 1995, the respondent HRET ruled that although it had jurisdiction over the petition, as the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the House of Representatives, the said petition, however, fails to state a cause of action, and is therefore, insufficient in form and substance, meriting its dismissal, stating that in Fernando vs. Pastor M. Endencia, Supreme court held that while the election law does not say so directly, it is clearly inferred from its relevant provisions that where the grounds of contest are that legal votes were rejected and illegal votes received, the motion of protest should state in what precincts such irregularities occurred. xxx The specification in the motion of protest of the election precinct or precincts where the alleged irregularities occurred, is required in order to apprise the contestee of the issues which he has to meet. xxx Held: As to the adequacy of the protest, we agree with respondent HRET in ruling for the insufficiency of the same. A perusal of the petition Ad Cautelam, reveals that Petitioner makes no specific mention of the precincts where widespread election, fraud and irregularities occured. This is a fatal omission, as it goes into the very substance of the protest. Under Section 21 of the Revised Rules of Procedure of HRET, insufficiency in form and substance of the petition

constitutes a ground for the immediate dismissal of the Petition. The Court has already ruled in Joker P. Arroyo vs. HRET, that substantial amendments to the protest may be allowed only within the same period for filing the election protest, which, under Rule 16 of the HRET Rules of Procedure is ten (10) days after proclamation of the winner. In sum, this Court s jurisdiction to review decisions and orders of electoral tribunals operates only upon a showing of grave abuse of discretion on the part of the tribunal. Only where such a grave abuse of discretion is clearly shown shall the Court interfere with the electoral tribunal s judgment. There is such showing in the present petition. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the Court hereby resolves to DISMISS the present petition for lack of merit. The resolution of the respondent House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal dated October 12, 1995 is hereby AFFIRMED.
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Chavez vs. COMELEC , GR 162777, Aug 31, 2004 Facts: Petitioner seeks to enjoin the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) from enforcing Section 32 of its Resolution No. 6520. He claims that said section in the nature of an ex post facto law. He urges this Court to believe that the assailed provision makes an individual criminally liable for an election offense for not removing such advertisement, even if at the time the said advertisement was exhibited, the same was clearly legal. HELD: NO. Section 32, although not penal in nature, defines an offense and prescribes a penalty for said offense. Laws of this nature must operate prospectively, except when they are favorable to the accused. It should be noted, however, that the offense defined in the assailed provision is not the putting up of "propaganda materials such as posters, streamers, stickers or paintings on walls and other materials showing the picture, image or name of a person, and all advertisements on print, in radio or on television showing the image or mentioning the name of a person, who subsequent to the placement or display thereof becomes a candidate for public office." Nor does it prohibit or consider an offense the entering of contracts for such propaganda materials by an individual who subsequently becomes a candidate for public office. One definitely does not commit an offense by entering into a contract with private parties to use his name and image to endorse certain products prior to his becoming a candidate for public office. The offense, as expressly prescribed in the assailed provision, is the non-removal of the described propaganda materials three (3) days after the effectivity of COMELEC Resolution No. 6520. If the candidate for public office fails to remove such propaganda materials after the given period, he shall be liable under Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code for premature campaigning. Indeed, nowhere is it indicated in the assailed provision that it shall operate retroactively. There is, therefore, no ex post facto law in this case.

Limkaichong vs COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 178831-32 Facts: The Commission En Banc Resolution affirming that of the Second Division was promulgated on June 29, 2007. Petitioner received a copy of the resolution on July 3, 2007and had until July 8, 2007 within which to obtain a restraining order from this Court to prevent the assailed resolution from attaining finality. Instead of filing a petition before this Court with a prayer for a restraining order, Limkaichong opted to file a Manifestation and Motion for Clarification before the COMELEC En Banc. This procedural lapse is fatal as her motion with the COMELEC En Banc did not toll the running of the five (5)-day reglementary period. Thus, the June 29, 2007 COMELEC En Banc Resolution has become final and executory. On the other hand, petitioner Limkaichong argues that the COMELEC was divested of jurisdiction over the disqualification case when she was proclaimed by the Provincial Board of Canvassers on May 25, 2007. She insists that jurisdiction is now exclusively vested in the HRET under Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, which provides: The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective Members. x xx Held: This posture will not also prevent the June 29, 2007 Resolution of the COMELEC En Banc from becoming final and executory. When petitioner received a copy of the assailed resolution, she should have instituted an action before the HRET to challenge the legality of the said resolution affirming her disqualification. This, she failed to do.On August 16, 2007, the COMELEC En Banc ruled on Limkaichong s manifestation and motion for clarification, thus: In view of the proclamation of Limkaichong and her subsequent assumption of office on June 30, 2007, this Commission rules that all pending incidents relating to the qualifications of Limkaichong should now be determined by the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal in accordance with the above-quoted provision of the Constitutuion. WHEREFORE, premises considered, this Commission resolved, as it hereby resolves, that all pending incidents relating to the qualifications of Jocelyn S. Limkaichong as Member of the House of Representatives should now be determined by the House of Representatives Electoral tribunal. Codilla vs De Venecia, GR 150605 Facts: Codilla, then sitting as Mayor of Ormoc City, and Locsin, the incumbent Representative of the 4th legislative district of Leyte, were candidates for the position of Representative of

the 4th legislative district of Leyte. A petition for disqualification was filed against Codilla for violating Sec. 68(a) of the Omnibus Election Code, alleging that he used the equipment and vehicles owned by the City Government of Ormoc to extract, haul and distribute gravel and sand to theresidents of Kananga and Matag-ob, Leyte, for the purpose of inducing, influencing or corrupting them to vote for him. At the time of the elections on May 14, 2001, the disqualification case was still pending so Codilla s name remained in the list of candidates and was voted for. In fact, he garnered the highest number of votes. However, his proclamation as winner was suspended by order of the Comelec. After hearing of his disqualification case, he was found guilty and ordered disqualified. Codilla s votes being considered stray, Locsin was thus proclaimed as the duly elected Representative and subsequently took her oath of office. Codilla then filed a timely Motion for Reconsideration with the Comelec and also sought theannulment of Locsin s proclamation. RULING: First. The validity of the respondent s proclamation was a core issue in the Motion for Reconsideration seasonably filed by the petitioner. Since the petitioner seasonably filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Order of the Second Division suspending his proclamation and disqualifying him, the COMELEC en banc was not divested of its jurisdiction to review the validity of the said Order of the Second Division. The said Order of the Second Division was yet unenforceable as it has not attained finality; the timely filing of the motion for reconsideration suspends its execution. It cannot, thus, be used as the basis for the assumption in office of the respondent as the duly elected Representative of the 4th legislative district of Leyte. Second. It is the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) which has no jurisdiction in the instant case. (a)The issue on the validity of the Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division has not yet been resolved by the COMELEC en banc. To stress again, at the time of the proclamation of respondent Locsin, the validity of the Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division was seasonably challenged by the petitioner in his Motion for Reconsideration. The issue was still within the exclusive jurisdiction of the COMELEC en banc to resolve. Hence, the HRET cannot assume jurisdiction over the matter. In Puzon vs. Cua, even the HRET ruled that the doctrinal ruling that once a proclamation has been made and a candidate-elect has assumed office, it is this Tribunal that has jurisdiction over an election contest involving members ofthe House of Representatives, could not have been immediately applicable due to the issue regarding the validity of the very COMELEC pronouncements themselves. This is because the HRET has no jurisdiction to review resolutions or decisions of the COMELEC, whether issued by a division or en banc. (b)The instant case does not involve the election and qualification of respondent Locsin. A petition for quo warranto may be filed only on the grounds of ineligibility and disloyalty to the Republic of the

Philippines. In the case at bar, neither the eligibility of the respondent Locsin nor her loyalty to the Republic of the Philippines is in question. There is no issue that she was qualified to run, and if she won, to assume office. A petition for quo warranto in the HRET is directed against one who has been duly elected and proclaimed for having obtained the highest number of votes but whose eligibility is in question at the time of such proclamation. It is evident that respondent Locsin cannot be the subject of quo warranto proceeding in the HRET. She lost the elections to thepetitioner by a wide margin. Her proclamation was a patent nullity. Her premature assumption to office as Representative of the 4th legislative district of Leyte was void from the beginning. It is the height of absurdity for the respondent, as a loser, to tell petitioner Codilla, Sr., the winner, to unseat her via a quo warranto proceeding. Ministerial duty of the House to administer the oath of office of a winning but nevertheless unproclaimed candidate Under Rule 65, section 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, any person may file a verified petition for mandamus when any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the lawspecifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station, or unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled, and there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. For a petition for mandamus to prosper, it must be shown that the subject of the petition for mandamus is a ministerial act or duty, and not purely discretionary on the part of the board, officer or person, and that the petitioner has a well-defined, clear and certain right to warrant the grant thereof. The distinction between a ministerial and discretionary act is well delineated. A purely ministerial act or duty is one which an officer or tribunal performs in a given state of facts, in a prescribed manner, in obedience to the mandate of a legal authority, without regard to or the exercise of his own judgment upon the propriety or impropriety of the act done. If the law imposes a duty upon a public officer and gives him the right to decide how or when the duty shall be performed, such duty is discretionary and not ministerial. The duty is ministerial only when the discharge of the same requires neither the exercise of official discretion or judgment. In the case at bar, the administration of oath and the registration of the petitioner in the Roll of Members of the House of Representatives representing the 4th legislative district of Leyte is no longer a matter of discretion on the part of the public respondents. The facts are settled and beyond dispute: petitioner garnered 71,350 votes as against respondent Locsin who only got 53, 447 votes in the May 14, 2001 elections. The COMELEC Second Division initially ordered the proclamation of respondent Locsin; on Motion for Reconsideration the COMELEC en banc set aside the order of

its Second Division and ordered the proclamation of the petitioner. The Decision of the COMELEC en banc has not been challenged before this Court by respondent Locsin and said Decision has become final and executory. In sum, the issue of who is the rightful Representative of the 4th legislative district of Leyte has been finally settled by the COMELEC en banc, the constitutional body with jurisdiction on the matter. The rule of law demands that its Decision be obeyed by all officials of the land. There is no alternative to the rule of law except the reign of chaos and confusion.

BARBERS VS COMELEC, JUNE 22, 2005 Facts: Robert Z. Barbers ( Barbers ) and Biazon were candidates for re-election to the Senate of the Philippines in the 10 May 2004 Synchronized National and Local Elections ( elections ). On 2 June 2004, the COMELEC promulgated Resolution th No. NBC 04-005 proclaiming Biazon as the 12 ranking duly th elected 12 Senator of the Republic of the Philippines in the May 10, 2004 national and local elections, to serve for a term of 6 years, beginning on June 30, 2004 in accordance with Article VI, Section IV of the Constitution of the Philippines. Biazon obtained 10,685 more votes than Barbers. The COMELEC stated that this difference will not materially be affected by the votes in certain precincts where there was failure of elections. Claiming that Biazon s proclamation was void, Barbers filed a petition to annul the proclamation of Biazon as Senator of the Republic of the Philippines with the COMELEC on 7 June 2004. In his petition, Barbers asserted that the proclamation was illegal and premature being based on an incomplete canvass. He asserted that the remaining uncanvassed COCs and votes and the results of the special elections, which were still to be conducted, would undoubtedly affect the results of the elections. In his answer, Biazon asserted that: (1) the First Division of the COMELEC has no jurisdiction to review, modify, or set aside what the COMELEC sitting en banc as the NBC for Senators has officially performed; (2) since the COMELEC has proclaimed Biazon and has taken his oath of office on 30 June 2004, the Senate Electoral Tribunal, not the COMELEC, has jurisdiction to entertain the present petition. Thus COMELEC through the Special Division, denied the petition to annul the proclamation of respondent Biazon for lack of merit. The COMELEC en banc further affirmed the decision and stated that even if private respondent s lead was decreased to three thousand two hundred ninety-nine (3,299) votes even if the special elections are yet to be conducted, he remains to be the winner and therefore the lawful occupant of

the 12 slot for the senatorial position. , qualifies such power of the Commission by so stating that a pre-proclamation contest may only apply in cases where there are manifest errors in the election returns or certificates of canvass, with respect to national elective positions such as herein case. To prove that the same is manifest, the errors must appear on the certificates of canvass or election returns sought to be corrected and/or objections thereto must have been made before the board of canvassers and specifically noted in the minutes of their administrative proceedings. Ruling: The alleged invalidity of Biazon s proclamation involves a dispute or contest relating to the election returns of members of the Senate. Indisputably, the resolution of such dispute falls within the sole jurisdiction of the SET. For this Court to take cognizance of the electoral protest against Biazon would usurp the constitutional functions of the SET. In addition, the COMELEC did not commit any grave abuse of discretion in issuing the assailed Resolutions affirming Biazon s proclamation since the uncanvassed returns and the results of the special elections to be held would not materially affect the results of the elections.

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procedural questions of whether prohibition is the proper remedy to test Mison s right to the office of Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs and of whether the petitioners have a standing to bring this suit. 2. Constitutional Construction The fundamental principle of constitutional construction is to give effect to the intent of the framers of the organic law and of the people adopting it. The intention to which force is to be given is that which is embodied and expressed in the constitutional provisions themselves. (Gold Creek Mining v. Rodriguez) The Court will thus construe the applicable constitutional provisions, not in accordance with how the executive or the legislative department may want them construed, but in accordance with what they say and provide. 3. President s power to appoint Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution empowers the President to appoint 4 groups of officers: (1) the heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution; (2) all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law; (3) those whom the President may be authorized by law to appoint; and (4) officers lower in rank 4 whose appointments the Congress may by law vest in the President alone. The first group is clearly appointed with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. Appointments of such officers are initiated by nomination and, if the nomination is confirmed by the Commission on Appointments, the President appoints. The second and third groups of officers can be made by the President without the consent (confirmation) of the Commission on Appointments, as can be determined through the recorded proceedings of Constitutional Commission. 4. Express enumeration excludes others not enumerated It is an accepted rule in constitutional and statutory construction that an express enumeration of subjects excludes others not enumerated. In the case at bar, it would follow that only those appointments to positions expressly stated in the first group require the consent (confirmation) of the Commission on Appointments. 5. Constitutional provision presumed to have been framed and adopted in light of prior laws A constitutional provision must be presumed to have been framed and adopted in the light and understanding of prior and existing laws and with reference to them. Courts are bound to presume that the people adopting a constitution are familiar with the previous and existing laws upon the subjects to which its provisions relate, and upon which they express their judgment and opinion in its adoption. In the 1935 Constitution, almost all presidential appointments required the consent (confirmation) of the Commission on Appointments. Under the 1935 Constitution, the commission was frequently transformed into a venue of horse-trading and similar malpractices. On the other hand, the 1973

Sarmiento v. Mison [GR L-79974, 17 December 1987] En Banc, Padilla (p): 8 concur Facts: Petitioners, who are taxpayers, lawyers, members of the IBP and professors of Constitutional Law, seek to enjoin Salvador Mison from performing the functions of the Office of Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs and Guillermo Carague, as Secretary of the Department of Budget, from effecting disbursements in payment of Mison s salaries and emoluments, on the ground that Mison s appointment as Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs is unconstitutional by reason of its not having been confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. The respondents, on the other hand, maintain the constitutionality of Mison s appointment without the confirmation of the Commission on Appointments. The Supreme Court held that the President has the authority to appoint Mison as Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs without submitting his nomination to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation, and thus, the latter is entitled the full authority and functions of the office and receive all the salaries and emoluments pertaining thereto. Thus, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition and the petition in intervention, without costs. 1. Standing to file suit / Prohibition as proper remedy: Procedural questions set aside due to demands of public interest Because of the demands of public interest, including the need for stability in the public service, the Court resolved to give due course to the petition and decide, setting aside the finer

Constitution, consistent with the authoritarian pattern in which it was molded and remolded by successive amendments, placed the absolute power of appointment in the President with hardly any check on the part of the legislature. Given the above two in extremes, one, in the 1935 Constitution and the other, in the 1973 Constitution, it is not difficult for the Court to state that the framers of the 1987 Constitution and the people adopting it, struck a middle ground by requiring the consent (confirmation) of the Commission on Appointments for the first group of appointments and leaving to the President, without such confirmation, the appointment of other officers, i.e., those in the second and third groups as well as those in the fourth group, i.e., officers of lower rank. The proceedings in the 1986 Constitutional Commission support this conclusion. 6. Construction of also in second sentence; consideration of different language of proximate sentences to determine meaning The word also could mean in addition; as well; besides, too besides in like manner which meanings could stress that the word also in said second sentence means that the President, in addition to nominating and, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, appointing the officers enumerated in the first sentence, can appoint (without such consent or confirmation) the officers mentioned in the second sentence, contrary to the interpretation that the President shall appoint the officers mentioned in said second sentence in the same manner as he appoints officers mentioned in the first sentence. Rather than limit the area of consideration to the possible meanings of the word also as used in the context of said second sentence, the Court has chosen to derive significance from the fact that the first sentence speaks of nomination by the President and appointment by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, whereas, the second sentence speaks only of appointment by the President. And, this use of different language in 2 sentences proximate to each other underscores a difference in message conveyed and perceptions established. Thus, words are not pebbles in alien juxtaposition. 7. Power to appoint fundamentally executive in character; Limitations construed strictly The power to appoint is fundamentally executive or presidential in character. Limitations on or qualifications of such power should be strictly construed. Such limitations or qualifications must be clearly stated in order to be recognized. In the case at bar, the first sentence of Sec. 16, Art. VII clearly stated that appointments by the President to the positions therein enumerated require the consent of the Commission on Appointments. 8. The use of word alone after President in third sentence is a lapse in draftsmanship, a literal import deemed redundant After a careful study of the deliberations of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, the Court found the use of the word alone after the word President in said third sentence of Sec. 16, Article VII is, more than anything else, a slip or

lapsus in draftmanship. In the 1987 Constitution, the clear and expressed intent of its framers was to exclude presidential appointments from confirmation by the Commission on Appointments, except appointments to offices expressly mentioned in the first sentence. Consequently, there was no reason to use in the third sentence the word alone after the word President in providing that Congress may by law vest the appointment of lower-ranked officers in the President alone, or in the courts, or in the heads of departments, because the power to appoint officers whom the President may be authorized by law to appoint is already vested in him, without need of confirmation by the Commission on Appointments, in the second sentence. The word alone in the third sentence, as a literal import from the last part of par. 3, section 10, Article VII of the 1935 Constitution, appears to be redundant in the light of the second sentence. This redundancy cannot prevail over the clear and positive intent of the framers of the 1987 Constitution that presidential appointments, except those mentioned in the first sentence, are not subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. 9. President authorized Commissioner of Bureau of Customs; Commissioner not included with the first group of appointment The position of Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs (a bureau head) is not one of those within the first group of appointments where the consent of the Commission on Appointments is required. The 1987 Constitution deliberately excluded the position of heads of bureaus from appointments that need the consent (confirmation) of the Commission on Appointments. Moreover, the President is expressly authorized by law to appoint the Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs (RA 1937, Tarifff and Customs Code of the Philippines, Section 601, as amended by PD34 on 27 October 1972). 10. Laws approved during the effectivity of previous constitution must be read in harmony with the new one RA 1937 and PD 34 were approved during the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution, under which the President may nominate and, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, appoint the heads of bureaus, like the Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs. After the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution, however, RA 1937 and PD 34 have to be read in harmony with Sec. 16, Art. VII, with the result that, while the appointment of the Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs is one that devolves on the President, as an appointment he is authorized by law to make, such appointment, however, no longer needs the confirmation of the Commission on Appointments.

Pacete vs. Secretary of the Commission of Appointments G.R. No. L-25895 July 23, 1971 FELIZARDO S. PACETE, petitioner, vs. THE SECRETARY OF THE

COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENTS CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES, THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE and THE DISBURSING OFFICER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, respondents. QUOTED: See Bernas book (PAGE 1038) on Constitutional Commissions A distinction is thus made between the exercise of such presidential prerogative requiring confirmation by the Commission on Appointments when Congress is in session and when it is in recess. In the former the President nominates, and only upon the consent of the Commission Appointments may the person thus named assume office. It is not so with reference to ad interim appointments. It takes effect at once. The individual chosen may thus qualify and perform his function without loss of time. His title to such office is complete. In the language of the Constitution, the appointment is effective "until disapproval by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of the Congress." FACTS: (FERNANDO, J.:p) Petitioner Felizardo Pacete alleged that he was appointed as Municipal Judge of Pagcawayan, Cotabato by the President of the Philippines. He assumed his office and began to discharge the duties as such. Since his appointment was made during a recess of Congress, it was submitted to the Commission on Appointments in its next session. He was unanimously confirmed by the said office. More than 9 months after his confirmation he received a letter from the Secretary of Justice advising him to vacate his position because his appointment had been bypassed. He was informed that after his confirmation, then Senator Ganzon wrote to its chairman filing a motion for reconsideration

September 11, 1964 and discharged his duties as such. As his appointment was made during the recess of Congress, it was submitted to the Commission on Appointments at its next session in 1965. On May 20 of that year, he was unanimously confirmed. As a matter of fact, two days later, he was sent a congratulatory telegram by the then Senate President Ferdinand E. Marcos, who was likewise the Chairman of the Commission on Appointments. 2 More than nine months after such confirmation, to be exact on February 7, 1966, the then Secretary of Justice, whom he likewise included in his petition, through the Judicial Superintendent, advised petitioner to vacate his position as municipal judge, the ground being that his appointment had been by-passed. Petitioner was taken by surprise and sought clarification from the principal respondent, the then Secretary of the Commission on Appointments. 3 He was informed that on May 21, 1965, a day after his confirmation, one of the members of the Commission on Appointments, the then Senator Rodolfo Guanzon, wrote to its Chairman stating that he was filing a motion for the reconsideration of the confirmation of the appointment of petitioner as municipal judge of Pigcawayan, Cotabato, in view of derogatory information which he had received. 4 Respondent Secretary of the Commission on Appointments thus was led to notify the then Secretary of Justice accordingly, following what he considered to be the prevailing practice of such body that the mere presentation of such letter "automatically vacated the confirmation of the appointment in question ... ." 5 Respondent Secretary of Justice through the Judicial Superintendent then advised petitioner that he should vacate his position as municipal judge, as he had not been duly confirmed. The Disbursing Officer of the Department of Justice was likewise named respondent as he had, as a consequence, withheld petitioner's salaries. 6 Petitioner would buttress his plea for prohibition against the enforcement of the directive of respondent Secretary of Justice for him to vacate his position and mandamus to compel respondent Secretary of the Commission on Appointments to issue to him the certificate of confirmation on the ground that the letter of the then Senator Guanzon, even on the assumption that it was a motion to reconsider an appointment duly confirmed, was without force and effect as it was not approved by the body as a whole. It is his contention that the confirmation of his appointment had become final and executory upon the adjournment of the fourth regular session of the Fifth Congress at midnight of May 21, 1965. 7 He further submitted "that the power to approve or disapprove appointments is conferred by the Constitution on the Commission on Appointments as a body and not on the members individually. The Commission exercises this power thru the vote of the majority of the members present at a quorum as provided by Section 10 of its Rules. Once an appointment is approved by that majority, the approval becomes an act of the Commission and it cannot be changed, voided, vacated or set aside except by the same Commission acting thru the required majority. A mere motion to reconsider it, unless approved by said majority, has no force and effect. To contend otherwise is to make the will of a single member

ISSUE: Whether or not the DOJ's orders are valid RULING: SC granted petition and junked DOJ's order. HELD: The question raised in this mandamus and prohibition proceeding, whether the filing of a motion for reconsideration with the Commission on Appointments, without its being thereafter acted on, suffices to set at naught a confirmation duly made of an ad interim appointment, is not a new one. That was put to us in Altarejos v. Molo. 1 As set forth in the opinion of the Chief Justice, the answer must be in the negative. The confirmation stands; it must be given force and effect. As we decided then, so we do now. As a consequence, petitioner, as will be more fully explained, has made out a case for mandamus and prohibition. He is entitled to the remedies prayed for. The facts are undisputed. In his suit for mandamus and prohibition filed with this Court on April 4, 1966, petitioner Felizardo S. Pacete alleged that he was appointed by the then President of the Philippines on August 31, 1964 as Municipal Judge of Pigcawayan, Cotabato. He assumed office on

prevail over the will of the Commission and to make that member more powerful than the very Commission of which he is only a part." 8 In a resolution dated April 13, 1966, this Court required respondents to answer such petition. In the answer of respondent Secretary of the Commission filed on May 18, 1966, the dismissal of the suit was prayed for on the ground that there was a recall of the confirmation of petitioners appointment upon the filing of the motion for reconsideration by Senator Ganzon. It was likewise alleged as a special defense that there was no infringement of the Constitution, the question involved being merely one of interpretation or construction of the rules of the Commission involving its internal business which cannot be made a subject of judicial inquiry. 9 The respondent Secretary of Justice as well as respondent Disbursing Officer of the Department of Justice, in the answer filed on their behalf on May 21, 1966 by the then Solicitor General, now Associate Justice, Antonio P. Barredo, admitted the facts, but sought the dismissal of the petition on the ground that with the notification of respondent Secretary of the Commission on Appointments that petitioner's appointment was not duly confirmed, respondent Secretary of Justice had no alternative but to give it full faith and credence coming as it did from the agency entrusted by the Constitution with the power to confirm. 10 At the hearing scheduled on July 20, 1966, the parties after arguing were given an additional period of ten days within which to submit memoranda of authorities. In petitioner's memorandum submitted on August 1, 1966, it was contended that his confirmation became final and irrevocable upon the adjournment of the fourth regular session of the Fifth Congress on May 21, 1965, as no rule of the Commission as to a motion for reconsideration could have the force and effect of defeating the constitutional provision that an ad interim appointment is effective "until disapproved by the Commission on Appointments or until the adjournment of the next session of the Congress." 11The memorandum submitted for the respondents squarely disputed such contention on the view that there could be no confirmation in the constitutional sense until a motion for reconsideration had been turned down, invoking at the same time the principle of the respect to be accorded the actuation of an independent constitutional agency like the Commission on Appointments. As was noted, the controlling principle is supplied by Altarejos v. Molo, 12 which interpreted Rule 21 of the Revised Rules of the Commission on Appointments, which reads: "Resolution of the Commission on any appointment may be reconsidered on motion by a member presented not more than one (1) day after their approval. If a majority of the members present concur to grant a reconsideration, the appointment shall be reopened and submitted anew to the Commission. Any motion to reconsider the vote on any appointment may be laid on the table, this shall be a final disposition of such a motion." Our holding was that the mere filing of a motion for reconsideration did not have the effect of setting aside a

confirmation. There was a need for its being duly approved. Hence, as set forth at the outset, petitioner must prevail. 1. Altarejos v. Molo was an original action for mandamus to compel respondent therein as Secretary of the Commission on Appointments to issue a certificate of confirmation of petitioner's appointment as Provincial Assessor of Masbate. He was extended an ad interim appointment on July 24, 1964. He took his oath of office and qualified as such on August 1, 1964. His appointment was then submitted to the Commission on Appointments during the regular session of Congress in 1965. It was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments on May 19, 1965. On same day, a member thereof, Congressman Jose Aldeguer, filed with its Secretary, respondent Molo, a motion for reconsideration. The next day, there was a motion by the then Senator Francisco Rodrigo that all pending motions be laid on the table. It was approved. Then came the adjournment on May 20, 1965. Subsequently, about a week later, Congressman Aldeguer withdrew his motion for reconsideration. 13 This Court gave full attention to the argument that motion for reconsideration of Congressman Aldeguer on May 19, 1965 had the effect of recalling the confirmation of petitioner's appointment and that, accordingly, it should be considered non-existent. It rejected it. The Chief Justice, who spoke for the Court, explained why: "This pretense is devoid of merit. Respondent's theory would give to the mere filing of a motion for reconsideration the effect which it would have if the motion were approved, and hence, would dispense with the necessity of such approval, for which the concurrence of a majority of the members present is necessary. It is inconsistent with Rule 21 of the Revised Rules of the Commission, reading: "... Resolution of the Commission on any appointment may be reconsidered on motion by a member presented not more than none * (1) day after their approval. If a majority of the members present concur to grant a reconsideration, the appointment shall be reopened and submitted anew to the Commission. Any motion to reconsider the vote on any appointment may be laid on the table, this shall be a final disposition of such a motion." 14 His opinion continued: "Pursuant to this provision, the vote of a majority of the members present in favor of the motion for reconsideration is necessary to "reopen" the appointment and, hence, to "recall" its confirmation - and to require a resubmission of the appointment for confirmation." 15 Moreover, in holding that this Court "cannot escape the conclusion that petitioner's appointment as Provincial Assessor of Masbate" had been duly confirmed, the Chief Justice likewise noted the categorical answer of the Chairman of the Commission on Appointments to a question by Senator Almendras as to the effect of motions for reconsideration unacted upon after adjournment. Thus: "In case of an adjournment sine die, the motions for reconsideration are considered as not approved and therefore the motion for reconsideration are not valid for of any effect whatsoever." 16 When the question was repeated by Senator Almendras, who did not want to leave any doubt on the matter, this was the reply of the Chairman: "The ruling of the

Chair is reiterated. In case of an adjournment sine die, the period for filing the motion for reconsideration having expired, under Sec. 22, then the motion for reconsideration not having been acted upon is not approved and, therefore, has no effect whatsoever. The confirmation, therefore, will stand." 17 Nothing can be clearer, therefore, than that this Court is committed to the principle that a mere motion for reconsideration to a confirmation duly made which is not approved cannot have the effect of setting aside such confirmation, a principle that is based not merely on the express language of Rule 21, but a reflection of the settled interpretation of the Commission on Appointments speaking through its Chairman. While on certain aspects not material, the facts of this case may be distinguished, from Altajeros v. Molo, there being no motion to lay on the table and no withdrawal of such motion for reconsideration, the principle that calls for application cannot be any different. What is decisive is that a confirmation duly made is not nullified simply by a motion for reconsideration being filed, without its being voted upon and approved. 2. The Altarejos ruling possesses the merit of interpreting Rule 21 of the Commission on Appointments conformably to the letter and spirit of the constitutional provisions on the appointing power of the President. The first one reads: "The President shall nominate and with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, shall appoint the heads of the executive departments and bureaus, officers of the Army from the rank of colonel, of the Navy and air forces from the rank of captain or commander, and all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint; but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of inferior officers, in the President alone, in the courts, or in the heads of departments." 18 The other provision is worded, thus: "The President shall have the power to make appointments during the recess of the Congress, but such appointments shall be effective only until disapproval by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of the Congress." 19 A distinction is thus made between the exercise of such presidential prerogative requiring confirmation by the Commission on Appointments when Congress is in session and when it is in recess. In the former the President nominates, and only upon the consent of the Commission Appointments may the person thus named assume office. It is not so with reference to ad interim appointments. It takes effect at once. The individual chosen may thus qualify and perform his function without loss of time. His title to such office is complete. In the language of the Constitution, the appointment is effective "until disapproval by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of the Congress." The constitutional requirement is clear. There must either be a rejection by the Commission on Appointments or nonaction on

its part. No such thing happened in this case. Petitioner, as pointed out, had instead in his favor a unanimous vote of confirmation. He could thus invoke constitutional protection. For respondents to argue that the mere filing of a motion for reconsideration did suffice to set it aside, even in the absence of any further action, is, as stressed by petitioner, to lose sight of what is provided in the Constitution. That would be moreover tantamount to imparting to a move of a single member of a collective body a decisive weight. It is bad enough if the minority were to prevail. A one-man rule, which is the effect of what respondent Secretary of the Commission on Appointments contends, is infinitely worse. It is indefensible in principle and pernicious in operation. It can find no shelter in the constitutional prescription. Rather it makes a mockery of what is therein ordained. Petitioner's stand is thus unassailable. 3. Nor does the insistence of respondent Secretary of the Commission on Appointments, in his answer, that the question involved is beyond the jurisdiction of this Court, elicit approval. It would extend the boundaries of the political question doctrine beyond its legitimate limits. The courts are called upon to see to it that private rights are not invaded. Thus even legislative acts and executive orders are not beyond the pale of judicial scrutiny. Certainly there is nothing sacrosanct about a rule of the Commission on Appointments, especially so, when as in this case, a construction sought to be fastened on it would defeat the right of an individual to a public office. It certainly can be inquired into in an appropriate case, although the utmost deference should be paid to the interpretation accorded it by the Commission on Appointments itself. In the terse language of Justice Brandeis, speaking of the rules of the United States Senate, which, under its Constitution, has the task of confirmation: "As the construction to be given to the rule affects persons other than members of the Senate, the question presented is of necessity a judicial one." 21 The task becomes unavoidable when claims arising from the express language of the Constitution are pressed upon the judiciary. So it is in this case. It is a truism that under the circumstances, what cannot be ignored is the primacy of what the fundamental law ordains. Such an approach, it is heartening to note, is implicit in the memorandum on behalf of respondent Secretary of Justice, submitted by the then Solicitor General Barredo. Thus: "Although the Commission On Appointments is not a power in our tripartite system of government, it is to all intents and purposes, like the Electoral Tribunals, when acting within the limits of its authority, an independent organ. (Cf. Angara vs. Electoral Commission, 63 Phil. 139) Its actuation in the exercise of its power to approve appointments submitted to it by the President of the Philippines is exempt from judicial supervision and interference, except on a clear showing of such arbitrary and improvident use of the powers as will constitute a denial of due process. (Cf. Morero vs. Bocar, 37 O.G. 445)." 22 As due process is impressed with both substantive and procedural significance, the scope of judicial inquiry is thus not unduly limited.

WHEREFORE, petitioner is entitled to the writ of mandamus and the Secretary of the Commission on Appointments is commanded to issue the certificate of confirmation prayed for by petitioner. The incumbent Secretary of Justice is prohibited from giving any further force and effect to the Department of Justice directive of February 7, 1966 advising petitioner to vacate his position as municipal judge in view of the communication received from then Secretary of the Commission on Appointments, inasmuch as the right of petitioner to perform his functions as municipal judge of Pigcawayan, Cotabato is in accordance with law, his confirmation having been duly confirmed. No pronouncement as to costs.

Pimentel, et al. vs. House of Representives Electoral Tribunal [GR 141489, 29 November 2002]; also Pimentel, et al. v. Commission on Appointments [GR 141490] En Banc, Carpio (J): 11 concur, 2 took no part, 1 on leave Facts: On 3 March 1995, the Party-List System Act took effect. On 11 May 1998, in accordance with the Party-List System Act, national elections were held which included, for the first time, the election through popular vote of party-list groups and organizations whose nominees would become members of the House. Proclaimed winners were 14 party-list representatives from 13 organizations, including Melvyn D. Eballe, Leonardo Q. Montemayor, Cresente C. Paez, Loretta Ann P. Rosales and Patricia M. Sarenas from party-list groups Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives[5] (APEC), Alyansang Bayanihan ng mga Magsasaka, Manggagawang Bukid at Mangingisda (ABA), NATCO Network Party (COOP-NATCCO), Akbayan! Citizens Action Party (AKBAYAN), and Abanse! Pinay (ABANSE). Due to the votes it garnered, APEC was able to send 2 representatives to the House, while the 12 other party-list groups had one representative each. Also elected were district representatives belonging to various political parties. Subsequently, the House constituted its HRET and CA contingent by electing its representatives to these two constitutional bodies. In practice, the procedure involves the nomination by the political parties of House members who are to occupy seats in the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) and the Commission on Appointments (CA). From available records, it does not appear that after the 11 May 1998 elections the party-list groups in the House nominated any of their representatives to the HRET or the CA. As of the date of filing of the present petitions for prohibition and mandamus with prayer for writ of preliminary injunction, the House contingents to the HRET and the CA were composed solely of district representatives belonging to the different political parties. On 18 January 2000, Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. wrote two letters addressed to then Senate President Blas F. Ople, as Chairman of the CA, and to Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Jose A. R. Melo (now retired), as Chairman of the HRET. The letters requested Senate President Ople and Justice Melo to cause the restructuring of the CA and

the HRET, respectively, to include party-list representatives to conform to Sections 17 and 18, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. In its meeting of 20 January 2000, the HRET resolved to direct the Secretary of the Tribunal to refer Senator Pimentel s letter to the Secretary-General of the House of Representatives. On the same day, HRET Secretary Daisy B. Panga-Vega, in an Indorsement of even date, referred the letter to House of Representatives Secretary General Roberto P. Nazareno. On 2 February 2000, Eballe, et al. filed with this Court their Petitions for Prohibition, Mandamus and Preliminary Injunction (with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order) against the HRET, its Chairman and Members, and against the CA, its Chairman and Members. They contend that, under the Constitution and the Party-List System Act, party-list representatives should have 1.2 or at least 1 seat in the HRET, and 2.4 seats in the CA. They charge that the HRET, CA, et al. committed grave abuse of discretion in refusing to act positively on the letter of Senator Pimentel. In its Resolution of 8 February 2000, the Court en banc directed the consolidation of GR 141490 with GR 141489. On 11 February 2000, Eballe et al. filed in both cases a motion to amend their petitions to implead then Speaker Manuel B. Villar, Jr. as an additional respondent, in his capacity as Speaker of the House and as one of the members of the CA. The Court granted both motions and admitted the amended petitions. Senator Pimentel filed the present petitions on the strength of his oath to protect, defend and uphold the Constitution and in his capacity as taxpayer and as a member of the CA. He was joined by 5 party-list representatives from APEC, ABA, ABANSE, AKBAYAN and COOP-NATCCO as co-petitioners. Issue [1]: Whether the present composition of the House Electoral Tribunal violates the constitutional requirement of proportional representation because there are no party-list representatives in the hret. Held [1]: NO. The Constitution expressly grants to the House of Representatives the prerogative, within constitutionally defined limits, to choose from among its district and party-list representatives those who may occupy the seats allotted to the House in the HRET and the CA. Section 18, Article VI of the Constitution explicitly confers on the Senate and on the House the authority to elect among their members those who would fill the 12 seats for Senators and 12 seats for House members in the Commission on Appointments. Under Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution, each chamber of Congress exercises the power to choose, within constitutionally defined limits, who among their members would occupy the allotted 6 seats of each chamber s respective electoral tribunal. These constitutional provisions are reiterated in Rules 3 and 4 (a) of the 1998 Rules of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal. The discretion of the House to choose its members to the HRET and the CA is not absolute, being subject to the mandatory constitutional rule on proportional representation.[26] However, under the doctrine of separation of powers, the Court may not interfere with the exercise by the House of this constitutionally mandated duty, absent a clear violation of the Constitution or grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.[27] Otherwise, the

doctrine of separation of powers calls for each branch of government to be left alone to discharge its duties as it sees fit.[28] Neither can the Court speculate on what action the House may take if party-list representatives are duly nominated for membership in the HRET and the CA. The petitions are bereft of any allegation that respondents prevented the party-list groups in the House from participating in the election of members of the HRET and the CA. Neither does it appear that after the 11 May 1998 elections, the House barred the party-list representatives from seeking membership in the HRET or the CA. Rather, it appears from the available facts that the party-list groups in the House at that time simply refrained from participating in the election process. The partylist representatives did not designate their nominees even up to the time they filed the petitions, with the predictable result that the House did not consider any party-list representative for election to the HRET or the CA. As the primary recourse of the party-list representatives lies with the House of Representatives, the Court cannot resolve the issues presented by petitioners at this time. Issue [2]: Whether the refusal of the HRET and the CA to reconstitute themselves to include party-list representatives constitutes grave abuse of discretion. Held [2]: There is no grave abuse in the action or lack of action by the HRET and the CA in response to the letters of Senator Pimentel. Under Sections 17 and 18 of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and their internal rules, the HRET and the CA are bereft of any power to reconstitute themselves. Neri vs. Senate G.R. No. 180643, March 25, 2008 Former NEDA Director General Romulo Neri testified before the Senate for 11 hours relating to the ZTE-NBN mess. However, when probed further on what he and the President discussed about the NBN Project, he refused to answer, invoking executive privilege . In particular, he refused to answer 3 questions: (a) whether or not President Arroyo followed up the NBN Project (b) whether or not she directed him to prioritize it (c) whether or not she directed him to approve it Unrelenting, the Senate Committees issued a Subpoena Ad Testificandum to Neri, requiring him to appear and testify on November 20, 2007. However, Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita requested the Senate Committees to dispense with Neri s testimony on the ground of executive privilege. In his letter, Ermita said that the information sought to be disclosed might impair our diplomatic as well as economic relations with China. Neri did not appear before the Committees. As a result, the Senate issued an Order citing him in contempt and ordered his arrest and detention until such time that he would appear and give his testimony. Are the communications elicited by the subject three (3) questions covered by executive privilege?

SUGGESTED ANSWER: Yes. The Communications elicited by the 3 Questions are covered by Executive Privilege. xxx we are convinced that the communications elicited by the questions are covered by the presidential communications privilege. First, the communications relate to a quintessential and non-delegable power of the President, i.e. the power to enter into an executive agreement with other countries. This authority of the President to enter into executive agreements without the concurrence of the Legislature has traditionally been recognized in Philippine jurisprudence. Second, the communications are received by a close advisor of the President. Under the operational proximity test, petitioner can be considered a close advisor, being a member of President Arroyo s cabinet. And third, there is no adequate showing of a compelling need that would justify the limitation of the privilege and of the unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority. The Senate contends that the grant of the executive privilege violates the Right of the people to information on matters of public concern . Is the senate correct? ANSWER: No. While Congress is composed of representatives elected by the people, it does not follow, except in a highly qualified sense, that in every exercise of its power of inquiry, the people are exercising their right to information. The right of Congress or any of its Committees to obtain information in aid of legislation cannot be equated with the people s right to public information. The distinction between such rights is laid down in Senate v. Ermita: There are clear distinctions between the right of Congress to information which underlies the power of inquiry and the right of people to information on matters of public concern. For one, the demand of a citizen for the production of documents pursuant to his right to information does not have the same obligatory force as a subpoena duces tecum issued by Congress. Neither does the right to information grant a citizen the power to exact testimony from government officials. These powers belong only to Congress, not to an individual citizen. (visit fellester.blogspot.com) On March 6, 2008, President Arroyo issued Memorandum Circular No. 151, revoking E.O. 464. Is there a recognized claim of executive privilege despite the revocation of E.O. 464? ANSWER: Yes. The revocation of E.O. 464 does not in any way diminish our concept of executive privilege. This is because this concept has Constitutional underpinnings. In Senate v. Ermita, the executive privilege should be invoked by the President or through the Executive Secretary by order of the President. Did Executive Secretary Ermita correctly invoke the principle of executive privilege, by order of the President?

ANSWER: Yes. The Letter dated November 17, 2007 of Executive Secretary Ermita satisfies the requirement. It serves as the formal claim of privilege. There, he expressly states that this Office is constrained to invoke the settled doctrine of executive privilege as refined in Senate v. Ermita, and has advised Secretary Neri accordingly. Obviously, he is referring to the Office of the President. That is more than enough compliance. May the Congress require the executive to state the reasons for the claim with particularity? ANSWER: No. The Congress must not require the executive to state the reasons for the claim with such particularity as to compel disclosure of the information which the privilege is meant to protect. This is a matter of respect to a coordinate and co-equal department. (Senate v. Ermita) Is the contempt and arrest Order of Neri valid? ANSWER: No. There being a legitimate claim of executive privilege, the issuance of the contempt Order suffers from constitutional infirmity. The respondent Committees did not comply with the requirement laid down in Senate v. Ermita that the invitations should contain the possible needed statute which prompted the need for the inquiry, along with the usual indication of the subject of inquiry and the questions relative to and in furtherance thereof. The SC also find merit in the argument of the OSG that respondent Committees violated Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution, requiring that the inquiry be in accordance with the duly published rules of procedure. The respondent Committees issuance of the contempt Order is arbitrary and precipitate. It must be pointed out that respondent Committees did not first pass upon the claim of executive privilege and inform petitioner of their ruling. Instead, they curtly dismissed his explanation as unsatisfactory and simultaneously issued the Order citing him in contempt and ordering his immediate arrest and detention. (Neri vs. Senate, G.R. No. 180643, March 25, 2008) Fabian vs. Desierto G.R. No. 129742, September 16, 1998 Facts: Petitioner Teresita Fabian was the major stockholder and President of PROMAT Construction Development Corporation which was engaged in the construction business. Private respondent Nestor Agustin was the District Engineer of the First Metro Manila Engineering District. PROMAT participated in the bidding for government construction projects, and private respondent, reportedly taking advantage of his official position, inveigled petitioner into an amorous relationship. Their affair lasted for some time, in the course of which, private respondent gifted PROMAT with public works contracts and interceded for it in problems concerning the same in his office. When petitioner tried to terminate their relationship, private respondent refused and resisted her attempts to do so to the extent of employing acts of

harassment, intimidation and threats. Petitioner filed an administrative complaint against private respondent. Ombudsman found private respondent guilty of misconduct and meted out the penalty of suspension without pay for 1 year. After private respondent moved for reconsideration, the Ombudsman discovered that the private respondent s new counsel had been his classmate and close associate, hence, he inhibited himself. The case was transferred to respondent Deputy Ombudsman who exonerated private respondent from the administrative charges. Petitioner appealed to the SC by certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

Issue: Whether or not Section 27 of RA 6770 which provides for appeals in administrative disciplinary cases from the Office of the Ombudsman to the SC in accordance with Rule 45 of the Rules of Court is valid

Held: The revised Rules of Civil Procedure preclude appeals from quasi-judicial agencies to the SC via a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45. Under the present Rule 45, appeals may be brought through a petition for review on certiorari but only from judgments and final orders of the courts enumerated in Sec. 1 thereof. Appeals from judgments and final orders of quasi-judicial agencies are now required to be brought to the CA on a verified petition for review, under the requirements and conditions in Rule 43 which was precisely formulated and adopted to provide for a uniform rule of appellate procedure for quasi-judicial agencies. Section 27 of RA 6770 cannot validly authorize an appeal to the SC from decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases. It consequently violates the proscription in Sec. 30, Art. VI of the Constitution against a law which increases the appellate jurisdiction of the SC. G.R. No. L-23825 December 24, 1965 EMMANUEL PELAEZ, petitioner, vs. THE AUDITOR GENERAL, respondent. FACTS. 1. In 1964, the president issue an executive order Nos. 93 to 121,124 and 126 to 129 for the creation of 33 municipalities. 2. Vice president Pelaez instituted a special civil action for a writ of prohibition with preliminary injunction to restraint the auditor general as well as his representatives and agents from passing in audit any expenditure of public funds in implementation of the executive order and or any disbursement by said municipality by alleging that the executive order is null and void for it was impliedly repealed by RA 2370 and constitute undue delegation of power. 3. The petitioner argue that if the president cannot create a barrio, how can he create a municipality which is composed of several barrios since barrios are units of municipality.

4. Respondent on the otherhands argue that a municipality can be created without creating a new barrios by placing old barrios under the jurisdiction of municipality. Issue. Whether or not, the executive orders are valid. According to the supreme court,under RA 2370, barrios may not be created or there boundaries altered nor there names be changed except by act of congress or of the corresponding provincial board upon petition of a majority of the voters in the areas affected and the recommendation of the council of the municipality or municipalities in which the proposed barrio is situated. The supreme court further said that the authority to create municipal corporation is legislative in nature. WHEREFORE, the Executive Orders in question are declared null and void ab initio and the respondent permanently restrained from passing in audit any expenditure of public funds in implementation of said Executive Orders or any disbursement by the municipalities above referred to. It is so ordered.

an increase of the public debt, private bills and bills of local application must come from the House of Representatives on the theory that, elected as they are from the districts, the members of the House can be expected to be more sensitive to the local needs and problems. Nor does the Constitution prohibit the filing in the Senate of a substitute bill in anticipation of its receipt of the bill from the House, so long as action by the Senate as a body is withheld pending receipt of the House bill. The next argument of the petitioners was that S. No. 1630 did not pass 3 readings on separate days as required by the Constitution because the second and third readings were done on the same day. But this was because the President had certified S. No. 1630 as urgent. The presidential certification dispensed with the requirement not only of printing but also that of reading the bill on separate days. That upon the certification of a bill by the President the requirement of 3 readings on separate days and of printing and distribution can be dispensed with is supported by the weight of legislative practice.

Tolentino vs. Secretary of Finance G.R. No. 115455, 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. RA 7716 seeks to widen the tax base of the existing VAT system and enhance its administration by amending the National Internal Revenue Code. There are various suits challenging the constitutionality of RA 7716 on various grounds. One contention is that RA 7716 did not originate exclusively in the House of Representatives as required by Art. VI, Sec. 24 of the Constitution, because it is in fact the result of the consolidation of 2 distinct bills, H. No. 11197 and S. No. 1630. There is also a contention that S. No. 1630 did not pass 3 readings as required by the Constitution.

Arnault v Nazareno Petition for habeas corpus to relieve petitioner Jean Arnault from confinement in the New Bilibid prison. Denied Facts: In the latter part of October, 1949, the Philippine Government, through the Rural Progress Administration, bought two estates known as Buenavista and Tambobong for the sums of P4,500,000 and P500,000, respectively. P1,000,000 was paid for the first sum and P 500,000 to the second sum both to Ernest H. Burt, a nonresident American, thru his two attorneyin-fact in the Philippines, as represented by Jean L. Arnault, for both estates respectively. However, Ernest H. Burt was not the original owner of the estate. He bought the first from San Juan de Dios hospital and the second from the Philippine trust company. In both instances, Burt was not able to pay the necessary amount of money to complete his payments. As such, his contract with said owners were cancelled. On September 4, 1947, the Philippine Trust Company sold, conveyed, and delivered the Tambobong Estate to the Rural Progress Administration by an abolute deed of sale in consideration of the sum of P750,000. The Philippine Government then, through the Secretary of Justice as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Rural Progress Administration and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Philippine National Bank, from which the money was borrowed, accomplished the purchase of the two estates in the latter part of October, 1949, as stated at the outset. On February 27, 1950, the Senate adopted its Resolution No. 8, which created a special committee to investigate the

Issue: Whether or not RA 7716 violates Art. VI, Secs. 24 and 26(2) of the Constitution

Held: The argument that RA 7716 did not originate exclusively in the House of Representatives as required by Art. VI, Sec. 24 of the Constitution will not bear analysis. To begin with, it is not the law but the revenue bill which is required by the Constitution to originate exclusively in the House of Representatives. To insist that a revenue statute and not only the bill which initiated the legislative process culminating in the enactment of the law must substantially be the same as the House bill would be to deny the Senate s power not only to concur with amendments but also to propose amendments. Indeed, what the Constitution simply means is that the initiative for filing revenue, tariff or tax bills, bills authorizing

transactions surrounding the estates. The special committee created by the resolution called and examined various witnesses, among the most important of whom was Jean L. Arnault. An intriguing question which the committee sought to resolve was the apparent unnecessariness and irregularity of the Government's paying to Burt the total sum of P1,500,000 for his alleged interest of only P20,000 in the two estates, which he seemed to have forfeited anyway long before October, 1949. The committee sought to determine who were responsible for and who benefited from the transaction at the expense of the Government. Arnault testified that two checks payable to Burt aggregating P1,500,000 were delivered to him on the afternoon of October 29, 1949; that on the same date he opened a new account in the name of Ernest H. Burt with the Philippine National Bank in which he deposited the two checks aggregating P1,500,000; and that on the same occasion he drew on said account two checks; one for P500,000, which he transferred to the account of the Associated Agencies, Inc., with the Philippine National Bank, and another for P440,000 payable to cash, which he himself cashed. It was the desire of the committee to determine the ultimate recipient of this sum of P440,000 that gave rise to the present case. As Arnault resisted to name the recipient of the money, the senate then approved a resolution that cited him for contempt. It is this resolution which brought him to jail and is being contested in this petition. Issue: 1. WON the Senate has the power to punish Arnault for contempt for refusing to reveal the name of the person to whom he gave the P440,000. 2. WON the Senate lacks authority to commit him for contempt for a term beyond its period of legislative session, which ended on May 18, 1950. 3. WON the privilege against self incrimination protects the petitioner from being questioned. HELD:

a witness to answer must be material or pertinent to the subject of the inquiry or investigation. The materiality of the question must be determined by its direct relation to the subject of the inquiry and not by its indirect relation to any proposed or possible legislation. The reason is, that the necessity or lack of necessity for legislative action and the form and character of the action itself are determined by the sum total of the information to be gathered as a result of the investigation, and not by a fraction of such information elicited from a single question. 2. NO Senate is a continuing body and which does not cease to exist upon the periodical dissolution of the Congress or of the House of Representatives. There is no limit as to time to the Senate's power to punish for contempt in cases where that power may constitutionally be exerted as in the present case. Senate will not be disposed to exert the power beyond its proper bounds, i.e. abuse their power and keep the witness in prison for life. If proper limitations are disregarded, Court isalways open to those whose rights might thus be transgressed. 3. NO Court is satisfied that those answers of the witness to the important question, which is the name of that person to whom witness gave the P440,000, were obviously false. His insistent claim before the bar of the Senate that if he should reveal the name he would incriminate himself, necessarily implied that he knew the name. Moreover, it is unbelievable that he gave P440,000 to a person to him unknown. "Testimony which is obviously false or evasive is equivalent to a refusal to testify and is punishable as contempt, assuming that a refusal to testify would be so punishable." Since according to the witness himself the transaction was legal, and that he gave the P440,000 to a representative of Burt in compliance with the latter's verbal instruction, Court found no basis upon which to sustain his claim that to reveal the name of that person might incriminate him. Bengzon v Senate Blue Ribbon Committee

1. YES. FACTS: Once an inquiry is admitted or established to be within the jurisdiction of a legislative body to make, the investigating committee has the power to require a witness to answer any question pertinent to that inquiry, subject of course to his constitutional right against self-incrimination. The inquiry, to be within the jurisdiction of the legislative body to make, must be material or necessary to the exercise of a power in it vested by the Constitution, such as to legislate, or to expel a Member; and every question which the investigator is empowered to coerce On 30 July 1987, the Republic of the Philippines, represented by the Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG), filed a complaint with Sandiganbayan against the petitioners of this case. PCGG allege, among others, that: defendants (petitioners therein) Benjamin Kokoy Romualdez and Juliette Gomez Romualdez, alleged cronies of former President Marcos and First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, engaged in schemes and stratagems to unjustly enrich themselves at the expense of the Filipino people.

Among these stratagems are (1) obtained control of some big business enterprises such as MERALCO, Pilipinas Shell, and PCI Bank, (2) manipulated the formation of Erectors Holding Inc, to appear viable and borrow more capital, reaching a total of more that P2 billion, (3) collaborated with lawyers (petitioners therein) of the Bengzon Law Offices in concealing funds and properties, in maneuvering the purported sale of interests in certain corporations, in misusing the Meralco Pension Fund worth P25 million, and in cleverly hiding behind the veil of corporate entity. 13 September 1988, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile delivered a speech before the Senate on the alleged take-over of SolOil Incorporated by Ricardo Lopa (who died during the pendency of this case) and called upon the senate to look into possible violation of the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act or RA 3019. The Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers or Blue Ribbon Committee (SBRC) started its investigation through a hearing on 23 May 1989, but Lopa and Bengzon declined to testify. The SBRC rejected petitioner Bengzon s plea and voted to pursue its investigation. Petitioner claims that the SBRC, in requiring their attendance and testimony, acted in excess of its jurisdiction and legislative purpose. Hence this petition. ISSUES: 1. WON the court has jurisdiction over this case. 2. WON the SBRC s inquiry has a valid legislative purpose. 3. WON the sale or disposition of the Romualdez corporations is a purely private transaction which is beyond the power of the SBRC to inquire into. 4. WON the inquiry violates the petitioners right to due process. HELD: 1. YES. As the court held in Angara vs. Electoral Commission, the Constitution provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the departments of the government, and it is the judiciary that was vested of the powers to determine the scope, nature and extent of such powers. 2. NO. The speech of Sen. Enrile contained no suggestion on contemplated legislation; he merely called upon the Senate to look into a possible violation of Sec. 5 of RA 3019. The purpose of the inquiry to be conducted by respondent SBRC was to find out WON the relatives of President Aquino, particularly Ricardo Lopa, had violated the law in connection with the alleged sale of the 36/39 corporations of Kokoy Romualdez to

the Lopa Group. There appears, therefore, no intended legislation involved. The inquiry also is not conducted pursuant to Senate Resolution No. 2123 (SR 2123), as the committee alleges. The inquiry under SR 2123 is to look into the charges against PCGG filed by stockholders of Oriental Petroleum in connection with the implementation of Section 26 Article XVIII of the Constitution. 3. YES. Mr. Lopa and the petitioners are not connected with the government and did their acts as private citizens, hence such a case of alleged graft and corruption is within the jurisdiction, not of the SBRC, but of the courts. Sandiganbayan already took jurisdiction of this issue before the SBRC did. The inquiry of the respondent committee into the same justiciable controversy already before the Sandiganbayan would be an encroachment of into the exclusive domain of judicial jurisdiction. 4. NO. The Constitution provides the right of an accused of a crime to remain silent; this extends also to respondents in administrative investigation but only if they partake of the nature of a criminal proceeding. This is not so in this case. BUT since the court already held that the inquiry is not in aid of legislation, the petitioners therein cannot be compelled to testify. Akbayan Vs Aquino Digest Facts: Petitioners seek to obtain from respondents the full text of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) including the Philippine and Japanese offers submitted during the negotiation process and all pertinent attachments and annexes thereto. The JPEPA, which will be the first bilateral free trade agreement to be entered into by the Philippines with another country in the event the Senate grants its consent to it, covers a broad range of topics which includes trade in goods, rules of origin, customs procedures, paperless trading, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, government procurement, movement of natural persons, cooperation, competition policy, mutual recognition, dispute avoidance and settlement, improvement of the business environment, and general and final provisions. Issues: a. Whether or not the claim of the petitioners is covered by the right to information. b. Whether the executive privilege claimed by the respondents applies only at certain stages of the negotiation process.

c. Whether there is sufficient public interest to overcome the claim of privilege. d. Whether the Respondents failed to claim executive privilege on time. Decision: Supreme Court dismissed the petition, on the following reasons: 1. To be covered by the right to information, the information sought must meet the threshold requirement that it be a matter of public concern. In determining whether or not a particular information is of public concern there is no rigid test which can be applied. Public concern like public interest is a term that eludes exact definition. Both terms embrace a broad spectrum of subjects which the public may want to know, either because these directly affect their lives, or simply because such matters naturally arouse the interest of an ordinary citizen. In the final analysis, it is for the courts to determine on a case by case basis whether the matter at issue is of interest or importance, as it relates to or affects the public. From the nature of the JPEPA as an international trade agreement, it is evident that the Philippine and Japanese offers submitted during the negotiations towards its execution are matters of public concern. This, respondents do not dispute. They only claim that diplomatic negotiations are covered by the doctrine of executive privilege, thus constituting an exception to the right to information and the policy of full public disclosure. Thus, the Court holds that, in determining whether an information is covered by the right to information, a specific showing of need for such information is not a relevant consideration, but only whether the same is a matter of public concern. When, however, the government has claimed executive privilege, and it has established that the information is indeed covered by the same, then the party demanding it, if it is to overcome the privilege, must show that that the information is vital, not simply for the satisfaction of its curiosity, but for its ability to effectively and reasonably participate in social, political, and economic decision-making. 2. Supreme Court stated that the constitutional right to information includes official information on on-going negotiations before a final contract. The information, however, must constitute definite propositions by the government and should not cover recognized exceptions like privileged information, military and diplomatic secrets and similar matters affecting national security and public order. 3. The deliberative process privilege is a qualified privilege and can be overcome by a sufficient showing of need. This need determination is to be made flexibly on a case-by-case, ad hoc basis. "[E]ach time [the deliberative process privilege] is

asserted the district court must undertake a fresh balancing of the competing interests," taking into account factors such as "the relevance of the evidence," "the availability of other evidence," "the seriousness of the litigation," "the role of the government," and the "possibility of future timidity by government employees. In the case at hand, Petitioners have failed to present the strong and sufficient showing of need . The arguments they proffer to establish their entitlement to the subject documents fall short of this standard stated in the decided cases. There is no dispute that the information subject of this case is a matter of public concern. The Court has earlier concluded that it is a matter of public concern, not on the basis of any specific need shown by petitioners, but from the very nature of the JPEPA as an international trade agreement. Further, the text of the JPEPA having been published, petitioners have failed to convince this Court that they will not be able to meaningfully exercise their right to participate in decision-making unless the initial offers are also published. 4. When the respondents invoked the privilege for the first time only in their Comment to the present petition does not mean that the claim of privilege should not be credited. Respondents failure to claim the privilege during the House Committee hearings may not, however, be construed as a waiver thereof by the Executive branch. What respondents received from the House Committee and petitionerCongressman Aguja were mere requests for information. The House Committee refrained from pursuing its earlier resolution to issue a subpoena duces tecum on account of then Speaker Jose de Venecia s alleged request to Committee Chairperson Congressman Teves to hold the same in abeyance. While it is a salutary and noble practice for Congress to refrain from issuing subpoenas to executive officials out of respect for their office until resort to it becomes necessary, the fact remains that such requests are not a compulsory process. Being mere requests, they do not strictly call for an assertion of executive privilege. Political Law- Neri vs. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations POLITICAL LAW- THIS IS WITH REGARD TO THE ISSUE OF THE CHECKS TO THE CONGRESSIONAL POWER OF INQUIRY "what are the checks to the Legislature's all encompassing, awesome power of investigation? The right to information by congress is not an absolute right" Case of Neri vs. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations G.R.No. 180643 04September2008

FACTS OF THE CASE: 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 awarded 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 exec privilege. The questions that he refused to answer were: 1. whether or not PGMA followed up the NBN Project. 2. whether or not PGMA directed him to prioritize it. 3. whether or not PGMA directed him to approve it. 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. ISSUES OF THE CASE: 1. Is there a recognized presumptive presidential communications privilege in our legal system? 2. Did the respondent committee commit a grave abuse of discretion in issuing the contempt order? - YES, presidential communications privilege is fundamental to the operation of government and inextricably rooted in the separation of powers under the constitution. - The constitutional infirmity found in the blanket authorization to invoke exec privilege granted by the President to exec officials in sec 2(b) of E.O. 464 does not apply in this case. - In this case, it was the President herself, through exec sec. Ermita, who invoked exec privilege on a specific matter involving an exec agreement between Philippines and China, which was the subject of the 3 questions asked. - If what is involved is the presumptive privilege of presidential communications when invoked by the President on a matter clearly within the domain of the Executive, the said presumption dictates that the same be recognized. - YES, an unconstrained congressional investigative power, like an unchecked executive generates its own abuses. - Constant exposure to congressional subpoena takes its toll on the ability of the executive to function effectively. - The Legislative inquiry must be confined to permissible areas and thus prevent roving commissions. - The court although a co-equal branch of government to the legislature, must look into the internal rules of congress w/ regard to ensuring compliance by congress to it. Since, the issuance of a contempt order must be done by a vote of majority of all its members. The issuance of the order was w/o

concurrence of the majority. HELD: RESPONENTS COMMITTEES MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION DATED 08APRIL2008 IS HEREBY DENIED. Senate vs. Ermita G.R. No. 169777, July 14, 2006

y y y y y y

Requisites of Judicial Review Legislative Inquiry vs. Executive Privilege Executive Privilege, defined Kinds of Executive Privilege Executive Privilege as applied to an official Constitutionality of EO 464

FACTS: This case is regarding the railway project of the North Luzon Railways Corporation with the China National Machinery and Equipment Group as well as the Wiretapping activity of the ISAFP, and the Fertilizer scam. The Senate Committees sent invitations to various officials of the Executive Department and AFP officials for them to appear before Senate on Sept. 29, 2005. Before said date arrived, Executive Sec. Ermita sent a letter to Senate President Drilon, requesting for a postponement of the hearing on Sept. 29 in order to afford said officials ample time and opportunity to study and prepare for the various issues so that they may better enlighten the Senate Committee on its investigation. Senate refused the request. On Sept. 28, 2005, the President issued EO 464, effective immediately, which, among others, mandated that all heads of departments of the Executive Branch of the government shall secure the consent of the President prior to appearing before either House of Congress. Pursuant to this Order, Executive Sec. Ermita communicated to the Senate that the executive and AFP officials would not be able to attend the meeting since the President has not yet given her consent. Despite the lack of consent, Col. Balutan and Brig. Gen. Gudani, among all the AFP officials invited, attended the investigation. Both faced court marshal for such attendance. Hence, these petitions. ISSUES: y y y Whether or not EO 464 contravenes the power of inquiry vested in Congress Whether or not EO 464 violates the right of the people to information on matters of public concern Whether or not respondents have committed grave abuse of discretion when they implemented EO 464

prior to its publication in a newspaper of general circulation RULING: ESSENTIAL REQUISITES OF JUDICIAL REVIEW: 1. 2. there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; the person challenging the act must have standing to challenge the validity of the subject act or issuance; otherwise stated, he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; the question of constitutionality must be raised as the earliest opportunity; and the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.

ACTUAL CASE/CONTROVERSY The Court finds respondents assertion that the President has not withheld her consent or prohibited the appearance of the officials concerned immaterial in determining the existence of an actual case or controversy insofar as EO 464 is concerned. For EO 464 does not require either a deliberative withholding of consent or an express prohibition issuing from the President in order to bar officials from appearing before Congress. As the implementation of the challenged order has already resulted in the absence of officials invited to the hearings of petitioner Senate of the Philippines, it would make no sense to wait for any further event before considering the present case ripe for adjudication. Indeed, it would be sheer abandonment of duty if this Court would now refrain from passing on the constitutionality of EO 464. The power of inquiry The Congress power of inquiry is expressly recognized in Sec. 21, Art. VI. But as early as 1950 (the 1935 Constitution did not contain a similar provision) in Arnault v. Nazareno, the Court already recognized that the power of inquiry is inherent in the power to legislate. xxx That this power of inquiry is broad enough to cover officials of the executive branch may be deduced from the same case. The power of inquiry...is co-extensive with the power to legislate. The matters which may be a proper subject of legislation and those which may be a proper subject of investigation are one. It follows that the operation of government, being a legitimate subject for legislation, is a proper subject for investigation. xxx the power of inquiry, with process to enforce it, is grounded on the necessity of the information in the legislative process. If the information possessed by executive officials on the operation of their offices is necessary for wise legislation on that subject, by parity of reasoning, Congress has the right to that information and the power to compel the disclosure thereof. The power of inquiry is subject to judicial review xxx the right of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is, in theory, no less susceptible to abuse than executive or judicial power. It may thus be subjected to judicial review pursuant to the Court s certiorari powers under Sec. 1, Art. VIII. For one...the inquiry itself might not properly be in aid of legislation, and thus beyond the constitutional power of Congress. Such inquiry could not usurp judicial functions. Parenthetically, one possible way for Congress to avoid such a result...is to indicate in its invitations to the public officials concerned, or to any person for that matter, the possible needed statute which prompted the need for the inquiry.

3. 4.

LEGAL STANDING Standing of the Senate That the Senate of the Philippines has a fundamental right essential not only for intelligent public decision-making in a democratic system, but more especially for sound legislation is not disputed. EO 464, however, allegedly stifles the ability of the members of Congress to access information that is crucial to law-making. Verily, the Senate, including its individual members, has a substantial and direct interest over the outcome of the controversy and is the proper party to assail the constitutionality of EO 464. Indeed, legislators have standing to maintain inviolate the prerogative, powers and privileges vested by the Constitution in their office and are allowed to sue to question the validity of any official action which they claim infringes their prerogatives as legislators. Standing of an ordinary citizen It is well-settled that when suing as a citizen, the interest of the petitioner in assailing the constitutionality of laws, presidential decrees, orders and other regulations must be direct and personal. In Francisco v. House of Representatives, this Court held that when the proceeding involves the assertion of a public right, the mere fact that he is a citizen satisfies the requirement of personal interest. Requisites for transcendental importance: Establish (1) the character of the funds (that it is public) or other assets involved in the case, (2) the presence of a clear case of disregard of a constitutional or statutory prohibition by the public respondent agency or instrumentality of the government, and (3) the lack of any party with a more direct and specific interest in raising the questions being raised.

Given such statement in its investigations, along with the usual indication of the subject of inquiry and the questions relative to and in furtherance thereof, there would be less room for speculation on the part of the person invited on whether the inquiry is in aid of legislation. Sec. 21, Art. VI likewise establishes crucial safeguards that proscribe the legislative power of inquiry. The provision requires that the inquiry be done in accordance with the Senate or House s duly published rules of procedure, necessarily implying the constitutional infirmity of an inquiry conducted without duly published rules of procedure. Sec. 21 also mandates that the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries be respected, an imposition that obligates Congress to adhere to the guarantees in the Bill of Rights. Exemption to power of inquiry Even where the inquiry is in aid of legislation, there are still recognized exemptions to the power of inquiry, which exemptions falls under the rubric of executive privilege. Executive privilege, defined Schwartz defines executive privilege as the power of the Government to withhold information from the public, the courts, and the Congress. Similarly, Rozell defines it as the right of the President and high-level executive branch officers to withhold information from Congress, the courts, and ultimately the public. Kinds of executive privilege One variety of the privilege...is the state secrets privilege...on the ground that the information is of such nature that its disclosure would subvert crucial military or diplomatic objectives. Another variety is the informer s privilege, or the privilege of the Government not to disclose the identity of persons who furnish information of violations of law to officers charged with the enforcement of that law. Finally, a generic privilege for internal deliberations has been said to attach to intragovernmental documents reflecting advisory opinions, recommendations and deliberations comprising part of a process by which governmental decisions and policies are formulated. That a type of information is recognized as privileged does not, however, necessarily mean that it would be considered privileged in all instances. For in determining the validity of a claim of privilege, the question that must be asked is not only whether the requested information falls within one of the traditional privileges, but also whether that privilege should be honored in a given procedural setting.

Executive privilege, whether asserted against Congress, the courts, or the public, is recognized only in relation to certain types of information of a sensitive character. While executive privilege is a constitutional concept, a claim thereof may be valid or not depending on the ground invoked to justify it and the context in which it is made. Noticeably absent is any recognition that executive officials are exempt from the duty to disclose information by the mere fact of being executive officials. Indeed, the extraordinary character of the exemptions indicates that the presumption inclines heavily against executive secrecy and in favor of disclosure. xxx When Congress exercises its power of inquiry, the only way for department heads to exempt themselves therefrom is by a valid claim of privilege. They are not exempt by the mere fact that they are department heads. Only one executive official may be exempted from this power the President on whom executive power is vested, hence, beyond the reach of Congress except through the power of impeachment. It is based on her being the highest official of the executive branch, and the due respect accorded to a co-equal branch of government which is sanctioned by a long-standing custom. By the same token, members of the Supreme Court are also exempt from this power of inquiry. Unlike the Presidency, judicial power is vested in a collegial body; hence, each member thereof is exempt on the basis not only of separation of powers but also on the fiscal autonomy and the constitutional independence of the judiciary. Constitutionality of Sec. 1, EO 464 Section 1, in view of its specific reference to Sec. 22 of Art. VI and the absence of any reference to inquiries in aid of legislation, must be construed as limited in its application to appearances of department heads in the question hour contemplated in the provision of said Sec. 22, Art. VI xxx The requirement then to secure presidential consent under Section 1, limited as it is only to appearances in the question hour, is valid on its face. For under Sec. 22, Art. VI, the appearance of department heads in the question hour is discretionary on their part. Section 1 cannot, however, be applied to appearances of department heads in inquiries in aid of legislation. Congress is not bound in such instances to respect the refusal of the department head to appear in such inquiry, unless a valid claim of privilege is subsequently made, either by the President herself or by the Executive Secretary. Validity of Sec. 2 and 3, EO 464 En passant, the Court notes that Section 2(b) of EO 464 virtually states that executive privilege actually covers persons. Such is a misuse of the doctrine. Executive privilege...is properly invoked in relation to specific categories of

The principle of executive privilege

information and not to categories of persons. The claim of executive privilege must be accompanied by specific allegation of basis thereof Certainly, Congress has the right to know why the executive considers the requested information privileged. It does not suffice to merely declare that the President, or an authorized head of office, has determined that it is so, and that the President has not overturned that determination. Such declaration leaves Congress in the dark on how the requested information could be classified as privileged. That the message is couched in terms that, on first impression, do not seem like a claim of privilege only makes it more pernicious. It threatens to make Congress doubly blind to the question of why the executive branch is not providing it with the information that it has requested. A claim of privilege, being a claim of exemption from an obligation to disclose information, must, therefore, be clearly asserted xxx Absent then a statement of the specific basis of a claim of executive privilege, there is no way of determining whether it falls under one of the traditional privileges, or whether, given the circumstances in which it is made, it should be respected xxx Upon the other hand, Congress must not require the executive to state the reasons for the claim with such particularity as to compel disclosure of the information which the privilege is meant to protect. A useful analogy in determining the requisite degree of particularity would be the privilege against self-incrimination xxx The claim of privilege under Sec. 3, EO 464 in relation to Sec. 2(b) is thus invalid per se. It is not asserted. It is merely implied. Instead of providing precise and certain reasons for the claim, it merely invokes EO 464, coupled with an announcement that the President has not given her consent. It is woefully insufficient for Congress to determine whether the withholding of information is justified under the circumstances of each case. It severely frustrates the power of inquiry of Congress. In fine, Section 3 and Section 2(b) of EO 464 must be invalidated. EO 464 unlawfully delegated authority to the heads of offices in Sec. 2(b) to determine certain information as privileged Section 2(b) in relation to Section 3 virtually provides that, once the head of office determines that a certain information is privileged, such determination is presumed to bear the President s authority and has the effect of prohibiting the official from appearing before Congress, subject only to the express pronouncement of the President that it is allowing the appearance of such official. These provisions thus allow the

President to authorize claims of privilege by mere silence. Such presumptive authorization, however, is contrary to the exception nature of the privilege. Executive privilege...is recognized with respect to information the confidential nature of which is crucial to the fulfillment of the unique role and responsibilities of the executive branch, or in those instances where exemption from disclosure is necessary to the discharge of highly important executive responsibilities. The doctrine of executive privilege is thus premised on the fact that certain informations (sic) 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. In light of this highly exceptional nature of the privilege, the Court finds it essential to limit to the President the power to invoke the privilege. She may of course authorize the Executive Secretary to invoke the privilege on her behalf, in which case the Executive Secretary must state that the authority is By order of the President, which means that he personally consulted with her. The privilege being an extraordinary power, it must be wielded only by the highest official in the executive hierarchy. In other words, the President may not authorize her subordinates to exercise such power. How executive privilege should be applied in the case of an official xxx when an official is being summoned by Congress on a matter which, in his own judgment, might be covered by executive privilege, he must be afforded reasonable time to inform the President or the Executive Secretary of the possible need for invoking the privilege. This is necessary in order to provide the President or the Executive Secretary with fair opportunity to consider whether the matter indeed calls for a claim of executive privilege. If, afer the lapse of that reasonable time, neither the President nor the Executive Secretary invokes the privilege, Congress is no longer bound to respect the failure of the official to appear before Congress and may then opt to avail of the necessary legal means to compel his appearance. Right to Information There are, it bears noting, clear distinctions between the right of Congress to information which underlies the power of inquiry and the right of the people to information on matters of public concern. For one, the demand of a citizen for the production of documents pursuant to his right to information does not have the same obligatory force as a subpoena duces tecum issued by Congress. Neither does the right to information grant a citizen the power to exact testimony from government officials. These powers belong only to Congress and not to an individual citizen.

Thus, while Congress is composed of representatives elected by the people, it does not follow, except in a highly qualified sense, that in every exercise of its power of inquiry, the people are exercising their right to information. To the extent that investigations in aid of legislation are generally conducted in public, however, any executive assistance tending to unduly limit disclosures of information in such investigations necessarily deprives the people of information which, being presumed to be in aid of legislation, is presumed to be a matter of public concern. The citizens are thereby denied access to information which they can use in formulating their own opinions on the matter before Congress opinions which they can then communicate to their representatives and other governmental officials through various legal means allowed by their freedom of expression xxx The impairment of the right of the people to information as a consequence of EO 464 is, therefore, in the sense explained above, just as direct as its violation of the legislature s power of inquiry. Implementation of EO 464 prior to its publication While EO 464 applies only to officials of the executive branch, it does not follow that the same is exempt from the need for publication. On the need for publishing even those statutes that do not directly apply to people in genera, Tanada v. Tuvera states: The term laws should refer to all laws and not only to those of general application, for strictly speaking all laws relate to the people in general albeit there are some that do not apply to them directly. An example is a law granting citizenship to a particular individual, like a relative of President Marcos who was decreed instant naturalization. It surely cannot be said that such a law does not affect the public although it unquestionably does not apply directly to all the people. The subject of the law is a matter of public interest which any member of the body politic may question in the political forums or, if he is a proper party, even in courts of justice. Although the above statement was made in reference to statutes, logic dictates that the challenged order must be covered by the publication requirement. As explained above, EO 464 has a direct effect on the right of the people to information on matters of public concern. It is, therefore, a matter of public interest which members of the body politic may question before this Court. Due process thus requires that the people should have been apprised of this issuance before it was implemented. Francisco Vs. House Of Representatives [415 SCRA 44; G.R. No. 160261; 10 Nov 2003] Facts: Impeachment proceedings were filed against Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide. The justiciable controversy poised in front of the Court was the constitutionality of the

subsequent filing of a second complaint to controvert the rules of impeachment provided for by law.

Issue: Whether or Not the filing of the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. with the House of Representatives falls within the one year bar provided in the Constitution and whether the resolution thereof is a political question has resulted in a political crisis. Held: In any event, it is with the absolute certainty that our Constitution is sufficient to address all the issues which this controversy spawns that this Court unequivocally pronounces, at the first instance, that the feared resort to extraconstitutional methods of resolving it is neither necessary nor legally permissible. Both its resolution and protection of the public interest lie in adherence to, not departure from, the Constitution.

In passing over the complex issues arising from the controversy, this Court is ever mindful of the essential truth that the inviolate doctrine of separation of powers among the legislative, executive or judicial branches of government by no means prescribes for absolute autonomy in the discharge by each of that part of the governmental power assigned to it by the sovereign people.

At the same time, the corollary doctrine of checks and balances which has been carefully calibrated by the Constitution to temper the official acts of each of these three branches must be given effect without destroying their indispensable co-equality. There exists no constitutional basis for the contention that the exercise of judicial review over impeachment proceedings would upset the system of checks and balances. Verily, the Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole and "one section is not to be allowed to defeat another." Both are integral components of the calibrated system of independence and interdependence that insures that no branch of government act beyond the powers assigned to it by the Constitution.

When suing as a citizen, the interest of the petitioner assailing the constitutionality of a statute must be direct and personal. He must be able to show, not only that the law or any government act is invalid, but also that he sustained or is in imminent danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of its enforcement, and not merely that he suffers thereby in some indefinite way. It must appear that the person complaining has been or is about to be denied some right or privilege to which he is lawfully entitled or that he is about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by reason of the statute or act complained of. In fine, when the proceeding involves the assertion of a public right, the mere fact that he is a citizen satisfies the requirement of personal interest.

impeachment complaint may not be filed against the same official within a one year period. In the case of a taxpayer, he is allowed to sue where there is a claim that public funds are illegally disbursed, or that public money is being deflected to any improper purpose, or that there is a wastage of public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law. Before he can invoke the power of judicial review, however, he must specifically prove that he has sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by taxation and that he would sustain a direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the questioned statute or contract. It is not sufficient that he has merely a general interest common to all members of the public.

The Court in the present petitions subjected to judicial scrutiny and resolved on the merits only the main issue of whether the impeachment proceedings initiated against the Chief Justice transgressed the constitutionally imposed one-year time bar rule. Beyond this, it did not go about assuming jurisdiction where it had none, nor indiscriminately turn justiciable issues out of decidedly political questions. Because it is not at all the business of this Court to assert judicial dominance over the other two great branches of the government.

At all events, courts are vested with discretion as to whether or not a taxpayer's suit should be entertained. This Court opts to grant standing to most of the petitioners, given their allegation that any impending transmittal to the Senate of the Articles of Impeachment and the ensuing trial of the Chief Justice will necessarily involve the expenditure of public funds.

As for a legislator, he is allowed to sue to question the validity of any official action which he claims infringes his prerogatives as a legislator. Indeed, a member of the House of Representatives has standing to maintain inviolate the prerogatives, powers and privileges vested by the Constitution in his office.

No one is above the law or the Constitution. This is a basic precept in any legal system which recognizes equality of all men before the law as essential to the law's moral authority and that of its agents to secure respect for and obedience to its commands. Perhaps, there is no other government branch or instrumentality that is most zealous in protecting that principle of legal equality other than the Supreme Court which has discerned its real meaning and ramifications through its application to numerous cases especially of the high-profile kind in the annals of jurisprudence. The Chief Justice is not above the law and neither is any other member of this Court. But just because he is the Chief Justice does not imply that he gets to have less in law than anybody else. The law is solicitous of every individual's rights irrespective of his station in life.

The framers of the Constitution also understood initiation in its ordinary meaning. Thus when a proposal reached the floor proposing that "A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary to initiate impeachment proceedings," this was met by a proposal to delete the line on the ground that the vote of the House does not initiate impeachment proceeding but rather the filing of a complaint does.

Thus, the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings which were approved by the House of Representatives on November 28, 2001 are unconstitutional. Consequently, the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr is barred under paragraph 5, section 3 of Article XI of the Constitution. Estrada vs. Desierto G.R. No. 146710-15, March 2, 2001 Estrada vs. Arroyo G.R. No. 146738, March 2, 2001 Facts: In the May 11, 1998 elections, petitioner Joseph Estrada was elected President while respondent Gloria MacapagalArroyo was elected Vice-President. From the beginning of his term, however, petitioner was plagued by problems that slowly eroded his popularity. On October 4, 2000, Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson, a longtime friend of the petitioner, accused the petitioner, his family and friends of receiving millions of pesos from jueteng lords. The expose immediately ignited reactions of rage. On November 13, 2000, House Speaker Villar transmitted the Articles of Impeachment signed by 115 representatives or more than 1/3 of all the members of the House of Representatives to the Senate. On November 20, 2000, the Senate formally opened the impeachment trial of the petitioner. On January 16, 2001, by a vote of 11-10, the senator-judges ruled against the opening of the second envelope which allegedly contained evidence showing that petitioner held P3.3 billion in a secret bank account under the name Jose Velarde. The ruling was met by a spontaneous

To the argument that only the House of Representatives as a body can initiate impeachment proceedings because Section 3 (1) says "The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment," This is a misreading of said provision and is contrary to the principle of reddendo singula singulis by equating "impeachment cases" with "impeachment proceeding."

Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing and referral or endorsement of the impeachment complaint to the House Committee on Justice or, by the filing by at least one-third of the members of the House of Representatives with the Secretary General of the House, the meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated, another

outburst of anger that hit the streets of the metropolis. Thereafter, the Armed Forces and the PNP withdrew their support to the Estrada government. Some Cabinet secretaries, undersecretaries, assistant secretaries and bureau chiefs resigned from their posts. On January 20, 2001, at about 12 noon, Chief Justice Davide administered the oath to respondent Arroyo as President of the Philippines. On the same day, petitioner issued a press statement that he was leaving Malacanang Palace for the sake of peace and in order to begin the healing process of the nation. It also appeared that on the same day, he signed a letter stating that he was transmitting a declaration that he was unable to exercise the powers and duties of his office and that by operation of law and the Constitution, the VicePresident shall be the Acting President. A copy of the letter was sent to Speaker Fuentebella and Senate President Pimentel on the same day. After his fall from the power, the petitioner s legal problems appeared in clusters. Several cases previously filed against him in the Office of the Ombudsman were set in motion.

containing his final statement, (1) he acknowledged the oathtaking of the respondent as President of the Republic, but with the reservation about its legality; (2) he emphasized he was leaving the Palace, the seat of the presidency, for the sake of peace and in order to begin the healing process of the nation. He did not say he was leaving the Palace due to any kind of inability and that he was going to reassume the presidency as soon as the disability disappears; (3) he expressed his gratitude to the people for the opportunity to serve them; (4) he assured that he will not shirk from any future challenge that may come ahead in the same service of the country; and (5) he called on his supporters to join him in the promotion of a constructive national spirit of reconciliation and solidarity. The Court also tackled the contention of the petitioner that he is merely temporarily unable to perform the powers and duties of the presidency, and hence is a President on leave. The inability claim is contained in the Jan. 20, 2001 letter of petitioner sent to Senate Pres. Pimentel and Speaker Fuentebella. Despite said letter, the House of Representatives passed a resolution supporting the assumption into office by Arroyo as President. The Senate also passed a resolution confirming the nomination of Guingona as Vice-President. Both houses of Congress have recognized respondent Arroyo as the President. Implicitly clear in that recognition is the premise that the inability of petitioner Estrada is no longer temporary. Congress has clearly rejected petitioner s claim of inability. The Court cannot pass upon petitioner s claim of inability to discharge the powers and duties of the presidency. The question is political in nature and addressed solely to Congress by constitutional fiat. It is a political issue which cannot be decided by the Court without transgressing the principle of separation of powers. CRUZ v. PARAS Facts: Being the principal cause in the decadence of morality and because of their other adverse effects on the community, the respondents passed Ordinance No. 84 which may be cited as the Prohibition and Closure Ordinance of Bocaue, Bulacan which says that operator of night clubs, cabarets or dance halls shall henceforth be issued permits/licenses to operate within the jurisdiction of the municipality and nolicense/permit shall be issued to any professional hostess, hospitality girls and professional dancer foremployment in any of the aforementioned establishments. The prohibition in the issuance oflicenses/permits to said persons and operators of said establishments shall include prohibition in therenewal thereof. Petitioners allege that their rights to due process and equal protection of the laws were violated as the licenses previously given to them was in effect withdrawn without judicial hearing. The lower court dismissed the cases of prohibition with preliminary injuction and upheld the constitutionality of the Ordinance in question. Hence, the petition for certiorari by way of appeal.

Issues: (1) Whether or not the petitioner resigned as President (2) Whether or not the petitioner is only temporarily unable to act as President

Held: Petitioner denies he resigned as President or that he suffers from a permanent disability. Resignation is a factual question. In order to have a valid resignation, there must be an intent to resign and the intent must be coupled by acts of relinquishment. The validity of a resignation is not governed by any formal requirement as to form. It can be oral. It can be written. It can be express. It can be implied. As long as the resignation is clear, it must be given legal effect. In the cases at bar, the facts show that petitioner did not write any formal letter of resignation before leaving Malacanang Palace. Consequently, whether or not petitioner resigned has to be determined from his acts and omissions before, during and after Jan. 20, 2001 or by the totality of prior, contemporaneous and posterior facts and circumstantial evidence bearing a material relevance on the issue. The Court had an authoritative window on the state of mind of the petitioner provided by the diary of Executive Sec. Angara serialized in the Phil. Daily Inquirer. During the first stage of negotiation between Estrada and the opposition, the topic was already about a peaceful and orderly transfer of power. The resignation of the petitioner was implied. During the second round of negotiation, the resignation of the petitioner was again treated as a given fact. The only unsettled points at that time were the measures to be undertaken by the parties during and after the transition period. The Court held that the resignation of the petitioner cannot be doubted. It was confirmed by his leaving Malacanang. In the press release

Issue: Whether or not a municipal corporation, Bocaue, Bulacan, represented by respondents, can prohibit the exercise of a lawful trade, the operation of night clubs, and the pursuit of a lawful occupation Held:No Ratio: Police power is granted to municipal corporations in general terms as follows: "General power of council to enact ordinances and make regulations. - The municipal council shall enact such ordinances and make suchre gula tions, not repugnant to law, as may be necessary to carry into effect anddischarge the powers and duties conferred upon it by law and such as shall seem necessary and properto provide for the health and safety, promote the prosperity, improve the morals, peace, good order,comfort, and convenience of the municipality and the inhabitants thereof, and for the protection of property therein." It is a general rule that ordinances passed by virtue of the implied power found in the generalwelfare clause must be reasonable, consonant with the general powers and purposes of the corporation,and not inconsistent with the laws or policy of the State. If night clubs were merely then regulated and notprohibited, certainly the assailed ordinance would pass the test of validity. The case is different from Ermita Malate Hotel & Motel Operators v. City Mayor because whatwas involved is a measure not embraced within the regulatory power but an exercise of an assumedpower to prohibit. The writ of certiorari is granted and the decision of the lower court reversed, set aside, andnullified. Ordinance No. 84, Series of 1975 of the Municipality of Bocaue is declared void and unconstitutional. Pascual vs Secretary of Public Works and Communications FACTS Pascual, in his official capacity as the Provincial Governor of Rizal, petitioned for a writ of certiorari against the dismissal of the case and dissolving of the preliminary injunction held by the Court of the First Instance. Petitioner prayed for that RA #920 be declared null and void, that the alleged Deed of Donation made by Zulueta be declared unconstitutional. Petitioner also prayed for an injunction enjoining Secretary of Public Works and Communications, Director of Public Works and Highways and the disbursing officers of the latter department from making and securing any further release of funds for the said road project. RA# 920 contained an item appropriating P85,000.00 which the petitioner alleged that it was for the construction of roads improving the private property of Jose Zuleta, a member of the Senate.

ISSUES 1. Whether or not RA # 920 is unconstitutional. 2. Whether or not Pascual has the legal capacity or to sue.

HELD 1. RA #920 is unconstitutional because the Congress is without power to appropriate public revenue for anything but public purpose. 2. Pascual has the personality to sue as a taxpayer recognizing the right of the taxpayer to assail the constitutionality of a legislation appropriating public funds. Alvarez vs Guingona Date: January 31, 1996 Petitioners: Sen. Heherson Alvarez, Sen. Jose Lina, Mr. Nicasio Bautista, et al Respondents: Hon. Teofisto Guingona, Hon. Rafael Alunan, Hon. Salvador Enriquez, et al Ponente: Hermosisima Facts:This concerns the validity of RA 7330 converting the municipality of Santiago Isabela into an independent component city to be known as the city of Santiago. The law was challenged mainly because the act did not allegedly originate exclusively in the House of Representatives as mandated by Section 24, Article VI of the 1987 Consitution. Also, petitioner claims that the Municipality of Santiago has not met the minimum average annual income required under Section 450 of the LGC in order to be converted into a component city. Apparently, RA 7330 originated from HB 8817 which was filed on April 18, 1993. After the third reading, the bill was transmitted to the Senate on January 18, 1994. Meanwhile, a counterpart bill SB 1243 was filed on May 19, 1993. On February 23, 1994, HB 8817 was transmitted to the senate. The committee recommended that HB 8817 be approved without amendment, taking into consideration that the house bill was identical to the senate bill. Issue:WON the IRAs are to be included in the computation of the average annual income of a municipality for the purposes of its conversion into an independent component city Held: Yes Ratio:Petitioners claim that Santiago could not qualify into a component city because its average annual income for the last two (2) consecutive years based on 1991 constant prices

falls below the required annual income of P20,000,000 for its conversion into a city. After deducting the IRA, ti appears that theaverage annual income arrived at would only be P13,109,560.47 based on the 1991 constant prices. Petitioners asseverate that the IRAs are not actually income but transfers and/or budgetary aid from the national government and that they fluctuate, increase or decrease, depending on factors like population, land and equal sharing. Petitioners asseverations are untenable because Internal Revenue Allotments form part of the income of Local Government Units. It is true that for a municipality to be converted into a component city, it must, among others, have an average annual income of at least Twenty Million Pesos for the last two (2) consecutive years based on 1991 constant prices. Such income must be duly certified by the Department of Finance. A Local Government Unit is a political subdivision of the State which is constituted by law and possessed of substantial control over its own affairs. Remaining to be an intra sovereign subdivision of one sovereign nation, but not intended, however, to be an imperium in imperio, the local government unit is autonomous in the sense that it is given more powers, authority, responsibilities and resources. The practical side to development through a decentralized local government system certainly concerns the matter of financial resources. With its broadened powers and increased responsibilities, a local government unit must now operate on a much wider scale. More extensive operations, in turn, entail more expenses. Understandably, the vesting of duty, responsibility and accountability in every local government unit is accompanied with a provision for reasonably adequate resources to discharge its powers and effectively carry out its functions. Availment of such resources is effectuated through the vesting in every local government unit of (1) the right to create and broaden its own source of revenue; (2) the right to be allocated a just share in national taxes, such share being in the form of internal revenue allotments (IRAs); and (3) the right to be given its equitable share in the proceeds of the utilization and development of the national wealth, if any, within its territorial boundaries. Tolentino vs. Secretary of Finance G.R. No. 115455, 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. RA 7716 seeks to widen the tax base of the existing VAT system and enhance its administration by amending the National Internal Revenue Code. There are various suits challenging the constitutionality of RA 7716 on various grounds. One contention is that RA 7716 did not originate exclusively in the House of Representatives as required by Art. VI, Sec. 24 of the Constitution, because it is in fact the result of the consolidation of 2 distinct bills, H. No. 11197 and S. No. 1630. There is also a contention that S. No. 1630 did not pass 3 readings as required by the Constitution.

Issue: Whether or not RA 7716 violates Art. VI, Secs. 24 and 26(2) of the Constitution

Held: The argument that RA 7716 did not originate exclusively in the House of Representatives as required by Art. VI, Sec. 24 of the Constitution will not bear analysis. To begin with, it is not the law but the revenue bill which is required by the Constitution to originate exclusively in the House of Representatives. To insist that a revenue statute and not only the bill which initiated the legislative process culminating in the enactment of the law must substantially be the same as the House bill would be to deny the Senate s power not only to concur with amendments but also to propose amendments. Indeed, what the Constitution simply means is that the initiative for filing revenue, tariff or tax bills, bills authorizing an increase of the public debt, private bills and bills of local application must come from the House of Representatives on the theory that, elected as they are from the districts, the members of the House can be expected to be more sensitive to the local needs and problems. Nor does the Constitution prohibit the filing in the Senate of a substitute bill in anticipation of its receipt of the bill from the House, so long as action by the Senate as a body is withheld pending receipt of the House bill. The next argument of the petitioners was that S. No. 1630 did not pass 3 readings on separate days as required by the Constitution because the second and third readings were done on the same day. But this was because the President had certified S. No. 1630 as urgent. The presidential certification dispensed with the requirement not only of printing but also that of reading the bill on separate days. That upon the certification of a bill by the President the requirement of 3 readings on separate days and of printing and distribution can be dispensed with is supported by the weight of legislative practice. Aglipay v. Ruiz GR 45459, 13 March 1937 (64 Phil 201) First Division, Laurel (p): 5 concur. Facts: In May 1936, the Director of Posts announced in the dailies of Manila that he would order the issuance of postage

stamps commemorating the celebration in the City of Manila of the 33rd International Eucharistic Congress, organized by the Roman Catholic Church. The petitioner, Mons. Gregorio Aglipay, Supreme Head of the Philippine Independent Church, in the fulfillment of what he considers to be a civic duty, requested Vicente Sotto, Esq., member of the Philippine Bar, to denounce the matter to the President of the Philippines. In spite of the protest of the petitioner s attorney, the Director of Posts publicly announced having sent to the United States the designs of the postage for printing. The said stamps were actually issued and sold though the greater part thereof remained unsold. The further sale of the stamps was sought to be prevented by the petitioner. Issue: Whether the issuance of the postage stamps was in violation of the Constitution. Held: Religious freedom as a constitutional mandate is not inhibition of profound reverence for religion and is not a denial of its influence in human affairs. Religion as a profession of faith to an active power that binds and elevates man to his Creator is recognized. And, in so far as it instills into the minds the purest principles of morality, its influence is deeply felt and highly appreciated. When the Filipino people, in the preamble of their Constitution, implored the aid of Divine Providence, in order to establish a government that shall embody their ideals, conserve and develop the patrimony of the nation, promote the general welfare, and secure to themselves and their posterity the blessings of independence under a regime of justice, liberty and democracy, they thereby manifested their intense religious nature and placed unfaltering reliance upon Him who guides the destinies of men and nations. The elevating influence of religion in human society is recognized here as elsewhere. Act 4052 contemplates no religious purpose in view. What it gives the Director of Posts is the discretionary power to determine when the issuance of special postage stamps would be advantageous to the Government. Of course, the phrase advantageous to the Government does not authorize the violation of the Constitution; i.e. to appropriate, use or apply of public money or property for the use, benefit or support of a particular sect or church. In the case at bar, the issuance of the postage stamps was not inspired by any sectarian feeling to favor a particular church or religious denominations. The stamps were not issued and sold for the benefit of the Roman Catholic Church, nor were money derived from the sale of the stamps given to that church. The purpose of the issuing of the stamps was to take advantage of an event considered of international importance to give publicity to the Philippines and its people and attract more tourists to the country. Thus, instead of showing a Catholic chalice, the stamp contained a map of the Philippines, the location of the City of Manila, and an inscription that reads Seat XXXIII International Eucharistic Congress, Feb. 3-7, 1937. The Supreme Court denied the petition for a writ of prohibition, without pronouncement as to costs.

PJA vs PRado Philippines; Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, the Commission on Elections;former Presidents of the Philippines; the National Census and Statistics Office; and the general publicin the filing of complaints against public offices and officers.10 The respondents counter that there is no discrimination because the law is based on a valid classification in accordance with the equal protection clause. In fact, the franking privilege has been withdrawn not only from the Judiciary but also the Office of Adult Education, the Institute of National Language; the Telecommunications Office; the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation; the National Historical Commission; the Armed Forces of the Philippines; the Armed Forces of the Philippines Ladies Steering Committee; the City and Provincial Prosecutors; the Tanodbayan (Office of Special Prosecutor); the Kabataang Barangay; the Commission on the Filipino Language; the Provincial and City Assessors; and the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons.11 The equal protection of the laws is embraced in the concept of due process, as every unfair discrimination offends the requirements of justice and fair play. It has nonetheless been embodied in a separate clause in Article III Sec. 1., of the Constitution to provide for a more, specific guaranty against any form of undue favoritism or hostility from the government. Arbitrariness in general may be challenged on the basis of the due process clause. But if the particular act assailed partakes of an unwarranted partiality or prejudice, the sharper weapon to cut it down is the equal protection clause. According to a long line of decisions, equal protection simply requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed,12 Similar subjects, in other words, should not be treated differently, so as to give undue favor to some and unjustly discriminate against others. The equal protection clause does not require the universal application of the laws on all persons or things without distinction. This might in fact sometimes result in unequal protection, as where, for example, a law prohibiting mature books to all persons, regardless of age, would benefit the morals of the youth but violate the liberty of adults. What the clause requires is equality among equals as determined according to a valid classification. By classification is meant the grouping of persons or things similar to each other in certain particulars and different from all others in these same particulars.13 What is the reason for the grant of the franking privilege in the first place? Is the franking privilege extended to the President of the Philippines or the

Commission on Elections or to former Presidents of the Philippines purely as acourtesy from the lawmaking body? Is it offered because of the importanceor status of the grantee or because of its need for the privilege? Or have the grantees been chosen pell-mell, as it were, without any basis at all for the selection? We reject outright the last conjecture as there is no doubt that the statute as a whole was carefully deliberated upon, by the political departments before it was finally enacted. There is reason to suspect, however, that not enough care or attention was given to its repealing clause, resulting in the unwitting withdrawal of the franking privilege from the Judiciary. We also do not believe that the basis of the classification was mere courtesy, for it is unimaginable that the political departments would have intended this serious slight to the Judiciary as the third of the major and equal departments the government. The same observations are made if the importance or status of the grantee was the criterion used for the extension of the franking privilege, which is enjoyed by the National Census and Statistics Office and even some private individuals but not the courts of justice. In our view, the only acceptable reason for the grant of the franking privilege was the perceivedneed of the grantee for the accommodation, which would justify a waiver of substantial revenue by the Corporation in the interest of providing for a smoother flow of communication between the government and the people. Assuming that basis, we cannot understand why, of all the departments of the government, it is the Judiciary, that has been denied the franking privilege. There is no question that if there is any major branch of the government that needs the privilege, it is the Judicial Department, as the respondents themselves point out. Curiously, the respondents would justify the distinction on the basis precisely of this need and, on this basis, deny the Judiciary the franking privilege while extending it to others less deserving. In their Comment, the respondents point out that available data from the Postal Service Office show that from January 1988 to June 1992, the total volume of frank mails amounted to P90,424,175.00. Of this amount, frank mails from the Judiciary and other agencies whose functions include the service of judicial processes, such as the intervenor, the Department of Justice and the Office of the Ombudsman, amounted to P86,481,759. Frank mails coming fromthe Judiciary amounted to P73,574,864.00, and those coming from the petitioners reached the total amount of P60,991,431.00. The respondents' conclusion is that because of this

considerable volume of mail from the Judiciary, the franking privilege must be withdrawn from it. The argument is self-defeating. The respondents are in effect saying that the franking privilege should be extended only to those who do not need it very much, if at all, (like the widows of former Presidents) but not to those who need it badly (especially the courts of justice). It is like saying that a person may be allowed cosmetic surgery although it is not really necessary but not an operation that can save his life. If the problem of the respondents is the loss of revenues from the franking privilege, the remedy, it seems to us, is to withdraw it altogether froma ll agencies of government, including those who do not need it. The problem is not solved by retaining it for some and withdrawing it from others, especially where there is no substantial distinction between those favored, which may or may not need it at all, and the Judiciary, which definitely needs it. The problem is not solved by violating the Constitution. In lumping the Judiciary with the other offices from which the franking privilege has been withdrawn, Section 35 has placed the courts of justice in a category to which it does not belong. If it recognizes the need of the President of the Philippines and the members of Congress for the franking privilege, there is no reason why it should not recognize a similar and in fact greater need on the part of the Judiciary for such privilege. While we may appreciate the withdrawal of the franking privilege from the Armed Forces of the Philippines Ladies Steering Committee, we fail to understand why the Supreme Court should be similarly treated as that Committee. And while we may concede the need of the National Census and Statistics Office for the franking privilege, we are intrigued that a similar if not greater need is not recognized in the courts of justice. (On second thought, there does not seem to be any justifiable need for withdrawing the privilege fromthe Armed Forces of the Philippines Ladies Steering Committee, which, like former Presidents of thePhilippines or their widows, does not send as much frank mail as the Judiciary.) It is worth observing that the Philippine Postal Corporation, as a government-controlled corporation, was created and is expected to operate for the purpose of promoting the public service. While it may have been established primarily for private gain, it cannot excuse itself from performing certain functions for the benefit of the public in exchange for the franchise extended to it by the government and the many advantages it enjoys under its charter.14 Among the services it should be prepared to extend is free carriage of mail for certain offices of the government that need the franking privilege in the discharge of their own public functions. We also note that under Section 9 of the law, the Corporation is capitalized at P10 billion pesos, 55%

of which is supplied by the Government, and that it derives substantial revenues from the sources enumerated in Section 10, on top of the exemptions it enjoys. It is not likely that the retention of the franking privilege of the Judiciary will cripple the Corporation. At this time when the Judiciary is being faulted for the delay in the administration of justice, the withdrawal from it of the franking privilege can only further deepen this serious problem. The volume of judicial mail, as emphasized by the respondents themselves, should stress the dependence of the courts of justice on the postal service for communicating with lawyers and litigants as part of the judicial process. The Judiciary has the lowest appropriation in the national budget compared to the Legislative and Executive Departments; of the P309 billion budgeted for 1993, only .84%, or less than 1%, is alloted for the judiciary. It should not be hard to imagine the increased difficulties of our courts if they have to affix a purchased stamp to every process they send in the discharge of their judicial functions. We are unable to agree with the respondents that Section 35 of R.A. No. 7354 represents a valid exercise of discretion by the Legislature under the police power. On the contrary, we find its repealing clause to be a discriminatory provision that denies the Judiciary the equal protection of the laws guaranteed for all persons or things similarly situated. The distinction made by the law is superficial. It is not based on substantial distinctions that make real differences between the Judiciary and the grantees of the franking privilege. This is not a question of wisdom or power into which the Judiciary may not intrude. It is a matter of arbitrariness that this Court has the duty and power to correct. IV In sum, we sustain R.A. No. 7354 against the attack that its subject is not expressed in its title and that it was not passed in accordance with the prescribed procedure. However, we annul Section 35 of the law as violative of Article 3, Sec. 1, of the Constitution providing that no person shall "be deprived of the equal protection of laws." We arrive at these conclusions with a full awareness of the criticism it is certain to provoke. While ruling against the discrimination in this case, we may ourselves be accused of similar discrimination through the exercise of our ultimate power in our own favor. This is inevitable. Criticism of judicial conduct, however undeserved, is a fact of life in the political system that we are prepared to accept.. As judges, we cannot debate with our detractors. We can only decide the cases before us as law imposes on us the duty to be fair and our own conscience gives us the light to be right. ACCORDINGLY, the petition is partially GRANTED and Section 35 of R.A. No. 7354 is declared

UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Circular No. 92-28 is SET ASIDE insofar as it withdraws the franking privilege from the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Regional trail Courts, the Municipal trial Courts, and the National Land Registration Authority and its Register of Deeds to all of which offices the said privilege shall be RESTORED. The temporary restraining order dated June 2, 1992, is made permanent. SO ORDERED. YMCA v. Collector of Internal Revenue [GR 7988, 19 January 1916] First division, Moreland (J): 4 concur Facts: The Young Men s Christian Association came to the Philippines with the army of occupation in 1898. The association is nonsectarian, it is preeminently religious; and the fundamental basis and groundwork is the Christian religion. All of the officials of the association are devoted Christians, members of a church, and have dedicated their lives to the spread of the Christian principles and the building of Christian character. Its building is located in Calle Concepcion, Ermita, which was formally dedicated on 20 October 1909. The building is composed of three parts. The main structure is three stories high and includes a reception hall, social hall and game rooms, lecture room, library, reading room and rooming apartments. The small building lying to the left of the principal structure is the kitchen and servants quarters. The bowling alleys, swimming pool, locker rooms and gymnasium-auditorium are located at the large wing to the right (athletic building). The association claimed exemption from taxation on ground that it is a religious, charitable and educational institution combined, under Section 48 of the Charter of the City of Manila. The city of Manila, contending that the property is taxable, assessed it and levied a tax thereon. It was paid under protest and this action begun to recover it on the ground that the property was exempt from taxation under the charter of the city of Manila. The decision was made in favor of the city, and the association appealed. Issue: Whether the institution must be devoted exclusive for religious purposes, or exclusively for charitable purposes, or exclusively to educational purposes, to be entitled to tax exemption. Held: It may be admitted that there are 64 persons occupying rooms in the main building as lodgers or roomers and that they take their meals at the restaurant below. These facts, however, are far from constituting a business in the ordinary acceptation of the word; as there is no profit realized by the association in any sense; and that the purpose of the association is not, primarily, to obtain the money which comes from the lodgers and boarders. The real purpose is to keep the membership continually within the sphere of influence of the institution; and thereby to prevent, as far as possible, the opportunities which vice presents to young men in foreign countries who lack home or other similar influences. There is no doubt about the correctness of the contention that an institution must devote itself exclusively to one or the other of

the purposes mentioned in the statute before it can be exempt from taxation; but the statute does not say that it must be devoted exclusively to any one of the purposes therein mentioned. It may be a combination of two or three or more of those purposes and still be entitled to exemption. The YMCA cannot be said to be an institution used exclusively for religious purposes, or exclusively for charitable purposes, or exclusively to educational purposes; but the Court believed that it is an institution used exclusively for all three purposes. As such, it is entitled to be exempted from taxation.

ANUAR J. ABUBAKAR v HRET and NUR G. JAAFAR, G.R. No. 173609 March 7, 2007 Facts: In the May 10, 2004 elections, Abubakar and Jaafar were among the candidates for Representative in the Lone District of Tawi-Tawi Province. On May 22, 2004, Abubakar was proclaimed winner garnering 37,720 votes against Jaafar s 35, 680 votes; thus, winning by a margin of 2,040 votes. On June 1, 2004, Jaafar filed an election protest with the HRET impugning the election results in ten municipalities of TawiTawi Province. Jaafar alleged that fraudulent and illegal acts were employed by Abubakar, his supporters, the Board of Election Inspectors and some military personnel by preventing his (Jaafar s) supporters from voting through the use of force, violence, intimidation, deceit, fraud, misrepresentation and other machinations such as asking the voters to simply affix their thumbprints on sheets of paper without giving them any ballot, and massive substitute voting and substitution of ballots with ready-made ballots in the name of Abubakar. HRET, however, dismissed the protest for lack of merit.