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G.R. No. L-52245 January 22, 1980 office to which he seeks to be elected Section 6.

Election and Campaign


shall not be qualified to run for the Period The election period shall be
same elective local office from which fixed by the Commission on Elections in
PATRICIO DUMLAO, ROMEO B. IGOT, and ALFREDO
he has retired (Emphasis supplied) accordance with Section 6, Art. XII-C of
SALAPANTAN, JR., petitioners,
the Constitution. The period of
vs.
campaign shall commence on December
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent. Petitioner Dumlao alleges that the aforecited provision is
29, 1979 and terminate on January 28,
directed insidiously against him, and that the classification
1980. (ibid.)
provided therein is based on "purely arbitrary grounds and,
Raul M. Gonzales for petitioners
therefore, class legislation."
In addition to the above-cited provisions, petitioners Igot
Office of the Solicitor General for respondent. and Salapantan, Jr. also question the accreditation of some
For their part, petitioners igot and Salapantan, Jr. assail
political parties by respondent COMELEC, as authorized by
the validity of the following statutory provisions:
Batas Pambansa Blg. 53, on the ground that it is contrary to
section 9(1)Art. XIIC of the Constitution, which provides
Sec 7. Terms of Office Unless sooner that a "bona fide candidate for any public office shall be it.
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J: removed for cause, all local elective from any form of harassment and discrimination. "The
officials hereinabove mentioned shall question of accreditation will not be taken up in this case
hold office for a term of six (6) years, but in that of Bacalso, et als. vs. COMELEC et als. No. L-
This is a Petition for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction
which shall commence on the first 52232) where the issue has been squarely raised,
and/or Restraining Order filed by petitioners, in their own
Monday of March 1980.
behalf and all others allegedly similarly situated, seeking to
enjoin respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Petitioners then pray that the statutory provisions they
from implementing certain provisions of Batas Pambansa .... (Batas Pambansa Blg. 51) Sec. 4. have challenged be declared null and void for being
Big. 51, 52, and 53 for being unconstitutional. violative of the Constitution.
Sec. 4. ...
The Petition alleges that petitioner, Patricio Dumlao, is a I . The procedural Aspect
former Governor of Nueva Vizcaya, who has filed his
Any person who has committed any act
certificate of candidacy for said position of Governor in the
of disloyalty to the State, including At the outset, it should be stated that this Petition suffers
forthcoming elections of January 30, 1980. Petitioner,
acts amounting to subversion, from basic procedural infirmities, hence, traditionally
Romeo B. Igot, is a taxpayer, a qualified voter and a
insurrection, rebellion or other similar unacceptable for judicial resolution. For one, there is a
member of the Bar who, as such, has taken his oath to
crimes, shall not be qualified to be a misjoinder of parties and actions. Petitioner Dumlao's
support the Constitution and obey the laws of the land.
candidate for any of the offices interest is alien to that of petitioners Igot and Salapantan
Petitioner, Alfredo Salapantan, Jr., is also a taxpayer, a
covered by this Act, or to participate in Petitioner Dumlao does not join petitioners Igot and
qualified voter, and a resident of San Miguel, Iloilo.
any partisan political activity therein: Salapantan in the burden of their complaint, nor do the
latter join Dumlao in his. The respectively contest
Petitioner Dumlao specifically questions the completely different statutory provisions. Petitioner
provided that a judgment of conviction
constitutionality of section 4 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 52 as Dumlao has joined this suit in his individual capacity as a
for any of the aforementioned crimes
discriminatory and contrary to the equal protection and candidate. The action of petitioners Igot and Salapantan is
shall be conclusive evidence of such
due process guarantees of the Constitution. Said Section 4 more in the nature of a taxpayer's suit. Although
fact and
provides: petitioners plead nine constraints as the reason of their
joint Petition, it would have required only a modicum more
the filing of charges for the of effort tor petitioner Dumlao, on one hand said
Sec. 4. Special Disqualification in
commission of such crimes before a petitioners lgot and Salapantan, on the other, to have filed
addition to violation of section 10 of
civil court or military tribunal after separate suits, in the interest of orderly procedure.
Art. XI I-C of the Constitution and
preliminary investigation shall be
disqualification mentioned in existing
prima fascie evidence of such fact.
laws, which are hereby declared as For another, there are standards that have to be followed
disqualification for any of the elective inthe exercise of the function of judicial review, namely (1)
officials enumerated in section 1 ... (Batas Pambansa Big. 52) the existence of an appropriate case:, (2) an interest
hereof. (Paragraphing and Emphasis supplied). personal and substantial by the party raising the
constitutional question: (3) the plea that the function be
exercised at the earliest opportunity and (4) the necessity
Any retired elective provincial city or Section 1. Election of certain Local
that the constiutional question be passed upon in order to
municipal official who has received Officials ... The election shall be
decide the case (People vs. Vera 65 Phil. 56 [1937]).
payment of the retirement benefits to held on January 30, 1980. (Batas
which he is entitled under the law, and Pambansa, Blg. 52)
who shall have been 6,5 years of age at
the commencement of the term of
It may be conceded that the third requisite has been B. Proper party. moneys. (Philippine Constitution
complied with, which is, that the parties have raised the Association, Inc., et als., vs. Gimenez,
issue of constitutionality early enough in their pleadings. et als., 15 SCRA 479 [1965]).
The long-standing rule has been that "the person who
impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal and
This Petition, however, has fallen far short of the other substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, However, the statutory provisions questioned in this case,
three criteria. or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement" namely, sec. 7, BP Blg. 51, and sections 4, 1, and 6 BP Blg.
(People vs. Vera, supra). 52, do not directly involve the disbursement of public
funds. While, concededly, the elections to be held involve
A. Actual case and controversy.
the expenditure of public moneys, nowhere in their
In the case of petitioners Igot and Salapantan, it was only
Petition do said petitioners allege that their tax money is
during the hearing, not in their Petition, that Igot is said to
It is basic that the power of judicial review is limited to the "being extracted and spent in violation of specific
be a candidate for Councilor. Even then, it cannot be
determination of actual cases and controversies. constitutional protections against abuses of legislative
denied that neither one has been convicted nor charged
power" (Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S., 83 [1960]), or that there
with acts of disloyalty to the State, nor disqualified from
is a misapplication of such funds by respondent COMELEC
Petitioner Dumlao assails the constitutionality of the first being candidates for local elective positions. Neither one of
(see Pascual vs. Secretary of Public Works, 110 Phil. 331
paragraph of section 4 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 52, quoted them has been calle ed to have been adversely affected by
[1960]), or that public money is being deflected to any
earlier, as being contrary to the equal protection clause the operation of the statutory provisions they assail as
improper purpose. Neither do petitioners seek to restrain
guaranteed by the Constitution, and seeks to prohibit unconstitutional Theirs is a generated grievance. They have
respondent from wasting public funds through the
respondent COMELEC from implementing said provision. no personal nor substantial interest at stake. In the
enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law.
Yet, Dumlao has not been adversely affected by the absence of any litigate interest, they can claim no locus
(Philippine Constitution Association vs. Mathay, 18 SCRA
application of that provision. No petition seeking Dumlao's standi in seeking judicial redress.
300 [1966]), citing Philippine Constitution Association vs.
disqualification has been filed before the COMELEC. There
Gimenez, 15 SCRA 479 [1965]). Besides, the institution of a
is no ruling of that constitutional body on the matter,
It is true that petitioners Igot and Salapantan have taxpayer's suit, per se is no assurance of judicial review. As
which this Court is being asked to review on Certiorari. His
instituted this case as a taxpayer's suit, and that the rule held by this Court in Tan vs. Macapagal (43 SCRA 677
is a question posed in the abstract, a hypothetical issue,
enunciated in People vs. Vera, above stated, has been [1972]), speaking through our present Chief Justice, this
and in effect, a petition for an advisory opinion from this
relaxed in Pascual vs. The Secretary of Public Works (110 Court is vested with discretion as to whether or not a
Court to be rendered without the benefit of a detailed
Phil. 331 [1960], thus: taxpayer's suit should be entertained.
factual record Petitioner Dumlao's case is clearly within the
primary jurisdiction (see concurring Opinion of now Chief
Justice Fernando in Peralta vs. Comelec, 82 SCRA 30, 96 ... it is well settled that the validity of C. Unavoidability of constitutional question.
[1978]) of respondent COMELEC as provided for in section a statute may be contested only by one
2, Art. XII-C, for the Constitution the pertinent portion of who will sustain a direct injury in
Again upon the authority of People vs. Vera, "it is a
which reads: consequence of its enforcement. Yet,
wellsettled rule that the constitutionality of an act of the
there are many decisions nullifying at
legislature will not be determined by the courts unless that
the instance of taxpayers, laws
"Section 2. The Commission on Elections shall have the question is properly raised and presented in appropriate
providing for the disbursement of
following power and functions: cases and is necessary to a determination of the case; i.e.,
public funds, upon the theory that "the
the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota
expenditure of public funds, by an
presented."
1) xxx officer of the State for the purpose of
administering an unconstitutional act
constitutes a misapplication of such We have already stated that, by the standards set forth
2) Be the sole judge of all contests
funds," which may be enjoined at the in People vs. Vera, the present is not an "appropriate case"
relating to the elections, returns
request of a taxpayer. for either petitioner Dumlao or for petitioners Igot and
and qualifications of all members of
Salapantan. They are actually without cause of action. It
the National Assembly and elective
follows that the necessity for resolving the issue of
provincial and city officials. (Emphasis In the same vein, it has been held:
constitutionality is absent, and procedural regularity would
supplied)
require that this suit be dismissed.
In the determination of the degree of
The aforequoted provision must also be related to section interest essential to give the requisite
II. The substantive viewpoint.
11 of Art. XII-C, which provides: standing to attack the constitutionality
of a statute, the general rule is that
not only persons individually affected, We have resolved, however, to rule squarely on two of the
Section 11. Any decision, order, or
but also taxpayers have sufficient challenged provisions, the Courts not being entirely without
ruling of the Commission may be
interest in preventing the illegal discretion in the matter. Thus, adherence to the strict
brought to the Supreme Court on
expenditure of moneys raised by procedural standard was relaxed in Tinio vs. Mina (26 SCRA
certiorari by the aggrieved party within
taxation and they may, therefore, 512 [1968]); Edu vs. Ericta (35 SCRA 481 [1970]); and
thirty days from his receipt of a copy
question the constitutionality of in Gonzalez vs. Comelec (27 SCRA 835 [1969]), the Opinion
thereof.
statutes requiring expenditure of public in the Tinio and Gonzalez cases having been penned by our
present Chief Justice. The reasons which have impelled us result from the application of the challenged provision. in a clear case." (People vs. Vera, supra). We are
are the paramount public interest involved and the Just as that provision does not deny equal protection constrained to hold that this is one such clear case.
proximity of the elections which will be held only a few neither does it permit of such denial (see People vs. Vera,
days hence. 65 Phil. 56 [1933]). Persons similarly situated are sinlilarly
Explicit is the constitutional provision that, in all criminal
treated.
prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until
Petitioner Dumlao's contention that section 4 of BP Blg. 52 the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to be
is discriminatory against him personally is belied by the In fine, it bears reiteration that the equal protection clause heard by himself and counsel (Article IV, section 19, 1973
fact that several petitions for the disqualification of other does not forbid all legal classification. What is proscribes is Constitution). An accusation, according to the fundamental
candidates for local positions based on the challenged a classification which is arbitrary and unreasonable. That law, is not synonymous with guilt. The challenged proviso
provision have already been filed with the COMELEC (as constitutional guarantee is not violated by a reasonable contravenes the constitutional presumption of innocence,
listed in p. 15, respondent's Comment). This tellingly classification based upon substantial distinctions, where as a candidate is disqualified from running for public office
overthrows Dumlao's contention of intentional or the classification is germane to the purpose of the law and on the ground alone that charges have been filed against
purposeful discrimination. applies to all Chose belonging to the same class (Peralta vs. him before a civil or military tribunal. It condemns before
Comelec, 82 SCRA 30 [1978] citing Felwa vs. Salas, 18 SCRA one is fully heard. In ultimate effect, except as to the
606 [1966]; Rafael v. Embroidery and Apparel Control and degree of proof, no distinction is made between a person
The assertion that Section 4 of BP Blg. 52 is contrary to the
Inspection Board, 21 SCRA 336 [1967]; Inchong etc., et al. convicted of acts of dislotalty and one against whom
safer guard of equal protection is neither well taken. The
vs. Hernandez 101 Phil. 1155 [1957]). The purpose of the charges have been filed for such acts, as both of them
constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the laws is
law is to allow the emergence of younger blood in local would be ineligible to run for public office. A person
subject to rational classification. If the groupings are based
governments. The classification in question being pursuant disqualified to run for public office on the ground that
on reasonable and real differentiations, one class can be
to that purpose, it cannot be considered invalid "even it at charges have been filed against him is virtually placed in
treated and regulated differently from another class. For
times, it may be susceptible to the objection that it is the same category as a person already convicted of a crime
purposes of public service, employees 65 years of age, have
marred by theoretical inconsistencies" (Chief Justice with the penalty of arresto, which carries with it the
been validly classified differently from younger employees.
Fernando, The Constitution of the Philippines, 1977 ed., p. accessory penalty of suspension of the right to hold office
Employees attaining that age are subject to compulsory
547). during the term of the sentence (Art. 44, Revised Penal
retirement, while those of younger ages are not so
Code).
compulsorily retirable.
There is an additional consideration. Absent herein is a
showing of the clear invalidity of the questioned provision. And although the filing of charges is considered as
In respect of election to provincial, city, or municipal
Well accepted is the rule that to justify the nullification of but prima facie evidence, and therefore, may be rebutted,
positions, to require that candidates should not be more
a law, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the yet. there is "clear and present danger" that because of the
than 65 years of age at the time they assume office, if
Constitution, not a doubtful and equivocal breach. Courts proximity of the elections, time constraints will prevent
applicable to everyone, might or might not be a reasonable
are practically unanimous in the pronouncement that laws one charged with acts of disloyalty from offering contrary
classification although, as the Solicitor General has
shall not be declared invalid unless the conflict with the proof to overcome the prima facie evidence against him.
intimated, a good policy of the law would be to promote
Constitution is clear beyond reasonable doubt (Peralta vs.
the emergence of younger blood in our political elective
COMELEC, 82 SCRA 55 [1978], citing Cooper vs. Telfair 4
echelons. On the other hand, it might be that persons more Additionally, it is best that evidence pro and con of acts of
Dall 14; Dodd, Cases on Constitutional Law, 3rd ed. 1942,
than 65 years old may also be good elective local officials. disloyalty be aired before the Courts rather than before an
56). Lastly, it is within the compentence of the legislature
administrative body such as the COMELEC. A highly possible
to prescribe qualifications for one who desires to become a
conflict of findings between two government bodies, to the
Coming now to the case of retirees. Retirement from candidate for office provided they are reasonable, as in
extreme detriment of a person charged, will thereby be
government service may or may not be a reasonable this case.
avoided. Furthermore, a legislative/administrative
disqualification for elective local officials. For one thing,
determination of guilt should not be allowed to be
there can also be retirees from government service at ages,
In so far as the petition of Igot and Salapantan are substituted for a judicial determination.
say below 65. It may neither be reasonable to disqualify
concerned, the second paragraph of section 4 of Batas
retirees, aged 65, for a 65 year old retiree could be a good
Pambansa Blg. 52, quoted in full earlier, and which they
local official just like one, aged 65, who is not a retiree. Being infected with constitutional infirmity, a partial
challenge, may be divided in two parts. The first provides:
declaration of nullity of only that objectionable portion is
mandated. It is separable from the first portion of the
But, in the case of a 65-year old elective local official, who
a. judgment of conviction jor any of second paragraph of section 4 of Batas Pambansa Big. 52
has retired from a provincial, city or municipal office,
the aforementioned crimes shall be which can stand by itself.
there is reason to disqualify him from running for the same
conclusive evidence of such fact ...
office from which he had retired, as provided for in the
challenged provision. The need for new blood assumes WHEREFORE, 1) the first paragraph of section 4 of Batas
relevance. The tiredness of the retiree for government The supremacy of the Constitution stands out as the pambansa Bilang 52 is hereby declared valid. Said
work is present, and what is emphatically significant is that cardinal principle. We are aware of the presumption of paragraph reads:
the retired employee has already declared himself tired validity that attaches to a challenged statute, of the well-
and unavailable for the same government work, but, which, settled principle that "all reasonable doubts should be
SEC. 4. Special disqualification. In
by virtue of a change of mind, he would like to assume resolved in favor of constitutionality," and that Courts will
addition to violation of Section 10 of
again. It is for this very reason that inequality will neither not set aside a statute as constitutionally defective "except
Article XII(C) of the Constitution and
disqualifications mentioned in existing AQUINO, J, concurring: observance of the controlling doctrines. There are times,
laws which are hereby declared as however, when the controversy is of such a character that
disqualification for any of the elective to resolve doubts, erase uncertainty, and assure respect for
concur in the result as to paragraph I of the dispositive part
officials enumerated in Section 1 constitutional limitations, this Tribunal must pass on the
of the decision. I dissent as to paragraph 2. In my opinion,
hereof, any retired elective provincial, merits. This is one such case. I therefore concur with the
paragraph 2, section 4 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 52 is valid,
city or municipal official, who has opinion of the Court.
being similar to certain presumptions in Articles 217 and
received payment of the retirement
315 of the Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No.
benefits to which he is entitled under
4885. See U.S. v. Luling, 34 Phil. 725 and People v. Mingoa, It may be a task of superfluity then to write a concurring
the law and who shall have been 65
92 Phil. 856. opinion. Nonetheless, a few words may not be amiss on
years of age at the commencement of
what for me is the proper approach to take as to the lack
the term of office to which he seeks to
of power of this Court to pass on the motives of the
be elected, shall not be qualified to run ABAD SANTOS, J., concurring:
legislative body, on the lack of persuasiveness of
for the same elective local office from
petitioner's argument based on the equal protection
which he has retired.
concur but wish to add that a judgment of conviction as guarantee, and on the fundamental concept of fairness of
provided in Sec. 4, par. 2 of Batas Pambansa Big. 52 should which the due process clause is an embodiment, thus
2) That portion of the second paragraph be one which is final and unappealable. calling for the nullification of the disqualification of a
of section 4 of Batas Pambansa Bilang candidate upon the mere filing of charges against him.
52 providing that "... the filing of
FERNANDO, C.J., concurring.
charges for the commission of such
1. The challenge to the provision in question is predicated
crimes before a civil court or military
on what was referred to as "a known fact in the province of
tribunal after preliminary investigation It is particularly gratifying that the reiteration in the ably-
Nueva Vizcaya that the aforesaid provision was concocted
shall be prima facie evidence of such written and scholarly opinion of the Court, penned by
and designed precisely to frustrate any bid of herein
fact", is hereby declared null and void, Justice Melencio-Herrera, of the standard that must be met
petitioner to make a political come back [sic] as governor
for being violative of the constitutional before the power of judicial review may be availed of, set
of Nueva Vizcaya. The wordings [sic] of the law is so
presumption of innocence guaranteed forth with such lucidity and force by Justice Laurel in the
peculiarly attuned to discriminate against herein petitioner
to an accused. two leading cases of Angara v. Electoral
because every condition imposed as disqualification
Commission 1 and People v. Vera, 2 did not constitute an
grounds are known to be possessed by him because he was
obstacle to this Court ruling on the crucial constitutional
SO ORDERED. a former elective provincial official who has received his
issues raised. It was a cause for concern, for me at least,
retirement benefits, he desires to run for the same elective
that counsel of private parties in not a few cases in the
office and at the commencement of the term of office to
Makasiar, Antonio, Concepcion, Jr., Fernandez and recent past had shown less than full awareness of the
which he now seeks to be elected, he shall have reached 65
Guerrero, JJ., concur. doctrines, procedural in character, that call for application
years of age. 4 Clearly then, the plea for invalidating such
whenever the exercise of this awesome and delicate
provision is the motive attributed to the Interim Batasang
responsibility of adjudging the validity of a statute or
Fernando, C.J., concurs and submits a brief separate Pambansa. For petitioner, it amounted to a constitutional
presidential decree is invoked. 3 While this Court cannot be
opinion. infirmity fatal in character. The weakness of the petition is
accused of being bound by the letters of judicial timidity,
thus apparent. No decision of this Tribunal can be cited in
it remains true that no cavalier disregard of tried and
support of such a proposition. It would be to extend unduly
De Castro, J., abstain as far as petitioner Dumlao is tested concepts should be given encouragement. A
the concept of judicial review if a court can roam far and
concerned. petitioner who bases his claim for relief on asserted
wide and range at will over the variety and diversity of the
constitutional deficiencies deserves to be heard. That goes
reasons, the promptings that may lead a legislator to cast
without saying. For the judiciary must ever endeavor to
his vote for or against a proposed legislation. It is not what
vindicate rights safeguarded by the fundamental law. In
inspired the introduction of a bill but the effect thereof if
that sense, this Tribunal is not susceptible to the reproach
duly enacted that is decisive. That would be the test for its
that it has imprisoned itself in its allegiance to the
validity or lack of it. There is this relevant excerpt
philosophy of judicial self-restraint. There are, however,
from McCray v. United States: 5 "The decisions of this Court
limits to judicial activism. It cannot be too strongly
Separate Opinions [Supreme Court of the United States] from the beginning
stressed that a petition of this character must ever remain
lend no support whatever to the assumption that the
an orderly proceeding that cannot be oblivious of the
judiciary may restrain the exercise of lawful power on the
requisites to be complied with to justify a pronouncement
assumption that a wrongful purpose of motive has caused
on constitutional issues. Where there is exuberance in the
the power to be exerted. 6 The late Chief Justice Warren,
exercise of judicial power, the forms of litigation are but
BARREDO, J., concurring: who penned the opinion in United States v. O' Brien 7 put
slight retaining walls. It is right and proper that the voice
the matter thus: "Inquiries into congressional motives or
of the Solicitor General should be heard in protest against
purposes are a hazardous matter. When the issue is simply
But as regards the matter of equal protection, I reiterate such neglect of rudimentary precepts. Necessarily then,
the interpretation of legislation, the Court will look to
my view for Peralta that Sec. 9(1) Art. XI I is more whenever objections based on refusal to abide by the
statements by legislators for guidance as to the purpose of
expensive than the equal protection clause. procedural principles are presented, this Court must rule.
the legislature, because the benefit to sound decision-
It would suffice if thereby the petition is dismissed for non-
making in this circumstance is thought sufficient to risk the
possibility of misreading Congress' purpose. It is entirely a domain, that 'the legislature is not required by the received payment of the retirement benefits to which he is
different matter when we are asked to void a statute that Constitution to adhere to the policy of all "or none." ' Thus, entitled under the law and who shall have been 65 years of
is, under well-settled criteria, constitutional on its face, on to reiterate, the invocation by petitioner of the equal age at the commencement of the term of office to which
the basis of what fewer than a handful of Congressmen said protection clause is futile and unavailing ." 11 he seeks to be elected."
about it. What motivates one legislator to make a speech
about a statute is not necessarily what motivates scores of
3. That brings us to the assailed provision as to the To specially and peculiarly ban a 65-year old previously
others to enact it, and the stakes are sufficiently high for
sufficiency of the filing of charges for the commission of retired elective local official from running for
us to eschew guesswork. We decline to void essentially on
such crimes as subversion, insurrection, rebellion or others the same elective office (of governor, in this case)
the ground that it is unwise legislation which Congress had
of similar nature before a civil court or military tribunal previously held by him and from which he has retired is
the undoubted power to enact and which could be
after preliminary investigation, being a prima facie arbitrary, oppressive and unreasonable. Persons similarly
reenacted in its exact form if the same or another
evidence of such fact and therefore justifying the situated are not similarly treated, e.g. a retired vice-
legislator made a 'wiser' speech about it." 8
disqualification of a candidate. The opinion of the Court governor, mayor or councilor of 65 is entitled to run for
invoked the constitutional presumption of innocence as a governor (because the disqualification is for the retiree of
2. If, however, the provision in question is susceptible to basis for its being annulled. That conclusion is well- 65 to run for the same elective office from which he
the reproach that it amounts to a denial of equal founded. Such being the case, I am in full agreement. I retired) but petitioner is barred from doing so (although he
protection, then his plea for nullification should be would add that such a provision is moreover tainted with may run for any other lesser office). Both are 65 and are
accorded a sympathetic response. As the opinion of the arbitrariness and therefore is violative of the due process retirees, yet one is barred from running for the office of
Court makes clear, such imputation is not deserving of clause. Such a constitutional right, to quote from Luzon governor. What is the valid distinction? Is this not an
credence. The classification cannot be stigmatized as Surety Co., Inc. v. Beson, 12 is "not a mere formality that arbitrary discrimination against petitioner who has cause to
lacking in rationality. It is germane to the subject. Age, as may be dispensed with at will. Its disregard is a matter of that "the aforesaid provision was concocted and designed
well as the fact of retirement and the receipt of retirement serious concern. It is a constitutional safeguard of the precisely to frustrate any bid of petition to make a political
benefits are factors that can enter into any legislative highest order. It is a response to man's innate sense of comeback as governor of Nueva Vizcaya 1 (since no other
determination of what disqualifications to impose. As was justice." 13 As rightfully stressed in the opinion of the case by a former governor similarly barred by virtue of said
pointed out in J.M. Tuason and Co., Inc. v. Land Tenure Court, the time element may invariably preclude a full provision can never be cited 2 ). Is there not here,
Administration: 9 "It suffices then that the laws operate hearing on the charge against him and thus effectively therefore a gross denial of the cardinal constitutional
equally and uniformly on all persons under similar negate the opportunity of an individual to present himself guarantee that equal protection and security shall be given
circumstances or that all persons must be treated in the as a candidate. If, as has been invariably the case, a under the law to every person, under analogous if not
same manner, the conditions not being different, both in prosecutor, whether in a civil court or in a military tribunal Identical circumstances?
the privileges conferred and the liabilities imposed. saddled as he is with so many complaints filed on his desk
Favoritism and undue preference cannot be allowed. For would give in to the all-too-human propensity to take the
Respondent's claim, as accepted by the majority, is that
the principle is that equal protection and security shall be easy way out and to file charges, then a candidate Would
the purpose of the special disqualification is "to infuse new
given to every person under circumstances, which if not be hard put to destroy the presumption. A sense of realism
blood in local governments but the classification (that
Identical, are analogous. If law be looked upon in terms of for me compels a declaration of nullity of a provision which
would bar 65-year old retirees from running for the same
burden or charges, those that fall within a class should be on its face is patently offensive to the Constitution.
elective local office) is not rational nor reasonable. It is not
treated in the same fashion, whatever restrictions cast on
germane nor relevant to the alleged purpose of "infusing
some in the group equally binding on the rest. 10 It cannot
Hence my concurrence. new blood" because such "old blood" retirees may continue
be denied that others similarly fall under the same ban. It
in local governments since they are not disqualified at all
was not directed at petitioner solely. The most that can be
to run for any other local elective office such as from
said is that he falls within the-proscribed class. The point TEEHANKEE, J., dissenting:
provincial governor, vice-governor, city, municipal or
was likewise raised as to why should national officials be
district mayor and vice- mayor to member of the
excluded in the above provision. The answer is simple.
Files a separate opinion dissenting from the adverse ruling Sangguniang Panlalawigan Sangguniang Panglunsod and
There is nothing to prevent the legislative body from
on Dumlaos candidacy and declining to rule on the Sangguniang Bayan, other than the local elective office
following a system of priorities. This it did under the
invalidity of the first part of Section 4 of the questioned from which they retired.
challenged legislative provision. In its opinion, what called
Law; and concurs with the pronouncement that the mere
for such a measure is the propensity of the local officials
filing of charges shall be prima facie cause for
having reached the retirement age and having received Furthermore, other 65-year olds who have likewise retired
disqualification is void.
retirement benefits once again running for public office. from the judiciary and other branches of government are
Accordingly, the provision in question was enacted. A not in any manner disqualified to run for any local elective
portion of the opinion in the aforesaid J.M. Tuason and Co., I. I dissent from the majority's dismissal of the petition office, as in the case of retired Court of First Instance
Inc. finds relevance: "It was confronted with a situation insofar as it upholds the discriminatory and arbitrary Judge (former Congressman) Alberto S. Ubay who retired
that caned for correction, and the legislation that was the provision of Sec. 4 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 52 which would with full substantial retirement benefits as such judge in
result of its deliberation sought to apply the necessary impose a special disqualification on petitioner Patricio 1978 at age 70 and now at past 71 years of age, is running
palliative. That it stopped short of possibly attaining the Dumlao from running for the elective local office of as the official KBL candidate for governor of his province.
cure of other analogous ills certainly does not stigmatize its governor of his home province of Nueva Vizcaya and would And even in the case of 65-year old local elective officials,
effort as a denial of equal protection. We have given our in effect bar the electors of his province from electing him they are disqualified only when they have received
sanction to the principle underlying the exercise of police to said office in the January 30 elections, simply because payment of the retirement benefits to which they are
power and taxation, but certainly not excluding eminent he is a retired provincial governor of said province "who has entitled under the law (which amount to very little,
compared to retirement benefits of other executive would disqualify petitioner from running for the office of When the case was voted upon a second time last January
officials and members of the judiciary). If they have not governor of his province. 21st, there appeared to be a majority in favor of the
received such retirement benefits, they are not declarations and pronouncements above referred to in the
disqualified. Certainly, their disqualification or non- two preceding paragraphs, in view of the urgency of the
As aptly restated by the Chief Justice, "Persons similarly
disqualification and consequent classification as "old blood" matter and the evil sought to be avoided. However, as of
situated should be similarly treated. Where no valid
or "new blood" cannot hinge on such an irrelevant question this writing, January 23, 1980 in the afternoon, such
distinction could be made as to the relevant conditions that
of whether or not they have received their retirement majority seems to have been dissipated by the view that
call for consideration, there should be none as to the
benefits. the action to nullify such second paragraph of section 4 of
privileges conferred and the liabilities imposed. There can
the Batas in question is premature and has not been
be no undue favoritism or partiality on the one hand or
properly submitted for ajudication under the strict
The classification is patently arbitrary and unreasonable hostility on the other. Arbitrary selection and
procedural require . If this be the case, my above views,
and is not based on substantial distinctions which make for discrimination against persons in thus ruled out. For the
termed as concurrences, should be taken as dissents
real differences that would justify the special principle is that equal protection and security shall be
against the majority action.
disqualification of petitioner, which, it is claimed, "is based given to every person under circumstances, which if not
on a presumption that elective local officials who have Identical are analogous. If law be looked upon in terms of
retired and are of advanced age cannot discharge the burden or charges, those that full within a class should be
functions of the office they seek as those who are treated in the same fashion, whatever restrictions cast on
differently situated." 3 Such presumption is sheer some in the group equally binding on the rest." 4
conjecture. The mere fact that a candidate is less than 65
or has "young or new blood" does not mean that he would
Finally, this arbitrary disqualification is likewise grossly
be more efficient, effective and competent than a mature
violative of Article XII, sub-article C, section 9(1) of the
65year old like petition er who has had experience on the
1973 Constitution that Bona fide candidates for any public
job and who was observed at the hearing to appear to be
office shall be free from any form of harassment and Separate Opinions
most physically fit. Sufice it to city the outstanding case of
discrimination.
the incumbent ebullient Minister of Foreign Affairs, General
Carlos P. Romulo, who was elected a 80 as a member of the
Interim Batasan Pambansa and who has just this month II. I concur with the majority's declaration of invalidity of
completed 81 years of age and has been hailed by the the portion of the second paragraph of Section 4 of Batas
BARREDO, J., concurring:
President himself as "the best foreign minister the Republic Pambansa Blg. 52 which would make the mere filing of
has ever had charges of subversion, insurrection, rebellion or other
similar crimes before a civil court or military tribunal after But as regards the matter of equal protection, I reiterate
preliminary investigation prima facie evidence of the fact my view for Peralta that Sec. 9(1) Art. XI I is more
Age has simply just never been a
of commission of an act of disloyalty to the State on the expensive than the equal protection clause.
yardstick for qualification or
part of the candidate and disqualify him from his
disqualification. Al. the most, a
candidacy. Such a provision could be the most insidious
minimum age to hold public office has AQUINO, J, concurring:
weapon to disqualify bona fide candidates who seem to be
been required as a qualification to
headed for election and places in the hands of the military
insure a modicum of maturity 'now
and civil prosecutors a dangerous and devastating weapon concur in the result as to paragraph I of the dispositive part
reduced to 21 years in the present
of cutting off any candidate who may not be to their filing of the decision. I dissent as to paragraph 2. In my opinion,
batas), but no maximum age has ever
through the filing of last-hour charges against him. paragraph 2, section 4 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 52 is valid,
been imposed as a disqualification for
being similar to certain presumptions in Articles 217 and
elect public office since the right and
315 of the Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No.
win of the people to elect the I also concur with the pronouncement made in the majority
4885. See U.S. v. Luling, 34 Phil. 725 and People v. Mingoa,
candidate of their choice for any decision that in order that a judgment of conviction may be
92 Phil. 856.
elective office, no matter his age has deemed "as conclusive evidence" of the candidate's
always been recognized as supreme. disloyalty to the State and of his disqualification from
office, such judgment of conviction must be final and ABAD SANTOS, J., concurring:
unappealable. This is so specifically provided in Section 22
The disqualification in question therefore is grossly
of the 1978 Election Code. 5 Otherwise, the questioned
violative of the equal protection clause which mandates concur but wish to add that a judgment of conviction as
provision would deny the bona fide candidate substantive
that all persons subjected to legislation shall be treated provided in Sec. 4, par. 2 of Batas Pambansa Big. 52 should
due process and would be grossly violative of his
alike, under like circumstances and conditions, both in the be one which is final and unappealable.
constitutional right of presumption of innocence and of the
privileges conferred and in the liabilities imposed. The
above-quoted provision of the 1973 Constitution protecting
guarantee is meant to proscribe undue favor and individual
candidates for public office from any form of harassment FERNANDO, C.J., concurring.
or class privilege on the one hand and hostile
and discrimination.
discrimination and the oppression of in quality on the
other. The questioned provision should therefore at the It is particularly gratifying that the reiteration in the ably-
least be declared invalid in its application insofar as it ADDENDUM written and scholarly opinion of the Court, penned by
Justice Melencio-Herrera, of the standard that must be met
before the power of judicial review may be availed of, set of Nueva Vizcaya. The wordings [sic] of the law is so pointed out in J.M. Tuason and Co., Inc. v. Land Tenure
forth with such lucidity and force by Justice Laurel in the peculiarly attuned to discriminate against herein petitioner Administration: 9 "It suffices then that the laws operate
two leading cases of Angara v. Electoral because every condition imposed as disqualification equally and uniformly on all persons under similar
Commission 1 and People v. Vera, 2 did not constitute an grounds are known to be possessed by him because he was circumstances or that all persons must be treated in the
obstacle to this Court ruling on the crucial constitutional a former elective provincial official who has received his same manner, the conditions not being different, both in
issues raised. It was a cause for concern, for me at least, retirement benefits, he desires to run for the same elective the privileges conferred and the liabilities imposed.
that counsel of private parties in not a few cases in the office and at the commencement of the term of office to Favoritism and undue preference cannot be allowed. For
recent past had shown less than full awareness of the which he now seeks to be elected, he shall have reached 65 the principle is that equal protection and security shall be
doctrines, procedural in character, that call for application years of age. 4 Clearly then, the plea for invalidating such given to every person under circumstances, which if not
whenever the exercise of this awesome and delicate provision is the motive attributed to the Interim Batasang Identical, are analogous. If law be looked upon in terms of
responsibility of adjudging the validity of a statute or Pambansa. For petitioner, it amounted to a constitutional burden or charges, those that fall within a class should be
presidential decree is invoked. 3 While this Court cannot be infirmity fatal in character. The weakness of the petition is treated in the same fashion, whatever restrictions cast on
accused of being bound by the letters of judicial timidity, thus apparent. No decision of this Tribunal can be cited in some in the group equally binding on the rest. 10 It cannot
it remains true that no cavalier disregard of tried and support of such a proposition. It would be to extend unduly be denied that others similarly fall under the same ban. It
tested concepts should be given encouragement. A the concept of judicial review if a court can roam far and was not directed at petitioner solely. The most that can be
petitioner who bases his claim for relief on asserted wide and range at will over the variety and diversity of the said is that he falls within the-proscribed class. The point
constitutional deficiencies deserves to be heard. That goes reasons, the promptings that may lead a legislator to cast was likewise raised as to why should national officials be
without saying. For the judiciary must ever endeavor to his vote for or against a proposed legislation. It is not what excluded in the above provision. The answer is simple.
vindicate rights safeguarded by the fundamental law. In inspired the introduction of a bill but the effect thereof if There is nothing to prevent the legislative body from
that sense, this Tribunal is not susceptible to the reproach duly enacted that is decisive. That would be the test for its following a system of priorities. This it did under the
that it has imprisoned itself in its allegiance to the validity or lack of it. There is this relevant excerpt challenged legislative provision. In its opinion, what called
philosophy of judicial self-restraint. There are, however, from McCray v. United States: 5 "The decisions of this Court for such a measure is the propensity of the local officials
limits to judicial activism. It cannot be too strongly [Supreme Court of the United States] from the beginning having reached the retirement age and having received
stressed that a petition of this character must ever remain lend no support whatever to the assumption that the retirement benefits once again running for public office.
an orderly proceeding that cannot be oblivious of the judiciary may restrain the exercise of lawful power on the Accordingly, the provision in question was enacted. A
requisites to be complied with to justify a pronouncement assumption that a wrongful purpose of motive has caused portion of the opinion in the aforesaid J.M. Tuason and Co.,
on constitutional issues. Where there is exuberance in the the power to be exerted. 6 The late Chief Justice Warren, Inc. finds relevance: "It was confronted with a situation
exercise of judicial power, the forms of litigation are but who penned the opinion in United States v. O' Brien 7 put that caned for correction, and the legislation that was the
slight retaining walls. It is right and proper that the voice the matter thus: "Inquiries into congressional motives or result of its deliberation sought to apply the necessary
of the Solicitor General should be heard in protest against purposes are a hazardous matter. When the issue is simply palliative. That it stopped short of possibly attaining the
such neglect of rudimentary precepts. Necessarily then, the interpretation of legislation, the Court will look to cure of other analogous ills certainly does not stigmatize its
whenever objections based on refusal to abide by the statements by legislators for guidance as to the purpose of effort as a denial of equal protection. We have given our
procedural principles are presented, this Court must rule. the legislature, because the benefit to sound decision- sanction to the principle underlying the exercise of police
It would suffice if thereby the petition is dismissed for non- making in this circumstance is thought sufficient to risk the power and taxation, but certainly not excluding eminent
observance of the controlling doctrines. There are times, possibility of misreading Congress' purpose. It is entirely a domain, that 'the legislature is not required by the
however, when the controversy is of such a character that different matter when we are asked to void a statute that Constitution to adhere to the policy of all "or none." ' Thus,
to resolve doubts, erase uncertainty, and assure respect for is, under well-settled criteria, constitutional on its face, on to reiterate, the invocation by petitioner of the equal
constitutional limitations, this Tribunal must pass on the the basis of what fewer than a handful of Congressmen said protection clause is futile and unavailing ." 11
merits. This is one such case. I therefore concur with the about it. What motivates one legislator to make a speech
opinion of the Court. about a statute is not necessarily what motivates scores of
3. That brings us to the assailed provision as to the
others to enact it, and the stakes are sufficiently high for
sufficiency of the filing of charges for the commission of
us to eschew guesswork. We decline to void essentially on
It may be a task of superfluity then to write a concurring such crimes as subversion, insurrection, rebellion or others
the ground that it is unwise legislation which Congress had
opinion. Nonetheless, a few words may not be amiss on of similar nature before a civil court or military tribunal
the undoubted power to enact and which could be
what for me is the proper approach to take as to the lack after preliminary investigation, being a prima facie
reenacted in its exact form if the same or another
of power of this Court to pass on the motives of the evidence of such fact and therefore justifying the
legislator made a 'wiser' speech about it." 8
legislative body, on the lack of persuasiveness of disqualification of a candidate. The opinion of the Court
petitioner's argument based on the equal protection invoked the constitutional presumption of innocence as a
guarantee, and on the fundamental concept of fairness of 2. If, however, the provision in question is susceptible to basis for its being annulled. That conclusion is well-
which the due process clause is an embodiment, thus the reproach that it amounts to a denial of equal founded. Such being the case, I am in full agreement. I
calling for the nullification of the disqualification of a protection, then his plea for nullification should be would add that such a provision is moreover tainted with
candidate upon the mere filing of charges against him. accorded a sympathetic response. As the opinion of the arbitrariness and therefore is violative of the due process
Court makes clear, such imputation is not deserving of clause. Such a constitutional right, to quote from Luzon
credence. The classification cannot be stigmatized as Surety Co., Inc. v. Beson, 12 is "not a mere formality that
1. The challenge to the provision in question is predicated
lacking in rationality. It is germane to the subject. Age, as may be dispensed with at will. Its disregard is a matter of
on what was referred to as "a known fact in the province of
well as the fact of retirement and the receipt of retirement serious concern. It is a constitutional safeguard of the
Nueva Vizcaya that the aforesaid provision was concocted
benefits are factors that can enter into any legislative highest order. It is a response to man's innate sense of
and designed precisely to frustrate any bid of herein
determination of what disqualifications to impose. As was justice." 13 As rightfully stressed in the opinion of the
petitioner to make a political come back [sic] as governor
Court, the time element may invariably preclude a full provision can never be cited 2 ). Is there not here, the incumbent ebullient Minister of Foreign Affairs, General
hearing on the charge against him and thus effectively therefore a gross denial of the cardinal constitutional Carlos P. Romulo, who was elected a 80 as a member of the
negate the opportunity of an individual to present himself guarantee that equal protection and security shall be given Interim Batasan Pambansa and who has just this month
as a candidate. If, as has been invariably the case, a under the law to every person, under analogous if not completed 81 years of age and has been hailed by the
prosecutor, whether in a civil court or in a military tribunal Identical circumstances? President himself as "the best foreign minister the Republic
saddled as he is with so many complaints filed on his desk has ever had
would give in to the all-too-human propensity to take the
Respondent's claim, as accepted by the majority, is that
easy way out and to file charges, then a candidate Would
the purpose of the special disqualification is "to infuse new Age has simply just never been a
be hard put to destroy the presumption. A sense of realism
blood in local governments but the classification (that yardstick for qualification or
for me compels a declaration of nullity of a provision which
would bar 65-year old retirees from running for the same disqualification. Al. the most, a
on its face is patently offensive to the Constitution.
elective local office) is not rational nor reasonable. It is not minimum age to hold public office has
germane nor relevant to the alleged purpose of "infusing been required as a qualification to
Hence my concurrence. new blood" because such "old blood" retirees may continue insure a modicum of maturity 'now
in local governments since they are not disqualified at all reduced to 21 years in the present
to run for any other local elective office such as from batas), but no maximum age has ever
TEEHANKEE, J., dissenting:
provincial governor, vice-governor, city, municipal or been imposed as a disqualification for
district mayor and vice- mayor to member of the elect public office since the right and
Files a separate opinion dissenting from the adverse ruling Sangguniang Panlalawigan Sangguniang Panglunsod and win of the people to elect the
on Dumlaos candidacy and declining to rule on the Sangguniang Bayan, other than the local elective office candidate of their choice for any
invalidity of the first part of Section 4 of the questioned from which they retired. elective office, no matter his age has
Law; and concurs with the pronouncement that the mere always been recognized as supreme.
filing of charges shall be prima facie cause for
Furthermore, other 65-year olds who have likewise retired
disqualification is void.
from the judiciary and other branches of government are The disqualification in question therefore is grossly
not in any manner disqualified to run for any local elective violative of the equal protection clause which mandates
I. I dissent from the majority's dismissal of the petition office, as in the case of retired Court of First Instance that all persons subjected to legislation shall be treated
insofar as it upholds the discriminatory and arbitrary Judge (former Congressman) Alberto S. Ubay who retired alike, under like circumstances and conditions, both in the
provision of Sec. 4 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 52 which would with full substantial retirement benefits as such judge in privileges conferred and in the liabilities imposed. The
impose a special disqualification on petitioner Patricio 1978 at age 70 and now at past 71 years of age, is running guarantee is meant to proscribe undue favor and individual
Dumlao from running for the elective local office of as the official KBL candidate for governor of his province. or class privilege on the one hand and hostile
governor of his home province of Nueva Vizcaya and would And even in the case of 65-year old local elective officials, discrimination and the oppression of in quality on the
in effect bar the electors of his province from electing him they are disqualified only when they have received other. The questioned provision should therefore at the
to said office in the January 30 elections, simply because payment of the retirement benefits to which they are least be declared invalid in its application insofar as it
he is a retired provincial governor of said province "who has entitled under the law (which amount to very little, would disqualify petitioner from running for the office of
received payment of the retirement benefits to which he is compared to retirement benefits of other executive governor of his province.
entitled under the law and who shall have been 65 years of officials and members of the judiciary). If they have not
age at the commencement of the term of office to which received such retirement benefits, they are not
As aptly restated by the Chief Justice, "Persons similarly
he seeks to be elected." disqualified. Certainly, their disqualification or non-
situated should be similarly treated. Where no valid
disqualification and consequent classification as "old blood"
distinction could be made as to the relevant conditions that
or "new blood" cannot hinge on such an irrelevant question
To specially and peculiarly ban a 65-year old previously call for consideration, there should be none as to the
of whether or not they have received their retirement
retired elective local official from running for privileges conferred and the liabilities imposed. There can
benefits.
the same elective office (of governor, in this case) be no undue favoritism or partiality on the one hand or
previously held by him and from which he has retired is hostility on the other. Arbitrary selection and
arbitrary, oppressive and unreasonable. Persons similarly The classification is patently arbitrary and unreasonable discrimination against persons in thus ruled out. For the
situated are not similarly treated, e.g. a retired vice- and is not based on substantial distinctions which make for principle is that equal protection and security shall be
governor, mayor or councilor of 65 is entitled to run for real differences that would justify the special given to every person under circumstances, which if not
governor (because the disqualification is for the retiree of disqualification of petitioner, which, it is claimed, "is based Identical are analogous. If law be looked upon in terms of
65 to run for the same elective office from which he on a presumption that elective local officials who have burden or charges, those that full within a class should be
retired) but petitioner is barred from doing so (although he retired and are of advanced age cannot discharge the treated in the same fashion, whatever restrictions cast on
may run for any other lesser office). Both are 65 and are functions of the office they seek as those who are some in the group equally binding on the rest." 4
retirees, yet one is barred from running for the office of differently situated." 3 Such presumption is sheer
governor. What is the valid distinction? Is this not an conjecture. The mere fact that a candidate is less than 65
Finally, this arbitrary disqualification is likewise grossly
arbitrary discrimination against petitioner who has cause to or has "young or new blood" does not mean that he would
violative of Article XII, sub-article C, section 9(1) of the
that "the aforesaid provision was concocted and designed be more efficient, effective and competent than a mature
1973 Constitution that Bona fide candidates for any public
precisely to frustrate any bid of petition to make a political 65year old like petition er who has had experience on the
office shall be free from any form of harassment and
comeback as governor of Nueva Vizcaya 1 (since no other job and who was observed at the hearing to appear to be
discrimination.
case by a former governor similarly barred by virtue of said most physically fit. Sufice it to city the outstanding case of
II. I concur with the majority's declaration of invalidity of AQUINO, J, concurring: observance of the controlling doctrines. There are times,
the portion of the second paragraph of Section 4 of Batas however, when the controversy is of such a character that
Pambansa Blg. 52 which would make the mere filing of to resolve doubts, erase uncertainty, and assure respect for
concur in the result as to paragraph I of the dispositive part
charges of subversion, insurrection, rebellion or other constitutional limitations, this Tribunal must pass on the
of the decision. I dissent as to paragraph 2. In my opinion,
similar crimes before a civil court or military tribunal after merits. This is one such case. I therefore concur with the
paragraph 2, section 4 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 52 is valid,
preliminary investigation prima facie evidence of the fact opinion of the Court.
being similar to certain presumptions in Articles 217 and
of commission of an act of disloyalty to the State on the
315 of the Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No.
part of the candidate and disqualify him from his
4885. See U.S. v. Luling, 34 Phil. 725 and People v. Mingoa, It may be a task of superfluity then to write a concurring
candidacy. Such a provision could be the most insidious
92 Phil. 856. opinion. Nonetheless, a few words may not be amiss on
weapon to disqualify bona fide candidates who seem to be
what for me is the proper approach to take as to the lack
headed for election and places in the hands of the military
of power of this Court to pass on the motives of the
and civil prosecutors a dangerous and devastating weapon ABAD SANTOS, J., concurring:
legislative body, on the lack of persuasiveness of
of cutting off any candidate who may not be to their filing
petitioner's argument based on the equal protection
through the filing of last-hour charges against him.
concur but wish to add that a judgment of conviction as guarantee, and on the fundamental concept of fairness of
provided in Sec. 4, par. 2 of Batas Pambansa Big. 52 should which the due process clause is an embodiment, thus
I also concur with the pronouncement made in the majority be one which is final and unappealable. calling for the nullification of the disqualification of a
decision that in order that a judgment of conviction may be candidate upon the mere filing of charges against him.
deemed "as conclusive evidence" of the candidate's
FERNANDO, C.J., concurring.
disloyalty to the State and of his disqualification from
1. The challenge to the provision in question is predicated
office, such judgment of conviction must be final and
on what was referred to as "a known fact in the province of
unappealable. This is so specifically provided in Section 22 It is particularly gratifying that the reiteration in the ably-
Nueva Vizcaya that the aforesaid provision was concocted
of the 1978 Election Code. 5 Otherwise, the questioned written and scholarly opinion of the Court, penned by
and designed precisely to frustrate any bid of herein
provision would deny the bona fide candidate substantive Justice Melencio-Herrera, of the standard that must be met
petitioner to make a political come back [sic] as governor
due process and would be grossly violative of his before the power of judicial review may be availed of, set
of Nueva Vizcaya. The wordings [sic] of the law is so
constitutional right of presumption of innocence and of the forth with such lucidity and force by Justice Laurel in the
peculiarly attuned to discriminate against herein petitioner
above-quoted provision of the 1973 Constitution protecting two leading cases of Angara v. Electoral
because every condition imposed as disqualification
candidates for public office from any form of harassment Commission 1 and People v. Vera, 2 did not constitute an
grounds are known to be possessed by him because he was
and discrimination. obstacle to this Court ruling on the crucial constitutional
a former elective provincial official who has received his
issues raised. It was a cause for concern, for me at least,
retirement benefits, he desires to run for the same elective
that counsel of private parties in not a few cases in the
ADDENDUM office and at the commencement of the term of office to
recent past had shown less than full awareness of the
which he now seeks to be elected, he shall have reached 65
doctrines, procedural in character, that call for application
years of age. 4 Clearly then, the plea for invalidating such
When the case was voted upon a second time last January whenever the exercise of this awesome and delicate
provision is the motive attributed to the Interim Batasang
21st, there appeared to be a majority in favor of the responsibility of adjudging the validity of a statute or
Pambansa. For petitioner, it amounted to a constitutional
declarations and pronouncements above referred to in the presidential decree is invoked. 3 While this Court cannot be
infirmity fatal in character. The weakness of the petition is
two preceding paragraphs, in view of the urgency of the accused of being bound by the letters of judicial timidity,
thus apparent. No decision of this Tribunal can be cited in
matter and the evil sought to be avoided. However, as of it remains true that no cavalier disregard of tried and
support of such a proposition. It would be to extend unduly
this writing, January 23, 1980 in the afternoon, such tested concepts should be given encouragement. A
the concept of judicial review if a court can roam far and
majority seems to have been dissipated by the view that petitioner who bases his claim for relief on asserted
wide and range at will over the variety and diversity of the
the action to nullify such second paragraph of section 4 of constitutional deficiencies deserves to be heard. That goes
reasons, the promptings that may lead a legislator to cast
the Batas in question is premature and has not been without saying. For the judiciary must ever endeavor to
his vote for or against a proposed legislation. It is not what
properly submitted for ajudication under the strict vindicate rights safeguarded by the fundamental law. In
inspired the introduction of a bill but the effect thereof if
procedural require . If this be the case, my above views, that sense, this Tribunal is not susceptible to the reproach
duly enacted that is decisive. That would be the test for its
termed as concurrences, should be taken as dissents that it has imprisoned itself in its allegiance to the
validity or lack of it. There is this relevant excerpt
against the majority action. philosophy of judicial self-restraint. There are, however,
from McCray v. United States: 5 "The decisions of this Court
limits to judicial activism. It cannot be too strongly
[Supreme Court of the United States] from the beginning
stressed that a petition of this character must ever remain
lend no support whatever to the assumption that the
an orderly proceeding that cannot be oblivious of the
judiciary may restrain the exercise of lawful power on the
requisites to be complied with to justify a pronouncement
assumption that a wrongful purpose of motive has caused
Separate Opinions on constitutional issues. Where there is exuberance in the
the power to be exerted. 6 The late Chief Justice Warren,
exercise of judicial power, the forms of litigation are but
who penned the opinion in United States v. O' Brien 7 put
slight retaining walls. It is right and proper that the voice
BARREDO, J., concurring: the matter thus: "Inquiries into congressional motives or
of the Solicitor General should be heard in protest against
purposes are a hazardous matter. When the issue is simply
such neglect of rudimentary precepts. Necessarily then,
the interpretation of legislation, the Court will look to
But as regards the matter of equal protection, I reiterate whenever objections based on refusal to abide by the
statements by legislators for guidance as to the purpose of
my view for Peralta that Sec. 9(1) Art. XI I is more procedural principles are presented, this Court must rule.
the legislature, because the benefit to sound decision-
expensive than the equal protection clause. It would suffice if thereby the petition is dismissed for non-
making in this circumstance is thought sufficient to risk the
possibility of misreading Congress' purpose. It is entirely a domain, that 'the legislature is not required by the effect bar the electors of his province
different matter when we are asked to void a statute that Constitution to adhere to the policy of all "or none." ' Thus, from electing him to said office in the
is, under well-settled criteria, constitutional on its face, on to reiterate, the invocation by petitioner of the equal January 30 elections, simply because
the basis of what fewer than a handful of Congressmen said protection clause is futile and unavailing ." 11 he is a retired provincial governor of
about it. What motivates one legislator to make a speech said province "who has received
about a statute is not necessarily what motivates scores of payment of the retirement benefits to
3. That brings us to the assailed provision as to the
others to enact it, and the stakes are sufficiently high for which he is entitled under the law and
sufficiency of the filing of charges for the commission of
us to eschew guesswork. We decline to void essentially on who shall have been 65 years of age at
such crimes as subversion, insurrection, rebellion or others
the ground that it is unwise legislation which Congress had the commencement of the term of
of similar nature before a civil court or military tribunal
the undoubted power to enact and which could be office to which he seeks to be elected.
after preliminary investigation, being a prima facie
reenacted in its exact form if the same or another
evidence of such fact and therefore justifying the
legislator made a 'wiser' speech about it." 8
disqualification of a candidate. The opinion of the Court To specially and peculiarly ban a 65-year old previously
invoked the constitutional presumption of innocence as a retired elective local official from running for
2. If, however, the provision in question is susceptible to basis for its being annulled. That conclusion is well- the same elective office (of governor, in this case)
the reproach that it amounts to a denial of equal founded. Such being the case, I am in full agreement. I previously held by him and from which he has retired is
protection, then his plea for nullification should be would add that such a provision is moreover tainted with arbitrary, oppressive and unreasonable. Persons similarly
accorded a sympathetic response. As the opinion of the arbitrariness and therefore is violative of the due process situated are not similarly treated, e.g. a retired vice-
Court makes clear, such imputation is not deserving of clause. Such a constitutional right, to quote from Luzon governor, mayor or councilor of 65 is entitled to run for
credence. The classification cannot be stigmatized as Surety Co., Inc. v. Beson, 12 is "not a mere formality that governor (because the disqualification is for the retiree of
lacking in rationality. It is germane to the subject. Age, as may be dispensed with at will. Its disregard is a matter of 65 to run for the same elective office from which he
well as the fact of retirement and the receipt of retirement serious concern. It is a constitutional safeguard of the retired) but petitioner is barred from doing so (although he
benefits are factors that can enter into any legislative highest order. It is a response to man's innate sense of may run for any other lesser office). Both are 65 and are
determination of what disqualifications to impose. As was justice." 13 As rightfully stressed in the opinion of the retirees, yet one is barred from running for the office of
pointed out in J.M. Tuason and Co., Inc. v. Land Tenure Court, the time element may invariably preclude a full governor. What is the valid distinction? Is this not an
Administration: 9 "It suffices then that the laws operate hearing on the charge against him and thus effectively arbitrary discrimination against petitioner who has cause to
equally and uniformly on all persons under similar negate the opportunity of an individual to present himself that "the aforesaid provision was concocted and designed
circumstances or that all persons must be treated in the as a candidate. If, as has been invariably the case, a precisely to frustrate any bid of petition to make a political
same manner, the conditions not being different, both in prosecutor, whether in a civil court or in a military tribunal comeback as governor of Nueva Vizcaya 1 (since no other
the privileges conferred and the liabilities imposed. saddled as he is with so many complaints filed on his desk case by a former governor similarly barred by virtue of said
Favoritism and undue preference cannot be allowed. For would give in to the all-too-human propensity to take the provision can never be cited 2 ). Is there not here,
the principle is that equal protection and security shall be easy way out and to file charges, then a candidate Would therefore a gross denial of the cardinal constitutional
given to every person under circumstances, which if not be hard put to destroy the presumption. A sense of realism guarantee that equal protection and security shall be given
Identical, are analogous. If law be looked upon in terms of for me compels a declaration of nullity of a provision which under the law to every person, under analogous if not
burden or charges, those that fall within a class should be on its face is patently offensive to the Constitution. Identical circumstances?
treated in the same fashion, whatever restrictions cast on
some in the group equally binding on the rest. 10 It cannot
Hence my concurrence. Respondent's claim, as accepted by the majority, is that
be denied that others similarly fall under the same ban. It
the purpose of the special disqualification is "to infuse new
was not directed at petitioner solely. The most that can be
blood in local governments but the classification (that
said is that he falls within the-proscribed class. The point TEEHANKEE, J., dissenting:
would bar 65-year old retirees from running for the same
was likewise raised as to why should national officials be
elective local office) is not rational nor reasonable. It is not
excluded in the above provision. The answer is simple.
Files a separate opinion dissenting from the adverse ruling germane nor relevant to the alleged purpose of "infusing
There is nothing to prevent the legislative body from
on Dumlaos candidacy and declining to rule on the new blood" because such "old blood" retirees may continue
following a system of priorities. This it did under the
invalidity of the first part of Section 4 of the questioned in local governments since they are not disqualified at all
challenged legislative provision. In its opinion, what called
Law; and concurs with the pronouncement that the mere to run for any other local elective office such as from
for such a measure is the propensity of the local officials
filing of charges shall be prima facie cause for provincial governor, vice-governor, city, municipal or
having reached the retirement age and having received
disqualification is void. district mayor and vice- mayor to member of the
retirement benefits once again running for public office.
Sangguniang Panlalawigan Sangguniang Panglunsod and
Accordingly, the provision in question was enacted. A
Sangguniang Bayan, other than the local elective office
portion of the opinion in the aforesaid J.M. Tuason and Co., I. I dissent from the majority's dismissal
from which they retired.
Inc. finds relevance: "It was confronted with a situation of the petition insofar as it upholds the
that caned for correction, and the legislation that was the discriminatory and arbitrary provision
result of its deliberation sought to apply the necessary of Sec. 4 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 52 Furthermore, other 65-year olds who have likewise retired
palliative. That it stopped short of possibly attaining the which would impose a special from the judiciary and other branches of government are
cure of other analogous ills certainly does not stigmatize its disqualification on petitioner Patricio not in any manner disqualified to run for any local elective
effort as a denial of equal protection. We have given our Dumlao from running for the elective office, as in the case of retired Court of First Instance
sanction to the principle underlying the exercise of police local office of governor of his home Judge (former Congressman) Alberto S. Ubay who retired
power and taxation, but certainly not excluding eminent province of Nueva Vizcaya and would in with full substantial retirement benefits as such judge in
1978 at age 70 and now at past 71 years of age, is running guarantee is meant to proscribe undue favor and individual candidates for public office from any form of harassment
as the official KBL candidate for governor of his province. or class privilege on the one hand and hostile and discrimination.
And even in the case of 65-year old local elective officials, discrimination and the oppression of in quality on the
they are disqualified only when they have received other. The questioned provision should therefore at the
ADDENDUM
payment of the retirement benefits to which they are least be declared invalid in its application insofar as it
entitled under the law (which amount to very little, would disqualify petitioner from running for the office of
compared to retirement benefits of other executive governor of his province. When the case was voted upon a second time last January
officials and members of the judiciary). If they have not 21st, there appeared to be a majority in favor of the
received such retirement benefits, they are not declarations and pronouncements above referred to in the
As aptly restated by the Chief Justice, "Persons similarly
disqualified. Certainly, their disqualification or non- two preceding paragraphs, in view of the urgency of the
situated should be similarly treated. Where no valid
disqualification and consequent classification as "old blood" matter and the evil sought to be avoided. However, as of
distinction could be made as to the relevant conditions that
or "new blood" cannot hinge on such an irrelevant question this writing, January 23, 1980 in the afternoon, such
call for consideration, there should be none as to the
of whether or not they have received their retirement majority seems to have been dissipated by the view that
privileges conferred and the liabilities imposed. There can
benefits. the action to nullify such second paragraph of section 4 of
be no undue favoritism or partiality on the one hand or
the Batas in question is premature and has not been
hostility on the other. Arbitrary selection and
properly submitted for ajudication under the strict
The classification is patently arbitrary and unreasonable discrimination against persons in thus ruled out. For the
procedural require . If this be the case, my above views,
and is not based on substantial distinctions which make for principle is that equal protection and security shall be
termed as concurrences, should be taken as dissents
real differences that would justify the special given to every person under circumstances, which if not
against the majority action.
disqualification of petitioner, which, it is claimed, "is based Identical are analogous. If law be looked upon in terms of
on a presumption that elective local officials who have burden or charges, those that full within a class should be
retired and are of advanced age cannot discharge the treated in the same fashion, whatever restrictions cast on Footnotes
functions of the office they seek as those who are some in the group equally binding on the rest." 4
differently situated." 3 Such presumption is sheer
Fernando, CJ.:
conjecture. The mere fact that a candidate is less than 65
Finally, this arbitrary disqualification is likewise grossly
or has "young or new blood" does not mean that he would
violative of Article XII, sub-article C, section 9(1) of the
be more efficient, effective and competent than a mature 1 63 Phil. 139 (1936).
1973 Constitution that Bona fide candidates for any public
65year old like petition er who has had experience on the
office shall be free from any form of harassment and
job and who was observed at the hearing to appear to be
discrimination. 2 65 Phil. 56 (1937).
most physically fit. Sufice it to city the outstanding case of
the incumbent ebullient Minister of Foreign Affairs, General
Carlos P. Romulo, who was elected a 80 as a member of the II. I concur with the majority's declaration of invalidity of 3 Cf. Sanidad, Commision on Election L-
Interim Batasan Pambansa and who has just this month the portion of the second paragraph of Section 4 of Batas 44640, October 12, 1976, 73 SCRA 333;
completed 81 years of age and has been hailed by the Pambansa Blg. 52 which would make the mere filing of De la T Llana v. Election. L-47245,
President himself as "the best foreign minister the Republic charges of subversion, insurrection, rebellion or other December 9, 1917, 80 SCRA 525;
has ever had similar crimes before a civil court or military tribunal after Hidalgo v. Marcos L-17329, December
preliminary investigation prima facie evidence of the fact 9, 1977, 80 SCRA 538; Peralta v.
of commission of an act of disloyalty to the State on the Commission on Elections, L-47771,
Age has simply just never been a
part of the candidate and disqualify him from his March 11, 1978, 82 SCRA 30),
yardstick for qualification or
candidacy. Such a provision could be the most insidious
disqualification. Al. the most, a
weapon to disqualify bona fide candidates who seem to be
minimum age to hold public office has 4 Petition, 3-4.
headed for election and places in the hands of the military
been required as a qualification to
and civil prosecutors a dangerous and devastating weapon
insure a modicum of maturity 'now
of cutting off any candidate who may not be to their filing 5 195 US 27 (1904).
reduced to 21 years in the present
through the filing of last-hour charges against him.
batas), but no maximum age has ever
been imposed as a disqualification for 6 Ibid, 56.
elect public office since the right and I also concur with the pronouncement made in the majority
win of the people to elect the decision that in order that a judgment of conviction may be
7 391 US 367 (1968).
candidate of their choice for any deemed "as conclusive evidence" of the candidate's
elective office, no matter his age has disloyalty to the State and of his disqualification from
always been recognized as supreme. office, such judgment of conviction must be final and 8 lbid, 383-384.
unappealable. This is so specifically provided in Section 22
of the 1978 Election Code. 5 Otherwise, the questioned
The disqualification in question therefore is grossly 9 L-21064, February 18, 1970, 31 SCRA
provision would deny the bona fide candidate substantive
violative of the equal protection clause which mandates 413.
due process and would be grossly violative of his
that all persons subjected to legislation shall be treated
constitutional right of presumption of innocence and of the
alike, under like circumstances and conditions, both in the
above-quoted provision of the 1973 Constitution protecting 10 lbid, 435.
privileges conferred and in the liabilities imposed. The
11 Ibid, 439.

12 L-26865-66, January 30, 1970, 31


SCRA 313.

13 Ibid, 318.

Teehankee, K.:

1 Petition at page 4.

2 Respondents cites in its comment (at


page 15) a handful of pending cases for
disqualification of mayoral candidates.

3 Respondent's Comment, at pages 12-


13.

4 E. M. Fernando: The Bill of Rights,


2nd Ed., p. 100, cit. J.M. Tuason & Co.,
Inc. vs. Land Tenure Administration, 31
SCRA 413 (1970).

5 SEC. 22. Ineligibility of person found


disloyal to the Government. Any
person found guilty in a final judgment
or order of a competent court or
tribunal of any crime involving
disloyalty to the duly constituted
Government such as rebellion, sedition,
violations of the anti-subversion and
firearms laws, and crimes against the
national security shall not, unless
restored to his full civil and political
rights in accordance with law, be
eligible and his certificate of
candidancy shall not be given due
course not shall the votes cast in his
favor be counted. In the event his final
conviction comes after his election, he
shall automatically cease in office.
(P.D. 1296, decreed February 7, 1978).