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Constitutional Law 1 (case digests compilation) ; from Constitutional Construction to Power of Judicial Review of the course syllabus
I was suppose to make my own case digest of the following cases assigned to us for our Constitutional Law 1 but the moment I saw the course syllabus, I said to myself "What the heck?" hahaha anyways for study purposes I've compiled case digests, as well as full text of the cases, from different blogs and sites (linked at the sources-just click it) Hope it helps! -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Perfecto v Meer 85 Phil 552 GREGORIO PERFECTO vs. BIBIANO L. MEER [G.R. No. L-2348. February 27, 1950.] Facts: In April, 1947 the Collector of Internal Revenue required Mr. Justice Gregorio Perfecto to pay income tax upon his salary as member of this Court during the year 1946. After paying the amount (P802), he instituted this action in the Manila Court of First Instance contending that the assessment was illegal, his salary not being taxable for the reason that imposition of taxes thereon would reduce it in violation of the Constitution. Issue: Does the imposition of an income tax upon this salary amount to a diminution thereof? Held: Yes. As in the United States during the second period, we must hold that salaries of judges are not included in the word "income" taxed by the Income Tax Law. Two paramount circumstances may additionally be indicated, to wit: First, when the Income Tax Law was first applied to the Philippines 1913, taxable "income" did not include salaries of judicial officers when these are protected from diminution. That was the prevailing official belief in the United States, which must be deemed to have been transplanted here ; and second, when the Philippine Constitutional Convention approved (in 1935) the prohibition against diminution of the judges' compensation, the Federal principle was known that income tax on judicial salaries really impairs them. This is not proclaiming a general tax immunity for men on the bench. These pay taxes. Upon buying gasoline, or cars or other commodities, they pay the corresponding duties. Owning real property, they pay taxes thereon. And on incomes other than their judicial salary, assessments are levied. It is only when the tax is charged directly on their salary and the effect of the tax is to diminish their official stipend that the taxation must be resisted as an infringement of the fundamental charter. Judges would indeed be hapless guardians of the Constitution if they did not perceive and block encroachments upon their prerogatives in whatever form. The undiminishable character of judicial salaries is not a mere privilege of judges personal and therefore waivable but a basic limitation upon legislative or executive action imposed in the public interest (Evans vs. Gore).

Sources: Full text of case Case Digest

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Edencia vs. David G.R. No. L-6355-56 Separation of Powers FACTS: Saturnino David, the then Collector of Internal Revenue, ordered the taxing of Justice Pastor Endencias and Justice Fernando Jugos salary pursuant to Sec 13 of RA 590 which provides that SEC. 13. No salary wherever received by any public officer of the Republic of the Philippines shall be considered as exempt from the income tax, payment of which is hereby declared not to be a diminution of his compensation fixed by the Constitution or by law. According to the brief of the Solicitor General on behalf of appellant Collector of Internal Revenue, our decision in the case of Perfecto vs. Meer, supra, was not received favorably by Congress, because immediately after its promulgation, Congress enacted Republic Act No. 590. To bring home his point, the Solicitor General reproduces what he considers the pertinent discussion in the Lower House of House Bill No. 1127 which became Republic Act No. 590. ISSUE: Whether or not Sec 13 of RA 590 is constitutional. HELD: By legislative fiat as enunciated in section 13, Republic Act No. 590, Congress says that taxing the salary of a judicial officer is not a decrease of compensation. This is a clear example of interpretation or ascertainment of the meaning of the phrase which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office, found in section 9, Article VIII of the Constitution, referring to the salaries of judicial officers. This act of interpreting the Constitution or any part thereof by the Legislature is an invasion of the well-defined and established province and jurisdiction of the Judiciary. The rule is recognized elsewhere that the legislature cannot pass any declaratory act, or act declaratory of what the law was before its passage, so as to give it any binding weight with the courts. A legislative definition of a word as used in a statute is not conclusive of its meaning as used elsewhere; otherwise, the legislature would be usurping a judicial function in defining a term. ** The reason behind the exemption in the Constitution, as interpreted by the United States Federal Supreme Court and this Court, is to preserve the independence of the Judiciary, not only of this High Tribunal but of the other courts, whose presentmembership number more than 990 judicial officials. The independence of the judges is of far greater importance than any revenue that could come from taxing their salaries. In conclusion we reiterate the doctrine laid down in the case of Perfecto vs. Meer, supra, to the effect that the collection ofincome tax on the salary of a judicial officer is a diminution thereof and so violates the Constitution. We further hold that the interpretation and application of the Constitution and of statutes is within the exclusive province and jurisdiction of the judicial department, and that in enacting a law, the Legislature may not legally provide therein that it be

interpreted in such a way that it may not violate a Constitutional prohibition, thereby tying the hands of the courts in their task of later interpreting said statute, especially when the interpretation sought and provided in said statute runs counter to a previous interpretation already given in a case by the highest court of the land.

Sources: Full text of case Case Digest ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nitafan v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue [GR L-78780, 23 July 1987] FACTS: 1. Petitioners David Nitafan, Wenceslao Polo and Maximo Savellano Jr., were duly appointed and qualified Judgesof the RTC National Capital Judicial Region. 2. Petitioners seeks to prohibit and/or perpetually enjoin respondents, (CIR and the Financial Officer of theSupreme Court) from making any deduction of withholding taxes from their salaries. 3. Petitioners submit that any tax withheld from their emoluments or compensation as judicial officers constitutes a decreased or diminution of their salaries, contrary to Section 10, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution. ISSUE:Is a deduction of withholding tax a diminuition of the salaries of Judges/Justices? HELD:The SC hereby makes of record that it had then discarded the ruling in PERFECTO VS. MEER (88 Phil 552) andENDENCIA VS. DAVID (93 Phil 696), that declared the salaries of members of the Judiciary exempt from payment of the income tax and considered such payment as a diminution of their salaries during their continuance in office.The Court hereby reiterates that the salaries of Justices and Judges are property subject to general income taxapplicable to all income earners and that the payment of such income tax by Justices and Judges does not fallwithin the constitution protection against decrease of their salaries during their continuance in office.The debates, interpellations and opinions expressed regarding the constitutional provision in question until it wasfinally approved by the Commission disclosed that the true intent of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, inadopting it, was to make the salaries of members of the Judiciary taxable. The ascertainment of that intent is but inkeeping with the fundamental principle of constitutional construction that the intent of the framers of the organiclaw and of the people adopting it should be given effect. The ruling that the imposition of income tax upon the salary of judges is a diminution thereof, and so violates the Constitution in Perfecto vs. Meer, as affirmed in Endencia vs. David must be deemed discarded.

Sources: Full text of case Case Digest ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS GR 122156, 3 February 1997En banc, Bellosillo (p): 6 concur, others dissent Facts: The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), pursuant to theprivatization program of the Philippine Government under Proclamation 50dated 8 December 1986, decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51%of the issued and outstanding shares of the Manila Hotel (MHC). In a closebidding held on 18 September 1995 only two bidders participated: ManilaPrince Hotel Corporation, a Filipino corporation, which offered to buy 51% of the MHC or 15,300,000 shares at P41.58 per share, and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian firm, with ITT-Sheraton as its hotel operator, which bid for thesame number of shares at P44.00 per share, or P2.42 more than the bid of petitioner.Pending the declaration of Renong Berhard as the winning bidder/strategicpartner and the execution of the necessary contracts, the Manila Prince Hotelmatched the bid price of P44.00 per share tendered by Renong Berhad in a letter to GSIS dated 28 September 1995. Manila Prince Hotel sent amanagers check to the GSIS in a subsequent letter, but which GSIS refusedto accept. On 17 October 1995, perhaps apprehensive that GSIS hasdisregarded the tender of the matching bid and that the sale of 51% of theMHC may be hastened by GSIS and consummated with Renong Berhad,Manila Prince Hotel came to the Court on prohibition and mandamus. thenext day the Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining therespondents from perfecting and consummating the sale to the Malaysianfirm. Issue(s): 1. Whether the provisions of the Constitution, particularly Article XIISection 10, are self-executing. 2. Whether the 51% share is part of the national patrimony. Held: The 1987 Philippine Constitution, Article XII Section 10 provides: The Congress shall, uponrecommendation of the economic and planning agency, when the national interest dictates, reserve tocitizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capitalist owned by such citizens, or such higher percentage as Congress may prescribe, certain areas of investments. The Congress shall enact measures that will encourage the formation and operation of enterprises whose capital is wholly owned by Filipinos.In the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos. The State shall regulate and exercise authority over foreign investments within its national jurisdiction and in accordance with its national goals and priorities.

Sources: Full text of case Case Digest -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Aquino vs. Minister of defense Juan Ponce Enrile G.R. No. 122156, Sept. 17, 1974 Martial Law Habeas Corpus Power of the President to Order Arrests Facts: Enrile (then Minister of National Defense), pursuant to the order of Marcos issued and ordered the arrest of a number of individuals including Benigno Aquino Jr even without any charge against them. Hence, Aquino and some others filed forhabeas corpus against Juan Ponce Enrile. Enriles answer contained a common and special affirmative defense that the arrest is valid pursuant to Marcos declaration of Martial Law. ISSUE: Whether or not Aquinos detention is legal in accordance to the declaration of Martial Law. HELD: The Constitution provides that in case of invasion, insurrection or rebellion, or imminent danger against the state, when public safety requires it, the President may suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part therein under Martial Law. In the case at bar, the state of rebellion plaguing the country has not yet disappeared, therefore, there is a clear and imminent danger against the state. The arrest is then a valid exercise pursuant to the Presidents order.

Sources: Full Text of case Case Digest ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LAWYERS LEAGUE FOR A BETTER PHILIPPINES vs. AQUINO (G.R. No. 73748 - May 22, 1986) FACTS: 1.On February 25, 1986, President Corazon Aquino issued Proclamation No. 1 announcingthat she

and Vice President Laurel were taking power.2.On March 25, 1986, proclamation No.3 was issued providing the basis of the Aquinogovernment assumption of power by stating that the "new government was installed througha direct exercise of the power of the Filipino people assisted by units of the New ArmedForces of the Philippines." ISSUE: Whether or not the government of Corazon Aquino is legitimate. HELD: Yes.The legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable matter but belongs to the realmof politics where only the people are the judge.The Court further held that: 1.The people have accepted the Aquino government which is in effective control of the entirecountry; 2.It is not merely a de facton government but in fact and law a de jure government; and 3. The community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of the new government. Source:

Lawyers League v. Aquino, GR 73748, May 22, 1986 (See next case.) - In re: Saturnino Bermudez, GR 76180, Oct. 24, 1986, 145 SCRA 160

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila G.R. No. 76180 October 24, 1986 IN RE: SATURNINO V. BERMUDEZ, petitioner. R E S O L U T IO N PER CURIAM: In a petition for declaratory relief impleading no respondents, petitioner, as a lawyer, quotes the first paragraph of Section 5 (not Section 7 as erroneously stated) of Article XVIII of the proposed 1986 Constitution, which provides in full as follows: Sec. 5. The six-year term of the incumbent President and Vice-President elected in the February 7, 1986 election is, for purposes of synchronization of elections, hereby extended to noon of June 30, 1992.

The first regular elections for the President and Vice-President under this Constitution shall be held on the second Monday of May, 1992. Claiming that the said provision "is not clear" as to whom it refers, he then asks the Court "to declare and answer the question of the construction and definiteness as to who, among the present incumbent President Corazon Aquino and Vice-President Salvador Laurel and the elected President Ferdinand E. Marcos and Vice-President Arturo M. Tolentino being referred to under the said Section 7 (sic) of ARTICLE XVIII of the TRANSITORY PROVISIONS of the proposed 1986 Constitution refers to, . ... The petition is dismissed outright for lack of jurisdiction and for lack for cause of action. Prescinding from petitioner's lack of personality to sue or to bring this action, (Tan vs. Macapagal, 43 SCRA 677), it is elementary that this Court assumes no jurisdiction over petitions for declaratory relief. More importantly, the petition amounts in effect to a suit against the incumbent President of the Republic, President Corazon C. Aquino, and it is equally elementary that incumbent Presidents are immune from suit or from being brought to court during the period of their incumbency and tenure. The petition furthermore states no cause of action. Petitioner's allegation of ambiguity or vagueness of the aforequoted provision is manifestly gratuitous, it being a matter of public record and common public knowledge that the Constitutional Commission refers therein to incumbent President Corazon C. Aquino and Vice-President Salvador H. Laurel, and to no other persons, and provides for the extension of their term to noon of June 30, 1992 for purposes of synchronization of elections. Hence, the second paragraph of the cited section provides for the holding on the second Monday of May, 1992 of the first regular elections for the President and Vice-President under said 1986 Constitution. In previous cases, the legitimacy of the government of President Corazon C. Aquino was likewise sought to be questioned with the claim that it was not established pursuant to the 1973 Constitution. The said cases were dismissed outright by this court which held that: Petitioners have no personality to sue and their petitions state no cause of action. For the legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable matter. It belongs to the realm of politics where only the people of the Philippines are the judge. And the people have made the judgment; they have accepted the government of President Corazon C. Aquino which is in effective control of the entire country so that it is not merely a de facto government but in fact and law a de jure government. Moreover, the community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of tlie present government. All the eleven members of this Court, as reorganized, have sworn to uphold the fundamental law of the Republic under her government. (Joint Resolution of May 22, 1986 in G.R. No. 73748 [Lawyers League for a Better Philippines, etc. vs. President Corazon C. Aquino, et al.]; G.R. No. 73972 [People's Crusade for Supremacy of the Constitution. etc. vs. Mrs. Cory Aquino, et al.]; and G.R. No. 73990 [Councilor Clifton U. Ganay vs. Corazon C. Aquino, et al.]) For the above-quoted reason, which are fully applicable to the petition at bar, mutatis mutandis, there can be no question that President Corazon C. Aquino and Vice-President Salvador H. Laurel are the incumbent and legitimate President and Vice-President of the Republic of the Philippines.or the above-quoted reasons, which are fully applicable to the petition at bar, ACCORDINGLY, the petition is hereby dismissed. Teehankee, C.J., Feria, Yap, Fernan, Narvasa, Alampay and Paras, JJ., concur.

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J., concurring: GUTIERREZ, Jr., J., concurring: FELICIANO, JJ., concurring. The petitioner asks the Court to declare who are "the incumbent President and Vice President elected in the February 7, 1986 elections" as stated in Article XVIII, Section 5 of the Draft Constitution adopted by the Constitutional Commission of 1986. We agree that the petition deserves outright dismissal as this Court has no original jurisdiction over petitions for declaratory relief. As to lack of cause of action, the petitioner's prayer for a declaration as to who were elected President and Vice President in the February 7, 1986 elections should be addressed not to this Court but to other departments of government constitutionally burdened with the task of making that declaration. The 1935 Constitution, the 1913 Constitution as amended, and the 1986 Draft Constitution uniformly provide 'that boards of canvassers in each province and city shall certified who were elected President and Vice President in their respective areas. The certified returns are transmitted to the legislature which proclaims, through the designated Presiding Head, who were duty elected. Copies of the certified returns from the provincial and city boards of canvassers have not been furnished this Court nor is there any need to do so. In the absence of a legislature, we cannot assume the function of stating, and neither do we have any factual or legal capacity to officially declare, who were elected President and Vice President in the February 7, 1986 elections. As to who are the incumbent President and Vice President referred to in the 1986 Draft Constitution, we agree that there is no doubt the 1986 Constitutional Commission referred to President Corazon C. Aquino and Vice President Salvador H. Laurel. Finally, we agree with the Resolution of the Court in G.R. Nos. 73748, 73972, and 73990. For the foregoing reasons, we vote to DISMISS the instant petition. CRUZ, J., concurring: I vote to dismiss this petition on the ground that the Constitution we are asked to interpret has not yet been ratified and is therefore not yet effective. I see here no actual conflict of legal rights susceptible of judicial determination at this time. (Aetna Life Insurance Co. vs. Haworth, 300 U.S. 227; PACU vs. Secretary of Education, 97 Phil. 806.)

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In re: Letter of Reynato Puno CIRCULAR NO. 17 December 20, 1988 ________________________________________ CIRCULAR NO. 17 December 20, 1988 SUPREME COURT CIRCULARS AND ORDERS TO: THE COURT OF APPEALS, ALL JUDGES OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS, COURT OF TAX APPEALS, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS IN CITIES, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS, SHARI'A DISTRICT COURTS, SHARI'A CIRCUIT COURTS, AND THE IBP. SUBJECT: COMPLAINTS AGAINST JUSTICES AND JUDGES OF THE LOWER COURTS FILED WITH THE COMMISSION ON BAR DISCIPLINE TO BE PROMPTLY REFERRED TO THE SUPREME COURT FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION. Quoted hereunder, for the information and guidance of all concerned, is the resolution of the Court En Banc, dated November 29, 1988, in "RE: Letter of Acting Presiding Justice RODOLFO A. NOCON and Associate Justices REYNATO Puno and ALFREDO MARIGOMEN of the Court of Appeals." Acting on the letter of Acting Presiding Justice Rodolfo A. Nocon and Associate Justices Reynato Puno and Alfredo Marigomen of the Court of Appeals (First Division), dated November 11, 1988, addressed to Chief Justice Marcelo B. Fernan, the Court Resolved to require the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline headed by Atty. Jose F. Racela, Jr., Executive Commissioner, to REFER the complaint filed by Atty. Eduardo R. Balaoing docketed as CBD Case No. 055 to this Court for appropriate action as the said complaint was filed against them in their capacity as Court of Appeals Justices regarding a petition filed before their division. The assumption of such jurisdiction is a duplication of the Court's exclusive sphere of authority and power, not to mention its far-reaching ill effects on the administration of justice as provided for in Section 11, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution, which states: Sec. 11. The members of the Supreme Court and judges of the lower courts shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of seventy years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. The Supreme Court en banc shall have the power to discipline judges of lower courts, or order their dismissal by vote of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon. A review of the history of Rule 139-B on Disbarment and Discipline of Attorneys will show that the IBP's proposal to be given jurisdiction over complaints against a justice of the Court of Appeals or judge of a lower court was rejected in its final draft. Thus, the second paragraph of Section 3 of the Draft of the Proposed New Rule 139 suggested by the IBP which grants authority to its Board of Governors to acts on complaints against a Justice of the Court of Appeals or judge of the lower court is conspicuously dropped in its final version. In view whereof all complaints against Justices and Judges of the lower court filed with the Commission on Bar Discipline should promptly be REFERRED to the Supreme Court for appropriate action. Strict compliance herewith is hereby enjoined. December 20, 1988.

(Sgd.) MAXIMO A. MACEREN Court Administrator

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Joseph Estrada vs Macapagal & Desierto G.R. No. 146738, March 2, 2001 De Jure vs De Facto President Facts: Estrada alleges that he is the President on leave while respondent Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo claims she is the President. From the beginning of Eraps term, he was plagued by problems that slowly but surely eroded his popularity. His sharp descent from power started on October 4, 2000. Singson, a longtime friend of the Estrada, went on air and accused the Estrada, his family and friends of receiving millions of pesos from jueteng lords. The expos immediately ignited reactions ofrage. On January 19, the fall from power of the petitioner appeared inevitable. At 1:20 p.m., the petitioner informed Executive Secretary Edgardo Angara that General Angelo Reyes, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, had defected. January 20 turned to be the day of surrender. On January 22, the Monday after taking her oath, respondent Arroyo immediately discharged the powers and duties of the Presidency. After his fall from the pedestal of power, the Eraps legal problems appeared in clusters. Several cases previously filed against him in the Office of the Ombudsman were set in motion. ISSUE: Whether or not Arroyo is a legitimate (de jure) president. HELD: The SC holds that the resignation of Estrada cannot be doubted. It was confirmed by his leaving Malacaang. In the press release containing his final statement, (1) he acknowledged the oath-taking of the respondent as President of the Republic albeit 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 our nation. He did not say he was leaving the Palace due to any kind of inability and that he was going to re-assume the presidency as soon as the disability disappears; (3) he expressed his gratitude to the people for the opportunity to serve them. Without doubt, he was referring to the past opportunity given him to serve the people as President;

(4) he assured that he will not shirk from any future challenge that may come ahead in the same service of our country. Estradas reference is to a future challenge after occupying the office of the president which he has given up; and (5) he called on his supporters to join him in the promotion of a constructive national spirit of reconciliation and solidarity. Certainly, the national spirit of reconciliation and solidarity could not be attained if he did not give up the presidency. The press release was petitioners valedictory, his final act of farewell. His presidency is now in the past tense. Even if Erap can prove that he did not resign, still, he cannot successfully claim that he is a President on leave on the ground that he is merely unable to govern temporarily. That claim has been laid to rest by Congress and the decision that respondent Arroyo is the de jure President made by a co-equal branch of government cannot be reviewed by this Court.

Source: Full text of case Case digest -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------De Leon vs Esguerra GR 78059, Aug. 31, 1987, 153 SCRA 602 Facts: Alfredo de Leon won as barangay captain and other petitioners won as councilmen of barangay dolores, taytay, rizal. On february 9, 1987, de leon received memo antedated december 1, 1986 signed by OIC Gov. Benhamin Esguerra, february 8, 1987, designating Florentino Magno, as new captain by authority of minister of local government and similar memo signed february 8, 1987, designated new councilmen. Issue: Whether or not designation of successors is valid. Held: No, memoranda has no legal effect. 1. Effectivity of memoranda should be based on the date when it was signed. So, February 8, 1987 and not December 1, 1986. 2. February 8, 1987, is within the prescribed period. But provisional constitution was no longer in

efffect then because 1987 constitution has been ratified and its transitory provision, Article XVIII, sec. 27 states that all previous constitution were suspended. 3. Constitution was ratified on February 2, 1987. Thus, it was the constitution in effect. Petitioners now acquired security of tenure until fixed term of office for barangay officials has been fixed. Barangay election act is not inconsistent with constitution.

Sources: Full text of case Case Digest -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO vs. COMELEC (G.R. No. 127325 - March 19, 1997) Facts: Private respondent Atty. Jesus Delfin, president of Peoples Initiative for Reforms,Modernization and Action (PIRMA), filed with COMELEC a petition to amend the constitution to liftthe term limits of elective officials, through Peoples Initiative. He based this petition on Article XVII,Sec. 2 of the 1987 Constitution, which provides for the right of the people to exercise the power todirectly propose amendments to the Constitution. Subsequently the COMELEC issued an order directing the publication of the petition and of the notice of hearing and thereafter set the case for hearing. At the hearing, Senator Roco, the IBP, Demokrasya-Ipagtanggol ang Konstitusyon, PublicInterest Law Center, and Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino appeared as intervenors-oppositors.Senator Roco filed a motion to dismiss the Delfin petition on the ground that one which is cognizableby the COMELEC. The petitioners herein Senator Santiago, Alexander Padilla, and Isabel Ongpinfiled this civil action for prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court against COMELEC and theDelfin petition rising the several arguments, such as the following: (1) The constitutional provision onpeoples initiative to amend the constitution can only be implemented by law to be passed byCongress. No such law has been passed; (2) The peoples initiative is limited to amendments to theConstitution, not to revision thereof. Lifting of the term limits constitutes a revision, therefore it isoutside the power of peoples initiative. The Supreme Court granted the Motions for Intervention. Issues: (1) Whether or not Sec. 2, Art. XVII of the 1987 Constitution is a self-executing provision.(2) Whether or not COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 regarding the conduct of initiative onamendments to the Constitution is valid, considering the absence in the law of specific provisions onthe conduct of such initiative.(3) Whether the lifting of term limits of elective officials would constitute a revision or anamendment of the Constitution. Held: Sec. 2, Art XVII of the Constitution is not self executory, thus, without implementinglegislation the same cannot operate. Although the Constitution has recognized or granted the right,the people cannot exercise it if Congress does not provide for its implementation.The portion of COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 which prescribes rules and regulations on theconduct of initiative on

amendments to the Constitution, is void. It has been an established rule thatwhat has been delegated, cannot be delegated (potestas delegata non delegari potest). Thedelegation of the power to the COMELEC being invalid, the latter cannot validly promulgate rulesand regulations to implement the exercise of the right to peoples initiative.The lifting of the term limits was held to be that of a revision, as it would affect other provisions of the Constitution such as the synchronization of elections, the constitutional guaranteeof equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibiting political dynasties. A revisioncannot be done by initiative. However, considering the Courts decision in the above Issue, the issueof whether or not the petition is a revision or amendment has become academic

Sources: Full text of case Case digest -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Tolentino vs COMELEC

Political Law Amendment to the Constitution FACTS: The Constitutional Convention of 1971 scheduled an advance plebiscite on the proposal to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, before the rest of the draft of the Constitution (then under revision) had been approved. Tolentino et al filed a motion to prohibit such plebiscite and the same was granted by the SC. ISSUE: Whether or not the petition will prosper. HELD: The propose amendments shall be approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for ratification. Election here is singular which meant that the entire constitutionmust be submitted for ratification at one plebiscite only. Furthermore, the people were not given a proper frame of reference in arriving at their decision because they had at the time no idea yet of what the rest of the revised Constitutionwould ultimately be and therefore would be unable to assess the proposed amendment in the light of the entiredocument. This is the Doctrine of Submission which means that all the proposed amendments to the Constitutionshall be presented to the people for the ratification or rejection at the same time, NOT piecemeal.

Sources: Full text of case Case digest

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Philippine Bar Association vs. COMELEC 140 SCRA 455 January 7, 1986 FACTS: 11 petitions were filed for prohibition against the enforcement of BP 883 which calls for special national elections on February 7, 1986 (Snap elections) for the offices of President and Vice President of the Philippines. BP 883 in conflict with the constitution in that it allows the President to continue holding office after the calling of the special election. Senator Pelaez submits that President Marcos letter of conditional resignation did not create the actual vacancy required in Section 9, Article 7 of the Constitution which could be the basis of the holding of a special election for President and Vice President earlier than the regular elections for such positions in 1987. The letter states that the President is: irrevocably vacat(ing) the position of President effective only when the election is held and after the winner is proclaimed and qualified as President by taking his oath office ten (10) days after his proclamation. The unified opposition, rather than insist on strict compliance with the cited constitutional provision that the incumbent President actually resign, vacate his office and turn it over to the Speaker of the Batasang Pambansa as acting President, their standard bearers have not filed any suit or petition in intervention for the purpose nor repudiated the scheduled election. They have not insisted that President Marcos vacate his office, so long as the election is clean, fair and honest. ISSUE: Is BP 883 unconstitutional, and should the Supreme Court therefore stop and prohibit the holding of the elections HELD: The petitions in these cases are dismissed and the prayer for the issuance of an injunction restraining respondents from holding the election on February 7, 1986, in as much as there are less than the required 10 votes to declare BP 883 unconstitutional. The events that have transpired since December 3,as the Court did not issue any restraining order, have turned the issue into a political question (from the purely justiciable issue of the questioned constitutionality of the act due to the lack of the actual vacancy of the Presidents office) which can be truly decided only by the people in their sovereign capacity at the scheduled election, since there is no issue more political than the election. The Court cannot stand in the way of

letting the people decide through their ballot, either to give the incumbent president a new mandate or to elect a new president.

Sources: Case Digest ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Proclamation No. 1, s. 1986 MALACAANG MANILA PROCLAMATION NO. 1 Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. On the basis of the peoples mandate clearly manifested last February 7, I and Salvador H. Laurel are taking power in the name and by the will of the Filipino people as President and Vice President, respectively. The people expect a reorganization of government. Merit will be rewarded. As a first step to restore public confidence I expect all appointed public officials to submit their courtesy resignations beginning with the members of the Supreme Court. I pledge to do justice to the numerous victims of human rights violations. Consistent with the demands of the sovereign people, we pledge a government dedicated to uphold truth and justice, morality and decency in government, freedom and democracy. To help me run the government, I have issued Executive Order No. 1 dated February 25, 1986 appointing key cabinet ministers and creating certain task forces. I ask our people not to relax but to be even more vigilant in this one moment of triumph. The Motherland cannot thank them enough. Yet, we all realize that more is required of each and everyone of us to redeem our promises and prove to create a truly just society for our people. This is just the beginning. The same spirit which animated our campaign, and has led to our triumph, will once more prevail, by the power of the people and by the grace of God.

Done in the City of Manila, this 25th of February in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and eighty-six. (Sgd.) CORAZON C. AQUINO President Reference: Javante-De Dios, Daroy, Kalaw-Tirol (1988). Dictatorship and Revolution. Conspectus Foundation Inc.; p. 761

Source: -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Proclamation No. 3, s. 1986 MALACAANG MANILA BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES PROCLAMATION NO. 3 DECLARING A NATIONAL POLICY TO IMPLEMENT REFORMS MANDATED BY THE PEOPLE PROTECTING THEIR BASIC RIGHTS, ADOPTING A PROVISIONAL CONSTITUTION, AND PROVIDING FOR AN ORDERLY TRANSITION TO A GOVERNMENT UNDER A NEW CONSTITUTION WHEREAS, the new government was installed through a direct exercise of the power of the Filipino people assisted by units of the New Armed Forces of the Philippines; WHEREAS, the heroic action of the people was done in defiance of the provisions of the 1973 Constitution, as amended; WHEREAS, the direct mandate of the people as manifested by their extraordinary action demands the complete reorganization of the government, restoration of democracy, protection of basic rights, rebuilding of confidence in the entire government system, eradication of graft and corruption, restoration of peace and order, maintenance of the supremacy of civilian authority over the military, and the transition to government under a New Constitution in the shortest time possible;

WHEREAS, during the period of transition to a New Constitution it must be guaranteed that the government will respect basic human rights and fundamental freedoms; WHEREFORE, I, CORAZON C. AQUINO, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the power vested in me by the sovereign mandate of the people; do hereby promulgate the following Constitution: PROVISIONAL CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES ARTICLE 1 ADOPTION OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE 1973 CONSTITUTION, AS AMENDED SECTION 1. The provisions of ARTICLE I (National Territory), ARTICLE III (Citizenship), ARTICLE IV (Bill of Rights), ARTICLE V (Duties and Obligations of Citizens), and ARTICLE VI (Suffrage) of the 1973 Constitution, as amended, remain in the force and effect and are hereby adopted in toto as part of this Provisional Constitution. SECTION 2. The provision of ARTICLE II (Declaration of Principles and State Policies), ARTICLE VII (The President), ARTICLE X (The Judiciary), ARTICLE XI (Local Government), ARTICLE XIII (Accountability of Public Officers), ARTICLE XIV (The National Economy and Patrimony of the Nation), ARTICLE XV (General Provisions) of the 1973 Constitution, as amended, are hereby adopted as part of this Provisional Constitution, as amended, are hereby adopted as part of this Provisional Constitution, insofar as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Proclamation. ARTICLE II THE PRESIDENT, THE VICE-PRESIDENT, AND THE CABINET SECTION 1. Until a legislature is elected and convened under a New Constitution, the President shall continue to exercise legislative power. The President shall give priority to measures to achieve the mandate of the people to: a) Completely reorganize the government and eradicate unjust and oppressive structures, and all iniquitous vestiges of the previous regime; b) Make effective the guarantees of civil, political, human, social, economic and cultural rights and freedoms of the Filipino people, and provide remedies against violations thereof;


Rehabilitate the economy and promote the nationalist aspirations of the people;

d) Recover ill-gotten properties amassed by the leaders and supporters of the previous regime and protect the interest of the people through orders of sequestration or freezing of assets of accounts; e) Eradicate graft and corruption in government and punish those guilty thereof; and,

f) Restore peace and order, settle the problem of insurgency, and pursue national reconciliation based on justice. SECTION 2. The President shall be assisted by a Cabinet which shall be composed of Ministers with or without portfolio who shall be appointed by the President. They shall be accountable to and hold office at the pleasure of the President. SECTION 3. The President shall have control of and exercise general supervision over all local governments. SECTION 4. In case of permanent vacancy arising from death, incapacity or resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall become President. In case of death, permanent incapacity, or resignation of the Vice-President, the Cabinet shall choose from among themselves the Minister with portfolio who shall act as President. SECTION 5. The Vice-President may be appointed Member of the Cabinet and may perform such other functions as may be assigned to him by the President. SECTION 6. The President, the Vice-President, and the Members of the Cabinet shall be subject to the disabilities provided for in Section 8, Article VII, and in Section 6 and 7 Article IX, respectively, of the 1973 Constitution, as amended. ARTICLE III GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION SECTION 1. In the reorganization of the government, priority shall be given to measures to promote economy, efficiency, and the eradication of graft and corruption. SECTION 2. All elective and appointive officials and employees under the 1973 Constitution shall continue in the office until otherwise provided by proclamation or executive order or upon the

designation or appointment and qualification of their successors, if such is made within a period of one year from February 25, 1986. SECTION 3. Any public office or employees separated from the service as a result of the reorganization effected under this Proclamation shall, if entitled under the laws then in force, receive the retirement and other benefits accuring thereunder. SECTION 4. The records, equipment, buildings, facilities and other properties of all government offices shall be carefully preserved. In case any office or body is abolished or reorganized pursuant to this Proclamation, its funds and properties shall be transferred to the office or body to which its powers, functions, and responsibilities substantially pertain. ARTICLE IV EXISTING LAWS SECTION 1. All existing laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations, letters of instruction, implementing rules and regulations, and other executive issuances not inconsistent with this Proclamation shall remain operative until amended, modified, or repealed by the President or the regular legislative body to be established under a New Constitution. SECTION 2. The President may review all contracts, concessions, permits, or other forms of privileges for the exploration, development, exploitation, or utilization of natural resources entered into, granted, issued, or acquired before the date of this proclamation and when the national interest requires, amend, modify, or revoke them. ARTICLE V ADOPTION OF A NEW CONSTITUTION SECTION 1. Within sixty (60) days from date of this Proclamation, a Commission shall be appointed by the President to draft a New Constitution. The Commission shall be composed of not less than thirty (30) nor more than fifty (50) natural born citizens of the Philippines, of recognized probity, known for their independence, nationalism and patriotism. They shall be chosen by the President after consultation with various sectors of society. SECTION 2. The Commission shall complete its work within as short a period as may be consistent with the need both to hasten the return of normal constitutional government to draft a document truly reflective of the ideals and aspirations of the Filipino people. SECTION 3. The Commission shall conduct public hearings to insure that the people will have adequate participation in the formulation of the New Constitution. SECTION 4. The plenary session of the Commission shall be public and fully recorded.

SECTION 5. The New Constitution shall be presented by the Commission to the President who shall fix the date for the holding of a plebiscite. It shall become valid and effective upon ratification by a majority of the votes cast in such plebiscite which shall be held within a period of sixty (60) days following its submission to the President. ARTICLE VI HOLDING OF ELECTIONS SECTION 1. National elections shall be held as may be provided by the New Constitution. SECTION 2. Local elections shall be held on a date to be determined by the President which shall be held on a date to be determined by the President which shall not be earlier than the date of the plebiscite for the ratification of the New Constitution. ARTICLE VII EFFECTIVE DATE SECTION 1. This Proclamation shall take effect upon its promulgation by the President. SECTION 2. Pursuant to the letter and spirit of this Proclamation, a consolidated official text of the Provisional Constitution shall be promulgated by the President and published in English and Pilipino in the official Gazette and in newspapers of general circulation to insure widespread dissemination. DONE in the City of Manila, the 25th of March, in the year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Six. (Sgd.) CORAZON C. AQUINO By the President: (Sgd.) JOKER P. ARROYO Executive Secretary

Reference: Javante-De Dios, Daroy, Kalaw-Tirol (1988). Dictatorship and Revolution. Conspectus Foundation Inc.; pp. 764-7625

Source: -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Summary of Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, 1 Cranch 137, 2 L. Ed. 60 (1803). Facts On his last day in office, President John Adams named forty-two justices of the peace and sixteen new circuit court justices for the District of Columbia under the Organic Act. The Organic Act was an attempt by the Federalists to take control of the federal judiciary before Thomas Jefferson took office. The commissions were signed by President Adams and sealed by acting Secretary of State John Marshall (who later became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and author of this opinion), but they were not delivered before the expiration of Adamss term as president. Thomas Jefferson refused to honor the commissions, claiming that they were invalid because they had not been delivered by the end of Adamss term. William Marbury (P) was an intended recipient of an appointment as justice of the peace. Marbury applied directly to the Supreme Court of the United States for a writ of mandamus to compel Jeffersons Secretary of State, James Madison (D), to deliver the commissions. The Judiciary Act of 1789 had granted the Supreme Court original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus to any courts appointed, or persons holding office, under the authority of the United States. Issues Does Marbury have a right to the commission? Does the law grant Marbury a remedy? Does the Supreme Court have the authority to review acts of Congress and determine whether they are unconstitutional and therefore void? Can Congress expand the scope of the Supreme Courts original jurisdiction beyond what is specified in Article III of the Constitution? Does the Supreme Court have original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus? Holding and Rule (Marshall) Yes. Marbury has a right to the commission. The order granting the commission takes effect when the Executives constitutional power of appointment has been exercised, and the power has been exercised when the last act required from the person possessing the power has been performed. The grant of the commission to Marbury became effective when signed by President Adams. Yes. The law grants Marbury a remedy.The very essence of civil liberty certainly consists in the right of every individual to claim the protection of the laws whenever he receives an injury. One of the first duties of government is to afford that protection.

Where a specific duty is assigned by law, and individual rights depend upon the performance of that duty, the individual who considers himself injured has a right to resort to the law for a remedy. The President, by signing the commission, appointed Marbury a justice of the peace in the District of Columbia. The seal of the United States, affixed thereto by the Secretary of State, is conclusive testimony of the verity of the signature, and of the completion of the appointment. Having this legal right to the office, he has a consequent right to the commission, a refusal to deliver which is a plain violation of that right for which the laws of the country afford him a remedy. Yes. The Supreme Court has the authority to review acts of Congress and determine whether they are unconstitutional and therefore void. It is emphatically the duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases must, of necessity, expound and interpret the rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the Court must decide on the operation of each. If courts are to regard the Constitution, and the Constitution is superior to any ordinary act of the legislature, the Constitution, and not such ordinary act, must govern the case to which they both apply. No. Congress cannot expand the scope of the Supreme Courts original jurisdiction beyond what is specified in Article III of the Constitution. The Constitution states that the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction in all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be a party. In all other cases, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction. If it had been intended to leave it in the discretion of the Legislature to apportion the judicial power between the Supreme and inferior courts according to the will of that body, this section is mere surplusage and is entirely without meaning. If Congress remains at liberty to give this court appellate jurisdiction where the Constitution has declared their jurisdiction shall be original, and original jurisdiction where the Constitution has declared it shall be appellate, the distribution of jurisdiction made in the Constitution, is form without substance. No. The Supreme Court does not have original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus. To enable this court then to issue a mandamus, it must be shown to be an exercise of appellate jurisdiction, or to be necessary to enable them to exercise appellate jurisdiction. It is the essential criterion of appellate jurisdiction that it revises and corrects the proceedings in a cause already instituted, and does not create that case. Although, therefore, a mandamus may be directed to courts, yet to issue such a writ to an officer for the delivery of a paper is, in effect, the same as to sustain an original action for that paper, and is therefore a matter of original jurisdiction. Disposition Application for writ of mandamus denied. Marbury doesnt get the commission. See Ex Parte McCardle for a constitutional law case brief holding that that the Constitution gives Congress the express power to make exceptions to the Supreme Courts appellate jurisdiction.

Source: Full text of case Case Digest -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Defensor-Santiago vs. Guingona G.R. No. 134577, November 18, 1998 Sunday, January 25, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes Labels: Case Digests, Political Law Facts: During the first regular session of the eleventh Congress, Senator Fernan was declared the duly elected President of the Senate by a vote of 20 to 2. Senator Tatad manifested that, with the agreement of Senator Santiago, allegedly the only other member of the minority, he was assuming the position of minority leader. He explained that those who had voted for Senator Fernan comprised the majority, while only those who had voted for him, the losing nominee, belonged to the minority. Senator Flavier manifested that the senators belonging to the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP Party numbering 7 and, thus, also a minority had chosen Senator Guingona as the minority leader. Thereafter, the majority leader informed the body that he was in receipt of a letter signed by the 7 Lakas-NUCD-UMDP senators, stating that they had elected Senator Guingona as the minority leader. By virtue thereof, the Senate President formally recognized Senator Guingona as the minority leader of the Senate. Senators Santiago and Tatad filed a petition for quo warranto, alleging that Senator Guingona had been usurping, unlawfully holding and exercising the position of Senate minority leader, a position that, according to them, rightfully belonged to Senator Tatad.

Issues: (1) Whether or not the Court has jurisdiction over the petition (2) Whether or not there is an actual violation of the Constitution

Held: Regarding the first issue, jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case is determined by the allegations of the complaint or petition, regardless of whether the petitioner is entitled to the relief asserted. In light of the allegations of the petitioners, it is clear that the Court has jurisdiction over the petition. It is well within the power and jurisdiction of the Court to inquire whether indeed the Senate or its officials committed a violation of the Constitution or gravely abused their discretion in the exercise of their functions and prerogatives. However, the interpretation proposed by petitioners finds no clear support from the Constitution, the laws, the Rules of the Senate or even from practices of the Upper House. The term majority, when referring to a certain number out of a total or aggregate, it simply means the number greater than half or more than half of any total. In effect, while the Constitution mandates that the President of the Senate must be elected by a number constituting more than one half of all the members thereof, it does not provide that the members who will not vote for him shall ipso facto constitute the minority, who could thereby elect the minority leader. No law or regulation states that the defeated candidate shall automatically become the minority leader.

While the Constitution is explicit in the manner of electing a Senate President and a House Speaker, it is, however, dead silent on the manner of selecting the other officers in both chambers of Congress. All that the Charter says under Art. VI, Sec. 16(1) is that each House shall choose such other officers as it may deem necessary. The method of choosing who will be such other officers is merely a derivative of the exercise of the prerogative conferred by the said constitutional provision. Therefore, such method must be prescribed by the Senate itself, not by the Court.

Sources: Full text of case Case Digest -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Francisco Vs. House Of Representatives [415 SCRA 44; G.R. No. 160261; 10 Nov 2003] Sunday, January 18, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes Labels: Case Digests, Political Law 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 extra-constitutional 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 onethird 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 impeachment complaint may not be filed against the same official within a one year period. 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. 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. 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.