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THELMA P. GAMINDE, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON AUDIT and/or Hon. CELSO D. GANGAN, Hon. RAULC.

FLORES and EMMANUEL M. DALMAN, respondents. FACTS: On June 11, 1993, the President of the Philippines appointed petitioner Thelma P. Gaminde, ad interim, Commissioner, Civil Service Commission. She assumed office on June 22, 1993, after taking an oath of office. OnS e p t e m b e r 0 7 , 1 9 9 3 , t h e C o m m i s s i o n o n A p p o i n t m e n t , C o n g r e s s o f t h e P h i l i p p i n e s c o n f i r m e d t h e appointment. However, on February 24, 1998, petitioner sought clarification from the Office of the President as to the expiry date of her term of office. In reply to her request, the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, in a letter dated April 07, 1998 opined that petitioners term of office would expire on February 02, 2000, not on February 02, 1999.Relying on said advisory opinion, petitioner remained in Leon, wrote office after February 02, 1999. On February 04, 1999, Chairman Corazon Alma G. de the C o m m i s s i o n o n A u d i t r e q u e s t i n g o p i n i o n o n w h e t h e r o r n o t Commissioner Thelma P. Gaminde and her co-terminous staff may be paid their salaries notwithstanding the expiration of their appointments on February 02, 1999. On February 18, 1999, the General Counsel, Commission on Audit, issued an opinion that the term of Commissioner Gaminde has expired on February 02, 1999 as stated in her appointment conformably with the constitutional intent. Consequently, on March 24, 1999, CSC Resident Auditor Flovitas U. Felipe issued notice of disallowance No. 99-002-101 (99), disallowing in audit the salaries and emoluments pertaining to petitioner and her co-terminous staff, effective February 02, 1999. On April 5, 1999, petitioner appealed the disallowance to the Commission on Audit enbanc. On June 15, 1999, the Commission on Audit issued Decision dismissing petitioners appeal. The Commission on Audit affirmed the propriety of the disallowance, holding that the issue of petitioners term of office may be properly addressed by mere reference to her appointment paper which set the expiration date on February 02,1999, and that the Commission is bereft of power to recognize an extension of her term, not even with the implied acquiescence of the Office of the President. In time, petitioner moved for reconsideration; however, on August 17, 1999, the Commission on Audit denied the motion. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: The basic issue raised is whether the term of office of Atty. Thelma P. Gaminde, as Commissioner, Civil Service Commission, to which she was appointed on June 11, 1993, expired on February 02, 1999, as stated in the appointment paper, or on February 02, 2000, as claimed by her. HELD: The term of office of Ms. Thelma P. Gaminde as Commissioner, Civil Service C o m m i s s i o n , u n d e r a n appointment extended to her by President Fidel V. Ramos on June 11, 1993, expired on February 02, 1999.However, she served as de facto officer in good faith until February 02, 2000, and thus entitled to receive her salary and other emoluments for actual service rendered. Consequently, the Commission on Audit erred in disallowing in audit such salary and other emoluments, including that of her co-terminous staff. RATIO: Consequently, the terms of the first Chairmen and Commissioners of the Constitutional Commissions under the 1987 Constitution must start on a common date, irrespective of the variatio n s i n t h e d a t e s o f appointments and qualifications of the appointees, in order that the expiration of the

first terms of seven, five and three years should lead to the regular recurrence of the two-year interval between the expiration of the terms. Applying the foregoing conditions to the case at bar, we rule that the appropriate starting point of the terms of office of the first appointees to the Constitutional Commissions under the 1987 Constitution must be on February 02, 1987, the date of the adoption of the 1987 Constitution. In case of a belated appointment or qualification, the interval between the start of the term and the actual qualification of the appointee must be counted against the latter. In the law of public officers, there is a settled distinction between term and tenure. [T]he term of an office must be distinguished from the tenure of the incumbent. The term means the time during which the officer may claim to hold office as of right, and fixes the interval after which the several incumbents shall succeed one another. The tenure represents the term during which the incumbent actually holds the office. The term of office is not affected by the hold-over. The tenure may be shorter than the term for reasons within or beyond the power of the incumbent. Clearly, the transitory provisions mean that the incumbent members of the Constitutional Commissions shall continue in office for one year after the ratification of this Constitution under their existing appointments at the discretion of the appointing power, who may cut short their tenure by: (1) their removal from office for cause; (2) their becoming incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office, or (3) their appointment to a new term thereunder, all of which events may occur before the end of the one year period after the effectivity of the Constitution. However, the transitory provisions do not affect the term of office fixed in Article IX, providing for a sevenfive-three year rotational interval for the first appointees under this Constitution. G.R. No. 157013 July 10, 2003 ATTY. ROMULO B. MACALINTAL, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, HON. ALBERTO ROMULO, in his official capacity as Executive Secretary, and HON. EMILIA T. BONCODIN, Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management, respondents.

FACTS: This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by Romulo B. Macalintal, a member of the Philippine Bar, seeking a declaration that certain provisions of Republic Act No. 9189 (The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 suffer from constitutional infirmity. Claiming that he has actual and material legal interest in the subject matter of this case in seeing to it that public funds are properly and lawfully used and appropriated, petitioner filed the instant petition as a taxpayer and as a lawyer. ISSUES: (A.) Does Section 5(d) of Rep. Act No. 9189 allowing the registration of voters who are immigrants or permanent residents in other countries by their mere act of executing an affidavit expressing their intention to return to the Philippines, violate the residency requirement in Section 1 of Article V of the Constitution? (B.) Does Section 18.5 of the same law empowering the COMELEC to proclaim the winning candidates for national offices and party list representatives including the President and the Vice-President violate the constitutional mandate under Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution that the winning candidates for President and the Vice-President shall be proclaimed as winners by Congress? (C.) May Congress, through the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee created in Section25 of Rep. Act No. 9189, exercise the power to review, revise, amend, and approve the Implementing Rules and

Regulations that the Commission on Elections shall promulgate without violating the independence of the COMELEC under Section 1, Article IX-A of the Constitution? HELD: In resolving the issues, the application of the rules in Statutory Construction must be applied: 1. All laws are presumed to be constitutional 2. The constitution must be construed as a whole 3.In case of doubt in the interpretation of the provision of the constitution, such meaning must be deduced from the discussions of the members of the constitutional commission. A.) Does Section 5(d) of Rep. Act No. 9189 violate Section 1, Article V of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines? SEC. 4. Coverage All citizens of the Philippines abroad, who are not otherwise disqualified by law, at least eighteen (18) years of age on the day of elections, may vote for president, vice-president, senators and party-list representatives. which does not require physical residency in the Philippines; and Section 5 of the assailed law which enumerates those who are disqualified, to wit: SEC. 5. Disqualifications The following shall be disqualified from voting under this Act: a) Those who have lost their Filipino citizenship in accordance with Philippine laws; b) Those who have expressly renounced their Philippine citizenship and who have pledged allegiance to a foreign country; c) Those who have committed and are convicted in a final judgment by a court or tribunal of an offense punishable by imprisonment of not less than one (1) year, including those who have committed and been found guilty of Disloyalty as defined under Article 137 of the Revised Penal Code , such disability not having been removed by plenary pardon or amnesty: Provided ,however , That any person disqualified to vote under this subsection shall automatically acquire the right to vote upon expiration of five (5) years after service of sentence; Provided ,further , That the Commission may take cognizance of final judgments issued by foreign courts or tribunals only on the basis of reciprocity and subject to the formalities and processes prescribed by the Rules of Court on execution of judgments; d) An immigrant or a permanent resident who is recognized as such in the host country, unless he/she executes, upon registration, an affidavit prepared for the purpose by the Commission declaring that he/she shall resume actual physical permanent residence in the Philippines not later than three (3) years from approval of his/her registration under this Act. Such affidavit shall also state that he/she has not applied for citizenship in another country. Failure to return shall be cause for the removal of the name of the immigrant or permanent resident from the National Registry of Absentee Voters and his/her permanent disqualification to vote in absentia. e) Any citizen of the Philippines abroad previously declared insane or incompetent by competent authority in the Philippines or abroad, as verified by the Philippine embassies, consulates or foreign service establishments concerned, unless such competent authority subsequently certifies that such person is no longer insane or incompetent. As finally approved into law, Section 5(d) of R.A. No. 9189 specifically disqualifies an immigrant or permanent resident who is "recognized as such in the host country" because immigration or permanent residence in another country implies renunciation of ones residence in his country of

origin. However, same Section allows an immigrant and permanent resident abroad to register as voter for as long as he/she executes an affidavit to show that he/she has not abandoned his domicile in pursuance of the constitutional intent expressed in Sections 1 and 2 of Article V that "all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law" must be entitled to exercise the right of suffrage and, that Congress must establish a system for absentee voting; for otherwise, if actual, physical residence in the Philippines is required, there is no sense for the framers of the Constitution to mandate Congress to establish a system for absentee voting.

B.Is Section 18.5 of R.A. No. 9189 in relation to Section 4 of the same Act in contravention of Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution? Section 4 of R.A. No. 9189 provides that the overseas absentee voter may vote for president, vicepresident, senators and party-list representatives. Section 18.5 of the same Act provides: SEC. 18. On-Site Counting and Canvassing. 18. 5 The canvass of votes shall not cause the delay of the proclamation of a winning candidate if the outcome of the election will not be affected by the results thereof. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Commission is empowered to order the proclamation of winning candidates despite the fact that the scheduled election has not taken place in a particular country or countries, if the holding of elections therein has been rendered impossible by events, factors and circumstances peculiar to such country or countries, in which events, factors and circumstances are beyond the control or influence of the Commission. (Emphasis supplied) SEC. 4 . . .The returns of every election for President and VicePresident, duly certified by the board of canvassers of each province or city, shall be transmitted to the Congress, directed to the President of the Senate. Upon receipt of the certificates of canvass, the President of the Senate shall, not later than thirty days after the day of the election, open all the certificates in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives in joint public session, and the Congress, upon determination of the authenticity and due execution thereof in the manner provided by law, canvass the votes. The person having the highest number of votes shall be proclaimed elected, but in case two or more shall have an equal and highest number of votes, one of them shall forthwith be chosen by the vote of a majority of all the Members of both Houses of the Congress, voting separately. The Congress shall promulgate its rules for the canvassing of the certificates.. . .Such provision gives the Congress the duty to canvass the votes and proclaim the winning candidates for president and vice-president. It was held that this provision must be harmonized with paragraph 4, Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution and should be taken to mean that COMELEC can only proclaim the winning Senators and party-list representatives but not the President and Vice-President. The phrase, proclamation of winning candidates, in Section 18.5 of R.A. No. 9189 is far too sweeping that it necessarily includes the proclamation of the winning candidates for the presidency and the vice presidency. clashes with paragraph 4, Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution which provides that there turns of every election for President and Vice-President shall be certified by the board of canvassers to Congress. Congress could not have allowed the COMELEC to usurp a power that constitutionally belongs to it or, as aptly stated by petitioner, to encroach "on the power of Congress to canvass the votes for president and vice-president and the power to proclaim the winners for the said positions. "The provisions of the Constitution as the fundamental law of the land should be read as part of The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 and hence, the canvassing of the votes and the proclamation of the winning candidates for president and vice-president for the entire nation must remain in the hands of Congress.

C. Are Sections 19 and 25 of R.A. No. 9189 in violation of Section 1, Article IX-A of the Constitution? Section 1. The Constitutional Commissions, which shall be independent, are the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Elections, and the Commission on Audit. SEC. 17. Voting by Mail For the May, 2004 elections, the Commission shall authorize voting by mail in not more than three (3) countries, subject to the approval of the Congressional Oversight Committee. Voting by mail may be allowed in countries that satisfy the following conditions: a) Where the mailing system is fairly well-developed and secure to prevent occasion for fraud; b) Where there exists a technically established identification system that would preclude multiple or proxy voting; and c) Where the system of reception and custody of mailed ballots in the embassies, consulates and other foreign service establishments concerned are adequate and well-secured. Thereafter, voting by mail in any country shall be allowed only upon review and approval of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee . . . . . . . . . (Emphasis supplied) Such provision is unconstitutional as it violates Section 1, Article IX-A mandating the independence of constitutional commissions. The phrase, "subject to the approval of the Congressional Oversight Committee" in the first sentence of Section 17.1 which empowers the Commission to authorize voting by mail in not more than three countries for the May, 2004 elections; and the phrase, "only upon review and approval of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee" found in the second paragraph of the same section are unconstitutional as they require review and approval of voting by mail in any country after the 2004elections. Congress may not confer upon itself the authority to approve or disapprove the countries wherein voting by mail shall be allowed, as determined by the COMELEC pursuant to the conditions provided for in Section 17.1 of R.A. No. 9189. Otherwise, Congress would overstep the bounds of its constitutional mandate and intrude into the independence of the COMELEC. WHEREFORE, the petition is partly GRANTED. The following portions of R.A. No. 9189 are declared VOID for being UNCONSTITUTIONAL
DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO vs. COMELEC(G.R. No. 127325 - March 19, 1997) Facts: Private respondent Atty. Jesus Delfin, president of Peoples Initiative for R e f o r m s , Modernization and Action (PIRMA), filed with COMELEC a petition to amend the constitution to lift the 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 to directly 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, Public Interest 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 cognizable by the COMELEC. The petitioners herein Senator Santiago, Alexander Padilla, and Isabel Ongpin filed this civil action for prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court against COMELEC and the Delfin petition rising the several arguments, such as the following: (1) The constitutional provision on peoples initiative to amend the constitution can only be implemented by law to be p a s s e d b y Congress. No such law has been passed; (2) The peoples initiative is limited to amendments to the Constitution, not to revision thereof. Lifting of the term limits constitutes a revision,

therefore it is outside the power of peoples initiative. The Supreme Court granted the Motions for Intervention. Issues: (1) Whether or not Sec. 2 of Art. XVII of the 1987 Constitution is a self-executing provision. (2) Whether or not COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 regarding the conduct of initiative on amendments to the Constitution is valid, considering the absence in the law of specific provisions on the conduct of such initiative. (3) Whether the lifting of term limits of elective officials would constitute a revision or an amendment of the Constitution. Held:

Sec. 2, Art XVII of the Constitution is not self executory, thus, without imple m e n t i n g legislation 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 the conduct of initiative on amendments to the Constitution, is void. It has been an established rule that what has been delegated, cannot be delegated (potestas delegata non delegari pot est). T h e delegation of the power to the COMELEC being invalid, the latter cannot validly promulgate rules and regulations to implement the exercise of the right to peoples initiative. T h e lifting of the term limits was held to be that of a revision, as it would affect o t h e r provisions of the Constitution such as the synchronization of elections, the constitutional guarantee of equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibiting political dynasties. A revision cannot be done by initiative. However, considering the Courts decision in the above Issue, the issue of whether or not the petition is a revision or amendment has become academic.
LAMBINO VS. COMELEC [G.R. No. 174153; 25 Oct 2006] Monday, January 19, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes Labels: Case Digests, Political Law Facts: Petitioners (Lambino group) commenced gathering signatures for an initiative petition to change the 1987 constitution, they filed apetition with the COMELEC to hold a plebiscite that will ratify theirinitiative petition under RA 6735. Lambino group alleged that thepetition had the support of 6M individuals fulfilling what was provided by art 17 of the constitution. Their petition changes the 1987 constitutionby modifying sections 1-7 of Art 6 and sections 1-4 of Art 7 and by adding Art 18. the proposed changes will shift the present bicameral- presidential form of government to unicameral- parliamentary. COMELEC denied the petition due to lack of enabling law governinginitiative petitions and invoked the Santiago Vs. Comelec ruling that RA6735 is inadequate to implement the initiative petitions. Issues: (1) Whether or Not the Lambino Groups initiative petitioncomplies with Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution on amendments to the Constitution through a peoples initiative; (2) Whether or Not this Court should revisit its ruling in Santiago declaring RA 6735incomplete, inadequate or wanting in essential terms

and conditions to implement the initiative clause on proposals to amend the Constitution; (3) Whether or Not the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in denying due course to the Lambino Groups petition. Held: According to the SC the Lambino group failed to comply with the basic requirements for conducting a peoples initiative. The Court held that the COMELEC did not grave abuse of discretion on dismissing the Lambino petition. 1. The Initiative Petition Does Not Comply with Section 2, Article XVII ofthe Constitution on Direct Proposal by the People

The petitioners failed to show the court that the initiative signer must be informed at the time of the signing of the nature and effect, failure to do so is deceptive and misleading which renders theinitiative void. 2. The Initiative Violates Section 2, Article XVII of the ConstitutionDisallowing Revision through Initiatives The framers of the constitution intended a clear distinction between amendment and revision, it is intended that the third mode of stated in sec 2 art 17 of the constitution may propose onlyamendments to the constitution. Merging of the legislative and the executive is a radical change, therefore a constitutes a revision. 3. A Revisit of Santiago v. COMELEC is Not Necessary Even assuming that RA 6735 is valid, it will not change the result because the present petition violated Sec 2 Art 17 to be a validinitiative, must first comply with the constitution before complying with RA 6735 Petition is dismissed.

GONZALES VS. COMELEC [21 SCRA 774; G.R. No. L-28196; 9 Nov 1967]
Friday, January 30, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Facts: The

case

is

an

original

action

for

prohibition,

with

preliminary

injunction.

The main facts are not disputed. On March 16, 1967, the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the following resolutions:

1. R. B. H. (Resolution of Both Houses) No. 1, proposing that Section 5, Article VI, of the Constitution of

the Philippines, be amended so as to increase the membership of the House of Representatives from a maximum of 120, as provided in the present Constitution, to a maximum of 180, to be apportioned among the several provinces as nearly as may be according to the number of their respective inhabitants, although each province shall have, at least, one (1) member;

2. R. B. H. No. 2, calling a convention to propose amendments to said Constitution, the convention to be composed of two (2) elective delegates from each representative district, to be "elected in the general elections to be held on the second Tuesday of November, 1971;" and

3. R. B. H. No. 3, proposing that Section 16, Article VI, of the same Constitution, be amended so as to authorize Senators and members of the House of Representatives to become delegates to the aforementioned constitutional convention, without forfeiting their respective seats in Congress.

Subsequently, Congress passed a bill, which, upon approval by the President, on June 17, 1967, became Republic Act No. 4913, providing that the amendments to the Constitution proposed in the aforementioned Resolutions No. 1 and 3 be submitted, for approval by the people, at the general elections which shall be held on November 14, 1967.

Issue: Whether or Not a Resolution of Congress, acting as a constituent assembly, violates the Constitution. Held: Inasmuch as there are less than eight (8) votes in favor of declaring Republic Act 4913 and R. B. H. Nos. 1 and 3 unconstitutional and invalid, the petitions in these two (2) cases must be, as they are hereby, dismiss and the writs therein prayed for denied, without special pronouncement as to costs. It is so ordered. As a consequence, the title of a de facto officer cannot be assailed collaterally. It may not be contested except directly, by quo warranto proceedings. Neither may the validity of his acts be questioned upon the ground that he is merely a de facto officer. And the reasons are obvious: (1) it would be an indirect inquiry into the title to the office; and (2) the acts of a de facto officer, if within the competence of hisoffice, are valid, insofar as the public is concerned.

"The judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments and among the integral or constituent units thereof." Article XV of the Constitution provides:

. . . The Congress in joint session assembled, by a vote of three-fourths of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representativesvoting separately, may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a contention for that purpose. Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a

majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. From our viewpoint, the provisions of Article XV of the Constitution are satisfied so long as the electorate knows that R. B. H. No. 3 permits Congressmen to retain their seats as legislators, even if they should run for and assume the functions of delegates to the Convention.

ARTURO M. TOLENTINO vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS G.R. No. L-34150 October 16, 1971
FACTS: The case is a petition for prohibition to restrain respondent Commission on Elections "from undertaking to hold a plebiscite on November 8, 1971," at which the proposed constitutional amendment "reducing the voting age" in Section 1 of Article V of the Constitution of the Philippines to eighteen years "shall be, submitted" for ratification by the people pursuant to Organic Resolution No. 1 of the Constitutional Convention of 1971, and the subsequent implementing resolutions, by declaring said resolutions to be without the force and effect of law for being violative of the Constitution of the Philippines. The Constitutional Convention of 1971 came into being by virtue of two resolutions of the Congress of the Philippines approved in its capacity as a constituent assembly convened for the purpose of calling a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution namely, Resolutions 2 and 4 of the joint sessions of Congress held on March 16, 1967 and June 17, 1969 respectively. The delegates to the said Convention were all elected under and by virtue of said resolutions and the implementing legislation thereof, Republic Act 6132. ISSUE: Is it within the powers of the Constitutional Convention of 1971 to order the holding of a plebiscite for the ratification of the proposed amendment/s. HELD: The Court holds that all amendments to be proposed must be submitted to the people in a single "election" or plebiscite. We hold that the plebiscite being called for the purpose of submitting the same for ratification of the people on November 8, 1971 is not authorized by Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution, hence all acts of the Convention and the respondent Comelec in that direction are null and void. lt says distinctly that either Congress sitting as a constituent assembly or a convention called for the purpose "may propose amendments to this Constitution,". The same provision also as definitely provides that "such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification," thus leaving no room for doubt as to how many "elections" or plebiscites may be held to ratify any amendment or amendments proposed by the same constituent assembly of Congress or convention, and the provision unequivocably says "an election" which means only one. The petition herein is granted. Organic Resolution No. 1 of the Constitutional Convention of 1971 and the implementing acts and resolutions of the Convention, insofar as they provide for the holding of a plebiscite on November 8, 1971, as well as the resolution of the respondent Comelec complying therewith (RR Resolution No. 695) are hereby declared null and void. The respondents Comelec, Disbursing Officer, Chief Accountant and Auditor of the Constitutional Convention are hereby enjoined from taking any action in compliance with the said organic resolution. In view of the peculiar circumstances of this case, the Court declares this decision

immediately .

executory.

No

costs

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 complaintagainst Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. with the House of Representativesfalls 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 governmentact 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 officialaction 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 one-third of the members of the House of Representatives with the Secretary General of the House, the meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. Once an impeachment complainthas 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 complaintagainst Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr is barred under paragraph 5, section 3 of Article XI of the Constitution. Francisco vs. House of Representatives G.R. No. 160261, November 10, 2003 Facts: On July 22, 2002, the House of Representatives adopted a Resolution, sponsored by Representative Fuentabella, which directed the Committee on Justice to conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, on the manner of disbursements and expenditures by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF). On June 2, 2003, former President Joseph Estrada held an impeachment complaint (first impeachment complaint) against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. and seven Associate Justices of the Supreme Court for culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust and other high crimes. The complaint was endorsed by Representatives Suplico, Zamora and Dilangalen, and was referred to the House Committee on Justice on August 5, 2003 in accordance with Section 3 (2) of Article XI of the Constitution, which provides the substantial rules in initiating impeachment cases. The House on Committee on Justice ruled on October 13, 2003 that the first impeachment complaint was sufficient in form, but voted to dismiss the same on October 22, 2003 for being insufficient in substance. Four months and three weeks since the filing on June 2, 2003 of the first complaint, or on October 23, 2003, a day after the House Committee on Justice voted to dismiss it, the second impeachment complaint was filed with the Secretary General of the House by Representatives Teodoro, Jr. and Fuentabella against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr., founded on the alleged results of the legislative inquiry initiated by the abovementioned House Resolution. Thus arose the instant petitions against the House of Representatives, et al., most of which petitions contend that the filing of the second impeachment complaint was unconstitutional as it violates the provision of Section 5 of Article XI of the Constitution that no impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. On their comments on the petitions, respondent House of Representatives through Speaker De Venecia and/or its co-respondents, submitted a Manifestation asserting the Court has no jurisdiction to hear, much less prohibit or enjoin the House of Representatives, which is an independent and co-equal branch of government under the Constitution, from the performance of its constitutionally mandated duty to initiate impeachment cases.

The Senate of the Philippines, through Senate President Drilon, also filed a Manifestation stating that insofar as it is concerned, the petitions are plainly premature and have no basis in law or in fact, adding that as of the time of filing of the petitions, no justiciable issue was presented before it. Atty. Jaime Soriano filed a Petition for Leave to Intervene, questioning the status quo Resolution issued by the Court on the ground that it would unnecessarily put Congress and the Court in a constitutional deadlock and praying for the dismissal of all the petitions as the matter in question is not yet ripe for judicial determination. Several motions for intervention were filed and were granted thereafter. Issue: Whether or not the certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may be invoked; who can invoke it; on what issues and at what time; and whether or not it should be exercised by the Court at this time. Held: The matters will be discussed in seriatim. 1. Judicial Review

The Supreme Courts power of judicial review is conferred on the judicial branch of the government in Sec. 1, Art. VII of our present 1987 Constitution, the second paragraph of which states: Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. Citing the case of Angara vs. Electoral Commission, the Court expounded on the power of judicial review stating that in cases of conflict, the judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments and among the integral or constituent units thereof when the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert superiority over the other departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them This moderating power to determine the proper allocation of powers of the different branches of the government and to direct the course of government along constitutional channels is inherent in all courts as a necessary consequence of the judicial power itself, which is the power of the court to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in our system of government The Constitution has provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the various departments of the government And the judiciary in turn, with the Supreme Court as the final arbiter, effectively checks the other departments in the exercise of its power to determine the law, and hence to declare executive and legislative acts void if violative of the Constitution. (Angara vs. Electoral Commission) Ensuring the potency of the power of judicial review to curb grave abuse of discretion by any branch or instrumentalities of government, former Chief Justice Constitutional Commissioner Roberto Concepcion, in his sponsorship speech, even states that such power is not only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature. 2. Essential Requisites for Judicial Review

The courts power of judicial review, like almost all powers conferred by the Constitution, is subject to several limitations, namely: (1) an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must have standing to challenge; he must have a personal and substantial interest in the

case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case. a. Standing Locus standi or legal standing is defined as a personal and substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged. Intervenor Soriano, in praying for the dismissal of the petitions, contends that petitioners do not have standing since only the Chief Justice has sustained and will sustain direct personal injury. On the other hand, the Solicitor General asserts that petitioners have standing since this Court had, in the past, accorded standing to taxpayers, voters, concerned citizens, legislators in cases involving paramount public interest and transcendental importance. There is, however, a difference between the rule on real-party-in-interest and the rule on standing, for the former is a concept of civil procedure while the latter has constitutional underpinnings. Standing is a special concern of the constitutional law because in some cases suits are brought not by parties who have been personally injured by the operation of law or by official action taken, but by concerned citizens, taxpayers, voters who actually sue in the public interest. Hence, the question is whether such parties have alleged such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. On the other hand, the question as to real-party-in-interest is whether he is the party who would be benefited or injured by the judgment, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit. While rights personal to the Chief Justice may have been injured by the alleged unconstitutional acts of the House of Representatives, none of the petitioners asserts a violation of the personal rights of the Chief Justice. On the contrary, they invariably invoke the vindication of their own rights as taxpayers; members of Congress; citizens, individually or in a class suit; and members of the bar and of the legal profession which were supposedly violated by the alleged unconstitutional acts of the House of Representatives. In a long line of cases, however, concerned citizens, taxpayers and legislators when specific requirements have been met have been given standing in this Court. 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 pubic money is being deflected to any improper purpose, or that there is 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. As for the legislator, the Court allowed him 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. An association has legal personality to represent its members, especially when it is composed of substantial taxpayers and the outcome will affect their vital interests. In class suits filed in behalf of all citizens, persons intervening must be sufficiently numerous to fully protect the interests of all concerned to enable the court to deal properly with all interests involved in the suit, for a judgment in a class suit, whether favorable or unfavorable to the class, is, under the res judicata principle, binding on all members of the class whether or not they were before the court. With respect to motions for intervention, Rule 19, Section 2 of the Rules of Court requires an intervenor to possess a legal interest in the matter in litigation, or in the success of either of the parties, or an interest against both, or is so situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the custody of the court of an officer thereof. While intervention is not a matter of right, the courts may permit it when the applicant shows facts that satisfy the requirements of the law authorizing intervention. In this case, the Court granted motions to intervene except that of intervenor Soriano, who asserts an interest as a taxpayer but failed to meet the standing requirement for bringing taxpayers suit. In praying for the dismissal of the petitions, Soriano failed even to allege that the act of petitioners would result in illegal disbursement of public funds or in public money being deflected to any improper purpose. Additionally, his mere interest as a member of the Bar does not suffice to clothe him with standing. b. Ripeness and Prematurity For a case to be considered ripe for adjudication, it is a prerequisite that something had by then been accomplished or performed by either branch before a court may come into the picture. Only then may the courts pass on the validity of what was done, if and when the latter is challenged in an appropriate proceeding. The instant petitions raise the issue of the validity of the filing of the second impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice in accordance with the House Impeachment Rules adopted by 12th Congress, the constitutionality of which is questioned. The questioned acts having been carried out, i.e. the second impeachment complaint had been filed with the House of Representatives and the 2001 Rules have already been promulgated and enforced, the prerequisite that the alleged unconstitutional act should be accomplished and performed before suit, has been complied with. c. Justiciability

Political questions are those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the Legislature or executive branch of the Government. It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a particular measure. Citing Chief Justice Concepcion, when he became a Constitutional Commissioner: The powers of government are generally considered divided into three branches: the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judiciary. Each one is supreme within its own sphere and independent of the others. Because of that supremacy power to determine whether a given law is valid or not is vested in courts of justice courts of justice determine the limits of powers of the agencies and offices of the government as well as those of its officers. The judiciary is the final arbiter on the question whether or not a branch of government or any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction, or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction. This is not only a judicial power but also a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature a duty which cannot be abdicated by the mere specter of the political law doctrine. The determination of a truly political question from a non-justiciable political question lies in the answer to the

question of whether there are constitutionally imposed limits on powers or functions conferred upon political bodies. If there are, then our courts are duty-bound to examine whether the branch or instrumentality of the government properly acted within such limits. This Court thus now applies this standard to the present controversy. The Court held that it has no jurisdiction over the issue that goes into the merits of the second impeachment complaint. More importantly, any discussion of this would require this Court to make a determination of what constitutes an impeachable offense. Such a determination is a purely political question which the Constitution has left to the sound discretion of the legislation. On the other hand, issues regarding the constitutionality of Sections 15 and 16 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules adopted by the 12th Congress, as a result thereof, barring the second impeachment complaint under Section 3(5) of Article XI of the Constitution, constitute the very lis mota or crux of the instant controversy. 3. Conclusion This Court did not heed the call to adopt a hands-off stance as far as the question of the constitutionality of initiating the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide is concerned. The Court found the existence in full of all the requisite conditions for its exercise of its constitutionally vested power and duty of the judicial review over an issue whose resolution precisely called for the construction or interpretation of a provision of the fundamental law of the land. What lies in here is an issue of a genuine constitutional material which only this Court can properly and competently address and adjudicate in accordance with the clear-cut allocation of powers under our system of government. Face-to-face with a matter or problem that squarely falls under the Courts jurisdiction, no other course of action can be had but for it to pass upon that problem head on. This 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 not at all the business of this Court to assert judicial dominance over the other two great branches of the government. The Court, therefore, held sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of 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., which was filed on October 23, 2003, is barred under paragraph 5, section 3 of Article XI of the Constitution. Personal Observation: This is a very recent case. Everything I learned regarding jurisdiction is consistent to the principles applied in the case. Generally, if the case is not justiciable, even if the court has the power and authority to hear and decide the case, the court will refuse to decide or exercise its jurisdiction. To be the subject of control of the court, 3 elements must be present: 1. 2. 3. Actual controversy; A case must be ripe for adjudication; Parties to the case must have legal standing.

These three were given and were exhaustively explained in the case above. Also, there are 2 Phases of Judicial Power:

1.

Settlement of actual claims between two opposing claims or rights;

2. Duty to check acts of government done with grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. The present controversy falls under the second phase since, as the Court explained, it involves a genuine constitutional issue, which this Court has the right and duty to adjudicate.

EN BANC [G.R. No. 159940. February 16, 2005] OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, petitioner, vs.CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, respondent.

Facts: It appears that Carandang and Clemente were in the meantime conferred with CSE Eligibility pursuant to CSC Resolution No. 03-0665 dated June 6, 2003.Petitioner subsequently reclassified several positions by Resolution No. 0203 dated August 18, 2003 including Graft Investigation Officer III which was reclassified to Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer III. The Ombudsman thereupon requested the approval of the proposed Qualification Standards for the reclassified positions. With respect to the reclassified Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer III position, the Qualification Standards were the same as those for Graft Investigation Officer III. Subsequently, the CSC, by the challenged Resolution of August 28, 2003, changed the status of Carandangs and Clementes appointments to permanent effective June 6, 2003, but not with respect to De Jesus on the ground that he has not met the eligibility requirements. Issue: Whether or not that there are independent offices specifically authorized by the constitution to appoint their officials, does this imply that their appointment will not be subject to civil service law and rules?

Ruling: WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. Resolution No. 030919 of the Civil Service Commission dated August 28, 2003 is hereby SET ASIDE. The appointment of Jose Tereso U. de Jesus, Jr., as well as those of Melchor Arthur H. Carandang, Paul Elmer M. Clemente, is hereby ordered made permanent effective December 18, 2002.

CAMANAG VS. GUERRERO G.R. No. 121017 February 17, 1997 Facts: Sometime in 1993, the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) issued the Table of Results of those who failed the May, 1993 Certified Public Accountant (CPA)Licensure Examinations where petitioner Olivia B. Camanag was listed as having failed with a general average of 50.00%.The following year, an anonymous letter was sent to PRC Chairman Hermogenes P. Pobre 'claiming that certain BIR employees allegedly passed the CPA Licensure Exams under anomalous circumstances and Chairman Pobre immediately referred the situation to the Ombudsman. Ombudsman Investigator set the fact-finding investigation of the matter and issued a Subpoena Duces Tecum to the Chief of the BIR Personnel Division. Petitioner seeks the declaration of nullity of Sections 15 and 17 of the Ombudsman Act (R.A. No. 6770), insofar as it empowers the Ombudsman to conduct preliminary investigations and to directly undertake criminal prosecutions. Issue: W/N the power of the Ombudsman to conduct preliminary investigations is a violation of the constitution.

Decision: No. The Ombudsman. under the 1987Constitution, particularly under paragraph 8. Section 13,Article XI.9 may be validly empowered with prosecutorial functions by the legislature, and this the latter did when it passed R.A. No. 6670, which gave the Ombudsman, among9 others, the power to investigate and prosecute individuals on matters and/or complaints referred or filed before it. Moreover, the Office of the Ombudsman is a distinct constitutional body whose duties and functions are provided for by the Constitution itself. Considering that the power of the Ombudsman to investigate and prosecute criminal cases emanates as it does from the Constitution itself, particularly, under paragraph 8, Section 13, Article XI, which empowers the Ombudsman to "exercise such other powers or perform such other functions or duties" as Congress may prescribe through legislation, it cannot be argued that such power or the exercise thereof is unconstitutional or violative of the principle of separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution. The case was dismissed.

BANAT v COMELEC G.R. No. 179271 April 21, 2009 07/16/2010 Facts: On 27 June 2002, BANAT filed a Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List Representatives Provided by the Constitution, docketed as NBC No. 07-041 (PL) before the NBC. BANAT filed its petition because "the Chairman and the Members of the COMELEC have recently been quoted in the national papers that the COMELEC is duty bound to and shall implement the Veterans ruling, that is, would apply the Panganiban formula in allocating party-list seats." BANAT filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus assailing the ruling in NBC Resolution No. 07-88. BANAT did not file a motion for reconsideration of NBC Resolution No. 07-88. On 9 July 2007, Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher asked the COMELEC, acting as NBC, to reconsider its decision to use the Veterans formula as stated in its NBC Resolution No. 07-60 because the Veterans formula is violative of the Constitution and of Republic Act No. 7941 (R.A. No. 7941). On the same day, the COMELEC denied reconsideration during the proceedings of the NBC.

Issue: Considering the allegations in the petitions and the comments of the parties in these cases, we defined the following issues in our advisory for the oral arguments set on 22 April 2008: 1. Is the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives in Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution mandatory or merely a ceiling? 2. Is the three-seat limit in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional? 3. Is the two percent threshold prescribed in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 to qualify for one seat constitutional? 4. How shall the party-list representative seats be allocated? 5. Does the Constitution prohibit the major political parties from participating in the party-list elections? If not, can the major political parties be barred from participating in the party-list elections?

Held: WHEREFORE we PARTIALLY GRANT the petition. We SET ASIDE the Resolution of the COMELEC dated 3 August 2007 in NBC No. 07-041 (PL) as well as the Resolution dated 9 July 2007 in NBC No. 07-60. We declareunconstitutional the two percent threshold in the distribution of additional party-list seats.

Ratio: Neither the Constitution nor R.A. No. 7941 mandates the filling-up of the entire 20% allocation of party-list representatives found in the Constitution. However, we cannot allow the continued existence of a provision in the law which will systematically prevent the constitutionally allocated 20% party-list representatives from being filled. The three-seat cap, as a limitation to the number of seats that a qualified party-list organization may occupy, remains a valid statutory device that prevents any party from dominating the party-list elections.

We rule that, in computing the allocation of additional seats, the continued operation of the two percent threshold for the distribution of the additional seats as found in the second clause of Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 7941 is unconstitutional. This Court finds that the two percent threshold makes it mathematically impossible to achieve the maximum number of available party list seats when the number of available party list seats exceeds 50. The continued operation of the two percent threshold in the distribution of the additional seats frustrates the attainment of the permissive ceiling. In declaring the two percent threshold unconstitutional, we do not limit our allocation of additional seats to the two-percenters. The percentage of votes garnered by each party-list candidate is arrived at by dividing the number of votes garnered by each party by 15,950,900, the total number of votes cast for party-list candidates. There are two steps in the second round of seat allocation. First, the percentage is multiplied by the remaining available seats, 38, which is the difference between the 55 maximum seats reserved under the PartyList System and the 17 guaranteed seats of the two-percenters. The whole integer of the product of the percentage and of the remaining available seats corresponds to a partys share in the remaining available seats. Second, we assign one party-list seat to each of the parties next in rank until all available seats are completely distributed. We distributed all of the remaining 38 seats in the second round of seat allocation. Finally, we apply the three-seat cap to determine the number of seats each qualified party-list candidate is entitled. Neither the Constitution nor R.A. No. 7941 prohibits major political parties from participating in the party-list system. On the contrary, the framers of the Constitution clearly intended the major political parties to participate in party-list elections through their sectoral wings. In fact, the members of the Constitutional Commission voted down, 19-22, any permanent sectoral seats, and in the alternative the reservation of the party-list system to the sectoral groups. In defining a "party" that participates in party-list elections as either "a political party or a sectoral party," R.A. No. 7941 also clearly intended that major political parties will participate in the party-list elections. Excluding the major political parties in party-list elections is manifestly against the Constitution, the intent of the Constitutional Commission, and R.A. No. 7941. This Court cannot engage in socio-political engineering and judicially legislate the exclusion of major political parties from the party-list elections in patent violation of the Constitution and the law.

In view of the inclusion of major political parties (according to Puno, J.) The Court today effectively reversed the ruling in Ang Bagong Bayani v. COMELEC with regard to the computation of seat allotments and the participation of major political parties in the party-list system. I vote for the formula propounded by the majority as it benefits the party-list system but I regret that my interpretation of Article VI, Section 5 of the Constitution with respect to the participation of the major political parties in the election of party-list representatives is not in direct congruence with theirs, hence There is no gainsaying the fact that the party-list parties are no match to our traditional political parties in the political arena. This is borne out in the party-list elections held in 2001 where major political parties were initially allowed to campaign and be voted for. The results confirmed the fear expressed by some commissioners in the Constitutional Commission that major political parties would figure in the disproportionate distribution of votes: of the 162 parties which participated, the seven major political parties made it to the top 50. These seven parties garnered an accumulated 9.54% of the total number of votes counted, yielding an average of 1.36% each, while the remaining 155 parties (including those whose qualifications were contested) only obtained 90.45% or an average of 0.58% each. Of these seven, three parties or 42.8% of the total number of the major parties garnered more than 2% of the total number of votes each, a feat that would have entitled them to seat their members as party-list representatives. In contrast, only about 4% of the total number of the remaining parties, or only 8 out of the 155 parties garnered more than 2%. In sum, the evils that faced our marginalized and underrepresented people at the time of the framing of the 1987 Constitution still haunt them today. It is through the party-list system that the Constitution sought to address this systemic dilemma. In ratifying the Constitution, our people recognized how the interests of our

poor and powerless sectoral groups can be frustrated by the traditional political parties who have the machinery and chicanery to dominate our political institutions. If we allow major political parties to participate in the party-list system electoral process, we will surely suffocate the voice of the marginalized, frustrate their sovereignty and betray the democratic spirit of the Constitution. That opinion will serve as the graveyard of the party-list system. IN VIEW WHEREOF, I dissent on the ruling allowing the entry of major political parties into the partylist system. In view of 2% being unconstitutional (according to Nachura, J.) However, I wish to add a few words to support the proposition that the inflexible 2% threshold vote required for entitlement by a party-list group to a seat in the House of Representatives in Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7941 is unconstitutional. This minimum vote requirement fixed at 2% of the total number of votes cast for the party list system presents an unwarranted obstacle to the full implementation of Section 5 (2), Article VI, of the Philippine Constitution. As such, it effectively defeats the declared constitutional policy, as well as the legislative objective expressed in the enabling law, to allow the peoples broadest representation in Congress,the raison detre for the adoption of the party-list system. Today, a little over eight (8) years after this Courts decision in Veterans Federation Party, we see that in the 14th Congress, 55 seats are allocated to party-list representatives, using the Veterans formula. But that figure (of 55) can never be realized, because the 2% threshold vote requirement makes it mathematically impossible to have more than 50 seats. After all, the total number of votes cast for the party-list system can never exceed 100%. Lest I be misunderstood, I do not advocate doing away completely with a threshold vote requirement. The need for such a minimum vote requirement was explained in careful and elaborate detail by Chief Justice Puno in his separate concurring opinion in Veterans Federation Party. I fully agree with him that a minimum vote requirement is needed -1. to avoid a situation where the candidate will just use the party-list system as a fallback position; 2. to discourage nuisance candidates or parties, who are not ready and whose chances are very low, from participating in the elections; 3. to avoid the reserve seat system by opening up the system; 4. to encourage the marginalized sectors to organize, work hard, and earn their seats within the system; 5. to enable sectoral representatives to rise to the same majesty as that of the elected representatives in the legislative body, rather than owing to some degree their seats in the legislative body either to an outright constitutional gift or to an appointment by the President of the Philippines; 6. if no threshold is imposed, this will actually proliferate political party groups and those who have not really been given by the people sufficient basis for them to represent their constituents and, in turn, they will be able to get to the Parliament through the backdoor under the name of the party-list system; and 7. to ensure that only those with a more or less substantial following can be represented.9 However, with the burgeoning of the population, the steady increase in the party-list seat allotment as it keeps pace with the creation of additional legislative districts, and the foreseeable growth of party-list groups,

the fixed 2% vote requirement is no longer viable. It does not adequately respond to the inevitable changes that come with time; and it is, in fact, inconsistent with the Constitution, because it prevents the fundamental law from ever being fully operative. It is correct to say, and I completely agree with Veterans Federation Party, that Section 5 (2), Article VI of the Constitution, is not mandatory, that it merely provides a ceiling for the number of party-list seats in Congress.But when the enabling law, R.A. 7941, enacted by Congress for the precise purpose of implementing the constitutional provision, contains a condition that places the constitutional ceiling completely beyond reach, totally impossible of realization, then we must strike down the offending condition as an affront to the fundamental law. This is not simply an inquiry into the wisdom of the legislative measure; rather it involves the duty of this Court to ensure that constitutional provisions remain effective at all times. No rule of statutory construction can save a particular legislative enactment that renders a constitutional provision inoperative and ineffectual.

VETERANS FEDERATION PARTY VS. COMELEC, digested Posted by Pius Morados on November 9, 2011 342 SCRA 247, October 6, 2000 (Constitutional Law Party List Representatives, 20% Allocation) FACTS: Petitioner assailed public respondent COMELEC resolutions ordering the proclamation of 38 additional party-list representatives to complete the 52 seats in the House of Representatives as provided by Sec 5, Art VI of the 1987 Constitution and RA 7941. On the other hand, Public Respondent, together with the respondent parties, avers that the filling up of the twenty percent membership of party-list representatives in the House of Representatives, as provided under the Constitution, was mandatory, wherein the twenty (20%) percent congressional seats for party-list representatives is filled up at all times. ISSUE: Whether or not the twenty percent allocation for party-list lawmakers is mandatory. HELD: No, it is merely a ceiling for the party-list seats in Congress. The same declared therein a policy to promote proportional representation in the election of party-list representatives in order to enable Filipinos belonging to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors to contribute legislation that would benefit them. It however deemed it necessary to require parties, organizations and coalitions participating in the system to obtain at least two percent of the total votes cast for the party-list system in order to be entitled to a party-list seat. Those garnering more than this percentage could have additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes. Furthermore, no winning party, organization or coalition can have more than three seats in the House of Representatives (sec 11(b) RA 7941). Note: Clearly, the Constitution makes the number of district representatives the determinant in arriving at the number of seats allocated for party-list lawmakers, who shall comprise twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party-list. We thus translate this legal provision into a mathematical formula, as follows: No. of district representatives

De Castro v. JBC G.R. No. 191002, March 17, 2010

Facts: This case is based on multiple cases field with dealt with the controversy that has arisen from the forthcoming compulsory requirement of Chief Justice Puno on May 17, 2010 or seven days after the presidential election. On December 22, 2009, Congressman Matias V. Defensor, an ex officio member of the JBC, addressed a letter to the JBC, requesting that the process for nominations to the office of the Chief Justice be commenced immediately. In its January 18, 2010 meeting en banc, the JBC passed a resolution which stated that they have unanimously agreed to start the process of filling up the position of Chief Justice to be vacated on May 17, 2010 upon the retirement of the incumbent Chief Justice. As a result, the JBC opened the position of Chief Justice for application or recommendation, and published for that purpose its announcement in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine Star. In its meeting of February 8, 2010, the JBC resolved to proceed to the next step of announcing the names of the following candidates to invite to the public to file their sworn complaint, written report, or opposition, if any, not later than February 22, 2010. Although it has already begun the process for the filling of the position of Chief Justice Puno in accordance with its rules, the JBC is not yet decided on when to submit to the President its list of nominees for the position due to the controversy in this case being unresolved. The compiled cases which led to this case and the petitions of intervenors called for either the prohibition of the JBC to pass the shortlist, mandamus for the JBC to pass the shortlist, or that the act of appointing the next Chief Justice by GMA is a midnight appointment. A precedent frequently cited by the parties is the In Re Appointments Dated March 30, 1998 of Hon. Mateo A. Valenzuela and Hon. Placido B. Vallarta as Judges of the RTC of Branch 62, Bago City and of Branch 24, Cabanatuan City, respectively, shortly referred to here as the Valenzuela case, by which the Court held that Section 15, Article VII prohibited the exercise by the President of the power to appoint to judicial positions during the period therein fixed. ISSUES W/N the petitioners have legal standing? W/N there is justiciable controversy that is ripe for judicial determination? W/N the incumbent President appoint the next Chief Justice? W/N mandamus and prohibition will lie to compel the submission of the shortlist of nominees by the JBC? RULING Petitioners have legal standing because such requirement for this case was waived by the Court. Legal standing is a peculiar concept in constitutional law because in some cases, suits are not brought by parties who have been personally injured by the operation of a law or any other government act but by

concerned citizens, taxpayers or voters who actually sue in the public interest. But even if, strictly speaking, the petitioners are not covered by the definition, it is still within the wide discretion of the Court to waive the requirement and so remove the impediment to its addressing and resolving the serious constitutional questions raised. There is a justiciable issue We hold that the petitions set forth an actual case or controversy that is ripe for judicial determination. The reality is that the JBC already commenced the proceedings for the selection of the nominees to be included in a short list to be submitted to the President for consideration of which of them will succeed Chief Justice Puno as the next Chief Justice. Although the position is not yet vacant, the fact that the JBC began the process of nomination pursuant to its rules and practices, although it has yet to decide whether to submit the list of nominees to the incumbent outgoing President or to the next President, makes the situation ripe for judicial determination, because the next steps are the public interview of the candidates, the preparation of the short list of candidates, and the interview of constitutional experts, as may be needed. The resolution of the controversy will surely settle with finality the nagging questions that are preventing the JBC from moving on with the process that it already began, or that are reasons persuading the JBC to desist from the rest of the process. PROHIBITION UNDER SECTION 15, ARTICLE VII DOES NOT APPLY TO APPOINTMENTS TO FILL A VACANCY IN THE SUPREME COURT OR TO OTHER APPOINTMENST TO THE JUDICIARY. Two constitutional provisions seemingly in conflict: The first, Section 15, Article VII (Executive Department), provides: Section 15. Two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting President shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety. The other, Section 4 (1), Article VIII (Judicial Department), states: Section 4. (1). The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen Associate Justices. It may sit en banc or in its discretion, in division of three, five, or seven Members. Any vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from the occurrence thereof. Justification of the Supreme Court: First. The records of the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission reveal that the framers devoted time to meticulously drafting, styling, and arranging the Constitution. Such meticulousness indicates that the organization and arrangement of the provisions of the Constitution were not arbitrarily or whimsically done by the framers, but purposely made to reflect their intention and manifest their vision of what the Constitution should contain. The Constitution consists of 18 Articles, three of which embody the allocation of the awesome powers of government among the three great departments, the Legislative (Article VI), the Executive (Article VII), and the Judicial Departments (Article VIII). The arrangement was a true recognition of the principle of separation of powers that underlies the political structure

As can be seen, Article VII is devoted to the Executive Department, and, among others, it lists the powers vested by the Constitution in the President. The presidential power of appointment is dealt with in Sections 14, 15 and 16 of the Article. Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition contained in Section 15, Article VII to the appointment of Members of the Supreme Court, they could have explicitly done so. They could not have ignored the meticulous ordering of the provisions. They would have easily and surely written the prohibition made explicit in Section 15, Article VII as being equally applicable to the appointment of Members of the Supreme Court in Article VIII itself, most likely in Section 4 (1), Article VIII. Although Valenzuela came to hold that the prohibition covered even judicial appointments, it cannot be disputed that the Valenzuela dictum did not firmly rest on the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. Moreover, the usage in Section 4(1), Article VIII of the word shall an imperative, operating to impose a duty that may be enforced should not be disregarded. Thereby, Sections 4(1) imposes on the President the imperative duty to make an appointment of a Member of the Supreme Court within 90 days from the occurrence of the vacancy. The failure by the President to do so will be a clear disobedience to the Constitution. The 90-day limitation fixed in Section 4(1), Article VIII for the President to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court was undoubtedly a special provision to establish a definite mandate for the President as the appointing power, and cannot be defeated by mere judicial interpretation in Valenzuela to the effect that Section 15, Article VII prevailed because it was couched in stronger negative language. Second. Section 15, Article VII does not apply as well to all other appointments in the Judiciary. There is no question that one of the reasons underlying the adoption of Section 15 as part of Article VII was to eliminate midnight appointments from being made by an outgoing Chief Executive. Given the background and rationale for the prohibition in Section 15, Article VII, we have no doubt that the Constitutional Commission confined the prohibition to appointments made in the Executive Department. The framers did not need to extend the prohibition to appointments in the Judiciary, because their establishment of the JBC and their subjecting the nomination and screening of candidates for judicial positions to the unhurried and deliberate prior process of the JBC ensured that there would no longer be midnight appointments to the Judiciary. Indeed, the creation of the JBC was precisely intended to depoliticize the Judiciary by doing away with the intervention of the Commission on Appointments. Third. As earlier stated, the non-applicability of Section 15, Article VII to appointments in the Judiciary was confirmed by then Senior Associate Justice Regalado to the JBC itself when it met on March 9, 1998 to discuss the question raised by some sectors about the constitutionality of xxx appointments to the Court of Appeals in light of the forthcoming presidential elections. He assured that on the basis of the (Constitutional) Commissions records, the election ban had no application to appointments to the Court of Appeals. This confirmation was accepted by the JBC, which then submitted to the President for consideration the nominations for the eight vacancies in the Court of Appeals. Fourth. Of the 23 sections in Article VII, three (i.e., Section 14, Section15, and Section 16) concern the appointing powers of the President. Section 14, Section 15, and Section 16 are obviously of the same character, in that they affect the power of the President to appoint. The fact that Section 14 and Section 16 refer only to appointments within the

Executive Department renders conclusive that Section 15 also applies only to the Executive Department. This conclusion is consistent with the rule that every part of the statute must be interpreted with reference to the context, i.e. that every part must be considered together with the other parts, and kept subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment. Fifth. To hold like the Court did in Valenzuela that Section 15 extends to appointments to the Judiciary further undermines the intent of the Constitution of ensuring the independence of the Judicial Department from the Executive and Legislative Departments. Such a holding will tie the Judiciary and the Supreme Court to the fortunes or misfortunes of political leaders vying for the Presidency in a presidential election. Consequently, the wisdom of having the new President, instead of the current incumbent President, appoint the next Chief Justice is itself suspect, and cannot ensure judicial independence, because the appointee can also become beholden to the appointing authority. In contrast, the appointment by the incumbent President does not run the same risk of compromising judicial independence, precisely because her term will end by June 30, 2010. Sixth. The argument has been raised to the effect that there will be no need for the incumbent President to appoint during the prohibition period the successor of Chief Justice Puno within the context of Section 4 (1), Article VIII, because anyway there will still be about 45 days of the 90 days mandated in Section 4(1), Article VIII remaining. The argument is flawed, because it is focused only on the coming vacancy occurring from Chief Justice Punos retirement by May 17, 2010. It ignores the need to apply Section 4(1) to every situation of a vacancy in the Supreme Court. Section 4 (3), Article VII requires the regular elections to be held on the second Monday of May, letting the elections fall on May 8, at the earliest, or May 14, at the latest. If the regular presidential elections are held on May 8, the period of the prohibition is 115 days. If such elections are held on May 14, the period of the prohibition is 109 days. Either period of the prohibition is longer than the full mandatory 90-day period to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court. The result is that there are at least 19 occasions (i.e., the difference between the shortest possible period of the ban of 109 days and the 90-day mandatory period for appointments) in which the outgoing President would be in no position to comply with the constitutional duty to fill up a vacancy in the Supreme Court. It is safe to assume that the framers of the Constitution could not have intended such an absurdity. Seventh. As a matter of fact, in an extreme case, we can even raise a doubt on whether a JBC list is necessary at all for the President any President to appoint a Chief Justice if the appointee is to come from the ranks of the sitting justices of the Supreme Court. Sec. 9, Article VIII says: xxx. The Members of the Supreme Court xxx shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for any vacancy. Such appointments need no confirmation. xxx The provision clearly refers to an appointee coming into the Supreme Court from the outside, that is, a non-member of the Court aspiring to become one. It speaks of candidates for the Supreme Court, not of those who are already members or sitting justices of the Court, all of whom have previously been vetted by the JBC.

WRIT OF MANDAMUS DOES NOT LIE AGAINST THE JBC Mandamus shall issue when any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act that the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station. It is proper when the act against which it is directed is one addressed to the discretion of the tribunal or officer. Mandamus is not available to direct the exercise of a judgment or discretion in a particular way. For mandamus to lie, the following requisites must be complied with: (a) the plaintiff has a clear legal right to the act demanded; (b) it must be the duty of the defendant to perform the act, because it is mandated by law; (c) the defendant unlawfully neglects the performance of the duty enjoined by law; (d) the act to be performed is ministerial, not discretionary; and (e) there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Senate vs. Ermita , GR 169777, April 20, 2006 FACTS: This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition proffer that the President has abused power by issuing E.O. 464 Ensuring Observance of the Principles of Separation of Powers, Adherence to the Rule on Executive Privilege and Respect for the Rights of Public Officials Appearing in Legislative Inquiries in Aid of Legislation Under the Constitution, and for Other Purposes. Petitioners pray for its declaration as null and void for being unconstitutional. In the exercise of its legislative power, the Senate of the Philippines, through its various Senate Committees, conducts inquiries or investigations in aid of legislation which call for, inter alia, the attendance of officials and employees of the executive department, bureaus, and offices including those employed in Government Owned and Controlled Corporations, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP). The Committee of the Senate issued invitations to various officials of the Executive Department for them to appear as resource speakers in a public hearing on the railway project, others on the issues of massive election fraud in the Philippine elections, wire tapping, and the role of military in the so-called Gloriagate Scandal. Said officials were not able to attend due to lack of consent from the President as provided by E.O. 464, Section 3 which requires all the public officials enumerated in Section 2(b) to secure the consent of the President prior to appearing before either house of Congress. ISSUE: Is Section 3 of E.O. 464, which requires all the public officials, enumerated in Section 2(b) to secure the consent of the President prior to appearing before either house of Congress, valid and constitutional? RULING: No. The enumeration in Section 2 (b) of E.O. 464 is broad and is covered by the executive privilege. The doctrine of executive privilege is premised on the fact that certain information must, as a matter of necessity, be kept confidential in pursuit of the public interest. The privilege being, by definition, an exemption from the obligation to disclose information, in this case to Congress, the necessity must be of such high degree as to outweigh the public interest in enforcing that obligation in a particular case. Congress undoubtedly has a right to information from the executive branch whenever it is sought in aid of legislation. If the executive branch withholds such information on the ground that it is privileged, it must so assert it and state the reason therefor and why it must be respected.

The infirm provisions of E.O. 464, however, allow the executive branch to evade congressional requests for information without need of clearly asserting a right to do so and/or proffering its reasons therefor. By the mere expedient of invoking said provisions, the power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is frustrated.
Neri v. Senate Committee G.R. No. 180643, September 4, 2008

This is a case digest from a young collegiala by the pen-name SwityCake@phBAR. I'm posting it here in full and will go through it and add comments in the process. FACTS: A petition for certiorari1 was filed by petitioner Neri assailing the show cause letter dated November 22, 2007 and a subsequent order to cite petitioner in contempt more than a month later, January 30, 2008. Both documents were filed by the Senate Committees headed by the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations otherwise known as the Blue Ribbon Committee. The antecedent events occurred previous to the issuance of the order and facts that have been culled up during the investigation are as follows: The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) entered into a contract with Zhing Xing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) on April 21, 2007 for the purpose of supplying equipment and services of a National Broadband Network (NBN) Project. The full consideration amount of US$329,481,290 (Php 16 Billion) is to be financed by the Peoples Republic of China. In conjunction with the investigation, several resolutions to fill in legislative deficiencies were filed in Procurement law and executive-diplomatic treatises and agreements. Simultaneously, this investigation resulted into the proposal of three pending bills in the Senate. Senate Bill No, 1793 was filed to subject treaties or executive agreements involving funding of projects to the scope of RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act. Another bill was filed to impose safeguards in contracting loans classified as Official Development Assistance (ODA), and finally, a bill requiring concurrence to international and executive agreements. The Senate Committees initiated the investigation by inviting officials and persons involved in the specified project. Secretary Romulo L. Neri was one of those invited to the hearings. On three occasions the Petitioner was invited, he only appeared once. On another occasion the Respondent Committees invited Jose De Venecia, III who revealed that there were high officials pushing for the project. The project was originally to be realized manifested on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis but soon, the witness found out it was converted into a governmentto-government project. The aforesaid project involved the Republic of the Philippines and Peoples Republic of China and is to be financed by a grant of loan by the latter. Petitioner Neri who testified on September 26, 2007 disclosed that Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Benjamin Abalos offered him a P200 million bribe to prioritize the project. That particular hearing lasted eleven hours. Neri, according to his testimony, immediately informed President Arroyo of the attempt him but he was instructed by her not to accept it. However, when Neri was probed to elaborate on the matters pertaining to the NBN deal with the President, he refused to answer the question on the ground of executive privilege. He refused to answer the following questions:

Whether or not the President followed up the NBN Project. Whether or not she directed him to prioritize it. Whether or not she directed him to approve. Adamant as they could be, the respondent summoned the petitioner once again on November 20, 2007. However, Executive Secretary Ermita wrote on November 15, 2007 to dispense with Neris testimony as this was covered by executive privilege. On the appointed date of the inquiry, petitioner did not appear in the proceedings. As a consequence, the Senate issued a show cause letter demanding that Neri to explain why he failed to appear before them and why he should not be cited in contempt. The Petitioner replied that it was not his intention to snub the hearings and that he thought he was going to be asked the three remaining questions covered by executive privilege. Moreover, with the assistance of counsel, Atty. Antonio R. Bautista, the Petitioner claimed that his nonappearance was upon order of the President and his conversation with her involved delicate national security and matters contingent to the impact of high ranking officials embroiled in bribery which probably results to loss of investor confidence in the country. The Petitioner also requested that he be furnished with other questions in advance so he may adequately prepare himself. When Senates inquiry was in recess, Petitioner filed a petition for Certiorari berating the show cause letter. Meanwhile, Respondents found Neris explanation unsatisfactory and moved to cite him in contempt and to order the sergeant-at-arms to arrest and detain him at the Senate until such time he speaks up on the matter. Neri moved for the reconsideration of the above order. He alleged that he did not display a demeanor worthy of contempt and arrest. He reiterated that he was willing to accommodate any endeavor to shed light into the issue, provided he be furnished with questions in advance, a request which respondents did not heed. On February 5, 2008 the Supreme Court issued a Status Quo Ante Order 2(a) enjoining respondents from implementing their contempt order, (b) requiring the parties to observe the status quo prevailing prior to the issuance of the contempt order and (c) requiring respondents to file their comment3. Petitioner asserts that both the show cause letter and contempt order were issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Again, petitioner underscores that any conversation or correspondence between cabinet members and the President are confidential since discussions involved the impact of exploring options in making policy decisions. While Petitioner claims that the parameters have been laid down in Senate vs. Ermita, respondents insist the contrary. They argue that Neris testimony is substantial in the investigation in aid of legislation, that there is no valid justification for petitioner to claim executive privilege, that there was no abuse in discretion when respondent ordered the arrest of petitioner and that petitioner has not come to court with clean hands. It was further ventilated by the respondent that the claim of executive privilege in this case will prejudice the right to public information clause, that the President ensure that he faithfully execute laws, that public office is a public trust, full public disclosure of all transaction of public interest, due process clause and the principle of separation of powers.

ISSUES: Are the communications elicited by the subject three questions covered by executive privilege? Did respondent Committees commit grave abuse of discretion in issuing the contempt Order? DISCUSSION: The court used Senate vs. Ermita as a sort of a yardstick in deciding this case. Senate makes a distinction between legislative and oversight powers of Congress quoting Sections 214 and 225 of Article VI of the Constitution. The Senate describes that Section 21 relates that the power to inquire in aid of legislation is to gather information and improve lapses in legislation, while Section 22 pertains to the power of Congress to call for a question hour as it exercises its oversight power. The purported power is to ascertain that the executive branch does not arbitrarily exercise abuse of power. In circumspect, the above distinctions as the court ruled gives birth to the interpretation of these two provisions. As respondents invoked Section 22, Article VI Congress cannot compel the appearance of executive officials. The court quoted Senate vs. Ermita on this matter. The following are further elucidated by the court: That the three questions are covered by executive privilege. The power to investigate in the light of question hour may be broad but possesses limitations. To be valid it must be done in accordance to published rules of procedure of either houses and that rights of persons appearing be respected. That in spite of the revocation of E.O 464, the executive privilege remains to due to its constitutional juncture. The court makes distinction between the case at bar and the Nixon case. The latter involves a criminal prosecution and the former a congressional inquiry. The judicial department has to the power to compel persons to unveil confidential information in the administration of justice while the legislative has not even if it is a search for truth. An investigation in aid of legislation is not a judicial process to prosecute officials. Therefore, the privilege was properly invoked. Petitioner did not act worthy of any contempt as he even subjected himself to an eleven-hour questioning. The issue on the right to public information is subject to limitation as provided by law6. The Senate failed to furnish petitioner his request of providing him questions in advance and include a publication its revised rules thus invalidating the contempt order. The court further ruled that the right of the citizen of information is not equated with Senates power to summon officials or persons to an inquiry, vice versa. Claim of executive privilege is properly invoked because the formal requisites mandate that it is the head of the department that initiates it and that it should be done in writing. It should also involve highly confidential information such as military secrets and diplomatic treatises to qualify for the privilege. The Senate committed a grave abuse of discretion because besides a valid claim of executive privilege, they curtly disregarded petitioners reasons for abstaining from the inquiry. The responded still went ahead with the contempt order thus denying the petitioner due process of law. With regard to the respondents allegation that the court abandoned its sacred duty to maintain the doctrine of separation of powers and check and balances in government, it simply proposed a negotiation as an alternate venue for settling controversies and avoid the cumbersome process of judicial

review. It simply tried to avert a constitutional crisis looming in the horizon. Respondent committee should have exercised the same restraint, after all, the petitioner is not even an ordinary witness. He holds a high position in a co-equal branch of government. This is concomitant with the doctrine of separation of powers and the mandate to observe respect to a co-equal branch of government. RULING: WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The subject Ordered January 30, 2008, citing Romulo L. Neri in contempt of the Senate Committees and directing his arrest and detention, is hereby nullified. 1 An extraordinary writ issued by a superior court (as the Supreme Court) to call up the records of a particular case from an inferior judicial body. The Supreme Court may also use certiorari to review a decision by the highest court when there is a question as to validity of any treaty or statute on constitutional grounds. 2 An order directing parties to rescind or annul any contract or act and restore parties as if there was no act at all. 3 An expression of an opinion about a remark to a judge or prosecutor about evidence. 4 The Senate or House of Representatives or any of its respective committee may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. 5 The heads of department may upon their own initiative, with the consent of the President, or upon the request of either House, or as the rules of each House shall provide, appear before and be heard by such House on any matter pertaining to their departments. Written questions shall be submitted to the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives at least three days before their scheduled appearance. Interpellations shall not be limited to written questions, but may cover matters related thereto. When the security of the state or the public interest so requires and the President so states in writing, the appearance shall be conducted in executive session. 6 Section 17, Article III The right of information on matter of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.
OPOSA VS. FACTORAN, JR. [224 SCRA 792; G.R. No. 101083; 30 Jul 1993] Friday, January 30, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes Labels: Case Digests, Political Law Facts: Principal petitioners, are all minors duly represented and joined by their respective parents. Impleaded as an additional plaintiff is the Philippine Ecological Network, Inc. (PENI), a domestic, non-stock and nonprofit corporation organized for the purpose of, inter alia, engaging in concerted action geared for the protection of our environment and natural resources. The original defendant was the Honorable Fulgencio S. Factoran, Jr., then Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). His

substitution in this petition by the new Secretary, the Honorable Angel C. Alcala, was subsequently ordered upon proper motion by the petitioners. Thecomplaint was instituted as a taxpayers' class suit and alleges that the plaintiffs "are all citizens of the Republic of the Philippines, taxpayers, and entitled to the full benefit, use and enjoyment of the natural resource treasure that is the country's virgin tropical forests." The same was filed for themselves and others who are equally concerned about the preservation of said resource but are "so numerous that it is impracticable to bring them all before the Court." On 22 June 1990, the original defendant, Secretary Factoran, Jr., filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint based on two grounds, namely: the plaintiffs have no cause of action against him and, the issue raised by the plaintiffs is a political question which properly pertains to the legislative or executive branches of Government. In their 12 July 1990 Opposition to the Motion, the petitioners maintain that, the complaintshows a clear and unmistakable cause of action, the motion is dilatory and the action presents a justiciable question as it involves the defendant's abuse of discretion. On 18 July 1991, respondent Judge issued an order granting the aforementioned motion to dismiss. In the said order, not only was the defendant's claim that the complaint states no cause of action against him and that it raises a political question sustained, the respondent Judge further ruled that the granting of the relief prayed for would result in the impairment of contracts which is prohibited by the fundamental law of the land. Plaintiffs thus filed the instant special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court and ask this Court to rescind and set aside the dismissal order on the ground that the respondent Judge gravely abused his discretion in dismissing the action. Again, the parents of the plaintiffs-minors not only represent their children, but have also joined the latter in this case. Petitioners contend that the complaint clearly and unmistakably states a cause of action as it contains sufficient allegations concerning their right to a sound environment based on Articles 19, 20 and 21 of the Civil Code (Human Relations), Section 4 of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 192 creating the DENR, Section 3 of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1151 (Philippine Environmental Policy), Section 16, Article II of the 1987 Constitution recognizing the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology, the concept of generational genocide in Criminal Lawand the concept of man's inalienable right to self-preservation and self-perpetuation embodied in natural law. Petitioners likewise rely on the respondent's correlative obligation per Section 4 of E.O. No. 192, to safeguard the people's right to a healthful environment. It is further claimed that the issue of the respondent Secretary's alleged grave abuse of discretion in granting Timber License Agreements (TLAs) to cover more areas for logging than what is available involves a judicial question.

Anent the invocation by the respondent Judge of the Constitution's non-impairment clause, petitioners maintain that the same does not apply in this case because TLAs are not contracts. They likewise submit that even if TLAs may be considered protected by the said clause, it is well settled that they may still be revoked by the State when the public interest so requires. Issues: (1) Whether or not the petitioners have locus standi. (2) Whether or not the petiton is in a form of a class suit. (3) Whether or not the TLAs can be out rightly cancelled. (4) Whether or not the petition should be dismissed. Held: As to the matter of the cancellation of the TLAs, respondents submit that the same cannot be done by the State without due process of law. Once issued, a TLA remains effective for a certain period of time usually for twenty-five (25) years. During its effectivity, the same can neither be revised nor cancelled unless the holder has been found, after due notice and hearing, to have violated the terms of the agreement or other forestry laws and regulations. Petitioners' proposition to have all the TLAs indiscriminately cancelled without the requisite hearing would be violative of the requirements of due process. The subject matter of the complaint is of common and general interest not just to several, but to all citizens of the Philippines. Consequently, since the parties are so numerous, it, becomes impracticable, if not totally impossible, to bring all of them before the court. The plaintiffs therein are numerous and representative enough to ensure the full protection of all concerned interests. Hence, all the requisites for the filing of a valid class suit under Section 12, Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court are present both in the said civil case and in the instant petition, the latter being but an incident to the former. Petitioners minors assert that they represent their generation as well as generations yet unborn. Their personality to sue in behalf of thesucceeding generations can only be based on the concept of intergenerational responsibility insofar as the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is concerned. Nature means the created world in its entirety. Every generation has a responsibility to the next to preserve that rhythm and harmony for the full enjoyment of a balanced and healthful ecology. The minors' assertion of their right to a sound environment constitutes, at the same time, the performance of their obligation to ensure the protection of that right for the generations to come. The complaint focuses on one specific fundamental legal right the right to a balanced and healthful ecology which, for the first time in our nation's constitutional history, is solemnly incorporated in the fundamental law. Section 16, Article II of the 1987 Constitution. While the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is to be found under the Declaration of Principles and State

Policies and not under the Bill of Rights, it does not follow that it is less important than any of the civil and political rights enumerated in the latter. Such a right belongs to a different category of rights altogether for it concerns nothing less than self-preservation and self-perpetuation aptly and fittingly stressed by the petitioners the advancement of which may even be said to predate all governments and constitutions. As a matter of fact, these basic rights need not even be written in the Constitution for they are assumed to exist from the inception of humankind. If they are now explicitly mentioned in the fundamental charter, it is because of the well-founded fear of its framers that unless the rights to a balanced and healthful ecology and to health are mandated as state policies by the Constitution itself, thereby highlighting their continuing importance and imposing upon the state a solemn obligation to preserve the first and protect and advance the second, the day would not be too far when all else would be lost not only for the present generation, but also for those to come generations which stand to inherit nothing but parched earth incapable of sustaining life. Conformably with the enunciated right to a balanced and healthful ecology and the right to health, as well as the other related provisions of the Constitution concerning the conservation, development and utilization of the country's natural resources, then President Corazon C. Aquino promulgated on 10 June 1987 E.O. No. 192, Section 4 of which expressly mandates that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources "shall be the primary government agency responsible for the conservation, management, development and proper use of the country's environment and natural resources, specifically forest and grazing lands, mineral, resources, including those in reservation and watershed areas, and lands of the public domain, as well as the licensing and regulation of all natural resources as may be provided for by law in order to ensure equitable sharing of the benefits derived therefrom for the welfare of the present and future generations of Filipinos." Section 3 thereof makes the following statement of policy: The above provision stresses "the necessity of maintaining a sound ecological balance and protecting and enhancing the quality of the environment." Section 2 of the same Title, on the other hand, specifically speaks of the mandate of the DENR; however, it makes particular reference to the fact of the agency's being subject to law and higher authority. It may, however, be recalled that even before the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, specific statutes already paid special attention to the "environmental right" of the present and future generations. On 6 June 1977, P.D. No. 1151 and P.D. No. 1152 were issued. Thus, the right of the petitioners to a balanced and healthful ecology is as clear as the DENR's duty under its mandate and by virtue of its powers and functions under E.O. No. 192 and the Administrative Code of 1987 to protect and advance the said right. A denial or violation of that right by the other who has the correlative duty or obligation to respect or protect the same gives rise to a cause of action. Petitioners maintain that the granting of the TLAs, which they claim was done with grave abuse of discretion, violated their right to a balanced and healthful ecology; hence, the

full protection thereof requires that no further TLAs should be renewed or granted. It is settled in this jurisdiction that in a motion to dismiss based on the ground that the complaint fails to state a cause of action; the question submitted to the court for resolution involves the sufficiency of the facts alleged in the complaint itself. No other matter should be considered; furthermore, the truth of falsity of the said allegations is beside the point for the truth thereof is deemed hypothetically admitted. Policy formulation or determination by the executive or legislative branches of Government is not squarely put in issue. What is principally involved is the enforcement of a right vis-a-vis policies already formulated and expressed in legislation. It must, nonetheless, be emphasized that the political question doctrine is no longer, the insurmountable obstacle to the exercise of judicial power or the impenetrable shield that protects executive and legislative actions from judicial inquiry or review. In the second place, even if it is to be assumed that the same are contracts, the instant case does not involve a law or even an executive issuance declaring the cancellation or modification of existing timber licenses. Hence, the non-impairment clause cannot as yet be invoked. Nevertheless, granting further that a law has actually been passed mandating cancellations or modifications, the same cannot still be stigmatized as a violation of the non-impairment clause. This is because by its very nature and purpose, such as law could have only been passed in the exercise of the police power of the state for the purpose of advancing the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology, promoting their health and enhancing the general welfare. Finally, it is difficult to imagine, as the trial court did, how the non-impairment clause could apply with respect to the prayer to enjoin the respondent Secretary from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing or approving new timber licenses for, save in cases of renewal, no contract would have as of yet existed in the other instances. Moreover, with respect to renewal, the holder is not entitled to it as a matter of right. Petition is hereby GRANTED, and the challenged Order of respondent Judge of 18 July 1991 dismissing Civil Case No. 90-777 is hereby set aside. The petitioners may therefore amend their complaint to implead as defendants the holders or grantees of the questioned timber license agreements.

POE, Jr. vs. Arroyo, PET case no. 0002, March 29, 2005 FACTS: Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ) filed an election protest at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) against the proclaimed winner of the 2004 presidential elections. During the pendency of the case, FPJ died. His widow, Susan Roces, claimed before the PET that there was an urgent need for her to substitute her husband in the election protest that he had filed as it is of paramount interest to the Filipino people. ISSUE: May the widow substitute/intervene for the protestant who died during the pendency of the latters presidential protest case? RULING: No. The fundamental rule applicable in a presidential election protest is Rule 14 of the PET

Rules. It provides that only the registered candidate for President or Vice President of the Philippines who has received the second or third highest number of votes may timely contest the election of the proclaimed winner. Furthermore, a public office is personal to the public officer and is not a property capable of being transmitted to his heirs upon his death. A real party in interest is the party who would be benefited or injured by the judgment, and the party who is entitled to the avails of the suit. Thus, Susan Roces, is not a real-party-in-interest to the election protest of her husband FPJ.

Estrada v. Arroyo Legitimacy of the Arroyo Presidency November 10, 2010


G.R. No. 146738 FACTS: Petitioner sought to enjoin the respondent Ombudsman from conducting any further proceedings in any criminal complaint that may be filed in his office, until after the term of petitioner as President is over and only if legally warranted. Erap also filed a Quo Warranto case, praying for judgment confirming petitioner to be the lawful and incumbent President of the Republic of the Philippines temporarily unable to discharge the duties of his office, and declaring respondent to have taken her oath as and to be holding the Office of the President, only in an acting capacity pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution. HELD: FIRST: The cases at bar pose legal and not political questions. The principal issues for resolution require the proper interpretation of certain provisions in the 1987 Constitution, notably section 1 of Article II, and section 8 of Article VII, and the allocation of governmental powers under section II of Article VII. The issues likewise call for a ruling on the scope of presidential immunity from suit. They also involve the correct calibration of the right of petitioner against prejudicial publicity. As early as the 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison, the doctrine has been laid down that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is . . . The Court also distinguished between EDSA People Power I and EDSA People Power II. EDSA I involves the exercise of the people power of revolution which overthrew the whole government. EDSA II is an exercise of people power of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly to petition the government for redress of grievances which only affected the office of the President. EDSA I is extra constitutional and the legitimacy of the new government that resulted from it cannot be the subject of judicial review, but EDSA II is intra constitutional and the resignation of the sitting President that it caused and the succession of the Vice President as President are subject to judicial review. EDSA I presented political question; EDSA II involves legal questions. SECOND: Using the totality test, the SC held that petitioner resigned as President. a. The proposal for a snap election for president in May where he would not be a candidate is an indicium that petitioner had intended to give up the presidency even at that time. b. The Angara diary shows that the President wanted only five-day period promised by Reyes, as well as to open the second envelop to clear his name. If the envelope is opened, on Monday, he says, he will leave by Monday. The President says. Pagod na pagod na ako. Ayoko na masyado nang masakit. Pagod na ako sa red tape, bureaucracy, intriga. (I am very tired. I dont want any more of this its too painful. Im tired of the red tape, the bureaucracy, the intrigue.) I just want to clear my name, then I will go. The SC held that this is high grade evidence that the petitioner has resigned. The intent to resign is clear when he said x x x Ayoko na masyado nang masakit. Ayoko na are words of resignation. c. During the negotiations, the resignation of the petitioner was treated as a given fact. The only unsettled points at that time were the measures to be undertaken by the parties during and after transition period. d. His resignation was also 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 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. Petitioners 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. THIRD: The petitioner is permanently unable to act as President. Section 11 of Article VII provides that Congress has the ultimate authority under the Constitution to determine whether the President is incapable of performing his functions. Both houses of Congress have recognized respondent Arroyo as the President. The House of Representative passed on January 24, 2001 House Resolution No. l75 which states: RESOLUTION EXPRESSING THE SUPPORT OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO THE ASSUMPTION INTO OFFICE BY VICE PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO AS PRESIDENT OFTHE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, EXTENDING ITS CONGRATULATIONS AND EXPRESSING ITS SUPPORT FOR HER ADMINISTRATION AS A PARTNER IN THE ATTAINMENT OF THE NATIONS GOALS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION. The Senate also passed Senate Resolution No. 82 which states: RESOLUTION CONFIRMING PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYOS NOMINATION OF SEN. TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA, JR. AS VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES Implicitly clear in that recognition is the premise that the inability of petitioner Estrada is no longer temporary. Congress has clearly rejected petitioners claim of inability. Even if petitioner 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 the Supreme Court. FOURTH: The petitioner does not enjoy immunity from suit. The Supreme Court rejected petitioners argument that he cannot be prosecuted for the reason that he must first be convicted in the impeachment proceedings. The impeachment trial of petitioner Estrada was aborted by the walkout of the prosecutors and by the events that led to his loss of the presidency. On February 7, 2001, the Senate passed Senate Resolution No. 83 Recognizing that the Impeachment Court is Functus Officio. Since the Impeachment Court is now functus officio, it is untenable for petitioner to demand that he should first be impeached and then convicted before he can be prosecuted. The plea, if granted, would put a perpetual bar against his prosecution. The debates in the Constitutional Commission make it clear that when impeachment proceedings have become moot due to the resignation of the President, the proper criminal and civil cases may already be filed against him. The SC also ruled in In re: Saturnino Bermudez that incumbent Presidents are immune from suit or from being brought to court during the period of their incumbency and tenure but not beyond. Considering the peculiar circumstance that the impeachment process against the petitioner has been aborted and thereafter he lost the presidency, petitioner cannot demand as a condition sine qua non to his criminal prosecution before the Ombudsman that he be convicted in the impeachment proceedings. Also, petitioner cannot cite any decision of the SC licensing the President to commit criminal acts and wrapping him with posttenure immunity from liability. The rule is that unlawful acts of public officials are not acts of the State and the officer who acts illegally is not acting as such but stands in the same footing as any other trespasser. FIFTH: Petitioner was not denied the right to impartial trial. Pervasive publicity is not per se prejudicial to the right of an accused to fair trial. The mere fact that the trial of appellant was given a day-to-day, gavel-to-gavel coverage does not by itself prove that the publicity so permeated the mind of the trial judge and impaired his impartiality. In the case at bar, the records do not show that the trial judge developed actual bias against appellant as a consequence of the extensive media coverage of the pre-trial and trial of his case. The totality of circumstances of the case does not prove that the trial judge acquired a fixed opinion as a result of prejudicial publicity which is incapable if change even by evidence presented during the trial. Appellant has the burden to prove this actual bias and he has not discharged the burden.

G.R. No. 146738 Estrada vs. Arroyo G.R. No 146710-15 Estrada vs. Desierto March 2, 2001 FACTS: Estrada was inaugurated as president of the Republic of the Philippines on June 30, 1998 with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as his Vice President. In October 2000, Ilocos Sur governor Luis Chavit Singson, a close friend of the President, alleged that he had personally given Estrada money as payoff from jueteng hidden in a bank account known as Jose

Velarde a grassroots-based numbers game. Singsons allegation also caused controversy across the nation, which culminated in the House of Representatives filing of an impeachment case against Estrada on November 13, 2000. House Speaker Manny Villar fast-tracked the impeachment complaint. The impeachment suit was brought to the Senate and an impeachment court was formed, with Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. as presiding officer. Estrada, pleaded not guilty. The expos immediately ignited reactions of rage. On January 18, a crowd continued to grow at EDSA, bolstered by students from private schools and left-wing organizations. Activists from the group Bayan and Akbayan as well as lawyers of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and other bar associations joined in the thousands of protesters. On January 19, The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines also withdrew their support for Estrada and joined the crowd at EDSA Shrine. At 2:00pm, Estrada appeared on television for the first time since the beginning of the protests and maintains that he will not resign. He said that he wanted the impeachment trial to continue, stressing that only a guilty verdict will remove him from office. At 6:15pm, Estrada again appeared on television, calling for a snap presidential election to be held concurrently with congressional and local elections on May 14, 2001. He added that he will not run in this election. On January 20, the Supreme Court declared that the seat of presidency was vacant, saying that Estrada constructively resigned his post. Noon of the same day, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took her oath of office in the presence of the crowd at EDSA, becoming the 14th president of the Philippines. At 2:00 pm, Estrada released a letter saying he had strong and serious doubts about the legality and constitutionality of her proclamation as president, but saying he would give up his office to avoid being an obstacle to healing the nation. Estrada and his family later left Malacaang Palace. A heap of cases then succeeded Estradas leaving the palace, which he countered by filing a petition for prohibition with a prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction. It sought to enjoin the respondent Ombudsman from conducting any further proceedings in cases filed against him not until his term as president ends. He also prayed for judgment confirming petitioner to be the lawful and incumbent President of the Republic of the Philippines temporarily unable to discharge the duties of his office, and declaring respondent to have taken her oath as and to be holding the Office of the President, only in an acting capacity pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution. ISSUE: 1.) Whether or not the case at bar a political or justiciable issue. If justiciable, whether or not petitioner Estrada was a president-on-leave or did he truly resign. 2.) Whether or not petitioner may invokeimmunity from suits. HELD: The Court defines a political issue as those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality of a particular measure. The Court made a distinction between the Aquino presidency and the Arroyo presidency. The Court said that while the Aquino government was a government spawned by the direct demand of the people in defiance to the 1973 Constitution, overthrowing the old government entirely, the Arroyo government on the other hand was a government exercising under the 1987 constitution, wherein only the office of the president was affected. In the former, it The question of whether the previous president (president Estrada) truly resigned subjects it to judicial review. The Court held that the issue is legal and not political. For the president to be deemed as having resigned, there must be an intent to resign and the intent must be coupled by acts of relinquishment. It is important to follow the succession of events that struck petitioner prior his leaving the palace. Furthermore, the quoted statements extracted from the Angara diaries, detailed Estradas implied resignation On top of all these, the press release he issued regarding is acknowledgement of the oath-taking of Arroyo as president despite his questioning of its legality and his emphasis on leaving the

presidential seat for the sake of peace. The Court held that petitioner Estrada had resigned by the use of the totality test: prior, contemporaneous and posterior facts and circumstantial evidence bearing a material relevance on the issue. As to the issue of the peitioners contention that he is immuned from suits, the Court held that petitioner is no longer entitled to absolute immunity from suit. The Court added that, given the intent of the 1987 Constitution to breathe life to the policy that a public office is a public trust, the petitioner, as a nonsitting President, cannot claim executive immunity for his alleged criminal acts committed while a sitting President. From the deliberations, the intent of the framers is clear that the immunity of the president from suit is concurrent only with his tenure(the term during which the incumbent actually holds office) and not his term (time during which the officer may claim to hold the office as of right, and fixes the interval after which the several incumbents shall succeed one another). 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 announcing that she and Vice President Laurel were taking power.2.On March 25, 1986, proclamation No.3 was issued providing the basis of the Aquino government assumption of power by stating that 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."

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 realm of 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 entire country; 2.It is not merely a de fact on government but in fact and law a de jure government; and 3.The community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of the new government. Matibag vs. Benipayo, G.R. No. 149036, April 2, 2002 FACTS: COMELEC en banc appointed petitioner as Acting Director IV of the EID. Such appointment was renewed in temporary capacity twice, first by Chairperson Demetrio and then by Commissioner Javier. Later, PGMA appointed, ad interim, Benipayo as COMELEC Chairman, and Borra and Tuason as COMELEC Commissioners, each for a term of 7 yrs. The three took their oaths of office and assumed their positions. However, since the Commission on Appointments did not act on said appointments, PGMA renewed the ad interim appointments. ISSUES: Whether or not the assumption of office by Benipayo, Borra and Tuason on the basis of the ad interim appointments issued by the President amounts to a temporary appointment prohibited by Sec. 1(2), Art. IX-C

Assuming that the first ad interim appointments and the first assumption of office by Benipayo, Borra and Tuason are legal, whether or not the renewal of their ad interim appointments and subsequent assumption of office to the same positions violate the prohibition on reappointment under Sec. 1(2), Art. IX-C RULING: Nature of an Ad Interim Appointment An ad interim appointment is a permanent appointment because it takes effect immediately and can no longer be withdrawn by the President once the appointee has qualified into office. The fact that is subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments does not alter its permanent character. The Constitution itself makes an ad interim appointment permanent in character by making it effective until disapproved by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of Congress. The second paragraph of Sec.16, Art.VII of the Constitution provides as follows: The President shall have the power to make appointments during the recess of the Congress, whether voluntary or compulsory, but such appointments shall be effective only until disapproval by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of the Congress. Thus, the ad interim appointment remains effective until such disapproval or next adjournment, signifying that it can no longer be withdrawn or revoked by the President. xxx ...the term ad interim appointment means a permanent appointment made by the President in the meantime that Congress is in recess. It does not mean a temporary appointment that can be withdrawn or revoked at any time. The term, although not found in the text of the Constitution, has acquired a definite legal meaning under Philippine jurisprudence. Rights of an Ad Interim Appointee An ad interim appointee who has qualified and assumed office becomes at that moment a government employee and therefore part of the civil service. He enjoys the constitution protection that [n]o officer or employee in the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause provided by law. Thus, an ad interim appointment becomes complete and irrevocable once the appointee has qualified into office. The withdrawal or revocation of an ad interim appointment is possible only if it is communicated to the appointee before the moment he qualifies, and any withdrawal or revocation thereafter is tantamount to removal from office. Once an appointee has qualified, he acquires a legal right to the office which is protected not only by statute but also by the Constitution. He can only be removed for cause, after notice and hearing, consistent with the requirements of due process. How Ad Interim Appointment is Terminated An ad interim appointment can be terminated for two causes specified in the Constitution. The first cause is the disapproval of his ad interim appointment by the Commission on Appointments. The second cause is the adjournment of Congress without the Commission on Appointments acting on his appointment. These two causes are resolutory conditions expressly imposed by the Constitution on all ad interim appointments. These resolutory conditions constitute, in effect, a Sword of Damocles over the heads of ad interim appointees. No one, however, can complain because it is the Constitution itself that places the Sword of Damocles over the heads of the ad interim appointees. Ad Interim Appointment vs. Temporary Appointment While an ad interim appointment is permanent and irrevocable except as provided by law, an appointment or

designation in a temporary or acting capacity can be withdrawn or revoked at the pleasure of the appointing power. A temporary or acting appointee does not enjoy any security of tenure, no matter how briefly. This is the kind of appointment that the Constitution prohibits the President from making to the three independent constitutional commissions, including the COMELEC xxx Was the renewal of appointment valid? There is no dispute that an ad interim appointee disapproved by the Commission on Appointments can no longer be extended a new appointment. The disapproval is a final decision of the Commission on Appointments in the exercise of its checking power on the appointing authority of the President. The disapproval is a decision on the merits, being a refusal by the Commission on Appointments to give its consent after deliberating on the qualifications of the appointee. Since the Constitution does not provide for any appeal from such decision, the disapproval is final and binding on the appointee as well as on the appointing power. In this instance, the President can no longer renew the appointment not because of the constitutional prohibition on reappointment, but because of a final decision by the Commission on Appointments to withhold its consent to the appointment. An ad interim appointment that is by-passed because of lack of time or failure of the Commission on Appointments to organize is another matter. A by-passed appointment is one that has not been finally acted upon on the merits by the Commission on Appointments at the close of the session of Congress. There is no final decision by the Commission on Appointments to give or withhold its consent to the appointment as required by the Constitution. Absent such decision, the President is free to renew the ad interim appointment of a by-passed appointee xxx The prohibition on reappointment in Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of the Constitution applies neither to disapproved nor by-passed ad interim appointments. A disapproved ad interim appointment cannot be revived by another ad interim appointment because the disapproval is final under Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution, and not because a reappointment is prohibited under Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of the Constitution. A by-passed ad interim appointment can be revived by a new ad interim appointment because there is no final disapproval under Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution, and such new appointment will not result in the appointee serving beyond the fixed term of seven years.

Pimentel, Jr. vs Ermita, 472 SCRA 587 Posted by Pius Morados on November 7, 2011 (Public Officer, Difference Between Ad-Interim and Acting Appointments) Facts: President Arroyo issued appointments to respondents as acting secretaries of their respective departments without the consent of the Commission on Appointments, while Congress is in their regular session. Subsequently after the Congress had adjourned, President Arroyo issued ad interim appointments to respondents as secretaries of the departments to which they were previously appointed in an acting capacity. Petitioners senators assailing the constitutionality of the appointments, assert that while Congress is in session, there can be no appointments, whether regular or acting, to a vacant position of an office needing confirmation by the Commission on Appointments, without first having obtained its consent. Respondent secretaries maintain that the President can issue appointments in an acting capacity to department secretaries without the consent of the Commission on Appointments even while Congress is in session. EO 292, which devotes a chapter to the Presidents power of appointment. Sections 16 and 17, Chapter 5, Title I, Book III of EO 292 read: SEC. 16. Power of Appointment. The President shall exercise the power to appoint such officials as provided for in the Constitution and laws.

SEC. 17. Power to Issue Temporary Designation. (1) The President may temporarily designate an officer already in the government service or any other competent person to perform the functions of an office in the executive branch, appointment to which is vested in him by law, when: (a) the officer regularly appointed to the office is unable to perform his duties by reason of illness, absence or any other cause; or (b) there exists a vacancy[.] Issue: WON the President can issue appointments in an acting capacity to department secretaries while Congress is in session. Held: Yes. The essence of an appointment in an acting capacity is its temporary nature. It is a stop-gap measure intended to fill an office for a limited time until the appointment of a permanent occupant to the office. In case of vacancy in an office occupied by an alter ego of the President, such as the office of a department secretary, the President must necessarily appoint an alter ego of her choice as acting secretary before the permanent appointee of her choice could assume office. The office of a department secretary may become vacant while Congress is in session. Since a department secretary is the alter ego of the President, the acting appointee to the office must necessarily have the Presidents confidence. Thus, by the very nature of the office of a department secretary, the President must appoint in an acting capacity a person of her choice even while Congress is in session. Ad interim appointments and acting appointments are both effective upon acceptance. But ad-interim appointments are extended only during a recess of Congress, whereas acting appointments may be extended any time there is a vacancy. Moreover ad-interim appointments are submitted to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation or rejection; acting appointments are not submitted to the Commission on Appointments. Acting appointments are a way of temporarily filling important offices but, if abused, they can also be a way of circumventing the need for confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. The absence of abuse is readily apparent from President Arroyos issuance of ad interim appointments to respondents immediately upon the recess of Congress, way before the lapse of one year. Note: Can Congress impose the automatic appointment of the undersecretary? Congress, through a law, cannot impose on the President the obligation to appoint automatically the undersecretary as her temporary alter ego. The power to appoint is essentially executive in nature, and the legislature may not interfere with the exercise of this executive power except in those instances when the Constitution expressly allows it to interfere. Limitations on the executive power to appoint are construed strictly against the legislature. The scope of the legislatures interference in the executives power to appoint is limited to the power to prescribe the qualifications to an appointive office. Congress cannot appoint a person to an office in the guise of prescribing qualifications to that office. Neither may Congress impose on the President the duty to appoint any particular person to an office.

Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party vs. COMELEC G.R. No. 147589, June 26, 2001
Sunday, January 25, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Facts: Petitioner challenged a resolution issued by the COMELEC.Petitioner seeks the disqualification of certain major political parties in the 2001 party-list elections arguing that the party-list system was intended to benefit the marginalized and underrepresented and not the mainstream political parties, the non-marginalized or overrepresented.

Issues: (1) Whether or not political parties may participate in the party-list elections (2) Whether or not the party-list system is exclusive to marginalized and underrepresented sectors and organizations Held: Under the Constitution and RA 7941, major political parties cannot be disqualified from the party-list elections merely on the ground that they are political parties. But while even major political parties are expressly allowed by RA 7941 and the Constitution to participate in the party-list system, they must comply with the declared statutory policy of enabling Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors to be elected to the House of Representatives. In other words, while they are not disqualified merely on the ground that they are political parties, they must show, however, that they represent the interests of the marginalized and underrepresented.

G.R. No. 171396, May 3, 2006 DAVID v. ARROYO "Take Care" Power of the President Powers of the Chief Executive The power to promulgate decrees belongs to the Legislature FACTS: These 7 consolidated petitions question the validity of PP 1017 (declaring a state of national emergency) and General Order No. 5 issued by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. While the cases are pending, President Arroyo issued PP 1021, declaring that the state of national emergency has ceased to exist, thereby, in effect, lifting PP 1017. ISSUE: Whether or not PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5 arrogated upon the President the power to enact laws and decrees If so, whether or not PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5 are unconstitutional HELD: Take-Care Power This refers to the power of the President to ensure that the laws be faithfully executed, based on Sec. 17, Art. VII: ThePresident shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus and offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed. As the Executive in whom the executive power is vested, the primary function of the President is to enforce the laws as well as to formulate policies to be embodied in existing laws. He sees to it that all laws are enforced by the officials andemployees of his department. Before assuming office, he is required to take an oath or affirmation to the effect that asPresident of the Philippines, he will, among others, execute its laws. In the exercise of such function, the President, if needed, may employ the powers attached to his office as the Commander-in-Chief of all

the armed forces of the country, including the Philippine National Police under the Department of Interior and Local Government. The specific portion of PP 1017 questioned is the enabling clause: to enforce obedience to all the laws and to all decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction. Is it within the domain of President Arroyo to promulgate decrees? The President is granted an Ordinance Power under Chap. 2, Book III of E.O. 292. President Arroyos ordinance power is limited to those issuances mentioned in the foregoing provision. She cannot issue decrees similar to those issued by Former President Marcos under PP 1081. Presidential Decrees are laws which are of the same category and binding force as statutes because they were issued by the President in the exercise of his legislative power during the period of Martial Law under the 1973 Constitution. This Court rules that the assailed PP 1017 is unconstitutional insofar as it grants President Arroyo the authority to promulgate decrees. Legislative power is peculiarly within the province of the Legislature. Sec. 1, Art. VI categorically states that the legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and aHouse of Representatives. To be sure, neither Martial Law nor a state of rebellion nor a state of emergency can justifyPresident Arroyos exercise of legislative power by issuing decrees. But can President Arroyo enforce obedience to all decrees and laws through the military? As this Court stated earlier, President Arroyo has no authority to enact decrees. It follows that these decrees are void and, therefore, cannot be enforced. With respect to laws, she cannot call the military to enforce or implement certain laws, such as customs laws, laws governing family and property relations, laws on obligations and contracts and the like. She can only order the military, under PP 1017, to enforce laws pertinent to its duty to suppress lawless violence. Lacson vs. Perez G.R. No. 147780, May 10, 2001

Power of the president to declare a state of rebellion In quelling or suppressing the rebellion, the authorities may only resort to warrantless arrests of persons suspected of rebellion.

FACTS: On May 1, 2001, President Macapagal-Arroyo, faced by an angry and violent mob armed with explosives, firearms, bladed weapons, clubs, stones and other deadly weapons assaulting and attempting to break into Malacaang, issued Proclamation No. 38 declaring that there was a state of rebellion in the National Capital Region. She likewise issued General Order No. 1 directing the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to suppress the rebellion in the National Capital Region. Warrantless arrests of several alleged leaders and promoters of the rebellion were thereafter effected. Aggrieved by the warrantless arrests, and the declaration of a state of rebellion, which allegedly gave a semblance of legality to the arrests, the following four related petitions were filed before the Court. Prior to resolution, the state of rebellion was lifted in Metro Manila. ISSUE:

Whether or not the declaration of a state of rebellion is constitutional

RULING: As to warrantless arrests As to petitioners claim that the proclamation of a state of rebellion is being used by the authorities to justify warrantless arrests, the Secretary of Justice denies that it has issued a particular order to arrest specific persons inconnection with the rebellion. xxx With this declaration, petitioners apprehensions as to warrantless arrests should be laid to rest. In quelling or suppressing the rebellion, the authorities may only resort to warrantless arrests of persons suspected of rebellion, as provided under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, if the circumstances so warrant. The warrantless arrest feared by petitioners is, thus, not based on the declaration of a state of rebellion. Was there violation of doctrine of separation of powers? Petitioner Lumbao, leader of the Peoples Movement against Poverty (PMAP), for his part, argues that the declaration of a state of rebellion is violative of the doctrine of separation of powers, being an encroachment on the domain of the judiciary which has the constitutional prerogative to determine or interpret what took place on May 1, 2001, and that the declaration of a state of rebellion cannot be an exception to the general rule on the allocation of the governmental powers. We disagree. To be sure, section 18, Article VII of the Constitution expressly provides that [t]he President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion thus, we held in Integrated Bar of thePhilippines v. Hon. Zamora, (G.R. No. 141284, August 15, 2000): xxx The factual necessity of calling out the armed forces is not easily quantifiable and cannot be objectively established since matters considered for satisfying the same is a combination of several factors which are not always accessible to the courts. Besides the absence of testual standards that the court may use to judge necessity, information necessary to arrive at such judgment might also prove unmanageable for the courts. Certain pertinent information necessary to arrive at such judgment might also prove unmanageable for the courts. Certain pertinent information might be difficult to verify, or wholly unavailable to the courts. In many instances, the evidence upon which the President might decide that there is a need to call out the armed forces may be of a nature not constituting technical proof. On the other hand, the President as Commander-in-Chief has a vast intelligence network to gather information, some of which may be classified as highly confidential or affecting the security of the state. In the exercise of the power to call, on-the-spot decisions may be imperatively necessary in emergency situations to avert great loss of human lives and mass destruction of property. xxx The Court, in a proper case, may look into the sufficiency of the factual basis of the exercise of this power. However, this is no longer feasible at this time, Proclamation No. 38 having been lifted. Sanlakas vs. Reyes G.R. No. 159085, Feb. 3, 2004 The President's Commander-in-Chief Powers: (1) the calling out power, (2) the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, and (3) the power to declare martial law The Presidents authority to declare a state of rebellion springs in the main from her powers as chief executive and, at the same time, draws strength from her Commander-in-Chief powers. Legal significance of declaration of state of rebellion: Such a declaration is devoid of any legal significance. For all legal intents, the declaration is deemed not written.

Declaration of a State of Rebellion vis-a-vis Declaration of Martial Law FACTS: In the wake of the Oakwood Incident, the President issued Proc. 427 and G.O. 4, both declaring a state of rebellion and calling out the AFP to suppress the rebellion. After hours-long negotiations, the Oakwood occupation ended and the president lifted the declaration of a state of rebellion. ISSUE: Whether or not the declaration of a state of rebellion is constitutional RULING: Presidents Commander-in-Chief Powers The above provision grants the President, as Commander-in-Chief, a sequence of graduated power[s]. From the most to the least benign, these are: the calling out power, the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, and the power to declare martial law. In the exercise of the latter two powers, the Constitution requires the concurrence of two conditions, namely, an actual invasion or rebellion, and that public safety requires the exercise of such power. However, as we observed in Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Zamora, [t]hese conditions are not required in the exercise of the calling out power. The only criterion is that whenever it becomes necessary, the President may call the armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. Nevertheless, it is equally true that Section 18, Article VII does not expressly prohibit the President from declaring a state of rebellion. Note that the Constitution vests the President not only with Commander-in-Chief powers but, first and foremost, with Executive powers. xxx the Commander-in-Chief powers are broad enough as it is and become more so when taken together with the provision on executive power and the presidential oath of office. Thus, the plenitude of the powers of the presidency equips the occupant with the means to address exigencies or threats which undermine the very existence of government or the integrity of the State. xxx Thus, the Presidents authority to declare a state of rebellion springs in the main from her powers as chief executive and, at the same time, draws strength from her Commander-in-Chief powers. xxx Declaration of State of Rebellion is Superfluity The foregoing discussion notwithstanding, in calling out the armed forces, a declaration of a state of rebellion is an utter superfluity. At most, it only gives notice to the nation that such a state exists and that the armed forces may be called to prevent or suppress it. Perhaps the declaration may wreak emotional effects upon the perceived enemies of the State, even on the entire nation. But this Courts mandate is to probe only into the legal consequences of the declaration. This Court finds that such a declaration is devoid of any legal significance. For all legal intents, the declaration is deemed not written. Should there be any confusion generated by the issuance of Proclamation No. 427 and General Order No. 4, we clarify that, as the dissenters in Lacson correctly pointed out, the mere declaration of a state of rebellion cannot diminish or violate constitutionally protected rights. Indeed, if a state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution or automatically suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, then it is with more reason that a simple declaration of a state of rebellion could not bring about these conditions. At any rate, the presidential issuances themselves call for the suppression of the rebellion with due regard to constitutional rights.

But Declaration of State of Rebellion is not Declaration of Martial Law; Exercise of Emergency Powers by President does not necessarily follow The argument that the declaration of a state of rebellion amounts to a declaration of martial law and, therefore, is a circumvention of the report requirement, is a leap of logic. There is no indication that military tribunals have replaced civil courts in the theater of war or that military authorities have taken over the functions of civil government. There is no allegation of curtailment of civil or political rights. There is no indication that the President has exercised judicial and legislative powers. In short, there is no illustration that the President has attempted to exercise or has exercised martial law powers. Nor by any stretch of the imagination can the declaration constitute an indirect exercise of emergency powers, which exercise depends upon a grant of Congress pursuant to Section 23 (2), Article VI of the Constitution: Sec. 23. (1) . (2) In times of war or other national emergency, the Congress may, by law, authorize the President, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe, to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy. Unless sooner withdrawn by resolution of the Congress, such powers shall cease upon the next adjournment thereof. The petitions do not cite a specific instance where the President has attempted to or has exercised powers beyond her powers as Chief Executive or as Commander-in-Chief. The President, in declaring a state of rebellion and in calling out the armed forces, was merely exercising a wedding of her Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief powers. These are purely executive powers, vested on the President by Sections 1 and 18, Article VII, as opposed to the delegated legislative powers contemplated by Section 23 (2), Article VI. Bayan v. Zamora, G.R. No. 138570, October 10, 2000 DECISION (En Banc) BUENA, J.: I. THE FACTS

The Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America entered into an agreement called the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The agreement was treated as a treaty by the Philippine government and was ratified by then-President Joseph Estrada with the concurrence of 2/3 of the total membership of the Philippine Senate. The VFA defines the treatment of U.S. troops and personnel visiting the Philippines. It provides for the guidelines to govern such visits, and further defines the rights of the U.S. and the Philippine governments in the matter of criminal jurisdiction, movement of vessel and aircraft, importation and exportation of equipment, materials and supplies. Petitioners argued, inter alia, that the VFA violates 25, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution, which provides that foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate . . . and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State. II. THE ISSUE Was the VFA unconstitutional?

III. THE RULING [The Court DISMISSED the consolidated petitions, held that the petitioners did not commit grave abuse of discretion, and sustained the constitutionality of the VFA.] NO, the VFA is not unconstitutional. Section 25, Article XVIII disallows foreign military bases, troops, or facilities in the country, unless the following conditions are sufficiently met, viz: (a) it must be under a treaty; (b) the treaty must be duly concurred in by the Senate and, when so required by congress, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum; and (c) recognized as a treaty by the other contracting state. There is no dispute as to the presence of the first two requisites in the case of the VFA. The concurrence handed by the Senate through Resolution No. 18 is in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution . . . the provision in [in 25, Article XVIII] requiring ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a national referendum being unnecessary since Congress has not required it. xxx xxx xxx

This Court is of the firm view that the phrase recognized as a treaty means that the other contracting party accepts or acknowledges the agreement as a treaty. To require the other contracting state, the United States of America in this case, to submit the VFA to the United States Senate for concurrence pursuant to its Constitution, is to accord strict meaning to the phrase. Well-entrenched is the principle that the words used in the Constitution are to be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed, in which case the significance thus attached to them prevails. Its language should be understood in the sense they have in common use. Moreover, it is inconsequential whether the United States treats the VFA only as an executive agreement because, under international law, an executive agreement is as binding as a treaty. To be sure, as long as the VFA possesses the elements of an agreement under international law, the said agreement is to be taken equally as a treaty. xxx xxx xxx

The records reveal that the United States Government, through Ambassador Thomas C. Hubbard, has stated that the United States government has fully committed to living up to the terms of the VFA. For as long as the United States of America accepts or acknowledges the VFA as a treaty, and binds itself further to comply with its obligations under the treaty, there is indeed marked compliance with the mandate of the Constitution.
FLORENCE TEVES MACARRUBO, THE MINORS JURIS ALEXIS T. MACARRUBO AND GABRIEL ENRICO T. MACARRUBO AS REPRESENTED BY THEIR MOTHER/GUARDIAN, FLORENCE TEVES MACARRUBO, COMPLAINANT, VS. ATTY. EDMUNDO L. MACARRUBO, RESPONDENT. [A.C. No. 6148 (CBD 00-734-A), February 27, 2004]

Facts: Florence Macarrubo by herself and on behalf of her 2 children files a complaint for disbarment against Edmundo Macarrubo alleging that Edmundo deceived hereinto marrying him despite his prior subsisting marriage with a certain Helen Esparza. Florence further averred that Edmundo entered into a 3rd marriage with Josephine Constantino; and that he abandoned Florence without

providing them w/ regularsupport.Edmundo denied the allegations, insisting instead that complainant Florence was fully aware of his prior subsisting marriage, but that Florence dragged Edmundo against his will to a 'sham wedding'.Edmundo submitted the decision of RTC declaring his marriage to complainant void ab initio. Edmundo claimed that he left complainant and their 2 children w/ her consent. Issue: W/n Edmundo should be disbarred... Held: Yes. Facts show that while Edmundo has a subsisting marriage w/ Helen Esparza s/ whom he had 2 children, he entered into a2nd marriage with complainant. While the marriage between complainant Florence and Edmundo has been annulled by final judgment, this does not cleanse his conduct of impropriety. Even assuming arguendo that Edmunod was coerced by complainant to marry her, the duress has ceased after wedding day. Edmundo having freely cohabited with her and even begot a 2nd child. The decision of RTC annulling their marriage is not res judicata on the final resolution of this case. A disbarment case is suigeneris for it is neither purely civil nor criminal but is rather an investigation by the court on the conduct of its officers
WHEREFORE, respondent Edmundo L. Macarubbo is found guilty of gross immorality and is herebyDISBARRED from the practice of law. He is likewise ORDERED to show satisfactory evidence to the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline and to this Court that he is supporting or has made provisions for the regular support of his two children by complainant.[53] Let respondents name be stricken off the Roll of Attorneys.

Rev. Ely Velez Pamatong Vs. Commission on Elections G.R. No. 161872, April 13, 2004 FACTS: Petitioner Pamatong filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for President. Respondent COMELEC declared petitioner and 35 others as nuisance candidates who could not wage a nationwide campaign and/or are not nominated by a political party or are not supported by a registered political party with a national constituency. Pamatong filed a Petition For Writ of Certiorari with the Supreme Court claiming that the COMELEC violated his right to "equal access to opportunities for public service" under Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Constitution, by limiting the number of qualified candidates only to those who can afford to wage a nationwide campaign and/or are nominated by political parties. The COMELEC supposedly erred in disqualifying him since he is the most qualified among all the presidential candidates, i.e., he possesses all the constitutional and legal qualifications for the office of the president, he is capable of waging a national campaign since he has numerous national organizations under his leadership, he also has the capacity to wage an international campaign since he has practiced law in other countries, and he has a platform of government. ISSUE: Is there a constitutional right to run for or hold public office? RULING: No. What is recognized in Section 26, Article II of the Constitution is merely a privilege subject to limitations imposed by law. It neither bestows such a right nor elevates the privilege to the level of an enforceable right.

There is nothing in the plain language of the provision which suggests such a thrust or justifies an interpretation of the sort. The "equal access" provision is a subsumed part of Article II of the Constitution, entitled "Declaration of Principles and State Policies." The provisions under the Article are generally considered not self-executing, and there is no plausible reason for according a different treatment to the "equal access" provision. Like the rest of the policies enumerated in Article II, the provision does not contain any judicially enforceable constitutional right but merely specifies a guideline for legislative or executive action. The disregard of the provision does not give rise to any cause of action before the courts. Obviously, the provision is not intended to compel the State to enact positive measures that would accommodate as many people as possible into public office. Moreover, the provision as written leaves much to be desired if it is to be regarded as the source of positive rights. It is difficult to interpret the clause as operative in the absence of legislation since its effective means and reach are not properly defined. Broadly written, the myriad of claims that can be subsumed under this rubric appear to be entirely open-ended. Words and phrases such as "equal access," "opportunities," and "public service" are susceptible to countless interpretations owing to their inherent impreciseness. Certainly, it was not the intention of the framers to inflict on the people an operative but amorphous foundation from which innately unenforceable rights may be sourced. The privilege of equal access to opportunities to public office may be subjected to limitations. Some valid limitations specifically on the privilege to seek elective office are found in the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code on "Nuisance Candidates. As long as the limitations apply to everybody equally without discrimination, however, the equal access clause is not violated. Equality is not sacrificed as long as the burdens engendered by the limitations are meant to be borne by any one who is minded to file a certificate of candidacy. In the case at bar, there is no showing that any person is exempt from the limitations or the burdens which they create. The rationale behind the prohibition against nuisance candidates and the disqualification of candidates who have not evinced a bona fide intention to run for office is easy to divine. The State has a compelling interest to ensure that its electoral exercises are rational, objective, and orderly. Towards this end, the State takes into account the practical considerations in conducting elections. Inevitably, the greater the number of candidates, the greater the opportunities for logistical confusion, not to mention the increased allocation of time and resources in preparation for the election. The organization of an election with bona fide candidates standing is onerous enough. To add into the mix candidates with no serious intentions or capabilities to run a viable campaign would actually impair the electoral process. This is not to mention the candidacies which are palpably ridiculous so as to constitute a one-note joke. The poll body would be bogged by irrelevant minutiae covering every step of the electoral process, most probably posed at the instance of these nuisance candidates. It would be a senseless sacrifice on the part of the State. The question of whether a candidate is a nuisance candidate or not is both legal and factual. The basis of the factual determination is not before this Court. Thus, the remand of this case for the reception of further evidence is in order. The SC remanded to the COMELEC for the reception of further evidence, to determine the question on whether petitioner Elly Velez Lao Pamatong is a nuisance candidate as contemplated in Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code.

Obiter Dictum: One of Pamatong's contentions was that he was an international lawyer and is thus more qualified compared to the likes of Erap, who was only a high school dropout. Under the Constitution (Article VII, Section 2), the only requirements are the following: (1) natural-born citizen of the Philippines; (2) registered voter; (3) able to read and write; (4) at least forty years of age on the day of the election; and (5) resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.

At any rate, Pamatong was eventually declared a nuisance candidate and was disqualified. Chavez vs. Sandiganbayan G.R. No. 91391, January 24, 1991 Facts: Civil case was filed against Enrile in the Sandiganbayan for alleged illegal activities made by Enrile during the Marcos era. Enrirle filed a motion to dismiss and compulsory counter-claim. In the counter-claim Enrile moved to implead Chavez and other PCGG officials on the basis that the case field agaisnt him was a harassment suit. The motion to implead Chavez and others was granted by the Sandiganbayan. Chavez and the PCGG officials raised the defense that they are immune from suit by virtue of Sec. 4 of Executive Order NO. 1. It was found in the records of the PCGG, declared by Jovito Salonga, the there are no proof linking Enrile with the illegal activities performed by Marcos. It was further averred that the case filed against Enrile was instigated by Sol. Gen. Chavez. Sol. Gen. Chavez defended himself by saying that he was acting as a counsel and cannot by made a defendant in a counter-claim. Issue: Whether or not Sol. Gen. Chavez can be made liable for damages in filing the suit against Enrile. Held: The court held that the grounds for allowing the compulsory counter-claim of Enrile was based on the malice or bad faith of Chavez in filing the suit. It was further stated by the court that immunity from suit is granted only because of the fact that the Commission has a multitude of task. Immunity for suit on members of the PCGG and other public officers is available only if such officers are acting in good faith and in the performance of their duty. If the acts done are tainted with bad faith or in excess of authority they can be held liable personally for damages. In the case at bar the Sol. Gen. exceeded his authority and his act is tainted with bad faith by filing baseless suit against Enrile. His office does not give him the license to prosecute recklessly to the injury of another. Thus he is made liable fro his actions in the opinion of the court.