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JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT

Sec. 1:

Santiago vs Bautista

- The courts may not exercise judicial power when there is no applicable law.

- Case at bar: An award of honors to a student by a board of teachers may not be reversed by a court where the awards are governed by no applicable law.

Judicial Power – Justifiable Controversy – Citizenship

Facts: Santiago was considered an alien as evidenced by his alien certificate of registration. He averred that this is erroneous. He was born of a Filipino mother and a Chinese father here in the Philippines. He was sent to China when he was 4 years old by his dad. He returned in 1925 and in his Landing Certificate he was already labelled as a Filipino. Hence, he would like to cancel the alien certificate that was issued by the Bureau of Immigrations. In his original petition however in the lower court he was praying for a declaratory relief for him to be declared as a Filipino. He was favoured by the court. The fiscal appealed averring that a declaratory relief is not the proper remedy. The lower court amended the decision not stating the “declaratory statement” but rather focusing on the cancellation of the alien certificate. The fiscal appealed before the SC.

ISSUE: Whether or not declaratory relief is a proper remedy to have a judicial declaration of citizenship.

HELD: The SC ruled against Santiago. Although amended, the proceeding initiated and originally prayed for is a declaratory relief to have him be declared as a Filipino. Under our laws, there can be no action or proceeding for the judicial declaration of the citizenship of an individual. Courts of justice exist for the settlement of justifiable controversies, which imply a given right, legally demandable and enforceable, an act or omission violative of said right, and a remedy, granted or sanctioned by law, for said breach of right. As an accident only of the adjudication of the rights of the parties to a controversy, the court may pass upon, and make a pronouncement relative to, their status. Otherwise, such a pronouncement is beyond judicial power. Thus, for instance, no action or proceeding may be instituted for a declaration to the effect that plaintiff or petitioner is married, or single, or a legitimate child, although a finding thereon may be made as a necessary premise to justify a given relief available only to one enjoying said status. At times, the law permits the acquisition of a given status, such as naturalization, by judicial decree. But, there is no similar legislation authorizing the institution of a judicial proceeding to declare that a given person is part of our citizenry.

Daza v Singson

- Even if the issue presented was political in nature, the Court is still not be precluded from resolving it under the expanded jurisdiction conferred upon it that now covers, in proper cases, even the political question.

- That where serious constitutional questions are involved, "the transcendental importance to the public of these cases demands that they be settled promptly and definitely brushing aside, if we must, technicalities of procedure."

Tribunal and its Composition FACTS: The Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) was reorganized resulting to a political realignment in the lower house. LDP also changed its representation in the Commission on Appointments. They withdrew the

seat occupied by Daza (LDP member) and gave it to the new LDP member. Thereafter the chamber elected a new set of representatives in the CoA which consisted of the original members except Daza who was replaced by Singson. Daza questioned such replacement.

ISSUE: Whether or not a change resulting from a political realignment validly changes the composition of the Commission on Appointments.

HELD: As provided in the constitution, “there should be a Commission on Appointments consisting of twelve

Senators and twelve members of the House of Representatives elected by each House respectively on the basis

of proportional representation” of the political parties therein, this necessarily connotes the authority of each

house of Congress to see to it that the requirement is duly complied with. Therefore, it may take appropriate measures, not only upon the initial organization of the Commission but also subsequently thereto NOT the court.

Mantruste Systems v Court of Appeals

- There can be no justification for judicial interference in the business of an administrative agency, except when it violates a citizen's constitutional rights, or commits a grave abuse of discretion, or acts in excess of, or without jurisdiction.

- Courts may not substitute their judgment for that of the Asset Privatization Trust (administrative body), nor block, by an injunction, the discharge of its functions and the implementation of its decisions in connection with the acquisition, sale or disposition of assets transferred to it.

Facts: Mantruste Systems, Inc. (MSI) entered into an interim lease agreement dated August 26, 1986 with the Development Bank of the Philippines, the owner of Bayview Plaza Hotel. The agreement provides that MSI would operate the hotel for a minimum of three months or until such time that the said properties are sold to MSI or other third parties by DBP. During the said period, the President issued Proclamation No. 50 entitled Launching a Program for the Expeditious Disposition or Privatization of certain Government Corporations and/or the (acquired) assets thereof and creating a Committee on Privatization and the Asset Privatization Trust. The Bayview Hotel has been one of the identified assets for privatization and it was transferred from DBP to APT for disposition.

The DBP notified MSI that it was terminating the interim lease agreement. It has been agreed that 30 days from the signing of the Certification, the lease contract will be considered as terminated; the Bayview Hotel will be made available for inspection at all times by other bidders; and said property will be ready for delivery to any new owners 30 days from signing the Certification.

A letter granting an extension of 30 days was sent by APT to MSI. This is to allow the latter to wind up affairs

and to facilitate a smooth turn-over of the facilities to its new owners without necessarily interrupting the hotel’s regular operation.

After 15 days, MSI informed APT that since its lease on the hotel properties has been for more than one year now, its lessee status has taken the character of a long term one. As such MSI as the lessee has acquired certain rights and privileges under the law and equity. It also contends that it has acquired a priority right to purchase said properties above other interested parties. APT, on a reply said that it has not found any stipulation tending to support MSI’s claim and since the Pre- Bidding Conference has been conducted, for APT to consider the request of MSI would not be in consonance with law, equity and fair play. The MSI then wrote a letter to APT informing the latter of the alleged legal lien over the hotel which amounts to P10,000,000 . It also demanded that APT consider MSI as very preferred bidder. MSI also submit its bid to APT for P95,000,000 in cash or P120,000,000 in installment terms. MSI also asked APT to clarify the following: 10 whether APT has a clean title over the property; 2) whether the Trust knew the hotel had back taxes; 3) who should pay the tax arrears; and 4) whether MSI’s advances made in behalf of DBP would be treated as part of the bid offer. In the view that MSI has been disqualified from the public bidding, the property was eventually awarded to Makati Agro Trading and La Filipina Uy Gongco Corporation. MSI filed a petition for preliminary injunction with the lower court. The said court granted the petition but the Court of Appeals nullified the lower court’s ruling for being violative to Section 1 of Proclamation No. 50 which provides:

“No court or administrative agency shall issue any restraining order or injunction against the trust in connection with the acquisition, sale or disposition of assets transferred to it. Nor shall such order or injunction be issued against any purchaser of assets sold by the Trust to prevent such purchaser from taking possession of any assets purchased by him.” The CA rejected the lower court’s opinion that said proclamation is unconstitutional, rather it upheld that it continues to be operative after the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution by virtue of Section 3 Art. XVIII. It also noted that MSI has not been deprived of its property rights since those rights are non-existent and its only property right was the alleged reimbursable advances made to DBP, which it may sue to collect in a separate action. It further held that the issuance of writ of preliminary injunction by the lower court against APT may not be justified as a valid exercise of judicial power for MSI does not have a legally demandable and enforceable right of retention over the said property. The MSI then filed this petition for certiorari with this Court. Issue: Whether or not the CA erred in holding that MSI’s rights to the property are non-existent except its right to use the refund of its alleged advances; and in not declaring unconstitutional Section 31 of Proclamation No.

50.

Ruling: The Court upheld the ruling of the CA. It affirmed the Court of appeals finding that MSI’s claim to a patent contractual right to retain possession of the Bayview Hotel until all its advances are paid is non-existent; and as the right of retention does not exist, neither does the right to the relief demanded. A mere lessee like MSI is not a builder in good faith, hence the right of retention given to a possessor in good faith pending reimbursement of his advances for necessary repairs and useful improvements on another’s property is not available to a lessee whose possession is not that of an owner. The Court stated that it is a settled rule that lessees are not possessor in good faith because they know that their occupancy of the premises continue only during the life of the lease, hence they cannot recover, as a matter of right, the value of their improvements from the lessor, much less retain the premises until they are reimbursed thereof. The Court also ruled that Section 31 of Proclamation No. 50 does not impair the inherent powers of the courts to settle actual controversies 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. It also noted that the power of the courts over the other branches and instrumentalities of the government is limited only to the determination of whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in the exercise of their authority and in the performance of their assigned tasks. There can be no justification on judicial interference in the business of an administrative agency except when it violates a citizen’s constitutional rights, or commits a grave abuse of discretion, or acts in excess of, or without jurisdiction.

The petition is dismissed.

Malaga v Penachos, Jr.

- It was previously declared the prohibition pertained to the issuance of injunctions or restraining orders

by courts against administrative acts in controversies involving facts or the exercise of discretion in technical cases. The Court observed that to allow the courts to judge these matters would disturb the smooth functioning of the administrative machinery. On issues definitely outside of this dimension and involving questions of law, courts could not be prevented by any law (in this case, P.D. No. 605) from exercising their power to restrain or prohibit administrative acts. Facts o The controversy involves the extent and applicability of PD 1818 which prohibits any court from issuing injunctions in cases involving infrastructure projects of the government o The present controversy of the case is the non-compliance of the petitioner with the procedural rules on bidding which required strict observance o The purpose of the rules implementing PD 1594 is to secure competitive bidding and to prevent favoritism, collusion and fraud in the award of these contracts to the detriment of the public. This purpose was defeated by the irregularities committed by PBAC

Issue Whether the restraining order was properly issued and the writ of preliminary injunction was rightfully denied in accordance to PD 1818

Held o The restraining order was properly issued by the respondent judge and the writ of preliminary injunction should not have been denied Ratio o The prohibition in PD 1818 pertained to the issuance of injunctions or restraining orders by courts against administrative acts in controversies involving facts or the exercise of discretion in technical cases o However, on issues outside this dimension and involving questions of law, court could not be prevented by the decree from exercising their power to restrain or prohibit administrative acts o Apparently, the controversy in the present case did not arise from the discretionary acts of the administrative body nor does it involve merely technical matter that is why the court has the right to prohibit the petitioner’s non-compliance with the procedural rule on bidding. o PD 1818 wasn’t intended to shield from judicial scrutiny irregularities committed by administrative agencies such as the anomalies above described.

PACU v Secretary of Education

- Judicial power is limited to the decision of actual cases and controversies.

(Mere apprehension that the Secretary of Education might under the law withdraw the permit of one of petitioners does not constitute a justiciable controversy.)

- Courts do not sit to adjudicate mere academic questions to satisfy scholarly interest therein however

intellectually solid the problem may be. This is especially true where the issues "reach constitutional dimensions, for then there comes into play regard for the court's duty to avoid decision of constitutional issues unless avoidance becomes evasion.

FACTS: The petitioning colleges and universities request that Act No. 2706 as amended by Act No. 3075 and Commonwealth Act No. 180 be declared unconstitutional, because: A.) They deprive owners of schools and colleges as well as teachers and parents of liberty and property without due process of law; B.) They deprive parents of their natural right and duty to rear their children for civic efficiency; and C.) Their provisions conferring on the Secretary of Education unlimited power and discretion to prescribe rules and standards constitute an unlawful delegation of legislative power. Petitioners complain that before opening a school the owner must secure a permit from the Secretary of Education. Petitioners reason out, “this section leaves everything to the uncontrolled discretion of the Secretary of Education or his department. The Secretary of

Education is given the power to fix the standard. In plain language, the statute turns over to the Secretary of

Education the exclusive authority of the legislature to formulate standard

the private schools recognized or authorized by the government shall be submitted to the Board (Board of Textbooks) which shall have the power to prohibit the use of any of said textbooks which it may find to be against the law or to offend the dignity and honor of the government and people of the Philippines, or which it may find to be against the general policies of the government, or which it may deem pedagogically unsuitable. HELD: Petitioners do not show how these standards have injured any of them or interfered with their operation. Wherefore, no reason exists for them to assail neither the validity of the power nor the exercise of the power by the Secretary of Education. No justiciable controversy has been presented to us. We are not informed that the Board on Textbooks has prohibited this or that text, or that the petitioners refused or intend to refuse to submit some textbooks, and are in danger of losing substantial privileges or rights for so refusing.

.” Also, the textbooks to be used in

Mariano, Jr. v COMELEC

- Considering that those contingencies mentioned by the petitioners may or may not happen, petitioners merely pose a hypothetical issue which has yet to ripen to an actual case or controversy. Petitioners who are residents of Taguig (except Mariano) are not also the proper parties to raise this abstract issue (city of Makati is involved). Worse, they raise this futuristic issue in a petition for declaratory relief over which this Court has no jurisdiction.

Facts: Two petitions are filed assailing certain provisions of RA 7854, An Act Converting The Municipality of Makati Into a Highly Urbanized City to be known as the City of Makati, as unconstitutional.

Section 52 of RA 7854 is said to be unconstitutional for it increased the legislative district of Makati only by special law in violation of Art. VI, Sec. 5(4) requiring a general reapportionment law to be passed by Congress within 3 years following the return of every census. Also, the addition of another legislative district in Makati is not in accord with Sec. 5(3), Art. VI of the Constitution for as of the 1990 census, the population of Makati stands at only 450,000.

Issue: Whether or not the addition of another legislative district in Makati is unconstitutional

Held: Reapportionment of legislative districts may be made through a special law, such as in the charter of a new city. The Constitution clearly provides that Congress shall be composed of not more than 250 members, unless otherwise fixed by law. As thus worded, the Constitution did not preclude Congress from increasing its membership by passing a law, other than a general reapportionment law. This is exactly what was done by Congress in enacting RA 7854 and providing for an increase in Makati’s legislative district. Moreover, to hold that reapportionment can only be made through a general apportionment law, with a review of all the

legislative districts allotted to each local government unit nationwide, would create an inequitable situation where a new city or province created by Congress will be denied legislative representation for an indeterminate period of time. The intolerable situations will deprive the people of a new city or province a particle of their sovereignty.

Petitioner cannot insist that the addition of another legislative district in Makati is not in accord with Sec. 5(3), Art. VI of the Constitution for as of the 1990 census, the population of Makati stands at only 450,000. Said section provides that a city with a population of at least 250,000 shall have at least one representative. Even granting that the population of Makati as of the 1990 census stood at 450,000, its legislative district may still be increased since it has met the minimum population requirement of 250,000.

Macasiano v National Housing Authority

-It is a rule firmly entrenched in our jurisprudence that the constitutionality of an act of the legislature will not be determined by the courts unless that question is properly raised and presented in appropriate cases and is necessary to a determination of the case. FACTS: Petitioner prays that the court declare sec. 28 and 44 of RA No. 7279 ( Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992) unconstitutional. Pet. Was a consultant of DPWH pursuant to a Contract regarding the removal of obstructions and encroachment on properties of public domain. His basis for locus standi is that he was a consultant and that he is a taxpayer. Issues

1. WON the court can exercise its power of judicial review? NO HELD - the essential requisites of a judicial review is lacking. As to: there is no actual controversy and there was no actual prevention of duties as a consultant or as a property owner. Judicial review cannot be exercised. Thus, petitioner is not a proper party.

J. Joya v PCGG

- The rule is settled that no question involving the constitutionality or validity of a law or governmental

act may be heard and decided by the court unless there is compliance with the legal requisites for judicial inquiry, namely: that the question must be raised by the proper party; that there must be an actual case or controversy; that the question must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and, that the decision on the constitutional or legal question must be necessary to the determination of the case itself. But the most important are the first two (2) requisites.

- Not every action filed by a taxpayer can qualify to challenge the legality of official acts done by the

government. A taxpayer's suit can prosper only if the governmental acts being questioned involve disbursement of public funds upon the theory that the expenditure of public funds by an officer of the state for the purpose of administering an unconstitutional act constitutes a misapplication of such funds, which may be enjoined at the request of a taxpayer.

FACTS:The Republic of the Philippines through the PCGG entered into a Consignment Agreement with Christie’s of New York, selling 82 Old Masters Paintings and antique silverware seized from Malacanang and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila alleged to be part of the ill-gotten wealth of the late Pres. Marcos, his relatives and cronies. Prior to the auction sale, COA questioned the Consignment Agreement, there was already

opposition to the auction sale. Nevertheless, it proceeded as scheduled and the proceeds of $13,302,604.86 were turned over to the Bureau of Treasury.

ISSUE:

Whether or not PCGG has jurisdiction and authority to enter into an agreement with Christie’s of New York for the sale of the artworks

RULING:

On jurisdiction of the Court to exercise judicial review

The rule is settled that no question involving the constitutionality or validity of a law or governmental act may be heard and decided by the court unless there is compliance with the legal requisites for judicial inquiry, namely: that the question must be raised by the proper party; that there must be an actual case or controversy; that the question must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and, that the decision on the constitutional or legal question must be necessary to the determination of the case itself. But the most important are the first two (2) requisites.

Standing of Petitioners

On the first requisite, we have held that one having no right or interest to protect cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the court as party-plaintiff in an action. This is premised on Sec. 2, Rule 3, of the Rules of Court which provides that every action must be prosecuted and defended in the name of the real party-in-interest, and that all persons having interest in the subject of the action and in obtaining the relief demanded shall be joined as plaintiffs. The Court will exercise its power of judicial review only if the case is brought before it by a party who has the legal standing to raise the constitutional or legal question. "Legal standing" means 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. The term "interest" is material interest, an interest in issue and to be affected by the decree, as distinguished from mere interest in the question involved, or a mere incidental interest. Moreover, the interest of the party plaintiff must be personal and not one based on a desire to vindicate the constitutional right of some third and related party.

EXCEPTIONS TO LEGAL STANDING: Mandamus and Taxpayer’s Suit:

There are certain instances however when this Court has allowed exceptions to the rule on legal standing, as when a citizen brings a case for mandamus to procure the enforcement of a public duty for the fulfillment of a public right recognized by the Constitution, and when a taxpayer questions the validity of a governmental act authorizing the disbursement of public funds.

Petitioners claim that as Filipino citizens, taxpayers and artists deeply concerned with the preservation and protection of the country's artistic wealth, they have the legal personality to restrain respondents Executive Secretary and PCGG from acting contrary to their public duty to conserve the artistic creations as mandated by the 1987 Constitution, particularly Art. XIV, Secs. 14 to 18, on Arts and Culture, and R.A. 4846 known as "The Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act," governing the preservation and disposition of national and important cultural properties. Petitioners also anchor their case on the premise that the paintings and silverware are public properties collectively owned by them and by the people in general to view and enjoy as great works of art. They allege that with the unauthorized act of PCGG in selling the art pieces, petitioners have been deprived of their right to public property without due process of law in violation of the Constitution.

Petitioners' arguments are devoid of merit. They lack basis in fact and in law. They themselves allege that the paintings were donated by private persons from different parts of the world to the Metropolitan Museum of

Manila Foundation, which is a non-profit and non-stock corporations established to promote non-Philippine arts. The foundation's chairman was former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos, while its president was Bienvenido R. Tantoco. On this basis, the ownership of these paintings legally belongs to the foundation or corporation or the members thereof, although the public has been given the opportunity to view and appreciate these paintings when they were placed on exhibit.

Similarly, as alleged in the petition, the pieces of antique silverware were given to the Marcos couple as gifts from friends and dignitaries from foreign countries on their silver wedding and anniversary, an occasion personal to them. When the Marcos administration was toppled by the revolutionary government, these paintings and silverware were taken from Malacañang and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and transferred to the Central Bank Museum. The confiscation of these properties by the Aquino administration however should not be understood to mean that the ownership of these paintings has automatically passed on the government without complying with constitutional and statutory requirements of due process and just compensation. If these properties were already acquired by the government, any constitutional or statutory defect in their acquisition and their subsequent disposition must be raised only by the proper parties — the true owners thereof — whose authority to recover emanates from their proprietary rights which are protected by statutes and the Constitution. Having failed to show that they are the legal owners of the artworks or that the valued pieces have become publicly owned, petitioners do not possess any clear legal right whatsoever to question their alleged unauthorized disposition.

Requisites for a Mandamus Suit

Further, although this action is also one of mandamus filed by concerned citizens, it does not fulfill the criteria for a mandamus suit. In Legaspi v. Civil Service Commission, this Court laid down the rule that a writ of mandamus may be issued to a citizen only when the public right to be enforced and the concomitant duty of the state are unequivocably set forth in the Constitution. In the case at bar, petitioners are not after the fulfillment of a positive duty required of respondent officials under the 1987 Constitution. What they seek is the enjoining of an official act because it is constitutionally infirmed. Moreover, petitioners' claim for the continued enjoyment and appreciation by the public of the artworks is at most a privilege and is unenforceable as a constitutional right in this action for mandamus.

When a Taxpayer's Suit may prosper

Neither can this petition be allowed as a taxpayer's suit. Not every action filed by a taxpayer can qualify to challenge the legality of official acts done by the government. A taxpayer's suit can prosper only if the governmental acts being questioned involve disbursement of public funds upon the theory that the expenditure of public funds by an officer of the state for the purpose of administering an unconstitutional act constitutes a misapplication of such funds, which may be enjoined at the request of a taxpayer. Obviously, petitioners are not challenging any expenditure involving public funds but the disposition of what they allege to be public properties. It is worthy to note that petitioners admit that the paintings and antique silverware were acquired from private sources and not with public money.

Actual Controversy

For a court to exercise its power of adjudication, there must be an actual case of controversy — one which involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal claims susceptible of judicial resolution; the case must not be moot or academic or based on extra-legal or other similar considerations not cognizable by a court of justice. A case becomes moot and academic when its purpose has become stale, such as the case before us. Since the purpose of this petition for prohibition is to enjoin respondent public officials from holding the auction sale of the artworks on a particular date — 11 January 1991 — which is long past, the issues raised in the petition have become moot and academic.

At this point, however, we need to emphasize that this Court has the discretion to take cognizance of a suit which does not satisfy the requirements of an actual case or legal standing when paramount public interest is involved. We find however that there is no such justification in the petition at bar to warrant the relaxation of the rule. Legaspi v Civil Service Commission

- It becomes apparent that when a Mandamus proceeding involves the assertion of a public right, the

requirement of personal interest is satisfied by the mere fact that the petitioner is a citizen, and therefore,

part of the general "public" which possesses the right.

-"Public" is a comprehensive, all-inclusive term. Properly construed, it embraces every person. Facts: The respondent CSC had denied petitioner Valentin Legaspi’s request for information on the civil service eligibilities of Julian Sibonghanoy and Mariano Agas who were employed as sanitarians in the Health Department of Cebu City. Sibonghanoy and Agas had allegedly represented themselves as civil service eligibles who passed the civil service examinations for sanitarians.

Claiming that his right to be informed of the eligibilities of Sibonghanoy and Agas is guaranteed by the Constitution, and that he has no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy to acquire the information, petitioner prays for the issuance of the extraordinary writ of mandamus to compel the respondent CSC to disclose said information.

The respondent CSC takes issue on the personality of the petitioner to bring the suit. It is asserted that the petition is bereft of any allegation of Legaspi’s actual interest in the civil service eligibilities of Sibonghanoy and Agas.

Issue: Whether or not the petitioner has legal standing to bring the suit

Held: The petitioner has firmly anchored his case upon the right of the people to information on matters of public concern, which, by its very nature, is a public right. It has been held in the case of Tanada vs. Tuvera, 136 SCRA 27, that when the question is one of public right and the object of the mandamus is to procure the enforcement of a public duty, the people are regarded as the real party in interest, and the person at whose instigation the proceedings are instituted need not show that he has any legal or special interest in the result, it being sufficient to show that he is a citizen and as such interested in the execution of the laws.

It becomes apparent that when a mandamus proceeding involves the assertion of a public right, the requirement of personal interest is satisfied by the mere fact that the petitioner is a citizen, and therefore, part of the general public which possesses the right.

The petitioner, being a citizen who as such, is clothed with personality to seek redress for the alleged obstruction of the exercise of the public right. Dumlao v COMELEC

- For one, there is a misjoinder of parties and actions. One petitioner does not join other petitioners in the burden of their complaint, nor do the latter join the former in his. They, respectively, contest completely different statutory provisions.

- For another, there are standards that have to be followed in the exercise of the function of judicial

review, namely: (1) the existence of an appropriate case; (2) an interest personal and substantial by the party raising the constitutional question; (3) the plea that the function be exercised at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the necessity that the constitutional question be passed upon in order to decide the

case.

Bugnay Const. and Dev’t. Corp. v Laron

- The doctrine holds that only when the act complained of directly involves an illegal disbursement of

public funds raised by taxation will the taxpayer's suit be allowed. The essence of a taxpayer's right to institute such an action hinges on the existence of that requisite pecuniary or monetary interest.

- It is not enough that the taxpayer-plaintiff sufficiently show that he would be benefited or injured by the judgment or entitled to the avails of the suit as a real party in interest.

Kilosbayan v Guingona, Jr.

- A party's standing before this Court is a procedural technicality which it may, in the exercise of its discretion, set aside in view of the importance of the issues raised.

- In line with the liberal policy of this Court on locus standi, ordinary taxpayers, members of Congress,

and even association of planters, and non-profit civic organizations were allowed to initiate and prosecute actions before this Court to question the constitutionality or validity of laws, acts, decisions, rulings, or orders of various government agencies or instrumentalities.

FACTS: Petitioners filed a case for the prohibition / injunction with a prayer for a TRO & preliminary injunction against the implementation of the Contract of Lease between PCSO & PGMC in connection to an online lotto system. Petitioners are suing in their capacity as members of Congress and as taxpayers. On DECEMBER 17, 1993 the Contract of Lease was executed and approved by the president on DECEMBER 20, 1993. Petitioner claims that the respondents & the OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT gravely abused their discretion tantamount to a lack of authority by entering into the contract, because: 1.Section 1 of RA 1169 (PCSO Charter) prohibits the PCSO from conducting lotteries in cooperation with any entity 2. RA 3846 & jurisprudence require Congressional franchise before a telecom system (public utility) can be established 3.Article 12 of Section 11 of the Constitution prohibits companies with less than 60% Filipino Ownership from operating a public system 4.PGMG is not authorized by its charter or by RA 7042 (Foreign Investment Act) to install an online Lotto system a. The contract shows that PGMC is the actual operation while it is a 75% foreign-owned company. RA 7042 puts all forms of gambling on the negative list Respondents answered the allegations by contending: 1.PGMC is only an independent contractor. There is no shared franchise 2.PCSO will not operate a public system as a telecom system is an indispensable requirement of an online lottery system. Petitioner interpretation of Section 1 of RA 1169 too narrow. 3.There are no violations of laws 4.The issue of morality is a political one and should not be resolved in a legal forum 5.Petitioners are without legal standing, as illustrated in Valmonte vs. PCSO a. The PCSO is a corporate entity and can enter into all kinds of contracts to

achieve objectives. Arguing that PCSO will operate a public utility, it is still exempted under Section of Act 3846, where legislative franchisees are not necessary for radio stations Issues: 1.Whether or not petitioners have standing 2.Whether or not the contract is legal under Section 1 of RA 1169 Held: 1.Yes, petitioners have standing. Standing is only a procedural technicality that can be set aside depending on the importance of an issue. As taxpayers and citizens to be affected by the reach of the lotto system, petitioners have standing . 2.No, the contract is illegal. The Court rules in the negative arguing that “whatever is not unequivocally granted is withheld.” PCSO cannot share the franchise in any way. The contract’s nature can be understood to form the intent of the parties as evident in the provisions of the contract. Article 1371 of the CC provides that the intent of contracting parties are determined in part through their acts. The only contribution PCSO will be giving is the authority to operate. All risks are to be taken by the lessor; operation will be taken by the PCSO only after 8 years. Further proof are: a. Payment of investment acts in the even of contract suspension / breach b. Rent not fixed at 4.9% and can be reduced given that all risks are borne by the lessor c. Prohibition against PGMC involvement in competitor games; strange if gaming is PGMC; business d. Public stock requirement of 25% in 2 years, which is unreasonable for a lease contract. It indicates that PGMC is the operator and the condition an attempt to increase public benefit through public involvement. e. Escrow deposit may be used as performance bond. f. PGMC operation evident in personnel management, procedural and coordinating rules set by the lessor. g. PCSO authority to terminate contact upon PGMC insolvency The contract indicates that PCSO is the actual lessor of the authority to operate given the indivisible community between them. Wherefore, Petition granted. Contract invalid and TRO made permanent.

PHILCONSA v Enriquez

- The Senators have legal standing to question the validity of the veto. When a veto was made in excess of the authority of the President, it impermissibly intrudes into the domain of the Legislature. A member of Congress can question an act of the Executive which injures Congress as an institution.

FACTS: House Bill No. 10900, the General Appropriation Bill of 1994 (GAB of 1994), was passed and approved by both houses of Congress on December 17, 1993. As passed, it imposed conditions and limitations on certain items of appropriations in the proposed budget previously submitted by the President. It also authorized members of Congress to propose and identify projects in the “pork barrels” allotted to them and to realign their respective operating budgets. Pursuant to the procedure on the passage and enactment of bills as prescribed by the Constitution, Congress presented the said bill to the President for consideration and approval. On December 30, 1993, the President signed the bill into law, and declared the same to have become Republic Act NO. 7663, entitled “AN ACT APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE OPERATION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES FROM JANUARY ONE TO DECEMBER THIRTY ONE, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND NINETY-FOUR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES” (GAA of 1994). On the same day, the President delivered his Presidential Veto Message, specifying the provisions of the bill he vetoed and on which he imposed certain conditions, as follows:

1. Provision on Debt Ceiling, on the ground that “this debt reduction scheme cannot be validly done through the 1994 GAA.” And that “appropriations for payment of public debt, whether foreign or domestic, are automatically appropriated pursuant to the Foreign Borrowing Act and Section 31 of P.D. No. 1177 as reiterated under Section 26, Chapter 4, Book VI of E.O. No. 292, the Administrative Code of 1987.

2.

Special provisions which authorize the use of income and the creation, operation and maintenance of

revolving funds in the appropriation for State Universities and Colleges (SUC’s),

3. Provision on 70% (administrative)/30% (contract) ratio for road maintenance.

4. Special provision on the purchase by the AFP of medicines in compliance with the Generics Drugs Law (R.A.

No. 6675).

5. The President vetoed the underlined proviso in the appropriation for the modernization of the AFP of the

Special Provision No. 2 on the “Use of Fund,” which requires the prior approval of the Congress for the release of the corresponding modernization funds, as well as the entire Special Provision No. 3 on the “Specific Prohibition” which states that the said Modernization Fund “shall not be used for payment of six (6) additional S-211 Trainer planes, 18 SF-260 Trainer planes and 150 armored personnel carriers”

5. New provision authorizing the Chief of Staff to use savings in the AFP to augment pension and gratuity

funds.

7. Conditions on the appropriation for the Supreme Court, Ombudsman, COA, and CHR, the Congress

ISSUES:

1. Whether or not the petitioners have locus standi

2. Whether or not the conditions imposed by the President in the items of the GAA of 1994: (a) for the Supreme

Court, (b) Commission on Audit (COA), (c) Ombudsman, (d) Commission on Human Rights, (CHR), (e) Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGU’S) and (f) State Universities and Colleges (SUC’s) are constitutional

3. Whether or not the veto of the special provision in the appropriation for debt service and the automatic

appropriation of funds therefore is constitutional. HELD:

Locus Standi We rule that a member of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives for that matter, has the legal standing to question the validity of a presidential veto or a condition imposed on an item in an appropriation bill. To the extent the powers of Congress are impaired, so is the power of each member thereof, since his office confers a right to participate in the exercise of the powers of that institution (Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433 [1939]; Holtzman v. Schlesinger, 484 F. 2d 1307 [1973]). Veto of the Provisions The veto power, while exercisable by the President, is actually a part of the legislative process (Memorandum of Justice Irene Cortes as Amicus Curiae, pp. 3-7). There is, therefore, sound basis to indulge in the presumption of validity of a veto. The burden shifts on those questioning the validity thereof to show that its use is a violation of the Constitution.

The vetoed provision on the debt servicing is clearly an attempt to repeal Section 31 of P.D. No. 1177 (Foreign Borrowing Act) and E.O. No. 292, and to reverse the debt payment policy. As held by the court in Gonzales, the repeal of these laws should be done in a separate law, not in the appropriations law. In the veto of the provision relating to SUCs, there was no undue discrimination when the President vetoed said special provisions while allowing similar provisions in other government agencies. If some government agencies were allowed to use their income and maintain a revolving fund for that purpose, it is because these agencies have been enjoying such privilege before by virtue of the special laws authorizing such practices as exceptions to the “one-fund policy” (e.g., R.A. No. 4618 for the National Stud Farm, P.D. No. 902-A for the Securities and Exchange Commission; E.O. No. 359 for the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service).

The veto of the second paragraph of Special Provision No. 2 of the item for the DPWH is unconstitutional. The Special Provision in question is not an inappropriate provision which can be the subject of a veto. It is not alien to the appropriation for road maintenance, and on the other hand, it specifies how the said item shall be expended — 70% by administrative and 30% by contract. The Special Provision which requires that all purchases of medicines by the AFP should strictly comply with the formulary embodied in the National Drug Policy of the Department of Health is an “appropriate” provision. Being directly related to and inseparable from the appropriation item on purchases of medicines by the AFP, the special provision cannot be vetoed by the President without also vetoing the said item (Bolinao Electronics Corporation v. Valencia, 11 SCRA 486 [1964]). The requirement in Special Provision No. 2 on the “use of Fund” for the AFP modernization program that the President must submit all purchases of military equipment to Congress for its approval, is an exercise of the “congressional or legislative veto.” However the case at bench is not the proper occasion to resolve the issues of the validity of the legislative veto as provided in Special Provisions Nos. 2 and 3 because the issues at hand can be disposed of on other grounds. Therefore, being “inappropriate” provisions, Special Provisions Nos. 2 and 3 were properly vetoed. Furthermore, Special Provision No. 3, prohibiting the use of the Modernization fund for payment of the trainer planes and armored personnel carriers, which have been contracted for by the AFP, is violative of the Constitutional prohibition on the passage of laws that impair the obligation of contracts (Art. III, Sec. 10), more so, contracts entered into by the Government itself. The veto of said special provision is therefore valid. The Special Provision, which allows the Chief of Staff to use savings to augment the pension fund for the AFP being managed by the AFP Retirement and Separation Benefits System is violative of Sections 25(5) and 29(1) of the Article VI of the Constitution. Regarding the deactivation of CAFGUS, we do not find anything in the language used in the challenged Special Provision that would imply that Congress intended to deny to the President the right to defer or reduce the spending, much less to deactivate 11,000 CAFGU members all at once in 1994. But even if such is the intention, the appropriation law is not the proper vehicle for such purpose. Such intention must be embodied and manifested in another law considering that it abrades the powers of the Commander-in-Chief and there are existing laws on the creation of the CAFGU’s to be amended. On the conditions imposed by the President on certain provisions relating to appropriations to the Supreme Court, constitutional commissions, the NHA and the DPWH, there is less basis to complain when the President said that the expenditures shall be subject to guidelines he will issue. Until the guidelines are issued, it cannot be determined whether they are proper or inappropriate. Under the Faithful Execution Clause, the President has the power to take “necessary and proper steps” to carry into execution the law (Schwartz, On Constitutional Law, p. 147 [1977]). These steps are the ones to be embodied in the guidelines.

Tatad v Garcia, Jr.

-The prevailing doctrines in taxpayer's suits are to allow taxpayers to question contracts entered into by the national government or government-owned or controlled corporations allegedly in contravention of the law and to disallow the same when only municipal contracts are involved (just like in Bugnay case since no public money was involved). Facts: EDSA LRT Consortium, a foreign corporation, was awarded with the construction of Light Rail Transit III (LRT III) as the only bidder who has qualified with the requirements provided by the PBAC. The said foreign corporation will construct the LRT III in a “Built-Lease-Transfer” agreement that such

public utility will be leased by the government through the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and then it would be subsequently sold by the corporation to the government. An objection was raised by the petitioner stating that the awarding of the bid to the said corporation is against the Constitution. It was provided in the Constitution that only Filipinos are entitled to operate a public utility such as the LRT III. Issue: Whether or not the awarding of the bid to EDSA LRT Consortium is against the Constitution. Held: The Court held that there is a distinction in the “operation” of a public utility and ownership in the facilities and equipment to serve the public. The EDSA LRT Consortium fall under the latter because the said corporation will not operate the public utility. The said corporation will only own the facilities and equipment such as the train carts, the railings and the booths. In addition, such ownership will then be subsequently transferred to the government under “Built-Lease-Transfer” agreement. With that said, the operation of the public utility will fall to the Filipinos through its government. Therefore, the awarding of the bid to EDSA LRT Consortium is not against the provisions of the Constitution.

Oposa v Factoran, Jr.

- CLASS SUIT: 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.

- Their personality to sue in behalf of the succeeding generations can only be based on the concept of

intergenerational responsibility insofar as the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is concerned.

- Needless to say, every generation has a responsibility to the next to preserve that rhythm and harmony

for the full enjoyment of a balanced and healthful ecology. Put a little differently, 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.

FACTS:

Plaintiffs, who are minors represented by their parents, alleged that the then DENR Secretary Fulgencio Factoran, Jr.’s continued approval of the Timber License Agreements (TLAs) to numerous commercial logging companies to cut and deforest the remaining forests of the country will work great damage and injury to the plaintiffs and their successors. Defendant, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), avers that the plaintiffs failed to state a specific right violated by the defendant and that the question of whether logging should be permitted in the country is a political question and cannot be tried in the Courts. The RTC of Makati, Branch 66, granted defendant’s motion to dismiss.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the case at bar subject to the judicial power of the Court

COURT RULING:

Being impressed with merit, the Supreme Court granted the petition and set aside the Order of the RTC which dismissed the case.

The case at bar is subject to judicial review by the Court. Justice Davide, Jr. precisely identified in his opinion the requisites for a case to be subjected for the judicial review by the Court. According to him, the subject matter of the complaint is of common interest, making this civil case a class suit and proving the existence of an actual controversy. He strengthens this conclusion by citing in the decision Section 1, Article 7 of the 1987 Constitution.

Although concurring in the result, Justice Feliciano penned his separate opinions on a number of topics pointed by Justice Davide, Jr. in this Court decision. Justice Feliciano said that the concept of the word “class” is too broad to cover the plaintiffs and their representatives alone, and that the Court may be deemed recognizing anyone’s right to file action as against both the public administrative agency and the private entities of the sector involved in the case at bar, to wit:

“Neither petitioners nor the Court has identified the particular provisions of the Philippine Environment Code which give rise to a specific legal right which petitioners are seeking to enforce.”

Justice Feliciano further stated that the Court in the case at bar in effect made Sections 15 and 16 of Article 2 of the 1987 Constitution to be self-executing and judicially enforceable even in its present form, and that these implications are too large and far reaching in nature ever to be hinted in this instant case. Lozada v COMELEC

- As taxpayers, petitioners may not file the instant petition, for nowhere therein is it alleged that tax money is being illegally spent. It is only when an act complained of, which may include a legislative enactment or statute, involves the illegal expenditure of public money that the so-called taxpayer suit may be allowed. - The unchallenged rule is that the person who impugns the validity of a statute 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. Concrete injury, whether actual or threatened, is that indispensable element of a dispute which serves in part to cast it in a form traditionally capable of judicial resolution. When the asserted harm is a "generalized grievance" shared in substantially equal measure by all or a large class of citizens, that harm alone normally does not warrant exercise of jurisdiction.

FACTS: Lozada together with Igot filed a petition for mandamus compelling the COMELEC to hold an election to fill the vacancies in the Interim Batasang Pambansa (IBP). They anchor their contention on Sec 5 (2), Art 8 of the 1973 Constitution which provides: “In case a vacancy arises in the Batasang Pambansa eighteen months or more before a regular election, the Commission on Election shall call a special election to be held within sixty (60) days after the vacancy occurs to elect the Member to serve the unexpired term.” COMELEC opposes the petition alleging, substantially, that 1) petitioners lack standing to file the instant petition for they are not the proper parties to institute the action; 2) this Court has no jurisdiction to entertain this petition; and 3) Section 5(2), Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution does not apply to the Interim Batasan Pambansa. ISSUE: Whether or not the SC can compel COMELEC to hold a special election to fill vacancies in the legislature.

HELD: The SC’s jurisdiction over the COMELEC is only to review by certiorari the latter’s decision, orders or rulings. This is as clearly provided in Article XII-C, Section 11 of the New Constitution which reads: “Any decision, order, or ruling of the Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from his receipt of a copy thereof.” There is in this case no decision, order or ruling of the COMELEC which is sought to be reviewed by this Court under its certiorari jurisdiction as

provided for in the aforequoted provision, which is the only known provision conferring jurisdiction or authority on the Supreme Court over the COMELEC.

It is obvious that the holding of special elections in several regional districts where vacancies exist, would entail huge expenditure of money. Only the Batasang Pambansa (BP) can make the necessary appropriation for the purpose, and this power of the BP may neither be subject to mandamus by the courts much less may COMELEC compel the BP to exercise its power of appropriation. From the role BP has to play in the holding of special elections, which is to appropriate the funds for the expenses thereof, it would seem that the initiative on the matter must come from the BP, not the COMELEC, even when the vacancies would occur in the regular not IBP. The power to appropriate is the sole and exclusive prerogative of the legislative body, the exercise of which

may

not be compelled through a petition for mandamus. What is more, the provision of Section 5(2), Article

VIII

of the Constitution was intended to apply to vacancies in the regular National Assembly, now BP, not to the

IBP.

Kilosbayan v Morato

- The voting on petitioners' standing in the previous case was a narrow one, seven (7) members sustaining petitioners' standing and six (6) denying petitioners' right to bring the suit. The majority was thus a tenuous one that is not likely to be maintained in any subsequent litigation. In addition, there have been charges in the membership of the Court, with the retirement of Justice Cruz and Bidin and the appointment of the writer of this opinion and Justice Francisco. Given this fact it is hardly tenable to insist on the maintenance of the ruling as to petitioners' standing.

FACTS:

This is a petition seeking to declare the ELA invalid on the ground that it is substantially the same as the

Contract of Lease nullified in G. R. No. 113373, 232 SCRA 110. Petitioners contended that the amended ELA is inconsistent with and violative of PCSO’s charter and the decision of the Supreme Court of 5 May 1995, that it violated the law on public bidding of contracts as well as Section 2(2), Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution in relation to the COA Circular No. 85-55-A. Respondents questioned the petitioners’ standing to bring this suit.

ISSUE:

Whether or not petitioners possess the legal standing to file the instant petition.

RULING:

The Supreme Court ruled in the negative. Standing is a special concern in constitutional law because some cases

are brought not by parties who have been personally injured by the operation of the law or by official action taken, but by concerned citizens, taxpayers or voters who actually sue in the public interest. Petitioners do not in fact show what particularized interest they have for bringing this suit. And they do not have present substantial interest in the ELA as would entitle them to bring this suit.

ATTY. OLIVER O. LOZANO and ATTY. EVANGELINE J. LOZANO-ENDRIANO vs. SPEAKER PROSPERO C. NOGRALES, Representative, Majority, House of Representatives Facts: The two petitions, filed by their respective petitioners in their capacities as concerned citizens and taxpayers, prayed for the nullification of House Resolution No. 1109 entitled “A Resolution Calling upon the Members of Congress to Convene for the Purpose of Considering Proposals to Amend or Revise the Constitution, Upon a Three-fourths Vote of All the Members of Congress.† Both petitions seek to trigger a

justiciable controversy that would warrant a definitive interpretation by the Court of Section 1, Article XVII, which provides for the procedure for amending or revising the Constitution. The petitioners alleged that HR 1109 is unconstitutional for deviation from the prescribed procedures to amend the Constitution by excluding the Senate of the Philippines from the complete process of proposing amendments to the Constitution and for lack of thorough debates and consultations.† Issue: Whether or not the Congress committed a violation in promulgating the HR1109. Held: No, the House that the Congress ought to convene into a Constituent Assembly and adopt some Rules for proposing changes to the charter. The House has said it would forward H.Res.1109 to the Senate for its approval and adoption and the possible promulgation of a Joint and Concurrent Resolution convening the Congress into a Constituent Assembly. Petitioners have not sufficiently proven any adverse injury or hardship from the act complained of. House Resolution No. 1109 only resolved that the House of Representatives shall convene at a future time for the purpose of proposing amendments or revisions to the Constitution. No actual convention has yet transpired and no rules of procedure have yet been adopted. No proposal has yet been made, and hence, no usurpation of power or gross abuse of discretion has yet taken place. House Resolution No. 1109 involves a quintessential example of an uncertain contingent future event that may not occur as anticipated, or indeed may not occur at all. The House has not yet performed a positive act that would warrant an intervention from this Court. Judicial review is exercised only to remedy a particular and concrete injury. The petitions were dismissed. ATTY. ROMULO B. MACALINTAL V. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL G.R. No. 191618, November 23, 2010 Nachura, J.

FACTS:

Atty. Romulo Macalintal questions the constitutionality of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) on the grounds that it violates Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution. The petitioner chafes the creation of the “separate tribunal” which was complemented by a budget allocation, a seal, a set of personnel and confidential employees, to effect the constitutional mandate.

ISSUE:

Whether the petitioner has locus standi to file the instant petition.

HELD:

NO. The petitioner does not possess the locus standi in filing the instant petition as he was unmistakably estopped in assailing the jurisdiction of the PET before which tribunal he had ubiquitously appeared and had acknowledge its jurisdiction in 2004 therefore making the petitioner’s standing still imperiled by thee white elephant in the petition. Judicial inquiry requires that the constitutional question be raised at the earliest possible opportunity to challenge the constitutionality of the Tribunal’s constitution. The 1987 Constitution introduces an innovation about the Supreme Court’s independence as cited in Section 4, Article VII. The judicial power expanded, but it remained absolute.

LOUIS “BAROK” C. BIRAGAO V. THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION OF 2010

G.R. No. 192935 & 193036, December 7, 2010 Mendoza, J.

FACTS:

At the dawn of administration, the President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, on July 30, 2010, signed Executive Order No. 1 establishing the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 (PTC). Barely a month after the issuance of Executive order No. 1, the petitioners asked the Court to declare it unconstitutional and to enjoin the PTC from performing its functions.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 violates the principle of separation of powers bu usurping the powers of Congress to create and to appropriate funds for public offices, agencies and commissions.

HELD:

No. The creation of the PTC finds justification under Section 17, Article VII of the constitution, imposing upon the President the duty to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed.

As correctly pointed out by the respondents, the allocation of power in the three principal branches of government is a grant of all powers inherent them. The president’s power to conduct investigations to aid him in ensuring the faithful execution of laws-in this case, fundamental laws on public accountability and transparency- is inherent in the president’s powers as the Chief Executive. That the authority of the President to conduct investigations and to create bodies to execute this power is not explicitly mentioned in the constitution or in statutes does not mean that he is bereft of such authority.

Although the 1987 Constitution imposes limitations on the exercise of specific powers of the President, it maintains intact what is traditionally considered as within the scope of “executive power”. Corollarily, the powers of the President cannot be said to be limited only to the specific powers enumerated in the constitution. In other words, executive power is more than the sum of specific powers so enumerated. It has been advanced that whatever power inherent in the government that is neither legislative nor judicial has to be executive.

The Chief Executive’s power to create the Ad hoc Investigating Committee cannot be doubted. Having been constitutionally granted full control of the Executive Department, to which respondents belong, the President has the obligation to ensure that all executive officials and employees faithfully comply with the law.

LEAGUE OF CITIES vs. COMELEC

Facts:

This is a motion for consideration of the case, League of Cities of the Phil. rep by LCP National President Jerry P. Trenas, et al. Vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 176951/G.R. No. 177499/G.R. No.178056. These cases were initiated by the consolidated petitions for prohibition filed by the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), City of Iloilo, City of Calbayog, and Jerry P. Treñas, assailing the constitutionality of the sixteen (16) laws, each converting the municipality covered thereby into a component city (Cityhood Laws), and seeking to enjoin the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) from conducting plebiscites pursuant to the subject laws. Arguing therein that a determination of the issue of constitutionality of the 16 Cityhood Laws upon a motion for reconsideration by an equally divided vote was not binding on the Court as a valid precedent, citing the separate

opinion of then Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno in Lambino v. Commission on Elections. It appears that the petitioners assail the jurisdiction of the Court in promulgating the February 15, 2011 Resolution, claiming that the decision herein had long become final and executory. They state that the Court thereby violated rules of procedure, and the principles of res judicata and immutability of final judgments.

Issue:

Did the Supreme Court violate the rules of procedure, the principles of res judicata and immutability of final judgments? Ruling:

No. The Court disagrees with the petitioners. It is worth repeating that the actions taken herein were made by the Court en banc strictly in accordance with the Rules of Court and its internal procedures. There has been no irregularity attending or tainting the proceedings. It is also relevant to state that the Court has frequently disencumbered itself under extraordinary circumstances from the shackles of technicality in order to render just and equitable relief. On whether the principle of immutability of judgments and bar by res judicata apply herein, suffice it to state that the succession of the events recounted herein indicates that the controversy about the 16 Cityhood Laws has not yet been resolved with finality. As such, the operation of the principle of immutability of judgments did not yet come into play. For the same reason is an adherence to the doctrine of res judicata not yet warranted, especially considering that the precedential ruling for this case needed to be revisited and set with certainty and finality.

SECTION 3

Bengzon v Lim

- What is fiscal autonomy? It contemplates a guarantee of full flexibility to allocate and utilize their resources with the wisdom and dispatch that their needs require. It recognizes the power and authority to levy, assess and collect fees, fix rates of compensation not exceeding the highest rates authorized by law for compensation and play plans of the government and allocate and disburse such sums as may be provided by law or prescribed by them in the course of the discharge of their functions. Fiscal autonomy means freedom from outside control.

- The Judiciary, the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman must have the independence and flexibility needed in the discharge of their constitutional duties. The imposition of restrictions and constraints on the manner the independent constitutional offices allocate and utilize the funds appropriated for their operations is anathema to fiscal autonomy and violative not only of the express mandate of the Constitution but especially as regards the Supreme Court, of the independence and separation of powers upon which the entire fabric of our constitutional system is based

Limketkai Sons Milling, Inc. v Court of Appeals, et.al.

- Reorganization is purely an internal matter of the Court to which petitioner certainly has no business at all.

- The Court with its new membership is not obliged to follow blindly a decision upholding a party's case

when, after its re-examination, the same calls for a rectification. Facts: Philippine Remnants Co., Inc. constituted BPI as its trustee to manage, administer, and sell its real estate property. BPI gave Revilla the formal authority, to sell the lot for P1,000.00 per square meter. Revilla contacted Limketkai Son’s Milling who agreed to buy the land. There were negotiations on the price and the term of payment between BPI and the Limketkai until agreement has been reached. BPI later on refused the payment tendered by the petitioner and sold the property to NBS instead.

Issue: WON there was a meeting of mind between Limketkai and BPI.

Ruling: There was a perfected contract of sale between Limketkai and BPI. The negotiation or preparation stage started with the authority given by Philippine Remnants to BPI to sell the lot, followed by (a) the authority given by BPI and confirmed by Philippine Remnants to broker Revilla to sell the property, (b) the offer to sell to Limketkai, (c) the inspection of the property and finally (d) the negotiations with Aromin and Albano at the BPI offices. The perfection of the contract took place when Aromin and Albano, acting for BPI, agreed to sell and Alfonso Lim with Albino Limketkai, acting for petitioner Limketkai, agreed to buy the disputed lot at P1,000.00 per square meter. Aside from this there was the earlier agreement between petitioner and the authorized broker. There was a concurrence of offer and acceptance, on the object, and on the cause thereof. Consent is manifested by the meeting of the offer and the acceptance upon the thing and the cause which are to constitute the contract. The offer must be certain and the acceptance absolute. So long as it is clear that the meaning of the acceptance is positively and unequivocally to accept the offer, whether such request is granted or not, a contract is formed

SECTION 5

Drilon v Lim

- The Constitution vests in the Supreme Court appellate jurisdiction over final judgments and orders of

lower courts in all cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question.

- In the exercise of this jurisdiction, lower courts are advised to act with the utmost circumspection,

bearing in mind the consequences of a declaration of unconstitutionality upon the stability of laws, no less than on the doctrine of separation of powers. As the questioned act is usually the handiwork of the legislative or the executive departments, or both, it will be prudent for such courts, if only out of a

becoming modesty, to defer to the higher judgment of this Court in the consideration of its validity, which is better determined after a thorough deliberation by a collegiate body and with the concurrence of the majority of those who participated in its discussion.

FACTS:

Pursuant to Section 187 of the Local Government Code, the Secretary of Justice had, on appeal to him of four oil companies and a taxpayer, declared Ordinance No. 7794, otherwise known as the Manila Revenue Code, null and void for non-compliance with the prescribed procedure in the enactment of tax ordinances and for containing certain provisions contrary to law and public policy. In a petition for certiorari filed by the City of Manila, the Regional Trial Court of Manila revoked the Secretary’s resolution and sustained the ordinance, holding inter alia that the procedural requirements had been observed. More importantly, it declared Section 187 of the Local Government Code as unconstitutional because of its vesture in the Secretary of Justice of the power of control over local governments in violation of the policy of local autonomy mandated in the Constitution and of the specific provision therein conferring on the President of the Philippines only the power of supervision over local governments. The court cited the familiar distinction between control and supervision, the first being “the power of an officer to alter or modify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for the latter,” while the second is “the power of a superior officer to see to it that lower officers perform their functions is accordance with law.” ISSUES:

The issues in this case are (1) whether or not Section 187 of the Local Government Code is unconstitutional; and (2) whether or not the Secretary of Justice can exercise control, rather than supervision, over the local government HELD:

The judgment of the lower court is reversed in so far as its declaration that Section 187 of the Local Government Code is unconstitutional but affirmed the said lower court’s finding that the procedural requirements in the enactment of the Manila Revenue Code have been observed. Section 187 authorizes the Secretary of Justice to review only the constitutionality or legality of the tax ordinance and, if warranted, to revoke it on either or both of these grounds. When he alters or modifies or sets aside a tax ordinance, he is not also permitted to substitute his own judgment for the judgment of the local government that enacted the measure. Secretary Drilon did set aside the Manila Revenue Code, but he did not replace it with his own version of what the Code should be. An officer in control lays down the rules in the doing of an act. It they are not followed, he may, in his discretion, order the act undone or re-done by his subordinate or he may even decide to do it himself. Supervision does not cover such authority. The supervisor or superintendent merely sees to it that the rules are followed, but he himself does not lay down such rules, nor does he have the discretion to modify or replace them. In the opinion of the Court, Secretary Drilon did precisely this, and no more nor less than this, and so performed an act not of control but of mere supervision. Regarding the issue on the non-compliance with the prescribed procedure in the enactment of the Manila Revenue Code, the Court carefully examined every exhibit and agree with the trial court that the procedural requirements have indeed been observed. The only exceptions are the posting of the ordinance as approved but this omission does not affect its validity, considering that its publication in three successive issues of a newspaper of general circulation will satisfy due process.

Larranaga v Court of Appeals

(Transfer the venue of the preliminary investigation from Cebu City to Manila because of the extensive coverage of the proceedings by the Cebu media which allegedly influenced the people's perception of petitioner's character and guilt.)

- The Court recognizes that pervasive and prejudicial publicity under certain circumstances can deprive

an accused of his due process right to fair trial. It was previously held that to warrant a finding of prejudicial publicity there must be allegation and proof that the judges have been unduly influenced, not simply that they might be, by the barrage in publicity.

- In the case at bar, nothing in the records shows that the tone and content of the publicity that attended the investigation of petitioners fatally infected the fairness and impartiality of the DOJ Panel.

First Lepanto Ceramics, Inc. v Court of Appeals

- It is intended to give the Supreme Court a measure of control over cases paced under its appellate jurisdiction. For the indiscriminate enactment of legislation enlarging its appellate jurisdiction. For the indiscriminate enactment of legislation enlarging its appellate jurisdiction can unnecessarily burden the Court and thereby undermine its essential function of expounding the law in its most profound national aspects.

Facts:

1.

Petitioner assailed the conflicting provisions of B.P. 129, EO 226 (Art. 82) and a circular, 1-91 issued by the Supreme Court which deals with the jurisdiction of courts for appeal of cases decided by quasi-judicial agencies such as the Board of Investments (BOI).

2.

BOI granted petitioner First Lepanto Ceramics, Inc.'s application to amend its BOI certificate of registration by changing the scope of its registered product from "glazed floor tiles" to "ceramic tiles." Oppositor Mariwasa filed a motion for reconsideration of the said BOI decision while oppositor Fil-Hispano Ceramics, Inc. did not move to reconsider the same nor appeal therefrom. Soon rebuffed in its bid for reconsideration, Mariwasa filed a petition for review with CA.

4.

CA temporarily restrained the BOI from implementing its decision. The TRO lapsed by its own terms twenty (20) days after its issuance, without respondent court issuing any preliminary injunction.

5.

Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss and to lift the restraining order contending that CA does not have jurisdiction over the BOI case, since the same is exclusively vested with the Supreme Court pursuant to Article 82 of the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987.

7.

While Mariwasa maintains that whatever inconsistency there may have been between B.P. 129 and Article 82 of E.O. 226 on the question of venue for appeal, has already been resolved by Circular 1-91 of the Supreme Court, which was promulgated on February 27, 1991 or four (4) years after E.O. 226 was enacted.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over the case

YES. Circular 1-91 effectively repealed or superseded Article 82 of E.O. 226 insofar as the manner and method of enforcing the right to appeal from decisions of the BOI are concerned. Appeals from decisions of the BOI, which by statute was previously allowed to be filed directly with the Supreme Court, should now be brought to the Court of Appeals. It is basic rule that the courts will not interfere in matters which are addressed to the sound discretion of government agencies entrusted with the regulation of activities coming under the special technical knowledge and training of such agencies. Aruelo v Court of Appeals

- Constitutionally speaking, the COMELEC can not adopt a rule prohibiting the filing of certain pleadings in the regular courts. The power to promulgate rules concerning pleadings, practice and procedure in all courts is vested on the Supreme Court.

Javellana v DILG

(Section 90 of the Local Government Code of 1991 and DLG Memorandum Circular No. 90-81 does not violate Article VIII. Section 5 of the Constitution. Neither the statute nor the circular trenches upon the Supreme Court's power and authority to prescribe rules on the practice of law.)

- The Local Government Code and DLG Memorandum Circular No. 90-81 simply prescribe rules of

conduct for public officials to avoid conflicts of interest between the discharge of their public duties and the private practice of their profession, in those instances where the law allows it.

SECTION 6

Maceda v Vasquez

- In the absence of any administrative action taken against a person by the Court with regard to his

certificates of service, the investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman encroaches into the Court's power of administrative supervision over all courts and its personnel, in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers.

- Where a criminal complaint against a Judge or other court employee arises from their administrative

duties, the Ombudsman must defer action on said complaint and refer the same to the Court for determination whether said Judge or court employee had acted within the scope of their administrative duties.

Facts: Respondent Napoleon Abiera of PAO filed a complaint beforethe Office of the Ombudsman against petitioner RTC Judge Bonifacio Sanz Maceda. Respondent Abiera alleged that petitioner Maceda has falsified his certificate of service by certifying that all civil and criminal cases which have been submitted for decision for a period of 90 days have been determined and decided on or before January 31, 1989, when in truth and in fact, petitioner Maceda knew that no decision had been rendered in 5 civil and 10 criminal cases that have been submitted for decision. Respondent Abiera alleged that petitioner Maceda falsified his certificates of service for 17 months.

Issue: Whether or not the investigation made by the Ombudsman constitutes an encroachment into the SC’s constitutional duty of supervision over all inferior courts

Held: A judge who falsifies his certificate of service is administratively liable to the SC for serious misconduct and under Sec. 1, Rule 140 of the Rules of Court, and criminally liable to the State under the Revised Penal Code for his felonious act.

In the absence of any administrative action taken against him by the Court with regard to his certificates of service, the investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman encroaches into the Court’s power of administrative supervision over all courts and its personnel, in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers.

Art. VIII, Sec. 6 of the Constitution exclusively vests in the SC administrative supervision over all courts and court personnel, from the Presiding Justice of the CA down to the lowest municipal trial court clerk. By virtue of this power, it is only the SC that can oversee the judges’ and court personnel’s compliance with all laws, and take the proper administrative action against them if they commit any violation thereof. No other branch of government may intrude into this power, without running afoul of the doctrine of separation of powers.

Where a criminal complaint against a judge or other court employee arises from their administrative duties, the Ombudsman must defer action on said complaint and refer the same to the SC for determination whether said judge or court employee had acted within the scope of their administrative duties. Raquiza v Judge Castaneda, Jr.

- The rules even in an administrative case demands that if the respondent Judge should be disciplined for grave misconduct or any graver offense, the evidence presented against him should be competent and derived from direct knowledge. The judiciary, to which respondent belongs, no less demands that before its member could be faulted, it should be only after due investigation and based on competent proofs, no less. This is all the more so when as in this case the charges are penal in nature.

('Misconduct' also implies 'a wrongful intention and not a mere error of judgment. It results that even if respondent were not correct in his legal conclusions, his judicial actuations cannot be regarded as grave misconduct, unless the contrary sufficiently appears.)

SECTION 10

Nitafan v Commissioner of Internal Revenue

- The clear intent of the Constitutional Commission was to delete the proposed express grant of exemption from payment of income tax to members of the Judiciary, so as to "give substance to equality among the three branches of Government.”

Facts: The Chief Justice has previously issued a directive to the Fiscal Management and Budget Office to continue the deduction of withholding taxes from salaries of the Justices of the Supreme Court and other members of the judiciary. This was affirmed by the Supreme Court en banc on 4 December 1987.

Petitioners are the duly appointed and qualified Judges presiding over Branches 52, 19 and 53, respectively, of the RTC, National Capital Judicial Region, all with stations in Manila. They seek to prohibit and/or perpetually enjoin the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the Financial Officer of the Supreme Court, from making any deduction of withholding taxes from their salaries. With the filing of the petition, the Court deemed it best to settle the issue through judicial pronouncement, even if it had dealt with the matter administratively.

Issue: Whether or not members of the Judiciary are exempt fromincome taxes.

Held: NO. Intent to delete express grant of exemption of income taxes to members of Judiciary

The salaries of members of the Judiciary are subject to the general income tax applied to all taxpayers. This intent was somehow and inadvertently not clearly set forth in the final text of the Constitution as approved and ratified in February, 1987 (infra, pp. 7-8). Although the intent may have been obscured by the failure to include in the General Provisions a proscription against exemption of any public officer or employee, including constitutional officers, from payment of income tax, the Court since then has authorized the continuation of the deduction of the withholding tax from the salaries of the members of the Supreme Court, as well as from the salaries of all other members of the Judiciary. The Court hereby makes of record that it had then discarded the ruling in Perfecto vs. Meer and Endencia vs. David.

The 1973 Constitution has provided that “no salary or any form of emolument of any public officer or employee, including constitutional officers, shall be exempt from payment of income tax (Section 6, Article XV)” which was not present in the 1987 Constitution. The deliberations of the 1986 Constitutional Commission relevant to Section 10, Article VIII (The salary of the Chief Justice and of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, and of judges of lower courts shall be fixed by law. During their continuance in office, their salary shall not be decreased), negate the contention that the intent of the framers is to revert to the original concept of “non-diminution” of salaries of judicial officers.

Equality of branches of government effected by modifications in provision.

The term “diminished” be changed to “decreased” and that the words “nor subjected to income tax” be deleted so as to give substance to equality among the three branches in the government. A period (.) after “decreased” was made on the understanding that the salary of justices is subject to tax. With the period, the doctrine in Perfecto vs. Meer and Endencia vs. David is understood not to applyanymore. Justices and judges are not only the citizens whose income have been reduced in accepting service in government and yet subjected to income tax. Such is true also of Cabinet membersand all other employees.

Constitutional construction adopts the intent of the framers and people adopting the law.

The ascertainment of the intent is but in keeping with the fundamental principle of constitutional construction that the intent of the framers of the organic law and of the people adopting it should be given effect. The primary task in constitutional construction is to ascertain and thereafter assure the realization of the purpose of the framers and of the people in the adoption of the Constitution. It may also be safely assumed that the people in ratifying the Constitution were guided mainly by the explanation offered by the framers. In the case at bar, Section 10, Article VIII is plain that the Constitution authorizes Congress to pass a law fixing another rate of compensation of Justices and Judges but such rate must be higher than that which they are receiving at the time of enactment, or if lower, it would be applicable only to those appointed after its approval. It would be a

strained construction to read into the provision an exemption from taxation in the light of the discussion in the Constitutional Commission.

SECTION 11

De La Llana v Alba

-Judiciary Act does not violate judicial security of tenure. This Court is empowered "to discipline judges of inferior courts and, by a vote of at least eight members, order their dismissal." Thus, it possesses the competence to remove judges. Under the Judiciary Act, it was the President who was vested with such power. Removal is, of course, to be distinguished from termination by virtue of the abolition of the office. There can be no tenure to a non-existent office. After the abolition, there is in law no occupant. In case of removal, there is an office with an occupant who would thereby lose his position. It is in that sense that from the standpoint of strict law, the question of any impairment of security of tenure does not arise. Nonetheless, for the incumbents of inferior courts abolished, the effect is one of separation. As to its effect, no distinction exists between removal and the abolition of the office. Realistically, it is devoid of significance. He ceases to be a member of the judiciary.

Political Question - if there is no question of law involved – BP 129

In 1981, BP 129, entitled "An Act Reorganizing the Judiciary, Appropriating Funds therefore and for Other Purposes", was passed. De la Llana was assailing its validity because, first of all, he would be one of the judges that would be removed because of the reorganization and second, he said such law would contravene the constitutional provision which provides the security of tenure of judges of the courts, He averred that only the SC can remove judges NOT Congress.

ISSUE: Whether or not Judge De La Llana can be validly removed by the legislature by such statute (BP 129).

HELD: The SC ruled the following way: “Moreover, this Court is empowered "to discipline judges of inferior courts and, by a vote of at least eight members, order their dismissal." Thus it possesses the competence to remove judges. Under the Judiciary Act, it was the President who was vested with such power. Removal is, of course, to be distinguished from termination by virtue of the abolition of the office. There can be no tenure to a non-existent office. After the abolition, there is in law no occupant. In case of removal, there is an office with an occupant who would thereby lose his position. It is in that sense that from the standpoint of strict law, the question of any impairment of security of tenure does not arise. Nonetheless, for the incumbents of inferior courts abolished, the effect is one of separation. As to its effect, no distinction exists between removal and the abolition of the office. Realistically, it is devoid of significance. He ceases to be a member of the judiciary. In the implementation of the assailed legislation, therefore, it would be in accordance with accepted principles of constitutional construction that as far as incumbent justices and judges are concerned, this Court be consulted and that its view be accorded the fullest consideration. No fear need be entertained that there is a failure to accord respect to the basic principle that this Court does not render advisory opinions. No question of law is involved. If such were the case, certainly this Court could not have its say prior to the action taken by either of the two departments. Even then, it could do so but only by way of deciding a case where the matter has been put in issue. Neither is there any intrusion into who shall be appointed to the vacant positions created by the reorganization. That remains in the hands of the Executive to whom it properly belongs. There is no departure therefore from the tried and tested ways of judicial power. Rather what is sought to be achieved by this liberal interpretation is to preclude any plausibility to the charge that in the exercise of the conceded power of

reorganizing the inferior courts, the power of removal of the present incumbents vested in this Tribunal is ignored or disregarded. The challenged Act would thus be free from any unconstitutional taint, even one not readily discernible except to those predisposed to view it with distrust. Moreover, such a construction would be in accordance with the basic principle that in the choice of alternatives between one which would save and another which would invalidate a statute, the former is to be preferred.”

People v Gacott, Jr.

- To require the entire Court to deliberate upon and participate in all administrative matters or cases regardless of the sanctions, imposable or imposed, would result in a congested docket and undue delay in the adjudication of cases in the Court, especially in administrative matters, since even cases involving the penalty of reprimand would require action by the Court en banc.

- Yet, although as thus demonstrated, only cases involving dismissal of judges of lower courts are specifically required to be decided by the Court en banc, in cognizance of the need for a thorough and judicious evaluation of serious charges against members of the judiciary, it is only when the penalty imposed does not exceed suspension of more than one year or a fine of P10,000.00, or both, that the administrative matter may be decided in division. Facts: For failure to check the citations of the prosecution, the order of respondent RTC Judge Eustaquio Gacott, Jr. dismissing a criminal case was annulled by the SC. The respondent judge was also sanctioned with a reprimand and a fine of P10,000.00 for gross ignorance of the law. The judgment was made by the Second Division of the SC.

Issue: Whether or not the Second Division of the SC has the competence to administratively discipline respondent judge.

Held: To support the Court’s ruling, Justice Regalado relied on his recollection of a conversation with former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion who was the Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary of the 1986 Constitutional Commission of which Regalado was also a member.

The very text of the present Sec. 11, Art. VIII of the Constitution clearly shows that there are actually two situations envisaged therein. The first clause which states that “the SC en banc shall have the power to discipline judges of lower courts,” is a declaration of the grant of that disciplinary power to, and the determination of the procedure in the exercise thereof by, the Court en banc. It was not therein intended that all administrative disciplinary cases should be heard and decided by the whole Court since it would result in an absurdity.

The second clause, which refers to the second situation contemplated therein and is intentionally separated from the first by a comma, declares on the other hand that the Court en banc can “order their dismissal by a vote of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted therein.” In this instance, the administrative case must be deliberated upon and decided by the full Court itself.

Pursuant to the first clause which confers administrative disciplinary power to the Court en banc, a decision en banc is needed only where the penalty to be imposed is the dismissal of a judge, officer or employee of the Judiciary, disbarment of a lawyer, or either the suspension of any of them for a period of more than 1 year or a fine exceeding P10, 000.00 or both.

Indeed, to require the entire Court to deliberate upon and participate in all administrative matters or cases regardless of the sanctions, imposable or imposed, would result in a congested docket and undue delay in the

adjudication of cases in the Court, especially in administrative matters, since even cases involving the penalty of reprimand would require action by the Court en banc.

SECTION 12

In Re: Manzano

- As incumbent RTC Judges, they form part of the structure of government. Their integrity and performance in the adjudication of cases contribute to the solidity of such structure. As public officials, they are trustees of an orderly society. Even as non-members of Provincial/City Committees on Justice, RTC judges should render assistance to said Committees to help promote the landable purposes for which they exist, but only when such assistance may be reasonably incidental to the fulfillment of their judicial duties.

Facts:

Judge Manzano filed a petition allowing him to accept the appointment by Ilocos Sur Governor Rodolfo Farinas as the member of Ilocos Norte provincial Committee on Justice created pursuant to a Presidential Order. He petitioned that his membership in the Committee will not in any way amount to an abandonment to his present position as Executive Judge of Branch XIX, RTC, 1st Judicial region and as a member of judiciary. Issue:

What is an administrative agency? Where does it draw the line insofar as administrative functions are concerned? Ruling:

The petition is denied. The Constitution prohibits the designation of members of the Judiciary to any agency performing Quasi-Judicial or Administrative functions (Sec.12, Art.VIII, 1987 Constitution). Quasi-Judicial has a fairly clear meaning and Judges can confidently refrain from participating in the work of any Administrative Agency which adjudicates disputes & controversies involving the rights of parties within its jurisdiction. Administrative functions are those which involve the regulation and control over the conduct & affairs of individuals for their own welfare and the promulgation of rules and regulations to better carry out the policy of the Legislature or such as are devolved upon the administrative agency by the organic law of its existence. “Administrative functions” as used in Sec. 12 refers to the Government’s executive machinery and its performance of governmental acts. It refers to the management actions, determinations, and orders of executive officials as they administer the laws and try to make government effective. There is an element of positive action, of supervision or control. In the dissenting opinion of Justice Gutierrez:

Administrative functions are those which involve the regulation and control over the conduct and affairs of individuals for their own welfare and the promulgation of rules and regulations to better carry out the policy of the legislature or such as are devolved upon the administrative agency by the organic law of its existence “we can readily see that membership in the Provincial or City Committee on Justice would not involve any regulation or control over the conduct and affairs of individuals. Neither will the Committee on Justice promulgate rules and regulations nor exercise any quasi-legislative functions. Its work is purely advisory. A member of the judiciary joining any study group which concentrates on the administration of justice as long as the group merely deliberates on problems involving the speedy disposition of cases particularly those involving the poor and needy litigants-or detainees, pools the expertise and experiences of the members, and limits itself

to recommendations which may be adopted or rejected by those who have the power to legislate or administer the particular function involved in their implementation.

SECTION 14

Nicos Industrial Corp v Court of Appeals

- The Court is not duty bound to render signed decisions all the time. It has ample discretion to

formulate decisions and/or minute resolutions, provided a legal basis is given, depending on its evaluation of a case.

- As it is settled that an order dismissing a case for insufficient evidence is a judgment on the merits, it is imperative that it be a reasoned decision clearly and distinctly stating therein the facts and the law on which it is based.

Komatsu Industries (Phils.) Inc v Court of Appeals

- It has long been settled that this Court has discretion to decide whether a "minute resolution" should be

used in lieu of a full-blown decision in any particular case and that a minute Resolution of dismissal of a Petition for Review on Certiorari constitutes an adjudication on the merits of the controversy or subject matter of the Petition. It has been stressed by the Court that the grant of due course to a Petition for Review is "not a matter of right, but of sound judicial discretion; and so there is no need to fully explain the Court's denial. For one thing, the facts and law are already mentioned in the Court of Appeals' opinion."

Prudential Bank v Castro

- The Constitutional mandate that "no

be

it were, said Resolution stated the legal basis for the denial and, therefore, adhered faithfully to the

Constitutional requirement. "Lack of merit," which was one of the grounds for denial, is a legal basis.

motion for reconsideration of a decision of the court shall

denied without stating the legal basis therefor" is inapplicable in administrative cases. And even if

-(certification issue) The requirement of a certification refers to decisions to judicial cases and not to administrative cases. Besides, since the decision was a per curiam decision, a formal certification is not required.

Oil and Natural Gas Commission v Court of Appeals

- The constitutional mandate that no decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based does not preclude the validity of "memorandum decisions" which adopt by reference the findings of fact and conclusions of law contained in the decisions of inferior tribunals.

Facts:

In the complaint filed by the petitioners before the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan, it was alleged that on January 24, 1980, NICOS Industrial Corporation obtained a loan of P2,000,000.00 from private respondent United Coconut Planters Bank and to secure payment thereof executed a real estate mortgage on two parcels of land located at Marilao, Bulacan. The mortgage was foreclosed for the supposed non-payment of the loan, and the sheriff’s sale was held on July 11, 1983, without re-publication of the required notices after the original date for the auction was changed without the knowledge or consent of the mortgagor. UCPB was the highest and lone bidder and the mortgaged lands were sold to it for P3,558,547.64. On August 29, 1983, UCPB sold all its rights to the properties to private respondent Manuel Co, who on the same day transferred them to Golden Star Industrial Corporation, another private respondent, upon whose petition a writ of possession was issued to it on November 4, 1983. On September 6, 1984, NICOS and the other petitioners, as chairman of its board of directors and its executive vice-president, respectively, filed their action for annulment of sheriff’s sale, recovery of possession, and damages.

After due hearing, the trial court issued an order as follows:

O R D E R

Acting on the “Demurrer to Evidence” dated April 30, 1986 filed by defendants Victorino P. Evangelista and

Golden Star Industrial Corporation to which plaintiff and other defendants did not file their comment/opposition and it appearing from the very evidence adduced by the plaintiff that the Sheriff’s Auction Sale conducted on July 11, 1983 was in complete accord with the requirements of Section 3, Act 3135 under which the auction sale was appropriately held and conducted and it appearing from the allegations in paragraph 13 of the plaintiff’s pleading and likewise from plaintiff Carlos Coquinco’s own testimony that his cause is actually-against the

other officers and stockholders of the plaintiff Nicos Industrial Corporation

the corporation and its stockholders, as well as their own rights and interests in the corporation, and the corporate assets, against the fraudulent ants and devices of the responsible officials of the corporation, in breach

of the trust reposed upon them by the stockholders

.” a subject matter not within the competent jurisdiction of

the Court, the court finds the same to be impressed with merit.

for the purpose of protecting

WHEREFORE, plaintiff’s complaint is hereby dismissed. The Defendants’ respective counterclaims are likewise dismissed.

The Writ of Preliminary Injunction heretofore issued is dissolved and set aside.

Issue:

whether or not the assailed order is unconstitutional as it does not state clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is base

Held:

Yes. The questioned order is an over-simplification of the issues, and violates both the letter and spirit

of Article VIII, Section 14, of the Constitution. It is a requirement of due process that the parties to a litigation

be informed of how it was decided, with an explanation of the factual and legal reasons that led to the

conclusions of the court. The court cannot simply say that judgment is rendered in favor of X and against Y and just leave it at that without any justification whatsoever for its action. The losing party is entitled to know why he lost, so he may appeal to a higher court, if permitted, should he believe that the decision should be reversed.

A decision that does not clearly and distinctly state the facts and the law on which it is based leaves the parties

in the dark as to how it was reached and is especially prejudicial to the losing party, who is unable to pinpoint the possible errors of the court for review by a higher tribunal.

It is important to observe at this point that the constitutional provision does not apply to interlocutory orders, such as one granting a motion for postponement or quashing a subpoena, because it refers only to decisions on the merits and not to orders of the trial court resolving incidental matters.

As it is settled that an order dismissing a case for insufficient evidence is a judgment on the merits, it is imperative that it be a reasoned decision clearly and distinctly stating therein the facts and the law on which it is based.

It may be argued that a dismissal based on lack of jurisdiction is not considered a judgment on the merits and so is not covered by the aforecited provision. However, the rule would be applicable only if the case is dismissed on the sole ground of lack of jurisdiction and not when some other additional ground is invoked.

SECTION 14 (not 16)

Valdez v Court of Appeals

- The (lower) court statement in the decision that a party has proven his case while the other has not, is not the findings of facts contemplated by the Constitution and the rules to be clearly and distinctly stated. - This Court has said again and again that it is not a trier of facts and that it relies, on the factual findings of the lower court and the appellate court which are conclusive.