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GR. NO. 175352

Facts: Petitioners Dante V. Liban, Reynaldo M. Bernardo, and Salvador M. Viari (petitioners) filed with this Court a Petition to Declare Richard J. Gordon as Having Forfeited His Seat in the Senate. Petitioners are officers of the Board of Directors of the Quezon City Red Cross Chapter while respondent is Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) Board of Governors. During respondents incumbency as a member of the Senate of the Philippines, he was elected Chairman of the PNRC during the 23 February 2006 meeting of the PNRC Board of Governors. Petitioners alleged that by accepting the chairmanship of the PNRC Board of Governors, respondent has ceased to be a member of the Senate as provided in Section 13, Article VI of the Constitution. Petitioners claim that their petition is neither an action for quo warranto nor an action for declaratory relief. Petitioners maintain that the present petition is a taxpayers suit questioning the unlawful disbursement of funds, considering that respondent has been drawing his salaries and other compensation as a Senator even if he is no longer entitled to his office. Petitioners point out that this Court has jurisdiction over this petition since it involves a legal or constitutional issue which is of transcendental importance. In his Comment, respondent asserts that petitioners have no standing to file this petition which appears to be an action for quo warranto, since the petition alleges that respondent committed an act which, by provision of law, constitutes a ground for forfeiture of his public office. Petitioners do not claim to be entitled to the Senate office of respondent. Under Section 5, Rule 66 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, only a person claiming to be entitled to a public office usurped or unlawfully held by another may bring an action for quo warranto in his own name. If the petition is one for quo warranto, it is already barred by prescription since under Section 11, Rule 66 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, the action should be commenced within one year after the cause of the public officers forfeiture of office. In this case, respondent has been working as a Red Cross volunteer for the past 40 years. Respondent was already Chairman of the PNRC Board of Governors when he was elected Senator in May 2004, having been elected Chairman in 2003 and re-elected in 2005. Respondent also maintains that if the petition is treated as one for declaratory relief, this Court would have no jurisdiction since original jurisdiction for declaratory relief lies with the Regional Trial Court. Respondent further insists that the PNRC is not a government-owned or controlled corporation and that the prohibition under Section 13, Article VI of the Constitution does not apply in the present case since volunteer service to the PNRC is neither an office nor an employment.

Issues: Whether PNRC is a government owned or controlled corporation and whether respondent violated Sec. 13, Art. VI of the Phil. Constitution. Whether petitioners may legally institute this petition against respondent.

Held: The Supreme Court find the petition without merit. Petitioners Have No Standing to File this Petition A careful reading of the petition reveals that it is an action for quo warranto. Section 1, Rule 66 of the Rules of Court. It is clear that Petitioners filed an action for usurpation of public office against respondent, a public officer who allegedly committed an act which constitutes a ground for the forfeiture of his public office. Quo warranto is generally commenced by the Government as the proper party plaintiff. However, an individual may commence such an action if he claims to be entitled to the public office allegedly usurped by another, in which case he can bring the action in his own name. The person instituting quo warranto proceedings in his own behalf must claim and be able to show that he is entitled to the office in dispute; otherwise the action may be dismissed at any stage. In the present case, petitioners do not claim to be entitled to the Senate office of respondent. Clearly, petitioners have no standing to file the present petition. The President does not appoint the Chairman of the PNRC. Neither does the head of any department, agency, commission or board appoint the PNRC Chairman. Thus, the PNRC Chairman is not an official or employee of the Executive branch since his appointment does not fall under Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution. Certainly, the PNRC Chairman is not an official or employee of the Judiciary or Legislature. This leads us to the obvious conclusion that the PNRC Chairman is not an official or employee of the Philippine Government. Not being a government official or employee, the PNRC Chairman, as such, does not hold a government office or employment. PNRC is a Private Organization Performing Public Functions. On 22 March 1947, President Manuel A. Roxas signed Republic Act No. 95, otherwise known as the PNRC Charter. The PNRC is a non-profit, donor-funded, voluntary, humanitarian organization, whose mission is to bring timely, effective, and compassionate humanitarian assistance for the most vulnerable without consideration of nationality, race, religion, gender, social status, or political affiliation. The Fundamental Principles provide a universal standard of reference for all members of the Movement. The PNRC, as a member National Society of the Movement, has the duty to uphold the Fundamental Principles and ideals of the Movement. In order to be recognized as a National Society, the PNRC has to be autonomous and must operate in conformity with the Fundamental Principles of the Movement. In the Philippines where there is a communist insurgency and a Muslim separatist rebellion, the PNRC cannot be seen as government-owned or controlled and neither can the PNRC volunteers be identified as government personnel or as instruments of government policy. Otherwise, the insurgents or separatists will treat PNRC volunteers as enemies when the volunteers tend to the wounded in the battlefield or the displaced civilians in conflict areas. To ensure and maintain its autonomy, neutrality, and independence, the PNRC cannot be owned or controlled by the government. Indeed, the Philippine government does not own the PNRC. The Supreme Court has resolved that PNRC Charter is violative of the Constitutional Proscription against the Creation of Private Corporations by Special Law.

The 1935 Constitution, as amended, was in force when the PNRC was created by special charter on 22 March 1947. Section 7, Article XIV of the 1935 Constitution. It recognizes two classes of corporations. The first refers to private corporations created under a general law. The second refers to government-owned or controlled corporations created by special charters. Section 16, Article XII of the Constitution. Congress cannot enact a law creating a private corporation with a special charter. Such legislation would be unconstitutional. Private corporations may exist only under a general law. If the corporation is private, it must necessarily exist under a general law. Stated differently, only corporations created under a general law can qualify as private corporations. Under existing laws, the general law is the Corporation Code, except that the Cooperative Code governs the incorporation of cooperatives. The Constitution authorizes Congress to create government-owned or controlled corporations through special charters. Since private corporations cannot have special charters, it follows that Congress can create corporations with special charters only if such corporations are government-owned or controlled. PNRC was created through a special charter, and cannot be considered a government-owned or controlled corporation in the absence of the essential elements of ownership and control by the government. In creating the PNRC as a corporate entity, Congress was in fact creating a private corporation. However, the constitutional prohibition against the creation of private corporations by special charters provides no exception even for non-profit or charitable corporations. Consequently, the PNRC Charter, insofar as it creates the PNRC as a private corporation and grants it corporate powers, is void for being unconstitutional. Thus, Sections 1, 2,3,4(a), 5, 6,7,8, 9,10 11, 12, and 13 of the PNRC Charter, as amended, are void. In sum, Supreme Court hold that the office of the PNRC Chairman is not a government office or an office in a government-owned or controlled corporation for purposes of the prohibition in Section 13, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. However, since the PNRC Charter is void insofar as it creates the PNRC as a private corporation, the PNRC should incorporate under the Corporation Code and register with the Securities and Exchange Commission if it wants to be a private corporation. SO ORDERED.

87. PUYAT VS. DE GUZMAN, JR. 113 SCRA 31 (1982)

Facts: Assemblyman Estanislao Fernandez appeared as counsel of a party in a case before the SEC. Puyat, the opposing party, objected to the appearance of Assemblyman Fernandez. However, Fernandez purchased ten shares of the company of his client and proceeded to intervene in the case.


Whether or not Assemblyman Fernandez violated the constitutional prohibition not to appear as counsel?

Held: In effect, Assemblyman Fernandez appeared as counsel, albeit indirectly, before an administrative body in contravention of the constitutional provision. His act of acquiring shares of the company was done after the fact and his intervention was an afterthought to enable him to appear actively in the proceedings in some other capacity.


83 PHIL 17 (1979)

Facts: On February 21, 1949, shortly before the opening of the Senate session Senator Tanada and Senator Prospero Sanidad filed with the Secretary of the Senate a resolution enumerating charges against the then petitioner Senate President Jose Avelino and ordering the investigation. Sufficient number of senator were at the session hall to constitute a quorum at the appointed time, the petitioner delayed his appearance at the session hall and requested instead from the Secretary a copy of the resolution submitted by Senators Tanada and Salidad and in the presence of the public he read the said resolution slowly and carefully, ordered the arrest of any senator who would speak without being recognized by the petitioner and banged the gavel and abandoning the Chair deliberately. In order to continue the session and not to paralyze the session Senator Mariano Jesus Cuenco was voted and took the oath to be the Senate President of the Philippines.


Whether or not the Resolution of declaring vacant the position of the President of

the Senate.


In fine, all the four justices agree that the Court being confronted with the practical situation that of the twenty three senators who may participate in the Senate deliberations in the days immediately after this decision, twelve senators will support Senator Cuenco and, at most, eleven will side with Senator Avelino, it would be most injudicious to declare the latter as the rightful President of the Senate, that office being essentially one that depends exclusively upon the will of the majority of the senators,

the rule of the Senate about tenure of the President of that body being amendable at any time by that majority. And at any session hereafter held with thirteen or more senators, in order to avoid all controversy arising from the divergence of opinion here about quorum and for the benefit of all concerned, the said twelve senators who approved the resolutions herein involved could ratify all their acts and thereby place them beyond the shadow of a doubt. As, the six justices hereinabove mentioned voted to dismiss the petition. ithout costs.


Facts: While serving his sentence at the New Bilibid prison, Muntinlupa City. Romeo Jalosjos was re-elected as Congressman for the first District of Zamboanga Del Norte. Jalosjos filed a motion asking that he will be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman, including attendance of legislative sessions and committee meetings despite his having been convicted in the first instance of non-bailable offense. And his confinement was depriving his constituents of their voice in congress.

Issues: 1.) Does membership in Congress exempt an accused from statutes and rules which will apply to validly incarcerated persons in general? 2.) Are articles VI and VIII valid to support his motion?

Held: Election to high government office does not give you the freedom from the common command of general law. Section2, Article 6 & Article 8 of the constitution state: A member of the House of representative is privilege from arrest during his attendance at its sessions only if offense is punishable by more than 6 year imprisonment . In his case, confinement of a Congressman charged with crimes punishable by more than 6 years has constitutional foundation.

91. ARROYO VS DE VENECIA 277 SCRA 268 (1997)


Petitioner passed an amendment to the House of Representative and later brought to the House of the Senate. After the questioning, the petitioner moved for adjournment for lack of quorum which is needed to discuss the business under the Constitution. The Bill was later made into Law and signed by the President of the Philippines.

Issue: Whether or not the Law passed was a violation of the Constitutional Mandate.

Held: The House concerned has no rule that quorum shall be determined by actual voting. The Constitution does not require that the opinion of the Members betaken every time a House has to vote, except only on the following instances upon the last and the third readings of the bill, at the request of 1/5 of the Members present and in re-passing a bill over the veto of the President. And there is obviousness on the part of the petitioner to delay the business of the House, eliminating the alleged trick on part of the accused. Lastly, the enrolled bill doctrine states that enrolled bills are in itself conclusive thus legally binding provided it is in harmony with the constitution. The court upheld principle of separation of powers, which herein, is applicable for the legislative branch for it has exercised its power without grave abuse of discretion resulting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

92. OSMEA VS. PENDATUN 109 PHIL 863 (1990) Facts: Then Congressman Osmea Jr. filed a verified petition with the Supreme Court for declaratory relief, certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction against Congressman Pendatun and fourteen others in their capacity as members of the Special Committee created by House Resolution 59. In the said petition, he alleged, among others, that his one-hour privileged speech entitled Message to Garcia did not constitute disorderly behavior and that he could not be censured for his speech since other business transpired before Congress decided to take action. He further asked that said respondents should not require him to substantiate his charges against the president which constituted a serious assault upon the dignity and prestige of Garcia as the then President. For refusing to provide evidence as the basis of his allegations, Osmea was suspended for 15 months for the serious disorderly behavior.

Issues: 1. Whether or not Osmeas speech constituted disorderly conduct? 2. Whether or not the House has the power to suspend one of its members? Held: 1. The House is the judge of what constitutes disorderly conduct, not only because the Constitution has conferred jurisdiction upon it, but also because the matter

depends mainly on factual circumstances of which the House knows best. Anything to the contrary will amount to violation of the theory of separation of powers observed by the Court. 2. The Legislative power of the Philippine Congress is plenary, subject only to such limitations are found in the Republic's Constitution. So that any power deemed to be legislative by usage or tradition, is necessarily possessed by the Philippine Congress, unless the Constitution provides otherwise. Hence, the Congress has the inherent legislative prerogative of suspension which the Constitution did not impair. In fact, as already pointed out, the Philippine Senate suspended a Senator for 12 months in 1949. Therefore, Osmeas petition is dismissed.


Facts: The case arose from complaints filed by the group of employees of the Commission of Immigration and Deportation (CID) where she then acted as the CID Commissioner. The court is called upon to review the act of Sandiganbayan and how far it can go in ordering the preventive suspension of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago in connection with pending criminal cases filed against her for violation of Republic Act 3019 as amended otherwise known as the Anti-graft and Corrupt practices Act. On May 24, 1992 Senator Miriam Santiago filed a petition to review on certiorari of a decision with prohibition and preliminary injunction before the court and a motion before the Sandiganbayan to defer her arraignment .

Issue: If the authority of Sandiganbayan to order the preventive suspension of an incumbent public official charged with violation of the provisions of RA no 3019 has both legal and jurisprudential support and certiorari will be granted by the Court relative to this case. Held: On Jan 31, 1992 the Court rendered its decision dismissing the petition and lifting the temporary restraining order. The subsequent motion for reconsideration filed by the petitioner proved unvailing. In issuing the preventive suspension, the Sandiganbayan merely adhered to the clear and unequivocal mandate of the law , as well as the jurisprudence in which the court has. Section13 of RA 3019 does not state that the public officer concerned must be suspended only in the office where he is allegedly to have committed the acts with which he has been charged The court suspends the accused from her position as Senator of the republic of the Philippines and from any government position she may be holding at present. Her suspension shall be holding 90 days only and shall take effect immediately upon notice.

94. UNITED STATES VS JUAN PONS 34 PHIL 729 Facts: Pons and Gabino Beliso were trading partners. On 5 Apr 1914, the steamer Lopez y Lopez arrived at Manila from Spain and it contained 25 barrels of wine. The said barrels of wine were delivered to Beliso. Beliso subsequently delivered 5 barrels to Pons house. On the other hand, the customs authorities noticed that the said 25 barrels listed as wine on record were not delivered to any listed merchant (Beliso not being one). And so the customs officers conducted an investigation thereby discovering that the 25 barrels of wine actually contained tins of opium. Since the ct of trading and dealing opium is against Act 2381, Pons and Beliso were charged for illegally and fraudulently importing and introducing such contraband material to the Philippines. Pons appealed the sentence arguing that Act 2381 was not approved while the Philippine Commission (Congress) was not in session. He said that his witnesses claim that the said law was passed/approved on 01 March 1914 while the special session of the Commission was adjourned at 12MN on 28 Feb 1914. Since this is the case, Act 2381 should be null and void.

Issue: Whether or not the SC must go beyond the recitals of the Journals to determine if Act 2381 was indeed made a as law on 28 Feb 1914.

Held: The SC looked into the Journals to ascertain the date of adjournment but the SC refused to go beyond the recitals in the legislative Journals. The said Journals are conclusive on the Court and to inquire into the veracity of the journals of the Philippine Legislature, when they are, as the SC have said, clear and explicit, would be to violate both the letter and the spirit of the organic laws by which the Philippine Government was brought into existence, to invade a coordinate and independent department of the Government, and to interfere with the legitimate powers and functions of the Legislature. Pons witnesses cannot be given due weight against the conclusiveness of the Journals which is an act of the legislature. The journals say that the Legislature adjourned at 12 midnight on February 28, 1914. This settles the question, and the court did not err in declining to go behind these journals. The SC passed upon the conclusiveness of the enrolled bill in this particular case.


Facts: Casco Philippine Chemical Co., Inc. was engaged in the production of synthetic resin glues used primarily in the production of plywood. The main components of the said glue are urea and formaldehyde which are both being imported abroad. Pursuant to RA 2609 (Foreign Exchange Margin Fee Law), the Central Bank of the Philippines issued on July 1, 1959, its Circular No. 95, fixing a uniform margin fee of 25% on foreign

exchange transactions. To supplement the circular, the Bank later promulgated a memorandum establishing the procedure for applications for exemption from the payment of said fee, as provided in same law. In compliance, Casco paid the fees but later moved for reimbursement as Casco maintained that urea and formaldehyde are exempted from such fees. The CBP issued the vouchers for refund (pursuant to Resolution 1529 of the CBP) but the banks auditor refused to honor the vouchers since he maintained that this is in contrast to the provision of Sec 2, par 18 of RA 2609 which provides: The margin established by the Monetary Board pursuant to the provision of section one hereof shall not be imposed upon the sale of foreign exchange for the importation of the following: xxx xxx xxx

XVIII. Urea formaldehyde for the manufacture of plywood and hardboard when imported by and for the exclusive use of end-users. The Auditor General, Gimenez, affirmed the ruling of CBPs auditor. Casco maintains that the term urea formaldehyde appearing in this provision should be construed as urea and formaldehyde He further contends that the bill approved in Congress contained the copulative conjunction and between the terms urea and, formaldehyde, and that the members of Congress intended to exempt urea and formaldehyde separately as essential elements in the manufacture of the synthetic resin glue called urea formaldehyde, not the latter a finished product, citing in support of this view the statements made on the floor of the Senate, during the consideration of the bill before said House, by members thereof.

Issue: Whether or not the term urea formaldehyde should be construed as urea and formaldehyde.

Held: Urea formaldehyde is not a chemical solution. It is the synthetic resin formed as a condensation product from definite proportions of urea and formaldehyde under certain conditions relating to temperature, acidity, and time of reaction. This produce when applied in water solution and extended with inexpensive fillers constitutes a fairly low cost adhesive for use in the manufacture of plywood. Urea formaldehyde is clearly a finished product, which is patently distinct and different from urea and formaldehyde, as separate articles used in the manufacture of the synthetic resin known as urea formaldehyde The opinions of any member of Congress does not represent the entirety of the Congress itself. What is printed in the enrolled bill would be conclusive upon the courts. It is well settled that the enrolled bill which uses the term urea formaldehyde instead of urea and formaldehyde is conclusive upon the courts as regards the tenor of the measure passed by Congress and approved by the President. If there has been any mistake in the printing of the bill before it was certified by the officers of Congress and approved by the Executive on which the SC cannot speculate, without jeopardizing the principle of separation of powers and undermining one of the cornerstones of our democratic system the remedy is by amendment or curative legislation, not by judicial decree. 96. ASTORGA VS. VILLEGAS G.R. NO. L-23475 (APRIL 30, 1974) Facts:

House Bill No. 9266 was passed from the House of Representatives to the Senate. Senator Arturo Tolentino made substantial amendments which were approved by the Senate. The House, without notice of said amendments, thereafter signed its approval until all the presiding officers of both houses certified and attested to the bill. The President also signed it and thereupon became RA 4065. Senator Tolentino made a press statement that the enrolled copy of House Bill No. 9266 was a wrong version of the bill because it did not embody the amendments introduced by him and approved by the Senate. Both the Senate President and the President withdrew their signatures and denounced RA 4065 as invalid. Petitioner argued that the authentication of the presiding officers of the Congress is conclusive proof of a bills due enactment. Issue: W/N House Bill No. 9266 is considered enacted and valid. Held: Since both the Senate President and the Chief Executive withdrew their signatures therein, the court declared that the bill was not duly enacted and therefore did not become a law. The Constitution requires that each House shall keep a journal. An importance of having a journal is that in the absence of attestation or evidence of the bills due enactment, the court may resort to the journals of the Congress to verify such. Where the journal discloses that substantial amendment were introduced and approved and were not incorporated in the printed text sent to the President for signature, the court can declare that the bill has not been duly enacted and did not become a law. 97. PHILIPPINE JUDGES ASSOCIATION VS. PRADO 227 SCRA 703 November 11, 1993 Facts: The Philippine Postal Corporation issued circular No. 92-28 to implement Section 35 of RA 7354 withdrawing the franking privilege from the SC, CA, RTCs, MeTCs, MTCs and Land Registration Commission and with certain other government offices. It is alleged that RA 7354 is discriminatory becasue while withdrawing the franking privilege from judiciary, it retains the same for the President & Vice-President of the Philippines, Senator & members of the House of Representatives, COMELEC, National Census & Statistics Office and the general public. The respondents counter that there is no discrimination because the law is based on a valid classification in accordance with the equal protection clause. Issue: Whether or Not Section 35 of RA 7354 is constitutional. Held: The equal protection of the laws is embraced in the concept of due process, as every unfair discrimination offends the requirements of justice and fair play. It has nonetheless been embodied in a separate clause in Article III Section 1 of the Constitution to provide for amore specific guarantee against any form of undue favoritism or hostility from the government. Arbitrariness in general may be challenged on the basis of the due process clause. But if the particular act assailed partakes of an unwarranted partiality or prejudice, the sharper weapon to cut it down is the equal protection clause. Equal protection simply requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. What the clause requires is equality among equals as determined according

to a valid classification. Section 35 of RA 7354 is declared unconstitutional. Circular No. 92-28 is set aside insofar.

98. ABAKADA GURO PARTY LIST, ET AL. VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA, ET AL. 469 SCRA 1 Facts: On May 24, 2005, the President signed into law Republic Act 9337 or the VAT Reform Act. Before the law took effect on July 1, 2005, the Court issued a TRO enjoining government from implementing the law in response to a slew of petitions for certiorari and prohibition questioning the constitutionality of the new law. The challenged section of R.A. No. 9337 is the common proviso in Sections 4, 5 and 6: That the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance, shall, effective January 1, 2006, raise the rate of value-added tax to 12%, after any of the following conditions has been satisfied: (i) Value-added tax collection as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the previous year exceeds two and four-fifth percent (2 4/5%); (ii) National government deficit as a percentage of GDP of the previous year exceeds one and one-half percent (1%) Petitioners allege that the grant of stand-by authority to the President to increase the VAT rate is an abdication by Congress of its exclusive power to tax because such delegation is not covered by Section 28 (2), Article VI Consti. They argue that VAT is a tax levied on the sale or exchange of goods and services which cant be included within the purview of tariffs under the exemption delegation since this refers to customs duties, tolls or tribute payable upon merchandise to the government and usually imposed on imported/exported goods. They also said that the President has powers to cause, influence or create the conditions provided by law to bring about the conditions precedent. Moreover, they allege that no guiding standards are made by law as to how the Secretary of Finance will make the recommendation. Issue: Whether or not the RA 9337's stand-by authority to the Executive to increase the VAT rate, especially on account of the recommendatory power granted to the Secretary of Finance, constitutes undue delegation of legislative power? Held: NO. It is not a delegation of legislative power BUT a delegation of ascertainment of facts upon which enforcement and administration of the increased rate under the law is contingent. It is the ministerial duty of the President to immediately impose the 12% rate upon the existence of any of the conditions specified by Congress. This is a duty, which cannot be evaded by the President. It is a clear directive to impose the 12% VAT rate when the specified conditions are present. Congress just granted the Secretary of Finance the authority to ascertain the existence of a fact--- whether by December 31, 2005, the VAT collection as a percentage of GDP of the previous year exceeds 2 4/5 % or the national government deficit as a percentage of GDP of the previous year exceeds one and 1%. There is no

undue delegation of legislative power but only of the discretion as to the execution of a law. This is constitutionally permissible. Congress did not delegate the power to tax but the mere implementation of the law. 99. AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, JR., ET AL. VS. SENATE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE REPRESENTED BY SENATE PRESIDENT JUAN PONCE ENRILE, G.R. No. 187714, March 8, 2011 Facts: The case at bar refers to the ethics complaint filed against Sen. Manny Villar on the alleged double insertion of Php200 million for the C-5 Road Extension Project in the 2008 General Appropriations Act. Petitioners allege that the adoption of the Rules of the Ethics Committee by the Senate Committee of the Whole is violative of Senator Villars right to due process. Issue: Whether Ethics Committee by the Senate Committee of the Whole is violative of Senator Villars right to due process. Held: The SC did not agree. The Constitutional right of the Senate to promulgate its own rules of proceedings has been recognized and affirmed by this Court. The only limitation to the power of Congress to promulgate its own rules is the observance of quorum, voting, and publication when required. As long as these requirements are complied with, according to the SC, the Court will not interfere with the right of Congress to amend its own rules. 100. JOSE A. ANGARA VS.THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION, PEDRO YNSUA, MIGUEL CASTILLO, and DIONISIO C. MAYOR 63 PHIL 139 July 15, 1936 Facts: In the case at bar, Petitioner Angara run for the position of members of the National Assembly for the first district of Tayabas on September 17, 1935 Elections together with Pedro Ynsua, Miguel Castillo, and Dionisio Mayor as rivals for the said position. On Oct. 7, 1935, the provincial board of canvassers proclaimed Angara as member-elect of the National Assembly and on Nov. 15, 1935, he took his oath of office. On Dec. 3, 1935, the National Assembly passed Resolution No. 8, which in effect, fixed the last date to file election protests. On Dec. 8, 1935, Ynsua filed before the Electoral Commission a "Motion of Protest" against Angara and praying, among other things, that Ynsua be named/declared elected Member of the National Assembly or that the election of said position be nullified. On Dec. 9, 1935, the Electoral Commission adopted a resolution (No. 6) stating that last day for filing of protests is on Dec. 9. Angara contended that the Constitution confers exclusive jurisdiction upon the Electoral Commission solely as regards the merits of contested elections to the National Assembly and the Supreme Court therefore has no jurisdiction to hear the case.

Issue: Whether or not the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission and the subject matter of the controversy? Held: YES. The Electoral Commission is not a separate department of the government, and even if it were, conflicting claims of authority under the fundamental law between departmental powers and agencies of the government are necessarily determined by the judiciary in justiciable and appropriate cases. The court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission and the subject matter of the present controversy for the purpose of determining the character, scope, and extent of the constitutional grant to the Electoral Commission as "the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly."

101. OSE O. VERA, ET AL. VS. JOSE A. AVELINO, ET AL. G.R. NO. L-543 AUGUST 31, 1946

Facts: On May 1946, the Commission on Elections submitted to the President and the Congress of the Philippines a report regarding the national elections held the previous month stating that by reason of certain specified acts of terrorism and violence in the province of Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan and Tarlac, the voting in said region did not reflect the true and free expression of the popular will. During the session, when the senate convened on May 25, 1946, a pendatum resolution was approved referring to the report ordering that Jose O. Vera, Ramon Diokno and Jose E. Romero who had been included among the 16 candidates for senator receiving the highest number of votes, proclaimed by the Commissions on Elections shall not be sworn, nor seated, as members of the chamber, pending the termination of the of the protest lodged against their election. Petitioners thus immediately instituted an action against their colleagues responsible for the resolution, praying for an order to annul it and compelling respondents to permit them to occupy their seats and to exercise their senatorial prerogative. They also allege that only the Electoral Tribunal had jurisdiction over contests relating to their election, returns and qualifications. Respondents assert the validity of the pendatum resolution. Issue: Whether the Commission on Elections has the jurisdiction to determine whether or not votes cast in the said provinces are valid. Held: The Constitution provides (Article VI, section 15) that "for any speech or debate" in congress, Senators and congressmen "shall not be questioned in any other place." The Supreme Court refused to intervene, under the concept of separation of powers,

holding that the case was not a contest, and affirmed the inherent right of the legislature to determine who shall be admitted to its membership. Wherefore, the case at bar is dismissed. 102. FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS 211 SCRA 315 Facts: On May 5, 1992, this Court issued a Resolution in GR No. 104704, disqualifying Melchor Chavez, private respondent therein, from running for the Office of Senator in the May 11, 1992 elections. Petitioner filed an urgent motion with the Comelec praying that it (1) disseminate through the fastest available means this Courts Resolution dated May 5, 1992 to all regional election directors, provincial election supervisors, city and municipal election registrars, boards of election inspectors, the six (6) accredited political parties and the general public; and (2) order said election officials to delete the name of Melchor Chavez as printed in the certified list of candidates tally sheets, election returns and to count all votes cast for the disqualified Melchor, Chavez in favor of Francisco I. Chavez. On May 8, 1992, the Comelec issued Res. No. 92-1322 which resolved to delete the name of Melchor Chavez from the list of qualified candidates. However, it failed to order the crediting of all Chavez votes in favor of petitioner as well as the cancellation of Melchor Chavez name in the list of qualified candidates. Issue: Whether or not the law allows pre-proclamation controversy involving the election of the members of the Senate. Held: A simple reading of the petition would readily show that petitioner has no cause of action, the controversy presented being one in the nature of a pre-proclamation. While the Commission has exclusive jurisdiction over pre-proclamation controversies involving local elective officials (Sec. 242, Omnibus Election Code), nevertheless, preproclamation cases are not allowed in elections for President, Vice-President, Senator and Member of the House of Representatives. Sec. 15 of Republic Act 7166 provides: For purposes of the elections for President, Vice-President, Senator and Member of the House of Representatives, no pre-proclamation cases shall be allowed on matters relating to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of the election returns or the certificate of canvass, as the case may be. However, this does not preclude the authority of the appropriate canvassing body motu propio or upon written complaint of an interested person to correct manifest errors in the certificate of canvass or election returns before it.

103. AQUINO VS. COMELEC 243 SCRA 400 (1995)


Petitioner Agapito Aquino filed his certificate of candidacy for the position of Representative for the Second District of Makati City. Private respondents Move Makati, a duly registered political party, and Mateo Bedon, Chairman of LAKAS-NUCD-UMDP of Brgy. Cembo, Makati City, filed a petition to disqualify petitioner on the ground that the latter lacked the residence qualification as a candidate for congressman which, under Sec. 6, Art. VI of the Constitution, should be for a period not less than 1 year immediately preceding the elections.

Issue: Whether or not the petitioner lacked the residence qualification as a candidate for congressman as mandated by Sec. 6, Art. VI of the Constitution

Held: In order that petitioner could qualify as a candidate for Representative of the Second District of Makati City, he must prove that he has established not just residence but domicile of choice. Petitioner, in his certificate of candidacy for the 1992 elections, indicated not only that he was a resident of San Jose, Concepcion, Tarlac in 1992 but that he was a resident of the same for 52 years immediately preceding that elections. At that time, his certificate indicated that he was also a registered voter of the same district. His birth certificate places Concepcion, Tarlac as the birthplace of his parents. What stands consistently clear and unassailable is that his domicile of origin of record up to the time of filing of his most recent certificate of candidacy for the 1995 elections was Concepcion, Tarlac. The intention not to establish a permanent home in Makati City is evident in his leasing a condominium unit instead of buying one. While a lease contract may be indicative of petitioners intention to reside in Makati City, it does not engender the kind of permanency required to prove abandonment of ones original domicile. Petitioners assertion that he has transferred his domicile from Tarlac to Makati is a bare assertion which is hardly supported by the facts. To successfully effect a change of domicile, petitioner must prove an actual removal or an actual change of domicile; a bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new one and definite acts which correspond with the purpose. In the absence of clear and positive proof, the domicile of origin should be deemed to continue. 104. FIRDAUSI SMAIL ABBAS VS. SENATE ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL 166 SCRA 651 (1988) Facts: This is a Special Civil Action for certiorari to nullify and set aside the Resolutions of the Senate Electoral Tribunal dated February 12, 1988 and May 27, 1988, denying, respectively, the petitioners' Motion for Disqualification or Inhibition and their Motion for Reconsideration thereafter filed. Senator Members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal were being asked to inhibit themselves in hearing SET Case No. 002-87 as they are considered interested parties, therefore leaving the Senate Electoral Tribunal senateless, and all remaining members

coming Issue: WON Held: the SET










The Supreme Court dismissed the petition for certiorari for lack of merit and affirmed the decision of the Tribunal to not let Senator-Members to inhibit or disqualify himself, rather, just let them refrain from participating in the resolution of a case where he sincerely feels that his personal interests or biases would stand in the way of an objective and impartial judgment.

105. BONDOC V. PINEDA 201 SCRA 792 (1991)

HRET has sole and exclusive jurisdiction to judge election contests and qualifications concerning members of Congress For HRET to exercise its exclusive jurisdiction, it must be independent and impartial, a separate body from the legislative HRET members are entitled to security of tenure regardless of any change in their political affiliations HRET Facts: Pineda and Bondoc were rival candidates as Representatives of the 4th district. Pineda won in the elections, prompting Bondoc to file a protest with the HRET, which decided in favor of the latter. However, before promulgation of the decision, Congressman Camasuras membership with the HRET was withdrawn on the ground that he was expelled from the LDP. As such, the decision could not be promulgated since without Congressman Camasuras vote, the deicison lacks the concurrence of 5 members as required by the Rules of the Tribunal. Issues: members cannot be removed for disloyalty to a party

Whether or not the House of Representatives can issue a resolution compelling HRET not to promulgate its decision Whether or not the composition of the HRET may be affected by a change in the political alliance of its members

Held: HRET is a non-political body

The use of the word "sole" in both Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution and Section 11 of the 1935 Constitution underscores the exclusive jurisdiction of the House Electoral Tribunal as judge of contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the House of Representatives (Robles vs. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, G.R. No. 86647, February 5, 1990).

The tribunal was created to function as a nonpartisan court although two-thirds of its members are politicians. It is a non-political body in a sea of politicians. What this Court had earlier said about the Electoral Commission applies as well to the electoral tribunals of the Senate and House of Representatives: Electoral tribunals are independent and impartial

The purpose of the constitutional convention creating the Electoral Commission was to provide an independent and impartial tribunal for the determination of contests to legislative office, devoid of partisan consideration, and to transfer to that tribunal all the powers previously exercised by the legislature in matters pertaining to contested elections of its members. The power granted to the electoral Commission to judge contests relating to the election and qualification of members of the National Assembly is intended to be as complete and unimpaired as if it had remained in the legislature. Electoral tribunals as sole judge of all contests relating to election returns and qualifications of members of the legislative houses The Electoral Tribunals of the Senate and the House were created by the Constitution as special tribunals to be the sole judge of all contests relating to election returns and qualifications of members of the legislative houses, and, as such, are independent bodies which must be permitted to select their own employees, and to supervise and control them, without any legislative interference. (Suanes vs. Chief Accountant of the Senate, 81 Phil. 818.) To be able to exercise exclusive jurisdiction, the House Electoral Tribunal must be independent. Its jurisdiction to hear and decide congressional election contests is not to be shared by it with the Legislature nor with the Courts. The Electoral Commission is a body separate from and independent of the legislature and though not a power in the tripartite scheme of government, it is to all intents and purposes, when acting within the limits of its authority, an independent organ; while composed of a majority of members of the legislature it is a body separate from and independent of the legislature. xxx xxx xxx The Electoral Commission, a constitutional organ created for the specific purpose of determining contests relating to election returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly may not be interfered with by the judiciary when and while acting within the limits of its authority, but the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission for the purpose of determining the character, scope and extent of the constitutional grant to the commission as sole judge of all contests relating to the election and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. (Angara vs. Electoral Commission, 63 Phil. 139.) Can the House of Representatives compel the HRET not to promulgate its decision? The independence of the House Electoral Tribunal so zealously guarded by the framers of our Constitution, would, however, by a myth and its proceedings a farce if the House of Representatives, or the majority party therein, may shuffle and manipulate the political (as distinguished from the judicial) component of the electoral tribunal, to serve the interests of the party in power. Removal of HRET member for disloyalty to a party impairs HRET constitutional

prerogative The resolution of the House of Representatives removing Congressman Camasura from the House Electoral Tribunal for disloyalty to the LDP, because he cast his vote in favor of the Nacionalista Party's candidate, Bondoc, is a clear impairment of the constitutional prerogative of the House Electoral Tribunal to be the sole judge of the election contest between Pineda and Bondoc. To sanction such interference by the House of Representatives in the work of the House Electoral Tribunal would reduce the tribunal to a mere tool for the aggrandizement of the party in power (LDP) which the three justices of the Supreme Court and the lone NP member would be powerless to stop. A minority party candidate may as well abandon all hope at the threshold of the tribunal. Is disloyalty to a party a valid cause for termination of membership in the HRET? As judges, the members of the tribunal must be non-partisan. They must discharge their functions with complete detachment, impartiality, and independence even independence from the political party to which they belong. Hence, "disloyalty to party" and "breach of party discipline," are not valid grounds for the expulsion of a member of the tribunal. In expelling Congressman Camasura from the HRET for having cast a conscience vote" in favor of Bondoc, based strictly on the result of the examination and appreciation of the ballots and the recount of the votes by the tribunal, the House of Representatives committed a grave abuse of discretion, an injustice, and a violation of the Constitution. Its resolution of expulsion against Congressman Camasura is, therefore, null and void. HRET members enjoy security of tenure

Another reason for the nullity of the expulsion resolution of the House of Representatives is that it violates Congressman Camasura's right to security of tenure. Members of the HRET as "sole judge" of congressional election contests, are entitled to security of tenure just as members of the judiciary enjoy security of tenure under our Constitution (Sec. 2, Art. VIII, 1987 Constitution). Therefore, membership in the House Electoral Tribunal may not be terminated except for a just cause, such as, the expiration of the member's congressional term of office, his death, permanent disability, resignation from the political party he represents in the tribunal, formal affiliation with another political party, or removal for other valid cause. A member may not be expelled by the House of Representatives for "party disloyalty" short of proof that he has formally affiliated with another political group. As the records of this case fail to show that Congressman Camasura has become a registered member of another political party, his expulsion from the LDP and from the HRET was not for a valid cause, hence, it violated his right to security of tenure.

106.) VIRGILIO ROBLES VS. (HRET GR No. 86647(February 5, 1990)


Petitioner and private respondent Romeo Santos were candidate for the position of congressman of the first district of Caloocan city in the last May 11, 1987 congressional elections, petitioner Robles was proclaimed the winner of December 23, 1987. On January 5. 1988 Santos filed an election protest with respondent HRET. The alleged among others that the election in the first district of Caloocan city held last May 11, 1987. Were characterized by the commission of electoral frauds and irregularities in various forms. The private respondent likewise prayed for the recounting of the ballots casted in all 320 contested precincts. On Jan. 14, 1988. The petitioner filed his answer to the protest. He alleged as among his affirmative defence the lack of residence of protestant and the late filling of the protest.

Issue: Whether or not the allegation of petitioner that he was deprived of due process when respondent tribunals rendered partial decision pursuant to section 18 of the HRET.

Held: It would not be amiss to the state at this point that an election protest is impressed with public interest in the sense that the public is interested in knowing what happened in the election(Dimaporo v. Estipona,supra), for this reason, it must yield to what is for the common good. Accordingly, finding no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the house of the representative electoral tribunal in issuing the assailed resolution, the instant petition is dismissed.

107. JOKER ARROYO VS. (HRET) GR No. 118597(July 14, 1995)

Facts: After the May 11, 1992 election, Arroyo was declared as the duly elected congressman of the lone district of Makati. Arroyo won by 13,559votes over his opponent. His opponent Sy juco protested the declaration before the HRET. He alleged that Arroyo won due to massive fraud hence he moved for revision and recounting of the ballots casted. HRET gave way but during the process some HRET employees and personnel conducted some irrugalarities to ensure Sy Jucos win. After some paper battles between the two, Sy Juco, realized that mere revision and recounting would not suffice to overthrow the more than 12,000 votes lead of Arroyo over him. He revised his complaint by including and introducing in his memorandum cum addendum that his complaint is based on a broader and more equitable and non-traditional determination of the existence of the precinct-level document based on anomalies and that the revision he initially is just incidental to such determination. The 3 justices members of the HRET ruled that such amendment is already beyond the tribunals jurisdiction abd the 6 representative members ruled otherwise. Consequently, by a vote of 6-3, the HRET did not dismiss the protest filed by Sy Juco and the HRET later declared Sy Juco the winner.

Issue: Whether or not HRET acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

Held: However guised or justified by Sy Juco, this innovative theory he introduced for the first time in his memorandum cum addendum indeed the scope of the election protest beyond what he originally sought the mere revision of ballots. From his initial prayer for revision which lays primary, if not exclusive emphasis on the physical recount and appreciation of ballots alone, private respondent attempt to inject his theory at the memorandum stage calls for presentation of evidence aside from others than, the ballots themselves, Sy Juco in fact intended to completely abandon the process and results of the revision and there after sought to rely on his brainchild process. This is clearly substantial amendment of the election protest expressly prescribed by rule 28 of the HRET internal rule.


Facts: The petitioner seeks to annul and set aside as having been issued with grave abuse of discretion the resolution No. 7233 of the COMELEC En bank and the proclamation of private respondent Anthony Miranda as congressman for the fourth district of Isabela. During the may 10,2004 election. It was claimed that canvass of votes(COCU) for the municipalities of Cordon and San agustin was tampered. Miranda moved for the exclusion of the first copy of the COCV. On may 22, 2004, the provincial board of canvassers (PBC) excluded from canvass the contested COCVs and used instead the 4th and 7th copies of the COCVs. Based on the results, Miranda garnered the highest number of votes for the position of congressman.

Issue: Is COMELEC proclamation of Miranda as wining candidate valid considering that there is an appeal still un resolved.?

Held: The petition is impressed with merit because the petitioner has been proclaimed winner for the congressional election in the first district of Pampanga, has taken his oath of office as such, and assumed his dutie3s against him would be usurp the function of the house of tribunal. The reason for this ruling is the avoid duplicity of proceedings and a clash of jurisdiction between constitutional bodies with due regards to the peoples mandate.


Facts: Jocelyn Limkaichong filed a candidacy as a congresswoman in the 1 st District of Negros Oriental. Paras, her rival, and some other concerned citizens filed disqualification cases against her. Limkaichong is purportedly not a natural born citizen of the Philippines because when she was born her father was still a Chinese and that her mom, though Filipino lost her citizenship by virtue of her marriage to Limkaichongs dad. During the pendency of the case against Limkaichong before the COMELEC, Election day came and LImkaichong won. About 2 days after the counting of votes, COMELEC declared Limkaichong as a disqualified candidate. On the following days however, notwithstanding their proclamation disqualifying Limkaichong, the COMELEC issued a proclamation announcing Limkaichong as the winner of the recently conducted elections.. Paras opposed the proclamation and she filed a petition before the COMELEC. Limkaichong assailed the petition filed by Paras on the ground that that since she is now the proclaimed winner, the COMELEC can no longer exercise jurisdiction over the matter. It should be the HRET which should exercise jurisdiction from then on. COMELEC agreed with Limkaichong.

Issue: Whether or not COMELEC should still exercise jurisdiction over the matter.

Held: The HRET must exercise jurisdiction after Limkaichongs proclamation. The SC has invariably held that once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office as a Member of the HOR, the COMELECs jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election, returns, and qualifications ends, and the HRETs own jurisdiction begins. It follows then that the proclamation of a winning candidate divests the COMELEC of its jurisdiction over matters pending before it at the time of the proclamation. The party questioning his qualification should now present his case in a proper proceeding before the HRET, the constitutionally mandated tribunal to hear and decide a case involving a Member of the House of Representatives with respect to the latters election, returns and qualifications. The use of the word sole in Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution and in Section 250 of the OEC underscores the exclusivity of the Electoral Tribunals jurisdiction over election contests relating to its members.

111. BANAT V. COMELEC GR NO. 177508, AUGUST 7, 2009

Facts: This is a petition for Prohibition with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction filed by petitioner Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) Party List (petitioner) assailing the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 9369 (RA 9369)and enjoining respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) from implementing the statute. RA 9369 is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2231 and House Bill No. 5352 passed by the Senate on 7 December 2006 and the House of Representatives on 19 December 2006.On 23 January 2007, less than four months before the 14 May 2007 local elections. On 7 May 2007, petitioner, a duly accredited multi-sectoral organization, filed this petition for prohibition alleging that RA 9369 violated Section 26(1), Article VI of the Constitution.Petitioner also assails the constitutionality of Sections 34, 37, 38, and 43 of RA 9369.According to petitioner, these provisions are of questionable application and doubtful validity for failing to comply with the provisions of the Constitution. Petitioner argued that Sections 37 and 38 violate the Constitution by impairing the powers of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) and the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET).According to petitioner, under the amended provisions, Congress as the National Board of Canvassers for the election of President and Vice President (Congress), and the COMELECen banc as the National Board of Canvassers (COMELEC en banc), for the election of Senatorsmay now entertain pre-proclamation cases in the election of the President, Vice President, and Senators.Petitioner concludes that in entertaining preproclamation cases, Congress and the COMELEC en banc undermine the independence and encroach upon the jurisdiction of the PET and the SET.

Issue: Whether or not RA 9369 is unconstitutional.

Held: The COMELEC maintains that the amendments introduced by Section 37 pertain only to the adoption and application of the procedures on pre-proclamation controversies in case of any discrepancy, incompleteness, erasure or alteration in the certificates of canvass.The COMELEC adds that Section 37 does not provide that Congress and the COMELEC en bancmay now entertain pre-proclamation cases for national elective posts. Section 2(6), Article IX-C of the Constitution vests in the COMELEC the power to investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute cases of violations of election laws, including acts or omissions constituting election frauds, offenses, and malpractices.COMELEC has the exclusive power to conduct preliminary investigations and prosecute election offenses, it likewise authorizes the COMELEC to avail itself of the assistance of other prosecuting arms of the government. In the 1993 COMELEC Rules of Procedure, the authority of the COMELEC was subsequently qualified and explained.

112. DRILON, ET AL VS. SPEAKER GR NO. 180055, JULY 31, 2009

Facts: Senate and the House of Representatives elected their respective contingents to the Commission on Appointments (CA). Petitioners went to respondent then Speaker Jose de Venecia to ask for one seat for the Liberal Party in the CA. Representative Taada, by letter of September 10, 2007, requested the Secretary General of the House of Representatives the reconstitution of the House contingent in the CA to include one seat for the Liberal Party in compliance with the provision of Section 18, Article VI of the ConstitutionRepresentative Taada also brought the matter to the attention of then Speaker De Venecia, reiterating the position that since there were at least 20 members of the Liberal Party in the 14 th Congress, the party should be represented in the CA.However, No report or recommendation was proffered by the Legal Department, drawing Representative Taada to request a report or recommendation on the matter within three days. Hence spawned the filing on October 31, 2007 of the first petition by petitioner former Senator Franklin M. Drilon (in representation of the Liberal Party), et al., for prohibition, mandamus, and quo warranto with prayer for the issuance of writ of preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order, against then Speaker De Venecia, Representative Arthur Defensor, Sr. in his capacity as Majority Floor Leader of the House of Representatives, Senator Manuel B. Villar in his capacity as ex officio chairman of the CA, Atty. Ma. Gemma D. Aspiras in her capacity as Secretary of the CA, and the individual members of the House of Representatives contingent to the CA.

Issue: Whether the House of Representatives have committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to alck or excess of jurisdiction in constituting the commission on appointments in contravention of the required proportional constitution by depriving the Liberal Party of its constitutional entitlement to one seat therein.

Held: The Constitution expressly grants to the House of Representatives the prerogative, within constitutionally defined limits, to choose from among its district and party-list representatives those who may occupy the seats allotted to the House in the

HRET and the CA. Section 18, Article VI of the Constitution explicitly confers on the Senate and on the House the authority to elect among their members those who would fill the 12 seats for Senators and 12 seats for House members in the Commission on Appointments. Under Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution, each chamber exercises the power to choose, within constitutionally defined limits, who among their members would occupy the allotted 6 seats of each chambers respective electoral tribunal.

113. GUERRERO VS. COMELEC G.R. NO. 137004, JULY 26, 2000

Facts: Guillermo Ruiz sought to disqualify respondent Farinas as a candidate for the position of Congressman in the First District of Ilocos Norte. Ruiz alleged that Farinas had been campaigning as a candidate for Congressman in the May 11, 1998 polls, despite his failure to file a certificate of candidacy for said office. On May 8, 1998, Farinas filed his certificate of candidacy substituting candidate Chevylle Farinas who withdrew on April 3, 1998. On May 10, 1998, the COMELEC dismissed the petition of Ruiz for lack of merit. After the election, Farinas was duly proclaimed winner. Thereafter, Ruiz filed a motion for reconsideration, contending that Farinas could not validly substitute for Chevylle Farinas, since the latter was not the official candidate of LAMMP, but was an independent candidate. Another person cannot substitute for an independent candidate. Ruiz claimed that Farinas certificate of candidacy was fatally defective. On June 3, 1988, Farinas took his oath of office as a member of the House of Representatives. The COMELEC dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.

Issue: Whether or not the COMELEC has committed grave abuse of discretion in holding that the determination of the validity of the certificate of candidacy of respondent Farinas is already within the exclusive jurisdiction of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET).

Held: There is no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COMELEC when it held that its jurisdiction over the case had ceased with the assumption of office of respondent Farinas as Representative for the first district of Ilocos Norte. While COMELEC is vested with the power to declare valid or invalid a certificate of candidacy, its refusal to exercise that power following the proclamation and assumption of the position by

Farinas is a recognition of the jurisdictional boundaries separating the COMELEC and the HRET. Under Art. VI, Sec. 17 of the Constitution, the HRET has sole and exclusive jurisdiction over all contests relative to the election, returns and qualifications of members of the House of Representatives. Thus, once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office as a member of the House of Representatives, COMELECs jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election, returns and qualifications ends, and the HRETs own jurisdiction begins. Thus, the COMELECs decision to discontinue exercising jurisdiction over the case is justifiable, in deference to the HRETs own jurisdiction and functions.


Facts: In May 11, 1992 elections, the senate was composed of 15 LDP senators, 5 NPC senators, 3 LAKAS-NUCD senators, and 1 LP-PDP-LABAN senator. To suffice the requirement that each house must have 12 representatives in the CoA, the parties agreed to use the traditional formula: (No. of Senators of a political party) x 12 seats) Total No. of Senators elected. The results of such a formula would produce 7.5 members for LDP, 2.5 members for NPC, 1.5 members for LAKAS-NUCD, and 0.5 member for LP-PDP-LABAN. Romulo, as the majority floor leader, nominated 8 senators from their party because he rounded off 7.5 to 8 and that Taada from LPPDP-LABAN should represent the same party to the CoA. This is also pursuant to the proposition compromise by SenTolentino who proposed that the elected members of the CoA should consist of eight LDP, one LP-PDP-LABAN, two NPC and one LAKASNUCD. Guingona, a member of LAKAS-NUCD, opposed the said compromise. He alleged that the compromise is against proportional representation.

Issue: Whether or not rounding off is allowed in determining a partys representation in the COA.

Held: It is a fact accepted by all such parties that each of them is entitled to a fractional membership on the basis of the rule on proportional representation of each of the political parties. A literal interpretation of Section 18 of Article VI of the Constitution leads to no other manner of application. The problem is what to do with the fraction of .5 or 1/2 to which each of the parties is entitled. The LDP majority in the Senate converted a fractional half membership into a whole membership of one senator by adding one half or .5 to 7.5 to be able to elect Romulo. In so doing one other partys fractional membership was correspondingly reduced leaving the latters representation in the Commission on Appointments to less than their proportional representation in the Senate. This is clearly a violation of Section 18 because it is no longer in compliance

with its mandate that membership in the Commission be based on the proportional representation of the political parties. The election of Senator Romulo gave more representation to the LDP and reduced the representation of one political party either the LAKAS NUCD or the NPC.A party should have at least 1 seat for every 2 duly elected senators-members in the CoA. Where there are more than 2 parties in Senate, a party which has only one member senator cannot constitutionally claim a seat. In order to resolve such, the parties may coalesce with each other in order to come up with proportional representation especially since one party may have affiliations with the other party.


Facts : It was alleged that Benjamin KokoyRomualdez and his wife together with the Marcoses unlawfully and unjustly enriched themselves at the expense of the Filipino people. That they obtained with the help of the Bengzon law office and Ricardo Lopa Corys brother in law, among others, control over some of the biggest business enterprises in the country including MERALCO, PCI Bank, Shell Philippines and Benguet Consolidated Mining Corporation. Sen. Enrile subsequently delivered a privilege speech alleging that Lopa took over various government owned corporations which is in violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Contained in the speech is a motion to investigate on the matter. The motion was referred to the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers or the Blue Ribbon Committee. After committee hearing, Lopa refused to testify before the committee for it may unduly prejudice a pending civil case against him. Bengzon likewise refused invoking his right to due process. Lopa however sent a letter to Enrile categorically denying his allegations and that his allegations are baseless and malicious. Enrile subsequently took advantage of the Senates privilege hour upon which he insisted to have an inquiry regarding the matter. The SBRC rejected Lopas and Bengzons plea. Claiming that the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is poised to subpoena them and require their attendance and testimony in proceedings before the Committee, in excess of its jurisdiction and legislative purpose, in clear and blatant disregard of their constitutional rights, and to their grave and irreparable damage, prejudice and injury, and that there is no appeal nor any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, the Bengzon et al filed the present petition for prohibition with a prayer for temporary restraining order and/or injunctive relief.

Issue: Whether or not the inquiry sought by the SBRC be granted.

Held: No, the inquiry cannot be given due course. The speech of Enrile contained no suggestion of contemplated legislation; he merely called upon the Senate to look into a possible violation of Sec. 5 of RA No. 3019, otherwise known as The Anti-Graft and

Corrupt Practices Act. In other words, the purpose of the inquiry to be conducted by the Blue Ribbon Committee was to find out whether or not the relatives of Cory, particularly Lopa, had violated the law in connection with the alleged sale of the 36 or 39 corporations belonging to Kokoy to the Lopa Group. There appears to be, therefore, no intended legislation involved. Hence, the contemplated inquiry by the SBRC is not really in aid of legislation because it is not related to a purpose within the jurisdiction of Congress, since the aim of the investigation is to find out whether or not the relatives of the President or Mr. Ricardo Lopa had violated Section 5 of RA No. 3019, the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act, a matter that appears more within the province of the courts rather than of the legislature. Besides, the Court may take judicial notice that Mr. Ricardo Lopa died during the pendency of this case.


Facts: Before us is a Petition for Prohibition (WithPrayer for Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order and/or Injunction) dated and filed on March 11, 2005 by petitioners against respondent Senate Committeeon Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, asrepresented by Edgardo Angara.P e t i t i o n e r S C B i s a b a n k i n s t i t u t e d i n England. Petitioners are Executive officers of said. Respondent isis one of the permanent committees of the Senate of the Philippines. The petition seeks the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) to enjoin respondent from (1) proceeding with its inquiry pursuant to Philippine Senate (P.S.) Resolution No.166; (2) compelling petitioners who are officers of petitioner SCB-Philippines to attend and testify before any further hearing to be conducted by respondent, p a r t i c u l a r l y t h a t s e t o n March 15, 2005; and (3) enforcing any hold-departure order (HDO) and/or putting the petitioners on the Watch List. It also praysthat judgment be rendered (1) annulling the Subpoenae adtestificandum and ducestecum issued to petitioners, and (2) prohibiting the respondent from compelling petitioners to appear and testify in the inquiry beingconducted pursuant to P.S. Resolution No. 166.S e n a t o r J u a n P o n c e E n r i l e , V i c e C h a i r p e r s o n o f r e s p o n d e n t , d e l i v e r e d a p r i v i l e g e speech entitled Arrogance of Wealth beforetheSenate based on a letter from Atty. Mark R. Bocobo denouncing SCB-Philippines for selling unregistered f o r e i g n s e c u r i t i e s i n v i o l a t i o n o f t h e S e c u r i t i e s Regulation Code (R.A. No. 8799) and u r g i n g t h e Senate to immediately conduct an inquiry, in aid of l e g i s l a t i o n , t o p r e v e n t t h e o c c u r r e n c e o f a s i m i l a r fraudulent activity in the future. Upon motion of Senator Francis Pangilinan, the speech was referred torespondent. Prior to the privilege speech, Senator E n r i l e h a d i n t r o d u c e d P . S . R e s o l u t i o n N o . 166, d i r e c t i n g t h e c o m m i t t e e o n b a n k s , financial institutions and currencies,t o c o n d u c t a n i n q u i r y , i n a i d o f l e g i s l a t i o n , i n t o t h e i l l e g a l s a l e o f unregistered and high-risk securities by s t a n d a r d c h a r t e r e d b a n k , w h i c h resulted in billions of pesos of losses to the investing public. Acting on the referral, respondent, throughits Chairperson, Senator Edgardo J. Angara, set the initial hearing on February 28, 2005 to investigate, inaid of legislation, the subject matter of the speech andresolution filed by Senator Enrile.Respondent invited petitioners to attend theh e a r i n g , r e q u e s t i n g t h e m t o s u b m i t t h e i r w r i t t e n position paper. Petitioners, through counsel, submittedt o r e s p o n d e n t a l e t t e r d a t e d F e b r u a r y 2 4 , 2 0 0 5 presenting their position, particularly stressing thatthere were cases pending in court allegedly involvingt h e s a m e i s s u e s s u b j e c t o f t h e l e g i s l a t i v e i n q u i r y , t h e r e b y p o s i n g a c h a l l e n g e t o t h e j u r i s d i c t i o n o f respondent to continue with the inquiry.O n F e b r u a r y 2 8 , 2 0 0 5 , r e s p o n d e n t commenced the investigation. Senator Enrileinquiredwho among those invited as resource persons were

present and who were absent. There after, Senator Enrile moved that subpoenae be issued to those whodid not attend the hearing and that the Senate requestt h e D e p a r t m e n t o f J u s t i c e , t h r o u g h t h e B u r e a u o f Immigration and Deportation, to issue an HDO againstthem and/or include them in the Bureaus Watch List.S e n a t o r J u a n F l a v i e r s e c o n d e d t h e m o t i o n a n d t h e motion was approved.R e s p o n d e n t t h e n p r o c e e d e d w i t h t h e investigation proper. Towards the end of the hearing, p e t i t i o n e r s , t h r o u g h c o u n s e l , m a d e a n O p e n i n g Statement that brought to the attention of respondentthe lack of proper authorization from affected clientsfor the bank to make disclosures of their accounts andt h e l a c k o f c o p i e s o f t h e a c c u s i n g d o c u m e n t s mentioned in Senator Enrile's privilege speech, and r e i t e r a t e d t h a t t h e r e w e r e p e n d i n g c o u r t c a s e s regarding the alleged sale in the Philippines by SCB-Philippines of unregistered foreign securities. Issue: Whether or not petitioners SCB-Philippines illegally sold unregistered foreign securities is already preempted by the courts t h a t t o o k c o g n i z a n c e o f t h e f o r e g o i n g c a s e s , t h e respondent, by this investigation, would encroach upon the judicial powers vested solely in these courts. Held: Contention is UNTENABLE.P.S. Resolution No. 166 is explicit on the subject and nature of the inquiry to be (and already bein g) conducted by the respondent Committee, as found in the last three Whereas clauses thereof. T h e unmistakable objective of the i n v e s t i g a t i o n , a s s e t f o r t h i n t h e s a i d r e s o l u t i o n , exposes the error in petitioners allegation that the inquiry, as initiated in a privilege speech by the very same Senator Enrile, was simply to denounce the illegal practice committed by a foreign bank in selling unregistered foreign securities x xx. This fallacy is m a d e m o r e g l a r i n g w h e n w e c o n s i d e r t h a t , a t t h e conclusion of his privilege speech, Senator Enrile urged the Senate t o i m m e d i a t e l y c o n d u c t a n inquiry, in aid of legislation, so as to prevent the
occurrence of a similar fraudulent activity in the future

.Indeed, the mere filing of a criminal or an admi nistrative complaint before a court or a quasi- judicial body should not automatically bar the conduct.

122. Arnault v Nazareno 87 PHIL 25 (1990)

Facts: In the latter part of October, 1949, the Philippine Government, through the Rural Progress Administration, bought two estates known as Buenavista and Tambobong for the sums of P4,500,000 and P500,000, respectively. P1,000,000 was paid for the first sum and P 500,000 to the second sum both to Ernest H. Burt, a nonresident American, thru his two attorney-in-fact in the Philippines, as represented by Jean L. Arnault, for both estates respectively. However, Ernest H. Burt was not the original owner of the estate. He bought the first from San Juan de Dios hospital and the second from the Philippine trust company. In both instances, Burt was not able to pay the necessary amount of money to complete his payments. As such, his contract with said owners were cancelled. On September 4, 1947, the Philippine Trust Company sold, conveyed, and delivered the Tambobong Estate to the Rural Progress Administration by an absolute deed of sale inconsideration of the sum of P750,000. The Philippine

Government then, through the Secretary of Justice as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Rural Progress Administration and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Philippine National Bank, from which the money was borrowed, accomplished the purchase of the two estates in the latter part of October, 1949, as stated at the outset .On February 27, 1950, the Senate adopted its Resolution No.8, which created a special committee to investigate the transactions surrounding the estates. The special committee created by the resolution called and examined various witnesses, among the most important of whom was Jean L. Arnault. An intriguing question which the committee sought to resolve was the apparent unnecessariness and irregularity of the Government's paying to Burt the total sum of P1,500,000for his alleged interest of only P20,000 in the two estates, which he seemed to have forfeited anyway long before October, 1949. The committee sought to determine who were responsible for and who benefited from the transaction at the expense of the Government. Arnault testified that two checks payable to Burt aggregatingP1,500,000 were delivered to him on the afternoon of October 29, 1949; that on the same date he opened a new account in the name of Ernest H. Burt with the Philippine National Bank in which he deposited the two checks aggregating P1,500,000;and that on the same occasion he drew on said account two checks; one for P500,000, which he transferred to the account of the Associated Agencies, Inc., with the Philippine National Bank, and another for P440,000 payable to cash, which he himself cashed. It was the desire of the committee to determine the ultimate recipient of this sum of P440,000 that gave rise to the present case. As Arnault resisted to name the recipient of the money, the senate then approved a resolution that cited him for contempt. It is this resolution which brought him to jailand is being contested in this petition.

Issue: 1. WON the Senate has the power to punish Arnault for contempt for refusing to reveal the name of the person to whom he gave the P440,000. 2. WON the Senate lacks authority to commit him for contempt for a term beyond its period of legislative session, which ended on May 18, 1950.3. WON the privilege against self incrimination protects the petitioner from being questioned.

Held: 1. YES. Once an inquiry is admitted or established to be within the jurisdiction of a legislative body to make, the investigating committee has the power to require a witness to answer any question pertinent to that inquiry, subject of course to his constitutional right against self-incrimination. The inquiry, to be within the jurisdiction of the legislative body to make, must be material or necessary to the exercise of a power in it vested by the Constitution, such as to legislate, or to expel a Member; and every question which the investigator is empowered to coerce a witness to answer must be material or pertinent to the subject of the inquiry or investigation. The materiality of the question must be determined by its direct relation to the subject of the inquiry and not by its indirect relation to any proposed or possible legislation. The reason is, that the necessity or lack of necessity for legislative action and the form and character of the action itself are determined by the sum total of the information to be gathered as a result of the investigation, and not by a fraction of such information elicited from a single question. 2. NO. Senate is a continuing body and which does not cease to exist upon the periodical dissolution of the Congress or of the House of Representatives. There is no

limit as to time to the Senate's power to punish for contempt in cases where that power may constitutionally be exerted as in the present case. Senate will not be disposed to exert the power beyond its proper bounds, i.e. abuse their power and keep the witness in prison for life. If proper limitations are disregarded, Court is always open to those whose rights might thus be transgressed. 3. NO. Court is satisfied that those answers of the witness to the important question, which is the name of that person to whom witness gave the P440,000, were obviously false. His insistent claim before the bar of the Senate that if he should reveal the name he would incriminate himself, necessarily implied that

POLITICAL LAW PART XI ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS 1. Sections 1. Public Office is a public trust.

123. CAMILO L. SABIO vs. GORDON, G.R. No. 174340, October 17, 2006, 504 SCRA 704 Facts: On February 20, 2006, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago introduced Philippine Senate Resolution No. 455 (Senate Res. No. 455), directing an inquiry in aid of legislation on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippines Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC), Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT), and PHILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in their operations by their respective Board of Directors. On May 8, 2006, Chief of Staff Rio C. Inocencio, under the authority of Senator Richard J. Gordon, wrote Chairman Camilo L. Sabio of the PCGG, one of the herein petitioners, inviting him to be one of the resource persons in the public meeting jointly conducted by the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee on Public Services. The purpose of the public meeting was to deliberate on Senate Res. No. 455. On May 9, 2006, Chairman Sabio declined the invitation because of prior commitment. At the same time, he invoked Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1. Issue: Crucial to the resolution of the present petitions is the fundamental issue of whether Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 is repealed by the 1987 Constitution. Assuming that it has not been repealed, is it not inconsistent with Section 1, Art. XI which states that public office is a public trust? The petition has no merit. Section 4(b) of E.O. No.1 limits the power of legislative inquiry by exempting all PCGG members or staff from testifying in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding, thus: No member or staff of the Commission shall be required to testify or produce evidence in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding concerning matters within its official cognizance. Section 4(b) is also inconsistent with Article XI, Section 1 of the Constitution stating that: Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives. The provision presupposes that since an incumbent of a public office is invested with certain powers and charged with certain duties pertinent to sovereignty, the powers so delegated to the officer are held in trust for the people and are to be exercised in behalf of the government or of all citizens who may need the intervention of the officers. Such trust extends to all matters within the range of duties pertaining to the office. In other words, public officers are but the servants of the people, and not their rulers. Section 4(b), being in the nature of immunity, is inconsistent with the principle of public accountability. It places the PCGG members and staff beyond the reach of courts, Congress and other administrative bodies. Instead of encouraging public accountability, the same provision only institutionalizes irresponsibility and nonaccountability. In Presidential Commission on Good Government v. Pea, Justice Florentino P. Feliciano characterized as obiter the portion of the majority opinion

barring, on the basis of Sections 4(a) and (b) of E.O. No. 1, a civil case for damages filed against the PCGG and its Commissioners. He eloquently opined: The above underscored portions are, it is respectfully submitted, clearly obiter. It is important to make clear that the Court is not here interpreting, much less upholding as valid and constitutional, the literal terms of Section 4 (a), (b) of Executive Order No.1. If Section 4 (a) were given its literal import as immunizing the PCGG or any member thereof from civil liability for anything done or omitted in the discharge of the task contemplated by this Order, the constitutionality of Section 4 (a) would, in my submission, be open to most serious doubt. For so viewed, Section 4 (a) would institutionalize the irresponsibility and non-accountability of members and staff of the PCGG, a notion that is clearly repugnant to both the 1973 and 1987 Constitution and a privileged status not claimed by any other official of the Republic under the 1987 Constitution. x x x. It would seem constitutionally offensive to suppose that a member or staff member of the PCGG could not be required to testify before the Sandiganbayan or that such members were exempted from complying with orders of this Court. Chavez v. Sandiganbayan reiterates the same view. Indeed, Section 4(b) has been frowned upon by this Court even before the filing of the present petitions. 2. Sections 1218 a. Impeachment, officers of the government who are impeachable, grounds, limitations for its exercise, procedure, etc.

125. Senate vs. Ermita GR 169777, April 20, 2006 Facts: This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition proffer that the President has abused power by issuing E.O. 464 Ensuring Observance of the Principles of Separation of Powers, Adherence to the Rule on Executive Privilege and Respect for the Rights of Public Officials Appearing in Legislative Inquiries in Aid of Legislation Under the Constitution, and for Other Purposes. Petitioners pray for its declaration as null and void for being unconstitutional. In the exercise of its legislative power, the Senate of the Philippines, through its various Senate Committees, conducts inquiries or investigations in aid of legislation which call for, inter alia, the attendance of officials and employees of the executive department, bureaus, and offices including those employed in Government Owned and Controlled Corporations, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP). The Committee of the Senate issued invitations to various officials of the Executive Department for them to appear as resource speakers in a public hearing on the railway project, others on the issues of massive election fraud in the Philippine elections, wire tapping, and the role of military in the so-called Gloriagate Scandal. Said officials were not able to attend due to lack of consent from the President as provided by E.O. 464, Section 3 which requires all the public officials enumerated in Section 2(b) to secure the consent of the President prior to appearing before either house of Congress. ISSUE: Is Section 3 of E.O. 464, which requires all the public officials, enumerated in Section 2(b) to secure the consent of the President prior to appearing before either house of Congress, valid and constitutional? RULING: No. The enumeration in Section 2 (b) of E.O. 464 is broad and is covered by the executive privilege. The doctrine of executive privilege is premised on the fact that certain information must, as a matter of necessity, be kept confidential in pursuit of the public interest. The privilege being, by definition, an exemption from the obligation to disclose information, in this case to Congress, the necessity must be of such high degree as to outweigh the public interest in enforcing that obligation in a particular case. Congress undoubtedly has a right to information from the executive branch whenever it is sought in aid of legislation. If the executive branch withholds such information on the ground that it is privileged, it must so assert it and state the reason therefore and why it must be respected. The infirm provisions of E.O. 464, however, allow the executive branch to evade congressional requests for information without need of clearly asserting a right to do so and/or proffering its reasons therefor. By the mere expedient of invoking said provisions, the power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is frustrated.

126. NERI VS. SENATE 549 SCRA 77 Facts: On April 21, 2007, the DOTC and Zhing Xing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE), a corporation owned by the Peoples Republic of China, executed a Contract for the Supply of Equipment and Services for the National Broadband Network Project (NBN-ZTE Contract) worth US$329,481,290.00 (around PhP 16B). The project sought to provide landline, cellular and internet services in government offices nationwide and was to be financed through a loan by China to the Philippines. President Arroyo witnessed the contract signing in China. After its signing, reports of anomalies concerning the project (e.g.,bribery, overpricing by US$ 130M, kickback commissions involving top government officials, and loss of the contract) prompted the Senate, through the Committees on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon), Trade and Commerce, and National Defense and Security, to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation.

The inquiry was based on a number of Senate resolutions and inconnection with pending bills concerning funding in the procurement of government projects, contracting of loans as development assistance, and Senate concurrence to executive agreements. In one of the hearings held on Sept. 26, 2007, former NEDA Director General Romulo Neri testified that President Arroyo initially gave instructions for the project to be undertaken on a Build-Operate- Transfer (BOT) arrangement so the government would not spend money for it, but eventually the project was awarded to ZTE with a government-to-government loan from China. He also said that then COMELEC Chairman Benjamin Abalos, the alleged broker in the project, offered him PhP 200M in exchange for NEDAs approval of the project. Neri testified that when he told President Arroyo of the bribe offer,she told him not to accept it. But Neri refused to answer questions about what he and the President discussed after that, invoking executive privilege since they concerned his conversations with the President. The Senate required him to appear again and testify on November 20, 2007. When Neri failed to appear on November 20, 2007, the Senate required him to show cause why he should not be cited in contempt. Neri explained that he thought the only remaining questions were those he claimed to be covered by executive privilege and that should there be new matters to be taken up, he asked that he be informed in advance of what else he needs to clarify so he could prepare himself. On Dec. 7, 2007, Neri questioned the validity of the Senates showcause order before the Supreme Court. On January 30, 2008, the Senate cited Neri in contempt and ordered his arrest for his failure to appear in the Senate hearings. On February 1, 2008, Neri asked the Supreme Court to stop the Senate from implementing its contempt order, which the Court granted on Feb. 5, 2008. The Supreme Court also required the parties to observe the status quo prevailing before the issuance of the contempt order.

Issues: The Supreme Court said there were two crucial questions at the core of the controversy: a. Are the communications sought to be elicited by the three questions covered by executive privilege? b. Did the Senate Committees commit grave abuse of discretion in citing Neri in contempt and ordering his arrest? Held: The Supreme Court first recognized the power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation. The Court said that the power extends even to executive officials and the only way for them to be exempted is through a valid claim of executive privilege. On the first question, the Supreme Court said that the communications sought to be elicited by the three questions are covered by the presidential communications privilege, which is one type of executive privilege. Hence, the Senate cannot compel Neri to answer the three questions. On the second question, the Supreme Court said that the Senate Committees

committed grave abuse of discretion in citing Neri in contempt. Hence, the Senate order citing Neri in contempt and ordering his arrest was not valid.

127. NEGROS ORIENTAL II ELEC. COOP., INC. vs. SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD OF DUMAGUETE 564 SCRA 152 Facts: A subpoena was sent by the Ad Hoc Committee of Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dumaguete (respondent) to the petitioners Paterio Torres and Arturo Umbac, Chairman of the Board of Directors and the General Manager, respectively, of petitioner Negros Oriental II Electric Cooperative NORECO II), requiring their attendance and testimony at the Committee's investigation. However, they failed to appear at said investigation and were sent were ordered to show cause why they should not be punished for legislative contempt due to their failure to appear at said investigation. The investigation to be conducted by respondent Committee was "in connection with pending legislation related to the operations of public utilities" in the City of Dumaguete and the inquiry was to focus on the alleged installation and use by the petitioner NORECO II of inefficient power lines in that city. Petitioners moved to quash the subpoena but the motion to quash was denied. Petitioners contend that the respondent Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dumaguete is bereft of the power to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses, nor the power to order the arrest of witnesses who fail to obey its subpoena. It is further argued that assuming the power to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses to be lodged in said body, it cannot be exercised in the investigation of matters affecting the terms and conditions of the franchise granted to NORECO II which are beyond the jurisdiction of the Sangguniang Panlungsod. Issue: Does a Sangguniang Panglungsod have a power to punish for a legislative contempt for a partys disobedience of subpoena? Held: No. There is no express provision either in the 1973 Constitution or in the Local Government granting local legislative bodies, the power to subpoena witnesses and the power to punish non-members for contempt. There being no provision in the Local Government Code explicitly granting local legislative bodies, the power to issue compulsory process and the power to punish for contempt, the Sanggunian Panlungsod of Dumaguete is devoid of power to punish the petitioners Torres and Umbac for contempt. The Ad-Hoc Committee of said legislative body has even less basis to claim that it can exercise these powers. Even assuming that the respondent Sangguniang Panlungsod and the respondent Ad-Hoc Committee had the power to issue the subpoena and the order complained of, such issuances would still be void for being ultra vires. The contempt power (and the subpoena power) if actually possessed, may only be exercised where the subject matter of the investigation is within the jurisdiction of the legislative body. As admitted by the respondents in their Comment, the investigation to be conducted by the Ad-Hoc Committee was to look into the use by NORECO II of inefficient power lines "of pre-war vintage" which the latter had acquired

from the Visayan Electric Com. company, and "to hear the side of the petitioners". It comes evident that the inquiry would touch upon the efficiency of the electric service of NORECO II and, necessarily, its compliance with the franchise. Such inquiry is beyond the jurisdiction of the respondent Sangguniang Panlungsod and the respondent

128. GARCILLANO V.S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES GR No. 170338, December 23, 2008 Facts: This case involves the infamous Garci Tapes which allegedly contained the conversation of PGMA and COMELEC Commissioner Garcillano where the former instructed the latter to manipulate theelection results in favor of PGMA. The speech of Cong. Escudero inthe House of Reps jumpstarted the congressional investigation over these tapes. During the inquiry, several versions of the wiretapped conversation emerged. But on July 5, 2005, National Bureau ofInvestigation (NBI) Director Reynaldo Wycoco, Atty. Alan Paguia and the lawyer of former NBI Deputy Director Samuel Ong submitted to the respondent House Committees seven alleged "original" tape recordings of the supposed three-hour taped conversation. After prolonged and impassioned debate by the committee members on the admissibility and authenticity of the recordings, the tapes were eventually played in the chambers of the House. The HouseCommittee also decided to prepare committee reports based on the recordings and the testimonies of the resource persons in the hearings.

In the Senate, Senator Lacson also delivered a speech regarding the Garci Tapes. On motion of Sen. Pangilinan, these tapes should be the subject of a legislative investigation by the Senate. However, Senator Richard Gordon aired his concern on the possible transgression of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 4200 if the body were to conduct a legislative inquiry on the matter. Sen. Defensor-Santiago also delivered a privilege speech, articulating her considered view that the Constitution absolutely bans the use, possession, replay or communication of the contents of the "Hello Garci" tapes. Because of these developments, Garcillano, and retired CA Justices Ranada and Agcaoili filed separate petitions before the Supreme Court to for Prohibition with Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction. Garcillano prayed that the respondent House Committees be restrained from using these tape recordings of the "illegally obtained" wiretapped conversations in their committee reports and for any other purpose. He further implored that the said recordings and any reference thereto be ordered stricken off the records of the inquiry, and the respondent House Committees directed to desist from further using the recordings in any of the House proceedings. On the other hand, petitioners Ranada and Agcaoili prayed that the Senate be barred from conducting its scheduled legislative inquiry. They argued in the main that the intended legislative inquiry violates R.A. No. 4200 and Section 3, Article III of the Constitution.

Issue: Whether or not the House Committee hearings and the Senate legislative should be prohibited for violation of RA No. 4200 (Anti-wiretapping Law) and sec. 3, Art. III of the Constitution (privacy of communications) Held: The petition of Garcillano praying that the House Committee hearings on the Garci tapes be stopped must be dismissed for being moot and academic. The Court noted that the recordings were already played in the House and heard by its members. There is also the widely publicized fact that the committee reports on the "Hello Garci" inquiry were completed and submitted to the House in plenary by the respondent committees. However, the petition for prohibition of petitioners Ranada and Agcaoili must be granted. (However, the ponente did not touch upon the issue of the admissibility of the Garci Tapes. The granting of the second petition was based on the non-compliance of the legislativeinvestigation with sec. 21, art. VI of the Constitution which requires that inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance must be conducted in accordance with the Senates duly published rules of procedure. Since the Senate did not publish its rules of procedure, then noinquiry must be allowed lest violate the given constitutional requirement. The phrase "duly published rules of procedure" requires the Senate of every Congress to publish its rules of procedure governing inquiries in aid of legislation because every Senate is distinct from the one before it or after it. Since Senatorial elections are held every three (3) years for one-half of the Senates membership, the composition of the Senate also changes by the end of each term. Each Senate may thus enact a different set of rules as it may deem fit. Not having published its Rules of Procedure, the subject hearings in aid of legislation to be conducted by the Senate, are therefore, procedurally infirm.